Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tempus Fugit

December always brings me round to Star Wars models for some reason.  The blue guy is Thrawn, and the unpainted model is his Noghri bodyguard, Rukh.
A close-up of the Ysalamir I sculpted.  I reckon it's quite cute.  Don't know why there appears to be some staining in the photo.  It's not there in real life.  Maybe Thrawn should invest in a litter tray or something?

It's been a while since I was active on the old blog front.  Don't know how time slips away.  One minute I think "it's a bit too hectic to blog right now", the next, I realise it has been ages since I visited!

Anyway, I really wanted to make a final post for 2013 to wish everyone out there a merry Christmas (or whatever winter festival you choose to celebrate) and a happy new year in 2014.  Hope it will be a great year for you all.  Thanks for visiting my humble corner of the interwebs, and for all the support and inspiration you continue to provide as I visit your blogging abodes.

I should mention the fellows in the picture before I go any further.  As you will have read previously, most of December's hobby time has been spent prepping models for a Christmas painting binge.  The gaming butterfly turned my attention to Star Wars for a while, and I decided to try out audiobooks while I set to work with knife and file.  The book I chose was "Heir to the Empire" by Timothy Zahn, and quickly I put aside the models I was working on to convert my favourite character, Grand Admiral Thrawn from said audiobook.

A quick rummage through my spare fighter pod figures turned up Moff Tarkin, Darth Maul, and Bossk which all had potential.  Thrawn was made by removing the horns from Darth Maul, and replacing Tarkin's head with the newly-shorn Maul head.  I added a high collar and hair with green stuff, and after a little thought, an Ysalamir (small creatures which provide immunity to jedi powers) rather than epaulettes, which I didn't think fitted the style of imperial uniforms.

Rukh was made by cutting and transplanting the feet from Bossk and Darth Maul (that lad has taken a lot of converting punishment), cutting the light sabre blades away, and adding Bossk's head, and a GW plastic Orc knife blade to what was previously the light sabre.  Next came significant green stuff work to blend the join between body, legs and head, and more work to make the head look a bit more Noghri-ish: Changing the nostrils, adding teeth, a lower lip and chin, a little work on the cheeks and lower eyes, and the distinctive ridging around the brow/head.

The soft, rubbery material the fighter pod models are made from can be a real pain to work with at times, but it does make conversions like this really easy.

Right, well I'll sign off now.  There's an OU assignment to be completed, and an additional course in forensics to prepare for in the new year.  Plus, I'm very excited to be hosting another small gaming event for my pals in the new year.  This one will be called "Chunkmanay" (don't know if I ever explained the chunky theme?  Some other time, maybe), and promises to be a real barn-stormer.  I will try to maintain discipline and take photos/notes rather than getting caught up in the games this time!

Have a great time this winter, enjoy your holidays and presents, and I'll see you again in the new year!



Thursday, 28 November 2013

Planning for Christmas

Phew!  Well, that's another assignment submitted for good or ill.  So, I haven't been particularly active on the old hobby front lately.  However, I don't like to post on the blog without putting up something nice to look at, so here's a few things I prepared earlier:

This is Conan v1.0, my original attempt at depicting the famous barbarian.  He's a berserker from the Demonworld Empire range.  Still got a bit of a soft spot for this model.  Sure, the proportions are a bit cartoony compared to the Copplestone Barbarians, but I like him.  He'll probably still get used in games of Crom or SBH, for a bit of variety.

Next up, we have Pulp Citizen to blame for this:

Comissioner James Gordon for 15mm Batan games.  After I saw PulpCitzen's Riddler from the Knight Models range, I had to scratch my Batman itch a little.  So, after a rummage, I got out the green stuff and converted one of Rebel's Irish hitmen.  Seems like more work on paper than it was in practice.  I just lengthened the coat, and added lapels, a shirt collar, tie, glasses, moustache and that odd belt that often dangles unused on the back of the raincoat.  Just finished painting him today.  I'm considering adding a little something to the base to brighten things up.  Part of a chalk outline, or a piece of police tape blowing past his feet, perhaps?

There's one last Irish hitman remaining, so maybe I'll go for a conversion with a bit more panache and try a Joker conversion on that model.

Other than that, I'm building up a stock of cleaned and primed models ready to paint over Xmas right now, so I can enjoy a festive painting binge.

Kim and I are also planning some games to play, since this is one of the years when we spend Christmas at home, rather than travelling.  So far, we're looking at Kim's favourite game, Mighty Monsters, followed by her second favourite, Mighty Armies.  I fancy a bit of Crom, and some sci-fi gaming, so possibly a bit of 5150 or Dead Walk Again (who knows, maybe both?), and we'll be trying out the Pulp City rules in anticipation of the kickstarter coming up at the end of January.

So, as you might guess, we won't be watching the re-runs of Harry Potter or the Great Escape on telly this year!  Anyone else making hobby or gaming plans for the festive season, or do you just look forward to a break and a post-turkey nap?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Clearing the Decks

It's almost the deadline for my next assignment, so I have been working on finishing a few models to remove temptation from my desk while I write up my notes over the next few days.  So here's a few of my now-completed models to look at while I absent myself from Blogger for a week or so:

The finished Conan conversion.  I used an arrow from an old GW skeleton sprue to make the broken spear.  For some reason, I think it looks massively out of scale in this photo, but in real life, it looks fine ~shrug~.

A Cthulu statue.  Bought a pair of resin Cthulu idols at Albanich way back in March.  Only recently did I think of making use of them, while I was painting Conan.  The idol has been mounted on a 20mm plastic square base, which has then been mounted on a 25mm plastic square base.  Glowing green eyes were added for a bit of colour, and because summoning demons/eldritch beasties is something that can happen quite a bit in the Crom rules.

Last, but not least, another purchase from Albanich, a Stalacbite from Midlam Miniatures.  It's been hanging around the desk for ages.  Don't know why I took so long getting round to painting it, really.  There's a whole lot of them, and they're fun models.

See you next week!



Monday, 18 November 2013

Cheeky Chappie

I painted the first of my goblin unit fillers over the weekend, probably galvanised into action following my first trial game of Mighty Armies with the missus (it was very basic, so no AAR this time, but it was great.  How great?  We'll be playing again, and Kim is building herself a wood elf army.  So AAR next time, for sure).

Here he is next to one of his metal mates to show how he scales up.  Strangely, he looks fine in real life, but when I look at the photo everything looks really rough about the paint job, so he'll be back under the brushes again later for some tidying up.  Digital photography is a harsh mistress, but she does drive improvement in my painting.

Also, my first package of goodies arrived through the post.  Took advantage of the recent Copplestone Castings 10% off sale to buy some 15mm barbarians.  When they arrived, I couldn't resist doing some minor conversion work to make a Conan figure.  Still a little work to do on his eye (his left side, our right: He looks cross-eyed at the moment, as I can't seem to get the white of his eye to cover the area I'm aiming for) and base (I'm currently rummaging through my collection for a donor model with a suitable sword or helmet to sit at the bottom of the stairs, for starters).  Here's the almost-finished Conan:

 By Crom! Finish painting me, or I sup ale from thy freshly cloven skull this night!
I thought the cloak painted up well.  So well, in fact, I thought it deserved a picture to itself.

See you soon!



Thursday, 14 November 2013

Goblin Unit Fillers

I found a Mantic Orc sprue in my cupboard with this pair of orclings attached.  figured that with a little GS work, they would work well alongside the leftover 15mm Demonworld Goblins that I'll be using in my Mighy Armies Orc force.

Basically, I needed to change the areas around the nose and ears, as it looks like the original models are meant to be something like baby orcs.  I also didn't like the eyes on the prone model, so I built up the cheeks and brows a bit and added smaller eyes.  Don't know if he's supposed to be tired/lazy or a casualty.  The green bases were added so that they would match height-wise with their Demonworld mates, who are sculpted with integral bases.

Haven't dared set about these with the primer yet.  I'll let the GS set overnight and deal with final clean-up and painting tomorrow.

In other news from the paint station, I will be using transfers to complete the shield on my Libyan spearman.  Once my order arrives, I will have a unit of spearmen and an elephant completed and ready to go for my Ancients force.  Pictures, of course, when they are properly finished, based and varnished.

Although I will need plenty more units of spearmen, I'm looking forward to painting up some Libyan skirmishers with javelins next.  They will add a touch of the exotic to my painting queue, since they are equipped with ostrich-feather shields.  Plus, I reckon they should only need 2-3 to a base, so they will be quick to complete.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Painting for Work

What?  Two posts in quick succession?  Surely not!

Just thought I'd show off this Liby-Phoenician spearman that I painted.  He will be part of the box art for our new Xyston Carthaginian army pack.  I know - More 15mm models.  What can I say?  I like the scale, which is handy, since painting/sculpting 15mm models is in the job description.

I've left the shield blank for now, as I would really like to use one of the excellent Little Big Man transfers for the design and avoid using freehand.  But as this will be used on our packaging, I will need to a) get permission from Steve at LBM, and b) get Robbie to agree to me using a transfer.

One the shield design is complete, and fancy photograhs taken, he'll be based as part of a unit for either Warmaster Ancients (as opposition for my Republican Romans), or Mighty Armies Ancients (if that game takes off with the regular gaming group).

If you have strong feelings regarding the shield design (transfer vs freehand, or suggestions for the design: quick note, I would like to use something other than the symbol of Tanit), by all means let me know in the comments.  I will consider all suggestions of a serious nature.  So no "Hello Kitty" shields, or the like!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ominous Silence? New Project?

With real-life events (mainly my birthday) pushing me around a bit lately, it has been difficult to get back to blogging.  Now I'm back, and this time, there's not a zombie in sight.

So, what's this about a new project?  I know.  This is supposed to be about not flitting from one unfinished project to another like a butterfly.  But, surely it's okay if I'm just using bits that I have already, isn't it? ... I'll take that as a yes.

The culprit is Mighty Armies.  I'd heard about this game in the past, but after reading a number of reviews, I decided to get hold of the rules on pdf and check them out.  They did not disappoint on my first read-through.  Haven't played a game yet, but they have the twin virtues of simplicity and character.  I guess they could be described as HOTT melded with SBH.

Not one to let a small detail like never having played a set of rules deter me from building an army for them, I've been rooting around in my storage boxes.  Out came the remnants of my Demonworld 15mm Orc packs, originally bought for dungeon crawl games.  I've got enough to make a unit or two of Orcs and Goblins.  Huzzah!  Not a whole army's worth, but enough to keep me out of trouble for a while, at least.  Pick of the bunch has to be this guy, though.  He will be my general.

Mounted Orc Hero.  I wasn't planning to do any conversion work.  Then I decided to add some banner poles...
...So then I had to add a cloak to strengthen/hide the join.  Then I thought I may as well add shoulder pads to hide the shoulders of the cloak.  Then things started to get more involved...
Originally, I was going to add a musician and standard bearer, but I figured he looked pretty impressive on his own.  Next, it looked like the wolf's head stood too far proud of the base edge to line up nicely for hand to hand combat.  Bit by bit, the conversion level increased until he ended up looking like this:

Pretty dramatic, huh?  Putting the model on a slope got rid of the wolf head overhang issue.
Gratuitous shot of the right side.  Well, all the other sides got a photograph to themselves.  It's only fair.

Bah.  You can't see it here, but I even painted wood grain/planks on the back of the shield.

The freehand shield design came out well, I reckon.  The shield itself is a Xyston Hoplite shield, by the way.  It's quite a nice fit, isn't it?
Seen at many times normal size, I notice all the little imperfections on details like the banners that I'll have to go back and sort out.  Also, I didn't get a great angle of the rider's face, which is a shame.  Maybe I'll get a better shot later on, when I'm taking group photos.

I'm hoping to get a whole army's worth of Orcs painted up, and a display base made so I can enter them in the Albanich painting competition in March next year.

Well, that's my painting binge over for now.  There'll be more to come, but the painting will be a bit slower, since I'm not a big fan of painting units of models.

See you soon!


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

No Surrender! - Zomtober Week 5 (unofficial)

Just squeaking in before the end of the month, I have managed to get my first survivors finished for my unofficial Zomtober week 5.  All of these are Rebel Minis 15mm models.  The guy in the middle is an Irish Hitman (don't know what makes him Irish.  Must be a film reference that I'm missing), whilst the other two models are listed as Street Punks.  They may look familiar to you if you've checked out my earlier 15mm Spinespur posts, as they are duplicates of models I used to represent street thugs in that project.

I don't hold out a lot of hope for the Gangsta chap on the left.  Bare skin in a zombie apocalypse doesn't seem like a good strategy to me.  I've painted him in matching dude rag and sport trousers (does the term 'shell suit' still fly, or am I showing my age?), with the waistband of his underpants showing.  He's armed with a sub machine gun of some sort, which he is holding in that impractical manner that is so popular with rappers and such.  I want him to survive, but he is doing everything in his power to prevent that!  I was going to paint his trousers in a silver colour, but chickened out in the end, and before I knew it, I had painted almost a carbon copy of my Spinespur thug.  Bah! C'est la vie.

On the other hand, the fellow in the middle is carrying a total of five visible pistols (three of them are strapped to his chest)!  He certainly seems prepared.  I've painted him with some grey hair at the temples, and will probably make this guy the leader of my survivors.  He just has that sort of vibe about him.

Finally, the guy in the hoodie, unconverted this time (the Spinespur version was converted to carry a molotov), carrying a shotgun.  I like this model.  He looks like an 'early days' survivor to me, in that he has a single, fairly standard weapon, and is not laden down with equipment and fancy combat gear.  Mind you, he also looks like a bank robber...

I've tried to paint the survivors in the sort of colours you would see on passers-by in everyday life for the most part.  Gansta chap offered the opportunity to throw in a splash of colour to break up the group and add a bit of interest.  I'm going to try not to have too many survivors in military/law enforcement equipment, because I want to keep things a bit more low-key.  Also, I want to avoid a proliferation of firearms, so the next few batches of survivors will have hand-to-hand weapons to balance out this trigger-happy trio.

Maybe I'll do one or two molotov conversions for this project too, as they are the sort of thing people could make easily, and could be useful in a scenario.  Anyway, that's it for now.  Hopefully, I'll get to use my Zomtober efforts in a game this weekend, as we'll be having friends over to celebrate my birthday.  I'll try to get pictures for an AAR or just a general report to share next time.

Catch you later!


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

They are Legion! - Zomtober Week 4

Well, I know I'm a bit early with this, so my apologies for that. But this is one of those situations where real life is ramping up the pressure (I have an assignment deadline and a job interview, both on Monday), and it just makes sense to get my Zomtober commitment out of the way early, to free up time for the other upcoming events.

The Khurasan zombie on the left looks rather ghoulish, doesn't he?  The range is definitely growing on me.  I just find some of the ragged clothing to be sculpted in a style that doesn't quite 'click' with me.  But I love the sense of movement, and the character in the faces of the Khurasan zombies.

In the middle is a Rebel Miniatures zombie businessman, waving around his briefcase.  I'm toying with the idea of a game in which this particular zombie would be an objective, as the survivors need something in his briefcase.  Maybe it's research on a cure for the zombie virus?   Maybe he has a key card for access to a resrticted part of a lab/office building?  Maybe they just want his sandwiches?  The great thing is that he will stand out in a crowd, despite his rather pedestrian attire, making that sort of scenario a good idea.

Finally, we have a skateboarder zombie (again from Rebel Minis).  Painted myself into a corner with this chap, as apart from his degloved arm, there are no other signs of injury on the model.  So in retrospect the red plaid shirt may have been a mistake, since I couldn't daub blood effects over it.  Still, I think the white t-shirt makes up for that problem...

Well, Zomtober has been a blast!  I will be doing an unofficial week 5 in order to get some survivors on the go.  Thanks to Pulp Citizen for letting me play, and thanks to all of my fellow Zomtober participants:  It's been great scooting around everyone's blogs and feasting on the rotten eye candy you've displayed.  Looking forward to next years event!

Since I'm done (for the time being) with the undead, here's the group shot I promised.  At my wife's request a shiny penny has been added to show the scale of the models.

Say "Cheese!".......Mmmuuurrrrrrrhhhhhhhhh!

See you next week!


Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Casualties Are Mounting: Zomtober Week 3

Hello again chaps!  Another, slightly early Zomtober submission from me.  Maybe a little heavy on the old gore effects this time?  Still, it will all balance out when they are mixed in with their fellows.  Left to Right, we have two Rebel Minis zombies, and a Khurasan zombie.

The leftmost zombie has obviously seen better days, with very little flesh left on him, either he is in an advanced state of decomposition, or he met with a rather grisly end at the hands (mouths?) of a big group of zombies.  I've painted him up as an ice-cream vendor (bet he regrets his invitation to "stop me and buy one" now!).

In the middle is what can only be a zombie erm... Lady of easy virtue.  She seems to have been badly mauled in places, with her left arm completely stripped of flesh, her innards falling out of her abdomen, and some big chunks taken out of her right leg and foot.  I'm not so keen on the fact that she is posed in a way that suggests she is still plying her trade, though.  I'd have thought that the process of zombification would have left her as just another shambler.  I can always classify her as a smart zombie, with residual memories of her old life, I guess.

Finally, a generic chap, who I may well identify as a rage zombie.  He certainly has that look about him.  Looks like his lips were chewed off.  Blech!  I can understand why he would be a bit miffed.

Just realised from looking at the pictures that I have forgotten to put the last layer of drybrushing on the brown part of the bases.  Bah.  I'll have to put that right after publishing this post.

Before I go, thought I'd share my latest shinies with you:

It's a pair of drop pods from the Mcfarlane Halo Micro-Ops range.  Got them in a pack from one of our local discount stores, B&M for £2.99 (the blister also included three ODST troops, but I haven't pictured them).  Both pods can be opened or closed according to preference, which is nice.

I snipped the drag chute off one of the pods, as it made it look a bit naff.  The pack only includes one separate rubble base (as one pod is meant to be in mid-drop), which is a shame, but I can probably make a second rubble base with modelling clay and talus so that I can depict them both as landed.  Although the ODST troops that came with them are about 22mm tall, these should make great objectives/terrain/aerial deployment markers for 15mm sci-fi games.

Anyway, enough of my off-topic rambling.  I'm off to try and get week 4's entries painted up early, so that Zomtober won't clash with my impending Open University assignment deadline.

See you next week!


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Spreading The Contagion: Zomtober Week 2

Here's my effort for week 2 of Zomtober.  Another three 15mm zombies, the clown is from Rebel Minis, whilst zombie Elvis (complete with blue suede shoes) and the little girl are from Khurasan Miniatures.  By the way, I don't think zombie Elvis was sculpted to be an Elvis impersonator, but once the idea popped into my head, how could I not follow it through?

As you can see, there is quite a difference in height between the Rebel and Khurasan models, but my reaction is.... meh.  In real life, people are all different heights, and once I get a horde of zombies finished, it won't matter a jot who is taller than who, will it?

While I'm here, I know no-one has asked, but I really can't recommend Winsor & Newton Galleria matt varnish enough.  These guys all got a coat before the Tamiya blood mix (Clear red and smoke) was applied, and it dried to a completely matt finish.

Missed out on the Warmaster Ancients event, as the missus, who was going to drive, has been sick as a dog since yesterday.  But I do get martyr points for looking after her, and when she can stomach more than soup, we'll go out for a nice meal to compensate for missing out on a weekend away.  It's obviously a bit stressful nursing a sick spouse:  I am sleeping with one eye open, and keeping a baseball bat within reach, just in case she turns...

Assuming that I don't have to put any of our zombie preparedness drills into practice, I'll see you all next week!


Sunday, 6 October 2013

It Begins...Zomtober Week 1

Here we go!  Week 1 of Zomtober sees 3 zombies enter the fray.  All 15mm zombies from Rebel Minis, these chaps.  Left to right, a big-boned lass who has now picked up the name "Wilma" (I was aiming for something a bit trailer-trashy with the leopard skin print, but she just seemed more Flintstone than hillbilly), a zombie policeman (I've aped the UK police uniform), and some poor sap who learned the hard way that his hazmat suit was not bite-proof.

One of the new things that I have tried out is the use of Tamiya Clear Red (TCR) mixed with Tamiya Smoke, applied as fresh blood.  On areas with deep wounds like Wilma's leg, I painted a layer of dark red underneath to add depth.  The whole TCR thing looks good up close, but I don't think it really works at gaming distance.  Still, I've committed myself now, so I will continue to use this on the rest of my 15mm zombies.

I have noticed that some people got their week 1 pictures posted nice and early today, and I've been pretty impressed with both the quality and volume of the work on display.  Good work chaps!

Oh, and thanks to everyone who has followed my blog and left comments.  Sorry I didn't respond earlier, I've just gotten used to rattling around here on my lonesome.  But I'll be more active now that I've got some company!

I will be at a Warmaster Ancients event next weekend, so I'll either be making my first mobile blog post, or (if my inner Luddite plays up) putting my week 2 efforts up a bit early.

That's all for now.  See you guys next week!


Monday, 30 September 2013


Hello again, all.  I'm excited now.

 I am offically taking part in the Zomtober painting event that I first came across in the Ecclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer blog.  The idea is that every week in October, everyone who is taking part must paint at least one zombie or survivor and publish pictures of said model (or models).  The challenge will kick off tomorrow, so if you fancy joining in, and haven't already, make sure you leave a comment for pulpcitizen, and join the throng of zombie painters!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's painted models, and enjoying the energy that comes from being part of a larger project.

For me, Zomtober is a simple concept, but hopefully something that will give me the required shot of motivation to a) get some of my dusty lead painted up, and b) get me in the habit of making regular blog posts.

I've been swithering away about whether to paint 28mm or 15mm models for Zomtober, but with my friends Robbie and Deke planning to visit for some zombie gaming at the beginning of November, and my limited gaming space, it's going to be 15mm for me, I reckon.  I'll try to paint two models a week, so I will have a nice start to my painted horde (there are about 20 primed 15mm zombies pleading for my attention at the moment).  But I will have to take into account events like an OU tutorial and a Warmaster Ancients competition which I have committed myself to in October.  So, despite my plans, I may only manage to get one painted some weeks.

Feels like I should add a picture of some sort now.  Hmmm.... ~rummage, rummage~.... How about this one.  It's a 28mm Hasslefree zombie, but my 15mm zombies will have the same sort of skin tone, etc., so think of it as a preview.  See you again at the weekend!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Airbrush (and photo) Practice

This fellow is a minotaur from the Reaper Bones range.  I'm trying to get used to the airbrush in order to speed up my painting technique, and larger models seem like a good place to start.

The brown skin fur was done with the airbrush and a wash with devlan mud, followed by extreme highlights.  Everything else was done in the traditional manner.

Although I saved loads of time this way, I could probably have saved more by using the airbrush on other elements, like the black fur and the horns.  So, taking that on board as the first lesson, I have ordered some masking materials to help boost my confidence with using the airbrush more.  I am deliberately avoiding the use of pigments and oil washes for now, and get used to the techniques one at a time.

While I was at it, I've had a few email/text conversations with Junior about my photography, which I think has slipped in quality lately.  Well, I think, after identifying a few schoolboy errors, I'm getting back on track.  It goes to show that it is always worthwhile to revisit the fundamentals every now and again.  Still a bit of work to do with the blurry weapons, but I'm pleased with the results, and poky weapons are always an issue when you try to photograph different angles on a model (and careful positioning can mitigate that too).

Here come the pictures:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Great News!

I managed to get a group of 5 thugs painted up to accompany Senator Pigskin on the miniaturised streets of Spinespur, and I was really pleased with them.  So pleased, in fact, I entered them into the painting competition at Albanich this past weekend.  Here's a group shot, with Pigskin for scale.  As you can see, he's a bit of a monster!  Even larger than I had intended, really.  But no matter: I wanted imposing, and I certainly got imposing!  Sadly, I seem to have lost my photo mojo, and there seem to be a few focus/shinyness issues.  I'll have to get some tips from my good friend Junior about how to deal with that.  Hopefully, I've managed to get a decent image out of this using photoshop.

The Molotov thugs are conversions, as is the chainsaw thug.  The molotov thug on the left is a Rebel Minis street punk, who was originally holding a shotgun.  I carefully removed the left hand, and trimmed away the handle of the gun in the other, so it looked like he was flicking a lighter.  The bottle and new left hand were scratch-built/sculpted respectively.  The chainsaw thug is a survivor from The Scene's 15mm range.  He received a head transplant with a Xyston model, over which a hockey mask was sculpted, and (as with most of the Scene's survivor models used for Spinespur) the shotgun slung in a holster on his back was trimmed off and replaced with a bag.  The final molotov thug received two new arms, courtesy of the same Xyston model that gave chainsaw his head, a scratch-built molotov bottle, a bag instead of his shotgun, and a gas mask head from Ground Zero Games' separate head sprue.  I'm least happy with how this guy turned out, but he's okay overall, I reckon.

So, when it came to entering the painting competition, I decided that without context, Pigskin would probably seem a bit random.  Consequently, I just went with the five thugs:

And how did they do in the competition?

Second place (rather sportingly referred to as runner up on the day)!  Not bad, considering they were really dwarfed by the tank section that took first place.  I'm really pleased that as 15mm models going up against 28mm and other scales they did so well.  As good as second place is, I'd rather win, though.  So I'll be back next year to see if I can do better.  Still really chuffed with my achievement nonetheless.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Pigskin Painted!

Huzzah! I've really enjoyed working on this guy from start to finish.  Normally, I don't hold with slathering gore all over a model, but I think the subject matter called for it.  Note:  most of the gore is concentrated around the front of the model, as I'm going for the "butchers animals and people" feel, rather than suggseting that Pigskin bathes in vats of blood, or is suffering injuries.

Not sure if the photos have really picked it up, but I've been careful to paint the pig head in a different skin tone to the body.  I'm trying to really hammer home the fact that this is a severed pig's head being worn as a mask, rather than this guy being a pig-headed mutant.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Senator Pigskin

As is typical in my life, shiny new things derail the best laid plans.  I stumbled across this kickstarter project for the Spinespur game, and quite like the sound of it.  Unfortunately, I don't really have the money right now to invest heavily in another kickstarter, so I'm planning on a small contribution to get the pdf rulebook (when the commensurate funding level is reached) and maybe a couple of models.  In the meantime, I thought I'd have a go at building myself a 15mm Slaughterhouse agenda force (one of my favourite themed forces) while I wait for the kickstarter to finish.

So, I thought I'd start with the head of the Slaughterhouse agenda, Senator Pigskin himself (image taken from

As you can see, he's basically a large guy with a meat cleaver and a meathook on a chain.  Oh, and he has a penchant for wearing a pig's head.  Charming fellow, eh?  By the time I finally crawled into bed last night, I had made this version:

After some consideration of various barbarian models, I eventually decided to go all-out and make this guy a real monster.  Cobbled together from an assortment of gw plastic remnants that I had lying around, and judicious use of green stuff, he's based on my idea for 15mm ogres, so the top of most 15mm scale model heads will reach his chin.  I also fancied making my model a bit less buff than the original, so he was assembled and bulked out in such a way as to keep the muscles, but add a bit of bulk.  I imagine him being slow but hard-hitting (of course, that may not be how he is described in the rules, but never mind.  I like this look and that's what matters).

If you are wondering about the parts used, the cleaver is from an ogre sprue, gloves are from a Khorne berserker, torso/arms from a savage orc, shoulder pad from a 40k ork, chain from an ork biker, with the hook made from the butt of a kroot rifle, legs from a goblin, the apron is a cut-down kroot bone-cloak, pocket bones are from the crypt ghouls sprue, and the knives are an accessory from the kroot sprue, used to cover an area where the original goblin loincloth was not covered by the apron.

The pig's head is based on a goblin head with the eyes drilled out (how freaky does that sound?  It was a weird feeling, drilling out a models eyes.  Made me feel like a deranged serial killer or something).  Green stuff was used to variously blend things in, bulk things out, and create the pig features.  The most bizarre thing to admit is having to bulk out the arse on the model.  Because a large, chunky torso was being glued to teeny little legs, Pigskin's butt needed to be bulked out to make the join more natural looking.

Anyway, I'm rather pleased with the end result.  I added gloves, because I figured they would be a necessary item of abbatoir apparel, and compliment the apron well in that regard, and the shoulder plate was added just because I thought it looked good, and added something to the otherwise bare right hand side of the model.  The only thing I would change about this build is the meathook.  If I had been able to find one of the chaos marauder standards, or some dark eldar bits, or anything a bit more meathook-y(?), I would have gone for them instead.  But, that's not a huge regret.

For now, Pigskin is off to be sprayed, and it's time to rummage through my 15mm lead pile to find him some minions (I reckon there must be some zombie survivor models that would fit the bill).  With luck, the only money I'll need to spend will be on some 15mm pigs.