Forgotten Heroes – Variations on a Theme

Whilst it is the last day of May and, strictly speaking, Forgotten Heroes 2019 doesn’t start until tomorrow, I thought I would explain how the idea to make this year’s Forgotten Heroes a themed event came about.

And also tell everyone exactly what I’ve got planned for this year.

So, as previously explained in the announcement (Patriot Games), this year is all about patriotic superheroes. During the month of June, those taking part will produce a figure of a costumed patriotic superhero, representing the country/state/county/planet of their choice, in whatever scale they feel most comfortable with.

It can be an existing hero, such as Captain America, Union Jack or Red Guardian, or a completely new made-up superhero. The only criteria/rules are that;

1. the base figure you use should not be a representation of the character, i.e. it must be a conversion, but this could be as simple as a repaint, and

2. it must be reasonably obvious to anyone viewing the character which country they are representing, so using the colours from the national flag or a symbol strongly associated with that country on their costume, such as a shamrock for Ireland, would be a wise idea.

But where did this idea come from? Well, I have always been a massive fan of both Captain America and the revised (Alan Moore) version of Captain Britain.

Being a long-term fan of the former and having a reasonably large collection of his ongoing exploits in comic book form, I have watched as various other costumed patriots from both America and other countries crossed his path and how the idea, and ideals, of this character were reinterpreted over different time zones, realities and in other non-Marvel universes. So, whilst Marvel has the Iron Patriot, Miss America, the Spirit of ’76 and U.S.Agent, you will find Cap-inspired heroes such as Sergeant States, the Golden Age Public Spirit, Super-Soldier and the Star-Spangled Kid lurking amongst the comics racks from a variety of other publishers.

However, it was the finale of Avengers: Endgame that finally cemented this idea in my head. If you’re a superhero fan and you haven’t seen this movie, where on Earth have you been?! However, as, the next part of this post will contain a minor spoiler for the movie, if you haven’t seen it, look away now…

At the end of the movie, Steve Rogers is no longer able to continue as Captain America and hands the shield on to Sam Wilson/the Falcon to continue as the new Cap. This has historic comic book precedent, as this did actually happen, but whilst this is the way the future of the Captain America mantle appears to be going in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (even though Sam was holding the shield the wrong way up! Jeez, Sam, get it right…), this got me thinking along the lines of who I would prefer to see as the new Cap in the MCU, which led me to thinking about other patriotic heroes I would like to see and thus this year’s themed event was born, as I thought it might be fun to see what other might do with this idea, once the shackles were off.

Right, you can look back now.

So, having decided what the theme would be, my next step was to decide what I was actually going to do. And I cheated a bit here, as I had already bought a figure many moons ago with the intention of turning him into a patriotic hero for a country other than America, but had not got around to it yet. And this is the figure I will be using;

Image result for heroclix stonewall

This is a character called Stonewall, from the Heroclix Uncanny X-Men subset. I saw him and immediately thought “Hmmm, he looks a bit…Mexican.”

My original intent was for him to become…Captain Mexico, a south of the border knockoff of Captain America and kind of a joke character. However, it appears that there is already several variants of Captain Mexico out there, including a cos-player…

Image result for captain mexico costume

Not only that, Marvel themselves had done an Aztec alternate reality version of Captain America, Captain Mexica from Earth-1519, who featured in Marvel Zombies 3, having been turned into a flesh-eating zombie, the title of the series kind of giving away what was going to happen…

Image result for captain mexica

Now, regular readers will know that I like to plough my own furrow, so as someone has already done both a Captain Mexico AND an Aztec-themed Captain Mexica, I had to come up with something different and uniquely my own…

Now, Mexico does have a history of masked heroes, dating back to 1942, when a man in a silver mask stepped into a wrestling ring and forever changed the sport of lucha libre. I am, of course, referring to those masked Mexican wrestlers known as luchadores enmascarados, the most famous of which was the silver-masked wrestler known as El Santo.

Image result for el santo

So, by combining the colours and symbolism of the Mexican flag, the moustache of Zorro and heavuily influenced by the luchadores enmascarados, I am intending on transforming my base figure of Stonewall into…

El Aguila, national hero of Mexico.

“An eagle cannot be bound by walls”

So, join me next time to see how this crazy little project is progressing and be sure to check out what the other participants, Angry Piper and Mezmaron, are up to on their respective blogs.

 

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Small Objects of Desire

One of the problems of this wonderful hobby of ours, is the desire to own more…which can sometimes get in the way of painting what we already own and/or playing with them.

I think we ALL fall victim to this at some stage or another, and unless you are extremely strong-willed, have a limited budget or have some kind of epiphany that allows you to stop hoarding all those figures and games you’re never actually going to play with, you will end up buying something that you don’t really want and will never use.

Now, you may be forgiven for thinking that this signals one of my infamous soapbox speeches, which divides those who follow this blog between those who understand what the Hell I’m banging on about and those who think I’m launching a personal attack on them – you will know into which camp you fall – but you would be wrong.

This post is actually about one of my ongoing hobby-related obsessions and what those cursed folk who manufacture tiny lead man are releasing, when I haven’t got any money to buy things with. Cue much gnashing of teeth, wailing and general poutyness – which may not have been a word before, but is now.

I have two ongoing hobby-related quests; the first is to have a 28mm representation of every version of the Doctor, from William Hartnell up to Pater Capaldi. Yes, I am aware that Warlord Games are doing every version of the Doctor, but I want 28mm versions, so as to fit in with ALL my other figures, rather than the whatever scale WG are using. And yes, I am aware that you may think there is another iteration of the Doctor after Capaldi, but you are mistaken. The Universe is lying to you…there has not been a 13th Doctor…nothing to see here, move along….

Anyway, I am missing the 8th, 9th, 10th and War Doctor, but do have plans to convert my own version of the 8th, as the Black Tree Design one is a bit…pants.

My second quest is to have 28mm versions of every Blackadder and their respective supporting cast…which is where the gnashing of teeth comes in, because people keep releasing MORE figures…

In my previous post on this matter, I highlighted that Rogue Miniatures did a version of Edmund, The Black Adder and King Richard IV from the first series, but it appears that their website no longer exists and the owner is selling off the molds/business, so if you want these figures, you might have to contact him direct via the Rogue Miniatures Facebook page. However, as Studio Miniatures released these just prior to Salute this year;

THE BLACK PRINCE & AIDES

You can get Edmund, Percy and Baldrick in their original iterations for £12.00 from their online shop here.

Of course, if you’re still craving someone to bellow “Fresh Horses!” whilst fighting Saracens, this Heroclix movie version Volstagg would make a good proxy;

Image result for heroclix movie volstagg

Now, whilst The Assault Group does the Elizabethan versions of Edmund, Percy and Baldrick, that’s all the characters you get. However, Space Vixens from Mars actually do a Queen Elizabeth I, for a very reasonable £2.75.

Elizabeth I

Whilst hunting for Lord Melchett, I did find a possible figure to use for Lord Flasheart, from Wargames Foundry.

Top right, with the right paint job, I think would work. This is SB022 Squire Edward’s Swashbucklers, from the Seadogs and Swashbucklers range, It’s £12.00 for the whole pack, but you do get 6 figures, so £2.00 a figure.

And talking of Lord Flasheart, whilst Scarab Miniatures provided you with nearly everyone from Blackadder Goes Forth, including Bob the driver AND the drinks cabinet, our dashing aviator was nowhere to be seen. However, this has now been rectified by the latest entry in Wargames Illustrated’s ‘Giants in Miniature’ range;

LORD ‘FLASH’

Available from North Star Military Figures for £3.50. However, you will have to provide your own “woofs”…

We wants them, my precious…

Anyway, as June fast approaches, this signals that the next month will be taken up with Forgotten Heroes 2019. Currently, we have three participants; myself here on the Buffet, Keith aka The Angry Piper over at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging and a new participant Mezmaron over at Mezmaron’s Lair. Still time to join in, should you so wish and the full details can be found in my previous post about this event here.

 

Carpathian Kitten Loss

The title of this post is a phrase used by Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters II, referring to what Vigo the Carpathian is suffering from and why he looks so grumpy in his painting.

It’s also… The. Best. Title. Ever.

After my brief diversion to announce the Forgotten Heroes 2019 event, we return to my ongoing Ghostbusters project and something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but not got around to yet.

As I’d previously built the first room of my museum ‘board’ (go here if you missed this genius idea) and discussed in the comments that it could be used for any large internal space, including an art gallery, this started those insidious cogs turning in my brain…

As the villain of the second Ghostbusters movie spent the majority of the film as an oil painting, to have a ‘complete’ collection of 28mm Ghostbusters and related characters, I really needed a scale representation of this. I mean, I’d just built a museum hall, so how difficult could it be?

Turns out there were some teething issues, but as I’ve now overcome these, I can show you the best way to create scale paintings for your scenery, that are; 1. easy to make, 2. dirt cheap and, 3. with the right bits, can be added and removed from your scenery without any issues.

So, the first thing to do is to find the relevant images that you want to replicate. I decided that my portrait of Vigo should not hang alone, so decided to source some other images of like-minded folk. Having selected my ‘Rogue’s Gallery’, I used Google Images to find the largest, most detailed version of the picture I wanted, then simply copied and pasted these into a blank Word document.

Using the Formatting facility, I then reduced these images in size to what I felt was the correct proportions, ensuring that the aspect ratio was locked, so it didn’t distort the image. Using the ‘Picture Styles’ Formatting option, I then added a “frame” to each picture, using ‘Compound Frame, Black’. Having done this, I then printed this out on a piece of A4 paper, using my colour printer, along with one other image, like so:

So, Vigo is at the bottom left of the portraits and above him is a portrait of Ivo Shandor’s mother, which features in Ghostbusters – The Video Game, which I’ve mentioned before. As for the other three portraits, they are all historical personages and anyone who can name all three gets bonus points and my everlasting respect.

The final image is the actual logo for Stay-Puft Marshmallows that appeared in the first Ghostbusters movie, on the packet that Dana had on her kitchen counter. Yes, I am THAT much of a geek…

Interestingly, the image of Mr. Stay-Puft is a bit more angular than the one that manifested in the final reel and I’m tempted to try and recreate this…but maybe not full size.

Anyway, as I had printed this out on A4 paper, I decided to cut out the pictures and glue them on to thin card using a gluestick…

This was a mistake, so don’t do this.

The glue make the colours run and you get weird lumps everywhere. Instead, print the images straight on to card, as most home printers will take the sort of white card they give to kids to make greetings cards from and is therefore available from most stationers and handily comes in A4 size. (As a side note for any overseas readers, A4 is a standard paper size in the UK, equivalent to 8.27 × 11.69 inches, because having it 9 x 12 would be FAR too easy…)

Once you’ve done that, use a steel rule and a craft knife (as even with the best will in the world AND a steady hand, you won’t cut ’em straight) to cut out your paintings, like so:

You will then need to colour the edges of your ‘paintings’, as otherwise when viewed from the side, you’ll see the white card they’re printed on. This can easily be done with a black felt tip such as a Sharpie, although someone’s wandered off with mine, so I had to paint the bloody things. Don’t do this – it takes too long and you can end up with paint, ironically, on your ‘paintings’.

The next stage is to cover the paintings with transparent sticky=backed plastic. I used a 50p roll from Wilko, intended for covering school books. This is to protect the images when being handled, as ink from an inkjet printer will wear off if treated too rough and gives the ‘paintings’ that sheen that you see on oil paintings. Once you’ve done this, flip them over and glue 1 pence pieces to the back of each one, like so;

It doesn’t have to be a 1 pence pieces, you can use any coin of your choice, or a washer, although washers do tend to be more expensive than a penny each. The important thing is that the coin (or coin substitute) be of a composition that is ferromagnetic…

And the reason for this is because that way, by placing a strong enough magnet on the reverse of the wall you are intending hanging the ‘picture’ on, it can be placed anywhere on the wall and removed just as easily, so will not be a permanent fixture.

To show you what I mean, here’s Dr Floyd Petersen of the Rookhaven Ghostbusters franchise, examining a portrait he has discovered hanging in the museum, which appears to be giving off a significant amount of Psychokinetic Energy…

“There are no strings on me…”

Did I hear someone say… ‘genius’?

Until next time…

Patriot Games

As it has been somewhat quiet of late here on the Buffet, as 2019 has thrown various curve balls my way, you may be thinking that as June creeps ever closer and that my stalwart supporter and faithful sidekick (that’s you, Roger) has hung up his tights, that the annual craziness known as Forgotten Heroes would not be happening this year…

Well, it is.

Now, as alluded to in a previous post, things will be a little different this year.

Firstly, Forgotten Heroes 2019 will be run exclusively from this site and to take part, you have to either post a comment here or send me an direct email. I will then post a list of all those taking part just prior to the start of the event, with links to the participants blogs or websites, so everyone can follow along and see the fruits of your labours. This ‘blogroll’ will feature in all my posts during the month of June, which is Forgotten Heroes month, for those of you unfamiliar with this event.

Secondly, the rules have changed a little bit, as this year we have a theme, hence the title of this post…

Captain America Shield

So, during the month of June, you must create a single wargaming figure, in a scale of your choice, representing a costumed patriotic hero. He, she or it, may be an existing patriotic costumed hero, such as Captain America, Red Guardian or Union Jack, or a new creation of your own devising, but if the latter, must have a costume that will enable anyone viewing the character to be able to recognise what country (or state) they represent. Furthermore, the base figure from which you are creating this figure must not be a representation of the character you are creating. Other than that, go wild.

So, relatively straight-forward and simple rules, and an opportunity to let those creative juices flow. Will you choose a patriotic hero that has yet to have a figure made of them, such as Jack Staff, the Fighting American or Yankee Poodle?

Image result for jack staff   Image result for fighting american      Image result for yankee poodle

Or will you venture into the uncharted reaches of the Multiverse and bring forth such creations as Captain Cornwall, Liberté or U.S.Ape?

Image result for captain cornwall

Hmm, turns out there already IS a Captain Cornwall…who have thought, eh? Although, strictly speaking, it should be Kapten Kernow…

Anyway, enough digressing. The announcement has been made and you have been given just over three weeks in which to plan and prepare your patriotic pièce de résistance!

Forgotten Heroes 2019!

Only Available on Carrion Crow’s Buffet!

Accept No Substitutes!

Come join the fun…