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?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Undead - Momentous Mori

After a long time spent ticking away at this large dead guy, I have today for you the undead giant, Momentous Mori, just in time for Halloween and the upcoming Scale Creep Living Dead Challenge.

The miniature hails from Macrocosm Games, and I've added some extras to his gangly frame, such as the armour on his upper arms, which hail from some unknown ogre kit. I bought a job lot of ogre bits a few years ago and it's one of the best source for handy parts I have, I dip into it constantly. Some savage orc arrows in his chest, and a vulture from the giant kit whispering into where his ear used to be, and he was good to go. 

I also added a dead knight to his base to give him a bit of scale. That knight was one of the very first miniatures I ever owned, and has been waiting for some paint for ooo... 35 years or so? 

Next I added some wee gravestones, the odd few scraggly branches (bless that dryad kit) and a toppled statute to finish off the spooky vibe.

The painting on this fellow followed my usual undead recipes, though I continue to experiment with dead flesh. The giant still has meat on his hands for some reason. Maybe he moisturized. I did use some contrast paints to glaze the leather under his coif, and the branches at his feet. I'm still slowly working contrast into my techniques, it's mighty stuff.

So, here's the background on the Momentous Mori:

Morbius the liche is notoriously sentimental, and has many pet projects that he refuses to abandon. The Momentous Mori is one such experiment. The giant is not the remains of one monster, but rather an assembly of bits and pieces. The creature is given animus by flickers of soul-stuff woven together by both Amun and Morbius, but somewhere along the line they seemed to have created an entirely new soul. While the battle-knowledge that was embedded in the beast's being made it terrible foe, when not required to hew apart mortals with it's rusty cleaver, the giant could be found pointing up at clouds, trying to play with animals and following Amun or Morbius around like a child. 

Morbius found this adorable.

So it is that the Momentous Mori is a favourite among Morbius' creations, and so woe betide the wight or wraith who upsets the beast by not playing 'throw the skulls' or 'chase the direwolves' with the massive construct.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Fimir - Seanchaí

After a bit of a dry spell I have another fimir for you today. Tadhg, Seanchaí of the Fir Domhan. (The Fomorian Wayfarer from Krakon Games) He's a human size fimir, and is unlike many fimir-style models as he looks more of a wanderer than a warrior, despite his long spear.

I've been looking forward to painting him for a while. I decided to take my new Raphael series 8404 brushes on a bit of a test drive with him, so I added a spot of freehand to his cloak.

They are really nice brushes. They keep their point very well, and hold a nice volume of paint. I had been reduced to painting with scraggly ruins until they arrived, so it was a delight to have new brushes. I best not leave it so long next time. 

Here's Tadhg's backstory:

Tadhg is a welcome sight among the settlements of the Fir Domhan. He often appears around times of festival or celebration, but also times of mourning or ceremony. He is a Seanchaí, or storyteller, a custodian of tradition and keeper of heritage. He is also quite the gossip, and carries news and goings on from village to village. A master orator, his tales of heroism and tragedy are much loved by the fimir, though he is a frequent visitor to the human villages of the Tuatha Taiden as well.

He carries a long heavy spear, though in truth it seems to be more staff than weapon. More famous yet is his cloak, the Eagna Mac Tíre. Cut from wolfskin, it is heavily tattooed with beasts, heroes and passages written in Fimar, the written language of the fimir, which shift and change to compliment whatever tale or speech Tadhg is giving. 

Tadhg is not a tall fimir, and is, indeed, of the shearl class. In fact, he is quite rotund, being given to enjoying the constant hospitality offered to him. Despite this, he enjoys the respect and deference of even the dirach and the nobles of the Fianna. The Seanchaí is a sacred office, and to bring harm or disrespect to one is the most terrible offence.

Tadhg's tales are of the past, the present, and on occasion, the future. He presides over matters of custom and gives eulogy over the dead. He recounts to the fimir of the wrongs done to them, and reminds them of the deeds of heroes and villains long gone.

Then he is off on his way, and days are counted until he returns again.

For gaming purposes, Tadhg will count as a minor magic user or lesser hero. I'm adding s few characterful fimir at the moment so I can build up a nice warband for Warcry, Frostgrave and so on. I have a daemonmaniac coming up that'll work for any larger ogre-sized beastie I might need.

Elatha and Fedelmid catch up on the news as they escort Tadhg into the Ráth.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Fimir - Jes Goodwin's Limited Edition Fimir

Aah, a return to one of my absolute favourite factions, the fimir! I've been promising myself I'd get around to painting Jes Goodwin's 1987 Limited Edition fimir for years, and finally, here he is. May I present Elatha, Fian of the Warped (Na Buile). I have several bucket list minis I have decided to take on this year, this being the fist.

The fimir were always intended to be roughly human sized, as this fellow is. The reasons they ended up the size of ogres is already well documented already. This rare treasure though, is the archetype as far as I am concerned.

It's been a few years since I painted a fimir, so as you do, I tinkered with my recipes a little. I altered the skin, toning down the yellow and replacing my highlight colour, Elf Flesh, for a less yellow tone, Flayed One Flesh. I also added more green to the bronze. I'm pretty happy with the results.

I also had a go at making the club tail quite dark, and blending it into the flesh tone. It gives him a little more visual interest, so I think I'll keep that for now. Elatha is the first member of a new unit of fimm, the Warped. These are fimir that suffer from battle frenzy, and enter into the warp spasm in battle. There will be a lot of weird mutations and so on. I have a couple of larger daemonmaniacs I'll be adding to this unit as unit fillers as well as serving as larger beasties in warbands.

I am finishing off a second fimir right now, of a very different type. A Seanchaí, a wandering storyteller. He'll be for adding to warbands for Frostgrave and Warcry. I plan on proxying the fimir as Bonesplitters in Warcry I think.

Speaking of warbands, here is Elatha, serving as Fian in Fedelmid the Dirach's warband.

Fedelmid leads his fimm and half-dead in search of transgressors.

Wayland Games

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