06 July, 2023

28mm Yakuza

The Yakuza are the third faction for my Miami Vice game.  When deciding what other factions to use in the game, I originally planned to use several that I already had painted such as bikers and the mafia.  I happened upon the Yakuza by accident in May 2023 when I was ordering some paint and really liked the look of them.  The 1980s was full of stories about Japan business overtaking the US, so I thought they would fit in well thematically and also provide a distinct group that would be easy to identify on the table.  After thinking about it for a day or two, I ordered them from a seller on eBay.  They are packaged as a 7-miniature set from North Star's A Fistful of Kung Fu range.

For the skin I used a basecoat of Howard Hues Oriental Flesh, a coat of GW Contrast Gulliman Flesh, then highlights with the original Oriental Flesh.  Five of them are dressed all in black and white, so I used contrast black and white to do a quick job on them.  I like the facial expressions and the slightly different clothing each is wearing.  As a nice touch, one has a missing little finger joint, which is a traditional Yakuza punishment.

The boss on the left with a sword and his ex-sumo wrestler henchman on the right.  I wanted to do a tattoo on his chest but many of the examples I found on Google were fairly elaborate for painting freehand.  I searched through my stash of decals and found some 15mm Norman shields by LBMS that were leftover from a project at least 10 years ago.  Several had dragons, with a hole for the shield boss, which allowed me to cut them up into 4 sections: head, body, wings, and claws.  Cutting them up was necessary to fit the available space.  I mixed parts of 2 different decals, applied them, then painted in a longer neck to connect them.  I think it turned out pretty well.

Three rank-and-file Yakuza who are very well-armed.

Two junior Yakuza.  The one on the left has an arm tattoo and brass knuckles.  With so much skinh showing I thought it needed something, but was wary of too complicated a pattern.  I modeled it after the fish-scale tattoos that I found on Google.

Ready to take over Miami!  They are fewer in numbers but heavily armed.

02 July, 2023

28mm Miami Vice

If you are going to run a Miami Vice-based scenario, you have to include the good guys.  The Miami Vice Squad consists of 11 miniatures.  Nine are from Brigade Games Drug War Z range, while two are by Studio Miniatures (now available from Hayland Terrain).  I have all the Brigade police models except for one which I overlooked during my original purchase.  If they need backup, I have several police from Crooked Dice in and out of uniform.

As I noted in my previous post on the Colombian Cartel, I painted these models in order to use them in a game I am running at Historicon 2023.  I will be using the 7TV rules, which are perfect for this sort of scenario.  I painted them in spring 2023.  Research consisted of watching the entire first and second seasons of Miami Vice on dvd, courtesy of my local library.  I haven't watched the show since it was first on in the 80s, and I thought it held up fairly well.  It also adjusted my usual color palette towards the brighter end of the spectrum.  I primarily used bright colors from an old Citadel paint set, Vallejo, and GW Contrast paints.  

The detectives are all in plain clothes, and like the Cartel models, are very well sculpted.  They had minimal flash, painted up well, and were fun to paint .  Most are armed with pistols so they will be outgunned by their criminal opponents.  Just to get you into the mood: Miami Vice theme

The stars of the show (l-r): Detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs (with his favorite sawn-off shotgun).  I admit that I didn't try and paint Crockett's trademark stubble because I couldn't find a technique I liked and thought would look right.  These are the versions from Studio Miniatures/Hayland Terrain.  

Lieutenant Castillo, played by a young Edward James Olmos.  A good representation of the actor.  He joined the show partway through the first season after the original lieutenant was killed.

An array of undercover detectives.

Two DEA agents.  Various DEA agents appear in episodes throughout the series.

The Brigade Games versions of Crockett and Tubbs.

The entire department ready to arrest evildoers.

The Citadel paint set that provided many of the colors used in this project. They worked well.

29 June, 2023

28mm Colombian Cartel

During Historicon 2022 I was brainstorming ideas for a game to run at Historicon 2023.  One idea was to run a Mimi Vice-themed game using the 7TV rules, which would be perfect for this sort of game.  I estimated that I already had most of what I would need, albeit unpainted  Back in 2020 I had backed a Kickstarter by Brigade Games for their Drug War Z range and had bought all of the Cartel and DEA packs.  They were still in my unpainted pile and this project would give me a reason to paint them.

I started with the 18 Cartel miniatures.  Colombians were frequent villains on Miami Vice.  While I wouldn't need all 18 for this scenario, I wanted to paint them in one batch.  I knew I would need some new pastel and/or bright paints.  By chance, while still at Historicon 2022, I was talking to another flea market seller at the end of a session and I walked over to his table while I was packing up.  He happened to have an old boxed set of Citadel edge paints, 9 pastel colors, for $10.  They were unopened and still liquid, so I decided to give them a try.  

The Citadel paints worked well over white and light colors.  I also used Vallejo and a few GW contrast paints.   I painted these miniatures in winter and spring 2023.  They are nice miniatures, cleanly sculpted with a variety of weapons and good period details such as wristwatches and rings.  There is a mix of facial features, hairstyles, and body types.  They are now available at Brigade Games.

My research for this project consisted of watching the first and second seasons of Miami Vice on dvd, courtesy of my local library.  It certainly adjusted my color palette to feature lots of bright colors and white pants!

Hitman on the left, the Cartel Boss on the right.  Did I mention the white pants?

The guy with the white-and-purple striped shirt is one of my favorites.

If I remember correctly, the Al Pacino Scarface mini on the left was free to early backers.

The one with the hat is another of my favorites.

The whole cartel.

12 March, 2023

28mm Modern/Post-Apocalypse

This week I took photos of two batches of miniatures I painted in late 2022 for my modern/post-apocalypse games.  They are all from Hasslefree and were purchased in 2021/2022.  These are the last miniatures that I have from them, so I can move on to some other sections of the lead pile.  One thing I really like about Hasslefree is that they portray different body types (male/female, height, weight) while also making them suitable for handling in games.  I have bought female miniatures in the past from other manufacturers that were so thin and fragile that they were unusable.

Photos were taken on a warm March morning.  During the first attempt, there was a lot of pollen in the air and it got everywhere.  After a thorough brushing-off I tried again the next day.  The descriptions are from left to right and the names are from the Hasslefree website.  Paints used were a mix of craft paints, Vallejo, P3, Ral Partha, Army Painter, and GW.

Every post-apocalypse movie needs a kid.  Or three.  Peter, Katie, and Young Amoy are doing quite well even though civilization has collapsed.  The younger two have fashioned weapons out of everyday objects, while Amoy wields the family sword.

Punks Joanne and Joe are ready for some mayhem.  They would fit well in a game of my friend Mike's rules Mean Streets, which cover gang warfare.  

Jim is an army veteran/urban revolutionary.  I really like the pose of Taylor mini and when I saw it on sale I bought it right away.

Foxtrot comes with an alternate head and arms.  The other head is a Imperator Furiosa look-alike from Mad Max:Fury Road.  I already have one of those from another company so I used the gas mask head.  Pulse is one of my favorite Hasslefree sculpts and is usable in various modern settings.  These are both taller figures.

Shotgun-wielding Madge and office worker Earl are ready for any trouble that comes their way.  Looters beware!

Police officer Ken comes with alternate arms holding a shotgun.  Firefighter Levon appears to have learned that an ax is an effective anti-zombie weapon.  These two are also taller figures.

Il Capello bears a strong resemblance to Walter White from the tv show Breaking Bad.  Police officer Nick clearly means business.  He comes with several arm options.

Jess is a former hockey player.  The last time I was painting zombies I missed Zombie Ray so I  painted him with this batch.  I like the half flesh/half skull look.  HF also make a living version.

Is this illegal toxic waste dump where the zombie outbreak started?  I do not know the manufacturer of this resin terrain piece as I took it out of the package several years ago, primed it, and promptly set it aside and forgot about it until recently.

All 17 miniatures together.

Four of our chickens.  They surrounded me while I was taking the photos because they were hungry.  I promised them food and internet fame.