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He Rolls As Well As Some HAWKs Do…

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Happy New Years to all our readers!

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Only Seven Days Until Christmas

Buck

Dr. Who says, "Merry Christmas whenever you are!"

Dr. Who says, “Merry Christmas whenever you are!”

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Anything But a Twenty

Buck

The "Anything But a Twenty"

The “Anything But a Twenty”

Greg Priebe, one of the guys in our gaming group, sent me a note about a toy available at Target stores from the Disney movie, Planes.  It is a good size for 28mm figures and looks like a C-119 cargo plane.  I’ve always liked the look of the C-119.  Before I could take action on his suggestion, I saw this blog posting:  http://ift.tt/1w0TUvz.

My pulp games involve Duke Morrison and his buddies, “Wrench” Web and “Boats” Morgan along with his love interest, Gianna Nannini, daughter of the great scientist Serafini Nannini.  Duke Morrison NEEDED a plane.  So within a few days, I had ordered one for me and one for Greg from Target.com.

Cabbie the cargo plane

Cabbie the cargo plane

My son took up the challenge of removing all the red stickers while we watched television one evening.  After a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of Goo Gone, the plane was ready to paint.

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

I first sprayed the plane black and then with a silver paint.  This silver color was brighter than I wanted, so I gave it a third coat of paint, this time an aluminum color.  I then mixed silver and brown paint to make a metallic rust color, which I applied liberally with a wide brush.

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

In the picture (above), you can see the difference between the un-weathered engine cowlings compared to the rusty finish on the rest of the plane.

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

I decided to keep the centers of the propellors silver, but painted the tips of the propellers white.  I like that look.

Then came the challenge of coming up with a name for the plane and appropriate nose art.  After I had considered several names, including Duke’s Duchess and the Granville Gal, Chris suggested Anything But a Twenty.   Granville is the town in which most of my pulp games take place.  “Anything but a twenty” is a reference to the fact that in G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., rolls of twenty often cause bad — and usually dramatic — things to occur.

Below are candidate nose art I built from some Varga pin-up pictures I found on line, some image editing capabilities on my Mac, and a few other elements.

Duke’s Duchess didn’t remain in the running too long, but I like this image.

I really liked the original artwork with the girl in the soldier outfit.

I liked this artwork, but I was beginning to settle on Anything But a Twenty as the name of the plane

The final nose art and final airplane name

Below is a closeup of the nose of the airplane with our heroes posing in front of it.  I printed the nose art on clear, matte address labels.  The artwork didn’t have the vibrance of glossy paper.  At first I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospect, I like the washed-out look.  It seems closer to photos I’ve seen after the plane has had a lot of hard miles.  The faded look seems to fit better with the rusty appearance of the plane.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

I chose a tail number of NC-61326.  Since “Granville Gal” lost out, I chose to use the zip code of the real Granville, IL, which is the town on which I loosely based my town for pulp games.

"Wrench" Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

“Wrench” Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

And here is one last look at the plane from a slightly more distant viewpoint than the previous close up.  The border around the nose art didn’t quite disappear, but it’s not too obvious either.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

This was a fun project.  I rarely build or paint airplane models, as I don’t have much luck with them.  In this case, I think the end result was quite good.

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Converting Yephemia the Cloud Giant to use with Uncharted Seas.

Chris Palmer

     I’m sorry folks, but due to me being in full preparation mode for the Cold Wars convention, I was unable to finish any Bones painting this week.  I was however able to whip up a quick conversion piece.
      As some of you may remember, last July at the Historicon gaming convention, I traded my Griffon from the  Bones Kickstarter to a friend who wanted a pair of them, for two of his Kickstarter minis: the Deathpriest, and the Female Storm/Cloud Giant.  (See: A Change in the Numbers for details ) I had been playing around in my mind, for a while now, with the possibility of converting the Cloud Giant for use with my Uncharted Seas collection.  Uncharted Seas is a game of Fantasy naval combat, and one of the elements in the game is the use of Giants, who can wade out into relatively shallow coastal waters and attack the ships.  To do this I would need to cut the Giant in half to make it appear as if she was standing in water.

      As I considered the figure, I had a couple decisions to make.  First was where would I cut the figure in half, and the second was what would I do about her weapon: keep it pointing down, or raise it so it would be above the water.   I decided I would make the cut right below where her hair hung down, that way I wouldn’t have to deal with modeling the hair in the water.  I also decided I would re-position the mace, so it would be raised up as if she was threatening a ship.  This required I carefully cut it away from where it is molded  into her clothes near the base.
      So, to begin with I cut the mace free from the bottom of the figure with a hobby knife, trying to retain the shape of the mace as best as possible. I had to go back and trim and shape it a little, so the end looked like it was fully sculpted.   I then cut her in half with a jewelers saw.   Finally, I cut her arm right at the point where her wrist protector meets her elbow to help disguise the joint.

I then prepared the arm for reassembly. I had to trim a little bit off the upper arm to make sure the mace would be raised at a good angle.  I also realized I had to make another cut, this time in the mace itself,  as when the forearm was flipped around to make the mace go upwards, the fancy carving of the woman on the mace ended up facing towards the back of the figure, and I wanted it to face forward.  So I cut the mace just above the handle, so I could rotate it around and have the beautiful carving of the lady face forward. Luckily, the Bones material is very easy to slice through.
   I next drilled small holes in both parts of the arm, and both parts of the mace, so I could pin them, thus making the joints stronger.  For the pins, I merely cut small sections of wire from a paper clip.  To glue the parts together I used Gorilla gel super glue.

     After I had glued all the parts together, I glued the figure to a 1.5 inch black-primed fender washer using Aileene’s Tacky glue.  Now the figure is all set to paint.   She is shown below with the Giant that is sold as part of the Uncharted Seas line of miniatures.

And here she is shown with a Dwarven battleship.

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The view from the other side of the table.

The view from the other side of the table.

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A soldier takes down an adventurer.

A soldier takes down an adventurer.

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The chaos continues. The police had “commandeered” a…

The chaos continues. The police had “commandeered” a truck and tried to run me over, but he hit the embankment and crashed. Then someone shot Duncan, with whom I was in hand to hand combat. Before Sidney Greenstreet could reload his pistol Bill’s cop shot me. That was the second time he hot me. The first time, I only had five hit points left, but he rolled three points of damage with five dice!

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I tried to shove the guy in the white suit, but he judo flipped…

I tried to shove the guy in the white suit, but he judo flipped me into the creek and then stabbed me with his sword cane. In the meantime Tommy’s hamster, Ritchie, was shot three times and skidded over the cliff into the river.

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“The Kid” shoots Inga into the water.

“The Kid” shoots Inga into the water.

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