Friday, 29 April 2016

Sculpting Fantasy Miniatures + Half-Elf Ranger + Martin Longbow

Martin Longbow. 
Ok. Seven miniatures in a month? Considering sculpting is a new hobby for me and I already have a full life, I am surprised I found the time! The unexpected joy that comes from creating a new character from wire and putty has brought delight, albeit at odd hours of the day.

Now thay I have seven miniatures, I will send them off to have them cast in metal. The latest figurine is another character from the glory days of gaming. Alex Packwood had a few memorable characters but two that stand out were Claris the Cleric and Martin Longbow. The former was a D&D (Redbox) character, whereas Martin Longbow an AD&D character.

The main difference between the games being that Race became independent of Class. New classes were also added. One of those classes was the Ranger. Invented by one of the player's in Gary Gygax's Greyhawk campaign, the Ranger was based upon Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. Of course Aragorn was the original half-elf, so what better race to choose? In the 1st edition of AD&D playing a half-elf gave offered added benefits. In latter editions your character is better off as either a human or an elf.

Game mechanics aside, Martin borrowed his name from a character in Magician, a popular book by Raymond E. Feist. His best work in my opinion. As an aside the world of Midkemia was from Raymond's own houseruled D&D campaign, which had an invasion by Tekumel (from M. A. R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne.) In his novel Magician, Tekumel became Kelewan.

On one of our more memorable gaming nights, Martin broke his Longbow when Alex rolled a 1 during combat. Rolling a 1 on the 20 sided die was a critical failure and in our house rules for bows, that meant a broken bow. Alex picked up another bow and tried to shoot again the following round. He rolled another 1. And again. And again. After his fifth consecutive 1, Alex stood up, strode to the sliding doors, opened them and threw his cursed die into the night!

With this miniature I added a few new strings to my bow. I utilised more wire tham usual; to shape and support the arms and bow. The original studs were too bulky, so I employed a ball pump needle for the task. I also found a better tool for cloaks. It has a small convex end, like the back of a tiny spoon, that makes for cleaner sculpting of folding cloth.

God bless and enjoy your week!

Sculpting Fantasy Miniatures + Aleena the Cleric

Aleena the Cleric.  
Perhaps one of the most iconic non-player characters in the history of the Dungeons & Dragons game, Aleena the Cleric is doomed in the introduction adventure of the fabulous Red Box edition, as an example to players that you can't save everyone.

"To your right, sitting by the cave wall, is a beautiful woman, wearing armor like yours. She has no sword, but has a rod with a metal ball on one end; this is a weapon called a mace. A lit lantern is on the floor next to her. She seems to be meditating or praying.
You decide she might not wish to be disturbed. But as you try to quietly tiptoe past, she looks up and says:
“Greetings, friend! Looking for the goblin? You might - Oh! You are hurt! May I help?” She watches you carefully, in case you are dangerous, but seems to want to help.
You apologize for disturbing her, but you wonder what she knows about the goblin, and - most of all - how she could help you. But wait; she might be an enemy. Keeping your sword ready, you move closer. She stands, and says:
“My name is Aleena. I’m a cleric, an adventurer like yourself. I live in the town nearby, and came here seeking monsters and treasure. Do you know about clerics?"

Aleena becomes your guide and mentor in a brief dungeon adventure that ends with her falling to a glowing arrow, a spell cast by Bargel the black-robed magic-user. Yes, she dies. While you take on a mere goblin, Aleena searches out the invisible foe and is slain by Bargel.

Death happens in role-playing games. This is something I had learned (time and again) through playing Fighting Fantasy game books. The dice can be cruel. Aleena's death was different though. Perhaps because of the way it sets you up for the game. A game where like real life, people die, even the best of people. Her death is almost as sudden as her friendship.

Which now makes me think of this:
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. Romans 5:7

Aleena saw the good in you, which is why she took on the greater foe. 

As for the sculpting I found the mace to be the challenge. You may note that it began as a near perfect sphere. Even adding the rounded spikes went well. Then disaster struck while I worked on her hood, forgetting the ball between her feet. I unconsciously flattened it with my big old thumb!

Though her mace isn't perfect, it still looks deadly! As with my previous miniature I used a button shield. I believe it fits perfectly. 

Note the perfect sphere on the Mace.

And the mace after my fat thumb squashed it.

Six miniatures in one month! God bless you and enjoy your week!

Sculpting Fantasy Miniatures + Amazon + Red Sonja + Bretta

She-Devil with a Sword. 
It's still April and here is number five! Sculpting this Amazon brought back memories of my teenage years, gaming in Te Kuiti. A mix between the classic Red Sonja and Eleanor's character, Bretta the Barbarian. As the wife of Pat, the DM, Bretta certainly had the favour of the Dice Gods!

Perhaps because of this favoritism, other player's added an evergrowing list of alliterative epithets to her character's name. Bretta the Bull-buggering Barbarian from Barcelona, for example. I recall Alex coming up with Bury-me-in-a-Y-shaped-coffin? All in good fun and the best possible taste.

I utilised a button from David's Emporium for her shield. This saved time and helped me decide her final pose. It will probably help with defense also, given the chain mail bikini offers little in the way of protection. Given her prodigious strength, Bretta wields her Bastard Sword one-handed.

Have a beautiful, bountiful and blessed week!

Sculpting Fantasy Miniatures + Wizard Star Hat University

Fly you fools!
Part of the joy of belonging to a gaming group is the creativity that comes from sharing time together in world's where the only limit is your imagination. Such as this Wizard of Star Hat University, or *^U, a character that came from our D&D sessions. Grant Stone liked the star I had painted on a wizard's hat and that began the back storyline of where wizards get their qualifications.

I would say that I could have been smoother with the folds of the robes and cloak. However, this does give him a road worn look; a traveller of paths seldom tread. The backpack and scroll were inspired by an old Citadel miniature I have. There is a touch of Terry Pratchett's Rincewind, Gandalf the Grey and Merlin. Quite the blend!

Tamiya Epoxy Putty

So that makes four miniatures. I may need to come up with a name for this enterprise. Perry Miniatures is already taken!

Have an awesome weekend and God bless you and your endeavors this coming week.