Saturday, April 27, 2013

Painted: Marrowslurp, stone troll, and Boss Morbog

Latest from the Old Skull Tribe

A couple more members of the core gang for you today. I'm putting these two together a) for size comparison and b) as so far they have pretty much remained in base-to-base contact through the games of Mordheim I've played with them so far. At least until Morbog died, that is. After that there was really no one around to keep the big fella in line and he took to standing about moping.

Get the flash player here:
Get the flash player here:

I spent a few hours converting the stone troll. The neck is extended and his nose was cut off and redone. The necklace is scratch-made from flexible brass wire flattened in a vice to represent a leather strap. The stones are greenstuff and they have been tied on to the brass strap with thread, which is to say the knots are actually knots. The gloss blood is Tamiya Red Clear, and the eye also was given a gloss varnish. When these figures came out around '93 I thought them too muppety, but later got the bug to do them up in a meaner, more menacing style to at least mitigate the muppety flavor a little. I intentionally painted it in tones that might actually serve as camouflage it it's stony natural environment, and it was a limited-palette exercise. I was using some Brian Froud illustrations as inspiration for the colors and that's where I picked up the idea for the necklace as well. I should say I also gathered reference for the meet and bone and surely wouldn't have achieved it as well I did without having done so. Despite the lack of attention-grabbing colors the figure won best conversion at the Kublacon painting awards in 2010 and a group of him and several dozen orcs won a gold master class award.

As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The end of Google Reader has me confused

And details of my exit strategy

In case you hadn't heard, Google is closing down Reader July 1st. I just spent the a half-hour exporting my blogs out of Google Reader and into The Old Reader, Reader's "retro-clone," if you will. I tried Feedly first but found it trying to intuit my needs and failing embarrassingly. Anyhow, I'm puzzled by Google's move and wondering, what are you doing about it, if anything?

The source of my confusion is Google's "Follow" blogger feature. I follow a ton of blogs publicly and you can likewise find a sizable majority of my subscribers—perhaps you among them?—in the Follow widget to the right. Whenever I "Follow" the blog automatically gets added to Reader. Having the blogs there made the choice of what reader to use easy; it worked just fine so why go to the trouble of leaving? But now we're being ushered out. Well, when I exported my list of blogs out of Reader and into Old Reader I have all the blogs I'm following there too now, but for any new blogs I start to follow I take it I will have to take the extra step of logging into Old Reader and subscribing there too.

There's the confusion. Did you catch that? I said I'll have to subscribe twice. Won't that create a mess? Won't it mean I'll essentially be counted twice in your subscriber numbers?

Also, if people aren't using reader for reading won't they be less inclined to go ahead and Follow through Google? Will that mean that we'll see the ration of hidden subscribers to public followers slide in the direction of hidden followers? Won't that be bad for both us bloggers and Google?

I take it the "Reading List" feature that appears on the Blogger dashboard will still be there, but obviously it only has blogs I'm "Following" and not those non-Blogger blogs that don't have the "Follow feature." Obviously the value of the "Reading List" is zero (0) if it can't show me 100% of the blogs I subscribe to. I mean, right?!?

Am I the only one stressing out about this or can anyone offer a link to good info about the issue or a good discussion of it? I seem to be missing something.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blogroll additions

Some blogs fall silent and others rise up. Shout outs to these ones which have been earning my attention lately. Some of these I've actually been following for some time, and others I since only recently. You'll find them in the blogroll starting today.

Here are several in the OSR vein:

  • Hill Cantons—long-running and always top quality
  • Ten Foot Pole—features often scathing reviews of PDF modules. Good for whether you want a good module or the plentiful lessons in how not to suck.
  • Hack & Slash
  • Gorgonmilk—lately this guy has been leading the Petty Gods project. Check it out!

Here are several on the Oldhammer tip:

  • Eldritch Epistles—pure heroin-grade eye-candy for those of us who came of fantasy-gaming-age in the golden era of Citadel. It's the real thing. Steve Casey, the guy churning out awesome post after awesome post there, has privileged access to Bryan Ansell's personal collection of figures. No question one of the finest collection of fantasy miniatures under one roof the world over.
  • Erny's Place
  • Goblin Lee's Miniatures Blog—Goblin Lee is working on a vintage Citadel collection that really has to be seen to be believed. If you ever wondered why Slann and Pygmies are hard to find, you can stop. It's because this punk got there first and took them all. I have no idea how he's painted so many either, and really well, too. It's really a marvel.
  • Warhammer for Adults—This is where I found out about Goblin Lee as it happens.
  • Blue's Marauding Miniatures

And are a few more with various other bents:

  • Vintage Wargaming—In the past several years I've added 1060s-80s historical wargaming to my list of interest and have been reading Featherstone. Vintage Wargaming is nice place to start for any with similar inclinations.
  • Broadswords & Beasts—has a focus not unlike that here at BftD dungeons, painting vintage fantasy miniatures
  • The Kev Adams Challenge—all Kev Adams, all the time! And they've shared my own Kev Adams stuff there when I've tipped them off.

And to these bloggers, thanks for the reads and the pics and good luck with your projects!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

From the Frozen North

Painted: Frost Giant
Usually I'm several years behind showing figures I've painted. This one, however, I painted a month ago. I should have been working on my hobgoblins, which my plan shows come next, but one-off monsters like this giant sometimes easier to fit in and less stressful after a day's work at the office.
Get the flash player here:
Manufacturer: Ral Partha
Line: Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night
Figure: 01-057 Frost Giant
Base Markings: RAL PARTHA 1977
Release date: 1977
Sculptor: Tom Meier
Date painted: 2013


There are a couple canonical variations of frost giant skin and hair colors described in the Monster Manual and went with blue hair and "dead white" skin. I primed this figure in Dupli-Color dark gray, gave it a touch up in a similar shade of paint to get all the crevices and then primed again in white before painting. I did the fur as a series of washes over the light gray primer layer and then when back in with drybrushing and painted highlights. For the hair and the frost effect on the base I used a shimmery blue paint from the Ral Partha AD&D range which has miraculously survived the past few decades perfectly intact, one of only two such from a set of six or eight colors. I also glazed parts of the girdle over and mixed with metallic paint for a cold sky/earth reflection. I'm really happy with how these effects turned out. I painted the eyes black with pin-prick white reflections but might go back and paint them blue to match the canon. Overall, though I did put in some shimmering effects and spent a bit of time polishing up the girdle, I was trying not to get too fancy and to get this painted up fairly quickly.
As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.