We Built This City…from MDF

Welcome to the second in a series of posts regarding suitable modern buildings for 28mm superhero gaming. This was intended to follow hard on the heels of the previous post, but real life got in the way, as it has a tendency to do.

The previous post dealt with pre-moulded hard plastic and foam buildings. This time we will be looking at buildings made from Medium Density Fibreboard, more commonly known as MDF. However, I will also be covering building kits made from laser cut card, as they share more similarities with MDF kits than print-on-demand cardstock models, which I will be covering in a future post.
Over the past few years, it would appear that the price of lasers has significantly dropped. Rather than holding cities to ransom, trying to bifurcate British secret agents or mounting them on sharks, the majority of people have decided to use them to cut up bits of wood. Go figure.
This has resulted in a plethora of creative people manufacturing MDF kits suitable for wargaming. The pros of MDF kits are that they are reasonable simple to assemble, create robust structures and are reasonably inexpensive. The cons are that the majority of the kits, whilst they can be used immediately once assembled, are shades of brown. So, unless you’ve decided to game in sepia tones (which would be quite cool for a while), you’re going to have to paint them. The second is that MDF isn’t the lightest material in the world, so if you’re ordering kits from countries other than your own, you may be paying a fair bit in shipping. Bearing this in mind, I’ve grouped the manufacturers by country.
One final caveat – I will only be featuring companies that make what I believe would be found in a modern urban environment. A lot of these companies make buildings suitable for Bolt Action, VBCW, Infinity, etc. so whilst I may highlight a warehouse or factory building, I won’t be showing you pictures of Pegasus Bridge, Imperial bastions or futuristic habitation blocks.

As I’m based on the UK, we’ll start there, with Sarissa Precision. This company provides many ranges of buildings, from the wild west to the far east. For our purposes, however, we will be looking at their 28mm CityBlock range.
CityBlock 64 - Style 1
The buildings range from £15.00 for a two storey structure to £50.00 for their largest building, a two storey warehouse with a footprint of 210mm x 420mm.
CityBlock Warehouse
The basic CityBlock buildings can be assembled so that each floor’s interior can be accessed and additional floors can be purchased separately. What this means is that if you buy two buildings of similar dimensions, you can have 2 two storey buildings or one three storey and one single storey building. And if they’re painted in a similar colour scheme, you can have both (but obviously not at the same time), which is quite useful.  A bit of paint and you can end up with something like this;

Not mine, I might add, but the work of Lucky Joe, more of which can be found on his blog – link.

Sarissa have also recently released their 28mm Industrial range, should you wish to vary the location of your battles.

Factory - Large

Finally, the Gaslamp Alley VSF range has a couple of buildings that would be of use, if you wanted to build your own Gotham City, particularly the Town Hall.

Town Hall

Next we move on to Warbases, also based in the UK. Whilst they have a varied range of buildings, there’s really only one that meets my criteria, namely the Corner Tenement from their VBCW range. This L-shaped building has a footprint of approximately 232mm square and is 198mm tall. For £25.00, which is pretty good value.

Another UK company is Timeline Miniatures, from whose ranges I’ve cherry-picked their Corner Public House.

This L-shaped two storey structure has a footprint of approximately 230mm square and a height of 130mm. Once assembled, the roof is removable and the top floor is divided into several rooms. This floor is also removable, revealing the ground floor with bar and doors/stair to the upper floor. In the cut-out corner at the rear is a ground level walled courtyard. Available for a very reasonable £25.00.

Another single building, this time from the Troll Trader, a UK company which stocks a huge range of everything a wargamer could need, but also appear to manufacture their own range of buildings. This particular building seems to be only available on their eBay store – link – under their TTCombat category.
This substantial warehouse/factory building is only £25.95 and could be used on its own as your playing area, as it’s so large.

Next we move on to Wargame Model Mods, also in the UK. As with the majority of these companies, it would appear they first started manufacturing buildings intended for Warhammer 40K, so a large percentage of the buildings they make are unsuitable for a modern urban environment. However, it’s worth looking through their 28mm Sci Fi Buildings section, specifically the Commercial, Industrial and Military sub-sections. This, for example, can be found in the Commercial section and is described as a Tech Centre. Looks like something you might find at Stark Enterprises. £18.99 for a kit with a footprint 300mm x 200mm, 250mm tall.

Commercial Building Tech Centre

Or this warehouse, also £18.99, 295mm square and 200mm tall.

XLC, which stands for the Extraordinary Laser Company are another UK company, who primarily manufacture terrain for WH40K, but had a recent successful Kickstarter which funded their pre-printed MDF building kits. Yes, you heard correctly, pre-printed. No faffing about with paint, you can just stick them together and use them immediately. Their Kickstarter concentrated on terrain that was what I would describe as grungy industrial, such as this L-Shaped Factory at £14.00:

P1180230

Or this Retail Unit, which comes with a choice of signs, at £12.00:

Talking about pre-coloured MDF buildings, I will briefly mentions 4Ground here. However, whilst their buildings are highly detailed, with comprehensive building instructions, resulting in wonderful looking buildings, they don’t really cater to superhero gamers, as their buildings are more for the Historical and Fantasy gamers. However, some of their Whitechapel to Baker Street range, which can be found under the World at War section, could possibly be used for older buildings, depending on what style of city you’re trying to create. Probably the most useful is the Police Station:

However, because it’s 4Ground and it’s pre-coloured sheets, intricate detailing and multiple parts, you do pay for what you get and this particular building is £134.50.

Next we move over the Channel to Poland and Multiverse Gaming Terrain. This Polish company is a relative new-comer in the field of MDF building kits, but what they may lack in volume, they certainly make up for in innovative style. For our superhero city, we need to be looking at their Dark City 30 range of buildings and terrain, such as their Corner Apartment Building, a three storey structure with a quite innovative door system (the idea for which I shall be stealing for future scratch-built buildings), which is that the door is separate to the building, on its own base, so can be open, closed, partially ajar, knocked down or missing without having to worry about weakening hinges.

A little more expensive than some buildings we seen so far at 31.99 Euros, but I’d say that the level of detail you’re getting is worth it. They have also just released this Old Diner, at 17.99 Euros.

They also do fire escape kits and Art Deco style gargoyles and Atlas statue kits that you can add to other buildings you may have, to add additional detail. The pictures above show what can be achieved with these kits, as they do, of course, come unfinished. However, I have a feeling that they may very well be getting some of my money in the near future…

Also from Poland is Micro Art Studio who are more well-known for their resin bases and the fact that they secured the licence for the Discworld Miniatures, rather than their MDF buildings. Or to be more exact, their HDF (High Density Fibreboard) buildings. As with most European scenery manufacturers, the majority of their output is either ‘Designed for Infinity’ or ‘Designed for Malifaux’, as it appears that European wargamers don’t actually play anything else. However, Micro Art Studio do their own game of Steampunk skirmish, which is called Wolsung. They manufacture and produce the miniatures for this game, as is obvious from their website, but also do a small-ish range of buildings and scenic terrain for this game. Along with what is described as “steampunk” walkways, walls and what appear to be bus shelters, they do two buildings that are of use to the superhero gamer, the XIX Block of Flats at 34.44 Euros:

And the XIX Century Warehouse at 49.20 Euros:

Both are two storey structures with internal detailing, such as walkways in the warehouse and separate floors and internal walls in the block of flats. Interestingly, as the warehouse has doors on both storeys, you can combine the roof with either of the two storeys to make a single storey structure. Worth looking at the website for alternative views of both buildings.

We now cross the Atlantic to the United States and we’ll start with LITKO Game Accessories. LITKO have two ranges of buildings of use to the superhero gamer – their 28mm Buildings under their Terrain and Buildings and their Main Street range, which is primarily storefront type buildings. The first range has several modular block buildings, which are a little dull in my opinion, but does have this rather nice Urban Garage at $24.95:

The Main Street range is a little more detailed, with 6 buildings ranging from the $24.99 Al’s Diner kit:

Comes Unpainted

to the 3 storey Joe’s Place building kit at $74.99:

Comes Unpainted

And this is what you can do if you have a fair few of them:

main-street-buildings-heade.jpg

Of course, the above picture does represent an investment of about $500, but you get the idea.

We now move on to Demo’s Laser-Cut Designs, another company from the USA, and their Modern/Near Future Buildings. Whilst the first few buildings in this section represent ruined building corners, as you scroll down you get to the more interesting, complex and unique kits. Need a 5 storey office building with accessible floors, standing just under 13″ tall and costing around $50.00? Sorted.

Or a gas station with accessible interior (including gas pumps, counter, fridge, shelving and toilets) and roadside stand for under $40.00?


Or a structure that claims to be Modular Warehouse, but we all know is a not-quite-abandoned lunatic asylum on the edge of town, for $50.00?

Lots of other kits on the website, very reasonably priced, so worth taking a look.

Next we have Gamecraft Miniatures, also in the US, and their range of 28mm MDF kits. The majority of their kits are aimed at wargaming in the Middle East or are multi-storey ruined buildings or shells, However, hiding amongst these is this rather nice 7-11, which seems to be missing an ethnic store-keeper…


$30.00 on it’s own, or can be purchased with a base and gas pumps for $41.00.

Some of you may already be familiar with our next company,  CorSec Engineering, as they are probably better know for their fabric gaming mats, rather than their buildings. However, they do have a small range of MDF buildings which can be found under the Terrain menu, then 28mm Modern Terrain. Unlike most of the other manufacturers on here, CorSec use a mixture of MDF and styrene to create their kits, which allow for curved surfaces that you won’t find in a kit made entirely from MDF.

They do a shopping mall shops, a fast food restaurant, a convenience store and a gas station island, varying in price from $16.99 up to $59.99. However, the images on the website are CAD images and I could not find any actual pictures of these kits on the web. I may be speaking just for myself here, but I prefer to see actual photographs of what I’m buying, so unless I come across these at a show, am unlikely to be getting any of their stuff. Consequently, if you want to see the computer-generated mock-ups of these kits, go to the website, as I don’t intend on showing them here.

Now, the next manufacturer I’m featuring is Impudent Mortal and what I want to highlight from these guys you can’t actually buy yet, as it was part of a Kickstarter campaign that won’t be on general release until Winter 2015. This was their Warehouse District and it’s just gorgeous – go to the Kickstarter page and watch the video. If you’re a Batman Miniature Game player and didn’t get in on this, you’ll be kicking yourself. Several buildings were part of this, including StarTech:

Falcon Storage:

and Smiley’s Chemicals:

There are plenty more images on the Kickstarter link, so go and feast your eyes. Winter’s not that far away and you needed something for Santa to bring you…

Leaving the US behind, we now head to Australia and BP Laser Miniature Scenery. Whilst they do 28mm Sci-fi buildings, these are more suitable for Infinity or similar games, but for the superhero gamer, there are a few gems in the 28mm Steampunk range…

BUILDING 32 THREE STOREY BRICK BUILDING

The above is their Three Storey Brick Building, which also comes in Two and Four storey variants. Unlike other manufacturers, the floors are not modular, so this is effectively a wooden box. But it’s a well-detailed, multi part wooden box that is AU$20.00, which is approximately £10.00. The two-storey one works out at £7.50 and the four-storey one approximately £12.50. Even factoring in shipping costs, that’s pretty good value and you could easily fill a table for less than £100.00 (excluding shipping).

Our final manufacturer is LaserCutCard, which appears to be a joint venture between someone who lives in South Africa and someone in Australia. The reason I’m including this company is that the kits they supply share more similarities with the MDF buildings above, than the cardstock buildings we’re all used too. They’re laser-cut (obviously) from card (also obvious) but the design and intricacy of the parts mean that the finished model is as strong as and detailed as some of the MDF kits above.

Whilst the kits they produce seemed to be aimed at the Warhammer 40K gamers, with ranges for Chaos, Cyborg (i.e. Necron) and Orks, there are some kits in their Futuristic range that were probably designed for Infinity, but I feel would be suitable for superhero gaming. These are the Futurehab Shop at $17.00:

And the FutureHab Corner Bar at $19.50:

You wouldn’t think these were card, would you? The webiste has many more images of each kit, showing what they look like in their assembled but unpainted forms, the interior walls for the bar and how the corner shop cleverly disassembles and stacks inside itself for ease of storage.

And had to share this image where the company strength tested their smallest model (a picnic table), just to show how strong their kita are once assembled:

That completes my round-up of MDF buildings – no doubt I’ve missed a few, but I was concentrating on those I felt suitable for modern superhero wargaming, so some manufacturers wouldn’t have been suitable. If you’re not a superhero or modern gamer, I hope that I’ve highlighted some companies that you may not have heard of.

Comments, either here or on The Miniatures Page, are always appreciated and if you like what I’m doing, then you can follow the blog via WordPress Reader or by email, which will alert you to new posts.

Tune in next time, when we’ll be looking at print-on-demand cardstock buildings!

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We Built This City…

Whilst superhero battles can take place in a wide variety of environments, from the blue area of the moon to the Savage Land, the majority of them occur in the city. So, whilst you may have amassed a large variety of terrain and scenics for other wargames you play, chances are that it won’t be entirely suitable for superheroic skirmish.

So, as the first part of a series of posts on this subject, we’ll be looking at 28mm modern buildings, suitable for constructing a city for your supers to do battle within.

Unlike when I first started gaming, there are several material options when looking for modern buildings – pre-molded plastic, laser-cut MDF or print-on-demand cardstock. Each material has  pros and cons, mainly to do with price and what I call the “Faff Factor”, i.e. how much additional time and effort must I invest in the building before it can be used.

As this would be an extremely long post if I tried to cover everything at once, this first post will concentrate on my personal favoured material, namely pre-moulded plastic. Further posts will cover MDF and cardstock, and we may even venture into the realms of scratch-building.

When I say pre-moulded plastic buildings, I’m primarily talking about plastic kits that you put together yourself. Detail is molded directly on to the plastic parts, they don’t take long to put together and can be used on the table straight away, although they can benefit from a lick or two of paint. I will also be covering pre-moulded foam buildings, which kind-of fall into the same category.

So we’ll start with the oldest manufacturer who initially started making suitable buildings way back in 1947. I am, of course, referring to the O Scale model railway buildings under the Plasticville brand made by Bachmann. As these were originally sculpted and made in 1947, the majority of the buildings do have a 1950’s vibe and are more suitable for small-town USA, rather than Metropolis and are primarily single storey structures.

Image of 45610Image of 45610

The parts of these kits tend to come in two or three different coloured parts and are remarkably simple to put together. I have the fire station, cathedral and aircraft hangar and these were glued together using standard superglue. Detail is good and they are just about the right scale for 28mm. Some of my previous posts have my buildings used as scenic backdrops for my figures, so feel free to have a look at how well they scale up.

You can pay anything from £15.00 to £40.00 in the UK, depending on the size of the model and where you bought it from. Availability is the issue, however, especially in the UK. There used to be two sites that specialised in Plasticville, but one is a dead link and the other no longer stocks it. However, I have found that Tower Models, based in Blackpool, appear to have stock, so if you’re in the UK, try there first. Be advised that they’re listed under “American On30”, rather than “O Gauge”. If you’re in the US, there are many, many individual sellers of these items, plus eBay always seems to have a plethora of these kits on sale.

I first became aware of these kits and their suitability for wargaming use through the Combat Zone Chronicles, so if you want to see what can done with them, take a look at this site, specifically the “For The Table Section”.

Next, we have the Dust Tactics Warzone Tenement, from Fantasy Flight Games. Designed as expansion for the Dust Tactics miniature game, this modular multi-part kit has enough parts to create a two storey building that echoes the design of New York brownstones (apparently).

The building comes with card inserts to represent floors, but is essentially just the shell. If you want a slightly larger version, look for the “Operation Cerberus” expansion, which has a three storey building, along with a couple of miniatures and a rulebook.

The only potential issue with this kit is availability, as it appears the Fantasy Flight are no longer supporting this particular game, so stocks will soon dwindle to nothing. However, it is still in their webstore at $29.95, so might be worth ordering sooner rather than later – Fantasy Flight Games.

The beauty of this kit is what you can do with it – some examples can be found at Chicago Skirmish Wargames, Craven Games, and for a different take, Wyrd Games, where some enterprising chap has used the buildings for Malifaux!

Now for something a bit newer – namely Mantic Games 20th Century Brick Battlezones, which are a development/expansion of the Mars Attacks miniature game. These are red plastic kits, molded with obvious brickwork, which come in the standard 3″ square Battlezone panels, that can be clipped together in a variety of different configurations.

20th Century Brick Town Centre

The kit above is the “20th Century Brick Town Centre” and can be bought from Mantic Games for £59.99. There will be smaller, individual kits released later on, but this is the ‘smallest’ for the time being.

For a close up view and review, check out Mel, The Terrain Tutor’s video on YouTube, as he was one of the first to get his hands on these from Mantic, to prepare some display models for Salute – Link.

Now, if you want your city to be a little more Gothic, (as in Gotham, rather than Warhammer 40K) try Pegasus Hobbies Gothic City Building kits.

#4923 Gothic City Buildings Large Set
There are several different kits, all compatible, with which you can construct huge sweeping Gothic structures, with flying buttresses, arches, etc. Can be bought directly from Pegasus Hobbies for $32.99, but is available from a great many other outlets.

Next we move to Amera Plastic Mouldings, who specialise in vac-formed plastic scenery. Whilst the majority of their product is designed as battlefield ruins, two particular kits do stand out as usable for superhero gaming, namely Z241 Ministry Building and Z253 Industrial Building.

Z242 - Ministry Building without base

As you can see from the picture above, the Ministry Building is pretty substantial, with a footprint of 35cm square. And that’s without it’s base! And this monster is £22.99 (with base £27.99).

Z253 - Industrial Building

The industrial building is also pretty big, with a foorprint of 30cm by 20cm, for £14.95.

Both come as individual white plastic vac-formed sheets, that require gluing together, but are apparently pretty robust when constructed. Both can be found under the Future Zone section on the website.

Our final port of call is the German manufacturer Ziterdes, who manufacture 28mm buildings out of hard foam, mainly for fantasy/historical gaming. However, within their range of “houses” there are three buildings that are ideal for superhero gaming; the Apartment House – 29.99 Euros

The Bank Building – 49.99 Euros

The Abandoned Factory – 33.99 Euros

The picture of the bank building above shows how the actual buildings come, whereas the other two show them once they’ve been painted. For a more comprehensive look at the buildings, which shows how each floor is a separate module, take a look at the Ziterdes website.

So, this concludes our look at “plastic” buildings. Whilst I know that there are other manufacturers out there, I have just concentrated on those that make suitably “modern” buildings. If you can think of any I’ve missed, please let me know.

More Hidden Heroes

 

Since my previous post on manufacturers who had superhero miniatures concealed within their ranges (See Hidden Heroes), I have come across a few more that I either missed on my initial sweep or have been released since.

We’ll start with Armorcast, or Armorcast Terraform Terrain Ltd, to use their full name. Renowned for their resin scenic items and buildings, not so well-known for their miniatures. However, Armorcast carry several ranges of miniatures, including Dragonrune, Tactical and Beaumont miniatures. But it is within the Baelor miniatures range you will find the character below;

Super in Bodysuit

Listed under the Sci Fi section, as ‘Super in Bodysuit’ at a price of $4.00, this dynamically posed figure could easily proxy for many fully cowled supers. Can be found at Armorcast.

Next we have a manufacturer I hadn’t heard of before, namely Footsore Miniatures. I have absolutely no recollection of what I was looking for that led me to their site, but whilst perusing their products, I came across these two;

Night Stalker

Big Kris

Listed as ‘Night Stalker’ at £4.00 and ‘Big Kris’ at £3.00, these miniatures are clearly inspired by the first (and the best) Blade film, which was the first real attempt to transfer a Marvel character to the silver screen. (We will ignore the lamentable previous attempts at Captain America and Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher, because, to put it bluntly, they were shit). Anyway, should you want a pretty good version of Blade or Whistler, you could do worse than these two. Can be found at: Footsore Miniatures.

Next we move on to Pulp Alley, and the miniatures created to complement this game by Andrew Rae of Statuesque Miniatures. A small range at present, but each figure is oozing character. Whilst Pulp Girl and the Phantom Ace below:

are probably more suited to Golden Age heroics, based on their outfits, whereas Golgo Satana and Dr Fang have wider range of uses:

In my mind, Golgo Satana resembles a female version of the clockwork assassin Kroenen, from the first Hellboy movie and may very well be joining my super-Nazis. Both packs are £7.50 in the UK from Statuesque Miniatures or $11.75 from Pulp Alley

Talking about Hellboy, if you want a lead, rather than plastic version, the alternate head and arm option for Harby;

HFA037 Harby

will provide all your ‘Right Hand of Doom’ needs. Can be found at Hasslefree Miniatures, priced at  £4.17+VAT. But Hasslefree also have more something a little more recent for us, namely Leonard;

HFMASTER A155 Resin Master - Leonard

and Jynx;

HFMASTER A154 Resin Master - Jynx

I’m guessing that Mr White has been enjoying the latest crop of Marvel cinematic and televisual goodness available, as we clearly have a very superior sculpt of Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin, currently appearing in the Daredevil TV series on Netflix, (which if you have Netflix and haven’t watched it yet, shame on you!) and the Age of Ultron version of Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch. Currently both of these figures are only available as resin masters at £10.00+VAT each, but the metal versions will surely appear before too long.

Now for a different set of heroes…

Whilst I have been semi-regularly posting my efforts to create my own superheroic world through the medium of small painted plastic and metal men, I wasn’t the first, so it’s time to highlight some of those whose presence on the Internet you may not be aware of.

For superb repaints of Heroscape figures, take a look at Rantings from under the Wargames table, from the multi-talented and very nice Roger Webb of Dick Garrison fame and Fantorical from the equally nice and talented Blaxkleric.

For more superheroic repaints and conversions, AAR’s and some lovely scenery, check out The Baron’s Blog. Not much recent activity on the supers front, but the 24 posts under the label ‘Supers’ are well worth a look. Have I stolen ideas from this blog? As Francis Urquhart would say “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment…”

Finally, showing that HO railway model buildings can be used effectively for Superhero skirmish games, as well as some entertaining AAR’s featuring the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince of Crime, take a look at Bob’s Miniature Wargaming Blog.

Hope this has been entertaining and useful. Comments, as always, are appreciated.

Pattern Recognition

In my previous posts, I’ve concentrated mainly on what can be done to improve Heroclix pre-painted figures, so that you can feel justifiably proud of fielding them in your superheroic skirmish games. But as my Not-So-Secret Origins post pointed out, Wizkids are not the only manufacturer of superheroes…

So, having shelled out your hard-earned cash for some tiny lead (other metals are available) men and secured them to the base of your choice, you now have a tin man in need of colour. As with all my miniatures, I generally undercoat in white, as I personally feel it highlights all the relevant detail of the miniature that may be obscured by a black undercoat. Plus as my paints are a mixture of very old Citadel colour, Revel and some Docrafts Artiste acrylics, which are all relatively ‘thin’, it means that I don’t have to apply multiple coats to get the colour I want.

Some figures are easy, immediately suggesting a character, back-story and colour scheme and I can’t wait to start painting them. Some I start painting, then change my mind halfway through, so end up re-painting. (Tip: Cheap nail polish remover, i.e. acetone, is good for removing acrylic paint on metal miniatures. However, it will eat plastic ones and plastic bases, so be careful.) The final category is where you get a figure, maybe as a gift or part of a game, or you buy it because it’s cool and then you’re not entirely sure what you’re going to do with it, so it languishes in the lead pile or the paint queue until you’ve made up your mind. I think we’ve all got one or two of these…

As the majority of pre-Image superheroes were essentially a bunch of guys and gals running around in spandex body-stockings, without shoulder pads, pouches, holsters and bandoliers, the artists had to get a bit more creative with the costumes. Good examples of two-colour costumes are Aurora and Northstar from Alpha Flight, Guardian, also from Alpha Flight and, of course,  Spider-Man. However, Spider-Man differs from the others in that he has added detail in his costume, namely the web pattern on the red parts. Which is a massively long-winded introduction to what this post is actually about, which is painting patterns on semi-featureless supers. Anyone can do this – all it takes is a steady hand, a good pair of eyes  and, above all, patience.

As shown in a previous post, the simple addition of contrasting stripes can enhance a figure. The advantage I had with the Scorpion conversion was that the lines were already molded onto the figure, so the Hornet was quite an easy paint job. Worth another look? I think so…

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So, if we take the DC Heroclix Cheetah from the Icons set, who looks like this…

It’s a nice figure for a slutty cat-villainess, although the pre-paint does hide the fact that the face sculpt is terrible, looking like Roddy McDowell from the original Planet of the Apes. That and the fact that DC colourists seem to think leopard and cheetah-skin is yellow with brown blobs on it…(See Giganta’s original costume for another example of this.)

Undercoat white, addition of contrasting coloured stripes, painted ‘mask’ to cover the rubbish face sculpt and inspiration drawn from television shows of my youth and we get the nefarious, teleporting Cheshire Cat.

Cheshire 1

Cheshire 2

And just like a Pool table, if you’ve got stripes, you need to have spots. Simplest use of spots on a miniature is to do camouflage, as it’s supposed to break up the outline of the wearer and unless you’re following a specific Military Pattern, random blobs of different colours work just fine. My example of this is a repaint of the S.W.A.T. Specialist from the Marvel Heroclix Universe set.

Before:

After:

Sniper

Admittedly, it is a little difficult to tell how effective this technique has worked, as the picture didn’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped, but you get the general idea.

Once you’re happy that your brush control is good enough, you can start to get a bit more adventurous. Prior to me getting my hands on him, the figure below was BA-10 Seeker,  from Four Color Figures Superfigs line. Now he is the Owl, a Golden Age vigilante…

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But to fully appreciate my patience when painting this figure, we have to take a look around the back…

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His feathered cape grants him the power of flight and came out rather well, I felt.

Of course, then I decided to get really fancy. Another Superfigs miniature, this time SU-01 T-Bolt, the premise for which was “What if the Black Panther was a bad guy?” The answer is that he would be a Liberian crimelord, known as King Leopard.

Leopard 1

“Hey Man, you think I got fancy pants? Just you take a goooood look at my cape…”

Leopard 2

And that, DC comics, is how you do leopard-skin. Nuff said…

Hopefully, this has provided some further inspiration for painting or repainting your superheroes. Comments, as always, are appreciated.

More Joy of ‘Clix

As promised/threatened in my last post, here are a handful of repaints and simple conversions of Heroclix figures that have been re-purposed for my own Superhero gaming universe. As before, I will show the original, out-of-the-box figure and then show what I’ve done with it.

Our first example is the Controller, from the Marvel Infinity Challenge set. This is what he looks like au natural…

 

So, shades of blue and Disco pose aside, the main thing I noticed about this figure was the style of his headgear, which resembles a 1930’s American football helmet. So, when a college quarterback was struck by lightning, altering his genetic make-up and fusing the remains of his uniform to his body, thus was born the tortured villain known as…The Human Dynamo.

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Next we have one of my all-time favourite superheroes, the Thing, from the Marvel Clobberin Time set (naturally). Bless him in his little Speedos… However, there are far better sculpts of the Thing than this, with less of that bottom lip pout going on.

Now, this figure was originally painted to look like asphalt, complete with faded white lines, and named Blacktop, but it just wasn’t working for me like that. So, the paints came back out and after some contemplation, he was reborn as Gator, part of the vigilante group Southern Justice.

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Next in the gallery we have a very minor modification of the Black Panther figure, from the Marvel Infinity Challenge set.

Cool figure, but the ears just look daft, so they were removed and after a lick of paint, we now have the Wraith, a vigilante who may not be entirely of this world…

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Our final figure was originally Klaw, also from the Marvel Infinity Challenge set.

Now, whilst the character has had some interesting storylines, the high point being the original Secret Wars mini-series where he was cut up by Doctor Doom and used as a series of lenses, the guy’s got a freakin’ Hoover attachment for a hand! As this is a defining characteristic of this character, to re-purpose this figure, we needed to remove it. A donation of both hands/gauntlets from the Heroclix Crimson Dynamo figure  from the Xplosion set (which was a bit rubbish) and voila! – we now have the thief who chanced upon a pair of high-tech gauntlets and decided to become the villain Powerfist.

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That’s all for this time – comments, as always, appreciated..