Kraven the Hunter

Kraven the Hunter is one of my favorite Spider-Man villains. I admire his lion-face vest, his zebra belt, his leopard tights and his cute green booties.

Sergei Kravinoff was considered by many (especially himself) to be the greatest hunter in the world. If it was alive and worthy, he hunted it, from big game animals to great cats to superheroes. Kraven was particularly fixated on Spider-Man, who cleaned his clock on more than one occasion. Kraven even helped start the Sinister Six hoping that with a little help he could say he defeated Spider-Man, but it never really happened for him.

Eventually, Kraven lost his shit and decided it wasn’t enough to just beat Spider-Man, he had to BECOME Spider-Man. Thus kicked off the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline, which was pretty dark for Spider-Man, wherein Kraven “kills” Spider-Man and assumes his identity, running around New York crippling and killing criminals in an attempt to fully understand what it means to be the ultimate predator, The Spider. Then he eats a gun and blows his own head off. End credits.

The story, which ran through three Spider-Man titles back in 1987, was actually pretty good, and is considered one of the best Spidey stories of all time. Some have criticized its dark tone as being Marvel’s response to the critical acclaim of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, both published by DC the previous year. Maybe there is some truth to that. It’s certainly more adult in nature than what Marvel was publishing at the time, and it was set in the general continuity of the Marvel Universe. I liked it because it was drawn by Mike Zeck (Secret Wars, Punisher), and I love me some Mike Zeck art.

Since Kraven’s demise, which as far as I know is still permanent, his mantle was taken up by his son, Alyosha. I know nothing about Alyosha Kravinoff, so check Wikipedia if you want to know more.

Anyway, I actually wasn’t kidding when I said I like Kraven as a character. He’s definitely a second-stringer in the Spider-verse, a tier down from Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Venom (who I can’t stand).  He’s more on the level of Rhino, Electro and Scorpion, but he has a unique charm all his own.

Kraven doesn’t technically have any super-powers, but through ingestion of rare herbal potion he can do some pretty cool things. He was able to run super-fast for long periods of time. He was also an Olympic-level athlete and a superb fighter, who preferred archaic weapons like knives and spears over guns (which he considered dishonorable). He was the greatest hunter in the world, able to track his quarry using enhanced senses, much like Wolverine. His aging process was slowed dramatically; at the time of his suicide, Kraven was over 70 years of age, but was in the peak physical condition of a man in his 30’s.

Kraven is one of the villains in the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes adventure Lone Wolves, which I will shortly be converting to Super Mission Force. In other words, I had several reasons to do what I did, which is repaint a Kraven Heroclix miniature.

Over the years, Kraven has had several Heroclix sculpts. Above is the original version,  from the Critical Mass set. I removed him from his dial and stuck him on a base. To be clear: this is the original paint job and NOT my work. This is what came out of the blister pack back in 2003.

Here is my repaint. I decided to give him some real knives instead of the weenie dagger he had strapped to his thigh. I got rid of that, then I put some old GW space marine knives in his hands and sculpted some sheaths out of Magic Sculpt. I considered giving him a spear, but I think his two-fisted knives look pretty good.

Here is my Super Mission Force build for Kraven the Hunter:

Kraven (Brawler) Major: Scrapper, Minor: Fast, Super Agility

(I gave him Fast because Kraven can reportedly run as fast as a cheetah for short periods of time, and this increases his Move to a 13, which I think fits. I could swap it out for Enhanced Senses; either one would work.)

 

“Who you callin’ a dummy?”

As Movember draws to a close, I have officially painted all of my pulp miniatures! For this last installment, I present some ventriloquists!

Technically, only ONE of these is a pulp miniature…yet when painting him, I was surprised to find that I had two more ventriloquists in 28mm! It’s an odd genre of miniature to own, after all. How many ventriloquist miniatures do YOU own? I’m betting not three.

First, straight from his tour performing for the crown heads of Europe, The Great Adamski! This miniature comes from Black Army Productions, a small company that makes some interesting miniatures. This guy came with a couple of hand options; he could have either had a second puppet or a gun behind his back. (I went all in on the dummies.) Adamski also satisfies my Movember requirement: check out that handlebar mustache! His Cossack dummy (the one behind his back) is sporting some impressive lipwear as well.

Next, a zombie ventriloquist from Horrorclix, because why not? I repainted him because as expected, the factory clix paint job was somewhat…sub-par.

Lastly, a relatively new-ish Batman villain, THE Ventriloquist (and Scarface). This miniature was repainted completely, but I forgot to take a “before” picture.

The Ventriloquist (and Scarface) is pretty dumb, even for Batman’s rogue’s gallery. The Ventriloquist himself is a mild-mannered milquetoast; it’s Scarface, the dummy, who is the real ruthless bad guy. From the DC wiki:

I find him annoying because Scarface can’t pronounce the letter “B” (on account of the Ventriloquist not moving his lips), so he substitutes a “G” sound. This gets old pretty fast, especially when you’re reading speech balloons. “Let’s rog the gank, boys! And watch out for the Gatman!” Ugh.
Anyway, that wraps up Movember…I’m still mulling over a project for December. Watch this space!

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 63

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +50

Weird Villains and Pulp Doctors

Movember continues with more pulp-themed miniatures. This time around, my last remaining Pulp Figures: some Weird Villains!

From L-R, as Bob Murch has named them: The Crimson Scorpion, Stahl Mask, Dr. Price, The Creeping Claw and Mr. X! Also, a random Nazi officer that Bob Murch included with my last order, for no other reason than he seems to be a swell guy. (I mean Bob, not the Nazi. To be clear: there isn’t a fucking Nazi in the world who I would consider to be a “swell guy”.)

You can barely see Dr. Price’s “John Waters” mustache; but fear not, I have painted a miniature with epic facial hair in honor of Movember! Stahl-Mask’s walrus mustache is legendary; it’s a shame you can’t see it under his, well, his stahl-mask. Stahl-Mask is one of only a few Pulp Figures with more than one sculpt (Dr. Koo is another). I’m pretty sure this is Bob’s original version of the dastardly German, but I could be wrong.

You may notice my Creeping Claw has a hook for a hand. This is my own addition. My miniature was missing his right hand, so I used the hook from the Heroclix Aquaman I cannibalized earlier this year to make my Aquarian submission for Forgotten Heroes (I never throw anything away). I like the way it looks; very pulp villain-ish. And now he has an actual claw!

Up next: some pulp doctors! These three are from RAFM‘s old Call of Cthulhu line, and I’m pretty sure they’re also sculpted by Bob Murch! (Small world, eh?) These guys were a lot of fun to paint. I’m glad I decided to bang out all my pulp models this month, otherwise these fellows were likely to remain pretty low on my priority list. I really like the guy in the middle, as he could easily work for an Old West sawbones just as well as a pulp-era physician.

This is a “before” shot of the surgeon, as in “before he applied serrated blade to his grisly work.” (Actually, I just like how this picture came out, so I figured I’d include it.) For the blood, I used Citadel’s Blood for the Blood God technical paint, which is awesome (IMHO).

Lastly, another “doctor” of sorts; this one a professor of Archaeology! Another RAFM miniature, this is “Drake Harrington”, from their new Call of Cthulhu line. His resemblance to a certain whip-wielding archaeologist isn’t accidental, I’m sure (even though there’s no whip to be seen). I like the miniature, but I would have liked some variety in his hand choices. I’m not wild about the lantern, mainly because I can’t paint object source lighting effects very well.

I added this rope to the model because I think it looks cool. Then I mounted him on a scenic base, which unfortunately contains a human skull with dimensions noticeably bigger than Drake Harrington’s own head. Oh well.

Next post: some real dummies!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 62

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +49

Movember is Pulp Month!

Movember, as everyone knows, is the month men everywhere grow facial hair to raise awareness of male health issues. Every year, Bob Murch over at Pulp Figures encourages this practice by offering a special, Movember-only miniature (with serious facial accessories) to those who donate to Bob’s Movember Campaign.

I love beards, on dwarfs. On me, not so much. In fact, I absolutely loathe my own facial hair. Several years ago I grew my beard throughout the entire month of November. Two weeks in I was scratching like a mange-ridden mongrel. Three weeks and I was begging for relief. At 12 AM on December 1st I finally shaved off my whiskers and almost wept with joy.

Despite this, I am male, and I certainly support raising awareness of male health issues. It’s been a while since I placed an order with Bob, so I’m painting all my remaining Pulp Figures this month in honor of his Movember efforts. (Also, I promised Dick Garrison I would paint some miniatures with facial hair. Anything, as long as I don’t have to grow it myself.) Although Bob’s figures feature prominently, I’m also painting some other pulp-themed miniatures by other manufacturers. It’s a pulp-themed month-long extravaganza!

Here are my first couple of miniatures for Movember: two masked avengers. (Sorry for the blurry top picture. I can’t seem to get a better one.) These two are part of a set that includes a “Not” Green Hornet and Kato. The guy looks like he could be a “Not” Spider or “Not” Eisner’s Spirit, but the Spirit never wore a cape, to my knowledge, and Pulp Figures already has a “Not” Spider (although I like this one better). I have no idea who the masked lady is supposed to not be, if anyone. No facial hair in this batch.

Up next: some Hooded Minions! Check out the Van Buren whiskers on the guy second from the left! What’s that, you can’t see his masculine beard beneath his hood? Well trust me, it’s there. Honest.

 

Finally, enjoy this video, which is the perfect distillation of Movember, put to song.

 

Neil Patrick Harris is the Tree of Masculinity. Seek his fruit.

 

Coming soon, more Pulp Figures!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 52

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +39

Gaslands 7: The Piranha Brothers and Spiny Norman!

Earlier this year, I had a bad bout of Gaslands Fever (not to be confused with Pac Man Fever, which is a different thing altogether). I converted 7 cars, 2 buggies, an armored bus, a monster truck and a war rig, but I didn’t have a chance to make any performance cars. I still haven’t played the game, but I’ve read enough After Action Reports and watched enough game videos to know that performance cars are pretty damn effective!

Nonetheless, despite my hiatus from Gaslands conversions, I never stopped looking in the Matchbox and Hot Wheels aisles in every store I went. I gave into temptation a couple of times and bought more cars, knowing I would soon be back to converting them.

Here are my first two performance cars: The Piranha Brothers, Doug and Dinsdale! Astute readers my realize that these are based off of the same car: the Hot Wheels “Crescendo” racer.  I wanted them to stand in contrast to the rusty death machines I’ve converted so far. In my world, performance cars are sleek and elegant, and drivers of performance cars actually care about their vehicles. Thus, I didn’t do much to these cars other than repaint them. I didn’t notice the “Tron” colors until just now. I  made some thematically-appropriate circular buzzsaw blades out of plasticard and stuck them to the bumpers, and stuck the obligatory machine gun on the roof. I painted the piranha emblems on the hood freehand.

Dinsdale lives in constant fear, convinced he is pursued by a giant, hedgehog-like car called Spiny Norman. Know what? He’s right!

 

“DINSDALE!”

Spiny Norman was inspired by the Buzzard Clan in the PS4 Mad Max videogame. Their cars are all rust and spikes, and I was responsible for blowing up many dozens of them in my recent playthrough of the game.

Spiny Norman started out as a Matchbox 1968 Ford Mustang with an off-road chassis. I clipped off the ends of toothpicks and pushed them through the patterned craft foam to make the spikes on the doors and sides. I trimmed bits from a needlepoint screen and used them as long strips of spikes to line the roof. I snipped some spear-pointed cocktail sticks for hood spikes. Finally, I used some old bolter bayonets from some Rogue Trader beakie marine sprues for the bumper blades. Then, as usual, I layered the car in metallics, washes and good old-fashioned rust dust.

Although I’m fond of Grond, the War Rig, Spiny Norman is my favorite Gaslands conversion that I’ve done so far.

(Apologies to my friend Dick Garrison for the late Gaslands posting, as I told him I’d work on some cars during October. I did, I just didn’t get around to posting them until now.)

 

 

Zombtober Week 4: Repaints and a Classic!

Zombtober comes to an end, and I present my final submission: a group of repaints and a classic Ral Partha miniature!

First up are the repaints: two Horrorclix zombies and two Indy Heroclix miniatures, repainted and rebased for use in the apocalypse. From L-R, a Horrorclix Zombie Patient, a Cheerleader Zombie, an Indy Clix Abbey Chase, and an Indy Clix Tiger Lily.

I like the patient zombie a lot, but the cheerleader is kind of silly. She’s using fistfuls of guts for pom-poms. I am not familiar with Tiger Lily or Abbey Chase, so I had no misgivings about repainting them completely for use as modern survivors. The Abbey Chase miniature could also work for a pulp heroine. Tiger Lily looks like Peter Criss without the armor. Repainting her face was easy, but what was kind of annoying was her T-Shirt. It has some design on it that I couldn’t make out, so I just painted the broken heart over it and I think it looks ok.

But Zombtober isn’t about REPAINTING zombies; it’s about painting zombies. Thus I present some old-school love: a classic Ral Partha zombie I’ve had since the mid 1980’s. He has never seen paint until now, so if nothing else, Zombtober has enabled me to get some long-overdue painting done!

 

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 43

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +30

I did a bad, bad thing…

I need to stay off eBay.

I’m supposed to NOT buy any more miniatures. I’m supposed to work on the miniatures I already have. And I was, really. I was doing so well…

And then, last month, I bought the Knight Models Thing. I mean, you can’t blame me. It’s an awesome miniature and I got a great deal on him. I painted him right away. It’s not like he was languishing long in the insanity pile.  And I WILL use him in a game soon.

I thought it was a momentary lapse. But then, I saw this. And I bought it.

This is a Grenadier boxed set, circa 1994, that contains a full-blown game and “Future Warriors” miniatures sculpted by Nick Lund. It’s basically cops vs. gangers in the future, very Judge Dredd-ish.

I thought I was pretty familiar with all things Grenadier, but this one caught me by surprise. I’m a big fan of Grenadier and of Nick Lund, but I never saw this before. I never knew it existed. I’m not sure if this came out over here in the States or if it was only a European release.

It’s pretty much mint. The miniatures have never seen paint. In addition to them, it includes the rules, reference card, tokens and even dice. It even has a mail-in card for a subscription to the Grenadier Bulletin, as well as two copies of the  Bulletin, which seems to contain miniature previews, painting tips and scenarios for the Fantasy and Future Warriors lines. Cool!!

I feel guilty.

Oh, well.

Zombtober Week 3: Don’t be such a Killjoy…

Week three of Zombtober is upon us, and I present my submission: Killjoy, from the Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux line.

This miniature is the original metal version of Killjoy, a large-size character from the Resurrectionist faction. I don’t play Malifaux, but I love some of their miniatures. Killjoy has since been resculpted in plastic. I prefer this version, but YMMV.

Anyway, Killjoy is supposedly a zombie, but to me he looks more like a Barker-esque cenobite or perhaps a murder-golem. (Is that a thing? It is now.) He’s definitely a killing machine, and his corpulent size implies he eats what he kills. So I decorated his 40mm base with some appropriate bodies and body parts. I even “sculpted” some entrails and viscera out of green stuff and piled them at his feet. Gross, huh?

He was pretty fun to paint. His base is GW Rakarth Flesh, highlighted with some Ivory and washed with Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade and some Athonian Camoshade. Then I used a heapin helpin’ of Blood for the Blood God and Nurgle’s Rot, two technical paints that enhance the gore quite nicely.

Since I don’t play Malifaux, I guess I could use him as a “boss” zombie, perhaps the focus of an entire game, once I decide which zombie rule set I like best. I’ve tried All Things Zombie, but it wasn’t my thing. I enjoyed No More Room in Hell, and even wrote a three-part After Action Report on this blog; but now I’m looking for something a little more “realistic”. I bought Osprey’s Last Days, but I’m reading some not-so-great reviews, so who knows?

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 42

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +29

(The Progress Queue took a slight hit this month as I gave in to weakness. More on that in an upcoming post.)

What time is it?

Last month, while unwisely browsing eBay’s listings, I stumbled across this Ben Grimm miniature:

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you again: What time is it?

I think we all know what Mr. Grimm would say.

Knight Models is a Spanish company that makes those terrific (and hugely overpriced) miniatures for the Batman Miniatures Game. (I splurged and bought a Killer Croc, because I really liked it.) For a brief time, they had the license to produce Marvel miniatures, too. I very much covet their Hulk model, and I would love to get one. But man, are they pricey on the secondary market! Most eBay listings for the KM Hulk start at around $75. That’s a shitload more than I want to pay for ANY miniature. (I don’t pony up that kind of cash to GW; I’m not about to give it to someone else, either.)

This miniature of Thing was listed on eBay for $25 with free shipping. It was mint in the box. I bought it. I’m glad I did.

First off, he’s huge. At 75mm, he’s way bigger than a Heroclix Thing. (I find the Heroclix “big guys” to be kind of small, but YMMV.) More on that below.

He’s a three-piece casting: the legs, body and left arm. The miniature required some filing and filling with green stuff to fit together properly. Not a big deal, but it was an essential step. I primed him black.

I based him on a 40mm Micro Arts Studio urban base and gave him his first basecoat: Citadel Ratskin Flesh for the orange rocky skin, and P3 Exile Blue for his speedo.

Here he is completed. I highlighted  his skin with Citadel Macharius Orange and a drybrush of Fire Dragon Bright, before giving the cracks a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone. His trunks were highlighted with Vallejo Prussian Blue and Reaper Dragon Blue.

Here’s the Fantastic Four from the early Clobberin’ Time Heroclix set. As you can see, Thing doesn’t look too bad.

But HERE is the Knight Models Thing with the rest of the Heroclix FF. Much better, don’t you think?

I plan on using the Knight Models Thing in any supers game where his large size doesn’t obviously conflict with other models of similar scale; in other words, I wouldn’t use this KM Thing in the same game I use a Heroclix Hulk (that would just be dumb) Instead I’ll use the ‘clix Thing for that.

There are presently two Knight Models miniatures I desperately want to acquire: the Hulk and Solomon Grundy, both seemingly impossible to find for sale at a reasonable price any longer.

I’ll keep looking, though…

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 41

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +40

 

Zombtober 2018 Week 2: Felicity meets the zombies!

It’s Zombtober, and I’m getting a late start. I missed the first week. Therefore, I worked twice as hard this week to get my submissions in. I decided to do a bunch of zombies and a survivor to catch up.

These zombies are from Reaper’s Bones line. You get all 5 in a pack for 7 bucks! They’re all pretty good sculpts, I’m particularly fond of the second one from the left and the one all the way on the right. These were the first miniatures I ever underpainted after priming; meaning I gave them all a light drybrush of white over the black primer before adding the colors. It was a technique I was unfamiliar with, but now that I’ve tried it, I can say it works terrific at picking out the detail on models, allowing me to easily see where clothes end and skin begins. It even picked out the wounds and bite marks the zombies have, making painting them easier. I’ll be using it again. My eyes aren’t getting any better with age, so any help is a good thing.

What do you do when you’re outnumbered five to one? Have the right tool for the job. This minigun should be just what the doctor ordered… This is Felicity, from Hasslefree. She’s one of the “not-Mystery Machine crew”; basically she’s Daphne from Scooby-Doo with a minigun. As cool as that is, I decided to paint her differently and not stick to her regular colors.

Here’s a quick shot of Felicity in action.

Next Sunday is my next Zombtober submission. Hopefully I’ll get some other stuff done before then, though, so watch this space!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 40

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +39

 

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

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