Today we’re traveling to Berlin! And we’re gonna talk with the King of the Vampires – my words, not his – Bartek Stachurski from Borgnine’s Painting blog. He was great fun to talk with and I’m telling you, Halloween is one of the very best times … to wait until midnight … then head over to his Instagram and web site and revel in all the gory glory of his incredibly cool – and massive! – undead army of vampires and zombies and Shadespire warbands and Blood Bowl teams! Also, the other very best times to head over to the blog is … all the times that aren’t Halloween. Bartek is a master of grimdark and conversions and he also conducts world building and storytelling for his army units and characters. We chat about his tutorials on painting and converting models and perseverance and gamer wives and zombie weddings and motivation and just the pure love of the hobby.
00:00:00 – Opening & Sundries
00:03:00 – Frostgrave game #2 report
00:11:33 – Interview
01:10:10 – Hobby Progress
01:13:46 – Section Charlie
In Section Charlie, where I share something or someone cool I’ve come across on the internet, I highlight some of my favorite horror movies that maybe aren’t super well-known. Some of them are, for sure, but maybe some will have slipped under your radar.
Let The Right One In
Watch the YouTube version of the podcast which contains time-lapse footage of working at the paint desk!
What We Do In The Shadows Trailer
Bartek’s Kiril’s Retinue (Sepulcheral Guard)
Bartek’s The Faceless (Stormcast conversion)
Starbucks hot cocoa
Dark Sword Minis
Show Transcript (excluding interview content)
The Vampire Count: Interview with Bartek Stachurski aka Borgnine!
Happy Halloween to everyone out there and welcome to episode 25 of Tabletop Alchemy! I’m CryinMo and you’re you and together, we’re expanding the hobby multiverse, exploring ideas, trading war stories, learning craft, making imaginary things real and having fun doing it. That’s the goal anyway.
But the bottom line today is that I hope you’re Halloween is as haunted as you hope it to be. And for all of you out there who don’t have Halloween, well, I say just put on a costume and go scare someone! They’ll love you for it. Or hate you, I don’t know, either way, there should be candy involved.
Speaking of candy, I will now share a recipe with you for this season and the next even though this is how I drink hot chocolate all year round! Seriously, every day, I have a hot chocolate at some point. So make a hot chocolate from your preferred hot cocoa mix – I currently use the Starbucks hot cocoa 30oz can, which has exactly 3 ingredients – chocolate, sugar and vanilla – and then add cinnamon and cayenne. Enjoy one daily for a calmer, greater sense of the world. Also, I’m not a doctor, so I can make stuff up. Spicy hot chocolate, the way to end your day.
All right, let’s do the sundries, shall we? This is Tabletop Alchemy, a podcast about miniatures and miniature painting, rpgs like Dungeons and Dragons, skirmish games like Frostgrave, wargames like Warhammer and terrain building and fantasy art and writing, storytelling and all the other cool things associated with these hobbies of dice and minis. My intent with this podcast is provide you, Dear Listener, with something to fuel the hobby juice while you’re stuck in traffic, stuck at home, stuck at the office, stuck in the basement, stuck in someone else’s basement, or just having fun painting up some miniatures or flocking some foam or trimming some sprue.
You can catch new episodes every Wednesday on most podcast apps and on YouTube where each episode is accompanied with footage of whatever I happen to be working on at the painting desk. Every week I like to acknowledge and thank my patrons at Patreon.com, their financial support is always humbly accepted and much appreciated – you guys all know who you are and so do I. If you’d like to support the show and gain access to a few previews each week, head on over to patreon.com/cryinmo but you can also support the show just by dropping comments and ratings wherever you happen to catch it and all of that interaction is welcomed not only by the algorithmic gods, but also by me. I wonder if “algorithmic gods” are the new cthulhu pantheon? Gargantuan, unseen creatures of such complexity and appetite that only drive men mad … yeah, I think algorithms are the new Great Old Ones.
All right, last but not final, everyone can visit cryinmo.com where you’ll find all the episodes, all the show notes, all the social media links and email links and instagram photos and additional content like other podcast appearances et cetera et cetera.
Okay, so before we dive into today’s interview, I wanted to tell you guys that I’ve played my second game of Frostgrave! Not only that, my brother and I have scheduled our third game and we’re setting up an actual gaming schedule, twice a month on Saturdays, tentatively speaking, we’ll be running our Frostgrave campaign.
Our second game was pretty fun, we had a table almost completely full of terrain, edge-to-edge, I don’t think there was any line of sight longer than about 12” in any direction, which really proved to be fun and tactical. We also learned just how crazy the d20 based system is compared to a d6 rule set. That spread of chance in the die roll creates some of the craziest, most unanticipated results across the board and literally spawns storytelling right before your eyes. In several cases, we lost powerful models to seemingly insignificant models and the stunning turn of events was always frustratingly fun! I lost my wizard at the top of the game, in the second or third round. By the end of the game, Alessandro had only his wizard and apprentice left while I had four or five soldiers on the board. We played with 5 treasure tokens and in the very last turn, due again to crazy die rolls, I ended up with ALL five treasure tokens, and only two models left on the board, one which was a warhound which can’t even carry treasure! It was crazy! Yeah, I said it three times, it was nuts. It really let me kind of relax and just look at the amazing turn of events as a writer and not as a tactician. Maybe because I’m not a good tactician to begin with. But since we really wanted to see what the campaign thing was like, you know, we wanted to roll on the treasure tables and see what it was like to do the campaign thing and progress our wizards, I told Alessandro he would take two of the treasure tokens and then later in the campaign, if the situation ever arises where I lose out on all the treasure, he’ll have to return the favor LOL – hedging my bets. So then we got to roll on the treasure tables and see what we got and we got to roll on the injury results tables to see who in our war bands lived to fight another day and all that stuff and that was very fun. And we’re just playing from the original rule book – I have all the other Frostgrave books sitting on my shelf over there and I was like, “those have all these additional spells and soldiers and scenarios, holy cow!” So we have plenty to keep us occupied for quite a while. Not to mention I’ve got Joe’s Ghost Archipelago and Rangers of Shadowdeep too! Lotta stuff to play. But again the storytelling potential of the Frostgrave system really has me intrigued and definitely in ways that keep me thinking about Ana’s work in her Gardens of Hecate blog from last episode.
So now, before next weekend, my and my brother’s homework is to establish a base and set up our resources so we’re ready to go next Saturday. And I think the day this episode drops is the day that the latest Frostgrave supplement, Perilous Dark, releases! It’s got rules for solo play and co-op play, so that is pretty awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
All right, let’s get into the thing of the thing, let’s talk about who we’re gonna talk WITH in today’s episode. We are traveling, yeah yeah via the internet – maybe one day I’ll be able to travel IRL to visit the folks I interview and put ‘em on-camera (hey, we all gotta have pies in the skies, dream big or dream home) – so today we’re traveling to Berlin! And we’re gonna talk with the King of the Vampires – my words, not his – Bartek Stachurski from Borgnine’s Miniature Painting. On Instagram he’s @borgnines_underscore_painting and of course there are links to all these places in the show notes. Now, first and foremost, let’s talk about my failings. Well, one of them anyway, we ain’t got time for all the rest: I completely forgot to ask Bartek about his screen name. Totally. But guess what? It probably doesn’t matter, ‘cause he was great fun to talk with. And I’m telling you, Halloween is one of the very best times … to wait until midnight … then head over to his instagram and web site and revel in all the gory glory of his incredibly cool – and massive! – Undead army of vampires and zombies and Shadespire warbands and Blood Bowl teams! Also, the other very best times to head over to the Borgning Miniature Painting blog is … all the times that aren’t Halloween. Bartek is a master conversionist and he also conducts world building and storytelling for his army units and characters. We chat about his tutorials on painting and converting models and perseverance and gamer wives and zombie weddings and motivation and just the pure love of the hobby. Let’s meet him!
All right, thank you once again Bartek for taking the time, I really appreciate and I hope everyone out there gets a chance to enjoy your work. Again you can visit him on Instagram at borgnines underscore painting and on the web at borgninespainting.blogspot.com. As always, links are in the show notes at cryinmo.com!
All right, hobby progress!
So this week I started work on Kiera’s Shambling Undead Blood Bowl team, I started with a couple of the skeleton figures to work out the paint scheme and I checked the colors with her throughout the process, so her influence is definitely going to be viewable in the final product. The color scheme is pretty rad I have to say – we’re going for a dark metal meets malachite for the armor, so that’s like this combination of dark steel with dark green sort of leaning towards blue washes and a slightly orange-ish pimento color as the secondary pop for the signature look. Combined with the light green tinge she’s requested for the skin tone and bone of the players and the Snakebite Leather Contrast paint for the leather bits like boots and bracers and portions of the helmets, this team is gonna be pretty awesome despite the painter himself.
I also, for some reason, just knocked out that random dwarf I mentioned sort of as a palette cleanser or something, I don’t know, I literally just sat down and base coated him and color blocked the entire miniature last night, so I’ll probably highlight and wash him for photos this week. But generally speaking, I’m sure I’ll be working on the blood bowl team for quite a while – and then I’ve got the orcs waiting in the wings for their colors. I wish Kiera would give me some ideas for their colors but she’s not even looking forward to playing the game LOL it remains to be seen if she gets into it or not. We’ll see.
Also not my hobby progress, but my brother has almost finished up two of his Frostgrave warband members, he’s collecting very specific miniatures that represent accurate weapon load outs for his all female warband and the two he’s finished are really well done! He’s like me and has taken a decade or so break from painting and these are his first minis since then. One of them was a Dark Sword miniature and the other was from Other World miniatures, both great sculpts and in that really fine detail scale, hard for me to paint! He did a great job and his whole warband when it’s done, I’ll see if he’ll let me post some pics of ‘em.
All right, let’s do Section Charlie –
Where I get to highlight someone or something cool I’ve found online or in today’s case, just plain ol wanna shout out. This is probably too late and I should have done it a couple episodes ago, but whatever, here it is, my list of suggested horror movies for Halloween! Now, there are lots of horror movies I dig to one extent or another but generally speaking I’m not a huge fan of the run-of-the-mill horror genre. I find a lot of them just dumb and gore for gore’s sake does nothing for me. So, just a quick list in case you’re looking for some spooky stuff that you might not have heard of or considered checking out.
Okay and right off the bat, I’ll throw a wrench in here and start with a tv show: Hannibal starring Mads Mikkelson and a bunch of other people. The first two seasons of this show are really well written, impeccably production designed and incredibly shot. The third season goes straight off the art show deep end and we have yet to get through that season (although the first few episodes have some of the most gorgeous cinematography I’ve ever seen). But seasons one and two are just captivating as hell and Mads Mikkelson as Hannibal is too cool for school.
Okay, on to the movies:
It Follows – the end of this flick is little bit lackluster, but for a movie that I thought was going to be just stupid and wretched, it really surprised me, I think it was well made and suitably atmospheric.
Let The Right One In, 2008 original Swedish movie – this movie is fantastic. You like vampires or you don’t like vampires and you wanna see something a little more original, this flick is for you! And it’s about kids! Ha, even darker! Watch it!
Frailty – this was the first movie directed by the late, great Bill Paxton and very people have heard of this flick. It is good! There are couple of visual effects that are bizarre but just let that go and see how this story of a father and his two young sons, I’m talking like 8 and 12 or something, become … well, how they become demon hunters. Sort of. Cause dad could just be, you know, going insane. And it’s not like demon hunters in a Buffy the Vampire sense or aesthetic, it’s like what would living with a person who thought they were becoming a demon hunter would like in the real world. It’s a well-executed film and pretty unsettling. There’s some scenes that are just epic in the way they are pulled off but no spoilers!
Next, The Visit by M. Night Shyamalan. That’s right, M. Night. And yeah, I hear you groaning all the way over here. That’s literally what I used to do when I heard his name after everything he made from The Lady in the Water to After Earth. But The Visit, this flick came out totally under the radar, it may have even been straight to video, I don’t know. I didn’t see it right away and even when I saw it listed in rental sections online I had no idea what it was. But we eventually watched it, I’m still not sure why, and it is one of the most fun, actually creepy movies I’ve seen in a long, long time. Like a lot of Shyamalan’s films, it has a core conceit that you have to just let go, but if you do, you get this really excellent movie watching experience. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. But I will say, try to not read anything about it, I think the trailer is okay to watch, but really try to stay away from any reviews or anything that will say too much. The basic premise is two kids are sent to vacation with their grandparents and the grandparents are some pretty interesting individuals. Oh, it’s super fun!
There’s a 2007 movie called The Orphanage, I haven’t watched it in a while but I thought it was really well done, very creepy, and much better than the movie The Others, which came out in 2001 and has nothing at all really to do with The Orphanage, they just sort of compete in my mind for some reason.
Two more – this isn’t really a horror movie but maybe it is in the way the movie Logan has that one horror movie segment in it. This a found-footage style flick – and I typically hate this type of gag but in Chronicle, it’s really well done. Chronicle is about a group of teenagers who find a meteorite crash site and become kind of irradiated and gain super powers. But this flick is awesome, the found footage thing works particularly well, the writing feels like it’s a bunch of modern teenagers doing what they would do if they happened to start discovering new … talents, I guess. And it gets dark. Wow I just realized that every single movie I’ve mentioned so far actually does have to do with kids or teenagers. That was not intentional. Hmmm … one of my favorite movies of all time is The Goonies, and I still watch that to this day. As well as the Breakfast Club and Back to the Future. Hmmmmm. Well, as Dan Adam would say, I should reflect on this and see where it takes me.
Okay, last recommendation and this one is not centered on kids or teenagers, this is a Sam Raimi film and stars Cate Blanchette and Keanu Reeves and Giovani Ribisi and it’s called The Gift and it’s a great movie! Now there’s a newer flick called The Gift by Joel Edgerton that I kind of liked three quarters of but the the end was just – to me – stupid. That film is from 2015, The Gift I’m talking about is from 2000 and Keanu Reeves plays a drunk abusive hick of a husband and Cate Blanchette is like a medium or someone with ESP – that’s a term we haven’t heard in a while right? – And it’s just a good old fashioned horror flick with great characters and some great directing and for whatever reason didn’t feel cheesy or dumb or predictable.
One extra one but most people have probably heard of it or maybe seen it, another one from our boy Shyamalan, Split. I highly recommend that flick as well, it’s a great movie, unpredictable to the very end and of course now everyone knows it’s a sequel to one of his early films but if you don’t know that, and you HAVE seen his early films, definitely watch Split without reading about it, because the experience of revelation in the theater at the end of the movie was just superb.
All right, that puts a cigarette burn in this frame of celluloid, I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful week, get some gaming in, hit me up on Instagram or YoutUbe or my email, let me know if you have any horror movie recommendations or horror game recommendations or horror books recommendations, whatever, go be horrible! In the noblest sense of the word. I’m CryinMo and I’ll … see ya!