This 28mm model of Black Manta is by “Wizkids” and comes from their “Heroclix” DC Hypertime range of plastic miniatures and is one of my submissions for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2014. The “DC Comics” supervillain debuted in the September 1967 edition of “Aquaman” and is my favourite archenemy of the King of Atlantis. However having removed the figure from its ‘clicky-base’ some six-seven years ago, I have disappointingly just let it sit on one of my shelves waiting to be painted… until now.
The miniature was reasonably simply to paint following a “Citadel” Abaddon Black” undercoat, as at first I just had to pick out its trident in Boltgun Metal. The three-pronged spear is rather bent and I did consider cutting it away from Black Manta’s leg. But the villain has a nice ribbed pattern running down the sides of his rubber-suit and I just didn’t fancy trying to replicate this with green stuff. In addition, unless I completely cut away the trident’s shaft and replaced it I could not see how I was going to straighten it; additional work I wasn’t prepared to contemplate.
However I did think the model looked rather boring all-black and decided to update the colour-scheme a little bit by painting the bug-eyed helmet, breathing tubes and oxygen tank Boltgun Metal as well. This is far more in line with the ‘modern’ version of the Black Manta. All the metallic areas were then treated to a wash of Nuln Oil before being lightly drybrushed with more Boltgun Metal. His eyes were painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red” and the “Citadel” Shade Carroburg Crimson.
These five 28mm U-Men models are also by “Wizkids” but this time come from their “Heroclix” Marvel Mutant Mayhem range. In the “Marvel Comics” world these villains believe in using mutant body parts to augment their bodies and live in specially designed environment suits to protect them from “an imperfect world.” For my purposes however their scuba-gear makes them the perfect henchmen to accompany Black Manta, or any other aquatic character.
As with Black Manta, their painting scheme was simple as I used just “Citadel” Abaddon Black and Boltgun metal (with a Nuln Oil wash). These miniatures did prove a little trickier to paint than I envisaged however, as it was quite difficult getting the tip of a brush in between all their breathing pipes. I also found myself in something of a dilemma concerning their face masks as "Wizkids" simply paint them with a horrible bright blue wash over the metallic paint used for the rest of their scuba apparatus. As I did not want to replicate that effect I did think about tying them closer to Black Manta by painting the visors with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. In the end however, as I want to be able to use this models as a variety of henchmen, ranging from underwater goons through to Third Reich saboteurs, I simply applied a thick wash of Nuln Oil across each diving mask.
In addition I did consider doing something ‘special’ with their bases and creating some starfish and shells from green stuff to populate them with. But again, as I want to use my U-Men for a variety of roles, mainly land-based, I’ve gone with my usual “Citadel” (sea) grass flock. However if you want to see what I was thinking about then Finch on his superb blog really does excel at creating aquatic-themed bases: http://minisbyfinch.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/tanked.html
These four "Pulp Figures" come from the eight miniature-set Boys In Blue and should form the backbone of a large number of Bob Murch sculpts I'm planning to submit to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Unlike the "West Wind Productions" Victorian British Policemen I've recently been painting, I wanted to give these law enforcement miniatures a distinctly blue coloured uniform, so have been experimenting using a blue undercoat and then applying a black wash before a heavy blue one. I'm really happy with the final result as it means I can box off each figure's gold buttons and silver badge with black, safe in the knowledge that by the time the "Vallejo" Blue Shade wash has dried, the black undercoat will have turned a deep dark shadowy blue.
The two Gangland Justice packs also come with models of a vintage call box and fire hydrant; the latter of which I've already based on one of my usual 40mm round (objective) bases and finished painting.