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About gmvader

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    Rabble Rouser
  • Birthday 08/11/1979

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    Albuquerque, NM

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  1. gmvader

    Bones 4 Wyvern

    Thanks everybody. Most of my motivation for each miniature is trying something new. Sometimes they come out pretty well, sometimes they look horrible. But it's more fun to try new things and I learn a lot in the process. I was really looking forward to taking some classes at Reapercon this year as I feel like I need some instruction to take my painting to the next level...
  2. Thanks everybody. I've got another one of these I'm working on that I should be able to post in a few weeks (I paint really slowly).
  3. I have a series of vignette's I'm planning that all feature ogres in amusing scenes with townsfolk. The first of this series is here. With this one I imagined the young milk maid is taking her boyfriend home to meet the parents for the first time. The boyfriend, wanting to put on a good first impression has worn his best striped collar and matching belt, as well as brought his best skulls. He's a bit nervous so she's trying to reassure him. "Don't worry... Mom is going to love you." She doesn't say anything about dad, though... Any critique and criticism is always welcome.
  4. gmvader

    Bones 4 Wyvern

    This was an experiment that I'm only mostly pleased with. I think a better painter would have been able to pull off the lightning wings more smoothly but, on the other hand, they came out better than I expected and I really like the concept and had a lot of fun trying to pull it off.
  5. I've been trying to get back into writing stories again and decided to start with a story about an NPC from my D&D game. In the game there is a city called Pelor's Light that is almost completely populated by Paladins of Pelor whose mission it is to keep the undead in a nearby swamp (The Eldritch Bottoms) from escaping and ravaging the rest of the land. The adventuring party went into the swamp a few days before this story takes place. While there they unwittingly unleashed an undead horde. The horde, much larger than ever before overwhelmed the paladins at Pelor's Light. This is the story of one of the Paladins dealing with that aftermath and before the adventurer's return from the swamp. Hope you enjoy it. Feedback is appreciated: A Knight of Pelor Splintered bones mucked with slime. Drooping flesh that reeks of putrescence. Horrors pass over the wall like a wave and Guenevere shouts. Fear. Anger. Righteous wrath as her arm rises and falls. Glory rises and falls in her hand and with it the shattered bits of skulls and ribs rain around her. At her back, the comforting pressure of Cassandra presses against her then slams into her. Guenevere stumbles, rolls, turns. Cassandra looms above her, protruding tusks crimson with blood. She pitches forward on top of Guenevere, eyes pale and unseeing, mouth open wide. *** “Cass,” Guenevere whispered, opening her eyes. Her tunic, her hands, her face were all smeared with blood. None of it hers. The sound of dying and wounded rang in her ears. The smell of blood and the tang of the alcohol the medics used burned her nostrils. Two hundred seventy nine civilians were in the keep. One hundred seventeen bore wounds of some kind. Of the knights only twenty seven lived, three of them trained as medics. “Major?” Markul Groensit, an initiate with a purple bruise across his face questioned her. “Sorry, Markul, my mind wandered for a bit. It’s been a long night. Tell Inaros to dress the wounds in bandages cut form the drapes.” He saluted with the sign of Pelor and was off. Too many of the wounds were in places that could be not be dressed. Too many had lost friends and family. Guenevere pushed a stray lock of sweat-stiff hair behind her ear. Don’t think. Just do. She passed Clara, weeping in the hall and stopped to wrap arms around her. She didn’t talk, didn’t say it would be alright. It would never be alright, ever again. Grunt found her there moments later, his lips taught against his tusks, his captains rank torn from his surcoat. “It’s nearly dawn.” Guenevere nodded. “Come, see the sunrise,” she said to Clara and led the way up the stairs to the rooftop. There were exactly one hundred forty three steps up the spiraling staircase to reach the roof of Pelor’s Keep. Gathered on the roof were the survivors, those well enough to climb the stairs. She looked at them huddled in small groups, too few in bloodied armor. They all looked scared, relieved, haunted. Guenevere passed among them, wordlessly, on her way to the eastern parapet. She faced the east as the first fingers of sunrise began to push back the blanket of night and she made the sign of the rising sun. “We greet you lord; and by your word; your light will hold us fast; in your glory no evil thing can last.” Guenevere heard the others repeat the words. Their voices echoed around her, a chorus of solemnity. The words echoed in her mind, she had said them every morning at dawn for nine years seven months and thirteen days. This morning she was silent. Her mouth moved, no sound passed her lips. Why have you forsaken us? *** At the doors of the keep Guenevere turns back. Clara, the gardener’s wife is running towards them, two small children clutched in her arms. Behind her, James, the gardener, is gardening, reaping the undead. His hoe lifts and chops and sweeps back and forth. Guenevere raises her shield and charges toward them. Using it as a ram she slams herself into the undead near Clara. She screams, and points at the keep. Where is Glory? Lost somewhere in the battle? Discarded? James is cut down like a weed, buried under a pile of corpses. Guenevere backs away, smashes away a looming skeleton, bashes away a leering zombie. Then she grabs one of the children from Clara and runs with her to the doors of the keep. They rush through the doors as Crunch and Grind slam them shut. Jalinda, the butcher, and Marco, the glass blower, lift the huge wooden bar and slam it into place. Bodies thump against the doors. Bones rattle against the walls. People weep. Others slump in shocked silence. Guenevere hands the child to her crying mother. General Crunch nods to her once, his face ashen and then he crumples to the floor. The wound on his ear already spreading veins of infection along his face. *** The morning ritual finished Guenevere passed through the crowd again, their faces hopeful, looking to her for guidance, for peace, for absolution. She could give none. “Guen… Major, we need to talk, to make plans.” She did not slow, let the captain fall in behind her. His armor clinked as she went down the stairs. “I am going to see the general,” she said, “gather the captains and meet me in the Sunset Room in one hour.” The clinking stopped. Guenevere did not. She counted the steps to Crunch’s door. The door seemed solid as stone, dark with age, the wood grain smooth from use. It had three bronze hinges. Guenevere paused before opening it. General Crunch, her mentor, her friend, her hero, lay dying within. Her fingers closed on the black iron latch and she bit her bottom lip, leaned her forehead against the door. You can’t take him from us, we need him. “I need him,” she whispered, “I can’t lead them myself.” Crunch Gorblek-chov lay on a cot, his eyes glassy with fever, his tusks dry and yellowed. Did his gray skin have a greenish tint? Guenevere stood inside the door for several seconds, her hand still on the latch. He hadn’t seen her. His eyes rolled toward her, slowly, two marbles finding a resting place. “It is the dawn,” Guenevere said, moving toward him at last. “You’ve lived through the night.” “But not another, I think,” he spoke softly, his voice scratchy. “You will live. You must.” “You can lead them,” he said, patting her hand, “you will.” He tried to smile and she looked away, seeing in his familiar grin the gaping maw of Cassandra. *** Guenevere and Crunch, student and mentor. They move as one. The ridges on Crunch’s morningstar sing just before crunching through bone. Glory whistles in Guenevere’s hand. The ogre is undead, rotten and wet. Its strength matches its stench. Crunch slides under its bowed legs striking upward. Guenevere takes the opening. Glory rings as the ogre batters her away. She ducks its swinging arm, comes up hammering. Crunch already batters its legs. The ogre picks up a fallen knight and slams the body into Crunch, sending him sprawling backward. With a shout of holy anger Guenevere calls upon Pelor’s might and sunlight erupts from Glory as she smashes the head of the hammer through the ogre’s skull, dropping it to the ground. She pulls Glory free. Crunch rolls to his feet, helmet missing, but seemingly unhurt. He salutes her and bares his tusks in a smile. Something dark and rotten hits him from behind and bites down on his ear. Blood spurts. The zombie falls dead with the spike of Glory buried in its skull. Crunch touches his mangled ear. “Probably alright.” *** It’s probably alright. The Sunset Room had a burgundy carpet and seven mahogany chairs. It took one hundred nineteen steps around the curving corridor of Pelor’s Keep to pass from the door of General Crunch’s cell to the door of the Sunset Room. One hundred nineteen steps that felt like one thousand. One million. You always hoped to be General one day. “Not like this,” she said. She put on her calm face before entering. Two captains had survived the fall of Pelor’s Light. Two captains, three lieutenants and one major. Captain Janella Strifelaughter and Captain Grind Antonk-ovich saluted her with the sign of Pelor when she entered. Their backs straightened, stiffened. “At ease,” she said. “Major,” Grind said. He relaxed his stance just slightly. His face bore a long line of stitches across his eye. “What are we going to do? Janella and I think we should pursue the undead, it is our job to destroy…” “It was our job to keep them inside,” Guenevere interrupted, “we failed. Now we must tend to those who still live.” “What’s the point if the rest of the world falls to rot and ruin,” Janella said, she held a twist of cloth in her hands and acted as though she were trying to throttle it. Her lips pursed and her eyes squeezed taught. “I will not abandon those in this tower who are helpless.” “Will not leave the walls to fight, you mean,” Janella said, her sneer made her face ugly. Her eyes passed once over Guenevere, uninjured, unarmed. Guenevere crossed the distance between them in two quick steps. Her hands gripped the chain mail of Janella’s hauberk. She shoved the taller woman back, so quick and fierce that Janella took two steps away. “You will not speak to me that way again or you will be stripped of rank and I will find another to take your place.” Janella lowered her gaze, “Yes, Major Claremonde.” Guenevere looked at Grind. He returned her gaze, eye wide. Fear hid just beneath the surface. His gaze flicked to Janella and back. “Find any runners who are well enough. Send them out along the wall, bring in the patrols. We need to know if this is the only place they got through, or if it’s even worse.” She turned to Janella, “Find those who are skilled and able. We will need food and water. What can be salvaged?” “Yes, Major,” they said. They left to carry out her orders. *** Shove with her shield, swing Glory, wide and hard. Her armor rings as verdigris swords squeal across the surface. Rotten hands with blackened fingernails pry at the plates, slide off. Skeletal hands wielding tarnished weapons push at her. She stands alone in the horde, and not alone. The Knights of Pelor are scattered about like stars in a sky of undead. She can hear their shouts of righteous anger rising above the din. She can not reach any of them. Then General Crunch steps from the chaos around her, tall, broad and glowing with holy light. “There’s an ogre broke down part of the south wall,” he shouts as his morningstar shatters skulls around him. She nods. Nothing more need be said. *** She moved among the people inside the keep. A hand on a shoulder and a word of encouragement. A quick hug. A crouch to comfort a child. A word of reproach to some bickering civilians. Guenevere occupied her day with helping, leading, teaching. Keep the memories at bay. Keep the battle outside. Exhaustion tugged at her, pulled her down but she shrugged it off and soldiered on. There were fifty-two children in the keep. Forty seven children had lost at least one parent. Seven had lost both. There was food in the keep but only enough for a few weeks and who was to cook it? Clara was a skilled cook but who would look after her two small children? Master Starbright, a retired paladin, loved children but then who would record the history of the castle? And so it went, each person filling in where others had vacated a needed spot until nobody was comfortable. But they will be fed and rested and safe. Safe. Broken. The Knights of Pelor are Broken. While the rest of the survivors gathered in the Hall of Sunrise to feast on whatever Clara had prepared Guenevere found herself outside General Crunch’s cell once more. The door was made of eight planks of wood banded tightly with iron bands. She brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. She smoothed her tunic over her armor. She took a deep breath. She bit her lip and opened the door. The hinges creaked softly. The door turned smoothly. Crunch’s head turned, jerked, as if a twitch had suddenly taken him. His eyes, bloodshot and wet struggled to focus on her. She knelt at his side and touched his hand, cold, like death. His skin looked pallid and stretched, taught across his bones. “Kill me,” he whispered to her, “Kill me before I become one of them.” *** Guenevere looks at the ground, churned with blood and littered with fragments of bone. She looks at the surging swarm of undead flowing over the wall. She looks at her hands, at the blunt head of glory caked in blood. She looks at Cassandra lying at her feet, head caved in where Glory made its mark. Even now Cassandra twitches and her teeth clack together as whatever turned her to undeath tries to make her rise. Guenevere turns away, shield up and screams into the sky as she charges into the nearest waves of undead. Holy light shines from Glory’s head. She swings again and again, anger drowning the tears that mix with sweat as they drop from her face. *** From the sounds in the Hall of Sunrise the people were enjoying the meal of parched corn and stewed beans that Clara prepared. Perhaps not enjoying, the sound was subdued and more of a low hum than a raucous feast. But people were eating and talking. Perhaps laughter would come. Guenevere did not enter. Crunch’s face, his voice, his eyes haunted her. His toothy scowl of pain loomed in her mind like the rictus of death. Before I become one of them. She couldn’t do it. Not again. Not to him. Not even for him. In the eastern wing she entered the Dawn Chapel, shaped like a rising sun with stained glass, triangular alcoves facing east along the curve of a half circle. Five alcoves. Five precepts of Pelor. There were forty two flagstones placed in the floor between the door and the altar in the center. Forty two steps up the steepest mountain. At the altar she knelt and clasped her hands. Her forehead touched the top of the altar and a tear dripped on the white marble. Where are you? I can’t lead. Not now. Not ever. I’m not ready… As she prayed tears came. Tears that she had kept to herself all day. Tears she had hidden while she dried those of others. Head bowed to the altar she spoke to Pelor and she cried. She told him of her fears, her traumas, her hopes and her nightmares. She prayed until the tears dried, stiff on her cheeks. She prayed until the dawn’s light lit up the stained glass rays of the chapel. Then she stopped. She breathed in deeply and raised her head. Footsteps echoed behind her, paused, then continued. A cleared throat, and then a voice, “Major Claremonde,” Captain Grind said, “The adventurers are returning from the Bottoms. Should we have them arrested?” Guenevere pushed herself to her feet. Her knees ached where she had spent the night kneeling. Her eyes felt grainy and dry. “No,” she said, “I will go meet them. Perhaps one prayer will be answered.”
  6. This is another one that I love but seems to be made less good by the bones material. Bones 3 seems to be much softer than Bones 4 and I it has given me some unpleasantness. I tried OSL on this one. It looks better than my last attempt but still seems to be missing something -- any advice is welcome. I also took a deep breath and tried painting yellow. I also went for a leap of faith and shadowed the yellow using purple as I've seen recommended in several places. I like it but it still feels like something isn't right. I can't tell if it's because I need to smooth the purple to yellow transitions more, I have too much contrast (is this possible), or maybe I just did it wrong. Again, any advice is welcome. I'd like to try this again sometime. I also tried some more freehand -- it's a little cartoonish but it was fun.
  7. gmvader

    Bones 4 Griphon

    I found this to be very intimidating so it took me a while to actually put paint on it. The first issue was that the legs and tail were not strong enough to hold it up so I had to add stone underneath one leg. At first I just wadded up some foil but it didn't look right after I primed it so I covered it with green stuff. Then I had a little green stuff left over -- like you do -- and I made a rock for the griphon to hold in on talon. I tried to paint the wings to look like a gold eagle and the I spent lots of time looking at pictures of both gold eagle and lions to try and get those parts right. This is one of the minis I am most proud of...
  8. I had this idea of combining Ogres (that I have a bunch of) and townsfolk (that I also have a bunch of) on a single base with amusing titles as little vignettes. This one I am calling "Stop... Can I Get an Autograph?" I wanted to try out a few different things with this one. I wanted the ogre to have a non-human skin tone and I had this image in my head of a dark blue that fades into a human-like tone with mottling. I tried it on this ogre and liked the effect it gave quite a bit. I think it could use some more smoothing with more skilled hands to really make it shine but I'm happy with out it turned out. I plan to do a few more of these and I hope to try other skin-tone variations with the other other ogres.
  9. gmvader

    Bones 4 Bar Maid

    Thanks. I was trying to show the tray she's holding. Didn't even realize what else was beyond that...
  10. This one was really hard to paint. The bones material did not do this one any favors. Her face detail was almost completely obscured and the flashing was a real pain to remove. I like the sculpture though and I like the way it came out. Again the camera is not being kind to this one.
  11. Here's another one where the photos show my mistakes. It looks like there a couple places where the paint has chipped away and I apparently got a big splotch of brown paint on his boot that I never noticed. I'll have to go patch him up some day but for now, here he is.
  12. This was one of the townsfolk that I had the most fun with so far. I tried to paint her like Belle from Beauty and the Beast -- as if she were pretending to be a bar maid, I guess? I don't know. The dress and apron seemed right for it. I'm most proud of the tray and while trying to get a good picture of it I may have finally figured out my camera settings... so there's that.
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