Monday, May 26, 2014

The Helping Hand Challenge

I am set to participate in The Helping Hand Challenge, created by Chris over at Duke of the Blood Keep (a top drawer blog if ever there was one). In short this entails painting all 12 minis from Otherworld Miniatures' DAB4 - Henchmen & Hirelings. The full skinny courtesy of The Duke is as follows:

    1. You must own the DAB4 Boxset
    2. You must own a blog
    3. You must paint one miniature a month in the order shown below
    4. You must post your results on the last day of each month
    5. You must include a link to each other participating blog
That’s it.
This is the order:
June Porter
July Mule Handler
August Mule
September Linkboy
October Scribe
November Pack Bearer
December Squire
January Lantern Bearer
February Dwarf Merc
March Crossbow Merc
April Spearman Merc
May Sergeant
(it’s also the order the minis appear on the card sleeve on the set) 

Mini-prepping has commenced, and the first is primed and ready for paint. I'll be making my own bases. In keeping with the product line's Dungeon Adventurers moniker, I intend to maintain a subterranean theme.

This all occurs as I try to get The Fiend Folio Project rolling again. Hopefully I can make headway here too.

Adherer and Porter... FF meets DAB4
Curious wire-like structures on chest (since removed)

Anyone else wishing to participate can leave a comment below or at Duke of the Blood Keep.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

PTS IV: Up to my Old Tricks Again

Table? Check. Saturday? Check. Paint? Negatory.

What I "should" currently be working on are an Otherworld Miniatures' halfling fighter and his anthropomorphized badger sidekick (a 15mm mini from Splintered Light). They're based and ready for paint... have been for a while.

Are we ever gettin' a coat of paint, or what?

Instead, I find myself distracted by a couple shiny new geegaws with Fiend Folio Project written all over them. The first is a cerepod from Otherworld which conveniently looks just like Russ Nicholson's FF grell illustration. Eleven parts, all of which need to be pinned. (That's 20 holes that need to be drilled by my reckoning.) This might take a while.

Caution: carpel tunnel syndrome ahead

The second is a new release from Fenris. A little conversion work will be involved. A gold star goes to the first person to correctly identify the FF monster I'm shooting for based on the picture below.

A sword. A lovecraftesque mummy. A base with spiders.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Feathers, Fur, and the Force

Happy Star Wars Day to one and all.  May the fourth be with you.

While today's subject might feel at home on the forest-moon of Endor hunting ewoks (annoying little creatures), it boasts a different pedigree altogether. Classic D&D monsters don't get more classic than the owlbear; a Gary Gygax creation that goes back to the game's begining. Many miniature representations of the beast have been produced over the decades. Otherworld Miniatures' version, sculpted by Paul Muller, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

There's never an owlbear around when you need one.

MM illustration & Muller interpretation

In the past, painting fur has given me more trouble than it probably should. Here I first treated the furry bits as though they were smooth by glazing on some pronounced shadows and highlights. Only then did I highlight the individual hairs. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Glazing and pin washes laid the foundation for the feathers. Lots (and lots) of very small unblended highlights provided the rest.

The classic owlbear mullet

Reaper's olive skin triad was used on the beak and claws. The tongue and eyes (which I must confess are rather beady and unowlish) wound up as the only splashes of bright color.

Zoological mix-and-match... the reason wizards should never be left unsupervised

Back when this guy was being sculpted, I advocated on the Otherworld forums that he be tailless. Monster Manual illustration notwithstanding, why should a cross between a bear and an owl have a kangaroo's tail? I was wrong. It fits perfectly. Only goes to show the perils of logic when applied to monster design. To atone for my error, I drew attention to the tail by painting its tip white.

And now... more pictures:

At this point you should be convinced that the owlbear is quintessentially awesome. Just in case my powers of persuasion have fallen short, I now present the inestimable Dungeon Bastard. Take it away, Bastard...