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  1. I speed-painted these over two afternoons to be a party of NPC adventurers for an eclectic mash-up of Exalted and the World of Darkness. They are 77322, Kassandra of the Blade (sculpted by Werner Klocke); 77405, Aeris, Female Elf Ranger (sculpted by Julie Guthrie); as-yet unnumbered Mythos figures based on 50032: Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer (sculpted by Bobby Jackson) and the Victorian Lord from the set 50326: Victorian Lord & Dame (sculpted by Bob Ridolfi); and 77409, Flara, Elf Heroine (sculpted by Werner Klocke). WIP thread here.
  2. This started out as a series of posts in the Randomness thread as I was noodling about with ideas. But things in Randomness get lost fast, and people seemed interested. So here is how I developed a pen and ink drawing from a preliminary sketch to (hopefully - not quite there yet) a finished drawing. I'm currently involved in a game set in the World of Darkness combined with Exalted. My PC is a (former) vampire with a certain amount of mental baggage. This drawing started as a tiny doodle in my sketchbook about The Beast Within, a major leitmotif in White Wolf's vampire games, as seen in the character's House of Memory (a sort of mental structuring invented in the real world in classical times to help people remember awesome amounts of stuff). The original sketch was about 4 by 8 cm. The text (if anyone is interested) is "... I could see what of my character was now imposed. Alien ways --" "You weren't frightened?" "They are only memories -- Diagnoses, if you will, of the actual thoughts. They cannot harm me."
  3. Yes, this is the repository for all things culinary. We've fired off recipes, we've traded family secrets (well, not all of them) and mentioned our favorite cooking shows. So here it is, fire them keyboards up and give us all things food-related! --lstormhammer, summoning up the Iron Chefs!
  4. Here's something I have been meaning to do for a while, since apparently I have had Tom Meier's Thunderbolt Mountain pack of three giant wolves (Thunderbolt Mountain #8560) and RAFM's three dire wolves so long I can't even remember when I got them or how on earth I got an RAFM product I can't seem to find mention of on the internet. I also nabbed a set of Reaper's #02830 Wolf Pack, which contains three smaller wolves, still impressively sized next to humans. Here they are, cleaned and glued to bases (all nine wolves were more prone to tipping over sideways than I like). Reaper, on one-inch fender washers: Thunderbolt Mountain, on 1.25-inch fender washers: RAFM, on 1.25-inch fender washers: And here they are together for a size comparison, from left to right: A Reaper wolf from the set, the Bones wolf from the Familiar Set #77176, Reaper's Willow Greenivy #03682, a Tom Meier giant wolf and an RAFM dire wolf. I would say the Reaper wolves are the most classically wolf-shaped. They are a bit large for wolves (see the picture above for scale). They are realistic and look well posed for various purposes. The two larger sets of wolves are almost the size of small ponies and look like they are begging for goblin riders. The Thunderbolt Mountain giant wolves have the elegant long, thin legs Tom Meier gives a lot of his creatures (I have also seen some astonishingly elegant wolfhounds and impossibly graceful insect-like horses from his hand). Here they look maybe almost a little too long and thin, but they are certainly beautifully sculpted, as are the ranks of fur sliding along the animals' forms. Their poses are realistic and expressive. The RAFM dire wolves, as large as the Thunderbolt Mountain ones, are a lot more cartoony. Their faces are kind of pushed-in and piggy and their anatomy doesn't make as much sense. They move oddly, although melodramatically. They definitely have a mood of menace to them. Something was a little off with the casting of the Thunderbolt Mountain wolves. Two of them had little pits along their spines, as though there were just not quite enough pewter in the mold or something. I filled them in with epoxy and tried to smooth it out to match the surface. At the moment the figures are glued but not yet primed. When I paint these, I am thinking of painting them mostly as realistic grey wolves, white arctic wolves, and perhaps some black wolves.
  5. By itself this figure is 02863: Female Werewolf by James van Schaik, but to be clear I got mine as part of the set 03495: DHL Classics: Lady Lycanthropes. I have two copies, but of course they are sold singly. It's an evocative little figure, with a slim build and fur suggestive of long hair. The tail is a separate piece which was too thin for my pinning skills, so it is simply glued on. I decided to paint these two in realistic wolf style. - That is, colored as real wolves would be, though distorted. After cleaning up mold lines, I prepared them by priming thinly with Titanium White and washing over with Burnt Umber. I also threw a quick green on the bases mixed from Yellow Oxide, Hansa Yellow and a small amount of Carbon Black (yellow + black is a fun and unexpected way to make bright greens!). Those broccoli bases caused me endless trouble. Note the tiny white specks on them? Those are tiny pits where the paint didn't take. I will eventually come to spend all sorts of time poking with specially thinned paint and tiny brushes trying to eliminate those white spots.
  6. While I have been painting realistic wolves, I have also been working on some of the gorgeous giant wolfmen sculpted by Julie Guthrie for the Koborlas faction in Reaper's "Warlord" game. This is #14528, the subtly-named "Rageclaw Slayer", or the testosterone-poisoned werewolf a friend of mine requested. He's a big puppy; I include a copy of Reaper's 60164, Vampire Hunter, for scale: This is my standard priming of a thin layer of Titanium White followed by a thin wash of diluted Burnt Umber, using my favorite Golden Matte Fluid Acrylics. I left the base white in order to paint it as snow. Those who have been following my regular wolf painting thread will recognize the steps here. First I mixed a cool neutral grey from Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White and painted it on his limbs, face, and belly: Then I mixed a darker version of the same grey and painted his back and tail: Then I mixed a cream-buff color from Burnt Sienna, Yellow Oxide, a tiny bit of Ultramarine Blue to take the orange edge off, and Titanium White, and went over his face, limbs, and belly again: And finally I took some pure Carbon Black (a color I rarely use except for special effects) and laid in his eyes, nose, lips, and claws (Although I just noticed I missed his toe claws. Oh, well, next time.). I also washed a little diluted black over his darker fur, most noticeable on the parts of the tail I had missed earlier: He still looks rough and terrible, especially up close, but I have to admit I am rather pleased with the overall color impression.
  7. This is a fresh start for a thread I feel I knocked off kilter. I feel it may be justified in that I've finally started actually painting the creature. This is Reaper's 14532: Aislinn, Shadow Tracker, a large werewolf (the base is a 40mm square) from the Koborlas faction in their Warlord game. I had a request from a player for a werewolf who can shift genders and appear gender ambiguous, and this seemed a good place to start. The sculpt is meant to be female, but it is lean and muscly and not over-bosomy. I filed it down somewhat and off we go. ... I don't seem to have done my usual practice of documenting the priming (a light coat of thinned Titanium White and a wash of Burnt Umber on the creature only, leaving the base white for snow), so here is the first layer. I decided to paint this one as a white wolf. I've observed that "white" wolves are actually a creamy light brown, so that's how I've painted this one. The color is mixed from Yellow (Iron) Oxide, Burnt Umber, a bit of Ultramarine Blue to tone down the brightness, and Titanium White. It came out a sort of dull buff, a good blonde color. The color is laid on thin and translucent. Where the Burnt Umber underneath shows the color shifts to a sort of bluish shadow. I indicated the nose, eyes, lips, and claws with Carbon Black. I don't use pure black much, but I needed a little facial indication to work from. Had a little blue on my palette, so I swished in some snow shadows. These are two mixes: Phthalo Blue with a tiny bit of Hansa Yellow Opaque and a great deal of Titanium White; and Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White.
  8. This was originally a birthday present last year, a fairly simple German resin ship kit for a medieval-style cog. Since I was playing a Githyanki in Dungeons and Dragons at the time, I modeled, painted, and sewed the vessel up into a more or less spelljammer, since named Black Moon's Bane from events in the game. There is a fairly detailed Work-in-Progress thread for this ship, if anyone has questions about materials or techniques. Or you can ask here; that's fine. A list of materials: Resin ship's hull model, wooden dowels, bamboo chopsticks, bamboo kitchen skewers, acrylic paint, brass wire, silk organza, silk taffeta, wooden furniture peg, jewelry findings (barrel clasps, jump rings), jewelers chain, metal necklace charms, glass seed beads, waxed linen bookbinder's thread, waxed linen carpet warp, silk buttonhole thread, cotton twine, metallic polyester yarn, nylon cord, screw eyes, 1/2" zinc fender washer, various glues The bowsprit (left) is a bamboo chopstick painted and wrapped with brass wire. The hatch on the deck (right) looks down over a forested landscape. The ship's rails are painted with (imaginary) red runes on black, then washed over thinly with silver metallic paint. From some angles the rails look silver and the runes are invisible. From others they show clearly. The ship's wheel (visible at the upper deck on the stern) is a charm bracelet charm with the hanging loop filed off. I nailed and glued it to the post (made from a furniture peg) so that it spins freely. It is mounted on a small fender washer so it can be moved around the ship. The runes around the door to belowdecks are imaginary. I may think of more stuff to say later. Right now I'm a little dazed.
  9. Last year PingosHusband, after noodling around Exalted (2nd edition) and World of Darkness rulebooks (Vampire the Masquerade 2nd edition, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Mage the Ascension, etc.), announced that he'd like to run an Exalted game set in the World of Darkness. We, his friends and loved ones, said “What, are you crazy? Have we not long joked about how unplayable and internally inconsistent the World of Darkness is; how its timeline makes no sense and its rules and worldbuilding are buried and often mutually contradictory; how foolish and suicidally incurious the various groups are regarding each other; and how so many of its many tragic angsty world-destroying problems could be solved if only each isolated group got its head out of its backside and actually talked to one of the others?” He said, “Hear me out,” and since we have long experience of his keen ability to run entertaining campaigns, we heard him out. See, PingosHusband has a knack rather like Alan Moore's ability to take unpromising old third rate comic book series and turn them into fascinating multifaceted mythic dynamos, or Neil Gaiman's ability to mine world mythology to create astounding and consistent and multilayered worlds, or James Burke or Kenneth Hite’s ability to take fascinating historical and technological developments and spin them into stories of human interconnectivity or disturbingly deep illuminati conspiracies for game use, respectively. More than once PingosHusband has taken historical oddments, played “What happens if this is taken seriously and assumed to make sense somehow?” and produced some wonderful story or game setting or world. (One of them won awards.) So apparently he did this with Exalted and World of Darkness, getting under the hood, finding the core of what worked and what didn’t, seeing what could be connected to what else and what made sense, what was clearly absurd, what needed tweaking, what could be fun, what couldn’t be possible, why things happened, and who could have done them. He looked keenly at characters, places and situations, saw potential for fun in a campaign, wrote up background, and presented us with an introductory players’ handout. I’ll get to particulars later. The simple version is that the world looks basically like the World of Darkness, except that all of a sudden a tiny number of people have Exalted with memories of the world of Exalted (“Creation”) and powers derived from it. There are five to begin with (the PCs), although more will come soon enough. I have to say, this game has so far been tremendous fun. Our group has been playing together for over thirty years and I have rarely seen all of us this excited about a game. Our teenage / adult children are also involved and we have been having vivid family conversations over meals about history, strategy, and characters. I’ve (of course) been painting up miniatures for the game. I’m having a lot of fun with these too. I’ll put links to Show Off threads when I have them up.
  10. There has been some talk on the boards of people's costumes, the wearing of them and how they change things and what people are working on. So I'd like to throw open the question, What is your costume? It can be any approach. Are you working on one now? Are you a fan who appreciates them but doesn't make them? Do you have a favorite costume? Do you have favorite memories of one? Do you like realism, or abstraction, history, sci fi, or fantasy? Does costuming connect to your gaming or other hobbies? When and where do you wear costumes? Are you making something for another person? Or for a doll maybe? What's your favorite one you've seen? What would you make if you had the materials and time? *** I'll start. I have a reproduction late-eighteenth century dress in a big floral print in shades of red and blue on white, complete with undergarments, big pockets, mitts, a ruffled cap, and cocked hat that I had been wearing to our neighborhood's annual Fourth of July parade. But I've been feeling weirder about it in the last few years since late eighteenth century dress has become political in a direction I am not. So I've found myself turning towards the struggles of the Suffragists a century ago. I've been reading old mail order catalogues from the First World War and checking out the eminently practical suits women wore at the time -- big pockets everywhere! At this point I have plans for nearly everything except a suit. I have undergear and petticoats, a blouse, nearly acceptable shoes, hats to be modified, a good pattern for spats, and a pageant-style banner edged with green and purple ribbon* ready to be painted front and back with "Votes for Women". At this point it would be nice to make a historically accurate suit, but looking at what I have, I think it would be a fairly convincing impression with any reasonably matched jacket and calf-length skirt. *Those are the colors of the English suffragists, not the US ones, but I'm okay with that.
  11. My GM needed a party of NPCs fast for a game of Exalted set in the World of Darkness (think fantasy characters popping up in a modern day world, more or less). There was no time to order anything, but we had the handy new Bones III core and Mythos sets. These are the Bones minis 77322, Kassandra of the Blade (sculpted by Werner Klocke); 77405, Aeris, Female Elf Ranger (sculpted by Julie Guthrie); as-yet unnumbered Mythos figures based on 50032: Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer (sculpted by Bobby Jackson) and the Victorian Lord from the set 50326: Victorian Lord & Dame (sculpted by Bob Ridolfi); and as a free bonus 77409, Flara, Elf Heroine (sculpted by Werner Klocke), who was simply a "Vale Swordsman Elf Grunt" in metal (she was the first character picked for the one represented by Kassandra of the Blade, and I painted her up anyway as an extra and useful figure). I painted these really fast -- for me -- in two afternoons, one to prime and paint faces and one to paint the rest of them. It's not quite my one-hour robot speed paint, but for me it was super fast and the results are more tabletop-quality than my usual run. First I washed and primed all the Bones with Reaper's Brown Liner. I did not clean flash up as much as normal owing to the tight deadline. Skin work, using simple mixes of earth pigments plus white: Burnt Umber (for the darker skin tones), Burnt Sienna (for the pinker, lighter skin tones), Red Iron Oxide (for really pink skin) ,and Yellow Ochre plus Titanium White. Hair was laid in with the same palette plus Carbon Black. Rough shading with ruddy Burnt Sienna-Titanium White shadows and greyer Burnt Umber-Titanium White shadows. This character, a former Fae, has dramatic blue-streaked hair. This is a classic mix of Phthalocyanine Blue and enough Titanium White to make it opaque.
  12. I'm planning to test some different ways of varnishing Bones, since there is some confusion and some materials seem to dry sticky, or turn sticky after some time. This is going to be a long-term experiment because of the aforementioned change over time. I have a dozen rats and five mummies from the first two Bones Kickstarters which I have painted up in colors known for their shininess (the blacks and reds on the rats) and their matte qualities (the grey bases and the linen color on the mummies). These are super quick paints, just there to test the results. Once they are fully cured I plan to number them under their bases and experiment with different combinations of matte and gloss finish, including at least one unvarnished of each type. I plan to report back after some time has passed.
  13. So I was at the World Model Expo in Chicago last weekend, meeting Corporea and a whole bunch of Reaperites and ogling some of the finest miniatures painting and dioramas the world has to offer (the PA system requested fluent translators at a number of points). I took some pictures. Normally I've been putting up galleries on Photobucket, but they turned evil quite recently, so I'm attempting to put some up here to share. Anyhow, much of the show was historical miniatures, a category pretty new to me, and almost everything was much larger scale than the 28mm I'm used to. As for the vendors, I regret to say that while for the larger figures the men were young, old, noble, peasant, ugly, handsome, heroic, villainous, commonplace, extraordinary, leaders, followers, white, black, Asian, Elvish, Orcish, cowboys, Vikings, soldiers, and fops; there were far fewer women figures and they were overwhelmingly pin-ups. Not that I have anything against pin-ups, per se. I just prefer painting other things. I did pick up one very nice 54mm armored woman to give a try, only to discover Kuro Cleanbrush had done the same with the same model months ago. Good taste, Kuro! ( @Liverpuncher also put up a thread for his World Expo photos here.) Here's a couple of @Wren's pieces, including my own rough approximation of 3D photography: cross your eyes and it's 3-D!
  14. This is a figure from the Goth set from the game "Wild in the Streets" by Slow Death Games. Thanks to FishNJeeps for directing me to them when I needed miniatures of modern people in goth-punk wear for a World of Darkness game. I painted up the figure as a vampire. It didn't originally have any facial hair; that's all painted on. There isn't a WIP thread. So as a quick note, although I have seen people able to do wonderfully subtle and menacing vampires who still look like vampires, I find that unless I paint mine in stark black and white they look like regular people.
  15. I could have sworn I had started a thread already. Ah, well. Here's a drawing I did related to a vampire game, with an enlarged detail to show pencil work. It's 5 inches by 8 (12.7 x 20.3 cm). The detail is about 1.75 x 2 inches (4.4 x 5 cm).
  16. So this is 03681: Nazera Bloodraven, Vampire, sculpted by Bobby Jackson. She was something of a windfall surprise gift from an unexpected quarter and came without blister packaging. For some reason, until I looked her up, I thought she was an earlier version of Monique de Noir. I think she might be an older sculpt. She is standing on a thick slab like the lid of a tomb and the bottom is stamped "RMI", which I've mostly seen on older Reaper figures. She has a nice, dynamic flow of lines and forms. Anyhow, she is pretty neat and decidedly sinister, with her bat-motif armor and shield. I prepped her in my usual way for metal figures, a good scrubbing with warm water and dish soap, a gentle filing of mold lines, priming with a thin layer of Titanium White and washed with thinned Burnt Umber. Her face is the only exposed skin showing. I painted it, but thinly, with pure Titanium White, at least for starting out. I made the error the last time I painted a vampire of giving her a light wash of brown for shadows right at the end which made her look too alive. I don't plan to make that mistake this time. I've decided to try to paint her armor iridescent, like a raven's wing. The best way I've found to get that effect is to start with a dark undertone and glaze it with iridescent and interference pigments. To that end I've underpainted her armor and shield dead black using Mars Black, the most opaque of all blacks. (I also painted her sword, since black is also a good undercolor for metallics -- although I may just leave her sword black). The little bits of shine are because the paint is not quite dry in the nooks and crannies.
  17. This figure is from a set of fun modern street fighters from the game "Wild in the Streets" by Slow Death Games. (Many thanks to FishNJeeps for pointing them out to me at Adepticon.) This figure is from the "Murder Cult Girls Gang" (I had to remove a large knife from her right hand). I'm currently involved with a campaign of "Exalted" (2nd edition) set in the World of Darkness ("Vampire the Masquerade" (2nd edition), "Werewolf the Apocalypse" etc. etc.). One of the PCs is (and I'm sure this will sound like glossolalia) a member of a South Korean girl pop group who Exalted as a Sidereal of the Maiden of Serenity (Venus). She dresses fashionably, mostly in the color blue (the five Maidens have planets and colors associated with them and I swear they are totally cribbed from "Sailor Moon"). Her hair is dyed bright pink; her eyes are preternaturally blue with white pupils; and she has a "caste mark" of the sign of Venus (a.k.a. the symbol for "female") in glowing blue on her forehead (I wasn't able to paint that clearly; there's just a little interference blue under her bangs). The character has a hand-sized green spider familiar named Jadie. Since she had a slightly blobby hand (from removing an unwanted knife from the figure), I painted it up to look like a spider. There is a WIP thread here.
  18. This is another of the PCs for an enjoyable mashup of White Wolf's World of Darkness (Vampire the Masquerade, second edition, Werewolf the APocalypse etc.) and Exalted (second edition). This one is an androgynous, or perhaps genderfluid would be a better description, Alchemical, a sort of human-cyborg prototype Exalted made by Autochthon, architect of the world. The Adamant caste are sort of the policemen-secret agent-ninjas of the Alchemicals, making sure society runs smoothly in their mechanized cities. This one is sort of lost, as the Creation of Exalted has morphed into the World of Darkness and Autochthon is nowhere to be found, although things with his name which are not him, echoes perhaps, linger. Anyhow, that's all backstory. The figure is Patrick Keith's enigmatic Numemera Jack, Reaper 62102. There is a WIP thread here.
  19. This is another of the PCs for the "Exalted" campaign set in White Wolf's World of Darkness which I'm currently involved in. This character was a medieval Persian vampire who reverted to human when she Exalted as a Zenith caste Solar. Among other things, she has a sword which shines with the light of the Sun. The figure is from Hasslefree, HFA004 "Kat", sculpted by Kev White. There's a WIP thread here. The lighting effect changes a lot at different angles so I included lots of pictures.
  20. This is another PC for the campaign of "Exalted" set in White Wolf's World of Darkness that I am involved in. The character is a Scottish mage from the Sons of Ether who is essentially a therapist for would-be reformed vampires and werewolves. At the beginning of the game he Exalted as a Twilight-caste Solar. (If this means nothing to you don't worry about it.) The figure is Julie Guthrie's delightful "Benedict Baker", a highly versatile gentleman. There's a WIP thread here.
  21. Felicitations on your personal solstice!
  22. There's a French wargame called "Alkemy" which has a faction of pseudo-Egyptian cat-people called the Khaliman Republic (or République Khalimane in the original). A few years back I snagged a starter set of 5 resin figures I found on clearance because, well, cat people. Currently I am involved in an elaborate and fascinating campaign combining White Wolf's World of Darkness (the one in Vampire the Masquerade second edition and Werewolf the Apocalypse) with its "Exalted" game, second edition (which was originally sold as the prehistory of the World of Darkness, although they backed away from that pretty fast). This character is a PC for that game. The person is a lycanthrope, or rather a feline therianthrope. He has a human form, but I painted up the cat man because it's more fun. This is the first small-scale non-terrain resin I've ever assembled or painted. It was a little fiddly and I was worried about its fragility. There are a few places with what is probably flash that I didn't have the courage to try to slice off. Comments welcome. WIP thread here.
  23. This is Jason Wiebe's sabertooth tiger, Reaper 02480. I painted it up with a lynx's coloration. WIP thread here. As a note, this is another form of the feline therianthrope also depicted here. So this is another PC for that idiosyncratic game of World of Darkness-Exalted I'm involved in. And that skull under the critter is small. (with 59037 Deadlands Noir Femme Fatale by Bob Ridolfi for scale)
  24. This is Patrick Keith's 50246: Marie, She-Bot, famous from the old Fritz Lang movie "Metropolis," and two other robots Johnny Lauck sold adjacent to his sci fi Salvage Crew. I painted them up in less than an hour. WIP thread here.
  25. One of our players is playing an Adamant Caste Alchemical in a game of Exalted (2nd ed., heavily modded). Info about them is semi-classified by the GM, but they seem to be sort of crystalline with interchangeable parts, a little like cyborgs. The Numenera Jack with the crossbow (or pickaxe?) arm seemed a decent fit, as the character is supposed to be somewhat androgynous. Here is the figure mounted on a fender washer for stability, primed white and washed with Burnt Umber.