Friday, April 29, 2016

Heartbreaker Next, plus blog blogging

I've gotten into D&D 5th Edition lately, aka "D&D Next," and since I find it hard to encounter a new system without messing with it, I've been doing a lot of homebrewing. So today's Heartbreaker breaks the thread of recent installments, as I'll instead show off some of what I've been doing.

But first! Those of you with blogs know of the carbuncular irritation that is referral spam. I thought it had largely subsided here at my humble micro-acre of the web, but like Hydra, or fever blisters, it always seems to come back. It appears that the only way I can filter it out is installing Google Analytics. I kind of hate to do this, since I believe it means installing cookies on visitors' computers. Rest assured if I do go down this path, I'm not trying to spy on you or steal your data. I'm just trying to make blogging a little less annoying for myself, and possibly do my part to put a stop to these guys. If you have concerns, do let me know.

Also! I may spin the Heartbreaker stuff off to a different blog in the near future. I know I said I'd keep everything in house, but if I'm going to do more homebrew stuff, I'd kind of like for it to have its own space on the web. I'll link to new Heartbreaker posts at this space if I start a new blog.

For now, new Heartbreaker stuff below the fold. But first, how about some news? A few upcoming sets have caught my attention. New producer "Linear-A," which seems to be the crew from "Linear-B" breaking off their relationship with Strelets, have an upcoming set, "Folk of Judea," with lots of great looking civilian figures. They've also announced a set of "Silk Road" figures.

Strelets has another neat civilian set in the pipeline, "Norman Army Camp." Lots of interesting poses to look forward to.

Brief RPG design stuff below the fold!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Big Tree and the Big D

See, I told you I'd pick up the blogging pace. Two posts in one month; it's an Easter-liturgical-season miracle! I've a couple new minis to share, plus some fellow mini bloggers I'd like to spotlight at the end. Read this entire post, I say!

Let's start with this bloke:

It's a Reaper Bones "Spirit of the Forest." The poor fellow remained untouched except as a repository for unused brown paint for too long; I actually think this is less dignified that mouldering in the "lead mountain of shame" (or in my case, the "plastic tor of chagrin"). He deserves much more respect than that.

A closeup of some details. A lot of the really great paintjobs of this figure feature charming red toadstools, but I thought that sort of thing looked a little too cute. I went with more natural earth tones and greens for a more naturalistic look, at least as naturalistic as a pile of animate vegetation can be.

From the back. Lots of details adorn this figure, and I'd have gone mad trying to distinguish all of them. I focused on fungi, leaves, and vines, and let drybrushing do the rest.

Comparison with Sven, who remember is one inch tall. Reaper's larger minis always seem like they are looking down on my 1/72 figures, which I like a lot. A subtle effect is that the treeman's head and fists are a lighter shade of brown than the rest of him; it's the same color that you see on the vine around his right foot. I think it helps those features pop a bit without looking like they were deliberately highlighted.

Now the next surprise project. Remember this fellow?

He's ready.

It's a big demon from the World of Warcraft boardgame, with a trident borrowed from a Mines of Moria troll. What was holding me back was all the detailing on his armor. "Sure," I thought to myself, "how hard can it be to paint the raised areas a different color?" Ugh. After the initial rough highlighting months ago, it probably took me two hours of futzing with red paint, then gray to cover mistakes, then red to cover the mistakes I made trying to cover the mistakes I made before, in a maddening circle of persnicketiness (By the way, Autocorrect thinks "persnicketiness" is a totally legit word, but has reservations about "boardgame."). Eventually I had to choose between settling and going insane; I think I made the right choice.

Here's a closeup show the extent of the detail work. It also shows how my "magic" blackwash, while good enough for the tabletop, isn't going to win me any prizes. I've done something I thought I'd never do, which is buy some actual quality hobby paint, in this case a dropper of flat black from Vallejo. I'm hoping it makes my washes a little smoother and less splotchy.

Here's the comparison shot with Sven.

Worst prom photo ever.
And here he is with the treeman, for some reason.

Caption contest.
I mentioned blog sharing, which I wanted to spotlight as I've recently updated my blogroll. Most of those guys don't need me to promote them,  but a few stand out as special friends here at Cheap Fantasy Minis. First is Sceavus' 1/72 blog. Sceavus contacted me a few weeks ago to share some very cool fantasy conversions he's done, and I thought he should blog about them. Do check them out! Here's an example:

Next is Automato's Stroke of Meh blog. He's got some great D&D boardgame minis painted up, among other projects. Despite his self-deprecation, he's a great painter; much better than I!

Finally, here's Umpapa's blog. Umpapa does more modern/scifi stuff and less fantasy than I, but we're both interested in finding non-historical options for 1/72-20mm scale. Plus he's a pretty good modeler too!

These are folks who I think deserve some special attention, but everyone in my blogroll is great, and folks like Sam, Paul, and Kris have been really supportive. Really, everyone who has ever commented here or at one of my posts elsewhere, or who's bought something from me, or sent an email, or linked here: it's great to know that my ideas are interesting to a few people! You all really do make hobby blogging worthwhile. More stuff coming soon, I hope!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bugbearable puns

I know these puns bug you, but just bear with me.

Here is a small troupe of bugbears. These are various D&D minis and game pieces, modified in various ways. The one mod not mentioned in the linked post is the second-from-left, which was carrying a bizarre hafted weapon that terminated in a fist which itself was holding a second dagger. Maybe those who know their D&D lore could explain it, but I just don't know. At the last minute I thought it was too goofy and hacked and repinned the blade so it looks a little more normal.

Comparison time. The bugbears are a little smaller than what's shown, since they stick out from the background a bit. My 3.5e Monster Manual says bugbears are supposed to be 7 feet tall. That comes out to more like 30mm. These blokes are more like 8 feet tall or taller, but I think that's fine. If they aren't obviously bigger, they're otherwise just another flavor of orc.

Here's a final shot, including the other two D&D bugbears I've painted so far.

"Oh sorry, wrong room number."
I'm hoping the spate of sluggish posting here has ebbed for now. I've got one other surprise project completed, and I may soon have another to show off. Plus more Heartbreaker RPG stuff, and the results of that poll to contend with. Thanks for reading!