Well, I feel the pics don't do the stronghold full justice, but they do give you a good idea of what it looks like in person. I've got the frontal shot here, and there are two more with some construction details on the Gallery page for the Dogs of War. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Now, back to 25mm Vikings...!
I'm sitting here looking at the stronghold for my Dogmen as I type this, and I can't seem to tear my eyes away from it. I just posted on Fanaticus that I think it is the best modeling I've ever done -- beating all my DBA camps and previous HOTT strongholds. All I have left to do is blackwash it, flock it, then add a few minor touches that need to go on after the flocking is down. And it will be done! I had my doubts before that I'd finish it in time for Zeke's HOTT Wax tournament this Saturday, but it's for sure, now. No question it will be completed in time.
I've been very secretive about the subject for the stronghold -- no hints, no sneak peaks (I'm even hiding it from my friend Terry when he comes over tomorrow!). Don't know why...it just seems right to let the full effect be, well, the full effect of it being finished and before people's eyes. I can't wait till Saturday!!!
After this project is complete, it's back to 25mm Dark Age skirmish stuff. In other words: More Vikings on the way...
I just sprayed the last two stands with Dullcoate tonight. The Dogs of War are complete, except for their stronghold, which sits at least a third of the way finished on my desk. I'll post some pics of the Fighting Irish -- the last unit of Dogmen spear -- when I get back from Siege of Augusta next week. I'm heading down there to visit my buddy Jason, and of course I'm taking along the pooches to show them off!
Speaking of show off, this stronghold should be fairly elaborate. There is lots of wood construction going on -- craft sticks, mini dowells, balsa, bass wood -- you name it. When it's done, there will be a bit of tongue in cheek ,to satisfy those who can't get serious about fantasy, but it will be more on the order of the stronghold I created for the Lionmen of Leon. My deadline to get it done is Zeke's HOTT Wax tourney, of course. Hopefully, it won't take too many late nights to complete it.
Okay, so the Dogmen are just about done. All I have left to do is the Stronghold and one batch of 8 Spear (The Fighting Irish - irish setters). Today, I put the final spray of Dullcoate on the two stands of Beasts (pack of dogs) and one Lurker. I took photos of these, as well as the General's stand, Hero and Cleric that I'd finished earlier. So, I've got a whole pack of photos to talk about!
Above this entry, you can see pictures of the two stands of Beasts. These figures are Eureka 15mm Dogs that I obtained in trade from my friend Allen. I agonized over what breed to do these as for longer than I probably should have. I decided to forgo doing the Rottweilers that I thought the fig resembled, and instead went with one stand of Yellow Labrador Retreivers and one stand of Harriers. No, not the jet fighter, but a breed of dog called a Harrier...very Beagle like colors, but a medium sized hunting dog. I think the Harriers turned out great, and the labs don't look bad, either.
Above is the General's stand. I decided to make it distinctive from the other heavy foot by putting a large "guard dog" on the stand with him. The way its body curls protectively around him was a lucky bonus. The guard dog is a Greater Swiss Mountain dog. Yep, I'd never heard of it either, but the picture in my dog breeds encyclopedia looked a lot like the figure (the same 25mm Iron Wind Metals one I used for the mastiffs). It had really cool coloration, so I went with it. You can't see it very well, but the orange banner of the army's "Top Dog" shows a black outline of a bulldog looking head. It looks okay in person, and the drawing has a scroll above it with the army's name, "Dogs of War," painted in gold letters. It looks a lot like the "See Spot Kill" scroll atop the Dalmatians' banner. In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have chosen the vaguely Cleveland Browns like colors -- not my favorite pro football team! I didn't realize the uniforms of the dogmen on this stand echoed those of the NFL team till I was done...and I wasn't repainting! The breed of dog for the coloration of the dogmen themselves is an English Springer Spaniel.
If the General's stand is the army's Top Dog, this stand is the army's "star" -- its Hero. And what better name for the star of a dogmen army than Sirius -- the Dog Star? I decided to go with a slick black and red theme on the uniforms to give it that "bad dude" look. The banner is a simple, 8-pointed star, but the folds in the lead banner made that difficult to represent. I'm not 100% happy with how the silver star turned out, but oh well. I guess you can't nail all of the banners you attempt in every army. The two dogmen are Chocolate Labradors, because as Jenny says, EVERYONE loves chocolate! I figured Black Labradors would be too bland, so wanted something with at least a hint of detail.
The army's Cleric is a Weimeraner, which I think I spelled right. You can't see it in the picture, but his back has crossed bones on it in the shape of a Greek cross. Otherwise, the white robes with bright blue trim seemed "preistly" looking. When I finished him, and went to base him up, I found he looked very lost on a 40mmx30mm base. So, I dug through my boxes and found this resin tombstone. I painted it up in similar tones and plopped it down on the base with him. Despite looking like the JD Power award in shape, I think it adds the right touch of diorama to what would otherwise be a boring, one figure base.
One of oddities of Hordes of the Things (HOTT) rules, in my opinion, are its troop types that are worth 3 points (Clerics, Sneakers, Artillery). Since armies tend to be even numbers -- typically 24 AP -- that means you either have to take two of them or a 1 point troop to come to an even number. The one point troops are Hordes and Lurkers. Since I simply didn't have enough figs left over to make a Horde stand, I went with a Lurker. Even for that, I had to dig desperately through my 15mm Ancients camp animals to find my last remaining 15mm doggie. So, I painted him up lurking in the scrub brush so that he could even out my army's total. Not the fanciest diorama I've ever done, but passable.
Well, a couple days after my Winter Quarter classes started, I was able to squeeze in an hour or so to finish off the next three stands of Dogmen. I still have to flock the bases, but I've added a Hero, Cleric and the General's stand to the pack. Pics will be up within a week, I imagine. The Hero is a chocolate lab tricked out in a natty black uniform with red trim. His faithful sidekick carries a banner with his silver star on black field, as well as proclaiming his name, "Sirius" to all who see it (you see, Sirius is the "dog star," and what hero wouldn't be the "star" of his army?). The cleric is a Weimeraner...er, Wiemeran...ah, one of those grey-brown dogs with the German name! Crossed bones form a Greek style cross on the back of his white robes, which are trimmed in bright blue. There is also a resin tombstone that I glued to the base, since one figure on a 40x30mm base looks kind of lost. And finally, the general of the army...the top dog...is based up to be fielded as either a spear or blade. A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog curls protectively around him (25mm Iron Wind fig -- same as I used for the mastiffs but painted differently). A standard bearer and swordsman bodyguard complete the stand.
These guys turned out well, too. So, this army should look pretty fine on the tabletop. It's debut will be Feb. 2 at Dave Zecchini's HOTT Wax 36 AP tournament. Make plans to attend now!!!
Here they are in all their glory. I can hear your tails wagging as you check them out, now...
Sensing the deadline of Zeke's HOTT Wax 2008 Tournament nearing, I've picked up speed on painting my 15mm Dogmen army. I just finished 3 stands of Riders. As I mentioned before, I traded away the boar mounts that the Alternative Armies figures came with, and substituted in some Iron Wind Metals 25mm dogs. So, it's dogmen mounted on dogs. Half of the mounts are obvious bulldogs -- short, squat, with receding nose and stubborn disposition. The other half are a larger, leaner mount that I painted up as Mastiffs. One of the mastiffs was done in a "brindle" pattern, which is pretty difficult to do. The other two have the characteristic mastiff "Fawn" color with black face. For the bulldogs, I picked one to paint up as my buddy Steve Sattler's hyperactive English bulldog, Henry. One more (the Hero's mount, yet to be painted), will depict Steve's much more laid back bulldog, Daisy.
The riders are armored in a mixture of linen, leather, bronze and steel. I hesitated whether to snip their lances and substitute brass wire, but the spears are held too close to the rider's body to make it an easy job. So, instead, I stiffened the painted lances with a couple applications of white glue, which will hopefully keep the soft metal from becoming spaghetti strand spears. The only "skin" showing on the riders is their snout, eyes and hands. So, I flipped through my dog breeds encyclopedia looking for one that was distinctive in that area. I settled on English Setters, which have spotted snouts in a variety of shades.
The figures turned out awesome, and they are possibly the most impressive in the army, so far. I will have pics of them posted here in the next day or so. Now, I've begun work on the general's stand (either a Blade or Spear), a Hero and a Cleric. Since I returned from vacation, I feel I'm making good progress on the army, and anticipate being done in time for HOTT Wax, which is Feb. 2 at the New Song Community Church in Reynoldsburg, OH.
"See Spot Kill": Dalmatian themed Dogmen spear unit
After two vacations, two Heralds, and finishing up Autumn quarter, I finally have had a chance to do some painting and work on this site over the last couple days. I have finished 3 stands of Dogmen shooters, and am a good way towards being done with 3 stands of riders. First, the shooters. I decided to go with the Bloodhounds breed (hunters and all, you know...). The coloration of Bloodhounds I guess is not so obvious that these figs shout, "This is a Bloodhound" like the Dalmatians do, and perhaps the Golden Retreivers. I went with a medieval type uniform, quartered a dark green and gray. At first I wasn't too happy with it, but as a unit, I think the effect was what I wanted.
"See Spot Kill": Dalmatian themed Dogmen spear unit
My goal is to get this army painted up to 36 AP (one and a half normal size) in time for Dave Zecchini's HOTT Wax tournament in January. As such, I've put the 25mm Dark Age skirmish project on hold while I take the doggies for a run. I'm really happy with how my Riders I'm working on are looking. They may end up being the showpiece unit in the army. Anyway, without further blather, here are pics of them. Check out the teeny lettering on the Dalmatian's banner: "See Spot Kill."
The Shooters in the Dogmen army: Bloodhounds!
No pictures yet, but I completed another 8 Dogmen spear (2 HOTT stands). This was the Dalmatian themed unit, "See Spot Kill." They turned out great. I did a bunch of Google Image searches and saved copies of online photos of Dalmatians -- particularly ones that show the face well. Once I had about 8 distinct looking pics, I stopped. Then, when it came time to paint the spots on the Dalmatians' faces, ears, etc., I pulled up those pics on the computer and used one for each model. I've been doing this a lot, lately, when it comes time to paint animals. Being able to look at a photo and get the subtle colors and shapes of spots and patches and such makes a big difference in the finished product.
Once I get the two stands flocked and dullcoated, I'll post pics. In the meantime, I decided to sneak in another batch of Dogmen before the next batch of 25mm Vikings. These are the Dogmen archers, or "Shooters" in Hordes of the Things terminology. I'm leaning towards a Bloodhound theme for these guys (Hunters and all...). Either that, or make each stand of 3 figs a different one. Then, it'd be Bloodhounds for one, probably Beagles for another, and not sure what breed to do for the third. I checked out a book at the library today, "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds." It should prove helpful. It made me a bit sad reading through the Golden Retreiver entry, though...I miss having a dog!
Check out the dates between updates on the "Projects" page for an indication of how schoolwork (and my recent trip to Egypt) has cut into my painting time. It's been nearly six weeks since I began work on eight 25mm Viking and eight 15mm Dogmen figures! I just dullcoated both batches yesterday, and took pics of them today. That is w-a-y too long between completed figs for my taste! Oh well, I can take solace, I hope, in that the actual painting has been done for more than a week or so...it was just getting around to flocking them that took the extra time.
Anyway, I think both batches turned out very nice. The little 15m Alternative Armies Dogmen are just too darned cute! All my opponents will be required to roll "1's" in combat against them...right? Of course, I had to do the Golden retreiver "Golden Boys" unit first. Next up is the Dalmatian unit, "See Spot Kill." They're sitting on my desk right now, with three colors painted on them so far. Hopefully, they'll be completed much faster than the first batch.
I like how the Vikings turned out, as well. These 25mm Revenge figs are great, IMO, and don't go overboard on cast detail. This has enabled me to do little patterns on their caps, sword sheaths and tunics. I realize the patterns don't come through too well in these photos, but they look great in person. I'm looking forward to painting more of them...