Wednesday, 29 October 2014

“A Few Days In Space. What's The Worst That Could Happen?”

This rather tall 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Mister Fantastic is miniature number 72 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Clobberin’ Time range. Despite the pose being more in line with the cartoonish Plastic Man from “DC Comics” than the serious scientist Reed Richards, I still think this is a great looking model and has been great fun to paint; albeit it the Fantastic Four emblem on his chest took a fair few attempts before I decided that retreat was the better part of valour.

There seem to have been a variety of different shades of blue used as the colour for the costume of the Fantastic Four over the years, so I decided to simply stick with the dark hue “Wizkids” had already pre-painted the figure with. However, whereas their leader of the famous FF had just been given a very heavy drybrush over a black undercoat, I wanted my Mister Fantastic to tie in with the colour scheme I’d used for the shorts of his team-mate Benjamin Grimm, a.k.a the Thing. As a result I gave the model a couple of coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue before applying a double wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil.

In between these various applications I desperately tried to keep picking out the circle on his ‘4’ chest emblem with “Vallejo” White. But after more attempts than I care to remember I decided there simply wasn’t enough of the circular border to paint with my brush skills, so simply picked out the number in black and have left it at that… for now at least.
Mister Fantastic and The Thing battle the Mole-Man's Moloids
If you’re interested Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four appear in my latest review of the old “Marvel Comics” 2006 series of “The Thing” here:

Or if you’re interested in how I painted Ben Grimm then you can find my posting here:
This is the first of five miniatures I plan to paint as part of a fun Mo’vember challenge with Dick Garrison from over at the “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” blog. It’s Dracula from the Late Seventies “Marvel Comics” series “Tomb Of Dracula” and depicts the Lord of Vampires, courtesy of some superb art by Gene Colan, with a fine dastardly moustache. Rather lazily I was originally planning on simply painting in the face and hand and finishing there; as the rest of the model’s clothing should be black. But as this character is well-known, in comic-fan circles anyway, for his billowing cloak and suit’s blue highlights, I’ve picked out his suit and trousers with an appropriate colour.

If you’re interested in taking part in Mo’vember then please either leave a comment and link to your website, or visit Dick Garrison’s excellent blog here:

Monday, 27 October 2014

"No, I'm Coming Back."

This 28mm metal model is one of the two miniatures found within packet Future Freedom Fighters 1 by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". The retro space liberator is the first of the "Blake's Seven" figures I plan to use for a series of "7TV" games which should hopefully re-enact some of my favourite episodes from the British science fiction television show, starting with the opening story "The Way Back".

To begin with the model was undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black before I applied a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey to the figure's trousers. I then washed this area with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The belt and pouch were picked out using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and was washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. I painted the Freedom Fighter's jumper with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy green and "Citadel" Thrakka Green before applying several thinned coats of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand" to his shirt.
Originally I then washed the sleeves and collar with more "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade but the shade came out too thickly for my liking and darkened the 'yellow' shirt much too much. As a result I repainted the sleeves, and tidied up the garment's collar with another coat of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and then washed all the areas with some watered down "The Army painter" Strong Tine quickshade. The teleportation bracelet was incredibly fiddly with all its buttons so I simply painted it with "Citadel" Boltgun metal, washed it with Nuln Oil and then, as they're supposed to be a tan-copper colour, washed it was Agrax Earthshade. I painted the barrel of the Liberator's hand blaster "Vallejo" White before washing it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then drybrushed the weapon to lighten it up and bring out the detail. Finally, I was tempted to just paint the model's hair black, but as I wanted him to be Roj Blake, I dug out an old pot of "Citadel" Dark Flesh and applied a coat of that to this head, along with a liberal wash of Devlan Mud.
As my final miniature for Zomtober 2014 I plan to complete painting this model of Judge Death by "Mongoose Publishing". It's taking some doing as I am finding some of the details to the sculpt to be of a similar standard to the Judges I've previously painted; that is instead of a clean cast some of the figure's edges appear to have been torn away creating a rip-like effect to some parts of the miniature. Nonetheless I've finished painting and inking the Deadworld judge's kneepads and belt, layered his first coat of 'ivory' upon his shoulder pads and elbow pads and finished his belt buckle. I've also picked out his judge's badge and the poor stitching to the top of his uniform. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

“You Cannot Kill That Which Doesss Not Live !”

This 28mm metal model of Judge Death in Spirit Form was sculpted as part of the October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter by “Mongoose Games” and can be purchased as code JD20129 from "Warlord Games".

This miniature is based upon the spirit form of the undead lawkeeper from a parallel dimension, and is my penultimate submission for Zomtober 2014. As I wanted the incorporeal spirit to fit in with a number of ghosts I painted over four years ago, I had to dig deep to try and find some ‘out of production’ pots of “Games Workshop” paint. The model was first undercoated with “Vallejo” White and then heavily washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green and, once it had dried, Devlan Mud. I then drybrushed the entire model with “Vallejo” White.
This really brought out the detail of the sculpting and helped me see which parts of the undead spirit I wanted to solidify. As a result I painted most of the figure’s head with “Citadel” Abaddon Black and then set to work painting the Deadworld Judge’s face, teeth and portcullis-shaped visor. Once completed I started the process of trying to mix the black of the villain’s helmet in with the white of his spirit form. This was accomplished by alternating drybrushing the adjoining areas with “Vallejo” White and “Citadel” Abaddon Black until they merged to form a slightly greyish layer.
The original posting of my ghost miniatures by the “Newark Model Soldier Company” can be found here:
Having completed Judge Death’s spirit form, I’ve now started painting this “Mongoose Publishing” model of a corpse he’s inhabiting. There seems to be many different variations as to his uniform and its colouring but I plan to go with bone for his right shoulder pterodactyl, elbow pads and left shoulder pad and green for his belt and kneepads.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

“Strong As The Hulk. Twice As Mean.”

This hefty 28mm model of The Abomination is miniature number 33 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Avengers range. It is based upon the alter ego of Chinese scientist Chang Lam from “The Ultimates” comic book series and stands an impressive 56cm in height. As I’m a huge fan of the ‘original’ Abomination by “Marvel Comics”, I don’t actually like this alternate universe (Earth-1610) version of the super-villain; who was actually decapitated and eaten by the Hulk. But the pre-painted plastic figure is definitely one of the more impressive and dynamic sculpts from “Wizkids”.
The model was reasonably straightforward to paint despite its size and was simply given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy green” before being heavily washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. I was actually close to simply stopping there but eventually gave the model a rough drybrush of more “Vallejo” Heavy Green. This really helped bring out the detail of all the muscles and sinews sculpted onto the figure. The toes and teeth were picked out with “Vallejo” White and then also washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. Originally the model also had its large thumb nails painted white but I thought these looked dreadful as they starkly stood out from the rest of the dark-skinned monster. As a result I decided not to pick out these areas on my model and simply left them green along with the other fingers.

If you’re interested in the original Abomination, Emily Blonsky, then I look at the character’s latest appearance in “Savage Hulk” on my daily American Comics Review Blog here:
As you can see from this week’s Top Ten Miniatures in my painting queue I’ve made a few additions, most notably more “Heroclix” in the shape of The Hulk and The Flash. I have also got a very nice Tweedy Mattison model from “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and the previously posted Masked Bandit from “Boot Hill Miniatures”. I am currently just painting the spirit form of Judge Death and then I’ll start work on this ‘living’ version of the Deadworld Judge by “Mongoose Publishing”. I’ve not been able to make any progress on either my “Crooked Dice” Blake’s Seven project or The Shadow by “Graven Images”.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"Bullets Go Right Thru Him - - Don't Even Phase Him!"

This rather large 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model is of N’Kantu, The Living Mummy. First appearing in the August 1973 issue of “Supernatural Thrillers”, the three thousand year-old super-hero was actually conceived by American comic book writer Steve Gerber; better known for creating Howard The Duck. The miniature is number 11 from the Marvel Amazing Spider-Man “Heroclix” set and is a common figure. As I joined Zomtober 2014 a week late I have been trying to play a bit of catch-up with the other contributors, and this miniature’s submission means I’ve finally caught up.
After initially undercoating the model with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand, I applied a heavy wash of the “Citadel” Shade Agrax Earthshade over the entire figure. I then drybrushed more “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand across all of the papyrus bandages N’Kantu is wrapped in. I actually did this with an old fine detail brush as despite being rather time-consuming, it gave me much better control over how heavily I applied the technique. This was important as I wanted some of the areas to remain quite dark, damp with the millennia, and others reasonably light. I even considered applying a light drybrush of white over the model as a final highlight, but then thought it would make the Living Mummy look a bit too clean for my liking.
Painting the figure’s face was an adventure in its own right as the “Heroclix” model not only had no wrappings across N’Kantu’s mouth but had the Living Mummy moaning with visible white teeth. Having painted both the white eyes and teeth on several occasions and not being happy with any of my attempts I finally decided to abandon the open mouth and give the model a closed tight-lipped grimace. As a result I used a sharp knife to cut out the tiniest of slivers of plastic and then simply applied my “standard zombie flesh “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey undercoat across the area. Once washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and Thrakka Green, the mouth area merged in with the rest of N’Kantu’s face but left a satisfying pool where his lips were pursed. Having solved the problem of the mouth I then turned my attention to the miniature’s eyes, and eventually plumbed for simply undercoating them with “Vallejo” White, washing them with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and then picking them out again with a tiny spot more of “Vallejo” White.
Dick Garrison over on the “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” blog has come up with a cracking idea for a challenge during November. In line with ‘Movember’ the plan is paint up a moustached model for each weekend during the month, so I present to you my roster of miniatures. They’re all 28mm “Heroclix” pre-painted plastic figures and consist of Dracula, Wulf Sternhammer, Lockjaw, Puck and Doctor Strange. If you’re interested in joining in just for fun then simply drop Dick a comment at his blog:

Sunday, 19 October 2014

28mm Battle Report: The Thing And Nightwing Verses Blockbuster

This third simple game of “7TV” by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” is designed for us to get more familiar with some of the Event cards printed at the rear of the core rulebook. As a result I’ll only be using a couple of Heroic Co-Stars against a handful of Villainous Extras and their Leader. As I’m not using any actual Stars or Villains all the Gadget cards have been put to one side.
The adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 board, with a large number of crates and barrels covering the playing surface. The objective is for The Thing and Nightwing to ‘collect’ as many clue pieces as they can by the end of the sixth turn. The clues range in value from 1 point to 5 points worth of information and are dotted about the tabletop. However the heroes won’t know the value of their clues until the end of the game when they are revealed (back at the Batcave). To win the heroes’ clues must be worth more than those being held by the villains.
“The story so far… Batman is apparently dead and Gotham City has gone to hell as a result. The Penguin and Two-Face are carving up the crime rackets between themselves in a large scale gang war. But a mysterious third player has entered the game, and Dick Grayson needs to find out who that somebody is. Unwillingly to yet don the cape and cowl of Batman, Nightwing locates a downtown warehouse believing it to hold enough clues to reveal the identity of this third criminal mastermind. However it’s guarded by a group of ‘Eavies lead by the superhuman Bruiser, Blockbuster. As a result Grayson teams up with native New Yorker Ben Grimm, and together they break into the warehouse…”
As both heroes would deploy upon a random table edge, a D6 was rolled for each co-star. The Thing started on the eastern side of the building, protected to his south by a large wall of radioactive barrels. Whilst Nightwing began the game from the southern edge, with an unobstructed route straight to the warehouse’s centre and Blockbuster (as well as an ‘Eavy and a clue). The Audience Appreciation fell in the favour of the heroes, and (as opposed to dealing out some Event Cards to each player as per the core rulebook) they were awarded the first Event Card to be revealed – Faulty Gadget; which would have no effect upon the turn as no villains were carrying any.
Ben Grimm spotted a useful looking clue to his right, and the ‘Eavy (number two) guarding it a moment later. Discretion never being the behemoth’s greatest strength the former test-pilot moved straight towards the crowbar carrying criminal and with a loud “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” [Rage Special Effect] knocked the man cold. Meanwhile Dick Grayson charged into the ‘Eavy (four) in the southwest corner and utilising his knowledge of Pressure Points, stunned the man.
Realising something was amiss ‘Eavy (one) travelled down from the north-west corner of the warehouse and ‘Eavy (five) moved west towards the figure of Nightwing. As there were some crates in between the hired muscle and the Bludhaven vigilante, the ‘Eavy had to hurdle the obstacle, and did so with ease.
Blockbuster, using his Leadership to activate a nearby ‘Eavy (three), rushed off to face The Thing, and spotting Ben Grimm with his back to him, charged into the founding member of the Fantastic Four. Using the charge to boost his Strength, Blockbuster negated The Thing’s rocky hide armour and using some Audience Appreciation stunned Grimm. Falling to the floor, the blue-eyed super-hero guessed Blockbuster had been taking advice from some of those damn Yancy Street Gangers. Sensing his hapless foe was at his mercy, the Bruiser started putting the boot in…
Concerned at his friend’s incapacitation, and noting that none of the fallen had sufficiently recovered in order to get to their feet, Nightwing gritted his teeth and ensured he passed his Shaken test. With the Audience Appreciation once again falling in the heroes favour, Dick Grayson snatched up a clue and charged into the oncoming ‘Eavy (three).
However despite trying his Luck, he failed to land a punch upon the hired muscle. Now was the time for a Heroic Surge and Nightwing lashed out with an ‘All or Nothing’ attack… so down went the ‘Eavy. Then leaping over the fallen body, the Strongarm charged into another fast-approaching ‘Eavy (five) and decked him as well.
Blockbuster, sensing that his men were dropping around him like ninepins rushed towards the Blundhaven police officer but had to stop short. Seeing the three fallen senseless ‘Eavies surrounding Nightwing, none of whom roused themselves at the end of the turn, the Bruiser’s morale broke and he fled the table top with the surviving ‘Eavy (one). The tabletop and all the clues belonged to the super-heroes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

"Born on a Monday..."

This large-sized 28mm “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy is my second submission for Zomtober 2014. The pre-painted plastic miniature is number 73 from the “Heroclix” DC Hypertime range.
After initially undercoating the model with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, I applied a few layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey to the figure’s shins, hands and face. I then simply washed these areas of undead skin with the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil. I painted the model’s footwear with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. Because I wanted to make the large wooden tree branch stand apart from the zombie’s big shoes, I gave that a coat of an old OOP pot of “Citadel” Dark Flesh. Both areas were then washed with Agrax Eartshade. I then simply dry-brushed more Dark Flesh over the club.
Solomon’s hair and shirt were originally just painted with “Vallejo” White and washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. But as the two areas bordered one another so closely, especially at the back of the model, I decided to apply a “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade wash to the shirt, and dry-brush more “Vallejo” White across his hair.
These two “Mongoose Publishing” models of Judge Death will be my fourth (and fifth) submissions for Zomtober 2014. I wasn’t planning on painting any more miniatures from the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game range after all the ‘fun’ I’ve had this year with some of their Judge sculpts. But as I want my models for this splendid Undead painting event to be zombie characters rather than run-of-the-mill brain-eaters, the Deadworld Judge fits the bill admirably.