“Coz’ he’s worth it” (part 3)

Right well as you may (or may not, as the case may be) I left you last week with my “Direwolf” badge finnished and en-route to its new owner “Dennis”. Well I’m pleased to announce that he was very pleased with the finnished article. Now he had cut me a six inch circle of aluminum, for me to mount this up on, but after trying this it turned out that the wolf was just over hanging the sides a touch, so another would have to be cut slightly larger. Well to cut a long story short just before I had arrived at his house last Sunday he had been spraying up the pieces of armour (a gorget and a pair of pauldrons) he’d made out of some foam tread-plate style floor mats (he’d seen a video on youtube explaining how to do this you see), and one of us (can’t remember who) suggested that the wolfs head would look good mounted in the middle of the front part of his gorget. So in due course it was indeed “hot glued” into place, but as the gorget is curved I said I would have to fill around the edges of the head to remove the gaps, as the “cross belts” that hold his cloak in place could catch under it and either damage it or pull it off, also I thought the aluminum spray paint he was using looked a bit “bling”. So before I knew it the gorget and pauldrons were in the back of my car and I had been assigned with painting them (how do I get myself into these things!).

Anyway back home I began by filling in around the head with the ever faithful “greenstuff” before spraying everything black. Now after much deliberation I decided that rather than painting the whole this silver again I’d have a look for a more muted grey palette, so a trip to the paint shop (well B&M discount store to be honest) was in order, originally I was looking to get some silver grey “Hammerite”, but came home instead with a couple of emulsion “match pots”, one a Johnstone’s “Steel Smoke” and the other a Dulux “Warm Pewter”, Basically dark and light grey.

So taking the “Steel Smoke” I dry-brushed this liberally all over the pieces and once dry did the same, but a little lighter with the “Warm Pewter” this was (to my eye anyway) a vast immediate improvement over what had been there before, but to add a bit more of a metallic edge I then very lightly did another dry-brush this time with my old “Miniature paints” silver, now we were really getting somewhere! Next we had already discussed that the “wolfs head” and the rivets around the edge of the mantle would look good in gold or bronze, so after retouching these areas in black out came my bronze and a good dry-brushing of this was applied, and once this was dry a lighter dry-brushing of copper went over this.

Now Dennis had insisted (against my better judgment) that he wanted two paper wolf heads (each facing forward) stuck on the sides of the pauldrons (now I didn’t really like these and to be honest I think they don’t sit well under his cloak, and it looks better without them. But obviously it’s not my decision). So two of the wolf-heads were printed (one reversed) and cut out, then after painting the area of the pauldron where they would sit with PVA wood glue, the were stuck in place then painted with more PVA (I’m still not that keen on them).

Finally I got out my tin of “soft tone” Quickshade and gave everything a coat of this (yes I even Quickshade human beings now!!), and once this was dry gave it all a blow over with the tin of satin varnish I bought a few years back that was supposed to be matt (remember that Simon?).

All of this had to be finnished ready for Sunday, as we are off to “Liverpool Comic-con”, I’ll try and get some pictures and maybe even write up a quick report about how we got on. Now just before I go I thought I’d mention something else (and this one is even wargames related!), back when we went to the Ellesmere Port comic-com a few weeks back I bought myself a smashing new leather “Dice Bag” complete with hand painted “Dragons eye” from a very nice lady by the name of Mandy Brace, now we had a good chat about this and that and it turned out she had never heard of “wargames shows” (talk about missing your target audience!), anyway I sent her the list of UK shows and she said she was going to try and get into a couple to see how she got on. If you would like a look at her lovely work here’s a link…


I promise to get back to painting miniatures soon.

So till next time. Cheers Roger.

Posted in fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged | 12 Comments

“Coz’ he’s worth it” (part 2)

Well progress has be going apace at both mine and the “Dennis’s” houses, he has been working on the various pieces of armour he needs to complete the look of his costume, whereas back at my homestead I have been banging away at getting the insignia finished for his badge, so without further ado this is where I’m up to and how I got here…,

When I left you last week I was adding the rows of scales that work their way up the beastie’s neck, not very exciting stuff but quite time consuming, as each one had to be added separately as a teardrop shape, then all around the edge had to be pushed down in a seal type fashion, then the central “ridge was added either with my fingers or if it was butted up to the next one with the flat of a blade, then taking one of my rubber tipped shapers any finger prints were smoothed off and the shape was refined, lastly taking my pointed shaper the “ridge” was enhanced and made more prominent.

Next day it was the same again, though this is the last “full” row as the next one needs to be blended out into his face, so the next few bits should be a little more interesting (for me and you).

Right well “ear” we go then (sorry couldn’t resist), I decided after a bit of an internal debate that it would be better if I added the ear first and then worked up to it. So after mixing up a grape sized ball of putty, and breaking the piece away from the acetate (so I could see what the ear looked like) I roughly made if the right sort of shape (without the indentation in the middle of course). This was then plonked into place and blended in at the lower edges, then after I was happy with the general shape, I pushed in the central indent, and added the small ridges with my pointed probe (the one shown in the banner at the top of the page in fact). Once happy with this I had a bit of putty left so also added the large “scale” that runs down from the corner of his mouth.

Now it was time to add the top row of scales, these would be blended away into his face, so using the same technique as before they were added, and then smoothed out around the bottom of his ear.

I set to work on the lower part of his jaw next day, I began by attacking the whiskers I’d put on his chin as these seemed a bit small and far too “furry” looking now, so a layer of putty was put over these and then new more “stylized” swirls were added. Then a sausage of putty was run along under his teeth and shaped to form his lower lip. Finally I added some putty to the top of his head to get the final shape here (though I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of all this, do’h!).

His upper muzzle was next on the agenda, so I began by adding his nose, to do this I first put the piece back over the picture and added a small sausage of putty funning upward from where his nose was before folding it over toward me and smoothing it into a dog nose shape. Next I smoothed out a layer of putty over his muzzle blending it into the area around his eye. Gums were added then by taking another sausage of putty and smoothing this over the area I had left above the teeth and yet another was run along the top of this and shaped to form the top lip. Two more pieces were added above this to add a little more interest to muzzle (and help fix the nose in place), these are not exactly like the original, but not my only bit of artistic license so I can live with them.

That just left the eye to finnish off, this was done by adding upper and lower eyelids, that were of course two more sausages of putty that were run above and below the eye and then shaped and run away up toward the top of the ear, I also added a little more putty to the area above the eye added a little shaped detail for interest and the odd spot here and there where it needed tidying up and it was done. Totaling up my time I figure I have about thirteen hours of sculpting in this piece now and probably one and a half golf balls of “greenstuff”. This is easily the biggest single piece I have created from scratch (I’ve stood my 28mm Skeletor figure next to it in the final photo to give a reference for scale), I’m pretty happy with how the final piece came out, I’ll find out tonight whether Dennis is as happy, wish me luck!

Next time mounting and painting, so till then. Cheers Roger.

Posted in fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged | 20 Comments

“Coz’ he’s worth it” (part 1)

It’s been a while since I last posted, in fact it’s been a while since I last touched anything wargames related to be honest, and indeed this post isn’t actually wargames related as such, but I thought I’d share with you what I’m currently up to if only to try and get me back into the habit of posting (and hopefully a few of you might find it of interest).

Now back before Christmas my brother-in-law “Dennis” decided to buy himself a sewing machine with a view to making himself a “Game of Thrones” style cloak. This he did with great success, but as anyone with any experience of Dennis with tell you, he never does anything by half so as you can see in the photo to the right he is now the proud (very proud!) owner of the full “Stark” ensemble all made by his own fair hands (not bad as these are the first things he’s ever sewed, I said he didn’t do things by half didn’t I!). But I hear you ask what has this got to do with me? Well I’m coming to that (impatient!!). A couple of weeks ago we went to a small local “Comi’con” event and Dennis entered the “Cosplay” competition (well he had the outfit after all, this however didn’t have any pockets, so I had to accompany him as baggage handler), to say he loved it is a bit of an understatement, we did however discover a couple of problems, first of which was that he needed the accouterments, sword, pieces of armor etc.. to finnish it off, and good as the costume is, it’s a little too non-specific (a few people thought it was from the Vikings, or Lord of the Rings). So I (see I said I was getting to my bit!) mentioned that he could do with something that was specific to a) Game of Thrones and b) the Stark’s. Now I feel I should point out at the juncture that I have never watched G’of’T, but after Dennis showed me a picture of the “Dire wolf” that they use as their insignia I stated that I should be able to knock one up in greenstuff that he could add to the fur collar of his cloak to aid recognition. Now there are four main reasons I volunteered to do this….

  1. It was a good excuse to get out the old sculpting tools and see if I could
  2. It would give me something to blog about
  3. It would hopefully kick-start me back into painting again, and
  4. I’m just a really, really nice chap*

So for the last week (and probably the next) that is exactly what I have been doing, I began by printing out few pictures of said “wolfie” (it is worth noting here that it appears no two versions are exactly the same, which plays right into my wheelhouse. Hooray!!), We then discussed what size Dennis would be looking for, deciding that it needed to quite big so as to be easily seen and would probably be mounted on either a round or oval backing plate. So the final size decided on was six inches from rear fur point to nose tip. Anyway I decided the best way to do this was to print out an image at full size then tape a piece of acetate over this and build the piece up on this, so as it could easily be broken away once complete. Once this was in place, I then laid down a base of greenstuff over this (that’s just a posh way of saying I rolled out putty all over the wolf-head shape).

Next day I added some rough details for his maw, his chin whiskers, teeth and a test scale/ fur piece at the back (I’m not sure what you would call these but the look more like scales to me so I’ll refer to them as that from now on).

The row of scales down the back came next day, each one added individually and shaped with a ridge running down the centre (not sure you can see this on the photo’s very well).

Same again next day, but this time along the bottom.

Now when it came time to added the scales that would cover the neck, I pondered how I would avoid getting them too far out of position, my solution was to print out another full sized picture and partially cut it out, so I could accurately place it over the top of the greenstuff version, then taking a spike I pushed through at the tip of each scale leaving a grid of holes in the greenstuff below, I was then able to take a felt tip marker and roughly draw in the scales as a guide. Lastly today I added a couple more of the bottom row of scales.

Last of the bottom row of scales and the next row up were added the next day. And I bet you can see where this is going..yes the next row and the first of the row above was added the day after this, and that is where I’m up to as I write, now luckily I have plenty of greenstuff (as I bought a job-lot from Salute a couple of years back, but even so I do appear to be chewing through it at a rate of knots! There is about another weeks work left in this (at the rate I work anyway!), then it will need mounting on its backing plate and painting, and I’ll post again once I’m up to this point along with (I hope) a couple of pic’s of it in situ on Dennis’s’ cloak.

So sort of back, even if it’s not strictly about figures (trust me Dennis is defiantly not 28mm scale).

Till next time, Cheers Roger.

  • *This last reason is of course open to debate!
Posted in fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged | 22 Comments

“Rats & Reporters”

“So are the giant mutant rats reported to be running around just outside the city real? Or like the ‘human mutants’ and ‘killer robots’, just another figment of some peoples over active imaginations? Well, all I know, I haven’t seen any while I’ve been out here…perhaps I need a bigger piece of cheese (wink). I’m Moira Tiffin for Salvation City News, now back to the studio”.

“And cut”

“Do we do another take Jeff? I think we need another take, I can do better”.

“It’s fine”.

“Fine!!!! I didn’t get voted Salvation City News’ favorite personality three years running by being fine!”.

“It was also…live”.

“Oh… well, in that case I guess it was fine then”.

Ok I realise that last week I said I was going to add a few “stars” to my “Into the Wasteland” cast list but they will now have to wait till next week, as I was a bit short on time this week so I thought I’d cheat a bit and paint up my “mutant rats” and “on the spot news team” instead, they might not be my star turns but “Moira” definitely thinks she is! Again these are taken from my prize winning order from “Moonraker Miniatures”. As always they were based up on “tuppences” using “Tetrion” filler before they were given a spray coat of matt black.

Moira was begun by painting her skirt in dark red, this was then highlighted in pink burgundy, and lines of deep bronze and lemon yellow were added to form the “Tartan”. Her jacket was then also undercoated in pink burgundy, and then highlighted in polish crimson, shoes and jumper next, sand and more lemon yellow taking care of these. Her stocking were then done firstly in flesh tone 7 (I think I’m going to start referring to this as tan flesh) and leather brown, this was then highlighted in the same but with much more of the flesh tone added. Her flesh (and Jeff’s below) was then undercoated in European flesh and highlighted (after eyes were added), with this mixed with pale flesh. Her hair is chocolate brown with chestnut highlights, her jewelry is copper with bright gold highlights and her microphone is dark grey with light grey highlights, oh and a touch of chainmail on the handle.

Jeff, Moira’s long suffering cameraman had his trousers undercoated first butternut was used for this, and then this mixed with coffee, formed the highlights on his “chino’s”, coffee was then used on his T-shirt with cream highlights added to this, his waistcoat is orange with orange mixed with cream forming the highlights here. His “all important” camera was done in dark grey with a heavy highlight of light grey over this (except the strap which was left black with a dark grey highlight). A dot of day-glow green for a light finished this off. His shoes and belt were added next, chocolate brown with leather highlights being used here. Then after his flesh was added (see above), his hair was undercoated in citrus orange and highlights of sand were applied over this. Lastly I dry-brushed the computer on his belt along with his belt buckle in chainmail and added the circle on his back in cream before painting the letters “SCN” in it.

My “James Herbert” movie extras were really rather simple to paint (which is why I chose them to be honest), two of the “veritable vermin” were left black and then dry-brushed with a mix of black and chocolate brown, this was also used as the undercoat on three more of them, and these were then dry-brushed in just chocolate brown. The final one was undercoated in coffee and dry-brushed in cream (he might become the leader or just another “rat in the crowd” I haven’t decided yet), next all the eyes were dotted in with some black except for “whitey” whose I did in dark red (albino style!), this was also run along the mouths of all of them before I added their teeth in cream. Their tails, ears, noses and feet were then undercoated in “tan flesh” (see much easier), before these areas were highlighted in continental flesh, see simple.

Guess what… everything was then given a coat of “Quickshade” strong tone before the bases were painted chocolate brown, that was then dry-brushed with khaki and then again with coffee. A few small areas were then picked out with a little scenic green, and then those areas were flocked with some “Javis” summer mix hairy grass. They were finally finished off with a “blow over” of matt varnish spray. I’m over half way through my “Wasteland” figures now, I hope you are enjoying these chaps as much as I’m enjoying painting them. So till next week.

Cheers Roger.

Posted in 28mm sci-fi, Into the Wasteland, sci-fi | Tagged , , | 22 Comments