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Thursday, August 31, 2023

A Place for the New Number Two

Ever since first watching The Prisoner, I've wanted a globe chair. Now I finally have one, along with a couple of Tulip chairs, albeit in 28mm scale. This is a Prisoner-themed mini-diorama for use with the 7TV skirmish game system, and I've done my best to paint the chairs, floor, and telephones to match the TV series. (The desk came as a pre-painted MDF.)

A real globe chair, alas, typically costs north of $2,000, though I saw one for sale online last night for a mere $1,700, limited time only . . . but no. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Beefhead Bystander

Here is the last of my Star Schlock miniatures, which means I have finished painting the set! I must say, overall I'm pretty pleased with this one, aside from just now noticing that I should have attempted to drybrush the boot buckles. I may fix that later. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Cantina Celebrant

Imagine this fellow with green skin and an orange outfit, and you'll likely see why the people behind Star Schlock call him the "cantina celebrant." Same technique as previous. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Captain Notagorn

Here's another Star Schlock miniature, although to me it looks more like...well, you know, I'm sure. 

I used the same techniques here as yesterday, but with some drybrushing to create some highlights on the good captain's skin. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Subtle Star Raider

Here's one of the Star Raiders from the initial Star Schlock skirmish game Kickstarter. For this model, I tried Jeff's "fat over lean" technique for the first time. The Star Raider was already primed with Leadbelcher, so I couldn't change that, but I did begin with a Nuln Oil ink wash. After that, I drybrushed very, very light coats of acrylic silver paint over the knee pads and parts of the rifle. Next, I used the same drybrush technique to coat parts of the armour in a pale metallic blue. Finally, I used brown contrast paint for the bandolier. As a result there's no lumpy paint, but on the other hand, there are no bold colours. Perhaps that's fine for this model? 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Bernadette with a Blade

There's a fellow in Spain who creates very nice miniatures, but who for some bizarre reason takes as his inspiration characters from The Big Bang Theory. I believe this one is based on Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, portrayed on the show by Melissa Rauch. 

I started painting this figure before Jeff left his notes about painting fat over lean, so once again the results here look pretty clumpy. Jeff also notes that I should really use a pallet; I used to, but I've gotten lazy and I'm often painting out of the pots. So, time to return to that good habit. 

Still, I can scarce believe I managed to paint Bernadette's glasses, and the drybrushing of her dress, while imperfect, is better than I'd hoped for. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Vintage TV Magnifying Lens

Earlier tonight I watched the boxing noir The Square Jungle (Jerry Hopper, 1955). Early in the film, as we're introduced to protagonist Eddie Quade (Tony Curtis) and his ne'er-do-well father, Pat (Jim Backus), we see a small television in the scene's background. The camera doesn't call any attention whatsoever to the television, but I couldn't help but notice the large magnifying lens mounted in front of the screen, presumably as a cheap means of creating a bigger picture. That's just speculation on my part; this is the first I've ever heard of such a device. 

A quick search reveals that such devices were indeed a thing during the early television era; here's an example. Fascinating! 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Star Schlock Space Cadet

I really did my level best to thin the white paint that makes up most of this space cadet's uniform, but it still looks lumpy in extreme closeup. Ay, me! 

Still, I got ambitious and decided to dry painting in eyes, eyebrows, lips, and a shoulder patch. I used my tiniest brush, barely any paint, and my telescopic lenses for the attempt. My hands shook a little, even stabilized, so it took several attempts to get the result you see here, which I characterize as "not bad for Earl." 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Podophobia Portrait

I had originally thought to post my Astroguard platoon today, but they need some touching up. In lieu, here is a photo I shot to annoy Sylvia, who hates horror movies and feet. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


Tonight I spent several hours painting my Star Schlock astroguards, miniatures inspired by the pulpy SF movies and TV shows of the 1970s and 80s. The set came with one professionally painted astroguard, seen here at left; I painted the one on the right, doing my level best to duplicate the professional's efforts. And while my results aren't as good as those of the pro, I'm still pretty happy with myself for taking the time to try to get it right. My guy doesn't look bad in the photo, and on the table he looks even better. 

It was interesting trying to guess the professional's approach. For my part, I primed all the astroguards with Leadbelcher, a silvery metallic paint. Then, I pained the white parts, the black parts, the red parts, the blue parts, and then the brown holsters and harnesses. After that, I used a blue ink wash for the blue parts, a red ink wash for the red parts, and Nuln Oil to ink wash the rest. Oh, I guess I did the skin in there somewhere too; near the beginning, I think. 

Tomorrow night I'll create a little setpiece with the entire platoon and share that. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Whorl Without End

Beyond the source wall at the terminator between the inner mind and the outer limits 
Awaits a twilight zone reflected in a black mirror, a night gallery of amazing stories
It's a short trek--
We'll see you on the other side


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Liminal Gaze

If the hallway would simply pitch 90 perfect degrees forward
I could spread my arms and fly through the infinite
Forever falling, forever free, forever forgiven
But I cannot oblige these liminal spaces
These haunted places with invisible faces
Who lure me inside to hope
And to die
And to nope
That's no lie

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Liminal Impact

Nostalgia drew me here
To this place of dust and rot
Where once echoes laughed
And chimes interjected
The smell of a wheat field after soft rains
Seems out of place here, where nothing living remains
Just mirages in a mirror
Left behind to reflect 
On the nothings and nowheres

Friday, August 18, 2023

Liminal Effort

I can't say what compelled me
The door was open and a ray of sunlight revealed warped floorboards so I 
Went inside and the boards creaked under my weight 
There was an old locket in that beam of sunlight so I
Stooped to claim it but there was a sound from
The shadowed hall beyond like
Claws ripping at the couch cushions and then stopping suddenly
And I looked down that hallway, locket in hand--it was cold--
And I decided to back out but it was too--


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Command Z

Here's a neat idea: Steven Soderbergh has released Command Z, a series of interconnected shorts about time travelling to fight climate change. To watch, you pay 8 bucks, all of which goes to support Children's Aid and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. 

I've just finished the series, and while it's not peak Soderbergh, its heart is in the right place and there are some good laughs and thoughtful commentary on our present catastrophe. Plus, giving 8 bucks to charity to see what amounts to a feature-length film is a way better deal than most moviegoing opportunities. Three out of five stars, with a bonus half-star for trying to change the world for the better.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

USS Explorer

Here's another Franz Joseph design from the 1970s, the one-nacelled scout. I wish we'd seen just one of these on screen in the show, but I imagine Joseph probably didn't design it until after the series concluded. It would have been a relatively simple kitbash. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

You Have Been Recruited to the Star League

"Greetings, Starfleeter! You have been recruited to the Star League to defend the frontier against Xzzn and the Gorn armada. Are you ready?"

This is a 3D-printed rendition of the Federation dreadnought from Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual. My paint job looks absolutely terrible in this close-up, but I promise you it looks quite smooth and even to the naked eye. 

The decals look better, too. I need to stop photographing these models under bad light with my phone. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Baby Yoda at Kootenay Lake

Last week, Sylvia and I took Baby Yoda to Creston, British Columbia to enjoy some time in the forest. It was a brief but necessary respite from Alberta. 

Friday, August 11, 2023

16 Amazing Years

Today marks 16 years since Sylvia and I married. Huzzah! It's been an incredible ride. Love you, monkey! 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Into the Uncanny Valley

I asked Stable Diffusion to create a portrait of the Addams Family had they been in a film directed by James Whale. 

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Library Terminals

Admittedly these look pretty terrible close up, but on the table they serve the purpose. 

Friday, August 04, 2023

Interceptor Cargo

When you're driving through the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic hellscape, you should have some extra kit in your boot. 

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Cobalto Collosso

Jeff generously gifted me another 3D-printed frost giant, and I painted him a couple of nights ago. I dub him Cobalto Collosso! 

Here he is with Azurcelt the Headstrong

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Dirty Lab Station

Here we have a well-used lab station circa, oh, the 1980s. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Rooster Spokescool

This afternoon I painted a rooster, and I have dubbed him Rooster Spokescool. I'm so happy that I managed to reasonably capture the beak, comb, waddles, and eyes. My magnifying lenses made it possible.