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.