Monday, May 30, 2011

Knightwatch Handler - Moff Rathos

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

Knightwatch exists and operates somewhere amongst the cracks between the infrastructure of the ISB, Imperial Intelligence, and the Imperial Military. The group enjoys a good deal of free reign in their operations, operating on and answering to the Emperor's interests.

Moff Rathos spent the Clone Wars embedded in the Separatist forces as a spy, with his main mission being the observation of the planning of the Separatist super-weapon that would become the Death Star.

Rathos bought credibility for his cover role by providing Republic intel on the position of Clone forces. These leaks were calculate by the Chancellor and Senate to result in somewhat significant Clone causalities but not disrupt overall Republic operations.

Now promoted to Moff and assigned to Knightwatch, Rathos oversees the group and acts as a direct liaison for the Emperor and his interests. Though ruthless and self-serving, he retains the Emperor's favor so long as those interests remain inline with the Empire's.

Parts Recipe:
Specialist Trakker - Head
Grand Moff Trachta - Torso, Belt
Captain Needa - Legs
Cade Skywalker - Coat
Baron Papanoida - Arms

Friday, May 27, 2011

Knightwatch Demolitions - Charge

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

CT-5470, or "Charge", is responsible for explosives in Knightwatch operations. Charge does not view himself, or other clones, in high regard and refers to them as "Meat-Droids." He identifies the worst possible outcome of any situation, and while some view this as pessimism or fatalism, Charge believes it's a pragmatic point of view that's kept him alive throughout the Clone Wars.

Normally his personality would be considered too high of a variance from the accepted Clone template for Knightwatch, but Charge proved himself exceptionally loyal to his orders when he detonated a small explosive pack at close range to the Jedi he was serving with when Order 66 was issued. Somehow Charge survived the explosion  whole, but not without extensive injuries. Upon waking up from an extended healing treatment he was recruited in Knightwatch.

"Charge"  wears modified stealth variant Katarn-class armor with reinforced armor, soft-points, and helmet. He carries a DC-17m with explosive attachment and an ammunition pack, as well as a remote explosive kit.

Parts Recipe:
Omega Squad - Base Figure, Blaster, Pack, Ammunition
ARC Troopers - Lower Legs

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tintagel - The Wanderer

A wanderer from the Outlands, Ash comes to Tintagel to warn the small kingdom of the approaching Horde and seek assistance for the small, scattered villages of his home.

When the Queen is captured, Ash accompanies the royal guard in her rescue and proves himself a champion of Tintagel.

In the unhappy days after the kingdom's fall, Ash finds himself bound in service to the Horde.

Parts Recipe:
Odin - Head
POC Storm Shadow - Torso, bare arm
ROC Flash - Waist
Viper Commando - Gauntlet, Legs
ROC Snake Eyes - Strap
Lando Calrissian Skiff Guard - Pauldron
Royal Guard - Tunic/Kilt
Price of Persia - Belt
Magik - Sword

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Knightwatch Support - Clip

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

"Clip," officially designated as CT-6076, is as tough as a durasteel wall and has about half the personality. Despite this, he's a favorite among members of the Knightwatch for his abilities in combat. Aggressive almost to the point of recklessness, Clip is always on the front line, providing a steady stream of cover for his fellow commandos. He also hauls the groups extra ammo in combat, ensuring that despite his lack of charm he's everyone's best friend in a firefight. 

"Clip" wears modified stealth variant Katarn-class armor with an enhanced targeting helmet and carries a DC-17m with custom light repeating blaster attachment. He also carried a portable combination recharge pack and ammo dispenser for quick resupply.

Parts Recipe:


Tintagel

What's a Tintagel, you ask? According to Arthurian Myth, Tintagel castle was the birthplace of King Arthur. According to our bus driver when we visited England, it's "a piddly little village." But for a lucky few, Tintagel was a BBS where we cut our creative teeth crafting a shared fantasy story.

We were kids in high school, and looking back it's almost painfully transparent how we were working all our angst out through play-by-message RPGs. Our alter-ego characters had much less to do with how we saw ourselves, but how we wanted to be seen. I'll spare my fellow players further armchair psychoanalysis, but you can't really explain the story of our Tintagel without a bit of the story behind it.

We created our own mythology, and post by post built an epic we've tried desperately to recreate numerous times since. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but these characters are unforgettable to many of us who helped build the story. I've been trying to breathe some physical life into them in one form or another for more than a decade. There's been a chain of failed sketches and paintings, and I've abandoned multiple attempts in various scales to make figures of some of the central characters.

At long last, however, I've finished these three and I'm quite happy with the result. Individual highlights of each figure to come, but for now here's the core of Tintagel: Ash, Nicademus, and Aura.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Knightwatch Aide - Adjutant Olariss

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

Knightwatch exists and operates somewhere amongst the cracks between the infrastructure of the ISB, Imperial Intelligence, and the Imperial Military. The group enjoys a good deal of free reign in their operations, operating on and answering to the Emperor's interests.

Adjutant Olariss is one of the few support staff in the Knightwatch, and is the personal aid to the Moff who oversees the group's operations. Quiet and reserved, she could easily be mistaken for a secretarial clerk but in fact is a cunning and efficient master of bureaucracy.

Her resourcefulness and immense intelligence allow her to navigate the complexities of the young Empire and keep the existence and purpose of Knightwatch well concealed between lines of code and audit points. Her mind is catalog of pertinent resources and intelligence available for the group at a moment's notice.

Her cold demeanor and quiet, calculating mind have left a lot of Knightwatch's commandos wondering if she's really an advanced droid model, a rumor that does not leave her well liked by the veterans of the Clone Wars.

Parts Recipe:
Mara Jade - Head
Padme (Republic Senator) - Neck, arms, hands

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Schleich's "Oracle" Display Review

I've been tempted by some of Schleich's offerings for a while now... they looked nicely detailed, offered settings not offered in other toy lines, and appeared to be a good match in scale for most of the 1:18-ish figures I tend to customize.

Price has always prevented me from checking these out, but I was happy to snag the "Oracle" display at Toys R Us for $15 today, down from $60 according to the tag. At full price, and maybe even at half that, I couldn't justify it. That's not to say it's overpriced, at least compared to what Hasbro offers in a similar price point. But $15 for a complete display like this is a sure thing for me.

While I can't call it versatile, it's certainly got its uses. Any fantasy based figures will look right at home here, and with a little paint Thor fans couldn't ask for a better Asgard to display the movie figures on. I didn't even really notice it was split into a light and dark motif until I got home and set it up... seems like it would make a wonderful way to display "The Ones" and the physical embodiment of the Force on Mortis and with a little paint could make a Korriban altar.

The large stone dial between the curved pillars has an inner wheel that spins to reveal various runes, but is easily removed leaving a stylistic gateway. The top of the table can be removed with the base acting as a smaller altar, and the base in turn can be removed as well, though there is an indention in the rock pattern left behind.

I should have gotten a few shots with figures but the scale is quite nice, the table reaching right around mid-height.

I'm quite happy with this first offering from Schleich that I've finally checked out. If you can find it for a price-point that doesn't make you hyperventilate, grab it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Knightwatch Engineer - Clack

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

CP-1337, known as "Clack", is the only Clone Trooper Private serving in Knightwatch. As a "soft-shell" (clones trained for technical tasks rather than combat) Clack is deployed with the Commandos whenever a situation calls for advanced onsite expertise. Clack is also responsible for keeping the group's armor and weaponry in premium condition.

Clack's field kit consists of of a standard "soft-shell" helmet, reinforced tactical blast vest with various tools, standard DC-15s blaster carbine, and a compact "fast fix" tech welder.

Parts Recipe:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Knightwatch Commando

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

Knightwatch Commandos are the back bone of the operation. Fiercely loyal and exceptional in combat, each one has proven himself throughout the Clone Wars as exemplary. 

Knightwatch Commandos are equipped with modified stealth variant Katarn-class armor and standard DC-17m blasters. 

Parts Recipe:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Knightwatch Sniper - Spin

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

CT-1824, known as "Spin," is the group's sniper and scout. He was selected for the Knightwatch for executing Order 66 when his commander hesitated to initiate the attack. The Jedi target, sensing the commander's hesitancy and doubt, could well have escaped had he not been blindsided by Spin's complete lack of emotion and surprise attack. 

Spin's combat kit consists of a senosr-pack, modified stealth variant Katarn-class armor, enhanced helmet sensors with omni-spectrum attachment, as well as a DC-17m with custom sniper attachment.

Parts Recipe:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Knightwatch Commander - Trip

Commissioned after the end of the Clone Wars by the Emperor, "Knightwatch" was the codename given to a select group of Clone veterans assembled for the purpose of hunting down rogue Jedi, Clone deserters, and their supporters. Despite serving a similar purpose, the group operated independently of Vader's 501st.

The Imperial Commandos of Knightwatch are made up solely of former Clone Troopers and Clone Commanders who performed exceptionally during the Clone Wars. Due to the unacceptable rate of rejection of Order 66 by altered Clone castes, like the ARCs, Null-ARCs, and Republic Commandos, it was decided only Troopers and Commanders would be used in the operation to ensure the highest levels of loyalty and adherence to all orders.

CC-0009, known as Triple-Oh-Nine or "Trip," is a model Clone who served with distinction during the Clone Wars and was especially ruthless and efficient in response to Order 66. The Emperor personally selected him to lead the operation, and allowed "Trip" free reign in forming the squad and selecting its members and armament.

Trip's combat kit consists of a comm-pack, modified stealth variant Katarn-class armor, enhanced helmet sensors and added range finder, as well as a standard DC-17m blaster and modified DC-15s sidearm.

Parts Recipe:
Omega Squad - Base Figure, Backpack, Blaster rifle
ARC Troopers - Legs and Range Finder
AT-TE Tank Gunner - Shoulder Armor
Zartan - Blaster Pistol

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Louis - Left 4 Dead

Louis was my preferred character whenever I'd play L4D, so naturally I had to do a custom figure of him.  He's a pretty simple character design, but was a somewhat difficult project to find parts for.

There's a really limited number of non-white, non-male head sculpts available for customizing. There have been some excellent version of Louis made using various Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) heads, but I wanted to go a different route to differentiate my take on the character. I think my patience in finding the right head paid off as the likeness for Louis's game model is pretty close in my opinion.

Parts Recipe:
Roth-Del Masona - Head
Grand Admiral Thrawn - Arms
Shipwreck - Torso, Legs
ROC Cobra Commander - Feet
Cpl. Breaker - Hands

Marwencol

This is an amazing documentary, especially for anyone who believes in "toys as art" and "art as therapy." Watch it, and then find out more about Marwencol and Mark Hogancamp at marwencol.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bill - Left 4 Dead

 Another one I'm late to the game on, as I've seen some amazing renditions of Bill before I got to mine. I think I went with some different parts than most people use though, and I'm particularly proud of the likeness I found for him.

The arms did NOT want to cooperate, and sadly even after multiple attempts, his left shoulder has limited range. All he's missing are his smokes!

Parts Recipe:
Sergant Harkas - Head

Monday, May 2, 2011

Francis - Left 4 Dead

I'm only a few years behind the curve with my L4D figures! I might have posted Francis before, but now he has 100% game accurate tats! I used his textures from the game to make a printable waterslide decal of his tattoos, and after a few frustrating attempts I got them to work. Probably a little undersized, and they don't fully wrap around his arms, but I think they look great!

Parts Recipe:
X-Men Origins Wolverine -  Base Figure
Conrad "Duke" Hauser - Head
Storm Shadow - Thighs
Vader's Secret Apprentice - Hands

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ahsoka Tano - On The Run

I don't often like to tackle established characters in Star Wars... chances are they'll get an official release at some point, or don't leave a lot of room from interpretation.
I thought I'd try making Ahsoka Tano in a more "movie" style, as opposed to her official and highly stylize Clone Wars release, as she might appear a little older and on the run after Order 66.
I found a lot of the Clone Wars style heads can be "fixed" to mesh with realistic sculpts with an eye repaint, and was quite please with the results here.

Parts Recipe:
Ahsoka - Head, Gloves, Belts, Lightsabers
Shaak Ti - Elbows
Concept Starkiller Hero - Torso, Legs
Padme Amidala - Upper Arms
Clone Emperor - Feet