30 November, 2014
In the last while I’ve read a fair bit. I read the Black Company series by Glenn Cook, and a couple of the series of Raymond Feist (I’m on the Serpentwar Saga, but stopped as I couldn’t put it down!). I’ve then reread Fritz Leiber’s stories on Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are easier to put down as they are short stories. I read these all on an ebook reader, a B&N Nook. However, there are a few books that I’ve wanted to read for a while that I’ve not been able to find digital versions of. I got them out of the public library yesterday and as I’ve not found very detailed descriptions of them online; besides what I read on TMP here, which made me want to find them, I’ve found nothing of substance. Therefore I’ll add some now:
- The Sons of the Swordmaker 
This is set in Ireland around the time of Augustus. It is based on the story Togail Bruidne Dá Derga (The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel) . The sons of the swordmaker are from the continent, but one ends up in Ireland. Some elements would not be in a book written today (winged helmets, though fetching on Asterix, are not considered normal, nor are scythed chariots). However, there are details that reflect the experience of someone who’d grown up before electricity became common, such as details of daily life. These details and the characters made it a book I enjoyed.
Years back, when I was studying Old Irish at university, we read some of Togail Bruidne Dá Derga. I can’t say I enjoyed it. The first paragraph describes a woman and the vocabulary was very varied and complex; we didn’t read much in the end, either.
- Blackcock’s Feather 
Set in Ireland during the Elizabethan period; I’ve not read it yet.
- And No Quarter 
This describes events during the campaigns of the Marquis of Montrose, It was published in the US as The Dark Rose. I’ve not read it yet.
29 November, 2014
I’ve finally finished a number of figures. These are mostly Splintered Light ones. I’ve got quite a few of them recently; I really like them and can really recommend Dave McBride as someone to shop from.
The first of these figures are some giant boars. They may be beasts in HoTT, possibly with a Dwarven army that is still taking shape. The figures look nice, but the bristles are not quite deeply enough incised to get the contrast that my use of washes and drybrushing needs.
The next is a Hippogriff rider that I started around the time that I was painting Normans for SoBH. It never quite got finished. It’s an old Ral Partha figure. There’s also a pair of Chariot centaurs that I started at some stage and only got finished today.
Then there are three Khurasan Norman knights that were in the same boat. They will round out that Norman warband.
And then the new stuff! I painted some Splintered Light Wraiths and Ghosts last month, but didn’t get around to flocking them. They were flocked today, along with the Gnolls that I have just finished. These were experiments in using washes and drybrushing on very light and dark colours. I went for a light blue for the ghosts and an very dark blue for the wraiths. I was pleased with those colours, though I’m less pleased with how the flesh of the wraiths came out.
The HoTT wraiths are based as sneakers and the HoTT ghosts as lurkers. The SoBH figures will be joined by skeletons, zombies, ghouls and werewolves at some stage.
Finally, the first of a number of SoBH warbands that are fantastic value from Splintered Light. These are their hyena men, or gnolls. I didn’t put a lot of effort into painting them, but went for a technique I’ve used for horses of undercoating half in black first. I was worried that the faces, manes and tails would look terrible, but once I added a wash and some dry brushing, they look acceptable. I went for very drab equipment — blank shields, plain kilts; they are supposed to look pretty primitive. They also have some hyenadons as support animals.
I have a ratmen warband that I’ve started, and which is a lot of fun; then in addition to the undead I mentioned, I have lizardmen and troglodytes. I’m keen to do a small warband of rangers using some of the Splintered Light Robin Hood series; I have the figures, it depends a bit on the order I paint them!