Friday 29 August 2014

Scout Trooper Sniper conversion

Having had my urge to produce some Star Wars miniatures reignited by the computer game Battlefront, I thought I'd quite like to model a scout sniper to add to my existing Imperial forces:

I dug out some WOTC bendies to provide donor parts, a Scout Trooper and a Kashyyyk Trooper (the proto-Scout Trooper you see in Episode III):

The good thing about these bendy plastic miniatures is the ease with which you can chop them up and Frankenstein them into new configurations:

So, Scout Trooper torso for the armour, Kashyyyk Trooper legs because I thought it would probably best to not have a sniper running along (even if that is how it tends to go down in video games). 

But what sort of sniper would he be without a sniper rifle? After various attempts to rig something up out of Tamiya WWII parts and even an attempt to carve one out of a WOTC sandtrooper mini that was abandoned when I had to come to the conclusion that I was essentially trying to whittle rubber, I took this from a Halo Actionclix figure:

A little bendy and a little big (as the Halo figures are pretty chunky compared to most other ranges), but we can do something about both of those things. First of all, the bend:

Boiling water on the left, ice water on the right. Soften in hot, bend to desired position, and set in cold water:

Freshly straightened, some careful cuts and needlessly fiddly pinning work later we have a more appropriately sized weapon for a chap that's frankly not dressed correctly for stealth operations (wait, is there a fridge up in that tree? No, it's the gleaming white armour of the Emperor's finest):

I had originally planned to cut the arms up to convert them into a traditional shooting pose, but test-fitting it into the existing pose I was quite taken with the 'sniper taken by surprise reacting with his small arm' pose that resulted:

There's a little cleanup work to be done with liquid greenstuff on his butt to neaten the transition, but other than that he's done!

And here he is (along with a couple of extra friends) based and ready for undercoat:

Speaking of undercoat, I find myself in Bluewater (oh, the giant delicious 5 Guys burger), and my companions were deeply amused that I bought 2 shades of black paint in the Games Workshop here...

Thursday 28 August 2014

Star Wars prep

Having dug out a bevy of Star Wars miniatures, I thought I'd best get a handful based up ready for painting. 

Although I've dug out a squad or Rebel Troopers, I thought I'd prep some random bits and bobs that might otherwise take my fancy. 

Cleaning up a tiny Chewbacca, I realised that despite what I might otherwise like to think, I am in fact the sort of nerd that would be annoyed at a tiny facsimile of a fictional character having the incorrect fictional weapon :

Some careful cutting and sanding of his original gun and a donor part from a Perry WOTR sprue later though, Chewie has a bowcaster:

Bam, here's a batch waiting for their basing to dry before I can undercoat them:

Wednesday 27 August 2014

The 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge - Introduction & Rules

So, Chris over at Chris' Miniature Woes and Dave over at The Spider Web of History have thrown down a metaphorical gauntlet here in the blogosphere and over on Instagram, with the instigation of 'The 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge', and I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring and take part.

Essentially, they're aiming to combat 'The Gamer's Curse', AKA shinynewthingitis, and break the cycle of 'start a new project, buy some miniatures for said project, repeat' by hopefully actually getting some of those already purchased miniatures painted! I still reserve the right to hop from project to project with little rhyme nor reason as the fancy takes me though...

The rules (lifted wholesale from this post), beginning September 1st, are as follows:

1. No purchasing of new miniatures, EXCEPT if you use a joker card.  Like in a deck of cards, you get two jokers to use on a figure purchase during the six months of the challenge.  Could be a blister pack, an ebay bundle, or a single can't splurge. [Shouldn't be too much of a problem, as with Miniature Mojo closed, I can't buy any infected miniatures for TLOU, and there's still no release of soapy's broom-riding wizards, so there's nothing I was planning on buying anyway... Except for some old Space Marines, but as i still haven't finished painting my new Space Marines, I'm sure they can wait!]

2.  Gifts do not count against you. Christmas and or birthdays etc. Also, if you're given gift cards by your hobby illiterate family or friends, you can without penalty use them on anything you want miniatures wise. [My birthday is in 3 days, and then Christmas - I tend not to get miniatures though...]

3.  Paints, terrain (or materials), and other hobby supplies do not apply to the no purchasing rule.
[No problem!]

4.  At least one hobby related blog post and/or Instagram update a week.  If you Instagram, be sure to hashtag your pic with #6MMRPC
[I'll endeavour - I'm myincubliss over on Instagram, but be prepared for pictures of cats, food, and all the other oddness you'd expect on a personal Instagram account]

5.  Zombtober will be part of the 6 month challenge so, Zombie related stuff during October is ENCOURAGED!

[So many zombie miniatures waiting to get painted, so this should be a good incentive!]

So essentially, it's in keeping with the intentions of the Tally (to paint more than you buy, and thus start to thin out the lead mountain and actually get some stuff finished) but dialled up to 11. Future projects wise, I keep saying that I'm not going to start any more, and this will hopefully help me stick to it! Truth be told, I think I should have it pretty easy with this challenge, as with a baby on the way I'm probably not going to be buying (m)any miniatures in the next six months anyway! I've got enough miniatures already to be getting on with, although sods law is that as soon as this post goes up Soapy will release those wizards I've been after for the last three years...

Right, so, cracking on with old projects - I've had a dig through my boxes of Star Wars miniatures and started pulling out various bits and bobs that I might fancy painting - my only worry now is that I might have pulled out too much, that I'll end up half-painting half of before getting distracted and moving on to something else!

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Vader's Fist

Pregnant ladies need naps, and thus I found myself with some free time today. 

Plenty of coffee and all three Robot Chicken Star Wars specials later, I had the basis of an Imperial skirmish force:

Two squads of eight, each with a sergeant, corporal and heavy weapon trooper; a Raxus Prime Trooper sculpt stands in for a leader in experimental armour; Darth Vader (for when absolutely every single rebel the other side of the table needs to no longer be counted among the living); and a Dark Side Adept for when you don't want that level of massacre but still want someone with a lightsaber. 

The bendy plastic sculpts aren't the best (especially on the heavy weapon troopers, unfortunately), but with careful use of reference material and a steady hand blacklining, they start to look the part!

Excitingly, finishing these is a significant boost to the tally:

56 vs 36 = 20

What to paint next though? I should maybe think about some Rebels to oppose them, or maybe some Scout Troopers (maybe even one converted to a sniper) to add to the Imperials. I've got a Death Star Protocol Droid ready that would be a quick paint job to use as an objective:

Or maybe the quite frankly beautiful (but incredibly, needlessly fiddly) Knight Models Boba Fett will catch my eye:

Or, who knows, maybe I'll get distracted and paint some zombies or apes or a third as yet unspecified thing, in which case I already have the following image ready:

Sunday 24 August 2014

Project distraction

Oh, it's already been nearly a month since the last post! I know I was all set on finishing my Space Marines, but playing Star Wars Battlefront with my godson yesterday put me in the mood for some miniatures from a galaxy far, far away, so I dug out these:

Although as it's our paper anniversary, my wife got me this:

Which has given me a hankering to clean up some miniatures for my The Last Of Us project. Alas, Miniature Mojo is currently still not taking orders, or (as soon as I build up more of a buffer on the Tally) I'd be grabbing some of their Infected as conversion material...

Speaking of the Tally, John gifted me a miniature for donating some bits from my bits box for a Blood Bowl ogre conversion:

I didn't ask for anything, but he knew I'd managed to get the tally back into the black... Still there though:

37 vs 36 = 1

In other news, I've got another upcoming project that will continue to divert me from getting any painting done: