Rangers of Shadow Deep Lucky Dip

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I’m prepping for some Rangers of Shadowdeep games, working on a range of bits and pieces from all sorts of sources.

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RangersOfShadowDeepCover

“Rangers of Shadow Deep” is a co-operative, miniature skirmish rule set, with a classic role-playing game, fantasy adventure theme. My first hobby item completed for RoSD was “Byron Maiden” back in March.

RoSD specifies adversaries and terrain for each encounter, but the emphasis is on using what you already have to approximate these things. As a result I have been looking at my existing toy soldier plans through a RoSD prism lately. My recently finished Warhammer: Underworlds undead warbands – the Thorns of the Briar Queen

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…and the Sepulchral Guard

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…were driven primarily by plans to use them in Rangers for example.

Gnolls feature heavily as mooks in early RoSD scenarios. I wouldn’t know a gnoll from a small hill, but I did have an almost fully painted Warhammer Underworlds warband of skaven half finished for almost two years, so I completed those.

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Spiteclaws Swarm, L to R: Hungering Skaven, Lurking Skaven, Skritch Spiteclaw, Krrk the Almost-Trusted, Festering Skaven.

As you might expect from the Warhammer Underworlds range, “Spiteclaw’s Swarm” are gorgeous designs and were very pleasant to work on.

And everybody likes skaven, don’t they?

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“Medieval Houses Set” from Gamemat.eu

Around this point I decided that I wanted some vaguely Brothers Grimm type terrain for playing RoSD in and around. A local supplier had this set of pre-painted Gamemat.eu terrain in stock, so I ordered it and immediately took some goofy photos of toy soldiers in front of it as soon as it arrived.

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Spiteclaws Swarm feels over-exposed in front of some prepainted Gamemat.eu terrain, on an Urbanmatz Cobblestone mat

The Medieval Houses set is pre-painted and is ready to go straight out of the box. It doesn’t need any additional work done to it. I decided to “add an egg” anyway though, to put a tiny bit of my own stamp on the pieces via some simple weathering, adding some tufts etc.

As the photos in this and possibly some future posts were taken at various times over the last while, the photos of the Medieval Town will sometimes feature that weathering, and other times, like the photos in this post, it won’t.

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Fantasy civilians, L to R: Wolfgang, Gudrun, Inge, Helmut (Fireforge) and Johann (Citadel)

The Fireforge “Folk Rabble” set is lovely. Uncluttered sculpts of a specific sort of angry yokel, useful in all sorts of games, and initially for me at least, as civilians for rescuing in RoSD.

They got a pretty basic paint job (I’m being quite rough and ready with painting these days. I’m currently more interested in getting things finished, than in striving for technical improvement) that I hope to be able to match on the rest of the set a later stage.

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The fifth civilian is one of those odd miniatures that has had a form of breakout success.

Supplied as an extra on the Citadel Giant/Gargant kit some years ago, the figure was used to show scale alongside Forge World products for years. At some point the guy got a name, and a while back became a recurring character in an online Warhammer comic. I had a Johann waiting for paint, so decided to get him in on the RoSD act.

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More examining of the scenarios in the developing RoSD campaign, showed that a dungeon was required, surprising nobody.

Dungeons are an iconic part of the genre, obviously. Relatively few people have a three dimensional dungeon to play on though, no matter how appealing the idea is.

Rather than get involved in a time consuming project that would cost a certain amount in bare materials no matter what, I decided to buy something pre-painted, as I did with the village.

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Urbanmatz “Dungeon Walls” set, shown here on an Urbanmatz cobblestone mat. The photo obviously comes from Guerrilla Miniature Games, which is easily my favourite YouTube miniature gaming channel.

I bought a set of Urbanmatz Dungeon Walls. Pre-painted and ready to go straight out of the box, I found it to be a better option than making something similar from scratch. Some people love that sort of thing, which is perfectly fine, but I don’t.

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40 pieces. There are five closed doors and five open (as in doorways sans door, rather than moving parts or hinges or anything like that).

Naturally, as soon as the set arrived I unpacked it and immediately stuck some of my toy soldiers in front of some of the walls and took some quick photos.

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Once again, I want to emphasise that these pieces were literally ready to use straight out of the box. I added some weathering and further detail later on because I wanted to, not because it was really a requirement. And none of that work is shown in the photos in this post anyway.

Also tackled around this point was a model that I had wanted to paint since 1990. So I painted four. That’s still only one every 2737 days.

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I do love these old HeroQuest mummies. They are definitive to me.

All that said, I painted these alongside the Fireforge rabble and the quality difference was really very apparent: painting the faces on these guys was a struggle. Thirty years of plastic sculpting and tooling technology will do that I suppose.

Incidentally, as Egyptian mummies don’t really fit that well with the RoSD theme that I fancy (creepy Germanic forests, black mud, large bugs, a lot of rot and damp) I painted these with a vague notion that they might be a little fresher than an ancient mummified corpse. I figured that these might be some poor guys that ended up with leprosy, or were maybe plague victim bodies that were treated a certain way.

I don’t know if it comes across really, but it pleased me to think of it that way, and that’s the main thing in this context.

Lastly for this post, the next thing that I needed were some large and unpleasant flies, which show up in a few RoSD scenarios. I spent a while wondering what would be the best way to tackle these – “joke” plastic 1:1 flies, some sort of miniature bat – until Mr Saturday reminded me that I have a set of Citadel bugs just sitting in a box, waiting for their day.

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Gellerpox Eyestingers (Citadel)

The eyestingers from the 40k “Gellerpox Infected” were perfect for this purpose. While I was at it, I decided to paint the other horrible non-sci-fi-specific bugs in the Gellerpox set at the same time.

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Gellerpox Infected Cursemites (Citadel)

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Gellerpox Infected Sludge-grubs (Citadel)

Technically the Cursemites and Sludge-grubs don’t map perfectly onto anything that I have planned for RoSD, but if I require more than four swarms of giant flies, then they will stand in. I mean, would you make much of a distinction between being attacked by a fly the size of a pomeranian or a flea the size of a springer spaniel? Yeah, me neither.

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I have plenty of other things in the pipeline for this, in varying stages of completion.

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19 Responses

  1. All looking awesome! I’m currently building terrain so that I can get a game in…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent stuff mate – I picked up RoSD when it came out, and I just got put off by the amount of ‘stuff’ I would need to do… Great to see you talking it on though mate, and I love the germanic fairytale vibe – I’m going to enjoy this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • RoSD is the sort of thing that if I am ruthlessly objective about, I have everything ready to go for already. Strictly speaking I have enough painted miniatures to approximate 99% of what comes up. Playing games is a critical part of the hobby for me, but enjoying the creative and planning processes is equally important, so I like to invest in the plan a bit too.

      What I’m trying to do is see what I already have that will do, and then work back to see what I could work on that would be better. It’s not very scientific, but the items above come from that approach, so it’s already productive.

      Getting everything for RoSD ready is still probably less expensive, less work and more interesting and varied than prepping a Warhammer army. I’m trying to treat the project as multiple sub-projects that each have measurable beginnings, middles and ends. I find that less daunting than treating it as a whole.

      I also try to map out projects with multiple gaming ready milestones. An example is the Underworlds Skaven, now ready to go for that game. The next stage for them is to add some with ranged weapons so that they fit the required gnoll slots in the first games of RoSD. Stage three is to add a few more to make them Mordheim ready. After that it’s enough to get them ready for Warcry. If that happens, then I’m heading into Saga: Age of Magic territory. Achievable sub-goals.

      The individual RoSD scenarios also assist planning. You can get the requirements for each scenario done in order, and they begin to stack.

      As the Wolf Time proved beyond any doubt, you have the required determination and skills for any project like this Alex, and I reckon that RoSD is easier to get stuck into than that, simply because the variety makes it more fun to work on.

      Not that I’m trying to nag you into doing it or anything, just saying that with a slight shift in perspective you might find that it’s less of a monolithic job and more of a puzzle to be taken apart.

      Thanks for the feedback Alex!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Aye, I’ll have to tale another look mate – I know I can do it if I put my mind to it, it’s more a question of fitting it around other projects really 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous stuff, nice to see plenty of new painted things from you. Those pre-painted pieces look excellent as well, in this fairly hectic life phase spending (decent amounts of) money instead of (non-existent amounts of) time is more and more often a good choice, and as with everything in the hobby, quality has considerably improved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing to think about how much the hobby market has developed during the time since we started blogging Mikko. It was boutique back then too, but the quality and variety of things other than simply miniatures has rocketed.

      I have been struggling to blog consistently since mid 2017, for all sorts of reasons, but I never stop working away on hobby projects. I figured that it was best to get all of this somewhat connected stuff up here one way or another 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback Mikko!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Almost too much great stuff to take in here. It’s as if you had taken a full boxed set game and painted it in it’s entirety. The appeal of the pre-painted terrain is pretty high, especially when you’re able to get an instantaneously filled tabletop simply with the addition of a mat. I guess the dungeon walls can also act as walls to enclosed gardens or yards in your village?

    I love those flies. I love those filthy mouldy mummies. I love the villagers. Great stuff all round!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Dungeon Walls are used precisely as you describe in a lot of the promotional images Axiom. I’m sure that they will be used to make a series of alleys with those buildings at some point.

      It is a bit like the contents of a boxed game, now that you mention it. Funnily enough, I think that I have made more progress because it is actually a series of smaller self contained projects, than if it was one big project. Those big boxes are daunting and prescriptive in a way that this mix and match isn’t, which suits my scattergun, project hopping inclinations.

      Re prepainted terrain, I don’t want to plan, purchase materials for, create and paint a load of houses and walls. A handful perhaps, but making up the numbers with prepainted bits seems sensible to me. It means that I can focus on other terrain pieces that interest me more, when I fancy doing so, while still getting on with the games.

      The flies are my favourite things out the entire lot, but to be honest, I get a kick out of seeing all of that ready to go. There is something to like about every aspect, from my perspective, which is great.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  5. Great content, so many good ideas in here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Subedai!

      It’s a big ol’ post, but connected in theme enough to be reasonably coherent I think.

      Like

      • Absolutely, that’s what makes it so inspirational. Most of us have large collections of armies plus various odds and ends of figures and terrain pieces that work great combined if taken out of their original context and used in systems like RoSD (which I’ve been meaning to get). Good to see it coming together like yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        • RoSD is driving me to complete a ephemeral “Encounter Chart” list of adversaries from the RPGs that I first read as a kid (“Dragon Warriors” is probably the most influential one for me). Add a dungeon and some other definitive tropes and it feels like I am closing a stage of the hobby that I have been wish listing since I was a child.

          It’s a good feeling. I’m glad that you can relate so well Subedai 🙂

          Like

          • Interesting, I don’t know that series at all. I started out with Warlock of Firetop Mountain, followed by The Dark Eye, WFRP and MERP. For better or worse, my painting passion has always been rank and file hordes since WFB 3rd, so I am not getting much else done despite having bought all sorts of critters over the years.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I was casting and painting Prince August fantasy figs when I read Dragon Warriors. There was an “Other reading” section in the back that suggested White Dwarf magazine, which I stumbled across at a later stage.

              I have painted many army sized projects. I find them stifling, but I still get drawn into them from time to time.

              I’m happier and more productive working on more varied projects, but y’know, YMMV etc. I do find that the completion of these smaller projects fires my hobby passion up in ways that slogging through an army does not.

              It’s not that I think one is better than the other or anything, just that I think that one approach suits me better than the other.

              I do enjoy the feeling that I can experiment on a rust monster or swarm of giant flies etc without having to worry about how the colour scheme will be replicated over 100 other models though. It gives me a freedom to muck about and experiment when painting that I find makes the process more fun.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. Everything look so immersive! This is one of these times when the final result is much more than the mere addition of the elements. I like your take on all this and how you made all the pieces look coherent in the same project (even the mummies!). Hm, pretty interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s kind of you to say Suber, thanks 🙂

      Painting all of it in succession gives a certain coherency of style that the project wouldn’t have if it was painted in bursts over several years. Even so, I try not to worry too much about that sort of thing any more: I have finite time and I have specific goals that I want to achieve, so I try not to get too worried about certain details anyway.

      I am glad to have the mummies done after all this time, but the Underworlds warbands are a pleasure to have completed.

      The various bugs were a treat to experiment with while painting. The civilians were an exercise in a fairly minimalist approach, in a sub genre that I haven’t really gone near before.

      I’m happy to see that people see it as coming together in a coherent way. I’m too close to judge it objectively really.

      Like

  7. So much work in all of this, I’m a little overwhelmed reading it. I like how you’re using the game as a way of structuring a number of disparate elements. Really lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that you liked it Curis!

      Until a few years ago, the nature of my job meant that I could do a lot of blogging duties in work. That changed, and blogging lessened. I find it difficult to sacrifice time that I could spend painting, at a PC instead, so a sprawling blog post like this, combined under a theme is one way to get that job done at least.

      The project has been a very satisfying way to get existing projects done, rather than necessarily just accumulate more, which I found very motivating.

      Like

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