Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Third Doctor & TARDIS

The Third Doctor & TARDIS

I don't do a lot of 28mm painting these days, and these pieces probably demonstrate why.  I got the TARDIS as a Christmas gift last year, and quickly basecoated it... and yeah.  Just finished it this week.  As for the Third Doctor, I've definitely done better paint jobs.  I tried to set up a contrast between his grey wool cloak and his flamboyant clothes underneath, but overall he just isn't that interesting-looking.  Also, there's some pretty slapdash layering on this one :(

The signs on the TARDIS were actually made using this image, printed off on a regular laser printer at 10% zoom.  The result looks amazing, IMO:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gingerbread 2012

Since, shockingly, the Mayan Armageddon failed to appear, I put together this year's Christmas gingerbread house.  Or, in this case, castle.  No real-life architectural inspiration this time; if anything it's inspired by the plastic tower from "Battle Masters" ;)  Little plastic men (unpainted, alas) were an obligatory addition.

"Camelot!"  "It's only a model!"

"Get me closer, I want to hit them with my sword!"

Two men enter... one man leaves!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Space Adventurer #3

Warrior Hermit
15 mm

Now and again it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life.
- Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido

This one ended up being quite... Cecil B. DeMille.  Perhaps this mystic is parting a sea of sand, instead of the Red Sea?

Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.
- the Tao Te Ching

Also, it's ok to lie to people who trust you about their dead or missing parents.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Space Adventurers #2

Lone Hand and the Big Furry Oaf, space smugglers
15 mm

"Dantes had not been a day on board before he had a very clear idea of the men with whom his lot had been cast... the people without name, country, or occupation, who are always seen on the quays of seaports, and who live by hidden and mysterious means which we must suppose to be a direct gift of providence, as they have no visible means of support. It is fair to assume that Dantes was on board a smuggler."
- The Count of Monte Cristo

Well these guys are what those bases in my last post were designed for.  Again, I'm not saying where I got them, but they're really nice.  They're good likenesses, and I think the contrast of tight/extended body poses make them also look good as a pair.

I've also now been reminded how nerve-wracking it is to grind attached bases off of tiny, tiny miniatures with a Dremel cutter.  But once again, nobody and nothing that wasn't supposed to be ground off, was ground off.  Whew!

Another daring escape!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy sci-fi basing with Instant Mold

For the next couple of 15 mm figures I'm doing, I wanted nice, high-tech "spacey" looking bases that would complement the minis' genre. The trouble is, the found objects I was going to make them out of are composed of soft, non-paintable plastic - ever try to paint those green vinyl army men?  (Also, sometimes an original object may be valuable or unique and one doesn't want to use it up to make bases.)

Enter my Instant Mold, and here I'm going to show you how I easily made multiple great-looking bases from a single textured original. Not rocket science, for sure, but since my basing posts here seem to get a good response, I thought I'd show you how I did it.

The object I'm using is an "embedding cassette" used to prepare tissues for microscopy.  Looks sort of cool and tech-y... but it's an unsuitable material.  Here, I've trimmed it down and stuck it to a tape backing.

Pressing the Instant Mold firmly onto the original produced a nice impression.

I usually base 15 mm figures on a Canadian penny, so this, covered with green stuff, is the substrate here.

The putty-covered coin is pressed onto the mold.  I tried to ensure that the putty layer wasn't too thick, and was of even thickness to produce a ~ flat "floor" for the mini to stand on.

Ta da!  Looks pretty good!  Once the putty was set, I peeled the mold off and carefully cut away the excess putty with an X-acto knife.  By varying the location on the mold where I pressed the putty, I made multiple  slightly different bases with the same general appearance.  And of course, green stuff is always guaranteed to be workable and takes paint well.

I can easily imagine a single dollar-store toy or random thing you found by the side of the road generating many bases using this method, and with a little ingenuity different textures could probably be combined on one base. I should also try it with rocks and other natural materials to see what kind of surfaces I can produce.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Space Adventurer #1

Star Walker
15 mm

Starwalker, he's a friend of mine
You've seen him looking fine
He's a straight talker, he's a Starwalker
Don't drink no wine
- Buffy Sainte-Marie

I can't say too much about the origin of this mini, for obvious reasons.  Anyway the set is a really nice one, they're not super-detailed sculpts but they capture the essential characters quite well and the poses/proportions are well-done.  They're all a bit on the tall side of 15 mm, so they might not mix seamlessly with some other lines, but they're close enough.

Also... OSL on a 15mm mini?  Insanity.  Actually no, because it works exactly the same way and you have less area to paint.  But I'm not good at it, and it's hard to pull off on light-coloured surfaces.  And stills from the films were NO help:

Yeah, it was rotoscoped in post-production.
Lastly, I really like how the brown backdrop looks in these shots.  I may have to re-shoot all my Huntarr with more thematic dark green backdrops now...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I saw "Iron Sky"

It's been reviewed properly elsewhere, but MY capsule review:

1. Not great
2. LOVED it!  So much fun!

For those of you who haven't heard about this B-grade, crowd-funded indie-blockbuster film, it's very briefly about Moon Nazis invading the Earth.  It's 2018, and US President cough totallySarahPalin has sent a mission to the moon to boost her popularity.  The astronauts quickly encounter a secret Nazi moon base, and the survivor is captured, precipitating some wildly improbable adventures and eventually a full-on Moon Nazi attack.

Yeah, it can't quite decide if it's slapstick, goofy political humour, dark political satire, an action film, or what.  Surprisingly good at times (especially for a $6 million budget), painfully clunky at others, if you like Weird War 2/dieselpunk/wacky Nazis and don't take it too seriously it's definitely worth a watch.  Also, the heroine Renate is just about the cutest little National Socialist since Helga from "Allo Allo".

Its ok, she doesn't KNOW she's a baddie, or that she looks eerily like Claire Danes c. 1996

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Dead Snow

Nazi Zombies
15 mm

After finishing the Untoten Soldaten for my brother, I liked them so much I decided I wanted some too!  I gave these ones snow bases, obviously inspired by the Norwegian zombie film Død Snø (Dead Snow).

Grr Argh!

(Hey, apparently the whole film is on YouTube... for now.  It's probably the second bloodiest zombie film I've ever seen, I think Peter Jackson's Dead Alive wins first prize.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jungle floor bases

So I've had a few requests in the comments here to explain how I made the forest floor bases on my Huntarr.  Pictures = 1000's of words etc.,so I've put together a quick demo.

Most of the materials I use: oregano flakes, a stick, paints, white glue and clear coat.  I'm using a 25mm base for visibility.

Some cut-up pieces of stick become broken saplings and logs on the ground (I forgot to take a pic of this step).  For 15mm scale you don't need to cut these very carefully.  Glue them down with epoxy or white glue... crazy glue will just soak into the wood.

The basic cover of oregano is laid down by sprinkling over white glue.  This will generally need to be touched up by adding single flakes to fill the gaps.  Then, a tool is used to squish the flakes down and compact the surface.

The leaf litter is liberally soaked with a mixture of acrylic matte varnish, brown, green and black paint.  This will darken it and help to physically consolidate it.

The litter is drybrushed with lighter greens and browns, all mixed with a light tan to desaturate them.  The logs are just drybrushed with bleached bone.

This should all give you a passable jungle floor for 15mm, or even larger scales if you are a bit fussier with how it looks.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Huntarr - finished!

Huntarr Aliens
15 mm scale

It's been a challenging couple of weeks in parenthood, but I managed to squeeze in a few minutes here and there to finish these mean boys off.

The figures themselves: Honestly not my most careful paint jobs ever, but I like em!  They have the "feel" I was going for, and as a bonus I managed to not break the one guy's spear.  I swear I thought it would never survive...  The chieftain's cloak is supposed to be some sort of scaly reptilian hide, I'm not sure if it's from a BIG animal, or a bunch of Garn skins sewn together ;D

Basing:  I'm still not sure about the green plants, but I think the forest floor effect turned out really well. It's not out-of-scale either which is good, because I've used this method for 28mm minis as well.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Dragon's Treasure

Guelph's very own FLGS and comic book emporium The Dragon has won the prestigious Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award!  Amazing!  I'm certainly not their most frequent customer but it really is a great place - welcoming, bright, extremely well-stocked, great staff, and no lingering smell of unwashed neckbeard or angry teenage Magic fanatic.  Really, everything a comic book store should be. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jungle Bases, and a Third Doctor

Still working on these Huntarr...  The figures themselves are largely done but I'm trying to make some credible jungle/forest floor bases.  Not easy in 15mm!  I thought about sculpting them from greenstuff but in the end fell back on the old, reliable spice rack, in this case, oregano.  It's very hard to apply without seeing it stick up in an out-of-scale manner, and I always end up filling in gaps by fussily tweezering individual tiny flakes into place.

Come at me bro!

I'm having a bit of a creative block deciding what material (or rather, species) the chieftain's cape should be.  This is just a placeholder, I swear.  I really should have just sculpted some fur onto it before I painted him.  Too late now.

The Third Doctor

Meanwhile, to give my eyes a rest, I thought I'd hit a 28mm project for a change.  This is yet another Black Tree Miniatures Doctor Who figure: John Pertwee's flamboyant, ruffles-wearing Third Doctor.  He's flagantly violating Edna Mode's rule: "No capes!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

So far so good...

My Huntarr seem a bit... metally so far, but I'm sure they'll come together in the end.  I'm trying for the same look as my previously painted Vacation Aliens (pictured).  Not, alas, aided at all by my rapidly expiring bottle of Brazen Brass.  And god help me if my Tin Bitz bites the dust.

Avast, me hearties!

L: "Vacation Alien", R: Huntarr

Monday, August 20, 2012

Star Wars Blog Extravaganza

I just came across this Star Wars mini blog via the Lead Adventures forum... "Scotty Speed" apparently has about six hundred SW miniatures, some WEG, some custom conversions and sculpts of his own!  He's a really good painter too:

I've painted the middle pilot figure myself.  Never seen the others before...

Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band, aww yeah!
Hmm yeah.  Nice!  Seriously worth checking out if you're even a quasi Star Wars fan.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Big Game

In touch with the ground
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
Scent and a sound
I'm lost and I'm found
And I'm hungry like the wolf

Huntarr aliens
20 mm

So I finally acquired up some of Khurasan's "Huntarr".  These are technically 15mm scale but have been bulked up over their "Vacation Alien" cousins to be rather more intimidating!  There are a couple of sets available - typical lightly armed hunters, heavier rifle-toting shock troops and a chieftain.  I'll probably just paint these few guys up due to time constraints.

The obligatory size comparison, since pics of these figures are few and far between out there...

Danny Glover could still kick their butts, though.