Monday, 15 December 2014

"If You Struggle, You'll Only Bleed."

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.  

18 comments:

  1. Hey, Simon, remember last time I told you I had never heard of the U Men? I've just read this month's She-Hulk comic (She-Hulk is my favourite Marvel superhero) and would you believe it but one of them makes an appearance in a 1940's flashback sequence about Captain America. What a coincidence!
    Your Bob Murch Boys in Blue are first class sculpts. They are full of character and I imagine they'll be a joy to paint.

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    1. Hi Bryan. I used to love She-Hulk when she first came out and John Buscema was the artist. I have four issues of the current series (got as a job lot) and thought the artwork was some of the worst I've seen, so I've never picked it up again. Spooky co-incidence though :-) I've found another U-Man in my "Heroclix" box so I'm hoping I'll have a sixth henchman ready to follow Black manta for my next Batrep. Already steadily working my way through the Boys In Blue; top sculpts and reasonably quick to paint despite the different black/blue washes I'm applying.

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    2. I totally agree with you about the artwork on the current series of She Hulk. It is truly AWFUL and does her no favours whatsoever. It is only because I'm such a big fan of hers that I'm sticking with it

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    3. Thank goodness Bryan. I thought for a minute it was just me!! I'm not sure you've heard but "Marvel Comics" have announced its ending "She-Hulk" with Issue 12; though there's a suggestion it'll be rebooted later? http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=56474

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    4. Yes, I had heard that issue #12 would be the last of its current run. I hope that when/if it returns that Marvel finds a decent artist

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    5. Well there's 13 unemployed "DC Comics" artists out there, as they've just cancelled a load, including my faves "G.I. Zombie" and "Arkham Manor" :-(

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  2. Oh crap, that's 20 Pulp points for you in those coppers! Right now all I've got up on the table is some Hasslefree Moderns.

    Your post title is hysterical-good one!

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    1. Sadly Anne it'll be 40 Pulp points as there's eight in total, and I'm doing the lot. Plus I'm hoping Curt will give me a point or two for the objective markers which come with them :-) Hasslefree's Moderns are very nice indeed, though of that range I think I only own Lazarus (who isn't really a modern soldier either). Glad you like the title. I always try and come up with a quote relating to the figure when I post a finished model. Thanks for visiting :-)

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    1. Cheers Bob. They are very nice indeed. Certainly I plan to get the other two packets Bob does (a heavy weapons one and Personalities).

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  4. Whilst I haven't a clue what you're talking about with the superhero types I do appreciate the effort you put into their paint-jobs. The Pulp figures though are a real treat, I just wish I'd gone for these too for my own gangster set-up.

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    1. Thanks Zabadak. I appreciate that all these super-hero models I keep painting are a bit bizarre :-) The pulp minis are truly well sculpted and I'm hoping to have all eight up and ready for posting on the Challenge blog for my Saturday slot.

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  5. You had me hooked with the post title. I loved the frogmen, so sinister - great job.

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    1. Cheers Michael. Much appreciated. Glad you like the title - always try to have a 'hook'. This one seems to have been particularly successful too judging by the hits :-)

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  6. Don't know much about DC heroes or Villains, but 'Manta looks rather sinister. The "U-Men" are likewise very much bad-guys - will they follow the Black Manta in his evil schemes during your games?

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    1. Many thanks Dai. Hoping to have both Black Manta and the U-Men involved in this weekend's Batrep. I've another U-Man on the table and a load of Aquatic scenery too; though the bases for the scenery haven't arrived yet, so probably this weekend's game will be land-based :-)

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  7. Ah, I do like Bob Murch's Pulp models! And the really excellent news (for those of us in Europe) is that Northstar will be producing and selling them under license from January onwards :-) .

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    1. Hi C6. Excellent and exciting news indeed. Though I've not had a problem ordering from Bob directly yet, and I wonder whether Northstar will be doing the splendid free pack deals Mr Murch does?

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