Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bouncing Boy has lift off!

Spurred on by the many kind words of encouragement, I am pleased to report that my contribution to ‘Forgotten Heroes’ is back on track; ‘Bouncing Boy’ is slowly, but surely, starting to take shape! Having already identified the ping pong ball as the structure on which the character was to be built, I started with the ubiquitous utility belt, in this case a strip of foil from a ‘Pringles’ tube*. To this was added a few likely looking pouches from a handy sprue that was in this year’s ‘Salute’ goody bag. 

*Be warned though, once you ‘pop’, you just can’t stop!

Whilst I was harvesting the pouches, it struck me that the legs, or at least part of them, might work for ‘Bouncing Boy’ and so out came the side snips again, now I don’t know exactly what a Maelstrom's Edge Epiran Handler** is, but I am grateful for his sacrifice in this project!
**Apparently from the Battle for Zycanthus box by 'Spiral Arm Studios'.
Arms proved a little more difficult to source as I wasn’t sure about the pulse rifle attached to the Epiran Handler's hand, but as luck would have it the ‘Victrix Limited’ Napoleonic Highlanders sprue offered up a couple of alternatives that fitted the bill perfectly. I decided to keep the buttons on the cuff, they are probably not called buttons and I may just have committed an awful Napoleonic faux pas, as they added a little more interest to what was, in effect, a ball!  
So it was now all about finding a suitable head, but I was right out of youthful molecular scientists!   I could muster the odd grizzled Viking, or a helmeted GI, but I was struggling for the right look for my Charles Foster Taine.  In a fit of desperation, I took a more left field approach approach and attached an unmarried Zulu warriors head left over from the the 'Cetshwayo Challenge'.  I was thinking that there was, arguably, an air of youth to the sculpt and that headband could certainly add something to the costume!
Given 'Bouncing Boy's' unique skill of being able to inflate into a round shape that could bounce and ricochet off walls without harm, it seemed like a good idea to incorporate a flight stand.  I also managed to unearth a suitably futuristic base topper as well, so all is nearly complete.  I hoping to get some undercoat on him tonight and then, if all goes according to plan, try and get the bulk of the painting done over the weekend; I may yet make the deadline! 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes...

...still a work in progress.
Now let's be honest, there hasn't really been much progress at all.  The frenetic pace that comes as the end of the academic year looms into sight has rather scuppered my plans to resurrect 'Bouncing Boy' from 'forgotten' to  'occasionally talked about'.  The irony of this sad tale is that I chose this character because I thought that it would be simple and quick to do! 
There has been some movement and I have collected, what I hope will be, the composite parts required to finish the job.  Included in these are a selection of spherical objects to form the main body.  The beads, my first choice, are clearly too small and the ping pong ball feels a little big, but I think that I am going to go with it anyway, if for no other reason than comedy value; my only concern with this choice is that I have a nagging thought that ping pong balls don't react well to superglue?  I will let you know!
To further compound the ignominy of my current project there has been some truly wonderful progress made by my fellow contributors, which has all been documented on the official site and I would encourage to stop wasting time reading this drivel and go and see what should be happening!  Hopefully, once I have ticked off a few chores this morning, there might be a little more to show later in  the week. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Barrage Miniatures Stable

I recently took possession of some rather fine pieces from 'Barrage Miniatures', courtesy of Tamsin ‘The Wargaming Girl’s' 500,000 page view giveaway.  Thank you Tamsin, not only for the incredibly generous prize, but for also introducing me to the fabulous person that is Alf of 'Barrage Miniatures'.  Although aware of 'Barrage Miniatures', perhaps most recently through the work of the sublimely talented Curtis Campbell Esq. (see his Church and River boat), I hadn’t had cause to place an order, but now armed with a hugely generous €40 voucher I was certainly taking a little more interest in what they had to offer.  
Having dismissed the rather splendid river borne flotilla, although I still have a hankering to game the Vietnam War at some point*, my eyes fell upon a medieval stable and some curious cobblestone roads, although I wasn’t entirely sure how I would use the cobbles so only opted for a square, thinking that I could add to it at a later date if necessary.
*I blame the glut of 1980s straight to video features for this, essential viewing for young Master Awdry.
Now at this point I should say a little more about Alf.  From the earliest exchanges of emails to acknowledge the vouchers, Alf has been an absolute delight to deal with.  His enthusiasm and generosity has been unparalleled and I cannot recall when I had so much fun purchasing something, now admittedly I wasn’t spending my money which probably helps, but I really cannot praise this chap highly enough.  He even refunded the money for the cobblestone square because he wasn’t happy to charge for what was, in essence, a sample!
Back to the Stable and this four piece resin structure really does look the part, there is some evidence of air bubbles in the cast, but these are few and far between, easily filled and do not spoil the look of the piece.  At this stage, I am still debating whether to leave the roof section as a separate piece to allow easy access.  The sculpting was such that it rather painted itself, and I took most of my inspiration from the company’s website.
Finally then the cobbles.  This was really interesting piece of terrain as it is cast using a flexible resin material that is utterly indestructible.  Although when I ordered it I wasn’t sure what I was going to use it for, there was a notion that it might form a town square, particularly for my 'Witchfinder General' rules.  So pleased was I with this pre-painted sample that I have subsequently ordered another three pieces to make a more substantial square and who knows, there may still be cobbles appearing at some stage in Gotham City!
So Once again a big thank you to Tamsin whose generosity of spirit led to me scooping the prize in the giveaway, but also another thank you must go to Alf, whose joie de vivre has once again reminded me that this most wholesome of hobbies is populated by some truly wonderful people.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Howls of Joy!

I wasn't going to post about this, but in the absence of any other tangible material I have caved in, that and I have been as giddy as a schoolboy all weekend.  I had already read of several large boxes arriving at other notable Bloggers' homesteads and having finally receiving my notification last week, I started tracking my own bundle of plastic plunder across Europe - the wolves were on the move!

Safely across the channel, I saw that it was 'out for delivery' on Friday - blast!  Metaphorically shackled to the desk at work, I waited for the inevitable update, which duly came around 2pm, 'Unable to deliver, returned to depot - double blast!!  I could, of course, arrange for it to be left with a neighbour or in a designated safe place, but I stumped up the five pound required for it to be brought to the gates of 'Awdry Towers' on Saturday morning, I defy anyone to say that they would have done anything different in this situation.
Now I had thought this was all going to work beautifully as after a feverish bout of cunning, I envisaged the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' on her way to the swimming baths, as is her want, at a respectable hour of the morning and whilst away, I could greet the the DPD driver with a hearty 'Hello and thank you' and have the boxed upstairs and stashed away faster than a smashed stretch goal!  Alas things are rarely this simply and it would appear that 'Awdry Towers' was fist on the list of chaps receiving their toys that morning; I was caught standing at the door, weighty box in hands grinning from ear to ear.  
Finally then the Zombicide Wulfsburg expansion has arrived, along with all the stretch goals and a couple of packs of extras that I had forgotten about.  So much stuff and just so wonderfully conceived and packaged - a plastic paradise.  Now it is fair to say that I am easily distracted and work is not playing nice with my hobby time at the moment so it was inevitable that I opened a couple of packs to have a closer inspection and oh joy!
The Abominabeasts are just superb, huge and incredibly well sculpted these immediately caught my eye and have now taken up residence on the painting table, not sure when or if I'll get around to them, but they just needed to be out on display.  Other items that caught my eye were the medieval Batman and Joker known as Scowl and Grin - so much to choose from, but where to begin?
Obviously the solution lay in the spin of a coin, the new metal first play coin!
Finally a quick shot of one of the 'smaller' beast next to a miniature for scale!






Friday, 3 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes are go!

On its launch, I was gripped by the excitement that was ‘Forgotten Heroes’, immediately signing up to be 'on board', when I suddenly became aware that I hadn’t a clue what to do!  I toyed with the idea of replicating various current celluloid superheroes, but of course that meant that, with franchising being what it is, there were already many viable options of miniatures available on the market, which didn’t seem to fit with the ethos of the event.  I decided to cast my net a little further and tried to remember comic book heroes from my youth, but tittles like Warlord and 2000AD* yielded little to work with.  Union Jack Jackson and Rogue Trooper were undeniably super, but were they superheroes?  This was getting serious, I was starting to worry that I might have to withdraw!
*Young Master Awdry’s preferred reading at the time.

I trawled around the internet for inspiration, but again was left a little bewildered by the current multitudes of squeaky clean and squared jawed defenders of justice and peace.  Deciding to go back to its source, I narrowed my search to focus on those Superheroes that were created in, what I now understand to be, the Silver Age of comics.  This was a fascinating exercise and it was wonderful to see the original incarnations of many of the now lycra or rubber clad denizens of the silver screen – different times indeed.  Eventually my research unearthed a totally new character to me and yet one that seemed to resonate with yours truly – let me introduce you to Bouncing Boy.
Bouncing Boy, created for DC Comics in 1961 by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, first appeared in Action Comics #276 and was a wholly unlikely member of the Legion of Superheroes, but all the more charming for it.  Charles Foster Taine, a 30th Century Earth scientist, accidentally drank an experimental super-plastic fluid believing it to be his sugary beverage of choice while watching a sports match.**  The fluid drastically altered his body’s cellular makeup, giving him the power to inflate into a round shape that could bounce and ricochet off walls without harm.  As Bouncing Boy, Chuck, was impervious to both physical damage, and of all things, sadness; yes, Bouncing Boy’s good humour and charming personality led him to proclaiming himself the Legion’s ‘Morale Officer'.
**Already I like this chap!
Life as a ‘Super’ seldom runs according to plan and Chuck had to prove his worth, having initially been rejected by the Legion.  Fortunately an electrically charged villain was duly dispatched, due to Bouncing Boy not being grounded, and all was well.  Bouncing Boy then had to leave the Legion when he married Duo Damsel, formerly Triplicate Girl***, settling on the colony world of Wondil IX before ultimately returning to become Headmaster of the Legion Academy.  So my unlikely choice for ‘Forgotten Heroes’ is Bouncing Boy, a round, happy chap, with a penchant for sugary drinks - me as a superhero!  I just need to build him now.
***This stuff is gold dust!

So 'Forgotten Heroes' month is finally here and for a detailed explanation of the 'rules' and an explanation of what's going on, please pay a visit to the official 'Forgotten Heroes' site, which was kindly put together by Roger Webb of 'Rantings from Under the Wargames Table' fame.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Paint Table Saturday#134

Having safely arrived at another welcomed half term break, I had a notion to drop the suit off at the dry cleaners and have a mooch around the Sunshine Coast's mighty metropolis.  After the third attempt of trying* the enthusiasm had rather wained, but I did pop into 'The Works', on the off chance of a cheap dinosaur or two, and came across this interesting little book.  The First World War in a 100 Objects by Peter Doyle.

*Perhaps the World Health Organisation should stopping worrying about Rio and investigate what is targeting Southern Rail's drivers and guards!

Not only heavily discounted, this light read is rather nicely put together and should provide a perfect accompaniment  to my elevenses next week.  Buoyed with my find, I decided to pick up a little something for the hobby table in the shape of a rather splendid coir doormat, which I'm hoping will become wheat fields at some point in the not too distant future.
As for the paint table, well to be honest very little has happened of late, but I have started to put some paint on my Medieval Stable from 'Barrage Miniatures', more of which I will detail in a later post, 
but all too often in these periods of drought, I seem to find myself a victim of UXB** - why else would an emerging steam powered tunneller from 'Ironclad Miniatures' find its way to 'Awdry Towers'

**Unexpected buying!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A West Wind blows South.

On Monday we returned from work to find that the postman had left a little red card of happiness alerting us to the fact that something awaited our attention at the local sorting office.  The Saintly Mrs. Awdry, displaying an uncharacteristic lack of gracefulness, tutted and snarled, “It’s for you again” and duly handed it over, the tone in her voice suggesting that I have probably exceeded my monthly allowance of little packages!

Given our early departure in the mornings, it wasn’t until Saturday that I was able to exchange my card for the waiting treasures – and what treasures they were.  Once again, I am in the very fortunate position of benefitting through the generosity of others.  This time I must offer my heartfelt thanks to ‘West Wind Productions’ for the extraordinarily generous gift certificate that I was able to claim for winning the 'Nostalgia' bonus round in the 'VI Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge'.
My Nostalgia round entry.
Having bought from ‘West Wind’ on many an occasion, I was already aware of their magnificent range of miniatures and so my only difficulty was deciding on which to spend my voucher - I was like a child in a sweetshop!  In the end I sampled from quite a variety of different ranges with a leaning towards all things Pulp.
So once again, a big thank you ‘West Wind Productions' and of course all those that kindly voted for my work in the challenge.


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