Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Snail, the Crane and the Frog

Hi All!

I've made the sub-light hop from Caprica to land on picturesque Arda, the planet of high fantasy and all this LotR. I've been looking forward to this as I've been in a sort of all-things-fantasy mood this past year, being quite taken by the game 'Moonstone', and preparing several 10mm Warhammer Fantasy forces for 'Monsters and Magic' (M2), the fantasy version of 'To the Strongest'.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was cruising around on MyMinFactory and came across this brilliant digital sculptor who goes by the handle 'CobraMode'. His/Her designs are incredible, exhibiting such a unique and whimsical vision. The overall aesthetic is a mystical medieval Asia, but with the twist of having anthropomorphic creatures as the primary characters - I find it's all very cool. Suitable impressed, I plumped down for several of the print files (okay, a lot of the print files). 

This little tryptic sets the scene of a Feixian sword-for-hire, travelling with his loyal pack-snail (squire?). They have made it to the outskirts of the Great Mushroom Forest when they are met on the road by a Hikiga swordsman baring their way. The Crane swordsman, sensing this is no simple highwayman, leaps from his faithful steed to attack. The Fog Ogre (Fogre?) takes up his 'stone pose', his petal-blade poised to meet the Feixian's aggressive approach...

I had a lot of fun working on all of these models as they're so characterful. Being a fantastical creatures, I just opened up a bunch of paint pots and sort of went wild.

The Pack-Snail is a hoot and is absolutely festooned with adventuring gear. 

If you look closely, in amongst all the baggage, you can see a sock drying on a line, a pot of soup being rudely jostled, and a rooster(?!) precariously teetering on his nest. 

I used various blends of contrast paint for his shell (btw Contrast Medium is awesome for colourshift blending) and, thinking him as a helpful creature, I added a Moorish target shield to his 'hand' (propodium?) which he's offering to his liege. 

I did up the Fexian swordsman in colourful layered robes that you would see in any Chinatown festival. As his pose is quite busy, I had to paint him while in his individual parts and assemble later. 

He's such a delicate figure that I'm rather dubious of his survivability on the tabletop. Oh well, such is the life of a Crane swordsman.

The huge Hikiga swordsman looks like a cross between a Maori warrior and a salamander. I decided to make him largely turquoise with trippy sigil-tattoos across his belly and circling his biceps. 

I had fun painting on the flower petals on his 'uge honkin' blade and doing his doo in a pink to azure blue fade. Kids these days.

All of these models are fairly large at around 54mm. The Snail and the Hikiga were one-piece prints, but the Feixian swordsman comes as five pieces and is quite complex to arrange in his leaping pose. I had to carefully drill out one of his legs to pin it to the base for stability (which I later camouflaged with the flowering shrub). 

Hmm. Not sure what I'm doing next, so we'll see where the star lanes take us...

Thanks for dropping in for a look - have a great day!

- Curt

Sunday, December 26, 2021

More1812 Russian Retreat French

I decided to add a few more figures my slowly growing 1812 Retreat collection.

These are all Perry metals. In my opinion, this range is some of the best work they've every done. They do a brilliant job of capturing the utter desolation and despair of these men trudging their way out of frozen Russia. The poses and postures of these figures do a brilliant job of conveying the brutal, numbing, and unrelenting cold of the environment. Brrr! 

I have to apologize as my iPhone camera struggles with the high-contrast grey and white of my snow bases. I finally had to shrug and give up.

Hmm, I'm thinking that these fellow would be perfect for a Silver Bayonet scenario - perhaps a story built around icy Ithaqua pursuing a group of cut off French and Russian infantry... Excuse me as I get my notepad!

Thanks for dropping in!

- Curt

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Felicity Foxcroft, Femme Fatale

I present to you Felicity Foxcroft, dilettante, freelance spy and all-around heart-breaker.

I've had this figure in my stores for quite a while, and for the life of me I can't remember where I got her from. She looks like a Hasslefree, Statuesque, or a Pulp Miniature sculpt. Hmm, I dunno. No matter, I think she's quite the dish with her slinky evening gown, long silk gloves, and, the ultimate accessory for a lady-about-town: a .38 snub nose revolver.

Felicity will be a welcome addition to our Pulp collection. I know for certain she'll charm the socks off of the next Shoggoth we happen across. 

- Curt

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Opening Entry for the 12th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - Marvin the Martian

Hello All!

Well here we are. After weeks of journeying we find ourselves on the outskirts of the Challenge XII Quadrant. 

I've decided to land on the planet of Klendathu, and discovered I was not alone in my explorations. A hostile alien, calling himself Marvin, is bound and determined on invasion and subjugation. Knowing the history of this planet, I tried to talk sense into the little fella, but he will have none of it, being bound and determined to claim this world for Mars.  I think it will all end in tears (if not disintegration), so I decided to beat a hasty retreat to my lander.


For our first entry I thought it apropos to start with the character featured on this year's Challenge poster, the persistently pugnacious 'Marvin the Martian'.

Marvin is a 3D print I came across while browsing through Thingiverse (thank you Amandasubic). Since he's sort of a wee chap, I scaled him up to around 40mm so he'll be noticed in the display cabinet. As you can see, I've kept it fairly simple for his paintjob. I wanted to keep true to how he was depicted in Looney Tunes, so I stuck to blocky, vibrant colours, with just a bit of edge highlighting. 

Next up: A Femme Fatale

- Curt

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Twelfth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge


Hey y'all, it's November 20th, and you know what that means. Yes! It's time for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!   Head over to the Challenge blog to get the details.

See you there!


Monday, November 8, 2021

Hobby Studio Build: Part IV (Wrap Up)

Hi all! 

It's been a few months since I did an update on my hobby studio build, so here's the final chapter on this year-long project. 

When I last reported the siding was just installed, which I think looks quite good, especially considering we had pretty much forgotten what we had ordered with the litany of Covid-reasoned shipping delays.

Next up was the exterior lighting. I went with two sets of two LED sconces, both along the exterior facing the greenspace, and illuminating our interior courtyard. For further safety and security, I augmented the sconces with a few small motion sensitive LED potlights installed in the eaves.

As we were heading into cooler weather, I was very keen to get the interior fully insulated, drywalled and painted, so late August was a very busy month taken up with these tasks.

First, we put in R24 batt insulation into all the vertical wall spaces.

I also installed a in-wall split air conditioner/heater. It will be handy for those hot summer days (we had a LOT of those this year), and will help augment the heat during the winter.

Unlike the nasty old pink insulation, this stuff wasn't too itchy and went in fairly quickly.

Then came the vapour barrier...

...the (incredibly heavy) drywall...

... and the taping, mudding and (super dusty) sanding.

After a coat of primer, I painted the walls with four coats of a fairly innocuous pale yellow. 

After the paint dried, I had it all trimmed out with simple pine with just a plain clear coat on it. I sort of like its plain, minimalist look.

...then I had to celebrate this milestone with a game with friends!

Okay, back to it. For the upper section and roof deck I was lucky enough to negotiate a  discounted price to have spray foam installed. I'm glad I did this as I found it really did a great job in sealing and insulating the upper space, and only took about 3 hours to have done. Win!

I'll probably have the ceiling finished in pine tongue-and-groove for a Scandinavian look, but that will be down the road as a late winter project. 

For the flooring, I found these groovy interlocking foam tiles that have a faux wood finish. They were as cheap as borscht (working out to less than a buck per square foot), can be cut to fit corners/edges with a craft blade, and provides a nice, insulated, cushiony surface over the concrete floor.

Once that was in, then the real fun stuff started, with the moving in of shelving, along with boxes (and boxes, and boxes) of hobby stuff.

Billy is your friend.

As a recap, the footprint of the space is roughly 350 square feet, with 9 foot high walls (allowing an extra few shelves of storage on all the units). The studio can comfortably accommodate a 6 x 8 gaming table with around 4 feet of floor space around it. So, quite a bit of room to get up and walk about during games without feeling too hemmed in.  

There's still lots to tweak and fine-tune (perhaps a bespoke gaming table?), but as you can see with my smug, satisfied smile, I'm very happy with how the whole project came off, and am looking forward to hosting friends to many hours of fun in the future. 

Thanks for dropping in folks. I hope you all have a terrific week!

Next up: My minimalist ECW project

- Curt