Diverse creatures of Twilight

Picking up names for these World of Twilight posts is getting increasingly difficult. But as dull as it may be, I have to say it's an accurate title. Today's bunch lacks much coherence, but at least it has the usual colour oversaturation!

They all belong to The Kedashi Swarms KS campaign, and my main reference keeps on being the Avatar-like inspiration I've been trying to bring to the project all these years.

So, without further ado, here you have some more friendly (or maybe not that much) critters of Anyaral.

First of all, the Kiterak:

She has kind of a meme face

And certainly kind of a meme pose

The sculpt is quite daring, but it was a total pleasure to paint. Now, on the same blue and red theme, but way darker...

Angry oversized alien hairless rat The Kelahn

I only realised the Spiderman colours pattern when it was too late

There are some proper mammals too. Here you have a Skerrat:

Mama Skerrat and her tiny kiddos

Infinitely fluffy
I have some issues with painting fur in this kind of cold palette, as it looks really couterintuitive to me, but I guess it's cool to get out of any comfort area.
Now some smaller fellas:

A Frenu swarm with a Trebarnii brute

I guess I should have taken a pic alongside the Kiterak above. Too late

Finally, some eggs and hatchlings!

Imagine the omelete you could make out of these

Well, only if you don't take into consideration the kind of creatures inside

They all are Akitiin species (which I have learned too late again), so in fact I should have painted them all alongside the adult I painted back in January. Least I could do is bringing them all together for a nice family pic:

Soo tender

 This is it for today. I know it's quite a short, quick post, but I've used this batch as a palette cleanser before I get on new stuff. I still have many minis pending from this KS, so you can expect some more posts in the (hopefully) near future!


Cave dwellings

 Misleading title. I wouldn't blame anyone if you thought I'm into a new Neanderthal project or something like that. But the truth is I'm back to my mining town vertical board! Let's briefly recap. Last time I left you with this pic:

Here's the post. Wow, that was back in September. Shame on me.

Next step before I can go any further is finishing those two caves on the rock wall.

First of all, I thought the whole wall needed some more texture. It looked too flat, too straight, doesn't give the impression of being a desert rock formation, it looks more like a weird building. I mean, not that I'm really aiming at something like this:

Looks awesome, but it's sooo out of my reach

But anyway I could put some effort into making it all look more like rock:

The interior of the cave needed it too, of course

So I provisionally came to something like this:

Looks better. I won't say "looks good", but just simply better than before

Once you add some doors and stuff of course it looks a little better:

Now the title of the post begins to make sense

The upper cave looks horryfing empty. You know my perpetual dilemma, I'm aware I'm building a doll house, but I still need to... well, at least pretend it's playable! So I'll add some stuff but leaving enough room for minis and so. My starting point:

Disconcerting, I know. This post is made of pure entropy

It's a cologne top (the ubiquitous one I use for control panels all over) and a piece of a broken water gun from the Suberlings. Of course they needed some work...

Not that it's specially complex

...and some paint:

Now they look like part of the board

This is the centerpiece, but I also added some tubes, wires and weird stuff to the caves, so I finally got to this point:

General view of the whole board so far

Upper cave

Lower one

You can see there's nothing new, I'm just repeating the same techiques and doing the same things I've previously used on the other pieces of the board, to give a coherent look. Here you have them both:

Still need to add ladders and stuff

But I need to make some more progress on other areas before I do that, you see

I tried to give it all the same look than the other larger cave, and I reinforced that feeling by adding the large horizontal pipe on the upper part at the same height, giving the impression it's still the same thing.

Have a look at the caves with some minis:

Still playable!

A hand barely fits in there, but it's enough for gaming purposes

So this is it for today! I know it doesn't look like a huge progress, but I'm afraid it involved quite a lot of hours, so it's tricky!

The good thing is that now I have the back part "finished" (as much as I can at this stage), I can now bring the board from there to the front part, so this was a key stage of the project, which unlocks other new parts.

So I'd better go for them!


Athenian trireme in 28mm (Pt. 2, hull decorations)

 OK, so coming back from this post, here I am again!

I had finished the basic colours on the Agreousa, but the hull still had quite a lot of work pending. I could (and maybe should) have started with some other stuff, but I felt the urge to set the anchors in place, don't ask me why.

And so I proceeded

The anchors are made of sticks, like the rest of the ship, but I tried to give them some iron looking with some slight verdigris effect.

Anchors away!

I know, it's kind of Painting Big Things 101, don't glue stuff on the main structure until you've finished painting it. But anyway, it's done.

 Next thing I wanted to do was the eyes on the bow. You may have usually seen them painted on basically every illustration, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that these ophtalmoi (you see, quite literaly 'eyes') were sometimes also made as pieces of marble and attached to the ship's hull.

In fact, this is quite representative of the whole philosophy behind the triremes and, of course, this very project. The ships were kind of State-owned, but their maintenance, staffing and everything were commended to wealthy citizens as part of their duties. As a consequence, the 'captains' of the ships, the Trierachs, usually competed against each other to have the best trained and most impressive trireme.

I digress. The ophtalmoi. They were conceived, not just as a decoration (that probably too, just remember all those pics of modern planes  with eyes and maws on them), but also as talismans to ward off evil.

Circa 500BC. On display in the archaeological museum of the Piraeus

I took that pic as a reference, instead of the usual modern illustrations. I could have sculpted the eyes using greenstuff, but I think just a paper will do. So I got this:

Music on: The eye of the tiger trireme

There's something a little bit unsettling about these eyes, isn't there?

I should have put "Greek Fire". Hmm

Anyway. Once on the bow, the trireme looks like this:

This ship has seen things

Back on the general decoration subject, there is no archaeological evidence of actual paintings on triremes, we just have some records and depictions, and then some modern illustrations trying to be, if not accurate, at least good looking. Herodotus (Histories, III, 58), when talking about the events on Samus in the 7th Century BC says that "all ships in these early times were painted with vermilion" [NB: in fact the original speaks of what we nowadays call red ochre, the minium, the mineral pigment]. So every artist has painted their triremes red since. But the very words of Herodotus imply themselves that, by his time, not all ships were painted in the same way. There is clear evidence that the maintenance of a trireme was quite a heavy economic burden, and it was a matter of prestige for the Trierach. Given that, there were real struggles to show off and to have the most pompous ship.

What am I trying to say? The usual illustrations depict triremes like this:

Cool, right. I'll give you that

The Greek Navy even has the Olympias, a functional trireme. Not having actual archaeologial evidence, as said before, they were rigorous and opted not to decorate her, in order not to make her look anachronistic or ridiculous: 

No, seriously, how cool is this?

But let me make some considerations. Under the light of what was said before, i.e., that we know that the triremes were in fact painted and decorated (my guess is that not only in red) and that the Trierachs had real competitions to have the most luxurious, best looking trireme, as it was a matter of prestige for them and their families, let's think how could these ships be decorated.

I mean, we have extensive and undisputed evidence that, for example, the Acropolis looked something like this:

It didn't look like that when I visited the place

Or that they actually painted their gorgeous sculptures like this:

Oh, man, thin your paint! That one needs Agrax!

So, please excuse me if I find hard to believe that the very same guys that made these things to... well, everything...

They painted extensively and colourfully every single thing they had a chance to!!

... left their ships with all that bare wooden surface and painted just the bow in red. Sorry, no way.

So, with that idea in mind, I started to work. First of all, the Trierarch needed a chair worth of the owner. The Trierach's seat is the most obvious indicator of his status, so he needs it to be obnoxiously petulant. He's not gonna sweat handling an oar, that's for sure.

I even tried to represent a cushion on the seat

Now for the big, hard work. How would I decorate the side of the trireme? Well, I think it's quite obvious, with waves. Greeks painted gorgeous waves:

Unfortunately I'm not Greek

But with enough patience, I could make something decent


Doing the other side proved tricky, as I had to do the waves pointing opposite.

They look worse, but I hope you won't notice at table distance

I also had to do it on the bow. I like how it gives an impression of "crowning" the "face"

Now you undestand the eyes. Mine were just the same at this point

But the upper side needed something too. More waves would have been repetitive. I tried a geometrical pattern:

I should have looked for decals or something on the internet


A close-up to see my fall into madness

I guess it looks difficult, but in fact I chose quite an easy pattern, something that could be replicated automatically:

And repeat. And repeat. And repeat

 Of course it's mentally exhausting and took me some days. There are some other pics of the process:

Sssss. It musst be painted, my preciousss

The good thing on this is that I kept the same pattern for the other side, no need to invert it:

And repeat. And repeat. And repeat

Until it's done!!

The final touch was to paint the vertical piece on the bow (the acrostolium) black. It adds some contrast, but I didn't want to add a new colour. This is meant to look decorated, but not as a carnival float.

Best pic I could take

Additional decoration on the stern

And a final pic of the finished hull:

Seriously, it's painfully difficult to take pics of this monster

This is it! I consider the hull, i.e., the ship itself, done. So what's next? I need to work on the oars, the base and the crew. But I think I can consider this project in quite an advanced state of progress. Anyway, if you don't mind, I guess I need a break to recover some sanity points.

Let's see what other stuff I have unfinished...