Sunday, 21 October 2018

"From Those Dark Ashes Rose More Than Fifty Worlds..."

"...Who wished only for stability and peace."
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is made by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035C Black Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. An anti-vehicle variant, I fitted its turret mount with a Fretan-type Railgun so it can punch through other automobile's armour, and provided the ensemble with some additional 'tabletop' stability by super-gluing it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

As I'm ‘modelling’ part of my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" era of the Imperial Guard, I undercoated the 45mm long kit with a double coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed the entire " four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I then turned my attention to the Adder's incredibly hard to reach underbelly and desperately tried to 'pick out' its axles and exhaust pipes with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil.
Retained Knight WIPs - The three Prydian warriors have had all their base-layers finished 
With hindsight, this incredibly frustrating and tedious phase of its painting could easily have been avoided by simply waiting to permanently afix the vehicle to its rectangular stand until after I had finished working on its metallic-coloured supporting frame. However, at the time I did think I had ample room to get my "Winsor & Newton" University Series 233 paintbrush into the resin castings nooks and cranies. Needless to say, I subsequently omitted to glue the two additional Adder Combat Cars I'm currently working on to their "Flames Of War" bases until after I had finished pigmenting their undercarriage.

I picked out the "35mm wide and about 25mm tall" conveyance's lamps with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, before applying some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and later, Nuln Oil, to its hub caps and impressive looking Fretan-type Railgun. Finally, in order to better tie the model in with the "Warhammer 40,000" Imperial Guard, I applied an old (somewhat yellowed) "Games Workshop"  decal of a double-headed eagle onto its bonnet.
Sand Worm WIP - The hefty resin and metal model has been modified, based and primed
With so many "Vallejo" Bluegrey models and figures before me currently, I've also been progressing three 15mm Prydian Retained Knight miniatures in order to give me some brighter colours with which to work with. These 'beaky' warriors are my favourite sculpts from the entire "Ion Age" range, and have been base-coated "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Heavy Red" in order to resemble early Space Marines from the Crimson Fists Chapter. 

Lastly, I have turned my attention to a fantastic resin sculpt of a Sand Worm made by Dave Stone for "M.J. Figures" as part of their "Sand Wars" range. Originally arriving with six unbelievably fragile metal 'horned teats' for its front, I have made some 'hamfisted' modifications to the 20mm scale monstrosity using grey-stuff, and based the brute upon a "Games Workshop" plastic 80mm circular base... 

Friday, 19 October 2018

"That Which Was Known Was Forgotten..."

"...And anarchy threatened all the children of the then Free Companies."
These two 15mm miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" code IAF022 Muster First Patrol (Pose Four Muster Patrol Trooper, Anvil 888, Kneeling and Pose Eight Muster Patrol Trooper, Prone), and were part of a much larger order I picked up in person at "Salute 2014". The figures are actually designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but I’ve based them together in order to form a small heavy-weapons team for a home-made set of rules loosely based within the early “Rogue Trader” era of the “Warhammer 40,000” Universe.

Both soldiers were resultantly undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Black and had their uniforms ‘picked out’ with Heavy Bluegrey, as well as shaded with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, in order to try and replicate the palette of the Imperial Guard way back when their '"hard plastic" boxed set made its debut in January 1989. I then applied a little “Vallejo” Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to any visible epaulettes and cap badges.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - Both the Red Adder Combat Car and Orange Adder Combat Car have been primed
I picked out the troopers' bare hands using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, whilst treating both soldiers’ stowage, alongside the prone patrolman's boots, to a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I applied a base layer of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to their the mortar-man's impressively sized Anvil 888 and a piece of equipment strapped to the bottom of his observer's backpack. Both of these areas were subsequently heavily washed them in Nuln Oil so as to dull the metallic paint down somewhat.

In addition to adding some extra infantrymen to my 15mm 'Imperial Guard', I have also been progressing a pair of Prydian Vehicles for them to use. However, unlike the Black Adder Combat Car I've previously been painting, I decided not to permanently glue these transports down upon their "Battlefront Miniatures" Large "Flames Of War" bases until after I have finished 'picking out' all the metal struts and axles on them with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
Badrock WIP - The single cast resin piece has been based and primed "Vallejo" Heavy Red
Unsurprisingly, this much easier access to each conveyance's underside has actually caused me to see and pigment even more of each armoured car's belly than on the previous resin four wheeled light vehicle I've worked on, but in arguably half the time. As I also wanted to 'show off' the Adder hull's great versalitity I have armed one with a Moth rotary cannon in a turret mount and the other with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod.

Stepping away from science fiction momentarily, I recently was super-lucky enough to take possesion of an awesome resin sculpt depicting the "Image Comics" super-hero Badrock (formerly Bedrock) from a private collector. This terrific miniature has immediately gone to the front of my paint queue and already been primed in his costume's predominant colour ready for finishing over the next few days...

Sunday, 14 October 2018

"At The End Of The Aeons Old Khanate Wars..."

"...interstellar civilisation was near to its end, and dark times followed."
This "single piece white metal casting depicting two 15mm Retained Knights" is produced by "The Ion Age" and can be pruchased as model RWP01 Patrol Angis Vignette from their Collected Monthly Miniatures range. Created by lead designer Sam Croes the "former rewards programme item" consists of the broken body of a fallen Yordist Knight lying face down in the mud who has lost a battle against a victorious knight of the Prydian Army.

However, as I don't actually play the manufacturer's rule-set "Patrol Angis", I decided to instead paint my piece up to represent Garviel Loken's bitter defeat at the hands of the "Warhammer 40,000" traitorous space marine Ezekyle Abaddon during the Battle of Isstvan III. In fact, in many ways I think this two-figure ensemble is a perfect proxy for the Warmaster's First Captain, even if the triumphant Prydian Knight lacks the Despoiler's iconic pony-tail and anything resembling Terminator armour.  
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Black Adder Combat Car has been shaded and had its metallic areas 'picked out'
As the "great centrepiece for any 15mm Ion Age force" didn't come with a base, it was super-glued upon a small “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand and primed with a double layer of "Vallejo" Black. I then sought inspiration from the Abaddon and Loken "Horus Heresy" Character Series by "Forge World" and attempted to replicate their colour scheme upon the two significantly smaller figures in front of me.

Resultantly, I applied a layer of Heavy Bluegrey to Garviel's battered body, and then gave the fallen 'space marine' two coats of Dark Green. I next washed the prone Sons Of Horus warrior with some "Citadel" Nuln Oil before 'picking out' his shoulder-pads using more "Vallejo" Black and a combination of Heavy Sienna, Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Retained Knights have all been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue
Ezekyle was somewhat more difficult to re-imagine in the form of a Prydian Knight, so I simply tried to capture the flavour of the Master of the Justaerin's palette by applying some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson to one of his knee-pads and one of his shoulder-pads, whilst 'highlighting' a couple of his armour's adornments with "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, his formidably-sized Angis rifle was treated to some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a heavy shade of Nuln Oil.

Alongside my 'Abaddon' I have also managed to base-layer the entirety of a Black Adder Combat Car I aim to use as mobile support for my 'Imperial Guard' themed Muster First Patrol, as well as primed three Retained Knights to bolster the numbers of my 15mm Crimson Fists Space Marine Chapter. I've actually started working my way through an old order which I collected in person from "Salute" 2014, so once these models are finished I'll be turning my attention towards some of the opposition I also purchased at the same time...

Friday, 12 October 2018

"Where Once There Was Hard Won Unity..."

"...There is now only dire civil conflict and destruction."
This 15mm scale resin hover light vehicle is made by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF036D Orange Adder Combat Lifter from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. "Capable of dealing with low level threats" I armed the infantry support Adder with a Hermit Grenade Launcher in a turret mount and provided it with some additional 'tabletop' protection by super-gluing it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

Because I am ‘modelling’ my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" Crimson Fist Space Marine Chapter I undercoated the 60mm long vehicle with two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and washed the entire "standard light ground" automobile with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The Adder’s forward and rear hatches were then picked out with “Vallejo” Heavy Red before being both glazed in “Citadel” Bloodletter and later washed using Carroburg Crimson.
"The Ion Age" WIP - The primed Black Adder Combat Car has had its metallic areas base-coated "Vallejo" Black
I also picked out the 30mm wide conveyance's sidelights and main armament using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst ensuring the hovercraft's skirt wore a nice even coat of "Vallejo" Black. As a final step I 'picked out' a couple of its lamps with White and Pale Grey, before applying a “Warhammer 40,000” Crimson Fist decal by "Games Workshop" to the transporter's front in order for it to proudly sport its Space Marine Chapter's symbol.

In addition this vehicle I have made some progress on a Black Adder Combat Car which I plan to utilise as part of my slowly growing Muster First Patrol. Admittedly my infantry force already contains plenty of heavy weapons, but as its on 'foot' I felt it lacked the murderous mobility a "four wheeled light vehicle" decked out with a formidable-looking Fretan type Railgun could provide...
"The Ion Age" WIPs - This special edition Retained Knight is slowly having his armour's detail 'picked out'
Sticking with "The Ion Age" and my re-imaging of its universe to something more akin to that of "Rogue Trader", I have been beavering away on one of the range's former rewards programme items which depicts a pair of retained knights. I thought this piece would make for an excellent proxy of Ezekyle Abaddon during the Great Crusade when he was the First Captain of the traitorous Sons of Horus, and have subsequently begun painting the model accordingly.

Of course, this 15mm scale figure doesn't really look a great deal like the Terminator-armoured Chaos Space Marine with a gigantic lightning claw, yet stood atop a similarly attired fellow warrior, I couldn't help but think of Abaddon's epic defeat of loyal Captain Garviel Loken on Istvaan III at the start of the Horus Heresy. Resultantly, I have my eye on painting up a few of my retained knight miniatures in both the Sons of Horus Legion colour scheme, as well as that of the Primarch Sanguinius' Blood Angels...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

"Across The Entire Prydian Precinct There Are Planetary Militias..."

"...Otherwise known as Planetary Defence Forces."
These two 15mm miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" code IAF022 Muster First Patrol (Pose One Muster Patrol Officer, Moth Type 8 Pistol) and code IAF021 Muster First Patrol Command (Pose Four Muster Patrol Trooper, Standard Bearer), and have rather embarrassingly been sat upon my painting table since they were first ordered in March 2014. The figures are actually designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but I’ve based them together in order to form a small Command base for a home-made set of rules loosely based within the early “Rogue Trader” era of the “Warhammer 40,000” Universe.

As a result, both figures were originally undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Black and had their uniforms ‘picked out’ with Heavy Bluegrey, as well as shaded with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, in order to try and replicate the palette of the Imperial Guard, back when Mark Copplestone was sculpting them. I then applied a little “Vallejo” Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to their epaulettes, ribbed body armour and cap badges, as well as the top of the standard so as to make their status ‘pop’ that little bit more on the tabletop.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - These Muster Patrol Troopers have had all their base colours blocked in
I picked out the trooper’s bare hands using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, whilst treating the officer’s gloves, the standard’s pole, and both soldiers’ backpacks to a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I applied a base layer of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to their firearms and heavily washed them in Nuln Oil so as to dull the weapons down somewhat.

Sticking with “The Ion Age” and my Muster First Patrol miniatures, I have also managed to make some substantial progress on three more figures from their 15mm range. I intend at some point to greatly add to the number of regular Guardsmen carrying Moth Type 6 Rifles my ‘Imperial Guard’ company can field, but for now am solely focusing upon models I already own such as a Heavy Weapons Team carrying the awesomely-named Anvil 888 (mortar).
"Heroclix" WIPs - Black Widow, Hit-Monkey and Dum Dum Dugan
In addition, I’ve been busy pursuing a 'few' S.H.I.E.L.D. reinforcements for my tabletop campaign involving the fictional espionage, special law-enforcement, and counter-terrorism agency defending the Earth from an invasion of Dire Wraiths. "Wizkids" don't seemingly do a Rom - Space Knight "Heroclix" model currently, so I've instead started working on arguably the next best thing - his childhood friend known as Firefall.

I’ve also taken receipt of an additional box of models from my favourite “Wizkids” Second-hand emporium from across the Pond, “Troll And Toad”, which included Hit-Monkey; a gun-totting primate who formed part of Dum Dum Dugan’s “Howling Commandos Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Considering the “Heroclix” figure’s diminutive size and predominantly black colour-scheme, the “World’s greatest assassin” shouldn’t take too long to paint, so I’ve added a couple of extra super-heroes to the mix such as the Japanese macaque’s boss, and the Black Widow.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

"Bloodletters Are Horrific Lesser Daemons Of Khorne..."

"...That specialise in close combat fighting."
These five plastic 6mm scale Bloodletters were made by "Games Workshop" for their tabletop wargame "Epic", and sadly are now long Out Of Production (OOP). However I was fortunate enough to purchase a small tub of second-hand lesser daemons of Khorne from a stall whilst perusing this year's "Colours" at Newbury, and resultantly hope to paint enough figures up to at least give me eight stands worth (250 points) to use with the "NetEpic Gold" free-to-play rule-set.

The tiny figures were initially all super-glued to a thin strip of wood, and primed using two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red. They were then washed using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red.
Some Undead models from "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King's Quest" by "Mantic Games"
I subsequently 'picked out' their loincloths and horns with some Black and applied a layer of Heavy Sienna to their Hellblades. Later I pigmented their hand-weapons using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and finished the blades off with a delicate dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass.

Originally I had intended to permanently base my Bloodletters upon a circular lipped stand, as I've seen "Epic" Space Marines based this way before and really liked the look of them. However, having gloss varnished and cut the miniatures off their painting branch, found them far too fiddly to assemble together as a 'bunched up' fivesome. So in the end decided to go with a small "Flames Of War" rectangular stand by "Battlefront Miniatures".
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Adder Combat Lifter has been completely base-layered
In addition to finishing my "Epic" test-pieces, I have also managed to complete the second of the scythe-carrying Skeleton Warriors found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games". I've now finished re-basing all of my previously painted models for this boardgame onto the smaller Undead square stands used for "Kings Of War", and hope to add to their total over the next few weeks... 

Finally, I've made some significant in-roads on my latest resin vehicle by "The Ion Age". As the 15mm science fiction range has a real "Rogue Trader" feel to it, I've been painting up some Prydian Army models as Crimson Fist Space Marines, and felt their infantry would appreciate the additional firepower of an Adder Combat Lifter in their fight against the Xenomorphs XX121.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

"...The Arm Of A Zombie Reached Up And Pulled A Lever."

"Clanking mechanisms that had lain dormant for ten centuries creaked into life."
These two 28mm scale Ghosts form part of the "twenty six detailed and fully assembled miniatures in coloured plastic" found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games", and initially appear in the boxed set's sixth adventure, "Turned Around". Each desperately dragging a heavy ball and chain, the restless spirits haunt the corridors of an ungodly crypt located at the farthest end of the scenario's rotating rooms and are able to "Walk Through Walls"...

Initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Black, both figures were heavily dry-brushed with Heavy Charcoal before having their crippling encumbrances 'picked out' using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As I wanted the metallic objects to appear somewhat ancient and soiled I then applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash to them, and blended it in with the help of a delicate dry-brush of (more) "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Muster Patrol Trooper has had all his base layers blocked in
I've rather embarrassingly actually owned an unpainted Undead "Kings Of War" army for several years now, and one of the main reasons I bought "Dungeon Saga" was so I could paint up a number of its decaying denizens and subsequently use them for "Mantic Games" tabletop mass battle rule-set. As a result, I've found myself becoming increasingly irked by the large paving stone bases upon which the Necromancer Overlord's minions stand, and with these two miniatures finally decided to take the plunge and re-based them upon the 20mm square bases predominantly used by Undead infantry troops.

In addition to finally finishing my pair of Ghosts, I have also made some significant progress on the first two Muster Patrol models I want to add to my current meagre-sized 15mm Prydian Army by "The Ion Age". Approximately four years ago I actually decided to start a weekly painting challenge for three months by 'picking' a painting subject based upon the turn of a playing card every seven days, and perhaps unsurprisingly ended up painting a small collection of figures from across a variety of ranges. These days I'm more concerned with monthly painting targets, yet felt the principle was still sound, and so have set myself the target of finishing forty points worth of the marvellously characterful science-fiction figures over the next thirty-one days instead.
"Bolt Action" WIPs - A German soldier, Rommel and a British Tommy
I have actually 'borrowed' the points system from the annual "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge", and have been using its methodology to track my painting output over the past few years. For 15mm scale models I'm going to need to paint up a fair few foot soldiers as they only weigh in at two points each. However, as vehicles are worth six points apiece you can expect a handful of vehicles to promptly appear too so as to supplement my total tally over the next few weeks. To begin with though I'm hopeful this nearly-finished Standard Bearer, along with his Captain, will get me off to a reasonable start...

Lastly, I had the pleasure of attending "Warlord Games" Open Day on Saturday 22nd September 2018, and amongst my loot managed to not only bag the event's two free "Bolt Action" miniatures entitled "War Without Hate", but also their Western Desert Campaign Book's special figure of Rommel. I actually ended up buying quite a bit from the Nottingham-based manufactuer's Second World War range, as well as a few "Konflikt '47" weird war infantry units too, so expect plenty of vampires, werewolves, zombies and armoured exo-skeletons in the near future.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - October 2018

"The Ion Age" WIPs - An Adder Combat Lifer, Muster First Patroller and an Adder Combat Car
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will heavily focus upon several of the incredibly detailed 15mm scale science fiction models produced by "The Ion Age". I've not actually painted any of the figures or vehicles from this genre for a couple of years now despite owning a sizeable number of their seemingly "Rogue Trader" influenced sculpts, so my plan is to 'flesh out' both my previously pigmented Prydian Army and Muster First Patrol with some additional infantrymen and resin vehicles. 

In the past I've used a palette similar to that of the Adeptus Astartes chapter known as the Crimson Fists for my Prydians, and the original light grey uniform worn by the Imperial Guard for my Muster men. As a result I intend to paint their corresponding vehicles in similar colour schemes, possibly 'touch-up' a few of my older miniatures, and then hopefully re-fight one of my earliest Battle Reports against H. R. Giger's Xenomorphs (as manufactured by "Pendraken Miniatures").
"Dungeon Saga" WIPs - Three re-based Skeleton Warriors at various painting stages
Of course, that doesn't mean I've given up working on several "Dungeon Saga" figures by "Mantic Games". This project momentarily stalled following my decision to re-base all the plastic models from "The Dwarf King's Quest" starter set onto the somewhat smaller square stands needed to play the company's mass combat rule-set "Kings Of War".

With hindsight I really should have done this at the start of "Saga'Tember" as I was never happy with the large stone-paved bases which the skeletons, ghosts and heroes came on. But with them now re-based my flagging enthusiasm for these classic dungeon crawlers has been significantly rekindled, and I have even gone so far as to make some additional purchases to add to my future Undead Forces...
"Necromunda" WIPS - Three House Goliath gangers assembled, based and primed "Vallejo" Black
Lastly, I have finished assembling my seven-figure Goliath gang for "Necromunda" by "Games Workshop". These multi-part miniatures have proved somewhat more time-consuming than I anticipated as I actually tried 'kit-bashing' a couple of my members instead of simply following the 'load-outs' in the boxed game's instruction manual.

Fortunately, I didn't do any lasting damage to any of the figures and have subsequently been able to weaponise them as per the Nottingham-based company's suggestions. These three final figures will simply be the grunts of my force, and, as with my other "hulking brutes", will be painted up so as to  loosely represent the Harkonnens from Frank Herbert's "Dune" universe.