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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ghostbusters: Mummy

Mummies are good and easy to paint. I usually just go for a straight 3-layer technique. With this one, I tried a little bit of light-and-shade combination, Foundry colors storm blue for the shaded half of the mummy and scarlett for the lighted half. A quick overbrushing of arctic grey over the storm blue and canvas highlight over the scarlett, a quick painted base, and I called it done. It took all of 10 minutes of drybrushing to put out a nice little mummy.

I also liked this sculpt, a little different take on the usual fair, this one with his entire body covered in wrappings. I got this one from a "classic" pack of Reaper figures: No. 3523 Classic Mummies.

Next up, maybe, are some zombies. These will be my first zombies, so I need to do just a bit of research, mostly to decide what kind of skin tones I'll go with (pallid? gray? still warm?) For a preview, I'll be painting these Reaper zombies: No. 3471 Zombies.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigator interns

A babe and a nerd. These two figures are part of a three-figure blister, 50090 Townsfolk: Jock, Chick, Nerd from Reaper's Chronoscope line. The "Jock" figure is the one I am thinking of converting to hold a video camera.  Otherwise, all of the figures I had planned to paint for my set of Ghostbusters are all done! Now, I can go try out my ghostbusting variant of Tusk.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the ghostbusters and paranormal investigators, there was plenty of opportunity for conversion, building and sculpting. These were also among my first modern (non sci-fi) figures I've ever painted. Ok, I probably shouldn't say this, but I was looking at my Waiteri tribe (54mm) and thinking, "Hmmm, I could convert some 54mm ghostbusters?"  The problem is, I know I could. It's just a thought. JUST a thought. There's still a mammoth to finish sculpting.

I guess I could still do some terrain for this collection. If I did any terrain, I would simply do a modular suburban home interior (a McMansion, so that my figures would have some space to move around.) I've certainly been looking at 28mm furniture and accessories. Most of it is a bit pricey, though. If I got any, I'd get enough for a mad scientist's lab. The rest I think I could make myself.

With the conclusion of this collection, it's time to look around and see what small collection I'd like to do next. Until then, I do have a few random figures sitting around, some Reaper fantasy figures and want not. Maybe I should go back and sculpt some more? I DO have a 54mm Female Rocketeer figure I was working on. Hmm....

Update: Oh yeah, I'm not done. I still have another mummy and a couple zombies to paint!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigator No. 5

Here's the last Heresy-converted paranormal investigator in my collection (I have two more Reaper figures yet.) Since his hands were already engaged and couldn't be given any equipment, I decided to give him a pair of nightvision goggles. The color choice was pretty simple, I went with Foundry's Storm Blue for his pants and shirt (to mimic the blue of work clothes), and Bay Brown for the jacket. I didn't do any special mixes; I went with a basic three-layer process (though the jacket has a couple intermediary mixes of the bay brown.)

So I've painted all of my Heresy figures for this set. So I figure this would be a good point to take a group shot of the collection. All that's missing from this shot is the preacher, a couple of college interns (who need painting yet) and the ghosts which include a few ethereals, Frankenstein, a mummy (I might add another), my self-designed treyentacle, and Slimer- yes, THE Slimer- another custom job from a while back.

Click for a much larger image

Monday, December 20, 2010

A peek into Carmen's mind

Outside of painting miniatures, my professional life is as a copy editor and political cartoonist for a small paper in Iowa (The Ames Tribune.) To help keep my mind "loose," I like to draw a lot of silly drawings, stuff that makes absolutely no sense but is still fun to draw. Anyway, there's no real point to all this- I just wanted to share a few silly sketches I've done the past few days (instead of painting minis).

Monkey cavalry

From a  joke someone told e a few years ago

A doodle done during a lonely lunch

I titled this one, "The Death of Senor Happy."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

HO HO HOoo it's been a long time since I've posted: The Big Guy

It's been a while since I've posted- been hangin' out with a couple of ladies; that, and work gets busy this time a year I even get to work Christmas Day.

But I found this fella and his lady friend hiding in my lead mountain, so I dug them out, touched up the priming and painted them up in a night.This is XMAS2 Father Christmas and his lovely Assistant from Copplestone Castings Collections range. I bought them on a whim to beef up a small order I made once, so I felt like I was getting a little better deal on shipping.

It's a great little set that's easy and fast to paint up. You can go easy and just do some blocks of color like I did, but there's also large enough spaces on the figures to try some more advanced ideas such as embroidery on the cloth, or peppermint stripes on the assistant's leggings, for example.

I still have to finish the bases. I haven't mastered snow bases yet. The once I tried, some color from the base (blue I think) bled into the snow (I think it was from Woodland Scenics). So I think I'm gonna try some simple painted modeling paste this time around. Screw the powders.

For once, I took note of the colors I used and wrote them below for reference. You'll notice for some of the colors I only used two shades, combining them for all three or four painted layers. This was not a method or technique choice. I was just lazy; I didn't want to open another jar of paint if I could just mix two shades for multiple colors. That, and I cut my jar-opening finger last night, so it was a little painful opening Foundry paint jars.

I'm not sure how long it will be until my next post. I WILL finish my paranormal investigators. i am still totally into that project. I also have almost finished Joe's Rat King (also from Copplestone Casting's Collection range.) One lady friend will be visiting Sunday; together, we're going to learn how to paint using egg tempera (apparently one of the most durable paint mediums- I wonder if it would work or minis?). After that, she will be away for the holidays, so perhaps I can get some painting done then. Anyway, here are the colors for you.

RED (from base to highlight)
Scarlett 38A
Bright Red 15A
Reaper Pro Paint Dragon Red
Foundry Orange 3B (just a TINY highlight of this)

Foundry Forest Green 26A
Increasing amounts of Foundry Yellow 2B

Foundry Drab 12C
Increasing amounts of Foundry Base Sand 10C

Foundry British Grey 75C
Increasing amounts of Foundry Arctic Grey 33B

Straight 3-layer process of Foundry Arctic Greys.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigator No. 4

Here's the fourth investigator (not counting the specialists). This is Heresy's not-Dr. Who HSF027 Nerdlord figure. He was much easier to paint than the last two. Both the casting and sculpting were good. And since this figure is inspired by a specific personality, the sculpting was more caricature; this made for some more prominent lines, which in turn provided easier planes to brush the paint on.

I decided to make this figure a college professor (of parapsychology or the like). So I painted his shoes as tennis shoes (since he'd be walking all over campus) and the rest of his clothes as a hodge-podge (since he's not too fickle with his appearance; at least my college professors never seemed to be concerned with their appearance.)
Sonic screwdriver? No, it's his laser pointer. And a quick note: I personally like the brick base.

That leaves one last investigator and a couple of interns to paint up. I do have a figure I originally had intended on not using. He is the jock figure from Reaper Chronoscope's townsfolk: Students (50090). What am I going to do with a figure of a kid holding a football? I thought about it, and I came up with an idea. The first version of this idea was to substitute the football with a videocamera being held at his side. But it would be too difficult to scrape out the football and sculpt in a camera. The second version of this idea is to completely saw away his right arm and football while trying to preserve as much of the figure as possible, then sculpting an entire new arm holding the camera on his shoulder. This is a figure I would not otherwise use for anything, so I have nothing to lose by trying. Though, I will do the sculpting before I do the sawing. If the sculpt looks ok, I'll add and blend it into the figure later.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigator specialists

Here are a couple specialists to work alongside the Ghostbusters; we have a priest and a psychic. The priest was pretty straightforward to paint: Black with a white color. Done.

I chose somewhat of a muted palette for the psychic-- I was originally going to go stereotypical pink for a young woman, but since this figure represents a psychic, I figured she would want to wear muted colors so as to not interfere with the surrounding psychic energy. (I dunno, do psychics do that?)

Both of these figures were difficult to paint for different reasons: The young woman is a great sculpt, but all the features are delicate and require a tiny brush and a steady hand. She would reward a great painter.
The priest figure, however, was a miscast and had a nasty line; I was able to clean it up, but the hand holding the cross (which was a separate piece) was also miscast and had a line through his fingers. It would have been next to impossible to fix, but I missed the line in the first place until I started painting. I wonder if Reaper (manufacturer of the priest figure) got a new caster? I've noticed a few of their newer figures with more and more mold lines (and more prominent mold lines) as well as figures where the mold has slipped (as is the case with the priest.) Oh well, it just means I need to purchase my figures at my FLGS so that I can see what I am purchasing before I purchase it. They just don't carry a lot, if any, of what I like to paint.

The woman is another figure from Heresy. The priest comes from Reaper's Chronoscope line.

Note: I tried a new lamp with the photo; I'm not sure if I like it. It makes the background a little to dark- I think I just forgot to change the light setting on my camera. But the darkness actually works with these figures, setting the right mood for the theme I'm painting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ghostbusters: Something a little different and fun

This is a fun little video, a Ghostbusters trailer, sort of:

Bases: Trying something slightly different

My usual routine is to finish painting the figure then finish the base. This makes since if the base is going to be flocked; I tried painting a figure after flocking once, and I had a helluva time picking pieces of static grass out of my paint.

The bases for my paranormal investigators, however, are mostly drybrushed, but it's difficult to do an adequate job of drybrushing around a figure without accidentally whipping up a bit of paint on feet and legs. So I've painted the bases of the figures first this time around. Now, I'll see if I can keep the paint on the figures and off the bases.

Incidentally, I may add a bit of static grass coming up through the concrete seams on a couple of the figures. But I'll add it after the figures are finished.

Last note: I'm happy with these bases. They're getting much easier to make. It used to be a chore; now, I enjoy rollin' up some greenstuff and throwing together a few bases. By the way, these are my first brick bases among these.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigator No. 3

Dr. who? Dr. of metaphysics at Arkham University, that's who. Here is another paranormal investigator to add to the ranks. He's the Malcom Ecclescake figure (HSF024) over at Heresy. I've converted his sonic screwdriver to be a microphone for his tape recorder (oh yeah, oldschool!) The tape recorder was made from a piece of cured-and-cut greenstuff, with a quick and dirty paint job. The strap and microphone cord are twisted lengths of copper wiring.

I'm trying to think of other ways to convert the other figures, though, I think the rest will do fine without any conversion. One figure, however, I have is, except for the pose, a duplicate of another (both Dr. "Hugh" figures from Heresy.) One, who is standing, will simply be a college professor for my little paranormal investigation team. The other, pulling something from his coat pocket, I think I will give a pair of nightvision goggles (like the ones seen on this ghostbuster.)

Next up, I have a priest and a psychic. Oh man, I just remembered I have a civilian from Steve Barber's gangsters range. She's a true 25mm, so would be much shorter than the rest of these guys: I'm thinking of the lady from "Poltergeist." You know, the one who says, "This house is clear." Though, the figure of the young woman with the miniskirt will work just fine. I'll dig that other figure out and take a look.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ghostbusters: 1:43 Volvo S80

Just a quick update: The Volvo S80 I ordered arrived, and it looks good; I'm very happy with its size. I don't have much else to say about it since I didn't do a thing to the car except buy it off eBay (for pretty cheap!) Just wanted to share.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ghostbusters: Ecto-Pt finished

"I need to finish my coffee before we go after another Class V free-roaming repeater."

What do I like about vacation? Being able to stay up late so I can finish something in one day. So here is my Ecto patrol car for my Ghostbusters. I decided to clean up the weathering a bit; it just wasn't doing it for me. The equipment package in the back was easy to do. It was just cobbled together with pieces of greenstuff, wood, plastic, wire and a metal piece from the bits box.
There was no real planning in this. I just grabbed a handful of tiny bits I save (I save a LOT of scraps) and started dry-placing them next to one another thinking about what worked for me and what didn't; think of it like doodling with tiny pieces of scraps. In the end, I got the "look" I was looking for. I guess I did plan to put a small rack with a few ghost traps in it, you can see the traps along the right side of the equipment package. Nothing else is meant to really be anything. Though, for my own humor, I named the tall red cylinder a nyarlathotepometer that determines how close you are to Nyarlathotep (from one of my previous posts.)
I'm really happy with this vehicle. It took almost two years since I completed my Ghostbusters to get them an Ecto vehicle. I wish I could have found something larger, another old station wagon to convert perhaps, but everything was just too expensive. This model cost $8.99 at Kmart, and all the random bits were (almost) free. So I saved myself a few dollars.
As a reminder (in case you hadn't seen the previous post), this car is named Ecto-Pt (patrol) and is meant to be a first-responder support vehicle rather than a full-sized main vehicle (such as Ecto-1.)
One car is still in transit (a Volvo for my civilian paranormal investigators ((who still have some grant money to spend.)) After the Volvo arrives, all that's left to do is paint a few more figures to represent some paranormal investigators. A couple fellas with equipment, a priest, a psychic, a professor and a couple interns/graduate assistants. This project  has definitely been one of the funnest I've done.

Ghostbusters: Ecto-Pt

Long evenings on eBay can turn up nothing, but a quick trip to Kmart turns up a 1956 Ford Thunderbird 1:43 scale diecast metal kit. Sure, it's a sports car, and the scale is indeed slightly larger than the figures' scale, but I can deal with it.

This vehicle is (of course) NOT a full-sized Ecto vehicle -- only a two-seater -- So instead of giving it a number (Ecto-2), I've named it Ecto-Pt, for Ecto-Patrol, a simple auxiliary, first-responder vehicle that arrives at the scene to analyze the situation before the main vehicle arrives.

The kit (Testor's Easy Builder) was simple to put together, though the holes in the wheels were not big enough for the axles to fit. I gave the body a coat of primer, a couple layers of paint and a little bit of weathering. I repainted the seats (which came with that Philippines factory paint job). And that was about it. Now the conversion work can begin!

I'll build a package of random equipment to sit over the trunk. It will include electronics, canisters, cables and a few ghost traps. I have no plans for proton packs to be added- that's just too much extra work I don't want to get into with the painting I have yet to do. I'll also see about adding some lights (painted, not real) on a roll bar just behind the passenger compartment. So that's the plan. We'll see how it turns out.

And yes, it took a little bit of rearranging, but the new vehicle fits in the Chessex case.

When should the project end?

Once I finish a project, I move on. Many times, I have just one or two more things I wanted to do with the project, and sometimes I get back to it. Sometimes not.

A few examples: I still have that mammoth sitting on the shelf for my 54mm cavemen; I wanted to purchase (but haven't, yet?) the 40mm scale stagecoach model from Sash and Saber for use with my 40mm cowboys (which I haven't touched in a year and a half); I had intended to build a teahouse for my 42mm samurai to fight around- I drew up plans- just haven't built it.

I guess my plans are getting bigger than my table, and some stuff is falling off the sides. I end up wanting to do too much, and what I have on the table suffers from what I want to be on the table next.
I'm going to try to start applying the philosophy I use with art to that of my minis projects: When I look at a drawing or painting I've done and feel the notion that, "It's almost there, just one more line ought to finish it," I stop, and I don't draw that last line. Usually, that last line is the one that messes up a piece of art for me.

So I think I won't build that teahouse now, nor will I purchase that stagecoach. Though, the mammoth will eventually get finished- that one I've already committed enough resources and time to. It's a mental challenge to just know when to stop, but once I can get there, my lead mountain will stop growing- I doubt it will erode, but at least it won't grow.

Sometimes, you have to introduce a physical mechanic to help your mental challenge when you end a project: For my ghostbusters, I purchased a Chessex figure box, the one that holds 40 large figures. As of now, I have enough figures (not yet all painted), ghosts, and one diecast car in transit to fill that box. I think that will be a good stopping point. Now, there is no pressure to see what else I can add to my ghostbusters collection, because there is no more space in the figure box.

Though, there is that perfect-for-my-project 12" plastic Stay Puff Marshmallow man (piggy bank.) All I have to do is purchase it- no painting or building needed. But is that the last line?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ghostbusters: Gettin' some wheels, but not Ecto-1

I looked up the Hallmark Ecto-1 ornament; It's just about impossible to find one cheaper than $30. If I could see one in my hand next to one of my figures, and it looked good, I'd purchase one. But I don't want to spend that much on something that just might be too small or too large.

Modelers and wargamers debate whether 1:43 scale is too large or just right. By scale, they are too large, but I have a few of Matchbox's Models of Yesteryear, and I think they "look" good. So I went tromping through eBay to see what I could see. First off, my goal was not to necessarily find a car that could be Ecto-2; I just wanted to find some modern wheels for either my Ghostbusters OR my paranormal investigators. Second, I need the car to be relatively cheap so that my purchase won't break me if I buy a lemon. Really, for now, my only use for the car will be to mark the starting area for the ghostbusters/investigators on the map or terrain. It also just helps me to complete the "set." When I do some of these sets of figures, I want to make sure everything is there that  would be needed to play a full game: Figures, accessories, vehicles, smaller pieces of themed terrain -- see this image of my 28mm cavemen for an example of what I mean by "set." The Ghostbuster's set won't be as extensive, but it includes everything I need to play a game (based on the Tusk rules.)

Well, after that long-winded intro: I decided on a 1:43 scale Volvo S80 by Minichamps. It's modern, it only cost me $14 (including shipping), and I used to drive a Volvo, not an S80, but a 1984 240 DL. I REALLY wanted a '84 240 at this scale, but, like many of the other vehicles, I couldn't find one that wasn't upwards of $50. Ugh. Anyway, here's a pic:
I'm not going to do too much to it. I might hit it with some matte varnish to kill the gloss and "age" the car a bit. Drybrush some mud spatter along the bottom half (you gotta drive through a lot of dark woods as a paranormal investigator.) Maybe I'll add a little bit of rust behind the rear wheel (just like my old Volvo.)

If I get really energetic, maybe I'll tear it up and rebuild it as a smaller "Ecto" vehicle with not as much ghostbusting equipment strapped to it, maybe just a modified cargo carrier on the roof. 
I also looked for a station wagon of any sort, but again, nothing was cheap enough for my tastes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ghostbusters vs. Frankenstein (AND the mummy)

Heresy makes some nice figures, me thinks!
So I have some Lovecraftian elder beings for my Ghostbusters to hunt, I figured I'd give them some old, traditional stand-bys as well. I wanted enough monsters to fill a small Chessex figure case, and I had some spaces left over. So I'm filling a couple of those spots with the mummy and Frankenstein's monster.

The mummy figure is Reaper No. 2156 Mummy of Hakir. I love painting mummies because they're so damned easy. All I did for this one (and most of the others I've painted in my day) was two or three layers of drybrushing. I decided to change things up just a bit by making his bones all red. "Why?" you might be asking. Why not? He's going up against Ghostbusters, so I'm keeping things tongue-in-cheek. Red bones it is. Just a quick note. This latest addition to the Ghostbuster project is giving me a chance to use some of the bases I've made over the past year or so. In fact, probably 99% of the bases you'll see on this blog, I custom made myself (well- the basing material- not the plastic GW or display bases themselves.). The only bases I can think of I did NOT make were some industrial bases on a few Chronoscope figures I painted up a few weeks back.

The mummy went so fast, I had time to paint up Frankenstein's monster (Heresy figure's flesh golem.) I only had a little over an hour before work, and I wanted to get him done before then, so I kept things simple. The first couple layers of flesh were painted, then one layer was drybrushed, then a few highlights were painted. I also made his jacket and pants the same color (Foundry's Bay Brown.) The hair was one quick drybrushed layer of gray. About the only thing I really took my time on was the gem on his chest. Even that was a little rushed. But he's a great figure that I think will reward any level of painting. If you happen to pick him up over at Heresy, this figure comes with three different head variants: This one; a bald version with staples all the way around (holding the brain cap on); and one with the "cap" removed and brain exposed! Damn, I wonder where I put those extra heads? I could probably find a use for those.

I STILL have a couple spots left in the figure case. I could fill them with zombies, or I can finish the cadre of classic movie monsters and get a dracula and wolfman. Reaper makes classic versions of both, I believe.

But first, I guess it's on to the investigators. They should be pretty easy; it's just a few modern civilians. I also have a Rat King figure from Copplestone Castings that I need to get painted up for Joe. Joe has been waiting patiently for weeks for me to get that figure finished. I may just do that one next.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ghostbusters: Treyentacle and shoggoth, done and done

"Mom, I found it on another plane of reality! Can we keep it? Please? Pleeease?"

Believe me, you, the treyentacle looks a lot better in person. The flesh turned out just about how I wanted. The protoplasm is a touch cartoony, but then again, this figure is meant to be another supernatural being for my Ghostbusters to hunt.

Note to self: I know how to make tentacles now.

I also painted up the shoggoth. It's ok. I gave it green eyes to give it's tar-like body a little bit of variety in color. I also added glass varnish for that wet tar look, though tar isn't necessarily THAT shiny. Oh well, I could matte varnish over it, or just try something different later ... I'll leave it and try something different later.

Note to self: My first Lovecraftian creature. Neato.
"Poor penguin never knew what hit him. Or, he knew only too well."

I think if I get into the greenstuff like this again, I'll try to make a flying polyp. It shouldn't be too difficult; I can make it using the same techniques I used with the shoggoth and the treyentacle. But it will probably take a while; I'd want to work on it in layers, and I haven't sculpted much, if anything, in multiple layers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ghostbusters: Treyentacle sculpting finished; also a shoggoth

Treyentacle with separately based tentacles. 
I finished sculpting my treyentacle. It turned out about as good as I figured it would with only a couple day's worth of work. Right now, with the green of the kneadatite, the beast looks like a carnivorous plant. That will change when I paint it flesh colored.

I also threw together a shoggoth. It was as easy as I thought it would be. A black tar with a bunch of floating eyes on it, yep, easy. Though, I textured mine a lot more and didn't add any extra organs or tentacles, just a few extra eyes and mouths.
Now that I have the basic shoggoth down, I think for my next one, I will try to add some movement to it, perhaps having it crushing some giant white penguins.

Though, I've sculpted these as some beasts for my Ghostbusters and paranormal investigators to go hunt, these will work just as good in my Gamma World RPG.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ghostbusters: Treyentacle! (What? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.)

And sometimes, you just have that random Sunday morning with nothing to do, so you break off a gob of greenstuff and go to town. I actually rolled out this tentacle a few days ago for no reason; I just wanted to roll out some greenstuff (But, Carmen, isn't that a little expensive? Not when you buy it in 36" strips from Troll Forged Miniatures for $12 and some change.)

"Listen! Do you smell something?"

Little pats of greenstuff place into a cured tentacle.
This morning, I was looking at the tentacle, happy with my simple work, and I decided to add sucker cups, as all should tentacles should have. The cups were easy; I just rolled bits of greenstuff into tiny little balls and pushed them onto the tentacle. Then I used one of my clay pusher tools (I have the soft versions; I'd really like to get the firm versions) and I pushed into the squished ball and worked the greenstuff around a bit to create the concave hollow of the sucker. I used my finger first, then a greenstuff tool (the one with the wide "spoon") and pulled and blended the edges of the squished ball into the tentacle. Sucker!
Using a clay pusher tool to form the hole;
work it around to widen the hole
Well, I had to take it a little further, so I rolled up even tinier balls of greenstuff and dropped them into the suckers and made eyes! Yuck, I love it.

I have another tentacle curing; I'll add three more eyes to that one in a few hours and call it a day. I may yet sculpt up a quick chaotic beast of some sort that the tentacles attach to (a beast who burrows his tentacles underground to surprise its prey from behind or beneath.) Of course, I could go further and add sucker cups, more eyes, maybe some mouths, but I'm just too damn lazy- Hey- whaddya expect? I just sculpted three eyes- that's all I can handle at once! :)
Drop in tiny balls of greenstuff for eyes. Use a needle
or other sculpting tool to add some wrinkles. Done!

The body I'm thinking about adding (as a separate piece) will have a giant mouth and large round bits that look like eyes, but will actually be "sonic" organs that I will paint in either bone or a crystal color. The two tentacles will extend from the "front" of the body into the ground. The ends of those tentacles are what I've sculpted today; they will be separately based for gaming purposes (Which game? I dunno.)

There are also plans for a third tentacle extending from behind/beneath the body. It will not have eye. Instead, it will have some sort of opening in the end. For what? Hey, even monsters have to poop.

For colors, I think I will go with a nice cliche storm green with some smooth-blended patches of purple here and there. Eyes will be black, though, I may paint them as you would paint a gem, instead of going solid black with gloss varnish.  In the end, I may also cover this thing in slime. To make the slime, I will probably just mix some green paint into some epoxy resin before it sets, then drip/drain/pour the resin all over the tentacles and other bits.
On second thought, I might paint it using caucasian flesh colors; when you paint something with human colors, we connect to it more. But since its form is in no way human, we are even more revolted by it. For example, if I painted this in marine colors, you would say, "Oh, I am reminded of an octopus or a squid." But if I painted it in human colors, you would say, "Dear God, that thing wants to make out with my sister!!"

So, why "treyentacle?"
Three eyes = "Tri" and "Eye."
Tentacle = "entacle"
Put that all together and you have "Treyentacle."
Feel free to pronounce it whichever way is easier for you. I pronounce it two ways: Tri-n-ta-kul (long "i" sound), and Tri-yin-ta-kul (first "i" is long, second is short.)

Or we can just pronounce it, "Bob."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ghostbusters: A few bases to cover

The paranormal investigators haven't arrived yet, but that's given me time to throw together a few modern bases using greenstuff, spit and and a needle. Greenstuff is the medium, spit is the lubricant and the needle is the tool.
They're a little rough this time around, but I don't mind. I made a little variety: brick, tile, wood, concrete, and one with the end of a carpet runner. Lucky for me, I had just enough bases left over for the new figures coming.

Another idea for a game I could use the Ghostbuster figures in: Doom. Hell, I don't have to change a thing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ghostbusters: Civilian clothing

These aren't the figures I ordered (those are still on their way); these are a couple figures I ordered when I originally purchased my to-be-converted Ghostbuster figures. My intention from the start with these was to make them the non-uniformed Ghostbusters. I only now got around to painting them.

There wasn't much conversion work needed. I made a PKE meter for figure to the left, and a pair of glasses for the figure on the right (He had bigger hair, so that figure is more or less my Egon Spengler figure.)

Last week, I was looking through Artizan's Thrilling Tales range, thinking about painting up a group of Cthulhu Mythos investigators. Then I remembered I had my Ghostbusters tucked away. Well, heck, why couldn't they also investigate the rumblings of the Elder Ones, too? A couple purchases later, and I have a couple weeks of work going on my table.

I'm still thinking about getting an Ecto-1. The Hallmark ornament version seemed the best candidate, though, I'd still like to see the size of it compared to the figures before I commit. I've also thought about just getting some random 1/43 scale ambulance or hearse or luxury car and making my own Ecto vehicle (Ecto-3). It's not like my figures are exact representations of the characters from the movies, so why should the vehicle have to be? Making my own would be fun in its own right, anyway.

As for using these figures; I've settled on a modified version of Tusk (mammoth and dinosaur hunting rules). I've also modified Tusk's movement rules so that these figures can be used on a floorplan, a Kill Dr. Lucky board, for example. I could also use dungeon tiles, Tannhauser boards or FFG's upcoming Mansions of Madness. But first, paint.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friends of the Ghostbusters: Paranormal investigators on the horizon

I've put in a couple orders for some modern civilian figures which I intend to paint up as paranormal investigators to go alongside my Ghostbuster figures. I picked up a bunch of Heresy's scientists and civvies (their "not-Dr Who" figures). I also picked up a priest and some college students (to be interns) from Reaper's Chronoscope line. Still not sure what game to use these in, though (Avalon Hill's) Betrayal in House on Haunted Hill, and (FFG's) Mansion of Madness might be appropriate.

In the meantime, I have my friend Joe's Rat King from Copplestone Castings to paint up. I'll have to pick up some new primer first, but I have the next few painting weeks planned now. Modern civilians. Yep.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Art interlude: Sketching at Borders bookstore

I've been away from the minis for a few days; I needed to get out with my sketchbook and gets some practice. Here are a few pictures I sketched at my local Borders bookstore cafe. I'm trying to build up some portrait skills, both to help with my political cartooning and to give myself another asset I can sell fro some side cash. For fellow artist: I used a Parker Jotter ballpoint pen, Shaeffer fountain pen, brush and brown ink on paper. I think this will be my favored non-watercolor art field kit from now on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gamma World: Group shot

Nothing new, just showing off the group of Gamma World figures. The first batch stops here

I've been thinking about how to make my own hoops, badders, dabbers and such. I may have to sculpt my own, or an easier method would be to sculpt animal heads and glue them to the bodies of minis from my bits box. I need to learn to sculpt some decent animal heads first.

I've also been thinking about sculpting a couple monsters, probably something Cthulhu-esque, formless and tentacled. Just thinking about it; there's still a mammoth that needs some work done.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gamma World: Stanley and Livingstone

Foundry Darkest Africa figure (now with extra head!

So I pulled this Foundry Darkest Africa figure out -- he had one head at the time -- with the intent of converting him for Gamma World. My original idea was to give him a sci fi gun of some sort. But Nyarlathotep already has a kickass sci fi gun. And I've already done a guy with a gas mask. Then I saw that extra head, from the Nyarlathotep conversion, sitting at the corner of my table, and it became ragingly obvious what I needed to do.

This was a quick and dirty conversion. I eyeballed the vising and pinning of the two heads. I painted it fast with some unassuming colors, and called it done. (After seeing the photo up close, there are a couple areas I'll be cleaning up.) I still thought about giving him a sci fi pistol, and perhaps a backpack among other things to prepare the figure for the wasteland. But, in the end, I was happy that he had two heads. That's all the gamma he needed.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gamma World: Nyarlathotep, Gamma World big game hunter

Copplestone Big Game Hunter, converted
Here's another conversion I made for Gamma World. The figure is another big game hunter from Copplestone Castings (um, I might purchase more for this kind of thing.) Nyarlathotep is one of the elder gods from the Cthulhu mythos. I figured he would be an easy conversion, and perhaps an interesting character to wander Gamma World.

I used a razor saw to take the head off (and I've already used the extra head in another conversion :) Then I used greenstuff and made a tentacle which would be used for the new head. While the greenstuff  tentacle was curing, I sawed off the barrel of the hunter's shotgun and replaced it with the top bit off of a Frankenstein Laboratory piece (I forget the company or year) to create a nice inter-dimensional matter transfer gun (or whatever name you want to give it; I just wanted something science fictiony.) I also used some leftover greenstuff to make the weapon arm a tentacle.
Lastly, I gave Nyarlathotep a backback and bedroll (again, made entirely from greenstuff.). Sure, he's a god, but he still needs to fit in a little bit. And yes, he has a giant tentacle for a head, but it IS Gamma World.
When the large tentacle cured, I sliced the base flat and pinned and glued it to the body. Conversion done!

Painting was basic. The hardest part was getting the head to fade from red to black. It just took a few glazes and a little bit if rough blending.

Flock, photograph and done. Nyarlathotep, Gamma World big game hunter. This was certainly another fun conversion. The third conversion I'm working on also is turning out fun. It's not as spectacular a figure, but it's a very appropriate figure for the Gamma World universe. I'll be tromping through more of Copplestone's stuff seeing what other possibilities there are. Why Copplestone? He sculpts with "broad strokes." His figures have well-defined lines and broad planes, making for figures that are easier to convert, in my opinion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gamma World: TSR and a preslotta Citadel figure

TSR Cyborg

FA8-2 Ranger with sword and bow (Citadel, 1979)

Here's the last cyborg and, a pre-slotta Citadel figure (from 1979!). The cyborg went the same route as its predecessors; I picked a color, slung some paint and called it good. The Citadel figure was a little more difficult. The sculpt was small, and basic, but the sculptor still put some detail into it. It was difficult to paint. As a fantasy figure, he is perfectly acceptable in the Gamma World setting. Still, I wanted to give him a chance, so I slipped him an H&K MP-5 submachinegun (slung on his back.)

I will leave the last two humans and another mutant I have on the table unpainted for now. I'll still finish my Nyarlathotep hunter figure sometime this weekend, otherwise, the bulk of my old school TSR Gamma World figures are finished! Just a few days worth of painting, but it was all fun. I even had time to finish up one or two of Jeff's figures (the bathalian and the elf wizard.) 11 figures plus some conversion work all in about 5 days.

My explorations have brought me to some old Copplestone/Grenadier savages and scavengers. I may pick some up later to beef up my Gamma World figures. Though, I'd rather find some more mutated enemies such as some hoops and badders.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gamma World: Even more TSR minis!

TSR cyborg

TSR android

I'm just rolling along here- Here are two more of the TSR figures, the last of the android pack and another cyborg (though, I'm not necessarily painting them as so.) Again, I'm just enjoying choosing a color triad and going the quick three layers with it.

 I've also started the conversion of that other Copplestone figure I mentioned. I took inspiration from Nyarlathotep (from the Cthulhu mythos), by which I mean, I'm making myself an actual Nyarlathotep figure. I figure Gamma World would be the perfect hunting grounds for the elder being since he won't have to mask his true form among the other mutated denizens. Of course, the figure could also be simply used as another run-of-the-mill mutant.
I've made the figure a nice new backpack, bedroll and an excellent-looking (in my opinion) scifi gun. Right now, I'm waiting for his greenstuff head to cure.

Gamma World: A few more TSR minis

TSR human

TSR mutant

TSR Cyborg
Here are some more TSR Gamma World figures. The painting is going fast with all of these. I'll start varnishing tonight, so that I have some of these ready to play Sunday.

I also started converting another Copplestone big game hunter. He should be done this weekend or early next week.

TSR's basic sculpts coupled with whacky Gamma World has let me sty loose with the painting. These figures won't be my best efforts; I'm just enjoying slinging some paint on them.