Saturday, 12 October 2019

"One Of Warcry’s Most Powerful Fighter Types..."

"...This massive wall of meat and metal is a match for pretty much anyone in the game."
This 28mm scale model of a Breacher is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golems "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". "Hardy and ruthless", this figure actually took quite a while to assemble as it came in ten separate pieces, including a staggering four parts simply to build its formidable-looking spiked hammer-hand.

Once glued upon its 40mm circular base, the Ogor was undercoated with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of its numerous pieces of armour, as well as some tiny symbolic hammers dangling from his chest, painted using a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The vast majority of these areas were then later treated to a coat of the "Citadel" Contrast colour Flesh Tearer Red, which I had previously 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
Four Reavers tackle an Ogor Breacher and a Duardin Armator
This application provided the indomitable fighter's shoulder-pads, helmet, spiked knee-guards, shin-plates and gut-protector a distinctly reddish hue, but also allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to peek through. This particular effect was further exaggerated after the model had been gloss varnished, as for some reason the "Coat d'arms" hard protective transparent film seemingly reacted with the "Citadel" Contrast colour in places, completely eradicating the Flesh Tearer Red so as to leave just the "Vallejo" Brass shining through...

Despite this 'set-back', which to be honest left the Breacher looking like it had covered itself in oily blood as opposed to donning a suit of metallic red armour, I subsequently painted the tyrant's chain-mail loincloth, face-plate, chain-link belt, straps, spiked hammer-hand, and spiked ball-fist with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and shaded them with Nuln Oil. Both the ogor's weapons and loincloth were additionally treated to a smear of "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.
"Resistance is futile."
Lastly, I started working on the dwarf's flesh, and as with my previously-painted Duardin Armator, I initially tried to replicate the warband's 'official' "Games Workshop" pale grey pallor with a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. Unfortunately, despite washing the skin with some watered-down "Citadel" Nuln Oil it simply didn't turn out as I had hoped, so I soon swapped palettes and applied an infinitely more successful combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade instead.

This being the second week of "Zomtober", I have also been busy pigmenting another male Borg drone by “Modiphius Entertainment”. “Designed for use with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game”, this resin figure was painted in precisely the same way as the rest of my Borg Collective, with the exception of his eye lens, which was 'picked out' using a spot of "Vallejo" Dark Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

"Permits Are For Homo Sapiens, Fool!"

"Not for the Vanisher!"
This 28mm scale plastic “Wizkids” model of the Vanisher is miniature number 005 from the Marvel "Heroclix" Mutant Mayhem range and depicts Telford Porter back when he was an "early enemy of the X-Men". A "minor mutant" that possesses the ability to teleport himself "a distance of almost 3000 miles", this member of the Brotherhood of Mutants was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and made his first comic book appearance in the November 1963 issue of "The X-Men".

Initially undercoated using some "Vallejo" Heavy Green, the figure was entirely drenched in "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green. The super-villain's face was then treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, before having his cheek bones, nose and lips 'picked out' with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.
"Black Tree Design" WIPs - The two Monoids have been based and primed
Finally, the professional criminal's mask was painted using a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black and his eyes dotted with "Vallejo" Dead White. I'm actually hoping to purchase a second copy of this mutant at some point in the future, so I can pigment his costume in its original pinkish red tights and purple cape colour scheme...

Way back in July of this year I was so buoyed with the amount of "Black Tree Design" miniatures I was currently painting that I took advantage of one of the manufacturer's weekly "Doctor Who" range discounts, and bought a bunch of different figures predominantly originating from the Time Lord's first incarnation. Regrettably this purchase did not go smoothly at all, with several chase-up emails being required before I got finally received a response some two months later.
Iron Golems WIPs - These two Iron Legionaries are slowly having all their chainmail and chains picked out
To be honest I was all for cancelling my order and trying to reclaim my money back. But then owner John Olsen finally got in contact to both apologise for the substantial delay and offer me a few freebies for my patience. Four weeks later, my models have at long last arrived, including a pair of much appreciated extra Monoids from the March 1966 BBC Television story "The Ark". Having previously painted five of these one-eyed humanoids in the past I have immediately based and primed the duo in order to hopefully get the aliens' reinforced faction on the tabletop soon.

In addition to the pair of flipper-footed extra-terrestrials, I am progressing three Iron Legionaries for my Iron Golems "Warcry" warband. These "Games Workshop" plastic miniatures don't fortunately seem to have as much infuriatingly detail as some of the skirmish game's other heavily encumbered participants, and as a result should hopefully prove to be far more straightforward to complete.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

"Escape Area 51!"

"The popularisation of... the Grey alien is commonly associated with the Barney and Betty Hill abduction claim."
This 28mm scale model of 'The Visitor' was produced by “Spectre Miniatures” and was only available as a strictly limited edition figure for a short time on the company’s website in September 2019. Strongly influenced by the "purported extraterrestrial beings" known as Grey Aliens or Roswell Grays, the "metal cast" sculpt was promoted by the Nottingham-based manufacturer as needing the wargamer's help to both "return home", and "maybe atomise some agency staff on the way."

Having been super-glued onto a 28mm circular lipped base, the Zeta Reticulan was primed using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and shaded in "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The miniature was then dry-brushed with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, before being washed with some additional, albeit heavily watered-down, "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Finally, the figure was given a second, incredibly light dusting of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and had its large, oval eyes 'picked out' with "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
"Wizkids" WIPs - The Lab Gorilla is slowly having all its gory detail picked out
With the bulk of the Gray completed, I turned my attention to the alien's deadly death-ray. The 'official' paint-job depicts the Flash Gordon-like weapon in a sort of mottled brass, but due to its shape resembling that of an old Buster Crabbe rocket I was sorely tempted to go with a bright red. In the end, however, having realised my own palette choice had made the Visitor much darker than that advertised by "Spectre Miniatures" I went with a simple combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil...

Recently I've unearthed a reasonably sized pot of partially-painted and re-based "Wizkids" miniatures, which I have slowly started to 'chip away' at. One such figure, initially destined to join The Riddler's gang as a significant heavy during my early 2017 "Mutants & Death Ray Guns" Gotham City campaign, was an old "Horrorclix" model of a badly-mutilated Lab Gorilla; unsurprisingly sold as part of the range's The Lab Expansion.
"Warcry" WIPs - The Ogor Breacher just needs his armour to be painted metallic red to be finished
Despite needing to be attached to a larger base than the 28mm circular stand I had initially super-glued the ape too, the killer primate's vacant eyes, bleeding incisions and exposed brain immediately struck me as making him the superb subject of a "Zomtober" 2019 entry. So following an undercoat of "Vallejo" Dark Grey, a wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and subsequent dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Dark Grey, I am hoping to get the hairy undead beast ready for a weekend varnish.

Lastly, I am definitely on the home run to complete my Iron Golems' Ogor Breacher for "Warcry". In many ways this incredibly detailed, and resultantly incredibly frustrating to paint, "Games Workshop" Chaos warrior has proved a real painting antagonist over the past few weeks. But now the end is in sight, and the first of my three Iron Legionaries is progressing nicely I'm hoping to put all the re-paints and touch-ups behind me and get the entire warband "hailing from the Ferrium Mountains in Chamon" ready for the tabletop...

Sunday, 6 October 2019

"Half Beast. Half Boy. All Ape!"

"Garfield Logan, A.K.A. Beast Boy. Can transform into any animal."
This 28mm scale figure of a Gorilla is one of the eleven multi-part resin miniatures which can be found inside the Teen Titans Bat-Box for the "Batman Miniatures Game" by "Knight Models", and represents the superhero Garfield Logan in his gorilla form. Inadvertently given his transformational powers by his parents, when they subjected him to "an untested serum" based upon the West African green monkey in order to save his life, Beast Boy was created by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown, and made his first appearance in the November 1965 issue of "The Doom Patrol" by "DC Comics".

The large primate came in two pieces, and as a result was straightforward to assemble. However, I did experience some consternation when it came to attaching the model to its 40mm lipped base. In the past I've always replaced "Knight Models" heavily sculpted cobbled-street stands for my own bare ones, and subsequently then gritted them as per the rest of my hobby collection. But as the bases supplied with this 350 reputation points starter set seemed of a far better quality than the previous ones I've seen, I decided to go with it.
"Don't hesitate to fire... believe me, you'll be doing them a favour."
Quite bizarrely though, this meant that the gorilla's feet tag started the figure off in the centre of the base, resulting in the formidably-sized brute having its forearms dangle over the edge by a significant margin. With hindsight I probably should have just ignored the stand's slot, snipped off the miniature's tag and super-glued Beast Boy down flat onto the base. As it was I simply used a bit of green-stuff to help support the animal in a more upright pose, so it hopefully looks like he's mid-way through smashing his paws down upon the ground...

Painting-wise, the figure was a joy, and was simply primed with a double-layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and shaded using a generous amount of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. I then heavily dry-brushed the entire ensemble with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green, before finishing the gorilla off with a couple of spots of "Citadel" Abaddon Black for his eyes.
"Warcry" WIPs - All the Iron Golems have now been assembled, based and primed
This week is also the first round of "Zomtober", so alongside my member of the Teen Titans, I have been busy pigmenting my first entry; a male Borg drone by “Modiphius Entertainment”. “Designed for use with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game”, this resin miniature was painted in precisely the same way as the rest of my Borg Collective, with the exception of his eye lens, which was 'picked out' using a dab of "Vallejo" Dark Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

In addition to everything else, my brush-tip has not been shy in re-working the colour scheme upon my latest member of my Iron Golems for "Warcry". All of the chains on my "Games Workshop" Ogor Breacher have been base-coated and shaded, so I've currently just got to finish off the hulking warrior's dark flesh before returning to his brass armour...

Friday, 4 October 2019

The Warsmiths Known As Armators..."

"...Craft the Iron Golems' imperious battle plate and brutal weaponry."
This 28mm scale model of an Armator is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golems "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". "Hailing from the Ferrium Mountains in Chamon", this figure proved surprisingly simple to assemble, considering the Nottingham-based manufacturer's reputation for overly-complicated kits, and literally just consisted of a head, torso and 28mm circular base.

Once built, the duardin was primed using a double-coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of its numerous pieces of armour, as well as some small symbolic hammers dangling from his metal wrist-guards, painted with a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. A number of these areas were subsequently treated to a layer of the "Citadel" Contrast colour Flesh Tearer Red, which I 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
"Warcry" WIPs - Three Iron Legionaries assembled, primed and being worked on
This mixture gave the brutal warrior's leg plates, gut-protector, shoulder-guards, helmet and spiked gauntlets a distinctly reddish hue, but simultaneously allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to peek through; especially once the model had been gloss varnished. I then pigmented the diminutive fighter's chain-mail loincloth, face-plate, chain-link belt and spiked hammers with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before shading them with some Nuln Oil. Both the Armator's weapons and loincloth were later dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.

The Iron Golem's hammer handles were simply given a lick of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and significantly darkened with a splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Lastly, I started working on the dwarf's flesh and initially tried to replicate the warband's 'official' pale grey pallor with a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. To begin with I actually thought this choice was going to work out great, and actually got to the stage where I had started to wash the skin with some watered-down "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Teen Titans WIPs - Raven, Beast Boy (Eagle Form) and Beast Boy
However, having set the figure aside to dry I swiftly came to the conclusion that the mixture wasn't working out as well as I expected, so changed tactics and went for a deep rich "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade combo instead. This last minute turnabout looked a lot better in my mind, and gave me the added bonus of not really needing to pick out all the short metal spikes protruding out of the savagely cruel killer's limbs due to the palette's dark shadowing.

In addition to my first "Warcry" figure, I have also managed to find a little time to progress my recently purchased "Teen Titans" Bat-box for the "Batman Miniature Game" by "Knight Models". I'm really struggling with the soft detail on these ultra-light resin sculpts, so in many cases am simply going to rely upon a base-coat, shade and dry-brush in order to get the majority of their detail highlighted...

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Star Trek Adventures" Zomtober 2019

"We are the Borg. Existence, as you know it, is over."
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been rather waylaid by Simon Quinton’s recent announcement, over on his brilliant "Brummie’s Wargaming Blog”, that the next few weeks will once again host the annual "Zomtober" Challenge where fellow wargamers "just need to paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday.”

There's currently a modest host of bloggers already 'setting out their stall' for the event (see below), with both “Mantic Games” “The Walking Dead” and “Kings Of War” zombies being much mentioned. For my own part I’ll be focusing upon the last of my Borg drones by “Modiphius Entertainment”; surely the best science-fiction based zeds this side of Joe Schreiber’s 2009 “Star Wars” novel “Death Troopers”? In addition, I hope to build and paint half a dozen small cybernetic cubicles to use as scenery for a Borg-themed tabletop, using some seemingly OOP hard-plastic “Deadzone” terrain sprues.

"Knight Models" WIPs - Raven, Dove and Beast Boy (Eagle Form)
In addition to my Borg, I also hope to make some significant progress on the miniatures from the Batman Miniatures: Teen Titans boxed set by “Knight Models”. Designed to allow a player to field a 350 reputation point force straight to the tabletop, this Bat-box contains eleven “detailed ready to paint & assemble resin” models including Robin, Raven, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy (human, hawk, gorilla & tiger form), Hawk, Dove and a Trigon Portal.

Disappointingly, my first impressions of this collection are far from favourable due to the sculpts’ bizarre dark grey resin. In many ways the figures remind me of the low-grade additive manufactured models currently flooding the amateur super-hero gaming market by any one owning a 3D printer. They are incredibly light, bendy and breakable. Plus, “Knight Models” seem to have some insane belief that a limb or full torso will remain firmly attached to the rest of the ensemble with just a modicum of super-glue, even when its contact point is the most flimsy of surfaces…
September 2019 - The month "Modiphius Entertainment" made its mark upon my hobby time
Statistics wise, the past four weeks have proved to be one of my most productive Septembers since 2014, with more than twice as many models being painted during the period than were finished last year. This productivity was (once again) largely due to my infatuation with the various “Star Trek Adventures” models currently being released by “Modiphius Entertainment”.

A slew of Borg-related characters such as Lore, Locutus of Borg and the Borg Queen herself, along with another bunch of Romulan Uhlans has helped see the London-based company rocket into my Top Three favourite manufacturers of the year, quickly casting aside my usual mainstays of “Games Workshop”, “Warlord Games” and “Heroclix”.  Whether my love of “Star Trek” will continue to the point where it’ll eclipse my long-term commitment to “Black Tree Design” and their “Doctor Who” range remains to be seen, but considering my ongoing battle to receive my most recent massively overdue order from John Olsen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised…

Sunday, 29 September 2019

"Ring's Still Working."

"That's all that matters."
This 40mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of a Green Lantern Boxing Glove is miniature number R100.10 from the War of Light DC "Heroclix" set, and depicts one of the interstellar law enforcement agent's telekinetically controlled solid light constructs. Announced in January 2014, this "six-month story-line Organized Play program" actually included the release of a Green Lantern Corps' Power Battery, along with several differently-shaped constructs, such as an axe, wall, net and bulldozer.

The 3D Special Object was initially removed from its tiny "Wizkids" base and super-glued onto one of the thin 40mm circular bases I use for the vast majority of my objective markers. It was then treated to three coats of "Vallejo" Dark Green so as to ensure its translucent green plastic was completely covered in paint.
Iron Golems WIPs - The highly detailed figures' "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey skin simply hasn't worked out
The miniature was later thoroughly washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green Shade and enthusiastically dry-brushed using some (more) "Vallejo" Dark Green. I did consider whether to apply a second, somewhat lighter green, dry-brush to the model. But in the end decided I liked the deep green colour I have already achieved, so left well enough alone, and simply flocked the boxing glove's base.

So straightforward a painting subject has really been a blessing considering the amount of problems I've experienced trying to finished even one of this month's planned "Warcry" figures by "Games Workshop". I have already had to previously re-paint parts of my Ogre Breacher in order to get a grip upon the Nottingham-based company's Contrast colours, and now I've found it just impossible to reach other parts of the imposing figure with my brush-tip due to all the intricate detail on the sculpt.
"Knight Models" WIPs - Beast Boy, alongside his Tiger and Gorilla forms
To make matters worse, I do not like the way the Chaos warriors' pale grey skin has turned out either, despite watering down its somewhat obligatory "Citadel" Nuln Oil wash. This combination appears especially poor-looking when I'm only able to blindly dab it beneath an overshadowing shoulder-pad or alongside an irregular running metallic chain-belt. As a result I've briefly set the project aside, to ponder upon a change in palette and re-order which areas of each fighter should be painted first...

Fortunately, I have already taken stock of the Batman Miniatures:Teen Titans Boxed Set I plan to progress over the course of October, so have spent some time assembling and priming some of the various "Knight Models" resin figures depicting Beast Boy in both his human, and animal forms. To be honest, I have never had much fun building anything for the "Batman Miniatures Game", and this trio were absolutely no exception to the rule. Overall they are incredibly dinky, and appear liable to snap at a mere moment's notice.