Leopard Girl #1 (Roy Williamson)

Forgotten Heroes 2017 entry number two. Leopard Girl.

I started off with a Crooked Dice ‘Classic’ Pandora King stock figure.  Sawed off the top of it’s head with a razor saw.

Then used a scalpel and warding file to shape and smooth the metal – then I washed it in warm, soapy water and scrubbed the miniature clean with a toothbrush (bought for that purpose).

Using Greenstuff modelling putty I sculpted the Leopard Girl hood onto the miniature. Don’t ask me how I did it, as I’m still learning as I go and am surprised it turned out as well as it did!

The tools I used were a pick (imagine the thing a dentist uses) and a shaper bought from Games Workshop years ago. I use clean tap water to help lubricate and smooth the putty while working.

I sketched out a rough image of what Leopard Girl’s hood should look like – as my stupid phone wouldn’t display the photo I’d taken from off the computer. Stupid technology!

Wanting to go all fancy, like a certain Mr Awdry, I began working on the base. Supergluing some garden gravel to the base, and atop each other, smoothing out the joins and joints with modelling putty. I’ve even gone to the extreme of purchasing tiny ‘leaves’ basing material to make the basing look good. I can see I’ll have to keep buying scenic basing material from now on.

The only thing I might add before painting is a couple of large teeth to the leopard, hanging down and atop Leopard Girl’s forehead. But I’ll make that decision next time. I’ve also spotted the leopard suit’s neckline is right up under the chin, so I’ll need to model that on, definitely. Oh, and then there’s the fact the model has a belt sculpted on and boots, whereas Leopard Girl doesn’t. Damn. More work.


Bug Hunters, a big finish! (Bryan Scott)

 My work for the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge is now completed. My entries are based on a little known sci-fi comic strip that appeared in Computer and Video Games magazine between October 1985 and February 1987 called The Bug Hunters. I loved this story back then and I still love it today. It has long stuck in my memory. My initial plan for this challenge was to sculpt the two human characters from the story – Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. But I soon realised I could convert various robot figures into B-Con, OTISS and X. The big stumbling block was the robot, Big Red. He is huge and I didn’t fancy sculpting him from scratch. But, a big part of me wanted to make all six of The Bug Hunters heroes, so I searched on Amazon for a suitable robot toy to convert into Big Red. I struck lucky when I discovered a 5″ tall action figure of Baymax from the animated film Big Hero 6. Now the challenge was on to get the conversions done before the end of this month. At that time, Melissa and Jackson had been sculpted. B-Con was a very simple conversion. OTISS, X and Big Red were much harder conversions but I finished them all last week and got them painted in just three days. Now at last I can present to you, The Bug Hunters.

From left to right are Melissa Ravenflame (an executive working for the Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems (IDEAS) Corporation, Jackson T. Kalliber (head of IDEAS Security), B-Con (a former prison security droid), OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System droid), X (a former bouncer and black marketeer) and Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition droid and not the sharpest tool in the box). Their mission was to find and fix bugs and glitches in artificial intelligence systems, computer systems and other robots. It is fair to say, they met with varying degrees of success. Big Red accidentally managed to totally destroy more than one children’s home and orphanage!

I am immensely proud of my two sculpts and four conversions. Just compare these two photos above with the picture at the top of the page, taken from issue #1 of the comic series to see just how close they resemble the artwork. So, what are my plans for them? I will use them in some one-off adventures using the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG by What’s Old Is New. I’ve already worked out that stats for Melissa and Jackson and I’m currently working on the stats for the four droids.

Here’s a reminder of what OTISS, X and Big Red started out as – RoJaws, Hammerstein and Baymax. That’s quite a change, huh? Note how much taller Big Red is to Baymax. His lower legs were lengthened considerably. The word RED on his chest was made out of cartridge paper, cut out and glued in place. Incidentally, Big Red is a lot less posable than he was as Baymax. His arms can still move up and down, but that’s it.
I’d just like to end by saying how much I enjoyed this challenge. This was a project that grew bigger for me as the days passed by. At the start of June 2017, I never imagined I’d have the full set of The Bug Hunters in 28mm scale. But I have and I feel I have surpassed myself with this challenge and right now I’m feeling incredibly proud.Finally, just for Roger, is this photo of my six entries taken against a plain white background. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it, mate!


An “Acid” Storm Brewing (Mike Boynton)

I thought I would send in an update on my Acid Storm miniature. I have given him a green wash so I can see imperfections in the casting. I then filled major problems with milliput putty. I like to have some of the original problems show to look like blast damage. Im working on repositioning the left arm and I have replaced the hands with 40K Space Marine hands. Acid Storm is holding an acid grenade! Next, I will paint the real base color on. I will also make a crazy base for him and pro paint him soon.


Darke Finish (Steve Gilbert)

I took an entirely different approach with my efforts to Hilary. Starting with an old Indy Clix mini (Aphrodite I think it was), I chopped her in two and added a lower elf torso (from an old… god knows what it once was… mini), added on suitably posed arms and body accoutrements, from at least three other minis (a real Frankenstein Monster by this stage).

in her original state before being cut up lol

And then I did a total painted job on her…. and voila!  I had me a unique red head Becky Darke (complete with Doom Blade) to go with Hiller`s two different cool versions of Jethro Strange.

Old Tramp and leggy.. weird Goth, what a pair

This version sees Jethro Strange looking decidedly more sinister here, with his gun out and ready for action. Becky looks like she’s saying: you really want to mess with moi?”



Strange Start (Hilary Gilbert)

From a role playing point of view, Brit-Cit is a fascinating place to discover and explore. The UK`s answer to Mega City One, infused delightfully with British sensibilities: where the Judges serve in a role almost akin to `The Avengers` (the old school British ones, not the ones with the green angry guy) slink in and out of the shadows, in a sort of… right proper `Blighty` version of Judge Dredd meets Dirty Harry.

Original comic book characters are often tough to sell to an already over critical American saturated audience, particularly in a universe as idiosyncratic as 2000AD’s Judge Dredd driven world-verse. One can either spend time on an origin story which, if not the subject of a whole comic, takes up valuable pages that could be reserved for the story proper: or you can just dive into your story and have your characters reveal their natures through their actions. reacting to whatever crazy situation it is that you’ve chucked them into.

The authors of our Brit Noir duo tended to opt for the latter, introducing us to Psi-Judge Becky Darke.. just at the very moment in the story where she in turn is being introduced to Detective Inspector Jericho Strange of the Endangered Species Squad. Becky has a psychic tumour that voices both her normal mind and a disturbingly (and uncontrollable) abnormal  almost paranormal inner monologue. Making her seem at times to suffer from Tourette Syndrome. While Detective Inspector Jericho Strange is a pretty average guy… with a horse’s skull for a head, due to having been cursed after looking into an ancient occult book of dark magic.  

All very British, right?

Whilst there is an argument to say that reading DI Strange’s previous adventures first, might be more rewarding: it’s almost more fun to go into this story completely blind – as the author does a terrific job of capitalising on the particular mystery surrounding our male hero`s horse’s skull; blending a slow reveal with the unravelling main story rather beautifully.

There’s also a lovely lilt to the dialogue, with no two characters sounding the same as their voices sound in your head. The story is a tad on the ‘absolutely insane’ side, but it’s easy enough to follow… and come the end, reaches a conclusion that’s satisfying, and leaves the reader closing the book with a wide contented smile on his or her face.

The art is pretty decently top notch. Gloomy church scenes, smoky offices, blasted waste-lands (including some weirdly dangerous looking sheep) each is given a particular and precise tone that euphorically sets the mood of each. There are some great one page spreads distributed evenly through the story, and whilst the artwork is never exactly flashy, there is a terrific consistency to these cool renderings.

We decided to create this strangely iconic comic book hero and heroine for one simple reason. We wanted to include them in our Judge Dredd games, and no one was making the miniatures we needed (and I suspect never will, due to their limited `very British` appeal), so we simply decided to make them ourselves.

Strange and Darke: don’t the two names just roll naturally off the tongue? They belong together as a team. Starskey and Hutch: Dempsey and Makepiece: Bodie and Doyle…. Strange and Darke! Mr Joe Average except for a frickin` horse`s white skull sitting between his shoulders where a normal human head should be, and a hot sexy Gothic chick, with an embarrassing handicap, which makes her sound like a disturbed medical patient, rather than a trained Psi Judge.

This delicious team are simply too good a deal for any self respecting 2000AD lover to miss up on, either in their table top skirmishes, or their rpg paper and pencil games.

Hils decided to start from scratch, rather than convert an existing miniature. She didnt have any proper modelling clay, so she decided to do the impossible task of working from an old (years out of date) package of Green Stuff. She wasn’t sure how the results would work out, so she decided to make two figures at the same time.

Thus began the slow, painstaking process of building up the wire frame, and then plopping the blobs of sticky clay onto each effigy.

But of course, it all starts with her own initial sketches.

For which she used the Brit Noir Graphic Novel itself to glean ideas from, to create some original art of her own.

Brit Cit Noir Graphic Novel Cover.

The fun bit next….. the painting.Psi Judge Becky Darke with her legendary Soul Drinking `Doom Blade`, and two versions of Brit-Cit Judge PI Jethro Stange. Version one is him slouched, hands in pockets… looking decidedly Columbo like. With the other version he is more on the ball, Carbo Blast Gun in hand: digging deeply into his pocket with the other hand… no doubt looking for his infernal foul smelling pipe and tobacco. 

Hils don`t like using pre-made bases for her models (she says its seems lazy, after spending good time preparing a good miniature: why not go the whole hog, lol. So yeah. she always makes and bakes her own bases out of Polymer Clay).

Hils said from the start: “I wanted to get that comic book sketch like quality to the the models, `cos you don`t often see that style done with table top miniatures”

Finished… Da daaaaa!!!


Manphibian Update (Simon Moore)

Manphibian WIPs – The S.H.I.E.L.D. operative has had his flesh layered, and washed with green and brown shades
With this month’s “Forgotten Heroes” challenge now two-thirds finished, I have ‘unleashed’ my paintbrush upon a converted “Heroclix” figure of Manphibian, which I actually assembled twelve months ago. The extra-terrestrial’s white boots and pouches have all now been completed, as has the anti-hero’s automatic rifle, and I am currently slowly washing his scaly hide with green and brown inks in preparation of some light dry-brushing.

“Let’s have a Big hand for Jitsu!” (Roger Webb)

Final stages of the sculpting of Jitsu were completed this week (well the start of it), so just a quick update to show where I’m up to as of now…

Sunday, Well I thought it was about time Jitsu got some hair so I began this by mixing two tiny balls of putty and added a couple of ears to the sides of his head, yes for some reason the dollies from “Bronze Age Miniatures” come without ears! Why I don’t know it would be so much easier to file these away if you were going to add a helmet than having to add them, but anyway “rant” over. Once these were on I then mixed up a small sausage of putty and attached this under his nose, then teased this around to his chin and added hair with my small knife, it is a bit bushier than the original but I can live with it. Next his hair was added using a blob of putty on top of his head and pushed into shape, being careful not to damage his new ears. Lastly today I added a bit more putty to the top of his right arm and increased the size of his bicep there, I’ll add his trademark “golden Hand” next.

Monday, and I started work on Jitsu’s right hand (the big one), before I started adding putty to it though I began by slicing off his thumb and then taking the pliers to the hand itself flattened out the fingers that were curled ready to take a weapon of your choice. This left the hand in a bit of a mess, but this of course didn’t matter as I was going to cover the whole thing in greenstuff anyway. That’s what I did next, mixing up a small amount I added a blob first to the back of his hand and then more again to the front, these were then smoothed together, and then after much “faffing” with various tools and knives I eventually worked it into a hand shape, sorry this description isn’t more specific but I really just messed about with it till I was reasonably happy with the shape. I then added some ridges across both sides of the fingers on the joints and after adding some dimples across the knuckles popped in some small balls of putty that were then flattened slightly on the top for a bit of detail. I’ll add the flared wrist piece tomorrow. Also today I took the samurai sword that I had cut off of the “Copplestone Babe” who became my “Harley Quin” last “Zomtober” and carefully drilling the back end of the blade inserted a tiny piece of florists wire ready to glue and putty into his left hand.

Tuesday and end was definitely in sight now, so I began by running a couple of blobs of putty down the front and back of Jitsu’s wrist and then smoothed these out and around his wrist, I then took my flat ended colour shaper and carefully pushed a ridge around the bottom of this “cuff” just above his elbow, this was then tidied up using the edge of my small knife as a straight edge. Next I added a small amount of putty to the “wire” handle of the sword and then carefully rolled this on the edge of my board trimming off any excess until I was happy with the size and shape. This was then pushed and glued into his left hand. Now comments had been made about the thinness of his legs, but I decided that I liked the smallness of them as they referenced back to the toys of the eighties as they too had legs that were a little small in comparison this the arms of the figures. So with that decision made Jitsu was also just about done.

Well that just leaves Jitsu’s base to be done and then I can get underway with the painting, on the home straight now, I’ll post up the finished figures once they are complete.

So till them Excelsior, and cheers Roger.