May 232014
 

Here’s a guy I’ve previously owned, sold, bought again and now finally painted! Commander Skroob is the man in charge of the Empire colony on McKemmler IV and also chief of police in the settlement New Haigts. In this picture he’s accompanied by two Automated Sentient Officers of Law Enforcement, android police manufactured by ArmaSec. Virtually indestructable to anything less than assault weapons, the ASOLEs are armed only with stun-sticks and a short temper. They patrol the streets of the settlements as peace keepers, processing misdemeanors on the spot.

I’m surrounded by Automated Sentient Officers of Law Enforcement!

Skroob is a Metal Magic Spacelords C3706b Trader With Cape, while the ASOLEs are starship crew Security Officers C3720e and C3720f. They were all sculpted by Josef Ochmann and released in the early 90s. Skroob is available from EM4 but seems to have been out of stock for the last few years. If you want one, prod Doug about it and maybe he’ll bring more minis from this great range in production again.

Why didn’t somebody tell me my ass was so big?

 

I used varnish as an effect for the first time, giving the helmets and armour parts a glossy finish. Worked out alright, I suppose. Oh well, now they’re painted and ready for a game! The photos ate pretty much all attempts at highlighting the black, and the gloss now only looks like a crap varnish. Still, they look kinda cool together and I like them quite a bit even if they all have sausage fingers.

Citizen, pick that up! You have fifteen seconds to comply!

May 182014
 

Meet Paulie, a small-time crook gone big-time over night. Papers is currently based on McKemmler IV, where he’s been mixing it up with ArmaSec agents. Wanted by the Empire for data theft and various other cyber crimes, a bounty have been issued on him. The big question is, can he count on his newfound friends in ArmaSec to bail him out if he gets caught? Probably not…

Paulie Papers, planning capers.

This is a Metal Magic Spacelords C3706c Civilian Carrying Documents. Sculpted by Josef Ochmann and released in the early 90s, he’s still in production and available from EM4 Miniatures for a measly £1.50 at the time of writing. Go get one!

This marks a special occasion by the way. Not only is this the first painted miniature I’m posting this year, it is also the first painted miniature for my scifi project. Oh joy! If you think I’ve downgraded the backgrounds a bit you’re absolutely right. In my constant strife to optimize the process I’ve done several changes to my regular approach to miniature painting (and posting). First of all, I’ve tried to keep as limited a palette as possible. My main source of inspiration is 80s comics. Secondly, I’m doing no blending or serious highlighting or shading. Basecoat, wash, basecoat, highlight. That’s it. I’ve also omitted the scatter or static grass on the base as I’m not 100% certain how I’ll base these models. I want them to be able to share monsters and creatures with my fantasy models, so I’m going for a similar basing style. I might end up putting static grass on these too, or some other ground scatter. The jury is still out. Furthermore, I won’t do scenic shots of the models I post as my main purpose with posting this is to get an online reference and documentation on what I’m painting. Every now and then I might do “specials” with groups of minis, but for now – white backgrounds will have to suffice. This to reduce the setup time and general faffing about with the photos.

Finally, I won’t do detailed write-ups or come up with personalities for EVERY miniature. If I have something, I will post it of course – but I won’t force it.

PS. Collaborative credit to Paul over at sho3box who inadvertently helped me name this guy when we were discussing it and the alliterative naming method Stan Lee has employed. A bit geek, yes.

Nov 122013
 

I actually managed to finish painting the remaining five orcs last month, before the end of Orctober – alas I had no time to post about it on the blog. I still haven’t had time to take proper photos, but I figured I’d put these up for now and once I finish the last guy of the regiment (the musician, who is still in the stripping jar) I’ll come back with a full write up and detailed pictures.

So, with five new fresh recruits I’ve managed to paint 35 models, leaving 17 models and 6 weeks to go. I have a feeling I’ll have to whip out the snotlings soon. Or maybe some 15mm scifi. Wouldn’t that be something? Speaking of sci-fi, look what I found in my cupboards the other day. Continue reading »

Mar 092013
 

Vintage Citadel models of the 80s are often costly and it can be hard to find the particular models you need to finish a regiment or special project. A wonderful thing then, that many then-contemporary miniatures from other companies are still in production – and often quite cheap!

Several of the old Citadel sculptors did work for other companies around the same time and they are usually highly compatible with the corresponding ranges from Citadel. Some of these ranges are still in production today, and I decided to do a list of what can be had and where. So, let’s have at it. It’s loosely based on my list of cheap metal miniatures over on Lead Adventure Forums. but I’ve organized the lists by sculptor.

First out is Bob Olley. One of my favourites, but not as dear to others. He has been very prolific during the years, and this is not a full coverage of what he have done or even what’s available now. That being said, I did spend the better part of a saturday putting this together!

Mega Miniatures
This is probably my favourite lead vendor of today. Unfortunately they’ve sold off their fantastic Julie Guthrie Grenadier range (beautiful minis, albeit a tad small) but they’ve kept the best part: close to  a complete Metal Magic/Hobby Products Fantasy range as it was when they closed shop in the mid 90s. Most of the range is sculpted by Josef Ochmann, with some models by Michael Immig (of White Dwarf fame). While none of them have a connection to Citadel, the models work perfectly scale wise with 80s Citadel and the style is close to Aly Morrison or Perry’s early Empire fighters.

For the discerning Citadel affecionado the item of interest here is a dwarf range by Bob Olley (originally by Metal Magic). They match the Iron Claw dwarves both in size and style.

Metal Magic dwarves. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

It also includes a few war machines, but those molds were sold by Mega a year or two ago. More on that further down the list. The price per dwarf is $2, and a package deal is offered with all 24 different sculpts for the very decent asking price of $40! Add to that the fact Mega charges a flat rate of $7 for shipping, regardless of order size or destination in the world. In addition they’re both fast and friendly; and in my experience the casts are excellent quality!

In addition to the dwarves, there are a few centaurs also by Olley. Nowhere near as nice as the dwarves, but still pretty neat models and it’s hard to find cheaper metal centaurs that look as good. I’ve bought a few to use as chaos centaurs.

Centaurs. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

Finally we have two variants of beastmen; one based on boars and the other on rams. I don’t own any of these myself yet so can’t comment on how well they compare to the 80s beastmen Olley did.

Beastmen. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures.

 

SHQ Miniatures
Let’s look at SHQ. They’re stocking a few models from Folio Works old Fantasy Warlord game (Gary Chalk’s attempt at doing a Warhammer clone).

The models listed as Large Ogres and Hill Orcs are different combinations of the Ogre and Uruk codes from Folio. Interestingly, some Uruk are sold at £4 for one, while some Ogres are sold at £4 for two.

Ogre Necromancer. Image courtesy of SHQ Miniatures

Apart from Olley’s ogres and orcs, there are various other intersting tidbits. Some rather bland looking elves and dwarves, but also a few highly attractive hooded cultists at £7 for a set of 5 different sculpts. No idea who sculpted those though!

Ral Partha Europe
A plethora! And I’m not kidding either. Bob did chaos marauders, dwarves, goblins (very nice too!), plenty of ogres and trolls. He also did some harpies that would mix very well with his trio of Citadel harpies but unfortunately they seem to be long OOP. As with Reaper, they are a bit expensive but when buying packs the price is about £1.50 – £2.50 for an infantry model. Some of the trolls are rather cheap with some costing less than £3, and the goblin chariot is priced just right at £13 for a chariot drawn by two wolves and sporting four rather spiffing crew.

Troll. Image courtesy of Ral Partha Europe

 

Reaper
Reaper have a lot of Olley sculpts, but as with most of Reapers models they’re more RPG minis than unit filling wargaming models of a uniform cut. There are a few lovely beasties and demons though, and also dirt cheap orcs in Bones plastic. As always with Olley, there’s also a good selection of dwarves. Some rather imperial looking dwarves, and some miners. Unfortunately, Reaper aren’t exactly cheap.

Vulture demon. Image courtesy of Reaper Miniatures.

 

Armorcast
Armorcast purchased some of the old Metal Magic molds from Mega Miniatures a few years ago. I’ve ordered from them and must say I wasn’t impressed with the casts compared to those I got from Mega. Still, they have some key models in the Chaotic Dwarf range as well as the two artillery pieces Bob did for Metal Magic.

Dwarf bombard. Image courtesy of Armorcast.

 

Olley have done a lot more work, of course – but nothing that I felt was worth covering in detail here. In particular give his work for Essex a miss. Bobblehead-a-bonanza! For a rather comprehensive catalogue of his work, go check out the Collecting Olley wiki.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll do something a bit shorter. Like a double feature on Mark Copplestone and Jes Goodwin. After that I’ll tackle the insanely productive (and itchy footed) Kev Adams. Let me know if there’s any other sculptor who did work on the side similar to what they did for Citadel.

On the painting front I can say things are moving forward, albeit slowly. I’ve finished the four chaos warriors for my vanilla chaos Blood Bowl team. Currently working on three beastmen. So that’s six finished models so far in 2013.

Jul 312011
 

Didn’t know whether to label these things as miniatures or terrain, but ended up with miniatures. They are after all chunks of lead on bases.

When playing scenario 2 in the Stillburg Campaign (yeah I know, I still need to write a battle report on that), we had need of six objective markers. For that purpose we employed some blank, large metal washers. They didn’t look too hot, so I went and made these to replace them.

They’re small treasure piles from Mega Miniatures’ Dungeon Decor range. While looking quite nice, they are also rather useful in that they each contain a randomly placed, numbered marker. At first, I was going to paint them nicely, but decided not to as they will probably get worn quickly. Simple numbers will do fine.

When setting up a game, the six markers are turned face down and mixed. Without looking at the numbered side, I place an objective marker on top of it. Through the black magics of magnetism combined with a perfectly sized slot in the bottom of the objective marker, the number marker adheres to the underside and each objective marker is thusly assigned a secret number.

The markers are then placed on the table as per the instructions of the scenario. When a model reaches the marker, it is flipped and the number revealed.


It was a 5. Amazing!

Here’s a short pictorial description on how I made them. First, the components. One treasure chest or other decoration, one large metal washer with a center hole large enough to accomodate two smaller ones. They’re arrayed on a magnetic sheet.

I glued the two small washers together, as one would be a bit too thin to feel right. A piece of magnetic sheet was cut to fit over the hole in the large washer, and glued in place with super glue. Ferrous side down, mind!

As can be seen, by sheer luck everything fit perfectly and snugly. The two small washers are exactly the same thickness as the one large. Awesome!

I glued the marker decoration in place and continued with the remaining five.

Proper useful stuff, these! In the scenario we played, we had six markers and a table where 1 – 3 were hostile encounters, 4 and 5 were nothing and 6 was the actual objective. When a marker was flipped, we rolled a dice to see what the result was. Worked fine until we started rerolling previously rolled results. With these markers, there will less faffing about.