Saturday, January 31, 2015

White Worms

Way back in November of 2012 I pledged on kickstarter from Troll Forged Miniatures for a set of cool looking aliens mostly since I liked the designs of the grubs. They were a nice mix of worm and insect and they just screamed weird Mythos creature to me. Time progressed and years passed but I never felt like I would never get my miniatures as there was excellent communication all along. I think this is where a lot of Kickstaters go wrong. As a backer I expect delays and for the delivery date to be moved back several times but as long as I'm kept informed about what the problems are and how it's progressing I'm perfectly fine with that. Of course I may just be atypical to the standard Kickstarter backer who I see complaining everywhere about not getting their stuff yet.

Back to the miniatures, the grubs are made out of Trollcast which I gather is some sort of plastic and resin mix. I'm quite impressed with it, especially in comparison with other similar materials I've had to work with. Nice detail, seems pretty resilient, and cleans up nicely with a file. I did run into a problem priming one of the four grubs even after washing them up with soap and water. I just ended up hitting him with some spray primer and he was fine from there ( I usually use Vallejo brush on primer out of sheer laziness to go out and deal with the spray can.)

Painting was straight forward as I decided to go with white as the scheme in honor of the Clark Ashton Smith story The Coming of the White Worm. The worms I think will be useful for both 15mm and 28mm. I could see them as giant worms in some underground caverns for 15mm. A cavern terrain board would of course be something that I would love to make at some point but that will probably be down the line. I think I could also use them with my dungeon stuff as some sort of crazy insectile wormy creatures. I still have a fistful of these guys left as well as the rest of the aliens from the pledge so I have more than enough to play with.

I haven't thought about it till looking at this picture but maybe I should use some 15mm figures as tiny faeries or imps to go with my 28mm stuff too.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bonus Round Entry 4: Merlin and Pal

The fourth bonus round is now up. Check them all out here!

 This time the theme was Myth and I knew just what I wanted to do. I had purchased a set of Sub-Roman British Arthurian characters from Musketeer miniatures (now Footsore). These are for use in my dungeon delving set that I'm still in process of building. I don't have Arthur but I picked up all of the foot figures.As you might guess one of the influences of this project is the The Warlord Chronicles by Cornwell, so I tried to paint the pair of them up to fit with the books.

First up is Merlin. I wanted to keep him in black Druid robes so the rest of the colors went around that. I initially tried doing the feathers on the cloak like they came from various birds but it didn't read very well so went back to an off white. I also spent some extra time on the fur cloak. I guess it must of come from some giant bear based on the pattern I painted but if anyone could get one it would be Merlin.

The other figure in the pack was Lancelot. In the books Lancelot is not exactly hero but I do like this sculpt alot and I'm going to be using him as a more generic hero anyways. I decided to try my hand at freehanding the shield emblem and settled on a pair of fish. I've been considering how to work in the Christian/ Pagan conflict that is a big part of the books into my dungeon project, so I thought fish would be a good neutral symbol that could be used for either faction if I need too. Fish of course lend themselves to his colors being a sea blue.

I need to try to make some more of the dungeon pieces for the project next. I have a few started but they'll probably stay on the backburner till the Painting Challenge is over. Hopefully I can get a couple more of the figures done however.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dagon and his Spawn

When I went to finish up the rest of the Khurasan deepones for the Painting Challenge I was in for a bit of a surprise.  There were two extra minis than I expected. The pack came with 12 deepones in 6 different poses not 10 as I remembered. I also found this Reaper bones fishman I had purchased some time ago to go along with them and thought he would work great as Dagon, lord of the Deepones. Or at least some sort of titanic fishman leviathan.

This is as close to a beach as my scenery gets.

I painted them up pretty much the same as the first three but with some variations in shades for the skin. The big guy also got his armor plates painted up in a pale greeny bone color to emphasize them. I like the way he looks like the prehistoric armored fish the Dunkleosteus. Actually the local museum here has a nice set of the fossilized remains on display and I always enjoy taking a look at them.   

Time to add that Innsmouth look to this town!
I also paid some extra attention to his eye. If I've learned anything from watching Godzilla movies its that the eye is a great focal point for giant monsters.

All 12 of the Deep Ones and Dagon
I tried to do the bases up as sort beach like this time. I included some pool like areas on a few of them and some simple water effect with some gloss varnish. I suppose I need to do a beach or waterfront board at some point for them but I need to finish my regular ones first.

If you add in the Shoggoths I painted earlier its a pretty sizable force.

I also need to stat these guys up and try to find some more fish cultists or miniatures to use as hybrids to round the force out.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bonus Round Entry 3: Victorian Cyclist

The third theme round was Victorian. Now I had quite a few options for this one since most of my 15mm stuff could have fit in that category. But I really wanted to do someone riding a pennyfarthing. The problem: I don't have a miniature for that and I've already decided to try to do the Challenge without buying any new minis. The solution: brought about by the suggestion of my wife who shares my fascination with high wheelers, to sculpt my own.

Sculpting progression. I meant to take some more pics as he progressed but as usual I forgot.

I started by finding a picture to use as reference and then working out an armature to start sculpting on. He wasn't really designed around any scale just off the picture once printed out. After measuring he is about 54mm, which has worked out to a nice scale to work in. All in all the sculpting took most of the two weeks but by far the most difficult part was making the bicycle. A couple of things didn't turn out exactly as I envisioned, and there was a good bit of trial and error in there to get a finished product. Also quite a bit of swearing especially in the construction of the front wheel.

While the pose matched the reference, I gave him a new outfit.
If I was doing it over again and didn't have a time limit this time I would figure out a better solution for the wheels first and go from there. As a self critique I think my usual flaws are still in evidence with this guy, mainly face, hands and proportions. The moustache hides alot of the flaws on the face and the painting some on the hands but his head still looks a bit small to me and his upper arms are too bulky. On the plus side I think my technique is getting better and the rest of the body is in good proportions. Using a good reference was a big help there.

Once sculpting was complete painting was pretty quick. The bike was done in blue to honor my first bike when I was younger. The rest of the color selection went from there. I wanted to do a fancy patterned waistcoat but after a first failed attempt I realized I wouldn't have the time to do it justice. After painting 15s recently doing a larger figure like this is quite a pleasure. You get alot of canvas to work some subtle blends in without driving yourself crazy. Not a scale I would game in but one I will be coming back to for modelling.

I don't usually talk too much about the photography but I'm really happy with the way this one came out. I don't have any terrain to scale to go with a larger figure like this so instead used my usual 15mm terrain. I pushed it to the far back of the photobooth and made sure my camera settings would blur it out into the background. As usual special thanks to my wife for the assistance with post processing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Martians are Coming!

After having received the goods from the Kickstarter almost 6 months ago I'm now starting on working on the Martians from All Quiet on the Martian Front. I've previously painted up a handful of the human infantry and have some more on the worktable but I've avoided the Martians as I hadn't really figured out a scheme for them yet. Since I have 6 of the metal drones I thought I'd try out a paint scheme on one first.

I debated between doing a glossy black or an all chrome effect but wasn't really sure if I could reliably pull either one off. I expect I would get really bored or frustrated doing either one. I decided to try out a scheme with  a little more Victorian/ Steampunk flavor and opted for a metallic blue-green and brass.

With my recently painted villagers.
The metallic is pretty straight forward as I painted a base coat of Vallejo Gunmetal mixed with a bit GW Coelia Greenshade ink. (As an aside I've had good luck with the new GW inks but not really as inkwashes. They don't have as much coverage or sink into the crevices as much as the old line but they work really well as glazes or filters and also as color mediums to add to paints. The new names are terrible and impossible to remember. I had to check the pot several times to make sure I wasn't misspelling it. For normal ink washes I've found Army painter's tones to be really nice.)
After that was dry I gave it a wash of the same ink. I drybrushed it up with Vallejos natural steel next and then another ink wash of the blue green. Finally a drybrush of Vallejo silver on the edges to bring back the metallic glint.

The drone with an actual All Quiet infantry figure. The All Quiet range is really closer to 20mm than 15mm.

The brass followed my usual pattern of Vallejo Bronze, Strong tone wash, and highlight with Vallejo Brass. On bigger surfaces it will get a Vallejo Old Gold final highlight. I went with an orange for the eye and after some debate the tentacle arm was painted up in grey since it doesn't really look like its made out of metal.

If you look closely you can see that this drone has run afoul of a dastardly stray hair attack.
I like the look so next up I'll have to try out one of the larger walkers and finish up the rest of the drones.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lower Fickleham Vigilance Committee

These five were part of my latest entry for the Painting Challenge. I'm separating out my Martian drone as a shameless way to boost my blog post count.

I need to touch up the edges of those bases.
All five are from a Khurasan miniatures modern zombie pack featuring some hikers, a zombie dog, and some locals. I've previously painted one of the villagers up and this time finished up the other five. I'm not sure what I can do with the hikers as they are both obviously modern with puffy jackets and shorts. The dog will probably get used at some point as he should be a quick paintjob.

I went with a muted earth tone scheme in an attempt to make them fit in more as Victorian citizens. The woman had an scandalously short dress on ( ankles and even calves were clearly visible) so I made it a decent length with some putty and then added an apron so she could be painted up as a domestic. I'm not really sure if a woman of that era would wear a coat like the one she has so I figured I 'd paint it up like a canvas slicker she grabbed in her haste to run out into the streets.

"That sweater is so ugly I might just shoot you!"

The second figure I had doubts with was the gentleman in a sweater. My research didn't really turn up if tartan sweaters were made at that time but that's the effect I went for. I think it came out looking more like an ugly Christmas sweater. I probably should have gone with the fisherman sweater that I put on the other guy but I didn't want them to all look like they just wandered up from the dock. This is one of those strange times in miniature painting where a lack of knowledge of historical haberdashery has led to some suboptimal painting choices. He'd also probably look better if I had added a hat.

"Run for it!"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Ponderings

Yet another new hobby year has come upon us! That means its time to take a look back at what I did over the year. I decided to add some pictures of my favorites throughout. But first lets look at what I said I would do. Of my three resolutions I only accomplished one, updating the look of the blog. However, I think I'm pretty close to number two: actually playing a game with my 15 mm stuff. That one might happen pretty soon if I can get my terrain boards done. The last was 50 posts for the year and I really didn't get close to that one.

I made some hedges and fields in 15mm. Need to do more. Never can have enough hedges and fields!

My first theme entry for the Painting Challenge and my favorite project of the year. Its currently on display in my curio cabinet in my house where visitors can gawk and try to figure out how far around the bend I am.
I managed to work on a couple of different projects this year. Some more in my 15mm stuff: The Steamworks and starting work on my 28mm dungeon delving: King under the Hill. But if I had to pick one thing out from the past year I would say joining the Painting Challenge has been the best thing of the year. It has been a definite spur to get painting done and has allowed me to work on a variety of projects. The bonus is that it continues on into this year as well.

I finished off a long standing project. Expect to see a couple more of these guys appearing in the Challenge too.
So what do I want to do for this year?

Steamworks: I want to get that first game in and get more minis painted up and more of the world developed on the blog. Also I really want to try working on building up the 19th century urban terrain. This might be the year I delve into 3D printing finally.

My second theme entry for the Challenge. I'm really happy with how these pictures turned out for them.

King Under the Hill: My second big project but more loose than the first. I've been having a lot of fun working on the more detailed 28mm stuff for this. I'd like to get a basic set of terrain options and miniatures put together. Something where I could pretend I could play a game although I have no idea what that would consist of at this point.

I finished a piece of my dungeon set. Although this is more for picture taking. Still, proof of concept!

More sculpting: I tend to be hit and miss here. More normal modus operandi is to get about 2/3 done with a sculpt for a project and then abandon it to never be finished. I'm hoping I'll both go back and finish some off and also just start sculpting things that interest me instead of trying to necessarily work on specific things to fit in larger projects. So you might be seeing some oddball stuff.

I finished two Dreadball teams. That means I can actually play a game now! Ha Ha don't expect a battle report anytime soon.
 I hope everyone has a Happy and Hobby-Filled New Years!
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