It has been a long time since I have been able to post, so I apologize to my regular readers. Between needing surgery and several work trips, I have been unable to find hobby time. Last night marked the first time in nearly a year since I was able to do anything hobby related.
The first thing I did was a bit of a conversion. When my Bones 3 arrived, I had one miscast model, Vernone. I contacted Reaper and they quickly sent me a replacement. In the mean-time, he had been sitting on my desk when I came back. A bit of scalpel work later and viola, a new knight with a grim hammer. Nothing too involved but a good selling point of Bones: this conversion would be much more difficult in nearly all other materials.
In keeping with my bad puns, like Return of the Jedi, this post will feature a cute and cuddly thing too.
Well maybe just cute. One of the space rogues (think Guardians of the Galaxy) I have been working on, I did the basic blocking out of colours for Ruth last night, the plucky space dwarf (Hasslefree Grimm) hacker.
I wanted an eclectic colour mix for the helmet and did some lines to divide and pushed paint around. Her bright yellow jumpsuit screams non-combatant and I figured it was funny. I had to make her elbow and knee pads pink just to add to the whole ludicrous effect.
I see with the giants pics of shame that I need to touch up a few edges and I need a bit better blending of her jumpsuit in a couple spots. I still need to highlight the webbing, helmet, visor and finish a few things but I think the overall effect is cool and evokes the stereo-typical free-spirit hacker. The laptop is likely going to stay black or grey but I intend to paint on some logos on the back of the screen and possibly add in either the “blue screen of death”, a start-up screen from Windows, or a busy looking screen making it look like she is doing some hard-core hacking. Still, as a WIP and only a bit of brush time she is definitely coming along.
I do like the look of the Grimm and I am not sure what I would paint the others when I pick more up. I am tempted to keep the yellow jumpsuits but have everything “military” painted in olive drab or something similar. When I pick some more of them up we will see where my head is at.
So from the obscurity of the web comes a quick update. Hopefully you found this inspirational, if nothing else to dive back in with both feet after a hobby hiatus.
Or just catch-up for those of you who hate terrible puns.
I have been quite busy since my last update, but I have managed to get a few models done to show off. Not as much as I would like, as work has kept me quite busy these past couple weeks.
First up we have some updates on Cinder. I will be honest, not super sexy as far as pictures go, but you can see how I am gradually building up the purple. Halfway there I think, and I am liking the very subtle transitions in most areas. The jarring ones don’t bother me as even on batwings there are sometimes changes in pigment near the bones.
I have gotten the back membranes to a similar stage but I am having trouble getting the dragon to photograph properly…I need a bigger backdrop as well as a different light set-up to make it work. Once I get the wings great on the underside, then I will work on the backside. Yes, I want the underside lighter than the back so there will be a contrast. And the little membrane along the top edge of the wing will be the same colour as the underside to make it look interesting.
If I haven’t bored you with stage by stage on wings, then you can get a chance to see some of the other updates.
First up is the dragonborn conversion I did. So far, he got to be used in one game (and as he was not sealed a bit of paint rubbed off). I went with very dark green highlights to keep him black as the player requested. I did a freehand of the holy symbol used by his god as the character is a paladin.
The armour is a bit crude because I was rushing. If I were to do this again, I would start by cutting off his arms at the shoulder pads to give better access to sculpt on the plates where I wanted them.
Not a great finished model, but good quick tabletop and the aesthetics fits in well with the party. Sadly, the player will be away due to work for the next few months so his character will collect dust until he returns.
As a next project, two of the players are getting new models. First off the rogue, using the halfing ranger, doesn’t quite fit the character. Second, the ranger will get a new model.
Why worry so much? I think I will let the players keep their characters after the game wraps up so having cheap Bones for them makes that more of a reality.
Next up is another one of the minions of Rogg, Mogg the bugbear. Another Reaper Bones, he is a good buy for anybody wanting to have some different and dynamic bugbears. The placement and prominence of the mace means a simple weapon swap could give you even more variety.
I went with a bit of a graffiti style shield icon because I couldn’t really decide what to put on there. The eye motif is fairly common on orc and goblin figures (that good of Sauron, do his gifts never end), so I went with a stylized symbol between Sauron and Grummush. This guys reads as a cleric type to me, so having a semi-religious icon helped to sell it.
As shown beside the other bugbears these match very well. A personal pet peeve is when models in the same scale…don’t scale well together. The Reaper gnolls, for example, have a wide variance of sizes. Sure, you can argue individual differences, but when some body part aspects show they were done by different sculptors at different times/locations they lose some continuity. So, if these is also a peeve of yours, fear not: the Reaper Bones Bugbears are all in scale with each other. In fact, some of the models look like the sculptor reused body parts.
A lot of pictures, and even more rambling, so hopefully something was inspirational to you. If nothing else, remember that this hobby helps to keep you grounded and unwind when other stresses start piling up.
Also known as WIP.
I have decided to start on Cinder by Reaper, the only dragon I got with my Bones 2 kickstarter.
This is one huge dragon, and a bit intimidating to paint for that reason alone.
As I rambled in a previous post, I thought the horns resembled Maleficent so I was going to go with a black and purple dragon. In fact, I did a test pattern on the colour scheme on one of my dragon hatchlings already.
Although tough to clearly see, this giant lizard does have the initial coats of purple on the belly and membranes.
I have also decided to do something I saw was very striking on another dragon: the wing membranes will be two-tone. The underside will be light purple and the back just a shade lighter than the body, staying an almost black with purple highlights.
I will be taking my time with this one, the biggest time commitment I see being the brush-work. I intend to highlight each scale individually as opposed to my ham-fisted broad-brush dry-brushing that would normally be slapped on it.
The wings will be a bit of an issue as I am seeing my purple keeps bleeding through black with each coat…and I don’t want a bright purple like I did on my hatchling.
Also getting a bit of work is a new DnD model. A new player joined the group with a dragonborn paladin. As I only have one dragonborn model, the selection wasn’t hard. His character was armed and armoured slightly differently. So I chopped off the sword, added a javelin, and put on some quick plates to have it read more as plate.
A quick a dirty post, light on text but with lots of pics this time. Hopefully this was inspirational to you, if nothing else to nudge you onto that large project you have been putting off.
As most of my assembly was done yesterday, today was free to do some painting. I had a scary moment as I ran out of black spray, but then I remembered I still had white from when I made my daughter a Pokémon piñata. So a few sprays later I had my models primed. Unfortunately I have realized I was solidly in the black primer camp. That and this spray was a bit hydrophobic. Between the bright white and hydro-phobia, it was a frustrating afternoon painting the first three gangers.
As the ganger leader, this guy naturally had to be one of the first to get painted. I went with a slightly darker Caucasian/Asian skin tone, but my light has washed that tone out a bit.
In the large picture I see a few touch-ups that are needed. The astute reader will also notice a few mold lines…and that I didn’t blend the arms into the body with putty. As these are tabletop minis, and also a bit of a tutorial I wanted to avoid going all out.
In the end I am very happy with how he turned out. Menacing and still distinct. He makes a good gang leader for Necromunda I think. And yes, that is a bright blue belt and bandana. I have gone with a blue set of colours. So the gang members will all have blue headbands and a few will have blue belts or straps.
This guy came out very striking I feel. The out of scale arm is a bit obvious in most angles, but he looks fairly good. He is also the first model I am showing with sculpting. I have given him swept back hair and of course the goatee. My light is still washing out colour as this guy is fairly pale compared to the leader. Oh well, back to fiddling with the camera settings again.
With the two weapons he has, he will hit fairly hard. The hammer will count as a club, which gives +1 to his strength in the latest version of Necromunda. The pistol of course will likely go click the second or third time he fires it, so the Chaos pistol with a belt of ammo is appropriate, I think. As all models are assumed to have knives in the game, I felt it was appropriate to model it on him as he likely will not be fighting in melee with it once his pistol runs out.
The last ganger to be painted today is the two sword melee guy. Again a stock model with no conversions (other than the hand swaps). I cut three different arms up to get the right arm I wanted, and I am happy with how he turned out. Menacing with a good melee pose. Swords are a good weapon in the game, and a model with two is even better at melee. I could have given him a pistol too, but I decided to not to. Why? Well I think he looks more bad-ass and scary if he is carrying swords to a gun fight.
A short little post with just an update to show the models painted today. Depending on how tomorrow looks, there might be a bit of break between updates.
Anyhow, hopefully this was inspirational, if nothing else to show you how to use a varied palette while still tying models together.
If you are unfamiliar with West Side Story, it was the modernization of Romeo and Juliette done in the 50s. To make it more accessible it featured street gangs, musical numbers and dance ensembles. Needless to say, this resulted in the greatest mockery of gangs until the 80s rolled around and numerous movies took it even further. I think Mad Max has given the weirdest version of a dark future and the most laughable villains. This was so much a factor, that it heavily influenced Games Workshop in designing their “grim-dark” future. I have given this brief history lesson as I believe I have surpassed that level of ridiculous with my Necromunda gang.
I have done this project to show the local club how easily a gang can be converted and get some interest. So although my guys are a bit comical, it is to keep in character with the theme of the game…and make them blend in with my other gang models.
To start off with, I had to know where I wanted to go. So I quickly built a gang using the latest version of the game – the Necromunda Community Edition rules. I wanted a mix of melee and shooting as I know going one-sided is a good way to lose. I also knew I wanted to use a flame thrower. First I had the bits from another kit and second they are just a silly weapon in the game. From there I also wanted a good firebase to do shooting so I found the shooty-est gun my leader could have and gave it to him. I also combed my bits box and found lots of heavy bolter bit…another really good shooty gun. This gave my gang two guys with a lot of firepower. I fiddled with numbers and came up with a 9 person gang, including a juve (pledge, not a fully indoctrinated member), and 5 gangers. I intended to use the Catachan Jungle Fighters box set as they all have headbands (in character for the Orlock gang) and no body armour.
The first model I built was the flamer. I didn’t think it was lining up properly, so I cut the fuel line intending to sculpt it back later. After glue was curing and I fiddled with the back pack more, I realized it would have lined up.
Oh well. I chose a torso with a vest as the arms have sleeves and shoulder pads. Once painted, this will give the roadwarrior look of a leather jacket with metal shoulder pads. The head has been repositioned since this picture was taken.
The next model I chose was the leader. I had traded bits to get a giant Ork pistol (yes that is a pistol for another model) and converted him to hold it. All in all, I think he looks pretty badass. Why his arm is on top? Well I mis-measured and the hand couldn’t hold underneath. So I chopped the wrist and had him caressing his gun. Or maybe he is fighting the recoil pulling it up. Or he is just trying to look intimidating…I’m not sure. This pic was taken before I repositioned his hand as the wrist was slightly out of alignment. And yes, that is medieval leg armour. The bits and bobs make the character for these guys. Plus, I knew I was already going to have metal armour with the shoulder pads.
For the heavy bolter, I had to do the most work. I had to chop off hands to match the grip and build a swivel handle our out a knife handle and plastic rod. The final version does have a metal gauntlet sculpted to cover the giant hand and the ammo belt was shortened by one round: the last bullet actually raised the model up.
I chose the shouting face as this giant gun will definitely be a rush to fire. He also has a pistol as with how ammunition works in the game, he will only fire the thing once most games.
For the other gangers I chose a mix of shooting a melee. The weapons have come from a variety of sources including fantasy models and very old school guns kicking around. The sword was a more involved conversion as I chopped hands from arms to match up the grip I needed to give him a pair of swords. I am not sure if he is more or less scary than the guys with the over-sized guns, but I am happy with the pose and facial expression.
The game itself starts with a pre-determined number of “Credits” to build your gang. As the gang progresses you can earn more credits to recruit more gang members or give them better equipment. The gang consists of 9 models right now, but I will grab a few more to build some options for gang progression. This gang is very diverse in capabilities with a lot of firepower at range and some ability to fight in close quarters. This is not the final stage of the gang. In fact all the green-stuff work I have done gives them the 80s style hair and silliness plus the fixing of a few gaps and details. I am sure I will convert more as time progresses as these guys make good fodder for two of my 40k armies (either Chaos Cultists or Guardsmen) and are just fun to build. The only frustrating thing with this build is that I couldn’t find my old Necromunda bits. I have a couple of sprues of various pistols and rifles that would have saved a bit of time. On the other hand, my autogun conversion will have an EO-Tech sight (red dot) and will look pretty cool (even if a bit plain unpainted).
Hopefully this post inspired you today, if nothing else it gives you an idea of how you can mash together various kits to make your own piece of 80s nostalgia.
I know I haven’t been updating often. To be honest, I doubt I can really say I have regular readers. But I have been doing stuff. Sort of.
The 40k league in town just wrapped up and somebody made a comment that got me remembering Necromunda so I dug up the latest version of the online rules and shared them with the club. My cunning plan is to do a bit of terrain off and on and do a event day to build interest and try to do a league in December-January.
If you are not familiar with Necromunda it is Judge Dredd in the 40k universe with more focus on the gangs in the lowest, darkest corners of a megacity. It has a lot of silliness and very rarely is it worth playing a league for more than 7-8 games as one player gets so ridiculously good it isn’t fun to play against them.
The first piece of terrain I built last weekend is the tower pictured. As the game is set in a futuristic slum built on the ruins of an even older slum (with the habitable bits towering high above) towers are a hallmark.
More of a proof of concept, I may keep this piece fairly plain and just add doo-dads and graffiti as I paint it. I built this from a not-Pringles can, did some nylon screen over foamcore and I actually built the ladders. That took the most time but they are solidly anchored. I was looking for chickenwire but it is not in the hardware stores right now, I will have to wait until spring.
The blog will showcase a bit of a how-to on building a gang as the official models are out of production and sell for a king’s ransom online. Instead, I will do a tutorial for the benefit of the local club on how to convert and build a gang. Watch this space if that interests you.
The blog will go through a bit of slow down again fairly soon as we have one of the busy periods at work coming up. However, my role this year will be drastically changed. This means the blog might get the odd update before December. I won’t make promises but I do have a much lighter workload this year since most of my work for this period was lead-end work (I’ve been killing myself before anybody else gets busy).
A short post with few pics, but hopefully inspirational. If nothing else, it shows you that the dusty old books on your shelf may get a new lease on life in the right circumstances.
It has been quite the long gap in posts, and I am sure more than a few people will be surprised to get a messaging popping-up on an update on this blog.
I have been quite busy with work and social activities the past couple months with little time for hobby stuff. I have managed to squeeze a bit of time to play 40K in, but mostly because I was asked to take part in a league that has games every two weeks (so fairly easy to manage). Today’s update is mostly a few odds and sods that I have been working on, with absolutely nothing having been completed.
As 40K has been the bulk of my hobby time, a few of my Tau models have been getting some paint. Although the basic hull is about 90% done, this needs a lot of work. The white is fairly smooth, I just need to clean up the mess from my black-lining and of course paint the crew and compartment.
I have enjoyed playing my Tau and I did buy a few models, but I have committed less than $100 to this army between getting models in trade and on sale.
As the title picture shows, I have started a new terrain piece for the urban terrain. I have decided to use some of the random plastic pieces from my junk box to make a power relay station which is also built on a piece of MDF. I clad the outside in a foamcore wall and built the small out-building and have called it done. There are a few other minor details but they won’t really look like much until it is painted.
Another couple WIP have been my Reaper figures. I got quite the large assortment of Bugbear miniatures in Bones 2 and I have just started painting them. I had put on the base coats on a few of them when I decided I wanted to build one up to finished on the skin tone. At that point, I had a friend contact me and ask if I could teach him how to paint…that night.
So he brought over a few figs and I showed him a few techniques, but these bugbears were the most handy. Between the different stages of progressive layering he was able to see how I paint and he even threw paint on a few while he waited for paint to dry. By the end of the night he had a good enough for table-top miniature for his paladin character in the weekly DnD campaign he is playing in. He also decided to gift a few minis to his group and my box of Bones turned up 3 members of the group for him, leaving him with just one more fig to get for Christmas gifts. As for the bugbear, I will still need to finish his armour and make his fur stand out more with highlights and a wash. And the weapon of course needs lots of work too.
Also getting a bit of paint is the Roper. Reaper calls it a Stone Lurker to avoid lawsuits, but it is obviously the iconic underground horror the Roper. I am not sure what else I want to do with this guy. A wash or two on the tentacles will tone them down for starters and I am not very happy with the mouth on top. The eye needs a bit of work too. In other words, it is very much still a work in progress.
I have always been fascinated by that monster since I was a kid and I loved the artwork in the AD&D Monster Manual as a kid. Something about it just seemed so unnatural and weird. Funny thing is, I have never faced one in a game nor have I used one as a monster in a game I ran.
Anyhow, now that I have a painted miniature, maybe it will make an appearance at some point in a game.
So a bit of a short post with a lot of variety, but hopefully still inspirational. If nothing else, it shows that even with a long hiatus from hobby time it is possible to jump back into things.
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.
The title holds no secrets, but I am a bit behind schedule. I spent yesterday afternoon watching a movie with the kids so I likely won’t be able to finish Captain America this weekend. But, I am sure you are here to see my work.
Not shown yesterday, I did add some details to his helmet including the giant A. It is out of scale with the actual helmet, but it is visible and clear from table distance away. So I decided to keep it. Way too long spent perfecting that.
Today I finished most of the details of his helmet. I added in the chin-straps and the radio. I also cleaned up a mistake I missed on the back of the helmet. The next time I sculpt on the helmet it will be to smooth it out one more time and call that part finished.
I opted for hard ear covers that could be a radio headset or sound-dampeners. Partly because I hate sculpting ears even more than eyes on a face. Also because battlefields are noisy. With a good headset he would still be able to hear around him and the radio, and a bit of noise-cancelling to prevent tinnitus from gunshots and loud blasts.
I have included the face in shadows so those who can’t filter out colours will see how well the sculpting does blend together to look like a real face (and not a black-face miniature).
Overall he looks more like a modern soldier than a guy in tights, but the heroic stance and shield will help identify him as Captain America. Oh, the giant A on his forehead will help too.
Just getting a single pic to show the hours worth of work, I trimmed the seam from last time and added the next one. Slowly but surely Storm will get finished. Not a project I enjoy as much as it is simply transitions and blending and very little cool details to sculpt.
Who has also been getting some work is Thor. The first pic I will show is his hammer. I have been gradually working on it, and it will take several stages itself. The flat surfaces are cured and then raised and beveled edges added very slowly. This shows 2 of the 6 sides done. The handle will likely get a bit more love too.
Today I did two stages of work on Thor. First I did his left fist, well the first stage anyways. There will be some more work and thumb added once it is fully cured. What these pics showcase though is the start of his face. I added in the eyes and nose, with a base putty to add the cheekbones and brow too. Not my worst piece of work, I will try to make him look like Chris Hemsworth. So far the eyes are right, but again the nose is a bit off. I am thinking of going fully comic style with the helmet. I will be doing tights for him. And yes, the boots are taking shape too for the more astute readers.
While he does look like a commedia del arte actor right now, the basis of his face is there. The chin of course will be built out quite a bit to reflect the rugged features of a son of Odin.
Lots of pics, a bit of progress, and hopefully a little inspirational for you. If nothing else, for those who have seen my earlier work, this should inspire you to improve your skills too.
This morning I decided to sneak downstairs to do some sculpting work. There I was intently focused on getting the nose of Captain America exactly right…when a little voice piped up from my elbow and startled me. I jumped a swore a little bit and my tool jumped with me. The end result was the nose got moved. So I went back to the drawing board and redid his nose and mouth.
I decided I wanted to put the chin straps down his face, and I like the covered ear look of one of the helmets in the latest movies so I will go that route…and I will add a mouth-piece coming out of it. What kind of officer doesn’t have his head glued to a radio?
The face was my vain attempt to copy Chris Evans. I think I got his smirk/grimace down pat but the nose is a bit off. I have to say I am pretty impressed with myself. Faces have always been my weakness and this isn’t too bad. I would say it actually turned out pretty good.
With it being a weekend, hopefully I can get some more work done on Captain America (Storm and Thor will get some work too). My goal is to get him finished this weekend, but I don’t want to rush it. I have decided to stay with the spandex look to his suit and see how it looks all finished.
Hopefully this inspired you today, if nothing else to keep your attention on sneaky little foot-steps an not 100% on your work.