Saturday, 27 February 2010

Off The Shelf - 1 - Cyclops

Thought it might be an idea to show here things i've made before this here Blog was set up.
First up is this scratchbuild.
The main shape was a clear elongated dome that housed Ferro Roche chocolates. To that i added the cowls top and bottom at the rear just to continue the curved shape a bit more.
Veteran modellers might spot the Buck Rogers Starfighter engines being used amongst the kitbits.
I called it Cyclops because of the solitary window at the front, which i'd deliberately placed very low down just to make it a bit interesting.
I had a stroke of luck there in that its actually a clear button that i'd stuck on to the clear hull. Its had an unexpected pleasent sideffect of the two together conveying a real sense of depth and "something going on in there".
Colour scheme is a nod to Thunderbird 4 and, again unexpectedly, has come out similar to the Spindrift.
Can live with that.

Chaos Terminators - metals

Stopped poxing them up in order to lay down the metallics, seeing as they're going to be poxy too.
By the way, to my mind Nurgle armour is kind of like the knights suits at the start of Excalibur - beaten, rusty and grotty. So that's what i'm trying to emulate.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

RIP Ian Scoones

And another childhood influence goes from us.
First became aware of Ian's work (although i wasn't aware of it till much later) on the Gerry Anderson shows.
Then it was his work on Dr Who. Even though i didn't know who he was or what he'd done, there was something about the designs he was responsable for that i responded to - the Brain Of Morbius and Scaroth's spaceship being two good examples.
Of course, i was responding to the gothic, horror vibe which Ian had developed during his time working with Les Bowie and Roy Ashton on Hammer films - my next exposure to his work.
Finally it was Blake's 7, where Ian was Effects Supervisor on series 1. He was responisble for a lot of the designs - the London as seen here, the Domed City, the Teleport Braclets (altough Martin Bower changed the design slightly for ease of building) and the Liberator, although his very Scorpio-like design was nixed in favour of the final version (conversely, it was Ian who changed the elipse shape of the green power unit to a ball for ease of building).
As well as the stunning work above, something else that's always stayed with me is an interview with Ian in an early Starburst in which he said he used to cross the Medway tidal flats to the remains of the Napoleonic prison barges and find human skulls in the mud.
That bit of the estuary isn't too far from me and the thought of being able to go out there and do the same has stayed lodged in this noggin.
Goodbye Mr Scoones, a great designer, crimingly over-looked.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Clash Of The Titans Medusa

Must say, am looking forward to the remake. After all, can't really make it worse than the original, right?
The only thing that they'll be hard beat to improve on - and you know what i'm gonna say - is the Medusa sequence.
Rightly hailed as a masterpiece of stop motion animation and it would've been a fitting end to Ray Harryhausen's career, if only he hadn't done anything else on it.
Thought it would be an idea to show you my Medusa, which is by Geometric and pretty good.
What fails it is the bizarre angle she's at. Why do it that way? She doesn't do it at all in the film and it makes for a difficult photo angle, never mind displaying her.
By the way - she does have an arrow, it just fell off when moving her and i didn't notice until after i took the pics.

Slab Ship - cockpit windows in

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle - the eyes have it

So, what to do with the fellas single eyeball? I've seen some builtups that have the eye completely blank, which looks good but doesn't make sense - the other eye is closed tight, so how does he see?
Games Workshops builtup on their site has a large, brightly coloured pupil which i reckon looks terrible and is totally at odds with the grimness of the character.
Way i see it there's two ways i can go; large, dark pupil or small dark pupil. With the added question of: eyelid or not?
Had a go in Photshop and VERY crudely drew what i have in mind

Chaos Terminators - moving along

Here's the chaps in their basecoats and the first washes put on.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Solomon Kane

Watched this at work last night and thought it was... alright.
Can see what they were trying to do but it ending up rather "bitty" - lots of seperate scenes that were quite disparete and did'nt gel together at all.
I was distracted mainly by two things:
(1) James Purefoy's ability to, within a sentence of dialogue, appear in turns to be Vigo Moregenstern/Hugh Jackman/Robert Carlyle
(2) The lack of funds and,especially, shooting in leafless English woods gave it a real feel of Hawk The Slayer - a cult film for no discernible reason.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Chaos Terminators - all white on the night

Well, a rainy Sunday lunchtime that is.
Here they are primed in grey then in white, which is their basecoat. Glad i've chosen the colour scheme for them that i have - ink washes over white - as, with this amount of detail, it'll hopefully show everything up nicely.
The Captain you'll see is now based in green.
This is because the scheme i've chosen isn't too far off a flesh tone and, with him having his face on show and the amount of skulls and severed heads about him, there'd be no contrast and there'd be a danger of everything just blending together.
So he'll be having armour similar to the Prince.

Slab Ship - cockpit

Nearly ready to put the windows in, and here they are. On the left you have windows from a helicopter kit, on the right those from a B-19 and in the middle half a toy container (but this one might be too big).
I've painted them on the inside with black as it gives the outside a nice glossy finish, far better than a varnish would do.

Chaos Terminators - assembled

Had great fun yesterday chosing which torso would go with which legs and which arms. Very fast to do too as they went together easily with Superglue Gel.
Now they're built its seems my concern of the plastic bits being soft detail compared to the resin one's was unfounded - you can hardly see much and what you can i've covered with a bit of Gel Medium.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Chaos Spawn - all done

About time to put these fellas to bed. Just a few things like glossing the horns on the spikeyone and i'm done.
Kinda pleased with how they've come out but the two eyed one's eyes look kinda goofy. far too busy now with other projects to go back to them.

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle - a change of tactics

So, there i am getting near the end of doing his skin - just the eyeball, mouth and gore up the belly wounds - when i decide to put on the topcoat for the armour of Gretchin Green.
There's tons of skinbits poking through, along with numerous horns that look like they're part of him too.
So, as i'd rather do all the skinjobs at the same time, i'm gonna have to cahnge the way i do things. Usually i paint the way you get dressed - skin first, then up through the layers of clothing, then the accessories.
But here i'm gonna have to stop the skin, do the armour, then the clothing which is draped over it, then the flesh peeking out, then the rest of the metal parts.
Its real bad lighting here today so i've had to brighten up these shots in Photoshop so you can see what i've done (so they're nowhere near as pastelly or light as they appear here), which is to have finished the armour and rusted it up.
I've also put up a pic of his left forearm armour. I'm constantly suprised at the quality of the detail on this figure and this is a good example - a fly built into the workings with the trademark three-circle symbol of Nurgle on its wings.
I'm not going to highlight it any more than this as, to me, Nurgle subjects should be "realistic". By that i mean they should have a look akin to something like horror movies of Texas Chainsaw etc or computer games such as Resident Evil - muted tones, grim, rusty and plague-ridden.
More like how they appear in Games Workshops artwork rather than in White Dwarf.

Chaos Terminators

Having a trawl round Forge World's site, there's sure some excellent work there. Not so excellent prices though.
Something that did catch my eye is this little set for only 16 quid.
They're replacement torsos and shoulder pads for the Games Workshop Chaos Terminators, done in a Nurgle style - lovely and rotten and very detailed.
So i've got them.
Also been out and got the plastic terminators for their arms and legs.
Which presents 2 problems:
(1) If i use the arms and legs of the plastic terminators, i'm gonna have 5 spare torsos aren't i?
Got round that by buying up cheap 5 good guy terminators of the 'Bay which i'll cobble together to make some more.
But i'll then have 5 terminators with Chaos bodies and good guy arms and legs. Going to get round that by sculpting cloth, gore and poxy bits to disguise them.
Expect a new thread soon on that.
(2) Been playing around with the FW bodies and the GW legs and its glaringly obvious that the briallint, crisp detail of the FW parts clashes horribly with the very soft detail of the GW parts.
Got to think of a way round that.

RIP Lionel Jeffries

And so another link to my childhood goes :(
I loved the guy way back then and i watch his work now with awe - such a brilliant, eccentic, wonderful character actor that infused any film he was in, be it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Railway Children, Murder Ahoy and a standout turn in a Norman Wisdom film where, in the space of only a couple of minutes, he eclipsed the star.
I remember him best though for, at least with me, his defining role in First Men In The Moon.
A film which had a great impact on me, not only for the excellent Ray Harryhausen effects, but for Lionel's work.
Even at the age of 10, i could see i was watching someone special - not only his eccentricity played to the hilt here, but also the terrific acting when he's talking to the Grand Lunar as he realises the burden of responsability of his task.
And most of all the real sense of pathos at the end where he elects to stay behind on the moon.
It affected me deeply then and still brings a lump to my throat now.
Goodbye Mr Jeffries, you've left behind a great legacy - and i wish you'd been my dad.

Friday, 19 February 2010

USS Blen-Dah

Don't hold your breath, but this will be my next scratchbuild. Came across this blender jug while go through a bits box and i've always like the shape of it.
Have in mind to hacksaw off the handle, rub off all the raised numbers, stick this clear blue bit form a broken toy hoover and maybe stick ona couple of wings from a B-12 kit, downwards, rather like the B-Wing in Star Wars.
And do a red or yellow Peter Elson paintjob.

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle - icky

Decided to go the icky route after all - and i've started here.
Also based his armour in Catchan Green mixed with black then drybrushed in it neat.
And - tadaaaa- the winner of my armour paintjob is Mr White. Here he is sporting his lovely washed with red/green inks scheme, which i'll be using for future Nurgle troops - but not the Prince here or anything that has a lot of flesh on show as its just to similar to what i'd be doing there.

Music To Model by - 1

Dunno about you, but i always have to have something in the background while i'm beavering away.
Right now, to match the mood of the nasty things i'm working on, its the brilliant soundtrack to Sunshine by Underworld and John Murphy.
I LOVE the film - the designwork, the lighting, the beautiful look to the sun and space, the much slower pace than we've been used to of late in SF films but, most of all, its the score, which perfectly blends with the visuals.
So its a damn shame that we can't buy it.
Wish the legal wrangles were ironed out - i know its available on iTunes, and i've got it that way, but its not the same as having it in a proper jewel case is it?
Anyway, my favourite track is this one here, which is a reworking of Adiagio in D Minor that, happily, occurs more than once on the album and in the film.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle - skinned

Right, built the colour up from a Rotting Flesh/Black mix right up through to Bleached Bone then BB/White.
Umming and ahhing now as to whether to leave it like this, a dead, matt undead effect or to put washes on to make it ickier.

Blasts From The Past

Stumbled across a great site which documents tons of metal figures from the late 70's onwards.
REally chuffed by it as i've got (and had) loads of figures that, after such a long time, i've not a clue what they are, who they were made by, or when i got them.
Had a scrabble round my boxes and came up with these, which are Citadel and Ral Partha, the earliest being 1979 and the latest 1982.
That would mean then that i'd have been buying them in London when bunking off from college.
Apologies for the poor paintjobs - i had 30 years less painting experience then.

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle - colours

Here we have the Prince based in Rotting Flesh.
The troops in front are based too in different colours, ready for experiments in which colour to go with for the Big Boys armour.
So, left to right, we have:
Mr Rotting
Mr White
Mr Bone
Mr JA Grey

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Daemon Prince Of Nurgle

Still all Nurgled up, this is my latest go at this faction and - what a whopper.
He's 25mm scale, in line with standard Games Workshop figures but so big he could easily be used for a 54mm line.
A lovely bit of casting that went togther really well - didn't even bother with Superglue on parts this big and heavy (its white metal btw) and went straight to the Araldite.
You can see i've left his arms off. That's 'cause the details so nice on his belt and the inside of the arms it'd be a right bastige to get to them if i put them on before painting.
The four fellas alongside him came in the same post and are the bog-standard, pretty crappy generic plastic Nurgle Marines that i picked up cheap on eBay.
I've bought them as i'm not sure what to go with on the armour of the Prince, so will experiment with four different one's on these fellas.

Nurgle Greater Demon - all done.

Here he is then. A nice little diversion that got me back into the swing of doing icky skin tones.
Cheers matey.

Monday, 15 February 2010

The many lives of an Ovaltine jar - 2

Some progress here.
Top pic is where i've added some kitbits and some pinstriping for panels.
Next is the wings based in Black Primer. I've found a nice, quick, easy cheat when masking something up but you don't want to risk lifting up any of the exisiting paintjob, is to use clingfilm, as i've done here.
Third pick is after i've scratched me head and tried to work out what colours i used on the main body. Then the panels were picked out in pencil and evrything given a coat of satin varnish to pull it together.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The many lives of an Ovaltine jar

While looking around the Games Workshop forums and sites, this Drop Pod design kept taking my fancy. Even more taken with the folk that were doing their own scratchbuilt versions.
A lot of them have a nice contrast of a rounded main hull with the sharp, angular wing things.
So, thought i'd have a go. Trawling through the bits box unearthed this long forgotten, partially completed lump of plastic. I'm not sure if i've ever featured it here before but it started out as an Ovaltine jar.
Its shape was kinda like the Escape Pod seen at the start of Star Wars: A New Hope, so thought i'd have a go at one.
Soon gave that up as there was no way i could replicate the original (which was much bigger, being a paint bucket and, even if it wasn't, the donor kit parts would be waaay expensive) so decided to do a riff on the design.
Cut out the section at the front here as you can see for a recessed hatch, cut the top third of, put in a spacer then put it back on, loads of kitbits and, on top, the top off of a toothbrush holder.
So, painted it up and dirtied it down and put it on the shelf.
Fast forward a couple of years and it occurs to me that the style of it inadvertingly was similar to the Ma.K style and decided to reprime it and redo it in appropriate green camos.
Which i started to do - but then got distracted by something else and put it away.
And there it lay forgotten about until today.
Thinking now, this way up and with the bottom detail ripped off so it stands up, it could be the basis for a Nurgle Drop Pod.
With the added bonus of already having a lot of the paintjob done.
So, i'm off - here's how it is now with a coupla stabelising wings attached:

Friday, 12 February 2010

AFM 46

Just aheads up that the latest issue.
Its a bit of an okay one but raised higher by having an interview with Bernie Wrightson - a brilliant artist who's attention to detail just leaves me stunned. No more so than on his stunning work on Frankenstien.
His version of the monster is still the definitve for me.