Badgers and foxes and beavers, oh my!
One of the cool things about being a commission painter is getting to paint stuff you would never ever normally buy for yourself. This article is an example of that as I look at a selection of miniatures from the Burrows and Badgers range by Oathsworn which I had not heard of and in all honesty would never have looked once at had I not been sent a selection to paint for a commission.
As a spoiler I never comment or review miniatures I don't like as I feel its unfair to people trying to make a living that some random stranger (me), should pass judgement on their work. After all my preferences are mine alone and oftentimes I wouldn't trust my judgement! As Thumper's mother taught him "if you cant say something nice don't say nothing at all"
On the other hand if i like something I'll bung the pictures up as photographic evidence so you can make your own mind up
These are the big boys of the Burrows world. From the left we have a wildcat which exist in Scotland apparently, a fox magic user with fiery hand, a mean looking beaver, a piratical otter, a Gandalfian badger and an otter mage. These are metals except the beaver an badger as i believe animals beginning with B have to be in Resin - see the later entries on Basking Shark and Bullfinch. In any event they were all nice and clean. Additionally its easy to forget that these are identifiable as accurate representation of the actual animals but are also anthropomorphic. This cant be an easy trick but here we have accurate foxes, badgers etc all seemingly anatomically correct but clearly doing stuff which is not anatomically possible! Its a good trick.
The Wildcat from Scotland obviously in the tartan of the mcFelines and clearly batting for the SNP. I originally tartanned the green swathe of cloth around the chest but then decided it was too fussy.
Apparently for me the ideal number for tartan items is just 1, or less....
Shrew housewife below. Very small but still has individual teeth and clearly defined eyes. The rolling pin is nice but the iron pan less so. As i was painting i was thinking that a pan that small would heat up instantly and become untouchable by the handle unless you had heat resistant hands. However I googled Shrews and turns out the have a form of natural asbestos on their palms. True fact.
The otter pirate is super cool and even has pirate abs! Looks like a mean Jack Otter, probably not a captain but more like a coxon leading a boarding party. a sort of Otter Barret Bonden for the Jack Aubrey fans.
Another Tiny but perfectly paintable mini - a mouse town guard complete with crossbow and lovely quiver full of tiny quarrels with a fleur de lis design. I have my doubts about the range and hitting power of the xbow but then as its being carried by an armoured mouse perhaps i should suspend belief a tad more
A mean and moody mole specialising in tiny pans and crossbow bolts. Moles are famously black but the fur texture effect can only be shown by highlighting so a compromise here. "To the little gentleman in the black velvet jacket" - for the Jacobites (and Wildcats)
IThis Kingfisher is one of my favourites as i've only ever seen a Kingfisher once in real life and they are truly astonishing. What can't capture is the iridescence of the real bird. Its like a shiny liquid arrow.
This suspicious old veteran Hare is one of my favourites. Like Long John Silver disabled in war and now confined to barkeep duties he radiates suspicion and attitude. You know that he has a shotgun or at least a length of 2x4 under his bar and isn't scared of using it. I particularly like the nick in his right ear as a battle scar.
A recurring feature of these sculpts is the character which comes across and with this frog/toad we have a smug and slightly pompous burgher with just a touch of slyness around the eyes. Wearing his finery like a Landsknecht and giving you an appraising look. I also learned how to paint frog eyes. Turns out that what you think in your head is right often isn't. A lesson in painting all these characters is use real pictures as your brain's internal picture is wrong....
My absolute favourite to paint was this female fox magic user. Not only does the sculpt make a fox with a bust seem feasible but the flaming hand gave me the opportunity to knock out a subtle osl effect from the concealed flames.
Where the Fox mage is playing with fire this Otter mage is doing tricks with water. For the observant amongst readers - if any - you may notice that were possible I match the flowers on the base to a dominant colour on the mini. In the fox mage the yellow flowers match the OSL and here the blue flowers match up with the water. Thats the idea anyway!
Similarly on this Bad Ass Beaver there is a red flower to match his red surcoat. Again this is a Beaver with attitude and you would not want to meet him on a dark night. He doesn't have otter abs but clearly is built for business.
Here we have Gandalf the Badger after his fall through Moria and before he fully changed back into a human wizard. A big piece of resin but cleanly cast. As an aside the base sizes absolutely insist on being landscaped to set off the figures. I'm lucky that as a commission painter I have loads of basing stuff but to anyone doing these figures i would recommend getting in a variety of basing stuff (also read my previous blog on basing).
Lastly my least favourite was the Bat. There is nothing wrong with the mini i guess and he does have an evil-ish face but someone has to be last...To compensate for my perceived dislike I decided to brighten up the base a bit with a Renedra tombstone and a human skull. Probably a bit wrong theme wise but it sort of works.
I will never play this game as i play very few games and am too old a dog to learn many new ones but these minis are excellent. They pull off the trick of being anatomically accurate, anthropomorphically believable, and have real character built in. If you aren't an old fogie like me I recommend taking a look.