Sunday, 23 April 2017

"It's Probably Because He's Old School..."

"He made his fortune for himself and the guild back during the Century Wars, creating weaponry..."
This 30mm metal model of the “Guild Ball” Engineer Team Captain, Ballista, is made by “Steamforged Games Ltd” and can be purchased, along with Salvo and Velocity, in the Stockport-based company's Engineer Starter Set. Incredibly well-sculpted, the Century Wars veteran is absolutely covered in all sorts of tools, pouches, leather strappings and armour; all of which required careful, time-consuming brushwork with a variety of paints.

Luckily, unlike a number of his team-mates, the club skipper's three-piece figure did not prove too tiresome to assemble, and, once the super-glue had dried, was quickly treated to a double-layer of "Citadel" Abaddon Black. All of the Defensive Midfielder's armour, tools, quarrel shafts and chains were then painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his leather trousers and gloves were treated to some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
"We are strange bedfellows. Untrusting of each other, dismissive and always looking to gain political capital..."
The Guild ball player's crossbow was predominantly 'picked out' using the "Citadel" Layer, Doombull Brown, his large apron was painted with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and his bolt shafts 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Red. These areas were then appropriately washed in more Strong Tone Quickshade and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Finally, the Figeon's brass screws and bands were highlighted in Gold, and somewhat sparingly shaded with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

Having not fielded the Engineer's Guild, I can't really say how well the Lord Artificer plays on the pitch. But his "Deadbolts" alone would suggest he is a "Guild Ball" player to be feared, with the attack both pushing its target 2 inches "directly away" and triggering the "knocked-down condition", as well as causing 3 damage. In addition, the Captain has, amongst others, the Character Trait "Tough Hide", which means that any "enemy plays that cause [him] damage" are reduced by one point.   
Cybermen WIPS - The Cyber-Leader and three of his Cyber Legion have been undercoated
The very first of my "Salute" purchases this year was the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" boxed rule-set by "Warlord Games". Described as a "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" which features "two of the Doctor’s most ancient and relentless foes – the hateful Daleks and emotionless Cybermen" clashing together "as they seek to to fulfil their own nefarious ends", this was my must-buy of the wargaming show, and just as soon as the Excel Exhibition Hall opened, I had one of these firmly in my hands.

Admittedly, my motivation for wanting this 'starter set' was to get hold of the twelve "easy-fit plastic Cyber Legion Cybermen" and "Time War Daleks", rather than its numerous (Recruitment, Adventure & Battle) cards and sixteen-page rules booklet. But having scoured through the contents, and read its "Guide To The Time Vortex", I have started building, basing and painting the first of the nine Cybermen and two Cybermat Swarms I need to use for the game's introductory scenario: A Meeting Of Metal...
A unit of Bloodletters attempts to invade Nurgle's kingdom for the glory of the Blood God

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: Judge Dredd & Tweak - "2T(FRU)T" - Part Two

“The story so far… Finding Mega-City One once again threatened by the deadly 2T(FRU)T virus, Judge Dredd, Tweak, Judge Giant (Senior) and Judge Hershey have travelled down into the metropolis' Undercity in order to recover some vaccine crates. However, the virus has already spread to the ruinous landscape's denizens, and after an attack by the frenzied horde Joe's furry extra-terrestrial friend has been infected himself..."

Already starting to struggle from the symptoms of the 2T(FRU)T virus, Tweak returned to the open entrance of Dai's Den. The alien momentarily turned at the sound of Judge Giant still futilely banging on the stubborn front door to Zabadak House. Seeing her Justice Department colleague's problem, Hershey moved over to give John Clay's son a much-needed hand. Dredd meanwhile, had had no such issues kicking down another interior door within Martin Cooke Apartment Block, and now had one more between him and his vaccine-filled prize.

To the north the 'search & recovery team' could just make out the low rasp of someone muttering "Tooty Fruity", but the sound was still someway off. Clearly the death of their homicidal leader by Tweak had shaken the local inhabitants of the Undercity, despite their manic madness...
With a big boot, Judge Dredd split asunder a pair of double doors in Martin Cooke Apartment Block, and wrenched open the crate before him. There was enough antidote serum inside the eagle-insignia covered box for half his city's needs, so the search for more vaccine would need to go on.

Aware that the door to Zabadak House was taking far too long to physically break open, Giant pulled out his lawgiver and blasted the lock apart. Hershey immediately rushed inside the building, but came to a jarring halt as she put her shoulder to an interior door and ignominiously came off second best...

Outside, the increased noises emanating from the surrounding darkness indicated that the insane dwellers of these ruins were becoming braver. Indeed, a ghoulish-green figure suddenly emerged near the town centre from the north, whilst another denizen appeared approaching from the west.
Hearing the disturbance, Joe Dredd rushed outside from Martin Cooke Apartment Block and placed himself near a half-empty dumpster, which was located in the middle of the street. From here the senior judge had some protection from any missile attacks, and could easily cover anything thinking of sneaking up behind his colleagues in Zabadak House.
Deep inside the aforementioned building, both Hershey and Giant blazed away at the interior door before them. But clearly both law officers needed to spend some more time at the Academy of Justice's firing range, and neither judge managed to destroy the obstinate lock. Tweak meanwhile staggered towards a bed located between himself and another vaccine crate in Dai's Den.

Chattering excitedly, a 'Tooty Fruity' infected reached a battered blue mail box just north west of Dredd and prepared to launch himself at Mega-City One's toughest lawman. The Judge Fargo clone's eyes narrowed as he spotted a further two of the crazed killers rushing towards his location from the western end of the street as well. It was time for the maniacs to taste Justice Department lead...
Dredd took aim at the loon by the mail box with his lawgiver, and disconcertingly watched as his shot simply caused his target to back away into the surrounding darkness. Hearing the senior judge, Hershey finally managed to break down the door hindering her progress through Zabadak House, and gesturing to her companion to carry on without her, rushed back outside. With no further impediments before him, Judge Giant ripped open the lid of another vaccine crate, and grimaced at the amount of antidote inside. The Justice Department needed just a little more serum before they had recovered enough to thwart the 2T(FRU)T outbreak in the metropolis. Tweak meanwhile rested himself against the bed... it was becoming hard for the furry alien to even gather his wits...

Incensed by Dredd's bullet wound the insane Undercity resident rushed towards the lawman as fast as his legs would allow. Soon his teeth would taste Justice Department flesh... The other 'Tooty Fruity' infected to the west, slowly moved ever closer themselves, almost as if they were waiting to see whether their comrade-in-insanity would manage to bring the senior judge down alone.
Tweak, finally succumbing to the effects of his contagion, collapsed in front of the crate inside Dai's Den, his pincers twitching just inches from his wood-packaged prize. Sensing his Cursed Earth companion's poor condition, Judge Dredd yelled for Hershey to take out the demented denizen before him, and with one shot, Barbara did just that; albeit her lawgiver jammed in the process. With no 'Tooty Fruity' zombies close to his position, Joe rushed into Dai's Den, past his friend's failing body, and tore off the vaccine crate's lid. There was just enough serum inside to enable the judges to inoculate Mega-City One's population. They'd done it... 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Thus The Age Of Chaos Came To The Verdant Kingdoms..."

"...And so began the war to control the fairest and most fertile of realms."
These two 28mm Plaguebearers come from the “Age Of Sigmar” Plaguebearers of Nurgle boxed set, and have been painted similarly to the many other lesser daemons of the Plague Lord that I have recently added to my Befouling Host of Nurgle. Unfortunately the only difference is that, having been annoyingly forced to replace my usual wash of choice, "Citadel" Thrakka Green, with the "Games Workshop" Shade, Biel-Tan Green, this duo have 'turned out' a little greener in colour than their brethren; something which will hopefully become less obvious once I have added several more models to my Plaguebearer Unit...

With just two more "footsoldiers of Nurgle" left to complete before my current unit stands at an impressive, though far from finished, twenty miniatures, I have momentarily taken some respite by applying my brush to the "Warlord Games" figure of Dr Sim. The sculpt to this villainous extra-terrestrial is arguably as underwhelming as the plot to the 2016 Christmas television special, "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio", from whence he originated, but it has resultantly meant I have made some 'quick-time' progress on the model's painting.
Doctor Sim WIPs - The extra-terrestrial has had his trousers and shirt painted in different tones of grey
Indeed, I'm now hoping to use the brain-swapping member of The Shoal of the Winter Harmony as the lead antagonist for the first in a series of "Doctor Who" related scenarios using the "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" rule-set by "Ganesha Games". Admittedly, on paper the 'New York businessman' himself isn't going to prove all that formidable a foe, being simply armed with a pistol (and perhaps the mutation Terror. Yet as the leader of a Zygon invasion Dr Sim will potential be able to "activate a group of two to five models with a single die roll. A special ability which could cause even the Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones and their Judoon allies a few headaches...

Moving on to my current "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" project, I have finished assembling and undercoating the remaining metal miniatures from the Mhagris Feral Squad boxed set. Two of these Freeborn soldiers carry the unit's obligatory mag weapons. But in addition, one of them is armed with a magnetic X-launcher; a firearm "which can hurl shot over the heads of enemies and drive targets from cover."
Freeborn WIPs - The Feral Fighters have been based and undercoated
All of these models have initially been primed using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and will subsequently have their clothing, pouches and undersuits 'picked out' with Heavy Brown and Steel Grey. I'm hoping this colour scheme will provide a stark contrast to the orange and grey palette of my Boromites, and with the "war-like savages" white hair and their tribal markings, genuinely make them stand out on the tabletop.

Monday, 17 April 2017

"They Live Throughout The Wilderness Of Antarean Space..."

"...In regions inhospitable and void of habitation."
This 28mm metal model of a Ganger is produced by "Warlord Games" and is the second of three miniatures which can be found inside the Boromites' Overseer Squad blister pack. Protected by his reflex armour, and carrying a plasma carbine, the model was predominantly painted similarly to the first of my Overseer's bodyguards.

However, this particular figure did have a couple of additional details which made him stand out from my Scouting Force Commander's other 'close protection' Ganger, such as some delicately sculpted wires leading from the soldier's right shoulder-pad onto a small disc-shaped 'heart-monitor'. All of these 'leads' were 'picked out' using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and washed with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.
Freeborn WIPs - The Feral Fighters have been based and undercoated
Sticking with "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" I have slowly been prepping and priming some miniatures from an alternative faction, the Freeborn, in order to break up the monotony of my Boromites and their "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Heavy Bluegrey palette. The first of these 'distractions' are from the Mhagris Feral Squad boxed set, and features a Feral Leader, holding a mag gun, and two similarly armed Feral Fighters,

For now, I'm simply busying assembling a 500 point force of the "great merchants", so I can see just how formidable a painting project they will be. The Feral Squad are apparently "typical of these war-like savages" by being "armed with relatively simple and cheaply made mag weapons that spray splinters of metal at their target", and appear predominantly blue in colour, with some tan brown accessories...
Ballista WIPs - The Engineer's captain is slowly having all his gears, pouches, tools and equipment painted
Finally, I have once again been slowly 'chipping away' at the last of my 30mm "Guild Ball" Engineer miniatures by “Steamforged Games Ltd”. Team captain Ballista has proven to be an incredibly cumbersome sculpt to progress due to his unbelievably complicated detail, and resultantly has taken an eternity to progress.

However, knowing that once he is completed I'll have the makings of a 'match-fit' amateur side to face-off against my Union squad, is buoying me along. I've even gone so far as to purchase a couple of extra players for both sides in order to help bolster their future rosters and allow me to play the rule-set's larger "mob football" matches.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: Judge Dredd & Tweak - "2T(FRU)T"

This game was played using the basic rules of “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the first in a series of adventures involving Mega-City One's toughest lawman as he attempts to thwart the break-out of a virus strain left over from the Great Germ War. The scenario comprised of a small party of three Pure Human characters and a Mutant, facing a larger (but similarly costed) horde of the Wretched across a 2’ x 2’tabletop populated with the Urban Apocalypse Terrain by “Battle Systems”.

“The story so far… Finding his city once again threatened by the deadly 2T(FRU)T virus, Judge Dredd has sought the aid of Tweak, and accompanied by Judges Giant (Senior) and Hershey, has travelled down into his metropolis' Undercity in order to locate the last known location of some vaccine crates. Unfortunately, the virus has already spread to the ruinous landscape's denizens, so not only must the Justice Department retrieve its precious prize but simultaneously fend off the attentions of a frenzied horde...
Located at the Eastern end of the Undercity, Judge Dredd positioned his small force in between Zabadak House and Martin Cooke Apartment Block. The lawman's mission was to locate eight points worth of vaccine from inside five crates dotted about the dilapidated buildings, and, despite no-one knowing how much vaccine each of the unopened wooden boxes were holding, the starting point provided the party with a good opportunity to quickly access three of them.

Because all of the Judges were wearing standard street-uniform, they were all treated as having a Flak Jacket (for armour) as well as carrying a pistol (to represent a lawgiver). "Old Stoney Face" had the additional special rules for being a Hero [always automatically rolls one success, regardless of their Quality], as well as being the group's Champion [+1 to Combat Score] and Leader [Quality increases by +1]. Giant was Steadfast [+1 Morale Rolls] and Hershey had Stealth [cannot be targeted by Ranged Attacks when adjacent to Cover]. Tweak, as a Mutant (so as to better represent him being an alien), was awarded the special rules for Food (5), Hand-to-Hand Specialist [+1 Melee Attacks and -1 Ranged Attacks] and Tough [when receiving a normal kill result are instead just wounded].
The "Tooty Fruity" infected citizens were split into two groups with a Leader-led horde emerging from the west and a second band containing a Champion (former-Judge) appearing in the north. As the Wretched are referred to in "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" as "zombie-like humans" who have been "mutated by a terrible disease" and turned "into living plague carriers," their statistics weren't altered in any way, including their ability to potentially infect a Human "adjacent to a Wretched for the first time". They were also given the special rules Drug:Stimulant and Savage [inflict Gruesome Kills by doubling an opponent's score].

The Justice Department won the Initiative and Hershey immediately moved south-east behind a discarded sofa, which was sat just outside Martin Cooke Apartment Block. Judge Giant moved over to the southern door of Zabadak House and Tweak cautiously walked west down the main street. Judge Dredd marched to the entrance of the nearby Apartment Block, but failed to budge its rusty door.

To the North, two of the diseased dwellers of the Undercity started moving south towards the sound of the intruders. Whilst from the East, the "Tooty Fruity" leader, her crazed eyes already resting upon the bizarre form of Tweak, scuttled towards the extra-terrestrial... 
Barbara Hershey saw the infected woman racing at them from out of the westernmost darkness, and raised her Lawgiver. Her target was double her weapon's range, as well partially hidden by several stacks of shelving which had been left discarded in the street, yet it still came as something of a surprise when the shot went wide; especially as the Judge had had time to rest herself against a stale-smelling sofa and take aim. Giant was also having difficulties, for despite his best efforts, John Clay's son could not make the door to Zabadak House budge. Both Dredd and Tweak however, had no such difficulties, as Fargo's clone broke into Martin Cooke Apartment Block and the former alien slave smashed his way inside Dai's Den.

With so much crashing and banging taking place, it was no surprise that more "Tooty Fruity" scavengers were heard moving ever closer from both the North and East. Encouraged by the proximity of her insane brethren, the horde's leader raced ever closer towards her opponents.

Continually banging on the door before him, Judge Giant was getting angrier and angrier with his performance, whilst his former mentor, Dredd, continued to work his way through Martin Cooke Apartment Block searching for the vaccine crate Justice Department intelligence suggested was inside. Judge Hershey once again took aim at the green-haired she-hag running towards her colleagues, and this time the shot took the wild woman down; albeit only momentarily as the homicidal fiend was merely wounded. Realising that the "Tooty Fruity" leader was still alive, Tweak quickly made his way to her side, and with a 'snip' from his formidable pincers clipped the zombie mistresses head clean off!
Unfortunately in touching the infected creature, the "short furry alien with dark brown fur" took the risk of contracting the 2T(FRU)T virus himself, and within moments felt the lethal strain affecting his physiology. As a result Tweak's Quality was instantly worsened by 1, his movement reduced to Short and he was -1 to all Combat rolls.

The impact of their leader's death was arguably far greater upon the surviving "Tooty Fruity" maniacs however, as many of them failed their subsequent Morale Test. Indeed, only one scavenger remained in the north, skulking near Zabadak House. Whilst just three of the ferocious infected stalked the Judges from the west. But the Justice Department had yet to recover any of the much-needed vaccine, and had already effectively lost a quarter of its scouting force's strength...

To be continued...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

"Death To The Deviants!"

"What a horrible way to die!"
This multi-part 28mm hard plastic 'Terminator' has been built using pieces taken from the Frostgrave Cultists boxed set by "North Star Military Figures", as well as the company's Cultist Sci-Fi Accessory Pack, and is inspired by Tomás de Torquemada's infamous warriors of Terra portrayed within the "2000 A.D." comic book series "Nemesis The Warlock". The fanatical soldier was rather simple to assemble and super-glue together, although the resin conversion parts were somewhat larger in scale than the limbs and heads found upon the miniature's original sprue.

The figure was originally primed with "Citadel" Chaos Black and dry-brushed with "Vallejo "Heavy Charcoal. He then had his boots and drinking flask 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna and Heavy Brown. Both of these areas were subsequently washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. In order to represent the zealot's excessive commitment to Torquemada's crusade against any aliens, I also painted a skull accessory with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and Heavy Khaki to make them appear to be the grisly trophy of an extra-terrestrial victim, and later shaded the severed head with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, Nuln Oil and Biel-Tan Green.
Crusader II WIPs - The tank has had its tracks painted, and been super-glued to a large rectangular base
As I didn't want the model's garments to be entirely black, as is often illustrated within the pages of "2000 A.D.", I applied a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red to the Terminator's undergarment, waist-band and shirt, and then washed these areas with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. In addition I painted his breathing-mask and shoulder armour with a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade so as to add even more colour to the miniature's palette. Lastly, the fanatic's large firearm was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being heavily washed with Nuln Oil.

With the first of my Terra warriors completed, I have set aside some time to progress the first of my British tanks for "Battle Of El Alamein - War In The Desert" by "Battlefront Miniatures". I had already got the majority of this Crusader II painted, but have since 'picked out' its tracks, dirtied its wheels and fixed it to a large "Flames Of War" plastic base; on account of my great dislike for vehicles simply sitting upon the tabletop without one...
Boromite Ganger WIPs - TheOverseer's bodyguard has been washed and had his electrical gadgetry 'picked out'
I have also 'dusted' the armoured vehicle down, as per the instructions at the back of the "Desert Rats" hard-backed rule-book, and hopefully better blended in the tanks green camouflage markings with the sandy-coloured hull as a result. Finally, somewhat perturbed by the fact that the boxed set strangely doesn't seem to come with any decals, I have started working on its turret shovel with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "Citadel" Ironbreaker.

Needless to say, despite these distractions, I am also slowly making some ground on my second Boromite Ganger for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". This particular model is formidably detailed on account of having several wires wrapped about the figure's shoulders and neck, as well as some incredibly complicated-looking reflex armour and waist attachments.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

"Boromites Can Be Found Within The PanHuman Concord..."

"...And upon the many diverse worlds of the Determinate."
This 28mm metal model of a Ganger is manufactured by "Warlord Games" and is one of three miniatures which come as part the Boromites' Overseer Squad blister pack. Phenomenally detailed with all the extra-terrestrial's lumps, bumps and reflex armour, the plasma carbine-carrying soldier's main role is to act as bodyguard to my Scouting Force's Commander, the Overseer.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figure was washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before having a layer of Chaos Black applied over all of its weaponry. The model's armour was then slowly 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, as I wanted to try and imitate the colour scheme used for the mining creatures as found within the "Beyond The gates Of Antares" rule-book, and subsequently washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
Boromite Ganger WIPs - The Overseer's bodyguard is slowly having his numerous pouches washed
As I didn't like the predominantly black pouches and weapons depicted within the vast majority of Boromite figure illustrations, I decided to step away from "Warlord Games" 'official' palette, and instead paint the miniature's pocket-bags with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst shading its "Citadel" Ironbreaker primed plasma carbine with Nuln Oil. As a final touch I highlighted the firearm's power sourced using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

With my 500-point force's 'pilot piece' completed, I have now started painting the second of the Overseer's bodyguards, and discovered this sculpt to be even more complicated than the first. Indeed, in many ways I might have been better off choosing an easier to paint faction, such as the black-armoured Isorians, or all-red Algoryn Army, rather than one which is clearly going to take a lot of time and patience as I am forced to 'pick out' all of its unfathomable armour in yellow...
"Frostgrave" Sci-Fi Terminator WIPs - The model now simply needs some washes to be applied
Fortunately, I have also been progressing a small number of "North Star Military Figures" figures to use as Tomás de Torquemada's infamous Terminators in a game or two of "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games". To be honest this "Nemesis The Warlock" project has proved something of a disappointment of account of the quality of some of the models' sculpting, and as a result my intention to 're-enact' some of "2000 A.D." comic book series character's most memorable scenes, has somewhat stalled.

Admittedly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the plastic "Frostgrave" Cultist torsos I've selected to use as the basis for my villainous Termight Warriors. But the same can't sadly be said for the quality of the resin pieces found within the Nottingham-based company's Cultist Sci-Fi Accessory Pack; which have caused me no end of grief trying to determine where a wrinkled sleeve stops and a hand begins...