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Dark Tide - An Ongoing Painting Project
Starting another WIP thread for my other major ongoing project - Dark Tide: a nautical 5e campaign.
While my other project, Frostrun, at least got a few sessions in before pandemic put a stop to in-person games, Dark Tide is my pet project that's been in the works for going on three years. I have pages of world building notes and have been collecting a ridiculous amount of minis to populate the islands and port towns of the world. Here is where I will document some WIP as I start painting through the minis and build myself a fleet of ships to accompany them.
I would love to hear feedback or hear tales of your own nautical adventures. And feel free to share photos of your own maritime miniatures!
A major part of this project is building a fleet of ships. I have attempted this in the past and abandoned the project when I became unsatisfied. I have recently restarted this project, building on my knowledge from the first attempt. You can follow my progress here:
Moonglow Builds a Boat
Troubled Waters - an Introduction to the Seas
For centuries, the kingdoms of Cellion and Aridia have warred over the seas that separate them. For the last 100 years, a shaky truce has kept war from the water. But rumors have surfaced that the Aridian Emperor is dead, and tension once again brews over the waters between.
To the east of the mainland lies the Great Sea Wall, a vast expanse of jagged rocks, stretching high up out of the ocean. Beyond this wall are the Wild Seas. The waters are violent and dangerous, and terrible creatures inhabit the depths. Few have reason to travel these forsaken waters, and fewer still are brave enough to attempt it.
It is said that long ago, Chrona, the goddess of death, forsook the seas. Drowned souls are doomed to swim the waters for eternity, never able to rest. Because of this, sailors have a healthy fear of the seas they travel, and go out of their way to rescue the bodies of any who die at sea. Only proper burial on land can carry their souls to the other side.
Yet for all the danger and risk inherent in sea travel, many find its call alluring. The open ocean, the promise of new land, and the rumor of lost treasures from times long ago. But for those attracted by treasure, nothing is more alluring than the lost treasures of Captain Dread. The legendary and fearsome pirate king was rumored to have hidden an immeasurable horde of treasure on the island of Istishia. And yet the island's location remains a mystery. And as for Captain Dread? He vanished, along with his ship, and the knowledge of the Istishia's whereabouts.
Captain Ulysses Ashe
Captain Ulysses Ashe is said to have sailed alongside the infamous Captain Dread. Word around Port Venture is that he's looking for a crew to man The Bloodhawk. And rumors say he's going after the lost treasure.
Frost? Who is this Frost guy? This is Captain Ashe! Every crew needs its captain.
In the role of Captain Ashe, we have Barnabus Frost, Pirate Captain 77132
But our captain here needs a proper base, and he's missing something pretty important...
... ahh much better! A base as symmetrical as his needed some green stuff to blend it out. I'm not the greatest at it but it works. Also made a hat for the first time! Found a guide on the interwebs of someone making pirate orcs and the hat seemed pretty simple. Just flatten out a small circle of green stuff, press it on your minis head, fold up the back flap, then fold the front two sides. Easy peasy!
Just need to let that Green Stuff cure before i can prime and paint.
Ghosts of the Drowned Souls
With the seas forsaken by the goddess of death, the drowned souls are doomed to swim for eternity. Here they are easily picked up by all manner of dark being promising them an escape from their eternal suffering.
"You best start believing in ghost stories."
No pirate campaign would be complete without some ghost pirates! I was painting up a demi-lich recently and loved the ethereal wisps i ended up painting on it. So i felt inspired to paint up some other ghostly minis.
Finally decided to put some paint on the Ghost Pirates from Bones 4.
I started by gluing them to bases and blending the edges in with some super glue and baking soda.
I have started trying to think about what i'm going to paint before priming and choosing a primer based on that. I typically prime grey but figured it'd be useful to prime these ghosts with white so i'm giving that a try.
Going to paint up the ethereal wisps with a bluish-green color and transition to a more traditional physical paintjob on their clothes and bodies.
Also, if it wasn't obvious, I decided to paint over the translucent. I've avoided the translucent minis so far because I wasn't sure how to handle them, but I think I might end up being in the camp of painting over them. I think i can both control the paint better that way, and will enjoy the end result better.
By Dan S
Dan's Build Journal #2
Ruined Keep Edition
Finished Project Photos:
My Other Build Journals:
For those who followed my Halfling/Hobbit home build journal (Link here), you will know that I recently set myself the goal of building a series of display pieces throughout the year, to serve as scenic backdrops when photographing my miniatures. Maintaining a build journal is my way of holding myself to account (I have a bad habit of starting and not finishing things). I took a short break following my last build to catch up on some unpainted miniatures, but I am now ready to get cracking on my next large project, an ancient ruin.
Future planned projects include:
Sewers Dungeon Adventurers Camp Industrial Complex Spaceship Graveyard Urban Trenches
With the Ancient Ruined Keep project looking to be the most complicated of bunch I have chosen to start that now, as I will be returning to work in a week or so and will no longer have a lot of free time, however after this project I have no set order planned, so if anyone has a preference as to what I should start next then I am happy to accommodate.
Stage 1 - Casting the stonework.
For this project I am going to be using 'Hirst Arts' blocks. For those unfamiliar with Bruce Hirst he produces silicone molds that can be used to cast a wide range of highly detailed modular terrain blocks which can be glued together in endless configurations and designs. The molds I will be using in this project are #704 and #708 (ignore the 3rd mould in the picture, I mixed up too much stone and so filled another none related mould to set aside for a future project as to not waste it). In my last build journal I used Plaster of Paris to cast the small rockface, this time because of the size and potential weight of the build I opted for Dental Stone which is similar to Plaster but sets harder and is much more durable.
I suspect given the size of the project, it is going to take me at least a day or two to finish casting enough blocks, so here are a few screen shots of the blocks to give you an idea of what I will be working with (its basically glorified stone lego for diorama builders ).
So, recently me, my dad, and my grandpa*, most of whom are excellent woodworkers (with the exception of me) made a collaborative effort at making me a new shelf for my minis, as my old one was just a board nailed into the wall. A pretty piece of scrap, but scrap none the less.
Continuing the trend, we used only scrapwood for this shelf. Thus, no cost, except for some stain (which I stole from my dad, so uh, no cost there either).
*My grandpa is no joke Santa Claus. A bit of a potbelly, big bushy white beard, glasses, likes cookies and milk, and get this - he makes toys.
Right now it's just sitting atop a bookshelf, but I may hang it up on the wall if I'm so inclined.
Doesn't look the prettiest, but not bad for being made solely of scrapwood!
It's also now a dishonor to me, as there are waaaay too many unpainted minis on that shelf. That will soon change, however...
Note: We did put in an extra notch, as you see at the top. The boards that are the shelves get really stuck in that one, plus it leaves no room for my big minis, so I decided to leave that one vacant.
For the last few months since Reapercon, I've been focusing on pumping out minis to avoid the rut I got into last year. When I saw that Reaper had released the ghost sailors as metal figures, well... I knew what one of my October projects was going to be. I loved these guys as part of the Bones IV kickstarter, but I've not enjoyed painting plastic minis as much since getting back into metals at the Reapercon melt table, so I was psyched to order them and put in an order that night... Most of the rest I had from Reapercon, although I think I picked up Labella there too.
Either way, these guys painted up gorgeous and easy using my go-to one-two spirit technique! As a firm believer in spooky blue ghosts, I started by priming them white, then giving them a couple layers of Irrisen Blue from the new Pathfinder paintset... My old blue standby was from the HD line and the bottle has faded to the point of illegibility, but it was almost identical. Then once it's dry, I drybrush heavily with Linen White (pure white comes out looking starched, and bluer whites don't show on the blue, but linen is perfect) and... call it a day. Decorate the bases, maybe some pizza... 's good. That said, minis painted using this technique meet my #1 requirement for ghost minis: They're distinctive on the table!
I debated doing some OSL, but decided that it would wash the bases out, unfortunately. I like it better this way, with the bases nice and grounded, and the ghosts spooky and glowing! Lots of fun base details on these, too - 10/10 recommend picking them up if you have any sort of use for them!
Miniatures involved (not enough tags for them all): 03965: Ghost Pirate Cook, 03966: Ghost Pirate Quartermaster, 03967: Ghost Pirate Captain, 03968: Ghost Pirate Bosun, 03969: Drowned Nymph Ghost: Banshee, 03718: Ghost Bride, 03475: Labella DeMornay, Banshee, 03170: Lurien, Ghost, 14168: Gauren, Necropolis Hero, 03799: Female Wraith
03965: Ghost Pirate Cook
03966: Ghost Pirate Quartermaster
03967: Ghost Pirate Captain
03968: Ghost Pirate Bosun
03969: Drowned Nymph Ghost: Banshee
03718: Ghost Bride
03475: Labella DeMornay, Banshee
03170: Lurien, Ghost
14168: Gauren, Necropolis Hero
03799: Female Wraith
Of all of these, if I had to pick favorites... Hm... Ghost Bride and Gauren. They took the drybrushing perfectly and are super-fun figures!
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