For the Glory of the Sontaran Empire

You could say I’m easily distracted, but I prefer to think of it as heavily susceptible to flashes of inspiration. For the most part, I believe that my side projects do enhance my gaming and hobby life and, on occasion, have been a little bit genius…

However, as my current focus is Doctor Who in 28mm, I have been somewhat successful in ensuring that all flights of fancy have been at least tangentially related to this project – my Rutan build (here and here) being a good example of this.

As I now had a Rutan, I thought I should really have some Sontarans to go up against it – and as they are a militaristic race, they are an ideal force for wargaming and could be pitted against any other race in the Whoniverse.

Official options are limited to either Classic era Sontarans from Black Tree Design;

Miros' Games: Doctor Who Project - Sontarans

Painted examples above are from the Miros’ Games blog, and whilst they look pretty cool, Black Tree only has four poses, two of which have that weird pistol thing.

The other alternative is Warlord Games’ official NuWho Sontarans;

Wargames Illustrated | 35mm Sontarans

There are two problems with these:- firstly, like Caucasians according to the SONY tagline in the 1990 film Crazy People, “They’re too damn tall…” designed as they are for the official 32mm Warlord Doctor Who line. Secondly, they’re a bit…naff.

Whilst I like the idea of Sontarans, the redesign for NuWho, if you study it for an length of time, is effectively a blue rubber suit. No problem with the iconic domed helmets and shoulder pads, but the suit it a bit pants;

Skorr | Tardis | Fandom

Ahhhh, look at the ickle Sontaran in his baby-blue romper suit…

Andy Foster, over at Heresy Miniatures, got Sontarans right with his Sharclon troopers;


But, being unofficial, when the Cease and Desist letters were sent out by Warlord, these were taken of the shelves and are now quite difficult to get hold of.

The other stumbling block is cost. A set of five old school Sontarans from Black Tree will set you back £12.50 (£2.50 a figure), whereas a box of NuWho Sontarans will cost you £22.00 (£4.40 a figure). And that’s without shipping…

Of course, regular followers of this blog will probably have a good idea of what’s coming next…

That’s right, I’m going to show you how I made my OWN squad of five completely modular Sontarans, from readily available components for the grand total of approximately £8.00, including shipping costs – so that works out about £1.60 a figure.

I’m good to you, aren’t I?

Right, you will first need some Mantic Games Forge Father Steel Warriors, which are effectively ‘space dwarves.’  I picked these out of all the ‘space dwarves’ available, as I felt that the armour, weaponry and look of the figures (if you ignore the heads) said not only Sontaran, but cool Sontaran.

Forge Fathers Steel Warriors - Mantic Games

A box of these will set you back £14.99 for enough components to build ten Steel Warriors. However, as I didn’t want to fork out for a full box if my cunning plan did not work out, to eBay I went and found someone selling the sprues individually – enough parts to make five Steel Warriors for £6.99 including shipping.

The idea percolating in my head was to assemble the bodies, then sculpt the helmets separately, as they were effectively a ridged dome with two eye-holes – not exactly Michelangelo levels of sculpting skills needed there…

The sprues duly arrived and I went to work assembling my squad. Given the complexity of some modern multi-part plastic kits, I was pleasantly surprised at the relative simplicity of these. Each basic Steel Warrior comes in nine parts – two part torso, two shoulder pads, two arms, legs and groin, head and weapon with hands attached. You can also add a backpack, should you so wish. However, the sheer number of parts you get means that you can not only vary each warrior, you could effectively have five heavy weapons troops or five normal normal troops or a leader and whatever mix you want. There are enough variant heads that each warrior could have a different head and two alternative chest pieces, so you can have a fancier cuirass for your leader. Plus a whole bunch of cool looking sci-fi greeblies to stick on wherever you want. LOTS of spare parts for my Distant Stars project.

Anyway, I decided to go for a ‘uniform’ (heh) outfit, so all the same armour, and constructed three normal troopers, one leader with pistol and ‘swagger stick’ (by cutting off the head of the hammer) and a heavy weapons trooper with shoulder mounted BFG.

Each figure is also supplied with Mantic’s standard circular plastic base, which is smooth on one side and had a circle in the centre of the other, as a fair few of their figures come with integral circular base that fit into both these bases and their Kings of War square bases. And this was the result;

Close up of the front of the figure, showing the detail on the armour;

And a shot of the rear;

And a shot to give an idea of scale, in relation to a standard 28mm figure, in this case, the Eighth Doctor.

Right, so pretty much the right size for how Sontarans are depicted in the more recent series, but the armour and stockiness of the body does say “I’m a rock-hard, ass-kicking Sontaran warrior – call me a psychotic potato dwarf and you’ll be spitting teeth…”

Having assembled them, I had decided to call it a night and look to doing the helmets on another evening…

Of course, you may be thinking “Hang on a second… he said the squad cost around £8.00. He’s only spent £7, so where the other quid’s worth of stuff?”

As I am a hobby gamer AND modeller, I do have a tendency to accumulate crap. In other words, all those useful bits and bobs that might come in useful for some project in the future. I mean, I have a box filled with empty sprues, just in case I need a length of plastic rod of a certain diameter or cross section.

One of the things lurking in my bits box was a small jiffy bag containing half a dozen of these;

Injection molded plastic ‘bulbs’ that covered some £1 battery-operated garden lights. The lights were consigned to the bin when they stopped working, but I kept a handful of the tops, to potentially turn into streetlights.

I took one from the packet and offered it up to the neck hole of the bodies I had built, realising that the diameter of the ‘bulb’ was the same as the internal neck of the suit. So, taking one of my six, I cut the top off and offered it up.

It fit and looked right – so another four were cut, giving me five domes.

As there was a slight gap between the bottom of the domes and the hollow in the neck, out came the instant grab adhesive (No More Nails or equivalent), as this sticks anything and can also fill reasonably small gaps. And the domes were stuck to the bodies, like so;

To ensure that these were easily recognisable as Sontarans, five small strips of thin plastic were cut, bent, dropped on the floor and lost (much swearing – I really should have chosen opaque plastic), another set cut, then glued into place.

And this is the almost final result;

I now have to decide whether I risk taking a small soldering iron to each of my proxy Sontarans to make the eye-holes in each helmet or just paint them on.

I will probably do a test of the former, using the other halves of my bulbs (NEVER throw anything away – it might come in useful later) to see how the plastic reacts and whether I can get a uniform shape. If not, I’ll just paint them on.

I showed them to my eldest son, and his response, before I said ANYTHING, was “Ah, Sontarans… cool.” That’s a result in my book.

And he’s not wrong – they are frickin’ cool.

Until next time…

Three, Eight, Thirteen

Whilst there are a few scant hours before Forgotten Heroes 2020, the fifth such event since its inception, ends – allowing a few participants to slip a last entry into June – this will be MY last post for this year’s challenge.

Now, Forgotten Heroes offers quite a few different sorts of challenge. There is the challenge of choosing a suitable character to replicate, finding the base figure you’re going to use, converting it into as close a representation as possible and THEN painting it, so it matches the source material.

Obviously, if you’re using a figure designed, either officially or unofficially, to represent the character, all you have to do is paint the figure.

For example, you can use this image;

The Wertzone: Doctor Who at 50: The Third Doctor (1970-74)

To paint your representation of the Third Doctor like so;

“Reverse the polarity… you know you want to…”

Yeah, I decided to finish off my Third Doctor whilst I was waiting for the Eighth Doctor to dry between coats.

Speaking of my version of the Eighth Doctor, the idea was to replicate this look;

Doctor Who Official on Twitter: "Happy birthday to Paul McGann ...

And this is my final rendition of the Eighth Doctor, converted from an Artizan Designs ‘Captain Withnail’ figure;

Comparing the source material and the finished figure, I think I possibly need to repaint his ‘waistcoat’ in GW Shining Gold, my pot of which is now an antique-y gold, so not particularly ‘Shining’ anymore. This will bring the figure closer to the source picture. I did try to replicate the laces on his boots by painting crosses up the front of each boot, but I’m not sure how successful this was. And I think that I might need to darken his hair a touch too, as it looks too yellow.

So, other than a few minor painting tweaks, I’m pretty happy with how he’s turned out. As he was originally holding a revolver, I think this minor conversion has worked really well, showing that nearly any pistol can be turned into a sonic screwdriver, which gives me a greater range of figures to look at when I get around to doing the Ninth, Tenth and War Doctors.

And to explain the post title, here are the Third, Eighth and Thirteenth Doctor, in a crossover that you would never have expected…

Hmm, this does of course mean I can do multi-Doctor episodes now…

A big thank you to all those who took part this year; Roger, Dave, Harry, Keith, Alan, and Wampley  – follow the links to see what this creative bunch have been up to.

And remember, this is an annual event, every June, so if you feel like taking part next year, you are more than welcome. Put on those thinking caps and start planning what you’re going to do next year.

I might finally get around to doing Big Wheel… although I do have a spare action figure head that might be the right size to do a 28mm M.O.D.O.K. It will certainly be cheaper than coughing up for the Crisis Protocol one…

Right, that’s all for this post. Next up, more Doctor Who, as I offer a counterpoint to the ‘Evil Sprout’ from the previous post, by offering their arch-enemies, whom the Doctor has described as ‘psychotic potato dwarfs’, so expect “automated laser monkeys, scalpel mines and acid.”

“Do You Want to Build a Rutan?”

Twenty days gone of June, leaving ten to go… so how is everyone who is taking part in this year’s Forgotten Heroes getting along?

Well, Roger over at Rantings From Under the Wargames Table has completed the sculpting of his Panthor and Battle Cat from Masters of the Universe, Dave at Wargamesculptors Blog has given us several A.B.C. Warriors AND the spirit form of Torquemada, all from 2000AD, Keith at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging has created the First Comics characters Badger and Nexus, Alan at Golden Age Heroes has given us the Golden Age heroes Fiery Mask, Black Widow, Green Lama, Hangman and the Comet, work progresses on Corky from Tales of the Gold Monkey from Harry over at War Across the Ages and Wampley has given us the Image character Vanguard over at Wampley’s Castle.

If you haven’t already checked these out, go and have a look, as the hard work and creativity that has gone into these figures is what this annual event is all about.

So, how have I got on since last you visited the Buffet? Well, my version of the Eighth Doctor currently looks like this;

“But Jez,” I hear you cry, “you’re only doing one figure this year, so why haven’t you finished painting it yet?”

Because, gentle readers, I haven’t just been painting him – as the title of this post suggests.

Between tidying up the paint job on the Eighth Doctor, I took the opportunity to finish off a couple of figures lurking in the Tray of Shame, namely Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer;

And Servitor Vir, one of the Doomlords of Nox;

But my main focus was on completing my scratch-built Rutan, as I was intending on transforming this;


Into this;

Rutans | Villains Wiki | Fandom

So, the model was given a complete undercoat of Docrafts Blanc, then the main body painted GW Bogey Green. Looking at this, I decided this wasn’t going to cut it, so some GW Goblin Green was mixed with GW Mithril Silver until I got a colour I was happy with, then watered down to create a thick wash, which was liberally applied to the body of the Rutan.

The main and secondary tentacles were painted with Tamiya White, which is a gloss rather than a matt paint, and the whole base was painted Docrafts Chocolate Brown, followed by a wash of Docrafts Burnt Ochre.

Looking at the reference pictures, I then decided that there was a green tinge to the secondary tentacles, so these were given a wash of GW Bogey Green and the main tentacles a second coat of Tamiya White, as this is quite a thin paint and does require one or two coats to get a strong hue.

The Tamiya White was then used to create the veins/swirls/markings on the main body. The final touch was to gently dry-brush the whole body with GW Bogey Green. I decided against adding the silver dots, as I felt that the model looked fine as it was.

And this is the finished article, ready to assume the form of those close to you, having dissected them to find out what makes them tick;

Yes, it may look like like a Brussel Sprout, but remember, it’s an EVIL Brussel Sprout…

And to give a sense of the size of our ‘Awful Green Thing from Outer Space’, here it is facing the Thirteenth Doctor;

I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s come out, although the final picture above does show that the base needs a little more work on it.

It’s certainly a LOT better than the recent picture that has surfaced on social media of what the redesigned Daleks are going to look like when they return later this year;

Doctor Who Page on Twitter: "A photo has been leaked online of the ...

And this, along with the “Timeless Child” travesty, is why Chris Chibnall will Burn. In. Hell.

Join me next time, as Forgotten Heroes draws to a close for this year and all those taking part complete their final submissions.

“I’ve Made a Terrible Mistake.”

The annual Forgotten Heroes “challenge” not only engenders a sense of community, as like-minded hobbyists flex their creative muscles, but also gives those taking part an opportunity to add to their collection a figure (or figures) that they may have been wanting for a while – but no-one has yet to make.

So, Roger at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table is adding to his scratch-built Masters of the Universe collection, Dave is building up his A.B.C. Warriors over at Wargame Sculptors Blog and Alan is working his way through the alphabet over at Golden Ages Heroes.

Wampley has posted his conversion of the Image character Vanguard over at Wampley’s Castle and I know that Harry at War Across the Ages is planning on adding to his cast from Tales of the Gold Monkey. I’m not sure what Keith at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging is creating this year, but there’s still a couple of weeks to go…

However, I’m not one to talk, as I failed miserably to complete the promised models for Keith’s own Monster May(Hem) challenge – which is kind of what the title of this post is about, as you will see.

Anyway, the character I’d decided upon for this year’s challenge was to create a version of the Eighth Doctor, utilising the Artizan Designs “Captain Withnail.” As mentioned in this post, the Thrilling Tales range this figure comes from has been removed from the North Star site, but I have been assured that the range will return later in the year.

When we last saw my work in progress it looked like this;

So, referring to my source material, it was clear that his lower legs were too chunky, so out came the needle files and craft knife, to ensure that they were pared down to a more acceptable size. I also took the opportunity to scribe a V shape on the front of each shin, to represent the lace-up part of each boot. Now that I was happy with the sculpting, it was time to start painting…

Undercoat in Docrafts Blanc (i.e. white), then hands and head got a base coat of Docrafts Flesh, boots and waistcoat in Docrafts Linen and his sonic screwdriver in GW Mithril Silver.

Now, the paints used for his overcoat and trousers (GW Ghoul Grey and Revell Beige) had partially dried out, so adding water to them meant that they acted a little like watercolours, in that they were quite thin. Each area being covered was given at least three coats of paint, to build up the required hue.

And this is where we have gotten to so far;

He’s starting to come together nicely.

And here he is with the Third and Thirteenth Doctor;

Now, I did get some paint on some of the other figures in the Tray of Shame, including the “monsters” I promised for last month’s challenge;

But no major progress was really made, so nothing really to show there.

However, I DID make some progress on another figure – which fits the criteria for BOTH Forgotten Heroes AND Monster May(Hem) – and explains the quote used for the title.

Horror of Fang Rock was a Fourth Doctor adventure, originally broadcast in 1977, and featured the Doctor and Leela joining the occupants of the Fang Rock lighthouse – including the passengers of a wrecked ship – as they were terrorised and murdered by a shape-shifting Rutan scout. The Rutan are in a bitter war of attrition with the Sontarans and are not doing so well. Rutans, in their natural form, look like a cross between a jellyfish and an amoeba.

Rutans – Doctor Who World

Or possibly a really big ball of snot. Now, Black Tree Design do make a figure of the Rutan

But I am of the opinion that anyone can make their own version of this creature, even if they have ZERO sculpting skills.

So, this is how I made mine, which is probably the simplest figure I have ever made.

First, I got a spare HeroScape base and covered the top in Milliput, textured to represent earth. I then cut a few lengths of wire (from a paperclip), bent these into suitably tentacle-y shapes and glued these to the base, like so;

My initial intention was to then just use a big blog of translucent silicone sealant to create the body of the Rutan, then paint this, so I painted the base and tentacles next.

However, looking back at the source material, I decided that I needed secondary smaller tentacles and that the main body of the Rutan needed to be textured, a bit like the shell of a sea urchin.

The secondary tentacles were created using a small length of pipe cleaner, folded around and teased out, then glued into place. A trick I’ve learnt with using pipe cleaners is that you can coat them with watered down PVA glue and they end up looking textured like Twiglets (or twigs for that matter). However, if you paint them directly using Acrylic paint, you can not only colour the pipe cleaner’s fibres, it will also separate the fibres out, making it look like hair, fur, or hopefully in this case, secondary thin tentacles.

Now, the final part of this model is the body of the Rutan. As this is textured, you could roll up a ball of your sculpting putty of choice, stick the blob in place and then carefully texture the outside until you were happy…

Or you could cheat, like I did, and just get some baking foil and scrunch it up into a oval blob the right size and shape.

The advantage of doing this is two-fold; firstly – you can get it exactly the right size and shape, as foil is easily shaped and you can add additional layers if it’s not quite big enough, secondly – the process of scrunching it up creates a lovely texture on the exterior surface. You can smooth this down, if you wish, but this lends itself to dry-bushing quite nicely and for my purposes, does replicate the textured skin of the Rutan.

Just glue your finished blob into place and you get something like this;

Unpainted, it does kind of look like a big silver brain, so a smaller foil lozenge or two glue together and added to the body of a plastic dog might make a pretty acceptable Intellect Devourer for D&D.

So, there you go – zero sculpting skills needed, materials that you probably already have around your home, so zero cost and, with a little time and effort, a pretty good version of a Fourth Doctor-era alien.

The Fourth Doctor may have believed he made a terrible mistake in regards to the Rutan in the episode in question, but I don’t think I’ve made a mistake creating my own version of this iconic alien, rather than paying for someone else’s version…

Join me next time, as the Eighth Doctor nears completion and I start painting my alien ball of snot. Luckily, I DO have some GW Bogey Green…

Flesheater of the Forests

The Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody. Its body was unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, giving off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.”

— Basil Johnston, Ojibwe teacher and scholar, Ontario, Canada

I think Basil conjures up a rather eerie description of the Wendigo – and one I shall be using when I paint up this chap;

Ordered from Paragon Star on Wednesday, confirmation of shipping sent on Friday, turned up this morning. Not a bad turn around, all-in-all.

“But Jez,” I hear you cry, “what’s the figure actually like?” Well, I have to admit to being somewhat impressed.

Those of you who have ever ordered or bought a 3D printed piece of terrain or figure will know that the process, no matter how high-spec the printer, always leaves striations or lines on the figure. The lower the specification of the 3D printer, the more obvious and raised these layer lines are. The advantage of resin printing (says the 5-minute Google “expert”) is that each layer is made from liquid resin, which remains liquid until such time as it is cured under UV light. What this apparently means is that there is no obvious layering and the surface of the miniature is smooth, similar to resin miniatures cast in the traditional way.

So, as you can see from the pictures, the surface of the figure is remarkably smooth and pretty well-detailed. As I picked a figure that has not got a particularly textured surface, I cannot really comment on how well this process depicts fur, chains or wood, like some of the other figures produced by this company.

The resin used seems similar to other modern resin figures I have, being a little flexible, non-brittle and with no noticeable odour.

I only have one very minor complaint, in that the figure I received had a crack in the base, running from the front right of the base for about 15mm towards the centre. Not enough to jeopardise the integrity of the figure and easily filled, but just a small niggle.

To be honest, looking at this particular figure for any length of time, does kind of remind me of the character of Jon Talbain, the werewolf from the Darkstalkers video game;

Jon Talbain | Darkstalkopedia | Fandom

However, I don’t think I’ll be replicating this colour scheme.

Weirdly, this figure has tiny wee legs, although they are split like the arms, so forked four legs.

Now, I ordered the 40mm base version of this figure, which means that that from base to horn-tip, this beastie is 70mm tall. Which makes it quite imposing when compared to a standard 28mm figure, like the 13th Doctor below;

“Legend of the Algonquians? I think you’ll find it’s ACTUALLY an alien. Trust me – they all turn out to be aliens in the end…”

Now, how does it compare size and cost-wise with other manufacturers’ products?

In the picture below, we have a Graveyard Golem from the Reaper Bones range in their polymer plastic on the left, at approximately £5.00. In the centre, the Paragon Star Wendigo in their printed resin, at £7.69 and on the far right, The Strawman from Crooked Dice (sans arms, as I’ve not yet assembled him yet) in normal resin, at £15.00.


Once the Wendigo realised that the “Strawman” was actually made from Shredded Wheat, it ate its arms…

If we compare the three, the Reaper Bones figure (and by extension Nolzurr’s Marvelous Miniatures) will be the cheapest option for your big monster needs, but not by a great margin. Normal resin figures will usually be about twice the price, but I would hazard a guess (purely based on the figure I chose) that the intricate detail of a sculpt may be better.

However, the BIG advantage of the resin printed figures is you can choose what size you want. I went for a 40mm diameter base, because I calculated that this would be the “correct” size for this monster. As there are 8 size options, going from 30mm up to 150mm diameter bases and the largest size is £29.99, I think it’s a cost-effective way to get a specific monster at exactly the size you want.

“Swamp Thing” anyone?

Swamp Men  Resin Miniature   28mm / 32mm Scale  Dungeons image 1

Forgotten Heroes, Hidden Monsters

Unlike last month, June in the UK has decided we’ve had far too much nice weather and we’re due some colder temperatures and some rain. Which means that whilst the easing of Lockdown means that you can have visitors in your garden, they’re probably going to get a bit soggy.

However, as June is also Forgotten Heroes month, the inclement weather means that you can stay inside and work on your fictional creations.

As we’ve had a few additional people express a desire to take part, I thought I’d list the participants first, before getting on to the meat of this post.

Dave over at Wargamesculptors Blog has cracked on with his A.B.C. Warriors, completing both Zippo and Hammerstein.

Roger at Rantings From Under the Wargames Table has made an impressive start on his conversions of a couple of cheap plastic toys into Battle Cat and Panthro from Masters of the Universe – to accompany the other characters he has created over the years from this franchise. I still need to add a few more to my own collection – I mean, who doesn’t need a 28mm version of Buzz Off?

Alan has decided to continue his A-Z of Golden Age Heroes, completing the entry for ‘F’ with Fiery Mask, an obscure Timely/Marvel hero… and no doubt will produce a few more before the end of the month.

The other participants have yet to put up their first post, but I’m sure these will follow shortly;

Keith at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging, Harry at War Across the Ages and Wampley at Wampley’s Castle.

Roy has unfortunately bowed out, due to personal reasons, and we all wish him well and hope he can join us next year. As for Keith Frye, due to the wonders of time travel, did manage to complete his entry three months before the actual start of Forgotten Heroes – so unfortunately, it doesn’t actually count. However, I would go and have a look at his conversion of Col. Virginia Lake from U.F.O., as it is really good.

So, my plan is to turn this Artizan Designs figure (from the Thrilling Tales range, which strangely seems to have vanished from their website);

Captain Withnail

Into my version of the Eighth Doctor.

So, first order of the day was to sort out the revolver, as whilst the Doctor has used firearms on one or two occasions, he is not renowned for regularly carrying a weapon. Using a pair of needle-nosed pliers, I carefully bent the main body of the revolver upwards, until it was in the right position. Then using a flat needle file, the chamber and bulk of the revolver was filed down, until I had a column of metal extending from his hand, which will become the Eighth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.

However, in it’s initial state it was too long, looking more like a wand than a sonic screwdriver. Looking at the figure with his “wand”, I realised that he now kind of looked like Newton Scamander from the Fantastic Beasts franchise;

Newt Scamander Coat | Fantastic Beasts 2 Movie | 50% Off

So, if you want a “Wizarding World” proxy, this might work out a bit more affordable than an official Knight Models miniature…

As the wand was too long, this was trimmed down and the end rounded to be more sonic-y and less wand-y. However, during this process, I’d failed to notice that my handling of the figure had bent it a bit out of shape. This is due to the fact that the top part of the figure is fairly hefty, with the flapping coat being solid metal, whilst the figure’s ankles are quite slender – therefore being the weak point on this model.

After carefully straightening the figure up, the base was filed flat and glued to a standard 25mm plastic base, as all my other incarnations of the Doctor are based in this way. The integral metal base was then blended in to the plastic base with Milliput. As my intention was to try and replicate the knee-high lace-up boots that the Eighth Doctor wore prior to his regeneration AND this was a weak point on this model, some Milliput was added to and smoothed around the bottom half of the legs.

For some reason, this took far longer than normal and was scraped off and reapplied a couple of times, until I was happy with the ‘look’. I then left it to dry overnight.

Revisiting the figure the following morning, I realised that his boots were a little thick, so using various shaped needle files, I filed down both the Millput top layer and, where necessary, the underlying metal, until I reached a point that I was happy with.

This is the result so far:

I think the boots may need some further reshaping before the first lick of paint goes on, but I’m reasonably happy so far.

Right, that’s the “Forgotten Heroes” part dealt with… what about the “Hidden Monsters?”

Whilst I only managed to undercoat my monsters for Keith’s (Angry Piper) Monster May(Hem) challenge, I did enjoy visiting other participants websites to see what they’d done, one such being Matt’s PM Painting. He’d painted a Cloak Fiend, a figure I’d not seen before and was keen to find out where it was from, as I thought it was quite cool. I queried this on his blog, but did then use my Web-Fu – for my Web-Fu is Strong – to find it myself, discovering that it was a Reaper figure.

However… this also flagged up a couple of other figures with the “fiend” suffix, which led me to an Etsy shop called ParagonStar.

From what I could gather, this seller utilises a 3D resin printer to create gaming miniatures which can be in a variety of sizes, based on the diameter of the base – from 30mm up to 150mm, with 100mm and 150mm being printed in plastic, rather than resin.

Intrigued by the figure that had brought me to the site, I browsed the range (354 items), noting that figures started from £5.49 each, it was a UK based seller, so shipping was £2.99 and, whilst the pictures in the shop were renders, buyers had posted reviews with pictures of the ACTUAL models painted up.

Then I found this;

Urban Devil  Resin Miniature  Many Size Options dungeons image 0

I have been searching for a decent miniature to represent the Jersey Devil for a very long time and I had now found one that I was happy with.

Using a steel rule and the ability to expand the view on my mobile phone, I worked out that in order for the figure to be the ‘right’ size for 28mm, it would need to be on a 40mm base, which meant that the figure would be about 35-40mm tall. This meant that the figure would be £7.69 + £2.99 shipping, so a total of £10.68. Based on the level of detail and size, this was a bargain compared to other figures.

However, I decided that before ordering THIS figure, I’d test the waters by ordering a different figure, so plumped for Paragon Star’s Wendigo, which was very reminiscent of the illustration of it that appeared in issue #138 of Dragon magazine, way back in the dawn of time…

Dragon Magazine #138

Wendigo  Resin Miniature   28mm / 32mm Scale  Dungeons And image 0

Okay, so the Dragon version hasn’t got 4 arms, but Paragon Star’s one is pretty damn cool.

So, ordered last Wednesday and due to be delivered beginning of next week. Once it arrives, I will give it a full review and show everyone what it looks like compared to other figures. The seller is quite communicative, so if you have any questions prior to purchasing, send him a message. I asked what the height of the figures would be, based on a base size of 40mm and he came back the following day to advise, confirming my calculations.

As mentioned above, there are a LOT of monsters on there, and they are all non-standard – so while they may have a version of an Owlbear on there, it’s probably not what you’d expect – which is pretty cool. As long as the figure quality is decent, I may very well be ordering from there again. I’ve been needing a proper Jersey Devil for a while, but can I really resist getting a Keg Golem…?

Keg Golem  Resin Miniature  Many Size Options dungeons And image 0

Forgotten Heroes 2020

June has rolled around once more, which means it is once again time for…

Forgotten Heroes!

Yes, once again the Buffet descends into the creative madness that is the Forgotten Heroes challenge – although I prefer to think of it as a community art project, rather than an actual challenge…

So, to reiterate the “rules”, such as they are, are these; during the month of June, you must produce a single figure of a fictional character of which a figure has not yet been made or has been made, but was not how you felt the character should have been represented. The character you choose can be from any medium – film, TV, book, comics, etc. – and in any scale. The base figure you use should NOT be either an official or unofficial representation of the character you are producing. And your first post should explain who the character is – ideally with a picture so we can compare this with your finished figure. Your figure can be as simple as repainting a Heroclix Blue Beetle as the obscure Marvel villain Goldbug, converting the same figure into Zodac from Master of the Universe or sculpting the entire figure from scratch – it’s entirely up to you.

So, give your imagination free rein and finally create the figure YOU’VE always wanted.

Anyone who would like to take part who hasn’t already let me know, all you need to do is post a comment on this blog letting me know and I’ll add you to the blogroll of participants.

So, as I am currently in the midst of my ongoing Doctor Who project, surprisingly enough I am going to stay within this universe. As part of my ongoing love for the show (up until Chris Chibnall decided to crap all over my childhood), I intend to collect a model of every iteration of the Doctor, from First to Thirteenth.

Now, I have models from Black Tree Design representing the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctor, figures for the Third, Twelfth and MY version of the Thirteenth from Crooked Dice (although only the latter is still available, as it’s not specifically a representation of the Doctor… well, at least until the BBC realise MY version is far superior) and the Steve Buddle-sculpted version of the Eleventh Doctor, which WAS available from Heresy Miniatures, but sadly no more.

Which leaves me missing the Eighth, War, Ninth and Tenth Doctors to complete my collection. The latter three were available from Crooked Dice and Heresy up until the Cease and Desist notices went out and the Eighth Doctor IS available from Black Tree… but I don’t like this version of the figure.

So, my intention, for my Forgotten Heroes entry for this year, is to create my own version of the Eighth Doctor.

Now, this version of the Doctor has had three ‘looks’, two of which are canon and one of which appears on the covers of Big Finish adventures. The first look is from the Doctor Who TV movie, in which Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh regenerated into Paul McGann’s Eighth and looked like this:

Eighth Doctor Adventures – The Doctor Who Companion

In between his first appearance in the TV movie and his final appearance in The Night of the Doctor special, he gallivanted around in the Big Finish extended universe dressed like this;

8th Doctor Alternate Costume by rook971 on DeviantArt

Which is reminiscent of the Ninth Doctor’s outfit. And his final look was in The Night of the Doctor, when McGann regenerated into John Hurt – and this outfit was an echo of his first outfit, but less… flouncy.

The Night of the Doctor promo pics - The 8th Doctor looks ...

Now, as the first and third looks are canon, I’ve decided to disregard the Big Finish outfit and create MY version of the Eighth Doctor as the transitional stage between the two outfits. And the figure I will be using for this is PLP013 – Captain Withnail;

Captain Withnail

So, this will require turning his current footwear into a closer representation of his lace-up boots and turning the revolver into his sonic screwdriver, then a suitable paint job to tie everything together. I’m fairly certain that this will work…

Now, as I’ve failed to complete last month’s Monster May(hem) challenge, I have been given a stay of execution by Keith and my Cyclopian Aliens will be completed this month, alongside the Eighth Doctor.

So, that’s what I’ll be up to. Be sure to check out the other participants blogs to see what they’ll be creating;

Dave at Wargamesculptors Blog, who is intending to complete his compliment of A.B.C. Warriors from 2000AD.

The co-creator of Forgotten Heroes, Roger at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table, which he has assured me involves some kind of cat-themed characters… and no doubt some awful puns.

Keith aka The Angry Piper at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging, who will no doubt be bringing to light another obscure superhero or villain.

And Roy from This Blog of Mine will be completing the Calista Secor version of Retro Girl from the TV show Powers.

Anyone else who wants to take part, just let me know in the comments and join us in our madness!!!

More Awesome on the Inside

Due to the application of transdimensional engineering, whilst the exterior of every Tardis in use by the Time Lords is relatively small and unassuming, taking the form of such things as stone columns, grandfather clocks, horseboxes or even antiquated Police boxes, the interior is much, much bigger.

In other words, it’s bigger on the inside, which was the title of my previous post.

In that post, I did state that it was my intention to build the control room for my 13th Doctor – with a combination of downloaded papercraft templates (which I tinkered with) and some odds and ends from my bits box.

I was also intending to make some progress on my entries for Monster May(hem), the month-long event instigated by Keith over at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging, but because of certain issues regarding the building of my control room, these were put on hold.

However, I believe that concentrating on my Tardis was worth it, but you can judge that for yourself.

So, having downloaded the template for the 8th Doctor’s Tardis floor, resized it and printed out enough copies to produce the entire hexagonal wooden floor, I cut these out, as well as a piece of mounting board. The idea was to glue the three parts of the floor to the mounting board with a glue-stick, then use a plate to make the completed ‘floor’ circular.

Things did not go according to plan.

To cut a long story short, I messed this part up and had to come up with an alternative plan – which actually worked out better, as you will see.

Using a side plate, I cut a circle of mounting board approximately 8 inches in diameter, used a compass to find the centre, then scribed 5 rings within the circle. I then divided this into 16 segments.

It would have been easier if I’d had a black Sharpie for the next part, but the whole circle was then painted alternating black and white, to create a tiled floor, like so;

As you can probably appreciate, this took quite some time, as I initially painted the black tiles, then realised that I had to tidy of the edges of the white tiles with some white paint, then go back and do some touching up with BOTH black and white paints when the original coats were dry. Labour intensive, but does give a good effect, even if staring at it for any length of time does start fucking with your eyes.

In order to protect my hard work and give it a more ’tile-y’ look, the floor was then covered with some transparent sticky-backed plastic, like so;

You can just about make out the sheen on the top left of the floor in the above picture and the 13th Doctor standing in the centre does give a sense of scale.

The final part of preparing the floor was to make a hole in the exact centre, like so, for reasons that will be explained later;

Now that the floor was done, it was time to start working on the ‘fixtures and fittings’.

First was the Tardis console. The transparent pen lid used as the time rotor had been glued into the hole on the HeroClix base, but was loose AND wonky, so this was re-glued with my son’s hot glue gun, rather than with what I’d attempted to use previously.

I’d also worked out that the cardstock console panel would need some kind of support, so some careful measuring was done and a rubber sleeve, which was the finger-grip from another pen, was cut down and slid over the central column. The base had previously been given a coat of Docrafts Bronze, as shown below;

After this picture was taken, the base received a further coat of Bronze, as did the sleeve.

Next up was the additional furniture – two file card cabinets taken from the Victory of the Daleks papercraft set and a grandfather clock taken from the Sarah Jane Adventures Bannerman Road set, all downloaded from the AFT Downloads site.

The end of yet another expired pen became a stone planter (once repainted), and a blob of hot glue secured the small frond of plastic vegetation, creating EITHER a pot plant for the interior of the Tardis control room or the Great Rangdo of Arg – in his Aspidistra form…

The next part was to assemble the walls. I’d printed out on card wall sections from the 4th Doctor’s secondary control room, including the scanner, but not the stained-glass windows – because I didn’t like them. These had been manipulated to produce a run of roundel wall sections, with blank wall sections in between. I’d made a double-sized blank section, which I then pasted in the exterior door section from the 9th Doctor’s Tardis, to provide an egress.

The two printed sections were cut out, with a half-inch white border at the bottom, to create tabs with which to attach the walls to the floor. This was then joined in the centre and the whole interior wall covered with plastic to protect it and give the slightly lacquered appearance of the original walls. This didn’t go quite according to plan, as it was a long strip and didn’t stick completely flat, so the creases were squashed flat with the handle of the craft knife. I did try ironing these flat, but this didn’t work and actually made it slightly worse, but it’s not THAT noticeable.

The walls were then glued to the perimeter of the floor, then the file cabinets and grandfather clock were glue to the internal walls and the pot plant and central console placed, which just about completes the control room, as shown below;

A few close-ups to give a better idea of how everything scales together – here’s Tara having just come in to the Tardis from outside, showing the exterior door and one of the filing cabinets. You can see where the creases are in the plastic around the door and where I attempted to rectify this with the iron. It’s not that bad…

And the Doctor checking out the scanner, which also shows the pot plant and the grandfather clock. I can see that the pot needs a bit more paint on the inside, which, as it has not been secured yet, can still be done.

And a close-up of the central console. This has not been completely finished, as the cardstock control panel section is not yet glued in place and I’m undecided whether the base needs to be painted Brass-y or can stay Bronze;

Now, this is the FUN part. If you look at the picture above, you can see that rubber sleeve under the console is now painted bronze and has interesting lines scribed into it. If you recall, this was originally blue. And, if you remember earlier, I did say I’d explain why I’d made a hole in the floor…

As the transparent plastic tube is open at the bottom AND not covered, the idea was to feed a LED or other small light up inside it, so as to illuminate the Time Rotor. In order to test this idea, I sat the whole diorama on top of a big torch, covered the top with a circular placemat and turned it on.

This is the result;

Not only has the top of the Time Rotor illuminated and cast its light on the ‘ceiling’, the blue of the plastic sleeve shines through the base of the console and the floor is also glowing red, purely from sitting on top of the torch.

Which is pretty damn awesome.

To paraphrase Kelis;

“My Tardis brings all the fans to the yard,
And they’re like, it’s better than yours,
Damn right it’s better than yours,
I can teach you, but you have to understand non-Euclidean geometry….”

Right, time for an announcement. Whilst May is Monster May (Hem) month, June is Forgotten Heroes month. I’m announcing it now to explain the rules and to give everyone a chance to order whatever figures they need to participate, if they so wish.

Rules are as follows; during June, you must produce at least one figure to represent a fictional character which has not yet had a decent figure made for it yet. It can be from any source, be it a movie, TV series, book or comic and in any scale. The base figure you use CANNOT be a figure designed to be the character you are producing, so no using Miniature Figurines Retro Space Pilot as a base for Dan Dare, as it was designed to represent this character. Can be as simple as repainting a Heroclix Blue Beetle as Goldbug to ‘doing a Roger’ and sculpting your figure from scratch.

I shall be falling in the middle and converting an existing figure into a character I want, which, bearing in mind my current project, is Doctor Who related.

If you want to take part, post a comment on here stating you want to join in and I will add you to the list of participants.

Which character have you always craved a figure of, which no-one has made yet? Now’s your chance to make that unique figure just for yourself.

That’s all for this time – join me next time for (hopefully) the completion of my entries for Monster May(Hem), but definitely MORE Doctor Who.

Bigger on the Inside

In nearly every episode of PROPER Doctor Who there will be one or more scenes which take place within the control room of the Tardis. Unless, of course, the Time Lords have changed the dematerialisation code, rendering the Tardis inoperable, in which case you’ll probably spend more time pottering about in a UNIT lab…

So, in order to continue to provide the TRUE adventures of the 13th Doctor, I do, of course, need a suitable “set” of my version of the 13th Doctor’s Tardis control room, which I did state I would probably need at the end of my previous post.

As discussed in the comments section on that post and having researched the various iterations of the Tardis control room over the years, there are certain constants – the main control console is hexagonal in shape and the illuminated Time Rotor rises from the centre of this, sometimes reaching as high as the ceiling; the control room itself is usually oval or circular in plan and has at least two doors, one leading outside and one leading further into the Tardis interior; and, finally, there will be circles or roundels somewhere within the control room, either as decorative panels, light fittings or as part of the structure itself.

The control room also usually reflects the personality or style of the Doctor who uses it, so in order to build a suitable control room, I need to know what sort of person my 13th Doctor is.

We’ve had a brief taste of his personality in his first outing and, from there, we know what his outfit/costume consists of, which, until I’d finished painting him, didn’t realise was very similar to the outfit that the Master wore when “hiding” out as Professor Yana…

Utopia TV ep Asset - Blogtor Who

Which means that you could use the Crooked Dice figure as a 28mm version of the Master who was involved in the Time War, until he fled to the end of time, with a suitable paint job and the addition of a cravat…

Moving back to my 13th Doctor, as his style is somewhat Victorian/Edwardian, based as he is on Rod Taylor’s portrayal of the time traveller in the 1960 version of The Time Machine, I was thinking something in walnut and brass for his control room.

Roger did suggest in the comments of the previous post that the secondary control room, used by the Fourth Doctor between The Masque of Mandragora and The Robots of Death, might be a possible contender;

Now, there are certain elements of this design I like, but also parts that I don’t, but it did give me a starting point with which to start designing my control room.

Having got a rough idea of what I was going to do, the next thing was to look at what ‘bits’ I had knocking about that could be used. A thorough search through the ‘box of bits’ that every wargamer/modeller has, turned up the bottom part of the Oreo style Heroclix base with the knurled edge and a transparent pen lid approximately 40mm long.

A suitably sized hole was drilled into the base and the pen lid glue into place, to serve as the base for the control console, like so;

The bottom half of the pen lid is a little scratched, hence the slightly milky looking nature of it, but as this will be painted AND beneath the console itself, this isn’t a problem.

The next problem was how to construct the remainder of the Tardis… which was when I remembered a website I’d previously visited a while ago that might be able to help.That website was Action Figure Theatre, created and run by Philip Lawrence.

What Mr Lawrence has done is to create Doctor Who fan fiction in the form of illustrated photo-strips, using the 5″ Doctor Who action figures brought out by Character Options.

More importantly for my purposes, he has created papercraft ‘sets’ for his stories and these can be found and downloaded as JPEG’s from AFT’s Download site.

Want a model of WOTAN from The War Machines? Or the interior of a Dalek saucer from The Dalek Invasion of Earth? How about Magnus Greel’s time cabinet from The Talons of Weng Chiang? Or the interior of the Rani’s Tardis from Mark of the Rani? This site has got you covered – including the interiors of EVERY Tardis from Hartnell to Capaldi.

But is doesn’t stop there. There are also sets for the Torchwood hub, Bannerman Road from The Sarah Jane Adventures, the interior of the Enterprise from Star Trek (Keith take note), Indiana Jones-inspired sets and a section of generic places, such as sewers, Victorian house interiors, spaceship interiors, etc.

Now obviously, as all these sets are scaled for 5″ (or 3.75″) action figures, you may be wondering why they might be of use. Well, as each page is a JPEG file, this means that once they are downloaded, they can be resized, cropped and generally fannied about with just like any other digital image.

So, if you were, for example, to download some of the wall panels from the fouth Doctor’s secondary control room, the floor and console from the Eighth Doctor’s Tardis and a few pieces of suitable furniture from various other sets, import them into Microsoft Word as pictures, then spend some time getting them right, you might end up with the components for your very own custom Tardis control room, printed out on to card, ready to be assembled, like so;

That’s all for this post, but join me next time, when we should see some progress on May’s monsters, along with (hopefully), the completed Tardis control room.

Here Be Monsters…

May is officially Monster Month… well, at least according to Keith over at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging it is.

Now, when these monthly (or longer) community events come around, I always look at whatever project I am currently involved in and see my participation will either advance the current project or act as a welcome break from whatever I’m working on.

Keith has specified that it has to be a MONSTER, not a humanoid – so no orcs, goblins, etc. As I’m currently in the midst of my 13th Doctor project and the majority of Doctor Who monsters are “men in rubber suits” (which, incidentally, was going to be the original title of this post – until I discovered that Googling this phrase doesn’t bring up images of Godzilla or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but a whole other past-time…which probably involves a lot of talc.)

However, I feel that as long as the figures I choose are suitably “monstrous”, these will still qualify.

So, these are the figures chosen to act as my entries for Monster Month;

A pair of Cyclopian Aliens, sculpted by Mr Roger Webb and released through Wargames Supply Dump, prior to its’ closure… and therefore no longer available.

I felt these not only fit Keith’s definition of ‘monster’, but also were an ideal creature to appear in a future episode of the true adventures of the 13th Doctor or TruWho, as I like to call it.

So far, they’ve been based on two-pence pieces, Milliput added to blend the integral base to the 2p base, undercoated in white and given a base coat of GW Ghoul Grey – which is actually a shade of green, as you can see from the picture above. Currently, undecided in what colour direction I am going to go with these, hence just the base coat so far.

But other figures for this project have been progressed, such as Abslom Daak and Doomlord;

Daak has had a few more of the smaller details added to him, as well a wash of GW Marine Dark Blue to his trousers, as they were a touch too bright.

Doomlord received the same on his trousers, plus washes on his coat and head and hands, to bring out some of the detail. I also decided to paint his tunic in GW Woodland Green, but the wash of Docrafts Jungle Green wasn’t dark enough to bring out the detail, so I’ll probably give it a wash of black when I do his guns.

I have also progressed my Silence figures, by painting their shoes black and giving their heads and hands a wash with Docrafts Chocolate Brown, which I think has worked reasonably well to bring out some of the sculpted details. They need their suits darkened, shirt and ties tidied up, bases done and potentially their little piggy eyes painted in, which will make them look suitably creepy.

And finally, some figures that have now left the Tray of Shame – firstly, my Weeping Angels, surrounding the 13th Doctor;

I decided to just paint the bases up, as Weeping Angels in Doctor Who traditionally don’t have lichen or moss growing on them.

And the final figure of this post – an Ice Warrior.

Whilst the Ice Warriors that have appeared in the current series have been somewhat shinier (see series 7’s Cold War and series 10’s Empress of Mars), this is a Black Tree Design figure, so is the older style Ice Warrior, complete with hairy bits, so I went for colouration similar to a crocodile… or an avocado.

Undercoated in white, then a base coat of GW Woodland Green. The hairy bits were painted with Docrafts Burnt Ochre, the eye panels with Docrafts Cherry Red and the exposed facial parts with GW Rotting Flesh. Then the whole figure (bar the eye panels) was given a wash of Docrafts Jungle Green, which muted the base green and blended the brown into the whole figure. The base was given my usual Docrafts Chocolate Brown base coat, then washed in Burnt Ochre, then the base rim was painted black and the figure was done. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Next time – unsurprisingly, more Doctor Who. I need to finish up the cast for the next episode and possibly build the control room of the 13th Doctor’s Tardis.