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Everything posted by Sanael

  1. I always hit the snooze button five times, even though I get out of bed when the alarm first goes off. It becomes a repeating ten-minute timer so my tired butt doesn’t accidentally hyperfixate on something unnecessary, otherwise I’ll be late getting ready for work. I actually turn off the alarm five minutes after I log on to the remote office.
  2. I love these sculpts so much, you’ve really done nice work on them! An excellent little horrorfest.
  3. MUSIC GENRE: ”I LiKe aLl KiNdS oF mUsIc” It’s true, I do. But left to my own devices I tend to default to: 1. Riot Grrl and 70’s/80’s punk for when I’m annoyed with work or enjoying a workout 2. 90’s-to-present pop for when I’m just looking for something to fill my ears or sing along to in the kitchen 3. folk-rock for when I just want to listen I also have a turntable and a decent collection of 50’s through 70’s pop and rock records in the craft room (always with a dust cover and never during airbrush use). It enforces get-up-and-stretch breaks while painting. BREAKFAST DRINK I drink so much tea, y’all. usually black tea in the morning, my go-to right now is a heavy black tea with hazelnut, it tastes almost like coffee and has a bunch of caffeine. During the rest of the day, I often drink a peach iced tea, and I have a variety of teas for different moods. If you see me with a Yeti tumbler, it’s 99% likely it contains tea of some kind. SUPERSTITIONS I work in theater, so I am surrounded by constant ritual, superstition and prayer. 1. every theater has a ghost. I believe this, and I believe in “ghosts” in the sense that intense human drama leaves a residue. Not “ooOooOOOHHhh I’m literally the spirit of a dead person” ghosts so much as the manifestation of the weight of human expectation and experience, and theaters are places where that weight pools and concentrates enough to be clearly and frequently noticed. And artists (as all theater folk are) tend to create narrative, so these manifestations take on personalities and gain stories, which lends them even more weight. 2. Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is cursed. I don’t buy it. BUT I do believe in the power of suggestion, and I’ve seen enough people lose their minds because someone said it might rain and another actor replied “let it come down” that I respect the idea of the curse. 3. Don’t whistle in a theater. I love this superstition because I love its origin, but I don’t really believe in it. But again, I respect the power of suggestion and I won’t whistle, especially in older theaters with fly systems where the origins might actually matter. This one comes from the idea that theaters used to hire out-of-work sailors to handle the fly systems, because sailors already understood ropes and rigging. And sailors communicated via whistling to each other, so if you whistle on stage, the ghost of a sailor might misunderstand and drop a sandbag on your head. There’s a decent amount of bunk in the general historical concept, and in the US the likelihood that a mast-and-rigging sailor accustomed to the bosun’s whistle ever worked in any given theater (much less with other sailors) decreases dramatically with every mile you go west…but some folks still get nuts about whistling in a theater, so…I don’t. 4. I could go on, but those are my favorites.
  4. Thanks! Yes, you saw her on my Instagram and said some kind words there. I’m glad you like her! I really, really love her face; your sculpting gave me a lot to play with as a painter.
  5. She’s from Shadowforge Miniatures’ BloodBowl line, one of the staff or cheerleaders from their female elf team. Not sure where you can find them, I ID’d them via Noble Knight and Lost Minis. I’ve seen some mentions of her as a cheerleader, others as the team nurse. I found her in a single minis bargain bin at the FLGS.
  6. Well, I’ve played a bunch of games since the last time I posted in this thread…plenty of the usual suspects, but here are some notable new games and things we returned to the table that are worth mentioning: Fog of Love: this was a good time. I find the end game a bit meh, as the narrative-building of the first two-thirds is the real selling point for me, and the endgame just drives home the “now try to WIN!” aspect and makes the game a bit thematically divided. Still, it’s a good time. Etherfields: we actually managed to play through the whole first campaign. Had an absolute blast throughout, just a little sad that the end of the first campaign was more denouement than climax. We’ve started campaign 2, but we aren’t very far yet. Ticket to Ride / India, Switzerland: my parents love TtR, so I enjoy playing it with them. But usually it’s not one of my favorites, as it often trips my “rabid cutthroat” mode, which is honestly no fun for anyone. I liked Switzerland pretty well, the tunnels and ferries slow down route acquisition in an interesting way. India is an absolutely brutal map, with multiple cheap choke points; every game we played was pretty much just everyone collecting cards until someone broke the floodgates, then it was just a mad frenzy of buying routes. Strategic secret route management is vital for any TtR map, but India amps it. The Crew: a nice strategic trick-taker. I really groove on this kind of game, my parents were pretty lukewarm. Wingspan: what a great engine builder! My parents really enjoyed this one, and it’s hit the table a bunch over the holidays. Even my ornithophobic mother loved it, and given that a photograph of a raven kept her out of my bedroom in high school, that’s a remarkable feat for a game about birds. Really pretty game on the table, too. Dominations: this was a Kickstarter game a little while ago, a friend went in on it and we played it once while he was in town. It’s a civ builder, and resource gathering is handled by placing triangular dominoes so they match colors to the resources you want. It’s a visually striking game with several solid ways to earn points. It’s a shame this isn’t really available after the KS (yet?), because it’s a very solid game that I’d easily add to my collection if I could get it at my FLGS. Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile: this is a persistent-consequence tableau kingmaker sort of thing…it has a bunch of stuff going on, but basically you want to accrue influence and resources to gain a victory condition first (groundbreaking, obviously). It’s very pretty, with a sizable decision tree but very small action economy. Players have established roles that might change over the course of the game, and those changes carry over to the next game (though it’s easy to reset if you have a new group or something). Normally, I check out of these types of game after turn 6 or so, so it’s good that this one has a hard eight-turn limit and a variety of swingy mechanics to hold my attention. I’d definitely suggest this to people who like Risk or Game of Thrones but want something a little lighter. We played with 3 players and it was fun, but there are some table negotiations that would really sing with 5 players. Sorry! …this is my nephew’s favorite game. It’s still no better than Candyland-with-more-screw, so I can’t recommend it other than to entertain a child. But I played it quite a bit over the holidays.
  7. I painted this during 2020, but never put her up here. Oops. from MidKnight Heroes, this is “Super Chibi "MidKnight" Quest Edition.” Really nice sculpt as I expect from MKH, and great fun to paint up! At the time I painted her, I was rewatching some anime from my youth, and I took some inspiration from Utena (specifically, from the opening credits, where Utena and Anthy have this super badelf armor that sadly never gets any screen time in the actual episodes).
  8. My first, and hopefully not only, mini completed in 2022! Gabby, here, is a perfect sculpt for one of my favorite NPCs. I absolutely love Christine’s absurdly characterful, nicely detailed sculpts. Hyacinth “Cindy” Dabblethwaite is the middle child of the halfling family behind Dabblethwaite’s Fine Teas, and the champion of the underground bare knuckle fight ring her otherwise very proper family runs in the cellars of their tea house.
  9. Well, I’ve been very mildly active on the Reaper discord server with the Challenge League, but it’s been a bit since I posted here. So here’s a group shot of my pieces in 2021. It was a good year for learning, and I took a few remote classes with Aaron Lovejoy over at Miniature Monthly. Aaron’s classes are an absolute blast and I’d recommend them to anyone, no matter your skill level. He does a fantastic job of explaining the topic at hand, and his frequent reviews of students’ work provides specific, actionable feedback whether a student is new to the hobby or is consistently turning out box-art-level work. Several of these minis are a direct result of those classes: I took Aaron’s NMM (Caerindra and Iris) and blending (Darius and Tsuko) classes. The rest of these were pretty well “get this done fast” pieces for the RCL, with the exception of the Shadowforge elf and Juliana, which I painted purely for the sake of painting them (I really love townsfolk sculpts). left to right: Juliana (B. Jackson), Caerindra (B. Jackson), Elf Cheerleader (Shadowforge Minis), Mr. Bones (J. Guthrie), Female Wraith (J. Guthrie), Nalani (J. Grace), Iris (S. Garrity), Darius (B. Jackson), Blood Imp (B. Seins), Tsuko (S. Garrity), and the devil bunny from Snowboard Sophie (G. Van Horne).
  10. I love this guy! Looks really great. I agree the eyes are a little too “human,” I think you’ve actually done a nice job with them but they look “off” on a dinosaur. if you Google “bird eyes” there are some great photo collages you can use for reference. My observation is that most animals show far less white around their irises than humans do: the Iris and pupil fill the entire visible eye in most cases. With birds, they also often seem to have a dark sclera, so even when the “white” is exposed, it appears dark. (I mention bird eyes because it’s what I’d use for dinosaurs, but there are equally great collages for reptiles) for eyes in general, the more white you leave exposed, the more surprised/frightened the expression becomes. I usually aim to cover slightly more than half the eye with the Iris, no matter what species. a good trick for shaky hands is to move the Iris to one side of the eye, as though the mini is looking to their left or right. This is a trick I first heard from Derek Schubert @dks, and you can see in his work just how expressive this trick can be. It’s also much, much easier than trying to center your eyes, because you are working with the sculpted corner of the eye rather than doing what is essentially just tiny, tiny freehand.
  11. Some NMM practice and striped pants. This is actually one of the first miniatures I ever bought...started to paint her about 14 years ago, hated what chromatic crimes I visited upon her, stripped all my work, then...let her sit. She became a practice piece during Aaron Lovejoy’s NMM class over at Miniature Monthly, and now she’s finally done...and I have great plans for her as an NPC.
  12. It’s a shame that he’s a missable thing. Such a fun little additional mechanic, I hope everyone finds him!
  13. These look great! Really love all the rust and grunge effects. I find it hilarious that the interior of the camper appears to include a hot tub, a giant pop-tart with only one corner eaten, and a headless Han Solo in Carbonite. Truly, what more does one need when living off the land?
  14. BUSINESS PENGUIN!! Man, did he save our butts in a recent dream. yours looks great, I love the colors in his hat and his eyes are fanTAStic!
  15. Have these guys made their older books available via pledge managers in the past? I haven’t gotten in on any of their prior projects but I might be interested in their older stuff as well as the wilderness.
  16. I gave my parents the basic USA Ticket to Ride game a couple years ago and they’ve really enjoyed it. They were getting a little frustrated with it as a two player game, though. For Christmas this year, I got the India/Switzerland maps for them. The additional mechanics and smaller maps have been a big hit. ...now for everyone to get vaccinated so I can fly down and play with them! One day...
  17. Fair enough! Doesn’t matter how many people claim something is the best game ever: if you don’t enjoy it, it’s not your best game ever! and yeah, I loved 7Wonders the first time I played it, where the whole table had no idea what was going on; I also love playing it now, with a playgroup that can very nearly count cards even with all expansions in. But a mix of really experienced players and really inexperienced players can frequently go badly in 7W, depending on their personalities.
  18. Yeah, if the table lets someone go off on science it’s hard to beat. If the players aren’t hate-drafting green (to build wonders or sell off for cash, if nothing else), it’s easy for that exponential growth to overwhelm the final scores. Are you playing with any of the expansions? I find either Cities or Leaders really changes the game and balances science nicely. Tower of Babel is a real mixed bag, though.
  19. Food? Never touch the stuff. . . . yeah, right. My parents were stationed in Turkey before I was born, so I grew up with my mom making a variety of Turkish things all the time. In prepandemic times, there’s a really great Turkish place near my office, I hope they’re able to come back strong. my only issue with Turkish (and other Mediterranean/Aegean/Mideast cuisines) is that I find eggplant to be a vile thing in all its forms. But it’s not the only veggie they use, so I can work around it! I also loooove Mexican and all the _____-Mex variants (that I’ve tried, anyway. I assume someone somewhere is making Vietmex food, but I haven’t seen it. I’d try it, though. Vietnamese is good, Mexicish is good.)
  20. I’m a bit late to this party, but here’s my tuppence anyway. What did you like/love/hate/ignore about the kid heroes from Bones V? One of my favorite things about Bones V was the fact that so many parts of it could easily translate to coherent adventures, and these are no different. They have a different aesthetic than most of Reaper’s offerings, but they are consistent with each other and I could absolutely build a short adventure around them as pregen characters. I also love that they are full of expression and detail, without being overladen by gribblies. They look like an absolute blast to paint, and they also (because of their exaggerated proportions) are less intimidating to paint. They don’t feel “chibi,” but they aren’t the tiny “realistic” proportions of a Garrity. This makes them excellent for teaching new or young painters. I do agree these don’t look like the children of the typical adventurers in Reaper’s catalog, and that does mean they won’t see a lot of use in my regular games. But that’s also not why I would buy them, so I’m not too worried by it. It is worth noting though, this does mean I’m less likely to buy many of them. I’m getting all the ones offered in BV, but that’s mostly because they’re a package deal. If I saw them hanging on a wall in my FLGS, I’d buy a couple that I really wanted to paint (of the eight, this would likely be the Viking, the Inuit and the one with the lantern, in that order, as they look most fun to me to paint). (why those three? viking: her hair? Obviously? And she’s Just. So. Fierce. Plus shield freehand. Also the goat looks super fun. Inuit: freehand patterns on those large swathes of clothing, and that expression. Worth noting that the bear doesn’t do much for me: I’d rather have seen a small orca, although I also know aquatic animal companions are difficult in gameplay. Lantern: OSL with that big broad blade and both figures’ eyes sounds like a good time as a painter.) •What themes or types of kid heroes would you be interested in? Something you’ve already done a bit with this pile of eight is representing multiple cultures. You’ve clearly done a good bit of research into traditional and practical dress to put these kids together; continuing this would be really excellent. A series of traditional/aboriginal/multicultural adventure kids, from Bedouin to Mongolian to Maori, would be very good to see. And obviously it’d be great to see your take on other D&D races: dragonkin, tieflings, tortles, etc. •What purpose would they serve for you? Just fun to paint? Have kids who want to play but struggle to find a figure that represents them? Using them as stand ins for hobbits/halflings/gnomes or other vertically challenged races? See above, re: fun to paint, good teaching tools for painting, possible self-contained adventures. •What themes would you like to see explore in this context? Steampunk, modern, arthurian, more "random fun" types, traditional villager or starting hero types? Dragonkin, Genasi or other less popular fantasy races? I think there’s room for you to just sculpt whatever strikes your fancy in this style. The multiethnic/cultural concept I mentioned is really what I’d be most interested in seeing. something that wouldn’t interest me much is most NPC types. If I want village children for my regular D&D games, I don’t really want something so stylistically different than the adult adventurers.
  21. So, keeping in mind that I’m a relative NMM neophyte... the simplest way of dealing with NMM is going to be zenithal light. But some kind of directional light works well (the figure we painted in class had an angle of about 45 degrees), and you can also work in multiple light sources, especially if they are of different intensities. It’s really not very different than painting hair or cloth: we add shadows based on a certain imagined angle of light, it’s just that NMM has much more intense shadows and highlights in order to sell reflectivity. even shaded metallics/TMM works this way if you’re playing with shadow opacity and brighter metallic paints as highlights. This all does mean that there’s a specific viewing angle that likely works “best,” but it doesn’t really seem to be any orders of magnitude better than viewing from the “wrong” angle. Even on the 75mm figure we used in class, I’m not put off by viewing it from any which way, and the visual confusion is even less apparent on smaller scale figures.
  22. Just took Aaron Lovejoy’s NMM class through Miniature Monthly. I’ve been a long-time fan of shaded metallics, but I’ve been increasingly frustrated in recent years with metallic paints. I’m really excited to have demystified NMM, and I have to say that Aaron is a SPECTACULAR teacher. He’s got a blending class coming up and I would recommend it to anyone looking to up their game. Aaron is very good at presenting both theory and technique in an interesting, digestible way, and his feedback is immediate and concise. I also just ordered the Redgrass wet palette, which will hopefully be a marked improvement over my current palette situation.
  23. The stripping part I probably have a good* handle on, but adding clear relief details would be more than worth the price of admission for me! * or, “good enough,” anyway.
  24. I generally want all the stuff that should be there to be well-defined (separate panels of armor, belts, a spell book or potion-holster), and all the stuff that shouldn’t be there to...not be there (a second buckle on a belt, the third and fourth belt pouch, the additional panel of fabric where no sane seamstress would put one). which sounds like an indictment of Werner Klocke, more than anything, but I actually love a lot of his work. generally, the Dungeon Dwellers line is my favorite thing Reaper has developed in the last few years. Detailed, but not maddeningly so, and generally with some awareness of how people actually prepare for adventure. my biggest peeve right now is actually shield detail. Personally, I’d prefer all minis’ shields just be smooth. Barring that, if you’re going to put detail on them, put an actual something on there: sculpt in a peacock or a bear or a burning goblet. What infuriates me (and I’m being unreasonable, I know; I’m not actually going to throw anything at Ron or the sculptors over this) are shields with sculpted divisions on them. “This shield’s face is divided in quarters. No detail, just four flat panels, two of which are significantly relieved from the others. Brilliant!” Now, if I want to freehand something, it either has to be multiple tiny somethings, or I have to fill or smooth the relief. Bleh. Reaper, Darksword, several others have done this and I just don’t get it.
  25. Yeah, I know the pandemic put some big holes in their beta testing, so there’s a lot of stuff the designers were living with for a while that more playtesting would’ve highlighted as unintuitive. The tutorial’s end result is that you’ve been exposed to most major gameplay modes, but you do have to get through it.
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