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My Iron Kingdoms campaign is finally wrapping up, and there's no real consensus on what I should run next. (Or, rather, my Fallout-themed campaign idea was supported by half the group that likes Fallout and vetoed by the other half that hates Fallout.) A conundrum! Fortunately, one player in my group, who is a very talented GM, volunteered to take over the GM reins and run a Pathfinder campaign -- specifically, the Kingmaker campaign, set in the Inner Seas. That should give me a bit more time to settle upon what I'll be running next (and get minis painted, scenery organized, adventures plotted out, etc., once I figure out what that IS). At a recent get-together, I dragged my big ol' BOX O' UNPAINTED REAPER KICKSTARTER MINIS (AND BITZ) from the garage and let everyone dig around for suitable minis for their player-characters. As always happens, nothing is quite a PERFECT fit, or at the very least it could use a little more personalization. First of all, I have taken a cue from the Froggymeister himself, and endeavored to put all of these figures on penny bases. I'm just a little bit sick of the base size creep factor, as exemplified by the minimum base size of 30mm in my IKRPG campaign. I have several folding tables and could theoretically expand the table space further, and my Hirst Arts dungeons could simply be expanded with even wider corridors and bigger doorways, but there comes a practical limit to how far people can REACH across the table to actually move things around (and how much room is left to maneuver around the edges). I've half-joked that if I were to run an old-school dungeon game, I just might go down to 15mm. Well, here's my compromise: SMALLER BASES (at least for the human-sized and smaller characters). As a bonus, that penny is cheaper than any of the plastic or resin bases I might otherwise be deploying on the table. "Paladin of Erastil" (Reaper Bones #77197, "Erick, Paladin Initiate" -- flanked by two of Reaper Bones #77246, "Pillar of Good") Chris Stadler, the master of Hirst Arts Castlemolds castings in the area, is trying for a change of pace, and this time he's playing a paladin rather than his usual penchant for roguish types. The closest fit we had on hand to his character concept was "Erick," as he was armed with a greatsword (or something close to it -- with some of my fantasy minis what passes for a 2-handed greatsword on one mini could just as well be wielded one-handed on another), and he had a full suit of armor that seemed appropriate for a paladin. This is more "aspirational" than true to the character sheet, since I don't think the character actually HAS a full set of plate just yet, but it's not as if I'm going to be fielding conversion requests every time someone swaps weapons or picks up some new gear. (I mean, I might modify a mini as a gag, because I've got the time to kill, and the conversion might be amusing, but that can get out of hand.) As per Chris's request, he's done up in red and white: Chris wanted to suggest "Crusader colors" without making him look exactly like a Crusader, just to try to convey the "paladin" idea vs. being a generic warrior. That the mini had a shield on the back (a strange combo with a greatsword?) gave me the opportunity to paint the symbol of Erastil (vaguely cross-like in the bow's downward orientation), his patron deity, for further identification. I wasn't quite satisfied with that, and I remembered how Duke Gerard (#14068, from the Warlord line) has something like a "halo" behind his head, which really kicks the "holy warrior" thing into overdrive. Mind, I LOVE that bit piece, and it's great as a decorative bit for terrain or mini-dioramas, but it looks a bit UNWIELDY. (I'm guessing that's why they chopped it off of the Bones adaptation of Duke Gerard ... which makes me sad, because in Bones plastic I SO would have bought a small army of Duke Gerards just to get those back pieces for terrain decoration. ;) ) Okay, so I wanted something vaguely halo-like, but not quite so overboard. First, I dug through a bits box of leftover Warhammer 40K Orkz that I picked up at a "game bazaar." (I've been using those bits mostly for raiders and supermutants for my Fallout-themed conversions.) There were several over-sized crosshairs/gun sight pieces that I thought make an interesting halo. Alas, they weren't quite so oversized as I remembered: the piece would simply be lost behind the paladin's head, and I have no magical way to scale bits up to just where I want them. Fortunately, I had a couple of leftover sprues (also from the game bazaar) of Warhammer Fantasy Empire Militia. There were a few little decorative bits left on the sprue that I think were intended to top battle standards: lots of grimdark variations on SKULLZ, SKULLZ, MORE SKULLZ (because regardless of what faction you are in this universe, you need SKULLZ), and -- oh yeah, a wreath! Not exactly a "halo," but I can work with that. The "wreath" was atop a little ball with a flat bottom (where I guess it would be glued to the standard top), with a couple of tassels hanging to the side. I shaved a slightly concave surface onto the front of the ball so that I could get a good contacting surface (so I hoped) with the back of the paladin's armor (which curved a bit), and went ahead and painted what would eventually be the front (since it would be much harder to paint once it was attached). After giving that time to dry, I glued it on, and then after the GLUE had time to dry, I went back to paint the back, and to add little details (such as highlights for the leaves on the wreath, where I could reach them). Voila! Brassy "wreath" on the back of his armor, behind the head, presumably with enough room for the helmet to still fit into place. It's not an outright "halo," but I think it still gives that general vibe, and therefore (I hope) helps to communicate, "Paladin!" :)
MonkeySloth's recent posting about more accurately portraying rocks in miniature painting got me thinking about this fellow. I took a photo of a decorative rock pile in my yard and have opted to try and work some of what I see in these rocks into the painting of this fellow. I've already done some customization to this sculpt as you can see. Out of the box, I heated this guy in boiling water, and then hyper-flexed his wings to where they were almost touching before dousing him in cold water. Over a period of 3-4 hours, his wings moved into the position you see here, which is the position portrayed in the online store. I used an exacto blade to cut a 45-degree angle into his left arm so I could reglue it into the position you see. It was so clean, I don't even need to green stuff the joint. I hated the left 'thumb' of the sculpt and opted to cut it away and use a little green stuff to make a new one. For fun, I decided to add a goblin head to his closed right hand, and used some green stuff to do some dirty goblin hair out the top of the fist. My overall vision for him is that he's a guardian gargoyle left behind from a long forgotten civilization, or maybe oathsworn to a tribe of druids.
Here's my next pair of completed Bones. I think in general these are a step back from my first two. 77009 - Werewolf Went with a pretty basic color scheme here, so there wasn't really that much to it. The eyes are supposed to be green, but I think it's a bit too subtle, and I should have picked a more vibrant green. 77007 - Ghost This was my first attempt at base modification. It was largely a trial by error, and the end results show it. I don't think i did a sufficient job in disguising the original base. As far as the ghost himself, I was trying for a decaying look on the flesh, however I think it ended up just looking like a poor paint job. I also mixed my own wash for the cloth, and think I ended up too thinned and/or too much flow improver. I had some of the ring effect when it dried, and had to do a lot of cleanup. He's also not quite this blue in person; it's more blue-grey. Next up for me is 77011 - Dwarf Warrior. I don't have the LTPKs, but I plan to do him in the style of that kit. CashWiley's work on a similar dwarf here is really inspiring. --- I've also got 2 bonus figures, done by my wife, who decided she wanted to give this a try as well. I bought her Michelle, the Ranger as I thought it would make a good rogue, which is her favorite archetype. She is particularly happy with the eyepatch, a personal touch from her characters. Lastly, 77028 - Gargoyle: She cranked this one out very quickly. Gotta love gargoyles, you can be fast and they still look great!