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A long time ago, in a frozen city far, far away...

Posted by MikeRC97 on 12 Jul 2019, 00:47

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Episode IV
A NEW WARBAND

Hello All,

I wanted to share some pictures of my Frostgrave figures, some of whom were inspired by a certain "epic space opera."

Here is my first warband, led by the seer (soothsayer) Old Ben and his young apprentice Luke. The warband includes (from left to right) Ben, Luke, a thug, a thief, an archer, a crossbowman and two treasure hunters. The color palette for some of the figures was inspired by the Frostgrave soldiers painted by Kevin Dallimore, whose work I have always admired.

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Old Ben was once an important member of a powerful Order but has spent the last two decades living as a hermit in a desert wasteland. He has journeyed to Felstad on a secret mission with his new apprentice Luke, a farm boy who always dreamed of adventure. Luke was told to stay away from Ben by his Uncle Owen who said "that Wizard's just a crazy old man."

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Ben's spell's include Telekinesis, Push, Fleet Foot, and of course Mind Control, which can have a strong influence on the weak minded (enemies with low Will scores). Luke learns soothsayer spells such as Awareness and Reveal Secret by training blindfolded. Ben tells Luke "your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them!"

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The Ben figure is from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set. I was surprised to see that this set was not made by Renedra like the other Frostgrave plastics and to my eye the plastic does appear to be a bit softer, but the sculpting is superb and the wizard was a joy to paint. The Luke figure's body and head come from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set with arms from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set. My only complaint of these two sets is that some of the heads are much smaller than other heads on the same sprue (even more so when compared to the heads on the plastic Frostgrave Barbarian sprue or the plastic Ghost Archipelago crewmen sprue).

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Ben's color scheme is mostly classic ANH Obi-Wan but with some elements from other appearances such as the red leather boots he wore in Attack of the Clones and the white bracers from his Clone Wars armor. I'm really happy with the way the crystal ball turned out, I applied glazes of light blue with some gloss medium added in to create a translucent effect (it doesn't really come across well in these pictures from my iPhone).

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Here we have some of the scum and villainy hired by Ben - a thug and a thief (or a soldier and a scoundrel in Wizards of the Coast Star Wars RPG terms). The thug figure has the body and arms from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and a head from the Fireforge Games plastic Foot Sergeants set. The thief figure is a straight build from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set. You can tell both sets are by the same sculptor as the faces are full of character without being overly cartoonish. I love kit-bashing plastic figures so I have been really looking forward to putting together my Frostgrave warbands.

A quick note on mixing historical plastic figures by Fireforge Games or Gripping Beast with the Northstar fantasy plastic figures - the heads on the historical plastic figures are not sculpted with a neck (the neck is sculpted on the body). On the Northstar fantasy plastic figures the neck is sculpted as part of the head as a ball (with a socket in the body). I prefer the Northstar approach as it makes it easier to alter the position and angle of the head. It does make mixing and matching heads and bodies from these sets tricky however, in the case of the thug I used Gorilla super glue which expands as it hardens and filled in for the lack of a neck.

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The color scheme for the thug is based on one of the Dallimore figures - seeing his painted figures was the other thing that attracted me to this set in addition to the opportunity for some kit-bashing.

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Next up, an archer and a treasure hunter. The archer's head and body are from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set with arms from the Northstar plastic Oathmark Human Infantry set. The treasure hunter has head and arms from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and a body from the plastic Oathmark Human Infantry set. The Oathmark Human Infantry figures are more "heroic" 28mm than the Frostgrave plastic figures, the heads in particular - they are larger even than the heads on some Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy figures. Still, I really like how these figures turned out and size-wise I think they fit in just fine with the rest of the warband.

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For the soldiers I wanted a common color palette that would give them a unified appearance without making them look uniform, so most are wearing a grey tunic. The grey is one of my favorite paints, the discontinued Citadel Foundation paint Adeptus Battlegrey. Most of the other colors are P3 paints (my favorite line of paint) with some Vallejo and Foundry colors mixed in as well.

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The last two members of the warband are Han the treasure hunter and his sidekick, Chewie the crossbowman. Han is quite a mercenary, in his own words: "I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money." I wonder if he really cares about anything... or anybody.

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The Han figure is a real mash-up, his head is from the plastic Frostgrave Barbarian set, his body is from the plastic Ghost Archipelago crewmen set, his arms and backpack are from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and he carries a knife from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set. I thought about using the body for the Luke figure because of the leg wrappings but in the end the vest and v-neck undershirt just screamed Han. I really like the aggressive posture of this figure. The Chewie figure has a head and arms from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and a head from the Gripping Beast plastic Viking Hirdmen set. The head worked perfectly with this body as it aligns his eye with the crossbow so it looks like he's taking aim, this figure is my favorite kit-bash thus far.

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The color scheme for Han is all episode 4 while Chewie is painted in various shades of brown with some Adeptus Battlegrey mixed in to tie him to the rest of the warband. All of the figures are based on Renedra plastic cobblestone bases (I removed the integrated bases with a razor saw). It isn't too hard to freehand cobblestone bases but I wanted to try the Renedra bases and I'm pleased with the results.

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That's all for now, but not the end of this saga...

Any feedback or comments are appreciated.
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Posted by Graeme on 12 Jul 2019, 11:31

Very nicely painted figures (28mm?) and interesting cross fertilization of themes. Your Obi Wan and Luke allusions work for me, very well done.

We see some amazing modeling and painting techniques here but the translucency of that crystal ball is incredible. it looks exactly like an antique glass marble or perhaps a piece of Roman glass. If it looks better in real life than it does in these pictures then it is something special.
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 13 Jul 2019, 22:50

Graeme wrote:Very nicely painted figures (28mm?) and interesting cross fertilization of themes. Your Obi Wan and Luke allusions work for me, very well done.

We see some amazing modeling and painting techniques here but the translucency of that crystal ball is incredible. it looks exactly like an antique glass marble or perhaps a piece of Roman glass. If it looks better in real life than it does in these pictures then it is something special.


Graeme thank you the kind words. Yes, the Frostgrave figures are 28mm, unlike the newer Games Workshop fantasy figures which are closer to 32mm.
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Posted by Kekso on 17 Jul 2019, 11:59

That's really nice and inspirational. I have some plans with Frostgrave figures but it seems that it won't be finished for couple of years :(
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 21 Jul 2019, 14:46

Kekso wrote:That's really nice and inspirational. I have some plans with Frostgrave figures but it seems that it won't be finished for couple of years :(


Thanks Kesko. I know exactly what you mean, I had these figures for years before I even got around to painting them. This actually turned out to be a good thing as Northstar came out with more plastic sets such as the plastic wizards, which gave me more options for kitbashing.

Production has begun on the next installment in the series, here's a "leaked set photo"

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Posted by MikeRC97 on 09 Aug 2019, 22:58

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Episode V
THE NECROMANCER STRIKES BACK

Hello All,

I’m back with my second Frostgrave warband, “the Cult of the Sith” led by the necromancer Sidious and his apprentice Vader. The cult includes (from left to right) Sidious, Vader, a thug, a thief, a crossbowman, two infantrymen and an apothecary.

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Sidious has come to Felstad in search of that which he craves most – power. His apprentice Vader was once a pupil of the wizard Old Ben, but he betrayed his former master when Sidious promised that together they could discover the secret to stop death (it was a trick, the secret was the Necromancer spell Raise Zombie). Sidious has also mastered the Elementalist spell Elemental Bolt.

The Sidious figure is a straight build from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set. The Vader figure's body is from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set with arms and head from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set. I played around with the positioning of the arms and head to create what I thought looked like a sinister comic book villain pose.

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Painting black can be very tricky – too much highlighting and you can end up with a mostly grey miniature, but without strong contrast the figure looks dull. I used the Privateer Press recipe of adding P3 Coal Black to keep the highlights a cool shade. I’m happy with the results, although it’s hard to see the highlights in these photos, the lighting I used washes them out.

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Here are a couple of cultists - a thug and a thief. The thug figure has arms from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and a body and head from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set. The thief figure is a straight build from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set but with the dagger converted to face down (it faces up on the sprue) as I thought it looked more menacing that way.

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I really like the cultist set – the poses are more dynamic than the figures in the soldier set which feels appropriate for a group of fanatics. I also love the look of the figures (the hooded heads in particular). I don’t know if the miniatures were based on the artwork of Frostgrave illustrator Dmitry Burmak or if the artwork is based on the miniatures but whoever designed the cultist did a great job.

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Here we have a pair of infantrymen with leather armor from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set with converted weapons. The spear on the cultist sprue is nicely sculpted with a wicked looking spearhead. However it doesn’t feel like a two handed weapon to me (with bonus damage points in game), it looks more like a one handed weapon meant to be wielded with a shield. So I looked for an alternative and found just the thing from my favorite eBay bits seller, some Warhammer Skaven polearms which I used to convert the cultist spears to fantasy naginatas (medieval Japanese glaives).

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On most of the cultist figures the clothing has been sculpted with holes to reflect their rag-tag nature. On one of the infantryman figures I used green stuff to fill in some of the holes so the two miniatures look less identical. I think the cultist figures work great as Sith, I have already started building some additions to the warband and at some point I’d like to convert some sci-fi versions.

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Next up is a crossbowman and an apothecary. The crossbowman figure’s arms and body are from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set, his head is from a Games Workshop Warhammer set (not sure which one as I got a mixed bag of Warhammer heads off eBay at some point). Most of the Warhammer heads look huge on Frostgrave bodies but this head fit perfectly – the eye patch and the scarred upper lip gives the figure a villainous aspect that I really like for a cultist.

The apothecary figure's body is from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set with arms and head from the Frostgrave plastic cultist set. Both arms received a hand swap, the hand holding the staff is from the Fireforge games plastic foot sergeants set (I removed the spearhead to create a staff). The hand holding the potion is from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set.

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There are some really nice bits on the cultist sprue – you can see some on the infantrymen above and on the apothecary below. The cultist bits worked great with this body as the rope belt is sculpted lower on the figure’s left side so it looks like the skull and potion are weighing the belt down.

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Finally, here we see the two apprentices facing off – Vader has just revealed a secret about Luke that no-one saw coming, HE IS LUKE'S FATHER (I can still remember having my seven-year-old mind blown in 1980)!!!

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How will Luke handle this stunning revelation? Will Sidious and Vader emerge victorious? The saga continues in Episode 6, coming soon (-ish, I’m a really slow painter) to a forum near you…
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 09 Aug 2019, 23:17

I love this group, although I know next to nothing about fantasy miniatures...
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Posted by Peter on 12 Aug 2019, 20:14

Real nice figures and excellent painted! :thumbup:
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Posted by MABO on 17 Aug 2019, 11:46

The cultists are cool figs and nicely painted. Love the one with the crossbow.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 01 Sep 2019, 20:04

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Episode VI
THE RETURN OF THE CAPTAIN

When last we saw our heroes things looked grim, but fear not! Help has arrived in the form of a captain and a ranger. This captain is no ordinary sellsword, he is none other than the legendary Captain Rex, a veteran commander who served with Old Ben in a great war years ago.

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The thing I like about sellswords is their versatility; mine is a ranger-like build wielding a two-handed weapon and a bow (a combination not found on any soldier). The Rex figure has a nicely sculpted head from the plastic Ghost Archipelago crewmen set and arms and body from the plastic Oathmark Human Infantry set. The sword has been modified, I removed the pommel that was just beneath the hand and replaced it with an axe handle from the Frostgrave Barbarian sprue to make it look like a bastard sword.

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The ranger figure’s body is also from the plastic Oathmark Human Infantry set, his arms are from the plastic Frostgrave Soldier set and once again I have used a head from a Games Workshop Warhammer set. The hooded heads on the Oathmark Human Infantry sprue are actually larger than this head, and much more cartoonish, I prefer the severe countenance on this figure’s face.

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Old Ben is not the only wizard to summon reinforcements, joining the Cult of the Sith are a pair of soldiers from the far away land of Darthomir. These two warriors from the “Nightbrothers” tribe are called Maul (counts as Monk) and Savage (counts as barbarian).

Maul’s return seems improbable - he was killed by Ben years ago. You might assume that Sidious used necromancy to return Maul to life, but this isn’t the case. A mysterious wizard named Lucas (and his apprentice Filoni) brought Maul back by using one of the most powerful relics in all of Felstad, the mythical Scroll of Retroactive Continuity! Maul is now half-mad, obsessed with revenge and showing up in all kinds of spin-offs.

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The Maul figure is a straight build from the plastic Frostgrave Cultist set but I converted the club to a double bladed naginata using bits from the Warhammer Skaven Clanrats sprue.

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The Savage figure has arms from the plastic Frostgrave Soldier set and a body and head from the plastic Frostgrave Cultist set. In keeping with the medieval Japanese theme I converted the axe-like weapon on the Frostgrave Soldier sprue to a Nagamaki, an unusual medieval Japanese sword-type weapon with a long handle (the name means “long wrapping”).

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With these additions, this first trilogy has come to an end. I have really enjoyed kit-bashing and painting these miniatures, but I’m going to take a break from fantasy and return to painting historical miniatures for now, but this saga is not over yet…

As always, any feedback or comments are appreciated.
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Posted by Susofrick on 02 Sep 2019, 12:11

I like your figures so go on!
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 18 Jul 2020, 17:25

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Episode VII
THE FROST (RE)AWAKENS

Some years have passed since we last saw our heroes. Old Ben is gone, struck down by his one-time apprentice Vader. Vader then turned on his master Sidious, hurling the necromancer into a bottomless chasm. However as Sidious fell he cast the spell Strike Dead and Vader failed his Will roll thus bringing an end to both master and apprentice.

Luke, now a full-fledged wizard, took on an apprentice – his nephew, a young man named Ren. Not long after a new shadow emerged in Frostgrave, a mysterious wizard named Snoke brought together the scattered remnants of the Cult of the Sith under his leadership. Even worse, he convinced Ren to betray his uncle and join the Cult, just as his grandfather Vader had done.

Here we see Luke’s former apprentice Ren, now a captain of the Cult warband. The figure’s body is from the Frostgrave plastic Cultist set, the arms are from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and the head is from the Oathmark plastic Human Infantry set.

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After being betrayed by his nephew, Luke fled from Felstad, leaving no trace of his whereabouts. The enigmatic Snoke became obsessed with finding Luke – his “first order” to his new captain was for the young man to locate and destroy his uncle.

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The only person left in Felstad with any knowledge of where Luke might be is a knight named Lor, who joined Luke’s warband after the death of Old Ben.

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The Lor figure has a body and sword scabbard from the Fireforge Games plastic foot knights set, arms and head from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and a shield from the Fireforge Games plastic Scandinavian infantry set. Lor’s color scheme is based on the colors worn by the medieval military orders but also uses the color palette I used for the original warband.

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Here we see the opening scene of Episode VII, Ren and his men have descended on the village where Lor has been hiding, just after the knight secretly dispatched word of Luke’s location to the soldiers resisting the Cult of the Sith. Who will find Luke first? The Cult or the “resistance?” We will find out in Episode 8, coming eventually to a forum near you.

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With this pair of figures the two warbands each total eleven soldiers, the maximum allowed in a campaign with an inn as a base. Each warband also has its own Captain now. I’m sure at some point I’ll paint some alternate soldiers for the two warbands, I have so much fun kit-bashing and painting plastic fantasy figures. But now I think it is time to start a new warband, so more to come.
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Posted by Peter on 19 Jul 2020, 22:00

Again some wonderfull painted figures! :thumbup:

And may the force be with you in the next episodes! :-D
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 25 Nov 2020, 15:57

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Episode VIII

THE LAST WARBAND

The Cult reigns in Felstad. But there is a spark of hope - a mysterious young girl named Rey has found the long-lost wizard Luke hiding among the barbarians in the hills to the north of the frozen city. Now Rey must convince Luke to join those resisting the Cult before it is too late.

Here is my third warband (and my first for the new Second Edition Frostgrave rules), featuring (from left to right) Luke, his apprentice Rey, a thug, a thief, two Men-at-Arms, an archer and a crossbowman.

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Luke is now a battle-scarred adventurer, not the (blonde) youthful apprentice he once was. Luke blames himself for the betrayal committed by his nephew Ren - the once heroic wizard has become disillusioned and is unwilling to fight any longer. Speaking of illusions, Luke has been practicing the spell Illusionary Soldier from the aligned Illusionist school of magic, it might come in handy someday.

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Rey was a scavenger in Felstad, trading whatever artifacts she could find for meager portions of food. Her background is a mystery, she was abandoned by her parents as a child, but she has a natural talent for magic. The threat posed by the Cult compelled her to seek out the legendary wizard Luke, who has reluctantly taken the young girl as his apprentice.

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The Luke figure has a body and head from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian set and arms from the Oathmark plastic human infantry set. The pouch with a bone attached is a Warhammer bit (not sure from which set) that I liked on this figure as it fits in with the barbarian theme. The barbarian set is my favorite of the three Frostgrave soldier sets, the poses are (for the most part) dynamic and the figures are wonderfully sculpted with just the right amount of detail without being a chore to paint. The head on the Luke figure bears a passing resemblance to Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi but reminds me more of King Harald from the History Channel series Vikings.

The Rey figure is a straight build from the Frostgrave plastic (female) wizards II set. This is another great set by Bobby Jackson, who also sculpted the first plastic (male) wizard set. The color schemes for the two figures comes from Episode 8 - Luke’s outfit from the scenes on Ahch-To and Rey’s outfit from the throne room fight scene.

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Next up are a thug and a thief. The thug figure’s head is from the Ghost Archipelago plastic crewmen set with arms and body from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian set. The thief figure’s head and body are from the Frostgrave plastic soldier set and the arms are from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian set.

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I carved off some of the pouches on the thief figure’s body and replaced them with bits from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian sprue. For this warband I went with a mostly brown color scheme with some grey elements to tie the soldiers thematically to the Luke and Rey figures.

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Below is a pair of Men-at-Arms, which I included because I like the Viking vibe these shields give the barbarian figures. Both figures are straight builds from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian set.

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I attempted to paint a wolf pelt on the figure on the right; I think it turned out ok. For the most part I try to keep these Frostgrave paint schemes simple so I don’t burn out like I do when I paint Napoleonic figures (don’t even get me started).

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Here is a close-up of one of the Men-at-Arms. I’m really happy with how the face turned out, I don’t know who the sculptor was for this set but the heads are superb. The other thing I like about these figures is that most of the bodies have the weight shifted to the front leg which makes them look like they are ready for action.

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The last two members of the warband are specialist soldiers, an archer and a crossbowman. Once again both figures are straight builds from the Frostgrave plastic barbarian set.

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The crossbowman figure’s body is the only pose in this set that feels fairly static, which explains why I chose this head for the figure (the paint job reminds me Grandpa Simpson’s friend Jasper Beardsly).

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Once again this thread includes a confrontation between Ren and another character as Rey and Ren face-off. Ren has just turned on the supreme leader of the Cult of the Sith, cleaving the wizard Snoke in two (wow, he really turned out to be an unimportant character in this story, not at all what I was expecting after watching episode 7).

Ren offers Rey a choice: become his apprentice or DIE!

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Will Rey betray Luke? Will Ren crush the resistance or will Luke return to defeat the Cult? The adventure concludes in Episode 9, coming eventually (after I paint some Napoleonic artillery and possibly some WWII stuff) to a forum near you…
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Posted by Peter on 26 Nov 2020, 15:42

The force is strong in your home Mike! ;-)

Lovely painted figures! :thumbup:
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