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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Scout with tiger hide

Here's my second scout/tracker. And this is my first animal print-wearing caveman. I like it. Now I wish I had done more. I guess I still have three more figures to add prints to.

That makes nine in my humble little tribe. I STILL have yet to place my next order (Sorry, Dave, I'll get that in soon.) I have a long weekend off coming up, but I have family in town, and friends maybe wanting to hang out for the Fourth. Hopefully, I'll find time to paint one or two figures between now and the end of next weekend.

When all the figures are painted, I plan on measuring out some armature wire for my mammoth. I plan on doing a Columbian Mammoth (Columbia as in "America" not Colombia the country.) The columbian mammoth wasn't the largest , but it had massive tusks that twisted as they curved causing them to come together and almost intertwining (perhaps a little exaggeration) in front of the tusk. The mammoth also was not as whooly as his European counterpart, looking more like a modern day indian elephant (with big-ass tusk!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Attacking hunter

This hunter was kept simple but I'm still happy with the result. My original plan for him was to have him swinging a two-handed stone axe of some sort. I may still do that pose if I decide to get a copy of this figure.

I've decided to keep the spear points as obsidian points; I'll keep the points black and apply gloss varnish to simulate the glassy nature of obsidian.

I've done enough basic brown or gray furs; the next figure (my second scout) will have a leopard print fur over his shoulder (as will the chief.) I may also do a fantasy type fur (some natural colors, but some sort of striped or spotted pattern of my own creation over it.)

Other stuff: Despite its collectable nature (I despise collectable card/miniature games), I'm actually kind of looking forward to Wizard of the Coast's new Gamma World. Back when I was 9 years old (1983), my baby sitter's older sister invited me to play (2nd edition) Gamma World. This was my FIRST step into the world of nerd-dom; it was the first thing I ever did that was connected with roleplaying games or miniatures. (And, damn, my baby sitter was hot. I didn't know it at the time, though :)

If the new Gamma World ends up sucking, I may just look around for a copy of the 2nd edition of the game. But the new version has the advantage of using the 4th edition D&D rules mechanics, which all of my friends and I are already familiar with.

Maybe I'll get a 2nd edition copy simply for my nostalgia library.

Part of the (4E) game is the use of a deck of cards to attain random mutation powers and technology (loot). Well, the base game comes with a small deck of each, but more mutations and tech can be acquired by purchasing booster packs (the collectable part of the game). At first, I thought this would suck, but then someone mentioned that it makes perfect sense: In a world of genetic mutation, no one gets to choose how they mutate or what tech loot they may find.

So I'm gonna give it a try!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Scout with two spears and some game

This is the first prehistoric character I had in my mind before I had even ordered any figures; a lone man walking the plains, spears in hand, his bed and supplies on his back, and a bit of game slung on his belt.

I'm particularly happy with how the dead bird turned out. It was a pain in the ass to make, but it was worth it. The bedroll and pouch were easier.

So that's been five figures finished (painted) in little less than a week. I think I'll take a short break. I've got one more hunter, the fire maker, an archer and the chief yet to paint. I'm still thinking about which figures to pick up. I have it narrowed down to five. After they're done, I think I'll see about getting that mammoth finished. I stopped by Hobby Lobby today and was surprised to see that they had the Safari Ltd (Carnegie) mammoth. Part of my original plan was to purchase that very mammoth for this tribe to hunt! Well, I looked at it for a bit, took in it's size; it's a little larger than what I wanted, but I wasn't too particular. Then I set it down and went and purchased some armature wire.

If my own effort fails, I can just buy one of those Safari Ltd mammoths.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: 2nd Huntress

Here's my second huntress. Seeing that the first one didn't get any warpaint, I reckon' this one is the first huntress and the other is a scout, or (*gulp* looks around for feminists), a gatherer.

Nothing much to this one: a little bit of fur, a touch of warpaint, and a cute little haircut (plus a feather as with all the hunters.) I love her little girly pose, a nice, feminine pose that is enhanced by her showing off the spear she'll ventilate you with if you don't show any respect; she is not a gatherer.

I'm not sure I like the obsidian points on the spears so far. I may go back and make them all a basic (warmer) gray stone or bone color. The other way I could go about making the spear points look obsidian is to paint them straight-up black and then hit them with a layer of gloss varnish (after the figures have been sealed.) I think I'll do that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: First hunter

Here is my "First" hunter. He's not first in the order I painted him, but rather he is the most senior/adept/skilled warrior of the tribe.

I think I've settled on a reasoning for the warpaint: All the spiritual characters -- shaman, fire maker -- as well as all the hunters will wear paint; all of those characters needing the most help from the spirit world. This leaves a few scouts and the chief without paint. It will be a good mix.
The spotted design in the paint represents the spots of blood leaked from the moon during the creation of the Waiteri (mentioned here.)

And , whaddya know, it's already been a month since I ordered these figures! This past week or so, I thought I was moving too fast with these figures. I guess I've only finished five and have seven or eight to go (as well as a couple small camp dogs which I would like replace with larger hunting dogs.) This also doesn't include the four or five figures I plan on ordering soon.

Bringing me to a quick question: Does anyone have a suggestion for a prehistoric tribal character they'd like to see added to this tribe using one of Bronze Age Miniature's generic figures as the base? Let me know! I'll probably be putting in a small order toward the end of this week.

This has turned into one of my more enjoyable summer projects. I probably won't be doing too many 28mm figures except for those done for my friends and me for D&D. I'm sure there will also be the random figure that just happens to catch my fancy. But I want to cut my teeth more with the sculpting on some of the 54s.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Huntress

My first female of the tribe. I've given her a wolf pelt (must have been a dire wolf to leave that big of a pelt.) I didn't want all my tribe to have the same basic dark brown thick fur from a bison or mammoth. By the time I'm done, I should have a couple shades of dark brown, a couple of light brown, one or two of the gray and one leopard print, so the furs should actually be quite colorful once the whole tribe is finished.

And I left the warpaint off of her; she didn't need it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Naked warrior

Here's my first warrior. Not much to say. I'm happy with the end result, and based on the results of this figure and the shaman, I think the rest of the tribe is going to turn out just fine. I'm still not sure if I'm going to give the whole tribe some warpaint; it works with this guy because he has enough skin to make the paint look effective, but other figures, such as the scouts for example, I don't think need the warpaint.

The base is unfinished as well; I was in a hurry to get this posted. Later, I'll touch up the base with some lighter patches of static grass, and topped off with a few grass tufts (I got a couple packages of the new ones from Army Painter; They work just fine.)

I won't do this for all the figures, but here's a quick stage-by-stage look at how this figure shaped up:

In the meantime, I've been searching for a good dog or two to add to the tribe. I have a few from Reaper, but they are a touch small. They'll work fine as small dogs, but I still want some big, hunting dogs. I'm also still thinking about how to go about sculpting a mammoth; Still looking around for the right armature wire.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Chief, archer and fire maker greens

Here are the last (until I order more) figures of my tribe! From left to right, they are an archer (who will serve as the Chief's wife), the chief and the firemaker/holder.

I finally added flights/feathers to the archer's quiver of arrows. that was some frustrating tweezer action, but it got done and looks all right.

The chief still needs some bindings/straps around his waist and leggings, that will be finished as soon as the greenstuff cures. It's difficult to see his stone axe in these pics, but hopefully, you'll get a better view when I do my multiview photo after I've painted him.
For the inside of his fur cape, I plan to paint cave animals (Lascaux style). And the hide he is wearing will get a leopard print paint job.

The fire holder will be left bald (the "spiritual' are bald in my tribe) with a little bit of facepaint. It is difficult to see here, but his fire "lantern" has a little bit of sculpted fire in it.

With my next order, I hope to find a decent throwing pose so I can use an atlatl. In fact, I've made some extra weapons including an atlatl I made from one piece of brass rod. I simply bent the rod around and carved out some nicks where the dart meets the thrower. Here, I have a better pic of a stone axe such as that being held by my chief.

So Monday and Tuesday will be priming days. These are the last pics you'll see of the greenstuff. Unfortunately, I won't get around to painting any of the tribe until next weekend at the earliest. But I am excited to get these painted up. I feel good about crafting my own tribe (at least crafting the clothing, equipment and weapons over Bronze Age's great sculpts.) And I think the paint is really gonna pull these conversions together.

I may pick up some more generics and try other things such as fantasy, medieval or sci-fi figures. I won't do whole groups or tribes, but simple one-off figures. And I still would like to add a few more figures to my Waiteri. My usual limit on the number of figures I get in one genre is the number of those figures I can fit into a Chessex figure case. I think the Waiteri, at 54mm, are already close...maybe I'll see how many can fill two Chessex cases.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Hunters greens

Here are my hunters, those who, when the mammoth is within reach, will go in close for the final spear thrusts after a weeks-long stalking of the heard.

The naked fellow in the center will get a paint job to denote him as a fanatic. Like the shaman, it will be black paint. The firemaker and chief may also get a little bit of body paint, but I think I'll leave the rest of the hunters plain.

My weapon selection is not as diverse as I would have wanted, but there are enough. Here there are only heavy and light spears, but my chief will be armed with a stone axe (actually an adze), and his queen is armed with a bow. I made an atlatl that I love, but none of the figures I picked up this time around have a good throwing pose. Bronze Age does have a female in a throwing position, and I think I will pick her up later, so that someone in the tribe will be using my favorite prehistoric weapon.

I have three figures left to convert: My firemaker, who needs a bone lantern (like the one seen in the movie "Quest for Fire"; my chief who, at this point, only has leggings and his adze; and the queen (one of the first figures I did for the tribe) who still needs flights for her quiver of arrows. I may leave the queen's arrows flightless such as some African and tropical tribes do.

54mm Waiteri tribe: Scouts greens

I was thinking about how I would present the tribe while it is in progress. I would like to share each little step, but there would be too many pics and posts covering every little thing I added with greenstuff (such as a new moustache!)So I've settled on posting pics of figures whose conversion work is finished, and who are simply awaiting primer.

After the shaman and the first caveman, here are my next two ready for the paint. I call them my scouts and I've outfitted them as such. They have carrying bags, bedrolls, extra equipment, and one even has a dead bird hanging from the back of his belt for lunch (difficult to see in these pics, though.)

I've made some good progress in the past few days. Most of the major work is done, I'm just adding small things such as belts, pouches, bags, leggings etc (The prehistoric equivalents, that is). If I didn't have a busy work week coming up, I think I'd have all the conversion work finished this week. Maybe next weekend I can get everything finished with one last push.

In the meantime, I'm looking through Bronze Age's generics to see what else I could use or how I could convert copies of figures I already have. The mammoth is still only on paper; I want to find some good armature wire (I've never built an armature), before I begin.

On a side note, Blogger unveiled some new layout/design elements, so I had a little fun. Not sure I like my newish look, but I don't hate it. I still would like my list of links along the right rail to be condensed somehow (perhaps as titles with dropdown tabs.) Oh well, I'll figure out something, but I'm a painter first.

Monday, June 7, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Shaman and sabertooth totem

This is one of those rare figures where everything turned out exactly as I expected. I love this figure. I'm also happy because this was supposed to be the most difficult figure out of the tribe. He took exactly 65 minutes, 30 seconds to paint and add static grass; I know, because I listened to a Count Basie CD while painting this figure, and tapped off the excess static grass just as the last song ended.

He's not completely finished: I'm waiting for the PVA glue to dry under the static grass before I add a few patches of lighter arid grass and some grass tufts.

The Waiteri shaman paints his body in sacred paint made from masticated charcoal. The sacred paint allows him to cross over into the spirit world. He leaves parts of his body unpainted so that he can keep a foothold in the mortal world. Here, he's doing the dance of the sabertooth to instill the predator's spirit in all of the tribesmen before the coming hunt.

Dad's ship gets into the water

Well, had Blogger not been down, this would have been the first place I posted this item: Dad's ship had it's first float test on Sunday, and, well, it floats! If you haven't seen the pics yet over at The Miniatures Page, Lead Adventure or Steve Dean, here they are (I've included a rough schematic of how the interior of the ship is arranged for the pilot and functional items ((as best as I could remember)):

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ambitious, (but no promises)

"Hey, Carmen, what'chya drawing there?"
"A mammoth."
"It's not wooly?"
"I'll add that later."
"Ah. So what are you drawing it for?"
"I see ... Now what are you doing?"
"Getting on Google so I can learn about armature wire."

A nice sculpting blog I've found

In my search for some good sculpting tutorials, I came across this blog, Gary's Miniature Sculpting. He shows in-depth, stage-by-stage (post-by-post) images and text for his project(s).

The post that pulled me in for good was on how he did the bottom half of a long coat on a human figure: He used a method similar to mine for making capes with a jig, and one-upped it by essentially making a temporary, soft jig fixed directly to the figure -- brilliant. Anyway, you'll have to see it for yourself. Gary makes it look easy. Here's a link just to the picture of his method. I still like the freeform aspect of my cape-making technique, but Gary's gives you excellent control.

On a similar note, I wish someone would put together a good book on sculpting, even something basic would be fine. There is a French magazine called Ravage which had a special issue dedicated to sculpting last year, but it's difficult to find a copy (at least a copy without exorbitant overseas shipping.) Until then, I will sing the praises of the blogosphere for carving out spots on the net for the likes of Gary the sculptor and others.

Can anyone recommend some good sculpting blogs?

54mm Waiteri tribe: First hunter is finished

Here's my caveman test piece (shown next to the figure from which it was converted.) He painted up pretty fast. I like the lighter savannah-type basing, though I'm gonna base the remainder of the figures after they are painted instead of before (as I did this one); I had to constantly blow away rogue strands of static grass. I based this one before painting because I was eager to see if my basing mix would look all right.

The only thing I don' like is his left arm has a touch of the Popeye muscles; Chalk that one up to novice sculpting on my part. But I'm too danged happy at how well he turned out for my first try at this much sculpting/converting to care about a deformed arm. Everything else turned out as good or better than I had expected.

Going back to the base, I'm glad I chose clay poker chips. This one (and a couple others I've started) took the primer, paint and glue (for basing) very well. The chips are also easy to score to provide a better surface to take glue.
"I see your prehistoric hunter and I raise you a shaman."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bases and tabletop items

I went on a walk this morning and bought some new basing supplies from three of the four hobby shops/game stores in town. On Gale Force Nine's website, they have basing sets, and one of them was "parched pasture." I liked the look of it, and want to use it for my Waiteri tribe. I wanted to see an example in person, so I threw together this base (poker chip) and added a couple of my own extras (tall grass and a 6mm autumn tuft from Army Painter.) Except for the tall grass, I like the look. It's a departure from my usual static grass+clump foliage bases. I DO like the shorter of the two tallgrass clumps, but I will still use it sparingly (maybe two or three clumps total for the whole tribe of 12.) I was thinking of doing flowers on a base or two, but I wanted the bases to reflect more of a barren (if grassy) landscape, a place that can support life, but where life can't quite thrive.

Today, I also cleaned up my table top. I also pulled out some Sculpey to play with, and threw together a few items for my tabletop. From left to right in the picture are a tool rest, a paint palette, and a well in which I can squirt a bit of superglue (and apply with the ready-to-use toothpicks.) The paint palette is a very specific/niche item in this case; I made it to fit the base of the Reaper squirt-type bottle (the only one of that type of bottle I have). While the paint jar is not in use, it sits on its own personal palette. When I need that color, I squirt a bit in the little palette and paint away. These were pretty simple to make. Roll up some Sculpey and sculpt and press with your thumbs. Cook. Done. Hmmm, I wonder what other tools/accessories I could make ....

Friday, June 4, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: General update

Work has been progressing slowly but surely. Here's the work I've done so far; not a lot, but the shaman and archer were my most difficult figures and took most of the time.

Some figures will be only in loin cloths, some will have more furs. Some, maybe nothing at all. I don't expect to have any wearing as many hides as my first caveman (the one converted from the germanic captive). For equipment straps, legging wraps and belts, I think I'll use actual twine (roughly "braided" ((read: twisted)) into rope.) I have been making indentations into the loin cloths to more readily accept these twine wraps. I'm still thinking about how to go about doing the leggings. I've got a couple ideas I'll play with.

I think I have the hair figured out; it's not too difficult. The beards and moustaches are a a little iffy: If you do facial hair, use about as half as much greens stuff as you think you'll need. Then cut that amount in half again.

The only other item I think will be difficult will be necklaces. Something with a strap and a "medallion" of stone or wood won't be too difficult; it's those necklaces with lots of teeth or bone. I'll figure something out.

Last thing: I told myself I'd paint these only after all the conversion work was done. I think I may paint one or two, something to help drive me to finish the rest. The shaman and the loner (that's what I call the figure converted from the germanic captive) are finished and just need to be primed. I think I'll at least get them primed this weekend.