Zombicide: BP – Painting Survivors #3

Photographed yesterday, but painting completed late August or early September!

 

Front view

From left to right:

Lady Grimm (by Special Guest, Mark Simonetti), Milo (by Special Guest, Naiade), Piper (Isabeau, played by Michelle Pfeiffer in “Ladyhawke”).

Rear View

Like the previous Zombicide figures, I’ve tried to keep colours close to that on their cards. Lady Grimm’s cloak, under-tunic (?) and hair got brightened up a bit, and I’ve left out the scar and odd left eye. I wasn’t likely to paint a scar as fine as that shown in the images, and making her more ‘normal’ looking makes the figure more useful. (My wife is currently using her in our new Pathfinder game, mostly because of the warhammer!)

Milo’s changes are his hair – red, not black or dark brown – and the blue band on his hat. (I wanted a bit more colour.) Piper was a simple paint scheme and finished quickly as a result. If there’s any difference from her card image, it’s that her skin isn’t bright and clean!

I’ve nearly finished painting ‘Klom’ and I’ve also got started on a few dwarves.

 

 

 

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Zombicide: BP – Painting Survivors #2

Morgan – Merlin (Nicol Williamson) from the movie “Excalibur” (1981).

Bob – Tim the Enchanter (John Cleese) from the movie “Monty Python & The Holy Grail”.

Baldric – Original Black Plague set.

Karl – Black Plague, Wulfsburg expansion.

 

 

Another four survivors finished. Mostly straightforward painting with these, except that both Baldric and Karl have a number of items hanging from their belts. I did spend some extra time doing some extra shading on the cloaks/robes that they all wear in addition to using ink.

 

 

I hadn’t realised (until I was going to paint the figure) that Karl wears a wolf-skin across his back. I suppose I hadn’t looked closely at the card image (or the figure) until this last week. My previous wolf painting was good preparation!

Three are straight magic skill characters – thus orange bases. Karl does have two “Combat Action” skills, but with +1 die Magic and Spellcaster as skills, I think it more likely the character will be used with magic than melee or ranged. Morgan has three distinct magic skills, but he starts with +1 die Combat at blue, and has melee choices at orange and red. As a result he’s got a dual colour base (orange/blue) to signify his playability as either magic or melee, or a combination of the two.

 

I’ve been taking photos with my phone for a while – mostly because it’s easier to use. I haven’t been particularly happy with the quality of the pics though, so today I found batteries for my camera and used that. I think they are much better, so it looks like camera again in future.

EDIT: I watched Excaliber during the week.  (Mostly to show my wife the story of Arthur, since watching ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ earlier this month didn’t explain anything.) As a result I’ve just repainted ‘Morgan’s’ skullcap to silver (like Merlin in the movie) and I think it looks much better!

Zombicide:BP – Painting Survivors #1

After doing the wolves, I did plan on going back to my Star Wars figures, since I’ve actually finished three and have others started. I’ve been playing Zombicide quite a bit over the last month, and it would be good to start seeing painted heroes/survivors. I’d been procrastinating a bit with the SW figures and I felt like a change, so here’s a group I got done fairly quickly. It does help when you already know what colours you want to use.

These five are the ‘Knights of the Round Table’ from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” I loved this movie when I saw it, but watching it again (to show my wife a few years ago) I found it rather disappointing. (Lots of very funny moments interspersed with bits that now seemed silly or stupid, rather than funny.) Thankfully, “Life of Brian” is still a very funny and well-done film, which stands up well after the passing years. Okay, enough about the movies. Figures, from left to right:

Montalban – Sir Robin the Brave (Eric Idle)

Mortimer – King Arthur (Graham Chapman)

Gilbert – Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones)

Beauregard – Sir Gawain (Michael Palin)

Chauncey – Sir Lancelot (John Cleese)

 

They made a good group of figures to start with because they are all basically the same – chain mail, sword, white surcoats, and belts. Getting fine lines of colour painted around the surcoat edging wasn’t the easiest thing, and neither is painting a lot of colour over or around all the white areas. The green checks on ‘Montalban’ were the hardest. The final work looks great from a distance, but it’s not as neat as I would have liked close up.

I wanted to keep to the colours as shown on their cards, and only made small changes. ‘Chauncey’ has purple (not black) surcoat edging, ‘Beauregard’ has orange edging (the card looks more brown) and I did the shield stripe in orange to match the surcoat (argent a pale tenne), which I think looks a lot better than just black. Gilbert’s shield has a blue fleur de lis with white/blue background (argent a bendlet azure). I didn’t like blue on blue, so I went with a plain white background. The feathers in his helmet also changed to blue rather than black.

 

Finally, the base colour. My wife suggested painting the bases in different colours to represent each survivors combat style or progression – melee, ranged, or magic. I’ve chosen blue for melee, green for ranged and probably orange for magic. Some heroes don’t follow one specific path so I might also do some half and half bases.

You may note that there’s a lot less ‘blood’ on Montalban – surcoat & sword. (It’s mostly on his right hip, and not visible in the pictures.) This wasn’t intentional, but if you know anything about “Sir Robin the Brave”, then you’ll know it’s appropriate!

Edit: I had a sudden concerned thought about my use of the word tabard. As a result, I’ve just been through this whole post and changed tabard to surcoat. Tabards are open at the sides, surcoats are not, as well as being longer with slits at the bottom front and back for riding.

Zombicide: Black Plague – Cry Wolf!

“Night I left the city, I dreamt of a wolf…

He came from where the winds are cold, And truth is seen through keyholes
…strange longings never sleep, Now he’s come where no hearts beat

Cry wolf – Time to worry
Cry wolf – Time to worry now”

— Cry Wolf, Aha (1986)

 

I’ve got 24 Wolfz that I’ve wanted to paint for a while, and put to dual use – Zombicide and D&D/Pathfinder. Wolves are commonly encountered in most RPGs and I’ve only had a single wolf mini. As such, I decided to simply paint them as wolves, and not detail the bones/torn flesh that show. I wasn’t concerned about being really fussy about preparing or painting them. (For example: I could have filled the wounds.) They aren’t unique figures like nearly everything else I’ve painted, and as Zombicide game pieces, they are going to get a lot of handling – they can be back and forward between the board and their storage box multiple times in a game.

I collected a few images of wolves when I was going to paint my Wolf Abominations, and found some more before I started the Wolfz. I’m sure every painted/prepainted wolf I’ve seen is grey. In real life wolves are mostly white – with black, grey and a variety of browns across their back. I chose three schemes to work with, building on my usual white undercoat. One (hopefully) would be a realistic colour scheme, and the other two more common colours.

 

1. Brown wolfz

 

  1. More white, particular underbelly and legs, then a mix of lighter and darker browns across the back. Brown ink.
  2. Pale grey base coat, a little darker grey across the back. Black ink.
  3. Mid/dark grey base coat, some black mixed with my dark grey, and a little gun-metal across the back. Black ink.

 

2. Light grey wolfz

 

Then I went back and retouched paws and underbelly with white on each group, and dry-brushed some white across the fur on the backs on each wolf. I have a dull red flesh colour called “Native American” – I use it a lot for mouths and wounds. They all got a bit of that and a touch of my normal red for tongues. A bright orange for the eyes, black for nose, claws and then a dot in every eye! White on teeth. Red bases make them stand out as individual figures and on the board. They have had two (possibly three) coats of varnish which I realise is a can of gloss, not the matte I prefer. [There’s only a little reflection in most of the photos, with the group shot getting the worst.]

 

3. Dark grey wolfz

 

The final results looks good, but only the brown wolves really stand out. After inking – both my “light” grey and “dark” grey wolves look very similar. In any case, they are all finished and they are going to be very nice in game!

 

Painting for Gamma World

I finished the last of this group last weekend, but only got around to photographing them today. We had been using most of these figures for some time, but unpainted.

 

2017-07-06 GW-1

So here’s the group from left to right:

Red Desert (Green Folk, Cacti), Hack (Pure Strain Human), Ambo (Altered Human), Bitcoin (Live Metal), Ironbark (Green Folk, Tree) and Where (New Animal, Feline).

I didn’t paint the humanoid feline – that’s actually a D&D pre-painted mini that I specifically bought for the campaign. I may have to rework it, since the game character is male but the figure turned out to be female. There is a second D&D catfolk figure that I thought was female – I’ve seen more images now, that make me think that one is actually male, but rather effeminate looking.

Three of these figures are from my West End Games Star Wars figures – two from the Bounty Hunters set, and one from the Rebel Characters set. The two bounty hunters appeared in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

 

2017-07-06 GW-2

 

Dengar, Female Gambler and IG-88: I didn’t want to copy the colours from the movie for my Dengar/Hack. That has a pale grey/white under-suit and dark rusty brown armour. My armour is more a dark grey/gunmetal, with silver edges and the occasional brownish patch. IG-88 in the movie looks shiny silver and/or dark brown rust, depending on the shot/image. I started with a dark grey, then gunmetal. Touches of silver, antique copper and antique gold add some variety. The Bitcoin character is an android – he looks human at first glance, but has glowing red eyes. Using a distinct robot figure makes the figure stand out on the table and helps remind me that he’s ‘live metal”. At some point I may find another human-looking figure and paint him up “correctly”, maybe with silver showing under wounds or something. The ‘Rebel Characters’ set aren’t based on specific movie characters so I just went with colours I felt comfortable with.

 

2017-07-06 GW-3

 

The two plants in the group were mostly scratch built. I got some plastic trees in a $2 tube of plastic dinosaurs! Most of one of these was trimmed slightly, glued into a base and given a full repaint over the former green plastic. I’ve been doing garage roof repairs recently and kept a bunch of thin silicon “bits” with this in mind. The tree roots are glued silicon (trimmed where necessary) and with moulding paste to fill the gaps and blend the edges together before painting. A bit more glue and some sand helped texture the bases.

 

2017-07-06 GW-4

 

“Ironbark” was my first plant; I then went on to making a cactus. My first attempt at this looks like a mutant Christmas tree (no picture) and the second is the one on the right. Paddle pop sticks cut to make a cross-shaped stalk and then foam-core board carved to shape and glued on top. Plastic tree “leaves” made great spines once stuck into pin holes. My wife (who plays Red Desert) said she’d been thinking of a mexican-style cactus, so after collecting some more cacti images (Saguaro cacti) I collected small sticks/branches from the garden and produced the figure on the left. I was hesitant to break the “arm” branches and glue them to the more upright shape that the Saguaro actually has. I may try that with another branch and see if I can get it to the right shape without making it too fragile and do yet another cactus. I’d like to do a more realistic tree and a bush too, but I’ll need to go model shopping – I could do with some flock for leaves. I’ve got wire, so some green-stuff wouldn’t hurt for this type of work either!

 

Star Wars – Painting Stormtroopers

Star Wars 40307 “Stormtroopers” (Lucasfilm, West End Games)

10 Stormtroopers SW61 – SW70.

 

When my Gamma World game got going this year, I dug out my Star Wars minatures thinking that they would be of more use than most of my fantasy figures, since most of these figures held guns! The Stormtrooper set has been particularly useful, since we’ve been playing GW1 “The Legion of Gold”. They have been perfect to represent the many golden-armored warriors that are fought in groups of generally five or more.

They were unpainted in the first session I used them, then got a spray white undercoat soon after. I’ve spent the last week finishing the set as well as the main Rebels/Bounty Hunter figures that I’d picked out to represent the player characters. (The PC’s should be my next post.)

A squad of ready Stormtroopers!

The best part about this ten piece set of one-piece metal figures is that each one is unique. While a couple have similar poses, this variety isn’t common now unless you buy a large set of multi-part figures.

Nearly all the Star Wars figures I purchased at this time (3 sets back about 1989) have been well produced figures, nicely posed, well detailed, not much flash to clean up, and few mold lines. I’m quite sure they came in a neat cardboard box at the time. I’ve still got the insert sheet with names, images and film/RPG detail that came with each set.

I decided to try something different with my last lot of painting: These got an extra spray of white undercoat, then a very good coat of black ink. It really picked out the detail and while looking more grey than the typical bright white, they looked good. I put them all onto 25mm round bases, and started going over each one with more white paint. Black for the “body-glove” and on helmets, black and gun metal on weapons. I’d painted the bases with a mid/dark grey then realized I needed more contrast, so went over them with a blotchy coat of black, then gun-metal. It can vary slightly with lighting, but the bases now appear to be black with a shiny silvery sheen.

These troopers don’t look like they just walked out of the clone factory! I could have gone back over them with another coat of white paint, but I like current appearance. They aren’t bright and shiny – they look like they actually been out and wearing the armor for some time.

 

One-shot games (or “What to do when players aren’t free?”)

Long gone are the days when my gaming group played some sort of game multiple times a week. Work, partners and/or family, and life in general means my group now averages a gaming day/night twice a month. My main D&D game has six players, and I generally don’t feel like running it if two people can’t make it. The Pathfinder game I play in came about in part for this reason – so that we could still role-play when the two busier people in our larger group weren’t free.

Sometimes a player can drop out at last minute, or you may have a few people who still want to get together. Occasionally, we’ll still play and one player runs two PC’s. We have also ended up playing board games (like Dungeon Quest, Talisman, Minion Hunter), card games (Munchkin, Flux, Unexploded Cow) or I’ve run a one session RPG. In the past we have played two Call of Cthulhu games (I’ve got “Blood Brothers” – designed with this in mind) and last year we did three separate one-shot (/playtest) Gamma World games. I’ve still got another CoC adventure ready to run if required.

Earlier this year, one of the blogs I read – Dungeon Fantastic – detailed two sessions where he ran S2 “White Plume Mountain” (AD&D) as a change from his normal GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. It sounded like a lot of fun, both as an alternative from normal gaming and a chance to play a few adventures from early D&D versions without converting them to d20/PF (which is what I mostly do now) and/or having to make changes to suit my player’s character levels. It inspired me to look at the rule books on my gaming shelves and produce a couple of single-session adventures to have ready for one of those days when someone can’t make a game or we just feel like something different.

Over the last two months I started working on two One-Shot adventures – one for Star Wars and another for Middle Earth. This gave me a theme – Movie/TV – that I’ve been expanding to nearly every RPG I own. Generally I’m taking a part of a movie (or the general idea from the film/TV program) and building something for 4-5 players. I enjoy coming up with adventure ideas and I love making characters, so two ideas have grown into six – so far!

Here’s the adventures I’m working on; titles are subject to change.

Star Wars (d6 W.E.G.) – “The Pit of Carkoon”

Middle Earth Role Playing – “Dol Guldar: The Necromancer”

Gamma World (d20 Pathfinder) – “We’re not in Kansas anymore”

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay – “Inconceivable!” (Or “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…”)

Shadowrun (3rd Edition) – “Asgard has fallen.”

Oriental Adventures (D&D 3.5) – “Gandhara/Journey to the West”

Now, it’s possible that the titles don’t mean anything to you, or only sound a little familiar. If so, here’s some more detail:

  1. The “Pit of Carkoon” is the resting place of the Sarlaac from “Return of the Jedi”. Six minutes in the movie makes a great set-up for a major combat on two skiffs and Jabba’s Sail Barge. For five PC’s, with an optional sixth being Boba Fett, fighting against the rest of the players. The session could be expanded with something in Mos Eisley where the players have to get back to the Millennium Falcon.
  2. Dol Guldar is a fortress in southern Mirkwood forest, where the White Council drive out Sauron – “the Necromancer”. There’s a scene that interprets the events from “The Lord of the Rings” in the movie “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. The LotR book lists the “White Council” as being “the Wizards, Elrond, Cirdan, Galadriel, and other lords of the Eldar” so I’ve made nine characters that can be chosen from by Players, and I’ll modify Dol Guldar from the MERP sourcebook “Mirkwood”.
  3. The classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” converted to Gamma World. Five PC’s (including Toto) are sent by the “Tech Wizard from Oz” to remove the threat of the “Wicked Witch” (an Esper) and her flying monkeys.
  4. Another classic movie – “The Princess Bride”. Westley, Buttercup, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik and Miracle Max have to defeat Prince Humperdink, Count Rugen and maybe Vizzini. This adventure will draw on the characters more than the actual story in the movie.
  5. I’ve done little work on this so far. The idea is to have a Shadowrun session where the PC’s are all off-duty military/security named after characters (or actors?) from the “Olympus has fallen” movies who have to rescue the President and his son from terrorists. My big change is to relocate this to Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Downloading basic maps/floor-plans was easy. I mostly need to make-up the PC’s and NPC’s.
  6. The novel “Journey to the West” is the fictional story of an actual Chinese monk who traveled to India to bring back Buddhist scriptures. Most people are more familiar with the 1978 Japanese TV series “Monkey”. The five main characters (including Horse) recreated in d20 and doing something similar to an episode of the series.

For most of these I’ve completed the PC’s and thought about NPC’s and creatures. Specific adventure detail comes next. Once finished, I’ll probably add the adventures to the blog.