Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Psychostyrene (Anachronistic)

Recently I was digging into some old issues of Warlock Magazine (an old fantasy magazine published by Penguin, and later Games Workshop, in support of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston's Fighting Fantasy series if books) for some art inspiration for DCC zine project I am working on. I love the black and white art of this era from the British artists of the mid- '80's. Perhaps it's nostalgia from all the Victor and Battle Action! comics I used to read when I lived there in my pre-teens? And perhaps that same inspiration was what helped pull me into Rogue Trader back in the late '80s when I returned, as some of these same artists were still doing artwork for GW at that time. The old John Blanche stuff is particularly fun to see. Anyway, while perusing this quest for inspiration I happened upon this rather curious advert:

The advert from Warlock Magazine #6.

"Psychostyrene", what the? And this image of the crazed berserker stopped me and I had to pause my quest to read deeper into this...

So you got, for 75p, circa 1986, a blister back with three multipart customizable dwarves. Hell, you even got transfers included in the blister! Pretty amazing considering that I thought the single miniature blisters we have today were a fairly recent concept for GW, and here is an example of GW doing it (arguably) better a good year prior to the launch of Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader.

Another old ad found by Stuff of Legends.
 And they gave it a wild and obviously crazy title of Psychostyrene. A rather strong title from an LP perspective isn't it? Certainly a bit more radical and unique than say, "Finecast" was for their resin line.

I had to find out more. I needed to know what these things looked like. A quick online search revealed an intact Sprue and an assembled model. And you know what? They didn't look that bad! I would argue that they looked better than their WFB 4th Ed era monoposed models. Oh, it's crude by today's standards, but then again today's standards could have produced this blister in a fraction of the time -and cost- that must've gone into this kit. Apparently, this may have been GW's first attempt at a plastic kit, it's a bold first attempt if so.

A psychostyrene sprue.
Well, the weapons were a tad goofy, but whatever, it's three dwarves, in hard plastic, with transfers and head options -for 75p! That was maybe $1 back then!

The blister pack.
It appears that this was followed up with a similar orc plastic blister called Drasik Plastik, but that's for another discussion. As far as I can tell this was the extent of the early attempt at trying to sell plastic kits via blister. I imagine the production costs were a bit excessive at the time, but I am not privy to facts to support this assumption. GW would of course move onto a boxed set format, with loads more models, to support their games.

But if you really want one of these original plastic dwarves, you can find them on ebay, but for an excessively high cost. They are rare, especially in mint condition, so they are truly a collectable at this point. But a fun piece of Games Workshop history never-the-less.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Telekinetic Rats go 3-D

Hey, the Kickstarter for Tales from the Smoking Wyrm-issue-1 is ending in just three days! And I have quite a bit of art in this issue, that I'm very happy with, and I hope all the work I have been doing is well received in the end, and I would like anyone who might be interested in it to get an opportunity to obtain a copy for themselves.

The Telekinetic Rat. My Dad it looks like it's getting shot...

One of stretch goals is that all backers will get a file to 3-D print a TK Rat based off of my art, which I think is just cool as heck. To have a 2-D piece of art of mine inspire something like this is just mind-blowing to me, and I am thrilled to see this happen.

Telepathic Rat mini sculpt by Mudpuppy Games and Fat Dragon Games.

Also, five people pledged to receive colorized versions of my copy-free cover. This is special as these are not prints but unique individualized hand painted pieces by me. And it's taking more time than I thought it would (a phrase I seem to repeat a lot on the site) particularly as I scrutinize just what colors to paint what. When I do black and white illustrations I never think about what color something I will be, I am more interested is balancing out the blacks vs. whites so that the images 'read' clearly to the beholder. So this has been a fun, though time consuming, exercise.

Snip of the WIP of the hand coloring.

Anyway, if you're interested in owning 'Neverness' art, or just like old school style fantasy RPGs or you are a player of DCC, than act now, there are only 3 days left on the tales-from-the-smoking-wyrm-issue-1 Kickstarter!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Goff Dreadnought (Part 6)

Whew! That was close, but I managed to get this thing done by the deadline! Here are the final stages, picking up from the previous post, Part-5.

I used the old Citadel Color Blood Red to punch up the red areas. Nothing says "Games Workshop model from the mid-'90s" like an overwhelming amount of intense red. Blood Red.

Going thru a red phase.
Here is the model's base, which I sufficiently rusted up. I like the idea of the concrete slabs being a side walk, mainly because I wonder if some now departed citizen once walked his Cyber Collie thru this sector on a morning walk before starting his 18 hour workshift...

If sidewalks talked...
After tightening up the red parts I painted the hydraulics and rivets using Mitheril Silver.

I superglued the arms into position and the hatch. I employed a Q-tip to prop up the hatch until it was firmly glued as well.

Propping up that hatch.
Finally, it was time to attach it to it's base, making the model whole and together.

We are one.
But I felt it needed something. So I added a few grass tufts to the sidewalk cracks and this gave it a touch of realism.

The finished model.
And with that, I finished this model! I am pleased with how it turned out. It will fit in wonderfully with my Goffs who are so deliciously '90s retro (right down to some of them having red guns) it almost hurts.

This has been fun. Well, back to my art chores, hopefully I can knock out a few more paint jobs in between task...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tales from the Smoking Wyrm #1 (DCC)

After a few months of getting my art groove back, I finished my art contributions for Tales-from-the-smoking-wyrm-issue-1, which is now live on Kickstarter. A lot of my hobby time was sacrificed for this project but I feel that it was very much worth it. For those of you who play Dungeon Crawl Classics I hope you'll check it out and back our project. There is more of my art throughout the Kickstarter pages so I hope you at least go look at it.

Snippet of the front cover. 

This will be my first printed art in about 20 years when I last drew some Squats for Armorcast's Inquisitor Magazine.

A Squat Ancestor from about 20 years ago.

I have a number of pieces presented inside, including a comic strip that I am writing and drawing as well as the front cover.

Lettering and pencils from Onward Retainer!

The comic strip was created, written and drawn by me. It was a fun challenge reteaching myself how to do all of this again, but most importantly I think the characters are fun and I look forward to doing more with them.

Abby and Megan, the Retainers. 

Also, the actual finished product will look better than these cropped photos, trust me. I have seen the proofs!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this stuff and can accept the justification for why I have slowed down on the posting on the Hobby Chronicle. Fear not, I will continue to knock out paint jobs between art tasks...

All art work (c) Joel R Phillips.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Goff Dreadnought (Part 5)

Moving on from Part 4, I continued by focusing on the chequered pattern.

Desert Sand layer.

Apple Barrel Territorial Beige was the tan color I used for the base coat, and I used Americana Desert Sand to serve as a middle coat.
The featured colors.

I then used a thinned White Scar to highlight those cheques before I applied the final highlight of solid White Scar.

Add caption

Once that was done, I simply painted in the opposite cheques with Abaddon Black straight from the bottle. After a few minor touch-ups, the chequered grid was done to my satisfaction.

Abaddon Black chequers.

Next I finished painting the flesh on the Ork pilot. Now I am contemplating how to paint up the cybernetic bits on his head...

Finished Pilot flesh.
See you back here soon!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Goff Ork Dreadnought (Part 4)

As if I didn't already have enough challenges to my time, this week I got a ill! It was easier for me to do a bit of painting than it was trying to do 2-D art, especially since I am not at any sort of detailing stage, yet, on this thing.

What little I got done was some touch-ups on the Goblin Green flesh layer and paint a tan color onto the main plate of the Dred itself. This color will ultimately be a White color by the way.

Touched up flesh and tan main plate.
 Next, I mixed up Green Ink and Yellow Ink to get a color resembling anti-freeze and washed it over the Goblin Green. I had a bit of that left over and applied it to another ork model I had in queue, but more on that in a future post.
Grid lines drawn on.
Last thing I managed to do, between coughing fits, was that I drew on the chequered grid using a mechanical pencil. No ruler or edge, just straight-hand drew it. I can't imagine the gretchen artisans tasked to apply decor to Ork machines are as skilled as some 'Eavy Metal painters would have us believe. So the end product won't be perfect, or as perfect as it appears on the original box, and that is how I intend it to be. More as I progress...

Image from the original box.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Goff Ork Dreadnought (Part 3)

Here is this week's episode of "I'm getting there, slowly but surely, I'm getting there."

I was about to paint the driver all the way, when the urge to test-fit him into position hit struck me. Thank goodness I did too, because the efforts to work him into the compartment scrapped and scratched off a lot of the basecoat. I would have been quite upset if that had happened to the finished paint job!

 Battle scars earned...
I decided that ultimately I would have to paint him while he was permanently in position. I am not thrilled about that, but it is what it is.

The red basecoats were done using Khorne Red. The middle coats on the black areas were accomplished using Apple Barrel Graphite. I still have a lot of work to do on this thing, and I am running out of October days...