It will not surprise you to know that “Gruff” is a 28mm Hasslefree figure. Before too long I will have exhausted my supply of them and I will have to place another order. Some new releases should be out soon as well and that will provide the ideal time I think. In the meanwhile I have plenty of other things to do but more on that in future posts.
The image on the back of “Gruff” is embossed so freehand opportunities for my imagination were limited. I did however add a stripe and numbers to his shorts and a couple of letters (hardly detectable in the photo’s below) to the can he is holding. Other than that it was a simple figure with no difficult areas to access so painting him was pretty quick and easy. I kept the base simple, mainly out of laziness really. Although I like the figure I wasn’t inspired beyond just painting it, partly I think because my imagination and ideas are now taking me all over the place right now. Quite where that will lead though remains to be seen.
This weeks Hasslefree miniature goes by the name of “Taylor” As with numerous Hasslefree figures this is not the first time I have painted this one. First time around she appeared in a little diorama called “Apocalypse: What The F**k Was That!”
On this occasion I decided to give Taylor her own stand alone spot and this is the end result. Nothing overly exciting but I saw an opportunity for some different freehand and settled on some psychedelic pants! In a post apocalyptic graffiti strewn world I figure she’d be well camouflaged and blend in nicely. Painting each colour in random patterns was easy enough but outlining each one in black to make it stand out was a more lengthy process.
As with most things I am doing these days the figure was based on an MDF square base before being stuck to an oak cube for a display plinth. In this case everything is 25mm square.
Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!
This weeks miniature is another knight double act and sees the end of my Footsore backlog of foot knights. I have a couple of mounted ones in the pile to do but these are going to be neglected for a little while longer until I can muster up the right level of enthusiasm for them. In all fairness I do love knights and bizarrely am now contemplating buying some more! Footsore under their Barons War range have recently issued some new figures and I am tempted to buy and paint more. Ideally I’d like to create a couple of small dioramas and if I can come up with the right ideas and right figures for them then I will take the plunge. Not entirely sure why I lost the love for these ones but I suspect it has more to do with the number of ideas I have floating around right now. Anyway, images below. Next week something different but quite what I haven’t a clue right now.
Well It Made Me Laugh
The Wednesday Whinge
Now at the risk of upsetting someone this week (never my intention I can assure you) I thought I would touch on the subject of Gender Neutral. Truth be told I’m not sure I really understand it but it appears to have become a thing of late, a trend, a fad. It’s fashionable. Well so it seems to me. Highlighted recently in the world of awards where it seems there has been a move from the two categories of Best Actor (Male) and Best Actress (Female) to the single category Best Actor (Gender Neutral). I’m OK with that although I really don’t see the need for the two sexes to compete. It strikes me that only one person can now have success instead of two. Perhaps it’s to save the money on an award? The thing is who are the minority driving this agenda, why are the masses taking note and where does this trend end? Does the Worlds Strongest Man and Worlds Strongest Women become the Worlds Strongest Human and if it does how long then before someone moans because men keeping winning? That’s not a sexist statement by the way just the reality that men are physically stronger than women and until man evolves further it will remain that way.
For me life is a simple affair. If you have a willy you are male, if you don’t you are female. If nature got it wrong and you want to swap genitalia then fine. Only the individual knows best and it must be pretty tough being trapped in the wrong body. For me the French have it right with their saying “Vive la difference”. If someone wants to consider themselves Gender Neutral then fine, as long as they aren’t going out killing people then so be it. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of it so doubtless jail beckons for me in my dotage for the heinous crime of failing to be politically correct. However, when Mr Potato Head has been rebranded Potato Head to avoid a backlash and comply with political correctness the world has truly gone bloody mad.
Give Me Five
This week I decided to evaluate my top five obscure inventions. Those little unsung things which we take for granted but play a significant part in our lives and which we couldn’t do without. I’m not talking cars, planes, computers or anything like that, just the little things. You’ll get the idea. In no particular order:
- The Battery
- The Calendar
- The Clock/Watch
- The Mirror
- The Tape Measure
This week TIM has been listening to …
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash. A classic track and probably one of the best groups of their era and genre.
This week TIM has been watching …
“Crash”. This film came out in 2004 and even won three Oscars including best picture. Quite how it managed that I will never know. I can only assume everything else which came out that year was crap. Some decent acting from a decent cast but I just didn’t get it. Probably me.
Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot.
I have no idea if there will be Bounty Hunters in the Apocalypse but this Hasslefree figure gives off the vibe of being one I think. Evolution being what it is I can imagine Zombies becoming organised with leaders popping up here and there. This being the case human survivors would surely put a price on the heads of such zombies, but what would that price be? Money would have little value, food maybe? Karl just strikes me as someone who would do it just for the pleasure!
Karl Drax is another excellent 28mm Hasslefree sculpt and if it is based on anyone then I really haven’t a clue who it is. If anyone has any ideas then please let me know.
As to the figure itself I liked the irony of giving him a freehand Peace T-Shirt.
“Lewis” is another Hasslefree figure which will come as no surprise to any of you given how much I love this range. In my vision of an apocalyptic world I see Lewis as a Zombie beheader, I rather think the sizeable axe steered me in that direction! Accordingly the base needed a Zombie head on it so there was nothing for it but another TIM conversion. In this instance I took a sharp blade and cut the head from the body of a figure I had. Feel free to follow me for more tips and in depth tutorials on figure conversion! 😂😂
The figure itself conjured up an image for me of an apocolyptic IRO, albeit that the figure is a bit more butch. So with that in mind I gave him a couple of arm tattoos and as a tribute to the fact that IRO is a gardener added some flowers to the base.
For the benefit of scale, and based on a comment Faust recently made, I have include an additional photo, something which I might do a little more often!
This week I have yet another 28mm Hasslefree figure, this one goes by the name of Jim. If you haven’t twigged it by now then let me just say that I love Hasslefree figures and rate them as my favourite manufacturer (I like Reaper equally too). I love the sculpts, the quality is simply spot on and the figure composition of most models can be used in so many ways. This is the second time I have painted Jim and I know it wont be the last.
Now as well as doing, or trying to do, much more freehand work when and where I can, I am also keen to improve upon my base work. The challenge, not for every single figure but for a select few, is to see what I can achieve on either a 25mm or a 40mm base. This is not a new challenge I have set myself but it is one I have drifted away from and as a consequence I have not been quite so happy with my bases of late.
In this instance the base is just 25mm square but if gives an idea of just how much detail I can squeeze on when I put the effort in. Overall I’m pleased with this one but images I have seen on sites like Pinterest have shown me that so much more can be done with bases. Whether I can match any of those inspiring ideas and on much smaller bases remains to be seen but then again that’s the point of the personal challenge.
The wall was made from plaster board with a few exposed bricks inserted at the bottom and the window was a spare found in my bits box. Plastic was cut for glass shards and a few pieces of sea foam and grass was added for colour and effect. Jim himself was a straight forward paint job with camo trousers and T-Shirt.
“Foster” is a 28mm Hasslefree figure which I feel certain is based on someone but not sure who. My guess would be Kurt Russell but if I’m right then I am at a loss as to what film. If anyone knows please tell me so I can then go “derrrrr!” In any event it is a figure I like and in keeping with wanting to develop my freehand work felt this figure provided some opportunity.
T-Shirts and vests provide scope I think for all kinds of logos and images which is possibly the biggest reason why I like this figure. The big question was what to do and how to do it? Out of the blue I had a flash back moment and remembered my brother and I used to draw Mickey Mouse by drawing around old pennies for his head and half pennies for his ears. Obviously that wasn’t going to work here but I was struck by the idea and determined to paint Mickey on his vest. After checking on a few Google images I set about giving it a go. A couple of progress photos are included below.
Once Mickey was done it was all about finishing the paint work. In effort to try something different I settled upon another variant of camouflage trousers and was pretty pleased with how these turned out. A few bricks and a splash of plant colour for the base and job done.
This 28mm Hasslefree figure goes by the name of Finn and is one I have done before. The previous paint job was plain as was the base work. Nothing wrong with that but I just felt after I had done it I could have made it a little more interesting. Nothing over the top just a bit more personalised.
As I have started to get more and more into freehand I wanted to do something on this little chap but couldn’t think of anything appropriate. Then my daughter walked in with an old hoodie on and that inspired me to add “Leaver 20” reflecting what the kids wear when they leave school.
For the base I wanted to go with a zombie feel while at the same time keeping to the 25mm square footprint. Not sure what inspired the hands and head coming out of the ground but once I had the idea it became a must.
This figure is one I have had my eye on for a while but each time I went to order it along with some other Hasslefree figures it was out of stock. Fortunately I finally managed to get my hands on him. The figure actually goes by the name of “Joe” but I have chosen to call him “Mo Joe” on account of his Mohican haircut.
I decided to make Joe a Zombie Hunter and in order to convey the message decided to add a body to the base work. I didn’t have room for a whole figure on the 25mm base so simply chopped him in half (a conversion!) and made some guts using cotton wool dipped in PVA which was then teased out a bit with tweezers. A bit of blood around the head and on the bat and away you go. Unfortunately the contrast in ground colours doesn’t seem to have come across quite so well in the photo’s as it does in the flesh so to speak.
As a patriotic Brit I elected to give Joe a Union Jack vest and was pleased with how the freehand came out. Chuffed with that I set about trying to paint the upper part of a skull on the back of his jacket. As a first attempt at a skull I was fairly pleased with that too but if I decide to do another at some point I’d like to think I might be able to do a little better. To begin with I had no idea how to start painting it but after a little research managed to piece something together. Certainly a lesson learnt for next time. Finally I couldn’t resist the idea of a few colours for his barnet (that’s rhyming slang for hair for those of you outside the UK).
As I finish writing this I am looking at the photo’s on my very old laptop and the images don’t look that great. Hopefully it is nothing more than the computer itself as the photo’s on my Samsung tablet looks absolutely fine, well to my blurry eyes at least.
Pictures of “Mo Joe” below.
This weeks model is another 28mm figure from Reaper and goes by the name of Hans who just happens to be an apocalypse survivor. I quite like the apocalypse genre and if I can find some more figures then I wouldn’t mind seeing what I can do by way of a diorama. Can’t say I have any actual ideas of what to do but the right figures will inspire me I am sure although I would quite like to do something with a car in it.
As a figure I quite like Hans and will have to take a look at what else Reaper do. I decided to go for a rugged look and settled on some facial stubble and combat trousers to toughen him up a little. Just need to tidy up the edge of the base and decide if I am going to keep him and mount him on a little oak plinth.