The Frostgrave Project, part Two

Band of Bones

The full warband is finished, with names and everything! This is the Band of Bones, centered around a Necromancer and her little sister. Here’s the roster:

Despaine Sisters

Diaphne Despaine was once the heir to an enormously wealthy and influential family. When she reached her late teens, she began to withdraw from friends and loved ones, and rumors began to circulate around the city that she was dabbling in the Dark Arts. Diaphne was confronted by her father, who was surprised to find not only Diaphne, but her younger sister Delphine working together to reanimate the corpse of a child who had been missing for some time. Disgusted, their father banished them from his home. Now the Despaine sisters wander the Deadlands, searching for the magics they would need to raise an army to take back their home. The sisters have gathered a small, yet loyal following, who have taken to calling themselves the Band of Bones.

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The first soul to swear loyalty to the Despaines was Mikesh, a penitent Barbarian seeking enlightenment in the Deadlands. Mikesh claims he can see the Goddess of Death working her magics through the sisters, and has pledged eternal fealty to their cause. Next came “Lucky” Frink, a Man-at-Arms who has somehow managed to elude death’s embrace, despite suffering grievous wounds in service to the Despaine Sisters. Frink believes the Necromancers are the secret to his longevity, and that it’s in his best interest to stay in their employ.

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Two Toofs and Smiley Sim are less loyal than greedy. The Despaine Sisters pay well for protection, and Two Toofs is saving up for more “teefs.” Smiley Sim is very good at swinging his mace, and finds a lot of happiness in crushing skulls.

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Handsome Jank is a disgraced knight from the Northlands, and has sworn his heart to Delphine. She, in turn, has told him she will wed him, but only after he has died in her service a dozen times. He appears to be about half-way there. Gasbag was a farmhand, but his love of fermented foods made him unpopular with his family. He still wields the sickle he used to harvest their heads.

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Dim Dugg and Deadeye Gormush are twin brothers, born of a barren fishmonger and cast out with the nets. They lived on fish entrails and snails until they were old enough to fight, at which point they fell in with the local thieve’s guild. Dim Dugg isn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch, but he has deft fingers and a keen eye for traps. Deadeye is somehow a crack shot with his bow, despite being nearly blind from drinking turpintine as a child.

That’s the Band of Bones, kids! Next up I’m going to work on some terrain to play on, including a blasted tower that should add a lot of sniper perches for Deadeye and Two Toofs!

The Frostgrave Project, part One

I’ve been spending a lot of time painting miniatures again. It’s been pretty therapeutic, and that has led me to actually finding a group of people I can game with occasionally without wanting to kill everyone. It’s been nice, and not something I realized I was missing so badly.

Sometimes, it’s nice to push little plastic monsters into other little plastic monsters and see what happens.

Frostgrave caught my eye about a year ago, mostly because it keeps being compared to Mordheim, the great-grandparent of fantasy skirmish wargames. After looking over the rules, I think Frostgrave might be the better game. The rules are less convoluted, yet there is still plenty of flavor and character packed into the rules.

So, I decided to paint up a warband. The first group I put together was a bunch of dwarves, centered around an Elemental wizard. I rounded up some cool minis, mostly from the Wizkids Deep Cuts line. But something happened:

Cultists box
I FOUND THESE IN MY GARAGE.

I must have bought them a year ago and forgot about them when we moved. They are multi-piece models, and you can put a bunch of creepy little dudes together for about $35. So, the dwarves went onto the project shelf, and the hunt for proper wizards to lead the band began!

I found these Human Wizards in the Wizkids Pathfinder line, and figured I could do some customizing to make them a little less cheesecakey.  I cut the heads off of both, sculpted some cowls with epoxysculpt, and added a couple of hooded heads from the cultists box. I’ll add some pics on the next post, but they look pretty cool.

Next up was the warband, I decided to go with a death cult to make things ominous. One PVC mini Barbarian from the Reaper Bones line joined seven cultists from the boxed set, and then it was paint time!

I went with reds, browns, and dark grays for this project. The initial colors were blocked in first, with some preliminary shading and highlighting. This was about four hours of work, and I was getting a little frustrated with the reds.

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Night two, and I fixed the frustrating reds. The shading I had used was too heavy handed, and the highlights weren’t showing through well enough. I’m much happier now! Bases were textured with ground cork, and finishing details will start tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have my light box finished, and I can get some good detail shots of the finished figures!

What’s coming after that? Well, I need an ancient city to play on. And knowing the way my brain works, I won’t play until the terrain is done!

Sometimes, I do Cute (part 2)

After finishing up the vegan tee shirt design, I decided to work some other animals into the series. The first thing I noticed is that my style has changed, which is most likely due to using a tablet to draw on now. The warthog and otter are the first of a new series, and will be worked into a story that has been percolating in the back of my head for nearly 20 years!

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On the Creative Impulse

I used to manage the entire overnight operations of the banking arm of a Fortune 500 company. I was promoted to the position because I could see inherent flaws in certain types of operational practices and came to the table with multiple solutions that might work to solve that problem. Said company was impressed, and thought “let’s give this guy a team comprised of student loans specialists, as well as a smattering of investment ninjas from the consumer banking department.” There was a parade, balloon animals, and all was good in the world.

That was, to put it bluntly, the second worst decision made in any of my vocational arrangements. The first worst decision was me accepting the job. I am not in any way a Leader of Men. I don’t have a lot of compassion for people who don’t want to work, and I have little patience for laziness. I work my ass off, and if anyone is working with me, I expect the same. I don’t work well in the traditional American Corporate Management structure because I don’t want to babysit, coddle, or motivate anyone… I just want to get the job done. Quickly, and in a preferably efficient manner.

The first realization that they had made a terrible mistake was when they had me take the Carnegie Strengths in Business test. The typical Strengths that a strong manager would have were WAAAAAAY at the bottom of my list, whereas problem solving traits were towards the top. Something called Ideation was the giant cherry on top.

What is Ideation? Well, it’s a mindset that is always thinking of new ways to do something, or just new somethings in general. I do it all the time. I am doing it right now. Imagine, now, working for someone who isn’t in the slightest bit worried about how your work performance is today, because he’s thinking of ways to streamline the way you do your job in the future? It’s a trainwreck scenario for a call center. For a creative job, though, it’s pretty cool. It’s the kind of thing that turns a mundane afternoon of reading history into the life and times of vampire Andrew Jackson.

Imacon Color Scanner

I am self employed. I get to make decisions that could make or break our business, and that keeps me pretty motivated to stay on task and keep things moving. The only time it gets bad, though, is when my brain starts working on something else altogether. We might be working on new menu items for the restaurant, but my brain is trying to figure out how to work a gear on a puppet. I don’t make puppets, but my brain is trying to work it out. I have to shove that aside right now, and focus on the task at hand.

Here’s the problem, though; I have this idea for a game literally rampaging around the brain right now. Yesterday, it was a variation on the traditional Rummy card game, but instead of face cards and number cards it would have been body parts and sabotage cards, with the goal of laying down a stitched together monster before your opponent can sabotage your lab. Today, it’s a deck building game. (I don’t know anything about deck building games…) Tomorrow, it might be a traditional board game with dice and pawns. By next week, it might be a fully interactive RPG using puppets (what is the deal with freaking puppets this week?).

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Puppet Shatner? Just putting it out there. Might explain a LOT.

This is the curse of the creative process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s a huge part of what makes me who I am, and part of how I go from drawing a graphic novel in July to having a published coloring book in August. The creative ammunition is crammed in there, waiting to be fired off. I just need to aim a bit.

 

Tis the Season (for Shameless Plugging)

The wonders of the internet, folks. Seriously. I have been slogging through Shopify for the last few days, uploading art files for shirts and other goodies. When I got to this one, though, I just had to share! I am actually buying this for my own phone… I LERVE IT.

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It’s already one of my favorite pieces that I have done, and being able to protect my super-sweet iPhone with it? SOLD.

Anywho, Shopify is pretty cool. It might be the smoothest, easiest to set up, goofball proof system I have played around with. I would seriously recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good plug and play e-Commerce solution. I’ll break it down a little more in a later post.

If you’re interested in this item, or some pretty cool Gorinka shirts, please feel free to click the “Grimmleighs Custom Tees” link on the right. I will be posting new stuff there weekly!

The Gift of a Stylish Gorilla

I am an unabashed fan of anything Simian. My formative years as an Anthropology major were derailed by my near-constant distraction from primatology, and to this day I can rattle off more info about Pan Troglodyte than I can about the Vinca burial mounds. Etruscan civ was my jam, kids. But the migratory routes of the Silverback gorilla was my bread and chunky peanut butter.

So, it shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise that I draw a lot of apes. And monkeys, sure, but APES, man! They grace everything. And this year, they can grace YOU. Two designs are available, the first is this stylish Bizness Chap:

bizrilla

He’s a classy champion of corporate finesse, and can grace your stylish torso by following this link: CLICK HERE TO BUY A SHIRT!

Space Explorer Gorilla should be up and available later today, or perhaps tomorrow. I would never dictate a person’s holiday shopping preference, but this would look great on your weird-ass nephew or niece. You know, the one that gave Caesar’s address his ape followers from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes at Thanksgiving dinner.

Seriously, though. This shirt is, as the kids say, dope as hell.

the Lionfish

I was working on a mermaid concept for the mythology book last night, and realized that I didn’t want your standard fish lady to represent the Undersea Realms. So, I looked up a bunch of different fish and got really into the lionfish. They are pretty amazing to look at, and have some really neat spines, patterns, and colors. I decided that the lionfish would be the basis of my mermaid design, and here she is:

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I still need to work out a background image for her, it’ll probably be a shipwreck of some sort or another. My grandfather loved old sailing ships, and I inherited a little of that. I love the haunted mystique of a wrecked ship on the sea floor.