31 August 2014

Zombie Kid Joe - Intermezzo: Bench Transfer

Another hot, humid day that left me with no desire to paint. So I took care of some things around the house, and completed the research and the prepwork on Zombie Kid Joe. Joe is now primed and settling-in to his new digs on the painting hutch. . . 

The groundwork is still very much a design-in-progress, but the foundational elements have been squared away. In the next few days, I will take inventory of my wood supply, and see what I need to realize my vision of this piece. . . 

Stay tuned!

30 August 2014

Notable Acquisitions August 2014

Dark World Creations Judge Dredd on the Lawmaster Mk.I (LE100; 70mm, David Richardson)
Dragon Iron Man 3 "Battlefield Collection" #1 [4-pack] (1/24; ???) 
Tamiya JGSDF Motorcycle Reconnaissance Set (1/35, ???)

Z-Time! (or Birthday Greetings to DWC!!)

The last weekend of August. This year, Labor Day weekend as well. Though our current heat wave belies the fact that Fall is right around the corner, there are other, more telling, signs that augur the advent of the Harvest. . .

One of these is the new TV season, which means the return of The Walking Dead (Oct 12) and the premiere of its Sy-Fy counterpart, Z-Nation (Sept 12). Which in turn means that my work- bench slowly starts becoming [re-]populated with "re-animated" projects. I'm super-excited with the prospects of the Master Box 1/35th scale Zombieland series; but while I wait for its release and arrival, I intend to resume work on DWC's Zombie Kid Joe in honour of the company's second anniversary. . .


26 August 2014

Thanos - Prepwork (3): Assembly

If it's month-end, that means disposable [bench] time is at a premium. . . Which in turn means that it is the perfect time to engage in basic clean-up!

So after a leisurely half hour or so of filing and polishing, the head/spauldler-to-torso join was ready for permanent attachment, and what were 4 component pieces are now 3. With any luck at at all, the Mad Titan will be fully assembled by the weekend.

More to follow. . . 

UPDATE 27.08.2014 - The waist join and girdle have been finished and the torso can now be permanently attached to the legs unit. . . however, there are still some pesky seams to be addressed  on the insides of the arms--and final polishing to be done!--so final assembly of the body will have to wait a bit longer. . . 

Stay tuned! 

24 August 2014

The Admiral: Roaring Currents

As we were leaving Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday, we took our time strolling through the vestibule looking at the movie posters. It was then that I noticed the poster for The Admiral: Roaring Currents, with a striking close-up of what appeared to be a fully-armoured Korean warrior, flanked by the hook, "12 vs. 330 Ships". . .

OMG!!! Had they actually done a feature-length dramatization of the Battle of Myeongnyang???!!! Apparently, yes.

The film now owns most, if not all, box-office records in the RoK, and it has enjoyed a rather generous--and successful!--limited-release here in the States. The ratings are quite high for a movie of this ilk, though I would direct any interested soul to this site for a historical evaluation of the work. Not surprisingly, it appears to fall somewhat short in this category, but what doesn't nowadays?!

I definitely plan to go see this epic next weekend--if it is still playing. If not, the DVD/BR will top the want list. . .

Has anyone seen this? Comments??

23 August 2014

Top 10 Best Comic Book Superhero Films of All Time - 2014 Update

I have just returned from spending a delightful morning with my lady, thoroughly enjoying the evinced irreverent reverence for the Galaxy's biggest A-Holes ;-)! OUTSTANDING!! Which in turn has prompted me to update my initial posting from 2012. As before, please feel free to comment, agree--or disagree!, and express your preferences. . .

In order of release. . .
  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Watchmen (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
and. . .
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Honourable Mention to :
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  • Green Lantern (2011)
And as before, just to keep things manageable, I've limited the list to 10.


22 August 2014

Thanos - Prepwork (2)

With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, "The Mad Titan" (bka Thanos) has once again leapt to the forefront our collective consciousness. And so it was time to dust-off a project last touched over two years ago, and reassess. . .  

As per usual, I was surprised at how little there is left to be done in terms of the basics. While I have yet to finalize the waist join, the head/spauldler unit fit to the torso has now been finalized. Also, I clipped off all the Infinity gems from the left gauntlet, and have begun to refinish the set- tings. How--and with what--I will refinish/replace the gems is still under evaluation. On the plus side, once I finalize the fit of the gauntlet to the left arm, work on the figure can continue inde- pendently of the former.

More to follow. . . 

FOLLOW-UP . . . The waist join is now finalized, as is that of the Infinity Gauntlet to the left arm. And now. . . final finishing and the IG sub-project. . . 

20 August 2014

Dragon Sept-Oct 2014 releases

Dragon's on a roll! Whether your tastes run to the Marvel intergalactic misfits (especially a little "masked" marauder with an attitude!), or post-apocalyptic mayhem (actually a Master Box re- lease), the next 6-8 weeks will be good ones for those of us who are miniaturists! And it won't break the bank!!

19 August 2014

Judge Death - Painting: Intermezzo

It is damn hard to believe that it has been three(!) weeks since I've even looked at Hisssssssss Honor!!! Well, that simply will not do! I hope to have Death in the cabinet by the end of the Labor Day weekend; but in the meantime, I still have to get past the elbow guards!

In the meantime, it's time to re-familiarize myself with the piece--especially since the oils are now essentially as dry as they are going to get. And the way I prefer to get the re-familiarization up to speed is by outlining and spot-staining (i.e., feathered deep shadows). So now, the groundwork is finally done; and the outlining is all-but-done. 

I should be able to start working my way through the dismembered digits in the next day or so... Stay tuned!

18 August 2014

DWC’s 70mm Judge Dredd on his Mk1 Lawmaster (LE)

DWC’s 70mm Judge Dredd on his Mk1 Lawmaster is their first limited-edition release with only 100 units worldwide (I received #10!). This model is based on the iconic 80’s version of Dredd and was inspired by stories such as Block Mania and artists such as Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon.

Given what DWC has provided to date, this was a must have! Entrusted to the artistry of 3-D sculptor David Richardson, and given DWC’s attention to detail, expectations were high. . . very high. And I am happy to report that these expectations were, by and large, met!

The kit is comprised of 29(!) pieces (+ logo'ed display plinth)--24 of these dedicated to the Law- master. Ever since this offering was announced, I was most curious as to how the Judge’s super- bike was to be designed. I will be the first to admit that I was somewhat taken aback when I saw that the front and rear tire/tire "housings" were cast as two symmetrical halves/per unit. To the credit of DWC and DB Creative Moulds, it worked out amazingly well.

I for one have never liked the now-prevalent trend of over-engineering kits so as to extend mold life and perhaps draw attention away from less-than-optimal design and/or mask limited production capabilities. While it may appear simple--or rather, simplified, once dry-assembled, it immedi- ately becomes apparent that the design is genius! The undercuts required to give the impression of a layered, multi-piece kit are all there, and the kit does not suffer one iota for its minimalist approach! Nevertheless, there will be some pesky join lines to deal with that could potentially compromise the lines of the assembled Lawmaster. Comparatively, if it were polystyrene, there would be zero concerns; but given that it is resin, one best bring ones "A" game to the work- bench when assembling these pieces--and use the slowest setting superglue that you can find! 

The Mega-City superbike is the Mk1 version, and it is based on--and faithful to!--the 2000AD "blueprints" posted on the DWC FB page. Whether you agree with this particular set of blueprints vs. the countless iterations of the Lawmaster (and their riders!) published over the decades is entirely a subjective call given the limitless artistic license evinced by the talented artists at 2000AD.

Before closing, I feel that I need to point out what has proven to be the "elephant in the room": the price point. I entered the ranks of this hobby when a 54mm foot was under US$3.00, a 90mm foot was around US$15.00--and the US$ was at the top of its game. A mounted 90 (or a 154mm foot) was right at or under US$50! So to me, everything is now ridiculously overpriced!! But to claim that a £96 msrp for a limited-edition, licensed product is egregiously overpriced is petty, irresponsibly damaging, and if not a case of selective discrimination, then certainly one of out- right hypocrisy! If it is out of your price range, fine. I can understand--and respect!--that. But that does not mean it is overpriced! DWC's prices are competitive, and given the quality you are implicitly guaranteed, arguably a bargain! "Bang for the buck" to me is not the amount of raw material used, the number of pieces, the packaging, etc., but the quality of the the finished product, and whether or not it satisfies my vision of the piece going-in, and/or the character/ subject it portrays. Once assembled, there will be nothing to suggest under-engineering, short-changing, or anything along those lines with this kit.

I am very pleased--if not delighted!--with my latest acquisition. . . in all respects! It will be a masterpiece once it is done and it will be the centrepiece of my Mega-City display. Will I build it straight OOB? Do I ever?? Personally, I am looking forward to some tweaks here and there to the engine, etc. that will make good use of the spare parts bin, and make my one of a hundred truly one of a kind! But in the meantime, I have a particularly nefarious Dark Judge to finish . . .

10 August 2014

Sláine - Prepwork 3 - The Torc

I had a few minutes to spare one evening last week, and I thought I would try to overcome a rather significant hurdle in my to-do-list of upgrades: the torc. 

The torc has been roughed-in with rolled-out MS. While I had hoped to finish it this weekend, the terminals will be added once the torc is surface-finished and scribed. 

Little by little. . .

Jean Vingeanne - Intermezzo: The Gun

As some of you might have gathered from the postings to-date, the gun is arguably the most pro- blematic aspect of this kit. I am completely on-board with the fact that this is an alien trapped sometime at the turn of the 19th c.; but unless his weapon is some sort of field-issue for alien SR teams made to appear like an Earth weapon, then we are faced with serious problems. Before listing the perceived issues, I would point out that this problem arose in the design of the model, not in the source illustration.

In no particular order. . .
  • The length of the gun. While Watt's gun is admittedly over-sized, it is still plausible. The hyper-exaggerated length of the kit weapon is problematic in any number of ways:
    • implausible
    • distracting
    • potential production issues
    • etc.
  • The lock. This is where everything goes wonky: 
    • The lock is on the left side of the gun. To quote Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny: "Oh yeah. . . you blend!"
    • At first glance, it appears to be a some sort of flintlock--but with no flint, no jaws, no pan. The original design is more suggestive of an early caplock, but little if any of this was translated in the 3d rendering.
    • The lock appears top be bolted to a sheet of . . . sheet of what???--; not inset in the stock itself.
  • In the interest of complete candor, the barrel is obviously hemispherical. Hopefully, enough diversionary details and paint can camouflage this "eyesore"; but there was/is no way I was/am going to rebuild the entire gun!
I will hopefully be able to "illustrate" the corrective work done to bring this firearm "down to Earth"!

09 August 2014

Jean Vingeanne - Prep & Assembly (4)

The forthcoming release of the latest Assassin's Creed game (Unity--no, I'm not a gamer; but I love the artwork!) got me thinking once again of ol' Jean Vingeanne. . . 

And today I began assembly on the gun! The only piece left to permanently attach is the assem- bled two pieces of the main barrel to the lock/stock section. UPDATE 10.08.2014 - DONE! This concludes the "pre-prep" on the gun: the work can now begin in earnest!! 

I also noticed a few areas on the torso that will require additional putty-work, but these are more at design tweaks than any real changes and/or enhancements.

At this time, I can't say if this piece will work its way into the Fall lineup, but. . . Stay tuned!

For fans of the "Armored Avenger". . .

While IM3 was my least favourite of the franchise to-date, I have just received Dragon's Iron Man 3 "Battlefield Collection" #1 [4-pack] (1/24th scale). I'll let you decide if it is your cup of tea--or not, but at US$8.75/figure (including scenic groundwork; $8.99 if you buy them individually), this has to be one of the best deals out there!

03 August 2014

Sláine - Prepwork: Intermezzo

For whatever reason/s, Sláine has been calling to me. Thus, I thought it time to reassess what remains to be done--as well as get the ball rolling again on this character.

So far, so good, I'm pleased to report. I tweaked the fitting and the drapery of the "plaid" a bit more to provide a more natural, convincing 'hang', and a more defined "fit". I figure there are 2-3 more sessions with the "plaid" before moving on to the fur leggings, and commencing the finalization of the prepwork. 

Stay tuned!