Tuesday, 4 August 2020

"Local Villagers Whisper Of A Mysterious Place Deep In The Marsh..."

"...A place shroud in mist and dotted with barrow mounds, ruined columns, and standing stones."
These two 28mm scale metal Barrow Guardians were manufactured by "Otherworld Miniatures" as part of their "Official Barrowmaze Miniatures" range. However, these days they seem to be 'Out of Production' on their website, unless you purchase The Monsters of Barrowmaze Boxed Set (Code BMB1), which contains the custodian stood upon a plinth.

Luckily for me, "Otherworld Miniatures" very generously sent me a free copy of the Barrow Guardians with my most recent purchase, so I am now able to populate my dungeon with up to four of the enchanted stone constructs if the need arises. Both figures are sculpted by Andrew May, and were produced back in January 2014, as part of the successful Barrowmaze Complete campaign on "Indiegogo".
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - Astronauts Taylor, Dodge and Landon
The figures are multi-part pieces and needed to have their shields pinned/super-glued in place before I could prime them with a double helping of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. As the statues have supposedly stood buried deep within the confines of a water-laden barrow I decided to simply replicate the slimy grey/green colour scheme I have previously used on my other two Greater Barrow Guardians.

I've also managed to complete the first of twelve dedicated painting sessions for my twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge using "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" models. I initially planned to purely focus upon the three Albion Rocket Corporation (ARC) astronauts I aim to use as proxies for Taylor, Landon and Dodge from the "Planet Of The Apes" 1968 movie. But soon ended up doing some straightforward groundwork on the bases of four characterful Simian Minions whilst I was waiting for my "Vallejo" White to dry.
Simian Minions WIPS - The four apes have been primed and had their footwear 'boxed off'
In addition, I badly underestimated just how long it takes to paint a predominantly all white cosmonaut. I've actually painted several of these sculpts before in the exact same colour scheme, but back then kept the hands gloved. This time round just the simple addition of having to 'box off' the wrists with "Citadel" Abaddon Black before laying down a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone really took its toll, especially around where I'd swapped out the original hand for a new one holding a firearm.

To compensate and save some significant time I did consider leaving the human's chest panels pure white. However, having dug out my previously-painted figures where I pigmented in some of the device's buttons, I soon realised I was missing an opportunity to provide them with a splash of colour, so carefully went in with a "One Happy Choice" 00 brush and roughly 'drew around' the relevant areas with a little thinned "Citadel" Abaddon Black... 

Sunday, 2 August 2020

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Planet Of The Apes" August 2020

"Crroked Dice Game Design Studio" Conversion WIPs - Landon, Dodge and Taylor
This month's themed attempt to reduce my mountain of metal, plastic and resin models will focus upon a motley band of miniatures taken from the Post Apocalyptic range of "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". These figures have been lurking inside a cardboard box for several years, and having finally found all the different heads and weapon-hands I wanted so as to create three bearded astronauts, I thought it was about time to apply some paint to the collection of thirty odd models.

The figures actually come from a variety of sets produced by the Lincolnshire-based manufacturer, most notably their line of "savage Simian Minions straight from the labs of Professor Andros." Released way back in February 2013, these Mark Evans sculpts really capture the look of  Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 American science fiction film "Planet Of The Apes", and rather splendidly come armed with rifles, batons, and "a sinister man-catcher", as well as mounted versions too.
Simian Minions WIPs - Ape with baton, Ape with man-catcher and Doctor Zaius
I've also been able to get my hands on some nicely sculpted proxies for Cornelius, Doctor Zaius, Zira, and General Ursus. However, I was somewhat stumped as to how to portray the likes of Taylor, Landon and Dodge until I spotted the company's spacemen from the Albion Rocket Corporation and their range of spare heads, hands and weaponry. I've even gone so far as to source a 300mm tall resin ornament of the Statue Of Liberty, which having super-glued onto a "Citadel" 160mm circular base, should make for an eye-catching scenic piece.

In addition, I thought it might be more motivating to try and see just how much of this project I can paint in twenty-four hours of hobbying. Admittedly, I've no intention of attempting such an ordeal in just a single sitting, but thought a timetable of twelve two-hour sessions across the next four weeks would help me better appreciate how prolific I can be when I'm purely pigmenting miniatures taken from the one genre instead of moving between manufacturers to the point where I lose all sense of focus. As the majority of "YouTube" videos I tend to watch on such challenges seem to already have their models assembled, based and primed, I felt it wouldn't be cheating if I did something similar either.
July 2020 - "Wizkids" remain my 'go to' company when the mojo and motivation is struggling
Productivity wise, the past four weeks have surprisingly been one of my more successful Summer stints to date, as I tend to paint far less during this particular season than at any other time of the year. Superheroes were definitely the theme of the month as I had hoped, yet I didn't get anywhere near as many "Supers Unlimited" figures by "Kitbash Games" painted as I had anticipated due to the release of a number of Skeleton Warriors by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio".

I also swooped upon the opportunity to polish off a couple more costumed crime-fighters from "Wizkids" range of plastic "Heroclix" miniatures. Such 'pre-painted' diversions are always welcome when I find myself struggling for motivation, but it now means I really need to knuckle down so as to get a few more of "Kitbash Games" resin sculpts completed over the next few weeks...

Friday, 31 July 2020

"I'm A Ghost Now..."

"A spectre of the moon... The moon's knight of vengeance, and I got work to do."
This 28mm scale plastic model of Moon Knight is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 062 from their Marvel "Heroclix" Avengers/Defenders War Booster Set. Ranked by "Wizard" magazine as the 149th greatest comic book character of all time, Marc Spector's alter-ego was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin for the August 1975 issue of "Werewolf By Night" by "Marvel Comics".

Resurrected by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu following his murder at the hands of the mercenary Bushman, this sculpt actually depicts the costumed crime-fighter whilst using his Mister Knight persona, and initially had me reaching for a sharp modelling knife in order to remove him from the stone gargoyle he was perched upon. In the end though, I decided to leave the model attached to the rooftop cornerstone, as otherwise I thought the figure might look a little small lurching low across a bare 40mm circular base.
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The small crane tower has been dry-brushed and weathered
The entire ensemble was actually partially primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and "Vallejo" White. I also originally started layering the gargoyle-shaped base with a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, but then swapped this acrylic colour out for the much deeper Dark Grey so the masked vigilante's bright suit appeared all the more contrasting. The stone work was later drowned in "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being thoroughly dry-brushed in (more) "Vallejo" Dark Grey.

I had hoped to get away with a similarly straightforward approach to Moon Knight himself. However, the miniature's squat stance meant I had to be particularly precise with my brushwork if I didn't catch his already finished basework. As a result I carefully applied two more coats of "Vallejo" White over Marc Spector and then strategically dropped in some Pale Grey around all the folds in his clothing, footwear and gloves.
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The crane tower has been dry-brushed and had its walkways and ladders 'picked out'
This approach seemed to work far better than my usual technique of simply drenching the figure in "Vallejo" Pale Grey and subsequently fuming that the wash had bubbled up in some of the detail's deeper recesses. Disappointingly, the softness in the super-hero's sculpt didn't lend itself to being dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" White. So in the end I actually had to 'pick out' a lot of the millionaire's costume, such as his collar, shoes, tie and buttons with a delicate application of pure "Vallejo" White, as well as the odd bit of edge highlighting.

As I'm determined to get my "Games Workshop" Manufactorum Imperialis scenery set completed before the end of next month, I have additionally managed to make some more progress on my two crane towers. The vast majority of paintwork on these two formidably-sized pieces of machinery is almost complete; albeit I have perhaps somewhat foolishly decided to 'pick out' one of the constructions' metal walkways and ladders with metallic paint, rather than simply leave the entire ensemble in the same colour.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

"The Hyper Nifty Gifty Fifty Give Away."

"Caution! This is not a toy."
This 28mm scale model of a wizard sat atop a dice whilst smoking a pipe is produced by “Lucid Eye Publications” and is actually sent out as a free gift with any orders over fifty pounds. The figure is arguably not quite as cartoonish in style as the manufacturer’s other “Toon Realms” sculpts, but this is now the third such identical miniature I've painted so as to populate my tabletop with some fantasy-flavoured statue/objective markers.

In addition, I wanted the opportunity to refresh my memory as to how I usually paint bare rusty metal before I start applying the technique to several pieces of 8mm terrain from the "Games Workshop" Imperialis scenery set for "Adeptus Titanicus". With this in mind I therefore super-glued the marvellous-looking magic-user upon a 28mm “Games Workshop” circular base, and then permanently attached the ensemble to one of the 40mm thin-lipped circular bases I use for all my objective markers.
"Lucid Eye Publications" WIPs - The wizard has been dry-brushed, shaded and dry-brushed again
The model was primed using an initial coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, before being heavily dry-brushed in "Citadel" Ironbreaker. The "Abody" make-up brush I used for this stage actually did too good a job of covering over many of the figure's inner details, so I ended up dabbing some extra "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna into some of the sculpt's nooks and crannies; especially the dice dots.

The entire miniature was then drenched in "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being given a second, significantly lighter, dry-brush of Ironbreaker. In order to provide both the wizard and his dice with some weathering I sporadically applied a combination "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade" over them, and finally attempted to tie the entire paint-job together with a third (even lighter) dry-brush of "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The all-white Moon Knight (a.k.a. Mister Knight) has been primed and shaded
With the metal statue itself finished I undercoated its 'stone' plinth using two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, and later washed it with a mixture of “Citadel” Nuln Oil, Biel-Tan Green and Agrax Earthshade. This area was subsequently dry-brushed with (more) “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey in the hope I could catch enough of the plastic circular base's raised surface detail with my brush-tip....

Having completed my third "Nifty Gifty" objective marker, I have spent a little time working with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey on one of my super-hero figures by "Wizkids". This "Heroclix" model of Moon Knight (or rather his split persona Mister Knight) has been knocking around my painting table for quite a while, so I thought he'd make a nice contrasting subject to work on following my dabble with metallics and rust washes.

Monday, 27 July 2020

"Knowledge Is A Treasure That Must Be Guarded..."

"...With bitter jealousy in this age."
These three 8mm scale plastic shipment containers are produced by "Games Workshop", and can be found inside the Nottingham-based company's Manufactorum Imperialis scenery set for "Adeptus Titanicus". Assembled from parts taken from the four "frames of detailed components" found within the box, each piece of storage was actually built using four separate components so as to allow the odd door to even be open if wanted/needed.

It would appear that all of the Manufactorum Imperialis models are intended to be free-standing. But as I've always liked to base my terrain, especially when some of it is so small, I decided to compile a seemingly suitable collection of containers upon a "Citadel" 50mm circular base, and permanently attached them in place with a few dollops of plastic glue. Hopefully, this would also mean for these particular miniatures that I could use them as elaborate ammunition crates or some such for my 28mm sci-fi gaming tabletop...
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The shipping containers were primed, shaded and dry-brushed
All of the models were primed using two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Grey and then absolutely drowned in a torrent of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. They were then dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Grey, as well as given a haphazard highlight of "Citadel" Ironbreaker in places so as to give the impression of their paint being rubbed away through heavy use. As a final touch I strategically dabbed them with some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash in the hope that it would suggest weathering and poor care.

I actually own a rather embarrassing amount of untouched "Games Workshop" terrain for "Warhammer 40K", "Necromunda" and "Kill Team", so very much viewed this 'test piece' as an opportunity to trial a straightforward colour scheme for some of that scenery too. I have a few palettes I want to apply to the various 234 plastic components found inside the Manufactorum Imperialis box, but as a starter I'm rather pleased with how the combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Grey, "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, "Citadel" Ironbreaker and "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash turned out.
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The crane tower has been primed and washed
In addition to these three shipment containers I actually built a fourth model to use as cargo for the largest of two cranes which comes with the set. The body of this beast, which comprises of twenty separate pieces, including two tiny ladders and four fiddly-fitting walkways, has already been attached to a 60mm circular base and is 40mm tall without the actual crane being fitted.

Fortunately, I was wise enough to assemble the box's second, slightly smaller, crane base simultaneously, and hope to get the pair of these formidably-sized constructions painted over the next few days. There's also an incredible amount of piping to assemble for another scenic piece I have in mind, which consists of an eye-watering twenty-one sections - and that's not including the minuscule fuel barrels and detritus I hope to add to the micro vignette...

Friday, 24 July 2020

“I Have Super-Strength And Bullet-Proof Armour."

"You're a goon with a handgun. Do the math."
This 28mm scale resin model of the Blue Scarab is produced by "Kitbash Games", and was bought as part of my pledge from their highly successful "Supers Unlimited" Miniatures "Kickstarter" in August 2019. Designed as a "serum-enhanced super-hero"" for both the "Pulp City" and "Super Mission Force" rule-sets, I actually plan to use the single-piece casting as an American costumed crime-fighter known as Liberty Lady for an upcoming Weird War Two campaign utilising some homemade rules.

Having glued Danielle ‘Dani’ Garret onto a 28mm lipped base, I initially primed the former Empire City Police Officer with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue before covering her in "Citadel" Asurmen Blue. I then delicately dry-brushed the figure with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, before putting down a preparatory layer of Heavy Sienna onto her boots, gloves, mask and belt.
"Fetch me the hydra's teeth. Quickly!"
This meant that these areas could then be easily hit with some "Vallejo" Gold without my needing to apply endless coats of the rather translucent acrylic metallic paint upon them. Later these areas were shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and delicately dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Gold. Any areas I inadvertently caught with my tip were 'touched up' with some additional "Vallejo" Heavy Blue" and "Citadel" Asurmen Blue.

For the Blue Scarab's face and hair I went slightly off-piste by making Garret a brunette instead of a blonde, as I thought it would help her golden mask stand out that bit more. I 'picked out' the super-hero's fave with some "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and splashed it with a spot of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. Her hair was painted using some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a splash of Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter".
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - The Skeleton Warriors have been primed and washed
Alongside finishing another of my "Supers Unlimited" finished, I have also managed to complete the third of my Skeleton Warriors by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". As with my previous two Undead swordsmen their bleached bones were primed using a double-helping of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand before being shaded with plenty of Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter", and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and, a somewhat lighter, dusting of White.

Their hand-weapons and bosses were treated to a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Whilst their wooden shields were pigmented in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and then washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. As I wanted to make the skeletons look extra weathered,I applied a little "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over their metallic areas.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

"Give Me The Children Of The Hydra's Teeth."

"The children of the night!"
These two 28mm scale Skeleton Warriors are manufactured by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and are part of the company’s ever-expanding Fantasy product line. Both these particular metal miniatures are single-piece castings, and can be bought separately or as part of a four-figure deal.

Having super-glued the Undead walking cadavers onto their plastic bases, they were primed using a double-helping of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand before being shaded with plenty of Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". Each model was then enthusiastically dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and, a somewhat lighter, dusting of White.
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - The Skeleton Warriors have been washed and dry-brushed
The skeletons' swords and other metallic areas were treated to a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Whilst their wooden shields were layered in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna before being washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I also went back and 'picked out' the warriors' eye sockets and grinning mouths with a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black, simply to ensure these ghoulish areas stood out a bit more on the tabletop from a distance.

Ordinarily, I would usually leave such figures at that that. But I wanted to make these particular grisly fiends look a little more weathered, so decided to apply a little "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over the skeletons' hand-weapons and shields. I then tidied up a few of the sculpts' edges with a delicate dry-brush of "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"Kitbash Games" WIPs - The Blue Scarab, Blackthorn and the Shark
Alongside these Fantasy horrors I have been steadily progressing a few more "Supers Unlimited" by "Kitbash Games" for some upcoming Weird War Two battles. I've still got a bit of work to finish on the superb Blue Scarab's face and hair, but, after a bit of tidy up following some of my "Vallejo" Gold dry-brushing going everywhere, I'm now pretty confident the female costumed crime-fighter will shortly be finished.

Far further behind schedule are the Shark and Blackthorn, one of which is still showing some of the effects of being squarely in the firing line when a pot of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Blue suddenly exploded on me and splattered the majority of my painting line with metallic pigment. I'm also rather nervous about applying a brush to Blackthorn and patiently picking out all the twisting vines the excellent sculpt's tree-like torso has been encircled with...