Sunday, 30 April 2017

"You Are Proof. That Emotions Destroy You."

"Originally evolving on Earth's lost twin planet of Mondas..."
This 28mm scale plastic model of a Cyberman is produced by “Warlord Games” and is one of the twelve Mondasians found within the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game". Created by Dr. Kit Pedler and story editor Gerry Davis in 1966, these particular sculpts are based upon the "technologically advanced Cybermen" which appeared in the May 2013 BBC Television series story "Nightmare In Silver", and, due to their sprue containing a selection of separate right arms, can be assembled in a variety of poses.

As I plan to use this Cyberman in order to play the game's introductory scenario "A Meeting Of Metal", I decided to turn him into the species' Cyber Leader by building the miniature so it best replicated the illustration of the character's recruitment card. This caused me to pose the model as if the silver giant was in mid-stride, with his integral cyber-gun arm raised, and about to fire. In addition, I assembled three small cyborgs to use as his accompanying Cybermat Swarm; an extra base of diminutive guards which comes free "as the Leader's Retinue special trait."
"...The Cybermen were humanoids who strove to improve their bodies... through radical cybernetic implants."
The figure was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and then treated to a double coat of Ironbreaker. It was then washed with Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more "Ironbreaker". To make the Cyber Leader stand out on the tabletop that little bit more, I picked out his chest piece with a combination of Nihilakh Oxide and Drakenhof Nightshade.

With my Cyber Leader finished I subsequently painted the first of the miniatures needed for his faction's two Cybermen recruitment cards. These add "four Cybermen per card", so using the aforementioned techniques explained above I quickly had the beginnings of an impressive-looking Cyber Force. As a final step though I super-glued some lead shot beads to the underside of all their bases in order to give the Mondasians the hefty gravitas in the hand I felt the metallic monstrosities deserved.
Captain Nimue WIP - The "Legendary" miniature's  waves have been primed, washed and dry-brushed
Sticking with my "Salute" swag, I was rather pleased to discover upon arriving at the "South London Warlords" show that one of my free promotional models this year was a fantastic-looking diorama of Captain Nimue for "Wild West Exodus". This wonderful sculpt genuinely caught my imagination as I slowly shuffled forward in the increasingly lengthy entry queue, and I was determined to find out more about the "fickle force for change in the Wild West." 

Admittedly, I know next to nothing about either the rule-set or "Exodus" universe, except that I (perhaps foolishly) quit the game's Kickstarter just before it successfully finished, and that more recently the franchise has been acquired by "Wayland Games". But that hasn't deterred me from spending a considerable time piecing together the incredibly complicated multi-part plastic kit, and working on its frothing wave crest.
Blackheart leads the Union against Ballista and his Engineers in a 'friendly' game of Guild Ball
The rest of the miniature appears equally as engaging to paint, with the "formidable adversary" presumably perched atop "the newly dubbed HMS Nautilus", fighting off some huge tentacled mechanical squid with her trusty trident, and proved a doubly welcome 'freebie' when I discovered its new owners (trading as "Warcradle Studios") were literally giving away the "35mm Wild West Sci-Fi Miniatures Game" rulebook at their stall.

Weighing in with a hefty 300 pages, the vast majority of which is fantastic fluff, this hardback tome is a real treat to the eyes, and provides a tantalising glimpse into the world of Jesse James, General Ulysses S. Grant, Billy the Kid and Chief Sitting Bull. In addition, it came with a voucher allowing me to receive a free copy of the rulebook's second edition once it is released. How horrifically tempting an enticement is that..?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Age Of Sigmar Battle Report: Plaguebearers Verses Bloodletters

KHORNE VERSES NURGLE: BLOODLETTER VERSES PLAGUEBEARER
This game was played predominantly using the free downloadable rules of “Age Of Sigmar” by “Games Workshop”. However as we were only playing with ten models aside on a 3’ x 3’ tablecloth, a number of house rules were implemented in order to make the skirmish flow more smoothly, such as each model technically representing a single unit. In addition both the Plagueridden and Bloodhunter were treated as their respective force's General, and we decided that during the Battleshock Phase, when “both players must take Battleshock tests for units from their army that have had models slain during the turn”, we would test any units within 12” of an eliminated friendly unit, and add the number of removed models to the test’s roll when comparing it against their Bravery statistic.

“The story so far… Determined to win the favour of the Blood God, Clomp the Mighty has dared to lead a party of Bloodletters into the toxic Nurgle land of Rotwater, in an attempt to establish a Khorne foothold on the region. Realising the threat to his dominion, the Plague God has dispatched a unit of Plaguebearers to intercept the savage invaders, and entrusted his realm's sanctity to their leader, Pusmire the Putrescent..."
THE TABLETOP - ROTWATER
Before the game started a couple of swamps and forests were positioned about the battlefield, and five favour points identified. These objectives would not be revealed until a unit had captured them, and then could only be secured by a free-standing model. At the end of six turns the winning force would be the one who held the most favour points. Finally, we rolled for which corners the two hosts would enter the area from, and found that the Plaguebearers arrived from the northeast and the Bloodletters from the southeast; it was clear that battle would commence a little sooner than had been anticipated.
CLOMP LEADS HIS BLOODLETTERS FORWARD INTO NURGLE'S SWAMPLAND
Taking the initiative, and making use of their faster speed [Move 5"], Clomp the Mighty led half of his invading party north towards Objective Three, whilst the remaining Bloodletters, including his Icon Bearer, moved west along the south bank of the large swamp. Somewhat slower than his opposition [Move 4"], Pusmire accompanied five Plaguebearers and his Piper south towards Objective Three, and dispatched his Iconbearer west, alongside two Plaguebearers, west towards Objective Two. 

With the scent of his savage, blood-mad foes already in his decaying nostrils, Pusmire and two Plaguebearers moved further south towards Objective Three and prepared to charge their opponents. Skirting past them the Piper made his way to the eastern edge of the small forest. Whilst to the north, the Nurgle Icon Bearer almost reached Objective Two. With a roar the Putrescent one urged his Plaguebearers forward towards the oncoming Bloodhunter, but soon realised that their target was beyond their wheezing waddle and quickly brought his warriors to a halt.
AS PUSMIRE HEADS SOUTH TO FACE CLOMP, SOME BLOODLETTERS DECIDE TO MOVE WEST
Sensing the lesser daemons of Nurgle were ripe for an assault, Clomp motioned for some of his Bloodletters to join him in an advance northwards, and readied his Hellblade for their own charge. Behind him, one of Khorne's foot-soldiers acquired Objective Three and revealed the location was worth four favour points to their Blood God. A mighty prize indeed.

To the west the Bloodletter Icon Bearer and Hornblower continued their trek towards Objective Four, accompanied by three more of their brethren. Behind them their heard the roar as a Slaughter-kin's charge reached a Plaguebearer stood on the southern edge of the small forest. The Bloodletter's Hellblade [To Hit 4+] cut into the pallid green flesh of its prey, and wounding the blighted soul [To Wound 3+ and Rend -1], dispatched the boil-covered creature.

Disconcertingly however, the red-skinned daemon's howl of triumph was short-lived as the Nurgle force rolled for Battleshock and threw a one; causing reality to blink and another Plaguebearer to appear back at the Plaguebearer's deployment point...
WITH NURGLE'S PIPER PLAYING TO THEIR NORTH, THE BLOODLETTERS SCOUR THE LAND FOR PREY 
Unaware of Nurgle's 'magic', a Bloodletter to the south of the fighting, strode to Objective Four and revealed it to be worth two favour points. With a seemingly unassailable lead already in their grasp, the rest of his Khorne companions fanned out with the Hornblower making towards Objective Five in the far west and the Icon Bearer heading north with their eyes upon Objective One.

Meanwhile, as a Bloodletter defended Objective Three, the rest of Clomp's forces in the east readied themselves to charge into their pot-bellied opponents. Incredibly, the Mighty one failed to reach any Plaguebearers himself, but watched with satisfaction as two of his hooved brethren crashed into Nurgle's nearby cyclops'. Hellblades and Plagueswords flashed, and at the end of the conflict both a Bloodletter and Plaguebearer had fallen. Cursing, the Bloodhunter saw that despite being 'wounded' the misshapen Nurgle Piper had been saved by being "disgustingly resilient", and had therefore merely had some of his rancid flesh sloughed away.
JUST SOUTH OF THE SMALL FOREST, BLOODLETTERS AND PLAGUEBEARERS BRUTALLY CLASH
To the north the Nurgle Icon Bearer took Objective Two and revealed it was worth three favour points. The two Plaguebearers accompanying him immediately headed south towards Objective One and the remaining "Tallymen of Nurgle", led by Pusmire, prepared themselves to attack the Slaughter-kin surrounding Objective Three. With a ghastly gurgle the lesser daemons, dragging their intestines behind them, charged into the Bloodletters guarding the easternmost objective, and laughed gleefully as their Plagueridden hacked down one of their foes.

Khorne however, was clearly still very much in ascendancy, as the Blood God's warmongers retaliated by hewing a Plaguebearer into pieces, and causing the Nurgle Piper to once give thanks to his lord and master that he was "disgustingly resilient".

In the centre of the battlefield a Bloodletter managed to claim Objective One, and discovered it was worth just a single favour point. Clomp scratched his head momentarily, and realised that he could still win the day if he gave up Objective Three, took Objective Five, and rallied his forces against Nurgle at objectives' One and Four; a cunning plan which would rely upon the Slaughter-kin uncharacteristically turning their backs to their hated foe in a momentary retreat.
CLOMP ATTEMPTS TO OUTWIT HIS BOIL-COVERED FOES BY HEADING WEST TO ROTWATER'S CENTER
As a result the Bloodhunter and his dwindling numbers rushed towards the northern edge of the large swamp, and headed west towards the centre of the Rotwater in order to try and make a last stand for the glory of the Blood God there. Meanwhile the Hornblower and Khorne Icon Bearer prepared to charge the Plaguebearers who were approaching Objective One, but with a roar of disgust failed their respective rolls... Perhaps the tide was starting to turn in favour of the Lord of Decay..?

With Objective Three now unprotected a Plaguebearer rushed south and took the location for Nurgle. Nodding approvingly, Pusmire lead the rest of his sore-infested pack west after the fast-disappearing Bloodletters. Up ahead of him the Plagueridden could see more of his disgusting brethren approaching Objective One, and with a cry of "Praise be to Nurgle!" charge into the Chosen of Khorne guarding the central location. Frustratingly for the Plaguebearer leader, the attack seemed to have little impact upon the Khak'akamshy'y stood there, and so the Putrescent one decided to vent his fury upon Clomp instead...
THE PLAGUEBEARERS CHARGE INTO THE CLOSEST BLOODLETTERS 
Nurgle looked down upon the grisly glade just north of the large swamp and chortled to himself as his Plaguebearers smashed into the Bloodletters' rear. Clomp was quickly brought down with a few cuts from a Bilesword, and despite the Lord of Decay's own Piper being slain amidst the slaughter, the god was mightily pleased with his Tallymen's efforts.

Believing that there was still a chance for Khorne to win the day, the Bloodletter running west came ever closer to Objective Five, whilst both the Icon Bearer and Hornblower charged into the Plaguebearers skulking around Objective One. Incredibly, despite their superior attacks, the Slaughter-kin proved ineffective, and if not for their [5+] save, they would both have been massacred by their opponents. As it was, the lone Bloodletter who had witnessed Clomp's demise, was also killed, leaving eastern Rotwater free of the Blood God's influence.

Seeing that victory was at hand, the Plaguebearer who had appeared as a result of reality blinking finally approached Objective Two and allowed the Nurgle Icon Bearer there to waddle south towards the central objective in aid of his maggot-covered colleagues. In front of him, Pusmire urged his nearby bloated brothers to undergo a valiant charge against the outnumbered Bloodletters and witnessed Khorne's Icon Bearer finally fall. Further south however, Pusmire the Plagueridden had decided to try and gather as much favour from the Lord of Decay as he could, by winning back Objective Four. 
ONE OF KHORNE'S FAVOURED APPROACHES OBJECTIVE FIVE, AS BATTLE ERUPTS IN THE CENTER
With the battle entering its final stage, the Plaguebearer's Icon Bearer charged into the melee around Objective One, whilst Pusmire leapt at the Bloodletter guarding Objective Four. With a cry the Slaughter-kin by the central objective gorily died, but Khorne's Icon Bearer remained alive to contest the location.

To the west, a Bloodletter took Objective Five, to reveal it was worth five favour points, and bring the battle's current standing to seven apiece. Pusmire realised if he could just take down the Khak'akamshy'y before him, he would win the day for Nurgle, yet his plaguesword failed to strike home despite the Plagueridden having two attacks.
PUSMIRE DESPERATELY TRIES TO WIN THE DAY FOR THE PLAGUE LORD BUT FAILS
Finally, battered and broken, the Blood God's Hornblower finally fell to the Plaguebearers around Objective One. The battle was over, and neither side had attained a resounding victory for their respective deities... this opening skirmish was a draw...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

"I Had A Change Of Mind!"

"I would call security - but they might leave you alive."
This 28mm scale "pewter" model of Doctor Sim as played by Aleksandar Jovanovic, is produced by “Warlord Games” and, along with  a figure of The Ghost, forms part of "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio" boxed set. "Clever and cryptic", the chief scientific operative at Harmony Shoal was first seen in the December 2016 BBC television "Doctor Who" Christmas Special and has an "alien organism" for a brain...

Initially primed with a double layer of "Citadel" Chaos Black and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charocal in order to bring out the sculpt's details, the "scary little German fella" subsequently had his trousers painted using a combination of Dark Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then 'picked out' his shirt with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and his pistol with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before treating these areas to a wash of (more) Nuln Oil.
Cyberman WIPs - The emotionless creature has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
The extra-terrestrial's skin was painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. His facial scar, indicating where his head had once been sliced apart in order to facilitate the removal of the man's human brain, was achieved by simply 'drawing' a line of "Vallejo" Heavy Red across his face, washing it with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, and then tidying it up with more "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.

Disappointingly, especially considering that this model was on sale well before "Warlord Games" released "Exterminate!" at "Salute", there is currently no way to actually use Doctor Sim in the Nottingham-based company's "Doctor Who" rule-set. As a result I plan to have the "important individual" lead an 'invasion force' of Zygons against the Tenth Doctor in a game of "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games", and then 'downgrade' him to a trouble-shooter for any passing renegade Timelord...
Boromite Overseer WIPs - The Commander has now had half of his reflex armour painted and washed
With my eyes still firmly fixed upon painting up the myriad of miniatures I acquired at this year's "Salute", I have made some strong headway with the nine plastic Cybermen and two Cybermat Swarms I require for the introductory scenario of "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Admittedly these slightly softly-detailed figures have proved rather straightforward to paint, but I still have some more left over on their remaining sprue, and have yet to even assemble the first of my Daleks.

In addition I am also persevering with my 500-point Boromite Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". This Overseer will be my army's leader for the foreseeable future, so I very much want to ensure that all his overly-detailed reflex armour and formidable-looking Tractor Maul are given the same attention with a paintbrush as they'll warrant on the tabletop.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

"It's Probably Because He's Old School..."

"He made his fortune for himself and the guild back during the Century Wars, creating weaponry..."
This 30mm metal model of the “Guild Ball” Engineer Team Captain, Ballista, is made by “Steamforged Games Ltd” and can be purchased, along with Salvo and Velocity, in the Stockport-based company's Engineer Starter Set. Incredibly well-sculpted, the Century Wars veteran is absolutely covered in all sorts of tools, pouches, leather strappings and armour; all of which required careful, time-consuming brushwork with a variety of paints.

Luckily, unlike a number of his team-mates, the club skipper's three-piece figure did not prove too tiresome to assemble, and, once the super-glue had dried, was quickly treated to a double-layer of "Citadel" Abaddon Black. All of the Defensive Midfielder's armour, tools, quarrel shafts and chains were then painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his leather trousers and gloves were treated to some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
"We are strange bedfellows. Untrusting of each other, dismissive and always looking to gain political capital..."
The Guild ball player's crossbow was predominantly 'picked out' using the "Citadel" Layer, Doombull Brown, his large apron was painted with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and his bolt shafts 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Red. These areas were then appropriately washed in more Strong Tone Quickshade and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Finally, the Figeon's brass screws and bands were highlighted in Gold, and somewhat sparingly shaded with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

Having not fielded the Engineer's Guild, I can't really say how well the Lord Artificer plays on the pitch. But his "Deadbolts" alone would suggest he is a "Guild Ball" player to be feared, with the attack both pushing its target 2 inches "directly away" and triggering the "knocked-down condition", as well as causing 3 damage. In addition, the Captain has, amongst others, the Character Trait "Tough Hide", which means that any "enemy plays that cause [him] damage" are reduced by one point.   
Cybermen WIPS - The Cyber-Leader and three of his Cyber Legion have been undercoated
The very first of my "Salute" purchases this year was the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" boxed rule-set by "Warlord Games". Described as a "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" which features "two of the Doctor’s most ancient and relentless foes – the hateful Daleks and emotionless Cybermen" clashing together "as they seek to to fulfil their own nefarious ends", this was my must-buy of the wargaming show, and just as soon as the Excel Exhibition Hall opened, I had one of these firmly in my hands.

Admittedly, my motivation for wanting this 'starter set' was to get hold of the twelve "easy-fit plastic Cyber Legion Cybermen" and "Time War Daleks", rather than its numerous (Recruitment, Adventure & Battle) cards and sixteen-page rules booklet. But having scoured through the contents, and read its "Guide To The Time Vortex", I have started building, basing and painting the first of the nine Cybermen and two Cybermat Swarms I need to use for the game's introductory scenario: A Meeting Of Metal...
A unit of Bloodletters attempts to invade Nurgle's kingdom for the glory of the Blood God

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: Judge Dredd & Tweak - "2T(FRU)T" - Part Two

“The story so far… Finding Mega-City One once again threatened by the deadly 2T(FRU)T virus, Judge Dredd, Tweak, Judge Giant (Senior) and Judge Hershey have travelled down into the metropolis' Undercity in order to recover some vaccine crates. However, the virus has already spread to the ruinous landscape's denizens, and after an attack by the frenzied horde Joe's furry extra-terrestrial friend has been infected himself..."


THE TABLETOP - THE UNDERCITY
Already starting to struggle from the symptoms of the 2T(FRU)T virus, Tweak returned to the open entrance of Dai's Den. The alien momentarily turned at the sound of Judge Giant still futilely banging on the stubborn front door to Zabadak House. Seeing her Justice Department colleague's problem, Hershey moved over to give John Clay's son a much-needed hand. Dredd meanwhile, had had no such issues kicking down another interior door within Martin Cooke Apartment Block, and now had one more between him and his vaccine-filled prize.

To the north the 'search & recovery team' could just make out the low rasp of someone muttering "Tooty Fruity", but the sound was still someway off. Clearly the death of their homicidal leader by Tweak had shaken the local inhabitants of the Undercity, despite their manic madness...
HERSHEY AND GIANT'S SEARCH STALLS OUTSIDE ZABADAK HOUSE
With a big boot, Judge Dredd split asunder a pair of double doors in Martin Cooke Apartment Block, and wrenched open the crate before him. There was enough antidote serum inside the eagle-insignia covered box for half his city's needs, so the search for more vaccine would need to go on.

Aware that the door to Zabadak House was taking far too long to physically break open, Giant pulled out his lawgiver and blasted the lock apart. Hershey immediately rushed inside the building, but came to a jarring halt as she put her shoulder to an interior door and ignominiously came off second best...

Outside, the increased noises emanating from the surrounding darkness indicated that the insane dwellers of these ruins were becoming braver. Indeed, a ghoulish-green figure suddenly emerged near the town centre from the north, whilst another denizen appeared approaching from the west.
MEGA-CITY ONE'S TOUGHEST LAWMAN DOMINATES THE TOWN CENTRE
Hearing the disturbance, Joe Dredd rushed outside from Martin Cooke Apartment Block and placed himself near a half-empty dumpster, which was located in the middle of the street. From here the senior judge had some protection from any missile attacks, and could easily cover anything thinking of sneaking up behind his colleagues in Zabadak House.
Deep inside the aforementioned building, both Hershey and Giant blazed away at the interior door before them. But clearly both law officers needed to spend some more time at the Academy of Justice's firing range, and neither judge managed to destroy the obstinate lock. Tweak meanwhile staggered towards a bed located between himself and another vaccine crate in Dai's Den.

Chattering excitedly, a 'Tooty Fruity' infected reached a battered blue mail box just north west of Dredd and prepared to launch himself at Mega-City One's toughest lawman. The Judge Fargo clone's eyes narrowed as he spotted a further two of the crazed killers rushing towards his location from the western end of the street as well. It was time for the maniacs to taste Justice Department lead...
DREDD FACES THE 'TOOTY FRUITY' INFECTED AS GIANT DISCOVERS MORE VACCINE
Dredd took aim at the loon by the mail box with his lawgiver, and disconcertingly watched as his shot simply caused his target to back away into the surrounding darkness. Hearing the senior judge, Hershey finally managed to break down the door hindering her progress through Zabadak House, and gesturing to her companion to carry on without her, rushed back outside. With no further impediments before him, Judge Giant ripped open the lid of another vaccine crate, and grimaced at the amount of antidote inside. The Justice Department needed just a little more serum before they had recovered enough to thwart the 2T(FRU)T outbreak in the metropolis. Tweak meanwhile rested himself against the bed... it was becoming hard for the furry alien to even gather his wits...

Incensed by Dredd's bullet wound the insane Undercity resident rushed towards the lawman as fast as his legs would allow. Soon his teeth would taste Justice Department flesh... The other 'Tooty Fruity' infected to the west, slowly moved ever closer themselves, almost as if they were waiting to see whether their comrade-in-insanity would manage to bring the senior judge down alone.
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUCCEED AS MORE CRIMINALLY INSANE CITIZENS APPEAR
Tweak, finally succumbing to the effects of his contagion, collapsed in front of the crate inside Dai's Den, his pincers twitching just inches from his wood-packaged prize. Sensing his Cursed Earth companion's poor condition, Judge Dredd yelled for Hershey to take out the demented denizen before him, and with one shot, Barbara did just that; albeit her lawgiver jammed in the process. With no 'Tooty Fruity' zombies close to his position, Joe rushed into Dai's Den, past his friend's failing body, and tore off the vaccine crate's lid. There was just enough serum inside to enable the judges to inoculate Mega-City One's population. They'd done it... 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Thus The Age Of Chaos Came To The Verdant Kingdoms..."

"...And so began the war to control the fairest and most fertile of realms."
These two 28mm Plaguebearers come from the “Age Of Sigmar” Plaguebearers of Nurgle boxed set, and have been painted similarly to the many other lesser daemons of the Plague Lord that I have recently added to my Befouling Host of Nurgle. Unfortunately the only difference is that, having been annoyingly forced to replace my usual wash of choice, "Citadel" Thrakka Green, with the "Games Workshop" Shade, Biel-Tan Green, this duo have 'turned out' a little greener in colour than their brethren; something which will hopefully become less obvious once I have added several more models to my Plaguebearer Unit...

With just two more "footsoldiers of Nurgle" left to complete before my current unit stands at an impressive, though far from finished, twenty miniatures, I have momentarily taken some respite by applying my brush to the "Warlord Games" figure of Dr Sim. The sculpt to this villainous extra-terrestrial is arguably as underwhelming as the plot to the 2016 Christmas television special, "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio", from whence he originated, but it has resultantly meant I have made some 'quick-time' progress on the model's painting.
Doctor Sim WIPs - The extra-terrestrial has had his trousers and shirt painted in different tones of grey
Indeed, I'm now hoping to use the brain-swapping member of The Shoal of the Winter Harmony as the lead antagonist for the first in a series of "Doctor Who" related scenarios using the "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" rule-set by "Ganesha Games". Admittedly, on paper the 'New York businessman' himself isn't going to prove all that formidable a foe, being simply armed with a pistol (and perhaps the mutation Terror. Yet as the leader of a Zygon invasion Dr Sim will potential be able to "activate a group of two to five models with a single die roll. A special ability which could cause even the Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones and their Judoon allies a few headaches...

Moving on to my current "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" project, I have finished assembling and undercoating the remaining metal miniatures from the Mhagris Feral Squad boxed set. Two of these Freeborn soldiers carry the unit's obligatory mag weapons. But in addition, one of them is armed with a magnetic X-launcher; a firearm "which can hurl shot over the heads of enemies and drive targets from cover."
Freeborn WIPs - The Feral Fighters have been based and undercoated
All of these models have initially been primed using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and will subsequently have their clothing, pouches and undersuits 'picked out' with Heavy Brown and Steel Grey. I'm hoping this colour scheme will provide a stark contrast to the orange and grey palette of my Boromites, and with the "war-like savages" white hair and their tribal markings, genuinely make them stand out on the tabletop.

Monday, 17 April 2017

"They Live Throughout The Wilderness Of Antarean Space..."

"...In regions inhospitable and void of habitation."
This 28mm metal model of a Ganger is produced by "Warlord Games" and is the second of three miniatures which can be found inside the Boromites' Overseer Squad blister pack. Protected by his reflex armour, and carrying a plasma carbine, the model was predominantly painted similarly to the first of my Overseer's bodyguards.

However, this particular figure did have a couple of additional details which made him stand out from my Scouting Force Commander's other 'close protection' Ganger, such as some delicately sculpted wires leading from the soldier's right shoulder-pad onto a small disc-shaped 'heart-monitor'. All of these 'leads' were 'picked out' using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and washed with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.
Freeborn WIPs - The Feral Fighters have been based and undercoated
Sticking with "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" I have slowly been prepping and priming some miniatures from an alternative faction, the Freeborn, in order to break up the monotony of my Boromites and their "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Heavy Bluegrey palette. The first of these 'distractions' are from the Mhagris Feral Squad boxed set, and features a Feral Leader, holding a mag gun, and two similarly armed Feral Fighters.

For now, I'm simply busying assembling a 500 point force of the "great merchants", so I can see just how formidable a painting project they will be. The Feral Squad are apparently "typical of these war-like savages" by being "armed with relatively simple and cheaply made mag weapons that spray splinters of metal at their target", and appear predominantly blue in colour, with some tan brown accessories...
Ballista WIPs - The Engineer's captain is slowly having all his gears, pouches, tools and equipment painted
Finally, I have once again been slowly 'chipping away' at the last of my 30mm "Guild Ball" Engineer miniatures by “Steamforged Games Ltd”. Team captain Ballista has proven to be an incredibly cumbersome sculpt to progress due to his unbelievably complicated detail, and resultantly has taken an eternity to progress.

However, knowing that once he is completed I'll have the makings of a 'match-fit' amateur side to face-off against my Union squad, is buoying me along. I've even gone so far as to purchase a couple of extra players for both sides in order to help bolster their future rosters and allow me to play the rule-set's larger "mob football" matches.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: Judge Dredd & Tweak - "2T(FRU)T"

JUDGE DREDD AND TWEAK BATTLE "TOOTY FRUITY" INFECTED CITIZENS
This game was played using the basic rules of “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the first in a series of adventures involving Mega-City One's toughest lawman as he attempts to thwart the break-out of a virus strain left over from the Great Germ War. The scenario comprised of a small party of three Pure Human characters and a Mutant, facing a larger (but similarly costed) horde of the Wretched across a 2’ x 2’ tabletop populated with the Urban Apocalypse Terrain by “Battle Systems”.

“The story so far… Finding his city once again threatened by the deadly 2T(FRU)T virus, Judge Dredd has sought the aid of Tweak, and accompanied by Judges Giant (Senior) and Hershey, has travelled down into his metropolis' Undercity in order to locate the last known location of some vaccine crates. Unfortunately, the virus has already spread to the ruinous landscape's denizens, so not only must the Justice Department retrieve its precious prize but simultaneously fend off the attentions of a frenzied horde...
THE TABLETOP - THE UNDERCITY
Located at the Eastern end of the Undercity, Judge Dredd positioned his small force in between Zabadak House and Martin Cooke Apartment Block. The lawman's mission was to locate eight points worth of vaccine from inside five crates dotted about the dilapidated buildings, and, despite no-one knowing how much vaccine each of the unopened wooden boxes were holding, the starting point provided the party with a good opportunity to quickly access three of them.

Because all of the Judges were wearing standard street-uniform, they were all treated as having a Flak Jacket (for armour) as well as carrying a pistol (to represent a lawgiver). "Old Stoney Face" had the additional special rules for being a Hero [always automatically rolls one success, regardless of their Quality], as well as being the group's Champion [+1 to Combat Score] and Leader [Quality increases by +1]. Giant was Steadfast [+1 Morale Rolls] and Hershey had Stealth [cannot be targeted by Ranged Attacks when adjacent to Cover]. Tweak, as a Mutant (so as to better represent him being an alien), was awarded the special rules for Food (5), Hand-to-Hand Specialist [+1 Melee Attacks and -1 Ranged Attacks] and Tough [when receiving a normal kill result are instead just wounded].
JUDGE DREDD LEADS HIS TEAM AGAINST AN INSANE HORDE OF HOMICIDAL KILLERS
The "Tooty Fruity" infected citizens were split into two groups with a Leader-led horde emerging from the west and a second band containing a Champion (former-Judge) appearing in the north. As the Wretched are referred to in "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" as "zombie-like humans" who have been "mutated by a terrible disease" and turned "into living plague carriers," their statistics weren't altered in any way, including their ability to potentially infect a Human "adjacent to a Wretched for the first time". They were also given the special rules Drug:Stimulant and Savage [inflict Gruesome Kills by doubling an opponent's score].

The Justice Department won the Initiative and Hershey immediately moved south-east behind a discarded sofa, which was sat just outside Martin Cooke Apartment Block. Judge Giant moved over to the southern door of Zabadak House and Tweak cautiously walked west down the main street. Judge Dredd marched to the entrance of the nearby Apartment Block, but failed to budge its rusty door.

To the North, two of the diseased dwellers of the Undercity started moving south towards the sound of the intruders. Whilst from the East, the "Tooty Fruity" leader, her crazed eyes already resting upon the bizarre form of Tweak, scuttled towards the extra-terrestrial... 
JUDGE GIANT FAILS TO ENTER ZABADAK HOUSE, AS TWEAK HEADS WEST
Barbara Hershey saw the infected woman racing at them from out of the westernmost darkness, and raised her Lawgiver. Her target was double her weapon's range, as well partially hidden by several stacks of shelving which had been left discarded in the street, yet it still came as something of a surprise when the shot went wide; especially as the Judge had had time to rest herself against a stale-smelling sofa and take aim. Giant was also having difficulties, for despite his best efforts, John Clay's son could not make the door to Zabadak House budge. Both Dredd and Tweak however, had no such difficulties, as Fargo's clone broke into Martin Cooke Apartment Block and the former alien slave smashed his way inside Dai's Den.

With so much crashing and banging taking place, it was no surprise that more "Tooty Fruity" scavengers were heard moving ever closer from both the North and East. Encouraged by the proximity of her insane brethren, the horde's leader raced ever closer towards her opponents.

Continually banging on the door before him, Judge Giant was getting angrier and angrier with his performance, whilst his former mentor, Dredd, continued to work his way through Martin Cooke Apartment Block searching for the vaccine crate Justice Department intelligence suggested was inside. Judge Hershey once again took aim at the green-haired she-hag running towards her colleagues, and this time the shot took the wild woman down; albeit only momentarily as the homicidal fiend was merely wounded. Realising that the "Tooty Fruity" leader was still alive, Tweak quickly made his way to her side, and with a 'snip' from his formidable pincers clipped the zombie mistresses head clean off!
DREDD ENTERS MARTIN COOKE APARTMENT BLOCK AS HERSHEY PROVIDES COVERING FIRE
Unfortunately in touching the infected creature, the "short furry alien with dark brown fur" took the risk of contracting the 2T(FRU)T virus himself, and within moments felt the lethal strain affecting his physiology. As a result Tweak's Quality was instantly worsened by 1, his movement reduced to Short and he was -1 to all Combat rolls.

The impact of their leader's death was arguably far greater upon the surviving "Tooty Fruity" maniacs however, as many of them failed their subsequent Morale Test. Indeed, only one scavenger remained in the north, skulking near Zabadak House. Whilst just three of the ferocious infected stalked the Judges from the west. But the Justice Department had yet to recover any of the much-needed vaccine, and had already effectively lost a quarter of its scouting force's strength...

To be continued...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

"Death To The Deviants!"

"What a horrible way to die!"
This multi-part 28mm hard plastic 'Terminator' has been built using pieces taken from the Frostgrave Cultists boxed set by "North Star Military Figures", as well as the company's Cultist Sci-Fi Accessory Pack, and is inspired by Tomás de Torquemada's infamous warriors of Terra portrayed within the "2000 A.D." comic book series "Nemesis The Warlock". The fanatical soldier was rather simple to assemble and super-glue together, although the resin conversion parts were somewhat larger in scale than the limbs and heads found upon the miniature's original sprue.

The figure was originally primed with "Citadel" Chaos Black and dry-brushed with "Vallejo "Heavy Charcoal. He then had his boots and drinking flask 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna and Heavy Brown. Both of these areas were subsequently washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. In order to represent the zealot's excessive commitment to Torquemada's crusade against any aliens, I also painted a skull accessory with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and Heavy Khaki to make them appear to be the grisly trophy of an extra-terrestrial victim, and later shaded the severed head with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, Nuln Oil and Biel-Tan Green.
Crusader II WIPs - The tank has had its tracks painted, and been super-glued to a large rectangular base
As I didn't want the model's garments to be entirely black, as is often illustrated within the pages of "2000 A.D.", I applied a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red to the Terminator's undergarment, waist-band and shirt, and then washed these areas with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. In addition I painted his breathing-mask and shoulder armour with a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade so as to add even more colour to the miniature's palette. Lastly, the fanatic's large firearm was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being heavily washed with Nuln Oil.

With the first of my Terra warriors completed, I have set aside some time to progress the first of my British tanks for "Battle Of El Alamein - War In The Desert" by "Battlefront Miniatures". I had already got the majority of this Crusader II painted, but have since 'picked out' its tracks, dirtied its wheels and fixed it to a large "Flames Of War" plastic base; on account of my great dislike for vehicles simply sitting upon the tabletop without one...
Boromite Ganger WIPs - TheOverseer's bodyguard has been washed and had his electrical gadgetry 'picked out'
I have also 'dusted' the armoured vehicle down, as per the instructions at the back of the "Desert Rats" hard-backed rule-book, and hopefully better blended in the tanks green camouflage markings with the sandy-coloured hull as a result. Finally, somewhat perturbed by the fact that the boxed set strangely doesn't seem to come with any decals, I have started working on its turret shovel with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "Citadel" Ironbreaker.

Needless to say, despite these distractions, I am also slowly making some ground on my second Boromite Ganger for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". This particular model is formidably detailed on account of having several wires wrapped about the figure's shoulders and neck, as well as some incredibly complicated-looking reflex armour and waist attachments.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

"Boromites Can Be Found Within The PanHuman Concord..."

"...And upon the many diverse worlds of the Determinate."
This 28mm metal model of a Ganger is manufactured by "Warlord Games" and is one of three miniatures which come as part the Boromites' Overseer Squad blister pack. Phenomenally detailed with all the extra-terrestrial's lumps, bumps and reflex armour, the plasma carbine-carrying soldier's main role is to act as bodyguard to my Scouting Force's Commander, the Overseer.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figure was washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before having a layer of Chaos Black applied over all of its weaponry. The model's armour was then slowly 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, as I wanted to try and imitate the colour scheme used for the mining creatures as found within the "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" rule-book, and subsequently washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
Boromite Ganger WIPs - The Overseer's bodyguard is slowly having his numerous pouches washed
As I didn't like the predominantly black pouches and weapons depicted within the vast majority of Boromite figure illustrations, I decided to step away from "Warlord Games" 'official' palette, and instead paint the miniature's pocket-bags with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst shading its "Citadel" Ironbreaker primed plasma carbine with Nuln Oil. As a final touch I highlighted the firearm's power source using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

With my 500-point force's 'pilot piece' completed, I have now started painting the second of the Overseer's bodyguards, and discovered this sculpt to be even more complicated than the first. Indeed, in many ways I might have been better off choosing an easier to paint faction, such as the black-armoured Isorians, or all-red Algoryn Army, rather than one which is clearly going to take a lot of time and patience as I am forced to 'pick out' all of its unfathomable armour in yellow...
"Frostgrave" Sci-Fi Terminator WIPs - The model now simply needs some washes to be applied
Fortunately, I have also been progressing a small number of "North Star Military Figures" figures to use as Tomás de Torquemada's infamous Terminators in a game or two of "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games". To be honest this "Nemesis The Warlock" project has proved something of a disappointment of account of the quality of some of the models' sculpting, and as a result my intention to 're-enact' some of "2000 A.D." comic book series character's most memorable scenes, has somewhat stalled.

Admittedly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the plastic "Frostgrave" Cultist torsos I've selected to use as the basis for my villainous Termight Warriors. But the same can't sadly be said for the quality of the resin pieces found within the Nottingham-based company's Cultist Sci-Fi Accessory Pack; which have caused me no end of grief trying to determine where a wrinkled sleeve stops and a hand begins...

Friday, 7 April 2017

"Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!"

"My Terminators are watching you!"
This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of Tomás de Torquemada is miniature number 107 from the Indy “Heroclix” range. Originally created as simply the leader of Termight's Tube Police "in the British comic anthology 2000 A.D.", the arch-villain would quickly rise to become the "dictator of the entire human race" and was created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for the 1980 serial "Nemesis The Warlock".

This miniature was initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black before having both his armour and axe painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. The Grand Master of Terra was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker and subsequently had his belt 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, his axe-handle layered with Iraqi Sand and finally his chest emblem emboldened with Gold. All of these areas were treated to a wash of either "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade.
Crusader II WIPs - The tank has had a green "cloud-shaped patches" camouflage pattern applied to it
Torquemada's sweeping purple cape was first given a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Violet, then washed with the "Citadel" Shade, Druchii Violet, and carefully dry-brushed with some additional "Vallejo" Heavy Violet. As a last touch, I dabbed a little "Citadel" Chaos Black into the sculpt's eye sockets and then tidied them up by using pure Ironbreaker.

Having recently played my "First Game" of the "Battle Of El Alamein - War In The Desert", using the simple scenario presented within the "Battlefront Miniatures" Battle Box starter booklet, I have started applying some green camouflage to my British Crusader II plastic tank. To be honest this vehicle was far from impressive during its debut on the tabletop. Not only did it seem incapable of actually hitting a German Panzer with its 2 pounder gun, but it similarly appeared unable to survive being struck on its front armour; supposedly the thickest and best protected part of the tank.
Boromite Ganger WIPs - The extra-terrestrial tunneller has had all his weaponry 'picked out' and washed 
As a result I thought some "cloud-shaped patches", as found in the recently released "Desert Rats" "Flames Of War" hard-backed rule-book, might help matters somewhat. Certainly the camouflage will help make the vehicle 'stand out' as part of my Crusader Armoured Squadron HQ.

  Finally, I have been persevering on the first of my Boromite Gangers for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". The sheer amount of detail on this miniature, such as its numerous plates of reflex armour and plasma carbine, is quite breath-taking, and I now realise it's going to take a lot of patience in order to finish even just my three-man Overseer Squad during the next few days.