Next Wednesday, November 18th, marks five years that Gina and I have been a couple. Last year, as a gift she gave me the Reaper Bones Cthulhu; this year, while a much more modest purchase, she got me a figure that I probably would not have dropped the money on myself, much as I might want it - and it qualifies me to join Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian Warfare in celebrating what he calls "Dinovember." Behold, Reaper Miniatures' Carnotaurus!
Yes, I know the packaging reads "Carnosaurus." While "Carnosaurus" is a loose sort of way of referring to any large meat-eating reptile, this specific example is a Carnotaurus sastrei, a somewhat unusual theropod (bipedal meat-eating dinosaur) from South America, dating to a few tens of millions of years before Tyrannosaurus rex showed up in North America. Carnotaurus was unusual for a couple reasons, the most obvious being the two thick, flattened horns above its eyes. Paleontologist Gregory S. Paul speculates that these were like used by males competing for mates, and I for one don't find any reason to disagree.
As an aside, I was a biology major before I switched to the study of history (couldn't pass Chemistry, so couldn't proceed in the biology major program at my alma mater), and my primary interest in that field was always prehistoric life.
This being a gift from the Queen (no lie - Gina's full first and middle names are Regina Victoria), you can bet your sweet bippy I'll be taking my time and making sure this is the absolute best work I can do. I've been considering color schemes, and originally had thought to do him a sort of bricky red-orange with dark brown, almost black, striping on his flanks. However, this is apparently the single most popular color scheme to depict Carnotaurus in - checking Google Images, I came across a number of these figures painted that way, as well as a couple paintings of the animal artists had done. I don't want this to be just one in a dozen or so of these figures - I want it to pop.
|image source: Wikipedia|
In other hobby news...I got just about nothing. I haven't painted since last Sunday, I've done very little RPG writing -- my notes for this coming Sunday's D&D game have been completed for over a week now, and I've stalled somewhat on not just my series on how to write a Call of Cthulhu adventure, I've also stalled on writing the adventure itself. I may try to start work on the next post in that blog series to see if it helps snap me out of the writer's block I'm feeling towards the adventure.
Frostgrave this morning, after reading a number of reviews and being very impressed with what I saw, as well as discussing the game with a friend of mine who plays the wargame Malifaux, to see if he'd be interested in learning the game with me (and given that Malifaux players are somewhat thin on the ground where he lives right now, I may build a warband for that game - you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, kind of deal). The clincher was realizing that this game would give me a reason to build and paint some of the Wargames Factory figures I've had sitting in my closet since, ahem, last November. Wargames get much more appealing when you realize you don't need to spend any more money on figures then you already have.
Well, OK, I will probably end up buying and painting a couple wizards for the game at some point. And some undead. But the core of two, maybe three if I decide to do something with the Persian figures I've got, war bands for Frostgrave are sitting in my closet waiting to be assembled, and I feel pretty good about that.