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.