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, October 28, 2016

October Halloweeny Greetings and Update!

Time for another End of Month Update:
For this it's the end of the October season and my favorite month is almost gone...
My standard planned schedule for October was going to be: "Paint lots of figures and run a Halloween themed game on the last Saturday night."

What I didn't plan was having company and having to go to Houston the week before.
But while there, I made a stop at a local game store and grabbed up some goodies. 
In this case, Reaper Chronoscope and Savage Worlds.

First up:
The Deadlands Noir: Femme Fatale.
From what I can see of her, she has a nice 40'ish skirt and heels. I'm thinking dark brown hair and a red skirt. This dame could be trouble.

Next up is #2: Nurse Anne Foster.
I'm not sure yet if she is a "Good Nurse", or a "Bad Nurse", or a "Naaaaaasssssty Nurse".  I'm just hoping that the thermometer that she is using to take oral temperatures isn't the rectal thermometer.

#3: "Into the woods"....
Another of the twisted versions of stories from Reaper and Chronoscope.
Right now I think that this is my favorite recent purchase.

(I'm looking forward to getting paint on these...(Note grandmas head behind BB Wolfs back)...Oh dear...)

#4: "Wocka-Tocka"
What's an action hero without an action heroine?
And in this day of funk and fight, only one hot lady can keep up with Action Jackson, and that is the ultra mod and hip Mizz Ebony Foxx...
Or as in the words of the late, great James Brown...."HE'P ME!!!"

And finally for #5: I needed something "interesting", I guess. 
This figure of an undead Fuehrer called out to me.
I guess the "Hitler is alive!" stories were true...sorta...

Meanwhile back on the set.
Back last December, I had a nice Reaper purchase come in.
Two of the figures, I pulled out, and decided to try to get ready in time for Halloween.
Not only this, but I thought I would try to do a "This is how I painted them." Step-by-step", to show well..."how I do it".

First up is Reapers Ghost Bride":

I've always been fascinated by the "Bridal Ghost/Lady in White" ghost stories that you always hear about and when I found out that Reaper has this figure, it was a "must have".
It's a beautiful figures with lots of detail, and can be used for a "living bride" as well as "a restless sprit seeking final vows from beyond the grave"

Flash removal was minimal, and was mounted to the base after a primer coat of black.

The first initial coat was a runny wash of Reaper Pro-Paint: Slate (which gave it the nice dark blue base appearance over the black that I wanted.)

The slate blue wash over the black to pick out the details. This is indeed a very nice figure.

And a close up. (Better pics to come. I promise!)...

I then did a light runny wash of Vallejo Deep Sky Blue to help highlight some of the detail and help the Slate to become a shadow color. So far it seems to be coming out well, don't you think?

I then followed up with a repeat very light wash of Vallejo Sky Blue.
This gives her the basic blue-ish tint to start out with. I added some black (not pictured), to her hair and to the bouquet and the flowers around her waist. They will be highlighted with another lighter wash and dry-brush.
this is how she looks currently:

So far I am quite pleased. Next stop, more highlighting and the beginning of the detail work...

And then for #2:

The Second one is also a Reaper figure: 
The Classic Horror "Dracula".
This was another "must have" for me, and tbh, I do like the figure for it's classic appeal, as the detail is not a high as the Ghost Bride that is previously posted.

Here's what he looks like in the blister:

Like the Ghostly Bride previously mentioned, the good Count, also received a primer of black and then a base:

 First initial colors on his is a Satin Deep Scarlet for the initial basing of his cape.
More colors will be added to him soon, as he should be a pretty easy figure to paint up.

"Good eeeeeeeeevening....."

So that is how they are right now. 
I have more figures in the final finish up stages but I wanted to get these out for the spirit of Halloween.

More to come!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October's gray skies....

September has passed and October is here.
Recently I had to go back up to Kenosha to do some work at one of my sites.
While there, the weather turned cool and the skies changed into the "cloudy gray skies" that I find so enchanting (yeah I know I am weird that way).

Here's a pic of the skies changing as I am walking down Sixth Street in Kenosha:

And the drive home, the next day you could see the storm front hanging right above:

The best part was that I was able to pick up some figures after a quick stop at the game store that I call "The Tombs",
Since October is on it's way I am in kind of a Halloweeny mode and decided on some figures with a theme or at least "a look":
First up, "Sallah - Arabian Hero":  A very "Sindbad-ish" style figure.

A really nice figures. I am kind of wishing that I had two of him, because the second one would become a statue...

Last year, I painted up the eerie scarecrow "Gauntfield", and liked him, so I decided I needed a "new" Halloween Horror.
And enter stage right comes "Freddie" - The Pumpkin Horror:

"Fresh from the unblessed soil of the unholy pumpkin patch, "Freddie" wanders the night seeking revenge and vengeance upon those spoiled fat children that disembowel and mutilate his defenseless pumpkin friends and family with ghoulish glee..."

And to top it off, I was able to pick up a nice Black Tree Designs (BTD) "Witch Burning Set", This was the old former "Ackland Accessories Set", which was acquired by BTD when Ackland went out of business.

This set is a little rougher in casting than the rest, (almost a mid-late 80's- early 90's casting feel and look to it), and I am going to need to add some bases and perhaps some "embellishments" for it. 
So here's hoping I can get some paint on these in time for "The Season"....

More to come, as always...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sept. Update: Scoring on Storage and other things...

 Well, the burning days of Summer 2016 seem to be behind us and Fall 2016 is here in all of it's wonderful glory, and with that, it also usually means "SALES" at stores!
So for the past two weekends I have been journeying to Hobby Lobby and Michael's in search of "Stuff".
And stuff I have found.


One of the biggest issues of miniature gamers and us multip project doers is that over the years, (actually not even that long), we seem to collect a lot of "Stuff".  Whether it be extra parts from models, or the misc. figure here and there, or some odd groundwork, etc. We start amassing collections of "stuff".
And as our figures, scenics, etc. in this hobby grows, we need places to keep this "Stuff".
And like many others I was having storage issues.
And then Hobby Lobby and Michael's had sales...

And here was my first major purchase...

The first item is an IRIS scrapbook case. Advertised at 12" X 12" but in reality is: "14 5/16th X 14 1/8th X 3 1/8th. I took along a 28mm fig on a base to check to see if it would fit.
Yes it did.
So I bought six of them, and now I have eight total.

Nice description on them....

Easily stackable...

28mm Figures and some terrain pieces/scenics will fit quite nicely into the

Yeps...they stack pretty easy. 

Next up was a couple of larger containers:
Essentially a 14.5 qt container with removable tray and latches for security.
Nice for those bigger pieces, and hobby construction items, or bulk stuff, etc...
I grabbed two of these.


Not bad if I do say so myself, and the tray is a welcome added bonues.

Next up was something I wanted to check out and since they were cheap, it was easy to get some.
The are called "Memory Boxes", and they are essentially heavy duty boxes with a black lining to protect pictures, etc from light, and a name care holder on the front. They are pretty sturdy and can hold a variety of small items.

So this was my total storage container haul:


MY NEW GM's/DM's Box...

As a GM/DM; one of the things I always seem to need is a box to carry around the essential GM/DM stuff, (Pencils, dice, tape measure, note cards, Anti-Acids, etc..)
What nicer way to do it than having your very own GM/DM box?

So I picked this little "Treasure Chest" up for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

To be honest, I've had my eyes on it for quite a while, and due to the price, I just didn't get around to getting it. Now it's mine!!! muah-hah-hah...
Plus I am sucker for these types of things...

Also at Michael's, they were having a sale on Foamboard/Foamcore. One 30" X 20" X 3/16th for $1.00 each, (regularly 3.00).
I grabbed six.

Plus I grabbed some magnetic adhesive sheeting to see if it will work to hold figures in the cases. I'll let you know how this goes when I try it.

And a replacement Bell/Mason Jar for my paint jar that broke recently. $1.99 for this little baby...

And finally checking out the clearance area, I came across some paints listed for 2.99 (the special glass gloss paints) and marked down. Some to 1.49, and a couple to .79 cents.
Some more colors for me to experiment and work with.

All in all, a great haul!  Now to start using these containers and organizing the mess a bit more (and better)...
And then back to painting figures!


More to come!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cthulhu 28's, (Initial Review)....

On Sunday 08.07. 2016 at Gen Con, one of my main purchases was the Arkham Investigators #1 set from the new line of "Cthulhu 28" figures from Bob Murch and Pulp Figures.
I decided to do a complete photo set as I went through them, and to give an initial review.
Here's how they stack up.

Cthulhu 28 from Pulp Figures (Arkham Investigators #1)

A nice display showing the new figures with an old spooky house backdrop; (This is not your NORMAL Home-Owners Association here...)

Manufacturer: Pulp Figures (
# of figures: 10 metal figures of the "Arkham Adventurers" and 1 light green resin cast of a "Cthulhu Eidolon". 
Size/Scale: Approx. 28mm.

The Arkham Investigators set is a new release from Pulp Figures. So new that they aren't really up on the site yet, however that didn't keep me from "acquiring a set".

Initial Look:

The figures come in a plastic boxed case (like the old VCR cases). The front has the standard package announcement lable with a picture of a painted Eidolon.

Checking the side we see the announcement again. Just like a good old VCR tape...

A look at the back of the box shows three b&w photos (2 of them of the Investigators and one of the Eidolon), along with the standard safety messages, but nothing on "Do NOT use these to summon Elder Gods". I think they slipped on child-proofing here. Or maybe they didn't need to because children have no real desire to summon an Old One; it always seems to be the adults that do the stupid stuff...

The box was held together with a single small piece of scotch tape.

Being the paranoid...errr....inquisitive and cautious person I am, I used an X-acto knife to carefully slice the tape and open the case.

Now the statue does NOT sit "entirely flat" upon the a surface (as the photos show), but it can be worked with, and does look good in the way it is.  Someone wanting it "flush" with the ground would probably have to do a bit of work.

Upon review of the figures, it was noticed that some of them seem to bear a similarity to some other already released figures. While some may think of this as "Rip-off, Rip-off, Rip-off!" and of Bob Murch pulling a fast one, all in all, there is enough variety in them to make them completely as a set, pretty much new and different figures.

The feel, weight, and casting quality all seem to fit pretty much within the standard range of figures from this company, and the set includes a variety of figures/characters.
Flash is evident but minimal, and mold lines are very difficult to find/practically non-existent or at the least would provide almost no real issues with painting, etc...

The usual suspects...Five males and five females, some armed, some unarmed, and some carrying musical instruments.

Figure #1: A visiting professor on holiday perhaps?  I smell Sean Connery as Professor Jones Sr. in this figure...

Figure #2: A dashing and daring, rugged investigator, still under the belief that The Great Olde Ones can be held off with a M1911A1  .45 Pistol... (The big round end is molding flash).


Figure #3 is an inquisitve adventuresome sort armed with his trust, well used, guitar.  Every party at one time or another could use a bard, and well, this guy can sing "The Shoggoth Blues" like you've never heard is sung before.

Figure #4: A reworked arrogant Nazi agent, he has now become a cold, hard, veteran, agent of The Church, and armed with his blessed crucifix, and his bag of Holy goodies, he's ready to go forth and try to do something to stem the tide of evil that seems to be washing over his world.....

Figure #5: Whether you want to admit it or not, some folks just don't like guitar music. I mean, after all that stuff that happened with Robert Johnson, plus the fact that some people just find solace in....a horn.  Here we have a trumpet player. Call him him him whatever you like...just don't sing "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Pfthaghan!!" when he goes into his crescendo solo....

And whatever we do, lets not leave the ladies out shall we?

Figure #6: A well dressed lady with a gun. This figure had the most flash, (as is obvious), of all the figures. A piece coming off her side, a piece on her pistol, some ticks on her shoulder and hair. All of these are easily corrected with a good sharp X-Acto knife, and a little bit of gentle filing. 

Figure #7: One of the reworked figures. IIRC, this is a variation from the Dr. Koo, set. however she fits in very nicely and I can always use another Chinese lady , (she can be any ethnicity also), in my collection. Based on the look on her face, it is obvious that she is not a happy camper...

Figure #8: Ya know...Sometimes a rinky-dink pistol just ain't gonna cut it. And a fellow with a guitar or a horn just ain't gonna get the job done. So leave it to the ladies to bring in the heavy, long range, firepower; as in the case of this lady figure carrying a Lee-Enfield Bolt Action rifle. Nothing but high quality British Arms for her by golly!

Figure #9: In 1958, Elvis Presley recorded the song "Hard-Headed Woman", which rose to #1 on US Billboard charts. The title of that song could be easily used to explain this young, female, dilettante who has decided to forego any arms or weapons, and instead has equipped herself with "An ancient book decorated with a design on it's cover that is sure to bring unspeakable horrors to the mind of the reader."

And finally...

Figure #10: No group is complete without a penguin...errr...."a nun"...

Overall Impressions:

The bases of these figures vary in size and have little to no real detail, (which is a good thing as some folks don't like detailed bases or bases with clutter.
They can easily be mounted on the standard bases, (Square, round, washers, etc.), and once primed should paint up nicely. Check for flash before painting. 

I've included some shots below of the painted up display pieces from 2016 Gen Con to give you an idea of how they can look.

Overall I would say they are a nice collection of figures, and can be used in a wide variety of Pulp/Horror/Gangster/Noir style gaming and would help fill some missing gaps, and round out collections nicely.