Tuesday, 25 June 2019

"Powerful Enchanters Created An Army Of Granite Golems..."

"...To tear stone from the mountains and shape it into great blocks..."
This 49mm tall model of a Stone Golem is produced by “Reaper Miniatures” and can be bought as Code 77171 from their “Bones” range. A “unique monster” with a deep hatred of Wizards who rampages through the ruins of the Frozen City, the Granite Golem is the focus of the 2015 “Frostgrave” mini-campaign supplement “The Hunt For The Golem” by Jospeh A. McCullough.

"Slowly rendered obsolete by more effective elemental magic that was both less expensive and less time-consuming", the creature was primed using an old out-of-production pot of "Citadel" Charadon Granite, shaded with Nuln Oil and dry-brushed using some (more) Charadon Granite. In order for the construct’s skirt to stand out somewhat from the rest of its body, I subsequently painted the area in "Vallejo" Steel Grey, washed it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushed it with (more) "Vallejo" Steel Grey.
"Reaper Miniatures" WIPs - A Clay Golem and (another) Mind-Eater
The Stone Golem's belt-buckle, bracelets and head-piece were pigmented with a combination of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Whilst the "lone survivor" had its eyes ‘picked out’ with a dollop of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and a little splash of "Citadel" Glaze Bloodletter. Lastly, the recently thawed out creature had its based flocked with “Citadel” Snow so as to better fit in with the rest of my painted “Frostgrave” collection.

Sticking with "Reaper Miniatures" and their “Bones” range, I have also made some significant progress on two more of the Fort Worth founded company’s Mind Eaters, and a Clay Golem. All three of these polymer plastic models are destined for my “Gamma World” tabletop and have rather motivated me to dig out many more figures from their “Chronoscope”, “Dark Heaven Legends” and “Reich Of The Dead” lines.
Pulp Apes WIPs - These hefty metal models have been undercoated and shaded
In addition, I have taken possession of four 44mm tall metal Pulp Apes from a private commission, which are perfect proxies for the Shadow Beasts depicted on the “He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe” animated television series. Despite being described on the “Wiki Grayskull” website as having dark brown fur, I’ve decided to paint the “fierce nocturnal creatures” in the dark purple palette shown during the episode “Night Of The Shadowbeasts”.

As with my recently returned interest in “Reaper Miniatures”, this latest arrival has also disconcertingly piqued my enthusiasm for all things Eternia and the secrets of Castle Greyskull. So perhaps unsurprisingly I have been rummaging around my substantial backlog looking for a number of figures I have previously purchased relating to Prince Adam’s alter-ego and his endless battle against the evil forces of Skeletor.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

"An Intellect Devourer Resembles A Walking Brain..."

"...Protected by a crusty covering and set on bestial clawed legs."
This 28mm model of a Mind Eater is manufactured by “Reaper Miniatures” and can be purchased as Code 77229 from their “Bones” range. Sculpted by Patrick Keith, and clearly inspired by Gary Gygax's Intellect Devourer, "this foul aberration feeds on the intelligence of sentient creatures" and first appeared in the 1976 "Dungeons & Dragons" game supplement "Eldritch Wizardry".

Bred by Mind Flayers "to serve as roaming hunters of the Underdark", the four-legged creature was primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Grey, doused in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and later dry-brushed using some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Grey. I then decided to pigment the monster's 'clawed feet' using a combination of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter".
Hitler's Undead advance as Rocket Raccoon steps in to protect the Dark Knight
Finally, I painted the lawful evil aberration's brain with a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Squid Pink. This organ was subsequently shaded with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, as well as a little Strong Tone Quickshade around it's base, and enthusiastically dry-brushed with some (more) "Vallejo" Squid Pink.

Moving across from fantasy to science-fiction wargaming, I have managed to pay another visit to the LVL Up Gaming Store in Bournemouth so as to play a game of my homemade ruleset "M.I.S.S." and finally dust-down both my collection of "Secrets Of The Third Reich" Nazi Zombies by "West Wind Productions", as well as the somewhat comical-looking miniature of Adolf Hitler sold by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" under their "Danger 5" range. This cataclysmic confrontation would see Commissioner Jim Gordon take on the Fuhrer's Undead might, alongside the likes of Chewbacca, Lockjaw, Lobster Johnston, Rocket Raccoon and (of course) Godzilla.
Lobster Johnson and Jim Gordon are eaten alive by Nazi Zombies
Fought across a 3' x 3' swamp-inspired tabletop populated with a couple of forests and a pair of pools, both forces desperately attempted to seek arcane knowledge from a trio of gargoyle statues, a heavily-disguised Ben Grimm and the Batman. This resulted in Lockjaw arguably proving to be the most useful character of the afternoon, teleporting the likes of Lobster Johnson and Jim Gordon all over the show in a desperate attempt to cull the twenty-five walking dead models stumbling towards them.

Godzilla, certainly in the first battle at least, also proved to be a bastion of strength for the Forces of Good, holding the central objective [The Thing] despite being persistently peppered with bullets from Hitler's semi-automatic machine gun. Disappointingly for the heroes however, after a tensely-fought draw in the first fight, the rematch saw them fall beneath a seemingly relentless horde of zombies, with even the mighty Chewbacca's raking firepower failing to halt the march of Adolf's undead...

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Stone Golems Are Formidable Opponents..."

"...Being physically powerful and difficult to harm."
This 49mm tall model of a Stone Golem is manufactured by “Reaper Miniatures” and can be purchased as Code 77171 from their “Bones” range. Sculpted by James Van Schaik, the magical construct first appeared in the original 1975 "Greyhawk" supplement written by Gary Gygax and Robert J. Kuntz, "and has since then become one of the most well-known creatures of the Dungeons & Dragons game."

"Made of stone and are twice as strong as Flesh Golems", the monster was undercoated using an old out-of-production pot of "Citadel" Charadon Granite, washed with Nuln Oil and later dry-brushed using some (more) Charadon Granite. As I wanted his skirt to somewhat stand out from the rest of his body, I subsequently painted the area in "Vallejo" Sombre Grey, shaded it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushed it with (more) "Vallejo" Sombre Grey.
"Reaper Miniatures" WIPs - The Mind-Eater is slowly having its giant brain layered and shaded
The Stone Golem's waist-band, bracelets and head-piece were initially layered in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, before being treated to a combination of Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. These ornaments were later 'highlighted' using a smidgen more "Vallejo" Gold. Whilst the "physically powerful" creature had its eyes spotted with a dab of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and the "Citadel" Glaze Bloodletter.

Finally, I 'picked out' the large construct's belt-buckle with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and then shaded it with a little Nuln Oil. Originally, when I first spotted this unaligned guardian I had planned to use it just for "Frostgrave" and subsequently had intended to flock its lipped base with snow. However, I eventually decided to purchase two figures, and use this particular model for "Gamma World" instead; quite possibly as a wandering party's magically resistant protector.  
"Games Workshop" Chaos Spawn - The brute has been covered in lengthy spikes and squishy tentacles
Having finished one of several "Reaper Miniatures" I currently have sat upon my painting table, I have also continued to make some steady progress on the first of my "Bones" Mind-Eaters. Clearly based upon the tiny "Dungeons & Dragons" aberration known as an Intellect Devourer, this literal 'brain on legs' will eventually form part of a three-figure strong pack for my gaming in the post-apocalyptic mid-25th century.

Lastly, I have glued together the last of the monstrous Chaos Spawn I intend to field as part of an "Age Of Sigmar" Slaves To Darkness warband. Absolutely covered in spikes, I actually tried to replicate one of the massively malformed creatures depicted upon the multi-part plastic kit's box art, and resultantly probably ended up using far more of the sprues' incredibly useful conversion bitz than I intended to...

Sunday, 16 June 2019

"He's Back! As Only Jack Kirby Can Do It!"

"T'Challa returns to his rightful realm.."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of the Black Panther is miniature number 086 from the Marvel "Heroclix" Infinity Challenge range and depicts "the first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics" wearing the costume shown during his title's third volume of adventures in 1998. Created by Stan Lee and Jack "King" Kirby for the July 1966 issue of "Fantastic Four", T'Challa would subsequently join the Avengers before "receiving numerous urgent official letters requesting him to return to his increasingly troubled homeland" and defeat the "would-be usurper Erik Killmonger".

Originally conceived as the Coal Tiger, and then briefly called the Black Leopard, the pre-painted Chief of the Panther Tribe was primed using "Citadel" Abaddon Black, heavily dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then picked out the figure's belt, bracelets and necklace with a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before applying a couple of spots of "Vallejo" Dead White to his eyes.
"Reaper Miniatures" WIPs - A Clay Golem, a Mind Eater and a Stone Golem
Whilst trying to clear myself a bit of space on my painting table, I have discovered a few partially-progressed polymer models produced by "Reaper Miniatures", and disconcertingly found myself once again somewhat distracted by the 'post-apocalyptic' background of "Gamma World". As a result I've spent a few hours applying a couple of layers to this odd assortment of "Bones" figures in the hope that I can somewhat quickly get the odd one finished off...

For starters I've got to work on a rather well-muscled Clay Golem, which as memory serves was at one point destined to be converted into General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross's alter-ego, the Red Hulk. However, as I now own an actual "Heroclix" model of A.I.M.'s co-creation, I plan to simply pigment the unaligned large construct in a brown colour scheme suitable for his involvement in a game of "Dungeons & Dragons".
"Games Workshop" Chaos Spawn - The brute has been covered in tentacles and sharp spikes
Likewise, I'm working on three plastic Mind Eaters and a (second) Stone Golem. It really is early days yet for the trio of "roaming hunters of the Underdark", but having previously half-completed one of "Reaper Miniatures" Stone Golems in the past, I have made some considerable in-roads on his slightly differently paletted brother; quite possibly because I may actually end up applying some snow to his base so as to use him in "Frostgrave".

Lastly, I have assembled one of two Chaos Spawn I hope to field for my "Age Of Sigmar" Slaves To Darkness warband. In all honesty, I actually purchased the kit so as to utilise some of its contents as conversion pieces for my Doom Lords "Blood Bowl" players. But before doing so wanted to ensure I didn't use the multi-part plastic 'bitz' I would need to build a pair of the "dangerous and unpredictable" monstrosities.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

"Eyes On The Pies!"

"Wipe those greasy little fingers on your trousers..." 
"Greetings sports fans. I'm Jim Maddenberg, and welcome to another Mid-Week Football special. This time round we'll be taking a look at the latest club to put their name in the hat for the upcoming season, the Greenfield Grasshuggers, as well as catching up on all the news from the Doom Lords locker room too. But first my fellow presenter, Thom Grassyglade, has a tasty treat for you... Eh? Is that a pastry of some kind, Thom..!?!"

"Right you are Jim. This pastie was freshly baked by Bartweed Crumbleberry's missus just an hour ago, and is almost certain to end the Halfing's opening match inside one of their portly player's bellies rather than in their opponent's score zone. Indeed, it smells so good I'm not sure Head Coach Drago Foodcraver is going to be able to keep his hands off of his own team's game-ball before the starting whistle has even blown."
"Blood Bowl" WIPs - A Catcher, a Hopeful and a Halfling Hefty
"One of three plastic well-baked balls found within The Greenfield Grasshuggers boxed set, the tatty oggy was super-glued onto a 25mm circular base and primed using "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. It was then shaded using a little Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Brown."

"Fascinating stuff, Thom, and with such match benefits it's easy to see just how club owner Ricard Whalloper II has already announced the imminent signing of his side's first three players... Lumpin Hoop, Ernald Spiritburner and Jingo Merrychap. What more can you tell us about these Halfling Hopefuls, Thom?"
The Doom Lords WIPs - A Chosen Blocker and Beastman Runner
"Well its early days for the Landlord of the Tumble Down Dick's Coaching Inn yet, Jim, with all three participants still needing a considerable amount of work before they'll be match ready. For now however, there's the promise of a well-stocked food hamper for any halfling who survives a game, plus the rumour of a Treeman having been sighted at the Greenfield training ground..."

"Thanks Thom, that certainly sounds like some marvellous nosh will be on the table whenever the six-time Thimble Cup Winners take to the pitch. But before we wrap up there's just enough time to confirm that Harry the Idolator has stated that he still intends to bring at least one more Beastman Runner and a third Chosen Blocker to the Doom Lords within the next few days. Hopefully we'll be able to cover this story in further detail in our next broadcast."

Monday, 10 June 2019

"But No Matter Where You Run, I'll Find You --"

"-- And slay you without mercy!"
This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of Firefall is miniature number 007a from the Avengers Infinity "Marvel" "Heroclix" range, and depicts "one of Rom's best friends", Karas, wearing his Galadorian plandanium armour. "One of the Galadorian volunteers that became the First Generation of Spaceknights to battle the Dire Wraiths", Firefall was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, and was first mentioned in the February 1990 issue of "Rom".

Cut from its 'clicky-base', the figure was super-glued on to a 25mm circular stand, before being undercoated using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Orange. I then shaded the Living Fire of Galador about the sculpt's shoulders with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and dry-brushed them with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Orange.
"Black Tree Design" WIPs - An android, Sharaz Jek and Drathro
These flames were subsequently highlighted using a little "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and some Iraqi Sand. Finally, Firefall's heavily armoured body was treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, drenched in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and later dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red.

Sticking with science fiction I have been busily beavering away at my second squad of Sharaz Jek Androids, along with the robots' physically disfigured creator himself. These "Black Tree Design" figures took a considerable time to arrive once ordered, and their castings aren't as smooth in places as I would have liked, so they've taken a tad longer than I would have liked filing down their casting flaws.
"Toon Realms" WIPS - One of King Victor's Men-At-Arms and Your Hobby Place Knight Mascot
However, I've just started a rather large "Doctor Who" campaign using just my "Black Tree Design" miniatures along with some home-made rules, and the latest scenario rolled concerns the scarred Spectrox dealer attempting to expand his nefarious operations by establishing a base within the Nimon Empire. Should his gun-toting androids be successful in their endeavours then I thought it would be nice to be able to field their infamous masked master in future battles.   

Lastly, having recently finished painting my Game Kastle Knight Mascot by "Lucid Eye Publications", I have started slowly working my way through some more of King Victor's Men-At-Arms. My momentum to pigment enough models from the "Toon Realms" range for a 'Lord Of The Toons' themed game of "Dragon Rampant" seems to have waned recently, so I'm especially keen to get both these armoured knights and the Your Hobby Place Knight Mascot completed toot sweet.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

"A Chance For Faramir, Captain Of Gondor, To Show His Quality."

"There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North!"
This "cartoon scale" white metal figure of the Game Kastle Knight Mascot is produced by “Lucid Eye Publications” and can be bought from the company's "Toon Realms" range as a single casting. Sculpted by Steve Saleh, I have sanded off the prominent letters 'GK' on the warrior's shield, and painted him so he can be used to proxy the second son of Denethor II as a Gondorian Heavy Foot Character for “Dragon Rampant” by "Osprey Games".

Initially primed with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien was layered in "Citadel" Ironbreaker, enthusiastically washed in "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and eventually dry-brushed using some "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. The “the younger brother of Boromir” then had his belt, sheath, straps and tuft of hair 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, whilst his belt buckle and sword-hilt were spotted in Gold. All of these areas were subsequently washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
MSM-07 'Z-GOK' WIPs - The giant robot's feet and ankles have been primed. shaded and dry-brushed
Finally, the future Lord of Emyn Arnen had his 'bruised' shield pigmented with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and his face painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The captain's nose, cheeks and lips were highlighted with a few additional lines of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.

Stepping away from fantasy wargaming, and focusing upon the somewhat new genre of Gundam, at least for me, I have been slowly working my way up the MSM-07 'Z-GOK' 1/144th scale "Bandai" model kit I recently purchased from "MCM London Comic Con". "The most successful amphibious mobile suit line produced by the Principality of Zeon during the One Year War" I thought it actually best to start painting this robot from the feet up, and resultantly have been working on a few sub-assemblies.
"Wizkids" WIPs - The Scourge, Firefall and the Black Panther
Disconcertingly, this "HG Universal Century" figure is clearly designed to be repeatedly re-positioned, courtesy of numerous articulation points, so has proved a tricky painting subject with some of the flex in its joints. Indeed, even having super-glued the feet to its ankles, the two parts still provide plenty of movement due to some internal rubberised 'ball and socket' fittings which are rather difficult to permanently fix in position.

Lastly, I've made some significant progress on three "Heroclix" models I recently restored to my painting queue having partially-pigmented them some moons ago. The "Wizkids" Spaceknight Firefall has unsurprisingly taken up the majority of my attention, owing to Tarn's flame-covered shoulders, but the entire trio now just need some washes, a little dry-brushing and tidying up before they'll be ready for the tabletop...