Thursday, April 30, 2020


Plague Toads are daemons from Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Apparently they are pretty much neglected in the official rules, but they did get representation in miniature courtesy of Forge World.

The models are cast in resin and require some minor assembly (the front feet and some of the horns come as separate pieces).

I bought these toads a few years ago with the intention of painting them in the garish colors that I saw on the web (which is what attracted me to them in the first place).

However, after priming and applying the base coats, the colors didn't really appeal to me anymore.

Recently I decided to get them finished, so I redid the base coats in earthy colors, although I left the purple paint that I originally used to color the insides of their mouths.

I think that Plague Toad A turned out the best.

Plague Toads B and C are okay, but maybe the colors are too dark or overly uniform.

From the pictures I saw on the web, a lot of people had fun with painting the pustules and whatnot on these models, but I don't think I could bear looking at them on the tabletop for any period of time if I had done that.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Larval Stalker

The Larval Stalker is a ghost-like entity that comes from the original Silent Hill video game. They don't get much in the way of attention because they are harmless, and don't really play a large part in the game.

I've always liked them because of how strange and mysterious they were, so I decided to finally create a sculpt after years of toying with the idea.

The beta texture for the Larval Stalker offered the clearest image to base my sculpt on, since it is not transparent.

I carved the body out of plastic sprue, then used staples to make the arms and legs. The head, limbs, and details were fleshed out with Kneadatite.

Once things settle down a bit and I am able to get more stable with my finances, I'll try to order some mold making supplies so I can cast the sculpt in clear resin.

Part of the lore in Silent Hill is that Larval Stalkers eventually turn into Stalkers, but I'm more of the opinion that Stalkers are just a variant of the Gray Child (just more difficult to see).

Making Gray Children was easy because I planned on modifying pre-existing figures.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received an order from Khurasan Miniatures at the beginning of the month, and part of the reason I made the order was because The Flayed from their Apoc666 line of horror minatures, looked like good candidates for Gray Children.

The miniatures are possibly a bit shorter and thinner than I would prefer, but they'll do.

There are two different looks used for the Gray Children (or three if you include the Mumbler).

In the Japan/Europe release, the Gray Child was changed to the Mumbler because of concerns that the final texture for the Gray Child was too similar to a human child.

In any event, I sculpted both the beta texture and the final texture versions of the Gray Children by building up the heads of the Flayed with Kneadatite.

I then drilled some holes into their hands and added some filed down staples to represent knives.

If you are wondering about the blue Sharpie markings all over their bodies, it's for an experiment to see if I can produce veining on the figures.

After spraying a coat of solvent based primer, the Sharpie bleeds to the surface. I think the technique doesn't quite work on figures that are this small, but the primed figures kind of resembles the Gray Children from the Silent Hill movie.

I'm not sure how well the blue will stay visible after I start adding my gray washes, but we'll see.

On a separate note, the other Apoc666 figures are also quite interesting. I got some Lurkers in Dark Places, and I would have gotten the Cercopyths as well except I didn't want to go over budget.

I'm thinking these guys can make great Bone Devil imps (while the Cercopyths would make great Demogorgon quasits) along the lines of what's happening in D&D with Yeenoghu quasits or Yeenoghu dretches in Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus.

The aforementioned creatures are available in the D&D Icons of the Realms line. Yeenoghu's Dretch (Baldur's Gate Descent Into Avernus #12) is on the left, while Yeenoghu's Quasit (Baldur's Gate Descent Into Avernus #01) is on the right.

The Lurkers are taller than the quasit, but I think they all look good together because they have similar builds.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Howard the Duck

Back in the day, Archive Miniatures produced a number of duck miniatures sourced from Marvel's Howard the Duck.

I can't say that I've ever read any of the stories, but I am familiar with Howard from the covers of the old comics.

Howard the Barbarian

In any event, I've always considered him to be the inspiration for the Durulz race, which first appeared in miniature form from Martian Metals and Citadel. The first three ducks on the left are Martian Metals Armored Ducks (RuneQuest 7001). The lone duck on the right is a Citadel Duck Adventurer from the RuneQuest Adventurers box set.

I always wanted to make Howard part of my Duck Army, so I bought a cheap HeroClix Howard (Deadpool and The X-Force #035) on eBay a while back.

When I started to rebase the figure I noticed a couple of things that seemed to be off about the sculpt. Why was he wearing pants?  Where is his cigar? Was this some sort of effort to make Howard respectable?

I did some searching on Google, and found out that in 1977 Disney forced Howard to wear pants under threat of legal action. I didn't find out anything about the cigar, though I think this particular sculpt is the 2015 series version of Howard in which he doesn't ever seem to have a cigar.

Anyway, this was unacceptable, so I had to depants him and return his cigar.

The first problem though, is his body shape. This is very apparent when he is compared with the other duck miniatures.

To be clear: he has no butt to speak of.

Sir Mix-A-Lot would be sad.

I carved away his pants and sculpted a duck-butt out of Kneadatite.

I'll probably do a little more work on the modification because it still doesn't look quite right, but that's it for now.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hirst Arts Blocks

I dug out some Hirst Arts pieces that have been sitting in a box for a number of years.

The pieces look like they came from the following molds:

Water Cavern Walls A (Cavern Mold #81)
Water Cavern Walls B (Cavern Mold #82)
Rock Cavern Pillar (Cavern Mold #84)
Cavern Floor Accessories (Cavern Mold #282)

I always thought that these were one part castings, but it isn't the case as some assembly is required. The Hirst Arts page is a trove of information, and I was able to put the parts together very quickly after taking a look at the instructions.

The pieces that I have were cast in Hydrostone, which went together pretty well with wood glue.

Once glued together, I could still see seams between the parts, so I used spackling paste to cover the gaps.

I didn't really see mention of doing this on the Hirst Arts site, but since they recommend using latex house paint with the pieces, maybe it's not necessary due to the thickness of the paint.

The natural stone arch was joined by pinning. Hydrostone is easy to drill, and the pin was attached using CA glue.

Spackling paste was used to make the arch look continuous and fill in the gaps between the parts.

I also did a little modification on the cut stone archway because the reverse side of the supporting pillars were completely devoid of features.

I carved some details into the pieces with a needle file to approximate the other surfaces of the pillars.

I recommend wearing some sort of mask if you do this, since I think I ended up giving myself Hydrostone silicosis in the process.

For painting the water cavern pieces, I plan to follow the rock wash technique described on the Hirst site. I like the cream base color because it conforms to the color that I see in pictures of actual caves.

The dark gray that is used in typical prepainted cave features seems to be the preferred standard of most people, but I don't think I've ever seen a picture of a real stalagmite or stalactite that was dark gray.

The rock cavern pieces will be painted in the typical dungeon gray colors.

Currently I've base coated all the parts, but I probably won't be able to finish painting until the weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Venus figurines

"Venus figurines" is a term used to refer to Aurignacian and Gravettian carvings of the female form created during the upper Paleolithic period.

From White and Bisson (1998)

The Venus figures that I own however, are more contemporary. The figure on the left is the Reaper Fertility Idol (Bones Black 44093), while the figure on the right is a doll house miniature of unknown manufacture.

The Reaper figures is a 1/2 scale representation of the actual Venus of Willendorf, but at 1/72 scale it would be closer in size to the New Venus of Willendorf (sans Crocs) created by Paweł Wocial.

The Reaper figure came with a base that I thought was too busy, so I rebased the figure on a plain metal washer.

Because of its size, the Reaper figure reminded me of Hudekin the Giant Idol (Thane Tostig 12) from Minot's Miniature Armoury.

Hudekin is supposed to be holding the sword Blood-drinker aloft, but I misplaced the sword somewhere.

The doll house Venus is a representation of the Venus de Milo, which scales out very closely to 1/72.

I patched a couple of casting flaws in the miniature, then sprayed a couple of coats of white paint on her, and she was finished.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Rakshas (ラクシャス) is a character from Kentaro Miura's Berzerk, and I immediately thought of him when I first saw this HeroClix figure of Phantazia (X-Men the Animated Series The Dark Phoenix Saga #032).

I don't know much about Phantazia since I pretty much stopped reading Marvel X-titles after Chris Claremont's tenure on the X-Men ended, but she was worth the entire 79¢ I spent on her.

Phantazia towers over 1/72 scale figures at 32mm, but since she is just going to be the foundation for my Rakshas figure, it doesn't really matter.

I cut off the upper portion of her torso, then cut out her face to use as a mask. The body was filed to scale down the proportions, and the face was filed to round it out. I should have just sculpted a mask from Kneadatite though, because it would have been faster and easier.

The mask was pinned to the body, and a third eye was carved in the center of the mask. The teeth at the bottom of the mask were created with some dabs of epoxy.


I painted the mask referencing the colors used in a limited edition figure set manufactured by Art of War. However, in the anime, the eyes of the mask are yellow/gold, while the official color art has shown all the eyes as being orange/red.