Thursday, October 19, 2017

Diorama & Painting Thoughts

As ReaperCon got closer and closer, and I realized I'm not going to be able to get the diorama done in time, at least not to the level I want. I found that my attention was drawn more toward doing some fun, relatively simple minis to a tabletop standard. That's why I worked on the familiars and grave hounds.

Most of the painting I've done this year has been to a tabletop standard. Tabletop plus in most cases, and I'm happy with the painting I'm doing. It isn't award winning level painting, though I've pulled off award level painting in the past. It's a lot of effort and a lot of stress. And it isn't my job. I don't hobby professionally. I don't teach classes, take commissions, I don't give online tutorials. At most, you get a couple of sentences here about what colors I used. Mostly I paint for me.

So I'm going to focus on what I enjoy, and that's getting things painted. Hell, that's why I went with Bones in the first place, to have something to paint that I could practice simply getting things painted. (I may have slipped a bit into just collecting all the Bones...) I haven't really followed through on that, but I'm getting better. And by doing my best to incrementally get better and better, learning and trying out new techniques and styles, I can compete with the one person who I need to compete with: Myself. As long as I keep getting better, I'll be happy.

What does that mean for the diorama? Mostly that it'll be entered in 2018. I'm going to keep working on it, and try to make it awesome. For this year, I'm taking the sorceress and entering her alone. I'll swap in another figure to replace her on the diorama...

I put the sorceress on a 30mm lipped base, greenstuffed it smoothish, and then painted the torchlight and shadows onto the base. I went through a couple of different ways to paint the light before settling on this... I mean, I think I've settled on this.

Yes. This.

Also going to enter the The Red Herald, Disciple of Cthon that I've been frantically working on since Friday... you know, less than a week before the Con... But that's another post that I don't have time to write right now!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ReaperCon here I come!

In just a few hours I'll be on my way to ReaperCon!

It's less of a "fuck it, I'm going" this year, and more of a "that was awesome! I'm totally going again!"

This year I'm taking 3 classes, signed up to play in a couple of games, and bringing a bit less than what I brought last time. Since I didn't get the diorama done, I'm only entering the painters division. I'm going to keep working on the diorama, and will enter it next year.

Last year's classes ended up being an oddball mix from painting to basing to sculpting to converting /kitbashing minis. This year, I'm focusing only on painting. I'm taking:
  • Fluid Filled Objects
  • Monster Skintones
  • Red Leather & Yellow Leather
I hope that this will help up my painting level going forward.

I'm also bringing several minis that I want some expert takes on. Painter's Row, with all the professional painters is an amazing resource, and I intend on making better use of it this time around, rather than just drooling over the display pieces.

I'm still gonna drool over the display pieces.

Among the goodies included this year is a resin dragon bust. I've never painted a bust before, so I'm kinda looking forward to giving it a shot. Of course I'll need to get a good display base to show it off on...

As for other goodies, I don't actually plan on getting much of anything outside of what comes with my ticket. I'm good on paints, more than good on minis, and incredibly short on space to store stuff... So mostly I'm going to have a good time and see if I can't level up my painting!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Frozen in Time

What is it? DCC Adventure #79 for 1st level characters by Michael Curtis

Spoilers Below!

So, I'm something of a Michael Curtis fan. He wrote Stonehell, which I've been running regularly for almost 2 years now. He wrote The Chained Coffin  which served as the backbone of my Weird New World campaign. Plus a whole bunch of other stuff, from system neutral books like The Dungeon Alphabet to 5e adventures. Plus in the times I've had occasion to game with and chat with him, he's been a friendly guy.

All that aside, this is a great low level adventure that packs all the weirdness that DCC has to offer into it. The dungeon is the lair of a (long dead) time traveler locked in a glacier. The glacier is retreating, and a falling ice sheet exposes an entrance to the complex. Within this futuristic dungeon among primitive barbarians are wonders and dangers the likes of which are rarely seen outside of DCC.

How many other D&D type games give you the chance to loot the Mona Lisa? Or fight a t-rex? Heck there's even a couple of interesting humaniods that could be replacement PCs, should members of the party not survive including an anthro-antis and a walrus-man!

If that doesn't strike your fancy, how about a teleporter that'll send the PCs... well... wherever you want to send them!

And then there's the fun moment when exploring all this that the power-core fails, and the PCs have to run for it. While not a 0-level funnel, this is probably the next best thing!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Grave Hounds

In keeping with the month's theme, I painted up the Grave Hounds from Bones 3's graveyard expansion. As always, they were washed in warm water with dish soap, and given a good scrub with my craft toothbrush. I based them on 25mm round bases from Reaper, and basecoated them with grey liner. I painted the bodies with (DARK BROWN) and brought up the fur on one with leather brown giving it a more yellow brown color, and on the other I just added in a bit of Linen White to bring the color up.

The exposed bone was painted with Bone, and the ripped and torn flesh with Splattered Crimson highlighted with Heraldic Red.

The integrated bases were blended in a bit with some leftover greenstuff and covered with sand that was painted Mountain Grey, then brought up with increasing amounts of linen white mixed in with the mountain stone, and given a splash of flesh wash to add in a bit more depth.

Quick and easy minis. Gotta love both undead and animals when you want to get something painted up quickly.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spooky Familiars

It's the spooky time of year, so a wonderful time to pull out all the ghouls and goblins to work on. I've already worked on lots of goblins this year, and ghouls weren't grabbing my attention, so I grabbed a few teeny tiny familiars: crow/raven, cat, and bat. Each was given a grey liner base coat and nightmare black body. I used Heraldic Red for the eyes of the raven and mouth of the bat.

Front view

For the cat, I decided to be a little silly, and painted her up like Luna from Sailor Moon. So she has anime eyes done using Linen White and Heraldic Red, a little god dot on her forehead, and a 50/50 mix of splattered crimson and Pale Flesh Shadow for the ears and nose.

The smallest bases I could find were 20mm, so that's what they got based on. Being so tiny they needed something. The bat wouldn't stand up on it's own, and the raven and cat would both fall over if you looked at them sideways. The bases for the bat and raven are built up with cork and some rough sand, and painted with mountain grey, washed with flesh wash and red and green inks, then highlighted up with Mountain Stone mixed with increasing amounts of Linen White. The cat got the same deal, but without the cork.

Rear view
Still need to clean up the bottom of the bases, and give them a clear coat.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Jewels of the Carnifex

What is it? DCC adventure #70 for 3rd level characters by Harley Stroh

Spoilers Below!

First thing's first, for those 40K fans out there, this is not the Carnifex being referenced, in spite of that awesomely weird thing on the cover.

In this case, Carnifex a cthonic goddess of assassins and torturers whose symbol is a 3 headed raven, and she's been imprisoned by some do-gooder paladin types. Unfortunately they're too pure(ish) for their own good, and can't destroy the jewels that hold her power. So their imprisonment isn't as complete as they want.

The adventure itself is a dungeon crawl through the 2 levels of the under temple of the Carnifex. The upper level is more traps and tricks, while the second level is where the party encounters the Swords of the Pious and the imprisoned goddess.

For what would otherwise be a relatively standard dungeon crawl, there are a few fun twists that make this a much more interesting adventure. Namely, there aren't a lot of good options, and the likelihood that the party manages to pick the least worst set of options is pretty slim. Do they try to work with the fanatic lawful (evil?) paladins, or do they try to release the goddess of assassins? Dare they keep the treasures they find?

In addition to the dungeon, there's an optional encounter with some descendants of the Paladins who still guard the old temple grounds, a rumors table (I always appreciate these), and a section on how to handle the PCs (potentially) acquiring some incredibly valuable treasure.

Unfortunately there wasn't an option given to have Canifex as a potential patron/god, or even suggestions for potential followups in spite of the suggestion that "The PCs are left with the sinister sense that they have not seen the last of the Carnifex". Seems like a missed opportunity.

All in all though, I really appreciate an adventure that lets you make difficult moral type choices, even if most players probably just try to kill everyone and keep all the stuff.