Beauty is in the 11 Eyes

...And the DM said unto them," Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great...Roll for initiative!

Beholder Tree Topper

So, each year we have a big Christmas party, and the Mrs. picks a theme for the tree. This year it was the 25th anniversary of the party, so the theme was silver, which then went to blue and some red... because reasons (did I mention I don't get to pick the theme..)

Anyways, we get the tree into the house and the first thing my daughter asks is," do we have any big googly eyes"- which of course we do, and she proceeds to put them on the tree, proclaiming it a mimic.

And, things kind of went downhill from there. When asked to make this years tree topper, I knew where we were heading.

Beholder: One day build

That's no moon! a 5ish inch foam ball for the base

This build is pretty easy, actually. Armed with my Volo's Guide to Monsters, monster manual and the internets I chose an image that I felt I could achieve pretty well- a classic not too fancy beholder. Having made sculpts like this before where you have to get to a lot of spots with wet clay, the first thing I did was make a stand out of some scrap wood and a dowel. This was, as I later learned, key to actually making this project a success.
punch mouth!

Once I drilled a hole in the ball for the base, eventually the tree stand, I drew in the mouth and main eye, then poked holes and added pipe cleaner eye stalks. In retrospect and if I had more time to shop for materials, I would have used a stiffer sculptors wire.

Cracking toast- Grommit!

  after covering the entire body with a thin 2-3mm layer of Crayola air dry clay, I worked from the eye down to the mouth, then added in mat board teeth. Then I did the eyestalks, and finally adding bits of detail in the way of horns and some armor bits.

Honey! the meatloaf is ready...

I was on a 3 hour deadline as the Mrs was going full bore baking literally 100's of cookies and a few cakes for the party. I had to get this guy into an oven set to 100 degrees over night to speed up the air dry clay.

I could have kept painting, but remember this is going on top of a tree..

The next morning, smiley was dry and ready to be painted. There were some cracks in the eyestalks that I tried cleaning up a bit with liquid green stuff, (see above, should have used wire) and some happy accident cracks all around the body that looks like armor.

I painted him(?) up with a mix of Plakka red and the standard slew of minis paints. All told about an hour to paint up.

I'm on Top of the World! 

That's no tree- it's a mimic!
The prettiest angel!

Done and done, the beholder weighed in at just over a pound, and fit well atop the tree. This was a great one day project that took roughly 4 hours to build. It really helped that I was familiar with the materials and had a good plan, and stand.

Now, what else to do with this after Xmas???

Cheers and cool Yule to all!


Warmaster Siege

Bolt the Gates! 

This wee I got to rope a friend at work into trying out our first siege in Warmaster, using my new shiny castle. Opening shots of the battle here show my Empire knights supporting a relief force of some halberds and pistoleer light cavalry who were trying to get as many of the 10 wagons into the castle with supplies before the Orc Horde came a knocking. Somewhere in the realm of 4,000 points worth, give or take a goblin unit or two...

Wagons in, Knights out!

These guys feel totally safe...

Warmaster rules have been my go to favorite table top game since it came out. I have planed hundreds of battles using the rules and have even made variants of the rules to play Napoleonics in 6mm, and Wars of the Imagination with my 54mm woodens. Grats to Mr. Rick Priestly for making such a fun and eloquent rules set.

Wanting only the best, I had my castle assembled and painted by the talented and handsome Darrrell Empey- you can see more about it on his blog http://a28mmbrain.blogspot.com/2017/08/10mm-castle.html
The castle itself is the fine creation (and are for sale) of my pal Michael, at Supreme little Designs.

More on the Siege as the battle continues...


Shadow and Flame- and Warmaster


So, I summoned up a Balrog from Ebay and got it painted up.
Been looking for this guy for a looooong time. Using him as a giant in our latest siege for a warmaster game. such a great model, but like many of the older casts, a bit fiddly to pin together.

I had originally painted him up with a lot more orange and reds, as he was technically a "fire Demon" in the old 80's Citadel catalogue, but he didn't look right, so I went back to a "Weta" Balrog grey with lighting highlights from the flaming sword and cat-o- nine tails whip.

 He's a bit tipsy on the warmaster base, but in his first outing managed to go head to head with two units of heavy knights- taking out one of the stands before they were both bounced. We'll see what happens next, but the knights are none too happy about having to charge him next turn...

Epic stand off between Empire knights and the Balrog

Sauron makes the Balrog fetch
No matter how cool Weta Balrog is, I still hold a fondness in my heart for the first Balrog I ever encountered, in my Hildebrandt calendar as a middle schooler.
 More picture of the siege and the awesome castle I'm using as soon as I can take some decent pics.


Triumph of Death: Pike block/Horde

Triumph of Death.

 Prodigal Blogger Returns!

Ahoy Fellow Bloggites! I've realized that I've been rather remiss on posting on my blog, being caught up in other social medias like the Face Books. Well, I've missed my blog and you'ze guys and promise to come back to it with regularity.

While away I've been working on lots of cool stuff and had some keen adventures to share- but for now I want to present to you this pike block made using my Triumph of Death miniatures, realized through my successful Kickstarter.
Speaking of Kickstarters- Thank you out there who backed, talked about or even just had good thoughts about Triumph of Death. The KS was a big success, thanks to you!

Now, more pics of the pike block.

I decided to add my seal to the base.

The Unit was fun to paint and even more fun to figure out how I wanted it to go together to create a story. I'm pretty happy with the latter, taking notes from Saxon Dog on his amazing diorama bases.

That's all for now- Cheers and blog at ya soon!


Triumph of Death: painted stretch goal minis

As soon as I got the first review casts of the last stretch goal minis, I primed them and put paint to them!

Zweihander attacking. 

The Abbot

Both the Abbot and the zweihander minis carry on the fish and crown motif, on the breastplate, and on the crozier and miter cap. I didn't even know the fish was on the crozier till I started painting! Sweet.

Standard bearer

The standard bearer comes open handed with the flag pole and hangar style sword attached to the base. This gives you lots of options with this particular model.
Armored Javelin variant

Javelin with hat variant
These latter two "variant" models are cast open handed so you can again have many options. I am jumping at the bit to do a pike block with them!

All of these models are the finishing touches on one of my high end painted backer rewards. They've already been boxed up and shipped out.


My name is Skull and Crown and I play with 6mm sci fi

Steve Jackson Ogre MkIII and some forge world tank busters.

Coming out of the Closet

It's true. For several years now I've been collecting and painting 6mm sci fi. Tanks, Mechs, Ogres (or as I like to think of them, BOLO's) troops, robots, Titans- the whole shebang! My close friends have known for years, and have supported me throughout tough times, like the Ogre kickstarter, and have tolerated my 6mm napoleonics.
 Now I'm ready to admit it publicly, and embrace- nay- be proud of my wee ways.

But in order to come out, I needed to have  platform upon which to do it. 


I was keen on making a new "planet" inspired by Venus and Mars and well, any good sci fi movie. Part of the plan was to incorporate all the vaccuform craters I've been hording over the years. I know I wanted an orange look, but not too orange. The main choice of color would rest on what paints were available at the local Home Depot and ACE Hardware off color bins.

I scored a  gallon of  deck paint with sand already in it, tannish color for $8, a quart of red brown for $4, and a  pint of yellow for $2. I already had a sampler pint of orange and a gallon of "Vallejo flat earth" that I had custom made last year as my base color (I use it as the base for all my mats no matter what terrrain, so my bases can match). 
One stretched canvas later,  some foam cut hills, and  a few layers of paint and drybrushing, a decent enough planet was made. 

under painting of the Vallejo brown. This is really a stain on a very wet canvas
The done mat- in the shade, so the colors here are muted. 

This picture captures the true color of the planet. Hm.. I need a name....
Troops in review

Infantry use the leviathan for a screen, and take advantage of it's shields

cute light jeeps scout ahead and worry about their cammo choices...

As my Combat! rules allow for Bolos, or Leviathans as I call them, the classic Ogre model fits the bill. I swear the lines on the Steve Jackson Ogre are as iconic as a 62 Chrysler 300.

Heavy Gear Mechs are swarmed by Skyth bugs

These pics cover just some of the collection, set up for a test photo shoot. As you can see, I'm all over the place with manufacturers. One company who's minis I am keen on is  the Dark Realm Miniatures line from Microworld games. They are actually quite pricey for 6's, but I love the sculpts.

Right, now that that's out of the bag, time to actually get these rules penned up.