Friday, 27 March 2015

"Anything Is Possible, Dear Boy."

"Another cup of tea, please, Alfie."
This plastic 28mm miniature of Gentleman Ghost Jim Craddock is made by “Wizkids” and is model number 90 from their “Heroclix” “DC Comics” Origin range of pre-painted figures. Once rebased I applied several thin layers of “Vallejo” White over the notorious undead highwayman in order to ensure a smooth(ish) covering all over his transparent flexible sculpt. I then liberally washed the model with Pale Grey before dry-brushing it with more White.
This gargoyle comes from the base of the "Heroclix" model Captain Ben Daimio
I have also managed to finish painting the large plastic stone gargoyle I recently removed from the base of my Captain Ben Daimio “Heroclix” miniature. As the tombstone is so large, I thought it would make an excellent objective marker. So having undercoated it “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and then washed it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, I simply dry-brushed it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey in order to bring out the model’s wonderful detail. In addition I picked out a large snaking vine on the side of its battered column with “Vallejo” Heavy green before washing that with “Citadel” Thrakka Green.
Copper coloured WIPs - From "DC Comics" Girder and Robotman 
I have also started to progress some of the other “Heroclix” figures I based during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge but never got close to finishing. Both of these miniatures are based upon characters from “DC Comics”. Having previously undercoated Girder with “Citadel” Tin Bitz I have now managed to ‘polish’ the model with a couple of layers of Copper in preparation for washing the entire model in brown ink. The actual comic book super-villain is made entirely from living iron so is pretty one-dimensional colour-wise. But I have seen him drawn with dull silvery hair on occasion, so I plan to break up the figure’s monotony a little bit by painting his locks similarly.

Clifford Steele, also known as Robotman, is one of my favourite members of the super team The Doom Patrol. I’ve applied the first of a couple of undercoats of Copper over the super-hero so far, and then also plan to wash him with brown ink before dry-brushing him with more Copper.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

28mm Battle Report: The Red Devils Verses Nazi Zombies and Axis Gorillas

THE ALLIED FORCES BATTLE NAZI ZOMBIES AND AXIS GORILLAS
Recently I’ve been reading a series of comic books entitled “Uber” by “Avatar Press”. To be honest they’re a bit too profanity laden and gory for my tastes. But the basic storyline, Germany fending off the Russian advance at the end of the Second World War by creating an army of super-powered soldiers, is a very good one. Certainly it enthused me enough to dig out my old “Dust Tactics” models and start wargaming the genre using a squad of super-powered British Red Devils against a gathering Axis Gorillas and the Undead.

This game using ‘Homemade Rules’ takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board which has been populated with some sporadic trees and a couple of ruined buildings. The Paratroopers’ goal was simple, drop into enemy territory and locate a wrecked robot placed in the centre of the battlefield. Once found, the Red Devils simply had to hold off any enemy units until a helicopter could arrive and safely extract them and their prize. The Axis units simply have to stop them.

“The story so far… Axis forces have been massing along the German border, so Allied Intelligence dispatched a self-sufficient flying drone to conduct reconnaissance over the area. Unfortunately the robot was shot down before it could complete its mission. So headquarters have deployed a team of Red Devils to air drop into the area, and retrieve the remains. Unfortunately the landing zone is currently occupied by trained killer Gorillas and the Walking Dead.”
THE TABLETOP - PARATROOPER LANDING SITES 1,2 & 3
The German forces were randomly deployed around the table’s edges. Whilst Corporal Wayne, Private Knight and Private Murdock identified their preferred landing spots. The robot objective was placed in the centre of the board [Point 4]. The game started with Private Knight landing perfectly in the middle of a ruined building in the north east corner of the battlefield [Point 1]. Corporal Wayne was equally as proficient with his air drop, and landed precisely where he wanted in the north east corner [Point 3]. Unfortunately Private Murdock slightly missed his landing spot but still managed to hit the first floor of a ruined building in the south east corner of the woodland [Point 2].
DOWN AND SAFE - THE RED DEVILS LAND READY FOR ACTION
Sensing living human flesh a nearby zombie rushed towards the landing site of Corporal Wayne. He was immediately spotted by the experienced paratrooper and laid low. In the north western ruin Private Knight shuddered as he heard the howls of two shambling corpses fast approaching him… from different directions. Raising his phaser weapon, the Red Devil immediately felled one of the cadavers. But horrified he then saw an enormous ape appear from behind a nearby tree and start rushing towards him. In the south east Private Murdock also heard the wail of the Undead from beyond some woodland to the south. But he was more concerned with the sight of the gigantic gorilla which was snuffling around at the base of the building he was hiding in. His weapon blazed away at the brute, but despite being wounded the hairy beast did not die. Instead, with a roar, it raced towards the soldier. Who terrified, realised that he could hear the sound of a second great ape moving around the ruin behind his position.
THE WALKING DEAD - GERMAN CORPSES START TO RUSH PRIVATE KNIGHT
From the vulnerable north western ruin Private Knight began Turn Two by opening fire on the snarling gorilla charging towards him. But in his panic missed. In the south east Private Murdock had better luck, and with another roar from his weapon, the giant ape at the bottom of his building was still and dead. The corporal, believing his compatriots had matters well in hand started to move towards the last sighted position of the robot’s remains. However things were not going as well as Wayne thought. For starters the ape Private Knight had completely missed, smashed into the paratrooper and almost tore the man limb from limb there and then. Dazed, the soldier was then charged by a hungry zombie. But somehow managed to stay alive despite the attack. Unfortunately he then saw that another zombie had appeared just outside the ruined building, hungry for his brains. Just which intelligence bigwig thought this place would be an ideal landing spot!?! Private Murdock was also in some danger, as a zombie had appeared besides the body of the ape he’d killed, and he could hear another gorilla effortlessly climbing up the outside of the building he was perched in.
PLANET OF THE APES - KNIGHT AND MURDOCK FACE KILLER GORILLAS
Turn Three saw Murdock spin round and fire at the huge black shape pulling itself up over the wall behind him. But in his fright he totally missed as the ape launched its huge bulk upon him. With a cry, the Red Devil felt his ribs give way beneath the animal’s colossal weight, and at the same time saw that zombie below had reached the edge of the building. Meanwhile Private Knight put his armoured fist through the head of the zombie trying to gnaw through his shoulder. Unfortunately this still left the paratrooper embroiled in a fist-fight with a massive gorilla… But before that battle could be resolved another zombie was upon him and the soldier was eaten alive. Realising the success of his mission was in jeopardy, Corporal Wayne raced on towards the robot’s remains, hoping he could soon call in a helicopter and get what remained of his squad out of this death-trap. But already he could hear the heavy approach of a gorilla from the direction of the north-west corner.
DEATH DEALING - MURDOCK DISPATCHES AN APE. BUT KNIGHT IS OVERWHELMED
The Fourth Turn began with a zombie clambering up onto the first floor where Private Murdock was holed up. But the soldier was too busy thinking about the gorilla’s jaws closing in around his head, and with a “chomp” he was dead. Alone, Corporal Wayne, shivering at the sound of at least one zombie coming at him from the north-west, suddenly saw a gorilla racing towards him from behind a tree. He turned his weapon on the brute and fired… ‘snake-eyes’… a weapon jam!! 
HEROIC ATTEMPT - CORPORAL WAYNE MAKES FOR THE OBJECTIVE AS MURDOCK DIES
All around the Red Devil the cries of the Undead could be heard as the fiends quickly made their way towards the sounds of fresh meat. Throwing his useless weapon to one side, the hero gave a cry “For God, The King and Churchill” and charged into the oncoming silverback gorilla. Breathless he staggered back. He hadn’t injured the beast at all despite his heavy armoured form.
MAN VERSES BEAST - WAYNE BATTLES A GORILLA AS ZOMBIES RUSH TOWARDS HIM
Turn Six saw the Corporal throw another punch into the face of the ape, and this time he finally drew blood. But hungry corpses were fast approaching his location from the west and south, and although he could now hear the beeping of the damaged robot, he knew the Undead were between him and his prize. In the distance he noted the gorilla which had killed Murdock had clambered down from the ruined building and was thundering towards him as well. A huge roar from the killer ape in front of him jerked him back to his senses but it was not enough to save him from the ferocious attack. At the same time he felt clawing hands tearing at his armour, pulling him to the ground…
LAST REPORTED POSITION OF CORPORAL WAYNE - THE RED DEVIL FINALLY FALLS
For those interested in finding out a bit more as to what "Uber" is about. Then I have reviewed the first three issues of the comic book series here:

Sunday, 22 March 2015

"The Explosion Of The Entity Known As Chemo Will Have A Lasting Impact In Bludhaven For Years To Come."

The super-villain Chemo was created by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito in 1962
This 28mm scale plastic pre-painted miniature of Chemo is made by “Wizkids” and is model number 007 from the "Heroclix" DC Comics: Giants Collector Set. The figure, which actually stands an impressive 70mm in height, was first superglued onto a "Citadel" 40mm round base and then undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Green. As the super-villain is made out of some sort of oily transparent green plastic it took several coats of paint to finally have an even covering over the entire miniature. He was then thoroughly washed with Green Shade. 

I was not terribly happy with how this "Vallejo" transparent acrylic looked once it had dried out. So afterwards I dabbed a load of “Citadel” Thrakka Green over the towering mass of chemical by-products and this seemed to really help bring out all the swirling detail which was sculpted on the model. I was then going to dry-brush the behemoth with more “Vallejo” Heavy Green. But in the end thought that would ruin or at least cover a lot of model’s 'toxic waste' blotchiness, so I simply picked out the living weapon's eyes with spots of Dark Vermillion.
 Ben Grimm WIP - Just a few wash applications, and a bit of tidying up on the sign-post to be done
One of my disappointments during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge was that I never managed to just put aside a couple of hours and finally finish this objective marker of The Thing. Over the next few weeks I intend to do my best to correct this and similar oversights, so have finally managed to get both his grey fedora and bending sign-post semi-finished. I now need to just to tidy up the signs, ink the hat and post, and flock the base for rather formidable plastic miniature to be completed...
Awesome Android WIP -  The synthetic being briefly went by the name "Awesome Andy" in the "Marvel Comics"
This 65mm tall "Heroclix" model of the Awesome Android has been sat undercoated "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey upon my painting desk for a few months now. And as this creation of the Mad Thinker is infamous for his run-ins with the Fantastic Four, I thought he'd make an appropriate companion to work on whilst I finish off The Thing. A very simple figure to paint, although his sheer size made handling somewhat difficult, I just need to apply some washes to his indestructible body and loin-cloth and he should be ready for the tabletop.

Friday, 20 March 2015

"You Can't Hide From Me. I Am Your Death, Blake."

"Don't stand there, you idiots! Launch the interceptors."
This Stefan Travers model is by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" and is a ‘dead-ringer’ for the brutal and ruthless Space Commander Travis, as played by Stephen Greif in the BBC science fiction television series “Blake’s Seven”.
"Run, Blake. Run. As far and as fast as you like. I'll find you."
The figure was initially given a double undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black before being rather roughly dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal. In addition I used this ‘off-black’ for both his cybernetic hand and bionic eye. I then gave the miniature a couple of washes of “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil just to tone down the contrast a little. As I wanted to try and give the figure at least some colour, apart from his flesh, I painted his hair with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna but then washed this area with more “Citadel” Nuln Oil just to darken it a bit more than normal, and appear similar to the actor’s hair colour.

In addition to the commander I have also painted up four more Security Guards. A previous posting of mine explains how I painted the Security Guards, which can be found here: http://fantorical.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/unit-three-move-in.html

Old "Crooked Dice" WIPs:  Ready for some tender loving care to finally get on the tabletop
I have also been sorting through another of my long untouched miniature boxes, and discovered a load of partially converted, half-painted old "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" figures I was planning to use for some "Doctor Who" games. Indeed I believe most of these sculpts are actually now sold by "Ainsty Castings". But as I still own several castings of each I thought I'd dust off these 'test pieces' and see whether I can finally finish what I started... bearing in mind all of the "Citadel" paints I used on this models are now out of production.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

"Do You Think He'll Ever Find His Abominable Snowman, Doctor?"

"The Yeti! The Yeti! Fetch help!"
These five 28mm metal models are based upon the robot Yeti from the British Science Fiction television series “Doctor Who” story "The Abominable Snowmen". This six-part serial formed part Season Four back in September 1967 when Patrick Troughton was the (second) Doctor.

They're made by “Black Tree Design” under code DW204 Yeti. All of the Great Intelligence’s mechanical minions were first undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown and then given a heavy wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Once this was dry I washed the areas around the eyes and claws with some “Citadel” Nuln Oil.
"Oh, it's all right for you in your home made Yeti kit."
All of the ‘hairy beasties’ were then drybrushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Brown before I picked out their eyes with “Heavy Goldbrown”, and their claws with White. Both of these areas were then washed with more of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally the eyes were highlighted with some additional “Vallejo” Heavy Goldbrown.

Disappointingly I originally varnished all these miniatures with the “Citadel” Technical ‘Ardcoat. Having dabbed it on as I’ve previously done with the manufacturer’s previous gloss finish product, I was rather horrified to discover that the brush was so sticky it was pulling off both the brown wash and paint!?! As a result I have had to touch up all these models and now use “Coat D’arms” Gloss Varnish instead.
Second Doctor TARDIS Crew WIPs - Don't expect any tartan or criss-crosses on these miniatures
As I've realised that I'm spending a considerable amount of time currently painting the monsters from Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Second Doctor, I thought it would only be appropriate to dig out the 'cosmic hobo' himself, as well as companions Zoe Heriot and Jamie McCrimmon. I'll be pottering away at this trio of models by "Black Tree Design" whilst I'm 'batch-painting' more Yeti and Cybermen.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2014 - Side Challenge - Part Three

The Black Mist WIPs - Both models have been washed with black Shade and work has started on their faces  
I have still got quite a bit of work to do on these two “Reaper” miniatures of The Black Mist (Vigilante). But both the metal and Bones figures are presenting some unique differences. To begin with I’ve dry-brushed both of them with charcoal and unsurprisingly the plastic figure’s softer details made it somewhat harder to just pick them out without cover several of the flatter surfaces. What did disappoint me however was that I ended up having to ‘touch up’ the metal version as the simple process of lightly dragging the brush tip across the figure’s ridges caused some of the undercoat to ‘chip’ away.

As I want the pulp anti-hero to appear somewhat two-tone despite his predominantly all-black ensemble, I have heavily washed both models with black Shade and then repainted their heavy overcoat with more “Citadel” Abaddon Black in order to separate it from the swirling cloak. I’ve also managed to undercoat the cuffs and face. Originally I was going to have the figures wearing black gloves, but I have since decided to have them uncovered otherwise I really think it’ll be ebony overload.
Hairy WIPs - Bongo The Chimp is almost finished. Still some way to go on the Yeti  
Speaking of which I’ve since washed my Bongo the Chimp with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and picked out his flesh details with charcoal. This model really only needs a couple of final touches to be ready to join his Simian brothers as part of a rather large Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge submission. Alongside him I started undercoating the areas of skin on the two large Sasquatch models from “Pulp Figures” PLT07 Hairy Hominids. I’m really in two minds with these big behemoths as I was planning on making their flesh somewhat pink. But now I think I may make them somewhat darker skinned, possibly even using an old pot of “Citadel” Dark Flesh.
Pulp WIPs - Finally starting to work my way up these great Bob Murch sculpts  
Finally I have been pottering away on Boy from PLT09 Kojar Of The Forest Tribe and a couple of the figures from Bob Murch’s “Gangland Justice” Range. Having been rather unimpressed by just how dark the “Citadel” Shade Reikland Fleshshade dried on my Tweedy Mattison/Eleventh Doctor I’m considering watering the wash down before applying it to the model, otherwise I fear the flesh highlights I like to employ for the hands and faces of my models will look a little stark in comparison to the rest of the flesh areas.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2014 - Side Challenge - Part Two

The Black Mist WIPs - Both models have been undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black  
One of the mini-projects I wanted to complete during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is to paint a “Reaper” miniature in both its original metal form and its Bones variant. Such a task will not only provide me with a miniature which I can submit to the imminent Anti-Hero Bonus Round. But that miniature can then also be dispatched to Curt as payment for entering the Painting Challenge in the first place. The second figure would also come in handy as my prize to the eventual winner of “The Pulp Trio” side-challenge.

As a result I’ve based both the “Reaper” Chronoscope metal model entitled The Black Mist Vigilante (code 50217) and the “Reaper” Chronoscope Bones plastic miniature The Black Mist (code 80007); sculpted by B. Ridolfi.

To be honest the difference in quality of their detail was rather evident before I’d even removed them from their packaging, as the Bones figure has several edges which appear to have been torn as they’re rather jagged. Perhaps unsurprisingly the model also took a bit more effort to undercoat black, as the paint simply kept pooling for the first few layers. The sculpt is clearly heavily inspired by “The Shadow” from the Thirties pulp magazines, so I plan on both being predominantly black in colour with some charcoal and deep red breaking the monotony up.
Not Tarzan WIPs - All five models from Kojar Of The Forest Tribe have been undercoated
I have also turned some attention to some of the models from the “Pulp Figures” collection PLT09 Kojar Of The Forest Tribe. Having painted all three of Bob Murch’s wonderful Killer Apes, I have started work on Bongo the Chimp, as well as some close approximations of Tarzan’s Jane and Boy.
More Hired Killer WIPs - The gangsters clothing will range from green-brown to light grey-blue and cream
In addition I am still slowly progressing the ten hired killer miniatures from “Pulp Figures” “Gangland Justice” range, and hope to have a couple finished by the end of the week.