Monster May(hem): The Last Straw…

I’ll have to admit, I was getting a little concerned that I wasn’t going to get my “monster” completed before the end of May.

I’d sat down, fully intending on making some in-roads into everything I’d previously started, then discovered that the reading glasses I use for detail painting had snapped, meaning I couldn’t use them.

My mother-in-law had given me one of those magnifier headsets, with removable lenses, so I thought this would be an ideal time to try them out…

Shouldn’t have bothered. For something supposedly designed for this exact purpose, they were remarkably crap. The lenses are too small, so you’re almost cross-eyed using them and whilst they are standard magnifications, I couldn’t find one that met my needs. I ended up going out and buying a cheap pair of 3.5 magnification reading glasses for 99p – whichnis what I should have done in the first place.

So, the only thing I’d managed to do during this debacle was give the figure and base an undercoat of Docrafts Linen.

As this is pale yellowy-white, I thought it would give me a head start on making it look like straw.

I then lined up my yellow and brown paints to see what would be the best colour to go for next. I ended up using an ancient pot of GW Swamp Brown, which is more yellow than brown.

And now we were cooking with gas!

The next stage wad to provide some depth, with a wash of brown. Viewing various images of hay bales online, I decided that probably Docrafts Chocolate Brown would be the best option, so a watery solution of this was mixed, then liberally applied to the model. I also used the same colour, but unwatered, to paint the muddy base.

Looking at the model, I thought it looked a little one note, so went back online to se how others had painted it. Unsurprisingly, the first one that came up was the one from Crooked Dice’s website, followed by one on Brummie’s Wargaming blog and Simon’s version at Fantorical.

Looking at all three, I noted that both CD’s and Simon’s had varigations in the painting, which upon closer inspection of both the pictures and the model itself, I realised were actually branches/sticks lashed into it’s body. Looking at the brown paint I had, I decided they were a bit too brown, so mixed some Chocolate Brown with some Docrafts Dark Grey until I had a colour I was happy with. All the ‘sticks’ were then painted and some of the bindings given a highlight of Linen.

As I wanted the eyes of the Straw Man to look as though they were glowing, I filled the cavities with a generous wash of GW Mithril Silver, followed by a coat of GW Bogey Green, which I also used to touch up the straw round the eye holes, to look as if the light was reflecting from within.

I then turned my attention to the base, giving the broken planks another coat of Linen, then washed the mud part of tge base with Docrafts Burnt Ochre. The planks then got a wash of mid-grey, as wood tends to go this colour if left untreated and then weathered.

I was almost going to call it done, but something was niggling at me. If you’ve ever been to a farm or anywhere that has hay or straw, it doesn’t matter how well bound it is, you always get stray strands scattered about. That’s what was missing.

Luckily, the sewing tin had a reel of cotton the right colour, so several lengths were cut, then PVA painted around the figure’s feet. I then sprinkled these about, adjusting where necessary, until it looked right.

I think it adds a little something.

So, Monster May(hem) done and with time to spare. As I had to wait for the figure to dry, I decided to crack on with AND finish my Action Man-inspired figures.

First, the finally completed Bulletman;

Next, Atomic Man;

And yes, he does have the silver piping on his sleeves;

And finally, what was originally a HeroQuest plastic Fimir, but with a little Carrion Crow magic, is now The Intruder- “Action Man’s Greatest Enemy”;

And as the three above are “Forgotten Heroes” this leads nicely into the announcement for this year’s ‘community art project.’

For those who are not aware of what this is… where have you been? We’ve only been doing this every year since 2016!

Joking aside, if you’ve not taken part before, the “rules” are simple:-

During the month of June, you must produce a recognisable figure of a character that has either not had an official or unofficial figure made of them or has, but you want your own version.

Any scale, any genre – your choice. You want to paint up a GW Imperial Commissar as Marshal Law? Go ahead! You want to sculpt the ultimate version of Venom? Go for it! You want to use a discarded Hulk action figure head to make a 28mm version of M.O.D.O.K.? Um… I may have beaten you to it…

If you want to take part, just drop a comment on here and I’ll add you to the blogroll. Your first post should introduce the character, as if it’s a touch obscure (like when I did Bananaman) people may not know who it is.

Any questions regarding this, feel free to ask. At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun, so no need to take it too seriously and, if you do rake part, at the end of June, you’ll have a unique figure that no one else has.

Roll on Forgotten Heroes 2022!

10 thoughts on “Monster May(hem): The Last Straw…

  1. Great work on all four models Jez, must be good to get those action man figures finished.
    I will be taking part again this year, and the inspiration comes from a 1980’s sci-fi movie, will reveal all when I get back in just over a week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dave. Yeah, was good to finally finish off the Action Man figures and the Strawman came out pretty good, so a satisfactory evening’s painting. And I’ve added you to the list for FH this year.

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  2. Splendid stuff, Jez. I recently painted the Strawman myself, so appreciate what a handful of a model it is. I too will be taking part in Forgotten Heroes if u don’t mind, and will be doing a series of figures based upon the comic book characters I’ve created for my “Time’s Rambler” books.

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    • Thanks Simon. As ypur version of this figure did come up on my searches during the painting process, I did check to see what you’d done, which encouraged to pick out the branches lashed to the straw. Of course, I then had to tart up the base a bit…

      And of course you can take part in Forgotten Heroes this year. The more the merrier!

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  3. Lovely rendition of the Strawman mate, both yourself and Simon did that whopping monster justice! Nice too, to see Bullet man (surely you mean “Ballistic man” no copywrite issues here! šŸ˜‰), and the the others finished, great job on all three.

    I’m in for “Forgotten Heroes” if that’s OK, I’m hoping to get three “Sci/fi Cartoon Characters” done this year, I’ll reveal all once we get underway, but as a clue they will hopefully “all be done in the best possible taste!!”.

    I’ve also mentioned “My Forgotten Heroes” on my last blog post, so hopefully we might get a couple of people posting their old “toy heroes” as well. šŸ¤ž

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Thanks Roger. It was getting close to the wire on getting him completed by the end of May, so it was a relief to get him done and it was interesting to see how Simon and I decided to finish the same figure in a different manner.

      Whilst I know you called him Ballistic Man, I noted him as Bulletman so people would know what to look for. I have a feeling that you won’t be chased down by the Copyright police on this one, as it was a few years ago and you no longer sell this figure. You don’t see David Hasslehof hounding Crooked Dice, after all…

      And I think I know exactly who you may be attempting this year – a certain spacefaring trio from the Troll-1?

      As for “My Forgotten Heroes”, the majority of these are languishing in my mother’s loft. Action Force figures, Star Wars Figures, He-Man figures and some of the Britains (?) spacefarers, I believe… Not sure if a post referencing them without the actual figures themselves is acceptable for this?

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      • Found the Britains space guys online – 1/35 Stargards. Might have to see if I can find these the next time I’m over at my mum’s, as I quite fancy bringing these up to date. (Checked online – they don’t go for much, so no hidden treasure there…)

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      • Thanks Jez’s this year you’ve nailed it!! (I should have been more cryptic obviously! šŸ˜) I’m actually really nervous about these three, more so than usual!!

        I.ve got to venture into the loft to see what I can find! I think all my 1/35th soldiers have gone in a clear out but one of my son’s (typical!). So my post might be a little sparse as well šŸ¤”

        I had some of those Britains fig’s, I seem to think I had the Evil aliens (the black ones), though they would have go out with the rest. šŸ™„

        Cheers Roger.

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  4. The Straw God looks fantastic, Jeremy. Well done! I really like what you did with the base, too! As I said long ago, I’m not familiar with Action Man, but those characters look very cool! And it’s always nice to see M.O.D.O.K. !

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    • Thanks Keith. I was hoping someone would comment on the base, as I did actually put some thought into it.

      All of the Action Man characters were available as G.I. Joe action figures, although Atomic Man was marketed as Mike Power in the U.S.

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