Archive | January 2016

Special shout-out to Ozzy Osborne

I guess a bit of theme music is warranted for this post: music.

If you clicked the link, it should be pretty obvious what I am calling finished.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

To be honest it is a bit premature.  After I took these pics I noticed I missed the battle damage on his knee.  The very simple effect I did was painting the areas out in black trailing away from the source of the damage in threads.  From there it was a simple layering and wet blending to get the metallic shades.  The glossy sheen is from the semi-gloss sealer I sprayed on.  Overall I am happy.  The base needs to be finished, and I might go with a matt sealer over the exhaust cloud.

The bit of terror I experienced with this guy was after I sealed him.  I brought the mini inside from my garage to dry on the box I had sprayed him on.  I took one misstep, shifted the box and watched as he tumbled down an entire flight of stairs bouncing quite high with each step he hit.

After the calming breath I walked down to assess the damage and saw just a bend in the exhaust cloud and some hairs attached to the still tacky sealer.  I haven’t done the super detailed inspection so if you see other damage, please let me know.

Nomad by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Nomad by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Nomad by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Nomad by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Also seeing a bit of brush time last night were Whiplash and Nomad.  Nomad is one of my Hasslefree Miniatures and he will be one of the Agents I am painting.  I chose to go with an OD green webbing as it doesn’t match the equipment of the others: they use standard issued kit and he grabbed the biggest gun he could and the only kit that could hold his ammo.  I do like the contrast, and I might include it on the other Agents.  I am also going with a dark blue (almost black) for their uniforms.  I think it will visually associate them with Nick Fury without taking away the generic feel to use as other figures too.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Whiplash is getting a brownish-purple armour scheme to match the Marvel comic version of the latest cinematic villain for Iron Man.  I think it looks pretty striking and will make him stand out from the colours of Iron Man’s suit.  I was 50-50 on if I wanted it to look stolen or unique and went with unique.

Short update, and also in the middle of the day.  No I’m not playing hooky from work, I just managed to swing a longer lunch today.  Hopefully this was inspiring to you, if nothing else to use sealer as it protected Iron Man during his maiden flight.

Marvel at the power of my whip

Spoiler alert, I did some more work on my Whiplash conversion.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Hair detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Hair detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Hair detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Hair detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Hair detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Hair detail.

I decided to add in the hair and the strap I mentioned to hold the wires in place.  As it stand now, I have no buckle, but I may go back and add one.  I am glad I added the hair.  For those interested in laughing at 80s era villains, there is a version of Whiplash who wore a leather mask and harness more suited to a Rocky Horror Picture extra than normal comic  book villains.  If you haven’t seen Kick Ass 2, I recommend it just to see how silly such a villain looks when the other actors aren’t told to keep a straight face on camera with it.

I mention Leather-Daddy Whiplash for the sole fact that the hair takes him away from that.  Maybe a bit closer to an 80s metal band…but at least it seems like progress.

I wanted to make the hair flow over the wires connected to his helmet, and based on how it would naturally fall, I left patches of his shoulders uncovered.  To be honest as I was drawing each hair out and teasing it into position I realized the patch over his shoulders defied gravity and logic so I pulled those down to fall how it should.

I should also point out the pictures again served my own selfish needs.  The hair wasn’t quite right on his right side, so after looking at the giant picture, I fixed the patches I needed to.  Sorry, updated pics will wait until next post.

Ms Marvel by Marvel Comics.  Used without permission.

Ms Marvel by Marvel Comics. Used without permission.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.  Ms Marvel proxy.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures. Ms Marvel proxy.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.  Ms Marvel proxy.

Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures. Ms Marvel proxy.

Also getting a start on a project is Incredible Woman by Reaper Miniatures.  The costume is pretty obviously She Hulk.  Now, I have never been a fan of her.  I figured she would be a bit smaller so would be possible as any number of heroes…as Deano shows, she is quite large.  So I wasn’t sure and was resigning myself to generic brute type.

Captain Marvel was one character I liked ages ago, at least for the story.  After I stopped following that story, the story changed and became more alien origin…and I never realized the story progressed further and Captain Marvel became a woman and then Ms Marvel.  Why this works is fairly simple: although not always featured, Captain Marvel could change his size slightly.  Having not read any of the Ms Marvel, my image searches have shown at least one panel with her growing in size.  Works for me.

Seeing her as a cool hero, I found the costume that best matches including the triangular collar and then added on the scarf and an edge to mark the legs because I prefer having texture instead of painting on details.  The obvious next stage is to sand down the bottom of her costume to make the greenstuff blend in a bit better.

Short little post, hopefully inspirational…if nothing else to try making the surreal into something more concrete on your projects.  Or, to find a use for those minis your bought without a solid plan.

Devo strikes again

Or another WIP…whip it good.

I will be honest that I have done an absolutely terrible job of documenting my conversion of Whiplash.  I started with my long rambling post and a few pics.  I took one more picture…then I sat down and finished most of it.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Wires added to Arc Reactor.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Wires added to Arc Reactor.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Detail of Arc Reactor.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Detail of Arc Reactor.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Whip handle detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Whip handle detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.  Arm detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy. Arm detail.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Whiplash proxy.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Whiplash proxy.

Without further pre-amble, here he is.

To paraphrase all the work, I completed the frame of the Arc Reactor on his chest.  I also completed his whip.

The whip was made from a paperclip bent to shape at the end of the grip.  I then wrapped the whip in thread (3 different threads) to create the tangle of wires shown in Iron Man 2.  From there I measured, bent, re-measured, bent, a few more of those…and finally glued it in place.

Following that it was a simple matter of adding wires to the grip going to his wrist bracer and wires coming from his shoulder pad down to the bracer.

Not a lot to discuss and few pictures.  It reminds me of a cute little tutorial in a White Dwarf years ago.  It was billed on how to paint X model as a Slayer Sword painter.  It started with Step One – clean.  A lengthy paragraph.  Then Step Two – assemble.  Again a lengthy paragraph talking about the merits of leaving some parts unattached for ease of painting or extra detail work.  Step Three – prime.  Again a lengthy write-up on white vs black vs grey.  Airbrush versus spray vs brush.  Step Four – paint.  Here was the joke.  Single picture, short phrase.  Paint the model.  They recommend Citadel paints or something similar.  At this point they showed the same mini completely painted.

Anyhow, I am considering straps on his left arm to secure the wires and adding some long straggly hair sticking out from his helmet.

Other than those few details, I think I am done this conversion.  Unless there are any good suggestions out there.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.  Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy. Ekaterina by Hasslefree Miniatures as Black Widow proxy.

Also getting too much attention is Tony Stark.  I say too much attention as my highlights went too bright so now I will need to scale Iron Man’s yellow back a bit.  A wash should take care of that.  As comparison of how bright he is, I have a comparison to Black Widow.  He is very vibrant.

I don’t want to keep him this vibrant, even though it evokes the comic stylized colours, because all my other figs are more subdued in colour.  I will put on the battle damage first and then see how much I need to tone down the yellow.

Anyhow, a short update.  I think I have turned the Whiplash/Ivan Vanko theme on it’s ear a bit and have evoked a bit of all the inspirations who have shared that name.  Hopefully this inspires you to add your unique twist onto one of your projects..

Keeping my hand in the hobby

For a change of pace today, I decided to focus on my sculpting some more.  Yes, I already did some painting, but I haven’t sculpted an entire figure in about 8 years and my skills are very rusty.

Now, that said, I decided to practice the two areas that I always found the hardest: hands and faces.  I tried sculpting faces cold…and wow are they terrible.  Just plain bad.  What I used to do was build a basic ball and let it cure.  Once it was dry I added the face in one shot.  Today I tried sculpting them on a flat surface.  Not fun.  Not good results either.

A while ago I came across a new way to sculpt faces called the “ninja mask technique”.  Essentially the sculptor starts with a crude shape similar to a ninja mask.  Once fully cured, eyes are added in, then nose, cheeks, lips, eye-lids…well you get the idea.  Instead of pulling details up they are added on.  So after my terrible faces (I did 4 and decided I wasn’t getting any good practice on a flat surface) I made up a whole row of ninja mask forms to go onto my next stage.

I also did hands with a bit more success.  I did one hand and realized how bad my scale was so went back to basic ratio principles and used the natural measurements (crease of palm, thumb, lengths and widths of fingers).  Tough to explain but think of all the ratios of body parts and it gets simpler.  Anyhow, I did two hands before I had to put the girls to bed and the rest of the putty was too cured to fine detail hand work.

Hands, hands, fingers thumb.

Hands, hands, fingers thumb.

Dum-ditty, dum-ditty, dum-dum-dum

Dum-ditty, dum-ditty, dum-dum-dum

 

Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2.  Image used without permission.

Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2. Image used without permission.

What I also did was start work on one of the villains.  I will admit upfront I have never finished watching Iron Man 2.  I watched it on a flight and kept dozing off.  But, Ivan Vanko is a pretty memorable villain.  To replicate him, I thought Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures would be good.

When he arrived I realized he is a bit big.  I wasn’t sure if he would still work or not.  Maybe I could make him into a Deathlok or other cyborg.  Maybe a Dr. Doom creation.

But I didn’t want to write-off Whiplash.  So I did my research.  I never read a lot of Iron Man comics but I knew there was always somebody who got the suit or technology (or so my casual reading seemed to indicate).  I thought that was all he was.  Then I realized he was a combination of two villains.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Still not sure what it meant, I watched the scene from the movie depicted above.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend this scene if nothing else.  Pretty cool.  It also reminded me that Mickey Rourke plays the villain, not a small guy.  So I decided that him being big (compared to Deano he is likely 8-9 feet tall fully upright) wasn’t a major hurdle.  Instead, I wanted to make him an up-armoured version of the scene above.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures.  Start of Arc Reactor.

Crosswire by Reaper Miniatures. Start of Arc Reactor.

So since I have some semi-rigid greenstuff (good consistency for harder edges) I decided I would start the Arc Reactor on his chest.  I intend to add the straps with wires coming down from his shoulders and wires going down to his belt.  Not shown is the rear of the figure where he has cyber-implanted reactors and power devices that are wired to his belt.

I have done the edges and connectors to the straps up and wires down.  The edges are marked by various wires and ridges to replicate the rather crude design shown above.

The obvious next stages will be his reactor, his whip(s), and belts.  But I did miss a step – I forgot to deal with his mold-lines first.  I can still fix that, but I need to let the greenstuff cure first.

Two updates in one day, so hopefully twice as inspirational.  If nothing else, I hope to encourage you to try developing your sculpting skills.  Although difficult, like any skill it can be learned.  It also causes crossed-eyes too if you focus too much for too long, you’ve been warned.

 

Ironing out some creases

To keep my regular readers happy, of course my obligatory corny title reveals the content: an update on Ironman.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.  Painted from waist down in basic blocks and waist up still in base coat.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy. Painted from waist down in basic blocks and waist up still in base coat.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

I managed to do in the main blocking now.  I have built up from the darker shades leaving them showing through on the edges.  This leave the nicely defined panels and the shadowing of the darker recesses.

Also visible since my last update is the arc reactor and the eyes.  Although subtle, I like the bit of shine I left on the edges of the eyes from the blue.

The metallic bits will be defined and picked out in grey shading to include the boosters on his feet, his blasters in his palms and the hip joints.  The final highlighting on the panels will be done.  I do intend to do some battle damage and I will also be sealing him with a gloss sealer.

The tough decision to make is how to apply battle damage.  I want a few scrapes and scorch-marks.  Placement is easy as I have a few areas that are a bit off shade right now and rather than fiddling with them, I will likely turn them into scrapes with a few trailing and leading lines into them.

The reason that is a tough decision is I can’t decide if I want to seal first then battle damage or battle damage then seal.  I don’t have much experience with sealers so I am looking for a bit of feedback on that.

Anyhow, hopefully something was inspirational today, if nothing else to try the bold and simple shading of comic books.

Your Doom is (not quite) sealed

I managed to sneak a bit of hobby time in this week and I did some more work on Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

At this point I am not sure if I want to call him finished or not.  If he isn’t done, I don’t know what else to do (other than basing).  I’m concerned if I add more highlights his armour will read too light, as it was dark metal in the comics (and even darker in the two latest film versions of him).

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

I added some highlights to him last time including wet-blending and used my brush to accentuate the chain while hiding my mistakes.  I also selectively highlighted him to give deep shadows.  I think I succeeded: while I was painting him I kept trying to turn him in the light to see him better…the whole time both my lights were directly on him with no shadow.

To show him off in an action shot, I figured it was time to bring all my heroes figs painted so far to bear.

Dr. Doom commands his zombies to attack Nick Fury and Black Widow while White Huntress lurks nearby to land the killing blow.

Dr. Doom commands his zombies to attack Nick Fury and Black Widow while White Huntress lurks nearby to land the killing blow.

If only Nick Fury and Black Widow had even one Avenger to help them.  But who could get there fast enough to help and save the day?

Dr. Doom commands his zombies to attack Nick Fury and Black Widow while White Huntress lurks nearby to land the killing blow.

Dr. Doom commands his zombies to attack Nick Fury and Black Widow while White Huntress lurks nearby to land the killing blow.

If you have any suggestions on Dr. Doom, please let me know.  I won’t have much hobby time in the near future but I look forward to executing any advice before moving on to the next guy.  Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to break out your latest project to snap a few diorama pictures.

Impending doom (part 2)

As the title implies, I have had a bit of hobby time this weekend.  Yesterday was fairly productive hobby-wise, waiting for a cable-guy who never arrived helps for something I guess.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

As I did a lot of work in sculpting Dr. Doom I felt the collection of pictures does help to show a step-by-step.  In fact I took this pictures for the first time during sculpting.  My reasons were completely selfish dear reader: it is easier to see mistakes when my 1″ tall model is 12″ on a computer screen.  This helped me find a few errors and correct a couple of minor points.

When I last left Dr. Doom on the blog, I had a half-assed hood done.  Since then, as the pictures show, I added more depth to the hood.  After that cured (to prevent errant fingers from destroying my own work) I moved on to the edge of his cloak.  I blended the edges to the hood and moved the edges to the front of his should pauldrons.  I did consider doing some bunching, but I realized most of the detail would be covered by his brooches.  Besides, most of my blending at the hood does capture where most of the folds would be based on how it falls.

Again I let it cure and I sculpted the chain.  I did this by working in segments.  I started by flattening the middle of where I wanted chains that lay flush against the model.  After the middle was defined, I slowly smoothed out the shape until the basic form for those chains was there.  Then I moved onto the same step with the perpendicular links.  The holes were slowly shaped and the edges of the links where they overlapped were smoothed out.  I have tried a few different tools but I find a sewing pin works best.  The rounded plastic end works as a burnishing tool and helps smooth out rougher shapes.  The pin means I need to work more slowly to define wider shapes but I am used to it.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

After all the sculpting was done, I let it mostly cure and added thinly sliced plastic rod to the model.  I pressed it into the chain to make a clear edge and then put a drop of superglue on each to attach them.  Once fully cured I filled in the holes that were in the rod (a miscast rod not how they normally are).

I decided to brush on my primer to check for flaws and I was happy overall.  I did notice one small mold-line I missed but I have left it as it will be easy to blend in with my painting.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures.  Proxy for Dr. Doom.

Dr Dread by Reaper Miniatures. Proxy for Dr. Doom.

I have added in the basic colours here, and finished his eyes.  A very tough detail to paint, I am wanting to make sure they capture the fact he is flesh and bone under the armour.  I painted his eye openings, added the whites and then did his eyelids.  Once this had dried a bit I added his pupils.  My base coat of grey covers up the flesh blotches I got on his armour.

The past couple days also saw me start on my next conversion project, although much less involved.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Deano by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures.  Ironman proxy.

Afterburn by Reaper Miniatures. Ironman proxy.

This fellow here also scales very nicely with 28mm models, and again Deano has volunteered as my scale model.  Really friendly guy he is.

The conversion to Ironman is very simple really.  I needed to remove the head fin and carve in the small square patch that extends red to his face.  His arc reactor is shaped on the chest as the triangular shape so no conversion is needed.  I have included my hand-primed pic as it shows off the details on this great sculpt.

The next stage of painting will see the blues added.

The one thing I am considering as a change is how he is based.  I have considered cutting off the exhaust and pinning him more horizontal.  It would be more dynamic and seem like he is trying to blast while backing away.  I am torn though because this is nicely done and puts his hands right at the heads of 28mm models.

Quite a lot today, but hopefully some of it inspired you today.  If nothing else it maybe gave you that nudge to try bringing your own superheroes to life.