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

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Hawk (G.I. Joe)

Hawk is my fifth G.I. Joe Project mini, my fourth this month - I seem to have hit an accidental stride!

My first exposure to the character was really through Marvel UK reprints of the Larry Hama stories, when he and Stalker walk into a bank robbery and take down the robbers - at least I remember it as Hawk!

Hawk is effectively G.I. Joe's head honcho, their really big kahuna when he is promoted to general.

As I am writing up a skin of the Squad Wars rules for personal use with the G.I. Joe Project stuff, that has helped get me focused to paint a few minis this month. With the way I envisage the game, a small game with named characters may be as few as 3 or 4 models per side, potentially facing around 7 to 9 nameless Grunts and an accompanying named character.

With the rules ideas that I am playing around with, I see different benefits from taking Hawk instead of Duke etc. I hope what I have put onto the page feels right on the tabletop. As a consequence, I want to get a fair few different characters done to try a variety of things, which is why Hawk has been finished now and why I will focus on getting a selection G.I. Joe characters finished first. I now have a few more Joes in the painting queue which I hope to finish soon.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (5)
G.I. Joe team: 3
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe)

Snake Eyes is my fourth painted G.I. Joe Project mini, and probably one of the coolest characters in the Joe-verse.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Snake Eyes is basically a silent ninja-uber-commando working as part of the  G.I. Joe team, with strong connections to other key characters such as Scarlett, Stalker and Storm Shadow. This version is based on his second iteration as an action figure.

I started painting the mini late last year and ended up getting side-tracked by other projects. He was started sometime after Major Bludd, but I only picked up work on him again when I started tackling some recent G.I. Joe Project minis that kick-started with the painting of Destro. I'd like to get a couple more done before the end of the month if I can, and have started work on Hawk, Cover Girl, and Stalker, and I need to finally finish off Gung Ho. Three out of those four with Snake Eyes should give me a playable starting force for Squad Wars.

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

Sunday 18 June 2017

Major Bludd (Cobra)

Another G.I. Joe Project mini done! Unfortunately Major Bludd had been languishing in the queue of part-painted minis for far too long.

Major Bludd is an ex Australian SAS member turned mercenary who joined the Cobra Command payroll. He frequently serves a s a field leader and is not averse to working against other members of Cobra at the behest of Cobra Commander. Unlike many Cobra operatives, Bludd isn't a true believer, instead his prime motivation is simply money.

I admit I struggled with the limited palette of the character, especially highlighting the uniform. I changed the gun the mini came with for another that felt more appropriate. I tried to bend his gun arm forwards, but not enough; in hindsight I should have re-positioned the head to be looking along the gun. Despite the painting, the main thing is that the mini is finished and adds to my slowly growing forces.

I have already started work on a few others, and have Gung Ho to finish who has been part-painted for as long as Major Bludd. In addition, work continues on Squad Wars to eventually get some games in with the minis.

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

Friday 16 June 2017

Destro (Cobra/Iron Grenadiers)

A year on from my first G.I. Joe project mini, the second finally arrives - my usual snail's pace then!

Destro was nice and quick mini to paint up. I decided to emulate some of the more recent iterations of his colour scheme layout although the mini is modelled after his classic appearance. I have so many projects on the go that this one fell down the priority order, which is the cause for the slow pace. The mini is from a private collection and not commercially available, but I was lucky to get a copy; I decided the replace the pistol with something chunkier and more menacing (I envisage it as a large calibre pistol).

For those who are are not G.I. Joe (or Action Force) fans, Destro is one the bad guys, a weapons supplier to Cobra predominately, but also the leader of his own faction - the Iron Grenadiers.

I mentioned last year that I had been developing a set of rules called Squad Wars, and work on this has resumed - I am now on the third draft and getting much closer to what I want the rules to do, and the feel I want them to create. I hope to get in some G.I. Joe influenced gaming against Brummie before too long!

G.I. Joe Minis Painted
G.I. Joe team: 1
Cobra: 1*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Wednesday 7 June 2017

The Eye of the Tiger!

Well, that escalated quickly! No sooner than I set course with my SMG Project, than I learn of something called Forgotten Heroes which perfectly dove-tails with my own project  - the only requirement being to produce something in June and following the rules as set out:

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

I think #1 is a slight fudge for me as my character never had a mini made while Marvel stuff licensed by Knight Models, and only had a single Heroclix incarnation.
#2 is a bit of a fudge as Knight call their 'scale' 35mm (I know it is not a scale per se....).
#3 is do-able, and for #4 read on....

My character (as can be seen in the top picture) is White Tiger, a character created in the 70's amid the martial arts craze that swept American popular culture. White Tiger (Hector Ayala) was Marvel's first Hispanic hero, and really was only a sporadically-seen character for the next twenty-five plus years. Nowadays his mantle has been taken on by other characters (his sister and niece), and White Tiger is probably an apt Forgotten Hero.

My plan is to use the Black Panther mini as the basis for the character. His gloves and boots will get a little filling with Milliput. His pointy panther ears will be removed and filed down. His panther-teeth necklace will be trimmed back and an amulet made out of green stuff. And if I feel really confident, I may (emphasis on *may*) try to do his boot/leg wraps.

Saturday 3 June 2017

SMG Side-project...

I have been bitten by the bug of a new side project in recent days, and as any hobbyist knows, that way lies peril as there is never enough time for every project!

I like designing character rules and I like playing games. I also like what Knight Models did to a limited extent with SMG, but lament there wasn't more. The now defunct SMG range extends to 15 officially released minis with cards, plus 2 minis with leaked cards which were never printed (Elektra and Venom).

I started musing and pondering this week, which is what general leads me down the rabbit-hole of a new project, and may be regarded as 'unwise' by the more learned hobbyist....

My idea is simple: create more stuff which I can use for SMG assuming my main opponent agrees to it being used! But any good project needs some boundaries, so I am following these rules:

  1. All minis must have a Knight Models mini as their primary basis to ensure some degree of aesthetic consistency;
  2. Characters should fit within the general street-level-plus milieu already established (so no this time);
  3. Characters should reflect the comics as opposed to movies;
  4. I must create a card for each new or re-purposed character.
Now, I already have given myself a slight head-start in the SMG Project, as I have painted Black Panther (shown on the blog last July) and Black Widow already. I set to work adapting a cost schema I obtained from a fellow hobbyist and engineered it so it gave me ball-park near costings on Daredevil and Elektra, using that to inform the costs I assign to new characters as I develop them. 

One of the first examples is the Black Panther card in this post. I tried to encapsulate a classic sense of Black Panther (so omitted the Lord of the Dead stuff). T'Challa has a storied history operating solo in and around New York, and stood in for Daredevil for a while. In the same way that BMG stretches Affiliations (think Cyborg to Batman), I felt his natural home was Spider-man's faction. Expect to see more in my SMG Project in coming months!