Monday, December 9, 2013

Rhinos, Hippos, and Apes, oh my!

Beware the hungry, hungry hippo lurking in the rivers of my tabletop...
I have always enjoyed painting animals, whether in 28mm or 15mm. I think that even if they're used just for scenery, they always seem to make a good table look even better. So, when I finished my Southeast Asian temples awhile back, I thought I should raid my unpainted lead drawer and see what animals I have that would fit the locale. I have a decent-sized stock, and there were bound to be some in there that I could use in my games.
A 28mm Iron Wind (Ral Partha) Rhino. This is probably my second favorite, after the hippo, of this batch of animals
 What's more, Pulp Alley -- the rules I'm using for these games -- has a concept called "Perilous Areas." This is meant to be that generic dangerous part of the miniature tabletop. It could because of treacherous footing, a creaky old rope bridge, or even savage animals that might ambush the player. In the game, opponents can play a Fortune Card on a rival player when he enters one of those areas. These are "challenges" that they must pass using a designated character's statistic -- such as Cunning, Might, Dodge, etc. I envisioned these animals I painted up as perfect "markers" for perilous areas. You want to cross that jungle stream? Well, see that hippo in the water, that means it is a perilous area...will one get territorial and attack you, or will you pass the test?
A nasty, ill-tempered denizen of my jungles are these over-sized porkers
 So, when I hunted through my unpainted lead drawer (okay, rolling set of drawers!), I found a hippo. I also found a rhino, gorilla, wild board, cobra, and two water buffaloes. Yes, yes, I know. Not all of these animals are necessarily Southeast Asian, but it is close enough. These are Pulp games after all. Once you accept that you are being attacked by Pygmy Cannibals of the South Seas, you're not going to quibble about whether the type of rhino I painted up is native to the jungles of Southeast Asia!
"Out of bananas again...? Why I oughta take the head offa the first dope who comes along...say, who's that over there?"
I painted this up as an Egyptian banded cobra because I loved the yellow and black pattern
I believe all of these except for the water buffalo are from Iron Wind Metals. The descendants of Ral Partha, this company is a regular at the conventions I attend. I love sorting through their loose lead bin, and have a hard time coming away without my hands silvery and a brown paper bag full of animals that you-just-never-know if I'll need one day. After all, look at these beauties! Who knew that I'd be needing them to mark out perilous areas on a 28mm Pulp game? But there they are! Anyway, I highly, highly recommend hitting up Iron Wind at conventions. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better assortment of animals, dinosaurs, and various other loose metal bits that what they carry. They charge by the pound, too, so you can mix and match to your heart's desire.
Two water buffalo posing by the second, smaller jungle hut I built in less than a week leading up to my second game of Dakota Smith's Oriental Adventures. Notice the improvised staircase of crates. Clever, aren't I? Ha, ha!
When I finished running the second installment of Dakota Smith's Oriental Adventures at my buddy Keith's the other night, one of my friends found these three Easter Island moai on his table. I snatched them up and told him I'd touch them up and flock them. I knew they'd be perfect for the next game. Yes, yes, I know Easter Island is nowhere near Southeast Asia! But these could fill the bill as primitive stone idols. I mean, last time I checked, Easter Island has never copyrighted the concept of a giant stone head. And if they did, their copyright expired with their civilization! Seriously, all I did to these guys was dry brush a lighter shade on exposed areas, give them a nice dark ink wash, and put flocking on the bases. It'll be a shame to give them back to Keith...I've always loved that otherworldly look of the moai. And yes, I have been to Easter Island in my travels. Here's a couple of my favorite photos from that trip to close out this post.
I have no idea where these came from -- well, other than my friend's basement! I just had to snag them, touch them up, and get them ready for my next game.
Iconic shot from Ranu Raruku -- the quarry on Easter Island
One of my all-time favorite sunset shots I've ever taken
What's up next? A small project and a really big one, size-wise...more to come soon!

1 comment:

  1. I love the hippo. Is that a converted plastic toy or from a miniatures line?