Painting – Drow again

I haven’t had much luck with my attempt to focus on writing. I did a lot on the long weekend, but haven’t got very far since then. Part of that relates to warm weather and work being really busy – I just haven’t felt like it when I’ve come home. I did have a great D&D Session last weekend, and I’m trying to organise another session next week while everyone remembers what’s happening.

I spent a bit of time today finishing off shields for four of my drow troops. I only planned to give shields to half the group, but I’ve got plenty of spare shields, so in future I might do another four!

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Sword and shield to the front rank!

“Timber” backed (which you can’t see from the front), silvered edging and black front. Two designs – 1: red (crimson and a hint of fluoro red) with gold studs; 2: dark green with a fluoro green highlight, white skull pommel and antique gold crossbar.

I’m sure these WH figures originally came with shields, and I may have even picked the “right” ones. (They do look okay without any shield.) While each figure has an arm held up/across the body in classic shield-holding position, there isn’t a stud or smooth place on the arm that makes it easy to attach a shield. I used a little bit of a blu-tak variant (it’s yellow!) to help fill in the slight depression in the centre of the shield back and correctly place the shield, with some super glue. That seems to be holding fine and I just painted over the little bit of visible yellow later on.

Something that occurred to me while I was doing this was that a bit of blu-tak would hold the shields on neatly for gaming, and I could have a whole troop with “removable” shields.

The photography hasn’t come up the best, but one of the blogs I read this week had a guide for building your own light box (for miniature photography) and I might give that a try.

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Four Shields and the Kal’sa

Not much painting happening here at the moment.

I have primed four shields ready to be painted for half my Dark Elf / Drow band. I don’t see them being ready for play this Saturday, but I expect to need Drow figures over the next couple of D&D sessions.

This brings us to why I’m not painting. I decided that since last weekend was a long weekend in Melbourne, that I would get focussed on my novel. I was thinking that six months would be long enough to finish it. If the last week is typical of how much typing I can do (when I’m working on one main project) then I was perhaps very optimistic!

Reason’s I’ve decided to focus on writing:

1. I got a message on my answering machine from the publishing agent a week ago. Unfortunately, 90% wasn’t understandable… so I still don’t have a company name or contact number. Hopefully, she will call back at a time when I’m home. Then I can compare the company to the list I have from the Australian Literary Agents Association. With more time to consider things, I’m rather sceptical that a legitimate agent would be chasing an unpublished author who hasn’t actually completed their novel yet.

2. Even when I’m not in my writing phase I still have ideas for the novel or character detail, etc and I’m much happier to type (and expand) detail than just jot notes on paper or store everything in my head.

3. The main story/plan/idea for this novel was put onto paper about thirty years ago. The bulk of what I have now was written (or re-written) in the last five years. I would like to finish this and then keep writing. I have details on agents, etc, and to achieve publication would be fantastic!

So to the Kal’sa.

One character in my story changes identity regularly, and while I have a name for him, that name may never appear in the book. The problem with this, is that if no-one knows who you are, how do you get hired or employed if you don’t have a reputation. I already have an organisation to which he belongs, so with a little research I came up with a “working” name (or title) for my character and slightly changed the organisation name. So now I have “A’dun of the Kal’sa” – Dark Blade of the Four Swords. That prompted ideas for a section that I was going to mostly leave out, but now I can rewrite and keep it.

Dinner, then onto the Council Meeting….

Dracolich Revisited…

Normally I don’t do anything about “basing” my figures except for making sure the figure is glued into the base and that any metal under the figure is blackened so it’s not obvious. Most are on 25mm bases, so there’s also not a lot of room to do much. Thirdly, most figures are used irregularly in games as individuals, not as part of an army – I don’t see a point in spending extra time to do a fancy base.

The “unfettered” Dracolich I repainted on the weekend actually has a fair amount of space around the rock on the base, and when Azazel suggested doing something (at least to the rock) I went to bed with a bunch of ideas running through my head.

When I painted my dark elves, I collected some small stones (for rocks) to decorate some of their bases. After I was done, I tossed the remainder back into the yard. This time I’m keeping stones and putting them in a bag!

So I had an assortment of flat and pointy rocks which got glued to the base. I found a hand holding a spear in my bits bag and cut off the pointy end, then “splintered” the haft. I have a heap of shields, so found a nice one and cut a chunk out of it. Then I went looking for something to fill out the rest of the base. I really wanted sand, but raided my chicken supplies and came up with something very close – finely ground sea-shells. (The chickens need calcium for strong eggs.) This got glued on, then everything painted black. The rock got touches of gray, and a few different browns until everything looked like I wanted it. Some grey dry brush over some rocks, and a strong tone ink wash over all. The painted spear and shield were glued on and I turned up some real bones in the back-yard to be trimmed slightly and glued on as well. (I never thought my chickens would contribute to miniatures!)

All of this meant the Dracolich itself deserved a little more work – so I touched up gaps in painting and did some more highlighting to blend the bones on it nicely. I had some good sunlight through the yard so I got some worthwhile shots of the basing. The main rock looks particularly good in natural light.

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