Saturday, 22 July 2017

Doctor Who: Exterminate! Report: The Daleks Verses The Zygons - Part Two

"The story so far... Crafting a stellar converter, which has the power to lay waste to entire solar systems, the Daleks are holding the entire Earth hostage, and planning to turn it into a planet-sized starship. However, a force of Zygons has gained access to the location of the device, and are attempting to stop such a despicable use of their new home world. Momentarily befuddled and bewildered by the Zygons' shape-shifting powers, the Daleks are trying to expel the raiders and resume the stellar converter's activation..."

Having withstood the Daleks' opening barrage the Zygons began their counter-attack by focusing their electrical discharges at the Daleks by the southern fencing. These integral weapons were capable of delivering a substantial shock to the Kaled Mark III Travel Machines, but ultimately failed to score a hit. Indeed, even the 'shape-shifted' Zygon disguised as a Silent, was unable to set their sights clearly upon a target.

Fortunately to the northeast the Zygon Elite had more luck, and managed to shock one of the Daleks by debris (2). Meanwhile, the Zygon Leader, unable to shoot anyone within range, moved into melee range of the Daleks travelling south through the fencing. It was time to see just how formidable the alien's "Posion Barbs" would be against the outer housing of a Dalek...
The immediate answer was 'very effective' as the Zygon seemingly tore through the Dalek's shell. But due to the Kaled inside being able to tap into the nearby time energies and "Regenerate!" the damage, the extraterrestrial mutant remained unharmed, and was instead simply pushed backwards. The Zygon Leader did attempt to press home his attack, but again his ferocious onslaught merely resulted in his opponent momentarily retreating.

Far less successful was the other Zygon fighting the Daleks by the fencing. Shocked by his pepperpot-shaped foe, the metamorphic humanoid was then immediately exterminated by the Dalek Faction's forfeiture of a Fate Token. The Zygons were slowly starting to lose ground in the southeast corner of the battlefield.
Enraged by the Zygon's resistance to their overwhelming supremacy, the Daleks once again took the Initiative, and directed their battle computer to ponder those positions which would afford their lethal disruptors maximum damage. As a result only one Dalek moved west to better guard debris (3), whilst the rest of the Kaled Mark III Travel Machines remained stationary and able to utilise the full power of their energy weapons.

Realising that his forces were about to be subjected to a second withering wave of Dalek disruptor fire, and despite his faction's "Tough" trait of being able to negate "Shocked by Shooting attacks", the Zygon Leader moved east behind some fencing. The Zygon Elite in the north similarly attempted to seek safety by lumbering west towards the ruins of a building. Only the sucker-covered alien disguised as a Silent blatantly defied the Daleks, by heading north up to debris (2), and fell just short of discovering what sort of Vortex Node was hidden beneath it.
The Daleks in the south opened fire upon the still visible Zygon Leader and would have exterminated him, if not for the character's "Wounds (1)" trait. The same could not be said for the Zygon/Silent shape-shifter who was theatrically Shocked and Exterminated by the combined firepower of three Daleks. In the north, the Daleks by debris (2), led by their Patrol Leader, Dalek Sec, continued to 'pin down' the Zygon Elite by the ruins with "Under Fire" tokens. 

Incredibly, the Zygons had survived a second Dalek salvo, which had seen many of the extraterrestrial mutants rolling eight dice an attack. It was clearly time for the former inhabitants of Zygor to possess "at least three Vortex Nodes" and take a step closer to thwarting the Daleks' plan. Sensing this moment was upon them the Zygon Elite in the north sauntered west towards debris (1), whilst their wounded Leader made his way to tree (2).
Unfortunately, such optimism was badly placed, as Dalek Sec immediately charged into the nearest Zygon Elite, and quickly shocked the metamorphic humanoid unconscious; one expenditure of a Fate Token later and the Zygon was exterminated. Similarly, a Dalek in the south attacked the Zygon Leader in melee, and soon overcame the already bleeding commander.

With their Leader so gruesomely dispatched, and their Faction in tatters, the surviving Zygon retreated, and the Daleks were left to continue their evil machinations for the planet Earth. For the time being at least...

Friday, 21 July 2017

"Hammerers Are Not Built For Fancy Tactical Maneouvers..."

"On the battlefield, commanders simply point teams of these constructs at the enemy and let them go."
These three 40mm tall metal Hammerer models were produced by "Wizards Of The Coast" for their 2002 edition of "Chainmail", and each boxed kit came with a separate body, left arm with cutters and right arm with hammer, as well as a (disconcertingly small) 25mm stand. Sculpted by Jim Warner, the "Good Construct" was part of the rule-set's Thalos faction; a force which "consisted largely of humans along with a few half-elves, gnomes and gnome created constructs."

Each of the automatons were originally undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black but were subsequently treated to a double layer of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. They were then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey in order to better bring out a lot of the models' details, such as their gnome runes.
Air Elemental WIPs - The "Dungeons And Dragons" model has been washed, dry-brushed and re-washed
Because the "heavy, solid, and deadly" Hammerer gets its name from the powerful hammer-arm" it wields, I felt the automatons would be ideal to represent some of the Police Robots found patrolling the crashed spaceship in the "Dungeons And Dragons" module "Expedition To Barrier Peaks". In addition, their pincer-arm, which "is used mainly for lifting things", would arguably allow them to 'moonlight' as Worker Robots too.

This meant the constructs had undoubtedly spent "several decades" standing motionless in the vessel's lower cargo bay, until such time as a computer malfunction had ordered them to erroneously start clearing the hold and periodically discharge "more of the [craft's] unwanted goods" outside. As a result I treated each figure to a light coat of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash, and then dry-brushed the vast majority of the enamel type wash away with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.
Cybermen WIPs - These two Cybermen represent the Seventies and Late Sixties
Sticking with "Dungeons And Dragons" I have made some considerable progress on my plastic Air Elemental by "Wizards Of The Coast". The miniature from the "Elemental Evil" expansion has been both washed and dry-brushed, and now just needs to have his brown ink striations blended in with the rest of its swirling vortex to be finished.

I have also turned my attention towards two more of the miniatures found within "Warlord Games" "Nightmares In Silver" collectors set. These two Cybermen, one from "Revenge Of The Cybermen", and the other from "Invasion" have been washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and will require a hearty dry-brush of Ironbreaker before I can begin 'picking out' all their cybernetic detail...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

"That's A Living Brain Jammed Inside A Cybernetic Body..."

"You are rogue elements. You are incompatible. You will be deleted."
This 40mm tall "exquisitely sculpted pewter" Cyberman figure is sold by “Warlord Games” and is one of the ten miniatures contained within the company's "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the "race of cybernetically augmented humanoids" as they appeared in Tom MacRae's 2006 television story "Rise Of The Cybermen", this particular version of the silver giants arose on a parallel Earth where John Lumic, head of Cybus Industries, attempted to convert the population of London using "emotional inhibitor signals".

The figure was first undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently given a double layer of Ironbreaker. It was then shaded with Nuln Oil and had its eyes and mouth slit darkened with a small dab of Abaddon Black. The entire model was finally dry-brushed with more "Ironbreaker", and had its waist, inner thighs and elbows washed with Nuln Oil in order to somewhat take the shine off of these particular areas.
Eighties Cybermen WIPs - The silver giants have been washed, in preparation of dry-brushing and detailing
With another of my "Nightmares In Silver" miniatures completed, I have managed to get some "Citadel" Nuln Oil on a couple more of the collector set's contents; namely the two "silverclad villains" representing the BBC programme's serials during the Eighties. I'm actually hoping to finally add a little bit of colour and contrast to these particular "fully armoured soldiers", by way of following the colour schemes used on the "Warlord Games" "Into The Vortex" website.

Up until now, all of the cyborgs I have painted have proved rather one-dimensional palette-wise despite their constant upgrades. But that should change with the "Earthshock" Cyberman and his red-rimmed cybergun, whilst the "Silver Nemesis" version has a far more noticeably silvery-grey torso and limbs than any of its predecessors.
Air Elemental WIP - The "Dungeon And Dragons" monster has been re-based and primed "Vallejo" White
Setting aside my Cybermen momentarily, I have also started work on one of the many plastic "Wizards Of The Coast" miniatures generously gifted to me recently by Steve and Hils from "The Gamers Cupboard". The first of these to hit my painting queue is this rather large Air Elemental, which was originally sculpted for the "Dungeons And Dragons" "randomly sorted monsters and heroes" expansion "Elemental Evil".

"A funnelling cloud of whirling air with a vague semblance of a face", this 49mm tall 'corporeal incarnation of the element' has currently simply been re-based and primed "Vallejo" White. But should shortly be treated to a heavy wash of Pale Grey and some "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade in order to help 'bring out' all the creature's candy-floss clouds and sweeping swirls.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

"My Defence Is A Simple One."

"I was right to try and cleanse the galaxy of the alien filth! It is my life's work for which I am truly proud."
This 28mm metal model of Tomás de Torquemada is miniature number AD70 from “Warmonger Miniatures” or is identically coded as part of the “Wargames Foundry” “2000 A.D.” character range. Created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for the 1980 serial comic book series "Nemesis The Warlock", this leader of a "quasi-religious order in the far future" spent the entirety of his time waging war against all extra-terrestrials as he believed all non-humans were "impure." 

The miniature was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Red before being almost submerged in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. The former commander of the "fascist" Tube Police was then heavily dry-brushed with more "Vallejo Red" and had his longsword treated to a combination of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and Ironbreaker. At this stage I then encountered a bit of a quandary in that I felt simply leaving the Grand Master of Terra in all-red battle armour did the sculpt's excellent detail a great disservice...  
Crushed Car WIPs - The battered four-wheeler has been dry-brushed and rusted
As a result I scoured some more source material and located some examples of where Torquemada's hydraulic attachments had been 'picked out' using gold in order to make the ruler of the Mankind's Empire far more ornate-looking. I wasn't entirely sold upon this idea however, and thought that as Tomás repeatedly wore his protective garments into battle, they'd need constant repairs, and just maybe, gold replacement pistons wouldn't be so readily available, so he'd have to make do with basic metal ones. 

This approach lead me to base layer all the figure's external mechanisms with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and either paint them with Ironbreaker or "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Gold. These parts were then washed appropriately with either "Citadel" Nuln Oil or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. As a final touch, Torquemada's hand-weapon was dry-brushed with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and his piercing eyes 'dabbed in' with "Vallejo" White. 
Sea Devils WIP - The 'Sea Silurians' have been primed with "Vallejo" Verdigris and then shaded blue
As something of a reasonably straightforward distraction, I have continued to make plenty of progress on the Crushed Cars I recently acquired by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". These resin vehicular ruins are destined to primarily appear upon my "Metamorphosis Alpha" tabletop, so have been washed, dry-brushed, rusted and dry-brushed again simply to increasingly age them.

Laslty, I have simultaneously been basing and priming six Sea Devils from "Warlord Games" "Into The Time Vortex" miniatures range. These towering metal figures are from Jon Pertwee's 1972 six-parter entitled "Doctor Who And The Sea Devils" and whilst not coming with any Recruitment cards or Adventure cards for the rule-set, still look destined for some battles with the travelling Time Lord at some point soon.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

"Please Stand By. You Will Be Upgraded. Welcome To The Cyberiad."

"No need to panic, my young friends. We all know there are no more living Cybermen."
This 38mm tall "exquisitely sculpted pewter" Cyberman figure is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the company's excellent "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the fictional race of cyborgs as they appeared in Neil Gaiman's 2013 television story "Nightmare In Silver", this new design arose "as the result of a deep space meeting of Mondas and Cybus Cybermen; whose amalgamation resulted in an upgraded, stronger and superior model."

The figure was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and treated to a double coat of Ironbreaker. It was then washed with Nuln Oil and had its famous 'tear-drop' eyes and mouth slit additionally darkened with a small amount of Abaddon Black, before being dry-brushed with more "Ironbreaker". As the Cyberman's dynamic pose rather attracts the eye when compared to the more sedentary look of its "emotionless space-faring" compatriots, I decided to make it a Cyber Leader, and resultantly picked out his chest piece with a combination of Nihilakh Oxide and Drakenhof Nightshade.
"We've upgraded ourselves. The next model will be undefeatable."
Alongside this "upgraded Cyber War" Cyberman I have also painted three more of the cyborgs' plastic models as found inside the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" starter box. Unsurprisingly, these figures were painted exactly the same way as the version which threatened the Eleventh Doctor and Clara in the "military-controlled, extraterrestrial theme park Hedgewick's World of Wonders."

Recently, fellow bloggers PulpCitizen ("Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer") and Simon Quinton ("Brummie's Wargaming Blog") have been busy finishing off a handful of miniatures in order to play-test the rule-set "Squad Wars". I must confess to having been green with envy at their marvellous paint-jobs and the fact that the figures they've been posting about are all inspired by the "G.I. Joe" franchise.
"G.I. Joe" WIPs - Destro, Major Budd, Sergeant Slaughter and Snake Eyes
To be honest I know very little about the "line of action figures produced and owned by the toy company Hasbro", but quickly became infected by the guys' enthusiasm for the "National Toy Hall of Fame" product. Unfortunately however, the models they own are from a private collection and not therefore commercially available and as a result I have been struggling to acquire even one of them...

Until now that is, when I finally (and very luckily) was sent a few spares to help me join in with the chaps' "Real American Hero" obsession. As a result I have immediately based up the Iron Grenadier known as Destro, Cobra Command mercenary Major Budd, and G.I. Joe loyalists Sergeant Slaughter and Snake Eyes.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"They Are A Roving People..."

"...With their own distinctive ways and their own aims and values..."
These two 28mm metal Boromite models are manufactured by "Warlord Games" and form part of the race's five model strong Gang Fighter boxed set. Armed with mag pistol and reflex armour, the Gang Leader is also carrying a Lectro Lash. Whilst the Ganger is depicted carrying a mag gun along with his reflex armour. These soldiers are part of my slowly progressing Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" and, 'in-game' have been additionally armed with plasma grenades ("at 2pts per model").

Initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figures were washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had their weaponry 'layered' with some Chaos Black. The brutish-looking extra-terrestrials' armour was slowly painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and subsequently shaded with some watered-down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
"...that mark them out from other panhuman morphs."
As each miniature's waist girdle is simply packed full of detail and equipment, I decided to 'pick out' the mining aliens' pouches with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and shaded their "Citadel" Ironbreaker mag weapons with Nuln Oil. Finally, I applied "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and later "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green to the Gang Leader's Lectro Lash, and his armour's wiring with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.

In addition to these two figures, I have also painted a Boromite Spotter Drone to compliment my 500-point strong force's Overseer Squad. The Tactical Infantry Command Unit's blister actually comes with one of the buddy drones in it, but unfortunately for some reason mine contained one belonging to the Algoryn by mistake. Rather generously however, "Warlord Games" have since sent me a three-model metal sprue as a replacement.
Boromite Overseer Squad
Unsurprisingly, I used exactly the same palette on my Spotter Drone as I have used for my soldiers. Costing just 10 points, the device "can relay information from their sensors directly into their unit's combat shard" and "share information with other spotter drones". On the battlefield this means one of its primary uses will be to allow me to "re-roll one miss each time" a unit shoots "so long as at least one spotter drone has line of sight to the target."

By way of a distraction from all the Boromites' intricate detail, I have managed to spend some hobby-time assembling one of the two airlocks uncovered by an earthquake in the "Dungeons & Dragons" module "Expedition To Barrier Peaks". In essence I have drilled away a portion of an old resin rock formation by either “Terrain Warehouse UK” or “Total System Scenic”, and fitted to it one of my recently acquired airlocks sold by "Second City Games".
"Expedition To Barrier Peaks" WIPs - The uncovered air lock has been primed, layered and washed
Admittedly, on its own the scenic piece looks as if the entranceway probably leads no-where. But once painted and on an appropriately decorated tabletop, it should hopefully appear to lead to a service lift which will then convey its occupants down to the submerged spaceship's officials, officers and technicians quarters...

Monday, 10 July 2017

"The Entire Dalek Race, Wiped Out In One Second."

"Today the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war."
This 28mm scale model of a Dalek is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be assembled from one of the plastic sprues found within the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game". Conceived by Terry Nation and designed by Raymond Cusick in 1963, these particular sculpts are based upon Henry van Statten's so-called "Metaltron" shell, which first appeared in the April 2005 BBC Television series story "Dalek".

Unhappily for this particular "easy-fit plastic" miniature however, I was somehow completely unable to push the model's two halves together, and resultantly, it 'broke' when I applied a little too much pressure to it whilst using a pair of pliers. Fortunately though, the damaged figure was far from being useless to me and having super-glued it to one of the 40mm thin-lipped circular bases I use for objective markers, it was 'transformed' into a Dalek casualty.
Crushed Car WIP - The trashed motor vehicle has been layered with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey
Indeed, I was so taken with this micro-project that not only did I simply place the aggressive alien's piece of broken fender next to its leaning outer casing, but re-aligned the direction his head dome was facing, cut off his disruptor gun, drilled a hole into the blast weapon's housing, and finally tore a semi-large hole through its skirt and adjoining sense globes. Needless to say, the Kaled Mark III travel machine now looked considerably more distressed and was quickly primed with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.

As I very much wanted the destroyed Dalek to still tie-in with the mutant's Time War mechanical shells, I next gave the model a double coat of Brass, washed it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and applied a rough dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass. I then 'picked out' the extra-terrestrial's eye stalk and control arm with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and painted the Daleks' audio scanners with a combination of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey. As a last touch, I used some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to coat the pepper pots' fenders and then dry-brushed them with some "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal.
Boromite Gang Fighters WIPs - These two aliens are being painted from the ground up 
One of my favourite purchases from the recent "Bovington Wargamers Show" was a couple of Crushed Cars sold by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". These hefty pieces of solid resin should hopefully make an interesting scenic piece for my "Metamorphosis Alpha" tabletop, especially as I plan to flock one with snow, so I can use it for the starship Warden's medieval-themed deck...  

Lastly, I am continuing to make some slight progress with my Boromites for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". These sci-fi miniatures produced by “Warlord Games” have previously proved a somewhat difficult painting subject for me, on account of all their instruments, armour and equipment. But having now started to actually 'cut in' their grey rocky hide as I go, rather than wait until I've finished painting their firearms, I'm finding the extra-terrestrials a bit more manageable, and am currently tackling two at a time.