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!

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32 thoughts on “Challenging the Unknown

  1. Terrific posting Jez. Nice to see the wind blowing full tilt into the sails of the good ship “Carrion Crow” 🙂 I must confess though I did visibly whitened when I saw what you’d done to those “Star Wars” display stands… In a world where those background cards alone gone for a few bob on Ebay, you’re a far braver man than I re-painting the stands silver. Having said that though, they look absolutely fantastic, and I genuinely don’t think the Third Doctor has ever looked better with those Daleks chasing him. Marvellous-looking floor plans.

    It is also a shame you consistently get “distracted – by something else”. You won’t catch me doing that, I can assure you!! 😉 Looking forward to seeing your quarter up and running on the tabletop, and of course, a certain Dalek Killer. Take very good care, my friend 🙂

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    • Thanks Simon. Some planned builds or projects have sat for a bit too long, so I’m trying to get stuff finished a bit quicker or at least progress them.

      The bases have come out really well – in fact, better than I expected and rather than sitting in a box somewhere, this way they’ll actually get used. However, given the prices some peoole are asking for these, I may have to resign myself to just having the four tiles, which is a shame, as eight would have been sufficient for a variety of set-ups. I might have to look at alternative ideas for spaceship tiles.

      The Third Doctor and his companions should be done soon, which should mean the next Doctor Who AAR will follow after that. And Mystery Incorporated, once finished, may get some ‘play time’. Of course, I’d need a suitable foe, such as Doc Apocalypse or Amazona, so we shall see.

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    • hmmmm, not really fair to say Hil moans at you for getting distracted and never finishing anything.

      {{pauses for effect}}

      I think I moan at you FAR more than she does, and for exactly the same thing **grins wickedly**

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      • I think you’ll find (and my legal team agrees) that at no point did I mention anyone by name nor use the wording ‘moaning’.

        However, should the person or persons concerned who offered me this constructive advice be reading this, i’d just like to explain that the purpose of this post was to show that I intend to finish what I’ve started DESPITE and INCLUDING the ‘distractions’. I think of the distractions as coffee breaks on a long car journey – necessary for the journey to continue 😉

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  2. Pingback: Challenging the Unknown (Jez Winstanley) – forgottenheroessite

  3. All good stuff Jez, they look spot on from here, I love the translucent effect on Crystal man. By the sound of it, it might have been cheaper to buy a whole new corridor set from Ainsty than pick up some more of those Star Wars sets. it’s ridiculous what some of this stuff goes for these days, just coz it’s got star wars on it.

    Anyway, I have re-posted this to the FH site now.

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    • Thanks Roger. I was particular pleased with how Crystal Man came out. In fact, they’re all shaping up pretty good and as I said above, I am quite tempted to make them some villains to fight.

      Having seen exactly how much the set is going for on eBay, I can understand why Simon was a little perturbed. It’s just four plastic ’tiles’ which could be ANY hi-tech flooring. I’m guessing the high cost is because of it’s age, as these came out around 1980-ish. Still, I’ve put them to good use, so their value to me has increased.

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  4. Like Simon, I winced when I saw what you were about to recycle, but ultimately you have something that will at least be used – unlike all my Star Wars toys that are in the loft! Great to the characters moving on, looks like you will get there with time to spare. As for been distracted, it happens to the best of us. 😉

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    • As they’ve been sitting in a box for a number of years unused and didn’t cost me a great deal at the time, I felt it was a good re-use. And with the reduction in scale, they are actually more useful.

      As for distractions, i like to think of them more as side-projects, accompanying whatever I’m currently working on. Sometimes you have to allow your imagination free rein and the results can be both surprising and exceedingly cool, like your feeding station and mini-Audrey II.

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    • “all my Star Wars toys that are in the loft!” – Yep! That’s where all mine are too, simply gathering dust and not being of any use whatsoever!! Ha Ha!! I do think they look smashing as floor plans though Jez, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone out there doesn’t make replica stands in the same way that these days they sell replica weapons and plastic cloaks for “Star Wars” minis. Your black belt in “Google-Fu” may well help you there 🙂

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      • “Join me next time, when I shall be cutting the head off a vintage Star Wars action figures and using them to create the obscure Marvel villain, the Living Totem…” Now THAT should give you all nightmares…lol

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        • LMAO!!! You are entirely correct though, Jez. It is far better to spray the bases silver and actually have some fun with them, than have them gathering dust and taking up space in the loft; even if, as you say, it feels as if you’re butchering my childhood friends 🙂

          Once again, this is a great posting with plenty to talk about, and clearly people are – something which I feel is the entire point of a hobby article imho.

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          • Decapitate a Jawa? Ooooh…no, no, no! There are some things even I won’t do…Nien Nunb however is fair game and every time I approach the box, scalpel in hand, Admiral Ackbar screams “It’s a trap!” and hides under a pile of Snowtroopers.

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  5. I have some specifically made full colour 28mm Doctor Who tiles (rooms, chambers and corridors) I will send you. I`ll put them on PDF first, and you`ll just have to print them out. I`ll make sure they are formatted automatically to print the right size for you.

    Rest of the post, really nicely done. As for the moaning.. meeeeeee…………………. moan……… when?

    ………………………. ludicrous LOL.

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    • Awesome. Thank you very much for that Hils. I shall download and check them out. If printed out and then stuck to some of those vinyl floor tiles, I’ll have some pretty resilient tiles for all my sci-fi gaming needs…which won’t cause consternation amongst those who feel I’m butchering their childhood friends. Lol

      And thank you. New lease of life/attitude to getting stuff done. And regarding this ‘moaning’…I refer you to my answer to Tarot’s comment. It’s almost like the pair of you are feeling guilty or something…lol 😉

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      • My solicitor advises me to reply with: “no comment”

        As for butchering people`s childhood friends, hehehe. Hmm tricky one that. Oh gosh.. the number of times we have destroyed games, only to create NEW games out of the old components (Fantasy Flight Games “Doom” comes to mind), people would faint. We`ve done it so many times. But you know what, they`re toys, and worth the value YOU place on them. If making them usable for new games, then for you the things you tear apart become truly priceless for the amount of pleasure YOU get out of your conversions.

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        • Exactly my point. Previously they were doing nothing, but now they’ll get used. I’ve been working out the best way to make some dividing walls and doorways to make them even more useful…and whether I need to dirty them up a bit. So, this won’t be the last time we see them on here.

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  6. >>chuckles<< I`d have offered you £50 for those SW tiles, and seen if you went up. I`d have gone to £70 tops.

    Nice posting. Always interesting to see what people make of old Clix bits. These are certainly all looking real good.

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    • Now he tells me…lol

      Maybe I’ll reconsider dismantling that AT-ST Walker that’s knocking about then…although I do think I’ve got TWO of them…

      Thanks Dave. I do try to follow the Womble philosophy of ‘making good use of the things that I find’.

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      • I think Hillers says it best (above).

        have You >>>>>>> you ………. you an AT-ST Walker!!!!

        You have TWO of them.

        Okay, if they are in scale for the 28mm WotC SW skirmish miniatures game – tell me how much you want for one of them, and I`ll try prise open my wallet lol

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        • Actually they’re the Star Wars figures ones. I think there’s also a Snowspeeder and possibly a scout bike – but they’re in my mum’s loft, along with a whole ton of Action Force/G.I. Joe 3 3/4″ figures and vehicles.

          I do need to do a ‘loft raid’ at some point in the near future, as I’m pretty certain there’s a load of cool stuff that could be upcycled.

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          • O—-k then. Then these are worth a bit. I`d maybe consider checking that out. You could just find that the proceeds might fund your gaming pleasures for the whole of 2017 and next year too. WOW, what a horde of attic treasures you have.

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  7. Nice article Jez. The Forgotten Heroes thing looks like it is more popular than ever. I`m hovering with the camera to catalogue Hiller`s progress…. so we catch each stage. She`s drawn the sketches (wow, they`re good) then made the frame, and applied the green putty, but its an old pack and not responding well for her, so she may do a second as well using polymer clay. She would normally finish a piece in a single sitting and paint it too, but she finds it hard to sit for long periods of time with her knee as it is, so she wont be working on it today. But anyway, a DW article first, then the next one after will be all about her WIP and will no doubt show the finished piece |(and mine).

    I will make and paint the second (actually the comic book partner of the one she`s making), and the duo will be our entry. Wish us luck :-))

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    • Thanks Steve. Forgotten Heroes is proving to be rather more popular this year and I have a feeling that it’s just going to go from strength to strength. It’s a bit of fun that allows people to stretch their creative muscles in a direction that they possibly may not have rhought of doing before, which is one of the main reasons I came up with it.

      Good luck with your figures and don’t feel pressured into getting them done within the time limit. I think we still have some outstanding from last year…pointing no fingers, naming no names…*cough* Simon *cough* lol

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        • “Sounds like he needs the girls on his case” – Well if they can only stutter the odd word at me, like Hils did on the phone the other day, then that won’t be too much of a hardship, Steve 🙂

          As for Jez, I’m not sure why he’s pointing any fingers at me, I’m still waiting on a BatRep featuring the food starship Moore to appear… 🙂

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          • A valid point – the HMS Moore didn’t get a run out last time, did it? Hmmm, I DO have one of the Aztek Empire’s Hummingbird ships finished, so if I finish the other one as well, that should provide an ‘even’ match for the HMS Moore…and maybe use the teeny-tiny shuttlecraft too? Watch this space (pun intended).

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          • {{Well if they can only stutter the odd word at me, like Hils did on the phone the other day}}

            HAHAHHAHA oh man she`s never gonna live that down is she ^^

            I have noooo idea what came over her. Next time we phone chat with ya, she says she`s going to make up for her temporary tongue twist last time (I DO wish I`d been there when you rang the first time, just so I could have heard her lol). Me, I don`t stop, but I promise to let you get a word in next time.

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