Friday, December 30, 2022

Graveyard Watcher

"Angel of Death" Statue

28mm scale

Not a ghost bloodied country
All covered with sleep
Where the black angel did weep

A deserted churchyard... neglected, moldering headstones and blowing leaves.  And a tall, masked figure, its wings spread ominously behind the scythe looming in its grip.  "Just a statue", you say... "Just the moonlight", you say...

This was my utterly non-seasonal pre-holiday project from a few weeks ago.  It's a really old Ral Partha figure, dating back to 1979 and sculpted by the legendary Tom Meier!  It was part of RP's original extensive and characterful lineup.


I threw together a few old graves with mossy headstones to go with it, they should make good scenery for some ghoulish character at some point.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Timey Wimey Stuff

The Tenth Doctor


"Okay, that’s scary."
"You’re scared of a broken clock?"
"Just a bit scared, yeah. Just a little tiny bit. ‘Cause you see, if this clock’s broken—and it’s the only clock in the room…" tick tick tick "Then what’s that? "


I've had this great, but sadly OOP, Heresy model of the Tenth Doctor for a while... and recently I heard that David Tennant was returning to play the Fourteenth Doctor.  So, the perfect time to paint this!

With this finished, that leaves only one Doctor model in my unpainted collection... the First.  And his young "granddaughter" Susan, both Black Tree Designs models I bought ages ago.  Maybe I'll paint those up sooner rather than later.  I unfortunately don't have the Second, Sixth-Eighth, or a few of the modern ones.  Good thing I'm not a completist ;)

Monday, December 12, 2022

Afterlife Guardian

The Protector of Souls



This is a great Reaper figure that is, unfortunately, out of production.  I started painting it a long time ago, but after base coating I never finished it.  I'm glad I dug it out of the vault, because now I remember why I really liked it in the first place.  Sinister but not openly aggressive, and that cloak is amazing!  (It was a lot of work to paint, admittedly)

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Is there Life on Mars

Lord Izlyr and Sssorg, Ice Warriors


Oh why, oh, why should love ever come
To couples, like you and me
Whose cold, cold wars are never done

The Martian "Ice Warriors" were second tier villains in Doctor Who starting with the Second Doctor.  Their first appearance was in a serial where Earth scientists thawed them from beneath glacier ice and they sought to conquer the planet.  

I first saw them in the 1972 Third Doctor serial "The Curse of Peladon", which these figures are inspired by.  Alien delegates (quickly joined by the Doctor and his companion Jo Grant) are meeting on the planet Peladon to decide whether to admit it to the Galactic Federation.  When the Peladon High Priest uses a hidden monster to attack the delegates and prevent the admittance, the Doctor and his companion are suspected of murder.  But the Martian delegate Lord Izlyr defends them, telling the Doctor that his people have embraced peace.  Along with his underling Ssorg, he helps the Doctor reveal the murderous plot.

The Ice Warriors returned more recently for two episodes, "Cold War" and "Empress of Mars" featuring the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.

These figures, from Black Tree Design, sat half-painted in my lead pile for a good fifteen years until I decided to finish them off last weekend.  As they say, it's never too late to do the right thing 😄

"You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!"

"But if she's the Earth representative, then who are YOU?"
"Gosh, look at the time!  Gotta go!"

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Early Men and the Mother of All

The Mother Goddess and her Guardians

28mm scale

A goddess on a mountain top
Was burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name 


The ancestors had carved the tribe's idol of the Mother-Goddess Lah with awe-inspiring skill.   From her womb had sprung the moon and sun, the world, all the animals, and finally, the People.  To their protector and creator they bring offerings, in the hopes of good hunting, good health, and safety in a world full of daily perils.

Today, Bergar the Elder and Vorlu the Fire Holder guard the idol
and its sacred grove from desecration by outsiders

The Goddess is a Reaper Bones model, the Neolithics are from Pulp Figures... a very deep dive into my lead pile!  These were passed on to me in 2002 by Bob Murch, when I worked with his wife.

"Thag no!  Is not good idea!"

Friday, November 04, 2022

Another Orctober Surprise

Bad Moon Boyz


The wealthiest and most ostentatious of the Ork klanz, the Bad Moons are idle, venal Orks with a reputation for showing off and using their wealth and status like a club to bludgeon other, less fortunate Orks into line.

Some CP Miniatures space orks, painted up as Bad Moonz from Warhammer 40,000.  Goofy little guys, but still definitely dangerous...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Galactic Detente

The Envoys Shorah and Darsoomi


"The Terran philosopher wilrogers reportedly said 'Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock'.  Not surprising, as Terrans are among the least diplomatic species I've ever met.  Still, they captured the existential importance of interstellar negotiation where, if consensus cannot be reached, the rocks sometimes arrive at a good fraction of the speed of light." - 3S'lith, Calamite historian

Shorah is a Bad Squiddo Games figure of Phoolan Devi.  This paint job is definitely inspired by the Expanse's Crisjen Avasarala... and her amazing wardrobe.


Darsoomi is a Stargrave figure, the distinctive hat made me think of the work of French graphic artist Moebius (Jean Giraud), so I tried to pay homage to his rich soft pastel palettes.

"Greetings, Envoy. What a generous gesture for you to travel
so very far for this meeting."

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Future Freelancers

Devo Ranks, Cyberist


I saw this amazing cyberpunk hacker sculpt online a couple of times, and just had to have it!  It was surprisingly hard to get, but shipping from the US was more than worth it.  It's from Reaper's new Bones USA line, which are cast in extraordinary detail from some kind of resin-plastic mix.  Really quite amazing!

Since the sculpt is quite androgynous, I painted Devo up to mark International Non-Binary People's Day on July 14.  The jacket is inspired by modern Japanese street fashion.


Jeb Underscore, free agent

28 mm 


Rain or shine, Jeb always gets the job done.  He's not a bad guy, mind you, he's got standards.  Professional like.  Bodyguarding, debt collection, bounty hunting, light to medium larceny, that sort of thing.  If you pay him to babysit, he'll gladly play with your kids for a few hours and shoot anyone who tries to hurt them.  Accompanying him on most jobs is Boo, his pet Denebian devil, all teeth and claws and very protective of his owner.

Jeb is a Mark Copplestone sculpt from North Star Military Figures


"I won't lie, I prefer shine."

Hakuna Matata!

Timon and Pumbaa

28mm scale

It means no worries
For the rest of your days
Yeah, sing it, kid!
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!



Just a fun idea I've been wanting to put together for a while... Pumbaa is a Bears Head Miniature, Timon is from the North Star Africa line.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Sellsword and Scamper

Harry Fell and Chiseltooth
15 mm


"Fell, right? I heard you quested with Sir Roderick to defeat the Blood Baron of Skull Keep!"

"Defeated, all right, I struck the killing blow myself!  I'm actually wearing his armour. Heh heh... I wasn't risking my hide except for treasure. And that's where I found Chiseltooth here.  Good fighter he is, and smarter than any dog.  Now... even a Blood Baron's spoils don't last forever, so if you've a mind to retain me, best be saying something.  And I'll trouble you for another ale, too."

I'm not sure who makes these figures, I received them in a swap from my Insta buddy winnipegmichael, along with a bunch of other neat 15mm stuff (like these Alternative Armies Tengu he painted).

"Oh you want to eat crow, huh?  Sic em, Chiseltooth!"

Friday, July 01, 2022

A Rush Job - Red Barchetta

Red Barchetta
20mm scale

I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car
A brilliant Red Barchetta
From a better vanished time
Fire up the willing engine
Responding with a roar.
Tires spitting gravel
I commit my weekly crime...

This little vignette is inspired by the epic 1981 Rush song "Red Barchetta" from the album Moving Pictures.  Neil Peart wrote the lyrics based on a science fiction story called "A Nice Morning Drive", about a future where old, "unsafe" cars have been replaced by safe armored behemoths... whose drivers sometimes run old cars off the road for sport.  A man takes his uncle's carefully hidden roadster for a country joyride and has a narrow escape from two "gleaming alloy aircars". 

The car is a Matchbox 1949 Kurtis Sportcar.  The human figure here is actually my very first 3-D printed figure, a model from Thingiverse printed off on my supervisor's Ender 3.  I included a few Rush references in the model just for fun:

Monday, May 23, 2022

Interstellar Pigs

Silt pigs of Kwiell
15mm scale


The Ikwen of Kwiell were first assumed to be, like Terran hunter-gatherers, a stone-age society.  But the first scientists to discreetly observe them were shocked to discover they possessed a wide variety of metal tools and ornaments, without any apparent mining activity.  It turned out the answer to this riddle was their domestication of "silt pigs", a species of humble grazing creatures.

Silt pigs eat vegetation, but a major part of their diet is a constant earthworm-like processing of rich mud, ingested through their extensible snout.  Mud passes through their elaborate gut, emerging as silty casings.  But periodically, the pigs expel a dense, dark-colored stool the Ikwen call the "fire pellet".  This stool contains a high concentration of bio-accumulated metal oxides.  The Ikwen smelt these in small forges to produce substantial quantities of copper, tin, and iron.  

These silt pigs have been grazing on soil rich in copper, hence the greenish hue of their dorsal spines.  Their tender carries a bioluminescent staff, and waves a coloured cloth to signal back to their village.

The silt pigs and their tender are from Loud Ninja Games via Alternative Armies.

An Ikwen herder, with their signature bioluminescent staff, checks
on silt pigs grazing in an estuary near a large fungal dome.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Water of Life

Moisture vaporators
28mm scale

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

Not an easy life, farming on a desert planet.  In fact, there's really nothing to farm.  A few hardy souls make a living at it though, running vaporators that concentrate water out of the air and pump it to underground cisterns.  On such an arid world, that earns enough cash to own a cozy home and maybe even send a kid to the Academy...

These great laser cut MDF models are from Multiverse Gaming.  

On a remote farmstead, a duel to the death: bounty hunter vs. mystic warrior.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The New Mutants

Wasteland mutants

Nothin' left is sacred
So I've changed my point of view
You're the ugliest thing I've ever seen
And I think I love you

Ah, the apocalypse.  Mushroom clouds, fallout poisoning the air and land.  Maybe the disaster wasn't a nuclear war, and yet the world is still laid waste, survivors left to wander a bitter Earth seeking whatever remnants will help them survive one more day.  Crumbling reactors and chemical factories have disgorged tons of teratogenic waste; adults manifest tumours and growths, while new babies emerge with bizarre and horrific mutations.  In this new world, does the term "human" retain any meaning... or value?

This mutant gang and the Wasteland Witch (below) are Loud Ninja Games figures sculpted by Eli Arndt.

Raiders attack the witch's hovel!  The mutants, while outgunned,
are inhumanly tough and quick... who will prevail?

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Cetacean cyborg

28mm scale

Jones heaved half his armored bulk over the edge of his tank, and I thought the metal would give way. Molly stabbed him overhand with the Syrette, driving the needle between two plates. Propellant hissed. Patterns of light exploded, swarming across the frame and then fading to black. We left him drifting, rolling languorously in the dark water. Maybe he was dreaming of his war
in the Pacific, of the cyber mines he'd swept, nosing gently into their circuitry with the SQUID he'd used to pick Ralfi's pathetic password from the chip buried in my head.
- "Johnny Mnemonic"

Jones is a cybernetically enhanced dolphin, used by the navy to sweep and hack sea mines during the last war, and addicted to amphetamines to ensure his obedience.  He somehow left the service with his implants intact, but to feed his addiction he now lives in a tank at a grubby fun park, as a low-rent attraction for the children of Nighttown... "Talk to the War Whale!".  One day, razorgirl Molly Millions comes to him with a challenge: a data courier with an encrypted program in his head that only Jones' implanted superconducting quantum interference device can unlock...


He was more than a dolphin, but from another dolphin's point of view he might have seemed
like something less. I watched him swirling sluggishly in his galvanized tank. Water stopped
over the side, wetting my shoes. He was surplus from the last war. A cyborg.
He rose out of the water, showing us the crusted plates along his sides, a kind of visual pun,
his grace nearly lost under articulated armor, clumsy and prehistoric. Twin deformities on
either side of his skull had been engineered to house sensor units. Silver lesions gleamed on
exposed sections of his gray-white hide.

I first read "Johnny Mnemonic" in high school in the 80s and poor Jones stood out to me as one of the great characters in a story crammed with delicious cyberpunk detail.  I clearly wasn't the only one; Jones made a memorable appearance in the cheesy Keanu Reeves movie (loosely) based on the story.  I opted for a sleeker look here than in the film when I converted a WizKids dolphin.

"Why are we here?"  "Because Allison doesn't really have any
cyberpunk minis.  Also the dolphin was lonely."