Tuesday, 12 September 2017

CXL. Samouse, CK2017 and Tor Megiddo box

Got this little guy as a prize at the Black Queen painting comp. If anyone's interested in seeing WIP photos, I wrote a brief article about the painting process on this mini for my club's website (in English): HERE. Samouse is a part of a whole series of mouse versions of LOTR characters from Cartoon Miniatures. They're all lovely, and I'm fighting the temptation to collect the rest of the Fellowship, starting with Boromouse. Oh, and they don't have Gollum yet, but I can totally see them basing him on a naked mole-rat, with spectacular results...    



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As I mentioned above, a couple days ago I visited another miniatures show here in Zagreb. The show in question was Zagreb Scale Model Cup CK 2017, organized by the Croatian Association of Military Miniaturists, hereabouts known as HUVM. This one is larger than UMS "Agram"'s Black Queen I wrote about back in July, but focuses on model warships, tanks, airplanes and other historical-themed and/or vehicle models and dioramas. There are, hower, a handful of categories open for Fantasy and SF pieces. In addition to manning my club's presentation booth with my colleagues, I entered some of my works from the past year in the competition. This time the organizer brought Mig Jimenez to the event, to do a free workshop/demonstration of weathering techniques, among other things. It would have been silly to miss the opportunity to learn something from the guy; things like that are terribly rare in my corner of the world. Anyway, I brought home some trophies and had a nice time. 

My entries and spoils.



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Since I've finally confirmed that I'll be attending Tor Megiddo in Helsinki in person, I thought I could use a container to safely transport my warband all the way there. What I needed was a small box, light but sturdy, that fit all the models, their stats and maybe a few dice and a measuring device. And, naturally, it also had to look nice. This is what I came up with:
It was an unpainted wooden box. I padded the interior with sponge from blisters, forming a slot to size for each particular member of the warband. There was space left for six dice, but sadly I can't fit a tape measure. The stat cards (still not made) have their slot in the left half of the lid.
After painting the box, I made a paper stencil of the Tor Megiddo logo and sprayed it on. This didn't turn out quite as planned, but the result was ok enough to keep. I'll hopefully compensate with really nice stat cards.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

CXXXIX. The Bark Fiend


My latest endeavour. I'm churning things out quite rapidly these days... I guess August is compensating for the complete silence that was July. Made the fellow primarily for use with my Malifaux Zoraida crew (as Mysterious Emissary), but I reckon it will see the table as a witch's construct in the Gardens setting and as some sort of creature in Frostgrave, as well.

The Bark Fiend. In the Gardens setting it's a lankier cousin of the Moss Monster, both being magically animated constructs built by witches out of decaying plant material and animal bones.
 
 
 

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The original model.

The carnivorous vegetation and changelings that are meant to be a part of Emissary's base did not have a place here. I fixed a horse skull from GW Black Knights kit on top of the original head like a mask (this involved some filing). The jaw bone was split in two and hung on the creature's chest like grim ornaments. Next, it needed antlers - sizable ones, but not as impressive as Moss Monster's. I knew I wouldn't be placing much moss on this one, so I reckoned it could use some Milliput fungi on the limbs to provide extra detail. Converting was done in an evening, and painting the morning after.
Just like the Moss Monster/Bad Juju was based on the Ancient Leshen from The Witcher 3 videogame, the Bark Fiend was made to resemble a 'regular' Leshen, to some degree. The Mysterious Emissary model's physique is much more akin to the source material than Bad Juju's hulking frame. What I dislike about the Leshen design in the game is the cloth skirt they wear. I purposefully left that out.   
Happy Tree Friends

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

CXXXVIII. Abhorrant Ghoul Queen's Court: Abhorrant Ghoul Queen

Queen Ligia the Ever-living, leader of my FEC warband and sovereign of the Ghoul city-state of Folda.





I. BACKGROUND

 

"In the midst of this pit of monsters sits the Abhorrant Ghoul King upon a throne of mortal remains. Tall and powerful, everything about the king screams that he is a bestial predator, from his lithe, corded muscles to the dark hunger in his inhuman gaze. However, this is not what the king and his followers see. To the king, he sits upon a gilt throne in a great hall...."
 W:AoS Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts

So, like all the rest of the lot, the ruler of a Flesh-eater Court shares in the delusion of grandeur while in fact being a blood-sucking fiend. 

"Within the madness of a Flesh-eater Court, each has their role. The king is lord and master of all, standing at the head of the hierarchy. Sometimes, he might create other abhorrants to share in this glory, though they usually remain subservient to the king’s desires. (...) For example, the Giblet Prince is the heir apparent and closest to his king. The Offal Queen oversees the blood-nurseries, caring for the newest of the brood, and making sure they feed regularly on the red bounty their father provides."
W:AoS Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts

Oh, I see... I guess my ghoul realm is strangely progressive then...


II. OFFICIAL MODEL


What were vampires of Strigoi bloodline in the Old World became Abhorrant Ghoul Kings in AoS. This model comes only as part of Terrorgeist/Zombie Dragon plastic kit. It's roughly human-sized.

Source: games-workshop.com


III. WHAT I DID, HOW, AND WHY


First of all, I wanted to have a female vampire rather than a male one. There are GW lady vampires, but if you look at the available miniatures, they all follow the same pattern: that of a deadly, classy seductress. That's not the archetype I'm looking for here. To match my interpretation of FEC lore, my ruler needed to be both ferocious and regal - a beast draped in tattered finery. 

I liked the pose and crookedness of the body of the Techpriest Dominus model, and I'd been looking for an excuse to use it for a conversion since its release. The initial concept had Ligia wear a huge ruff and fancier attire. This got scrapped in favour of a more battle-ready look. I replaced the ruff with furs, which are still a fancy accessory. The elegant cane that supports her crooked frame remained as another symbol of her high status. There is not too much bling (there could be more, actually), but she does wear a lot of rings. The polished war horn on her hip is a tool for summoning and commanding her loyal troops. She does not look like she is bursting with muscle, but remember that under that tattered dress is a leering undead monster towering over even the tallest a human.

Bits list: Techpriest Dominus body and cane arm, Belisarius Cawl left arm, Daemonette head, tail and horn from Space Wolves, bits of chainmail from an Ogre Irongut gutplate. The rest is putty.
Hybrid of Milliput and Green Stuff proved great for sculpting chainmail and fur.

I actually began the conversion late June, and back then it was headed in a different direction. I didn't like how it was turning out and it frustrated me, so I put her away in the box reserved for projects that frustrate me. Only this week I picked her up again, cut off all the putty and started over. This time it worked!
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I believe now I have enough models for a small playable warband. Neat. Before continuing with various courtiers I'll do another batch of common ghouls. Conversion ideas have spawned in the interim. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

CXXXVII. Wodewose

The frame for my wose sculpt is done, and now I can call the piece finished.



In regard to sculpting, my next goal will be a tad smaller, better proportioned and differently posed wose. When I manage to get that right, I think I'll make a whole group of them, with different weapons, shields and beard styles...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

CXXXVI. Black Phillip

I'll be roleplaying a witch character in a Pathfinder adventure soon, so I thought I'd convert and paint miniature representations of her and her goat familiar. I'm still searching for a suitable witch (if you know of any interesting female witch minis, or something that could be converted into a middle-aged witch, I'm open to suggestions). I had material for the goat at home, so I got to work. 

"Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?"

It used to be a plastic toy. Came in the same bag of farm animals that serve as leg donors for my misshapen deer. It doesn't scale well with 28-30mm figures, being way larger than a goat should be. However, for use in an RPG its actual size is of little importance, and I can get even away with using it as a Minor Demon in Frostgrave. I did try to find a goat miniature that would actually be to scale, but unfortunately none of the sculpts I came across caught my eye.
There was plenty to do. First, I cut out a section of its body, since it looked too long. I replaced its poor wobbly horns with a proper pair from plastic Beastmen. Most time went on sculpting all the shaggy fur. Since this goat is a buck I added the appropriate parts of anatomy.
Black Phillip and Zora the Hag. Here it's visible how huge the beast actually is.
The inspiration for even picking a goat for my character's familiar came from The Witch (2015), a beautifully atmospheric, slow-burn period horror piece directed by Robert Eggers. Of course, the film in turn drew its inspiration from folklore... Anyway, there is a goat in the film, named Black Phillip, who plays a part in the supernatural events plaguing his owners - an unfortunate puritan family. If you like the kind of horror that doesn't rely on abundance of jump-scares or gratuitous gore, I heartily recommend this film.

Monday, 14 August 2017

CXXXV. Woodland Creatures

The second misshapen deer for Monstrous Births scenarios. This one has slightly different deformities than the first - most obviously the long muzzle and tusks that make it somewhat boar-like. I gave it some chaotically growing antlers. The mess with the limbs is quite familiar, though. I think they will all end up with creative number, placement and size of legs... I'm going for five, so that's three more to go.
 
 
 
 
 
The two finished deer, side by side.
The conversion was very like the first - Citadel deer and horse parts plus cheap plastic toy limbs and putty.

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After some dabbling with modelling shield designs, I've made an attempt to sculpt an entire humanoid figure from scratch. This is the result:

The sculpt has an old-school vibe. I reckoned this sort of style would be easier to work in, for a beginner. One step at a time... I'll make a scenic base for him soon so that he gets a proper frame.
I layered green stuff over a wire armature. Since it's a monster I didn't pay too much attention to size - he ended up 38mm tall, which would not do for a human at 28-35mm scale.
I had most fun with the face, of course.
This is the finished sculpt. I learned a few things and got some useful practice. On the next attempt I will try to make the head and hands smaller in proportion to the body. And I need to be more patient when rendering the fur texture, there are parts that look quite untidy. But I am very happy with this first try, which motivates me to take it further with the subsequent ones. I made a mould of the shield so that I can convert a few more variants. On this shield I tried out a hybrid mixture of green stuff and Milliput - it was better for that particular job than either one of the putties pure.
I'd made a Wodewose figure before (can't believe it was an entire year ago...). Now that I look at it, it's not that good. There are some problems with the posture as well as anatomy. I can see it getting scrapped, as soon as I manage to scratch-build a better one.

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I got an idea for a new illustrated poker deck, this time with much more elaborate artwork. I don't have time to get into that project properly for now, so I think it will stay on only this one card for a while. I'll just leave it here as a teaser.

The XIII of Blood.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

CXXXIV. Femme

A tiny parcel arrived to my door a couple weeks ago. It was from none other than John Blanche, and it contained a delicate resin 40mm figure. It's a rare treat, being that it is not a commercially available model, but rather one out of just three copies manufactured for John as a private commission. He was kind enough to gift me one of them, and this weekend I finally found enough time to properly introduce her to the brush.

I have considered a number of different colour schemes, but in the end I gave in to my favourite combination: black, red and white.
The tattoo on her right upper arm is the symbol for the Zodiac sign Scorpio (my own birth sign).
The boots and the sort of glove were glossed up using Vallejo water effect.

The tattoo on her back is a stylized letter F.

The base is also resin; 40mm cobblestone from Micro Art Studio.

The painting process was enjoyable. The only issue I had was with her face - it is very difficult to access without cutting something off first, and that I did not dare do.

The figure was sculpted by Kev White. The resin cast came as a single piece and it held detail well. There were a few mould lines here and there, but they weren't difficult to get rid of. 
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