Thursday 30 December 2010

More colonists

A couple more GZG colonists completed, in this case a both female.

On the left we have a GW blood red jacket, shaded with Vallejo sepia ink. The collar is Humbrol 29 matt dark earth with a matt 64 light grey drybrush. Trousers are Humbrol 25 blue with a dash of white added for the highlighting. Hair is Humbrol 93 desert yellow with a Vallejo sepia ink wash and Vallejo bonewhite highlights.

The other has Vallejo charred brown trousers and Humbrol 93 desert yellow jacket, both washed with Vallejo sepia ink. At this scale, the original result was too subtle and just blended into an overall brown when viewed at normal gaming distances, so the jacket received a lot of brybrushing with desert yellow and then with Vallejo bonewhite. The collar is Humbrol dark grey with a light grey drybrush.

Wednesday 22 December 2010


When I saw these little chaps, I just had to have them - they're so cute! OK, that's perhaps not the most important criterion when you're after some figures to represent fearsome headhunting aliens, but I don't care!

These are LKM/QRF pack SF08 Skullhunters - or Predators to you and me. For your £2.25 (about $1.50?) you get 8 figures, all different poses. Some poses aren't as good as others, and the sculpting is fairly basic in places (they all tend to have hands like bunches of bananas), but for value for money they're fantastic! I'd say that the good poses definitely outweigh the poor. They come equipped with a variety of weapons as seen in Predator and Predator 2. Most have the shoulder-mounted plasma caster, a couple have the extending spears, 2 have their helmets off to reveal their cute little roaring faces. They required very little cleaning up, virtually no flash and only very small mould-lines. The bases were nicely rounded and pretty smooth underneath, so no need to re-mount them on washers.

This skull-gripping, roaring guy has to be my favourite. OK, the hand gripping the skull is the most banana-like of the lot, but he has so much character!

This one has a nice extending spear, and you can see his shoulder-mounted plasma caster.

Not too sure about this pose. It looks like he's queueing for a bus.

Another of the not-quite-so-good poses. I assume he's in combat, but could just be closing a door.

I think this might be the boss. He looks very cool and collected, contemptuous of the pitiful humans that he is about to hunt...

It's a nice touch to have one using his wrist-comp. Perhaps he's re-setting his camouflage field...

This one might be aiming his plasma-caster. The helmet isn't quite as good as some of the others (very large nose!?) and he's a bit club-handed on his right side. This looks like a minor casting problem rather than poor sculpting though, and it isn't very noticeable. It's a pity that there isn't a pose lunging the other way with extending wrist blades out.

This is a great pose too, the plasma-caster is very prominent, and the whole figure is very aggressive.

Painting notes: After a black base coat, I painted the flesh first, as I knew it would be pretty messy. Humbrol 93 desert yellow provided the base, followed by a wash of Vallejo 72.091 sepia ink, drybrush of Humbrol 93, then a final highlight of Vallejo 72.034 bonewhite. Armour and helmets were painted with a mix of GW chainmail and Humbrol matt75 bronze green to give a fairly dark finish. This was followed by a highlight of chainmail/mithril silver. Their hair was painted with Vallejo 72.045 charred brown. Those with their helmets off received a dab of white on the end of their teeth, and a tiny dab of watered down red in their mouths.

Overall grade for these figures: B+

A good range of figures with more hits than misses. Sculting isn't as impressive as some manufacturers, but clean casting gives a good result when painted, and value for money is fantastic.

Saturday 18 December 2010


I recently got around to painting my Rebel Minis SWAT team. Overall I was rather disappointed with these figures. Although most of the poses are nice, with good detail (even down to a cross-hatched texture on the handgrips of holstered pistols!), the quality of the castings was poor, and some of the weapons are unidentifiable. For sci-fi figures this isn't such a problem, but for someone using modern small arms, I do think you should be able to see what they are holding.

There are a couple of odd choices - I think that the sniper figure would have been better in a kneeling position and the commander appears to be wearing a sun hat! I think that this was the LA SWAT team pack, but although it is sunny in LA, it's a bit out of keeping with the rest of the team.

Although there was little or no flash, several of the figures suffered from very bad mould lines - see the commander below, with the mould-lines highlighted with red arrows. The bases were also very large and rather scruffy compared with most of the other Rebel Minis that I have.

I felt that I couldn't use the commander as he was, so a head swap with a GZG separate head was required. I decided that a breather mask looked quite good, and was a suitable size match. The pistol was trimmed down, the original having been so thick that it looked like he was holding a brick, and the base was cut down and filed thinner before gluing onto one of my usual M6 washer bases. Here you can see the modified figure alongside a fresh-from-the-packet friend.

A rear view of the commander - is that supposed to be an M4 assault carbine slung over his shoulder?

Three other members of the team. Left to right they have MP5 (?), M4 or M16, unidentifiable weapon (possibly some sort of shotgun?). Humbrol matt 33 black basecoat was followed by Humbrol 32 dark grey drybrush over assault vests, helmets, weapons, boots and kneepads. Trousers and sleeves are Humbrol 105 Oxford blue with Humbrol 25 blue drybrush. Flesh is my own flesh mix with a GW flesh wash to shade. Visors/goggles are GW enchanted blue (I have 2 post from many years ago when their colour matching was very poor - these are so different that I can use one as a base and the other to highlight!).

SWAT in action against some LKM Skullhunters (ie. Predators).

Overall rating for these figures: C-

Great poses and detail, but let down by poor casting and unidentifiable weaponry. A good result when finished, but they required a lot of work to get there compared to most other figures I have.

Final note: I have had a check on Rebel Minis site more recently, and it looks like the figures that I bought are no longer available. I think that they have changed the castings for both their LA SWAT team and their standard SWAT team - in fact it looks like some of the same figures appear in both.