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Raiding the Dusty Wastes

Raiding the Dusty Wastes

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Project Blog by horati0nosebl0wer Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

A build of a display piece that was started about summer 2019. Now a year later it might be ready to paint as I get other projects done. This was fun for the idea of a desert dungeon crawl. Looks like things have changed as its now a SAGA Age of Magic project

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Begin the March of Monsters!

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
1 Comment

I survived! I’ve had to sideline the camels for a little bit only because I was not in the best place with difficulty breathing last week. I’m back at work and making up for lost wages. In that aim I am almost done with my commission work and will be getting cash in hand.

As I lack anything new and exciting to reveal for camels I give you this…

My secret project that was so fun to developMy secret project that was so fun to develop

As promised I was working with a 3D sculptor and got the cyclops created for my developing Saga Age of Magic, the Arabian Knights. The Ray Harryhausen work was taken and played with slightly but I think it came out well. My own modelling skills to get the upper torso posed better was well worth it. I can say that Fiverr is not limited to $5. This was well north of that and I still need to get it printed. I’m glad that I saved the person I worked with last as it should run me a paltry sum, by comparison, to have the resin created.

So yes, there is a running list of things to paint:

  • Four camels
  • A unit of levy archers
  • Leader on giant scorpion (beast)
  • Djinn on flying base
  • A warmachine of some sort
  • A huge yet to be revealed monster
  • Some sort of mage that I have yet to find and purchase for painting

What can I say? I like my monstrous options. Beyond that I think that the number of warriors I have can be halved for squads of Hearthguard so no need to buy anything more in that regard. I’m thinking of maybe a couple of creatures as far as options but this really boils down to what lists I want to play. The thing about Saga is that it is mini agnostic and you can play whatever list you build for. I think that I could shuffle my minis between Great Kingdoms, Masters of the Wild (why limit the wilds to the woods?) or perhaps go to The Horde. I’ve debated on The Otherworld (a mad Arab with some Cthulhu minions as well could work) but its still in the planning if I really would want to.

Anywhat, that’s the new stuff to be printed and then I will whittle away the project until I start up on Amazons (a whole other insane project when compared to single figures).

COVID-19, Camels and Christmas

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
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2 Comments

What have I learned this week? COVID-19 sucks, to put it mildly, I was more ambitious than I knew. Breathing was more important than painting despite my desire to get work done. My diaphragm is stonger than I knew it has been for some time and I am almost clear to go back to work. Its been an up and down disease that I’m glad to be getting over.

My camels are almost done despite having to restart the blanket for one after an unfortunate incident of a coughing fit. The riders still need work as well but its all about trying to make things look fancier than they are. I’m about done with my motivation for the moment as I’d just like to be “productive” again. Earning cash would also help as my paycheck took the expected hit. I’ll be glad to get my commission work to my client so as to offset some of the pain.

Related to this year’s planned festivities, don’t worry anyone, The Noseblower will be shipping Giftmas as promised. By the time boxes go out in late Oct/early Nov this will be well behind us all. Don’t worry about quarantining deliveries as this amount of lead time for things I’ve yet to seal will ensure nothing is traveling internationally. Most things are already boxed up as is with only a few stragglers left to bundle.

The camels of quarantine Pt. I

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Not half bad with dry coughsNot half bad with dry coughs

So I’ve been put under The Rona Lockdown as of Saturday. What does one do when they suddenly have a week of laying around and languishing with chills, bodyaches, congestion and doing as much sleeping as inhumanely possible? Get the lead out and do something that actually doesn’t suck.

Here’s the first half of my camel corps that I’ve been way too busy to paint until now. I can say that my hands aren’t quite as steady as they normally are but I’ll damn well finish these figures before I get cleared to start work again. I still have a second unit of archer levy to pain but they’re nowhere near as difficult. I also have quite a few monsters to go after this so the project has some development life to go with.

Push through the suck and make as much hobby headway is the only way of coping with this.

 

P.S. I’ll also hit up the metallics after the second half. Right now I don’t quite trust myself yet to get around to it eventhough I wrote on the shields. I can only do so much as an above average kind of nerd.

Wonder what I'm up to?

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What in the world could this be?What in the world could this be?

Keeping you all guessing as to what I’m doing is a fun game for me. Can you guess as to where I’m headed with this? It might be a bit of an oddity but it’ll fit right in.

Scorpions

Tutoring 2
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4 Comments

So I thought to myself that there needed to be an addition to my force of scorpions. I put down the cash for some Alternative Armies scorpions as I expanded the miniatures. They have arrived and I am diligently  putting them to use for my Saga force. On another plus I have received the bases from Litko that will suffice for the Saga leader on beast so I will be able to put my “big fuck off” model into play (see Eddie Izzard and beards). A bonus to this cost is the likelihood of using these in another project. This will likely be in creatures for the future.

I like being able to multi-purpose my purchases.

Hellbent for hummus!

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They do it camel-style... riding the humpThey do it camel-style... riding the hump

Its the camelry.. made up of dromedary

Bwahahaha! I’ve got camels!!! If you thought that I went crazy with cavalry then you’re in store for a treat. Yes, ladies and Germans, we’ve got one gen-you-wine, all weather and condition crack camel corps readied to be painted for action and be placed on the tabletop with two orders of Gripping Beasts’s Mutatawi’a fanatics. Of course, the paint schemes to come you might well make question that.

Yes, @sundancer , for the details required that I will paint you can hate me now. I hate me now. I ask myself “what the hell am I doing?” and I come to the conclusion that I’m making the battlespace of miniature figures more awesome. With that “inspiration” and self delusion to avoid the realization of the self inflicted masochism I will be bringing camel jockeys to the fray for all to see.

Lloyd was right about horses being a separate figure to be painted but he had nothing on the matter of these battle hardened mounts which require much more than my warriors shown earlier. Now, onward my mustachioed (in some cases) minions. We fight for foolish fancy!!!

Oh, and the scorpion base is on the way.

Not your Disney buddy

Tutoring 6
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Tilt to be corrected Tilt to be corrected

I got my other 3D printed model in. Woot!!!

I initially thought that there needed to be a genie in my Arabian Knights force. I didn’t think that the Disney adaptation of Aladdin’s story did the tale justice despite  Robin Williams doing his wonderfully manic comedy. I thought the portrayal of the djinn as played by John Leguizamo in ‘”Arabian Nights” was more appropriate in attitude.

I took my visual inspiration from the anime/manga series “Magi” and tossed an image of a cosplayer onto the entry of making my opponent cry. Thinking about the family environment that is a gaming store I drew that back and used my knowledge of the 3D work being done around the Internet to think of what company might give me what I needed. I went back to the company Artisan Guild that I knew had done the Scorpid rider as well as mess load of carpet riding thieves and a genie under the Spellblades project. Lo and behold I wasn’t let down as they had more sculpts to print which would fulfill my option for the battlefield.

I’ve had it printed at 135mm from top to what was the bottom so as to float over a base befitting an eye-catching monstrous presence. The bottom of the sash was initially what the sculpt was supposed to stand on for the print but I thought “This will not do”. I went to work removing the end of the ‘sarong'(?) with my trusty rotary tool and sculpted back the edge with a mixture of 50/50 kneadatite/Apoxiesculpt to finish off the part. Going from a 60 to 220 grit sandpaper it worked pretty well but I ended up going back over the missed cracks with superglue that I wiped to near flat and sprayed with accelerant before sanding to match.

I went back to prop the genie atop a clear 3/8″ acrylic rod so it appeared to be flying without support. It may not truly be suspended in the air but a game played with plenty of tiny fighting pastic people to converge and do combat dictated by the roll of dice is a space where the  suspension of disbelief is very much a norm.

The base proper is a 90x120mm MDF oval I laid a bit of 3mm thick cork on top of. I then covered it with the same greenstuff mix as the djinn fabric, textured it with the Greenstuffworld flagstone roller, and liberally dunked it in the same grit basing material for the rest of the army.

I went back and gave the base a spray with a combination of water/wood glue in order to get better adhesion (read: stop losing basing material) after an initial PVA layer for the sand having repurposed a Febreze spray bottle to apply it. I feel good on multiple levels for how industrious I am right now.

Yes, its that big

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Spoiler Alert!

I just got in my model for the alternate version of what I wanted to put Hasn Al Qlb al Akrab upon as a beast mount. It appears to be larger than expected. (snicker… smirk)

 

I’ve read the rules for Saga basing with the understanding that there needs to be a base attached to the model and it can’t be greater than the dimensions for the type of unit being fielded. Well, I’ve gone to the source at Studio Tomahawk and asked if there could be some clarification if limbs of beasts in Age of Magic, that happened to extend beyond the base limitation for unit type, were permissible if attached to a smaller base.

So I now wait for the ruling and hope that the odds are in my favor and I watch my opponents soil themselves when my leader comes to the table on his tiny 60mm base. Then again the 90x120mm monster base might still be of use for a Behemoth.

 

Edit: After reaching out to Studio Tomahawk the official ruling was to leave it in the hands of the players and any event organizers to decide legality I’ve also done some reading again for the max size of a warlord on a beast and will be changing the basing to a 80x50mm rectangle with rounded corners on a radius in order to be more realistic about base sizing. I made a call directly to Litko Game Accessories to arrange procuring them and await a response after leaving a message.

All Hasn's horses and all Hasn's men

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All facial hair present and or accounted forAll facial hair present and or accounted for
All peasents presentAll peasents present
All work; no horseplay!All work; no horseplay!

So I went back to do all the facial hair and eyes.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I found a way to cheat! A Pigma Micron 005 black pen is just the right size to consistently make eyes in scale without killing your own or going insane with trying to stop the jitters caused by nervous twitches or caffeine. Aside from that I revisited all the foot soldiers to paint over their kanjar (those beautifully curved daggers) on their belts. Feeling feisty I also thought “Should I finish off any other oddball detailing? Eh, why the hell not?”. It was then that I finished the  cavalry in its entirety and all other bits and bobs for the footmen. With that done I tossed on some tufts for fun and visual effects before spraying all parts with Testor’s Dullcote for all the matte parts. I went back over my metallics with VMC Natural Steel and washed with GW Nuln Oil. No undercoat with gloss black to start as I think there’s only so much effort I can put in before getting overwhelmed by the growing scale of this project…. which reminds me. The skirmish trays from Litko really help to keep things organized.

Things can only be taken to a greater level from here as the fantasy of Age of Magic demands the fantastic!

Commanding the masses

Tutoring 9
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A proud full frontalA proud full frontal
Round and round for a Lloyd and other shot anglesRound and round for a Lloyd and other shot angles

Here is the glorious leader of my Arabian Knights forces, Hasn Al Qlb al’Akrab, in all of his glory for regular Saga. I was quite pleased with going back over the whole thing with Testor’s Dullcote. The rattlecan version of the formula seemed to just seal the figures and make it all glossy. Making certain that I had the glass bottle variety all shaken before loading the airbrush and doing short bursts of coverage has given this command group real definition as the matte settles the details of the paint. Admittedly it would look all the better once I got my banner on the pole for the flag bearer but for the moment it looks damn spiffy as I work regular work and set back the time to play with Photopea and edit the design. I’m also thinking about how the hell to get it printed as I neither have a printer nor am willing to just randomly get it as a Fiverr gig. I think that the amount of cash that I’d need to shell out would be more than just one flag, therefore requiring more work to design and have things on hand to add to models.

On the command group I’m rather happy with the design work that came out from the masking. It does need more work in order to perfect this technique and might well be better suited for simpler curves on models for flowing fabric. Then again I might revisit the spray duration as either short bursts that are drawn over or lower pressure continuous spray with a quick pass. Other than that the design work for the clothes was the only other technical component that I think I managed with the minimal amount of fouling. I might be wrong there but for freehand I’m not stressing too much since I think there’s enough detail to keep the eyes wandering. The waterslide decal from Little Big Men definitely gave a front view something to arrest attention while a mixture of tufts from Army Painter litters the ground nicely. As Lloyd is fond of adding horses to the total model count for cavalry I think dropping four models on a 60mm base as I have has worked well.

  • As far as progress along what I’ve mentioned I will be done with the regular troops finishing touches as long as work doesn’t run me down too badly in the near future.
  • The banner will be worked on and hopefully printed quickly. I might need to do some digging as to where I can get this done aside from an office supply store. I’m not keen on the idea of what kind of color balance I’d get with that.
  • The ultra interesting and most excellent unit that I needed to possess has arrived. I’ve cleaned the models of flash and mold lines. I’ve added weapons that needed to be put on. I need to repair/modify a few details here and there but all is will with regard to them. I’ve already got paint schemes in mind and I’ll be ready to go quickly.
  • My expanded option for Age of Magic is underway and I’m busy in the background making things happen. I’ve dropped The Russian as my ultra secret task seems to be below the commie mutant bastard (see the game Paranoia). I’ve opted for a secondary source and I’ll be getting more work done that Gerry can’t peer over the electronic fence upon my progress like the neighbor in the series “Home Improvement”. He’ll just have to wait like the rest of you. People should be glad that I don’t resort to the measures of German intelligence and start doing my typing on an  actual typewriter to avoid digital sneakery.

Not quite just a simple one or two more things

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So it seems like when one wants something it can’t just *poof* appear as they wish, huh? Well, I’m currently dog-sitting at a friend’s house and unable to do hobby this week. I’m negotiating with The Russian about my upcoming digital project and have arranged payment to be made (its all hush hush type stuff for the rest of you lot not to know yet). The printer is back and gladly awaiting the gig on Fiverr as I have other tasks that I’ve decided to go ahead with otherwise.

I’ve fallen victim to expanding my force with more minis that “I had to have” which means I’ll, of course, need to get more bases to give it all a grand presentation when this is all said and done. Ugh… can’t I just do this all on clear acrylic? Pffft! Dash that nonsense. I’m glad that my Age of Magic assets are taken care of with regard to MDF basing already on hand as I just need to actually get them, assemble the parts, base and paint. Those are just the little details, right?

I swear that all of this really will be worthwhile to those of you following along on this meandering … Squirrel!!! Seriously though I’ll set out my next steps:

  • Finish the command corps paint scheme and basing
  • Finishing touches on all the regular troops (faces/weapons/basing details)
  • Finally rework the banner and get it printed
  • Receive and paint up another mounted unit (the one I saw and said “That must be mine.”)
  • Show first unit of expanded options from an Age of Magic battleboard

 

Taking the mask off!!

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Pre-priming photo shotPre-priming photo shot
Present painting gloryPresent painting glory

In looking at the paint so far all the turbans tie my dudes together with a color element. This element needed to be centered on the head honcho, his attendants and the waving banner which marked the fearless man of action. With that in mind the banner needed to be reworked. To say that I hate the prospect and ensuing work is an understatement; I really liked the way my first run of the banner looked.

Oh, did I forget to mention I changed my mind about a color scheme? Well blow my nose, I did in fact do something radical yet again.

Short hiatus for the week

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So I sat and decided to take a bit of a break from Saga (Yes, I admit to my transgression, I have come back to my project only to self flagellate.. flatulate? Lol). I only did so to recharge my batteries. It also is due to the fact that I wanted to get some non-painting work done.

I’m in communication with a 3D sculptor from Russia and a printer here in the US to get a copy of my idea together. I’ve painted some non-Saga minis (relax already, its only for a short time) and now I’m tackling the Big Projects I stated I’d be doing. I have only a few more basic Saga posts left before the major Age of Magic stuff comes around.

Here comes the cavalry!!!

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Barely scripted, nearly unedited and almost uncut

Legal disclaimer: Stallions unrelated to Elke or Megan Thee

Throwing a monkey wrench into the mix in order to get more content out I thought finishing off these guys and letting my ideas collect for the leader and his retinue was in order. Switching my direction of travel like throwing the E-brake and drifting into these minis seemed like a good idea. We’ll see how well it worked out from your opinions.

Horse painting commenced and breaks down as follows….

Brown:
Airbrush VMA Burnt Umber 71.040
Drybrush RMS Intense Brown 09138
Drybrush RMS Chestnut Gold 09073
Wash GW Reikland Fleshshade

Black:
Airbrush VMA Black
Drybrush 1:1 VMA black/RMS Midnight Blue
Wash Nuln Oil

White:
Airbrush Gray
Drybrush 1:1 gray/RMS white (slight contamination of previous brown that wasn’t cleaned off well)

I initially had no set idea for what could be done for the patterns of fabric but I believed that I might want to see about getting some help in reducing the detail level somehow. That didn’t happen as I kept rolling around the thought of “If you do something, do it well; leave a sign to let the world know that you were there”.

Here I’ve looked at the footsoldiers and considered what was done with the dishdasha on the 4pt box art for soldiers and hearthguard. I think I went a step beyond what I intended but I stepped back and considered the color palette. These needed to be brighter as it would be more expensive and attention grabbing; my problem had been solved by pigment prices.

Further on with the cavalry I had an idea about the riders. Yet again I find myself both loving and hating the fact that I push the envelope for detail at times. I was inspired by the decorated Easter eggs that are typically seen all made up for the celebrations of Orthodox Christians and then my recollection of the intricate tile work of the Islamic world.

Dramatic Robe? Check! Horn? Check! Big Banner? Uhh.. Check!

Tutoring 8
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2 Comments

Slight disclaimer: There were noises made by some semi-Internet-famous entities that this project wasn’t updated enough. Well, just like good bowel movements, this will get some more regularity

Collected command elementCollected command element

My little dudes are now the epitome of making battle beautiful, atleast outside of the fabulous fashion sense and antics of things related to Slaanesh. I’m quite pleased with the results of all my figures, to include the noble steeds, as these take the cake for the regular game. I’m also happy with the difference made by the lighting in my room.

Right now the pinnacle of the regular game must be attended to.

The initial cohesive pattern for the command unit was a thought that ended up becoming a critical element. All the warriors on foot and horseback stand as unique entities for clothing from cash. The levy are dirt poor and by virtue of conscription have cheap clothes but, as we have seen, this leader of men cannot have his roused rabble running about in rags so they got uniforms. In the end the command would stand on its own too but must first be built. Having looked at the max base size for warlords in Saga I thought that the 60mm footprint was good to put multiple figures on.

I modified the heads a little with greenstuff as the shemaugh have been unwrapped and show the faces. This really was a case where I wasn’t happy with the one armored head option that came on the sprues and found a way to hide the chain coif while tying in the helmet/turban that was done with others.

Unlike Lloyd’s experience sometime back with pinning hands I managed to not blow out the fingers in the hand held forward. The only issue I had was that the rear hand still had the remnants of the spear I clipped from the spearmen arm I had plenty of. There was no way to clean that off so I drilled through it and just fed the piano wire between the hands. Pretty damn good I say to just eyeball the angles for and get as close as I did.

The trumpeter was again more wire work that needed to be done. The plastic sculpt is beautiful, the drawback is that the horn is flimsy and broke at the hand. Again, just a bit of alignment was required to make this a non-issue. A little bit of glue liberally hit with accelerant that was sanded down to shape would see the detail problem resolved.

The final build portion for my army’s leader was now at hand. More scratchbuild modeling with greenstuff was the way to go. In order to make the figure significant I added a robe that billowed from riding in order to break up the monotony of the plastic sprue bodies. Its nice to have uniform parts that I can build as I need pieces but this was going to be my centerstage piece for regular Saga. To have that detail meant I could show off some paint skills later that would signify he didn’t buckle swashes but had cash to sling on silks and scimitars as I was inspired by the metal Mutatawwi’a leader from Gripping Beast. I got this all done before I found out about the Saladin figure that would have lead me down the path of putting the horse in a 12th century flapper dress.

Prior to all the primerPrior to all the primer

The whole thing is a multi-element base so I’ll finish it all and then base appropriately to tie all the figures together. What I need to do now is finalize my banner and have it printed. I see good things in the future.

This man has money

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
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6 Comments
Look! Even his peasants have shoes!!!Look! Even his peasants have shoes!!!

I decided that it might not be in the best interest of presenting a fine and noble man such as Hasn without presentable peasants. It is the lowliest of men that are the example of exactly how wealthy and mighty a ruler may be.

I painted the dishdasha with what I think is VMC Khaki Shade. I can’t say for certain as I’ve had it for so long and used it so many times that I’ve rubbed the label blank from handling. and the washed with GW Reikland Fleshshade and highlighted before the mandatory inclusion of the blue people seem to think is the bees knees. I’m fond of it myself since it keeps as a compliment to a general yellowed tone to my army. What else can you expect from the desert… maybe some red, a touch of pinks, the occasional green? No, this is not that kind of desert. Maybe another army will get that but for now you get yellowed brown, nearly baby turd brown. No color joy for you with the desert!

Anywhat, the simple freehand to break visual space was something to give these guys some flair to their generally drab attire. Its nothing fancy as these guys lack money for better threads but the lord of the land can’t have underdressed murder hobos in the lowest ranks of his

Swish you said? I say not swish enough!!!

Tutoring 9
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1 Comment
I'll flap mine proudly in the breeze, thank youI'll flap mine proudly in the breeze, thank you

I heard the term “swish” relating to my work thus far and got all chuffed thinking that my effort was not in vain so more effort was going to be put into making this project fancy. As posted before, I had a much different shape than the standard square in mind, since I saw what Little Big Men Studio put out with crenellated banners that caught my attention. This digital work helps as I’m preparing boxes and making ready to relocate to where I can set up a proper hobby desk once more.

In building the banner to what I saw in my head I thought finding a border was most useful. I managed to hunt down a Victorian era styled border that would serve me. There was quite a bit of rebuilding for what would be the leeward edge as it began as a full rectangle. After I got that all done I copied the main layer of the circular name and placed it. The colors will need to be reworked as I could only salvage the initial black image from the many layers. This isn’t a loss as I’ve cleaned up everything and I can begin to edit again. I’m a little miffed that I’ll need to relocate a diamond mesh texture that looked good at 28mm scale but the Internet is vast and I have time before any printing.

There’s more work to be done as far as fabric texturing and any warping due to curvature in the banner is concerned but this is a good place to put out progress beyond figures.

Not painting at the moment, I’ve managed to do a quick build of levy archers and plan what I’ll have for my standard Saga warlord. I’ve thought to use the same parts on him to keep consistency between fantasy and regular play. Since I can only track down a Saracen banner bearer from Gripping Beast on horseback I think I’ll just kitbash one on foot. Oh joy, more customization!

Now in colorNow in color

Project Runway... Medieval Middle East Edition

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2nd squad of eight

I plugged away at trying to make every one of these guys an individual (cue Life of Brian) and I think I did a good job in not explicitly repeating patterns. No I do not plan on creating such a broad array of insane brocade in future… though I won’t rule that out as this project is a building love/hate relationship from the level of intricacy its beginning to have.

Now on to painting up the cavalry. This will be a bit for the riders as I’m about to move but the horses are nearly there. After that I have my leader planned for regular play. I’m very excited to start on the fantasy elements and share them here.

Lloyd shots...in SAGA!?!

Tutoring 11
Skill 13
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1st squad of eight

Not quite as terrifying as tigers in Africa but not any less important to take note of. These tiny fighting men donned only the best in haute couture for the fray as it would be dishonorable to show up in anything less.

The problem of painting all this is that you need to get to the torsos of the models to align fabric patterns. Initially I thought this couldn’t be done with the shields doing what they are intended to do, blocking ready access to the body, but I was wrong. I’m not so involved in these being painted perfectly from a 2′-2″ rule or box art but they’ll do the job I want and catch eyes.

Fortunately I have learned this lesson as I build the horsemen and will be adding shields after painting the clothing/armor.

Nope, not toasted quite enough yet

Tutoring 11
Skill 12
Idea 12
No Comments

Getting about to the pain of working Photopea was not as bad as initially conceived. I started into the process of inverting the black and white for the netting layer with Ctrl+I. I then went on to changing the color of the lettering with the Magic Wand tool (W a couple of times and you’ll see the icon change under the lasso tool) to select a general area of the script. The program already lacks a background to worry about as I have already erased it from the layer.

Nope, not toasted quite enough yet

A portion of the image gets selected and I jump into the search area for Fill. I don’t need to retype the command I want as Photopea has saved it.

Nope, not toasted quite enough yet

I saved the Hex code for the specific color(1a1ad8) as I got tired of entering the rest of the value information. This is definitely something that copy/paste comes in handy for. With that all done the area is filled with the appropriate color and a new layer is created in a growing list of entries. I’ll merge these all down later to create a cohesive image.

Nope, not toasted quite enough yet

A happy accident from all this is that the script does have defects from the program not completely filling in the shapes. When I remove the underlying layer of initial black it shows some fading that I might just keep running with. The circle was done with another tool that lacked variance as the pigment image did so I’ll manually add the effects there if I do.

This seems to have come out well and I have a few more ideas to run with in order to create the banner with serrations to flap wildly in the breeze.

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