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, December 31, 2013

HS38 Rocket Bikes: The rest of'em

Here are all of my rocket bikes finished. They were all fun to put together and to paint. I ordered a couple more which should be here later this week.

They were all made using the same model (by Bombshell Miniatures,) with the engines repositioned on a couple of the rockets, and a nose cone added to the last rocket.

The only parts not from the package were the much lager 60mm bases I'm using in lieu of the 40mm lipped bases provided, and the small sensor package (random bit) on the right side of the orange/white rocket

I will make one of the next rockets a four-engine, no-wing variant, with all the engines on the back. I'd also like to add an extended nose cone to that one (using green stuff), but I'm not sure I could do something as even as the nose cone on the blue rocket.

Next up will be the new 42mm samurai, followed by a couple more rockets (which have been ordered and shipped.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

HS38 Rocket Bike: The red one

Here's the first of my rocket bikes (by Bombshell Miniatures.) They don't sell any rocket bikes in this configuration. But it was simple enough to simply pin the engines up front like this.

The other bikes' colors are good, but this one, I think. has the racing-est colors. The pilot is small (true 28mm), but the details are well-sculpted and easy to paint. It kind of reminded me of painting the Zombicide figures; it doesn't matter how tiny (or large) a figure is. As long as the sculpting is competent, the figure can be easily painted.

I had today (and tomorrow) off from work, and with cold and snow outside, I spent most of the day on-and-off painting rockets and samurai. I might finish another rocket before the night is done. The samurai are mostly done, but I've reached that part where only the skin is left to paint, and that's my least favorite part of painting; I usually do it first, but I was eager to try some new colors on these samurai. All of it will be done, sooner probably than later.

42mm Samurai: Foot bridge

I put together this simple foot bridge as a side project, during those little moments of waiting for paint or glue to dry. I had intended to put rails on it, but decided against it, because they would have added a modicum of fragility to the piece. Even without the rails, I think the bridge looks nice, and it's certainly functional.

The long beams (bass wood) were all soaked in water for a few minutes and then gently bent and held into shape on a jig I built for this job. Later I laid all the planks (strips of mat board). A few coats of red paint, and the bridge was done.
I still have the jig, so if I decide to add rails later, I can bend some new wood strips to the same camber as these.

Bombshell rockets WIP

The samurai are coming along slowly but nicely (I'm experimenting with a couple new colors), but these rockets are coming together faster than I had planned- and much nicer than I had hoped.

I'm enjoying trying out a bunch of racing colors; the Machinas cars were starting to burn me out on rust. I should have ordered five or six of these rockets (and I will soon be rectifying that.) These are also the first figures/models on which I've exclusively used Vallejo paints. I'll still be using Foundry paints for other stuff, but the Vallejo has made a good showing of itself. It'll be my new choice to fill my table racks when the Foundry's run out. It also helps that Vallejo is available at two of my local stores, now.

In case any of you were looking for this rocket, you can find them at Bombshell Miniatures. Highly recommended!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

WIP: Samurai and Rocket Racers

Here's what I've been working on the past couple days. I've assembled my new 42mm samurai by Steve Barber. This is my latest commission, multipart samurai with a couple different heads and a couple sets of arms (one set for sword and one for polearms.) The arms are a bit of a rough fit, but some basic modelling skills is all you need to get them together (a little bit of filing and a touch of greenstuff.) But the effort will yield a bunch of nice figures.

The four standing figures in the photo are all using the same torso with the different heads and arms. The monk (with the naginata) was made using the head from the archer figure. These should be fun to paint.

Next up are some rocket bikes by Bombshell Miniatures (designed and sculpted by industry veteran Patrick Kieth.) These are resin models with pewter figures. These are actually my first all-resin models, and they were quite easy to work with; as you can see, I converted the model into a few different variants, mostly by assembling different engine arrangements.

I'm working on a variant of Charioteer/Machinas for racing rockets through space, so these will be getting some racing colors. I'd like to get sponsorship decals, but I'd have to find some in 1/72 scale; these are small ships (true 28mm it looks like.) These will also be fun to paint!

Friday, December 27, 2013

42mm Nakadai and Mifune

My Steve Barber 42mm multipart samurai arrived today! They look sweet. I have a little bit of work ahead of me: I still need to clean them up; there'll be plenty of fitting, drilling and pinning; and I want to do some conversion work on one of the four copies I picked up (He'll get the priest's head from the archer sculpt, and maybe a robe or sash.)

The sculpt includes a torso and your choice of heads (see below) and arms for either carrying a spear (or other polearm) or arms holding a sword. Both sets of arms can be adjusted up or down to provide different poses. One of mine will be holding his katana high, and the other low. The third figure will be holding a spear in a basic at-ready pose, while the fourth will be my priest holding a naginata as if he's about to swing it. And, with this multipart figure, none of these poses will require any chopping or sawing!

Steve also mentioned to me during my last commission that he can sculpt head portraits, so I asked, for this commission, if he could do me up a Tatsuya Nakadai and a Toshiro Mifune. Of course he could! Here they are. A fun unshaven Mifune and a great "Sword of Doom"/"Yojimbo" Nakadai. I could have easily had my own portrait sculpted, but I'm a white guy and would't look right as a samurai.

I'm not sure when I'll go for another commission. This latest sculpt will allow for a lot of conversions. I (or any of you) could pay Steve to sculpt some more arms and/or heads to add to this multipart body. Or maybe a new torso that would fit the arms.

For a full figure, the next I might ask for would be either a samurai lord in robes (think the Lord in "Ran"), or maybe some lower-ranking samurai official in kimono with a haori jacket over it. Another idea I was thinking of was a multipart, barechested peasant who could be armed (as a peasant or a bandit), or given "civilian" arms to carry baskets, goods, or even (with two such peasants) a palanquin. I'd need to pay to have the palanquin sculpted, too.

These are just thoughts; I need to save up a little money first (Not to say the cost is prohibitive; Steve offers some good prices for his work. If you're thinking about something, check him out!)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Warming up the rockets

I ordered a few of these:

I'll be using a home-brew set of THW's Charioteer rules to race the new rockets. No shooting, no ramming; addition of aerobraking, planetary sling-shots, dodging asteroids; pure rocket racing. Should be fun.

Since these are a more retro design, I was thinking of doing them in black and white. Maybe. Though, I think I prefer color this time around.
By the way, these are available at Bombshell Miniatures.

Other news: No samurai yet. I think they got caught up in holiday mail and/or by U.S. Customs. Patience is the word.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The old wall

Yep, I went ahead and made a section of wall to go along with the corner. These are dangerously easy to make. The wall and the corner compliment each other nicely and will probably be used in conjunction (as in the photo) most of the time.

The wall is about 14 inches long and 4 inches wide at the base. I might need to get my butt moving and start selling some minis to make space for the Japanese.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ancient Japanese castle ruins

This isn't the ruins of an entire castle, obviously, but it's a nice little corner. The corner can serve as either an objective, intervening terrain or simply a piece to make the table look nice. It was inspired by the ruined castle seen in "Ran."

My friends Jen and Bryon came over to paint and build some terrain with blue foam, and I built this little corner from the scraps (and based on a Proxie Models 120mm circle base.)

The foam was stacked and glued. I used a foam cutter to cut the angle into two sides, and to cut loose/jutting blocks on the reverse sides.

Then I used a pencil to engrave all the stone lines. I covered the whole thing in a layer of wood glue (white glue also works) to give it some strength, but the glue also ended up mostly filling in all the engraving work.

I gave it a generous coat of dark gray paint, followed by overbrushings of lighter grays. Next, since the engraved lines were still somewhat visible, I used a fine-line brush and black paint to pick out the rock lines. I used a light gray/white to highlight to top edges of most of the stones to further define them.

Finally, I added a floral stem scrap to be a small fall tree, and used static grass to finish. That's a 42mm samurai standing next to the finished product, though, the corner can be easily used for 28mm figures.

I still might go back later and add some grass tufts or extra rocks, but I do like the clean look, too. Space is still limited in my apartment, but I think I've settled on my 42mm Japanese as my all-time favorites, so a few extras now and then for them doesn't bother me. I may even add a section of ruined wall to go along with this corner.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Low Life: Cremefillian with dammit hammer

Here is my first painted Low Life miniature. This is a cremefillian with his flaming dammit hammer. The figure is made by Mutha Oith Creations, who also make the popular Low Life RPG for the Savage Worlds system.

I have a few more figures in this set to paint, and a lot more eventually coming, each figure more savagely unique than the last.

Still no new samurai yet; they probably got caught up in holiday mail. But the delay is giving me some time to think about conversion ideas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Zombivor prototypes

Here are my first zombivors. It was a simple solution to merge my full-color survivors with my monochromatic zombies: Simply take out all the skin color.

I won't get to the rest of the zombivors anytime soon; I still have some samurai on the way, and I still need to get some figure cases to store all the zombie stuff. (I'm looking at the APC carriers at Portable Warfare.) One of these days, I'll actually get around to playing my copies of Zombicide (though, honestly, I also got a lot of this stuff to play All Things Zombie.)

I also finally -- FINALLY got my Low Life miniatures primed and ready to paint. Now, I just need to get back in the mood to paint those little weirdos.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sepia tone: Basic recipe

I tried out some colors from my paint rack to test some sepia tone palettes. This is my first try and probably the one I'll stick with when I paint up some of my pulp stuff. Here are the color I used (Vallejo Model Colors):

German Black Brown 150
Chocolate Brown 149
Flat Earth 143
Increasing amounts of White + Flat Earth for highlights

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Man's best friend

I was cleaning off the table in preparation for the incoming samurai when I uncovered these puppies. They were easy to do. I just needed to get some reference material to work from.

My zombie dogs will get the same paint treatment as the other zombies. I haven't played with the dogs yet, but I hear they're scary. Still, I think I'll turn it up to 11, and paint a few with the toxic and berserker variations.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Zombicide painting is under way (and Santa!)

I'm not going to paint all the zombies in one go; that would get a little overwhelming, and might get in the way of other projects as my whims stray. But after finishing this group up, I think I have a good chance of finishing the rest.

This batch took a couple sittings (maybe 2 to 3 hours total) to paint up. I think I will paint the zombies in batches of 20-30. This will help keep the project manageable, yet moving along.

The keen eye might notice here that most of these figures are actually berserker sculpts. I want to a Walk of the Dead box, but the local store only had the berserker box.

Then I had my eureka moment, realizing I was going to paint over these anyway. So now my normal zombies have even more diverse poses. Also, I used a little green stuff to turn a fatty into Santa.

Other stuff: I have some more 42mm samurai on the way from Steve Barber. Brand new (multipart) sculpts. We'll get into those later.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pulp Expedition in sepia

One of my fellow The Miniatures Pagers (Double W) is beginning to put together one of the first subjects that got me interested in doing pulp: The Central Asiatic Expeditions, a series of true adventures through warlord-era China into Mongolia to seek out dinosaur bones, led by Roy Chapman Andrews.

I recommend the book "Dragon Hunter" for anyone interested in checking out the story. Not the most accurate or complete account, it is nonetheless still an enjoyable read.

Anyway, After I had completed my black and white gangsters back in the day, I decided to try out some sepia tone. I wasn't completely happy with them at the time, but looking back, I kinda like'em now. And I have a bunch of unfinished/primed figures in that collection waiting for some sepia paint. Now if I could only remember the paint recipe!

As you can see by looking at the Crossley trucks, the collection actually started out in full color. This was one of my original paint-stripping jobs (and I think the first time I discovered Simple Green as a good paint stripper.) The collection is almost all Copplestone (of course!) with one or two Foundry and Artizan Designs figures. A couple favorites of mine are the rocketmen with scratch-built rocket packs (made from plasticard, roman shields and a chainsaw engine with the blade cut away.

This isn't my entire sepia expedition- I have a few soldiers, more Crossleys (by Models of Yesteryear,) a couple tents and lots of baggage (as all expeditions should have.) If I get them painted all up, I'll post them, of course.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Zombicide zombie painting

So here are my first prototypes of the three zombie classes in the Zombicide game. I finally settled on a green palette for my toxic zombies; I got rid of the neon green look because it just wouldn't match up well with the other zombies.

Under each photo below is the palette I used for each zombie type. The colors come from a combination of Foundry, Vallejo Model Color and Reaper HD. I still might change up the toxic zombies just a touch; I think I'll use a slightly darker base coat, thought these still work for me.

Normal Zombies

- Start with a base coat of black.
- Do an all-around overbrushing of the figure with German Grey (167). Black and darker clothes can stop at this point.
- To a top-to-down drybrushing of Grey Green (165). This serves as sort of a basic light source highlight.
- Start highlighting the skin with Neutral Grey (160). This can also serve as a final highlight for medium to light clothes.
- A highlight of Sky Grey (154) on skin, and on the lightest colored clothes.
- A few conservative highlights of white on the skin.

Note: Skin tones (caucasians and even the Irish) are actually darker than white (unlike what I've done in the above palette). But since these are pale zombies, I've made the skin the lightest tone in the palette. The same goes with the toxic and berserker zombies.

I've eliminated the "such and such color also used to highlight clothes/skin" note in the following palette lists. At this point, I figure you can decide how dark or light you want to make your own zombies' clothes or skin.

Berserker Zombies

-Base coat of Foundry Red Oxide 102B (or C for a little bit more contrast.)
- All-around overbrushing of Foundry Spearshaft 13A
- Top-to-down drybrushing of Reaper HD Burning Orange
- Begin highlighting (especially skin) with Foundry Orange 3A
- More highlighting with a mix of Foundry Orange 3A + Foundry Ochre 4A
- A final skin highlight of Foundry Ochre 4A

Toxic Zombies

- Base coat of Reaper HD Field Grey
- All-around overbrushing of Storm Green 27B
- Top-to-down of Foundry Forest Green 26C
- Highlights begin with a mix of Foundry Forest Green + Yellow 2C
- Lighter highlights of the same Forest Green/Yellow mix, but lightened using Raw Linen 30C*
- A final highlight of Raw Linen 30C

* (Too much yellow starts to add a neon quality to the palette, which is great if you want radiated zombies, but doesn't match the muted look of the other zombie types.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The old days: Man O'War (SOLD)

I finally got my copy of Man O'War back home. It had been in storage at my parent's house, but they're moving soon, so I had to evacuate a few things.

I'm only showing this because I plan on selling it all. A friend of mine (who just opened his new shop a couple weeks ago) consigns stuff and only takes a moderate cut, so I'll be selling all of my Man O'War stuff through him.

Update: One lucky person took the long trip to pick these up (Thanks, bud!)
Thank you to everyone for looking!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just another look at some samurai

The Ronin, left, decide the Sword School has overstepped its bounds.
Steve Barber has some new samurai about to go into production, so I thought I'd parade out most of my collection again. Most of these have some conversion work; all of them at least have new weapons I've pounded out on the anvil (my usual M.O.)

I look forward to the new (unarmored) samurai; I commissioned Steve to do a multipart samurai which will take different heads or arms. (I also commissioned a couple famous faces to go with the new samurai.) Now that the body is paid for and sculpted, I can commission smaller things such as new arms, heads and weapons for the new torso (I even have an idea or two for civilians using this torso.) I can also do the reverse and commission a new torso to fit the new arms and heads. Lots of choices, lots of ideas, but I better save up some money first.

Missing in the following series of photos are my Red and Kaage factions. I packed those up for now to get them out of the way, so that I can maybe get in an unarmored skirmish or two with the Sword School and the ronin. A happy side note: My Reds and Kaages each easily fit into a Chessex case. I like figures that have easy-to-find protected space in case I need to move or pack things. The Reds and Kaages are also still for sale ($400 for all of them- close to 30x 42mm figures.)

Zombies: I haven't quit. I ran out of primer, so I can't try out a couple ideas yet. I'm also still weighing storage options before I launch into full-scale painting. Honestly, I think the new samurai will come first.
(But I'm still taking feedback and questions on black and white painting. The zombies are not abandoned.)

The sword school (plus one)
The peasants
The ronin
The ninja
The monks