Drys, Dryad: Bones II Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Drys, Dryad, figure from the Bones II, Sylvan Creatures set.  Since I was in kind of a Frostgrave frame of mind when I was thinking about painting her, I decided I would try to pant her up in winter colors, like a dryad that has been unexpectedly awoken from her Winter sleep and is not happy about it;  so I would try to give her a pale and cold look.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a white-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the tree with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”, and then painted the dryad with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.   I then painted her sword with Folk Art Teddy Bear Brown", and her hair with Folk Art “Gray Green”.

      I then painted the leaves in her hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Maple Syrup”.  Then, after everything had a while to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash using Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the tree with Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”.

     I then highlighted her skin with the base “Barn Wood”, and then with the “Barn Wood” with a little “Crafter’s Acrylic "Light Antique White” added to it.  After that, I painted her nipples with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.   I then worked on highlighting her hair, first with Folk Art “Porcelain White”, and then with Americana “Reindeer Moss Green”.  I then did some detail highlights on the hair with the “Light Antique White”.    Then I highlighted the leaves in her hair with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon"and then I painted her eyes.
     I painted what I interpreted as rocks on the base with Americana "Zinc”, and then painted what I thought was a skull, with Americana “Khaki”.  While they dried, I worked on giving her sword a light drybrushing with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.  I then went back and gave the rocks and skull a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  Then, when the wash was dry, I highlighted the rocks with the “Rock Grey”, and the skull with the “Light Antique White”.  Lastly, I painted the areas of the base that were’t the roots, rocks, or skull, with White.

     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave her a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed her with Testor’s Dullcote". When the Dullcote was dry, I went back and applied the a mix of snow flock, white paint, and white glue to some of the branches and the base.

     I’m really happy with how this figure turned out.  I think it has the cold, awoken-in-the-middle-of-winter look I wanted.

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HAWKs Kick Off 2017 Armies for Kids Project

Chris Palmer    This past Saturday the HAWKs got together to begin work of painting this year’s Armies for Kids project.  For the past several years, the HAWKs have undertaken a project of creating a dozen or so armies with the goal of giving them away during a special kids game at Historicon.  We also usually present the kids with a bag or box full of terrain and gaming aids. At past Historicons we have given away Revolutionary War armies, Napoleonic armies, WWII, Seven Years War, and American Civil War.   And we wouldn’t have been able to if it were for generous donations of old armies,  new unpainted forces, and monetary contributions from wargamers from all over.  So many thanks go out to all those who have helped make this project a possibility!

This year we are doing a Franco-Prussian War project;  and so 10 of us got together on Saturday at Duncan’s house to put our brushes to almost 500 15mm French.  Duncan had taken the time to prime them in red beforehand so their pants, hats, and epaulettes were already taken care of.  There was also several sticks of Turco Zouaves that Duncan pre-primered  in their medium blue uniform color .

     We set to work, with some good old war movies on the TV, and plenty of good hobby talk among friends, to entertain us.  At the end of 7 long hours, with cramped hands and stiff backs, we were able to claim victory: 500 French complete!   Up next we will be gathering to tackle their Prussian opponents.

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Frostgrave for Kids

Chris Palmer   This past Friday I got the chance to help out with game of Frostgrave being run at the local game store for home-schooled children.  As part of a program to give these kids a chance to interact and socialize, a local fellow, Andrew, runs games for them every couple weeks at the store. I, and another one of the HAWKs, Don, were invited to help out with this one, and it was a lot of fun.

The kids getting their rules briefing.

      We played with reduced warbands consisting of just a wizard and four soldiers that we three GM’s had put together earlier; and each player only placed 2 treasures.  The kids were able to pick up the rules fairly quickly and had a great time.

In the thick of the fight.

           It was a fun time for us GMs too, and the kids enjoyed it so much that we are going to be doing it again in a couple weeks.

A close up of some of the action.

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Dragon Tortoise: Bones II Large Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the large Dragon Tortoise figure from the Bones II, Expansion Set 1.  In planning my color scheme for this, I Googled images of snapping turtles, and scrolled through those for a while to get an idea of what the real thing looked like.

       I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking the pieces in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.   I then assembled the model using Gorilla superglue. When the superglue was set, I then glued the figure to a black-primed 2" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.

     I began by painting his skin with Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and his shell with Model Color “USA Olive Drab”.   I then made a mix of the two colors to paint his arm, leg, and tail scales, as well as the top of his head, blending it into the lower lighter part of the head.  After that, I painted the inside of his mouth with Apple Barrel “Apple Light Pink”.

     Next, I painted his claws and toenails with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and his teeth with Americana “Bleached Sand”.   I then mixed some of the “USA Olive Drab” with some Accent “Golden Harvest”, and blended the tops of his shell spikes as well as the edges of the shell, working from the base “USA Olive Drab” up to pure “Golden Harvest” on the tips and edges.

      After everything had a while to dry, I gave the entire model a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.  When the wash was dry, I painted his eyes with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”, and then mixed a little of the “Lemon Chiffon” with some of the “USA Olive Drab”, and used that to paint a cross on the eye, followed by a Black pupil.  I then highlighted his teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic  "Light Antique White.“

    After the teeth,  I highlighted the tongue with the base "Light Apple Pink”,  and then the “Light Apple Pink” with a little White added.  Next, I highlighted the skin with a drybrushing of the base “Barn Wood”, and I highlighted the shell as well as the neck, head, arm, leg and tail  scales all with a drybrushing of  the “Golden Harvest”. I then highlighted the claws and toenails with some of the base  "Khaki Tan" mixed with a little Americana “Bleached Sand”.  Lastly, I painted the area of base around each food with some Ceramcoat “Walnut”.
    I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave him a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. When dry, I flocked the base. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed him with Testor’s Dullcote".

     He’s not quite how I had envisioned it in my mind’s eye before I started, but I’m generally happy nonetheless.  And it’s always  great to get another of these large figures completed!

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Dollar Tree Fairy Garden FInds!

Chris Palmer      Anyone who has visited a craft store in the last couple store knows that Fairy Gardens have become a big thing recently.  Fairy Gardens, are little scenes you set up in a planter or other garden space, using model houses, and small decorative objects such as furniture, yard ornaments, etc., to make it look like a fairy lives in that spot.   Well, the Dollar Tree has jumped on this bandwagon with their new Spring line; and on a recent trip there, I picked up some of these goodies to see about converting them for Fantasy gaming use.

They had tree different carded sets of figures: these mushrooms, some fairies that were the usual poor Dollar Tree quality sculpting but possibly usable (statues maybe), and some little animals (turtle, butterfly frog) that unfortunately have all sorts of flowers and other bits sculpted on them (Like the gazebo above) and are a bit cartoonish.  I also got the twig and leaf gazebo shown above from the assortment of buildings they have. (Shown with a Reaper 28mm figure for scale)

Here is a shot of the assortment of structures they are selling for the Fairy Gardens.  Thye are the typical poorly painted Dollar Tree fair, but may be usable with a new coat of paint.  I may go back and pick up one of those mushroom houses to try and spruce up.

They also had these succulent sprigs that will make good jungle or sci-fi vegetation. (Shown with a Reaper 28mm figure for scale)

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GW Vampire Count’s Coven Throne Converted to Frostgrave Monument

Chris Palmer     Last year I got a good deal from a friend at a local game convention flea market on the Games Workshop “Vampire Counts Coven Throne”.  I have neither the skill nor the desire to paint it up as intended, but it’s such a crazy over-the-top model that I thought it might make a really cool basis for a monument statue for our Frostgrave games.   Something along the lines of the Wellington Arch in London, but more over the top.

Wellington Arch
  I began by assembling the model as per the instructions, which was a daunting task with there being 15 pages of diagrams and over 20 steps!  And so many little parts!  Rather than do it in one sitting, I broke it up over several days, doing a step or two each day.

   While I was building the model, I also worked on assembling a pedestal for the finished product to sit upon, using a juice lid, some round bases, a bit of chain from the bits box, and some Hirst Arts skulls.

   I made a few modifications to the model before I completed the assembly; mainly I didn’t use the large bowl of blood that is intended to sit at the front of throne, instead replacing it with the lectern that is included as part of the Mortis Engine version of this model.   I also decided to use just one of the figures that was included; the reclining female vampire, though I replaced her head with one of the other heads as I just wasn’t a fan of the 18th century hairdo on the intended head.

   My plan as far as figures went at this point was to build on an idea mentioned in the Frostgrave rulebook Bestiary, that says in the city of Felstad some Vampires rose to be powerful wizards in their own right .  So I got the idea to make the monument be one constructed by one of these prominent wizard-vampires, depicting him and his apprentice in the heyday of their power.  So I ordered a Reaper Bones vampire figure to stand at the front of the throne, with the idea the reclining woman in the back would be his apprentice.

   When I finished the model and set it on it’s pedestal, I just wasn’t impressed with it, and I realized I needed to make a larger structure for it to sit upon if I really wanted it to have the look of the Wellington Arch.  So, I assembled a quick and simple four-sided structure from foamcore, a plaster dungeon tile, and some plaster arches I had.  I also had the idea to glue a metal base to the top of this structure, and magnets under the pedestal base, so the piece could easily be broken into two parts for storage.

     I painted the structure black and did some white striations and splatter on it to make it look like it was made from black marble.

     I then primed the monument portion with flat white spray paint.

      When the primer coat was dry, I painted the monument and the skulls on the pedestal with Americana “Sea Breeze”, then gave it a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” and “Agrax Earthshade” washes.  When the wash was dry, I gave it a light drybrushing with Folk Art “Celadon Green”, and then with some Cermacoat “Bronze”.  The rest of the pedestal I painted black.
     I’m really happy with how this piece turned out! It is really a beautiful model kit to begin with, and is just overflowing with rich details.  I enjoyed painting it, just because it gave me the chance to explore more of the excellent sculpting that went into it.  I can’t wait to have the opportunity to use it in a game.

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Mudcroak, Squog Shaman: Bones 2 Figure

Chris Palmer

      This past week I worked on the Mudcroak, Squog Shaman, figure from the Bones 2 Swamp Things set.  I decided to paint him like the unit of Squogs I just did, so he can act as their general, or as the figure is intended- a magic user of some sort.  
       I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by giving the figure a wash with heavily thinned Reaper “Brown Liner” using a wet brush.  When that was dry, I painted the body with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”. I then painted his loin wrap with Model Color “Brown Violet”. After that, I went back and painted his hands and feet with Americana “Dove Grey”.

     Next, I painted the skull helmet with Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and then did his staff with Americana “Sable Brown”.  After that, I painted his two pouches wth Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna, the cord around his waist with Americana "Khaki Tan”, and then his teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”. .

        I then painted the wraps on his left leg, the bands on his right arm, and all the fittings and bands on his staff with Americana “Terra Cotta”, and then did the sprig of seaweed(?) on his belt with Crafter’s Acrylic “Citrus Green”. I moved back to the staff, and painted the puffer fish with Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”, the Star fish with Americana “Buttermilk”, and the Seahorse with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”. After that, I painted the star on his helmet with Folk Art “Metallic Blue Sapphire”, and then went back and painted the bands on his right arm, and all the fittings and bands on his staff with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.
     After everything had overnight to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.

     When the wash was dry, I set about working on his eyes.  I decided I wanted to give him one sightless milky white eye and one regular eye; so first I painted his left eye with Accent “Real Umber”, and then gave it a Black pupil.  I then painted his right eye with Folk Art Platinum Gray", and then dabbed a little White in the center.  I then dabbed some Reaper MSP “Sparkling SNow” over the eye.  After the eyes, I highlighted the skin with the base “Opaque Red”, and the hands and feet with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  I then painted the spots on his skin with the Black, and highlighted his teeth with White.
     Next, I highlighted his loin wrap with Folk Art “Hauser Green Medium”, and then highlighted the pouches with Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”.  The rope around his waist I highlighted with Crafter’s Edition “Taupe”.   I wrapped up that area by highlighting the seaweed with the base “Citrus Green”.   I then moved to the staff, highlighting the wood with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  I then highlighted the puffer fish with Americana “Tangerine”, the starfish with Americana “Bleached Sand”, and the seahorse with the “Taupe”.  I highlighted his leg wrap with Reaper MSP “Pumpkin Orange”, and his hemet with the base “Barn Wood”.  I then moved to doing the metallic highlights; highlighting the star on his helmet with Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire”, and the parts I had painted with the bronze, using the base “Bronze”.  Lastly, I painted the integral bases with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave him a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. When dry, I flocked the base. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed him with Testor’s Dullcote". When the Dullcote was dry, I went back and re-varnished his eyes with Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish.

     I’m very happy with how he came out.  The milky eye, was a gamble, but I think it came out okay.  I’m also happy to be done with frogs for a while!  🙂

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Scratchbuilt Frostgrave Large-Construct Garbage Wagon

Chris Palmer    While on a trip to the local Dollar Tree store a couple weekends ago, I spotted a pack of Baby Buggy party favors that I thought would make great 28mm wagons.  As I thought about this, I remembered reading in the Frostgrave Bestiary that some Large Constructs could in fact be living wagons.  I began to form a picture in my head of a wagon with a face and arms, perhaps carved from wood; but where to get such pieces?  And then I remembered a copy of Reaper’s Ice Troll I had.  The faceted nature of that sculpt would make very good carved wood looking parts.

     To start, I hacked up the figure and glued the head and arms to the wagon.  I also flipped the buggy handle to make it look more like a push handle for a 28mm sized human.   As I was working, I was thinking about what I could put into the body of the wagon to hide the smooth plastic interior.  I came up with the idea of a magically animated refuse wagon, animated by the Feldstad City Council wizards to go around the city picking up trash on it’s own.  Since it thawed out after the big freeze, the Wagon Construct is now going around cleaning up the dead bodies laying around the city.  So my plan is to fill the body of the wagon with assorted debris of rotting bodies.  To that end, I soaked some tissue in a glue and water mix, and began applying that to the very bottom to represent the very decomposed stuff lying in the bottom.

     Next, I used some Milliput to blend the head and arms to the wagon’s body, then I started adding some more bits to the bed.   And, I got the idea that maybe it might have some trouble telling which bodies are dead, and which quiet aren’t.   So I equipped it with an axe to help handle some of the more troublesome garbage that fights back.  🙂

     I filled the wagon with bits and bodies to my satisfaction, and then glued the construct to a 2" x 1.5" steel base.  When the glue was dry, I sprayed it with a dark brown camo spray paint.

    After the spray paint dried, it was then just a matter of painting it up.  When it was done, I gave it a coat of Testor’s “Dullcote” spray paint.

Shown with a Reaper 28mm figure for scale.

       I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  I think it will make a fun piece to use in the game.

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Squog Warrior 2: Bones 2 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I worked on the second half of a unit of 10 Squogs to add to my old Poison Dart Frog Army.  I thought the Squogs would fit right in with the rest of the troops, as some sort of more tribal cousins.
      I started with the ones that came from the Bones 2 Kickstarter in the Swamp Things set, and ordered a couple more packs from Reaper to bring the total up to 10 figures.
     Last week I completed the first five Squogs, which were the version of the figure that is armed with a trident.
      I prepped these figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.
     My plan was to do some conversions on two of the basic models to turn one into a standard bearer and another into a unit leader.  Last week when I did the trident-armed ones I converted one into the standard bearer; this time I did the leader conversion by cutting down one of the spears and reusing the spear blade to make a sword.  I did this by by gluing the spear blade directly to the figures hand so it looked like a short sword.  I also cut his right arm at the elbow and repositioned it so it would look like it was more naturally holding a sword. Lastly, I glued on a skull helmet that I had removed from an extra Mudcroak, Squog Shaman, figure I had.
    I then glued the 5 figures (including the converted leader one, to black-primed 1" fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figures to a 2 tongue depressors with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue under each washer.
     My plan was to try and make them look like this kind of Strawberry Poison Dart frog like I did with the last group:

   The converted leader figure can be seen on the far right.

      I began by giving all the figures a wash with heavily thinned Reaper “Brown Liner” using a wet brush.  When that was dry, I painted the bodies with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”. I then painted the shell armor with Americana “Bleached Sand”. After that, I went back and painted their hands and feet with Americana “Dove Grey”.

       Next, I painted the grass skirts with Duncan “Olive Green”, and then painted the little diaper-like bottoms they’re wearing with Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”.  I then painted the back side of the shields, and the spears, with Americana “Sable Brown”.  After that, I painted the teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White” and the skull helmet on the leader with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

      I then painted all the straps and ties with Americana “Terra Cotta”, and then I painted the heads of the spears the armbands, the dagger fittings and the leader’s sword  with the “Terra Cotta” as well. After that, I painted the pouch on his left hip with Americana Mississippi Mud".   I then went back and repainted the heads of the spears the armbands, the dagger fittings and the leader’s sword with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.  After everything had a while to dry, I then applied a wash using Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.

     When the wash was dry, I painted the eyes with Accent “Real Umber”, and then gave them Black pupils.  I then highlighted the skin with the base “Opaque Red”, and the hands and feet with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  I then painted the spots on their skin with the Black, and afterward painted their shields Black as well.  Next, I highlighted their teeth with White, and then used the White to accent some of the carved lines on each shield’s face.  Then I highlighted the shell armor with the base “Bleached Sand”.  After that, I highlighted their loin cloth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”, and the grass skirt with Americana “Reindeer Moss Green”. I then painted highlights on all the straps with Reaper MSP “Pumpkin Orange”.   I moved to their spears next, highlighting the shafts with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and the spear heads (and sword) with the base “Bronze”.   Lastly, I highlighted their pouches, as well as the skull helmet, with Americana “Barn Wood”, and then painted their integral bases with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.
      I let the figures dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Folk Art “Satin Varnish”. When dry, I flocked the bases. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor’s Dullcote". When the Dullcote was dry, I went back and painted their eyes with Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish.

     And here’s the whole unit of ten, including the five I did last week.  

   Coming up this week, I will be working on the last of the Bones 2 Squog figures: Mudcroak, Squog Shaman, to post next Monday.

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A Pair of Simple 28mm Sci-Fi Storage Tanks (Testing a Chipped Paint and Rust Technique)

Chris Palmer     We bought a package of cheap plastic ornaments at Michael’s this past Christmas, and I commandeered two to make a couple of simple storage tanks with the goal of trying out a chipped paint and rust technique I had seen on Youtube.
   I began by gluing the ornaments cap-down onto a pair of small plastic cups, after first cutting holes in the bottoms of the cups to fit the ornament caps into. I then glued the cups to 1.25" fender washers.  When all the glue was dry, I sprayed the finish storage tanks with flat white spray paint.

      I then painted the bases and the undersides of the tanks with Ceramcoat “Walnut”, and then added splotches of Americana “Terra Cotta”, to give a weathered rusted look.

      Then when the rust paint had had a day to dry, I prepared a jar of kosher salt and can of hair spray, that I had purchased a while back at the local Dollar Tree store for this purpose.

      I liberally sprayed the bases and underside of each tank with the hair spray, and while the hair spray was still wet, I sprinkled the areas with the kosher salt.

      I let everything dry overnight, and the next day I sprayed the storage tanks with a khaki tan spray paint

      I then weathered the tanks with a wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade" wash,  applied with a wet brush, carefully so as not to dislodge the salt.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the tanks with Americana “Bleached Sand”.

     I let everything dry overnight, and the next day I ran the storage tanks under a weak stream of warm water as I gently scrubbed at the lower ares with an old soft toothbrush, to remove the salt.  When everything had overnight to dry, I gave them a spray varnish with Testor’s Dullcote.

Shown with a 28mm Reaper Nova Corp Sgt. for scale.

     I am really happy with how they came out.  They’re not perfect, but it was a good learning opportunity for the process.   I’m looking forward to making some more things I can try this on.

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