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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes: Leopard Girl #1

Forgotten Heroes 2017 entry number two. Leopard Girl.
I started off with a Crooked Dice 'Classic' Pandora King stock figure.
Sawed off the top of it's head with a razor saw.
Then used a scalpel and warding file to shape and smooth the metal - then I washed it in warm, soapy water and scrubbed the miniature clean with a toothbrush (bought for that purpose).
Using Greenstuff modelling putty I sculpted the Leopard Girl hood onto the miniature. Don't ask me how I did it, as I'm still learning as I go and am surprised it turned out as well as it did!
The tools I used were a pick (imagine the thing a dentist uses) and a shaper bought from Games Workshop years ago. I use clean tap water to help lubricate and smooth the putty while working.
I sketched out a rough image of what Leopard Girl's hood should look like - as my stupid phone wouldn't display the photo I'd taken from off the computer. Stupid technology! 
Wanting to go all fancy, like a certain Mr Awdry, I began working on the base. Supergluing some garden gravel to the base, and atop each other, smoothing out the joins and joints with modelling putty. I've even gone to the extreme of purchasing tiny 'leaves' basing material to make the basing look good. I can see I'll have to keep buying scenic basing material from now on.
The only thing I might add before painting is a couple of large teeth to the leopard, hanging down and atop Leopard Girl's forehead. But I'll make that decision next time. I've also spotted the leopard suit's neckline is right up under the chin, so I'll need to model that on, definitely. Oh, and then there's the fact the model has a belt sculpted on and boots, whereas Leopard Girl doesn't. Damn. More work.


Friday, 23 June 2017

Colonel Bill's: Great Little Army For Sale*

*I didn't know what to call this, in case a Google search for extremism linked to this. Stranger things have happened!

Quoted from Colonel Bill's Facebook:

Currently for sale in our online store is a beautifully painted 28mm Islamic Crusades skirmish army. We understand that these are Black Tree Design metal figures and, they would equate to a 6 point Saga (cross & Crescent) army. They would also be very suitable as the basis of a larger Hail Caesar army. There are 51 pieces and we have them for sale for £265

LINK to the sale
Cheers for looking

Monday, 19 June 2017

Steel Fist Miniatures Samurai Finished

I managed to finish off the basing of the four figures after I returned from yesterday's outing to the local gaming group's game (see last post). All that is left to do now is varnish and hand over back to Stu at Colonel Bill's - and hope there's no complaints!

The fourth figure:
another spear-armed figure
Yari (槍?) is the term for one of the traditionally made Japanese blades (nihonto) in the form of a spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear. The martial art of wielding the yari is called sōjutsu.

Sasaho yari, a bamboo leaf shaped yari.
It was very sunny when this photo was taken, so please excuse the sashimono
banner being effected by the glare
The finished four:
Back when I started work on these figures, I mentioned I'd leave off commenting on the price of the miniatures till after I'd finished painting them. Well, to be honest - speaking as an individual who has no vested interest in sales - I think they're expensive. 

Yes, they are beautifully sculpted and the casting is excellent. The poses and ornate armour of each individual figure is great. They paint up really well and the task of painting was made all the more easier thanks to the good sculpting and casting. But, at £3.75 a figure, - purchased in pre-selected blister packs of multiple miniatures - they're expensive if viewed as an option to collect as wargame army troops. 

For such games that only require a handful of individually based Feudal Japanese figures they could, possibly, be considered an option, I suppose. But would I buy these figures to use thus, or would I go with Perry Miniatures? (for sake of argument, and picking a rival range at random - that isn't linked to Col. Bill's). To be honest, that would be a really difficult question. If I wanted a small 'warband' of figures that I was going to paint to best and play with regularly (to justify the expense) I might just go with Steel Fist Miniatures. They look great, even unpainted! And the majority of my (hypothetical) opponents probably wouldn't be using the company's figures for their own troops, so my collection would be all the more individual. 

I think the price question comes down to how the buyer makes use of the miniatures. If you get use out of them (however they'd be used) and enjoyment, then they're worth the price. I certainly can't find fault with them when talking about my experience of painting these four. Would I recommend the range? Yes. And then let the person make up their own mind. 

Cheers for looking

VBCW game - The Battle of Scruton, North Yorkshire

Just a quick post to show that I do get out and socialise. I went over to Scruton, yesterday, as a visitor to the Old Guard gaming group's Sunday gaming session. There was a big VBCW game being played out and here's a few links to other blogger's reports on the day for those interested.
used without permission of D.Docherty
Martin Cooke - the man behind the game

Dave Docherty - the man commanding the Anglican League

Matt Crump - the man commanding the Cumbrian Royalists

Steve Kelly - again, no blog report yet, but the man commanding the British Army troops

I wasn't playing, but did join in with the laughter as the comedy of events and double-triple-crosses played out (yes, it was that type of game). I don't know if the gaming group is open to new members, but it is worth checking out the blog reports to see the carnage!

Just to link this to my own output - I am, intending, to take part in this year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge with a 28 man, 1 horse, 1 cart, 28mm VBCW force designed around a British Army regulars platoon, who've still not received the latest equipment of '37 Pattern nor Section and Platoon support weapons. In other words, '08 Service Dress, Stokes mortar and a single Lewis Gun, no SMGs. But certainly should be classed as better trained and disciplined, even if at a disadvantage of numbers and firepower.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Plans For Forgotten Heroes - Figures 2 & 3

My second, intended, Forgotten Heroes [LINK] entry will be a character from the recent Powers (tv) show: Calista Secor.
Powers is an American series adaptation of the Powers comic book series published by Marvel Comics under their Icon Comics imprint.

The Powers series' plot (from Wikipedia):
""In a world where humans and superheroes called "Powers" co-exist, a former Power, Christian Walker, has reinvented himself as a homicide detective after his own powers were taken from him. He and his partner Deena Pilgrim work for the Powers Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, investigating crimes involving superhumans, who are at once crimefighting heroes and pop celebrities managed by specialized advertising agencies.""
Calista Secor (series) bio:
""Calista Secor is a "wannabe", meaning she hangs around with powers, wanting powers of her own. She also may or may not be homeless, and is seen wandering around. Calista is convinced that she has powers that will awaken someday, and she intends to use her powers on her abusive father for hurting her mother.""

In series 2 of the program Calista is proven correct, that she does have powers. She models herself on her own Powers hero, Retro Girl.
Calista Secor (comic) bio:
""Calista Secor is a young girl who develops a close bond with homicide detective Christian Walker when she's placed in his temporary custody. Walker was responsible for arresting Flinch, the criminal who murdered Calista's mother. It is believed that Calista contains the reincarnated spirit of the hero Retro Girl, making her a Power. She has demonstrated special abilities and used them to become the second Retro Girl.""

I'm hoping to recreate a miniature of the live action series Power character, as portrayed by the actress Olesya Rulin.
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My third, intended, Forgotten Heroes entry will be a 1950s comic heroine.

When I first read the rules for FH I didn't really know what character to attempt. In fact, I hadn't the first idea. So, reading the suggestions (the Leopard of Lime Street being a BIG help), I did a Google image search and found Leopard Girl.

I've found a couple of short bio's for the character:

""Gwen was the secretary for a scientist who works in the middle of the jungle because civilization is too noisy for him. Gwen is given a mystical formfitting leopard outfit by a witchdoctor which grants her enhanced agility, knowledge of the jungle and the ability to summon leopards to aid in times of trouble.""

""Gwen was the assistant to scientist Dr. Hans Kreitzer, who had travelled to the jungles of Africa to conduct research. Unknown to the Doctor and her fellow assistant Peter, Gwen maintained a dual identity, the Leopard Girl, feared by criminals and respected throughout the jungle by natives and animals alike. Even the jungle ghosts liked and helped her. She often worked with a pack of leopards whom she summoned and controlled with her "cry of the leopard." ""
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So those are my other two for FH. I've done a Google search and gone through some companies that sell superhero miniatures, but can't find any figures of the two readily available. All that is left for me to do is put in an order for the stock models and then try to get them done before the end of the month.

Cheers for reading