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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Remember the Mutie Beauty? (Not safe for work)

It's just a Hot Wheel. The pics below are real.

Well, a few months ago, a fellow named James got a hold of me, and having been inspired by my driving fortress, asked if he could build a full-size copy for Wasteland Weekend.

No way in hell was I going to say no to that.

Well, he built it. And it is simply amazing. Right down to the pin-up art on the hood.
I feel so honored that they did this.
Anyway, I pulled some photos from Wasteland Weekend's FB page (I hope the WW folks don't mind.)

James said they didn't have time to finish everything just yet (there's still the turret to do,) but what they've done is sweet as all holy hell. (I LOVE the pin-up art they have.)

Also, here's a link to a video of the vehicle line-up they had at Wasteland Weekend. Mutie Beauty id around the 1:12 mark:

The Oppenheimer smiles on the Rust Devils!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

42mm archer priest

Here's my sohei/ikko ikki archer priest all painted up. The yellow is Foundry's Yellow Ochre triad (with some brown wash.) I tried out a recommendation of Foundry's Spearshaft triad for the skin. Maybe just a touch dark for my taste, but it's easy enough to explain away: This priest is always outside ... shooting arrows and such.

Painting shaved heads like this is one easy: Just do the whole head up in your flesh colors, then, using a medium gray, paint the hairline and fill in the rest of the hair right over your flesh colors. You can highlight the hair by adding your flesh highlight to the gray. The more flesh highlight you add, the thinner the hair will appear to be (great for adding thinning/balding spots.) It's also a great technique for painting light beards or 5 o'clock shadow.

This was a fun mini to paint! All the wrinkles were easy to paint. There weren't a lot of accessories to deal with. The face is well structured/sculpted allowing an easy time with the brush. I recommend this figure for beginners (though, there is a little assembly required with the supplied bow. You might pin the two bow halves. The head is also a separate piece but has a nice socket design.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

42mm Samurai: Archer converted; ready to paint

Not much new, just keeping a log of progress. This is also a better picture of the raw figure, so you can take a look at Steve's fine work (there's even some "tread" of straw on the bottom of that sandal.)

The figure is all converted with a new bow, strung with an arrow. I drilled a hole through the hand to feed the string through. Before that, I treated the string/twine with a small coat of superglue to give it strength and add a little rigidity. I also drilled a shallow hole/notch between his first two fingers so the arrow would sit nicely

The arrowhead was made with just a couple hits with the hammer, and a bit of filing. The vanes were made with thick paper, cut with an X-acto knife and placed with tweezers and superglue. They came out a touch larger than I wanted, but not enough to bother me.

The figure is also primed; I'll probably start painting tonight. Probably a saffron kimono/hakama and a black undershirt. It should be done by the weekend.

1,000 posts!
I wasn't paying attention, but somewhere a half dozen posts ago was my 1,000th blog post. That's a lot of gab about minis. I don't think I even have 1,000 minis- I hope I don't have 1,000 minis.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP: 42mm Sohei archer

Not much to show yet except this sweet sculpt from Steve Barber!
I think this is one of Steve's better sculpts in his samurai range, but I'm probably biased since I commissioned him to do this specific pose (It was a good price- I recommend Steve's services if you're looking for a figure that you can't find elsewhere).

I still need to hammer out a tiny little point and add some vanes to the arrow. I also need to string up the bow.

The bow is not in full flex by design- the archer will give it a full pull when he brings the bow and arrow level with his chest. I wanted this high draw since it was distinctly Japanese.

And yes, I've replaced the bow with my own brass version- but Steve's bow is just fine.

Even though I don't have a Sohei faction among my figures, I'll probably do him up in Sohei colors (saffron and white) to make him pop a little more.

With a lot of long, graceful lines, I look forward to putting this figure under the brush.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dreadball: Star players

Here are the rest of the star players I plan on painting for the time being (at least until I get another team -- maybe robots. Or maybe I'll get some big guys.)

I painted my Gabe figure in the colors of the Gamma Blues, in keeping with painting at least one star in the team colors of each of my teams. The rest of the star players here have been painted in independent colors. Buzzcut was fun to paint- I made most of his armor leather as a tribute to old-timey football. He was also the easiest to paint, being a larger figure (whereas Gabe was difficult, having about the tiniest non-15mm face I've ever painted.)

Gabe's armor was speed-painted to help him better match his new teammates. If I get a robot team, I will also speed paint them: Drybrush some silver and add some splashes of color.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dreadball: Orc and Corp teams

I figured since I was painting a bunch of old unpainted stuff, I best finish up my Dreadball teams before they got too old, too.

Here are Bigz's Scrappers (orcs) and the Gamma Blues (corp.) The Scrappers I painted just as their name  implies; all of their armor is old rusted scraps of iron gathered from who knows where.
I did a few of the figures in the cliche green, but others I did in my favorite goblin yellow (and one gray orc.)

Since I already have my favorite Iotacorp Rockets team, I decided to go ahead and speed-paint my other human team. They were essentially going to be my "Washington Generals" team that I'd let other players borrow and such.

I started by painting each entire figure dark blue. Then I brushed/drybrushed successive highlights higher and higher on the figure, completing each one with a white faceplate and gem-red accents. For having been speed-painted, I kind of like my new team. Since my other two teams each have a star player painted in their colors, I think I'll add Gabe to the Blues. I have a few other star players, though they'll all probably get individual paint schemes.

Hopefully, some new poses (and keepers) will be in the mail from Mantic (the makers of Dreadball) soon. I'll simply beef up the rosters of my three teams. I have no plans to get any more teams. Which is OK; I still have a crap-ton of Bones figures to paint.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Le nez est tres grand

OK, technically speaking, Cyrano de Bergerac comes about 50 years after the time period I'm trying to represent (early Elizabethan.) But when you have fire-belching matchlockes and long, pretty swords, there's no way you can't have Cyrano join in the fun.

This is another Foundry swashbuckler. I've used green stuff to add the nose and the feather (his panache!) He has also benefited from a new rapier blade pounded out of brass rod.

A note on the blades: I hammered them out as straight as I could, but there was a lot of filing with the smaller files to finish the blades. I filed the edges to even out the blades and to give a square cross section (for strength.) Then I filed the sides of the blades a little bit, so that they would better accept the paint. They glimmer nicely in the light.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Steve Barber: A commissioned sculpt

Keep in mind, these are only a few reference photos I used; I sent Steve a lot more, so he could do this figure justice.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know I love Steve Barber's 42mm samurai range. One figure that I think was missing from the range (or at least that I couldn't figure out how to convert myself) was some sort of unarmored archer.

WELL, Steve Barber also does commissions, so I scrounged up some money and commissioned him to create this archer (which I believe will be added to the catalogue, so all of you can get one, too :)

It cost me a couple hundred British pounds, but your mileage may vary if you decide to try out his sculpting services. Like most good artists, Steve considers a bunch of factors when determining a price. He was also easy to work with, and asked all the right questions to fill in the information where I had left gaps.

One thing I suggest if you want to commission a sculpt, is to not only have a good idea of what you want done, but have LOTS of photo reference- especially reverse views. Many people will see a picture of a soldier, for example, and say, "I want that sculpted," but forget that the image is 2D, but a sculpt is 3D.

I couldn't find many reverse images of this archer, especially with the bow arm sleeve hanging down, so I actually took multiple photos of myself wearing a simple kimono.

Anyway, I look forward to painting this figure. It looks like it'll be a real joy to paint, with all the sweeping wrinkles, the distinctively Japanese high-drawn bow, and the reverse-legged kneeling pose (ie, raised knee is to the rear instead of out front.)

Old Timey Football

Something I'm also thinking about commissioning, but haven't made a decision on yet, are some old time American Football players (think "Leatherheads.") I think there would be a smaller market for these to those Blood Bowl players who like quirky teams, and maybe for some who might have their own home-brew rules (or maybe even to crazier Dreadball players.)

There would be four to six poses: A passer, a catcher, a blitzer and a lineman (and possibly a runner and a second blitzer/lineman.)

These would be much more expensive to commission, so I'll need to sell a bunch of my collection to fund it. And, in fact, I will be selling a few figures: My Bad Bay Hackers (about $350) and Wood Elf (about $200) teams for sure. And possibly my entire 28mm collection of prehistoric figures ($500). I need to work out how much I want to sell all of these for sure, but if you're interested, keep an eye out. (And, of course, I still have a small group of pirates for sale. $100)
All of my sales include shipping and are domestic (including Canada) only; it's pricey to ship heavy metal.

Or maybe I'll just win the lottery, and I won't have to sell anything to fund some fun football players.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Swashbucklers: The Captain's gold

Captain Blakes crew set forth into the city, carrying the gold asked for by El Siciliano.
Blake and his crew were a bit unnerved, carrying such an amount of gold through the poor town. Usually, this sort of transaction would take place either officially or quietly.

Though, the gold had to travel through population, Captain Blake still had a reliable crew to protect the cargo. Two of his best gunners escorted the gold. And the men carrying the chests were no simple-minded, sea dogs either. Old Jake was one of the finest knife men in London, though, most who could attest to the fact sleep in the Thames.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Swashbucklers: The Captain arrives

Captain Blake seeks to return a favor.
Captain Blake surveyed the startlingly empty square. Though, it was strange for none of the town denizens to be out and about, the captain only had one thought at the front of his mind.

"He said he would meet us here at 3 bells!"

"No worries, Captain," said Williams, the first mate. "I'm sure he did not forget your appointment."

"I only hope the Sicilian is still alive," replied Captain Blake. "I would never forgive myself if he died before I could repay his favor."

"Shall I send back to the ship for the gold now, sir?"

The captain assented with a barely perceptible nod. Then he motioned for his matchlock men to come forward.
"Light your matches and keep a sharp eye out. The Don's men may be nearby."
The captain scanned the square with this gunners, and he pondered why the Sicilian would only ask for two small chests of gold.

"We owe him more than just gold. He saved my entire ship and crew from destruction, so why does he only ask for the gold?"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Swashbucklers: The Spanish

Don Alejandro orders his men to find the renegade.
The don slapped his man, "Curse you and your bumbling, Ernesto! Tear this town apart and find that renegade, the one they call 'El Siciliano!'"

Ernesto, the master swordsman, and his cohorts ran through the town, from dawn until late in the afternoon, past the fountains, down streets and through alleys, finally emerging at the far corner of the market square. Their scornful leader had scheduled the rendezvous for a report. He regarded his men with punitive glares.

"Well, fools?! Where is he?" thundered the don.

The Sicilian reveals himself!
"Looking for me, Don Alejandro?" belted out a voice from the crowd. It was El Siciliano! "ha-HAA! Have at you, fiends!"

And the Sicilian and the Spaniards he had once called comrades drew their long blades, flashing sunlight throughout the market square, a signal that blood was about to spill and for the citizens of Castello to clear the square.

Don Alejandro positioned himself behind his men. "You will not survive this day, bastardo. And after I kill you, I will have the hand of Francesca de Morella. Ha ha ha haaa!"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Elizabethan Swashbucklers

When I heard that Two Hour Wargames was coming out with a new ruleset call "By Savvy or Sword," I knew I'd be getting them, because I already had the figures and terrain. I dug out the old figures, and they were in varying degrees of disrepair.

Some needed rebasing, some needed repainting. And I had since learned how to hammer out my own swords, so the first thing I did was make new rapier blades for all of the swordsmen. After seeing how the first blade looked on a figure, I knew I had something that was going to look nice.

Here are the first three (pictured above.) The figure in the middle has not been repainted or rebased; the only thing I've done to him was to replace the blade. I can't remember when I originally painted him, but it must have been in the past couple years, because that's one of my better "early" paint jobs.

The other two figures weren't bad, but I still wanted to start fresh, so I stripped their paint, reprimed and had another go. Just like the pirates, these were fun to paint. I believe these were sculpted by Mike Owen, who did a good job of creating nice sweeping planes on the figures, combined with just enough detail to make the figures interesting, but not too difficult to paint. These would make a good intermediate project for someone learning to paint.

A quick note on By Savvy or Sword: The rules look like they cover the Musketeer era, 1625 onward. I've chosen the Elizabethan era (well, those are the figures I have, anyway) which starts about 50 years prior. But honestly, I don't think there will be much different save for some slight changes in costume. Even still, I have sculpted my own Cyrano (who is later 17th Century,) because every swordplay setting needs a poet-warrior. You'll be seeing him a little later.

My collection isn't large. I'll be painting only about 20 figures. I do have some others (Sea Dogs) I painted for the second Foundry Painting Guide. I'll probably dig those out, too, though, I won't be redoing any of them. They are mostly halberds and muskets, along with a captain and a small cannon, all based for the jungles of the new world. These newer figures are all based for fighting in the city, Shakesperean style!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Workbench update: Plenty going on

I have quite a bit going on the painting table, now. For one, I've stopped painting the pirates, though, I'm happy to have painted the first group, which is still for sale. I still have yet, and will, base them in sand with grass tufts.

Why stop the pirates? Well, I've rediscovered my other "pirates," my Elizabethan Swashbucklers buy Foundry. I think Foundry not only puts out the best pirates on the 28mm market, but also the best (only?) Elizabethan swashbucklers and seadogs. My swashbucklers will NOT be for sale.

So, here's a breakdown of what's on the table:
1: These are some of Jeff's Bones figures I've been working on. There's a lot of prep work with these. I had to boil water so I could straighten out weapons and such. I had to wash all of them. I had to clip off/shave some bases so that the figures would all fit on standard bases, and then I had to glue figures to said bases (the easiest part.) I still have to brush prime at least the figures shown here on the table (Kobolds to the far left, orcs everywhere else.)

2: These are my Elizabethan swashbucklers at various points of disarray. Some are already painted, and I'm leaving alone. Some are already painted and I will be repainting. Some are primed and some are unprimed. Some need to be rebased. And all will be getting new hammered-brass rapiers!
In fact, since this photo was taken, most of the above has taken place. Everything is primed, and the new blades have been installed.
Making 28mm rapier blades is a little more difficult than making 42mm katana blades. The more difficult part is keeping the blades nice and straight. But it was accomplished, and the blades look so much more elegant with these figures. That, and I just love hammering on my little anvil.
Oh- almost all of these are ready to paint; one of them still needs his panache (look over the left shoulder of white shirt/red poofy pants.)

3: Not really work here; these are a few figures I culled from the mountain, cleaned and prepped, so that I have a small supply for Bryon to practice his painting on.

4: These are Bones figures that are ready for painting. They have sitting there for a couple weeks. This small group has a lot of shallow, hard-to-see/hard-to-paint details. So I'm waiting for that right moment when I'm ready to pretend I know what the hell I'm doing.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Machinas: Just another car

This is one of my original cars. I wasn't happy with the first way I did the car, so I reprimed and rebuilt her into something a bit more post-apocalyptic.

I added some baggage, a stovepipe on one side, and a pair of .50s. Then I decided to go wild with the paint; this scheme is supposed to be a camo pattern of sorts, but the people of Septimontium also have an appreciation for art, so this pattern also represents a sunset.

I'm not sure if I like it, though it's certainly striking. In any case, I like it better than the original scheme I had.

This car, by the way, is a '52 (53?) Buick. I was lucky enough to see one at a local car show last week, which is what inspired me to redo my (toy) Buick. The original plan was to repaint my car just like the one I saw at the show (The show car was still in rust, but running; it was nice.)

I love car shows. The cars are fairly easy to draw, and the owners like to pay you to draw their vehicles. That was an easy hundred bucks in two hours for me that day!

This is the first of two sketches I did of that Buick. It'd have been a nicer piece, but I was standing, holding all my art supplies while I sketched and painted this big beast.

The other sketch, I sold. But hey, here's a neat hot rod I also sketched; this one I got to keep:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gonna have to slap'a'zo

While doing some prep work for a bunch of Jeff's Bones figures, I dug this one out to paint up. I don't find moderns particularly interesting, but they are certainly the most easy to paint, with only shirts, pants, belt, and skin and hair.

One thing I do like about the Bones minis is the ease of conversion. There is no conversion work on this figure, but I was easily able to cut away the base so that I could pin this figure to a (Proxie Models) 25mm base. This mutha can now be used in the world of Zombicide ... Now I'll have to get my own- this one is still Jeff's.

Pirate with peppermint pants

One of the colors I could have cared less about in the Reaper High Density series was the turquoise; what in the hell would I do with that?

Well, I tried it out on this pirate, and the color looks fantastic! But unfortunately, this photo shows nowhere near how beautiful this color looks in person.

Oh well. At least this pirate as a whole looks nice. I think this one is my new favorite of those finished so far, if only for the combination of colors used. I'll plop that turqoise on one more pirate - I don't want to overdo it because it will be noticeable -- but the color certainly should be used.

A minor note, for highlighting, I added increasing (but tiny) amounts of flesh highlight.

Entrails Pink, now that's the new "What the hell will I do with that" color.

Another color note: I've finally rebuilt (sort of) my flesh recipe using Vallejo and Reaper HD paints. I say, "sort of" because of the three colors I'm using, two are colors I had to mix. Though, I've found a close-enough color for one of the mixes. This figure was done with the new recipe. The tinkering goes on!

Edit: I don't normally do this, but I used Photoshop to try to better bring out the true color of the shirt. The turquoise by Reaper has a lot more blue than green, though, this may have been a byproduct of me using the flesh paint as a highlight mixer. The base coat did have quite a but of green in it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pirate gun crew

Here's a ship's gun with a couple crew. I replaced the ramrod with some brass rod (and drilled out and reused the sponge from the old ramrod.) I also drilled out the gun barrel a little bit to give it a better look.

This is the last of this first group of 13 pirates (and 1 gun.) I chose that number because this smaller group (and the gun) will fit in a small Chessex case. I'll continue with some more pirates, to fill a second small case. If I do more after that, I'll try to fill out a regular Chessex case. That, and it'll be easier to sell a whole hell of a lot of pirates rather than my little landing parties.

I still need to base these before I "officially" offer these for sale; I've also already had a couple enquiries, and they'll get first pick. And if these don't sell right away, the little crew will just get bigger :)

Before painting more pirates, I'm going to try to paint a Bones fig or two, at least until they piss me off, then it's back to the more fun stuff. Maybe I'll alternate.