Tuesday, 26 May 2015

"You Can Just Call Me Ben."

"That's your idea of stability? Bring in captain zombie?"
This 28mm plastic model of Captain Ben Daimio from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is made by “Wizkids. It is model 006 from the Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. “Heroclix” Action Pack. A former United States Marine who 'died' in the Bolivian Jungle, this were-jaguar was created by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis in 2004 and features in the “B.P.R.D.” comic book by “Dark Horse Comics”.

In order to ‘cover-up’ the miniature’s pre-paint the entire figure was undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. I then painted Daimio's trousers and top with "Citadel" Abaddon Black. The original colour scheme also had the ex-soldier wearing black boots. But in order to break up so monotonous an appearance I decided to give his footwear a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. To make his firearm's holster and belt also somewhat 'stand out' I painted them with some Heavy Brown. All these areas were then washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Ben’s pistol was simply picked out with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and then given a two applications of Nuln Oil to help really darken the weapon.
Invasion Cybermen WIPs - Just need to be dry-brushed and have some minute details picked out
Having previously sorted through my “Doctor Who” lead mountain I have finally managed to wash all seven of my "Black Tree Design" Cybermen with black shade in preparation for dry-brushing them.
Doctor Who WIPs - Twenty year-old minis which may yet be salvageable
I have also found a few more of the Cornwall-based manufacturer’s miniatures which I probably started to paint some twenty years ago and have dusted them down ready for re-painting. I certainly plan to use the Dalek as a test-piece to see whether by just giving the model a quick black wash I can achieve a similar effect to the time-consumingly tricky 'black-lining' technique I used to employ on my Kaled Mark III travelling machines. I'm pretty confident I can simply tidy up and continue to paint the Ancient Haemovore and the Fourth Doctor; although the Timelord's face will undoubtedly need re-working and highlighting.

Friday, 22 May 2015

"Stay On The Road. Keep Clear Of The Moors."

"I vote we go back to The Slaughtered Lamb"
These eight 28mm metal miniatures are made by “SLAP Miniatures” and come from Stuart Powley’s Moon Howler’s range. They can actually be bought individually but as I wanted multiples of each in order to create a reasonably sized pack, I purchased mine as part of their He-Wolf set of six figures deal. Each pewter model comprises of a separate body, and a tab containing the were-wolf’s arms, head and tail.
 "There aren't any coyotes in England"
Having assembled these models with the aid of some superglue and “Citadel” Green Stuff I undercoated each lycanthrope with a base colour. As I wanted to have a mixture of different-looking furry fiends I used several different undercoats such as “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, Charred Brown, and Heavy Sienna, as well as “Citadel” Dark Flesh, Khemri brown and Adeptus Battlegrey. The brown-coloured miniatures were then liberally washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst the grey models were given a coat of “Citadel” Nuln Oil. All the models were then dry-brushed with more of their base colour. 
 "I walk the Earth in limbo until the werewolf's curse is lifted"
Interestingly this technique didn’t seem to work out all that well for the figure painted using “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, so as a result I applied another wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil over this particular model once its dry-brush had dried. All the models’ claws were then picked out with “Vallejo” White before being dabbed with some more of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Their eyes were painted with dots of “Vallejo” Dark Vermillion.

I really must thank Bryan over on his blog "Vampifan’s World Of The Undead" for bringing these to my attention, and Stuart, who owns “SLAP Miniatures”, for an excellent service.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

"Fun Times! Blood Times! Hee-Hee-He-Hee!"

"Your death will be the Hyena's last laugh!"
This 28mm plastic model of The Hyena is made by “Wizkids. It is model 004 from the DC Comics “Heroclix” Legacy expansion set. Bitten by a were-hyena whilst in Africa with the Peace Corps, this super-villainess was created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom in 1978 and first featured in the “Firestorm” comic book by “DC Comics”.

In order to ‘cover-up’ the miniature’s bright red pre-paint I initially undercoated the model with a couple of layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Red before washing it with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade in order to ‘muddy’ the colour somewhat. The model was then dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Red before I dabbed in some hyena-spots around the character’s shoulders and chest using some more Strong Tone Quickshade.

Having allowed these areas to dry I then delicately brushed over them with "Vallejo" Heavy Red in order to try and somewhat blend them in with the surrounding fur. Once finished I picked out her teeth and claws with White. Both of these areas were then dirtied with another quick coat of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Summer Day’s eyes were created using a couple of dabs of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre.
General Solo WIP - Han's boots, trousers and jacket have already been painted and inked
Like so many science fiction fans recently, I was rather excited by the final few seconds of the trailer to J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”. So much so that it actually made me want to paint up a couple of appropriate “Wizards Of The Coast” plastic figures. I already own a rather large assortment of these miniatures. But have always resisted painting any because of the huge range in size and quality of the game’s sculpts. 

On this occasion however I thought I'd make an exception but having pawed through my collection I simply couldn’t find a suitable model which really fitted the bill as a silver-haired smuggler. Thus I eventually ended up buying one which looked to be similar in size to the vast majority of my 28mm model collection on "Ebay". In addition I also bought a rather nice looking Wookie Scoundrel figure to represent the rebel's stalwart co-pilot Chewbacca. 
Chewie WIP - After several brown washes and dry-brushes, Chewbacca's belt has finally been 'picked out'
Unfortunately when the figures arrived it was very clear that the pair didn’t look quite right alongside one another, as Han Solo was almost as tall as his hairy companion. As a result I located a second Wookie Freedom Fighter miniature I already owned and which was a little taller, and super-glued that figure to a 40mm circular base instead.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Painting Challenge 2015: Fortnight Four - 6mm Edenite Zombie Horde By “Steel Crown Productions”

Here's Two I Did Earlier - A couple of previously painted Edenite Zombie Horde bases
This fortnight’s personal painting challenge is an especially simple one in that all I have to do is paint something from my 6mm collection; be it a base of miniatures or perhaps a piece of scenery.

Last year I actually spent a fair amount of my time quietly building up a collection of “Modern Micro Armour” figures by “GHQ” in order to play a few games of “Battlefield Evolution Modern Combat” by “Mongoose Publishing”. Long-time followers of this blog will know that after a few months work I managed to finish painting both a modest British Army force complete with Land Rovers and Saxon armoured personnel carriers, as well as a similarly sized Middle Eastern Alliance contingent, predominantly consisting of Fedayeen troops. I even completed several resin buildings from the North African Building range by “Baccus 6mm” and some irregularly shaped MDF tiles by “Hurlbat” to represent some Built Up Areas. However I never found myself in a position to actually play any battles.
Undead WIPs - A white undercoat and Green wash helps bring out the details of these little horrors
As a result I immediately thought for this fortnight’s challenge that I might just paint up another base of frontline assets for my Middle Eastern Alliance force, or perhaps one more “Baccus 6mm” resin dwelling and then ‘get a game in.’ But having scrambled around in my 6mm drawer I stumbled upon a load of loose zombie figures made by “Steel Crown Productions”. These wonderfully detailed little fellows are from the company’s “Exodus Wars” range and are entitled “Edenite Zombie Horde”. Searching deeper into my 6mm stash I also discovered I’d previously painted and based two stands of these models and so a thought struck me… tabletop “Zombicide” in 6mm.
British Infantry approach a Middle Eastern settlement and encounter 'the Walking Dead'
I would certainly need to paint up a fair few of my “Exodus Wars” zombies to populate a sizable smattering of undead stands for such a venture, probably enough for another eight bases or so. But apart from that I would have all I need for a trial game of sorts using the standard rules by "Guillotine Games". The “Hurlbat” tiles, which come in different shapes and sizes, will even work as haphazard movement zones, with the boardgame's one-roomed buildings being represented by BUAs. It's a plan at least, and another mini-project...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

"We Are Not Amused."

"We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist."
Back in November last year I started a rather popular series of postings dedicated to the post-apocalyptic skirmish wargame “Across The Dead Earth” by "Dead Earth Games". Inspired by both some great Battle Reports by the likes of Simon over on his "Brummie's Wargaming Blog" and the ever friendly “Across The Dead Earth Gaming Group” Facebook page, I managed to construct a handful of 28mm scale wooden Commercial Style Buildings by "Wargame-Model-Mods" and paint up some London Bobbies from the "Empire Of The Dead" range by “West Wind Productions” to use as a State-based gang. Unfortunately since then things have gone somewhat quiet. Until now…

This 28mm character model of Queen Victoria is (also) by “West Wind Productions” and is code COTD-08 Queen Vic Gun. The model was initially undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black before her ‘Gatling gun’ was painted using Boltgun Metal and “Vallejo” Gold. These areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade respectively. Her Majesty’s blue sash was painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue. For the Monarch’s white bonnet, I washed the area with “Vallejo” Pale Grey before dry-brushing more White across the highly-detailed lace material. To help highlight the Queen’s splendid dress frills I dry-brushed these areas with Heavy Charcoal before applying a final wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil over the entire garment.
Cod Wars WIPs - Having been based these salty sea-dogs will predominantly be painted brown, blue and cream 
‘Queenie’ is going to be the leader of my ‘Peelers’, a no-nonsense hard-nosed State gang, who have been inspired by some of the costumes they found having raided a derelict Madame Tussauds and long abandoned Black Museum.

As opposition I’ve started painting a few of the models from the “West Wind Productions” boxed set EOTD-15 Nemo And The Crew Of The Nautilus. I’ve actually got the other character version of Nemo as part of “The Empire Of The Dead Kickstarter”, so thought this model of him would be suitable to represent that feared seadog of the pre-Nuclear Age dinner table, Captain Clarence Birdseye; a local merchant who holds court in a dilapidated "Iceland" supermarket. This particular gang will vie for control of the profitable trade around the Thames docklands.
More Werewolf WIPs - These fanged fiends simply need their claws washed with a brown shade to be finished
I’m also just finishing off the basing of these three 40mm metal werewolves by “SLAP Miniatures”. After these are flocked with static grass I just have two more to complete and I'll be able to table a suitably-sized were-gang for my “DC Comics” super-villainess the Hyena.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Zombicide Report: Doctor Who, Cheeta And Jai Verses The Yeti And Cybermen

This game was played using the rules from ‘Season One’ of “Zombicide” by “Guillotine Games” and as we were attempting the Tutorial Mission from the boxed set it uses Tiles 2B and 1B. Unfortunately as I dislike playing with unpainted miniatures, and have a mountain of partially painted models already in my painting queue, it seemed prudent to simply swap the Survivors and Walkers for some previously finished figures from my 28mm collection. This gave us the idea of trying to run a “Doctor Who” themed campaign using the first few scenarios from the rulebook (and possibly some from the boardgame’s website) in order to tentatively recreate some of the Timelord’s more exciting adventures… albeit with the occasional twist.

“The story so far… The TARDIS has landed inside a London tenement in the near future. Having left the building with his two travelling companions, the chimpanzee Cheeta and the jungle boy, Jai, the Eleventh Doctor goes exploring. Within minutes however the time travellers come to realise that the capital’s street are deserted because the Great Intelligence has once again invaded the planet and the deadly robotic Yeti are on the prowl. Desperate to return his friends to the safety of his time machine the Doctor sets out to lead them back to where it materialised. But another evil may yet be lurking in the sewers beneath them… and only Rassilon knows what will happen if the monkey discovers a chainsaw.”
Before we started the Doctor was awarded the skill +1 free search action, Jai was given Slippery, and Cheeta bestowed with +1 free move action. The objective was simple in that the TARDIS crew had to reach the TARDIS and get inside. All the rules of the Tutorial scenario, such as a reduced Yeti deck and special starting equipment, were followed. Which meant that the game started with two of the Great Intelligence’s hairy robots already in play, and that all three of the heroes began the adventure armed with nothing else but frying pans….
Utilising his free search action, the Doctor immediately found a crowbar and quickly moved east into an adjoining room. From there the Timelord quietly prised open the door to the street beyond and stepping outside gasped as he saw the close by Yeti. Cheeta managed to find a fire axe and dragging it behind him, scurried outside to join the Doctor. Jai located a pistol and simply waited inside for his friends to give the all clear. Easily spotting the time travellers the Yeti moved into their area and signalled to his colleague up in the north-west corner to stomp south and join him. As this hairy robot obeyed his comrade another Yeti appeared right behind him.
Regretful that he wasn’t wielding a cricket bat, the Doctor brought his crowbar crashing down onto the head of the ‘attacking’ Abominable Snowman and the brute was destroyed. The Timelord then popped back into the building behind him and grabbed some canned food he found before stepping outside once again; “Jelly baby anyone?” Cheeta moved north and then west so he was already in front of the locked door leading to the TARDIS. Jai conducted another search inside the building he was in and having discovered a glass bottle moved outside and travelled north past the Doctor. The two Yeti in the north-west both moved south so that one of the monsters was now within reach of the chimpanzee. Fortunately though there was no sign of anymore of the hairy robots arriving.
Determined to find something more deadly than a crowbar, the Doctor once again searched the building behind him and this time stepped outside to join Jai equipped with a sawed off shotgun. Cheeta meanwhile went ‘ape’ with the fire axe and after three swings brought the Yeti in front of him crashing to the ground. With a cheeky grin, Jai joined the monkey and then froze as the one remaining Yeti turned the street corner and faced the friends. Worse two more of the Abominable Snowmen appeared in the north-west corner.
Fearing for his companions the Doctor raced up to the locked door which was stopping the time travellers from reaching the TARDIS and ripped it off its hinges with his crowbar. With a gasp the Timelord realised that there were more Yeti inside the building; two were guarding his time machine, whilst a third was stood directly in front of him. Worse the two manhole covers directly behind him were suddenly flung into the air as two Cybermen emerged from the London sewer system. The fiendish Great Intelligence had clearly sought an alliance with the Cyberleader of Mondas. Realising that they were about to be swamped Cheeta swung his weapon at the first of the silver giants and took its head clean off its shoulders. Encouraged by the lucky blow, the monkey launched itself at the remaining Cyberman and fortunately felled it as well with two chops of his fire axe. Jai aimed his pistol at the Yeti fast approaching him from the street, and squeezing the trigger as Tarzan had taught him, felled the robot with one deadly shot. The boy then swung round and fired at the Yeti in the building’s doorway and amazingly brought that machine to the ground as well. With a victory cry the jungle child raced into the building. Hearing the commotion the two Yeti guarding the TARDIS silently moved towards the noise, one wading into the room to its west, whilst the other entered the room to the south.
Worried that Jai might be overwhelmed the Doctor leapt beside his young ward and quickly conducted a search of the bedroom they were in. Pulling out a submachine gun from under the duvet, the Timelord first gave the Yeti in the eastern room both barrels of his sawed off shotgun. With an electronic roar the hairy robot exploded into flames. The Doctor then blazed away with his Uzi 9mm at the Yeti to his north, but despite bullets whizzing all over the place, the Abominable Snowman remained intact. Not for long though as Jai ‘popped’ the monster with his pistol, and together with Cheeta raced for the safety of the TARDIS. 
Outside a procession of Yeti slowly sauntered south towards the sounds of a disturbance. But before they could arrive the Doctor rushed to the door of his time machine, briefly fumbled with the key and moments later there was a strange “vorph vorph” before all was quiet once again…
Having successfully concluded the scenario it was clear that even with three survivors (the Tutorial recommends four) it was relatively easy to outwit the Great Intelligence and win the day. Although a crazy chimpanzee with a fire axe is clearly a useful combination. However the Doctor is far from finished with the Yeti or the Cybermen. Having identified a Cyber factory at Battersea power station, Chelsea, the Timelord is determined to try and make sure that this new version of the silver giants are sealed within their manufacturing plant forever... 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Why You Wear Such Clothes Like Me?

"Jai, you've got to understand that there are other people who love the elephants."
These two diminutive 28mm metal miniatures are from the “Pulp Figures” collection PLT09 Kojar Of The Forest Tribe. Somewhat inspired by the 1966 “Tarzan” NBC television series, I’ve imaginatively decided to name the chimpanzee Cheeta and the small boy Jai. As an aside Bob Murch has unfortunately temporarily withdrawn these models and the rest of his Lost Worlds and Lost Tribes range in order to resculpt and reorganise them. 

I painted Cheeta in exactly the same way as I did the three much larger monkey figures found in code PLT10 Killer Apes. Thus the model was first given a double undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black before he was heavily dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal. I also used this colour to pick out all the dark areas of flesh on the primate’s hands, feet, chest and face. Once dry I washed the model with “Citadel” Nuln Oil to help blend it all in together and finally highlighted the fingers, toes and brow with some more “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal.
Werewolf WIPs - These fanged fiends simply need their claws washed with a brown shade to be finished
Jai was very simple to paint, once I’d applied an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone all over the figure. I used “Heavy Sienna” with a strong wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade for the child’s loincloth and then gave the flesh areas a liberal ‘dousing’ of “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade. Finally I picked out the boy’s lips, nose, cheeks and fingers with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone. Bob Murch has actually sculpted in two eyes beneath the boy’s mop of black hair. But I balked at attempting to paint these areas, figuring you’d rarely see them whilst looking down upon the figure on the tabletop, so simply left them being ‘overshadowed’ by his “Citadel” Abaddon Black locks.

I’ve actually finished painting these three 40mm metal werewolves by “SLAP Miniatures”, and they’re currently in the queue to be based. But I thought they were worthy of some work-in-progress shots, especially as I originally mistook their elongated paws as claws and initially picked them out with white. Obviously I’ve since gone back and corrected my mistake.
Army of Mankind WIPs - All the blue paint needs to be washed with black ink
Finally I have been beavering away on some of these great-looking 15mm figures by “The Ion Age” and am close to finishing a stand of three Retained Knights, a smaller base of two Muster Patrolmen, and one of the company's awesome looking Adder hovertanks.