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By Rob Dean
I have been spending Minivember catching up a bit on my Portable Fantasy Campaign project. I’ve been chipping away at it as a campaign for five armies since early 2017, and it builds on a 2014 initiative to put a travel fantasy game in a box that will fit under an airline seat, so that I can take it to a convention regardless of my mode of travel. Anyway, I decided to have a little fun and paint an unplanned stand of figures as a reward for finally getting the first couple of stands of orcs for the orcish army finished. All three figures here are from the Caesar Miniatures Fantasy Adventurers box set, originally issued around 2010. As a result of early imprinting by the Airfix company, I have always had a fondness for the 1/72 plastic figures, and I bought a bunch of the initial release when Caesar started making fantasy figures. Unfortunately, they have been rather intermittantly in production, and don’t seem to be currently available. Even finding a box floating in the Bay of Ease would be a small miracle at the moment. But, I do have a bunch.*
As you can see by Sir Forescale shimmed up so that his feet are about level with the feet of the sorceress et al., these women are pretty small by Reaper standards. (This does make finishing 30 in a month a somewhat easier task, counterbalanced a little by the level of brush control needed to work at that level.
For whatever reason, Caesar packed a lot more of these sorceresses in their boxes than the second, left-hand-staff, figure. (See PSR article linked above.) We have played around in various ways with the large spheroid on the top of her staff. My sons have painted it into a skull; I sliced one off and added a rustic broom using some two-part epoxy, etc. For this one, I tried going with a plant theme, so I halved the staff head, painted a flower on top, and leaves on the sides. The flower theme is then echoed in her bodice embroidery and the bodyguard’s shield.
That all seemed like a good excuse to use a flowering tuft on the base.
Back to painting orcs…
By Rob Dean
Being the timid fellow that I am, I wanted to be fairly sure that I had a chance of finishing a Minivember challenge before I announced it publicly.
I enter miniatures into my painting log when the final basing and varnish coat are complete, and the “whatever” is ready for play. I’ve recently resolved to relax and not worry too much about where the Muse(s) lead, as long as I’m getting something done. So all plans are subject to change. That said, I’ve had two things on my mind recently.
The first is that I was in a Rangers of Shadowdeep game at Barrage, our local miniatures gaming convention, back in September, and decided that it was time to try to get it on the table. For fun, I decided that I would fill out my small (1/72) plastic fantasy collection for this. I looked over the book, and found this was what was called for:
I got a good start on this on a business trip last month. I am also working toward “finishing” the army lists I’ve drawn up for my Portable Fantasy campaign:
But exactly what I’m going to end up painting is a bit unpredictable.
As posted in the November Speed/Army/Tabletop goals thread, I’ve also got some vintage Broadsword Miniatures Rangers to round out a unit, and the much-deferred Goblin Carolers for my Winterfeast village. There are also orcs for the campaign mass battle, some human cavalry, some historical Bronze Age Nubians and some additional giant war trolls.
I’ve already finished a couple of medieval(oid) human horse archers. (English and other mounted bowmen did not generally shoot from horseback, so these guys, Strelets plastics I’ve had sitting around since 2005 or so, are probably more at home in a fantasy setting anyway.)
I also finished the zombies (plus a couple of smaller Reraper Bones 5 monsters):
These were knocked out pretty rapidly with washes and drybrushing, with a deliberate choice to keep them subdued and semi-monochromatic. I doubt zombies spend much time on hygiene…
For the trolls needed for Rangers, I had planned to use the Bones 1 (SKU 77159) Ghast. As a 1/72 scale figure, they end up being 8 or so feet tall, so look more to me like something a human might stand a chance of fighting than something like a Dark Alliance 12 foot tall War Troll. But, yesterday was apparently Trollfest, and I finished up the three troll/ghasts, a Dark Alliance War troll, and a Caesar Miniatures “something” from their currently-out-of-production “Adventurers” set. They are shown here with a Strelets medieval city militiaman from last month, for scale:
That’s 18 figures down, so at least 12 to go. I’m on vacation with no particular plans this week, and I’m also off the week of Thanksgiving, so that should be achievable.
By Rob Dean
I needed to travel for work, with an odd schedule where I was required to be in place for a preliminary event on Friday, with the real action (such as it is) starting today. So, I knew I was going to be halfway across the country with not much to do over the weekend. I packed up my travel paint kit and a bunch of 1/72 plastic. Some were already in progress, but mostly things had just been primed.
I am aiming to run Rangers of Shadowdeep soon, and I intend to play it with my travel miniatures kit of 1/72 scale plastics. I’ll be using Caesar Miniatures orcs as the game’s “gnolls” and needed about of dozen, of which I had four done. I also needed a “burrow worm” (now a repurposed Bones 5 Core thing…), and a flesh golem (a paint scheme suggestion on a Bones 1 ghast).
Since I’m on travel, i didn’t bring basing materials with me, so these guys are not completely finished, but I have gone as far as brushing on a varnish coat. That’s usually my last step prior to basing with these plastics.
On Saturday, I got this done:
The knight is a random addition; I am hesitant to paint horses (or, as my son notes, more likely I am hesitant to paint all the horse tack neatly), so I wanted to get over the cavalry block. He’s one of three for a mutli-figure stand, so it could be a while until he gets based.
I should have actually worked on another knight on Sunday, but what I actually did was to finish the orcs and the flesh golem, and then add a few random humans on foot:
If I had some bases and some scenery, I could now run a tiny little skirmish game.
I’ll post the actual completion pictures here later this week.
By Rob Dean
Last week I finished up a stand of medieval city militia using a 4-color limited Zorn palette. This turned out to be oddly calming, so I went ahead this week and prepared a second stand of 8 figures (mostly duplicate poses) from the same box of Strelets 1/72 scale plastics. I would ordinarily use 2 stands for something like a Dragon Rampant unit, so it’s nice to have them in matching pairs where possible.
I started in on them Friday morning, and had them varnished by supper time on Saturday (when we headed out to a ballroom dance event). I finished up the basing and put a final spray coat on them this afternoon.
When I clipped these 8 from their sprues, I collected a few of the more interesting poses for use on individual bases for contingency fantasy games. I finished one of the three this afternoon, still using a Zorn palette.
As you can see, these are pretty small compared to the usual Reaper sizes.
I was please with how the face came out, given the size.
I don’t usually zoom in to the level where the individual brush strokes are showing, but there you are. Given the size, that’s more than you’ll actually see during a game, so it’s really just for my own amusement.
By Rob Dean
I finally had the opportunity to get to a pending fun project this weekend. I heard about the Zorn palette, a limited set of four colors, a while back, and wanted to try this.
So, this is the set of hobby paints I chose. The key is that the black has to be a blue-black, that will give a sort of faded denim when mixed with white. Here’s some playing around on the wet palette.
Considering that the only brilliant color you’ll get is red, I thought that the best fit would be something medieval, where the subdued colors would look natural.
I removed a batch of Strelets Medieval City Levy from the sprues a couple of weeks ago, because I needed some spearmen for my fantasy campaign, and they seemed like a good choice.
So, yesterday morning I started.
Knowing that these were going to end in a group, I didn’t worry too much about the occasional stray mold line.
After I finished up the 8th figure, I posed them on the stand.
I gave them my usual base treatment of sand and white glue, followed by a tuft and some flock. When all of that was dry, a coat of spray varnish:
All of these pictures represent a much closer view that would be seen on the table.
Anyway, an interesting exercise, and one that I will repeat. For travel painting, a four palette would be handy…