Wednesday, 28 September 2016

"Fate. Protects Fools, Little Children And Ships named Enterprise."

"Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her."
This 6mm scale metal miniature of a Kitakami Class Tug is by “Irregular Miniatures” and can be found within the company’s New Spaceship Range under code DYE10. Measuring 27mm in width and 68mm in length, this somewhat flat(ish) sculpt, at least when viewed from the side, makes a fairly recognisable proxy for one of the Constitution-class starships shown on the Sixties American Television Science Fiction series “Star Trek”, and as a result will represent the U.S.S. Enterprise during my planned “7TV” space battles.

Having now painted several of "Irregular Miniatures" Imperial Fleet vessels as Federation starships, I followed my usual technique and colour scheme by simply undercoating the model with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, washing it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, and dry-brushing it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey.
The U.S.S. Enterprise leads a Federation fleet against a flotilla of Romulan raiders
I then 'picked out' some of the vessel’s more colourful areas such as its field impellers with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson, as well as its main deflector dish with “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As a last thought I also added a couple of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue dots to the spacecraft’s forward phaser array, and washed them with “Citadel” Asurmen Blue.

Unfortunately, despite the relative straightforwardness of this Federation starship’s paint-job. The model itself proved somewhat difficult to assemble beforehand. This was primarily because the design doesn’t seemingly allow for the fact that the Tug’s separate warp nacelles need something stronger than just super-glue in order to remain attached to the top of its main engineering section. As a result I felt compelled to drill two ‘fixing’ furrows along the rear of the vessel’s hull and ‘slot’ the two pieces into them first.
"Irregular Miniatures" WIPs - An Oberon Class Destroyer, Revised Perry Class Frigate & Jarl Class Frigate
In addition, because I wanted the U.S.S. Enterprise to sit upon one of the old OOP “Games Workshop” flying stands I use for my spacecraft, I also had to carefully remove the rear of its deflector dish before there was enough room to affix the somewhat bulky ‘ball and socket’ element of the base to its underside. This problem proved particularly annoying as it resulted in me drilling straight through the saucer section and thereby needing to cover over the offending hole with a metal piece from my bitz box. Luckily the Seventies "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" version of the N.C.C.1701 was in fact a refitted Constitution-class starship, so the repair is easily explainable...

With the deadline for my “Star Trek” themed “Irregular Miniatures” project now in plain sight, I have been pushing on with a few more models from the manufacturer’s range. These vessels predominantly involve Imperial Fleet spaceships, such as the Oberon Class Destroyer and Revised Perry Class Frigate. But I am also hoping to perhaps still paint a few more craft from their Dysonian Fleet in order to be able to ‘field’ something other than Blitzspear Class Corvettes for my Romulan flotilla.
Nurgling WIPs - These tiny daemons are riddled with zits, open sores and gore
Finally I am making some good headway through the mass of Nurglings I need to paint for my “Age of “Sigmar” Host of Nurgle. These three stacks of tiny mischievous daemons are packed full of characterful detail and are proving a real slog now my brush is waist-deep in their entrails, slobbering tongues, horns, red eyes, pointed teeth and pustules. Fortunately I’m now almost halfway through the number needed to use a minimum-sized unit on the tabletop, with most of the Khan’gurani’i requiring just a combination of “Citadel” washes before being ready for some final pock-coloured highlights.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing Report: U.S.S. Enterprise-D Verses Borg Scout Cube 608

This game was played using the "Star Trek: Attack Wing” rules by “Wizkids” and set up using two 40 Squadron Point fleets. The Federation Faction consisted of Ship Card: U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Manoeuvre Card: Galaxy Class, Captain Card: William T. Riker and the Upgrade Cards: Worf & Photon Torpedoes. The Borg Faction consisted of Ship Card: Scout 608, Manoeuvre Card: Borg Scout Cube, Captain Card: Third of Five and Upgrade Cards: Fourth of Five, Borg Alcove & Magnetometric Guided Charge.

The ‘encounter’ was played on an empty 3’ x 3’ space mat, using an adapted version of the Mission: A New Source of Dilithium from the main rule-book. This meant that each faction began the game “opposite from each other across the play area.” Whilst a planet token was placed in the centre of the play area. The winner was the faction that either managed to warp off the play area with three Dilithium miners first or eliminated their opponent...
COMMANDER WILLIAM T. RIKER ATTEMPTS TO SAVE THE MINERS ON DELTA VEGA
“The story so far… Captain Jean-Luc Picard has returned to Earth in order to fully recover from his Borg assimilation and left Commander William T. Riker in charge of the U.S.S. Enterprise (See "Star Trek: TNG" TV episode "Family"). Embarking upon a routine mission to collect the miners residing within the Lithium-cracking facility on Delta Vega, the Galaxy-Class starship's task is suddenly made all the more vital when its forward scans show a Borg Scout Cube is about to enter the planet's orbit..."
A BORG SCOUT CUBE IS ENTERS THE DELTA VEGA SYSTEM
Detecting the approach of the N.C.C. 1701-D, the Borg vessel stopped its approach towards the large orange-coloured world and noticeably reversed backwards, as if waiting for the Federation Flagship to reactive to its presence in the system. Despite its square-shape the spacecraft appeared unbelievably manoeuvrable.

Nervous as to the Borg's formidable firepower, and keen to discern the alien race's intentions, Commander Riker similarly threw his starship into reverse, and nervously acknowledged that his cautious 'Red' order had required the U.S.S. Enterprise to utilise Auxiliary Power (and thus prevent it from executing future Red Manoeuvres as well as any Actions, even Free Actions).
COMMANDER RIKER TAKES AN UNCHARACTERISTICALLY CAUTIOUS APPROACH
Third of Five watched his opponent falter in their approach to Delta Vega and sensing a reluctance to engage the Borg, sent his scout cube hurtling straight towards the Dilithium-rich planet at Warp Factor four. The vessel's engines whined with the strain of the speed and tapped into its Auxiliary Power in order to attain the required speed.

Cursing, William Riker realised his hesitancy had been seen as a sign of weakness and ordered the U.S.S. Enterprise to match the Borg's speed and course towards Delta Vega and the hapless miners trapped on its surface.
THE FEDERATION AND BORG RACE TOWARDS THE MINERS ON DELTA VEGA
Sensing that he could goad his opponent into a rash course of action, Third of Five again ordered for Scout 608 to reverse its direction, and waited for the Human vessel to make its next emotionally-charged move before the Borg struck.

Spotting an opportunity to beam down to the planet and start rescuing the Dilithium miners, William T. Riker ordered the U.S.S. Enterprise to fly straight into a fast-orbit around Delta Vega at Warp Factor five. The Galaxy-Class starship zoomed into position and awaited it's Commander's orders to disable its shields and prepare for the Away Team's transportation.

Scanning the data before him, Third of Five continued to assess his opponent's actions, and calculated that the Federation flagship would be unable to perform a successful recovery of any humans trapped within the Lithium-cracking facility whilst it was still required to use Auxiliary Power. As a result the Borg Cube continued to steadily reverse away from the planet.
THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE IS FIRST TO ATTAIN AN ORBIT OF THE PLANET
Mindful that he needed to lower his shields in order to transport down to Delta Vega, Commander Riker ordered for his Galaxy-class starship to bank to port at Warp Factor three and skirted the planet's atmosphere. However although the move didn't put the Borg vessel within reach of the U.S.S. Enterprise's phaser arrays. The manoeuvre did place the Federation Flagship within range of Scout 608.

Third of Five immediately gave the order for the Borg cube to fire, and successfully rolled two hits. Not being the most agile of spacecraft the crew of the N.C.C. 1071-D were grateful that their opponent was firing at extreme range as it awarded them a second Defence Die, and allowed them to evade one of the blasts. But Worf still informed Commander Riker that their shields had been depleted by 25 per cent.
UNABLE TO BEAM DOWN TO THE PLANET'S SURFACE THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE ATTACKS
With the opposing forces now within firing range of one another, the Borg Cube effortlessly slid to starboard, negating its need to utilise Auxiliary Power and allowing Fourth of Five to beam onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. The alien cyborg immediately disabled two of the Federation Flagship's shields and its Photon Torpedoes, as well as Mister Worf.

Aware that his shields were currently depleted by seventy-five percent, his Head of Security was injured and that his secondary weapons system was offline, Commander Riker shouted for his Galaxy-class starship to fly straight ahead at Warp Factor four. However the course was not enough to get the N.C.C. 1701-D completely out of harms way...
THE BORG MERCILESSLY BATTER THE FEDERATION FLAGSHIP
Scout 608 once again fired upon its weakening target, and this time used its Magnetometric Guided Charge. Not only did this weapon allow the Borg to roll three Attack Dice, whilst the "target ship does not roll Defence Dice against this attack." But it also allowed them to convert one of their Battle Stations results into a Critical Damage.

With a shudder the U.S.S. Enterprise rocked under the detonation's impact. Its remaining shield was instantly overwhelmed by the attack, and the vessel took both a hit on its hull as well as some Critical Damage; its helmsman being stunned. In response, all the Federation Flagship could do was repair the damage caused to its two shields by Fourth of Five.
MISTER DATA IS KNOCKED OUT BY A FORMIDABLE BORG ATTACK
Believing that his foe was now ready for assimilation, Third of Five moved his Borg Cube towards his prey at Warp Factor Two, and acquired a Weapons Lock on the Galaxy-class starship. This meant the hostile aliens could "re-roll as many of his attack dice as he chooses."

Grimacing at the news that his opponent now a distinct advantage over his vessel William T. Riker reluctantly gave the order for the U.S.S. Enterprise to continue on its course out of the system at Warp Factor four. Delta Vega was lost and the Dilithium miners were destined to become Borg drones. The only good news was that Scout 608 was now within range of the Commander's secondary saucer phaser array. However with a Stunned Helmsman the N.C.C. 1701-D was unable to fire.
RIKER REALISES HE MUST FLEE AS THE BORG GAIN A TACTICAL ADVANTAGE
Third of Five concentrated his square-shaped vessel's firepower upon the Borg's fast-fleeing prize, and once again battered the Galaxy-class starship's shields. Fortunately for the Federation Flagship though the alien's attack failed to penetrate to its hull, and with an angry last look at his fearsome opponent Riker took his bruised command out of the Delta Vega system...

Sunday, 25 September 2016

"A Rotbringers Sorcerer Is A Wizard."

"Opening his blistered mouth impossibly wide, the sorcerer vomits..."
This 28mm Finecast "Age Of Sigmar" model of a Rotbringers Sorcerer is made by “Games Workshop” and "can attempt to cast one spell" in each of my Hero Phases, as well as "attempt to unbind one spell in each enemy Hero Phase." In addition the portly wizard "knows the Arcane Bolt, Mystic Shield and Stream of Corruption spells"; the latter of which allows him to vomit forth "a powerful torrent of disease and filth" that can inflict 3 mortal wounds upon an enemy unit within 7 inches.

As this miniature is actually the first figure made from the Nottingham-based manufacturer's much-maligned resin that I've assembled and painted, I must confess to initially being very impressed with its crisp detail. In fact, apart from some minor pieces of flash which were easily removed with a sharp modelling knife, I genuinely couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Admittedly, the model has essentially no weight or heft to it whilst in the hand, and the magic user's Rotwood Staff is still disconcertingly bendy to the touch. But all in all, I was genuinely looking forward to applying my brush and a limited palette to the mortal hero... 
Bloodletter WIPs - These lesser daemons have been washed and dry-brushed
However just as soon as I started trying to dry-brush "Vallejo" German Grey over the Sorcerer's "Citadel" Abaddon Black undercoat I began spotting all the tiny wedge-shaped pieces of "Finecast" that were predominantly dotted about the folds of the Rotbringers' cloak. Presumably these were caused by the casting process, and soon took the wind out of my sails as I continually had to stop dry-brushing, cut away another piece of resin I'd missed, and then re-undercoat the area with more Abaddon Black. Sadly by the time I had finished this process any enthusiasm I had had for the miniature had been exhausted and I had to force myself to start painting his undergarment "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.

Incredibly it wasn't long before I encountered precisely the same problem with this piece of clothing as well, and once again spent some considerable time cutting away tiny little triangular pieces of "Finecast" from in between the wizard's robes. Having finally finished this area I then started picking out the corrupted one's scrolls with White and skull adornments with Iraqi Sand, I also took the opportunity to pick out his maggots (and pimples) with Heavy Ochre. All of these areas were then washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

In order to make his Rotwood Staff appear rather sickly-looking, I initially gave it an undercoat of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and picked out its dripping skull-festooned icon with Heavy Khaki and Iraqi Sand. The main areas of wood were then washed with more Strong Tone Quickshade. I did however then use both "Citadel" Thrakka Green and Carroburg Crimson for the slime and matted areas further up the pole, and as a final touch, gave the innermost skull a light dry-brush of Iraqi Sand to bring out its detail.
Kitakami Class Tug WIP - The vessel should make a good stand-in for the NCC-1701
Sticking with my Host of Nurgle, I am currently in the process of washing my (allied) unit of ten Bloodletters with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade, and dry-brushing them with "Vallejo" Heavy Red. I'm actually aiming to have the lesser daemons finished before the end of October so they can accompany my Plaguebearers on the battlefield, or perhaps just simply be summoned by my Rotbringers Sorcerer when the moment takes him...

Lastly I have started adding the details to the only "Irregular Miniatures" Kitakami Class Tug I currently own. The spacecraft still needs some additional dry-brushing and tidying up. But when finished will hopefully make a sound proxy for a  Constitution-class Federation starship, and allow me to finally field Captain James T. Kirk's U.S.S. Enterprise.  

Thursday, 22 September 2016

"The Soyuz Class Starships Were Designated As An Attack Frigate Or Tactical Frigate."

A Federation frigate flotilla comprising of the NCC-1943 Missouri, NCC-1960 Beagle and NCC-1936 Long March
These three 6mm scale metal miniatures of a Perry Class Frigate are from “Irregular Miniatures” Imperial Fleet Spaceship range and can be bought as code DYE2. Measuring 30mm in length and 22mm in width, this sculpt is arguably be starting to show its mould's age on account of a few casting flaws found on its saucer section and aft quarters. However it still makes a very useful proxy for the Soyuz-class Federation starship featured in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" 1992 science fiction television episode "Cause And Effect".

Having already finished two of these 'Miranda-class derivatives' before, and been very happy with my paint scheme's match to the Federation's famous "dimmer blue" outer hull colour, I simply gave each model a double layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey as an undercoat and treated them to a generous wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The starships were then roughly dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey before I started to 'pick out' their details using “Vallejo” Heavy Red for their Polyduranide nacelle particle apertures, Gunmetal Metal on their forward-facing saucer sensor dishes and Heavy Blue for their warp engine filed grills. All of these areas were then washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson, Nuln Oil and Asurmen Blue respectively.
Ballista WIPs - The "Guild Ball" Captain contains all manner of rivets, pliers, straps and pouches 
With the bulk of my initial Starfleet finished, I have slowly been 'chipping away' at another of my 30mm "Guild Ball" miniatures by "“Steamforged Games Ltd”. In the past I've managed to pick up a bit of momentum painting some of the players from the Engineer's Guild Team on account of all three models being wooden automatons, and therefore requiring reasonably straightforward colour schemes. Club captain Ballista however is proving an entirely different ballgame, courtesy of the multi-part, slightly cumbersome sculpt containing some unbelievably complicated detail. Indeed, I'm convinced that all his cogs, tools, buckles and rivets would have undoubtedly put me off this sports game for good if I had selected the  Defensive Midfielder as my 'first port of call'.

As it is I am gradually persevering 'picking out' his brass leg-bracelets, numerous steel pliers and infuriatingly extravagant crossbow... Not to mention the dozen or so rivets peppering his medieval attire. Equally as perplexing is trying to find enough contrastingly different shades of brown with which to paint all the Lord Artificer's leather. The skipper is already adorned with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, Iraqi Sand, Heavy Brown, as well as "Citadel" Doombull Brown, and is still approximately only half-completed...
Bloodhunter WIPs - The unit's champion has been washed, dry-brushed and had its details 'picked out'
Lastly I have somewhat succumbed to the lure of the "Games Workshop" Blood God, Khorne, and begun work on the leader of my "Age Of Sigmar" Bloodletters. This Bloodhunter will actually be used as a test piece for my ten model-strong unit, as I actually want to try a different paint scheme to that ordinarily used by the Slaughter-kin. The lesser daemons will still predominantly comprise of red, black and gold. But unlike those depicted within the pages of the "Grand Alliance: Chaos" compendium, I'll be effectively duplicating the more sinister-looking colour combination found inside the illustrations of the "General's Handbook".

This essentially means that instead of just having black claws, the Bloodletters' entire hands and hooves will be given a layer of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and then be blended up into their 'famous' red flesh. Their back spines will also be 'picked out' with black, whilst their ordinarily dark Hellblades (as well as their leader's horn adornments) will now be a strikingly bright shining gold. Hopefully, despite requiring a little extra time per model than my original plans, this more colourful design will really help make my unit stand out on the tabletop, and if it does become problematic then I can always revert back to their more recognisable appearance for the rest of the Crimson Death.     

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

"They Call Them Mainsprings."

"The construction of them is one of the Cogs most closely guarded secrets..."
This 30mm metal model of the “Guild Ball” Engineer Mascot, Mainspring, is made by “Steamforged Games Ltd” and proved to be something of a difficult painting experience despite the relative simplicity of its colour scheme. The majority of my discomfort was as a result of the multi-part miniature being somewhat too large for its base, and subsequently sitting over the circular lip. This disconcerting placement not only continually irked my sensibilities, as I like my models to fit within the confines of their stands, but also made it nearly impossible to reach some of the figure's details with my brush.

Fortunately despite being cast with separate limbs, the "anti-personnel mine" did prove reasonably straightforward to assemble, at least once I worked out which way it was meant to be facing, and was initially treated to both an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and a wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. With the Mechanica's priming phase finished I then dry-brushed the wooden construct with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna before picking out its metallic joints and numerous gears with a combination of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
"Irregular Miniatures" WIPS - Perry Class Frigate, Oberon Class Destroyer and County Class Heavy Cruiser
Finally, I applied some “Vallejo” Gold to the edge of the construct's carapace, the ends of its insectoid legs, as well as its canopy's bolts, and washed these areas with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade in order to imply that they were made from polished brass. The Indar's ball was quickly painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

As I'm still building up enough players to field the Engineer's Guild, I haven't yet used Mainspring on the "Guild Ball" pitch. The 'giant cockroach' does however appear particularly useful in front of goal on account of its "Super Shot". This Character Play allows the model to add +1 dice to its dice pool and +2" to its range when Kicking; effectively providing the mascot with a 2/6" shot. In addition, the Indar machine can "Overheat", causing "all other models with the 3" pulse [to] suffer 3 Damage and the Burning condition" when it "suffers the taken-out condition during the Activation Phase." Little wonder "even the Engineer's players exercise caution" around the wooden device.
Blightlord WIPs - The Putrid Blightking has been undercoated, washed and dry-brushed
Having recently finished a flotilla of ten 'Romulan Raiders' by "Irregular Miniatures" I have found my own version of the Utopia Planitia Starfleet Yards on Mars busily constructing an equally formidable Federation force. As a result I've partially painted three more of the manufacturer's Perry Class Frigates to use as 'Soyuz-class Federation Starships', two more Oberon Class Destroyers to use as 'Miranda-class scientific/patrol vessels' and a County Class Heavy Cruiser to use as the NCC-2000 U.S.S. Excelsior.
"STAR TREK: ATTACK WING" - Commander William T. Riker confronts the Borg
Finally I've been assembling a number of multi-part plastic "Games Workshop" models to add to my diminutive "Age Of Sigmar" Nurgle host. This Blightlord is the leader of nine other Putrid Blightkings I hope to build and paint next month. However the "enormous, bloated warrior, festering with pustules and plague" was simply too tempting a figure not to prime, wash and dry-brush. As with my Lord of Plagues I plan to paint the favoured mortal servant of Nurgle predominantly green, and use a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and the "Citadel" Technical paint Nihilakh Oxide on both his armour and weaponry.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing Report: U.S.S. Enterprise-D Verses I.R.W. Khazara

This game was played using the "Star Trek: Attack Wing” rules by “Wizkids”. The game was set up using the recommended Federation Faction (Ship Card: U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Manoeuvre Card: Galaxy Class, Captain Card: Jean-Luc Picard and the Upgrade Cards: Geordi La Forge & Miles O’Brien) and Romulan Faction (Ship Card: I.R.W. Khazara, Manoeuvre Card: D'deridex Class, Captain Card: Toreth and Upgrade Cards: Bochra & Plasma Torpedos. The ‘encounter’ was played on an empty 3’ x 3’ space mat, with each faction beginning “opposite from each other across the play area.”
TORETH TAKES ON JEAN-LUC PICARD IN HER LUST FOR REVENGE
“The story so far… Eager for revenge upon the U.S.S. Enterprise following the starship's role in the successful defection of Vice-Proconsul M'ret and his aides to the Federation (See “Star Trek: TNG” TV episode “Face Of The Enemy”), Commander Toreth has crossed back into the Neutral Zone and then lured Captain Jean-Luc Picard's Galaxy Class vessel to her location using a fake distress signal…”
THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE FALLS FOR A FIENDISH ROMULAN TRAP
Commander Toreth smiled evilly as the N.C.C. 1701-D came out of warp near to her B-Type Warbird's spatial location. Her foolish prey had taken the bait and now it was time for the Romulan to spring her deadly trap. Nodding to her Conn, the Sotarek Citation recipient ordered the I.R.W. Khazara to bank to port and activate its cloaking device.

Aghast at finding his starship facing "one of the largest and most powerful mainstays of the Romulan Star Empire" instead of an errant crippled science vessel, Jean-Luc Picard immediately raised his vessel's (four) shields and threw the Federation's flagship into reverse; a (red) manoeuvre which forced the U.S.S. Enterprise to switch to Auxiliary Power (and thus prevented it from executing future Red Manoeuvres as well as any Actions, even Free Actions). Mister Worf, eager as ever to engage the Klingons' bitter rivals, fired all phasers towards the D'deridex Class Warbird's last known location. But the starship was well out of range.
SNEAKY AS THEY ARE DEADLY THE ROMULANS CLOAK BEFORE LAUNCHING THEIR ATTACK
Chuckling at her blind prey's reckless shooting, Commander Toreth ordered her vessel to fly straight towards the seemingly impotent Galaxy Class starship at Warp Factor four, and readied her vessel to perform Evasive Manoeuvres if necessary.

Cautious and wary of making an unwise move too early, the Enterprise's captain simply ordered for the Federation flagship to travel forward to its original position at Warp Factor one and anxiously waited for his opponent's next move. Fortunately the manoeuvre allowed the Galaxy Class starship to switch over from Auxiliary Power, and to show he meant business Jean-Luc Picard gave Mister Worf the order to fire phasers once again.
THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE FIRES BLINDLY UPON THEIR FAST-APPROACHING FOE
Sensing that her moment had arrived Commander Toreth suddenly had the I.R.W. Khazara turn hard to starboard, and gave the order for her Conn to execute a series of complicated Evasive Manoeuvres if the U.S.S. Enterprise suddenly turned in the cloaked B-Type Warbird's direction. Incredibly however as the D'deridex class vessel swung round towards the Federation flagship, the military officer saw her prey bank to port. The Romulan was heading straight towards the right flank of her hated opponent. 

Jean-Luc Picard realised he'd guessed wrong as soon as his starship pitched to port and the I.R.W. Khazara de-cloaked behind him. The Federation Flagship was now in range of the Romulans' disruptor arrays. Ordinarily the battle cruiser would roll three Attack Dice. But because it initiated "an attack while cloaked", it was allowed to add an extra Attack Dice to its total. The Romulans initially scored two hits and one Critical Damage. However Commander Toreth's special ability allowed her to convert one of the hits to another Critical Damage.
THE I.R.W. KHAZARA SWEEPS INTO POSITION FOR A DEVASTATING ATTACK
The U.S.S. Enterprise's great size meant it was only allowed to roll a single Defence Die to begin with. But because the Romulan was attacking from long range, the Galaxy-Class Starship was given a second die. Fortunately the vessel's captain had also ordered Battle Stations before the attack, so the vessel was able to convert one of its results to a Miss and at least negate the B-type Warbird's first hit...

Jean-Luc Picard reeled in his chair as the Federation Flagship's shields were reduced to 50% in an instant. In addition the Romulans had caused two amounts of Critical Damage, which resulted in a "Stunned Helmsman" (meaning that the next time the U.S.S. Enterprise attacked it would not roll any dice) and "Structural Damage" (meaning the vessel's Agility was reduced by one to zero until Engineering spent a successful action rolling a hit on an Attack Die). Things were not looking good for the Galaxy Class Starship.

[N.B. Applying the effects of the Critical Damage upon the U.S.S. Enterprise was a mistake as the starship still had shields. However, clearly some despicable Romulan agents interfered with our interpretation of the rules at the time, and it did make for an exciting climax to the battle...]  
CRITICAL DAMAGE REDUCES THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE'S SHIELDS BY FIFTY PERCENT
 Wishing to see which way her prey turned before she committed her D'deridex Class Warbird, a triumphant Toreth ordered her vessel to switch to Auxiliary Power and went into full astern. Meanwhile Captain Jean-Luc Picard ordered for the Federation Flagship to bank hard to port. His duty was clear. He must retreat from the Neutral Zone and seek additional support. Fortunately Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge reported that he had repaired the starship's structural damage. The Galaxy-class vessel was as agile as ever once again.

 Sensing that her foe was preparing to flee the battlefield, Commander Toreth shouted for the I.R.W. Khazara to fly straight towards the 'limping' Federation Flagship at Warp Factor four. In addition the B-Type Warbird acquired a Target Lock upon the U.S.S. Enterprise. This meant that the Romulans could "choose any number of Attack Dice and re-roll them once during the Combat Phase, or alternatively, if within range, 'spend the Target Lock' to fire (five) "Plasma Torpedoes" at their opponent; a significant attack which would also allow the Romulan officer to re-roll all of her blank results.
CAPTAIN PICARD'S TACTICAL WITHDRAWAL SEES THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE RETREAT 
Desperate to keep his Galaxy Class Starship out of range of the D'deridex Class warbird's formidable plasma torpedoes, Captain Jean-Luc Picard ordered his vessel to bank to starboard and continue along its course out of the Neutral Zone.

With a frustrated curse, Commander Toreth realised that the Federation Flagship was manoeuvring itself out of range of her torpedoes' launchers. She quickly ordered the I.R.W. Khazara to replicate the U.S.S. Enterprise's bank starboard. But with a sigh then saw the N.C.C. 1701-D warp out of the Neutral Zone, and it was not yet time to take the fight into Federation space. Still at least the Romulan officer had restored both her honour and brought glory to the Star Empire. 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

"Beware Romulans Bearing Gifts."

"Romulans were aware of Humanity for some time before Earth knew of them."
These ten 6mm scale metal Blitzspear Class Corvettes can be found within “Irregular Miniatures” Dysonian Fleet Spaceship range as code DYD1 and measure just 20mm in length and 11mm in width. Appearing somewhat reminiscent of the spacecraft seen in the old Thirties "Flash Gordon" Science Fiction Film serials, the tiny vessels will also hopefully make a good proxies for a flotilla of Romulan Raiders in my "Star Trek" fleet battles using an adapted version of the "7TV" rule-set by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio".

All the models come with a pre-drilled hole in order for them to be placed upon flying stands. However I found them to be too small to hold the old OOP "Games Workshop" 'ball and socket' stems I wanted to place them onto, so each hole subsequently had to be enlarged. It was at this point that I discovered just how fragile these sculpts are, with the vessel's wings seemingly being 'paper-thin'. As a result just simply holding the miniatures still in order to drill them became something of a major task if I wasn't going to bend or even tear off one of their wings accidentally; something I had previously done whilst working on an Imperial Sheriff Class Police Ship.
The U.S.S Bozeman is ambushed by a small flotilla of Romulan Raiders
To begin with all of the vessels were treated to a double undercoat of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and washed with "Citadel" Thrakka Green. Each raider was then lightly dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Green and had their exhausts and command domes 'picked out' with a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black. These areas were subsequently painted either with a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil or "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Thrakka Green. Finally all the models were given a protective layer of "Coat d'arms" Gloss Varnish.

"Irregular Miniatures" currently produce two other kinds of similarly-sized Dysonian starcraft, the DYD11 Revised Blitzspear Class Corvette and DYD12 Rapier Class Gunboat. As a result I plan to use this early (and therefore somewhat) 'inferior' Romulan vessel as little more than a lightly armed 'guard' of the Star Empire, whose stinging close-range attacks and 2" Blocker (Physical Trait) will prove more of an annoying hindrance on the tabletop than a definite threat. Unless of course they are fielded in numbers...
Nurglings WIPs - These razor-sharp toothed terrors now need to have their horns, eyes and teeth 'picked out'
In addition to completing my ten Romulan Raiders I have also finished a second of "Irregular Miniatures" DYE2 Perry Class Frigates. As with the first 'Soyuz-class Federation Starship' it was undercoated using “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. I then used some “Vallejo” Heavy Red for the two Polyduranide nacelle particle apertures, Gunmetal Metal on its three saucer sensor dishes and Heavy Blue for its four warp engine filed grills. These areas were finished off by being washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson, Nuln Oil and Asurmen Blue.

Finally I am still making some headway with my Nurgle Host for "Age Of Sigmar". One of the units I hope to soon field are three stacks of Nurgling bases. Setting aside my frustrations that ultimately a number of these cheerful psychopathic terrors are actually going to be hidden from view behind some of their brethren once the models are properly assembled, I have finished priming, washing and dry-brushing the remaining six rows needed to complete the horde.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

"Hidden Behind The Dread Mask Of One Of Nurgle’s Executioners..."

"Able to poison a man from a dozen paces away..."
This 28mm plastic multi-part "Age Of Sigmar" model of a Lord of Plagues is made by “Games Workshop” and, as a result of him being my Host of Nurgle's General, can actually 'infect' another unit within 21 inches with the debilitating "Nurgle's Rot until the end of the [Hero] phase." This "Grandfather's Gift" has already proved incredibly intimidating on the battlefield, as any unit within 3" of a model with "this most dreaded and contagious of diseases" risks suffering D3 mortal wounds...

Having assembled Nurgle's mortal hero and super-glued him onto a "Citadel" 40mm circular base, the miniature was given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. The imposing figure was then dry-brushed with some more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki before his armour, chainmail, skulls and numerous festering wounds were undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black. Once all this base layering was finished I painted his innards, "rancid boils, open sores and cankerous bulges" with either “Vallejo” Heavy Red, Dead White, Heavy Warmgrey or Heavy Ochre and subsequently washed these "vile blessings" appropriately with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade, Reikland Fleshshade or Carroburg Crimson.
Rotbringers Sorcerer WIPs - The Chaos Wizard has had most of his base layers finished
As I wanted the fearsome warrior to really stand out on the battlefield, I used a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "Citadel" Technical paint Nihilakh Oxide for both his plague-ridden Great Blade and Executioner's dread mask. These areas were then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass. The Lord of Plague's plate-mail was initially given a coat of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The armour's edges, as well as any pitted areas, were then lightly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.

Sadly my Lord of Plagues performance during my Nurgle Host's opening battle was less than auspicious. For despite being able to withstand an impressive seven wounds, the mortal warrior was immediately dispatched by some Sylvaneth (overpowered) Kurnoth Hunters and their 30" range Greatbows. Fortunately however, my Chaos God saw the funny side to this pathetic performance and in subsequent fights the Plague-ridden Great Blade (Three attacks which hit on a 3+ and cause D3 damage) became rightly feared, especially as the single model can heal a wound during every Hero Phase. 
County Class Heavy Cruiser WIPs - The vessel has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
With my "Age Of Sigmar" forces' General finished, I have now started working industriously upon my Rotbringers Sorcerer. This Chaos Wizard will provide me with some much-needed magic during the course of a skirmish, and appears particularly useful in summoning additional units of Plaguebearers, Nurglings and Beasts of Nurgle. In addition the Hero is also able to cast the spells "Arcane Bolt", "Mystic Shield" and Stream of Corruption".

Disappointingly the miniature is not the most inspiring of sculpts, despite originally being cast by "Games Workshop" in metal. Now produced in "Finecast" the figure has an especially bendy Rotwood Staff, and I think I have been rather fortunate in being supplied with a model that has a straight 'rod of casting'. The same cannot be said for the figure itself though, which has frustratingly taken an eternity to clean up. Indeed I've lost count how many times I had thought I had removed the last piece of resin flash off of the Sorcerer, only to find another nodule whilst painting him. 
"STAR TREK: ATTACK WING" - The U.S.S. Enterprise-D battles the I.R.W. Khazara
Currently I'm still base-layering all the parchment scrolls, skulls, bone artefacts and maggots which adorn the mortal wizard. But once these areas are tidied up and washed, the rest of the magic-user should be relatively straightforward to paint on account of his brown garments and black hooded cloak. Only his stave, which can produce a surprisingly nasty (4+ To Hit, D3 Damage) attack, may prove problematic on account of it being covered in some unpleasant sticky green goo...

 Finally I am making some progress on one of the larger “Star Trek” inspired "Irregular Miniatures" starships I own. This Imperial Fleet County Class Heavy Cruiser will hopefully be the first in a small line of Excelsior-class proxies I plan to paint, and will undoubtedly be captained by none other than Hikaru Sulu. Inspired by a cracking sculpt I've really made some headway on the vessel, and now simply need to 'pick out' all its colourful details before it's ready to take on the Romulans.  

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

"Hoist..."

"I am especially fascinated with the automaton..."
This 28mm metal model of the “Guild Ball” Engineer Attacking Midfielder Hoist is made by “Steamforged Games Ltd” and is one of the manufacturer’s “Season Two” releases. 

Reasonably straightforward to assemble, this multi-part miniature figure was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The predominantly wooden construct was then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna before having his metallic joints and numerous bolts ‘picked out’ with a combination of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As a final step I applied some “Vallejo” Gold to both the edge of the figure’s head, and around his breastbone. These areas were subsequently washed with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade in order to suggest that they were fashioned from lightly polished brass.

As with the automaton's team-mate Velocity, the player’s insert illustration makes it clear that a number of other metallic areas, such as the midfielder’s waist gears, shoulder pads and knee pads, should also partially be painted in brass. But as I found it somewhat difficult to apply just a thin layer of "Vallejo" Gold onto Hoist's head and chest areas I thought I would leave well enough alone...
I’ve yet to field the Engineer's team for a game of “Guild Ball”, but according to his rules, the player would appear to be "a resilient ball-carrier" who can "learn from the plays of other opponents." Indeed Hoist's "True Replication" ability allows the "wood and metal" construct to "choose a character play on target enemy [Human] [non-Captain] model's card and replace this Character Play with it for the rest of the game."

In addition the Mechanica enjoys the character traits "Tough Hide", which reduces any damage taken by -1; "Reanimate", which allows him once per turn to recover 3 Hit Points (and remove all conditions) when ordinarily the Indar would suffer the taken-out condition (0 Hit Points); "Sturdy", which allows the automaton to "ignore the first knocked-down condition place upon it", and "Drained [True Replication]", which means Hoist's influence is increased by [+0/+1] whenever he is actually imitating one of his opponent's Character Plays.
"Guild Ball" distractions aside I have been making some steady progress on my "Star Trek" project using some vessels from "Irregular Miniatures" impressive 6mm Spaceship range. Currently I'm working on two five-model strong batches of the manufacturer's Dysonian Blitzspear Class Corvettes. These tiny, somewhat fragile to handle, piratical fighters will hopefully form the vanguard of Romulan fleet determined to invade Federation space. But for now, they'll simply have to settle for being a thorn in Captain Clark Terrell's side.  

Lastly I have been continuing to paint my two Beasts of Nurgle for "Age of Sigmar". These "Finecast" miniatures are cast by "Games Workshop" and are proving reasonably simple to paint on account of them predominantly needing just a few washes and dry-brushes. Certainly the greener of my two "mottled pallid slug(s)" is close to completion. Whilst it's tan-coloured colleague has a bit more work to do before I can even begin to pick out his claws, tusks and formidable tongue. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing Report: U.S.S. Enterprise-D Verses I.K.S. Maht-H'a

This game was played using the "Star Trek: Attack Wing” rules by “Wizkids”. The game was set up using the recommended Federation Faction (Ship Card: U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Manoeuvre Card: Galaxy Class, Captain Card: Jean-Luc Picard and the Upgrade Cards: Geordi La Forge & Miles O’Brien) and Klingon Faction (Ship Card: I.K.S. Maht-H’a, Manoeuvre Card: Vor-cha Class, Captain Card: Nu’Daq and Upgrade Cards: Konmel, Tractor Beam & Photon Torpedoes [Klingon Faction]). The ‘encounter’ was played on an empty 3’ x 3’ space mat, with each faction beginning “opposite from each other across the play area.”
NU'DAQ TAKES ON JEAN-LUC PICARD FOR HIS PERSONAL GLORY 
“The story so far… ashamed by his failure to ensure the Klingon Defence Force were the first to decipher a four billion-year-old genetic program, and his vessel’s defeat by a Galor-class Cardassian warship whilst orbiting Loren III (See “Star Trek: TNG” TV episode “The Chase”), Captain Nu’Daq has decided to regain his honour by improperly entering Federation space and destroying the first vessel his Vor’cha-class attack cruiser encounters. Unfortunately for the Klingon commander however, the I.K.S. Maht-H’a’s course takes the vessel directly into the path of Jean-Luc Picard’s U.S.S. Enterprise, and the Federation’s Galaxy-class flagship isn’t going to go down without a fight…”
THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE ENCOUNTERS A KLINGON TRESPASSER
The inferior of the two captains, Nu’Daq immediately threw his Vor’cha-class attack cruiser hard to starboard and forced his vessel to execute a tight turn that left the I.K.S. Maht-H’a facing 90 degrees away from the oncoming Federation vessel. They’d be no glorious head-to-head confrontation yet the Klingon thought, even if his weaponry did outmatch the pitiful human starship. The (red) manoeuver did however cause the Klingon craft to gain 1 Auxiliary Power Token as a result. This stress immediately prevented Nu’Daq from using any actions (even free ones) during this turn and as a result the commander was left to simply sneer at his opponent.

Believing that the Klingon vessel's captain may already have been reconsidering his hasty incursion into Federation space, the U.S.S. Enterprise shot straight ahead at Warp Factor Two. Sensing that his Galaxy-class starship would soon engage his foe, Jean-Luc Picard utilised his free action special ability to go to Battle Stations and ordered for the flagship to scan ahead. Lieutenant Worf momentarily fired the craft’s phasers in order to try and find the Klingon’s range…
THE I.K.S. MAHT-H'A PUSHES ITSELF TO ITS LIMITS IN ORDER TO ATTACK
With his inferior prize foolishly approaching, Nu’Daq placed his vessel into a (green) starboard bank and instantly reduced the strain on the cruiser’s engines (thus removing the Auxiliary Power Token and allowing him to use any appropriate actions). As a result the Klingon commander ordered his helm to perform Evasive Manoeuvers.

Sensing that the Vor’cha-class attack cruiser was about to attack, Captain Picard ordered the U.S.S. Enterprise to carefully bank left and had his crew remain at Battle Stations. Worf once again directed the vessel’s ship-mounted phaser banks at the intruder. But once again the weapons were out of range.
THE KLINGONS CONTINUE TO KEEP OUT OF RANGE OF MISTER WORF'S PHASERS
Judging that the time was right to spring his trap, Nu’Daq had the I.K.S. Maht-H’a perform another turn, almost as if the Klingon attack cruiser was about to come about, and then activated its cloak! This action instantly disabled all of the ship’s shields. But mean that it could now roll four extra defence dice in battle as well as perform a Sensor Echo (which signifies that the cloaked ship is actually in a different place than the enemy ship’s sensors believe).

Frowning, Jean-Luc Picard allowed his Galaxy-class flagship to continue forward at Warp Factor Two, and instructed Worf to fire the vessel’s phasers towards the last known location of the Vor’cha-class attack cruiser. The U.S.S. Enterprise was still too far away from its target to hit it…
CAPTAIN NU'DAQ ACTIVATES HIS VESSEL'S CLOAK JUST IN TIME
With a gusty laugh, Nu’Daq kept his attack cruiser’s course straight and true, and then utilised his craft’s Sensor Echo action to move it some way starboard of its current position. By Kahless the Unforgettable, today was going to be a good day for the Klingon if he could just get his vessel could into the perfect killing position.

Captain Picard knew his vessel would soon be badly out-manoeuvred if he didn’t do something immediately. Gripping his chair firmly he ordered the U.S.S. Enterprise towards his target’s last location at Warp Factor Four. Encouraging his crew to remain at Battle Stations and continuing his vessel’s scan of the surrounding area, he turned to Lieutenant Worf and instructed him to fire at will.
THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE FIRES ALL PHASERS AT THEIR KLINGON FOE
The Federation flagship rolled four attack dice and initially caused two critical hits. However, Jean-Luc Picard used his Battle Stations token to change another of the dice to a normal hit. Reeling from the potential damage and with no active shields Nu’Daq instead had to rely upon his attack cruiser’s cloak to stave off the attack. Fortunately because the vessel was cloaked it was allowed to add four dice to its basic agility of just a single die, and a sixth defensive die on account of the Federation flagship firing at maximum range.

The Klingon rolled three evasive manoeuvers which ordinarily would have negated the entirety of the Galaxy-class starship’s attack. But because Picard had ordered his vessel to scan beforehand, Geordi La Forge was able to use his special ability to force the I.K.S. Maht-H’a to re-roll one defence die of his choice. Amazingly, Nu’Daq simply re-rolled another evasive manoeuver and as a result the Vor’cha-class attack cruiser somehow survived the devastating Federation phaser barrage unscathed.
DESPITE SURVIVING THE ATTACK UNSCATHED, NU'DAQ DECIDES TO RETREAT...
Realising that the U.S.S. Enterprise might be a far more formidable foe than he first thought, and believing that today was perhaps not a good day to die, Captain Nu’Daq decided that he would seek an honourable victory within Federation space another time, and thus ordered his vessel to return to Klingon space with all best speed. Jean-Luc Picard has thwarted the commander of the I.K.S. Maht-H’a for now…