Little Toy Soldiers and Such...

The Blog of Michael T. Murphy and his lifelong obsession with "little army men" and their imaginary glory, miniature wargaming, and other things...

Friday, March 30, 2018

Update Feb-March: Part 4: "More figures, Hobby Lobby, and a trip to the ER..."


 So as this multi-part update continues...

More figures to paint....


So with some of the figures done, it was (once again), time to reach into the "drawers of stuff", and pull out some for the next batch that is queued.

So let's see what is coming up eh?

The first one is a Reaper Chronoscope "Dorothy".
This is an interesting figure although I wished they would've given the option of a picnic basket also.
Since I had done "The NSFW Witch" I thought, "Why not Dorothy?"...

That's right Toto (the dog and not the band), She's not in Kansas anymore...


 And then the next was a pack from the Old Westwind "Vampire Wars" line.  Always need some 19th Century Female Victims. (I painted these up pretty quickly...)

Victims, Clues, or Objective Markers? Your guess is as good as mine...


And another Reaper Chronoscope. I swear this nurse is up to no good...

Time to take your...."medicine"...


So a part of me was getting tired of the "Pulpy" stuff that I have been doing and in doing so, ended up pulling out a pack of Foundry Pirates!  Arrrr!  Now THAT'S the stuff!!!!

Oooooh...these guys will paint up nicely...


And then ANOTHER Reaper figure...however this one is from their "Savage Worlds" line.

You can never have too many dames with a gun...I think...


And yet ANOTHER Reaper! But this time a fantasy figure from their Dark Heaven Legends line...
And ooooooooooooohhhh....a dancing girl...*sigh*

Aye...with just a wiggle and a shimmy, she can captivate an audience...


And then I decided on a custom figure.
See I got out a pack of the great stuff from Pulp Figures, in this case pack PMX02 from their Western/Mexican Revolution Line.
This one gunslinger kept giving me the eye, and well...I got thinking....and scheming...


He's kinda got...."that look"...

So then I got to thinking..."What could I do to him?"
And then.....THIS...popped into my brain.


Yeps...I decided to do a version of Marvel Comics "The Rawhide Kid".  Although this version is well...a bit "light" in his boots...
You can go ahead and use mind bleach now...

So...*ahem*...with that all behind us....Let's move on...
Next stop...Hobby Lobby!!!!

Hobby Lobby!!!!!

I'll admit it. 
My wife, and I, both love Hobby Lobby.
With that being said, we always try to make the best out of the deals. For me the best part is when they discount their paints even more and put their high quality brushes on sale.

So naturally when they had "a sale", we went.

Yay! Hobby Lobby!

And I got some nice brushes that were on sale...

Good paint brushes are like dice...you can never, ever, have enough...

And picked up some paints. The burnt umber paint is one that I go through a lot of due to weathering and base colors and groundwork.

All the colors of the rainbow....or maybe not...


On top of this, I needed to buy another set of brass rods as the ones I had previously disappeared in the clutter. The brass rods are being used as bars for the customization of the Knuckleduster Jail that I have been slowly working on. (Note to self: Never do a "from scratch" customization of a Knuckleduster building ever again...)

Bars for the cell....

So that was the end of my recent Hobby Lobby purchase...

And then something happened...

So on March 11th I got to feeling a little "not well" in the chest area...
My wife being concerned for my health, decided to take me into ER to get "checked out".
Once there, they looked at me and said "Get him inside..."
And so I spent the night at IU West ER.

I'd rather be at a Holiday Inn Express....Comfy it wasn't....

And naturally they did this...

I've had so many in this arm, I have a permanent tap I think...

After a night and morning of tests, I had good news and bad news.

Good news:

"It's not a heart attack."

Bad news:

1: I have the beginning initial signs of Dystolic Heart Dysfunction.

2: I am just in the crossover range of Type II Diabetes.


So welcome aboard the health and lifestyle change train!

With my wife, we've decided to lose weight, and change our lifestyle.  We need to lose weight or die...

And then the next weekend when I was home, I started a new project...(but that's for another time)...

More to come!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Update Feb-March: Part 3: " Booze, Figures, and A Game Store Review"

So as Feb slowly ended and rolled into March, the first thing on my plate was my wonderful wife's (Gawd bless her!) birthday.
Cards, presents, and roses for her as she truly deserves it.

Roses and being a good husband...

And then that weekend, I decided that I needed to "rearrange my liquor shelf". It had gotten to be a bit on the chaotic side with bottles of hooch everywhere, so I decided to "organize.
First was the whiskies/whiskey's/bourbons...
*(Note: The Wild Turkey Rare Breed was bought in December of 2006 and has yet to be opened. I'm saving it for a special occasion), and the Fireball is NOT mine...yuk.



And then, next up was the rums...



And then I finally put it all back together, along with the other stuff...




But now...back to figures!

Figures and painting: 

So we are back to figures.
With the Halloween stuff out of the way, I went back to my pulp stuff.
First up is one of the figures from Crucible Crush's amazing "Cthulhu 28's" line. This is from the "Arkham Investigators".  I wanted to try this figure out as she presented me the challenge of learning to paint "sheer stockings".
I think I was able to get them to a passable look, don't you think?
(Oh and a B&W Noir pic is included)....



Dressed for an elegant evening of socializing at a RSVP party hosted by that gallivanting wealthy playboy, Edward Winder; the ever lovely Miss Barbara Kane was able to slip away unnoticed and find the secret passage that led to the tunnels below. Armed with her trusty pistol, she moved slowly through the ominous passageway, unaware of the trap that was soon to be sprung upon her by Edward and his henchmen.... 

And what kind of town, (Pulp or Western) would there be without a "Chinatown" section?
This set is from that amazing Pulp Figures line, (and once again, I must say, they are fantastic) and can easily be used in so many genres.
 
Four of the five figures from the line.

Seems we have a conversation going on here...Let's listen in shall we?

Lo-Fat and Wang Chung are discussing “Where they can find a Chinese girl with green eyes...”

 And when I was done with those, I moved onto some more Old West style figures.
These are from Wargames Foundry (or "Foundry" for short), and are from their Mexican Peons/Peasants Range.
Some new population for Chili Verde???

First off we have the Senors!
 
Juan and Pablo...waiting to see what happens next...or when the tamales are done....


Pedro and Sancho...Pedro waiting for his daily butt chewing from the love of his life, and Sancho just taking a siesta and waiting for the tamales to be done....

And now the Senora's/Senorita's...

The ladies of the group...


Maria, and Alda carry their water jugs to the local well...


While Margarita waits rolling her eyes in disbelief at the latest explanation from Pancho for his latest blunder, while Teresa carries a basket of fruit from the orchard to her casa...


It was after getting these done and placed that I had realized that I haven't taken a picture of my display case in a while. So I decided to do so, to see what it looked like.
Crikey!
There are six figures in here that I did not paint. The rest are done by yours truly here.
I will admit, it IS impressive to look at sometimes.

I am quickly running out of room on these shelves!!!!

However it's not all fun and games...
March is also not only my wife's birthday but also the birthday of my sister, whom I never knew.




She was born and died at the age of 2 1/2 years and was buried 6 years before I was even born.
I never knew her, but I think of her every day.



GAME STORE REVIEW!!!!

Okay so this is where I take a quick break from posting my "What I painted", and give you the lowdown skinny on a game store that has recently (within the past year), opened up here in the Indy area.
Lately there has been an increase in game stores in the local area, (and it kind of reminds me of the heyday back in the 80's).  Most of the stores have been focused on CCGs, RPG's and Euro-style boardgames, which are great, but when it comes to miniatures, it's few and far in between.
Enter "Sinclair Games".

Sinclair games fills the niche created for a store that is more miniatures focused.
I had been trying to get up to the Carmel area to see them for a few months but life always seemed to intrude.
Finally I did make it.

First off is the address taken off of the website:  www.sinclairgames.com

Sinclair Games
112 W Carmel Drive
Carmel, IN. 46032

PH: 317-815-4800

Carmel is an area slightly N/NE of Indy. It's (in)famous for it's lack of stoplights, and it's massive use of roundabouts, (which most people in Indiana are completely clueless to the concept of and treat them like they were four way stops), so getting there was a bit of an adventure.
The store is small and there isn't a lot of signage. It's tucked away in a retail/industrial/office strip mall/plaza of sorts.
Entering the store I found something that was good for me. While most stores that "did minis" pretty much focused on the "big things" (GW, FoW, etc), Sinclair also focused on other brands. True there were FoW things there, but there was also Reaper, Pathfinder, Bolt Action, Malifaux, Great Escape, etc,, and it was a welcome relief.
I will admit that the store IS small. Don't expect a massive size retail area or a dozen score rows of stock, But with their small size I was very pleased. They do have some RPG stuff, and a nice but small selection of board games. They also have a great selection of paints and hobby tools that we all seem to need in this horrible hobby of ours.

So to show how pleased i was, I spent money.

The first thing I bought was the "North American Store" by Perry Miniatures.
(Authors Note: I am currently working on this and am having very mixed feelings about it...more to come on that one.)



And I scooped up the Coppers set for TCW...



 And of course, I grabbed some more paints, (including some restocks of ones that were going empty), to use.  The German Black Brown, Medium Cam Brown, and the English Uniform are very common colors that I seem to put to a lot of use. 


And I picked up some Army Painter Quick Shade Soft Tone to go with the Strong Tone.



And I picked up some scenery. The ground tufts always helps bases and groundwork look better. 

All in all, Sinclair Games is a good up and coming store. The only drawback I see to it is the difficult location to get to, (not as bad as when Little Wars of Houston moved from The Katy Fwy to K'dale and was almost impossible to get to though). It's just one of those things that "you have to find out which is the best way for you to get there. I'm hoping that they will be successful and will grow in the coming years. I will support them with my business as I like their variety.

More to come!

Update Feb-March: Part 2: " Halloween Horror Figures and such"

As promised, we are moving onto Part 2:

Of the tons of my figures, I always have liked painting up "Halloween Style" figures for games and running Halloween style/Horror games. Unfortunately in the last few years, Halloween always seems to get crowded by "other stuff" also known as "real life" at times.
However, that doesn't keep me from wanting to paint figs for the atmosphere, (as well as painting figures)....
So here for your viewing pleasure dear readers are some of the recent, Halloween themed figures I've been doing recently....

Figures and painting: 

NOTE: Once again the figures shown have a glossy/shine look to them in the pics. This is far from how they actually are, and the shine is a result of the OTT light reflecting off of them.

First off, we have a Reaper "Classic Vampire" style. He would make a good "Classic Strahd" from the old AD&D Ravenloft adventure.  I did a color pic and a Noir style B&W for him (for honor of the old classic vampire films)...




I'll be honest with you by saying that he was NOT an easy figure to paint. What he lacked in figure detail, he made up for in complexity. I think the worst part was that I just could not get a good color on the ladies clothing to make her look good. I think I repainted her five or six times before I went with the metallic blue-gold trimmed outfit. That finally came out best.

Next up...a simple Halloween marker...



This is simply an additional piece to a Reaper Witch figure. It makes a good plot hook piece, or an objective marker, or any other little item that will garner attention from wandering players.


Next up was something that I needed, for fantasy games and regular Pulp/Horror games, and that was skeletal guards.
A long time ago, there was some fantastic adventure movies about Sinbad that were produced. The special effects were stop motion modelling by a man named Ray Harryhausen. Now for those of you in the under 30 crowd, most of you won't know about this, as all of this was done before CGI and graphics and computer interface effects designs, and green screens, etc.
Stop motion was the process of taking a model and moving it one small bit, then shooting a frame, then moving it again, and shooting a frame, and so one. It was long and time consuming process but in the end produced an extremely cool and creepy effect of movement from things such as these skeleton guards below:


The skeletons always fascinated me and they just looked "evil"...so when I found a set of three from Reaper "Bones" I decided to go with them.
After all, one can never have enough temple/tomb guards....

Reaper Skeletons mounted on my standard 1/4" Fender Washer bases. A quick paint job and they are ready to go!


And then I went ahead and did the same thing with a set of mummies...




One of the things that always seems to strike fear into the hearts of man and trick-or-treater during the Halloween season are scarecrows and "scary pumpkins".
In this case we have Reapers "Pumpkin Horror"


"The October season brings the last of the late harvests. The cornfield shocks are brown and dry and the first of the chill winds blow across the fields. 
It's the time for candles, colorful leaves, and Halloween.
It's the time for when the humans come out to the pumpkin patches and snatch up the innocent pumpkins and carry them with malicious glee back to their hovels.
The poor pumpkins unsuspecting of their gruesome fates, are helpless to defend themselves as they are sliced, carved, and gutted in manners most obscene. The innards of the poor victims used as pie fillings and "pumpkin spice". Their bodies; used as decorative art pieces for a human ritual which includes candles lighting their poor gruesome remains to the delightful squeals of the two legged costumed brats that scamper about from hovel to hovel in cheap costumes begging for sweets from the murderous homeowners.
And each year, one faithful friendly acolyte waits in the pumpkin patch beneath the light of the moon, and stays true to the faith. The other kids always make fun of him, but he stays true to the cause.
He shall be spared, but the loudmouthed whiny little blonde that calls him "her sweet babboo" , and the bothersome beagle in the ancient flying attire, shall be dealt with...
For the others....The cries of his pumpkin family and friends have once again, brought the spirit of Freddie,The Pumpkin Horror; back to the pumpkin patch to avenge the horrible murders rendered upon his family.
They carved first...
Now it's HIS turn..."

And where would Halloween stuff be without witches???

First a nice RAFM "classic witch", cooking up a cauldron of "something"....


"Bubble, bubble...Toil and trouble...Gin and Tonic...Make it a double!!!" (or something like that...)

 And then there is *ahem*, "Another style of Witch"...
This one is from the Reaper Chronoscope line...



And finally, I completed my evil scarecrow.
This is from the Reaper Bones Line and is known as "Gauntfield".
A nice color and a classic Noir/B&W pic...


Figure by Reaper Bones
Base is a 1 1/2" fender washer
Static Grass by GF9
Paints by Vallejo and blood on blade by Games Workshop "Blood for the blood god"...

Okay that's it for Part II folks.
Stay tuned for Part III where it gets really interesting....