Saturday, 31 May 2014

Painting Table Saturday 30th Edition + Ice and Fire

Painting Table Saturday turns 30! Well done Sofie! A superb effort and I'm happy to be a part of the celebrations. I came on board around #17 (Edit: #15), not expecting to have something new to offer every week. The fine painters in this blog community have inspired me to dedicate some time to painting, which is one of my joys in life.

Here we have a Song of Ice and Fire. Or, if you're as old as I am, Fire and Ice. In fact, that film (by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta) has a character called Nekron that is a dead ringer for Elric of Melnibon√©, the original pale uber-sorcerer with a cool sword, Stormbringer. Although, even in Game of Thrones, when Joffrey Baratheon asks what he should name his new Valyrian Steel sword, one of his courtiers suggests "Stormbringer". Indeed, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has also an albino spymaster (former Hand of the King Brynden Rivers), who is also clearly another echo of Elric.

Anyway, I will cease to ramble on, as more will be revealed below. This week I have completed two classic 1980's Citadel Chaos Dwarf miniatures, from my friend Bob. They both lost their weapons long ago and required replacements (an old ogre mace and a HeroQuest sword). A search of the internet gave me suitable guidance in this regard. However, as I mentioned this in a previous post I will keep on moving.

I have a new addition to my painting gear. A painting tray! It certainly enhances the painting experience. Goodbye to bread boards. I should have got one of these decades ago!

My new painting tray.

Early morning walks with Leah (the family dog) often bring ideas to my painting table. Sometimes they are subconscious and I realise the connection later.

Inspiration from nature.
 So, without further ado, here is the fire!

Now the ice!

Dwarf Lord and Chaos Dwarf.


Note the shield holder in the background. Mighty Blu-Tac!

I often paint shields with wooden detail.

Someone lost their head! It was a HeroQuest zombie.

The base is frosty but the shield is missing something.

Green stuff for the shield boss.
We had our first frost this week in the Waikato and winter is officially here (New Zealand). Hence the theme for this edition of Painting Table Saturday. The Frost Dwarf is incredibly hirsute, almost like a small Yeti, making him a perfect match for snowy terrain. His shield design is inspired by the Warhammer Chaos insignia, which of course originally comes from Michael Moorcock.

Inspired by Michael Moorcock.

Games Workshop borrowed heavily from Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. One example is the Symbol of Chaos (eight arrows in a radial pattern), also called the Arms of Chaos, Arrows of Chaos, Chaos Star, Symbol of Eight, etc. Moorcock conceived this symbol while writing the first Elric of Melniboné stories in the early 1960's:

"I drew it at my kitchen table while thinking up suitable symbols for Law (a single arrow) and Chaos (eight arrows representing all possible choices). Games Workshop couldn't exist without the things they've ripped off from me and Tolkien. If they'd made more of the material, I wouldn't mind. But they've dumbed it down, too. Sometimes I get weary of this crap. Other times, people remind me, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A more sincere form of flattery than that, of course, is when they ask you first. As I've often said -- they can say it's flattery, but that's the flattery of the guy you catch in your apartment when you come home at night and he's just heading for the fire escape with your new TV. 'Great taste in TVs, man,' he says..."

It was thereafter adopted into pop culture. Of course, the more astute of you may realise that it also looks like a compass!

The one on the right has had his first game already. Callum picked the miniature to represent his character 'Fireskull the Dwarf' in our D&D campaign - and survived the first dangerous session! Frogmen, a duckbilled lizard-beast, giant jungle spiders and rat-monkeys (Runkeys) all learned to fear his blade!

Welcome to the jungle! Spiders from the $2 shop.

God bless you all this weekend and happy painting!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Grenadier Oriental Heroes 2020 Box Set

Every now and then I get a surprise. Here is a gift from my good friend Lewis. An original 1980s, still shrink-wrapped, box set of Grenadier miniatures. As many of you will know, these are as rare as hens teeth. Which leaves me with a conundrum. Do I open it? Inside is genuine 1980s American air. Seriously though, this gift took me back in time. I was a young teenager once again, eager to paint a heroic character for Bushido, or perhaps an AD&D Oriental Adventures campaign. It was like the feeling I would get before my Tae Kwon Do grading.

So, do I open it? As my friend Greg said, the test of a real gamer. Surely I am not just a collector of curios from a glorious bygone age of role-playing games? I do have some of these miniatures kicking around in my neglected lead trays, most without weapons. This is a full set though, in mint condition. A genuine Dragon Lords boxed set of Grenadier models. To stay wrapped or to unwrap, that is the question...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Painting Table Saturday 29 + Grenadier Ettin

Double Rainbow!
Another Saturday, another painting day. Joining the Painting Table Saturday community has meant a lot less unpainted lead in the Man Shed. Thanks Sofie! I'm enjoying seeing the masterpieces other painters are creating and developing some new techniques myself. An old dog can learn new tricks!

So, there you have it. I finally finished painting the Grenadier Ettin from the 1980's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons range. What's on the desk now? Some Citadel goodness. Some Dwarf Lords and their corrupted kin. Behind them some Orcs and a mysterious figure, a practitioner of the Colour of Magic.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Breast Awareness + Pink Ribbon Breakfast

Get up and do some good this May!
"The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF) is inviting you to take part and host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast with your friends, family, colleagues and community."

Well, I was invited to a Pink Ribbon Breakfast and yes, it got me thinking. Obviously I am all for being healthy. I'm a spokesman for Blue September, which raises awareness of testicular and prostate cancer in men. So, if you are concerned about your breasts, or know someone who is, well, about yours or their own, then... for God's sake do something about it!

Money raised from this year’s Pink Ribbon Breakfasts will fund research projects and medical grants to help improve the survivorship of breast cancer in New Zealand. With your help the NZBCF can fund potentially life-saving research which could one day help your mum, your sister, your friend, your daughter.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Painting Table Saturday 28 + Ettin + Chaos Dwarves

Here are my humble efforts for Painting Table Saturday, number 28. The Grenadier Ettin is nearing completion. It's been a long time coming for this two-headed giant. Also, a trip to my good friend Bob in Cambridge resulted in a few rare miniatures for the table. Here are a couple, both Citadel Chaos Dwarves (Dwarfs), from the golden gaming era of the 1980s. Thanks Bob!

They were missing weapons, so I had a rummage through the bits box. An old ogre mace and a HeroQuest sword were then pinned into place. After some research I decided they are 'close enough' as replacements for the original weapons. I also added some stones from the driveway and a lonely skull (again, thanks to HeroQuest).

Another Hassle Free miniature, Albert, is now wearing the Maltese Cross on his tunic.

The day has warmed up nicely after a cold foggy morning. Thanks and blessings to Sofie, the creator of Painting Table Saturday. Please check out the other participants at her blog. Time to go and mow the lawns.

Grenadier Ettin, Giant Orc to the left.

Hassle Free Kid with a Maltese Cross.

Citadel Chaos Dwarfs get replacement weapons.

Stones added to the bases.

Winter is coming.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Happy Birthday Dennis + Baby Dragon

Another year older (and wiser) for my good friend Dennis. Here is a baby dragon I painted as a present for him. This miniature is tiny! It's an old Citadel wizard familiar that I converted with some wings from a Grenadier Draconian (Dragonlance miniature).

This Dragon now belongs to the legendary Dwarf Lord, Turass!