D&D Monster Manual 18: Wrath of Ashardalon – Gauth (Bellax)

Wrath of Ashardalon - Gauth

Bellax, Baby Beholder?

Since we’ve been playing a bit of the D&D boardgames lately, a few more of the models from those games have sneaked into my painting queue. Despite my fairly effectiove use of “The Tray” unfortunately some of the stuff there just isn’t driving me to paint it right now, and the D&D stuff belongs to that most relevant painter/gamer clause of “I need it done now for a game”. So when I found this thing in the bottom of the game box, primed and basecoated red. Well, I could see that the model was going to be simple enough to finish pretty quickly. So over the course of not too much time over two days, I got it finished.

Wrath of Ashardalon - Gauth

Dancing Dragonborn Fighter for scale.

As I understand it, a Gauth is like a small Beholder, which is a bloody silly monster in and of itself, and as such, very D&D. It’s also one of the noises that – should you find yourself making it with any frequency – means you should go get yourself tested for COVID-19. As for the model, I dunno. While I actually have an amazing looking paionted variant of this model in my mind’s eye with mottled skin and transitions between distinct shades, it was already basecoated red, and given how much of a zero-sum game my painting time is, it’s really not a model that calls for such effort. It was an easy paint, it looks alright, it’ll work well when we need it for the boardgame or if I ever play D&D/Pathfinder again, so it counts as an easy win, I guess!

D&D ̶M̶o̶n̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ Hero Manual 17: Castle Ravenloft’s Arjhan the Dragonborn Fighter

Castle Ravenloft's Arjhan the Dragonborn Fighter

In case anyone might be wondering what the hero models from these D&D board games look like, here’s the sole example of one that I actually painted. And by painted, I mean it’s been sitting part done on a series of shelves, tables and containers for the better part of a decade now. I can’t answer why I even started this model, as it’s a pretty awful example of sculpting, casting, posing (WTF is he supposed to be doing? Dancing? Throwing a Punch? It’s dancing, isn’t it?) and pretty much everything else. It got painted in reds with gold because ….I think maybe the character card art insinuated these were the colorus to use? Or maybe I chose red because Dragonborn? I can’t recall. I dunno, really. Or care. I did the hair/dreads this week though. I went with yellow because fire, because Dragonborn. Also, the bright colour draws the eye to the model’s head where black or a dark colour would have dulled it down.

Castle Ravenloft's Arjhan the Dragonborn Fighter

This model is a good example of a bad model from 10 years ago. It might be a boardgame figure, and it’s now painted, so it’ll work for that okay, but it’s not great in any way by any means. It only gets it’s own blog post to fit in with the other Ravenloft models, and so I can entertain myself for 10 minutes shitting on it in type. It’s another example of a model that’s now done that I can pretty much never concern myself thinking about again. And if I ever need a Male Dragonborn Fighter armed with an Axe, I guess I’ve got the perfect model to fit that unlikely event….

D&D Monster Manual 16: Castle Ravenloft Vampire Count Strahd

Castle Ravenloft Vampire Count Strahd, Dungeons and Dragons D&D miniatures.

Another boardgame boy today – it’s the Big Bad …brains of the Castle Ravenloft boardgame – Count Strahd. Why does it seem like he should be called “Count Baron Von Strahd?” for some reason? This one wasn’t even started. I found him on the previous mess of a painting table primed, and that was it. He must have been like that for …well, getting towards 8 or 10 years to be quite honest. It was actually a bit tricky coming up with colours for him. In the end, I just went with colours based on the Undead Army that I put a lot of work into a few years ago. Because it uses a pretty generic scheme that works for undead, and also why not and good enough. He can theoretically be used in that force as well, but let’s face it – I have cooler Vampire models to use in a wargame! (I think that’s why I must have not even started on this model – I’ve got better models to use in Ravenloft!

Castle Ravenloft Vampire Count Strahd, Dungeons and Dragons D&D miniatures.

Strahd isn’t an especially inspiring model, but I guess as a boardgame miniature from 2010 – or possibly earlier than that, given that many if not all of the D&D Boardgame minis from that era were repurposed from the D20 prepaints that preceded them – he works well enough. Certainly there’s no reason to hold him to the same standard that Not-Red-Valeria-Viking-Sonja should be. Also – oops! I forgot to do a couple of the lumps on his back-scabbard with a gemstone paint. Rest assured, that I’ll get right on that!

Most importantly, as the Junkyard Dog (and ONLY the JYD) would say… another one bites the dust!

D&D Monster Manual 15: Castle Ravenloft Kobold Sorcerer and Skirmishers

D&D Castle Ravenloft Kobold Sorcerer and Skirmishers

Very much continuing the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” theme is this foursome of models – the Kobold contingent from the D&D Castle Ravenloft boardgame, which I purchased in the middle of 2012 and we finished playing in 2013 or perhaps early 2014. As far as miniatures go, these are pretty bad, with soft, indistinct detail. As boardgame pieces (which to be fair, they are – sharing their sculpts with the prepaints of that era), they’re …fine. Again, this is before companies like CMON drastically raised that particular bar. They’re also not a patch on the current Nolzur’s range of models. But, again, you know, duh. These kobolds obviously being of the current draconic variety, rather than the original, more canine one.

I don’t have any particular use for these little models in their odd, twisted poses. I won’t be doing any roleplaying for the foreseeable future outside of a PC, but I guess we could always resvisit Ravenloft sometime. I can’t recall if we ever actually finished Ashardalon, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t make it into The Legend of Drizzt Mary-Sue, but the models and their stats cards are cross-compatable, so maybe there?

D&D Monster Manual 13: Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem & Oldhammer Skeleton “Hellblade” – Diabolical December ’18 meats Deadcember.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew, D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

Recently, I was reading one of Alex’ posts over at Leadbaloony where he noted that he was going to try and paint up something for Deadcember. (Though nothing in months for these challenges anymore.. sniff 😢). Anyway, I decided to see what Deadcember actually was. Or is. I mean, I can guess, but it’s always good to have a proper look around. It seems to be predominantly a weightlifting thing, where weight enthusiasts do a lot of deadlifting …but a few google ranks down, also a painting challenge that has run for several years, though I couldn’t really find a central “hub” for it, despite a few blogs participating over the last couple of years along with mentions/threads over on Lead Adventure and the Oldhammer forums.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew

Hooray! Exclaimed Hellblade the Skellington.

Oldhammer Undead Skeleton Hellblade Undead Chariot Crew

So simple then, from what I saw. Paint some undead. As it happened most conveniently, I had this skellington on my desk. Known as “Hellblade”, and originally one of the five interchangeable crew from the classic metal Undead Chariot. He had been sitting around, part painted and unloved for some time. Years in fact. I know I rebased him a few years ago, and there had been some repainting involved. So yesterday I re-repainted his bone cloaks into the red of the current Undead Army, did all of the necessary highlighting to his bones and black robes, and then hit the shield with some freehanding, and he was done. So after an hour or two, easy as that, a model that had sat around ignored for literally years was done. This is why I started doing these challenges, and also why I’ll try to tack on anyone else’s challenges that I happen to see that aren’t those “start-to-finish” ones that just leave me with more half-painted figures.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Flesh Golem

So, with Mister Hellblade the Skellington done, I looked around the table for something else that was achievable. The Flesh Golem was there. That bloody Flesh Golem from the Castle Ravenloft D&D boardgame that Marouda, Pyro and Orez played through back in 2012-3 or so, which is why I’ve (badly) sculpted flagstones onto his base. Yeah, he’s been sitting around for a long time, too. Mediocre story short, I also knuckled down and got him completed as well. Done.

This isn’t the last of 2018’s models to show. There’s still a couple more to go, but they shall have to hit the page in the opening days of next year!

And on that note, as it’s getting to the business end of New Year’s Evening here, I wish you all the best for the remains of 2018, and the best for 2019. I’ll see you on the other side!

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons: Giant Spider (1995) (Jewel of July ’18)

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons Giant Spider (1995)

Time for a Spider! Today’s model is a Ral Partha Giant Spider from their licenced Dungeons and Dragons range in 1995. Which is why it has a “TSR 1995” on it’s underside. While some of you might wonder why RP felt the need to licence something as incredibly generic as a Giant Spider, where no copyrights or trademarks could possibly exist, the answer lies in it being part of a branded D&D range that stores would carry and purchase from.

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons Giant Spider (1995)

Friend of the Bitz Box, Mark Morin actually painted the same model a couple of years ago, along with some other old-school Grenadier Spiders.

I painted the thing in woody browns, inspired by our local Aussie heroes, the Huntsman Spider. Even though the Huntsman isn’t furry like our D&D model, I still wanted her to have the “feel” and “appearance” of a “real” spider. In order to do that, I followed the really simple, muted tones of real spiders rather than going all that crazy with bright colours, as it’s clearly not a tropical specimen. I also went with browns rather than blacks, since I wanted it to stand out a bit more, and perhaps be a little less creepy(?) The tiny, beady eyes were painted black, with a single dot of white for the highlight, and gloss varnished. Not that you can see them, they’re so bloody small!

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons Giant Spider (1995)

After trying to make the thing look kinda-realistic with the paint, I wanted to then draw it away from looking like a large spider had invaded my games room by using the basing to tie it in with the rest of my minis collection, and with that black rim separate it from the tabletop slightly. I also used some bits of slate to raise the front f the spider, since it’s rearing up (for some reason) and make it look that little bit more impressive when sat next to other models.

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons Giant Spider (1995)

Ral Partha Dungeons and Dragons Giant Spider (1995)

It really is a nice sculpt, and probably one that’s now lost to time. It wouldn’t take much for someone who owned the mould to scrape off the TSR from it (or probably most of that range) and sell it, and I’m sure that’s the case with at least a good chunk of the rest of the mid-90’s range. After all, no-one “owns” Orcs, or Kobolds or Elves – which is why we now have GW selling us “Orruks” and “Aelves”, but without knowing the intricacies of that particular licence agreement, who can tell? RPE don’t have it. Maybe Mirilton or someone else like that owns the sculpts now? (Well, not Mirilton – I just checked!)

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!

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…

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.