26 July 2017

Another Half-orc -- and more in the future?

I ended up ordering the second figure that I had been considering for a half-orc shaman. Shawoman? Maybe priestess is better. She looks more refined than the connotations "shaman" usually carry. And to be honest, with her attire, the jar in her hand, and the staff -- I'd be half tempted to use her as a priestess of some sort with the Merienburders.

I had initially wanted to replace the jar, but it would require completely re-sculpting the hand. Not something I'm in the mood to do right now, but I can always pick up a second miniature and do that in the future.

Speaking of the future, two things on my mind regarding half-orcs today. One is that Black Tree is doing another 50% off sale and I'm tempted to double my half-orcs. I'd like more variety, but I do really like these figures. So that got me thinking about head-swaps, which, in turn got me thinking about... Two is that I should try sculpting some oalf-orc heads aesthetically resembling (as best as my meagre sculpting skills will allow) that could be used on some of the plastic human kits to turn them into half-orcs. I'm thinking along the lines of some of the Frostgrave plastics, but possibly also plastics or bits from Perry, Gripping Beast, and/or Fireforge. Maybe a big mix of all of those for a more irregular look.

At any rate, back to the new priestess, from Reaper, alongside samples from the rest of the clan:

She's a little taller than the average troopers, but that's OK. She's also standing more upright than any of the others as well, including the larger shaman and warrior.

25 July 2017

Half-orc Shaman (pt.2)

I added a little "On the Painting Table" list to the top of the sidebar to the right.

Thought it would be fun to list what is likely to be coming up next. Not a guarantee, as I sometimes start on something then put it away for a year or six.

I finished "Freed," the half-orc shaman. Not the greatest photo, but...

I've been working on a little fluff/backstory for him that may emerge at some point, too.

22 July 2017

Half-orc Shaman

Picked up the figure I want to use for a half-orc shaman. Another Bob Olley sculpt for Reaper. The issue I've run into, though, is that he won't fit on a 20mm base and barely fits on a 25mm base. He's tentatively on a 40mm. Not sure how I will ultimately base him yet.

Still not certain on colors, either. Quite a busy figure.

Well, I do have one paintng & basing idea...

19 July 2017

Load 'o Bones

My Bones 3 KS figures came in. Plus I picked up a pack of 3 of the Bob Olley orcs in Bones to see if they would fit with the recently nearly completed half orc unit. I thought I would post a few comparison pics. I didn't get a ton, but this isn't pics of everything either.

The best two figures from the "Lords of Undeath" are the two big guys. The halfling is OK, and I'm not sure I will ever use the elf & dwarf (not pictured.) The latter three are skeletal, but have pristine clothing, equipment, and hair -- which seems a bit odd. The two big ones shown here compared to skeletal ogres from Krakon Games, RPE, and the one I picked up (via FB) from a small personal project someone had cast. I think these will all work pretty well together!

Bob Olley orc in Bones material next to a couple of the half orcs. Nice figure, but unfortunately hot certain I like them together. I also realized I should show a scale pic of the half orcs next to my standard reference.

One of the most fun minis from the KS. GOREMAW. Sort of an impulse buy, a ridiculous miniature I just had to have & paint. I think it will be a big nasty summoned by Fomorians & others. Pic next to the Fomorians/Fimir, plus the (formerly) largest critter in their arsenal -- Reaper bog demon.

Reaper is "super sizing" their giants. I've got mixed feelings on this. I felt the fire giant queen I previously painted (second pic) was a great size for a giant, that bucked the trend of "bigger is better." Maybe hypocritical of me to say that given some of the enormous models I've picked up and/or painted the past few years. But in terms of background/setting, etc. I really do like the smaller ones -- and she was really well sculpted (and a nice casting, give that she's also in Bones!)

So here are some of the "super sized" fire giants, next to the old-ish Citadel giant, and the earlier version of the fire giant queen mentioned above. Definitely going to need some work on the bendy issues, but looking forward to seeing these painted up. Someday.

Also in the package is a restock of conversion fodder for my Fomorians. So those are back on teh menu now that I finally have more bodies to work with!

16 July 2017

Almost Done (Still Half-Orcs)

Done with Rotghar's Headhunters -- the half-orcs -- other than adding a standard and possibly some insignia on some of the shields. So... I guess 98% done?


A few more half-orcs done. Just five more left -- including the three command figures. Plus I need to do a banner (and maybe go back and paint designs on the shields.)

I realize this may not be exciting, given that it's just another handful of the same stuff I've been working on. But it's motivation for me as painting time (or any free time at all) becomes increasingly scarce and everything else becomes more stressful.
I also bought a figure to use for a shaman on eBay, who should be here later this week.

On a longer term, more ambitions note, I think I'd like to get & paint a small unit of half-orc scouts, and a second formed unit of melee troops.  That should make a nice little mercenary force. Something a little more than a single unit, but still small-ish. Right now I'm not buying any new figures though, so I'll have to paint up something else that I already have in my possession.

I'm thinking more about the fringe mercenaries, outcasts, and so on. Still haven't decided what to work on next, though.

09 July 2017

More Half-Orcs - The Brutes

I previously mentioned thinking about adding a couple of larger figures to the half-orcs. I like the idea of variety in the unit. (And I'm still considering what to do about smaller figures to mix in.) So here's the two Reaper orcs used as half-orcs...

Now I will continue with the rest of the Black Tree (half) orcs to wrap up the unit... for now.

Painting these has got my mind wandering about my Zogmar ideas. They will work well as mercenaries for Marienburg, and allies for the Fomorians, but I'm also thinking back to the half-baked* idea of a misfit warlord assembling an army of equally misfit troops. I think some half-orcs are perfect for that.

*Or half-written. I've got a great deal of a game/campaign setting in my head, I just need to keep writing it down and get it into some sort of presentable form. My plans are still to create a complete oldschool campaign book. Probably a static web site as well. I am still dying to actually play some games. Thinking about playing some RPG campaigns too. So frustrating when I'm stuck trying to spontaneously squeak out 10-30 minute allotments of painting time at odd hours of the day!

Epic Disasters of the Wargaming World


It doesn't impact this blog, but the recent Photobucket debacle has caused quite a disturbance. That includes my gaming forum posts, painting logs, etc. at places like Warhammer-Empire, Lead Adventures, and the Oldhammer Forum. Most of that was the exact same stuff as here -- so it's not like I "lost" all record of my painting & gaming adventures -- but it is a major hassle. Not that I've got much time to do anything about it, so I'm going to host images elsewhere, and just keep going.

To be honest, I can't believe Photobucket has survived this long. They were once a good service that I would have been willing to pay for, but they've become a growing train wreck in recent years and the thought of paying $400/year for their service is laughable.


More work travel, more non-gaming/painting responsibilities... so not much fun going on here. As always, I hope to change that -- and hope to post more interesting things here. I actually just snuck in a good half hour of painting... but not much to show for it at the moment. I'm hoping to get a little more time later. So... maybe actual miniatures stuff soon?

Age of Zogmar

Been thinking about my theoretical gaming setting, campaign, and ideas again...

I guess you could call it an in-game rationalization for the type of gaming I'd like to be doing.

04 July 2017

Half-Orcs, America and its Gods

Happy 4th to my fellow Americans. (This commercial never gets old.)

Slow progress on the half orcs.

As I've been painting them, I've been thinking that I'd like to add some more half-orcs of varying appearance and size. Initially I was thinking about some smaller half-orcs, but tonight it struck me that I might slip in one or two of the larger Tre Manor brutes that I like using for conversions/Formorication. So...

Hard to tell from the pic, but he's noticeably larger than the rest of them. I took this pic with the big guy on a 40x40, but after cleaning him up and looking at him in the unit, I opted to glue him to a 20x40 base instead and it seems to keep a more consistent density in the unit. I may throw a second Reaper-Manor orc in there too.

So, I'm still on the hunt for other options. I've previously mentioned the Scotia-Grendel orcs, but I think I will hold off on those for a unit of their own. They've got a different aesthetic, almost like an Ian Miller influenced orc. So I'd like to get a bunch, but keep them as a separate half-orc project.* As far as mixing with these, I think I will go back to Reaper for some of the old Bob Olley sculpted orcs. In fact, I think I may pick up a shaman, also by Olley, because I really like this figure...

I also spotted this half-orc while browsing the site, and I think she will end up in the unit too...

As far as some other, smaller half-orcs, I'm still wondering if maybe some of the old Asgard orcs might fit the role... http://www.thevikingforge.net/25mm-fantasy-orcs.html

*FWIW, I 'm getting further into the idea of creating specific mercenary companies or regiments rather than just painting figures and calling them "mercenaries" and being done with it. I'm OK keeping all the generic landsknechts I've got on that basis. But I think my new projects will all have more to them. So the current batch of half-orcs are getting a backstory developed as I paint, similar to the way I've been working on the Scrobbleton Jackrabbit Trading Company for the hobbits. This has a secondary effect of giving me an outlet for putting down some of the geography and cultural background that I've had in my head.

I need to get a Czernobog character. I loved him in the book, I think the TV series did a pretty decent job with him so far.

02 July 2017


No painting or gaming lately. Just a few necromancy funnies I stumbled across...

Hopefully I can get back to painting at some point in the near future. I'm itching to finish up those half-orcs, and still have a big list of other things I'd love to work on!

20 June 2017

Further Half-Orc Testing, Fathers Day, Bacon & Duct Tape

I finished the two half-orcs I started with, because I wanted to see how they would turn out. Pretty happy with the results. Still haven't decided on a regiment name or emblem, but I do know I want red for what little color they have.

This weekend was Fathers Day. I'm happy to see that, if nothing else, my five year old daughter has caught on to my sense of humor. She apparently picked out the card on her own, and when told it wasn't a Fathers Day card, explained she would just cross it out and turn it into one. So proud. :)

This weekend was also the "Duck Tape Festival" in nearby Avon, Ohio. Did you know they have bacon duct/Duck tape? I do believe the ducts in the basement need some repairs. I think they may be in bacon tape...

Also, I as a Fathers Day gift to myself, I just purchased the Shadow War rulebook. Should be here by the end of the week. I loved Necromunda, and had semi-recently been looking into INQ-28. Also still interested in small games of Rogue Trader. I think Shadow War may be a good comprimise, plus it's a "current" game. Not that I actually play any games in the real world. But at least I will have a new rulebook to fantasize and dream about playing. Should be here by the end of the week.

05 June 2017

Half-Orc Test Colors

I want the half orcs to have a diverse range of skin colors. Here are the first two test figures, along side the usual "control" figure.

04 June 2017

In Which Our Hero Reflects Upon His Travels, Art, Family, and Half-Orcs

Not much new painting lately. I've been travelling a lot the past few weeks and just got home yesterday.

One week was in North Carolina, taking in the sights...

And the sites...

I was doing field surveys, and the site I was working at was one of the creepiest I've done. Power was off, and one unit was a former diner that reeked of rancid fryer oil and gave me nighmare visions of some of my favorite films... Like Return of the King. You know the scene where Frodo was stumbling in the dark through webs in Shelob's lair? Been there. You know that scene where Aragorn, Gimli, and the elf are walking through the Paths of the Dead and the floor makes a crunching sound? Well... replace the skulls with giant cockroaches & their corpses. I eventually went out to the hardware store to supplement the flashlight clamped onto my clipboard with a headlamp and ended up deciding that the suspended roach corpses made me think less of Lord of the Rings, and more like that scene where they find the colonists in Aliens... but reproduced on an insect scale...

So that was North Carolina. My prior impression from travelling through NC was pretty much summed up as "strip-malls." Good to know it's not so one dimensional. They also have empty strip malls with movie sets reproduced with insects.

Eventually, I had to say goodbye to my field office...

...and head back home. For a short time. Before heading out again. But next up was my upgraded Tulsa field office...

Sadly, no bucket to sit on, nor an actual table. But this bit of casework was on casters, so I could wheel it around like a mobile work station -- although I had to stand & hunch over it. The site was a large, single, relatively clean unit, with electricity and Muzak. Which I cranked up loud. So, once again, it was an upgrade.

Tulsa was really the best city I've visited since taking the new job. It felt surprisingly familiar, and the people were really friendly. I got some decent BBQ, ate at a vintage diner on Rt. 66...

And best of all was that between working my ass off the first few days, and the site being a bit easier than I had planned for, I was done a little ahead of schedule. Usually on work trips, I work as much as I can, grab some food, pass out, wake up and repeat, until my flight home. This time I managed half an afternoon for a side trip. An hour north of Tulsa is Bartlesville, home of Phillips 66 and Price Tower.

The latter was originally the HQ of the H.C. Price company, and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I managed to get there just in time for the last tour. As with all Wright buildings, seeing it in photos is one thing, but being there in person is another. That's true of all architecture. Its nature is spatial and experiential. Architecture is not two dimensional, and it's meant for human interaction. But there's something about Wright buildings... something good and something bad. But profound, in either case. I stepped out of the car and was in awe.

While I was there I picked up a few things from the gift shop. (The tower is now home to an arts center, with the rest of the building serving as a hotel and restaurant.) I picked up a couple of books on the architect Bruce Goff, who lived in the tower for nine years, taught at O(K)U. As the receptionist was ringing up my purchases, she asked if I would like a list of addresses for the homes that Goff designed in the area. So I went on an architectural stalking spree through Bartlesville, checking out Goff homes and was well rewarded.

I'm as much a fan of Goff's work as I am of Wright's, but more than that I have a great respect for him as a person and his influence on architecture & education. (Whereas Wright was kind of a dick.) And similar to driving around Oak Park, IL, driving around Bartlesville, OK there was a really fun sense of a treasure hunt, spotting the houses as real gems without even having to look at the address or Google Maps. It was obvious where there was a Goff house, even among some of the other Prarie Style & Mid-Century Moderns.

My flights were routed through Dallas-Fort Worth, and the return trip had what turned out to be a slightly extended (but not too bad) layover. DFW terminal D was pretty cool, as I was entertained by the sound sculpture there.

I thought it was a shame that despite the huge number of people there, everyone was sort of pretending like this giant blue thing wasn't there. Except for a few kids. And their parents who only ackowledged it to the extent that they wanted them to stop enjoying it, I guess. Which is sad, because it seems the whole purpose of the thing is to provide a bit of playfulness in the airport terminal.

Also, there is a candy shop right next to it.

Back home again, as of yesterday. Settled in a bit. Had a pretty easy-going day today, and amid catching up on all the mundane chores I needed to take care of, my daughter (age 5) asked if we she could "make something with you, like those statues in the basement." That would equally refer to miniatures and vinyl/resin/sculpted custom toys. Figuring the latter was the best option, I initially thought about starting her on sculpting, but decided upon some blank vinyl, acrylic paints, and some butterfly cut-outs from an unfinished decorating project at our old house.

This was a fun start ( I hope) to getting her into painting stuff -- whether its toys or miniatures. :) The important part being that we spent part of the afternoon sitting together at the table and painting something.

I also prepped a half-orc (sold as orcs by Black Tree) mercenary unit to paint tonight...

Wait, WTF is going on here? Oh... yeah... after getting everything ready to paint tonight... fuzzy primer. So into the jar of Simple Green they went, not long after being primed. The primer was also pretty tacky, so I guess that's why it was so easy to scrub it all off the minis just a half hour (new record?) after being dropped into the Simple Green.

Ahhh... that's better. Used the last of my Krylon (grey) primer instead of the crappy -- in spite of online recommendations -- Rustoleum (black) primer. And despite my worries (and some posing acrobatics) I got them ti all fit in a ranked up unit on 20mm bases! But no paint tonight, still waiting on that glue to dry.

(Speaking of mercenaries, if I can make it to another convention or gaming event, I've got what I believe is a great idea for a fun multi-player game! More on that in the future....)

So there it is... half orcs on the horizon. But possibly not for another week or so. I'll be heading out of town again. But this time for a (hopefully) fun & relaxing family camping trip instead of work.

23 May 2017

Old Frost Giant

I added one last RP Meier giant to my collection. I was trying to get it before "Big April" ended, but missed out. Still, it didn't take too long to track on down for a reasonable price.

And a shot of the three RP Meier giants together.

...so far. Should I try to get the rest? I think these are some of the best of his giants from that period.

General painting note... I added a thin blue ink wash (Superman style?) to the newest giants hair & beard, and
think it really helped give the black/grey a bit of life and extra punch & contrast!

21 May 2017

Halfling Owlgryph

Halfling owlgryph! It's a metal Reaper Miniatures figure, with the top half of the (tiny) dwarf rider swapped out for the top half of a Westfalia halfman. I swapped the halfling's sword for the dwarf's spear/lance, though, as I thought it was a more appropriate weapon


13 May 2017

Failed Gaming

My plans for going to the Oldhammer in the North event have fallen apart.

Last weeks Game Day plans also got screwed up. Couldn't get out of the house until several hours later than planned, and had to return early.

That's been the only gaming that I've managed to even try top plan so far this year, and there's nothing else on the horizon.

Travelling long distances to game isn't practical, and quite frankly, as the sole source of gaming -- that's pretty stupid to begin with.

Attempts at generating interest in gaming locally have pretty much failed.

Solo gaming is dead in the water with nowhere to play now.

After getting chased out of my initial painting spot at the new house, the basement is running into just as many, if not more problems.

So... morale is at a new low. I'm even starting to think about selling all my gaming shit again. One of the things holding me back (aside from nostalgia) is the finality if it. If I unload my gaming shit again -- that's it. Done for good.

09 May 2017

Disciples Aaaaaalmost Done

Got the four command figures done for the Disciples, but all my photos turned out pretty crappy. I have two more troopers to dig out and paint, then I will get a good final photo. I have a second command set, but not sure I will paint them anytime soon. 

Starting to think about what to paint next...

(Although nothing is certain...)

06 May 2017

Game Day & Disciples WIP

Finally had my first games of 2017, at my old gaming group's semi-regular Game Day. Unfortunately, I couldn't get out of the house until two hours after I had planned, and then needed to leave before the last round of games. But I got to jump into game of WWII air combat, and play -- and win (for the first time?) a game of Circus Maximus. And as always, it's good to see old friends. I wish I was able to do this more, and not be so rushed.

 Later in the evening, I got a chance to base the cultists I have been working on. A bunch of the Disciples of the Red Dead Redemption troopers, an old (chaos?) wizard, and one of the new "oldhammer" figures (this one from Ramshackle Games) I got at the last Oldhammer USA day. I thought the latter two would fit well with the unit, and I'm not disappointed!

I'm still in the process of painting the four command figures from the Disiples unit.