Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smog Painting compeition

Smart Max have just announced a painting competition for their Smog range Victorian Horror minis.

The miniatures are, without exception, quite marvelous, and conceptually fantastic (if you like creepy Victorian stuff as much as I do).

The prize, it turns out, is a whole years worth of Smart Max releases.

So take a look at the full rules, and get painting.

Movie Marine +1 more

Well, a long while ago, I got the idea into my head that I would create a force of Movie Space Marines. That’s a joke list GW made in White Dwarf #300 where ten marines and a rhino were a 1500 point army. And they’re all tougher than Rambo.

So I decided would create a tactical squad that took as much time and effort to create as your average Warhammer 40,000 force did.

I got through them at quite a pace for a while, but soon other projects started getting in the way (most notably, my entries for the P3 Grandmasters). So, just like a real force, they’ve been put off and delayed.

Well, after such a long time away, they’re back. Somehow, I decided to paint them up before my new Malifaux crew or my Blood Bowl team. I’ve finished one more, and I only have a couple of the original Movie Marines left to paint.

So, here is the latest:



I had a number of requests for pictures of my dragon that show his scale.

So, here he is next to Professor Viktor Pendrake. Pendrake is on a 30mm base.

Our gaming table has 30mm squares all over it (because we usually play with minis whose bases are just slightly too large for the standard 1 inch squares).

But there you go.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Repainting a non-mini Dragon

Ever since I can remember, I’ve pretty much been responsible for making miniatures for any role playing groups that I’ve been in. Mostly, because I’m the only one who thought that we needed matching miniatures for our characters.

Right now I’m taking my turn GMing our Iron Kingdoms game. I decided to make it a super epic level campaign in which the party goes after all of those godlike beyond epic monsters that they always had to avoid in our other campaigns.

That means Dragons. Now, if you’re familiar with the Iron Kingdoms setting, you’ll know that there are no dragons smaller than Colossal size in all of the IK. When I started looking for minis, I was at a bit of a loss.

I could get a huge resin dragon for somewhere between two and five hundred dollars. It would fit the bill, but that’s pretty expensive.

I could pick up one of the discontinued Wizards of the Coast Colossal Red Dragons, but they’ve been going for two hundred dollars each, and are way less interesting minis than the resin ones for the same price.

I’m so glad that my wife pointed out a third option. For around twenty to thirty dollars, you can go to an Asian gifts store and pick up one of their dust collectors.

Now these minis tend to be a little less detailed than pewter or resin minis, and the pre-paints on them tend to be horrific. Whatever you do, don’t pick one up that has glitter all over it.

But with a little love, you can turn them into great looking minis. I have a second one in my back room waiting, but here is the first one that I’ve finished:




In the end, he looks like a pretty good, and massive sized mini.

I had to do a little bit of green stuff work on him. His horns were made of rubber and needed to be re-sculpted in something that could be painted, and his eyes had pupils sculpted onto them, which I thought would look better painted on.

His base was made from half of a super cheap Wal-Mart clock, and on our game board takes up just the right number of squares for a beyond epic level massive dragon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Malifaux Halloween Scenarios

The guys at Wyrd miniatures have been giving us creepy miniature for a while now.

But this year, they have a new way to celebrate Halloween. They’ve released Halloween Story Encounters for Malifaux.

There’s a witch, a haunted cemetery and a wild pumpkin headed butcher knife wielding murderer. Fun stuff.

Eldrad's still got it after all of these years

I first became interested in wargamming when I was much younger. I was a little intimidated by Warhammer 40,000 because all you could buy was the book. I knew I wanted to play the game, but I also knew that the rules didn’t come with any minis, so it seemed like an incomplete game to me.

I finally decided that I could pick the game up when Games Workshop announced that they were releasing a “Boxed Edition” of 40k. I still think it is strange that no one called it the 2nd ed back then, and honestly I was a little surprised that the rules were so different from the Rogue Trader.

Anyway, shortly after that, Games Workshop started up their codex system of updating force lists, and the first two they did were the Space Wolves and Eldar.

And in those books, we had some of the first special characters for 40k. Before them, there was Commissar Yarrik and Ghazkull Thrakka, but those two codecies made it standard.

Also, a lot of the Space Wolf special characters have never had a mini update (unlike Thrakka and Yarrik). Some of the Eldar characters could probably use an update (Jane Zarr still has the most incredible mullet). I think the most impressive one is Eldrad Ulthuan.

For a while, Eldrad was the standard mini you’d use for a farseer. GW had released a non-character farseer mini, but it was so inferior to this one that everyone just assumed they’d use this. The practice spread even more widely when GW made the special characters illegal in competitive play, but allowed the minis to represent your non-special characters.

Anyway, I got to paint up some of the old characters recently. Eldrad here followed the same color scheme that we first saw back in the 2nd ed Eldar codex. Here he is:


Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Monsterpocalypse Greens

There’s been a bit of hubub surrounding Monsterpocalypse lately. After the release of the Voltron two player game over the summer, it seems they haven’t slowed down. They have two player starter sets designed to look like the Voltron set (you get two random monsters from different factions, and a set of minions from the same faction).

What with the film that might actually get made (it has progressed from the “who knows” stage to the “pretty likely” stage) there’s been a lot of hubub.

But what I’m excited about are the minis. While their pre-paints aren’t always the best, Monpoc has released a good number of wonderful minis for repainting.

They’ve just posted up a bunch of new greens for us to have a look.

By the way, there’s something odd about that page. In the description, it sounds as though Privateer Press is working with the movie people to create some of the new Monpoc stuff.

That makes me wonder if we’re going to actually get miniatures based off of Tim Burton artwork. Makes me wonder.

Anyway, here are the greens:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pale Assassin

While I was at Gencon, one sculptor asked me whether I knew where to find the very best faces on any range of miniatures. My first thoughts went to Dark Sword and their fantastic line of non-heroic scaled miniatures (the faces and hands are all so delicately detailed).

He told me that the best line was Tom Meier’s Thunderbolt Mountain line. At the time, I decided that I hadn’t seen enough of TBM to decide if he knew what he was talking about.

I can’t say that he was right, but it turns out that he wasn’t wrong. Tom Meier sculpted around half of the Dark Sword miniatures line.

With that, I’ll introduce to you all a recent commission for a Dark Sword piece. This one was sculpted by Jeff Grace (another of the best sculptors out there). The colors were largely a choice of my client in this case (he sent me some drawings to match). I think she turned out rather well.




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cryx Battlegroup

My wife started playing Warmachine a while ago. It turns out that she really loves the undead in all varieties, so her choice to play Cryx was easy.

I remember talking to her about choosing colors for the force, and she pulled out this crazy bright orange and teal and said that she thought the undead should be brightly colored. She actually might have gone with pink if painting Warmachine minis in pink weren’t such an institutionalized practice.

Fast forward a little, she has a brilliant looking brightly colored undead force that has started looking like Cryx to me. So, I had to pull out my books when I was commissioned to paint a few minis up in the Privateer Press studio colors.

Overall, the Bane brown/grey color scheme fits well with my style- I like the neutral pallets. So here they are, Cryx in Brown instead or bright orange:





Monday, October 4, 2010

Strangest Concept Mini Ever

Ok, I have seen a lot of odd minis in my time. Miniatures sculptors, like all artists, are an odd bunch and really like to push away from what is standard and what is normal.

When they do, we get some pretty outstanding miniatures. Like Dark Age’s Contradiction, Yannik Hannebo’s Beauty and the Bot, or Kev White’s series of Libby miniatures. Great artistic renderings, all of them. Also, these are very strange minis.

But Emanuele Giovagnoni has presented to us one of the strangest concepts I’ve ever seen for a miniture. Here is “Grace is Gone” or the pregnant cyborg:

the pregnant cyborge

the pregnant cyborg

Beautiful sculpting work gave her this delicate pose that combines like eerily well with the Giger style tubes and metal plates.

But I’ll say it again: this is the strangest concept ever. By the way, you can get her from the Cool Mini store if you like strange. I know I do.