Progress on the diorama continues but not as fast or smoothly I would like. I managed to get the base sculpted, sanded, and ready for the next steps which is to be frank, one of the less exciting parts of the process so that’s good. I’ve also been chipping away at the remaining minis that need to be painted which has been a mixed bag to say the least.
Past experience painting hobbits taught me that they are smaller than you expect and challenging to paint as a result. I thought I would be smart and get a magnification lens that I can put on my desk and pick out the details as needed with. Unfortunately, I found using the magnification lens tricky because aiming your brush is much harder than I expected. Instead, I mostly used it to check my work and make sure that the mini looked as good or as bad as my eyes suggested. Since I had a couple of spare minis, I thought I’d try this guy first as a test piece.
It is a good thing he was for practice because I couldn’t quite get his face right, especially the jowls. I kind of forgot how I did the shading on Eomer’s face as well. If this was a gaming piece, I’d be totally fine with the painting but since this is for a diorama, I really hoped to get better results on the next mini. As it stands now, I’m going to send this one to friend of the site, Bret, to hopefully entice him to make some Hobbit terrain in the future.
Next up is Farmer Cotton who came out much better even if it took a while to finish. I tried to find places where I could add visual interest since it is a pretty simple and small mini. The leather and metallic surface on the pitchfork were as good as I could come up with. I’m pretty happy with this one and I think it will look great in the diorama.
Unfortunately, I’ve run into more headaches as both of the other minis I bought from Forge World had resin bubbles on them. Generally, they are a minor annoyance but the locations of the bubbles is problematic. One hobbit had a bubble on the tip of his nose! That is the type of thing I’d expect from Finecast, not Forge World.
The other, pictured above has this on the bottom of his cloak. This one can’t simply be filled with a bit of glue or varnish. I’m going to have to try and sculpt the corner of his cloak which is something I’ve never done. I know it isn’t too tricky or hard to do but it is annoying because I paid Forge World prices for these minis, I was hoping for higher quality than this because I’m working on a diorama, and also I shouldn’t have to sculpt something to clean up casting issues. According to a friend who orders from Forge World more often than I do, these bubbles aren’t too uncommon, and this isn’t the type of thing that GW will send you a new mini for either so I will see what I can do. I need to fix the one pictured above because I botched painting the other sculpt’s face and I don’t think its good enough for the diorama. So no pressure to learn some basic sculpting and get this mistake fixed! I’m probably going to step away from the hobbits for a week to clear my head and make sure I’m ready to do my best work again.
Not too long ago, I played my first game of Hellboy: The Board Game and had fun playing the tutorial scenario/case file. Since that time, I was starting to question how much I enjoyed playing it. Part of that is a lot of times, tutorials aren’t as fun as the “real thing” and with Hellboy I was actually kind of hoping that was the case. I liked it but I wanted the game to show me a little more narrative and that it was a bit more strategic and intense on higher difficulties.
This week I finally had a chance to play again and I was curious to see if a “real” case file would be even more fun and satisfying to play or not. I played “Hunting Party” which has a pretty good narrative to it. Your team is trying to eliminate Frogs’ nests and kill the leader essentially. In true dungeon crawler fashion, you don’t know which rooms the nests will be in so you have to seek them out. To my surprise, I got a different set of frog enemies than the last time I played with lots of Transforming Frog Monsters (people who aren’t fully frogs yet and will run away from you instead of attacking but they can turn into an actual frog that will attack you in time) and frog swarms which downgrade your dice and cause doom. When you couple that with a boss monster who hits hard and surprised me by showing up multiple times in the game (instead of waiting until the end, like last time), I felt like it was quite a good game. Unfortunately, I used sub-par strategy and didn’t take care of the Frog Swarms quick enough which advanced the doom track and meant the game didn’t last as long as it could have. I also didn’t roll for the Transforming Frog Monsters morphing into a more aggressive and dangerous type of frog and missed that a group of them spawn with the final boss. All of these things made the scenario easier than it should have been and I just barely managed to kill the boss.
If I had used the rules correctly, there’s no way I would have won so I don’t consider this a win, mostly just a learning experience. Playing again got me more excited for playing Hellboy and now I’m convinced that I do in fact, like the game pretty well and made a good purchase. That is ideal considering I’ve spent roughly $300-400 on it! I’m also looking forward to getting more stuff painted so I can play more cases which was my secondary goal in playing. I wouldn’t be surprised if I paint another mini or two on my brief break from the diorama.