In-Progress Shots: Ace McGuire

3 06 2007

Ace 2

Super-sculptor Scott Francek sent me these in-progress photos of Capt. Ace McGuire of the Galacteers. I especially like the detailing on the face and hair. He will be equipped with a raygun pistol in his right hand and will have 2-3 left hand options: holding another raygun pistol, holding a Galacteer helmet, and possibly with a wrist communicator. Here’s another photo:


Other Hydra News:

-In the next few weeks, we will be posting more in-progress shots of the new Hoverbot, Cosmo, Galacteer chimp sidekick, and a Galacteer robot.

-Hopefully the first few Retro Raygun greens will be sent to the caster in the next week or so.

-The official website is nearing completion. Once it is functional, we’ll be offering our first releases for sale in our e-store.


Prehisoric Fantasy Preview–the Vardu

23 04 2007



I’ve been sculpting robots and a new pulp creature for the Retro Raygun range, but I recently took a break to make production molds of some masters that were cast a while ago. For my upcoming prehistoric fantasy game, Primal Dawn, I have created a number of bizarre races for the game. One of my favorites are the Vardu (plantmen.)



vardu-mom-art.jpg vardu-art-1.jpg

Here is a description of the various troops of the Vardu:

Xenophobic and defensive in nature, the humanoid plant race of the Vardu rarely travel far from their native rainforests. The Vardu are not one species of plant-being, rather they are a variety of different species linked by collective intelligence of their surroundings. Silent yet ferocious when provoked, the Vardu use dried organic weapons from the forest—large seedpods on rigid stems become clubs, enormous dried leaves become blades. The humanoid Vardu warriors tower over most enemies on the battlefield. Their gnarled bodies are a mass of tendrils formed into strong sinews. A thick wooden hide usually protects their central bodies and their limbs and body often sprout incredible sharp thorns. Their blossom-like “heads” contain all of their sensory and sexual organs and are often opened dramatically in battle to enhance their awareness, aid in communication, and frighten invaders. The Vardu reproduce by budding, and small sproutlings emerge from the leaf-like structures that project from their backs. These sproutlings finally drop to the ground and gain mobility, easily swarming invaders. The exotic Vardu elders are rather exotic and are easily identified by an abundance of brilliantly colored, feather-like petals sprouting from their heads and backs. Covered in sharp spines and rough barky armor, the Vardu blood thorns are the most dangerous close combat warriors of the forest. Breeds of smaller, muscular, carnivorous quadrupeds known as maw hunters serve as the “hunting dogs” of the Vardu. Their strong limbs allow them to overrun their enemies and their gaping maws can make short work of their prey. Ambling quietly along the forest floor, the sporers are bloated multi-limbed fungi with massively oversized heads. A distinctive whoosh sound can be heard as the plant-thing launches a powdery cloud of spoors, choking all non-plant creatures in the vicinity. These floating clouds of spoors are also used to cloud enemies vision, thus allowing the Vardu warriors to advance undetected.
These figures represent the Vardu sproutlings. The figure with the closed flower head stands 20mm tall; the figure with the open flower head is 24mm tall.

Although the Primal Dawn rules are not slated for general release until summer/fall 2008, I plan to release a few of the figures from the range as they become available. When the Hydra Miniatures website and webstore are finally online, you’ll be able to buy these little critters. They’d be perfect for pulp /VSF games or as familiars for a fantasy druid.

General Updates from Hydra HQ

22 04 2007

I apologize for not updating my blog sooner, but sometime real life takes over for a while. Now I’m back with an update about what has been happening at Hydra HQ:

1) Robots: The large and medium robots are almost finished and ready to be sent to the moldmaker by the second week of March. I’ll start the two small robots I have planned.
2) Galacteers: Two team members are finished, but I still have to work on the other main characters. My good friend and talented sculptor Scott Francek is helping out on one of the Galacteers. The figure is bareheaded and is looking really good. I think his figure might eventually become our main hero, Ace McGuire. However, I’m not sure what weapons/equipment Ace should have. Since the Galacteers are based on late ’40s/early ’50s pulp Sci fi, I feel that a sword is out of the question–too Flash Gordon. Since westerns were really big in the ’50s, Ace could have two pistols. Another option would be to have Ace McGuire with one pistol and giving orders to his team mates via wrist communicator unit.

I’m going to be starting Comet the space chimp soon. He’ll be dressed in the same outfit and helmet as the other Galacteers, but I’m not sure if his feet should be covered with boots or gloves?  I’m thinking about giving Comet the chimp a wrench as an improvised weapon (get it, monkey wrench!). Finally, each of the Galacteers will have a jetpack. I’m thinking about giving Comet one, also.

I’d love to hear what you all think about equipment options for Ace and Comet.

3) Pulp Sci-Fi Creature: Although I love sculpting robots and other weirdness, creatures are my favorites. Over spring break I sculpted a new pulp creature that will be used for the second Retro Raygun episode, Ace McGuire: Peril on Planet P. This new creature was really fun to do and was one of the first sculpts that I didn’t keep cutting and re-sculpting parts. When it is finished, I’ll preview it here.

4) Website and Other Business: I have been busy taking care of the business side of Hydra Miniatures. I filed my official business papers and took care of some bank-related stuff. I am getting closer to getting a functional website built, complete with an online store. I plan to have a very clean and functional website and eventually hope to host other online content such as modelling articles, scenarios, and paper models/scenery.

In the next few days, I’ll post preview photos of figures and art for one of the races from my upcoming prehistoric fantasy game Primal Dawn.

Final “Retro Raygun” Logos

13 03 2007

                         retro-raygun-on-space-final.jpg      raygun-no-words_space_jpg.jpg

I just received the final color versions of the “Retro Raygun” logos from the talented graphic designer Leigh Shaw. The logos were designed with transparent backgrounds so I can place them on any image. I did two tests with the logos on some space backgrounds. I really love these logos—-You rock, Leigh!

Retro Raygun: More Robot Goodness

10 03 2007


I’ve started a new robot sculpt for the “Retro Raygun” range. This sculpt is slightly larger than a human and would probably be 7 feet tall in real life. For this figure, I’m using classic ’50s robot proportions: long skinny limbs, large head and a bulky body. The robot is sculpted from a mixture of brown and green kneadatite. The armature (skeleton) is made from copper wire and the ball joints are hematite beads. When using organic rubber molds, all parts of the master model must be made from materials that can withstand 325 degrees F. However, you can use plastic and other materials in the newer vulcanizable silicone molds.


For this figure, I plan to have 2-3 poses. I also want to create two different heads and possibly two different rayguns.

Other News:

I recived quite a few e-mails wondering if I would be sculpting new poses for the herbivore (protosaur) spearman. Good News—last night I also started the herbivore spearman conversions. I’ll post photos of the protosaur conversion sculpts when finished.

Galacteers to the rescue!!

3 03 2007


Today I’ve decided to post photos of two more miniatures for the “Retro Raygun” range. These figures are based on some 1950’s space cadets toys I found at a garage sale. They represent two of the five main space patrolmen characters known as the Galacteers. The photo shows the “greens” for the main female heroine and the large, oafish second-in-command.

These figures are larger than the typical 28mm wargaming figure with the female space trooper standing 33mm tall and the large male trooper standing 39mm tall. However, these miniatures mix perfectly with the wonderful figures from Wargames Supply Dump’s “Dirk Garrison” range. In addition, my figures should mix well with an excellent new range of Pulp Sci-Fi figures from a new company called Killer B Games (no website at the time of this post.) Killer B is making a range of figures with a hero called Captain Gamma and his team will be fighting the Mecha Men. Although the concept sounds similar to mine, the robots are extremely different and very cool.

                              galacteer-2.jpg galacteer-grunt.jpg

These Galacteer sculpts are 90% finished but some minor areas need to be completed. I am still not very good at human faces, so I used pre-cast heads from Hasslefree Miniatures instead. These heads are “open source” and can be used commercially. I eventually intend to work on improving my face sculpting, but I wanted to focus my time on sculpting creatures, robots and other critters. In addition, the heavy raygun carried by the “brick” was created from metal conversion parts for O-scale model railroads. Did you recognize the brass train horns used for the muzzle of the raygun?

Future miniatures from the Galacteer range will include Capt. Ace McGuire, a yet to be named pot bellied scientist/tinkerer, and their space monkey companion Comet. I also plan to sculpt 3-5 Junior Galacteers to serve as rank and file “red shirts.” I’ll post photos as they near completion.

New Pulp Logo Concepts

27 02 2007

I just received some logo concept art for my pulp sci-fi “Retro Raygun” range. The logos from a graphic designer named Leigh whom I met on The Miniatures Page (TMP). He is an avid Sci-Fi gamer and lives in the UK.

I really like all of his logo concepts, but haven’t settled on one yet. I’m really curious to see what you all have to say about them. Click on the thumbnails to view the full images:
retro-raygun-logo-1.jpg retro-raygun-logo-2.jpg   retro-raygun-logo-3.jpg

I like Logo #1 quite a bit—it captures the pulp flavor. Maybe the raygun should be a black silhouette and the lightning bolt should be a lighter color.

Logo #3 is also a strong contender. I feel the font on Logo #3 is very exciting and I really like the graphic raygun. The only problem is the size and position of the raygun. Maybe the raygun in #3 could be on an angle, reduced in size, and placed in an oval frame.

Logo #2 is my least favorite, but it is still strong–the logo looks like it could be a patch on the uniform of a ’50’s space cadet.

For the final color version, I think the most appropriate pulp colors are red, yellow, black and silver metallic.

All these logo concept images are very cool, but I’d love to hear some other opinions. Go ahead and post a comment or e-mail me at