Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bringing out My Dead pt.3: The New Hotness

In the last couple of posts I've been showing off a lot of my vintage out-of-production undead miniatures, which I've recently stripped and repainted.  But I've also been buying some new Reaper undead miniatures for my campaign, particularly Egyptian-themed ones.  In addition to the great-looking models of their Dark Heaven Legends roleplaying line, the Nefsokar faction from their Warlord line has some fantastic undead that fit very nicely into my pulp sword & sorcery campaign as well, and many of these will join the ranks of their out-of-production brethren in stocking the Barrowmaze.

Mummies old and new
The figure on the left is a Reaper Warlord mummy, Nefsokar Awakened, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi, while the one on the right is an old Citadel mummy from their Fiend Factory line that I bought in 1981.  There is quite a size difference between the two; even accounting for the different scales, the Citadel mummy is a bit undersized even compared to other 25 mm models from the same line.  Perhaps I'll just explain it as a mummified child.


14370: Nefsokar Tomb Guard

This next one is a Nefsokar Tomb Guard, also from the Reaper Warlord line and sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.  What tomb doesn't need an eternal guardian?  With the jewel on the chest piece this might make a good representation for Greg Gillespie's terrifying and nigh-unstoppable Sapphire Skeletons in Barrowmaze.


14908: Khufu, Nefsokar Warlord
This imposing looking figure, Khufu, Nefsokar Warlord, has also been sculpted by the very talented Mr. Ridolfi for the Reaper Warlord line.  I really love the scorpion motif recurring on his helm, chest piece, and axe.  I think the stylized scorpion tail for the axe haft is particularly cool.


02507: Khalith, Mummy King
I really love the dynamic pose of Khalith, Mummy King, sculpted by Sandra Garrity for the Reaper Dark Heaven Legends line.  The detail on the base is especially nice, particularly the broken pharaoh's head seen in the rear view.  The scorpion motif is present again, both on his head piece and, more subtly, the sword hilt.

And, finally, the crowning jewel of my Reaper mummy collection:


02885: Khalith, Mummy Lord
I fell in love with this miniature as soon as I saw it; the feeling of menace and power that it projects is awe-inspiring.  While I knocked off the other mummies in a day or so, I spent several weeks working on this one and lavished a lot of attention on blending the skin layers as smoothly as I could.  When I was finished, I wasn't entirely happy with it.  I was pleased with the technical skill of the paint job, and I liked the colour palette that I chose, but the model just didn't feel finished.  This bugged me for quite some time and I just couldn't figure out what I needed to do to finish the paint job, so I posted a picture of it on the Reaper forum and asked for suggestions.  I didn't get the answer I was looking for, but one commentor pointed out that the clothes looked too new and clean for a mummy with rotting linen wraps and a rusted sword.  He was right, so I applied some brown wash to mute the brightness and, as an afterthought, applied a wash of Gryphonne Sepia - a subtle reddish brown wash over top of that.  It looked pretty good and I had the idea to apply this wash to the entire model.  I was really scared of ruining all my hard work, but I bit my lip and went for it.  As it turned out, this was the answer I had been seeking all along.  The wash unified the pallid skin tone with the richer colours of the clothes and pulled the whole thing together.

My grade 12 art teacher used to chide me for being too timid to take the steps necessary to finish my work.  I'd become too attached to what I had done and was afraid of taking it too far, so never really took it far enough.  It turns out she was right.  Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind and take a chance.  Consequently this miniature is the one that I am currently proudest of.

The last of the new undead hotness is a lich that I painted last summer, and while it doesn't match the Egyptian theme of the other miniatures in this post, it is still pretty cool:

02614: Rauga, Lich-Sage

38 comments:

Trey said...

Life lessons and some finely painted minatures. Good stuff. :)

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