Thursday, 9 March 2017

Knight Models to stop making Marvel miniatures

Roughly a month ago, Knight Models announced that they will no longer be making miniatures based on the Marvel licence. Below is the full transcript of the Facebook post:

Following this sad news, please note Shire Works will no longer restock miniatures from our existing Knight Models Marvel Universe product line once they are sold out. Thank you.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Coming soon ... painted miniatures and model kits

To complement Shire Works' existing products, we plan to offer customers fully assembled/painted miniatures and scale model kits in the coming months. Here at Shire Works, we understand that not all collectors want to assemble/paint miniatures and model kits. Good news then to those of you who would like to collect figurines and model vehicles as finished end products of display quality.

For now at least, the fully painted/assembled miniatures and model kits will come from our main product lines namely Ax Faction, Knight Models, Nocturna Models as well as from Bandai's Star Wars Plastic Model range. Also for the time being they will not be commissioned works but rather selected pieces chosen by Shire Works.   

Due to the fragility of some of the fully painted/assembled miniatures and model kits, they will be made available only within the Klang Valley on a COD (cash on delivery), for now. However, we do harbour hopes of expanding the availability of these fully painted/assembled miniatures and model kits, outside of the Klang Valley, in the future. Until our next post, here's wishing you a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Use a proxy for your favourite characters or go original

Be it sourced from books or movies, memorable characters form a large part of what inspires us miniature painters to recreate them artistically. But there are occasions when the characters we want to paint are just not available in miniature for. That's when we look for proxies or replacement figurines that best capture the spirit of the character we want to recreate in paint form.  They aren't easy to find, but when you do it's a glorious feeling.

Harley Quinn and Katana from the Suicide Squad - characters worthy of a search for proxies to paint

An example of such a proxy hunt revolved around characters from the latest superheroes (or more accurately supervillains) comic book adaptation movie Suicide Squad. More specifically, proxies were being sought for Harley Quinn and Katana [see above]. There were found in the Nocturna Models 80 mm resin figurine collection, namely the Nocturna Models 80 mm Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) and 70 mm Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) [see below]. 

Nocturna Models 80 mm - Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) tin box packaging
Nocturna Models Alice (Fairy Tale Girls) unboxed
Resin miniature parts of Alice, Fairy Tale Girls
Nocturna Models 70 mm - Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) tin box packaging
Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons (Malefic Time) unboxed
Resin miniature parts of Soum, 13 moons (Malefic Time)

What made these resin miniatures so suitable as proxies for Harley and Katana? Well, features of the Noctuna Models Alice figurine which lend itself perfectly to a Harley Quinn-Joker themed diorama piece were, in no particular order:
1. A teacup in hand (from a scene in the movie);
2. Pigtail-like hair for Harley's iconic tri-coloured hairstyle;
3. Large leg stockings which can painted to resemble her in-movie ones;
4. Playing cards which offer the opportunity to paint Joker cards; and
5. A large mushroom which can be painted in purplish Joker hues.

The scene that produced a light-bulb moment linking Nocturna Models Alice to Harley Quinn
With Katana it was all about finding a miniature with an Eastern Asian look and a ... well ... katana

Meanwhile for Katana it was more a case of finding a miniature with oriental features who happened to be holding on to a traditional Japanese sword i.e. the character's namesake. Cue the Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons figurine from the Malefic Time series. She also had some workable similarities to her DC counterpart which made her a good proxy:
1. Soum's katana which is self explanatory;
2. She's of East Asian ethnicity, also self explanatory; and
3. Round signage offers an opportunity for some Suicide Squad-related freehand painting.

But all is not doom and gloom in terms of finding an accurately sculpted superhero miniature to paint. Shire Works carries some of the more iconic Marvel characters from Knight Models some of which are shown below. Pictures courtesy of our resident painter who blogs at

Knight Models Logan
Knight Models Spiderman
Knight Models Iron Man
Knight Models The Hulk

Coming back to finding proxies for your miniature painting projects, the following are some miniatures from the Nocturna Models and Ax Faction line which has been used as proxies for a popular book and TV series i.e. Game of Thrones. These miniatures were also painted by out resident painter FourEyedMonster.

Nocturna Models 70 mm Crusader, painted as Ser Gregor Clegane
Back view of the Nocturna Models 70 mm Crusader, painted as Ser Gregor Clegane
Nocturna Models 70 mm Akelarre Enchantment, painted as Daenerys Targaryen
Ax Faction 32 mm Giant Hunter painted as the wilding Ygritte

So don't fret. If you can't find the actual miniature of a character you want to paint, then look for a proxy. If you can, all the better to go original. Either way, remember to have fun!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Team Cap or Team Stark? Choose ...

Or better yet, why play favourites when you can have both.

Are you Team Cap or Team Stark? Why not both?

Available from Shire Works are the Marvel Universe miniatures from the Knight Models product line i.e. 1/28th scale metal model kits of Captain America and Iron Man. Comprising a white metal alloy, both miniatures are supplied unpainted and will require assembly.

Knight Models Captain America, 1/28th scale

Both these mainstays of the Marvel Avengers universe come in highly detailed metal parts which can be assembled using super glue. While the the metal miniature can be polished and left as is after assembly, it is highly recommended that hobbyists/modellers paint up the model post-assembly. A fully painted miniature looks best for display purposes.
Knight Models Iron Man, 1/28th scale

If you haven't caught the Captain America: Civil War movie yet, what are you waiting for? It's arguably the best Captain America movie to date and well worth the price of admission. And if afterwards, you feel like assembling and painting up old school versions of Captain America and Iron Man, do yourself a favour and get the Knight Models versions of both. For more info, please check out the following product link on Shire Works => 

Monday, 29 February 2016

Quick Tips: Bases, oft forgotten pieces of the puzzle

When painting miniatures we tend to spend so much attention on the figure itself that it's easy to overlook the base and give it minimal attention. It's an understandable mistake but one that is also easily overcome with a little bit of patience and thought on details.

An overhead view of the Knight Models Zombie Girl base

In a shout out to the latest season of the Walking Dead, the Knight Models Zombie Girl is a fine example of how some tender loving care to a base can give a figure that extra oomph! Straight out of the box, the base looks fairly unassuming with just a flat road and a pumpkin. But if you pay careful attention to it, you'll start to notice well sculpted details such as fallen autumn leaves, candy bars and wrappers as well as a well textured road and sidewalk. More than enough for any miniature painter to try and work his or her magic on. 

Knight Models Zombie Girl in its original packaging
Knight Models Zombie Girl: individual metal parts
Knight Models Zombie Girl: parts assembled/glued on and then primed

For inspiration, photos of candy bars and fallen autumn leaves (see below) were used as a benchmark reference on how to paint the details on the base. At first glance, the bright, cheery colours might seem to be out of place in a horror piece. But the juxtaposition of the Zombie Girl's pallid, rotting skin tone and the warm colours of a festive Halloween trick-or-treat celebration actually gives a surreal twist to the whole horror diorama.  

Inspiration for an autumn Halloween came in the form of candy bars and fallen maple leaves

To allow greater access to and control over the painting of the minute details, the base was painted separately from the figure i.e. before gluing the Zombie Girl to the base.

Knight Models Zombie Girl base sans pumpkin - sidewalk/road with autumn leaves and candy bars strewn all over
Scale comparison - Knight Models Zombie Girl base next to a 31-mm paperclip
A pumpkin's advice: Have a thick skin and smile

This is how the whole model kit looks when put together and with the paint job completed.

Knight Models Zombie Girl, paint job completed
Low level lighting adds to the eerie atmosphere of the piece
A well painted base adds volumes to the overall piece
Back view of the Knight Models Zombie Girl

The figure shown above has been assembled and painted exclusively for Shire Works. Please note that the Zombie Girl metal model kit is supplied unpainted and requires assembly. For more information on zombie-related models available from Shire Works, please click on the Knight Models product tab in the menu bar above, or on the ad below.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

May you be blessed with peace and happiness in the year ahead.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Quick Tips: Reshaping a resin miniature part

Often times, a resin part(s) straight out of the box may not resemble the shape shown on the cover art. An example of this is the Nocturna Models Akelarre Enchantment 70 mm resin miniature. But fear not, the solution to this little problem is actually pretty straightforward and simple. And all it involves is a simple household appliance i.e. the hair dryer.

Akelarre Enchantment is an example of a resin model kit in which a part requires reshaping

Firstly, you can either paint a basecoat layer on the part concerned or leave it unpainted before reshaping. In the example below, a basecoat layer was painted on the ribbons before they were blasted with hot air from the hair dryer for about three seconds or more (the length of time the part is exposed to hot air varies with how thick it is).

Ribbon parts before they are reshaped
A simple hair dryer was used to generate the required heat to make the resin parts pliable

Then, while the ribbons were still pliable after being softened by the hot air, they were reshaped into a more dynamic form resembling the cover art. You have to work quickly though as the resin parts cool very quickly and in mere seconds will have cooled and re-hardened. Remember NOT to use excessive force when reshaping the resin parts in order to prevent them from accidentally breaking. Always err on the side of caution as you can always reheat the parts if they have cooled before you achieved your desired shape.

Ribbons were quickly reshaped to a more dynamic form before being allowed to cool and harden again

Once reshaped and painted, the ribbons were then attached to the Akelarre Enchantment with an alternative colour scheme as painted by Shire Works' resident painter (see photos below). The usual super glue-pure baking soda combination was used to glue such a small part. This gluing combination is describe in another post. Some additional midtones and highlights were then painted on the ribbons to finish off the reshaping process. 

Nocturna Models Akelarre Enchantment, as painted in an alternative colour scheme
Ribbons were glued on with the help of the Super Glue-Baking Soda combo

 And this concludes Shire Works' latest quick tip guide for the beginner miniature painter. For more detailed photos as well as a video of the Nocturna Models Akelarre Enchantment, please click on the following link =>

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Behind the Scenes: Knight Models The Hulk

Soon to appear more regularly in the Shire Works blog are a series of posts showcasing a behind the scenes look at the work that goes into a miniature; from assembly all the way to its fully painted stage. We begin this series with the Marvel Universe miniature from Knight Models i.e. The Hulk. Even at 1/28th scale this resin model kit is huge, measuring in at roughly 90 mm in width and height. From the resin parts supplied, either a Red, Green or Grey Hulk can be assembled. In this case, the more well known Green Hulk was our choice.

Knight Models The Hulk, separate resin parts prior to assembly
To remove possible coating of release agents, resin parts are washed and left to dry

Be it resin or metal miniatures, it is always advisable to wash the separate parts prior to assembly. This helps to remove 'release agents' that could be coating the miniature, which in turn prevents acrylic paint from adhering properly to the surface. (Note: Release agents are chemicals used to separate the resin/metal miniature from its mould) 

The Hulk assembled with Super Glue after its individual parts have dried
Some putty (green stuff) is used to fill some small gaps found in the miniature

After The Hulk was assembled, some putty, or green stuff, was used to fill noticeable gaps in the miniature. If done correctly, the putty would seem like part of the miniature itself after a layer of primer coat has been applied. (Please check out the previous blog post for a quick tip on priming as this particular stage is not shown for The Hulk). Following the application of a coat of primer, The Hulk's skin is painted up in progressively smoother and lighter greens.  

Hulk Skin Tone Step 1: After priming and a basecoat of dark green
Hulk Skin Tone Step 2: Adding a midtone of olive-like green
Hulk Skin Tone Step 3: Adding highlights (bright greens bordering on yellow) and smoothening out colour transitions

Next was painting of The Hulk's torn-up pants to resemble the texture of denim. This involved using blue and grey acrylic paints as well as a blue wash. Blue paints of varying hues laid down a foundation of the jean's general colour. Meanwhile, the blues mixed with greys were applied in crosshatch-like brush strokes to mimic denim texture as well as applied on the raised folds of the jeans to indicate highlights. For a more detailed look at how The Hulk's pants were painted as denim jeans, please click here.    

The Hulk with his blue denim jeans

Last but not least, details on The Hulk's face, the boulder on his right hand and the base he is standing on was painted to finish up the paint job. Both the boulder and base were painted primarily using dry brushing techniques while the face was delicately painted using very fine Kolinsky Sable brushes which are well suited to highly detailed work. To cap off the entire colour scheme, The Hulk's hair was painted in a very dark shade of green.

The Hulk (Knight Models), completed

For a 360 degrees view of The Hulk, please click on the YouTube video below. Please don't forget to choose the HD quality option for the best view of this Knight Models miniature in its completed form. The Hulk was painted by Shire Works' resident painter Kuan Hua aka FourEyedMonster whose personal blog showcasing his work can be seen on this link.

This wraps up our first post of the brand new series. Do keep a lookout for more in the future as we take turns peeking behind the scenes at miniatures from the Knight Models, Nocturna Models and Ax Faction product lines. If you are interested in any of the three brands stated, please visit the respective products tabs shown in the bar below the banner.