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.

20200608_1931053889363028269375275.jpg

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

Double Duty

It was my intention for my last post to be longer, but when I realised what the time was, I decided to cut it short.

So, let us continue looking at alternative figures for Doctor Who gaming in 28mm…

A while ago, Roger Webb very kindly gifted me with a bunch of rubbery plastic figures that were a giveaway with the Doctor Who Adventures magazine, which included the New Paradigm Daleks, but also a variety of other monsters from NuWho. The majority of these were in scale with 28mm figures, but the quality of the sculpts was variable.

However, the figures for both the Silence and the Weeping Angels were fairly acceptable, so on to two pence pieces they went.

First, the Silence;

These figures are about 45mm tall and only come in a single pose. The reason they’re leaning is because they’d been stored in a tin with other metal miniatures on top, prior to basing, and due to the nature of the plastic, they’ve deformed slightly. I’ll probably have to hot and cold water them, to get them to stand up straight.

Obviously, the pose isn’t particularly dynamic, but the Warlord ones aren’t really that much MORE dynamic;

If you bear in mind that the above three figures (which are 32mm scale don’t forget) are now £13.00, should I wish to bolster my Silence forces, I’d much rather support Attica Games, whose ESPchers have SIX different poses and you can get all 6 for £17.00.

Attica Games: ESPcher - The Finger of Doom - jpeg image

The Weeping Angels come in two poses and were slightly taller initially, but as they’re supposed to be the same size as normal humans, I cut off about 3-4mm to make them a more sensible height;

Currently, they do look a bit rubbery and the left-hand angel’s arms are a little stumpy, due to the sculpt. However, with a decent paint-job, they can end up looking like this;

Not my work, but that of Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian Warfare fame. I’ve only got one of each pose, and as the Crooked Dice one’s are OOP, I decided to bolster my forces with some of the Reaper Bones Angels of Sorrow;

post-15110-0-03470500-1470852388_thumb.jpg

You get both figures for a very reasonable £4.00 and I think they should match well with the others.

Now, one of the character’s introduced during the 10th Doctor’s run was River Song, who made her first appearance in the 2008 episode “Silence in the Library”, portrayed by Alex Kingston. She spent the entirety of that episode dressed in a spacesuit, like so:

river song space suit costume - Google-Suche | Alex kingston ...

Now, whilst Crooked Dice do still sell a figure based on River’s first appearance – ARC Astronaut C for £4.00;

ARC Astronauts

This doesn’t really represent the sassy, confident River of later episodes, and as Crooked Dice’s “Melody Lake” is OOP, I had to search elsewhere.

Such as Bombshell Miniatures Counterblast range and Science Officer Helen Salinger;

Available in the UK from Westwind Productions, it’s a little pricier than I’d normally pay for a figure, being £7.00, but it’s such a spot-on version of the character, I’m prepared to pay a little more…especially as I bagged a bargain on my next figure(s).

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was looking for additional minions for my vampiric count, to bedevil those stalwart men in blue from the Black Museum. I ended up going for the Myrmourn Banshees, as they were being offered at a reduced rate via the Mortal Realms part-work.

However, had I given the GW website a thorough browse, I would have discovered these “beauties”;

Ur-Ghuls - Blackstone Fortress : Warhammer Quest

These are Ur-Ghuls, which are sightless horrors associated with the Drukhari – in other words, space ghouls that hang around with space dark elves. Anyway, you can buy a single metal Ur-Ghul from Games Workshop…for £12.00. Your other alternative is to buy the Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress boxed game from GW, in which you get the four plastic Ur-Ghuls above. Of course, that’s £95.00, but you do get a bunch of other stuff too…

“But surely you mentioned a bargain, Jez?” I hear you cry. Well, as with most big boxed games, certain enterprising people will buy the game, then break it down into its component parts and sell them on eBay or other sites. So, I managed to pick up the four Ur-Ghuls above for £6.45 including shipping. That works out as about £1.61 a figure, so…BARGAIN!!!

And I will be using them in an upcoming Doctor Who adventure AND probably on the streets of Blackwell too – which explains the title of this post.

Until next time, have fun everyone and stay healthy.

The Order of the White Rose

Since the horrifying events of that fateful night the previous October, Dr. Wilton Hume had devoted his considerable intellect and resources to tracking down those responsible for the death of his grand-daughter, Susan. And, being one of the foremost eminences in the study of the Un-Natural, his network of contacts and associates extended far beyond the shores of Britain, to the darkest recesses of the Continent.

 

Based on the telegram he held in his trembling grasp, his dedication to this cause had borne fruit, at it appeared the Count had finally shown his hand… in Wisborg, of all places.

However, whilst his first instinct was to immediately depart for Germany, he knew from bitter experience that to venture unprepared into the maw of the beast was to court disaster. His grand-daughter’s neck snapping like so much kindling was not a sound he would soon forget and, in order to send the fiend responsible screaming back to whatever Hell had spawned it, he would require assistance.

Fortunately, there were people he could call upon…

 

Mr Lancelot Grimm, occasional consultant to that branch of the Metropolitan Police Service known colloquially as “The Black Museum.” His knowledge of the Un-Natural was extensive, both from painstaking research and practical experience, as was his ability to be prepared for almost every eventuality.