Boerogg Blackrime, Rebased

I posted about Boerogg Blackrime a year ago, lamenting the fact that when I painted him, I didn’t know how to give him a proper snow-themed base like the one I envisioned in my mind. In the now 6+ years since I painted him, although my painting abilities have not significantly increased, my terrain and basing skills certainly have.

I’ve been on a kick recently of going back and finishing miniature projects that I started a while ago and which have been languishing for far too long, and Boerogg is part of this group. Given that he was already finished before now, this is technically a revision and not a completion, but redoing his base is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now, so I’m including it in that group.

For the new base, I switched him to a 60mm circle. Fortunately, removing him from his old base was very easy. The superglue holding him in place provided a solid connection, but after some wiggling, it gave way and he popped off easily and with no damage to the paint job.

I went with a new “tundra” theme that I developed recently. Despite being a snow theme, there’s quite a bit of green used with this theme. If you look closely, you can see not only the larger grass tufts, but small patches of green flock showing through the snow in some spots. The base was also large enough to allow the inclusion of a small water feature.

In addition to the base, I took the opportunity to do some other touch-ups as well. One small change was making the color of the necklace match better with the rest of the colors on this model. A more significant one was repainting his sword blade. I had originally thoughts that the “blue ice” look was cliched and I went with a glossy-white look instead. It was another detail I wasn’t completely satisfied with at the time, but it was the best I could do, so I left it. This time around, I went with the more traditional blue ice, and I’m really pleased with how the blending came out.

That’s probably all of the work that I’ll do on this mini. Other than fixing occasional paint chips and scratches that occur, I don’t normally go back work on minis once they’re finished. Being one of my personal best, Boerogg was an exception.

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Extreme Dire Troll Mauler

I don’t play Warmachine or Hordes, but there are a decent number of miniatures from both lines that have an undeniable appeal to me. Here’s my version of the Extreme Dire Troll Mauler. That’s right: not any old Dire Troll Mauler, but an *EXTREME* one. Privateer Press has released “extreme” versions of a handful of their models — more dynamic sculpts of existing models, but which function exactly the same in terms of gameplay.

I grabbed this mini when it went on sale at the end of 2015 and started in on it right away, but hit a brick wall almost immediately and relegated it to my shelf of shame because it just wasn’t looking quite right- – something that happens, admittedly, more often than not. I finally picked it up again last week, put a fresh coat of primer on it, and went to town.

This was a relatively quick and easy paint job, using a limited color palette and relying heavily on Army Painter washes. The colors on the finished piece evolved from what I had originally envisioned (something else which happens more often than not). I really like the amount of energy and movement conveyed in this sculpt. I made a couple of adjustments to the base, namely mounting it on a larger one because the included 50mm one looked way too small, plus I rotated the mini about 180 degrees from where it’s intended to stand on the included rocky base. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I haven’t enjoyed the process of painting a mini this much in quite some time. Maybe I’ll have even more fun and throw it at my players tonight and try to get a TPK!

Shadespire and Nightvault – Undead Warbands

I haven’t played a ton of games of Shadespire or Nightvault yet, but I did finish painting the undead warbands. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from my Nighthaunt paint scheme, and I think it works well here for both the Sepulchral Guard and Thorns of the Briar Queen. Plus, since these warbands have warscrolls, they can pull double duty in Age of Sigmar.

Happy Halloween!

I finally figured out a paint scheme for my (daughter’s) Nighthaunts

My daughter and I have been slowly grinding away at the Nighthaunts portion of the Soul Wars boxed set. It’s taken awhile, but we recently finished assembling all of the basic troops and have begun painting them. When I bought my copy of Soul Wars, I made a deal with her that if she painted the Nighthaunts with me, she could take ownership of those minis — an idea, as it turns out, that got her way more excited than I had anticipated. The Nighthaunt minis didn’t really hold much appeal to me at the time, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to give them up, and I was especially happy to see how excited she was at the prospect of having an army that was her own. However, now that I’ve nailed down a paint scheme that’s quick, easy, and effective, I’ve been having so much fun painting these guys that I’m beginning to think that I might want a Nighthaunt army of my own!

Night Haunts finished

Two of the minis that I painted, a chain rasp on the right, and a… uh… Well, hopefully between my daughter and me, one of us will know the names of all these guys by the time we play our first game.

For me, figuring out a color scheme for an army requires a lot more front-loading than with a single mini. With a single mini, you can experiment as you go along and add little touches and flourishes here and there. There isn’t much of a downside to not carefully planning out what you’re going to do and making sure it’s something you can replicate. But when deciding on a paint scheme for an army, the thing that needs to be foremost in your mind is if what you’re doing is something that you’re going to be able to replicate quickly and easily. If not, are you really going to be willing to spend 8, 10, 12, 20, or more hours on every single figure in your army replicating that paintjob? It can take a good amount of time up front to settle on a scheme, but coming up with something that is easy both easy to reproduce and looks good will pay dividends later on.

For the Nighthaunts, it was especially challenging because in order for it to be something that my daughter would have a good chance at successfully replicating, it needed to utilize only simple techniques and have a limited color palette. I watched some videos to see what paint schemes other folks had done and tried a few of them before coming up with mine. To be fair, none of them were difficult or complicated; but they either required more brush control than my daughter currently possesses, involved too many steps for a seven year-old’s attention span and stamina, or went too far in the other direction and looked too monochrome. The challenge was finding the sweet spot of being quick and easy and still providing good results.

Night Haunt color tests

Two of my earlier color scheme experiments on the left and right, with one my daughter did in the middle.

I ended up utilizing the bog standard Hexwraith Flame, Nighthaunt Gloom, and Nihilakh Oxide that everyone else seems to be using for Nighthaunts, but I haven’t come across anyone using them in the exact same way that I am.

My chosen paints. And an iced coffee. All essential parts of this process.

Painting Guide

Colors:

  • White primer
  • Nihilakh Oxide (Games Workshop)
  • Hexwraith Flame (GW)
  • Nighthaunt Gloom (GW)
  • Charcoal (Anita’s craft paint)
  • Ghost White (Reaper Master Series)

Steps:

0: Clean, assemble, apply base texture. I used Liquitex Modeling Paste + sand. White glue + sand is another easy and effective option.

1. Prime white. It’s important to make sure you get solid coverage (use several light coats) because with the exception of the base, it’s all washes and drybrushing from here, and you’ll need a solid white basecoat on which to start.

2. Paint slightly thinned Nihilakh Oxide over the entire model.

3. Paint Hexwraith Flame onto faces and arms.

4. Paint Nighthaunt Gloom onto weapons, chains, bits of armor, chainmail, and other miscellaneous bits.

5. Paint the entire base with Charcoal (or any medium-dark gray).

6. Drybrush Ghost White over the entire model (including the base). If you’re looking for an equivalent color, Ghost White is an off-white with a hint of pale blue.

That’s it! Depending how meticulous you are with cleaning, assembling and texturing the base, the prep work may take you more time than the actual painting. One of the nice things about this paint scheme is that given the ghostly, ethereal nature of these minis, there’s a fair margin of error if the washes blend into each other — meaning it won’t look that bad if you’re painting these as a seven year-old and some of the edges where the different colors meet bleed into each other. Similarly, since the entire model is drybrushed using a single color, you won’t have to worry about trying to paint neatly with what is an inherently messy, imprecise technique! As simple as this scheme is, it manages to produce good-looking results very quickly — exactly what you want when trying to get an entire army painted!

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My daughter’s completed mini on the right, with one of mine on the left for comparison. If you look closely, you can see some rough spots and areas for improvement, but I think she really did a great job with it!

My philosophy on tabletop RPGs in a nutshell

(Taken from a Facebook discussion)

The thing that sets tabletop RPGs apart from any other form of entertainment (including computer game RPGs): the collaborative storytelling process; the shared story that emerges from the back and forth between a skilled DM/GM and their players.

A good game is a lot like improv, and involves a lot of “yes, and” rather than “no.” A good DM strives to make the game fun for his players, and derives a large part of their own enjoyment of the game from the fun that the players have. A good DM runs with it when a player comes up with an awesome idea that totally thwarts his plans; a great DM makes it seem like it was part of the plan all along.