Inuit Style Oracle

It has been awhile!  I have been, gasp, lazy!  But let me make it up to you with now with sexy, sexy failure!

As I have mentioned in previous posts my husband and I are paying through Pathfinder’s Reign of Winter campaign.  He’s playing a Winter Witch and I am playing an Ancestor Oracle.  I’m melee with the occasional magic boost.  It’s been…surprisingly versatile and one of my best character builds ever.

Since I have a somewhat useless degree in antropology and art history, I tend to play a good deal of non-standard characters.  This character I modeled off of Inuit shamans and hunters in both design, racial appearance, devotion and how she treats the world within the game.  There are two group of humans within the People of the North Pathfinder guide that are basically Inuit: the Erutaki and the Varki.  I choose the Varki (which had less on them) because of their more nomadic and accepting nature.

I came across and very obvious problem when planning this miniature: virtually no northern tribal type figures.  I found some 18mm historic figure with piss-poor details.  And I found a singular male figure called Nanoc Spearman which is an older mini produced by Reaper.  I attempted to fully sculpt a mini from scratch instead.  I knew what I wanted and felt like the Nanoc Spearman would be too large.

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I had the worst time trying to hand sculpt from scratch.  The boots on this figure were…fantastic.  And took me 2 hours to smooth.  But the time the boots looked good, the rest of the figure was basically hard.  I did gt with more yellow than blue of the green stuff mix.  Less yellow should have given me more time but it wasn’t enough.  This picture was the second body I attempted to sculpt.  I am a noob, yessir, I am.

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The Batman

I gave facing sculpting a try and made two heads.  I hadn’t added many details yet but felt actually pretty good about my first head attempts.  Sadly they all were rather masculine.  Something about my last two projects made me giddy to give her exceptional cheek bones AND a longer, ethnic nose.  I kept noticing my attempts just made surprised looking Batman.  So I added the bat ears.  Why not?

Sod it, I’m going to mod the way I know how!  Nanoc Spearman it is!

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  • I set aside my modding bits for this project.  I chose a nicer weapon that was longer and less chunky from one of my weapon packs.  I, of course, have Mr. Spearman who would be losing his head.  I pulled out and old, old Ral Partha head to use (I have 3 of this mini, it was not an affront to all mini-kind by destroying it).  I also pulled out a Bones figure whose head was lovely.  But I need to post my feelings on Bones figures.  They are negative feelings.  I am not participating in the Reaper Bones II Kickstarter.  NOPE.

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  • The removal of the head was a little hard.  I wanted to maintain the neck but my tools were just a bit too large.  Even with my smallest drill sander I had to spend a good deal of time carefully maintaining as much of the neck and hair as I could.  Smoothing them was very hard.  I ended up using green stuff as the smoother when the metal wasn’t cooperating.

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  • This part was fairly simple.  I drilled a hole in the headless Nanoc figure, dug out some space for the neck, pinned the head, and then pinned/glued/greenstuffed the head in place.  I was worried at first that the head was too small.  It wasn’t, thankfully!

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  • Fur.  I kick ass at fur.  I am completely in my element sculpting fur.  Long live fur!
  • There was a hole in the back of the Nanoc figure for this strange bone/tusk back piece.  I was not going to use it so I covered it up with green stuff and textured it as fur to match the rest of the back.

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  • Here is where the figure get’s lady-ized.  I sculpted boobs.  Gave her more fur around her front and neck, and molded it into the armor on her chest.  I also shaved a little of the girth from the chest to make it look less manly and bulky.
  • You can also see the work done to the neck and some small errors along the jaw line I fixed.

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  • I sculpted two large braids down on her back.  I also made a little fringe in the front that you will need in the next image.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the painted face before I added her facial tattoos.  Facial tattoos are cool.
  • I feel really good about my ability to paint faces and eyes.  This head had just the right cheek bone and nose I wanted.  I actually love how the eyes protrude and have very thick lashes/eyelids.  It made it very easy to paint.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI got into painting and just didn’t take any pictures of the process.  It was a very simple case of base cost, shadows, wash and dry brush highlights for the rest of the figure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinish Varki Oracle!

Remember to please feel free to click on any of the images for a larger image.

Our Oracle and Winter Witch has served us well during our travels for far and are approaching lvl 8.

Next time: Baba Yaga’s Hut!  Yep, I’m almost done crafting the Dancing Hut.  I tried mummifying real chicken feet for that one…ugh…bad choices.

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Man-Witch, Not Your Average Sandwich

I have been away.  Many things are to blame.  There have been quite a few vacations, I had to be Lara Croft for awhile, and I may have also had to be an Ezio.  Vacations and gaming binge, I admit to this fully.  Also, I have simply been lazy. I have been painting, just not posting.

I have been doing some painting and making PC minis for Pathfinder’s Reign of Winter campaign.  My husband made an Irrisien Winter Witch (or Man-Witch as I say) and I make a Varki Oracle.  His miniature require no modding to achieve what he wanted.  Mine…well…that’s another post.  They were finished a few week ago.  We’re level 6 now.

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Man Witch, Mmmm Hexes!

The miniature I used was Reaper’s Anzen Contar.  This also came with a flame familiar which I also painted!  But I will share another time as I have both a metal and Bones version.  I have feeling about Bones now…not good feelings.

No modding was required for this PC.

This post will not be as detailed as normal because, to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember the details and it’s two days from going on vacation.  Beaches and rum and relaxation with people I enjoy.  That’s all I can really share with you.

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  • I generally don’t mount minis this way.  I wanted to give it a whirl.  My husband helped me saw the base off.  I used a hand drill to drill holes into the base of the feet and insert/glue wire.  Everything seemed to be working out.  However, upon completion and fixing the mini to a base with both super glue, wires and green stuff…it broke off that base twice with normal use.  I will not be using this method again.  I will go back to my lazy green stuff way that makes sure my minis don’t ever come off.

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  • As you can see, he’s affixed to a wooden block.  I know many people use wine corks.  Despite the amount of wine drunk in this house…very few of them come with corks made of cork.  They all have the rubber reusable corks.  So I went into my box of doo-dabs and grabs a wooden block.  I sawed a gap around the end block without severing it in 2.  I twisted the wire from the miniature at the bottom to secure it.  It worked really well.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI usually make notes and write up what I am painting as I paint them.  This time, I got lazy, took pictures, and had too much faith that I would remember what I used.  NOPE.
  • Since Irrisen people are generally very pale, I feel pretty confident that I used MSP (Master Series Paint) Fair Skin Trio.  However, I know I added a pale grey-blue to the batch in order to make the skin more cool and northern.  As you can see: flesh base coat!

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  • After doing a flesh base coat I used a dark brown ad black of some sort to make the mouth indentation stand out.  I also painted the basics of the eyes.  I would add a speck of blue to them eventually.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were many pictures between the last one and this one showing the changes in the skin.  As a pale character that wasn’t meant to have cheekbones like David Bowie the changes were not obvious enough on camera.  So we’re going to fast forward.
  • I painted shading, highlights and washes the crap out of his skin.
  • I know my husband would have feeling about having me paint pastel colors all over this mini (as is a usual clothing color scheme for his character’s origin) so I played up nice cool colors such as blue and purple.  As well as whites/off-whites, grays and blacks.

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  • Looking pretty good!  Just need some details and a base!
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADue to impossible mold line over one of the eyes, I could not achieve a truly symmetrical look.  I painted a scar over that eye to bring a sort of “intended imbalance” to the face.  Captain Husband was pleased.  Scars are cool.
  • Appropriate small details were added.

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All the sexy!

I feel like his mini has a good deal of presence.  I am also continuously made aware of how crummy my camera is.  I think I am going to need to make a photo box for more consistent lighting.

Next time: Varki Oracle, Inuit style!  Also failed attempts at sculpting a mini from scratch.

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Attempts at making a female face…got me Batman.

Animals: Panthers and Doggies and Foxes oh my!

Animals, I have been painting a few recently.  Although I will not be showing a tutorial for all of them I will share a tutorial for one of them.  As long as the miniature has fur texture I generally paint them all the same.  No fur texture makes me a very sad lady.  I end up having animals that look like Mr. Bigglesworth.

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My recently projects included painting a blue/black panther eidolon for my husband, three dogs for summons or enemies and an arctic fox for a familiar.  The dogs were Ral Partha wardogs I scored from a random miniature bin at GenCon for about $.80.  I was so shocked at the cost that I ended up loading up a bag of other animals while I was there.  I also picked up what I call my “Bag of Sluts,” but that is a tale for another day.

Show and tell on the other animals:

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“We are the dogs with no fur texture.  We made our painter pout.  This resulting covering one in spots to hide her shame.”

The fox I used is from an animal pack produced by Freeblades Miniatures.  Please check their stuff out, their miniatures are fantastic.  I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the people who run Freeblades and gushed over their minis.  I really wish that they had more available as I own most of their line.

http://www.dgsgames.com/

Foxes are great little animals who come in a variety of colors.  This fox is to be used as a familiar in the Reign of Winter campaign for Pathfinder.  As my husband is playing a winter man-witch it’s only appropriate that his fox be arctic.  The interesting thing with arctic foxes is that I notice that they have two colors: a more yellowish/brown tint or a blue tint to their fur.  Well I like blue, so blue is what I went for.  If blue is an option…I’m going to use blue.  I need to be conscious of my use of blue otherwise all humanoids would be dressed in blue.  I don’t need to use blue, I can quit at any time!  Ok, I have a problem.

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  • To begin I based the fox and used some green stuff to create a setting.  I planned on using some terrain water to create a small pool and attempt to make it look iced over.  I textured the green stuff by rolling a small rock over the surface.  I generally let my greenstuff set overnight before continuing.

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  • This fox was east to paint.  I used a base coat of MSP (Master Series Paint) Misty Grey as a base on the fox.  I also used MSP Stormy Grey on the base.

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  • Next I set to work on the face.  I know many people like to paint in the face at the end, but I find it easy to work around the details then add them at the end.  If I mess up I end up having to either layer up the paint and make it look thick and icky, or strip the figure and start over.  Hells to the NO with starting over.
  • I used Citadel Chaos Black to paint in a thin line In the mouth, a little paint for the nose and painting the sockets of the fox.  I dotted in MSP New Gold for bright yellow eyes.  As I continue I will clean up the mouth and eye area as I add my layers to the figure.

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  • Next I added MSP Black Wash to the base and make a thin wash of MSP Templar Blue.  I didn’t want this figure to be a bright blue so thin was the way to go in order to get the tint.

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  • Now I cleaned up the eyes and mouth as you can see.  I choose to not attempt a pupil because this miniature is small…very small.  I dry brushed the fur with MSP Misty Grey in order to ton down the slight blue on the higher edges.  I also dry brushed the base with the same color…and quite honestly loved it.

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  • It’s time to add some small shadow.  I mixed 2:1 ratio of MSP Misty Grey and MSP Templar Blue and light, very lightly dry brushed the underside of the fox, the underside of it’s tail, the bends in the legs and some small areas near the eyes and cheeks.  Also, let’s stop to appreciate the base again.  Ah. Me gusta.

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  • I do believe this speaks for itself.  I dry brushed Citadel Skull White on the high areas including the top of the nose, edges of the ears and cheeks as well as appropriate body parts.  Don’t you just want to BOOP it’s nose?

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  • I felt the fox was still a little bland.  Foxes have the occasional unique markings.  I added a tiny bit of Citadel Chaos Black along the ear tips, at the base of the tail and a tiny pit along the “eyebrows”.  It’s a fox!

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  • Now is time for some base love.  I made some sort of ungody green mixture I don’t remember in the base of the pool.  Then I added a smidgen of green terrain at left corner of the recess.  Of course this meant it was time to add terrain water.  This requires 24 hours to set.

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  • With a little glue and snow terrain in patches we have a lovely base.  A very light dry brush of MSP Misty Grey and Citadel Skull White to the water surface to make it look iced over added to the winter feel.

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And we have ourselves a little arctic fox!

Completed Elementals 4/4: Water

Calamity in mini land!  My camera charger was stolen by kobolds!  Or more likely it went missing during our move or is simply very good at being lost.  I have replaced it and can now post!

That’s right, that last elemental has been finished.  Don’t wet your pants now, that’s the water elemental’s job.

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  • The miniature was primed with my P3 White Spray Primer.  I used green stuff to adhere it to its base and added a rock because: I like rocks. Who doesn’t like rocks? Rocks are cool.

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  • I don’t think I have used so few colors on a miniature before (short of a skeleton with 3).  I did two or three coats of MSP (Master Series Paint) Deep Ocean.  After putting this layer on I considered that perhaps I should be working from light to dark in terms of colors.  However, the Epic Goddess of Lazy within myself could not be bothered to re-prime the elemental.  We will see how it turns out.

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  • The next color I used was diluted MSP Marine Teal.  I used this on all the high edges generously.  I used several coats and found it immediately began seeing the illusion of water.  When stuff like this happens it only solidifies my inner Lazy Goddess’ resolve to continue to be lazy.  Someday, things won’t work out and my inner perfectionist demon will have words with me.

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  • MSP Surf Aqua was applied to the highest edges, much like the Marine Teal.  However, this time I did not lay it on as thickly and made a point to cover less of the surface of the high edges.  There are “foam” bubbled carved into this mini’s cheeks.  I dry brushed this color into those recesses hoping I could layer on a more “frothy” appearance as I went.

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  • I mixed a small amount of MSP Ashen Blue with MSP Misty Grey.  Then I laid a small amount on the highest edges and used even less than I did of the Surf Aqua.  I noticed I did not add enough water for a smooth application.  As you can see it looks a little dry on some parts of the body.  Boo, Nerddrasil.  Boo.

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  • I felt that painting over the lightest dry color would make it stand out too much.  I used a little lazy trick of mine: stippling brush with some water + scrubbing = remove a little bit of the harshness of the color.  Finally I use Citadel Skull White on a few of the highest point (foam fingertips, cheeks, a little on the mouth and forehead as well as the base waves).

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  • As both a sort of primer and base detail I used Secret Weapon Scenics Realistic Water.  I used scotch tape to make a tray at the base for a layer of water to be added.  This was not the best method as I did not get the best edges.  I also covered the entire figure giving it a very glossy appearance.  24 hours later it was all dried.  I needed to clip and sand the edges to make the scenic water look nicer.

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Isn’t it lovely?  But you know what that means?

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I have a four set!  Large Elementals Complete!

I have been busy with little projects.  Captain Husband and I have started playing the first part of Pathfinder’s Reign of Winter scenerio.  We are still on The Snows of Summer and are really loving it.  He’s playing a Witch and I am playing an Oracle.  Due to this I have painted him a new figure and painted an Arctic Fox (familiar for my winter man-wich) with a custom base.  I will be sharing these things next time.

I am playing a Varki Oracle…and there is a distinct lack of Inuit type figures.  Which means I am sculpting from scratch, motherfracking lord of filth why?!

I have also painted a panther, based a butt ton of minis, and have planned on doing some small and miniature elementals.

Also, Captain Husband told me I can’t buy more minis until I paint 50 of them.  Challenge excepting, bitch. There are some Wyrd figures I am lusting over.  

Elementals 3/4: Air

I would like to sing my praises to the pet owners of hobby-land during the early summer.  Pet shedding…it’s really a bitch.

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My biggest concern about painting the air elemental was to make sure it didn’t look like water.  Peering around the vast galaxy of the internet I noticed a lot, and I mean a lot of air elementals being painted using blues and whites.  Often it comes across as being more watery than airy.  Although I do use a blue in my miniature, I made a conscious effort to stay in the ashen-cool color zone.  So this meant ash blues, pale purples, greys and whites.  I even considered pinks and yellows.  After all, what colors are the clouds when you get down to thinking about it?

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  • This miniature was originally primed black.  I ended up re-priming it white with P3 White Spray Primer. The reason I did this was so that my paints showed brighter against a background of white.   I prefer to keep my bases black so I adhered the mini afterward priming.  I wasn’t concerned about priming the base since I would be covering it up with grit later on.

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  • To begin I made a mix of 2:3 MSP (Master Series Paint) Twilight Blue and Citadel Skull White.  This image is of the first coat I applied but I did lay on a second coat.  As you can see, it really needed a second coat.

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  • Next I made a wash from MSP Twilight Blue and coated the entire figure.  The body really took up the wash well.  No emo, vampire loving teenagers shot out of my bottle.  You may now breath.

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  • Purple, yes I am using purple at this point.  I mixed a 1:1 MSP Amethyst Purple with Citadel Skull White.  I added a little bit of Lasting Flow and applied it to the high edges of the figure using the side of my brush.

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  • I was losing sunlight fast and felt like the figure was still too “bright” and that there wasn’t enough definition.  I made an additional wash of heavily diluted MSP Adamantium Black.  I love the slightly shimmery paints.  I became concerned with that it did to my mini and began eating wasabi peas as punishment.

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  • Feeling as if though I muted the purple undertones, I applied the 1:1 of MSP Amethyst White and Citadel Skull White on the high points once more.  Phhhuuueew.  I guess I can put the wasabi peas down now.

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  • I didn’t necessarily dry brush this.  I left more paint on than I usually would dry brushing, but not enough to make it extremely opaque.  I “mildly moist brushed” MSP Leather White on the highest points.  This “white” is really more of a pale, pale grey.

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  • My deep love for shiny paint led me to a stupid/awesome choice.   Dry brushed the whole dang thing with MSP Aged Pewter.  I loved the shimmer effect it caused…but it also looked like I completely covered my beautiful highlight again.  Specifically the love MSP Leather White I just applied.  Ok, now I have to eat more wasabi peas.  I don’t deserve sinuses that don’t burn.

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  • It’s time to bring out the shiny paint once more (I never learn, honestly).  I dry brushed the highest edges with MSP Pearl White.  This time things worked out.  But could I add one more color?  Maybe?  Yes?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes, I can!  With Citadel Skull White I rolled a few of the highest points with the brightest white I own.  The eyes and mouth I colored with diluted Adamantium Black.  I think it looks like air.  It was also officially too dark for me to paint anymore.  As you can see, I started laying some very, very basic terrain.

AirElementalDoneAnd so we have an Air Elemental!

Before I post the final installment of the Large Elemental Project…I need to discuss my upcoming Mini “Mini” Party.  Wednesday I’m expecting our Reaper Bones Kickstarter Vampire Package.  Oodles and oodles of minis!  There will be minis, hard cider, bratwursts and General Bismark.  Did any of you buy into the Bones Kickstarter?  Let me know if you threw your own Mini “Mini” Party!

There is much anticipation from Captain Husband and myself for Wednesday.

Nerddrasil Fan Page!

I’m about to hunker down and paint myself an air elemental, but in the mean time I’d like to announce that Nerddrasil now has a fanpage on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/Nerddrasil

Go there, click like and make love to it.  You don’t have to call us in the morning  We’ll understand.

For your cringing pleasure: an image of the first minis I ever painted and how they stood the test of time.

NOOB!

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Holy lack of primer and varnish, Batman!  I was also extremely unaware of the idea of diluting paints and the concept of shading.  Shame on me.

 

Elementals 2/4: Earth

Forgive the terribly quality of some of the images.  I am convinced that I have the most fussy camera.  It took me a camera and two cell phones to get enough images that look okTechnology, why do you hate me?  I see your macro setting but you scoff.

Now, I must confess, I am no pro.  I am even sure I can claim to be hobbyist with painting miniatures.  I have painted very few in my life.  I’ve always been artistically inclined since I was a kid, so it’s no surprise that my love of collecting and putting together miniatures would evolve into painting.

I get very nervous before I try something new with minis.  Which, so far, has been everything.  Painting a big earth elemental was no different.  However, I have to say: this was the most fun mini for me to paint by far! 

I primed this figure using P3 Black Spray primer with a batch I prepped a few months ago.

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  • I needed, surprisingly, very few paints for this guy.  A base coat of  MSP (Master Series Paint) Stormy Grey was used.  During this step I started staring at my terrain packs in my, “Mini Painting Box of Goodies.”  To hell with it, let’s do some basing!

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  • The basing was simple.  On one of my walks when the tide was low (I live right on a bay) I collected a handful of various stones for terrain purposes.  I laid those on my base with some Tacky Glue, and let them set.  I then covered my base, using a toothpick, with tacky glue and dunked the base into my terrain container of medium grit.  Enough of this, let’s get back to the elemental!

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  • The earth, in a single give spot, is made up of many types of minerals.  This wouldn’t be much different.  I simplified the rock elemental by making a point to use only two stone colors: a brownish and a greyish one.  If you have ever painted a tiled or stone floor for a miniature, I basically decided to use the same principles.  This made for a very quick, easy and good looking rock dude.
  • This figure has wonderful texture and the texture was still very apparent (nod to an excellent primer) and did most of the work for me.  I decided that the “rougher” stone surface would be the brown.  I lightly watered down MSP Khaki Shadow and covered those areas.

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  • Next, I used MSP Brown Wash on the entire figure.  I love their washes.  I am also lazy.  I can live with this. I also used the wash on the terrain grit.
  • Following this I used my MSP Black Wash on the grey stones only.  I went over it again a second time to feed some wash into particularly deep areas regardless of stone color.

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  • At this point I pulled out my MSP Misty Grey and used it to dry brush all of the “grey stones” and make sure to take particular notice of the edges on the stones to make give them more dimension.

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  • Being that the brown stones had a very dirt and dirty look I figures that maybe a little green tint in their highlights would be good.  I mixed MSO Khaki Highlight with a little bit of  MSP Swamp Green and used it to drybrush all of the brown stones.

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  • I considered trying to do something special with the face, like glowing or shiny eyes, or maybe add a bright rune of some kind.  I ended up deciding that I like the look of it as it was and opted to merely give it a slight metallic detail.  I Mixed a little MSP New Gold with a little MSP Swamp Green and lighting colored in it’s right eye swirl and it’s left eye.  I also painted it’s teeth gold.

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  • The final detail I added was a little shrubbery and some small pulled bits of the shrubbery to add as “moss” on the elemental.

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Next? Water Elemental!  Also, possibly a big cat. I hear the internet was invent by cats or something to that notion.