Small Scenics: Secret Weapon Miniatures’ Scrap Yard(?) Corner Piece.

Back in December 2013 I picked up a couple of the “Bag O Crap” sets occasionally offered by Justin at Secret Weapon Miniatures. These are generally models who have failed his stringent QC process, and are sold off in these bags every so often. What you’ll get is a mystery! So I got a bunch of bases that I’ve stil not used – some with obvious bubbles and miscast issues, and others that I can see absolutely no issies with. I also got a few nicer large pieces of terrain. A destroyed tank turret, a flipped truck, a Star Wars-ish generator, and this (no link, it doesn’t appear to be listed on SWM’s site anymore!) The turret and truck are painted, the Generator is in a box somewhere. I thought I’d posted the painted turret and truck sometime, but apparently not? I’ll find them and post a pic sometime in the future.

Despite being a nice piece in a lot of ways, it’s got some seriously severe print lines, obviously from the master model’s original print before it went to resin casting. This gave it a really grainy texture which made it a pain to paint – along with all of the detail present. The result was that it got worked on here and there, now and then, over the course of the 5 1/2 years I’ve had it until a week or so ago when I had one of those “fuck it – get this thing out of here” moments and knuckled down and completed it over a couple of sessions.

Let’s see what happens next…

As with quite a few other pieces, I did not enjoy the painting process of this one at all, but I’m happy with the finished product. It’s got a lot of versatility in how it can be used, it’s large, and it looks good. And most importantly, it’s bloody done!

Small Scenics – Dragon Statues, Moria Well, Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble.

Dragon Statue Terrain, Lord of the Rings SBG Moria Well, Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble

Today it’s a combined post of a few different small scenic items I’ve finished this month.

Dragon Statue Terrain

First up are a pair of dragon statues. These are actually from one of those Vietnamese “Variety Stores” (aka Junk shops) that are common in my area. They sell a wide variety of things, from cutlery to tat to tools and other random stuff, usually very cheaply, and pretty much all imported from China. I imagine that many places around the world have something similar in heavily multicultural areas. My mum actually got these for me a few years ago, since to a woman her age, this stuff all looks pretty much the same, whether it’s a GW model or an expensive Sideshow statue, or something that cost two bucks from a Vietnamese shop.

Dragon Statue Terrain

At the time I gritted my teeth and thanked her, and then stuffed them into a plastic tub to maybe turn into scenery one day down the line. I found them a few weeks ago while looking for Ork artillery, and remembered them, and so got them out and painted them in her memory. Nothing too special, just a bit of highlighting, shading and weathering. I left them just a little dirtied up, and more importantly unbased so they’d maintain a generic enough look to work inside a dungeon, in a temple, or outdoors and exposed to the environment. I’m glad I got them painted, and the table will have a little bit of her on it whenever they’re in use. 🙂

Lord of the Rings SBG Moria Well

Next is a bit of the Mines of Moria boxed set put out by Games Workshop back in 2005. This was the third update of the SBG rules after the Return of the King set had run its course. I’ve gotten all of the other bits painted over the years, but this one still had a tiny bit left to do in it, so it was basically overlooked rather than ignored. I did rebase it onto a 60mm round, and added some flagstones made from thin card in order to make the piece a little better looking and more useful on the table. 

Mantic Terrain Crate Rubble

Finally, we have a few more bits of my Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstarter pledge. Basically six little rubble piles. These had been sitting around for months and bloody months, primed black and slightly tacky. I found them next to my light box the other day and brought them inside to knock out. I think I’d planned to strip them back and start again, but I only remembered that after I’d completed them. Just simple drybrush jobs here, though the broken wood was done with Contrast Wyldwood over painted-on Wraithbone. All finished – as with everything elsein this post – with a little bit of weathering powder. I’ve varnished them with Reaper’s paint-on sealer and let that dry and cure for a day before going over it with AK Interactive’s Matt Brush-On, and they’re not tacky again yet. Let’s hope that stay that way!

Necromunda ’95! – Ratskin Scout with Autogun and Pick (Jewel of July)

Ratskin Scout with Autogun and Pick

Necromunda Again? I swear, these posts are like Buses… When I finally found my Necromunda case recently (too late for Faust, sadly.. /pours a 40), one of the models within – along with those two Delaque) was my other Ratskin Scout. Clearly the other one from the single blister I’d have bought. Like his mate, he’d been part-painted for 20 years, so I finished him off.

Ratskin Scout with Autogun and Pick

Pants and boots got a total repaint, skin got all of the work beyond the base coat, weapon was completed in the original coppery scheme. Not too much was needed, though – and the process was more a matter of making myself concentrate on it than enjoying it or disliking it. It was just a job to finish this one. Now he’s done, and I’m satisfied. So another small victory.

Ratskin Scout with Autogun and Pick, Ratskin Scout with Shotgun

And here he is, alongside his little mate. I turns out that I did in fact buy the gang box. So there’ll be more Ratskins to come in the future. After I complete all the other half-done Necromunda models from the 1990’s, anyway!

Necromunda ’95! – My first pair of Delaque Gangers completed. (Alan Perry, 1995)

Necromunda 1995, Delaque Gangers, Alan Perry

Yes, really. You guys know that a huge proportion of my collection is from the 1990’s, and I’m only now getting around to painting/completing a lot of it. What can I say? I’ve been slack until the past few years. It has meant a ton of Neglected Models to work through, though – hence why that particular challenge crops up so frequently. Anywho, these models are from the original Delaque range. I don’t think I ever got the boxed gang set, rather I picked up either a blister or two of the loose gangers or got these in a secondhand sale/trade from the others in the necro group back in the day. I do have the entire Heresy Miniatures set of Not-Delaque, though. So one day I’ll add to the painted numbers. These were both painted to be part of the Grendel gang that I ran (more on that in a future post), though neither of them were ever actually completed until this last month, more than a decade on.

Necromunda 1995, Delaque Gangers, Alan Perry

The fellow on the left has what some reader may recognise as the flag of Cameroon on his back, with the Grendel-eye pattern overlaid. This is because I started painting this guy while watching Cameroon play in the 1998 World Cup, and liking their team and flag, so decided to incorporate it into the model. So… 20 years almost to the month for this one from start to finish. As a July 2019 model, he’s also got a little Contast Paint on him as well. I went over the mid and light-browns of his torso leathers and his shotgun’s wooden furniture with one of the contrast paints to see what would happen. It looks alright, and shows that they can be used similarly to washes over colours, with a slightly more subtle shading effect than the usual Agrax/Strong Tone.

That’s it for today!

Star Wars Imperial Assault: Jabba The Hutt (Jewel of July ’19)

Star Wars Imperial Assault Jabba The Hutt

Ahhhh Jabba the Hutt. A character that goes back to my childhood, the excitement of seeing previews of Return of the Jedi and then finally seeing it in the cinema. So when I started to expand my Imperial Assault collection, how could I skip the most notorious crimelord of Tattooine?

One thing that was never apparent for many, many years was the fact that a lot of Jabba is actually green. Why? Well, when seen in the film, he’s always in dim surroundings and the main angles that he’s lit and filmed from highlight his sandy-yellow coloured face and underside. The “green” areas always looked to me like they were prdominantly a shadowed effect.

This was further reinforced by the oringinal Kenner toy. I never had it myself as a kid, but a friend did, and the thing was basically desert yellow in its entirety.

So then the remastered, butchered “Special Edition” Original Trilogy films came out, and what the actual fuck was going on here? Unconvinging, cartoony-faced CGI, a vastly smaller Jabba, a silly “comedy” spot where Han steps on Jabba tail, and much more green, to boot! Messed up on a variety of levels to the point where it looked (to me) like they’d just changed Jabba’s colour. In the same way that they changed his face, his size… you get the idea.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Jabba The Hutt

So it wasn’t until years later – sometime after the Internet became a thing I spent time on – when I finally saw and understood that Jabba was in fact, actually mostly green the entire time. So.. okay. So then that was how I finally painted the model, despite my instincts wanting to make him entirely made up of shades of yellow, tan and ochre. Finally complete (he’s a Neglected one, too!) It’s a pretty nice model, though it does have a few flaws.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Jabba The Hutt

So wild tangent aside, the main flaw with the model is basically the size. As you can see from this triad of “Scum and Villany” types, the scale used by FFG for Imeprial Assault is one that gives a lot of priority for the models being boardgame pieces first, and miniatures a (distant) second. People familiar with Star Wars will know that the droid, IG-88 is super tall, the Jawa is tiny, and Jabba is a huge, bulky slug. For scale, Jabba should be so big that the Jawa is about the size of Salcious Crumb (the bird-faced fellow sitting under his bong in the above film still).

Ah well, boardgame miniatures, eh? Whaddayagonnado?

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Brutes + Contrast Paint Experiment #4

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

Today we have a few more Shadows of Brimstone models. These aren’t good models, though. In fact, they’re some of the models that gave Brimstone’s first releases such a …mixed-to-poor reputation, despite being made of “proper” HIPS plastic. But yeah, these make models like the Feral Kin/Werewolves look positively amazing, depite those also being low-detail models that only go together one way. As with a great many of the Brimstone models I’ve painted to date, they did get pulled from the big box of sprues in plastic baggies was because they looked like they’d be “easy wins” – models that would be straightforward and uncomplicated – in other words, easy to paint.

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

As it turned out, they looked even worse than I expected once I had them clipped and then glued. really soft detail all around. So they sat there for.. quite awhile. Then, the Contrast Paints arrived, and I knew I had the perfect way to get these things the hell off my desk – seeing how they work on what are basically, soft-detail models that are bad from a technical point of view, completely aside from their aesthetic aspects. I originally planned to paint their “rock” sides as yellowish stone, in homage to The ever-lovin, blue-eyed Thing, but after referencing the box art and some other people’s painted models, I decided on the greenish grey in the Contrast Range instead.

Now, I’m no slave to Box Art, but these aren’t figures I care about, so im’a (is that how you spell it?) “save” Ben Grimm for a figure I can give a shit about. As opposed to just looking like shit. Besides, they’re called Dark Stone Brutes, so… whatever. So I used three different Contrast paints for their trousers, three others for their shirts, Guilliman Flesh for their faces, and Gryph-Charger Grey for their “rocks”. Then a bit of drybrushing and the tiniest bit of normal painting to finish the face, eyes, hair and hands.

The Warpstone or whatever it is is Greenstuff World’s Colour-Shift green because I forgot the colour I used last time on the Hydra, and thought it was green rather than purple. They’re shaded with purple, but again – whatever.

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

But Azazel? Surely the detail on these models isn’t that bad? Well, here’s a size comparison for you. They’re pretty solidly big. You can see how they stack up for size compared to a normal Space Marine, a Primaris and a normal Human (Hasslefree).

So what does this show? Well, most obviously, Contrast Paints can help you get models painted quickly and in many cases look pretty good, but on poor quality models, they’ll do nothing more than speed the painting up. I mean, this is what I expected anyway because my view of these paints has been as simply another tool the entire time.

Now, could I – or anyone else who is willing to put the time in make these look amazing via putting in a lot of time with traditional methods and added freehand? Of course! But the fact is that in that case you can make a post-it note look amazing, or an egg. Or.. well, you get the idea. I get it that there are people out there who want to really put their best efforts into each and every model that they paint. I get it. That used to be me, too. Now, a decade or three on, and with an ever-expanding number of models to paint, I see the folly in that attitude – at least for me (and because I keep buying models!)

So now it’s more of a Triage situation. Models like these only get painted because they’re for a game I actually want to play, and they’re multiparts, so they need to be assembled, if not painted. So a quick and dirty paintjob is what the shitty models get because they’re not worth my (limited) time to care about all that much. These only got bumped up because I was curious about using Contrast on them, and wanting to see how the actual colours of them with my own eye, as well as a little more experience in applying them before I get to models I might care about. By these metrics, these Sow’s Ears that still look nothing like Silk Purses are a success.

They still look pretty shit, though. The only thing I actually like are the desert bases!

Awesome August ’19: Community Painting Challenge

One of these four models does not qualify! Stay tuned to see which one!

Something a bit the same as Jewel of July, but also slightly different for August. My original paining challenge plans for 2019 have been shifted around a little over a few of the last few months, and I originally had August pencilled in as a Neglected Models month, but we just had that with June. As it happens, IRO, aka Imperialrebelork requested/suggested “Augmented August”, where people would “Build something bigger and better than its original design or paint something cooler than its original design.” Now, believe it or not, my time, energy and ability to do either of those things is actually quite limited at the moment, and obviously I want a challenge that’s achievable for me in order to motivate me to Get More Shit Done. But.. IRO’s idea is a good one.

I was quite proud of this one when I finished it!

So I’ve decided on Awesome August – where the objective is to convert or paint (or both) something really bloody cool. Ideally, this would be a larger-than-normal model – hence the “Awesome” – because size matters this month. If you’re a fan of tanks, as a few of the regulars here are, it’s time for a Tiger or Jagdtiger or KV-2 at minimum, but really, a Maus or Konigstiger or T28 or one of the big IS-series tanks. For 40k players, skip the Rhino variants and get the Russ or Land Raider done – or better yet, that Baneblade (or Knight/(bio)titan/etc).

I don’t have a historical tank large enough to act as an illustration for this month’s challenge completed. So this 40k Dreadnought will have to do!

Monsters, Mammoths and Mûmakil. Dreadnoughts and Giants. You get the idea by now. Get your big shit painted. Nobody smaller than an Ogre need apply!

unless…

I feel like someone might need a very slight touch-up for 2019.

If you really prefer to skip the biggies – that normal sized model that you’ve (ideally) done a job that you’re proud of converting or kitbashing, painted to the best of your ability. Remember, it’s not a competition – it’s a showcase – so your only competitor is yourself.

Big doesn’t only come in 40k or Warhammer flavours!

So, the TL:DR is that August’s challenge is to complete something big. Ideally, really big. Or something small that’s ideally converted – and painted really well by your own standards.

‘cos it’s not a bloody competition, mate – is it?

– please DO REMEMBER TO LINK to this post when you finish something that you want counted in the round-up – because I WILL forget your post otherwise. It happens every single month. Also, if you’re doing the Jewel of July ’19 Community Painting Challenge, be sure and link your finished units over there. There’s still a week left to paint! (and a week or so grace period to varnish, photograph, post and link your models.)