Reaper Bones 77512: Flesh Golem (Neglected Model May ’18)

Reaper Bones 77512: Flesh Golem

This rather attractive figure is a Reaper Bones model that has been clogging up my desk for some time now. I’ve also seen it called “Obese Flesh Golem”, though I’m not sure if that’s ever been an official alternate title, since Reaper has a few figures that are just listed as “Flesh Golem”. I’ve got the other Bones figure as well, so perhaps I should also dig that one up to replace this guy on the paint desk. I picked this guy up as part of Reaper’s Bones III “Stoneskull” expansion.

Reaper Bones 77512: Flesh Golem

Rather obviously, I’ve gone for a yellow/ochre base to this guy’s flesh tones. Both because I like to vary my zombie-skin and also as a bit of a test run for a batch of my future plastic plaguebearers. I was tempted to paint sections of him in completely different skin tones, but going too patchwork runs the risk of making the figure look ridiculous. Also, I just wanted to finish the damned thing.

Reaper Bones 77512: Flesh Golem

A Celestial Lion Space Marine provides scale.

As far as gaming goes, this guy has a pretty wide set of potential uses. Obviously fantasy role-playing, but also the Undead army for Kings of War, and I’ve also got plans to put him to work in a Renegades and Heretics army for 40k. (Nurgle, natch!) Hell, he can potentially be an Abomination when we get back to Zombicide – especially Black Plague as he’s very much a reainimated kind of chappie.

Cheeseburger the Bear (Reaper Bones 77494: Dire Bear)

Here’s a model that I randomly found in a baggie of Reaper Bones models from one of their Kickstarters. I believe I pulled it out at the same time I found the Carrion Worms, so it’s been sitting around for a couple of months now, having a little bit done to it every so often.

The fur had actually been done for some time, and the model just kept getting shoved out of the way from one spot on the desk to another, until I was doing the basing on another trio of models last weekend, so I grabbed the bear to do it’s base at the same time.

So a couple of days ago I saw it there, and decided to finish it off. A couple of hours later and the fur was finished, claws and muzzle and mouth and eyes painted, matt painted on and some tufts added. Anyone who has played Far Cry 5 will understand why I’ve called this bear Cheeseburger (though it also makes me think of the ROH/NJPW Wrestler).

I’m pretty happy with how Cheeseburger’s face turned out. It’s the first time I’ve painted a realistic Black Bear’s face (albeit on a simple Bones model), and it was quite a bit of fun.

In gaming terms, it’s a pretty flexible model. Obviously there’s a place for it in Roleplaying Games, but also anything scenario based, such as Historicals, Fantasy, even some sci-fi. There’s also potential for use in any army (again, especially Fantasy and Historical) that has animal or beast handlers – even 40k could work here – Dark Eldar/Drukhari Clawed Fiend, anyone?

I’ve only just considered that I could have made an awful pun and titled this post “Bear-ly Legal”, but on second thought while puns like Who Let the Dogs Out, etc are fin and fun, Bear-ly Legal might attract the wrong kind of crowd via searches. 😉

It does remind me of an amusing and wholly-unrelated anecdote that I’ll share here. Back in the mid-90’s when I used to play The Warhams with a regular and fluid group in a store in Melbourne’s CBD, there were a couple of other younger, 20’s guys who were also into wrestling, as I was. One evening we were talking about one particular guy lending me a pair of videotapes that he’d gotten hold of. One called Hardcore Heaven and the other called Barely Legal. We were discussing how good they were supposed to be (I’d heard of them, but not ever seen them). Another guy who overheard the discussion warned us that we needed to “be careful” with stuff like that. After a minute or so, we explained to him that we were talking about a different Hardcore Heaven and Barely Legal than what he thought we were on about. We were of course talking about Extreme Championship Wrestling’s first two PPV events. You’re welcome.

Oh, and here’s a size shot of the Big Guy. Pretty happy with how this one turned out, especially given that it’s a Bones model with soft detail and weird, difficult mould lines. The good news at least is that while both of those do stand out a bit in these oversized photos, they’re not really an issue for the model in hand.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen & Marcus (Squad: March ’18)

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

Yesterday, in my Ape-X post, I mentioned that I had been painting some Gorillas for DUST. These were actually started quite some time ago. Following on from the successful speedpainting of 30 Axis Zombies from DUST in January 2014, I rolled straight into the boxes of Axis Gorillas that I had sitting around. After all – the zombies were easy to do, so how could gorillas (almost entirely furred) be anything different? Fur’s easy to paint, after all!

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen

Alas, It didn’t work out. I got a mental block on two of the aspects of these models – gorilla skin and the “silverbacks”. So they sat there, then got pushed to the side, and eventually ended up in a tub of half-painted models, forgotten forever.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen

Until this month’s challenge, obviously. They’ve not been a priority to get out and paint at any stage in the interim, since DUST isn’t a game that has gotten much gameplay here, despite it looking like fun. While I’ve been aware that they’re sitting there, even to the point of naming them in the “things I should try to get done this year” post from January, I’d even forgotten about that. So yeah, while rooting around in the tubs, I saw them, and basically had one of those “fuck it, I’m getting these done so I can get them out of here” moments.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

At some point, I’d also cracked open the Operation “SeeLöwe” box and added the Kampfaffen hero, Marcus to the horde, as well as Reaper’s Ape-X, which I’d gotten in one of their Bones Kickstarters. Because why not? Marcus isn’t technically part of the squad, but I think he fits in just fine with the overall post as he’s supposed to be used with the grunts. Ape-X just makes for a thematic extra, though he obviously doesn’t have any rules in DUST (there’s probably some homebrew ones out there, though!)

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus

Anyhow, I did my usual thing of checking some photo references for animal skin and hides and then just made myself do what was needed to finish them off. It wasn’t a lot of fun, but it wasn’t that hard. Now they’re done, and if I ever need a cohort of cyber-gorillas for anything, they’re right there and waiting. Marcus had a little bit of extra detailing, so I tried to make him a little more visually interesting by picking them out with some colour in what is otherwise a very drab set of figures.

DUST Tactics: Axis Gorilla Kampfaffen, Marcus, Reaper Bones 80001 Ape-X

To finish up, I thought I’d throw in a shot of all the DUST Kampfaffen  Gorillas with their buddy, Ape-X thrown in for good measure. 🙂

Small Scenics: 77136: Well of Chaos (Reaper Bones)

Another quick and easy post today – On a little bit of scenery from Reaper Bones’ 1st Kickstarter. It’s a nice enough piece, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi, though I think the name “Well of Chaos” is a little overblown for what it actually is.

It’s a little bigger than your standard 28mm figure (sorry, I forgot to get a scale shot!) I decided to KISS and keep the scheme nice and simple. Grey stone with a touch of dirtiness to it. Faded, aged bronze for the accoutrements, and a few layers of Vallejo’s Realistic Water for the, well, well water. The water looks a little weaksauce in these photos, but it looks fine in hand. I wanted to keep it to just clear water rather than getting funky by making it red or green or whatever.

I’ve probably got a few more random-ish bits of scatter terrain around from Bones 1 where I went all-in. I know they did some more in Bones 2 and 3, though I was much more conservative in my pledges for both of those. In a year or so, I’ll have a ton more of this sort of thing from the recent Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstarter, which I backed despite my misgivings around Mantic these days. I backed it with the knowledge that it’ll probably be 6 months to a year late, shipped in unintentional waves, and also mismanaged in some hilariously clownshoes manner. So forewarned is forearmed, I guess? As for this thing, it’s a decent piece of dungeon furniture, costs like three bucks, and does what it says on the tin. Can’t go wrong!

77191: Hydra (Reaper Bones)

77191: Hydra, Reaper Bones

Today’s model is the Reaper Bones Hydra, from their first Kickstarter. This model is one that I started about 14 months ago. I wanted it to work decently both as a display model as well as a wargaming piece. I used a few pieces of slate, carefully placed, including a nice sized piece in order to elevate the model – both literally and figuratively. During the process of painting this model and the time that it spent sitting on my desk waiting for some attention, I noticed that the heads of this Bones hydra tend to get a bit lost amongst one another.

77191: Hydra, Reaper Bones

These first two photographs serve well to illustrate a couple of things about how Games Workshop/Citadel paint and pose their multi-headed models. Workshop seem to either carefully split the heads, avoiding having any in almost-identical side-by-side poses as the two rear ones on the Bones model are. With other models, such as Archaon, GW design their models specifically to have the heads painted in different colours or styles – which again helps them to stand out from one another. Which isn’t to say that this sculpt, by Sandra Garrity is a bad one. Just that the way that the model is posed compared to other, more recent models which are sculpted perhaps it’s fair to say – with the finished, painted product more in mind became apparent. I think simply changing the pose of either the middle rear or middle left head head/neck would elevate this model further.

77191: Hydra, Reaper Bones

I’ve been painting for a long time now, and I’ve been able to turn out things to a nice standard for a lot of that time. I was commission painting when I was 16, and at 18 I won Best Figure and Best 40k figure at Cancon. (Before they gave trophies, unfortunately – assuming that they do now? I got a pair of certificates which are well lost at this point.) While that’s all well and good, what it really means is that as a painter I hit my plateau pretty early, and improving further from there has been a long, slow process.

77191: Hydra, Reaper Bones

Since I started blogging again as a way to share my models and motivate me to paint more, I’ve also been trying to improve and add new skills to my bow. Part of that is risk-taking and experimenting with new methods, materials and techniques. I have more than one of these models, since Bones 1 was in the days I went quite heavy on Kickstarters. Knowing that I had another one up my sleeve allowed me the freedom to try something I probably would not ordinarily have tried – that is instead of painting the Hydra in a shade of green, or even a turquoise/teal that fits my overall Dark Elf scheme, I went for what I wanted to be more naturalistic browns. I also played around with my airbrush (which I am awful with!) to try and achieve some nice looking gradients. While that actually worked(!), I felt that the rather deep scales sculpted onto this model demanded more contrast since the airbrushing was so smooth and the sculpted scales didn’t stand out at all.

77191: Hydra, Reaper Bones

My (attempted) solution – which in my opinion didn’t work well – and is the reason that the model then spent a year (or two?) sitting on my desk unfinished until recently was to try a mix of Minitaire’s Airbrush Paints – specifically, their Ghost Tints. I’ve used them before, though never on a model this size. Now coming to the model for the first time and seeing it finished in these pics, it might look fine to the reader. But you know when you have a picture in your head about how you’d like something to look? Now imagine that, and imagine it coming along nicely, and then imagine it all coming undone once it dries. Now if I’d gone for Oil Washes, I probably could have removed it all due to the way that oil paints dry much more slowly and can still be removed and cleaned up with spirits.

I think the base worked out well, but in the end, the model fell short of what I’d envisioned for it. Could I go back and try to fix it up and redo elements of the model? Sure, but at the same time, I have another one to paint that would be a better use of my time than repainting this one, and my enthusiasm for this particular model waned to the point where it literally sat in front of me for over a year before I made myself finish it off. Sometimes you’ve just got to call something good enough for what it is, and call it done. In the end, the model looks decent and perfectly fine for a wargaming model.

In gaming terms, the model will have a home in the Pan-Elven army to start with (using the Dark Elf/Twilight Kin list), and eventually find a home with the Mythological Greek Army.

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.

Undead Army Showcase – July 2016

Undead Army

This is my second “State of the Army” post, this time showing off all of the completed elements of my (Marouda’s) Undead Army at present. Like the Gondor army, I’ve been working on it on and off over the last two or so years, with a recent push during the last 6 months and the painting challenge. I’ve kept Undead on as one of my main options for the second half of 2016, though I’ve opened up my options quite a bit as painting mostly Gondor and Undead got very old by the end. The Undead aren’t so bad though, as there’s actually quite a lot of variety in there, especially when you combine “Vampire Counts”, “Tomb Kings” and even the spectral elements of Lord of the Rings in general and Mordor specifically.

Undead Army

These photographs were taken during the same session as the Gondor Army and 6-month showcase photos, so there has been a little more movement on these undead since then, specifically the unit base I put together for the trio of Nazgûl. I held off publishing (and writing) this post until now as I could see three sets of army showcase posts in a row getting a little tedious. Besides, I wanted to share my Spehss Mahreens.

Undead Army

The Barrow-Wights in the front row need to have a new unit base built for them as Mantic first Squatted them in KoWII before a protest from players (and with myself as one of the first, if not the first in the departed Beta forums) caused them to be reinstated, though now they’re “Large Infantry” with 40mm bases. I’m not going to rebase my LotR SBG figures, so I’ll be making a – hopefully slightly interesting and imposing – multibase for them. My first failed attempt already sits abandoned on my painting desk. 😛

Undead Army

There are a few variables in here. The various Mordor and Army of the Dead/Oathbreaker models will (theoretically) be split off one day to one or two LotR-themed armies of their own, the two units of skeletons with Greek shields and the odd bit of linothorax armour will go into the Mythical Greek army, along with the pair of Brass/Bronze Bulls, units of SpartansTalos, and more besides. Tomb Kings stuff, of which there is little to none right now will become it’s own force; and I’ve got a tub filled with Confrontation prepaint Wolfen, a miniscule 12 of whom are pictured here. Though there’s enough of those to happily stay in the Undead while also making up a Lycan-themed “The Herd” army of their own. Until those things begin to happen, though – they’re all combined to form a mighty undead army, led by Neferata (version 1).

Undead Army

There’s another couple of dozen troops (skeletons and zombies) on the paint desk right now, as well as a couple of more centrepiece-type models on the go. I’ll likely keep knocking out a few more undead units as I paint a variety of other things in the time between now and the New Year.

Neferata and Bastet

Marouda took a few photographs as well, managing to take a much better photograph of Neferata than I did when I posted her here – certainly in terms of her facial details not being nearly as washed out as in my own photos. I’m still learning my way around the new camera, but hopefully getting better!

Undead Army

There are a few not-quite-finished models in this photo. 6 Nazgûl (including a few named) and The Witch King. The Confrontation Wolfen also don’t have any paint on them aside from the retail pre-paint. You can also see some more candidates for scenic multibases besides the Wights. Hopefully between some of that and the centrepiece models I need to complete, I’ll be able to show this force off again at the end of the year in a more impressive light.