Tuesday, 12 December 2017

"I'm The Doctor. I've Lived For Over 2,000 Years."

"I've made made many mistakes, and it's about time that I did something about that."
This 38mm-tall "pewter" model of the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi, is produced by “Warlord Games” and forms part of the five-miniature strong "Twelfth Doctor And Companions" boxed set. "A lifelong fan of the series", the Scottish actor had previously played Lobus Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii", and made his (official) debut as the travelling Timelord in the December 2013 BBC television story ""The Time of the Doctor".

Originally primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Gallifreyan's trousers, waistcoat, sonic shades and guitar strap were dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. His electric guitar,  apparently "a limited edition 1966 Epiphone SG-400 Pro with the addition of a Bigsby Vibrato" was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Ogrons WIPs - The "ape-like hominids" have had their trousers blocked in with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown
The time traveller's collar was simply 'picked out' with a sliver of "Vallejo" Dead White and a dab of Pale Grey. Whilst his greying hair was initially layered with Heavy Bluegrey, washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushed with both (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and Dead White. As a final touch, I added some additional "Citadel Black" to his boots and coat in order to help them slightly contrast with the Timelord's off-black trousers and waistcoat; a somewhat controversial colour choice considering that the official "Warlord Games" palette provided him with an all-red jacket, whereas the actual televised costume contained a slightly visible dark red inner lining.

To be honest I'm in two minds about this particular sculpt of the Doctor. It's clearly based upon ‘The Hybrid will stand in the ruins of Gallifrey…’ BBC publicity poster for the December 2015 story "Hell Bent", and resultantly, does a very good job of conveying Capaldi's grim-faced determination to outwit the machinations of Rassilon and the High Council. But, its also been criticised by others for being far too sedentary for a war-gaming figure, with the "Gale Force Nine" resin alternative version proving to be infinitely more dynamic a pose. Personally, having now spent some considerable time handling the figure, I rather like the pose and simply dislike the fictitious character's guitar and (arguably contentious) sonic shades...
"Victrix Limited" French Fusilier WIPs - The soldier is slowly having all his straps 'picked out'
Momentarily sticking with the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game by "Warlord Games", I have made some slow-going in-roads on the half dozen Ogrons I started working on over three months ago. These "low-intelligence, ape-like hominids" have yet to have their Recruitment and Adventure Cards published as a PDF on the "Into The Time Vortex" website, but have now languished on my painting table for long enough and should help push along my Partially-Painted Pledge Challenge personal tally once completed.

Likewise, I am determined to bring an end to the outstanding single Napoleonic French fusilier I need to finish in order field a fifth infantry stand for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" rule-set. This particular 28mm multi-pose plastic soldier is actually proving a rather enjoyable painting subject, as I increasingly become familiar with Bonaparte's undoubtedly detailed uniform and (hopefully) improving my eye for all its straps, cuffs and pouches.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

“Twenty Million Zygons Have Been Allowed To Take Human Form…”

"You don't know whether they are human or not."
These four 36mm tall "finely-sculpted" metal Zygons models are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found as part of the Nottingham-based company's "Into The Time Vortex" range. Based upon the “fictional extra-terrestrial race” depicted in the 2013 BBC television story “The Day Of The Doctor”, these sculpts are covered in the metamorphic humanoids' famous suckers and, thanks to the addition of some resin scenic pieces, will provide my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" faction with both a readily recognisable Zygon Leader and two Zygon Elite models.

Indeed, the only reason I went ahead and bought another two boxes of the shape-shifting aliens was so I could populate their bases with a couple of the marvellously-sculpted scatter shrooms made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". In particular, I was keen to make my Zygon Force Commander stand out on the tabletop, owing to the character's unique trait and improved defence statistic. Whilst the Elite figures also needed to be 'easy to spot' on account of the duo not only generating an additional Fate Token for my faction, but also being able to utilise their "Electrical Discharge" ranged attack somewhat better than your average refugee from the planet Zygor.
The Ghost WIPs - The masked vigilante has been dry-brushed, shaded and now just needs some detailing
All four miniatures were primed with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, heavily washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson and then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone. As a final touch, and in order to keep their colour schemes consistent with my existing Zygon models, I also controversially blended in some "Citadel" Abaddon Black over the ends of their feet and hands; a somewhat contentious palette choice which hopefully implies that these "Nu Who" variants are capable of firing “electrical charges from their hands that can stun or disintegrate”.

Dave Stone's delicately-detailed scatter shrooms were painted almost identically, except I then added both a wash of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and Carroburg Crimson to the fungi, before giving them the lightest of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone dry-brushes. Initially, I had been tempted to paint the mushrooms in the usual toxic white stalk and red top palette, but ultimately decided to go with something far more akin to the toadstools which were dotted about the organic control consoles in the 1975 serial "Terror Of The Zygons".
K-9 WIPs - The robot dog has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
Sticking with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", a sneak preview by "Warlord Games" of The Ghost's Recruitment Card has caused me to pull my metal miniature of the caped crime-fighter from out of a drawer, and give him some much needed attention with the paint-brush. Destined to be a loner on account of being a "One Man Army", yet still seemingly more than capable of holding an opposing faction at bay with his +8 Melee attack and 12" (flying) Movement, I'm now rather keen to see this "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio" model battling it out on the tabletop.

Similarly, I've also snatched up my recently arrived K-9 miniature and given the resin robot a fair lick of paint too. "One of the doctors most loyal companions", the "Gale Force Nine" sculpt is currently available now for free when you purchase the company's Six Doctors promotional multi-buy set, and "Warlord Games" have not been slow in releasing a PDF Recruitment Card for his "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" statistics either.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

"May I Have Permission To Address The Emperor?"

"My life at your command."
This statue of a long-deceased Draconian Emperor was created by pinning a ‘spare’ metal figure from “Warlord Games” “Into The Time Vortex” range onto a suitably-sized, square-shaped resin plinth, and then super-gluing the “Telfer Model Design” casting upon one of the thin-lipped 40mm plastic circular bases I try to use for all my scenic pieces. Dedicated fans of the 1973 Jon Pertwee six-parter “Frontier In Space” will doubtless note that the “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” miniature is actually that of a Draconian nobleman rather than the Emperor himself, but the effigy is significantly ancient and fashion trends have clearly altered over the passing centuries…

Once assembled and fixed in place, the model was primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a double coat of Brass. The figurine was then heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass. To give the idol some ‘weathering’ I applied plenty of "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide over the model, and later ‘blended’ this in with the rest of the colour scheme by giving it a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass.
Twelfth Doctor WIPs - The Time Lord just needs a hearty application of "Citadel" Nuln Oil
With the actual statue itself now finished, I undercoated its stone plinth with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and later applied two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. I then shaded it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil before carefully dry-brushing the stone with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. Finally, in order to imply that the plinth was somewhat neglected and overgrown, I took some dabs of static grass and (PVA) glued them to parts of the slab around the sculpture's base.

Sticking with "Doctor Who" momentarily, I have made some considerable progress on my "Warlord Games" figure of the Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi. To be honest, I was initially about as enthusiastic to paint this particular miniature as I would be to watch the Scottish actor's first two painfully dire televised seasons as the travelling Time Lord. Nonetheless, once I got going on the somewhat sedentary-posed model I simply couldn't put my paintbrush down until he was almost ready for varnishing... 
James Kirk WIP - The Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise is almost ready for some washes
Arguably one of this year's biggest gaming disappointments, in my mind at least, was the release of "Star Trek Adventures" by "Modiphius Entertainment Ltd". Not only was the Fulham-based company's (entry) price point both bitterly disappointing and staggeringly high, charging £395 for their Borg Cube Collector's Edition Box Set. But, having seen the models and horribly out-of-scale geomorphic floor-plans in the flesh at "Warfare", "the highly anticipated... miniatures line" is rather underwhelming in the value-for-money stakes too. 

Fortunately, I did manage to 'snag' one of the role-playing game's 32mm "initial" models of Captain James Kirk twelve months ago. This single-cast  resin sculpt is admittedly, completely dissimilar in both style and physical proportions to the recently released multi-part Original Series Bridge Crew, so won't easily fit in with the rest of the range. However, as the Federation Officer is already half-started, I thought I take full advantage of my Partially-Painted Pledge Challenge and get him finished.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

"On A Few Occasions, Whole Formations Marched To The Rear In Search Of Food."

"The survivors would be of limited combat value."
These two 28mm plastic French Fusiliers have been built using the various parts found within the “Victrix Limited” French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807 boxed set, and will help form one of the eight musket-armed infantry units I plan to use for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame". Painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as illustrated in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”, I still (somewhat sadly) need to pigment another thirteen of the miniatures before I have enough bases with which to test out Bonaparte's forces; plus twenty-four Austrians to use as opposition...

The miniatures were initially undercoated with "Citadel" Skull White and had their boots, muskets, pouches, backpacks and hats layered with Chaos Black. I then began the patient process of 'picking out' all their straps with either "Vallejo" Dead White or Heavy Sienna, and appropriately washed these areas with Pale Grey or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Draconian Statue WIPs - The scenic piece has been weathered and now just requires some more dry-brushing
The soldiers' uniforms were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Asurmen Blue, whilst their cuffs and collar were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally, having decided against 'spotting' each and every one of their buttons for the sake of my sanity, I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to the wooden areas of their firearms, as well as some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to their metal parts.

With the "Doctor Who News" website recently posting my review of "Warlord Games" Nightmares In Silver: Cyberman Collectors set, I have found my enthusiasm for the Nottingham-based company’s “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” miniatures range to be at an all-time high, and have subsequently ploughed on with my Draconian nobleman scenic statue. The sedentary sculpt, one of three poses found within the Draconian expansion box, really does lend itself to being pinned upon a plinth, and should look suitably old once I’ve added some grass to both the statue’s base and the bottom of its stone pedestal.
Draconian & Twelfth Doctor WIPs - The reptilian humanoids and Timelord have been primed
Of course, having spent some considerable time permanently fixing the model to its podium, it seemed silly not to also base, grit and prime the rest of my “reptilian humanoids from Draconia”. The interstellar warriors only require six miniatures in order for their faction to ‘field’ three Recruitment cards worth of troops, so, having taken advantage of “Warlord Games” Black Friday deal whilst at “Warfare” recently, I should soon have my Noble, two bodyguards and three Draconian soldiers painted.

In addition, I’ve also decided to pay some passing attention to the rule-set’s Twelfth Doctor, as played by actor Peter Capaldi. To be honest, I’m not a fan of either the character’s sonic shades or electric guitar, but as I’m going to have to wait until Christmas before I can get my hands on the incarnation’s alternative “Gale Force Nine” resin sculpt, I’ve decided to set my reservations aside and knuckle down to the job in hand…

Sunday, 3 December 2017

"Great Big Space Rhinos, With Guns, On The Moon!"

"Did I mention the rhinos?"
These two "finely-sculpted" metal models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range. First seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Smith And Jones", I ended up purchasing a couple of boxes of these "black armoured Rhinoceroid bipeds" in order to field a pair of this particular pose on the table-top, and use them as Judoon Enforcers in the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game.

Initially primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "logical but stupid" mercenaries were subsequently dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Their collars and toecaps were then 'picked out' using a combination of Ironbreaker and more Nuln Oil, whilst their equipment (energy-weapons, scanners and translator devices) were painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Victrix Limited" Napoleonic French - These two miniatures are approximately two-thirds finished
Having finished the last of my "Judoon on the Moon" I have now turned even more of my hobby-time towards completing the outstanding Napoleonic French fusiliers I want to field using Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" rule-set. These 28mm multi-pose plastic soldiers are slowly becoming increasingly familiar to my brush-tip, and as a result I am making faster and faster headway with them each day.

However, I am still somewhat infuriated with my (six year) younger-self for deciding to 'pick out' all the white straps on the soldiers' backpacks and stowage, when simply leaving them in their respective brown and greys would probably have provided adequate pigmentation for a 'rank' model. Indeed, as I clearly (and quite sensibly) chose not to 'pick out' each and every button on the complicated uniform, I'm struggling to rationalise why I then went on to make such a time-consuming, and patience-testing, resolution; albeit the final effect seems ultimately to be well worth the extra effort.
Brightshield WIPs - The Stormcast Eternal is slowly having her detail 'picked out'
Only slightly less cumbersome and detailed to paint is the first of my Stormcast Eternal figures for "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". I've previously taken a little break from this "action-packed combat" game's supposedly "easy To build" miniatures, having almost gone blind whilst painting Garrek Gorebeard, but now feel ready to tackle the numerous challenges of Angharad Brightshield.

As I've still yet to actually "explore the secrets of the Mirrored City" myself, on account of wanting to wait until I can play it using fully-painted figures, I don't actually know how powerful this Liberatess of the Steelheart's Champions is when stalking the "ever-changing labyrinth of endless stairs, cramped streets and soaring archways" of the "mercantile metropolis." But rather embarrassingly, that hasn't stopped me from previously adding to my "Games Workshop" plastic pile by purchasing Ironskull’s Boyz and the Sepulchral Guard...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" December 2017

"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Zygon WIPs - The aliens have just some tidying up and basing to be finished
Ordinarily at this time of year I have already begun busily prepping and priming a multitude of miniatures I earnestly aim to get painted during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC), and perhaps unsurprisingly, subsequently end up with a painting desk simply teeming with all manner of genres, scales and materials. Indeed, its amazing just how much more room a 'gadzillion' undercoated models can take up as opposed to when they are sat upon a shelf safely ensconced within their restrictive blister/box or tucked away within a draw still firmly held upon a sprue.

On this occasion however, I'll be doing something entirely different, and rather than participate in my fourth event, I'll instead try to reduce my ever-increasing mountain of metal, plastic and resin models by embarking upon an inaugural, personal goal entitled the Partially-Painted Pledge. As a result, I don't intend to purchase any more miniatures until "Salute" in 2018, and over the next four months endeavor to paint a hundred figures I've previously started working on; whether they be merely prepped, primed, layered or almost finished.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Sergeant Rock are all at different painting stages
Leading this charge will be a plethora of "Warlord Games" miniatures for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop game. I've only recently had my review of the company's Zygon models published on the “Doctor Who News” website, so thought a quartet of the “shape-changing humanoids”, which have done nothing but gather dust ever since I super-glued some Scatter Shrooms by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" to their bases, would be a good place to start.

To be honest I currently own quite a considerable backlog of the Lenton Business Centre-based company's miniatures, and with their imminent release of ("Gale Force Nine" manufactured) resin First, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, along with K-9, its become clear that I need to give my partially-painted Tetraps, Vervoids, Draconians, Ogrons, Sea Devils and Clockwork droids the much-needed attention they deserve.
"Victrix Limited" Austrian WIPs - The fusiliers have had all their white uniform 'picked out' and shaded
In addition, I have 'unearthed' a significantly-sized box of long-forgotten "Heroclix" plastic figures, which should help me conclude a number of "Wizkids" mini-projects from yesteryear. I actually attempted to paint Sergeant Rock and the “DC Comics” 1959 comic book character's Easy Company at the start of my first AHPC in 2014. Whilst my initial plans to field Hellboy and his numerous associates from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense disconcertingly arose just a few weeks later in early 2015...

Similarly, I am persevering with my aspiration to finally play some Napoleonic Wars in 28mm, despite already finding myself somewhat behind on November's French fusilier-focused goal. Hopefully, the seemingly straightforward target of just four predominantly white “Victrix Limited” Napoleonic Austrians for this month should be more easily attainable, and thus leave me plenty of opportunity to 'finish off' my outstanding Frenchmen.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

"In 1799, The 36,000 French Troops In Italy Were In A Desperate State..."

"Supplies of all sorts were inadequate, discipline was breaking down, desertion was increasing..."
This 28mm plastic French Fusilier can be assembled from the numerous components found within the “Victrix Limited” French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807 boxed set, and will accompany a number of additional fusiliers, grenadiers and voltigeurs which I plan to use for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame". Painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as shown in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”, the model has only taken a staggering six years to finally complete and is the last of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

The miniature was originally primed with "Citadel" Skull White and had its boots, rifle, pouches, backpack and hat undercoated with Chaos Black. I then began the slow process of 'picking out' all his straps with either "Vallejo" Dead White or Heavy Sienna, and subsequently washing them with either Pale Grey or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Victrix Limited" Napoleonic French - These two miniatures are approximately half-way finished
The soldier's uniform was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and an old OOP pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue, whilst his cuffs and collar were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally, the wooden areas of his musket received an application of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and the metal parts some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.

Ordinarily, I don't like to post models on this blog which haven't been properly based, but as this figure will ultimately be one of four super-glued upon a 40mm x 40mm square base, I thought I'd make an exception. In addition, it gives me an opportunity to voice how frustrating an experience I found returning to this miniature after so long was, due to "Games Workshop" (yet again) changing their painting range in between times.
Draconian Statue WIPs - The "Frontier In Space" monument has been primed, coated, washed and dry-brushed
Indeed, the Nottingham-based company's decision to step away from their excellent "Citadel" Foundation paints and washes in 2012, was my main motivation for turning to the "Vallejo" Extra Opaque Game range in the first place. Fortunately, I think Heavy Red and Heavy Blue make a fair substitute for the OPP "Citadel" Mechrite Red and Mordian Blue, especially as I understand the colour consistency of the French uniform during the Napoleonic Wars was somewhat intermittent due to weathering and differing dye pigmentation anyway.

Momentarily stepping away from so detailed a painting subject, I was rather pleased to recently receive half a dozen small resin plinths from "Telfer Model Design". These stone bases will hopefully help me turn a few of my 'superfluous' models into scenic statues, and I've wasted no time in taking a spare Draconian from the "Warlord Games" "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" range and pinning it in place.