Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Fugly

Happy New Year to one and all!

With 2014 fast approaching, the goal of averaging two posts per month has been met with this, the twenty-fourth post of the year.

I'm tempted to stop right here. While achieving my post goal with a post that says nothing more than, "Cool, I met my post goal" may appeal to my inner comedian, it hardly makes for compelling reading. (Sorry inner comedian. Better luck next year.)

Instead, I offer a few thoughts on the highs and lows from the past year.

The Good 
  • Blogging : I've enjoyed taking a more active interest in my own blog and those of others. Seeing what other members of the community are doing is a blast in its own right. Plus, it's often just the kick in the ass that this terminal procrastinator needs to get on with it.
  • An Embarrassment of Riches : These are wondrous times in which we live! It seems as though every time I turn around another miniature company is offering a new, shiny object that I can't live without. Case in point: RuneCast Miniatures - a new company whose first few minis were hard (as in impossible) to resist. 
Welcome To The Lead Pile
  •  Windsor & Newton Brushes. I finally broke down in 2013 and spent a little more for some decent brushes. The difference is like night and day. 

The Bad
  • Second Verse, Same as the First; Bound to Be Better... Unless it's Worse : One word says it all... BONES. I might easily have gone for two words, in which case BONES would have been preceded by a colorful expletive. Forgive my lapse. Please feel free to insert the expletive of your choice. For more Bones related frustration see my rant from earlier this year.

    The Fugly
  • The Never Ending Story : I'm still waiting on my rewards from four crowdfunding projects. Two appear as though they will experience minor delays.  The other two are currently overdue by six months and approximately a year respectively. It's enough to sour one on the whole shebang.

Here I might continue with a peek at what I'm currently working on but my inner comedian informs me that one should always leave the audience wanting more. With that in mind, I'll conclude simply by saying, Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Silly Rabbit

Death awaits you all.
A rabbit may seem an odd starting point for monster creation. (Unless you're a carrot; rabbits scare the hell out of carrots.) Nonetheless, various folklore traditions and taxidermists provide a surprisingly varied collection of horned and/or winged chimera-bunnies (Sweden's Skvader, Germany's Wolpertinger, America's Jackalope to name a few).

Alan Hunter illustration from Fiend Folio
Not to be outdone, the Fiend Folio throws the Al Mi'raj into the mix. I foolishly believed that this was a recent hybridization in the spirit of the Owl-Bear... take a rabbit, slap a unicorn's horn on its noggin, and call it a day. It turns out this critter can be traced back to the Mid-East as detailed on Wikipedia. Cool.

Cool too is the fact that Wyrd produces a Jackalope mini perfectly suited for a simple Al Mi'raj conversion. Nasty, big, pointy teeth (to quote Tim the Enchanter), an aggressive stance, and separate antlers were all selling features. A winged unicorn from Mirliton, earmarked for another conversion, provided the horn.

Step one: drill a hole in the forehead just forward of where the antlers would go.

Step two: carve the lower section of the horn into a post that fits into the hole. Attach with super-glue.

Step three: Some putty work.

Painting was very straightforward. The source material indicated a pale coloration with a black horn. The spotted coat seen in some illustrations was intriguing but in the end I kept it simple.


The Wyrd mini was fun to work with and is just a pair of wings shy of the dreaded Wolpertinger, undisputed king of all rabbit-monsters. I'll save that for another day though. Right now I have a post-operative unicorn and several half painted minis vying for my attention.