Sunday 31 January 2010

Here's a few pictures of some scenery I have recently acquired to enhance my role playing/war gaming experiences.

Firstly, here are some of the cactus (cacti?) that my good friend Leon recently gave me. He bought them ages ago, but hasn't got round to doing anything with them. Knowing I am working on some cowboys for Legends of the Old West, he kindly thought of me. These are produced by Pegasus Hobbies of Montclair, Ca. Presumably they know a thing or two about cactus in Montclair.

The next few pictures are examples of resin scenery produced by Fenris Games. I have been using Fenris Games scenic bases fro some time, and have been delighted with them. They are a great little company, with very good customer service. I recently had a quite large order go missing in the post. After a few emails and one phone call they kindly replaced the entire order, and added in a few miscasts free of charge to make up for the inconvenience. That's what I call excellent customer service.

Some trash cans. Always good to provide a bit of colour (and cover) to a scene. They also make a half-descent projectile for super strong villains to toss around.

This is some kind of generator or similar. It's big, about 12cm long and 3cm tall, which makes it a good 'barricade' too. I imagine that it will be found in Mad Scientist Doctor Otto's laboratory, but it could also fit into a SciFi game, Warhammer 40K, or even a Pulp setting. I'm looking forward to painting it.

This is a collection of random techno-gubbins to be found in any self-respecting mad scientist's laboratory. One or two of these were in the bundle of miscasts, and might need a tiny bit of TLC before painting.

Some barrels. Here we have the conventional oil drum type that you might find in any factory or waste ground, but also the toxic waste and radioactive waste drums- A perfect way fro some unsuspecting collage student to get splattered in something that glows in the dark and gives him super-powers! The middle barrel is a 'wooden' one, and was a miscast, but I think it will work well in a Cowboy setting, where it will be a water butt. There a few minor air holes, but it should be easy enough to fill.

Friday 29 January 2010

I have never been a fan of the literary genre of SciFi. This might come as a surprising confession, coming from someone whose main hobby is painting SciFi and Superheroic miniatures, but it's true. I like SciFi in films or as TV series, but as a genre of books it has always seemed impenetrable. They seem to vary from hack writing, with little literary attributes, to self-indulgent, naval-gazing tosh.
It's not that I am not drawn to the genre. I always find myself looking at the section in the library or bookshop labeled SciFi and Fantasy. Now this is mostly because I am a fan of the fantasy Genre (Robert E. Howard, Niel Gaiman, Michael Moorcock etc), but also because I find the cover art and titles of the SciFi books so damn enticing. The trouble is when I flip the book over and read the blurb I am usually left feeling unsure if I should commit the time and effort to the book.
The main problem is that I am a very slow reader- I get through about a book every three months. Added to this the fact that I buy at least twenty books a year, I think it's not hard to see why I have a substantial backlog of unread books (similar to my unpainted mountain of lead figures in the garage- Supply always outstrips demand).
Which brings me on to the point of this rather rambling preamble, namely that I have discovered a fantastic new website called Starship Sofa. Well, in truth, its not a new web site, it's been going ages, but it's new to me. This web site is an online magazine dedicated to Scifi literature, but best of all, they have free audio-stories to download as podcasts (off iTunes- for FREE!). Each podcast is about an hour in length, and is a professionally narrated short story by some of the top names in SciFi. Well they tell me their top names in SciFi, but I wouldn't really know, not being a fan. A top-name-in-SciFi I did recognise was Michael Moorcock, which was the main draw for me, but I have listened to five of these stories now, by different authors, and have enjoyed each one immensely.
The stores vary a lot, from near future dytopia, for far-flung future near-fantasy. All of them are well read, and entertaining, and best of all, there's over a hundred of them, so there is enough to keep me going. At about an hour in length they are ideal to listen to while painting, or ironing (a job I hate).
Next time I'm in the bookshop or library I will no doubt be drawn to the SciFi and Fantasy section. Perhaps this time I won't be put off by the blurb. A universe of opportunity is at my feet- One small step for me, one giant...yeah well, you know the rest of it.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

The Steel Crusader is a small time hero hoping to make it big. An exceptional engineering major from a prestigious university, he was inspired to become a hero following a brutal terrorist attack, believed to have been the work of the Brotherhood of the Serpent, in which he was badly wounded, but his girlfriend was killed. He built the battle suit in his own time, from materials he managed to scavenge or borrow. Now he plans to make the Brotherhood of the Serpent pay for their crimes. This mini is made by west wind, as part of their Secrets of the Third Reik range. I converted him (or to be more technical, I kit-bashed him) using the arms of a Games Workshop Space Marine and an Imperial Guard veterans head from the plastic command squad box set.

Thursday 21 January 2010


This is Deathorilla, the evil criminal mastermind behind the White House Bombing, and the theft of the Crown Jewels of Sweden (amongst other things).
Experts still speculate on wither Deathorilla is a mutant human or gorilla, an alien or perhaps the product of one of Doctor Otto's experiments. One thing is for certain, it's wise not to ask an ape about his origins.
This mini is from the Superfigs range, where he gos by the name of Doctor Simian. It's not the fist time I have painted Doctor Simian, but while rummaging through my bitz and bobz box I came across another one I had bought ages ago, which I had planed to use as a Wookie Jedi in a Star wars campaign which never took off. I love the mini, so I thought why not paint it again, with a scenic base.

Monday 18 January 2010

This is my garden in the snow, last week. Looks very pretty, but the cold weather was interfering with the Games Workshop black base coat spray I use, meaning I couldn't get any of the undercoating done on my new superheroes, which was annoying. I have been wishing for warmer weather...
The warmer weather is now here at last, but it's not all good news. This is a picture of my garden this week, under about three foot of flood water. I could go fishing off my patio! But still, at least I got my figures sprayed.

Yet another hairy biker just waiting for a good hiding from a superhero (this on on a Fenris scenic base). Somehow these gangers have got access to better firepower that the police!

This is another Copplestone Castings. The is one I had already spayed up (I was going to paint him as an evil Santa, but the Christmas Madness has subsided for now), but the warmer weather has meant that I can get some of my super hero figures spayed. I will be posting pictures as soon as I have finished them, so there's not long for you to wait if you are eager to get back to some true four colour spandex related action.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Here's some more cowboys from my Legends of the Wild West game. As I pointed out in an earlier blog this icy weather had been playing havoc with my painting plans, as I have not got any more super minis sprayed and ready for painting, and so I have been finishing off some of these lovely minis.

Preacher and the prospector are by Artizan Designs; the saloon girl is in fact a Victorian street walker from West Wind's Gothic War range (Jack the Ripper series I think); the sheriff is by Black Scorpion.
There a bit of scale creeping going on there, as BS stuff weighs in at about 32mm, while Artizan and West Wind are more like 28mm. Dixon, by comparison, are more like 25mm. I think that, by and large, I am going to stick with Artizan and Crusader, which seem to go together very well, and possibly get some of the excellent Wargames Foundry stuff, which I know will scale well together. Dixon minis can fill in gaps in my range, as they are cheap, if a little bit too small. BS will do for the odd character too, after all, some people are tall, and others short, so long as I don't over do it.
"How 'bout a nice mug of Old Joe?"
Here's Cookie and Old Digger Johnson, posing next to a camp fire, and helping to illustrate the scale differences between Dixon and Artizan. Cookie and the fire are both by Dixon.

Friday 15 January 2010

This is yet another scumbag thug for the Superheros to beat to a pulp. Biker gangs, drug dealers and pimps are the terror of honest hard-working citizens. It's about time someone put some fear into them for a change!

This is another figure from Mark Copplestone at Copplestone Castings (although it uncannily similar to another figure from EM4 miniatures). I have had this one kicking around for a while, half painted, but I have finally finished him off. This cold weather is making it difficult for me to spray my newer figures, as the cold can make the paint gritty. This is giving me a great excuse to go back and finish some of my earlier projects.
My cowboys continue to make steady progress, and soon I will have at least two finished posses to duke it out at high noon, but progress on their one horse town is slower. That said, I have made some progress, ad to prove it, here are a couple of pics of the work so far.

This is a WIP picture of one of my cowboy town houses. These houses are part resin ans part scratch built. The resin parts are from Snapdragon studios. They are prices at £5 each, which I thought was a bit expensive for a single piece resin, but the quality is good, and I wanted to press on, and so I bought five of them. Snapdragon also make the backs of the buildings, available separately, but these are also expensive, I and I didn't think the looked very big, and so I scratch built mine out of foam card, balsa and card. I am delighted with them, but am dreading having to paint them (I'm no good at painting buildings)

This model is a plastic kit available through Perry Miniatures. I think it's supposed to go with their American Civil War range, but I don't think it will look out of place in a wild west setting, or even, for that matter, any rural American setting. It would do for a 1920's Call of Chuthlu setting (especially if it was more dilapidated), or even superhero settings. The abode of Mr and Mrs Kent, Smallville? Very versatile.

Thursday 7 January 2010

This is an image of one of Doctor Otto's latest creation, Code Name; Fiend.
Few can imagine what would drive a genius like Doctor Otto to create his army of Fiends. Some weakness in his character or insanity has lead him to become obsessed with developing a super-soldier, no matter how depraved his research gets.
The Fiends believed to be created using muteogenic materials, advanced nano-cybernetics, and a denatured form of the Zombie-contagion. Super strong, and near unstoppable, could Doctor Otto have finally succeeded in developing the ultimate weapon?
Not really a super-mini, this is part of the Gothic horror range by West Wind Games (who used to do superfigs in the UK). I have got a few more of these kicking around, and so I might base them up on the resin bases and paint them up to. I had to paint him in the old-school zombie green as a tribute to the Hammer Horror era Frankenstein's Monster. Love that.