Sunday, 29 November 2015

“There Is Precious Little In Civilization To Appeal To A Yeti.”

"Bigfoot comes out of the woods, sits on a rock, and starts eating a rabbit."
These two 40mm metal Sasquatch miniatures made by “Pulp Figures” are from Bob Murch’s “temporarily withdrawn” Lost Tribes range, and are sold as code PLT07 Hairy Hominids. Useful as either Abominable Snowmen or Troglodytes these rather large hefty models are my fifth and final submission for this month’s Mo’Vember Challenge; a facial hair themed event that DickGarrison, Carrion Crow and Punkrabbit are also participating in this time round. Please do visit their respective blogs to see how they’re all got on over the past few weeks.
"Some people say Bigfoot doesn't exist and maybe he doesn't, but all these people have seen something..."
I actually started painting these wonderfully characterful chaps back in January 2015 as part of last year’s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. But for some reason only got as far as undercoating the pair with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown, applying a heavy wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade over the brutes, and then finally dry-brushing them with more “Vallejo” Heavy Brown.
Mo'Vember 2015 - Hairy Hominids, Doctor Who, Scorby, Rage and Adolf Hitler
Having dug them back out of my “Pulp Figures” drawer, I have finished them by painting their flesh with a combination of Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, and picked out their teeth and toenails with “Vallejo” White.

Friday, 27 November 2015

"Well, If We're Not On Earth, Doc, Then Where The Hell Are We?"

"Ra, if your tribe and the others was joined together, you could defeat the Mahars."
This metal model of Shug McClure is from “Antediluvian Miniatures” range of 28mm Adventurers. The sculpt is clearly based upon the character of David Innes, a Victorian mining heir who finances the experimental “Iron Mole” in the 1976 Fantasy-Science Fiction film “At The Earth’s Core”.

Edgar Rice Burrough’s creation was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. His trousers were painted using Charred Brown and his spear “Citadel” Doombull Brown. Both of these areas, along with his “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna waistcoat and hair were then washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The figure’s shirt was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” White and the transparent acrylic Pale Grey. Finally the hero’s metallic spear tip was picked out with “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
Crossbowman WIP - This plastic model is becoming increasingly colourful
I’m still progressing my “Frostgrave” warband using “North Star Military Figures”, and hope to have my initial party of fortune hunters finished within the next few weeks. The additional pouches and equipment I’ve adorned my adventurers' with has somewhat slowed down my pace in getting them finished. But I’m finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel for this crossbowman...
Re-basing The Undead - Lots of damaged feet and legs have been repainted on these models
Lastly I’m continuing to try and give my considerable collection of old “Copplestone Castings” zombies a new lease on life by rebasing and (in some cases) repainting them. These three are from Code FW4 Plague Zombies, and are part of the company’s Future Wars Range. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2015 - Preview - "ArcWorlde" By "Warploque Miniatures"

Albionnican Empire WIPs - The Captain sculpt contains lots of lovely detail to be picked out
December 20th 2015 now looks set to be the start of thirteen weeks of painting pandemonium as I have entered the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Last year I just managed to paint up the 500 points worth of models I set as my initial goal; a decidedly tough target bearing in mind a participate only receives 5 points for every 28mm foot figure they complete. Fortunately I was able to enter a few models into some of the event’s themed submissions, and these earnt me just enough extra points to get the job done.

This year I hope to achieve the same target. But without cutting it quite so close to the wire. As a result I have already started basing and priming some of the figures I plan to enter for the competition; something the challenge’s organiser Curt both permits and recommends.
Halberdier WIPs - The core of any Albionnican unit
 To begin with I thought I’d try and paint up the “Albionnican Empire” Starter Set I bought at this year’s “Warfare” in Reading. To be honest these 32mm “ArcWorlde” models, manufactured by “Warploque Miniatures” were something of a last minute impulse buy, spurred on by the fact that I had unwisely pulled out of backing creator Alex Huntley’s “Kickstarter” in 2013 at the last minute.

This opening foray into the “Fantasy Skirmish Wargame” will concentrate on the world’s most powerful civilised land, “the human realm of Albionnica” and should result in me painting up a small(ish) force of the wealthy island’s Redcoats; including a Captain, four halberdiers and four crossbowmen.
Crossbowman WIPs - Such sturdy and well-built weapons can be devastating
To be honest the style of these sculpts is definitely reminiscent of that used for the “Flintloque” game system miniatures, and I’m rather optimistic that the figures' additional size, along with their relative straightforwardness, should make them a reasonably quick, fun mini-project with which to start the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge with.

Friday, 20 November 2015

“When Diplomacy Ends, War Begins.”

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
This 28mm pewter “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” model of the Third Reich's Fuhrer is from the company’s “Danger 5” Starter Set and is based upon the German leader as depicted within the “action comedy TV series [which] follows a team of five spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler!”

This “bizarre, 1960’s inspired version of [the] World War Two” dictator is the fourth of my submissions for this month’s Mo’vember challenge; a facial hair themed event that Dick Garrison, Carrion Crow and Punkrabbit are also participating in this time round. Please do visit their respective blogs to see how they’re all getting on.
Adolf Hitler WIP - The model's "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal dry-brush really helpt bring out the sculpt's details
Before beginning to paint this miniature I decided to base him upon one of the many lipped 28mm circular bases I use for my “West Wind Productions” “Secret Of The Third Reich” models. Ordinarily I stick with the customary “Crooked Dice” round ones for their figures. But as I plan to use Adolf alongside my ‘Weird War Two’ German forces, I’ve gone for the same style base as they (and my “Bolt Action” miniatures) all stand upon.

Initially the figure was undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black and was then rather roughly dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal. As I wanted the miniature to stand out somewhat, as opposed to simply being dressed all in black, I decided to give the tyrant a pair of ‘Sturmabteilung’ brown trousers, so used a combination of Heavy Brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade on his slacks. I then painted his shirt collar and tie with “Vallejo” White and Charred Brown, before giving his armband a coat of Heavy Red followed by a wash of “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
Adolf Hitler WIP - Once the Fuhrer's tie, gun and armband were finished, it was time to paint his 'cartoony' face
Lastly, having painted his sub-machinegun with “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, I picked out the tiniest swastika decal I could find on the “GR 100 German WW2 Crosses & Swastika” sheet sold by “Pendraken Miniatures” and applied it to the centre of Adolf’s armband.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

"Have You Met Miss Smith? She's My Best Friend."

"You must complete your mission for the Time Lords!"
This 28mm metal model of Plucky Assistant B is from code SKU: MINI 206 by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and makes for a wonderful proxy of Sarah Jane Smith, the popular plucky reporter who accompanied the Doctor during the 1976 British Science Fiction television program “Doctor Who And The Seeds of Doom”. The miniature was initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and then had her denim jeans and top washed with “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. The assistant’s shoes and hair were painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

Having viewed several different paint schemes for her blouse, including some impressive looking plaid patterns, I eventually decided upon a nice simple “Vallejo” White base coat, which I then washed with some watered-down “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I had wanted to try and make the garment look a little greyer than I normally paint. But unfortunately the Shade didn’t pool or dry in some areas as well as in others, so the end result is disappointingly murky in places. Sarah Jane is something of a late Zomtober submission, as I’ll be using her as a ‘Survivor’ for my forthcoming remake of “Doctor Who And The Seeds of Doom” using the “Zombicide” rule-set.
Crossbowman WIP - This plastic model is absolutely covered in weapons, armour and equipment
This month as part of Mo’vember I’m trying to paint enough miniatures by “North Star Military Figures” to use as a warband for “Frostgrave”. My enthusiasm for this project has somewhat increased over the past few days as my “Thaw Of The Lich Lord” ‘Nickstarter’ expansion has arrived. As a result I’m trying to get my original selection of models painted as quickly as I can. Although I’m finding them all rather tough going, as the sculpts are all packed full of fiddly tiny details.

I have also been a little underwhelmed by the quality of the game’s official “Frostgrave Soldiers” twenty multi-part hard plastic 28mm figure boxed set. But have found my fervor for this particular Crossbowman renewed by both adding lots of extra bits and pieces to the original model and through giving the figure some additional heft as a result of supergluing some lead pieces to the underneath of its base; there’s just something about painting a weighty model which you just can’t beat in my humble opinion.
Shug McClure WIP - The miniature isn't too far away from gracing the tabletop
 Lastly I have been pottering away on my “Warlords Of Atlantis” mini-project, and have almost finished this cracking sculpt by “Antediluvian Miniatures”. Clearly inspired by the 1976 movie “At The Earth’s Core” and the actor Doug McClure, I hope to have Shug based and varnished very soon.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

"We've Been Working On TARDIS For Many Years."

"You are privileged, young man, to be the first visitor to our time and space machine."
This 28mm metal “Black Tree Design” model of Peter Cushing as the Doctor is code DW901 from their Doctor Who: The Movie Doctor Collection. The 1965 re-imagining of the First Doctor by AARU Productions is the third of my submissions for this month’s Mo’vember challenge; a facial hair themed event that Dick Garrison, Carrion Crow and Punkrabbit are also participating in this time round. Please do visit their respective blogs to see how they’re all getting on.

Initially the figure was undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and I then washed his trousers with some “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The time traveller’s waistcoat was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and a wash of undiluted “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade. His buttons were simply picked out using Ironbreaker and more Nuln Oil.
Doctor Who WIP - "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey would feature prominently throughout this model's painting 
As I was trying to capture the exact colour scheme of the Doctor during his first appearance in a widescreen format, I next painted his jacket with some “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna, and then gave that a coat of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The detail towards the top of the sculpt proved a little fiddly, so I simply left his neckerchief “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and just applied a wash of “Citadel” Asurmen Blue to it, and dabbed some “Vallejo” Pale Grey transparent acrylic onto the edges of his White shirt collar.

Lastly I painted his silver-grey hair and moustache by first washing a “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey undercoat with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushing the areas lightly with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and finally some White.
Doctor Who WIP - A young looking Peter Cushing would soon transform into the First Doctor
 This model actually became a last minute replacement for a “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” miniature of Hugo Solomon, which I had planned to use as a ‘Third Doctor’ survivor for my upcoming “Zombicide” re-enactment of “Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom”. However as that project has badly overrun, and as this month I’m participating in Mo’Vember, I thought such a wonderful sculpt of Peter Cushing would prove a worthy substitute.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

"Frostgrave" - WIP - Part Three

Witch WIP - All the wolf pelts are now finished, as well as the wizard's skull kneepads
With ‘Mo’Vember 2015 already creeping towards its halfway point I have been beavering away on the handful of “North Star Military Figures” I bought in order to play "Frostgrave". First and foremost of these is their wonderfully characterful Witch Doctor, and despite some initial trepidation in trying to mimic the fantastic miniature paint-jobs photographed for the rule-set's publication, I have tried to stick to the 'default' colour scheme of the book's incredibly detailed full-page illustration of the wizard.

As a result I have been carefully picking out the Witch's numerous wolf pelts with grey and charcoal, as well as his dark brown bear-fur vest. Having also finished painting his impressive looking hunting knife and its sheaf, I am currently finishing off the warlock's two satchels and totem staff. 
Apprentice WIP - I've got to ink the magic-user's purple trousers before starting on yet more wolf pelts... 
In addition to my wizard I have started working my way up the model of his loyal apprentice. The sculpt for this fledgling magic-user is just as fur-covered as his master. But has given me the opportunity to broaden my rather dull and dreary muted palette by wearing a pair of purple silk slacks. However all these greys and browns have given me the chance to also progress my party's (Conan the) Barbarian; even if I have stepped away from the blue and white striped trousers worn by the warrior in the "Osprey Games" hardback. 
Crossbowman WIP - Having had a rethink, I now plan to attach an assortment of equipment to my minions
Finally I have returned to the official “Frostgrave Soldiers” twenty multi-part hard plastic 28mm figure boxed set and added some additional items to the first of my warband's two crossbowmen. Originally I had planned on making my minions rather plain-looking. But whilst painting the henchman's boots I realised just how boring he looked, so spent some time scrapping away some of the figure's black undercoat and attaching a coil of rope, quiver of bolts, metal helmet and backpack to the model.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

"Rage Then, For A Hotheaded Fool."

"You may let yourself out in the same way that you let yourself in, whatever that might have been."
This 28mm metal miniature of the “Guild Ball” Union attacking midfielder Rage is made by “Steamforged Games Limited”. The model comes in three pieces, with the opportunist’s arms being cast on a separate sprue. As at the time I didn’t fancy pinning such thin(ish) limbs to their respective sleeves, I ended up simply changing the model’s pose a little and gluing them tight to the player’s sides.

Rage is the second of my submissions for this month’s Mo’vember challenge; a facial hair themed event that Dick Garrison and myself started last year and which Carrion Crow is also participating in this time round. Please do visit their respective websites to see how they’re both getting on.
Union WIPs - Still plenty to do on these two 'mismatched pair of mercenaries'
As the sportsman’s main ‘kit colour’ was going to be red, I undercoated the entire assemble with “Vallejo” Heavy Red before picking out his meat cleaver blades and long knife with “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. I then applied a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Brown to the maverick’s dead rabbit and gave the slaughtered mammal a wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. As I wanted Rage to be somewhat reminiscent of Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting from the 2002 motion picture “Gangs Of New York” I treated his “Vallejo” White waist sash to some dabs of “Citadel” Bloodletter, Carroburg Crimson and Agrax Earthshade. I then used some “Vallejo” Pale Grey on the midfielder’s White shirt.

In addition to finishing Rage I have also been pottering with my formidably-sized model of Fangtooth and the far more delicately-sculpted Decimate. I haven’t really given the Monster much attention since June but have finally finished the centre back’s trousers, including his stitching and also applied a “Citadel” Badab Black wash over most of the chains wrapped around the behemoth’s waist. This means I’m finally in a position to start working my way around the model’s numerous areas of flesh… I was actually considering using Decimate as a Mo’Vember entry as the illustration work for the Winger depicts a lithely masked-man supporting a wonderfully thin moustache. However, the miniature itself is clearly of a woman without any such facial hair, so “Steamforged Games Limited” presumably changed their minds as to the player’s sex in-between the original concept art and the sculpt’s casting.
Evil Space Dorf WIPS - Judge Chico, C.A.T., Khan and Fodder 
Lastly I have finally begun painting these fantastically characterful Evil Space Dorfs made by “Oakbound Miniatures”. Designed by Chico Danks of “Oldhammer On A Budget” blog fame, I immediately ordered Judge Chico, C.A.T. the Cyber Goat and their two accompanying henchmen as I thought they’d make the start of a wicked Cursed Earth mutant gang for my Judge Dredd to face. Considering that Khan ‘n’ Fodder also come with beards then it also struck me that Mo’Vember would certainly seem an apt time to slap some paint on them; especially as I hear the company will soon be releasing some additional models to this range.

As a complete aside I am once again participating in this year’s Secret Santa, run by Ian over on “The Blog With No Name”. As a result I’ve been asked to give some suggestions as to what ranges I might like my gift to come from, so would just to say that any of the minions from “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” would be greatly appreciated or a couple of Mechs from “Ral Partha Europe”. Failing that anything at all… as I’m always looking to get into a new range or genre ;-)

Friday, 6 November 2015

"Frostgrave" - WIP - Part Two

Witch & Apprentice WIPs - I've already painted in and inked the magic users' fur moccasins
As ‘Mo’Vember 2015 began earlier this week I have finally started to paint up a reasonable number of the “North Star Military Figures” I recently acquired during the company's first “Frostgrave” Kickstarter. My aim to have enough of these figures finished by the end of the month so as to allow my Witch Doctor and his band of followers to enter the frozen ruins of the ancient city and post up a BatRep or two…

To begin with I’ve based, undercoated and set to work upon my wizard and his ever-faithful apprentice. These models are absolutely packed full of detail as a result of being covered in numerous animal furs and magic totems. Predominantly however I plan to have the ‘brewer of potions’ wearing some mangy wolf pelts and a leopard skin. Whilst his ward will be adorned with the hide of a Polar Bear.
Soldiers WIPs - I've already started painting the Barbarian's fur-lined black boots 
I have also assembled my magic users’ accompanying warband and felt compelled to immediately include “North Star Military Figures” wonderful sculpt of a Barbarian. At the cost of 100 gold coins, this model is an expensive investment for “Frostgrave”. But seeing as the miniature looks set “to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet” I hope he’ll prove worthy enough to discover many a treasure before he departs my group of adventurers to become King of Aquilonia.

With just 200 gold coins left to my party, as my Witch’s apprentice cost a staggering 200 gold coins by himself, I have gone with four henchmen at a measly 50 gold coins each; two Crossbowmen and two infantrymen. All of these figures have been glued together using parts taken from one of the sprues found inside the official “Frostgrave Soldiers” twenty multi-part hard plastic 28mm figure boxed set. To be perfectly honest I found these miniatures to be rather underwhelming and actually a bit fiddly to put together. Certainly the arms of my Crossbowmen proved annoying difficult to correctly align, despite the fact that one set of arms comes as a single cast. As its Mo’Vember I have used just the box’s bearded heads for my soldiers and so plan to have these finished within the next week or so.
Henchmen WIPs - The The crossbowman is carrying his trusty dagger in his other hand
 I have also started work on a metal “North Star Military Figures” Templar. This fearsome-looking warrior costs just the same as my Barbarian and isn’t as fast on his feet. But he does come with some additional armour and almost as much health. It is also another cracking sculpt and a useful replacement for the less defensively-minded long-haired primitive if I feel my opponent has the potential to fire lots of arrows or bolts at my warband. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

"Warlords Of Atlantis" - WIP - Part One

Warlords of Atlantis WIPs  - Once washed with Black Shade these models should be fairly straightforward to finish
Despite ‘Mo’vember 2015’ starting this week and my attention primarily turning to a number of heavily-bearded wizards, apprentices and soldiers for "Frostgrave", I have also decided to try and potter away on a number of figures made by “Antediluvian Miniatures” in order to try and replicate the 1978 British Science Fiction/Fantasy film “Warlords Of Atlantis”.

Distributed by Columbia Pictures, this 96 minute-long movie concerned two adventurers discovering the lost city of Atlantis and battling both the advanced civilization’s spear-wielding armored warriors, as well as an assortment of giant sea-monsters. “Antediluvian Miniatures” actually sell a very nice looking range of Crystal Palace-influenced resin and metal dinosaurs. But to begin with I thought I’d try and paint up a number of their Guardians of Lemuria. These cracking 28mm models are absolutely spot on for the motion picture’s Atlantean troopers and their leader, Atmir.
Atlantean Guardian WIPs - These deep-sea soldiers come in five different poses
As usual, when I approach painting a group of the same (or similar figures), I plan to concentrate on one or two test models first. Though on this occasion I’ve decided to also paint the Warlord of Lemuria as well. As a result I’ve painted the rifle-carrying soldiers’ plate armour with “Citadel” Ironbreaker” and their eyeless-helmets with Mithril Silver.
Doug McClure WIP - Early days yet for the American adventurer as I need to finish painting his flesh areas
I have also started to continue painting a couple of other figures by “Antediluvian Miniatures” which I began to work on a couple of months ago. Clearly inspired by the 1976 movie “At The Earth’s Core” and the 1966 'dinosaur flick' "One Million Years B.C." these wonderful sculpts of Doug McClure and Raquel Welch should hopefully be finished within the next few weeks.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

"How Do You Do It, Doctor? You Should Be Compost By Now."

"We're as dead as mutton, you realise? RIP."
This 28mm metal model of United Radionics henchman Lionel is code SKU: MINI 113 by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and makes for a wonderful proxy of Scorby, the murderous mercenary from the 1976 British Science Fiction television program “Doctor Who And The Seeds of Doom”.

The miniature was initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey before I picked out his wristwatch and pistol with “Citadel” Ironbreaker. All of these areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Finally I painted the cold-blooded killer’s holster with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna” and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
Sarah Jane Smith WIP - The Time Traveller just needs her hair to be painted to be finished
Scorby is the first of my submissions for this month’s Mo’vember challenge; a facial hair themed event that Dick Garrison and myself started last year and which proved enormous fun. In addition the ruthless employee of Harrison Chase will also make a cracking ‘Survivor’ for my forthcoming remake of “Doctor Who And The Seeds of Doom” using the “Zombicide” rule-set.

In addition to this figure I have also been persevering with three more miniatures by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. With the exception of my laboratory coat-wearing ‘infected’ scientist, these figures are almost finished and will be welcome (late) additions to my Zomtober 2015 project; especially Sarah Jane Smith, who despite some problems with her grey blouse, should soon be accompanying the Doctor as his faithful assistant.
Re-basing the Undead - This Zombie Trooper has been re-painted as well
Finally I am continuing to try and re-base a number of my old “Copplestone Casting” figures in order to get them back on to my tabletop. This particular figure is from Code FW23 Zombie Troopers and besides being re-based was quite significantly re-painted in order to bring out more of the model’s detail. As a result I've used "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil on his pump-action shotgun, and applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna" with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade over his belt pouches. I have even darkened his rather bright blue combat trousers with a layer of the shade Nuln Oil.