Monday 29 August 2016

One Mini Every Week #34

This week I've been slapping some paint on a couple of Frostgrave Gnolls (which I'll no doubt be using as more beastling models in my Age of Shadow games)...

These particular miniatures are from the plastic kit that Northstar Miniatures produces, and you get 5 miniatures per sprue (which come with various weapon loadouts so you can arm them however you like - though it's worth noting that you can't arm them all the same).

In my opinion the detail in places is a tiny bit shallower than I would like (though by no means a deal breaker) - but they go together easily enough. However, the neck and head work a bit like a ball and socket joint (to allow for a bit of poseability) ...but, as you can see in the picture below, I always ended up with a gap between the head and neck - which I've then had to fill in with a bit of greenstuff.

But on the whole, I like the way they've turned out, and I really hope that Northstar Miniatures put out more plastic monster kits like this!

Thursday 25 August 2016

Another 'Dungeon Designer' Map (Patreon Funded)

As I've mentioned previously, I have one extremely generous Patreon supporter, who's pledged at the 'dungeon designer' level - but simply asks that I freestyle a map however I see fit.

So, I've used this as an opportunity to draw another little crypt map by hand (though I have added a bit of colour/texture in photoshop)...

Here's hoping you can all get some use out of it!

(note that if you plan on using this map in a VTT, each individual square is 70 pixels in width/height - though you might need to click HERE, or open it in a new tab/window, to view it at full size)

Tuesday 23 August 2016

One Mini Every Week #33

I almost forgot to post a picture of this week's mini ...but here it is (better late than never right?).

I believe that this miniature is long OOP and is from Grim Reaper Castsing's 'Nasteez' line, and despite it's pose being a bit two dimensional, I don't think it's too bad a miniature (and is definitely one of the better ones from the old 'Nasteez' range).

And if you've seen my recent post about making some of my own grass tufts, here's a pic of a little treasure token I've made ...with several of the home made tufts attached:

To make the treasure itself I've used a tiny bead on top of a slightly larger bead for the bottle, and a couple of craft 'microbeads' glued in a circle for the necklace. For the golden coins I've simply rolled a bit of excess greenstuff into a long line, and then (once it's hardened) cut it into thin slices.

Plus I've also been experimenting with some more scatter terrain (to add to my existing cave/underdark pieces*)...

...which has turned out well enough for me to be considering making a bunch more :)

*you can see my previous pieces HERE and HERE

Thursday 18 August 2016

A new 'little book of dungeons' in the works

It's hard to believe that I released my first 'little book of dungeons' back in 2011 (with each volume being a collection of 9 black & white maps done in my usual style), and it's been quite some time since the last one was released.

So, later this month (or possibly early next month) I'm hoping to release The Little Book of Dungeons - Volume IV - but this time I'm thinking of changing things up a little and including 6 colour maps that have been drawn in a slightly more modern style (as seen below).

-the 5 maps I've completed thus far-

But, as well as being able to use these maps individually, I'm also creating them so that you can connect 2 or more of them together to make a larger dungeon layout - or even join all 6 of them if you're looking to create a massive complex for your players to explore

I'm also toying with the idea of maybe making each map available (individually) as stock art images (in addition to the booklet release) - so that folks can also use them in their commercial products if they so desire.

Anyway, that's the current plan ...and with any luck it'll be available (in all forms) in the next few weeks :)

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Trying Out a Static Grass Applicator

Up until now I've been buying pre-made (self adhesive) grass tufts (like THESE) to stick onto my miniature bases, and I've been really happy with them so far.

However, at roughly £6 each, buying several different kinds/colours can start to add up quickly - plus, as you've probably realised by now, I kinda like to craft my own stuff wherever possible ...and so I thought I'd have a go at making my own.

So, to begin with I have purchased THIS static grass applicator from ebay (there's also a video on that page that shows you how to use it):

...and I know I could have probably made my own for around half the price - but I wanted to jump right in and make some grass tufts ASAP :)

Well, for my very first attempts I used the only static grass that I had to hand (which is way too green for my liking) and some PVA glue...

- 2 pence coin is for scale (roughly 1" diameter) -

...and they've not turned out too bad (though adding the pebbles wasn't a great idea - as those particular ones didn't dry very flat).

However, I then discovered that you can buy a special 'carpet tackifier' glue that dries 'sticky' - thus allowing you to make self-adhesive tufts. And while this glue (when dry) doesn't seem as rigid as that of the pre-made grass tufts I've purchased in the past, it does work rather well.

- my first test pieces using the new glue -

As you can see in the above picture, I also purchased some different length static grass pieces (again from ebay) ...but I had a bit of trouble getting colours that I liked (as they don't always look the same in real life as their picture does ...not to mention the fact that just because the description says 'Autumn' for example, it doesn't mean that the 2mm, 4mm, and 6mm versions will all be the same colour - which is a bit annoying to say the least.).

In the end I found that all of the 'farmyard' colours from THIS ebay seller were to my liking (they're also perfect match colourwise in both the 4mm & 6mm lengths :) ) and so here's a few pictures of my first test pieces.

- all of these had 2 passes with 6mm grass, followed by 2 passes with 4mm - 

...and I'm really pleased with how they've turned out (though they do look a little darker in these pics than they do in real life).

But I've not stopped there...

...these are made from 2mm & 6mm lengths of static grass (with the 6mm lengths used to represent the stalks of the flowers), and the flowers themselves have been made with 'flower soft'...

...which I believe is used in 'card making' (or similar crafts*). And, as you can see, they should be a pretty good size for 28mm mini's.

Now I just need to paint a lot more miniatures so that I can start using all this stuff :)

*I inherited several little tubs of these, along with a  bunch of other craft supplies when my mother passed away a couple of years ago (as she loved to make her own cards etc.) so it's good to be putting these to use.

Monday 15 August 2016

Dungeon Designer Map (August 2016)

Both of the 'dungeon designer' slots have now been taken over on my Patreon page (these are basically pledge levels that allow folks to submit their own designs/suggestions - that I'll then attempt to draw) ...and so here's another bonus geomoprh based on the latest patron's description...

It's also worth mentioning that, because this tile has both a 'cave' exit and a 'dungeon' exit, it will work as a great way of connecting my dungeon geomorphs (from 2011) to my cave geomorphs (2012) - as can be seen in the example below:

Saturday 13 August 2016

One Mini Every Week #30 to #32

If you were wondering what's happened to the #oneminieveryweek project ...I'm still at it - it's just that I've been doing a spot of batch painting these past couple of weeks...

...and as you can see, here we have a few figures that I'm going to be using as crude golems and/or elementals.

The large one is an old OOP D&D mini from back in the 3rd edition era (I actually have a few different mini's from that range lying around - so it was about time I splashed some paint on one), and here he is mounted on a 40mm base.

The two regular size miniatures (mounted on 30mm bases) are actually from Kallista's 10mm 'elementals' pack - which are obviously meant to be giant size in 10mm, but they also work well as regular size elementals in 28mm.

And for the smaller guys, I've just glued a few pieces of fish tank gravel together (in a roughly humanoid shape), and stuck them to 20mm bases.

I've also created a couple of small standing stones* with 'magic runes' upon them by taking a piece of gravel from the garden path and putting a sticker on one side from a sheet of 'craft stickers' that are usually used in card making (or similar).

*these will be used to power/control the golems in an encounter I am planning :)

And as you can see, after a quick paint job, they don't look too bad at all :)

-the finished set-

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Mine Geomorphs #14 & #15 (patreon funded)

Interest in the Patreon campaign has risen a little, and as a result I've drawn two bonus mine geomorphs for August...

And now that these two final dead-ends are done, that completes all of the different entrance/exit configurations (i.e. T-juntions, cross roads, corners, straights, and dead ends) for this set.

So, beginning next month, the next batch of bonus maps will feature geomorphs that have exits that contain a mix of 'mine cart rails' and 'empty passages' - so that they can also be used in conjunction with all of 2012's cave geomorphs as well :)

Anyway, as always, I'd like to thank everyone for their continued support, and I'd like to remind you all that all of these mine geomorphs can also be found in THIS album.

Tuesday 2 August 2016

New Wilderness Map

I'm very pleased to announce the release of another map-pack for the Into the Wilderness range.

Map 6 features the ruins of an old settlement, and (as is usual with these map-packs) is provided in the following formats:

1) A pdf booklet containing three versions of the map; one with a square grid overlay, one with a hex grid overlay, and one with no grid overlay at all

2) Each map (i.e. the square grid, hex grid, and gridless version) is also provided as a jpg image optimised for use with virtual tabletops.

3) In addition, all three versions are supplied as multi-page, miniatures scale, pdfs - so that they can also be used as impromptu battle-mats.

Into the Wilderness: Map 6 is available for just $1.50 over on RPGNow & DriveThruRPG

Monday 1 August 2016

Dungeon Monthly #44 (August 2016)

Look's like it's dungeon-monthly time again...


...and, as usual, I'd like to thank everyone who is supporting the project over on  Patreon - thanks guys!

* * *

Note that you can also find unlabelled versions of all these maps in the following albums: