26 January 2014

Further up and further in

Survivors of the band of raiders in the caves and the patrol in the storerooms will find the castle barracks at the top of the broad spiral staircase. Well-fed and well-equipped, these guards of Sir Reginald the Irredeemably Naughty will prove a stiff challenge, especially as some of them will have crossbows.

The Quest for Branwen the Fair, level 3

I've been playing around with scanner settings (this was drawn with Staedtler fineliners from 0.1 to 0.7 size tip over a pencil sketch) but don't think I've got it sorted quite yet. Stay tuned, folks, the denoument is coming up next episode!

Happy geeking,

21 January 2014

Dankpelt Goretusk

Beastman number two. This time a boar-based critter from the 1988 Citadel Catalogue, number 09 on this page on the Stuff of Legends site. I still need to do a shield for him/it and will be referring to either this page or this page on Orlygg's great Realm of Chaos blog for inspiration. For now, and to keep up the (for me) extremely rapid progress, I'll leave the shield and get straight on with the next member of the gang - a Bob Olley sheep-face sculpt.

Anyway, pictures or it didn't happen, right? A quick ipad snap under lighting which makes it look like the paint is still wet, snatched before heading to work this morning, as proof:

Dankpelt Goretusk - no fancy Latin or punning for his name, just something bestial and vicious-sounding

I hope your painting is coming on as rapidly,

19 January 2014

Bruchvir Daemonblade

Bruchvir regarded the caterpillar spinning its cocoon and a hiss of gentle appreciation escaped from within his iridescent helmet. Here indeed was the mark of Change and the Being within his blade could feel it too; its song, ever-present, morphed and shifted, grew in volume until it filled Bruchvir's head like a shout of exultation. Yes, now was the time for Tzeentch's foes to face their doom - Bruchvir Daemonblade was coming!

I really wanted to get a beetle-like sheen to the armour of this chap who will be the leader of my little Realm of Chaos warband for the narrative campaign that I will (no, honestly) begin soon-ish. Thinking about it now, green is more often a Nurgle-esque shade, but I wanted to experiment with using green ink and I think I've managed to avoid a sickly colour. The green is less subtle in real life than it is in the photos!

17 January 2014

The storerooms

Having defeated, or at least got past, the raiding band of goblins using the caves as a handy base for looting the surrounding farmsteads, our heroes ascend the narrow stone steps carved from the living rock and emerge in.... the distinctly unglamorous surroundings of the storerooms of Sir Reginald's Castle. They can't let their guard drop, however, as there are regular patrols to make sure those pesky goblinoid vermin don't try and sneak off with the wicked knight's favourite wine and sausages!

This time I scanned it in as a 500dpi b&w image with the brightness up slightly to remove the page's dotted grid, cropping and converting it to a .jpg in photoshop. You can tell I was doing this on my knee rather than at the table from the less than straight walls. I'd like to think it gives it a naive charm, or something...

Have fun and roll dice,

14 January 2014

Things that go bump in the dark

One of the things that has appealed to me and drawn me into the (goat-) loving arms of the Oldhammer chaps has been that, back in the rose-tinted golden era, Chaos was, well, chaotic. Random, perverse, sometimes self-defeating and definitely not serried ranks of uniformly be-skullzed fur laden and characterless warriors. With moar skullz. Now, while an unstoppable horde of pitiless and identical foes can be frightening (clones, robots armies, zombies), it is not the eight-pointed star, pantheon of four of my teenage years. So when antipixi and I forced invited Malc to roll up a force for a narrative campaign from the Realms of Chaos books, I knew that I wanted as varied a looking force as possible: different beast-types (not all goats), thugs, warriors, monsters. In short, I wanted chaos.

11 January 2014

Pen and paper progress

This might sound a bit odd but I love stationery, particularly notebooks. There's something enticing about them, physical objects in an increasingly digital age. No cloud storage, no backup - if they get lost, stolen, or soaked by a spilled drink, they're gone. Full of their owner's handwriting and little sketches or tickets or photos that have been stuck in. Think of the Grail notebook in the Indiana Jones film. Marvellous, eh? all those decisions to make before deflowering that pristine first page: what content, what pen to use, what audience is it ultimately for? Sadly, for me, I think a part of the appeal is the willful self-delusion that I might have anything worth writing down and keeping!

So, with delusion intact, I bought myself a little gift back in December while Christmas shopping.

I'd never come across this manufacturer but the quality is lovely. Even better for my purpose, it has a dotted grid marked page. So, with pen and content chosen, I sketched in the first of the maps from my Goblinquest (still not quite happy with that name) adventure that I gave an AAR for a while back, "The Quest for Branwen the Fair". Scanned in, with shading technique learned from +Michael Wenman's fabulous series of sketching tutorials on his blog Observations of the Fox, here you go. I even managed to do this with the boys while they were busy with their colouring books.

I need to read over some advice on the best way of scanning in maps to get the brightness/contrast levels correct, and I'm considering how to show scale - perhaps I leave the levels such that you can see the dots at the edge of each square? Although I do like how clean it looks without them.

When complete, I'll be posting/publishing the whole adventure as a sample to go with the polished up rules themselves.

What notebooks/pens etc. do you chaps and chapesses use?

7 January 2014

Diall "c" for chaos

Turns out the cold I was bemoaning last time is actually a double-lung chest infection; God bless the NHS and antibiotics! Hey-ho, tiddly-pom etc.

Those of you that have avoided pledging for the Crooked Claw indiegogo campaign (And why would you? Get over there now!) may have pennies still for that tempter of the archeogamer - ebay. Sadly, most of the good bargains on there are thickly coated in all manner of paints and varnishes obscuring the 80s goodness, some of which even nitromors won't shift. Meet my new champion for restoring your hard-won sculpts to a pristine shininess:

1 January 2014

New year, new toys?

Happy new year, one and all!

I hope you've had a healthier Christmas than poor muggins here. Nothing properly serious (thank God!), but some viral thingummy that has reduced me to dabbing ineffectually at the rivers of snot because I daren't blow my nose in case I get another fifteen minute coughing fit. Shitty, but not long term and not serious. As someone who is generally in robust health, it's come as a bit of a shock and knocked me a bit off kilter. No painting, no gaming, just being short-tempered with my nearest and dearest. I have not been jolly!

Anyway, whingeing over - show us the lead! There are two temptations for the post-festive wallet that caught my eye over the last couple of days, both eminently suitable for oldhammer-style gaming. First, the old Asgard barbarians are back in production through Alternative Armies, and at a tasty 20% discount until 7th January.

Click >here< to go to their blog/store for more details and a nicely painted sample or two. These sculpts rampaged across many a tabletop back in the 80s and look like they'd make luvverly chaos thugs.

The other is an Indigogo campaign being run by Michael Schlossarczyk from Crooked Claw miniatures; new Kev Adams sculpts of vicious smirking goblins and their warmachines. It only needs fifteen quid more to reach its goal, so why not help a brother out? I'm going to wait for the last Christmas bill to come through, then I'll probably go in for the wolf-rider pack at £25. Nice!

Indiegogo campaign link

Happy new year once again,