Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Boromite Guilds Are All That They Have Of A Home..."

"...For long ago the Boromites spread to the ends of the Antarean universe."
This 28mm metal Boromite Work Ganger is manufactured by "Warlord Games" and comes as part of the Boromite Work Gang boxed set for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". "Supplied unassembled and unpainted" this extra-terrestrial miner is the third of five miniatures I require in order for me to field a 123-point Reflex Armour-wearing unit armed with Mass Compactors and Implosion Grenades.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figure was washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had a layer of Chaos Black applied over all its weaponry, ammunition packs and hip-flask. The alien's metallic areas, including its firearm's nozzle, were subsequently treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst its pouch was painted using a mix of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, Heavy Red and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Johnny Alpha & Wulf Sternhammer WIPs - The Search/Destroy agents have been primed
The Boromite's Mass Compactor had its hand-grips and main body slightly corroded with a light touch of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash and I 'picked out' the weapon's power lighting with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. Finally, the model's yellow(ish) armour, his "separate multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" and mining tool's distortion compensator were all coloured by heavily washing a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre with some "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.

Supposedly "released this Saturday & available in your local gaming stores" I'm already discovering my "inner mutant" by assembling Johnny Alpha, Wulf Sternhammer and Gronk from the "Strontium Dog Starter Game: The Good, the Bad and the Mutie" by "Warlord Games". These "central heroes" from the "2000 A.D." comic book series look very crisp metal sculpts indeed, and are accompanied within the box by an MDF flat-packed seven-piece Solar Farm scenery set made from MDF by Sarissa Precision.
The Stix Brothers & Gronk WIPs - All the models have been undercoated
Along with the obligatory rule-book, cards and tokens, the "great value" starter set also contains models of the infamous outlaws responsible for Wulf's death in Prog 465, "the notorious Max Bubba and four of his gang – Impetigo Jones, Brute Mosely, Skull and Low-Down O’Phee." However, rather than assemble them I've decided to start on my favourite Search/ Destroy agency contractors instead, the infamous Stix brothers.

Coming "from an unknown number of apparently identical mutants" these "ice-hearted killers" who "affect the look of gunfighters from Earth’s Old West" appear as if artist Carlos Ezquerra has somehow managed to actually pencil them in white metal, and arrived bundled alongside their Character card, Armoury cards (Gas Bomb and Frag Bomb) and Chicanery card (Stone Cold)...

Monday, 16 July 2018

"Of Course, Lager! The Only Thing That Can Kill A Vindaloo!"

"There's only three alternatives: it thinks we're either a threat, food or a mate..."
This 28mm miniature of Charley was made by "Y.F.T. Design Studio" and forms part of the company's limited release 'Scarlet Midget' - Cosplay Away Team. Clearly a "doppleganger" for Craig Charles' character in the "British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf", the "lowest ranking crewman" was originally undercoated using two coats of "Vallejo" Black, subsequently dry-brushed with Heavy Charcoal and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

At first I had planned to add some extra colour to the third-class technician by stepping somewhat away from his more recent all-black clothing palette and giving him a red London Jets Zero-Gee football team T-Shirt underneath his leather jacket. Unfortunately however, the paint on this particular figure persistently flaked off for no discernible reason, even after varnishing, so it soon became clear that even my attempt to apply various shades of dark grey across Lister's clothing were doomed to fail...
"This week's Red Dwarf contains scenes which are unsuitable for younger viewers..."
Resultantly, I re-pigmented the majority of 'Cloister the Stupid' with more "Vallejo" Black and used a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker with Nuln Oil for his blazooka. I also applied some "Vallejo" Dead White to the skull and crossbones stitched across the self-proclaimed bum's back and 'picked out' some metallic adornments upon his coat with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and "Vallejo" Brass. These areas were later shaded using "Citadel" Nuln Oil and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade respectively.

I did however manage to get some colour onto the pantheist by using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red on his leg scarf and left sleeve. These scraps of clothing were washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil to help grunge them up, and then carefully dry-brushed with a bit of extra "Vallejo" Heavy Red in order to try and bring out some of their detail. 
Doombot & She-Hulk WIPs - The robot and super-heroine are slowly being blocked and shaded
Undoubtedly the biggest problem I had with this model though, was a slight miscast over Charley's face. Having viewed the sculpt's computer rendering and some of the photographed crisp-looking castings on the "Y.F.T. Design" website, I applied "Citadel" Doombull Brown over his head and hands, washed them with (more) Strong Tone Quickshade and attempted to 'dot in' the man's eyes as close to where they should have been as I could...

With two of my "Nexus Miniatures" finished, I have continued to make some good progress on some far more straightforward plastic "Wizkids" models I plan to use in order to extend my recent Fantastic Four verses Doctor Doom campaign. Despite being an old "Heroclix" sculpt from the November 2002 "Clobberin' Time" range I'm hoping She-Hulk will provide the super-talented quartet with some additional punching power, whilst I've actually dug out a handful more Doombots to add to Victor's robotic Latverian force.  

Friday, 13 July 2018

"Look, That Rabbit's Got A Vicious Streak A Mile Wide, It's A Killer!"

"He's got huge, sharp -- he can leap about -- look at the bones!"
This 27mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of a Demon Bunny is miniature number 040 from the "Horrorclix" Nightmares range and has been re-painted slightly differently from its original palette in order to closer resemble the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Guarding "the home of the Legendary Black Beast of Arrrghhh (named for the last utterance of anyone who ever saw it)", the terrible monster with "nasty, big, pointy teeth" appeared in the 1975 British slapstick comedy film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

"Portrayed in the movie by both a real rabbit and a prop", the miniature was carefully cut from its 'clicky-base' and super-glued on to a 40mm circular stand before being primed "Vallejo" Dead White. The long-eared, formidable-looking fluffy animal was then washed with Pale Grey, before being dry-brushed using (more) Dead White and having its nose 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Black.
Doombot & She-Hulk WIPs - The robot and super-heroine are slowly being blocked and shaded
In the "wicked fun" collectable miniatures game, this "harmless little bunny" transforms into a paranormal demon upon slaying its first victim, and resultantly its sculpt appeared to have been strongly influenced by the grotesquely mutated rabbit which is pulled from out of a hat during "Twilight Zone: The Movie". As this wasn't necessarily the look I wanted I therefore simply left the inside of its mouth "Vallejo" Black (as opposed to red) and washed it's sharp Dead White incisors with a serious splash of "Citadel" Bloodletter.

I then took a piece of blusher pad, and dabbed around the "innocuous" rabbit's already glaze-stained teeth with some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. This Shade really helped darken parts of the model's mouth and jaws, as if the furry fiend had just dispatched the hapless knight, Bors. As a final touch I also applied some (more) Bloodletter to the animal's "Vallejo" Heavy Red eyes.
100mm x 100mm x 60mm MDF WIP - The MDF box/building has been assembled and covered in 3D decals
Sticking with "Wizkids" pre-painted models, and enthused by some recent battles involving the Fantastic Four fighting Doctor Doom using homemade rules, I have also started progressing a couple more "Heroclix" miniatures which I plan to utilise for a third tabletop instalment to the super-group's campaign. Hoping to add a bit more muscle to Reed Richards' quartet I have returned to an old figure of She-Hulk that I started painting some months ago, and similarly turned my attention to an especially robotic-looking member of Victor Doom's legion of Doombot minions.

Lastly, I've assembled yet another of the MDF boxes I recently bought from Tepic2000 on "Ebay" to create a Cyber-City tabletop for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!". An accommodating 100mm x 100mm x 60mm in size, I've applied many more of the 3D decals "N-FX Game Design Studio" very kindly gifted me recently to its surfaces and lid, and hope to have the science fiction building finished over the next few days...

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

"The Ways Of The Earthmen Are Devious."

"Obviously they are preparing the next stage of their plan."
This 39mm-tall "pewter" model of a Draconian Bodyguard is sold by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of their "Draconians" boxed set. Based upon the "tall, reptilian species" whose Empire in the Twenty Fifth Century rivalled that of Earth, the scaly-skinned extra-terrestrials made their first appearance in Malcolm Hulke's February 1973 BBC television story "Frontier In Space" and would later be "among the races who... helped imprison the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica in order to save the universe."

Initially primed using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, the highly honourable alien's limbs and head were pigmented using Heavy Brown and a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The warrior's robes were then shaded with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and carefully dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green".
Draconian Bodyguard WIPs - The alien needs his golden sashes to be highlighted and tidied up
"Led by the Emperor and his court of nobles", I decided upon a rather tabletop standard solution to my problem of the Draconian's lavishly embroidered oriental-looking shoulder pads and golden flowing sashes, by simply applying both some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Brass to these areas, before later washing them with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

Later I delicately drew some additional "Vallejo" Brass over the costume's ridges in order to highlight all the intricate patterns woven onto the material, and tidied up some of the adjoining Heavy Green areas with a thin line of watered-down Black. As a final touch I 'picked out' the soldier's hand-weapon with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a dash of Nuln Oil.
100mm x 100mm x 60mm MDF WIPs - The MDF box/building has been painted "Citadel" Ironbreaker
With the first of my three Draconian Bodyguards finished, I have already been slowly working my way through the aforementioned stages on two other identical miniatures. Admittedly, I only actually need two to use for their Recruitment card in "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", but as I have three, I thought I might as well continue to paint them all at the same time.

In addition, I've spent some more time working on the MDF boxes I recently bought from Tepic2000 on "Ebay" to create a Cyber-City tabletop. I have begun sloppily shading a "Citadel" Ironbreaker undercoated 100mm x 100mm x 60mm building with Nuln Oil, and, using some more of the 3D decals "N-FX Game Design Studio" very kindly gifted me, applied a number vents, electronic interfaces and metallic panels to a second smaller facility.

Monday, 9 July 2018

"No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where Would All The Calculators Go?"

"I haven't been this embarrassed since I was loosening my adjustment screws..."
"Cast in White Metal", this 28mm miniature of Kry-10 was made by "Y.F.T. Design" and forms part of the company's limited release 'Scarlet Midget' - Cosplay Away Team. Clearly a "lookalike" for Robert Llewellyn's character in the "British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf", the Series III mechanoid was initially primed using some "Vallejo" Black and subsequently dry-brushed with Gunmetal Grey.

The robot butler 's groin socket, hand-held cleaning device and central circular chest panel were then 'picked out' using "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before the figure was entirely washed with Nuln Oil. The automaton's hands and cube-shaped head were later pigmented using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.
Wildfyre & Dibber WIPs - The two alter-ego "Red Sector" characters have simply been based and primed
As a last touch Kryten's head was additionally given a careful, light dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone in order to try and bring out some of its angular details. I did momentarily consider basing the miniature on a science-fiction themed stand, but in the end went with my age-old mix of "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade so it would fit in with the vast majority of my other finished figures.

With the first of my four Grant-Naylor influenced "clean-up crew" completed, I have actually set about assembling a couple more figures from the "Nexus Miniatures" range to add to my painting queue. Sculpted by Carl Stoelzel these two "instantly recognisable cosplay sci-fi comedy" characters are Arnold 'Ace' Wildfyre and D. Wayne 'Rocky' Dibber.
Boromite Work Gang Leader WIPs - The alien miner still needs his detailed Mass Compactor painted
However, its clear that the Space Adventurers make excellent-looking doppelgangers for Ace Rimmer and the dorky alter-ego of the Cat, Duane Dibbley. I'm especially pleased to get my hands on Arnold, as the sculpt's original planned pose proved somewhat problematic prior to casting on account of him holding a firing pistol in his right hand. I understand the hand-weapon proved too difficult to successfully cast, so was delayed in order for the model's stance to be altered and the gun removed.

Finally I am currently working on a Boromite Work Gang Leader for “Beyond The Gates Of Antares” by “Warlord Games”. I actually had to purchase this particular figure separately from the Nottingham-based manufacturer having lost the original one from my boxed set, and then recently discovered the AWOL alien miner during a big clear up. Despite this though, I had decided to stick to painting my replacement miniature in order to establish whether using a "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre undercoat will make the time-consuming piece quicker to paint...

Friday, 6 July 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Fantastic Four - The Black Panther Strikes - Part Two

THE BLACK PANTHER BATTLES ONE OF VICTOR VON DOOM'S METALLIC MINIONS
"The story so far… Doctor Doom has reactivated the super-strong android, Dragon Man and plans to use the automaton to kill the royal leader of Wakanda. Deducing the Latverian's scheme to usurp T'Challa's throne, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four have intercepted the mad tyrant's assassination squad, and together with the Black Panther plan to put a stop to the diabolical plot..."
THE TABLETOP - A DESERTED PART OF NEW YORK CITY

Sue Storm-Richards continued to head east to contest Objective Five (Drinks Machine) with Dragon Man, whilst Ben Grimm slowly followed up behind her. Eager to bring his vibranium claws to bear upon his country's enemies, the Black Panther charged into the Doombot stood just north of the car [Attack: 4 + 2 dice for the Charge]. The chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan sliced through the automaton's defences [Heavy Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 5 or 6] and it exploded into a dozen burning pieces.

Meanwhile Reed Richards curled himself up into a ball and bounced into the gap between Objective One (Bin) and Objective Three (Debris). To his south, his fiery brother-in-law hurled a fireball at the Doombot approaching Objective Three, but discovered his attack was just out of range [Short Range: 10 inches].

With the battle now at its midway point, the Fantastic Four pressed forward with both T'Challa and the super-team's ultra-intelligent bendy-limbed leader charging into the Doombot which the Human Torch had moments before unsuccessfully tried to fry. The humanoid robot was crushed to pieces by the 'dynamic duo', and provided an ailing Johnny Storm with an opportunity to fly back to Objective Two (Grave) and secure it.
MISTER FANTASTIC, T'CHALLA, THE HUMAN TORCH AND THE THING IN ACTION
Further south-east The Thing continued his ponderous run towards Dragon Man, and quickened his pace when he saw Invisible Woman's force field missile simply bounce off of the formidably-sized android's skin [Heavy Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 5 or 6].

Having infuriatingly witnessed two of his three mechanical minions fall to the power of his hated arch-enemies, Doctor Doom ordered Professor Gregson Gilbert's creation to charge into Benjamin Grimm and watched with some satisfaction as the huge dragon-sized automaton pounded upon the hero's rocky hide [Attack: 3 + 2 dice for the Charge]. Fortunately for Aunt Petunia's favourite nephew though, only one of the blows actually did any lasting damage, and the Thing had plenty more left in the gas tank yet [Mass: 5].

With an angry yell, Latveria's benevolent monarch aimed one of his armoured gauntlets in the direction of the Black Panther, and momentarily gave a satisfied sneer behind his metal mask's face-plate as he saw his energy blast wound the king of Wakanda [Shooting: 2 dice]. Nearby, the tyrant's sole-surviving Doombot took a pot-shot at Sue Storm-Richards, but missed.
REED RICHARDS AND SUE STORM-RICHARDS TACKLE THE EVIL DOCTOR DOOM
Despite being under-fire, Invisible Woman reached Objective Five (Drinks Machine), and momentarily paused to watch The Thing impressively dent Dragon Man's artificial casing [Attack: 5 dice]. To the north-west, the Black Panther retreated back to the relative safety of Objective One (Bin), leaving Mister Fantastic to go toe-to-toe with Victor Von Doom; a brawl which saw Reed Richards successfully wound the "skilled sorcerer".

The time for words or even ranged attacks was clearly over, as the final Doombot flew across the battlefield into Invisible Woman. Ably protected by her psionic force field [Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 6], the female human mutate was unharmed, as was her husband, courtesy of his rubbery-flesh, when Doctor Doom punched him a mere second or two later.

Sadly, Ben Grimm did not come away from his bout with Dragon Man quite as unscathed, and suffered another wound at the clawed hands of the monstrously-winged robot.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR BRAVELY BATTLE THE FORCES OF DOCTOR DOOM
The contest's final round degenerated into a total punch-fest as both Sue Storm-Richards and her metallic counter-part exchanged superficial blows with one another. Whilst the Thing found his usually solid legs start to weaken as the supernatural villain he faced struck home with yet another powerful punch. Meanwhile "the son of a Romani witch" continued to ineffectively pummel away at Mister Fantastic's elastic torso, desperately trying to land a telling blow upon his most hated rival.

But time had to an end for Victor Von Doom, and with the Fantastic Four revealing seven Victory Points worth of Objectives to the Latverian dictator's zero, it was clear he had completely failed in his bid to seize the day and replace T'Challa as Wakanda's ruler...

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

"When The Cybermen Entered The Telos System, They Took Over The Planet..."

"...Using the cities as cryogenic facilities."
This 70mm x 70mm x 42mm square MDF box was bought from Tepic2000 on Ebay, and converted into a simple futuristic building for my Cyber-City by using several of the excellent 3D decals sold by “N-FX Game Design Studio”. Undoubtedly a fairly straightforward ‘kit-bash’, the tiny installation will be the first of several science-fiction structures I plan to use in order to help recreate the Cybermen’s catacombs on the planet “Telos”; a “grey, barren, rocky world” which first appeared on the BBC Television show “Doctor Who” in the September 1967 story “The Tomb Of The Cybermen”.

Having assembled the box and its lid without any major difficulties using some PVA glue, I affixed a number of 3D decals over its numerous surfaces in order to try and replicate grills, grates and electronic panels. These ‘details’ are self-adhesive and despite sticking to the wood very well indeed, could still be peeled away from the surface and re-aligned whenever I made a slight mistake in their orientation.
"The Cybermen disappeared sometime in the 21st Century... following defeats around human-occupied space."
The sheer amount of different decals Nik Hull has created for this range is breath-taking, and one of my main priorities for this ‘test piece’ was to try and utilise a broad number of them. As a result I felt a hatchway on top of the building would be highly appropriate, along with a series of control boards and ventilation systems around its sides. Once I was happy with the look of the installation I gave the entire entire ensemble an undercoat of “Vallejo” Black.

I then applied two coats of “Citadel” Ironbreaker over the structure, and subsequently heavily washed it with Nuln Oil. I applied this shade incredibly haphazardly, as I wanted the ‘box and its lid’ to appear rather grungy. In addition, I decided at this stage that I wasn’t going to worry too much about it’s interior and base, as these were in all likelihood never going to be seen. Finally, I gave the building a rough dry-brush of (more) “Citadel” Ironbreaker in order to help bring all the “N-FX Game Design Studio” decals to the fore...
Draconian Bodyguard and Staal WIPs - The reptilian humanoid is almost finished
With the tiny MDF installation finished, and my second somewhat larger box being primed, I have somewhat shifted focus upon a handful of Draconian models I need to finish in order to field the “reptilian humanoids” for “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” I’ve already previously completed the faction’s "Unique" Draconian Noble, and now plan to paint three "Brave" Draconian Bodyguards up. I actually only need two of these interstellar imperialists for “Warlord Games” rule-set, but thought I might as well progress the trio of miniatures at the same time.

In addition, the Nottingham-based company has recently kindly gifted me a few Sontarans, so I thought it would only be polite for me to start work on the clone force’s leader General Staal. Commander of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet, the “stubborn” soldier is accompanied by two bodyguards, and a plethora of troops, so should give me plenty of opportunity to get reacquainted with one of my favourite “Vallejo” acrylic colour paints, Gunmetal Blue.

Monday, 2 July 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Red Dwarf" July 2018

"Red Dwarf" WIPs - Dave Lister and Kryten
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my concerning, ever-growing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will focus on a selection of recently arrived models previously produced by "Y.F.T. Design" as part of their "Nexus Miniatures" range. Clearly heavily-influenced by Grant Naylor's British science fiction comedy programme "Red Dwarf", I hope to initially paint up four of these now OOP Perkūnas Mining Corporation "Scarlet Midget" Cosplay Starship Crew figures over the next few weeks, and perhaps then turn to some of the television series' other memorable characters; Ace Rimmer, Dwayne Dibley, Mister Flibble, Kristine Kochanski and Holly.

To begin with though I'll be focusing upon Charley, Felix, Barry and Kry-10. All of whom will make excellent proxies for Dave Lister, Cat, Arnold Rimmer and Kryten. To be honest they're a bit of a mixed bunch, with "The Last Human" proving particularly frustratingly on account of his metal figure stubbornly refusing to take any paint despite being repeatedly primed and 'touched up'.
"Red Dwarf" WIPs - Arnold Rimmer and the Cat
Indeed, even a simple dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal" caused his undercoat to peel away in places. Very annoying, as I was hoping to make the third-class technician's predominantly black palette a bit more interesting by using a variety of different greys. Now though, the plan is simply to keep the miniature "Vallejo" Black and perhaps as a final stage shade a few different areas with "Citadel" Nuln Oil; a technique which strangely does cause a change in the base layer's  colour.

Fortunately, I have had less problems with Kryten, who has already been primed, dry-brushed and washed, and is ready for some detailing. "Y.F.T. Design" also kindly sent me three separate bazookoids with which to use for conversions, and I was sorely tempted to try and provide the "Series III mechanoid" with one. Ultimately though I thought that would prove too difficult and time-consuming, so I've stuck with the model's original hand-tool instead.
Mister Freeze's "Gotham City" crew
I'll also be leaving the sculpts of Rimmer and the Cat alone too, as the computer-generated hologram's pose isn't very convertible, and Frankenstein's extravagantly dressed descendent is already carrying one of the heavy-weapons. Both of these miniatures should prove fairly straightforward to finish on account of Arnold being almost entirely green and Danny John-Jules' character wearing a lot of black...

Lastly, I have finished the third and final “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy I previously converted for this year's annual "Forgotten Heroes" challenge. Apart from using "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Leviathan Purple for his clothing, this member of Mister Freeze's "Cold Pack" has been painted in exactly the same manner as his two peers, and should provide Victor Fries with some cryogenically-enhanced 'muscle'.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

"There'll Be A Cold Time In The Old Town Tonight!"

"This man's jaw feels like it's made of solid ice!"
These two 37mm tall “Wizkids” models of Solomon Grundy are both miniature number 018 from the Arkham Asylum DC Comics "Heroclix" range and have been converted into members of Mister Freeze's "Cold Pack" for this year's annual "Forgotten Heroes" challenge. Based upon the poor unfortunate millionaires who foolishly underwent one of Victor Fries' cryogenic treatments in an attempt to have their lifespans greatly increased, the living zombies first appeared in the February 1979 edition of "Batman" and were created by Len Wein and penciler John Calnan.

As the plastic pre-painted models originally carried a formidable-looking tree branch, they both had to momentarily suffer under the blade of a sharp modelling knife so as to appear as empty-handed as they do in the "DC Comics" publication. I then primed one with two layers of "Vallejo" USA Olive Drab and the other with Charred Brown.
Volturnos WIPs - The High King's mount has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
The "failed experiments commanded by Freeze" subsequently had their shoes painted in "Vallejo" Black and their frozen flesh layered with Dead White. Their icy skin was later shaded using a little watered-down "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade and patiently dry-brushed with some (more) "Vallejo" Dead White.

I was briefly perplexed over the choice of colour for my Cold Pack members' shirts. They were always going to be predominantly "Vallejo" Dead White, but I was somewhat worried this 'whiteness' might easily merge in with their pallid undead flesh if I simply washed the areas with some Pale Grey. In the end I therefore applied some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" over their ragged shirts, as well as more heavily across their jacket and trousers.  
Stormcast Eternals WIPs - Sigmar's warriors have all had their armour layered
With two of my planned three ice zombies finished before the "Forgotten Heroes" deadline, I have started to make some increasing inroads on my Idoneth Deepkin general for "Age Of Sigmar", their Akhelian King, Volturnos. The Sea Aelf High King's serpentine mount has now been primed, shaded and dry-brushed along with it's base's marine-based scatter terrain, and I'm hoping to turn my attention to the water-beast's rider over the next week or so.

In addition, along with the Errant-Questor I recently purchased from "Warhammer World", I have also progressed the three "Games Workshop" Stormcast Eternals which come in the Nottingham-based company's "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" starter set. These "Sigmarines" are incredibly detailed and well-posed, and more importantly can also be used for an Order Army on the "Age Of Sigmar" battlefield too.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

"I'm The Dandy Highwayman..."

"...Who you're too scared to mention."
This 40mm tall metal model of a Dandy Highway-Fox is sold by “Oathsworn Miniatures", and can be bought as Code BB69 from their "Burrows And Badgers" range. Originally part of the County Durham-based company's "Fur And Feathers" kickstarter, Dead-Eye Jack comes equipped with a formidable-looking pistol.

The hefty omnivorous mammal was super-glued onto a 40mm plastic circular lipped base, and primed using a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Black Green. I then washed the cunning creature's long scoundrel coat with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and 'picked out' his long boots, holster, leather straps and Tricorn hat using some "Vallejo" Black.
"Stand and deliver!"
The dashing rogue's breeches were pigmented with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, his coat's underside with Heavy Sienna and his leather waistcoat with Charred Brown. All of these areas were subsequently treated to a wash of Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". In addition I 'highlighted' a couple of buttons with "Vallejo" Brass.

As I wanted this miniature to particularly stand-out on the table-top as a result of being my warband's leader, I used the rather vivid "Vallejo" Dark Vermillion for his fur, dampened it down with a splash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and then brought back some of its reddish colour with a hearty dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Dark Vermillion.
"Heroclix" Solomon Grundy WIPs - The undead criminal is slowly being transformed into three ice zombies
Once this was finished, I slowly started drawing "Vallejo" Dead White over the fox's tail and nose in order to increasingly build up the animal's distinctive pelage. Lastly, I used the combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to paint the majority of the bold bandit's firing piece, belt buckle and cocked hat pins.

With my "Burrows And Badgers" warband now complete, I have had more time to progress the 'converted' "Heroclix" pieces I am submitting for this year's "Forgotten Heroes" challenge. Having initially intended to work on five Solomon Grundy "Wizkids" miniatures, I've actually since decided to scale down my plans and simply produce three ice zombies for Mister Freeze to use as mindless minions. Not only does this total make the mini-project far more manageable, but it also means Victor Fries' ordinary goons won't be out-numbered by the more specialist, heavy-hitters; a far more realistic ratio in my mind.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

"Warhammer World" Loot 2018

"Warhammer World" - The main building complete with giant statue and "Warhammer 40K" game display
This past weekend saw the start of what will hopefully be a semi-regular pilgrimage to Lenton Lane, Nottingham, and the supposed "Mecca for collectors and gamers across the globe" known as Warhammer World. I haven't actually visited the global headquarters of the "Games Workshop" hobby since its early days, and was surprised by just how many different games, genres and miniatures the company currently produce. Certainly, I found my willpower simply to pick-up the odd little trinket wilting the moment I arrived and came face-to-face with the place's gigantic statue of a Space Marine and Rhino armoured troop carrier.

Having therefore found myself already considerably enthused with "Warhammer 40K" I set foot inside the Visitor Centre and promptly came face-to-face with a marvellous display of Ultramarines storming an incredibly detailed mining facility which had been unfortunate enough to fall prey to an infestation of Nurgle's chaotic disciples. Somewhat overshadowed by a formidably-sized statue of Lurtz from "The Lord Of The Rings", not to mention a second Space Marine (perhaps the original sculpt which stood outside?), this enclosed miniature display in some ways actually made me want to drive back home and start painting up the contents of my "Dark Imperium" boxed set straight away...
Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader - "Produced to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Warhammer 40,000" 
Naturally there was still plenty more to see, and resultantly I spent some time moving around the various downstairs display cabinets before venturing up into the building's main store. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for a manufacturer who is literally just about to release the second edition of their "Age Of Sigmar" rule-set though, it was not until I ventured up these steps that I started to notice its publicity; the vast majority of which came in the form of large cloth advertisement banners displaying some of the games more popular factions, such as the Stormcast and Daughters of Khaine.

However, as you can probably imagine, this momentarily banished all thoughts of their "dystopian science fantasy universe" from my mind and had me making a bee-line past the welcoming member of staff, and straight to their substantial "Age Of Sigmar" miniature exhibits. It was at this point though that I realised I really had ill-prepared myself for the sheer volume of plastic, metal and resin "Games Workshop" produce, and the presence of "Forge World" and their entire resin range didn't help matters either.
Errant-Questor WIP - The Stormcast Eternal has been assembled, based and primed
Luckily I was able to take a moments breather and libation at the wonderfully atmospheric Bugman's Bar, before returning to the store area and pressing on with my plan to view every single model on display. This refreshing respite momentarily allowed me to regain my wits and logically decide to only purchase from the centre's 'exclusive' range, rather than rampage through the fully-packed aisles of wares which I could doubtless purchase online (and at a significantly reduced cost).

To that end I was rather pleased to simply walk away with just a "special edition facsimile" of the original "Warhammer 40,000" rule-book, in order to replace my badly battered copy of "Rogue Trader", and the rather enigmatic-looking Errant-Questor multi-part plastic model for the Stormcast Eternals. Of course, paying £20 for a single average-sized miniature, even when it comes in a myriad of small fiddly pieces, is definitely not something I plan on doing everyday, especially when at one point I had been torn between purchasing either "the lone survivor of a retinue" or an entire "Blood Bowl" team for exactly the same price. But it was hopefully a one-off, and perhaps the start of another army for "Age Of Sigmar"...

Sunday, 24 June 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Fantastic Four - The Black Panther Strikes

THE FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE BLACK PANTHER BATTLE DOCTOR DOOM AND DRAGON MAN
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to quickly field a handful of my re-painted "Heroclix" miniatures, and took place upon the "Warlord Games" 32.5" x 22" rubber Science Fiction Playmat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of scenery produced by "Wargame-Model-Mods", “Wargames Terrain Workshop” and "Mantic Games"; most notably an abandoned vehicle, three ruined buildings and some street furniture.

The Fantastic Four, who started in the south-west consisted of the super-team's original line-up, Mister Fantastic (10pts), Invisible Girl (10pts), The Thing (10pts) and the Human Torch (10pts), as well as the Black Panther (10pts). Whilst Doctor Doom's forces began the fight in the north-east corner, and consisted of the Latverian Monarch himself (15pts), three Doombots (total 30pts) and Dragon Man. The New York City battlescape had five strategic locations, each worth an unknown number of victory points. These would only be revealed at the end of Turn Six, and could only be claimed by an unopposed unit touching it.
THE TABLETOP - A DESERTED PART OF NEW YORK CITY
"The story so far… Doctor Doom has reactivated the super-strong android, Dragon Man and plans to use the automaton to kill the royal leader of Wakanda. Deducing the Latverian's scheme to usurp T'Challa's throne, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four have intercepted the mad tyrant's assassination squad, and together with the Black Panther plan to put a stop to the diabolical plot..."
THE FANTASTIC FOUR ATTEMPT TO SAVE THE BLACK PANTHER FROM DOCTOR DOOM
Having won the initiative, Doctor Doom confidently strode [Move: 6"] to Objective Four (Oil Barrels) and from his position commanded his robotic slaves to fly up into the air and fan out south-west towards his hated opponents.

In response Sue Storm-Richards closed to within almost touching distance of Objective Two (Grave), whilst her younger brother flew fast [Move: 8"] beside her east towards Objective Five (Drinks Machine). The Thing slowly thundered along behind the pair [Move: 4"], admiringly watching the lighting quick Black Panther race away north-east in the direction of Objective One (Bin). Finally, Mister Fantastic rolled his rubbery-form up into a ball and bounced after the King of Wakanda.

"The first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics" swiftly reached Objective One [Move: 8"] and impatiently waited as Reed Richards approached. The Human Torch continued to fly east towards Objective Five (Drinks Machine), noting that his sister was somewhat behind his fiery trail. Ben Grimm lumbered up to Objective Two (Grave).
VICTOR VON DOOM SEIZES AN EARLY OBJECTIVE AS THE FANTASTIC FOUR SPREAD OUT
The super-heroes were making far too much progress for Victor Von Doom's liking, so with a motion of his armoured gauntlet, the Latverian ruler directed one of his three Doombots and Dragon Man [Move: 4"] to head ever closer to Objective Five (Drinks Machine). In the mean time the powerful Sorcerer ordered his remaining two Doombots north-west to tackle the Black Panther.

Doctor Doom fixed Johnny Storm with a hard stare, and chuckled as his armour's targeting sensor's locked onto the flaming human mutate's form. Laser beams poured out of the despot's metallic glove [Shooting: 2 dice] and caused a single wound. First blood to the super-villain, albeit the Human Torch was far from out of the fight yet.

With an audible roar, Dragon Man flew ever faster towards towards Objective Five (Drinks Machine) and landed a foot-step away from it. The increase in pace however, had made Professor Gregson Gilbert's creation significantly more vulnerable for a short while [causing him to be hit on a roll of 4, 5 or 6 rather than a 5 or 6]. The two Doombots to the north split up so that one was heading straight for Objective Three (Debris), whilst the other flew past an abandoned car towards the Black panther and Objective One (Bin).
THE THING SECURES AN OBJECTIVE BUT THE HUMAN TORCH IS WOUNDED
The other Doombot joined his fearless master's barrage upon Johnny Storm by firing his own laser-weapons at the flaming youth [Shooting: 2 dice]. Initially the robot failed to strike its target, but due to Doom's proximity and leadership ability [Command: A friendly unit that is within 12" may re-roll a single dice roll once per turn] eventually damaged the Human Torch, reducing the Hothead down to just two health before the battle was even half-way through.

The Fantastic Four and their Wakandan ally may well have covered more ground than Doctor Doom's less agile, robotic force, but in doing so they had exposed themselves to the mad Latverian monarch's withering firepower...

To be continued...

Thursday, 21 June 2018

“They Have A New Type Of Robot.”

"Quarks. You will set up the drilling site in accordance with the instructions of..."
This 27mm-tall "pewter" model of a Quark is produced by “Warlord Games” and forms part of the Nottingham-based company’s five-miniature strong "The Dominators" boxed set. Designed as an “attempt at creating a merchandise property” similar to the Daleks, the rectangular robots were “portrayed by children” and made their debut on “Doctor Who” in the August 1968 BBC television story "The Dominators".

“Cuboid in shape with a sphere on top”, the servitor was primed using some "Vallejo" Black Surface Primer, treated to a double coat of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and washed with Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker before having the internal areas around its folding arms, retractable claws and pole-like legs, darkened using a splash of additional Nuln Oil.
70mm x 70mm x 42mm MDF WIPs - The MDF box/building has been painted "Citadel" Ironbreaker
In order to try and replicate the more popular palette choice found from the reference material I used, I ‘picked out’ the tiny rectangular areas beneath the bipedal machine’s sensory hemisphere with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I had actually been strongly tempted to simply leave these parts alone and keep them ‘metallic silver’, but in the end liked the ‘official’ “Warlord Games” paint-job so much that I later returned to these areas and ‘highlighted’ them with an extra dab of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and (even more) “Citadel” Nuln Oil.

The actual sensors used for “detecting changes in heat, light and motion” were initially ‘outlined’ with some thinned-down Black and then layered with “Vallejo” Bluegrey and a splash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I subsequently lightly dry-brushed these tiny nodules with some “Vallejo” Bluegrey and Dead White.
100mm x 100mm x 60mm MDF WIPs - The second MDF box/building has been built and embellished
The Quark’s directional crystal beam transmitters gave me a moment’s pause, as I’ve previously read that “the spore spikes were red along with the rim attaching them all.” However, no-one seemed to have ever pigmented the robots in such a fashion, and all the photographs of the costumes I could find seemingly showed them to be white in colour. As a result I simply repeated the aforementioned process I used to paint the miniature’s sensory hemisphere.

Alongside completing the first of my three Quark figures, I've also spent some additional time working on the MDF boxes I recently bought from Tepic2000 on "Ebay", and plan to ‘transform’ into a Cyber-City to use with the "Warlord Games" rule-set "Doctor Who: Exterminate". "N-FX Game Design Studio" have very kindly sent me even more of their 3D decals to try out, and as a result I have not only begun washing the smallest of my planned buildings with some “Citadel” Nuln Oil, but assembled a slightly larger 100mm x 100mm x 60mm box and applied a number vents, electronic interfaces and metallic panels to it…

Monday, 18 June 2018

"So Timid Toad, His Eyes A-Popping..."

"...Into the woodland night went hopping."
This 23mm tall metal model of a Toad Mage is produced by “Oathsworn Miniatures", and can be purchased as Code BB66 from their "Burrows And Badgers" range. Originally part of the County Durham-based company's "Fur And Feathers" kickstarter, Grarrp Croaak comes equipped with a Mage's Focus and Mage's Pouch.

The short-legged frog was super-glued onto a 30mm plastic circular lipped base, and primed using a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki. His "dry, leathery skin" and "large bumps covering the parotoid glands" were then washed using some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" and later dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki.
70mm x 70mm x 42mm MDF WIPs - The "N-FX Game Design Studio" three-dimensional decals are self-adhesive
"Often viewed with suspicion or even outright hostility" due to it being a Magic User, the tailless amphibian had its bone staff painted with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and both his leather bindings, as well as his satchel, 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna. All of these areas were subsequently shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before the skeletal stave was treated to a light dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand.

Initially, I had pigmented the Mage's feather charms using some "Vallejo" Turquoise, but felt the deep blue was a little too incongruous with the rest of the creature's muted palette. As a result I settled upon a combination of Heavy Red and Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". In addition I also considered applying a green ink over the Toad's 'warty' skin in order to help differentiate it from the rest of his body. In the end though, having returned to some of the wildlife photographs I'd been using as a colour guide, I simply settled upon a second application of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade over the bumpy areas.   
70mm x 70mm x 42mm MDF WIPs - Primed "Vallejo" Black, the building fits nicely inside the next-sized box
With my "Burrows And Badgers" warband now almost complete, I've spent a short period of my hobby-time assembling some simple MDF boxes sold by Tepic2000 on "Ebay". This biggish project should see me create a few straightforward sci-fi buildings to use as a Cyber-City for the "Warlord Games" rule-set "Doctor Who: Exterminate". The smaller of these planned buildings will not only be able to be stored inside some of the larger ones (to help save on storage), but will also be used to store my cards, dice, rules etc...

The first box is just a humble 70mm x 70mm x 42mm square affair which I have glued together, and stuck some three-dimensional decals on in order to 'space it up'. The decals are by "N-FX Game Design Studio", and should provide plenty of sci-fi detail once I've painted the piece silver and weathered it a bit.