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Dungeons and Doggies in the frozen wastes

Dungeons and Doggies in the frozen wastes

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Project Blog by warbossd Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

As a dog lover I backed the Dungeons and Doggies kickstarter many moons ago and apart from one model painted for a painting competition I haven't touched them. Now is the time to return to the project.

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Finding a purpose

Tutoring 15
Skill 17
Idea 17
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One of the problems I have with getting work done is that without a definite end game I tend to stall out and dump things into my ever growing pile of…potential.

My old club runs a casual painting competition every month and in March 2022 the theme was ‘Underdog’. A friend pointed out these miniatures would be an easy win for the theme so I began to brainstorm what I would do with them when painted.

I don’t play D&D much any more so I was unlikely to ever use them as intended but with the great variety in model type a skirmish warband for some game or other seemed possible.

I toyed with the idea of Burrows and Badgers but those models have a character all of their own and are much more anthropomorphic with human hands etc.

Eventually I decided on Frostgrave as its a game I love and it’s the perfect way to use eclectic fantasy models.

Morgaine - Wizard's Apprentice

As a dachshund owner this had to be one of the first models I tackled. I decided to go with a classic black and tan coat.

Base coats – (Vallejo Model Color paints)

Cape – Dark Red

Fur – Black

Shirt – Iraqi Sand

Harness – Khaki Grey

Knife handle – Green Grey

Trousers – Dark Seagreen

After base coats, a liberal coat of Agrax Earthshade mutes everything down.

Highlights and details

Cape – Carmine Red then Dark Vermillion

Fur – Black Grey

Tan patches on muzzle and paws – Initially 3 parts Red Leather with 1 part Tan Earth. The next step is the same colours in a 1:1 mix.

Shirt – Buff

Harness – Japanese Uniform

Knife handle – German Camo Beige

Metal details were painted with Natural Steel.

The chest medallion was painted with a Copper surround. The central detail was a undercoat of Magenta with Deep Yellow over the top. The demon’s eye detail was then painted in with Black.

The eyes were painted in English Uniform with Black pupils.

Flint - Marksman Specialist

Having no idea what a Blue Heeler looks like, Google images was my friend. With a stock photo sorted painting began.

Base coats – (Vallejo Model Color paints)

Hood – Flat Green

Rope – Stone Grey

Feathers – Sky Grey

Bedroll and shirt – German Camo Orange Ochre

Fur – Black Grey

Metals – Natural Steel

Crossbow and quarrels – Burnt Umber

Saddlebags – German Camo Medium Brown

After base coats, a liberal coat of Agrax Earthshade gets us ready for highlighting.

Highlights and details

Hood – Uniform Green

Feathers – White

Bedroll and shirt – Yellow Ochre

Fur – To try and copy the coat from the images I applied a stippling of Neutral Grey to all the grey areas. Then I painted the pale tan areas on the muzzle and inside the legs with a mix of Tan Earth and Sunny Skintone. Lastly a very light drybrush of White on the face and tail achieved a close approximation of a Blue Heeler’s coat.

Crossbow and quarrels – Beige Brown

Saddlebags – Khaki grey

The eyes were painted in English Uniform and the nose was painted Black.

Magic and muscle

Tutoring 12
Skill 12
Idea 12

Cornelius - Wizard

While I haven’t decided what school I want my Wizard to be this will definitely be the model .

The base coats were as follows:

Fur and bones – Beige Brown

Leather straps and stitches on hat patches – German Camo Medium Brown

Books and medallion round neck – Leather brown

Wristbands and blanket on back – Dark Prussian Blue

Hat – Intermediate Blue

Wrappings on large  bone – Deck tan

Pouch with stitching and corks in potion bottles etc. – Green Ochre

Neckband for medallion and scroll case – Burnt Red

Tongue – Magenta

Potions – Magenta, Royal Purple, Turquoise, Olive Green

Buckles – Natural Steel

Agrax earthshade unifies the scheme and shades all of the colours before highlighting.

Fur – Yellow Ochre then buff to muzzle and top of tail and back.

Hat – Intermediate Blue

Wristbands and blanket – Dark Blue

Leather straps – Khaki Grey

Books – US Field Drab

Potions – Magenta, Royal Purple/Desert Yellow mix, Sky Blue, Lime Green

Stitches on hat patches – Desert Yellow

Bones – Dark Sand

Neckband and scroll case – Flat Red

Tongue – Pink. This didn’t give a very realistic look so a secong paler highlight of pink and white mix was added.

The dog is a golden retriever and to my eye the coat was too beige and lacked any vibrancy so I added a very thin coat of Game Workshop Yellow Glaze over all the fur coat.

Cassandra - Templar

As usual base coats are all  Vallejo Model Color unless otherwise stated.

Fur – Sky Grey on all areas that will be white and German grey on the darker areas

Armour and weapon – German grey undercoat then Gunmetal

Tail – Iraqi Sand

Pouches – German Camo Medium Brown

Mace handle – Mahogany Brown

Normally I find using a single wash step like Agrax earthshade unifies the model and brings all of the colours ‘together’ as opposed to using coloured washes on unique colours. However it was obvious from the reference images that the stark back/grey/white of the husky coat is as stark as the snowy environment it thrives in.

So to keep the cold contrast I wash the armour and husky fur in Nuln Oil black wsh and used Agrax on the tail and mace handle to retain a bot of warmth in the colours.

Highlights were as follows:

Fur and tail – Light grey then white on all the light fur. The darker fur was just touched with a bit of basalt grey.

Armour and weapon – Silver highlighting and Brass on armour filigree detail

Pouches – Khaki Grey

Mace handle – Beige Brown initially, although this didn’t generate enough contrast for my taste, so I added a highlight of beige brown/tan yellow 50:50 mix

Nose – black

Eyes are commonly mismatched in huskies so I did one Khaki Grey and the other Deep Sky Blue

Right, let's get this finished

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
1 Comment

This project, like so many others got shelved as my easily distracted attention was drawn elsewhere, but starting a new Red King campaign for Frostgrave at my gaming brought me back to it.

So, being an opportunist I thought I’d throw it under the banner of the Spring Clean Challenge for 2024.

The warband

Looking at my well over 20 Dungeons and Doggies models, I made a warband of 7 models. In our 3 player campaign we are restricting warbands to 7 models to avoid games becoming overlong. I will discuss individual models and paint schemes for newly painted models below but first I will revisit the ones I had previously painted.

Cornelius the Golden Retriever will now be an apothecary and not a wizard.

Morgaine the Dachshund will remain my apprentice.

Flint the Blue Heeler will be a crossbowman, well, because he has a crossbow.

Also the observant among you will notice the bases have texture under the primer which is not present on the original models. This is just sand glued down with PVA, applied prior to priming.

Tonka - Mastiff

Having decided I wanted to run an elementalist warband, I chose a vibrant colour for Tonka’s cloak.

All colours are Vallejo Model Color unless otherwise noted.

Fur – Ochre Brown

Chest and lighter areas – Off-white

These areas are blended using both paints in a 50/50 mix.

Face and ears – Dark Grey

These darker areas are blended into the adjacent areas of coat with Ochre Brown and a touch of Dark Grey

Shirt – Violet Red

Cape – Blue Green

Ruff and bone clasp – Dark Sand

Kazoo – Bright Orange and Off-white

Pouches and belt – English Uniform

Mouth and tongue – Old Rose

Chain collar and arm bands – Black then Brass and Natural Steel

The whole model was washed with Citadel Agrax Earthshade.

The Agrax significantly muted the colours in the model so I restored some of that by reapplying selected base coats.

Fur – Ochre Brown

Cape – Blue Green

Muzzle and ears – Neutral Grey

Basing was done with an even coat of German Grey and drybrushed with Neutral Grey.

The scrappers

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4

Rupert - Thug

Rupert is a Jack Russell terrier.

Fur – Orange Brown and Off-white as a pattern

Jacket – Yellow Oliva

Hood – Brown Violet

Sleeves, belt and pouches – Medium Sea Grey

Collar, sword hilt, scabbard – Purple

Stitches, dart shafts – Burnt Umber

Shield, sword hilt, scabbard base, sword pommel – Black then Oily Steel

Nose, eyes, lips – Black

Dart feathers – Off-white

To give the pinkish look of skin which commonly shows through on many areas of white coated dogs, I washed the muzzle and underside of belly in Game Wash Red

The rest of the model washed in Citadel Agrax Earthshade

Basing was the usual German Grey drybrushed with Neutral Grey.

Angel - Man at arms

Angel is an American Pitbull Terrier.

Fur – orange brown (Off-white under chin)

Hood – Light Green Blue

Bodysuit? – Azure

Bodysuit trim, shield, mace handle – Blue

Bedroll, gaiters – Medium Grey

Pouches, straps – Dark Yellow

Nose, lips – Mahogany Brown

Potion bottles – Sunset Red

Collar – Chocolate Brown

Mace head and pommel, neck chain, buckles – Chocolate Brown then Bronze

Roger - Man at arms

Roger is a Bull Terrier.

Fur – Off-white

Jacket – Military Green

Belt, satchel, boots – Red Leather

Rope (neck and belt), bone in hat, cork in bottle – Desert Yellow

Neck pouch – Luftwaffe Uniform

Sword handle, bottle, spots on fur – Grey Blue

Tongue – Old Rose

Scabbard, hat, wristbands, eyes, nose – Black

Scabbard, rivets, epaulettes, wristbands, sword hilt – Gold

The hat was drybrushed Neutral Grey just to bring out the edges.

The muzzle and underside of belly were washed in Game Wash Red

The rest of the models is washed with Citadel Agrax Earthshade

The lore and snow basing

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
1 Comment

But why dogs?

Now, although Frsotgrave is a wonderfully open game system and I could use any models I like without need for justification, I wanted to at least have a stab at qualifying my use of dogs in the Frostgrave ‘lore’.

Cue dramatic music…

After the disaster that destroyed the mighty magical empire, whose capital was Felstadt, many of those wizards remaining became isolated outcasts, pariahs from those cultures that survived the magical ice age that Felstadt caused.

Many wizard enclaves began to view the culture of Felstadt as decadent and cursed. While the use of magic and its research was still their main drive, they began to eschew the humanistic elements of their past and look to the natural world for both inspiration and moral direction.

One such group was the Guild of PAWS (Polymorph Archwizards and Servants). This network of wizard colleges revered the ways that animals maintained a balanced and harmonious relationship with the natural world, in a way that human kind never had. All Guild members and their servants were required to undergo a process of permanent magical polymorph into an animal form of their choosing.

PAWS warbands do not hire followers like other warbands. Followers and hirelings are actually members of the Guild cult and follow their patron wizard through an almost religious obsession. The ‘cost’ of hirelings for a PAWS warband is actually the cost of carrying out the permanent polymorph spell on that follower.

The Guild of PAWS is further subdivided into many subfactions, one of which is WOOF, or the Wizard Order Of Felstadt. Members of this group revere the dog above all animals, and as a result all members are polymorphed into various breeds of dog on joining.

Snow basing

The snow effect on the bases was a blend of three different snow products.

In a small container I blended

Gatehouse Gaming Snowy Peak – 1 part

Colour Forge Basing Snow Super Fine – 2 parts

Woodland Scenics Soft Flake Snow – 2 parts.