Archive for the ‘Minis/Painting’ Category

7-10 dio1

These recently painted Reaper miniatures were set up into a diorama. The scene depicts three adventurers — priestess, necromancer, and ranger, who find themselves in a mysterious chamber with a pair of portals. Suddenly they are attacked by creatures emerging from the portal. Down below, a screeching owlbear erupts from one portal, while a big black orc trundles out of the other.

The walls, floors, and stair were made with dungeon tiles. Most of the furniture is from the Reaper kickstarter with a few other odds and ends picked up over the years. The small red fox is one of the Reapers familiars.

7-10 dio2

The owlbear rounds a column and launches itself with full force against the archer and the wizard. Three powerful claws and a snapping beak lash out. The ranger attempts to draw and shoot at point blank range, while the necromancer braces himself for the onslaught. He holds a curled parchment in his hand.

7-10 dio3

The priestess, cut off from the rest, holds up her holy symbol to ward off the overbearing presence of the black orc. She raises her scimitar to defend against the mighty blow of the war axe. The orc is single minded in its ferocious attack, letting his guard down, not noticing or caring about the faithful fox companion of the priestess, ambushing from behind.

7-10 necromancer

Here we have the necromancer. He is done in shades of turquoise, blue and green, with an amethyst gem in his staff and a magical scroll written in golden ink.

7-10 owlbear

The owlbear has some crazy stance, but it works, really capturing the sense of explosive movement.

7-10 pathfinder cleric

Shannon rose to new heights of detail with all the patterned fabrics in the Pathfinder iconic cleric. She is probably the best so far of all the Reapers painted.

7-10 blork1

Big orc, big axe. The gruesome shield is my favorite part. I used antique nickel for the metal blade and plate armor, then dry brushed a bit of gunmetal along the edges.

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I have been excitedly awaiting the six dragons that came with my Reaper Kickstarter package the most. This silver dragon is the shadow dragon model from There Be Dragons, and my first to paint. I think it came out pretty well, although I wish I could have used more variations f color. Silver was pretty limiting in that way. I used platinum gold for an accent, such as on the inner wings, but it is very subtle.


The dragon is a great mold. He is a fine scale, stands up well, and will look good on any battlefield. After painting the dragon was given a satin varnish. Both the dragons in the set are fantastic, and the other one might be my next project.

7-5 illusionist

The psychadelic wizard was one of my favorite miniatures in the set and I had to dissuade many other from painting this one so that I would get the chance. My favorite part of this miniature are the purple robes with gold and silver stars and moons which Shannon did with a toothpick. I tried to make his feather look like a peacock quill. What’s up with the crazy blue owl eyes? He must be in the middle of a spell…

7-5 slayer

This was another miniature I just really had to paint. She is such an attractive slayer. One time I had this dream about huge naked blonde women with hair and swords as long as their bodies, and the image has stuck with me, so women with big swords have become a theme I am drawn towards. I was also experimenting with an orange and grey theme which I might use with my future warriors set.

7-5 stone golem

I wnted this miniature to look like he was carved from some kind of blue stone like cobalt. He is blue all right! But I think he turned out good.There are about five different shades of blue on him. I wish I were able to make it look like veins running through, but I went for a mottled look instead, due to you guessed it, laziness and lack of skill.

7-5 wizard

A friend did the base colors of this one and I finished him up. This arch wizard looks impressively iconic. The colors match him well.

7-6 furniture

I love accessories! I am always looking for more, and the few that one with the Vampire kickstarter reward are pretty cool. Khar painted the treasure heap but I did everything else o the floor here, including our visiting white rat. The first week of painting is over, and a huge chunk of miniatures received their coatings. Probably three-quarters of the box remains yet to be painted.

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We had a great party on the fourth, with all the trappings, including huge amounts of grilled meat, beverages aplenty, and a raucous trip to watch the fireworks explode at a nearby park. During the latter stage of the party, some one suggested painting miniatures, and before you know it, the table was full of painters, including a few kids who may have never painted miniatures before. Below are the miniatures from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter that this great group of friends and family painted on the Fourth of July.

7-4 adventurers

7-4 ghosts - Copy

7-4 gnome

7-4 sarcophagus

7-4 succubi



7-4-elf warrior



7-4-pathfinder barbaian






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Cthulhu! This is the smaller one of course. I started out with a pink base coat. I put a lavender wash above that, and then dry-brushed the whole thing in slime green. I think it came out ok. I like the blood red base.


Probably the best miniature I have yet painted. This wraith is one of the transparent miniatures. I went over it with a blackwash first, trying to get the tears and holes in the robe as dark as possible while leaving the rest of him see-through. Then I painted the sword, base, and gravestone and finally gave him a shellacking.

I am experimenting with painting swords in a different way than giving them a coat of silver or gunmetal. Instead I am trying to paint them in white, grey, and black to look like reflective metal. I have seen some great examples of this online but have sadly been unable to duplicate the effect so far. I do like the sword of the wraith with its blue glowing runes.


My daughter painted this excellent hellhound.


Audrey also painted this miniature, a representation of her character Gale, a fey archer. I love the mona lisa smile and the shadowed eyes.


Mummies! My hobby spanning dearth of mummies comes to an end with the excellent set of four in the vampire set. I experimented with two colors of blue with this pair. I also tried to use lots of gold, copper and bronze.


I have always loved yuanti. They are one of my favorite villain races and show up at some point in most of my campaigns. I painted this guy quickly and traditionally, without any twists or surprises. I think he looks just fine. Oh, I tried to give him some fangs, which met with marginal success, but those glowing red orbs for his eyes came out great. I originally wanted to paint his underbelly a different color, but opted against it, probably due to laziness.

That’s it for this update. On the table right now are a silver dragon, a few golems, and some more characters. Hopefully more friends and family will drop by and allow me to put a paintbrush in their hands. More updates along the way, until the whole 7.4 lb box of over 300 miniatures are all painted.

Here are a few close up shots of some miniatures from Part one.


Each of the twelve goblins is painted a different color. It is hard to get a good photo of them and they might be a tad shinier than I hoped for, but I just cant get enough of these li’l guys.


The female frost giant. I should give her a name, like Helga perhaps.

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With much anticipation the box containing my miniatures arrives on Friday game night. The weekly dungeon delve was cancelled in favor of opening, playing with, and ultimately painting this vast treasure trove of toys, er, I mean miniatures. Everyone in the gaming group helped paint, and this might become a regular occurance until the bulk of the miniatures are coated. It was great fun, with great results.

reaper-unpacking1 The box splilleth open.

My first miniature was of course the frost giantess, seen above. I have long lamented the lack of a large female miniature, so this was a welcome addition. There are other giant-gientes pairs in the Reaper Bones line-up which I hope to someday acquire. Her hair and those big blue eyes are my favorite part of this one. I am unsatisfied with the mottled apprearance of her skin, but I do like its porcelain sheen. I plan to break from tradition and paint her mate as a fire giant.

Here be dragons

Here be dragons

I have a total of six dragons, including the shadow dragon and red dragon from There be dragons’ the Pathfinder red, the jabberwocky, the hydra, and the frost wyrm, I plan on painting the shadow dragon as a silver, and the pathfinder red as an ancient white dragon.

reaper-captbarnabasLori painted this great Captain Barnabas. I particularly love the green coat. She says her favorite part is the blue pants. He is pretty great. The bright colors make him really stand out.

reaper-flamespiritShannon was the first to experiment with a translucent figure, diving right in with s fire spirit. I think the spectacular results speak for themselves. I love the gold coloration, and am tempted to use this method on the huge elemental. We shall see.


Skeleton by Jackson. He plans to paint the whole set in a similar scheme.

reaper-valkyrieKhar chose this valkyrie to represent her paladin. That white skin, those red lips, and the great red cloth of this miniature really stand out. This figure also has the trademark “Flaming Whats” copper base, an innovative aid to help pick out characters on the battlefield at a glance.

There were other miniatures painted by us that night, including an elven ranger named John Smith, a gnome spellcaster, and a hellhound, but either I did not get them varnished, or the photos didnt turn out well. They will make it into a future article for sure, as I document the epic painting of these hundreds of miniatures.


A dozen giant rats became my first challange. I use a three step method: base coat, then black wash the shading, then dry brush the highlights, followed by a matte varnish. The varnish I am using looks more satin than matte, but a protective coating is essential with these flexible plastic minis.

reaper-mummyHere is my mummy. Finally I have a mummy after years of fruitless searching. I am especially proud of this one, as it perfectly exhibits the three stage method. I need to do some base work. The vampire set includes four mummies. Besides this specimin, we have a pair of khopesh wielding mummy warriors and a hovering mummy lord. This will be fun.

Reaper-sorceress1This is the pathfinder iconic sorceress I believe. I really love the way she turned out, The pink is very vibrant and she has such an angelic expression on her face, which I somehow managed to capture. There are a tom of female adventurer types, which is a real boon, as my gaming group is usually around seventy five percent women.


Here are the gobs. Each one has a different color skin. It is about equality here, folks. I really enjoyed painting these little bastids. It is unfortunate that they have too much shine, it distracts from their overall great appearance. I plan to slaughter many player characters with this band of gobbos.

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SO I signed up to help crowd-fund the Reaper Miniature company as they transition away from metal to new unpainted plastic miniatures with their new “BONES” line-up. They asked for $30,000 for the initial 30 miniatures, and when I signed up, they had just broken the one million dollar mark with five days left. Incredible, but what is really amazing is what they offer to those who sign up for the $100 “vampire level” Reward. It started out with around 60 miniatures from their Bones line, but as they keep breaking new records of pledges, 100k, 200k, etc. they keep adding new miniatures to the reward which is currently about 180 miniatures, all for the $100 vampire pledge. If you love miniatures you have got to check this out. The KickStarter ends this coming saturday.

Heres the website: Reaper KickStarter

Two things to keep in mind. First and foremost, this is going to be quite a painting project! And also, these have not been made yet, that is what this project is funding, and so the expected ship date for many of these miniatures is spring of 2013, almost 9 months away. One last thing, if they break $1.2 mil they are adding a second set of five local yokels, oh yeah! Without further ado, here is the pirate booty:

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Space Rangers to the rescue!

This weekend my son ( whom readers may know as DM JB JR on Wednesdays) bought the Warhammer 40,000 Starter Kit “Assault on Black Reach.” Warhammer – both Fantasy and Sci-Fi 40K – is a tactical wargame that uses miniatures of the same scale as Dungeons and Dragons, i.e. one figure takes up 1” and represents a single unit. There is also a role playing game that goes by Warhammer FRPG. Games Workshop, out of Great Britain, has been producing Warhammer for over 20 years, and it has achieved a fair amount of fame over the years. The lore is rich, gritty, and expansive. It is the pinnacle of painted miniature wargaming.

My only experience with Warhammer has been massively multiplayer computer game of the fantasy version. This is my first experience with the science fiction themed Warhammer 40,000 franchise, but I do have lots of wargame experience stretching back all the way to my Squad Leader filled youth. This will also be my first experience with miniatures wargaming, something I have been interested in trying out. Wanting more war in my gaming has led me to search for a fix, and until now I was eyeing the WW2 scene, specifically Flames of War vs. Axis and Allies Miniatures. I think those will now take a back seat due to my son’s fortuitous purchase.

When my son first came to me with the idea of spending $90 of his birthday money on a new game, I was hesitant. That is a lot of cash to be dropping on something untested, but after a few conversations on the subject, and a few weeks of waiting for it to be in stock and thinking about it, he was still sure, and so I relented and let him pick up the game. There is a good feeling that comes along with supporting our local game store, Basement Games in Zona Rosa, and the store is heavily into the Warhammer scene, so it was a perfect fit. (Now I just have to convince my wife to let us spend two evenings there per week inste4ad of one!)

About the Box

The Starter Kit comes with everything you need to start playing, including two introductory armies – the Space Marines and the Orks, which must be assembled and painted. The box also comes with the complete rule book, miniaturized down into soft-cover digest size, some dice, a few burst and range templates, and a thin but colorful booklet that gives stats for the included armies, as well as painting guides and other unit information.

The last book also doubles as a “Codex” which is a guide available for each army, and is a must-have item for anyone running an army. Luckily, my local game store loaned me a copy of the Orks Codex, but we don’t have one yet for the Space Marines. The included “codex-lite” seems to have everything we need for the included units, so it will work until we expand beyond our starter armies.

The box contains no maps, map tiles, or terrain of any sort. When I asked about this, they informed me that you could use anything as terrain, and indeed some battles featured entire rooms where the terrain was whatever happened to be lying around. It uses a system of measuring and line of sight that allows for this. There are also plenty of terrain features that can be bought or made. Personally I have had a hankering to play in a Staligrad style camapaign of a series of block by block urban street fighting engagements, so I plan on seeking out or making some awesome urban terrain for a planetary conflict I am calling Planet Stalingrad.. I wonder how the mechanics of the game deal with “destructible” terrain.

We's da Totin' Goffs, meat want!

The Miniatures

The figures come in plastic on sprues like most modern models, and have plastic 1” (or larger) bases. These sets are known for their “ease of construction” and in most cases only one or two gluing were necessary. One thing I am learning about Warhammer is the love of customizability of the armies, and for the orks at least, there were a multitude of heads, arms, and bodies to glue together in whatever combination one preferred. This results in a completely unique army, where even in a group of many of the same unit, each one will look unique. I was surprised about this, and it has become one of my favorite things about the game so far. I relish uniqueness in all things.

The Empire army did not seem to have quite the same level of customizability as the Orks, but we can make up for that with unique painting schemes, like my son has done. He chose the Imperial Space Marines as his army of choice, leaving me with the Orks. I am ok with that choice, and though I usually prefer armies of quality over quantity, I am looking forward to playing with a different strategy than usual. I love these Orks, and have decided my army will be a sub-set of the Goffs who call themselves the Totin’ Goffs. The theme appears to be mainly black/white chessboard pattern. Maybe I will try and come up with a black/white skull symbol.

The Game
So I have never played the game, and really haven’t even broken open the manual other than to peruse the pages, so I have no idea how the game plays. Right now we are in the stage of getting our armies glued and painted, tough we plan to start playing as soon as we can, and paint isn’t required for that, so who knows, we may have a game on soon.

Battling on the Crystal Seas of Planet Stalingrad

Well we had our first game, or at least the first two rounds of The Battle for Planet Stalingrad Phase 1 the Beach head: Capturing Dzherizinsky Nuclear reactor on the Crystal Sea.

Captain Nob-Slaughter charges and takes out an entire squad of Nobs with his power sword. He leads his company by example.

A squad of ork boyz attacks the heavily armed walker and a lucky shot puts it out of commission quickly. The orks rip into it like its dinner time.

Well that was out first game, and it took about an hour and a half, mostly of looking up each rule as it came up. Most of the rules are straight-forward and make a lot of sense. It hard to get used to hit-wound-save and the rules for vehicles get a little confusing, but I think in genereal, it is a game that will be second nature once the rules are internalized. I love the “true line of sight rules:” Put your eye at miniature level, ad see if you can see the enemy target.

There area few areas Im not sure about. like how to keep track of wounds on multiple units, and other fiddly bits, but luckily we will have a crash course in learning the game this Saturday. The son and I will be heading to Basement Games, our local game store (and host of our weekly D&D Encounters) where Saturday is Warhammer Day. Hopefully we will get to play a few battles, even if we are too newb (or our armies are too small) for the tournament.

There you have it. We have opened up a Pandoras Box of fun I can tell already.

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