“A Slight Altar ‘cation” (Season of Scenery Challenge 2021)

Well as you may know last week I left you with my “Altar of Skulls” finished but looking rather like it was in the middle of a snowstorm (or just very white!), So I thought I’d better get some colour on it, no self-respecting cultist want’s to sacrifice virgins on a crisp white altar now do they! Now normally I would have just given this a coat of black and a couple of dry-brushes with dark and light grey, but hey this is “challenge” season, so I thought I’d push the boat out a bit and try something different.

Now the inspiration for this is from Matt over at “PM Painting” who a while back did a lovely bit of work on a “stone doorway” see here…


And so I thought I’d take a page out of his book and try mixing up my colours a bit. Now obviously he was working on brickwork rather than big chunks of stone, but I thought the principle should be the same. At this point I’d just like to point out that if the finished article looks like a “dog’s dinner”, then the blame will be pointed squarely at Matt, however if it comes out alright it is of course all down to my creative genius! (Sounds fair to me! 😉). Right so let’s get underway.

So after I’d painted the whole thing black with some “Blackboard” paint (well I wasn’t using my expensive (not) black spray undercoat on something this big!!) I set to work. Now I knew I wanted the edges to be in my usual basing colours so the outer edge was painted chocolate brown, and I also flicked this about her and there over the “rocky” part too, then I did the same with some scenic brown, dark grey and saddle (over the rocky part that is not the edges of course) till it was basically all covered bar the odd spot of black here and there, and looked a mess like this (a).

OK so now as it was discordant jumble of different shades and colours, it was time to start dragging it back together again, so I dry-brushed the whole thing with some khaki, and then the next day did the same again with some Eurasion flesh. Next I hit it with a black wash (b) and left it to dry overnight, It was starting to look better now less brown and more grey (strangely as apart from the little bit of dark grey I’d added at the start, it was mostly brown!!). Anyway I then gave it a dry-brushing with some coffee to lighten it up a bit again, and then after going back and forth over whether to use cream or white, I finally gave it a very light and selective dry-brushing with some cream, as I thought it would look less stark than the white (c).

Again following Matt’s example I then “tapped” in some small areas of German Field Grey (dark green) with an old stiff brush, then lightly “tapped” deep bronze green, olive and stone green over this so simulate lichen and mold here and there. Then it was time to turn my attention to the outer “ring”, and this area was done in my usual fashion of (in this case) touching up the chocolate brown then giving it a good dry-brushing with first khaki and then coffee, then some (reasonably) large areas were painted in scenic green and after I glued on the odd bit of rubberized moss, they were flocked with (Javis) “summer mix” hairy grass.

And that was it, I don’t usually bother to matt varnish my pieces of scenery, so I didn’t bother here. Overall I’m pretty happy with the end result, I do think the extra work has made it look better than just a couple of coats of grey, I have no idea where the idea came to me, must just have been one of my patented flashes of genius! (Sorry, Matt who? 🙄 )

I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with figures you’ve seen before for the photos, I would have liked to have had a daring hero rushing to rescue some supine sacrifice from a knife wielding cultist leader, perhaps when I finally get those figures I’ll dig this out again for those photographs.

Till next time, stay safe and enjoy the scenery, cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm Pulp, fantasy, Scenery, Summer Scenery Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

“Getting Plastered Out of my Skull!” (Season of Scenery Challenge 2021)

So after “Monster May(hem)” and “Forgotten Heroes”, we come to the challenge with the awful name (coz I didn’t come up with this one! 😁). “Dave Stones, Season of Scenery”. Seriously though scenery is something I really don’t make enough of, so this is a good chance to finally get some pieces done to go with all the figures I have. However instead of that I decided to make something I don’t really need at all first… a 28mm fantasy “Altar!”. Now I haven’t played a 28mm fantasy game for….Well I can’t remember the last time I played any 28mm fantasy, 15mm yes, even some 10mm, so you’d think I’d do something in one of those scales? Well welcome to my blog, because if you’d been around a while you’d know that’s not how it works around here, I get an idea into my head and it has to come out whether it’s useful or not! (Usually not).

The inspiration for this came from a picture in an old “White Dwarf” magazine that was given to me (I didn’t buy it honest!!) by a friend at work, in it there was an article (well advert) for the “Temple of Skulls” a plastic piece of scenery in the form of a ruined temple, well to be honest it was more of a rocky mound with a couple of pillars a big rune on the ground and some big skulls scattered about, it’s quite a nice piece to be honest but it’s £20.00, and I wasn’t going to pay that! (Especially as I said I have no real use for it). But I did have access to most of the component parts (well sort of) to make something along the same lines myself, though rather than a “Temple” I thought I’d make an “Alter of Skulls!” (Que’ dramatic music! D💀M’ D💀M, D💀M!).

If you cast your mind back a few months you may remember I got my hands on some “Blue stuff” a reusable mould making material, and I’d cast myself up a large’ish skull in plaster using this (details are on the post linked to at the bottom of this one), well after the success of that, I saved the mould along with another I made of the same “Skull Eraser”, though this time I made it a bit shallower and teased the sides in a little to make it narrower and elongated, and set to work casting four of these flatter skulls and five more of the full ones out of “Plaster of Paris”. Two of these I didn’t fill completely as I had a plan in mind for them. These came out quite well, but were far too smooth for what I had in mind, so the next job was to “weather” them a bit (well a lot!). I found that I was able to carve and chip away at these really well, as though they were set they were still soft enough to take texture well, one technique I found worked well was rolling them on a rough paving stone and tapping them with the back end of a small paintbrush. Anyway once suitably rocky and weathered enough they were put to one side while I cast up a base for my altar to stand on this was from an old “Woodlands Scenic’s, Rocky Outcrop” mould I’d picked up when a local model shop was closing down, and I’d last used back when I was building my “Islands” to use with our “Dystopian Wars” fleets a few years back.

The actual “Altar” was next, to make this I took the two “full” skulls I’d cast that I’d only filled to the bottom of the upper teeth, these then had the back of the skull cut away so it was flat, then measuring across the top I judged when it would be about 32mm across the top and then cut away the top of the skulls to make a flat top just above the eye sockets, where your helpless victim would lie. I then tried to glue them together with some PVA wood glue, but this didn’t hold them securely enough so I ended up drilling a hole into the back of each side and taking an old “knackered” paint brush cut a length about 15mm long and used this to “pin” them together (I never waste anything!). I then carved away the sides to make them flat, sanded the top and used a little “Tetrion” filler on the sides and join to rough it up. I them scrapped a circle and some lines on the top as a bit of a “Demonic rune”.

I tried “dry” fitting all the pieces together until I was happy with the general look of the overall piece, then marked around the outline onto some 3mm MDF and cut a suitable base, then glued the “outcrop” down with some more PVA glue. The altar and flatter skulls were glued in place next with copious amounts of PVA glue. I thought it might be interesting to have one of the larger skulls split down the front as if the face had fallen away at some point, so I sliced it down behind the eyes and then split this in two as well. I thought I would probably need something to make the “full” skulls a bit more secure so I cut up the rest of the old paintbrush handle and after drilling more holes into the bottoms of the skulls glued in short lengths of the “handle” sticking out as “pegs”, and once dry drilled corresponding holes into the “rock” and glued them in place.

Then it was just a case of filling around everything with more “filler”, I found the best way to get the “lumpy” effect I wanted to match the skulls was to take an old “scenic” brush, dampen the bristles then use this to tap the filler into place around the various separate bits. I also ran filler out to the edge of the base, and superglued so of my old faithful cat litter stones here and there. Finally I dabbed on some more PVA and sprinkled some “cork railway gravel” over the odd place to add some more texture. Watered down PVA was brushed over these once dry to make sure they were securely in place. And it was all left to fully dry out.

And that dear reader is where I am up to as I write, I did if I’m honest start this last weekend, so before the first of the month, but as I read it, the scenery only needs to be completed in the two challenge months, and that’s what I hope to do this week as I’ve just the painting to do (as an interesting aside, I don’t actually own any knife wielding cultists, or lying down victims…something I think I’ll have to address at some point 😈).

Till next time, stay safe and enjoy the scenery, cheers Roger.

“Out of the Blue (Stuff)”

Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm Pulp, fantasy, Scenery, Summer Scenery Challenge | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

“Mary Needs a Ride! So I’d Better Mach’ One”. (Forgotten Heroes 2021)

Now I mentioned back at the start of the month that I hoped to have time to complete one more “hero”, namely Mary Death’s car from the movie “Bounty Killer”. Well things have actually gone a lot smoother that I’d expected, so I’ve been able to get this finished too!! Before I get into the re-painting (and a little converting) of Mary’s ride I thought I’d give you a little background as to what made me want to do this. Partially to blame are Dave (The Imperfect Modeler) and Matt (PM Painting), who have both either built or hinted at building post-apocalyptic vehicles, and I’d mentioned that the “James Bond, collection” cars* were perfect scale wise to go with 28mm figures, and could be picked up on Ebay for various prices from £4.00 for the early edition cars up to £28.00 for the later less popular editions (the white Lotus, that blows up at the start of “For Your Eyes Only” is going for this price!, whereas the bronze one that replaces it is £8,00).

Anyway a bit later I watched the movie “Bounty Killer” during the first lockdown, and thought the character “Mary Death” would make a fun figure to do for “Forgotten Heroes” (see post at the start of the month**), Now Mary drives a distinctive yellow Ford Mustang Mach1 in this movie (at least until it is blown up thirty odd minutes in), and the old brain cogs started turning… “Now doesn’t Mr Bond drive a Mach1 in Diamonds are Forever?”, I thought, a quick look on Ebay later and one of my Christmas presents from the wife was ordered ready to be desecrated later in the year.

Now in many way I was more nervous about doing the car than I was about the figure, I don’t want to sound big-headed here but you see I’ve got a general idea what I’m doing with the figures, but I really was making this up as I went along! But luckily the quality of the model was actually pretty good and at £8.00 including postage wasn’t really any more expensive than a lot of resin car kits (and you got the interior detail as well!).

I started by removing the Mustang from its base (this was actually the worst bit as it had a “triangular” head screw!) Then I split the base of the car from the body (luckily crosshead screws!!) and removed the glass, interior, grill, rear lights and bumper. Happily I was also able to prize out “James” and “Tiffany” from the seats too, I thought I might have had to carve these away but they are separate “rubbery” plastic figures, so that was a plus! As I wanted the car driverless. I was then able to take some fine sandpaper and go over the removed body to form a “key” for the primer.

Next it was out for a couple of coats of white primer, and then a coat of matt yellow, This on further inspection was a bit lighter that the movie car, so once dry I gave the whole thing a dry-brushing with citrus orange, this seemed to work quite well, giving a rough slightly faded look (though on closer inspection it was now a bit darker than the original, sometimes you just can’t win!!). Now one of the front wheels on my car had rather dodgy paintwork on the chrome hubcap, so even though I planned on “weathering” these later on, I decided to give it a coat of chainmail, now this was darker and had less shine than the others, but as I said “weathering”, I also painted out the “whitewalls” on the tyres as Mary’s car doesn’t have these.

I turned my attention to the interior next, now even though you can’t really see much of this when the car is assembled I decided that bright red wasn’t going to cut in the dark future, So I repainted the seats and floor black, and then picked out the top of the dash and the door card inserts in chocolate brown, with some leather brown highlights. Next on the “to do” list was a rear spoiler, now apparently the actual owner of the car rented it to the production company and they added the boot spoiler and large “Mary” decal to the roof, though he was quite happy with these additions, and they still adorn the car (his daily driver) today along with Christian Pitre’s signature on the dashboard. Anyway my car didn’t have a boot spoiler so I was going to have to make one somehow, the answer “coffee stirrers!”. So taking a wooden coffee stirrer and sanding it with very fine sand paper I managed to get a pretty smooth finish, I then cut it to length (luckily the width was about spot on as was), I then cut off two of the curved ends and after sanding all the flat ends at an angle superglued these in place. Once dry I sanded the curves a bit to match the original more and painted it black, a couple of small blobs of greenstuff (also painted black were placed on the boot lid (trunk for any Americans) and it was glued in place. The front “splitter” was also a coffee stirrer, this time stuck to the plastic underside then a curve was built up with more greenstuff, and again painted black.

As I mentioned above in an act of pure self-promotion Mary has a large decal of herself plastered to the top of her car, now luckily someone had posted this image up to the internet, and when I’d put in a search for pictures of Mary it had also come up, so after a bit of messing about re-sizing the image I was able to print it out and a bit of PVA glue fixed it to the roof. I did consider painting this free hand (No I really didn’t!!!).

Now the bit I’d been putting off for as long as possible was finally here, the black stripes down the side of the car and the bonnet. I knew these were going to be awful to do and I almost left them off, but then it wouldn’t look right so…I started by masking off the lower areas of the bodywork and painting them in black, but once I took the tape away there was some “bleed”, in fact the area that looked the best was the bit ahead of the front wheels that I’d done free hand! Much head scratching ensued, until I decided to do the bonnet freehand as well (which I’m rather pleased with the result of if I’m honest). Now the “bleed” marks along the sides I could cover up with a line of chainmail as a chrome strip runs along here on the original, but the upper stripe didn’t have that. In the end I got some stickier tape ran this along to make the horizontal lines, painted these in as best I could, and did the small thicker lines running down at the front by hand. I also added the Mach1 badges badly by hand too. Much touching up with the citrus orange followed, and though they still weren’t great they were better. I had now got a plan to try and cover as much of this as possible with some liberal weathering.

That was next on the agenda, well after I’d added the indicators in orange anyway. So I decided the best way to tackle this was to do the wheels and underbody first so I could get to the inner wheel arches and all the tyres, one good dry-brushing with some saddle coloured paint later and I was ready to glue the wheels to stop them spinning I just prefer gaming pieces this way (and this would also stop me pushing it around and going “Brum,brum” and yes I had been!). The grill, rear bumper and lights along with the number plates were now put back onto the car before I gave the upper body a good dry-brushing too (well it would have been driven hard through the desert, so it was going to be dirty!), I then put the two halves of the body together, but without the glass and interior, and gave it another lighter dry-brushing with Eurasian flesh, paying special attention to covering up the worst of the side stripes!

I then took it out for a coat of matt varnish, this unfortunately, dulled the picture of Mary on the roof quite a bit, but a thin coat of PVA glue brought it back just enough to look worn but visible. All I had to do now was lightly dry-brush the windows, I put a piece of tape cut to the windscreen wipers sweep shape on the front screen before doing this then re-assembled the whole thing putting the screws back in to hold it all together. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the result, it’s not perfect by a long way, but it has come out better than I expected.

So that brings my part in “Forgotten Heroes 2021” to a close, I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year (as always), and all the entries from the various people taking part this year have been magnificent (again as always). I’ve already got a couple of ideas for who I’d like to have a go at creating next year, of course in eleven months’ time that could all have changed. It’s Dave Stone’s “Season of Scenery Challenge” for the next two months, so that’s what I’ll be doing till September. So a final thank you to Jez for coming up with this wonderful challenge.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact, did you know that Max’s ride in Mad Max was going to be a Mustang, but it was decided that car and spares availability would be easier for the Australian made Falcon at the last minute?

So till next time, stay safe and cheers Roger.

  • These are cars from the James Bond films franchise, that are sold with a magazine each week, in one of those never ending and hugely expensive collections that come out every so often.

** https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2021/06/06/bounty-killer-forgotten-heroes-2021/

Posted in 28mm Pulp, 28mm sci-fi, Forgotten heroes, Into the Wasteland, sci-fi | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

“The Tech Tec’ & The Badlands Babe” (Forgotten Heroes 2021)

So both my entries for “Forgotten Heroes” were finished and ready for painting, well let’s get on with that then shall we, Oh and I threw in an extra figure I’d received recently when I ordered so more paint (as stocks were running low of a couple of colours) but I’ll go into this more once we get to him.

Starting with “Dick” his palette was really pretty simple, so after his spraying of black undercoat, I gave his overcoat (that’s confusing isn’t it!) a coat (a lot of coats here isn’t there!) of chocolate brown with a drop of black in it to darken it, this was then highlighted with just chocolate brown and then again with more chocolate brown mixed with saddle (one of my new paints!). Next I added his wrists (well the only bits of his arms you can see) in copper and his eyes in white. I then added the pupils to his eyes, this was a bit of a pain as they really needed to be square, and so after they were in place I went back with the white again and tried to square then off a bit. For this “skin” I mixed some silver with some mid grey (yes Matt I’ve now got a light grey! It says mid grey on the pot, but to be honest if it was much lighter it’d be white!), anyway this was then painted onto his face and hands, I didn’t highlight here as the original has a pretty “flat” look to it. After checking the DVD I determined that his gun was black so I left it black, just adding some dark grey highlights here and there (oh and also on his hat band that was also black), and a little chocolate brown and leather to the pistol grip. That just left his hat which I did in more saddle highlighted with some leather brown. Pretty simple stuff really.

Mary next, now she and the other miniature I painted this week were originally undercoated in white primer, as I knew her clothing was going to be predominantly white (of course). So after this as usual I painted in her gun and dry-brushed this with some chainmail, then her dress, belts and boots were undercoated in coffee, before successive highlights of cream and then white were layered over this. The side panels of her dress were then added in dark red with bright red highlights, and her gun “butt’s” and knife hilt were painted chocolate brown with leather highlights on the handles and saddle on the barrel grip. Now her stockings were undercoated in mid grey then washed/glazed in watered down white, and then her flesh was given an undercoat of Red Indian flesh, mixed with some pale flesh and dwarf flesh to get the right tone. Then after I had added her lips in pink burgundy and her eyes in white and black with a little navy blue around them the highlight to her flesh was added in European flesh. That just left her hair which I’d left black but added a few highlights of dark grey too.

Lastly this week I painted up a present for my lovely wife that as I said above I’d added to the order of paint I’d received a couple of weeks back, this was “Runcorn” the Unicorn from the Lucid Eye productions “Toon Realms” range. I did him in classic fantasy Unicorn colours so again working from a white primer I mixed some leather brown with coffee and a little fusia and used this in all the creases and folds in his skin before dry-brushing him in successive coats of coffee, cream and white, I also added some pale flesh around his muzzle and his teeth and mouth in white and dark red respectively. His mane and tail were fusia with lilac and lavender highlights, and his horn was Eurasian flesh with highlights of ECW buff (as you can see I used a few of my new paints here). And his hooves were chocolate brown with more Eurasian flesh forming the highlights here.

All three figures were given a coat of “Quickshade” strongtone and the bases on the two “upright” figures had their bases done in my usual manner of, chocolate brown, dry-brushed with khaki, and then again with coffee. Areas were then picked out with scenic green before said areas were flocked with some Javis “Summer Mix” hairy grass. A final spray coat of matt varnish and they were finished.

“Runcorn” on the other hand had his base painted with chocolate brown then heavily dry-brushed with scenic green, then I picked out the toadstools and flowers I’d made with a little left over “greenstuff” while working on Mr “Spanner”, with Eurasian flesh, coffee, dark red, bright red and cream on the toadstools, and porcelain blue, light blue citrus orange and lemon yellow on the flowers. The base was then flocked with Javis pasture green flock and he too was matt varnished. He’s sitting in my wife’s cabinet now alongside the “shed” I made for last year’s “Season of Scenery Challenge”.

So that’s both of my “Forgotten Heroes” figures finished, but I still have one more entry to post before the end of the month, so I’ll be reliving my youth this week and playing with toy cars!

Till next time, stay safe and cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm Pulp, 28mm sci-fi, Forgotten heroes, Into the Wasteland, sci-fi | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments