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Took me long enough to sculpt, then paint, then photograph this fella, but here he is at long last! The ape-armed brute, the mook, the Fall Guy, the smash-and-grab man with the cauliflower ears and the broken nose. Made with the crowbar from EL DIABLO.
What's his name?
Ask him again, he'll tell you the same.
"Whoof, finally got that safe down. Gutman better find something good in here; dat weren't easy."
"Whoa whoa whoa fellas! This ain't what it looks like, and I admit it sure LOOKS...not real great."
Let's also celebrate the real hero of this picaresque narrative, the shipping container! I need to get a second one and see just how far I can push the rust effects. Also need to airbrush some graffiti on there.
I rescued Bonnie and Max from the box of goodwill and made them ready for table use, sharing a simplified palette of colors: blue, tan, green, and orange. Max got a weapon swap, and some resculpting of the left arm because it was so much larger than the right it looked like it came off a different figure. I reposed Bonnie slightly more upright than her original position. They are both on CMON/Microarts graveyard bases.
Max pulled his collar up against the wind and puled his old college scarf closer around his neck. "Come on Bonnie, there's nothing out here."
"I heard something over there," Bonnie replied.
"It's a cat. I don't think we need to worry about it. "
"So...Xiao Lu. You have expressed interest in this particular carp. Your purse is sufficient for the purchase. Nevertheless, I will only sell to a man with the proper appreciation of the fish, a scholar who can truly cherish it as it deserves.
Tell me, Xiao Lu. What are the Noble Virtues of the carp?"
"Truly, Master Fang, only the injudicious man would sell such a precious gift to a fool.
The different colors and patterns of the carp indicate different virtues, some those of the father, some of the mother, some of daughters or sons, or scholars or businessmen or soldiers.
But the virtues common to all carp are:
Firstly, courageous independence. It swims upstream, heading into the current always. An indomitable will to face what comes. A carp swimming downstream bodes ill; this is known to all.
Secondly, prosperity. Their scales of gold, silver, platinum, and bronze are all auspicious, reflecting money and attracting luck.
Thirdly, fecundity. Their fertility fills the rivers; does not their very name evoke abundance and plenty?
Fourthly, success and transformation through diligence and perseverance. As it is said, 'the carp has leapt through the Dragon's Gate.' With enough work, the carp may surmount even the waterfall that streams down the mountain. And does not the carp that passes the Dragon Gate itself become a dragon? So too will the man who applies himself become accomplished and recognized."
These are two truly magnificent sculpts. The short fellow with the oval base is from an 80's-era Grenadier set of "Vile Villains." (He comes with a Casper Gutman/Sydney Greenstreet Fat Man and a tall trenchcoated fellow with beard and hat, perhaps a Rasputin figure? All very different heights and builds, which I appreciate.) Anyway, he's the star of the show. Those old minis had some fantastic detail work on the faces. And you have to love his long twisty fingernails.
Here's more of him:
Dr. Fang was another sculpt I had to get when I heard Statuesque was discontinuing its Pulp Alley line. Very much in the Pei Mei / Fu Manchu line. The exact sort of person you think of when you hear the phrase "undying leaders of the cult in China." Definitely an old man whom it would be unwise to challenge. I had a lot of fun with the gradient (hey, Breast Cancer Pink in action!) and the koi on his robes.
Here's a thorough turnaround:
The rear wall is GreenstuffWorld's "China" roller on foamboard, airbrushed. Heavily inspired by the opulent color gradients from "Curse of the Golden Flower" (a splendid palace tragedy). The aquaria are of course Chessex dice boxes and some stuff I had lying around. The koi pond is a metal lid from a tube of biscuit dough with a lick of paint and some 'Ardcoat. The lantern comes from the Tortoise Merchant and Drayman.
Diversity is important, and my Imperial forces and Venerians have been lacking. Well, I mean there's some ethnic diversity, but all the Venerians are ladies and all the Imperials are men. So here's a male Venerian (Hydra Valkeeri Mind Slave B if I recall). He looks like he should be played with minimal charisma by an actor named Brick Manjaw. Or Chet Chesthair, something of that nature.
Him with the gals:
And likewise from the Valkeeri line, here's Empress Xenovia. But a) she's an Empress, and b) the outfit seems a bit more like the Imperials of Lord Zarek than the retrofuture vavoom Valkeeri.
And the whole crew:
Those who have been following know my fondness for aeronauts and airship crews. But an airship's gotta have fuel, doesn't it, and so do biplanes and autogyros! And they don't call the aesthetic *solar*punk, now!
Enter Eureka. They have a line for a retro racing game called "Mad Maximillian" and it includes pit crew with old-style "flimsy" fuel cans. Three styles. And I've got three sets of aeronauts (Zeppelin crew, Sky Pirates, and Flying Circus). Seemed perfect for some speed painting now that the color scheme for each group is established.
Side note: it is *not easy* to find reference pictures of those fuel cans in their pristine condition, so this is just guesswork on my part.
Side note 2: the ground is GreenStuffWorld's "Mesh" roller on dollar-store foamboard.
First, our Zeppelin crewman! Labels are done in very fine-tipped pen.
Next, the dashing (in both senses) crewman from the Flying Circus! An excuse to play with the GW Gore-Grunta Fur and Snakebite Leather contrasts.
And finally, our Sky Pirate. Glad to include an Asian crewmember to the faction. I think she needs a layer of darker wash, though. This can got a bit of rust.
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