Archive | June 2015

Creepy Crawlies

So I have found a bit of brush time while using my middle finger to pinch or hold my minis flat on the table.

As a result of my unorthodox painting while my finger heals I would say fast and sloppy will be the words of the day instead of precise and smooth.

What got the first bit of brushwork were my vermin spiders from Bones 2.  While technically a Bones 1 fig, they included 4 in Bones 2.

Spider Swarm and Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Spider Swarm and Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

Vermin Spider by Reaper Miniatures.

I went with subdued natural colours with the spiders and made use of layers to achieve the thinner lines on the outside of the patterns.

The Black one is actually a jumping spider we have around here that I never saw until I moved here.  They do also have a few vertical stripes but not something I felt like trying with my finger right now.

The light brown ones I matched to the wolf spiders we have around here.  I think they must be very tasty as my dog loves to eat them.

The dark brown one actually has a Brown Recluse Fiddle shape on his abdomen, but that was before I decided to glue them to the bases.  As they are all on unpainted bases right now, I will likely have to pop them off to paint/texture the bases. Oh well, one of my impulsive choices working against me again.

I also managed to get the Vermin Beetles from Bones painted.  Again, Bones 1 but I got them in my Bones 2.  Not a lot to say or many pictures to show.  Between the lighting and my poor camera skills this is the only picture that turned out for them.

Beetle Swarm and Vermin Beetles by Reaper Miniatures.

Beetle Swarm and Vermin Beetles by Reaper Miniatures.

Short update today, but hopefully inspiring in it’s own way.  If nothing else, I hope it prompts you to figure out ways to function when sick and hurt.  The healing powers of relaxing hobbies cannot be over-stated.  Now as I am not a medical professional, I may in fact be over-stating them.

Mix and Match

Today I am throwing together a bit of an update for models that previously didn’t warrant their own update.  The reason for this is two-fold:

 

1.  I wanted to show them off eventually, and right now there is enough to fill an update.

2.  I decided to slice my finger in half (only a minor exaggeration) so I can’t really hold models well to paint them right now.  This leaves me with a weekend off and few hobby-type things to do.

Anyhow, without further ado, I bring you the rogues gallery of recently finished models.

Reaper Animal Companion.

Reaper Animal Companion.

Reaper Animal Companion.  Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Reaper Animal Companion. Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures.

First up we have one of the five animal companions from Bones II.  This is some sort of hunting cat but I didn’t want to wed it to a particular type so I went for a cougar/lion type pelt and added in some weird spots.  In RPG or Dungeon Down it can now proxy as a cat of some sort.  As shown beside Hayden it is really a fairly large miniature.  If on a base (tough since it is about 1.25″ long) it would be up to Hayden’s shoulder.  Although quick and easy, I like the effect on the cat.

Mudcroak by Reaper Miniatures

Mudcroak by Reaper Miniatures

Mudcroak by Reaper Miniatures

Mudcroak by Reaper Miniatures

Next on the block is Mudcroak, a squog shaman.  Now I am not sure what exactly a squog is.  Giant frog with teeth.  A cute little guy, I tried to emulate the basic frogs I remember seeing in ponds.  The belly looked well blended…until I saw it in sun-light and my blending looks like a series of lines.  Oh well.  The skull is a bit washed out again, by sunlight.  Another quick a easy paint, I intend to use this guy as a healer monster with high cunning.  So other than stabbing with his spear, he will also heal the wounded.  An interesting effect I am sure.

Spikeshell Warrior by Reaper Miniatures

Spikeshell Warrior by Reaper Miniatures

Spikeshell Warrior by Reaper Miniatures

Spikeshell Warrior by Reaper Miniatures

Another quick paint, here is the second of the spikeshell warriors.  I have already used this guy in a game.  Having two of these guys makes it very tough for players who rely on blades to beat the bad guys.  I am not 100% happy with this guy as my final highlights came out too pale.  At least the two look different enough side by side.

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures.  Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures

Ghasts by Reaper Miniatures. Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures

The ghasts were an attempt at a couple of different washes.  I did both with my usual flesh recipe but mixed to a very pale tone at the top.  I did a heavy wash with a rotting gore colour and finally finished with the flesh glaze I wanted.  I thought the purple would only tinge the skin but add interesting effects to the gore…instead it turned the skin a cartoony/video-game-esque purple.  Considering these will be big tough zombies the different colours will help to distinguish them.  I wanted to keep the cloth semi-neutral so they could be used in a modern zombie type game as well as the fantasy dungeon crawl.  A definite must is for me to grab some generic type zombies that could fit both niches to go with these guys.  As shown by Hayden these are massive beasts more suited to the Resident Evil giant zombies than just your regular walkers.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures.  Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Bronze Heart Minotaur Hero by Reaper Miniatures. Hayden by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Obviously I had a bit of fun with the minotaur.  I have seen countless minotaurs in varying shades of brown and black but I have not seen them as Jersy cows.  So with a bit of brush work I made him look more cow-like.  As he has obvious metal armour and a bit more of a posturing/threatening stance than my other minotaur I kept his armour clean and well cared for.  Maybe he is the minotaur prince.  Maybe he just hates dirt.  Either way, I think this is one of my favorite larger minis.  As shown by both Hayden and the walls, he towers over other figures, a veritable beast in the maze.

 

Alahazra by Reaper Miniatures

Alahazra by Reaper Miniatures

Alahazra by Reaper Miniatures

Alahazra by Reaper Miniatures

To wrap this post up I have a WIP to show, Alahazra Iconic Oracle.  I know there are people who have complained about this particular figure in Bones but I think it is well done.  The nose is quite small and not clear until painted.  The out-stretched hand has mold lines obscuring the fingers, and finally the mold lines are in awkward spots.  However, this is a very cool figure.  The mold lines took some work to clean up, but then again I barely cleaned the other minis shown today – they are cannon-fodder and were treated as such.  I am going to turn the hand mold-lines into a project: I will try Object Light Source again and have her entire hand glowing so the mold lines will look more like magical energy light than webbed-fingers.  I am particularly happy with the flesh tones and purple robes and I am pretty sure the jewelry and ties will make the clothing pop even more.

Of course a big swarm of monsters should be expected:

Reaper Bones monsters...cue the rampaging hordes and ominous music.

Reaper Bones monsters…cue the rampaging hordes and ominous music.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to hammer through that long term project with some creativity and bursts of manic activity.  On a related note: if you are teaching somebody something, like say building terrain, pay attention to what you are saying.  So for example, if you say “this blade is getting dull and may slip and cut you” you might want to stop cutting with it.  Until next time.

 

Come on Baby Drive my Car

Ok, not the real title, but a good ear-worm to start things off: Beatles – Drive My Car

Work has kept me busier for longer than I expected, instead of two months of business, I ended-up heading to California for a few weeks too so was quite busy.  No, nothing fun, just some sweltering heat in the Mohave desert.

Rastar Landrover.  Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Rastar Landrover. Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Rastar Landrover.  Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Rastar Landrover. Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Rastar BMW.  Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Rastar BMW. Note the 1/43 scale is closer to 1/35.

Anyways, while I was otherwise busy, I did have a parcel arrive at home: a series of cars I ordered from China by Rastar.  At less than $5 a car, I was fine buying sight unseen.  I was quite happy with two of the six (a Volvo shown below and a Mercedes Benz to be featured later).  Sadly the other cars are what are called “Box Cars”.  The detail is crisp and these would be nice for a collector.  For the wargames community, I would not recommend buying them unless you have your handy pocket figure to match scale.  These are cars scaled more to fit the standard box than to match a given scale.  By way of example, notice how the Land Rover and BMW both are out of scale.

However, I have found a bit of time to first strip a few cars and then throw paint on two of them.

 

Rastar Volvo.  Widow and Escher Juve posing for selfie.

Rastar Volvo. Widow and Escher Juve posing for selfie.

Volvo2 Volvo3

Comparison of Volvo to Dodge.  SUV appeal in the post-modern slums.

Comparison of Volvo to Dodge. SUV appeal in the post-modern slums.

First we have the Volvo previously mentioned.  A sporty hatchback, it looks more like an SUV when scaled with the other cars and figures.  Yes, it is a bit out of scale.  That is fine in my mind.  Coupled with the rarity of Volvos around here, it will read as an SUV and less of a hatchback to most players.

I painted this up after stripping using drab colours to reflect the faded look and feel I am striving for.  The headlights came out a bit brighter than I intended but I can live with the end result.  I did rush the hood detailing.  I masked it off with paint but removed the tape while still wet so the edges lost crispness and the paint even spilled onto the hood.  A bit of careful brush-work and I repaired most of the damage.

Durango Ford Tempo.  Widow and Escher Juve posing for selfie.

Durango Ford Tempo. Widow and Escher Juve posing for selfie.

Tempo2 Tempo3

Tempo/Charger size comparison.  Yes, these are pretty close to the real sizes.

Tempo/Charger size comparison. Yes, these are pretty close to the real sizes.

The Ford Tempo/Mercury Topaz has a special place in my heart.  When I graduated highschool it was the most common car on the roads.  And as time went on it became the cheap beater car for a lot of folks, my wife included.  At the time I met her, she went through cars the way some people go through shoes.

Now it isn’t to say she is a bad driver (she isn’t as bad anymore) but that these vehicles wore out pretty quickly.  A minor repair for these cars often cost as much as the value of the vehicle.

Her brothers both had connections to mechanic shops where the staff kept a supply of written-off Tempo/Topaz to cannibalize for parts.  It was so common that all the staff were good at appraising if repairing the one in front of them was easier than stealing parts to fix one of the ones out back.  So whenever she had car problems she normally ended up with a new car…sometimes for only the cost of parts and labour.  The shop normally came out ahead as they ended up with another car to cannibalize.

Anyhow, I found this was fun to paint and I was actually going for the faded grey colour common to the Topaz.  Until the dirt was added it looked like an over-drybrushed black car but the dirt helped sell the faded paint and small dings.  I am very tempted to turn the other Tempo into a Mad Max car, but I may hold off until I have more of them.  Something very silly to me about turning one of these junk-heaps into a survivalist car.

If you are wanting to populate your own urban landscape, I will mention that little cars like this are gems.  The reason is simple: nobody wants to collect jalopies or commuter cars.  Collectors want the sexy sports cars and tooled-up trucks.  So, when you do find the beaters I recommend you snatch them up as they give a lot more reality I feel.

Anyhow, to wrap things up I present the cars I have thus far.

CarsGroup1

In total I have 12 cars, but the BMW’s may not see the table as they don’t quite match.  Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try adding a bit of personal meaning to your terrain and games.