Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Trash Bashing a Micro-scale Power Facility

I just finished a quick build and paint job on a plastic blister from a pack of air fresheners that I procured from work. I'm trying to cull a good portion of the plastic bits that I've collected and part of that is to actually make some stuff with it!

Nothing complicated here, MDF base, various greeblies for details, ink-jet decals. I'm really happy with the way the solid black decals look but anything with color just gets washed out by the color beneath it. But it beats trying to hand paint them.

To get the sandy texture I first cover the MDF with wood glue and then sprinkle it with very fine sand. Once this is completely dry I cover the whole surface with regular thin super-glue. This not only bonds and seals it nicely but makes the texture less pronounced and more "natural".

A penta-dynamo fusion plant defended by two Tomahawk MBR-04-Mk VI destroids.

I rushed the drybrushing which caused the big splotches on the sides. Too overeager I guess.
Model kit sprue, LEGO knock-offs, 15mm tank parts, 1:1800 scale Eagle transporters, plasticard, 30mm sci-fi German gasmask canisters...

The blister from a five pack of Air Wick Scented Oils that I found at work. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Painting Bob Olley Ogres

It's that time of year again for the Secret Santa swap on the Old School Miniatures Facebook group. I decided to do something a bit above and beyond the usual for my recipient and paint a small unit of ogres for them. These were sculpted by Bob Olley and originally released by Ral Partha. They're still available, somewhat, by Iron Wind Metals and Ral Partha Europe. The ogre with the hook shaped cleaver seems to be MIA on these sites but might be available on Ebay.

These minis are quite simply some of the most fun I've ever painted. The character sculpted on the faces is amazing and lends itself to very minimal painting. The rest of the details are fully dimensional and clearly defined. Even the chainmail is wonderfully sculpted which makes it very easy to get a good painted result.

I had some questions about how I paint armor so here's the basic plan.

1. Prime Black.
2. Drybrush Copper.
3. Drybrush Chainmail and pick out brass details.
4. Wash with Agrax Earthshade.
5. Drybrush with Chainmail and highlight with Runefang Steel.

The Copper base color adds a richness that washes don't get easily and the Agrax Earthshade adds a realistic oxidized surface that works with even non-ogre miniatures.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monster Man Contest Voting

The first round of voting has begun on James Holloway's Monster Man Contest. Bop over to his page and check it out!

Anyone can vote for their three favorite entries.

And may I humbly suggest a favorable vote for my own meager offering? 

Number 24...


If she's chosen as the final winner she'll be resculpted and turned into an actual metal model!

You have until December 13th!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Painting a Diego Diz Ghoul.

"The madness and monstrosity lay in the figures in the foreground - for Pickman's morbid art was pre-eminently one of daemoniac portraiture. These figures were seldom completely human, but often approached humanity in varying degree. Most of the bodies, while roughly bipedal, had a forward slumping, and a vaguely canine cast. The texture of the majority was a kind of unpleasant rubberiness. Ugh! I can see them now! Their occupations - well, don't ask me to be too precise. They were usually feeding - I won't say on what. They were sometimes shown in groups in cemeteries or underground passages, and often appeared to be in battle over their prey - or rather, their treasure-trove. And what damnable expressiveness Pickman sometimes gave the sightless faces of this charnel booty! Occasionally the things were shown leaping through open windows at night, or squatting on the chests of sleepers, worrying at their throats. One canvas showed a ring of them baying about a hanged witch on Gallows Hill, whose dead face held a close kinship to theirs."
-Pickman's Model, H.P. Lovecraft

Trash Bash maestro and sculptor extraordinaire Diego Diz recently sent me a box that contained a ton of his Ars Minima miniatures as Trash Bash Contest prizes, but also a finely detailed resin-cast ghoul that he'd sculpted. It was a bit intimidating to paint since I tend to stay with chunky and or vintage minis, but once I got started I realized how perfectly captured the details were and that they made painting even easier.


You! Drop that baby! Into my mouth!

Fog effects by Optimo Cigar.

The painting was done with several layers of washes and drybrushing. I tried to get a subtle, mottled color that is unfortunately lost in the final photos. I'm most happy with the face as painting the eyes, teeth, and gums really took a steady hand. It's nice to know that I can still handle such fine details. :) 

I was struck by a memory of the story Pickman's Model and how it was discovered that Richard Upton Pickman was basing his horrifying ghoul paintings not on his imagination but from "live" models. Diego seems to have found his own horde of undead artist's models as this miniature has a physiognomy that is unsettlingly realistic. Even at this tiny scale the face is full of malice and hunger. It was a both creepy and fun to see its expression develop under the brush.

Unfortunately Diego is no longer sculpting miniatures due to other time commitments. But I'm truly grateful not only for this wonderfully terrifying gift but also for his continued friendship.

Muchas gracias mi amigo.   

Sunday, November 12, 2017

OGRE Miniatures Command Post

I'm really loving these new OGRE Miniatures by Steve Jackson Games. Here's the command post model. It has a good amount of detail with smooth surfaces and sharp edges that take drybrushing really well. Cool stuff.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Monster Man Contest Entry: The Slathax

Cheers to whoever did the layout for Star Frontiers for choosing Univers for the interior text. Makes matching it up very easy.

James Holloway of the Monster Man Podcast has recently launched a contest to reach back into our gaming past and use cheap toys as inspiration for monsters for our games.

Many of the original D&D monsters came from such toys, such as the owlbear, rust monster, and bulette, and James has given me a great opportunity to add my own spin on things. 
Artifacts of our shared fantastical history.
While at Gen Con 2017 I got to both see some of these plastic monsters in the 50th Anniversary of Gen Con Museum but also picked up a pack of the "lost monsters", a group of "could've been" creatures that never made the cut into D&D proper.

Radio Controlled Armadillos and Hug-A-Saurs might still make the big time someday.
These included the above creatures plus the subject of my contest entry. At first glance this toy seems to be a simple T-Rex style dinosaur doing an MC Hammer dance. But on closer inspection it's clear that the torso and tail are more like an earthworm body than a true dinosaur. Since I've recently been running a Star Frontiers campaign my first thought for baddies goes to the worm-like Sathar race. Sather like to breed terrible monsters and unleash them on unsuspecting frontier planets to sow death and destruction.

Thus the Slathax is born!

"Slathax feel pretty. Slathax go on date. Slathax choose lip-color suit Slathax complexion."

All I really did was repaint the toy. This was actually a lot of fun since it was more like painting a toy soldier than a detailed gaming miniature. The mold lines were a pain but came off somewhat by using a sharp hobby knife and slicing them away.

Then I just painted it without using any sort of primer. Like Reaper Bones, this rubbery plastic will not react well to spray enamels and really doesn't need any priming, just go straight to heavily applied acrylics.

"He’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then – aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’,"

I also did a drawing of the Slathax so that I could create a set of Star Frontiers style monster stats. This is really where the fun of this process happens as you look at this little piece of plastic and try to imagine what a "real world" version of it would be like. The wormy body, rockily squamous limbs and shark-like mouth lead to the determination that this creature would be a large, burrowing predator. Thinking about Sathar military tactics gave me the idea that this beast would be an infiltration unit, designed to sow fear and terror behind enemy lines.

"You guys hear something? Dudes! Seriously! I HEARD SOMETHING!"
A bit of color to the original art.

I really had a lot of fun with this contest entry and encourage you to do the same thing and to ENTER JAMES'S CONTEST!