Tuesday, 16 September 2014

More Firefly (pulp alley project)

I finished painting up Zoe over the weekend. I now have the core of the crew in terms of the 'away team' painted up (Mal, Jayne, Zoe) and some opposition - 8 Alliance troopers (I did 3 more at the same time as Zoe) with an Alliance officer well on the way.  This puts me in a good place to play a game once I've finished putting together a bit more of my battlesystems terrain (some of which you can see in the background to the shots).

I've used a Reaper fig. Its not a dead ringer for Zoe but its close enough in my book...
You'll notice that I've 'penned' the edges on my card terrain to help it blend - you can see this nicely on the air duct here. 
The place you don't want to be -  staring down the barrel of Zoe's gun!
The gang together. They scale well - no complaints from me. 
Traditional sepia shot...
Surrounded! but not cowed. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

You can't take the sky from me...

I've been a bit distracted from my pulp project by a certain space western that had an unfortunate case of Kurt Cobain syndrome...

Pulp Alley is a very flexible ruleset and I can see it fitting the firefly universe perfectly, so buckle in for some thrillin' heroics as I run through the first few characters I've painted up from the show. 

Mal and Jayne bite off more than they can chew as they go head to head with a heavily armed squad of Alliance Feds.

Malcolm Reynolds. Browncoat, captain and all round goddam hero. 
From Heresy,  not a bad sculpt but a bit of  shock after all the Copplestone and Hasslefree I've been panting recently. Its Malish but not a dead ringer and the boots for example are a bit crude. 

I went for colours reminiscent to those in the show but adapted for the scale.

Jayne Cobb. Foul mouthed mercenary looking for his cut. (Reaper)

Again, not the greatest sculpt in the world -  the face is pretty basic. But, then again, it exists, so yay!

The shirt is meant to say 'blue sun' as in the blue sun corporation but I think the e turned out looking more like an r. So, ironically, now its 'blur sun'! Not quite sure what happened to Jane's eyes either...
Alliance Feds aka 'Purple bellies'. The first 5. These are from Rebel minis (who I think has bought certain rights from Mongoose). As Firefly fans will know, the Alliance feds from the series used left over gear from the Starship Troopers movie. 

The sculpts are a little basic and a bit vague in places, especially the faces. I painted these using a different approach to usual (as they are goons I was less bothered that about them being neat) so used lots of drybrushing and a very limited palette to speed things up. 

Close-up of some of the little bits of detail I bothered to do on the feds. The upside to this approach is that these 5 took me about 3 hours, which is very fast for me. 
Mal posing in front of my new Battlesystems card terrain.  Should get some good use out of this to represent salvage missions, boarding actions etc. Looking forward to popping it all out at some point. 

The smell of cordite hangs heavy in the air. 'Get on the horn and call for reinforcements!'

I've become pretty fascinated by the new ruleset from Ivan Sorenson (five parsecs from home) which merges miniatures wargame and RPG. I'm not a huge fan of the 5 core system the supplement builds on, it looks a bit basic and the lack of stat lines is a big turn-off, but I really want to do some kind of mash-up of pulp alley, 5 parsecs, the firefly boardgame and then mix in RPG elements... just need to find the time to write it...

On the plus side my boardgame group just progressed to RPGs (first game of D&D last week -  which we thoroughly enjoyed) so I may be able to tempt them with the Firefly RPG in time.

Well, until next time - I'll be in my bunk.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Thrilling Adventures: More Pulp figures painted up and ready to throw down.

Without much ado here are some more pics of my painted pulp figures for pulp alley (still haven't gotten round to playing, although close on terrain now). They're done using the Dallimore 3 colour method, which gives good results for the time invested - around 2 hours per figure.

Two's company; five's a crowd. Indy and Miranda get to the dig site only to find Santora waiting for them with hired guns in tow. Let the lead fly. (Artisan and Copplestone). 
Faithful companion to Dr Jones: Sallah. (Artisan Figures). 

Hired help: Akhmed. Whether you need a hired gunand or spade, her's there...for a price. (Artisan Figures).

Sabrina Adler: unscrupulous assistant to Dr Reiter (forthcoming). (Hasslefree). 

Originally I painted this figure up with much lighter green combats. It looked way too washed out with the white top and blonde hair so I repainted them much darker, as above. I rarely go back and change things on figures but I think this solved the problem. 

Miranda Radcliffe: Cairo nightclub singer. Her father, Dr Radcliffe is chief archivist at the museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. (Artisan -  shame the sculptor didn't pay as much attention to the face as he should). 

My first attempt at painting stockings/tights. Getting the flesh to grey mix is tricky. Next time I think a little less flesh for the highlight. 

"Nazis. I hate these guys." Dr Jones and companions come face to face with Adler and her nefarious henchmen. 

If you liked these -  leave me a comment. I really should post more but sometimes its hard to find the time...

Monday, 19 May 2014

Copplestone Gangsters (Pulp Alley)

Superb sculpts, superb casts and really easy to paint. Will be getting more copplestone gangsters for sure!

There is a fourth member of the pack -  but I seem to have mislaid them somewhere in the painting process...

I love the brooding menace of this figure. The facial expression is superb and a real pleasure to paint -  if only all minis had such well sculpted faces! I went for quite subtle highlights on the dark suit (rule of thumb -  never paint anything black, just very dark grey) and like how it turned out. They're slightly brighter in person.

As you can see on these figs, I've had a bit of a breakthrough on eyes (basically, I finally used a decent sable brush...) and I really like how it brings them to life.

I was really pleased with how this suit came out. He's a rather dapper fellow. As I've built up confidence with cloth I've started adding in extra folds and creases where I think they should go. The creases on here are about 30% made up.

The gang together. In pulp alley terms they will be the core group (leader with 2 allies) and then I'll bolt on additional allies and followers to match the setting. First adventure is in Egypt, so they need some hired help to make sure they get through the desert ok and don't have to do any actual digging when they get to where their client said the artefact would be...

Need to put a date in the diary with my housemate for the first game. Pretty much there now with figures and terrain. Just a few things to finish up (and the rules to re-read, and story to write).

Monday, 28 April 2014

Back in the saddle at last... and pulp is on the menu.

Well... its been a while. Happy to say that the hobby has carried on but did take a big hit when I changed role at work. However, I've since moved to a new role where I get some of my spare time back -  so some time to think about blogging again!

This has really been aided by the foldio, a very portable and cost effective mini-studio that was launched via kickstarter, which arrived a few weeks ago. Taking decent (although not amazing photos) is now a lot lot simpler and has encouraged me to get blogging again. 

So, I give you my first post in a while. Our good friend Dr Jones. 

The original figure is from Artizan. It looks quite like Indy but to get the whole look I added the whip (drilled out the hand, coiled some fishing wire and fixed with superglue), the satchel (greenstuff -  and one of my better sculpts, I think I'm getting better) and holster (on the leg that you can't see in this photo). These bits just complete the look for me and make it into our favourite rugged archaeologist as opposed to a 'similar guy'.

A slightly blurry 'warts and all' close-up. The face on the cast/sculpt is not the best. I've been spoilt by the copplestones I've been painting recently - they just paint themselves. This was a much trickier proposition and I'm still not all that happy. I was thinking about adding some 5 o'clock shadow but just don't want to tamper with it anymore frankly.

As you can see, I'm a fan of the clear acrylic bases. They have two killer pros for me - a) they go with any terrain (which is a must for pulp globetrotting) and b) they require no work at all (I get to spend more time painting and less covering things in sand). Figs can break off quite easily but I really don't see this as a problem -  just pop them back on with some superglue! These ones are from Litko.

Those who've seen my painting in the past will also know that I've changed styles. I used to be an aficionado of the wash (slap it on allover, lovely jubbly) but have since moved on to much greener pastures. Now I only use them much more subtly - pin washes are the order of the day - and sparingly. The only thing washed on this figure was the skin (flesh wash on a elf skin base, then highlighted up 3-4 times with white progressively) and the gun (nuln oil). Everything else is layers (usually 4 - shadow, base, highlight, extreme highlight but sometimes more or less to taste).

I started experimenting with this method when repainting some wizkids star wars figs about 6 months ago (this was when I first broke out the clear bases as well) and liked the effect. Reading Keven Dallimore's great books (which my GF got me for my birthday -  I'm a lucky man) has cemented this and given me a few more tricks.

As you can see from this post, pulp is the order of the day. I've been painting 2 leagues (for pulp alley) with terrain. First adventure is Indy in Egypt. More to follow...

Friday, 7 June 2013

Cool Pic

Found this while surfing the web - if a company made one in 6mm I'd buy it!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Foray into 6mm Sci-fi

Well its been a while folks. Haven't really had the time or inclination to blog much of late but the bank holiday weekend afforded some time to take a few pics of what I have on the workbench atm. 

I've made a foray into 6mm sci-fi for a few of reasons:
  1. General love of sci-fi
  2. The realisation that there are some really good ranges which are not just GW rip-offs (especially CinC, Plasmablast, Cav and Microworld, Dark Realm errs towards GW but still has some very nice minis). 
  3. Price - I liked the look of Dropzone Commander but the price was too much for me for what you got. I can get about 2-5x as much in 6mm from other manufacturers, often at similar if not quite as good quality. 
  4. Universe Building - 6mm is so undefined you can go in their and pull together an army from lots of different source and have some fun (a bit like 15mm). DZC's neat little package misses this (which fore me is half the fun!). 
  5. Big scope, small table. 
  6. Quick to paint -  this is one of the most important. I find myself with such little painting time atm that I really appreciate the good effect you can get on 6mm with a fairly basic effort. Also, opportunity to use the airbrush. The time it took to paint stuff (and the lack of good rulesets) was what stalled 15mm for me. 
  7. Interchangeable -  I plan to do my Autosentia faction in 6mm, thus I can reuse a load of already painted units as 'bigger' versions of the same e.g. Spider Droids, Mechs etc. This saves some money as well and most importantly, painting time. 
And here's a picture dump of what I'm up to. I also have a pair of awesome CAV mechs on the bench which I forgot to photograph. These were laughably cheap at £5-6 each for 60mm high heavy mechs. I think CAV from Reaper is worth highlighting as it is an easily forgotten 6mm range buried on the Reaper website but has some truly excellent miniatures (if sometimes a tad pricy). 

A CAV heavy dropship (Czar?). I've since added additional rocket pods, miniguns and turrets to make it a bit more like the heavy ship from Avatar. 
Another heavy dropship, a little smaller than the Czar. Really love the design of this one, especially the rotating engine mounts, and plan to get a couple more. 

Here you can see the additional rocket pods and turrets I've added. I feel these would probably be AI controlled with a gunner allocating targets and the AI using the three guns to bump targets off.  
Some Grav tanks from GZG. Nice design and dirt cheap (£1 each). I think they have a nice smooth aesthetic which will go with my Autosentia. Obviously unfinished atm. I may convert some into IFVs. 

Base coated armour and recon. The jeeps are from Dark Realm and are heavily converted with additional stowage, aerials and scratch-built weapons (the ones on the originals were pretty crap and ruined otherwise good models). This will be recon units. 
Here you can see some VTOLS from CAV. I spent ages trying to find good VTOLs as these are definitely a weakness in 6mm and 15mm (although the situation is getting better). I think these were definitely the pick of the bunch. Although I did find some pretty awesome Avatar-esque ones from Exodus after I had bought these (to feature in a  future army no doubt...)
MLRS and IFV from Microworld, another great manufacturer making some really good stuff with CAD/CAM. The detail on these is fantastic. The IFV has been converted to give it an autocannon and missile pod. 
A close-up of the jeeps and an IFV. In the foreground you can see an abortive test camo scheme; not quite there yet.  
Some more pictures of the jeeps. 
A piece of desert themed terrain. The rock is a piece of bark from the car park outside of Cavalier 2013!
I haven't quite finished this yet. Still soem details to do. The rust was done using modeller magics new dye. I'm still experimenting but the stuff looks promising. 

Another piece WIP

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