Of all heroes, I didn’t set out to repaint and rebase Aquaman. It came about quite by accident. Recently I had a quick rummage through the bitz box on an unrelated project, and I discovered this Aquaman Heroclix left over from a Forgotten Heroes conversion I did back in 2018. I had popped him off his dial and used the water spout to make the Water Wizard.
(I never throw anything away. That Water Wizard was also made from a Quicksilver body and a Weather Wizard head; the Weather Wizard’s body was used to make the Aquarian. along with a head from a different Aquaman miniature, the hook of which was used on this Pulp Figures conversion. Finally, the Quicklsilver head was used the year before to make Jack Frost, along with a body from a Heroclix Scorpion. As for Scorpion’s head, I have no idea where that ended up.)
The entire time I worked on this conversion, this song was running through my head. It will run through your head too, if you listen to it. It’s insidious, and you will grow to like it. It drove me so nuts I looked up the video on YouTube. It reminded me how much I love this movie, because…Julie Adams. I know, right? What is it with girls named Julie? Adams, Newmar, Christie…it’s a good name, is what I’m saying.
Anyway, I had some “seaweed” and some shells left over from my Under the Sea diorama last month, so that got me thinking of making another underwater base. Since Aquaman is at his coolest in his element (as cool as he can be, anyway), it seemed appropriate to base him underwater. Again, credit to Eons of Battle for the base tutorial.
And here he is. I painted his stupid water hand to look like flesh so he would better resemble the classic, lame-ass Aquaman we all know and mock. (“Go talk to some fish!”)
Here’s my attempt at making Aquaman cool; although if Jason Momoa can’t do it, who am I to think I can? He was a fun little project in the midst of some others, and it’s been a while since repainted some ‘Clix. It’s a bit of an amuse-bouche for June…when Forgotten Heroes comes around again!
The source? Not an unfaithful wife. Not another’s success, wealth or good looks. Not even another’s superior painting skill or bagpiping prowess. None of these. Yet my particular jealousy was a daily, unwelcome guest for many months. It would arrive when unexpected and stay far too long, like an irritating relative, or an annoying ghost. It consumed me and I could think of little else.
Put simply, I coveted the Knight Models Hulk miniature possessed by frequent Dead Dick’s visitor and owner of Cheaphammer, Kieron, and wanted it for my own.
I’m not proud of this. Although I nursed my envy closely and didn’t let Kieron know how hotly it burned, it remains that jealousy is unbecoming. It diminished me as a person. And over what? It’s just a miniature. A MINIATURE.
Well, I am happy to report that all that is past, and that I am no longer consumed with burning jealousy. I would like to say that is because I have evolved as a person. That I have now realized that jealousy is a base, toxic emotion that is an obstacle on my path to self-actualization. I would like to say that, but I can’t.
Because the real reason I am no longer jealous of Kieron’s Knight Models Incredible Hulk miniature IS ‘CUZ I GOT MY OWN!
I finally managed to snag one off of eBay! The price? More than I would typically pay for any miniature, but certainly nowhere near what the “standard” starting point is for this particular model on the secondary market. With shipping, it was still less than almost everything on Games Workshop’s site.
And I love it so.
This model is HUGE, and it’s all metal. It’s also an asshole of a miniature. It’s seven pieces (not counting the base), and because it’s a Knight Models miniature, it was a pain in the ass to put together, requiring much in the way of gap-filling green stuff and Magic Sculpt.
I knew right away I wanted my Hulk to be darker in hue than the Knight Models version. I was never a big fan of the neon green Hulk. (I have a Hallmark Hulk Christmas ornament that’s particularly egregious; he might as well be yellow. If it wasn’t stored away in my attic with all my other Christmas decorations, I’d show you.)
To achieve this, I first primed him black. Then I painted his skin Citadel Caliban Green, followed by Vallejo Uniform Green, and finally Coat D’arms Goblin Green. Then I applied a wash of Citadel Waywatcher Green, followed by a final application of Yellow Wash. The pants were painted Citadel Naggaroth Night, followed by Vallejo Royal Purple, highlighted with Citadel Screamer Pink. The final highlight was a thinned-down wash of Vallejo Warlord Purple. The shirt (what’s left of it) was based with Reaper’s Bone Shadow, highlighted with Reaper’s Polished Bone and Vampiric Skin. I applied two coats of Citadel Stirland Mud to the base before I drybrushed it with Reaper Stained Ivory and added all the grass and tufts.
To give you a better idea of how enormous the KM Hulk is, here he is between a Reaper Hill Giant (also all metal) and a Heroclix Hulk. Most impressive, n’est ce-pas?
Last year I played a Super Mission Force scenario based on Hulk #300, in which pretty much every Marvel hero in New York tries to stop the rampaging Hulk from destroying the city. One of my friends who is a lifelong Hulk fan controlled the Hulk, while the rest of us took teams of various heroes. For that, I used the Heroclix Hulk shown above. Nice, but…
You see what I’m saying?
Above: The Leader is using his super-brain to calculate to the nearest power just how exponentially fucked he is.
With the release of SMF 2nd Edition and my acquisition of this model, I think it might be time to fire up that scenario once again, to prove once and for all that “HULK IS STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!”
This is the first miniature I’ve painted in a while, as Terrain Time had been my focus last month. The insanity pile has suffered a bit, as in addition to the Hulk I bought a box of Modiphius Klingons, too…
A couple of weeks back I was pleasantly surprised to receive a PM on Lead Adventure Forum from Scott Pyle, creator of Super Mission Force. Visitors to this site probably know that I am a huge fan of this game, so I was very happy to find that he wanted to send me a copy of the new second edition in appreciation for my support!
I certainly don’t trumpet my love for SMF in the hopes of getting freebies, but I’m not about to say no to one, either. I’m very grateful for the gift, which arrived today. I chose the coil binding, so the booklet can lay flat if I’m referencing something during play.
Although I didn’t have any problems with the first edition, it looks like Scott has expanded the archetypes, powers and team composition rules quite a bit. The inclusion of a blank hero sheet is a welcome addition, too. I’m sure there are other changes I have yet to discover, and I will be giving it a good look-through this weekend.
As if getting a copy for free wasn’t cool enough, there’s also this:
Another surprise! I am happy that I could contribute in any way.
Once again, a heartfelt thanks to Scott Pyle both for his generosity and for creating one of my favorite games of all time. I can’t wait to try out the new edition!
I never heard, or even knew of, the Solomon Grundy nursery rhyme as a child. I think perhaps this is a more common nursery rhyme overseas than here in the States. It wasn’t until I got older, fell in love with Celtic music and started listening to the Pogues that I heard it for the first time, at the very, very end of Billy’s Bones.
As a comic book fan, though, I knew who Solomon Grundy was very early on. The guy was in the Legion of Doom on Superfriends (a cartoon that absolutely does NOT hold up). Later, I remember seeing a Bernie Wrightson portfolio with a couple of plates depicting Solomon Grundy, but that was about the extent of my exposure to him.
Now, of course, EVERYONE knows that Solomon Grundy was born on a Monday… et cetera, et cetera. He was a significant character on TV’s Gotham, and I remember cackling with glee the first time I realized that…
…Butch’s real name turned out to be Cyrus Gold.
Anyway…Grundy has about 12 different origin stories (look it up if you don’t believe me), but a common thread throughout all of them was that he was once a man named Cyrus Gold, who was murdered and dumped in Slaughter Swamp, the location of which changes but is usually outside of Gotham City. Something in the water reanimates him, so he is basically an indestructible zombie. He’s super strong (he can go toe-to-toe with Superman), nigh-invulnerable and impossible to permanently put down. He doesn’t have to breathe and he doesn’t bleed. He’s also usually, but not always, really dumb.
He started out as a villain for Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, but now he’s more of a Batman villain. The thing is, I can’t figure out why he’s a villain at all. Most villains have schemes and plans, things they wish to accomplish. Grundy just usually shows up and fights whoever happens to be around until he gets beat up or killed. Then he rises again some time later and starts all over. Not really a “big picture” kind of guy.
I bought this Knight Models Solomon Grundy because it’s AWESOME, and the Heroclix Grundy looks laughably small next to him.
I primed him black and drybrushed some Citadel Celestra Grey on him to pick out the details. Then I painted his skin using Citadel’s Rakarth Flesh, followed by a wash of Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with Flayed One Flesh and finally, Pallid Wych Flesh. For the suit, I did a thin layer of Coat D’Arms Deadly NIghtshade, followed by an even lighter coat of Army Painter Dark Sky. This covered the Celestra Grey and provided some nice highlights to the clothing. His shirt was based in Citadel Tau Light Ochre, washed with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted up to Dorn Yellow. I used GW’s Stirland Mud to texture the base and stuck an old Armorcast broken tombstone on it before flocking the whole thing.
And that was the end of Solomon Grundy, and of Supers Month here at Dead Dick’s Tavern.
I must thank my friend Carrion Crow for coming up with Forgotten Heroes. It is a challenge in more ways than one. For example, last year I converted my very own Wundarr the Aquarian, who I consider to be one of the worst Marvel characters ever. Even though my results weren’t great, I was pretty proud of myself for converting such a terrible character. The Aquarian was met with much amusement, and I thought I would never find another character so lame.
Until now, that is. May I present: La Bandera!
Some background. Once upon a time, Wolverine (along with the rest of the X-Men) was supposed to be dead, so he ditched the superhero life to open a bar in seedy Madripoor. He took the identity of “Patch” (Logan with an eyepatch, get it?) which shouldn’t have fooled anyone with vision better than Mr. Magoo, considering he kept popping his claws all the time. To make matters worse, Wolverine soon started dressing up as fucking WOLVERINE, and everyone sat around scratching their heads at the strange short guy in the Wolverine costume. No one seemed able to put two and two together and come up with “Hey…that guy is Wolverine.”
Anyway, at one point, Wolverine travels to the South American dictatorship Tierra Verde, hot on the trail of Roughhouse, a Madripoor-based bad guy he beat the shit out of a few times. Roughhouse was kidnapped by a guy named Geist, who was a Nazi “scientist” who was working for Caridad, the mustachioed dictator of Tierra Verde. Geist was experimenting on people in the hope of creating a superhero for Tierra Verde at Caridad’s request.
Sigh. Enter La Bandera, a teenage girl who was born in Cuba to Castro revolutionary parents, who then moved to Miami, where her father became a drug addict and died of a drug overdose. When she got to be a teenager, she manifested her mutant power, inspiration. She can influence the emotions of others, so she used this to inspire the common folk to fight drug dealers in Miami. Oh, and she can also shoot power blasts through a stick she carries, but these seem to be dependent on how may people she is currently inspiring. When their morale tanks, she loses this ability.
Yawn. Moving on, La Bandera pissed off the Kingpin, because her rabble-rousing started fucking with his bottom line: his Miami drug profits. So he hired Tiger Shark to kill her. But before Tiger Shark could, she traced the drugs to Tierra Verde, and traveled there to inspire the populace to overthrow their evil dictator, Caridad. Wolverine saved her from Tiger Shark, who was in the process of removing La Bandera’s head from her shoulders. Then he saved her from Geist, who, in addition to a Nazi scientist and expert barber, turned out to be a giant, evil fungus. Then they overthrew the dictator together and saved Roughhouse.
This all took a very long seven issues of Wolverine. There was more to the story (Caridad suffers from migraines and his ex-wife, a nun named “Sister Salvation”, is the only one who can soothe his pain) but just forget it. If you’ve never heard of La Bandera, you have missed nothing. But the reason is because she, and the story she rode in on, sucks out loud.
La Bandera is one of those annoying, purposeless characters that festooned the X-books throughout the late eighties and nineties. She’s a stereotype (a Cuban-born revolutionary), but at least we are spared the “Claremont-ization” of her speech patterns (a la Black Tom Cassidy, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Moira MacTaggart, Gambit and countless others…) because she was created by Archie Goodwin, not Chris Claremont; but although there’s nary a “Madre de Dios!” to be found, she’s still pretty damn lame.
Perfect for Forgotten Heroes. Although her national allegiance isn’t clear, she’s definitely a patriotic character, as she inspires feelings of nationalism in others. so, she’s kind of a patriotic everyman. And she has a colorful costume. That’s about all I got.
As my base figure, I used a Heroclix Nikki. I have no idea who the hell Nikki is, but she’s apparently affiliated with the Defenders. She’ll do.
I removed her from her dial and took her arm off at the shoulder. I considered just clipping off the gun, but her arms are so thin I was worried about attaching a staff to both sides of her hand. So I opted to just remove the hand and replace it with this GW skink spear hand. I removed the spear head and hoped no one would notice that La Bandera has a freakishly-large right hand, and that it only has three fingers.
Then I started applying green stuff and magic sculpt to build up her poofy sleeves. Although I suck at sculpting, I took my time. I built it up in several sessions rather than trying to get it all done at once.
Finally, I sculpted her mask and her flowing belt and mask ties. This took a while. I rolled out the magic sculpt in a long ribbon, flattened it out, twisted it and let it dry. Then I clipped it and super-glued it to the miniature. A final dab of putty secured both belt and mask tie in place.
Finally, all that was left was to paint her. You may notice that my paint job doesn’t match the artwork above. That’s because throughout that excruciating seven-issue run, La Bandera’s costume lacked a consistent color scheme, which may have been a printing error, or may have just been indicative of how much anyone working on her story gave a fuck. I went with the one that was shown the most. I’m not happy with her mask. Perhaps I should have just painted her face instead of sculpting a mask, as it looks a little weird. But I take comfort in the fact that although I’m probably one of the only people in the world with a La Bandera miniature, I will, in all likelihood, never have to use her in a game.
Unless she teams up with the Aquarian. Damn. Now I’m thinking about it.
That brings my Forgotten Heroes submissions to an end for this year. I really wanted to do General Glory from the post-Legends JLI, but I didn’t have the time. Maybe next year, although I’m pretty sure the Crow will have a new challenge by then…
A local comic shop had a pretty spectacular sale on gaming items recently, and I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a few of the original metal Knight Models Batman figures on the shelf. I couldn’t resist picking up a few (at a deep discount), and so I present…Clayface!
At last count, there are about 72 different Clayfaces running around the DC universe. (I may be off by one or two, but suffice it to say there are a lot.) The original was Basil Karlo, a B-list actor who went crazy when he learned he wasn’t going to be in a remake of a horror film he starred in, so he wore a mask and tried to kill all the other actors who starred in the remake. The second Clayface was Matt Hagen, an Indiana Jones-type adventurer who was exposed to some kind of weird protoplasm that made him malleable and able to assume any form. The third Clayface was a guy named Preston Payne, whose touch dissolves flesh, so naturally he goes crazy and falls in love with a mannequin. The rest of the Clayfaces don’t matter. Trust me. They just don’t fucking matter.
My favorite version of Clayface is from the Batman Animated Series. That Clayface was based a combination of the first and second Clayface, i.e. he was Matt Hagen, who was a great actor who became disfigured in a car crash. He began using an experimental, protoplasmic face cream developed by Roland Daggett, an unscrupulous big-pharma type who used Hagen to commit crimes in exchange for more of the cream (kinda like a heroin dealer, or so I’ve heard). Finally, Daggett’s men poured a ton of the protoplasmic cream on Hagen, thinking it would kill him. Instead, it turned him into Clayface. (This version of Clayface was also voiced by Ron Perlman, which pretty much ensures he’s the coolest version of Clayface that was, is, or will ever be.)
As far as the miniature itself: it’s BIG. And metal, and all stretched out in a lunge, which means he’s unbalanced. I immediately tossed the ridiculous 40mm slotta base he came with and rebased him on a 40mm MDF base. Unfortunately, that was too small and the model kept tipping over. So, I based the 40mm base on a 60 mm base for stability. Then I set about painting him.
There’s really not a lot to this model, paint-wise. Aside from his face, he’s all brown. I used various brown paints and washes to make him look as he does, which is pretty much like a turd. I considered applying some gloss varnish to make him look like wet clay, but decided not to.
To give you an idea of how big he is, here is the Knight Models Clayface next to a Heroclix Clayface.
And here he is next to a Heroclix R’as al Ghul. (Weird that I don’t have a repainted ‘Clix Batman yet.) The KM version seems much more true to scale when compared to a normal-sized human (R’as). As with Killer Croc, the ‘Clix version looks kind of puny by comparison.
I have other Knight Models to paint, and I am still laboring away on another Forgotten Heroes entry before month’s end. Returning to true Piper form, I will be submitting another hero who absolutely should be forgotten.
It’s been a while since I did a Heroclix repaint, and this time it’s another of Batman’s rogues gallery: Jervis Tetch, aka the Mad Hatter.
From DC FanDOM: Jervis Tetch, formerly a research scientist, is completely smitten with the works of Lewis Carroll. As his criminal name indicates, he takes the appearance of the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He is an insane neuroscientist and developed hardware that can control the brain and induce hypnotic states, and often uses hats or other headgear for mind control.
Originally, the Hatter was a villain who committed robberies using his mind-controlling hats; nowadays, his motivations are a lot darker, as in addition to hats, he seems to be obsessed with kidnapping little girls named Alice. (Yep. It’s exactly what you think.)
This version of the Mad Hatter comes from the original DC Heroclix Hypertime set. He’s a redhead and he looks like a leprechuan; a bit too colorful for my tastes.
Here is my repaint. The Hatter is flanked by two miniatures from Lucid Eye’s Beast of Birchwood line, the “Sleeping Hare” and the “Sleeping Field Mouse”. I gather this game is a Victorian horror-themed skirmish game, so they fit right into Tetch’s Wonderland obsession as the March Hare and the Dormouse, thugs in his employ; or perhaps, more fittingly, under his mental control. What tough guy is going to willingly dress up as a bunny, after all?
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.)
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.