Wednesday, 20 July 2016

"Our Great Range Of Garden Fencing Supplies Have Everything You Need..."

"Choose a hardy wooden fence to provide privacy as well as an attractive backdrop..."
This 28mm hard plastic ‘wooden’ fence is one of the four identical panels made by “Mantic Games” that can be found within their excellent Twentieth Century Brick Urban Accessories set. I’ve found this assortment of “48 pieces” which “allows you to add a set of very characterful modern day accessories to your gaming table” to be tremendous value for money, and have slowly been painting up some of the box’s components to use for my “Zombicide” re-enactment of “Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom”. This quartet of fences will accompany two more I’ve previously finished, and help me separate parts of Harrison Chase’s deadly garden from one another.
"Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom" - The Tardis lands slap bang in the middle of a Krynoid Invasion
 All four pieces of scenery were simply super-glued onto separate “Games Workshop” 70mm x 25mm oval bases and then undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. I then heavily washed each one with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade before dry-brushing them with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. The models have all been given a coat PVA glue in order to protect them during the rigours of gaming.

In addition to completing my fences, I have also managed to make a few more area tiles for my three-dimensional “Zombicide” board. These pieces of laser cut 3mm thick MDF can be bought from “Hurlbat Games” and I’m currently hoping to create enough pieces to replicate both Chase Manor’s voluptuous grounds as well as some cobbled residential areas.
"Zombicide" Three-dimensional Tabletop - Still plenty more cobbled areas, walls and doors needed
 Currently I’m about half-way there in order to create the size of tabletop I need for my campaign’s opening scenario. I also still need to paint a number of barricades, doorways and walls. But almost all of these components have now been assembled, based and undercoated in preparation for a big push over the next week or so…

Lastly I have continued to try and perfect my simple ‘flames’ technique on yet another “Wizkids” miniature. This “Horrorclix” figure of Judge Fire (from “Judge Dredd”) has proved something of a quandary for me, as its pre-paint job included areas of the creature’s uniform which had been scorched black by his perpetual flames. To be honest I wasn’t particularly impressed by this look, and having seen plenty of comic book illustrations of the character entirely alight, I’ve ultimately decided to stick with an all-fire appearance.
Judge Fire WIPs - The flaming Dark Judge just needs all his detail to be highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre
Fortunately I actually also own the 28mm metal “Mongoose Games” version of the Dark Judge, and having seen some wonderful blackened paintjobs of the sculpt on the ‘interweb’, feel that figure would be far more suitable for me to try out just such a grisly colour scheme. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

"Any Minute Now He'll Yell Flame On 'N' Go Flying Outta Here!"

"That tears it! No more nice guy! I'm doing some Thing-type stomping around here --"
This 28mm coloured plastic model of the Human Torch is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 072 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Fantastic Forces range. Unlike the previous Johnny Storm miniature I’ve painted, which was a good representation as to how Jack “King” Kirby drew the comic book character, this particular sculpt has the youngest member of the Fantastic Four entirely ablaze.

As a result the figure was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Orange and then heavily washed with the “Citadel” glaze Bloodletter. In order to try and bring out the model’s wonderful detail I then dry-brushed it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Orange before highlighting the human mutate’s flames with Heavy Ochre. Finally I applied some additional Heavy Ochre to the miniature’s raised edges with a “Winsor & Newton” University Series 000 brush.
Gravestones WIPs - "Lost Patrol" requires six of these 'infestation' tokens
 Having recently played some games of “Lost Patrol” by “Games Workshop” using models taken from my “West Wind Productions” “Secrets Of The Third Reich” collection, I did realise that in order to play the rules fully I would need to create some suitably Weird War Two themed objective bases to use as infestation markers; especially as these tokens ‘allow you to place more Nazi Zombies on a tile, even if it is not at the end of a path.’

Thinking you probably couldn’t get more appropriate than six grave markers, I’ve cobbled together some 40mm circular bases using some of the plastic Gravestones manufactured by “Renedra Limited”. For now these objectives have simply been assembled and undercoated. But should soon be shaded and dry-brushed so as to allow Steve May’s wonderful sculpting stand out…
Re-Painting the Undead - These Zombie Troopers have been partially re-painted and re-based
Lastly I have finished re-painting some of my old collection of “Copplestone Castings”. These three weapon-carrying Zombies are from their Code FW23 Zombie Trooper and, having previously had numerous areas ‘blocked in’, have had some additional washes added to the figures as well.

Now properly based, these gun-toting cadavers will help populate a rather macabre -looking tabletop I have planned based upon the 2015 “Mad Max: Fury Road” motion picture. I still need to ‘touch up’ and re-base three more similarly distressed Undead models. But once they are ‘overhauled’ I should then be able to quickly finish painting my project’s titular character as well as a couple of 1/55th scale armoured vehicles I recently spied on the “North Star Military Figures” website.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Lost Patrol Report: British Army Verses Nazi Zombies - "Death In The Jungle"

THE BRITISH ARMY BATTLE NAZI ZOMBIES IN AN EFFORT TO ASSASSINATE ADOLF HITLER
This game was played using the "Lost Patrol” rules by “Games Workshop”. The only alteration to the rules was an agreement that the Nazi Zombies couldn’t infest a tile (as I haven’t finished making six grave markers yet) and that the German Undead didn’t necessarily always drive the British back when they won or tied an assault (as we forgot that particular rule). In addition as I wanted to try out the game in a different “Weird War Two” setting, and have already plenty of painted “West Wind Productions” models ready for the table, we simply swapped the Genestealers and Space Marine Scouts with some British infantry and Nazi Zombies.

“The story so far… Adolf Hitler has escaped the Battle of Berlin and fled to deepest, darkest Argentina. In 1946 the British intelligence Service finally locate the Fuhrer’s secret bunker somewhere deep within the remote Teyu Cuare jungle and dispatch a small unit of soldiers to dispatch the dictator with extreme prejudice. However having established a clear drop zone, the Tommies soon find the lush vegetation to be far more dangerous than first thought, and Hitler would seem to have a contingent of Nazi Zombies protecting him…”
THE TABLETOP - THE TEYU CUARE JUNGLE, ARGENTINA IN 1946
 The game was set up as per the “Lost Patrol: Death In The Jungle” rule pamphlet, with the Clearing tile placed in the centre of the tile and the five British soldiers (A Captain, a Bren-carrying Corporal and three Privates) positioned on top of it. The Jungle tiles were then shuffled and placed into a stack face down. The entranceway to Hitler’s Bunker tile was then placed at the bottom of the stack. Finally all the jungle paths the expeditionary force could see from the Clearing were placed.

Captain Scott looked about him. The vegetation surrounding him was definitely creeping in upon his band of men. To the northwest a pathway seemed to be leading towards some hungry looking plant-life. Whilst to the southwest he saw a far more encouraging trail which seemed to snake away into the distance. To his direct south however there was also a Y-junction which looked rather promising. As a result he decided to split his forces in half…
CAPTAIN SCOTT SPLITS HIS FORCES IN ORDER TO COVER MORE GROUND
Privates Clint and Cooke headed southwest and followed the path as it turned towards the northwest. Behind them they heard their superior officer march Corporal Awdry and Private Pulpcitizen south to the Y-junction. Suddenly the entire company were surrounded with the sound of wheezing groans, and before Private Clint could shout “Watch out Cooke, we’re being attacked by Nazi Zombies!” the German Undead were upon them. A hefty blow from his carbine rifle easily dispatched the cadaver lurching at him. But Private Clint could do nothing but watch open mouthed as a second living corpse shambled out of the bushes behind his companion and sank his decaying teeth enthusiastically into Cooke’s brains… Captain Scott was similarly surprised by the sudden appearance of a mutilated German corpse walking towards him. But soon ordered Private Pulpcitizen to fell the creature with his rifle butt.
THE BRITISH FORCES ENCOUNTER THE GRISLY GHOULS OF THE GERMAN UNDEAD
Shuddering at the swift loss of his colleague, Private Clint remained frozen to the spot, and watched with horror as the zombie feasting upon Cooke suddenly lurched up and looked at him hungrily. Suddenly a shot rang out from Corporal Awdry’s Bren Gun and the cadaver fell to the ground dead (again). Galvanized back into action Private Clint scanned the trail ahead and with a despairing groan realised it finished in a dead end. So much for Cooke’s sacrifice. Captain Scott and Private Pulpcitizen too discovered that their path also came to a sudden end.
PRIVATE CLINT DISCOVERS HIS COMRADE, COOKE, DIED FOR NOTHING
However before they could explore any further more of the living dead were upon them. Private Clint once again managed to beat his adversary to the floor. Whilst, supported by Corporal Awdry’s formidable Heavy Weapon (+1 covering fire bonus), Captain Scott managed to dispatch one of the two Nazi zombies attacking him from the south.
CAPTAIN SCOTT REALISES HE'S BEEN LEADING HIS MEN DOWN A LITERAL DEAD END.
Regrouping Corporal Awdry rushed back towards his commanding officer’s side and swiftly brought down the remaining ghoul with a hail of bullets. Private Pulpcitizen soon joined them. Whilst to the west Private Clint jogged back towards the initial clearing. Spying his comrades he was about to give them a cheery wave when he saw three German cadavers appear from out of the jungle beside Corporal Awdry and drag the NCO screaming back into the thick vegetation. The savagery of the assault caused Captain Scott to stagger back into the clearing and Private Pulpcitizen head west.
CORPORAL AWDRY BRAVELY FALLS BENEATH THE FANGS OF THE NAZI UNDEAD
 Realising he didn’t want to be separated from his superior officer, Private Pulpcitizen hurried to join Captain Scott back in the clearing, and then nervously watched as the commander moved cautiously north up the Y-Junction and disappeared northeast. Turning he saw Private Clint rush up to him. Checking that their weapons were ready for firing, the two men soldiers were about to set off after Captain Scott when three more zombies appeared and mercilessly devoured Private Pulpcitizen before he utter a cry.
CAPTAIN SCOTT DISCOVERS A PATHWAY TO FREEDOM AS PRIVATE PULPCITIZEN IS EATEN
Reeling from the attack Private Clint quickly retreated to the side of his superior and watched him ineffectively fire into some more zombies which had suddenly lurched onto the pathway up ahead. The bullet sadly had no effect whatsoever, and the two British soldiers suddenly realised that they quickly becoming surrounded by the ravenous walking dead.
PRIVATE CLINT AND CAPTAIN SCOTT FACE INSURMOUNTABLE UNDEAD ODDS
Standing with their backs to one another, the two brave Tommies watched as the numerous Nazi zombies staggered towards them and felt their foes' clawing hands tear at their uniforms. With a cry Private Clint finally found his skills with the butt of his carbine rifle were not enough, and disappeared beneath a swarm of German cadavers.
CAPTAIN SCOTT BRAVELY ACKNOWLEDGES HIS MISSION HAS FAILED... AND GETS EATEN ALIVE
Ashen-faced, and aware that he was actually back in the Clearing where his doomed mission had actually started, Captain Scott checked to ensure his army service revolver was fully-loaded and his uniform straight. He then waited for the imminent arrival of Hitler's grisly bodyguard and for his flesh to feel the painful bite of the living corpses teeth. But he would not die easily and one day the Allies would ensure the Fuhrer would similarly meet a gruesome demise... 

Monday, 11 July 2016

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility..."

"And so a legend is born and a new name is added to the roster..."
This 28mm pre-painted plastic model of Spider-Man is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 067 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Critical Mass range. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the teenage orphan had super strength, spider-like agility, the ability to climb most surfaces, and could shoot spider-webs using wrist-mounted devices. Peter Parker first appeared in the August 1962 issue of “Amazing Fantasy” during the Silver Age of Comic Books, and would be go on to become the “flagship character and company mascot” of “Marvel Comics Group”.

As the majority of the miniature was going to be red, I initially gave Spidey an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red, and then ‘cut in’ around his costume’s edges with “Citadel” Abaddon Black. Once this was dry I applied some Nuln Oil to the super-hero’s ‘webbed costume’ in order to bring out the sculpt’s finer detail. A couple of times the Shade dried too thick, so it actually took a couple of attempts in order to achieve just the right amount of pooling over the entire figure. The rest of Web-head’s costume was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue.
Captain America WIPs - Having now finished the waist stripes and white sleeves, Steve Rogers' head is next
 Having now finished three of the four “Heroclix” models I’ve decided to paint as a result of being inspired by the Avengers Verses X-Men “Dice Masters” Starter Set, I have finally attempted to properly apply my “Winsor & Newton” University Series 000 brush to a figure of Captain America. This miniature has proved a real test of both my patience and skill, and not just because it has required me to try my hand at stripes.

Indeed I foolishly thought I had near enough cracked the red and white waist band on my first attempt, and had actually moved on to tidying up the Sentinel of Liberty’s surrounding blue costume before I realised that my “Wizkids” reference material was horribly wrong, and Captain America’s central stripe should actually have been red not white (as the pre-painted model I was ‘copying’ depicted). As a result I have had to redo the striping more than once.

This, coupled with some awfully odd-shaped arm musculature, which just so happens to be precisely where his blue chainmail should end and his white sleeves begin, has given me more than enough excuse to persistently consider hurling the fiendish figure out of my second floor window…
Sixth Doctor Era WIPs - Early days for Doctor Who, Peri Brown and Mel Bush
In addition to “Heroclix” models however, I have also started work on (yet) another project involving “Doctor Who”. I’ve finally succumbed to the latest edition of the BBC’s Doctor Who Roleplaying Game by “Cubicle Seven”, and though I’m no fan of Peter Capaldi’s dislikeable incarnation of the travelling Time Lord, I am a huge fan of Colin Baker’s short but colourful tenure as the Television Series’ lead; albeit as a result of the numerous “Big Finish” audio plays as opposed to his actual TV stories.

As a result I have also bought the Sixth Doctor Sourcebook, as well as an assortment of miniatures by “Black Tree Design”, and am currently hoping to quickly paint up the pompous time-traveller, along with companions Perpugilliam Brown and Melanie Bush.
Argentina 1946: A Top Secret British Expedition attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer

Friday, 8 July 2016

"Bite Me."

"Perhaps This Will Speed Things Up!"
This 28mm pre-painted plastic model of a She Wolf is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 082 from their “Horrorclix” Freakshow range. Originally produced as an ‘enticing’ werewolf, I have reposed the miniature, courtesy of a new paintjob, in order for it to represent the Howling Commando of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nina Price, a.k.a. Vampire By Night. Co-created by Jeff Parker and Federica Manfredi, the niece of Jack Russell has “the ability to become either a werewolf or a vampire between dusk and dawn”, and first appeared in the September 2005 issue of “Amazing Fantasy”.

Initially undercoated with “Vallejo” White the model was subsequently washed with Pale Grey before being dry-brushed with more White. The lycanthrope’s top was then painted using a combination of Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. Finally I ‘picked out’ the anti-hero’s fangs with “Vallejo” White and discoloured them with a touch of “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. I did consider additionally applying some Abaddon Black to the creature’s nose, as per its original paintjob. But as I rather liked the all-white finish to her muzzle I have left it be… for now at least.
The Human Torch WIPs - (i) Orange & Red wash, (ii) Orange dry-brush and (iii) Ochre dry-brush
Following on from Nina Price, I have been slowly building up the fiery layers to a (second) “Heroclix” model of the Human Torch. Initially entirely composed of a clear orange-tinted plastic, I was actually rather tempted to simply re-base the miniature and leave it at that. But having recently completed a partially burning Johnny Storm, I thought I would try and paint a version of the Fantastic Four founding member that was completely alight.

As a result this model, which is somewhat disconcertingly larger than his predecessor in scale, has been completely repainted with “Vallejo” Heavy Orange, washed with red ink, and then with dry-brushed Heavy Orange and Heavy Ochre. All that now remains is to carefully pick out more of the flames and details (such as his ‘4’ symbol) with more Heavy Ochre, and the figure should be finished.
Re-basing The Undead - All of these models' all-black weapons and boots have been repainted
Lastly I am still re-painting some of my old collection of “Copplestone Castings”. These three well-armed Zeds are from their Code FW23 Zombie Trooper and have all had numerous areas ‘blocked in’, so I can apply some additional washes to the figures. A couple of these metal miniatures were also unfortunately damaged during my re-basing process, so discoloured feet, boots and the occasional trouser leg have all been tidied up at the same time.

Ordinarily I’m not that big a fan of the Undead carrying automatic weapons. But plan to use these cadavers, along with some additional “Future Wars” blisters, to help me populate a rather macabre -looking tabletop inspired by the 2015 “Mad Max: Fury Road” motion picture; a project I have recently added a couple of armoured vehicles to, courtesy of “North Star Military Figures” recently advertising Mark Copplestone’s 1/55th scale vehicles.

Monday, 4 July 2016

"Flame On!"

"Not after my next fireball melts you down to size!"
This 28mm pre-painted plastic model of the Human Torch is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 049 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Clobberin’ Time range. Johnny Storm gained his super-powers on board a “spacecraft bombarded by cosmic rays” and as a result can “engulf his entire body in flames, fly, absorb fire harmlessly into his own body”, as well as “control any nearby fire by sheer force of will. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the human mutate first appeared in the November 1961 issue of “The Fantastic Four”.

As I wanted the majority of the miniature’s torso to be red in colour, similar to how he was drawn by Jack “King” Kirby, I initially undercoated it with “Vallejo” Heavy Red. The figure was then given a heavy wash of “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson before it was dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Red. I picked out each of the Human Torch’s spurts of flame with a combination of Heavy Orange, “Citadel” Bloodletter, more “Vallejo” Heavy Orange and a final highlight of Heavy Ochre.
Spider-Man WIPs - Web-head just needs his eye lenses to be 'picked out' before being finished
 With the second of my “Dice Masters” inspired super-heroes completed, I have subsequently turned my attention to the third character referred to in the dice collecting game’s Avengers Verses X-Men rulebook tutorial, Spider-Man. As the Wall-crawler actually partners Johnny Storm in the pamphlet’s ‘opening battle’ I found myself rather enthused to get him finished, and as a result have quickly painted my “Heroclix” model of him in the Web-spinner’s famous red and blue costume.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Human Torch, Ace of Spades, Captain America and Iron Man
In addition to Peter Parker’s alter-ego I have also managed to make a little progress on my “Marvel Worldwide” mini-project by working on two more of the Avengers found within the “Dice Masters” Starter Set, Captain America and Iron Man. Both of these super-heroes still have some way to go before being finished. But once Steve Rogers is painted, I will at least be able to start re-enacting the rule-set’s opening confrontation on the tabletop… as the Sentinel of Liberty joins the Beast against Spidey and the Human Torch.

Lastly, having spotted a second Johnny Storm model in my “Wizkids” pre-painted collection, I have decided to try and paint an all-flame version of the Fantastic Four founding member, along with the rather formidably-sized Batman foe, Ace of Spades.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

'Forgotten Heroes' - WIP - Part Four

Warwolf WIPs - Martin Reyna's fur still needs washing and dry-brushing before the anti-hero is finished
With the likes of Roger over at “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”, Michael at “28mm Victorian Warfare” and Jez at “Carrion Crow’s Buffet” bringing their ‘Forgotten Heroes’ challenge postings to a climatic end, I have feverishly been applying paint, wash and shade to the "Wizkids" figures I have converted into either members of the "Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D." or the bobble-hat wearing goons of “DC Comics” Mister Freeze.

Foremost of these transfigurations has been my miniature of Martin Reyna, a cyber-werewolf who was originally the team leader of S.T.A.K.E. Having picked out Warwolf’s readily-recognisable S.H.I.E.L.D. white boots and belt pouches, I have been busily painting (and washing) his uniform blue trousers and mechanical forearm. In addition I have started ‘picking out’ his numerous grenades before finally turning my attention to the anti-hero’s furry upper body.
Vampire By Night WIPs - Nina Price's wolf-form now just needs her fangs 'picked out' and white fur tidied up
 A model which requires far less time before being finished is my conversion of Vampire By Night. This “Horrorclix” She-Wolf figure merely required a simple re-paint in order to resemble Nina Price in her werewolf form, and having finished both painting her blue costume and inked it, now needs her white fur to be tidied up before I ‘pick out’ her teeth and jaws.

Equally close to completion are some of the five “Heroclix” Lackey figures I have adapted in order to represent the Sixties henchmen of “Mister Freeze”. Having completed these bobble-hatted minions' grey trousers, blue woolly pullovers, hands and crowbars, I am currently in the process of finalising their faces and pom-pom hats. Originally I was planning on simply painting all their hats blue, as seen in the Sixties “Batman” television episode “Instant Freeze”. But I may well now make all the bobbles white instead in order to make the minions stand out a bit more.
Lackey WIPs - Mister Freeze's Goon just needs his eyes to be added and bobble-hat painted to be finished
Lastly my brushwork is working its way up my figure of Manphibian. The extra-terrestrial’s white boots, originally worn by a “Games Workshop” Cadian Trooper, have proved rather problematic to paint “Vallejo” White. But having now finished that stage, and washed them with some Pale Grey, I am making some good ground on the alien’s multi-pouched belt and automatic rifle.