Thursday, March 18, 2021

Sabre Toothed Lion

The new Rangers of Shadowdeep expansion “Menagerie” calls for all sorts of beasts including lions and tigers and bears (oh my!).  The scenario actually calls for a tiger, which for some reason doesn’t sit right with my slightly grubby 12th century kind of Fighting Fantasy Allansia vision of the Kingdom of Alladore where the game is set. 

I have no idea why a sabre toothed lion makes more sense to me as an exotic animal to find in the setting,  but it does and here we are 

The figure itself is from Northstar and is a crisp one piece casting that’s a joy to paint.  I had a look at some pictures of real sabre toothed lions and they were quite spotty.  I couldn’t make that work - so I started again. 

Base coat is Vallejo Khaki with a drybrush of GW Screaming Skull.  Any warm off white will do. 

Then I added a couple of coats of old GW Flesh wash to bring out the colour. I concentrated it on the rougher parts of the fur. 

That all done I used GW Wyldwood contrast paint to colour the muzzle, add shadows under the tummy and to defund the musculature a bit.  I edged the “mane” and used the paint thinned with medium to do a gradually darkening colour going towards the end of the tail. The face and muzzle got some highlights with Screaming skull again.  

I through a mix of red and wyldwood contrast paint into the mouth. Then picked the teeth out with screaming skull. Agrax Earthshade at the base of the teeth and then a highlight with whatever white I had to hand. Much the same story with the claws.

All in all, a nice model given a quick paint job.  Pleasant to do and none too demanding. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A Tower on a distant planet - Cheap Sci Fi Terrain

A Robot, a squat and a blind psychic walk into a bar. 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. 

The Squat is an old Rogue Trader figure, while the psychic is from the Astropolis Kickstarter.  The Robot is a privately produced model that I picked up via the Oldhammer Facebook group and he is just lovely. 

I picked this up in Lidl for about the price of a pint.  At the price it seemed foolish not to.  I actually picked up two.  With Stargrave just around the corner I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to get some science fiction games in. 

Rangers of Shadowdeep has hit just the right kind of role playing game with miniatures feel that I really like.  I’m hopeful that Stargrave will scratch that itch.  I’m aware it’s more of a competitive skirmish game - but Frostgrave is very easily modded into a semi-RPG,  so I’m cautiously optimistic. 

The kit itself went together in about five minutes and actually scales well with 28mm figures.  To be honest, while it's not perfect - it's actually pretty good even without a lick of paint and wouldn't disgrace any tabletop it was on. 

These guys are old Rogue Trader era Space Marine Scouts painted by my pal, Kriztian Takacs.  I popped them up here to get a sense of scale and they seem to fit right in.  Which reminds me, I must do something to dolly up those bases. 

A long shot

In brief, these were an excellent buy for the money and while I might do something with them in future, they look fine to use as is, for the time being.  I might also need to invest in a new backdrop for my figures.  I can't imagine whatever God forsaken planet this is having blue skies with fluffy white clouds very often. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Boars & Bears!

This bear is partial to bacon sandwiches

The last few weeks have been packed.  Work has been demanding and family life in lockdown is a bit of a juggling process. Add that I'm doing a course at night and the whole thing is getting a little bit overheated.  My gaming for the past little while has been devoted to producing articles for Miniature Wargames and while that is fun, it's nice to do something that is just for my own amusement. 

Rangers of Shadowdeep has been my casual game of choice for a while now.  The latest expansion for the game "Menagerie" involves the players taking on a sinister caravan of evil animal tamers. 

A grumpy bear in pursuit of a boar

The expansion came with a list of animal figures that were required and I wombled over to Northstar Figures to ordered a few.  These bears and the boar are from their Wild West range, but they work perfectly for Rangers of Shadowdeep.  They are lovely clean castings and the customer service from Nick at Northstar is top notch as always. 

I painted these over a couple of evenings while doing other things and I'm quite happy with them. 

The running bear is a big chunk of pewter that has a pleasing heft in the hand. 

Northstar Bear rearing

These required the minimum of prep and were painted using a mixture of Citadel and Vallejo colours.  I undercoated the bears in white, then gave the figure an all over coat of Citadel Contrast Wyldwood (a dark brown).  They then got a drybrush of Citadel Tallarn Flesh all over concentrating on the top down. I then hit the upper parts with a light drybrush of Vallejo British Uniform Highlight (any cream or off white would do). 

The whole thing then got an all over wash of brown wash.  I used Citadel Flesh wash because it was what I had to hand and my Agrax Earth shade was in the other room and I am the laziest man that ever stood in shoe leather.  I let the wash dry over night, then hit the raised portions again with the Vallejo British Uniform Highlight. Added some Vallejo dark wash to the eyes to darken them up a bit and a dab of Citadel Contrast fleshtearers red to the mouth to lighten it a bit. 

Et voila. 

Quite happy with the detail on the face

I'm quite happy with how this bears face turned out.  I wanted to keep the look simple and not too cartoony and I think I succeeded. 


A Boar

The boar was a puzzlement.  I had originally intended to go with something quite close to European boar, but they were quite monotone and also this chap had a much pronounced mohawk than his real world contemporaries. 

Ultimately I decided I'd try something a bit starker than with the bears. Again working from a white undercoat I gave all his fur a lash with some Citadel Contrast Goregrunta Fur.  This did the job like a trooper.  I did his snout and other fleshy bits with Citadel Bugman's Glow. His trotters got a quick dab of Citadel Contrast Skeleton Horde and threw some Citadel Flesh Wash over his snout. I then left him to dry overnight. 

He then got a quick drybrush of  Vallejo British Uniform Highlight on the top parts, just to add a little tonality and bring out the mohawk.  There's probably a name for that part of the boar now that I think of it. 

Making a quick getaway

I highlighted the face and snout with Citadel Tanned Flesh and gave his mouth a little Citadel Contrast Fleshtearers Red. I then highlighted the trotters, tusk and teeeth with Vallejo British Uniform Highlight  and declared victory. 


In one of my madder moments,  I decided that in my copious amounts of free time I would contribute to a noble project that is taking place under the umbrella of Waterloo Uncovered.  This is the building of a massive Waterloo diorama in 1/72.  My contribution is a measy fifty Prussian Landwehr, but it's nice to be a part of something like this.  So while I was waiting for my bears to dry, I kept knocking off a few Prussian fleshtones and overcoats. 

My contribution is a very small one and there will be tens of thousands of figures used in the diorama. If you want to get a proper sense of the scale of this project, uou can see some pictures here at General Picton's blog