Friday, 28 August 2015

'Gotham City High-Rise' - WIP - Part Four

The Flatroof Starter Set contains various sized walls, some corners, a skylight, air ducts, airbox tile and roof tiles
This Gotham City high-rise 'arena' measures 7" x 9.5" and was constructed using pieces from Ainsty Castings” terrific “Streetwise: Flatroof” resin scenery range. In fact the majority of the pieces came from the manufacturer's code 8300A Flatroof Starter Set.

To begin with I took a rectangular-shaped section of medium-density fibreboard and super-glued a number of ‘edging wall’ pieces around its circumference in order to create a solid non-movable border for my rooftop. This process actually took significantly longer than I expected as I soon found that none of the resin castings had the same dimensions as one another, so I ended up shuffling them around until they all fitted together.
As the central tiles aren't fixed down they can be moved about to create a variety of rooftops
 Once dry, I gave the entire model an undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black before painting the brick walls with several coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Red. I then applied a very rough wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade to these areas in order to help bring out the detail in the pieces. As I wanted the roof’s surface to be rather dark and easy to paint I simply used a combination of “Vallejo” Bluegrey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Finally I painted the stone capping with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown, washed it with Strong Tone Quickshade and then dry-brushed it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Brown. The entire assembly was then given a coat of PVA glue in order to help seal up any tiny gaps between the resin and provide the paint-job with a somewhat rubbery protective coat.

In addition I have also finished painting one of “Ainsty Castings” wonderful Chimney stacks. This model was painted very similarly to my rooftop in order to better fit in with its surroundings. Although in order to make the pots stand out a bit more I actually dry-brushed them with “Vallejo” Bluegrey after washing them with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. 
Rooftop WIPs - All the pieces have been under-coated using "Vallejo" Bluegrey
As I want to have plenty of choice regarding what debris will be littering my rooftop, I’ve started work on a few other pieces from the company’s Streetwise: Flatroof range, including a skylight, air duct and junk pile. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

"You're Fidgeting Around Like A Daggit On A Sunspot."

"When these fires reach hyper-combustion, the whole planet's gonna blow!"
This 28mm metal miniature of the D-Ranger codenamed Helios is made by “Nexus Miniatures” and is model NX13 from their “Superhero Dinosaur Zombie Apocalypse” range. The figure comes in two pieces and makes a wonderful proxy for Captain Apollo, as played by Richard Hatch in the 1978 Science fiction television series “Battlestar Galactica”.

The Colonial Warrior was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown before his jacket was painted using Heavy Sienna. The model’s shoulder-pads and boots were then given a coat of Charred Brown. Finally his jacket’s buttons and shirt collar were picked out with Gold. All of these areas were then washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. In addition I also painted one of the captain’s belt straps with a combination of “Vallejo” Gold and Strong Tone Quickshade as my TV show reference material depicted the character stowing a handful of large ammunition rounds by his holster. As the metallic colour would break up the somewhat monotonously black mid-drift of the miniature I thought just painting one such area in this way should make the ‘bullets’ stand out.
D-Rangers WIPs - Both Joey and Galicia are close to completion
 Sticking with my collection of “Nexus Miniatures” I have managed to make some considerable headway on these two other D-Ranger models, Codenamed Galicia and Joey. These sculpts are absolutely full of character and I’ll probably pick up another set along with a couple of D-Ranger Helmet sprues to provide me with additional ‘nameless’ Colonial Warriors.
American Agents WIPs - Early days yet but the truth is out there...
 In addition I have also started work on these two American Agents. Having only undercoated Sculder and Mulley and ‘boxed off’ their separate areas with black I still have a lot to work to do in order to get them finished. However these sculpts are significantly slighter in size than the D-Rangers, so shouldn’t be that time-consuming to complete. I have also managed to drill and pin the manufacturer’s Visor head to this cracking sculpt of a Psychic Hero F.O.N. Operative and given my ‘Cyclops’ a blue undercoat.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

""No One Knows Where He Came From..."

"Why did he take up the mantle of a Guild Ball Captain?"
This 28mm metal miniature of Blackheart is from The Union Starter Set for “Guild Ball” and is made by “Steamforged Games Limited”. It comes in several pieces so required some considerable supergluing, and later pinning, before I could finish painting him. Indeed the dynamic sculpt was truly a burden to paint and on several occasions I found my paintbrush struggling to reach some of the especially difficult areas hidden beneath the character’s sword-arm.

As the model’s main ‘kit colour’ was going to be red, I undercoated the entire piece with “Vallejo” Heavy Red before picking out his arm and leg armour with some Gunmetal Grey. This metallic acrylic produces a rather well-worn effect once washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, so was perfect for implying that the star player’s gear had been used for many a match. For the more ‘showy’ silver areas of Blackheart’s costume, such as the clips of his cloak, the front of his padded vest, his chain-links, and formidable sword blade, I used the “Citadel” Layer Ironbreaker instead.
Mister Freeze WIP - The "DC Comics" villain now needs part of his armour painted silver
For the player’s main leatherwear I applied a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. For the skipper’s bicep leatherwork however I went and used the darker “Vallejo” Charred Brown instead. Finally I applied a wash of Strong Tone Quickshade over all the remaining “Vallejo” Heavy Red areas, and tried to ensure the ‘ink’ pooled in the hard to reach recesses so as to cover over any mistakes.

Whilst desperately trying to resist the temptation to chuck my central midfielder miniature out the window, I have also been working away on my ever increasing collection of “Heroclix” models. Having previously washed Mister Freeze with black shade I have now not only finished dry-brushing him but have managed to undercoat the areas of his suit which will be silver in colour. I’ve also started working on the white layers for his ‘frosted’ helmet.
"Wizkids" WIPs - All three of these models are actually close to completion
In addition I have been ‘picking away’ at my miniatures of Wildcat and the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime is especially detailed and colourful, but should soon be finished once these tiny areas, such as his shirt, tie and flower, have been washed with ink.

Lastly I have been spending a considerable portion of my time trying to finish off the plethora of “DC Comics” characters I own. But having spent a so long concentrating on the minute details upon figures, I thought this “Wizkids” sculpt of the Silver Surfer from “Marvel Worldwide” would prove an easy distraction; once I’d drilled it so as to utilise one of lovely  transparent flight stands by “Moongoose Publishing” that is.

Friday, 21 August 2015

"You've Upstaged Me For The Last Time, Batman. Time To Bring Down The Curtain."

"You know what I'd have given for a death scene like this? Too bad I won't get to... read the notices."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of (the second) Clayface is miniature number 9 from the Batman Alpha DC Comics “Heroclix” range. The treasure hunter who originally immersed himself in a mysterious radioactive pool of protoplasm in a cave first appeared in the December 1961 issue of “Detective Comics” and was created by Sheldon Moldoff and Bill Finger.

initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna before being washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The supervillain’s safe and steel girder were painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Matt Hagen’s eyes were initially picked out with some “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre before being washed with Strong Tone Quickshade and then highlighted with a dab of more “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre.
"Heroclix" WIPs - A black wash has been applied to Mister Freeze, whilst the others need some detailing
Whilst working on evil shape-shifter I have also been paying a little attention to these “Wizkids” models of Mister Freeze, Rasputin and Cyborg. I’m especially grateful to Roger over on the “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” blog for the ‘Mad Monk’, who once finished should be able to provide my Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) miniatures some much needed opposition.
Battlestar Galactica WIPs - Apollo just needs his buttons, collar and weaponry being picked out in gold
Finally I have almost complete the first of my three D-Rangers by “Nexus Miniatures”. I simply need to paint Captain Apollo’s buttons and belt with gold for the Battlestar Galactica” Colonial Warrior to be finished, and as a result have already started to build up some layers of this wonderful representation of Lieutenant Starbuck.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

"Why Can't You Just Die?"

"Ah. Fortune smiles. Another day of wine and roses. Or, in your case, beer and pizza!"
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Two-Face is miniature number 21 from the Batman Alpha DC Comics “Heroclix” range. The disfigured district attorney for Gotham City first appeared in the August 1942 issue of “Detective Comics” and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

Because the model’s pre-paint was actually overly thick I avoided undercoating the figure and instead applied a layer of “Citadel” Abaddon Black and “Vallejo” White over his two-piece suit and shoes. In order to make life simple for me I painted his usually monotone tie with “Heavy Blue” and then washed it with “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. For Harvey Dent’s disfigured face and hand, I used a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally for the crime lord’s hair I applied “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and Heavy Bluegrey and washed them with more Strong Tone Quickshade and “Citadel” Nuln oil respectively.
Captain Apollo WIP - Once the face is completed, he will only need some inking and gold buckles highlighted
Whilst waiting for the former ally of Batman’s flocked base to dry, I have been paying some considerable attention to this first of three D-Rangers by “Nexus Miniatures”. This somewhat large 28mm metal miniature will make a fine stand-in for Captain Apollo of “Battlestar Galactica” fame.
OMAC WIP - One of the easiest "Heroclix" miniatures I've painted
In addition, as I’m somewhat eager to build up a sizeable Brother Eye cyborg force of “Heroclix” figures, I’ve also almost finished my test OMAC “Wizkids” robot. An extremely simple miniature to paint, I’ve undercoated, washed and then dry-brushed the ‘cape-killer’ with metallic blue, and now need just pick out a few details before he’s finished.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

'Gotham City High-Rise' - WIP - Part Three

Superhero WIPs - Both Steel and Wildcat should be soon ready for the tabletop
Having finally settled upon a colour scheme for my Gotham City high rise rooftop I have not only managed to finish applying a third coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red to the interior of my brick walls. But also finished the actual roof’s shingle coating itself using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Now I need only ‘cut in’ the walls’ stone capping and the interior of my outer rooftop will be complete… Although I may well add a little brown ink to the ground just to break up the decidedly monotone look.
Resin rooftop WIP - Just the stone capping to complete and the rooftop's interior will be finished
 These “Wizkids” models should all be able to play a sizeable role in my planned ‘Battle for Gotham City’ campaign. I’ve yet to decide upon the actual costume paint scheme to use for Batgirl as she has had so many. But Barbara Gordon will almost certainly be predominantly grey with a blue cape and cowl so as to tie-in with my Batman figure. Steel should prove a fairly straight forward paint-job with his all-metallic physique and simple red cape. Wildcat however will undoubtedly be the easiest to finish though as I’ve already painted his all-black ‘gym-attire’.
Supervillain WIPs - Plenty left to do on these various 28mm plastic baddies 
 In addition I have also been basing-up some notable-looking henchmen and a ‘guest-star’ supervillain. This Vampire Roustabout is actually a “Horrorclix” model, and like so many of the figures I own from this range was a greatly appreciated gift from Bryan of “Vampifan’s Wolrd Of The Undead” fame. I don’t actually plan on using the ‘heavy’ as a vampire (for now at least). But thought he’d make an impressive bruiser for one of the Crime Bosses; possibly even for the Joker in view of his giant hammer.

IMAC is actually a test model to see just how well the figure paints up before I commit to buying a number of the miniatures to use as robot minions. Finally I thought Man-Bat would prove an interesting loner, who may well suddenly swoop down upon a battle simply because the noise and activity has attracted his attention.

Friday, 14 August 2015

"The Most Famous, Most Fearsome Monster Of All!"

"It's -- alive! Heaven help me -- It's alive!"
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Frankenstein’s Monster is miniature number 10 from the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel “Heroclix” range. Mary Shelley’s creation made his first appearance in the ‘Marvel Comics Universe’ by featuring in writer/Editor Stan Lee’s September 1953 issue of “Menace”. Despite the horror character’s somewhat crouched pose, the figure still stands at an impressive 43mm in height.

Because this miniature’s pre-paint was thick enough I didn’t need to undercoat the figure at all and instead simply applied a layer of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue directly onto the creature’s trousers. This area was then washed with some “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. Frankenstein’s fur-jacket was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally I painted the monster’s skin with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, before giving it a healthy wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil.
"DC Comics" WIPs - Both Joker and Sergeant Rock still require quite a bit of painting time
 Having completed replicating the ‘basics’ of the figure’s “Wizkids” paint-job, I then desperately tried to go one better and not only ‘pick out’ the monster’s numerous stitches in “Citadel” Abaddon Black. But also then paint them with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna, before washing each suture with more Strong Tone Quickshade.

Unfortunately not only did this make the miniature look extremely messy. But despite my best efforts I simply couldn’t just ‘pick out’ each thread without the brush tip occasionally straying elsewhere. In the end, and for my own personal sanity’s sake, I decided that enough was enough, and actually purchased a second model in order to start again. Ultimately however, I have simply repainted the monster’s grey flesh with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and once again washed the areas with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. Before leaving the brutish creation well enough alone…
D-Rangers WIPs - These 'colonial warriors' will be predominantly brown with gold trimmings
Having completed a “Marvel Worldwide” miniature I have also been progressing more “Heroclix” figures from the company’s “DC Comics” ranges. My Clayface is now almost finished, and simply needs a brown wash and his yellow eyes to be ‘dotted in’. Whilst both my Joker and Sergeant Rock have quite a considerable way yet to go.

I have also managed to separate the main colour areas on these three D-Rangers by “Nexus Miniatures”. Helios, Galicia and Joey all bear a striking resemblance to the Colonial Warriors Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer from the 1978 American television series “Battlestar Galactica”.