Sunday, 13 November 2016

"...Enchanters Are Often The Least 'Wizardly' Looking Of All Wizards..."

"Enchanters are hands-on wizards who work their magic by investing it in objects or people."
This 28mm pewter model of an Enchanter is made by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with an appropriately attired apprentice as code FGV103 from their “Frostgrave” range. A "hands on" Magic User who works his magic "by investing it in objects or people", this Transmuter will provide my warband with an alternative leader to my Witch, and is the second of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

As I wanted this miniature to be similar in appearance and colour to that illustrated within the “Frostgrave” rulebook published by “Osprey Games” I initially primed him with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and then began working my way up his numerous layers of clothing using "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. These areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. In addition I painted the craftsman's red trim with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Mausoleum WIPs - The resin building has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
As the wizard was fantastically adorned with an array of tools, pouches, blankets and furs I found myself quickly utilising most of the paints I currently own, from "Vallejo" Gold, Heavy Brown, Charred Brown and Verdigris, through to "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Doombull Brown. All of these items were then heavily washed with either "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

Alongside my Enchanter I have also been working on the centre-piece for the opening "Frostgrave" Scenario "The Mausoleum", and as a result have managed to undercoat, wash and dry-brush this awesome resin free-standing crypt by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". Cast in a single piece with a "hollowed out core", I have yet to apply a final light(er) grey highlight to the building's crumbling stone. But once this has been done, and the tomb's door painted brown, then the monument should soon be generating plenty of skeletons on the tabletop "at the end of every turn"...
Judoon WIPs - The mercenary intergalactic policemen require their scanners to be picked out
Lastly, I have finally succumbed to temptation and purchased a box of three Judoon by "Warlord Games". These "high quality pewter castings, officially approved by the BBC" are very well cast indeed and certainly capture the Rhinoceroid bipeds' single-minded pursuit of the law; even if the sculpts are a little two-dimensional from certain angles.

I actually have little interest in the company's "Doctor Who Into The Time Vortex" rule-set, as I plan to use the miniatures for "7TV" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". However, the game's website ["Into the Time Vortex"] is already proving to be both a useful place to visit for its painting guides and an enticing advertisement to purchase more miniatures from the figure range "based on the BBC's enormously popular TV series".

42 comments:

  1. That is a great character of November Simon and I had to chuck;e when I saw that you had succumbed to the Dr. Who miniatures. I have been looking at them for a while and actually caught myself thinking'I don't need them, but I want them!'

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    1. Many thanks Michael. The Enchanter is a great miniature, but my goodness do these "Frostgrave" metals take some time and attention to paint. I have been trying to stay so terribly strong Ref "Doctor Who" but in the end felt compelled to wilt... and now the ZYgons and Silence are out too!!

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  2. When we played Frostgrave I thought enchanters were the best, and still do. So I wish you luck with your own version. I found LEAP spell very useful for getting loot from the table. A good game but my group dismissed it when one players wizard died two games running and then they did not want to play anymore. But if you are going to expose him to cast a spell at my enchanter you have to expect return fire from as many archers as I can get! (Sorry rant over)

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    1. To add to what Clint has said, the chap I was playing against used an Enchanter, too. Telekinesis proved the bane of my plans in those games. Not enough terrain on the board, and Telekinesis just stole all the treasure away from my clutches - the games simply devolved into smash and grab raids, with the Enchanter's warband stealing over half the treasure then running asap.
      Only thing I could find to stop this tactic - with my starting wizard - was casting Fog between the Enchanter and any treasure, so blocking LOS and nullifying the chance of Telekinesis.
      I play an Illusionist, and my favoured spell is Raise Zombie. So much so that I made my base a Graveyard, so getting +1 to the casting roll. Easy XP.

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    2. Thanks Clint, I know of your like for "Frostgrave" and was sorry to see your group so readily dismiss what I think is a brutal but thoroughly enjoyable rule-set. I was actually more inclined to use my Enchanter for constructs and enchantments; albeit Grenade is one of my fave spells with my Witch (and obviously the Enchanter can cast it easier). Over exposing the wizard is very dangerous imho but as you so rightly say, if the magic-user is in the open then its going to become a pin-cushion very quickly!!

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    3. Cheers Roy, I did consider the Telekinesis spell but felt that would leave the wizard overly exposed. I've certainly experience of confronting someone using "Raise Zombie" and felt, like everything in the game, the more models you can field during a game, the better your chances. I've not yet played anything but single games, so establishing a base etc is unknown territory to me. However what you do certainly makes sense to me :-)

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    4. Frost grave is a good game and I did enjoy it. And hope you do as well. (I am sure you will/do.)

      I do like the guys that played Frostgrave but feel they should have given it a better chance. Still that is all in the past now.

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    5. Post script: You might want your constructs to look like chests! I am sure you might imagine why. (Hee Heee Heee!)

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    6. Thanks Clint. I was certainly inspired by your AARs for "Frostgrave", and with a few additional expansions 'in the bag' now would appear a good time to get into the game.

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    7. "You might want your constructs to look like chests!" - What a cracking idea, Clint :-)

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  3. Well, I had a go at dry-brushing a Wizkids STAW USS Olympic model yesterday and failed miserably. Obviously this is off-topic to your own stuff in the post, but seeing the building made me think of my own recent failure. I don't know if it was that the plastic model was too finely detailed to take the dry-brushing, or my brushes weren't up to the task? Whichever, I couldn't get away with the painting technique.

    - Carrying on with STAW Wizkid models: What a task to undercoat the Olympic model, it didn't want to take the undercoat at all. Evaporation meant it took 2+ coats of paint to cover.
    How are you varnishing the models, Simon? I'm bothered about varnish attacking the plastic, so I'll have to try my spray and brush-on to see if there's an issue ... Though I might just be being too paranoid and the plastic won't react.

    I love those Rhino dudes. And I played the Mausoleum scenario - The Skeletons emerged on my side every time and headed straight at my guys! I summoned a Zombie and had to kick skeleton backside, in the end.

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    1. Oh dear Roy, that doesn't sound good at all. I remember a supposedly helpful "GW" employee once 'showing' me how to dry-brush at a local store and saying you simply give the mini a good heavy brushing for the technique to work. That's not how I do it at all. I use a "Royal & Langnickel" size 6 round brush and make sure it's almost clean of the paint before I lightly (and somewhat slowly) dry-brush the model. It's a bit time-consuming but seems to work for me, especially when the miniature, like "Wizkids" pre-paints have little raised detail on account of the paint already on the model.

      As for varnish, I use "Coat d'arms" no.140 Gloss Varnish, and apply it with a brush; then dab off the excess. I've never had one of my pre-paints react to it. But have found certain washes can either come away with the varnish or evaporate during the application - although once I've re-washed those areas it doesn't happen a second time (perhaps because the wash bonds with the first coat of varnish?).

      Glad you like the Judoon, and I hope to have a BatRep featuring the Mausoleum scenario once I've enough minis etc painted.

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    2. Ah, that's probably where I went wrong; too heavy-handed and quick swipes of the brush over the areas. Thanks for the info. It probably sounds like my favoured dry-brush isn't up to the task, either.
      Dreading the varnishing. A task I hate at the best of times.

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    3. Glad some of my above Ref Dry-brushing was of use, Roy. Never liked spray on varnish myself ever since I had some fog up on me and my models, hence I use a paintbrush.

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    4. Yes, I had some GW spray fog up on last years Santa Clause gift figures. I had to repaint and then hand varnish.
      Humbrol Satin Varnish spray was recommended to me, I now use that while spraying at inside, at room temperature with no humidity or dampness in the atmosphere, and I've had no problems since.

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    5. The gifts I was giving, that is. Not what I'd received - in case anyone's reading the above.

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  4. Nice work on the wizard and your first entry so far.

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    1. Thanks Simon. Two down, two more Mo'Vember entries to go :-)

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  5. Your Frostgrave Enchanter has come out really well, Simon. He is very detailed, so well done on painting him so well.

    Regarding the new Doctor Who game, I have been considering buying it but have held off so far. I agree with you that 7TV2e should work just as well and I may well stick with that but as for the figures, it seems highly likely that I will be investing in some. Not just yet as I have too much else going on at the moment with Judge Dredd taking centre stage on my painting table. Good work on your Judoon. I'm thinking a Judge Dredd vs the Judoon could be a fun scenario to run.

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    1. Cheers Bryan. From the comments of Clint and Roy I get the impression that the Enchanter may well come in useful for my "Frostgrave" warband.

      As to "Judge Dredd vs Judoon"; I thinking the same things when I was preparing and priming them. I do though wish you could buy them singly rather than as a trio as a few of the police Rhino simply holding his gun out would help fill out a Judoon party. I don't really want another model carrying just a scanner. Perhaps at some point we'll get a few more bare-headed sculpts too?

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  6. Great job on the wizard. Love that mausoleum...shall have to add that to the extensive wishlist, dammit! Fortunately I am rather less taken with the Judoon...nothing wrong with the figures but not one of my favourite Who models. The forthcoming plastic Daleks, however, are a different story....

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    1. Thanks Gordon. Much appreciated, and glad "Wargames Terrain Workshop" have hit your radar/wish list. I've just finished the mausoleum and it looks awesome imho. As to the Judoon, they are certainly an acquired taste and whilst I thought their first appearance was great, I haven't enjoyed their subsequent stories, including a recent audio adventure with the Sixth Doctor. I do have the Zygons coming up soon though ;-)

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  7. Beautiful work on the Enchanter Simon, top ten? we'll see.

    That mausoleum is really nice too and should look the "biz" with your headstones around it.

    The Judoon are nice figures but unfortunately come from the (spit,spit) new era of Dr Who, I am tempted by the plastic Daleks they have been showing, but I bet they will be horrendously expencive for plastics and I have so many of the magazine freebee ones that I haven't painted yet I just don't think I can justify them.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. Much appreciated. The Enchanter has come out okay and certainly has plenty of detail to catch the eye. I'm just varnishing the Mausoleum so my fingers are crossed that you'll like the finished version just as much.

      The 'New' "Doctor Who" is indeed a bit of a mixed bag, but I rather liked the Judoon and these minis capture their likeness rather well. As for the plastic Daleks..? well I think many will be waiting for the price of them...

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  8. The Enchanter is soooo cool, is his name Tim? I hear it's a good name for an enchanter...

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    1. Thanks Andy. I actually do own several killer bunnies by "Reaper Miniatures" somewhere too :-)

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  9. Nice work on the Enchanter Simon. :)

    You remain as busy and productive as ever! :)

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    1. Cheers Leon. Much appreciated. I wish I could be as productive as painting as I currently am buying new miniatures ;-)

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  10. Nice work on the Enchanter, Simon. Now i've seen him finished I know mine's going to make an excellent Kringle. Of course, i'd have to get some of the Frostgrave reindeer men too...
    The Judoon. Whilst these are very good representations of this race, I was never that keen on them. I think I may have a single Judoon from the Doctor Who CMG knocking about somewhere that you'require more than welcome to have to bolster your forces. Will you be at Warfare this weekend? If so, i'll bring him along.

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    1. Many thanks Jez. I'll especially look forward to your Reindeer men as I own a few of those "Frostgrave" minis myself, but have yet to assemble them etc.

      I may well see you at "Warfare" but there's no need to bring any Judoon with you. Thanks very much indeed for the kind offer but I already own some and they're not compatible scale-wise (in my mind at least). As a result you'll probably find me trying to buy up every box at Reading's show instead :-)

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    2. No problem, Simon. As an addendum to Hugh'so comment below, both Heresy and Crooked Dice have unmoved their Who-inspired figures from their respective websites. Not unexpected, but a shame, as Warlord's are more expensive and don'the appear to be scale-compatible with anything else.

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    3. Yes I saw saw that. Not an unsurprising situation but a most unwelcome one nonetheless. Indeed what with the "Judge Dredd" situation and then this, I'm a bit grumpy with "Warlord Games"; albeit I fully accept they had little (if anything) to do with the JD licence and I too would expect CD and Heresy to withdraw Who-related minis if I'd forked out for the official licence. I think, as you say, its to do with the scale of the official minis and pricing - although again it makes sense they want you to buy their entire range and not just fill in some holes other manufacturers have left.

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    4. I understand the logic and I believe that the two manufacturers concerned withdrew their figures as a courtesy to Warlord Games. However, I object to the fact that the figures don't match any other range and that compared to some of the unlicenced figures, the sculpts are a bit crap. I will agree that the Judoon and Zygons do look like what they're supposed to, but I'm underwhelmed by the Doctor(s) and their companions. Doubly annoyed that I hadn't bought the Doctors I hadn't yet got. I wonder how long Black Tree will last?

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    5. Absolutely Jez. The current two "Warlord Games" Doctor sets are rather underwhelming imho, especially Calpaldi's one - depicting him with a guitar!?! Still as you point out because of the scale difference its a little hard (for my OCD) to use the new models with my old "Black Tree" or "Crooked Dice" sculpts, so there's the hook!!

      Having said that I'm currently painting the Judoon and really enjoying the minis. Lots of detail and straightforward to progress; albeit I do think I need at least another box to fill out a small party of them - but don't want two with a scanner etc.

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  11. If you're thinking of using the Warlord Doctor Who figures with the 7TV rules, are you aware that the huge repository of Doctor Who Miniatures Game (DWMG) rules/scenarios/profiles is going to be removed from the Internet soon. DWMG is the precursor to 7TV, but Graeme will delete it soon. Get it while you can!

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up Hugh, I didn't know the DWMG was being deleted, although I can see why in the current circumstances it is. I wasn't actually planning on using them for my games but they'd be worth owning nonetheless for inspiration and suggestions etc. Much appreciated :-)

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  12. Those Judoon look so much better in your pictures than in the official images!
    On the DWMG front, there's a Facebook group that's been set up to preserve the files...

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    1. Cheers Myincubliss. I like to dry-brush most of my models these days so I can better see the detail on them. Hopefully you'll like the finished articles just as much. Thanks for the DWMG FB info - much appreciated :-)

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  13. That wizard looks fierce like Santa on a bender! Really like how stark a contrast his beard is to the browns of his clothes. Very well done.

    Judoon seemed so comical when they appeared on the Who scene, but I learned to love them and their strict adherence to dishing out their laws. Much like the Dr Who Roleplay game, am not really sure if I see a practical application for gaming in that setting at all myself. Still, painting up some of one's fav' baddies and characters is where the appeal would lie for me.

    Scopo trono frojo kofo todo!

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    1. Thanks Dai. I certainly like the Enchanter as a model but the detail was killing me towards the end; so many little tools and pieces of wood etc.

      The Judoon are already almost finished and as such should be posted up soon. I have an idea for a BatRep which should cause a few laffs too. "Sco bo tro no flo jo ko fo to do" ;-)

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