Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Great Apes

When a scenario is entitled 'The King of the Apes', is stands to reason that you are going to need some Great Apes.  Now fortunately for me, I already had a few of these powerful primates kicking around the menagerie here at Awdry Towers and decided to get them all painted in order to make a more informed choice as to which one would star in the show.
First up, and the most expensive, was a Jungle Gorilla sculpted by Beau Townshend and available through 'Dark Arts Studios'.    Now I rather liked this sculpt, but the resin casting was a bit of a pig to put together, requiring a considerable amount of cutting, filling and drilling.  Whilst I was cleaning it up I was worried I was going to lose some of the fine detail, particularly around the mouth, but with a little care I managed to keep most of his fine dental work intact.    The jungle base, which had been thrown in free of charge, was nice, but in the end I decided to match all three primates on the same 40mm MDF disc from 'Warbases'.* 
*Not the chimp of course, who is based on a 20mm metal washer.
Next up a proud Silver Back from the ever dependable 'Wargames Foundry'.  This was part of the adventure box that I picked up at 'Salute 2017' and although a reassuringly heavy piece of metal, he seemed quite diminutive next to the first offering.  Mind you not as diminutive as Tarzan's Cheeta from the Lord of the Jungle set by 'North Star Miniatures'.  Not sure how he managed to justify his promotion up the painting queue, but he is rather sweet and so I was happy to add him into the mix further demonstrating, if it was ever required, that '28mm Victorian Warfare' is an equal opportunities endeavour, welcoming miniatures from all periods, genres and scales - just ask the Jawa in my 'Imperial Assault' booster pack!
Finally, and the one that I decided to go with to represent my Kong, was 'Crooked Dice's' Giant Ape. This really is a superb piece of plastic.  Wonderfully characterful and fabulously cast in a lightweight and crisp plastic, this again was a multi-part kit.  The difference here is that it required very little preparation and went together like a dream.
He really is a brute of an animal, but the pose rather cleverly disguises his true height and so you don't feel that it is a ridiculously giant creature.  Other than the face there isn't a huge amount of intrusive detail allowing a fair bit of freedom when it comes to painting.  
All three of my Great Apes, were given a black base coat, followed by a couple of passes with the trusty airbrush, initially with Vallejo Model Air's Sombre Grey then Engine Grey.  With a few of the details then picked out, and some dry brushing for good measure, they proved to be a relatively quick and thoroughly enjoyable job at that. 
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81 comments:

  1. Fabulous! That Crooked Dice gorilla is on my shopping list this month too.

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    1. You won't be disappointed, he is superb!

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  2. They look great.
    And I saw the Imperial Assault mention there!

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    1. Well spotted Mike, I may have finally caved in. :)

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  3. Fantastic apes! I really like the silverbacks, Gorillas,in the Mist...

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    1. More recently I have been enjoying the new Tarzan film and Kong, Skull Island!

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  4. Superb and impressive, very very impressive!

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  5. Wonderful! They definitely look the part.

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  6. That's a lot of big apes!!! Masterfully done, as expected.

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you Frank, I was quite surprised by just how many I had!

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  7. Okay now I`m in love. there are magnificent.

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    1. The Crooked Dice ape, really is wonderful.

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  8. fabulous, I agree the Crooked Dice one is the best

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    1. Certainly my favourite, I just like the pose more than anything else.

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  9. Those are certainly great apes Michael! I wouldn't want to be the fellow detailed to tell the also fans that they weren't up to snuff.
    Cheers, Peter

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    1. Thank you Peter, I am sure their agent will have a quiet word and we are hopeful that they may yet star at some point.

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  10. Lovely work on all of them. :)

    If you ever need another giant ape, Reaper do one too - not sure if he has been made in Bones yet, but I have the metal one and it is huge.

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    1. Thank you and I may have to go and check out the Reaper one - surely you can never have too many? :)

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    2. Indeed you can never have too many! :)

      I did mine as a white furred beast: https://eclecticgentlemantabletopgamer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/kabaka-kwana.html?showComment=1503572554633#c8025031985326969621

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    3. And for context, he is mounted on an 80mm base!

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  11. That is a really nice assortment of apes!

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  12. Great work - incredible natural tones.

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    1. Thank you, I got a bit lucky with the colours that I had.

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  13. So when does Awdry Animal Parc open for visitor? Do you know the abbreviation of set Zoo is AAP and in Dutch that means... righto APE! Oh dear...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbzS3uRdbwg

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    1. Not long now, but I am afraid your ticket might be reminded after that link - I have that dreadful song going round my head! :)

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  14. They are all great sculpt, and wonderfully painted too, of course. I agree with your final choice of giant primate!

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    1. Thank you Dean, he was a clear winner to me.

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  15. That Crooked Dice ape is a bruiser! Nice painting on all of them!

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    1. Thank you Brian, he certainly is the star of the show.

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  16. Great color and dry brushing. Looks they are about to run off of the photo shoot set.

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    1. Thank you Jay, both the Crooked Dice and the Dark Art Studio miniatures have such a dynamic feel to them.

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  17. Brilliant! I love the Crooked Dice one best too

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  18. I have the Foundry and Crooked Dice apes but I'm now considering the Dark Arts Studio one! I decided to use the Foundry model as a 'normal' gorilla in Congo, but use the Crooked Dice one as Kong.

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    1. Thank you Lee, I will certainly be using the Foundry one as a normal gorilla too, he certainly looks the part in the jungle.

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  19. Great apes..I´m sure in a fight they won´t be gibbon anyone any quarter.

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    1. Oh Paul, stop your monkeying around. Top punning sir. ;)

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  20. Stunning stuff, Sir Awdry... simply stunning :-)

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    1. Thank you Simon, that is very kind of you.

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  21. The last pic tells the whole story, as without it there was no scale. But these are pretty big. With the emphasis on the big and not the pretty (but very well painted)

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    1. Thank you Clint and the Crooked Dice ape, really is a big blighter, but somehow not too big - not sure that makes sense now I've written it?

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  22. Oh sweet Old one! what a perfect work sir!

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  23. Oooh, those are marvelous. Well done Michael!

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  24. I use the Crooked Dice Gorilla as Kong. I also have two small Gorillas by Black Tree Design. I am on the look out for two more Apes of this size for Congo.
    EMP (Colonel Bill's) do a couple of nice Vultures for scene dressing or markers.

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    1. Thank you Simon, I need to go and have a look at the vultures, I had missed those.

      I had seen these, but a bit pricey:
      http://otherworldminiatures.co.uk/shop/jg-series-official-judges-guild-miniatures/jgdt4-carnivorous-apes-2/

      and there was this one too:
      http://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Harry-Great-Ape/p/78374552/category=21735086

      and then if you want to get really big...
      http://wargamesterrainworkshop.co.uk/?product=magnus-simia

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  25. All really nice, but I think you are right when you say the crooked dice one is the best of the bunch.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, he is a splendid specimen.

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  26. Michael you certainly don't monkey around! That's quite an eclectic mix of apes & wonderfully painted to boot!

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    1. Nice punning Terry and thank you. :)

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  27. Most impressive and some worthy additions to your menagerie. All are great and I wholeheartedly agree with your choice for the post of Uber-ape, but that chimp really rocks it for me. Brilliant!

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    1. Thank you Nick, that chimp took longer to paint that his bigger cousins!

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  28. Lovely stuff, as always. and a very useful comparison.

    Talking of Crooked Dice, did you know that they've just started stocking Lucid Eye's Savage Core figures? Among other things, there's a nice range of Simians.

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    1. Thank you Edwin and I missed that Crooked Dice are selling Lucid Eye. I have a pack of their apes brandishing weapons, fabulous sculpts.

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  29. Excellent , as ever .,, I don't fancy dealing with these mean critters

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    1. Thank you Dave, certainly not to be trifled with.

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  30. Lovely work, Michael - probably the most realistic looking apes I've seen painted. My favourite is also the Crooked Dice one - the pose and proportions are spot on. And he's a big'un!

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    1. Thank you so much Jez, that is very kind of you.

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  31. Great trio of apes, any one of which would grace any table.

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  32. Excellent work on the apes. They really look realistic. Me, I would have gone for white-streaks-of-hair on either side of its head (ala Pierce Brosnan) which shows you how little I know ... heh heh :)

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  33. Some cracking additions to the menageries mate.

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  34. Superb. Not a group you want to meet in a dark alley on dark night!

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  35. Very nice figures . I must get my congo rules out and played !

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  36. 'Ave a banana...

    Love them mate. Makes me think i need more animals in my collection

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  37. Great miniatures. Great addition for Darkest Africa.

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  38. Well I wouldn't fancy a tussle with any of them, great work Sir M!

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