Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"I Have No Idea What It Could Be. It Was Greyish In Colour..."

"Not every discovery has been announced."
These five 28mm metal models of Grey Aliens are produced by “Copplestone Castings” and can be bought as code FW36 from their Future Wars range. Supposedly the extraterrestrial beings responsible for "forty-three percent of all reported alien encounters in the United States", these aliens are named for their unique skin colour and were made famous "from earlier depictions of the Roswell UFO incident from 1947."
"At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: There was a constant surveillance by UFOs."
Smoothly sculpted and somewhat diminutive models, the figures were initially undercoated with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The aliens were then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, before receiving a second heavily watered-down wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil.  Finally, the gun-toting 'leader' had his space weapon painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

With these latest (admittedly odd) additions to my "Mad Max" project completed, I have momentarily turned my attention towards painting a rather smashing sculpt of Tweak; one of Judge Dredd's "most important allies" during the lawman's epic adventure across "The Cursed Earth". This 28mm scale resin model was an extremely generous Christmas gift from Dave Stone and, now I have super-glued it upon one of plastic circular slotta bases I use for all my "2000 A.D." related miniatures, has been given a generous double-coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.
Tweak WIPs: The alien has been undercoated "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently washed 
Described in the "Judge Dredd Wiki" as a "furry alien with dark brown fur covering the majority of his body... [and] large black eyes" I initially planned to simply dry-brush the figure and 'pick out' his claws. However, having scrutinised his appearance in "Tweak's Story" it's clear the "leader of an unnamed planet" actually has lighter fur around his snout and formidable-looking hands, so I'll be applying a lighter brown to these areas in order to make the "noble and loyal creature" far less monotone in colour.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

"Max. My Name Is Max."

"My world is fire. And blood. Once, I was a cop..."
This 28mm metal model of a Road Warrior was produced by “Copplestone Castings” as code FWX1 and was actually a freebie (along with a "Future Wars" order) from "North Star Military Figures". The sculpt has clearly been heavily influenced by actor Tom Hardy's portrayal of Max Rockatansky, as seen in the 2016 motion picture "Mad Max: Fury Road", so as a result I have tried to stick to the colour scheme of the former Australian Highway Patrolman's costume from that film.

The model was therefore initially undercoated with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. I then washed the one-time member of the Main Force Patrol with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and subsequently painted his boots using a combination of "Vallejo" Charred Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Heroclix" WIPS - Servo-Guard, Darkseid and Doombot
With the miniature's main layering now finished, I started to pick out all his pouches, his blanket, his spare knee-pad, his shotgun's stock and some tubing with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown, Iraqi Sand and Heavy Sienna. All of these areas were then washed with more "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I painted his firearm's barrel and trigger with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and his scarf with Chaos Black.

Unfortunately, because I started painting Mad Max before the start of the Seventh Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, he isn't eligible for entry. However, that doesn't mean I have slackened in my output for the three-month long contest, and have been steadily progressing a number of plastic figures by "Wizkids" 'behind-the-scenes'. Indeed, I have already completed one of my "Heroclix" Doombots, and have therefore started work on the second of three identical models.
"Doctor Who" WIPs - Morbius and Yartek the Voord
Similarly, I have been putting the final touches on my "Black Tree Design" miniature of Yartek; the villainous Voord responsible for murdering Arbitan in the 1964 television serial "Doctor Who And The Keys Of Marinus". Once finished, this frog-suit-wearing extra-terrestrial will actually lead six of his entirely black-clad brethren as a sizeable 'William Hartnell era' submission for the AHPC.

In addition, I've also begun work on one of the most murderous Timelords yet depicted on the BBC science fiction programme, Morbius. Perhaps best known for having had his brain placed inside a transparent plastic artificial case by Mehendri Solon (as depicted in his "Black tree Design" sculpt), the "notorious and malevolent renegade" President of Gallifrey has more recently come to my notice courtesy of the "Big Finish" audio story "The Vengeance Of Morbius".
THE COSMIC CUBE WARS - The Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man and Howard The Duck must save New York

Friday, 13 January 2017

"We Are The Silents. And Silence Will Fall!"

"This world is ours. We have ruled it since the wheel and the fire. We have no need of weapons."
These "finely-sculpted" and 40mm tall "pewter" models of three Silents are produced by “Warlord Games” and are designed for use with the company's Doctor Who Miniatures Game "Into The time Vortex." Genetically engineered to be the confessional priests of the Church of the Silence, these mouthless creatures first appeared in the 2011 BBC television story “The Impossible Astronaut”, and were "capable of obliterating enemies by absorbing electrical energy from the air and discharging it from their hands at a vastly more potent level."

Initially primed with two layers of "Citadel" Chaos Black, these miniatures were all heavily dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Their discoloured shirts were subsequently 'picked out' with a combination of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst their ties were simply re-painted with more "Citadel" Chaos Black.
Grey Aliens WIPs - The extra-terrestrials have now been washed and dry-brushed
Finally these members of the "religious order created by Tasha Lem" had their pinkish skin painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey and washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. These areas were then highlighted with some additional "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey, before receiving a final wash of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade in order to 'blend' the pigments together and create some extra shadowing.

With my latest entry for the Seventh  Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge completed I have made some good progress on my diminutive Grey Aliens by "Copplestone Castings". These somewhat odd supplements to my "Mad Max" project have been primed with a double-dose of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and subsequently washed with a black shade too. I've even managed to get the first of two dry-brushes over them in order to try and bring out their softly sculpted detail.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Vampire Roustbout, Darkseid and Doctor Doom
I have also continued to 'slap some pigment' on a few of my "Wizkids" pre-painted miniatures. Sadly my hammer-wielding Vampire Roustabout isn't eligible for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, as I actually started work on the "Horrorclix" sculpt way back in 2015 when Bryan (of "Vampifan's World Of The Undead" fame) kindly gifted me him. However, I am now hopeful that the brutish figure should soon be finished, even though he will be primarily used as a muscled enforcer for the Joker, rather than a blood-drinking despot.

Equally as well advanced is the first of three Doombots I have planned for my 'Court of Doctor Doom' mini-project; a small(ish) collection of "Heroclix" models to be submitted into the AHPC East Themed Bonus Round. These robotic replicas of Latveria's monarch will form his personal bodyguard, and provide some additional protection alongside Victor Von Doom's Servo-Guards.

Lastly I have been somewhat inspired by repeated viewings of the 2016 American superhero film "Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice", and as a result have made some 'inroads' on my miniature of the all-powerful Darkseid. The "tyrannical ruler of the planet Apokolips", this 'New God' is thought to be behind the 'turning' of Superman into a vengeful murdering villain, as seen during Bruce Wayne's "Knightmare" vision of a future Earth overrun by Parademons...  

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

"Quarry In Range. Eliminate."

"Target detected."
This 28mm scale pre-painted plastic model of TESS-One is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 027 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Age Of Ultron range. Created and published by both Mark Gruenwald and artist Mike Zeck in September 1986, this giant "special robot" was built by Professor Schumann in case an army of super-soldiers, like Captain America, returned home after World War Two and took over the United States. Eventually abandoned in a bomb shelter underneath its late inventor's residence, the  Adamantium-armoured machine would be activated and attempt to neutralise the Sentinel of Liberty in "Captain America" Annual 8.
"TESS-One battles Captain America and some New York City cops
90mm in height, TESS-One was first 'cut' from it's somewhat diminutive 'clicky-base' and super-glued to a "Games Workshop" 50mm circular stand. The model was primed with two coats of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and subsequently washed with Nuln Oil. I then spent a good thirty minutes patiently dry-brushing Schumann's robot with more Ironbreaker. The sculpt's detail was rather soft in places so I ensured that there was very little paint on my brush each time I drew it across the figure preferring to build-up the 'effect' rather than lazily apply a single heavy application. Once this process was complete, I used the same brush to 'polish' the flatter areas of the model. Finally I 'picked out' the automaton's face plate with Abaddon Black and applied a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson to its menacing eye-sensors.
Grey Aliens WIPs - The extra-terrestrials have all been undercoat with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey
In addition to my submission for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Armour Bonus Round I have also 'pulled out' the next selection of miniatures by "Copplestone Castings" I plan to paint as part of my "Mad Max" project. Like the Terminator Robots I've previously finished, these Grey Aliens are part of Mark's "Non-Humans" "Future Wars" range, and should prove relatively straightforward to finish on account of their diminutive size.

Likewise I've dipped into my "Black Tree Design" drawer for some more "Doctor Who" themed models, and inspired by the "Big Finish" audio story "Domain Of The Voord" have prepped, primed and started painting Yartek and six of his fellow Voord. With the exception of their "commando-style knives" the semi-aquatic extra-terrestrials are actually entirely black in colour on account of their scuba-diving bodysuits, and such make for a rather uninspiring painting subject.
Voord WIPs - The plunderers of Marinus have been primed, dry-brushed and had some details 'picked out'
However, in order to try and break up their monochromatic monotony I have decided to pick out their eye lenses, belts and small diving weights with grey and their belt-buckles in silver. The entire models will also be dry-brushed in Charcoal and finally be washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil to try and tie all the different pigments together.

Fortunately, the model of the Voord's leader isn't quite so 'dull' a subject to paint as "Black Tree Design" have sculpted him wearing the robe of Arbitan; the Keeper of the Conscience of Marinus, whom the alien brutally murdered and momentarily replaced. Admittedly his 'imperious' gown is still predominantly one colour, but he's also wearing the guardian's nicely detailed golden medallion of office, and this should make a good contrast to the rest of the grey-scale frogmen. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Dice Masters Report: Spider-Man & The Human Torch Verses Captain America & The Beast

A MISUNDERSTANDING LEADS TO THE HUMAN TORCH FIGHTING CAPTAIN AMERICA
This game was played using the “Avengers Vs. X-Men” rules for “Dice Masters” by “Wizkids”. However, in order to help visualise events occurring on the play mat, a three-dimensional representation of the battle was created alongside using both the Urban Apocalypse Terrain by “Battle Systems” and some painted “Heroclix” miniatures. To keep things simple we just utilised the Basic Action Cards “Force Beam”, “Inner Rage” and “Thrown Car”, as dictated by the rule-book’s “Your First Game” recommendation, and fielded Human Torch (Playing with Fire) and Spider-Man (Webhead) against Beast (Mutate #666) and Captain America (American Hero); a somewhat bizarre scenario considering one team consists of Spidey and a founding member of the Fantastic Four, whilst the other features the (First) Avenger and an original X-Man…

“The story so far… The Phoenix Force has returned and initiated a war between the Avengers and the X-Men. In an effort to try and prevent the all-powerful entity from possessing Hope Summers, Captain America and Hank McCoy are racing across New York City in a bid to place her into protective custody. However, foolishly believing that the pair are in fact about to battle one another, hot-head Johnny Storm attacks the duo in a bid to separate them. Realising that his long-time friend is outnumbered, the local friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swings to his pal’s side, and equally misinterprets an admittedly tense situation…”
THE PLAY MAT - A DICE MOVEMENT DIAGRAM
Drawing four dice from their bag, Team Spidey found themselves owning two melee energies, a blast energy and a wildcard energy. This meant that the Human Torch could quickly get himself involved in the fight by spending the blast and wildcard energies in order to purchase one of his ‘Playing with Fire’ dice. However, before doing that they two melee energies were re-rolled and surprising landed as a blast energy and a wildcard energy. Something which allowed Johnny Storm to purchase both of his character dice.
JOHNNY STORM ASSUMES THE WORST WHEN HE SPIES CAPTAIN AMERICA
Team Cap likewise rolled the four dice they’d pulled from their bag, and astonishing found themselves with two toughness energies and two wildcard energies; just enough to purchase one of Steve Roger’s “American Hero” dice.

Turn Two saw Team Spidey roll their remaining four dice and subsequently purchase an “Inner Rage” basic action dice, and field a sidekick dice (in this case a nearby Police officer who, sensing trouble, attempts to intercept Captain America in order to establish what is going on). The sidekick dice damages Team Cap for one of their ten health points and is placed in the used pile; or rather in narrative terms momentarily interrupts the Sentinel of Liberty long enough to delay him before resuming his patrol.
NEW YORK CITY'S FINEST ENCOUNTER A DETERMINED SENTINEL OF LIBERTY
In return Team Cap rolled enough energies to field two sidekicks of their own (a pair of passing flatfoots) and purchase one of Beast’s “Mutate #666” dice. One of the Police officers ends up questioning the Human Torch (costing Team Spidey one of their ten health points) before being removed to the used pile, whilst the other remains in play in order to block any further delays by New York City’s finest.

Turn Three began with both sides collecting all the dice they’ve rolled and bought (except Team Cap’s sidekick die which is still in play), and placing them in their bags, before drawing four more dice. Team Spidey not only roll a sidekick (Police officer), but having drawn one of their Human Torch dice, roll it so its Attack:2 Defence:2 face is showing. This dice is especially useful as it costs nothing to immediately put into play, and suddenly the helpful Police officer trying to protect Cappy’s race to find Hope Summers is facing both a fellow lawman and a rather fiery hot-headed super-hero.
CAPTAIN AMERICA MOMENTARILY ENJOYS THE SUPPORT OF THE LAW
Assailed by both the Human Torch and their flatfoot, Team Cap can only defend against one of their foes, and as the founding member of the Fantastic Four would cause the most damage if unblocked, their only defender (the well-meaning street cop) is knocked out by one of Johnny Storm’s fireballs. This leaves Team Spidey’s own sidekick (another Police officer) to reduce Team Cap’s health by another point before being removed to the used pile. The unconscious flatfoot however, is placed in Team Cap’s prep area, and thus can be added to the four dice subsequently drawn from their bag – giving the Sentinel of Liberty and Beast five dice to roll instead of the usual four…

Rolling their five energy dice, as unfortunately Team Cap didn’t draw any character or action dice, the Beast is pleased to be able to purchase the second of his “Mutate #666” dice and an accompanying “Inner Rage” basic action. But without any sidekicks in play the Avenger/X-Man line-up were looking rather vulnerable, as the Human Torch was about to attack again with his “Playing with Fire” dice just for starters.
THE HUMAN TORCH IMPULSIVELY STARTS HURLING FIREBALLS AT CAP AND THE POLICE
Turn Four saw Team Spidey able to both field Johnny Storm’s second “Playing with Fire” dice (this time showing Cost:1 Attack:3 Defence:3) and pay the energy cost required in order to immediately field the ability. In doing this, the Fantastic Four flyer also activated his character’s special ability which whenever “you field a character each turn” provides “each Human Torch already in the field” with “+1A and +1D until the end of the turn.” This ‘power-up’ therefore now made Team Spidey’s other Human Torch dice an impressive Attack:3 Defence:3. In addition, the misguided super-heroes also rolled an “Inner Rage” dice which staggeringly caused both Human Torch dice to be increased to Attack:5 Defence:5 until the end of the turn.
JOHNNY STORM DEFEATS CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE BEAST
With nothing in the way of the flame-powered super-hero’s scorching attacks, Team Cap fell before ten points of damage, and were both knocked out for the count. The Human Torch (and Spider-Man) had won, but at what cost…

Friday, 6 January 2017

"I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, And Your Motorcycle."

"Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range."
These five 28mm metal models of Terminator Robots are manufactured by “Copplestone Castings” and can be bought as code FW15 from their Future Wars range. A robotic assassin and soldier, designed by the military supercomputer Skynet for infiltration and combat duty, these miniatures are clearly highly influenced by the 1984 film "The Terminator".

The figures were initially primed using "Citadel" Chaos Black and subsequently given a double layer of Ironbreaker. They were then heavily washed with Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker. As the models were predominantly metallic silver in colour I decided to try and break up this monotonous appearance by 'picking out' their automatic weapons with Chaos Black. These rifles were then highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charocal, washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and then finally, had an L.E.D. painted on them using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Come with me if you want to live."
To be honest I had hoped these particular models would be a relatively pain-free twenty-five point submission for the Seventh Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. But I actually found their sculpts a little 'questionable' around their firearms, particularly underneath their arms where it wasn't very clear whether I was looking at part of the weapon, part of the arm/torso, or just a lump of metal where there should ordinarily be a gap. As a result I spent a good while repeatedly shading certain parts of these figures to try and give the illusion of shadow around their automatic rifles so as to mask these 'troublesome' areas.

The completion of my T-800's, does nonetheless mean that I can now concentrate on painting some additional foot-soldiers for my "Copplestone Castings" "Mad Max" mini-project. For now I actually plan to use the robots as the forgotten survivors of Skynet's Sydney Headquarters, which, having been reactivated by Rockatansky, act as his 'personal protectors' against the hordes of ravenous undead stalking the post-apocalyptic Australian Outback. However, I still hope to paint up some mortal delinquents with which to threaten the former Main Force Patrol officer with, so I have dug deep into my lead mountain and started basing a number of Scavengers, Wastelands Desperadoes, Bikers and Mercenaries, as well as some Grey Aliens and Sand (Snow) Yetis... 
The Silence WIPs - These aliens have had their flesh base-painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey
Lastly, I have been steadily making some more progress on my collection of "Doctor Who" miniatures by "Warlord Games", and as a result have finally finished painting all the base layers on my three Silents. These "genetically engineered 7 foot tall mouthless creatures" have proved a tad more time-consuming than I imagined on account of their cream-coloured shirt collars. But with these garments now finished, along with their pallid flesh, the "confessional priests of the Church of the Silence" are ready for some washes and final highlights.
"AVENGERS VERSES X-MEN" - Spider-Man & The Human Torch battle Captain America & The Beast 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

"Silence. Later You Will Be Questioned, Tortured, And Killed."

"Welcome to Skonnos, my friends."
These five 28mm metal models of the Nimon are manufactured by “Black Tree Design” and can be bought as code DW428 from their "Doctor Who" range. Large, black-skinned humanoids with bull-like heads, "similar to the minotaurs of Earth's myths", this parasitic species first appeared in the December 1979 BBC Television science fiction serial "The Horns Of Nimon", and quickly demonstrated their desire to enslave the citizens and soldiers of the Skonnan Empire.
"Welcome to the new home of the Nimon race - the next step in The Great Journey of Life."
As all five of the single-pose miniatures were cast with their hands at their sides, I tried to mix their poses up a little bit by slowly prising their arms out to various degrees with a modelling knife. The figures were then primed with "Citadel" Chaos Black, dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Charred Brown and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Doctor Who" Scale Chart: "Crooked Dice" Sarah Jane Smith, "Warlord Games" Zygon, "Black Tree Design" Nimon, "Warlord Games" Wilfred Mott and "Crooked Dice" Eleventh Doctor
Having finished the basic layers, I then applied a double coat of "Vallejo" Gold to the Nimons' loincloths and had their clothing subsequently washed with Strong Tone Quickshade. The  extra-terrestrial energy-drainers' eyes were 'picked out' with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Whilst their horns, capable of shooting deadly beams, were painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, shaded with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and finally dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre.
The Silence WIPs - These aliens have been dry-brushed and had their shoes painted
Sticking with "Doctor Who", but shifting my focus onto the "range of finely-sculpted scale pewter and plastic miniatures" produced by "Warlord Games", and which are "officially approved by the BBC", I have started making some 'inroads' on my three Silents. However, whilst I do plan to predominantly stick to the colour scheme described on the "Into The Time Vortex" website, I have painted their shoes dark brown as opposed to matt black, in order to just slightly break up the all-black monotony of the models.
Terminator Robots WIPs - Having been dry-brushed these T-800 models have had their automatic rifles picked out
In addition I am already close to finishing the five fearsome Terminator Robots manufactured by "Copplestone Castings", which I plan to use as part of my 'Mad Max' project. Like the Silence, though, I thought their all-silver palette was a little too monotone for my tastes, so I have begun painting their weapons black and dry-brushing them with a little "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal". These 'Sydney Skynet survivors' will hopefully be finished in time for this week's Seventh Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge submission deadline.