Sunday, December 06, 2015

Veloci-Raptors

Chuhuac gravbike racers
15 mm




Three racers are snout-to-tail as they round the final pylon
in the annual Hatchlings' Day Classic.


While sports like tailball and hoopstick remain vibrant centuries after their invention, motor-sports competitors are some of the biggest media heroes of Chuhuac popular culture.  Gravbike racers are often former military scouts or pilots with lightning reflexes and seemingly no fear.

"Highway to the danger zone..."

Models are Loud Ninja Games "Chuhuac Grav Bikes".  Paper models from Dave Graffam Models.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Thing That Should Not Be

Tentacled Vivisectionist
15 mm

Straight out of hell
One of a kind
Stalking his victim
Don't look behind you

Nightcrawler



The chaotic, murky underlevels of Dropfall city are home to secretive criminal gangs, the diseased or mutated, and the merely poor and desperate.  Rumours of far more sinister denizens abound; in a lawless world where inhabitants can simply disappear for any one of a thousand reasons, a predator can select victims with total freedom.  The Vivisectionist intends to learn the biomechanical secrets of all sentient species, one flayed and twitching body at a time.

Amarjit battles through gibbering revenants, intent on taking the fight to their
hideous master.  Will her blades end its terrible reign, or will she end up as its
latest experimental subject?

Figure is a Reaper "Darkspawn Familiar", intended for 28mm scale.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Diminutive Extra-Terrestrial

Friendly Asogian
15 mm scale


The small-statured natives of the planet Brodo Asogi ("The Green Planet") are intelligent and good-natured.  Their society values science and exploration and they send research expeditions to the farthest reaches of space in the hopes of discovering new natural wonders.  Though physically weak, they have potent psi powers which give them telekinetic and healing abilities.

A Khurasan figure from the pack "friendly demons".

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Daring Deep Space Dinos

Chuhuac Space Marines
15 mm

Like most spacefaring species, the Chuhuac have a strong interest in exercising sovereignty over their home space; this includes aggressively suppressing elements such as pirates and smugglers.  Crew and troops on the corvettes Wingfinger, Talon, and Far-Seer are experienced in intercepting and boarding criminal vessels.



Another trio of Loud Ninja Games' fun space dinos here.  I used the "Chuhuac Troopers" pack from 15mm.co.uk for my ground forces in the previous post, these are "Chuhuac Special Forces".  Giving them a higher-tech space-suited look completely changes the feel; I definitely like how these turned out.


Monday, October 05, 2015

Raptors in Spaaaace!

The Chuhuac
15 mm



A boisterous race of social carnivores who appreciate a good hunt or aggressive play more than anything, the Chuhuac had long been troubled by the suspicion that something was amiss with their origins.  Only once they developed the paleontological sciences were they able to confirm what several major religions had long argued - that while their species had inhabited their lushly biological world for eons, they did not originate there.  Their fossil record began abruptly about 65 million years ago, preceded by faint traces of a previous, unrelated early ecosystem.

Though first contact between humans and the Chuhuac was initially distrustful, it was still existentially stunning for both species to discover blood relatives across the vastness of space.  As relations improved, both species' scientists eagerly began to work together to learn how an entire ecosystem descended from Cretaceous fauna and flora came to exist on a world dozens of light-years away from Earth.


Although individually aggressive by nature, historical interludes of catastrophic internecine conflict have left the Chuhuac with a distaste for actual warfare.  Their military forces, like this pack leader and his troopers, exist largely for self-defense and to assist allies in ventures deemed ethically justifiable.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Light and Dark

Keisho the Monk
15 mm

As we see farther into the universe and meet innumerable beings, some might ask "how can I have compassion for these beings who I do not even understand?".  An answer could be "one does not need to understand the language or metabolic requirements of another being to accept their suffering".  Such universal understanding may not be possible, but universal compassion is a stone on the path of enlightenment.


Some faiths adapted to humankind's spread through the galaxy better than others.  Keisho, a monk of the NeoBuddhist Temple of the Four Noble Truths, lives among the poor and exploited in the filthy spaceport of Dropfall.  There he seeks to relieve worldly affliction and teach the dharma to any sentients, human or otherwise, who seek it.

I first mentioned this guy in passing in a previous post, and when I saw 15mm.co.uk now has a monk figure available, I thought it was almost perfect, though I did add a sort of breather pack to make him more sci-fi.

"So... you're saying letting go of attachments can become an attachment?"



Gunslinger Assassin
15 mm

What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? 
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.


A slightly converted 15mm.co.uk figure.  I think Spacejacker did a much better job on these guys, no surprise there.

Picking up cargo on Ord Mantell, Han and Chewie run into another of Jabba's hired guns.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Dark Lord Unmasked

So I don't often do blog posts about other people's blog posts, but I recently came across something too cool to pass up.  Matt S. at Oldenhammer in Toronto recently posted this conversion of a Star Wars Imperial Assault Darth Vader figure which blew me away:



He has a bit to say about it too:
If there's anything scarier than Darth Vader in his mask, it's Darth Vader with the top down: the bruised eyes, the long unhealed wounds, and the skin pale as a moonscape. There is no better subject if you want a miniature as a portrait of a person in pain.

It's a powerful portrait of one of our favourite sci-fi villains in all his hideous glory...  If you like it, don't just tell me.  Tell him!  (He's also posted some other really nice Star Wars stuff more recently, so check that out too.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this blog from now on.)

Friday, August 07, 2015

Dino Discovery

So I found these plastic Schleich mini dinosaurs at the local toy store the other day.  I think they have interesting 15 mm possibilities.  The raptor and the pterosaur are a tad off-scale but the others seem pretty bang-on.  And, at only $4 each, you could put a herd on the gaming table for the cost of a few pints...


"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

They do have a bit of molded text on their bellies that someone like me would feel compelled to remove and putty over, but otherwise they're pretty awesome as-is.  And scale is at least credible; here they are posing with a (largish) 15 mm humanoid:

"Come at me, bro!"
Khurasan "Huntarr" figure for scale.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Winged Old One

Elder Thing (sculpt)
28 mm scale; 40 mm tall

They were not evil things of their kind. They were the men of another age and another order of being. ... Scientists to the last - what had they done that we would not have done in their place? God, what intelligence and persistence! What a facing of the incredible, just as those carven kinsmen and forbears had faced things only a little less incredible! Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star spawn - whatever they had been, they were men!


Unlike many of H. P. Lovecraft's horrors, the Elder Things were not supernatural or truly malicious in any way.  They were aliens who traveled to earth in the Cambrian era, founding a strange civilization and bio-engineering the dreaded Shoggoths as their servants.  Though hinted at in various eldritch volumes of the past, their existence was only truly discovered by Antarctic explorers from Miskatonic University in the 1930s, precipitating the loss of most of the expedition.


This strange creature from "At the Mountains of Madness" started out as an oval bead from my daughter's necklace kit.  I'd painted Lovecraft mythos figures before, but the Elder Things never caught my interest simply because ATMOM is, frankly, not a very accessible novel.  My sculpt isn't overly original, largely based on various Deviantart pieces as well as Lovecraft's oblique text description.  Most people's interpretations look something like these:

Stay away from the brown acid.

I imagined the tentacles, legs and wings to be boneless fluid-filled structures and sculpted them accordingly.  I don't think the "hands" and wings turned out particularly well, but overall I'm happy with it.  I gave it a tool or weapon (Laser gun?  Musical instrument?  Elder drain unblocker?) because they were supposed to be a highly advanced civilization, not just tentacle-waving animals.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Monkey Business

Like most of us, I like to keep up with what other painters are up to on their blogs.  And while I can appreciate the technical accomplishments of a well-painted army... well, usually it's the little things that make me say "Yes!  This hobby is awesome!"

This, at Menace Miniatures, is one of those things:


I'll admit I suggested the idea to redmenace, but wow.  What a great job.  This is a scene I've wanted to put together myself for ages, but I never got around to it.  Looking at it here, I can just imagine that scene from 2001...

So if you like it too, drop by Menace Miniatures and say something about it!  And check out his other work, because it's all very nice.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Prang Posse

I finally completed my last few Prang models, here's the squad all together.


I had fun painting these froggy guys, each one is unique in many ways (weapons and armour are all a little different) but with a coherent painting style they tie together well as a group.  Their slightly different body types and facial structures give them a lot of character too; they remind me of the ensemble casts of many war films.

"Come and get some!"
Incidentally, this is the first full squad I've done with the attached bases removed and scratchbuilt "indoor" bases added.  A fair bit of work even for these simple designs, but I like the results!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Prang Problem Solver

Prang Combat Technologist 
15 mm


Not all problems can or should be solved by superior firepower, so in addition to the basic mechanical training all Prang troopers receive, mission teams usually include an experienced technologist.  Skilled in manipulating materials as common as steel or as exotic as scrith, as well as infiltrating automated systems, they protect their squad from threats ranging from a locked hatch to killer nanoswarms.

Prang figure from 15mm.co.uk.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pugnacious Prang

Prang Commando Squad
15 mm


Pod-leader E'Li and his crew of heavily-armed marines storm yet another pirate vessel, rescuing captives and capturing or eliminating the criminals.  Their effective use of heavy blaster rifles and industrial-strength laser cutters make them very dangerous shipboard adversaries.


Originating from a swampy, water-rich planet, Prang are bulky amphibian-like bipeds slightly larger than humans. Their resistance to injury and astonishing regenerative abilities, coupled with their culture's strong values of fairness and justice, mean that in addition to forming a formidable self-defense force on their home world, Prang expatriates can be found serving fearlessly in police and paramilitary law enforcement forces across the galaxy. In Prang society, an honest person presents their thoughts plainly, so in addition to a reputation for bravery, Prang are known for having no concept of tact whatsoever.


Figures are, of course Eli Arndt's batrachian Prang from 15mm.co.uk.

Monday, June 15, 2015

War Lizard

Kada Pirate
15 mm


Descended from powerful crocodile-like apex predators, Kada are the true high-tech savages of the galaxy.  Eschewing subtlety or diplomacy, they prefer to attack swiftly with powerful blasters and cantoloupe-sized concussion grenades, or claws and teeth in close quarters.  Of course, such vicious fighting generates quite an appetite, so fallen enemies and any unlucky captives are eagerly devoured without delay.  Kada are often found engaging in opportunistic piracy or working as mercenary shock troops for other warlike species.

A 15mm.co.uk "Draccian" figure.


Monday, June 08, 2015

For the Emperor!

Sister-Captain B'than
15 mm


The "Human Empire" is barely an empire at all by galactic standards; a single moderately resource-rich star system with a handful of inhabited worlds.  Their massive and religiously fanatical military, on the other hand, are a force to be reckoned with.  Brethren and Sistren of the Imperial Forces are indoctrinated from birth to worship the mysterious Emperor and perform any sacrifice or atrocity in his name.  Highly xenophobic, the Empire have already enslaved and slaughtered one sapient species in their home system, and would set their sights on others nearby if they were not restrained by the close proximity of the Cultural Collective.


B'than, an elite veteran, has distinguished herself in numerous border conflicts against humans and alien "abominations".  Her unrestrained purity of purpose against uprisings among the agricultural and industrial helots of the Empire has earned her both Orders of Faith and the admiration of her comrades.

The figure is Ion Age's "Lady Arachne".

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Legal Team

Detective Decker Baley and DAN-33L
15 mm



In the rainy, dystopian corporate future, "if you're not a cop, you're little people".  Fortunately, Detective Baley and his cybernetic partner are on the streets, protecting the little people from gang bangers, fang gangers, hackers, crackers, spacejackers, skinjobs, whackjobs and handjobs.

These 15mm.co.uk figures are, bluntly, not what you'd call "crisp sculpts", but I kind of like them, especially the human figure's extreme versatility and the robot's weird big insectoid eyes.  And named, of course, after two iconic sci-fi detectives, and one's positronic sidekick.

"Looks like we're cornered.  How waterproof are you, exactly?"

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rude Mechanicals

Droid buddies
15 mm


I thought I'd do something fun with some of the robots I got in a recent 15mm.co.uk order.  Honestly, these aren't the crispest figures out there, but with a bit of work I think they turned out... okay.  Any resemblance to anything else at all is purely coincidental.

Originals: HOF43, HOF45 and HOF70

Friday, May 15, 2015

Multiverse Apartment Block

The second kit Multiverse Gaming Terrain sent me for review is from their "Metropolis 15" line (which could just as accurately be called "Gotham City 15").  It's a small apartment or office building in a style I believe is called "brownstone" and is reminiscent of working-class boroughs of a 20th-century big American city.  Perfect territory for a pulp RPG, cops and crooks, or super-heroes themed game.


Each storey of this kit is a discrete unit, removable to change the structure's height and allow figure movement inside.  Being cocky from having one MDF kit under my belt already, I actually departed from the instructions for this one and assembled the storeys attached to their floors, rather than ceilings.


Apart from leaving walls around the rooms when it's opened up, this also allows assembly as a one-storey building, which isn't possible using the stock method.  I'm surprised this worked, but it did.

Not huge apartments, but big enough for some indoor drama.
As with the bunker kit, the fit was exceptionally precise and assembly was smooth.  The instructions are basic but fairly clear, pointing out a few tricky areas, but I still made one mistake: one of the end wall/window pieces (for the first floor rear) is different from the rest, and I didn't even notice until halfway through the build:


Remedied by cutting the decorative rectangles out by hand to match the others, and using it for an upper floor, but this really should be pointed out in the instructions as it's an intentional element of the design.  I've contacted Multiverse about this, and it should be clarified in an update.

The end result might not get painted for a while, but here it is!  Another strong initial offering from Multiverse.

"Let's move this fight to the roof!"

Pros:
- perfect fit
- classic urban design
- large gaming space
- modular and expandable

Cons:
- plain side walls when used as a stand-alone structure
- instructions need to be more detailed

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Multiverse MDF bunker - finished!

Continued from my previous post...

Multiverse has clear assembly instructions on their website in PDF format, so assembly is simple.  After ensuring everything dry-fit nicely, I began gluing.  I glued the surface applique to the outer walls first, since it made alignment easier and allowed me to press them flat with a heavy book.


The bunker's vertical walls are totally plain inside and I thought maybe they could use some detail too, but in the interests of getting this all done in a timely fashion, I resisted until later.

Rubber bands used to clamp the main walls and roof.
That flat, plain roof was still bugging me, so I added some details to make it into a VTOL landing pad.

... on the cheap: window screen and cardstock.
Once assembly was complete I gave everything a generous coat of spray primer.  As it turned out, I probably should have done this twice, since when I put the acrylic on with my airbrush it seemed to soak into the less-primed areas and leave an uneven finish.  But once I drybrushed and weathered it I think it turned out looking pretty good:



In retrospect, it would have been smarter to finish the inside before assembling the parts, as it's harder to do it afterwards.  But I came up with a decent solution: a printed cardstock "liner" to give it a more appealing (and customizable!) interior space.


This is supposed to be a review, so I guess I need to sum up my impressions of this set.  Some of these may be typical of many/all MDF kits but since this is my first, I'll just list them.

Pros:
- attractive design
- excellent fit
- simple instructions
- easy to customize

Cons:
- limited detail
- challenging to produce an even paint finish

Overall, as you've probably guessed, I really like it!  Most of Multiverse's designs are more elaborate, but if they're as well-made as this one they should produce great tabletop terrain for minimal effort, even for a beginner.

"I know you can hear us in there!  This can be easy, or it can be hard!"