Thursday, May 30, 2013

Need More Bases

I did some more work on Puppet Wars! As a matter of fact, I completed another puppet and a pile of bases! I am still impressed with myself over how the technique for these bases turned out. And it seems that other people are too, as the basing articles, here and here, are some of the most visited pages on this blog. They are just so simple and they look so good. Oh yeah...and now I have enough that I should be able to finish my entire current collection.
My relationship with Puppet Wars has been quite rocky. When I saw the first pictures of models, I was immediately interested and I enjoyed the initial playtest immensely. But then the bottom kind of fell out and PWars went away with an announcement that a 2nd edition is coming. Now that the 2nd edition, now called Puppet Wars: Unstitched, is starting to arrive on shelves, the game is very different.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that yet. The new puppets are bigger, more cartoonish, and lack the charm of the tiny metal models, in my opinion. The game board is also larger and more cartoonish. I am reserving judgement on the game itself until I can actually play. That said, I'm not in much of a hurry to pick up a set. SDE has taken over as my family game lately. I'm sure I will get a box eventually, but, for now, I'm going to be happy with my tiny metal puppets.

At any rate, one of the nice things I have found about painting in a more professional way is that, while I am waiting for coats of paints, washes and varnishes to dry, I have time to pick up a puppet and quickly get it painted.

In addition to the Punk Zombie, I’ve  completed more Resser Puppets. The Rotten Belle and Sebastian puppets were already painted long ago, but when I actually get them mounted on their completed bases, they look so good I can’t help but take more pictures.

More to come.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Long was She Under? (and) Malifaux Ranting

I mentioned early that I’ve been working with Envirotex Lite. While I certainly used it for my SDE potion counters, I really broke the stuff out for the Drowned models I am adding to my Resurrectionist crews. My first Drowned is now ready for the table.

I wanted the drowned woman to look distinctly wet and dead with a palette that leaves you unsure if she is a physical presence or just the spirit. I dirtied up her white dress to add to the heavy, wet look of the model and the starkly contrasting straight black hair added to that effect. Her eye was painted the same tone as her skin and then blended with yellow and blue washes to make it stand out as well. I liberally used purple and umber washes to deaden the highlights. By contrast to the models ghostly colors, I wanted to anchor and chain to really stand out and I am particularly happy with the combination of Charadon Granite for the base color of the anchor alongside the patches of rust.
The base had to be an extension of the model, so I wanted it to look ethereal and wet as well, but also distinctly like shoreline. I used cork for the jagged coral rocks and applied patches of sand here and there, interspersed with other parts of the base that were left bare. When I went to paint it in, I stuck to Dheneb Stone and a few highlights and shadows. The only colors added were washes, blue, purple and umber. I also went into cracks and crevices with some green wash, which helped give the coral an organic feel, rather than simply desert rock.

The Envirotex filled in the rest of the base, for a very nice shallow water effect.

The placement of the model on the base was something of a happy accident. What I knew was that I wanted her to have one foot in the water and when it came time to place her, the only way I could get it to work was to have her in an unbalanced lurch….which totally works.


As it has been a while since I talked about Malifaux at all, I thought I would add my thoughts on the news coming from Wyrd over the last several weeks. The truth is that over the last year I’ve been less than impressed with Wyrd and their changes.

Around my area, there seems to be a waning enthusiasm for Malifaux as a whole. I don’t think this is really the game itself though, but concerns about Wyrd. Releasing a board game, a card game, then another card game, then an RPG, all in the span of a couple years, seems risky to me. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but I hope that the incoming 2nd Edition will help to bring the focus back to the very intriguing world Wyrd has created.


That is a great transition into my thoughts about the upcoming M2E. (funny…it’s almost as though I wrote this). I was sad to see that the general consensus from people I talked to about Adepticon this year was that was a lot of negative attention surrounding M2E. From what I hear though, most of this negativity was more as a result of the representation Wyrd had at the con than anything else.

This is kind of a shame because I really want to be excited for M2E. Of course, there are always the annoyances of a new edition, like all new models to replace the ones I just got and not knowing whether the Drowned I just painted will even be worth fielding….but those are easily trumped by the clean slate factor M2E has going for it.

I am from the school that believes that Malifaux is a difficult game to get good at. I have yet to win a match in nearly a dozen games. This is easily fixed by playing more often, but the more I play, the more I feel like I’m stepping out onto the battlefield as a novice when everyone else is an expert. I’m hoping M2E will give me a chance to get into the game earlier and be on a more level playing field. I’m also looking forward to a streamlined set of rules that will be easier to introduce players two (matches with no masters, or no upgrades for example). All in all then, I think the new edition will be a good thing.  

I think that’s the end of my rant. Back to painting.

More to come.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore Vol 3: Little Details

I have been having a tremendous amount of fun painting up the Super Dungeon Explore minis. I can’t wait to get back to a game in the next few weeks and, instead of only a single painted mini, I have nearly all of the kobolds completed. I’m not quite there yet, but work continues. On the painting table right now are the Flingers and they should be done within the next day or so, with a post to follow.

In the meantime, between painting up units of kobolds, I’ve been working on all the other extra stuff for SDE. I have not allowed myself to paint a hero yet; that will be a reward for painting all the monsters. Instead, I’ve been giving myself smaller rewards like treasure chest and these:

You can’t get very far googling anything about Super Dungeon Explore without running into these awesome potion markers. Working from this tutorial by Tyson at, I went ahead and built these up using Envirotex Lite, my latest new toy. 

These bottles ended up being something of an experiment for me, having never worked with Envirotex before. I have another set of bottles ready to go, so I will work more on the colors and removing bubbles from the resin before pouring.  That said, these little guys are totally usable and add a great little flare to the game.

For those of you not familiar with Tyson's SDE work, He also built these fantastic custom SDE board tiles. I cannot afford to buy them, but I am thinking about making a set myself....huge fun!

Anyway, back to the painting. As always, comments are welcome. Thanks for taking the time!

More to come.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 2: Kobold Ironscales

Plenty of painting to show off today, even though I missed my goal of at least two posts a month. May should make up for it though. I painted the Super Dungeon Explore Ironscales so quickly I didn't even think to stop long enough to take pictures. That said, the steps were relatively straightforward.
I had a hard time conceptualizing how I wanted the Ironscales to look, which is why, I think, I just dove in and got them over with. The model is a bit of a challenge. Lots of hide and lots of armor and very little else. I knew I wanted them to look like they were bigger, darker and more dominant than the rest of the kobolds, but this left me with few options for their color scheme. Going with darker skintones meant I locked myself in to painting their armor in some sort of silver, as a leathery armor would be too monochromatic on such a large model.

For the flesh, I began with a basecoat of Vallejo Scorched Brown. I then highlighted with increasing amounts of Parasite Brown until the details started to stand out. Final highlights were done with pure Parasite Brown and then a touch was Parasite mixed with Bleached Bone. After that, the whole hide was washed with a 1:1:1 mix of water, sepia and umber wash. Once dry, I went back with Parasite Brown and Bealched bone and picked out the lightest areas. The eyes were painted white and then basecoated with parasite brown and increasing amount of sunburst yellow, with I final touch of white. The micron pen was used to pick out the eye slits.

The big part on these guys is the armor, so I wanted to do something that would look good over a larger surface that wasn't plain old silver. I started with a 2:1 mix of Armor Painter Gun Metal and Chaos Black. Vallejo black, at least my jar of it, has a distinctly glossy finish, so this had the interesting effect of making a very dark chrome look.

I decided that even the most heavily armored kobolds would have old and ratty armor, so I highlighted the armor with the opposite mix 2:1 gunmetal / black and I tried to make the highlights as sparse as possible, while still taking away the glossy finish. This looked almost like drybrushing, but was a lot neater and more deliberate. Next up, I washed the recesses of the armor with a 1:1:1:1 mix of water, sepia, flesh and umber washes.

As a final step, I played around with some weathering powders, rust and orange, to get the armor even older looking.

The Ironscales' shields were one of my only chances to add some color to the models. To tie them into the theme with the knuckleheads, their shields are a deep red and I opted to go with bone for the ornamentation on the shields. This bone look was achieved in several steps, beginning with a basecoat of Vallejo Snake Leather, which was highlighted with increasing amounts of Bleached Bone. Once the final highlights were done, the entire skull was washed with 1:1 water/sepia. As soon as this was applied, I went over the raised areas with a Q-tip, removing the heavy wash from the highest points and leaving it to pool only in the recesses.

A last minute decision was to go with bone swords for the Ironscales. I thought it would be fitting that, rather than simply having better weapons, the Ironscales would be more likely to carry weapons that were of a greater ceremonial importance. The bone swords were painted with the same steps as the shields and make for a nice matching set of weapons. Finally, I used some purple weathering powders on the darker parts of the sword. The look is very subtle and I'm not sure it shows up well in the pictures, but it adds a bit of 'Mystic dragon one sword' that I liked quite a bit.

With the Ironscales complete, I am almost half done with the kobolds, and approaching 1/4 of the entire SDE set. I'm gaining momentum with this project, so I'm sure there will be more new stuff soon.

More to come.