Painting – Nolzur’s Demons

The last of my Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures – a pack with a D&D Succubus and an Incubus. Mold lines bothered me a bit with these two, particularly annoying along hands and the tails. While better than some of my early purchases, I think mold lines are still a concern when the figures involved are slim and/or have long thin hands/arms, etc.

These are the female/male version of the same D&D minor demon. Good looking humanoids, who can change their appearance to look more or less human, who are frequently employed to deal with mortals. Both will be quite handy to represent any winged humanoid that appears in my game, and not just the actual demons.

The colour scheme on the pack is detailed, but quite dark – not the first time with this range. Since its only slightly larger than actual size, it doesn’t help much to see how someone else has painting these figures. With the exception of the dark red of the wings, I’ve pretty much gone and done something rather different with each. It’s taken me roughly a day each to sort out what I wanted, paint and wait for them to dry. Apart from the initial flesh, and the red on the wings, I painted them one after the other. Painting under and around the rear of each figure got interesting – you have wings, arms, a tail, and the flared skirt (or whatever you call it) that all try to get in the way of a brush. I regularly cleaned an unwanted colour off the tail, and painting the arm-bands/straps was real fun. (Not!)

Both have a nice pose, and are a good sculpt – except for one leg, and the odd head connection on the female. With the latter, the odd neck depression on the succubus looks like it is meant to define part of her top, or be a necklace – at least according to the official painted image. Doing detail with a depression around the neck is odd to me, normally you have raised detail for something like that. (Which is the way the dress straps are done.) At least painted, it doesn’t stand out as odd like I’d thought it was going to.

And that clears a lot of figures, and my tray is reset with Space Marines. With a good chance C-19 lock-down is wound back this afternoon, I may get some more ‘Little Scythe’ figures to paint this week. Either way, I’ve got some stuff that should be fun and not complicated to paint over the next week or so. Hope you are all coping with life where you are!

Painting – The eyes have it!

All 26 of them! Yesterday I finished a bunch of Beholder-kin. All the figures here are WizKids Nolzurs/Deep Cuts.

I’d started with the pair of “Gazers” (or eyeballs) as they were both small and pretty simple. The size did mean a bit more care in painting, trying to get detail that is suggested by the sculpt. They don’t truly have an open mouth or teeth – just a depression. They came out better than I’d expected.

Next the Spectator – a smaller, lesser beholder with four small eyes, who is typically a neutral guardian. The gazers came in a pack with this guy. I started by cutting out his tongue, which I think makes the mouth more distinct and the bite look nastier. [/Begin rant/ Why a long tongue? It’s not like the tongue does anything, not even in 5th Edn which is where this sculpt comes from. Apart from being able to bite, it’s the eyes that are important! /End rant/] I didn’t care for the green colour of 5th Edn either, so the paint scheme was a basic mid-brown. I’m very pleased with this guy too.

Then the main beholder. Back when I painted the undead beholder, I decided I wanted a blue colour if I got hold of this figure. Purple seemed a good shading colour – done well by Scent of a Gamer. Cobalt blue as a base colour, then an Army Painter purple ink. I had planned to then start with a darker blue and lighten as I went, but the ink provided better shading than I’d expected. After drying, I got the ink out again to pick out lines and spots where it hadn’t settled in. Then I went back to my blue to touch up tentacles and scales, then steadily lightening it with some white in stages, to pick out edges and the spikier bits sticking out on the sides. The mouth was done with a ‘fushia’ and ‘native american’ flesh. (This dark red flesh makes a great colour for inside mouths on a lot of my figures.) Some brown ink around the mouth, teeth picked out in white and some more purple ink and blue to shade/highlight around that. I’d planned a yellow/orange eye, but saw a different beholder figure done with red-orange-yellow and somewhat mimicked that. The iris is actually cut into the eyeball on this figure, with lines/ridges sculpted into it. Trying to actually paint the markings there was very difficult, so I mostly ended up trying fine lines of yellow and orange to mimic the actual sculpting.

So that’s one busy week of very enjoyable painting! I also finished two wild boars last weekend, but hadn’t taken pictures at the time. They are simple figures (with a reasonable amount of detail) and I wasn’t planning on being fussy with them.

PS: To my players…. Yes, now that they are all painted, there’s a fair chance you’ll see these in Fals’Krag. You have already met a Gazer, I just didn’t know a figure existed at that time.

The current state of Tray

Actually the current state of tray has a lot of colour on it. The photo below was taken on Saturday and I did some base coating on some figures on the weekend, and a bit of painting every evening after work so far this week. Now that the Chaos Marines are done, everything on the tray is a WizKids Nolzurs/Deep Cuts figure.


There’s a deliberate, strong beholder-kin theme here. A few months back I looked at the new releases that WizKids had. Last month I found a Oz store with the proper Beholder to go with my undead one, and they had a few more figures I wanted. The “Gazers” (Eyeballs in my ‘Monsters of Faerun’) are almost complete after I painted eyes tonight, and the Spectator has his base coat and ink. I’m not sure whether to highlight him now or start base-coating his big brother.

I bought a pair of boars mostly to use in Frostgrave, though I’m sure I’ll use them for D&D at some point. At least one blog I follow has mentioned this game before, but I never looked into what it involved. With more time at home to myself this year, I’ve been sorting through the myriad game resources I’ve collected over the years, especially looking at stuff I hadn’t actually read. Back in April this year, Osprey offered three PDF’s (including the Frostgrave 1st Edn rulebook) for free. A month or so ago I was sorry I hadn’t actually looked at it when I downloaded the copies. I really like that I already have most of the figures that anyone would likely want to play (Wizards) or encounter. I’ve developed a single session game for my gaming group. A multi-wizard delve into the city ruins (with more monsters than usual, and possibly less PvP fighting) using Frostgrave is basic enough (rules-wise) and similar enough to our D&D that everyone should get the hang of it really fast and have fun. An actual campaign would also be a nice change for the occasional get together with one friend instead of playing Zombicide. I have the second edition rulebook on my personal wish-list now too.

More Nolzur’s/Deep Cuts D&D Miniatures

The past two weeks have been fairly busy for me painting wise. During the last week I’ve completed two Yuan-ti (snake-men), two air elementals and a cage. The weather was great this morning for drying figures, and photography.

These five figures are all from the Wizkids line of “high defintion” pre-primed figures. The Yuan-ti “Malisons” are Nolzur’s D&D figures, the others are from Pathfinder Deep-Cuts. All required a little bit of cutting and filing to remove mold lines. Being a nearly-transparent plastic/resin, I couldn’t remove the line completely from the air elementals. It might be possible with a really fine file and fine sandpaper, but likely not wortth the time required.

I’ve had a number of Yuan-ti being encountered in my FalsKrag D&D adventure, so adding to the two Reaper snake-men (that I painted in April last year) with actual Yuan-ti figures is a bonus. (Especially at the price of Nolzur’s pack of two compared to Reapers single metal figures.)

Both figures have nice detail and were fun to paint, using a colour scheme based off my previous snake-men. I’m considering going back to the one with the snake tail and darkening the rivets on the chest belts. “Malison” appears to be the D&D 5th edition name for what were previously “halfbloods”; Yuan-ti with both human and snake body-parts. Here’s a group shot with the Reaper figures:

Next the Air Elementals. Following a friend’s post with the same figures, I tried a light wash of white with a hint of blue. I could have left them ‘as-is’ but I hoped to bring out the swirls of the figure a bit more. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, but it’s definitely fit for purpose as a game piece. I think you’d need a fine detail brush and actually paint along many of the lines to get a really impressive effect, and the time and interest to do so.

Last, the cage. I’ve wanted a cage for a while, and bought this after seeing Azazel’s work. (Thanks for bringing all these figures to my notice and your notes on painting them! Like your original post I’ve forgotten to photograph it with the “wooden” base.) It was pretty fast & easy to paint – mid grey inside, black outside and then a not very precise silver over the top – leaving some of the black still visible. The bits in between each bar took a bit longer. A little ink, mostly on the corners to bring out some of the bars and rivets. The three figures with it are just to show it’s size. If I end up getting another cage, I’ll paint it rusty. This also came with two ‘piles’ of chains that have gone aside into a box. I don’t see a use for them now, but you never know…

Summer of Scenery Challenge – Nolzur’s Pillars

Wargame Sculptor’s Blog has a Summer of Scenery Challenge (July-August) – or the ‘Not-so-Summer’ challenge for those of us in the middle of Winter. When I was planning my last lot of figure purchases I noticed that WizKids Nolzur’s Mavellous Miniatures line had a set of pillars. I’ve generally used discs or tokens in game play to mark impassable terrain or pillars and thought these would be an excellent replacement. So here’s my scenery/terrain entry.

This is a simple set of four identical stone pillars and a collapsed pillar. Each of my pillars is slightly different because my original base coat of dark grey had a bit less black and a bit more grey as I did each one. The one of the right (above) would have been the first. Some ink, then two dry brushing of lighter greys to bring out the uneven surface of the blocks got them done pretty quickly. They did come with a hole in each to fit a banner, which I filled and painted over. I’ve kept the banners which could always be painted and blue-tacked on if I wanted.

Overall, these are a really nice set from Nolzur’s, that were easy and quick to paint. They are likely to get a lot of use, and I’m tempted to get another set in future. Lastly, here’s a different shot with a few standard figures to show scale. (The images can be clicked on for a larger version)

The good, the bad, and the not-so ugly…

I recently bought a second group of WizKids Nolzur’s/Deep Cuts Miniatures. I think they are getting better! My complaints the first time around were about mold lines and obscured fine detail. The detail has generally been very good, but something like a medusa’s snake hair with mold lines is ridiculous. Cleaning up the mold lines is fairly easy, but not when you risk damaging some feature of the figure. The mold lines on this set are mostly in places that are easy to clean up without messing up detail. On the cage and pillars, they are all on corners. Once I’d cleaned them up I wanted to start painting…

Azazel painted a Deep Cuts cage a while back, which sent me looking at the new range. I’ve wanted a cage like that for a long time, and now I have one, plus a bunch of pillars, two air elementals and two Yuan-ti malisons (snake men). I should have bought two cages, one to look shiny and another rusted. (Maybe next order?) I got one other figure that isn’t in the shot above. Considering that my players aren’t likely to see it in use for at least another 2 months, it probably isn’t worth keeping it a secret. When it’s painted, I’ll want to post it anyway! The pillars are a set of four, a broken pillar, and four banners that socket into the standing pillars. I can’t see myself using the banners, so I’ve filled the hole in each pillar. If I change my mind it will be easy to blue-tack a banner on when I want it. The snake men will be a great addition to my two reaper snake men, and I’ll paint the snake parts with the same colour scheme.

One of the snake men surprises me. It’s got great detail with the scales, but its a five part figure stuck together; torso, two arms, and a two part tail. I don’t think I’ve seen more than two pieces to other Nolzurs figures. It’s a pity there’s a mold line right along the tail, but it doesn’t marr the scale effect much. I’m more concerned that the joins aren’t the best, but a little filing, filling and paint should cover those up. I’m very happy that the mold line across the head goes from side to side (not through his face) and that he has no hair. The lighting on the pic is a bit bright, but it does make the gaps more obvious.


Coronavirus and lock-downs haven’t had any direct effect on me up to this point, except that my D&D group hasn’t been getting together. I’ve still been going in to work every day while two-thirds of the staff work from home. The newest lock-down here in Victoria (Australia) has had an unexpected effect of making something I was going to be doing next week much more complicated and now I’ll be spending nearly all next week at home. Since I can only do a small part of my normal job at home, I’ll have more time to write and paint. These figure arrived in perfect timing in a sense. I really want to paint these (and finish the last few Star Wars minis) and I have time to do so!