Thursday 28 December 2017

Dirty Spaceship

Some might call me a model-making dynamo, ceaseless in my quest to perfect my art. Others might be more realistic and just say that I need to get out more. Whichever is true, I've been using this holiday to crack on with some projects.

First up is the Mantic Interceptor spaceship. This is from their game Warpath and, like a lot of Mantic products, felt a bit primitive to begin with. However, it fitted together easily and was perfectly well detailed for what it is. I sprayed it white (it was grey plastic to start with), then washed it with a nasty mixture of brown paint and dark tone. Parts were then washed with grey.

I brought the colour back up by using white paint on a sponge. This is quite good as it doesn't leave too many lines, as painting with a paintbrush can do, and doesn't leave water marks, as washes can. I applied more white to the raised areas to represent light catching the upper surfaces, then added some small details such as windows and blackening around the engines.

It's arguably not the most exciting model ever, but I like the Star Wars-type styling of the ship and the fact that it's fairly easy to build and paint. Here's another picture.

I also managed to make some terrain. Thanks to my recreational misuse of Dettox, I've got quite a lot of stripped older models, some of which are out of scale or rather lumpy. I'm also not very interested in Space Marines, so I've got no great interest in making an army of them.

I stuck a marine on an MDF column and added some bits and bobs to suggest technology. I imagine that these grandiose statues aren't of much use to the citizens, and are now being used to support home-made tech that actually does something (probably involving stealing cable TV). That feels very cyberpunk to me.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Introspective Retrospective

Well, it's the right colour scheme for Father Christmas...

It's nearly Christmas and the year is almost done. The planet is just about still here and, given the current circumstances, I'd call that a success.

From my own point of view, it's been alright. My main achievement was to get the sixth Space Captain Smith book, The Pincers of Death, into print. People seem to like it so far, so that's good. I'm still not a multi-millionaire from my writing, which is less good.

 For no valid reason, I thought it would be interesting (for me) to look back at some of the better stuff I've made this year.

In January, I made the first entirely scratch-built model that I've ever done. It resembled a sort of mobile teacup, which was nearly what I intended.

Terrain piece of the year was the bar I made out of a GW ruin and some plasticard. Just the sort of place where everyone knows your name, assuming your name is "Oi, you".

In Summer, at long last, I got around to building the titan that I'd had knocking around for ages. It's probably not my best painting work, but I'm going to put it here solely because I'm impressed that I got around to finishing the bloody thing!

Sir Vaylance The Vigilant

In terms of individual miniatures, my favourites were the Carnivale nobles:

And this big green monster from Privateer Press:

But I think my favourite of all is the guy below. He's not all that exciting, but he was one of those rare moments where the conversion and the painting both go the way I wanted them to. I don't think I could improve him much and there's not much I'd change. So, beer-drinking cyborg guy, you are miniature of the year - at least by the standards of this blog.

Merry Christmas, and if I don't return to bother you before then, Happy New Year!

Saturday 16 December 2017

Big Things Needing Paint

I don't know much about design, but I find it interesting how the same visual styles end up being repeated over a range of games and franchises. Hooded monks, spindly elf-people with sniping weapons, Nazis in long coats and gasmasks, space knights in motorised armour, and many others crop up in dozens of different settings (and in big enough franchises, in different armies - see the wracks and arco-flagellants of Warhammer 40,000).

Anyway, this brings me on to a model that I got very cheaply a long time ago. It's a Privateer Press Cephalyx monstrosity, and definitely riffs off the executioner/wrestler/Frankenstein's monster look that a lot of bigger servitors from 40k seem to have.

It's actually a piece from a board game called The Undercity, and is made of a softer sort of plastic to usual, with a slightly rubbery feel. It didn't take paint very well, and wasn't easy to coat. I decided to paint him with yellowy-green skin, reminiscent of the Super Mutants from Fallout. He could have been less green and more yellow, but still, the shading has come off quite well.

Just in case all this model-making was getting too much like fun, I thought I'd rock out by compiling a list of projects I "need" to do. Over the last few years, I have acquired some large models for the inevitable excellent discount (and saved loads of money by buying them) - and then failed to put them together. Since I've got some time coming up over Christmas, I might as well finish some of them off.

1) Ork bomma. It's not a conversion but it certainly looks like one. I painted the pilot ages ago (let's call him Squiggles) but I need to finish off his gretchin gunner and the rest of the dodgy plane.

2) Metal dragon. A really old metal Warhammer dragon, complete with metal wings guaranteed to drop off at the first opportunity. This is one of those weird dragons that can't decide whether they're European or Chinese, and hence look like a big snake with diddy little legs. Utterly lurid paintjob optional but, let's face it, probably inevitable.

3) Big Mantic spaceship. This was going extremely cheaply as part of their Black Friday deal and, as with a lot of Mantic stuff, it was jolly cheap. I really like the idea of a big, lumpy, battered landing ship.

4) Privateer Press Pirate Robot Thing. It's a pirate robot with a cannon. It could so easily be a Bioshock robot with a drill. Either's cool.

 I think that should see me into the new year!

Oh, and here's a small update: I've been working on the heavy for the new gang. She's converted out of a Wrath of Kings model. The arms came from Dark Eldar, as usual, and the gun is a grenade launcher from a Tempestus Scion. She probably won't actually be carrying a grenade launcher - I just chose it because it looked cool. I used green stuff to bulk up her armour and to offset the worse effects of her crazy boob armour.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Even More Gangers

Even before his fall, the governor was known to be a worthless criminal: corrupt, stupid, incompetent, contemptuous of the poor and needy, prone to childish rages and blatantly in the pay of the forces of Chaos. He was also a dirty old man, and this combination of factors led to him being avoided and despised by all decent folk.

After an unfortunate incident in the Basilica, when Prioress Gwendoline the Irascible promised to hack off the governor's hands with a chainsword, the governor decided to simply manufacture himself a harem. Even the custom-built replicants were not having any of that, and they promptly overpowered their guards and took to the wasteland. Now, assisted by other renegades, they survive as soldiers of fortune, as you do.

I've now finished the five converted gangers based on Prodos Games models. I really like the Prodos miniatures: while the scale is slightly different to GW, the detail is excellent and, once they're painted to be wearing trousers, the design isn't too silly. As before, I've used Dark Eldar weapons and arms, to keep roughly in scale.
The rather solid lady on the left is carrying the equivalent of a shotgun. It probably fires glowing plasma, or something like that.

The fighter on the right - presumably a juve - was a more complex conversion, which involved replacing the upper half of the model's head with a lamp-type device from the corner of a terminator space marine's chestplate. I've no idea what this cyber-thing does, but it looks cool, and in the world of 40k, that's pretty much what bionics are for!

And now, time for a group photo:

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Red All Over

Another week toddles by pleasantly, livened up with mince pies and the works Christmas lunch. I've done another model for the gnoblar horde: this time, a mighty dragon to accompany the diminutive warriors to battle.

I'm pleased with him because at last I've found some decent red paint. The paint I've used is Khador Base, a Privateer Press colour, which has the added benefit of coming in one of those big pots with a flip-top lid, so you can feel that you're 15 again when you're painting (assuming you'd want to - in my case, I'm not keen. I was a right nerd back then - I was into painting miniatures, for goodness' sake).

This model was actually a Warhammer familiar. I think he needs a wash of purple to accentuate the shadows, but otherwise he's looking decent.

Next up is another ganger for the not-Escher gang. I've used a Hasslefree model for this person: I think it's "Wild West Boudicea", which is a rather odd concept really. Anyhow, I replaced some of her very flimsy Winchester to make a more space-age laser gun. I've never got why so many female models seem to have feet that point inwards. But overall, she should be a decent member of the gang.

I'm beginning to work out a backstory for these guys. I reckon they might be escaped replicants. All will be revealed soon enough, once I've made it up.