Here we are, looking anxiously at the ground, trying not to make eye contact with 2020 as it packs its bags and gets ready to head off to that farm up north, where it can run and play with the other years.
Some might try to hurry it out the door, I say let it take its time. 2020 has a fickle temper, and I don’t want to tempt fate. And with a pandemic still raging around the world and climate disasters on the rise, I don’t want to embolden 2021. You know how years get competitive with each other sometimes, right?
Still, this last year hasn’t been all terrible. Sure, we had earthquakes here in Utah to add a little mid-Spring panic to the year, and our sewer line exploded at our house, but my wife and I both had exceptional years in our professional endeavors, which is an odd thing to be able to say since we both work in the healthcare industry. Still, a win is a win.
Hobby wise, things are going great. I just need to re-focus my energies, which tend to be chaotic at the best of times. I have some ideas for 2021 that could be a lot of fun, but again… chaotic brain. Let’s break it down a little:
First, I have a pretty solid line-up of content planned for this here blog. The first step was executed last night when I went ahead and made this a real live Big Boy Blog with the domain name Grimmleigh dot com. Such a cool domain, honestly. I’m happy to have it running finally! I plan on releasing content AT LEAST twice a week, with Mondays and Wednesdays being my target days. Bonus content could possibly show up on Fridays, too!
Second, I am planning on recording some tutorial videos once a week that will be posted to YouTube and shared here. My whole emphasis on these videos will be on helping the beginner tackle the miniature gaming hobby, whether it’s building terrain or painting miniatures. So many people get involved in the hobby and get thrown into the deep end of the pool. That can be intimidating as hell, so I want to help folks dip their toes into the shallow end, where things can be a lot more relaxing.
Third, I’ll be working on VS RPG more assertively. This is a project I have been tinkering with for years, and as it stands it’s the most Frankensteined thing I have ever seen. But it’s mine, and I love it! What’s the end goal here? There isn’t one. It’s a bucket list project, just something I want to tinker with and daydream about. If people end up playing it and having fun, that’s great!
If you have questions or suggestions about upcoming content, please drop a comment below, and here’s to 2020! May we never see her like again! Take care, everyone! See you next year!
There is a fine line every hobbyist walks, where we balance our budgets against our love of our hobby. It’s especially difficult with the miniature hobby, because if you’re not completely dedicated to one single faction in one single game, you’ve got a lot of shiny miniatures competing for your attention!
I think that helps explain the appeal of budget miniature lines like Reaper Bones, which are priced low enough that you can get a decent amount of figures for your RPG or combat game without breaking the bank. But, the quality is often times lacking, which can be a bitter pill to swallow for people who regularly game with minis from Games Workshop or Corvus Belli!
The Reaper Bones Black Series promises better detail out of a new PVC formula, so I bought one to check out. The verdict? Much better! Not perfect, but a skeletal ogre for less than ten bucks is hard to come by, and the figure looks pretty great painted up!
I wanted the ogre to look like his armor has been kept in pretty good shape, but the rigors of time have taken hold a bit. The main body was painted with Studio P3 Menoth White Base, then touched up with Menoth White Highlight. I then went over the figure with glazes made from Daler Rowney inks, acrylic medium, and distilled water, and took some time to layer on some cool patina effects.
The skull was painted a camo green, and then layered up to white. All of the metals where layered up from a gunmetal to bright silver, then given a pretty heavy wash with a glaze made from Pthalo Blue and Burnt Umber inks.
Then I picked out all of the metals with Citadel’s Typhus Corrosion, which then got followed up with a little Ryza Rust effect to get some rust and funk going on with the mini!
I cut a base out of plasticard and built up the textures with Ave’s Expoxysculpt, then painted that grey with some dead grass for added impact. This guy was the unwitting beginning to a dead army, which I had no idea I was going to start when I picked this dude up!
Now the struggle is figuring out a way to make him work for both Vanguard and Oathmark, which are both games I would like to play when the pandemic is over!
Core Space is one of those games that checks all of the boxes when I’m looking for a game: cool setting, great minis, and terrain? Well, Core Space is from Battle Systems, so the terrain is kind of a given.
I still haven’t played a game of Core Space, and anyone who knows me is probably having a pretty good chuckle at my expense. Yes, there is a pretty good chance that I’ll never play a game of Core Space. I collect and paint miniatures with the assumption that some day I’ll play them, but I know that I’ll just buy more minis to paint.
That’s why there’s four boxes of Runewars minis showing up tomorrow, by the way.
One of the great things about Core Space is the crew boxes, which give you a crew of space traders all ready to go. Sure, you can recruit NPCs, and even put together a crew from other crew sets, too. But getting a box with a crew set to go, and fiction behind them? That’s cooooool.
Jonathan Weaver is the captain, and he’s heading down a dark path. He wants to make it big, and the jobs are getting harder to pull off. He’s running guns and fencing goods, and that’s making his crew feel a bit at odds.
Marlowe Chibueze is Weaver’s conscience, but he also has to be careful because he’s an augmented human, and potentially a living weapon.
Faye Millicent is the rookie, and learning her way through the universe. She’s wondering if maybe she should have thought things through a little before signing on to the Skylark.
MAC is a contracted mercenary, who is using his earnings to continuously upgrade his gear, but no one knows what his end game is.
This is the fist crew I have finished up, but I pretty much bought everything there is for the game, so there’s a ton more to come!
This last month has probably been the worst hobby month I’ve had in a really long time. I haven’t been really productive, and have been really distractible by some pretty silly things. Also, those things make perfect sense, too: surviving a pandemic responsibly means finding ways to connect with people without being physically in person, which means the audio group chat in my World of Warcraft sessions has been really alluring.
Downside, though- I suck at video games, and I would rather get my paints going again than spend a lot of hours leveling another character through WoW. So, back to the workbench!
Let’s get some badassery going with a regiment of Dwarf Rangers. This group of hearty warriors is made up of a mix of Mantic, Games Workshop, and Artisan Guild models, with the Artisan Guild figures having built-in magnetic bases so that I can pop them off the multi-base for some sweet Vanguard action!
The Runestone up front is landscape bark from the front yard, which I carved flat on the bottom, painted grey, then hand painted the runes and the dwarf face onto. It adds a pretty cool thematic element, and helps hide the base recesses for my removable figs.
The regiment is led by Herne and Frigga Ironheart, who lead the team together despite Frigga’s near constant intoxication. I really love these minis, and can’t wait to see them on the table. Any table. Someday…
Herne knew that they were in trouble. His group of rangers had been trudging through the fen for a week now, and their spirits were dangerously low. More importantly, their provisions were running even lower. Frigga had been sober for close to four days, and her temper had been at a steady boil since waking that morning.
And a sober Frigga can’t hit the broad side of an ogre’s nursemaid, he mused to himself. But she is capable of making everyone’s life a living hell until she gets something to quench that fiery thirst of hers.
The ranger pulled himself up from his hiding spot, and flicked his fingers in a silent signal to the rest of the regiment, which had concealed itself in the muck and the mire of the fen. Much more of this skulking about, and these warriors wouldn’t have much fight left in them.
They had been tracking a troop of kobolds for weeks, after coming across a horrific scene of carnage that the diminutive beasts had inflicted on a human village. Honor dictated action, and the hunt was on.
Suddenly, in the brackish water up ahead of them, came the sloshing crash of something big moving through the bogs that littered the fen. Whatever it was, it just made the misfortune of becoming today’s distraction from boredom.
Herne leapt up onto a nearby stump and started whooping and hollering, hoping to draw the as yet unseen intruder out into the open. Herne began to dance about on the stump, and at one point burst out into a lewd song about a halfling barkeep’s daughter.
The fen grew quiet, and Herne grew discouraged. He heard a less than amused “tisk” from somewhere behind him, and he knew that Frigga was quietly running through a list of insults to riddle him with.
There was a muffled yelp off to his left, followed by a ferocious crunching sound, and an all too brief scream of pure agony. Something flew through the air straight at him, and Herne barely had time to duck out of the way of the mystery projectile.
Herne hopped down from his perch and hunkered down into a low crouch, darting from the log towards where the mystery missile had touched down. After a moments searching, he found his quarry… or at least what was left of it.
The upper part of Duggart’s body was laying face down in the mud, both arms twitching at his side. A bubble of air popped as it rose to the surface next to the corpse’s submerged face.
His legs were entirely missing, the wreckage of his lower torso only hinting that extremities could have ever worked there in the first place. Duggart’s blood was seeping out in a lazy torrent, eventually mingling with the muddy waters of the fen in slowly swirling eddies.
A low, throaty chuckle purred out from the misty expanse, at once nowhere and everywhere. The hair on the back of Herne’s neck stood straight up, and he slowly unbuckled his daggers. His time on this earth may be coming to a close, but he wasn’t going to go to the Eternal Smithy without a fight.
There was an explosion of movement through the underbrush, and a humongous beast lumbered out of the fetid waters. The creature’s stunted legs ended with gigantic webbed feet, while its long, willowy arms were graced with craggy talons. Its eyes were flashing with wild excitement, its gore caked maw erupting into a vicious grin.
“TROLL!!!” bellowed Herne, even as bolts flew straight and true from at least a dozen hidden ranger’s crossbows. The troll reeled back in pain, then shook off the onslaught and redoubled its advance on Hernes position.
The doughty dwarf shifted his footing into a low fighting stance, and he juked to the left as the troll attempted to barrel into him. He chuckled quietly to himself, knowing full well that the creature had overestimated its odds of a quick meal.
The troll reeled up in sudden pain, scrabbling frantically at its leathery back. Frigga had somehow managed to find a perch between the creature’s massive shoulder blades, and had secured herself to its neck with a climbing harness.
Herne stood by to admire his sister’s handiwork for a moment, then gasped in mock horror as the tirade of obscenities she was yelling went on.
“I don’t think you can do that with a goat, even with a cask of oil, sister!” He shouted out. She replied with a curt suggestion of what he could do with his opinion.
A moment later, the troll fell lifeless to the muddy embrace of the fen, its eyes gouged out and a four inch wide trench of butchered flesh running ear to ear.
Frigga was a sight to behold as she unfastened the climbing harness, the fierce whites of her eyes flashing murder from beneath a mask of bloody gristle and mud.
Slowly, she smiled. Herne laughed. With Frigga able to blow off some steam, their ragged little group might be able to finish off the kobolds and get her to a proper tavern before her temper became truly impossible to manage.