Saturday, 29 October 2011

Blood Bowl Human Team Coach conversion

 So, there I was the other day, so eager to start painting my Mighty Zug that I couldn't even wait for it to be spraying conditions. So I decided to brush undercoat him. Now, I don't know when the last time you brush undercoated a miniature was, but it's got to be a couple of years for me. And it takes ages. And ages. And then you have to go back and re-undercoat the bits that didn't get hit properly the first two or three times round. He's had a couple of passes with the brush, but there are still bits that need another looking at, which somewhat killed my enthusiasm.

Determined to try and keep at least some sort of forward momentum thought, tonight I thought I'd have a crack at a simple conversion I'd been thinking about for a little while: a coach for the team.

Taking an Empire Engineer as my base model:

I carefully cut away his gun (which goes straight in the bits box, waste not want not and all that):

I then sanded down any remnants of the gun in the hand, paying special attention to the pistol grip, and making sure I left a nice flat surface either side of his hand for the next step, attaching a scroll from the Mordheim accessories sprue:

A little liquid Green Stuff was applied to smooth the pistol grip into the scroll: (apologies for the terrible picture, my iPhone doesn't seem to like extreme closeups...)

And, we're done! Wait, why stop there? Thinking he needed to look a little bit more like a Blood Bowl coach rather than just 'weaponless engineer holding scroll', I sanded off the engineer symbol from the medallion round his neck and painted on a football using liquid Green Stuff. I literally painted on the rough shape, building up a couple of layers to give it more depth, before smoothing it down with a damp brush and then tidying the edges with my knife:

And anyway, every good Blood Bowl coach needs to be smoking a fat cigar, right? I drilled a tiny hole between two of his fingers, glued in a teensy bit of paperclip, and then gave it a once-over with some more liquid Green Stuff to fatten it up, which brings us to the finished mini:

Well, I say finished, I'll probably give him a once over with a file once the Green Stuff has dried just to sharpen it up a little bit, especially on the Green Stuff I used to tidy up the ends of the scroll, but other than that he's ready to join the basing queue...

As a slight diversion, here's a quick picture of what I have to look at whilst I'm working at my desk:

Yup, right in my face is drawers full of unpainted models, taunting me. I usually aim to empty a WIP drawer completely before adding anything new to it, but it usually ends up with me emptying just enough space for the next thing (and even then it's usually a close call...)

Olly's final thought: don't download Dungeon Raid on your iPhone. It eats time. You'll never accomplish anything else ever again.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Plasma Gun Cyberman conversion

Having once again decided to be easily distracted, I decided now was the right time to crack on with work on some Cybermen for Doctor Who. Flipping through my copy of 'The Battle for Canary Wharf', I saw that I'd need at least 8 cybermen, 1 cyber-leader, and a cyberman with a plasma gun. Well, that just won't do, I'll want a couple of cyber-leaders, a cyber controller, and enough bits left over to convert Lumic in his chair, the damaged cyberman under stonehenge, and a cybershade (but more on those in later posts). I set to cutting various rubbery Micro Universe cybermen off of their chunky bases and scraping at mouldlines, pondering all the while what I should do about the cyberman with the plasma gun.

Should it be built into his arm? Should it be separate? This is where research comes in handy folks, rather than just racking your brain (which is my usual approach) - cue a quick rewatch of the relevant episodes:

In the episode Doomsday, we see them wielding what basically looks to be Mickey's blaster:

Cheap as chips prop recycling it may be, but it's handy for me as that means I have the perfect donor, the Micro Universe Mickey figure - a few careful cuts and a bit of shaving and we have one plasma gun, with the hand left in place (we'll be attaching it to it's new owner later - and don't worry, Mickey's body won't go to waste, he'll eventually become zombie terrain):

[apologies for the iPhone photos, it was to hand and I didn't want to lose momentum getting out the proper camera]
Two quick jabs with a pin and the gun has a barrel. Now, for the cyberman itself, I used a cyber-controller, as I seem to have more of those than basic cybermen - a few quick snips and some light filing gets rid of the ports on his chest and shoulders and voila, he's been downgraded to a normal cyberman.
As things stand, he'd look a bit silly holding a rifle with his arm outstretched, so boom, off comes his arm:

The newly separated arm gets chopped at the elbow so that we can reposition it, and since we've already got a hand moulded onto the gun, we don't need that any more either. In order to get the arm to fit onto the gun better, a little bit of material is shaved off the inside forearm, and it is then glued into place:

Once that hand's painted silver it'll fit right in.
Unfortunately there aren't any pictures of the next few steps, as most of my time was taken up with holding bits together, having a look, then moving something and trying again. But basically, what I did was this:

Remove some material from the gun wielding arm at the elbow (from both pieces potentially) so that it can be positioned against the body (cue lots of fiddling and general having a play). Only remove a little bit at a time - you can always go back and shave off a little more, but it's a lot harder to stick back on if you cut off too much!

After a lot of fiddling and swearing at pots of superglue that kept falling over, I had this:

Huzzah, he's holding a plasma gun like in the episode! Anything more than a fleeting glance though, and you realise he looks a bit silly, and thus cut off his head so that it can be repositioned to look in the direction his gun is pointing...

At this point I was on a bit of a roll, and as you can see I cut a V-shaped wedge out of the inner elbow of his other arm, so that I could bring it up to look less like it's just hanging there...

And with that, we have one cyberman with a plasma gun. Just the rest to do now... and Lumic in his control chair (I'm envisioning lots of guitar string)... and the cybershade...

Also, the tally has changed since the last post:

111 vs 286 = -175 - I finally got me a Mighty Zug, who's currently having a nice bath in the stripping pot...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

11th Doctor, companion, and some more D&D...

Painting, I have been (apologies for the more crap than usual pictures):

The 11th Doctor, ready to join his two predecessors that I'd previously painted. Nicole (my previously alluded to young lady) had a look at all three together:

and judged them somewhat harshly: 'the ninth one's rubbish, it looks nothing like Christopher Eccleston. But it might just be your painting...'. She's lucky I love her so much. She also complained that the 11th Doctor looked like a zombie, but in my defence I hadn't finished painting him at that point (and yes, that second anecdote was added when she leant over and complained that her complaints had not been properly noted).

But what's the Doctor without a companion? (other than more interesting, if the tail-end of the tenth Doctor's run is anything to go by)

The Heresy Amy Pond. I love Karen Gillan, but I really hated painting this mini's face (and yes, as soon as this post is up I'm going to go back and fix the smudge under her eye). But with the pair of them painted up, it means I can do things like this:

On the non-Who front, I've finished a trio of miniatures:

A gaoler type from Heresy. Don't ask why he's based on a square base, or exactly what I was trying to achieve with his basing, as I think I originally started this particular miniature somewhere in the region of three years ago, before there even was a dnd project, when I bought the miniature because I fondly remembered the intro adventure to my generation's 'Red Box', the 'Black Box With A Big Red Dragon On The Front', where your character wakes up in Zanzer Tem's dungeon under the baleful glare of a fat gaoler...

The other two finished miniatures are an unlikely pair of bedfellows:

A Dwarf Fighter, originially a Heroquest mini, that was a bit of a nightmare to paint as some of the detail was a bit stretched (apparently back in the old days all plastic miniatures suffered from this, due to the limitations of technology at the time - sometimes we forget how spoiled for quality we are these days...)

And a Goblin Sneak (well, I guess he can be a Rogue for now, until I sort out a proper Rogue mini...), that was originally a character figure from Mage Knight Dungeons. Odds on if I ever play Keep on the Shadowfell he'll make a funny little Splug stand-in...

Well, that little lot brings the tally to:

111 vs 285 = -174. All I need to do is sell 175 miniatures and I'll be back in the positive! Or, more realistically, wait until the New Year for the count to reset to zero...

Plans for the near future include cybermen. Lots of cybermen. However, if I can't get the last couple I need for conversions, or if said conversions are less fun than I envision, it's entirely likely that plans for the near future will include Judge Dredd (because Dirty Frank in 2000AD at the minute is the best it's ever been), my Blood Bowl Team (Humans if I can finally get a Mighty Zug, or maybe Orcs, since I just saw an awesome Orc Coach conversion over on another blog using a Games Day miniature that I'm sure I own), or maybe even something like some of the Firefly project miniatures I keep getting out of boxes, looking at lovingly, and then carefully putting back away...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Century: 2011

No, it's not an Alan Moore themed post, it's my 100th painted miniature of the year:

A generic sand monster! Originally a Mage Knight mini, lots of drybrushing took me up to a hundred painted miniatures for the year, ready to stomp all over prospective heroes. He's a bit boring though, so I painted a bunch more too:

A snake (originally a dnd prepaint), because Conan spends an inordinate amount of time battling mundane foes!

A giant frog, nature's deadliest predator! (hee hee, look at his funny eyes, and imagine that I'd managed to take a better picture that made the skintone look less flat...)

A Grenadier zombie that I picked up for pennies out of a little bucket on em4's stand at Salute!

A pair of zombies, taking my painted total to 74. The chap on the left is Ken, an old Partizan giveaway, and the surfer dude on the right is from Hasslefree. I like the fact that he's wearing a shark-tooth necklace that has obviously failed to protect him from shark attacks...

And last but not least, my favourite mini of this batch, a snakeman! Originally a Clan Wars Naga Abomination, he'll make a good Conan villain (even though fighting snakemen was always more Kull's thing, but hey, they had Thulsa Doom in the old Arnie movie...)

With that little lot added to the tally, we come to:

106 vs 285 = -179

Still no Mighty Zug (why do people keep bidding the amount he costs new on old grotty ones on eBay?) so no more progress on the Blood Bowl team, so I might see if I can get a Threshold team painted up for Strange Aeons. But, then again, every time I say I'm going to focus on a particular project the following blog posts are as eclectic as ever... And also, a series of Doctor Who has just finished, which is usually when I actually get Who minis painted...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Adeptus Titanicus on ebay!

So, having a bit of a clearout I've listed a couple of bits on eBay, the only one of which most of you will likely be interested in being the following:

The old long Out of Print Adeptus Titanicus game. I'm sad to see it go, but realistically, I'm probably never going to start an epic project (I prefer God's true scale, after all) - despite the loveliness that is all the little different plastic weapons:

For full details (and to bid!) see the listing at:

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Monsters of rock!

Now let's see how many hits the blog gets from people searching for 80's metal compilations... (although in other news, I've had two hits on the blog from the search term "obscene miniature figure". What are people searching for?)

So yeah, my plan to remain focused on finishing my Blood Bowl team didn't exactly pan out. I ended up flipping through the rulebook, did some quick mental maths, and then realised that I'd planned to include the Mighty Zug in my team, a miniature that I do not own. So, onto the back burner they go until I can find a reasonably price copy of the Zug mini (although I'm impressed at the guy selling it on eBay at £14.99, more than double the price it's available at direct from Games Workshop...)

In distracting myself from painting fantasy football players, I made a start on some of the minis that got hit with undercoat last week (because I think I'm subconsciously sabotaging myself into having more half-painted miniatures than finished or bare metal combined...), and this beast was the only one that got finished. He was originally a miniature for Mage Knight Dungeons, and was great fun to paint (basecoat, drybrush, wash, go out for a coffee and a cigarette, drybrush, drybrush, drybrush, finishing). He's the first mini finished for my new Conan project, but as Conan's always fighting generic fantasy weirdies, most things for the project can also pull double duty in the dnd project.

On the Conan front though - my original plan was to paint up a few bits and bobs here and there as I worked my way through the Complete Chronicles of Conan, ordering and converting miniatures as the fancy took me story by story. However, I've since finished the entire thing (it was hard to put down, what can I say), and I still don't have a Conan mini! I'm tempted by some of the Reaper ones, but nowhere in the UK seems to keep them in stock...

And as usual, I've been buying things. You may recall a post or so back I mentioned my desire to start an old-school undead army based on the novel Zombieslayer? [well, old-school for me is mid-nineties, I'm only a youngster] - The first few bits arrived during the last week:

Kemmler, Krell, and some of the old skeleton horsemen, which came complete with their original box:

Ahh, the old box design, how I miss thee... I'm torn with Krell, whether to remove the back banner (because it looks silly - how does he get through doors?) or leave it on out of a sense of completeness...

Also arriving in the last week was this little bundle:

"10 human arab style figures", bought via eBay from a chap over on the LAF, as although they're a bit dinky, they'll do quite nicely as one-hit wonders for Conan to punch out. I quite fancy trying the Foundry Dusky Flesh Triad (and they've even got a sale on currently!) but the £8 postage pretty much forces you to buy £80 worth of stuff in order to get free shipping (and it seems they don't do 2000AD miniatures singly any more, only in packs of three...)

Inevitably, we come to the tally:

99 vs 285 = -186, which admittedly is a step in the wrong direction...