Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ogre - Avast B'Hind, Part 5 of 5

Modifications: Hook hand, sword & belly plate anchor detail.

The most obvious mod here is the hook hand, another stock-in-trade for your average buccaneer. The hook was made from a cut down piece of the grappling hook, located into a hole drilled into the arm and glued into place. This proved to be too fragile (i.e. clumsy muggins here kept on breaking it) so I secured it in place with more greenstuff.

And finally, another subtle mod is the anchor detail added to belly plate using three strips of greenstuff to make up the basic shape. Once in place the strips were then trimmed with a scalpel to create the desired look.

This concludes the pirate ogre posts. I hope you've enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed making them. Hopefully you'll agree that by making a few relatively simple modifications you can make your miniatures stand out from the crowd. I still have several more ideas for modifications based on the pirate theme so you may see a couple more pirate ogres in the future.

I haven't yet decided on which project to concentrate on next but it just might be something completely different (again) from anything else seen previously on this blog.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Ogre Standard Bearer - Jolly Roger, Part 4 of 5

Modifications: Bandana & sword
The bandana was made from a ball of greenstuff as described in the previous post.

Perhaps the most subtle (and easiest) mod of them all. The end of the sword was simply trimmed to look more like a cutlass with its curved top edge of the blade.

Because Ade had already painted up a jolly nice Jolly Roger style standard I didn't want to create something exactly the same or too different (if that makes sense?). After a brief discussion with Ade, a typical quote sounding like, "Yep I agree, bones are more 'ogre' than swords." we decided on the one shown. The standard itself is based on the historic pirate flag of Henry Avery. Unusually the flag is often shown as red, not the traditional black we normally associate with pirates. As mentioned previously this colour helps tie the figures together.
On the standard itself I added broken ships steering wheels, a pistol with new trigger guard and the set of cannon balls hanging from the crow's next. I painted a treasure map onto the model conveniently located on the back of the crow's nest.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ogre Musician (Bellower) "Thar he blows!", Part 3 of 5

Modifications: False leg, bandana, cup & barrel.

The logic behind this figure is that this is an ogre who has lost his leg but still serves a useful purpose, as a musician. He also carries light refreshments for his ogre chums, a barrel of rum or grog and side order of raw steak.
The classic look of a pirate (Treasure Island etc.) normally shows a poor chap with false leg. Here this was shaped by first removing the left leg to the level of the boot. This saved me from having to re-sculpt the trousers. The leg itself was created using two different sized balls of greenstuff and the plastic inner tube from a pen. This tube was simply cut down then stuck into the top bit making sure it was set at the correct angle. Once the greenstuff began to harden I used the flat edge of a scalpel to flatten and smooth out the top section.

The bandana was made from a ball of greenstuff plopped on top of the model's head and smoothed down. Two strips of greenstuff were added to create the 'tails' of the bandana. Using a metal scribe I made the creases and folds to give it a more realistic look.

Similar to how notches were said to be added to guns (and in a certain nocturnal location!) I cut several notches into the back of the sword to indicate previous victories.

The small cup itself was made from part of the sprue. The body of the cup was hollowed out with a hand drill and scalpel and the handle was made from a thin roll of greenstuff.

The steak was also trimmed down. or more precisely the hook was trimmed so it would sit closer to the body. Also the hair, still attached to the meat, was cut away as it was too close to the ground.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Cap'n Ogre Avery - Champion (Crusher), Part 2 of 5

Modifications: Naval style headwear, musket, telescope and parrot.

In order to make this ogre champion stand out I decided to give him a distinguishing head piece. Familiar to anyone who's watched a period British navy film the distinct bicorn hat was made first by giving the figure a basic skull cap made from greenstuff. Once this was cured I made the two halves of the hat by simply making a flat circular disk, dividing it into two equal parts; then moulding it around the skull cap at a jaunty angle. Well he is a pirate champion after all. As a finishing touch, I added a cockade and ribbon.

The musket was taken from the Warhammer Empire Militia set. The hands and arm were removed, then cut and shunted onto the right hand ogre part which was itself a standard piece holding the club (from the ogre box set); the top and bottom parts of the club being simply cut away.

The telescope was from a handful of spares that I 'borrowed' from Ade taken from, I believe, another ogre set. I removed a section of the telescope's barrel and did a 'cut and shunt' job with a spare left ogre hand part. 
"This parrot was deceased." (apologies to any Monty Python fans)
 The idea for the parrot came very late; I was literally ready to prime all the figures when I saw in a Sunday newspaper a picture of Eddie Izzard starring in a television version of Treasure Island. Sitting on his shoulder was a beautiful multi-coloured parrot. Ping, light bulb moment! All pirate themed ogres should have at least one dodgy looking bird crew member.

I initially contemplated making a bird from scratch but being a lazy bugger I wondered if I could utilise something else. In the dark, dim recesses of my mind I recalled seeing some type of bird being supplied with a set of Games Workshop figures. It took a while to remember where this was but it finally dawned on me. It was in the Warhammer Empire Archers set. However once I'd located the box and had a look, the bird wasn't a hawk or a similarly suitable model, it was a dead pheasant being held aloft by one of the archers, pierced by an arrow. Fudge cakes!

After a deep breath I carefully removed the archer's hand and arm, the arrow and the legs. Feathers were cut back into the plastic using a scribe and a scalpel. The head wasn't in the correct position so I chopped it off, cut the neck at an angle and repositioned it in a more natural looking position. However it still looked like a pheasant. So out came the greenstuff and I tried to bulk out the head and neck. The greenstuff would also help secure the head onto the body. I'm not entirely happy with the final result (I personally think it still looks like a deceased pheasant) but it's close enough.
Dirty Bird
The parrot's legs were replaced with two pieces of brass rod. I used these to pin the parrot into the ogre's shoulder. Once fixed in place, I used greenstuff to fill in any gaps and created claws from thin rolls of greenstuff. All this helped to secure the parrot on to the model.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ogres, Games Workshop - Part 1 of 5

Ahoy there shipmates and me fellow landlubber hearties (sorry, that's enough pirate talk from me), these plastic ogre figures from Games Workshop detailed in this post were made and painted especially for my old shipmate Ade. He has a very entertaining YouTube channel 'WargamingForFun' (does exactly what it says on the tin) which is mainly based on games using Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy, although he has plans to expand to cover other gaming systems and manufacturers.
Ogre Avery and his merry band of cut-throat pirates
As I wanted to give Ade something in return for all of his recent hospitality in his man-cave I offered to paint up some figures for him. Making and painting fantasy figures is an ideal opportunity to do something completely different from my usual drawn out historical projects.

If you watch the videos you may notice one of Ade's current favourite army's is that of the Ogre Kingdom. The basic core units of the army are obviously your standard Ogres, these are big figures, literally twice the size of other figures. They are currently £23 for six ogres (£3.83 per figure). Ade had himself recently completed some very impressive figures based on a pirate theme, so with this great idea in mind I decided to have a go myself. Ade handed over two ogres but I suggested a group of four, giving me an ideal base from which to start; the usual three figure command group plus a normal figure to even up the numbers.

Some of the painting and modification ideas were immediately obvious.
Pirate flag - check,
Wooden false leg - check,
Cutlasses - check,
Pistols and muskets - check.

With all this in mind I armed myself to the teeth, proper pirate fashion, with scalpel, plastic cutters, needle files, greenstuff and paintbrushes and went to work. I was in modeling modifying heaven.
Ogres crossing Abbey Road
I've played down the butcher aspect of the ogres and tried to emphasise the more nautical theme. I'll go into more detail on individual posts highlighting the modification on each figure (hence five posts in total).

Regarding the overall 'look' of the figures I used my normal basic technique of block painting, applying the appropriate coloured wash and then finishing with a complimentary highlight to the base colour. As pirates didn't have a standard uniform back in the ye olden days I decided to keep the paint jobs relatively simply. Bog standard Citadel Foundation paints were used straight from the pot, using a different colour for each ogre's clothing; although it may be worth noting that I intentionally used red on each figure to tie them together colour-wise as a group.
Ogres coming back across Abbey Road
The bases were simply covered in sand and painted with Foundry's Base Sand 10A, B and C.

Painting-wise these miniatures are never going to be Golden Demon winners, but that was never the plan. Look closely and you'll see that they are actually quite crude. This isn't false modesty on my behalf or a crude amount to fish for compliments, for instance I don't blend the paints and apply multi-layered highlights. These figures are meant to be handled and played with. In fact they have already survived being dropped several times and the drunken attempts of an pickled painter (i.e. me after an evening of drinking real ale) having a go at them.

I'll be publishing four more posts on these ogres, one every day. So, in the immortal words of Casey Kasem, "Details coming up!"

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Approach for 2012 - Twitter

As I'm sure regular readers will agree, I'm fully aware how little I actually post regarding models or miniatures on this site. As the title of this blogspot indicates my interests range far and wide. Consequently the posts may often appear quite random with miniatures featuring less frequently than I'd like. However, believe it or not, I do actually produce a lot more than it may appear.

Obviously I normally tend to 'press the button' only once I'm completely happy that the post is ready to be published. For example I have an eight part (minimum) posting ready to go on the subject of the late medieval Lord Dudley. The only thing preventing me from finishing the painting of the figures is that simple fact that I can't determine exactly how the livery colours are halved. Sad but true.

Another of several reasons for this is due to the fact that I try to get the uniforms and histories as accurate (and readable) as possible before I publish a post. The correct shade of dark blue for US infantry from the War of 1812 anyone? Nope, even after numerous purchases of pots of paint, I'm still looking. I have dozens (and dozens!) of miniatures primed and ready to paint.

Likewise for the ongoing War of 1812 project I can't establish a (relatively) small colour detail for a set of British 19th Dragoons miniatures. It's not the fact I'm concerned that someone might point out the error, it's just that I'd know it might not be correct and it would annoy me endlessly.

Another factor is commission work. I've painted a number of new, unreleased miniatures for companies that I can't post here yet for obvious reasons. These can take up a lot of my painting time and then I just have to wait until the relevant company releases them. For instance, the Scots ECW Dragoons, commissioned by Warlord Games, were completed nearly a year before I could put any images or posts online.

Hence the painfully slow post rate. Unfortunately I don't have the time, content or inclination to post everyday (or even every week) here on Blogger. Anyway, back to the point of all this waffle; in a vain attempt to prove I'm not just completely lazy I've decided to use that other great modern time-wasting invention: Twitter. As I have the attention span of a disinterested goldfish, I'm hoping that this will help me maintain a degree of focus. I hope to post (tweet?) on that site on a far more regular basis; almost in a 'Dear Diary' style and use this blog as before, for the completed projects. Well that's the plan anyway.

A link to the site can be found via the page conveniently labelled Twitter or via this link:!/UbiqueMatt