Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Japanese terrain for 'Hametsu'

I figure a new game requires new terrain, so here are some tabletop additions for our ongoing 'Hametsu' adventures.

First up is a Japanese family grave. I understand from my reading that these grave markers are called Haka. In doing a bit of research I found that they often are adorned with flowers, incense, and sometimes have these long, elegant wood planks called sotōba. These boards would be inscribed with the names of the deceased and set beside the formal stone markers. I've done a somewhat crude facsimile of sotōba using thick paper, scribed with ersatz kanji, stained and then glued into place.  3d models from Terratribe Scenery.

These bamboo barriers are from Village Hope Miniatures. I thought they'd add a bit of colour and texture to our miniature streets and alleyways. I used this picture I found online as a reference for painting.

I really liked the look of this whimsical little tea 'cart' from CobraMode. 

I thought it would serve nicely as a 'Loot Marker', or perhaps just as an interesting little accent for the tabletop. 

Several of the scenarios in 'Hametsu' are set within built-up urban environments, so I figured that some formal walls were in order. These are 3d prints from Making Tlon which I've scaled to fit my figures. These were started prior to the Challenge but now benefit from a few extra sections, a good highlight and some cleaning up, so I'll claim them as my 'Overdue & Returns' entry. I decided not to glue the wall sections together as they look alright separately, and it allows me to store them away more easily (I think I can go out on a limb and say storage is a going concern for many of us in the hobby).

Thanks for dropping by!

- Curt

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Fantasy figures for 'Forbidden Psalm'

Hi All,

We had a rollicking game of 'Forbidden Psalm' this past Friday for which I blitzed a few figures for the scenario. Being jazzed on the fun I managed to get a couple extra done this weekend.

First up are three 'Disembowelled Ghouls'. These marvellously manky mooks are from Knucklebone Miniatures. I regret to say that no fancy lotions or skin serums are going to help these lads.

Three 'Sock Goblins' from Westphalia Miniatures. I particularly like the guy with the dirty sock pulled over his honker, taking a big snort.

A group of poor deaduns from Vae Victus Miniatures. An admittedly fast and choppy paintjob. *cringes* In my defence, I figure they're dead and aren't really meant to look their best.

Three doughty adventurers ready to go dungeon traipsing. We have: 'Tim the Torchbearer', 'Cathcart the Cat Catcher' and 'Gundalf the Fire Wizard' (with his trusty 'Wand of .45 Magic Missiles'). I really enjoyed working on all these figures, especially the pink boa for Gundalf (I envision him as a fearless, fashion-forward kind of guy). Tim and Gundalf are Knucklebone designs, while Cathcart is from Collective Studio.

And finally the big punchline to last Friday's adventure: 'The Corpse Collector'! His jam is that after he slaps you around for a bit, he swipes you up and impales you up on his Thule Corpse Rack (TM). This way he keeps you fresh for future road nibbles. I know, eewww! This big boy is from PrintYourMonsters.

Thanks for popping in for a peak!

- Curt

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Characters from 'The School of Strength'

Here is my last trio of heroes for 'Hametsu'. These are the archetypes from the 'School of Strength': the Gaijin, the Sumo and the iconic masterless Ronin.

Similar to most of my other figures for this project, these are 3d prints that I sourced from MyMiniFactory and Thingiverse.

I really enjoyed working on all three of these models as they are so evocative of the period and very well designed. My hat's off to the sculptors. 

The Gaijin ('outsider' or 'foreigner) is based from a Renaissance Spanish rodelero which I thought would work nicely since the Portuguese were the first Europeans to make contact with the Japanese in the 16th century. 

I was thinking of what kind of colours to do him in and found some great images of the Papal Swiss Guard in their red, buff and blue livery which I thought that was perfect. I imagine him a lost Guardsman, perhaps the bodyguard of a Jesuit, or perhaps a Prince of the Church, stranded in Japan and making the best of his lot.  

For a bit of fun I added a Japanese lamellar spaulder to protect his right shoulder. I was thinking of giving him the distinctive leg faulds as well, but didn't want to hide his fancy European trousers (it's all about cutting a dash, right.). Model by PeculiarCompanions.

The Sumo was fun to do as well. I wanted to make sure I did a decent job on his skin as, um, there's a lot of it being that he's a big boi! I also really wanted to give him a tattoo, but wasn't confident on my freehand bush skills to do a dragon, so I used two rose decals from an old Sisters of Battle sheet, which give a close approximation to chrysanthemums. Done. 

There is an armoured version of the Sumo which I may do later to reflect the progression of the character - but that will be for another day. Figure by The Dragon Trappers Lodge.

The Ronin is one of my favourite figures of the series. Such a wonderfully dynamic pose, with him giving his all with his terrifying nodachi two-hander. Somebody's going to have a real bad day with this fella in front of them. 

I also really like the texture of the sculpt, with the deep folds in his trousers, his sinewy musculature and the spikiness of his hair and beard. A ferocious character to be sure.

And to close, here is the wrap up shot of all nine characters for the heroes.

Thanks for dropping in for a look!

- Curt

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

School of Stealth Heroes for 'Hametsu'

Moving forward with my 'Hametsu' project, here are three characters from the School of Stealth: a Shinobi (ninja), a Geisha (bard), and a Matagi (archer). These archetypes are very different from the previous School of Magic in that they are a little more subtle in their support of the larger group, but are still very powerful in their own manner. 

All three of these models are 3d prints from MyMiniFactory. I usually print my '28mm' skirmish stuff at a more heroic 32-35mm as it seems more in-tune with the small-scale action on the tabletop.

The Shinobi is from 'Artificers Mini'. Not much to say about this guy. A black-on-black badass ninja fella - death in goth pyjamas. Nice simple pose, which I prefer to the more over-the-top models frequently on offer. 

He'll be a great addition to the party due to his obvious stealth and assassination abilities.

The Geisha is from 'The Dragon Trappers Lodge'. I really like how the game reflects this character-type without regressing to the standard trope. She uses songs and deception/inspiration to either influence her fellow heroes, or mess with the opposition.  

I really like this mini with her elegant pose, and all shrouded in magical energy. She was a lot of fun to paint. Nonetheless, she is quite delicate, so I'm not sure on her survivability on the tabletop, hopefully she holds up well.

The Matagi is from 'Kyousheneko Miniatures'. As you can imagine, the Matagi are a great at long-range missile support, and suppressive fire. They're also good a setting traps, which can be very handy. 

I love the distinctive over-the-head draw back pose of this figure and the elegant asymmetric bow. Very evocative to those who have seen Japanese archers ply their craft.

...and I'll close with a group shot of the heroes so far. One more 'School' to go!

Thanks for dropping in for a look! 

- Curt

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Lesser Oni (Kappa) for 'Hametsu'

In 'Hametsu' there are a wide assortment of villains with which the heroes have to overcome, ranging from the Oni, to the fearsome 'Bosses' and over-the-top 'Raid Bosses'.   The lowliest of the low are the Lesser Oni.  These are essentially the luckless mooks within the game's monster hierarchy. Individually they are fairly easy to dispatch, but if encountered in a mob (which invariably they are) they can be quite dangerous to an incautious adventurer.

The Hametsu figures from Black Site Studio are beautifully designed, but I find the cost of shipping to Canada is prohibitive. So begun the long process of looking for viable 3d proxies online (two of the heroes were in my previous post originated as stl files). During my search I came across a series of models from Sharedog Miniatures depicting Japanese water spirits called Kappa, which I think will make fun Lesser Oni for the game. 

In doing a bit of research I found that Kappa have a shallow depression on the top of their heads which holds a small pool of water. If this water is spilled, or dries up, it makes them weak and sluggish. Yes, how wonderfully odd! The list of defensive measures to ward against Kappa is quite lengthy (and rudely funny), so I suggest you look them up for a laugh if you have a moment.

I decided to give my Kappa a sort of tree frog look, so I used blends of vibrant Citadel Contrast and Vallejo Xpress paints over a white basecoat. Overall I'm happy enough with the effect and they should stand out well on the tabletop.

For those who are wondering, the yellow on the front base edge denotes their arc of vision, which is a big deal in 'Hametsu' which is all about keeping out of sight and timely ambushes. I chose the bright yellow as I'm planning on gaming with these online and I hope the colour will help with on-screen identification.

Thanks for dropping in for a look!

- Curt

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

School of Magic Heroes for 'Hametsu'


Hi All,

I like to have a LOT of things happening on my hobby desk, and this winter is no different! 

Last year my good pal PhilH pointed me towards a new game coming out called 'Hametsu' from Black Site Studios. I looked into it further and thought it might be a good candidate for our group, being as it requires a fairly low figure count, has simple, fast moving rules, and seems chock-full of flashing katana character. 

I duly plunked down for the rulebook and have been very happy with my purchase. The rulebook is gorgeously produced, very high quality stuff and more importantly the rules are excellent as well. So I've been busy ever since, amassing 3d prints and getting things ready to churn out for the Challenge. In fact, I was so keen to try the game that I've hosted several sessions with my primed figures (clutches pearls!), and even have had a few online games with pals from away using Discord. It's been well-received so I'm eager to move forward and get some colour on these figures.

'Hametsu' is essentially a cooperative monster hunting game. It's set in feudal Japan, built around the premise that a cataclysm has created fissures in reality across the country, letting demons (Oni) through into the material world. The population has largely retreated into the relative safety of the cities, while the countryside has been overrun with roving bands of Oni and other nasty creatures. As a result, Japanese society has created bands of 'Hunters' to go out into the wilds and try to stem the tide of evil infesting the country. I know, it sounds very reminiscent to 'Rangers of Shadow' deep, but it has a mannered structure and groovy Boss fights that make it quite unique and compelling.

In the base game the heroes originate from three 'Schools' of martial prowess. They are The School of Magic, The School of Stealth and the School of Strength. Each of the Schools has three 'classes' or archetypes.

Today I have three 'classes' from the School of Magic: A Monk (close combat/healer), a Bunraku (necromancer) and a Onmyoji (mage).

The Monk is a metal figure from Otherworld Miniatures. Surprisingly, I found him to be sort of ropey, which is kind of weird as Otherworld stuff is usually so darn good, but I liked his minimalist pose and so stuck with him (so many of the 3d designs for monks are a little too Marvel for me, if you know what I mean). I'm happy I preserved as I quite like him now.

The Bunraku is a 3d print from Kyoshuneko Miniatures. I was smitten by the effect of her flaming ensorcelled hands (great word: 'ensorcelled'). (Although to be honest, the real character class can't actually cast fire, but don't mess with my jam...).

The Onmyoji is a print designed by Epic Miniatures. I was curious about the whole basket-helm thingy and found that these guys were (and still are) Komuso monks from a specific Zen Buddist sect. Originally descended from samurai, the basket is worn over the head as a symbol shunning one's sense of ego. Interesting. Following this train of logic, I suspect Sarah will suggest that I get my head measured for one...

In the future I plan to post figures from the other two Schools of Magic along with an assortment of the baddies that the heroes have to face and overcome. If I get especially fired up I may even get some terrain completed. Hold my beer.

- Curt