Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Pirates Completed --- Finally...

As I was lamenting in another post, my painting style lends itself to protracted periods of seemingly endless inactivity.  My own style of batch painting slows down production to almost a standstill, especially when beginning a new batch. While it's more about the journey than the destination for me, seeing completed miniatures leave the painting queue provides both satisfaction and a bit of personal pride.  Those feelings tend to occur few and far between for me lately however.

While my own peculiar take on batch painting has many downfalls, occasionally the benefits start rolling in.  "Batches" of minis all started at the same time also near completion near simultaneously.     Such is the case this week.  I have several pirates and other miniatures all nearing completion together.  I want to share the first two with you.

Captain Hook and Melisande Wavecutter

Both of these piratical miniatures have been in the queue for quite some time.  I have an excuse for one and well, nothing for the other.  I am extremely glad they are both completed and ready for a bit of action in my Legend of the High Seas campaign.

Melisande Wavecutter from Reaper
Ladies first:  Melisande Wavecutter is a miniature from the Reaper "pirates" line.  I emphasize the word "pirate" because Reaper has put a decidedly fantasy twist to their swashbucklers.  Historical accuracy is obviously not their focus.  On some models the fantasy slant is very apparent but it's not so noticeable on Melisande.  Beyond the fact that she is a female and dressed as a captain, only the skulls on her boots belie the trend.

Miss Wavecutter has been in my collection for a very long time and in the painting queue since the first of the year.  I am terrible with female skin tones (especially facial features) and the fear of completely mucking her up has kept her from completion for months.  Sheer desperation finally allowed me to finish her but I'm still not happy with her face.  I simply cannot seem to get the subtle female shading correct no matter how hard I try.  Maybe the purchase of the OptiVisor I ordered will help me achieve better results.

More detail of the hat and coat

Though my meager painting skills did not do her justice, the miniature itself is a beautiful sculpt.  The hat, greatcoat, and the face make the mini stand out for me so I chose colors that would emphasize some of those features.  If I had more time I think I would have removed the skulls from the boots and possibly added a bit of trim around the coat though.  I'm fairly pleased with her overall however and look forward to using her in the next game.  As far as her backstory goes, I'll have to think on that a bit.

Captain Hook from Reaper

 Next up is Captain Hook, also from Reaper Miniatures.  He too suffers from the fantasy element that Reaper has imposed upon their pirate line...mainly in the size of his saber cutlass meatcleaver.  Just as Melisande has lingered in limbo for months, the captain has seen more than his share of time in the painting queue.  So what's his excuse?  I'm not really sure.  Though I'm not at all opposed to the miniature itself (after all, I did purchase it for a reason), I think over time he became one of those rare minis that I simply could not get into.  Perhaps it's the huge weapon or maybe it's the terrible color scheme I chose for him, but whenever I sat down to paint, my eyes would pass over him almost every time in favor of another model to work on.  I finally forced myself to wrestle with the inertia surrounding the good captain and he is now complete.  I wonder how he will fare in the next game of Legends of the High Seas.

I need to work on a good background for this miniature as well.  I really have not thought too much about it but I can assure you that his name will not be Captain Hook.  Arrrr....!!!

I have two other rogues to share as soon as the varnish is finished drying then it's time for the ladies.  Yep, the wenches I've been ignoring forever are nearing completion as well.  My pirates are thirsty and ready to spend some of their ill gotten gains.  Their arrival could not be more appropriate nor appreciated but pirates beware!  These ladies will have a few tricks up their...hmmm....bodices.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I am thinking about purchasing an OptiVisor for close detail work.  I currently have a magnification lamp on my hobby desk that provides great light and allows me to look at my not-so-handy work but I find it difficult to actually paint while looking through the glass.  The problem is that to get the right focus and magnification, I have to hold the miniature fairly close to the lens.  In doing so, the edge of the lamp often interferes with end of the paint brush and causes my carefully aimed spec of paint to go horribly astray.  Usually this happens when completing facial features and requires an awful lot of work to repair.

So, as I stated above, I am thinking of purchasing a head mounted option.  I am unsure of what power of magnification would be appropriate for painting 28mm miniatures.  Does anyone have an experience with the OptiVisor and if so, what model/magnification would you suggest? 

Thanks in advance for the advice. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hope for Anglalond

For some time now the men of Rohan have defended the lands from the increasing incursions of Scandinavian invaders.  Their blood has been spilled on foreign soil fighting savage northern heathens when they should be back in the Riddermark protecting their own folk from the forces of Saruman.  But they are an honorable people and refused to leave the field of battle ere reinforcements arrived.

That time is now.....

I've finally gotten my hands on a couple of boxes of Saxon warriors for my Age of Blood games.  I've been playing several scenarios (in between watching massive marathons of Tour de France footage) using my warriors of Rohan to represent the Anglo-Saxons in their struggle to resist the raiding hordes of Norsemen.  While the Rohirrim proved to be an acceptable proxy, the games simply did not feel right without proper models on the table.  That is soon to be rectified however.  Only one more night of cycling before I can get back to painting and hopefully get these brave warriors on the field before the next wave of longships appear on the horizon.

Speaking of the Tour de France, congratulations to Cadel Evans.  Well played Aussie.  Well played indeed.