I promised in my last post, there was a long pause between posts. Not only was the busy work activity very busy, I ended up working fairly long hours right up until my Christmas break. Thankfully I wasn’t foolish enough to think I could get gifts painted prior to Christmas. I did try sculpting a couple gifts, but one was a bit rushed and I forgot to take pictures of the ones that did turn out ok.
As the name implies, I do have an update on my Necromunda gang. These are not newly painted figures, rather ones I finished since my last post but wasn’t able to take pictures of.
Up first we have my Jersey Shore guy. I say this as the flesh wash went on too heavy. The end result was close to a bad spray tan, both in colour and patchiness. So I decided since he had badly dyed hair, it worked. I did heavily convert the rifle he is holding. It has a new plastic rod barrel, a boltgun magazine, and a lot of trimming. I am happy with how it looks and I even did an EO-Tech sight.
In contrast to the first guy, the next ganger has too pale skin. As I was hoping to get these guys assembly line painted and ready for the table this weekend, I wasn’t too worried about it then. Now, well I may go back and give him a flesh wash. But I am not 100% sold on that. At the end of the day he is painted well enough and I find the primer very frustrating on these guys.
If you didn’t notice it before, I will point it out now. The limits of the Catachan kit means some models will start looking very similar. So to show that a bit of attention to bits and positioning can give variety we can compare this guy to his twin. Both have the same head and essentially the same equipment: a pistol with a melee weapon. The legs are different, the posture is slightly changed, and the use of different left arms breaks the similarity. The differently sculpted hair (including goatee) adds to the differences.
After I painted these guys I came up with a name for the gang, the Dogs of Ward 6. Silly and pointless, but I thought it would be an easy enough piece of graffiti to work into my terrain if I want, and a few tattoos will now start appearing. The flamer ganger (still a work in progress) will have a more obvious 6 motif on his metal shoulder pads.
But not everything was Necromunda. I had an order arrive from Reaper (to get one of their Christmas themed minis) and I also picked up a couple of aliens I have wanted to do my own little alien crew with. The first one painted very quickly.
I went with a bright and vibrant colour-scheme reminiscent of the aliens from 80s sci fi, video games and comics. I went with my darker and subtle highlights to make it still seem fairly drab. Overall I think it works. The model is a Rach Trooper by Reaper. An older figure, some of the details I soft and it shows its age, in particular the left hand. But since the attention is easily drawn away from those areas I am still happy with it. If you are looking for a unique looking alien, I recommend this guy. Although the ears scream elf, the bone ridges on the forehead give a distinct alien vibe. By going with a non-traditional skin colour this guy really screams alien.
The scale is slightly taller than most modern “true scale” 28mm figs as displayed by Nomad, but overall since it is alien it will fit into nearly any collection you might have.
As I am doing a crew, I figured these would be the sort that would be like Guardians of the Galaxy, but maybe a bit more straight-edge. As shown with Ms Marvel, and his partner in crime, the bright contrast in colour actually serves to unify them. The only tough question I have is how to paint their plucky technician. She will be even more garish…but I don’t know how I can achieve that.
A fairly short update today, but hopefully no less inspirational for you. If nothing else I think I have shown you that garish contrast of colours still can look good together.
It has been ages since I last updated. My wife had surgery a while back so I have been fairly busy looking after her, plus the usual insanity that marks my work this time of year. Anyhow, to give some perspective (and a bit of music), have a listen to this: Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone.
The project that got some work since my last post is a 3 storey building I have been building. I added a few new ideas, including a bit more of a cluttered roof. As shown by Deano it definitely shows the size.
But you will notice I left off my usual side clutter and none of the corners are clad in card. I thought I would try a smoother wall and was shown instead my simple buttresses actually do reinforce the walls.
As shown above, the plaster actually pulled in and warped the wall a very appreciable amount. Looking back at the building front you can see the plaster cracked and the walls pulled apart. Right now I think I will just add a card clad over the corner and hope the bowed wall isn’t too noticeable. For the time being, this building will have to do. The next larger building I do will have some internal framing to push the walls out as well as my buttresses. Little thing that should stop this disaster in the future.
While watching a movie last night, I also threw a bit of paint on one of my Ford F150 trucks. The rough splotchy red will look quite faded and worn once I tone back the black and add my dirt and dust treatment. As shown by Deano, the large doors even give a bit of cover for the clever agent.
Short little update today, but hopefully inspiring to you. If nothing else to try squeezing in the relaxing hobby time to help keep you sane.
Or the Dark Knight.
One of the birthday gifts I got from my wife was the gorgeous Batman (Arkham Knight) by Knight Models. If you have never heard of Knight models, search them on the web and max out your credit cards. They have done some spectacular comic book models. They have a Batman Miniatures game, and now Spiderman and Marvel heroes. The models are 32mm scale so they are a bit bigger than most models on the market.
Well in theory. If you have been collecting and painting miniatures for even a little while you have realized that scale is very subjective, even within a single company. Considering most 28mm models are a bit bigger, and some measure the 28mm to eye level instead of height. These models also incorporate scenic bases for the most part so they tower over other models. But, the gargoyle does actually reduce the scale creep because mentally you recognize he is standing on something.
Anyhow, on to the miniature.
I sat down and painted him in a single evening. The clean-up I did the night before. Not the cleanest cast model I have ever held, the was flash but very subtle mold lines. The clean-up tool was exclusively a scalpel, I didn’t even touch my files.
I painted him using a successive wet-blend and highlighting to the lightest grey I went to. Unfortunately I primed him by hand with acrylic paint so the paint kept rubbing off. So I chose to seal him with my gloss sealer and hopefully tone it down with a matte sealer at a later time. There is a lot more subtlety in the blending that the sealer just masks.
As shown with Deano, he isn’t really out of scale with the other figures. And yes, Deano is getting some paint. I got frustrated the other day as I painted over his left eye while adding in his eyelid. I also really buggered up the eyes on another miniature I was painting at the same time so they will wait until I feel like doing the last salvage before stripping.
Now the tough part comes: how to figure out his stats in my game. I love Batman. Mostly because he is just a man with a will to do more. Sadly, this means his stats will put him at a critical disadvantage against the super-powered heroes. I am at a loss on how to figure out how to balance him out without making him over-powered.
Hopefully this short post was inspirational, if nothing else to try your hand at something pretty that is on your shelf.
For those who don’t care about my ramblings on the games I design, feel free to scroll down…oooh pretty pictures. For the rest of you (and I will pretend there still are readers), my wife and I played the first game of the super hero project I have been working on. Although I do intend to produce scenarios down the road (I have 4-5 in my head that need tweaking), we just played a straight up fight.
To play this scenario, both players select models up to the agree on total level and play until the first model is removed. The first game was played at 6 points – that means 2x level 3 heroes. A model has 1 wound for each level and their attributes drop in level for each wound inflicted. On the side of good (played by my wife) we have Black Widow and Iron Man facing off against Whiplash and White Huntress.
The table itself is quite small (approximately 2’x2′) and it is intentional. This is a fast and dirty skirmish game.
The first couple of opening turns were quite boring. Both Black Widow and White Huntress made use of Stealth and due to lucky die rolls, neither one was spotted by the other side. This meant that each was effectively hidden until an action other than a move was taken.
The initial probing moves left Iron Man trusting to his suit to protect him as he led the way to draw out Whiplash.
The initiative system is a different type of inter-twined turns. Turn order is based first on the Cunning level, then by Rating. As shown, Black Widow always went first, then White Huntress, Iron Man and finally Whiplash. At any time, a player can have his model delay their turn. Simply move them to the top of the next stack. Why would somebody do that? Normally to avoid attacks or wait in ambush. If a model is wounded before their turn, the move in the initiative order based on the modified attribute level. To activate a model, the player picks up the card and places it beside them to clearly indicate who is left to act.
After the initial cat and mouse, Iron Man flew low to take aim at Whiplash. His blasters streaked blue energy across the sheet-metal fence, keeping Whiplash safe from harm.
When-ever any obstacle is in the way, there is a chance it is struck instead. After rolling the attack, the attack is re-rolled to check if the obstacle is in the way. A result of 1 on the die or a total less than 5 will strike the object. In this case, Iron Man rolled a 1 and the otherwise critical hit harmlessly scorched the fence.
Following his attack, Whiplash moved forward and started over-charging his whip. The next attack he made would be devastating. Meanwhile, Black Widow was able to Distract Whiplash and leave him idle.
White Huntress reached out with her mind and Lured Iron-Man to the ground. With the critical success she rolled she was able to move Iron Man twice and effectively cancel his next turn. She then took careful aim at his conveniently exposed back.
Iron Man has the Vehicle ability. This means only the most powerful attacks (with Anti-Tank) can hurt him. White Huntress has a character attribute she can use to choose an item, and she chose her next attack to have Anti-Tank. So she effectively had 1 chance to take out Iron Man.
White Huntress aimed wide with her shot and missed. With no actions remaining to use Stealth, she was left in the open and vulnerable.
Black Widow, meanwhile was not idle. She managed to Distract Whiplash, effectively ending his turn. Distract removes an action, if the roll is double the defense, then the victim loses two actions. Black Widow was just too Cunning for Whiplash. As he stood there stupefied, she snapped off a shot with her pistol and missed.
White Huntress instead moved in to target Black Widow. She dove past Iron Man and snapped a quick shot at Black Widow’s back, nearly dropping the super-spy as she inflicted 2 wounds.
White Huntress’ ability Ambush inflicts an extra wound when she attacks from behind or from Stealth.
With her attack failing to win the game, Iron Man quickly took off into the air again and fired a blast at White Huntress. As the energy bolts struck the ruthless mercenary, the game was won. Iron Man rolled a critical that was 3 times the defense roll of White Huntress, inflicting 3 wounds with one attack. This ended the game. All together, the game lasted maybe 15 minutes. A very quick and easy to play game.
But wait, there’s more. At that point, we decided to play a second game with 3 models per side. Now the Avengers had the most powerful threat I have assembled: Hulk.
To the forces of evil I added the Silver Samurai. Knowing he was the only guy I have (other than Dr. Doom) who had any sort of chance against the Hulk, and would be very tough to wound by either Black Widow or Iron Man.
The Silver Samurai has Armour that doubles his Defense rating against all attacks (except those with Anti-Tank). Both Black Widow and Iron Man gained Anti-Tank when they scored a critical hit…a tough prospect with the modifiers in this case.
The first round saw Hulk showing off. With Leap he is able to ignore terrain that is under his move value in height and distance. The small gap between buildings saw Hulk leap to the next roof…
…and use a second move to land on top of the car parked out front.
The other initial moves saw the two sneaky ladies again roll very well on Stealth and Iron Man use his Afterburners to move to the far corner.
As he zoomed into range of Silver Samurai, his shots were deflected by the nearly indestructible armour of the villain. In ominous preparation for the melee with Hulk, both Whiplash and Silver Samurai began to Overcharge their weapons as they slowly advanced.
Overcharge is an ability shared by both Whiplash and Silver Samurai. This lets the model spend an action to increase the die roll of the next attack by +2 and it gains Anti-Tank. Oh, and it stacks so they are able to spend multiple turns increasing the lethality of the eventual attack. After doing this twice, both had a good chance of hurting the Hulk, even if Iron Man stayed out of reach of their whip and sword.
As the Hulk sprinted across the street, White Huntress reached out with her mind to Lure Hulk away from the fight.
My cunning plan was to pull Hulk away from the fight and let both of my fighters keep Overcharge build-up going until they could finish Hulk with a couple of quick swings.
The strong-willed Hulk shook off both attempts to Lure him away. Iron Man saw that even Hulk could have trouble with two and fired at Whiplash, inflicting a wound on his nemesis. Seeing the only option for victory was slipping away, Silver Samurai teleported beside Hulk and swung with his sword…and barely scratched the unstoppable beast.
Tough is one of the nastiest abilities I developed. The model ignores the first wound each turn. Since Hulk has a very high Defense, this makes him very dangerous. Had Silver Samurai rolled anything but a 1, the Hulk would have at least taken a wound.
As both Hulk and Whiplash had the same Cunning they roll each turn to see who goes first, with Hulk having the initiative, he grabbed Silver Samurai to Throw him at Whiplash. Missing the car, the Silver Samurai was thrown with tremendous force and took out both himself and Whiplash on his flight.
Throw enables a model to throw, a distance determined by the margin of success. If something else is hit by the throw, then the new target also is attacked. Since the car was avoided by the attack, Whiplash was also attacked and suffered two wounds.
This of course ended the second game, but Hulk not finished. Hulk use second action to throw car. Hulk happy.
Both my wife and I enjoyed ourselves. She commented that each of the heroes definitely fit in the genre and played like their characters do. She did comment that Hulk was fun, and kind of hinted that maybe he was a bit over the top. So I showed her who could stop him dead…Dr. Doom.
I dropped him down only a short distance from Hulk. In initiative order, Dr. Doom lashed out at Hulk with lightning and inflicted a wound. Hulk ran in and used Smash (yes I went there, it is actually a melee attack with Anti-Tank). At that point she rolled a ridiculously large number and laughed. Then I showed her that Dr. Doom can ignore fatal attacks with his ability Escape Death. Escape Death negates fatal attacks by using a character trait or equipment, Dr. Doom has two character traits so essentially can ignore the first two times he is killed.
In scenarios, Hulk will be less valuable, as he can do two things well: smash and survive. If the objective is to disarm a bomb or close a portal spawning endless enemies his Might will be of questionable value. All around heroes like Nick Fury, Iron Man or Dr. Doom then prove to be much more valuable.
The next play scenario may see the trial of the handicap system: if a player chooses fewer levels of models, they get additional character traits in a pool they can use on any of their models. As these give access to the key abilities needed to target a specific ability, a lone hero like Batman would be quite dangerous.
Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to give those crazy ideas you have a try on the tabletop.
I had a bit of free time this morning and was able to make a bit of progress on a few figs.
First off, Captain America’s boots got a bit of progress.
As shown, I have added in the laces to the front and the edge flaps that hold the boots together. Yes, the entire top will get blended down, but the laces were my priority for this morning. I stopped the laces from going the full way up as I am putting the shin guard on and there is little reason to do work that will not be visible. In fact, most of the laces I did sculpt likely won’t be visible. Oh well. Slowly but surely he is taking shape.
I have decided I will add a bit of fabric bunching on his knees, at his boots, and butt…in short the places that would show the difference between spandex and fabric. But now I need to stop my half-ass periodic sculpting of hands and heads…the time for those parts is coming fast.
Second, we have my second sculpt shown. My wife’s favorite super hero is Storm from X-Men. Now, she has had a variety of costumes over the comics and movies so I asked her which one she wanted, and it is Halle Berry as Storm from the first two X-Men movies.
So far I have added the join between her breasts (including the zipper) and the flared bottom of her pants. The zipper does go all the way up to her collar but her collar will have to wait for the head so I will leave room to blend and tie it in and carry on once her head is done. After trying a few different poses, including a walking pose, I decided to have her flying. Her left hand will be a fist and the direct of her focus. A flying Storm ready to call down lightning. Again, I am sure there are better pics that could be taken, but these are the ones I needed to see my work. I am still not 100% with the right pant bottom but I will leave it for now. At normal scale it looks good. I did resculpt these 4 times (and her chest twice because of fat fingers).
Last up today we have a very simple conversion. I am taking Blood Widow from Reaper and converting her to Spider Woman. That consists of…well to be honest paint. She is a bit taller than Deano, but she is standing on her tip toes, so she is actually a bit shorter than him. And yes, for the hard-core comic nerds, yes she was an Avenger too. And a Hydra Agent. And a freelancer. And has worked with multiple heroes and villains. So overall, she deserves her own category and can be used by any side in the game I am working on.
A short post today, but hopefully inspiring. If nothing else I hope to inspire you to tackle those bigger projects as smaller bite-sized stages.
With the arrival of the weekend I have managed to squeeze a bit of hobby time in. Since my kids were running around, the best option was painting as I was fairly certain I was going to get interrupted sculpting.
The first mini to get finished is the Hassle Free miniature Nomad. As I mentioned in a previous WIP post, I intend to use him and the other two trooper types as generic “agent” types. The dark blue I chose was to tie him to Nick Fury without directly tying him to only that role.
The dark blue suit could be a police or special agent uniform, possibly even some sort of colour blind special ops guy. I elected to go with green web-gear and gun straps as I discussed before, I want him to look like he grabbed the biggest gun he could and then the only thing to hold the ammo wasn’t the new pattern the others use.
It wasn’t until I painted his beard and added highlights I realized he looks a lot like Chuck Norris. If I decide to get silly in my super hero game, I can do the Chuck Norris version of him.
As he will be called Agent Nomad in my game, I figured it would be ok to show him with other SHIELD agents.
Another quick paint I did today was my version of the Silver Samurai. I used Nakayama Hayato in Bones by Reaper Miniatures as a base. He did have a banner pole, but the detail was soft on where it joined his back and the Silver Samurai was never depicted with one.
I painted this figure very quickly, start to finish I spent maybe an hour on painting him (outside of waiting for his primer to dry). I started from a dark blue and worked up to white to evoke the bluish shadows of silver in comic books. Even if he reads more white than silver, I am happy with the effect. The only difficult part was drawing on random slashes to represent kanji on his prayer scrolls. I am impressed with the model, but some details were a bit soft. I may go and get the metal one at some point to paint as a traditional samurai.
If you are unfamiliar with the Silver Samurai, he was a villain who featured mainly in the Wolverine story line. Although not a villain per se, he is definitely a bad guy. On numerous occasions he partnered with villains and led organized crime syndicates. His powers/abilities were a bit limited: he had his armour (very tough) and the mutant power to make his blade cut through anything. In some stories he also had a teleporting ring. All told, he was a very tough opponent, and he was a recurring threat to Wolverine not because of him being more powerful, but because of their past and close connection.
If you saw the Wolverine movie, you will know he faced the Silver Samurai, Gundam style. Yes Gundam, giant fighting robot, although Gangnam style might work too for how I felt watching it.
Anyhow, to show him beside team evil, he has Dr. Doom. Also featuring as my only other melee guy is Hulk. I added in an ability I actually designed to reflect the two biggest fighting bad-asses from comics I like: Wolverine and Batman. The ability is simple: double an opponent attack roll and get a free melee attack. I originally wrote it to be any attack in short range but realized it might be a bit over-powered.
Anyhow, I hope this little update inspired you today. If nothing else, it can show that a quick and simple execution can give you a table-top quality figure in no time.
Ok, if you have been following this blog for a while, the title seems a bit off…didn’t I just post 3 of the Avengers in a group shot?
For those who are watching superhero movies, this should tell you exactly what I am posting. As an aside, Knight Miniatures just released their Marvel game and re-released their Avengers. I do have a Knight Miniatures Batman so I know they are a bit bigger than my current figs. Now, that doesn’t mean down the road I may get them, but I personally don’t like the classic costume version they have done for Captain America…so this project will go forward anyways.
To start with I decided a while back to get some dollies/armatures from Reaper. I have always made my own armatures for sculpting. So why did I take a step back as it were? Well basically, laziness. When working with men in tights, a pre-sculpted musculature saves me time.
My lovely wife decided to get me some for Valentine’s Day (awwww romantic…I got her jewelry so it wasn’t a total nerd-fest).
To start with, I will showcase the non-heroic male dolly. As shown in the first pic, I did reshape my Captain America start state from the stock shape. Standing beside Deano they are a bit closer to heroic scale in height but the proportions are a lot more toned-down. What is worth noting, is my dolly still has a millimetre and a half of flash to file down on his feet so he won’t tower quite so much over Deano.
Now, all the rest of these pictures are for my own selfish purposes, but I am sharing for the benefit of you. Awww, no seriously. I will point out what I did step by step, but first my concept.
The latest Captain America movies show him in a more modernized suit, and his helmet is obviously a helmet of some type (but without padding or stand-off, not a very good one). What has bothered me is that he didn’t really wear armour. Sure, the suit looks cool, and he does have elbow and very thin knee-pads in some of his suits, but where is the stuff to protect him from badguys.
Here is a bit of reality folks: armour is heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable. From kendo bogu to simple vests up to frag vests with plates and shoulder-guards, nothing I have worn is what I would call comfortable. Once you wear it enough you get used to wearing it. In fact, you stop noticing it as much and learn to adapt. But, modern armour would not let you do the high-octane rough and tumble we see in most action movies.
However, there is another type of armour worn by another type of action hero…or should I say athlete. Both hockey and football equipment do provide impact protection and freedom of movement. Considering the huge resources of SHIELD and the Avengers, I wonder why Captain America wouldn’t wear some sort of hybrid of sports equipment and armour.
Well, wonder no more. The first piece of equipment sculpted is his chest/back armour which is really just a bulkier version of the chest guard used in hockey. I added on military style shoulder-guards as they are actually lighter and give easier movement than hockey shoulder guards. They are actually thick pieces of Kevlar anchored to the vest with loose straps. So here is my first combination of the two armour types. Once cured, the front and back will have a thick strap/vest connection.
Now, if you look at the pictures, you will see some differences and mistakes. The first picture shows tool marks and errors. I quickly fixed those mistakes and took the other pictures. Then, while writing this post I saw some more tool marks and mistakes on the left breast-plate so fixed that too. See, dear reader, I told you these pics are primarily for me.
The next stages will see me adding in some of the lighter padding and the elbow pads. I will be cutting off both the “balls” and sculpting hands. The right hand will be a “knife-hand” four finger point while the left will be grasping his shield. The legs will get a bit of an upgrade too from the world of sports: over the front of his boots will be soccer style shin/knee guards to give him some protection on the shin, ankle, and knee as he does his acrobatic combat.
A lot of pics and rambling today, but hopefully inspirational. If nothing else, I encourage you to try your hand at sculpting to make your own revisions to characters…if I can do it, I am sure you can too.