Monday 23 November 2020

Elladan of the Grey Company

Here is the figure I'm going to use for Elladan, one of the sons of Elrond, in my Grey Company. It's an older Reaper figure, sculpted by Sandra Garrity. 

What I like about the figure is the simplicity of its costume, but with they dynamic (but not overly dynamic) pose. He is wearing the chainmail, which is appropriate, but has a jacket over it, which is more fun to paint and provides better contrast. What I'm not sure about is the size of the two swords. I mean, over-sized weapons have a long history in fantasy miniatures, but it is even more pronounced when a figure has two of them!

Still, I think the good outweighs the bad, and I love the way the cloak folds around the figure - especially since the only real connection in the Grey Company is the cloaks. 

Once again, the most challenging aspect of the figure was removing it from its integral base. Otherwise, it was a straight-forward paint job.

Of course, since I've got Elladan, I'm going to have to find a suitable figure for his twin brother! 

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Covin (or Grey Company Ranger)

Another figure finished in my week of holiday painting, this figure comes from the official Rangers of Shadow Deep line produced by North Star.

The figure represents Covin, one of the auxiliary companions I created for the Blood Moon scenario to serve as suspects in the werewolf hunt. In truth, he looks much cooler and more noble that I originally imagined him. In fact, he struck me as rather Dunedain in appearance. So, I painted him up to serve as one of the Grey Company, who followed Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead and onto Minas Tirith after borrowing the Corsair's ships.

Bobby Jackson turned in another amazing sculpt for this one, and it was a real joy to paint. The banded armour, especially, gives nice lines and definition to the torso.

You can only sort of see it in my photo, but if you carefully examine the figure, you might notice he has a very strange glove on his left hand. That's because the character of Covin only has two fingers on this hand. I remember when Bobby came to sculpt the figure, he emailed me and asked about that. He rightly pointed out that if people received a figure with only two figures on one hand, they would probably assume it was a casting error (and Nick at North Star would have loved me for those emails...).  So, he suggested giving the figure a specially created glove to make it more apparent that the move was intentional. 

Well, whether fighting Mordor or the Shadow Deep, this guy is ready to go!

Friday 13 November 2020

Ogre or Troll?

Another victory from my holiday painting! This is a Reaper Bones Ogre sculpted by Bobby Jackson. I must admit, the more I work with the bones material, the more I like it. It's never going to overtake metal as my favourite material to paint, but for bigger creatures I prefer it overall. It sure makes storage a lot easier and is very resistant to damage.

Although this figure is listed as an ogre, and will probably seem some use as such in Rangers of Shadow Deep and other games, it also fits my mental image of Middle-earth trolls. In fact, Bobby sculpted three similar ogres, and I do wonder if that wasn't so people could use them as the three trolls from The Hobbit, should they so desire. 

I painted him using what has become my 'default method' these days. Basically, 3 - 4 layers of paint for most areas mixed with 2 or 3 washes of decreasing thickness. It's a rather slow process, as it means a lot of waiting for washes to dry, but I think the slow pace means I spend more time thinking about a miniature and more time examining places that might need a touch up. 

Anyway, it's one I'm glad to add to the collection. 

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Kai Lord (or Ranger)

Things have been a bit quiet around the blog of late, especially for hobby posts. This is because I have been making a conscious effort over the last month or so to spend less time online. As is pretty common in this year of years, my anxiety levels have been pretty high, and I wanted to see if unplugging a bit would help. So now, when I'm not using it, I actually put my computer away in a drawer and usually dump the phone in there as well. I do think it has helped.

I have no-plans to go offline completely - my life, my hobby, and my connection to my family all depend on it to some extent, but I do think cutting back has been, and will be, a good idea.

Also, it means that I've had more time for painting. Not just more time, but because the computer is away, I can keep the paints set-up on my desk more, which means I can grab a few minutes here and there to put on a layer or apply a wash.

Anyway, here is my latest offering. This is a Reaper mini sculpted by Bob Ridolfi. As is my wont these days, I cut him off his integral base and stuck him on a GW. I also cut off a couple of little spikes on his sword that were making him look a bit more evil.

I like this figure a lot because of its general 'low fantasy' vibe. Although it doesn't have a huge amount of detail, what detail it has, such as the armour, is deep and takes the paint well. I gave him a nice green cloak so that he would be equally at home as a Kai Lord or Ranger for Middle-Earth or the Shadow Deep.  I also gave him a beard...just cause. 

A very enjoyable mini to paint.

Monday 9 November 2020

Cthulhu Comes to Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, & The Shadow Deep

I have just received word that Blaster: Volume 2 is now available from DriveThruRPG in both PDF and print-on-demand formats!

This independent wargames anthology contains my work 'Shadowgrave: Part 1' in which I present the first part of my rules for brining the Cthulhu Mythos into games of Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, and Rangers of Shadow Deep.

Specifically, the piece includes rules for sanity rolls and permanent mental damage as-well-as stats and special abilities for eight mythos creatures. 

Just to make all of this fun and immediately useable, I have included a scenario for each of the three games as well - a competitive one for Frostgrave, a solo one for Ghost Archipelago, and a solo or co-operative one for Rangers of Shadow Deep. All of which can get pretty horrific...

In issue 3, I'll be following up with complete rules for Mythos magic as well as more monsters and more scenarios!

Of course, that's not all that is in Blaster 2. You'll also get Mystic Skies, a complete wargame written by Mike Hutchinson and Sean Sutter, in which wizards duel while whizzing around on flying carpets! Plus more stuff for Last Days from Ash Barker and This is Not a Test from Joey McGuire!

I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Rangers of Shadow Deep Progress Report

I just wanted to take a moment and let everyone know how things stand with Rangers of Shadow Deep.

The Deluxe Edition - Apparently stock of this book is getting low again, and, it might be the last printing. With rising printing costs and smaller print runs, it might not be possible to keep this version of the book in print, so if you want one, get it now. I am talking to Modiphius about different ways to keep the book in print.

Dungeons Deep (The Rescue Part 2). The truth is, I did a lot of work on this book and then decided I wasn't at all happy with it. So, I decided to ditch it and start over. Unfortunately, I have a couple of contractual items to complete before I can get back to it. I should be working on it towards the end of the year, with an eye to releasing in the first quarter of 2021.

Blaster 2 - This anthology is going to contain the first part of my Shadowgrave rules, essentially bringing the Cthulhu Mythos to games of Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, and Rangers of Shadow Deep.  It includes rules for sanity rolls, permanent madness, some monsters, and a scenario for each game. The anthology is essentially done, we are just having some issues getting it uploaded to DriveThruRPG for print-on-demand.

Monster Cards - Modiphius are working on a set of monster cards that will include a card for every creature that has featured in the game so far. Barrett Stanley has provided illustrations for all of the creatures that have not previously been illustrated.

So, that's where things stand at the moment. I'll let everyone know if anything changes on any of those, or if anything new comes up!