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Overhauling the paint cart (part 1)

Overhauling the paint cart (part 1)

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts. It is not like I have been idle.

A couple of weeks this summer were spend rebasing my trees and working on my forrest multibases. And there is also a fair amount of minis I painted for Marvel Crisis Protocol.

So why are there no new articles? Well I was having a good flow and did not take photos before our holidays last month. And right now I cannot take any to accompany an article.

The central heating in the house needed replacement and my hobby room serves as storage for everything in the cellar that had to be moved out of the way while the old one was removed (including cutting apart the oil tank) and the boiler room replastered in places and painted. Good news is things should be moving out of my hobby room later this week, but right now I cannot get near anything to take some photos.

So here is something small that I can show you pictures of. Almost ten years ago I build my own paint cart. Over the years it has performed a stalwart service as intended. The years are beginning to show with a few scratches and drops of paint here and there, as well as a general discolouration. These things will be addressed next spring when I will sand it off and give it a new coat of varnish (or paint it). The more urgent problem has become space though. Back then, there was so much empty space for paints, I could hardly believe I would ever run out. But this year it happened. I guess all the different periods combined with my addiction to have all required shades without having to mix them, led to me buying way too many paints over the years. Well not too many per se‚Ķ just too many for the cart. ūüėö All drawers were filled to the brim and in some cases I even had to put paints onto the dividers a to had them in their appropriate drawers. So a solution needed to be found.

For a short while I thought about building a new cart and repurposing this one. But I never really liked the idea to build something new, when the old was completely useable. And in the general wood shortage this summer I had problems finding boards of oak in my desired size. (Before someone asks… the markets in the United States and China paid above premium prices for timber last winter, so suppliers sold their raw timber there which led to high demand here in Gemany a couple of months later.)

As you can see in the picture above the biggest problem in the drawers are actually the dividers, which take up a substantial amount of space. All in all they only allowed for five rows of eleven paint pots in total per drawer and even in those rows space was not used effectively.

The solution that came to my minds was replacing the wood strips I used as deviders with laser cut MDF. I contacted Warbases (one of my two favourite manufacturers for laser cut MDF) and gave them my specifications for some custom work. I picked them up in person during our holidays in Scotland and fitted them after our return. The results were perfect and they fit into the drawers like a hand into the glove.

As a result each drawer now fits seven rows of ten paint pots (or twelve of the new acrylic washes and filters by Ammo by Mig). In other words each drawer can now hold (at least) fifteen more pots and I have extra space for another 90 pots in the cart. Just to bring the idea home. The picture above is the same drawer with the same mount of paint pots (plus one extra pot) and one can see how much space there is left. Let‚Äôs see how long this lasts! ūüėČ

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2021 in General, Warbases

 

Late War Fallschirmj√§ger army

Late War Fallschirmj√§ger army

Even by the standards of this blog, my output seems to have been low for some months now. Well it is not that. As some might know, last year I decided to tackle an old project of mine. A mid to late war Fallschirmjäger army for the eastern and western fronts (Italy will see a seperate one). So I started of with some artillery and a PaK 40 as well as some support weapons, mortars.

Around New Years I began the project in earnest with everything you will in this post. As I said this had been a long time coming, since with the exception of 15 minis all of these had been cleaned and primed 15+ years ago. So it was long overdue to get them table ready.

Before anyone asks, with the exception of a few minis I will point out, all of these are by Victory Force Miniatures. Which might seem like a problem, since their range is only about a maximum of 20 different models strong. But as I said these are meant I represent a 1943 or 1944 and later force. By that time many units had seen a huge influx of new recruits trained and equipped at different times. So while some men still had old one colour Knochensäcke and helmet covers, others had Splittermuster (which came in distinctly different shades depending an manufacturer and batch) or Sumpftarnmuster. So that allowed for a lot of variety. Some went for painted metal items (helmets, canteen cups,…), trousers and ammo bandoliers. All in all these led to a very colourful force and I am happy to say… there are no two minis that share the same pose and colour scheme.

For the time being, these are based in the Fallschirmjäger list from Battlegroup Overlord, which will also work for the eastern front or later periods like Market Garden. If other lists for that period get published in later books, I will mostly likely tweak this force.

So up first is the battlegroup HQ.

Fallschirmjäger Battlegroup HQ

Up next are the spotters for all that artillery they have. The officer with the Scherenfernrohr is by Offensive Miniatures, the soldier with the map is from Warlord Games

Fallschirmjäger artillery spotter team

To make sure that these guys can actually reach the artillery, there is also a radio team (standing in for a wire team under the rules).

Fallschirmjäger radio team

The prone sniper is a converted Heer sniper by VFM, the sniper / spotter team is from Warlords plastic range (although I think I needed to convert the rifle to be scoped).

Fallschirmjäger snipers

There are two scout foot patrols. I rather like them, since they pack quite some punch with their FG-42s. As some will notice, the second team comes with G43s, but those will serve as stand-ins for the FG-42s.

Fallschirmjäger foot scout patrol
Fallschirmjäger foot scout patrol

On to the infantry platoon HQ.

Fallschirmjäger infantry platoon HQ

Plus those platoon support options not done last year. Writing this, it dawned on me, that I am still missing the medic for this force. So I think there will be one more mini to paint.

Fallschirmjäger MG-42 HMG team
Fallschirmjäger Panzerschreck team

Now all three Trupps, with the exception of one NCO and one LMG assistant, feature the same minis. But as I said above, I think the variation in clothing / equipment colours and a few head swaps really makes them all look different.

1st Fallschirmjäger Trupp
2nd Fallschirmjäger Trupp
3rd Fallschirmjäger Trupp

The rules give the option to swap one of the regular riflemen for a secong LMG or two equip up tomtwommen with Panzerfäuste. So I build those options as well. All these are Warlord plastics (with the exception of the first and forth from the right with a Panzerfaust).

Fallschirmjäger LMG options
Fallschirmjäger Panzerfaust options

So what is left now. Well some anti aircraft and heavy anti-tank firepower.

For the anti-aircraft option I went for a 2cm FlaK 38. Essentially I see this as a light force and felt that a manhandled single barrel FlaK made more sense than a Flakvierling.

The model is a 1:48th scale plastic kit and the crew are converted Warlord plastics. I felt that since the kit gave me the option to depict the gun in any state I wanted, it would be nice to show it in the process of being limbered up, hanging half in the air.

Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38

And for the heavy anti-tank option I went for an Acht-Achter. I felt this was needed, since the Fallschirmjägerlist gives them StuG III or PzKw IV support at most.

The model itself is an old 1:48th scale FlaK 18 by Bandai that I have had for ages. I felt it would fit this force well, so it received some weathering and was given a Warlord plastics crew.

Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18

So this is it. All in all 96 minis, most of them in camouflage clothing. While I really, really like the result, I am really fed up painting Splittermuster and Sumpftarnmuster, especially all the ‚Äěraindrops‚Äú. So I guess it will be at least 2023 before I start on the Volksgrenadiere (or so I say today).

Full Fallschirmjäger force
 

German vehicles for World War II

German vehicles for World War II

Now this post is something old, something new.

To put everything into context, I have been wargaming World War II for about two decades ago. Back when I started there was not too much around. The big names were Black Tree and Artizan. My choice of miniatures, namely Victory Force Miniatures, was exotic, especially when living in Europe.

Bolt Action (not the game, but the company that would later be sold on to Warlord to form the nucleus for the game of said name) was still a twinkle in Paul Hicks eyes. Due to that vehicles were far and few in between.

You had the choice between a few small ranges from the US and Canada and the old Bandai kits in 1:48th scale. I went for the later, partly due to the fact that I was able to acquire a largish batch of both assembled (in various stages of disrepair) and unassailabled state.

Not that the choices for paints were much better. Tamiya and Vallejo both had ranges far below the size the are today and AK and Ammo were not even in existence. Same went for colour guides.

So why am I rambling like this. Well to underline that some of my choices when it came to painting things were a bit… let’s just say experimental. Some were good or OK even by today’s standards (like you will see later on), others were completely out of the park (like the one that led to the repaint of all my American tanks two years ago).

But with those that were fine… well weathering back then was usually a fine mist of dust airbrushed on around the tracks. No longer up to the standards I use today. Obviously this means a distinct visual difference between the new and the old. So those old models that will not require a complete makeover, will be brought up to date as time goes on. The plan right now is to do a few every time I work on new vehicles.

The ones I decided to start off with are the workhorses of the German armies, the Panzerkampfwagen IV. In this case the H version.

Just to give you an idea what they looked like before, here is a couple of pictures pulled from the archives:

[photo had to be edited to comply with German law]
PzKW IV
PzKw IV

So what do they look like now? Let’s start with turret number 311, or as it is called now… turret number 126.

PzKw IV H

As you can (hopefully) see I added chipping to the edges, scratches to the Sch√ľrzen (they often scratched against the vegetation or buildings, leading to them being ripped off or scratched), rust streaks, a wash to give it all more definition and a filter to blend the colours in a more natural way. Now all of these were applied to the other tanks (old and new) as well, so I will not repeat myself there.

So why the new turret number? To make sure the decals would not detach when working with the washes and filters, I gave all the decals two coats of varnish a couple of days before I started. I might have done so back when I originally painted these, but since I could not remember anymore, I felt better safe than sorry. And it worked on all the other tanks, but not this one. With the decals rubbing off I also had some more freedom here. The paint job (field applied Hinterhalttarnung variation) is distinctly late war (fall / winter 1944 or later), but the old turret number were more mid war. So I went full later war with white outline stencilled numbers.

PzKw IV H

Turret number 713 aka ‚ÄěStyx‚Äú also has more of a late war vibe to it. Around 20 years ago I saw newsreel footage of a StuG III somewhere on the Eastern Front taken sometime during the last two or three months of the war. It featured broad brown roughly vertical bands with green lines snaking around them on the skirts. I found that camo impressive, especially since the green lines would ‚Äěhide‚Äú behind the brown on every second crossing, giving that camo forced perspective. So I decided to use it on a PzKw IV.

PzKw IV H

I will probably change the tank commander miniature later on though. While a black uniform would not be out of the question late war, the Schiffchen does not feel right.

PzKw IV H

Turret number 304 has more of a mid-1944 feel to it. So I felt this would be the perfect one to add ‚Äúsome‚ÄĚ foilage against allied fighter bombers. I decided against that for the two above. After all those are for the late fall 1944 onwards period, when tanks featured no leafie braches any more (you do not find those during the cold months).

PzKw IV H
PzKw IV H
PzKw IV H

Only half of the PzKw IV were painted with rust on the exhausts. Since these would usually rust fast in real life, I wanted them all this way. And since I wanted a uniform look on all of them, I simply redid them all.

PzKw IV H

Turret number 313 had features a camo of diagonal stripes often seen during 1944 and would have been a fine candidate for foilage as well. But back then it took me a whole evening to cut the skirts to turn them into field workshop chicken wire Sch√ľrzen and I did not want foilage to distract from them.

PzKw IV H
PzKw IV H

Rounding off the PzKw IV family is a Flakpanzer Wirbelwind.

This is a New Millennium Toys model that were available for cheap in the US for a short time nearly two decades ago. The paint job was absolutely horrible and so I redid that ages ago. It received the same treatment as the others. It is still awaiting its crew. I still have a crew from Eurekas Jurassic Reich range that fits it well. But right now it’s whereabouts on the lead mountain are unknown, so until I find them, it will remain uncrewed.

Flakpanzer Wirbelwind

Some of the details on the model are weak (or utterly wrong), but one can hardly complain for a model that cost less than 10 US$ back then.

Flakpanzer Wirbelwind

And ending the old ones is a Raupenschlepper Ost or short RSO.

I painted this one ago based on a photo of one in a museum (most likely not an original paint job, but I liked it. Last year I decided to use it as the tow for my Fallschirmjäger PaK 40, which got a matching paint job last year.

RSO
RSO
RSO with PaK 40

Kicking off the new is a Styer 1500a radio truck. I absolutely love the Styer for its rounded chassis and when I saw a conversion kit for the 1:48th scale Tamiya kit it was a must have for me. The rack for the fuel canisters on the roof is scratch build.

Styer 1500a radio truck

This one will serve as the radio truck for my late war Fallschirmjäger force, so this was a good time to paint it. The keen eyed amongst you will notice, that it sports Heer and not Luftwaffe number plates. Well in the end it will also serve as the radio truck for other rosters, so I went with those plates that fit most of my forces.

Styer 1500a radio truck

Personally I think the sky reflecting in the windows will need towing down… what do you think?

Styer 1500a radio truck

And rounding things off is a StuG III to complete a unit started three years ago. It felt like a good time, since they will be required to provide some armoured support to my Fallschirmjäger when needed.

Unfortunately it turned out a little darker than the old ones. I am sure I used the same shade of Dunkelgelb as I did back then. So I can only assume I used a different wash or filter. But to be honest… a lot of vehicles even within the same platoon usuall looked quite different. This is due to the fact that most vehicles were camouflaged by their recipients and that the paints came as pastes that needed to be mixed with liquids before application. They could be mixed with virtually anything (water, fuel, fuel oil, all kinds of oils and spirits) and applied by any means (airbrushed, brushed on, rubbed on with paper, rags, bare hands,…) which led to vastly different shades. So I can live with it.

StuG III G

Looking at the photos I realised, that the radio truck and StuG are both missing some dust. This shall be rectified when I next break out my airbrush.

StuG III G

This is it for today. For all of you who noticed all the Fallschirmjäger references… stay tuned for the next post, which will be a massive one!

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2021 in Battlegroup, Rules, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

Inhumans and She-Hulk for Marvel Crisis Protocol

Inhumans and She-Hulk for Marvel Crisis Protocol

I am trying to keep up to date with Marvel Crisis Protocol, which is no easy feat, since they are setting quite a pace. Until the latest batch arrived at my door last week (still have not found the time to unpack them), these here kept me ahead of things. With the exception of Crystal they all posed a challenge to me for different reasons.

First is Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans. I really liked his pose and the ground being broken up by the sound waves of his voice is a nice effect. Tried to keep the painting classic (probably because he never appealed too much to me in the comics and let‚Äôs not even go into the TV show ūüėČ), so he looks a bit bleak. But I am happy with the result none the less, probably due to his clear lines.

Medusa, the Queen of the Inhumans, gave me headaches for her trademark hair before I even started. As you can see there is lots and lots of it. But the sculpt hardly has any structure to the hair. So I was a bit afraid, that I would be able to give her enough individual strands of hair, but not to overdo it while not messing up the direction of the strands. Plus the sculpt also makes it hard to reach every part of her hair. So this is actually the first MCP mini I painted in two parts (body and hair). I began by painting individual strands over the base coat in red browns. After the second or third colour (and maybe as many hours) I came to the conclusion that no matter how many more colours I would use for additional strands, I would never arrive at a point where I would be happy with it. So I gave her hair two very light drybrushes with lighter red browns using the ‚Äúnew‚ÄĚ Army Painter drybrushing brushes. And that did the trick.

Lockjaw was a big challenge to me. I really love dogs, but I hate painting them (as I do hate painting any animal for that matter). Usually I get over this by picking a dog I know and just mimicking his or her fur pattern. Now neither our dog, any of the dogs of my friends or any of the rescue dogs we were foster parents to this year even remotely resemble Lockjaws breed. So I just went with one of his early comic renditions (with pretty basic looks) and painted him up that way. Which makes the mini itself look a bit bleak. So I put a little more effort into his face in hopes it makes him pop.

Crystal by all means did not give me any problems. Nice mini, nice colours. Only thing I did not like was the wave of water supporting her right foot. To this day I cannot understand why they included clear plastic wings for Wasp but seem to be unable to do the same for this (or Cables force shield). So I just left it off. Which worked well enough. Except I broke her off at the left ankle (not where the parts are glued together but a millimetre or two above that) shortly after painting her. And another time right before this photo session. And once more afterwards. Safe to say, I will now have to do something about it. So I will probably rebuild that wave using clear acrylic. More photos of her once that is done. But to anyone thinking about doing the same and leaving the wave off… do think about pinning through her foot. I doubt the mini is going to withstand gameplay otherwise.

And last for this batch is the She-Hulk. For a while I had been contemplating swapping the iron girder she is throwing for something else. Things that come to my mind where a vending machine, porta-loo or even the TARDIS. Now I had to wait a little longer for this mini to be delivered. And while I was waiting lots of other people put all these ideas and many other good ones (including a Bernie Sanders at the Biden inauguration) into action. Did not want to feel like a copycat, so I just left her as she was. I am happy with her skin. So much so that I really regret going more of an MCU route with my Hulk when I painted him in olive greens. Only thing I am not too sure about is her face. For some reason I feel I painted it in a way that it looks like an Ancient Greek statue.

So this is it for today. The next few posts will take us back to historical subjects (including the big project that kept me from posting too much this year), some enhancements to some old vehicles and a reboot of a terrain project, all of which I hope to put the finishing touches on this weekend. So please stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2021 in Marvel Crisis Protocol

 

German bicycle troops

German bicycle troops

There are two periods of WWII that I really like to replay. One is the very early period (1939 to 1941) and the end (1944 to 1945). The last few months are especially interesting, due to all the odd units and vehicles one can field. One of those odd units are bicycle squads.

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich has them in the form of Hitler Jugend tank hunter squads. Unfortunately there are no minis for that in 28mm, but Offensive Miniatures has some regular Heer / Volksgrenadier minis on bicycles. So these will simply serve as stand-ins.

The minis are nice sculpts, but I have to admit, they are also a bit fiddly. No more than any bicycle troops from any manufacturer I have seen, so I could live with it. The equipment and Uniforms are very varried (not quality wise but regarding to the equipment they represent), which really conveys that late war feel.

I used a lot of different shades of Feldgrau to underline the precarious late war supply situation. For the same reason, the bikes were painted different shades of Dunkelgelb and Grey as well as civilian colours to represent requisitioned bikes.

All in all they should make a very nice colourful late war unit. Really looking forward to fielding them, once COVID allows for regular games.

 

Targaryen Heroes, Swordmasters and some Zorse Riders

Targaryen Heroes, Swordmasters and some Zorse Riders

As my ongoing side project, I managed to put some work into my units for A Song Of Ice And Fire (ASOIAF). As long time readers of this blog will know, I (usually) only play with painted units. Usually, because ASOIAF is the exception. But that does not mean, that I do not try to have as much painted as possible. With Lannisters still being seven units shy of being fully painted, but my Targaryens being up to date, the later and the Neutrals will see the most love when I find the time to paint a unit now and then.

The Characters have been painted according to their descriptions in the books. The one who gave me some food for thought was Her Baristan Selmy. The books give no mention of his shield after he joined Daenerys, but the shield he carries rather looks like it requires a sigil. So I wondered if it would be the Sigil of the Selmys or House Targaryen. In the end I settled for the later, since it provided a better contrast with his otherwise light colours.

Ser Jeorah Mormont, Strong Belwas and Ser Baristan Selmy
Ser Jeorah Mormont, Strong Belwas and Ser Baristan Selmy
Unsullied Swordmaster Captain, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree and Grey Worm

The Unsullied Swordmaster were also done according to the books, as far as they are described. I gave them bronze armour, although a very dark one and black tunics to give them a generally menacing look. I also gave them a varied skin colour to underline that these were slaves bought from all kinds of places. The only downside is that the black skin of some of them (like the Captain above) provides very little contrast to the rest of the minis.

Unsullied Swordmasters

Unsullied Swordmasters

Unsullied Swordmasters
Unsullied Swordmasters

Last for now are the Brave Companions (aka Bloody Murmurs) Zorse riders. I went a bit wild with their clothes and make-up to give them the motley looks they are attributed with in the books. They were fun to paint, but took relatively long for a four miniature unit. For that reason I am not exactly looking forward to their twelve men infantry unit.

Brave Companions (aka Bloody Murmurs) Zorse riders
Brave Companions (aka Bloody Murmurs) Zorse riders [front rank in focus]
Brave Companions (aka Bloody Murmurs) Zorse riders [rear rank in focus]
 

Polish tanks for 1939

Polish tanks for 1939

A few days ago I was replying to a comment on my Polish infantry, when it dawned on me, that I never posted pictures of their armour, even though I finished those nearly two years ago. So here we go.

Years and years ago I was planning to do a 1940 French army (no longer necessary, since my mate Martin owns a very substantial one now) and I bought six Renault FT (also called FT-17) tanks from Trenchworks. Now the Trenchworks models are on the expensive side, but to be fair, these are some of the nicest resin models I have worked with. Extremely detailed and extra clean, bubble free castings. All the turrets sport holes for magnets and change of main weapon (both magnets and weapon options are provided). So it would have been a shame if I had to sell them on at a loss. Fortunately the FT seems to have been the tank virtually everyone bought from the French in the interwar period and the Poles were no different. So this gave me a chance to use them with my Polish army. The Poles actually did some modernisation on the FT before the German invasion so the tracks are not 100% correct and they used a different turret, but I guess without me mentioning it, hardly anyone would have noticed.

Polish Renault FT tanks with machine gun turrets

While I wanted my Polish tanks to feature the soft edged rectangles camouflage pattern, I quickly realised that this would be a nightmare to airbrush with the very angled frontal armour and the forward return roller assembly protruding out front. So I went with the wavy line pattern for the FT tanks.

Polish Renault FT tanks with 37mm cannons

Everything from here on (both tanks and crews) are by Warlord Games. The vehicles are all very nice, but one can really notice the difference compared to the Trenchworks. The Warlord models all have very, very tiny air bubbles which do at times really show after the weathering was applied.

Up first are the TKS tankettes. I have two with machine guns and one with the 20mm cannon. I always liked their looks, so these were a must. But I have to admit… I would not want to imagine going to war in one of these. Granted, their profile was extremely small, but their armour was so weak that I guess you could just as well have gone into combat as part of a machine gun team, with an even smaller profile.

Polish TKS tankettes

Now on to something heavier, the 7TP tanks. The name is somewhat ironic, since it refers to them being ‚Äú7 ton Polish‚ÄĚ versions of the Vickers 6 ton Mark E produced under license, but by the time the went into production, they actually weighted in at 9 tons. I have two 37mm anti tank gun versions and one twin turret machine gun version. Since the Battlegroup Blitzkrieg rules call for different numbers, I am sure that I will add another AT version sometime in the future.

Polish 7TP with 37mm gun

Polish twin turret TP7

And last the Samoch√≥d pancerny wz. 29 ‚ÄúUrsus‚ÄĚ armoured car. Which is actually quite big, heavy and well armed for an armoured car. I went with the wavy type camouflage on this on. All eight vehicles that saw combat were part of 11th Cavalry Brigade and all photos that I could find showed them with this type of camouflage.

Ursus armoured car
Ursus armoured car
 

HUGE batch for Marvel Crisis Protocol

HUGE batch for Marvel Crisis Protocol

Yes, I have been quite idle (again) lately. Mix of different things… being an essential worked the pandemic has kept me busy and while I have been painting a fair lot (the Fallschirmj√§ger army is progressing nicely, too), there was a long spell when the weather was to bad to spry varnish the minis. And once that had changed it was a case of ” I will only add a few more minis and then I will post them all on the blog”. Which as you all know turns into an endless circle.

Anyway, with regards to Marvel Crisis Protocol (MCP) the only things I have not painted are Starlord (who seems to be hard to get here in Europe unless you are willing to pay a premium) and the recently released Inhuman and She-Hulk (all in the mail as I type). So in other words… I have caught up with Atomic Mass¬īimpressive release schedule. Which seemed to be a good moment to post the latest batch of an impressive 34 miniatures total. Some of these minis have been sitting around a while been being varnished and having their photos take. I noticed you can spot some dust on some minis (most noticeably on Valkyries hair) or even some spiderwebs on Toads chest. Sorry about that.

Lets start with the last mini actually finished… Thanos. I deleted painting him until last, since I had been in no mood to paint his throne, which essentially was a couple of hours work for something I would rarely put on the table. But I am happy with the results. Had to go back to him due to a freak accident. I varnished him on wednesday but forgot to take the mini back inside. We had some gale force winds during the night and he was blown off the table. He took some massive damage to one of his shoulders (on the level that sculpting was required). Oddly enough, while the throne disintegrated into four pieces no paint was damaged on it.

Up next is Gamora. Just like Drax I would have loved a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) version of her and for a while i thought about converting her mini. But I decided that this would be too much effort and with Atomic Mass already having released two versions of Black Widow, who is to say they will not release an MCU version of her later on. In the end I really liked painting her, although all the fine black lines and the white armour were a huge pain in the behind.

And up next her adopted sister Nebula. There is lots of crisp detail on that mini which made her extremely fun to paint. Unfortunately the frontal photo of her was blurry, so just one shot of her.

Nebula
Nebula

And while we are talking Guardians of the Galaxy… there are Rocket and Groot. ASs long term followers of this blog know, I hate painting animals and Rocket was no different. But in the end I think he turned out OK and I was able to do the mini justice.

Groot on the other hand was right up my alley and I think the fasted MCP mini I painted (less than 45 minutes total including drying times).

What I really love is what they have done with these minis. Groot ramming his arm into the tarmac and Rocket riding on it, where it resurfaces.

Rocket and Groot
Rocket and Groot

The Kingpin is an interesting mini. It is very bleak in a way, after all it is just a bold, fat man in a suit with a cane, so there is not too much about it. But the pose just has so much character that I always love looking at it. Shame that the brush brush I applied the base coat with was no longer the best and left some chips on his chest.

Kingpin
Kingpin

Taskmaster is a cracking mini as well, especially the shield and cloak were lots of fun to paint. Not entirely happy with the face, but I am not going to redo that, since one of the paints was a bit too thick (which is part of the problem) and I fear I would loose too much detail geeing it another go.

Just like Kinpin, Bullseye is a simpler mini, that takes a lot of its looks from the pose. And I love how he hides the throwing knives behind his back.

Who would these fine gentlemen be without someone to contest them. Someone like Daredevil. A lovely dynamic mini, but what I did not like is that he is propelling himself off a headstone. Apparently the idea was to tie in with the Christian motif of the character, but I simply felt it was at odds with the basing in MCP, which is all urban streets and not parks or graveyards. So I took the newspaper box from Superman (Miles Morales) and put him on that. And a little graffiti also gave it a Christian motif.

So what is Spiderman (Miles Morales) jumping over these days? Well the bin from the core set seemed like a good choice. I sculpted some trash into it and positioned it like it is tumbling over. The trash bag next to it is from Spectre Miniatures (only took me about three years to catch a moment when they actually had it in stock).

Ghost Spider did not do that much for me, but still the very bright pinks and blues were a nice contrast to the black (which actually has a lot more nuances than the photos make it look) and white of her suit.

So what would Spiderman, although that is rather the Peter Parker version, be without his arch nemesis Green Goblin? While I absolutely love Willem Dafoe playing him in the movie, I like the fact that they went with a more comic version, allowing for brighter greens and oranges on the mini.

Between priming and painting him, I actually managed to rip the pumpkin bomb from his right hand off. Since I have no idea when or where it had happened, I assumed that it had found its way into the vacuum cleaner and thus the bin. So I was quite happy when early February we found it between the leg of the kitchen table and the wall. So the mini is complete after all.

And to keep in the Spiderman setting, there is also Venom. Did not expect this mini to be much fun to paint, but the face and tongue actually made up for all the black.

And while we are talking about big minis… there is always the Hulk. I did not want to go the bright green route Crome the comics with him so I went for the more subdued olives from the MCU. Turned out larked than I had wanted, but still I am going to keep him this way.

Again with Vision, I wanted to give him colours based on the MCU rather than the comics. Unfortunately they turned out different shades than I had wanted. And in this case I am rather unhappy about it. Especially since it is such a nice sculpt.

By contrast I am rather happy with the colours on Ant-Man. What does strike me as strange though is the sculpts on this one. I can understand, that they went with the MCU suit, which has become rather iconic, but why did they use different suits for the normal and tiny sized versions?

I made a small change to the tiny version and that it is running up a pin from a soda can (real life one). I felt this emphasised his small scale better than some cracked tarmac that is supplied with the mini.

With Wasp I rather went for a more comic style look, since her suit was not that close to the movies. Again, the tiny version was placed on a huge nut to emphasise her small size.

Before I move on to the Asgardians, I have to say that while I love MCP for the nice sculpts, the Asgardings are very much on top of it all. Both Thor and Hela are absolutely stunning sculpts and Angela… I have been painting mini since the early 1990¬īs and she must be amongst the top ten to top five sculpts i have painted in all those years.

So let’s start with Thors. Went with a grey rather than a black tunic on him since I felt it complimented the mini better and painted the scales onto his legs that were not there on the sculpt itself. I had long thought about doing some lightning effect on his hammer and in the end went for it… what would he be without some thunder and lighting? I decided to do without some OSL, since I really liked him as he was and felt that it might overdo it.

Hela is an absolutely gorgeous sculpt and the dark greens of her suit combined with the light greens of her “magic” just make her pop! I extended the magic mists onto the base by sculpting some more tendrils. adding the skulls that actually came with Thanos felt right for her and like it or not… six skulls would have been lost on his throne (as they say in 40K… needs more skulls!).

So Angela… such a lovely animation, pose and crisp details. In a way I wish I had read her comics before I painted her and I would have done the ribbons differently and would have given her warpaint around the eyes. But I am still so happy with the paint job, I am not going back.

You can almost feel sorry for the other Asgardians, since they are nice sculpts by all means, but simply pale before the other three. Loki is a really nice sculpt, although I struggled with his face that simply captures the grandeur of the character in ints pose.

Enchantress was a bit monotone with all the green (should have gone black pants as she has in some comics) so I simply had to give her red mists for contrast.

And last of the Asgardians is Valkyrie. I flipped the left hand sword around into a defensive pose (which most sword masters with tell you is daft). Once painted I found , that I should also have changed the pose of the hand to bring it closer to her lower arm, but alas… it will stay this way.

Getting back to earth… there is is Winter Solidier. Went with a bleak colour scheme to give him a cold war movie Russian feel.

With the Punisher I gave him woodlands MARPAT pants as a nod to his Marine heritage (and to break up all the black). Really happy with how they turned out. Same for the blood on his shirt. Big shame I struggled with his face.

And up last are the X-Men and Mutants. I was not really looking forward to these. Especially the X-Men as I was in no mood for blue and yellow spandex. So I decided to approach them like a band aid… one quick pull and be done with them. Man was I mistaken as they were all huge fun to paint.

But starting with the Brotherhood of Mutants, namely Magneto. I was not really happy with going the plum / purple route of many comics or the blacks and greys of the movies. Jesse E. from the Furios Finest Podcast (BTW… if you are interested in MCP, really go and give it a listen, while I have given the link to Apple podcasts, they are available on virtually any platform) suggested white. So I went with 2019 X-men comes books run looks. While there is hardly anything except white on the mini now, it looks cracking on the tabletop.

Mystique has a nice pose but I have to admit, she is somewhat bare. Simply went with the Surf look.

Toad put me a but between a rock and a hard place. Really liked the sculpt, but did not like the jester looks I found in the comics. Then someone posted a picture from a comic (I must have missed) on Facebook the other week showing him in greens with greenish skin and I absolutely loved it.

With Sabretooth I went for fairly classic colours again, although I gave the fur and his hair different colours.

Moving on to the X-Men, Cyclops was the prime offender when it came to blue spandex. While I would have loved to go for the 2019 X-Men looks on him as well, his suit simply was too different, so it was more of a classic scheme. But once I painted him, I really liked how the colours played out.

With Storm I went for the 2019 X-Men looks and I like how that complements the skin. While I used the exact some colours on her lightning bolts as I did on Thors hammer, they came out far darker, but I still think the look fine.

Again Wolverine was a prime offender for the yellow spandex, but starting off with ochres instead of yellows toned that down. The yellows and blues are actually more nuanced in real life than on the photos.

And bringing it all to a close is Beast. Absolutely love sculpt and it is only when you start painting him that you realise how detailed it is. I went for the hand option with the book, since… what is more frightening than your opponent being so calm that he is taking the time to read a book while fighting you.

So this brings the total to some 60+ minis as of now.

All my Marvel Crisis Protocol minis painted so far
All my Marvel Crisis Protocol minis painted so far

For those interested… I have also included a slideshow of the previous minis below so you do not have to click through the old posts.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2021 in Marvel

 

A happy new year

A year ago today I saw this picture (although it said 2020).

Back thenI thought it was pretty funny. Little did we know that some of these might not be that easy for some of us.

In this sense I hope that along you and your families made it through 2020 safe and sound. Wishing you all a good and healthy 2021! Take good care of yourselves!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2020 in General

 

Next batch of minis for Marvel Crisis Protocol

Next batch of minis for Marvel Crisis Protocol

Right now I am immensely enjoying painting minis for Marvel Crisis Protocol so this is the batch I started before our holidays and finished afterwards.

As promised in my last post, I took some better photos. Unfortunately I forgot that this meant I should rather dust them off before taking photos. So if some of them show fibres and the like… those are not baked into the paint job.

Black Widow, Agent of Shield
Black Widow, Agent of Shield

Up first is Black Widow, Agent of Shield. This is her second version in the game. Having painted the first one on classic colours (black suit with yellow trim and red hair) I wanted this one to look different. So I went with the look from the movie Avengers: Endgame. And I have to say… I like how that turned out.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

The mini for Hawkeye is based on the comics, but I felt the bright purples did not really fit it. So I went with dark purples going burgundy, like they did in the movies to give him a more subdued look.

Killmonger
Killmonger

Up next is Killmonger. First things first… I did away with the Panther statue he comes with, since I could see absolutely no reason, why that would be standing in the middle of the road. Resting his foot on the curb only makes him lean forward to slightly, so that was an acceptable alternative for me. The mini is pretty bare, except for the weapons and necklace, so I gave him Multicam pants. Makes him look a little more interesting and gave me a chance to try out a new paint set.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

I have to say, I really loved this mini. Again it is based more on the comics than the movies, making the details a little bare at times, but the cape was a joy to paint. And I was feverishly awaiting the right time to fit those aftermarket spell rings to the mini.

Wong
Wong

The other mini from that box, Wong, left me a bit struggling. I envisioned him in bright, but otherwise bare clothing. In the end I feel he is a little too bare. But I am unsure if I should really crank it up. Maybe a few mystic flames embroiled into his sleeves and legs?

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider was a bit of a conversion effort. While the original pose of him doing a wheelie was not bad, I felt him sliding his bike was more iconic. So I converted the mini until one leg was resting on the ground and added more flames. Contemplated keeping the chain metal in some spots, but he end decided to make it flaming hot. I also thought about painting on some OSL, but there is so many flames on this mini that a lot of it would have been covered in OSL and I felt that this would be overdoing it.

Ebony Maw
Ebony Maw

This minis seems to be a hybrid look between the comics and the movies somewhat leaning towards the later. But with the colour contrasts it was rather nice to paint. I know a lot of people have gone really elaborate on this basing, making him hover inside a whirlwind of debris, but I rather liked him just hovering.

Black Dwarf
Black Dwarf

Up next is his brother Black Dwarf. Again I converted this mini a little bit, sculpting on a pair of abs to raise him from the hunched over pose. I struggled a bit finding a good colour for him and went for an orange brown on him. Unfortunately, after filters and oil paint washes he turned out rather orange for my taste. By a twist of fate I have a second Black Dwarf (first pack I bought was misplaced), so I might eventually end up converting and painting another one.

Corvus Glaive
Corvus Glaive

The next member of the Black Order is Corvus Glaive. Great mini and a magnificent pose. I decided to go with a very dark green, which is almost black to the naked eye. Looking at pictures from the comics, I often had a feeling, that was rather painted in greens, so that felt right to me.

Proxima Midnight
Proxima Midnight

And last in this batch is his wife, Proxima Midnight. Again great mini, although it took me a while till I had the shading the way I wanted it.

And that is actually the last mini from this batch. But… there is already 13 more finished minis on my workbench, just awaiting their basing and varnish. So there will be more.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2020 in Marvel, Marvel Crisis Protocol