Gone…But, Not Forgotten

Whilst I only had a very small amount to do to complete my Forgotten Heroes for this year’s event, due to issues at work over the last week and half, the first time I actually picked up a paint brush was last night!

That’s right – they almost didn’t get finished within my own self-imposed deadline, which obviously would have meant that I’d have to tell myself off…again.

As everyone else has been busy beavering away and producing far more accomplished and imaginative conversions than myself, it would have been a pretty poor showing for the crazed individual who came up with this idea to not actually finish his own bloody entries…

Luckily, some feverish daubing into almost the wee hours last night meant that my ‘quantum quartet’ are now complete. So, the task I’d set myself for this year’s Forgotten Heroes event was to create 28mm versions of the Image Comics Fantastic Four pastiche, Mystery Incorporated.

This ‘fantastic foursome’ are made up of the the malleable crystalline Crystal Man, the electrifying Kid Dynamo, the gaseous Neon Queen and the super-strong Planet. All were conversions from existing (and cheap) HeroClix figures, which initially looked like this:

However, with a bit of minor modification and repainting, we end up with this:

I decided to use the Star Wars interlocking tiles that I ‘improved’ as a backdrop for them, to represent their high-tech subterranean base beneath Manhattan, known as the Mystery Mile.

I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve come out, although in hindsight, I probably should have made the Planet’s head more spherical, as he looks like he’s got a jelly bean for a head. However, I did manage to paint the question mark logo on both Neon Queen’s and the Planet’s uniforms in one go without mucking it up, so that’s a plus.

I really need to make their arch-enemy, Doctor Apocalypse, in order to pit them against a worthy adversary, but that may have to wait. However, a certain resident of the Baxter Building, upon hearing that the Planet was a direct pastiche of him, decided to pay a visit to the Mystery Mile. I think you ALL know what time he chose to visit…

“Eat hot-dog cart, Ya big, green galoot!”

And that’s Forgotten Heroes done for another year. Be sure to pay a visit to the official site, where the dynamic half of this duo – Mr Roger Webb – has been posting and re-posting the efforts of all taking part this year and marvel at the sheer inventiveness of those who took part.

And now, an announcement. As I am taking a much-needed and long-delayed holiday during July, the Buffet will be closing its doors for the entirety of next month. I will still be dropping in on my favourite blogs and posting comments, but there won’t be any new content on here until at least the beginning of August. This should give me an opportunity to finish off some outstanding hobby projects and actually play a few more games, so hopefully they’ll be a few more AAR’s ready to be posted come August, including the next part of my Doctor Who adventure.

Until then, here’s a picture of a creepy girl and her equally creepy soft toy, which used to signify that transmission had been interrupted on the BBC here in the UK…

“I know where the bodies are buried…”

Thanks to all my followers and visitors and see you in August!

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Challenging the Unknown

The mid-point of June has passed and those of us taking part in the communal craziness known as Forgotten Heroes can now see the finishing post fast approaching, so are gearing up for that final sprint.

Or that’s what you’d expect. However, some of us decided that the figures they were doing were really easy and would be finished with plenty of time to spare, so they became…distracted – by something else.

I can’t take the entire blame for this, as certain people who will remain nameless (but you know who you are) have commented that I talk a lot about doing hobby-related stuff, but the don’t follow this up with actually doing it. Looking at the various half-finished projects I have lying around, they do have a valid point…curse them and their feminine intuition!

So, I decided this week that not only would I work on my fantastic-ish four, but also work on a few outstanding projects as well.

First up, let’s look at where we’ve got to with Kid Dynamo and Crystal Man:

Actually, all I’ve done with these two is block paint both their bases with Docrafts Chocolate Brown. However, as I managed to take a photograph in natural rather than artificial light, you can see how effective my wash was on Crystal Man, so that he’s still semi-transparent.

Next up, the Planet and Neon Queen:

Having dug out my copy of Mystery Incorporated #1, I sat and read the entire issue – I was only supposed to be checking it for reference purposes, but sometimes you just have to read a comic book.

Whilst the cover does show that the non-white part of the uniforms is more pink than purple, all the interior art shows it more purple than pink, so I decided to repaint the two figures who do have part of the uniform on display. At the same time, I added the other purple detailing on their outfits – which was a bit more fiddly than I’d anticipated, especially on Neon Queen. She was also given an initial coat of GW Spearstaff Brown for her hair, before I used some GW Purple Ink to colour her gaseous lower form.

Just a few more details and their bases to finish off, and they will be done.

So, what other projects have occupied my time this week? The first will remain ‘under wraps’ at present, as this is intended to be a surprise for the person concerned, but it DID involve my first attempt to paint a 28mm Tweed jacket – which was a lot trickier than I thought it was going to be. And I still have Tartan to paint as well… *sigh*

The second was due to my realisation that whilst I have a whole stack of HeroScape tiles that I can use to construct ‘rural’ battlefields and a mat and scratch-built tiles for ‘urban’ gaming, if I wanted to play a game set in a space-station, starship or other sci-fi environment, I was a bit stuffed. I looked at the various options around, from the pre-printed slot together card terrain to the print-on-demand sci-fi tiles, but nothing really grabbed my fancy at a price I was prepared to pay (NB: I know that POD stuff is actually pretty cheap, but my printer isn’t that great for this kind of thing).

Ideally, I wanted something similar to HeroScape tiles, i.e interlocking plastic tiles, but NOT hexagonal and more science-fictiony looking. Of course, no bugger makes this kind of thing, which is a shame, because I reckon that it would be quite popular. However, it did remind me that lurking in my loft somewhere was this:

Image result for star wars display arena

This particular item is known as the Star Wars Display Arena, and was a mail-away special that you could get for a number of ‘proof or purchases’ and a postal order to cover the postage and packing. Designed for the 3 3/4″ Star Wars figures, the set contained four injection-molded L-shaped bases and four double-sided card inserts. Around the edge of each base are two projections, which the cards slot into, effectively making ‘walls’. The bases themselves were covered in little pegs that the figures could be attached to and each base had little hooks on every edge, so you could interlock the bases any which way you wanted.

So, having dug them out, I spent an evening removing every single bloody little peg on all four bases, then attempting to get the remaining nubs as flat as I could. Then, when I had a  fairly windless sunny evening, all four bases were taken outside and sprayed with Plastikote Fast Dry Project Enamel paint, specifically Chrome Effect. And this is the end result:

Ooooh, shiny! After the initial coat has dried, I did need to re-spray a couple of the tile sides again, as the underlying beige colour was still showing through, but as it was nice and warm, it didn’t take the paint long to dry.

So, these tiles can be put together any which way you fancy, as can be seen from the picture below:

All well and good, you say, but how big are they, Jez? Well, each tile is just under 8″ square, so if they were put together into a rectangle, the playing area would be 12″ x 16″ approximately. But that defeats the purpose of their interlockiness (new word – tell your friends). What you want to do is utilise them to build corridors and rooms, then maybe…I don’t know, stick some Daleks and the Third Doctor on them?

Like this:

And a slightly closer shot, that shows the detail and the tabs. As you can imagine, some greyboard painted suitable colours, could be slotted into these tabs to make actual ‘walls’, should you so wish.

Unfortunately, I only have four of these bases, and could really do with another set to expand the playing area, so might have to keep my eyes peeled on eBay of elsewhere for another set.

Right, that’s all for this week. Next week – the final Forgotten Heroes post, where Mystery Incorporated will be finished (I hope). As for what other things may also appear…well, you’ll just have to wait and see!

The Quantum Quartet

Welcome back to Forgotten Heroes month here on the Buffet!

It would appear that my little bit of fun from last year, in which a like-minded group of bloggers attempt to create their own version of a ‘Forgotten Hero’, i.e. a comic book style hero from print or screen who has yet to have a figure (or at least a decent version) made of them yet, in 28mm during the month of June, has gotten a little more popular this year. Last year we had about eight participants – this year it has grown to twelve and the variety of characters chosen has expanded as well. This year we have Eternians, shape-changing robots and carnivorous plants, along with the usual obscure costumed characters that you may or may not have heard of. So, please visit the official Forgotten Heroes site, run by my loyal sidekick (tights optional) Mr Roger Webb, where everyone’s work so far can be seen in all their glory.

As noted in my previous post, my stated goal was to turn these four figures:

Into the ‘Quantum Quartet’ from the 1963 Universe, also known as Mystery Incorporated – “four resolute adventurers living thrilling adventures in the strange lands at the edge of today’s science ! Craig Crandall – the Crystal Man! Biff Baker – the Planet! Tommy Baker – Kid Dynamo! And gorgeous Jeannie Morrow – the Neon Queen! From their uncanny mile-long high-tech base under Manhattan, these fantastic four challenge the unknown!”

So, how have I got on? Well, as I’d picked figures that were pretty close to the end result, I’m actually further on that I thought I’d be by this point.

For the first of my four, I removed Veil and the Living Lightning from their Heroclix bases and trimmed down Veil’s base, in order to reposition her in a more upright pose. Both of these figures were then glued to two pence pieces using some kind of super-stick white glue that my friend Chris had given me. Similar in consistency to toothpaste and of a similar colour, whilst not a contact adhesive, within about 5-10 seconds the glue has ‘stuck’ solid and will eventually set rock hard. I’m not sure what the brand was, but it’s really useful stuff. The other advantage it has over super-glue is that it doesn’t ‘fog’ transparent plastic and as it’s white, it means I don’t have to pre-paint the bases in order for the copper of the 2p not to show through the base of the figure.

Once the glue was dry, I built up the bases using Milliput, then gave the bases an undercoat of Docrafts White. As ‘Kid Dynamo’ required no actual painting to represent the character, I moved on to ‘Neon Queen’, whose upper torso was first undercoated in Docrafts White. Her head was then painted Docrafts Flesh, with her uniformed upper torso painted with Rustoleum Gloss White, with an initial cost of GW Imperial Purple on her gloves;

 

Compared to the picture of the cover above, the gloves do look a little too pink, but I’m not sure if this is due to the lighting in the pictures or the cover being a bit darker than I remember. Either way, I think that these need repainting a little more purple-y.

For ‘The Planet’ and ‘Crystal Man’, a similar procedure was followed regarding basing. I also added Milliput to the Planet’s head, as the base figure’s head was close, but not quite the right shape and had no craters in it. Having built up the head into a more rounded shape, a tablet stylus (which will never be used for it’s intended purpose) was pushed into the Milliput, creating the necessary craters on the Planet’s head.

Once everything had set, the Planet’s body was undercoated in white, then his uniform given a coat of gloss white, his boots and gloves Imperial Purple and his head GW Bogey Green.

With Crystal Man, I trimmed off the head fins on the original figure and made his head more angular in shape. As the original figure was transparent, I wanted to retain as much of this as possible, but also change the colour from blue/white to the pink/red, so I created a wash of Imperial Purple and liberally coated the figure in this:

So, I’m pretty happy with how the Planet has come out, although as noted above, I think the gloves and boots need to be more purple than pink. However, Crystal Man has come out exactly as I’d hoped. He’s now the right colour and retained a certain amount of transparency, so does actually look like he’s made of malleable crystal.

So, ten days in or one-third of the way through, and I think I’ll only need one more painting session to complete this fantastic foursome.

AND I had time to block paint a couple more of my Doctors for the ongoing Doctor Who project and an insidious villain for my own superhero universe! So whilst Forgotten Heroes is the ‘public face’ of what’s going on at the Buffet this month, there is much more going on behind the scenes…

Forgotten Heroes 2017 – The Return

It’s the 1st of June, which means that most people’s thoughts are turning to a hopeful change in the weather and the possibility of enjoying the sunshine, either here or Abroad.

However, here at the Buffet, June means it’s time for the creative madness that we like to call Forgotten Heroes! Yes, that’s right, it proved so popular last year, that we’re doing it again!

So, for the next 30 days, we will be taking a break here at the Buffet from the ongoing Doctor Who project to concentrate on creating at least one 28mm figure of a comic book character who has not yet had a figure created for them or, if it has, it was a bit pants. Full details of the ‘rules’ (such as they are), can be found on the official Forgotten Heroes website.

So, last year I created models of Super-Soldier, Bananaman and Stegron, the Dinosuar Man, as can be seen both on the Forgotten Heroes site and on this post. This year, I’m going one better, with FOUR figures! And the reason I’m doing this, is because this year, I’m doing a team…

Back in 1993, Alan Moore had developed a working relationship with Image Comics and had effectively been given free rein to create whatever he wanted. So, he drafted some of his comic book pals and came up with the 6 issue miniseries called 1963. This was an affectionate parody of the early Marvel comics of that era, with each issue featuring a different take on a famous title or character. We had Horus, Lord of Light an Egyptian-themed Thor analogue, Tales From Beyond featuring the Unbelievable N-Man (Hulk) and Johnny Beyond (Dr. Strange), Tales of the Uncanny featuring the Ultimate Secret Agent (Captain America) and the Hypernaut (Iron Man), No-one Escapes the Fury! which was the 1963 version of Spider-Man and The Tomorrow Syndicate which teamed up Horus, U.S.A., Hypernaut and N-Man with additional characters Infra-Man and Infra-Girl to form the 1963 version of the Avengers.

However, the team I’m going to do is the 1963 version of the Fantastic Four, who are known as Mystery Incorporated!

The ‘Quantum Quartet’ are made up of Crystal Man, Kid Dynamo, Neon Queen and the Planet, with a similar origin and power sets to Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Invisible Girl and the Thing, although with a few cosmetic differences – although Neon Queen transforms into gas, rather than becoming invisible.

So, four characters may seem like a tall order, but the thing I’ve learned about doing conversions over the years is – keep things simple. In other words, pick a base figure that is as near as damn it to the finished result you want. Why give yourself extra work? So, with this in mind, it was off to Blue Rat Games to see which singles would be suitable for my nefarious plans.

And the results were these four:

So, from left to right we have Veil, the Living Lightning, Prism and Blood Brother, all of which are Marvel characters. So, as you can see, there won’t be a great deal of conversion work before these are ready to be painted. Veil will need adjusting to bring her more upright and possibly a re-sculpt of her hair to make it more 60’s, the Living Lightning just needs basing, Prism needs his head ‘fins’ trimmed and Blood Brother may need a slight re-sculpt of his head. Other than that, it will just be a case of painting them the appropriate colours.

And the best thing about my ‘Quantum Quartet’ is that the total cost of all four figures was just £1.36! Bargain!

So, now I’ve given you a taster, join me next time to see how far I’ve progressed and make sure you check out the other participants progress either on the Forgotten Heroes site or their own blogs.