In Search of a Rare Flower – Part 2

This past week’s hobby time was spent organizing my work area, painting Ruga-Ruga, and deciding on how to handle encounters and PEFs.

I moved my work area from the dining room table in the formal dining area to a small bookcase/desk in the corner of my bedroom. My house has two large living areas. One I use as a living room. It was originally designed to be a den. The other area was designed as a formal living and dining room. My son uses most of it as his living room.  The dining area is actually my gaming area and the dining room table is my gaming table. The last time that area was used for formal dining was 12 years ago.

Anyway, moving my work area means that I can work on my hobby projects any time of day without disturbing anyone.


The Ruga-Ruga were mercenaries and bandits recruited by local warlords. They came largely from the Ngoni people.  They have been described as wearing “tattered finery.” It is the “tattered finery” that makes these figures from Wargames Foundry perfect for use as guides for my groups of explorers. The figures that aren’t selected as guides will be used as a PEF in the game.


These also bring about the first house rule needed for the game.  Mission St. Mary was developed mainly as a “pulp era” game where the time period is the 1930s & 1940s. My game takes place in 1900 & in 1900 many native tribesmen around the world still used muskets. So, I’m going to have to tweak the ranged weapon & shooting tables to handle the use of muskets. It won’t be much of a tweak because muskets appear in several of the THW rules that I have.

wet palette
Wet Palette used for Ruga-Ruga

I’ve made a minor change to my painting method for this project. I usually prime with a neutral gray gesso. This time, I’m using Liquitex Black gesso as the primer. The reason I chose to do this is for photography. On the table top any little spots that didn’t get painted aren’t noticed. With digital photography, those little areas stand out… well, I can see them. So, I’m hoping that by using black as the undercoat that the eye will not notice missed spots in the photographs. Using black as the primer color does introduce the need for an extra step. All areas of clothing and anything that needs a bright color gets painted white before applying the color.

ruga ruga 1
Ruga-Ruga 1 – These figures have plenty of character
ruga ruga 2
The guy in the middle looks like he stepped out of the movie “King Solomon’s Mines”
ruga ruga 3
I took advantage of the Ruga-Ruga’s “tattered finery” & used bright colors.

ruga ruga 4ruga ruga 5ruga ruga 6ruga ruga 7ruga ruga 8

 Tree of Life – Tree of Woe

As I mentioned last week, my scenario is based on the Explore Encounter. The objective is to spend one turn of activation in the center of each section of the table. I’m placing a unique terrain piece in the center of each section. This first one came from Petsmart and is a gnarly twisted ancient tree. I call it “The Tree of Life – The Tree of Woe” and while spending an activation here the player’s group may encounter a pride of lions, a brood of giant spiders, great apes, angry baboons, tsetse flies, or other zoological wonders.

tree of life
Tree of Life-Tree of Woe, not your Disney Tree of Life
clooser look
A closer look at the tree.

Valley of Forgotten Time

Another animal centered section is the “Valley of Forgotten Time”. It’s another piece I picked up at PetSmart, a giant skull of some forgotten animal. Here is where the player’s group will encounter creatures such as a stegosaurus, a wooly mammoth, monkey boys, or perhaps velociraptors?

valley time
Valley of Forgotten Time

Well, that’s a wrap of what I got done this past week. This week has British officers on the painting table. The groups need leaders and the East Lemurian Trading Company has prevailed upon Her Majesty’s government to provide some “solid chaps” capable of command.

One thought on “In Search of a Rare Flower – Part 2

  1. Interesting – I use black primer / white drybrush for almost all my “generic” soldiers for almost the same reason – it gives you a quick shadow and highlight. (Also works well on spaceships where the shadows are more stark). For my heroes I use white primer and then shade with inks — if I have time. 🙂

    Looks like I need to head to PetSmart — I love the tree and skull!

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