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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Ghost Archipelago 2 - Bo'sun Woodlock


"Secure those cannon ye mangy curs! See to yon keg, handsomely now!" 

Are the things I imagine bo'sun Woodlock would be shouting at his ragged crewmen upon the deck of the Kraken. He cuts a fine figure of an undead privateer with his single high boot and eye patch, but no pants. 

Woodlock here is from the old Marauder Miniatures MM/50 skeleton range. He's a little bit special as he's the Marauder Skeleton, based on the logo of the company. Check it out:

Cool eh? You don't see him about too much, and he's been waiting for the day I finally get an undead pirate crew together. Well, this is your time buddy. Get up that gangplank!

I managed to find a pleasantly appropriate shield for our bo'sun, depicting the Kraken these lads are so very fond of. I was tempted to use the Maruader Miniatures shield that has their skull logo on it, which would have had old Woodlock here fighting with a shield with his own face on it. Hilarious, but a little bit big for this mini in my view. So big squid it was.

Can you see the wee rum bottle? Eh? Amazing the things you have squirrelled away in the basing box. I have some treasure piles to do, so I think at least one will be a stash of bottles of rum. 

So that brings my small band to three. Next up the warden, my Old Man of the Sea, and an undead gunner. You can't have undead pirates without some rusty and ill maintained but inexplicably working firearms.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ghost Archipelago 1 - Undead Deckhands

Yo-ho! Avast ye swabs, the Mumblings be a come over all nautical of late! I've embarked on a new project with some pals, and we are assembling some warbands, terrain, monsters and such for Ghost Archipelago. The plan is to build and paint now, and play later when things allow for it. It keeps us all hobbying, and gives us something cool to look forward to down the road.

As you may have guessed, Ghost Archipelago is all pirates, treasures, strange islands and terrible beasties. I took this as an opportunity to finally paint some undead pirates. As with orcs, everyone gets to pirates sooner or later. 

So, having chosen the crew of the ghostship Kraken as my salty swabs, I picked out a band of ten undead buccaneers. I need at least four crew, so I picked out the first two as testers for the group.

Empty Isaac is a lowly deckhand aboard the Kraken. He is a forgetful fellow, and struggles to find the words to communicate with his shipmates. Happily, Benjamin, his gull, is most articulate and can express what poor Isaac no longer can. This may have something to do with the fact that Benjamin has eaten most of Isaac's brain over the years. Many postulate Ben isn't actually a real gull at all, but some phantasmal flicker of Isaac's persona. Ben ascertains this is nonsense, and he is a perfectly normal talking seagull.

Both the minis here are from a Kickstarter run by Warploque Miniatures for their Arcworlde game some years back. They released an entire crew, so there will be a few more from the range appearing in the band. 

Yardarm Tom has been a deckhand aboard the Kraken ever since he was cut down from the gallows, though he had been left there a little too long in truth, and the crows had had their way with him. The experience has made Tom somewhat grumpy, and he whispers hoarsely to himself constantly. It's better not to listen to what he is saying. There's a lot about crows.

I used a lot of Contrast paint on these two fellows, especially on their skin. Red, green and purple, thinned down with medium makes for fun painting. A round or two of highlights and that was them done. I added some planking to my usual basing technique to give it a more seabed flavour, while still sitting well with my normally based undead. I added some dead lichen, which could be dead grasses, wavy seaweed or dead coral, depending on how you squint at it. I've accrued a few fish and sea creatures from the Idoneth Deepkin range, so I'll be lashing them onto the next bases I do. Some are big enough to make for individual miniatures in their own right. I feel a pet moray eel coming on.

With these two lowlifes done, I'll be moving onto more prestigious members of the crew next.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Undead - Morglug the Oblivious

Continuing with my current enthusiasm for all things undead, here we have an undead orc, Morglug. He's from Diehard  Miniatures, one of a set of non-human undead. As joining the ranks of my undead host, he will also serve aboard the ghostship as part of my Ghost Archipelago crew as a bit of muscle. 

I have quite a few other undead orcs, so I may build up a warband of former greenskins in time. FOr now though, it's just this lad. Here's his tale:

Morglug is the most unusual of orcs. He has been dead for some time, but for some reason, seems have decided to ignore this fact. One explanation is possibly that most perplexing of orc traits, their belief that is something is, then it is. Morglug believes himself to still be alive, and so despite his internal organs falling out and his skin rotting away, merrily continues on. There is no necromancy that animates Morglug's bones, no master he follows. He insists on continuing on much as he once did, though the grog tends to go to waste as he pours out into his empty throat.

In recent times other undead greenskins have been seen in Morglug's company. Perhaps his power is growing, raising others to follow him in his wanderings across the lands.

So there we are. Next up we have some salty undead crew members for the ghostship. (name to be decided, but it'll be super spooky.) Some regular crew first, then we'll get onto the tasty characters like the captain and the old man of the sea.

Whaddaya mean I smell like old socks filled with hairy cheese?

Wayland Games

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