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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Chief scout

Here's my last scout, a young women in a leopard skin -- perhaps a daughter of the chief -- on the prowl.

I inked her face, but it seemed to muddy things up a bit; it's not very evident in the photo (I DID try a bit of repair work). But I think I will go back and start with the base color and redo her face. Otherwise, another satisfying member of the tribe.

I just have one more to go, my atlatl thrower, and I'm looking forward to adding war paint to one more figure. I tried leaving more skin showing on this next figure to make space for the war paint.

In the meantime, I've added a lot of growth to Conan's base as well as painted his loincloth. His hair, leathers and sword still need paint. Also, I've played a bit with the mammoth armature to try to get the proportions right with the torso and legs: It's tougher than I'd thought it would be. Maybe I should be measuring more and eyeballing less. NAH!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Large dog (or wolf)

So the original dogs I picked up were just too small for my tastes to be hunting dogs. This one is nice and large -- ok, maybe just a tad too large -- but I like it. This figure can be used as a hunting dog or a wolf to be hunted when playing Tusk.

This figure is actually Reaper's current warg figure. I painted a dark brown base on the upper portions of its body, and a light tan on the lower portion, blending the colors in the middle. The rest of the painting was just lighter and lighter layers of drybrushing (and some minor detail work on the teeth and eyes), then some dark brown ink.

I based this figure differently than the tribe because I may use it for different things; This figure may double as Slasher for my Conan collection (if it happens.) As a Hyborean beast, I can more easily accept his larger size.

I'll still paint up the other dogs I have. A couple of them will work just fine as smaller camp dogs. The last one I'll paint up to partner up with my Kyran the Hunter shaman figure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Tribal man

Here is a basic Waiteri man, a traveler with a bundle of sticks, a bed roll, and a spear, ready to walk to woods to the next village for trade. He wears longer leggings to protect his legs as he moves through the thick underbrush.
The copper wire works nicely for rope. It takes the paint well and shows the details of the braid easily (though not immediately evident in my meager photos.)

I've also painted a couple bits on my Conan figure: base skin coat and his base. After the figure is painted, I'll finish off the base with a tiny bit of vegetation growing through the cracks (even though this version of Conan is high in a tower; I'll take a bit of license with these figures.) I'd like to do more Conan characters, but I'll wait a bit. I still have a mammoth that needs sculpting. I'll need to keep focus if I want it to turn out nice.

As for a Conan story to sculpt figures for, I think I may eventually do Beyond the Black River. I'll need to make a new Conan, a Balthus and his dog, Slasher; I'll add a couple of the experienced woodsmen, then a few Picts to oppose the group, perhaps 10-15 figures total, enough for a small skirmish game. In the meantime, my Waiteri tribe can double (closely, except for having brown hair and beards) as Picts, and I have a Conan already! In fact, I just picked up Reaper's new Warg figure to be a large dog for the tribe (and to double as Slasher later.) He's a little large and wolfish, but it's fantasy. As for his size to be Slasher, it makes perfect sense: After his master was slain, he's been living in the woods eating Picts :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Scoutess and Atlatl greens

Here are the last members of the Waiteri tribe for the time being (until I figure out if I want to go on to Conan.) The one to the left can either be a scout sneaking around nearby prey, or a hunter making her last few cunning steps before springing the attack. One leg is wrapped in twine, the other in that braided copper wire I mentioned earlier. This was the first figure I tried the copper on; it was difficult, that's why I switched to the twine on the other leg. After painting, I don't think you'll be able to see much of a difference.

The other figure is my favorite action pose of all the tribe, a huntress casting a dart from her atlatl (my favorite prehistoric weapon.) The only (minor) thing I don't like is that I wasn't able to get the atatl aimed in the same direction as her face is pointed. I'll simply paint her eyes looking more toward her target- no biggy.

Small Conan update: I almost primed Conan before I realized, if this is the Conan who is in the tower of the elephant, he needs a proper interior floor. Easy enough, dig out some greenstuff and engrave some flagstones! I've started priming Conan here. Here's a small tip: When I prime my figures, I first lay them down with their feet toward me, then I prime the undersides of the figures. Let the primer dry, turn the figures over and repeat. THEN I glue the figures to their bases and continue regular priming. (Of course, I wait a few hours between primer coats and gluing.) This allows me to get those hard-to-reach spots, and saves time after priming when I have to fill in those missed areas. Conan is the "underside" phase in this pic.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

54mm Waiteri scout, and my Conan

It's been one of those weeks at work, so I haven't got a lot of work done on the figures. I did get little finished, though. On the left is another scout for my Waiteri tribe. This is the same figure as the fire maker. It seemed natural to give this figure a spear. I gave him longer leggings to help protect his legs during his long journey through the woods. He also has a small packroll and a bundle of kindling. The kindling is bound with rope made from copper wire that has been twisted using a power drill; my dad had a bunch he gave me- thanks, Dad!

At the right is my Conan. I've settled on a simple Conan for now (I can do a more complicated one later). Still, this is a classic view of the barbarian. I selected "Tower of the Elephant" for my version of Conan. He's younger, and wears only a loincloth, a belt with a scabbard and his sword. Before beginning his adventure over the walls, he has gotten rid of his old, torn tunic. Later, after meeting Taurus, he took off his high-strapped sandals. Here is that Conan, sometime after ascending the tower -- perhaps at the very moment he meets the creature of Yag and learns of the true nature of the world? Or maybe just before the creature gives one final mission to Conan before his bloody deed? (I'm trying to keep it all mysterious, so you all go read the story. Read the Robert E. Howard version, not the Sprague D. Campe.)

Anyway, Conan. Yes. I like this figure. The loin cloth wasn't too hard to make. The scabbard and belt were a little more difficult, trying to keep the belt uniform. I flattened some green stuff and then cut straps into it. I let it partially cure before pulling on of the straps out to wrap around Conan's waist as a sword belt. The scabbard I simply cut out of some fully cured greens stuff. I added simple "dimpled" buckles for the belt and scabbard (as a basic decoration.)
I've been advised by a few members of the hobby community to avoid trying to sculpt chest hair, and that my best bet would be to try to paint the hair on if at all. If it doesn't work, this is a younger Conan, so maybe I can just avoid th chest hair all together.

So, I made a list of Conan characters -- Belit, Valeria, assorted wizards, warlocks and sorcerers, Picts, warriors of Kush, Stygians etc etc. It would make for a vast and nice collection of 54mm figures. I'll have to think about it. For now, I need to concentrate on finishing my Waiteri tribe.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

54mm: Coming of the Cimmerian

I was rummaging through the bits box and found a small tub of weapons. Among them was this short sword, one of the weapons favored by Conan the Cimmerian. Well, shoot, the sword fit in this figure's hand so well, I just had to make the decision to turn this fellow into the iconic barbarian instead of a Waiteri tribesman.

This will be a nice diversion from the prehistorics. I'm not quite sure what my barbarian will be wearing yet. I'm rereading the original Howard stories right now, and I think I will choose a specific story to model this figure after. My favorite Conan tale is "Beyond the Black River," but I may choose something else- something more iconic: Bare-chested, leather breeks, belt or sash, no scabbard- most stories mention him keeping his weapons tucked in his belt (or sash.) There are lots of good options.

One thing I didn't know: Conan has a hairy chest. It's mentioned only once, and quickly in "Hour of the Dragon." I'm not quite sure how I'll model this yet -- another small, welcomed challenge. Then again, he wasn't always barechested.

I guess I'll redouble my reading efforts and see what I can find.

What will I do with this figure? Nothing, he'll just be a display piece. Maybe, if he turns out nice, I'll order some more figures and have a small group of figures from Conan's world, enough to do a few small and highly-detailed skirmishes. Bronze Age figures will fit the bill as usual! Hey, and I'll have an excuse to get some of those seductive generic babes :) (What, you haven't seen them? I'm posting the link to Bronze Age because I'm trying to share something I like with you all- go take a look! :) Bronze Age has entire harems at 32mm!

Oh yeah, I already have a giant snake, too. Ummm, not trying to sound dirty following the mention of harem; I actually have a giant snake I made with Sculpey. Plenty of those in Conan stories.

54mm Waiteri tribe: Atlatl green and that other thing

The green stuff is getting slung a lot quicker on this latest batch of Waiteri hunters. Here's my atlatlist mostly done (I need to do something with her feet- probably just some more leggings.) I think the pose works well for the atlatl. Her head isn't entirely turned toward her target, but that's ok; I'll just paint her eyes looking more toward the direction of the atlatl dart.

Hey, and here's something new. I have all the supplies finally for my mammoth! So I took a few minutes and threw together this basic armature. The body needs some bulking up and the front left and rear right legs need to be shortened a bit. But the height is about right.

I found the base in a bag of scrap wood at Hobby Lobby. It's 1/8" MDF. There were three more of the same piece in the bag (as well as lots of other bits- well worth the $5 I spent on it.) So if I get a hankerin', I can make some more mammoths.

Once the body is properly bulked out and the legs to where I want them, I'll wrap this core armature with some smaller armature wire (I got some 22 gauge steel wire.) As with my original dead mammoth, I'll sculpt the body first to almost completion, bake it, then sculpt the head onto the body and bake again.

Sculpey is great because you can bake and re-bake it and you're not going to hurt it. Only cooking at a higher temperature is going to harm the Sculpey (mostly by discoloring it. I have yet to investigate the structural qualities of overcooked Sculpey.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: A few more hunters

I received my second order of figures from Bronze Age. They arrived quickly as usual! (Ok, it's only my second order from Bronze Age, but the orders arrived quickly both times.)

Here are my plans for each figure. 1: A huntress either sneaking around to flank her prey, or a scout tracking through the forest. 2: This is the same figure as my firemaker. This second copy will get a full head of hair and a spear and be added to the ranks. I think I'll add him to my scouts, so he'll probably sling some supplies over his shoulder (pouch, bags, maybe a bundle of kindling strapped to a simple frame.) 3: This is the same figure as the Waiteri chief. The new figure will receive the bow that is pictured, and stand proud. I may keep his clothing simple so that I can give him some ornate warpaint. 4: Ah, finally- someone with an atlatl, my favorite prehistoric weapon. This is one of the (very) few Bronze Age figures that needs assembly. She will be in a throwing motion once assembled. 5: Oh boy! NOT a member of the tribe. This is a figure I got to challenge myself later. I pan to make her a pulp rocketeer. Not sure how the hell I'm going to pull that off; I'll figure it out later. Depending on how she turns out, I may give her away in a contest of some sort (to celebrate 100,000 blog hits which I think may come up next year sometime). If I decide to give her away, I won't paint her. Again, it all depends; if she turns out awesome, I may be selfish and keep her for myself (but I'll make another to give away:) 6: And a simple figure for my D&D collection. This is my first 32mm generic figure from Bronze Age. You'll get a better view of him later. I think I'll convert him into an inhabitant of Athas (Dark Sun). Not sire what kind of weapon to give him yet- bone or obsidian spear? Bone pole axe of some sort? I need to see a list of Dark Sun appropriate weapons.

That's it. Not as many figures as last time, but I know I will enjoy them nonetheless. I look forward to trying to sculpt some stuff for the smaller figure. The weapon won't be too difficult, but I can see some challenges with other items such as clothing- I'm not sure if I want to go primitive (since I've already done that), or do something a little more involved (pants. exciting. :)
First thing's first; I need to get stuff cleaned up a bit, then assembled and primed. May be a few days until my next post.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rackham Confrontation: Kyran the Hunter

Here's one of the last Confrontation Kelt figures I ever bought (before Rackham went Kablooey.) His old paint job was fine, but I wanted to rebase him to use in D&D as a shaman. I figured as long as I was tearing up his old base for a new landscaped base, I might as well repaint him, too.
He will go along with my new Drac Mac Syro, as well as a few other Rackham Kelts I'm repainting in between projects. These could make some decent Dark Sun figures (if you're not too particular that Drac's sword is metal- even if it is rusted.)
Small thing I just noticed: I forgot to paint the little earing on the wildcat's ear. That fix will take all of 2 minutes.

He went relatively fast, sort of. I assembled the base a few months ago. Painted the rocks a few weeks after that, added some grass a few weeks after that, painted the skin at the beginning of this week, and finished up everything else this evening. Sometimes one figure paints up over the months such as Kyran here, and sometimes a small tribe can be painted up in one month, such as my Waiteri tribe. I love them all, though.

Well, I guess I'll have to go rootin' through the lead mountain to see what else to paint. It's been a while since I haven't had anything new to paint. I guess I could start on another Kelt.

54mm Waiteri tribe: The Chief!

Oh boy, I like this one! The random leopard print turned out ok, but I'm really happy with the look of his fur cape liner with all the animal paintings in it. Each animal can be improved a bit (and I will do a little touch up later), but the look is exactly what I wanted.

I like the rest of the chief as well. To me, all the parts work together; there is no question that, if you look at at the rest of the tribe and then at this figure, THIS is the chief. And really, that's what I wanted to do.

The next few figures will arrive sometime next week. I'll see if I can finish a couple other 28mm figures before the new tribal members arrive. I especially want to finish my Rackham barbarian shaman (featured in my Flesh recipe post from just a few days ago.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Fire maker

So this fellow isn't necessarily a fire maker as much as he is the fire keeper. I only call him firemaker because that is one of the character types available in the game "Tusk," one of the reasons I made these figures in the first place.

This is actually the second fire lantern I've made (Here is my first attempt at 28mm size.) This one is a little larger than I wanted, but this firemaker has some big muscles, so he can handle it.

One of the new figures I ordered is a copy of this one. The second copy of this figure will get a spear instead of a fire lantern, as well as some travel gear -- maybe a pouch, bedroll or a bundle of kindling -- and he'll be sent off with the scouts.

Minor note: Today I found some oval-shaped pieces of MDF that are the perfect size to be bases for my mammoth(s?) I almost have all the materials I need for that project.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: The scouts emerge from the forest

I realized that all of my scouts are finished, so here are a couple terrain shots for you to enjoy. This is the scene I envisioned the first time I saw these two figures (the ones up front) over at Bronze Age Miniatures.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

54mm Waiteri tribe: Archer hunter

This figure is the second figure in the tribe I converted, and I think it shows: I think there's just a little bit too much going on with her. She feels a bit cluttered. I was in that mode of "let's see what else I can do," and I may have added too much stuff (maybe the cape is too much? No, I think it's the spots on the hide; I could still paint over those. Nothing is varnished yet.) But I made her, painted her, and she still fits with the tribe, so I'll call her a success.

In the meantime, I've done a lot of painting on the fire maker. I may have him finished by the end of the weekend. All that's left now is the chief ... and three more figures in the mail on their way here.

Of the next three figures, two are copies of figures I already have; I'll give them different hair and weapons to add variety. I may do not a headswap, but a head repositioning on one of the new figures. It should be easy, and the long hair will hide any bad joinery on my part. The third figure is another female. She is in a throwing motion, so I will try to make her into an atlatlist.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Caucasian flesh palette

What, no Waiteri tribe?! No, I'm still working on the tribe, in fact, I just sent payment to Bronze Age for the next few figures in my tribe. If I wasn't worried about space, I'd probably have a 50-member tribe :)

Anyway, I wanted to share the flesh color recipe I use for my figures. Actually, the Waiteri tribe is the first set of figures I've used this specific recipe on. (This recipe differs from an earlier one only in the base shade I use; in the older recipe, I started with a mix of Foundry flesh 5A and GW Dwarf flesh.)

There, that's it! Darkest to lightest from left to right. Now you know what to get if you want to try my recipe. Below is a project I've had sitting off to the side for a while, a Rackham Confrontation barbarian. It's difficult to actually see the divisions of paint layers, but, dangit, I took all them photos and pasted them together, I'm gonna use'em! Besides, I like making my blog look nice and flashy sometimes :) Plus, you can get a preview of that figure. I hope to use him in D&D sometime as a shaman.

Anyway, I was thinking about different uses for Bronze Age Miniatures generic figures, and I thought, beyond sculpting, the generic figures would be great for practicing your own flesh recipes! The 54mm figures are big enough to make trying out flesh colors nice and easy- you can paint one up to be your main example model for painting up the rest of your figures. (If you use 28mm figs, you can use the 54mm figure as a giant perhaps.)
If the 54mm figures are beyond your price range, then try Bronze Age's 32mm generic figures; $2.75 a pop isn't bad at all! Well, it's not bad for me. At least on weeks when I don't have to pay for my car to be repaired.