Sometimes a project comes along that not only fires your imagination, but also gives you an excuse to paint a bunch of figures that weren’t previously assigned to anything. Such is the current ‘He-Month’ project that myself and Roger Webb are indulged in.
If you want to see accurate 28mm representations of He-Man and Skeletor, head over to Roger’s blog – Rantings from Under the Wargames Table – to marvel at his progress so far. However, if you want to see my ham-fisted attempts at converting existing figures into barely recognisable “re-imaginings” of iconic characters from your childhood, then read on…
Eternia is quite a unique setting, as it is essentially Bronze Age characters in a medieval setting, but with high-tech weaponry, vehicles and sorcery. I have dubbed this milieu “Laser Barbarian”, which I feel sums it up in a nut-shell. The advantage of this setting, from a wargaming point of view, is that it allows you to use a wide variety of random figures together, as long as they are painted in garish primary colours, so they look like they were mass-produced in China. From a painter’s point of view, this is quite liberating, as you don’t have to worry about ‘realistic’ colour schemes.
I’ll show you what I mean:
I’ve always thought that the Fimir was an odd choice of race to include in the Warhammer universe, as it didn’t really “fit” with the background. However, a one-eyed mace-tailed lizard-thing does feel like it belongs on Eternia, hence its inclusion. Of course, it can’t just be repainted – it also needs a descriptive yet slightly cheesy name, so this character is…Eye-Saur.
As Eternia does have an ancient Egyptian-inspired civilisation, namely the Osirians who dwelt in the desert known as the Sands of Time, the Egyptian vampire was a no-brainer. Although rather than bowing to convention, I decided to paint her up as a member of the Snake Men race. And following the MOTU naming conventions, she just had to be called Serpentina.
The barbarian orc shaman is a wonderful, character-filled model and looked like he should be a denizen of Eternia – so now he is. Apparently, Eternia did once have Orcs, but as my web-fu deserted me, I was unable to find any images, so I picked a colour I hadn’t already used, which is why he’s orange. Currently this character doesn’t have a name, as MOTU naming conventions suggest that sorcerers have similar sounding names and the only one that I could come up with was Wankor, which, whilst it seems to fit the figure, is a little…immature. However, Masters of the Universe does have a character named Fisto – those were innocent times, after all…
Anyway, all of these are Works in Progress, but I do have a finished “alter-native” of Eternia:
The figure was originally a Bloodcut Behemoth, from Wizards of the Coast’s not entirely successful Dreamblade CMG. When I saw this in the singles bin at my FLGS, I knew I had to have it, especially as it was ridiculously cheap in comparison to its size. This figure is massive, standing 65mm tall, and towers over most of my other miniatures. After re-basing and repainting, we now have a particularly beastly denizen of Eternia – Beware Rhinox, for he is angry and carries a big club!
And now, we move onto actual representations of recognisable characters from MOTU…
First, this is where I am with my Skeletor:
I’ve had major issues with Skeletor’s face, as what I thought would be a simple case of applying a black wash to his yellow skull, didn’t work and an attempt to rescue this using black ink also failed. Currently, as he’s had several layers of paint applied to his skull, he looks more like ‘Planet of the Apes’ Skeletor, which Mattel understandably didn’t release as a variant. Looks like I’ll be getting the nail polish remover and cotton buds out, to attempt a rescue… Other than that, he has turned out pretty much how I’d hoped. A littel bit of tidying up and a facial, and he should be done.
Next, He-Man – his front:
And his back:
As you’ll remember, I was having a few issues with his harness and wrist guards, but I feel that everything has now come together rather nicely. I think that this one only needs some facial detailing, as He-Man has surprisingly dark eyebrows for someone’s whose supposed to be a blonde…
As previously promised/threatened, I have been working on my interpretation of Man-at-Arms, which led to a discussion about whether he should have a moustache, like the cartoon, or be clean-shaven, like the action figure. Long story short – he’s got a moustache:
So, base figure is a GW Man-at-arms, which came as part of a boxed set/game whose name escapes me. This particular figure was armed with a spear, which was snipped off and replaced with the handle from a Mega Bloks knight’s weapon, the additional armour plates on his arm and left leg being sourced from GW Skeleton Horde sprues. A lick of paint and voila! my interpretation of Man-at-Arms. It may not be entirely accurate, but I think it looks the part and I’m really happy with how he turned out.
Finally, we have something that just started as an experiment, namely taking Teela’s colour scheme, adding a touch of She-Ra and then applying these to Raelin the Kyrie Warrior from the Heroscape base set;
However, I was pleasantly surprised how well this turned out and how good the figure looks. It kind of reminds me of the Neil Gaiman character Angela, who made her debut in Spawn and has since migrated into the Marvel Universe. Not quite finished, but going in the right direction.
So, bar any unforeseen incidents, I should be able to complete all the above characters by the end of the month, bearing in mind I’m actually away for the last week…
Comments, suggestions and feedback appreciated, as always.