Painting Diary – Hasslefree – Eve – part one

Introduction

Eve leg strapsI really enjoyed writing the Sasha Dubois painting diary posts (start here), they actually made the process of painting the figure more interesting.  I thought I’d try stepping things up a notch, have a go at one of Hasslefree’s awesome sculpts (Eve), and write a few posts on doing that.  In terms of anatomy, relative sizes and detail it’s probably the best miniature I’ve ever tried to paint.  Usually things like belts or leg straps are 0.5mm or more in depth on miniatures, if you consider the scale (28mm being around 168cm) then a 0.5mm strap is about 3cm deep (I think), which is clearly unrealistic.  However, we’re talking about ‘representative’ miniatures, so it’s never been an issue for me.  Hasslefree sculpts are on the more realistic side of the barrier, so leg straps have a tiny depth (see image), barely any higher than the surrounding leg.  Painting this figure is going to be a challenge.

To add to that challenge, there are some amazing paint jobs of Eve on the Hasslefree site, the people who paint those mini’s are real artists and their attention to detail, brush control and fine touch is beyond me.  So I just hope I do the figure some kind of justice in my own way.
Continue reading Painting Diary – Hasslefree – Eve – part one

Size matters

So, here’s a collage (I love Picasa) of 10 miniatures.  In theory, these are all 28mm or 32mm scale mini’s.  It’s 1024 wide so if you’re looking at this on your smart phone you may want to wait!  Click for the full size image.  From left to right, top to bottom they are, Big Boris (Heresy), Echo (Black Scorpion), Black Jack Davey (Black Scorpion), Sheriff (Black Scorpion), Sadie (Hasslefree), Tony (Hasslefree), Shimmer (Hasslefree), Ceril (Hasslefree), Kat (Hasslefree) and a dwarf from Rackham for a completely wacky counterpoint.

Miniature Size comparison

Glue!

So I’ve been ordering a bunch of miniatures recently, a couple or three from a range of different places to find out which ones I like best.  You can get an impression of the miniatures from the on-line shops but you’ll never really know what they’re like until you get some.  From Hasslefree I bought Ceril, Eve, Kat, Tony, Sadie and Shimmer.  I can’t believe how clean the molds are, virtually no mold lines and absolutely zero flash.  The mini’s are really delicate and very fine.  They’re beautiful, but I fear I won’t be able to do them justice when painting them, and personally I think I tend to prefer slightly over-scaled miniatures (heroic scale, 32mm, whatever you want to call them) with slightly exagerated features.  We’ll see how they work out.

From Heresy I bought Big Boris mk2 and some green stuff (modelling putty, to fill gaps when I’m putting multi-part mini’s together).  There was quite a lot of flash on the axe, but hardly any mold lines or flash anywhere else.  The figure is pretty big as 28mm scaled figures go, I’ll get a photograph of them all together sorted out with a ruler or something.  I got Big Boris because I wanted a go at painting flesh with a lot of area to work with, and he fits that bill.  I’m eyeing up the sci-fi range at Heresy, so you may see some more stuff from them soon.

I bought three mini’s from Black Scorpion miniatures, really to see what scale they were and get a feel for them.  I got Echo, Sheriff, and Black Jack Davey to see what the various ranges were like.  There’s a lot more flash on these figures than Hasslefree or Heresy, and some quite large pieces of metal left over from the molding process.  They’re also much more like the figures I’m used to when compared to Hasslefree (they’re slightly less realistic and more overscaled), but that’s good, because I think that’s what I prefer.  They’re nice figures.

Then last night I found a link to another UK miniature place (Copplestone Castings) on a forum, and ended up buying a few miniatures from them (clearly, not arrived yet), to see what they’re like.

Most of the Hasslefree miniatures are multi-part, because the angle of the arms or various weapons prevents them from being cast a single pieces, the Boris mini from Heresy is also clearly multi-part for the same reason and also so that several options can be provided.  The Black Scorpion Miniatures likewise, have several bits.  So over the last couple of weeks and for a few hours yesterday I’ve been glueing them together using super-glue.  I don’t think any of them are large enough to need pinning (strengthening the join with metal pins), but I guess we’ll find out when I try painting them if they fall apart.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah MarshallNormally I avoid romantic comedies, not because they’re stupid or dumb or only for girls, but because I find too many of them predicated on confusion and misunderstanding.  I really don’t enjoy those as the basis for a story, sure they’re present in most stories, just about all comedies and plenty of life experiences, but when they are the sole basis for a story about relationships I get annoyed.

I think it’s lazy film making to write a story of boy and girl meet, boy makes assumptions about girl, relationship develops, truth emerges, boy and girl split up for stupid reasons, comedy ensues, boy and girl work it out and get back together.  Because I find the parts of movies where two people are mistaken about some basic truth and that confusion causes conflict between them annoying, I really don’t cope well when the entire movie is built around it, and I’ve seen too many romantic comedies built on that exact foundation.  Yeh sure it’s a generalisation, sometimes I laugh at comedies built on confusion and I can deal with it, but when there are so many movies to watch I don’t usually take the risk.

Then a friend of ours said I had to watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall because it was just awesome and amazing.  I’d already been pondering how unfair my movie watching preferences were for Grete – do we want action with guns or action with swords tonight (or teen comedies from 1985).  On top of that, I caught the last third of Knocked Up a while back and laughed pretty hard, so I promised Grete I’d watch more comedy with her.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall seemed like a good place to start.

First and foremost, this is not a romantic comedy based on confusion or misunderstanding, there’s one tiny moment where we thought it was about to descend into that and then gloriously it didn’t (it turned into a bit of a blow job joke instead).   Sure, we have the standard ‘thing goes wrong and we have to stop being together’ moment and then the ‘we realise we’re being stupid and get back together’ section, but they feel natural and organic and amusing.

At the outset our main man is dumped by his long term and famous TV star girl friend (one Sarah Marshall) and the film centres on his attempts to pick himself up and forget her.  It’s a small cast and I’m a huge fan of small casts, and the dialogue is sharp and interesting.  While the overall story arc is actually pretty obvious the twists and turns are interesting and there’s a couple of sweet moments I wasn’t expecting.

Despite my reservations, I quite liked Russel Brand.  The rest of the cast was pretty good and I especially liked Mila Kunis.  Kristen Bell was the weakest of the crew I felt (Sarah Marshall), but it may be because of the role and how Sarah has to be portrayed.

I have to say it wasn’t as outrageously funny as I’d been led to believe, and while I certainly laughed out loud a few times, it was more of a general smirk and chuckle kind of film for me.

Despite that minor quibble, it was an enjoyable film, with some truly touching moments next to some truly funny scenes, and I was left feeling pretty happy by the end.  Note, there are a couple of scenes of full frontal male nudity, so make sure you’re not eating or drinking anything you might not be able to get out of the carpet if you’re easily surprised.

Weird Science

Imagine the year is 1985, Ronald Reagan is starting his second term of office in the US, Coca Cola release New Coke, Live Aid raises £150 million, the Amiga personal computer is launched by Commodore, the NES is released in America, Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 news papers and Windows 1.0 is released by Microsoft.

In that year, two nerds steal enough computing power to turn a toy doll into Lisa, spawn a generation of ever hopeful adolescent teens and give a generation of young men a set of images they’ll never forget.

Weird Science is a nerds-come-good comedy written and directed by John Hughes and released in 1985.  Clearly I’ve seen it before, many times, but it’s been a little while since I last saw it and I really wanted to own  copy.  We bought it on DVD recently and watched it last night and I thought I’d let you know how it stood up.  The answer surprisingly is pretty well.  It’s funny, entertaining and charming in its own way.  It’s a teen movie with teen themes and teen quality over-acting.  It’s oddly innocent compared to similar movies of the last five years, but despite that it still manages to be reasonably current (nerds being bullied is a perennial theme I guess).  Watching it these days it’s entirely clear it was filmed in the 80’s, because the hair and shoulder pads probably needed trailers of their own.  It didn’t have the long periods of belly laughing that maybe current comedies can evoke, but it’s entirely possible that’s because I’ve seen it so often.  We certainly did laugh and it certainly entertained us for the entire running time.

At the time it was probably considered terribly risqué, these days next to American Pie and Road Trip it’s totally tame, but the comedy is still there, the story interesting, the pace good and there are some truly funny moments.  Well worth watching again if you’ve not seen it for a long time, and I would encourage anyone who’s never seen it before to give it a go.

DVD’s

So we got a huge bunch of DVD’s, mostly cheap old stuff from Amazon and a couple of newer items.  Tonight we watched Weird Science and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I’ll be honest, I’m in a much better frame of mind now than I was at 6pm.

Full reviews of both tomorrow, but suffice to say Weird Science is as I remember and has aged pretty well in my view, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall was enjoyable.

Phrases the movies stole from us

We were watching Buffy season 7 last night, and at one point Spike asks, “Who you gonna call?”, and immediately follows up with “God, that phrase is never gonna be useable again, is it?”.  We found it amusing, and it got me thinking about regular phrases that the movies or TV mean will never be the same again (for a large generation of people).  These are normal, every day phrases you might expect to hear (well, some slightly less every day but still), but that evoke an immediate memory of the movie in question in a huge group of people.  You usually have to double take to work out if someone is quoting the movie or just speaking normally.

Here’s my 10 in no particular order.  Feel free to list yours in the comments.

  1. Who you gonna call?
  2. I’ll be back.
  3. I have a cunning plan.
  4. I know Kung-fu.
  5. I’m sorry <insert name>, I’m afraid I can’t do that.
  6. You want the truth?
  7. My precious.
  8. I have a bad feeling about this.
  9. I’m melting!
  10. Diplomatic immunity!