Late, But Not Forgotten

Usually around the beginning of July, once all entries for Forgotten Heroes have been submitted and the dust has settled, I provide an epilogue of sorts, giving an overview of how I thought that particular year’s event went…

This is that post.

I apologise for the tardiness of it, but as it was announced that the current contract I was engaged in had been cut short by six months and I would be out of work as of the 1st August, understandably my ‘free’ time has been spent trying to secure alternative (and more permanent) employment. This also explains why I’ve not commented on those blogs I regularly follow, so additional apologies for that too. I have been keeping abreast of what you’ve all been doing, just not really had the mindset to provide worthwhile comments.

So, as the third of what has now become an annual event, we’ve had an interesting project utilising some kind of alchemy in order to shrink resin models of Transformers, specifically the Insecticons (which as Tom Hanks will attest “the robot turns into a bug? That’s a great idea…”), an almost full collection of sculpted from scratch A.B.C. Warriors, a small-screen pulp flying ace and his dog, and the usual selection of four-colour heroes and villains who have been…Forgotten.

In some cases, they probably should have been, but we do love our lame and cheesy superheroes – the characters who are so bad they’re good, which is why this event is so much fun.

Now, as I hinted at previously, next year’s Forgotten Heroes will see a few changes to the rules, which I’ll explain now, but will reiterate prior to next year’s challenge.

Firstly, I’m changing the definition of a “Forgotten Hero” – this will now encompass ANY character, historical OR fictional, that has yet to have a decent figure made of them. Want to create the definitive Lord Soth from Dragonlance? Now you can. Want to do a diorama of Washington crossing the Delaware? No problem. Want to finally create either the Hypno-Hustler or Hellcow from Marvel Comics (the latter of which was referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2)? Go for it.

Image result for hypno-hustler

The second thing that will be changing is that you won’t be restricted to a specific scale. The figure (or figures) can be of any scale. If you fancy doing Dick Dastardly, Muttley and the Mean Machine in 20mm, so you can use with the rest of your Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, now you can.

The other major change relates to registration. Whilst Roger administers the Forgotten Heroes site, this event was my idea and remains my baby. Roger is the Alfred to my Batman, if you like. So rather than Roger sending out emails to previous participants, in order to take part in next year’s event, you will need to register by commenting on MY blog – Carrion Crow’s Buffet – or emailing me directly. For those who have previously corresponded via Roger, he can provide this for you.

Not a particularly strenuous requirement and there will be a benefit to this, as the intention is provide ALL future participants in the Forgotten Heroes event with a badge (or button as I believe our American cousins call it) with the NEW Forgotten Heroes logo on it! Be the envy of all your friends!

Once I’ve finished designing it, that is…and no, it won’t be made from the “purest green”.

And, finances willing, there may even be some prizes too.

So, I wish to thank all of those who took part in this year in the spirit of the event and hope that you’re already planning what you’re going to do next year. If I can work out how to do it, you might even seethe Big Wheel next year…

Image result for marvel big wheel

Until next time…

Advertisements

Redo From Start – Rom v2.0

Because it was annoying me so much, I decided to take a bit of time and repaint Rom until I was happy…or at least happier.

This is Rom v1.0;

I masked the emitter and resprayed him with Plastikote Chrome Effect spray, also spraying some Warlord Cybermen at the same time. These were going to be my ‘test subjects’.

I then mixed some purple ink with a touch of black ink, watered it down and liberally applied to one of my guinea pigs. And the result was what I was hoping for.

I then carefully applied it to resprayed Rom, concentrating where possible on the joints and crevices.

I then painted the position of the chest lights with Mithril Silver and, when dry, painted over them with Cherry Red.

Having looked at Rom’s visor in the iluustrations, I painted the slot Burnt Umber, added two dots of Mithril Silver for the eyes and then washed the whole slot in Cherry Red.

I then repainted the base with Dark Grey, followed by a wash of Burnt Umber mixed with Black, as you couldn’t see the texture with my original version.

And now I’m satisfied and here he is;

And the lesson I’ve learned here is – don’t cut corners to save time, as you’ll end up redoing all your work.

And still within the deadline! Go me!

The Hero of Galador

As everyone else has been beavering away and producing figure after figure, and the Forgotten Heroes deadline was approaching, I finally managed to set aside some time to finish off my figure for this year. But things did not go quite according to plan…

When we last saw Rom, he had been fully assembled, based and given a generous coat of Plastikote Chrome Effect spray and I was quite pleased with how he’d turned out. As all I needed to do was add the emitter to his Neutraliser, add some shading and his visor and chest lights, I assumed that this would be a simple task and therefore did not worry about cracking on with it.

This was a mistake.

As I’d already set aside the transparent red axe that I’d removed from the Heroclix Drax miniature who became Trapjaw, the first order of the day was to cut a suitably shaped piece and attach it to the front of the Neutraliser. This worked out better than I had hoped, as whilst the surface of  axe blade was red, it’s not actually made from red plastic. This meant that exterior of the emitter was red, but the business end (where the blast comes out) wasn’t, so it did resemble the comic book version, where the end of the emitter is slightly recessed. This meant that no additional faffing about was needed.

Then came the wash and this is where things started to go awry. Having canvassed opinion in my last post, I decided to go for a dark purple wash, to highlight the crevices on the model. Unfortunately, I got the consistency wrong and the figure ended up looking like it had dipped in oil. I then decided to dry-brush the model in Mithril Silver, to try and recover the shininess I’d managed to get with the spray.

Whilst this did restore Rom’s overall silver colour scheme, it wasn’t as good as the Chrome spray effect. He was silvery, but no longer as shiny as before.

Checking online pictures, I noted where the two chest lights were located which also happened to be where two recesses on the figure were located. However, rather than repainting these silver, I decided to just paint them red, assuming that the red paint would be bright enough to cover the grey shadow already there. I did the same with his visor.

Annoyingly, this didn’t come out quite the way I’d planned, as the red paint wasn’t thick enough or bright enough to look like lights.

So, whilst he IS finished, he’s annoying me, as I know I could have done better. I am pleased with the pose and the accuracy of the Neutraliser, but I’m not entirely happy with the overall painting, so I’m pretty certain he will be repainted shortly.

However, as the deadline has been reached, you get to see Rom v1.0 as a ‘completed’ figure, but over the next month I’ll hopefully get time to correct my mistakes, so Rom v2.0 will be shown later.

And here he is.

As you can see, he is silver-ish, but not as shiny as before and the red of the chest lights and visor are muted, with no sign of Rom’s ‘eyes’.

This picture shows how I repositioned his arm to get a more dynamic pose, and it’s now difficult to see that this wasn’t the way the figure was originally molded.

And finally a scale shot with a Heroclix Harley Quinn.

As you can see, the base figure is quite substantial, so he does tower of ‘normal’ sized characters, which as it should be. And looking at this picture again, he kind of looks a little bit like Robocop…

So, kind of finished, but I’m not entirely happy with him and my OCD will refuse to let me leave him like this, so expect an update in the near future where I’ll either be crowing with joy at getting him right or cursing that I ever thought that this would be an ‘easy’ figure to do.

Until next time.

Shiny Happy…Spaceknights

As we’re almost two-thirds of the way through June and the last three posts on the Buffet have been on other matters, you may be under the impression that my entry for Forgotten Heroes may have been…well, forgotten.

However, this is not the case, as I have been working on it behind the scenes, in amongst all the other things I’ve been up to.

When I first introduced the base model that I was planning to turn into Rom, it looked like this:

The first order of the day, in order to get Rom’s iconic spread-legged stance, which according to Messrs Keanrick and Mossop is the stance of a hero, I sliced his base in half and spread his legs. In order to do this, I did have to cut upwards, as it’s not evident from the picture, but right at the very top of his legs, they are joined by a very thin piece of plastic.

I then jammed a trangular needle file between his thighs, bent his ankles inwards and glued him to a spare HeroScape base I had knocking about. I then cut off his head and left arm.

As the base figure is looking down, when I repositioned his head to look to the left (from his point of view), there was a small wedge-shaped gap in the throat area, which I knew I would have to fill at some point.

Regarding the left arm, as I wanted to preserve the shoulder joint/pad, in order to position the arm in the right place, I needed to carve off some of the left shoulderblade/back, so that the arm would sit flush and not look too out of place. This was then glued into place and the model left to ‘set’.

Upon returning to the figure later, I discovered that whilst the glue had worked on the base, I’d forgotten that HeroScape bases have a sticker on top and this had pulled away from the plastic base beneath. So I decided to alter the stance to a slightly less heroic spread of legs and re-base it directly on to a 2 pence piece.

So, proto-Rom was now in the correct stance, but was unarmed.

Rummaging through my bits box, I eventually cobbled together his Neutraliser from various plastic odds and ends, including the remains of a plastic GW Dalek and part of a Kroot rifle.The most iconic part of his weapon is the ribbed cooling vents(?) just behind the emitter, which took a bit longer to find a suitable part.

I then cut between the figure’s index finger and thumb, prised this gap open, bent the fingers around the handle of the Neutraliser and glued everythng into place, like so:

Now that proto-Rom was assembled, I needed to tidy up his base and fill the gap in his neck, or one good knock would send the head flying, so out came the Miiliput and he was given a textured base and the gap was filled. I also ran the thin edge of a needle file across his eye slot, as this wasn’t quite the right shape.

Once the Milliput was dry, the next stage was to give the whole figure a base coat. As I wanted to replicate the comic book version as much as possible, who is very shiny, I decided to use some Plastikote Chrome Effect spray on the whole figure, which is why I did not add the transparent red emitter for the Neutraliser or his visor. And this is the result:

Ooooh, Shiny!

And that’s the progress so far. Other than addiing the red emitter, visor and chest lights and repainting the base, I think he’s pretty much done.

I’m trying to decide if I should give him a black wash to highlight the shadows a bit more, or just leave him really, really shiny. I think I’ll have to look at him in full natural light to make that decision, but if anyone else wants to venture an opinion on that, please feel free to do so.

Until next time…

Forgotten Heroes 2018 – The Greatest Spaceknight of Them All!

June is here and that can only mean one thing here at the Buffet – it’s Forgotten Heroes month!

For those of you new to this blog, this annual event is now in its third year, after I came up with this crazy idea back in 2016. Full details of what it is and what the rules/guidelines are for this celebration of the overlooked and unloved can be found in this post, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

Now, last year I created a whole team of superheroes, namely Image Comics’ Mystery Incorporated from the 1963 mini-series, who were a pastiche of Marvel’s Fantastic Four. If you’re interested in this “Quantum Quartet”, they can be seen in their finished forms in this post.

This year, as my time seems to be a little less available than previous years, I’ve decided to just produce one figure. And the character I’ve chosen this year is Rom: Spaceknight!

Rom has an interesting history, as the character was originally created by Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy and Bryan L. McCoy for Parker Brothers in 1979. This was the first ‘action figure’ that the company had ever produced, as they were primarily a publisher of board games.

Image result for rom spaceknight toy

As action figures go, Rom was a bit rubbish, as it only had limited articulation at the ankles and shoulders, but what it did have was electronic lights and sounds! Woo-hoo! However, it was essentially just a large hunk of silver-grey plastic, with different ‘tools’ that Rom could hold, which made different noises when they were plugged in to him. Yes, it was a ‘space’ toy, but you could have far more fun with an Action Man, the acceptable face of dolls for boys.

(And before anyone gets a bit miffed with me referring to Action Man (or G.I.Joe) as a doll, if you owned one, just how many different outfits did you have for him? And how often did he get changed? He was a doll – just a manly, rugged doll with a scar on his face.)

To drum up sales for the toy, the character was licensed to Marvel Comics in 1979 and in December of that year, the first issue of Rom: Spaceknight was published, written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Sal Buscema.

Image result for rom spaceknight comic

The comic book ran for 75 issues up until February 1986 and the character of Rom was fully integrated into the Marvel Universe. The comic actually lasted longer than the toy it was originally created to support.

Now, as the character was only licensed to Marvel, the rights to the character were retained by Parker Brothers, who subsequently became a subsidiary of Hasbro. So, whilst the comic book established him as a character within the Marvel Universe, created a supporting cast and back story for him and introduced the alien race known as Dire Wraiths, whilst all of the Marvel created characters CAN be used by Marvel, Rom can’t. So, you won’t see an official Heroclix miniature of him any time soon. He truly is a Forgotten Hero.

However, a massive cyborg warrior in gleaming silver armour, armed with a Neutraliser to banish those Dire Wraiths masquerading as humans to Limbo, is just too cool to remain forgotten, and whilst the toy was a little underwhelming, the iconic image from the cover of his first issue just begs to be replicated in miniature, so that’s what I’m going to attempt.

My base figure for this conversion is the Marvel Heroclix Aleph, from the Avengers Assemble subset:

As you can see, picking a base figure that is as close to the original as possible always makes your life a bit easier. My intention is to re-position the legs to get that iconic wide-legged stance, remove and re-position both the head and the left arm and add a scratch-built Neutraliser to his left hand. The various illustrations show him using it in both his left and right  hands, but I want to mimic the image from the cover of his first issue as much as possible, so he will be left-handed.

I saved the axe-head from the Drax Heroclix figure I converted into Trapjaw, as this is made from transparent red plastic, specifically with this conversion in mind, as I will be using it to create Rom’s visor and the end of his Neutraliser. Well, that’s the plan anyway…

Until next time…

The Road to Forgotten Heroes 2018

As we’re nearing the first third of May, the means that the creative madness that is Forgotten Heroes is sliding inexorably closer.

For those of you not familiar with this ‘community art project’, this now annual event is where a group of like=minded gamers create one or more gaming miniatures of characters who have yet to have an official or unofficial figure made of them. In essence, they have been “forgotten.”

Or at least that’s what it started out as…

However, as with most of these types of challenges, these things do have a tendency to evolve over time. As one of the questions we regularly get asked is “I know it’s a little outside the rules, but can I do this character?” I think it’s time to redefine the rules somewhat…

Don’t worry though = whilst the rules have now evolved, they’re actually broadening the scope, so should make deciding which character(s) you’re going to create a bit easier.

1. The character or characters you create must have a definitive look or image. In other words, we should be able to recognise the character from the original source material.

2. The base figure used for your creation must not be an official or unofficial sculpt of the character. Repainting a DC Heroclix Blue Beetle as the obscure Marvel villain Goldbug is acceptable, painting the Copplestone Castings ‘Kentucky Davis’ as Indiana Jones is not.

3. The figure must be in the 28mms to 32mm range. This takes into account those manufacturers whose scale is slightly larger, so if you want to create a hero or villain to fit in with your existing Knight Models or Warlord Doctor Who collection, you can.

4. The figure must be completed during the month of June 2018.

5. In your first post, you should provide a bit of background detail in the character you’ve chosen, ideally with an illustration, so we know what you’re aiming for.

Other than that, the choice of character is entirely up to you. In previous years we’ve had Masters of the Universe, Transformers, costumed heroes and villains from comic books, and characters from both the small and big screens.

For details of previous year’s entries, please take a look at the official Forgotten Heroes site, which can be found here.

Let’s make this year even better than the last!

Jez