Thursday, May 13, 2010

Drop that can of Boing, Perp Judge Anderson

Judge Anderson from the 1980s citadel range.  A charming range with lots of quirk.  I think Aly Morrison was responsible for the majority of figures, I have a photo of him at his desk with Judge Dredd reference art pinned to the wall, and most of the figures have similar cartoonish faces to the Talisman range.
  Experimented with painting neon light colors on her.  Not sure if it worked really.  My wife asked why she was half blue.  Will try the next batch in stronger, more cartoon effect with dark edging.

Asgard Owl Bear

Okay, I have NO idea what went through my mind when I purchased this hunk of lead.  But I like him.  I really like him.  He go boo.

Asgard owlbear

Asgard was the training ground for a lot of infamous Citadel sculptors- though I dont actually know who sculpted this one.  They probably wouldnt be keen to put their hand up either.  However I do have the Dwarfs from the series and they are brilliant.  My fave has to be the Black Dwarf, as he appeared in an article by Aly Morrison in White Dwarf.  I am also keen to grab some of the chaos monsters from that range.

Hope you like him.  He go boo.

Fluffy the Chaos Hound

One of the original 1980's Citadel Chaos Hounds.  This bicephalous mutt  got bundled into the McDeath deal, thus sealing his fate as a collectors item.  This one arrived thick with tarnish and had a cracked tail, however as you can see, he came up quite good in the end.  A few more passes of paint to go.

Chaos Hound "Fluffy"

Unlike some of the Mcdeath figures, Fluffy comes up quite a bit and often sells for under a tenner.  Its a really hefty model, much bigger than the later chaos hounds of the Realm of Chaos Era.  As you can see, he is pretty much a horse.  Perhaps if I get another I may do a mounted conversion.

In the painting by John Blanche, Fluffy has a spiked mace tail.  I was tempted to put one on since the tail was already damaged, however I felt restoration would be better in the end.  Enjoy!

Reaper cuties

This pic is a converted Succubus from Reaper minis.  I resculpted her back to hide the wing joint, so that she could be a human sorceress for my wifes sexy amazon SOBH army.  Fantastic cheesecake curves.on this model and a great expression to boot.

Converted Reaper Succubus

Next up is another Reaper mini- part of a two pack of Cave Girls.  The other figure in the pack is absolutely perfect, very 2000 BC.  This one has a strange, almost comical face with bowled forehead- rather than resculpt it, I simply used a dark colored band of color across the face to help minimise it, and drew the attention to the hip using a tatoo.  I went from disliking the model to finding her rather charming.

Reaper Cave Girl

Basing part 2- a how to guide.

I got asked how I do my bases.  It surprises me cause I think mine are pretty much functional and crappy.  However, your wish is my command.

I went for a classic 1980's finish for my figures based between Phil Lewis and Kevin Adams style.  I wanted robust bases that could withstand gaming, and be dustable.  That ruled soft flock out- which always looks shitty several years down the track as it flakes off and greys with dust.  My color inspiration comes from the sales poster for the Citadel Monster Paint Starter Set- which showed very yellow green grass on Skragg the Slaughterer and his goblin pals.  Nice.


First, prime the tab.  Yes the bonds weaker, as your glueing paint not directly to the model, but I am told it will protect the figure from lead rot- especially if the PVA glue or basing material is acidic.  When gluing a figure together you want the contact points raw for maximum bonding, but when your holding the figure on the base, it does not matter so much.  Leaving a relatively weak bond to the base gives you the option to crack off the old base and refresh it in years to come.  This is why I use more expensive, rubbery putties such as green stuff and procreate to build up bases around the feet and tab, rather than millput- which I often use for sculpting stone and rubble.  Flexable putties are much easier to remove and flex when dropped.  Polyfiller wont- unless you use the wood version- which I suspect is acidic.  Now that stuff is GREAT for doing dungeon tiles with!

I use regular superglue to base the figures.  Once glued on, flip the figure over and either fill the slot with epoxy putty or paint a thick layer of paint over any exposed metal.  Again, this protects the figure from exposure.  Just like a Jedi going after a shape shifter in a bar, you must be extra careful.  Superglue in the eye is a hospital trip you dont want.  When popping the cherry of a new superglue, always turn your head away or wear protective glasses.  If your worried about looking like a wanker, well- sorry to break it to you, YOU COLLECT MINIATURES!  May as well be a safe one.


I use a mix of Bondi Beach, grit from the streets, flock and brushings from my workbench- which often contain metal filings and bits of Bederken Dwerg figures.  This is mixed with PVA glue to make a gloopy concrete.  You can use this mix to make scenery, I refer to it as modellers cement.
Anyway, use a cheap brush to paint the cement onto the base, and then sprinkle fine sand to dry off the surface.  Wipe your brush clean, then use it to dust off any spillage on feet.  An old scalpel blade can be handy to push the goop under the feet.

The grade of sand you use makes a massive difference to the drybrushed- so experiment.

If the slotta holes are really wide, like you get on some precut horse bases nowadays, a little stickytape is all you need to block the hole.  The small gaps dont need to be filled if you use PVA.

Finally I run my thumb around the edge of the base to cut a small ledge around the lip of the surface.  I think it looks nice.


Mushrooms are a MUST for a retro citdadel figure- the old world was FULL of mushrooms and venus flytraps.  I suggest making them in bulk, rather than doing them for every figure directly on the base.  Grab a cork, stab it with wire- bend the ends over to stop the shroom falling off, then whack on your putty.  Leave the stalk long enough so you can drill and glue it in your bases later on.  Check out Kevin Adams wonderful bases from the eighties- he used stippled putty for grass and sculpted plants, skulls, shrooms and flytraps galore.

For painting, I use a thinned wash of black acrylic, overbrush with GW Catcachan green, then finish up with a drybrush of Camo Green.  Washes of brown, red, purple and Dark Angels Green add Frank Frazetta-esque touches of color.

For science fiction I use VMC green-grey washed with 50-50 GW badab black and blue washes.  Gives the thing a 1980s scifi video feel I kinda like.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


So I recently got invited into an D&D campaign for like the first time in decades, and casting around for a mini to play with I settled on a slight conversion of a 1980s Citadel AD&D female theif model.  Hard to find, but rather than damaging the figure I settled on adding layers of greenstuff over the existing model, giving me the freedom to clean it all off once I am done.  More augmenting than converting.
Anyway, for her I used a classic milliput stone finished surface on a round base, and I have to say its far more practical for gaming than my beloved Hex bases with sand.  The dilemma is that now I have a huge collection styled in exactly the same way, do I go a different direction for part of the collection to give a consistent look?  A quandry.

Love to hear your opinions.  Vote below.

Yay- keep rocking the HEX.
Nay- mix it up.

Busy busy

Quite a delay in posting I am afraid Retrodelics- my work life has rudely interrupted my hobby life.  Tsk.
Thanks for the emails.  I have had a few requests and questions.  Lets tackle them.

Q: Can I get a close up of the Monster Starter Set Ogre?
A:  Totally.  I will be posting close ups of the completed monster starter set once I, you know, complete it and stuff.

Q:Good pages for collecting retro citadel.  Well, FROTHERS (FU-UK) has a great 'citadel archive' sticky thread, which is well worth going through every page of.  Take a day off and cruise it with a bottle of fine tequila.  For the definitive AD&D mini collection, google Otherworld minis.  Stuff of Legends is a must have bookmark, as well as the collecting citadel miniatures wiki.  Am I the only one who thinks wiki is a stupid name for something.  Put it in the sin bin with google, blog, skype and twitter.

Q: Whats the best way to find old stuff?
A:  Ebay.  Naturally.  Search result combinations to try are '(1980s, vintage, OOP, rogue trader and rare) + (GW, citadel, warhammer, talisman)'.  Tad obvious, but I am hardly a font of deep wisdom.  Joining the collecting citadel miniatures yahoo list also gives you a headsup on auctions.

Q: How do I stop getting ripped off?
A: Tough one.  Go for quality figure photos, ask if the photo is of the actual model sold if duplicates are listed.  Its almost impossible to tell a good recast from a late line model, but the bottom line is you want a figure thats good quality.  Most recasts you will encounter are gravity fed tin copies made from silicon moulds- very warped, softer details, lost details, inferior metals and a ragged double mould line are the main problems with these.  A clean double mould line is a by product of the manufacturing process at citadel - the putty masters are cast in resin, and from these resin masters the production moulds are made.  Lazy workmanship means the original mould line is not smoothed off, and a double line results.  A ragged double line that digs into the figure denotes a poor silcone mould copy and is definately the work of a pirate.  If you imagine where the two parts of the mould run against the figure you get very thin silcone edges, and these need to be trimmed with sharp scissors or they have a tendency to fold in and cause crappy joins.  Hence the ragged edge.
I have no doubt that some professional casters may be tempted to make proper vulcanised plate spin cast copies and these are often impossible to tell from an original even placed side by side.  Quite often you just have to shrug and say 'close enough'.
  I wouldn't question the integrity of a seller, however you do have a right to return the figure if you are not satisfied with it in most deals.  Remember that some genuine dealers may have picked up fakes in job lots and have not spotted them, so its not part of a conspiracy against you.  Accusing someone of fraud and piracy is a major thing.  Try for a refund, then complain.  Most dealers are in it for the love, its not exactly big money.
That said, a policy of checking frequently to see if the trader keeps getting the same stock back in- its amazing just how many rare rogue trader figures some guys get manage to find every month.
Ultimately dont pay too much for a figure- if you pay more than a modern figure your a nit wit.

Q: I heard someone lost his whole collection to theives.  Do you insure?
A: Yes and no.  I have read a couple of cases of insurance companies not paying out on miniatures, even when Citadel where asked to value the collection.
  Instead I keep most of my collection in cases in a secure storage lockup rather than at home.  I rotate these when I get fed up looking at them, or once I finish painting them.  At most I only ever have about fifty or so figures out at a time.  If I ever was robbed I would only loose a couple of hundred bucks worth.  Sad, but something I could live.  I wouldnt take any more than a case load to a convention.  I don't buy super rare stuff either- so no chicken dragons or Mcdeath sets for me.  All this adds up to a pretty secure collection.
It is actually one of the reasons I am doing this blog- so I can eventually see them all in one place and check which ones I have already when buying online.  Gotta love blogs.

Q: Whats next?
A: Once I claw my free time back I have a huge clean and priming session planned to protect my current batch of exposed metal.  I lost some lovely figures to lead rot recently due to a citrus air spray I was using, (doh) and its gonna be the last time!

Back soon with pictures!