29 Jun 2013

Meet the King in Yellow!


last of the three Horrorclix repaints I've done in that one batch. This one is a bit more converted and fully repainted. It is a conversion of Gypsy seer (not my image). I have cut his headgear, sculpted a hood, done some work on his sleeves (at hands, they're more loose now) and I've covered tassels on the scarf he had around his body.

In Strange Aeons, I will use him as a "high priest", generic wizard, or as the King in Yellow when I'll play that specific scenario (the King can only be summoned in one particular scenario that needs special props). I must say I really like this miniature, especially the two accompanying spirits. Yellow worked quite well. I was thinking I should paint that scarf in some other color for some contrast, but I really liked that yellow, so I've kept it :P. I have painted some mud on the edge of the cloak, but it didn't really work too well.

Not much else to say about it, so see you next time!

25 Jun 2013

Meet a Mummy!

Before I start- 20,000 hits! THANKS GUYS! It is but a minor milestone, but a milestone nonetheless! Next goal - a million! :D

Today is my little country's 22th Birthday. I wanted to make a bit bigger post about it, but to keep things hobby related, I've decided not to. If anyone is interested there is an "okay" article about our War of independence on Wiki. I'd just let you know I'd be more than happy to chit chat about it on private, if anyone is interested :P.

Back to hobby, not much has been done lately. I am doing some basing and a bit of painting, but luckily I got this and one other post prepared from a while ago!

Got another horrorclix "repaint" for you today. It is a mummy. Comes in handy in Strange Aeons and I really like this sculpt. Actually I am really into lots of horrorclix stuff from the sculpt perspective, as they're very original. This one carries a sarcophagus with it!

There isn't much I can say about it, I tried washing and drybrushing the mummy and its sarcophagus, but it didn't really work out. So the biggest change I've made is pain the glow on the eyes. I am thinking about making a net on the sarcophagus from UHU glue strings or something, but I am not sure yet. It is based on 30mm base and that is about it.

As usual, here is a daring shot of explorer finding the reanimated Pharaoh! Had my painting skills been better, I'm sure you'd think it is from the movie!

Thanks again for all the support, just posting this post gives me a little boost to go finish what's on my painting table!


20 Jun 2013

Meet Bertha!


before we move on to lovely miniature that Bertha is, I'd just like to thank everyone that has ever found interest in my posts and even more so to people that regularly read my posts and comment on them. It really is appreciated and helps me slowly work on my projects. While I like converting and sculpting, I need a real kick to get things actually painted. I would also like to mention Brummie's pimping post and let you all know you've got it wrong. Brummie is a popular lad and sending him a little something was a step closer to WORLD DOMINATION! Hra hra hra (evil laugh)!

Anyways, I've been repainting (some more than others) horrorclix miniatures I got at Vampifans (hope you're holding on up there mate!). I've got three done that I'll show in separate posts, again, to keep up with my Strange Aeons bestiary "format".

Bertha will be used as a blasphemous construct, i.e. big zombie. And big she is. Also not at all feminine and quite disturbing. To make her fit better with my painting, I've decided to completely repaint here. I am not much of a painter and painting her was a huge fun (pun intended)!

Apart from being as hilariously gross as an obese naked undead can be, she also holds a cleaver - she is taking "Femme fatale" to a whole new level!
Nothing special on her front, some exposed skin (groovy!), a bib and thats about it.

It appears she sat somewhere else before, judging by a stuck lollipop, mmm cherry!
I've painted the ooze yellowish green for some added "eww" effect. As any true zombie, she was finished with a coat of TCR!

Below, a brave agent's hair rise as he sees the construct in the dark...YIKES!

Thanks for looking,

16 Jun 2013

Meet a sabretooth cat!

Behold - a mighty sabretooth cat!

This one is by far my favorite extinct mammal and I think it is for obvious reasons. I was fascinated by the peculiar long fangs it had and I still enjoy reading about theories regarding the use of these teeth. I am not the oldest guy around, yet I remember reading (in a book older than me :P), how sabretooth supposedly couldn't eat large prey because long fangs didn't allow it to swallow anything to big. However, it has been found out that it could open jaws to as much as 120°, compared to modern lion's 60! It (again, supposedly) only had 1/3 of a lion's strength in a bite and fangs are believed to be pretty brittle. The interesting belief is, that animal was like a lion on steroids, really muscular and strong.

Now, I've read about two different ideas on how it used to hunt. While I am no expert myself, neither self-taught beyond few books and documentaries, nor actually educated in this field, I found one much more likely than the other.
The first idea puts a cat on a tree or in some other ambush position, where it would wait for prey to come along (usually one of the previously shown megafaunas) jump on it, sunk its fangs in the animal and back off until the prey bled to death.
Now, I find this unlikely. While lynxes do jump from trees, they're much smaller and I just can't imagine a big muscular animal climbing on branches...but then again, big cats do that often. I could say my opinion is biased as I find waiting for animal to bleed out kinda boring :D.

Anyhow, the second idea is, that sabretooth used its weight and strength to wrestle big animals and then used its fangs to snap the throat, like modern cats do, but closing the "pincers" faster because of the long teeth. While it muscular front paws and back legs could help it brawl, it was too slow to catch anything fast - it was a specialized megafauna predator. It is believed it went extinct shortly after its favorable prey went extinct as well.

Whatever the reason was, the animal appears in Strange Aeons just as that - a sabretooth. While rules mix mammals and dinosaurs, I'd say my choice of going more mammalian comes out a bit better.

This particular model is from Steve Barbers and I while I really liked it at first, I am sitting on a fence by now.
I am a bit clumsy and I've manged to drop the miniature while putting primer on (brushing it on). It fell about a centimeter or two down on a ceramic plate I use as my palette and this is the result:

I got no idea how it has happened, perhaps it hit a grain of sand (I was putting sand on my bases and few could get on a plate, but I haven't seen any), or something, but it literally got brain damaged. I've fixed it with some putty, so it was no problem, but it was a bit of pa party pooper.
Secondly, I wanted to do a bit more elaborate paint job than simple sandy colors and I've messed its fur up with useless camouflage pattern before I've decided it isn't working. Too lazy to start again, I've kept it. Not too visible, but shows my lack of feeling for colors nicely. I'm horrible! :D
Next, I really liked its big eyes at first, but now that I've painted them and the cat looks retarded, I've decided I'd prefer small eyes that I could simply put some wash in and keep them at that!

Other than that, I really like it's unusual, threatening pose.
I've based it on (thanks for the idea Colgar! :D) 20mm round and square bases. I've cut round base on half and put it on each side, producing "40k bike base", but in 20x40. I'll use same technique for actual "bike bases" as those are awfully expensive.

Below is the ordinary "encounter!" scale shot and a quick set up of a sabretooth versus megatherium fight! It could be just me, but I think Steve Barber's miniatures might be a bit on the smaller size, while my megatherium appears even bigger, as it is sculpted in roughly 1:50 scale. Good luck biting that throat Smilodon!

Thanks for looking,

12 Jun 2013

Meet an Argentavis Magnificens!

...or perhaps some other teratorn (giant bird, but using big words makes me feel smart :P)?

Argentavis magnificens, which, unimaginatively means magnificent Argentine bird is supposedly the biggest bird that has ever lived. There isn't much known about it, but its wing span is estimated to be as large as 7 - 8 meters! Now, I've sculpted this and the two previously shown monsters in 1:50 scale, as I found it easier to convert numbers...I never was much of a maths guy :P. So, my models wingspan should measure something like 14 centimeters, but I did something wrong somewhere so it gets to around 11-12 centimeters or so. We could say it's not a full grown bird yet, or just call it some other teratorn - I don't think anyone would lose any sleep over this matter!

I will use it instead of Pterodactyl in my Strange Aeons games - this is why I've decided to find a giant flying bird instead of terror birds, the ostrich-like predators. I have started sculpting it with the other two sculpts (previously shown woolly rhino and megatherium), but it bogged down with this one. The suffering and sheer repulsion its wings caused me could only be compared to putting shingles on your model roofs. Boooooring. It has killed my sculpting mojo for weeks, I am telling you. And feathering them was the easy part...I just couldn't twist the wire to the right position, no matter how many birds I have looked at. This is some seriously weird piece of engineering! I went with intimidating / take off position and while I think position came out okay, wings are too slim (as in there is only three lines of feathers and should be 1-2 more) and all together, the wings are too thick (as in individual feather is too thick so wings are quite bulky). Also, as I am stating the bad things, its legs are too thin - those toothpicks could never support 70+ kilos that those birds weighted!

I have painted the bird blue, as per most common art I could find on the internet. While I can't say I'd expect a condor-like bird be blue, I must say I am quite happy with five-minutes-paint-job and this is one of the rare sculpts where I feel looks better with paint on. Talking of real birds, I've did some searching and I've found out they probably had problems getting off the ground and had to jump of cliff, like modern hang gliders. Nobody is even sure if it was able to hunt or had to resort to scavenging. I've read arguments that made sense to me, supporting both theories.

No matter the historical facts, I think a human sized bird (based on 40mm base) will fit in nicely instead of pterodactyls and could easily be used in other pulp games!
Ah, there is one more thing that really, really bothers me. Somehow, I've manged to glue it way off centre of its base and I must admit, the more I look at it, the more I feel I should fix it. It doesn't compromise its stability and such, but it annoys me...kinda like half-closed drawers. Hate those!

Well, anyways, thanks for looking and expect another extinct animal in next post!


8 Jun 2013

Meet a Woolly Rhinoceros!


second beast for my Lost World-type games is a Woolly rhinoceros. It was made alongside Megatherium, so it has came mostly like it - too thin and with fish-eyes. Still, I have learned alot regarding sculpting its hair. What I did with both, was cover it in putty and then score it. I guess this approach would work for Megatherium, to stimulate its short hair, but with woolly animals, it would be better to work from bottom up in strips, overlapping previous set. While this would take few days instead of few minutes, it would greatly help with the overall looks of the model in the end. If you look close enough, you can see later added putty on rhino's belly, to see what I mean.

Personally, I am even more proud of this one compared to Megatherium, but even here, I had quite some trouble finding art I'd like - one would think it's appearance would be straight forward, but it never is. Here, I have came across Elasmotherium, a mountain sized beast! It is low on my list of interesting animals (sculpting wise), but it can't cease to amaze me just how huge those animals were.

In game of Strange Aeons, woolly rhino will be my substitute for triceratops and that is about all the explanation needed, hehe.

I do have one question for you guys...there is a certain scenario in a book, where you steal dinosaur eggs and every now and then enraged momma dino comes stampeding through the table. Now, rhinoceros would be perfect for the stampeding part, but I have no idea what I would want to substitute eggs for? And don't tell me baby rhinos, too cute, too cute!
I was thinking simply using eggs of other birds, while stampedo would still be done by rhino...I guess territorial animals wouldn't like some weird apes running around their area.

Thanks for looking,

3 Jun 2013

Meet a Megatherium!


I got something special to show you today! It is a miniature of an extinct mega fauna - enter: Megatherium!

Marked by this thrilling, inspiring name, seconded only by Dinosaurs, is somewhat cute giant ground sloth. Apparently, it grew up to 6 meters tall and has weighted 4 tonnes. There is quite a few photos and illustrations of it on the net, each a bit different one from another. There are skeletons of it but as with anything else long extinct, one can only guess how exactly it really looked like.

It lived in nowadays South America. It was supposedly walking on all fours, but could sit on its huge tail to reach higher branches. As todays sloths and anteaters, it had long claws and had to twist his feet a bit to be able to walk.

I was quite interested in those beasts when I was younger, but I forgot about them eventually. My interest grew again when I saw Colgar6's amazing post about his collection. He has mentioned that finding pleistocene giant mammals would make more sense than finding living dinosaurs. And I completely agree. As Strange Aeons has a special linked campaign where you visit unexplored lands of Brazil rainforest, searching for a lost expedition, where you encounter dinosaurs, I have decided to swap them for Ice Age creatures.

This one will be used instead of T-Rex. Now, I know they don't really match, especially because Megatherium was mainly herbivore (it is supposed that it might be eating carrion sporadically), but its sheer size and huge claws could be used in offense. If anyone thinks any other mammal of roughly that period (very, very roughly that period, so we can go a million years back :D) would work better, please let me know. So far, the only one I'd consider would be Terror bird, but I think it size would make it a better raptor supplement (but I will use wolves for those, as suggested by Zabadak :P).

Now, I've found a nice human-megatherium size comparison photo that I've used to roughly sketch the sculpt. I have shaped it with wire and filled it with air drying clay. Because I planned to finish it with milliput for texture, I left it way too thin, which kinda bothers me. Plus I allowed myself to get lazy again and didn't use wire on any of the limbs. They aren't too well done, compared to illustrations I've made it after - they do look okay on the end sculpt however. Last thing that could be done better is the face. It was done really quickly so it is way too narrow - eyes are looking to sides instead infront - like those of fish.
Anyways, I've decided to keep those sculpts (I was/am working on 2 others at the same time) and finish them. All but one (we will come to that in later posts) were a blast to sculpt and I am looking forward to sculpting some of the weirder "elephants"  - say Deinotherium.

I've based this one on 2 sheets of roughly cut plasticard, so it looks terrible, but I can live with that.

For the end, here is a scale shot. While the animal seems quite small on its own, it really is towering over brave agents. If I ever go to redoing it, I would certaily make sure I position it so it looks down, the only reason for it to look straight forward is if it would be feeding, anyway.

Thanks for looking,