Saturday, 21 April 2018

"Our Invasion Force Is Not Yet Complete."

"The data will be computed and the invasion details transmitted to you. Discussion terminated."
These three 28mm metal Cyberman figures are produced by “Black Tree Design", and somewhat oddly can only be bought as part of the company's "Doctor Who" boxed set DW1014 - Cyberman (7); albeit a similarly posed sculpt, arguably far less cute-looking, is available separately as Code DW206 - Invasion Cyberman. Temporarily allied to the Managing Director of International Electromatics, "the sinister Tobias Vaughn", this version of the silver giants appeared in Derrick Sherwin's eight-part 1968 BBC Television adventure "The Invasion".

Each miniature was originally primed "Citadel" Chaos Black and subsequently coated with two layers of Ironbreaker. They were then washed with Nuln Oil, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker. Finally, each of their firearms' barrels was 'picked out' using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Abzorbaloff WIPs - The Clom-born extra-terrestrial has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
Sticking with "Doctor Who" I've managed to spend a little hobby time progressing an Abzorbalovian which I've had gathering dust in my painting queue for quite a while now. The figure itself is absolutely packed full of gruesome detail, especially the faces of the alien's victims, which can clearly be seen embedded in his blubbery flesh.

The only disappointment with the metal miniature is the monster's limitation field cane, which not only came out of the box rather bent, and resultantly required urgent straightening, but also seems dangerously thin in places too; particularly when it so extravagantly juts out from the side of the model. In addition, I'm not really sure what use I'll find for Victor Kennedy's alter-ego on the tabletop, as "Warlord Games" don't currently have any unique gaming cards for him in their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" game.
"Burrows And Badgers" WIPs - This Adder Warrior needs just some washes to be 'added'
One of the highlights of "Salute" 2018 for me was stumbling upon the "Oathsworn Miniatures" stall and impulsively purchasing their "Burrows And Badgers" rule-book, as well as an assortment of "anthropomorphic animal" figures. I plan on spending a fair bit of time working on these inhabitants of the Kingdom of Northymbra next month, yet still couldn't stop myself dabbling with the first model which caught my eye on the manufacturer's well-populated blister rack.

Indeed, the Adder Warrior has had me repeatedly listening to Keith Michell's superb Eighties-based musical telling of "Captain Beaky And His Band" since the pewter reptile first 'fell' into my grip, and it'll therefore come as no surprise that I've named him Hissing Sid for my 'evil' warband. I also couldn't help noticing that the sculpt pays more than a passing resemblance to Thulsa Doom's snake-form as depicted in the 1982 motion picture "Conan The Barbarian", so expect to see the scaly-serpent popping up in one of my Hyborian-set battle reports too once I've finished painting him...

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

"Salute" Loot 2018 - Part Two Of Two

"The Dominators" WIPs - All the models have been based and primed
Undoubtedly my main reason for attending this year's "Salute" 2018 was to visit the "Warlord Games" stall and buy the Nottingham-based company's latest two releases for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!". This range is really starting to 'take-off' and I was particularly pleased to see this blog featuring once again in the latest "Into The Time Vortex" digital newsletter, which specifically focused upon Dalek conversions, 'tip-top' paint-jobs and their "ever-growing loyal customers."

Patrick Troughton's incarnation of the travelling Time Lord has always held a high place in my memories of the BBC science fiction television programme, even if my first encounter with the Second Doctor only occurred during "The Five Faces Of Doctor Who" season of repeats in November 1981. The recent announcement that "Warlord Games" will be releasing his miniature, along with "Zoe, Jamie, Victoria and the Brig" later this year, has only helped fuel my enthusiasm for this 'black & white' period, so I was absolutely delighted to get my hands on a set of models taken from the Gallifreyan's August 1968 five-parter "The Dominators".
"Warlord Games" Newsletter Wednesday 11th April 2018
Featuring formidable sculpts of both Navigator Rago and Probationer Toba, I have already set to work basing the two male "humanoids from Drahb", as well as applied a double undercoat of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand over the pair. Initially I did think these 'conquerors of the Ten Galaxies' would be fairly straightforward to paint, due to the majority of their clothing being black. However, colourised pictures of the duo, as well as the studio's official paint-jobs, actually shows them to be wearing dark green costumes...  
"The Ninth Doctor & Companions" WIPs - Rose, The Ninth Doctor and Captain Jack
Far easier to paint, at least upon first impression, are the three "robot work-soldiers" which accompany their taller masters in the box. Despite providing enough models to both deploy a complete Quark Recruitment Card and have one spare to 'defend' a Dominator ("must always stay within 4") I can still see me buying a second set of the servitors once I've finished work on this initial batch. This should then give me enough Quarks to field a second Recruitment Card and provide Toba with a 'cuboid-shaped guard' too. Of course that'll give me duplicates of the two Dominators, but I can always utilise them as scenic statues or as an extra ethereal ghost for my Fisher King.

In addition to picking up some figures from the show's Sixth Season, I was also able to buy the Ninth Doctor And Companions set. Featuring sculpts of Christopher Eccleston's character, Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler, I have immediately set to work priming the "sole survivor" of the Last Great Time War, as well as two of Nu Who's most popular assistants Rose and the "con man Javic Piotr Thane."
Copyright "Warlord Games" - The 'Nu Who' Sontarans
Lastly, I was thrilled to see one of next month's releases in the fully-pigmented flesh, the Sontarans. The stunning detail on these "militaristic clones from the planet Sontar" was absolutely breath-taking, despite the somewhat poor lighting of the ExCeL convention centre, and I'm really looking forward to picking up a couple of boxes of them in the near future... 

Monday, 16 April 2018

"Salute" Loot 2018 - Part One Of Two

"Star Trek Adventures" WIPs - Two Romulan Uhlans and Khan Noonien Singh
This year's annual pilgrimage to the ExCeL convention centre in Custom House, East London has undoubtedly added somewhat to my collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures, as well as greatly widened my interest in a couple more of our hobby's vast pantheon of genres. Indeed, having only travelled up to "Salute" 2018 with just one 'definite' purchase on my shopping list (some OOP "Nexus Miniatures" Caprican Legion Troopers kindly sold to me by "Wargames Terrain Workshop"), I was rather surprised by the sheer range of loot I found within my various carrier bags upon leaving the disagreeably stuffy, dimly-lit venue...

My first impulse purchase however, courtesy of a flyer found within a disconcertingly sparse goodie bag, was arguably a no-brainer for a science fiction fan such as myself, and actually caused me to make a bee-line straight for the "Modiphius Entertainment" stall just as soon as the show started. Apparently an exclusive miniature, this resin model of Khan Noonien Singh from the 1982 motion picture "Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan" was being given away for free by the British games and entertainment publisher "with every Star Trek Adventures purchase whilst stocks last!"
"Burrows And Badgers" WIPs - A Sparrow Warrior, Adder Warrior and Mouse
Disappointingly however, I wasn't that impressed with what I had to pay in order to make a "Star Trek Adventures purchase", and in the end slightly begrudgingly handed over a whopping forty quid for a measly ten 32mm Romulan Strike Team miniatures; a somewhat expensive outgoing considering that I have subsequently found the company's resin to easily 'tear' when being cleaned with a modelling knife or file, and the figures' stands awkwardly bent - to the point where I've decided not to use them at all and replaced them with plastic 28mm lipped bases instead...

Offering a free miniature was clearly the right way for a manufacturer to go though, in order to grab both my attention and hard-earned funds. I have never really considered gaming with cute furry animals before, but simply couldn't help myself from buying a warband or three at the "Oathsworn Miniatures" stall when I spotted the free mouse adventurer which came with their "Burrows And Badgers" rule-book.
"Wild West Exodus" WIP - This Viridian Alpha has simply been assembled, based and primed 
It's clear I'm going to have to dedicate a month or so to this "tabletop skirmish game that takes place in the Kingdom of Northymbra", as I went a bit silly and picked up quite an array of warriors, mages and cut-throats from their "range of [metal] anthropomorphic animal miniatures." In particular I was rather taken by a heavily-armoured Adder Warrior and heroically-posed Sparrow Warrior...

I also happened upon another irresistible temptation whilst passing the "Warcradle Studios" "Wild West Exodus" display. Their extra-terrestrial Watchers simply smack of 'Cowboys verses Aliens' to me, and thus I now own a copy of their remarkably well-priced Viridian Clade Starter Set. Not only does this hefty box contain enough resin/plastic models to form a posse, but it also includes a softback rule-book, tokens, templates, dice and cards.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

"Plans For Invasion Are Nearing Completion."

"Nothing must be allowed to interrupt them."
This 28mm metal Cyberman model is produced by “Black Tree Design", and can be bought as part of their "Doctor Who" boxed set DW1014 - Cyberman (7). Unlike the other miniatures in this set, this 'Cyber-Leader' does not appear to be available separately. "Hidden in the sewers beneath" London and intent upon utilising a megatron bomb in order to conquer the planet, this particular incarnation of the "race of cyborgs" were created by "Derrick Sherwin, from a story by Kit Pedler" for the November 1968 BBC Television story "The Invasion".

The silver giant was initially undercoated with a base-coat of "Citadel" Chaos Black. It was then treated to a double layer of Ironbreaker, shaded with Nuln Oil, and dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker. As a last stage, I picked out the barrel of its "long range... more powerful gun" with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Black Tree Design" "Doctor Who" WIPs - Vicki, Harry Sullivan and Kamelion
With the basic beginning of a Cyber-invasion force complete, I have momentarily turned my attention to painting a few companions for my current Movie Doctor. Rather than 'stick to the script' however and prime Little Susan and Barbara 2150 A.D., I have simply turned to a few of the more readily accessible assistant figures in my "Black Tree Design" lead mountain.

Slightly embarrassingly, I originally thought the first of these companions was actually a sculpt of the Second Doctor's "young astrophysicist" Zoe Heriot, and accordingly treated her all-white attire to a wash of "Vallejo" Pale Grey and a dry-brush of Dead White. Only having done this did I realise that she is in fact a model of the First Doctor's "orphan from the 25th century" Vicki, and therefore requires a black dress with a suggestion of blue to it...
Dino-Rangers - The warriors still have plenty of detail left to 'pick out' upon their uniforms
In addition to this "survivor of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido" I have started work on the Fourth Doctor's "Surgeon-Lieutenant" Harry Sullivan, as well as the Fifth Doctor's "shape-changing android" Kamelion. Like Vicki, both of these companions should prove pretty straightforward to complete and I have already got to the stage the Xeriphas robot simply needs his green-hued internal electronics to be 'picked out' before being ready for a varnish.

Finally, in order to help thwart my recently discovered remaining Caprican Legion models by "Nexus Miniatures", I have re-started work on three Dino-Rangers. These particular sculpts will make some excellent proxies as Colonial Warriors for a "Battlestar Galactica" skirmish game, albeit I was hoping to paint one up as Commander Adama in a blue version of the uniform. Sadly however, having done some 'Google-Fu' research, it would appear that "the spiritual leader of the surviving colonists" never wore such 'combat fatigues', and neither did the battlestar's executive officer Colonel Tigh. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

"I Mean, Daleks Don't Have Names, Do They?"

"A secret order above and beyond the Emperor himself."
This 38mm scale "easy-fit plastic" model of a Dalek is produced by “Warlord Games” and comes from the Nottingham-based company's Davros & the New Dalek Empire Expansion Set. Sold as part of the "Into The Time Vortex" range, I've painted this particular drone up to represent one of the "secret order" of Daleks known as The Cult Skaro; four Kaled mutants "assigned the task of furthering the Dalek cause through the development of new and unorthodox ideas and strategies."

Created by Russell T. Davies for the July 2006 BBC Television story "Army Of Ghosts", in which the Cult's Void ship was being unwisely experimented upon by the Torchwood Institute, this "ordinary" Dalek was super-glued onto a 40mm lipped circular stand and subsequently undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. I then gave the individual named unit a double coat of Brass, thoroughly shaded it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and finally gave the model a heavy dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass.
Vervoid WIPs - The three 'plant creatures' have simply been primed, prior to being shaded
With the basic painting phases completed, I 'picked out' the Dalek's eye stalk, control arm and multi-range variable power destructor with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, as well as additionally pigmented the pepper pot's audio scanners with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey. As a final step, so as to make this particular miniature stand out from my previously finished 'rank and file' Daleks, I applied a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to its fender.

Despite having already completed the Cult's leader, Dalek Sec, I still need to complete two more figures in order to utilise the "Cult Of Skaro" Recruitment Card for the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game". This "Unique" unit can actually utilise both the "Dalek Science" and "Emergency Temporal Rift" Adventure cards without either counting "towards the faction's Adventure card allowance."
Copyright "Warlord Games" - Two Dominators, along with three Quarks
In addition to slowly progressing this pair of additional Daleks, I have started work on nine Vervoids from Colin Baker's tenure as the Sixth Doctor. These "artificially created humanoid plant(s)" have rather embarrassingly been sat within my grit box since they were first released in November last year. Predominantly a 'leafy' green, I'm planning on using one of the figures as a pilot piece to see whether some simple shading and dry-brushing will suffice in quickly bringing out most of the sculpt's detail.

With "Salute" 2018 just around the corner and my painting queue still crammed to capacity, "Warlord Games" have announced that their "Dominators" expansion set will apparently be available at the show alongside their "Ninth Doctor & Companions" box. As a huge Patrick Troughton fan, this set will prove irresistible, so expect plenty of Quarks and "humanoids from Drahb" being based and primed soon...

Sunday, 8 April 2018

"To Nurgle, Every Raddled Corpse Is A Welcoming Nursery..."

"...For wriggling maggots and cloying plague spores."
This 40mm tall Putrid Blightking is one of the five multi-piece plastic miniatures which can be built from the sprues found inside the “Games Workshop” Putrid Blightkings boxed set. However, as I had actually already used the legs I wanted for this figure on a previously painted "favoured mortal servant" of Nurgle, I actually took the somewhat expensive step of purchasing a second pair of limbs from a 'bitz' seller and subsequently 'stuck' a different torso upon them in order to help satisfactorily mask their similarities.

As a result of this 'Exalted Champion of Nurgle' wearing so much armour and chainmail I initially primed the model with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before brushing on a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey over it. The warrior was then shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. The bloody desecrator's stained loincloth was treated to a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black, two thin coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red", some "Citadel" Nuln Oil" and a gentle dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Red.
"Black Tree Design" "Doctor Who" WIPs - These Late Sixties Cybermen needs some detailing work 
With the basics finished, I began slowly working up the highly-detailed figure blessed by "the touch of Nurgle's insectoid messengers" and 'picked out' his pouch, skull trophy and brass symbol of the Plague God with a cacophony of colourful combinations, such as "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Nuln Oil, as well as "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. A couple of splashes of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson were also thrown into the mix to give the impression of dried blood.

I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna to both the Blightking's hand-axe, shield and shoulder-pad as a base-coat, and later treated the age-corroded areas to coat of "Vallejo" Brass, a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and some dabs of the "Citadel" Technical paint Nihilakh Oxide. These parts were all then later dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass so as to blend in the patina. In addition I decided to change the brute's ghastly green-hued face to a deep reddish one, as if the entire head was grotesquely swollen, so simply re-painted it with Vallejo" Heavy Red" and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Nexus Miniatures" WIPs - These Caprican Legionnaires still have some armour plating to 'pick out'
Wanting to progress something a little less taxing than another Putrid Blightking, I have taken the opportunity to dig ever deeper into my recently discovered drawer of old "Black Tree Design" miniatures, and dry-brush some previously painted Cybermen. All of these figures come from one of the company's "Doctor Who: Invasion Earth" boxed sets, and are based upon the silver giants' tear-drop eyed version from the 1968 BBC Television story "The Invasion".

Lastly, sticking with a silver-coloured theme, I have also found some of my long-lost Caprican Legion models by "Nexus Miniatures". These armour-plated extra-terrestrials, which seem to be out of stock these days due to 'someone ordering a bunch', make great-looking Cylons and once finished should finally permit me to get a "Battlestar Galactica" skirmish game on the tabletop... 

Friday, 6 April 2018

"Field Major Styre Reporting From Earth Base."

"The results of my experiment indicate that they are puny beings..."
This 28mm metal Sontaran model is produced by “Black Tree Design", and can be bought from their "Doctor Who" range as code DW475 Sontaran Warrior. A "race of belligerent and militaristic clones from the planet Sontar", the "humanoids with large, bulbous heads" were created by Robert Holmes and made their BBC Television debut in the 1973 story "The Time Warrior".

The miniature was initially undercoated with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and heavily dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. The figure was then shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before having its knee-pads, belt and helmet layered with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. These areas were also subsequently washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst the alien's rheon carbine was 'picked out' with a combination of "Vallejo" Dead White and Pale Grey.
"Black Tree Design" "Doctor Who" WIPS - A Cyber-Leader, the Master and a Mandrel
Having completed my Sontaran, I have started to recommence work on another three of the Penzance-based company's partially-painted models which have lurked unloved for far too long within one of my hobby drawers. As I want to use these figures for some large scale tabletop battles using a set of homemade rules, I thought it would make sense to have the 'forces of evil' marshalled by none other than the Doctor's arch-nemesis, the Master.

I've actually already completed a mobile version of the renegade Time Lord's TARDIS, known as the Melkur, so thought having the decayed incarnation of that time machine's Gallifreyan owner would make sense; especially when the "Black Tree Design" version of the model appears such a nice little straightforward sculpt. As a result I've tidied up and finished the dying criminal's base, as well as put down a couple of thinned base-coats of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand in preparation to paint his rancid flesh.
Putrid Blightking WIPs - The warrior has yet to have his bronze hand-weapon weathered and shield finished
In addition to my putrefying Master, I have also made some progress on a couple of pilot pieces for a horde of Mandrels and a party of ("The Invasion") Cybermen. The "large, dangerous predator" from the planet Eden should prove somewhat simple to paint, despite his rather colourful appearance, whilst the Late Sixties silver giant is actually a Cyber-Leader taken from an old boxed set which I have repeatedly tried (and failed) to finish over the past decade...

Lastly, I am now on the 'home straight' as far as completing my minimum-sized "Games Workshop" Putrid Blightkings unit is concerned. I have been plugging away at these infuriatingly well-detailed plastic warriors for some months now, and just need to paint this "favoured" mortal servant of Nurgle to field a five-strong figure force for my Chaos Host in "Age Of Sigmar".

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

"They Were Normal Daleks, But With Black Domes."

"They sometimes possessed claws instead of standard manipulator arms."
This 38mm scale "easy-fit plastic" model of a Dalek is made by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the Nottingham-based company's Davros & the New Dalek Empire Expansion Set. Designed to be played with with their excellent "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" I've actually painted this particular miniature up as a member of the Emperor's Personal Guard; "a Dalek organisation made up of Daleks dedicated to protecting the Emperor Dalek at all costs."

Created by Terry Nation for the 1965 BBC Television story "The Chase", in which a pair of them were destroyed during the Daleks battle against the Mechonoids on the planet Mechanus, this superior version of the "hostile alien life-forms" was super-glued onto a 40mm lipped circular stand before being undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. I then gave the Skaro mutant a double coat of Brass, liberally washed it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and finally gave the "elite Dalek" a heavy dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass.
Draconian WIPs - The three reptilian humanoids have had their legs layered and shaded 
With the basics finished, I subsequently picked out the guard's eye stalk, control arm and multi-range variable power destructor with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and additionally painted the Dalek's audio scanners with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey. As a last touch, I used some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to coat the pepper pot's fender and dome.

Having previously painted two of these veterans of the Last Great Time War, this third figure finally allows me to field an Emperor's Guard Recruitment Card on my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" battlefield. These "Unique" Daleks are understandably significantly more powerful than the game's basic Dalek Patrol, utilising the traits "Marksman" ("may reroll any or all Combat Dice when shooting") and "My Stuff [Upgrade: Elevate]", alongside their improved Shooting and Close Combat statistics.
Copyright "Warlord Games" - The Ninth Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness and Rose Tyler
In addition I'm at long last finding the time to return to the first three of eight Draconians I want to get on the tabletop as part of my ongoing Dalek Invasion of Draconia campaign. These reptilian humanoids are packed full of detail with their pimpled skin, flowing green robes, gem-stones and gold adornments, but should still hopefully be fairly straightforward to finish over the next few weeks.

One of my main motivators this month to get so many of my "Warlord Games" "Doctor Who" models finished is the manufacturer's announcement of their imminent "Ninth Doctor & Companions" boxed set. This expansion not only contains Christopher Eccleston's incarnation of the Time Traveller, but also Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Garrek's Reavers" April 2018

Garrek's Reavers WIPs - The warriors have all had their pre-sculpted bases layered, dry-brushed and washed
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will be dedicated to the four remaining models I need to finish so as to (finally) field Garrek's Reavers for "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". I've actually been slowly pottering away on these "push-fit" Bloodreavers for some considerable time, but never managed to properly 'break the back of them' with some concentrated painting sessions.

Resultantly, I've fallen well behind the Nottingham-based company's release schedule, and although I own their Ironskull’s Boyz and The Sepulchral Guard expansions, I really want to finish both of the "action-packed" combat game's starter warbands first. This desire to lose myself amongst "the twisted streets of the Mirrored City" has been furthered by "Games Workshop" announcing the imminent release of a second Khorne faction with Magore’s Fiends, as well as an interesting addition to the Stormcast's forces in the shape of the cross-bow bearing Farstriders. 
"Doctor Who" WIPs - A Dalek, a Sontaran and Professor Kettlewell's Robot
In addition, Garrek's Reavers will also be entirely playable for "Age Of Sigmar", and provide my sizeable Chaos Host with a unit of extra-durable axemen for a paltry 60 points. Indeed, Garrek alone can cause mortal wounds with his Blooddrinker Axe ("do not make a wound or save roll"), whilst for every enemy Hero he slays all of his flesh-eating men's melee weapons "add 1 to the Attacks characteristic" for "the rest of the battle."

Of course, this new-found fervour for the "nightmare plane of illusions and madness" won't be stopping any progress on my recently discovered drawer of "Doctor Who" miniatures. Produced under the banner of both "Harlequin Miniatures" and "Black Tree Design" I have plans to field a number of factions from the cyclopean Monoids to the ant-like Zarbi; plus a fair few reinforcements for my Tomb-based Cybermen and heavily-hooved Nimon.
"Warlord Games" Newsletter Wednesday 14th March 2018
For now however I have been persevering with some test pieces for a rebel Dalek force and Sontaran invasion party. One of the more enjoyable elements to these old, somewhat clunky sculpts, is that they are a lot simpler to paint due to their lack of detail; albeit both of these particular miniatures still contain plenty of eye-catching elements. I therefore hope to have both of these figures, along with a pretty straightforward Experimental Prototype Robot K1 finished soon.

Sticking with "Doctor Who" momentarily, I've sought permission to utilise some of "Warlord Games" preview photographs of their range for this website, so for the next few weeks I'll be trialling a new series of posts unimaginatively labelled "Warlord's Who Wednesdays". These will hopefully cajole me into finishing painting some of their current range's line-up, as well as encourage me to keep going in order to make space for some of their upcoming new products. Ultimately this should help me stage a few more mash-up battles for the Time Traveller using my homemade rule-set "M.I.S.S.", as I was rather pleased recently when my Dalek/Cybermen invasion of Draconian's Moon Battle Report featured in the regular "Warlord Games" customer newsletter...

Friday, 30 March 2018

"Man, You Just Blew Yourself A Pair Of Doors."

"Ah, good, that's all settled. And now we shall open these doors."
This excellent felt-lined MDF Flip Card Box is made by "N-FX Game Design Studio" and "is specially designed to hold and protect your deck of cards whilst you’re gaming." Sold unassembled as part of their Stands/Holders range, the Flip Box has been designed to help easily "pick your next card up without all the hassle of your stacked deck sliding around" and comes in nine unpainted parts.

As I was very keen to additionally use this 'gaming device' as a piece of scenery for my "Doctor Who: Exterminate" wargames, I super-glued one of my spare resin air-locks onto one of its ends, and decided to try and turn it into some sort of Cyber-vault by under-coating it in its entirety with two layers of "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"Doctor Who" WIPs - A Dalek, a Sontaran and Professor Kettlewell's Robot
I then liberally washed the ensemble with Nuln Oil and dry-brushed it with more Ironbreaker. Before 'picking out' some of the details on the "Second City Games" futuristic door with some "Vallejo" Heavy Red, "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and Abaddon Black. Finally, I applied some (pre-supplied) felt to the holder's base and interior in order to help prevent it from damaging either my gaming mats and the cards.

With my latest "N-FX Game Design Studio" scenic piece finished, I have added a few more of my "Doctor Who" miniatures by "Black Tree Design" to my painting queue. I've been pottering around on my Sontaran Warrior for a while already, but a recent "Warlord Games" sneak peek of their blue-themed modern day 'Nu-Who' versions has inspired me to try and get the militaristic clone finished before I find myself buying a load of theirs.
Black Templar WIPs - A tenth space marine for my first squad, and a Scout Sergeant
Similarly, whilst progressing a few of the Nottingham-based company's plastic gold Daleks, I have fortunately unearthed an entire bag of classic sculpts which I now want to paint so as to re-enact the Skaro mutants' civil war. As a result I've finished basing one piece and primed over its silver partial-paint-job with the admittedly more lack-lustre grey colour scheme of the Imperial faction's opponents. In addition I've set to work on an old miniature of J.P. Kettlewell's Experimental Prototype Robot K1; the Fourth Doctor's very first monster from his debut 1974 BBC Television story "Robot". 

Lastly, I've set to work on a pair of plastic "Warhammer 40K" figures, in order to help 'bulk out' my old Black Templar army. To be honest though, I'm presently rather 'out-of-love' with "Games Workshop" after they suddenly announced the cancellation of their weekly modelling magazine "Warhammer Conquest" before I'd even so much as seen an issue. I had been hoping the prospect of a few miniatures and bite-sized rule chunks would help me get into the Eight Edition of their tabletop miniature wargame, but now fear I'll have to preserver into the "dystopian science fantasy universe" unaided... and demotivated.

Monday, 26 March 2018

"Put On The Headsets Or You Will be Dispersed!"

"The high brains have been captured."
These two 28mm metal Kroton models were manufactured by “Harlequin Miniatures” and represent the "semi-sentient armoured crystalline beings" first seen in the December 1968 BBC Television science fiction serial "The Krotons". Unfortunately, the "predatory quasi-organic tellurium based crystal" creature with its feeding tube intact would appear to be out of production. But the other Kroton can still be bought as code DW212 from the "Doctor Who" range sold by "Black Tree Design".

A "crystalline race from the planet Krosi-Aspai-Core" the pair of extra-terrestrials were primed using "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently layered with two coats of Ironbreaker. The figures were then washed with Nuln Oil and some Drakenhof Nightshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.
"Crocodile Games" Wendigo WIPs - The hairy hunters have been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
I was tempted at this stage to leave the miniatures well enough alone, but thought they looked a bit too monotone with their decidedly silver palette. As a result, I 'picked out' their featureless crystal heads with "Vallejo" Dead White, shaded them with some heavily-watered down "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and gave them a light dry-brush of "Vallejo" Dead White.

With two more of my embarrassingly large backlog of "Doctor Who" models completed, I've pulled out some partially-painted Wendigo Hunters I bought off of Ebay years ago. Produced by "Crocodile Games" I would appear to have an entire Hunting Party on my hands, including their Hunter Leader. I recall that these figures were in a truly shocking state of affairs upon their arrival, perhaps the reason why I simply spirited them away into a cardboard box, so I have had to spend a fair bit of time re-assembling a couple of them, re-basing them all and bending the odd spear or three.
An extremely generous donation of "Heroclix" miniatures from the Michigan Killdozers
In addition, despite their white fur, all six of the "Wargods Of Hyberborea" models had previously been primed with black paint and then had their undercoat rubbed off for some reason; presumably with a toothbrush or some such. This has meant I have had to apply several thin coats of "Vallejo" White over the miniatures in order to cover their bare metal, but also not 'stodge up' all of their detail.

Finally, long-term followers of "Fantorical" will know I also run a daily comic review blog entitled "The Brown Bag". This secondary hobby really helps fuel my painting mojo and also seems to go down rather well with a few comic book collectors across the other side of the Pond. Having recently heard that I was looking to grow my collection of "Heroclix" figures so as to actually play "Wizkids" game rather than re-base/re-paint them, they rather generously banded together in secret and incredibly generously sent me a rather large, undeniably heavy box containing over a hundred of the rule-sets pre-painted figures... 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

"The Only Bear On The C.I.A. Death List!"

"Shako! The Eskimo word for Great White Bear. It means simply... Killer!"
This 28mm sized metal Polar Bear is produced by "Copplestone Castings" under Code PolEx011, and comes from their Polar Perils High Adventure range. An impressive 60mm in length, I immediately thought the animal was reminiscent of the 'Ursus maritimus' "who unwisely swallowed a capsule containing a secret government-created germ warfare culture, thinking it was a tin of food, and became a target of the CIA agents based at Ice Station Delta" in the Late Seventies "2000 A.D. comic book strip "Shako".

The hefty animal was initially primed with "Vallejo" Dead White and shaded with some "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. It was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dead White before being sporadically washed with some heavily-watered down Iraqi Sand. Finally, the beast was given a third and final dry-brush of Dead White and had his claws, nose and eyes simply 'picked out' with "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
"Your curiosity will cost you dear, Human."
In addition to Pat Mills' savagely brutal co-creation, who I also plan to utilise as a fearsome addition to my frosty "Gotham" crew for Mister Freeze, I have also completed painting a 31mm tall plastic "Wizkids" Dire Wraith Queen. This green-hued extra-terrestrial can be bought as number 010b from the "Marvel" Guardians Of The Galaxy "Heroclix" range and is destined to lead my previously finished band of sorcerous shape-shifters.

Created by Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom for the December 1979 issue of "Rom", the Skrullian deviant was undercoated with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and heavily washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. She was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Green before having her eyes 'picked out' with a tiny dollop of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre. As I wanted the super-strong sorcerers' pupils to particularly stand out, I didn't bother shading them, and instead simply tidied their edges up with some additional "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
Putrid Blightking WIPs - The two boil-covered armoured warriors are half-way finished
Lastly I have made some significant progress on my final two "Age Of Sigmar" Putrid Blightkings. This pair are all I need to field a five-strong unit of the "enormous, bloated warriors" for my 1,000 point Nurgle Host, but are proving rather time-consuming on account of each sculpts incredible detail; whether it be simply the amount of pustules and boils littering their bare flesh, or the number of decaying skulls tied about their plate armour.

Fortunately, my enthusiasm for this "Games Workshop" fantasy rule-set is currently riding rather high on account of the Nottingham-based company finally revealing their latest faction for the game, the Idoneth Deepkin. These Sea Elves look tremendous, with "colossal sea beasts", "living tidal waves", and "predatory shoals of fish", as well as "Aelves riding sharks and giant turtles with bolt throwers" too. Marvellous stuff...

Monday, 19 March 2018

"Boromite Work Gangs Are Armed With Mass Compactors..."

"...Which are extremely powerful at short ranges..."
This 28mm metal Boromite Ganger is made by "Warlord Games" and forms part of the Boromite Work Gang boxed set for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". "Supplied unassembled and unpainted" this "genetically-engineered" miner is the second of five miniatures I require in order for me to field a 123-point costing Work Gang armed with Mass Compactors, Implosion Grenades and a Mag Pistol.

Originally primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the partially-knelt panhuman morph was shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had some Chaos Black painted over all its weaponry, ammunition pack and hip-flask. The Ganger's metallic areas, including its firearm's nozzle, were subsequently treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst its Mass Compactor had its hand-grips and main body slightly corroded with a light touch of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash.
"Harlequin Miniatures" Kroton WIPs - The two crystalline creatures need their heads finishing
The power lighting on the Boromite's weapon was 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, plus his pouch was painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a splash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Lastly, the figure's yellow(ish) armour, his numerous "multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" and cumbersome tool's distortion compensator were all layered with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.

With just three more "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" miniatures left to finish, I have momentarily turned my attention back to some of the old "Doctor Who" models I recently discovered during a large clear out of my lead mountain. Quite possibly cast by "Harlequin Miniatures" as opposed to "Black Tree Design" in the Mid-Nineties, I did initially think I only owned a single model of the crystalline race from the planet Krosi-Aspai-Core.
"Trust in your hatred for the mutant and the heretic, brothers."
However, I've since discovered a second Kroton figure within my horde which rather interestingly does not have the "predatory quasi-organic tellurium based crystal" creatures' airline sculpted on it. Bizarrely though, both versions of the "semi-sentient armoured crystalline beings" are listed as Code DW212 on the internet, with a second variant entitled Kroton Armed available as Code DW214. Whatever the story, instead of painting them all metal as originally planned, I thought I'd try something a little different by making their 'frosted' heads white with a subtle blue hue.

Finally, having recently re-gritted and flocked part of my old Black Templars for "Warhammer 40K", I have gone back and done precisely the same thing to the rest of my Crusader Squad, including their Sword Brother and a couple of Heavy Weapon options; a rocket launcher and flamer. I've yet to work out just how many points this force costs using the statistics in the "Index: Imperium 1" supplement, but hope to have enough to at least put up some form of opposition against my Chaos Daemons...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Star Trek - The Devil In The Dark Returns - Part Two

CAPTAIN KIRK AND COMMANDER SPOCK BATTLE THE HORTA 
"Captain's log, Stardate 3196.1. A distress call from the pergium production station on Janus Six has brought the Enterprise to that long-established colony. Mister Spock and I have beamed down to locate some odds and ends which will help Chief Engineer Scott rig up a spare circulating pump. However, we've encountered a killer silicon-based life-form known as a Horta, and whilst my First Officer bravely risks his life keeping the creature occupied, I must continue in our mission alone..."
THE TABLETOP - THE PERGIUM MINING COLONY ON THE PLANET JANUS VI

Despite not being able to receive a 'costed action' this turn, the Horta was still able to 'poison' Mister Spock as a 'free action' due to the alien's "This Creature's Body Secretes An Extremely Powerful Corrosive" trait. However, whilst this attack ordinarily deals "1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters", the previously wounded half-Vulcan was now utilising "The Occipital Area Of My Head Seems To Have Impacted With The Chair", which meant he could "reduce damage taken by 1" and was resultantly unharmed by the "silicon-based life-form".

Believing he could now both capture the rocky beast's full attention and simultaneously deal it a telling blow, the "hero for the ages" boldly announced "This Is Captain James Kirk Of The United Spaceship Enterprise" and opted for a 'Running Shot'. Halving his speed, "the quintessential officer" moved into a position to blast his pointy-eared friend's attacker, and fired his phaser. The U.S.S. Enterprise's captain rolled a 5 and 4, which was then added to his Attack of 11. In addition, because he had the Starfleet keyword, Kirk was able to utilise Spock's "I Have Analyzed Their Tactics, Captain" and "modify [his] Attack +1." The Horta's Defence was only 18, so the creature momentarily shuddered under the 'death ray'.
CAPTAIN KIRK RACES TO THE RESCUE OF HIS FRIEND, COMMANDER SPOCK
Unfortunately though, the rock-eating monster currently had the "A Silicon-Based Life Would Be Of An Entirely Different Order" trait, making it Impervious and reducing "damage taken by 2." Kirk's phaser presently only caused two damage, so the terrifying tunneller suffered no wounds...

Hoping to catch the understandably distracted Horta unawares, Spock tried to chop the brute, but rolled a 5 and 1, which when added to his Attack 10 was less than the Horta's Defence. In retaliation, the creature tried to assault back yet also failed to roll higher than the half-human's Defence. It was stalemate.

Realising his phaser was currently completely ineffective against his foe, Kirk raced west to Objective One (Hand Container) and with a triumphant shout realised that it contained more than enough parts for Scotty to temporarily fix the pergium mining colony's damaged main circulating pump. He flicked open his communicator and quickly relayed the good news to his Science officer.
MISTER SPOCK HOLDS OFF THE HORTA AS KIRK'S PHASER FIRE FAILS TO WOUND
Receiving the news Spock knew that all he needed to do was momentarily escape the clutches of the Horta in order to be beamed to safety aboard the orbiting U.S.S. Enterprise. To do so though he needed to attain a 4-6 on the roll of a D6, and successfully rolled a 6. Travelling east back towards his starting co-ordinates, the green-blooded half-Vulcan contacted his Constitution-class starship and gave directions for the mission's party to transported immediately. Spock's second action on-the-trot, dealt him "1 unavoidable damage", but he didn't care.

The Horta however, infuriated by the blue-shirted intruder's departure, quickly followed the Human who had unwisely tried to burn him with the phaser. Using its "Astonishing That Anything Of That Bulk Could Move So Rapidly" trait the "silicon-based life-form" had soon closed upon Kirk. The fearsome fiend shuddered as it suffered "1 unavoidable damage" on account of receiving a second consecutive costed action, and readied its extremely corrosive acid for next turn.
CAPTAIN KIRK FINDS THE FINAL SPARE PARTS NEEDED AS SPOCK ESCAPES
Maddeningly, there would be no 'next turn' though, as both Kirk and Spock vanished, only to momentarily reappear victorious on the teleporter pad in the U.S.S. Enterprise's transporter room.

Monday, 12 March 2018

"Nurgle Wishes To See Rot And Contagion Bloom Across The Mortal Realms..."

"...Drowning the bastions of his enemies in a tide of putrid filth."
This 28mm scale Putrid Blightking is one of the five multi-piece plastic figures which can be assembled from the sprues found inside the “Games Workshop” Putrid Blightkings boxed set. I had initially thought to use the predominantly plate armoured combatant to represent a particularly blessed Plaguebearer, and resultantly super-glued a Plagueridden's head upon the stump of his neck to better illustrate the point. However, the "hulking warriors of Nurgle" aren't actually daemons but blighted mortals, so I later ended up replacing the head with a formidably horned one from the kit and repaired any damage with a bit of grey-stuff.

Due to the "favoured mortal servant" wearing so much armour and chainmail I undercoated the model with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before laying down a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey over it. He was then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. The brute's soiled loincloth was treated to some "Citadel" Abaddon Black, two thin coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red", some "Citadel" Nuln Oil" and lastly a careful dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Red.
"Yet Nurgle is not malicious - far from it."
With the basics finished, I began slowly working my way up the miniature by picking out all the severed skulls handing from his armour with a combination of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. Each grisly ornament was subsequently lightly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and made a little more gory with a dab of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

In addition I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna to both the Blightking's sword and shield as a base-coat, and then treated the "slime-encrusted" armaments to some "Vallejo" Brass, a shade of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and then the "Citadel" Technical paint Nihilakh Oxide. These areas were later dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass to help blend in the patina.
Polar Bear WIP - The 'Ursus Martimus' needs to have his claws, eyes, snout and mouth picked out 
Whilst picking out the few spots of pustule-covered flesh on the "Age Of Sigmar" model, I also took the time to simultaneously apply the exact-same recipe of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and “Citadel” Biel-Tan Green to a couple of Nurglings. I plan to use a plethora of these tiny pot-bellied gremlins as Wound Markers for some of my host's larger miniatures, so was pleased to get a pair finished as I waited for the paint to dry on my Putrid warrior.

Finally, I have salvaged a Polar Bear by "Copplestone Castings" from out of my partially-painting backlog, and applied a fresh undercoat, wash, dry-brush, shade and second dry-brush to the animal. Originally I did consider placing 'Ursus Maritimus' on a lipped circular base and using him for "Frostgrave", but then felt he might make an excellent addition to my ever-increasing "Gotham" crew for Mister Freeze...