Monday, 24 September 2018

"Let Them Try And Deal With The Banshee."

"She would be their doom..."
This 28mm scale Banshee is one of the "twenty six detailed and fully assembled miniatures in coloured plastic" found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games", and is sculpted to represent the "restless spirit of Elshara". Bound by the Necromancer Mortibris to the confines of an underground room "dominated by a huge stone pillar", the spirit is the four heroes' main adversary in the rule-set's third adventure "Restless Guardian".

Undercoated with a double-layer of "Vallejo" Dead White, I actually decided to step away from the Undead creature's 'official' all-blue palette and instead rather mercenarily used the figure as a test-piece for an upcoming "Games Workshop" Nighthaunt faction for "Age Of Sigmar". Resultantly, she was shaded using some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dead White.
Goliath WIPs - The ganger is slowly being painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Ironbreaker
Finally, as I wanted the Banshee's unruly flowing hair to stand out somewhat from the rest of her ethereal form I subsequently washed it with a spot of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade and Agrax Earthshade, before trying to 'blend' these areas in with even more delicate "Vallejo" Dead White dry-brushing. The model's square cobbled stand was treated to a combination of "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade so as to better fit in with all my other basing, but I'm not convinced it really works all that well to be honest and may therefore re-base all my "Dungeon Saga" figures for "Kings Of War" should I ever decide to use them for that mass combat tabletop game.

With a few more "Mantic Games" Undead figures just needing to be varnished and flocked before being posted, I have turned my attention towards pigmenting the first of my Goliaths for a huge “Necromunda” project I plan to take through until the end of the year. I've already had a delivery of more MDF scenery from "Blotz" to go with the few pieces of their "28mm scale sci-fi style wall sections” I purchased at "Colours", and hope to quite quickly get a number of these structures painted in order to represent the corridors of Arrakis.
Goliaths WIPs - Baron Harkonnen, Feyd-Rautha and Glossu Rabban have all been assembled and primed
I'm probably one of the few who thoroughly enjoys repeated viewings of David Lynch's 1984 American epic science fiction film “Dune”, and therefore thought that setting my "underworld of corrosion" on Frank Herbert's desert planet would be a great way of blending two passions together. For now I'm simply going to focus on painting my "hulking brutes" up as House Harkonnen, so have decided upon a predominantly black and metal colour scheme, with some flashes of blue for the basic troops and perhaps a little red for their leader Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, as well as champions Glossu Rabban and Feyd-Rautha. 

Currently I have assembled all three of my gang's central characters, and dished out a number of the rule-sets' status weapons amongst them. This means my corpulent planetary governor will wield a power hammer and Plasma combi-stubber, his sadistic eldest nephew a two-handed 'Krumper' rivet cannon, and the ruthless Feyd a Renderizer. Of course, the "Games Workshop" models themselves require some 'willing suspension of disbelief' to resemble the noble family I have in my mind, but if this project grows any legs then I may well dive into my bitz box and possibly produce some more appropriate-looking figures in the future...

Friday, 21 September 2018

"The Robot Wars" - Coming To Kickstarter Soon

"The Robot Wars"
I've previously posted about the exciting announcement that Russ Morrissey's “Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game” is coming to Kickstarter soon both here and on the "Dawn Of Comics" website. However, up until recently, I hadn't seen much about the W.O.I.N. (What’s Old Is New) engine-based rule-set's first supplement which firmly focuses upon the veteran street judge's experiences during "The Robot Wars". Fortunately "EN Publishing" have now kindly released some of its contents...

The below is the second article in my coverage and was originally published on the "Dawn of Comics" website...
"All across Mega-City One, the Robots are turning against their human masters."
Hot on the heels of their announcement that “The Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD” Tabletop Adventure Game will be up on “Kickstarter” on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 5pm GMT, “EN Publishing” have now revealed a significant insight into one of their core rule-book’s adventure supplements, the 101-page sourcebook “The Robot Wars”. Based upon “the first extended storyline of the comics character Judge Dredd” which was originally published for the British anthology comic “2000 A.D.” in 1977, this incredibly exciting expansion will not only allow players to take on the role of the Judges during John Wagner’s tale of droids rising up against their human masters, but also allow them to act “as Civilians and Perps in Saving Matt Damon Block, as war rages across the embattled city.”
"Chaos reigns as the charismatic Robot leader, Call-Me-Kenneth, rallies the city's Robots to his side..."
The hefty tome’s attention to detail is truly breath-taking due to its inclusion of “expanded rules for Robot characters”, from affordable animal pet robots through to expert assassination models, and an in-depth discussion of the robot's role in society; which delves into both the changing of their original programming, as well as their power being harnessed by criminals “for a variety of tasks”. In addition, before handing over the situation to the player characters, Andrew Peregrine’s work provides its readers with “a quick rundown” of what happened to Dredd in each episode’s original storyline and how he dealt with the challenge, plus exciting “summaries of Dredd's earliest case files”.
"Play as Judges... or as Civilians and Perps in Saving Matt Damon Block, as war rages across the embattled city."
Arguably this essential addition to the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD roleplaying game’s biggest highlight however, is in its coverage of the future lawman’s mechanical manservant Walter the Wobot and “the charismatic Robot leader, Call-Me-Kenneth”. All of the statistics for both the “small sentient mechanoid” and murderous “carpentry robot” are supplied within this sourcebook, including a comprehensive look at just how their various machine-driven appendages and skills, such as Walter’s extendable limbs and annoying lisp, can impact gameplay. Indeed, fans of the “new Messiah for robot-kind” should be particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity of not only being able to utilise the entire array of Call-Me-Kenneth’s integrated power tools whilst perhaps leading an attack on the Grand Hall of Justice, but also portray the automaton on the tabletop in his resurrected form sharing a sense-shattering showdown with old Stoney Face atop a huge flying oil tanker…"

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

"Colours" Loot 2018

"Wizkids" Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. alongside the likes of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man
This past Saturday I was lucky enough to make the trip to Newbury Racecourse and attend the annual Newbury & Reading Wargames Club’s show “Colours”. To be honest I haven’t been that impressed with this event since it was reduced in length to a single day a few years ago, but having come away with a motley collection of models and scenery pieces, including the obligatory ‘I never would have expected to buy that’ goody bag, I feel this was probably the best one I’ve experienced for some considerable time.

In addition, there seemed to be far more games being played on the two upper stories that I was interested in perusing than I can recall too, with an “Infinity” tournament proving to be particularly eye-catching, if not off-putting, with all the numerous colourful tokens being required in order to record each (predominantly unpainted) figure’s status. Sadly, for those anticipating a review of these wonderfully-adorned tabletops I won’t be providing any coverage here. However, one of the highlights of the day was briefly meeting up with fellow blogger Tamsin Piper, and she has done a first-rate job of detailing seemingly every battlefield present at the show on her excellent website “Wargaming Girl”.
"Doctor Who" WIPs - Romana, the Fourth Doctor & K-9, and Harry Sullivan 
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who pays even a passing attention to my wargaming habits to know that I’m a big fan of ‘Wizkids” and their pre-painted “Heroclix” range. These plastic ‘clicky’ super-heroes and dastardly villains have been about for many years and I’ve re-painted more than my fair share of them to use with such notable systems as “7TV” and “Mutants And Death Ray Guns”. Resultantly, when I stumbled upon a stall containing a shoe box of some of the New Jersey-based manufacturer’s earliest figures for ‘50p a pop’ I had a darn good rummage and picked up both the entire Fantastic Four, as well as my favourite “DC Comics” Silver Age comic book character, the Blue Beetle.

Now admittedly I already own these miniatures and have actually re-painted the vast majority too. But recently I’ve found myself yearning to play a few games of “Heroclix” using the system’s somewhat simple 2002 “Clobberin’ Time” rules, and Reed Richard’s quartet would allow me to do that rather nicely. In addition, I was later lucky enough to ‘pick up’ the ‘out of production’ “Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.” Action Pack from the show’s Bring & Buy area; a boxed set I’ve previously only partly-collected and re-painted as individual models.
"Epic" Khorne Army - Just the smallest of smatterings, as the plastic container was crammed full of tiny figures 
Equally as popular a genre with me as super-heroes is currently “Doctor Who”, so there was no way I was going to resist grabbing a set of the Fourth Doctor And Companions from “Warlord Games”. Featuring “medical officer” Harry Sullivan, “the noble savage” Leela, both incarnations of Romanadvoratrelundar and K-9, as well as Tom Baker’s instantly recognisable scarf-wearing time traveller, I’ve already popped all the models onto bases and given them a quick undercoat.

Perhaps somewhat bizarrely, I also succumbed to temptation at “Lesley’s Bits Box” by purchasing a plastic container full of “Epic” scale Khorne miniatures by “Games Workshop” for a tenner. It’s recently occurred to me that I’ve been firmly focusing upon 28mm sized figures for a considerably long time, much to the detriment of all the other scales I’ve collected, so thought a momentary future flurry with 6mm science fiction might make a pleasant change of pace.
"Blotz" Sci-Fi Style Wall Sections WIPs - The MDF pieces come in numerous pieces to add to their detail
Lastly, and by far my most enthusiastic ‘grab’, was from the excellent people at “Blotz”. I’ve been considering going all in for some “Necromunda” scenery ever since I latched on to the idea of blending it with Frank Herbert’s “Dune” universe and painting some Goliaths up as if they were from House Harkonnen. Many of the gangs arguably lend themselves to such an idea with the Escher (Bene Geserets), Delaque (Guild) and Van Saar (Fremen), as well as the Cadian Astra Militarum (Atreides), all appearing reasonably similar in looks to their ‘silver screen’ counterparts.

Impressively, the marvellous “selection of 28mm scale sci-fi style wall sections” “Blotz” produce in MDF was the final piece to my jigsaw, and should quite quickly help me progress a campaign set upon a nice three-dimensional Arrakis spice refinery using the “Necromunda” floor plans as a base. Somewhat foolishly, I only picked up a few of their pillars and walls at “Colours”, but have since ordered more along with some of their “terrain suitable for use with 6mm games such as Epic…”

Monday, 17 September 2018

"Others Are Outcast Humans Swollen Beyond Recognition By Chaos..."

"...Into barbaric mountains of flesh and sinew."
"Bienvenue Blood Bowl buffs, and welcome to another broadcast of Monday Night Football. I'm your host Jim Maddenberg, and along with pundit Thom Grassyglade I'll be bringing you all the hot news, gossip and chaotic mutations currently erupting from out of the league. First up, is Harry the Idolator's recent announcement that the Doom Lords have purchased their second Chosen Blocker, Dave The Merciless. Thom, what do we know about this latest addition to a club who reportedly have the best cheerleading squad in the NAF?"

"Well for starters, Jim, this 28mm scale mass of muscle was super-glued together using hard-plastic pieces taken from inside The Doom Lords boxed set, and primed using "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone. The rookie then had his heavy boots, belt and straps 'picked out' using a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst his leg armour, helmet and left shoulder-pad were pigmented with some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson."
Chosen Blocker & Beastmen Runner WIPs - The models are slowly having their fine detail 'picked out'
"Dave's groin guard and wrist armour were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and later painted in Brass before being shaded with (more) Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". The player's gloves and right shoulder-pad were treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Black, and his helmet blade, along with a few metal clips, were all given a lick of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. Lastly, this mightily merciless warrior had his fingers, arms, legs, chest and throat painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, and then shaded with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade."

"Wow! If that doesn't terrify the opposition then I don't know what will, Thom. 100,000 gold pieces clearly well spent, and this Chosen Blocker isn't the only defensive line news coming out of The Overfiend of the Lead Citadel's club either. As I understand the team are expecting at least one more similarly-sized player to join their roster real soon, along with a few Beastman Runners for good measure?"
Nurgle Rotters WIP - The Bloater has been assembled, based and primed
"You're spot on, Jim, and such rumours are bound to be in response to the news of Papa Nurgle's favourites apparently taking to the pitch in the near future. Details are admittedly rather sketchy as anyone getting too close to the Nurgle Rotters' stadium have all died of the plague, but it looks certain that Grandfather is at least readying a fat-bellied Bloater for his team." 

"Ugh, that pile of puss makes you feel like you're going to break out in boils just by looking at him. What a disgusting sight he'll make on the pitch with his gangrenous entrails spilling out over any opposing player foolish enough to come between him and the ball... And with that charming thought, we'll be leaving you until next time when we'll doubtless be having an even closer look at the rancid mutations the Dark Gods can offer the truly ambitious Blood Bowl player."

Friday, 14 September 2018

"The Necromancer's Lips Moved Without Sound..."

"...As he caressed the intricate runes and magical symbols carved into the door."
This 28mm scale Skeleton Warrior is one of the "twenty six detailed and fully assembled miniatures in coloured plastic" found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games". One of two identically sculpted figures found within the starter set, the scythe-welding soldier forms part of the Necromancer's initial welcome for Rordin and Orlaf, as the Dwarf and Barbarian heroes undertake their first "introductory" adventure "Journey From The West".

Primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, the Undead creature was shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo Iraqi Sand. I then pigmented his farming tool's curved blade with a combination of "Citadel " Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and later dry-brushed that with (more) Ironbreaker in order to give it's curved edge something of a lethal-looking glint.
"Dungeon Saga" WIPs - A nearly finished Skelton Warrior, Ghost and Elshara
The scythe's shaft was picked out using some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". Finally, I dotted the skull's deep-set sockets with a dab of "Vallejo" Black and then tidied up around their edges with a little line of Iraqi Sand.

Considering the impressive quality of the "Mantic Games" Skeleton Regiment I own for "Kings Of War", alongside the 28mm hard plastic skeletons I've previously built and painted using pieces taken from the Frostgrave Cultists boxed set by "North Star Military Figures", I've found these "Dungeon Saga" skellies to personally be rather flimsy and underwhelming. Something which has greatly disappointed me considering that one of the main reasons I initially pledged on the game's kickstarter was because of the Nottingham-based company's suggestion the game's figures could be used with their large-scale tabletop fantasty wargame.
Intercessor Space Marine WIP - The Adeptus Astartes has been assembled and primed
In contrast to "Mantic Games" "fantasy adventure for up to five players", I have also built and primed the "free" space marine which comes as part of the "Games Workshop" "Getting Started With Warhammer 40,000" soft-backed book. I actually picked the surprisingly hefty yet cheap tome up during a recent visit to the manufacturer's Portsmouth store and rather enjoyed assembling the 'push-fit' six piece plastic model together.

With my enthusiasm for "Kill Team" currently riding rather high, I'm keen to see just how well this 'larger' Adeptus Astartes model turns out, as it may well be the start of an appropriately-sized Intercessor squad. In addition, as my "Age Of Sigmar" Chaos Host readily transfers over to "Warhammer 40,000", I wouldn't be opposed to building a few hundred points worth of Ultramarines to give the rule-sets latest edition a try-out or two...

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

"But You Don't Understand! It's The Draconians."

"They've got the Doctor!"
This 39mm-tall "pewter" figure of a Draconian Bodyguard is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of their "Draconians" boxed set. Based upon the "extraterrestrial race from the planet Draconia", this "tall, reptilian species" made their first appearance in Malcolm Hulke's February 1973 BBC television story "Frontier In Space" and were cited by Jon Pertwee as being "his favourite of all the monsters he had encountered during his time as the Third Doctor."

Originally primed using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, the articulate alien's limbs and head were painted using Heavy Brown and a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The warrior's robes were then shaded with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and delicately dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green".
Hong Kong Killer Robots WIPs - The automatons have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue
The Draconian's rather lavishly embroidered Feudal Japanese shoulder pads and golden flowing sashes were simply pigmented using a base of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a coat of Brass before being shaded with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I later carefully drew some additional "Vallejo" Brass over the costume's ridges in order to highlight all the intricate patterns woven onto the material. As a final touch I tidied up some of the adjoining "Vallejo" Heavy Green areas with a thin line of watered-down Black and 'picked out' the soldier's hand-weapon with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a dash of Nuln Oil. 

Alongside working on my Draconian faction for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" I have built the last of my Hong Kong Killer Fembots by "Statuesque Miniatures". Originally, apart from an alternative blue uniform, these automatons were going to all look similar to the other faceless androids I've previously painted for my "Ghost In The Shell"/"Terminator" mash-up. But that was before I inadvertently drilled straight through the neck of one of the figures down into my finger. Fortunately flesh heals, however mutilated metal doesn't and my painful mishap left me with one Fembot having a deep gouge running the length of her back.
"Dungeon Saga" WIPs - Straightforward stuff on Elshara, a Ghost and a Skeleton Warrior
To be honest I was tempted to simply bin the broken piece or lay it face-up on an objective base so as to use as a casualty marker of some kind. But a thought then occurred to me that "Statuesque Miniatures" didn't actually produce an obvious rival to their Mei-Lin Mayfair 2.0 model, so I started to think about converting/covering up my damaged bot. A quick rummage through my "Games Workshop" "Warhammer 40K" bitz box, alongside a few cuts with a sharp modelling knife, and my 'kitbash' was complete; including a rather nice spare head which came with the original figure.

With this month also being Dungeon Saga'Tember I have been busy priming and base-layering a few of my Overlord's denizens ready to try out the opening adventure for "Mantic Games" "Dungeon Saga" in a few weeks time. Admittedly, I've gone slightly off-track by incorporating a couple of Ghosts and Elshara the Banshee into the mix, but these plastic models will actually prove useful test pieces for a potential future Nighthaunt host I have in mind for "Age Of Sigmar" by "Games Workshop"...

Sunday, 9 September 2018

“Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game” - Coming To Kickstarter Soon

"Judge Dredd & The Worlds Of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game"
It's not every day that I am able to combine work with my one of my main hobby interests, so I recently took full advantage of Russ Morrissey's invitation to send me one of his company's press kits in order to help promote the “Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game” on both the "Dawn Of Comics" and "Sci-Fi Movie Page" websites. I have admittedly only recently come into contact with the game's W.O.I.N. (What’s Old Is New) engine, courtesy of Mike Myler's "N.O.W. The Modern Action Role Playing Game" and Morrus' “The Moons Of Boria”, but the additional promise from "EN Publishing" to be sent some sneak peek page scans of their upcoming hardback was too good an opportunity to miss and I have already gained the approval of my editors to start waxing lyrical as to the virtues of this new worldwide licensed game.

The below is the first article in my coverage and was originally published on the "Dawn of Comics" website...
Dusting down my miniatures ready for some new tabletop adventures
Wargaming devotees of either the weekly British science fiction anthology publication “2000 A.D.” or its most successful serial “Judge Dredd”, will have much to look forward to on Tuesday September 25th 2018 at 5pm GMT, for that is when “EN Publishing” will be bringing all the tabletop gaming potential behind Mega-City One’s toughest lawman to “Kickstarter” in the form of their marvellously exciting “Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game”. Featuring “a full colour hardcover book which contains the core ‘Worlds of 2000 AD’ rules as well as setting information enabling the players to… play Judges… civilians and perps in Mega City One”, this first release also brings with it all the highly-positive consumer confidence one might expect from a product which has been co-written by Russ Morrissey and additionally utilises the publisher’s well-established W.O.I.N. (What’s Old Is New) engine.
"Dawn Of Comics"
In fact, those familiar with either Morrus’ marvellous manual “N.E.W. – The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game”, or the “EN Publishing” owner’s enthrallingly detailed “visit [to] the Borian Homeworld” in the supplement “The Moons Of Boria”, will doubtless take great heart from the fact that this “incredibly flexible” system will be used to “cater seamlessly for the Celtic environs of Slaine” as well as the scrotnig “spacefaring hijinks of the Ace Trucking Co.”, and should certainly be exhilarated by the seemingly endless stream of sense-shattering sneak peek pages being presently ‘leaked’ to all the dice-throwing disciples of Tharg the Mighty.
The Front of the Game Master's Screen
Equally as encouraging are Nick Robinson’s plans for “a series of books starting with the Robot Wars”, which the Line Developer states “will not only allow players and GMs to play through the events that took place in the comic arc, but also add to the game setting with additional rules or source material relevant to the period or location.” This minute attention to detail is already one of the “N.E.W.” game engine’s most attractive and rewarding features, so the suggestion that “Robot characters will be expanded in The Robot Wars whilst in Luna-1” should see ‘squaxx dek Thargos’ being provided with engrossing “detailed information on the moon colony and life there.”
"2000 AD has forty years of rich history and storytelling..."
Continuing along such heartening tracks “EN Publishing” are additionally promising to support “Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD” by means of “a series of adventure
Source books giving players and Game Masters the opportunity to play through the story
arcs that made Judge Dredd such an enduring character.” The opportunity to potentially partake in such chronological classics as Pat Mills’ “The Cursed Earth” or John Wagner’s “The Day The Law Died” will surely protect this planet from any unwanted thrill deprivation, and that’s not even taking into account the plethora of plots featuring the “ABC Warriors”, “Indigo Prime”, “Nikolai Dante” and “Rogue Trooper” which may well yet come. Zarjaz news indeed, Earthlets…