Wednesday 31 January 2024

Miniatures Painted This Year (January)

As some of you know (and others might have guessed), I like to paint and collect miniatures... I have (off and on) since I was a young lad.

And, like a lot of folks, over the years I have amassed quite a 'pile of shame' (or pile of potential if you prefer)... and I seem to keep adding to it.

So, this year I have set myself the task of trying to paint more miniatures than I buy (I mean, I could have said that I'm not buying any new miniatures this year at all, and just concentrate on what I've already got - but let's be honest... that's not going to happen :) ).

In addition, the aim is also to simply 'get stuff done' I'm not planning to paint everything up to a great standard - I'm just looking to get paint onto as many mini's as I can... and try to not fuss over them too much (though, obviously, I still want them to look OK).

And while, most of the time, I'm going to be concentrating on mini's for specific games/adventures/projects, there'll probably be a few random bits and pieces thrown in here and there... just because I felt like painting them.

So here's what I've managed to get done in January:

This first guy (above) is a Reaper Bones mini, and I've converted him slightly so that I can use him as a 40K psyker/astropath or similar (not that I'm playing 40K right now - but I have been playing a bit of Five Parsecs : Bug Hunt ...and given it a 40K spin). This is one of the few models that I've painted up to my normal standard (as I still want some of my heroes to be properly highlighted) - but he'll likely be the exception, not the rule.

Speaking of which, this next model is at the other end of the spectrum...

...a GW plaguebearer model (this one is going to be used as a 'boss monster' to accompany the poxwalkers I've already painted - again, for Five Parsecs : Bug Hunt). And the paint job on this one is just basecoats and a couple of washes (no highlights) - but I think it gets the job done.

Next up are some Reaper Bones giant snakes and werewolves...

...and some Ral Partha Europe (metal) giant stag beetles and wolves.

And, I've got most of these ready for the Blood Moon Scenario for Rangers of Shadow Deep (which I've been playing co-op with my brother).

That scenario also requires a young boy and girl model - so I've dug out these (metal) Reaper mini's...

...which, again, have had a quick paint job (i.e. base coated, various washes added over the various colours, and then one highlight layer with the same base coats the washes tend to darken everything).

And finally there's these models (the first is a Reaper Bones model - which I'll be using as a garghoul, the others are 'vegepygmies' from Wizkids)...

...and these have just been sitting on my shelf for a while.. and, again have had similar paint jobs to the children that I just mentioned (i.e. basecoats, washes, and one highlight layer with the same basecoat colours that were already on my wet pallette).

So, all said and done, that's 22 models painted (yeah - I know the vegepygmies are tiny... but I'm telling myself that they still count :) ) - and I've only bought 10 new models (which haven't actually arrived yet - but they're paid for - so they also count :( ).

But still - I think I'm off to a good start!

Monday 29 January 2024

Starting the new year with another level of the 'build along' dungeon...

For the past few years, I've had a bit of a tradition of creating a small dungeon level from scratch (i.e. making the terrain, painting the mini's, and writing the adventure) throughout the month of January, and releasing one video a week over on YouTube to show how I put it all together.

And, as you've probably guessed, this year has been no different - so, to cut a long story short, here's a list of all the videos that I've made over the course of this month:

- note that you can get the pdf for this level HERE -

And, while these videos usually only deal with the terrain side of things (though I do quickly run through the encounter ideas - but they're fleshed out a bit more in THIS document), this time I've also had a go at making some miniatures for one of the encounters...

- four DIY elementals pictured next to a reaper bones miniature -

...which doesn't really fit with my usual 'print & paste' approach - but I thought I'd include them nonetheless (so here's hoping you like them :) ).

Anyway, now that level 3 is complete, I think that's going to be it for the Dungeon Build Along series (at least for a while). I'll not go into too much detail - but (generally speaking) multi-part videos don't do very well on YouTube... and it's a ton of work to get one video out a week (I really don't know how other folks manage it :S ) - which, when you think about it, doesn't seem like time well spent (i.e. knowing full well that each 'part' is going to be less popular than the last).

Now, that kind of thing doesn't usually bother me too much (chasing the algorithm isn't really my thing) - but this time things started to feel a bit like a chore towards the end (the needless pressure I put on myself to get 5 videos out this month was starting to build up). So, when you combine all of those factors, I think it's time to call the Dungeon Build Along done!

Don't get me wrong though, I'm really happy with it now that it's finished - and I'm looking forward to running level 2 and 3 with my new(ish) IRL group. In fact, I've managed to get the whole thing packed into this one box... it's ready to go if we need a filler game of dungeon crawling one evening :) (we currently play at a friends house - so having something on the shelf that I can just pick up and take with me with little or no warning should be quite handy).

And speaking of 'the whole thing' - here's a picture off all three levels...

...and when you think that all of this fits inside that one small box (which doesn't weigh that much at all), that really does show how the 2.5D style of (cardboard) tiles is great for folks that play away from home (or that don't have much room to store all of this stuff).

But yeah, I hope you've enjoyed the series, and now that it's done I'm looking forward to getting back to the usual kind of content... as there's still a ton of stuff I want to get around to making... and the to-do list keeps on getting longer rather than shorter :D

So, here's hoping that 2024 is going to be a good year on the gaming front... and in my next post I'll be talking about it being a year of 'getting stuff painted' (as I have a massive pile of shame that I need to do something about - so this year I'm also hoping to put a dent in that).

Anyway, if you've got this far, thanks for reading to the end - and, like I say in the last video - if you use any of the ideas from the 'build along' in your own games... it would be great to hear how it goes!