You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reaper Lizardman Tyrant and War Crow samurai

I finished a couple more today. Reaper No. 2408 Lizardman Tyrant for Jeff and War Crow's Shinmen Tadaaki. I, again, used a simple scheme with the lizardman as well as a basic layering technique to give it more of a characterful feel as opposed to a realistic look. Using that basic technique also speeds things up.
With the samurai, I took a little time to add a couple more layers and try to blend them a little bit. I also kept the color scheme simple (two colors), to keep a clean look on the figure (also the reason for the lack of any Japanese patterns on the clothing.)
The samurai is also the first time I've replace a sword blade with one I hammered out myself. I actually used a hammer on an "anvil" (I won't say what I used) and flattened out a small strip of brass rod. The rod was bent into the gentle curve of the katana before I hammered it. After it was flattened, I used some clippers to nip off the end of the katana to give it its correct shape.
I'm always nervous about figures with small swords bending/breaking off with as much handling as my figures get. I did one other katana blade as well as a couple dagger blades on a couple other War Crow figures I have. I'll show those much later whenever they get painted.

"Him's just a little guy"

This is a Reaper goblin whose belongs to a blister pack (whose number I forget.) This was a great little figure to paint; He stands only 20mm from foot to top of head. He took about 1/2 hour to paint, partially because he was small, and partially because I wanted to keep the paint job simple. I've used Foundry triads of green, brown and silver (with a little white for teeth and to highlight his little bag a bit.) I wanted to keep him somewhat "cartoony." I don't know why, maybe because it's a nice clean paint.
Of all the minis I've painted this week, this one was the most enjoyable, probably because it was almost an instant paint job. But also because this little guy is just so ding-danged cute. And I have more of'em!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Snakemen: Reaper No. 2498

Here's a couple snakemen I painted for a friend to add to his D&D stash. These were easy to paint and turned out well depsite being mostly drybrushed/overbrushed.
I started with dark green, drybrushed a medium green, added a dark brown ink wash, drybrushed light green. I added increasing amounts of a light tan to the light green for the skin tone, picking out highlights with the light tan straight from the jar. (I'm not referring to specific companys' colors here, because you can use whatever greens and tans you have- it all works.) I picked out (ie, didn't drybrush) details such as teeth, tongue, swords and eyes.
I still have a little flocking to do- but these are all right- I may have to pick up a couple for myself and try some proper snakeskin patterns.

I must be feeling better...

...because this has been a productive month for painting. I'm glad all of you were patient during my nasty flu weeks, and I hope this month's posts made up for the lack of May posts.
Lemme tell ya: That flu sucked. But as bad as it was, I'm pretty sure it wasn't swine.

Anyway, I'm taking a breather, surveying the lead mountain for a new vein to mine. Though, I may shirk the mountain for something brand new and try my hand at one or two Wyrd miniatures, perhaps this sorcerer and/or this Death Martial.
In the mean time, I think I'll engage in my monthly routine of clearing everything off my work table; clean and replace. Nothing like a newly-cleaned painting table to inspire some more painting time. After a while, the little dried-out paint flakes start getting in everything; the greenstuff bag gets in the way; I've got metal filings all over (DON'T clean/file your figures over your painting surface like I do- It's a very bad habit, and the metal dust will get into your paint and brushes); I've got unfinished (at least primed) minis starting to congregate on the table; and the water jar already needs another cleaning. I may even go through all my paint jars and clean the dried paint out of the lids... ugh. I better stop before I talk myself out of the cleaning.

P.S. Jeff, I started on your two snake dudes. They're looking good. I also have a few extras from the old-figure shelf for your stash.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time for Bloodbowl!!

This is it! My Bad Bay Hackers team is finished. The ogre M'Grash was the final player that needed painting (and was also the final half-painted figure I had sitting around.) You've already seen the coach (a few posts ago.) I still have an apothecary and some cheerleaders, but they are not required for play; otherwise, I have a legal team.
Now I have an orc team to paint. They won't be anything special; they're the plastic figures that came with the box, so I'm gonna paint them up in a basic scheme. I also have the plastic human team. I don't imagine I'll get to them anytime soon.

Rackham Cadwallon rogue

I'm happy to finish this figure; yet another half-painted figure that had sat around for months, and he's finished. I like this figure, and should I ever play a rogue in D&D, I'll be using this figure (unless I find a better one.)
Not too many more half-painted figures left sitting around, though I have plenty of primed figures sitting on the lead mountain.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Compromise Kjell

So, I DID like the monochromatic result, but I still wanted this Kjell to fit in with the other minis, so I decided to repaint. BUT, instead of repainting, I hit upon an idea: Instead of simply stripping and repainting or painting straight over the current paint job, I decided to glaze the whole figure. Glazing is taking watered down paint and applying a bunch of thin coats over the figure, one at a time.
I'm happy with the result. The colors are a bit washed out, so the figure holds an aura of "oldness" to it. I'm may try this technique again sometime.
The grass on the base needs a new color- I'll probably brown it up to make it dead grass.
Quick note: I'll have to post another pic later (after I've added some matte varnish.) There's still some sheen coming off the glazes (and a couple washes.) (oops, and I should rehighlight the teeth on the necklace, too.) Ahh, things you see in a photo that you can't see in front of your own eyes; I'm sure I'll find more :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monochromatic Kjell

Well, I'm not sure how to feel about my monochromatic experiment with Kjell. I used a dark brown (Reaper Pro Walnut), but it came out more gray than I had wanted. I can still strip the paint, though I think, if I decide against the monochrome, I'll simply repaint the flesh and metal bits and leave the rest monochromatic- that might make a nice combination. Hmmm, maybe time for another experiment (or simply to continue this one.)
Paint job aside, I am liking this mini conversion more and more; Hmmm, monochrome or full color. Purchase another Kjell?? Decisions, decisions.

Making the Kjell conversion to sword and shield

(Note: click on the pic in a new window, so you'll have a larger image to consult as you read the instructions.)
Kjell Bloodbear is made by Reaper (No 3362.) There is also a soft metal (P-65) version which would be easier to convert (No 65016). For the sword and shield, I used the bastard sword from Reaper's weapon pack III (No. 2209) (see figure A). The reason I chose this sword was because it's a nice simple design; it's a good clean blade that looks built for business, not spiky fantastical intimidation. I also chose this sword because it has a good, thick cross section (as shown on the right illustration in Fig. D). This thick cross section allows for easier drilling with a pin vise. If you are skilled in pinning and drilling smaller holes, go ahead and choose a sword you are comfortable with.

Start by removing the two big butcher blades Kjell is holding (Fig. B, shaded in red) with a pair of clippers; a razor saw will work on the left blade, but the cape will block the saw on the right side. The blade under the cape should be clipped near the hand, but since it is also attached to the cape, you'll need to rock it back and forth a bit until it snaps off. Use a file to clean up the figure now. Then use a file to gently flatten out a small area on the sword hand to allow for easier drilling later.

Clip the hilt from the sword but leave the hand guard attached (left illustration in figure D.) Drill a hole in the sword as far as you comfortably can, then drill a hole into the sword hand (See Fig. E to get an idea of the alignment of your holes.) Notice, in fig. E (shaded in red), do not file off the handle from the original butcher knife; this will be the new hilt of the sword. You can also use the hilt to help align your pin hole (red doted line).

Test-fit and pin and glue your sword on- There! That was the hard part.
Note: The sword I used will protrude down beyond the base, so you'll need to mount the figure on a base to raise it enough to give clearance for the sword. If you use a shorter sword, you should be ok.

As for the shield, you'll notice it has a decent boss on it (the round knob in the center), this thickness gives you a nice area to drill into without drilling all the way through the shield. I found it difficult to find a "comfortable-looking" position for the shield to be placed, so you'll have to eyeball it until you find a spot you want the shield.
The corner of the cape may hamper the shields attachement a little, so feel free to file it down a touch to better fit your shield.

Done!! Give your glue plenty of time to dry, prime your figure, and paint away!

Note: For the axe conversion of Kjell, I used the same steps, except where I drilled the hand, I drilled all the way through (and used brass rod for the axe handle.) The drilling was impeded a bit by the original butcher knife hilt; I should have filed it off first, but I had rushed the original axe conversion.
Also, on that conversion, instead of having Kjell hold the shield aloft, I had it set on the ground, propped against Kjell.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To sell or not to sell

So A few folks have asked if I'd be willing to sell some of my minis. I hate to disappoint fans, but I'd prefer my blog to be more of a teach-a-man-to-fish affair.

STILL- I am not completely against selling some of these (even those specifically requested); I've just never considered it. I've never thought, "How much are these worth to me?" I'm certainly flattered that folks think my wares nice enough to buy, and some extra money to fund my hobby would be fantastic :)

So, to those who have asked, I haven't said no, but I still need to think about the yes.

In the mean time, take up the brush! Open up the paint! Your little heroes await!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kjell Bloodbear: Alternate conversion

Here is a sword-and-board version of a figure I already own (Kjell Bloodbear). I got it for a couple reasons, one, for a new character for playing D&D (though I may alternate this figure and another I have ((Drac Mac Syro)) for playing my Conan-ish character (who will be less barbarian and more sneaky fighter this time around.)
The other reason I purchased this figure was to try out monochrome painting again. I've seen some excellent examples here and there, and I want to give it another try. I think I can do a fair job of it; my only concern is painting nmm (non-metalic metal for the uninitiated) on the sword and shield. I find nmm somewhat difficult with grays, tans, browns and yellows/golds at my fingertips, but I will only have brown and white with this monochrome project.
First thing's first, I have to make a base for him; I think I'll make it a stony base like the orginal.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Confrontation Kelt warrior

Another army I will enjoy repainting is that of my Confrontation Kelt Barbarians. I don't think I have the hang of it yet: One thing I love about Rackham's style is the fantastic detail the add to each figure. Most Confrontation grunts can be used as heroes in armies made by other manufacturers. One thing I detest about Rackham's style is the fantastic detail they put in each mini; The Foundry/three-color style (at least as I use it) doesn't mesh well with large amounts of detail.This figure feels a bit "messy" to me. Too much going on; it's difficult to discern what certain details are. This is also because some details are so small, it's difficult to discern what they are as you paint, so I, and I'm sure some of you, simply guess and add a little color to that ambiguous bump. And since Rackham has gotten rid of its metal Confrontation line, it's difficult to find high-quality pics to use as reference.
Still, this figue is satisfactory. I would proudly use him as a D&D character or army hero. Hey - and the dungeon floor base turned out good, right?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two characters from the same model

This is a follow-up from a project from a while ago. These two figures are actually the same model (Reaper 3282 Uric, adventuring fighter.)
The conversion was very easy. The sword arm is actually a separate piece starting at the top of the forearm. On the figure to the right, I simply glued the arm into the position I desired. Done.
The figure to the left to a little extra work; having the arm come that far forward left a little bit of a gap where the piece connected to the main figure. I simply filled this in with a tiny bit of greenstuff.
The original shield arm has been left alone on the right figure (with long pins doubling as arrows added.) The left figure, however, took some bending -- honestly, I can't remember if I bent the arm or cut it off and repositioned it. But I believe it can be simply bent to that position; the shield is large enough to hide any tears or marring of the arm that may occur.
I took the horns off the left figure, giving the warrior a simple skull cap. I also added some greave armor and a bit of armor on the toe of the leading foot.

I like both versions of this figure. The right one was my first 4E D&D character. The left figure was a project inspired by a pottery (oil lamp?) engraving of a gladiator tucked behind his shield presenting a solid armored front despite his relatively lack of armor. I figured the character (a defender in D&D) should look like he's there to take a pounding; He certainly turned out as I had hoped, hunkered down like a turtle.

A note about washes: I used a wash on the left figure. I didn't let it dry entirely before I flocked the base. The problem wasn't of flock sticking to the figure, the problem was that I use superglue to flock (oh yeah), and the fumes from the glue formed a ghostly white dust (for lack of a better word) on the bottom portions of the figure (like hard water stains.)
This hadn't happened before (well, once or twice when I painted the base right after flocking), so I'm guessing that the wet wash (and/or wet paint) is the perfect surface for this "dust" to form on.
SO, if you use a wash, or flock with superglue, make sure everything on the figure is dry first.
BUT, if you do get a coating of white dust, a damp brush can usually be used to scrub away most of the dust. My figure had to be retouched a little, but everything worked out in the end.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Bad Bay Hackers pic

I know, I know; it's just another Bad Bay Hackers photo. But THIS time, you can see the new coach, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (at center with cigar.) No better coach could be attached to a football team, methinks!
Ok, maybe that was all anti-climactic. Sorry.
For the team, I have just one ogre yet to paint. For the staff, I have an apothecary and three cheerleaders.
After the Hackers are finished, maybe I'll try to finish my orc team (just the plastic team out of the box.)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Painting session bodes well for Bad Bay Hackers

I'd like to thank the Nates and Chad for having me at their painting session today; I got a great start on the second half of my Bad Bay Hackers Bloodbowl team.
Today, I painted some old GW humans sculpted back in the day by my favorite sculptor, Mark Copplestone! (They are the figures in the foreground except for the female runner.)
You may notice the tremendous size difference among the figures; I prefer it that way to really give the team some comical character. I want some smallish rookies, largish veterans and humongous brutes (I still have an ogre.)
I also like about this team is that five separate miniatures manufacturers are(will be) represented: Games Workshop (old and new), Heresy (the bulk of my larger guys), Impact Minis (a yet unpainted female thrower and some cheerleaders), Superfigs/Four Color Minis (the female runner seen in the center foregournd of the pic), and Copplestone Castings for my coach, which I can't wait to unveil (The most perfect coach ever!)

At this point, I have the bare minimum number of figures to field a team. I do have an ogre, a blitzer and a female thrower yet to paint (as well as the coach, cheerleaders and apothecary.)

Anyway, I'm glad I partook in the painting session; I really battened down with few distractions and got some hard work done oldschool; sodas and paints and tips- and advice-sharing and crude remarks from the fellas as we brushed on.

Back to Bad Bay

Well, I'm neither on drugs (speed) nor do I have ADD, but I'm switching gears again (as usual with my painting habits.)
My flu destroyed my will to get work done on the rebasing project, but I did finish more of it than I expected. I'll at least share here what I finished:

I was taking some time going through and looking at old photos on my computer when I found the beginnings of my Bad Bay Hackers Blood Bowl team.

So I'm gonna have a go at the rest of the team and see what I can finish before my mind decides what it wants to do next.
The viking probably won't get finished anytime soon; it was meant simply for experimenting with the beard, anyway. The shield warrior shown with the viking in the previous post has a good chance of being finished, however. I will have him off to the side as a distraction from doing the Hackers -- what I call a "break" piece: A figure I throw a bit of paint on when I want to take a "break" from painting whatever current project I have undertaken.