Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ne Plus Ultramarine!

I finally got enough time from the hectic schedule of work and family to finish assembling the figs I’ve been working on. I even managed to paint one!

I hemmed and hawed over what chapter colours to use. Space Wolves? Blood Angels? Dark Angels? I decided on the Ultramarines based on an old illustration from my WH40K compendium:

With that image in mind I put brush to fig and began to paint.  At first I was going to skip the undercoat( I know, I know, but I was getting pressed for time), but the ultramarine blue I bought form the art store turned a deep navy when painted over the red polymer clay. However, it was a nice blue when I pained the arms, which were made out of craft foam.  Ok, undercoating it is.  Unfortunately, the acrylics I picked up from our fine local craft store did not really coat worth a dang, even after being shaken like one of 007’s martinis.  Much more like a wash than paint.  That’s what I get for not going with Ceramcoat or artists paints.  My mother-in-law used to repair porcelain and dolls, so she pointed me to her store of older acrylics, which I dug into, finding some white.  It was pretty chalky, but I managed to get in smoothed out. Or so I thought.

Once undercoated, I started with the base coat of blue. I may have rushed things a bit and the undercoat wasn’t quite dry as the white seemed to bleed through. I pressed on and hoped for the best.  I plan on repainting it, but I do like how it turned out, despite the brushstrokes showing. 

I also made some adversaries.  I was trying to make Eldar helmets, intending to use them as the Rogue Trader era Eldar pirates, but I couldn’t get it right, so I went with this shape instead.

It's only  a base coat with no dry brushing, but I like the look of these guys.  Next up is painting the rest and figuring out transport of each squad. I’m also going to head over to the local GW enclave and pick up some sand for the bases and maybe some green stuff to make feet.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Success, Squinky Style!

In my last post I mentioned that I planned on using miniature wooden spools for the bodies to accompany the Squinky heads I sculpted.  Yesterday I had ballet shuttle duty and while my daughter was in class, I went over to one of the local non-chain craft/art supply/children’s stores (my daughter’s ballet school prefers the parents to drop the kids off, that way the students aren’t distracted by the parents and can focus on class), hoping to find some spools.  Nice store, but no spools, so I headed on over to the local branches of the big chains.  No spools, but there was some Sculpey on clearance, so I picked that up, along with a giant bag of assorted beads. 

After lunch, we headed home.  The monkey (that’s my pet name for my daughter see )  had decided earlier in the week she wanted to do a daddy-daughter crafty afternoon, so she made some Sculpey sea creatures while I tried to figure my body image problem.  Eventually I came up with this: 

I thought it would work, so I made seven more to go with the eight heads already made.  I also made feet, using the heart shaped cookie cutter.  Once both the feet and bodies were cool, I decided to assemble them, which began my exercise in frustration.  I did not ensure the feet had a flat surface on which to glue the bodies, nor did I make sure the bodies’ legs were even. 

  My figs leaned worse than sailors coming back from liberty.  Plus the glue I was using, which worked so well with the little people, was coming up short with the Squinkies, allowing the bodies to slide off the feet when I tried to attach the heads.  In a fit of pique, I ripped everything apart and ordered spools and hearts from a craft supplier online.  On the plus side, the monkey had fun making her sea creatures. 

Where’s the success alluded to in the title, you ask?  That came today.  I had to glue fins back on the green goggle-eyed fish my daughter made.  I used super glue instead of the tacky craft glue I had been using yesterday.  It worked!  That got me thinking; maybe I should use super glue instead?  It worked on the figs!  Here it is, partially completed, next to a Squinky Stormtrooper for comparison.
Aren't you a little short to be a Stormtrooper?
I decided to go without the sculpted feet, I just couldn't make that work.  I think some craft foam ones will fix the problem.  I managed to finish up one complete figure before dinner:
Be just and fear not!
My backpack's got jets!
The arms are made from craft foam, the gun is cut from a craft stick, the jet pack is made out of beads from the big bag o' beads.  I wouldn't put it on Cool Mini or Not  but I think it turned out well.  I have to decide what paint scheme to go with.  I'm leaning towards Rogue Trader era Ultramarines.  Of course, then I'll need a dread......

Sunday, March 3, 2013

8 Heads In A Duffle Bag

Well actually there are eight Sculpey squinky heads in a sandwich bag. 
8 Heads In A Sandwich Bag.

  But I’m not one to let reality get in the way of a good blog post title that references a Joe Pesci black comedy clunker. 
I actually liked the movie!

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was given a bunch of Star Wars Fighter Pod toys for Christmas. They’re sort of squished figurines, like the Galactic Heroes line, only smaller.  Hasbro has other toys like them called Squinkies (seriously, who thinks toy names up nowadays?), superheroes, My Little Ponies, Cars, Disney etc.  They’re just shy of 1” tall and if they were proportioned correctly at that height they’d be near 1:72 scale. They aren’t correctly proportioned, each having an (insert Mike Meyers voice) “enormous cranium”.  That got me to thinking; perhaps I could sculpt something like that, making my own riff on some other popular gaming figs. 

Having a fond remembrance of a certain companies beaky helmet and jet pack wearing troops, I though I’d tackle those first.  I made two heads out of Sculpey, which I think came out pretty good.  So I made 8 more.  That would make 10 heads.  But then the cat jumped on the table and batted the heap of heads and I could only find 8.  Which makes a way better blog post title anyhow.

Prototype heads
  Like my wooden figs, the intent is to give the idea of the troop type without being a true miniature repro.  I moved on to making feet.  My daughter had a heart shaped mold that I thought would fit the bill and it seemed to be the right size. 
Feet, tushy appearance notwithstanding 

But the body has proved to be problematical.  The size becomes way too fiddly in Sculpey for my meager sculpting skills.  I am leaning towards using wooden craft spools for bodies like the “crafties” on the Wargaming on a Budget Yahoo group.  Since I seem to be able to make the heads, I’ll keep doing those from Sculpey or maybe Fimo, which I like better.  I still have to work out the jet packs and weapons. Once that’s done, it’s terrain for the beaky vs. stormtrooper throwdown. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Long break from posting

Looking at the dates on my last posts, I realized I've gone nearly two months with no posts!  What happened?  Well, there were the holidays, then a big Society for Creative Anachronism event, improving gear after said event and a large honey do list.

On the Little People front, Santa brought me some of the Star Wars Fighter Pods, like these:
They are just about an inch tall, made of some rubbery stuff and very stylized.  Their size is what piqued my interest.  When I was gaming regularly, I was always on the look out for various plastic containers, caps, bits and bobs that I could use to build vehicles and terrain.  The clothespin based guys are too big for that, plus the plastic products are too industrial to go with them, IMO.  The fighter pods aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than some miniatures.  And being a mass market toy, you might be able to find them at yard sales and thrift stores. Oh, and clearance sales.