An Ensemble Cast (Michael Awdry)

Audrey: I don’t believe it.
Audrey II: Believe it, baby. It talks.
Audrey: Am I dreaming this?
Audrey II: No, and you ain’t in Kansas, neither.

Throughout the build it has been important to keep an idea of scale and whilst I accept that there is a little leeway when it comes to an accurate portrayal of an intergalactic carnivorous plant, hell bent on world domination, the constant presence of Seymour Krelboined* has help keep the project on an even keel.   Now admittedly my Seymour, actually an ‘Artizan Designs’ Dr. Bell, reminds me a little more of the Florist’s owner Mr. Mushnik, but nevertheless his unwavering commitment to the project has seen him bumped up the painting queue.

*Changed to Krelborn in the musical
It was whilst I was putting the final touches to Seymour’s tatty jacket that I started to wonder if I had any other suitable miniatures that could pass as members of the cast?  As luck would have it my latest ‘Studio Miniatures’ Horror Characters Kickstarter threw up a potential dentist in the shape of a Peter Cushing inspired sculpt – a truly terrifying prospect, but what about the luckless Audrey?

This proved a tad more problematically as it appears that I have a shortage of sorrowful looking, female sculpts, but as luck would have it I spotted a potential plant food wannabe on the ‘Crooked Dice’ website, simply known as the Duchess and decided to treat myself – all in the name of completion you understand.

So cast assembled it is time to return to the task in hand.
Paint me!  Paint me now!

Acid Storm Update (Mike Boynton)

I just got a prefect cast to make my Acid Storm Decepticon robot jet miniature. I was thinking of wimping out on forgotten heroes as I have so much going on but I just went out in the studio and used an old Star Scream transformers decoy mold that I thought was bad and cast up a perfect Acid Storm body! So Acid Storm is on his way.

The 25mm sized Transformers rubber decoy figuers originally came with the transformers toy figures in the 80’s. They are rubber and are decaying due to age. I’m recasting them for myself and adding hands and changing the poses and characters as in this case.

Mike Boynton

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.

“Henchmen ‘R’ Us” (Roger Webb)

Well the best laid plans as they say, I had hoped to have all the sculpting finished by this weekend especially as Beast-man was pretty much there last weekend. however Jitsu has proven to be more work than I originally anticipated, not really difficult (though a couple of bits were a pain to get right!), but just more stages to his construction than I’d first thought, as fear of “mucking up” the bit I’d just done prevented me from moving on to the next stage till the putty was good and dry (the next day). Still this is where I’m up to now and what I completed each day.

Sunday, Time to add the base for Jitsu’s breastplate and back-plate, this basically meant I needed to smear putty all over his back and chest and then smooth it out as best I could ready for me to add the detail to it tomorrow (hopefully). I made it a bit thicker around the back, as I wanted to add a bit more girth to the figure, the front I made as thin as I dared, as I didn’t want to bury his arm to much where it crosses his body. I may have to build it up a bit later (we’ll see). Turning to Beast –man, and he seems to be progressing nicely (famous last words, watch him turn to “you know what” now!), I decided to add the metal plates to his upper arms today, so I began by rolling out a thin “thread” of putty and ran this around his arms at bicep level, then this was smoothed out a bit before I added two small balls of putty, that were then smoothed and teased into curved oval shapes on the outsides of his upper arms. Finally tiny conical sausages were stuck into ”dimples” I had pushed into the plates with a ballpoint refill tip, and then smoothed and blended to shape as the two spikes each plate sports.

Monday, when I started these two figures I thought Beast-man was going to the awkward one and Jitsu more of a “park-walk”. It now appears that opposite might be true, as though there have been a fair amount of fiddley bits on Beast-man I looked at the detailing in Jitsu’s breast-plate today and nearly sat and wept! I don’t think I’m going to able to add all of the swirls and crosses that the original sports (especially with his flipping arm in the way! Why did I pick this dolly!!!). Anyway I thought sitting here isn’t going to help, so out came the putty and a small amount was mixed up, I began by adding a sausage around his neck like a scarf, and this was then flattened out form the neck of the breast plate and line running down the front, I then pushed small dimples into this ready for me to add the red “jewels?” around this, the original has eight at the front and five round the back, but I settled for six round the front and three at the back, these were just tiny (and I mean tiny) balls of putty pushed into the dimples with a flat ended cocktail stick. I decided rather than risk damaging this I’d leave it there till tomorrow, so instead turned my attention to “Beasty”. Two small sausages of putty were again rolled out and these were then pushed onto the backs of his forearms, then they were smoothed out to the sides forming a small ridge in the centre and rising towards his elbow. Fur was then tapped into these with my small knife and his hairy arms were complete. This just leaves his “electro-whip” to add and he’ll be finished, but I think I might base him up before I add this.

Tuesday, and as I mentioned might happen last week I’ve now decided that the bases on my two He-man figures are just too thick, so I began today by cracking both of them off of the “tuppences” they are mounted on and cutting away a lot of the cardboard “spacers” I’d glued between the figures bases and the coins, they were then glued back in place onto the coins. Then I cut a length of my florists wire, and fed it into Beast-man’s left hand to form the “cord” of his Electro-whip”(interestingly when you look up pictures of Beast-man on the net the vast majority of then have him as left handed, though the original toy was right handed), it was then measured across to his right raised hand and a small amount of extra was added (to make the “droop”) before the bend was put in around his hand and down to the floor. Again I added extra, but didn’t glue it in place yet. So next job was to finish the base on the figure, so taking some “Tetrion” filler I covered the base hiding the now decimated base, and added a couple of bits of “clean” cat litter as rocks. Once dry I was able to curl the end of the wire “cord” so as it appeared to be lying on the floor. Then the wire was glued into both of his hands and again where it touched the floor. Sadly I did nothing more to Jitsu.

Wednesday, I was able to finish Beast-man today (Hooray!), I just had to add the handle of his Electro-whip, and this was just a tiny blob of putty popped into his hand and smoothed into a handle shape (technical huh!), then I added another smaller blob on the outside of his hand and smoothed this into the joint between handled a whip-cord, finally I added a thin sausage around his fingers as a guard (the toy has this to hold it to his hand), and he’s ready for painting. He will however have to wait until Jitsu is ready to join him, and I made a bit more progress on him too today. I began by adding some more detail to his breast plate, then decided that I would have to add to his left arm as it was in danger of disappearing into his breastplate, so balls of putty were added to his shoulder and upper arm and these were shaped into muscles, I might add some form of wrist gauntlet to his lower arm, and increase the size of his upper arm on the right side too. Lastly today I ran two thin sausages around his shoulders to form the cuffs on his breastplate, and these were blended into the main body of this. At least I seem to be getting somewhere with him now.  (Sorry forgot to take a photo of this but you can see the results in the one below).

Friday, and work continued on Jitsu, this time I turned to the back of his armour, and added a couple of curved lines running down from the armoured neck down and around the sides, then taking two tiny sausages of putty added two small crescent shaped pieces in each top corner. These then had tiny balls of putty added to then to form some more “jewels”. Though not as intricate as the toy figures armour, I hope this gives a flavor of the original. Next turning him over I added a long wrist gauntlet over his left lower arm, though this is not present on the original figure I like the look of it and adds a little heft to his arm, I have decided that I will have to add a bit more muscle to his right bicep, as this figure seems a little “skinny” compared to some of the others.

So I’m not quite over the finishing line yet, still a couple of days of sculpting left before I get on to the painting, but I am still pretty much on course for getting these finished by the end of the month.

Till next week Excelsior! Roger.

Plans For Forgotten Heroes – Figures 2 & 3 (Roy Williamson)

My second, intended, Forgotten Heroes [LINK] entry will be a character from the recent Powers (tv) show: Calista Secor.

Powers is an American series adaptation of the Powers comic book series published by Marvel Comics under their Icon Comics imprint.

The Powers series’ plot (from Wikipedia):
“”In a world where humans and superheroes called “Powers” co-exist, a former Power, Christian Walker, has reinvented himself as a homicide detective after his own powers were taken from him. He and his partner Deena Pilgrim work for the Powers Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, investigating crimes involving superhumans, who are at once crimefighting heroes and pop celebrities managed by specialized advertising agencies.””

 Calista Secor (series) bio:
“”Calista Secor is a “wannabe”, meaning she hangs around with powers, wanting powers of her own. She also may or may not be homeless, and is seen wandering around. Calista is convinced that she has powers that will awaken someday, and she intends to use her powers on her abusive father for hurting her mother.””

In series 2 of the program Calista is proven correct, that she does have powers. She models herself on her own Powers hero, Retro Girl.

Calista Secor (comic) bio:
“”Calista Secor is a young girl who develops a close bond with homicide detective Christian Walker when she’s placed in his temporary custody. Walker was responsible for arresting Flinch, the criminal who murdered Calista’s mother. It is believed that Calista contains the reincarnated spirit of the hero Retro Girl, making her a Power. She has demonstrated special abilities and used them to become the second Retro Girl.””

I’m hoping to recreate a miniature of the live action series Power character, as portrayed by the actress Olesya Rulin.

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My third, intended, Forgotten Heroes entry will be a 1950s comic heroine.

When I first read the rules for FH I didn’t really know what character to attempt. In fact, I hadn’t the first idea. So, reading the suggestions (the Leopard of Lime Street being a BIG help), I did a Google image search and found Leopard Girl.

I’ve found a couple of short bio’s for the character:

“”Gwen was the secretary for a scientist who works in the middle of the jungle because civilization is too noisy for him. Gwen is given a mystical formfitting leopard outfit by a witchdoctor which grants her enhanced agility, knowledge of the jungle and the ability to summon leopards to aid in times of trouble.””

“”Gwen was the assistant to scientist Dr. Hans Kreitzer, who had travelled to the jungles of Africa to conduct research. Unknown to the Doctor and her fellow assistant Peter, Gwen maintained a dual identity, the Leopard Girl, feared by criminals and respected throughout the jungle by natives and animals alike. Even the jungle ghosts liked and helped her. She often worked with a pack of leopards whom she summoned and controlled with her “cry of the leopard.” “”

###   ###   ###

So those are my other two for FH. I’ve done a Google search and gone through some companies that sell superhero miniatures, but can’t find any figures of the two readily available. All that is left for me to do is put in an order for the stock models and then try to get them done before the end of the month.

Cheers for reading

“He’s Not Your Typical Werewolf.” (Simon Moore)

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.

An Amuse-bouche. (Michael Awdry)

Seymour: It’s true! I chopped him up. But I didn’t kill him!

I used to worry about my inability to focus, but more recently I have decided to embrace it, to see where it takes me.  More often than not these flights of fancy lead to dead ends, but occasionally one takes hold and really lifts off.  So it was with this project as when I was assembling ‘Audrey II’, I found myself imagining different uses for all the redundant bits and pieces that I had collected during the build.  Before long a couple of little companion pieces were assembled, which I present for you here.

The first, ‘Audrey Jnr.’ started life as a simple bud, found amongst the assorted broken silk flowers and leaves that I had stashed away. It just seemed to cry out to me, “Feed me, Seymour!” and so before long I was looking for something suitable to plant him in. This flowerpot was made from a slender cardboard tube, with a simple cardboard lip. Using an off cut of the identical resin flagstone that had formed the base for the main build things were soon underway.

 A couple of planting trays from ‘Supreme Littleness’ and some small dolls house terracotta flowerpots started to give the impression of a forgotten corner of Mushnik’s Florist. It still needed something extra though and by chance I unearthed the final element, a ‘S & D models’ metal watering can.
The other piece is a little darker and simply known as the ‘feeding station’.  For some reason I found myself wondering how Seymour would be able to feed the plant as it started to dwarf him? By climbing up his step ladder of course!  The floor is once again the now familiar resin flagstones with the rest of the elements predominately made up from various ‘S &D models’*, all originally bought a while ago as part of a now long forgotten greenhouse project.  The final addition of a couple of bags of miracle grow and some serious gore saw this particular flight of fancy exhausted.

*Available through Forty-Third Limited
 Back to the build proper and ‘Audrey II’ has had an undercoat and a couple of passes with the trusty airbrush and I have to say that I am rather pleased with the results.  Everything is still holding and the green has had the unifying effect that I had hoped for!