Johnny Rambo


At some point in the last couple of years I picked up the complete Rambo boardgame + expansions during a really good sale. The game looks like it's fun for solo play and follows the plot of the first 3 Rambo movies close enough to be fun, yet no so close you just copy whatever's done in the movies. Of course, I got the games and promptly put them on the shelf, as is my way. One of the extras for a different game is an unneeded mini of Rambo. I also have this Rambo game, sitting on a shelf. I suddenly don't know why I'm even mentioning these 2 games, as neither are particularly relevant to the mini. But, once you start typing why not just go with it and see what happens - or delete it?

Little mini Johnny Rambo arrived and he wasn't quite as nice as the image shown for purchase. Arms and head has visible seam/gaps that I didn't bother to mess with before priming, and after priming I didn't think would be too obvious. I was wrong. Especially on the arms. Very, very wrong.

Damn the gaps, Johann Rambo would be painted! And painted he became. It's been a while since I played around with a camo pattern, and his britches reminded me it had been a while. Thus, Jojo got some camo pants. I went heavy on the skin wash to try and bring out the musculature on the body, and even lightened the tone on the pecs the way I see other people do... and I'm not quite there yet. A little too light on the pecs, I think.

A little static grass for the base and sealed everything up to be done. For something that was sitting on my desk primed for at least 2 months, roughly 2 hrs of paint-dry-paint-repeat was all that I spent on this one (yeah, sure, maybe it does show). I've been doing more plastic model building over the past month, without anything in the end phase enough to show here, so a quick many to show I'm still alive was a nice snack.

Wow, the lighting in the pics below really make a difference in showing the exact same skin tone...

gaming miniatures

Gordon and Flass


After the Gotham police disaster of the last post, I didn't have high hopes for the companion box I primed at the same time: Lieutenant Gordon & Detective Flass (Year One). Still, once primed something has to happen. Onward!

While not sticking to the color scheme of the box, I went close enough to count, in my eyes. From the onset I wanted to make the varsity jacket standard yellow/black Batman colors. Normally I would have painted yellow arms and black torso, but this time I erred on the side of easier clean up of errant brush strokes. I even went so far as doing the skin last instead of first on both of these minis. Much like the previous batch of police, these 2 received tweaks to their bases. Flass even managed to get a completely different, bigger base more fitting his widened stance. Although I pinned and attached the bases to these two at the same time as the previous batch - these are straight! Probably because both feet are modelled to completely touch the ground.

Flass received my go-to of Citadel Drakenhoff Nightshade on top of white primer for the stonewashed denim look. This is the one technique I seem to get to work consistently. After the previous post, I needed some good consistency. The yellow and black on the jacket worked well, although the black lettering for Gotham High on the back could be better - both for how the paint bled in, and the print of the model could have used some cleaning up that I didn't see earlier.

I'm a little disappointed with the speed paint job on Gordon's clothes. Too much pooling in crevasses again. On the other hand, his hair and glasses feel spot on to me. I managed to paint the glasses frames and the skin behind the lenses without messing up everything else - such as smearing everything on the rest of the skin. While the pics don't really show it, each lens in the glasses have a dot of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to really make it feel like there's some glass in there.

A 2-mini completion post. Better job than the last post, yet still not as good as I originally hoped. At least more things went right this time.

Next up is some scenery/post-apoc buildings. I'm not sure if I'll work through one with enough to post something interesting, or get bored and sidetracked with something else person-sized to paint.

Batman Miniature Game gaming miniatures Knight Models

Gotham Police Trio


After years of accumulating minis for the Batman Miniature Game, I finally grabbed a pack (or two, but that could just be a teaser for later) and started with a trio of Gotham Police. I had high hopes, but also a little trepidation before starting out because as far as I know I've never made anything from Knight Models.

Instead of going step by step with what I was doing or tried, a simple comparison of the pics below with the Knight Models site shows that I didn't get anywhere near the quality I might have hoped, but it was a good learning experience.

Resin Minis - I miss metal minis, and for whatever reason I'm still having problems with these printed minis. They required simple assembly - arms and heads. I've yet to find how to get resin pieces to fit flush. Arm gaps are pretty bad at the shoulders.

Wrong Speed Paints - The blue(s) I picked for the uniforms and vests are too dark, and the pooling in the wrinkles is way too deep. I usually do this at least partially intentionally as I like the looks, but not this time. It really covered up the details this time. Especially on the badges - the badges don't look good.

Pinned the Minis - This part went awry lots of ways. The minis were printed with the bottom to fit in slotta bases, and the included slotted bases had a brick texture. A brick texture with a big gap in the middle for the mini to fit in. I liked the brick bases, and it was going to take some finagling to fill in the gaps after fitting in the mini, so I decided to just fill in the gap completely and then pin the mini to the base. Great idea! Problem 1: While I'm pretty good at gilling in these gaps with putty/plastic, I'm not so good with leveling and smoothing things out. There wasn't a gap, but you could tell it used to be something. Problem 2: This was my first time pinning resin, and evidently I don't know how to make the pins straight. Each one of these minis ended up crooked. And crooked in a way I couldn't straighten up. Problem 3: I tried painting these with a pin in 1 foot/leg before attaching them to the bases. They wiggled and spun enough that I feel blaming at least half of the resulting paint job on that is valid. This was my biggest lesson learned - when it comes type to apply painted brush to mini, that mini has to be stable in my big elderly man-hands.

As much as I complain above, it wasn't all bad. Granted, I can't find a silver lining to write as an example, but they're not total crap. Maybe the silver lining is my skills have generally improved over the years to where I recognize all the things that went wrong here instead of thinking that painted = done and good job. Jerry asked me the other day if I paint things to play games or for the process. While I paint things so that they may be played in games, I don't really expect them to be played. So truthfully, it's the process. I paint something, and after it's sealed and had pictures taken and posted here, it goes in a box or on a shelf and is quickly forgotten as I move on to the next thing. But I do enjoy that process, even when things go wrong.

Next up will be Lt Gordon (or I might promote him to grey headed Commish) and a baseball bat wielding lackey. Honest, that's next. They're even 70% painted already.

Batman Miniature Game gaming miniatures Knight Models

WIP Friends are now just Friends


Thanks to annual company shutdown enforced PTO, I found myself both with some open time and in the right mood to finish up the Water Tower and Hulkbuster from last week's post. And by finish up, I reached the point where I could only see things going downhill if I kept trying things.

The water tower was not supposed to be completely rusted. I started with a light Vallejo rust wash in spots on the top. The wash really showed brush strokes too much. For some reason, I thought of applying the wash to the entire thing, and that didn't make anything better. For a cover up, I had some Rustoleum hammered copper spray paint. That's not a color that any water tower has ever been seen, you might say. But, if the metallic sheen is toned down to a matte finish - more rust! Hopefully evenly coated, non-brush stroke showing rust. And it does look that way! At least to me, it does. Add in some dark rust/orange/brown more-rusted spots and you've got a water tower you wouldn't want to drink any water out of. The legs got a silver base coat and then a mix of random Nuln Oil and Rust washes, and some Typhus Corrosion spotted on the base as well as a cou0le of random spots on the tower itself. There were more parts included in the kit for the tower - a ladder, some cross wire supports for the legs, but I left them off for potential better miniature game play-ability.

Hulkbuster is one I just gave up on. I was using Army Painter metallics on top of a black base coat, and I just could not get even coverage brushed on. Sometimes it was going on too thick (like nail polish) and smearing around. Other times, too thin and just not covering anything. There's still black primer showing in spots, but hopefully that'll look like dark recesses and not unpainted parts. I think using the metallics with a matching base color would work better for me. Alternately, I could follow the video that used a metallic silver base and then contrast paints on top.

With the start of a new year, I have a couple of hobby goals I'm working on for the year. One of which is to work on more scenery (like the water tower) along with my randomly primed minis. Maybe not with every batch, but I'd like to find a good rhythm to work them in as I've got a closet full of buildings and vehicles sitting unmade.

Atlas O Gauge gaming miniatures Marvel Crisis Protocol

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

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