Friday, January 21, 2022

Moonstone Cultists - Gwendoline, Kavanagh, Brother Daniel and Loubard

Hi All!

I've completed a couple Moonstone characters recently, but I wanted to get an actual group of them done-up to enjoy in some upcoming games.

First up is Gwendoline, a Faerie priestess, allied to the Cultist faction. Hey, everyone loves a cultists, right? Well, I have four for you today, so lots of eldritch creepiness to go around.

Funny, I already have a decent sized troupe of faeries in my collection, but not one of them can heal. This is the problem with picking figures for their 'looks cool factor', without considering their actual capabilities on the tabletop. So, Gwendoline,  with her Rejuvenate spell, is a very welcome addition to the cultist faction. This will allow the little winged rascals to take some hits with some hope of getting healed. She also has a few other tricks up her sleeve, such as Scry and Ethereal Allure, which can subtly assist her allies as well.

I had a lot of fun working on her flowered hair and wings. 

She's a lovely, tremendously detailed figure, with a few tiny parts that had to be glued just-so. While working on her, muttering curses under my breath, I couldn't help but think that the relative complexity of some of these models may limit Moonstone as purely a boutique 'advanced hobbyist' game. I couldn't imagine being new to the hobby and having to work with some of these models, both in their assembly and painting. Certainly they are exquisite, but they're often very intricate and quite demanding. 

Next we have Loubard, a giant cultist with a big, freakin' censer for him to swing, wallop and entangle his opponents. 

This guy can be an absolute beast in combat, especially if he's paired up with spellcasters, like the Witches, who can jack-up his abilities and potentially trigger multiple attacks. Fun!

I love his expansive belly and oh-so delicate pinkies.

Then we have relatively diminutive Brother Daniel, a rather demented, but optimistic cultist cleric. 

He's a great support character, who's special abilities provide healing and additional movement for friendly models.

Daniel's figure is wonderfully whacky. I especially like his unabashed skipping, all the while holding his 'The End is Nigh!' placard. Such a wonderful weirdo.

Finally, we have Kavanagh, the rather nefarious Jongler cultist.

Again, another very characterful model. Rather a creepy little bugger, but I like him.

Kavanagh is a great disruption character, especially with his Juggling Fate and Butterfingers abilities.

I had an interesting painting challenge with him, trying to mimic creepy-clown-makeup TM, wanting just a trace of his underlying skin tone to peek through in a few spots. I decided to work from the base layer up, with a fully painted face that I varnished. I then held my breath as I mostly covered it with successive layers of thinned grey paint using light blotting, which removed in spots with spirits. This required a leap of faith from me as I was concerned I'd botch the job, but the effect came off alright, I think.


Thanks for dropping in for a look folks! Have a great day!

- Curt

Monday, January 17, 2022

From JeremyM: Drumph Grimderp Campaign - Act 1

Hi All, Jeremy here,

Earlier this fall I started a campaign using the OnePageRules Grimdark Future ruleset Curt rolled in with his Battle Sisters, and fellow local gamer Stacy brought out his Tao Coalition troops, and I acted as the force opposing both of them with my Human Defense Force troops and later Havoc Brothers Plague Disciples. Obviously none of these names and figures should be confused with those of a certain other popular game system, and nor should the setting and theme of the campaign have anything to do with any other popularly known individuals….nothing to see here…move along…move along.
Stacy and Curt deploying before a 2 part mission

The setting that brought the forces of the Sisters and Tao together is ‘Merika Prime. The Tao had been making inroads with the locals trading with them to bring them into their coalition. The Sisters were dispatched to investigate the disappearance of a local official, Inquisitor Mueller, who had gone missing. My Human Defense forces turned out to be traitors as they supported a coups under the new Planetary Governor Donoldium Drumph who was installed in "the most legitimate way ever with…no collusion…no collusion.” His rise to power also coincided with a mysterious plague affected the local populace Drumph dubbed the ‘Gyna Disease.’ 

Stacy's Tao ready to shoot up some traitor guardsmen

The Sisters and Tao found themselves unlikely allies, cut off on the planet facing the traitor guard. Their first mission was to destroy some traitor guard artillery and make contact with the local loyalist forces. After their success they basically linked up as a unified force on a hostile planet. 

Curt's Sisters of Battle after destroying a Traitor guard tank

The next mission saw them hot on the trail of the Inquisitor following his path of investigation. The Tao wanting to do so to try and cover up their secret trade arrangement, the Sisters wanting to simply discover the great heresy Inquisitor Mueller had warned of. They moved on into the outskirts of the planetary capital city Swampington and started by investigating the storage centre near the local spaceport. They discovered clues linking Governor Drumph to a recently nationalized group of fast food companies. Drumph now controlled DFC (formerly ‘Merika Fried Chicken…although the word chicken was conspicuously replaced on their menu to be just ‘DFC’) and McDrumph’s a similarly nationalized franchise burger joint. Strangely Drumph was insisting DFC and McDrumph burgers could cure the Gyna disease....likely all that horse dewormer in the secret sauce and spices.

Our hero’s next decided to look into one of the restaurants themselves. They attacked a local McDrumph’s in a residential area. They found further links to the food and the Gyna disease after investigating some of the local hab blocks. The Tao also discovered a gang, the Miller Boys, and managed to trade some Tao brand axel grease with them…which I’m sure won’t have any consequences in the future at all…as they seem like such ‘nice boys.’ Inside the restaurant they discovered that the food for both franchises was supplied by ‘Bigly Industries.’ This mission also had my favourite campaign moment with one of the loyalist tanks remaining parked in the drive thru of a McDrump's for the entire game as I failed to pull a chit to activate it. We ruled they had been apparently waiting on the milkshakes for their order and only got them after some of Curt's sisters burned the building to the ground, perfect timing!

Stephonius Miller and two Miller boys, 3D model scaling isn't great at times.

They next mission they noticed large convoys of vehicles moving towards Swampington. They stopped and discovered a notice that the “Greatest and largest inauguration will take place at Four Seasons Landscaping with catering by DFC.” They decided to ambush one of the convoys to seize some traitor guard vehicles so they could sneak into the inauguration ceremony…which “is clearly the biggest ever with 10 billion people attending from our planetary populace of 1 billion….biggest ever.” They also encountered “Rocket Boy Jefficus Sessionius” who could damage a unit to activate it again.

Drumph inauguration stage complete with big video screens

Curt's flagellants 'seizing' a traitor truck

Stacy's Tao shooting from the inauguration parking lot

Rocket Boy Sessionius

Our hero’s drove Sessionius away and seized several trucks. They used them to sneak infantry behind the inauguration ceremony. As they started to attack the traitor guard they discovered a Gyna disease side effect….zombies! They managed to fight off the guard and zombies and even torched Donoldium Drumph himself with melta blasts leaving the ceremony in a shambles….but it was still the greatest ever.

Chainsaw Sisters vs Zombies!

Drumph leaving the stage to attack!

Melta Sisters readying to fire.

Donoldium Drumph

Stay tuned for Act 2 the conclusion of our epic Grim Derpy Future campaign!

- Jeremy

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Spanish Refugees from Malaga & Dr. Norman Bethune, 1937


Hi All,

Today I return to my Spanish Civil War project with this group of civilian refugees. 

Sarah and I have been fortunate enough to visit both Cebere France and Malaga Spain in previous vacations. Both of these communities are set in beautiful locations, nestled along the Mediterranean coast, but both share a dark history in that they were also sites to horrible events during the Spanish Civil War. I've written about Cebere before, but I've been wanting to do something specific for Malaga for a while now.

In February 1937, the Mediterranean port town of Malaga found itself threatened by the rapid advance of Nationalist forces. In a state of panic, 120-150,000 people, composed of men, women and children, fled along the coastal road leading to Almeria, 200 kilometers away. In an act of barbaric cruelty, the Nationalists and their Italian allies harried the refugee column for days, submitting it to both air attacks and off-shore bombardment.  Thousands were killed and wounded during the flight, in what many regard as a war crime exceeding that of the infamous bombing of Guernica. 

At this time, a volunteer Canadian surgeon, by the name of Norman Bethune, was working in the area with is independent blood transfusion ambulance. 

Hearing what was occurring along the coastal road, Bethune and his team quickly drove to the stricken column to give what assistance he could.  For three days and three nights Bethune and his assistants helped evacuate some of the most vulnerable to Almeria, and then provided medical care to the most grievously wounded.

In 2007, the city of Malaga officially honoured Bethune's heroic and humanitarian acts with a commemorative plaque and by naming that portion of the Malaga-Almeria road, Paseo de los Canadienses (The Canadian Promenade). In order to visit the plaque and pay our respects, Sarah and I spent a nice afternoon cycling up to the promenade, situated just a few kilometers outside of Malaga.

A fine way to spend a wonderful day in sunny Spain.

Accordingly, I've done up these figures and vehicles in homage to those events in Malaga. The saloon car and most of the figures are from 1st Corps, the Phenom Granit ambulance is from Empress Miniatures and the poor fellow with the crutches is from Eureka Miniatures. 

My only criticism of the 1st Corps range is that there are not many elderly people, nor any children depicted. I know it's tragic, but I think it is something that should be represented if depicting a refugee column. Maybe they will add some in future releases.

Small quibbles aside, I quite like the 1st Corps figures as they are well-sculpted and very characterful. Even more so is this wounded chap on crutches from Empress Miniatures - a brilliant mini.  

The two vehicles were fun to work on, especially the saloon, with its roof haphazardly overloaded with all manner of assorted household items. You really get a sense of a harried family who have just thrown what they could atop their car and pushed off down the road.

I had to get a bit creative in sourcing something for Dr. Bethune. I ended up using a German officer figure from Artizan which I cut away most of his military detail and modeled some baggy civilian trousers out of greenstuff. Granted, it's a bit crude, but I think it does an okay job at mimicking the good doctor.

Another 'one yard squint' is the ambulance. It's definitely not a close match to Bethune's vehicle, but has the benefit of generally having the right silhouette. 

I really wanted to include the identifying Spanish script on the vehicle's side panel, but my decal-making skills are sorely lacking, so I simply colour printed  what I needed, carefully cut it out, and glued it into place. Again, forgive me in my somewhat clumsy homage. 

Thanks for dropping in and have a great day everyone!

- Curt

Sunday, January 9, 2022

10mm Tomb Kings

Hi All!

As promised, today I submit something that is not a single model, but rather a passel of wee little figures. This entry will see me leaving the Outer Ring and travelling to my first planet in the Middle Orbit - 'Arrakis, desert planet.' 

I've been on a big fantasy kick this past year, and one of the things I wanted to do is resurrect my old 10mm Warmaster models for use in 'Magic & Monsters' (M2), a fantasy variant of Simon Miller's excellent 'To The Strongest' rules.

I really like the basing scheme for these rules for a variety of reasons. They allow for single bases with loads of figures, there is no casualty removal (something I've always disliked from the earliest editions of WHFB) and the larger base size offers the opportunity to create little vignettes. All great reasons to jump right in! So, after a bit of hand-wringing, I decided on a 130mm x 60mm common base size for most units. This would allow for three 40mm strips of figures formed abreast, with four ranks deep, thereby giving a nice beefy aspect to the units.

I have a modest existing collection of old GW Warmaster models, so I thought I'd start with the Tomb Kings (anticipating the expected Skullz Challenge from Barks), and simply do an eBay sweep to beef up the forces to M2 requirements. Nonetheless, once I saw the nosebleed prices that these now OOP figures now command, I quickly started looking for 3D print alternatives to mix with my existing unpainted GW stock. Lucky enough I discovered that there are scads of options available on the web, and I quickly began to amass a good sized host to work with.

So here is my first contingent for my new Tomb Kings army!

First are the rank and file undead warriors. I'll need a heap of these as these are pretty grotty troops (and you need a few units for the ubiquitous 'raise dead' spells), but this group will provide a good basis to build from. 

To be clear two of these units (the rearmost bases) are present merely as scene dressing as they are rebased GW metal figures from my old collection. The front two bases are new 3D models from Onimioji. I really like the variation in poses, with even some of the front ranks seem emerging from the desert sands. Fun!

Next is a unit of archers. These are GW metals that I still had in blister packs. I snipped them apart so they could be positioned in a more loose formation. 

Then we have a unit of undead Chariots. Again these are old GW metal models. 

I only had three of these in my stores and they ended up looking a little weedy on the base, so I added some Egyptian statuary to fill in the gaps and perhaps add some visual interest. I posed them on a slight angle to the front, giving them a bit of a Ben-Hur sense of animation to them.

We have a undead Giant with a huge kopesh. He'll be good to inspire a bit of fear and serve as a missile magnet. Again, I added some Egyptian obelisks for a bit of fun.

For a bit of an experiment, I painted in the shadows cast by the figures. I used Contrast Guilliman Flesh as it seemed to work best with the desert colours I was using for the groundwork. 

I decided I needed to start on some commanders, so what better than a Tomb King prince on an undead dragon! Again, a venerable GW model with some scene setting masonry.

Finally, for the Tomb King 'camp' (in these rules, each force needs at least one camp on the field) I mocked up this temple on a double depth base. It's sort of an amalgamation of a few things, but I thought it turned out okay and gives the right kind of vibe for the force.

The tomb and the various statuary are from Iain Lovecraft on MyMiniFactory.

So there you have it! I'm going to move on to another race for a future entry, but I may add onto this force during the Challenge if time allows.

Thanks for dropping in! Have a great week everyone!

- Curt