Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Bloat

It is of course canonical to paint certain demons in certain ways. Nothing wrong with that.

Green and brown to represent bile and decay--the corrupted flesh. Occasionally a startling, bowel-y purple, as a reminder that what's inside is a mystery, and mysteries can be rubbery.

 But there are other possible associations. This sculpt in particular, with its nicks and gouges, makes me think of a cut finger that has been under a bandage for a long time. The flesh is soft and overly pale. The wound is a bloodless red with an alien topography to the under-surface that is normally hidden beneath the skin.

This association makes me reflect that beneath the surface of things, death is a powerful and pervasive motivating force. It's inside everything, even if we don't recognize it. 

That is one of the metaphorical faces of Chaos--the animating force of death is portrayed literally, incorporated in the body of the demon and alluded to in the gong of skulls on which the march is beaten. 

I have painted this guy to reflect this idea. I call him The Bloat.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Painting Exchange

I found that I liked this sculpt quite a bit as I painted it. There's something so implacable about the set of the sallet and the off-kilter trudge/stalk that really appeals to me.

And the grip on the sword. It's like its been wrung for decades with a timeless grudge. I hear the leather creak like the grinding of teeth. This figure looks like it stumped into the twilight miles away and years ago, and has just now reappeared in the circle of firelight, walking in the same direction, muttering the same curses.

I think my non-metallic metal painting has come along apace, though it's still somewhat more painterly than you'll find in other examples. I'm okay with that though.

This was painted for a figure exchange put on by my friends at Chicago Skirmish Wargames. A fun exercise that made me really want to go the extra mile.

Though it made it a little hard to let go when I was done, if I'm honest.

In case you're curious, this is an old grenadier sculpt. You can find your own here, along with much of the rest of the Fantasy Warriors line for a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Moving to Hawaii...

(you can buy this print here)

...which isn't that big a deal, but right now it feels like I might as well be moving to another planet. Anyway, that's why it's been so quiet around here, and why it will continue to be so. But don't worry, I'll be back in a month or two.

Friday, June 19, 2015


So I've come to hate this particular model. I didn't like it much to begin with, but it came in an ebay lot with several citadel demonoids and broo-folk that I loved, so he wound up in my collection. 

I thought I could paint him up to look more like a demon than an unreflective mish-mash of effed up colonialist ideas—which, though generally regarded by even the modestly informed as completely effed, still for some reason persist in our fantasy renderings of certain creatures—but all that I accomplished was to hate this model increasingly the more I looked at it. Clearly you can't polish a perverse systemic problem any more than you can polish a turd.

Maybe I'm alone in this. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, I don't know. Maybe you feel differently and maybe that's fine. Maybe there are possible treatments that can make something like this acceptable. All I know is that I don't like looking at this figure and I don't like displaying it on my shelf. I wouldn't even put it up here if I didn't think it was important for me to express my feelings about it.

I'll be selling it on as soon as I can be arsed. Maybe I should have mentioned that at the beginning of my sales pitch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Easy Ordinary Bitter

Sometimes you sit down for your evening brew and notice that your crate of full bottles has somehow turned into a crate mostly of empty bottles. You realize that even with careful rationing, you may only make it about 2 weeks, maybe 2 and a half, before you don't have any evening brews anymore.

In these situations, swift, decisive action will carry the day. you can't always afford a full 6-8 hour brew schedule and a month of fermentation. So it's useful to have an easy extract recipe on hand that's simple, consistent, and will top up your stores.

So this is my very basic adaptation of Papazian's "Palace Bitter" recipe. The use of extract eliminates the time-consuming mash step as well as the full-volume boil--which also saves time during the cooling step because you can add the hot wort to cold water and greatly reduce chill times. Here's how the recipe goes:

Easy Ordinary Bitter

Grain/Extract Bill:
5 pounds Munton's Amber Dry Malt Extract
1/2 pound 40 Lovibond Crystal Malt (for steeping)

Mash Schedule:
Bring 3 gallons of water to approximately 150 degrees F. Steep 1/2 pound of 40L Crystal malt for about a half hour. (To avoid having to strain, you can use a steeping bag. Just make sure to squeeze out all the malty goodness when you remove it.)

Hop Schedule:
1 oz Cluster Pellets (7.4% Alpha Acid) 60 minutes
1/2 oz Nelson Sauvin (14.6% Alpha Acid) at flameout, before chilling

1 package US-05 dry American ale yeast combined with 1 package S-04 dry English ale yeast, rehydrated.

Fermented for one week in primary, then bottled with 3/4 cup of corn sugar for natural carbonation.

Original Gravity: 1.0489
Final Gravity: 1.011
Approximate ABV; 5%
IBU: 26.5

This beer is orangey-pale in color with a nice, rocky head. It smells yeasty with a hint of something that reminds me of honeydew.  It is quenching and light-bodied, with a touch of oatmeal sweetness grounded in sturdy hop bitterness. It's an easy beer to make and to drink...good for drinking with food or for the removing of edges.