Saturday 27 February 2021

Harlequin a la Moebius

 During the summer, while a combination of heat, semi-lockdown and noisy idiots was driving me slightly mad, I bought a copy of this book by the illustrator and comic writer Moebius:

Moebius, among other things, did concept illustrations for Alien and the unmade 1970s version of Dune, and I'm sure some of the Rogue Trader models are influenced by his work. Anyhow, the book contains a lot of very nice pictures, like this:

and this:

It's all rather trippy and slightly surreal. I really like the colours and the shading he uses, and I thought it would be interesting to try to paint a miniature using similar shades. I chose a metal harlequin I had in the bits box - or at least, the upper half of one, as I'd used the legs for something else a while ago - and I added some dark eldar legs. 

In painting I didn't go for anything too fiddly like checks, but tried to copy the colours and colour fades from the Moebius pictures. Here are the results.

Sunday 21 February 2021

Yet Another Frostheim House

It seems like a long while since I posted here - it's actually been less than two weeks, but we're operating on pandemic time here in the UK, where everything both happens instantly and takes forever. Anyhow, I've spent the time "productively", building another house for my Frostheim village.

This is probably the biggest and most ambitious house so far. I used a cut-up castle wall from Renedra Miniatures to make the stone base for the house. The upper floor came from a cheap wooden box - I've had it so long that I'm not sure where it came from, but I think it might be a money box purchased at the great (and probably late, now) local arts shop. The pointy roof, the roof itself and the tiles were cardboard and plasticard.

Inevitable terrible WIP shots:

More than anything I make on this blog, the little houses get better the more time you spend on them. And I seemed to spend years on this thing! I added timber from coffee stirrers and resin windows from Antenociti's Workshop, which look very nice indeed. Other bits came from old GW kits. One of the chimney-pots was the internal mechanism of a biro!

So here we are, at last. I think I'm done with this one. 

And here it is in the slightly blurry town.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Troll Number Four and a Black Scorpion Scholar

 I suspect some projects never end. I thought I'd finished my group of trolls when I painted the third of them a few weeks back, but soon enough I found myself buying another one from Ebay. This one is the plastic model that came with the Battle of Skull Pass Fantasy Battle set many years ago. He's got slightly different features to the others, but I expect that trolls are pretty accepting of anything they can't eat, so he'll fit in fine. Here he is, unconverted, about to lob a huge lump of masonry at anyone he dislikes.

Some of the detail on the model was a little soft, but I'm pleased with the shading on his face and arms.

Next up, I've finally got around to painting one of the Black Scorpion pirate models that I bought at least five years ago. Black Scorpion made some excellent miniatures, and this guy is a great sculpt. He seems to be some kind of scholar or navigator, with his piles of books and similar paraphenalia. I think he could make a good wizardly character for Frostgrave or the like. 

The shading on resin models comes out a bit harsh sometimes, perhaps because the edges are sharp, but I like him a lot. 

Anyhow, I've got plans for the next troll in the horde, which will involve converting what I consider to be one of the worst models of the last ten years. Should be fun!

Monday 1 February 2021

Minions of the Mechanicus


There are three ways for a manufacturer to make a miniature that holds a rifle-shaped gun (or a crossbow). The first is to make both arms and the gun as one piece of plastic, that you attach at the shoulders of the miniature. This is convenient for the modeller, but takes up space on a frame of parts and means that those arms have to be linked to that particular gun. 

The second is to make both arms and the gun separately. This allows the same arms to hold different guns, but it is really fiddly to assemble, and often requires the model to have a huge ugly left hand to cradle the gun.

The third is to make the right arm (or at least the arm with the hand that pulls the trigger) and the gun in one piece, and the left arm in another. This seems to be the option currently preferred by Games Workshop, whose Skitarri and Genestealer Neophytes use this system. Because a lot of infantry kits have a choice of two basic weapons (autoguns and shotguns for the Genestealers), you end up with a lot of leftover right arms and no left ones.

The upshot of all this verbiage is that, if you want to convert models to use leftover guns, you need to get used to making left arms. That means using sculpting green stuff sleeves around some sort of wire. Ages ago, before there were any Skitarri models, I made some little robot people from old Bretonnian man-at-arms models (men-at-arms models? I don't know what the plural is. Pretty ironic about the arms, though). I gave them heads from the Tempestus Scions box and guns from the old plastic Space Marine scout kit. What I didn't do was give them new left arms, as I figured that the sleeves on the Bretonnian models would suffice.

The end result was that they had normal looking right arms and tiny left ones. Obviously, there are some odd characters among the Adeptus Mechanicus, but I don't think anyone removes half their left arm without at least adding a few metal tentacles. So, I went back to them, and lengthened their left arms with paperclip wire, then sculpted sleeves out of green stuff. Like this:

Painting-wise, I went back and brightened the red up, tidied up the other colours and, well, that's about it. I like these guys; the Bretonnian models they're based on are quite small, so they look quite scrawny. I imagine them scurrying around the lair of their boss like ants, guarding the corridors and doing general minion stuff.