Friday, February 21, 2014

Painted: Hobgoblins

Painted: Hobgoblins

A new encounter group for you that has long been in the works, and a new presentation style. I like to think I have great success showing off the miniatures isolated against a backdrop as I've been doing, but over the past year or so I've been drawn to the idea of setting up posed diorama shots.

Here's a major source of my inspiration, John Morey . Note that for the most part he's using prepainted figures, which we know have average tabletop quality paintjobs in the best of times, but the artistry of the photography morphs them into something much more, and a few pics in we're immersed in the illusory diorama landscapes. Can't recommend this guy's work enough, and have gone as far as to create a gallery in flickr of some of my favorites. Along the same lines, though a little farther out from our fantasy miniatures niche, is the work of guys like Matt K.

Hobgoblins block the party's advance in the lost caverns of Brule

My own effort here is pretty basic as far as the composition goes, and I did have to resort to a tiny bit of Photoshop, though only a very small amount all considering. The only bits that are shopped are I extended the left and right cavern elements in front of the background, from their actual height of about 3 inches to the top of the picture. In lightroom I added vignetting. Really, that's it. It may be awhile before I get to it but I want to eventually try incorporating split height, greater scene depth, source lighting and others of the more sophisticated techniques used in those pics I pointed you at.








Manufacturer: Minifigs
Line: Dungeons & Dragons
Set: Hobgoblins
Base markings: Marked on top of base HB01-HB14
Release date: 1977
Sculptor:?
Date painted: 2012-2014
Notes: Many of these needed significant restoration. The eye sockets were drilled and eyes and angry brows were added. Some crescent moon emblems were replaced, most weapons were replaced, and most shields were press-molded from molds made from original shields. Weapons are largely a combination of Thunderbolt Mountain and Wargames Factory castings.

Making of

Figures by Minifigs, circa 1977. This first batch of 10 completed 2013. I have many more WIP and waiting in the wings.

These were a significant restoration project, and wound up re-sculpting all of the eyes and brows and replacing most of the weapons, in addition to casting the shields from a press-mold from several variant original castings and re-sculpting some other details here and there. They were also a major chore to rebase, and here they are mounted on 14 x 19mm ellipse bases so that they can fight 3 abreast in a 10' (2") corridor, and magnitized so they can be stored upright as the weapons (a variety of Thunderbolt Mountain and Wargames Factory) are a bit delicate. In retrospect the bases were such a pain though I almost wish I hadn't bothered.

I picked up a four or five of these around 2007 in a large box of old lead, and these (along with an Archive owlbear and a Grenadier elf and wizard) are really what set me adrift on the old lead odyssey that has me now far out in distant waters.

These are also among a select few miniatures I own that are older than I am.





As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.

16 comments:

  1. Holy crap, those are amazing. Love the improved faces. When I first saw them, I was like, "What are those? Otherworld? Center Stage? some new line of minis based on the original Monster Manual pics? Between the paint job and the conversion work these are just perfect.

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  2. Looks great and Well done on restoring the minis! Could you show how you did the shields as I have to do something similar soon....
    All the best,
    Kasper

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    1. Thanks! I made the molds with insta-mold, which worked well for these shields but for general applications plain greenstuff tends to work better, so save your $ and go with greenstuff. I put a lump and then pressed the shields down in side by side, and then firmed up the stuff around the edges. When making the castings I had to first put some greenstuff in the boss cavity and press it down in with a sculpting needle before filling the rest of the shield, otherwise the boss spike would be short and soft. I recommend a big medium hard (gray) clay shaper or two (flat chisel and pointed round) for this sort of thing, but a metal spoon would also work.

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  3. Simply stunning. Minifigs are my favourite manufacturer and you are giving them the best treatment I have ever seen....makes me want to weep (not sure with joy or rage :-). The angry brows are especially good.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I like Minifigs too despite the faces and some other bits having a sketchy unfinished quality and the man-size figures being rather chunky. Everything tends to be in the right place and look the part, without too many details trying obscure imperfections. Which is more than can be said about many figures these days. And the taller monsters have much less dwarf-like proportions than most other manufacturers all the way up to today. I've never understood why as so many other manufacturer's monsters (again, right up through the present, in fact ESPECIALLY now) get bigger the proportion of the head gets bigger, not smaller, the proportion of the arms gets more ape-like and the proportion of the legs to overall height gets smaller.

      Anyway, I have a Minifigs ogre-mage in the works you might like that I plan to give some bulging eyes and fix a few other bits on. Another great Minifigs figure!

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  4. A feast for the weekend: thank you! Oh, I've started painting my Scavvies; expect photos on my blog at some future point.

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    1. Thanks! Really liked the preview of the scavvies in your latest post and looking forward to more!

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  5. Love the new photography style- the sort of thing I am working toward myself.

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  6. They look great ! Very nice skin color.

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  7. These are wonderful. You forgot the blue noses though :)

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    1. Thanks! Ah, yeah I should have mentioned, the Monster Manual says the "large males" will have blue-red" noses, whatever that means (what does that mean besides "purple" and anyway just how large do they have to be to have the blue-red, does that mean most full-size males or only the biggest ones?) Anyway, on my test figure I tried at least six different applications of both blue and purple, both covering the whole nose and just the bottom portion, perhaps like a cat, and also a full color and a more subtle glaze. They all looked uniformly horrible, so I said forget it! :)

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  8. Just amazing. It's wonderful what you do with these antique minis. And the presentation of the Hobgobs in their natural habitat is magnificently done. Raising the bar again.

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  9. Excellent work on these. Frankly I was surprised to see that these mini figs could look so good but you have made them look top notch.

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