All posts by Rodney

The Rising Phoenix Games dude. Rodney is a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. He is worryingly fond of mill decks in Magic: the Gathering and a self-confessed Japanophile.

Get Started Painting 40K Vehicles — MM 31

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’ll get started painting 40K vehicles.

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I’ve learned loads since getting back into miniature painting, but painting vehicles, especially pretty Space Marine vehicles, has always been intimidating to me.

Until now.

Here’s a very easy way to get started with painting your Warhammer 40,000 vehicles, and you won’t need an airbrush.

Get Started Painting 40K Vehicles
Get started right with a few coats of spray paint. All this guy needs is some detail work with a brush.

1. Prep

Clean your mould lines, like you would with any other mini. You can assemble as much of the vehicle as makes sense. This Land Speeder came to me fully built, so I prepped it for painting as a whole. You could also paint the vehicle on the sprue or paint each piece, bit by bit. Whatever makes the most sense to you.

One of the cool things about mini painting is that they’re your models, you can paint them however you want.

2. Undercoat

Now undercoat/basecoat the whole vehicle with a spray can. White, black, grey, whichever makes the most sense for your colour scheme.

Zenithal Land Speeder underside (in black)
Death from below.
Zenithal Land Speeder top, in white
Death from above.

This guy will be sporting Angels Encarmine colours, which I interpret as a darker take on the Blood Angels paint scheme. For this project, I wanted to try a zenithal undercoat, so I hit it with black on the bottom and white on the top. It seems to have blended well enough in the middle, but some people hit it with a grey coat in the centre of the vehicle for a more gradual blend.

3. Primary Coat

Lastly, I hit it with two coats of the primary colour. Let the mini dry properly between coats, and you’ll end up with a decent looking vehicle that only needs detail work.

Angels Encarmine Land Speeder
Now to pimp my ride.

It’s really that simple, and you don’t need to get fancy with an airbrush. Two thin coats, with a brush, will get you where you need to be from here.

We’ll be back to help you get started painting 40K vehicles in a bit, so see you again in a few weeks.

Aurora’s Black Friday Sale

It’s Black Friday week at Aurora’s Whole Realms Emporium. Be sure to check out the mountain of gear on sale now, perfect for your Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition adventures.

Auroras Emporium of Everything


Ork Runtherd Black Orc Kitbash — MM 30

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week I’m kitbashing an Ork Runtherd from a Black Orc.

Ork Runtherd

#Orktober Progress Report

Only a few days left of #Orktober, and I’ve finished 9 models out of 31, buuut I’ve built another weirdboy aaand started on an Ork Biker/Gaslands kitbash I think you’ll like (inspired by 5header on YouTube). That second project is probably going to get sidelines until I can unstick my fingers and finish off those Ork Kommandos I promised.

Orktober on Rising Phoenix Games

Orktober has been great though. My Orks got a lot of love that they hadn’t gotten since the start of lockdown. Things are actually done. Progress has been made. It was awesome.

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Black Orc Ork Runtherd

My brother gave me this little guy when he got him in the Warhammer, Shadow of the Horned Rat box. Remember that game? I think it might just be the toughest game I’ve ever played.

The mini has been sitting around in a box for years, and my plan was to turn him into a banner bearer. Remember those?

Choosing to turn him into an Ork Runtherd was a much better plan.

Grabba Stick and Grot Lash

I removed his swords, then drilled through his right hand to fit some wire. The top of his grabba stick is a bit of plastic from a nose spray. You know, that bit that stops you from accidentally spraying it. I wrapped some fine jeweller’s chain around it for detail.

The whip was made with modelling epoxy, which is very brittle. If I remake it, I’ll use wire with only a little modelling epoxy on the end.


His sidearm is a pistol from a Dark Eldar mini. I stuck bits of plastic card to it to bulk up the holster and added a single link of chain for decoration.


Meh, probably not one of my best paint jobs. But, you know what, he’s done and I can move on. I’m very happy with how he turned out, I learned a bunch, and I had fun. That’s all that matters.

Ork Weirdboy Kitbash — MM 29

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’ve got an Ork Weirdboy kitbash.

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Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the current Ork Weirdboy from Games Workshop. It’s because of the chains and the weird poses, but anyway. I also love kitbashing, so I took the chance to add a little spice to my army. Happy #Orktober everyone!

Orktober on Rising Phoenix Games


For this kitbash I used the Orc Hunter from Reaper’s Bones range, a bit of wire, and bits from the Gretchin box from Games Workshop.

Orc Hunter from Reaper Bones

I love the stabby pose, though the spear is ridiculously flexible.

Body Work

I chopped off the spear and drilled through his hands to accommodate the wire. I then added some plastic tubing to attach the shock prod.

I used modelling epoxy to replace his neck after hacking off the little orc head. Onto the new neck I stuck the head at a cocked angle to make him look more menacing.

Since he looked like a Runtherd anyway, I stuck the whip from the Gretchin kit onto his belt at the back, so now he can fill two roles in my army. Maybe hanging around with all those grots made him really weird.

Lastly, I attached him to a 40mm base and this Ork Weirdboy kitbash was done.

Ork Weirdboy Kitbash

Nightscape: Red Terrors is in Print

Nightscape: Red Terrors, the game of cosmic horror set in post-Soviet Russia, is now in print through Drive-Thru RPG.

Nightscape: Red Terrors RPG CoverIn the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government decommissioned several publicly hidden research facilities devoted to ‘arcane science,’ chief among them, PERM Laboratory 37. Recently, due to several strange energy emissions, the location of the PERM 37 facility has been discovered by various parties with an interest in the lab’s inventory of eldritch artifacts.

You’re an agent of one of these factions on your way through driving sleet to the facility. Dusk is falling as you pass through the broken security gate…



Servants of the Crone — Valkyrie Ragnarok

Continue the Valkyrie: Ragnarok story as Faya is taken in by an old crone and discovers a malicious alliance with the forces of evil in Servants of the Crone!

Last Month

Faya sat, wounded, atop the spires of Bastion, watching a sun she’d not seen in years pass across the sky. After a harrowing night, an ash dwarf brought a strange woman to tend to Faya and her pulped leg.

You can check out last month’s excerpt, The Long Night, here.

Subscribe to our newsletter for the full excerpt. You can find past excerpts by checking out the Valkyrie: Ragnarok tag (bookmark it).

I’m going to change things a little, and the reason will become apparent. Faya’s story is evolving, much like any storyteller’s tale evolves over time, through retellings and the teller’s exploration of their story and art. The world of the Valkyrie saga exists in my head and in a growing collection of notes, and these ideas are slowly knitting into a more realised whole. I hope you’ll enjoy watching this story germinate and take root, and that you’ll forgive the few unchecked branches.

The crone’s refuge was hidden away in a hollow spire, high above the chasms of the city. A vagrant’s home lost to the world among the uncountable spires of Bastion’s skyscape. It was dark inside. The ash dwarf’s chains had kept him from following us. She had given me strange berries that numbed the pain but brought back the terrors of the night. We hobbled through a twisted nightmarescape of shadowy towers and thin stone bridges, me leaning on her shoulder, where one misstep would spell death.

In her hovel I lay under mildew covered hides and rags. Hours blurred into days, blurred into weeks, maybe months. Sometimes there was a small fire, but it was always cold. The deathly cold of death’s presence.

I remember tinctures and vials tucked into the rafters, glass and pottery vessels that shone like bat’s eyes when the crone’s fire flared.

There were moments of clarity too, when she worked her rituals. These cut through the figments and drowsiness but brought new horrors that would stalk me from that day to this. These took the form of creatures from the umbral world that exists in the spiritshadow of our own. These vision creatures bayed like dogs at the crone’s chanting as they danced about the walls like shadows. Their claws raked my leg with icy talons, but never cut the flesh, and only when the crone’s gestures or some other distraction took my attention.

When her chanting ceased the demon shadows fled. The pain would come rushing back with unconsciousness and fevered dreams.

The Geezer had once spoken of the threads of magic, the unseen bindings of reality. Wizards knew how to manipulate these, to pluck on the taught strands to conjure manifestations of their wishes. I know now that they had little knowledge of the effect this plucking had, for it was worse than twanging on some spiderweb of the arcane. The witch knew both the web and those that lurked unseen on the other end, past where our world and a world of dark horror meet. She had made some pact with these servants, and they served her well.

The crone taught me many things too, but I hid my revulsion at her arts and failed at my lessons whenever I could fain a lack of understanding.

The Savonin fear one thing more than anything, and their word for it is ‘Venn.’ It might be translated as ‘spirit beings.’ The Savonin are creatures of the here and now. Their immortality binds them to this world. When they die, they have no souls to send to the afterlife, and so they fear anything from that world. Their fear, I think, led them to their hatred of humans, with their short lives and infinite ever afters. The Savonin elves know only the Venn of depravity and despair, for they are closest to the elves. In the common tongue, you’d call them “demons.”

I will not use the Savonin word ‘Venn’ for the eternal creatures of hope and promises kept, though the Savonin do not make this distinction. There is an older Dwargen word more appropriate: ‘Walkure.’ In the common language ‘angels,’ ‘heavenly messengers,’ or ‘little gods’ might all work. The dwargen knew their hierarchy and pantheon, but only worshipped a select few of the Walkure. Chief among the worshipful Walkure was one with many names, some unspoken, who rules over all. It was His light I sought in those dark hours of toiling at spirit calling.


The rest of the story continues, but you’ll have to be a newsletter subscriber to get the rest of the action.

Orktober, and why Grots Matter Too. MM #28

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. It’s also Orktober, so it’s time to Waaagh! This week I’ll share what I’ll be painting for the rest of October.

Orktober on Rising Phoenix Games

The Goal

Paint 31 Orks by the end of Orktober. Simple.

Oh, and run a company, do adulting well, get enough sleep, and don’t burn out. Hey, if you don’t challenge yourself you don’t get anywhere. Let’s paint some Orks!

The Boyz (and Grots)

These are the models I’m aiming to finish by the end of the month. All are primed and ready to go, some are almost done.

Orktober 2020

The list includes:

  • 1 Wierdboy
  • 1 Mek
  • 2 Runtherds (1 Kitbashed from an old Black Orc)
  • 2 Nobz
  • 6 Kommandos
  • 1 Ork Boy with Big Shoota (AKA Lascannon, from back in the day)
  • 6 Ork Boys (Kitbashed from old Warhammer Fantasy Orcs)
  • 1 Ork Boy with kitbashed shoota and choppa stabby thing
  • 1 Warboss
  • 10 Gretchin (2 from the latest kit)

You’ll get a better look at all of them in the weeks to come. Some of them already made an appearance in our article on kitbashing Ork weapons.
And Gretchin count, so sod off.

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There are two more Mondays left for Orktober, so I’ll post updates then and again on the 2nd of Normalvember. Next week it’ll probably be the Kommandos, unless they sneak off.

What Are You Painting?

We’d love to hear from you and see what you’re painting. I’ll be checking out the #Orktober and #HobbyStreak tags on Twitter for the rest of the month, so please connect with Rising Phoenix Games or myself there.

You can also drop a comment below.

Indie RPGs from South Africa

A bunch of South African indie RPG designers teamed up to create the South African Indie RPG bundle, which includes a bunch of great games from south of the Sahara.

South African Indie Bundle

The bundle includes Claustrophobia!, Bullet, Something Wicked, Children of the Fall, Might, and How to Plan a Murder, all at a massively reduced price.

The 400th Rising Phoenix Games Blog Post

Yes, that’s right, it’s our 400th post on the Rising Phoenix Games Blog! To celebrate, we’re given away a free game!

400 and Counting

Mmm, 400 is a big juicy number.

We’ve shared some great articles over the years, including our Stranger Things Season 3 RPG campaign that tried—and succeeded in many ways—to anticipate the show’s third season before it aired. We’ve run several article series beyond that, including Write Design Program which looks at game design topics, Magic Life Lessons which delves into Magic: the Gathering to learn important life lessons, and our largest series yet, Mini Monday, which brings you miniature painting, terrain, and kit-bashing projects for your gaming table.

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Of all our series, Valkyrie: Ragnarok, our short fiction series, is the one I’m most excited about. It tells the story of Faya, a half-elf outcast trying to surive criminal cults and the city watch in the deadly city of Bastion. Her story is much bigger than her own survival though, but I better not spoil any surprises just yet. The newsletter is the place to read more of Faya’s story, delivered to your inbox each month, so be sure to subscribe.

Of course, we’ve always been focused on our core business, which is producing excellent RPG supplements. The Rising Phoenix Games blog will always be the best place to find out about our newest products and special offers, like our newest game, which is free to download!

D4 Dungeon

D4 Dungeon, is an OSR dungeon crawl RPG I created for the #AGBIC game jam. We’re giving it away to celebrate hitting our 400th post!

D4 Dungeon Cover

The pyramid of Krug lies in the deep mists of the Valley of Bones, drifting in and out of reality as the tides of magic ebb and rise. Four determined tomb robbers have climbed the pyramid’s many black steps to reach the ancient tomb’s pinnacle, and the great door of bone.

Beyond the grim door’s threshold lie the many mysteries and horrors of the pyramid. Those who overcome them may discover great treasures, or a horrible end. Beware, for the pyramid’s power will work for and against you.

D4 Dungeon is a light dungeon crawl and a love-letter to old-school RPGs. It includes all the maps you’ll need to play, four character cards for the greedy Tomb Robbers under your control, a Doom Clock to mark the hour of your ultimate demise, and the rules in a printer-friendly PDF.

Download or Donate on D4 Dungeon’s store page, which you can find by hitting the big orange button below. Can you survive the dark dismal D4 Dungeon?!


You can read more about the “A Game by its Cover” game jam on Be sure to check out D4 Dungeon’s game jam thread, or download or donate on D4 Dungeon’s page. If you would like to donate, the best option is through the orange button above. That way your donation will have the greatest impact and help us to keep improving the game.

More To Come

We hope you’ll subscribe and keep coming back for more.
Until next time, keep safe and play good games.

Zombie White Dragon — Mini Monday 27

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’re painting the zombie white dragon from the Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game.

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The zombie white dragon was such a satisfying and quick model to paint. You could easily apply the main technique we’ll look at here to other frozen creatures, perfect for your adventures in Icewind Dale.

Basecoat and Drybrushing

Zombie White Dragon First LayerI base coated the mini white, then painted the whole dragon blue. Two thin coats applied with a big brush will make quick work of this frozen fiend. After that, lightly dry brush pure white over the model. I recommend two goes of this, otherwise it’ll look more like a blue dragon with white highlights. You’re building up levels here.


I then painted the exposed ribs, teeth, and the hooks on the leading edge of the wings with Flesh Wash (like I did for those skeletons a while back). I painted the tongue, exposed flesh, eye sockets, and nostrils purple (I mixed red and blue). Then I edge highlighted the tips of the teeth and ribs with a flesh tone.

I painted the base black. For this, I found that a thin first coat and a thicker final coat gave it a really solid finish.

The last thing I did was edge highlight the large scales on the tail and head, as well as clean up around the jaws. All of this was with pure white, which muted the blue undercoat some more. I sealed the model with matt varnish.

Zombie White Dragon Painted

Using Photos to Paint Better

If you look carefully in the photo above you’ll notice spots I missed. The great thing about taking photos of your minis is that you’ll examine them through a different lens (literally) and notice things you didn’t spot while painting. Photos also give you a great way to compare your progress. I learned everything I know about mini photography from Tabletop Minions. Check out How To Shoot Good Photos of Your Minis with a Smartphone on YouTube.

Explore Icewind Dale

Icewind Dale Ultimate Pack
Venture deep into the cold north!

Great Icewind-Dale-shaped things are happening in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, and Rising Phoenix Games has teamed up with other DMs Guild creators to bring you the Icewind Dale Ultimate Pack bundle. The bundle is packed full of adventures, player options, items, and more for your adventures in the cold north.

The Long Night — Valkyrie: Ragnarok

Continue the Valkyrie: Ragnarok story. Can Faya survive the night, perched high above the city, among the spires of Bastion?

Subscribe to our newsletter for the full excerpt. You can find past excerpts by checking out the Valkyrie: Ragnarok tag (bookmark it for easy access).

Faya swam in a confusing dreamland, half-waking, half-sleeping. She felt incredibly tired, but it was a comfortable weariness. She was aware of pain, but it was numbed and barely real. Slowly her senses coalesced and she realised she was propped up against the hard granite of a pillar. An ash dwarf—maybe the one she had seen on the bridge below—was rifling through her bag.

“Hey, stop that you!”

“Whaaat? Is not stealing I is doing. I is looking fur summin’.” The ash dwarf held up its empty hands indignantly. “You is lost lots of blood, you is. I is ‘opin’ to mend you wiff summin’.” The small grey man was jumping up and down and gesturing wildly, as if that would somehow make him more trustworthy.

The dwarf had ripped her shirt and shawl to make bandages, and had bandaged her arm and braced her shattered leg with a plank.

“You is need ‘elp girl, if you is want walk again. Lots of people is looking fur you too. What ya is gonna do, girl?”

“I know a little of the healing arts.”

“Is ya now? I ‘ope you is, but is ‘aving a betta plan, I is.”

“Oh yes?”

“You is stay ‘ere, and I is coming back. You gotta do me one favour.”

“Oh?” Faya tried to shift, but the pain was too much.

“Ya rest an’ don’t die. You is wait long, but you is patched up. Just wait an’ keep alive ‘til I come.”

There was a shout from somewhere and the jangle of chain. Faya noticed for the first time that the dwarf was chained at the ankle, and the chain was drawing taught. Without another word the dwarf was off, scuttling across the rooftop and down a ladder.

She could see a trail of blood leading from it to where she lay, though she had no idea of how she’d gotten from there to here. More pillars hid her away from anyone who might peer over the rungs. She needed to find a safer place, but as she tried to move again the pain became unbearable. She wasn’t going anywhere.

Flight through Bastion. Image credit: Jace Afsoon
Image credit: Jace Afsoon

Faya knew she had to do all in her power to keep awake. She was weak from blood loss and pain, and the shakes of shock were starting. She checked the rest of her body for injuries, moving her good hand slowly over her body because of the pain. A fractured rib, a cut across the palm from the whip, the snapped arrow shaft in her arm. Her leg was the worst of all. It was shattered below the knee, and had become an ugly, swollen purple. The ash dwarf had cut her breeches from the ankle up to the knee. She knew there wasn’t much she could do, but raised it carefully up onto her bag.

Her mother had known a great deal of the apothecary’s arts and had spent many hours teaching Faya what she knew. Faya had become an adept apprentice. In the Court of Eight Needles, pain and suffering brought great ecstasy, but all too often a neophyte or guest would take things too far and her mother would have a new patient.

“Healing”, her mother had said “is the bright face of the two-faced moon. The Savonin are despised for their ways with poison and pain, but when it comes to healing, we are without equal. We know the body for we explore it in every way we possibly can.” To suffer and heal in an ongoing cycle of great ecstasy was one of the most sacred tenants of the Lotus Court of Eight Needles.

The Long Night
Image credit: Billy Huynh

Far above her a spire egret wheeled majestically. She’d heard of these great birds before, and now, watching them filled her with a childlike sense of wonder. She had heard they were big enough for men to ride to war on, but they wheeled far too high above for her to discern a rider.

The world of spires above the city was a beautiful one. She’d been in the deep shadows of Bastion for so long she’d forgotten what it felt like to breathe the clean air, to watch the low scudding clouds float by, or to see sunlight.

Oh, how good it would be to feel the sun again. She was a child of Savo, it was true. Her kin, at least the elven line of her mother, had spent their lives in the shadows of the great trees of the Forest, and had little love for the sun. The dwarves had taught her to love the sun, even low below the earth. Their homes were warm and bright, lit by clever devices that brought the sun’s warmth far below the mountains. She had spent days with Gawn wandering the dwarven farms above the surface too. They were great hidden terraced fields of wheat and barley that survived only because of the dwarves’ ingenuity.

It was, she guessed, mid-morning, and the sun was behind her. She sat in the obfuscating shadows and watched. And waited. Slowly the shadows crept from left to right. She could hear people far below, the general hubbub of the city, but not a soul disturbed her.

She had only a few sugar cubes, which she ate, and a small flask of her own concoction of herbs. She fought to keep these down, and kept her eyes on the sky to distract her from the nausea.

The rest of the story continues, but you’ll have to be a newsletter subscriber to get the rest of the action.

What Makes or Breaks an RPG Web Store?

Sometimes a discussion on the Internet is just too important to ignore, and this post, by Owen KC Stephens, concerns you, our customers. Owen asked about previous customers on Paizo’s RPG web store, and his questions concern how you’re able to access our products, as well as those by other great third party publishers of Pathfinder and fifth edition content. If Owen’s post applies to you, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Our own Rising Phoenix Games RPG web store is growing, and we’d love to be able to offer you the experience you want. If you have any feedback for us, feel free to contact us or drop a comment below. I’ll be keeping an eye on Owen’s thread too, because your opinion matters.

Speaking of online stores, please do check out Rising Phoenix Games on Buying from our own store is always the best way to support us, but our partnerships with companies like, the Open Gaming Store, Drive-Thru RPG, and Itch.IO mean that you can get your favorite Rising Phoenix Games books and supplements at your favorite online store.

The Best Way to Support RPG Creators

If you’ve ever wondered where your money goes when you buy RPG books online, then hopefully this will shed some light on the subject. The best place to support RPG creators, by revenue split is:

  1. The creator’s own website. We get 100% of the profit off each sale made through our store.
  2. The Open Gaming Store.
  3. Paizo.Com
  4. Drive-Thru RPG or other One Bookshelf (OBS) sites. DTRPG and sites like Drive-Thru Cards take a 35% cut of the profit. That said, their tools make promotion and contractor payments far easier, their staff is very helpful, and their library of titles is the largest on the web, so we’ve always been happy to sell through them.
  5. Community creator sites, like the Dungeon Masters Guild. The DMG takes 50% off each sale, which is likely shared between Wizards of the Coast and OBS.

Don’t Miss the Newsletter

I’m busy putting together the final touches for this month’s newsletter, and it’s a whopper. Don’t miss out, subscribe to the Rising Phoenix Games newsletter today. Each monthly issue includes exciting product news, discounts, and free fiction from the Valkyrie: Ragnarok saga. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story on the blog too, but subscribers get to read more and subscribing is totally free.


Cosmic Horror Awaits in Nightscape: Red Terrors

In Nightscape: Red Terrors you play an Operative of Integrand General — an extra-governmental non-profit established to research the arcane sciences — fighting your way through the PERM 37 facility. You will be opposed by the horrific forces at the disposal of the Director. Modern weapons have little power against the most powerful horrors you’ll face…

Nightscape: Red Terrors RPG Cover

Sheesh guys, it’s actually here! This book has been years in the making, and I think that our care and attention to detail shows. Nightscape: Red Terrors is an “all in one” game that includes a mission and modular map, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to tell your own stories of cosmic horror.

Nightscape: Red Terrors was my first real chance to play with someone else’s toys. The Nightscape universe is massive, including novels, novellas, comics, soundtracks, and even a movie. You can and should check out their website, at If you’re a fan of pulp cosmic horror, you won’t be disappointed.

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government decommissioned several publicly hidden research facilities devoted to ‘arcane science,’ chief among them, PERM Laboratory 37. Recently, due to several strange energy emissions, the location of the PERM 37 facility has been discovered by various parties with an interest in the lab’s inventory of eldritch artifacts.

You’re an agent of one of these factions on your way through driving sleet to the facility. Dusk is falling as you pass through the broken security gate…

Nightscape: Red Terrors uses a D20, and all the rules you need to play are included in the book. You can find it through the following vendors:


Print on Demand versions of the book are coming to Drive-Thru RPG too. We expect them to be available in the next week or so. Watch this space.