Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Kamakura (G.I. Joe)

Kamakura is yet another G.I. Joe and Arashikage ninja - there sure are a lot of them! He was added to the canon in the early 2000's through the Devil's Due Productions comics, and later appeared in some G.I. Joe cartoons.

Kamakura is the son of a Crimson Guardsman who forms a bond with Snake Eyes, and in the DDP branch of the comics continuity and the action figure canon becomes Snake Eyes' apprentice. My main reason for adding him to my G.I. Joe Project was that I felt RAFM's Ronin mini was a good fit for the character.  Me and Brummie are constantly searching for options to fit G.I. Joe and Cobra characters, and successes in finding a mini which we can then match to a character drives additions to the project more than anything else.

In preparing the mini I trimmed the sword back a bit (it was incredibly long!), and swapped his head for a spare Pulp City Ninja head that I had. Unfortunately my green stuffing around the neck was a bit rough, but it will do. I decided to use a different green than that used on most of my Joes - Vallejo Model Color Flat Green. The primary painting was pretty straightforward allowing me to make quick progress with base colour, washes, dry-brush and highlights. The colours are an approximation of one of the many versions of the Kamakura action figure, but not a like for like copy on the model's details.

I am hoping to get some more Cobra done over the next few weeks, although with Zomtober coming that will be dependent on available time. I have quite a few minis part -painted for the project right now that I really need to start finishing off.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (18)
G.I. Joe: 13*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 4*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Helix (G.I. Joe)

Helix is the latest addition to my G.I. Joe forces, and one of the newer characters added to the canon. I first encountered her in the pages of the IDW comics and was immediately impressed with how she was pitched to readers. Apparently the character was developed for a video game which tied into the Rise of Cobra film, but I haven't played that.

Helix possesses an unusual capability called Total Organic Battlefield Awareness, essentially the capacity to perform complex calculations very rapidly, applying those calculations to anticipate what allies and enemies will do in battle. In the comics, the business-like Helix quickly forms a comradeship with the uber-cool Snake Eyes. There is a very cool sequence in the comics when the two of them take on a remote Cobra garrison and unleash hell on their enemy.

In sourcing the model I encountered a happy accident. Brummie and I have been looking up lots of options for G.I. Joe Project characters, yet while searching for another model which I thought I had unpainted in my collection, I stumbled across this Dionne from Hasslefree Miniatures. The hair and pose were an obvious perfect fit for what I wanted for Helix. I considered adding a webbing belt but opted against it as my green-stuff skills are simply not up to that kind of thing, so instead I concentrated on trying to convey an approximation of her colour scheme.

Naturally Helix will make her way into Squad Wars games where she will be a bad-ass on a par with the best of the best like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (17)
G.I. Joe: 12*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Dead Walk....Zomtober 2017 is Coming....

The dead lead (and resin and plastic!) shall walk again! Zomtober rises!

The sixth annual Zomtober is almost upon us - that time of year when bloggers like my buddies Rob (click here for his blog) and Simon (click for his blog here) and myself commit to getting some more Zeds or Survivors painted.

The rules
The Zomtober rules are simple.

To take part you just need to paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday (we use Sunday's as the end of each Zomtober week). So that means posting one or more newly painted Zombie or Survivor minis each week on or before the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of October 2017. This year has a very tight start and there is nothing stopping bloggers starting that first mini early in readiness for the Sunday!

Anyone commenting on this post will get added to the blog list below (and feel free to do something similar on your own blogs - as the word spreads, more and more bloggers can be involved!). Last year we had around 15-20 bloggers involved, and it would be great to beat that this year. So welcome all to this year's Zomtober!

Zomtober 2017 blog roll (click blog names for links):
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  4. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  5. Saturday Mornings - Ivor Evans
  6. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  7. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  8. ANYTHING BUT A 1! - Clint
  9. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  10. The Wargame Addict - Wargame Addict
  11. Lead Reckoning - Fred Jackson
  12. da Gobbo's Grotto - Wargaming blog - da Gobbo Grotto
  13. Never Mind The Jankers - Roy Williamson
  14. Paintbrush and Superglue - Matt

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

First 10 G.I. Joes

These are my first ten 'enlisted' G.I. Joes, although these are actually my first eleven G.I. Joe characters thanks to Timber. I think going forward I will try and do updates for every ten additional characters, and will count the animal companions into that, otherwise it will get confusing for me let alone for unfortunate readers!

Sgt. Slaughter was painted in 2016,  kicking things off, but the rest have been painted in the last few months as the project heats up.

Now on to the next ten! Yo Joe!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Grunt (G.I. Joe)

Grunt is my tenth 'enlisted' G.I. Joe (I have eleven characters so far including Timber), and the sixteenth character in all for my G.I. Joe Project. He is one of the original characters that formed the first wave of characters for the A Real American Hero line.

As one of the classic characters, Grunt was developed through story arcs outlined in the Marvel comics as well as file cards of updated versions. In many ways he is the quintessential G.I. Joe infantryman, as befits his name.

To help him stand out from any potential 'Greenshirts' I may paint, I opted to base his main colour on the tan re-paint of the action figure which was released a year or so after the first version.

I had a bit of a struggle shading the Medium Grey base colour, but a bit of a brainwave allowed me to correct that after being unsatisfied with the first shade colour. The painting isn't brilliant, but I am happy to have finished him after a bit of a slow month in August (although when I get my Vipers finished, that will add a bunch of minis in one hit).

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (16)
G.I. Joe: 11*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Monday, 28 August 2017

Ninja Viper (Cobra)

One of the things the G.I. Joe mythos certainly has is a lot of different ninjas! It only makes sense for my G.I. Joe Project to include a few as well. I have more planned and have been scouring the web for ninja models to use.

Ninja Vipers are the elite of the Cobra Viper ranks. Consequently I am treating them as lesser to the Red Ninja Viper in game terms for my gaming using Squad Wars, so formidable in close combat but the least of the ninja types as it were. And the Ninja Viper is certainly outclassed by the likes of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Jinx.

I started the mini a while ago, but as usual got side-tracked. While painting up a squad of other minis (I never enjoy batch painting these days), I decided I need something finished fast and picked up the Ninja Viper again and was able to finish the painting quite quickly. August has been a lean month overall on the painting front, but I hope the work I have done helps me into September's outputs.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (15)
G.I. Joe: 10*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hotwire (Cobra)

What a difference doing 'something'/'anything' makes! After posting my WiP post, I managed to paint Hotwire in the same afternoon (my equivalent to speed-painting....), and from that I hope to carry some momentum forward to get a few more minis finished this month.

Hotwire was added to the canon in the 2000's as a Cobra as a convention-only special character. The deranged Hotwire comes from a lineage of Bavarian scientists operating within criminal spheres and he specialises in B.A.T. Maintenance & repair, and is also a bio-mechanical engineer.

As mentioned in the WiP post (you can see the source inspiration and chosen base mini below), I zeroed in on tackling this model mainly based on ease of conversion - the mini is from Studio Miniatures and was immediately obvious as a candidate for reworking for my G.I. Joe Project. However, as I plan to eventually paint up some B.A.T.s (Battle Android Troopers), it makes sense to have a character who can boost them, making it an even better decision to make Hotwire. Therefore, expect to see Hotwire eventually in mine and Brummie's games of Squad Wars at some point. Painting him takes me up to four Cobra characters, so I have a way to go to catch up with my number of Joes and the number of Cobra that Brummie has painted. I have a nearly-finished Cobra Ninja Viper, and a few Joes already part-painted, so with luck a few more minis may get done this week.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (14)
G.I. Joe team: 10*
Cobra: 4**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Monday, 21 August 2017

Hotwire (WiP; G.I. Joe Project)

I don't often do WiP posts, but as I have hit a painting slowdown this month (so far in August I painted 6 DUST Quonset Huts glimpsed in the last post, but haven't finished any character models yet), I thought I might do so at this time to help gee me up!

This mini will become Hotwire, a recent addition to the Cobra forces in the G.I. Joe mythos. Basically he seems to be a deranged engineer-scientist specialising in modification of BATs (Battle Android Troopers).

One of the things driving decisions for Brummie and me in our choice of characters to add to our G.I. Joe Projects is the availability of source minis. Hotwire is a case in point - while we were scouting options, I checked out Studio Miniatures' Survivors range and picked out two good possibilities. One of those options led to Hotwire, who started off as a not-Doc Brown type (Back to the Future). It is not a character I would have even considered except for the relative ease of conversion I saw in the source mini.

I set to work on his lower trouser legs and arm cuffs with a file, to turn the areas into boots and gloves respectively, and added a bit of green stuff for a trouser near a boot top. I also added a layer of thin plastic under his shoes to make him a tiny bit taller to fit the other minis and bulk out his boots. I am reasonably pleased with how that bit of work turned out and hope he paints up well enough that he looks 'right' and the work seems correct. I have a few days off so I plan to finish several minis this week, including Hotwire, motivation permitting!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

First Squad Wars Play-tests

This week saw the inaugural play-test games for Squad Wars, using a mix of minis from mine and Brummie's growing G.I. Joe collections. My initial feeling was that a lot of things worked as I hoped and a few things need tweaking, which is all good.

We managed both a small and a medium sized game in less than three and half hours, which is without having played the game before and so I it felt it was fairly speedy overall, all things considered. That time included making a couple of cups of tea and stopping to have discussions about whether or not certain things worked to create a satisfying game-play feel, so ultimately probably closer to three hours or less in total for the two games played.

The games helped identify a few issues to fix - nothing fundamental but certain special rules and how they can be applied differently to improve the experience.

Brummie was really supportive and kindly gave feedback and insights, as well as noting the log of changes to be made and also took two of the pictures in this post (thanks very much mate!).

I wish I had taken more pics myself but I was understandably focused on the games themselves and talking Brummie through my ethos for certain design choices. I opted away from making a Battle Report at this stage as the key thing is getting the fundamentals right in terms of using time well.

Anyway, suffice to say, it feels on the right track of what I want and I hope to get more Squad Wars gaming in with Joes versus Cobra before too long.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Steeler (G.I Joe)

Steeler is a bit of a touch-stone for me, so I am very happy to add him to the G.I. Joe ranks. Back in 1983, my 10-year self was fortunate enough to receive the Z Force Battle Tank and Steeler as a Christmas present, and I loved it. Motorised vehicle that could go forward, backwards in different directions? What was there not to love! That Action Force (Z Force was one of the four arms of Action Force in the canon) tank was a repaint of the original G.I. Joe set of the MOBAT and Steeler. The character was adapted to the Euro-centric Action Force and the colour scheme changed.

I decided to use the G.I. Joe version colour scheme as my primary influence, recalling a kind of bright olive green for his fatigues on my toy version so working that in instead of the standard green I have been using. Then there was the case of differentiating three different types of 'black' and ultimately it was a fairly straightforward paint-job.

In the Marvel US G.I. Joe comics Steeler is a character who has some key moments in earlier issues then is featured sparingly afterwards. But he has a tank to command, and that is the key thing!

I hope I can carry some of the momentum of the past couple of months into August and progress further into my G.I. Joe Project.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (13)
G.I. Joe team: 10*
Cobra: 3**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Red Ninja Viper (Cobra)

Red Ninja Viper (or Red Ninja depending on which version of the source action figure you refer to!) is my latest addition to my G.I. Joe Project, serving the enemy forces of Cobra. I prefer the longer Red Ninja Viper name as it just sounds cooler to my brain and ear.

The character is far from a leading light of the canon, and is among a plethora of ninja types that thread through the G.I. Joe mythos. It is a character 'after my time' so to speak, and only one I came across while researching options for the G.I. Joe Project. In Squad Wars games I am probably going to pitch him as an individualised character, but effectively an 'extra' type for bulking out the Cobra forces with some extra individuality - that may change though. The mini itself was a spare copy of Storm Shadow that I had from a friend's private commission, so be sure to expect a white-clad ninja before too long.

For painting I went with a bit of a hybrid of the various incarnations of Red Ninja/Red Ninja Viper. I started painting the mini at the same time as Jinx but fell behind with this one while stuff like Stalker, Timber, Shipwreck and Short Fuze got finished instead. Thankfully I have been able to retain some painting momentum and was able to get the mini finished while working a little on some other characters.

I reckon Red Ninja Viper may get a run out before too long as Brummie has recently gone into painting overdrive (check out his blog to see what I mean - link here), meaning that collectively we have a lot of characters to choose from to start gaming with.

Coming up I have a mix of Joes and Cobra in various stages including: Baroness, Duke, Gung Ho, Rock N Roll and Roadblock. Of course with my random approach to painting that could mean something else entirely like a Cobra Ninja gets painted instead....

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (12)
G.I. Joe team: 9*
Cobra: 3**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Short Fuze (G.I. Joe)

Short Fuze marks my ninth Joe character finished, and eleventh mini for the project as a whole. I started this one a whole ago but slowed down as I found a few bits awkward to paint. I picked him up again this weekend and was able to make more headway, enough to want to finish him.

Most of the original G.I. Joe team had very similar uniforms, so expect a few more that don't look too dissimilar before too long in among the more varied later characters. Regardless of the uniforms though, I will probably mainly stuck to the same base green colours for fatigues and helmets to add a little coherence. The original figure had black webbing straps and a green backpack; I decided to go for a dark olive colour as a bit less stark than black. In my overall painted minis tally for the month, quarter and year, I am counting Short Fuze and his mortar as two separate minis - that seems fair as they are on separate bases!

Short Fuze was the team's first mortar specialist (but not the only one!). In the canon he is a solider from a military family, with a logical and thoughtful side although with a noticeable temper. Reading the comics, he is certainly not a top tier character, and is generally just 'there' in the wider ensemble.

In developing Squad Wars, Short Fuze gives me a chance to try out the rules for mortars which naturally have a few wrinkles to them.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (11)
G.I. Joe team: 9*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Shipwreck (G.I. Joe)

'In the navy, come on people and make a stand' - ah, Shipwreck is my latest G.I. Joe Project addition, and with his naval attire he will stand out a mile among the mainly greens and browns for many of the G.I. Joe team uniforms!

Shipwreck is a tough petty officer who calmly faces any situation, not easily rattled. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there were a fair few naval personnel in the G.I. Joe ranks.

The mini is from a private commission which I was thankful to get hold of. I decided to swap the pistol weapon he had for something heavier looking to give a little more 'grounded' look - the irony of that choice is not lost on me given he walks into battle with a parrot on his shoulder! The painting was nice and straightforward, and once I had blocked in the main two blue colours and flesh, I started working from the waist down before tackling the remaining bits.

One of the most fun things for me in this project so far has been creating the rules cards for the minis; basically distilling how the characters are described in their file cards and the Marvel comics into a set of rules that feels right. Suffice it to say a lot of cards are done and a lot of conversions bubbling into mind.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (10)
G.I. Joe team: 8*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Prepping for Squad Wars Play-tests

When play-testing I like to have game materials to make things easier. For Pulp City, this meant facsimiles of game cards where possible, as well as a copy of the rules text to hand.

While developing Supers Unlimited and Squad Wars under the Kitbash Games banner, I have taken things a step further. These projects are obviously deeply personal to me, and so I want to get things as right as possible. Just having a very rough draft copy of the text to look at helps me think about how pages could be laid out, the sequence of things, etc. In the past I would work with pdfs of simple Word layouts. This time, and to help my own personal thought processes, I decided to go a step further and get mini books printed.

In addition, with my G.I. Joe Project underway - and which will be the main vehicle for play-testing Squad Wars - I decided to get cards for the various characters printed up as a motivator to play. That may sound unnecessary, but from my time with Pulp City I saw that testers gave more feedback if they had print outs (from Word) at roughly game card size for characters than a primary Word document not formatted down to game card size. They gave more feedback again if they had draft versions of the final cards. So from that learning, I have developed cards as something to hang games of Squad Wars onto, and will do the same with Supers Unlimited at some point.

Since both games feature 'build your own' rules for Characters (they have some nominal IP, but that is to help give some contextual pointers and supply pretty pictures to look at!), players can just as easily use a roster sheet, whatever takes their fancy, they don't have to use cards like I have developed (although templates will be made available at some point).

Friday, 14 July 2017

Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game - Kickstarter

Like the sound of 70's style New York street gang skirmish? Then Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game could be just your thing!

The project is funded with 15 days to go and has some very cool minis - I am already backing and looking forward to what Iain and Funky Skull Games will unleash next!

Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game -- Kicktraq Mini

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Timber (G.I. Joe)

Timber is Snake Eyes' wolf companion, and not a mini I envisaged doing at the outset of my G.I. Joe Project. Painting got underway on the project in the last few weeks and it was then that Brummie mentioned he was doing one, so with that in mind I cobbled some rules ideas together, and that is how plans quickly change!

It may seem a bit bizarre, but a number of Joes and Cobra operatives had animal companions; therefore, excluding them wouldn't have been right. Brummie and I have been talking about ideas of how we can include a few more of the characters who had animal companions.

The mini was given to me by Brummie, but I have no idea where it is from. The painting was pretty easy, although I had to touch up the fur on one side to even out the patterning better. I tried to give a nice look representative of the various toys to the fur colouring, and even researched timber wolves' eyes colours for reference!

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (9)
G.I. Joe team: 7*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

As I mentioned, I have prepped rules for personal use, to be able to use Timber in games of Squad Wars alongside Snake Eyes of course (either in a G.I. Joe team or an Arashikage Force).

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Stalker (G.I. Joe)

Stalker is my sixth member of the G.I. Joe team finished, and my eighth G.I. Joe Project mini in all. He is a character I like a lot in the comics, probably because he was in the first G.I. Joe story I read (which was a reprint of the American stuff).

Although the pictures have washed out most of my highlighting on Stalker, I am reasonably happy with how he turned out. I decided against painting a camo stripe pattern as the base green colour is quite dark, and I opted for a fairly light contrast with his webbing and backpack. I started Stalker before Jinx, but finished the latter first which is pretty typical for me.

I have a few other members of the G.I. Joe team underway, and I hope to finish at least two or three more before the end of the month; Brummie and I have provisionally set early August for our first Squad Wars play-test. I have being prepping lots of materials for the opening games and I am looking forward to seeing if things work as I want them to.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (8)
G.I. Joe team: 6
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Jinx (G.I. Joe)

First up a big apology to regular readers for accidentally removing content from 100 comments from the blog; a slip of the mouse button while trying to sort out a load of spam comments caught me out and Blogger has no recycle bin unfortunately. Lesson learned!

Jinx is the latest mini completed for my G.I. Joe Project, and one of the characters less familiar to me until recently. I came to G.I. Joe through Action Force and the IDW comics published form around 2008 and onward. And so it is now I am making inroads into the old Marvel G.I. Joe comics, and shamefully have still not watched the movies (I have them on DVD, just too little time as always!). The upshot is that I have yet to see how much of a bad-ass Jinx seems to be but I hope to rectify that before too long!

Jinx is one of the good guys on the G.I Joe team, a protege of sorts to Snake Eyes, trained by the Arashikage clan. If there is one thing G.I. Joe canon is not short of, its ninjas....

The mini is one among a private commission I was fortunate to be able to get minis from. I started painting her a few days ago when I realised how I could paint up a spare ninja that I had for the G.I. Joe Project. Since both minis would be predominately red I made start on the pair before concentrating on Jinx's highlights and final work. By my standards it was a pretty quick turnaround which is always very welcome.

In the next few days I hope to finish Red Viper Ninja (Cobra) and Stalker (G.I. Joe), and after those I have a few more in the project painting queue.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (7)
G.I. Joe team: 5
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Working on the project has given me minis which I will be able to use to test out Squad Wars against Brummie. As a consequence I have been translating lots of characters from the G.I. Joe milieu into game stats for Squad Wars. And when I say, 'lots', I am not joking....

As an example of a character as defined in Squad Wars terms, here is the card I have prepped for Jinx. This is for personal use and won't be featured in any of the commercial side of Squad Wars when it is eventually launched (that will have IP that is my own for obvious reasons). The  game is designed to use a fairly low model count and mix solo characters as well as squads. Players won't need to use cards, a simple roster sheet will be fine, I just like having gaming cards and so while designing a simple template for free use, thought I would do some G.I. Joe characters with the template.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Quarter 2 2017 Painting Summary

2017 Quarter 2 was a big improvement over Quarter 1, I am happy to say!

I got off to a very strong start painting 11 minis in April alone (I managed just 7 in January to March).

April certainly had a very much 'supers' flavour to my hobby outputs as I was also finishing up the draft text for a rules set (Supers Unlimited) I plan to release through Wargames Vault later in the year, and my first BMG tournament of the year (with a poor placing compared to last year's successes).

With the supers focus, April saw me tackle some minis which have been long overdue completion, as well as some ranges I haven't revised in a few years - a 'good thing' for me.

May and June combined saw me paint or finish another 11 minis, and in all the three months put me back on track with my overall target for the year after the slowdown I had in February and March. I started doing some work on new and dormant projects during this time:

  • My SMG Project: essentially conversions of Knight Models stuff to add a few more options to the SMG crew ranks; the game may be dead but I have a few ideas I want to execute for it yet, complete with rules profiles for any new characters I do.
  • My G.I. Joe Project got 5 new models added, meaning I am track towards having playable forces for another project....
  • ...Squad Wars; a rule set I started working on a couple of years ago got a dust off and some heavy re-writes and is now almost ready for some play-test games; the game is intended to recreate military pulp-action scenarios from classic 1980's series such as G.I. Joe, Action Force, M.A.S.K., The A-Team, MegaForce etc. The game is not attached to any existing IP, just intended to emulate some of the things you might expect from gaming this kind of over the top genre.

It has been much happier for me hobby-wise in the last few months, mainly as I feel more productive in recent months. This has coincided with me taking a decision to leave the Pulp Monsters partnership (responsible for the Pulp City game). There a number of reasons behind that decision which I won't go into here, but the ultimate gain for me has been more time to mess around with projects which interest me. It has meant I have completed two draft game manuscripts ready for play-test, and have a third around half done.

I have been able to explore some new skills, getting to grips with GiMP and Photoshop as far as I need them (recently with GiMP very much so, especially as Fotor is essentially becoming a paid platform for generating collages).

So all in all, things have felt much more productive lately, in writing and design, as well as painting, which has been a good thing personally.

Painted in Q2 (+10 from Q2 2016)
BMG: 11
GI Joe: 5
SDZA Supers: 3
Other Supers: 2 minis
SMG: 1 mini (SMG Project)

Friday, 30 June 2017

White Tiger (SMG Project)

Well there we go - White Tiger is done, just by the skin of my teeth!

My contribution to Forgotten Heroes (click for link) and it has been great watching various projects unfold - well done all. I promise to be better organised next year - although I feel my G.I. Joe stuff this month is in keeping with the whole thing too. :)

Thankfully this was a fairly simple paint job which helped speed things up. I was able to go a little messy doing the necklace with the knowledge I could tidy up the 'white' areas. The white was mainly done using Vallejo Pale Blue Grey as a base up to Off-White. For some deeper recesses I mixed in a bit of Blue Grey.

I decided to shade the eyes with a pale green to tie into the amulets he wears, representing the glow of mystical power they infuse into him. Other than that a pretty simple paint-job.

I also worked up a rules card for him for the defunct Spider-man Miniatures Game, just to complete the project. His Reputation cost may get a slight re-jig when I rework how I have engineered my best guesses for KM's points formula. I fear not, there are more home-brew conversions planned for SMG in the near-future.

SMG Painting Summary
SMG characters owned: 15+2
Percentage of owned characters painted: 47.1% (8 models)
MUMG minis re-based to fit my SMG: 0
SMG Project minis painted: 1

White Tiger WiP

A quick update post on White Tiger. With work on other projects this one got a little side-tracked unfortunately.

The conversion is pretty simple and I ultimately opted to omit the leg-straps. I tried doing something with green-stuff but what I was trying simply wouldn't work, and I lack the sculpting skills to render them in fine-scale in keeping with the mini's aesthetic any other way. Therefore I have to accept they are a stage too far for me.

The teeth on the necklace were trimmed back and green-stuff amulet pieces added. I may need to do a bit more on those once I can see them better when the mini is undercoated (my eyes struggle to pick out some details on/against bare metal and I often can see much more clearly when undercoat is applied). I filed the boots and gloves to lessen the trademark Black Panther grooves, and then painted that over with brush-on matt varnish with the idea that the relatively thick liquid should fill those grooves - at least that is my plan; again I may need to do a little more once I can see things more clearly with the undercoat.

I still hope to get the mini painted today, time permitting. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cover Girl (G.I. Joe)

Cover Girl is the fifth of my G.I. Joe Project outputs this month (sixth overall), and like the others comes from a private commission. I started the mini at the same time as Hawk, but after initial progress suggested Cover Girl would be finished first, it ended up that Hawk was the first to be completed a couple of days before her.

I didn't really encounter, or at least notice, the character in the 1980's when reading Marvel UK G.I. Joe reprints or the original Marvel UK Action Force material. However, but when IDW (a smaller comics publisher, and lately a publisher of games etc.) started producing their new G.I. Joe comics she was introduced in the second year, which was my first proper exposure to the character.

In the main canon Cover Girl is a specialist armoured fighting vehicle driver, but also works as an undercover specialist in later stories. Although I have seen her shown as blonde and a red-head, I settled on blonde as I have Scarlett and Lady Jaye still to paint up, red-head and auburn respectively.

I hope to keep my painting momentum into the next couple of months on my G.I. Joe Project to enable some Squad Wars play-test games pretty soon with Brummie (click for link to his blog).

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (6)
G.I. Joe team: 4
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0