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.

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

Azazel: Another Guest Post from Marouda. Hopefully we can keep her interested in painting models and these can be a more regular thing!

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

I painted this model about 4 years ago. This figure is a very nice model sculpted by Julie Guthrie as part of the ‘All Things Dark and Dangerous‘ range for Ral Partha, probably in the late ’80s.

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

The model is a Kirin which is a creature that looks similar to a unicorn with the scales of a dragon. I remember that I enjoyed painting it as I particularly like mythological creatures such as unicorns and pegasi. I chose to paint the Kirin in a turquoise palette of colours. The model was fairly easy to paint except for the fine detail of the eyes which require a very steady hand so I asked Azazel if he could help by painting the eyes. To provide a shimmer effect to the scales I used a white opalescent paint over the turquoise paint. I am really happy with how the mane and hair turned out. Azazel helped me with painting the base for the model. I wanted the Kirin to be running through waves. To make the waves of the water on the base ‘water effects’ was used.

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

Ral Partha: 02-951 Ki-rin

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.

Citadel TL13 Talisman Troll (1986)

Another blast from the past today. The Talisman Troll. Remember when Games Workshop used to make boardgames? No, not “Specialist” (a title that came much later) minatures games that started in a big box, like Battlefleet Gothic or Necromunda or even Dark Future, but actual self-contained Board Games. Talisman was one of these, alongside things like DungeonQuest, Chaos Marauders (which was a card-based game about Orcs & Goblins), Block Mania (set in 2000ad’s world of Dredd), The Fury of Dracula and so forth. There really was quite a variety. GW was quite a prolific producer of both original and licenced boardgames for a bit of time back in the 1980’s before they went fully-Warhammer focused.

Citadel's TL13 Talisman Troll (1986)

Citadel’s TL13 Talisman Troll.

I had a few of the old metal Talisman figures, but I never really liked any of them especially. I think the Space Marine (from Timescape) got rolled into my RT-era models, though even that was an unimpressive sculpt. I’ve probably got a few of the others still floating around somewhere, I recall a man with a top hat in his hand, a woman with a small cauldron, and the Ninja being in my collection. They probably still are. In a container of junky old lead. Somewhere.

Citadel's TL13 Talisman Troll (1986)

TL13 Talisman Troll shows off his trousers.

Anyway, this troll was the one of those old figures that has gotten painted and not lost over the years. I painted him with a flesh tone rather than green as by the time I got around to painting him I had no intent to use him as a Troll or in Talisman. Instead, he was recruited to my small gang of old-school Beastmen. We’re talking old-school Beastmen, before the entire race had been retconned into the Broo-inspired Goatmen and Satyrs that dominate to this day. Not that I dislike modern Beastmen. I actually think they’re ace. I just happen to also like the variety found in the older RoC-era ones as well. So this guy fit in with the mixture of malformed miscontents quite well. Or well enough.

Citadel's TL13 Talisman Troll (1986)

Rear View of the TL13 Talisman Troll.

I gave him old-school warhammery stripey trousers and dirtied him up a little. I could obviously use him as something like a half-orc or even a more D&D-styled orc for roleplaying purposes. Whichever way, he looks very much the demi-human style thug. I’ll probably roll him back into the old-school beastmen unit for KoW that will be very much Warriors of Chaos-aligned, as the more modern Beastmen will be their own thing.

Talisman Troll Character Card & Standup –  Talisman 2nd Edition.

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.