Monday, 16 July 2018

"Of Course, Lager! The Only Thing That Can Kill A Vindaloo!"

"There's only three alternatives: it thinks we're either a threat, food or a mate..."
This 28mm miniature of Charley was made by "Y.F.T. Design Studio" and formed part of the company's sadly OOP (out of production) 'Scarlet Midget' - Cosplay Away Team. Clearly a "doppleganger" for Craig Charles' character in the "British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf", the "lowest ranking crewman" was originally undercoated using two coats of "Vallejo" Black, subsequently dry-brushed with Heavy Charcoal and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

At first I had planned to add some extra colour to the third-class technician by stepping somewhat away from his more recent all-black clothing palette and giving him a red London Jets Zero-Gee football team T-Shirt underneath his leather jacket. Unfortunately however, the paint on this particular figure persistently flaked off for no discernible reason, even after varnishing, so it soon became clear that even my attempt to apply various shades of dark grey across Lister's clothing were doomed to fail...
"This week's Red Dwarf contains scenes which are unsuitable for younger viewers..."
Resultantly, I re-pigmented the majority of 'Cloister the Stupid' with more "Vallejo" Black and used a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker with Nuln Oil for his blazooka. I also applied some "Vallejo" Dead White to the skull and crossbones stitched across the self-proclaimed bum's back and 'picked out' some metallic adornments upon his coat with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and "Vallejo" Brass. These areas were later shaded using "Citadel" Nuln Oil and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade respectively.

I did however manage to get some colour onto the pantheist by using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red on his leg scarf and left sleeve. These scraps of clothing were washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil to help grunge them up, and then carefully dry-brushed with a bit of extra "Vallejo" Heavy Red in order to try and bring out some of their detail. 
Doombot & She-Hulk WIPs - The robot and super-heroine are slowly being blocked and shaded
Undoubtedly the biggest problem I had with this model though, was a slight miscast over Charley's face. Having viewed the sculpt's computer rendering and some of the photographed crisp-looking castings on the "Y.F.T. Design" website, I applied "Citadel" Doombull Brown over his head and hands, washed them with (more) Strong Tone Quickshade and attempted to 'dot in' the man's eyes as close to where they should have been as I could...

With two of my "Nexus Miniatures" finished, I have continued to make some good progress on some far more straightforward plastic "Wizkids" models I plan to use in order to extend my recent Fantastic Four verses Doctor Doom campaign. Despite being an old "Heroclix" sculpt from the November 2002 "Clobberin' Time" range I'm hoping She-Hulk will provide the super-talented quartet with some additional punching power, whilst I've actually dug out a handful more Doombots to add to Victor's robotic Latverian force.  

Friday, 13 July 2018

"Look, That Rabbit's Got A Vicious Streak A Mile Wide, It's A Killer!"

"He's got huge, sharp -- he can leap about -- look at the bones!"
This 27mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of a Demon Bunny is miniature number 040 from the "Horrorclix" Nightmares range and has been re-painted slightly differently from its original palette in order to closer resemble the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Guarding "the home of the Legendary Black Beast of Arrrghhh (named for the last utterance of anyone who ever saw it)", the terrible monster with "nasty, big, pointy teeth" appeared in the 1975 British slapstick comedy film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

"Portrayed in the movie by both a real rabbit and a prop", the miniature was carefully cut from its 'clicky-base' and super-glued on to a 40mm circular stand before being primed "Vallejo" Dead White. The long-eared, formidable-looking fluffy animal was then washed with Pale Grey, before being dry-brushed using (more) Dead White and having its nose 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Black.
Doombot & She-Hulk WIPs - The robot and super-heroine are slowly being blocked and shaded
In the "wicked fun" collectable miniatures game, this "harmless little bunny" transforms into a paranormal demon upon slaying its first victim, and resultantly its sculpt appeared to have been strongly influenced by the grotesquely mutated rabbit which is pulled from out of a hat during "Twilight Zone: The Movie". As this wasn't necessarily the look I wanted I therefore simply left the inside of its mouth "Vallejo" Black (as opposed to red) and washed it's sharp Dead White incisors with a serious splash of "Citadel" Bloodletter.

I then took a piece of blusher pad, and dabbed around the "innocuous" rabbit's already glaze-stained teeth with some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. This Shade really helped darken parts of the model's mouth and jaws, as if the furry fiend had just dispatched the hapless knight, Bors. As a final touch I also applied some (more) Bloodletter to the animal's "Vallejo" Heavy Red eyes.
100mm x 100mm x 60mm MDF WIP - The MDF box/building has been assembled and covered in 3D decals
Sticking with "Wizkids" pre-painted models, and enthused by some recent battles involving the Fantastic Four fighting Doctor Doom using homemade rules, I have also started progressing a couple more "Heroclix" miniatures which I plan to utilise for a third tabletop instalment to the super-group's campaign. Hoping to add a bit more muscle to Reed Richards' quartet I have returned to an old figure of She-Hulk that I started painting some months ago, and similarly turned my attention to an especially robotic-looking member of Victor Doom's legion of Doombot minions.

Lastly, I've assembled yet another of the MDF boxes I recently bought from Tepic2000 on "Ebay" to create a Cyber-City tabletop for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!". An accommodating 100mm x 100mm x 60mm in size, I've applied many more of the 3D decals "N-FX Game Design Studio" very kindly gifted me recently to its surfaces and lid, and hope to have the science fiction building finished over the next few days...

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

"The Ways Of The Earthmen Are Devious."

"Obviously they are preparing the next stage of their plan."
This 39mm-tall "pewter" model of a Draconian Bodyguard is sold by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of their "Draconians" boxed set. Based upon the "tall, reptilian species" whose Empire in the Twenty Fifth Century rivalled that of Earth, the scaly-skinned extra-terrestrials made their first appearance in Malcolm Hulke's February 1973 BBC television story "Frontier In Space" and would later be "among the races who... helped imprison the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica in order to save the universe."

Initially primed using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, the highly honourable alien's limbs and head were pigmented 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 carefully dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green".
Draconian Bodyguard WIPs - The alien needs his golden sashes to be highlighted and tidied up
"Led by the Emperor and his court of nobles", I decided upon a rather tabletop standard solution to my problem of the Draconian's lavishly embroidered oriental-looking shoulder pads and golden flowing sashes, by simply applying both some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Brass to these areas, before later washing them with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

Later I delicately drew some additional "Vallejo" Brass over the costume's ridges in order to highlight all the intricate patterns woven onto the material, and tidied up some of the adjoining Heavy Green areas with a thin line of watered-down Black. As a final touch I 'picked out' the soldier's hand-weapon with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a dash of Nuln Oil.
100mm x 100mm x 60mm MDF WIPs - The MDF box/building has been painted "Citadel" Ironbreaker
With the first of my three Draconian Bodyguards finished, I have already been slowly working my way through the aforementioned stages on two other identical miniatures. Admittedly, I only actually need two to use for their Recruitment card in "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", but as I have three, I thought I might as well continue to paint them all at the same time.

In addition, I've spent some more time working on the MDF boxes I recently bought from Tepic2000 on "Ebay" to create a Cyber-City tabletop. I have begun sloppily shading a "Citadel" Ironbreaker undercoated 100mm x 100mm x 60mm building with Nuln Oil, and, using some more of the 3D decals "N-FX Game Design Studio" very kindly gifted me, applied a number vents, electronic interfaces and metallic panels to a second smaller facility.

Monday, 9 July 2018

"No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where Would All The Calculators Go?"

"I haven't been this embarrassed since I was loosening my adjustment screws..."
"Cast in White Metal", this 28mm miniature of Kry-10 was made by "Y.F.T. Design" and formed part of the company's sadly OOP (out of production) 'Scarlet Midget' - Cosplay Away Team. Clearly a "lookalike" for Robert Llewellyn's character in the "British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf", the Series III mechanoid was initially primed using some "Vallejo" Black and subsequently dry-brushed with Gunmetal Grey.

The robot butler 's groin socket, hand-held cleaning device and central circular chest panel were then 'picked out' using "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before the figure was entirely washed with Nuln Oil. The automaton's hands and cube-shaped head were later pigmented using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
Wildfyre & Dibber WIPs - The two alter-ego "Red Sector" characters have simply been based and primed
As a last touch Kryten's head was additionally given a careful, light dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone in order to try and bring out some of its angular details. I did momentarily consider basing the miniature on a science-fiction themed stand, but in the end went with my age-old mix of "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade so it would fit in with the vast majority of my other finished figures.

With the first of my four Grant-Naylor influenced "clean-up crew" completed, I have actually set about assembling a couple more figures from the "Nexus Miniatures" range to add to my painting queue. Sculpted by Carl Stoelzel these two "instantly recognisable cosplay sci-fi comedy" characters are Arnold 'Ace' Wildfyre and D. Wayne 'Rocky' Dibber.
Boromite Work Gang Leader WIPs - The alien miner still needs his detailed Mass Compactor painted
However, its clear that the Space Adventurers make excellent-looking doppelgangers for Ace Rimmer and the dorky alter-ego of the Cat, Duane Dibbley. I'm especially pleased to get my hands on Arnold, as the sculpt's original planned pose proved somewhat problematic prior to casting on account of him holding a firing pistol in his right hand. I understand the hand-weapon proved too difficult to successfully cast, so was delayed in order for the model's stance to be altered and the gun removed.

Finally I am currently working on a Boromite Work Gang Leader for “Beyond The Gates Of Antares” by “Warlord Games”. I actually had to purchase this particular figure separately from the Nottingham-based manufacturer having lost the original one from my boxed set, and then recently discovered the AWOL alien miner during a big clear up. Despite this though, I had decided to stick to painting my replacement miniature in order to establish whether using a "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre undercoat will make the time-consuming piece quicker to paint...

Friday, 6 July 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Fantastic Four - The Black Panther Strikes - Part Two

"The story so far… Doctor Doom has reactivated the super-strong android, Dragon Man and plans to use the automaton to kill the royal leader of Wakanda. Deducing the Latverian's scheme to usurp T'Challa's throne, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four have intercepted the mad tyrant's assassination squad, and together with the Black Panther plan to put a stop to the diabolical plot..."

Sue Storm-Richards continued to head east to contest Objective Five (Drinks Machine) with Dragon Man, whilst Ben Grimm slowly followed up behind her. Eager to bring his vibranium claws to bear upon his country's enemies, the Black Panther charged into the Doombot stood just north of the car [Attack: 4 + 2 dice for the Charge]. The chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan sliced through the automaton's defences [Heavy Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 5 or 6] and it exploded into a dozen burning pieces.

Meanwhile Reed Richards curled himself up into a ball and bounced into the gap between Objective One (Bin) and Objective Three (Debris). To his south, his fiery brother-in-law hurled a fireball at the Doombot approaching Objective Three, but discovered his attack was just out of range [Short Range: 10 inches].

With the battle now at its midway point, the Fantastic Four pressed forward with both T'Challa and the super-team's ultra-intelligent bendy-limbed leader charging into the Doombot which the Human Torch had moments before unsuccessfully tried to fry. The humanoid robot was crushed to pieces by the 'dynamic duo', and provided an ailing Johnny Storm with an opportunity to fly back to Objective Two (Grave) and secure it.
Further south-east The Thing continued his ponderous run towards Dragon Man, and quickened his pace when he saw Invisible Woman's force field missile simply bounce off of the formidably-sized android's skin [Heavy Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 5 or 6].

Having infuriatingly witnessed two of his three mechanical minions fall to the power of his hated arch-enemies, Doctor Doom ordered Professor Gregson Gilbert's creation to charge into Benjamin Grimm and watched with some satisfaction as the huge dragon-sized automaton pounded upon the hero's rocky hide [Attack: 3 + 2 dice for the Charge]. Fortunately for Aunt Petunia's favourite nephew though, only one of the blows actually did any lasting damage, and the Thing had plenty more left in the gas tank yet [Mass: 5].

With an angry yell, Latveria's benevolent monarch aimed one of his armoured gauntlets in the direction of the Black Panther, and momentarily gave a satisfied sneer behind his metal mask's face-plate as he saw his energy blast wound the king of Wakanda [Shooting: 2 dice]. Nearby, the tyrant's sole-surviving Doombot took a pot-shot at Sue Storm-Richards, but missed.
Despite being under-fire, Invisible Woman reached Objective Five (Drinks Machine), and momentarily paused to watch The Thing impressively dent Dragon Man's artificial casing [Attack: 5 dice]. To the north-west, the Black Panther retreated back to the relative safety of Objective One (Bin), leaving Mister Fantastic to go toe-to-toe with Victor Von Doom; a brawl which saw Reed Richards successfully wound the "skilled sorcerer".

The time for words or even ranged attacks was clearly over, as the final Doombot flew across the battlefield into Invisible Woman. Ably protected by her psionic force field [Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 6], the female human mutate was unharmed, as was her husband, courtesy of his rubbery-flesh, when Doctor Doom punched him a mere second or two later.

Sadly, Ben Grimm did not come away from his bout with Dragon Man quite as unscathed, and suffered another wound at the clawed hands of the monstrously-winged robot.
The contest's final round degenerated into a total punch-fest as both Sue Storm-Richards and her metallic counter-part exchanged superficial blows with one another. Whilst the Thing found his usually solid legs start to weaken as the supernatural villain he faced struck home with yet another powerful punch. Meanwhile "the son of a Romani witch" continued to ineffectively pummel away at Mister Fantastic's elastic torso, desperately trying to land a telling blow upon his most hated rival.

But time had to an end for Victor Von Doom, and with the Fantastic Four revealing seven Victory Points worth of Objectives to the Latverian dictator's zero, it was clear he had completely failed in his bid to seize the day and replace T'Challa as Wakanda's ruler...

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

"When The Cybermen Entered The Telos System, They Took Over The Planet..."

"...Using the cities as cryogenic facilities."
This 70mm x 70mm x 42mm square MDF box was bought from Tepic2000 on Ebay, and converted into a simple futuristic building for my Cyber-City by using several of the excellent 3D decals sold by “N-FX Game Design Studio”. Undoubtedly a fairly straightforward ‘kit-bash’, the tiny installation will be the first of several science-fiction structures I plan to use in order to help recreate the Cybermen’s catacombs on the planet “Telos”; a “grey, barren, rocky world” which first appeared on the BBC Television show “Doctor Who” in the September 1967 story “The Tomb Of The Cybermen”.

Having assembled the box and its lid without any major difficulties using some PVA glue, I affixed a number of 3D decals over its numerous surfaces in order to try and replicate grills, grates and electronic panels. These ‘details’ are self-adhesive and despite sticking to the wood very well indeed, could still be peeled away from the surface and re-aligned whenever I made a slight mistake in their orientation.
"The Cybermen disappeared sometime in the 21st Century... following defeats around human-occupied space."
The sheer amount of different decals Nik Hull has created for this range is breath-taking, and one of my main priorities for this ‘test piece’ was to try and utilise a broad number of them. As a result I felt a hatchway on top of the building would be highly appropriate, along with a series of control boards and ventilation systems around its sides. Once I was happy with the look of the installation I gave the entire entire ensemble an undercoat of “Vallejo” Black.

I then applied two coats of “Citadel” Ironbreaker over the structure, and subsequently heavily washed it with Nuln Oil. I applied this shade incredibly haphazardly, as I wanted the ‘box and its lid’ to appear rather grungy. In addition, I decided at this stage that I wasn’t going to worry too much about it’s interior and base, as these were in all likelihood never going to be seen. Finally, I gave the building a rough dry-brush of (more) “Citadel” Ironbreaker in order to help bring all the “N-FX Game Design Studio” decals to the fore...
Draconian Bodyguard and Staal WIPs - The reptilian humanoid is almost finished
With the tiny MDF installation finished, and my second somewhat larger box being primed, I have somewhat shifted focus upon a handful of Draconian models I need to finish in order to field the “reptilian humanoids” for “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” I’ve already previously completed the faction’s "Unique" Draconian Noble, and now plan to paint three "Brave" Draconian Bodyguards up. I actually only need two of these interstellar imperialists for “Warlord Games” rule-set, but thought I might as well progress the trio of miniatures at the same time.

In addition, the Nottingham-based company has recently kindly gifted me a few Sontarans, so I thought it would only be polite for me to start work on the clone force’s leader General Staal. Commander of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet, the “stubborn” soldier is accompanied by two bodyguards, and a plethora of troops, so should give me plenty of opportunity to get reacquainted with one of my favourite “Vallejo” acrylic colour paints, Gunmetal Blue.

Monday, 2 July 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Red Dwarf" July 2018

"Red Dwarf" WIPs - Dave Lister and Kryten
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my concerning, ever-growing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will focus on a selection of recently arrived models previously produced by "Y.F.T. Design" as part of their "Nexus Miniatures" range. Clearly heavily-influenced by Grant Naylor's British science fiction comedy programme "Red Dwarf", I hope to initially paint up four of these now OOP Perkūnas Mining Corporation "Scarlet Midget" Cosplay Starship Crew figures over the next few weeks, and perhaps then turn to some of the television series' other memorable characters; Ace Rimmer, Dwayne Dibley, Mister Flibble, Kristine Kochanski and Holly.

To begin with though I'll be focusing upon Charley, Felix, Barry and Kry-10. All of whom will make excellent proxies for Dave Lister, Cat, Arnold Rimmer and Kryten. To be honest they're a bit of a mixed bunch, with "The Last Human" proving particularly frustratingly on account of his metal figure stubbornly refusing to take any paint despite being repeatedly primed and 'touched up'.
"Red Dwarf" WIPs - Arnold Rimmer and the Cat
Indeed, even a simple dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal" caused his undercoat to peel away in places. Very annoying, as I was hoping to make the third-class technician's predominantly black palette a bit more interesting by using a variety of different greys. Now though, the plan is simply to keep the miniature "Vallejo" Black and perhaps as a final stage shade a few different areas with "Citadel" Nuln Oil; a technique which strangely does cause a change in the base layer's  colour.

Fortunately, I have had less problems with Kryten, who has already been primed, dry-brushed and washed, and is ready for some detailing. "Y.F.T. Design" also kindly sent me three separate bazookoids with which to use for conversions, and I was sorely tempted to try and provide the "Series III mechanoid" with one. Ultimately though I thought that would prove too difficult and time-consuming, so I've stuck with the model's original hand-tool instead.
Mister Freeze's "Gotham City" crew
I'll also be leaving the sculpts of Rimmer and the Cat alone too, as the computer-generated hologram's pose isn't very convertible, and Frankenstein's extravagantly dressed descendent is already carrying one of the heavy-weapons. Both of these miniatures should prove fairly straightforward to finish on account of Arnold being almost entirely green and Danny John-Jules' character wearing a lot of black...

Lastly, I have finished the third and final “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy I previously converted for this year's annual "Forgotten Heroes" challenge. Apart from using "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Leviathan Purple for his clothing, this member of Mister Freeze's "Cold Pack" has been painted in exactly the same manner as his two peers, and should provide Victor Fries with some cryogenically-enhanced 'muscle'.