Friday, July 29, 2016

The Egg of Coot

I will have to admit that when I originally bought the Witch Coven of Garlghast & the Egregore set by Privateer Press (34035), it was really because of the witches... but since they weren't 1/72 scale, the set languished in my giant pile of unstarted miniatures for years.

Selene and Helleana

Recently, I decided to paint up the Egregore after seeing some nifty examples of basing for the model [1],[2]. While planning my build, I found out that Warmachine players nicknamed the Egregore, "the Egg". I did not make the connection immediately, but it dawned on me that "the Egg" would be a great representation for the Egg of Coot from Blackmoor [1],[2],[3],[4].

This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego. At one time (millennia ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown. In fact it is not even known for sure if he (it) has a physical appearance. Theories say that he is now a huge mass of jointly operating cells, a huge mass of Jelly, a giant thickly hided egg, pure energy, a man, a mass of living rock, etc. It is generally acknowledged that the physique of this creature is too horrible for any mortal to behold and that it carries out its activities through the use of surrogates which it controls or has programmed. All communications with this beast are through direct mental contact or via his throne-room which is dominated by a huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine, through which it communicates directly via voice transmission from some other area of its City-Palace.

The First Fantasy Campaign

For my own take on the Egg, I stretched and formed clear plastic rods over a flame to represent the ichor that is supposed to pour from the Egregore. The plastic was attached to a washer with clear epoxy, and then painted with Tamiya Smoke (X-19).

The painted Egregore was then epoxied to the plastic rods extending from the base, while some plastic representing dripping ichor was affixed to the side of the model.

I think that I might add a bit of patina to the bronze parts, but I'm still not completely decided on it. The base also needs some final touches, but I'm otherwise pretty much finished with this model.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Knights, Death, and Barbed Devils

Knight, Death, and the Devil
Albrecht Dürer - 1513

Originally titled Reuter (The Rider), Albrecht Dürer's engraving eventually became known as Ritter, Tod und Teufel (Knight, Death, and the Devil). There has been a lot of context assigned to the engraving by various people with different agendas, but nobody except Dürer can say for certain the intended meaning of the piece.

It really just goes to show that a work can develop an identity of its own, and in many ways make the intentions of the creator irrelevant.

Anyway, onto the actual subject of this post, which is primarily about miniatures of knights and barbed devils.

I finished painting these two figures not too long ago. The left figure is a Ral Partha Paladin (Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night 01-112) which was also available in the Fantasy Champions box set (Best of Ral Partha 10-306). The right figure is the Ral Partha Briar Rose Knight (Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night 01-107) which was also available in the Adventure Fellowship box set as a Chevalier (Best of Ral Partha 10-305).

The paladin is painted in the colors and heraldry of the Grand Duchy of Ellay, while the Briar Rose Knight is painted as a knight from the Kingdom of Troy.

The next set of figures include a Minifigs Plated Armored Fighter w/ Sword & Shield (Fantasy Folk FF-016), and a Citadel Female Fighter in Plate Armour (Fantasy Tribe Fighters FTF32).

I believe that the next pair of knights are also from Minifigs, but I do not know which lines they come from.

Representing Death is the Grenadier Charon, Boatman of the Styx (Fantasy Lords 175).

One of these days, I'm going to make a figure similar to this of Death in a straw boater hat poling a Venetian gondola.

First up for the barbed devils are three plastic figures; a DDM Barbed Devil (Angelfire #35), a Pathfinder Sentinel Devil (Skulls & Shackles 015), and a Horrorclix Terror Demon (Base Set #078).

The first two miniatures are modeled after 3.5 edition barbed devils, and have spines on their backs. The clix figure has the look of a more traditional devil, but it has some spikes on various parts of its body and a barbed tail.

In metal, we have a Heritage Barbed Devil (Dungeon Dwellers 1288). A different Heritage Barbed Devil was also in the Demons & Devils boxed set (Dungeon Dwellers 3520). My figure was actually from the GFI Creature Pack II (Dungeon Dwellers MIF25921808).

The figure on the left is mostly covered in scales, though there are spikes on its back. It is also probably larger that I would like a barbed devil to be. The second figure has good height, and the back is completely covered with barbed spikes. Unfortunately this figure seems to be pretty difficult to come by nowadays.

There were also other lesser devil sculpts that could be found in the blister set, but the one that came in my blister was more of an imp.

Last up are the ex-Center Stage Miniatures Barbed Devils now available from Pacesetter Games & Simulations (Demons & Devils BAD1).

These guys have the appearance of the Trampier barbed devils that we know and love, but they are really too big for use with 1/72 scale figures. They also have a distinct lack of barbs on their backs. Otherworld also makes some barbed devils in this style, but they are too tall as well.

The next pictures are of conversions I did on one of the Minifigs knights and the Pathfinder Sentinel Devil.

Before and After

Before and After

Maybe you had an inkling of where I was going with this post, but here are the two converted figures posed in the start of a tableau based on the iconic DCSIII illustration from the AD&D Players Handbook.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stalin's Sledgehammer

Another subject that has not been produced by plastic model companies in 1/72 scale is the 203 mm howitzer M1931 (B-4). A resin version of the howitzer was produced at one time by AER, but the kit looks like it would be a bear to prepare and assemble.

Once again though, Altaya comes to the rescue with a model of this sadly neglected subject.

The barrel can elevate to to about 45°, but the limber is glued in place so it cannot be displayed in firing mode.

The same model is also sold by War Master, except with a different color scheme and some weathering.

Since both howitzers are in travel mode, I've pre-ordered a couple of Trumpeter Komintern Artillery Tractors to tow them (maybe Trumpeter will make a 1/72 version of the howizter as well).

The following images are some interesting photos of the howitzer that I found on the web.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Little Bulldog

The M41 Walker Bulldog is an American tank that has not been represented in 1/72 scale by the plastic model companies despite its widespread use by many nations.

I have three types of diecast models of this tank. The first picture shows the War Master M41A3, and the Amercom M41A3. I believe that the Amercom model is identical to the original Altaya version, so that is how I will refer to it from this point forward.

The War Master and Altaya models are similar, but despite the superior finish on the War Master model, there are certain aspects that are better with the Altaya model. I believe that the hull of the War Master M41 is a copy of the Altaya model, but some of the surface details seem much softer.

The turret of the War Master M41 does not have the softness of the hull, and seems to be a new tool with a more accurate commander's cupola.

The most objectionable part of the War Master model however, has to be the road wheels, which are all connected to each other by plastic strips. I guess these make the model easier to manufacture on the assembly line, but they look horrible. I'm going to see if I can cut them off without damaging the model at some point in the future.

The next comparison is of a Hobby Master M41A3 (of which there are now 10 different versions) and the Altaya M41A3.

The finish of the Hobby Master model is excellent, and details like the headlight guards are not overly chunky like on the Altaya and War Master models. The downside of the Hobby Master tanks however, is that they are very expensive.

Finally, a comparison of all three tanks.

The overall dimensions are pretty much identical for length, width, and height.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

I am always on the lookout for offbeat monsters to throw at adventurers. One of those finds came a long time ago, when I bought a bunch of cheap Dreamblade miniatures and saw the Slaughter Boots.

I was thoroughly taken by the idea of giant animated boots (or were they boots worn by an invisible giant?) that would stomp all over everything.

More recently, I found a small trading figure that bore similarity to the Slaughter Boots.

Based on the copyright information on the bottom of the figure, I was able to identify the pair of strange creatures as Hell Hoppers from the Dragon Quest games.

In the following comparison shot, the Dreamblade Slaughter Boots (Base Set #95) are on the left. On the right are the Square Enix Hell Hoppers (Dragon Quest Monsters Gallery Chapter 1, silver version).

The Slaughter Boots were cut from their base because I wanted the option of using a single boot if necessary. Magnets were installed in the heels so that they could be mounted on washers.

The Hell Hopper figures are slightly smaller than the Slaughter Boots, but I believe the actual monsters are supposed to be the size of regular boots. I like the fuzzy one-eyed creatures, and am thinking that they could be the manifestation of spirits that are animating the boots.

The only thing missing now is to find some sort of stats for them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dark Future

Games Workshop's short-lived post-apocalyptic Road Warrior/Car Wars-based game was released around 1988, and set in the year 1995. What made this game of interest to me was that the miniatures were stated to be 20mm, as opposed to their usual 28mm. The miniatures have been particularly difficult to find at a reasonable price, but there has been a slew of them on eBay recently, so I was finally able to obtain some examples.

From left to right are first release figures DF600108, DF600113, DF600114, and DF600117.

From left to right are first release figures DF600121, DF600127, DF600128, and a second release figure DF600148.

The figures are obviously dated with their 80s Glam Rock hairstyles, but they're otherwise good solid sculpts produced by Alan Perry.

The female figures in their heels are taller than their male counterparts, and look fine compared to George. The male figures are on the short, stocky side, but are otherwise okay. I will probably have some of them undergo height enhancement surgery though.

I doubt that I will complete this range of miniatures. A small sampling of figures is probably enough, unless I see them at a ridiculously low price. I'm still looking for some of the motorcycles at a price that is reasonable to me, but the design of the cars are a little too much Hot Wheels, and not enough Road Warrior/Fury Road for my tastes.