Dwarf Adventurers – Pathfinder & Anti-Paladin

A couple of Dwarves to share today. These, like much of what I’m showing at the moment were painted during the latter months of 2016 when I was too busy to post. Basically, my free time was right down, so I spent a few months where my “hobby time” was spent painting instead of writing posts and following blogs and my “gaming time” watching YouTube videos before falling asleep for the night. Reaper Miniatures really has some lovely models for wargamers. We all know that their bread and butter is the D&D/RPG crowd, but the effect that this has for the wargamers is that their models tend to have a lot of character to them, and so make great low-level heroes, individuals and unit leaders (as long as you don’t mind some uniform variation amongst your usually-quite-uniform plastics. Since I’m an old grognard and love my old metal models this isn’t a big issue for me. On the other hand, they’re not especially cheap. They’re not expensive, or anywhere near the prices of GW’s hero models mind, but if you were looking to make a unit of Reaper metals, well, they’re not so cheap as to make that an easy option.

Reaper Miniatures 14460: Dwarven Pathfinder Grunt, 03508: Bregol Jagstone, Dwarf Ranger

Anyway, I saw this guy somewhere at some stage, and knew I had to have him, so I picked him up. He’s sculpted by Tom Mason and alternately known as Dwarven Pathfinder Grunt with a slotta or in “broccoli base” form, as Bregol Jagstone, Dwarf Ranger. Oddly, despite the “Pathfinder grunt” moniker, I can only find a single other dwarf pathfinder by Reaper, so…

Reaper Miniatures 14460: Dwarven Pathfinder Grunt, 03508: Bregol Jagstone, Dwarf Ranger

When it came to the figure, I of course got the slotta version, so he fit in immediately. Anyway, with his wrench shaped axe and hooded cloak, he could easily go in any of several directions as far as paint goes. I chose for reasons unknown to me to go with the “ranger” look and painted him with a series of naturalistic colours – a series of greens to give him some variation and red-browns to give the model a nice rich tone. I have a box or two of AoW’s dwarf rangers somewhere, so one day he’ll no doubt lead some of them. He did get a great ginger beard, since I felt that fit the sculpt and palette nicely.

Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarf Anti-Paladin, Death Knight, Shadowknight

Stonehaven’s sculpting is a little uneven, but many of the figures have a definite old-school charm to them. I’ve shared a few of them a little while ago, and will have more soon as well. They’re clearly also going for the D&D/RPG market that Reaper aims at, but that’s ok by me, and I’m sure it’s fine with roleplayers, who obviously have an absolutely huge range in what their characters look like. This model is their Anti-Paladin (Death Knight, Shadow Knight, etc). As such, I painted her armour with metallic blues with a sea-green/black tabard and gloves, and bright red hair as a nod to my old (non-dwarf) EQ character. Her sword doesn’t quite reach down to the ground (at least on my casting) so I hid it with a little skull at the front and a tuft of grass at the rear.

Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarf Anti-Paladin, Death Knight, Shadowknight

In game terms, they’ll both work well in RPGs and various board games. Bregol will have a place leading some Dwarven rangers, or as an Artillery guy in the interim (because wrench-axe) and the Shadow Knight can no doubt have some sort of spot in the Undead or Chaos armies. Until I get the Chaos Dwarves properly out and about, anyway…

Losing my Marble – Reaper Bones Pillars of Good and Evil

Another pair of Bones painted up a few weeks ago, this time it’s Sandra Garrity’s  Pillar of Good and Pillar of Evil from Reaper’s Bones line, from their second Bones Kickstarter.

Reaper Bones 77246: Pillar of Good with Citadel Reiksgard for scale.

I’ve posed the pillar of good alongside a Reiksgard, as the model has a feel of nobility and goodness. I don’t have any painted SigMarines at this point, so it fell to the knight in shining armour to provide the reference model. No Sir ForScale here!

Reaper Bones 77247: Pillar of Evil with Citadel Dark Elf for scale.

The pillar of evil has a Dark Elf for it’s scale shot. Seems this marble pillar is a bit crooked.

Reaper Bones 77246 Pillar of Good 77247 Pillar of Evil

Reaper Bones Pillars of Good and Evil, side by side.

The pair of these were my first, very rough attempt at painting marble. I’d already started in on both of them before I decided to go with a marble effect rather than simply stone, so perhaps the colours aren’t what they could be. I also based both of them on 32mm citadel bases with a metal washer superglued underneath to give them more stability. As you can see here the Evil pillar isn’t entirely straight because Reaper Bones! They’re not bad pieces, especially for the KS price. Both styles would work better in pairs, but I only have the one of each and I think sourcing a second one of each and then trying to match-paint them is too much mucking about. They’re also probably both more suited to “inside dungeon” type settings than outdoor battlefields.

I used the new “Gloss” versions of Nuln Oil and Axgrax Earthshade on both to see how they perform – the Gloss part not being especially relevant as I varnish my models, but the way that the pigment behaves. I think they did both work well. There was a wash of off-white paint used on the “Good” pillar in an attempt to embed the veins “under” the surface a little. I considered dulling down the bases with some pigments, but I figured that keeping them shiny keeps them a little more flexible in setting.

Anyway, these were pretty quick and easy to do, and it’s another two models done.

Reaper Bones II Skeletons

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

I’ve finished some more of my many Reaper Bones figures that fit under the rather broad undead umbrella that I use. No stretch this time, though, as they’re a bunch of skeletons. Originally sculpted by Bob Ridolfi, the Bones versions – somewhat predictably – suffer from mould lines, wobbly weapons and soft details. Still, they’re not the most terrible models and they’re good enough for RPGs or even standard troops on the table.

Reaper Bones 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman

Reaper Bones 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman

As usual, these guys were painted piecemeal over a period of time, mostly at work. They were a bit of an experiment – primed with the spray can and done in the normal manner, they were as sticky as all hell for awhile, but the acrylic paint over the top and the polyurethane spray seems to have settled it down. I skipped the decals on these guys because I didn’t want to “waste” 20-year-old decals on Bones models and instead did the shield designs freehand… and of course they came out far better than decals would have.

Reaper Bones 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman

Reaper Bones 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman

They’re a pretty odd number to make a unit out of, with nine models. Bones II backers got one of each, while they’re now being sold in sets of three of each sculpts. I usually make a regiment from a dozen models, since they work out about right when based on 25mm rounds for the correct footprint of a KoW regiment.

Reaper Bones 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

With nine models here, I’ll just shove the archers out of the front rank, and add a couple of random skeletons to make up the numbers. Turned out I could only find two, but good enough. I’m calling it a done regiment, but if (when) I end up with more random skeletons down the line, I can split or remake these guys into 2-hander, sword and board or archer regiments. For the time being, it gives me a second Undead unit for September’s monthly Tale of Gamers challenge that I’m running on Dakka.

 

The unit is filled out with a couple of spare skeletons. One (the archer) is from Bones 1, and the other is from Dark World, which I’ve mentioned previously. It only gives me 11 so I’ll have to sort out a 12th, but I’m still calling the unit functional for now.

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

And finally, as is the norm – the completed unit shots.

I wrote the following thoughts along with one of the first batches of Bones Skeletons I posted, and they’re just as relevant now, so hey.

As models go, like many Bones, these do what they say on the tin, in a very basic manner. I’d really only recommend them for roleplayers. If you’re playing D&D and want some cheap and cheerful skellys for your adventures, then these are a perfectly serviceable way to go. They even work okay if you’re the kind of roleplayer who never paints their models, or just gives them a wash to bring out the detail. For wargamers, there are many better options out there, especially for $2 each/$6 for three. Still, I already owned these, they pass the three-foot test, and they’ve now gone from Unpainted to Painted, and we know that every time a miniature gets painted, a Kitten gets their Wings, so it’s all good.

 

 

 

Bats and Rats

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Reaper’s Bat Swarms

My rather pathetic entry for the Undead army part of the painting challenge in July was a single “swarm” unit that I’ve only photographed this morning – made up of a trio of Reaper Bones’ Bat Swarms (77046: Bat Swarm). (I can’t believe they want US$2.99 for them!) Since I have four of the models from their various Bones KS campaigns, I decided to paint the fourth at the same time in the same manner. The base coat was a mix of Reaper’s Master HD Colours of Rusty Red and Ruddy Brown. I then washed it with GW’s new Nuln Oil Gloss, to hit the recesses hard while staining the upper as little as possible. Then drybrushed with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally Evil Sunz Scarlet. I’m well aware that these are tabletop quality paintjobs at best and that no-one will care how I did them, but the fact is they’re pretty crap models that don’t really deserve any better, and I’m simply recording how I painted them in case I get another pair of them to make a second swarm one day – purely for gaming purposes. I added the tombstones on the unit base from the Renedra Sprue since the bats were mounted on gravestones anyway in order to tie them in a little with their surroundings, even though I usually dislike “diorama bases” on my own models, as they place the models in too specific a location for figures that will be running around various tabletops.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm by Werner Klocke

Cheetor at Sho3box did a much nicer job on his Bat Swarms a couple of years ago, which I noticed only recently via Google Image Search, what with highlighting their heads and whatnot, but for me, going reddish so they fit broadly within the Undead Army palette was good enough. I also did their bases and unit base so they’d fit in with the Graveyard themed scenery that I’ve started putting together (very) slowly.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

Anyone actually excited by these? I thought not.

The Rats follow almost the exact same ethos and purpose – though the models manage to be much less impressive. This time the models are provided by Reaper’s Rat Swarms (77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2)). You get a pair of them this time for your $2.49, though again I’d possibly be willing to argue their value, even for that price. Anyway, once again I had four of the sculpt, and again I mounted them on 30mm round bases from Impact Miniatures, which I’d originally bought to rebase Space Marines but have been using to base various swarm-sized vermin from Reaper Bones so far.  Paint was… various browns outside of my usual basing colours, including Model Air Khaki Brown at some point, again with the Nuln Oil Gloss, and then AP Tanned Flesh for their widdle teeny-tiny tails and feets. One day the rats will no doubt be shifted over to my Skaven Army, but I’ll need to actually have a few units of Skaven painted before that becomes a worry. I figure vermin like Rats fit in well enough with Bats and Bugs (Sol B shoutout!) to go with the Undead in the meantime. As I finished the the Rat Swarm base in early August, it will also be my weaksauce minimum mandatory Undead submission for this month’s paint challenge if I don’t manage to get something more impressive done.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2) Sandra Garrity

And yes, I’m aware that these Bones models started as metal sculpts in greater detail (and multipart for the bats) and the Bones stuff is cheap & cheerful stuff for gamers of various stripes. That’s why I painted them, though it doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that they’re both a bit rubbish, even if they end up looking passable on the tabletop.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Including the fourth, warped Bat Swarm (and yes, I did the hot water, and yes, it bent back anyway).

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

These have a secondary, theoretical use for me in RPGs. And the Skaven army.

Swarms for Kings of War - models by Reaper Bones.

Swarms for Kings of War – models by Reaper Bones.

I decided to take an all-together shot of all my completed little Reaper Swarms. With the unit bases, they’ll do the job on the tabletop. I noticed after taking the photos that I forgot to add tufts to these new ones, so I might have to go back and do that so I can consider them finished. I know I’ve gone on and on about how crappy they are, but I’m just a bit OCD about certain things…

77126: Vermin: Spiders, 77128: Vermin: Spider Swarm (Reaper Bones)

A couple of very simple paintjobs to share today as the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” painting challenge comes to a conclusion at the end of June. Like many of us gamer-types, I have a shedload of random figures from Reaper’s Bones I and II Kickstarter campaigns. I did back the third one, but skipped the base pledge this time round as Reaper delved deeper into add-on territory and offered less “value” with the base pledge. Especially as I’ve got more than a lifetime’s worth of random bendy PVC fantasy models, as Tarmor can attest to as I offloaded a bunch to him awhile back! With Bones III, I picked a much more “curated” set of figures. But this isn’t a discussion of Bones III. It’s showing off some rather bland and generic figures with paint to match!

Reaper Bones 77126: Vermin: Spiders

These three are the 77126: Vermin: Spiders. Not a bad sculpt to be truthful. I painted them in red tones with yellowish markings because Marouda’s far from a fan of realistic, life-size spiders and because they’ll be used in the Undead army, and red/black with a touch of teal/bronze/etc are the army colours. Their fangs are done with Citadels’ new “Gemstone” paint (the blue one) over a dark metallic base. Mostly because I’d only just gotten them and wanted to experiment with them a little on inconsequential figures.

Reaper Bones 77128: Vermin: Spider Swarm

The next three are Reaper’s 77128: Vermin: Spider Swarms. These are what they are, I guess. Much more for generic roleplaying purposes, but they didn’t take much time to paint up and ink. I used a few shades of ruddy red-browns so as to distinguish the spiders a little. It didn’t especially work, but at least the blobs are varied a little. I could have gone through and very carefully painted eyes and markings on each individual spider, but at the end of the day, these Swarm models don’t deserve that much of my – or your – time. As gaming models for what are essentially trash mobs, they’re good enough. I have a bunch more of the larger spiders and beetles and such somewhere from Bones I that I was cleaning up for paint a year or two ago, but they’ve gone missing somewhere.

Reaper Bones 77126: Vermin: Spiders

Reaper Bones 77128: Vermin: Spider Swarm

All six models were based on 30mm bases I got from Impact! Games, as 25mm rounds are too small, they fit them well enough – and quite frankly I’m buggered if I’m going to use my expensive 32mm Citadel rounds on them. I then made up some unit bases for them from 120x40mm cuts of MDF that I purchased for unit trays – somewhat inspired by Grimdork’s unit trays over on Dakka. The trays are for their main use – as “Undead Army Swarms” in Kings of War. Technically, they’re a unit that is part of the Army of Dust (Not-Tomb Kings) and not the more generic Undead (that covers the Vampire Counts stuff), but I’m in favour of fluff over RAW when it comes to army lists for friendly games. When I paint scorpions, they’ll be much more AoD/TK themed. I noticed after taking the photographs that the grass tufts I’ve added to the bases here are a little dull, so I’ve since added a few in a slightly brighter green.

Reaper Miniatures 03278: Rogan, Half-Orc Thief

 

Something a bit different from the norm again today. A few years ago now there was a time before Zombicide and Borderlands 2 when my gaming group spent quite a few evenings playing through those D&D Boargames. I’ve shown off the odd critter from Ravenloft and Ashardalon here before, but this guy is from the other side. A model purchased to represent one of the player characters. I actually created a huge list of (mostly) Reaper Miniatures to better represent the player characters as I was never particularly enamoured of the PC models that came in the boxes. One such character was the Half-Orc Thief. Needing one of those, I browsed the Reaper online catalogue and saw this guy, a lovely Tre’ Manor sculpt. Shortly afterwards, he was mine.

Since I’m no fan of broccoli bases, I had to base him on something plastic and round. A Proxie models 40mm round base was the best and most appropriate thing I had, if a little large, but with his stature and wide-legged stance, this was the smallest thing I could fit him on.

Reaper Miniatures 03278: Rogan, Half-Orc Thief 77224 Rogue

Tre’ Manor’s Half-Orc Rogue

The most important thing was to work out a palette that worked for a rogue, was somewhat realistic (for a fantasy trope) and wasn’t completely boring. That means an all-black outfit was out. It might be the “obvious” go-to for a rogue or thief in some ways, but I also thought it’s the sort of thing that’s very likely to attract lots of attention if he were to be walking down a street or sitting in a tavern. Kinda like a sign saying “YES I AM A THIEF”, or a guy in a ninja outfit sitting in your local Starbucks. So I wanted to use some colours. Secondly, this guy is a Half-Orc, not a weedy Elf, so I wanted to go for muted, natural colours instead of rich, opulent colours.

Reaper Miniatures 03278: Rogan, Half-Orc Thief 77224 Rogue

He wants YOU!

The result was dark grey leggings, a brown leather padded jerkin, and for a spot colour, red-brown gloves and boots. Pouches in dark grey again, and a natural woodland green for his cloak. The sort of thing that would be dark and dull enough to provide some camouflage in a town or out in the bush. His dual-wielded daggers are painted in the Vallejo colour called “Metal Black” (Or Black Metal!) – which is a really dark, true gunmetal colour. No shine, no highlight, no picking out the pommel or crossguard in bronze, or painting the little skulls on them in bone or gold or whatever. They’re bloody rogue’s daggers!

Reaper Miniatures 03278: Rogan, Half-Orc Thief 77224 Rogue

Cloak of slightly-harder-to-see-me deployed!

Anyway, this guy – like so many other figures – sat half-painted and mostly forgotten for a couple of years before I chose him a couple of weeks ago to get done and dusted. Within a day, he was finished. Since we’re not playing the D&D games at the moment and haven’t played Pathfinder in a year or more, now he goes into a glass cabinet until needed at some point in the future. At least he’s done, though!

Reaper Miniatures 02828: Thornback Troll

Azazel: Today’s post comes from Marouda, who I’ve convinced to start up her own WordPress account so that she can add the odd post to the blog. Her last contribution was adding her thoughts and perspective to the review of Dungeon! back in Jan 2013. This model is Reaper’s Thornback Troll by Ben Siens, Released in 2004.

Anyway, over to Marouda:

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll

I selected this model to paint for a Reaper Miniatures painting competition in 2011. However I never got him finished in time, so he sat unfinished for a while. Originally he had a bright orange yellow loin cloth, which Azazel suggested that I tone down. The shading and highlighting on the muscles took ages to do as it involved many, many layers.

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll Side view

I enjoyed painting his club and his pimples. I am very much a beginner painter, but it’s very handy having Azazel who has been painting for most of his life coaching me through the various stages and layers of painting. Last week I decided to finish the model and further highlighted his belly brows, jowls and muscles with a pale highlight. I did all the painting on this model myself apart from the very fine detail work of the pupils of the eyes, some of the teeth and the base.

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll

Reaper Miniatures Thornback Troll Back view

This is the second model that I have ever started and just recently finished apart from some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I painted more than 10 years ago. I also started and finished a water unicorn model at the same time I started this troll. I have a female Entwife figure from Mithril Miniatures that was started some years back that I should really get finished. I also really like the GW Tomb Kings models although that involves some very fine work and a very steady hand.

—–

Azazel: I did the basing so that the model remains consistent with the rest of the miniatures. The model was based on a round back when this model was started, and since it’s as much a display model of Marouda’s as a gaming piece, I’ll leave it on the round instead of rebasing to square as the other trolls are. Tufts of course tie the model in with the other trolls in the collection, so this purple guy can fit in nicely enough in a unit with the various others.