Tuesday, 13 November 2018

"In A Term Of Near A Millennium..."

"...The brightness of the stars was once more the promise of Humanity."
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is manufactured by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035B Yellow Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. Typically entering the battlefield with "a crew of two", I equipped this Fire Support variant with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod in a turret and actually painted the automobile's underside before super-gluing the model upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

However, having recently experienced some issues with the colour scheme I have previously applied to my two other transports, I decided to actually 'pilot' a much darker palette to this particular conveyance and therefore replaced my usual two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey with "Vallejo" Dark Grey instead. I then washed the entire "four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and set about giving the four-wheeled vehicle a heavy dry-brush with (more) "Vallejo" Dark Grey.
Nox WIPs - The Khanate soldier has been primed, shaded, dry-brushed and detailed
Slightly dissatisfied with the highlighting, I subsequently added an extra step to my usual painting pattern by adding some "Vallejo" Dead White to my Dark Grey and then applied this slightly lighter shade over the model courtesy of a second dry-brush. With the majority of the miniature finished I set about 'picking out' its axles, exhaust pipes, missiles and wheel trims with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. I also applied a little "Vallejo" Dead White and splash of Pale Grey to its headlights.

With the last of my current collection of Combat Cars completed I have turned my attention to painting up some of the numerous Nox figures I own. Unlike my Prydian forces I plan to essentially stick to 'official' "The Ion Age" colour scheme for these elite troops of the Shia Khan Empire, yet alter their background for my "Rogue Trader" themed games by using them as gun-totting Bloodletters; suitable chaotic foes indeed for my Imperial Guard and Crimson Fists to face.
"Moongrunt" WIPs - The US Lunar Marines have been primed and washed
These days there are simply loads of different Nox poses to chose from within the range, but when I first bought mine a few years ago there were actually just three regular trooper sculpts, and resultantly I purchased a good dozen or so where the Segmentum power armoured warrior was simply stood upright carrying their Flora Grenade Gun. As a result, although I plan to eventually add a little more variety to my blood-stained force in the future, I first intend to plough on through the horde of Khanate soldiers I currently own.

Sticking with 15mm, I have also managed to prime and shade the first of my US Lunar Marines by "Ground Zero Games". These "Moongrunt" 'test pieces' will hopefully be reasonably quick to paint, considering that all they now need is to be dry-brushed and have details such as their weapons and helmet visors pigmented before being based...

Sunday, 11 November 2018

"Macragge Is The Homeworld Of The Ultramarines Chapter Of The Space Marines..."

"...And the capital world of the stellar realm of Ultramar."
This 28mm scale plastic section from a crashed Imperial Aquila Shuttle was made by "Games Workshop" and was one of a handful of terrain pieces included within the Nottingham-based company's Battle for Macragge starter set. Produced "for the 4th edition of Warhammer 40,000", yet devoid of any of that wargame's infamous double-headed eagle insignias, I thought the broken metal debris would actually prove useful for any Science Fiction influenced or Post Apocalyptic based tabletop, and resultanly super-glued it onto a laser cut 120mm x 90mm oval MDF base.

The model was initially primed with a coat of "Vallejo" Black and subsequently treated to two layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. It was then heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before being enthusiastically dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. I have predominantly seen this piece painted using various military grey colour schemes, but as I wanted it to fit in alongside my "Gamma World" terrain, I followed my usual palette for ancient corroding rusted metal...
Yellow Adder Combat Car WIPs - "The Ion Age" vehicle has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
As a result I liberally applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over all the girders, especially focusing upon each of its bolt heads, and later set about blending the orange bits in with the rest of the wreck's paint scheme via a second "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey dry-brush. Lastly, I tried to ensure the ensemble matched the basing for the rest of my scenery by pigmenting its highly-detailed base with "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, before applying some "Games Workshop" grass flock to certain areas.

Sticking with a similarly straightforward colour scheme, I have begun reworking the third of my 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle produced by “The Ion Age”. As with the other two Combat Cars I finished last month, I intend for this model to resemble a motorised unit which wouldn't look out of place within a "Rogue Trader" era Imperial Guard force. However, having been increasingly frustrated and disappointed with how my previous two transports have turned out, I have decided to apply a significantly darker shade of grey upon this particular Prydian Army automobile and lighten it up using a couple of dry-brushes.
US Lunar Force Buggy WIP - The metal model has been primed "Vallejo" Dead White and washed with Pale Grey
Having finished assembling my "Yellow Adder combat car variant armed with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod in a turret", I have instead turned my attention towards a US Lunar Force Buggy made by "Ground Zero Games". This particular conveyance is entirely metal and came in several pieces which seemed to take an age to super-glue together. Fortunately, the end result has been well worth the effort, as the little exploration transport's attention to detail is absolutely top-notch.

I have already finished progressing the large-wheeled machine's underbelly with "Vallejo" Dead White and Pale Grey, and subsequently gritted, painted, shaded and varnished its large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand too. Hopefully this should mean the rest of the "Moongrunt" miniature can be simply dry-brushed with some additional white, before I start to 'pick out' its tyres and some of its astronaut's details... 

Friday, 2 November 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Moongrunt" November 2018

US Lunar Force Buggy WIP - The metal model has been assembled and primed "Vallejo" Dead White
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will primarily focus upon a cardboard box full of 15mm "Moongrunt" miniatures I actually bought whilst at "Warfare" in Reading last year. Sold by "Ground Zero Games", this US Lunar Marines Starter Force was one of three similarly-sized sets which the Essex-based manufacturer tempted me with during a moment of weakness, and, rather embarassingly, is actually the first one I've since opened...

As 'usual' I've also used the turn of a playing card to determine just how many of these miniatures I plan to paint over the course of the next thirty days, and rather alarmingly this target will be a truly formidable ninety points; more than twice that of October's "The Ion Age" challenge. Fortunately over the past few days, I've already managed to assemble a Lunar Buggy, an awesome Rocket Sled and incredibly hefty Lunar Rover, so they should give me a somewhat straightforward six points per vehicle for starters (using the points system from the annual "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge").
US Lunar Force Rocket Sled WIP - The metal model has been assembled and primed "Vallejo" Dead White
In addition, I have sought inspiration for the background behind my Lunar Force from the old "Action Man" adventure mini-book "Race For The Moon". Published by "Purnell" in the Late Sixties this publication tells the story of Action Man's investigation into the death of astronaut Commander Sheffield and the machinations of the Asiatic Federation. I thought a 'modern-day' version of the struggle between Cape Canaveral's Space Administration and I.N.S.E.C.T. (International Secrets Trust) to be the first to reach the moon and seize control of the natural satellite would provide plenty of tabletop opportunties, especially as "Ground Zero games" also produce a Chinese "Moongrunt" range as well...

Of course I've yet to start work on or even unwrap my US Lunar Marines Starter Force's "full platoon of infantry". But you can probably imagine that I already plan to proxy one appropriate astronaut figure as "Action Man" himself, as well as perhaps another to represent Sheffield; even if the American is surprisingly soon revealed by the murderous Chang to have been one of the traitors on the Moonship Project. 
Punchline and Roughneck WIPs - The two resin figures have been assembled and under-coated
Alongside this trip down memory lane, I also plan to paint up a couple of super-hero models from "Kitbash Games" and their upcoming "Kickstarter" for their "Supers Unlimited" range. PulpCitizen of "Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer" blog fame has very generously introduced me to the wonderfully wacky Punchline and psycho-looking Roughneck early, and resultantly I have already assembled, based and primed the resin miniatures.

There's a real old-school Silver Age of Comics feel to these characters which I absolutely adore, with the Shadow Axis' angry ex-entertainer, Punchline, owning a pair power gloves which clearly pack a mighty punch, and Roughneck proving to be a misguided back alley street fighter turned anti-heroic vigilante. Delightfully however, these "strecth goals" really are the tip of an impressively large roster of comic book characters planned for release, so I'm hoping to get them on the tabletop very soon and post a few playtests of their "Supers Miniature Gaming" rules.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

"The Adder Is The Standard Light Ground Vehicle For The Muster."

"Do you want to liberate worlds held by the Marcher Barons or resist the advance of the Prydian Army?"
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is produced by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035A Red Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. Staffed with "a crew of two" and "capable of dealing with low level threats", I fitted the transport's turret mount with a Moth rotary cannon and actually went as far as to super-glue it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

However, having previously painted one of the range's other Adder vehicles, I decided against trying to frustratingly paint its under-floor whilst it was already 'based' and prised it off by its wheels, having first allowed the grit I use for my basing to dry. This left me with four spaces on the stand into which I could later re-attach the vehicle, and meant I could also pigment the Combat Car's underbelly like it was an overturned turtle.
"Rumours abound about the ever increasing numbers of Muster and Retained..."
Due to my ‘modelling’ part of my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" era of the Imperial Guard, I undercoated the entire automobile with two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed the entire "four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I then 'picked out' its easy to reach axles and exhaust pipes with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil.

I painted the conveyance's lamps with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, before applying some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to its hub caps, as well as its formidable-looking Moth rotary cannon. Ordinarily at this point I then treat my miniatures to a layer of "Coat d'arms" Gloss Varnish, but startlingly, my trusty pot of protection did anything but preserve my paint-job, and instead 'tore off' the vast majority of its "Citadel" Nuln Oil shading.
"...Along with some of the shining lights of the Starvaulters being sent to the remote Carmarthen Star Cluster."
Mightily miffed, I decided to try my hand at applying a white and dark grey camouflage pattern to these 'bare' areas, and actually managed to get half-way around the tankette before I spotted just how poorly the paint seemed to be covering the "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey undercoat. Something was definitely going amiss with the varnish, so having experienced a similar result with a second camouflage coat, I resigned myself to simply re-painting the entire vehicle "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, washing it with (even more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil and this time varnishing it with "Vallejo" Gloss Varnish.

Unfortunately, probably as a result of either the first coat of varnish, or perhaps the four layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey used to undercoat the model, parts of the resin sculpt would appear to have significantly softened, especially on its bonnet. In addition, the "Citadel" Nuln Oil has turned out a lot darker and rather gloopier on this model than it did on my previous Combat Car, despite my desperately trying to imitate the self-same coverage of shade...

Monday, 29 October 2018

"By Virtue Of My Authority As An Officer Of The Army Space Corps..."

"...I hereby claim this planet, its moons and satellites for the greater glory of the Sontaran Empire."
This 28mm metal Sontaran model is produced by “Black Tree Design" and can be bought from their "Doctor Who" range as code DW304 Linx The Sontaran. Forced "to make an emergency landing on Earth while on reconnaissance when his ship was attacked by a squadron of Rutan fighters, Jingo was created by Robert Holmes and made his BBC Television debut in the 1973 story "The Time Warrior".

The figure was initially undercoated with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, roughly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Irongron's ally then had his knee-pads, belt and neck armour base-coated with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and subsequently shaded with (more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The troopers will slowly have their base layers 'picked out' before shading starts
Originally I had thought the Sontaran sculpt was just awkwardly handling his rheon carbine, and resultantly started to 'pick out' the weapon with "Vallejo" Dead White. However, I later felt the firearm looked better with just a straightforward "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil paint scheme. In addition, because I wanted the alien to look somewhat swarthy I shaded his "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone with some Strong Tone Quickshade by  "The Army Painter".

Moving over to my 15mm miniature collection, I am still painting up a few more Muster First Patrol troopers produced by "The Ion Age", and have set to work trying to complete a three-figure stand of ordinary soldiers before the end of the month. In addition, I have primed a trooper carrying a formidably long Charlatan IV 22mm Launcher, and the Medic model from the Prydian Infantry range's Muster First Patrol Command pack.
Boromite X-Launcher WIP - The Heavy Weapon Team has been based and primed
Ideally, in my mind at least, both of these 'special' figures should 'sit' upon a pair of small "Flames Of War" bases and be accompanied by an ordinary trooper. But with my completion of the aforementioned three-figure stand I'll actually have finally finished painting all of the basic Muster First Patrol figures which I own. Time to order more then clearly...

Lastly, I have managed to find some time to base and undercoat a Boromite team with X-Launcher for my "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" skirmish force. It really is early days yet for this heavy weapon team addition by "Warlord Games", as I'm currently planning on predominantly just expanding my extra-terrestrial mining army with some extra squad members rather than an entirely new unit. However, this portable magnetic launcher not only hurls explosive missiles or bombs at my opponents but, if I spend the points, can also propel some special munitions packages such as Arc, Blur, Scramble, and Scoot.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

"Centuries passed..."

"...And the region of space containing these now green and pleasant worlds became richer and safer."
These three 15mm miniatures are from "The Ion Age" miniatures selection IAF008 Retained Knight Post Charlie and are all armed with Angis Rifles. Operating within the Prydian Army as Lances of twenty-two men, I've actually painted them to proxy some "Rogue Trader" era 'beaky' space marines from the "Warhammer 40K" universe originally "developed by Rick Priestley as a science-fiction version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle." 

Resultantly, the trio have been based them on a medium-sized plastic "Flames Of War" stand by “Battlefront Miniatures” and undercoated "Vallejo" Heavy Blue. As I'm currently building a Crimson Fist Chapter of Adeptus Astartes, I then heavily washed the armoured warriors with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and 'picked out' their hands with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter.
"Epic" Bloodletter WIPs - The Less Daemons of Khorne now needs just their hand-weapons to be shaded
Each figure's formidable-looking firearm was initially layered with "Vallejo" Black, and subsequently treated to a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being washed with Nuln Oil. Disconcertingly, this "Citadel" Shade actually seemed to evaporate whilst I was varnishing the models with "Coat d'Arms" Gloss, so I actually ended up applying some more Nuln Oil to both the Retained Knights' armour and weapons before they were finally tabletop ready.

Momentarily staying with "the distant future, where a stagnant human civilization is beset by hostile aliens and malevolent supernatural creatures", I am making plenty of progress on another ten tiny plastic "Games Workshop" Bloodletters produced for the Nottingham-based company's "large-scale battle" "Epic". I'm not entirely sure where this 6mm project will take me, but for now I'm aiming to get eight stands (totalling forty figures) finished to represent a Bloodletter horde and then rummage around my collection for some opposition...
Badrock WIPs - The super-hero is slowly having all his base layers painted ready for shading
Lastly, I have found a little time to persevere with all the base layers on a formidably large resin sculpt of the "Image Comics" super-hero Badrock (formerly Bedrock). I've actually managed to acquire a handful of resin super-hero sculpts from a private collector, but this one is by far and away my favourite if for nothing else than he arrived as a single cast.

In addition, having done some research into the character's various costumes, I was rather pleased to spot a few illustrations depicting Rob Liefeld's creation sporting an all-red leotard and boots, which has meant my painting the super-strong giant has become considerably easier than I initially thought. Of course, the "Youngblood" still has plenty of work left to do, but hopefully he'll be ready for some tabletop shenanigans soon... 

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

"Like All Of Khorne's Creatures They Are Formidable And Ferocious Warriors..."

"...Among the deadliest in the galaxy with savage ferocity and... strength far out of proportion to their body mass."
These five plastic 6mm scale Bloodletters were made by "Games Workshop" for their now long Out Of Production (OOP) tabletop wargame "Epic", and are part of a small tub of second-hand lesser daemons of Khorne I managed to stumble upon whilst picking my way through the numerous stalls at this year's "Colours" at Newbury. Originally I had hoped to paint enough of these tiny figures to use with "NetEpic Gold", but having scoured the various other 'downloadable' rule-sets available, and seen that they all require some outrageously expensive old miniatures for my Khorne Army to be 'legal', I'll probably now end up using them with a homemade rule-set; especially as I've since discovered my purchase contains a healthy mix of "Space Marine - Second Edition" and "Epic" Bloodletter figures, and ideally I'd like to field both together.

The diminutive models were all originally 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. I subsequently 'picked out' their loincloths and horns with some Black and applied a layer of Heavy Sienna to their Hellblades. Lastly, I pigmented their hand-weapons using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, finished the blades off with a delicate dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass, and assembled them upon a small "Flames Of War" rectangular stand by "Battlefront Miniatures".
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Adder Combat Car has been completely base-layered
Setting aside this enjoyable, if not a little eye-straining distraction, I have been busy progressing some additional miniatures from my slowly dwindling "The Ion Age" collection, most notably a second of the company's 15mm scale Adder Combat Cars. Unlike the first of these four wheeled light vehicles I've previously painted, I actually left the resin model off of its base until I'd finished painting its underbelly, and resultantly it's proved far less frustrating an experience.

In addition, I thought I might try and 'pick out' a few more of the sculpt's details than its predecessor, such as its hatch, and somewhat break-up its all-light grey monotony. However, although I've gone with another recognisable 'military colour', I'm not convinced (Russian) green is really the right colour to complement the grey, and may change it for something colder, like blue. That way, I might then later paint some more of my Muster First Patrol miniatures and their accompanying vehicles with a green and tan palette in order to replicate that of the Cadian Imperial Guard Shock Troops in "Warhammer 40,000".
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Noble of Prydia has been primed and is starting to have his detail 'picked out'
Finally, I have started painting one of "The Ion Age" 28mm Nobles of Prydia to use as a proxy for Horus Lupercal; "the most favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, and ultimately, the greatest Traitor in the history of Mankind." I've long fancied using this particular miniature to represent the fearsome Primarch, even though his great size when compared to the Prydian Army's 15mm knights bears little resemblance to the real ratio between the Warmaster and his early 31st Millennium space marines.

However, on the tabletop that should mean Horus will really dominate his force, and the sheer amount of wonderful detail on these larger models means I'm very willing to suspend my disbelief for the duration of a battle or two. Indeed, I plan to buy a few of these Marcher Barons in order to help populate my "Horus Heresy" themed tabletop with the various favoured sons of the Emperor of Mankind...