Impact Miniatures Ice Hockey Miniature

•January 4, 2013 • 3 Comments

I painted up one of Impact Miniatures ice hockey miniatures for a gift for Christmas. My boss loves the Pittsburgh Penguins so I when I saw that Impact was making a line of  hockey miniatures I had to jump on it. So I joined Kickstarter and backed their project which was funded and orders fulfilled in plenty of time for Christmas. I got to work on paint scheme which was easy as it consisted of the Penguins home uniform.

Sidney Crosby Dec 2012 (5)

The freehand on the uniform was quite the challenge to paint small enough on the miniature yet still needed to look realistic to the real uniform. I think overall I succeeded with getting him to look correct. I enjoyed painting him up and after taking the pictures noticed a few areas I touched up before giving him away.

The best part was seeing the reaction of my fellow coworkers as they had never seen anything I painted in person, and pictures do not really show the scale or the detail put into miniatures. I hope to paint another one I may keep for my own collection in the future but for now I have the photos to remember this by.

Reaper Miniatures Forum Autumn Miniature Exchange

•January 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This was the 2nd time I participated in a miniature exchange and I do enjoy them quite a bit. I painted up Reaper’s Monterey Jack, Cowboy Mouseling sculpted by Gene Van Horne for my exchange partner as she really likes mouselings, and requested one for this exchange. Monterey Jack was Reaper’s 2011 Convention Special Edition Miniature and I happened to have two and thought it would be perfect to paint and give away as it is no longer available for sale from Reaper.

I really enjoyed painting Monterey Jack who I nicknamed Charlie Prince (shout out to 3:10 to Yuma). He was the first Mouseling I painted and I really must pick up some more and paint up sometime they have so much character and of course cuteness. I selected a warm color scheme for him as I pictured him in the dry desert area of the wild west. I even added a touch of freehand to his hat which was inspired by western art. The base was difficult as his tail is sculpted onto his base so I could not just cut it off. So I glued him onto a 1 inch square base and hid most of his base by sand and basing materials. Prior to sending him off to his new home I took a couple of photos, so here he is.

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Also a quick shot of him with a standard d6 for anyone who does not know the scale of the mouseling’s Reaper produces.

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And finally the mini I received during the exchange. I was lucky enough to be paired with Reaper’s own staff artist Martin Jones. The mini pictured below is Reaper’s Netikerti, Nefsokar Mage sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.

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I absolutely love this mini and how he painted her for me. I am honored to have her as part of my miniature collection. For a better picture you can visit Reaper’s site here http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/mummy/sku-down/14081 to see Netikerti in all of her awesomeness painted by Martin Jones.

And lastly I wanted to post up a personal thank you to Recruittons from Reaper’s forum for running the exchange and taking the time to put it together so everyone can have a great time and get a little piece of art in the mail as a surprise.

Dark Sword’s Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister (28mm) Work in Progress Part II

•October 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a long break here is a much needed update of Tyrion. I got a little more finished on him, but still have a long way to go.  The picture quality isn’t the best as I took them quickly on the paint table.

On Labor day weekend I did manage to do a little more to Tyrion. Here is a shot after I started his shirt and added some highlights to his hair.

More recently I used my paint brushes and started to base coat the red and blocked in the lion. I am happy with the lion at this point, but hope to add a bit more red before I begin shadowing and highlighting.

I may work on him this weekend, but poor Tyrion is going to be placed on the back burner while I start a miniature for Reaper’s Forum Miniature Exchange. I will post photos of the exchange mini once it is sent off to it’s new home as I do not want to spoil the surprise for my exchange partner.

I have prepped and primed the exchange mini and picked out a color scheme. Hopefully this mini is just what I need to get my brushes moving and back in to my painting groove.

Dark Sword’s Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister (28mm) Work in Progress

•September 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I am currently painting up Tyrion Lannister as a surprise gift for a friend. I haven’t yet decided how to base him, but I would like to find some tiny gold coins to scatter on his base.  I am taking my time with him as he is really small and he will be a gift.

I want to include some of the tips I learned at Gen Con in the process of painting him, so to start I took my time in filing his mold lines and then went a step further than my usual prep and sanded him with a fine grade sandpaper. This did help cut down on the fine lines my files left and made him much smoother.  After sanding him I washed him off with soap and water then attached him to my primer top to prime him. Here is my first WIP shot, Tyrion prepped and cleaned before primer.

I used white primer and put on three very thin coats as to try to not obscure detail. After his primer dried overnight, I then took my Reaper Master Series Brown Liner and blocked in where I think may be difficult to reach. I picked up Dark Sword’s new DVD featuring Marike Reimer at Gen Con and just finished the first disc in it she shows this technique of painting where she wants to be sure no white will be showing through in the final product.  So far the DVD has a lot of information in it and Marike shows off her techniques of painting and paints a few minis in front of the camera for the viewer to see how she does it. I was lucky enough last year to grab tickets to two of Marike’s classes at Gen Con and I hope this DVD helps show me even more of her miniature painting techniques and tips to help push my painting further. But back on topic here is Tyrion after he was primed and his hard to reach spots were blocked in.

Next, I started his face and skin. He doesn’t have a lot of skin showing other than his face, neck and hands. I base coated his skin with Reaper’s Tanned Shadow, in the shadows I mixed Tanned Shadow with Chestnut Brown and worked the highlights up to Tanned Highlight. After his skin I base coated his hair a dark blonde color I customed mixed. It may still need another base coat at this point, but I had to let it dry completely. I also added in his eyes, one green and one brown, for now I am finished with his face until I complete more of the mini and decide if the highlight should go higher. His hands were also started but not finished yet.

I hope to work on him a little bit more tomorrow since it is Labor Day, but after that I doubt I’ll have time until next weekend. Overall I’m happy with how he is started. Any suggestions please comment and let me know so Tyrion can look his best.

Gen Con Indy 2012 Part 2 – The games

•August 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I believe anyone could go to Gen Con and find a game they would like to play even if they are not a gamer. There is so much to do and a wide variety of games represented there. I never feel as if I get to play enough games while I am there, but with so much to do you can’t do everything. Thursday I spend quite a bit of my time in the Dealer’s Hall looking at the new games being offered and of course waiting in line. I managed to get a copy of the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying game from Privateer Press this year. The line was immense so I imagine this was a priority for quite a few. While I was at the PP booth, I also scored both convention exclusive miniatures, which I can’t wait to paint.

Also on Thursday, I played in a D&D Next event play testing the new rules. I like what they are doing with D&D and am excited to see how it unfolds as they get closer to debuting the new system. I may be one of the few people who appreciate both 3rd edition and 4th edition and hope to see a little more of 4th edition involved with D&D Next. The event itself was good not great, we had an hour and a half to make a character and run a short delve. The character creation should have been a separate event that you could do prior to your run or use a pregen for the delve if you didn’t have time to do so. Overall though the DM was great and we got a good feel for the direction that D&D is going in. I look forward to seeing the new edition being released and hope it brings in new gamers to join the fun.

The only other RPG I got to play in at the Con was Bladerunner Press’s Deadlands ran by Gene Cramer. We had a blast and really enjoyed it, the characters were a lot of fun with lots of personality. I also got to meet a few of the people from the Gen Con forum which is always fun. I really like classic Deadlands and hope my husband will run it again for our group soon as it is a fun and diverse setting.

The only disappointing event for me this year was True Dungeon. Two of our friends attended Gen Con for the first time and we treated them to a run of True Dungeon. Unfortunately, so much of the fun of this event depends on the rest of the party. The group dynamic was not good this year and 10 players was too many. The rooms were far too crowded the puzzles were difficult to do because too many people were trying to read the clues and getting in the way of others.  I used to really enjoy True Dungeon but I believe I could spend my time doing other things at the convention and have an equally great time.

Of course, my husband and I came home with lots of new games which over the next few weeks we will have to try out and share with friends. Hopefully before long we will be preparing for Gen Con 2013.

Gen Con Indy 2012 Part 1 – The Miniatures

•August 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Gen Con is over and it was a blast. The show was awesome this year and my only regret is not getting to do more.  It is a shame I’ll have to wait an entire year for 4 awesome days of gaming in Indianapolis. This was my ninth time attending Gen Con and each year I think I have more fun than the last.

So much to talk about so I’ll start with the miniature side of things. I was lucky enough to get into two of Rhonda Bender’s MHE (Miniature Hobby Events) events and one of Zach Lanier. My first class was Rhonda’s Blending and Transitions, she did a wonderful job showing me her style of blending and I hope to try to practice it and put my own spin on it very soon. I also took her Painting Transparent Cloth, which is very hard; she of course makes it look simple. Rhonda was super nice and engaging during her classes and I wish I could’ve spent more time learning some of her tips and tricks at miniature painting.

On Saturday I took Zach’s Intermediate to Advanced Techniques Part one. He took us through all the steps from choosing the mini, prepping and of course basing. I always try to take one of Zach’s classes as he is a terrific teacher and always shares some of his secrets during his classes. Not to mention we get to see many of his pieces up close and really get to appreciate all the detail and work he puts into each one.

I hope to do a Work in Progress soon on a miniature to show all the new things I learned this year from all the MHE events.

I also made a few trips to the Dark Sword booth this year chatting with Jim Ludwig the owner, his miniatures are beautiful and I love painting them. He had the lovely Jessica Rich working at his booth this year and Tom Meier was there to chat with fans. I was lucky enough to talk with Jessica and have her critique my work.  I really appreciated everything she had to say and hope to begin to incorporate some of her suggestions into my new pieces.

I was lucky enough this year to win 2nd place in the Diorama category with my Dark Sword Diorama “Enchanted Melody”. I also placed second in the Dark Sword manufacturer prize category with it. I loved this piece and I am glad it won over the judges and allowed me to take home two awards. Also it will be joining the Dark Sword studio pieces as Jim purchased it from me at the show. I am truly honored to have a piece of my work in the Dark Sword collection and can’t wait to see it next year in the Dark Sword booth.

I also brought home a silver medal from Privateer Press’s P3 painting competition for my Commander Adept Nemo. I painted him up for my husband’s army and decided at the last minute to take him with me to Gen Con. I am glad I did, as he will join my Circle of Orboros Kaya in my display case who earned me a silver medal last year. Of course, they both will still see the game table when we are playing Warmachine and Hordes.

Both the Gen Con painting competition and the P3 competition had many great pieces to admire. I always spend a lot of time looking at all the amazing pieces.  You can check out the winning entries from Gen Con’s painting competition at www.genconminipainting.com.

In the dealer’s hall there was a large presence of miniature manufactures with their minis and new games as well. I spent time looking at quite a few and ended up with a ton more minis to add to my collection to unpainted figures. As always I wish I could’ve purchased more but alas only so much resources and space.

Origins Game Fair 2012

•June 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This weekend I made it down to Columbus to enjoy Origins. I only was able to attend Friday and Saturday, but still had a blast. I enjoy going to Origins it’s like a warm up for Gencon.  This was my 2nd time at Origins the first being two years ago. Friday was a much quieter day overall, giving me plenty of time to look around and really take in the entire convention.

I entered the painting competition and was honored to take home 2nd place in the single figure category. There were plenty of great entries in all the categories and I enjoyed the experience.  I painted up Darksword’s Frog Jester just in time finishing him Thursday around Midnight.

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He was a lot of fun to paint this is my 2nd piece featuring the Darksword frog line and I love them all they have so much personality. I was inspired by Marike Reimer’s version and hoped to capture a little of that in my jester. I used a blue and orange color scheme for him and really struggled with the orange. This was the first miniature I have painted with a bright orange and learned a lot from it.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with the wonderful Sandra Garrity for a basic sculpting class on Saturday. I have never attempted to sculpt before and hoped this class would help me with my conversions. I learned a lot from Sandra and she was such a nice teacher. Looking at some of the bits she had with her that she sculpted was amazing and to watch her work really was inspiring.

Also on Saturday I played in an Ascension match and was happy to walk away victorious. It was a simple two-hour match up, but I did come home with a free Ascension t-shirt, honor bag, and promo cards. Wizards of the Coast were also previewing their Dungeon Command and I must say it looks fun. I hope to pick up a copy when they release and get a chance to play it. It comes with prepainted plastic minis, dungeon tiles and even cards to use the minis in their Adventure system board games.  The tiles and minis looked to be of a good quality and could be utilized in many ways.

Of course, while I was there I picked up some new minis and a couple new paints.  My favorite purchase however was my command stick from Geek Chic. Now I have a matching command stick for when I play war games on my Geek Chic Spartan. Overall I had a great time at Origins and can’t wait to go again next year. Now the final countdown to Gencon really begins.

Super Dungeon Explore Mage: Part 3 Finished

•April 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I finally finished my Mage. I actually got her finished last weekend just haven’t gotten around to photographing her.

Since my goal was to complete her in 4-5 hours I rushed a little in finishing her. Overall she turned out good for tabletop quality.

Hour five: I quickly painted up her staff. I wanted to try my new vallego alcohol solid gold. I don’t think I stirred it quite enough but it went on quickly and covered well. I had broken her staff off and had to re-glue it in place bending it a little while doing so. Then I painted to ball of her staff with Reaper Master Series paint highlands moss and jungle moss.

I also began her base. I used some grey stuff and tried sculpting it like a dungeon floor.

Hour six: I used black primer on her base then drybrushed it with a light grey and painted on some yellow runes.

Now since she is off the painting table I will be starting a few minis to enter at Gencon.

A review of “Lords of Waterdeep” a new Dungeons and Dragons board game by Wizards of the Coast

•March 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I recently purchased “Lords of Waterdeep” a euro-style board game by Wizards of the Coast. I actually had the chance to demo it at Dungeons and Dragons Experience (DDXP) in Fort Wayne Indiana this January prior to purchasing it. D&D program manager for organized play, Chris Tulach, ran the demo I played in.  He did a fantastic job at explaining the rules and making it fun and easy for new players.

During the game, you are a powerful masked lord of Waterdeep vying for control of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests for your gain. By completing quests, you can earn rewards and increase your influence on the city. Ultimately, you want to accumulate victory points by completing quests, some of which benefit your lord more so in the long run.

“Lords of Waterdeep” is a European style board game that can be played with 2-5 players. As I said before I played it at DDXP with five people, and since purchasing it have played it two other times. I saw no problem with the game play with five people. The board is large enough for everyone to have access to it and play sequence goes quick enough it keeps everyone involved.  Of course having an employee from Wizards playing it with us was defiantly a plus it gave everyone a deeper understanding of the rules and Chris was great to play.

The second time I played it my husband and I took it to a friend’s house and played it with another couple.  The only new player was our friend’s wife as she did not attend DDXP, the rules were easy to remember and the gameplay went smoothly.  Four people was little different from five people and everyone enjoyed the game.  The point total changed dramatically throughout the game and the winner wasn’t clear until the very end which helped keep everyone engaged and feeling as though anyone could win.

The most recent time I played, I tried it with two people and was pleasantly surprised at how the gameplay was still challenging and fun. The addition of more agents per player keeps the game balanced and fun with two people. However, the game did go quicker and it was easier to determine a frontrunner as it was easier to pay attention to each other’s strategy. Even still I felt it was quite fun.

I would recommend “Lords of Waterdeep” to anyone looking for a good strategy game. The $49.99 price point is a little high, but can be found at a more reasonable price. I enjoyed the game and feel it has a great replay value that most people will like. If you are looking for a European style game to play with gamers and non-gamers I would recommend it to you. Also the box and organization of the box is a bonus to anyone who decides to buy this game.

Chifri Gnome Wizard

•February 16, 2012 • 2 Comments

I recently repainted a miniature that I painted in 2008. I have certainly learned a lot since then.  The mini is Reaper’s 3340 Cassie, Female Gnome. When I first painted her, she took about 3 hours or so. This time I put about 8 hours into painting her. She is still going to be for tabletop play but I wanted her to have much more depth.  I changed the color scheme a little going a bit darker with her as she is a character for my husband. Her name is Chifri and she is a gnome fire mage.  Here is the new version.(click on image for full size)

I have been working on trying to improve my skin tone and I think her skin turned out well. I used Reaper Master Series Tanned Shadow, Fair Skin, and Chestnut Brown.  Her corset and pants started as black and was highlighted up to Misty Grey. I had the most fun painting her corset and enjoyed painting the gold trim.

Here is the first version I painted in December 2008.

This was one of the first minis I painted after buying some Reaper paints, and I went a little crazy with the pinks. Looking back at her now, I see her arm and finger on her left hand was bent and should’ve been corrected prior to being painted. I was so proud of this mini when I painted her the first time and l am glad I got around to painting a new version of her.

This miniature is quite small and has a lot of personality. I may paint her again someday if I get the chance and use her in a diorama. I can picture her commanding a small mouse army.  Hopefully she’ll look great on the table representing Chifri.