30 November 2020

Unexpectd Bot Progress

Two former security bots recruited (/liberated from their corporate jobs) into the Meat Hating Robot Pirates. Not sure who made these figures, I got them second hand quite a while ago. Still working on an actual ship & crew name...

Works in progress. Almost done with the next two bots. The cruciform "face" on the harvester bot was silver at first, but I think the black works better. These two are from Effin Cool Miniatures' Metamorphosis Alpha range.

As I paint each of the Meat Hating Robot Pirates I'm mentally working out their backstories. I'll eventually post words & pics for the whole crew on here. These two are early members of the crew and rebelled against & escaped from the rogue trader they served. I like the idea of them as a team. There's a third figure from the pack who may join them (below.)

On deck.

25 November 2020

In the Grim Back to the Future, There is Only... GOTHMOWER

Finally starting in to my return to sci-fi...

Procrastination has ended (for now) on the Meat Hating Robot Pirates. Got the urge to paint an assassin, a kitbashed hoverbot (based on a kids yogurt pouch lid), and a golden (robo) monkey.

On the meatier pirate front, I painted a test figure for my next Old World Army Challenge force. This year I'll be doing some colorful Rogue Trader era space elf pirates, with aesthetics & color palettes based on the art of Pascale Blanche and that whole Gothmower thing I talked about previously.
I haven't hammered out details yet, but it's not all pirates... I still plan on an AdMech faction, and I'm really getting into the idea of a backwater planetary defense force, civilians, etc. 

24 October 2020

Dwarfs and Stuff

 I have completed 4/10 dwarfs for the two month sqaud challenge. More Marauder Miniatures dwarfs.


I've been a bit distracted by other things, such as...


My 10th wedding anniversary. I had planned a nice get-away trip -- but Covid. So instead the love of my wife got assorted trinkets -- the dinosaur suit seemed like a big success!

I've been partially back at the office for a couple of months now. Me and the guy at the desk next to me alternate weeks working in & out of the office. (Attempting to limit numbers and proximity in the building.) On the low wall that separates our spaces, he's got a bunch of finger puppets that look like hands. I've been messing with them each week before I leave, both to entertain myself and hopefully him as well. Bring a bit of levity to an awkward work situation. This week I went a bit overboard. I bought some of the finger puppets as well and sculpted & painted on a pair of them, inspired by a favorite movie monster. I hope he gets the film reference!


A while ago, I got a few blank "Sank the Child" art toys from artist Huiyang Guo aka Sank Toys to do with as I pleased. It's taken me far too long to get around to finishing one, but I've recently got some solid work on the first one.

15 October 2020

A Little Bit of Orctober

Not many orcs or half orcs left to paint these days, but I still have a few Midlam Miniatures hobgoblins to add to the half-orc/hob-orc contingent. So far this Orctober I've painted a leader and a shaman. 

I have a few more left. They're duplicates that I lan on converting to add some variety. Not sure whether I will get to them this month or not.

06 October 2020

Giant Forest Troll

Done! I was intimidated before painting this, but had a lot of fun with it. From the Sandtorm Miniatures Kickstarter & Satyr Art Studio.

30 September 2020

Squad Challenge - Dwarfs?

Last year after the Old World Army Challenge, I learned there was a smaller, more relaxed "off-season" challenge in Oct. & Nov. in which any of the OWAC participants who wanted to paint a 10 person squad or unit. I ended up doing double-double duty last year and painted 24 half-orcs which also coincided with Orctober. Doubleplusgood!

This year I've been looking at a couple of options, but a new one jumped out at me today and I thought I would elaborate a little with a group photo.

Similar to the sea & wood elves, half-orcs, trolls, fomorians and other minor factions, I've had a small dwarf sub-faction developing for many years. In my mind, they're much more an integral part of the Marienburg forces (which are largely mercenary anyway)... but I've always had a thought to expand them to a more fully developed (yet small) faction.

Here's the state of things right now.

(click to enlarge)

Handguns, pistols, and a couple of crossbows.


Pike/spear in back, dwarf-style zweihanders up front.

Light artillery in back, sword & buckler skirmishers in front.

Yes, we have a mage. Or at least a wise elder.

So on to the possible challenge figures...

Primed & ready figures. I'm thinking about adding to the pike/spear regiment for the 10 figure challenge. In terms of the rest of the force I've got waiting in the wings (or bins) I have the actual Marauder cannon/siege gun, more artillery crew, a few more (duplicate) command figures for the spear/pike regiment(s), 6 (I think) of the White Knight dwarf spear/pike, and a few odds and ends. Maybe not quite enough to round out the force the way I would like, but it will still get me closer.

Confession: I still view these as distinctly mercenary and at some distant point in the future wouldn't mind doing a small, more "traditional" dwarf clan contingent as well.

29 September 2020

Trollwives & Giant Forest Troll

Drewtember continues.... Trollwives from Satyr Art Studio are done.

Now I'm making solid progress on the giant forest troll from Sandstorm Miniatures. Not sure it will be 100% done by the end of the month, but I'd rather run late than rush it.

13 September 2020

Sci-Fi Future

I've had on & off plans for a return to sci-fi painting & gaming. There have been several project or potential projects brewing for years now, and I think I may not only move ahead with some/all of them, but I'm going to try to tie them all together.

Let me start with the brainstorm I had over the weekend on this topic. It all started with the Gothmower.

Yes, Gothmower. I bought a new electric lawnmower towards the end of last Summer. The start button, for some reason, looks like a green coffin. I usually listen to music while mowing, and last time I decided I should honor the Gothmower by listening to some music in that theme. Because I am of a certain age, the first band that came to mind was Bauhaus. Turns out I don't really like most of their music anymore. So this week I put together a playlist from another suitable band...

That went much better. I hadn't listened to ASF for a long time, but this was inspiring. The lawn didn't stand a chance.

As I rocked out and mowed, thoughts drifted to painting and gaming. What if I started with Rogue Trader as a base, and then drifted off into my own cobbled together crazy space-opera setting/theme, sort of like I started with Warhammer but made it my own Althammer. As the heat and music kept my mind drifting around, I remembered that Rogue Trader was already a bit of an "open sandbox". The 40k setting didn't start getting fleshed out with tedious officialdom until later editions. So I won't really be diverging -- sort of a retro-hammer sci-fi thing.

But I'm not sure how much Rogue Trader I will actually be playing. In fact, right now I'm on the hunt for some solo rules. I just bought Five Parsecs from Home and will be reading through the rules this week. I also have a few others on my radar. But eventually I'd like to play some games with live opponents someday, too.

So here's a brief summary of the projects/plans that I'd like to pull together:

  • Meat Hating Robot Pirates. Previously mentioned, and I've already collected quite a few 'bots.
  • Rogue Trader Eldar. They were my first RT/40k figures, before I even bought the rules. I just liked the figures. As happened a lot, I sold them in college. But I have been working on collecting figures for next year's Old World Army Challenge, which is opening up for 40k as well as fantasy.
  • Spaven. Cheese Stealers. Not sure I'll go any further with them. Maybe a few odd figures if I get inspired in the future.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus. I've been planning an AdMech Kill Team force. So I will hopefully break my block on building & painting the figures.
  • Miscellany. Civilians, mercenaries, beasts... I don't know. I'm sure I'll add some oddball stuff in at some point.
  • Gaming surface & terrain. Still thinking about this a bit. Thinking about a dark alien world look like on the Spaven bases, but also doing some sort of semi-modular starship/building tiles -- along with all the accessories.

Only one robot painted so far.

Some of the Cheese-Stealer Cult.

Eldar on deck.


Trollkids done. I made some painting errors, and then trying to fix it seemed to work at first, but then resulted in somewhat Muppet-y colors. I guess I can be OK with that. More Drewtember figures from Satyr Art Studio. I just put down the first base coats of color on the trollwives.

As I was painting them, I kept hearing Ron Weasley saying, "eeew, troll bogies" in my head. 😆

08 September 2020

Upsized Giant

My first completed Drewtember figure is the recently released cloud giant, a tribute to the old Ral Partha figure by Tom Meier -- which happens to be one of my favorite oldschool miniatures. Both together, Drew/Satyr Art Studio on left, Tom/Partha on the right.


Besides painting, one of my joys has been the enjoyment of our modest gardens - both flower and vegetable. At times it's a bit of a train-wreck due to the neighborhood wildlife and neighborhood fungus plague, but we've managed to pull through. The most plentiful of our "crops" has been one of the basil plants that's grown to an insane size, and three hot pepper plants. I've been making and freezing (or giving away to friends) pesto made from the former, and recently I've been experimenting with hot sauces for the latter. This past weekend's production, in addition to the painted giant:

31 August 2020


In recent years I've jumped onto a lot of painting challenges. I just finished my second Old World Army Challenge. Most of the rest are monthly challenges like Orctober, Deadcember, etc.

After a painting slump in August, I'm working up some motivation for September. I just received the Satyr Art Studio tribute to Tom Meier's old cloud giant figure. I've also received Lempo the giant forest troll from Sandstorm Miniatures, and the trollwives & trollkids, also from Satyr, a few months ago. All sculpted by Drew Williams. Thus...


I know... Even more contrived than most of the others. Whetever. I have a bunch of his recent sculpts, I'm going to challenge myself to paint them this month. Good enough for me. ;)

Trollwives & Trollkids

Cloud Giant next to his inspiration from Ral Partha.

Lempo from Sandstorm Miniatures. As much as I hate to do it, one arm will need to be painted separately.

Maybe a bit hard to see, but the tiny baby birds in the nest in Lempo's antlers have their beaks open ready to feed while (presumably) mamma bird looks on. Little details like this are one of several reasons why I'm a a huge fan of Drew's sculping.

Oldschool trolls & giants on my desk? I'd better replenish my stock of 'shrooms.

10 August 2020

Scotia Grendel Orcs

Quick paint on a pair of orcs from Scotia Grendel (formerly by Black Tree's LotR range) to see how they compare to some of the other figures I've got. Both are leaders from the command packs. On the left is a Greater Orc (Uruk) on a 25mm base. On right is a Stygian Orc on a 20mm base.

(Click to enlarge)

Second pic is a comparison... Citadel plastic handgunner (my usual scale standard 😉), Reaper, Scotia Grendel, Midlam, Grenadier/Mirliton, Black Tree, really old Citadel, and Scotia Grendel.

06 August 2020

Last of the Low Rollers

It's time to wrap up my Sellswords and Spellslingers campaign. I've learned, I've made mistakes, and it's time for the Low Rollers to be retired so I can start fresh. They did better than I expected in the first two of the "winding down" scenarios, I thought for sure this one would be their end. Behold, the dread Thunder Lizard! And since I only have one lizard folk painted, I proxied cultists instead because what sort of madmen would worship such a vile beast....

Although the Low Rollers did suffer one fatality to the Big Lizard in My Back Yard, the ferocious Doc McStuffin's sidekick did fall pretty quickly. Per the Low Rollers modus operandi, as soon as the big baddie was taken out, there was a consistent stream of failed activation rolls and the scene quickly flooded with villains. I threw the second Thunder Lizard into the mix in place of a wandering monster since there's no wandering monster specified in this scenario, and also because I was disappointed that more of the heroes weren't mangled/eaten by the first one

By the end of the scenario, there were twice as many opponents on the table. I ran out of cultists and has to start tossing orcs into the fray.

Although I was hoping for a heroic yet fatal end game, I was OK with the dramatic way things turned out. Youbie died while fighting the original Thunder Stuffie, and P-Stash delivered the killing blow. By the time he got to his friend, she was flat out dead. But he wasn't going to leave her behind. He shouldered her body and ran towards Stabbie the shaman, and their new recruit, Wad.

By that time the second, more serious looking Thunder Lizard had arrived nearby. Wanting to settle things in a heroic blaze of glory, Stabbie tried to cook the lizard (failed) and Wad tried to fill it full of arrows (also failed) so it was up to P-Stash to run in and save the day fisticuffs style. Almost. He crippled the cold blooded beast, but failed to deliver the final blow.

Wad, unexpectedly showing a sense of loyalty, bravery, and honor towards his new friends, charged into assured death to avenge and rescue his brave companion. In a fit of rage, he stabbed the crap out of the unsuspecting dino and brought him down in short order.

But that was only the start of his work. Six more cultists showed up on the scene and (due to shitty activation roles yet again...) they charged rapidly from the far corner of the battle and surrounded the strong archer. Despite the six-on-one odds, Wad managed to quickly butcher the cultists, grab P-Stash's comatose body, and meet up with Stabbie (who was carrying the corpse of Youbie) and flee to safety.

So that's the dramatic finale. Two casualties, one dead the other comatose. P-Stash will survive, and although Youbie is technically dead, the group has plenty of unspent wealth to resurrect Youbie.

But I'll leave that all behind for now. I'd like to start fresh, though the newcomer -- Wad -- may make an appearance in a potential group of next (anti)heroes...

Neville, Zeek, Wad, and Tommir

04 August 2020

Death of a Necromancer

The Low Rollers wandered up to the Necromancer's tower, and though beset by challenges, they defeated her without too much trouble.

Moments after the fall of the Necromancer. Just a simple stroll home now, right?
(The square to the right represents the first floor of the tower)

Then things got complicated. Although some of the skeletons crumbled into heaps of bones, all of those in or near the tower were freshly invigorated, gaining in strength. As the heroes tried to make their escape, new foes, ghouls and skeletons, flowed into the area. Was the spirit of the Necromancer still powerful and angry? Did the Necromancer's tower itself hold some sort of malignant magic? Was fate punishing the four heroes for their unjustified murder of an elderly practitioner of arcane magics who was simply pursuing her studies in a remote study in the wilderness?

By the time the valiant murder crew left the scene of their assassination, an amassed horde of 27 skeleton warriors and 8 ghouls had arrived on site.

03 August 2020

Back to Sellswords and Painted Some Rabble

Painted some fresh rabble...

It's been a while since I last played Sellswords and Spellslingers but I finally got in a game. Since this warband was my "learning the rules" group, I wanted to wind down their campaign by throwing a couple of horrible scenarios at them. By that I mean I would try to kill them and see if they could survive. Sort of like 2020 for toy soldiers in a fantasy setting.

The first was to replay the Badlands scenario again - playing it wrong just like I did the first time when I had only two characters barely survive. For all their experience and new skills and equipment, they didn't do much better. Bowie, who was essentially a clone of the original Bowie who died the first time, met the same fate. This time ambushed by a troll.

Stabbie tried to rescue her, but she was too far gone. The troll had already eaten one of her legs and was pulling off the other as the shaman got close.

Youbie almost didn't make it either. Seeing P-Stash surrounded by orcs, the powerful swordswoman charged in to assist, but only managed to jump on every sword that was bared in front of her. Really, she barely had to swing at them to mow the minions down, but failed anyway. Stabbie had better luck with his healing this time, saving the bold warrior well enough to limp away to safety. P-Stash, always living in the shadow of Youbie's expertise managed to prove himself by downing foe after foe just when the struggling group needed. He had to climb over a ring of orc corpses to join his friends as they fled the dreaded orc infested territory a second time.

As they leave the Badlands, Youbie takes one last look back, mourning their lost companion and contemplating how they could roll so goddamn low on so many activations again.

It was good to play a game for the first time in a few months!

One last look back at a fallen comrade.

The fallen comrade.

Badlands carnage 2.0.

And then there were three...

Next game with put the Low Rollers up against a necromancer hiding out in a remote tower. Not sure why they've got to go all murder hobo on this nice old lady and her friends. But that's what's going down. If that fails to do them in, there may be a thunder lizard waiting for them after that....

In non-gaming stuff, we're finally getting the first (not counting the herbs & green onions) small harvest from our tiny garden. Last year the neighborhood wildlife annihilated the garden, so I haven't got to pickle hot peppers for two years. Obviously I need a party of sellswords and spellslingers to rid our yard of the raiding vermin.