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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"A Straw Bear Is A Traditional Character..."

"...That appears in carnival processions or as a separate seasonal custom in parts of Germany."

These three 28mm scale metal models of some Straw Bears are produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought as SKU: MINI 466 from their Villains and Monsters range. The single-cast pieces can also be purchased as part of the Lincolnshire-based company's four-figure Mummer Procession deal, along with a Hobby Horse, Accordionist and Drummer.

This sculpt actually came about as part of the manufacturer's successful "Children of the Fields - Folk Horror 28mm Miniatures" Kickstarter in May 2018, and was unlocked as the campaign's £22,000 stretch goal. At the time I wasn't able to support the project, and only became aware of this particular model's existence when Karl Perrotton suggested it to me recently when I asked him about the prospect of producing something smaller than my recently-painted Strawman.

'The bears may be relatively realistic in appearance or have narrow heads like a long, tapering sheaf.'

As I plan for the Strohbären to act as lesser minions of Winterly Village's sentinel, they were all primed using a couple of coats of “Vallejo” Dark Yellow and liberally drenched in a mixture of “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Each figure was then heavily dry-brushed with (more) “Vallejo” Dark Yellow, and then later Buff, using a large, soft-bristled make-up brush.

The carnival characters were debatably table-top ready at this stage, but I decided to break up their palette a little bit more by haphazardly applying splotches of “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade and Biel-Tan Green to certain areas of each model. This hopefully suggests that the Straw Bears' wheat is already at various stages of decomposition. In addition, they were all once again treated to a delicate dry-brush of (more) “Vallejo” Buff.

"Alternative Armies" WIPs - This Retained Knight has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed

Alongside my Straw Bears I have also been piloting the “Citadel” Colour Layer Sons Of Horus Green on a 15mm scale Retained Knight of the Prydian Army by "Alternative Armies". I’m currently eagerly awaiting my pre-order of "Horus Heresy: Age Of Darkness" starter set by "Games Workshop", so thought I'd work out a palette I'm happy with prior to my Sons of Horus legion arriving.

In addition, I've pigmented a good many figures from "The Ion Age" range as Horus Heresy proxy Space Marines, chaotic daemons and Imperial Guard before, so thought the addition of some former Luna Wolves wouldn't look out of place on the tabletop. I actually hope to get enough painted to form a small infantry squad, complete with a dreadnought and (already finished) Battle Taxi...

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