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While not really themed, all these minis were left over from my other projects. I think they'll all find a home in "Tesrora, the City That Can't Be Tamed", the fantasy ganglands campaign I'm working on for this year. Ametrine Earthlyte, Dwarf Alchemist. A recent Reaper 25th Anniversary miniature. A rude Dwarf Thug. I started on him to go with RPE's "Dwarf Veterans Warband" as a thug. Converted from the Avatars of War Berserkers, Mantic Dwarf Bear-thing riders, and an old Mordheim club. I realize I couldn't directly post most of the shots of the Orc Matron per forum rules, so linked to my FB shots instead. NSFW for mild nudity: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155048547585636&set=a.10155048532455636.1073742008.611515635&type=3&theater https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155048547645636&set=a.10155048532455636.1073742008.611515635&type=3&theater Her brats: And a family photo (again NSFW) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155048548070636&set=a.10155048532455636.1073742008.611515635&type=3&theater
The last trio of my recent paintworks, a bunch of NPC types who would fit around an inn of ill repute. First, we have the Serving Girl from the Reaper Swine Prince set: Then, a Greek civilian from Foundry: And last, a Dwarf barmaid, who I believe was manufactured by Fenryll. It was bought in a pack of other female Dwarves at a convention many moons ago. And the group:
This is Heckelmeyer, Undead Jester, as sculpted by the excellent Bob Ridolfi, painted by the brilliant Lyn Stahl, and linked from Reaper's own Inspiration Gallery. My own Heckelmeyer looks very little like this one, being painted by my own hands and in my own colors, which means it looks kind of like a retarded tree sloth on PCP colored it with big, chunky felt tip markers, held with its feet, while wearing goggles smeared with vaseline. At least, in comparison to Lyn's work. But Heckelmeyer is important. Y'see, Heckelmeyer's an old friend of the family. I bought the mini ages ago, not for any particular purpose, but because I very much liked the look of it. Skeletons are so generic, usually. This one had something SPECIAL going for it, you know? I threw it in there during a game of Dungeons and Dragons, once. It was a skeleton, wandering through a dungeon. The party attacked it. For some reason, I... didn't just have it fight. I had it run screaming away. This confused the party to no end. They went after it, eventually cornering it, where it cowered in a corner, covered its eye sockets, and waited for the end., trembling. I repeat, I had no idea why I did this. It just seemed interesting, and different, and a way to shake up the party (2nd level, working on 3rd, mostly). It did. I think this may have been the first monster in the group's history that the party didn't just automatically go tactical on and hack into gory chutney. After some discussion, the cleric tried to turn him. I pointed out that while the creature was obviously undead, he was ALREADY cowering, and would flee if they didn't have him cornered; what did he EXPECT the poor thing to do? Explode? There was more discussion. The cleric cast Detect Evil; the creature was not inherently evil. The wizard cast Detect Magic, and determined that the creature radiated strong necromantic energy... the same as any animated skeleton would. Finally, the fighter approached... and tried to talk to it. ........well, this left me at a bit of a loss. I certainly hadn't expected THIS. What was I going to do? Well, being an experienced DM with years of practice in multiple game engines, systems, genres, and styles under my belt... I made it all up, right there on the fly, of course. After much crying and weeping and reassurance that the party wouldn't kill him, Heckelmeyer (for some reason, the mini's name stood out in my memory) told them his story: He'd been part of an earlier adventuring group to venture into the dungeon complex, a hireling of the wizard, whose job it was to keep enemies distracted while the wizard did his job. His party had encountered an evil mage... who was in the LAST STAGES of the spells and rituals necessary to achieve LICHDOM! And the party charged in there and attacked! It had been a mess. It WOULD have been a slaughter, but the evil mage had discharged most of his spells in the process of preparing his lich ritual, giving the party some chance to kick him around and hopefully kill him! ...and at the last minute, the evil mage had flung a flask of some strange bubbling liquid RIGHT at Heckelmeyer, and then cast Chain Lightning at the big armored fighter. And it all went off, boom, boom, boom, the potent bolt jumping from person to person, and hitting Heckelmeyer RIGHT as the flask struck his chest and BURST, soaking him in strange, arcane potion stuff... ...and at that moment, something blew up. After all, there HAD been a ritual going on, strange arcane energies in flux, and then a Chain Lightning spell cast, right there in the middle of it all. Boomski. Heckelmeyer had awakened some time later, feeling a little odd, but not bad. He was crestfallen to find the bodies of his companions AND the evil mage, all dead, and mostly burnt to a crisp by the lightning, explosion, and resultant fire. Heckelmeyer, being mostly outside the blast radius, seemed to be all right at first... until he noticed the flesh falling off his fingers... Somehow, the lich formula had been triggered by the spill, the lightning, and the explosion... turning Heckelmeyer into the first ever First Level Lich Jester. He'd been wandering around down here for months, afterwards... he didn't know how long... lacking a map to find his way out... occasionally pursued by monsters... The party was the first remotely sympathetic thing he'd seen since his death. And they were genuinely sympathetic. Albeit a tad confused. What do you do with a friendly skeleton? And so, the fighter abruptly smashed him to hell with a sword. The group was shocked. "What did you do THAT for?" "Well, the poor guy's dead. It's not like he could go back to his old life or anything. Killing him's a mercy, really. So, he fell apart after only ten points of damage? I guess that means XP is for a skeleton and not a lich, huh?" The rest of the party was QUITE put out with the fighter, and an argument began to brew. I decided to put a cap on it. The bones rattled, vibrated, and came back together. After a minute or so, Heckelmeyer sat back up, as surprised as the entire rest of the party was. They did not try to kill him again; Heckelmeyer remained with the group until they left the dungeon, and then went to go seek his fate in the wide world as an undead first level jester guy. Heckelmeyer would later go on to become one of the campaign's recurring NPCs. They encountered him as a street performer (wearing a mask) in one city, and he provided valuable information about the local thieves' guild. He later turned up at a Mage Faire, amusing the patrons and networking with wizards. It got to be a running gag that whenever he turned up, the fighter would smack him, and he'd fall apart, and then pull himself together, with a "You'll have to do better than THAT!" ...all because of a miniature I picked up on a whim during a trip to the game shop. This post was inspired by DanMayhem's "Female Gnome Conversion" post http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/53732-ingrid-female-gnome-convesion/#entry839277 in which he shows us a mini he's working on SOLELY to be a personality/NPC in his own game. Made me think about similar minis I have, and my own inspirations. At the possible risk of this turning into a "character stories" thread, does anyone have any similar stories about miniatures that became important NPCs?
As requested, new thread, and a WIP! For anyone interested in seeing my first 10 months of painting, my noob thread is here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/51059-helping-noobs-good-karma-painting-kickstarter-bones/?p=756353 This thread is going to be about my wacky next project, which is to paint 15 NPCs for my gaming group's Kingmaker campaign. Plus 5 PCs, but maybe those won't be in this thread. We'll see. My experiment this time around is to try to take my painting to the next level by painting the same thing on all 15 minis before moving onto the next thing. For example, all the faces, then all the skin, then all cloth, then all the leather, etc. To the extend practical. So kind of batch painting, but on really different minis and not using the same colors, although I'm going to use some core colors across the minis. I think. I'm hoping this will help me improve my technique on each type of material. Beyond that strategy, some things I'll be doing differently than before: - priming with gesso. heard from a couple people at ReaperCon that this may be more durable on metal minis than the brush on Reaper primer I've been using. And all these minis are intended for gaming, so durable is really important. - mixing Reaper brush-on sealer into more of my colors, for durability and cuz peeps on this board say it's nice to mix into glazes, which I use a lot. - base-coating all or most of each mini before I start highlighting/shadowing. Usually I "finish" each area of the mini as I go, so this is going to feel weird. But I want to get an overall feel for the color scheme of each mini, and some of the techniques I learned at ReaperCon require knowing this. For example, one tip I got to improve my minis was to blend some of the primary color of the mini into the skin tones of the mini, because that is more realistic than pure skin tone. - Mixing more of my own shadows and highlights, rather than using trios. I've done some of this before, I but it's a specific goal here. This will also let me do more interesting color variations in the shadows and highlights. So here are the 15 minis assembled, prepped, and roughly based. I'll refine the bases later, but I have a weird habit of liking to paint my mini on its base, so the basic idea is there. No you aren't imagining the random gray blobs on two of them. That's poster tack holding bits together while epoxy putty dries. And here are most of them with the gesso: So holy crap - 15!! Prep took forever, even with a friend's help, and just getting them primed was no mean task. In my experience the gesso works better on the thicker side. When diluted, it tended to form bubbles that stuck around when dry, while the thickness seems to not be a problem when the gesso shrinks and dries. I've read a lot of arguments about whether it actually shrinks or not, but whatever you call it, it looks like shrinking and does a nice job of revealing detail. I should have gotten the gesso done yesterday so I could brownslobber today but alas the good weather and my newly planted container garden distracted me. I think it's a good idea to let the gesso cure 24 hrs, so this is all I have for now. Thanks for looking! Heidi