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Projects, projects, projects

August 22, 2021

Most of the miniatures stuff I post on this blog relates to my pirate project, which has been ongoing now since 2015. However, there are more projects going on, so I figured I’d write a post detailing all the stuff going on. Before I get to what I’m working on at the moment, a few words for context.

After doing pirates for so many years and investing a lot of time and effort into them, I find myself in need of diversions every now and then, and obviously pirates aren’t the only thing that interest me. However, I’ve had enough projects stall in my lifetime to know pretty well how my head functions with these things: push something too far in the back, and it might be a loooooong time before it gets back into the spotlight. Unless you’re a very long-time reader, you probably don’t know about my Underworld project (2009–), or my Aliens board game project (2012–). You might have seen my Pacific Rim project (2014–), although I don’t blame you if you haven’t. These three projects have been sitting quiet for twelve, nine, and seven years now, respectively. I’ll eventually get to them, I’m (genuinely) sure, but once the momentum is gone it can take a lot of time to build it up again. The Underworld project just kind of drifted away, the Aliens thing stalled – I think – because Prometheus killed a lot of my fanboy enthusiasm for the setting and it hasn’t fully recovered to date. With the Pacific Rim thing, I wasn’t happy with the board, ended up binning it, and also found that I’m not a big fan of painting machines, which is a bit of a drawback in a project focusing on giant mechs. A huge backlog of miniatures doesn’t help here either: there’s always other stuff to paint, so a lack of enthusiasm can push stuff way back in the painting queue, and life is too short to paint too many things you’re not excited by.

I’ve solved the problem above by tying pretty much all of my current projects together! They all have more or less overlap potential, which obviously helps, as I don’t have to “abandon” a project to work on another, which reduces the risk of projects slipping into oblivion. With this preface, here’s what I’m currently working on and how they tie together. I’ve listed the main project branches with their subprojects.

Pirates are a bit obvious, aren’t they? However, while this is nominally about pirates, in actuality this project is more Hollywoodish 18th century in general. In addition to pirates, there are sailors, civilians, merchants, redcoats, highwaymen and so on. This sprawling thing forms the backbone of my projects. A lot of the buildings and other terrain are made with this in mind. There are several subprojects to this:

Undead pirates are exactly that. This subproject should probably be called something like Nautical horror or something along those lines, as in addition to pirates there are crabmen and other monstrosities.

Click for a larger version

Barbary corsairs are historical pirates with an Arabian/North African feel. As with my other pirates, I’m playing pretty fast and loose with history here.

Foundry 28mm barbary pirates

Click for a larger version

Pirate hunters is a finished subproject! It’s a trope-laden group of special characters, fit for all sorts of hunting duties.

Group shot of pirate hunter miniatures

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Blackpowder horror has obvious overlap with the stuff above, yet it’s still a theme of its own. It’s the Headless horseman and all sorts of other things that go bump in the very dark nights of the 17th and 18th centuries. All of the humans and terrain are perfectly compatible with the pirate stuff, and vice versa. The undead and other monster pirates are a perfect fit here as well. Whereas my pirates are situated somewhere in the Caribbean, this project has a more haunted New England vibe.

Picture of headless horseman miniature

Click for a larger version

Monster hunters is a subproject, although currently the main focus of this theme. I already have some vampires and werewolves, but more are included in this subproject. The main focus, however, are the gritty humans who hunt these monsters. Pretty much any of the pirate hunter characters fit in here as well. Some of the minis I bought way back in 2009 for my Underworld project will find new use here.

Click for a larger version. Picture © Velrock Miniatures

Lost World stems from our upcoming Ghost Archipelago game. Dinosaurs, giant gorillas, ruined temples, jungle beasts, mysterious tribes – the works. This theme has a jungle vibe to it, and is kind of a catch-all project, what can’t you find on a mysterious island? Pirates are a no-brainer here, with their tendency to end up on mysterious islands and get eaten. Switching the regular pirates to Barbary corsairs brings this more towards an Adventures of Sinbad kind of thing.

Photo of painted lizard miniature

Click for a larger version

Arabian nights is my early stages project of Persian and Arabian mythology viewed through a pop culture lens. It’s flying carpets, mysterious spirits, and evil sultans galore. This project is very much fantasy. While quite timeless, it’s still much more swords and shields than gunpowder. The buildings and other terrain for this project are a perfect fit for my Barbary corsairs, and many of the human characters work nicely in either setting.

Photo of painted miniature genie

Click for a larger version

As you can see, these different but connected projects allow me to paint a lot of different miniatures as the mood strikes me, without really abandoning any of them. Want to do something bright and cheery? I can paint some colourful jungle creatures or maybe a djinni. Dark and moody? Undead and hunters, maybe some graveyard terrain. Historical? Covered. Fantasy? Covered. High adventure? Covered. Horror? Covered.

With these projects and subprojects occupying my time, I have zero fear of running out of steam in the foreseeable future. I hope this post illuminates how I organize my different projects! It also serves as a pretty good guide for what you can expect to see on this blog.

16 comments

  1. All sounds pretty sensible tied together like that! 🙂 Always handy if you can use minis/models/scenery etc. in more than one setting.

    Liked by 2 people


    • Thanks John! There’s a definite advantage to this kind of synergy approach 🙂

      Liked by 2 people


  2. That’s a lot going on mate, but I love that it can all be stitched together in a really cool pulp fiction kinda way 🤌

    Liked by 3 people


    • Cheers Alex! I hadn’t even thought of that, I do love narratives that come together in surprising ways 😀

      Liked by 3 people


  3. Nice overview Mikko, and you’ve got a vision which is great! Just remember though that Sleepy Hollow is in the Hudson Valley in New York (as a true New Englander, anything New York is looked upon differently! Still, your horsemen are cool.

    Liked by 3 people


    • Having lived in Maine for 23 years, any thing not in ME, NH or VT isn’t New England either! Especially Mass!

      Liked by 2 people


      • You know Maine was part of Massachusetts right Eric! I’ve lived most of my 58 years in MA, but NOT in Boston, Central MA is my home and very much New England. But once a Mainiac always a Mainiac – I get it though.

        Liked by 2 people


        • Hahah, thanks Mark and Eric – I didn’t know New England was a contested subject 😀 To be honest, I’ve never actually thought about it in detail – to me it’s a vague “the Northern parts of the East coast, you know, Salem and all the Stephen King books and Sleepy Hollow and all that” area, but I should definitely look into it in detail!

          Liked by 2 people


        • Technically New England by definition is the 6 states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. Salem is in Massachusetts on the North Shore. Stephen King is from Bangor, Maine and a lot of his subjects are of course in Maine. Sleepy Hollow is a village just north of NYC, and that area had a significant Dutch influence as they colonized it first.

          Liked by 2 people


        • You learn something every day! Thanks Mark!

          Liked by 1 person


  4. You got the East Coaster’s all riled up with this post, Mikko! 😀 I enjoyed seeing your past projects and how they inform where you are now. I think your idea of mixing different genres that can work together is really clever too. I’m excited to see more Lost World and Arabian themed stuff though the pirates stuff has been awesome too. I haven’t seen the Underworld movies but vampires are always welcome with me too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    • Thanks Kuribo! A healthy mix of things helps keep motivation up 🙂 I’ve got some new stuff lined up, if only I could drag myself to actually photographing to make a blog post!

      Liked by 1 person


  5. Focusing on one project is not my strong suit, either. 🙂

    Your monster hunter and black powder horror stuff would fit right into Joe McCullough’s upcoming Silver Bayonet.,,

    And I hope you get back to the Pacific Rim stuff one day – it’s what brought me here! Although, like you, I’ve let my own Pacific Rim/Mighty Monsters project collect dust…

    Liked by 2 people


    • Thanks Marc! I’ve looked into Silver Bayonet and it definitely interests me. I’m sure Pacific Rim will eventually return, especially as there are some really really nice 3d printable buildings available, so putting together a nice city board should be decently easy 🙂

      Liked by 2 people


  6. I find diversity is the key for me continuing projects. I need to swap between not only subjects but scales. I keep big projects going but divert off a lot. I may have too many on the go though so need to get a few done…

    Liked by 1 person


  7. […] Projects, projects, projects @ Dawn of the Lead – A fun overview of the author’s current and ongoing projects. The highlights for me would be the longstanding Pirates project and the Monster Hunters. Thanks for sharing! It’s good to see I’m not the only one who likes to have a lot of different stuff on the go at once. […]

    Liked by 1 person



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