Monday 27 March 2017

A Night on the Town

Today I managed to get a couple of reasonable pictures of the street that I've been making for ages. Here is the post-apocalyptic, vaguely-cyberpunk town. I suppose that makes it "cyberlyptic", if only because the name "post-punk" is already taken (by Paul Weller and The Jam, if I remember rightly).

Here we see the market. The citizens go about their daily life, past bars, butchers and the ever popular robot repair shop.

Meanwhile, suspicious characters gather around the booth of the Church of the Serpent, an entirely respectable and legitimate church.

In the shadow of a  grimy pillar, a desperate local waits to jab passing rats (or passers by).

Such are the cosmopolitan delights of the city.

Sunday 26 March 2017

Three Random Things

Just a quick update for now. I painted three things and here they are.

On the left, we have a vending machine for the Wasteland's second-favourite soft beverage, Neuton Cola, the Pepsi of the apocalypse. This model was MDF and came free with the garage that I made a while ago. It's perfectly ok, although MDF is a little thick and it didn't go together perfectly. But I'm not sure that matters. After all, things are a bit wonky in the future.

The middle guy is a programme seller for an obscure football game called Aggro. I thought he was small enough to work as a newsboy. I cut his hat down a bit - the bobble on top was a bit too festive - and gave him a rucksack with green stuff straps. The sign is just folded plasticard. I could have painted on more detail but it didn't really seem necessary. I might go back to it later.

And finally, as promised, Unn-K'thar, hell-wyrm of the Sundered Crypt or something like that. He's actually a leftover mouth from the Nurgle Maggoth kit, with a body made out of clay. A ridge of clay was added to the base to make it look as if the worm is breaking through the ground, and it had a partial coat of shiny varnish to look like slime.

I usually try to have some idea linking the models that I've posted, but I'm not sure there is one here. Perhaps Unn-K'thar the hell-wyrm left the Sundered Crypt to get something to eat, and has decided to devour the newsboy and wash him down with a gallon or two of Neutron Cola. That makes about as much sense as anything that I write here, after all.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Have One On Me

  "And then," said the man as he finished his ninth drink, his voice slurring, "my wife left me for a moisture salesman. And she took the kids with her. And my dog bit me. And then my house burned down."
  "That's pretty bad," H.P. Barman said, sliding another whisky across the bar. "But you've got to see it in perspective. It's not half as bad as Unn-K'thar, hell-wyrm of the sundered crypt. Thrice-cursed, he dwells in the cyclopean gulf between the stars, thirsting for the blood of men. When the stars are aligned, the Old Ones will rise and drown the world in mayhem and sorrow. Ia! Black goat of the woods with a thousand young! Who can guess at the horrors of the abyss? Have some peanuts on the house."
  "Cheers, mate."

Here is the finished bar. I added a sign, using wire painted up to look like neon tubing. I'm pleased with this (even if it doesn't have a roof). I think it incorporates the 40k parts and does something with them rather than just having them as "ruined stuff". The name "Nitehawks" comes from a painting of a bar by Edward Hopper that inspired such works as Blade Runner and, er, The Tick.

Next time: Unn-K'thar, hell-wyrm of the sundered crypt.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Life in the Ruins

I've managed to paint up the two civilians I started last week. They look suitably post-apocalyptic (ie a mess) and will look right stabbing rats in an alley or repairing a flickery neon sign that says "Girls". Ah, the joys of dystopian life.

 On which subject, I've started work on a bar for the Necromunda/Fallout town. I began with some GW ruined building pieces, and added a floor and counter made of plasticard. I've started on some details as well, including barrels of "beer" and some optics made from the drug cannisters from a Dark Eldar creature. It's unfinished: at the moment, if the villain from Marathon Man went back into practice, the waiting room at his dental surgery would look like this.

My thinking on this is that the town might well be built on the ruins of something much bigger, but worse. Perhaps the society before the apocalypse was dicatorial, and these guys are the inheritors of the rebellion that overthrew it and, in the process, pretty much wiped things out. Anyway, I like the idea of "normal" life carrying on in all these oversized ruins built for space marines. It's an appealing idea.

Also, here is the completed ork commando. I reckon his head works well on the old ogryn body. He looks sufficiently mean. Cockney accent both optional and inevitable.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Small Objectives, Easily Achieved

This week, I've taken a step back from the exciting realm of fantasy, into the equally exciting world of home furnishings. More particularly, how to furnish your home following an apocalypse, in a way that's both pleasing to the eye and lethal to the hordes of crazed, pantless cultists who will no doubt be thirsting for your end as soon as the bomb drops.

I bought some of Mantic's scenery for their Walking Dead game. The quality of Mantic's stuff, in terms of sculpting, casting and the material it's made from, is extremely variable. This set is definitely one of the good ones. For £17 you get a very decent range of modern-style terrain: four crashed cars (two sorts), six barricades (three designs) and ten objective counters (five designs). The sculpting is good: the counters and cars seem to be vaccum-formed, although I might be wrong about that.

Here are two of the barricades. They are well-detailed and the right size and shape for 28mm models.

Exciting front view!

Exclusive rear view!

And here is a little chap in a vault suit standing in the middle of a range of objective counters. Perhaps it's his birthday.

Beans, the apocalypse's second favourite tinned food.

Dinki-Di Dog Food seems to be No1.

 I also got most of a very old metal ogryn off Ebay for a few pounds. I'm not a huge fan of these models, and I think they come from one of GW's weakest periods: in particular, the original head of this miniature was so caricatured that it looked like a novelty door knocker. However, with a new arm made from a plastic ogre's sword arm, and a brilliant commando head from Spellcrow, he has become an ork and looks much better. Still silly, but in a hard-as-nails kind of way.

Also, you can marvel at the neatness of my thumb. While I'm at it, have a couple of Fallout-style citizens, based on Bolt Action Russians. The woman on the left is some sort of manual worker, while the crouching man is a rat catcher.

I like the idea of making civilians, especially for this setting. Although technically unarmed, I would expect them to be very tough and probably carrying a nasty range of pointy sticks.

Monday 6 March 2017

A Frogman, a Dragon and Whatever Next?

 Slaark Shallow-Stalker is one of the greatest hunters of the Froglodyte tribe. For many years he has tracked his prey through the marshes, feeding off catfish, swamp-gulls and even the occasional skaven (he tends to avoid eating frogs in case one of them turns out to be his infant son). Slaark is a master at blending in with the dank marshes: partly because of his green colouration, and partly because he smells like a rotten herring.

He is basically a Bloodletter of Khorne with a kroot warrior head and a bit of green stuff to make him look more aquatic. I think the spear came from an orc. I'm pleased with the shading on his skin.

It is said that dragons are a proud and noble breed: if so, nobody told the Marsh Dragon. A creature of unrelenting sleaziness, it spends much of its time sliding through the muck in search of a new meal. The recent incursions by the skaven have provided it with a plentiful source of food: even the worst of the ratmen tastes quite reasonable to it after a week underwater. The Marsh Dragon is fast and strong, and can pull down a rat ogre without much trouble. If faced with anything larger, it belches out highly flammable marsh gas, and takes its next meal lightly grilled.

This model was made out of all kinds of stuff. It has come together quite well, but it will always be an old and slightly damaged miniature. Taking a half-decent picture of it was really difficult: it would have been easier to get a good photo of Nessie.

So, what to do next?

Over the last few weeks, I've acquired and stripped down quite a lot of metal models. Pewter miniatures are dead cheap (by which I mean less outrageously expensive) when they're missing pieces. And if you look about, especially for Imperial Guard, you often get some quite characterful models. I could spend a lot of time converting all sorts of weird things, which would be a lot of fun. But it would also be nice to do something with a theme, and in the process start to eat into the mound of lead that I've got knocking around.

The current ideas are:

1) Finish the current, rather odd, Frostgrave warband, which consists of all kinds of random lowlifes with a rough paint scheme tying them together.

2) Do a second Frostgrave warband, formed from the many, many goblins and gnoblars that I've acquired over the years. I think this would look cool, if ridiculous.

3) Some kind of military unit. I could either do some space soldiers for 40k, who would have a vaguely WW2 look (British Airborne in space) or actually try something for Conflict 47. The thought of painting whole units fills me with horror, especially whole units of green and brown that have to be historically accurate. But maybe I could do something like the commandos led by Captain America: a mix of dangerous oddballs from all kinds of Allied units. I'll have to give this thought.

4) Paint all the stripped metal models. To be honest, I ought to do this. I'll probably be eighty before I'm finished.