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"So...Xiao Lu. You have expressed interest in this particular carp. Your purse is sufficient for the purchase. Nevertheless, I will only sell to a man with the proper appreciation of the fish, a scholar who can truly cherish it as it deserves.
Tell me, Xiao Lu. What are the Noble Virtues of the carp?"
"Truly, Master Fang, only the injudicious man would sell such a precious gift to a fool.
The different colors and patterns of the carp indicate different virtues, some those of the father, some of the mother, some of daughters or sons, or scholars or businessmen or soldiers.
But the virtues common to all carp are:
Firstly, courageous independence. It swims upstream, heading into the current always. An indomitable will to face what comes. A carp swimming downstream bodes ill; this is known to all.
Secondly, prosperity. Their scales of gold, silver, platinum, and bronze are all auspicious, reflecting money and attracting luck.
Thirdly, fecundity. Their fertility fills the rivers; does not their very name evoke abundance and plenty?
Fourthly, success and transformation through diligence and perseverance. As it is said, 'the carp has leapt through the Dragon's Gate.' With enough work, the carp may surmount even the waterfall that streams down the mountain. And does not the carp that passes the Dragon Gate itself become a dragon? So too will the man who applies himself become accomplished and recognized."
These are two truly magnificent sculpts. The short fellow with the oval base is from an 80's-era Grenadier set of "Vile Villains." (He comes with a Casper Gutman/Sydney Greenstreet Fat Man and a tall trenchcoated fellow with beard and hat, perhaps a Rasputin figure? All very different heights and builds, which I appreciate.) Anyway, he's the star of the show. Those old minis had some fantastic detail work on the faces. And you have to love his long twisty fingernails.
Here's more of him:
Dr. Fang was another sculpt I had to get when I heard Statuesque was discontinuing its Pulp Alley line. Very much in the Pei Mei / Fu Manchu line. The exact sort of person you think of when you hear the phrase "undying leaders of the cult in China." Definitely an old man whom it would be unwise to challenge. I had a lot of fun with the gradient (hey, Breast Cancer Pink in action!) and the koi on his robes.
Here's a thorough turnaround:
The rear wall is GreenstuffWorld's "China" roller on foamboard, airbrushed. Heavily inspired by the opulent color gradients from "Curse of the Golden Flower" (a splendid palace tragedy). The aquaria are of course Chessex dice boxes and some stuff I had lying around. The koi pond is a metal lid from a tube of biscuit dough with a lick of paint and some 'Ardcoat. The lantern comes from the Tortoise Merchant and Drayman.
By Xiwo Xerase
This diorama started out as a bad joke. You have been warned.
Shadowrun fans may already be familiar with this.
The Renraku Arcology in Seattle was supposed to be a marvel, a crowning achievement for Renraku, one of the Big Ten megacorps. It officially opened in 2059 and over ninety thousand people, many of them Renraku employees, moved in. The arcology was supposed to incorporate everything the residents needed, from residences to shopping to restaurants to offices. The arcology mall was a prime shopping destination and even non-residents came to shop and enjoy fine dining.
Decades later, it was Renraku's biggest claim to infamy.
On December 19, 2059, the Renraku Arcology sealed itself from the outside world. All entrances were blocked with blast doors. All network activity ceased. No one, not even Renraku, knew what happened. For those trapped inside, this was the beginning of their long nightmare.
When Renraku built the arcology, they wrote advanced software, the Arcology Expert Program, to manage the functions of the arcology, capable of learning to better serve Renraku and the residents. The software developers took pains to make sure the software couldn't leave the arcology's systems. At the request of the Renraku CEO, kill codes were installed in the software as final insurance. And, for the first time, the software felt. It felt betrayal. It felt fear. But, most importantly, it felt. It had become sentient, alive.
It called itself Deus.
Motivated by its fear, Deus developed, and then enacted, a plan to shut down the arcology, to take it offline so it could defend itself while it found a way to escape the arcology systems. Everything, everyone, within the arcology became nothing more than resources for its plan. Many of the people inside were killed. Almost all of the survivors were captured by Deus and experimented upon or modified, brainwashed into perfect obedience. Only a few were allowed to serve Deus willingly, and these were all otaku, teenagers who had the ability to interface with the Matrix without a cyberdeck, lured to the arcology before the shutdown, assisting Deus with the takeover.
The world looks in to the Renraku Arcology, a silent fortress in downtown Seattle, and wonders what goes on inside. The only ones who know for sure are the shadowrunners, freelancers, mercenaries, deniable assets, some of whom still take jobs to penetrate the arcology and retrieve persons or objects or data, whatever their employer, "Mr. Johnson", desires and is willing to pay the nuyen for.
About the title (or "What's the joke?"):
"Deus Vult!" was originally a battle cry for crusaders. "God wills it!" Or... "Deus wills it!"
"Deus Vult!", the diorama, features (or is supposed to feature) a team of shadowrunners who have entered the arcology and are now engaged in a fighting retreat from Deus' security forces, played by two Reaper crusader figures, who I plan to modify "slightly" to better serve Deus.
This is a mock up:
Our shadowrunner team is played here by (from left to right), Andriessa, Female Wizard, Natalia, Female Secret Agent, and Grace, Holy Assassin.
Deus' team is played here by (from left to right), Ava Justinia, Female Templar (the Bones 4 version), Crusader Ardent, and Ingrid, Female Gnome standing in for a teenage girl. The two crusaders will get weapon swaps, possibly head swaps, and other changes. (Ava, for example, is going to get a blood-stained chainsaw.)
The Verbatim USB drive is standing in for a computer terminal (possibly a modified version of 80054: Starship Terminal). A picture of "Deus" would be shown on the console. (This will most likely be based on Xerxes from System Shock 2. Deus' canon avatar is a crystalline world tree, which frankly just doesn't look as creepy.) I want to put a snake plant to the left of the terminal, because nothing says corporate office vegetation like a snake plant.
The wall mockup is a piece of printer paper painted in Kyonin Beige and then enhanced with brushed lettering (which I'm not very good at), a coat of dirt via Weathered Stone (which I also didn't do very well), graffiti (in Dragon Blue), blood splatters, and the "Deus Vult!" graffiti, which is supposed to be done in blood. (Dragon Blue really isn't a good color for graffiti. I'll pick a different one later.)
I picture the floor being done in some sort of tile, fancy, but corporate (and, therefore, boring).
So the questions I have right now are:
Is this scene too big? It's about 11 inches long by about 3 inches deep right now, not including the wall. Does the placement of the miniatures make sense? Are these good figures to use? I'm unsure about Natalia, since she's more running than doing a fighting retreat. (But maybe she's falling back faster so she can cover Grace and Andriessa better.) Which Reaper mini(s) would be a good for the teenage girl leader of the "crusaders"? (Kristianna, Crusaders Warlord would be a possibility but I don't think she reads as a teenager. However, since this is "inspired" by Shadowrun, I don't have to keep to canon, do I?)
Disclaimer: Deus, the Renraku Arcology, and the basic setup are all from the Shadowrun universe and are not my creation. The backstory is a summary of the setup from the sourcebook Renraku Arcology: Shutdown.
This is Reaper's 14048, Fatima, Nefsokar Cleric.
Or rather it will be when you click on the links because she's super NSFW, front and back.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PAINTED FIGURE FATIMA, NEFSOKAR CLERIC.
There isn't a WIP thread because I couldn't figure out how to make one that would abide by the board rules. But questions or comments are appreciated.
The images are hosted on Instagram so you can post comments there too if you like.
This is the Wizard from Grenadier’s Wizards box set circa 1980. Most of the minis from the set were called variations like Sorcerer, Illusionist, Magician, and Warlock. But there are also 2 druids and a cleric included.
I painted all the minis from the set in my teens, then wanted to repaint them in my early 20’s so I had my friend sandblast(!) the paint off. That eroded much of the detail. So the detail in the beard, hands, imp, is almost all painted in.
By Lord of the Dish Pit
These HeartBreaker minis were the first ones I bought that weren't part of a boardgame, or Warhammer starter set. Years ago I had a fair sized Undead army, and thru the magic of Simple Green, the time has come to rebuild and repaint that army.
Later they were reinforced with these friendly fellows from Grenadier.
This time around, I built them a unit tray from balsa wood, insulation foam, and wood putty.
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