Conan Kickstarter’s Black Dragons (June-It ’18)

Conan Kickstarter’s Black Dragons

A few more models from the Conan Kickstarter today. Black Dragons. These figures come as a set of 5. I just got the one set, but I could see the value in other people picking up two or four sets to use them as units in wargames or as villainous mooks in their own custom scenarios. I’ve painted them in a scheme influenced by the box art, but with a few more spot colours and metal shades added in, as they looked a bit too plain in all-iron. Huh, it seems like the little nodule that I thought was a forehead-gem is supposed to be a spike.

“Then a medley of voices reached his ears, and the room was thronged with the finally roused people of the court–knights, peers, ladies, men-at-arms, councillors–all babbling and shouting and getting in one another’s way. The Black Dragons were on hand, wild with rage, swearing and ruffling, with their hands on their hilts and foreign oaths in their teeth.”

Robert E. Howard – The Phoenix on the Sword

So it turns out that the Black Dragons are Conan’s bodyguards, and that their Captain, Pallantides is a stretch goal that I’m sure I’ll find inside the big box eventually.

Conan Kickstarter's Black Dragons

I picked these guys out a couple of months ago as they looked like they’d be an easy win – what with mostly being covered in armour. As it happened, they weren’t super hard to paint, but they also weren’t fun at all, either – so they took a bit longer. The small size, combined with loss of detail, ill-defined details and messiness in their lines due to the PVC made them pretty shitty models to be quite honest. They basically got finished due to this month’s challenge theme being enough to motivate me to get them done and out of the way. Hopefully Captain Palindrome will be a nicer, or more fun model to paint. Conan Kickstarter's Black Dragons, Wolves, Baal-Pteor, Demon of the Earth, Giant TIger

Here’s a shot of them alongside their Conan-Kickstarter brethren that I’ve painted. Ok, so I skipped the scatter-terrain barrels and only put out two of the Wolves. At this rate I’ll end up getting all of the add-on boxed models done before I crack open the core game and paint a Conan figure!

Conan Kickstarter’s Demon of the Earth

Conan Kickstarter Demon of the Earth

Today we have another model from the Conan Kickstarter. This time it’s the Demon of the Earth!

A ferocious being from another plane. The earth demon can be summoned by both hero and overlord sorcerers to give them a huge punch in combat!

I took painting cues from both the box art as well as the painted minis by Martin Grandbarbe. Not trying to copy him directly, (the model isn’t good enough in my opinion to try that hard, though Martin’s work is absolutely lovely) but take some influence, as the plain greenshades taken from the art leaves the model more than a little plain.

Conan Kickstarter Demon of the Earth

Also a cue taken from Martin’s page is a hint as to what the hell this model is supposed to be – perhaps a demon vassal of Thugra Kotan, who is a Stygian sorcerer character from the story “Black Colossus“.

Conan Kickstarter Demon of the Earth

I initially tried to ape the box art, but the dapples in the green skin looked bad, and then when I tried to unify them with the rest of the flesh with a glaze and wash, they still looked sub-par. So then, influenced by Martin’s models, I added in some flesh variations – a ruddy flesh, and then added some ochre highlights and purple shading to give it some interest – because as all shades of green he was severely lacking.

Conan Kickstarter Demon of the Earth, Baal-Pteor

Baal-Pteor, Demon of the Earth and a Mentor Legion Space Marine for scale.

I’m still not especially keen on this figure, but what can I say? He’s done – and still looks decent for a boardgame model. Certainly good enough for me, once again. On to more and better models now!

Conan Kickstarter’s Baal-Pteor

Today we have a model from the Conan Kickstarter once again. The model is of a Conan character called Baal Pteor, or on the box, Baal-pteor. (I keep thinking of him as Baal Predator. I wonder if that’s a subtle pun on GW’s part?) He was a paid add-on from the Conan Kickstarter, and cost me ten bucks.

Kickstarter text: “The Strangler” as he is known is a cold blooded murderer. A new leader minion, he comes with his own scenario as well as guidelines for integrating him into others.

I picked this model out of a stack of boxed add-ons to paint entirely because of his appearance – basically a buff dude with a loincloth, bracelets and sandals. Or to put it another way – a simple model to paint as almost the entire thing consists of flesh tones, followed be a chance to discard the giant box that a single tiny model and a couple of cards came packaged in. Now, I pretty much know nothing about Conan. I’ve never read Howard’s novels or stories, and my total experience pretty much amounts to the two Arnie films and the single 2011 film that shares a name with Arnie’s original, and very little else.

So I used the box art as my rough guide to painting. Once I had pretty much finished the flesh, though I went with shaved bald rather than short stubble for the head, I got online to work out what colour(s) to paint his accoutrements. I also stopped to find out who the hell this guy is. Mostly since I wanted to note whether he was a player hero or an “Overlord”-controlled hero.

Alongside my only other painted Conan models. Well, the wolf is one of ten, but you get the idea.

And then I find that he’s “a Kosalan strangler of Yota-pong” who is described as “a black man from the lands of Kush“. Uh. Huh. So where or what is Kush or Kosalan? Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Awadh in present-day Uttar Pradesh. Oh, right. Ok, where is that? North-Eastern India. So… I guess from the regional and physical descriptions given, Baal Pteor should be panted as a darker-skinned Indian. I guess it then makes perfect sense that the artwork shows a character that’s clearly European. I’ve heard that the developers were careful to reinterpret various Howard characters so as to appear less racist (though sexism was apparently not a huge problem), though I’m not sure how “giant dude who is stronger than Conan and fights him” is inherently racist regardless of what ethnicity giant dude happens to be. I’m kinda ambivalent to the whole series of arguments either way, but I’d personally rather have painted the character as he’s “supposed” to look. Still, the flesh is all done, and I’m not repainting him now.

Go home, Baal. You’re drunk!

He’s got a bit of a lean to him as well, that I only really noticed once I had cleaned, primed and base coated him. In person it varies between looking like a lean and like part of a swaggering gait. otherwise, I feel that he looks pretty decent, all things considered. I’m happy with the flesh tones and musculature, though he would have been a cool figure to paint with dark skin as well (Bobby Lashley, anyone?) Less happy with how the eyes came out, but as you can see via the Marine comparison pic here, he’s much more truescale than GW figures, and a bit of a weird looking pinhead to boot! Then again, a bit of eyeliner fits in well enough with his pretty coin-fringed loincloth and fabulous bracelets, so who’s to say?

Conan Kickstarter’s Sabretooth Tiger

As with the wolves, this seems a waste to have been a KS exclusive. Also, I seem to have misplaced the tiles…

Today we have the Sabretooth Tiger from the Conan Kickstarter that I’ve previously painted both the Wolves and some barrels for.

This one is very much a Neglected February model, as I started the bloody thing at the same time as I started those wolves. I finished those wolves over a year ago. I’d already done the orange-to-yellow-to-white shading, but somehow the need to sit down and properly do some realistic tiger stripes was a task that put me off completing it for so long.

Monolith Games Conan board game Kickstarter Sabretooth Tiger

I used their official/box art for my guide, though I gave it more natural rear flanks and tail patterning than going really heavy on the dark stripes as in their art.

Monolith Games Conan board game Kickstarter Sabretooth Tiger

Here’s the opposite side view.

Monolith Games Conan board game Kickstarter Sabretooth Tiger

And alongside a couple of the Conan KS Wolves I mentioned earlier.

Monolith Games Conan board game Kickstarter Sabretooth Tiger

As can be seen here compared to the Chaplain, it’s quite a decent sized beast. Not giant-animal sized, but certainly a solid, bulky creature. A Space Marine provides a much more relateable scale shot for many people.

Who Let The Dogs Out? Conan’s Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf Pack!

Why would you make these a Kickstarter Exclusive? They’re wolves, FFS.

Or more correctly, the Giant Wolves add-on boxed set from the Conan Kickstarter that I painted some barrels for recently.

Anyway, I’d selected these to take a look at alongside the Accessory Pack, and on opening them up was really quite impressed with the models inside. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of them before priming or adding paint, (The render above is as good as I have, I’m afraid) but they were really a nice surprise and on par with the fine details of the stuff in the Accessory Pack. Since furry friends are usually on the easier side of the painting spectrum, and inspired by Subedai’s recent success in getting Conan’s stuff painted, specifically his Hyenas, I got busy with them pretty much immediately.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

I initially primed them with Tamiya Grey Surface Primer and no real plan, then came inside to google some wolf images. On doing so, I decided that they would look good with a lot of white involved, and so re-primed them from each side with Tamiya White Surface Primer while leaving them a little darker with the grey down the back.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

Once I got them inside I sorted the bases firstly by supergluing some small shards of slate down, and once that was done, I used the sample of “Area 51” scenery glue kindly sent my way from Kibo to affix the sand. I almost always prefer to use PVA because of the higher surface tension of PVA, but given that these models are pre-fixed to their bases, something with low surface tension and flow was much more useful, and the Area 51 was perfect for the job.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

Next, I added some Old Citadel Bronzed Flesh (round HMG pots, baby) thinned down to add some buff tones to the fur. Following that it was a combination of a half-dozen photographs of wolves from Google Image Search and painting – utilising a mix of drybrushing and fine detail brushing in various combinations of Vallejo Model Colour Basalt Grey .869, Sky Grey .989, Reaper HD Arctic Grey, and Vallejo’s airbrush Black and Schwarzgrau primers, carefully brushed on.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

The yellow of their eyes was painted with (discontinued) Citadel Foundation Iyanden Darksun, dotted with a pupil of black. A very-thinned down mix of brown and black was dabbed onto their paws to darken/dirt them a little in contrast to the majority of their pelts. As mentioned, I used various photo references as guides to painting their pelt and facial markings, taking note of the variations of colour and pattern that can be found inside even a single wolfpack with the intent to create models that (can) work as individuals while retaining a unified and natural feel for the entire pack.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves

A few adventurers face off with the wolves to provide a scale reference.

Models like these can of course be used in pretty much any fantasy-esque game, from Pathfinder to Warhammer to 40k to Kings of War. And so they shall be.

I took some additional pics of the wolves on the Urbanmatz Snow Territory Mat recently, so I’m adding them in here.

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves, Urbanmatz Snow Territory game Mat

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves, Urbanmatz Snow Territory game Mat, D&D Miniatures Bears

Monolith Games Conan board game Giant Wolves, Urbanmatz Snow Territory game Mat, 28mm Vikings, Wargames Foundry

Roll out the Barrel…. Conan’s Adventure Pack Barrels

Like a fair few other people in our hobby, I backed the Conan Kickstarter a couple of years ago, and also like many of us, I had my first wave of stuff arrive recently. Now I only got around to taking the stuff out of the shipping boxes last week, and frankly, I haven’t had the time to look further into the actual boxed game or the equally huge “Kickstarter Extras” box. Boxes. I got two King Pledges… 😉

Conan’s Adventure Pack. Sans Barrels…

What I did do while I was cleaning up in the War Room and making space to put the Conan stuff onto one of the shelves was notice how nice the models in some of the add-on boxes looked. Specifically, the “Adventure Pack”. The models looked really fine, baby. That is to say that they looked very finely detailed. Much moreso than anything I’d expect to get from a boardgame, and moreso from a kickstarter boardgame where the usual reaction to the models is “yeah, these are pretty decent” or a sadly unsurprising disappointment. After seeing Subedai get busy with some of his Conan models, I thought “why not?” and opened up the adventure pack to paint the contents as they looked like they’d paint up nice and quickly.

Monolith Games Conan board game Adventure Pack Barrels

…and here are Conan’s Barrels.

So that’s what we have here. Barrels. I haven’t started on the other stuff yet, but the barrels are pretty nice for what they are. I usually paint my barrels up in the standard, admittedly boring way that most of us do. Dark brown wood, metal hoops. Job done. Nothing wrong with that, but with posts by Dagger and Brush on building trees with realistic bark colours resonating in the back of my head, I decided to paint these ones so that they looked a little more …realistic? worn? aged? So they would look like they’ve been left outside in the elements for their time. Faded, stained wood and rusted metal.

Monolith Games Conan board game Adventure Pack Barrels

Conan’s barrels. Stacked. Somewhat..

Primed white, base coated with Vallejo Skeleton Bone coloured primer and then drybrushed with Reaper HD Arctic Grey. Hoops painted with Vallejo Plate Mail Metal coloured primer and then painted over with very-thinned Vallejo Model Air Light Rust and Orange Rust. The whole thing then washed with 50-50 Army Painter Soft tone wash and windex, and then with Citadel Nuln Oil Gloss. Gloss Polyurethane varnish, followed by Testor’s Dullcote. I’ve got that down here fo rmy future reference in case I end up with more of these barrels or want to recreate the exact look. It’s annoying when you paint everything that you have of some kind of scenery, and then find more somewhere, and then can’t remember exactly how you did them. I found some more of those Confrontation walls recently, and so now instead of having painted them more or less instantly, they’re just sitting there. In fact, I’ve lost them again somewhere. Bah.

Monolith Games Conan board game Adventure Pack Barrels, Stonehaven Dwarf Berserker, Reaper Miniatures Dwarf Pathfinder, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf

Norsemen and their Norse Dwarf cousins discuss the best way to provide scale shots for barrels.

After checking the Kickstarter details, I see that each core pledge box comes with an extra 5 chests. Add those to the 5 in the accessories box and I’ll have 15 chests to paint up. They’re pretty finely detailed, but the thing stopping me from blasting through them now is working out how to paint them. Wood? Iron? Bronze? It’s bloody exhausting!