D&D Monster Manual 12: Castle Ravenloft Howling Hag, Dark World Haunter

Another one of the Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame models today. The “Hag” from the Castle Ravenloft boxed boardgame was probably my least favourite model to paint from the entire set, which is why she’s taken this long to complete. At first she looked an easy model, and I attempted to knock it out quickly, but the soft detail and general …I dunno, unlikability? of the model led it to sit in half-painted limbo for literally years, including one (failed) attempt to try and get it out and just get it done.

Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft – “Howling Hag”

Ironically, it’s been the “Tale of Gamers Painting Challenge” that led me to fish the model out of one of the tubs it had been banished to in order to complete it. When I saw it, I thought “yeah, that’s undead” and with April being a very difficult month for me to to various personal reasons, I felt that it might be a way to achieve my self-imposed monthly target on the undead side. After all, I painted two units from scratch last month… Initially, my thought was to potentially use her as a character of some kind, as it’s essentially a boss character in the D&D boardgame, but the model just doesn’t deserve to be a character in a wargame. Not with so many other, better models at my disposal.

Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft - "Howling Hag"

Rear view of the Howling Hag

As you can see, I’ve really just tried to get a “good enough” tabletop level on the model. Looking at it in these photos, I can see how I’ve completely skipped higher level highlights on the edges of the robes and clothing. But meh. I dislike this model with it’s muddy, soft “detail” and so I’m calling it good enough. the reddish and black shawl is an attempt to add a little bit of colour to the model, and is also “good enough” should it ever be used as …something in the KoW army. Perhaps she could be stuck in amongst the Zombies. It’d work well enough with that giant gob. Perhaps as an (extra?) Necromancer in Zombicide: Black Plague.

Dark World – “Haunter”

Next up, a model started back in the early 1990’s, “finished” to a standard I was unhappy with for a long time, buried in a figure case, and recently exhumed and finished to what is again, a “good enough” tabletop standard. I’ve gone for what has become the more or less default “ethereal” paint style ever since the LotR Army of the Dead became a thing back in the early 2000’s.

This guy is the “Haunter” from the 1992 board game, “Dark World“. I managed to either save up my money or get gifted this HeroQuest-alike boardgame in my youth. It had to be awesome, right? Look at the cover art!

Dark World Miniatures

Look at the miniatures! There’s a definite Games Workshop stylistic thing happening there, which was very exciting back in ’92. The Mummies and, well, one of the Skeletons I still have, painted and set up with the undead army. No idea what became of much of the rest of the set, including the large temple that came as scenery in the set, which I started converting way back decades ago but never finished. If I ever do find it, I’ll finish it and show it here. Sadly, I never actually played the game. So, um.. yeah.

Dark World Haunter – Original “Official” paintjob (not mine!)

The Haunter is a relatively simple figure. Even back in the day I didn’t like the goofy face that they gave it, so I promptly threw it away and left what I thought was a much more evil looking ringwraith-style empty hood.

My version of the Dark World “Haunter”

The base made it a little awkward when renovating the old model recently but instead of cutting it off and mounting it on a normal GW style base, I just put the whole thing onto a Warmachine-style “rolled edge” base and built up around the rim with acrylic paste. Like the Howling Hag, I’m seeing this as more of a boardgame model, or perhaps role-playing or skirmish gaming than something that will go into a Kings of War army. In this case mostly because I have no idea what profile to use…

Dark World Haunter, Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft - "Howling Hag"

Haunter and Howling Hag

So these models might end up being April’s Undead entry into the Tale of Gamers challenge unless I can finish off something else. I guess I still have a couple of weeks, but I need a break from painting skeletons, so we’ll see what transpires. In any case, I’ve got another couple of monsters for D&D/Pathfinder/WFRP/etc.

D&D Monster Manual 11: Castle Ravenloft Wolves, Rats and Giant Spiders

I haven’t had much to show recently. A combination of work ramping up as we come to the middle of the year, new duties at work on top of my usual turning out to be a far heavier workload than expected and of course, the onset of winter – shorter days and bloody cold! All of these factors have combined to drastically reduce  my output and energy. This weekend I managed to finish some goblins, but it’s basically so cold right now that I’m concerned that spray varnish could wreck the figures, so they’ll remain 95% done and unphotographed until we get a day that’s both warm enough and one where I’m able to be home to spray.

So in lieu of something newly-painted, I have some more Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame models today. These three aren’t the most exciting or inspiring figures from the Ravenloft Boxed set, but hey – they’re done and they work on the table.

D&D Castle Ravenloft Giant Spiders

The Spiders. Well, they’re not amazing sculpts and didn’t exactly inspire me, so I decided to look to one of the “local heroes” of spiders – The Australian Redback spider. Of course, the sculpts look nothing like an actual Redback, but what can you do? These were simply painted to what I’d consider a basic boardgame standard.

D&D Castle Ravenloft Wolves

Next up we have the Wolves. These are also somewhat average sculpts – though better than the spiders. I tried to make them look a little bit realistic, though their awkward pose, soft detail and super-heroic-scale proportions don’t help. While I’ve given a little bit of extra effort to them in trying to give them somewhat realistic colouration and some facial markings. While it would have been easier to simply paint them black or brown, that would bore me to tears. Of course, when blown up this large, they look awful. Such is the price of zoom photography.

D&D Castle Ravenloft Wolf Faces

Again, I’ve gotten to a point where I felt they were “good enough” – because again – boardgame models, not centrepiece wargaming or display models.

D&D Castle Ravenloft Rat Swarms

Finally, the bases of Rats. Or Rat Swarms. Whatever. They’re actually fine for what they are. But let’s face it – how much can you bring yourself to care about something like this? Once again – boardgame models that are “good enough“. I’m hardly going to detail the faces on these little ones, after all.

 

D&D Monster Manual 10: Castle Ravenloft Wraiths and Blazing Skeletons

More Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame models today. The Wraiths and Blazing Skeletons. Both of these sculpts come in transparent blue plastic, so painting them is a little different.

Flaming Skeletons

Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft – “Flaming Skeletons”

You really don’t want to be undercoating these if you want to retain the semi-transparent look. I gave both of them a bit of a wash with dark blue ink in order to deepen the shadows, which has worked in one way and not been so great in another, as they have lost a certain amount of their transparency by doing so. The Blazing Skeletons are pretty nice models, actually – the only really “difficult” part being how the fireball is indistinct from the rest of the flames happening on the model.

Dungeons and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft – “Wraith”

The Wraiths aren’t bad models either. A little ham-handed perhaps, but that’s hardly a new thing to miniatures. Simple enough, but overall quite effective.

Dungeons and Dragons - Castle Ravenloft: Blazing Skeleton, Wraith

Size Comparison with The Usual Suspect

Obviously, the place for these figures to get more use would be in the Undead Army. What to use them for on the other hand is a little trickier. The wraiths would obviously see most approrriate use as Wraiths, but that role is more than competently taken care of both by the reams of Army of the Dead models from LotR as well as the old Citadel Spirit Host (Ghost Swarm) models that I repainted last year. Smaller numbers have any number of very nice models in LotR Barrow-Wights, Otherworld Miniatures’ Wights and the like. Perhaps if the AotD get split off into a separate Army of the Necromancer or something. I dunno. Suggestions on near-term use for those models would always be welcome.

The Blazing Skeletons have a similar problem – what to use them for? If I were really lazy or creative, I could try suggesting that they’re stand-ins for War Machines. What with the huge blue fireballs they’re about to Ha-dou-ken at their enemies. Thing is of course, that I already have some Undead Warmachines (and two more Skull Chuckers to sort out, and a TK Screaming Skull on the radar.)

So, I dunno. Smush them in with Undead Archers since they’re all ranged? Seems a bit ill-fitting somehow. Use them as Undead Characters/casters? While that could work ont he surface, these models don’t look like interesting characters, and Undead Characters seems to be one of the most heavily-populated subgenres of miniatures available – both from older metal collections like my Citadel stuff as well as endless newer models from Reaper, Bones, etc.

 

 

D&D Monster Manual 9: Castle Ravenloft Zombie Dragon & Werewolf

Another couple of the Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame models today. The Zombie Dragon and the Werewolf. Both are decent sculpts, though nothing outstanding by my standards.

Castle Ravenloft “Zombie Dragon”

The Zombie Dragon is a reasonable beast, though details are a little soft in places. It’s also undersized to my eye, for a dragon at least. Dragonling perhaps, but not a full fledged dragon, undead or otherwise. A zombie dragon is, apparently a distinct thing from a Dracolich. I guess that’s a Dragon who is a Lich, rather than a Dragon who is a Zombie. I guess perhaps Dracoliches can be the ones who animate Zombie Dragons. I’ve still got to finish painting the Dracolich that came with Ravenloft, so enough about that for now.

Catle Ravenloft Zombie Dragon

Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft – “Zombie Dragon”

Since this thing is (or used to be) a Dragon(ling), and also a Zombie, I went for a kind of traditional green palette, knowing I could stay dark on the carapace while highlighting the majority of the skin to a really pallid, desaturated green, so the carapace and wing membranes would provide a harmonious contrast. Of course, the other contrast that I wanted to have nice and strong was that of the blood, gore, viscera, exposed muscle and so on.

Catle Ravenloft Zombie Dragon

D&D Zombie Dragon showing off its sexy abdominals.

The beast doesn’t look like it’s been dead for all that long, as there’s not a huge amount of decomposition on the model so far. I mean, the details are pretty soft, so it’s easy enough to go other way, but I thought the head looked a little sallow as opposed to being made up of exposed bone. This is why I painted the eyes as hollowed-out but bloodied sockets. As though the crows and carrion-eaters had picked them out of the skull, before reanimation had occurred.The midsection and exposed ribs were again a bit soft, so I used some tube-putty to create some intestines hanging out of the chest/midsection cavity, along with a relatively fresh trail of viscera and blood being left in its stride.

Catle Ravenloft Zombie Dragon

D&D Zombie Dragon leaves a trail of its own gore in its wake.

All of the exposed wounds were finished with Tamiya Clear Red, and the trail of dripping gore was made up of the same Clear Red along with some Water Effects.

Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Werewolf

Castle Ravenloft “Werewolf”

The Werewolf also, is a simple figure. Again on a par with an average Bones model. Very much a 5/10 sculpt and model, in my opinion. I went for grey rather than brown, since grey rather than brown wolves and werewolves fit the pseudo-gothic-horror aesthetic of something like Castle Ravenloft for me.

Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Werewolf

Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal!

The incredibly awkward pose and posture doesn’t do a whole lot for me, either. Interestingly, this werewolf is female. Though she only has two breasts, that are completely covered in fur, rather than six-to-ten teats. Not something I’d thought about much before.

A close-up of the Werewolf’s head.

We all know that there are actually painters out there that really can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. I’m not sure if I consider myself one of them, but I know that I could have made this model look better than it is. The question, as always is whether it would be worth the time invested. In this case, I did a little with facial markings and called it good enough.

Size Comparison – Ravenloft Werewolf, Zombie Dragon and Chronopia Guy.

In the end, these two are simply used as Bossed for the Ravenloft box. In theory, both could have a place in a Kings of War Undead army, though I’ve got better (Confrontation) Werewolves that I use for that game, and better ones from Citadel, Reaper, and even Mantic that I can use for everything else. The Zombie Dragon would need proxy-stats for a creature much less nasty than a proper Dragon to be of use. Obsidian Golem stats of some kind, perhaps?

 

D&D Monster Manual 8: Wrath of Ashardalon Orc Smashers and Gibbering Mouthers

This time, I’ve got another couple of trios of Wrath of Ashardalon figures. Despite both of these sets being finished a year or two ago now, I haven’t photographed them before. This is because my initial plan for both the Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon sets of figures was to paint them all up, and show them all off as completed sets – one for each of the boardgames. Obviously that hasn’t worked out, and so I’ve decided to show them off in this D&D subcategory, which will hopefully help me to finish them off.

Dungeons and Dragons – Wrath of Ashardalon “Orc Basher”

The Orc Basher is a nice enough figure. It’s a very different style of Orc to the much more familiar (to me) Warhammer Orc. I took my paint queues for these figures from the LotR Uruk-Hai of the White Hand. I was in two minds about actually painting a White Hand on their shields, but decided against it in the end in order to keep them a little more generic.

 

Dungeons & Dragons – Wrath of Ashardalon “Gibbering Mouthers”

Gibbering Mouthers are another of the oh-s0-very D&D creatures that inspired the new D&D category. When I saw these figures, it took a little while for me to work out what to do with them and how to paint them. Fleshy-looking tendrils of eyes and teeth? Hm. In the end, I decided that I had to paint them in a disgustingly wet, fleshy manner, with subdermal veins visible through the pinkish skin. Finished with satin varnish, and with some clear mucus of some kind dripping from one of their mouths via Water Effects.

Dungeons and Dragons Ashardalon figures with Scale reference.

Once again, Heartbreaker Chronopia Kilt-wearing Celt-Barbarian Guy provides human-sized scale reference. The Orc is pretty much human scale but more heavy-set, while the Gibbering Mouth-breather is a bit shorter. In wargaming terms, the Orcs can easily fit into an Uruk unit of some kind anyway if need be, and manage to look quite decent in and of themselves. I guess the mouthers could either be mounted on top of 40mm bases to be something disgustingly daemonic/abyssal, or as a form of chaos spawn/beast of Nurgle. Or possibly Slaanesh.

 

D&D Monster Manual 7: Wrath of Ashardalon Giant Snakes and Cave Bears

No updates for a little while. New role at work with increased hours has meant less time for painting, blogging, sleeping, gaming and all of the other stuff that I enjoy. Not to mention the weather has been unsuitable for spraying lately as we slide towards winter here.

I’ve added a new category today. Dungeons and Dragons monsters down on the sidebar, and gone back to rename the D&D-centric posts with the “D&D Monster Manual” prefix, as I’ve done above. I did this because when I was outside a little while ago photographing this update’s models, it occurred to me that I do have quite a few D&D-type monster models, from boxed games like Ashardalon and Ravenloft as well as from Reaper’s Bones campaigns. Since I’ve got categories for all the Warhammer-centric subfactions under the sun (with many more to come) I thought it made sense to do the same for the D&D stuff, even though it’s never been a core game for me and I don’t know what a lot of the stuff in it is properly.

I’ve only done this for the most obvious things, specifically the “proper” D&D models, and Not-D&D models by Reaper. More generic stuff like Elves and Goblins and Skeletons from a dozen different manufacturers in a dozen different styles can just go into their own categories and people interested in those can look in there, but as I get more of the “proper” D&D models done, I thought it worthwhile for these.

So, first up (in post 7 of the series – gotta love retcon edits!) we have the Giant Snakes and Cave Bears from Ashardalon. Neither are super-amazing figures, but they’re still quite nice sculpts, especially in PVC, and as Boardgame Miniatures they are really very good. I understand that they are (or were?) also available as pre-paints from the D&D miniatures game. Again something I’m mostly ignorant about.

Dungeons and Dragons – Wrath of Ashardalon “Snake”

First up, we have “Snake” from Wrath of Ashardalon boxed game. I’m assuming that these “properly” come in several different flavours, but I’m happy to just go with “Giant Snake”. These three have been near-painted for.. well, quite some time. At least a year, and probably around 2-3, when I was really into painting the boxed D&D games’ figures. Finally knuckled down and got them finished yesterday after doing a little on them last weekend. They’re a little bright, and much more on the “fantasy artwork” side than the “realistic” side in their colouration, but that’s ok by me. The important thing is that they look good on a table, and more importantly – are finished.

Dungeons & Dragons – Wrath of Ashardalon “Cave Bear”

Next up we have “Cave Bear”. These were actually painted a year (or two?) ago. Aside from the unfortunate PVC mould lines, these are lovely little sculpts and painted up like a dream. I’ve always been pretty happy with how well they came out, as well. Obviously here I went for more of a realistic feel to the colours, though still keeping it bright.

Dungeons and Dragons Ashardalon figures with Scale reference.

Heartbreaker Chronopia Kilt-wearing Celt-Barbarian guy provides human-sized scale reference. What can I do with these figures aside from roleplaying? I’m honestly not sure. Mayhe they can slip into Kings of War as proxies for units in the “Nature” army. I’d need a bunch more to fill out enough to make up a unit, though. Maybe the bears can join in with a unit of Wood Elf Wardancers and the Snakes can do the same for Witch Elves? Actually, that’s not a bad idea…

D&D Monster Manual 6: Reaper Bones: Not-Intellect Devourer, Not-Grick

I received my Reaper Bones II Kickstarter stuff a few weeks ago, and while I had a little bit of Buyer’s Remorse at not having purchased a few additional bits and pieces from the campaign, that’s mostly due to having started new projects that things would have worked well for in the time since the campaign ended, and then finally delivered however many months late it was. I didn’t even bother keeping track of that this time around. Overall it’s a solid bunch of models for PVC, and I picked out a few that I thought would make nice, quick painting projects. The first was that Bronze Bull/Brass Bull/”Gorgon” which I asked about recently and just need to finish the final touches on (probably later this weekend). The second and third are these two …thingies.

Reaper Bones 77228 "Cython" (aka Grick)

Reaper Bones 77228 “Cython” (aka Grick)

Reaper Bones 77228 "Cython" (aka Grick)

…don’t worry, it’s only a shower

Reaper Bones 77228 "Cython" (aka Grick)

…and now for your clothes, here’s a pretty flower.

Now, my nerd-background is solidly on the Warhammer/LotR side rather than the D&D side, so when I saw the 03603 “Cython” and 03582 “Mind Eater”, I saw silly-weird Rogue-Trader-esque space aliens, rather than D&D critters, and decided to paint them up in that spirit – somewhat inspired by Cheetor’s Alien Flora and Fauna project (and the fact that they looked like they’d be quick and easy enough). So in the spirit of all that, I thought I’d paint these suckers up.

Reaper Bones 77229 "Mind Eater" (aka Intellect Devourer)

Reaper Bones 77229 “Mind Eater” (aka Intellect Devourer)

Reaper Bones 77229 "Mind Eater" (aka Intellect Devourer)

No relation to the Brain Bugs from Starship Troopers…

Knowing that of course, the things must be some kind of D&D or Pathfinder ripoff, I also asked Tarmor if he knew what these things actually not-are. He informed me that the 03603 “Cython” looks a lot like a Grick from 3rd edition D&D and that 03582 “Mind Eater” is a direct “copy” (ripoff) of an Intellect Devourer from all editions! Tarmor also kindly provided me with a couple of pictures that I then used as paint references. Now that I’ve done the photography, I’ll be adding some Gloss Varnish to the Brain Diner, and these two will be done and dusted.

77228: Chthon, Grick, 77229: Mind Eater , Intellect Devourer, The Mouth of Sauron

The Mouth of Sauron provides Scale.

Since I rarely play D&D/Pathfinder (every few months I play the occasional session run by Orez. I think we’re level 3 or so?) I don’t know when or if these will ever see the table in their “proper” form, much like that not-Purple Worm of theirs (Wow! I just googled “Reaper Purple Worm” and my pic is the first thing in the image search above the actual link to Reaper!)

77006: Great Worm, Purple Worm, 77228: Chthon, Grick, 77229: Mind Eater, Intellect Devourer

A little collection of Reaper’s Not-D&D Monsters

77006: Great Worm, Purple Worm, 77228: Chthon, Grick, 77229: Mind Eater, Intellect Devourer

The Mouth of Sauron provides scale reference.

77006: Great Worm, Purple Worm, Mouth of Sauron

The Mouth of Sauron provides scale for the Great Purple Worms.

Anyway, both figures were reasonably quick and easy to paint, and the various blending of tones was fun and turned out pretty decently as well. Now it’s back to those bloody goblins!