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Monthly Archives: July 2014

The amazing artwork of my wife Shannon

She is wonderful and talented. At gaming conventions I’m often complemented that Shannon is so “tolerant” to let me spend six days at Origins or three days at Diecon. I smile and say she isn’t “tolerant” she is a participant or a partner! She reads graphic novels, plays role playing games, will occasionally push lead on the gaming table and is learning to paint miniatures as well.

The last builds on her already sharp skills as a water-colorist. It is a great pleasure for me to showcase some of her art here on my web page! I look forward to Shannon doing some of the interior art for the second edition of Stars of Empire. Enough about that, here is her artwork!

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She is a talented artists and the most wonderful wife and partner a person could ask for. This is a very small way of saying thanks for everything she brings to our life together.

 

 

 

 

A closer look at Ravenstar Studios

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I painted up some of the Ravenstar Studios resin castings. I’ve painted up three of the Horrids both the A and B tanks and the Mother APC. I also have one of the Landcore walking tanks.

Land Core Walking Tank.

Land Core Walking Tank.

The three Horrids are very interesting. I liked them when I first got them but found them even more admirable once I started working on them. The detail is outstanding. The surface detail is enough that they would look presentable with a base coat, wash and dry brush. I decided that I wanted to do more than that though. These are great castings and look even better (I think) with a more detailed paint job. I was finally able to get some time Friday evening after wrestling with the 5 1/2 hour long multiple choice endurance test called the Certified Safety Professional Examination (I won’t get the official results for a couple of weeks but the computer said I passed!)   Ok enough about that, what about Ravenstar’s castings.

The three Horrids in a row, looking for lunch?

The three Horrids in a row, looking for lunch?

 

The three giant bugs are very big indeed, at least in 15mm. They are bigger than anything I’ve ever fielded for my Hive and the Flame games in 15mm, almost twice as big as Brigade’s I’ve been using as Supra Major Shooters.   The Mother APC is a three part kit. In honestly I didn’t work hard to get the one flap to lay flush, I liked it being a bit akimbo. One of the interesting features of the miniatures is the “face” . It has over a dozen eyes on it. I painted these blue, because it seemed like red or back would be cliche.

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I still think the horn looks a lot like Tundro’s from Herculoids (which isn’t a bad thing-I loved that show). There is a lot of good detail that showed up under the brush, and in this case I did give it just the simple three step, base, wash, dry brush treatment. The results seem pretty good. As I said I thought he two Tanks deserved a bit more. I gave them both a green motif, one with broad stripes, as indicated the detail on the casting. The legs on these two are also more prominent than on the Mother APC, so they got more detailing as well.

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One of the Horrids tanks about to munch on an Old Glory Royal Artilleryman

One of the Horrids tanks about to munch on an Old Glory Royal Artilleryman

The striped texture of the casting gave me the idea to give the creature a more complex color scheme

The striped texture of the casting gave me the idea to give the creature a more complex color scheme

I again thought about red for the open mouths but decided that it would give the critters a Christmas color look I really wanted to avoid. The vermilion around the black teeth brought out the detail on the “gums” really well.

 

The walking tank with its heavy artillery repurosed as smoke stacks

The walking tank with its heavy artillery re-purposed as smoke stacks

Finally the human walking tank itself got a three color scheme (sorta late war German WW2 colors). I used a reddish brown base coat and then put on silly putty to mask the undercoats. I them gave it a dark wash and a drybrushing. As I said. I though these looked nice in the raw. But I found them a blast to paint and think the results are pretty decent. I’m not sure if they will fit in the HQC universe but they are really nice. I really look forward to more in this line!

Ravenstar-I couldn’t wait to paint them before I got a review out!

I just found a new (to me) resin miniatures company Ravenstar Studios http://www.ravenstarstudios.com/. I had seen their work before at the Ironwind booth at Origins. That booth stocked their various starship miniatures, which were very nice but luckily for my wallet I didn’t need. Then I found their web site and came across their “Horrids” which are part of their 15mm Land Core line.

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These are a wide range of bug type critters. I ordered an assortment, the two big tanks, the APC the gas bug and a couple of other smaller ones. I also bought one of the Land Core Walking tanks.

 

First off service was excellent and everything arrived very quickly and very well packaged. Shipping was very reasonable.

Once I unpacked the raw castings they proved to be far nicer than I expected from the web site pictures. The two big bug tanks are multi-part, and each has the choice of one of two heads. One of each of the heads has an open mouth, the other closed and all four heads are scary! The A tank has a single large retractable weapon mounted far aft on its centerline and the B version a pair of smaller weapons, also on retractable mounts. The Mother APC has a single horn on its forehead that reminds me a lot of Tundro from the Herculoids. It has a pair of side “doors” for use as a carrier for some of the smaller Horrids creatures. One of those castings, the Screamer looks very much like a Tremors (II and II) Shrieker. It is about the right size in 15mm for that role. The Horrids Bug is a four legged creature but otherwise makes a good generalized insectoid warrior with its dangerous looking mandibles. The Gas Bag is just what it says it is, a bulbous animal with a a scary multi-eyed “face” and lots of tentacles.

 

I built the walking tank as a VSF machine. This was super simple. I just installed what should have been a pair of ginormous cannons vertically and called them smoke stacks. This machine will never be able to use a hull down or hide position but it does look pretty good. The one complaint about this machine is it lacks any sort of feet at the end of its legs. The pointy little ends of the legs would have a huge amount of trouble walking on anything but hard stone.

Ral Partha true 25 cavalryman shows scale of the weapons mounts and the Screamer

The bigger bugs tanks and APC run between 14 and 16 dollars and so does the walking tank. For their size and complexity this pricing is reasonable and the smaller castings are very well priced. Nice work from Ravenstar Studios! Their Land Core line has some really good potential and I very much look forward to seeing what comes next!