Elementals for the Cloud Tribe and Experimental Health Counters

This past week has been a little hectic so just a little blurp this week.  I recently acquired some Zephyrs from the Dark Age miniature line.  These are made of clear resin and I thought they would work good for my elementals.

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Imagine my surprise when they arrived and needed to be assembled.  I don’t know why I expected something different, I guess the Reaper Bones line is spoiling me.

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With some delicate assembly and a blue glaze I ended up with a nice little water elemental.

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The next one I opted to leave clear so as to represent my air elemental.

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These will both be used by the Cloud Tribe, and I’m thinking out loud here, but I would like to somehow create a synergy between the two that will allow them to work both individually and cooperatively.

For instance, they would default individually as what they are: water and air elementals.  But when they are on adjoining hexes they have the option to combine their forces to gain a bonus – maybe the ability to cast a Vapor Burst spell?  Something that goes along with the Cloud Tribe theme.  We’ll see.

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There’s a third one that I’ll save for when I need an additional elemental.

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Also, I have been banging my head for months trying to figure a way to create health counters for miniatures used on a hex board.  While using dice works fine on the larger battle mat it seemed too intrusive to use in the smaller board setting.

I happened across these numbered beads at my local super center priced at $1.97 this past week and thought they would be worth experimenting with.

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Small and unobtrusive  – that’s good.

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The idea is they start with X amount and as they take damage the bead is replaced with another with the appropriate value.

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I haven’t played with them yet and my fear is that after a round or two with my big gorilla fingers this idea may get tossed to the wayside but it’s the closest thing I have found yet that isn’t distracting to the miniatures themselves.  Something themed to each tribe would be even better but I’ll work with this and see what happens.

Until next time,

Night Owl

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DIY Canvas Battlemat

This is a project that has been on my need-to-do list all summer but I was never able to get to it for some reason.  Now that we are waking up to frosty mornings I thought I had better get it done before Old Man Winter decides to settle in for good. A flexible and portable battle mat that can be rolled up and stored away is the answer to anyone with space issues.

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There are a few really nice tutorials online describing how to make these and I followed them almost to a tee and am really happy with the results.

I started with a 9 X 5 piece of canvas drop cloth that I picked up at my local super center along with a half a dozen tubes of acrylic latex caulk.  I already had the clamps, the caulk gun and the craft paints so I’m in for about a twenty spot and I’ve enough canvas left over for another 4×4 mat.

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I cut the mat in half, clamped it snug, and spread out my first layer of caulk.  The plastic spreader you see in the above picture only lasted about 3 minutes before the handle broke so I would advise investing in a metal handled tool.

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I let this dry over night and went back the next day to add texture.

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I tried using a crumpled up plastic bag but found the results weren’t really any different from the sponge to my eyes so I stuck with the sponge for the whole process.  The sun is shining through the window giving a strange effect and the silhouette of the dwarven mountain on the right.

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I gave it a base coat of brown craft paint.

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Then I followed that with a dry brush of successive greens and tans until I liked what I saw.

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I sealed it with an acrylic clear spray and let it dry again over night.

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Last night I cut it to 4 X 4 and brought it in and set it up with some terrain pieces.

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I have to say that this project really is as easy as it looks – how often does that happen?  I will be doing more of these in the future and would encourage anyone to give it a try if you’re in need of an inexpensive battle mat.

Thanks,

Night Owl

 

Cthulhu – inks and craft paints

Last night I got started on the big fella and before I knew it he was done.

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I mixed up some ink, Liquitex matte medium, Anita’s extender, and some tap water for each color and started slopping it on.  The orange and yellow were done the same way with craft paints since I don’t have yellow or orange inks.

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I used the colors as the picture shows going from purple to blue to red, then orange and yellow.

The matte medium(?) has a strange property in that I can’t seem to photograph the finished product very well.  I had the same trouble with the chaos tree using the same technique.  I suppose making a light box should be added to my to-do list.

Inside photography doesn’t seem bright enough while outdoor photography is almost too much.

Inside:

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Outside:

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Although it isn’t as vibrant as I had seen in my head it is what it is and I’m pretty happy with it.

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So now I need to figure out how to base him.  I’m not impressed with the base that came with him as it seemed like a quick afterthought.  The problem lies in the distance that his tail sticks out.

Maybe rocks and tide pools, hmm.

Thanks for looking,

Night Owl

Trying something different

When I was in the 7th grade a friend of mine handed me a book by H.P. Lovecraft and said “You need to read this.”  I looked back at him standing there with his spiked mohawk, combat boots and denim vest jacket and said “OK”.   Over the next few nights I read the book from cover to cover.

I remember being overcome by the foreboding sense that I wasn’t supposed to be reading it.  Not like finding a Playboy magazine at your buddies house for the first time but more like “Oh, (bleep), the fate of humanity and religion as we know them are precariously threatened.”  The psychological horrors challenged me.  I loved it and it scared the hell out of me at the same time.

Now that the copyrights have expired, as Lovecraft had no heir, you can find Cthulhu just about everywhere – even in the form of yarn knitted snuggle toys to put in your baby’s crib.

Say What? Yeah, I know.

I acquired two of the Cthulhu “miniatures” from the first Reaper Kickstarter and now that the second one is close to delivery I thought I should finally pull one of these out and do something with it.

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Lovecraft describes Cthulhu as green, sticky and greasy.  It is said that he is to be of an alternate geometric dimension and to gaze upon him is to cause instant insanity.  I want to try something different.

Combining this with the fact that Cthulhu is sleeping in the deep sea I thought of the flamboyant cuttlefish.  Watching their colored bands gyrate and transform before my eyes sometimes causes me “temporary insanity” while I try to figure it out.

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And the blue ringed octopus:

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The question is can I pull this off?  The results will end in epic success or epic fail.

I started with a primer of black Gesso.  I use black so that I can ensure I haven’t missed anything.

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Then I did a heavy drybrush with Creamcoat Spiced Tan.

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That’s where I’m currently at with this project.  I feel like I’m in the 7th grade again because at this moment I’m loving this and yet it’s scaring the hell out of me at the same time.

Thanks,

Night Owl