Monday, June 21, 2021

Faun Troupe for 'Moonstone'

Yes, the 'Moonstone' fever rages on with another faction for the game to explore. Today we have the Faun who populate the forest glens and green meadows of the world of Taubur.

A little more rustic than the Humans and Goblins, the Faun provide a very characterful contingent for the game. These are not the crude, brutal Beastmen seen in Warhammer, but rather are more along the lines of Shakespeare's 'Puck', or the 'Faun' from del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrinth'. 

In game terms they are a relatively resilient, quick-moving faction, utilizing magic that manipulates nature and summons animal allies to assist them.

These three 35mm figures are cast in resin and compose the 'Hunting Horns' box set. 

'Hoff' is the leader of this group. He's quite solid in close combat (with a ferocious charge ability), and can also give his fellow Fauns a movement boost by giving a blast on his hunting horn.

'Jayda' is a straightforward soldier type. Fleet of foot (hoof?), great with her bow, and also can be quite nasty in close combat.

'Mr. Toodles' (his name cracks me up) is the classic faun, more along the lines of what you'd encounter in Greek mythology - all about booze, music and merrymaking. He's essentially a healer, but can cause all kinds of mischief with his flute and various 'elixirs'.

Next up will be an update on the Gaming Studio and some nifty buildings for Moonstone.

Thanks for dropping in! I hope you're having a terrific day.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

'Dim & Dimmer', Two-Headed Giant for 'Moonstone'

Continuing on with my obsession with all things 'Moonstone', here is 'Dim & Dimmer', a rather cantankerous two-headed giant, out for a stroll and a bit of lunch. 

Again, similar to many of the models for this game, there is a wonderful sense of whimsy and character to this fellow (these fellows?). I love the cow over their shoulder and the 'bagged lunch' hanging from their belt.

I had a bit of fun painting the tattoo on their belly. I figured the ubiquitous t-shirt meme 'I'm With Stupid' (with a Giant's take on the spelling) would be a suitable tag on their expansive gut.

In game terms, 'Dim & Dimmer' is quite unpredictable as they're largely governed by random card draw, but if the stars align, then opponents are likely to end up as a bagged lunch. :)

Thanks for dropping in. I hope you're having a terrific day!


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Goblin Airship for 'Moonstone'

Today I present to you a Goblin Airship. 

I know, demented, isn't it? When I first saw it on the Moonstone website I knew I had to get one for my collection. It's just so charmingly whacky.

The 'airship', a poor frog whose been bunged up to contain its 'hot air', provides some 'vertical dimensionality' for the forces of the goblin 'Dominion'. 

I used Kermit the Frog as my muse for this model. I shaved down the pupil of one eye, so it could painted with the eyelid closed. I think it helps convey the poor guy's sense of distress. For the flag, I kept the same blue and white checked livery as my existing goblins.

I scrapped the stock stand and replaced it with a magnetic ball and gimbal set-up, so it can be easily separated for transport.

If you look hard you can see that the gondola has a little goblin peering out, manning a Maxim gun, (really it's a 'pea shooter', with the hopper for the peas at the end of the barrel).  He also has a cup of tea (cappuccino?) sitting precariously next to him. You know, for when he goes on union breaks.

Love. It.

Next up: A Two-Headed Giant(!) from Moonstone.

Thanks for dropping in folks! Have a terrific day!


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Goblin Troupe for 'Moonstone'

What have I been up to lately? Well, since early spring I've become quite enamoured with the game 'Moonstone'. I posted a sampling of the human faction, 'The Commonwealth' a few weeks ago. Since then I've placed several orders for its figures, cherry-picking from the wide assortment of models offered from its catalog.

This group is from the base set representing elements of the goblin faction, 'The Dominion', which is part of the starter set.

As I mentioned previously, I really enjoy how wacky the characters are, they look as if they've walked right off the sets of 'Legend' or 'Labyrinth' - they're quite demented. 

As the figures are a bit over-the-top, I decided to paint them in a very vibrant, bright pallet, using lots of glazes, washes and wet blending.  Some of it worked, some didn't, but I've been having a blast working on them. Here is the group.

The Vicious Midget

Doug the Flatulent (love this guy!)


Beaky Bobby

In addition to the figure design, one of the things I quite like about the system is that there are no point values in the game. The figures are essentially 'equal' to each other in their bonuses and shortcomings, so you're not having to fuss around with puzzling over lists or shaving points here to bring in something your really want. I find this is quite liberating and simplifies game setup. More on the game in the next post.

Thanks for dropping in!


Monday, April 19, 2021

For Nick: Fausto Rodriguez - Rogue Trader

For quite some time now, Nick and I have enjoyed exchanging painted figures to add to each other's collection. For those familiar with Nick's skills with the brush, you will know that I am definitely the greater beneficiary with this arrangement. :)  Anyway, I muddle along and try do something for him that I think he'll like.

This year, Nick had mentioned that he'd like something Warhammer Fantasy themed, so I dug up several items from my stores that I thought might fit the bill. The thing is, I just couldn't find the mojo to get them done (I know, I'm such a princess). 

While all this was (not) happening, I found that this 40K Rogue Trader kept drifting across my desk during the Challenge, slowly getting worked on in fits and starts. It's the classic story: While beavering away on other projects I would put down a colour here, and then add another a week or so down the line. Slowly he came to life. 

The figure is from the excellent Artel W. I have tons of their (his?) stuff for my Dark Heresy collection and always love working on their models.

We'll call him Fausto Rodriguez.

I asked Nick if he would be okay with a 40K figure instead of something from WH Fantasy and his response was typically accommodating, saying, 'ScFi is just Fantasy in Space, isn't it?' 

Well Nick, here you go. A burly Rogue Trader for your 'space fantasy' collection. Cheers mate, I hope you like him.

- Curt

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Commonwealth figures for 'Moonstone'

While muddling around online this winter, I came across this wonderful boutique game called Moonstone. Being instantly charmed, I duly pulled out my credit card to snap up the base set (and well, perhaps, a few additional figures 'fell into' the order to give a nice round number).

The basic premise of the game has 2-4 competing factions battling each other over a 3' x 3' playing surface to dig up valuable moonstones which, true to their name, can only be found at night. The factions, or 'Troupes', are 3-6 figures strong, and are composed of humans, faeries, goblins, fauns, giants, etc. The scenarios last only 4 turns, which makes for a rollicking, fast-paced game.

The figures for the game are cast in very fine resin and are amazing in their over-the-top character. Charming, silly and sometimes grotesque, the figures definitely tap into the visual style of Brian Froud, Arthur Rackham and Jim Henson. When you look at them you can't help but think of creatures featured in Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and Legend.

That being said, being a bit of a mutton-head, I'm debuting this project with the rather boring human faction first, whereas I should have kicked off with the much more whacky goblins. Oh well, you should be able to get a visual sense of what the figures have to offer, and hopefully it sparks you to visit me again over the next few weeks to see some of the other factions.

The humans largely compose the Commonwealth faction. They have a very Grimm's Fairy Tale, Renaissance German look about them. The four characters I present here are: 

Baron Von Fancyhat

Eric the Squire

Friar Flavius

Each figure has various abilities and a signature move during combat situations. Most of these are very much in-spirit of the character and often hilarious. For example, Friar Flavius' signature move is 'Spank'. It does no damage to the opponent, but he gets 'healed' for his efforts. It fits perfectly for this fellow in his S&M gear and spiked paddle (the pink 'combat slippers' were an inspired afterthought).


So there you go, four 'heroes' from the Commonwealth, ready to battle it out for some precious moonstones. I'm working on the Goblins next, so please feel free to drop by later to see how I'm getting on with this project.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fire Ember Kobolds for D&D

In my previous post I introduced our original party of D&D adventurers from 1980. From that, my friend Gary and I have decided to amuse ourselves by playing a small campaign which will serve as the prelude chapter for our doughty heroes.

So, for their first adventure, I thought I'd start them off with some classic, old-school, low-level dungeon villains in the form of, yes, you guessed it, Kobolds!

So, with Kobolds in mind, I had to find some figures that could fill the ranks. This was a little difficult as I didn't really like many of the dog-faced versions, preferring the more draconic look.

To the rescue came this boxed set from Epic Encounters aptly titled the 'Shrine of the Kobold Queen'. 

With this set, not only do you get a good sized batch of Kobolds, but you're also treated with an additional monster (a Basilisk!), an excellent adventure and a two-sided play mat - a terrific value! (I say in my best car salesman voice)

Out of the box, they came in bright red, moulded hard plastic. The sculpts are pretty characterful, well-defined and a pleasure to paint. Below is a sampling of the twenty miniatures from the set. 

Kobold warriors with bow and spear & shield. There are eight of these in the box, giving a nice base for the mob.

Fire Ember Snakes with Kobold rider. There are four of these in the set - Giddyup!

As I wanted to get them on the table for play, I didn't shilly-shally around with a lot of fine detail. Lots of contrast paints and a few highlights - Bam! Done.

Kobold Kleric

Kobold Champion

One of the two Kobold Assassins

Magma Belcher Basilisk(!) and Kobold handlers

Yep, a poster-child for mirrors and Pepto Bismol, this guy barfs lava AND can turn you to stone. So, definitely not recommended as a house pet.

Mother Krangor

Some more fantasy stuff up soon!

- Curt

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Our AD&D Party, 1980

For a few of us, the pandemic has encouraged some personal reflection and perhaps a bit of nostalgia for days gone by. This is probably natural, as we miss our friends, and think of those times when we were all together, contentedly whiling away hours in carefree companionship. 

My childhood friend, Gary, has spent the past few months excavating through a bunch of material from our group's early days playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the early 80s (he was a very records-conscious DM). The two of us have had several conversations, reminiscing about hard-fought campaigns, good friends and those characters, both epic and ridiculous, that we enjoyed as teenagers.

From this, I've decided to put together a game for us using the excellent 'Thud & Blunder: Fantasy Skirmish Wargaming Rules' from The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare. I quite like the system as it can be easily adapted for 'roleplaying light'. Also, since the characters are stripped-down to archetypes, its perfectly designed for one player to run several heroes simultaneously. 

From this, I thought it would be fun to resurrect our old adventuring party from the 80s, putting them through a series on interlinked scenarios, providing a prelude, a v0.9 if you will, of our original characters, before they became hard-bitten, seasoned veterans.

For figures, I've chosen models from Otherworld Miniatures. I really like these figures as they're quite beefy, and incorporate all the necessary accoutrements, like packs, rope and torches, that adventurers would need while delving in dark, dank dungeons.  

So, here they are, Amrak, Zandrack, Zarg, Deka and Gallahan, five adventurers who entertained us for countless hours in the early 80s. 


'Amrak the Seeker' is the party's Cleric, and was the character of our friend John. As anyone whose played D&D knows it's almost impossible to form a group of adventurers without having a healer on board. Amrak was a very solid chap.

'Zandrack' is our thief, originally run by George. Zandrack was a good footpad, did all the traps and sneaky stuff, but was bit of a tw@t (see below)

Zandrack's well prepared. I like that he has a grappling hook on his pack.

'Zarg the Terrible' was my old original character, a magic-user. He was kind of superfluous really (thus the 'terrible' moniker), but he became a bit more useful when he got into higher levels. He ultimately died by friendly fire when Zandrack (badly) threw an explosive gem into a room Zarg was in. The b@stard. That was in The Hall of the Fire Giant King'. Anyone remember the old Giant Series?

'Deka Jsell' is Gary's half-orc assassin. As teenagers were very suspicious of Deka (Gary role-played him excellently, being very oily and cagey), so we ultimately ended up killing him as 'a test of his loyalty'. Yep, rolling with our party was a pretty tough gig.*

Deka looks to be a fairly nasty fellow, so I thought that he needed a softer side to him, literally. So I gave him a nice pink blanket that you can just see peeking out from his backpack. You see, this is his childhood blanket, a gift from his assassin mom. You know, for when the nights get chilly and a place to tuck your head under when there's monsters about.

'Gallahan' is our indomitable fighter. He was George's second character. I don't really remember much about him except that he was a very good meat-shield. An adventuring party always needs one of these poor slobs to do the heavy lifting.

*The surviving members of this party were killed in the infamous 'Tomb of Horrors'. I ran that module, my first effort as a DM. I'm still scared by the experience...

There you have it. Our D&D party from the summer of 1980, resurrected for fresh fun and adventures. 

Now, I just need to make a mixed tape of The Cars, Queen, Supertramp, BOC...