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, May 31, 2011

Green interlude: Reaper goblin

I'm painting the next two figures for my second Qwik team. In between drying layers, I would throw some paint on this little fellow who I found sitting lonely in a figure case. He's so small, it only took a few splashes of paint to finish him up.

I also wanted to a skin color slightly different from the cliched "goblin green." This skin is direct from Foundry's Drab triad (with a final highlight of Raw Linen C.) It still has a strong green base shade, but it is much lighter, which makes sense for a creature that spends its time out of the sun.

I can't remember what set (or the No.) he comes from, but I know for sure that he's a Reaper figure. I hope to use him as a D&D character in the future: A goblin raised by elves.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Freelance driver

Here's an extra driver for whomever needs a replacement during the course of a game. I'm informally calling him the Green Knight.

His pack is made up of a couple extra jerry cans from a Tamiya kit, some copper wire for rope, and packs and bedroll from green stuff. The weapon has a styrene cutting head wrapped with twine onto a brass rod, capped at bottom with a filed down mace head.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Macellos finished!

Here's the last player for my Macello team, the last driver. I was worried a bit with this figure, because his helmet with a bit of a fin, the symmetrical cross belt and relatively tidy loin cloth gave him a bit of a retro Flash Gordon look (to me, anyway.) But the rust quickly took all that away and made him a proper Qwik player.

The Macellos are ready to play. Now, on to the Dirt Dogs!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Macello Driver 2

Here's my second Macello driver. This was the first figure of the whole bunch that I started converting; he has a diverse array of garment, evidence of my experimentations with greenstuff and Sculpey as I searched out a "look" for the team.

Just one more driver for the Macellai, then on to the Dirt Dogs.

I also wanted to mention that I've been enjoying painting all of the metal of these figures with plenty of rust. It's an easy recipe: Some red brown, followed by a dark orange, and finally some silver - all of it stippled.

One thing I forgot to do was to make a mutant or two. I guess this will be reason enough to maybe later order a couple more BronzeAge generics to cut up and mutate -- a tentacle here, maybe an extra limb or two there. They'd be added to my pool of freelance players (of which I only have one now).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Qwik and Chain players

Qwik 54mm

I was stuck on these for a couple days; the red warpaint just wasn't looking right to me, so I switched to my old standby Waiteri Black. Not much else to say about these two. I didn't do anything special; though, the chain player turned out good. I'd still like to figure out a way to get some more traditional chains in mid-swing, but I think my compromise works for this genre.

Just a couple players to finish for the Macello team -- a couple drivers -- then on to the Dirt Dogs, then time to play!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bloody Bradigan

 I had been working intently on the Qwik figures for almost a month; I needed a break. While surfing the web, I came across Bloody Bradigan. The pose struck me first. Here's a fighter with a "Can do" attitude! Then there were the chains, the broken bottle, the bully moustache. This was one of those rare figures that hit me at just the right time.

My local game store had one. I bought it. 48 hours later, I have his image posted here. It's difficult to see here, but the base is half stone (mostly covered in grass) and half plank. I wanted to write a little story with the figure and the base. The figure says, to me, "I'm an escaped convict." And the base I want to say "And I'm leaving town straight for the docks to reclaim my ship!" It's not a big story; it's not a big base either.

I added the sword (stolen during his escape). It's a leftover gladius from my 54mm gladiators.

I don't play Warmachine, so I think I will use Bradigan here as a D&D character, probably a brawler fighter, for those in the know.

I don't play Warmachine, but I may have to purchase some more of the Sea Dogs and press gangers. Lovely figures all. But I still have plenty of Qwik figures to keep me busy for the next couple weeks (I have vacation one of those weeks- and I'm staying home! Paint, paint, paint!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Female Chain

This figure more decidedly has a post-apocalyptic look: rags, rusted metal and a good ole fashioned road warrior mohawk. I'm happy with her style; She's just enough scifi/post-apoc without going overboard. I'm also happy with the low-key colors (aside from the blue warpaint.)

Since this chain player's pose wasn't in mid-swing with her chain, I was able to use a more traditional looking chain. The chain was just some cheap chain in Hobby Lobby's bead section (it's actually listed as "cable.") $3 for 18 inches of chain, I think it was.

I'm not sure which figure I'll paint next. Perhaps the other chain player, maybe another driver. I'll know once I start painting.

Quick note: Hmm, I think this figure is awfully close to what I would do if I were to sculpt up some Picts for my 54mm Conan figure to fight (except for the chain weapon and armor; I think it's the colors/warpaint and style that I like). The look is not necessarily what Howard describes (short, stocky with long hair), but perhaps I could do one of the pictish tribes only mentioned in passing in Howard's stories, and make it my own.
What am I doing- I still have many other projects to do :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Qwik 54mm: First player finished!

About two and a half weeks from figures arriving to the first one being completely finished; here she is, a female driver (heavily influenced by Brom.) I know I said one team would have red warpaint, and the other blue, but on this figure, I thought red warpaint might make her look a little bit busy. But I DID manage to slip in some red on the two connectors on the right of her torso.

The hammer head is from a Boris figure from Heresy Miniatures (with a new handle made from brass rod.)

I'm also happy with the knee-high boots. I was a bit worried with how those would turn out.

This is my most "Brom" looking figure of the bunch. The rest, on both teams, are a mix of Brom and Road Warrior.

And no, I didn't censor her nipples with Photoshop. I painted the "X"s over them to add to her look. (I copied the idea from another post-apocalyptic image.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Female players WIP

I finally got past the procrastination and put paint to metal. Here are a couple females, one from each team (which will be differentiated by blue and red warpaint.) The figure to the left will be kept in a black scheme, perhaps with a brown leather gas mask with metal accents. I'm not quite sure how to approach the other yet. For sure, her chain will be all rusted. I think most of her armor will be leather, maybe with a couple metal plates or trim.

Qwik 54mm: Stakes and beans

Nothing major here; While I waited for the primer to settle on the figures, I threw together a couple dog skulls (called "beans" in the game) and a couple stakes on which to score.

The stakes are made simply from brass rod driven into poker chip bases (to add some consistency with the rest of the figures.) The dog skulls are made from greenstuff. I mounted them on small 20mm bases, that way, I can drop the small base onto the larger base of the figure carrying the skull. I only needed one skull, but I had pulled a little more greenstuff out than I needed in one go. That, and it doesn't hurt to have an extra. I even had enough leftover to make a third (somewhat smaller) skull which I used to add some decoration to my freelance driver.

The glue under the static grass in these photos hasn't quite dried. When it does, I will add a tuft or two to the stake bases (the same tufts you can see on the figure in the background.)

With the primer dry, and the stakes, beans, field and some terrain finished, all that is left to do is paint the players!

Friday, May 13, 2011


All righty! My site has received 100,000 hits, not simply page loads (about 200,000) from search engines and whatnot, but actual unique visits by all of you!

I've had the blog since May 2007 (Hey, my blog is 4 years old, too), though I didn't start tracking stats until 2008. That year, I had around 8,000 hits. That number jumped up to 26,000 in 2009, and a whopping 45,000 last year! (Well, it's "whopping" to me.) And I have 21,000 hits so far this year. So I'm on pace to have another 45,000-hit year.

Thank you to all my visitors (all 15,000 of you first-timers), but especially my followers (186 as of this posting) and repeat visitors (5,000 of you). Honestly, this blog was started so that I could simply keep a record of my hobby; having an audience is admittedly a vain bonus.

And what an audience -- You all are visiting from all over kingdom come (and these are recent numbers):
About 30% are from the United States
17% from the U.K.
10% from Spain
6% from Canada
5% each from Germany, Poland and the Netherlands
... and many other countries, all the way down to a visitor each from the Northern Mariana Islands, New Zealand, Finland and Ireland.

The cities I'm getting my most visits from are Peterborough, U.K., followed by Des Moines, Iowa (near my hometown of Ames); Bilbao, Spain; London, U.K.; and Budapest, Hungary. (Granted, these are all recent stats. I also get a LOT of traffic from France ((mostly Paris.))

And my most popular subjects continue to be my Ghostbusters/paranormal investigators (followed by my Bad Bay Hackers, Waiteri Tribe and Steve Barber Samurai.)

Something I especially like about blogging (and our shared hobby) is that it's firmly international. Thousands of us across the world sit at our own little tables tucked away in the deep corners of our homes; artisans and artists meting out bits of creativity on our own terms, yet with the quick click of a button, we can take a quick glance at what someone across the ocean is painting, sculpting or building. 10 years ago, I'd have never imagined someone from Spain, Hungary or New Zealand making comments about my figures. And even 10 years ago, it was still somewhat difficult to find as many blogs, galleries and tutorials as there are on the internet today.

Now to see how long it takes to get to a half million hits....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Lorn Sands, freelance jugger

Here's my (nearly) complete freelance jugger Lorn Sands. Last night I finished his pack which is made up of a couple leftover jerry cans (for water) from a Tamiya kit, greenstuff bedroll and pack, some rope/cable (made with copper wire), and a jugger helmet made from Sculpey. To finish him off, I'm gonna have him wear a pair of fur-topped boots (since it's a fairly easy conversion to make.)

I originally wanted to have a dead rabbit hanging off the side of his pack, but I just couldn't get it right. I may try again tonight; there is still space on one side of the pack (above the rope.)

I think this one is my favorite of the bunch. I'm not so keen with the mace end of his driver weapon, so I may make him a new one, but I like everything else about the figure. I think the pack helped give him a better post-apocalyptic look than the others.

Lorn is my last jugger; I'm pleased with the "look" of the teams. My original intent was to have these players deep into the post-apocalypse, so there would be less actual clothing and more rags and skins; no guns (at least as scenic accessories since they wouldn't be used for Qwik), just melee; and I wanted these figures to matchup with my old Waiteri tribe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Macellos ready to paint

... And here's my other team, the Macellos (pronounced ma-'che-lo; without the "s," it's Italian for "slaughterhouse," at least according to Google translate.)

The chain turned out all right. I have him swinging two cabled flails, the heads of which will be painted to look like concrete blocks. I'm very happy with how his helmet turned out. You can't see it in this photo, but the helmet does not go all the way around; it's more like a large metal mask. In the back, I have the chain player's long hair hanging down.

Before I start priming everything, I still want to finish up my freelance driver. I just need to give him some fur-top boots, pack and bedroll. Everything should be primed by the end of the weekend. Unfortunately, that weekend leads into my busy week for the month at the office. But I do have vacation at the end of the month, and no travel plans....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Dirt Dogs ready for painting

Here's my first team, all built and ready for priming, basing and painting. I've decided to name them the Dirt Dogs, an appropriate post-apocalyptic name, methinks. I'm not sure what I'll name the other team yet.

I found a decent piece of jewelry chain for the chain player. The chain for the other chain player will be a little more difficult because I want his chain to be in mid-swing. I think I've hit on a compromise using some braided (twisted) copper wire which would represent metal cables rather than linked chains.

That other chain player is also the last figure I need to finish to complete the other team. I also have an eleventh figure which I will use as an independent/freelance driver. He'll have a small pack on his back and a few extra pieces of clothing/rags as if he's wandering the wasteland looking for a game.

How to carry yourself

I was at Hobby Lobby today browsing around when I came across this little box for $5. I had been searching for a nice way of transporting my D&D character to and from gaming sessions and this fit the bill! I had plenty of extra foam from other figure cases, so it was just a matter of cutting the pieces (and getting enough to get a good thick layer of foam so that the figure wasn't rolling around) to fit this box.

It would be a little bit tricky, but I could lay out the foam differently to accommodate two figures (or even one 54mm figure.) For now, the box will be just for one figure at a time.

There's probably enough space to put a set of gaming dice in there, too (perhaps beneath the foam.)

A quick note on the photo: The figure is not stored in the box standing up that way. I just stood him up so you could see better that it was indeed a mini. Otherwise, you'd be staring at the bottom of a minis base.

Stylish Blog

Ok, ok, I give up and accept a Stylish Blog award. So what were the rules ... oh, ok, 7 things about myself, then nominate 10-15 other blogs... hmm.

Ok, Seven things about me:

1: I'm earn money as a copy editor for the Ames Tribune here in Ames, Iowa, but I also draw the political cartoons for the paper (hence my handle, "Evilcartoonist" on many other forums.
(Even as a copy editor, you may notice a few mistakes here and there on my blog. That's because I don't bring my work home :)

2: I got into miniatures (and gaming) after watching Clash of the Titans back in 1980. Zeus had a room where the walls were covered with shelf (little alcoves, really) upon shelf of small stone figurines. After seeing that, I wanted my own wall of mortals to play with.

3: I was born in Kansas City, but have lived in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ames, Iowa. Out of all the places I've lived, I prefer little old Ames.

4: I worked a few times at a sawmill. It was my grandpa's sawmill. And I love the smell of sawdust.

5: My great grandmother was the first woman to get a pilot's license on the Missouri River. She piloted a ferry at Brownville, Nebraska. On board that boat, they had a mouse she would feed cheese and whiskey.

6: I like the semicolon; it's my favorite punctuation mark.

7: I have a pretty good tolerance for subfreezing cold; I can walk the block in a T-shirt, jeans, and sandals while it's -20 degrees (Fahrenheit) and not bat an eyelash (at least I've done that a few times to walk the dog.) But I don't do it as a machismo thing; I do it because I'm too damn lazy to put a coat on for being outside only 10 or 15 minutes. If I go on a long walk when it's that cold, though, I'll throw on a long-sleeved shirt, sweater, coat, scarf, hat, boots, heavy pants, long johns and gloves; I may have a good tolerance, but I still prefer comfort over cold :)

Nominate 10-15 other blogs? Honestly, I don't read a lot of other blogs. I don't think I regularly read any one blog. I do a lot of blog surfing to find good tutorials and get a little inspiration when I start a new project. Let me think... I guess there are a couple blogs/sites I look at semi-regularly:

Matakishi's Tea House ( He does a lot of stuff I'm interested in. He also goes about it the same as I do, choosing a project and going all out on it. I LOVE his Tarzan collection. I was looking at Matakishi's stuff before I had my own blog.

Hetairoi Wargames ( Mostly because I enjoy gladiator games, and Hetairoi did everything I wanted to do when I got my first Foundry gladiators many years ago. ( I love the extensive galleries of figures he has displayed. The site hasn't been updated in quite some time, but there's still so much to browse through. I still go back now and again to admire his clean and competent painting style.

I know there are so many other excellent blogs I have looked at, I just can't think of their titles. Honestly, if you want to look at some good blogs, just start with my list of followers. I think just about every single one of them has something to offer. What's great about my followers is that my diverse tastes have gained a diverse following, so you're sure to find something there that interest you, be it Warhammer, historical, scifi, or other uncategorizeable oddity.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Patience and progress

I had forgotten how much patience was needed to work this extensively with greenstuff; Lay down some greenstuff, wait for it to cure. Lay down some more, wait for it to cure. But I am making progress, and here it is. I have three other figures still yet not seen here; my two chains and one other figure, none of which I have added any greenstuff to. The rest of these figures show my remaining driver players and my two qwiks. All that is left to do on most of the figures are some boots, wrappings or other footwear (with accompanying leg/shin armor if any.) And a couple figures still need body armor. These are turning out about as I expected. I can't wait to see how they look painted.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Qwik 54mm: First driver is built!

Here's my first driver. Not too bad, methinks. When I do greenstuff work, I usually count on my painting skill to hide my junior sculpting skills. Here you can see how I do my boots; I just do the tops and let the original sculpt do the rest of the work (now you can see why I like the Bronzeage sculpts.) The greenstuff on the toe of the boots is meant to represent steel tips.

I need to pick up primer first, but I think I'm going to try to get this figure painted up while I work on the others; I want to set her on the work bench to inspire my other creations.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Driver weapons

Another quick update; here are the final weapons for all the drivers (I may add a couple wrappings here and there maybe.) My favorite is the apocalyptic chainsaw. The serrated edges of the chainsaw and a couple of the others was achieved by simply using a triangle file and filing out a few teeth into the plasticard. I really wanted to have a couple of these serrated weapons to help achieve somewhat of the "Brom" look I'm looking for. Now I only have to make weapons for the chain players. One will be easy, the other more difficult because the chain needs to be flying through the air. I may just cheat it and make the "chain" part of the weapon a piece of cable (which I can simply "paint" onto a piece of bent brass rod.)

54mm Qwik: BIG hammer

So the plan to do one figure at a time went by the wayside real fast. So here's my new plan: No plan. I'm just going to sling green stuff and build weapons until all the figures are finished (with periodic updates here.) I may paint one or two finished figures before the rest, though I'd prefer to get everything built, then prime and paint all at once.

I'm happy with my gas mask lady and her overly large hammer. I'll finish her up with a pair of boots, some straps to hold the gas mask on, then I'll call her good.

Oh, and I need to remind myself to paint her nipples to look like they're covered with electrical tape.

Here are the figures I've worked on so far. The driver in the center may yet still be made into a chain player, though I do like how imposing he looks with that large spiked club.

Monday, May 2, 2011

54mm Qwik: Strapping man

To give all the figures a more hodge-podge apocalyptic look, I think I'll work on them one at a time. This will make the project go longer, but it will also help me to concentrate on one figure at a time.
Here, you can see I've added some straps to hold the armor together, and to hold the facemask on. I didn't have any old toothpaste tubes, but I did have this old Neosporin tube. All you need is an Exacto knife and a steady hand (or a straight edge.) It works really well!

The armor came out a little thick on this figure, making him look a bit larger than he should be; then again, he IS a hero of the wasteland, so there's nothing wrong with a bit of extra size. The armor is still a little too "clean" for my taste, so I think I will "wasteland" it up by adding some tatters of clothing, rags, ribbons or other random assortments of old fabric (using greenstuff.)

The weapon has a typical setup for the Driver (one of the player positions for Jugger/Qwik.) The back end (harder to see) with the wheel disk is the "driving" end, and the scythe-like blade is the "sweeping" end. I don't have plans for a "sweeping" end to all of my driver's weapons, but there'll be enough to give a general idea.

On this figure, I still have to do the backside loin cloth, a pair of boots/(with shinguards), maybe some arm bracers, a belt, a few more straps, and those aformentioned tattered rags hanging from the armor. But it's already been a long morning (and a long celebratory night with the bin Laden news,) so I'm going to have myself a little siesta, now.