Sunday, 2 October 2016

Where did the summer go?: Prince August and Scenery September painting challenge updates

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a post complaining about the British weather and our lack of sunshine. In fact I'm writing this and pootling about taking photos of models in the garden whilst enjoying beautiful early autumn weather.

No, this is one of those posts where the author realises they haven't posted for months and really should do something about it. But that is because I have been busy, see!

On top of all sorts of family birthdays and weddings and stuff, and a new role at work that has me seriously considering how to invent time travel, or one of those time twister things from Harry Potter and the Over Committed Academic Timetable (my personal favourite), I've also visited the special Childrens TV Exhibition at Bristol's M Shed Museum where I saw these absolute diamonds of yester year!

The original Tracy Island made by Anthea Turner on Blue Peter! If anyone else is late with their Scenery September Challenge, then there are some good tips from Anthea in the video ;)

And even better than that...

One of the original Eye - Shields from Knightmare!!! I fucking loved that show. My mate Alex 'The living legend' Corrigan was on it. Season 3 Epsiodes 15-16. (Video here - Their bit starts at about 18.20 and carries over to the next episode)

Alex is also behind the awesome Mr Thunderwing Youtube channel which brings you all sorts gaming inspired delights, and has a Deviant Art page featuring all sorts of Transformers related stuff that is well worth a look at if you are a fan.

Anyway, I've also been involved with two monthly painting challenges/themes - Middlehammer's 'Prince August' (paint a noble of any description) and 'Scenery September' - and although I've managed the odd post with terrible mobile pics on the fb group, I've not managed a blog post about either during the relevant months. So this is by way of a catch up:

Firstly, for the 'Prince August' theme I chose two 'High Elf' nobles. Yeah, yeah I know they are actually Wood Elves. Plus, they are probably more Oldhammer than Middlehammer, but I painted them up for use in my WHFB4 High Elf Army, so I think they just about count on both fronts. I also posted pics on the Middlehammer fb group of a 'Nubian Prince' from Prince August themselves, that I'd only very recently finished as a general D&D/Fantasy noble NPC or whatever. So not painted up specially for the theme, or even during August... I think I'm giving myself about 5/10 for fit to brief this time. Anyway, here are the same awful pictures I posted on fb:

Terrible quality moblie WIP shots
My High Elf Lord and his loyal Bodyguard, Jon bon Jovelf
This was my second ever Prince August mini - the casts can be a bit soft it seems, but this was a lovely scultp to paint.
I've used the same red and blue colour scheme on some other generic NPC types so they can come together under Prince August's leadership to form a rival Adventuring Party if needed.
Secondly, for Scenery September I decided to do a combination of very simple scatter terrain and a couple of renovation projects for my desert set up, as not only this is getting a fair bit of use at the moment due to where we are at in our D&D campaign, but the set up needs a bit of work to be able to field a decent Fantasy or 40K battle, so this would help.

This ruined wall section really should have gone in the bin, but it has defied the odds to have survived over 20 years, so I gave it a new lick of paint and the best flocking it has ever had. Still looks like low grade polysyrene badly polyfillered to some floor tile. Because it is.
My 4 year old son helped paint this. I was very chhuffed. Sadly the aquarium plants I used turned out not to be artificial and started to die once sealed with milliput. You can actually see the white mold growingon some of it. So immediately after this photo was taken I cut them off and it is now a tree stump, or possibly a termite mound.
I've included this piece (which I made months ago so not part of the monthly theme), based on idea which I saw replicated on both the Oldhammer and Frostgrave pages, because I think it is a great idea and because it had a starring role in our most recent D&D game where it was guarded by these two Middlehammer era Bloodletters who were masquerading as Fire Salamanders. It's just a slice of coloured agate you can pick up in those crystal stalls in markets, set on its edge in some milliput and flocked with some sand and painted up to match my desert scenery, but when I put that down and told my players they were faced with a mystic portal to the elemental plane of fire, it certainly gave them a focal point. Sometimes scenery is just there to be scenery, or to be functional providing cover or an obstacle, but sometimes it can drive the narrative.

Strangely, that is what I think this piece might do. It is the simplest piece I did, absolutely nothing more than flocking with sand and painting in various shades of brown, but the underlying shape of the flimsy plastic watch packaging, which is what it is, now looks like an ancient piece of mechanical stonework, where if you put enough weight on the cross shaped button, the stone recess shifts and the treasure is revealed! I'm planning on working that in to both my D&D game and when playing 'Heroquest' with my 4 year old.

The strange lichen pile/camp fire looking thing is one of the renovation jobs I was talking about, bits salvaged from a larger piece beyond saving. I need more scatter terrain!
I also decided to do a very simple 'hut-in-a-swamp' in anticipation of a future scene/location in D&D. The basic paintjob is finished and shown below, but it is still WIP really as I'm now working on a mushroom garden around the two slime pools at the side.

As always, the themes have helped keep momentum going on projects that might otherwise stall. I'm planning on doing two, yes two!, projects for Orctober - a unit of 30 Night Goblin Archers (WHFB4 Plastics from the original box) and a Bloodbowl 'conversion' (not really converting much, possibly nothing in fact) for my Rogue Quest project. I've also got a back log of half finished blog posts that I plan to put up as soon as I can, so I hope you pop back to see those too. Thanks for reading :)

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