Sunday, 16 August 2020

"Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me..."

"...You damn dirty ape!"
This 28mm scale white metal model of an Albion Rocket Corporation Astronaut is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their ARC Astronauts three-figure deal. The figure actually comes unarmed with a helmet-wearing head, but as I wanted to use him as a proxy for George Taylor from the 1968 movie "Planet Of The Apes" I converted him using additional parts taken from the Lincolnshire-based manufacturer's extensive accessories range.

For starters I swapped out the model's space helmet for the bearded Travelling Man head, and cut off his empty right hand at the wrist in order to pin in place one of the four TLS Pistol hands instead. The entire ensemble was then primed with two coats of "Vallejo" White and I 'picked out' some of the cosmonaut suit's numerous buttons with a dollop or two of "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
 Statue Of Liberty WIP - The resin ornamental mantlepiece statue has been primed ready for layering
I had originally planned to leave the entire figure pure white, and perhaps simply settle for a small decal of the American flag on one of his sleeves. However, I couldn't source a tiny enough transfer for the miniature and subsequently realised that I had painted several of the suit's numerous displays when I had previously pigmented this particular sculpt a few years ago. As a result I used the combinations of "Vallejo" Heavy Red with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson", "Vallejo" Heavy Blue" with "Citadel" Asurman Blue, and "Vallejo" Heavy Grey with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green on the buttons.

I next applied some "Vallejo" Pale Grey to the folds and creases of Taylor's twentieth century spacesuit, and attempted to better blend these shadows in with a careful dry-brush of White. The West Point graduate's firearm was given a layer of "Citadel" Leadbelcher and drenched in "Citadel" Badab Black. Finally his hair and beard with treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a splash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Hero Forge" WIPs - The post-apocalyptic survivor has been dry-brushed and had some details 'picked out'
With the first of my three planned "Planet Of The Apes"astronauts finished, I have begun working on a test piece I compiled using the "Hero Forge" Customs Miniatures website. This is definitely an expensive way of getting miniatures made, even with a "GenCon 2020" discount code, but is something I'm hoping to build upon in order to produce a line of models based upon my range of "Time's Rambler" graphic novels.

For starters though, I thought I'd get something reasonably straightforward made - a premium (black) plastic model of myself in slightly post-apocalyptic attire, armed with a big pistol and the obligatory squirrel (!?!). There are some slight striation marks visible on the back of the miniature's long leather coat. However, that has easily been resolved with a lick of paint or two, and certainly hasn't stopped me designing/ordering the first three figures for what I hope to be a sizeable range in the future...

14 comments:

  1. Great work on your astronaut Simon, off to a good start on the statue, although I was surprised to see you didn't use Warlord games apocalyptic one.
    Off to a good start on yourself as well

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    1. Thanks Dave. I'm not aware of Warlord Games doing such a statue. Do you mean the one for Monsterpocalypse by Wayland Games? I went with the one by "Geri" as its 300mm tall, with the plinth alone being 60mm in height. I did consider chopping it etc, but then thought it could rather usefully double for some "Ghostbusters" action too - as I have that in mind for a future project.

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    2. By the look of it must have been a promotional piece when they released JD, as it's not in their catalogue

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    3. Clearly one I completely missed Dave, as I was initially tempted by Judge Dredd when first announced, until I heard it was a different scale to both their Strontium Dog line and the old Mongoose Games sculpts they used to produce.

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  2. Very nicely done Simon, great conversion. Funnily enough converting some Crooked Dice miniatures at the moment and may need to pick your brains at some point.

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    1. Cheers Michael. There's so much flexibility with all the little conversion pieces "Crooked Dice". Love their minis.

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  3. I really like your astronaut, great job. The white really pops as it looks clean and contrasts so well with the apes. The statue looks great and once weathered will be perfect for the setting. It is a shame there are no half buried versions for that classic movie scene, but at least this one can be used for other games as well. Your custom mini is excellent and is a really good likeness. I am somewhat jealous as the possibility of having yourself in a game such as Walking Dead fighting with Rick and Negan is just amazing! Cracking stuff in this post. Interested to know the story behind the squirrel though!!

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    1. Thanks Undercoat. As a side project over time I may well build up the ARC Astronauts into a force in their own right with buggies etc, rather than just use them as survivors.

      I did search long and hard for a suitable Statue of Liberty to use, and initially was hoping for just a head similar to that piece found in the "Warcry" Starter Set. But couldn't source one. The one I bought from "Geri" was big enough to hack to bits if I wanted to, but then I thought of "Ghostbusters" and even "Doctor Who" if I painted it as normal - hence my decision to leave it be. The base is the largest "GW" sell, and I had to wait a few weeks for it to get back in stock.

      If you just want one or two special minis then I'd highly recommend "Hero Forge", as technically they're no more expensive than some of the GW special characters. The squirrel comes from me wanting to test out a difficult pose, and of course my eldest is obsessed with all things Squirrel related.

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  4. "George" looks great and a pretty flawless conversion and I like the minimal detailing too. I was surprised though that you didn;t tackle all three at the same time - each to his own I guess.
    The Statue of Liberty model looks interesting - just how big is it ?
    Man with squirrel? Another interesting figure that oozes evil imo.

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    1. Cheers Joe. I actually found painting all the buttons etc on an all-white mini a bit tiring, so three at the same time would've proved a bit demoralising tbh. The Statue of Liberty is 300mm tall and just fits on a 160mm circular base.

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  5. Great work on Mr Heston. Loving your white and wish mine could look so clean and natural.

    A foot tall Statue of Liberty is going to wow on the tabletop!

    Those printed models can be fun. Nice to see we share the same haircut! LOL

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    1. Thanks Dai, very much appreciated. Really pleased with how Mr Heston turned out - got to meet him & shake him by the hand when I saw him in a play in Chichester. Top fellow. I think the Statue of Liberty will look awesome as a scenic piece, and pleased we share the same haircut ;-)

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  6. Nice work on Charlton, mate white can be a bu**er to get right, great find with the Statue too, that going to stand out on the table!

    Looking forward to seeing the "Moortoons figures immensely!

    Cheers Roger,

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    1. Cheers Roger. I'm really happy with the Statue of Liberty - it is a good size for an excellent price. Hopefully I can get my "Hero Forge" mini finished before the "Mooretoons" minis arrive :-)

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