Saturday, 30 May 2015

"Across The Dead Earth" - WIP - Part Four

Cod Wars WIPs - I've repainted their boots a darker brown and started their blue slacks
Having recently finished my 'Queenie and her Peelers' State gang for the post-apocalyptic skirmish wargame “Across The Dead Earth” by "Dead Earth Games", I have spent some time basing, undercoating and painting some of the other models from "West Wind Productions" which I plan to use with the rules. These models are from the "Empire Of The Dead" boxed set EOTD-15 Nemo And The Crew Of The Nautilus and will be the humble beginnings of a rival force based upon Captain Clarence Birdseye and his Icelanders; a group of salty seadogs holed up in a frozen food supermarket located close to the Thames docklands.
More "EotD" WIPs - Two more seadogs for Captain Birdseye and an alternative Queenie
Since starting work on the 'advertising mascot' and his cronies, I've subsequently based another two of the models from his boxed set, and a second figure of Queen Victoria. This particular model doesn't carry the formidable rail-gun Andy Cooper has sculpted the other version with. But I thought Her Majesty might make a nice objective marker or something nonetheless.
Long Dead WIPs - A green wash over a "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey undercoat
Lastly, inspired by the "AtDE" expansion "From Sea To Poisoned Sea" and "the terrifying Sollus - the soulless and unknowing dead" I have also started to test paint some of the miniatures from the boxed set EOTD-05 Victorian Zombies. For now I just wanted to see how some old 'out of production' pots of "Citadel" Thrakka Green worked as an undead flesh shade over a pink undercoat... clearly the wash needs to be watered down somewhat.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Zombicide Report: Queen Victoria, Zorro And Frankenstein's Monster Verses The Nazi Undead

QUEEN VICTORIA, ZORRO AND FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER BATTLE NAZI ZOMBIES
This game was played using the ‘Season One’ rules of “Zombicide” by “Guillotine Games” and as we were attempting the mission C14 “Do You Want Fries With That?” we used the Tiles 5B, 6C, 5C and 7B. Because I dislike playing with unpainted miniatures, and have plenty of “Secrets Of The Third Reich” zombies ready for the table we simply swapped the Survivors, Walkers, Runners and Fatties with some of my previously finished “West Wind Productions” models… as well as one by “Boot Hill Miniatures” and another by “Graven Images”.

“The story so far… It is 1945 and in a last desperate effort to hold off the Allied advance, the Fuhrer has flooded the streets of Berlin with the Walking Dead. Desperate to protect the capital’s civilian population as well as oust the Nazi menace, General Eisenhower has deployed a top secret multi-national commando force to enter the heart of the Third Reich and put an end to the zombie infestation as swiftly as possible. Consisting of three of the Allies greatest warriors, intermittently thawed from icy tombs whenever their countries have need of them, the Free World’s finest have already saved hundreds of German evacuees lives. But now food is getting scarce as well as petrol. Fortunately military intelligence has identified not only a huge nearby restaurant complete with larder. But there is a small fuel depot nearby as well. Armed with this information, a couple of pistols, a crowbar and a fire axe, Queen Victoria, Zorro and Frankenstein’s Monster must reach the diner, bring back some crates of food and if at all possible, raid the fuel dump as well…”
THE TABLETOP - A RESTAURANT SOMEWHERE IN WESTERN BERLIN
Before we began Queen Victoria received a pistol, Frankenstein’s Monster was awarded the Slippery skill, and Zorro given +1 free move action. The objective was simple in that the Allied Special Forces Team simply had to bring back to the Exit Zone six crates of food from the restaurant. All the rules of the scenario, such as ‘Can Crates Are Heavy’ and ‘The Old Man Said We’d Better Not Use The Main Entrance’ were followed. This meant that the game started with Zorro wielding a pistol, Frankenstein’s Monster a fire axe and Queen Victoria a pistol and crowbar.

The game started with the heroes beginning the mission in the north-west corner. Queen Victoria immediately therefore crowbarred open the door to the building right by her and started filling the two zombies inside the first room with lead. Upon realising there was a third hungry cadaver in the small building’s other room, Zorro rushed in and shot the putrefying corpse dead with his pistol. Frankenstein’s Monster entered the building and started to search for something better than a fire axe. But all he found was another zombie. Fortunately a quick chop from the huge monster’s hand-weapon took the zed’s head clean off.
QUEEN VICTORIA LEADS THE ALLIED CHARGE AGAINST THE GERMAN UNDEAD
Searching around the room again, ‘Big Frank’ discovered a sawed off shotgun and then broke down the premise’s eastern door. Outside he saw a zombie shambling towards him from the north. Zorro also searched the two-roomed building and located a pistol. The ‘dashing blade’ then joined ventured outside onto the street but failed to hit the approaching brain-eater with his pistol. Queen Victoria joined her companions. But also missed the shambling cadaver. To their horror they spotted a second zombie behind it and heard a terrible dog-like growl someway off to the south-east.
ZORRO AND HER MAJESTY SHUDDER AT THE FAR OFF ROAR OF A NAZI MONSTER
Queen Victoria gave the closest zombie a quick bashing with her crowbar, and before the ghoul’s brains had dried, she had shot the second one behind it with her pistol. Ma’am certainly meant business and raced south towards two cadavers shambling towards the noise from the southern end of the street. Zorro joined Her Majesty, and managed to fell one of the zeds with his pistol. Frankenstein’s Monster searched the building he was in for a third time, and finding a rifle stepped east outside and gunned down the last of the Nazi Undead on the street. Suddenly however another living corpse rose up out of the sewer beside Zorro and went for the swashbuckler’s brains…
FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER SHOWS JUST WHAT A DEAD-SHOT HE IS WITH A RIFLE
Pressing his pistol to the corpse’s head, Zorro dispatched the gory fiend. Meanwhile Queen Victoria opened the fuel depot’s door and was delighted to find no zombies inside. However having found some gasoline and a rifle, she discovered there was a zed hidden in the small supply dump after all. Frankenstein’s Monster lumbered up to Zorro’s position. Unable to help the Empress of the British Empire, they watched as Queen Victoria was wounded, and then shivered as a second loud dog-like roar issued from the south-east. Worse a shrill howl to the south alerted the heroes to the sudden appearance of a werewolf.   
QUEEN VICTORIA CLAIMS THE FUEL DEPOT FOR HERSELF AND COUNTRY
Taking the crowbar in her Imperial hand, Queen Victoria bludgeon the zombie attacking her to death, grabbed a shotgun and stepped back onto the street alongside Zorro and ‘Big Frank’. It was clear that the team were never going to quickly fight their way round to the restaurant’s eastern door, so they decided to break in through the diner’s western door [Point One] even though they knew it was alarmed and was thus bound to attract additional attention. Frankenstein’s Monster kicked open the eaterie’s door and turned around to see just two zombies, attracted by the noise, emerging from the far western street edge [Point Two]. Inside the restaurant, the dining area was thankfully clear of the undead but from the groans it was clear two of the ravenous cadavers were in the toilets to the north. Determining that the werewolf was the greatest threat ‘Big Frank’ blasted the lycanthrope with his rifle. Meanwhile the ‘Flashing Blade’ slipped into the restaurant and gunned down the two corpses in the bathroom with his pistol.
THE NAZI UNDEAD START TO SWARM THE ALLIED FORCES
Realising that they needed to clear the street of the undead before they could grab any of the food, Zorro emerged west from out of the diner and fired at the two zombies approaching from the far west table edge. Unfortunately he missed both. Fortunately Queen Victoria joined him and blew both of the shuffling cadavers away with her shotgun. This brought Her Majesty’s experience up into the yellow zone, and gave her another action. A moment later and she had bought down a zed far away to the north with her rifle. Confident his companions could handle any zombies outside Frankenstein’s Monster readied himself to break down the toilet’s northern door. Suddenly however the streets around the restaurant were simply packed with the walking dead as four walkers appeared from the south and three from the north.
'BIG FRANK' BREAKS DOORS AS ZORRO AND QUEEN VICTORIA TAKE NAMES
To make matters worse ‘Big Frank’ bashed open the bathroom’s door and found four more zombies behind it. Frankenstein’s Monster fired his rifle three times and two of the fiends dropped to the tiled floor. Queen Victoria aimed her rifle at the group of shuffling cadavers approaching from the south and stunningly ‘killed’ all of them. Zorro moved south to confront the other brain-hungry corpses but then only brought down one of the fiends with his pistol. A moment later saw the undead close in upon both ‘the Spanish Fox’ and Frankenstein’s Monster.
THE GERMAN UNDEAD START TO OVERWHELM ZORRO AND FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER
There was still hope for the heroes however if they could battle through the next turn and take down their putrid foes. But they never got the chance as all walker’s were awarded another activation and both Zorro and Frankenstein’s Monster fell before the undead’s clawing hands and snapping teeth. Sensing defeat was near at hand, and spotting a third Were-Rottweiler and its two long-dead German companions nearby, Queen Victoria hastened north-west to the extraction point. Next time she’d bring more soldiers…
TWO HEROES FALL BEFORE THE NAZI ZOMBIE HORDE
Disappointingly the Allied Forces had failed to recover any food for the starving German evacuees. But at least Queen Victoria had survived. This medium mission is actually recommended for four survivors or more. But if it hadn’t been for the extra walker activation card being drawn both Zorro and Frankenstein’s Monster should have been able to cope with the foes before them, even with the horribly high zombie spawns.

For those interested in finding out a bit more about the new "IDW Publishing" comic book adventures of Frankenstein’s Monster then my reviews of the first couple of issues can be found here:
Joe Frankenstein #1     Joe Frankenstein #2

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

DOCTOR WHO AND HIS JUNGLE COMPANIONS FACE THE YETI AND CYBERMEN OF MONDAS
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.”
THE TABLETOP - "ZOMBICIDE" TILES 2B & 1B
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….
THE YETI STAND BETWEEN THE TIME TRAVELLERS AND THE TARDIS
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.
CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE HAIRY KIND - THE DOCTOR AND CHEETA FACE A YETI
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.
MONKEY MAGIC - CHEETA KEEPS THE YETI OCCUPIED AS HIS FRIENDS CATCH HIM UP
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.
MAD MONKEY WITH A FIRE AXE - AS THE YETI CLOSE IN CHEETA GOES IN FOR THE CHOP
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.
DELETE DELETE - THE ORIGINAL CYBERMEN EMERGE FROM THE LONDON SEWERS
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. 
ON GUARD - JAI TAKES A QUICK NAP HAVING FELLED A YETI
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…
DEADLY DOCTOR - ARMED WITH A SAWED OFF SHOTGUN & SUBMACHINE GUN THE TIMELORD ATTACKS THE YETI
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.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

"I Do Not Want To Hurt Anyone, But I Will."

"Let's forget about the pants."
This 28mm plastic model of Roger the Homunculus from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is made by “Wizkids. It is model 004 from the Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. “Heroclix” Action Pack. Discovered in a medieval alchemist’s laboratory beneath the ruins of Czege Castle in Romania, this unusually large “little man” was created by Mike Mignola in 1996 and features in the “Hellboy – Wake The Devil” comic book by “Dark Horse Comics”.

In order to ‘cover-up’ the miniature’s pre-paint the entire figure was undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. I then painted the humanoid’s body armour with Heavy Brown and his groin strap with Heavy Sienna. Both areas were then given a coat of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Roger’s chest socket and groin chain were painted with “Citadel” Ironbreaker before being washed, alongside his grey-coloured flesh areas, with Nuln Oil. His eyes were picked out with a couple of dabs of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre.
Cyborg WIP - After a black wash, the model has been dry-brushed with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and then Silver
I’ve managed to spend a bit of time slowly building-up the metallic layers of this rather large model of Victor Stone, also known in the DC Comics Universe as Cyborg. I wasn’t overly impressed with this sculpt to begin with, despite having to superglue it to a 40mm round base because of its size. But now a lot of the model’s detail is clearer I think it’s rather formidable-looking. I’ve yet to start picking out the man’s flesh and electronic ‘beeps and whistles’. But once I do I hope the miniature will really start to ‘pop’.
Hyena WIP - The model has been dry-brushed with red and teeth and claws undercoated black
Having been in the mood for dry-brushing, I’ve also concentrated on bringing out the detail in the Hyena’s red fur. This actually took a while as for some reason my brown Shade wasn't terribly happy in drying between the sculpt's ridges, so I kept having to go back and re-wash areas and then dry-brush them again. I have subsequently finished painting this model as its part of my personal Painting Challenge for this year. But not before I spent some additional time dappling in some skin spots and then trying to make them somewhat blend in.

As an aside if you want to see another re-painter of “Heroclix” then I’d strongly recommend paying Carrion Crow at visit over on his Carrion Crow's Buffet Wordpress site. Amongst other “Wizkids” miniatures on show is an entirely different Hyena paintjob as well as some excellent original conversions.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Painting Challenge 2015: Fortnight Three - 15mm Prydian Army By "The Ion Age"

Rogue Trader WIPs - Having applied a blue undercoat I've starting picking out the metallic areas with black
This fortnight’s personal painting challenge is to complete seven 15mm models. Something of a big ask in many respects as I currently own quite a few different ranges (and genres) in this scale. However one manufacturer I have been regularly buying from for the past couple of years but not actually painting all that much of, has been "The Ion Age". So I've selected a handful more of Gavin Syme's wonderfully sculpted Prydian Army infantry miniatures.

As long time followers of this blog will know last year I started to paint up some of this range's Retained Knights as 'Rogue Trader Era' Crimson Fist Space Marines. Having previously painted some regular 'Adeptus Astartes' for this Company of the Imperium, as well as a Sergeant and Heavy Weapon Team, I thought I'd fill it out a bit more with an additional stand or three of basic power-armoured defenders of Humanity.
Vehicular Support WIPs - These resin Heavy Lifters will have yet to even be based and undercoated 
In addition I thought I'd try and start working on some vehicles for my Crimson Fist Army, so have opened a few packets of resin combat lifters. These really are great-looking models which come with a variety of turret mounts; my favourite being the twin Anda Missile Pods. I've even found I own a vehicle conversion pack, which contains some additional white metal parts to add to my vehicles, such as stowage, driver and extra weaponry.
Primarch WIPs - I've added a pair of plastic "Games Workshop" wings to my model of Sanguinius
Finally as an enormous fan of the Horus Heresy, the devastating Space Marine civil war which almost cost the Emperor of Mankind his life, I based a couple of 28mm miniatures from "The Ion Age" to represent the traitorous Warmaster himself, Horus Lupercal and one of his opponents Sanguinius. As a result I hope at some point to paint up two more Space Marine forces to represent the Sons of Horus and the Blood Angels in order to wargame a 'fictional' Battle of Terra.

Monday, 4 May 2015

28mm Battle Report: Star Wars - Envelopment On Jakku

HAN SOLO AND CHEWBACCA TAKE ON THE STORMTROOPERS OF THE GALACTIC EMPIRE
This game was played using some homemade rules and takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board. For simplicity's sake we used some pre-painted "Star Wars" miniatures by "Wizards Of The Coast" which have just been re-based. The battlefield was populated with a variety of pre-painted scenery produced by “Galeforce Nine”, most notably several Badlands rocks and a couple of toxic pools. We actually used the scenario “Envelopment” from the “Bolt Action” wargames rulesbook by “Warlord Games”, as it provided us with a Rebel force trying to resist an envelopment by Stormtroopers. The Imperial Forces would be the attacker and score 1 victory point for every enemy unit destroyed, plus two points for each model that finished within 6 inches of the northern table edge. The Galactic Empire would get three points for each model which actually moved off the table edge by the end of the game; either Turn Six or Turn Seven. The Rebels simply scored two victory points for every enemy model they destroyed.
THE TABLETOP - THE DESERT OF THE PLANET JAKKU
“The story so far… Desperate to keep control of the planet Jakku the Imperial Forces based there have started to try and sweep the deserts clean of any rebels. Needing time to evacuate a nearby village before they are massacred, Han Solo and Chewbacca lead a party of Rebel soldiers in a desperate mission to temporarily hold up the Galactic Empire. But the Emperor’s elite soldiers are well-armed and confident in their mission. So for once the Force may not necessarily be with the roguish scoundrel and his Wookie companion…

 The Rebellion’s forces are made up of Squad Organa in the north-west, Han with Chewbacca in the north and Squad Antilles in the north-east. The Imperial forces consist of Squad Vader in the south-west, Squad Tarkin in the centre and Squad Tagge in the south-east.
SOME KIND OF LOCAL TROUBLE - THE REBELLION PREPARE THEIR POSITONS
Turn One saw a general advance north by the stormtroopers, with Squad Tagge approaching the south-eastern rock formation known as The Hutt. Knowing that their DH-17 pistols lacked the range of their Imperial adversaries the rebels split up around the various northern rock formations. Whilst the former-smugglers decided to move past the eastern edge of the cluster of rocks in front of them.
YOU BIG FURRY OAF - HAN SOLO AND CHEWBACCA LEAD THE REBEL FORCES
Turn Two had Squad Tarkin split in half, with two of its stormtroopers heading towards Jabba’s Thumb and the others moving to the southern edge of the large toxic pool. Squad Tagge also split in two around The Hutt. Whilst Squad Vader, carrying the name and expectations of the Sith himself, moved north in a typically professional manner, as two soldiers stood their ground providing covering fire as their colleague moved forward. This would be a strategy the Imperial warriors would employ throughout the battle and immediately reaped a reward as a rebel from Squad Organa was felled. In response the rebels scrambled to find better firing positions just north of the large toxic pool as well as along the eastern edge of the battlefield. Relying upon the longer range of Chewbacca’s bowcaster, Han Solo moved south towards Jabba’s Thumb. With a growl the Wookie fired at one of the stormtroopers from Squad Tarkin, and although the elite soldier’s white armour deflected one bolt, a second shot took him down.
REBELLION 2 VICTORY POINTS - GALACTIC EMPIRE 1 VICTORY POINT
Turn Three saw Chewbacca firing again as Solo reached the northern edge of Jabba’s Thumb. Unfortunately the Imperial forces' high grade plastoid armour kept the stormtroopers safe from the Wookie’s shots. Across the large toxic pond Squad Organa started to blaze away at their formidable foes, but were still out of range. Squad Antilles moved south to form a small line around the edge of the small toxic pool. Whilst two of the rebels scuttled west to flank Solo. Squad Vader marched forwards again, with two stormtroopers firing as the others advanced. Fortunately the Force was with the members of Squad Organa crouched down by the large toxic pool, as all the shots missed. Equally as bad shots were the soldiers of Squad Tagge in the south-west, as their laser-bolts whizzed all-about the rebels of Squad Antilles. Squad Tarkin however, decided to concentrate their fire upon the ‘traitors’ clustered around the large toxic pool and blasted two of them to bits. One of the stormtroopers even made a bead on the enormous Wookie and scored a hit.
REBELLION 2 VICTORY POINTS - GALACTIC EMPIRE 3 VICTORY POINTS
Pressing home their advantage Turn Four started with Squad Tarkin pressing north, firing at both Chewbacca and Han Solo but without any success. Squad Vader and Squad Tagge also advanced, realising they still had a long way to go if they were to successfully envelope the ‘rebel scum.’ Sensing the moment of truth was fast approaching when the Imperial line would crash into the rebel formations, Solo dropped back to try and bolster the troopers around him and as a result saw two stormtroopers fall beneath their enthusiastic shots. Chewbacca also fired at the stormtrooper who had wounded him, and brought the Imperial down. Unfortunately a depleted Squad Organa, seeing no less than six of the Emperor’s elite soldiers advancing towards their position, retreated north and hid behind a large(ish) rock formation in the north-west corner of the battlefield.
REBELLION 8 VICTORY POINTS - GALACTIC EMPIRE 3 VICTORY POINTS
Turn Five heralded another major advance north by the forces of the Galactic Empire. Their E-11 blaster rifles roared and scored another hit on Chewbacca and killed one of the rebels by the small toxic pool. In retaliation Squad Antilles moved south to try and push back the stormtroopers of Squad Tagge. Whilst Han gave Chewie a “Hey, It’s Me” grin and positioned himself in the centre of the battlefield. The great Wookie blasted another member of Squad Tarkin, essentially cutting the Imperial line in half.
REBELLION 10 VICTORY POINTS - GALACTIC EMPIRE 4 VICTORY POINTS
Believing this to be the final Turn (Six) and still being some way short of the Rebel line, the Imperials advanced further north once again, with Squad Tarkin providing the covering fire. With a roar of anguish the Wookie saw the captain of the Millennium Falcon suddenly topple having been hit by a torrent of laser fire. In the north-west the first stormtroopers of Squad Vader reached the rebel deployment line. Knowing they just had to hold on for a short time more, the rebels from Squad Antilles fired away at Squad Tagge and dispatched one of the Imperials’ number. At the other side of the battlefield, with a yell “For the Glory of House Organa” the two surviving rebels from Squad Organa charged into Squad Vader and clubbed one of the stormtroopers to the ground.
REBELLION 14 VICTORY POINTS - GALACTIC EMPIRE 5 VICTORY POINTS
Having rolled to establish whether the inhabitants of the local village had been evacuated, it was clear that the Rebellion needed a bit more time. So Turn Seven started with Squad Tarkin gunning down a rebel who was positioned in the centre of the table. The stormtroopers of Squad Vader launched an assault on the remnants of Squad Organa and battered one rebel to the dirt. However their celebrations were cut short as a vengeful Chewbacca blasted one of them with his crossbolter and another was bludgeoned by the remaining rebel trooper from Squad Organa.

Having counted up the victory points the Imperial Forces managed to obtain 7 points. But the Rebellion chalked up an impressive 16 points. Which according to the scenario gave them more than clear victory over the evil Galactic Empire.

For those interested in finding out a bit more about the new "Marvel Worldwide" adventures of Han Solo, Chewbacca and the Rebellion I have reviewed the first couple of issues from their latest comic book series here: