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!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Trash Bash 2017 Winners

In case you missed the results over at the Trash Bash Facebook Group, here are the winners of Trash Bash 2017: Medicine Package Battle.
Thanks to all of the contestants, judges and sponsors!
This was a difficult one to judge due to the high level of creativity and craft apparent in all entries. Great work to all!

Third Place: Ben J. Butler

My 1/750 scale assault / siege spaceship(1) has 3 connected (via lids) sections and  is comprised solely of medical packaging or actual medicine except for the screws, glues, paint and stripes.

1.            Prescription Medicine
2.            OTC medicine (Antacid, Hydrogen peroxide)
3.            Contact Lens supplies
4.            Diabetic supplies
5.            Dental supplies
6.            Infantry Vehicles made of expired drugs.

Landing Craft Section 
Position: Nose
Color: Green
Style: Halo/Osprey/Duck

•             Hydrogen Peroxide Bottle (1)
•             Contact Lens Solution Bottles (2)
•             Diabetic Needle Covers (2)
•             Toothpaste Tube Caps (4)
•             Electric Toothbrush covers (2)
Command and orbital disrupter Section 
Position: MidShip 
Color: Blue 
Style: Cowboy Bepop /Halo Covenant ship

•             Medium Rectangular Med Bottle (1)
•             Medium TUMS Bottles (2)
•             Diabetic Needle Covers (3)
•             Retainer Case (1)
•             Various Drugs (16)
•             Foot Powder Cap (1)
•             Ketosis Strips (4)

Octo-Floss Omega 3 Drive Section 
Position: Aft
Color: Nichol
Style: Thunderbirds

•             Large Med Bottle (1)
•             Medium Med Bottles (3)
•             Med Bottle Caps (3)
•             Floss Dispensers (8)
•             Floss Spools (8)
•             Ketosis Strips

Second Place: Brad Isdrab

When the siege came on the Knight’s forge, the Nobles of the house were unprepared and practically undefended. With a crash, the breaching scav vessel crashed the main gate and the greenskins spilled in. The tried to maintain a perimeter from the on-coming Horde, which had until now been limited to a few small tribes. Their wall of servitors failing under the Ork’s assault. Two mighty Warlords, with great warmachines laid claim to the structure. There was no reasoning with these beasts.  The only choice was to make a break for space. The heirs to their houses and upper eschelon in the house fleet, Canopus, Antares, and Alphard fell back to the shipyard and the FTL Frigate, FNORD  While a non-com craft, specked for transport and cargo hauling, the FNORD is a fine craft built to combine speed and maneuverability with durable hauling. The primary pilot’s chamber provides a full 180 sphere of direct holo enhanced view and it’s starboard and port bays are equipped with dual escape pods.

And First Place goes to Jean-Baptiste Garidel!

"I wanted to build a piece of terrain in 28mm scale that could be used as an objective and be sieged as well. 

The building is one of many of the sort, built on fringe worlds to provide a reliable source of energy where stable communication means and defense systems are required.
Their simple but robust design means they can be adapted to many types of worlds with the many resources of fuel available. Although not weaponised, they are usually quite heavily armoured and resilient to withstand attacks or the local natural perils like earthquakes and hurricanes.

The environment where they are built often means they are the first real technological facilities built in new settlements and it is quite common to find one at the center of many outposts."

General Nelson had spent his whole career on the front, leading his men with a firm but just hand. His assignment in the remote Novaross system almost felt like an insult to him.
With time flying, the sting started to fade and he could almost lay the tips of his finger on a well earnt retirement.
Until that message arrived. If his last assignement was to keep the energy supplies secured in this outpost, then he would not be found at fault.

The list of materials used is :
- One cardboard box (package of a modem IIRC)
- The plastic cap of a spice bottle (used to make the exhaust on top of the big tank)
- 2 greek yogurt pots (to make the tank)
- the canon of a plastic toy gun that used to shoot balls (to make the chimney)
- one door from the Trash Bash Bits part 2 KS (which although not a good way to earn points felt mandatory ^^)
- the plastic cap of an apple purée bag to do the heat radiator
- Green stuff Pcard and plastic girders to build the platform, signs, ladder and pole (late addition not visible on the first picture)
- The plastic pen cap from a colour pen (at the top of the pole)
- Green stuff and metallic wire to do the wires and pipes.
- Foamcore to do the base covered with gap filler and sand.
- The medicine bit is a tube of tablets for sore throats (Lisopaine)

Honorable Mention goes to returning Trash Bash Winner William Burke

Medtronic Industries A1C 
“Stinger” Fast Assault Hover Tank”

1 Thunderclap Mortar, 2 medium side lasers 2 small turret mounted lasers

Time: During the siege of the Latorius Principality outer colony insurgency of 2243

The insurgents had taken over the Military compound at Colony outpost 140.

The compound was a tough nut to crack, being a former Military base. That was until the arrival of squadrons of Stingers, with their heavy mortars. The heavy Thunderclap Mortar was able to punch through or lob over most defenses and this was no exception. The so call siege was over in a few hours as a rain of hell poured down on the traitors and the walls breached.


1 diabetic insulin pump insertion kit package (main tank body)

1 Insulin pen cap (main gun)

2 insulin ports (turrets)

1 set toy head lights and antenna from kit bash box

Two part putty, paint and decals

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Trash Bash 2017 Contest Rules

Trash Bash 2017 Contest Rules:
What is This?
In the spirit of Rick Priestley’s classic grav-attack build, this contest challenges converters, hobbyists, and scratchbuilders to create a model to be used for tabletop wargaming using random bits of stuff and a lot of creativity. Many of the skills of being a strong miniature hobbyist will be needed to do well in this contest, not only construction and painting but also photography, concept creation,miniature painting, and terrain set-up.
What to Enter:

Contestants will construct and paint a vehicle or structure inspired by the terms ASSAULT/SIEGE. Concepts do not have to be military in nature and can embody any ideas that the entrant sees as viable.

The required bit is a medicine package. From pill bottles to blister packs, any bit that once held or dispensed some sort of medicine is valid

Each entry must contain at least one medicine package as part of the construction. All other parts can be from any model kits, toys, throw-away plastic items etc or scratchbuilt from other materials. Judges will be looking for clever repurposing of items and skill in making them unrecognizable on the final model.
Other materials such as plasticard, putty, wire, etc are acceptable but fully covered over and sculpted entries will not score well.

Any scales supported by existing miniature or model ranges are acceptable. This will be necessary for the final picture of your entry unless you wish to sculpt your own troops as well. 

Contest Requirements:
A 200 word or less description of your model should be included with each entry. Explain what type of vehicle or building you have constructed, where it is usually found, what its capabilities are, etc. The scale of your model should be given in this description.

A total of five images must be submitted to be eligible for judging:
  • 3 pictures of the final painted vehicle or building on a neutral background showing the three views that best show the construction and finishing of the entry.

  • 1 picture of the unpainted vehicle or building along with a list of what materials were used in the construction. If you don’t remember what a particular bit is don’t put it on the list.

  • 1 picture of the final painted vehicle or building set in a gaming environment along with painted miniatures of the troops associated with it. This will be a showpiece image and a great chance to really sell your concept. Use of terrain and foliage is expected for this final shot.

No retouching or special effects other than basic photo correction will be allowed on submitted images. Any images showing added effects will be disqualified.
Good, clear photography is expected and will be considered in final judgement. Images should be high quality jpegs no larger than 1 MB per image.

Each image should be titled as follows: your_name1.jpeg, your_name2.jpeg, etc.

(And anyone sending me files that are actually titled “your_name.jpg” will be an automatic ninny-hammer.)

Please include 200 word description and parts list with the same email.
Limit one entry per person. Only entries that have not appeared elsewhere will be accepted. Please wait to post "work in progress" articles until after the winners have been announced.
Our panel of judges will choose a first place, second place, and third place winner. All decisions of the judges are absolutely final.
How to Enter:
Send all required images and text to Brian Roe at no later than October 17, 2017

For more information visit the Trash Bash Bits Facebook Group.
Judges to be announced soon!

Prizes will be given out for First, Second, and Third Places.

Prizes will be supplied by Trash Bash Bits, Dragon Forge DesignRBJ Game Company, Blood And Skulls Industry, Dark Age, Kromlech, The Forge of Ice.

Make sure to check these folks out and thank them for their support by ordering lots of cool stuff from them!
This contest is put forth in a spirit of fair play and mutual respect. Any entries that contain offensive material will not be considered for entry. Be cool and creative but don’t build anything you wouldn’t show your mom. Any entry can be refused for any reason especially for not adhering to the basic spirit of fair play.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Converting and Painting a Rogue Trader Mutant.

I had just enough time this week to sneak in an entry to the Beware Mutants Competition on
The Emporium of Rogue Dreams.  The entries were generated using the random mutant rules in the original Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader rulebook and unpainted and painted versions were required. 

I chose a human as a base model, no way I'm chopping up my rare RT squats, and rolled for three mutations. I got Skull face, Moronic, and Very warty skin. Nothing that would really help the character in a fight and Moronic means that he must make a test every time that he tries to use any sort of technology. And that he's completely unable to open milk cartons or yogurt containers.

The body is a Major Magnam mini from Rogue Trooper with a skull head from a Screaming Skull Catapult crew man. I sculpted a thick covering of warts on his arms and neck and added a plastic lasgun. Of course at this point he's missed his Moronic test and is waving it like a wand hoping that hot light comes out of it.

I also Photoshopped a Chapter Approved: Book of the Astronomicon style stat sheet for Ol' Knobby and created a blank version so others could use it. The main font seems to be Sudbury Book which is easy to find for free online. The main header is Arial Black.

Although the rolls made for a pretty pathetic mutant, I had a fun time converting and painting this little fella and coming up with his back story. Plus I used all Rogue Trader era bits which makes me extra happy. :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Steampunk Photo Reference.

This felt a bit like being in a Piranesi drawing.

The old iron still supports tons of rail traffic every day.
Here are some pictures that I took of an ironwork rail trestle in my hometown of Indianapolis Indiana. I love old ironwork with its graceful yet powerful use of iron and rivets.

I hope this gives some suitable steampunk inspiration to your terrain or art projects.