Thursday 31 October 2013

Halloween Special 2013 - Mortuary Structure

My 2013 Halloween Special is this Mortuary Structure, built by me and featured on Craig Andrews Orcs in the Webbe Site, for full details go to this link.

The model was built as a stand alone piece of scenery after seeing a black and white image in a book in Worcester Library earlier this year. My intention was to use it as a piece of themed scenery for my Pax Bochemannica collection, however it could be used for a number of games.

Happy Halloween


Wednesday 30 October 2013

Halloween 2012 and 2011

Halloween 2013 is almost upon us and I am expecting yet another of my Halloween Specials to be posted in the next couple of days. In the mean time I thought it was worth while posting details and links to the Halloween Specials from 2012 and 2011.

Photo One - The Were-Chicken of Beesdone hut from 2012, details of which can be found here.

Photo Two - Headless Zombies - my three part story thread called Getting Ahead from 2011, details of which can be found herehere and here. In addition there is a post detailing the conversion and painting of these miniatures which can be found here.

Look out for a further update detailing my Halloween Special for 2013 which should be posted very soon.


Saturday 26 October 2013

Easy-peasy Stained Glass Windows

Here is an unusual post and one that you may be confused about, but what about Christmas cards as cut-out stained glass windows for model churches? I came across these Christmas cards earlier this week and I immediately thought that the stained glass images on these charity cards would be ideal as images to glue in place on your model churches. I'll explain - most wargame churches have plain windows, painted blue or black, but what if you cut out these images and glued them in place?

The cards were picked up at a local charity store, but since seeing them, I have seen others with similar images for sale in a number of places. If you are planning a church model (or want to update one you already have) go searching for suitable cards with similar designs.

Photo One - These Christmas cards are from Barnardos.

Photos Two - Four - Close ups of the images.

I don't have any current plans for a church model, well at least not one with stained glass windows, but I'll keep a couple of these back just in case.


Wednesday 23 October 2013

Female Officer for Flash Gordon

The latest Wednesday update is this converted 40mm Female Officer for my Flash Gordon collection.

Photo Two - Shows the finished figure from the back.

Photo Three - The base model is a Female officer from the Graven Images/Cliff Hanger range that was once available from Monolith Designs. I have modified the figure by removing 5mm from the middle section of the legs and filling the join with Milliput. The head is from another Jim Bowen 40mm figure - a resistance fighter and once again the join filled with Milliput.

I have used Green Stuff to add detail to the uniform and build up the tiara. The base is my usual 40mm round, lipped base with the groundwork built up from broken cork and Milliput.

Photo Four -The converted figure is given a Black undercoat.

Photo Five - The finished conversion alongside a Graven Images Trooper. The uniform is painted in a dark Crimson colour, with Cream trousers and lots of Gold detail.

Photo Six - I have used a new Gloss Varnish for this model, my trusty Ronseal Toughcoat having finally given up the ghost. The new varnish is from Wilkinsons and is waterbased. I have Matt Varnished over the top with Galleria Matt Varnish prior to adding static grass.


Monday 21 October 2013

Taking a Break

For most of last week we had visitors staying with us from Thailand. Model making and Posting has been slow, but I  have been drinking some quite exceptional wines and spirits. This bottle of Chateau Mouton Baronne Philippe from 1981 being one.

When I opened the bottle, which was a gift from when I worked in the wine industry, the cork was very soft and spongy and I thought that it might have been damaged over the years, however after leaving it 'breath' for some time the true character of this wine came through. In all honesty I think it might have 'been past its best', but it was still the centre of attention, alongside some Venison Pie cooked in Chianti with button mushrooms.

I'm not expecting to get back to regular posting until the end of the week as my Son is doing running repairs on my computer, however look out for a Halloween Special.


Wednesday 16 October 2013

Cyclops for Typhon

The latest monster for my 40mm Typhon or Greek Mythology gaming project is this Cyclops figure from a company called Grim Reaper which was bought from Spirit Games in Burton.

The model is built on a 40mm metal washer with the groundwork built up from Milliput. I had to modify the bottom half of the metal figure as the legs were set too far apart for the base. I cut out a section of metal base and squeezed the two legs together before glueing them to the base.

The Cyclops monster stands 50mm tall to the top of the horn and came as a two piece casting (the left arm and club are separate).

This final image shows the Cyclops alongside a Spartan Miniatures 40mm Greek Hero, note that I have repainted the shield motif on this figure since it was last featured on this Blog.

The painting was built up over a Black basecoat with lots of drybrushing and washes. A very simple and quick paint job!


Monday 14 October 2013

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I have recently finished this book by Anthony Horowitz, The House of Silk, a new Sherlock Holmes novel, and authorised by the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.  The best review I can give the book is that within pages, I had forgotten that this was not an original Sherlock Holmes story and became fully engrossed in the plot. Holmes is back!

I found Horowitz's writing easy to follow and full of Holmes's idioms and foibles. A real treat for anyone who has ever read a Holmes story. Thank you, I really enjoyed it.

The story is a little darker than some Holmes tales, with a gritty edge that runs throughout the book, however at no stage did I feel that Horowitz had moved away from the characters of Holmes, Watson or Lestrade.

I would recommend this fast paced and intricate story to all readers of detective fiction, a real treat. For a fuller review, see this link.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Published by Orion Fiction
ISBN; 97-1-4091-3809-9
£12.00 (although  I picked mine up for £1.99 at a local charity store).


Thursday 10 October 2013

The Great Electric Train Show and Large Model Aircraft Show

This weekend, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th October the Heritage Motor Centre is hosting The Great Electric Train Show, for full details go to this link. The event is sponsored by Hornby Magazine and is the second time that Hornby Magazine have sponsored the event and although I will not be able to attend, I thought is was worth passing on.

Later in the month on Sunday 27th October the same venue - The Heritage Motor Centre is hosting a very special event, The large Model Aircraft Show. For full details go to this link. This looks like a great day out and one that I would very much like to attend.

Two events worth posting details of.


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Caged Grawlth for Flash Gordon

It strikes me that I should have kept this post for Halloween! A Dream Blades miniature The Caged Grawlth that I bought some time ago at Games Expo (when this was held at the Clarendon Suite, Birmingham). It cost me just £1.00. I removed the model from its base and trimmed off the remains of the plastic plug before mounting it on to a 50mm lipped rim, round base. The groundwork has been built up with Milliput and the surface textured with some sieved sand. The painting was done over the original colour scheme with a mixture of acrylics. I did not undercoat or attempt to prepare the model (not even a quick wash) before painting and it seams to be OK.

I used a number of 'washes' to highlight the skin and hair. The miniature and base were varnished with galleria Matt Varnish (two coats) before I added the clumps of static grass. The one red eye was touched in with Future Gloss Floor Polish.

This is quite a brute, standing nearly 70mm tall as can be seen in this third image. The 40mm Graven Images Trooper giving some idea of the scale of this figure.

While searching the Web for information I came across this link from the artist who first drew the artwork for this figure. If you have time the Blog is well worth browsing, Christopher Burdett's artwork is quite fantastic.

I am not sure what this figure will be used as, but it is quite a lump and I would not want to get too close, it certainly gives me 'the creeps'.


Sunday 6 October 2013

Figure Painter Magazine issue 4

Another post about this on-line publication - Figure Painter Magazine, this time issue 4. The downloadable magazine is available from this link for the bargain price of just £1.00.

When you go to the main FPM home page you will see details of all five magazines, how to buy and how to download them.

I am still a bit of a 'dinosaur' when it comes to downloadable content and would much prefer a paper based magazine - enjoying the feel of the product, however I now have three of the first five issues and have found each of them easy to download (OK reasonably easy) and full of interesting content.

Well worth the £1.00 paypal ticket.


Saturday 5 October 2013

Fantasy Chonicles

In one of my many clear-outs I came across an old box file that contained these magazines. Fantasy Chronicles first published in June 1986. The magazine ran for eight issues and featured some fantastic art by Jim Fitzpatrick.

Having been stored for some time in a box, they are in near perfect condition. Over the last couple of days I have re-read the magazines and although they are not very big magazines, (just 40 pages) they were full of pure nostalgia and some interesting articles.

There was a time, a long time ago, that I had intended building a couple of classical Celt warbands, very much in the vein that North Star are attempting with Of Gods and Mortals. This project was inspired by the Celtic themed artwork of Jim Fitzpatrick which is so prevalent throughout the magazines.

This collection will be placed back in the attic, once I have finished reading through them. Although I am selling some books and magazines on e-Bay which can be found at this link.


Friday 4 October 2013

Studio Clay Sculpting Tool

I recently came across this clay sculpting tool, actually a set of tools at a discount store in Worcester. The set is by the manufacturer Studio and was bought for £2.00.

The smaller of the two handles has a metal probe, while the larger handle has a magnet built into the shaft. These five sculpting tools can be slotted into the handle and held in place by the magnet. From left to right there is a larger metal probe, a blade, a metal 'ball topped' tool and two black plastic sculpting tools.

The set looks to be well made and very good value, I will give a more detailed report once I have had the chance to use it.


Wednesday 2 October 2013

Greek Hero for Typhon

I'm kicking-off October with this converted Greek Hero from Spartan Games, part of their 40mm Heroes of Sparta range that I believe is now out-of-production. I have used the unaltered body with the large spear option and the head from the Foundry Sky Elf which was picked up off e-bay and spare after my 40mm Hawkmen conversions for Flash Gordon.

I choose not to add a shield, preferring to leave the left arm bare. The miniature is mounted onto an old fashioned 1d coin with the groundwork built up with Milliput and fine sand.

I was lucky enough to pick up quite a few of these 40mm figures, including the composite set of five soldiers and even more skeletons for this Typhon gaming project, this very slow and long term gaming project. Over the next couple of weeks, I have one more Typhon miniature to post details of, then a couple more Flash Gordon figures before getting back to my On-Line Builds as detailed in earlier posts.