Friday, 16 June 2017

What do you get if you cross an owl with a bear? Banned from the zoo...

Ah, owlbears. Half owl, half bear, all twisted hate. Created just because they could be. The perfect pinnacle of 'a wizard did it'. I'm weirdly amused by them.

This delectable beast was originally a playing piece from an old Dungeons & Dragons board game that I rebased, and is a surprisingly nice sculpt for something that was originally monocoloured shiny plastic.

I think I basecoated him at least five years ago... but he ended up geting brought along for the ride when I took some miniatures to paint at work, with the finishing touches being added at home over the last couple of evenings. The feathers didn't come out quite as I'd envisioned, but I think other than that overall I'm fairly happy with him! You'll notice a lot more flock on the base than usual - this is due to my extensive research into the lush flora of the owlbear's natural habitat, and not to cover up some slightly dodgy basing with weird gaps left by past me, not at all.

And here he is terrorizing a hapless cleric - you can just about see his orange eyes from this angle. He'd have been completed and posted a day earlier if I hadn't decided that I needed to go back and add the tiny reflection spot of white on each eye...


28 vs 40 = -12

Next - who knows? I'm tempted to build some more scenery, or maybe did out the bag of bits for Inq28 conversions (as I've been poring over the Inquisimunda pdfs recently)... But then again, minus twelve on the Tally is tantalisingly close to being back in the black isn't it

Monday, 12 June 2017

4-Lom & Zuckuss

We got the bug eyes / it doesn't bug us:

Yes, that is why I painted these bounty hunters as a pair!
For the longest time, Zuckuss was the only bounty hunter of those seen in Empire that I was missing a miniature of, but after umming and ahhing all this time, I got one for Valentine's Day this year!

Both are originally prepainted bendies from the Wizards of the Coast range - weirdly, unlike the rest, Zuckuss wasn't included in the original release (which is probably why I didn't already have one - I bought a lot of boosters when the game first came out, but ended up buying less and less as time went on...). They're fairly nice sculpts considering where they're from - detail was generally clear and pleasant to paint, with exceptions like an annoying mould line over 4-Lom's eye (which are always a pain to fix on models like this, as you can't just scrape them off and have to try to creatively cut them) and slightly soft detail on Zuckuss head, but with careful paint application I think they've both come up looking alright!

4-Lom was especially interesting to paint, given how scruffy and worn he looks - another difficulty with trying to paint Star Wars miniatures is that you'll often find contradictory information when you're trying to check colour choices! Handily, I have a copy of the old Action Figure archive (so that I can look at both stills from the films and the colours chosen for the action figure releases) and try and make an educated guess from there (with the occasional bout of Google Image searching trying to find a reference image that I like!).
In the end, I washed him with a highly diluted orangey-flesh colour, to try and recreate the tarnished finish on his shell (before giving him a once-over with some sponge weathering), which I'm fairly happy with! Zuckuss' robes were also quite nice to layer...

And for those of you wondering, that thing under 4-Lom's foot is a Rebel Pilot helmet, with an orange band with gold chevrons along it!

Finishing these two brings the Tally to:

27 vs 40 = -13

Who knows where we'll go next...

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Hammer is my Penis

Totally worth the expense and effort just to have a blog post with that title.

You've all watched Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, right?

If not, go do it now.

I'll wait.

Seriously, it's three parts, will take forty minutes of your life, and is highly recommended if you like things that are good.

Done? Good. Pow, that ending!

But on a more cheery note, having re-watched it this year (as it turned out that my wife had somehow never seen it) I had a hankering to pick up the 'Sergeant Spanner' figure from Hasslefree that bears a passable resemblance to a certain Hammertastic hero, and so picked one up at Salute (even better, he was one of the freebie figures on offer for pre-ordering, so double score!).

He was painted mostly on lunchtimes at work, under terrible lighting conditions. The shirt was one of those cases of painting until I decided I couldn't tinker with it any more, and so took the plunge to freehand on the tiny hammer logo - I started by carefully painting on a black circle to outline the whole thing, then a couple of gentle layers of yellow, breath held and fingers crossed! A dash of brown and a curve of silver later and voila, we have a tiny hammer!

The thing that took the longest to paint was probably his right eye - I don't think that micron pen that I use for dotting in pupils travels particularly well, and seemed to splurt ink out somewhat, so his right eye was probably repainted three or four times in the end until I managed to get a satisfactory result!

I have no idea what project he is for - I could probably shoehorn him into the Zombies project as a random event, and he's probably underpowered to go toe-to-toe with any Marvel superheroes... Ah well, sometimes you need to paint something just because you want to!


25 vs 40 = -15

Sunday, 21 May 2017

It's a good bet the Empire knows we're here...

Painted up the pack of Probe Droids from Star Wars Imperial Assault. They were painted vaguely following the tutorial Sorastro put up on Youtube - vaguely in that I watched it a couple of months before starting painting, and then watched it again once I was too far into the painting process to change anything.

I went for a fairly dark scheme, with some bright nicks of weathering. The bases took some more doing than usual, as since the models are so flimsy there was a lot of careful glueing involved to get them to bond to their new bases, which seemed to disagree with the sand staying where I wanted it. Two were glued using tiny contact points, whereas the third I managed to trim down the base without the legs all snapping off and so smoothed the edges down with filler before applying grit and sand.

To make the Elite figure stand out, I decided to give it red lenses and some markings - cue some frantic digging through every Star Wars reference book in my house looking for a reference chart of Aurebesh (the Star Wars alphabet) only to discover that it's in the Star Wars Miniature Battles rulebook, which is Uncle Johnny's, so I googled it:

If you peer at it, you can just about make out AB172 on the side of the Elite probe droid (chosen for the same reason my Fallout survivor is from Vault 172), as well as very carefully painting an Aurek on top of the droid. I then looked at it at arm's length and figured that the small red symbol wasn't obvious enough to differentiate between the different droids, so I repainted the entire panel red and repainted the Aurek in white. Then, as per the Sorastro video, I gave all of the lenses a coat of GW 'Ardcoat to give them a glossy, reflective finish.


24 vs 40 = -16

In other news, I spent part of my afternoon sieving bits of shell out of Wilkos £1 bird sand. After explaining to our local Labour MP that that was what one of the two tea strainers my daughter was holding was for when she asked. As you do.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Updated adventures in my stripping pot

For the first time in several years, I've completely emptied out my stripping pot!

Well, it really was an odd mix of bits and bobs - some metal Skaven Gutter Runners; some broken plastic marines that I think I had vague plans to try and refurbish into Heresy era marines; a couple of em4 post apocalyptic savages dug out of the miniature drawers to use as Fallout Raiders; an em4 figure that I'd earmarked as a potential basis for a Dirty Frank conversion but may have to abandon until I can find a more hunched figure; and a batch of em4 'not-terminators' that I'm torn between modelling as Fallout Synths or Hutt Battle droids for Star Wars (like the ones that appeared in the now defunct mobile game Star Wars Uprising), although I think with some careful colour choices I think I might be able to get away with using them for both...

2017 Challenges:

  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (10/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (16/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old) x2
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

I'm not intentionally working through them in order, I swear! Note to future Olly - watch some Planet of the Apes and get cracking on the monkey box!

In other news, I also reread pretty much the entirety of Sinister Dexter, so have a hankering to place a little order with East Riding Miniatures for a set of miniatures that look somewhat uncannily like the eponymous hitmen from the series. I have absolutely no use for them, realistically, though, so I might be able to resist.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Imperial Assault Goals

As one of the challenges featured in the Challenge involved replacing all of the tokens in the Star Wars Imperial Assault core set with miniatures, and another involved painting all the miniatures from said set, I thought I'd come up with a list of what I needed to complete (and links to what I have already previously completed proxies of):

Core set:

Elite stormtrooper x3
Imperial Officer x2
Probe Droid x2
Elite Probe Droid
E-web Engineer
Elite E-web Engineer
Trandoshan Hunters x2
Elite Trandoshan hunters x2
Royal Guard x2
Elite Royal Guard x2
Elite nexu


General Weiss
Royal Guard Champion
Rebel Trooper x3
Rebel Saboteur x2

Optional extras:

General Weiss on foot

Wookiee Warriors
Hired Guns
Grand Inquisitor
Alliance Smuggler
Obi-Wan Kenobi

Monday, 15 May 2017

You have failed me for the last time!

Painted up a couple of Imperial Officers, because Darth Vader needs someone to show off his ability to choke people using the Force on:

The chap on the left (who holds the rank of Admiral, according to the rank bar on his chest) was painted up as a member of the Imperial Security Bureau, because I figured that if I ever got round to running a Star Wars RPG he'd make a handy mid level villain, or even do nicely for an Elite Imperial Officer in Star Wars Imperial Assault. The chap on the right however was painted as a generic deck officer, and so got a more subdued greeny-grey uniform. If I do any more officers, they will probably get a light grey uniform, which fits how they appear in my memory if not in any of my research!

As the figures were originally bendy prepaints, the detail is a little soft (especially on the face of the figure on the right), but I think they've come out alright overall. Fun fact: these two figures were originally based and prepped on 30mm DS bases, as I'd planned to use the as Alliance Officers for the Firefly/Serenity project that has been on the back burner for a while now, and so were recently plucked from limbo and rebased to rejoin the Star Wars project!


21 vs 40 = -19