Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 9 - Boarding Hooke, the Drowned Ogre

After a slight hiatus, the Mumblings returns with another undead offering for your perusal. Allow me to present Mr Hooke, or as his crewmates know him, Boarding Hooke.

Sloughing and slouching his way around the deck of the Kraken, the lumbering form of Mr Hooke is not a sight for the squeamish. His flesh, softened by his long slumber in the ocean depths, is saggy and reeking. 'Like a big loaf o wet bread ee' is.' Bosun Woodlock has been heard to say of the ponderous ogre, not entirely without affection.

Even though Hooke seems constantly on the verge of disintegration, he is shockingly resilient and devilishly strong. His flesh swallows weapons lodged in his sodden bulk while he pulverises their wielders with his club. The crew know him as Boarding Hooke due to the massive rusty hook that serves as his left hand in part, but as much for his talents in boarding actions. Despite appearances, Hooke is a strong swimmer, and can scale the side of a vessel and annihilate half the crew before they've even loaded a musket. When Hooke and Smiling Jack work in tandem they can clear a vessel in jig time.

When not splattering decks with brains and offal Hooke tends to the Kraken as a master rigger. He is quite dextrous, considering.

Hooke is a rather large resin Ogre from Warploque Miniatures. His large expanse of flesh was most pleasing to work on, and he is packed with detail, such as his little octopus friend on his back. I used my usual palette, though I did take GW Screamer Pink out for a spin on his intestines. It's a brilliant colour I plan on using more often. That and GW Contrast Volupus Pink are my new best pals.

His base is encrusted with marine debris, including some real crab shell that's been in my bits box about thirty years. I knew I'd get to use it one day.

With the addition of Hooke, that brings my band of undead pirates to completion for now. I do plan on coming back to add a couple more members, but one needs a change to refresh the hobby mojo. Hopefully I will get to use them in a game of Ghost Archipelago in the not too distant future, but for now we will step down the gangplank and bid the Kraken farewell as she vanishes over the horizon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 8 - Jarl Hakon

 A red letter day for the Ghost Archipelago project today. With the addition of the hunter, Jarl Hakon, the crew finally becomes useable in games, having reached ten members. I do plan on adding a few more, but it's nice to have  game-ready crew.

Jarl here is another Arcworlde sculpt. How that rope cast is a mystery to me, but it looks cool. He'll join the crew as another specialist.

Jarl is only nominally a member of the crew of the Kraken. Though willing to pitch in when required, he is his own creature, and is oft left to his own peculiar devices. No member of the crew is ever foolish enough to touch Gertrud, Jarl's viciously barbed harpoon.

The Kraken came across Jarl Hakon floating on a battered section of ship's hull. He stood astride the wreck, harpoon in hand, as if waiting. When called out to, he shouted back that his ship, the Naglfar, had been attacked by a great beast that morning, and he was the last surivor. He had driven it off with his harpoon, but it was a cunning devil and would wait until he grew weary and attack again and again.

As Jarl roared back this answer The Old Man of the Sea leaned in close to Captain Wither and informed him that Jarl had, in fact, been keeping vigil on the limpet-encrusted remnants of the Naglfar for more than eighty years. Such had been his punishment at the hands of the wight whale. But his penace was at an end now, and the Old Man had need of Jarl's skills.

Thus the Old Man whispered down over the side of the Kraken and across the waves to the agitated Norseman. No soul aboard the ship heard what bargain passed between them, but soon enough Jarl was clambering aboard. Since that day he has proven his mastery over beasts of land and sea, and while he is not to be drawn to discuss the fate of the Naglfar, he is stalwart and reliable, which is enough.

Jarl has an old school whaler thing going on, so I painted his coat like old oilskins. The rest pretty much followed the recipes used on the other crew members. He's a big lad, so he went on a 32mm base. I try to keep base sizes consistent, but sometimes you have to go with what looks best.

So there we have it! The crew of the Kraken is ready to explore the Ghost Archipelago in search of redemption, and possibly booty. I have a few more pieces to add, some treasure and one or two more crew. Or several. I have fishmen (Like the lads from The Flying Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean), more undead pirates, and various sea creatures and monsters all vying for a place on the Kraken. With a few choice additions I can have a viable Warcry band shortly.

So, I hope you've enjoyed the slow muster of the Kraken's compliment, sure twas only a joy to work on me hearties! Yo-ho!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 7 - Undead Deckhands 2


Yo-ho ye sea biscuits! Another pair of old salts here for your inspection. I need at least four deckhands for the crew for Ghost Archipelago, and these two swabs complete that compliment. As the others, they are armed with cutlasses to keep things nice and simple. I might add some deckhands with other weapons once I get a few games in, but for now I'll introduce you to Bilgewater and Ned Mawgan.

Ned Mawgan is the youngest of the crew that sails aboard the Kraken. Barely out of his teens when the curse struck the ship, Ned is particularly bitter about what might have been. Perhaps due to his lost youth, Ned is full of vim and vinegar, always first over the rail and always advocating the most straightforward action. With his mortal life so close to his thoughts, the curse lies gently upon him, and there are times when he can even pass for the man he once was. It is this ability that allows Ned to venture ashore now and then, to secure such supplies as the Kraken might need, and hound the locals for news. The Kraken's crew might be dead men, but they still love gossip.

Ned even convinced the captain to allow him to visit his home once. It was against his better judgement, but the Captain harbours no small amount of guilt for Ned's fate, and so allowed it. Slipping silently into a lonely cove in the moonlight, the ship waited on Ned to return. So he did, and rather than the expected tale of horror and woe, Ned returned with a tale of a mourning family joyous at their son's return, however briefly. They await him still, and this knowledge steels Ned's heart against whatever trials the Kraken must face.

Bilgewater is the most forlorn of all the Kraken's crew. In stark contrast to young Ned, Bilgewater retains no memories of his mortal life. He rarely leaves the ship, and only very occasionally appears above deck. His penchant for haunting the deeperst parts of the vessel earned him his nickname, but in truth, neither he nor his crewmates can now even recall his real name. Bilgewater sees to his tasks without complaint, and his eerily detached manner is a grim warning of what awaits all the crew sbould they slip too far into despair.

These two fellows bring the crew up to nine, almost minimum size for a game. I have my final member, the as yet unnamed harpoon wielder getting some paint at the moment. With luck the whole crew will be done shortly. Of course, there are a few more I want to add after that. The drowned ogre for one, then perhpas another specialist, and I have a sharkman that would look nice with a bit of paint.

On a side note, I started using a new varnish, AK Interactive Ultra Matte. It really means it, the finish is  very matte indeed. I've been using Daler Rowney Matt varnish for years, with no complaints. AS the AK Ultra Matte is water-based, my only concren is that is won't be as hard wearing. Have any of ye had any experience with it? 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 6 - Captain Ephram Wither

Cap'n on deck! Captin Wither joins the crew of The Kraken this fair morn. 

Captain Ephram Wither is as good a captain as you'll find on the seas. Fair-minded, even-handed and not prone to the cruelties that often afflict such men, he could be called warm-hearted were it not for the fact that his heart is as cold as the ocean floor. He is not a bitter or vengeful revenant, he accepts his punishment and knows his path.

Despite his benevolent nature, the captain keeps a tight ship. There is no rest for the wicked, as Wither would say. It isn't the scrubbing that keeps the decks clean though, nor the polish that keeps the brasswork bright, for the brushes are worn and the polish long since exhausted. It is the memory of these endeavours that reverse the rot and rust. To that end the captain ensures the crew see to their duties and not dwell overmuch on their unnerving predicament. 

The Captain spends a great deal of time in his cabin poring over old maps, some of parchment, others of less tangible materials. There is much coming and going as crew are called in for opinion, insight or report, all while the ship's bilge rats scurry back and forth fetching some scroll or book. The Old Man of the Sea spends a great deal of his time here also, guiding the Captain's course. The spirit has become a beacon of purpose since its appearance, and purpose is a precious commodity for the dead. 

Wither and his crew know there is yet hope, and that is enough.

The Captain hails from the Arcwolde range. He's a great undead captain with his giant cutlass and rat friend. I added another dead rat to his base, to push the ship's rats thing. I  have several large undead bilge rats which might make good additions to the crew in time if I can find a place for them in the roster.

The palette for Wither keeps much to the overall palette choices for the crew. I added the creamy white feathers to give him some extra visual pop as well as a more vibrant beard, adding warmer tones into it. I framed his face with the black hat to push this a little further, so while he's still dressed in greys and browns for the most part he's still a little more eye-catching than the other crew. 

So, with seven crew done I'm down to the last two deckhands and the hunter. I'm going to try to paint the hunter in oilskins as he's got a big old harpoon and I want to channel some of that Moby Dick vibe. Gonna try and cram in as many sea themes as I can here.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 5 - Hiram Gunwalloe

Another crewman drags himself out onto the deck today, the steadfast Hiram Gunwalloe.

Hiram is a long-serving hand aboard the Kraken. He is known for two things: his deep affection for all things blackpowder, and his sonorous singing voice.

Hiram lovingly maintains an ancient musket he refers to as Wee Belle. Despite Hiram's attentions, Wee Belle still works mostly due to the enchantments laid upon the Kraken. The gun fires wraithshot, and with each hit the rust and corrosion on the gun recedes just a little. It is the same with all the Kraken's guns, from pistols to eight pounders.

Often is the chance you'll come across Hiram sitting on some rail or spar cleaning and oiling Belle while regailing those in earshot with some tragic ballad or lusty shanty. The crew, prone to strange reveries that can often see them fall motionless, find themselves lifted from the fug at the sound of Hiram's voice. For that he is well loved among the ship's crew, and even the captain has been noted to pause for a verse or two.

Hiram was sent to me by a good mate, you can see his mighty blog, Leadplague, here. He's a straightforward enough fella, so I just painted him with the palette I used on the rest of the crew. Again, I used thinned contrast as a recess wash on the pants and bone. It's great for adding definition. 

Almost looking like a crew.

Next up, it's time for the Captain.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 4 - Sargento Alejandro Mortéz

Joining the crew of the Kraken today we have the former Estalian adventurer, Alejandro Mortéz. 

Found marooned on a sandbar, Alejandro was only too glad to join the crew in return for passage away from his sandy obliette. 

It did't take long for Alejandro to tell his story. (There's a lot of time to kill on board the Kraken) It transpired that while looting a temple deep in the steaming jungles they had discovered a number of glowing green statuettes. Soon after leaving with their haul, Alejandro and his men had begun to grow ill. Terrified they had called down some terrible curse upon themselves, they made for their ship. As they journeyed to the coast some of the men expired, while others began to change, much to the horror of their comrades.

By the time they reached the beach, only Alejandro was left, and was much altered. Breaking the tree line, the last of his strength deserted him as he reached the shore.

He awoke on his lonely sandbar, nothing but bleached bone and rusting armour. he still had one of the tiny statues in his pouch, and it is this, he reasoned, that brought him back. Alejandro has had a very long time to consider his fate. Maybe if he returned it, he might be restored?

The crew reckons that ship had sailed, as it were, but they are very interested indeed in the location of that temple.

Alejandro is another of the marvellous undead from Marauder Miniatures. MM50/1 C, undead hero, sculpted by Aly Morrison. He's a particularly characterful fella. The mutated legs and ornate armour, combined with the cutlass and pistol make him a favourite. I was most gratified to find a home for him in the crew.

I painted him up with my usual undead scheme. I've taken to adding a little thinned Skeleton Horde contrast paint to parts of the bone I want to tone down or deepen the shade. It's great stuff. 

That brings the crew to the half way mark. The next fellow is not far from done, so hopefully another crewmate will be along presently Cap'n.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 3 - The Old Man of the Sea

Joining the crew of the Kraken today we have the crew's mysterious guide, the Old Man of the Sea. 

The old man appeared to the Kraken as she traversed the deepest oceans, forming out of the sea mists that crept over the gunwale. An ancient, fleshless skull rose out of the coalescing fog, tiny albino crab scuttling from it's dripping eyesockets. The flickering wraiths of long dead sea creatures darted about its form. A gnarled driftwood staff thudded into the deck. 

The crew owed their souls to the sea, and in thier dead hearts they knew it had sent it's herald to collect. 

The Old Man spoke with the authority of the crushing deep, and his will was as relentless as the waves upon the shore. There was no denying the tasks he set the crew. But there is no malice in the sea, and so the crew were offered some small hope of redemption should they succeed in their quest. Whether the Kraken sails to eventual salvation, or yet deeper damnation, none can say.

The Old Man of the Sea is from Warploque Miniatures, from their undead raiders range. I picked him up some years back, and upon starting this project he immediately jumped to mind as the warden for my crew for Ghost Archipelago.

As to painting, I wanted him to have the look of a ragged old sail or perhaps thick sea mist. I used a light grey as the basecoat, over which I applied several washes of GW Contrast paint thinned with medium. Apothecary White, Plaguebearer Flesh and then some Nihilakh Oxide. Some of these, such as the Plaguebearer, were recess washed. I highlighted this with light grey and finally white. 

The wee fish and clam are from the Games Workshop Idoneth Deepkin range. I managed to get a pile of wee fish and such from a pal. They add a lot to the bases, though some are big enough to be based up as familiars or somesuch. 

Here we have the crew to date. A ways to go yet! Next up is some rusty gunpowder-based firepower.

Wayland Games

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