Tuesday, 21 November 2017

“Justice Is Swift.”

"Scopo Trono Frojo Kofo Todo."
These two 38mm scale "pewter" models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games”, and are based upon the extra-terrestrial humanoid rhinoceroses first seen in the 2007 BBC “Doctor Who” television story "Smith And Jones". However, having already previously painted three of the “Doctor Who: Exterminate” miniatures before, these two figures have had their right arms cut off and replaced with a pair carrying the aliens’ energy weapons.

Fortunately, these sculpts seem remarkably well disposed towards such straightforward conversion work, and despite their limbs being somewhat ‘slight’ in size, they were easily removed at either the wrist or elbow and subsequently hollowed out with a pin-vice. Indeed, the models’ disassembly went so well that at one stage I was actually considering a head-swap; albeit common sense and sound judgement ultimately prevailed, and I put my junior hacksaw down.
Silents WIPs - The aliens have been primed, dry-brushed and are slowly having their details 'picked out'.
With my ‘chop shop’ antics completed, both miniatures were primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. They were then rather heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and had both their equipment and weapons ‘picked out’ using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, the Judoons' collars and toecaps were layered with Ironbreaker and later shaded with more Nuln Oil.

Sticking with “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” momentarily, “Warlord Games” have recently released some fiendishly-painted examples of their range’s upcoming Order of the Headless, and these monks have rather inspired me to begin pigmenting three more Silents to form the bulk of a Papal Mainframe faction. I’ve only managed to get some basic layering done so far on the members of the intergalactic religious order, but spookily this work has coincided with the “Doctor Who News” website publishing my review of the Nottingham-based company’s Silence miniatures…
Grave Digger WIPs - The two versions of the same wrestler are still in their early stages
Way back in 1994, the "World Wrestling Federation" undoubtedly held one of it's most bizarre "SummerSlam" bouts ever, when two versions of the Undertaker fought one another inside Chicago's United Centre. At the time I thought the fight was an absolute hoot, even though it was clear that Ted DiBiase's version of the 'undead' professional wrestler (played by Brian Lee) was clearly a fake, so when I spotted that "TTCombat" had released a special edition of their "Rumbleslam" character Grave Digger, I immediately thought of replicating that somewhat ludicrous event.

Obviously, these two incarnations of the "Rolling Bones superstar" aren't really all that alike, with the 'limited' resin figure not only replicating Mark Calaway's 'Biker' image as opposed to his 'graveyard' one, but the model disconcertingly being significantly shorter in height too. However, I still thought the idea of pairing the duo up within the squared circle would make for an interesting fight and give me the option of 'fielding' the "The Streak" during a couple of different stages in his illustrious career.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

"Boo Yeah!"

"The Showiest, flashiest and most charismatic dwarf you are ever going to see..."
This 28mm resin miniature of Ronnie Salvage is produced by "TTCombat" as part of their "Rumbleslam" range, and bears a striking resemblance to the late great American wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. "One of the superstars hailing from Kaiser’s Palace", this "nimble dwarf" brings high stamina and annihilating special attacks to the squared circle, and is the third of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Composed of some sort of hard plastic-type resin, I actually had a bit of problem with Ronnie when I initially based him and snapped off one set of his trailing arm ribbons. Mortified by my fat fingered fumbling, as well as being all too aware that the flashy wrestler could never appear in public without his tell-tale tassels, I drilled an appropriately sized rectangular-shaped hole into his arm at the spot where the fashion accessory had broken away, and super-glued it back in place.
Converted Judoon WIPs - These two metal mercenaries just need some inks to be applied to them
Once re-assembled, I primed the model with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and started to work my way up the portly figure using a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Crimson Carroburg for Salvage's boots, pants and cowboy hat. The dwarf's skin was created by applying a shade of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade over a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone. Ordinarily, I simply leave the "specially formulated" wash to do its job and just highlight areas such as the nose, cheeks, hands and fingers. But on this occasion there was so much flesh on show, especially on the chest and stomach, that I added some additional Heavy Skintone to these areas too.

Finally the 'Atomic Drop' crowd pleaser's "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre leg tassels, hand-wraps and vest were given a wash of (more) "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and Ronnie's pair of flashy shades were 'picked out' using a little Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. For a moment I did consider basing the wrestling superstar differently as to how I ordinarily 'flock' my models, for the sportsman was supposedly going to always be 'fighting' in a ring, and thus having him appear upon a grassy base didn't really make much sense at all. Fortunately though, I then spied that "TTCombat" produces a "Rumbleslam" Grassy Mat and my problem was readily resolved...
"Victrix" French WIPs - The plastic soldiers have a phenomenal amount of detail to 'pick out' 
Having attended "Warfare" in Reading this weekend, and now bought the last of the figures I plan to purchase for the foreseeable future (or at least that's the plan), I have started trying to properly clear up some space on my painting table by finishing the odd project or twelve. Needless to say, what with "Warlord Games" offering a fiendish 'three for two' deal on their "Doctor Who" range at the Rivermead Leisure Complex-based show, I am now rather inundated with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" models, so plan to polish off a handful more Judoon figures over the next few days for starters...

Similarly, I have quite the gathering of plastic Napoleonic French by "Victrix Limited" stationed within my line-of-sight. These wonderfully moustached unflinching Frenchmen will be getting a lot of attention as a result, and despite all their straps, pouches, bags and cuffs, should still be finished in time to meet my Mo'Vember Challenge deadline at the end of the month.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

"Those Who March With Us Will Certainly Face Abuse..."

"...Misunderstanding, bitter animosity, and possibly the ferocity of struggle and of danger."
These two 28mm metal miniatures of Sir Oswald Moseley's bodyguards can be bought, along with their British Union of Facists leader, as Code 403012203 from the "Warlord Games" German Army range, and are "modelled upon Mussolini's fascist party." Costing an additional 13 points per man, the Blackshirts' rules can be found within the "Bolt Action" book "Campaign: Sea Lion", and accompany the former "Conservative MP for Harrow" everywhere on the battlefield.

Initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the para-militarists were highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The bruisers' belt buckles were painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil, whilst their hair was 'picked out' using either "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade or "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Judoon Ghost WIPs - The Fisher King's minion has been washed and dry-brushed
Finally, one thug's club was pigmented with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and his companion's knuckleduster was given a lick of "Vallejo" Brass. Both of these areas were then treated to a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

To be honest, despite the straightforward palette, I found both of these miniatures quite a struggle to finish on account of their faces, and particularly their small eyes. I know that some hobbyists prefer to avoid painting pupils by simply applying a dark wash into a sculpt's facial recesses, and I've never been so tempted to follow such a technique as I was with these two chaps. In the end though, having found it impossible to pinpoint two spots of white for each eye, I settled for just the one and hope they don't appear too cross-eyed as a result.
Snakeskin Harvest Marker WIPs - The dead "Guild Ball" player can be used as an alternative sculpt on the pitch 
Sticking with "Warlord Games", I've been asked to pen an article for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" website as to how I went about converting my two Judoon ghosts to accompany their towering Fisher King miniature on the tabletop. As a result, I've spent a bit of time progressing the final figure's paint-job, and thus hope to have the undead extra-terrestrial mercenary finished and ready for posting by next week.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I've also found myself momentarily drawn back to "Guild Ball" by "Steamforged Games Limited". The company recently released "The Dark Harvest" boxed set as a seasonal special edition to celebrate Halloween, and as soon as I saw it contained deceased versions of the players who have so far been killed whilst playing the medieval sports game, I knew I had to paint them up...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

"Souls Wrenched From The Dead."

"Repeating directions to here, to this spot, over and over."
This "finely-sculpted" 38mm scale "pewter" miniature of a 'black armoured Rhinoceroid biped' is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found inside the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" Judoon boxed set. However, unlike the three figures sold as part of the "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, this particular model has been significantly converted so as to turn it into one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

These deadly grotesques were a highlight of the 2017 televised story "Under the Lake", and having figured that the "outer space" mercenaries would be obvious opponents of the planet Tivoli's towering conqueror, I've subsequently decided to re-purpose one of the Shadow Proclamation enforcers as an early (undead) victim of the Fisher King. However, because the spectres can only seemingly kill their prey using physical weapons on the science fiction programme I decided to replace its right arm with another carrying a quarry scanner, and swapped its incineration blaster for a plastic "Frostgrave" hand-axe.
Judoon WIPs - The alien mercenaries have been assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed
As one can probably imagine, both of these alterations required a fair amount of drilling and pinning; especially the hand-weapon by "North Star Military Figures", which frustratingly broke in half at one point courtesy of a 'slight' fall. In addition, the intergalactic policeman's eyes were both hollowed out in order to help create the impression of the visual organs atrophying and sinking away inside his head...

Once all this conversion work was finished I set about re-priming the miniature with "Vallejo" White and washed it with Pale Grey. The corporeal Judoon was then shaded with some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, a little Biel-Tan Green and lastly dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. To finish the model, I 'picked out' its axe's handle using a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and painted its blade using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Ronnie Salvage WIPs - The dwarf wrestling superstar is getting closer to completion
With a second Judoon ghost eagerly being prepared and the "Doctor Who News" website currently running my review of "Warlord Games" "mercenary intergalactic police force", my enthusiasm for Russell T Davies' "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" is (hopefully) understandably at an all time high. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, I have also assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed four further Judoon models; with the aspiration to have them quickly painted and ready to battle the Fisher King... 

Such fervour has not however, meant I am any less enthused by the fantasy-sports game "Rumbleslam", and resultantly, I am still working my way up the "charismatic dwarf" Ronnie Salvage. Indeed, just as soon as I have finished the "Kaiser's Palace veteran" I aim to get cracking on half a dozen more "TTCombat" wrestling superstars - "Boo Yeah!"

Sunday, 12 November 2017

"Garrek Gorebeard Delights In Taking Severed Heads..."

"...Scalps and other trophies from those he has slain, brandishing these grim souvenirs to stoke his... bloodlust."
This 28mm scale "push-fit, red plastic" miniature of Garrek Gorebeard comes as part of the "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" starter set by "Games Wokrshop", and, rather usefully, can also be used to represent "the chieftain of a murderous band of Khorne-worshippers" in the Nottingham-based company's "Age Of Sigmar" tabletop wargame as well. Earning "the title of Gorebeard after ascending to his position by biting the throat of a rival, staining his beard in blood", the mighty warrior is not only the first of my Khorne Bloodbound warband to be painted, but the second of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Initially primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone to mask the model's vividly red coloured plastic, the war dog's trousers were painted with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and his leg armour, shoulder pad, wrist bracelet and symbolic belly plate were all subsequently treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. In addition, Garrek's numerous chains and incredibly well-detailed double-axe-head were given a layer of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being generously washed in Nuln Oil.
Demon Bunny WIPs - The large rabbit has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
The mortal Bloodreaver's belt, numerous straps and wrist-guard were 'picked out' with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst his "Grisly Trophy" was originally undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey and then shaded with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and a little more Strong Tone Quickshade. As Gorebeard has the impressive ability in "Age Of Sigmar" to "add
1 to the Attacks characteristics" of his unit’s melee weapons for the rest of the battle whenever he "slays any enemy Heroes", I decided to give the severed head's lifeless eyes an especially haunted look using a tiny dollop of "Vallejo" Dead White.

I created Garrek's infamous bloody beard by highlighting its "Citadel" Abaddon Black undercoat with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and then washing the various strands of hair with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. As a final touch, and in order to ensure the miniature fitted in with my Chaos Host for "Age Of Sigmar", I painted its highly-detailed based with "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and (even more) Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". This colour scheme is what I use on all my bases these days, and whilst it did seem somewhat a shame not to 'pick out' all the numerous skulls littered around Gorebeard's feet, it does mean the (allied) model can be readily included within my Tallyband of Nurgle.
BUF Bodyguard WIPs - This pair of "Bolt Action" bruisers have had all their different areas layered 
To help this "Age Of Sigmar" assimilation even further, I decided to also flock the base with static grass despite it actually depicting the chieftain being stood on some sort of dried mud-bank. This is an extremely straightforward process whereby the stand's paint-job is covered in a protective layer of PVA glue, and I then dab some more of the adhesive primarily around my figure's feet before depositing it in a large tin of static grass. Whilst the glue is still wet and the model is literally suffocating in flock, I gently but firmly push down onto the grass in order to ensure the small threadlike particles are well and truly embedded in the PVA; a process I might repeat on two or more occasions if I feel its coverage is still too 'spotty' after a couple of hours drying.

With such a 'patience-testing' piece finished, I have turned my attention momentarily towards a couple of much easier mini-projects, such as a "Horrorclix" Demon Bunny by "Wizkids", and a pair of "Warlord Games" British Union of Facists' bodyguards. I've already managed to get some basic priming, shading and dry-brushing done on my 'Rabbit of Caerbannog', whilst Sir Oswald Moseley's thugs now simply need to have some shades applied to them before they are finished...

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Ambushes Isengard - Part Two

FARAMIR LEADS HIS SWORDSMEN FORWARD INTO THE URUK-HAI HORDE
“The story so far… At the bidding of Sauron, the Lord of Isengard has sent forth Lurtz and some of his Uruk-Hai to clear out the human defences at Osgiliath. However, before the "great soldier-orcs" can launch a devastating attack upon the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor, Faramir has sprung a trap and ambushed Saruman's formidable force as they are emerging from between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace..."
THE TABLETOP - OSGILIATH: BEFORE THE TRAP WAS SPRUNG

The handful of Uruk-Hai who had emerged from the western shadows raced towards the two Gondorian archers positioned to their north. The foul-smelling orcs were starting to get close to their attackers and there were clearly still large numbers of them nearby shrouded by the darkness.
THE FIRST FEW URUK-HAI ARE WHITTLED DOWN BY GONDOR'S ARCHERS
Faramir joined the 'threatened' pair of bowmen in the north, in order for them to utilise his Leadership Trait [increase the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one]. One of the archers loosened an arrow into Lurtz's emerging throng and staggering scored a Gruesome Kill; causing one of the large orcs to retreat back west and another to actually flee... Inspired by their comrade's skill, the two bowmen to the south of the Crumbling Remnants also fired into the dark morass and revealed another Uruk-Hai. Behind them, all of the emboldened Warriors of Minas Tirith pressed west towards the centre of the battlefield.

Something had clearly gone amiss with Saruman's raiding party within the western shadows, as for a fourth time, no perceptible activity took place between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace. Perhaps the "large, smart orcs with slanted eyes, thick legs, and large hands" were yet to recover from their birthing strains within Orthanc's breeding pits..?
FARAMIR'S TRAP IS SPRUNG, AND THE URUK-HAI FALTER IN THEIR ATTACK
Regardless, the northern Gondorian archers continued to fire at those targets which they could see, and sent another orc scurrying backwards. To the south, the bowmen took advantage of their opponent's idleness and rushed beyond the westernmost edge of the Crumbling Remnants, before loosening their arrows. One Uruk-Hai retreated, whilst another fell to the ground, dead.

Lurtz was suddenly barking orders out from somewhere within the western shadows, as another "fighting Uruk-Hai" emerged and urged his brethren east towards the closest of the human bowmen. The Gondorians responded by killing one of the orcs, and were joined on the 'front line' by Faramir and a swordsmen; it seemed certain that within moments the two warbands were close together and hand-to-hand fighting would take place.
THE URUK-HAI CONTINUE TO POUR EAST TOWARDS FARAMIR'S FORCES
With a roar those creatures of Isengard visible to their foes suddenly swung south and headed straight towards the pair of startled archers stood just by the southwestern edge of the Crumbling Remnants. The orc 'surge' was momentarily 'pushed back' by a panicked hail of arrows, and sensing that perhaps the moment had come for a heroic deed, the warrior of Minas Tirith beside Boromir's brother, charged into the nearest Uruk-Hai... And was unceremoniously hacked to pieces...

The smell of man-flesh and human blood presumably finally incensed Saruman's lack-lustre force into action, and the entire morass of dark, vaguely-shaped shadows flooded forwards and reached one of the Gondorian archers. The bowman desperately tried to use his weapon to fend off the attacking Uruk-Hai, but was unsurprisingly knocked to the ground. However, before the man could be run through with one of the orcs' vile swords, his colleague fatally pierced his assailant with an arrow.
THE TWO FORCES FINALLY ENGAGE IN HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT
To the north, one of the archers' bows snapped asunder through over-use, and as a result, the two bowmen decided to retreat east away from their formidable-looking enemies. The Gondorian line was still holding Mount Fang's minions at bay, as well as dwindling away their numbers. But their 'trap' was starting to falter and their own strength beginning to ebb away...

Sensing that a sudden savage push could 'break' the weakling humans and hurl them back east in tatters, the Uruk-Hai pushed further east, with one orc fast-approaching the fallen Gondorian archer, and another even daring to challenge Denethor's youngest son. Amazingly however, before any sword could fall in anger, the prone human bowman was suddenly back upon his feet and firing an "Aimed Shot" at the oncoming creature of Isengard...
THE URUK-HAI'S BREAK-OUT FAILS JUST AS THE GONDORIAN LINE IS ABOUT TO BREAK
With a groan, the servant of Saruman the Wise fell dead to the ground, and the Uruk-Hai's fighting spirit was momentarily broken - Faramir's plan had worked, and Osgiliath would remain in Gondor's hands for a while longer at least.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"Often An Inexperienced Foe Will Empty Shot After Shot Into Them..."

"...Doing little more than blowing off small chunks or fingers."
This 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighter can be bought as part of Code OW010 from "Wargames Foundry", and was originally going to be one of my submissions for last month's Zomtober challenge. "Drawn by the shadows gathering across the nation" the undead cowboy will actually play a dual role on my tabletop, proving useful as one of the supernatural creatures who can make an appearance in "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", as well as also replacing the softly-sculpted plastic Hungry Dead models in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" White and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade in order for me to better see the figure's detail, I used "Citadel" Abaddon Black on the walking corpse's boots and belt. The grisly cadaver's trousers were then painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and his holster with Heavy Brown, before both areas were washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Doctor Who News"
As I wanted this particular 'killer' to appear drenched in the grime and dried blood of death, I washed his tattered shirt in a mixture of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and (even) more Strong Tone Quickshade. The pistol-carrying ghoul's decaying flesh was created by applying some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green shade over a layer of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand.

The zombie gunfighter's pistol, belt buckle and ammunition belt were painted using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Whilst "Vallejo" Heavy Blue was lightly dry-brushed across his "Citadel" Abaddon Black hair, and later washed with Nuln Oil, in order to give it a slightly undead bluish tinge.
Juddon 'Ghost' WIPs - The dead alien has had his axe re-attached and painted
"Warlord Games" recent announcement that more models are finally on the way for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game has certainly helped reinvigorate my determination to paint some more of the models I already own from this particular range. Indeed, I've actually managed to additionally harness this enthusiasm for the "finely-sculpted scale pewter and plastic" figures by joining the editorial team of the "Doctor Who News" website, and penning for them an ongoing series of reviews based upon the rule-set and its accompanying sculpts. The first of these is already available to read here: "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" - The Miniatures Game.

Sadly, in my excitement I did inadvertently drop my Judoon Fisher King ghost test figure from a significant height, and as a result snapped his plastic "Frostgrave" axe off at the hilt. But with a little patience, filing and pinning, I have re-attached a somewhat shorter version of the hand-weapon back, and finished painting its base colours. Once shaded, I'm hoping the bright red axe-blade will really stand out in stark contrast to the deceased alien's ghostly hue.
Brightshield WIPs - The Stormcast Eternal has been primed, washed and now needs a lot of detailing
Lastly, with my model of Garrek currently submerged within my flocking tin, I have started to progress the first of my Stormcast Eternal figures for "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". Like the Bloodreaver chieftain, Angharad Brightshield is one of the four plastic "Games Workshop" miniatures which need to be assembled in order to play the game's introductory quick-start confrontation...

Sunday, 5 November 2017

"We Know That England Is Crying For A Leader..."

"...And that leader has emerged in the person of the greatest Englishman that I have ever known..."
This 28mm metal miniature of Sir Oswald Moseley can be purchased, along with two bodyguards, as Code 403012203 from the "Warlord Games" German Army range, and represents the BUF leader at a time when "Adolf Hitler apparently had plans" for him should Great Britain fall. Described as being "dangerously charismatic", the Anglo-Irish aristocrat appears as a (veteran) Imperial Commander in the "Bolt Action" book "Campaign: Sea Lion", and is the first of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Sixth Baronet of Ancoats was roughly highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Moseley's trousers were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Dark Grey" and (more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst his arm-band was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Garrek WIPs - Gorebeard just needs his axe to be shaded and 'ponytail' painted before being finished
Sadly I did subsequently somewhat struggle to 'pick out' the British Union of Fascists emblem on the one-time Conservative politician's sleeve, and having never seen a decal with such an insignia, eventually decided to 'flub' the issue by simply giving it a coat of "Vallejo" Dead White and then shading it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Admittedly, this 'botch-job' doesn't look anywhere near as impressive as the delicately-lined symbol clearly visible on the advertised "Warlord Games" official figure, but it did help me keep my sanity...

Having finished such a relatively enjoyable and straightforward paint-job, despite the contentious background of the character in question, I have made some significant progress on another of my Mo'Vember Challenge pieces, Garrek Gorebeard. This "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" plastic model really is proving to be a patience tester, on account of all his fiddly chains, armour, belts and less-than-helpful pose.
"Rumbleslam" WIPs - Waaarrrior, an Orc and Ronnie Salvage still need plenty of work
Fortunately, the surprise arrival of the "Rumbleslam" superstar, Waaarrrior, from my regular miniatures store "Dark Sphere" has not only given me something a little easier to paint, but also motivated me to actually finish off both the Orc Brawler and Grappler from the "TTCombat" product's starter box. Indeed, the sports game's "fan favourite", clearly influenced by the late James Brian Hellwig, has already got me thinking about re-enacting the Ultimate Warrior's pay-per-view main event match with "Macho Man" Randy Savage at Summerslam 1992, where the duo fought for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

I have still have a bit of work to do on my sculpt of the dwarf, Ronnie Salvage, yet hope over time to build up quite the stable of "Rumbleslam" figures who are based upon World Wrestling Federation, and World Championship Wrestling characters. Certainly "TTCombat" don't appear to be too shy in matching a plethora of superstars' likenesses to their miniatures, and that hopefully means in the future that I'll be able to re-play a number of my favourite bouts from the late Eighties and early Nineties...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

"Now that Batman And Robin Have Been Put Away on Ice..."

"...Nothing can stop our ingenious ice crimes!"
This 28mm plastic pre-painted "Wizkids" Lackey is number 019 from the "DC Comics" Hypertime range, and forms the beginnings of a "Gotham" gang for the former cryogenics expert, Mister Freeze, which I actually started working on over eighteen months ago. Intended to resemble Doctor Shivel's bobble-hat wearing goons from the February 1966 "Batman" Television story "Instant Freeze", the figure has been slightly converted, courtesy of a small ball of two-part modelling putty, and should have originally been finished during the 2016 "Forgotten Heroes" challenge.

Having drilled a small hole in the top of the figure's head, inserted a small piece of metal rod, and sculpted a simple 'bobble', the henchman was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and had his trousers painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then layered his jumper and hat with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and treated them to a wash of  "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The undead cowboy has already had all but his head painted
The lackey's 'bobble' was 'picked out' with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, whilst his crowbar was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Finally, I painted the chilly criminal's flesh using some "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and then simply picked out his fingers, nose, ears, lips and cheeks with more "Vallejo Heavy Skintone. The miniature's base was flocked using some "Games Workshop" Snow.

Setting aside my "Heroclix" models momentarily, I've been lucky enough to find some time to continue working on another of my Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". I managed to get a handful of these pistol-carrying brain-eating cowboys painted during last month's Zomtober challenge, and hope to get the rest of the 'blister' finished over the next few weeks.
Garrek Gorebeard WIPs - The chieftain still contains a lot of unpainted detail
Similarly, I've continued to make some good progress on the first of my "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" plastic figures. The quick-start sheet to this "action-packed combat game" states you only need (paint) four of the miniatures found within the starter box, before you can "quickly" be taken "through the basics of moving and attacking with your fighters."

As a result I'm initially focusing upon the Bloodreaver Garrek Gorebeard, and slowly working my way up his impressively-detailed sculpt with my paintbrush. The "chieftain of a murderous band of Khorne-worshippers" will be joined by Blooded Saek in the game's introductory battle, and should also prove an eye-catching character on the "Age Of Sigmar" tabletop, now "Games Workshop" have released his Reavers' statistics for its "story-driven" wargame too.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Napoleonics" Mo'Vember 2017

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing horde of metal, plastic and resin models has been directly influenced by my desire to dedicate part of my hobby time towards miniatures of a 'beardy' nature (in celebration of Mo'Vember), as well as my recent acquisition of Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" and sudden desire to play some Napoleonics. Indeed, my yearning to fill a tabletop with some splendidly coloured 28mm forces from 1803-1815 has led to my purchasing an old hardback copy of "Grand Battery" by Jonathan Sutherland & Diane Canwell and "Song Of Drum And Shakos" by "Gamesha Games".

Fortunately, I am not about to embark upon such a time-consuming adventure completely from scratch, having actually tried to paint some "Victrix" French six years ago for a 'Battle of Marengo' project. That naive undertaking was perhaps always destined to fail, but it did cause me to purchase a considerable number of plastic Napoleonic infantry and cavalry, as well as actually paint sixteen Frenchmen up; albeit I don't seem to have applied any flags to their command stand... 
"Victrix" Napoleonic French WIPs - All of the soldiers' trousers have been painted
As I plan on getting to grips with the rule-set's basics by simply deploying just eight musket-armed infantry units (8 @ 4 SP each = 32 SP; Rated Average), and a Commander (1 @ 6 SP each = 6 SP), this means I already own almost half of the foot-soldiers needed for my first foray into "The Portable Wargame". Of course though, that still means I need to paint another twenty of Napoleon's finest, 'picking out' all their straps, cuffs, water bottles and stowage... and I haven't even mentioned their similarly sized Austrian opposition yet.


Realistically therefore, considering all the other painting projects and models I want to pigment over the next few months, I've decided to set a relatively low-bar of completing just four figures per month, and hope that before my enthusiasm for the project wanes too much I manage to finish enough soldiers off to at least start a few straightforward skirmishes; something which as a rule ordinarily helps reinvigorate my mojo. In addition, once I've completed these initial four Frenchmen I plan to start work on a few of their "oldest and, next to the English, the most persistent" of their "foemen", the white-coated Austrians.
Ronnie Salvage WIPs - The dwarf has had his boots and leg tassels 'picked out'
Sticking with 'beardy' miniatures for Mo'Vember, I have also been slapping a lick of paint onto one of my favourite miniatures from "Rumbleslam" by "TTCombat". Arguably, "the showiest, flashiest and most charismatic dwarf you are ever going to see! Ronnie Salvage is one of the superstars" of the Cornwall-based company's fantasy wrestling rule-set and has clearly been inspired by the late Macho Man Randy Savage.

As a huge fan of the old "World Wrestling Federation", and Randy Mario Poffo in particular, I have been picking up a number of this "fast paced high action" tabletop game's plastic figures since I first bought the "Rumbleslam" Starter Box towards the start of the year; the majority of which have clearly been modelled upon old-time professional wrestlers. So don't be at all surprised to see a few crop up over the next few weeks as I look to (re)assemble The Mega-Powers, The Bushwhackers and Legion Of Doom... 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

"The Origin Of The Boromites Goes Back To Ancient Times..."

"...When humans first began to mine and exploit the resources of Antarean space."
These five 28mm metal Gang Fighters are made by "Warlord Games" and can be purchased as the Boromite Gang Fighter boxed set. Arguably detailed to the point of frustration with all the alien miners' lumps, bumps and reflex armour, these armed extra-terrestrials are all the miniatures needed in order for me to field a second Gang Fighter Squad on the tabletop.

Originally primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figures were shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and subsequently had a layer of Chaos Black applied over all their weaponry and hip-flasks. These metallic areas were then treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst those carrying "long-ranged" Mag Guns had their weapons' power lights 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.
"Borom was not a planet but a star surrounded by a rocky asteroid belt..."
I painted all of the Boromites' numerous pouches using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and then turned my attention to their yellow(ish) armour and "separate multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" with some "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The Gang Leader's Lectro Lash was created by applying a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki across the hand-weapon's orb and later washing it with some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

These five miniatures make up the second of the two planned Gang Fighter Squads I will be fielding as part of my Boromite Scouting Force, and costs 112 points in "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" on account of each member being given Plasma Grenades ("at 2 points per model"). "Warlord Games" have recently updated their Boromite Army list to version 2.0. But fortunately, they've also kindly emailed me a free copy as a Portable Document Format (PDF) and having perused it the points haven't changed for the units I have assembled for my army, so it looks like I'm still on track for a 500 point force.
"Heroclix" Lackey WIPs - The 'converted' gunman needs some facial highlighting and his hat shaded
Having patiently persevered with my latest Boromite infantry unit, I've once again turned to my vast collection of pre-painted plastic "Wizkids" models to give me something far more straightforward to paint for a short while. This converted "Heroclix" Lackey still has a little work left on him to do, but should soon form part of the Riddler's ever-expanding crew for my "Mutants & Death Ray Guns" "Gotham" campaign.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

"An Unwelcome Guest."

"As animated corpses, these undead nightmares are slow and shambling, but attack in large numbers..."
This 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighter can be purchased as part of Code OW010 from "Wargames Foundry", and is my sixth and final submission for this year's Zomtober challenge. One of several "dangerous supernatural" creatures who can suddenly take "an interest" in a fight whilst playing "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", this brain-chomping cowboy can also make an appearance "in games where you are using the Innocent Bystander rules" and "instead decide to use Zombies".

Rather reminiscent of a rodeo rider, the miniature was primed with "Vallejo" White and actually quickly washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade purely so I could see all the sculpt's intricate detail. His boots, belt and waistcoat were given a simple coat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, whilst his leather chaparreras were painted using some "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Gold, and them washed with more Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Feeling no pain and without fear for their own well-being, Hungry Dead are very difficult to kill."
I then 'picked out' the colourful cadaver's trousers and hat using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and treated his neckerchief to a dab of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. The putrefying gunslinger's ammunition, pistol and belt buckle were given a layer of Ironbreaker and later shaded with an old pot of Badab Black.

I created my zombies' usual vivid green look by initially using a base-coat of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and subsequently washing it with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, Carroburg Crimson and a little Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". In addition, I picked out the cowboy's bullet wounds with "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and treated these areas, alongside parts of his tattered white shirt, to a generous wash of more "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Stormcast Eternals WIPs - The bright blue plastic miniatures have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna
Having recently purchased "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" by "Games Workshop" I have previously spent some time assembling and priming Garrek's Reavers for my Khorne Bloodbound warband. Disconcertingly however, as I am currently reading the "Black Library" novel "The Gates of Azyr", billed as "the perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar", I have found myself rather drawn to the plight of the Stormcast Eternals, and resultantly, also now assembled the three Liberator figures for their "action-packed combat [board] game" as well.

Sadly, I don't think being produced in bright blue plastic does the sculpts of Angharad Brightshield, Obryn the Bold and their leader Severin Steelheart any particular favours, especially in their official publicity photographs. But now they have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, in preparation for a layer or two of Gold, I think these are some of the best detailed "Age Of Sigmar" miniatures I've seen; and sadly could very well tempt me to turn towards assembling a larger force for Order in the future... 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Ambushes Isengard

FARAMIR SETS OFF TO LAY A TRAP FOR THE UNSUSPECTING URUK-HAI OF SARUMAN
This game was played using the basic rules of “Song Of Blades And Heroes” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the second in a series of adventures involving the second son of Denethor as he attempts to dissuade the Forces of Mordor from invading Osgiliath. The conflict was based upon the Ambush scenario found within the pages of Andrea Sfiligoi's "fast play fantasy skirmish rules", and resultantly, comprised of a unit of ten Uruk-Hai being 'ambushed' by a slightly smaller sized group of Minas Tirith warriors, whilst the orcs were attempting to traverse across a 36" x 27" tabletop populated with some "Battlefield In A Box" Gothic terrain by “Gale Force Nine”.

The Ambush Scenario was also slightly modified from what can be found printed in “Song Of Blades And Heroes” in order to try and create the impression of an impenetrable hulking dark mass of Orcs rushing towards Faramir's men, and the Attackers therefore potentially simply shooting at shadows. As the Defenders, Lurtz's party would still place "markers (of the same size of the models' bases) instead of placing models" and place "two markers per model in his warband." But during play, the Defender would only "reveal whether the marker is real, substituting the marker with a figure, or if just a dummy, removing the marker from play" if "a marker is attacked, or whenever an opponent moves within one Long distance from the marker." A marker would not be revealed "whenever the Defender rolls to activate it" and instead were all assigned with the statistics of Savage Orc Heavy Infantry; Short Move: 75mm Quality 4+ Combat 4.  
THE TABLETOP - OSGILIATH
“The story so far… At the bidding of Sauron, the Lord of Isengard has sent forth Lurtz and some of his Uruk-Hai to clear out the human defences at Osgiliath. However, before the "great soldier-orcs" can launch a devastating attack upon the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor, Faramir plans to spring a trap and ambush them as they pass between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace..."

Situated in the west, and overshadowed by the ruins of the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace, Lurtz marshalled his force about him. Saruman's "second-in-command" was treated as an Orc Champion, equipped with a hand-weapon and shield. He was awarded the Savage and Hero traits, which meant he could inflict a gruesome kill just by doubling his opponent's score [as opposed to needing to treble it], and would always roll one automatic success, regardless of his Quality.
LURTZ PREPARES TO LEAD ANOTHER URUK-HAI RAIDING PARTY INTO OSGILIATH
Due to the Uruk-Hai accompanying him all wearing armour and carrying a sword/shield, they were classed as Orc Heavy Infantry, and were therefore also given the Savage skill. In addition, because of their heavy armour, the nine Uruk-Hai could only move a short distance (75mm) per action.
Faramir's part were initially positioned together as if emerging from the east. The four bowmen were treated as Archers, and therefore given the Shooter (Long - 180mm) skill, whilst the quartet of swordsmen were used as Heavy Infantry, and subsequently reduced to moving just a short distance (75mm) per action. Denethor's second son was made a Leader, and thus increased the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one. In addition, Faramir would force all friendly models to make a Morale roll if he died.
FARAMIR HURRIES HIS MEN FORWARD IN ORDER TO SPRING HIS AMBUSH
The Forces of Saruman won the Initiative but surprisingly failed to show any indication that they were about to emerge from out of the western shadows. As a result the "Prince of Ithilien" seized the opportunity to steal an advantage over his savage opponents and used his Leadership ability to spur his Warriors of Minas Tirith forwards. This caused two archers to speed northwest past the Buried Monument, and the remaining two bowmen rush towards the Blasted Terrace. Behind them, Faramir and his swordsmen headed west a little more slowly and cautiously.
  
Incredibly, there was still no real sign of movement from within the western shadows. Such a lack of haste of the part of Lurtz's troops meant that "J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium" had even more time to get his human forces into position, and before long Gondor's two northern archers had the Uruk-Hai just within their weapons' range and let lose some searching arrows. On this occasion the bowmen were too far away to cause any damage, but their shots did reveal the presence of two actual Orcs amidst the shadows.
THE ARCHERS OF MINAS TIRITH RUSH INTO POSITION AS THE FIRST OF THE URUK-HAI APPEAR
Despite a few of their number becoming enemy targets, the "fighting Uruk-Hai" remained hidden within the shadows of the Fallen Angel and Hidden Terrace [i.e. they failed their turn's first activation for the third time on the trot despite only rolling two dice]. Luckily for Saruman however, all Faramir could muster was for his northern pair of archers to reveal a third Orc by peppering the western morass with more missiles. Cursing, the younger brother of Boromir turned to reprimand his stalled swordsmen and urge them onwards. The Men of Minas Tirith needed to be much closer to their bowmen if they were going to ward off "the Isengarders" from their bowmen once the ambush was properly sprung.

Finally "the servants of Saruman the Wise" started to move east, with a couple of Uruk-Hai breaking formation and fast approaching Faramir's archers in the north. It seemed clear to the man who would 'eventually succeed his father as the Steward of Gondor' that he needed to take matters into his own hand if his trap was to succeed. With a surge he moved west behind one of the walls of the Crumbling Remnants, and literally dragged one of his accompanying swordsmen with him. Emboldened by their leader's evident bravery Faramir's rearguard slowly followed a little way behind.
FARAMIR LEADS HIS SWORDSMEN WEST AS MORE URUK-HAI START TO EMERGE
To the north, the two Gondorian archers continued to 'sting' the western shadows with arrows, but revealed no more Uruk-Hai. Whilst the Prince of Ithilien's other two bowmen positioned themselves directly south of the Crumbling Remnants and began notching their weapons. The trap had finally been sprung, but after so many delays would it still work...