“Blax the Kleric’s, top ten of 2018”

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Dick Garrison first permitted me momentary access to his wonderful hobby blog “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”, and I extended a similar invitation to him with my own website “Fantorical”. During that time Roger has both sculpted and painted some seriously awesome models, and once again his output during the past twelve months has been no less impressive. Indeed, I think his “Top Ten” for 2018 arguably contains some of his best work yet, and certainly gave me some headaches as I carefully traversed his “Into The Wasteland Project” and marvelled at the man’s annual additions to his ongoing “He-Man” project…

(10) “Colonel Bill’s Wargames Depot” “Belt Fed Gaming” – Morag, Una & Fiona Gaelic Witches (July 12th):

Gore fans amongst you will doubtless approve of this terrific trio being given a place within Roger’s Hall of Fame, as their pointed fangs and blood-stained lips clearly distinguish them as potential pin-ups within the world of the Undead. Lovely deathly-green skin tones, a possibly still beating heart in one hand, and even a bit of bare bosom shows just how very well Roger can paint the walking dead.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/the-saga-of-constanzi-katerina-elena/

 

(9) “Mantic Games” – Rordin (September 1st):

I was nowhere near as successful as Roger in his endeavour to paint his “Dungeon Saga” boxed set. However, when I do come to paint my own Dwarf hero, I will be repeatedly visiting his posting of Rordin to see just how it’s done. I am not a fan of the plastic used by “Mantic Games” for this figure, so know precisely how hard it can be to paint, so that makes this excellent tutorial in dwarf armour all the more impressive. Tremendous work.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/axe-hammer-bow-book-sagatember/

 

(8) “Statuesque Miniatures” – Dame to die for  (July 22nd):

Roger has painted a fair few damsels over the past twelve months, but none more caught my eye than his Jessica Scarlet. The shimmering red dress is absolutely top-notch stuff, and contrasts splendidly with her visible black stocking and long white gloves. The face is also tremendously well-painted, and completely avoids the oft-seen error of simply slapping some red lips on a figure in the mistaken belief that’ll suffice to represent femininity. A really beautiful miniature.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/the-d-a-and-the-dame/

 

(7) “Tin Man Miniatures” – Cave Girl and her pet T-Rex (April 20th):

There’s an awful lot to admire with these two miniatures. Be it the Raquel’s subtle skin tone and fur-skins, or the fantastic blending from green to yellow of Rex’s scaly hide, both models are extremely well painted. In particular, the fact that you can actually see the dinosaur’s claws, as opposed to having them half-submerged in grit and flock as with my own figures, shows the care which Roger took to make sure the models were appropriately based too.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/raquel-and-rex/

 

(6) Lancashire Games – Snakemen (28th May):

Admittedly, I had never seen these miniatures before Roger painted/posted about them, and as a result, I immediately fell for the scaly-skinned space aliens. Disappointingly, these days “Lancashire Games” seem far more interested in historical ranges, so I haven’t been able to source any for myself. However, I am able to visit Roger’s colourful chaps from time to time and dream…

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/of-swords-and-snakes-week-46/

 

(5) “Crooked Dice” – Temporal Travellers (May 17th):

As Roger is a fellow “Doctor Who” fan I have taken great delight in the past sending him the odd spare set of figures I’ve uncovered in my collection. One such bag was the now Out of Production Temporal Travellers by “Crooked Dice”. I was especially pleased to gift these to Roger as the group contained a smashing likeness of Sarah Jane Smith, as played by the much-missed Elizabeth Sladen. Roger’s subsequent paint-job on the Third/Fourth Doctor’s companion did not disappoint at all, and put my own efforts on the figure sadly to shame…

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/companion-piece/

 

(4) “Wizkids” Dungeons & Dragons – Firepelt Cougar – Cringer  (June 29th):

It is sometimes incredible the difference a simple paint-job can do to a pre-painted plastic miniature. Roger’s stunning transformation of a dark-furred “D&D” big cat into the impressively green companion of He-Man, Cringer, was outstanding. And whilst the figure is still available at a cost, I have yet to pull the trigger so as to replicate Roger’s palette swap for fear of my own skills falling far short of his brush-work. Just look at those strips and the face – spectacular stuff.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/its-not-easy-being-green-or-grey-for-that-matter/

 

(3) “Moonraker Miniatures” – Powered Armour Troopers (April 6th):

Personally I love a bit of rust on my models when I can get away with it, especially when it means I can apply my “Mig Productions” Extreme Rust Wash. Roger however, used no such trickery upon this pair of awesome robots and instead relied upon his skill with a paint-brush to ‘weather up’ these automatons amazingly. They really are stunningly painted, and look awesome when photographed amidst some of Roger’s excellent-looking “Into The Wasteland Project” terrain.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/banged-up-bots/

 

(2) “Roger Webb” – Merman (June 29th):

I am a sucker for Merman. I even own a “Funko Pop!” figure of Skeletor’s ineffective minion. So when I saw Roger was sculpting one from essentially scratch, I was all eyes. The final result did not disappoint in any way shape or form, and was in many ways Rogers “Master(piece) Of The Universe”. Mind-bogglingly good green-stuff work and an excellent paint-job make Merman a real eye-catcher, and debatably any other year, this would have easily been my favourite model.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/its-not-easy-being-green-or-grey-for-that-matter/

 

(1) “Moonraker Miniatures” – The Professor  (March 30th):

One of Roger’s first postings of 2018, my favourite model of the year has to be Roger’s wonderful reimagining of “Doctor Who” for his “Into The Wasteland Project”. Not only is the figure passionately pigmented, but I absolutely adored Edmond Atkinson’s fictional background and the gas-mask wearing explorer’s kit-bashed time-travelling machine. Marvellous stuff, absolutely marvellous.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/the-professor/

 

As ever, there are many other models which Roger has painted to perfection which still haven’t made this list. So before I retire once again to my own blog, I would like to highlight the entirety of Roger’s stunning-looking “Into The Wasteland Project”, his masterful work on the contents of the “Dungeon Saga” Boxed Set, and wish you all a Happy New Year…

Simon.

(As usual I’ll just stick my “oar in” at the end to say a massive thank you to Simon, for not just writing one but TWO! Top Tens this year, and to thank you lot out there in the “cyberverse” for reading this high prose’, and my usual nonsense, you really do keep me honest, productive, and make this such a joy to do. All the very best too you all for the new year.

Oh and be sure to check out my “Top Ten” of Simons output for the year at…

https://fantorical.blogspot.com/2018/12/top-ten-miniatures-of-2018-rantings.html

Thank you, cheers Roger.)

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Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm Pulp, 28mm sci-fi, Dr Who, fantasy, Foprgotten Heroes, Into the Wasteland, Masters of the Universe, Saga'tember, sci-fi, Top Ten's | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Blax the Kleric’s, top ten of 2017”

Any long-suffering fans of “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” who were expecting to take away some sort of festive cheer from this posting will sadly be disheartened to discover that once again I have momentarily deposed Dick Garrison so as to post my own Top Ten favourite miniatures which he has painted during 2017. On the one hand this has proved somewhat easier than usual as Roger wasn’t as proficient in his production as he has been in past years, but on the other much more difficult as the man has certainly painted some extraordinarily nice models during this time too. Indeed, during this period Roger has both seemingly completed his “Very British Civil War” collection by “Irregular Miniatures” and, yet again, provided an in-depth look at his awesome sculpting abilities with two more welcome additions to his ongoing “He-Man” project…

(10) “Hasslefree Miniatures” – Human Eve – Adventurer Lara Croft Style (Jan)

I’m guessing quite a few wargamers at least own a sculpt of Lara Croft, so it was hard not to see why, Roger’s take on the definitive “Tomb Raider” proved so popular on his blog. However, what was particularly impressive with this figure was his sheer perseverance to ‘keep going’ when the miniature’s fragilely-positioned arms “kept snapping off” whilst he was painting her.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/how-far-to-hitchin-week-34/

(9) “Games Workshop” – Ork Stormboyz (Jan)

I’ve always had a soft spot for Stormboyz, ever since I first discovered “Games Workshop” and the world of “Warhammer 40K”, so was always going to try and squeeze in some of these old OOP metal sculpts into any Top Ten if I could. Fortunately, not only did Roger paint up quite a few of these greenskin shock troops that it would have been impossible to ignore them, but he gave them just the sort of scruffy, rusty palette one would expect from the Germanic-flavoured close combat assault infantry.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/jump-to-it-week-35/

(8) “Moonraker Miniatures” – General Cowley (July)

One of the first models painted by Roger as part of his “Into The Wasteland Project”, I absolutely loved both this figure’s splendid-looking paint-job and the character’s fictional background story. There’s a real air of Benito Mussolini to this miniature, in my mind at least, with his marvellous array of medals and imposing gesture really marking him out as a determined dictator of men.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/into-the-wasteland/

(7) “Irregular Miniatures” – Scorpio Bug (May)

An arguably rather unimpressive model when unpainted, this giant alien insect was transformed into vibrant life by Roger’s brushwork, and once again had me scouring the website of the miniature’s manufacturer looking for one to purchase myself. The red and brown palette really works by drawing the eye along the entire length of its carapace to its stinger, and is a great example of just how sellable a figure can become when it is properly pigmented.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/new-kids-fromthe-block-week-41/

(6) “Bend Sinister” – Sci-Fi Troopers (May)

If there is one thing Roger is very good at, apart from being the ‘Sorcerer Supreme’ when it comes to green-stuff, it is his ability to paint camouflage or stripes on his miniatures, and this pair of Sci-Fi Troopers are a marvellous demonstration of his skill. Jaw-droppingly clean-lined and well-pigmented, these two figures look excellent, with their colourful façade contrasting nicely alongside their gas-mask heads.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/new-kids-fromthe-block-week-41/

(5) “Hydra Miniatures” – Akarr (Feb)

I must confess to originally thinking when I first saw these blue-skinned extra-terrestrial that I’d never heard of the wonderful 15mm alien figures before Roger posted them up on his blog, and wowed me with their incredibly vivid colour scheme. However, these are actually the second batch of such figures over the past few years which the fiend has fantastically pigmented, so I immediately felt morally obliged to include them in my Top Ten; especially as the contrast between their skin colour and red bases is so very eye-catching.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/akarr-bilk-strangers-on-the-painting-table-week-38/

(4) “Maidenhead Miniatures” – Woman on Terra-Bird (Feb)

Another sequel to a range Roger hasn’t previously touched since January 2015 (the Akarr being the first), this formidable-looking cavalry model actually made me contact the manufacturer to establish whether I could still purchase some for myself. This model is tremendously well-detailed, and Roger’s blended brushwork is absolutely stunning, particularly around the giant bird’s head and beak.

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/whos-that-out-with-a-couple-of-birds-week-39/

(3) “Ground Zero Games” – Gilbert the Alien (Jan)

Being a “Metal Mickey” fan I never really paid much attention to either “Get Fresh” or “Gilbert’s Fridge” as a child, so found Roger’s paint-work and detailed description concerning this sculpt of the much-loved alien puppet tremendously endearing. Not only is the model’s palette absolutely spot on, but once again Roger turned to a tin of green stuff in order to ensure his beloved figure had “his trade mark spikey Mohawk.”

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/how-far-to-hitchin-week-34/

(2) “Heroclix” – The Skunkwoman (May)

Rather embarrassingly my collection of unpainted “Wizkids” miniatures is rather extensive, and resultantly I will probably never manage to re-paint my own copy of Wolfsbane any time soon as I feel it’s one of the “Heroclix” range’s less impressive sculpts. Roger though has taken this underwhelming figure and with a bit of genuine green stuff magic, turned it into an absolutely awesome “villain from the early days of Bananaman back when he was a staple of the Nutty comic.”

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/raising-a-stink/

(1) “Roger Webb” – Beast-man (June)

Essentially sculpted by Roger from scratch, or at least from a dollie, this corking creation of Skeletor’s leading henchman is absolutely mind-blowing in both pose and paint-job, and is easily demonstrative of Mister Webb’s jaw-droppingly good skills when given the time (and patience) to do so. Like many, I so wish Roger had been able to turn this figure into part of a range for “Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures” as I’m convinced it would have been a market-winner!

https://rantingsfromunderthewargamestable.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/im-so-money-supermarket/

Needless to say, there are a fair few other models which disappointingly just failed to make this list. 2017 really did see Roger painting across a myriad of genres (and scales), with the likes of his wonderfully grubby “VBCW” Riflemen, extraordinarily extra-terrestrial “Silent Death” spaceships and wickedly wild “Wargames Foundry” Bondage Betty all getting close to the mark too…

Simon.

(Well that just leaves me to finish off with my usual huge thank you to Simon for doing this again, and to hope you enjoyed it, as he’ll be doing it all over again in a few days time with his choices from my 2018 output, while I’ll be let loose on “Fantorical” with my choices from his. So till New Years eve, Id like to wish you all the very best of Christmas’s from the both of us! Cheers Roger)

 

Posted in 15mm Sci-fi, 28mm fantasy, 28mm sci-fi, fantasy, Foprgotten Heroes, Into the Wasteland, Masters of the Universe, sci-fi, Superheroes, Top Ten's | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

“Jingle’ Belle”

Ok so Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat (Though probably not as fat as I’ll be by Boxing day!!), but I thought this year I’d just try and fit in one more figure before I’m done for 2018. Now this isn’t the figure that I had originally planned to get done (they will have to wait till the start of the New Year now), but it came to me at work that a Christmas themed posting might be a nice idea, and I knew exactly what I had in mind, if I had a suitable figure suitable to form a bit of “conversion fodder”. So after rushing home and sorting through my drawers (oo’er misses!) a suitable candidate was found, and here she is… yet another of my “Copplestone Castings” bikini clad “babes”, these are great foundation figures for a bit of greenstuff work, a bit like 28mm metal versions of those paper dollies little girls used to have in my youth that you could hang different outfits onto! Anyway less chatter more work!

First job was to clean up the casting, file away her shoes a bit and sand away the back of her head on a forty five degree angle. She was then glued to a “tuppence” and once dry I could start adding her “festive regalia”. Now it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without “stockings” so that’s where I started, these were done by running small, thin sausages of putty around the middle of her thighs, then dragging and smoothing these down her legs towards her knees, leaving it slightly thicker at the top (I could have just painted these on, but you know OCD!), on the outer sides of the top I pushed up the putty into a gentle point, as this is where her suspenders will attach. Next I added her ankle boots (slightly more sensible for walking in snow, than her shoes, hey a little realism doesn’t hurt!) I left the original heels uncovered, because it was easier and there’s no point sculpting what’s already been done. And lastly tonight I added her hat, this was just a cone of putty stuck on the sanded flat back of her head pushed into shape and then another ring of putty run around the join and the fur effect pushed into it with a spike and knife point.

Day two, and this has become a lesson in patience as I really want to start on what will be her rather short dress, but as her suspenders need to run up under this these needed to be added first, so a really thin sausage of putty was polled out (thinner than a dressmakers pin), and then two lengths about six millimetres long were cut off of this and these were added running up from her stocking tops to her waist, after prodding and tapping in some random detail that hopefully will look like lace once painted, the top section (above her panty sides) was trimmed away. I also added the furry tops to her boots, these were just two more sausages of putty run around the boot tops and the fur was tapped in as with her hat, and finally I added the pompom at the tip of her hat, this was just a small ball of putty, and again the fur was tapped in with a spike and knife tip.

Dress day today, so I began here by adding a small sausage of putty across her back just above the top of her panties, this would act as a support once the top “dress” layer went on as I wanted it to flare out at the back, and this came next another sausage was flattened out into an oval and attached from the top of her back down to the bottom edge of the “support sausage” and then smoothed out around her arms and out to the front where the two edges were blended into each other. I then blended away the join between the outer dress and inner support underneath the rear, and once I was happy with all this I then took my pointed probe and pushed in the folds in the material, these were then widened and smoothed with my pointed colour shaper making sure that the high points of the folds were curved upwards and the lower points curved downwards. As she is supposed to be a “sexy” lady I made sure plenty of suspender and panties was left on show. Talking of which I next took a small ball of putty and applying it to the rear area of exposed panty (this is fast becoming a very rude posting!!) I shaped it into the classic inverted triangle and then tapped in some flouncy lace effect. Lastly today I added more of the fur effect around her cleavage and a tiny bit where it could be seen under her hair at her shoulders. Not a bad night’s work if I’m honest.

A couple of relatively easy jobs to finish her off today, just had to run a long thin sausage of putty around the bottom of her dress and two small ones around her wrists (to form the cuffs on her gloves, well I don’t want her catching cold now do I!), and then the fur effect was tapped into these areas in the usual method and she was complete ready for basing and painting over the next couple of days. This does however seem to bring up an opportune moment to impart a little tip onto you, when you have to sculpt two areas that you want to look like they match, e.g. boots, stocking tops, arms, legs… basically anything you want the same size the easiest way I have found to do this is to roll your putty out into a long sausage, estimate about how much you think you will need to make one item (one leg, arm etc,,) and cut that amount off. Then lay that piece next to the rest of the sausage and use it as a guide where to cut the next piece, “hey presto” two pieces containing the same amount of putty, and thus it should be easier to make your finished items the same relative size. I’m too good to you lot really I am!

Basing and spraying with matt black came the next day (but you don’t want to see a picture of that now do you!), Then the day after I could start to add a little colour into her life, as I want her stockings to be black I thought I’d begin by undercoating them in mid grey, then once this was good and dry I repainted them in a thinned down wash of matt black. Next her boots, hat, dress and gloves were all undercoated in ruby red before being highlighted in bright red. After this, next on the agenda was her flesh, so a base of European flesh was applied first and the after her eyes were painted in with some white, and then her pupils and eye liner (yes this is new, but I thought I’d try it to see if it made her eyes look bigger!), were added in black. I highlighted her flesh with a mix of European flesh and pale flesh. Her fur trimmings (who doesn’t like a bird with all the trimmings at Christmas?) and her underwear was all undercoated in coffee, before being dry-brushed with cream, oh and I finally remembered that I hadn’t dry-brushed her gun with chainmail back at the start, so I did this too. Hair, I thought that would be a good idea! So out came the citrus orange, and lemon yellow and these formed the undercoat and highlight on my “blonde bombshell”. Lastly (well apart from a bit of touching up here and there), I thought I’d add some “candy” stripes to the grip on her gun so these were done in coffee and cream, and shamrock and lime, the heels on her boots I’d left black so a tiny dark grey highlight was added here and she was finished.

Next day she was given a coat of light tone Quickshade and the day after I set about her base. This was begun by painting the whole thing in coffee, then giving it a heavy dry-brushing with some cream and then again with some white. Once all this was good and dry I painted the whole surface again this time with some PVA wood glue before sprinkling some artificial snow flakes (that I bought from a show many years ago, back when I was doing my own range of “Santa Claus Wars” figures), these were then “blobbed” (painted is too strong a word for what I did!) with some more watered down PVA and left to dry, this gives a nice “icy” finish, talking of finishes, a spray coat of matt varnish was the finishing touch to her , and here she is in all her chilly glory! I dug out some of my snow covered trees as a backdrop to her final pictures.

I’ll leave you with a seasonal joke…. Santa goes to the doctor complaining of a sore bottom. “Ok, drop your trousers and let’s have a look!!” says the doctor. Santa quickly complies and bending over the doctor takes a look. “Ah I see the problem” He says “You appear to have a mince pie lodged up there”. “Oh” says Santa “Well it’s very painful! Is there something you can do?”. “Well” says the doc “I do have some cream for that!”

Merry Christmas, Cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm fantasy, 28mm Pulp, 28mm sci-fi, fantasy, sci-fi | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

“A Scrunty Swansong” (Mo’vember)

Right well as you may (or may not) know I have been spending the month of November finishing off my remaining Scrunt’s by the inimitable Bob Olley, the light infantry to be exact and I am happy report that the fourteen figures are now finished (yes just fourteen figures batch painted in a month is a bit the meager side but other things have got in the way of progress on these chaps, but more on that at the end of this post). As you will recall when last I left you they looked like this….

But as I said progress has been made, and even though there wasn’t that much left to do on them it’s taken me this long to do it! Anyway this is how it was done. Last time I finished with adding the undercoats to their facial hair in either chocolate brown, dark sand, light sand, chestnut brown, or dark grey, and I said I would last time I then highlighted these in chestnut brown, light sand, lemon yellow, orange or butternut or mid grey respectively. Next I set to work on the “shades” seven of them are sporting, re-touching up the black before adding highlights of dark grey. Now I wanted to be able to spilt these chaps into two clearly defined (and reasonably equally armed) units, and the easiest way I could think of doing this was to do one lot grey “Ushanka” style headgear and the others brown. So that’s what I did next undercoats seven in dark grey and the other seven (why do dwarves always seem to come in sevens?) in chocolate brown. These were then dry-brushed in mid grey or a mix of chocolate brown and cream. That really just left a few details to add to their weapons and belt buckles in copper and the pipes and tanks on the flame thrower in dark red highlighted with bright red, and they were ready for a coat of “Quickshade” strong tone.

After this was dry they had their bases were painted scenic brown (a change to my usual method of chocolate brown but they have to match the rest of their kin done before I got my chocolate addiction!) Then they were dry-brushed with khaki and coffee, then areas were picked out in scenic green that were then flocked with summer mix hairy grass, quite frankly unless you really look closely at them you can’t tell the difference between these and my newer method. Finally they had a coat of matt varnishy sprayed all over them to de-gloss em’ a bit. Well that brings my Mo’vember postings to a close (and just in time too!)

Now as I mentioned earlier in this post I have had one or two things vying for my oh so precious time, chief amongst these (well that you lot would be interested in anyway) was painting up a shield that Dennis (my cosplaying in-law) had made to further enhance his “Game Of Thrones” winter collection (not available in stores, but you never know, give him time!), anyway this was constructed from foam garage flooring tiles and then presented to me for painting, which I did with various emulsion “match-pots”, and Acrylic craft paints, the dire-wolf head was printed out on two sheets of A4 and once glued in place I painted over the whole thing again (as the printed version looked a bit crap TBH). This will now join the Sword I re-painted, the scabbard I made from scratch, and the helmet and armoured vambraces that I have painted to match the other pieces of his armour (I know I haven’t mentioned some of these bits before, but I’m just so darn modest!). Hopefully this will be the last of these costume bits (as frankly there isn’t much left of him to hang any more on!).

Long term readers will probably be aware that I usually take all of December off figure painting as I get dragged into preparations for “that” day, but this year I do hope to get one last lot of figures done before the year ends, so till then…

Cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm sci-fi, Mo'vember, sci-fi | Tagged , , | 20 Comments