Forgotten Heroes – All Around the World

When I first instigated the Forgotten Heroes challenge back in June 2016, it was initially just a bit of fun for those in my immediate blogging circle – an opportunity for a few like-minded souls to stretch their creative muscles and produce a comic book hero or villain that had yet to have a figure made of them yet.

Over the next two years, it spread beyond my immediate blogging circle and evolved into a celebration of ANY fictional hero that had yet to have a figure created for them.

This year there were a few changes, as my long-term co-conspirator during the first three years, Mr Roger Webb, decided to retire from the hobby. As he had created and run the Forgotten Heroes blog, in order to continue with this challenge, I decided to host the challenge on my own blog.

As 2019 appears to have thrown several real life challenges in the paths of those who had previously taken part in this challenge, I was dubious about how many people would actually be taking part this year, if any. Especially as I had announced it would have a theme this year…

Luckily for me (as you can’t really call it an event if it’s just you taking part) some previous AND some new contributors stepped up to the plate.

This year the theme was patriotic superheroes and everyone taking part produced at least one figure that met this criteria. In fact, some created more than one.

So, a big thank you to Keith aka the Angry Piper, Mezmaron, Wampley and Scott Pyle for joining in and making it into an actual event this year, rather than just me converting figures on my own.

Keith converted a Heroclix figure into Zangief from Street Fighter, who although doesn’t strictly meet the criteria, everyone knows is Russian…

This was followed later in the month by La Bandera, a really obscure Marvel hero hailing from AND wearing a costume inspired by the flag of Cuba.

Full details on how Keith converted the base figures into these characters can be found on his blog Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging.

Mezmaron decided to create an original hero and their sidekick in 15mm, to match the rest of his collection – the Winged Hussar and Wotjek 3000, patriots hailing from Poland;

Full details of how Mezmaron created these figures can be found on his blog Mezmaron’s Lair.

Wampley created FOUR superhero characters, two of which met the criteria for Forgotten Heroes this years, G.I. Jingo;

And the national hero of Catalonia, Estelada;

He also provided full origin stories for both of these characters, as well as his other two characters in both English and Catalan, so an opportunity to learn a new language too! Full details can be found on his blog Wampley’s Castle.

Scott Pyle, as in THE Scott Pyle of Super System and Super Mission Force fame, created two new characters, Uban the Defender and his loyal golem, Ptah;

I’m getting a definite Egyptian vibe here, especially with the Dr. Fate-esque helmet. The back story for these two characters and additional photos can be found on Scott’s blog, Super Mission Force, but as this is a Tumblr blog, you might need to sign up to view the content.

As everyone taking part in this year’s Forgotten Heroes challenge has now completed and submitted their entries, I can officially announce that it is closed.

But fear not, gentle readers, for it will return once more next year, for it’s 5th outing. Next year will be a more open playing field. A single figure, in the scale of your choosing, converted from an existing base figure into a fictional character who has yet to have a miniature created for them, or has, but the figure was not how YOU thought the character should look.

Any genre, any era, any scale, but MUST be completed during the month of June. No prizes, just the fun of taking part and ending up with a figure that no-one else has. Over the four years this has been running, I’ve created Super-Soldier, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, Bananaman, Crystal Man, Neon Queen, Kid Dynamo, The Planet, Rom the Space Knight and this year, El Aguila;

Maybe next year will finally see me creating…Big Wheel.

That’s all for this time, but join me next time… when who knows what will be served at the Buffet.

Jez

 

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Forgotten Heroes – The Eagle Has Landed!

As has been proven in my last post, my language skills are rudimentary at best, so I chose not to utilise Google Translate (other programs are available) to render the post title into Spanish. However, the above sentiment is broadly correct – El Aguila, my entry for this year’s Forgotten Heroes event is now finished – bar some detail work that my failing eyesight and lack of strong enough glasses prevented me from accomplishing.

So, join me as we journey through the various stages that have led me to the finished article…

This was the starting point – a Heroclix figure of Stonewall, whose was removed from his Oreo ‘Clix base, re-based on a 2 pence piece and had his base textured.

Due to various issues with glue and things not drying the way they were supposed to, my first painting pass was to block paint El Aguila’s torso in GW Woodland Green, his legs in Docrafts Blanc and the base in GW Orc Brown. These are really old GW paints, like a good 10 or so years old, but they’re still going strong and to find the equivalent from GW now, I’d have to probably pay quadruple the price and they’d have a silly name…

Realising the base was a little TOO yellow, I repainted this with Docrafts Linen, which I also used to paint his hands, the bottom half of his face and his eyeholes, as I wanted the cowl to look as much like a Mexican wrestler’s mask as possible. His belt and wristlets were given a coat of Docrafts Burnt Umber  and his boots a coat of Docrafts Cherry Red. His tights got a coat of Tamiya White X-2, which unlike the Docrafts Blanc, is more of a gloss paint, so it made them look more like lycra…

Now the main colours of the Mexican flag were on and he was looking kind of how I’d envisaged him, I had to work out what his chest symbol/icon should look like. I knew I wanted a stylised eagle, but was unsure exactly how to depict it.

Various supers have bird symbols on their chests – Phoenix, Nightwing…even Marvel’s Aguila, whose name I’ve appropriated for MY hero, who looks like this;

Image result for aguila marvel

Brings new meaning to the expression “the gay blade…”

Anyway, I needed something a bit simpler and easy to paint…and then I remembered that there was another Marvel character with a stylised bird chest emblem… Thunderbird!

Image result for thunderbird marvel

From Giant Size X-Men #1 (May 1975), Thunderbird made up the first change in roster since the introduction of the X-men back in 1963. He was the Native American representative in the new, more diverse line-up and was killed on his very next outing…probably because his powers were covered by Colossus, so why have two strong guys? Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he was a Native American…

Blankets? what blankets? I see no blankets…

Anyway, I thought that his stylised “thunderbird” symbol would prove to be a reasonably easy one to replicate, so initially painted this in Docrafts Burnt Umber. i.e dark brown, as this is the colour of the eagle on the Mexican flag…

But it looked shite. Not enough contrast and not superhero-y enough. So, taking inspiration from the Aztecs, I repainted it in Docrafts Shining Gold. Much better.

I then attempted to paint the studs on his belt with the same colour…and failed, so repainted the belt and wristlets in Docrafts Shining Gold, then washed them in GW Brown Ink, then painted the buckle in Docrafts Bronze. The flesh parts were given a wash of GW (the label’s fallen off and I can’t remember what it’s called) Brown, to give him a Mexican skin tone.

I then tried to paint on a moustache using my thinnest brush and some more Brown Ink. Which would have worked if I could have seen what I was doing. New, stronger glasses are needed before I attempt any teeny, tiny detail work in future. I then had to repaint his face, to rectify the mess I’d made. Rather than continue and risk fucking it up, I wisely decided to stop.

And here he is…El Aguila, national hero of Mexico.

I’m my own worst critic, so I’m 90% happy with him, but he does embody the look I was going for and doesn’t look like a cheap Captain America knock-off. And he’s pretty beefy too, as can be seen in the following picture, with a Crooked Dice figure.

“No hablo ingles…”

Still a few more days left in this year’s Forgotten Heroes, so please be sure to check out the other participants blogs to see how they’re doing – Angry Piper, Mezmaron and Wampley.

And join me next time, when I’ll being doing a wrap-up of this year’s event.

Jez

Forgotten Heroes -The Fastest Mouse in All Mexico?

So, we’re now about a third of the way through Forgotten Heroes 2019 and those taking part, Mezmaron, the Angry Piper and Wampley have all progressed somewhat faster than myself, so rather than being “the fastest mouse in all Mexico!”, I seem to be channelling Slowpoke Rodriguez, including his demeanour…

Related image

That’s one miserable mouse…

Anyway, Mezmaron is currently crafting a patriotic Pole and his bear companion in 15mm, Keith aka the Angry Piper has converted a ‘clix into Zangief from Street Fighter, who as he rightly points out, EVERYONE knows is Russian, so I’m letting it slide…this time, whilst Wampley has created G.I. Jingo, taking the militaristic bent of the American patriotic heroes to its extreme. Plus he has also kindly posted in both his native Spanish AND English, for those of us who are too lazy to have learned anything other than “dos cerveza, por favor…”

And in cool Forgotten Heroes news, Scott Pyle, acclaimed writer of both Super System and Super Mission Force, the former of which probably got a lot of people into Supers gaming, has expressed an interest in taking part in this year’s event!

You heard me right – the ACTUAL Scott Pyle. How cool is that?

Right, now the frothing and what-not is out the way, what actual progress have I made over the last ten days?

The answer is…some.

First order of the day was to remove my base figure of Stonewall from his ‘clix base and glue him to a 2 pence piece, to give the plastic figure a bit of heft. I then built up the surrounding base with Milliput, smoothing this down to create a nice even dome. The reason for this was that I had the bright idea to then coat this in fine sand, to represent the desert landscape from which El Aguila hails…

Now, I have mentioned this in a previous post, but it is worth repeating here – Always use the right glue for the job! I failed to follow my own advice and used Polystyrene Cement, which doesn’t like gluing sand. It didn’t dry properly, even after 24 hours, so when attempting to paint the figure, bits kept coming off and the paint also puddled on the base, which meant that I couldn’t get ALL the base colours on. Note to self – use PVA next time.

Anyway, whilst I had decided that I was going to be creating El Aguila, national hero of Mexico (and not the cheesy Spanish Zorro knock-off that appeared in Power Man & Iron Fist), which had given me the colours red, white and green for his costume, I was undecided on how these would appear. I considered vertical bands of colour, potentially just on his torso, but thought this would just look like he was wearing the flag. I also considered him being mainly green, with red boots and gloves and white highlights…but this looked too much like both Captain America’s and the “Captain Mexico” costumes, so discarded this idea too. Then I had a bit of a brainwave – there does already exist a group of individuals who represent Mexico to the World at large and wear the national colours – the national football team. A quick bit of Googling and I came up with this version of their kit;

Image result for mexican national football team kit

So, this is the look I will be attempting to replicate – green torso, white tights and red boots. There won’t be a cool Aztec face staring out of his chest, but once I’ve finalised the design, there will be a stylised eagle emblem in brown.

So far, due to the drying issues mentioned above, this is as far as I’ve got.

Hmmm, and is that the Mictlan Codex in the background? I thought that was being shipped to the Rookhaven Museum of Natural History…

Some progress, no matter how small, is better than no progress. Join me next time, when hopefully “The Eagle” will have gotten his wings.

Jez