You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tail Feathers: Meadowlark

And here's my Meadowlark for Tail Feathers. (I believe it's supposed to be a starling originally -- I'll paint one up with my second copy of the game.)

The Meadowlark has a lot going on, so it didn't turn out as good as the others, but he will be no less loved. I think the birds with simpler patterns and bright colors will look best; the Blue Jay is my favorite. I'd like to paint up a cardinal, but the beaks of all of these birds are the wrong shape -- he would need a grosbeak style of beak ... maybe I can convert one of the next batch of birds.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tail Feathers: More birds

Here are couple more birds, a Blue Jay and a Baltimore Oriole. These are very easy to paint, and are still rewarding with minimal effort. For the oriole, it was just a matter of getting the color onto the right spots (though, I would have liked a brighter orange.) Granted, some of the details take a little patience, but the rest of the bird took all of 10 or 15 minutes (of mostly dry- and overbrushing.)

I kind of wished the armor wasn't there (on his belly) so that more of the orange could be displayed, but there is still more color here than there would have been had I painted this as a starling.

The Blue Jay took a little more planning. I started off with an overbrush of the top with a nice, middle blue followed with lighter blue. I went one more level lighter on the secondary feathers and the wing tips. The underside was overbrushed dark gray -- lighter gray toward the wing tips. Then I drybrushed some brown over the transition between the dark and light grays.

Next came the white tips of the secondaries and tail feathers, starting with light gray followed with white. I also overbrushed some light gray/white onto the face. Then came the black stripes on the feathers and the markings on the face. The remaining details fell into place: silver armor, brown leather straps and a check pattern on the side armor(?) For a final touch, I watered down my black paint a little (ink will work just fine -- I was just too lazy,) and I lined the between individual feathers to help define things a little more.

Next up is the smallest of the birds, which I will paint as an Eastern Meadowlark. It will take a little extra planning as did the Jay. But once the plan is in place, it should paint up quickly. Then it's off to paint riders and ground troops!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Birds of a feather

I've started painting my Tail Feathers figures, starting with the birds. They are fun to paint -- easy and fast but still with a nice result.

Just a plain, old crow.
The largest bird has a wingspan of about 5 inches, and the smallest is around 3 3/4 inches. The game lists the birds as crows and starlings (and a blue jay,) but I thought those were to boring. So I'm painting mine as more colorful birds.

I stuck with one bird as a crow, simply because, yeah, a crow should be in there. But instead of having a second crow, I painted the bird to look roughly like an Eastern Kingbird.

Eastern Kingbird (sort of,) but he looks much nicer than that crow.
Before I primed these, I masked the connector sockets off with masking tape. I primed with Army Painter Matte Black Primer, then followed that up with a couple layers of black craft paint (Delta Ceramcoat.) Then I painted as usual, removing the masking tape only after everything was done. The little bit of excess masking tape also provided a little extra hand-hold.

The other birds will come in time; I have other stuff on my plate (on and off the painting table.) But they will all have some color: I have planned the Blue Jay (which is actually what it is in the game,) a Baltimore Oriole and an Eastern Meadowlark.

Oh yeah, I also ordered another copy of the game so I can paint some more birds :)
It will also be nice to have extras of the components, as well as another box in which I can put in some custom battlefoam to carry everything.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gettin' things done

I got an email a week ago saying my copy of Tail Feathers was on its way, so I figured I better get to painting to make room on the table. I used the extra drive to finish up a few random things.

I still have a dozen or so Low Life figures on the way, but I finished up the couple that already had primer and a little paint on them. The KS delivery on the remaining figures has been going slow, so I haven't put a high priority on finishing those I already have. Still, they are a neat little range, and the most imaginative of any of the figures I have.

On the Zombicide front, I told myself I would paint at least the figures from all the base and expansion boxes. I thought I had fulfilled that promise until I found these three at the bottom of a baggie of extra Z-cide figures. Now I can say all of my base-box Zombicide figures are painted -- at least until Black Plague arrives in the next few weeks.

And then, finally, I managed to get energy enough to finish my Mice and Mystics figures. I had several minions and a couple characters from the Downwood Tales and Heart of Glorm boxes that needed to be painted. I've been working on those this week and just finished last night. And righgt on cue, this morning, my copy of Tail Feathers arrived!
The photo below shows all the figures from the Mice and Mystics base set and the Heart of Glorm and Downwood Tales expansions. There are also extra minions I pulled from an extra base set of figures I bought from Plaidhat Games. (Not pictured are my extra set of heroes.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Small update

I've been without internet for a while (a couple months), and it's not so bad; I've been getting reacquainted with some TV, been getting outside for some nice long walks, and I've been getting back to the painting table and canvas. I just haven't been able to update the blog as often as I'd like.

Actually, the past couple weeks, I've slowed a touch on the minis painting, but I still sit down to add a layer or two to whatever is at hand. I hope to have my 40mm samurai baggage carriers and kago bearers finished soo
n, now that I've finally settled on a simple scheme/palette.

I still need to paint the kago/palanquin (which has been started,) but it will take a little more time. It's not difficult to paint, but it will still take a patient hand.

I've also put in a small order from Bronze Age Miniatures for a few more of the 54mm generics; I figured it was time to add to the 54mm post-apoc collection. I have some ideas (which are sketched out on the Posdt-It notes behind my Japanese figures in the photo.)

In the meantime, here's a photo of a Mouse painting I did on my jacket. I was bored and I saw that my jacket was somewhat plain.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Space Cadets: Leashed sentinel

This is why my new professor figure has a new faceplate on his head; accidents happen when you're trying to tame a sentinel.
Other parts of this conversion include a new control panel (over the tools) on the professor figure, as well as a control unit fitted to the back of the sentinel (made from random bits.)

For fellow space cadet players out there, For house rules, I'm thinking of something along the lines of this: The professor can use each of his actions to give the sentinel an action. But first, he must pass an IQ roll. Each overkill is +1 action. A fail, and the sentinel attacks in his tile (as well as adds the terror effect). Luckily the professor's control has a range of 2.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Space Cadets: Rocketeers

Here is my second set of the Space Cadets Rocketeer crew painted up in my "special operations" scheme. The professor had an accident while I was using a lighter to heat some plastic back to shape (his face melted off,) so I had to find a replacement head. I also gave him a control tablet instead of his tools -- what will he be controlling?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Space Cadets Captain

When I pledged for the Space Cadets kickstarter, I added a second set of the plastic figures, so I could have extras and also play with painting. Here is the first of those.
For my second set of Rocketeers, I'm going for a more advanced-looking special operations look. To help identify the character, I'll be painting their color across the top of their shoulders and on the elbow connector rings. (And yes, the click-on base also helps :)

I kept the leather (belt and holster) brown to keep him grounded in his retro setting.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the remainder aliens -- maybe I'll paint them in monochrome as was my original plan? Maybe I'll do them full color but in a different scheme? I have plenty of time to figure that out since I already have enough to play the game. All in good time.

It's been a while, but this is the first figure in months that I've actually enjoyed painting. The past few months, I've gone through the motions to get stuff done, worked out solutions to minor painting problems, and have finished quite a few figures. I didn't hate doing all that painting -- it helped pass the time -- but this was the first figure in a very long while that I truly enjoyed painting. This was also the first in a while that I actually sat down with purpose, used a good brush and took my time (OK, it took me all of an hour to do him, but he was already primed in black, so most of the work was done.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

I steal ideas, too: Painted Zombicide skull markers

Apologies to the person who painted his first and posted them on Facebook somewhere; I was going to give your name, but I can't find the original post!

Anyway, what a great and fun idea he had to paint the skull markers for Zombicide. They're easy to paint (it took me 20 minutes to paint these 12), and they look good, even if they're only use is to pimp out the game.

I primed with Army Painter. Drybrushed a dark khaki color, followed by drk. khaki+white, adding a little more white to the mix for two or three more layers of overbrushing/drybrushing.
When I drybrushed, I stroked in the direction from the top left of the skull to the bottom right. This helped to simulate a light source to give the skull a little more depth.

I'll probably paint the other 20 or 30 skull markers I have, now.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Samurai clan

I finished painting figures to represent a new samurai clan in my Steve Barber collection. Nothing new here, but it's nice to finally get these guys off the table so I can finish painting the new 40mm samurai figures (including my kago.) I guess there is one minor conversion here; on the yamabushi monk (second from right) I've taken away his staff, which would normally be in his back hand, and added the sword to his front hand. This was part of my original conversion intentions when I first commissioned this sculpt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Space Cadets: Rocketeers

And here are my Rocketeers for Space Cadets: Away Missions. Nothing much innovated here; I painted them up just like on the box.

I'm happy that I got everything painted up so fast. It's nice to get a project cleared off the table before the next one arrives (I have two minis games "scheduled" to arrive in October -- Dragon Tides and Mercs.) In the interim, I should be able to finish up some older 40mm samurai (and maybe the newer palanquin retinue, too.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

You need brains to play Space Cadets: Away Missions

I didn't count the hours (let's say it was three,) but I painted my entire alien force in two sittings for the new board game, Space Cadets Away Missions.

For Zombicide, there were three main factors steering me toward monochrome zombies:
-- If they were full color, the survivor figures would have blended in with the zombies on the board.
-- I wanted to pay tribute to the first Romero movie (Night of the Living Dead.)
-- I wanted to get everything painted fast.

Well, for Space Cadets, I certainly wanted to get everything done fast, but I wasn't sure at the last moment if I wanted to go monochrome. So I compromised. I drybrushed the uniforms and weapons in silver. The I drybrushed the heads in three shades of green (starting with light green, highlighting with yellow.) The effect was good enough for me!
I did do the leeches, bugs and sentinels in monochrome green, though. Instead of tying everything together with one monochromatic color, I tied them altogether with the simple scheme: Green/silver.
I think it worked. Everything is in "full color," and everything is easily identifiable.

How I did the brains/step-by-step

The tinted resin serves the double purpose of looking like liquid and keeping the jar glued together. And it's pretty easy to do.

Paint and Primer: Use Army Painter Black matte primer (best for pvc plastics, I think) and then whatever acrylic paint you prefer

Jars masked off before priming and everything painted.
1: Mask of the clear cylinders so that you don't get primer on the clear portion. Be sure to pinch off the bottom of the tape so that any primer won't sneak in through the bottom.
2: Prime everything. Keep the tape on and paint the top portion of the jar. Once dry, go ahead and peel off your masking tape.
3: Go ahead and prime and paint the bottom portion of the brain in jar (the pedestal and the brain.)
4: Prepare some two-part epoxy resin (I like five-minute). Now place just a TOUCH of red paint into your resin, just enough to tint it. It's an unbelievably small amount you'll need.
5: Use a toothpick to gently drop some of the resin into the jars. It's difficult to gauge, but I try to fill them about half way -- remember that there will be some brain filling the remainder of the jar.
6: Place the jar over the base and push together. They should slip/snap right in.

Braaaaaains! Oops, wrong game.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Zombicide: Film and Television

To scratch the Zombicide itch while I (we) wait for the Black Plague pledge manager, I finished up a few more survivors from the last KS campaign. These are most of the film and TV survivors. It was fun to get back and paint survivors again.

I still have samurai, Mice and Mystics, and Space Cadets on the way. Plenty to paint! I also don't have internet at home anymore, so these posts might slow down a little. Might; I've already slowed a bit the past few months as my painting mojo weakened. It's slowly building again though. Hopefully, my Space Cadets will arrive in the next few days: I have vacation starting this weekend, and I'll be staying home, so I'll have plenty of painting time. Space Cadets equals more monochromatic fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Samurai and Mice and Mystics

I'm still working heavily on my Mouse watercolors, so I don't get to the minis table as often as I want, but today, I made some small gains.

The new Mice and Mystics spin-off game, Tailfeathers, went into preorder today, so I ordered a box. That's when I realized I still hadn't finished painting all of my previous Mice and Mystics figures. So I dug them out and got my firebellies finished up. Tailfeathers is a skirmish game and has unit cards available so that owners of the original Mice and Mystics boxes/expansions can use those figures and units.

I kept my firebellies simple and actually speed-painted them. The skin was all drybrushed, and the rest of the paint slap-dabbered everywhere. I usually do this with most of my figures that come in units. Individuals still get a little extra devoted time.

I also got another peasant finished for my 40mm samurai collection. This is a figure converted from the baggage carrier. Hopefully, I'll get some drive enough to finish up the remainder of my samurai. I'd like to at least get the samurai done before my copy of Space Cadets arrives; there will be a couple hundred (I bought extras) miniatures with that game, though, I'll be painting them monochromatically, so they shouldn't take too long. But I'd like to have the table clear before those arrive.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Still working on samurai; Also Soccer City

I'm still working on my samurai. I'm trying to finish up the previous order of samurai which will form the core of my new clan (so that I can have two clans to fight one another.)
Once they're finished, I just have some baggage carriers to paint up before finishing up with my kago/norimono/palanquin.

On the side, I've also been doing more of my Mouse and Friends art as well as working on a book for them.

Check out the Soccer City kickstarter, which has just a couple days left to run (and has made its goal.) Definitely not for everyone -- it's soccer, a sports boardgame, and the look is all retro (1920s-30s,) but it's something different than the usual.

It also has minis!! (at an added cost.) At first, I was a little put off by the high price for the minis (which is reduced if you get the package deal,) but then I saw that the figures will be 40mm; that will make for a great-looking game. Each team you purchase will have 11 figures, though, you'll only have eight + the goalie on the field at any one time.

The other thing about the figures is that it looks like they're being sculpted to match the art -- cartoonish -- so, again, not for everyone. I know I will at least enjoy painting them (and playing the game.)
Even if you don't plan on pledging, check it out here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

42mm samurai: Bodyguard

Here's a bodyguard (or just a samurai walking in the park.) I commissioned him as part of the retinue, to escort the kago as a bodyguard. But he'll work fine alone walking the Tokaido, going to a duel, or looking for a little entertainment in the Yoshiwara.

The head comes separately to allow for customization by using any of the numerous other heads in the collection (there should be about a dozen now.) The ladies from the previous post, however, do not come with separate heads (though there is enough neck line to take a hack saw to them if you want to do a headswap.) Otherwise, this samurai comes as one piece and is very easy to prepare and paint. I would recommend him (and the ladies) to beginning painters.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

42mm Samurai: Ladies

Here's another of the brand new figures in Steve Barber's samurai range.
The figure comes with the parasol. The lady in green, I've used a piece of brass rod to create a walking stick.

The more ornate orange kimono was very easy to paint. I started by painting the entire kimono orange, then painting a couple areas of grey which was blended into the orange. Then I highlighted as usual (layering with Foundry triads.)
Next came the tree trunks and branches in black. After that dried, I stippled some blue blossoms over the tree, followed with another stippling of light blue to highlight the blossoms.
And finally, a simple three-dot pattern was repeated to fill in empty areas. I finished with the obi and repeated the kimono pattern on the parasol.

She will accompany my little kago retinue.

Close up, it looks OK, but the effect is great from afar (I paint my figures to be viewed from afar, such as when you're playing them on a gaming table.) Ornate floral patterns really only need to be inferred rather than painted in detail (unless you're trying to win a painting competition.)

I kept the lady in green much simpler. She was my test figure to get a feel for the new sculpt. This sculpt is amazingly easy to paint. If you're looking something fun and easy to paint, I recommend this one.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

42mm Samurai: Gone fishing

Busy week at work kept me form the painting table until today. This fisherman was converted from a brand new figure in Steve Barber's 42mm samurai range. The original figure is a baggage carrier for a kago/norimono retinue, but it is easily convertible into a few different figures.

Here, instead of baggage, I've given him a rod (made from brass rod and twine.) The bucket is a thick disk of sculpey with a random bit to make it look like it has a center-hinged lid. I drilled a hole through the lower hand and passed twine through it and the bucket to create a carrying handle. The satchel on his belt in back is made from green stuff.
This was a fun figure to make. It's also the first civilian I have in the collection, now. With more to follow!

I also finished up a couple figures from the last bunch I bought from Steve. I'll probably try a different color scheme -- the gray is ok, but I think I'll go with a slightly olive green instead. Yep, it means I'll probably paint over these -- the clothing anyway. It wont be too difficult. They are in the same scheme because I'm going to make this batch into a new clan (I already have one clan; they need rivals.)

The master to the right is unconverted. The yamabushi to the left has a couple changes from the original figure: I used the bald head of a monk archer instead of the one with the little yamabushi cap. And instead of the bo staff held in the back hand, I made him a katana to hold in his front hand.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Three-time Petrichor City 400 winner

The art busy-ness is increasing. Today, I did some minor work on my samurai, but I also found time to throw this "Mouse and Friends" acrylic painting together (1' x 2'.)

It commemorates Raccoon's third win in the Petrichor City 400. Raccoon, before he came to meet Mouse, at one time raced for the Quick Pickle Team. Quick Pickle manufactures and sells pickle-dispensing vending machines.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

42mm Japanese civilians

Here are all of the new figures. The kago is not yet glued to the carriers, so I can get them easily painted first. The two figures in the center of the photo below are converted from the baggage carrier figures (I like my fisherman.) And the lady with the walking stick is also a (very slight) conversion of the core figure with the parasol. All other figures are as-is, save for the addition of brass rod and thread lashings here and there.

I still need to doublecheck for gaps where arms are attached and fill'em with green stuff, but otherwise, all the figures are cleaned up, assembled and ready for priming.

I did make one big mistake: There were two large panels to make up the kago roof, and the two pieces are supposed to be peaked (like an upside-own "V") over the beam. I actually prefer my flat roof, and there are enough kago/norimono styles to justify it, so no biggie. I'll assemble the next one as it's supposed to be modeled.

Kago retinue wip

Just keeping you up to date on the kago progress (and trying to get back to good blog-posting habits.)
Here are my two baggage carriers, dry-fitted together. I replaced the yokes with brass rod for durability, and some thread lashings for added strength and stability. I filed out shallow grooves on the shoulders of my carriers so that the yokes settle in nicely; they are also and are balanced.

I have four baggage carriers, but I'm converting the other two into peasants. One will have a yoke with two buckets, while the other will be carrying a bucket in one hand and a fishing rod over his shoulder. I may commission a couple more civilians/peasants in the future; I'd like to have a few for a nice little scene on the tokaido. The core figure that makes up the kago and baggage carriers is ripe for conversion ideas; all I need are some different arms (the left arm comes separate) and maybe a new head or two. Maybe I can get Steve to sculpt me some Japanese buckets, too -- I hate making my own :)

The whole retinue is coming along slowly but surely. I just do a little bit each evening, which is all I have time for right now. Plenty of other things to do: I'm working on a children's book; I'm reading Moby Dick (and enjoying the hell out of it); and I'm working longer hours at work while one of my staff is on vacation. But I think this set is worth the wait and patience.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Steve Barber's 42mm Norimono

Thanks to Allison for letting me know that the "Kago" is actually the simpler, commoner's version of the Japanese palanquin, and that the more elaborate versions are actually called norimono, though, I think mine is a little on the low-end side of elaboration compared to some of the museum pieces I've seen.

Still, I will continue to call it a kago, only because it's shorter to type :)
Anyway, here is mine all assembled. Ideally, the larger kago should have four carriers (I think,) but I didn't want this model to get too overwhelming.I think a four-carrier version of this model could easily be made with the addition of a longer yoke and two more carrier figures.

To give you an idea of the size, the base these are on is 50mm x 100mm (figures are 42mm). The next thing I'm trying to figure out is if I'm going to paint the carriers and then afix them to the kago yoke, or assemble the how thing and paint it all at once. Has anyone here done something like a stagecoach or wagon with team? How did you approach the paint? Everything as one piece, or each element separately and then assemble?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seriously cool set from Steve Barber

My little retinue (with extra copies of the baggage carrier and an extra lady. The ladies come with parasols, but I will give one of them a walking stick for variety. The kago is dry-fit here, hence, the gaps.
My "kago" arrived from Steve Barber Models, and it is seriously cool!

Window screen up or down? Mine will be up.
I commissioned Steve a few months ago to start working on these figures, which include the kago (the Japanese word for palanquin,) its carriers, a baggage carrier model, a lady and a bodyguard.

Steve had the foresight to put an option for one of the kago windows to be open or closed; this leaves the possibility of commissioning a passenger in the future -- diplomat, tax collector, concubine or daimyo off to serve his time in Edo. Whoever the passenger might be, that commission will have to get in line (I do have another project on Steve's desk once I pay my money.)

Her majesty's matched luggage! (Sorry, no mogs in this set.)
It will take a little work to get everything cleaned up and assembled. I'll probably do my usual routine and replace some bits with brass rod for added strength and such, but the set is excellent as is, and I think it's going to look great on the table.

For a paint scheme, I will paint a uniform design on all the baggage- and kago-carriers.
To pull everything together, the bodyguard will probably have a similar uniform, though, not the exact same as the carriers.

The ladies present an opportunity for some unique floral patterns. I'll have to do a little research, at least to find something I actually have skill enough to paint.

The other side of the kago (sorry for the cruddy photos; I was in a hurry to share pics of my new toys.) Also, I noticed my dry-fit is wrong: the side windows should be toward the back -- just a matter of swapping sides with the sidewall pieces.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Zombicide: VIP zombies

I'm slowly but surely getting back into painting. I thought a good way to take it easy but still feel like I got a lot done was to finish up some more monochromatic zombies. So I painted my VIP zombies from Season 3 of Zombicide.

I used the same old method as the normal gray zombies, adding white (light gray, actually) around the edge of the base to denote their VIP status. I didn't pick out as many (or any?) details as I usually do -- I wanted to finish these fast -- but the effect still works, and these will look fine in a game.

Since I'm not using zombivors in any of my games, I think I will paint them (around 30) also as VIP zombies, but I will paint them to fit in with my skinner zombies. Hopefully, Guillotine Games will offer a separate box of skinners so that I can paint up some crawlers as VIPs, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

42mm Samurai: Old Master

It's been a while since I last posted (2 months?) With the warmer weather, I've been outside and about painting the hell out of my watercolors. I'm also beginning to think on working on a children's book starring my little cadre of animal friends. (Mouse and Friends; if you haven't already, you can see them here.)

I'm still having a hard time getting back into minis painting. I kept this guy simple so I could finish him, and he still took three different sittings (I can usually crack something out like this in an hour or two. This time, those two hours were just spread over three days.) This is the same figure as from a couple posts ago, but with a different head. Sculpted by Steve Barber, I've had him do all of my commissions with separate heads to facilitate head swapping and repositioning.

Next up from Steve Barber's samurai range will be a little retinue: A couple laborers carrying a kago (Japanese palanquin) along with a couple baggage carriers, a lady and a bodyguard. I look forward to painting a few of the samurai in a uniform scheme (along with a flowery lady.) Steve has finished sculpting these and says they should be available soon. I'll let you all know!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What I've been up to

Sorry, I haven't had a lot of activity here lately. With the warmer weather, I've been out side painting the hell out of everything (watercolor, not miniatures). When the sun is out and the temperature is right, dainty flowers is the order of the day.

And when I'm not outside painting, I'm inside letting off the excess art energy with more painting. I have a hell of a lot of watercolor paper, and I aim to use it all.

If you'd like to see some of the art I've been working on, you're all invited to head over to my new Facebook page: The Art of Mouse and Friends. That way, you can at least see what's been holding up all of my minis on the painting table.

I still have plenty of Steve Barber's samurai to paint yet. Maybe on the next rainy day. He is also working on the next commission which I think many of you will enjoy -- it's little different, but still for the samurai range.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Steve Barber Samurai

Here's the latest samurai from Steve Barber -- an unarmored samurai attacking. The blade and head come as separate pieces, allowing for a bit of conversion work if you want. The rest of the body is one solid piece of fun-to-paint folds. For some reason, I enjoy painting, layering and highlighting folds on minis. Of course, on this example, I kept the colors dark, but I have extra copies of this figure, so I will be having little more foldy fun with those.

I already have Steve working on the next commission, and it's a big(ger) one -- something a little more special for the samurai range. I'll keep it under wraps until I get some photos, but it involves multiple figures.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Zombicide: Companions

These are the companion figures from Zombicide: Angry Neighbors. They serve as allies, adding bonuses and options for the survivors. Since they aren't necessarily full-time survivors, I chose to just give them a speed-painting treatment, using the same drybrush method I use on the zombies.

After drybrushing some base colors over a black base layer, I went in with a slightly more patient brush to pick out a few details such as faces, tools, head wraps and other accessories. All the figures were finally given a light drybrushing of tan to weather them properly for the post-apocalypse. I may yet have a little fun and go back to add some gang colors to the two biker-looking fellows.

I also tried to slow down a touch and paint Mr. T here. He turned out OK. I find it difficult to make camouflage to look like camouflage, but I think it's convincing enough this time around.

All the rest of my survivors from the second shipment of Zombicide Season 3 are primed and ready to be painted, but they'll have to wait because my newest batch of 42mm samurai are also ready to paint.

This Sunday is Zombie Jesus Day! My friends gather and have lunch at Zombie Burger in Des Moines, and then we head home to play a fun game of Zombicide. That's why I hurried through these companion figures; I also painted up my extra (stretch goal) skinner zombies. No need to post them here; you know what they look like. The 20 or so figures only took an hour to get through.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Samurai Vignette: Water well

I still have one more base I can do another vignette on, but my new 42mm samurai have arrived, so I will start preparing them for painting. In the mean time, here is the last of these vignettes for the time being. This is a Japanese style water well with a bamboo cover.

Most of the reference images I found showed the square wells as wooden, but I wanted the stone to add another color to the base. The same with the walkway; I wanted another color on the base as well as another level.

The well and walkway were made using blue foam. The bamboo cover was made from extra bamboo spears that I got from my peasants (after replacing the spears with my versions made from brass rod.) The little water bucket is made from a thin piece of plastic wrapped around a small cylinder of sculpey. Some simple foundational flock, tufts, flowers and a floral stem tree finish this one off. On the opposite side of the base is a small wall of foliage clusters. I'll probably try them out as display bases when I take photos of new figures, so you'll probably see these bases again soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Samurai vignettes: The cemetary

This one turned out almost exactly as I pictured it in my head. The only difference was that I originally wanted the base to have lots of tall grasses -- almost as tall as the grave stones. But I couldn't get the grassy material I have to look natural; I'll have to hunt around for super large grass tufts instead.

Still, this piece turned out nice. The graves were made from Sculpey and the footpath from green stuff. Then I spent an hour throwing on various grass, tufts and flowers over everything.

The next base will have my waterwell on it. This one might be a touch more urban, having a (ever so slightly) raised wooden walkway next to the well (to add a third level to the piece.) I still need to sketch out a plan for that one before I make any final decision. 

I'll still have another base leftover after I do the waterwell; not sure what to put on it yet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Samurai vignettes

This one was much simpler to make. It took about a half hour.
Half of it is actually an eighth of an inch taller, having a
foam base sloping gently; the figure here is on the high ground.

So I had these 120mm bases sitting around, and I wasn't quite sure what to use them for (I don't own any dragons or huge minis.) So I'm making these fun little terrain pieces to serves as objectives/areas for my samurai (and other) skirmish games. I used the word "areas" because I'm using the Red Sands series (by Two Hour Wargames) to play my samurai games, and in the Red Sand series, figures move from area to area. Each area can only hold three figures (as do my little terrain vignettes.)
When I'm not playing, these serve nicely as display bases for a figure or two.

I made the nicer of the two vignettes here by cutting some blue foam to fit the base. I carved out the creek bed and used two-part epoxy resin for the water. The foaming water is simply white paint applied directly to the cured resin. Grass, foliage, tufts, flowers and tree to finish. (The tree was made using floral stems from Hobby Lobby.)

I made this one -- oh man, more than a year
ago already. Time flies when you're having
fun painting samurai and providing them
with a pretty battlefield.
The rocks on the second base were made from blue foam scraps that were sanded smooth. I kept the second base simple because I wanted to bang it out in a half hour. (The waterfall base took a couple hours.)

I have two or three of these 120mm bases left. I think I will do a Japanese water well for one and maybe a tiny graveyard for another. That should give me enough time to think about what to do with the last one -- perhaps a tiny footbridge over a little creek.

I used one of these bases a little while ago to make a ruined stone corner. It looks nice and provides some cover on the field, but it isn't meant to hold figures; the remainder of these I want to hold two or three figures each.