Painting Thorns

Inspired by some of the painted armies I saw and photographed at the Warhammer Fantasy event last weekend, I’ve been busy assembling and painting Wood Elf figures, including these “Sisters of the Thorn.”

ImageThese took a good deal of both time and patience to assemble, but it was just as well since the entire week of weather has been at least humid if not raining.  Today I finally got them primed, and by happenstance I picked up the plastic base-plate of an 80’s vintage electric typewriter, one which I had pulled apart for parts and components, and I realized it would serve as a platform for spray painting and carrying figures out to the back of the apartment complex where I go to prime models.  It certainly is more rigid and serves better as transport than the sections of corrugated cardboard I usually use.  This is now officially designated as my model priming plate.

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Forest for the Trees

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Everything is green again, and I’m starting my second Warhammer Fantasy army, inspired particularly by the new Wood Elves released the first week in May.  This weekend I finally ventured out, driving up to a state forest to explore and enjoy a walk in the woods; the excursion was, in part, a relaxing break from work and life in town, but it was mostly a field trip to study colors in the forest… for the sake of choosing the palette I want to use for painting my Wood Elf army.  I’m enjoying this preparation to paint a score of plastic soldiers in a range of green shades.  And because these are fantasy figures, I don’t need to concern myself with historic precedents–although I didn’t consider historical concerns when I have been painting my French & Indian War figures.

But while walking among the trees, hearing dozens of birds chirping away, I realize I need to get out more often for the sake of my health if not also for miniature painting inspiration.

The new store in town is in the process of expanding into a larger space, and we’re organizing a Warhammer event in June.  I’m keeping myself booked with gaming events, between volunteering with the regular teen events at the public library and now preparing to prep and cook hot meals for nearly a hundred people across next weekend at a gaming camp.  I’m enjoying some good success with the local Warhammer league, although I wouldn’t mind playing more games and expanding the scope of the Fantasy campaign.  On that note, it’s about time for me to pack up minis and head to the store to meet my Orks & Goblins opponent.

More Weekend Cat Blogging

My next painting challenge goal is set for mid-July when I intend to run some games at Historicon.  I have ideas for 6 different games, but I need to trim that down a bit and decide which 2 or 3 I will commit to so I can submit to the HMGS by the end of May.  This means I also need to decide which sets of figures deserve the lion’s share of my painting attention.  And speaking of the “lion’s share” I am pleased with these particular figures I received yesterday:

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No, these didn’t arrive painted–I borrowed a studio shot on the distributor’s website.

Yes, cat-people wearing turbans and wielding scimitars!  Their game “element” is water, so I intend to put a bit of light blue on each figure, but I’m going to have fun with the fur patterns and stripes on those baggy trousers.  The game describes these as what one might expect a fantasy race of cat-people to be–fast, agile, quick, and deadly within claw & fang range in close combat.  The larger variety are equivalent to tigers and possess great strength and serve as bodyguards for the spellcasters and leaders while the smaller, light infantry are equivalent to panthers and leopards.  And the spellcasters?  They’re actually blind but are guided by their superb powers of divination.  And that reminds me of a book I read last year about a blind cat named Ulysses–the author explained that his eyes were removed as a kitten because of a severe infection, but the cat still navigated around her apartment as agile as any of her other cats, jumping up on the furniture, etc.

ImageAnd, speaking of cats, I expected Sabine to prefer the Khaliman cat-people, but she seemed to be more interested in the booster box of Aurloks I also included in the order.  ImageOr maybe she’s really most interested in the shipping container which arrived from a distant land and was permeated with smells from the long journey and has that perfect corner with just the right mixture of firm and pliant for claw scratching.  She certainly likes those cardboard boxes.

ImageMeanwhile, the other cat, Mira, just ran off with one of the packing peanuts to play with as if it was the most exciting cat toy ever invented.  I don’t know why I bother buying cat toys anymore.

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Another project is going to be a proxy demon force for the Hell Dorado game with a nautical theme.  I haven’t started painting any of these, but I’ve started collecting the figures, including a hammerhead shark with legs and arms, a couple of pirates, and the chief demon, a ship’s figurehead come to life:

ImageBy the way, I borrowed the title “Weekend Cat Blogging” from another blog and website I admire which offers a range of easy wargaming scenarios and free paper figure templates.  Check it out:  http://www.juniorgeneral.org/

Weekend Cat Blog

ImageReceived an order today of discounted miniatures by post.  The cats helped me open the box and Sabine was particularly interested in the contents.  Since I was home from work early and it was a warm, sunny day out I went ahead and primed some figures and got started block painting.

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The Aurloks (above) are associated with the element of Earth, so I’m starting with brown and tan colors.  But I want to have some fun with the feathers and may use some red & purple (it’s a fantasy setting, so why not birds with red & purple feathers).  The other box of figures are catlike humanoids associated with the element of Water (the game is called ALKEMY, after all, so each of the 4 factions represent one of the four classical alchemical elements), so I want to feature just a bit of blue although I plan to have fun painting them along the lines of cats like leopards, panthers, and tigers with lots of orange and yellow….

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Meanwhile, Sabine watched as I painted.

Modified Painting Schedule

Painting Day 13

Between a busy week at work and various distractions, I had to revise my main goal. By Tuesday (Day 9) I hadn’t accomplished as much as I had hoped, so I decided to concentrate my attention on the 8 figures I intend to use in the Hell Dorado games day this coming Sunday.

Last night I resorted to a simple basing system–a bit of glue and some sand to create a rocky ground around the figure. And today I applied some drybrushing to some figures and hit the rocky bases with a bit of brown wash. I also spent time applying metal washers to the underside of the bases so they can “stick” to the magnetic sheet I’ve put down in a plastic container to use for transport to the game store. Some of these figures are delicate, particularly the wizard holding a scroll with a dragon-snake coiled around his body, so putting these into a box of foam wasn’t something I wanted to resort to using.

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to an audiobook of The Golden Compass while working on these figures today.

Painting Project Progress

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I decided to increase the number of figures painted by April 14 up to 14, a figure for each day of the project, and now I have 15 on the desk with paint on them by day 5! I have the base coating figured, and decided to paint the bases yellow as well. My friend Shades suggested adding just a hint of cyan to complement my yellow and fuchsia, and I like how it’s starting to look!  Another afternoon of base coating in all three of the main colors, in addition to some brown and gray, and then I can move onto some detailing and start washing parts of some figures. I’m going to try something I haven’t tried before, using different colored washes for different parts of the figures.

April Painting Project

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On the first day of April, 2013, I started painting a set of 12 figures; I’ve clearly become enamored of Asian themed forces in both my naval and skirmish games, so I’ve determined to paint a force which can be used for 2 different skirmish tabletop games.  Eight of the above dozen figures will be used with a 200 point force for the Hell Dorado Day I plan to attend in 2 weeks at the Game Vault, and 9 of the same dozen figures will be used for future games of Alkemy, representing the Jade Triad.

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I sculpted a “Jin Post” for my Alkemy force using a bit of Sculpey over a plastic drywall mount; the great thing about this terrain piece is it can also work as a stalactite terrain piece in games of Hell Dorado.  I bought a bag of golf tees to serve as the base structure for more Jin Posts/Stalactites.  The “shadow guard” on the left, in the photo above, from a recent Alkemy purchase, is also going to double as a proxy for a SwordMaster in my Hell Dorado force of Immortals, and the captain on the right is also going to serve as a Human Sentinel.

My love for the color yellow is showing throughout this force; I’m aiming for some contrast with a reddish purple, otherwise known as fuscia.