Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Spider-Man Homecoming

Arguably one of Spidey's big screen adventures in a long time, Spider-Man Homecoming exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe - a huge storytelling vehicle that ropes all of Marvel Studios’ superheroes into one interconnected movie narrative. Homecoming is not to be confused with Sony Pictures' own Spider-Man offerings i.e. The Amazing Spider-Man which exists in its own story world. Regardless, any Spider-Man movie is a must-see with Spider-Man Homecoming more so than the others.   

Although Knight Models no longer sells miniatures from the Marvel Universe franchise, we here at Shire Works still have some of their Marvel superhero resin/metal miniatures in stock. Shown below is their Spider-Man model kit which comprises a resin base (part of a taxi) and white metal parts of Spidey himself. This miniature requires assembly and paint. To see the Knight Models Spider-Man kit assembly and paint process, click here.  

Knight Models Spider-Man miniature model kit
Unboxed - white metal and resin parts comprise the Knight Models Spider-Man kit

Shown below are photographs of the Knight Model Spider-Man after he had been assembled and painted by our resident modeller/miniature painter FourEyedMonster.

This classic version of Spider-Man by Knight Models sees Spidey in his original suit and not the high-tech one shown in Homecoming. Nevertheless, it's still an excellent kit and has the potential to look good when painted up as you can see above.

So be sure to catch Spidey's latest adventure in the big screens. We here at Shire Works had a blast watching Homecoming and believe it to be one of the best Spidey movies in a long time. And while you are at it, you might also wan to get your own friendly neighborhood Spider-Man miniature to paint up, classic superhero suit and all.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Star Wars 1/72 Scale TIE Fighter, Fully Painted Model Kit (A New Hope movie version)

To complement Shire Works's existing products which currently comprise solely of unassembled, unpainted resin or metal miniatures, we will begin offering fully painted model kits as well as miniatures starting with the Bandai Star Wars TIE Fighter. These fully painted model kits and miniatures will be limited one-of-a-kind offerings painted by our in-house painter whose collection of works can be seen at his personal blog site 

Bandai 1/72 scale TIE Fighter; Star Wars: A New Hope version

Our model kit of choice to kick off this project is the Bandai 1/72 scale TIE Fighter. Bandai Star Wars plastic model kits are chosen especially because they faithfully reproduce Star Wars props with wonderful part details. This then allows a painter to bring a high level of realism to the project and recreate a near movie accurate scaled replica of the model kit.  

To recreate the TIE Fighters seen in A New Hope, a predominantly light grey hue was used for its hull

Shire Work's meticulous attention to painted detail meant that even the TIE Fighter's interior sections were intricately worked on regardless of whether they would be visible in the final build. For example, the TIE Fighter Pilot flight suit was painted a combination of glossy and matte black as well as instrumentation markings. Meanwhile, we applied panel lining, washes, light weathering and decals to the cockpit area to simulate a lived-in environment and add to the realism of the piece.   

TIE Fighter pilot has flight suit markings painted on with an Imperial insignia decal on his/her helmet

In addition, the bottom section comprising fuel/power lines and fuel tank was painted up before being covered up with a removable fuel tank cap. The cap is needed in order for the TIE Fighter to be displayed on a stand (see two immediate photos below this paragraph).

Bottom section showing the fuel and power lines as well fuel tank prior to be covered by the fuel tank cap
Hull markings help add realism of the TIE Fighter, which is attached to the display stand via its fuel tank cap

During the exhaustive painting process, the TIE Fighter actually had two separate synthetic lacquer clear coats applied on its hull. Firstly, a gloss clear coat was applied in order to protect the initial light grey basecoat during the delicate panel lining process. Then, in the latter stages a matte clear coat was applied to provide a final protective outer layer as well as for aesthetic reasons. Moreover, only the finest quality primer was used - Tamiya Fine Surface Primer - to ensure the paint job adhered securely to the plastic model kit. 

Astounding details on the TIE Fighter's wing are brought to life with careful panel lining
With light grey being the hull's predominant hue, dark grey decals also made for a welcome contrast

Also included in the model kit are clear plastic pieces which simulate the TIE Fighter's iconic green laser fire. Tiny detailed decals rounded off the whole built, providing realistic hull markings to increase the level of realism. Some of the decals were applied as is while others were reconfigured to resemble markings seen on the original movie props. To enable ease of transportation of the TIE Fighter model kit, both of its wing panels remain detachable from the main body/command pod.

Pew, pew, pew ... I've you in my sights Red Five
A close-up of the TIE Fighter with its twin laser discharge attached to its cannons
At just the right angle, both lasers will catch the light just right and result in a glowing effect

Fully painted to resemble the ones seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, this Bandai Star Wars 1/72 Scale TIE Fighter retails for RM499 inclusive of shipping which will be on a cash-on-delivery basis to selected public malls in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Interested parties can email for more info on the purchasing process.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Logan the Movie

Make sure you catch Logan before its run in the local cineplexes finishes. If you are wondering what's the latest Marvel movie all about, well here's the official synopsis to wet your appetite ...  In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces. Better yet, go watch the official trailer or read the numerous online reviews.

Back when Knight Models still maintained its licence to produce Marvel-related miniatures, it had a great Logan metal model kit. Below is how it looks like with a professional paint job.

There is also the original yellow and blue spandex equipped Logan which looks equally cool.

If you fancy a crack at painting either versions of Logan, both model kits are still available from Shire Works. As for Logan the movie, I hope you enjoy it!

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!