Sunday, 31 January 2016

"I Am Dmitri Bukharin -- The New Crimson Dynamo!"

"The Crimson Dynamo knows Iron Man -- and you -- brought down so easily -- are no Iron Man."  
This 28mm pre-painted plastic "Wizkids" model of the Crimson Dynamo is miniature number 52 from the Marvel "Heroclix" Xplosion range. "Considered to be the definitive version of the character", Dmitri Bukharin was the fifth man to don the Soviet power armour and made his debut within the pages of Issue One Hundred and Nine of "Iron Man" in April 1978.

Having given the figure an undercoat of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, Tony Stark's nemesis was treated to a heavy wash of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Red. I then gave the Russian super-villain a glaze of "Citadel" Bloodletter.

"Star Wars" WIPs - IG-88 and Chewbacca should soon be finished
Such a simple paint-job has given me a little time to potter about on three of my favourite "Fantasy Flight" plastic miniatures for the company's "Star Wars" board game "Imperial Assault". I've only just started to apply an initial layer of "Vallejo" Bronze on the brown-coloured leg-armour worn by Dengar but have already encountered something of a dilemma. The sculpt of the heavily bandaged bounty hunter really does contain an incredible amount of detail, and although I've initially 'picked out' the thin metallic straps holding his outfit together, I may eventually need to compromise such delicate brushwork simply to retain my own sanity.

Both IG-88 and Chewbacca however are proving reasonably easy to progress and have been appropriately dry-brushed and washed with brown and black ink respectively. The assassin droid just needs some additional highlighting, as well as some straps and wires to be painted, before being finished. Whilst the Wookie now needs another couple of brown dry-brushes before I start work on his weapon, satchel and ammunition belt.
Cyclopean Alien WIPs - The shaggy hide of these 'pulp' extra-terrestrials will be green
One of my aspirations for this year is to try and paint all the wonderful miniatures people have generously gifted me in recent years. These six Cyclopean Aliens were a surprise present from Roger of "Rantings From Under The Wargames Table" fame when we met at Salute 2015. Made by "Wargames Supply Dump", the metal multi-limbed creatures can be found within the manufacturer's Miscellaneous Miniatures range.

Friday, 29 January 2016

"Project OMAC Complete."

"The skies darken with the corrupted technology of his mentor."
These eight 28mm plastic “Wizkids” models of an OMAC are all miniature number 83 from the DC Comics “Heroclix” Collateral Damage range. These cyborgs were some of the many humans transformed by a virus into living machines in order to destroy all beings with superpowers. The OMACs were created by American comic book writer Greg Rucka, having been based upon a Jack Kirby character with the same name, and first appeared in “The OMAC Project” in June 2005.

To cover the miniatures' pre-painted colour scheme each figure was initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Gunmetal Blue before being washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The Cape-killer’s were then slowly dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gunmetal Blue before their cyclopean eye was painted using a combination of Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. Their chest eyes were simply ‘picked out’ with “Vallejo” White before also being washed with the “Citadel” shade Carroburg Crimson.
"Annihilation Protocol Status - Engaged..."
These figures are incredibly difficult to buy in the United Kingdom, so in order for me to create myself a sizeable gang of Brother Eye’s minions I ended up ordering these eight models from the American E-Store Troll And Toad...

In addition to these wonderfully sinister sculpts, and sticking with "Wizkids" miniatures, I am almost 'done' painting the “Heroclix” model of Molly Hayes which I hope to submit into the Defensive Terrain Themed Bonus Round of the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.
Molly Hayes WIP - Having completed the mutant child's clothing, I now need only paint the concrete block
Having based and painted a trio of passing ducklings from the figure's original 'clicky base' separately, and completed Princess Power's pink T-shirt, cuddly animal hat and flesh, I need only 'touch up' and wash the large piece of grey concrete she is holding above her head for my small 'vignette' to be finished. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

"In Space No One Can Hear You Scream."

"Bring back life form. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded."
This somewhat oversized 40mm pre-painted plastic "Wizkids" model of an Alien is from the "Horrorclix" AVP Alien Verses Predator: Aliens Collector's Set. Based upon the "highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship" in the 1979 science-fiction horror film "Alien" and designed by "Swiss surrealist artist" H.R. Giger, the success of this creature has "spawned a media franchise of novels, comic books, video games and toys."

Unsurprisingly, considering the simplicity of the monster's colour scheme, I initially gave it an undercoat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and then simply dry-brushed it with "Vallejo" German Grey. The model was then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before I gave it a second, much lighter dry-brush of more "Vallejo" German Grey. Finally the Alien's mouth was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst its head's carapace was given a coat of Abaddon Black.
Alien WIPs - The central extraterrestrial is Grid, the Alien who killed Chopper and Celtic in "AVP"
Having finished this test piece, I have subsequently started painting several more of the Alien miniatures found within the 'Whoever Wins, We Lose' boxed set. These additional figures are a very much appreciated gift from the incredibly generous Bryan, who runs the highly popular "Vampifan's World Of The Undead" website.

Based upon the 2004 motion picture "Alien verses Predator" a few of the models actually come attached to some rather nice looking Aztec-influenced stone columns. These little vignettes are very dynamic but would look rather out of place upon some of the tabletops I want to use these lethal extraterrestrials with. So I somewhat regretfully separated the figures from their 'clicky bases'. However as I wanted to use the terrain as some objective markers, I then just re-based the ornately carved columns on to some thin 40mm circular bases.
Alien WIPs - The Alien Spawn Marker will require some careful dry-brushing once the alien is finished
I did though leave one of the miniatures attached to its column, as I felt the pose would look silly simply being stuck to a bare base, and also thought it would look rather good as an Alien Spawn Marker. As a result I only removed the overly large human upon whom the creature was about to launch. Initially I had hoped to super-glue the hapless explorer to a base of his own. But unfortunately the sculpt was noticeably bigger than even some of my 35mm miniatures and thus has simply been put to one side for now...

In the meantime I have managed to undercoat all the Alien models with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and heavily apply a dry-brush of "Vallejo" German Grey to them.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2015 - WIP - Week Six

Molly Hayes WIP - The mutant child's pink top needs finishing before being shaded, as does her toy animal hat
With the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge now into its sixth week, I’ve spent a little time working on the “Heroclix” model of Molly Hayes, which I hope to submit into the event's Defensive Terrain Themed Bonus Round.

Having finished painting the little girl's white trainers and dark blue jeans I'm now slowly applying several layers of pink onto the mutant's top and cuddly animal hat. In addition I've started work on the huge piece of grey concrete the diminutive powerhouse is holding above her head in order to protect a trio of passing ducklings from any hazards.
"Imperial Assualt" WIPs - Chewbacca and IG-88 could leap ahead of the painting queue
Along with a trio of Rebel soldiers, I still have one more “Fantasy Flight” bucket-head to complete from the company's "Imperial Assault" Stormtroopers Villain Pack. But that hasn't stopped me basing and priming a wonderfully hairy sculpt of Chewbacca for the board game, as well as a model of the assassin droid IG-88.

As I've previously painted a "Wizard Of The Coast" version of the Wookie, and plenty of "Reaper Miniatures" Cyber-Reavers recently, I'm hopeful that these two figures shouldn't take too long to finish, especially the Holowan Laboratories robot.
Fangtooth WIP - Still lots to do on this bulky metal miniature
Finally I am still trying to paint my Union "Guild Ball" team, and have found some time to progress Fangtooth's flesh despite the miniature itself not actually being eligible for submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. This rather formidable-looking brute by "Streamforged Games Ltd" is covered in plasters and bumps, and as a result has proved rather time-consuming. Once all the foul-smelling player's flesh is finished I will still need to shade and highlight it, along with his chains...  

Friday, 22 January 2016

"No. I Am Your Father."

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."
These three 28mm scale plastic “Fantasy Flight” models come from the company’s “Star Wars” “Imperial Assault” range and can be found inside the Core Set and Stormtroopers Villain Pack. The trio were completed as part of a larger submission for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Epic Fail Themed Bonus Round and based upon the Empire’s attempt to recapture the stolen Death Star plans from the Rebel Alliance...
"These aren't the droids we're looking for."
Darth Vader was initially given several coats “Citadel” Abaddon Black, as for some reason the soft rubber-like model did not seem to like the rather oily Base colour. However once I had a reasonably even undercoat in place it became a reasonably undemanding miniature to paint and I was able to dry-brush the Sith Lord’s clothing with “Vallejo” Charcoal before washing it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Once this was finished I applied some Ironbreaker to his neck chain, shoulder plates, light-saber, chest and belt units. These were then also washed with Nuln Oil.

Originally I had tried painting his laser-sword with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. But the end result was much darker than I wanted, so it was soon redone using “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion and the “Citadel” Glaze Bloodletter. There is also a definite curve to his weapon’s beam. I did consider heating the model and straightening it out but found myself constantly gripping Vader at this point whenever I was handling him. As a result I felt that it would soon bend back towards the cloak (or worse break) during gameplay so left it alone.
"Open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!"
Having finished the “enforcer of the Galactic Empire” I set about undercoating his ‘escort’ with “Vallejo” White before heavily washing them with Pale Grey. This transparent acrylic not only gave the bucket-heads some much-needed shading but also helped me ascertain where the joins in their overlapping plastoid composite plates were so I could ‘pick them out’ using “Citadel” Abaddon Black.
"Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans.
Once all the ‘gaps’ between their standard Stormtrooper armour had been finished, I washed them with some Nuln Oil, and allowed some of the Shade to occasionally brush over the adjoining areas in order to create some heavier shadowing. Finally their E-11 blaster rifles were simply painted with more Abaddon Black.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

"I Am C-3PO, Human-Cyborg Relations. And This Is My Counterpart, R2-D2.”

"Don't blame me. I'm an interpreter. I'm not supposed to know a power socket from a computer terminal."
These two 28mm scale plastic “Fantasy Flight” droids come from the company’s “Star Wars” “Imperial Assault” range and can be found inside the Artoo-Deetoo and See-Threepio Ally Pack. The pair were completed as part of a larger submission for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Epic Fail Themed Bonus Round and based upon the Empire’s attempt to recapture the stolen Death Star plans from the Rebel Alliance...

See-Threepio was initially undercoated using some “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna, before the droid was given two coats of Gold. He was then heavily washed with some “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade before being dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gold. I then picked out his various 'belly pistons' predominantly with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue" and Heavy Red.
"The City's central computer told you? R2-D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer."
To begin I applied two layers of "Vallejo" White to Artoo-Deetoo and then heavily washed him with Pale Grey. This transparent acrylic helped give the model some much-needed shading and also helped me to ‘pick out’ the little robot's numerous panels. These were then either painted using Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue or “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. As I wanted to add a little more colour to the miniature I decided to use a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson for the astromech droid's wiring.

Having realised that the robot's dome was actually metallic, it was given a coat of “Vallejo” Gunmental Grey and a wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil, before being dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey. I then ‘picked out’ all the details and plates on the Artoo unit’s ‘head’ with Heavy Blue and some additional “Citadel” Asurmen Blue.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Molly Hayes, the Black Panther and (another) Crimson Dynamo
With my entry for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Epic Fail Themed Round finished I am already working on the "Wizkids" models I hope to use as my Defensive Terrain submission. As a result I have already separated my "Heroclix" Molly Hayes miniature, and the three ducklings the super-strong adolescent is protecting with a piece of concrete, from their 'clicky stand', and placed them upon two different circular bases.

In addition, simply in an effort to try and make some headway in my substantial collection of "Wizkids" models, I have re-based and undercoated a highly detailed "Heroclix" sculpt of the Black Panther and the rather large eighth Crimson Dynamo.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

"Imps Are Generally The Smallest And Least Powerful Of Demons."

"A mass of flesh defined solely by a giant mouth..."
This 28mm metal model of an Imp is made by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with a somewhat larger Minor Demon as code FGV302 from their “Frostgrave” range. As I wanted this miniature to be similar in appearance and colour to the “spindly insect creature with vestigial wings” depicted upon the blister I initially undercoated him with some “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and painted his legs with Heavy Red. I then washed the grey areas with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and the red areas with Carroburg Crimson.

In order to try and make the Imp appear as if he was transforming from stone to demonic flesh, I dry-brushed the upper part of the model with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, and allowed the paint to just slightly encroach upon the legs and abdomen as well. I then further tried to merge the two dissimilar coloured areas together by dry-brushed Heavy Red over the adjoining areas as well. The creature’s toes, head-horn and wing-horns were ‘picked out’ using a combination of “Vallejo” White and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst his eyes were created using “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
White Gorilla WIP - Having finished blending my Imp's red and grey areas, I've started work on this great ape.
Having finished the first of my "Frostgrave" demons, I have since started work on this formidably large White Gorilla, as well as a couple of other models based upon the "many dangerous animals [which] now call the area home." Having finished dry-brushing the hairy brute "Vallejo" White over a Pale Grey wash, I've started to pick out his areas of flesh. Though I'm not sure I'll be sticking with the black tongue, finger and toe-nails depicted on the miniature's packaging...

In addition to the quite considerable number of "North Star Military Figures" littering my painting table, I am still managing to progress some more "Heroclix" models. This H.R. Giger "Horrorclix" alien figure (on a 40mm round base) is as overly large as it was ridiculously expensive. But should make for an impressive tabletop extra-terrestrial once I've lightly dry-brushed some additional finishing highlights to it's carapace.
"Wizkids" WIPs - H.R. Giger Alien, eight OMAC Operatives and the fifth Crimson Dynamo.
I actually own eight of the OMAC Operative models, having ordered a load of them from across the Pond after 'successfully' painting a pilot piece back in September 2015. However, having immediately undercoated them all upon their arrival, I have never managed to find the time to wash them with some "Citadel" Nuln Oil and start building up the cyborgs' metallic blue highlights. Until now at least...

Lastly this slightly under-sized thinnish sculpt of the fifth Crimson Dynamo, as worn by Dmitri Bukharin, is perhaps unsurprisingly proving rather simple to paint as a result of it being entirely red and therefore simply needing a bit of dry-brushing and a couple of ink washes being applied to it. However, as I've subsequently discovered I also own the "Heroclix" model of Gennady Gavrilov, the eighth Crimson Dynamo, I may now wait until both figures are finished before submitting them to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Friday, 15 January 2016

"They Live Only To Fight... And To Destroy!"

"Brainless creatures of almost incalculable power..."
These two brutish-looking 40mm tall plastic “Wizkids” models of a Mindless One are both miniature number 05 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Giant Size X-Men range. Summoned via magic to do the bidding of others, for they have no will of their own, these extra-dimensional beings have a rocky hide and no face except a single glowing eye. “Most often seen in the employ of Dormammu” the savage humanoids were created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and made their first comic book appearance within the pages of Issue One Hundred and Twenty Seven of “Strange Tales” in December 1964.
"... Living only to fight, to ravage, to destroy!!"
Unsurprisingly, despite their girth, these figures required incredibly simple paint-jobs. But did give me the opportunity to try out my “Vallejo” USA Olive Drab as an undercoat. Once dry the models were heavily washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and had their cyclopean eye ‘picked out’ using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and the “Citadel” glaze, Bloodletter.
C-3P0 WIP - Having received lots of dry-brushing, this humanoid robot is almost finished 
Having finished such a simple submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I have found some time to progress my painting of the figures I want to use as my entries for the event’s Epic Fail Themed Bonus Round. These plastic miniatures will be based around Darth Vader's failed attempt to retrieve the plans to the Death Star from a pair of droids...
Rebel WIPs - The grey wash on R2-D2 needs cleaning up, whilst still early days on the Rebel Trooper
I have already managed to complete two "Star Wars" stormtroopers from the "Imperial Assault" boardgame by "Fantasy Flight Games" as well as their powerful master, the Dark Lord of the Sith. As a result I’m now just finishing a wonderfully detailed sculpt of See-Threepio, as well as his ever trusty diminutive companion, Artoo-Deetoo. If I can then I’m hoping to also include a few Rebel Troopers and perhaps at least one more Imperial ‘bucket-head’ to the mix. But failing that then these additional figures should be completed in time for next week’s regular submission instead.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

"Guardbots Are Still Efficient Killers Of Organic Threats."

"Many of these security machines still defend Ancient installations..."
This 48mm tall single-piece metal automaton was made by “Reaper Miniatures” and comes from their “Chronoscope” Code 50063 Jeeves, Clockwork Robot. Sculpted by Jason Wiebe and released on June 4th 2009, I did find the ‘mechanical butler’ to have a pair of rather fragile arms, so ended up (protectively) placing his right pincer hand down to one side.
"Bezerk Android[s]."
The model was initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey and subsequently washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil.  It was then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey and had its joints heavily dabbed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade in order to represent the wear and tear of its daily chores. Once dry, the entire miniature was given a highlight of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and ‘spotted’ with some watered-down “Vallejo” Copper. I then applied some more Strong Tone Quickshade to each of these ‘rusty’ areas and dry-brushed them with “Citadel” Ironbreaker so they blended with the surrounding metalwork. 
"Androids litter the ruins of Gamma Terra in various states of repair, form... [and] ability..."
Finally, as I wanted to break up the all-silver look to this “Gamma World” mechanical servant I picked out his lower left leg, one of his pincers, his large central chest screw and face plate with “Vallejo” Bronze. These areas were then washed with Strong Tone Quickshade before I painted his eyes with a combination of “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
"Gamma World" Fist-Fist Fight - But Geroge Foreman didn't fancy his and Jeeves' chances...
 In addition to finishing Jeeves, I have also managed to paint eight more Cyber-Reavers by “Reaper Miniatures” and now have a small force of sixteen berserk androids for my “Gamma World” post-apocalyptic tabletop.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

"You Fought A Pretender, Flamingo Breath."

"Now I'm going to beat you down, and you tell me how restful it is!"
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Wildcat is miniature number 14 from the DC Comics “Heroclix” Origin Experience range. A world-class heavyweight boxer, Theodore “Ted” Grant adopted a costumed identity when he became entangled in the criminal underworld and was given “nine lives” as a result of a magical spell. A long-time member of the Justice Society of America he was created by Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen, and made his first comic book appearance within the pages of Issue One of “Sensation Comics” in January 1942.

Having removed the figure from its ‘clicky base’ and superglued him to a “Games Workshop” 25mm circular one, I covered up the boxer’s pre-paint by applying an undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black. I then heavily dry-brushed Wildcat with “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal to bring out all the sculpt’s muscular detail before heavily washing him with some “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The fighter’s handwraps were painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst his face was painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.
"Heroclix" WIPs - A Mindless One, She-Hulk and the first of five robot Hulks
In addition to painting up my “DC Comics” “rowdy tough guy” I have also been working on a few more “Heroclix” miniatures for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge; most notably a couple of Mindless One miniatures, a She-Hulk and the first of five robot Hulks which I hope to use as the formidable minions of the X-Men super-villain, Arcade. All of these plastic figures have only been undercoated so far, but the two bulky extra-dimensional cyclopean creatures shouldn’t take too long to complete on account of their rather monotone colour scheme.
Plastic pieces from the "Mars Attacks" Scenery Upgrade Pack
Finally I have been persevering with some of the plastic ruins I acquired from inside the “Mars Attacks” Scenery Upgrade Pack by “Mantic Games”. I plan to use this debris, brick pile and litter bin as part of the three-dimensional “Zombicide” board I’m putting together in order to ‘re-enact’ the 1976 British science fiction television programme “Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom”.

Friday, 8 January 2016

"Once A Machine Achieves Sentience... Humanity Becomes Obsolete."

"Androids are thinking machines that bear some resemblance to the Ancients."
These eight 28mm multi-part pewter robots are made by “Reaper Miniatures” and come from two blisters of their “Chronoscope” Code 50097 Cyber-Reavers (4). Sculpted by Bob Ridolfi and released on September 7th 2009, these ‘Not-Terminators’ were actually rather fiddly to glue together, as the majority of their “futuristic laser pistols” come on a separate metal sprue and actually don’t attach all that well to the figures’ main torsos.

In addition, some of the joints such as the wrists, proved rather fragile and brittle, so I ended up assembling the automatons into some quite sedentary positions in order to ensure the limbs had more contact with the rest of the models. When I did try a more ‘outlandish’ pose I pinned the appropriate arm in place. But found this process so time-consuming and damaging to the sculpt that I only did it a couple of times for my own sanity’s sake.
"Most are... military machines that have developed artificial intelligence."
 All the models were painted the same way and initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey. Each robot was then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil before being dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey. I then dabbed “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade into some of the joints in order to represent some wear and tear, and then dry-brushed the entire miniature with “Citadel” Ironbreaker.

As I wanted these machines to represent the berserk androids which roam the post-apocalyptic landscape of “Gamma World”, I thought they should look a bit battered and rusty, so ‘spotted’ each model with some watered-down “Vallejo” Copper. I then applied some more Strong Tone Quickshade to each of these areas and dry-brushed them with “Citadel” Ironbreaker so they blended in a bit better.
"Defective robots."
Finally, as I wanted to break up the all-metallic look to the wandering military machines, I painted their weapons pure “Citadel” Abaddon Black, and ‘picked out’ their eyes with a combination of “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion  and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.

Having finished these androids I have not only started painting up another eight Cyber-Reavers, but started work on a few more inhabitants of "Gamma World" including Jeeves the Clockwork Robot, Sherlock Holmes and some Brain Eaters. The "thinking machine" and great detective have actually been sat gathering dust in one of my drawers for a considerable time, although I did try and give them 'a lick of the brush' back in March 2015 when I applied some layers to their basing. 
"Reaper Miniatures" WIPs - Just some basic undercoats, initial layers and dry-brushing for now
The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has however re-energised my enthusiasm for the sculpts so I have re-done their basing and started painting them from scratch. I plan to have Holmes wearing a black suit with a light brown cape and deerstalker. Whilst Jeeves will be painted alongside more of his automaton brothers so I can apply the same techniques to his figure as I do theirs. The "Bones" Brain Eaters will have predominantly green (gamma-irradiated) legs with (hopefully) pinkish brain tissue...   

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

"You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry..."

"That's my secret. I'm always angry."
These two bulky 38mm tall plastic “Wizkids” models of the Hulk are both miniature number 58 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Infinity Challenge range. The figures have been given different paint-jobs in order to represent Bruce Banner’s grey alter-ego when the scientist first transformed into an “unidentified creature”, and then the gamma-powered monster’s more recognisable colour scheme; green skin with purple pants.

First published in May 1962 the creature’s co-creator Stan Lee chose grey for the Hulk because he “wanted a colour that did not suggest any particular ethnic group.” Unfortunately colorist Stan Goldberg had problems with the grey and this resulted in the behemoth appearing throughout the publication in different shades of grey, as well as green. After seeing Issue One of “The Incredible Hulk” Lee chose to change the skin colour to green and for the next two decades whenever the monster’s origin was retold he was depicted as being green. Indeed even the reprints of the original comic were recoloured…
"Is he man or monster or... is he both?"
In December 1984 however Issue 302 of “The Incredible Hulk” reintroduced the grey Hulk in flashbacks and confirmed that when the scientist was first struck by the detonation of a gamma bomb, his transformation was grey-skinned. Since then the reprints of the first issue have reverted back to displaying the original grey colouring, and the official “Marvel Worldwide” fictional canon states that the Hulk was initially grey.

In order to cover up the grey Hulk’s pre-paint I initially painted the model with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and then pained his split trousers using a combination of Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. As Banner’s shirt during his first transformation is usually depicted as being a yellowy-orange in colour so I painted it using “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre. To dirty it up I gave it a wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Finally I applied more of the Shade to the anti-hero’s skin.

For the green Hulk I used a very similar approach and just changed the paint colours. I therefore used “Vallejo” Heavy Grey and “Citadel” Thrakka Green for his ‘gamma-irradiated’ skin, “Vallejo” Heavy Green” and “Citadel” Nuln Oil for his hair, “Vallejo” Heavy Violet and “Citadel” Druchii Violet for his trousers, and finally “Vallejo” White with some watered-down “Citadel” Nuln Oil for his torn shirt.
Stormtrooper WIP - The buckethead's armour just needs to be properly picked out before a final grey wash
Having completed my miniatures for the Nostalgia Themed Bonus Round, I have already started painting the figures I want to use as my Epic Fail and Gambler/Risk Taker submissions. As a result I have begun progressing the "Star Wars" stormtroopers I based and primed just before the start of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. These three sculpts from the "Imperial Assault" boardgame by "Fantasy Flight Games" will hopefully form part of a number of models based upon Darth Vader's failed attempt to retrieve the plans to the Death Star from two droids...

For now I've just been concentrating on a test figure to try and work out how best to paint the bucketheads' distinctive white armour. To begin with I've heavily washed the white undercoat with a grey to help see all the figure's wonderful detail and then picked out all the black areas. Currently I'm tidying all these 'joints' up and 'whitening' some of the darker armoured areas before I apply a 'softer' grey wash over the miniature.
Star Wars WIPs - Darth Vader, Artoo-Deetoo and the Corellian Bounty Hunter known as Dengar
Obviously such a submission wouldn't be complete without the presence of the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, as well as the first of the Rebel Alliance's robots. I've already dry-brushed Darth Vader's costume with some charcoal, and undercoated his red lightsaber. But still have some metallic areas to 'pick out' as well as wash his attire before applying some shading to his cloak. Artoo-Detoo still has a long way to go as, having washed him to see the sculpt's detail, I've only just started to work on the undercoat for his chrome head.

Finally I thought I'd try and paint a small number of "Star Wars" Bounty Hunters for the Gambler/Risk Taker Themed Round, and perhaps one or two of their prey..? To begin with I've undercoated and washed my favourite of George Lucas' 'Scum & Villainy' creations, the Corellian mercenary Dengar...

Saturday, 2 January 2016

"The Man Without Fear!"

"You can do anything if you're not afraid."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Daredevil is miniature number 36 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Critical Mass range. Blinded as a child by a radioactive substance which fell from an oncoming truck, Matthew Murdock’s remaining senses were heightened beyond normal human ability and gives him a type of sonar super-power. Taught martial arts by a Ninja sensei known as Stick, ‘Hornhead’ was created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, and made his first “Marvel Comics” appearance in April 1964.

Having removed the figure from its ‘clicky base’ and superglued him to a “Games Workshop” 25mm circular one, I covered up the vigilante’s pre-paint by applying an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red before giving the majority of the miniature a wash of “Citadel” Crimson Carroburg. The lawyer’s baton was picked out using a combination of “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion and more “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. Whilst Daredevil’s face was painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.
Hulk WIPs - The original grey-skinned Hulk with blue trousers and a dirty yellow ripped shirt
Admittedly a simple model and paint-job, this is actually the second Daredevil "Heroclix" miniature I've painted. But I immediately thought of the crouched  figure as soon as Curt stated his ‘Tip to the Croupier’ for this year’s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge would need to be based upon a risk-taker, daredevil or gambler, as you can’t get more of a daredevil in my books than ‘the Man Without Fear’ himself.

Sticking with submissions for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I have been persevering with a grey-skinned "Heroclix" Hulk for the event's first fortnightly themed entry based upon Nostalgia. I have already finished painting the gamma-giant in his more recognisable colour scheme of green and purple. But wanted to be able to 'field' Bruce Banner's alter-ego in his original attire of blue trousers and yellow shirt... 
Cyber Reaver WIPs - The robots need a final dry-brush and to have their weapons painted black 
Lastly I have been working on eight Cyber Reavers by "Reaper Miniatures". Having previously dry-brushed them with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey, I've been endeavouring to make the automatons more rusty-looking (as they function in a post-apocalyptic "Gamma World") by applying some watered-down Copper into their various joints. Once finished these 'not-Terminators' will just need their weapons to be 'picked out' and their ominous beady red eyes 'dotted in'.