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By Rob Dean
I am getting back to work on building a game with the original Minifigs 1974 “Mythical Earth” (unlicensed Tolkien) figures, which were what I started my collection with...because there wasn’t anything else. These guys stand 16mm tall to the top of their hairy heads, and were sculpted before the green stuff technique was developed. So there wasn’t much of a face to work with. You young people are so lucky; we had to chew miniatures out of lead with our teeth. (Grumpy old man rant ....)
These guys came three to a strip for about 25 cents, as I recall. These represent one strip plus a stray spearhobbit from who knows where.
I am not good at telling stories on paper. my mind races far ahead of where the story wants to go and I never get it right so I will let the diorama tell itself. this is an original copy of the Clutch of Fear produced by Ral Partha in the early 1990s. The piece is high lead content. so soft infact that without some strategic pinning the joints fail (or so I have been told).
The basic story is that 2 egg thieves come to relieve a mother dragon of one of her eggs and she comes back early catching them just as they are leaving. The setting on the box seems to be some type of sulfur spring or volcanic hot spring and I get the impression of stillness of morning broken only by the shriek of an enraged mother.
I went pretty classic on this one, going with the red dragon and robin blue eggs like the box art but decided that the spines and chest plates should be more contrast than the slightly darker red of the box. I took the original base pieces included in the box and expanded them to a small diorama of a hotspring using Magic water, a transparent epoxy to create the water around the spring. The resin developed a little bit of a lip at the edge but I wasn't willing to cut it down and risk the clarity of the water by trying to sand and polish the resin. (its more rubbery that solid and difficult to polish -- I tried on two sample pieces and it didn't work out well.)
anyway the WIP is here if your interested: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/94482-a-new-year-a-new-old-dragon/
and here are the images of the final project. Hope everyone has as much fun looking as I did creating this. Feel free to comment and question away as always. The project was a lot of fun and the they got the expression of the egg thief who is looking back to see an enraged mother dragon bearing down on him just about right!
One shot from the human's perspective to give an idea of the trouble they are in....
And one from a mothers perspective as she hones in on the ones who are trying to steal her precious eggs!
By Rob Dean
This hasn’t been a particularly good month for painting. I had a week off back on the 9th, but, as shown here, my desk had gotten too cluttered to actually get much painting done. I’m also off this week, and decided that I would try just putting one task on the desk at a time, to see if that would help. My son has been diligently working on his Bronze Age DBA armies, so I decided that I would finally get started on the last stand of figures I needed to finish my 2nd DBA army. (DBA : De Bellis Antiquitatis, a popular set of ancient wargames rules for small figure collections to be played on a small table.) Earlier this year, I had managed to get all of my 13th C BCE Libyan infantry done, to match against my New Kingdom Egyptians, but I still needed a “chariot general” base.
Son and I have been working this project intermittantly for about fifteen years, and we have a deep stash of Caesar Miniatures 1/72 scale plastic figures. There is no “official” Libyan chariot, so I cobbled one together using an Egyptian chariot body, horses from a different (Mitanni) chariot set, and a Libyan commander pose. He’s a little too wide to be able to fit a driver in as well, so, artistic rendering...
We used to mount our chariots on a 40mm wide by 60mm deep base, but the DBA rules call for 60mm by 80mm. The single chariot looks a little lonely, and there isn’t room for a pair of them, so he and I agreed that we would generally mount a couple of “chariot runners” with each vehicle.
Most of my Libyans are done with cloaks painted to represent hairy hides from spotted cows, in keeping with the modern painting guide depictions. However, searching around for actual contemporary Egyptian depictions of Libyans came up with this (I’ve cropped a single figure out of a group of four):
I did my best to replicate the alternating rows of “eyes” and “arrows” on the general’s cloak, and echoed the pattern on the chariot body decorations because “why not?”. At least any historical nit-pickers are likely to have seen the same picture...
Here’s the completed “army”. With the Egyptians, I can at least stage a remote game without using proxy figures, although we are starting to look forward to getting together for an actual games day sometime again (probably still six months off...). Maybe my next army, the Nubians, will be ready by then as well.
By Rob Dean
I had a little bit of time on Saturday to continue with my Prince August orcish warband (guess it’s an Orctober surprise), finishing some speedy work on three figures. All three of these are from Prince August mold #655.
I had never successfully cast these figures before this summer, so I was interested to see that the face designs on the shields are just the sort of thing I freehand onto flat orc shields.
That brings me up to nine, but I’m going to need three or four more to field a 300 point warband for A Song of Blades and Heroes. The real use of home cast figures is to provide bulk at low costs rather than individual skirmish game show pieces, and these guys are likely to be eventually subsumed into larger units. After priming I found a few places where I could have done a better job cleaning up mold lines and such.
The fourth figure is a Prince August human barbarian from earlier in the summer, just to show the relative scale of the orcs against the humans.
By Rob Dean
After a hiatus of several weeks, I cleared my desk of work-at-home gear and set up a painting station yesterday, since I had a day off.
After pouring a libation to Muses, I found that Calliope had apparently drawn my assignment for the day. (She and Clio seem to trade off...) I was inspired to work on my ongoing project to play a game with all-new panemic-era material. I have posted two previous topics about this project, here and here. The basic idea is that my brother and I obtained Osprey Games’ new mas batle rules Oathmark this summer, and he decided it would be a good time to learn how to use a small batch of Prince August molds I gave him before going into mold making and casting his own sculpts. I decided to keep him company, and therefore went to my mold library and withdrew the first series of Prince August molds, catalog numbers 651 through 671, which make old school “true 25mm” figures. Over the course of a couple of weeks and several casting sessions, I added the necessary vents and tried all 21 of the molds using a lead-free “Britannia metal” alloy (basically 92% tin, with the balance antimony) obtained from the Nathan Trotter company ( purveyors of tin alloys since 1789 ). This worked pretty well, and has resulted in some of the best castings I’ve gotten from these molds.
In the two topics previosuly linked, I had painted 8 humans, which is probably enough to provide a basic war band for Song of Blades and Heroes, although still quite a way from being the epic mass battle force wanted for Oathmark. A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned up and primed a dozen or so trolls, goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs from the casting sessions, so that I could get a game on the table sooner rather than later. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started painting. The first figures done turned out to be two copies each of the three figures produced by mold #656, “Troll and Goblins”.
As you can see by the presence of Sir Forscale, the goblins are very petite by modern standards. Most of my orcs etc. are green, but I decided to shake that up a bit. My son has been painting his Reaper Bones orcs gray, but I decided to go with a yellow/brown, and did mine with a Reaper khaki triad. The trolls are done with the Reaper olive drab triad, which is my usual orc green.
As is typical of the Prince August molds, there is not a lot of extra detail on these guys, so between that and the size, they didn’t take very long to do.
Five or six more to go, and then I hope to have a skirmish game (probably solo).
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