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, March 31, 2012

Paranormal Investigators: Cops

I guess no paranormal investigation would be complete without a meddling sheriff and his skeptical deputy.

I kept these two fellas good and simple, choosing police blue over state trooper beige. A little bit of gray highlight to the black pants, and a couple nice stripes finished these two off quite easily.

I still haven't ordered the second round of Fantasy Flight Games monsters. The company isn't shipping until next week, so I'm gonna wait a bit.

In the mean time, I still have a few figures on the table - a doctor (I'm enjoying the odd random modern figure), a cultist (fantasy version, but could easily pass for modern), and an apprentice wizard figure (just a kid carrying some books, but still a quaint little figure.)

I like doing these modern civilian figures; they'll add some good flexibility to Cthulhu mythos RPGing. That, and they're a lot easier to paint and choose colors for. Reaper's Chronoscope line has been slowly satisfying that niche for me, and at a rate that I can afford. I hope they add some unarmed business types soon- need that guy from the EPA.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

FFG Repaint Prepaints: Dark Young

In the end, I finally decided to use a simple palette for this dark young. But I kept with the theme of an earthy color (the dark green body) and an "ethereal" color (the sky blue tentacle tips.)\

All these figures painted up really fast (all done in two days.) I'm putting together my next order. So far, that list only includes a Mi-go and a proto-shoggoth. I may add the Dunwich horror as well as a Yithian (my favorite of all the Lovecraftian creatures).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FFG Repaint Prepaints: Wailing writher

Oh boy, this was fun, and probably about the most disturbing thing I've painted. I didn't know what color to use, so I used a bunch of colors.

This effect is actually easy to do. First of all, everything (but the details in the mouths) is drybrushed. Start with your base shades of each color, painting and blending them. THAT is the hard part.

As long as you blended your base shades well, everything else will come together just fine. For each color, simply drybrush each successive highlight in a smaller and smaller area, centered on your base shade. That's it.

Once all the main colors were painted, I went ahead and painted all the mouths and teeth (which took a while, and was a tad tedious.) I chose these colors for similar reasons as the crawling one painted earlier; some colorful shades to represent the ethereal, and regular human colors for the mouths (the business end of this monster.)

FFG Prepaint Repaints: Crawling one and hound of Tindalos

Here are my first two repainted Fantasy Flight Games monsters. I love'em. They painted up easily with just a few layers of dry and overbrushing, picking out the details of the eyes, tongue and teeth on the hound.

When the figures arrived, they were glued to their bases, so I hide to carefully cajole/rip them out. Any leftover peg was easily cut away with an Exacto knife. And, as you can see here, I rebased them on a couple lipped display bases.

Priming was easy. I just painted on a couple layers of acrylic black. The acrylic is nice because it's flexible after it has dried, which is important on soft plastic figures such as these. The paint isn't indestructible; it can still be scraped off, but the figures should stand regular handling- at least by those who regular clip their finger nails.

The crawling one, I chose to do in fleshy colors, because I think the human flesh color increases the "horror" factor of the beast by connecting it to humanity in one way. Yet I blended in the purples to emphasize the crawling one's other-worldyness.

The Hound of Tindalos, I kept basic. The colors on this on are a bit brighter than those I painted on Charlie's earlier. I chose the tile floor for the hound because the beast is described as something that hides in the "corners" of time. So I wanted to give him as many corners as I could.

Next up are the Writhing Witherer and the Dark Young. I'm actually a bit stuck as to what colors I'm going to paint these two. Once I choose a palette, though, I'm sure they'll paint up fast.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

42mm Samurai: Unarmored samurai advancing with katana

Here's one of the new Steve Barber samurai (yet to be released). This sculpt was a real treat to paint- I think my favorite to paint of the whole collection.

The sculpt has great sweeping planes of surface which are great for a beginner to try out different techniques (layering, blending and maybe some drybrushing.) But the sculpt also allows for the more experienced painter to add things such as flowers, prints and patterns, mud splatters etc. on the samurai's clothing.

The only thing I caution against the novice is that the katana blade is a separate piece and may take a tiny amount of drilling and filing to get a snug fit, but the blades are beautifully shaped, so a little effort is worth it. Or you can just do what I do and hammer out your own blades.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fantasy Flight Games Arkham prepaints

My small order of Fantasy Flight Games prepainted Arkham Horror monsters arrived today. The smaller monsters I got (from left, the crawling one and the hound of tindalos) have what you'd expect for a prepainted figure, looking like it was phoned in from the Philippines, but the two larger figures I ordered, the wailing witherer and the Dark Young, aren't half bad!

I've removed the figures from the bases they were glued to (game-specific bases meant for playing Arkham Horror or Mansions of Madness), and replaced them with regular figure bases. The tommy gunner is a Copplestone Castings gangster to give you a sense of the scale of these monsters.

And yes, I do plan on repainting these real soon.

42mm Samurai update:
I have another Steve Barber Samurai on the table. He's not yet available for sale, but you'll get a sneak-peak look at him here at my blog after I've finished painting him.
(The sculpt looks great, Steve!)

For those able to attend Salute in the UK on April 21, Steve Barber is bringing his wares there, so stop by and take a look. The man, like me, works in many scales and many genres, so you're sure to find something you'll like.
Another of my favorites, Heresy Miniatures, will also be at Salute. But, hmm, I don't see Copplestone Castings on the list. Oh well, you all across the pond will have lots of fun anyway, while I'm stuck here in Iowa, USA.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

War poster

Well, I meant to post this only for family, but it was accidentally posted on my painting blog for a few moments. And since I see a bunch of folks have clicked on it (only to find a "sorry" message), I'll go ahead and share this.

I'm not sure if there's a specific name for this kind of poster. I assume all the guys in the division could get one. As is self-evident, the poster gives a campaign record of the division (in this case, the 79th Inf. Division) during the war (Worlds War II). My grandfather, who died many years ago, has a set of four or five of these posters, and I got them when my grandmother died.

The posters are getting brittle and a bit yellowed, so I'm in the process of digitizing them for the rest of the family.

Here's a pic of my grandfather after he completed basic training (in California, I think). Interestingly, he started off with the 6th Armored Division, but was transferred to the 79th Infantry somewhere along the line. I'm not much of a historian, but I figured you'd transfer troops within a division, but not between divisions(?) (I welcome any enlightenment.)

Anyway, his service record is scant; I do know (from his one-page discharge papers) that he got a bronze star for taking over his machinegun squad (.30 cal.) when his squad leader was hit. He's told a story of capturing a German colonel (one of my uncles still has the knife my grandfather "confiscated,") as well as a story about using his fluent Italian to boss around some unsuspecting Italian prisoners of war who were getting a bit uppity (He was from Reggio di Calabria.) Then there was the story he told that went, "And them Germans was usin' the 88s on us. One of'em hit right here, and blew me clear across over there."

I guess there are quite a few stories. I'm sure I'll remember some more later.

In any case, this is one of the men (the other being my dad) who opened my eyes to building, painting and creating.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mansions of Madness: A few repaints

Ok, these aren't really "re"paints since they came unpainted anyway. These figures belong to my friend Charlie, but he let me practice on them before I make my own purchase of some of the prepainted monsters over at Fantasy Flight, which I will indeed "re"paint.

These were 90% drybrushing. Only the eyes of the shoggoths and the eyes and mouths of the hounds of Tindalos were not drybrushed. And as requested by Charlie, I gloss varnished the tentacles on the chthonians.

By the way, has anyone seen the new prepainted Arkham/Mansion monsters over at Fantasy Flight Games? Go check'em out. Not the best sculpts in the world, but the price is right. I look forward to getting a few things: Yithian, Elder thing, dark young, crawling one and a wailing writher are in my shopping cart now.
You can see the beasties here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marsh troll

This fellow (Reaper No. 2609 Marsh Troll) was pretty easy to paint up. Since he was a larger figure, I drybrushed most of him, picking out details with the brush. The base I used was a touch large, so I added the lizard (from a Games Workshop lizard swarm pack.) I need to work on painting fish, though, I'm not sure when the next fish will come around. That's probably why I'm not so good at painting them :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Paranormal Investigators: Camera man

All done. Sure, I had some hobgoblins who were ready to go, but technically, I bought this guy first, so he got painted first. I'm happy with the results. Very little to talk about here (you've already seen how I did the camera; though I have added a couple cassette cases and an extra battery pack to his belt, all cut from cured green stuff.) Here you can see the original figure on the far left (from Reaper Chronoscope pack No. 50090.)

Since this sculpt actually looks like a young guy, I continued with the theme of having interns on my paranormal investigation team. And since my team is based out of my fictional world (of Arcadia, my own Lovecraftian pulp universe,) I've given this guy a letter jacket for my fictional university (Assyria Tech University - Go, Charioteers!)

Only after I finished sculpting the camera and arm did I discover that there is indeed a cameraman figure available (in one of the civilian packs from the Superfigs line.) But I like that I made/converted my own. And I think this sculpt fits my collection better; the Superfigs sculpt is more of a television-type cameraman- I wanted someone who looks like they're from the AV club.

Note on scenario design: Accommodating your audience
I was thinking about my old pulp film crew as I was painting this current camera man, and I remembered why I created that original crew: A friend of mine and his children started coming to our local game store's game night.

Here's the thing: My friends wanted to try a miniature's game, and not only were they looking for a game their children could play, but they're all pacifists (in every way: anti-war, TV/movie/videogame violence etc.) There weren't a lot of options for them in the way of nonviolent minis games. So I "re-skinned" my game of Tusk (prehistoric or Victorian "lost world" dinosaur hunting) by creating this film crew.

It was no longer the goal of the players to shoot the dinosaurs. Now, the goal was to film the dinosaurs. The rules conversion was simple; I used all the same Tusk hunting mechanics, but instead of a gun (or spear or bow), it was a camera. Later I added the sound guy who would try to record dinosaur sounds (he had to get closer to the dinosaurs due to the shorter range of the microphone). The director added bonuses to the attempts at recording the sounds and images of the dinos. If the dinosaurs got to close, the crew was simply allowed to run away (so no one got eaten.) It was a great game that the kids loved; and I got some good experience converting miniatures.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paranormal investigators: Camera Man WIP update

Well, not bad for 30 minutes work (for me, anyway.) It's not the best, but it turned out better than I thought it would. There are a couple minor tweaks to make, but otherwise, there's nothing to do but wait for the greenstuff to cure, and then to cover up my average sculpting skills with my much better painting skills.

Paranormal investigators: Camera man wip

This little project is a touch more ambitious than I'm comfortable with, but my paranormal investigators needed a cameraman. The figure is the "jock" from Reaper Chronoscope No. 50090, "Townsfolk: Jock, Chick, Nerd." His right arm was originally holding a football tucked close. The arm was easy to clip and file away to give me a "blank slate" to work with.

I cut the pieces of the camera out of cured green stuff. I can't cut a right angle worth a crap, so I hope that the novelty of the figure is enough to distract folks from the rough angles. It's certainly not a bad piece of work on the camera- I'm happy with the results; there's just room for improvement.

The tough part (for me) will be sculpting the arm, especially the hand. Luckily, with the wire as a base, I can tackle this in stages. I'll do the arm first, let it cure, and then do the hand later. I could also cheat, and just find a fist from a figure in the bits box to add to this figure.

And yes, in this modern world where everything has a digital camera the size of a pea attached, I chose to go old school with a large camcorder. To me, it just looks more natural. That, and this whole project was indeed inspired by a 1980s movie (Ghostbusters.)

Other news: I was just over at the Reaper site (looking up the number of the figure above); they have a new range called "Bones." It looks like unpainted plastic figures (NOT resin.) Nice figures and cheap- I may have a go at one or two- Purple worm is $2.99?!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Free shipping and what's up next

One thing I like about the low threshold to get free shipping from Reaper Miniatures is that I don't have to buy a bunch of figures all at once. I can buy a dozen or fewer figures, which cuts down on preparation time and allows me to get to painting. If I have 20 or 30 figures sitting on my table (many sites require up to $100 in purchases before offering free shipping), it gets imposing, and inevitably, I won't finish some of them. This only adds to my lead mountain.

So what does this mean? Well, I've been looking at some more figures to add to my Ghostbusters collection, but first, I have to finish the D&D figures on my table. Luckily, all I have are three hobgoblins and a cyclops to finish (thanks to not having to buy a ton of figures with my last purchase). The figures I'm interested in adding -- specifically, I'm look at a sheriff and his deputy as well as a few more zombies to add to the collection -- are also from Reaper (Chronoscope) so it's gonna be free shipping again!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stone Lurker (finished)

I think the paint really brought this figure together. I'm very happy with the results. Green stuff continues to be my favored medium for tentacles: It takes paint well; It remains flexible, so it's not going to easily break; and it forms a strong bond with super glue.

I'd still like to figure out how to make more chiseled edges with Sculpey. I may just need to bake some blocks of sculpey and actually chisel it to make larger rocks and such. I'd also like to figure out how to sculpt teeth; I think my lack of dentistry skills is keeping me from sculpting other things.

Stone Lurker small update

The tentacles are attached. I think they've improved the look of my lurker; I really think the paint will bring everything together. Time to prime!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things made of stone (and Sculpey)

I've been wanting a stone lurker for my little D&D collection, but I don't like spending money on stuff that looks like rocks. It's not as good as most of the stuff out there, but it's handmade and it's mine. The lurker is baking in the oven right now. I've poked a few holes in its sides; this is where the tentacles will insert.

I'll make the tentacles out of green stuff. I won't make actual tentacles with suckers and planes and all- I'm gonna do the simple rolled-green stuff versions (I prefer the whip look over the tentacle look for the lurker, anyway.)

I'll also add some large rocks and gravel (and a couple grass tuffs) to the lurker to fill out the base. Looking a little further ahead, I think I will paint the eye as a giant gem (much like the beholder I recently posted.)

I had some leftover Sculpey from the stone lurker's body, so I played around with it and managed to make a convincing dragon's head. I only did one side of the face- I wasn't very dedicated. But what to do with it? I didn't want to destroy it. In the end, I've decided it will be the stone head of some long-ago-broken statue. I think I'll use it to decorate a base. It's large, so it'd need to decorate the base of a large monster, which I don't have many to choose from, yet. Perhaps I could use it for one of my 54mm figures?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hippogriff and Beholder repaints

Another couple figures for Jeff. he actually let me borrow these so I could test a couple priming techniques before tackling that black dragon. Since they were both primed, I went ahead and painted them up. They painted up really fast, being almost 90% drybrushed. 

I enjoyed trying something slightly different with the beholder's jewel-like eyes and teeth. I think I want my own beholder now.