Iron Man and WIP Friends


To wrap up the year I finally got around to opening one of the packs from Marvel Crisis Protocol that's been sitting on the shelf for a year. Or maybe three. The Hulkbuster pack has always been at the top of my list to open up and paint, but horror stories about various kits and microscopic parts to glue together has always given me pause. Un-pause, and I've finally moved forward!

There's an Iron Man and Hulkbuster in the box. Iron Man was pretty straight forward. Hulkbuster was... confusing. I had to consult YouTube for help as the instructions weren't clear on the orientation of some parts. Even the videos I watched weren't clear on the orientation for those torso-parts where I was really confused. The action-angle of stomach/chest/shoulder where things are twisted and bent, without a slot A for tab B to definitely fit in, this is where I knew I would glue things in backwards, upside down, inside out. Luckily, the videos helped and everything ended up glued where it should be.

Once it was time to paint, I used YouTube for Hulkbuster, using Army Painter metallics. Although the video is just painting Hulkbuster, regular Iron Man was going through the same treatment. I deviated from the videos by not using a coat of speed paint on top of the metallics. Evidently I like my armor extra shiny. Additionally, I used a different YouTube for the Arc reactor glows to go with a blue-glow more than green-glow.

While I started with priming Iron Man and Hulkbuster at the same time, I quickly turned to mainly painting the very much smaller Iron Man more, and finishing him up. The metallic Army Painter paint requires a couple of coats to get proper coverage and smooth things out - this stuff has the consistency of nail policy. Granted, this is my first time to use this paint and I'm obviously still learning here. With Iron Man finished, I decided to work on Hulkbuster from the bottom-up so as to focus more on getting details and coverage instead of the eventual hurry-up-to-get-done that usually comes with using 1 color at a time. Hulkbuster boots took about 6 passes to get the coverage I was happy with. Well, happy enough.

What was I saying about hurrying up to get done?

Hulkbuster is still in progress. Most of the legs are done - maybe 70%. This is one I'm definitely going to have to take my time and not rush. Not rush to the point I may throw in painting other things to completion while working on this one here and there.

Speaking of other things, one of the semi-impulse purchases I made during Christmas sales was an O Gauge Water Tower for train layouts. O is the comparable scale that fits with 28-32mm gaming minis, and for some reason I've always wanted a non-homemade water tower, probably because my homemade water tower isn't very good. But now, a legit water tower can populate my zombie infested town ship! This is another currently in-progress kit. Getting circular parts to line up on multiple levels was the challenge here, and I knew going in that any gaps or problems with alignment would turn into rust damage. As progress went on, this rusted tower kept sticking in my head and I decided to overdo the rust. This is the step I'm currently on, which boils down to "how much was too much, and how do I backpedal?" This kit is probably about half done now, and still needs a lot of detail work added.

Atlas O Gauge gaming miniatures Marvel Crisis Protocol models

Aliens - The Beginning


At some point in the past couple of years I picked up the pieces of the Gale Force 9 Aliens game because (1) it had cool minis and (2) I knew if I waited everything would be out of stock/production/license moved on. The first wave promptly sold out upon release, and then a 2nd printing with updated rules came along. There seemed to be a small buying window for everything, except the Alien Warriors. Maybe they just made too many of the 12-Warrior sets, but I kept seeing these pop up on sale almost everywhere for $15-%17. So I picked up a set I mean a couple fine I got 4 boxes. And being me, those boxes sat on a shelf for a long, long time.

Then one day I had an urge to paint something relatively simple besides zombies. That will come back to bite me in the ass. Simple, not zombies.

My first thought when I bought these kits that required assembly was to use magnets to adhere the tails to the bodies. The tails look rather fragile, so magnets would help there plus make things interchangeable! The problem here is that my tiniest magnets are still of larger circumference than the tails. So, glue it is.

Assembly is pretty straightforward. The body (torso, legs) is left & right sides that just fit together. Head and spine slide in. Arms and tail variations have a universal fit between all bodies. The front of the feet are part of the base, and then the back of the feet on the legs glue in. I thought the tail was going to be fragile, but the small 2 points of contact between the body and base - too thin and angled for pinning - won out there.

I used plastic cement for the body halves, head, and arms. I went with (thick) super glue for the tail and attaching to the base, hoping for a sturdier bond. I actually tried plastic cement once, and the body and tail eventually drooped regardless of how much support and drying time I gave it.

I had some aspirations for more than just a black/grey paint job. I while back I had watched a video using Turbo Dork paint that seemed spot on. I decided to test it out on one of these Alien Warriors.... and it looked like crap. The swirls of blue didn't... swirl right? Since the video used and Alien queen instead of these itsy bitsy warriors, the smaller scale and paint seemed to not be working for me. That was ass bite number 1.

Everyone knows Aliens are slimy and shiny. That equated to a glossy sealant coat when I thought about it. I started out testing 4 Aliens with various things - including the Turbo Dork paint scheme. Black primer with a dark grey drybrush seemed to be working out ok, and I had a couple of different variations on how hard/much drybrush I applied. On 1 with a little too much drybrush, I added what ended up being a little too much Nuln Oil wash, and everything was "streaky". Ok, don't do that. Out of the 4 I had 1 that I like well enough to move forward with, and then I gloss coated everything. At that point, from about 2 feet away, I had 4 shiny black(ish) blobs with no details visible. The gloss and sheen just covered everything up. Bite number 2.

With lessons learned, I basically went to my tried and true routes, even going so far as to re-prime the 4 that were mostly finished - and I always wondered how much detail in a mini is loss as you add more and more layers of paint and sealant. Turns out, it's very noticeable.

In the end, I went with black printer and dark grey drybrush that I tried to keep a light hand on. There were more than a couple of times the brush wasn't dry enough when I started, but that turned out ok. Citadel Iron Warriors went through multiple rounds of bringing out little bits - teeth and what looked to me like bands showing through the skin. Nuln Oil wash after that and the bodies were done. The grate for the bases got a coat of Iron Warriors, then a Nuln Oil wash to tone it down. Sepia wash was randomly added to show some rust, which worked really well. And then I added some Typhus Corrosion to a few bases randomly, most of which ended up with a little Nuln Oil added on top later. I'm not really sure why, but I went back and painted the rim of all the bases silver and then added (yet again) some nuln oil. It makes a subtle difference between the top and side of the base, but I like it even if I may be the only one to ever look close enough to notice.

And with that, there are 28 Alien minis ready to drool and spill acidic blood to and fro.

Aliens Gale Force Nine gaming miniatures

Cobra Sneaks In


These minis were primed at the same time as the last minis I posted, and I continued my trend of just painting a couple at a time instead of everything I primed. And again, I think it works better than doing a bigger batch of painting. 2 or 3 minis at a time seems to be my sweet spot. Now if only I can remember that and not think the painting details I'm happy with when painting 2/3 will scale up when I paint 5 or 8.

Still keeping with Reaper minis, this time we have :
John Bishop, Space Marshal. Cyborg robot cowboy of the future past!
General Drake. 2nd time I've painted this one. This time, not green.
Delta Force Commando. I decided Delta Force is Cobra The Enemy.

I don't have too much behind the scene details on these as everything was pretty straight forward. I didn't have high expectations on Delta Force Commando as the sculpt seemed a little "mushy" - the left arm and head seemed to lack details. While it was sitting in the background as I painted the other 2, "Cobra Trooper" popped into my head. Yeah, it seems obvious now. A quick Google led me to use Citadel Kantor Blue for Cobra Blue. Luckily I had Kantor Blue within my 10 boxes of paint. There's not a lot of detail in the paint job - blue base, red mask, black boots, kneepads, gun, and then some greys on other bits just to break things up. I think it works, though.

gaming miniatures reaper chronoscape

Sascha and Hunter


While I primed a batch of 6 minis, I concentrated on a couple instead of trying a little bit of each one along the way. I ended up concentrating on 2 to start with, so I just stuck with staying on those 2 and going all the way through to completion. It worked out well, especially as I didn't like the bases that I started out with (that came with the minis) so I had my first in-progress base-ectomy... when I thought I was pretty much done.

The 2 minis this time were:
Sascha Dubois, Time Chaser. She chases time. And time waits for no one.
Post Apocalyptic Hunter. Poor guy doesn't even have a name.

I think I've painted each of these before. They felt familiar. Most of what I primed in the overall batch were minis I painted before, and this was to force me to use not-the-first color scheme that came to mind. That gave me an excuse to have fun, yet still try not to get into clown-gaudy. Sascha is a little more colorful that the pics shown on the Reaper website, but that's ok. I pulled out the blue gunmetal Vallejo, and like normal I went a little overboard with it. I think it works, but I should have used it a little less. Most important - she's got some of the best eyes I've done. They actually seem to be looking at her left-hand probably-a-clock.

Nameless PAH stayed muted in his colors. I was on the verge of just using grey-scale for this one, and dark blue seemed like a good alternate color to fit in. I'm not sure why he would have blue sleeves and hood, but it kind of works. Each mini got red lenses on their goggles thanks to a Citadel jewel stone something or other color. I'm so good with remembering details.

reaper chronoscape

Time for a Random Assortment


This time, the painting update delves back into the world of more random minis. I wanted to paint something that didn't follow a known color scheme or box art, so from the shelves of random minis I picked a D&D 2-pack and some Reaper minis that looked fun.

The D&D 2-pack was a pair of Revenant. Revenants? I have no idea what a Revenant is, but it looks like it can fit into any generic game since it's not a weaponized mini and looks to instead rely on fisticufs for combat. These minis are on the smaller size of what I normally paint - probably closer to 25mm than 28-30mm. Definitely not as petite as Infinity minis, though. For whatever reason, I decided one would be brown-themed while the other blackish-themed, while both got a splash of color with shirts that I thought were a little Wrath of Khan inspired. I used the included poker-chip bases and build up a little texture with some Tamiya Plastic Putty for something between dirt and smooth rocks. Overall this was just trying some different little things. Nothing exceptional learned or fantastic result, but nothing overtly bad, either.

Over in the realm of Reaper minis was the second Incredible Woman I've painted. The first was about 5 years ago as I tried using greys and black to go a Batman route. This time was more Iron Man inspired. The reds weren't working for me on this one - there's actually 5 layers/shades of red, as I failed at trying to highlight body parts with different shades and then ended up just painting a coat of said shade to try to get back to something normal. To make up for it, I had fun with the base and added some water just because I like water features on a base when I can sneak it in. While this one is a little disappointing as I had higher expectations that how it ended up, I think it turned out better than the 2018 version.

The next Reaper mini was Jane Porter, Victorian Heroine. This one is definitely the most "meh" of the batch. Generic Indiana Jones style explorers generally end up with some combination of tan/khaki/green, and I found I was quickly going that route. I thought some yellow and red would help break things up. It did break things up, but not really in a good way. This mini was going downhill fast, so I decided to give it a similar base treatment as the D&D Revenant team and call it done without thinking too hard.

The final Reaper mini was Devo Ranks, Cyberist. While I don't know what a Cyberist is, I can figure it out easier than defining a Revenant. I actually had an idea for the color scheme to use on this mini when I initially bought it. The mini reminded me of Robin from the Dark Knight Returns comic. Looking at images form the comic, I don't know why I made that relationship, but I did. I stuck with it, and Devo became Carrie with some punk rock hair. The speed paint yellow I used ended up with too much red in it, but that's ok. I like the way this mini turned out - the end result is pretty darn close to what I originally envisioned. And to help that along - a nice, simple base.

About a week ago, Jerry joined me on a roadtrip to Kennesaw, Georgia and Hobby Town USA. I've been to this store 1 other time, in 2018, and was just amazed at what all they had. I bought models that were mainly 1/48 scale as that is close enough to the scale of the minis I paint - maybe stuff can be used in a game. I bought tanks, humvees, some space stuff, some other military themed things from Tamiya. In that 5 year interim, I put together 1 model (a tank). Lately I've wanted to make a model, but my skills aren't where I think they should be. I've started 2 models in the past year - both A-10 Warthogs, of different scales. On both, in the early stages, they just don't look right. Seams aren't lining up. I don't know the right order to paint vs assemble. Back in the last century, I used to get a model kit from any of a half dozen department stores, and 3 hours after getting home that model would be fully assembled. What happened? Where did my modelling mojo go?

This gave birth to the notion that I need a model(s) to practice on. Something that's ok if I screw it up and toss it. Being me, it also needs to be something I would enjoy putting together, at least on some level. Plus, maybe it'll turn out ok?

There are a couple of places around town that still have models. Hobby Lobby and their bi-weekly 40% off overpriced, mostly car models with a limited variety. Wal-Mart generally has some, but I swear it's the some ~20 kits they used to just have at Christmas. There's also a hobby shop in Huntsville which specializes in R/C cars and also carries an assortment of models. None of these local stores have left me slack-jawed as I walked through. I was spoiled by Kennesaw. Even though I was effectively planning to buy something disposable, a 3½ hour trip to the store to look and shop around, and then another 3½ hour trip back could be fun. As someone who generally maxes out a roadtrip as 2 hrs to Nashville, "could be fun" was stretching it, but I've been trying to talk myself into this for years.

With that long story out of the way, Jerry joined me on my roadtrip and a great many models were purchased. Mostly cars to practice on. I made lots of cars as a kid, but I never put the engines in. Now I want to practice on engine details - and if I screw it up, I'll just glue the hood shut. I also picked up some sci-fi stuff - a Trek model, some 2001 ships. Random supplies - brush-on primer, a couple of colors of Turbo Dork that I could have gotten here in town, some AK Interactive brushes to try out. Now I have stuff to practice on, and then stuff I can practice on with hopes of something good as a result.

While I still have batch of more Reaper minis to be primed for when the painting mood hits, plastic models may also make their way into the blog.

gaming miniatures reaper chronoscape

Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?

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