Monday, August 31, 2009

Oracle Dragon Spotted!

A few years ago, a smaller miniatures company called Valiant Miniatures had a very neat idea for an outstanding miniature. They marketed it as "the biggest damn mini ever" and made it into a limited edition resin kit.

Then they unveiled Viszeralyn- the Oracle Greater Dragon. This miniature stands two feet tall, making most of Forge World and Ultraforge seem just a touch small.

If my memory serves me correctly, this mini was sculpted by Sandra Garrity (known for her work in Ral Partha, Reaper, Granadier, Ironwind and more). The run was limited to 500 total miniatures. When the Paizo Publishing store ran out, they put it on re-order status and just left it there for the past couple years.

But there is good news. If anyone wants one of these mamoth beasts, right now the Coolminornot Store has three of them. Without the elaborate description or size comparison photos, no one on that store knows that this mini is the biggest mini ever.

I hope that they can keep those in stock until I have a spare $250 for a mini like this.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Classic Praetorian Guard

I have a thing for classic minis. I'm not sure that I understand it all myself. I mean, for the most part, mini quality has risen over time, and most "classic" miniatures need a little more attention to make them pop out.

When I received a commission to do Praetorian Guardsmen, I was very excited. Praetorians are from an era when Games Workshop was making tons of different Imperial Guard regiments, all with their own very unique uniforms, history and character.

I remember when these minis first came out (towards the end of the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40,000). They were based on the film Zulu!

So, here are the first of the Praetorians finished.

When you're combining newer army books with an older set of minis, it makes sense that you have to change some things. Originally, each Praetorian in a weapons crew had his own base, but since the newer Imperial Guard codex dictates that they all be placed on the same base, they were.

The following are all more recent minis. With projects like this, this cannot always be avoiced. So here are a few more recent Imperial Guard miniatures painted up to be Praetorians.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Iron Kingdoms Un-official Announcement-like-thing!

With the recent excitement over Paizo's Pathfinder RPG (it sold out of its first print run entirely) there has been some talk about whether or not Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting will turn to Pathfinder. The Iron Kingdoms setting is also the setting for Warmachine and Hordes, but the RPG used the Dungeons and Dragons D20 open gaming liscense. So, it would make sense for them to convert to Pathfinder, since it seems posed to replace Wizards of the Coast as the D20 core book provider.

On the Privateer Press forums, not only has PPS Simon stated that they will not be converting to Pathfinder, he has stated that Privateer Press is currently working on their own in house system for the game.

Whimper- So that means you guys are definitely working on a proprietary RPG system for the Iron Kingdoms? Thanks for confirming it! biggrin.gif

PPS Simon- Yes! But it's going to be a little while, which is why we haven't made a really serious announcement yet. So you're going to have to be patient! smile.gif
From Simon's posts, we know only a couple things. It is definitely not D20. I have mixed feelings about that, since I've been playing the Iron Kingdoms RPG in D20 for a long time, and I rather like the system with the fixes.

At the same time, I do see that some game mechanics were kind of shoe-horned into the system (the D20 rules make little sense in context of the Warmachine rules and fluff). An in-house system could probably make the game feel more like IK.

But this announcement is every kind of unofficial, so the whole thing is up in the air for now. All we know now is that the Iron Kingdoms books will return to print someday. The property has not been abandoned.

Magnetic Tau

I did a little Warhammer 40,000 project recently in Tau. One of the crisis suits is featured here:

One interesting thing about this guy is that his weapons and equipment are all magnetized. My client provided the magnets, and I assembled this suit and his comrades with fully magnetized weaponry. It takes a good deal more time and effort in assembly, but in the end you can alter your wargear every game you play, rather than having to commit to an army list when you assemble your minis.

I found this tutorial after I finished this batch, but it has more details on how to magnetize Games Workshop plastic miniatures with Rare Earth Magnets.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miniatures lines and Videogames

Privateer Press has recently announced that a Warmachine vidoegame is in the works.

I'm not sure how much of a surprise this is. After Gamebryo used the Warmachine IP for their Lightspeed technical demo, the guys at Privateer Press were already talking about Warmachine and Hordes videogames.

As of right now, I don't know that I'm very excited yet. It doesn't look like they've moved very much in development, so currently, we're looking at a game that is years away. And at this moment, we can't be too certain about what genre the game is. According to the press release:

The new video game will allow players to control various warcasters and their warjack battlegroups as they fight across interactive battlefields from the Warmachine world. The game will provide a rich online experience in addition to a sweeping single-player campaign mode that will follow several key warcasters through the epic saga of the Warmachine universe.
So... is it an action RPG? Is it an RTS? The developer, Whitemoon Dreams, is a blank slate. From what I've heard, I'm expecting something like Dynasty Warriors, but I don't know that that has any foundation. So, I'm keeping my excitement in check until I see more.

On the other hand, I am very much looking forward to the Space Marine action RPG from Relic. Those guys have given us some pretty nice games in the past, and the Warhammer 40,000 universe is a rich setting.

No Quarter Magazine Competition Winner

I rather like No Quarter Magazine- Privateer Press' bi-monthly magazine supporting Warmachine, Hordes and the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying game.

About two years ago, they started having a painting competition in each issue, and every painting competition had a different theme and different rules. Some months are extremely competitive, and others are less so, based on how much interest this particular challenge is.

Here is my warjack that won the "Riddled with Bullets" competition- the idea was to make a warjack look extremely damaged, but still fighting. From the look of the two runners up, this one was a very competitive prize.

He's one of the few competition quality minis that I have on my website right now. After doing him, I'm convinced I'll do a whole Magnus the Traitor force with this battle damaged look on all of them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Something from my childhood

So, I joined the many who were not surprised to see Space Hulk come out of Games Workshop's mystery box. GW's just never been very good at keeping a secret.

What I was surprised to see is just how beautiful they've made the game look.

These are easily the most beautiful terminators that we've ever seen from Citidel. And on top of that, we even have genestealers in, (gasp) NEW POSES.

Yes! There are over twenty genestealers in the box, and not one of them is in the traditional genestealer pose (established in the first Space Hulk game).

I started miniatures gaming with Space Crusade- the Milton Bradley/Games Workshop joint project. I think it was very clear that they meant for the game to be Space Hulk for a younger audience (I was ten or eleven). I played a little bit of Space Hulk back then, and a little more when the second edition rolled around. Both games worked fairly well (I preferred the first edition to the second) but overall, I'm excited to see this game come back. I even have some Tyranid Attack/Advanced Space Crusade board sections, that I'm sure would make great tiles for the game (I hear they even fit together).

One of my best memories of the old days of Space Hulk was an article from Dragon Magazine featuring missions with dancing space marines. Oh, good times.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Minion Warlock: Wrong Eye and Snapjaw

I recently finished a commission for a couple Hordes miniatures by Privateer Press. Here is Wrong Eye and Snapjaw.

For Snapjaw's belly, I used P3's Ordic Olive highlighted using Midlund flesh. On his back scales, I highlighted the Ordic Olive with the oh so bright Iosen green and darkened it using several brown glazes (following Jakob Run Nielson's methods for glazing).

Welcome to the Garden Ninja Studios Blog

Welcome to Garden Ninja Studios, the source for your table top painting and sculpting needs. We are currently accepting commissions. Please check out our forum and gallery and email us about your project. Watch here for photos of our recent studio projects and links to painting tutorials and other cool stuff.