“Get In My Belly!”

Whilst the above is exclaimed by the character Fat Bastard in Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me,  we are not yet venturing into the realms of inch-high spy-fi, but continuing with the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is the Ghostbusters Project. So, why this particular quote? Read on and all will be revealed…

As regular visitors to the Buffet will know, I have garnered the reputation of “thinking outside the box”, usually by re-purposing miniatures from a wide variety of genres into whatever project I’m currently indulged in. However,  long-term followers will also know that sometimes I go so far ‘outside the box’, that the box is but a teeny,  tiny brown dot on the horizon. So, bearing that in mind, this post is either a work of inspired genius or, to quote Mr Michael Awdry,  “Bonkers”. I’ll leave that for you to decide…

Whilst researching figures for my last post (Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 6), I was trying to find suitable figures to represent the ghosts haunting the cinema in Return of the Ghostbusters. Whilst I did eventually find something that would work, I wasn’t entirely happy with my choice.

From my knowledge of the various incarnations of the Ghostbusters franchise, I’ve gathered that non-human ghosts tend to be semi-transparent blobs of various colours, with rudimentary features and vestigial limbs. But where to find such a thing?

How about in the confectionary aisle of your local supermarket?

That’s right, I’m referring to the fruit flavoured sweets known as Jelly Babies. You are probably questioning my sanity at this point, but bear with me, as it’s not quite as crazy as it sounds.

As the majority of this type of ghost tend to float, the idea was to ‘mount’ (I.e. jam the Jelly Babies onto) a suitable transparent flight stand, which I’d run out of. A quick visit to eBay netted me 10 GW flight stands for £1.79 including postage. Next was a trip to my local supermarket, where a 230g bag of “own brand” Jelly Babies cost me 85p. I then proceeded to assemble my ‘ghosts’ and this is the result:

Jelly1

As the average Jelly Baby is approximately 30mm tall, they are pretty much in scale for 28mm figures, as shown in the picture below.

Jelly2

Putting aside the whole ‘playing with your food’ aspect of this idea, there are several advantages to doing this. Firstly, it’s cheap – the total cost of this was £2.64, including the flight stands, and for this I got 39 ‘ghosts’. Secondly, Jelly Babies are readily available pretty much everywhere. Thirdly, when you bust a ‘ghost’, you get to eat it…

Jelly3

nom nom nom…

That’s all for this instalment, but be sure to join me next time, when I may have actually done some painting. I’m not promising anything, however…

You know who to call…just hopefully not the men in the white coats…

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Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 6

As mentioned in my previous post (Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 5), after the success of Freddy vs Ghostbusters in 2004, Braxtan Films decided to film a sequel 3 years later, the aptly named Return of the Ghostbusters.

After the events of the first movie, the Ghostbusters continue to provide their services to he citizens of Denver. Ed Spengler (Tim Johnson) has been developing new Ghostbusting equipment, including remote-controlled traps and the experimental Neutrino pack, whilst also hosting a science-based TV show. Neil Anderson (J. Michael Weiss) is described as a ‘ladies man’, but does not appear to be having much luck on this front, probably because he’s become a little bit of a dick since the first movie. Eugene O’Fitzpatrick has been replaced by Pavel Karnov (Joel Hanson) a laid-back Russian, although no explanation is given as to why. A bit of digging on my part has revealed that Braxtan Films published a webcomic covering a diastrous mission to Egypt, in which Eugene lost his life and Pavel joined, but I’ve yet to find a copy online.

However, when a face from Pavel’s past utilises a particular aspect of stolen Ghostbusting equipment (with a nice nod to what appeared to be a throwaway line in the original Ghostbusters) to power an ancient Egyptian artifact, the city is threatened with a supernatural invasion from another dimension. So it’s up to the boys in beige to prevent an interdimensional crossrip and save the Mile High City.

Whilst Freddy vs Ghostbusters essentially followed the general outline of the plot from the original movie, but gave us Freddy Krueger as the main antagonist, Return is an original story, building on the characters and premise set out in FvG. At 85 minutes, Return of the Ghostbusters is a much more ambitious film. Freddy vs Ghostbusters was created on an estimated budget of $500, whereas Return boasts a budget of $3,000. And it shows. We have more ghostly encounters, improved special effects, a larger cast and better acting. And the script is again engaging and funny, with the longer running time allowing for more character development.

Both Weiss and Johnson continue to shine as Neil and Ed, and Hanson’s addition to the cast makes it feel like a proper team of Ghostbusters. Ron Vischer, who plays the main antagonist of the film, Klaus Konstantin, also gives a stand out performance.

As both Freddy vs Ghostbusters and Return of the Ghostbusters are referenced in the official canon Ghostbusters: The Video Game, as the developers of the game were fans, can this also be considered ‘canon’? I’ll leave that up for debate, but I’m happy to include both within my “expanded” Ghostbusters universe, as the tone and content mirrors that of the original movies.

Whilst a friend of mine managed to download and burn a copy onto DVD for me, sadly the official site is no longer live. However, as always, someone has uploaded the full movie to YouTube, so you can go and watch it here.

As I have already ‘cast’ Ed Spengler and Neil Anderson in my previous post, it’s not necessary to do this again, although Neil now sports a hairstyle similar to Crooked Dice’s Paranormal Exterminator A (Venkman) and no longer has a goatee, so this figure can be used as is.

Paranormal Exterminators

For the new addition to the crew, Pavel Karnov, we need to decapitate one of the existing Paranormal Exterminators (your choice) and add the bearded Travelling Tweedy head from the pack of the same name, also from Crooked Dice.

Travelling Tweedy heads

For Klaus Konstantin, I have found the perfect figure, from Black Hat’s Mutants & Masterminds range:

MM101E – civilian 10 1

This is MM101E Civilian 10, available direct from their website for £2.50, who is not only wearing the correct dishevelled outfit, but also has the slightly crazed expression of this character.

For the ‘campfire’ ghost at the beginning of the movie, we have this:

This is 77369 Shadow from Reaper Miniatures ‘Bones’ range, available for $2.99. It also comes in metal as 03027 Spectre for $4.99, but as ghosts are supposed to be transparent, I’d go for the purple one…

The two ghosts haunting the cinema proved a little more tricky, and the closest I could find was this:

DC Heroclix War of Light #001 Orange Lantern Construct

This is the Orange Lantern Construct from the DC Heroclix War of Light subset, available from Blue Rat Games (amongst other places) for £0.99. Whilst it may have more arms than is strictly necessary and is wearing a domino mask (no idea why), this is not a deal-breaker for me, as the extraneous arms can be trimmed off and a quick wipe with nail-polish remover will take the painted on mask right off.

Finally, during the finale, Denver is invaded by what the female reporter in the movie calls “ghost dragon-things”, which are essentially spectral dragon-worms. I had almost given up on finding suitable proxies for these, but whilst browsing Reaper’s ‘Bones’ range, I came across this:

This is the ‘Bones’ Hydra, available direct from their website for $19.99. As I am assuming that the heads are separate castings and you get five of them, you could mount four on suitable flying bases and still have a single-headed dragon!

That’s all for this instalment, but be sure to come back to see where the currently unstoppable juggernaut that is my Ghostbusters project takes me next. I think I can guarantee that you definitely won’t be expecting what’s coming next…

Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 5

The advent of YouTube in 2005 allowed anyone with access to a computer and some form of digital recording equipment to upload video content to the Internet. For amateur film-makers, this was a Godsend, as it allowed them to share the fruits of their labours with the World. It also meant that fans could create their own unique visions of their favourite television shows or movies. But just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should

As Ghostbusters proved to be both popular and enduring, the amount of fan-made content on YouTube is reasonably large. However, as with most fan-films, whilst you may love something (remembering that the word ‘fan’ is derived from ‘fanatic’), it doesn’t follow that your enthusiasm will match your talents, so the quality of the available content is…variable. I know, because I have taken it upon myself to watch it, just so you don’t have to. Consider it a public service.

So, having endured low-quality ‘special’ effects, wooden acting, stilted dialogue and vanity scripts, it’s always nice to find something of unexpected worth. Such was the case when I viewed Braxtan Films Freddy vs Ghostbusters, made in 2004.

As you’ve probably gathered from the title, this 34 minute short film features that razor-fingered antagonist of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy Krueger. However, whilst his name may feature in the title, this is, first and foremost, a Ghostbusters movie.

Set in Denver, we are introduced to Neil Anderson (J. Michael Weiss), who has been suffering from a recurring nightmare, where he is chased through his dreams by the aforementioned deep-fried nutjob, always managing to wake before he is caught. Help arrives in the form of Ed Spengler (Tim Johnson), an old friend and the nephew of Dr. Egon Spengler, who has been sent from New York to investigate a recent surge of Psychokinetic Energy. He is accompanied by his colleague, Eugene O’Fitzpatrick (Jason Cook).  The rest of the film follows very closely to the format of the original Ghostbusters movie, with the trio dealing with a poltergeist in a local bar, then effectively setting up as the Denver branch of the Ghostbusters, complete with a video montage and magazine covers.

When Freddy finally manages to escape from his ‘prison’ (which I’ll leave you to discover what this actually is), things take on a slightly darker tone, with various secondary characters being targeted by him, forcing a final confrontation with the Ghostbusters.

What could have essentially been a cheesy one-gag mini-movie is saved by a genuine love and respect for the franchises involved, some very good special effects and make-up, a director who knows what he’s doing and a script that is both engaging and funny. Whilst some of the secondary actors do suffer from one-dimensionality and stilted acting, both Weiss and Johnson bring their characters to life. And Bradley J. Roddy as Freddy Krueger appears to be channelling Robert Englund, as his characterisation is pretty much spot-on. The only slightly jarring note for me was the inclusion of a cameo by “Jared from Subway”, a joke that was lost on me, as this ad campaign was not shown in the UK.

Of all the Ghostbusters ‘fan-films’ I’ve endured, this has to be one of the best, as it captures the tone and feel of the original movies and does feel like it’s a spin-off, like the pilot for a proposed TV series. And as it was so popular, it managed to spawn a sequel in 2007, which I will be covering in the next instalment of ‘Beyond Ghostbusters’…

So, where can you watch this little gem? Well, as implied above, it’s available on YouTube, so follow this link, which will take you to the best copy on there (without Spanish subtitles)…

But where would a ‘Beyond Ghostbusters’ post be without me ‘casting’ it in 28mm?

So, as the Denver Ghostbusters are using the same equipment and literally the same uniforms (once you’ve watched it, you’ll know what I mean), our first port of call is obviously Crooked Dice and their Paranormal Exterminators. Ed Spengler looks remarkably like his supposed uncle, so painting Paranormal Exterminator D (Spengler) with blonde hair and we have our Ed. As Eugene Fitzpatrick sports sideburns and a plaid cap, taking Paranormal Exterminator B (Stantz) and Greenstuffing his Ecto-visor into a cap should be within the realms of even the most ham-fisted modeler.

However, Neil Anderson, as he has the whole Jason-Priestly-90210 floppy haircut and goatee, will require a little more talent with the Greenstuff, with Paranormal Exterminator A being the most likely figure ripe for conversion.

The poltergeist featured caught by the Denver ‘busters shares a very similar look to ‘Slimer’, so using Crooked Dice’s Ectoplasmic Entity (from the same link as above) is probably your best bet…

Paranormal Exterminators

As for Freddy Krueger, ideally we would turn to the Horrorclix line form Wizkids and this figure:

But as this only appears to be available as part of the Freddy Vs Jason collector’s set, which is going for silly money online, bearing in mind that it’s six plastic figures. However, unless anyone else can think of a better proxy, it’s the only choice you have.

So that’s all for this instalment. In my next post we will be looking at and ‘casting’ the 2007 sequel to Freddy vs Ghostbusters, aptly named Return of the Ghostbusters

“Now Where Are the Ghostbusters?”

For those of you who have been faithfully following my Ghostbusters project, you may have been wondering exactly the same as the Mayor in Ghostbusters II, as whilst there has been progress made on the firehouse HQ, we have seen little in the way of actual Ghostbusters…

As the firehouse has had the majority of the basic painting done now, it meant that I could actually concentrate on other parts of the project, i.e. painting the figures.

However, before you start cheering, I have to confess that I may have got a little distracted, so whilst there has been progress on the Ghostbusters, it’s not as much as you’d expect. Hopefully, as there’s other Ghostbusters project stuff to show you, I will be forgiven.

So, to the answer the question posed by this post, here are the Ghostbusters…

Ghostbusters4

Not a huge amount of progress – an additional coat of GW Kommando Khaki on the jumpsuits and trousers of the crew, all footwear has now been block painted and the ‘buster on the far right has had his hair painted. And that’s it.

But I haven’t been sitting on my laurels, so let me introduce you to representatives of Ghostbusters rival in the field of paranormal investigation and elimination – EcTerminators, Inc.

Ecterminators1

The figures are from Moonraker Miniatures, from their Future Skirmish range, the two on the left being Troopers with Light Lasers, one helmeted and one bareheaded and the figure on the left being a Female Rebel, whose backpack I removed as I was intending her to be a Ghostbuster. However, as her outfit is very similar to the Troopers, I decided to make her additional support for them instead. Each figure is £1.50. The name ‘EcTerminators’ comes from an adventure published for the Ghostbuters RPG published by West End Games, namely ‘Scared Stiff’, which was one of only two good ideas in the adventure, the other being the introduction of the Ectosabre…

I see EcTerminators, Inc. as being a cross between the Ghostbusters and a SWAT team, with military style uniforms, hi-tech looking equipment and modern flashy vehicles, so appearing to be a more professional organisation than the local Ghostbusters franchise. Do we like big corporations like EcTerminators, Inc. or Gozer-Cola coming along and taking away the livelihood of local businesses? We do not!

However, there are worse things out there…

If the Ghostbusters (and Ecterminators, Inc.) have been operating for a number of years, effectively incarcerating spooks, spectres and ghosts in containment facilities, surely some-thing from the Ghost World will have noticed and possibly organised some form of retaliation, a team of entities armed with the latest in ecto-tech, and sent them into our world. And if they had, they may be known as Soul-Takers and might look something like this…

Soultakers1

The above figures are a squad of Marro Warriors, from the first Heroscape boxed set. I’ve always liked these figures, as they combine techno-organics with undead-ness and as I had two sets, I decided to repaint the spare set as my Soul-Takers. I initially painted them GW Rotting Flesh and then trialled a wash of GW Worm Purple mixed with the black on one of the figures. It looked absolutely awful. So, out came some GW Red Gore and they were repainted red, which looks a lot better. The general idea is to have them look like they’ve been flayed, armed with soul-rifles made from bone, so variations on reds and pinks will be the order of the day, with touches of white. I also discovered that I started painting a Mirliton Bloodsniffer of Chaos (which was originally Grenadier’s version of a Hound of Tindalos), which looks like this:

In exactly the same colours. As it is effectively a flayed, skeletal hound, it looks like my Soul-Takers may have got themselves a tracking beast…

Finally, a couple of repainted Heroclix figures. The first is Freak from the Invincible Iron Man subset:

Marvel Heroclix Invincible Iron Man #003 Freak

When I saw this figure, I knew that I would have a use for it, but wasn’t sure what that was going to be. However, when I started the Ghostbusters Project, I immediately knew how I was going to repaint it – as the spirit of a murderer sent to the chair…

Electrogeist

So, after an undercoat of GW Mithril Silver, the exposed skin was painted light grey and the tattered remains of his prison uniform was painted orange. A wash of black was then followed by dry-brushing with Mithril Silver, although this doesn’t show up very well in the picture. The eyes and mouth were picked out with gloss white, then given a further wash of black. Not entirely how I thought the figure would come out, but I’m pretty happy with it. It’s an inexpensive figure (mine cost 29p), and as you can see from the picture above, is fairly substantial.

Our final figure initially started out as Blockbuster from the DC Heroclix Legacy subset:

However, after an undercoat of black, then a coat of blue ink and his eyes picked out in orange and you get this…

Shadowlord

A shadowy figure from the Ghost World, possibly the ’employer’ of the Soul-Takers…? It also struck me that this figure would make a good super-evolved simian, as the facial featured are quite ape-like. This figure is even bigger than the Freak, but cost the same amount of money, a paltry 29p.

So, that’s all we have for this week. Join me midweek for more ‘Beyond Ghostbusters’ and next weekend, where hopefully I’ll have got a little bit further with everything.

You know who to call…

Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 4

Take one 1980’s teen idol more famous for shuttling backwards and forwards through time, add the patriarch of a ‘kooky’ family and Lovecraft’s mad doctor, sprinkle liberally with ghosts and wrap in a script by those responsible for translating Tolkien to the Big Screen and what do you get?

This:

Released in 1996, The Frighteners was a comedy horror movie co-written and directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox in his last film role.

“In 1990, architect Frank Bannister’s (Michael J. Fox) wife, Debra , dies in a car accident. He abandons his profession, and his unfinished “dream house” sits incomplete. Following the accident, Frank gained the power to see ghosts and befriends three: 1970s street gangster Cyrus (Chi McBride), 1950s nerd Stuart (Jim Fyfe), and The Judge (John Astin), a gunslinger from the Old West. The ghosts haunt houses so Frank can then “exorcise” them for a fee. Most locals consider him a con man.”

Okay, so I pinched the above directly from Wikipedia, but I was trying to sum up the movie and realised that what I’d written was pretty much what was already on there.

Frank starts to see glowing numbers on the foreheads of inhabitants of the town, who then mysteriously die and both the local police and Special Agent Milton Dammers (Jeffery Coombs) believe he is responsible. However, the actual culprit appears to be the Grim Reaper…

This is a fun movie, with star turns from Fox, Astin and especially Coombs as the definitely unhinged Agent Dammers, and manages to be both funny and creepy at the same time. The special effects are very good and the ‘Grim Reaper’ makes an effective and deadly foe. Whilst a little darker than Ghostbusters, as the ‘Reaper’ does amass a rather high body count (no gore though), it has the same tone and feel. As Bannister is effectively a “Ghostbuster”, albeit a fake one, I do feel this sits comfortably within my “expanded” Ghostbusters universe and so therefore joins my list.

So, on to ‘casting’ the movie. Frank Bannister, as portrayed by Michael J. Fox was probably the hardest figure to find and I’m still not 100% happy with my choice…

HFA066 William

This is William, who is obviously supposed to be Spike from Buffy, available from Hasslefree Miniatures for £3.75 + VAT. Not perfect, but this is the closest I could find to Bannister’s main outfit in the movie. Should anyone think of a better suggestion, please let me know.

Special Agent Milton Dammers was surprisingly easy, once I’d remembered that he has a distinctive hair style:

Professor Eddie Coffin

This is Professor Eddie Coffin, from RAFM’s USX miniatures range, available from their website for $5.95. RAFM also provided the figure for Cyrus, the 1970’s Gangster;

Action Jackson

This is Action Jackson, also $5.95. Whilst Cyrus is not armed in the movie and does have a moustache, the other options I looked at were not wearing the correct outfits or had the wrong hair, so I’m pretty happy with this choice.

Our final three figures are all from the same manufacturer, namely Reaper Miniatures. For Stuart the 1950s nerd, we have;

This pack from Reaper is aptly named Townsfolk: Jock, Chick, Nerd, available directly from their website for $8.99, which is pretty good value for three figures. Stuart is obviously the one on the left, but the other two figures are pretty useful too.

For the Judge, the undead gunslinger, we have this from Reaper:

This is the Undead Outlaw, available in metal for $6.29 or in ‘Bones’ for $2.99, depending on your budget and preference. You may have to add a little facial hair to match the character exactly, but this is another nice figure for those who prefer the dead to the quick.

Finally, after an exhaustive search of all things both grim and reaper-ish, I found this to represent the ‘Grim Reaper’ from the movie:

This is the Death Shroud, available for $5.99. Almost perfect and would also make a very serviceable Dementor, should you want to game in the world of Harry Potter.

Join me back here at the weekend, where there will hopefully be some progress on my Ghostbusters and their foes, rather than boring pictures of buildings…

Comments and feedback, both welcome and appreciated.

 

“I Think This Building Should be Condemned…”

Whilst I have been beavering away on my Ghostbusters Project, I decided that as the firehouse was going to take the longest, I’d concentrate on that first. However, because I’ve had limited time and painting large swathes of plastic wall takes more time than it really should, I haven’t got very much to show for all my effort. We started with this…

Firehouse

So the original building was moulded in tan and black plastic, as shown above. However, I wanted something slightly different, so decided to repaint it. If you are planning on using this particular model for your Ghostbusters HQ, try to get one that’s moulded in red and white plastic, as you’ll save yourself a bit of time.

So, after copious layers of paint, this is where we are now:

Firehouse5a

Looks a little different, I’m sure you’ll agree. As the doors were originally black, even with an undercoat of white and several coats of red, they’re still not entirely where I want them to be. The roof trim has also been painted black, as have all the windows. The garage doors are actually on back to front at the moment, as they have protruding handles, which mean that they’re a little fiddly to get back into place, so I’m just hanging them there for the time being. And to prove I have actually been painting, here’s the rear view…

Firehouse5b

The little notch in the rear wall is, I believe, so that model railroaders could add electrics to the inside of the building. Our final view is of inside, just to show that I have been quite thorough with my painting.

Firehouse5c

Painting the windows, inside and out and the crossbars took a very long time, but it’s done now, so hopefully the next post will be a little more exciting.

However, it would be a pretty poor post if this is the only thing I have to show you, so whilst I may not be showing much in the way of progress, there is more content…

One of my most popular previous posts was We Built This City…from MDF, where I looked at suitable modern 28mm MDF buildings for superhero gaming. As Ghostbusters is also set in ‘modern’ times, I thought this a good place to highlight some suitable buildings, should you want to replicate New York on your tabletop. As the majority of these buildings were designed with the Batman Miniatures Games in mind, they are also useful for building Gotham city as well.

I’ve previously mentioned Multiverse Gaming, but since my last post back in May of last year, they have expanded their range.

This is the Mohawk Magnetower, which you can imagine rooftop rituals being performed on, in attempt to summon Gozer. Available from their website for 59.95 Euros. There are plenty of other goodies on their website to construct your city, so worth a look.

A new company, based in Australia is Knights of Dice. The majority of their Sentry City range is very much inspired by the Art Deco movement.

Wolfman Plaza

This is Wolfman Plaza, a ridiculously well-detailed building, available from their website for A$50.00, which is approximately £25.00. There are lost more buildings of similar quality on their website, so also well worth a look.

Our final manufacturer is TTCombat, whose massive warehouse I previously featured on my blog. However, since then they have expanded their range quite significantly, so if you want apartment buildings, theatres, gas stations, police stations, fast food outlets, courthouses or a variety of municipal trucks, they are also well worth a browse. Being based in the UK, they are obviously a better option for me, shipping-wise, and their buildings are relatively inexpensive, compared to some of the other retailers.

This two-storey police station, which has a removable roof and two floors, is £11.95. Whilst this Abandoned Appartment building is only £13.95.

Of course, whilst you now have the buildings to construct your ideal modern city, what of the roads? Well, I recently came across a new products from InRoad Toys, called PlayTape.

Classic Road Series Black, 30' x 4"

This product is a roll of paper sticky tape, pre-printed with a two-lane tarmac road. It comes in several colours, 15 or 30 foot lengths and two widths, 2″ and 4″. From my research on this I would say that the above product, which is the 4″ wide, 30 ft long tape, is the most suitable for 28mm. Direct from their website, it’s $12.99. However, there is a UK stockist, namely Modelmatic, who sell it for £11.99.

The actual company’s website has other variations of this theme, including off-road track tape, trolley tracks and railroad tracks. Both sites are worth a visit, as they have pictures of the product in use and embedded videos, showing how the stuff works. As far as I can gather, it’s effectively pre-printed masking tape, so can be ripped by hand, is repositionable and easily portable. I think it’s a fantastic product, ideal for taking along to club evenings or shows, so you can quickly lay down roads or for use in a more permanent build, with a suitable varnish coat to prevent damage. I will certainly be picking some up.

That’s all for this weekend – join me hopefully midweek for some more “Beyond Ghostbusters” and, as always, you know who to call…

Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 3

Before I begin with the next instalment of “Beyond Ghostbusters”, I would like to apologise for the lack of content posted over the festive period. Problems with my computer and festive activities interfered with my planned schedule. However, normal service has been resumed…

When there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, you know who to call…

However, when your neighbourhood is the Shady Rest Retirement Home, East Texas in 2008 and the something strange is an soul-sucking Egyptian mummy dressed like a cowboy, then you call…

Elvis Presley?!

I am, of course, referring to the wonderful horror comedy starring Bruce Campbell:

Whilst Mr Campbell is no stranger to facing the supernatural, having initially fought against The Evil Dead way back in 1981 (and it’s sequels) and an avatar of the Chinese god of death, Guan Di, in 2007’s My Name is Bruce, neither of these films had the same ‘feel’ as Ghostbusters. If you’re familiar with the movies above, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re not, go and watch them – the Evil Dead series is black comedy with plenty of gore, whilst My Name is Bruce is very silly, but good fun.

However, as Bruce Campbell is portraying an ageing Elvis Presley (or someone who believes he is Elvis), his performance is more restrained than usual. The antagonist of the movie combines a credible supernatural threat with a slightly whimsical appearance, being a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy dressed as a cowboy. And the humour is derived from the characters (including an elderly black man who believes he is JFK) and the situations they find themselves in, rather than jokes shoehorned into the film for the sake of a cheap laugh. And it is both funny and has a surprising amount of heart. To me, it definitely feels like it exists in the same universe as Ghostbusters, so it’s been added to my list.

As the movie only has three main characters, namely Elvis Presley (or Sebastian Haff, if he is actually an impersonator), “Jack” (or JFK, if his stories are to believed) and “Bubba Ho-Tep” himself, it should be relatively easy to ‘cast’…

So, for our ‘hero’, the King of Rock and Roll, Mr. Elvis Presley, we have several options. The most obvious choice is obviously this one from Hasslefree Miniatures:

HFA038 Bubba

This is Bubba, who is quite obviously based on the depiction of ‘Elvis’ in the movie, who does wear this particular outfit, although at no point is he armed as shown above. This is available directly from their website for £3.75 + VAT.

Alternatively, if you want a portly ‘Elvis’ complete with sunglasses, there’s this one:

This is The King – part of the Scarlet Brethren faction from the Shockforce miniatures range, now sadly discontinued. I managed to get one of these figures, so expect to see him suitably repainted at some point, but should you want one, eBay is probably your best bet.

If you have decided that you want an Elvis miniature in your collection, but would prefer a better armed and slightly younger version, RAFM is the place to go:

The Pretender

This is The Pretender, available directly from their website for $5.95, but they also have several more:

The Pretender #2The Pretender #3Samurai Elvis

As everyone should have at least one 28mm Elvis in their collection, if you haven’t already got one, choose your favourite and spend some of your Christmas money…

The character of Jack (or JFK, if you prefer) was slightly trickier – it’s an elderly black guy with a moustache, who spend the majority of the film in a wheelchair. The majority of 28mm wheelchair-bound miniatures are either Victorian women, mad scientists or Professor X. Having looked at all the figures available, the best bet would be to take this Heroclix Professor X:

And add hair and a moustache. For a similar, but much superior conversion, look at this:

This is Silas Doomchild, a character created by Roger Webb on his blog, Rantings from Under the Wargames Table.

For “Bubba Ho-Tep”, the choice was obvious, as there is a specific miniature directly inspired by the character:

The Western Mummy comes as part of a 3-pack from the Weird West range, in which you also get a Victorian Vampire and a rather nice werewolf. Available from Ainsty Castings for £7.50 for the three.

As we’re talking about unusual mummies, I thought I’d bring a couple more to your attention that break the stereotypical mold. The first is this one:

Listed as TZ5 “Imhotep” Mummy in Disguise, this dungaree wearing undead is available from Gringo 40’s as part of their Triganta XXX Zombie Hunters range, for £1.50.

Our final mummy is even cheaper…

This is INC9 Inca Mummy Seated from Outpost Wargames Services, part of their 28mm Inca range, which is available from their website for a very reasonable £1.00. Yes, that’s right, it’s a £1.00! Obviously, you don’t get the Inca Litter shown in the picture above, but this can be bought separately from their website. The only problem I have with Outpost Wargames Services is that they have yet to fully embrace the 21st century, so their website is a little old-fashioned (no direct links) as is the way you order stuff from them. But did I mention that it’s £1.00?

I’d just like to finish with a big thank you to all those who have made my first year of hobby blogging so enjoyable, with special thanks to Roger Webb, Simon Moore, Bryan Scott and Michael Awdry, who have been very supportive throughout the weird and wonderful projects that I have indulged in.

Best wishes and a happy new year to you all and to close…

“Thank you, thank you very much…”