Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reaper Miniatures Fly Demon - 77259



Moved a few more bones off the desk last night.  These are supposed to represent fly demons according to Reaper.  I painted them up as a Spider Eater from the third edition monster manual.  One of my absolute favorite monsters to drop on a party (I haven't seen fifth edition stats or pictures yet).  Nothing like the horror on your player's face when you pull an Aliens on them and a young Spider Eater rips from their character's chest - oh so much fun!

The only problem is that the Spider Eater is considered a large creature.  So either I plop these onto a large base for game purposes or I use them as "young" and reduce the stats a bit.  It is fantasy, so who says a fly demon can't look like a Spider Eater?

Painting instructions for Fly Demon:

Step 1: Undercoat model with Stynylrez green primer (this is awesome on bones)
Step 2: Use Golden Yellow on back and belly
Step 3: Wash yellow with Devlan Mud
Step 4: Highlight edges with Pale Saffron
Step 5: Use Crimson Red on head and arms
Step 6: Use Rusty Red on head and arms
Step 7: Highlight head and arms with Brilliant Red
Step 8: Use Solid Black on wings and eyes
Step 9: Drybrush Military Grey on wings
Step 10: Drybrush Blue Flame on wings
Step 11: Use Griffon Tan on rock formation and skulls
Step 12: Use Desert Tan on rock formation
Step 13: Use Tusk Ivory on skulls
Step 14: Use Jungle Camo on ground
Step 15: Use 50/50 mix of Jungle Camo and Pale Saffron and stipple on ground

Kickstarter paint total: 91 + 3 Fly Demons = 94

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Reaper Miniatures Silver Anniversary Shadow Box - 1600-1611

Something a little different... the year 2017 was the 25th anniversary of Reaper Miniatures and they produced a special edition black and silver blister pack which included a unique model each month.  You could only purchase the model during the given month of production or it was a freebie by purchasing a $40+ order directly from Reaper.

Reaper Miniatures is one of my favorite companies - they make fantastic models, they're innovative, and they're a small American manufacturer (located just north of Dallas, TX) which appeals to my roots as an industrial technologist who has implemented manufacturing and distribution systems in small to mid-size companies.  In late February I had the opportunity to visit the factory and received the visitor tour - it was fantastic and I highly recommend everyone interested in the hobby to take time to do so - particularly if you make it out to Reapercon - something else I finally did as well - I'll have another post regarding those two sometime soon.

The company was just getting going as I started in the miniature painting hobby back in 1999 and my first actually painted Reaper miniature was Briana of the Blade back in November 2000 (I did a re-base and touchup in November 2013).  A quick run through Reaper's historical highlights...

* 1994 - officially started by making a line called Scrye Counters which were circular in nature and had a piece which floated on top of a base which had numbers - the top piece could be moved to keep track of points when playing collectible card games.

* 1996 - the launch of their Dark Heaven Legends line of miniatures - this is their main product line and is famous for the cauliflower/broccoli integrated base.  The best part of this basing system is that the base sits into a one-inch square and the mini's feet sit at the same height as the top of the square base.

* 2002 - introduction of the Warlord miniatures and skirmish game - these miniatures use the slotta base approach with a plastic base.  The plastic base dictates the skirmish ruling for movement and melee.  I have the second edition rulebook and do wish they'd re-visit this line.

* 2004 - release of their Master Series paint line which is sold in bottles.  Prior to MSP, they did have a paint line that was pretty good which came in little cups with twist on/off caps.   Back in the early 2000's I did a painting class for kids and purchased a bunch of prior paints - not as convenient as the dropper style nor quite as good.  I've recently jumped onto the MSP paint line and I'm quite pleased.

* 2008 - partnership with Paizo to produce Pathfinder official miniatures - based like the Warlord line using the plastic slotta base.  My beef with this line is the larger models are slotted on 40mm Warlord bases instead of a proper 2" square base.  The models themselves are gorgeous!

* 2012 - Bones kickstarter campaign - wildly successful they reached $3.4 million to move into a new line of plastics made out of a soft pvc material called bones.  I bought into that campaign and I'm still painting bones today.

* 2013 - Bones II kickstarter campaign - the fun continued with $3.1 million in funding to move more models over to bones.  I bought into that campaign as well.

* 2015 - Bones III kickstarter campaign - more bones goodies with $2.7 million in funding to continue the migration over to bones.  Another campaign which I supported.

* 2017 - Bones 4 kickstarter campaign - the most recent campaign which procured $3 million in funding and is currently in the production phase.  And yes, supported and will probably purchase more in the not too distant future.  On-track to ship in February 2019.

Somewhere in there was CAV which is their fighting robots game; pre-painted miniatures which I'm guessing started their treck down the bones line as they're made out of the same material; Chronoscope which is their potluck of anything cuthulu, victorian, or sci-fi; and prior to bones, there was a move to P-65 heavy metal which went back to a lead based metal as the price of tin was skyrocketing.  It also let them reduce pricing on bigger models - I loved this metal mixture - fantastic detail and easy to manipulate - still have a number of models in blisters.  Just don't eat it!

This posting is supposed to be about a shadow box... I collected each month's special edition miniature and displayed them on the shelf.  The blister packs are an awesome black with silver Reaper logo and glowing red eyes.  Too cool to simply open up and throw away.  So I went over to Hobby Lobby and bought myself a shadow box - something I have no experience with doing.

I purchased a 16" x 20" box with black backing and black wood trim. Opening the box I found out that I had some work to do.  The glass needed cleaning on both the outside and the inside.  Additionally, the felt inside the box was full of fuzz and particles.  I used the hand attachment on our vacuum cleaner and gave that a good cleaning.

Then I laid out the models in a 4x3 matrix.  It worked rather well as there was about an inch and a quarter border all the way around.  The models would sit nicely with just a bit of spacing.  I had about a centimeter of play in-between (yes, I'm mixing my standard with my metric - but it worked).

I had purchased Gorilla Glue double-sided mounting tape.  They claim to permanently bond pretty much anything to anything within 15 pounds.  I also used one of the given pins on each blister just to make sure. :-)  I laid out the four corner models first and then used a steel rule to place the outside blisters into an orderly fashion.  The two remaining middle blisters I gave it the old eyeball look but was able to use the natural lines of the blister pack name to line them up appropriately.

After that, it was just a matter of sealing it up, give it a final dusting, and hanging the box up on the wall.  I'm quite pleased with my project.  It's a really cool addition to the home office where I work and hobby.  I have it hanging next to the flatscreen tv and the corner shelving unit.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reaper Miniatures Townsfolk: Strumpet - 77086


This was another bones model and was a blast to paint on a Friday night.  In metal, this model is part of the Townsfolk II - 2854 pack which also includes a beggar (see link for my painted version) and a blacksmith.  I'll get to those in metal at some point, but right now I'm looking to keep working on my fast, good painting.

Again, all paints were from the Reaper MSP HD line.  The dress base was Gem Purple, the inside was Entrail Pink, and the hair was Golden Yellow, while the corset was Woodland Brown with a shade of Golden Brown.  The skin was completed with a base of Suntan Flesh and then mixed 50/50 with Caucasian Flesh to provide appropriate highlights.  The shading and highlighting on the dress was done by adding Solid Black and Caucasian Flesh to the Gem Purple.  The inside part of the dress had a bit of Solid White added to the mix twice for a medium and final highlight.  There isn't any metallics in the MSP HD line so it was over to the Vallejo Game Color Glorious Gold with a wash of an old pot of Citadel Devlan Mud to tone it down a bit.

With the Reaper MSP HD paint line I'm finding that I'm painting these a bit different.  Instead of shade, medium, highlight and building from dark to light... I'm working with the medium as the base which I then tone down for my shading and tone up for my highlights and then using the medium again for just a bit of a blend or watering down to make a wash/glaze as a quick blend technique.  With this method, the wet palette technique is my greatest friend as my various on the fly mixes don't dry up and I can go back or take a bit to tone up or down for more shade or highlight as needed.

Kickstarter paint total: 90 + 1 Strumpet = 91

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Reaper Miniatures Death Star Lilies - 77504




More Bones miniatures coming your way with "fast, good" painting.  I whipped these out on this Sunday afternoon after a couple hours with the paints and brush.  These were an absolute blast and I can think of some other color schemes - great sculpts by Kevin Williams.  I think that I'll need to pick up some more of these in the future.  Today I stuck with a triad scheme of green - orange - violet.

All paints were from the Reaper MSP HD line.

Kickstarter paint total: 88 + 2 Lilies = 90

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Reaper Miniatures Ghast - 77159




Back to the bones models.  This was a fun project for a Saturday afternoon/evening during a very cold early April day.  I wanted to play around with a bunch of the Reaper MSP HD paints.  I found three of the Reaper bones ghasts and did a bit of an experiment on each.

Painting instructions for Ghast:

Step 1: Undercoat model with Stynylrez green primer (this is awesome on bones)
Step 2: Use Suntan Flesh on all skin
Step 3: Drybrush Caucasian Flesh on all skin as highlights
Step 4: Use Golden Brown on leather strap and belts
Step 5: Use Woodland Brown on leather strap and belts as highlights
Step 6: Use Jungle Camo, Twilight Purple, Dragon Blue on cloth
Step 7: Used watered down version of each and wash the entire skin
Step 8: Use Meadow Green, Witchcraft Purple, Ice Blue as highlights on cloth
Step 9: Use Twilight Purple, Crimson Red, Rusty Red, Brilliant Red on green ghast
Step 10: Use Brilliant Red, Burning Orange, Fireball Orange on purple ghast
Step 11: Use Fireball Orange, Mustard Yellow, Golden Yellow, Gilded Yellow on blue ghast
Step 12: Use Brilliant Red on eyes
Step 13: Use Solid White on teeth
Step 14: Use Solid Black on base
Step 15: Drybrush Concrete Grey on base
Step 16: Drybrush Arctic Grey on base
Step 17: Drybrush Solid White on base

Kickstarter paint total: 85 + 3 Ghasts = 88