Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sam Haven and more stuff!

One of the most challenging yet  rewarding part of my MHI project is trying to find miniatures to fit the well described characters in the novels.  It's kinda fun for me to trawl through various manufacturers websites, looking for that perfect mini to represent a character.

Sam Haven is described as a big, tall, bad ass cowboy.  He's an ex Navy SEAL who has a Texan drawl and penchant for western wear.    When we are first introduced to the big lug in Monster Hunter International, he's the tobacco chewing, profanity laced, shooting instructor.  He wears a walrus mustache and immediately makes me think of Jesse Ventura in Predator.  Unfortunately, there are not a lot of  paramilitary cowboys miniatures out there!

Since I had the Wargames Foundry Gunther already primed and ready to go, I'd figure I'd press him into service.

Business in the front

Party in the Rear

  I added a boonie hat with some greenstuff.  On second thought, I probably should have made it a cowboy hat, but I wanted something to make me think he was an Ex Seal.  I also added the big rodeo
style belt buckle, and painted the MHI Logo on his shoulder.  The Gunther figure has very long hair, but as Haven is described as having a 'mullet', I figured it would work.  To be honest, the sculpt isn't all that great, it's a bit dodgy in spots, but at least now he's painted and officially the first completed member I have of the MHI team.

Douglas Stark makes his first appearance in MHI: Alpha.  At that time, he's the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Bureau of the MCB.  He's a bald, stocky bull dog of a man, who is more of a cowardly bureaucrat than anything.

Fishmen are coming.
 I decided to use a Hasslefree miniature called 'Costner' to represent good old Doug.  He's a work in progress, so I've added some belly fat and bull dog jowls to complete the look.  We learn in ALPHA that Stark was once a young Navy SEAL that served on a dangerous mission with Sam Haven.

The SEALS were sent to protect and secure a cruise liner attacked by Deep Ones.  The team was quickly overcome by the slimy fishmen, and only two SEALS survived, Haven and Stark.

That's where the two reports diverge, as Starks version has him being the hero and containing the deadly Deep One encounter, and Havens version has Stark hiding in a laundry hamper.  Since Haven's version also included the truth about the MCB coming on board and 'eliminating' survivors, Starks version became the official report.  That led to Haven being drummed out of the service, and Stark became a rising star in the MCB organization.

I'll discuss more of Stark's character (or lack of it) as I progress with the mini.

Last weeks WiP, the Condition, are now finished, and here's the proof.  The cult will grow, but the enforcers for it are ready for action.

We're forming a church softball league

A couple of cool minis I found to help me represent some of the books big hitters were found in the ranks of cheapo HeroClix.

Drax is going to be my basis for Owen Pitt, and the big ugly Tombstone will be the indomitable Agent Franks.  I'll just be adding sunglasses to Tombstone, and try my hand at turning Pitt into something similar to my sketch (from an earlier post) by sculpting body armor.  They'll also get some new paint...It's worth it to try messing with these, as they both cost me less than two bucks from an online store.  Even if I have to scrap them, I'm not going to be out much.  More on these soon.
Cheap cheap cheap!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Sanctified Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition.

After painting nothing but furry things the last few minis, I thought I'd move onto something without hair...

The Condition, Work in Progress
 In the Monster Hunter International World, cultists can be just as dangerous as the monsters themselves.

In MHI: Vendetta, the second book in the series, we are introduced to the 'main' cult of doom, The Sanctified Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition, better known as The Condition.  They are described as a devious and brutal cult,  one that actually uses magic quite effectively.  The Condition are well funded, well trained, and actively working for the return of the Great Old Ones.

As there seem to be plenty of sects of this cult, I thought I'd try a few of my own.  I've actually had these in the works for some time, but only recently decided to adopt them into my MHI setting.

These cool little minis are from East Riding Miniatures, called the Slicks.  I really dig the oddness of them.  They are just a WiP so far.  If you look back at my Dec 2012 entry, you'll see the same tentacle pattern on the fishmen's cloaks.  I saw this design on a T-shirt and thought it would work great for any cultists I do.

Another miniature that I had in the works for years, is the Star Spawn from Reaper.   I don't think I ever posted any finished pics.  It's a beast to photograph well (as I struggle w/ photos anyhow).

Do these jeans make my butt look evil?
He was painted by just using tons and tons of light colored washes.  I like the pulpy almost plant like quality that gives.  It's time consuming, but kinda cool.

The condition are constantly scheming, infiltrating, and causing general havoc in the world, trying to find a way for ilk like this to enter our dimension.

Whisper sweet nothings to me

I'll post these guys up once I finish them, I think I need to do something with those buckles and maybe something better with those glasses.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The vulkodlak: Werewolf Armageddon.

Monster Hunter Spoilers will follow...

Werewolves play a prominent part in the MHI mythos.  Owen Pitt savagely fights and beats his newly turned werewolf boss, Cecil Huffman, in the opening chapter.   We learn much later, that's not the only Werewolf boss Owen has.  Earl Harbinger, however, is not just your average werewolf. Harbinger, is the King of the Werewolves, and possibly the best Monster Hunter on the planet.

In the third book of the series, MHI Alpha, we learn much more about Earl and how he operates. We learn how he controls his lycanthropy and why he isn't eligible as a PUFF bounty.  PUFF is the bounty system the American Government uses to pay those that destroy Monsters.  (the Perpetual Unearthly Forces Fund).  Summoned to a upper peninsula Michigan town, Earl finds himself in the middle of a werewolf war.
Conover, Harbinger, and Petrov.  Werewolf family reunions are dangerous affairs.
Also summoned to the town is Nikolai Petrov, a vicious Russian werewolf whom Earl fought in the Viet Nam War.  Turns out that Adam Conover, the stories big bad, is not only an oddly created werewolf, but now has the Amulet of Koschei the Deathless.  This ancient artifact gives incredible power to it wielder, and Conover plans to use it to start the vulkodlak, basically a werewolf apocalypse scenario.

The vulkodlak are after your kibble.

For Conover and Petrov, (see top pic) I used Reaper Miniatures.  Conover is supposed to be a huge, black furred, glowing eyed beast, and the large Reaper figure worked well.  It did have some gauntlets on each wrist that I shave off and resculpted hair onto.  I plan on doing human versions of both.

For Harbinger, I used the excellent werewolf from Fenris Games.  Although Harbinger is still vicious and evil during the full moon,  I wanted to portray him as a bit less beserker, and that mini worked well for that.  I'll need a human version of Earl as well.

The other werewolves are three SOTR minis, and a Darkson Design mini.  I've had a couple of those done for quite a while (the ones w/ black bases), but it was nice to add to the ranks.

The isolated town of Copper Lake, panicky townsfolk, inept MCB agents, a growing werewolf army, some old ones magic, and a pissed off Earl Harbinger not only made a fantastic novel, but should make for some interesting gaming scenarios.
Werewolf?  There wolf.
I'm too sexy for my shirt.

Did you throw a frisbee?

MHI is filled with fantastic characters, and Earl Harbinger is certainly one of
my favorites.  The Alpha book is the first that centered on Earl.  Not only does it add  much more to the current MHI setting, it also fills in plenty of backstory, giving even more gaming ideas (and miniatures to make!).  I've got tons more to work on from this story.

My Name is Earl.

Thanks for reading!!  See you soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Messin with Sasquatch

 Bigfoots (bigfeet?) don't really play a prominent role in the world of Monster Hunter International.   They are mentioned once or twice and actually appear as the body guard of a Wendigo deep in the haunted swamps of Natchy Bottom.

But, as I had them, and they were already primed, I decided to give them some paint and get them done.

These are nice chunky models, I *think* are Pontoonier miniatures and were quite fun to paint up.

I've had a soft spot for Sasquatch since I was a little fella, so I'm glad to add them to my latest project.
Gimme some beef jerky

The reddish one was my favorite, just that striding pose and the call back to that famous walking bigfoot picture from the 60's just make him perfect.

Back in 2006 or so, I tried sculpting my own Bigfoot.  I based it on that iconic picture.
Click me to make me bigger!

The sculpt wasn't all that great, but it was incredibly fun to do.  I eventually painted it all up and based it too look like it was walking through the forest.  I gave it to my Dad, as he's probably the reason I have such a soft spot for Sasquatch as it is....

I'm not a dude in a suit.
So in other, non related, but still hairy hominid news.....WEREWOLVES!!!

Does it smell like updog in here?

Werewolves on the other hand, do play a prominent part in MHI.  Owen Z Pitt fights and kills one in the opening chapter of the first book.  That introduces both the Monster Control Bureau and the Monster Hunter International to him.  And that's just the start.  So, obviously, I'm gonna need alot of them.  Here's a WiP pic of several I cleaned, assembled, (and now primed), ready for my hamfisted paint!

Lastly for this entry, is another addition to my 'grunt' forces, designed to work for the Monster Control Bureau.  These guys are in Hazmat suits, no doubt fighting off some sort of inter dimensionary toxic creature.  Simple paint for these Hasslefree minis.  Not sure why I chose orange, other than to just make them look a bit different from Hazmat guys I've seen.

Hey are these suits claw proof?

So, after three years of no posts, I've posted three times in a bout a week....I guess when the muse calls, you have to answer.  Thanks for reading!  See you soon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Owen Pitt: Rough concept, mini ideas.

As I work on painting up some of my miniatures and shoehorning them into the MONSTER HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL world, I think I should also start planning out the main characters from the stories.

Owen Zastava Pitt, or 'Z' to his friends, is the protagonist of three of the five books, and the first character we meet in the series.

I suppose if you ever want to read these books, I should at least be as kind as putting up a spoiler alert.  

Spoiler Alert for the rest of my blog!  Discussing these characters and settings will certainly give plot points away.  If you are at all interested in a spoil free story, go read the books, and then come back and visit!

Owen is one big dude, described as a power lifter type guy, around 25 or so.  He's 6 foot 5, and well over 300 lbs.  He had a tough childhood, raised by a militant father who wanted Owen and his brother David to be able to survive anything.  Owen was a competition shooter at an early age, and worked as a bouncer and illegal pit fighter to put himself through college.

In a fight where he lost his cool, and almost killed another fighter, he decided to find the most boring career and get away from violence for good.  So, he became an accountant.

Long story short, he ends up with a werewolf for a boss, has a horrific fight with it, wins, and is introduced to the wonderful world of Monster Hunting.

As I'm working in roughly the 28mm size, I want a mini that stands head and shoulders above the average man.  Unfortunately, I'm not having any great luck in scouring the various manufacturers for a miniature that could serve as a basis.

I may have to try my hand at some massive conversion work, or even having a go at sculpting.

I've drawn a real rough little sketch on what I'm going for:

 I'd like my combat version of Z to be big and beefy, having a huge knife, wearing armor, and a shotgun strapped to him.

Normally, Monster hunters will wear a hockey type helmet, fitted with some Nightvision optics.  The armor has a removable neck guard (used especially when fighting Vampires) and has MOLLE straps to affix a wide range of pouches and gear.

The big knife Z uses is called a Kukri, a wicked curved machete popular with Gurkas.

In addition to a pair of STI .45s strapped to his hips, he is also very fond of his custom made Saiga fully automatic shotgun.  The shotgun also features an under mounted 40mm grenade launcher, and a side switch blade bayonet, inlayed with silver.

This is his boomstick
Lastly, for Z's normal load out, he straps a .357 to his ankle.  The man has a thing for guns.

Actually, the author of the series, Larry Corriea, is a self described Gun Nut, and he knows his stuff.

Owen is very loyal to his friends and family, even to the point here he would put himself in danger (which he often does) to protect them.  He also has a short temper, which gets him into trouble at times.

A couple of minis that could be promising for a basis for Z are from the Hasslefree Line:

Hasslefree miniatures are freakin great!
Not included in the Orange box...

Unfortunately, I don't really know how big these guys are to the rest of the line.  Nomad seems the most promising, but still there would be a lot of conversion work.  Definitely a head swap, removing that big honking gun, and possibly making him taller.

Mordekai just has that side of beef look for sure.  But, he is a bit on the cartoony side, and those guns are just ridiculous.  He's an over the top, halfway down the other side type mini.

The search continues, and I have plenty of more of the inhabitants of the MHI world in the pipeline and ready for paint already, so I may just hold off for awhile to include Owen in the lineup.

Any mini suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

This weekend, I plan on painting up some Bigfoots (feet?) and some watch this space!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I'm BAAAAACK! Beginning of my Monster Hunter International project.

It's been a long while since I updated the old Blog.  In fact it's been a long while since I stepped into my little paint room to work on some hobby fun.

But, it's all a changing!

I've seemed to recapture the mood to mess around with my weird little toys once again....

I think I'll do a REBOOT of the blog and concentrate more on specific areas of what I want to do with my hobby, more of a focused approach.

First, is a 'gaming world' inspired very very heavily by the MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL book series.  If you've not  read them, there are currently five books out in this excellent series, written by Larry Correia.   In a nutshell, monsters are real, folks hunt them for bounties, madness ensues.  I highly recommend the books (or better yet, the Audible Version of them).  They can be a bit cheesy at times, but overall just fun 'action movie' style reading.  I'm sure I'll blabber more about them as I work on my project.

First up for my MHI setting are the Monster Control Bureau.  This is the arm of the government that actively pursues and tries to quell any monster related badness.  The Government has decided that the public does NOT need to know about the existence and goes to great lengths to dissuade witnesses or victims from speaking out (up to and including death).

"You saw nothing."
Click for Bigger.

These were great figures to get back into the swing of painting.  I wanted simple, and that's what I got.    I did these guys in the traditional Men In Black type scheme.  They are nothing special, just at a gaming standard, but it marks the first time I've painted in almost 3 years!!  So, to me, they seem to be a bit of a milestone.

The figures are from EM4 Miniatures.  Old sculpts by Marc Copplestone, I think, and they are cheap and hold up surprisingly well, even by modern sculpting standards.  These particular guys will just  be the 'common Agents' of the MCB.  Agents working the field to stop monsters and intimidate witnesses.

One of my favorite parts of making a gaming project fit within a particular story is searching for and finding miniatures that will represent the characters.  As I progress with this new blog direction, I hope to show you my planning process, conversion, and selection of miniatures for the characters I want to portray.

Here's some art that was used in the Monster Hunters International Role Playing Game just to show a bit more flavor of the series.

"Down Boy"

Anyhow, I'm excited about this project and a few others I'm stewing over, so please watch this space!