Now I have been hinting for a while now that I was going to start painting up some 15mm figures, and even showed pictures of my new arrivals from “Peter Pig” the other week. Well the plan is to do a couple of “Hott” (Hordes of the Things) armies over the coming year, and maybe even play a few games too, if I can get either of my lads into the idea.
To this end I thought I’d start with a pseudo “Barsoom” force from the “John Carter on Mars” series by Edgar Rice Burrows, luckily the army list for this force is in the rulebook, though I have “tweeked” it a little to include two bases of “shooters”, mainly to add a little variation to the army and the figures, as even with this addition there are still only four different figures in the main body of the infantry. As I stated above the figures are from “Peter Pig”. I actually thought these were no longer available as they don’t do their Sci/Fi range anymore, but it turns out these are listed under their fantasy banner, good for me as I’ve fancied these figures for a few years and thought I’d missed out. I gave myself two weeks to get these done and due to the rather strange order I did them in I would have had to post nearly all the process last week, and then repeat it again this week on the rest, so decided to leave last week’s posting and do a bit of a long one this week.
So I began by having a mass clean up session, removing flash and mould lines from the all the figures, not a job I particularly enjoy but it has to be done, then they had their bases sanded flat on the undersides before they were glued to coffee stirrers with PVA wood glue for ease of painting (I glued squares of card to the bottoms of the stirrers to make them more stable. They were broken off of these and glued to their permanent bases once they were painted (but I’m getting ahead of myself. Next they went out for a spray coat of matt black, but sadly I ran out of black spray half way through painting them so had to finish the job with a brush and pot of acrylic.
Anyway then it was onto the painting the figures proper, I began as usual by dry-brushing chainmail over the guns and sword blades. Then the boots and belts were painted chocolate brown before being highlighted with leather, then taking a pot of red flesh (a colour I had mixed up myself from an old pot of continental flesh with a load of dark red and terracotta added), all of the exposed flesh was painted. I have a rather unusual way of doing this, so as not to get bored I paint up say the left legs on one type of troop, then perhaps the right arm on another and so forth until all the figures are fully painted (this took a few days! I have a very low threshold of boredom). I then added a few bits of copper to the buckles and sword hilts, and did the panties/loin cloths in coffee and cream, before highlighting the flesh in European flesh (these parts were done one troop type at a time). Finally I added some black hair and went round tidying up any overpainted and missed bits, this last bit took ages by the way!
When it came to Mars’ power couple “John and Dejah” I thought I’d try and make them stand out from the crowd a bit, so though Dejah’s flesh is the same as the rest of the figures her shawl (?) and knickers I did in metallic blue that I then highlighted with some turquoise silk, I also gave her a copper head band. John I decided would have the paler skin of a non-native Martian, so this time I used the European flesh as the base and highlighted this with the same mixed with a little pale flesh, and his hair I did in chocolate brown with chestnut highlights.
Truth be known I don’t like the “skimmers” that much, they are a bit on the plain side to me and they don’t really look like I imagined them from the books. The pilots and gunners are wearing helmets too and the look just “jars” a little with me, but that’s what I’ve got and rather than start messing about trying to make something from scratch I went with it, I’m still not happy with the result but hey! So once again working from the black undercoat I dry-brushed the vents and fans with chainmail before painting the rest of the skimmers bodies in copper. This was way too bright so a dry-brush of bronze went over this to dull it down a bit. The gunners and pilots were painted in the same colours as the rest of the figures, with a tiny bit of bright red on some pipes to add a bit of interest here and there. I was very undecided over the way to mount these too, I wasn’t keen on the flying stands provided, so was going to go with clear plastic ones, but they didn’t seem to “sit” right upon those so ended up going back to the metal “vapour-ish” ones they came with, and these were worked up from black with dark grey, mid grey, light grey and white dry-brushes, they look OK but I do think they could be better.
One thing I am happy with however are the bases. Now I decided after seeing Roy’s excellent “sand” bases over on his blog to try and do the ones on these in the same manner, so while I was ordering the suitable MDF bases from “Minibits”, I also ordered some fine modelling sand. Now I won’t go through the technique for applying this as Roy does a much better job over on his brilliant blog here…
So that is where I am up to as I write, these also need “Quickshading” and having their bases painted (I’m going to be busy!), But first I need to take part in Keith’s new monthly challenge!!…
So next weekend things will getting a little “Monstrous”.
Till then, stay safe. Cheers Roger.
I had a good laugh at your boredom comment. I think its the repetitive nature of unit paibting that makes me lazy. But WFB armies are lots of units… I feel your pain!
Thanks Harry, yep I hate batch painting, part of the reason I decided to go fore “Hott” was the small armies. I can but take my hat off to these Napoleonic gamers with hundreds and hundreds of virtually identical troops, I think I’d end up chucking them at the wall!
Great work Roger, for such a small scale you’ve got a good amount of detail in there.
Agree the skimmers are a bit plain, have you considered doing wings like the ones in the movies ? you could cut it out of the acetate you get in packaging and then pigment with a glaze so they have a translucent feel
Thanks Dave, I see what you mean, but it’s really the overall shape that annoys me, I think I imagine them with a more boat like shape. like in the last “Barsoom” novel I read they describe a small covered version that to me I imagined like the Victorian submarines you see. But as I want to move onto other things, these will do the job.
Expecting Michael Caine, but Rice-Burroughs instead. Nicely done, Roger. I think Alan (aka Kaptain Kobold) has a Barsoomian HOTT army, but not sure what scale it is, so might be worth checking his past posts to see what his army is made up of. Will there be Tharks?
Thanks Jez, I nearly called this post “Dejah view!” or “Everyone needs a Barsoom for a pillow” have had a look at the good Kaptains blog, wow he really is into ERB! some beautiful painted armies there too (they are 15mm by the way). I like his flyers, he uses battlefleet gothic ships, they look the part but the difference in scale would annoy me I think.
I wasn’t going to do Tharks any time soon, but the temptation to do a post called “Tharks for the memories” might be to hard to resist! 😉
Hmmm… My earlier comment doesn’t seem to have worked somehow. How odd? Anyway, great work on the little fellas, Roger, and despite your misgivings I think the Skimmers’ bases look really good.
Thanks Simon, but I’m still not that enamoured with the skimmers.
Well that’s quite the lot of nekkid flesh on display. I hope they have some sort sort of sun tan lotion available up there?!
I think they look great, mind. You’ve done a nice job on the skin tones, I reckon. The quick shade won’t darken it too much, will it? Never having used it, I was just wondering.
I’m an Agrax Earthshade over the basecoat colour, man, myself. With basecoat, then painted on as a highlight and then a second highlight colour to finish.
Don’t know what they’re like, but have you seen these? The John Carter inspired bits from Fighting 15s Martain Empires range. I’ve found pictures of the Imperial Flier models, via the ranges old owner’s website, so don’t know if its more to your liking?
I have read the first John Carter book, but forgotten most of what was in it – Doh!
Thanks for the link. And I’m pleased your order arrived. I’m wanting some stuff from Minibits, now, but have read that Leon is down with food poisoning at present, so will leave it till next week.
Ah, just realised that it might be those big, green, many-armed aliens that are the only John Carter inspired miniatures in that range. Oh well. Still might be of interest to you.
Roger. Have you stolen my original post?! 😀
Actually Roy, I do like those flyers better than the Peter Pig ones, I might have to order a couple at some point.
There is a lot of flesh on display, though not as much as there should be according to the books! The Barsoom people just sort of let it all hang out as it were! (lets just say there would be no market for “Naked Attraction” on Barsoom TV!).
I’m hoping the Quickshade wont over darken the figures, but will just “shade” them. I think it should be alright, if it does what I expect (but you never know).
WordPress stole your original comment (don’t know why) but I retrieved it for you 🙂
Excellent stuff! 🙂 I actually quite like those fliers!
Thanks John, there really is no accounting for taste is there. 😇
Great work, Roger. I’m amazed at anyone who can paint 15mm. My eyes give me problems with 28-32mm nowadays…and when I paint some “old-school” 25mm miniatures, I really feel like I need magnifiers.
I’m happy you’re taking part in my humble challenge, and I always look forward to seeing what you do.
Thanks Keith. I know what you mean, though in some ways smaller figures are easier as they have less detail, but in others they are bloody small!
I wouldn’t miss your challenge for the world mate, after a couple of false starts I now know what I am going to do for it and will start it today (hopefully).
Impressive Roger especially at 15mm. I only have painted a few tank crew members at that scale, so to see this many is quite impressive, nakedly so 😁
I remember seeing the John Carter stuff in hobby stores back in the 80’s? Same stuff? Never read the books, but knew of them.
I like your alternate limb painting vaccine for boredom!
Thanks fir sharing such great work (and the skimmers are retro ok in my book).
Cheers and stay safe! Mark
Thanks Mark, There aren’t that many colours on these figures (lots of fleshy bits on show) but the various bits are all divided by belts and pants so a few individual areas to do all in the same colour. Hence the somewhat tedious nature to the painting (funnily the next Hott army I’d like to get is another nearly naked one (I not a pervert honestly!!)
I don’t think this will be the same stuff you saw back in the eighties, though they have been about for a while, but are totally unofficial (as a lot of the good stuff tends to be 🙂 ).
The books are well worth a read, a bit slow by modern standards but for a pulp fan like your good self full of inspiration!
The skimmers are just a bit to “Star Wars” for me, though it wouldn’t surprise me if JC is where George L, got the inspiration for Jabba’s barge from.
Nice work matey
Thank you IRO.
Splendid stuff Roger. I struggle with a unit larger than four, so seriously impressed by this lot!
Thanks Michael, you may struggle with units larger than four, but I struggle with castles over…well any size really but certainly the size of yours!
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