Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Some old stuff from the lead pile... And a Martian white ape

Here are some more old figures - Custom Cast LOTR Hill Trolls from the mid-seventies. While I really like the figures, they don't have the height or mass to be convincing trolls at 25mm. Maybe 15mm would work... They usually saw use as goblins, bugbears or orcs in my games.

As you can see, the paint job on these guys is a pretty slapdash affair. They've been consigned to the jar of Simple Green on my kitchen counter to strip off the old paint, so these pictures count as the before shot of a forthcoming before-and-after post.

Another old model; a medusa from Superior, which I painted with Testors enamels in the mid-eighties. The mid-eighties to the early nineties was my most productive miniature painting and gaming time, but the years and poor treatment have taken their toll on a lot of my figures from back then, and I'm currently stripping and repainting scores of old miniatures. Most of them will probably turn up on this blog sooner or later.

Into the Simple Green with her! She's sharing the jar with the hill trolls, a bunch of Citadel dwarves, some Citadel Nightmare Legion skeletons, and a handful of other old figures. 

And now, for something completely different...
This white ape was sculpted by my brother Tom, at my request. Tom usually sculpts larger, fine art type things - You can see some of his work at (Watch it though - His subject matter tends towards the bizarre, and some of the images are definitely not safe for work).

Tom sculpted the original in Super Sculpey, his medium of choice. I can't stand the stuff, personally... It's like sculpting with bubblegum, and I don't like having to bake the pieces to harden them, but lots of people swear by it, and I suppose the non-hardening aspect becomes important when working on larger pieces.

Anyway, once the master was done, he had a few cast in bronze, his usual casting material, and gave me one to paint up. This is the first time I've worked with a bronze miniature, and it took some time to get the figure ready to paint. 

As supplied, the ape had no base, tabs or anything to attach him to a base, just rather small areas of his feet filed flat. Bronze is heavier than white metal, and with the figure so top-heavy, i didn't trust glue alone to hold him to a base. Pinning was the obvious answer, but in addition to being heavier than white metal, bronze is harder as well. Out came the Dremel tool, and two drill bits (and a lot of patience) later, I had two holes drilled deep enough into his feet to accept some heavy wire. 
The base was built up on a commemorative coin I got in the mail from a charity I donated a few dollars to, using a mixture of Milliput and green stuff. I stuck the pins into the soft putty, then removed them and let the stuff dry before attaching the ape with five-minute epoxy.

He's currently undercoated in black gesso, and I hope to get him painted this week.

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