Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Look at Graveyard John.

"He shambled out from behind a decaying headstone like a clumsy ghost, a man of dubious industry who always seemed to appear after a funeral or before somebody was about to die. He glared beneath a soiled top hat with eyes as cold as a snapping turtle and stood crouched over as bowlegged as a gandy dancer. There was a bag on his back bigger than him that was lumpy and stained with who knows what. And all the people of Mortimer's Corners wanted to know, did he put people into the ground or take them out?"

This miniature will be available soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giant Deep One Now For Sale

The first miniature from Nameless Design Miniatures is now available! The Giant Deep One is a massive monster from the depths, certain to frighten the most stout of heart adventurers or investigators. The miniature comes in three parts and includes a 40mm round base.

Price is 8.00 USD plus shipping and handling. S&H for The US is 2.00 USD and International is 4.00 USD. Please click on the Paypal Button to pay with Paypal or a credit card. Email me at with any questions.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quick Mortis Dreadnought Conversion.

Calling this a conversion is probably too kind. It's really just adding a big skull from the Arcane Ruins set to a Dark Reach dreadnought and then adding four lascannons to the arms. I threw a couple of Imperial Aquila around to further brand it. Aluminum targeter eyes with putty lenses. I might still add more icons and purity seals.

Although I will probably never play Warhammer 40K ever again I still like bashing stuff together and painting it. The plastics make converting so easy and I always seem to have lots of bits left over from painting miniatures for other people. I think this will look much better once it's painted, right now it's too cute. Like a big baby with lascannon arms. Humm, now there's an idea.

I also made up a base for the little fellow using a bunch of leftover vehicle bits, some cast metal conduit, plant roots, and a zombie arm. I think sometimes that I build models just to get to make bases to put them on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Deep One Miniature Crawls to the Surface.

Here's my first complete miniature in quite some time. I'm getting back into sculpting and decided to finish some of the half-finished minis lurking in my storage crypts. A great jedi once told me that you learn more from finishing one miniature than you do from starting twenty.

I've always seen deep ones as much larger than most current sculpts. Maybe it comes from having seen Humanoids From The Deep at too early an age or maybe I like my monsters to look like guys in rubber suits. Either way this deep one is about 40mm tall (he'd be taller if he was a Posture Pal), comes in three pieces and includes a separate base. I'm having some cast and will have price and shipping date set soon.

Now where did all of my sardines go?!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fantasy Modeling Issue #3

Well after too long of a hiatus I'm finally back with another issue of the awesome Fantasy Modeling magazine. Finally getting caught up with our comics coloring and design work so now I get to do some geeky fun stuff. And I wanted to get this posted so Tom can put down the Thorazine darts.

This issue features an in-depth interview with one of the founding fathers of modern fantasy miniatures, Tom Loback. Mr. Lobacks's company Dragontooth Miniatures released some of the most purely creative miniatures of the 1980s and really set the stage for massed combat fantasy miniature gaming.

This issue also begins the series Odds and Ends which shows how to use common items that might usually be thrown away to create and convert science fiction miniatures. Many of these ideas are still useful and this series really inspired me as a kid to "trash-bash" my own creations.

An interview with artist Dave Cockrum, model rocketry, spaceship scratchbuilding,and tons of other goodies.


P.S. And I know the Martian Metals ad is upside down. Just like in the magazine.

Plastic's Modeler Dave Cockrum
The Atlanta Military Miniature Exhibit
The Return of The Backyard Spaceship
Conan Reconsidered
An Interview with Tom Loback
Role Playing in a Future "Universe"
From The Natural to The Supernatural
Scratchbuilding Spaceship Miniatures for Film
What Kit is That?
Outerspace Odds and Ends
Adventure Gaming
Book Reviews

Fantasy Modeling #3 -

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Building Colton's Curse Continued...

Just a quick post showing a couple of new buildings. Tomorrow I'm off to Toronto for The Shuster Awards and the Toronto Comicon Fan Appreciation Event 2010. Hopefully meet some new folks and promote Yva.

The Dandee Diner is built pretty much like the first small building that I made except that it's a bit bigger and has half round trim along the top for a more decorative effect. I was a bit surprised while doing research on diners that many real world diners used the little buttresses that I use on my Colton's Curse buildings. Merely for decoration but still looks groovy. The diner features two vent fans on top to keep the place cool, portal windows (a rarity on Coronus), and a fume vent coming out of the kitchen. The portals were made from scrapbooking supplies that are in the shape of small buttons. They are self adhesive but I peeled the sticky foam off so that they sit flat. The sign is a plastic cavalry base with styrene bits. I added a few bullet holes since some yokel would have to take drunken potshots at such a bright and smiling face. A bit more painted trim than the other buildings in town classes up the joint.

Next up is an atmosphere processor or air mining rig. It's made from a Rescue Heroes toy bit that I nicked from Chris FitzPatrick while spending the afternoon at Herb Gundt's making terrain. The piece was originally a small tower like shape but I took it apart and laid it flat by glueing it end to end. I made the round ends from an ubiquitous vending machine capsule and then sanded the living heck out of the thing. toy plastic is notoriously smooth and hard so paint won't hold on to it. The sanding also helps to make a more metallic looking surface after it's painted. I added a few pieces of plasticard for access panels and an X wing engine for the stack. the cool thing about this building is that it will work well for 28mm miniatures or micro scale games like OGRE or Battletech. I am currently painting some oil drums and such to sit on the base while I'm using it for 28mm games.

The next major building will be the Sheriff's Office and jail. This one is turning into more of a small fortress than a normal building. But they need the protection since Colton's Curse is such a danged tough town.

Next Time Fantasy Modeling #3!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fantasy Modeling Winter Issue

Finally back from the Calgary Entertainment Expo and a general tour of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Now to finally upload another issue of Fantasy Modeling. This issue has some really stand out pieces. The Fantasy World of Rev. Spencer Van Gulick is inspiring and interesting. Andrew Yanchus's history of plastic monster model kits is a fun read with some groovy behind the scenes information. And an outstanding diorama article from the great Sheperd Paine, autographed by the man no less, is informative and impressive. Who knew the The Shire had a red light district?


The Fantasy World of Rev. Spencer Van Gulick
Book Reviews
...And They Glow in The Dark
The Age of Conan
An Interview with Eric Goldberg
The "Empire" Casts Its Influence On Modeling
Three Dioramas-Three Different Problems
Kit Reviews
Adventures In Gaming

Fantasy Modeling Winter Issue -

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Building Colton's Curse

When I first started writing the first issue of our comic called YVA: Blood and Sand I had some very clear mental ideas of what I wanted the setting to look like. Since I build better than I draw I made a small mock-up of the type of buildings that I wanted.

Blood and Sand takes place on a distant mining world called Coronus. One of the small towns where the action takes place is called Colton's Curse (current population 65). Our hero, Yva, has to pass through this dismal hellhole on her way to visit an old army buddy. During her time in Colton's Curse she shows a few ruffians why she's one of the highest paid troubleshooters in the cosmos.

In our story the buildings would be made of fused sand and I wanted an industrial, pre-fab look to them. I used Hirst Arts mold #300 to make the edge pieces and door frame of the first small building. I built the walls with foamcore to save some weight. The building was then textured with Rust-Oleum Textured spraypaint. I use the color Aged Iron so if the outer paint gets dinged it just shows the metal underneath. A custom-made vac-u-formed ventilator, a hatchway from a Platformer set, and a door cut from the bottom of a rotisserie chicken container from the supermarket.

I sent pictures of this building to Des Hanley who is drawing the first issue of Yva and the art that he sent back inspired me to start building the whole town of Colton's Curse. The next building would be the town saloon, Mugsy's.

This building was more involved than the first. It would have two levels and a larger floorplan. I built this in much the same way as the first with the exception of using 1/4 round wooden molding for the edge pieces. This saves a lot of casting time and is much tougher than the cast plaster pieces. The heavier ventilator on this building comes from ArmorCast, Platformer hatchway, more chicken container plastic, and a sign made from styrene. The cow skull and rifles on the front are from Iron Wind Metals. The buttresses on these pieces work nicely as cover for gunfighting miniatures.

The next building is of an older style from the days when Coronus was first colonized. This was inspired by the "bucket of wet sand" domes from the first version of Warhammer 40,000/Rogue Trader. In the terrain section of the book it was explaned how sci-fi domes could be made by pushing rubber balls into wet sand and then pouring plaster in the depression to make highly textured domes. These were kind of cool but sand always came off everwhere and they were heavy as lead.

My dome was cast from Celluclay papier mache using a container from a a microwave Christmas pudding. These containers have a particular texture that seems to release the dried papier mache more easily than other plastic domes I've tried. The doorway was built up from Celluclay and then the entry ground out of it with a Dremel tool once it had hardened. The top of the dome was sawn off and the entire dome sanded. I used Durham's Water Putty (which is also what my Hirst blocks are cast from) to fill the larger spaces in the dome. Then the whole thing was sanded again.

The top of the dome was made from a large Games Workshop plastic base, two angle cut pieces of PVC pipe and a couple of random greeblies. The door was made from sheet and strip styrene. I primed the whole dome flat black since Celluclay seems to absorb paint very quickly and the texture spray works better on a non-porous surface. Since I didn't want the metallic pieces to be overly textured I masked them off with aluminum foil before spraying the dome with texture paint. I did mist a light spray of texture onto the metal pieces but not too much.

After painting the small pieces I realized that they were a bit bland visually so I added a stripe of red ochre color to the bottoms. I picked this up from Herb Gundt who has made several Star Wars Tatooine style buildings. It really helps to brighten up the buildings and I figure that at one time it served a purpose, perhaps to keep out insects, but now has become a stylistic trait.

The miniatures in these images are from Mongoose's Gangs of Mega City One game. Although this is no longer being published boxes of these little fellows can still be gotten cheaply and make a great source of sci-fi thugs.

The full issue of Yva: Blood and Sand will be ready this year. The 8 page ashcan is available now from IndyPlanet: Yva #0

One of the joys of writing comics, besides seeing new art, is the creation of worlds. Designing and creating these buildings really helps me to understand the world of Coronus and why it looks the way it does. I'll continue posting images of Colton's Curse as I finish them.

Next Time: Fantasy Modeling #2!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fantasy Modeling #1

Fantasy Modeling Magazine was a magazine devoted to the various disciplines of the fantasy and science fiction modeling hobbies. Each issue was a motley assortment of how to articles, features on outstanding artists, and industry information. In the pre internet years of the 1980s FM acted as a source of mailing addresses for many gaming, miniature, and modeling companies. There was no preference shown in FM for one part of the hobby over another, just an overall appreciation for the craft of making interesting models and miniatures.

Discovering Fantasy Modeling Magazine was one of the turning points in my adolescence. There were a few stray copies in the back room at The Game Preserve game store in Indianapolis and I would routinely read through them and wonder at the fact that "grown-ups" were making models out of spare parts and junk like I had been doing since I was allowed to have model glue. It made me realize that all of the "junk" that I had been building had some value to others and that I wasn't alone in my desire to create these things. The tone of the magazine is a bit "gee-whiz" which still comes across as refreshing in an age when I am constantly beleaguered by the rudeness and childish entitlement of many modern hobbyists.

The contributors to Fantasy Modeling often had to scrounge their hobby together from actual garbage, toys, and parts of things never meant for model making. As somebody who sees scratch building and kit bashing as a justifiable post-modern art form this stuff makes me happy. From the truly brilliant kit bashing of Rick Overton and Michael Sullivan to the charmingly odd work of Andrew P. Yanchus, Fantasy Modeling showed me high end trash-bashing that made me want to make stuff. And that sort of inspiration was and still is invaluable to me.

I decided to scan the six issues of FM to share the wonder that I get from them.

Here is the premier issue of Fantasy Modeling. I hope it inspires you to the level that is has me.

In this issue:
The Popular Imagery of Boris Vallejo
The Plastic Industry Strikes Back
Atlantis Lives
The Military Corner: Historex Walks New Paths
Origins '80
Kit Bashing Spaceships
War Games: the Greatest Fantasy of Them All
Book Reviews
Fantasy Collectables
Adventures in Gaming
And enough vintage ads to make you want to play first edition D&D again!

All five Fantasy Modeling Magazines are available in the FILES section of the Trash Bash Bits Facebook Group.