| “This man’s jaw feels like it’s made of solid ice!”
|These two 37mm tall “Wizkids” models of Solomon Grundy are both miniature number 018 from the Arkham Asylum DC Comics “Heroclix” range and have been converted into members of Mister Freeze’s “Cold Pack” for this year’s annual “Forgotten Heroes” challenge. Based upon the poor unfortunate millionaires who foolishly underwent one of Victor Fries’ cryogenic treatments in an attempt to have their lifespans greatly increased, the living zombies first appeared in the February 1979 edition of “Batman” and were created by Len Wein and penciler John Calnan.
As the plastic pre-painted models originally carried a formidable-looking tree branch, they both had to momentarily suffer under the blade of a sharp modelling knife so as to appear as empty-handed as they do in the “DC Comics” publication. I then primed one with two layers of “Vallejo” USA Olive Drab and the other with Charred Brown.
The “failed experiments commanded by Freeze” subsequently had their shoes painted in “Vallejo” Black and their frozen flesh layered with Dead White. Their icy skin was later shaded using a little watered-down “Citadel” Drakenhof Nightshade and patiently dry-brushed with some (more) “Vallejo” Dead White.
I was briefly perplexed over the choice of colour for my Cold Pack members’ shirts. They were always going to be predominantly “Vallejo” Dead White, but I was somewhat worried this ‘whiteness’ might easily merge in with their pallid undead flesh if I simply washed the areas with some Pale Grey. In the end I therefore applied some Strong Tone Quickshade by “The Army Painter” over their ragged shirts, as well as more heavily across their jacket and trousers.
That’s two of my planned three ice zombies finished before the “Forgotten Heroes” deadline.
(Ed note, update added 3/7/18)
I have finished the third and final “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy I previously converted for this year’s annual “Forgotten Heroes”
challenge. Apart from using “Vallejo” Heavy Violet and “Citadel” Leviathan Purple for his clothing, this member of Mister Freeze’s “Cold Pack” has been painted in exactly the same manner as his two peers
, and should provide Victor Fries with some cryogenically-enhanced ‘muscle’.
I have had more time to progress the ‘converted’ “Heroclix” pieces I am submitting for this year’s “Forgotten Heroes” challenge.
Having initially intended to work on five Solomon Grundy “Wizkids” miniatures, I’ve actually since decided to scale down my plans and simply produce three ice zombies for Mister Freeze to use as mindless minions. Not only does this total make the mini-project far more manageable, but it also means Victor Fries’ ordinary goons won’t be out-numbered by the more specialist, heavy-hitters; a far more realistic ratio in my mind.
I am currently making some slow progress on my test piece for this year’s “Forgotten Heroes” challenge, as organised by Dick Garrison and Carrion Crow. Having already done a fair bit of chopping on the five Solomon Grundy “Wizkids” miniatures I aim to ‘convert’ into some ice zombies for Mister Freeze to use as mindless minions (as per the plot to the February 1979 edition of “Batman” by “DC Comics”, I’m now just slowly ‘picking out all the “Vallejo” Dead White flesh on the frozen corpses…
This month’s randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my sadly ‘significantly increasing’ collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been put on the back burner as a result of the announcement by Dick Garrison and Carrion Crow that “Forgotten Heroes” is back for another year. Collated on the ‘official’ “Forgotten Heroes” website, this wonderful challenge specifically encourages bloggers to create/convert “an existing figure into a costumed superhero or villain” of their choice, “from any source (be that Comic’s, TV, Film, Adverts, Toy lines, Novels basically anywhere you can think of).”
Previously, I have rather naively attempted to complete a considerable number of conversions for “Forgotten Heroes”, many of which have rather embarrassingly taken several months longer to finish than I had initially anticipated. This time round however, I’m sticking to five relatively straightforward figures, which after a bit of cutting, will rely solely upon their paint-jobs in order to change their appearance rather than heavily rely upon my usual ‘spot of kit-bashing’.
With this in mind I have turned to arguably my favourite “DC Comics” publication, the February 1979 edition of “Batman”, and hope to create the band of hulking mindless ice zombies Victor Fries mistakenly creates for himself as a result of his failed experiments to make some of Gotham City’s richest inhabitants immortal. Currently my “Heroclix” crew for Mister Freeze only consists of a gang of bobble-hat wearing goons, so these brutishly heavy minions will help provide the “former cryogenics expert” with a bit of extra muscle.
Having done a bit of research I’ve chosen five Solomon Grundy miniatures from “Wizkids” “Arkham Asylum” range for this project, as the lumbering slow-minded revenant is the perfect sculpt to replicate the wealthy suit-wearing cryogenic rejects. Initially, I actually considered leaving the gnarled branch the figure was carrying in one of his hands, and converting it with a sharp modelling knife into a menacing-looking icicle. But in the end I just cut the wooden weapon off, leaving the menacing model with two closed fists instead; besides the frosted fiends didn’t use any weapons in their comic book appearance.
“It ssseemsss ssssomething has been inssscribed.”
This 28mm scale plastic “Wizkids” model of Manphibian was kit-bashed predominantly using the scaly green extra-terrestrial’s miniature from their “Heroclix” Amazing Spider-Man range. However, because the pre-painted figure has no feet (on account of the original sculpt depicting “the creature from the deep” stalking through the waters of a lake), I additionally super-glued some boots, grenades and pouches belonging to a “Games Workshop” Cadian soldier onto the miniature.
Created by Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella, Dave Cockrum and Sam Grainger, the alien first made his comic book appearance in the September 1975 issue of “Legion of Monsters” by “Marvel Comics”, and would develop from being a simple monster seemingly seeking revenge upon the murderer of his mate, into a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities (S.T.A.K.E.) department and one of Dum Dum Dugan’s “Howling Commandos”.
The miniature was initially primed with “Vallejo” Heavy Grey, and then had its boots and numerous large waist-bags painted using a combination of White and Pale Grey. His automatic rifle was undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, double-layered with Ironbreaker and finally treated to two washes of Nuln Oil.
In order to try and give Manphibian’s skin a “shimmer quality” I shaded the entirety of the S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponsmith’s scales with both Biel- Tan Green and Agrax Earthshade and subsequently used a little Carroburg Crimson on and around his webbing, and some Druchii Violet in the model’s darker recesses. The entire monster was then lightly dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Grey. As a final touch I highlighted the extra-terrestrial’s eyes with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
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.
This 28mm scale plastic model of the “Marvel Worldwide” character Warwolf was kit-bashed together using the top half of a “Mage Knight” Feral Werewolf, a “Games Workshop” powerfist and the legs of a “Heroclix” S.H.I.E.L.D. Trooper. The conversion piece initially looked rather top-heavy, so after pinning the lycanthrope’s torso to his legs, I used some grey-stuff to make the waist fill out a little more smoothly. In addition, I ‘bulked up’ the area by cutting off the figure’s original waist pouch and replaced it with a number of larger bags and grenades, courtesy of a “Warhammer 40K” Cadian Trooper sprue.
“A werewolf? How effective is that? Full Moon’s what, twice a month?”
I actually began building this ‘Forgotten Hero’ for last year’s challenge, as I wanted to ‘convert’ a number of “Wizkids” figures into some of the lesser known members of the “Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.”; a sadly short-lived comic book series which depicted the escapades of a top secret division of operatives who “defend the world against super human threats too dangerous for normal men.” Created by Richard Buckler in 2005, Martin Reyna is the leader of Area Thirteen’s S.T.A.K.E. team, and received the codename Warwolf due to the Gene Package embedded on his right mechanical arm which can be used to transform him into a werewolf.
The miniature was initially primed “Vallejo” White, with its furry torso and head receiving a coat of Heavy Sienna. I then began tidying up and highlighting all the figure’s pouches, as well as his boots and belt with Pale Grey. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent’s distinctive blue uniform was painted using a combination of Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Drakenhof Nightshade (with some Asurmen Blue too).
I tackled Reyna’s fur by washing it with “The Army Painter” Heavy Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushing it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. Ordinarily, I’m perfectly satisfied with this finish, but on this occasion thought a light highlight of Heavy Brown over the werewolf’s head and claws would help bring out the figure’s finer detail in these areas.
Disconcertingly, I then faced a similar dilemma with Warwolf’s jagged teeth and mouth. The anti-hero’s open jaws are full of teeth, tongue and slobbering lips, as well as a roof which has lots of delicate tissue ridges sculpted upon it. However, I felt that if I painted the inside of the palate red, then that would clash with Martin’s lolling tongue and simply make the entire snout look far too busy. As a result I simply ‘brushed’ all the fangs with “Vallejo” White and a dab of “The Army Painter” Heavy Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst ‘picking out’ his tongue with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.