Plastic surgery disasters I

I spent a couple hours kitbashing some plastic figures yesterday. The original intent was to create some figures in the vein of the old Citadel “chaos thugs.” Thugs were the weakest kind of chaos warrior in Warhammer, so I can’t be too surprised they were dropped from the Warhammer line. However they had a lot of character and I always liked the mix of influences they showed — many had a lot of John Blanche’s surrealism and punk aesthetic, while others might have wandered of the set of the Road Warrior or a Mario Bava horror film. Some peak thugs here and here if you are unfamiliar. When I realized how many of the thugs I’d collected over the years seem to have disappeared, and how hard to find original castings seem to be, I thought I’d cobble together some using parts of other sets I was already interested in or already had.  My main ingredients are the Games Workshop “chaos marauder” set from about 2008 and a set of “Frostgrave cultists” from North Star Military Figures, with some pieces supplied by the GW “Flagellants” set (which will get its own post), some Zvedza soldiers from their short-lived “Ring of Rule” line, a few figures from the Lionheart board game, and a handful of chaos thug archers from the Milton Bradley/GW Battlemasters game.

The main challenge has been that the marauders are much larger than the other figures, both in terms of scale (maybe 30 mm) and build (steroid freaks). There is also a dearth of bare heads, so not nearly as many as I’d like can have mohawks or other weird hair styles like the old thugs. Still, I’m happy with a lot of them so far. More than a few will remain cultists, though, since the hoods and masks look so good.

Skeletor here just has a head from the Cultists box and the rest from the Marauders.

Body and head from Cultist set; arms from Marauders, mohawk from Battlemasters.

The hourglass is from the Flagellants set and the cleaver blade is from the really old GW “Fantasy Regiments” set, indented for an orc.

Cultist head and body, flagellant arms, with modified weapon.

Cultist with scrolls from the Flagellant set

Another somewhat pinheaded thug with a cultist head.

Marauder head on a Battlemasters body. Though the Battlemasters archers are nice, their pose is really hard to convert, and the heads are so  so I’m not getting a lot of use our of them. Also this is the first time I noticed they don’t have quivers.

Zvedza head on a cultist

Cultist head on a Lionheart peasant. Not really related to the chaos thugs and cultists but it seemed like a good fit.

Cultist with modified arm and book from Flagellant set

Another Battlemasters thug, this time with a skull from the Zvedza “Orks” set for a head.

Lionheart body with Marauder head and arms. This figure had already donated both his arms and his head to other projects so I was glad to have extra parts to “save” him!

Cultist with flagellant arms and flail

Cultist with torch from the flagellants set

These all need to have mold lines and joints cleaned up, of course. I’ll post more later. In the meantime here’s a metal figure I rehabilitated while waiting for glue to dry.

I got this poor balrog with no wings and his sword and sword hand missing for $1 out of a bin of broken or just old miniatures. The marauders had one sword-armed arm and the hand seemed like a good match so I used it to replace his hand. I have never had much luck scratch-building wings so I decided to stay a bit truer to Tolkien and leave them off (IIRC the book just refers to “wings of smoke” or something like that, not actual bat wings). I used some plumber’s putty I’ve been hanging onto for too long to extend the mane, which I will paint as fire. Maybe I’ll add more later. Though I’m open to ideas for how to add “wings” of black smoke.


The last of the giants?

With these guys done, I can finally say I’ve painted all the giants minis I own. (OK, there is a pair of firbolgs, an ettin, and some Gamma World giant mutants, and a lot of trolls and ogres, but no more giants per se.) Those are mostly metal; these guys are all plastic.

First, a Dragonstrike! stone giant. A very simple sculpt, but immediately recognizable. And next to him a DFC giant. I really like these guys as frost giants.  I’d get half a dozen more if I could, and mix up the weapons a little.



Then two truly giant giants, from the Descent board-game. Mountain giants, I guess.

Descent-giantsI painted the first as a mountain giant. The pointy, elfin ears gave me the idea to paint his hair green, which sort of suggests grass or leaves; maybe he is related to the ents. The other guy might be a frost or stone giant.  I like the fairy-tale aspect to these guys.

Technically I guess I have one more giant to go because I am painting a Battlemasters ogre as a fire giant, but I was impatient to get these up on the blog.


Published in: on May 15, 2015 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  
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I should do more outdoor adventures

A village built next to ruins on a 4x6' table

Since I’ve got six players in my D&D game and it was getting hard to fit around the table, I set up my 6’x4′ plywood sheet on top of the gaming table (an old dining room table) to increase the space. But minis abhor a vacuum so Saturday night I decided to set up my ground cloth and bunch of terrain just for kicks. I’d been thinking about using all my ent/treant/tree monster minis in part of a larger woods set up anyway and the end result is above and below.

The ruins are from the Games Workshop LotR games, as well as the first Heroscape set, and the ruined church is from a White Dwarf magazine. I wonder if they put free card stock terrain in the magazine these days.

The fields were made for war gaming terrain, but are large enough to still represent a reasonable garden patch or the edge of a farm. The rows of fencing are also from “Battlemasters” and I use them to represent cultivated grape vines.

The graveyard (which really ought to be nearer the ruins and church) are a combination of things, including some lego-like castle blocks, Halloween village tombstones, and the sarcophagi and statues I posted last week.

Here’s a slightly better picture you can click to see more detail. (A few things are already out of place as my five year old was naturally fascinated with the whole thing.)

A shot from the side. Click to enlarge greatly.

The buildings are mostly from the old Games Workshop Warhammer set “Terror of the Lichemaster,” which was designed for a set of skirmishes leading to small battle for the town.

The haunted woods.

The woods contain all my treemen minis, as well as most of my pine trees and deciduous trees. My daughter really enjoyed searching for the “monster trees.”

The keep is constructed from parts of a toy castle and various bits of cardboard and plaster all attached to a tower from the Milton Bradley “Battlemasters” game.

The Donjon.

The gatehouse, lightly fortified.

The gatehouse to the village has no supporting walls, so I placed some stakes and mantlets nearby to suggest it has been hastily fortified. The buildings will have to serve as part of the defenses of the town.

My daughter Riley couldn’t wait to try out the set-up, but she told her mom that she was afraid she’d break my figures (I guess I really drilled into her how fragile they are). She brought one of her fairy action figures and we selected a number of plastic D&D figures to fill out the the complement of characters and monsters.

"Can I play?"

I set up a mine entrance on one of the hills and laid out a dungeon made of tiles and bits from the Heroscape set for doors, and we played various adventures for at least an hour and a half. She even helped pick up, and really enjoyed that because she got to examine everything more closely.

I took a bunch of pictures during the game but they are currently trapped on my new phone, which does not have an easy way to transfer files to a computer. Maybe I’ll post them later — by the time we were done, the board was covered with stuff.

Maybe next time we’ll use dice too.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:02 am  Comments (3)  
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Some more figures

Here is a Grenadier Djinn from the Tomb of Spells, a very late model, with a headswap.  He has a head from one of the first Citadel plastic orcs. (I got two sets of the original plastic set that had 10 each of several Warhammer races.  This was their very first set, and it had optional heads and weapons but the body & liombs were one solid casting…anyway I had a lot of extra heads.)

The color is very washed out, he is fairly blue, like the Disney genie in Aladdin.

Here are a couple more.  The Ogre, left, is a Battle Masters figure, although I moved his left arm and added a katar (punch dagger).  The troll on the right is the first epoxy putty figure I ever made.  Crude but I like him.

Lastly, here is an ogre, a figure from a Dragon Riders of the Styx set.

I love the weapon combination — flail (or mace and chain) and kris (wavy sword).

The color is more accurate in the second shot.  If I ever find a complete  “Dragonriders of the Styx” figures playset, I’ll snap it up, but they were part of the whole fantasy fad of the late 70s/early 80s so I doubt many are left.

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 5:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Caverns of Doom remix

I have three mythologically-inspired sets of miniatures ready, and will be giving them to three nephews in one family (maps and rules booklets still in process…).  I decided that the fourth set would be different, partly because I couldn’t decide which mythos would be best for her and partly because I also knew I’d given her a basic D&D set a year or two ago and she has more figures in that scale.  So, below are the alternative figures I’ll use for  a version of the CoD — they’ll use CoD stats but look a little different.

Instead of the rats, goblins:

DSC03014(These guys are from the Battle Masters set).

Instead of the hobgoblin, a beastman (Battle Masters again), and a different slime monster, spider, and demon:

DSC03017The slime monster is epoxy putty.  The demon is a Battle Masters chaos warrior, and spider is another plastic toy.

DSC03021A close-up of the slime monster.

The skeletons are replaced by orcs, and the dragon by a giant.  The vampire is replaced by a wraith.  The giant and wraith are Dragon Strike figures, the orcs are Battle Masters (the archer is actually a chaos thug).

DSC03022The character figures are a pirate, dwarf,  knight, monk, elf, and wizard:

DSC03078monk,elf,wizrd2The knight & pirate are from the Weapons & Warriors games; the dwarf is a Games Workshop plastic figure; the wizard is from Descent, the Elf is from GW’s Lord of the Rings line, and the monk is a Lionheart peasant with his pitchfork trimmed into a staff, and slightly tonsured (you can’t see it from this angle).

The map will be pretty much identical to the original CoD map.

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Hellbrand Fireguard

Many, many years ago, my brother was DMing a Rolemaster campaign.  Unlike D&D, Rolemaster has no alignment system.  When some of our player characters began behaving poorly, he introduced the Hellbrand Fireguard: incorruptible, plate armor clad, wielding pole arms and wearing uniform surcoats.   Sort of a mediavel Praetorian Guard.  I think they kicked us to the curb and we learned to get out of town when the showed up.  We feared the Hellbrand Fireguard, and they even showed up in other campaigns, in different games.  I recently painted a couple of detachments of them, one in red, one in black.  The figures are all converted from one design, the “Chaos Warrior” figure from BattleMasters, a Milton Bradley game made in cooperation with the British “hobby games” behemoth Games Workshop. The first figure on the left is unconverted; the rest had their weapons modified.


Published in: on October 10, 2009 at 2:33 am  Comments (2)  
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