“The Saga of Constanzi, Katerina & Elena”

I blame the heat! (well I’ve got to blame something), unlike most years as we were approaching the end of “Forgotten heroes” month, for a change I knew exactly what I was going to paint up next, that being three of the new miniatures I bought from “Phalanx” wargames show the other week (I hope to paint up the rest next, but you’ll have to wait to see what they are). Three figures one week’s easy painting, or so I thought. Now these three “Belt Fed Gaming” ladies first came to my attention back when they appeared on “Colonel Bill’s” blog that was ably run at that time by Roy Williamson, many positive comments were made with several people (including myself) postulating that they would be on shopping lists in the near future. Well I lived up to my end of the bargain, and came home in possession of three very nice little vampires and £8.50 lighter in the wallet. So it was with fevered brow and baited breath I worked toward the end of my “He-men” safe in the knowledge that these were awaiting the attention of my brush, but it was once I had based and undercoated them in my preferred manner that doubt began to creep in.

Rather than paint them in the “sexy” and still somewhat healthy manner of the ones on the website I had decided to go with an altogether more pallid appearance based loosely upon how I remember the ones in the movie “Van Helsing”, I had great trouble however getting this how I wanted (I’m still not sure about the final colour), and as stated at the start of this post the heat didn’t help at all, with last Sunday being that hot the paint was drying on the brush before I’d got it on to the figures! Anyway it all turned out in the end (sort of), so now I’ll go through how each one was painted.

Constanzi, as her dress was to be predominantly green I began by painting it in German field grey (which is actually a deep turquoise?) mixed with a little aquamarine, and this was then highlighted with more aquamarine this time mixed with some turquoise. Then I turned to the flesh and features, (so this next bit applies to all three figures) I started by laying down a base of pale flesh, I then mixed more of this with some light turquoise and highlighted with this. I added the mouths next in dark red, and after adding the eyes in white I dotted in the pupils with bright red, this was also used to highlight the mouths. Then more white was used to add their fangs, and some German field grey was used for their lips. I still wasn’t happy with the faces so mixed some more turquoise and light turquoise into a thin wash (it was still drying way too fast though), and used this around the eyes and cheeks to add shadows there, and in their cleavages too. All three then had their jewelry added in bronze with shinning gold highlights. Then turning back to Constanzi alone again, her hair was undercoated in black before dark grey highlights were added, and the bow holding it at the back was done in yet more turquoise with light turquoise highlights. Finally the heart she is holding (yuck!) was added in dark red and bright red, and the jewels in her necklace and earrings were Samurai satin green.

Katerina’s dress on the other hand was to be red so a base of dark red was applied to over these areas, followed by highlights of pink burgundy, all the frills and ribbons were then added in coffee and cream before I set to work on her flesh (see above). Her hair was then added in chocolate brown, and as I wanted a dead, dull look to it I decided to highlight it with a mix of more chocolate brown mixed with some mid grey, the flower she uses to pin her hair was then added in pink burgundy highlighted with some bright red, and the ribbons were done as before. A spot of metallic red on the jewel hanging from her necklace finished her off.

Elena, now I have to admit that it wasn’t until I came to paint Elena that I discovered that she is showing a little more (well you know) than I had originally realized, so apologies to anyone who finds this a little to “racy” (though if women who look like this get you going, I’d seek medical help if I were you). Anyway purple was to be the colour of choice on my wayward gypsy vampire (she just looks a bit like a gypsy girl to me). So her skirt was first undercoated in royal purple, and then highlighted in plum, I also did her shoes this way. Next her corset was highlighted in dark grey (it was already black from the undercoat), and the bottom of her skirt (petticoat?) and blouse were added in coffee and cream. After her flesh was added with the addition of a mix of European flesh, light turquoise and a touch of pink burgundy, on her “exposed bits”, her hair was added in rust, with rust mixed with mid grey for the highlights. That just left her jewels to add (stop sniggering, I mean the ones around her neck!) and these were done in blue steel.

Basing and finishing were of course completed in my usual fashion. Now the other big news since my last post is that I have “played a game!” Yes! An actual game, there is no AAR for me to post, so I afraid I’m still a total fraud as far as some people are concerned, but at least this is a step in the right direction. The game in question was “Dungeon Saga” by Mantic games and is the latest purchase by my eldest son who brought it with him last weekend (as I have been nagging him to let me have a look at it since he mentioned he’d bought it at “Games Expo” a few weeks back. We only played one of the early simpler scenarios, but I can report that it appears to play very well, and has a feel of “Zombicide” to the mechanisms. He has however left it here (on my request) so that I can start working my way through painting it all up for him, so over the next few (lord knows how many, as there’s quite a bit of it) weeks, expect to see various doors, tables, chests as well as figures popping up in my posts. I might even have a mess about playing with them too.

So till next time, cheers Roger.

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Posted in 28mm fantasy, fantasy | Tagged , | 27 Comments

“It’s not easy being green, or grey for that matter!”

Last week (last day!) of Forgotten Heroes”, and it’s been a rush to get these done in the time, but I’ve never missed a deadline yet, and I didn’t intend starting now! I knew it was going to be a busy week, blog wise as all the other entrants posted up there finished figures ready for me to re-post them to the “Forgotten Heroes” site (please be aware that I am working on Saturday of this week so if I have missed any of your posts, I will find them and re-post on Saturday evening). Anyway on to my entries…

Now I’m aware of the fact that you might not all be the diehard He-man fanatic’s that I’ve become (though it is only a matter of time!), so I shall re-post the pictures of the characters along with the finished articles, so you can see what I was shooting for (and by how far I missed!). As usual I began by basing up the figures (after Cringer was cracked off of his plastic base and glued to a tuppence that is), this was done with some “Tetrion” all-purpose filler, though I wonder sometimes if they realise this is one of the purposes it is put too! I also added the odd cat-litter stone here and there before they all went out for a spray coat of matt black. Then the real work could begin, and I’ll cover that individually.

Mer’man, where to start with Mer-man, well first off the action figure and the cartoon versions vary greatly, both in appearance and skin colour, now as I stated earlier in this month’s build, my figures finished face is something of an amalgam of the two, but when it came to painting, I sided very much with the animated version. So after a base layer of German field grey was applied I mixed aquamarine with turquoise and a small amount of shamrock, till I was happy with the colour and used this to highlight all the flesh on show. Then turning to his armour and trident, both toy and cartoon versions have these in yellow, but I decided that this was only because they couldn’t do it in gold (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!). So a base of bronze was painted on, and this was then highlighted with shinning gold. The area around his eyes was then painted orange, and I ran a little dry-brush of the same down his “snout” too. His pants I undercoated with some dark sand, and dry-brushed with some light sand (see I kept these yellow at least!) and his belt I painted chocolate brown with leather highlights.

Stratos’, as his costume (I’m guessing it’s a costume as the bit of his face that’s on show is flesh coloured) is predominantly grey, that’s where I began, by giving him a coat of Dark grey mixed with a little mid grey, I then highlighted this with a mix of mid grey and a touch of white, I added a little more white again for the hairs on his legs. Then turning to his helmet and feathers, I undercoated in dark red and then added bright red highlights, I also did the rockets on his back this way, the original figure was apparently produced with either, blue harness, and red feathers, or red harness and blue feathers, so I decided on a bit of a “mix’n’match” of these colours on mine. This meant that I then painted the harness (and cuff straps) in porcelain blue with a touch of royal blue added and highlighted in just porcelain blue, his face mask was added in these colours too at the same time. The tiny bit of his face that is visible was then painted European flesh, and his beard was coffee, with cream highlights. To add a bit of interest to his belt I painted the buckle in chainmail, and added a dot of metallic red to the centre. Now his “undies” are supposed to be blue, but I decided to go “off canon” as far as these are concerned, originally I was going to do them in the same “blue-grey” I used for Beast-mans, but decided that it was too similar to the rest of his costume, so instead, sticking with the “blue/red” theme I undercoated them in chocolate brown before dry-brushing them in chestnut. I think it works. A dot of dark grey as a highlight for his eyes and that was number two done.

Cringer, though by far the easiest conversion (basically nothing but a re-paint), was on the other hand the figure with the most “free-hand awkward bits”, but before I got to those I began by getting his base colours on, so I began by giving him an all over coat of deep bronze green, then followed this with a heavy (really rather heavy in fact), dry-brushing with a mixture of more deep bronze green, olive and shamrock, these were mixed together in varying amounts till it looked about right. Next I began adding his stripes, in black (I also added his nose at this point). And once these were dry I added the yellow inner lines on his stripes with citrus orange (this was a right pain I’ll tell you!), I added his eyes in lemon yellow next along with his mouth in dark red with pink burgundy mixed with Polish crimson for his tongue. I painted his teeth in white as I wanted then to stand out against his grey muzzle, and that came next, this was a mix of light grey and white gently dry-brushed on, then to finish him off I dotted his eyes in black, along with his claws and the inner parts of his ears, lastly I added a highlight to his nose in dark grey.

All three were then given a coat of “Quickshade” strong tone and once dry had their bases painted and flocked in my usual fashion. As always, a final spray coat of matt varnish finished them off. Well that’s it, the end of another “Forgotten heroes” month, as usual it’s been great fun, though even more hectic that usual, I really thought I wasn’t going to get finished in time this year!! The best bit of these months is of course seeing all the wonderful figures the rest of the entrants produce, and this year has been no exception with some outstanding work on show, if you haven’t already been to the “Forgotten Heroes” site, please go and see the results of their labours, it well worth a visit!

https://forgottenheroessite.wordpress.com/

Many thanks for joining me on this latest excursion to Eternia, now if you could all file back to the bus we’ll get you back to the home! Till next time…

Excelsior Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, fantasy, Foprgotten Heroes, Masters of the Universe | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

“Wet and Windy, sorry that one was Cringeworthy”

Week three of “Forgotten Heroes”, and as I mentioned last week, I was slow out of the blocks yet again, as Saturday I went to the Phalanx wargames show in St Helens, it’s not that far from me and they have a “Bring and Buy”, so it was a chance to off load some the excess figures and stuff that I’m never going to use again. Anyway, what you want to know is, have I finished the sculpting of Mer-man and Stratos’ and the answer is YES! I’m rather pleased about this as if I am going to have any chance of getting them finished in June I really need to start painting them ASAP. So pleased was I in fact that I have thrown another figure into the mix, but more on that at the end of this week’s posting, first here’s how I got the other two done..

Sunday, I began today by adding the rest of the feathers to Sratos’ arms in the same way as the others, I then added the back plate to Mer-man’s arrmour, this was a triangle of putty placed on his back and the ridges were pushed into this in a shallow “V” pattern, lastly today, I started work on Mer-man’s trident, by taking a length of florists wire and wrapping it in putty, then rolling it till it was completely covered.

Monday, and very little time today, so just had time to mix up a little ball of putty, and then after carving away some of the covering of Mer-man’s trident shaft, I added the ball near the top and then pushed two bent short lengths of wire into the sides of this as the extra “prongs”, I added a little bit of detail to the front of the balls and that was it for today, next day once it was dry I filed and sanded the back of the ball flat and reduced the thickness of the shaft a tiny bit, though not enough, so I also teased his right hand open a bit more till it fitted. Not much to show for two days work, but any progress is better than none as they say.

Wednesday, another poor day today really, I’ve been thinking about how I was going to do the “fins” on the back of Stratos’ rocket pack, originally I was going to try and sculpt them in putty, but I decided to try making them out the end of a coffee stirrer (honestly where would wargamers be without these!). So taking one of McDonalds finest, I began by sanding the edges to make it thinner at the curved edge, then I cut the curved tip off and cut this in half. Taking these two “fin” shapes I carefully glued then in place on the back of the rocket pack, and then gently filed then slightly to shape, I think these turned out better than I could have sculpted them (and a lot thinner!).

Thursday, and today I concentrated on Mer-man’s trident so after mixing up a tiny amount of putty, I began by wrapping a small amount around the central “prong” shaping it with one of my colour shapers till I was reasonably happy with the shape. I then took my small knife and cut the joint between the bones (well I think that’s what they are supposed to be anyway), some more detail shaping later and I was ready to repeat the process on the left and right prongs. After this I decided to add a little more putty to the front and back of the “head” piece of the trident, and to have another go at the design on the front, it came out better this time I think. With the small amount of putty I had left I added the two cones to the top of Stratos’ back rockets, these were just two balls shaped into cone shapes and a couple of holes were added for detail.

Friday, I finally finished the sculpting today (hooray!), they seem to have been so close for so long, I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever actually finish them. I began by adding the wristbands that hold Statos’ wings in place, these were just sausages of putty run around his wrists and smoothed, and he was done. Mer-man needed his fancy belt buckle adding so a tiny sausage of putty was added here and shaped into a butterfly shape before the fin details were added with my small knife, and tiny ball of putty was then pushed into the middle and will be painted as a jewel. I then carved a tiny bit away from the bottom of his trident and added a small flattened ball to this and lastly I added his wrist gauntlets these were done the same way as Stratos’ above only larger as shaped to a point at the elbow.

Now I mentioned at the start of this post that I have added another figure to the two above, and here it is, this is a “Firepelt Cougar” from the plastic “Dungeons and Dragons” range that I picked up from “Tritex” at Salute few years back. Now I’m hoping that a coat of green paint and some stripes, will transform him into a passible “Cringer”, a fairly simple conversion, so I hope to be able to complete all three before the end of the month.

Basing and painting next, but that will have to wait till next week, so till then…

Excelsior Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, fantasy, Foprgotten Heroes, Masters of the Universe | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

“The Winged Warrior & The Ocean Warlord”

Week two of my “Forgotten Heroes” project didn’t get started till Sunday. Indeed hobby time has been very limited all week, still once I got chance to have a bit of a bash at these two miscreants I was able to move them along and get some of the “bits” done I was nervous of doing one of which was Mer-man’s face and the other was Stratos’ face plate. I began this by adding two blob’s of putty over his eyes then shaped these into a sort of butterfly shape before adding two eye lenses in the same way as I did the detail on his belt buckle, a bit more “faffing” about and I was happy, I then added Mer-man’s greaves, these were just two blobs of putty slapped onto the front of his shins then smoothed out around his calves and shaped with one of my colour shapers to the right shape. I added the “double top” details to them next by pushing a ridge around the top of the front, and then smoothing this to shape.

Tuesday, and it was time to bite the bullet and start adding Mer-man’s face, so taking two small “cones” of putty, I placed one either side of his face, on the “lugs” I’d already added, then after smoothing these down towards where his cheeks would be I pushed in the “fins” with my pointed colour shaper, defining these more with my pointed probe. I then pushed the curves into the outer edges of these to complete the “fin” effect, not exactly like either the cartoon or action figure, but a little like both, so I was happy. I then took two tiny balls of putty and set then into the fins as his eyes, adding the centres as I did with Stratos’ and using the tip of my small knife to push the details in around them. Then turning to Stratos’ himself, I added his “hairy” lower legs (the action figure uses the same legs as Beastman, you see), now whether these are supposed to represent feathers I don’t know, but I decided to add them anyway, and indeed made the hairs longer than on the original to strengthen the ankle where it meets the floor and to hide some of the foot on the raised leg, these were just blobs of putty pushed round his shins and then the fur was tapped in like I did with their pants.

Thursday, and it was straight to work on Mer-man’s face again, I started by running some putty over the top of his head, and down the back of it, then smoothed this to a thin layer. Next I made a small cone of putty and placed it on the lower centre of his facial area, and blended this into the upper part just applied, I then pushed his mouth in with the end of a cocktail stick, finally here I ran a small sausage of putty across the top of the fins and eye area, and smoothed this into a sort of eyebrow. Turning to Stratos’ I rolled out two tubes and applied them on either side of his rocket pack harness, then taking the cocktail stick again pushed it up the bottoms of the tubes to form the rocket vents. The feathers on the shoulder straps of his harness were next, there are six of these (three on each side), these were just small ovals of putty, pushed into place, then flattened, and the feather details were then tapped in with the blade of my small knife (you can’t really see them in this photo, but I’m sure they will be in view once I take one from round the front again).

Friday, set to work on the armour that runs up Mer-man’s chest today, firstly I ran several mall sausages of putty across his chest, from the top of his belt up to the top of his “pec’s” and these were then detailed by pushing ridges vertically into them. I then ran a “rope” of putty around his neck in a wide loop, and set his shoulder pads off of this, these were just teardrop shapes of putty, put over his shoulders, and then the “fin” style details were pushed into these (in the same way as his head fins) using my pointed colour shaper. Then turning to Stratos I added the first three of the feathers on each of his arms (he needs six on each) these were done in exactly the same way as the ones on his shoulders.

The end of the sculpting though not exactly “in sight”, is definitely a few “stations” nearer now, though I starting late again this week as I went to Phalanx wargames show yesterday (mainly to sell on the “bring and buy”, but I did buy a couple of packs of figures, my first for nearly two years!) hence this late post. Oh well better crack on as they say.

Till next week, Excelsior Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, fantasy, Foprgotten Heroes, Masters of the Universe | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments