Sunday, 30 July 2017

"Hey! Who Turned Out The Lights?"

"It's a swarm in a suit. But it's learning."
Officially approved by the BBC, these six metal models of the Vashta Nerada are "designed" by "Warlord Games" for both collectors and the company's "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Miniatures Game. Based upon the microscopic beings from the May 2008 television story “Silence In The Library”, these sculpts depict the "shadows that melt the flesh" inhabiting the 51st Century spacesuits of River Song's hapless archaeological team.

Initially primed with two layers of "Vallejo" White, "the piranhas of the air" were all subsequently washed with Pale Flesh and heavily dry-brushed using more White. I then shaded the vents of their Archeological Expedition Suits with some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" and 'picked out' their former occupants' skulls with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand. Finally, I washed the grinning cadavers with some additional Strong Tone Quickshade and delicately gave each 'face' a light dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand.
"It's how they hunt. They latch on to a food source and keep it fresh."
Noticing that my clumsy paint-jobs had already seemingly eradicated any trace of the miniatures' tombstone-like teeth, and spotting that on "Warlord Games" publicity paint-jobs they had not only been individually highlighted white, but also superbly shaded florescent blue in order to replicate the spacesuit's interior lighting, I was then left with something of a dilemma. Did I boldly try something similar and potentially risk ruining an area of each figure which was already rather 'soft' in visible detail and 'filling up' with pigment fast, or simply leave well enough alone, and settle for their deep set sockets to draw the gamer's eye to their sinister faces and "inspire a fear of the darkness"..?

Tricky decisions aside, I have started working on a number of the Nottingham-based manufacturer's other "Into The Time Vortex" miniatures in earnest. Apparently next month will now only see the release of Ashildr (from "The Woman Who Lived") and the Ogrons, as a result of the Slitheen being delayed in order for their pack to contain the extraterrestrial family's appropriate gaming cards for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!"
"Into The Time Vortex" WIPs - Sea Devil, Zygon, Judoon and the Twelfth Doctor
As a result I won't be quite as 'pushed' as I thought to get my current "Warlord Games" metal mountain reduced, so alongside my six Sea Devils (from Jon Pertwee's Seventies era), I have added both some Zygon reinforcements, and the Twelfth Doctor himself. I've also got some additional Judoon and Silents in the paint queue, as half a dozen miniatures seems to arguably be the acceptable minimum when using a faction in "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", and I am therefore somewhat keen to ensure I can field at least three Recruitment Cards of these 'Nu-Who' monsters.

Of course "Warlord Games" announcement that the Slitheen will now probably accompany models (and cards) for the Movellans, Victor Kennedy, an Abzorbalovian, the Genesis Ark, Supreme Dalek and Special Weapons Dalek means that September and October could well see a torrent of 'essential' purchases. To make matters 'worse', the company have also confirmed that "cards will be produced for all existing sets" and "be available as downloads and physical card booster packs" in the future; something which will undoubtedly encourage me to finally tackle my backlog of Tetraps, Clockwork Droids, Professor Yana and the Ghost.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

"You Are Outside Your Function."

"Our victory is inevitable. The Doctor will come to us and Peinforte is a simple savage..."
This 40mm tall metal Cyberman figure is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the company's marvellous "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the spray painted, cricket glove-wearing cyborgs seen in Kevin Clarke's 25th Anniversary Special "Silver Nemesis", these "cybernetically augmented humanoids" attempted to take control of a statue made of living metal, originally created on Gallifrey.

The miniature was initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being given a double layer of Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. The figure's eyes were then darkened with a small amount of Abaddon Black and the entire model dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker. As a nod to the Cybermen's chrome like paint finish during this 1988 three-parter, I tried to make it's head and chest-piece standout all the more by subsequently dulling down everything else with a second shade of Nuln Oil.
"Nightmares In Silver" WIPs - The Cybermen have all been primed, painted silver and washed with black shade
"Warlord Games" seemingly have some big plans for Kit Pedler's co-creations, following their recent announcement that they will be releasing four of the "overhauled" Mondasians from the 1967 television serial "Doctor Who And The Tomb Of The Cybermen" "in a few months alongside the Cyber Controller." In addition they have 'leaked' some "concept cyber stuff" from "N-FX Studio" which shows both the outside and interior of the Cybermen's Telos tomb in all its chilling glory...

Such tantalising teases have really helped enthuse my desire to finish painting the remaining "exquisitely sculpted pewter" figures I own; in particular the BBC programme's "original" design for the Cybermen from 1966. I had at first thought I would base this cumbersome-looking version with snow flock, so as to replicate its adventure at the Earth's South Pole, but having recently endured "The Doctor Falls" I'm now tempted to utilise that episode's somewhat less monochromatic palette and turn the miniature into companion Bill Potts' converted self.
"The bleak pale sun that glittered so blindingly from the ice-fields and snow-covered plains struck sheens of silver..."
Lastly, I have finished working on the second of my 28mm scale resin Crushed Cars by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". Available from Dave Stone's Post Apocalyptic and S.D.Z.A. accessories range, this hefty piece of scenery was painted in precisely the same manner as my previous one. However, rather than flock the piece with "Games Workshop" Static Grass, I instead used some "Citadel" Snow.  

As a result this particular rusty wreck will feature somewhat prominently on my "Metamorphosis Alpha" tabletop, and represent one of the many anachronistic objects that will be discovered during my medieval/fantasy adventurers' travels on board James M. Ward's starship Warden. Indeed, as my fur-clad company explore the outer decks of the "generation spaceship" I plan for them to encounter several more of the company's highly detailed, yet well-corroded, futuristic scenic pieces.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

"If You Can't Fix What's Broken, You'll Go Insane."

"As the world fell, each of us in our way was broken."
This large and wonderfully detailed 28mm scale resin Crushed Car is made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Post Apocalyptic and S.D.Z.A. accessories range. Measuring approximately 115mm in length, 55mm in width and 20mm in height, the model was super-glued onto a laser cut 120mm x 90mm oval MDF base simply to increase its 'footprint' on the tabletop as a piece of scatter terrain.

The model was initially primed with a coat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and then treated to two layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. It was then heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before being heavily dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. Sculptor Dave Stone actually provides a painting service for this car (as he does with so many of his products), but as I wanted the ruined vehicle to be part of my "Gamma World" terrain, I decided to stick to the bare metal and rust palette I've chosen for the entirety of the project's scenery.
Boromite Gang Fighter WIPs - The mining extra-terrestrial now just needs his rocky hide re-shaded with black ink
Resultantly, I liberally applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over all the sculpt's detail, and subsequently set about blending it in with the rest of the transport's paint scheme via a second "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey dry-brush. I then picked out the automobile's four tyres with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and 'dirtied' the whole ensemble up by dabbing the entire model with a piece of sponge that had been dipped in some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". As a final touch the wheel trims and tyres were aged/dulled with a slight application of watered down "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash.

"Warlord Games" are currently releasing a number of excellent miniatures for their "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" science-fiction tabletop wargame, and my (in)ability to resist these new temptations has not been helped by the company's recent 'voucher offer' of 15% off their entire range. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, I now have some Isorian reinforcements already heading in my direction, and thus am determined to finish painting my initial Boromite 500-point Scouting Force before they arrive... Or at least before I start working on them.    
Vashta Nerada WIPs - The dead astronauts have had their skulls 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand
In addition, the Nottingham-based manufacturers are about to imminently add to their already formidable "Doctor Who" catalogue by selling miniatures of the low-intelligence, ape-like hominids the Ogrons, three versions of Ashildr (from "The Woman Who Lived") and the "massive, bipedal extraterrestrial" family Slitheen. To make matters worse "Warlord Games" have also 'leaked' pictures of a fully-painted Astrid Peth, Bannakaffalatta and the enormous Fisher King... 
Judge Dredd, Mad Max and Imperator Furiosa battle T-800 Terminators in the Cursed Earth
I have therefore momentarily turned all my attention towards completing the six Vashta Nerada models I recently started painting and begun 'shadowing' in their spacesuits' breathing vents and nightmarish fleshless skulls. Once these are finished I hope to get cracking on half a dozen Sea Devils, which will then leave me with a bit of space on my hobby table for some more "Into The Time Vortex" goodness. Did I mention I've seen the 3D 'work in progress' sculpt of an Ice Warrior too..? 

Monday, 24 July 2017

"What Is The Doctor's Message?"

"Seal levels twelve, thirteen and fourteen. Prepare to engage."
This 40mm tall "exquisitely sculpted pewter" Cyberman figure is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the company's excellent "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the fictional race of cyborgs as they appeared in Steven Moffat's 2011 television story "A Good Man Goes To War", these particular artificially modified Mondasians formed part of  the Twelfth Cyber Legion; a "Cyberman fleet that monitored their local galactic quadrant and was positioned twenty thousand light years away from Demon's Run."

The model was first undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being given a double layer of Ironbreaker and a liberal wash of Nuln Oil. The figure's eyes and mouth slit were then darkened with a small dab of Abaddon Black and the entire model subsequently dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker. As a final touch both its formidably-large cyber-gun, waist, neck, inner thighs and elbows were treated to a coat of Abaddon Black, and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal so as to bring out the sculpts' detail in those areas.
Vashta Nerada WIPs - The figures have been primed, washed and dry-brushed
Alongside this latest addition to my completed "Nightmares In Silver" collection, I have plonked six Vashta Nerada miniatures from "Warlord Games" "Doctor Who" range into my painting queue as I'm hoping they'll be relatively straightforward paint-jobs. I've actually previously converted four Advancing ARC Astronauts by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" into versions of the "swarming, carnivorous beings" by removing all of their astronaut heads, and swapping them with some plastic skulls taken from the old 'out of production' "Games Workshop" PBS5 Skeleton Army Boxed Set.
Vashta Nerada - Converted in April 2011 from "Crooked Dice" and "Games Workshop" pieces 
Sadly, this particular project was soon side-lined when I encountered problems replacing some of the astronauts’ hands and limbs with skeletal variants. Ultimately, I did manage to ‘securely’ super-glue one plastic skeletal fist in place, but the arm's subsequent re-positioning left the model in a rather uninspiring pose, and shortly afterwards "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" released their own metal 'sold on a sprue' version of the "microscopic beings" Astronaut Heads...

Finally, I have succumbed to the allure of "Warlord Games" one hundred and twenty-four page ‘What If?’ "Bolt Action" Campaign book "Operation Sea Lion"; which not only brings the Second World War to the shores of England and The Home Guard, but also contains the disconcertingly unpatriotic opportunity to field a Fifth Column Reinforced Platoon under the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Sir Oswald Mosely. 
Operation Sea Lion WIPs - These "Warlord Games" sculpts have simply been primed and dry-brushed
Quite delightfully, the publication also includes a free casting of "the most stalwart of British Prime Ministers" Sir Winston Churchill. Armed with "the .45 calibre Thompson Sub Machine Gun" its abundantly clear that the British statesman "isn't going down without a fight" and thus seems entirely appropriate to lead my British "Konflikt '47" force in some super-soldier conflicts inspired by the "Avatar Press" comic book series "Uber".

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Doctor Who: Exterminate! Report: The Daleks Verses The Zygons - Part Two

THE DALEKS BATTLE ZYGONS AND THE SILENCE FOR THE CUBE OF DEATH
"The story so far... Crafting a stellar converter, which has the power to lay waste to entire solar systems, the Daleks are holding the entire Earth hostage, and planning to turn it into a planet-sized starship. However, a force of Zygons has gained access to the location of the device, and are attempting to stop such a despicable use of their new home world. Momentarily befuddled and bewildered by the Zygons' shape-shifting powers, the Daleks are trying to expel the raiders and resume the stellar converter's activation..."
THE TABLETOP - A STREET ON EARTH

Having withstood the Daleks' opening barrage the Zygons began their counter-attack by focusing their electrical discharges at the Daleks by the southern fencing. These integral weapons were capable of delivering a substantial shock to the Kaled Mark III Travel Machines, but ultimately failed to score a hit. Indeed, even the 'shape-shifted' Zygon disguised as a Silent, was unable to set their sights clearly upon a target.

Fortunately to the northeast the Zygon Elite had more luck, and managed to shock one of the Daleks by debris (2). Meanwhile, the Zygon Leader, unable to shoot anyone within range, moved into melee range of the Daleks travelling south through the fencing. It was time to see just how formidable the alien's "Posion Barbs" would be against the outer housing of a Dalek...
THE DALEKS PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE ZYGON COUNTER-ATTACK
The immediate answer was 'very effective' as the Zygon seemingly tore through the Dalek's shell. But due to the Kaled inside being able to tap into the nearby time energies and "Regenerate!" the damage, the extraterrestrial mutant remained unharmed, and was instead simply pushed backwards. The Zygon Leader did attempt to press home his attack, but again his ferocious onslaught merely resulted in his opponent momentarily retreating.

Far less successful was the other Zygon fighting the Daleks by the fencing. Shocked by his pepperpot-shaped foe, the metamorphic humanoid was then immediately exterminated by the Dalek Faction's forfeiture of a Fate Token. The Zygons were slowly starting to lose ground in the southeast corner of the battlefield.
THE ZYGONS START TO FALL AS THE DALEKS PRESS HOME THEIR ADVANTAGE
Enraged by the Zygon's resistance to their overwhelming supremacy, the Daleks once again took the Initiative, and directed their battle computer to ponder those positions which would afford their lethal disruptors maximum damage. As a result only one Dalek moved west to better guard debris (3), whilst the rest of the Kaled Mark III Travel Machines remained stationary and able to utilise the full power of their energy weapons.

Realising that his forces were about to be subjected to a second withering wave of Dalek disruptor fire, and despite his faction's "Tough" trait of being able to negate "Shocked by Shooting attacks", the Zygon Leader moved east behind some fencing. The Zygon Elite in the north similarly attempted to seek safety by lumbering west towards the ruins of a building. Only the sucker-covered alien disguised as a Silent blatantly defied the Daleks, by heading north up to debris (2), and fell just short of discovering what sort of Vortex Node was hidden beneath it.
THE ZYGONS MOMENTARILY APPEAR ABOUT TO SEIZE A SECOND VORTEX NODE
The Daleks in the south opened fire upon the still visible Zygon Leader and would have exterminated him, if not for the character's "Wounds (1)" trait. The same could not be said for the Zygon/Silent shape-shifter who was theatrically Shocked and Exterminated by the combined firepower of three Daleks. In the north, the Daleks by debris (2), led by their Patrol Leader, Dalek Sec, continued to 'pin down' the Zygon Elite by the ruins with "Under Fire" tokens. 

Incredibly, the Zygons had survived a second Dalek salvo, which had seen many of the extraterrestrial mutants rolling eight dice an attack. It was clearly time for the former inhabitants of Zygor to possess "at least three Vortex Nodes" and take a step closer to thwarting the Daleks' plan. Sensing this moment was upon them the Zygon Elite in the north sauntered west towards debris (1), whilst their wounded Leader made his way to tree (2).
THE DALEKS DEMONSTRATE JUST HOW DANGEROUS THEY ARE IN MELEE
Unfortunately, such optimism was badly placed, as Dalek Sec immediately charged into the nearest Zygon Elite, and quickly shocked the metamorphic humanoid unconscious; one expenditure of a Fate Token later and the Zygon was exterminated. Similarly, a Dalek in the south attacked the Zygon Leader in melee, and soon overcame the already bleeding commander.

With their Leader so gruesomely dispatched, and their Faction in tatters, the surviving Zygon retreated, and the Daleks were left to continue their evil machinations for the planet Earth. For the time being at least...

Friday, 21 July 2017

"Hammerers Are Not Built For Fancy Tactical Maneouvers..."

"On the battlefield, commanders simply point teams of these constructs at the enemy and let them go."
These three 40mm tall metal Hammerer models were produced by "Wizards Of The Coast" for their 2002 edition of "Chainmail", and each boxed kit came with a separate body, left arm with cutters and right arm with hammer, as well as a (disconcertingly small) 25mm stand. Sculpted by Jim Warner, the "Good Construct" was part of the rule-set's Thalos faction; a force which "consisted largely of humans along with a few half-elves, gnomes and gnome created constructs."

Each of the automatons were originally undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black but were subsequently treated to a double layer of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. They were then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey in order to better bring out a lot of the models' details, such as their gnome runes.
Air Elemental WIPs - The "Dungeons And Dragons" model has been washed, dry-brushed and re-washed
Because the "heavy, solid, and deadly" Hammerer gets its name from the powerful hammer-arm" it wields, I felt the automatons would be ideal to represent some of the Police Robots found patrolling the crashed spaceship in the "Dungeons And Dragons" module "Expedition To Barrier Peaks". In addition, their pincer-arm, which "is used mainly for lifting things", would arguably allow them to 'moonlight' as Worker Robots too.

This meant the constructs had undoubtedly spent "several decades" standing motionless in the vessel's lower cargo bay, until such time as a computer malfunction had ordered them to erroneously start clearing the hold and periodically discharge "more of the [craft's] unwanted goods" outside. As a result I treated each figure to a light coat of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash, and then dry-brushed the vast majority of the enamel type wash away with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.
Cybermen WIPs - These two Cybermen represent the Seventies and Late Sixties
Sticking with "Dungeons And Dragons" I have made some considerable progress on my plastic Air Elemental by "Wizards Of The Coast". The miniature from the "Elemental Evil" expansion has been both washed and dry-brushed, and now just needs to have his brown ink striations blended in with the rest of its swirling vortex to be finished.

I have also turned my attention towards two more of the miniatures found within "Warlord Games" "Nightmares In Silver" collectors set. These two Cybermen, one from "Revenge Of The Cybermen", and the other from "Invasion" have been washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and will require a hearty dry-brush of Ironbreaker before I can begin 'picking out' all their cybernetic detail...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

"That's A Living Brain Jammed Inside A Cybernetic Body..."

"You are rogue elements. You are incompatible. You will be deleted."
This 40mm tall "exquisitely sculpted pewter" Cyberman figure is sold by “Warlord Games” and is one of the ten miniatures contained within the company's "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the "race of cybernetically augmented humanoids" as they appeared in Tom MacRae's 2006 television story "Rise Of The Cybermen", this particular version of the silver giants arose on a parallel Earth where John Lumic, head of Cybus Industries, attempted to convert the population of London using "emotional inhibitor signals".

The figure was first undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently given a double layer of Ironbreaker. It was then shaded with Nuln Oil and had its eyes and mouth slit darkened with a small dab of Abaddon Black. The entire model was finally dry-brushed with more "Ironbreaker", and had its waist, inner thighs and elbows washed with Nuln Oil in order to somewhat take the shine off of these particular areas.
Eighties Cybermen WIPs - The silver giants have been washed, in preparation of dry-brushing and detailing
With another of my "Nightmares In Silver" miniatures completed, I have managed to get some "Citadel" Nuln Oil on a couple more of the collector set's contents; namely the two "silverclad villains" representing the BBC programme's serials during the Eighties. I'm actually hoping to finally add a little bit of colour and contrast to these particular "fully armoured soldiers", by way of following the colour schemes used on the "Warlord Games" "Into The Vortex" website.

Up until now, all of the cyborgs I have painted have proved rather one-dimensional palette-wise despite their constant upgrades. But that should change with the "Earthshock" Cyberman and his red-rimmed cybergun, whilst the "Silver Nemesis" version has a far more noticeably silvery-grey torso and limbs than any of its predecessors.
Air Elemental WIP - The "Dungeon And Dragons" monster has been re-based and primed "Vallejo" White
Setting aside my Cybermen momentarily, I have also started work on one of the many plastic "Wizards Of The Coast" miniatures generously gifted to me recently by Steve and Hils from "The Gamers Cupboard". The first of these to hit my painting queue is this rather large Air Elemental, which was originally sculpted for the "Dungeons And Dragons" "randomly sorted monsters and heroes" expansion "Elemental Evil".

"A funnelling cloud of whirling air with a vague semblance of a face", this 49mm tall 'corporeal incarnation of the element' has currently simply been re-based and primed "Vallejo" White. But should shortly be treated to a heavy wash of Pale Grey and some "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade in order to help 'bring out' all the creature's candy-floss clouds and sweeping swirls.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

"My Defence Is A Simple One."

"I was right to try and cleanse the galaxy of the alien filth! It is my life's work for which I am truly proud."
This 28mm metal model of Tomás de Torquemada is miniature number AD70 from “Warmonger Miniatures” or is identically coded as part of the “Wargames Foundry” “2000 A.D.” character range. Created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for the 1980 serial comic book series "Nemesis The Warlock", this leader of a "quasi-religious order in the far future" spent the entirety of his time waging war against all extra-terrestrials as he believed all non-humans were "impure." 

The miniature was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Red before being almost submerged in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. The former commander of the "fascist" Tube Police was then heavily dry-brushed with more "Vallejo Red" and had his longsword treated to a combination of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and Ironbreaker. At this stage I then encountered a bit of a quandary in that I felt simply leaving the Grand Master of Terra in all-red battle armour did the sculpt's excellent detail a great disservice...  
Crushed Car WIPs - The battered four-wheeler has been dry-brushed and rusted
As a result I scoured some more source material and located some examples of where Torquemada's hydraulic attachments had been 'picked out' using gold in order to make the ruler of the Mankind's Empire far more ornate-looking. I wasn't entirely sold upon this idea however, and thought that as Tomás repeatedly wore his protective garments into battle, they'd need constant repairs, and just maybe, gold replacement pistons wouldn't be so readily available, so he'd have to make do with basic metal ones. 

This approach lead me to base layer all the figure's external mechanisms with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and either paint them with Ironbreaker or "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Gold. These parts were then washed appropriately with either "Citadel" Nuln Oil or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. As a final touch, Torquemada's hand-weapon was dry-brushed with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and his piercing eyes 'dabbed in' with "Vallejo" White. 
Sea Devils WIP - The 'Sea Silurians' have been primed with "Vallejo" Verdigris and then shaded blue
As something of a reasonably straightforward distraction, I have continued to make plenty of progress on the Crushed Cars I recently acquired by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". These resin vehicular ruins are destined to primarily appear upon my "Metamorphosis Alpha" tabletop, so have been washed, dry-brushed, rusted and dry-brushed again simply to increasingly age them.

Laslty, I have simultaneously been basing and priming six Sea Devils from "Warlord Games" "Into The Time Vortex" miniatures range. These towering metal figures are from Jon Pertwee's 1972 six-parter entitled "Doctor Who And The Sea Devils" and whilst not coming with any Recruitment cards or Adventure cards for the rule-set, still look destined for some battles with the travelling Time Lord at some point soon.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

"Please Stand By. You Will Be Upgraded. Welcome To The Cyberiad."

"No need to panic, my young friends. We all know there are no more living Cybermen."
This 38mm tall "exquisitely sculpted pewter" Cyberman figure is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the company's excellent "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the fictional race of cyborgs as they appeared in Neil Gaiman's 2013 television story "Nightmare In Silver", this new design arose "as the result of a deep space meeting of Mondas and Cybus Cybermen; whose amalgamation resulted in an upgraded, stronger and superior model."

The figure was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and treated to a double coat of Ironbreaker. It was then washed with Nuln Oil and had its famous 'tear-drop' eyes and mouth slit additionally darkened with a small amount of Abaddon Black, before being dry-brushed with more "Ironbreaker". As the Cyberman's dynamic pose rather attracts the eye when compared to the more sedentary look of its "emotionless space-faring" compatriots, I decided to make it a Cyber Leader, and resultantly picked out his chest piece with a combination of Nihilakh Oxide and Drakenhof Nightshade.
"We've upgraded ourselves. The next model will be undefeatable."
Alongside this "upgraded Cyber War" Cyberman I have also painted three more of the cyborgs' plastic models as found inside the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" starter box. Unsurprisingly, these figures were painted exactly the same way as the version which threatened the Eleventh Doctor and Clara in the "military-controlled, extraterrestrial theme park Hedgewick's World of Wonders."

Recently, fellow bloggers PulpCitizen ("Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer") and Simon Quinton ("Brummie's Wargaming Blog") have been busy finishing off a handful of miniatures in order to play-test the rule-set "Squad Wars". I must confess to having been green with envy at their marvellous paint-jobs and the fact that the figures they've been posting about are all inspired by the "G.I. Joe" franchise.
"G.I. Joe" WIPs - Destro, Major Budd, Sergeant Slaughter and Snake Eyes
To be honest I know very little about the "line of action figures produced and owned by the toy company Hasbro", but quickly became infected by the guys' enthusiasm for the "National Toy Hall of Fame" product. Unfortunately however, the models they own are from a private collection and not therefore commercially available and as a result I have been struggling to acquire even one of them...

Until now that is, when I finally (and very luckily) was sent a few spares to help me join in with the chaps' "Real American Hero" obsession. As a result I have immediately based up the Iron Grenadier known as Destro, Cobra Command mercenary Major Budd, and G.I. Joe loyalists Sergeant Slaughter and Snake Eyes.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"They Are A Roving People..."

"...With their own distinctive ways and their own aims and values..."
These two 28mm metal Boromite models are manufactured by "Warlord Games" and form part of the race's five model strong Gang Fighter boxed set. Armed with mag pistol and reflex armour, the Gang Leader is also carrying a Lectro Lash. Whilst the Ganger is depicted carrying a mag gun along with his reflex armour. These soldiers are part of my slowly progressing Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" and, 'in-game' have been additionally armed with plasma grenades ("at 2pts per model").

Initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figures were washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had their weaponry 'layered' with some Chaos Black. The brutish-looking extra-terrestrials' armour was slowly painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and subsequently shaded with some watered-down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
"...that mark them out from other panhuman morphs."
As each miniature's waist girdle is simply packed full of detail and equipment, I decided to 'pick out' the mining aliens' pouches with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and shaded their "Citadel" Ironbreaker mag weapons with Nuln Oil. Finally, I applied "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and later "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green to the Gang Leader's Lectro Lash, and his armour's wiring with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.

In addition to these two figures, I have also painted a Boromite Spotter Drone to compliment my 500-point strong force's Overseer Squad. The Tactical Infantry Command Unit's blister actually comes with one of the buddy drones in it, but unfortunately for some reason mine contained one belonging to the Algoryn by mistake. Rather generously however, "Warlord Games" have since sent me a three-model metal sprue as a replacement.
Boromite Overseer Squad
Unsurprisingly, I used exactly the same palette on my Spotter Drone as I have used for my soldiers. Costing just 10 points, the device "can relay information from their sensors directly into their unit's combat shard" and "share information with other spotter drones". On the battlefield this means one of its primary uses will be to allow me to "re-roll one miss each time" a unit shoots "so long as at least one spotter drone has line of sight to the target."

By way of a distraction from all the Boromites' intricate detail, I have managed to spend some hobby-time assembling one of the two airlocks uncovered by an earthquake in the "Dungeons & Dragons" module "Expedition To Barrier Peaks". In essence I have drilled away a portion of an old resin rock formation by either “Terrain Warehouse UK” or “Total System Scenic”, and fitted to it one of my recently acquired airlocks sold by "Second City Games".
"Expedition To Barrier Peaks" WIPs - The uncovered air lock has been primed, layered and washed
Admittedly, on its own the scenic piece looks as if the entranceway probably leads no-where. But once painted and on an appropriately decorated tabletop, it should hopefully appear to lead to a service lift which will then convey its occupants down to the submerged spaceship's officials, officers and technicians quarters...

Monday, 10 July 2017

"The Entire Dalek Race, Wiped Out In One Second."

"Today the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war."
This 28mm scale model of a Dalek is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be assembled from one of the plastic sprues found within the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game". Conceived by Terry Nation and designed by Raymond Cusick in 1963, these particular sculpts are based upon Henry van Statten's so-called "Metaltron" shell, which first appeared in the April 2005 BBC Television series story "Dalek".

Unhappily for this particular "easy-fit plastic" miniature however, I was somehow completely unable to push the model's two halves together, and resultantly, it 'broke' when I applied a little too much pressure to it whilst using a pair of pliers. Fortunately though, the damaged figure was far from being useless to me and having super-glued it to one of the 40mm thin-lipped circular bases I use for objective markers, it was 'transformed' into a Dalek casualty.
Crushed Car WIP - The trashed motor vehicle has been layered with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey
Indeed, I was so taken with this micro-project that not only did I simply place the aggressive alien's piece of broken fender next to its leaning outer casing, but re-aligned the direction his head dome was facing, cut off his disruptor gun, drilled a hole into the blast weapon's housing, and finally tore a semi-large hole through its skirt and adjoining sense globes. Needless to say, the Kaled Mark III travel machine now looked considerably more distressed and was quickly primed with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.

As I very much wanted the destroyed Dalek to still tie-in with the mutant's Time War mechanical shells, I next gave the model a double coat of Brass, washed it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and applied a rough dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass. I then 'picked out' the extra-terrestrial's eye stalk and control arm with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and painted the Daleks' audio scanners with a combination of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey. As a last touch, I used some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to coat the pepper pots' fenders and then dry-brushed them with some "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal.
Boromite Gang Fighters WIPs - These two aliens are being painted from the ground up 
One of my favourite purchases from the recent "Bovington Wargamers Show" was a couple of Crushed Cars sold by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". These hefty pieces of solid resin should hopefully make an interesting scenic piece for my "Metamorphosis Alpha" tabletop, especially as I plan to flock one with snow, so I can use it for the starship Warden's medieval-themed deck...  

Lastly, I am continuing to make some slight progress with my Boromites for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". These sci-fi miniatures produced by “Warlord Games” have previously proved a somewhat difficult painting subject for me, on account of all their instruments, armour and equipment. But having now started to actually 'cut in' their grey rocky hide as I go, rather than wait until I've finished painting their firearms, I'm finding the extra-terrestrials a bit more manageable, and am currently tackling two at a time.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

"Credo!"

"I am the shape of things to come - The Lord of the Flies - Holder of the Sword Sinister..."
This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of Nemesis The Warlock is miniature number 109 from the Indy “Heroclix” range. Originally created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill in 1980 as an anti-hero for a series of one-off stories inspired by popular music within "the British comic anthology 2000 A.D.", the "fire-breathing demonic alien" would go on to make semi-regular appearances for the next nineteen years and end his days haunting the Earth in a spectral form, tied to the extra-terrestrial's organic spaceship, the Blitzspear.

Before painting this miniature, I first removed its horribly bendy Sword Sinister and replaced it with a far sturdier double-handed variant from the "Frostgrave" Soldiers sprue sold by "North Star Military Figures". The Warlock was then primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and had both his armour and hand-weapon 'picked out' with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
Legion Cybermen WIPs - The silver giants have been washed, in preparation of dry-brushing and detailing
Predominantly dark(ish) green in the comic book illustrations I sourced, Nemesis' flesh was initially layered with "Vallejo" Heavy Green and subsequently shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being highlighted with more "Vallejo" Heavy Green. His great sweeping cloak was similarly painted, albeit using "Vallejo" Heavy Red" and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Finally, I picked out the freedom fighter's eyes with some "Vallejo" White.

With the "mysterious leader of the secret resistance organisation Credo" finished, I have been able to turn my eye back upon a couple of metal miniatures from the "Warlord Games" "Nightmares In Silver" collectors set. The East Midlands-based manufacturer plans of releasing both the Vashta Nerada and (Jon Pertwee era) Sea Devils later this month, and despite neither box actually containing any of the recruitment cards needed to field them for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", I'm rather keen on getting the models painted and on my tabletop. As a result I'm really going to need to 'crack on' with these silver giants and steadily work my way back through their numerous incarnations...
Hammerer WIPs - The constructs have been shaded, dry-brushed and distressed
Lastly, I am close to finishing work on the three metal "Chainmail" Hammerer models I want to use for an upcoming "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" scenario based upon the "Dungeons & Dragons" module "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks". Sent to a cargo hatch by "a computer malfunction", I'm hoping to use these formidably-sized metal miniatures to represent the worker robots who "promptly cleared" the opening of fallen earth and stone, and unloaded the crashed spacecraft's "requisite cargo" of various alien fauna and flora.

Armed with huge, pincer-like claws and enormous hammer-shaped limbs, I've actually stepped away from the grisly, bloody-splattered colour scheme suggested by "Wizards Of The Coast" for these Jim Warner sculpts, and instead gone for a more rusty appearance; something arguably far more suitable for an automaton who has simply been stood motionless within the confines of a seemingly inactive exploration-colonisation vessel for "several decades".

Thursday, 6 July 2017

"...Kneel Before Zod!"

"Our damnation became our salvation." 
This 35mm metal model of General Zod is made by "Knight Models" and comes from the company's "DC Universe Miniature Game" range. Taken from the 2013 superhero film "Man Of Steel", the sculpt captures the likeness of Superman's arch-nemesis and the head of Krypton's Military Guild, as played by actor Michael Shannon.

Sold as a two-piece "white metal kit", along with two Guild Warriors, the sprue actually comes with both the super-villain's rather recognisable bearded bare head, as well as one wearing his protective helmet. Both of these 'bitz' seemed to easily fit in place inside the top of the megalomaniacal Kryptonian's elaborate neck armour, but as I always like to see the face of my models where possible, I went with the uncovered version and simply super-glued it in place.
General Zod WIPs - The 35mm scale miniature's armour was layered, washed and dry-brushed
Having attached Robert Bernstein and George Papp's comic book creation upon a 30mm lipped circular base, as opposed to the pre-moulded stand which comes inside the plastic blister, I primed Zod with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and then painted all of his "extremely durable Kryptonian alloy" armour with "Vallejo"" Gunmetal Grey. "Scavenged... from one of the many abandoned Kryptonian colonies scattered throughout the universe" the General's protective covering is described as being "silver in colour", yet appears in all the pictures I've referenced to be rather muted and dark nonetheless. Resultantly, I washed the armour with two layers of "Citadel" Nuln Oil in order to try and capture that effect and only then, very lightly dry-brushed it with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.

With the criminal's armour completed, I 'picked out' all the exposed areas of the Phantom Zone prisoner's Male Kryptonian Suit with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and heavily dry-brushed his cloak, hair and beard with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. These areas were subsequently shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before I finished his face using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
Time War Cybermen WIPs - The silver giants have been layered and washed
I've yet to field General Zod in the "DC Universe Miniature Game", but the Kryptonian's apparent resistance to both Physical and Energy damage, as well as his Superpunch, Heat Vision, Superattack and "Martial Pride", would appear to make him an aggressive piece on the tabletop. In addition, coupled with Faora and Nam-Ek, "these villainous reinforcements" seemingly produce 50 Levels of "brute force, mobility, and lots and lots of stamina" that "are the best option for taking on the powerful Son of Krypton."

Alongside one of Superman's "greatest enemies", I have also made some healthy progress on the last of my plastic Cybermen from my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" starter box, as well as the metal Time War version found within the "Warlord Games" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Not only have these miniatures been undercoated and subsequently painted "Citadel" Ironbreaker, but all four models have been washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil...

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Nightmares In Silver" July 2017

Nightmares In Silver WIPS - The Cybermen have all been based and primed
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my 'mountainous' collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been well and truly side-tracked by some of "Warlord Games" recent releases for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" rule-set. In particular, the company's awesome looking "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set, which contains "ten exquisitely sculpted pewter Cyberman figures - each representing the major changes in appearance as they faced the many incarnations of the Doctor through the years."

Having already based and primed these metal models with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, I have also assembled the final three "highly detailed" plastic Time War Cybermen I have left over from my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" boxed game, and added their number to my mini-project's aspirational target tally. Indeed, it would actually be quite nice to add some additional "easy-fit" miniatures from the "Missy And The Cybermen" Expansion Set to my swelling Cyber Legion if I can find the time...
Torquemada WIPs - The Grand Master has had all his armour's tiny details washed and highlighted
Stepping into the world of "2000 A.D." comic book characters I have also made some great progress on my "Wargames Foundry" sculpt of  Tomás de Torquemada. This "Nemesis The Warlock" villain has now had all his armour's numerous hydraulic attachments washed, and in some cases, highlighted, so resultantly just needs some additional red highlights before being finished.

Lastly, one of the highlights of this past weekend was meeting up once again with Dave Stone of "Wargames Terrain Workshop" fame at the "Bovington Wargamers Show". Needless to say our conversation became increasingly expensive as Dave plied me with his extensive wares and showed off some of his latest resin creations, such as the Wasteland Overlord.
Soda Machine WIPs - The vending dispensers have do far been primed, washed, dry-brushed and 'rusted'
Foremost of my purchases was undoubtedly his Wild West Scenery Mine Shaft and Cart, which actually comes complete with rails and rolling stock. But it is actually a pair of Soda Machines from Dave's Future City Scenics range, which have made their way to the top of my terrain painting queue.

Wonderfully colourful, with lots of brightly lit buttons and garish advertising when painted normally, I've actually decided to paint both vending dispensers as long-forgotten and heavily-rusted appliances from a bygone era. And hope to therefore use one piece for my "Metamorphosis Alpha" campaign (which will require the rusty wreckage to be flocked with snow) and the other for my grass-based "Gamma World" games...