Saturday, May 26, 2018

From The Dawn Of Time To The Age Of Reason - Big Box Reveal 1

Well, I spent the majority of my waking hours yesterday unearthing and sorting these figures from the giant box in order to actually use them in my wargaming (you know, their intended purpose?). There were some surprises, some things that were sadly missing, and some that gave more questions than answers. Here's about a third of it, from what I call history's "poky" phase. Which means less guns, more swords and spears.

Edit: I was trying to do a rough chronological order here, but realized when I was done I had some pirates between the ancients and middle ages. Please just don't notice that...m'kay? 

Cherilea recast Egyptians. I got these for a couple reasons. The first being I had just read "River God" and really wanted to wargame some Ancient Egyptian battles. The second being that the set came with the Cleopatra figure, which I thought was wild, as female army men, as the nomenclature implies, are exceedingly rare. These are good sculpts, though working with these now reminds me that the bases are a bit fiddly, and I had a difficult time working with them on carpets back when I got them (circa, I dunno 1999?)

Jecsan Recast Egyptians. I got these because they matched well (in terms other than color) with the Cherilea set above. Also, these guys had a greater variety of poses, and were more combat oriented in general. These had the same balance problem, and were quite prone to broken spears, as you can see in the photo. Also, I never did find horses that matched the rider poses well.

Marx Recast Pirates. I got these because I thought rival pirate crews would be great for Harold's Rangers, which was a wargame put out by (I think it can still be had, thought in it's second edition). This is where I start getting paranoid. I had more of these. In all the poses. There were 20 figures in 7 poses. Where are the rest?

Greek Soldiers and Cavalry. I don't know who made these or their provenance. My mom bought these for a project she did during her Latin class after she retired. This would have been 2-3 years ago in Southern California. I didn't have the heart to tell her they weren't Romans at all. Still, they are neat figures. I am a sucker for pre-painted figs, and the removable shields are nifty. Also, the cavalry fit their horses without too much aggravation, which always makes me happy.

Marx Recast King Arthur Knights. I don't remember when or where I got these, though I remember the primary motivation being the set had knights with weapons other than swords. Look, there's an ax guy, a flail guy, and the dude with what has to be the heaviest headed short spear in Europe. I do remember there being more of these fellows. Concern.

Accurate Medieval Men At Arms. At the time they were marketed as 100 Years War English Men At Arms, but this is what I see them marked as now. This purchase was inspired by Medieval Total War, which I played a lot of, because I was frustrated at how hard it was to find any middle ages soldiers who weren't knights in full plate. They are 1/35, which is frustratingly under-scale for most other makers, though I always rationalized it as being they were the only dudes not in full plate, which bulks you up, of course. These are troubling as well, since there were more, and some poses are missing. Specifically all the arches with angled anti-cavalry stakes. Looking up the info on these shows they have gone up in price...considerably, since I bought them.

Marx recast Robin Hood/Sherwood Foresters/ Merry Men. Again, middle ages figures that were not knights. Also, there was a Maid Marian, though she seems to have been lost. There were a LOT more of these guys as I recall. Though I am glad I managed to keep at least one copy of the guy running off with the treasure chest.

Monarch recast conquistadors. I got these chaps for wargaming as well. Primarily to go against Elizabethans and Musketeers, but they would have been good against Pirates, as well. Also, I at one point planned to get Aztec or some such figures for them to fight, though that never materialized. You will note, from his base, that the running guy is named 'Ned.' I have no memory of why.

Cherilea Elizabethans. I had a LOT more of these, as you can tell from the photo they are numbered into the 30s. That was for volley shot wound allocation, as I recall. Also, I only have 5 of the six poses. Though, the pose I am missing is a fellow with both hands in the air that I don't remember ever having. Still, if the rest ever turn up, we'll see if he's there. My favorite pose is the guy parrying with his hat. That was an honest to god fencing strategy in a time when hats were big and formed with wires!

Jecsan French Musketeers. Boy did I ever love these guys! I never understood why there was not more competition in this niche. Were kids in our era ever not excited by The Three Musketeers? I always thought it was pretty cool. These were great figures, heavy, solid, stood well. Durable too. I think I had 20, so a few are absent, but I seem to have all the poses here. Never did figure out what the guy on the far left, middle row was up to. Dancing? Again, never found the right horses for these garcons.

Cherilea English Civil War. I got these because you don't see a lot of swashbuckler type figures wearing period authentic armor, nor carrying polearms. The pose of the guy lunging with rapier, however, will not stand, carpet, hardwood, or otherwise. He will fall to his left. Every time. He is the reason I took all of these photos with the figures laying flat. Blame him, not me.

 Ideal recast pirates. I'm pretty sure these are all I had. I bought fewer on purpose because there were so few poses. I seem to not have got any of the guy sitting in the crow's nest, which is curious. Still, I remember these guys being some of my favorite figures for my early, small scale wargaming with toy soldier experiments. Though their lack of bases made for some frustrating times on carpeting.

That's about it for now, folks. I plan on Part 2 being Age of Revolution to Modern, and Part 3 be Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Weird Stuff. Look forward to it!

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Big Box of Toys - The Best Kind of Problem

Well, loyal, intelligent, kind-hearted, no doubt attractive might have noticed it's been a bit since I posted the next installment of the Green Hippos/Chaos Campaign. There's a good reason for that. The reason being I was hoping to be able to access this box full of toy soldiers. Now, I still have to go through and organize it, so expect a little more delay on the Hippos post.

Still though. Look at all that swag! I have only vague memories of what could be below the top layer of this glorious cache of Lostech. Will my clutch of 20+- Timmee M48 tanks be at the bottom? Maybe. Will my lost chivalric host be there, awaiting their final charge? Maybe. Will my Barzso Last of the Mohicans be setting one last ambush? Maybe. Rough Riders? You know the score. I know for certain there are Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Lido soldiers, Cherilea English Civil War, Swashbucklers, Jecsan Egyptians, and more, and that's just scratching the surface!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chaos Campaign VI - Green Hippos In The Wasteland

So, after our defense of the airbase, and our 'off camera' acquisition of the PARAMUS weapon system. the Green Hippo Rangers are ready to accept their next contract. We select the 'Vacationing in the Wasteland' track next, for what appears to be at first glance, a milk run. Guarding mines on the wasteland world of Acamar. Ruins and lava plains as far as the eye can see. The mines, while valuable, don't have the 'cash and carry' appeal of nearby high-tech targets, so threat is expected to be low. Then the warning for inbound pirates came.

The Hippos intercept the pirates at some ruins between their LZ and the mines. Impromptu sandbag revetments and a combination of masonry and mining equipment are deemed sufficient for some jumped up periphery pirates. Here we see the PARAMUS deployed in a decent firing position, as well as the Rangers' sections of rifle infantry, laser infantry, and short range missile infantry. Note the cunningly sourced 'lava wastes.'

Aforementioned periphery pirates. Hey, is that a Sirocco? How did a bunch of jumped up periphery pirates get a late model Marik assault mech? Well, chalk it up to some secret Word Of Blake support, I guess. Need to have another talk with the employer about these 'low threat' deployments. Seems the mech has a bit of an odd weapons configuration. Maybe call this the SRC-3AT model?

Nevertheless, after a hard infantry fight, as well as an intense laser duel, the Sirocco is disabled, and the pirate rifle sections routed.

Another shot, because I felt so clever staging this scene. It's my first time using cotton balls to mark a disabled unit. It went...okay. Comment if you have any tips to make this work better next time.

Anyway, the Hippos triumph again, with two of the three bonus objectives fulfilled.

  1. None of the enemies escaped the defender edge.
  2. An enemy unit was captured for interrogation (the Sirocco pilot lived, and was captured).
  3. Unfortunately, I was unable to prevent the last rifle infantry section from escaping the attacker edge, and missed out on the full completion bonus payout. Can't win them all, I suppose.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Amiibo customs- Sable

Sable got sculpt changes, base changes, nfs changes, new display with clay sewing machine, and it will be painted and mounted onto wood base when finished so it can be used/ displayed in the "client's" twitch room. So this custom has been fairly intense in the steps needed to create her. But it's been some of my best work as well. I miss doing customs on a more regular basis.

So I had started out with making some incisions to re sculpt the face. I had stared with a base coat of white acyrlic. Then I cut and taped off for a true base coat.
 which happened to be khaki cause that's what we had on hand.
 Looks good. I cut off the base thinking of sculpting a special base but wasnt sure what kind yet. It's a thought in process.
 Then I painted her on stream at

I also scuplted and painted out a clay sewing machine during off stream time for a special bonus add on. She's never without her machine after all!

Then I scuplted a base for the amiibo as well as the display. I did it out of air dry clay. Here's what my thought was for that...

I undid the nfc from the card,

I was thinking display, but I didn't like how it looked after drying. It screamed that it wasn't quite right. So I went back to thinking, but it took half a sec before something better came to mind.
So I cut her off the base and threw those parts away.

Meanwhile I win the internet for most adorable Animal crossing picture ever! Sable in a teacup! You're welcome internet!

So I coated the bases green gloss, we had it on hand too and it worked with her card color and machine color. Thanks universe!
 I placed the nfc chip on and used a old card for the cover which I then glued down.

 Things got a glass modpodge cover on it as well. And I glued the card down. I super glued the machine down as well onto the display.

Then I super glued the sable onto her base. And supported her while she cures.

 The mabel into sable is now complete and I am so happy with it! It looks so good and pro. It's off to it's forever home!

 So now I can do even more customs. I still need to remake a sable and labelle for myself. But I will be doing a few more custom jobs. I really do enjoy doing this, and I look forward to doing even more!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Who's Ready For Some Freedom?

My wife found these at some craft store. Pretty hilarious decorations, if you ask me. Don't know what the heck I'd use them for, or else I'd probably get them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Amiibo customs- Lucas

I have some new amiibos in the works. I have a charizard turned malificent dragon, and a lucas smash into SF giants baseball player (madbum).

Lucas is easy fix with a simple paint job and a few smaller items like ball and mitt outta air dry clay. It looks great so far. Took time to paint but it's easier than sculpting it myself.

So here's the paint job, no additional trouble with swapping bases or nfc chips.

 I did "MADBUM" with his brown hair and the black uniform. He's a popular pitcher from the SF Giants baseball team. GO GIANTS!

I sculpted the glove at a natural downward angle and curve like the real glove and a ball. I then painted the baseball white.

 then the glove was base coated a soft brown

 then I dry brushed technique a darker brown color to give the illusion of texture on the glove. Much like that of leather.
 can you even tell the difference?

The ball got the red stripe before being glued into place.
 All glued into place and bam! done.

In terms of customs, this was much easier. It was fun and I enjoyed it.

As for the dragon...

Malificient got a base coat- thicc painted with fusion paint so the white is very solid on there and looks almost dipped. I then took a bit of spray paint and some nail polish remover to "frost" the plastic stand so the orange of charizard doesn't show through. A little technique I learned long ago.

But since it never cured right and I like pro results I am currently undoing the white coat to redo it better. There is no point in trying to cover a mistake, I'd rather at this point do well in going back one step and trying again. So for now it's sitting in SIMPLE GREEN soak and I'll brush it off later. I'm hoping to remove the tacky areas and the bubbled areas. Otherwise it's good.