Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Assorted Shadowforge Female Figures

I have a mixed bag for you today. These are three 28mm scale Shadowforge figures that I bought from the Grekwood Minis webstore. Sadly, they are no longer for sale on this site but I thought I'd show them anyway.
I'll start with the US Army medic, Diane Webster. I am sure some of you will object to the fact that she has left her tunic unbuttoned to reveal a very nice cleavage. And the brazen hussy is not wearing a bra. How dare she! If you'd seen this figure when I first bought her the prudes amongst you would have had a fit because she was wearing no trousers either! I have no problems with women showing off their bodies. My attitude is if you've got it, flaunt it, but just for once, I decided this was uncalled for. So I added a pair of trousers and knee-pads from Milliput. I could have covered up her cleavage as well, but decided not to. I must admit that I have no idea what she is holding in her right hand. Is it a pistol, and if so, what kind? Is that a scope-sight on top of the pistol or perhaps a laser sight? Or is it a dart gun? Or some kind of medical device that just looks like a weapon? My preference is for a dart gun firing tranquiliser darts. Note that I have painted her in the same camouflage scheme as my Black Scorpion US Army troops that I reviewed recently. She will be attached to that group.
In the centre of the group is Tatiana the vampire. I was delighted to get hold of her because of my love of vampires. I don't show nearly enough vampires on my blog. I must admit that when I first saw her my initial reaction was to paint her up as Vampirella. But I have a lot of Vampirella figures and whilst she is a close match she is not an exact match. So, she is Tatiana, an Eastern European vampire. Perhaps she hails from Transylvania. That would be so fitting. I am extremely pleased at how well I have painted her mouth. Her fangs are quite noticeable, which is exactly the effect I was after.
Finally, we come to Nina Chi, a sci-fi cop, who I think has a Manga vibe about her. I used to do a lot of sci-fi role-playing way back in the 1990's, and I ran a long-running GURPS Space campaign, and before that a Fantasy Games Unlimited Space Opera campaign. More recently, my sci-fi gaming has switched to Judge Dredd and it seems most likely that this is where I'll use Nina. She is armed with a big carbine/SMG, which could be some kind of energy weapon (blaster, perhaps) or a large calibre projectile weapon. She is just a really nice figure and although I have no immediate need or use for her, that didn't stop me buying her. Yes, I'm just as susceptible to "shinyitis" as any other figure collector.
I know that when Carl got these figures from Shadowforge to sell on his webstore that he didn't get  many of them. It is good for him that he sold all his stock and good for me that I was able to get them before they sold out, but it's not so good for you if you really want any of these lovely minis.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Crooked Dice Doctor Who Figures 02

I recently finished painting three Crooked Dice Games 28mm scale Doctor Who companions, although for copyright reasons, CDG has renamed them. These were a lot of fun to paint.
First up is Daisy Taylor, whom Doctor Who fans will instantly recognise as Rose Tyler (played by Billie Piper). She has been sculpted in a very casual pose, standing with her hands on her hips.
In the centre of the group is Miss Freeman, who appeared as Martha Jones (as played by Freema Agyeman) in the Doctor Who series. She is also standing in a casual pose with her arms crossed.
Finally, is May Killan, who is better known to Doctor Who fans as Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan). This is CDG's second sculpt of May/Amy. The first one had her dressed up a Woman Police Constable with a night stick. This figure is much more casually attired and she has been sculpted in a walking pose with her hands in her coat pockets.
I imagine that most people would buy these figures to use as Doctor Who companions. But they work equally well as normal civilians and civilians are a lot like zombies - you can never have too many of them. Each one costs £4.00 from the CDG webstore.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Stoelzel's Structures SUVs

I recently made my first vehicles produced by Stoelzel's Structures - five SUVs. SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle and these have been on my "to do" list for a long time. I was delighted to see that Carl had included the SUV in his Auto Park set, as I had a very specific use for a number of these vehicles. I wanted a fleet of them to transport my Men in Black (see my previous three posts). I was just going to make four of them, but after a chat with my friend Mathyoo, he asked if I'd be making a yellow SUV as well? I knew I wanted my MiB vehicles to be black and was curious to know why he asked about a yellow SUV. He replied that the heroes used a yellow SUV in the film Zombieland. How could I have forgotten? He was right! Technically speaking, they drove a civilian Humvee but it does look very like Carl's SUV. So I ended up making five SUVs and here they are.
Vampifan has just got out of the yellow SUV to face down my full complement of Men in Black (still in their vehicles). Does he have a death wish? In truth, he's only here to give a sense of scale to the models. When I printed out my yellow SUV, I did not like how the yellow came out. It was far too dull and very dark. So I repainted all the yellow bits with Foundry acrylic paints in a mix of lemon, yellow and light orange. I'm much happier with this colour scheme, although I need to touch it up in a few places, which I'll point out below.
The four SUVs have had their roofs painted a nice solid black. They looked too grey to me but now you can tell straightaway that these are black SUVs.
The trickiest part of making these SUVs was with the front windscreen. For all the card vehicles I have previously made the windscreen has been flat. Carl, however, decided his models should have curved windscreens. No question about it, this is more realistic, however, it does present a challenge if you like to reinforce your models as I do. I like to reinforce my card vehicles with 2mm thick mounting card. This does not bend well, so for the windscreens I reinforced them with thin card. It still strengthened them and also allowed me to bend them into shape. The windscreens were undoubtedly the trickiest and fiddliest part of the vehicle to make. I have to admit that some of my windscreens came out better than others but overall, I managed okay with them all.
The black lines that I painted on the side of my yellow SUV are far too thick and messy. I shall rectify my mistake soon. I still remain undecided about whether to paint a number three on the two front doors of my yellow SUV as per the Zombieland SUV (see photo below).
Until I saw this photo I hadn't realised I had smudged some yellow paint on the rear window of the SUV to the left. That's another mistake that needs cleaning up. You could argue that they should all have different number plates but be honest, when you see these on a gaming table who on earth is going to notice their number plates? It doesn't bother me and it shouldn't bother you.
The comments I made about my paintwork on the opposite side of the yellow SUV apply equally to this side. I am normally a much neater painter than this and I'm not happy with my sloppy paint work. It bugs me so much that I will clean up my mess.
As I mentioned in the intro, I had never made a Stoelzel's Structures vehicle before. The Auto Park set contains a car sales room, car wash and garage repair shop as well as 10 different types of vehicle, each with a minimum of 10 different colour schemes. Great value for money for just £5.74. The curved windscreen will cause a problem to newbie modellers but other than that, construction is pretty straight forward. For a long time now I have wanted a fleet of black SUVs and there was never any doubt that they'd be the first vehicles I made from Carl's excellent set. I plan on making a lot more vehicles from this set in the future.
Here is the Humvee as used in Zombieland, with Wichita (Emma Stone) by the front door. It is not the same as Carl's SUV but it is a close match. I might modify mine to make it an even closer match. After all, I have three of the four heroes from the film already (Columbus, Tallahassee and Wichita). Do you think I should go the whole hog and convert it into the Zombieland SUV? My feelings are that I should. Then I can at least, rephotograph it with a cleaned up paint job!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

EM4 Men in Black

And so I come to the last of my three reviews of my collection of Men in Black figures. These five figures are all produced by EM4 Miniatures and if you think they look very similar to my five Copplestone Castings Men in Black that I reviewed last time you'd be right because Mark Copplestone also sculpted these. He made these way back in time when he worked for Grenadier Miniatures. However, when Grenadier went belly up, EM4 acquired their moulds and production rights. When Mark set up Copplestone Castings he  remade a lot of his old Grenadier figures but in slightly modified form so whilst they looked similar, they weren't exact copies. A clever move, in my opinion, as it allows us collectors to own two sets of lovely Copplestone goodness.
First in line is an agent firing his 9mm pistol. I like this pose as he looks very aggressive. Note the headphones and microphone he's wearing.
Next to him is another agent armed with a 9mm pistol. He is taking a cautious approach. Note that neither of the pistol armed agents are wearing sunglasses.
The next three figures are all armed with 9mm sub-machine guns. The figure in the centre of the group appears to be the leader from his pose. He is also equipped with a radio headset.
To his left is a very muscular looking African/American agent. With his bald head and surly expression, he looks to be one tough dude.
The last agent in line holds his sub-machine gun in a two-handed grip as he makes a threat assessment. He's on the alert for any danger.
As with the five Copplestone Castings Men in Black that I reviewed last time, these are a very nice group of figures, not excessively armed, and all nicely posed and sculpted. You can find these figures on the EM4 website under the Unpainted Metal Future Skirmish Suits range.They are listed as Ref 054 to 058 and they cost £1.50 each.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Copplestone Castings Men in Black

Continuing on from my last post here are some more Men in Black figures. These five 28mmm scale figures are from Copplestone Castings Future Wars range and are set FW24 Men in Black.
At the far left  is an agent preparing to fire his pistol, which looks to be some sort of 9mm type. He is the most animated of all the figures in this set.
The agent standing next to him is also holding a pistol, but his is of a design I do not recognise. Perhaps it is some form of advanced ray gun with the ability to disintegrate, freeze or shrink. Who knows with these guys? And what's this? Uh-oh - fashion alert! He has his hair tied back in a ponytail! The shame of it!!!!
Next in line are two agents holding pump action shotguns. The agent with the black hair and glasses is walking, whilst his colleague (who unusually, is not wearing dark glasses) is just standing still.
Finally, is an agent armed with a 9mm sub-machine gun, that looks like an Uzi but isn't.
These five figures retail for £8.50 from Copplestone's webstore. Mark Copplestone is a really great sculptor and I like this set a lot. Whilst none of the figures are particularly outstanding, collectively, they make a nice addition to my pool of Men in Black.