Sunday, March 13, 2011

Holy symbol

While I'm still working on the Dark Sword minis, here's a holy symbol I sculpted in Super Sculpey for the cleric player in our DnD party.

Although for his campaign, our DM created his own Pantheon, many of the gods are inspired by the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, including Chauntea. So inspired by this holy picture from a TSR book:

Chauntea Symbol by Mike Schely from TSR Forgotten Realm Book

I created and painted this palm size symbol:

55 mm Sculpey Symbol
 That was a fun Sunday afternoon project, hope you like it.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Have Stargate, will travel

A while ago, I wanted a cheap prop Gate to use in a game of Stargate d20 RPG (sadly discontinued by AEG).

So I hit the web and found several paper models, including a good looking one from Marco Scheloske.  Now I know that the symbols around the ring are not accurate and all, but it had potential and I liked it. To simplify things a bit, I printed the two faces of the Gate and glued them on foam core.  Carefully cut out, it's nice and sturdy.

Now for the Stand I wanted something a bit more durable than the paper one from Marco.  Then I remembered an article I read on the Reaper Miniatures website, The Craft - How to make a Field Stone Wall. Here's my adaptation of this technique to a stonework Stargate Stand.

First, I drew a plan of what I wanted.  d20 is played on a 1 inch grid, and it is reflected in my layout.
Stand template, incorporating a 1" grid.
Then using a large kitchen knife and an exacto blade, I cut the shape into a 2" blue foam insulation block.

Basic shape of the stand in 2" insulation foam.
Next came the drawing of the stones.  I drew at the top of the sides flatter stones that continued on the top of the stand to simulate large flagstones.
Outlining the field stones

Then came the cutting.  Each stone was contoured with a fresh exacto blade, in a rough V-channel.  Once this was all done, I used a small stone with sharp edges to texture the whole thing.
Stones contoured and textured.
After that, I painted the everything with DecoArt "Antique White" and then painted each stone black,
Stones pained black over "Antique white"
and drybrushed grey, with a black "magic wash".  I added a brown wash here and there at the base of stand.  I also added some static grass, which is shown in the last pic.
Grey drybrush, black wash and brown wash.
Here is the final stand, with the Gate and a force of Jaffas coming through, lead (from behind of course) by Apophis in his golden armour...
The completed stand with Gate and Jaffas

Finally, we never played that game of SG RPG, but it was of fun project and it makes a nice display stand for my Jaffas. I guess "build it and they will come" is not always true.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

New Campaign, new minis!

Last year, I started playing in a new DnD campaign DMed by my cousin.  A new campaign means new characters, so I offered everyone to paint a mini of their choice to represent them on the gaming table.

After a few sessions that helped us get a feel for our characters, everyone settled on a miniature from a company I was not familiar with, Dark Sword Miniatures.

So here's the unboxing of the package I got in the mail and my first impressions of the minis.

The blisters in the box nicely protected.

The five characters, plus 2 bonus fig, a rogue and a small cherub.

All the parts cleaned up before assembly.
No way I'll pin this...

All minis (minus one) assembled.
I am pleased with these minis.  The casting is clean, the detailing really nice and the poses, although a bit static are well suited for role playing purposes.  They remind me a lot of classic fantasy book covers, and they should; most minis from Dark Sword are based on concept art by some of the same artists, like Larry Elmore the original artist for the DragonLance Chronicles books.

The only small "con" I might have about the minis is the fact that some of them are multi-parts, in particular the figther in plate "DSM5030 - Victarion Greyjoy" (the one not assembled on the left). The axe and right arm had to be glued to the body at the same time to insure a proper fit.  Not an easy thing to do at this size.  I might not be 100% objective about this. Although I understand the why of them, I don't like multi-parts minis in general.  When used in games, they're more delicate to handle.

But that's just a minor quip, and I will definitely order from Dark Sword again, once I made a significant dent in the lead mountain.

Overall, everyone is please with their minis and now I have to come through with decent paint jobs...