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  1. I'm starting the Storm King's Thunder 5e adventure this week. The party just completed the Lost Mines of Phandelver, but they were not quite 5th level so I added a side adventure where they encountered a stone golem and some swarms to get them to level 5. First I painted the swarms (77128: Vermin: Spider Swarm and 77130: Vermin: Beetle Swarm) and 77171: Stone Golem. They were exploring some ruins so I painted up a couple medium debris piles from Toad King's Casting recent skull and bones kickstarter at the same time. I basically used the same paint scheme for the spiders as the beetles, but the beetles turned out much better. I'll definitely have to try a little harder with the second spider swarm. The golem is a very basic paint style, but I'm very happy with how he turned out. The debris piles are nice pieces of terrain, quite large for 'medium'. I went with a lot of green to make it look like mold growing everywhere, because my players are terrified by mold. Next up I needed a chimera for a random encounter, so I finally finished 77257: Chimera. This was a mini I started painting a year or so ago, I had to wash it to clear the dust. Also, I decided to use the Storm King's Thunder module cover for a mini backdrop. It's not obvious from the photo, but the dragon head has a tiny eye that makes him look insane. I coated the scaled portions with gloss varnish, it makes an interesting effect. I like the mini, the dragon looks crazed and the goat looks dead. I think the heads had a war and the lion won. I named him fluffy. The first encounter of Storm King's Thunder depends on where the characters start. My party is starting in Triboar, so they are facing fire giants, magmin, orogs and orcs mounted on axe beaks. I'm planning on using meeples for the magmin, and I have piles of orcs. I can't produce a unit of axe beaks, but I recently got a nice one from the Tome of Horrors kickstarter mess: It's a great mini. I gave him a little blue tuft on the top of his head, but it didn't show up in the pics (except in the group photo). The base is a bit of a mess, it was my first time using milliput, it didn't go well. I saw some really nicely painted beaks online, I tried to copy it and failed. Now it just looks like it is a yellow beak and it was digging in the mud at it's feet. Next up, for the giants I picked the royals. First is 77101: Skorg Ironskull, Fire Giant King. I went with brown for the scales because I didn't want to make it a metallic dragon. I played a bit with trying to vary the hide so it wouldn't look like all the scales are a uniform shade. I didn't plan it out ahead of time, so It didn't work out as I hoped, but it does break up the monotony a bit so it's not bad. With a little more effort a pattern like a snake could look great. Maybe with the larger version from KS 3. I had some fun with him, painted several bits blue (sword, chain end loops, belt and pants), but I did so much dry brushing it isn't noticeably blue anywhere but the pants. The underside of his cloak turned out really well, it looks like a poorly tanned hide. I didn't lighten his flesh so it would stand out in contrast to his armour. I considered painting gold or platinum jewellry, but I didn't want him to look too much like the queen. Finally there is 77100: Vanja, Fire Giant Queen: I really like this mini, so I wanted to do a good job. I also didn't want to just copy someone else's paint job, but there are a lot of painted Vanja's out there, and it seems like every combo of colors has already been done. I tried to make a jade look to her ornamentation, and a more realistic hair colour compared to the king. I again left her flesh deep black to contrast the armour, and went with silver for the draconic cloak. I went with a gloss varnish for the armour and cloak. Overall, I was pretty happy with the minis, and so I took a bunch of comparison shots: The queen with fluffy. The king with fluffy (they don't get along). The king with dinner...I mean an axe beak. The happy couple. The queen just told the king she's pregnant. The group posing for the royal portrait. The dragons' head looks particularly insane in this pic.
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