Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Antediluvian Miniatures Adventurers 01

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to win a blog competition run by my good friend, Christopher Sheets. The prize was three Antediluvian Miniatures 28mm scale Adventurers. This was a set I was very much interested in and so was delighted to receive them.
At the far left is Professor Cushion (a pun on actor Peter Cushing's name). However, I have named him Dr. Abner Perry, which was the name of the character Peter played in the film, At the Earth's Core. Perry is a Victorian scientist, who along with his American financier, David Innes (see below) make a test run of their Iron Mole drilling machine in a Welsh mountain, but end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic flying reptiles, the Mahars, and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen. They are captured by the Mahars, who keep primitive humans as their slaves through mind control. David falls for the beautiful slave girl Princess Dia but when she is chosen as a sacrificial victim in the Mahar city, David and Perry must rally the surviving human slaves to rebel and not only save her but also win their freedom.
In the centre of the group is Raquel Scotch (another awful pun on actress Raquel Welch's name). Seeing as Antediluvian Miniatures made two of the main cast members from At the Earth's Core I was a little surprised that they didn't sculpt a figure of Princess Dia (played by Caroline Munro). Instead, we have the heroine, Loana the Fair One, a member of the prehistoric Shell Tribe of fishermen and women from the film, One Million Years B.C. From a marketing point of view Loana is a much more famous and recognisable character.
Finally, is Shug McClure (yet another horrid pun, this time on the name of actor Doug McClure). I named him after his character's name, David Innes, from the film, At the Earth's Core. These three figures came with stat cards for the game, Pulp Alley, which I do not own. Shug is a Leader and the other two are his Sidekicks.
Clearly I won't be using them in Pulp Alley (it's not on my shopping list) but I can find other uses for them. They are beautifully sculpted and their faces are recognisable as the characters they are meant to represent. The figures cost £4.00 each or you can buy all three for £10.00. Look out for my review of the dinosaurs from this range coming very soon.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Assorted Works in Progress 01

It is very rare for me to post Work in Progress reports on my blog. However, I thought you'd like to see what I'm working on at the moment simply because these figures and models are far from the normal figures I usually review. Although they are all 28mm scale (yes, I know that technically speaking, 28mm is a size not a scale, but it has now become universally accepted as a scale) they are far larger than 28mm in height and length. I currently have seven items on my painting desk and here they are -
First up are two dinosaurs made by Antediluvian Miniatures. At the left is an Iguanodon and at the right is a Megalosaurus. Their bodies and heads are made of resin and their legs are made of metal. I pinned and glued the legs in place and used Milliput to smooth out the joints. I have already painted the three adventurers from this range and I plan on reviewing them very soon.
Next are two wrecked vehicles made by Black Cat Bases. At the left is a Large Wrecked Truck and at the right is a Small Wrecked Truck. I ordered these models in February of 2014. Despite numerous e-mails to BCB asking when they would be delivered I never received a reply. Then, right out of the blue, they arrived last month. I was gob-smacked. I'd given up all hope of ever getting them but better late than never, huh? I'm pleased because they are such nice scenery items.
Finally, are three large monsters from the Dungeons and Dragons board-game, Castle Ravenloft. From left to right are a Flesh Golem, Gravestorm the Dracolich and a Zombie Dragon. These figures are made of plastic and come pre-assembled but unpainted. They are the last three figures that I need to paint for this game, so you can expect to see lots of Castle Ravenloft figure reviews over the next month and beyond.
I expect to finish painting all seven within the next week. Then I'll move on to finishing painting my Berserker Zombies for Zombicide.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Vampifan's Views 68 - Monthly Musings 46

Miss Vampirella September 2015 - Maria Di Angelis
This month's Vampirella model is Maria Di Angelis, who won a competition run by Harris Comics to be their cover girl for the Vampirella series in 2001. Maria has the distinction of appearing on the cover of the Vampirella comics more times than any other model. She appeared on a total of 21 covers. Not only did Maria have the right coloured eyes and wore the costume like she had been born into it, but she rapidly became a fan favourite on the strength of her personality. She wowed everyone at comic conventions going just that little bit further to be nice to everyone. Apart from her short stint as a Vampirella model, Maria has had quite a busy career. Primarily a model, Maria is reputed to have graced more covers than any model in history, with literally thousands of romance novels' covers. Also in her résumé are many commercials (both in print and on television), including Revlon, Max Factor, Pond’s, Softsoap, Lever 2000, Levi’s, Chopard, Finesse and Cadillac to name but a few.

In my hobby news I have recently backed a new Kickstarter project, which you can see here -
This is the Battle Systems Ltd. Urban Apocalypse Terrain Set. The buildings and scenery items are made of thick card which comes pre-painted and slots together without the need for glue. This makes it modular, customisable and very easy to assemble and disassemble. Funding was achieved within 27 minutes of its launch, which just goes to show how popular this project is. The basic pledge of £78 gets you enough terrain to cover a 2' by 2' area. Just to give you some idea of what the set looks like, here are a few photos taken from their website.
How cool is this? This photo features multiple sets to cover a 4' by 4' area.
Interior detail and furniture items are provided. Upper floors and roofs are easily removable.
A ground eye view of the basic set showing SWAT Troopers on a raid.
One of the add-ons is the Fire Station set. A must-have for me. It costs just £12.
In other news, I have been playing a few games of the Castle Ravenloft board-game. Expect to see lots of photos of the painted miniatures for this game in the near future. It's a good game if you like dungeon crawls, which I do, especially when going up against the undead. It has much in common with Super Dungeon Explore but at the same time is different enough to feel unique. The rules are very simple and the game is easy to play and fast.  

I also managed to play my very first game of Rum & Bones, using the figures and ships from the basic set. The Bone Devils undead faction scored a decisive victory over the Wellsport Brotherhood. What an incredibly fun game it turned out to be. I can see I'm going to get a lot of pleasure out of it. It really appealed to me in a big way.

Apparently, October is Zomtober month, in which participants are supposed to paint at least one zombie or survivor figure every week during the month. I'm not officially taking part because I like painting zombie and survivor figures every month. I'd like to wish all who participate the best of luck and I look forward to seeing your output.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sideshow Collectibles 2015 Premium Format Vampirella Statue

Here's a question for you to ponder. What is the largest figure you have in your collection? Just a couple of days ago I received my largest figure. It is a 1/4 scale Sideshow Collectibles Premium Edition Statue of Vampirella. She stands 16" (41cm) tall from the soles of her feet to the top of her head or 22" (56cm) tall if measured from the bottom of her base to the top of her head. When I first saw the announcement that Sideshow Collectibles were making a new statue of Vampirella I knew I had to have her. The photo to the left was taken from the Sideshow Collectibles website and they have placed an apple alongside her to show just how tall she is. I placed my order for her over a year ago, knowing I was in for a long wait before she'd be released. I could have paid for her then but decided to spread the $400 cost for her over a period of ten months. Yes, she is incredibly expensive but I'm paying for quality and she'll be a very good investment as her value will only increase.

As you can well imagine, the figure arrived in a huge box, which I show here. The figure came in six parts - head, body and legs, right arm, a choice of two left arms and the base. The photo above shows my preferred option with Vampi's left arm holding a bat. All of the parts are held in place via slots fitted with strong magnets.
In this photo you can see the alternate left arm without the bat. Sideshow placed an apple alongside the statue to give a sense of scale. I, however, have chosen a 30mm scale miniature figure of Vampirella, which I have placed in front of her base to show just how tall this statue is. That is some height difference, huh?
Here is the rear view of the statue with Vampirella showing off her perfect backside. The amount of detail that has gone into this figure is staggering. I know it's hard to take your eyes off Vampirella but check out her base and see how much work has gone into that. It's incredible!
This is my third statue that I have bought from Sideshow Collectibles and my second Premium Format 1/4 scale figure. You can see my first Premium Format Vampirella statue here -
Although she is the same scale as this statue she is sitting down so looks smaller.
My other Sideshow Collectibles Vampirella was a Tooned-up version which you can see here -
Because this is a Premium Format Statue, the craftsmanship of the sculpting and detail of the paintwork is absolute perfection. Note that Vampirella's costume and boots are made of real leather. If I was a perfectionist I'd have to criticise her boots because they are too long. However, I think she suits thigh-length boots and they look great on her.
Here's a close-up of Vampi's friendly little bat. Once again, the detail on the bat is incredible. It looks like a real bat.
Finally, here's a close-up shot of Vampirella's head. I love the way her hair is flowing out behind her. Just look at her eyes and see how beautifully painted they are. The more I look at her the more I fall in love with her! Is this my all time favourite figure of Vampirella? A resounding yes! She is sheer perfection!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Victory Force Zombies 06

And so I come to the last of my five reviews of the Victory Force Zombie Horde set 1 of 100 28mm scale figures. I have deliberately kept the best till last, so enjoy!
This group of ladies are known as the Posh Totty as most are dressed in evening wear. At the far left of the first two photos is Posh Totty 1, who has had her left arm chewed off at the elbow and received a shotgun blast to her left thigh.
Posh Totty 2 is the same sculpt with a few modifications. Her left arm is intact, as is her dress. She wears a light blue patterned wrap around her shoulders and a diamond tiara on her head. She has suffered a bite wound to her right shoulder.
Posh Totty 3 wears a metallic blue dress with a large gold necklace. She was bitten in the left arm, shot in the stomach and has blood pouring from her mouth.
Posh Totty 4 wears a long black dress with a gold necklace. Unluckily for her she has had both arms bitten, chewed or hacked off above the elbows.
Finally, Posh Totty 5 is less formally dressed in a patterned purple dress. She has sustained a massive bite wound to her right thigh and has been shot in the right arm.
This group of male zombies are my Sports Fans. Sports Fan 1, at far left, was painted as an elderly Caribbean gentleman. I planned on giving him a colourful tropical shirt and shorts and so primed his clothing in white. When I looked at him I suddenly realised he'd do as a tennis player instead, so he ended up very different to what I had originally planned for him. He has been shot in the chest and has had his left arm blown off by a shotgun.
Sports Fan 2 is a baseball player of African/American origin. I know very little about baseball and just chose a colour scheme that I thought suited him. If it is the colours of an actual team then that is a pure coincidence. He has been gut-shot.
Sports Fan 3 is a Brit tourist to Mayhem City. I am not in the least bit interested in any sports. I find them all incredibly boring. However, I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, so I wanted to paint this guy up as a Newcastle United supporter. He is balding, fat and wears his shorts at half-mast to show off his bum crack. His right hand is covering up a gunshot wound to his chest. He also has a big bruise on the back of his head, probably sustained from a fall.
Sports Fan 4 was a young thug from the slums. He wears trainers, tracksuit and a Burberry cap worn backwards, which instantly identify him as lowlife scum. He has been bitten in the right arm.
Sports Fan 5 was a member of a marching band who frequently performed at sporting events. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, right arm and right leg after becoming a zombie - hence the lack of blood. So how did he die? Heart attack, most likely.
This next group is a mixed bag but seeing as most of them are hospital patients I decided to call them the Patients.
Patient 1 has his right arm in a sling and has bandages around his head and left eye. Some blood has seeped through both sets of bandages. Most likely he sustained his wounds from a zombie and he turned undead after he had been treated.
Patient 2 is the same figure but was caught by the zombies after he had visited the hospital. The centre part of his right arm has been bitten off, leaving him with a stump below the shoulder and a hand held in place by his sling. He also has a small bite on his left arm.
Patient 3 still wears his hospital gown and so was obviously caught in a hospital at the start of the zombie outbreak. His gown is covered in blood, which is not all his. His one wound is a bite to the right cheek of his bottom. Bummer, huh?!
Patient 4 was an aged restaurant chef who died from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso. Someone really had it in for him.
Patient 5 is certainly one of my goriest zombies. He died very messily from a huge bite to his neck, which also looks to have been snapped, his left arm was severed at the shoulder, right arm severed at the elbow, he has a gunshot wound to the centre of the chest and bite wounds to both legs. Goretastic!
And so I finally come to my last five zombies in this set and because I have kept the best till last I had to call them the Elites. Elite 1, seen at the far left, was a Star Trek fan and wears a replica uniform from Star Trek: the Next Generation. He got shot in the heart. Sadly, his badge did not protect him.
Elite 2 is my favourite figure from this range simply because of the amount of time and effort I put into painting his Jaws T-shirt. Oh, and he has some awesome wounds, which I always love painting! He has lost both his arms at the shoulder and has large bite wounds to both legs, none of which were caused by a great white shark!
Elite 3 is my second favourite zombie figure from this range because who doesn't like SpongeBob SquarePants? This is actually the same figure as the Newcastle United fan shown above, except for his missing arms, which were ripped off at the shoulders, leaving him to bleed to death. He also has a wound to the top of his head.
Elite 4 wears a sweatshirt sporting the Batman logo. He has been slashed across the throat. He was the first figure that I finished painting from this set.
Elite 5 wears a Dub Step sweatshirt, which apparently is a form of electronic dance music that originated in South London, England. No, I'm not a fan of it. I simply copied the logo from a fashion catalogue. This chubby gent was bitten in the left side of his neck.

Without doubt, the hardest part of painting these figures was coming up with colour schemes. Once I'd settled on a scheme, the actual painting was relatively straightforward. I painted them in batches of 20 figures at a time but not in the same order as I've shown in these five posts. The Victory Force Zombie Horde set 2 should be a lot easier to paint because most of them are first responders with clearly defined uniforms. There are some more civilians amongst them but most are police patrolmen, firemen, doctors, soldiers and hospital patients. I bought both sets in Victory Force's introductory sale at a very reasonable price. Both horde sets containing 100 figures are still available for sale from their web-store but cost $250.00 each, which is a lot of money for some very averagely sculpted figures.