Sunday, April 22, 2012

Call of Cthulhu Miniatures by RAFM Miniatures Inc.

Cthulhu On the Brain

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be embarking on an adventure in painting some Call of Cthulhu figures for an order.  And so, a week or so ago, I finished up a portion of that order.  I also endeavored on another project that you will see at the end of the post, lets just say that I must have had Cthulhu on the brain and or failed my sanity check. 

There are a number of good visual sources out that that describe and illustrate these Cthulhu figures, but I had none of those at my disposal.  I know, I should have just read the short stories as I do have the book upstairs and for an English major that seems like the logical thing to do but I really didn't have the time.  There was an internet source that nicely used quotes from the short stories in order to describe the creatures and their habitats...but it seems that the creatures are often described vaguely.  As a writer and educator of English I see the rational on Lovecraft's vagueness - it keeps the reader imagining instead of relying heavily on writer portrayal.  Nice for the reader, not so nice for a painter.  I say not so nice for me because then my imaginings won't match-up with the visions of my the round-about begins, which one of us has the right vision.  Unless I'm told otherwise by the purchaser I rely on various sources, both written and visual, and my own imagination.  As for these figures, I am told by my husband that the client really enjoyed them and is happy with my paint job. 

The following images are from the finished portion of the Call of Cthulhu order:

The next four photos are of Ghouls.  I opted for a pale blue as they are primarily subterranean creatures.  Without much sunlight I presume that they might look like creatures from the deepest depths of the ocean.  The colors used were Pale Sky Blue (Vallejo) with various additions of White.  Their hooves are Black with a highlight of Red Tail Light (Vallejo).

These four photos are the various accoutrements that accompany the figures; random gravestones, sarcophagi, and markers.  Nothing elaborate about them, standard grays.

The cylinder on the far right is the Brain Cylinder that goes with the two Mi-Go figures.

Mi-Go are said to be fungoid, fleshy pink, and crustacean.  Wow, talk about confusing.  I was thinking about most lobsters and shrimp plus I thought about some of the odder fungus out there that have an unusual flesh color almost pink.  So, I went with various shades of Vermillion (CelVinyl) with numerous additions of White and made their fleshy brain-like heads more pale pink than their crustacean carapace.  The tentacles are actually the same color as the head with the addition of Levathian Purple wash (GW) which I bled up into the underside of the convulsions of the brain/head.  If you look closely at the wings, the spines are black but I surrounded them in the purple wash so that they related back to the head.
The guy in the trench coat is actually another Ghoul.

Deep, aquatic, often pale green or pale blue with white bellies...has to be the Deep Ones.  These fish-like, frog-like creatures were interesting to paint.  I wanted them to look as if they were, again, subterranean and saw very little light, but I didn't want them to look too much like the Ghouls.  They are painted with Highlands Moss with a wet brush of Pale Lichen (both from Reaper).  Around the raised scales of some of the Deep Ones is the addition of a wash called Algae.   Their bellies are various stages of diluted Creamy Ivory and White and their eyes are Antique Gold.

Humanoid aberrations these Ghasts and Dimensional Shamblers are kinda creepy.  Many people painted their Ghasts in a dark green with skull white heads which look really cool but I just couldn't picture them that way so I went with a stripped-of-flesh look especially since it appears that they have no lips with which to hide that horrid grin.  The Ghasts are painted in Antique Rose and Porcelain Pink (both of Reaper) with a placed wash of Ogryn Flesh (GW).
With their hanging flesh and exposed bones I felt as if the Dimensional Shamblers needed to resemble rotting, decaying, putrefied flesh.  Ghoul Skin, Moldy Skin and Bloodless Skin from Reaper did an adequate job on the third from the left.  The raised bumps are painted in pinks and washed with purple to mimic boils and pustules.  I also looked up gangrene and skin rot in order to get some of these colors close.  Those are some pretty cool looking pictures of spider bites and infected wounds - just sayin.
Let the madness ensue with The King In Yellow!  Obviously, he's yellow, Ochre 11 (CelVinyl) with a highlight of Yellow 16 (CelVinyl).  His mask is Chainmail and Mithril Silver (GW).  The little fleshy is painted in Golden Flesh and Golden Flesh Highlight from Reaper.

The Proto-Shoggoth was a dilemma.  Originally when I looked at another paint-job of him it appeared as if his hands and feet were tinted blue-green and his flesh was almost human.  The more I looked at the figure the more I realized that those were vines with what appear to be stones and his head is like a seed pod.  "Golly," says I and I was back on track, "he's like a plant golem."  Coolness.  So, he is fleshy, Fair Skin and Fair Highlight (Reaper) with placed Ogryn Flesh wash (GW).  The stones are simply washed with Devlen Mud (GW) and his vines are painted Olive Green (CV) with a highlight of Olive Drab (CV), then finally washed with Deep Olive wash.

Painted in Creamy Ivory and highlighted in White with two washes, one of Baal Red and Algae Green, the Giant Worm protrudes from the ground.  I wanted it to look other-worldy instead of like a typical earthworm.

The Shugoran was an interesting piece.  I really wasn't sure where to go with it until I saw a couple online images that showed him with a red protuberance and another that had him with blue skin.  I decided to make the two work together and here is what I came up with.  Sky Blue skin with additions of White, washed in Sapphire wash.  Hands and protuberance are Red (Vallejo), Red (CV), Vermillion (CV) and Orange Yellow (CV). 
As for the Hunting Horror, well there is an online image that I just couldn't resist.  His body is Bone Shadow and Polished Bone (both of Reaper).  His wings are Red Tail Light (Vallejo), Red (Vallejo) and Red (CV).
Next we have The Hound...

It is initially painted black and then highlighted with Deep Sea from Vallejo and accented in places with Deep Sea lightened with white in various stages.  I wanted it to look as if it was glowing.  The skull head and ribcage are painted Stained Ivory with a Creamy Ivory highlight.

The Yig...well that was easy, paint him like a cobra. 
His body is Brown, Light Brown (both of CV) and washed in Devlan Mud (GW).  The stripes are Badab Black wash.
The cobra design on the back is Black with White.  Simple.  His belly is Ochre 11 with a Creamy Ivory dry brush.
Serpent Men...boy are these figures tiny.  But they are fun to paint.  They are Middlestone from Vallejo with a Deep Olive wash.  Their stripes are Devlan Mud wash and their bellies are Yellow Ochre 11 with a Gryphonne Sepia wash.
 The figure in the center's cloak is Red (Vallejo), Red (CV) and Vermillion (CV).
Being that they're supposed to be cannibalistic tribal peoples, I decided that the Tcho-Tcho would be darker complected.  I wasn't sure about the "hair" that their wearing as the written descriptions of them say they are hairless.  <<shrug>>  So...I assumed that the "hair" is false like a headdress.  I went with the white because it reminded me of ceremonial dressings where they adorn themselves with white clay. 

Bob said he wants a Great Race of Yith for our backyard to scare away the kids.  With my skills in welding I think I might be able to pull off a pretty large statue. 
I took my inspiration from a few written descriptions as well as images from the web.  His body is primarily Ochre 11 with a Creamy Ivory dry brush, washed with Burnt Umber wash.  The claws are Sunflesh (CV) highlighted in Orange Yellow (CV) and the dots are Vermillion (CV) with Baal Red wash.  Up front, the flower shaped bell is Red with Vermillion highlight and washed in Baal Red.  His head is Green (CV) with a highlight of Lemon Yellow (CV).  You may notice that each part blends into the limb.  That was just a matter of running the part color down a little and then dry brushing the body/limb color, Ochre 11, on top of it and washing with the Burnt Umber wash.
As Sand Dwellers I assumed they were kinda sand colored...therefore they are painted with Sand Yellow and washed in Gryphonne Sepia or Burnt Umber wash...I can't remember which.

Lastly are these little doo-dads....yep...

Cthulhu On the Brain 

or How I Failed My Sanity Check... 

No, not really, I just wanted to make a Cthulhu cap...I saw photos of one online but never saw directions.  I figured, "How hard could it be?"  Well, it isn't really.  This one is now in the care of a young friend of mine who adores hats of all kinds, I'm sure she is proudly wearing it as I type.  I made another Cthulhu Cap this morning before painting some Blood Bowl Dwarves...Oh but that is another adventure for another time. ;-)
With Love, Allison Chicka

Friday, April 13, 2012

More 15mm Napoleonic French!

This is a recently completed 15mm Napoleonic French Army for based for the Lasalle rules. This batch will expand this customer's French forces. It includes line, cavalry in the form of lancers, and artillery with limbers.

15mm Napoleonics are one of our most popular items. There are times, though, when it sometimes feels like the movie Groundhog Day.  This was one of those orders. For some reason I could not get any kind of momentum built up on these. As a result, I ended up sinking almost another week into them. It doesn't help that it is tax season and I had to divert some of my attention to getting the taxes sorted out. Now that the taxes are out of the way things are a bit more relaxed here.

Here is the block of infantry. These are 4 battalions from the 92nd foot. He is using the company pom pom color and the flags to designate the battalions:

This order also included cavalry units representing four regiments of lancers from the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th Chevau-leger regiments:

The lances still need straightened a bit more. I will handle that at packing time. I really dislike bending the soft metal numerous times. It tends to weaken it and makes them more prone to break. Since these need to be mailed to the customer I prefer to bend them around a little as possible:

Finally this army included artillery from the 16th Battery, 1st Artillery Regiment:

And a shot of the sub-commander for the army:

The figures are all AB Miniatures. Next up for this customer is a 15mm SYW Austrian army for the upcoming Maurice rules from Sam Mustafa. At least its a change from 15mm Napoleonics!