They Might Be Giants! A D&D Frameworks Hill Giant Review

D&D clubs all over the city are starting up again and you may be considering which minis to use in your campaign. Earlier this year, WizKids released their new line of Frameworks minis. These minis are the most detailed WizKids D&D minis on the market right now. They may be at a slightly higher price point than other D&D models, but these are beautiful, showpiece models that should not be overlooked. In this writer’s opinion, they are some of, if not the best D&D miniatures to date. And here’s a few reasons why:

  • They are the most detailed officially licensed D&D minis on the market today
  • You’ve got options! Personalize your character your way with a crazy amount of customization
  • The fun accessories! Every kit comes with super fun accessories! (Heck, I would buy most of these kits *just* for the accessories!)
  • Even if you don’t care about customizing your models, these are some really beautiful miniatures!

Sue & Sean each painted the Hill Giant. They both felt that this was a fantastic model and have summarized their thoughts on the project below:

Sue:

I built both of the Hill Giants as I was originally going to do up 2 different Hill Giants myself, but I was really glad that Sean got involved because I love what he did with his model! I have assembled a few Frameworks minis now and I definitely recommend dry fitting your models before you commit to gluing them. Frameworks models have the option of painting accessories and hard to reach areas prior to gluing, which I like, or you can build the whole model and then paint. Really, there aren’t too many hard to reach places on this model so even though I glued the accessories on after, it really wasn’t necessary.

I ended up greenstuffing some quick fur on mine in place of cloth so his outfit was just a little bit different.

I liked all the options! It was tough choosing between them all! The Hill Giant comes with a bunch of fun accessories. The ham was definitely my favorite! Not shown: He also comes with the options of more furs, a cart for a backpack, and an alternate left hand that’s holding a cow!

If you’re interested in reading about how I ended up painting my model, you can read it here: https://sentrybox.wordpress.com/2022/09/19/what-have-the-sentry-box-staff-been-up-to-sept-12-18/

I love this model! There is just so much detail and so many options! As you can see from the photos, the D&D Frameworks minis let you get quite creative. You can really personalize your model and end up with something quite unique. Even if everybody in your campaign got the same model, they could all end up looking quite different! And I think that is very cool.

Sean:

Buster Bonkeroff, is a Hill Giant of some local notoriety, Buster recognizable by his distinctive lucky hat and personal pungency. Amiable for a giant he often works as a mercenary as his rock lobbing skills are devastating in their effectiveness. His belt is decorated with shields of great warriors he has vanquished. Buster is a popular mercenary with less ethical warlords and generals as he asks little in pay, just so long as he gets his pick of the wounded and prisoners. A notable gourmand and chef, Buster’s pressed and smoked dwarf-ham is very popular with local monster-kind.

When Sue invited me into this project I was stoked. The Frameworks Hill Giant kit has an exceptional range of parts and options. The sculpt fired my imagination quite a bit and I saw some potential to it, really liking what WizKids is trying to do with this line even though I was a bit shy about the price sticker.

Sue presented me this half-built, half-painted lad that she had a start at and passed it to me to have a go.

I love Sue’s painting and ideas, but we approach painting methodology a bit differently and I had to change the base colours. I’m very much a ‘start dark and work up from there’ painter when it comes to flesh. And lemme tell ya folks, this guy has lots of flesh. So I covered with Vallejo Burnt Red, a smashing pigment for basing red toned skin colour on.

While doing that I started his eyes. I’m more typically a unit/army painter so I don’t do eyes. I’m pretty content with lots of dark shaded eye pits. But when I do eyes, I love what I call the Kabuki Eyes technique. Sue just did a sweet tutorial on it (link here) and it’s worth your time. The giant’s sculpt has tiny little piggy eyes, but I felt like he needed a bit more oomph.

In short you paint ridiculously exaggerated eyes and then using dark colours, shape and outline them. Hence the Kabuki look.

After that I started getting more ideas as to where I wanted to go with this guy. And before I did I had to address a wee issue with the kit. The big lad’s body is two hollow polystyrene parts. Assembling him is like a plastic model kit, tank or airplane. There will always be some variance with gaps and overlaps with plastic this size. This is a quality kit so there isn’t a lot, but there is some.

Cleverly most of the joins are covered by other parts like his furry cape. But there is a visible seem from behind his thick neck down to wrist. It really popped when the red dried. So I called up my old friend, Tamiya Putty and went to work. Sure green stuff or gap filler would work just as fine, but I’ve been using Tamiya for ages and I know its properties. There were two other visible joins on his side, but we’ll get to those later. Consider yourself forewarned, extra time dry fitting and shaping the parts will pay off later.

I am a big proponent of limiting your palette when you paint. I like a unity of shades. I picked two of my favourite shades as my base paints, GW Jokaero Orange and Vallejo Game Colours Heavy Goldbrown.

These two shades where mixed in to all pigments I used on the big guy, who I now had named Buster after the singular Buster Bloodvessel of the great Second Wave Ska band Bad Manners.

Buster Bloodvessel

Using a large brush, wet palette and judicious use of Vallejo Matt Medium I started mixing, layering and blending. As I lightened up I introduced Vallejo Heavy Skin Tone. Together with the orange it created a skin shade I thought really popped.

Let’s go back to the visible seem on the sides I previously referred to. So halfway through painting I sort of recycled the box and part diagrams. So I sort of glued things where I felt looked cool and didn’t really consider that their job was to disguise the join. So I improvised and dug out a bunch of shields from various fantasy and historical sprues I had kicking around. 

Buster now has a very decorative belt with shields and a severed head from Warlord, Northstar, and Wargames Atlantic.

As you see we’re getting close to finishing up. And I really had to stop myself painting, if there wasn’t a deadline to this project I might still be going. As I said this guy has a lot of surface area and there is an agreeable amount of detail to paint and play with. I had fun painting his finger and toe nails, picking out patches on the banners that make up his breach cloth and his nifty skull necklace. Best feature by far was his cap. It fits snug on his head without gluing. So I painted both his shiny skull and the cap. The cap I finished with white polka dots over a faded red. It adds a whimsical extra pop of colour to his very fleshy and angry bulk.

For shadows I mixed up a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone and Sepia Wash. I used this blend in the deep folds. For lighter shadows I really like Tamiya Panel Liner.

It’s alcohol based and as such it flows differently than the water based inks and shading products, pooling deeper and not really staining the colours next to it. The stuff is magic. I finished with spraying two coats of Testor’s Gloss and one of Vallejo Matt Acrylic, I find this combo provides an excellent protection and look. I finish all minis as if they are going on the tabletop and get pushed around by potentially nasty fingers. I finished up the terrain base that came with the figure, using some washes and a grey for the rocks then adding Gamer’s Grass and Army Painter Tufts for the finishing touch.

So is this ‘The Last Hill Giant You’ll Ever Need?’ Very well could be. This kit is worthy of a major villain character as Sue suggests, naming hers after the Big Boss of the first Against The Giants modules. The customization potential gives a miniature building game master the chance to spring a mini on the group that is WYSIWYG. Table-top wargamers should take advantage of this guy as you can configure him for either melee or artillery capacities. The sheer size of the model is quite intimidating and would be splendid for smashing up a unit of silly elves.

Sentry Box Staff paint: Onna-bugeisha by Warlord Games

In the start of what could be a fun series, we took a box of miniatures and asked our staff if they wanted to paint them.
The first of the boxes we picked was the Onna-bugeisha box from the Warlords of Erehwon range by Warlord Games.
Danielle, Sue & Tia stepped up for this challenge so let’s see how they did!

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Being An Arbitrator. Big Plans For Eventual Return To The Tabletop: Part Two

When you are wrong, you are wrong. Admit your mistake and move on. Necromunda Zone Mortalis Floor Tile Set, I’m sorry I thought you went together poorly and were too expensive, I have been living under a delusion these many months. So there it is: I’m now in love with these new floor tiles and have been busily crafting away in my bunker. Continuing on with my campaign plans while building terrain is the theme again this time. Let’s do it…

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Let’s Not Do A ‘Year In Review’ Article, But Do A ‘Looking Forward To The New Year’ Article Instead…

If you asked me what I thought of the year 2020, I’d have to say it was a fantastic year for my hobbies… everything else aside. True, I didn’t get in as many games as I would have liked. Also true, I didn’t get to have as many good times with friends around the gaming table as in previous years. With the gaming postponed I used my extra time and found plenty of time for (the eventual…) betterment of my future-timey-time games.

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