Friday, 5 August 2016

There can be only one!

From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you... until now.

Much maligned and often derided the 1980s have been enjoying something of a revival of late, as only the other day the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' took in a concert performed by her teen idol, Nik Kershaw Esq.  Certainly, from my point of view, they were a decade of scintillating highs and desperate lows as witnessed through the eyes of an adolescent schoolboy.  That said solace was often found through the escapism of the cinema or the renting of videos* and one particular title that has endeared a place in my heart, and dare I say earned cult status on a global scale, was Russell Mulcahy's 1986, Highlander.  

*Even this was a potential minefield of disappointment given the myriad of truly appalling 'straight to video' releases of the time. 

From Sean Connery's opening narration as Ramirez, I was hooked.  Add to this a heady mix of battle scenes, time travel, a love story and a thumping soundtrack from Queen and, as far as this sixteen year old was concerned, you have cinematic gold!  Now I am happy to concede that it is floored, but Christopher Lambert's dire Scottish accent not withstanding I still very much enjoy it, probably in a similar way that a toddler still craves a baby blanket, yes Highlander has become a 'thumb sucker' of a film, you know you should let it go, but something won't let you.  
Anyway, I digress, but there is a relevance buried here, I promise.  In preparation for Saturday's 'Gathering' I felt the need to paint a couple of Zombicicde Black Plague Survivors to bring to the table.  Having already completed the plastic mountain of an Ogre that is 'Klom', I was looking for something a bit different.  'Bullcher Feb' has already identified a couple of candidates that he would like to add to the mix, namely 'Redcap Rodney' and 'Nelly the Barmaid' and so I went in search of inspiration of my own.  I have been quite taken of late by my good friend, Stefan's** work, particularly his 'Bother James' and 'Xuxa'.  Now of course any resemblance to cinematic characters is purely coincidental, but I think we all love the 'not' characters best and I was delighted when my eyes fell upon a potential Connor MacLeod.

** A.K.A. Monty of 'Monty's Caravan'.
Having selected Gowan, to give him his official name, I quickly checked the official blurb, which read as follows.  Gowan was born in a filthy hut, lived in a filthy hut, and nearly died there when the zombies attacked. He was the only man of his village to survive their vicious, mindless attack, and, when the dust had settled, he took a sword off of a dead soldier and went about killing his former friends and kin a second time as they rose as zombies. He has been wandering the land ever since, looking for a place to call home. But everywhere he goes, death seems to follow behind.
With a nod to his cinematic lineage, Gowan is gifted Regeneration as a starting skill, meaning that at the end of each game round, all wounds that he received are removed.   In my eyes this would make him a good character to take on that risky search at the end of his go or a character that could buy the rest of the group some time at the start of the game as they look to 'tool up' for the battles ahead.  Of course there are limits and Gowan will need to be careful not to be bitten three times in one turn as Regeneration doesn’t work if the Survivor has been eliminated.
Painting was relatively straight forward until it came to the tartan.  Now I can tell you that there is, of course, a MacLeod tartan, but it doesn't look anything like this!  I had meticulously planned my approach trying out paints and intended on using inks mixed with my chosen colours to make the lines easier to control.  This had all worked splendidly on paper, but when I tried it on the miniature it all went wrong.  The consistency of the paint just wouldn't adhere to the plastic and I had to resort to plan 'B'.  Although far too bright, with a couple of washes I have rather come to accept my new colour scheme as it adds some much needed vibrancy to the piece and I feel impact is important, after all in the words of the Kurgan himself,

"It's better to burn out than to fade away!'



86 comments:

  1. Looking pretty fantastic sir. Excitement building and 'the Gathering' should be a blast. Death, death and more death!

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    1. Thank you kind Sir, chocolate Hob Nobs and jelly babies have been purchased!

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  2. There may be only ONE. But every class has 3 or 4 who think they are! (Especially in year 9)

    The figure looks great though.

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  3. Looks superb dude! I always loved the idea of a Highlander game but never have been able to thing of a way of gaming it. Rogue miniatures has a few useful bits :)

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    1. Thank you Simon and now trying to resist purchasing all related goodness from Rogue Miniatures!

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  4. Fantastic work! Love that tartan!

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  5. Very nice painting!
    And now i feel sudden need to watch Highlander again. :)

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    1. Thank you and it still holds up even today.

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  6. Great homage to a film that I think was a touchstone for many of us back then.

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  7. Great film, not so sure about the sequels! I'm with Simon, would love to game it just not sure how. Maybe Jez's (carrion crow) home brew rules.

    Great job on the mini sir :-)

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    1. The sequels really were pretty poor and now if we can just get Jez to come up with some rules... ;)

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  8. Nicely done, sir! I don't envy the effect painting the tartan had on your eyesight, but the whole is excellent.

    (I now have "Who wants to live forever?' running through my mind). ;)

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    1. Thank you A.J. and I have been humming else for the last week!

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  9. That looks excellent.

    I always loved the casting of Highlander. The only Scotsman in the film plays a Spaniard. Brilliant.

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    1. True genius that casting, always made me chuckle too.

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  10. "Hi, I'm Candy."
    "......Of course you are."

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  11. I love Highlander as well, the series actually was quite ok as well. I am not into Zombicide but I do appreciate what both you and Stefan do to the mini's!

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    1. I'd forgotten about the series, must see if I can a box set for that and thank you Sander.

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    2. To be honest I have always found Duncan MacCloud a far more likeable character than Connor. There is one moment (movie or series I don't recollect) in which the both of them meet.

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  12. Oh my God! more the beatiful! great work!

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    1. You are too kind Michał, thank you.

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  13. Another stunning piece of painting Michael, great film with dire sequel's (Much like the Matrix!)

    "I shee ma cuts improved yer voish" Translated from the original "Spanish???"

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger and an inspired translation, still chortling as I write this.

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  14. 'Highlander' was a great film, ruined by the sequels (aren't all films?); great idea basing this figure on the Highlander character and as usual your excellent rendition of him brings the sculpt to life.

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    1. Thank you so much and I couldn't agree more Joe.

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  15. Very nice work as always Michael. :)

    Cracking paint job on an excellent mini and concept :)

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  16. Good job I have tried tartan.........but way beyond my skills. Yours looks great­čśÇ

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    1. Thank you, it is always such a pain and never quite as effective as you think it is going to be though.

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  17. One of my top 5 films of all time - I think I've watched it at least as many times as the [original] Star Wars trilogy.

    Gowan looks the part for sure, wondering about a battlefield, wondering why the lightening strikes in the backdrop cause a cramp in his innards or why none of the enemy will fight him, even actively avoiding him.

    You do realise he'll need a "Spanish Peacock" painted up now as well?

    Lovely work sir.

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    1. Thank you so much Dai, a Spanish Peacock would be a wonderful addition, must look into that.

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  18. Another finely painted miniature Michael! Have fun blooding him this weekend! That should tone down the vibrancy hehe

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    1. Thank you Terry, just dusting off the rules now!

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  19. Tip top stuff Michael, and great work on the tartan. Perhaps when I've painted my Highland Naps I should send them all your way to pick out the detail on their kilts ;-)

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    1. Thank you Simon and whilst I'd love to paint your Naps the thought of having to a batch of kilts sends shivers down my spine, not sure the eyes would cope with the strain! :D

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  20. Fabulous tartan work. Great homage to a great film.

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  21. He looks superb...as does the tartan!

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  22. Nik Kershaw huh? The Saintly Mrs Awdry has just taken yet another step up in my estimation!

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    1. You say that now, but wait until you start humming, "I won't let the sun go down on me" all day! ;)

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  23. "I am a worm..."
    Love that movie too, to the point that I made sure I visited Eileen Donan Castle, portrayed as the home of the Clan

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    1. I now have visions of you running round the Scottish countryside shouting, "There can be only one!" Certainly brightened my morning Paul.

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  24. And here I am watching 1980's horror homage 'Stranger Things', and stumbling upon something called 'synthwave', which sounds like a modern revival of electronic horror and sci-fi movie soundtracks!

    As long as we draw the line before reaching the mullet and peak shoulder pads, we should be safe...

    Nice fig, by the way...!

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    1. I think I would struggle with the mullet these days anyway, just not enough hair where it counts! :D

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  25. Stunning work! Highlander was a great film ☺

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  26. So impressed with the tartan that I can't really see the rest of the model. Wow!

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    1. You are incredibly generous Mike, thank you.

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  27. Excellent work all round Michael!

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  28. That tartan works very well for me, excellent looking figure

    Ian

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    1. Thank you so much Ian, very encouraging of you.

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  29. Stunning! Love your pictures, especialy the last one with lightnings

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  30. The plaid looks great... so does the mini as a whole. A fine tribute to a cinematic treasure.

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  31. Back in the day I was a huge Highlander fan too. You really managed to put soul into that figure Michael!

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  32. That was one of the better films to come out back then. I always hated seeing Ramirez getting killed though.

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  33. Great work Michael! The tartan turned out nicely! They are definitely tricky to paint. After painting two Highlander napoleonics units I've never gotten myself to paint the final third one :)

    Highlander is really a great movie! Probably not the biggest cinematic masterpiece, but very entertaining. I'm a bit surprised that it isn't more popular. Definitely has the makings of a cult classic.

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  34. Ohh, lovely work Michael - that tartan is smashing. Too bad the sculptor did the tartan so short (should be to the knee) as it is he has a bit of a Britney Spears look about him. ;)

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  35. Ohh, lovely work Michael - that tartan is smashing. Too bad the sculptor did the tartan so short (should be to the knee) as it is he has a bit of a Britney Spears look about him. ;)

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  36. Excellent post, very nostalgic and entertaining, Michael! :D

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  37. en una palabra magnifico si se├▒or

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  38. Very very impressive indeed Michael. Nice stubble effect on his face too.

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  39. Ah, Highlander...one of the only two films that Queen provided the entire soudtrack for, the other being Flash Gordon. Both great films, despite their flaws. Nice work on YOUR Highlander, Michael - I'm always impressed by those who can do tartan or tweed, as I wouldn't even know where to start.

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  41. A really nice incarnation of this highlander.
    And many thanks for mentioning my blog.

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  42. There are a few films that have really struck a chord with me and Highlander is one of those (despite the dubious accents!). The figure is, of course, fabulous as usual!

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