Challenging the Unknown (Jez Winstanley)

The mid-point of June has passed and those of us taking part in the communal craziness known as Forgotten Heroes can now see the finishing post fast approaching, so are gearing up for that final sprint.

Or that’s what you’d expect. However, some of us decided that the figures they were doing were really easy and would be finished with plenty of time to spare, so they became…distracted – by something else.

I can’t take the entire blame for this, as certain people who will remain nameless (but you know who you are) have commented that I talk a lot about doing hobby-related stuff, but the don’t follow this up with actually doing it. Looking at the various half-finished projects I have lying around, they do have a valid point…curse them and their feminine intuition!

So, I decided this week that not only would I work on my fantastic-ish four, but also work on a few outstanding projects as well.

First up, let’s look at where we’ve got to with Kid Dynamo and Crystal Man:

Actually, all I’ve done with these two is block paint both their bases with Docrafts Chocolate Brown. However, as I managed to take a photograph in natural rather than artificial light, you can see how effective my wash was on Crystal Man, so that he’s still semi-transparent.

Next up, the Planet and Neon Queen:

Having dug out my copy of Mystery Incorporated #1, I sat and read the entire issue – I was only supposed to be checking it for reference purposes, but sometimes you just have to read a comic book.

Whilst the cover does show that the non-white part of the uniforms is more pink than purple, all the interior art shows it more purple than pink, so I decided to repaint the two figures who do have part of the uniform on display. At the same time, I added the other purple detailing on their outfits – which was a bit more fiddly than I’d anticipated, especially on Neon Queen. She was also given an initial coat of GW Spearstaff Brown for her hair, before I used some GW Purple Ink to colour her gaseous lower form.

Just a few more details and their bases to finish off, and they will be done.

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/challenging-the-unknown/

The Quantum Quartet (Jez Winstanley)

Welcome back to Forgotten Heroes month here on the Buffet!

It would appear that my little bit of fun from last year, in which a like-minded group of bloggers attempt to create their own version of a ‘Forgotten Hero’, i.e. a comic book style hero from print or screen who has yet to have a figure (or at least a decent version) made of them yet, in 28mm during the month of June, has gotten a little more popular this year. Last year we had about eight participants – this year it has grown to twelve and the variety of characters chosen has expanded as well. This year we have Eternians, shape-changing robots and carnivorous plants, along with the usual obscure costumed characters that you may or may not have heard of. So, please visit the official Forgotten Heroes site, run by my loyal sidekick (tights optional) Mr Roger Webb, where everyone’s work so far can be seen in all their glory.

As noted in my previous post, my stated goal was to turn these four figures:

Into the ‘Quantum Quartet’ from the 1963 Universe, also known as Mystery Incorporated – “four resolute adventurers living thrilling adventures in the strange lands at the edge of today’s science ! Craig Crandall – the Crystal Man! Biff Baker – the Planet! Tommy Baker – Kid Dynamo! And gorgeous Jeannie Morrow – the Neon Queen! From their uncanny mile-long high-tech base under Manhattan, these fantastic four challenge the unknown!”

So, how have I got on? Well, as I’d picked figures that were pretty close to the end result, I’m actually further on that I thought I’d be by this point.

For the first of my four, I removed Veil and the Living Lightning from their Heroclix bases and trimmed down Veil’s base, in order to reposition her in a more upright pose. Both of these figures were then glued to two pence pieces using some kind of super-stick white glue that my friend Chris had given me. Similar in consistency to toothpaste and of a similar colour, whilst not a contact adhesive, within about 5-10 seconds the glue has ‘stuck’ solid and will eventually set rock hard. I’m not sure what the brand was, but it’s really useful stuff. The other advantage it has over super-glue is that it doesn’t ‘fog’ transparent plastic and as it’s white, it means I don’t have to pre-paint the bases in order for the copper of the 2p not to show through the base of the figure.

Once the glue was dry, I built up the bases using Milliput, then gave the bases an undercoat of Docrafts White. As ‘Kid Dynamo’ required no actual painting to represent the character, I moved on to ‘Neon Queen’, whose upper torso was first undercoated in Docrafts White. Her head was then painted Docrafts Flesh, with her uniformed upper torso painted with Rustoleum Gloss White, with an initial cost of GW Imperial Purple on her gloves;

Compared to the picture of the cover above, the gloves do look a little too pink, but I’m not sure if this is due to the lighting in the pictures or the cover being a bit darker than I remember. Either way, I think that these need repainting a little more purple-y.

For ‘The Planet’ and ‘Crystal Man’, a similar procedure was followed regarding basing. I also added Milliput to the Planet’s head, as the base figure’s head was close, but not quite the right shape and had no craters in it. Having built up the head into a more rounded shape, a tablet stylus (which will never be used for it’s intended purpose) was pushed into the Milliput, creating the necessary craters on the Planet’s head.

Once everything had set, the Planet’s body was undercoated in white, then his uniform given a coat of gloss white, his boots and gloves Imperial Purple and his head GW Bogey Green.

With Crystal Man, I trimmed off the head fins on the original figure and made his head more angular in shape. As the original figure was transparent, I wanted to retain as much of this as possible, but also change the colour from blue/white to the pink/red, so I created a wash of Imperial Purple and liberally coated the figure in this:

So, I’m pretty happy with how the Planet has come out, although as noted above, I think the gloves and boots need to be more purple than pink. However, Crystal Man has come out exactly as I’d hoped. He’s now the right colour and retained a certain amount of transparency, so does actually look like he’s made of malleable crystal.

So, ten days in or one-third of the way through, and I think I’ll only need one more painting session to complete this fantastic foursome.

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/the-quantum-quartet/

Forgotten Heroes 2017 the return (Jez Winstanley)

It’s the 1st of June, which means that most people’s thoughts are turning to a hopeful change in the weather and the possibility of enjoying the sunshine, either here or Abroad.

However, here at the Buffet, June means it’s time for the creative madness that we like to call Forgotten Heroes! Yes, that’s right, it proved so popular last year, that we’re doing it again!

So, for the next 30 days, we will be taking a break here at the Buffet from the ongoing Doctor Who project to concentrate on creating at least one 28mm figure of a comic book character who has not yet had a figure created for them or, if it has, it was a bit pants. Full details of the ‘rules’ (such as they are), can be found on the official Forgotten Heroes website.

So, last year I created models of Super-Soldier, Bananaman and Stegron, the Dinosuar Man, as can be seen both on the Forgotten Heroes site and on this post. This year, I’m going one better, with FOUR figures! And the reason I’m doing this, is because this year, I’m doing a team…

Back in 1993, Alan Moore had developed a working relationship with Image Comics and had effectively been given free rein to create whatever he wanted. So, he drafted some of his comic book pals and came up with the 6 issue miniseries called 1963. This was an affectionate parody of the early Marvel comics of that era, with each issue featuring a different take on a famous title or character. We had Horus, Lord of Light an Egyptian-themed Thor analogue, Tales From Beyond featuring the Unbelievable N-Man (Hulk) and Johnny Beyond (Dr. Strange), Tales of the Uncanny featuring the Ultimate Secret Agent (Captain America) and the Hypernaut (Iron Man), No-one Escapes the Fury! which was the 1963 version of Spider-Man and The Tomorrow Syndicate which teamed up Horus, U.S.A., Hypernaut and N-Man with additional characters Infra-Man and Infra-Girl to form the 1963 version of the Avengers.

However, the team I’m going to do is the 1963 version of the Fantastic Four, who are known as Mystery Incorporated!

The ‘Quantum Quartet’ are made up of Crystal Man, Kid Dynamo, Neon Queen and the Planet, with a similar origin and power sets to Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Invisible Girl and the Thing, although with a few cosmetic differences – although Neon Queen transforms into gas, rather than becoming invisible.

So, four characters may seem like a tall order, but the thing I’ve learned about doing conversions over the years is – keep things simple. In other words, pick a base figure that is as near as damn it to the finished result you want. Why give yourself extra work? So, with this in mind, it was off to Blue Rat Games to see which singles would be suitable for my nefarious plans.

And the results were these four:

So, from left to right we have Veil, the Living Lightning, Prism and Blood Brother, all of which are Marvel characters. So, as you can see, there won’t be a great deal of conversion work before these are ready to be painted. Veil will need adjusting to bring her more upright and possibly a re-sculpt of her hair to make it more 60’s, the Living Lightning just needs basing, Prism needs his head ‘fins’ trimmed and Blood Brother may need a slight re-sculpt of his head. Other than that, it will just be a case of painting them the appropriate colours.

And the best thing about my ‘Quantum Quartet’ is that the total cost of all four figures was just £1.36! Bargain!

So, now I’ve given you a taster, join me next time to see how far I’ve progressed.

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/forgotten-heroes-2017-the-return/

Forgotten Heroes the “Epilogue” (Jez Winstanley)

The idea for what would become ‘Forgotten Heroes’ came from two unrelated sources – the semi-regular “He-Months” that Roger and I indulge in, where we recreate characters from the Masters of the Universe franchise in 28mm and my own off-the-wall side project during one of these months, where I decided to convert a cheap plastic dinosaur into the version of Marvels’s Devil Dinosaur that appeared in NextWave #12.

Roger had suggested another ‘He-Month’, but I was fast running out of characters that I wanted to do and that I felt I could actually do. Taking inspiration from the conversions I had previously done for each ‘He-Month’, when I had the pleasure of meeting Roger in the flesh at Salute back in April, I suggested that instead of ‘He-Month’ why not change the subject matter to superheroes, but those that had yet to have a figure made of them? I felt this would offer a fresh challenge to the pair of us, but given the subject matter, would also tempt others to join us in our madness.

After a bit of thought, Roger agreed this was a good idea and came up with the name ‘Forgotten Heroes’, as my initial title was a bit rubbish. I then announced this via my blog at the beginning of March, to give everybody who wanted to take part a chance to plan, and posted the official ‘rules’, which can be found as the very first post on this site.

Talking of this site, that was all Roger’s idea, as there were people who were interested in taking part but did not have their own blogs – so they could send the details of their efforts to Roger, who would then post these on the site.

So, during the month of June, everyone who had agreed to take part began work on the selected ‘Forgotten Heroes’. For some, the idea of converting IMG_3688an existing miniature into an obscure superhero or villain took them outside their comfort zone, as it was either part of the hobby they didn’t usually header 3partake in or a genre that was beyond their usual gaming focus. However, all who took part ably rose to the challenge – with low-tech solutions, such as the use of a ping-pong ball, to high-tech with the use of 3D printing. And by the end of June, all participants (bar one, and he knows who he is), had completed their ‘pledged’ miniatures.trip

So, in alphabetical order by surname, here is a list of those who took part and their creations:

Michael Awdry        – Bouncing Boy
Mike Boynton        – Stinkor
John Brattan        – Golden Age Sandman
Simon Moore        – Manphibian, Mr Freeze’s goons, Vampire by Night & Warwolf
Alan Saunders        – Captain UK & Jenny Everywhere
Bryan Scott        – Purgatori and Vampirella (Chibi and ‘normal’ versions)
Roger Webb        – Aftershock, Black Scorpion & Gangster Prankster
Jeremy Winstanley    – Bananaman, Stegron & Super-SoldierBite me

Eight participants over three continents, producing 22separate figures (as there were four of Mr Freeze’s goons and two different versions of Purgatori and P6130426Vampirella), inspired by comics, movies and a toyline.

Vampifan's Purgatori & Vampirella 01The quality of each creation was exceptionally high, probably because those taking part had invested the time and effort to make a figure that they actually wanted. And from the feedback and comments that we have received, it seems that everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are quite keen to participate in the next one…

Yes, your read that correctly – ‘Forgotten Heroes’ willPrankster fin return! Currently the plan is to make it an annual event, that will take place each June. As there were a number of people who expressed interest, but were not able to join in last time, not only can you next time, we’ve also given you plenty of warning!

Anyone who wants to take part in ‘Forgotten Heroes bannam2017′ just needs to register their intention to take part prior to the start of June next year. This gives you plenty of time to not only state you wish to take part, but also to plan whatever figure (or figures) you wish to create. Believe me, once the bug has bitten you, the problem won’t be actually creating your figure, but choosing which character(s) you want to create…”

So to end I just want to thank all the entrants in this years challenge, thank you for making this such a roaring success and enthralling us all with your wonderful entries, skill and ingenuity. I’m looking forward to 2017’s challenge already!

Regards Jez.

Forgotten Heroes last issue – for now (Jez Winstanley)

 

When I first conceived the idea of ‘Forgotten Heroes’ back in April, my initial idea was that it would be a bit of fun for people who don’t usually get involved in this sort of thing – no pressure, no ‘competition’ – just a group of like-minded individuals all having a go at making figures of characters that the commercial companies haven’t got around to yet. Little did I know it would prove so popular!

I would just like to personally thank Roger Webb of Rantings from Under the Wargames Table fame, without who we would not have had a central site to display the hard work, ingenuity and inventiveness of those who’ve taken part. If you’ve yet to visit the site, go there now and marvel at the cornucopia of characters  created!

Right, having had some additional hobby time available this week, I’ve managed to complete my three ‘Forgotten Heroes’ and a certain side project I’ve been working on…

So, my ‘Extra Credit’ Forgotten Hero was Stegron the Dinosaur Man, who I made from a Godzilla collectible miniature released to coincide with the 2014 film of the same name. All I needed to do to finish him was paint his base, so not  a lot different from last time we saw him.

stegzillaYes, it’s a big orange lizard…wearing jewelry. I think he’s come out very well and matches the most recent depictions of the character.

stegzilla2Not someone I’d want to meet in a dark alley…

Next was Super-Soldier, from the DC/Marvel crossover ‘company’ Amalgam Comics, who is an amalgamation of Captain America and Superman. This was originally a Heroclix Captain Atom, who I gave a belt, fancy boots and a shield to.

supsolWhilst the conversion work was minimal, I’d forgotten that the details of his costume included painting a white star on his chest and back, red and white stripes around his mid-riff and the iconic ‘S’ shield, which took a lot of concentration and a steady hand.

supsol 2I’m pretty happy that I’ve managed to capture the look of the character, but have just remembered that I failed to paint the straps on the rear of his shield, which luckily you can’t see in the photos above. Might need to get the paints back out…

Finally, we have the Man of Peel himself, Nutty comic’s Bananaman, who was created from a Heroclix Bizarro. This figure required the most conversion, as I had to shave his head, trim his cape, add banana boots and gloves and sculpt his cowl.

bannamAs you can see, he now has his red ‘B’ belt buckle and the banana skin lines on his gloves, boots and cape.

bannam2Given that I was quite worried about whether he would end up looking like he was supposed to, I think I’ve managed to pull it off and now have a one-of-a-kind Bananaman figure. Which is pretty cool.

And to finish with, her’s a group shot of all three figures.

ccvtriosupersSo, my work on ‘Forgotten Heroes’ draws to a close…until next time. As this was so popular, it will definitely return at some point…I’ve still got several figures I want to do, but have other fish to fry over the next couple of months.

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/forgotten-heroes-final-issue-for-now/

Super Dinosaur Banana (Jez Winstanley)

Since my mid-week announcement that I was adding another character to my ‘Forgotten Heroes’ roster, I have managed to progress quite well with all three characters. When we last saw Super-Soldier, he looked like this:

supersodier 9

I would just like to say that the quality of this ‘photo is down to the frankly crappy photo-editor App on my phone. The actual photo was in focus, but wasn’t particular close, so I fiddled with it using the App and it ended up looking like this. In future, I will take better pictures.

Anyway, Super-Soldier now looks like this:

pesldoier 99And from the rear:

jez 99

So, he just requires some washes and a bit of detailing, including the ‘S’ on his shield, which I’m not looking forward too.

Next, when we last saw Bananaman, he looked like this:

ujez 00I was a bit concerned that he didn’t really look like he was supposed to, but colours do make a difference, so a little bit of paint and he now looks like this:

banman 1Certainly looking like he’s supposed to now. And a rear view, showing his split cape;

banback1

I’m pretty pleased with how he’s come out. As with Super-Solidier, he just needs a few washes and some detailing, including a tiny red ‘B’ on his belt buckle.

Now, my last post introduced you to my ‘Extra Credit’ Forgotten Hero’, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, for which I had decided to use this Godzilla collectible figure as a base:

spidey godAs I knew not only how I was going to paint this one, but also how I was going to add the extra details to make it truly Stegron, work has progressed well, as you can see below:

steggy1

So, as Stegron is a stegosaurus-man, one of the defining attributes of this particular dinosaur is the spinal plates, which the base figure already had. However, The other defining attribute is the tail spikes, which the model didn’t have. So, out came a push pin (a very useful tool for making holes through plastic figures) and two holes were made through big G’s tail. I then inserted two pre-cut and pre-bent lengths of wire paperclip, the ends which I’d filed to points. And we now had the necessary tail spikes.

Now, Stegron also sports a couple of gold bracelets – no idea why. For these, I used the same method I used when creating He-Man’s wristlets way back in July 2015. Taking a cotton-bud stem, which is essentially a thin plastic tube, I cut two sections the length of the bracelets I wanted to create. Once these teeny tiny bits of plastic tube were cut, I then cut the tube length-ways and pried them open. I then clipped these two ‘bracers’ to Stegron’s wrists, adjusted them so they were in the right place, and then glued them. Then I painted him, as can be seen from the pictures above and below;

steggy2I think he’s come out rather well. He just needs his base tidying up a bit and he’s done.

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/super-dinosaur-banana-forgotten-heroes/

Forgotten Heroes- Extra Credit (Jez Winstanley)

I am well on my way to completing my two pledged ‘Forgotten Heroes’ – Super-Soldier and Bananaman.

Having slapped some base colours on both figures, I am happy that Bananaman does not require any further trimming of his banana ‘horns’, as once the paint was on they looked fine. However, referring to my copy of Super-Soldier #1, I realised that my version needs a haircut, as his mask cover the back of his head, so I need to file down his hair before applying the next coat of paint. However, you will have to wait until the weekend for pictures of that…

As I have some extra time, which is always a blessing when it comes to hobby stuff, and everyone else seems to be either further ahead than me or producing more characters (for details of their progress, check out the official Forgotten Heroes site), I thought I’d try an earn some ‘extra credit’ by doing an additional figure. I did have a couple of potential back-up figures, but the first I’m still not entirely sure how to do and the second I wasn’t particularly enthused about.

Luckily, an additional figure I purchased on a whim when ordering my last batch of ‘clix from Blue Rat Games gave me an idea. A quick bit of online research and I realised that this figure, suitably repainted, would make an ideal proxy for the more recent depictions of this character.

So, the ‘Extra Credit’ character I will be attempting to complete before the end of June, which will especially please Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian Warfare fame, is…

Stegron, the Dinosaur Man!

untitled

Stegron first saw print in Marvel Team-up #19, published in March 1974 and was created by Len Wein and Gil Kane. In his first appearance, Vincent Stegron was hired by S.H.I.E.L.D. to work with Dr. Curt Connors (better known as the Spider-Man foe the Lizard) to analyze dinosaur DNA sourced from the Savage Land. Inspired by the experiment that transformed Dr. Connors into the Lizard, Stegron stole some of this DNA and injected himself with it. As you do. Unsurprisingly, he was then transformed into an orange-skinned dinosaur-man, who was mentally able to control dinosaurs. Transporting several of these to New York from the Savage Land, he planned to take over the world by transforming the human race into dinosaur men like himself. It took the combined efforts of Spider-Man, the Black Panther and Ka-Zar to stop him.

Even though Stegron is very derivative of the Lizard and decidedly funky, he has regularly popped up on many occasions since then, primarily as a foe of Spider-Man, but also acting as the protector of the Savage Land in concert with Ka-Zar on a number of occasions. Initially, his appearance was more stream-lined and human-looking, but more recent depictions show him more bulked out and dinosaur-looking and this is the version that I’m going to try to replicate.

stegro4So, what was the additional figure I picked up that will be (hopefully) transformed into Stegron? This one:

neca-wizkids-godzilla-2014-movie-mini-figure-series-1-godzilla-atomic-fire-breath-new-15This is the 2014 movie version of Godzilla from NECA’s tie-in range of collectible miniatures, specifically the ‘Atomic Breath’ variant. It’s a nicely detailed miniature and cost me a grand total of £2.49, which given that’s it 2″ tall, is a bit of bargain. To give some idea of scale, here he is next to a 28mm HeroScape Spider-Man figure:

spidey god

He’s a bit of monster, isn’t he? As you can see, I’ve removed his ‘Atomic Breath’, which was just a case of tugging it free. This has joined my bits box, as I’m sure I’ll find some nefarious use for it. To complete his transformation from iconic Kaiju into orange-hued Spider-Man villain, he ideally needs tail spikes and a couple of bracelets, which all the best ‘dressed’ dinosaur-men are sporting this season. I have some ideas on how to achieve this, but we shall see exactly how successful I am. Other than that, it will be just a case of repainting him.

Join me at the weekend for updates on all three ‘Forgotten Heroes’, as well as a further update on Andy’s burger cart. As Stegron would say “When I’ve got a monster appetite, only Cupid Burgers can satisfy my primal urges.”

https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/forgotten-heroes-extra-credit/