Saturday, 9 May 2020

The Living and the Undead

Well hello everyone I hope that you are doing well. Back with more from the Zone project this week, four more miniatures to show you. Two zombies and two Stalkers. Once again thanks goes to my flatmate Logan for lending me their phone to take these photos.

Obviously staged, even Stalkers this well armed would not casually stand with zombies.
So we have two women now finding themselves in a cruel state of unlife (hopefully they have passed at least consciously). One is a Dark Alliance miniature, the other is another Caesar zombie. Quite a difference is style but they are still relatively compatible. The other two are from the Dark Alliance Stalker sets. Let's take a closer look.

So the one on the left is part of the same inquisitor/witch hunter group as the last one, the guy on the right is a mercenary.

Bad mask etiquette on the inquisitor, doesn't he know it is ineffective that way?

So for the two living characters we have another Witch Hunter/Inquisitor/Zealot figure and a mercenary. Mercenaries are common in the zone, both in the sense of former mercenaries becoming Stalkers trying to make it rich, and Stalkers becoming mercenaries earning a living fighting for the various Zone factions. Mercenaries tend to be better equipped than most stalkers with some military equipment mixed in. However, they are generally not as well equipped as the factions directly (although usually unofficially) backed by military forces from outside the Zone.

Red coat and exoskeleton. Which one is more fashionable? 

Red vs blue too, although one is substantially more red than the other is blue.
Now onto the undead, the walkers, the zombies, the living-dead, the Zeds, the..... why do we have so many names for Zombies? Here are two, whether these two were once women living in the Zone before the cataclysm, or tourists in the early years before the second emission turned all who'd foolishly entered is unknown. They could even have been from some of the Stalker villages. Whoever they were now they are but moving husks, who's one aim is to feed on the flesh of the living (or the dead, but they prefer fresh meat). Feeling no (or very little) pain they are hard to take down, but a shot to the head or a few good hits on vital organs will end their torment.

BRAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSSSS

Zombie..... hug?

On the left we have cream shirt and blue jeans and on the right yellow dress and blue shoes.

Oh looks like their friendship is over, time to go shamble off to greyer pastures (sorry about the hair in these shots)
So finally some individual shots of the miniatures. It has been interesting painting the zombies in particular. They are generally very quick to paint but there's a few tricks to get them looking suitably zombified. Usually this involves using light skin tone with some black or grey in it, gives the right tone for cold dead skin.

I am not sure if the fingers were supposed to be bitten (or chopped) off or if this was a sculpting/mould error but I decided that bitten off fingers was the look to go for.

For a while I was struggling to decide what colour to use for her dress but I am so glad that I went with yellow. The dirt, blood and general weathering effect looks quite good.

Quite the cool operator and another member of this zealot group of hunters. Three more miniatures to go for them (for the first party at least). Although I do still have to decide on the fifth member.

Here's the mercenary, this shot really brings out the exoskeleton. At first I was going to do some urban camouflage but the simple blue works quite well.
So that's all for today. I hope that you have enjoyed these miniatures. More is coming up to keep an eye out. I also have some Soviet/PAPA NCOs that I really should get around to finishing. So they could be next or it could be something completely different. We shall see.

But until next time I wish you all a good day/night.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Motorised Rifle Squad (Soviet/PAPR)

Well a little over a week since my last post. Not because it has been a week in terms of painting (I have exclusively been doing conversions). Rather, I just didn't get around to doing photos. So last minute and basically taking this final opportunity to get a post out this week. Anyway let's get into this shall we.

Action pose for the squad. Sorry in advance for the yellow hue of the photos. I do get a couple of shots where this is less of an issue.
So back to Elhiem figures this week. These are from a Soviet Motorised Platoon (For BTR60/70/80s) pack I got. That's right a whole platoon. Plenty to keep me going. This is the first squad of the platoon which includes a marksman not in the other two squads. I have painted them up in a KLMK pattern camouflage, basis it off pictures of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. For the purposes of Oronegro they shall serve as the core of the Pan Andean People's Republic. Though their equipment is a little dated compared to their Oronegrean counterparts they are still quite formidable and well versed in both conventional and guerrilla warfare (though to a lesser extent than their local force/regional force counterparts).

While the squad lead may be getting distracted by local birds the rest of the quad gets to work.
So as mentioned there are local/regional forces. These represent the guerrilla forces and units from the constituent members of the PAPR. The former are very much like the Vietcong (guess which models will be used to represent them). The latter being more akin to the Warsaw Pact troops (again, who could possibly be used to represent these troops). These troops are also going to be roped into service in the Ororussia setting. In this case they may represent troops from the post Soviet neighbours of the region there. Although I haven't fully established the situation over there.

This squad also has access to the newer RPG18 (left), while the others had the RPG7. All squads have a RPK74 gunner (all in this pose (centre). Finally the guy on the right has a bayonet, which sadly is not fully in shot.

This squad, as mentioned, as the platoon marksman with the SVD (left). There is then only two standard riflemen, one with a bayonet above and the kneeling man in the centre. That leaves the grenadier on the right.

Shot of those figures from behind. Also the clearest photo and I have no clue how to get this consistently, oh well. This view gives a good view of their webbing too.

Finally we have the bird-watching squad leader. I call him that because of his binoculars and his clear focus of something up above.

Another view of the webbing, also a decent view of the camouflage too. It's Model Master Olive Drab, with the light parts being Tamiya Grey (I hate Tamiya paints, so claggy on brushes), with a semi-brybrush of Vallejo Rusian Uniform WW2. 
These troops will see quite a lot of action I hope, whether as soldiers of the PAPR, another imagi-nation of even the Soviet Union. Before I finish I must give a big shout out to Martin Evelyn for subscribing to my blog. Great to have you here. Hope you like what you see.

So that's all for today. I will try get out a post for next week. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, not much progress on the painting front (although I have made plenty of conversions and I have even bought some exciting new things). So we'll see if I can carry on doing a post a week or if I am finally beaten back. But until next time I wish you all good health, stay safe and have a good day/night wherever you are in the world.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Enter the Zone: Post apocalyptic figures and zombie

Well time for something completely different. Welcome one and all to the Zone. This is a project I had been contemplating for quite some time but now I am making the jump and starting to paint up some miniatures for it. It is something that I am finding really engaging, so many possibilities, so many opportunities for conversions, so many crazy characters to think up. I am having lots of fun, I hope you find this project fun too.

So first up, a HUGE thank you to my flatmate, Logan, for letting me use their phone with such an excellent camera. I will naturally apologise for some of the aspect ratio's, most of the images are portrait which is a little odd. So please bare with.

Additional thanks to Logan for the backdrop for these shots. Parts from a 1965 computer no less.
So today we are looking a three miniatures; two S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s, from the Dark Alliance sets; and one zombie, from the Caesar modern zombies set. (My goodness figures that are not from Elhiem what is this?) Don't know what I was so hesitant to work with plastics again. While the past few days have seen little painting, they have seen a large amount of conversions. I have had a lot of fun thinking of themes for different factions and sub-factions within the zone, not to mention a few wacky characters. So let's look at the first of those to enter the zone.

In the zone the wise stalkers steer clear of the mutant hordes... But there are those who hunt, not just the most powerful monsters, but seek to take down the most numerous groups. Mutants best steer clear of these stalkers.
The first miniature is this grizzled veteran. Painted up in honour of my mate Jasper, he's into power-lifting so this figure was the obvious choice. I asked Jasper what he wanted for the design. He said he'd like the figure to be wearing the white urban DPM and/or the colours of his home region Otago (blue and gold). I managed to get them both in there. Hope you like the results bro.

Searching the old labs is dangerous

But for those with the right equipment even the most dangerous parts of the zone become accessible.

But even those most experienced Stalkers know to be cautious. Some places are best left avoided.

Couple notes on the figure: as you can see I have gone for an urban DPM camouflage all over. I found some good images online that I copied.

Additionally I also took some time to add scars to the figure. Very fine work, would like to know what you think of those.
Next up is a member of a group known throughout the Zone as the Witch Hunters, Zone Inquisition, Fanatics, Zealots and all sorts of less savoury things. What they call themselves is less clear. They are a religious group, though whether they follow one mainstream religion, or many, or even none but their own is unclear. What we do know of their beliefs is this: They consider the Zone, its creatures and anomalies, to be an affront to the natural order of things. They are hostile both to the Zone mutants but also to those who seek to smuggle artefacts out of the Zone. In their eyes these tainted objects must be destroyed and their taint contained. So overall a cheery bunch as you can see.

For some the treasures of the Zone are not to be sought for sale but for destruction.

Those who stop their holy mission are just as vile as the mutant abominations. All of the corruption must be purged. 

So this figure and the others I will do for this faction are inspired by the Warhammer Fantasy Witch Hunters.

I will keep the uniformity of the red coats with each, most will also get the broad rimmed hat.

As you can see I also went for a facial scar here. Perhaps the bionic eye on the other side is also the result of an old battle wound, or perhaps enhancement. Which evangelical this group is not necessarily against technology.

A rather dashing figure overall I would say.
Finally there are those who one way or another have succumb to the powers of the zone. However, these unfortunate souls did not receive the mercy of death but instead found themselves neither living nor dead. Zombies are the most common of the human mutants in the zone. Lumbering, shambling, crawling or dragging themselves around, the lone zombie is more an object of pity than fear. Sure even a lone one is a threat, but a wise Stalker knows how to avoid them. Hordes of zombies, well that's another matter entirely. Some though are more dangerous than others and this big zombie is one of the ones that poses a very real threat to a lone Stalker, or even an inexperienced party.

Whether it is succumbing to a zombie's bite, the original victims of the zone's creation, exposure to certain anomalies or having their enthralled to some of the more powerful mutants, there are many ways for people to turn zombie.

Fortunately these zombies are not invincible, while the classic shot to the head is a certain kill, filling them with enough lead or causing enough damage with a blade will take them down. Although some a very resilient.

Many such as this zombie exhibit old battle scars. Most are also quite stupid, although some exhibit a degree of intelligence. Those who fall victim to a controlling mutant and become puppets can even use firearms and other weapons.

This figure was quite simple to pains but also rather fun as well. I especially likes trying to get those blood effects just right.
So that's all for today, hope to get more out again next week. Might be the Soviets I promised. Might not. I do have a lot of conversions on the go so I may not have any completed figures for a bit. Although I think you will quite like some of these conversions I am doing, so stick around for more.

But until then I wish you all a good day/night. Hope that you are all safe and sound and I will see you all next time. :-)

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Soviet Officers and female warrant officer

Well for once this post was not delayed by lack of painting progress but rather by photography issues. You see I just wasn't satisfied with any of the photos I had so you are going to get them all, the imperfect bunch they are. So today I present these three figures that I should have shown off last week. Indeed since then I have finished three other figures since completing these three. So keep an eye out for more to come. First up the group photos.



So these figures are the rest of the set that contained the Soviet MP Officer. Took me a while to sort out their uniform and I am not totally sure that their shoulder-boards are correct. As you will see I have two full sets of photos, one was taken inside and suffers from the usual problems of my camera not being able to focus properly. The other set was taken outside and the shadows are too much. So lot of photos unfortunately no nice ones. Might be time I get an upgrade, as you will soon see my flatmate's phone trumps my camera's super macro setting. However, that's something for another post.



So now I will move onto the individual photos. First up, the female warrant officer. A rather simple pose but a nice one. First time I have tried to do light blonde hair for a change, quite happy with the result. Same cannot be said for her face, after many attempts I left it as is. Is it acceptable? I will let you be the judge.








Next up is the male officer pulling that classic pose with one arms outstretched firing his pistol with the other behind. This pose may be the one I like the least, however, I think this may be my favourite figure in terms of results. One thing I have done on the other Soviet figures from Elhiem (yes expect those to come in the near future too) is to add black lines around detail items, to highlight the separation. Works very well and I wish I had tried it on these too.









Finally we have a pose with an officer demonstrating a more appropriate shooting stance. I quite like this post, it is probably a favourite of mine. It must have been difficult to produce and it was also quite difficult to paint. Getting behind the arms was very tricky. Of all the figures I feel that this figure got the best photos so I hope that you like them.










Well that's all for today. Much procrastination has delayed this post and I am sorry I could not do a nicer write up about how I produced these figures. Some exciting things coming up so keep an eye out for them.

But until next time I wish you all a very good day/night. Stay safe, stay socially distanced and I will see you all next time. :-)