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