Masters of the Universe

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White Knight
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Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:33 pm

Like we tend to do, I started a new project before completing any of the ongoing ones. This one is spurred on by the recent release of some Masters of the Universe themed figures by Quest Miniatures and others. More info about that on my preoject-related blog for those who are interested: https://motu-wargames.blogspot.be

Of course, the first miniature to get some paint had to be He-Man, or should I say He-Men, as I painted two at once. The base model is sculpted in 30mm by Boris Woloszyn for Quest Miniatures. It comes with sword and shield, an empty sword scabbard for the back and a loose axe, like the toy, but is based on He-Man's appearance in the Filmation cartoon.

I converted both of my models. They were glued to their plastic bases and then I sculpted some tile texture over it with putty. The first was a minor conversion to be armed just with the powersword, like in the Filmation cartoon, without the shield or the empty scabbard. In the cartoon, the scabbard tended to appear when it was needed and disappear when it wasn't.

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The second conversion was slightly more extensive. The powersword was cut off, and the hand was drilled, so the axe could be pinned into it. A new pommel was added under the hand with putty. In order to keep the powersword, I cut a plastic sword grip and crossbar from a sheathed sword from a Fireforge medieval men-at-arms set and glued it to the top of the empty scabbard, so my He-Man was complete.

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Starting these was a bit daunting as it's been over a year since I painted anything in this scale and even then I wasn't too happy with it. But they came out well enough, I can look at them and have that feeling of familiarity and recognising the toys of my youth, so that's something. I think those two will be the only regular He-Man variants I will do (unless Quest Miniatures brings out another pose), but there is a wealth of "evil" clones to bring to life in miniature, such as Anti-Eternia He-Man, Negative He-Man, Slimemonster He-Man,...

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:37 am

A few years ago, Icon Heroes brought out a polystone statue of Castle Grayskull that seemed to be in a scale that's close enough to work with 28mm figures. It cannot quite be considered a scale model as scalewise it's all over the place, with doorways going from very big to very small, so it's very much a stylised represantion, but it works well nonetheless. The original castle was released as a single piece model. Not long after, Icon Heroes expanded the set with an accessory set that increased the footprint of the castle by adding the ramp and putting it on a bony/rocky platform. The accessory set also includes Point Dread, the Flying Talon Fighter, a Heroic flag and the laser weapon. The top of Point Dread can be removed from it's base to sit on one of the castle towers, just like the old toy and the minicomics.

While I initially intended to use this with the 25/28mmGrenadier range of figures, it will work well enough with the newer, slightly larger 30mm ones as well. Short of converting your own incorporating bits of the toy castle, this is your best option.

A scale shot with the Quest Miniatures He-Man, showing the separate Point Dread and the configuration where it's mounted on the castle. As can be seen, the towers are the weakest point regarding figure placement as the tops are quite shallow. The Talon Fighter is in itself a useful addition as it works well enough with the scale of the figures.

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He-Man doing some more posing on the rooftop. There is enough room there to place some figures:

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The other sides of the model:

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He-Man waving you off (or kicking you out...):

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:45 pm

A close contender for the first figure to get paint was Skeletor. The most evil looking badass villain in the history of Saturday morning cartoons and 80s boys' toys, superbly rendered in 30mm by the talented hands of Boris Woloszyn for Quest Miniatures. To say I'm in love is an understatement. Painting this figure (or figures) was the single most enjoyable painting experience I had to date and possibly the best paintjob I have delivered so far and I thought I was passed my prime.

Like with He-Man I had to do two versions, one built out of the box and one converted to have his sword as per the toy version. Both figures were glued to their plastic bases and then I sculpted some tile texture over it with putty. As he is based on the Filmation cartoon version, I went with a bright colour scheme to match that, which was not a natural thing for me to do as I have a tendancy to go for muted colours even when I'm not trying to do so. I'm very happy with the end result, but I'll let you make up your own mind.

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Both Skeletors, side by side.

The first is the original sculpt built as is. I do like the pose with the staff, it's quite dynamic I feel. As I said, I went with a bright Filmation colour scheme and I'm particularly pleased with Skeletor's yellowish face and his blue skin. For the base, I went with a more understated purple so it wouldn't look too much like his clothes are made of the same material as the flagstone tiles. I will keep this theme for the other Evil Warriors.

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The second version is a bit of a mix of Filmation and toy references. In the cartoon, when Skeletor had a sword, it was a regular one, where in the toy version, he had his half of the powersword that looked like a purple version of He-Man's and that's what I went for here. The sword was left over after my conversion of the spare He-Man figure to hold his axe, so that was just drilled and pinned into place. The swordhand is another plastic bit from the aforementioned Fireforge men-at-arms set. I cut away the left hand from the staff, filed it down and glued it into his open right hand. Easy.

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Here we have Skeletor and He-Man crossing swords:
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And taking their battle to the rooftop of Castle Grayskull:

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"It's over, He-Man. I have the high ground!"

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:40 pm

Shortly after their Castle Grayskull, Icon Heroes went one better and released the whole of Snake Mountain as a polystone statue. Like the castle, this massive piece of scenery works well enough with 28-30mm figures and sports a glorious paintjob to boot.

30mm Skeletor in the center for scale:

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The sides and back (tiny 30mm Skeletor for scale):

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Some detail shots:

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And a size comparison of the full Castle Grayskull set with Snake Mountain and the tiny He-Man and Skeletor figures:

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:59 pm

One of the essential minons of Skeletor's Evil Warriors, and yet somehow one of the few main characters I never had as a toy. Like with Skeletor, I went with a bright colour scheme, based on the Filmation look, while trying to embody the toy nature with an almost plastic look and feel. The miniature is another wonderful Boris Woloszyn sculpt released by Quest Miniatures. It's actually even more orange in the flesh, but for some reason all the pictures kept toning it down. The first picture is the closest to the actual skin tone.

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Trying to ambush He-Man alongside his master:

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Emerging from Snake Mountain:

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:43 pm

Today's entry is not the most exciting one so far, but it is quite iconic in it's own right. The weapons rack came with Castle Grayskull and was rather faithfully reproduced in the 80's 25mm MOTU miniatures sets produced by Grenadier/Pinnacle Products. The sculpting on most of the miniatures is a bit dated, but the weapons rack works well enough and as the old figures were big for the time, the rack is suitably large to go with the more modern sculpts. I picked this to paint next because I hadn't much time and thought I could finish it quickly. It wasn't that quick.

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He-Man posing next to the rack

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Front and back

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Quick my beastly minion, take all their weapons!

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Weapons rack in situ at Castle Grayskull

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:26 pm

Heroic Warriors: Teela!

A strong warrior, unspoken love interest of both He-Man and Prince Adam, adopted daughter of Man-At-Arms and real daughter/hairess of the Sorceress/Goddess, ... Teela has quite the elaborate back story. The model is another great sculpt by Boris Wolszyn for Quest Miniatures and I fear I didn't quite do her justice. While she looks just fine in real life, the pictures tell a different story. Like the others, I followed the Filmation colours for the painting and avoided all metallics. The flagstone was sculpted over a standard plastic lipped base as with the others.

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A strong woman holding her own in a men's world...

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Not quite what I had in mind when you invited me up here to show me your sword, He-Man...

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You will be mine, Teela, and through you, the power of the Sorceress!

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:49 am

Heroic Warriors - Man-At-Arms

One of the original iconic characters, Man-At-Arms, real name Duncan, is an inventor, soldier and Teela's foster father, as well as a mentor to Prince Adam . The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull asked Man-At-Arms to adopt Teela because she felt she could not raise her daughter and protect Castle Grayskull at the same time. The figure is another excellent sculpt by Boris Woloszyn for Quest Miniatures. Again, I went for a more bright, Filmation style colour scheme. The base is, as with the others, sculpted directly over the plastic base.

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Man-At-Arms, guarding the gates of Castle Grayskull

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A different view of the figure, using the new lightbow my wonderful wife bought for me.
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The Heroic Warriors... so far...

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"Get away from here, you orange fiend!" - "... Seriously, you want to go there, dude?"

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:24 am

Heroic Warriors - The Goddess

The Goddess is an Eternian deity tasked with maintaining the natural order and protecting Castle Grayskull from those would plunder it. Originally, it is she who provides He-Man with the armor and weapons he needs to fight Skeletor; later, she guards the Cavern of Power where Prince Adam and Cringer transform into He-Man and Battle Cat. This character appeared in the first minicomics and went through many changes. First her colouring was changed from the original green to match Teela's colours, then she went from a Goddess to being the Sorceress and was ultimately redesigned to be the Filmation Sorceress we know and love. Her journey didn't end though and a few years ago she got her own figure in the MOTU Classics action figure range and in more recent comic continuity, became Teela's evolved form as the Snake Goddess.

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The Goddess, in all her serpentine glory.

The miniature is the old '80s Grenadier Miniatures Teela figure. Designed after the toy and not the Filmation series, she doesn't look much like the Teela we know, but she does look exactly like the original Goddess. Unlike the other figures from the '80s miniatures range, the women were sculpted by a different sculptor and were more tall and slim, making her a perfect fit for more modern miniature scale. I did convert her slightly to add a bit of meat to her thighs and hips. After all, those were a trademark of the MOTU female characters too and this made her fit in better with the Quest Miniatures sculpts. I also gave her slightly longer feet as the original figures came with these small stumps that were hardly there. The base was custom made by cutting a hole in a plastic base to insert the thick metal integral base of the mini and then covered over with putty to add the flagstone texture.

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Paintwise, I tried to stay true to the source material but "Filmation her up" slightly. Hence the (non metallic) gold accents, which also appeared in some later incarnations. the vertical black lines under her eyes were also part of some later source material and I thought it would be interesting to incorporate those.

The original minicomic scene where she gives the savage He-Man his first weapons
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Gosh, Goddess, thanks you so much for these, the girls will love them!

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You and I, Teela, we are one of a kind.

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Your power will be mine!

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While she looks taller in some pictures, she is the same size, it's just that she's the only figure who's standing up straight.

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A different look, using the new lightbox

That's the last of the additions to the Heroic Warriors for now, as some more baddies are long overdue to balance out the sides.

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Re: Masters of the Universe

Postby White Knight » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:48 pm

The Snake Men - Remcor, Snake Man Footsoldier

The next one is a bit of a departure from MOTU canon, as it's a generic Snake Man footsoldier that didn't appear in any of the media (though there have been generic Snake Men warriors in the later continuity), but being a mere footsoldier, he might have been there. The base model is a rather heavily converted Otherworld Miniatures lizardman, sculpted by the talented Paul Muller. The Otherworld lizardmen are very suitable as generic baddies for MOTU as is, but I wanted to go the extra mile to bring them more into the world. The head was flattened, cheeks were widened and a forked tong was added, while he was also dressed up to have the fur panties and belt, as well as shin and wrist guards. Base custom sculpted as usual.

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A generic Snake Man footsoldier

His colour scheme and name were borrowed from a knock-off figure from the '80s. Back during the original MOTU craze, several companies started making cheapish action figures in the same style and one of these brands was Remco, which, among other things, made this purple Snakeman. I slightly changed parts in my conversion to bring it closer to how he could have looked in Filmation style. I painted the flagstones on his base in a different colour, as I want each faction to have it's own colour code.

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A better view using the lightbox

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The Remco snakeman in his glorious beauty.

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He-Man facing off against a Snake Man in front of Snake Mountain

https://motu-wargames.blogspot.be/2018/04/the-snake-men-remcor-snake-man.html


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