Disasters of the Universe…

So, He-Month 3 or “March-sters of the Universe” draws to a close and whilst Roger over at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table has completed his three characters, namely Tri-klops, Trap Jaw and a rather superb Ram-Man, having built them almost from scratch,  I was feeling slightly smug that I only need to add a few details to mine to complete them.

However, the gods of wargaming do not look kindly upon those who become complacent and I have been troubled by recalcitrant paint brushes and paint that refused to go where I wanted it.

Whilst I am done, I’m not entirely happy with what I’ve produced, but feel that further ‘faffing’ will result in making things worse, so I’ve decided to draw a line under it and show my less than sterling efforts for this round of He-Month.

First, Man-E-Faces. All I needed to do was add a few details and a couple of washes and I was done. Unfortunately, the dark blue wash proved a little two runny and resulted in me having to repaint several areas of his flesh and re-wash these to give a better overall coverage. The mask he wears beneath his helmet also proved a little trickier than I anticipated, as it’s effectively a red domino mask with white eyes. Anyway, he’s done now, although not to my exacting standards;

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Next, we have Trap Jaw, who I’d decided that all he needed was the silver stripe on his helmet to be finished. However, I then decided that I’d attempt to do a skull and crossbones on his shoulder pad and attempt to ‘paint in’ his jaw. This looked absolutely, shockingly crap, so I had to re-do his face and shoulder pad and washing his face resulted in me having to re-paint his torso too, as I ended up with green runs all down him. He is now done too, but I’m also less than happy with him.

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Finally, Tri-klops and whereas the other two caused me issues, Tri-klops was a dream and came out exactly as I’d hoped. I really think that this is one of my better conversions.

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Having done a bit of research regarding eye colour and shape, I decided that I’d just go for oval  and red pupils, but did give him the ‘angry’ eye on the front, which has worked really well.

As we need a tally of how many MOTU figures I’ve done so far, I thought I’d do a couple of group shots. So the ‘Heroic Warriors’ first;

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So, six ‘heroes’, being Fisto, Teela, He-Man, Man-E-Faces, Man-at-Arms and Orko. Man-e-Faces is quite tall compared to the others, but I still think that of the ‘heroes’, Orko is my favourite.

Next, the ‘Villains’;

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So, four villains – Trap-Jaw, Beast Man, Skeletor and Tri-Klops, with Zodac on the end, as otherwise we’d have too many in the other photo. Tri-klops is my new favourite here, followed by Beast Man.

So, a grand total of eleven Masters of the Universe characters, with only another nine (-ish) to go. It would appear that the heroes still outnumber the villains, so I may have to concentrate on the baddies next time, although I have a hankering to try to create the humanoid bee warrior known as Buzz-Off, so we shall see…

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, next month will see a return to Supers, as I intend to complete one of the factions within my own superhero universe, the super-powered circus performers known as…The Clown Gang. (Not exactly original, I know, but they refused to be called anything else and have threatened me with “cream” pies to the face, so ‘Clown Gang’ it is…)

Comments and feedback appreciated and welcome.

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The Power of Three

It’s all about the Power of Three! It’s the third time Roger and I have indulged ourselves with He-Month, each of us is completing three figures, Tri-klops has three eyes, Man-e-faces has three faces and Trap Jaw has three…um…er…

Nope, I got nothing.

It’s all about the Power of Three…except for Trap Jaw, who decided to be bloody awkward.

Anyway, speaking of Trap Jaw, let’s see where we’ve got with him this week;
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So, rather than Milliputting or gluing a helmet on, I decided to paint it on as a skullcap. I did initially attempt to do the same for his jaw, but it looked crap, so my version of Trap Jaw doesn’t actually have the ‘jaw’ part. I also decided to give him his signature purple pants, as otherwise his trousers would have been monotonously black.

His trousers and arm have been inked black, replicating the shiny black plastic these parts were on the original figure and all green parts have been washed with Woodland Green. All he needs now is a wash on his blue parts and sword, and a few details, such as the silver stripe on his skullcap. As his belt is a lot slimmer than on the original figure, I’m considering painting a tiny green skull (or skull ad crossbones) on the shoulder pad, as I think this would look cool. We shall see…

Next, Tri-klops;

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Pretty much done on this one too. I decided to paint the orange in ‘v’ of his tunic, to bring a bit more colour to the figure and match the chest panel the original figure has. He’s also had the previously dark grey parts inked black, had his green parts washed with Salamander Green and his flesh with Dwarf Flesh. Just needs a wash on sword, the gems on his hilt picked out and his eyes painted on and he’s done.

Finally, Man-e-faces;
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Following the colour scheme of the original figure, I’ve painted the front straps of his chest panel purple, as well as the armour plates on each hip. I also tidied up the blue sections and gave them another coat. Finally, his ‘flesh’ parts were given a wash of dwarf flesh. Whilst this does highlight the cybernetic nature of his limbs, I still think he looks cool.

I just need to apply a further brighter red to his gun, paint the red ‘mask’ associated with his human face, add some orange highlights to the central part of his chest panel and he’s pretty much done as well.

Obviously, I still need to wash their bases as well.

Of course, if you want more accurate representations of Trap Jaw, Tri-Klops and a particularly awesome Ram-Man, take a look at what Roger’s been up to over on Rantings from Under the Wargames Table.

Yes, we are slightly bonkers, but we’ve got Masters of the Universe figures. And it would appear we’ve only got about halfway through the figures we want to do, so there will be ample opportunity for others to join us… you know you want to…

Comments and feedback welcome and appreciated.

Finally…March-sters of the Universe!

My regular followers will have noticed a lack of recent content on my blog, for which I apologise.

Unfortunately, my computer has finally given up the ghost and the funds at the Crow’s Nest are not currently sufficient to replace it. However, not being one to give up in the face of adversity and being somewhat cunning, I have worked out that I can upload the photos from my ‘phone via the WordPress App as a Draft post, then  edit the post via a plug-in keyboard attached to my Fire tablet…

Hopefully, this should work, so you’ll have to excuse any roughness as I get used to updating my blog in this fashion.

So, as noted above March is He-Month 3 or “March-sters of the Universe”, where Roger Webb of Rantings from Under the Wargames Table and myself attempt to create 28mm versions of characters from the Masters of the Universe franchise. Follow the above link to see how Roger is progressing, as he’s been regularly posting since the beginning of March and is doing rather well…

When I last posted, all I’d done was state that these were the figures I was intending on using:

Masters3

So, from left to right we have Drax, Lex Luthor and Doc Samson, all from Heroclix. As previously guessed by Roger, Drax will become Trap Jaw and Lex Luthor will become Man-E-Faces. However, Roger failed to guess that Doc Samson is intended to become Tri-klops…

Whilst I’ve always liked Trap Jaw as a character, the representations of him so far have been a little…rubbish. So my challenge was to not only make my version of him, but also make him cool. Trap Jaw screams cybernetic space pirate to me, so that’s how I’m approaching him.

So, I first removed the lower blade on Drax’s ‘cutlass’ and his right arm. This was replaced with an arm from a GW ‘womble’ space marine, from which I’d cut away the actual arm, leaving the shoulder pad and bolter. And this is what I ended up with.

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For Man-E-Faces, I added a GW Laspistol to his right hand, then built up his helmet using Milliput, topping this off with an offcut of plastic sprue for the top. And this is what I ended up with.

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And for Tri-klops, I cut off Doc Samson’s right hand and the top half of his head. The hand was replaced one sourced from a Heroscape Tarn Viking, as this had the right type of sword. And this is where it gets really cunning, as I knew that I didn’t stand any chance of re-creating his visor with my sculpting skills, but I could find a shirt button of the right size and glue this to the top of his head, which was then topped off with another sprue offcut. As I always felt Tri-klops was a little bit ‘ronin’, I decided to give him a dangly skirt, rather than the standard hairy pants. And this is how he came out.

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Looks a little bit Mexican, like Zorro’s pulled his hat down over his eyes… However, as it came out exactly as I intended, I’m pretty happy.

I had a little Milliput over when I’d finished basing them, so not liking waste, fiddled about with it for a bit, then stuck it on a flight stand and voila! Another ghost for Ghostbusters…

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Now, the problem I had before was that once I’d undercoated in white, people couldn’t actually see the figures as the characters, as shown when I created Beast Man from a Bugbear. So, I decided to slap some base colours on each figure, to see if this helped…

Trap Jaw

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I’m trying to decide whether I give him ‘tattoos’ on his head,similar to how some pirates had skulls tattooed on their face, in place of an actual cybernetic jaw and skullcap. what does everyone think?

Man-E-Faces:

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And Tri-Klops:

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So, hopefully worth the wait. I’m pretty pleased with how they look so far.

Comments and feedback appreciated.

“We Came, We Saw, We Kicked Its Ass!”

And with one of the most famous quotes from Ghostbusters, I am announcing a brief hiatus from my Ghostbusters Project, as next month sees the return of the popular Buffet feature – He- Month – which, based on the month it is occurring in, just had to be called “March-sters of the Universe.” Luckily, the quality of the figures far outweighs what passes for ‘humour’ round here…

So, as this was quite an ambitious project, which did go off on tangent here and there along the way, what have I to show for all my ‘hard’ work? Let’s have a look…

Firstly, my plan was to convert the Plasticville Fire Station into my Ghostbusters HQ, which started off looking like this:

Firehouse

And now looks like this:

Firehouse6

Not completely operational, as we need to give the interior and exterior walls, doors and windows another coat of paint, finish the detailing on the containment grid and other equipment and obviously put some signage up.

Then we had their mode of transport, which started off as a Lledo Ambulance:

Ambulance

and now looks like this:

Ecto1

It still requires one more coat of white before I’m entirely happy with it and the roof-top equipment needs some final detailing, but other than that, it’s almost done. But what of the logos, I hear you ask? Well, my freehand painting skills are not precise enough to replicate the Ghostbusters symbol, so I’m going to cheat…

I found a Canadian company called FX Miniatures, who produce replica decals as both waterslide transfers and vinyl stickers, in a variety of scales, running from 1/87 to 1/10. They seem to mainly concentrate on police decals, but do have a selection of ‘Movie & TV’ stickers, including decals to transform the vehicle of your choice into a Mystery Machine, Love Bug or General Lee. And an Ectomobile, of course. So, I shall be purchasing some to not only decorate my Ectomobile, but also the Ghostbusters HQ as well – probably in 1/64, as I reckon this will be the right size.

As for the Ghostbusters themselves, they started off like this:

Ghostbusters1

And currently look like this:

Ghostbusters5

As these figures are quite detailed, I didn’t want to rush them, so they’re not quite finished yet. As you’ve probably noted, Vin’buster currently has different coloured boots, as I’m currently in two minds as to how best to do them. My female scientist’s scarf will (hopefully) end up tartan, but so far all I’ve done is the base colour…

During the project, we were also introduced to the Soul Takers…

Soultakers3

…who have added a further monstrosity to their number. The figure in the centre is an D&D Miniatures Cerebrilith from the Night Below set. I originally bought this to bolster my Marro forces in Heroscape, as someone had produced a custom card for this figure, but as I’d already re-purposed my Marro Warriors as Soul Takers, I decided to repaint the Cerebrilith in the same colours. Not quite finished, but I think it makes a good addition to their forces, as it has a similar look. The figure is available from Troll and Toad for a very reasonable $3.49.

Finally, I did promise a look at my ghostly horde – so far, that is – so here they are:

Ghosts2

As you can see, there are now quite a few, including my home-made Ithaqua the Wind-Walker, details of which can be found here. And this only includes the ‘ghosts’, as we still have were-creatures, mummies, vampires and some more pumpkin-headed monstrosities to come – although these may make an appearance when Enigma Investigations revisits the Buffet (details of their last visit can be found here).

So, the Ghostbusters Project is officially on hold, but it will return, as I need to finish the HQ, Ectomobile and Ghostbusters off. And I will no doubt have thought up some other cool stuff by the time it returns – which will hopefully not involve me jamming sweets onto plastic stands this time…

As noted above, March sees the return of He-Month, where Roger Webb over at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table and myself here will be re-creating characters from the Masters of the Universe franchise in 28mm, with varying degrees of success.

As a final tease, these are the figures I am planning on converting…

Masters3

However, you’ll have to wait until the next post to find out who they will (hopefully) end up as – feel free to guess away in the meantime.

Comments and feedback appreciated.

 

Dinosaurs are Red, Orko is Blue…

As the last few days of September fade into the Season of the Witch, it’s time to bid farewell to Eternia once more, as the second round of He-Month draws to a close.

Those who have been following both myself and Roger Webb’s progress on our slight obsession with re-creating the denizens of Eternia in 28mm will know that Roger has already completed his three characters – namely Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress and Orko. The results of his hard work and talent can be viewed over at his blog, Rantings from Under the Wargames Table. Go directly there now – you won’t be disappointed!

Due to the fact that I decided to add to my modest target of three Masters of the Universe characters – namely Fisto, Beast Man and Orko – by setting myself a further target of converting a cheap plastic dinosaur into a representation of Devil Dinosaur as he appeared in the Nextwave title from Marvel, I could have been setting myself up for a fall. Or in modern parlance, an Epic Fail. However, as my work decided to upgrade one of their essential computer systems this weekend, this resulted in an “extra” day off, so I leapt out of bed, paintbrush gripped between my teeth like an artistic pirate and in a flurry of activity, I have now finished everything! That’s right, not only do I have three completed Masters of the Universe characters, I also have my Devil Dinosaur finished!

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the results…

We’ll start with Fisto, the unfortunately named heroic warrior, who since the Masters of the Universe cartoon finished, has moved into adult entertainment, which unsurprisingly didn’t require a change of name…

Fisto Fin

Rather than use my standard white backdrop, I decided to go for a more scenic backdrop this time round. Only real difference from my last post is that he’s had his base painted to match the rest of my Eternian models. I decided not to attempt his eyes, as I felt if I got it wrong, then he would look like some kind of crazed redneck…

Next we have Beast Man, whose control of almost all natural animals led to a career as an animal trainer once the royalties from MOTU dried up.

Beast Man Fin

Having realised that the washes I’d previously used failed to bring out the needed details, I went darker and am now happy with the results. I have also added details, such as his claws, studs on his harness, a black ink wash on his whip and actually managed to do his eyes, including the blue eye-shadow(?) that he sports. A quick paint of his base and he joins Skeletor on the side Evil. Whilst some were surprised at my choice of base figure for this conversion, now that’s he’s finished I think we can all agree he IS Beast Man!

Now for the floating elf who some love to hate, Orko. Whilst his dream was to headline a Las Vegas magic act, Orko was reduced to becoming a children’s entertainer, until his growing bitterness and disillusionment led first to the bottle, then harder substances. That’s right, Orko broke bad…

Orko Fin

Whilst opinions are divided on the character of Orko, I have to say of this batch of Eternians, he is my favourite, as I think I’ve nailed the look and colours of the character almost spot on. Since last time, I’ve given his hat a darker wash, applied a wash to his scarf, painted his eyes and his ‘O’, which I was dreading, but actually managed first time without mucking it up. Go me!

So, time for the obligatory group shot of all the characters completed so far. First the Heroic Warriors…

Heroes

So, left to right, we have my versions of Fisto, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms and a slight re-imagining of Teela. Now the Evil Warriors…and Zodac.

Villains

Having realised that I’d not got Zodac’s helmet quite right, I took the opportunity to add the cheek panels and chin strap, so he looks more like his cartoon and toy version. The reason he’s pictured with the ‘baddies’ is that there would have been too many in the previous picture. As with Roger’s creations, I seem to be “hero-heavy”, so when He-Month returns in the New Year, I’ll be looking to add to the ranks of Evil. But there will be at least one more Heroic Warrior too…but you’ll have to wait to find out who the next batch of characters will be, as I think I almost broke Roger this time round.

So, that’s the Masters, what of Devil Dinosaur? Well, whilst a large-scale figure makes adding sculpted details a lot easier, it also means that they take longer to paint. However, I have to say that the time and effort I’ve put into this crazy idea seems to have paid off. So, just to remind you all of what the goal was for this side project, it was to re-create the version of Devil Dinosaur that appeared in Issue #12 of Nextwave, who looked like this:

And this is what I came up with:

Devil Fin 1

Dvil Fin 2

Devil Fin 3

And because his stance makes details of the front of his robe, including his belt, a little difficult to see, a close-up:

Devil Fin 4

Yes, it is bonkers and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to use him for yet, but I’m really pleased with how this side project came out.

So, October beckons and I’m currently in several minds as to what to do next. Knowing me, it will probably start off as one thing and mutate into something else… But it is a Buffet and you never know what you’ll be served!

Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.

Masters of the Cretaceous

As He-Month 2 enters its final few days, whilst I was easily going to complete my three Masters of the Universe figures by the end of the month, a lapse of judgement led me to believe that I could also complete a conversion based on the Nextwave version of Devil Dinosaur, as noted in my blog entry entitled “I Hate Monkeys”

And as my co-conspirator in this month’s project, the talented Mr Roger Webb, had posted his final week’s post for this over at his blog Rantings from Under the Wargames Table, showcasing all the figures he’d completed from both of our rounds of He-Month, I felt even more dejected. Especially as his actually look like the characters, rather than the cheap Mexican knock-offs I’ve cobbled together…

However, as I have been given an unexpected day off on Monday, and I’ve managed to complete the majority of the home maintenance tasks required of me by my wife, I may still be in the running…

Anyway, not a huge amount of additional work has been done on my Masters of the Universe conversions – read on to find out why.

We’ll first revisit Beast Man, who has had a little bit of tidying up done, where colour from one section had bled into another and he’s received several washes, to enhance the detail of the sculpt. However, it appears that the colours I chose weren’t strong enough, bar the blue for his loincloth, so it actually looks like I’ve done nothing.

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Orko has also had some washes applied, which were more successful, but it appears I’m a bit wary of painting his eyes and ‘O’, so he’s had a little work done on him, but not a great deal.

Orko5

Fisto, on the other hand, I have been more successful with, although he did cause me a few issues. Fisto’s tunic has horizontal stripes of silver and purple, with a central vertical silver stripe running down the centre of his chest. Pretty simple to paint, yes? Well, that depends on the figure’s pose, as the DC Heroclix Mammoth figure I’d chosen as my proxy is hunched forward, which means very little of his chest and abdomen is showing. Having initially painted his torso purple, I tried painting silver stripes on. This did not go so well, so I painted his torso silver, then painted the purple bits on. This went better. I then went back and repainted his right leg where I’d managed to get both purple and silver paint on his upper thigh. And now you can understand why the other two didn’t receive as much attention.

Anyway, bar his base and possibly his eyes if I’m feeling brave enough to attempt it, he’s done;

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And here’s a picture of his back and those, accursed lines:

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Seeing him on the screen like this, makes me think that this figure would also make a good proxy for this character and toy from my youth:

So Roger, if you want a suitable foe for your Bullet Man, the Mammoth figure might just work…

Now, whilst Fisto caused me some time issues, he wasn’t the main reason why I’m a little further behind than what I’d hoped. That’s right, I’m blaming Devil Dinosaur…

So, when we last saw this model, I’d repositioned his arms, added his accessories, sculpted his cravat and begun work on his robe. Well, the putty and tools were out again and I have now finished his robe, including overlapping it at the front, the belt suitable tied at the front, flappy sleeves (which caused a certain amount of swearing) and some attempts at creases/pleats where they would naturally form.

To be honest, I’m really pleased with the results and did the standard tour of the house, showing it to members of my family, with responses ranging from “Cool!” to “whatever…”. I even received an unprecedented compliment from my wife, whose usual comments regarding my hobby are along the lines of “why are you wasting your time on that crap…”

So, without further ado, here are some stills from Devil Dinosaur’s photo shoot – he’s such a diva…

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DD4

DD5

So, as the sculpting is now done, come Monday I should be able to get some paint on him. My intentions are to complete all three Masters of the Universe figures and finish off Devil Dinosaur as well and post on my blog about it. By the end of the month.

Seems fitting that I’m painting a Devil, when I appear to be paving the road to Hell…

Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.

Cow Tools

As regular readers will know, I set myself a relatively modest goal for He-Month 2, namely to recreate in 28mm the Masters of the Universe characters Fisto, Beast Man and Orko, mainly because Orko would be effectively sculpted from scratch and I wasn’t entirely sure if my sculpting skills were up to the job.

However, as stated in my previous post, I was rather further ahead than I expected, so rather than sitting on my laurels, decided to assign myself a side project, which was to re-create the version of Devil Dinosaur that appeared in issue #12 of Nextwave.

Just because…

So, as my sculpting tools consisted of toothpicks, a craft knife and my big fat fingers, upon the advice of a more experienced sculptor, namely Mr Roger Webb of Rantings from Under the Wargames Table fame, I decided to try to find some “proper” sculpting tools. If you want to see what can be achieved with correct tools and talent, go take a look at Roger’s blog and prepare to be amazed.

Having wandered the aisles of The Range for a good twenty minutes, discovering that Fimo modellers apparently use plastic spatulas to sculpt with and cake decorators pay through the nose for silicone-tipped sculpting tools, I left disappointed. Returning home, I scoured the Crow’s Nest for various pointy or shaped items, intending to use the gathered “tools” as proxy sculpting tools. However, when I laid them out, I was reminded of this Far Side cartoon:

Hence the title of this post…

However, I then paid a visit to The Works, which is a UK discount art/bookshop and found a pack of four silicone-tipped colour detailers in their art section for £3.00. That’s 75p each! Bargain! The results of my attempts to master these new tools can be found further down the post…

Bur first, let’s see where I am with my Masters of the Universe conversions.

First, Fisto. When we last saw him, I had completed the additional details I wished to sculpt on him and undercoated him. I then very cleverly took a photo of this cream-coloured miniature against a white background, which, as pointed out by a friend of mine, wasn’t the best idea…

However, as Fisto has now got a bit more colour on him, the white background is fine this time:

Fisto3

I’m pretty pleased with how this has turned out, as when it was undercoated it looked a little…blah. Now he has the majority of his colour, he looks a lot better and much closer to how he looked in the cartoon. Just needs a bit more detailing and I think he’ll be done.

Next, Beast Man. As with Fisto, this too was undercoated when we last saw it. Now that it has some colour on it, it just proves the point that sometimes if you have a figure that’s ‘almost’ the character, using the correct colours can really help with the conversion. See whether you agree:

Beast Man 3

I’m really pleased with how this figure has turned out, as whilst the majority of the ‘conversion’ work was just a re-paint, the choice of the base figure and the correct colours has really made this into Beast Man, as far as I’m concerned.

Our final denizen of Eternia is the floating elf known as Orko. I’d finished sculpting him last time, and he’s now had an undercoat of white and been block-painted with his base colours:

Orko4

As I was particularly pleased with how his hat came out, I decided to take another picture, just to show this off;

Orko5.5

I think this is the best of the three, as it resembles the character almost exactly. Final detailing, including the painting of his ‘O’ (which I’m not looking forward to) and he’s done too.

So, that’s the progress in Eternia, what of dinosaurs of rosy hue?

I took the original plastic figure and the first order of the day was to remove the prominent eye ridges, then roughen up the areas where I’d sliced them off, to ensure they blended back into skin of the head. I also removed the prominent mold lines running down the front of each leg.

As the figure’s arms/forelimbs were in the wrong position, these were cut off, re-positioned and glued into place. As the sleeves of Devil’s smoking jacket would cover the joins, I wasn’t overly concerned that rotating the limbs had created an overhang, as the cross-section of the limbs was oval, rather than circular.

Now came the tricky part – his gun and champagne flute. A rummage through my bits box uncovered several metal weapons, but these were more suitable for Space Marines than dinosaurs (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write…). The box of 3 3/4″ G.I. Joe figures weapons provided a couple of potentially suitable handguns, but these were automatics and a little large. Then inspiration struck and I started rummaging through my box of Lego and uncovered a spare revolver, which I believe was part of the Adventurers range. Just the right shape and size. The champagne flute was made from another length of spent ballpen plastic tube, which was heated, stretched and twisted until it sort of resembled a wine glass. Not entirely happy with it, so this may change later, if I come up with a better alternative.

Next, Devil needed some thumbs, as the dinosaur model only had two digits and Devil Dinosaur has three. The ends of a GW Skeleton Army archer’s bow look suitable claw-like, so these were appropriated and glued into place.

Out came the Milliput and my new sculpting tools and I began. I decided to do the cravat first, so a strip of Milliput was wrapped around his neck, with a big blob at the front to represent the folded over section. These were then smoothed, teased and formed into the requisite shapes, although I was having difficulty with the front of the cravat, as I’d glued his arm almost in front of this and was having issues getting smooth pleats. Of course, I then managed to knock of the offending arms by accident, as it had only been superglued in place, rather than pinned. I started to curse, then realised that this actually worked in my favour, as I could now reach the front of the cravat and the arm could then be reattached afterwards.

Having mixed up a fair bit of Milliput, I then decided to begin to add the body of the jacket above the “waist”, the intention being to do this section first, then the part below the waist at a later date. Luckily, the amount of Miiliput I had mixed was just enough to do the main part of the body, with straying into the potetially tricky area where it will overlap in the front.

I apologise for the lengthiness of the above description, as I failed to take any WIPs pictures, so only have a couple of the stage I have reached now:

DD2

and a front view:

DD1

You’ll notice he’s now got a slightly wonky foot, due to being shown to a friend, which involved being transported in a figure case which was apparently not deep enough. This shall be sorted before we see him again.

So far, I’m liking my new tools and this particular project will allow me to become familiar with them, so hopefully I will get better.

However, where else are you going to see a figure like this?

Until next time, thanks for visiting. Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.

“I Hate Monkeys.”

If you’ve come here expecting to see 28mm Masters of the Universe conversions, whilst you’re in the right place, you’re on the wrong post…try any of the previous posts for this month.

However, if you’re a first time visitor or have visited to see what my itchy fingers and feverish imagination can come up. read on…

As was pointed out to me by my co-conspirator for “He-Month 2”, the talented Mr Roger Webb, (whose far superior sculpting skills can be found over at Ranting from Under the Wargames Table) the modest target I’d set for myself for September was likely to be completed well before the month was out. Not being one to sit on my laurels, and having already planned what I was going to concentrate on for October, I needed something to occupy my hobby brain for the remainder of the month.

A random conversation with Simon on his blog Fantorical, which is well worth a visit if your interested in superheroes, Dr Who, Battlestar Galactica, zombies, etc. led to the discussion of a certain relatively obscure Marvel character and his appearance in a Warren Ellis penned title back in 2006…

The comic series was titled Nextwave and featured four second-string Marvel characters, namely Monica Rambeau (Captain Marvel), Tabitha Smith (Boom Boom), Aaron Stack (Machine Man) and Elsa Bloodstone, with the addition of a new character called “The Captain”, who couldn’t remember his real name. These characters formed the Nextwave squad, who were formed to combat Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction unleashed by the Beyond Corporation. The series was violent, irreverent and whilst appeared to be set in the mainstream Marvel Universe, had flashbacks featuring characters acting wildly out of their established character, and may not have actually happened.

It was also, for a long-term Marvel fan such as myself, very, very funny.

Anyway, in the final issue of the series, it was revealed that the criminal mastermind behind every scheme the Nextwave squad had face was none other than…

***SPOILER WARNING***

That’s right…Devil Dinosaur. But not as you’ve ever seen him before. And this image explains the title of this post.

My conversation with Simon ended up with me stating that I wanted a figure to represent this character, as he appears above. So, having some spare time during He-Month, I decided to have a go…

Obviously, the first thing I needed was a suitable figure to convert. As there was a good chance I was going to cock it up, I decided my base figure needed to be cheap. Also, as Devil Dinosaur was supposed to be a ‘small’ Tyrannosaurus Rex (25 feet tall, apparently), it didn’t need to be very large. A trip to my local Wilkinsons store, who I noted had increased the size of their toy department in readiness for Christmas, led me to their hard plastic figures, which included dinosaurs. As with all inexpensively produced toy dinosaurs, they were all roughly the same size, so no chance of being in scale with one another and were of varying accuracy and quality. However, sometimes you do find one or two gems amongst them and, after spending a whole £1, I was the proud owner of this chap;

Devil1

According to the writing on its belly, this model is a Dilophosaurus, which those of you who have seen Jurassic Park will know, is the crested, poison-spitting dinosaur that killed the computer programmer. Which is looks nothing like, or the scientific reconstructions of said dinosaur. However, having said that, it is a particularly nice model, that actually looks like a dinosaur. As with all injection molded figures, there are obvious mold lines, the main one being the one around it’s ‘waist’, which would have to be filled prior to gaming with it. But surface detail is good and I can imagine if you were gaming with dinosaurs, this would make a good (and cheap) addition to your collection.

However, for my purposes, as I’m going to be converting it into Devil Dinosaur, I need to remove the ridge above the eyes, reposition the arms, find a suitably scaled revolver, try to work out how to make a suitably scaled champagne flute, and sculpt on a cravat and smoking jacket, before I can even start applying paint.

And you thought that the Masters of the Universe project was crazy…

So, He-Month 2 and the Devil Dinosaur will run alongside one another for September, and will hopefully all be finished by the end of the month.

Thanks for visiting. Comments and feedback appreciated, as always (even if it’s to question my sanity…)

Re-Mastering the Universe

Having earned some valuable ‘Brownie Points’ with my wife last weekend, I chose to redeem these with what my wife chooses to call “Geek Time”, which in this case, meant I got to spend some time working on my Masters of the Universe conversions.

I had chosen to try to complete, during September, the characters Beast Man, Fisto and Orko, whilst Roger over at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table, had chosen to go for Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress and…Orko. I think we all know whose Orko will end up being better…

Anyway, as noted in my last post, I had completed the minimal conversion work on my Beats Man proxy and decided to undercoat him. As this is a D&D Miniatures pre-paint, rather than my standard white undercoat, I decided to use Docrafts Linen, which is a similar shade to GW Tanned Flesh, as this was going to be my planned first colour anyway.

A brief aside here, as I have mentioned this brand before, but not gone into any detail and I think it is worth mentioning. Docrafts is a company that, as the name would suggest, manufacture and retail craft products, including a range of acrylic paints. There are 72 different colours in their Artiste range, including all the usual suspects, as well as metallics and pearls. Whilst it is a bit thicker than standard model paint and does have a slightly odd smell, you get a 2oz (59ml) for £2.00. Bearing in mind that Games Workshop charge £2.55 for 12ml, you can see the advantages, especially as I managed to get it for £1.25 a pot from The Range…

So, having undercoated the figure, this is what he looked like:

BM2

As the original figure was predominantly painted in dark colours, this obscured a lot of the detail, which can be an issue with pre-painted figures. This is a nice figure! Plenty of intricate detail, buckles, straps, pieces of armour tied on, etc. Should you want a champion for your beastman army or need a bugbear, get this one. He’s relatively cheap and very nicely sculpted.

However, the undercoated also revealed that what I had assumed was some fur or armour detail was actually some flash from the molding process, so out came the craft knife and this was swiftly removed. He is now ready to join the painting queue proper.

Next, we move on to Fisto. He was also almost finished last time, just needing some additional detailing on his belt, which I thought was going to be so very simple…

As regular readers will know, my sculpting putty of choice is Milliput, mainly because I’ve used it for a number of years for basing my figures and am quite familiar with its properties and you get 113.4 grams for about £4.00, compared to 41 grams of “Green Stuff” for about £7.00. If you’re beginning to see a pattern developing here…

Anyway, compared to “Green Stuff”, which I have been reliably informed has the consistency and texture of bubblegum (Cheers, Roger), Milliput is quite coarse, has a shorter working life and prefers to stick to your fingers or tools, rather than the model you’re attempting to add it to, especially when the piece of Milliput is very, very small.

So, the idea was to make tiny balls of Milliput, then add them to the front of Fisto’s belt/girdle, to represent the decorative parts of this item of clothing. After much swearing and smears of Milliput ending up everywhere but where they were supposed to go, I decided to come up with an alternative solution. The head of pin was snipped off and glued in place for the central decoration and a thin disc of plastic sprue was used for the smaller decoration.

Happy with how this looked, I then undercoated my Fisto proxy in Docrafts Linen as well, and this is what he looks like now;

Fisto2

Not quite as good a coverage as Beast Man, but the picture makes it look worse than it actually is.  He has also joined the painting queue.

Finally, we have Orko. As those who have been following my progress on this will know, due to not checking the source material, I ended up with a partially completed model that didn’t look anything like Orko. As last weekend involved a road trip, in which I was a passenger, I had plenty of time to consider alternative options. My initial idea was to use a HeroQuest goblin as a base figure, but it proved to be too big. However, a rummage through my box of lead uncovered a miniature that I’d inherited from someone else that I’d forgotten about, which was a Grey Alien from Ground Zero Games. The body was slight enough, even if the head was a little large, so the snips came out and he was debased at the ankles.

As this figure now had two pointy “stumps”, I came up with a cunning idea to create a ‘flying stand’, namely a short length of transparent plastic tube, which was originally the shaft of a cotton bud, which was sleeved over one of his stumps. A drawing pin was then superglued into the other end, which was then superglued to a two-pence piece. I then bent the figures arms into a suitably spell-casting pose and filed down his massive head, as although Orko’s head is pretty big, it wasn’t quite as big as the one on the figure.

Once this was dry, out came the Milliput and I added his robe, sleeves and scarf. And this is what he looked like at this point, alongside Orko v1.0:

Orko2

Once the initial sculpting was dry, I then considered what I needed to do next. He needed eyes, cuffs on his sleeves, his hat and his ears. Having already suffered with “tiny ball” Milliput syndrome with Fisto, I knew that there was no chance in Hell that I would be able to sculpt his eyes, so tiny discs of plastic sprue were cut and carefully glued into place, which sounds easier than it actually was. Whilst these dried, I tried to add cuffs, but the curse of Milliput struck again and, after much cursing and fumbling, I eventually decided to not bother with this particular feature.

Having already assessed my sculpting ability as to not be up to the necessary skill level to sculpt Orko’s ears, the plastic farm animal box was raided again and a small plastic donkey donated his ears for the cause. A suitably cone-shaped blob of Milliput was then forced onto the head of the model, gently teased into shape, then two holes were made, into which were inserted the donkey ears. A little bit of tidying up and a line scored around the hat to show the two parts, as per the original reference material, and he was done.

And as I was so pleased with the result, I collared my kids, showed them the picture of Orko online, then the model, saying “How cool is that?”

So, this is what he looks like now;

Orko3

So, my question to you all is – How cool is that?

Thanks for visiting. Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.

Return to Grayskull

So, September is formally upon us and that means that we launch into another He-Month. Whether you prefer He-Month 2, R-Eternia or another dubious pun of your own devising, what this means is that myself and Roger Webb will be attempting, once more, to recreate characters from our youth, from the Masters of the Universe franchise. My efforts will be on show here, whereas Roger’s can be found over on his blog – Rantings from Under the Wargames Table.

For first-time visitors, our last foray into this madness was back in July, wherein I completed my interpretation or re-imagining of five characters, namely Teela, Man-at-Arms, He-Man, Zodac and Skeletor, as can be seen below;

Eternia

Not being as talented a sculptor as Roger, I converted various figures that were “almost” the characters, with varying degrees of success.

For this month, I was planning on being less ambitious, and have limited myself to three characters, as stated in my last post, namely Beast Man, Fisto and Orko.

So, time to see how I’ve got on…

For Beast Man, I’d chosen the Bugbear Beserker from the Dungeon Command/D&D Miniatures range. For my conversion, the only issue I had was that the Bugbear was armed with an axe, rather than the whip associated with this character. However, after a few cuts, the axe was gone and I was left with a convenient length of handle.

As D&D Miniatures are made from a relatively flexible plastic and the handle was reasonably thick, I made a hole in the top of the handle with a push-pin, then superglued a length of paperclip into the hole, which was then bent into a suitable whip-like shape. As D&D Miniatures have integral featureless bases, as I already had the Milliput out, some of this was smeared on the top of the base to give it texture. And this is what he looks likes now;

BMF

And a rear view to show the length of the whip;

BMB

A relatively straight-forward conversion which I’m pretty pleased with. Just needs repainting and he’ll be done.

Next we have Fisto, for whom I’d selected the DC Heroclix Mammoth figure, the version with the beard. This one required a bit more work, as whilst the figure was almost there, he did require the ubiquitous “hairy pants” that seem to be all the rage on Eternia and, of course, a massive mechanical fist.

Having already removed his right hand, I ventured into the Aladdin’s Cave of Crap that is my loft, hunting for a box of GW “womble” Space Marines that I knew was up there, as I was certain that the Power Fist option from these multi-part plastic figures would be an ideal proxy. However, upon opening the box, I discovered that when building my Space Marine squads, I had decided not to use the Power Fist option and hence, there were no Power Fists that I could use.

However, not being one to give up so easily, it was time for a rummage and I eventually found a suitable proxy, namely the Heroscape Zettian Guard figure. I had no compunction in removing its right hand, as these figures are rubbish. The only issue I had was that whilst it was the correct size, it had a shield or plate covering the back of the gauntlet, which looked wrong. Out came the craft knife and the offending lump of plastic was carved away, followed by scoring some horizontal lines to bring it closer in look to Fisto’s fist.

As the Mammoth figure has quite a wide stance, if he had been mounted on a 2 pence piece, his feet would have stuck out over the edge, so the Zettian Guard’s base was appropriated, covered with a circle of coarse sand paper and he was glued into place.

I then started to add blobs of Milliput around his groin and backside, which was then attacked with the pointy bit of my craft knife to make it hairy, ensuring that the top part of the Milliput was left relatively flat, so his belt could be added once the putty had dried. So, this is how far I’ve got with him;

FF

Apologies for the slight blurriness of the photo, as it wasn’t until I uploaded it that I realised it wasn’t up to my usual standards. And here’s a better shot of his back;

FB

Other than some more detailing on his belt, he’s pretty much ready for painting too.

Next we come on to the “problem child” of this round of He-Month, namely Orko. As those of you who have been following this blog will know, I created a “dolly” from a half a GW plastic skeleton, mounted on a cut-down flight stand, which I was then going to sculpt the requisite details onto, to create this floating jumper-and-hat combination.

And, I have to say, it started off well…

I’d sculpted the body and was happy with how I’d managed to get it to look like Orko’s robe, then moved onto the sleeves, which proved a little more tricky, due to the angle of the arms, but managed to get them sculpted to near what I wanted. So we ended up with this;

OF

As Roger has put up his first post on this project, I had a look at his progress so far, as he too was attempting Orko. He had decided to sculpt from scratch, which I’d decided not to try, as I was dubious about my ability to accurately sculpt fingers. Reading through his description, I noted a mention of Orko having oval eyes and decided to check pictures online, as I’d always thought he’d got round eyes…

And that’s when it all started to fall apart…

This is Orko;

As you will note, he does have oval eyes. You will also note that what he doesn’t have is big flappy triangular sleeves, arms the length of a gibbon or a neck – all of which my version does have. Whilst I’d taken into account the length/size of his body, I’d failed to take into account that his head and arms needed to be in proportion to this body and that’s why he looked wrong.

So, whilst I’m quite pleased with what I’ve achieved, it isn’t Orko. Not being one to chuck out perfectly good figures, I am thinking of re-purposing this a necromantic wraith of some sort, which will require a longer robe, but not much else.

However, as far as Orko is concerned, it’s back to the drawing board. Luckily, just like the finest (in his eyes) nobleman of British history, I do have a cunning plan…

Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.