Forgotten Heroes 2018 – Chastity Marks Finished (Bryan Scott)

Here I present my entry for the Forgotten Heroes 2018 challenge – another favourite vampire of mine, Chastity Marks.

Before I show my finished entry I thought you’d like to see just how I converted this Copplestone Castings Bodyguard in Bikini into Chastity. Working down from head to feet, I had to restyle her hair. This wasn’t too difficult as it just involved adding Milliput with no filing or cutting required. I added a bit of Milliput to her upper arms to represent her long gloves. I turned her bikini top into a bustier top by adding more Milliput below her breasts and to the middle of her back. In the first picture of  Chastity that I showed you in my introduction, she was holding two katanas, so I added a second katana to her left hand. I had to remodel her left thumb to fit around the hilt of the katana. Next I added the tops of her thigh-length boots. Finally, I added a bit of Milliput to cover up her toes. All in all, it wasn’t too difficult a conversion.

And here she is completely finished and ready for action. I did wonder about whether to paint her clothing in satin black or gloss black. Either would work. In the first picture I showed last time her clothing was satin black but in the second picture it was clearly gloss black. Ultimately, I thought gloss black looked better and so that is what I went with.

With so many other projects on the go, I knew I didn’t have that much spare time to devote to this project but I knew that converting one figure was easily achievable, and I’m delighted with the result. Roll on Forgotten Heroes 2019!

https://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2018/06/forgotten-heroes-2018-chastity-marks.html#comment-form

Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2018 – Intro (Bryan Scott)

It’s July and that means it is time for the Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2018. I have participated in this challenge twice before in 2016 and 2017. The challenge is to create or convert a 28-32mm scale superhero/supervillain character who is not commercially available. In 2016 I converted standard and Chibi versions of two of my favourite comic book vampires – Vampirella and Purgatori. Last year I surpassed my expectations and both created and converted the six heroes known collectively as the Bug Hunters. This year I’m going much simpler and I’m going to convert a single figure to create another one of my favourite comic book vampires – Chastity Marks.

In 1976, teenager Chastity Marks was an American runaway living in London. Punk rock was all the rage, and Chastity was soon running errands for a local band. One night while on the job she was attacked by a vampire. She escaped, but not with her life: Chastity was now a vampire, but with a twist. To the rest of the vampire world, she was completely undetectable.
Today, Chastity works freelance for the Cabal, a secret society of vampires, werewolves, and witches who rule over the monster underworld. As strong as ten men and a master martial artist, Chastity serves (on her terms) as the Cabal’s most efficient and merciless assassin, all the while trying to live a normal life.
Chastity’s last appearance in comics was in 2015, when she appeared in the epic crossover event – The Swords of Sorrow produced by Dynamite Entertainment. Here, she threw in her lot with the bad guys and in a related four part mini-series, she led the forces of darkness against Jennifer Blood and Vampirella. Bad move on her part. Vampirella kicked her ass but refrained from killing her, in order to teach her a lesson that Vampi was far more powerful than she could ever imagine or aspire to be. This made Chastity question her decision to side with the bad guys.
The figure I’m using for the basis of Chastity is this one to the right and is one of the Copplestone Castings Future Wars Civilian figures from set FW45 Bodyguards in Bikinis. This should be a simple conversion so I’m very confident of completing her in time.
I’m looking forward to this challenge and to all the other contestants taking part, I wish you the very best of luck and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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!

https://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/forgotten-heroes-2017-bughunters.html

Bug Hunters Update 1 (Bryan Scott)

Following on from my intro to the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge (see here – Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2017 – Intro), here is an update of my work so far. As I said before, I was originally just going to make the two human heroes, Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber from The Bug Hunters series. The good news is that I have sculpted both figures and they are undergoing paintwork right now. Both have come out really well, but I’m particularly impressed with my figure of Melissa.
I was lucky enough to find the parts needed to convert an old Citadel Paranoia robot into B-Con. He was an easy conversion to do, and he’s also being painted right now. I am not going to show these three just yet. I want to wait until all six figures are completed.
I had no intention of making the other three robots, OTISS, X and Big Red for this challenge. I thought it would be too much work, especially making Big Red, who is huge. However, things soon changed and when I realised that OTISS and X looked a lot like RoJaws and Hammerstein from 2000 AD comic’s ABC Warriors and Robusters series I knew I could make them as well. Wargames Foundry make excellent figures of RoJaws and Hammerstein. How hard could it be to convert them? So I ordered them last week and they arrived two days later.

I had to add a bit of Milliput to the base of Hammerstein as he kept falling over, due to his centre of balance being off kilter. So, now all I had to do was find a suitable figure for Big Red. I did not have high hopes, but anyway, I decided to check out toy robots on Amazon UK… and found the perfect robot for Big Red. This big fellow is Baymax from the Disney animated film of 2012 – Big Hero 6. He is a posable action figure, but he’ll be a lot less posable after I’ve finished with him. As always, Amazon were very quick to post him to me.

Size-wise he’s just about perfect, although I will be lengthening his legs. As soon as I saw the figure, I knew I could work with him and make, what I thought would be a very difficult challenge, a much easier task. Yes, there is a lot of work to do on him, but I have the basis of his figure all ready to go. Most of the hard work has already been done for me. I just have to add some detail to him. Hah! That’s all!

 The first thing I had to do was remove certain body parts from the three figures. RoJaws had his arms and head cut off. Hammerstein lost his head and right arm. I had to saw them off. I’ve drilled and pinned a paper clip into his shoulder so that I can sculpt his new arm around it.
Baymax has had his head and shoulder pads removed – they just clipped off quite easily. I sawed off the mounts on his back for his wings. His wings came separately but were never going to be used by me.
Now I can get to work on them with my Milliput and hopefully get them finished by the end of June. I’m pretty confident I’ll meet the deadline. I don’t usually do work in progress posts but I especially wanted to do this one, just to show you how Big Red was going to evolve. Next time you see him he’ll be looking a lot different.

Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2017 – Intro (Bryan Scott)

So, it’s June and that means it’s time for the Forgotten Heroes challenge, which is run by fellow bloggers, Jez and Roger. I very nearly gave it a miss this year because the figure I was planning on converting (a Twilight Knight) by Soda Pop Miniatures into a Chibi Lady Death was discontinued earlier this year before I could buy her. But having greatly enjoyed the challenge last year, I decided to take a totally different tack and a one that no one could possibly envisage.

I’m currently heavily into sci-fi gaming. So I have decided to make a couple of 28mm scale sci-fi figures. Yes, make them. They will not be conversions but rather will be sculpted by me from scratch. The two figures I’m going to make are the two human heroes from the old comic strip, The Bug Hunters, Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. Already I can hear everyone saying, “Huh! The Bug Hunters? Never heard of them!” Understandable! Let me give you some background info on them taken from the Comics Corner section of the Weird Retro website.

“Back in October 1985 a serialised comic began to appear in the pages in Computer and Video Games (C+VG) magazine. The series ran almost every month until February 1987. For any teenage computer geek growing up in the 80s, C+VG was the must buy computing and gaming magazine, and the addition of The Bug Hunters only made the magazine all the more worth buying. The sight of Melissa Ravenflame on that first panel, set many an adolescent comic book/computer geek’s heart a flutter. (As sad as that is!) See the picture to the left.

The Bug Hunters was scripted by Jerry Paris, whose early work was for Marvel UK on titles such as Freefall Warriors; drawn by Pedro Henry (the pseudonym of renowned British comic book artist, Steve Moore), who gave Alan Moore his leg-up as a comic book artist; and inked by Garry Leach, who worked on the seminal British comic book 2000 AD, and also collaborated with Alan Moore. Both Steve Moore and Garry Leach worked on the regular feature in 2000 AD Tharg’s Future Shocks. During the period of The Bug Hunters appearing in C+VG, Leach also worked on Judge Dredd. For a comic strip series appearing in a computing magazine, The Bug Hunters was exquisitely pencilled by Paris and inked by Leach, creating some of the most memorable images of comic book art in the mid-80s UK.

Computer and Video Games was first published in November 1981, and was the world’s first dedicated video gaming magazine. The first issue featured an article on the arcade game Space Invaders. The magazine ceased appearing in a printed format in 2004, but continues as an online magazine format as it has since 1999. In the 1980s, C+VG was the multi-format magazine of choice for all gamers and computer geeks. It featured news, reviews, as well as hints, tips, game maps and long list of programming code for readers to laboriously type into their home computers to create games.

However, in 1985 when The Bug Hunters first appeared it was a shift for the magazine, as they used the images and characters from the comic series to promote various sections of the magazine. Set in 23rd Century London, the aforementioned Melissa Ravenflame was working on a new project for IDEAS Corp. (Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems). Three years earlier they had created the most addictive computer game ever, called GOD. She teams up with Jackson T. Kalliber, an ex-military man who looks like a cross between Burt Reynolds and Charles Bronson. He’s put a team together of robots, that include OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System), Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition), B-Con a security droid who helped with a prison break, and X a “fascism” droid who can pirate anything. Thus a rag-tag team of robots.

Over their time in C+VG, The Bug Hunters went through a darkly comic series of adventures. Beautifully illustrated, told with a quintessentially British sense of humour. An almost forgotten gem of a comic book series, that stands as an example of the genius of comic book artists working in the UK at the time. Especially those that went through the 2000 AD stables. It was one of the greatest multi-serialised story, multi-artist comic books in the world.”

I’m just happy that due to copies of C+VG now being in the public domain on www.archive.org I was able to download all 15 episodes of this series to keep as a permanent reminder of one of my secret pleasures of the 1980’s. My brother used to subscribe to C+VG and whilst I had no interest in computer gaming (I still don’t) I absolutely adored The Bug Hunters comic series.

So, I plan on making Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber as my entries for this year’s challenge. I would love to make/convert the four robots but that can keep for another day. Perhaps they might be next year’s challenge.

https://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/forgotten-heroes-challenge-2017-intro.html?showComment=1496658347790#c2850477334544471456

 

Purgatori & Vampirella 02 (Bryan Scott)

Here I present my four finished conversions for the Forgotten Heroes project. As I explained last time, the heroes I wanted to create were the vampire characters of Purgatori and Vampirella, who both appear in comics produced by Dynamite Entertainment. I mentioned that I’d be making two versions of each of them – a normal 28mm scale version and a 28mm scale Chibi version. Here they are.

Vampifan's Purgatori & Vampirella 01For my normal version of Purgatori, I decided to base her on an old Citadel Dark Elf Harpie (typical of Games Workshop, she is now out of production). A copy of the Harpie I used is at the far left of my two photos. I remodelled her hair, and added plastic horns taken from a GW Skeletons sprue to her head. I added bone shoulder pads and gave her long fingerless gloves and a bra made of Milliput. I added thigh length boots and remodelled her feet. The Harpie had longer legs and feet, so I hid her taloned feet by surrounding them with a pile of decapitated heads from my spare parts box. She stands on a 25mm diameter MDF base, which is textured with sand. Overall, I’m very pleased with my conversion. There are no official or unofficial versions of Purgatori, which makes my figure unique.

Vampifan's Purgatori & Vampirella 02For my figure of Vampirella I chose a Marvel Heroclix figure of a Con Artist from the old Xplosion expansion set as the basis for my conversion. The Heroclix Con Artist appears at the far right of my two photos. It was probably not the most obvious figure to choose but I thought she had potential. Her arms and legs were almost perfect. I remodelled her two bracelets and added extra upper arm bracelets as well. Her body needed extensive reworking and her hair obviously needed lengthening. Cutting off her clothes was not an easy task but a very sharp craft knife helped and I knew if I cut too deeply I could always repair her with modelling putty. Once I had removed all of the extraneous plastic (working with plastic made my life a lot easier!) I then went to work with the modelling putty and remade her bum and boobs and added her iconic costume. Finally, I added her long length hair, based her and textured the base. I’m reasonably happy with her. I think it’s a decent effort but I’ll be the first to admit that some of the unofficial versions of Vampirella are a lot better than my version. Still, once again, I have a unique figure to add to my collection.

SDE Vandella, Purgatori & Vampirella 01Moving onto the two Chibi versions of Purgatori and Vampirella I must admit that these were a lot easier to convert and more fun to do. Both conversions are based on the same figure – Succubus Vandella from Soda Pop Miniatures’ game Super Dungeon Explore. She’s at the far left of these two photos. Vandella can be either an evil Mini-Boss or a Hero, depending upon which version you choose for her. She was also the perfect figure for me to convert into Purgatori and Vampirella.
For Purgatori, I first cut off Vandella’s pigtails and tail. I snipped the ends off a wooden cocktail stick to use as her horns and glued them to the front of her head. I know they should be curved but this was the best solution I could come up with. I added her left eye with modelling putty as I wanted her to have both eyes open. Then I remodelled her hair and costume with Milliput. All in all, a relatively simple conversion.

SDE Vandella, Purgatori & Vampirella 02For my conversion of Vampirella the first thing I did was to cut her head off (!). This was to make it easier to remove Vandella’s wings. It is a fact that Vampirella can fly. In the original black and white Warren series she used to transform into a bat but more recently she spouts wings from her back when she wants to fly. However, because she rarely ever flies I decided to model her without the wings. Once again, I cut off Vandella’s pigtails and tail and also her two wings. I cut away the flame from her candle. I repainted the candle so that it is now a scroll holder. I added Vampirella’s white collar to her neck, which was made from Milliput. Then I drilled and pinned her head back in place and added her left eye and remodelled her long hair. She was a slightly more complex conversion than Purgatori but in no way a difficult conversion for me.
I have to admit that I absolutely love my Chibi conversions of Purgatori and Vampirella. I think I have captured the look and personality of them both just perfectly. I am now working on ideas on how to incorporate them in a game. Do I stick with Super Dungeon Explore or shall I try out Chibi World? Do I have them in an unlikely team up (with superheroes any team up is possible) or do I have them on opposing sides? I have lots of ideas spinning in my head.
I’d just like to end by saying this project was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part. A big thank you to Jez and Roger for bringing it to fruition and for allowing me to participate. Here’s hoping the project continues next year.

vampi Unknown Artist 01

http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/forgotten-heroes-purgatori-vampirella-02.html

Purgatori & Vampirella 01 (Bryan Scott)

A number of bloggers run painting and/or modelling contests, sometimes for fun and sometimes for prizes. I rarely ever take part. More often than not it’s because I’m not interested in the theme of the contest but sometimes when someone announces for example, it’s “Zombie Painting Month” I think, well for me every month is “Zombie Painting Month!” Recently, however, bloggers Jeremy “Jez” Winstanley and Roger Webb announced a new challenge called Forgotten Heroes. The brief was simple – convert or create a figure into a costumed superhero of your choice from any source. The rules were –

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it*.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

*In a slight change to the original rules, you can create a character who has had an official or unofficial figure made for them, as long as you don’t use the original figure to make YOUR version. This was requested by someone who wants to make a ‘proper’ version of the character, as the official figure was not very good.

At last, here was a contest I was very keen to enter. My first choice of who to create should come as no surprise to anyone. It had to be my all time favourite superheroine – Vampirella. Not for nothing am I known as Vampifan. Whilst no one has made an official 28mm scale figure of Vampirella there are a lot of unofficial figures of her available. Vampirella lookalikes abound! I have most of them in my collection but even so, I still wanted to make my own version of her.
Vampirella was created by writer Forrest J. Ackerman and artist Trinna Robbins for Warren Publishings black and white horror magazine comic Vampirella #1 in September 1969. Her origins have changed over the years but it is now acknowledged that she is the daughter of Lilith, wife of Adam who was cast out of Eden by God. Lilith spawned numbers of demons and vampires but they made her weaker, so she created Vampirella to hunt down and destroy them. Vampirella is a vampire, and needs blood to survive and has many of the typical vampiric powers, including superhuman physical abilities, shape-shifting into a bat, immortality and a mesmeric stare. She is not prone to the race’s traditional weaknesses, such as daylight, holy water, garlic or crosses. She does not attack people to drink their blood, except occasionally when she herself is attacked or desires to kill. She is almost always scantily clad in her signature red sling suit with a white collar and wearing shiny black knee-high boots.

My second choice of figure to make was another female vampire. I do love female vampires! This one would be another of my favourites, Purgatori, who originally appeared in her own series produced by Chaos Comics. After Chaos Comics folded the rights to her usage passed over to Dynamite Entertainment, who are also the current publishers of the Vampirella comics. Whereas Vampirella is a good vampire who fights the forces of darkness, Purgatori is an evil bitch, through and through. Vampirella and Purgatori have fought each other in the past, most recently in the epic crossover series, Swords of Sorrow, which I reviewed here.
Purgatori was created by writer Brian Pulido and artist Stephen Hughes for Chaos Comics and made her first appearance in Evil Ernie: Revenge #1 in October 1994. Purgatori was born in Egypt around 1390 BC, and raised in the city of Alexandria. Her parentage is unknown, save that she had the blood of the Fallen Angels in her veins. Her human name was Sakkara, and she was part of the team of slaves that built the burial tomb for Queen Ostraca. Sakkara’s job was to grind corn all day under the desert sun, and she was constantly whipped by the brutish male guards. Amongst the slaves was a foreigner, an old man of Celtic origin, who told Sakkara he knew a way to escape slavery and achieve immortality. Sakkara was enlisted into Ostraca’s harem and soon the two married. A year later, rebellion in the city caused Sakkara to flee and seek out the old man. She found him as he was being attacked by guards. She killed them and he lived long enough to direct her across the desert to a cave set into a mountain peak. There she met Rath, an ancient Celtic vampire. She wanted to gain immortality for her revenge; he wanted a weapon to help him turn man from the civilized path to the wild ways that Rath advocated. Rath drank Sakkara’s blood and fed her some of his own, turning her into a vampire. As Rath’s blood mixed with her own, it combined with the strange blood of the Fallen Angels within her, transforming her into a creature with blood red skin, horns, glowing white eyes, and bat-like wings. She soon attracted the attention of Lucifer, who brought her to Hell, where he named her Purgatori. She spent millennia there and has only recently arrived on contemporary Earth to cause chaos and mayhem.

Deodato, Mike 02The picture to the left shows Vampirella and Purgatori slugging it out. My plans for this project are to make two versions of both characters. First up will be normal 28mm scale figures of them. I say “normal” so as to distinguish them from my second versions. My second versions will see me creating Chibi versions of them. Yes, that means small bodies and big heads. For this, I blame Jez. A while ago he asked me if I had ever thought of making a Chibi version of Vampirella? I hadn’t but once he mentioned it, the idea just wouldn’t go away. Soon after that, he announced his plans for the Forgotten Heroes contest and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
I’m pleased to say that all four figures have been completed and I’m ready to show them off. Please tune in to my next post and you can see what I’ve done with these two favourite characters of mine. I have a question for you. Do you want to see all four figures next time or shall I split them into two separate posts – normal figures first then the Chibi figures?

Bryan aka Vampifan. 2016.

https://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/forgotten-heroes-purgatori-vampirella-01.html