I’ve been painting miniatures on-and-off (admittedly more off than on) since around 1991, and I have fond childhood memories of the AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual and Fighting Fantasy books. I collect, and play, retro video games – avoiding emulation wherever possible, and with a particular love of old RPGs. But surprisingly, until a couple of years ago I’d never actually played D&D, and until last weekend I’d never played any edition of Warhammer.
I haven’t had much time for painting this week, so I used what time I had on my smallest miniature: an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Kobold. I picked him up cheaply with some other odds and ends I thought might come in handy during our Shin High Terror campaign. He didn’t, and I don’t know much about him – except that he’s tiny even among other miniatures.
A few months ago I posted a drawing of Jenny Greenteeth, a river hag from English folklore. At around the same time I started drawing her, I bought a metal Razig the Sea Hag from Reaper Miniatures’ Warlord’ range, which sat untouched except for a roughly applied base of blue paint since then. And a couple of weeks ago, DM Mike introduced a green hag as an NPC into our &D campaign (whether as an ally or an antagonist remains a matter of debate in and out of character – after all, in Gaelic myth the Cailleach are a sort of divine spirit rather than evil). So, this week I finished painting her.
In India there is a beast called the manticore. It has a triple row of teeth, the face of a man, and grey eyes; it is blood-red in colour and has a lion’s body, a pointed tail with a sting like a scorpion, and a hissing voice. It delights in eating human flesh.
The Folio Society’s English version of the Bodleian Bestiary, p.63
I am off work this week, and my wife is away, so I’ve had plenty of time available to get in touch with my inner artist and geek, finishing off some long-standing projects and starting a couple of new ones. There are loads of images – at least, for me – immediately below the fold, with some context all the way down at the bottom.
At the end of June our D&D campaign, Shin High Terror, drew to a close. Our diminutive anti-heroes found a dimension door in a tent, guarded by evil jesters. Steeltoe the dwarf punched an old peasant woman until her jaw broke, and revealed that his stream of daft decisions were actually part of a scheme to die in combat and meet his god, Tyr. Druantia, wood elf druid and most recent addition to the party, shot the peasant in the head. She turned out to be a bystander. Moleslayer suffered terrible visions of a coming apocalypse so slipped off to try to take on the big bad evil guys, and somehow survived ten rounds before backup arrived. Despite all of this, in the end we foiled the Cult of Sargonas’ plot and saved a corner of the world, freeing DM John to roll up a character and join the party.
Enter DM Mike, with his tale of haunted castles, family secrets and witches covens. Terrible things will happen to us…
I’m definitely not going to start a miniature bestiary (if ‘A’ is for ambull then ‘Z’ is for zombie dragon). I’ve got loads of other things to work on already, deadlines at work (‘Z’ is for zoat), and my final university assignment in a couple of months (‘z’ is for Zygor Snake Arms). But enough idle plans! I’ve painted a Rogue Trader ambull, and that’s all I’ve got for today.
My shameful lead mountain is looking particularly insurmountable right now. On Thursday I received my minis from the first Greenskin Wars Kickstarter (they’re excellent), and on Friday I bought a load of old Citadel Night Horrors via eBay auction. They’re a pretty collectible range, and ‘buy it now’ prices are generally ridiculous – the final auction costs were about 25% of the normal list price, so well worth bidding. Luckily, for the first time in a while I also had no plans this weekend, so I’ve been able to make some small progress with painting and modelling.