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Dark Tide - Moonglow Paints Pirates and other Maritime Minis

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I made an octopus!




Finally finished painting this guy. Was a fun little evening if painting. Noticed a few anatomical inaccuracies while referencing images for painting, but it looks good enough for what it is.





Pretty proud of it since I don't have much sculpting experience.  He's also a pretty tiny guy.  Was fun painting with dots though. I have aptly named him "Spot."


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Bullywug Tribals and Mud King


I recently finished a large group of frog-men to stand in as a tribal society of Bullywug.  You can check out my WIP thread HERE, or more photos in my Show Off thread HERE.



Nestled within the cradle of the Yu’an Archipelago lies the swampy island of Isla de Croque.  The island is partially dominated by mangrove swamps and is home to the Bullywug.  Once the heart of the Archipelago, the island has slowly sunk deeper into the sea leaving behind a wetland and forgotten ruins.


The Bullywug of Isla de Croque are the island’s only "intelligent" creatures.  The swampy nature of the island is inhospitable to most creatures, but is uniquely suited to the amphibious Bullywug who have made their homes in the shadows of the sunken temples, living amongst the tangled roots of the mangroves. 


Bullywug have a twisted sense of ego and superiority.  When the first outsiders came to their island and attempted to claim it for their king, the Bullywug became fascinated with the outsiders’ way of living.  The Bullywug were easily forced into surrender by the invaders, but the outsiders soon realized the island was inhospitable.  The Bullywug, now equating kingdom and riches with strength, set about creating their own monarchy.  Having no system of currency, they simply equated shininess to value and began frantically collecting shiny trinkets.  The Bullywug with the most valuables became the first Mud King.  This position can be challenged by any who believes they have more valuebles than the King, however, this has become increasingly difficult to do, as all Bullywug are ordered to deliver shinies to the King to increase his strength.

Gullet, the current Mud King of the Bullywug, is a particularly large Bullywug with a sizable horde.  Gullet sits on his throne in the sinking ruins of an old temple, surrounded by his possessions.  He takes any opportunity to flaunt his horde to show off his own assumed strength.  The rest of the Bullywug deliver shinies to him and grovel to help increase his strength and therefore the strength of the entire frogdom.


The Bullywug are extremely territorial, staking claim to the land they inhabit.  Crude markers made of hide and bones are the only sign that bullywug are near.  Fortunately the Bullywug tend to capture more than kill, as their community lives to serve and impress the Mud King.

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Sometimes wish I had started this thread in the General Fantasy forum.  Just because I often have updates that aren't about painting.  Is there any way to move a thread?



This project may get floating again.  Had one of my intended players convince me to share the setting lore so he could work on his character.  So now I'm thinking about minis.

Want to figure out some ways to base things for this.  


I've got plenty of Rum and Bones minis.  Since these are also useful for their actual game, i don't want to do anything crazy with them.  Probably just mask off the rims and hand paint wood planks.


For the land dwelling creatures I'm thinking beaches with subtle waves rolling up.  Maybe a rocky shoreline for some more intimidating ones.
I'm looking into some simple water effects.  I don't really like the look of resin pools, but i've seen some cool water texture used to give a little bit of wave shape.  Also want to get my hands on some bits for marine-scatter.  Driftwood, seashells, starfish, crabs.  Just some things to add some extra life.  Planning on trying my hand at blue-stuff molds and epoxy casting to get some mileage out of those bits.  If it works out well I may try casting some flintlocks to give fantasy minis a more piratical flair.

For the deep sea baddies I'm planning on using flight stands when needed with a turquoise sea floor look.  similar to my octopus.  But with more room for some colorful corals and plants.  Saw a cool base effect with the refracted light lines on the sea floor.  May give that a try as well.  Hoping I can find some cool bits for under the water as well.  Saw one set that had some schools of fish.  That'd be a nice touch.  Also trying to find good places to source coral-like tufts.  Might use some "alien grass" tufts mixed with some aquarium plants.


Hopefully I'll manage to paint more of these once the game is motivating me.

Need to paint up some generic crew members and find some good kuo-toa minis.  I have a particular image in my head of small squat fish-men.  Closest things i've found are the Gilblin from relicblade, and the Murloc from WoW.  Just wish I could find some in enough quantity and variety.  Anyone know any good goblin-like fishmen minis?  Or some STLs?  Most of the ones I've seen are a bit too frightening and land in the same territory of Sahaugin, and I'm trying to keep them visually distinct.

I happen to have a bunch of static looking Murlocs from the WoW board game.  May try to modify them so they have some variety in posing and accessories.

Edited by MoonglowMinis
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On 4/1/2021 at 4:40 PM, MoonglowMinis said:

Sometimes wish I had started this thread in the General Fantasy forum.  Just because I often have updates that aren't about painting.  Is there any way to move a thread?


No, you've put it in the right place, because you're showing painted figures. Not every post in a thread has to have pictures of painted stuff; discussion of ideas relating to the project is perfectly acceptable, and encouraged.:winkthumbs:



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On 4/8/2021 at 9:35 PM, AlonTey said:

Here's hoping to see more from this thread!  All the stuff you've done so far is really inspiring and has a ....connectivity, I suppose, in the aesthetic that makes it feel like it all belongs together.

Thank you.  There will definitely be more!  Just can't promise when.  I do have two new pirates painted up that'll get posted eventually once I take good photos.  I've already got quite a backlog of unpainted for this setting, but Bone 5 will add tons more.  And once the game actually gets going, I'll have extra motivation to keep the minis coming.  There may also be more world lore, or adventure logs.


12 hours ago, Chaoswolf said:

No, you've put it in the right place, because you're showing painted figures. Not every post in a thread has to have pictures of painted stuff; discussion of ideas relating to the project is perfectly acceptable, and encouraged.:winkthumbs:

Thanks.  In my mind it made sense to have a single place that linked to other related threads.  So that someone could flip through this and follow along with my madness.  Definitely inspired by similar threads by @Glitterwolf.

I may start adding some other bits of lore into this thread as well.  To give more context for the minis and the role they play in my setting and campaign.

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34 minutes ago, Grumpy Gnome said:

Those Bullywugs are brilliant and your Captain Barnabus is outstanding. All of your work is great but those stand out for me. I love your color palette.

Thank you!

This is my favorite project, though I often postpone painting things in it for many reasons.  I do have a few new additions that I need to post soon.  Color palette has been my latest focus while painting, really trying to push vivid colors, while maintaining uniformity.  Seems to come down to a mix of rich colors with desaturated shadows and highlights.  When it comes to pirates and the sea that seems to capture that  "washed out" look.  Like a brightly painted boat left in the sun too long.

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