Saturday, 29 September 2012

Epic Scale Sci Fi Modelling

I'm indebted to my friend Ian for putting me on to this. Published by the makers of Scifi & Fantasy Modeller, and the same size,thickness and standard of reproduction too, this is a BRILLIANT collection of scratchbuilt articles by the very talented Gary R. Welsh. Its a testament to a good book when you flick through it and you could happily study any page you stop at. Which is the case here. But it creates a problem, at least for me. I always prefer to read something from start to finish, rather than the best bits first and the rest later. I'm only part of the way through it at the moment and we've had an excellent "how to" guide, followed by Gary's lovely Space Tug article:
Very informative and a very enjoyable read. Next we've a stunning Blakes 7 Pursuit Ship project:
And that stunning word again for the authors incredibly in-depth charting of his Star Wars Medical Frigate recreation:
Trouble is, its TOO informative. Gary goes to incredible lengths to detail each and every stage of this mammoth build, even down to naming the donor kit for every part and its lavishly illustrated, coming in at an incredible 318+ photos to illustrate it. I'm about halfway through it at the moment and, must say, i'm finding it a bit of a slog. Of COURSE i want indepth articles on how models are made from scratch (that's after all why Bowerhouse was born) but there's SO much to do, that's SO similar to what's been done in the last few pages, that i'm starting to yearn for something different. It'll be a different matter i'm sure when i get to Gary's painting stage but, right now, i've a hankering to jump to the next article, a variant on this ship, and then what looks best of all, this excellent looking craft:
Looks great, and appears to be one that i could easily emulate. We'll see. A brilliant book, heartily recommended.

Some old Foundry 2000AD figures

Just dusted these fellas to put on ebay and thought you might like to see them? They're by the Foundry Miniatures company and all are fantastic sculpts. I've added to all their bases, by attaching them to bigger one's and detailing. I'm happiest with the bottom figure, a Nort Trooper from "Rogue Trooper" as his barbed wire base came out pretty well.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Batman Chess Set - Scarecrow done

That's him finished then and, apart from Mr Freeze, he's my favourite figure from this range so far.

Spielbergs Tripod - all done

Thank gawd that's done - that's all i can say. Haven't enjoyed this build at all, and finishing the base was a right old slog. But its done now and the finished result doesn't look too bad i guess.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Demoncon Spaceship

Well, that was great fun. Was a bit anxious, me being the only modelling table at a comic con, but i was in the creative room, with follk doing wall art, making custom albums, that sort of thing. And i had a whale of a time - had tons of folk coming up, watching me building, but mainly asking about all the models i had on display. I'd deliberately only taken things i'd scratchbuilt and sculpted and the most interest was in how i'd used household items for an awful lot of the basic shapes and for detailing. I also had the build challenge of making, painting, decaling and weathering a craft in just 4 hours. Thought that'd be plenty of time - but never factored in that i'd have to stop what i was doing to explain to people the ins and outs of different craft. Anyway, i'd tipped things in my favour by prepping the main shape yesterday. I went to Tescos yesterday and picked up two £7.00 hairdryers:
Reason being, while we were in a hotel last month, i noticed the hairdryer hanging from the wall and thought"hmmm, with that curved main part and swept back handle, it looks like a Flash Gordon-style aircracft. If i put another handle on the other side, it'd look kind of neat." So i'd remembered that, and bought the two ysterday, cut off and glued one handle to the other dryer and P38'd the join. And that's what i had with me first thing this morning:
But my initial idea of something very Flash Gordon, witha vibrant colour to match went out the window as i figured, what with not too mutch time for the build, i'd have to leave it in the very fast drying Halfords Grey Primer. So, a grim and gritty ship then. Here you can see i've added a rear area:
The main white bits are two sections from the Saturn V kit, there's a funnel for an engine bell at the end of them, some spare Fine Molds X-Wing engine cowls, the usual cable ties in places, the even more usual sticky gems for blobby detail - and a fin up top. Part of why i like scratchbuilds so much is how a craft can evolve and change over the course of its construction. Case in point here - the grill at the front was originally going to be a sort of weird cockpit window but, as i elongated the hull, it looked more and more to me like a submarine and the grill a sort of water inlet, as the craft sucks in water at the front and squishes out of the back, like a squid. Its a submarine then thinks i, and plops an aircraft wing up top to sort of evoke a sharks fin kind of affair. You can see things a bit better at the primer stage:
I was starting to panic when i took this shot as i had less than half an hour to go. At 15 mins to go, i'd done the decaling and weathering and put on a coat of Matt Varnish. At 5 mins to go i was just starting to put on rusty washes. And i handed it over to the guy to put it in the raffle with it literally dripping brown paint. Anway, here it is in the hands of girl who won it in the raffle:
I'm glad she'd won it as she'd been by the table earlier and we had a good indepth natter about original designs and costume building. So, great day that went very well.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Epic Space Marine

Before our son expressed an interest in playing Warhammer, he was already aware of the Games Workshop universe through the copies of Space Hulk and Talisman that i've kept since the 80's. One game i think i gave away and always regretted was Epic Space Marine - the same 40K universe but with human figures being only 6mm tall. This is to allow for wars to take place between whacking great walking machines (similar i guess to the Star Wars AT-AT's, but two legged), vast amomunts of troops and loads of vehicles. As i say, always regretted getting rid of it and i every so often look on the 'Bay to maybe buy it again. But the boxed starter game always goes for big bucks. Except last week, when one was going for a really resonable amount. And never went up at the end - so i won it. Very happy with that then. Its come and, along with the game, there's a whole bunch of figures - Space Marines (human), Orks (space orcs) and Eldar (space elves), all packaged in chinese takeawat cartons:
The person i bought it from has luckily saved me a heck of a lot of wotk, having painted an awful lot of the teeny tiny figures (think doing these back then contributed to me now wearing glasses):
He's also partially painted the Titan, and made a pretty good job of it too:
So here's the first bunch of vehicles ready to be primed then painted:
What i really need though to make the game better are a bunch of the supllementary Titans and other nifty craft. You'll be seeing them here as and when funds allow - they too are pricey now.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Anyone in Kent this weekend?

I'll be having a table at the Demoncon4 comic convention in Maidstone this Sunday, with a whole bunch of my scratchbuilt projects. So, if you're in the area and don't have much to do, pop on by and say hi ok? I've been digging things out of storage to sort out what i will and won't be taking and thought i'd show a few from yonks back.
This Red Ship is one of my first built from scratch builds rather than a conversion of an existing ship and the basic shapes are a Ferrero Roche egg for the body and coat hangers for legs.
This one is an attempt to see just how much detail i could fit on a small space.
This one was taking the minimal approach
And this one was me trying to get as many panles on as possible. Still like this one, but not the colour. May have another go, this time in the grey sof the ship above it

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Daemonettes - all done

That's the ladies done then:
As i say, i've tried to emulate the paintjob that i did on my GW Daemonettes, the only difference being i used a purple for the claws rather than a blue - but that was only becasue i was out of that shade of blue. Think the new one's sit alongside the regular one's fine:
Another one i've just finished is one of the very early versions of these creatures, which isn't very feminine is it? Again, i'm going with similar colours to tie all these different versions together:

Space Orks - all done

Had a blast doing these guys and they were real fun to do, virtually paining themslves, the detail was so crisp and well defined:
I really like the CAT-esque yellow that i used for the mechanics on that guys arm and have decided to carry that on to the Shokk Gun:
This figure is an odd paintjob as, because of how things sit in relation to one another, i can't go my usual way - from skin outwards - and instaed am doing the reverse. Don't think i went to that trouble first time round.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Under The Influence - 10

Being an occasional series while the paint is drying, the glue is hardening or waiting for enthusiasm to come back, where i have a waffle on the things, films, books and whatnot that had a direct influence on me, getting me into this hobby or the whole SF/fantasy malarky.
If you're reading this and my age, or older, or younger by about 10 yaers or so, then guessing you'll be the same as me in citing Mr Harryhausen's work as a major part of your childhood. Such fabulous creations, expertly brought to life, they're true classics and even now stand the test of time - and the latest CGI efforts can't hold a candle to them. Okay, the films they were in were a bit plodding, and you sat there through the mushy or boring talky stuff waiting for the next effects sequence to start. Sadly, apart from Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger and Clash Of The Titans, i never saw any of his films up on the Big Screen. As blown away as i was watching them on the telly on a rainy Sunday afternoon, think my mind would've been blown to have been sat there in the dark watching them unfold for the first time. Narrowing down my favourite moments from Ray's films is real difficult and choosing a top one is even harder. Runners up are the pics above and my eventual Number One gets the honour of being in moving images below. I've chosen its not only a masterpiece of animation, but a masterpiece in atmosphere, what with the unsettling music slowly building, the camera angle to accentuate how massive he is from the two fellas perspective but, most of all, that unsettling, calm, SLOW turn of the head. This guy was the boss here and he was going to show these foolish mortals so:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Batman Chess Set - Harley Quinn & Black Canary

These lovely ladies turned up today and, yet again, it looks like they're reigning in the metallic paints as there's hardly any on either. So, no need for a repaint here, which is just as well as i don't fancy trying those tights (if you see what i mean):
And the faces are pretty good too. Yeah, Harley's eyes are a bit wonky, but i couldn't get anywhere near as good as this paintjob here:

New Chaos Spawn - metal done

With him all primed up:
i could start on the painting. I used Tamiya JA Grey for the metal shell's basecoat as i've found with my M.a.K builds that it compliments rust colurs very well. Trouble with that is, having grey for the shell meant i couldn't go my intended route of undead flesh for the meaty bits, as they'd be too similar. So, a sloppy Bleached Bone coat for those areas while i decide what to do:

Friday, 7 September 2012

New Chaos Spawn

Some of you might remember a while back i made a bunch of these Nurgly beasts, a nasty combination of flesh and metal:
Was having a rummage through my bits box and found two pingpong balls that i had left over. "Hmmmm" thinks i, "wouldn't mind having another go at these. So i did.
With those first one's i'd used Plaster Of Paris to fill them up and give the additional parts something to glue to, but i was out of the stuff. So i used Das Pronto instead, shoving a ball of the stuff into a ball that i'd sliced the top off. Once set, i gouged out holes in the ball for where i wanted the eye to go, along with smaller holes of the tentacles i wanted bursting out the confines of its metal shell. Then i just glued in a couple of spare Tyranid claws on the underside for legs, an arm and two tentacles from my Chaos sprue for appendages, then Green Stuff tendriles hanging amongst them. Into the eye hole went a blob of Green Stuff, a bead bunged into that for the eye and the Green Stuff wrapped round it and pulled down for more tendrils. Then more Chaos sprue bits for the smaller holes, then i've added self-adhesive jewels for bumpy detail. Next up, priming and on to the fun of the paintjob.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Shokk Gun

Making those Space Orks took my mind back to the only time i've ever before painted anything from that line - the Shokk Gun waaaay back in the late 80's or early 90's. The only reason i'd bought it is the same i buy any of the Games Workshop minitaures - i like the look of it. In this case, the barmy notion of having a weapon with a huge, whirling triple arm at the front that creates a Warp opening that sucks its enemies in. Add to that lots of luvverly quirky detail on the weapon such as a sand timer, chimney, tap and cranking handle plus the Ork with his tongue sticking out as he aims, and it became one of my favourite figures from that time. As good as he was, he's long gone now (think i sold him on eBay years ago) but i started to have a hankering to have another one. He's one of those miniatures that you can buy again now as he's been given an all new look and all new sculpt but, as usual when they do this, GW have taken away all the charm and originality that made these miniatures so memorable. Back to eBay then, and i was real surprised to find one still sealed in its blister pack for only about 4 quid.
Building was a doddle - stick the plastic left arm on, glue the gun to the shoulder, and bung the whirly thing on the front.
What was a surprise is that the pack also came with a bunch of Snotlings - teeny tiny comedy dwarf Goblins - and i don't know what i'll be doing with them

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Brain Of Morbius - done

Yet another project that was pushed to one side and forgot about. But here he is all done now.