Sunday 29 December 2013

Toy Soldiers (again)

This is another of the 54mm plastic toy soldiers I bought recently, this time painted all red and colourful and shiny, instead of khaki and drab and shiny.

The battle of Ginniss, in the Sudan (30th December 1885) was the last occasion on which the British army fought in red. At this battle, as well as a couple of others eg. Kirbekan, the troops were ordered to fight in their red parade uniforms ‘to look more formidable to the Dervishes’.

This chap isn't quite right for that period, because he should have a breech-loading Martini-Henry rifle; this figure appears to have a rough approximation of the bolt-action magazine-fed Lee-Metford or the like. However, he'll do perfectly well for my purposes.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Toy Soldiers

I recently bought myself some 54mm plastic toys soldiers by Armies in Plastic via the Toy Soldier Company and Regal Toy Soldiers and I'm not quite sure how I'll go about painting them. The only firm decision I've made is that they'll be gloss varnished, because toy soldiers have to be all glossy. That's just a hard physical rule of the universe.

These ones are modelled on British infantry in Egypt and the Sudan in the 1880s.

Option one (the top photo) is the more toy-like method. I've done a bit of outlining, which goes against the Pure Toy Soldier aesthetic I suppose, but I felt it needed just a bit more definition than a simple flat paint job could provide.

Option two (the lower image) is in a more modern wargames tabletop-quality style, though simplified a bit. Three tones — shadow, mid-tone and highlight — to give the figure a bit more depth and modelling. It does look a bit less toy soldierish, and it also takes a bit more time than the simpler paint job, but I think I'll probably go that way.

The gloss varnish does tend to blow out the highlights in the photographs; I'm not quite sure how to remedy that. Hey-ho, on the scale of things that's a pretty small problem.

Thursday 19 December 2013

I needed it, I tell you!

I believe I've revealed, from time to time, my love of Stupid Dice.

This d100 is not as stupid as some, but it's certainly reasonably stupid, and I am proud to own one at long last.

Somehow I doubt that it will see much use in the real world, but THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

Friday 6 December 2013

Blood-blob par excellence

Observe, if you will, an example of the very apogee of the miniature sculptor's art.

Not the knight; he's all very well, but what I mean is the exquisitely rendered featureless red blob. Pretty neat, huh?

OK, so it's something any kindergarten kid could crank out between sessions of making plasticine penises. I had a bit of epoxy putty left over after another job, and I couldn't be bothered doing anything more creative with it. However, miscellaneous blobs, moulds and oozes always come in handy, and they're not the sort of miniatures anyone would ever really want to spend actual money on.

So, now I have a little blood-blob to terrorize hapless PCs with. Huzzah!

Litko Boom-Boom Burn-Burn Markers

This is what they look like with the light in front...

...and this is them with the light behind them.

The guys in that tank and that truck
could just be in a tiny spot of trouble.
Just arrived today, after a pointless diversion to the Netherlands (I suspect that USPS sent them off to old Zealand instead of New Zealand), are these laser-cut acrylic blast and burn markers from Litko.

I'd seen them in photographs on the Great and Glorious Internet (She At Whose Bountiful Teats We Daily Suckle) and I've wanted some for a while, but until recently I didn't actually know who made them. Now I do know, and now I have some of my own. There are four sets in total shown in these photos.

They come disassembled, and need to be glued together. Therein lies a trap for the unwary, for cyanoacrylate adhesives (superglue), the glue used almost universally by modellers these days, will fog acrylic sheet. Fortunately, I already knew this, having worked with acrylic sheet a lot when I was employed in the Display Department at Canterbury Museum, back in the '80s.

I whipped up some acrylic cement of my own by dissolving some acrylic fragments in acetone, making sure it stayed just liquid enough to run into the joints by capillary action, and cemented the little suckers together in a jiffy. You can use straight acetone, but by adding the dissolved acrylic it adds a degree of gap-filling capability, and more importantly, it slows the evaporation of the acetone, giving it more time to soften and cement the edges of the components, so you get a stronger weld.

They weren't especially cheap, but neither are they overly expensive, and I think they look pretty good on the table. They certainly look better than using a bunch of dice to indicate the extents of a barrage.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Bearer No.2

77141: Townsfolk: Oswald the Overladen by Bobby Jackson
The Paintin' o' th' Bones continues, this time with a disgruntled and overladen hireling bearer.

I have another one of these guys which I will paint in a slightly different colour scheme, and with another forehead-number, just to differentiate them. I'd like to be able to build a whole caravan of these exploited and heavily weighed down peons, ideally each one an individual, but for the moment this is the only one of his type that Reaper produces in their nice, cheap, plastic.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Hell hound.... on my trail

77038: Hell Hound, sculpted by Jason Weber for Reaper.
Next up in the Great Paintgasm of '13 is this cute little guy: Reaper's Bones 77038: Hell Hound. I think all that kerfuffle along its back is supposed to be flames, but I decided to paint them as bone spines, because that's just how I roll, folks. I live life on the edge. Also, I'm not entirely sure what the rows of studs at hips and shoulders are supposed to be... demonic shoulder-nipples, maybe? Anyway, I painted them as metal bolt heads or something.

The green colour scheme is less hell-houndy and more jungle-camoflagey, I think.

It was a quickie paint-job, and it does show a bit.

Monday 2 December 2013

Hydra - progress

It's time for another update on my Mountain o' Reaper painting odyssey. Next up: the Hydra.

I quite like this sculpt, though I think it would be more useful as a tabletop gaming model if it were more compact — not smaller, exactly, but maybe curled around itself a little more.

I've airbrushed the whole thing in three brown shades, a cream yellow, followed by raw sienna, and finally burnt sienna. Then the whole shebang was given a dark sepia wash.

Now, on to the detail painting, starting with the heads. They're a little awkward to get at, being all cheek-by-jowl with each other, so I've begun with the open-mouthed one which is a little more separate than the others. I can experiment on it more easily, and then, when I've sorted out the colours and processes, I'll finish off all the others.

I'm reasonably happy with this head, so now... onwards and upwards!