Wednesday, 4 December 2019

"Trapped. Help Me. Trapped."

"Increase power. Emergency. Increase power."
This 28mm scale model of a Dalek is produced by “Warlord Games”, and can be assembled from one of the plastic sprues found within the Davros & The New Dalek Empire boxed set for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop miniatures game. Conceived by Terry Nation and designed by Raymond Cusick in 1963, these particular sculpts are based upon Henry van Statten's so-called "Metaltron" shell, which first appeared in the April 2005 BBC Television series story "Dalek".

Unfortunately for this particular figure however, I wanted to use the "easy-fit plastic" piece to represent a Kaled mutant which had died desperately trying to escape its Mark III travel machine following the casing's partial destruction. As a result, I cut off the Dalek's dome so as to re-position it and snipped away the deadly extra-terrestrial's sucker cup, before super-gluing it to one of the 40mm thin-lipped circular bases I use for objective markers.
"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" WIPs - These three Ogrons have had their trousers layered and shaded.
I also took the opportunity to model parts of the decimated Kaled itself, leaking out of some of the holes in its outer shell. These gory entrails were made of grey-stuff and simply rolled into sausages. I then stuck them into position and added some lumpy bumps courtesy of a modelling knife. Once I was reasonably happy with the entire ensemble, it was primed in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.

As the destroyed Dalek needed to tie-in with my other Time War mechanical casings, I next gave the model a double coat of Brass, washed it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and applied a rough dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass all over it. Later I 'picked out' the extra-terrestrial's eye stalk and blast gun with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and painted the alien's one remaining light bulb safety valve with a combination of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey.
Dalek WIPs - An Interrogator Prime, a Scientist and a 'converted' Time War drone
Finally, I used some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to coat the pepper pot's fender and laid down a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Grey over the gooey corpse of its occupant. This bubbly mess was subsequently washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green...

Enthused with finishing this long-forgotten mini-project, I have now started work pigmenting three Ogrons I discovered gathering dust alongside my decimated Dalek, and have already completed their trousers. In addition, I have based up six more the the Mark III travel machines to add even more support to my Skaro-based forces for "Doctor Who: Exterminate!"; albeit their colour schemes will follow those of an Interrogator Prime, Scientist and Axis Strike Squad, as depicted in the audio shows by "Big Finish".

Monday, 2 December 2019

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Toon Realms" December 2019

"Lucid Eye Publications" WIPs - Twelve of their skeletons are currently being dry-brushed and pigmented
Along with sixty-seven other participants I currently plan to use the first three weeks of this month prepping and priming all manner of miniatures so as to have them 'match ready' for the Tenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC). However, as per last year I am also determined to vastly reduce my mountain of models over the next four months by specifically targeting all the figures I currently own which have previously received the odd lick of paint or two in an entirely separate personal challenge too.

As a result, I have plucked my incomplete horde of Skeleton Swordsmen and Lord Rascal's Skeleton Warriors by "Lucid Eye Publications" from their somewhat cobwebbed hobby drawer, with the intention of completing the half-finished Undead army for my Partially-Painted Pledge. In addition, these bony fighters will also make a nice entry as part of Phil Curran's "Deadcember" over on his excellent "Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera" blog.
"Modiphius Entertainment" WIPs - These Romulan Centurions are now ready for their details to be 'picked out'
I've actually found returning to these dozen "cartoon scale white metal" figures a little daunting at first, as, after several months of inactivity, it took me a couple of attempts to properly replicate their 'bleached bone' palette of "Vallejo" Dark Sand, "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and "Vallejo" White. Fortunately, I think I have it down to 'a fine art' once again, and am now quickly progressing through their ranks with a twenty-four strong table-top ready army of Lord Rascal's Undead finest in my sights... 

Also earmarked for completion before the AHPC begins on the 21st December 2019, are the four remaining Romulan Centurions by "Modiphius Entertainment" I have left over from the company's "Star Trek Adventures" Strike Team boxed set. I'm hoping my (secondary and perhaps overly optimistic) plan to not actually purchase any more miniatures until "Salute" 2020, should mean I can crack on through my significant collection of these 32mm scale resin models, and actually enter those currently still 'sat in their box' untouched for the AHPC itself.
November 2019 - "Black Tree Design" continues to prove very popular despite its significant postal delays
Productivity wise, the past four weeks have proved to be my busiest November by far, and resultantly I have my sights firmly locked on beating my best annual painting tally ever of 1,136 points (approximately 227 x 28mm figures). Much of the month's success was down to an overwhelming compulsion to pigment many more superhero related models, whether they simply be "Wizkids" re-paints taken from their "Heroclix" range, or the larger scale resin figures produced by "Knight Models" for their Teen Titans Bat-box.

Indeed, this comic book bug will at least carry on until the end of the year, courtesy of both the AHPC and my Partially-Painted Pledge, as I have so many "Marvel Worldwide" and "DC Comics" characters already lined up as potential entries for both events. However, looking back at November's achievement, I must also give a nod to “Modiphius Entertainment” and their Borg Collective boxed set, whose excellent sculpts inspired me to finally finish the last five drones I had originally planned to submit for “Zomtober” 2019.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

"Come On, Look Lively."

"Up the pace, go on. We haven't got all day now."
This 28mm scale metal miniature of a female X Commando is manufactured by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and are part of the company’s Heroes and Allies product line. "Lead by the flamboyant Doctor Hugo Strange," the pistol carrying member of Department X is one of many military specialists "tasked with protecting Britain from inter-dimensional, otherworldly and plain strange threats."

Having assembled the soldier by attaching her head to the torso courtesy of a little pinning and super-glue, she was primed "Citadel" Abaddon Black and enthusiastically dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. I then 'picked out her hand-weapon using some "Citadel" Ironbreaker, her shoulder and beret badge with a couple of dollops of "Vallejo" Dead White, and her hip-holster in Heavy Charcoal. All of these areas were later shaded using "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"It's not a person, damn it, it's a Borg!"
As I wanted my figure to proxy the U.N.I.T. troopers depicted during the April 2008 Doctor Who television story "The Sontaran Stratagem", I shied away from leaving the Commando's headware all-black and instead pigmented it using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. I also left her badges predominantly white, rather than 'draw in' the red cross upon blue background which the Department of Extraordinary Affairs use as their top secret organisation's emblem.

I painted the miniature's flesh using my standard technique of a "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone base layer, a splash of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and finally a highlight on the fingers and cheekbones of (more) "Vallejo Heavy Skintone. Lastly, I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to the soldier's hair, as well as a little "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson to the lady's lips.
"Wizkids" WIPs - An Abominable Snowman, Black Canary and Proteus
Besides finishing the first of my Department X combatants, I have also completed the last two Borg drones I own by “Modiphius Entertainment”. These well-detailed resin figures had the same palette applied to them as the rest of my Borg Collective, and takes my cybernetic extra-terrestrial tally up to twenty two, including a Borg Queen and Locutus of Borg...

Long-time suffering readers of this blog will know that around about this time of year I usually apply to enter the Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, and having successfully done so, I am once again beginning to prime a plethora of models for the event. Unlike my previous attempts though, I thought I'd try to use the opportunity to focus upon a particular backlog of figures I'm struggling with, so resultantly have started undercoating a number of "Heroclix" miniatures by "Wizkids".

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

"This Time Nothing's Going To Stop Me!"

"You don't have what it takes to be the Hulk."
This 43mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of the Red Hulk is miniature number 050 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Web Of Spider-Man range and depicts General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross following his transformation at the hands of Advance Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) and Intelligencia. Empowered “in order to be able to better fight the original Hulk”, the American soldier’s alter-ego first appeared in the January 2008 issue of “Hulk” and was created by Jean Loeb and Ed McGuiness.

Described by Marvel Editor Mark Paniccia as “absolutely uninhibited, [and] tactically intelligent”, the formidably-sized figure was super-glued upon a 40mm circular base before being undercoated in a double-layer of “Vallejo” Heavy Red. He was then shaded using some “Citadel” Nuln Oil, and heavily dry-brushed with (more) “Vallejo” Red so as to bring out all the sculpt’s marvellous muscles.
"It's working! I can feel the ring's power returning!"
Also known as Rulk or The IncREDible Hulk, I applied pure “Citadel” Abaddon Black to the behemoth’s ripped shorts, hair, and nails. I also dabbed his eyes, which can emit heat at will during non-engaged periods, with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.

Sticking with my mountain of “Heroclix” models, I have also finished a fifth hard light construct from “Wizkids” War of Light DC "Heroclix" range to use as a Green Lantern themed objective marker. This Violet Lantern Spotlight is miniature number R106.12 and was super-glued onto one of the thin 40mm circular bases I use for the vast majority of my scenario markers.
"Star Trek" WIPs - These Borg drones have been base-layered prior to being washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil
Initially I had contemplated painting the scenic piece as a proxy for the Bat Signal, but as “Wizkids” have actually produced just such a model, I ultimately decided to use this model for my Green Lantern Corps, and resultantly simply gave it a handful of coats of "Vallejo" Dark Green so as to ensure its translucent pink plastic was completely masked. I then thoroughly washed it with some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green Shade, and heavily dry-brushed it using some (more) "Vallejo" Dark Green.

I was a bit disappointed during "Zomtober" 2019 that I never quite finished all of the "Star Trek Adventures" Borg Drones I had prepared for the month-long challenge. But fortunately, my last two  “Modiphius Entertainment” cybernetic aliens are finally ready to be drenched in “Citadel” Nuln Oil, before having some additional highlights added to their areas of flesh…

Monday, 25 November 2019

“Kryptonite Vision Is Only A Fraction Of My Power.”

"Now you can feel the rest!!"
This 60mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of Metallo is miniature number 085 from the DC "Heroclix" Unleashed expansion and depicts John Corben after Professor Vale transplanted the small-time con man’s brain “into a robotic alloy body, which was powered by a two-pound chunk of kryptonite.” Originally depicted as “an unnamed scientist calling himself Metalo who wore a powered suit of steel armour”, the supervillain was created by Robert Bernstein and Al Plastino, and made his first appearance in the May 1959 issue of “Action Comics”.

Initially primed “Citadel” Abaddon Black so as to cover its pre-existing paint-job, the member of the Injustice League was treated to a layer of Ironbreaker before being thoroughly washed with Nuln Oil. The Cyborg was then dry-brushed with (more) “Citadel” Ironbreaker, and had all the numerous thick cables snaking about his body ‘picked out’ with Abaddon Black.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Iron Man, a Skrull Commando and the Blue Beetle
Corben’s kryptonite power source, which quickly replaced his body’s less efficient uranium capsule, was pigmented using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Grey and “Citadel” Biel-Tan Green. This mixture was subsequently used for Metallo’s eyes after I decided against going with the red lenses seen on the official “Heroclix” paint-scheme.

The unexpected recent addition of several more “Wizkids” miniatures to my collection has definitely seen my super-hero batteries get recharged, and as a result I have been somewhat busy removing a range of pre-painted plastics from their ‘clicky bases’ and super-gluing them to an assortment of circular stands instead. Foremost of these has to be the Wild West flavoured Iron Man from the Battleworld: The Valley, whose steam-powered armour suit comes armed with a formidable-looking flame-thrower.
"Field a force of stalwart US Armoured Infantry against the horrors of the Armageddon!"
Alongside this alternative version of Tony Stark I have also primed a rather nice sculpt of Jaime Reyes as the Blue Beetle, and added two more Skrull Commandos to my ever-growing Super Skrull invasion force mini-project. To be honest, I'm not particularly a fan of the Blue Beetle's third incarnation, much preferring Ted Kord's Silver Age version. But I did start to warm to the Teen Titan following the youngster's adventures in the 2008 American animated television series "Batman: The Brave and the Bold".

Momentarily stepping away from painting figures, I have managed to re-base the first of two 50 Cal HMG 'Comanche' U.S. Battle Suits by "Westwind Productions" I want to see return to my tabletop. This hefty metal miniature comes from Andy Cooper's "Secrets Of The Third Reich" range, and is part of a ‘US Armoured Infantry’ starter set I pigmented nine years ago...

Friday, 22 November 2019

"So Let’s Get Nuts!”

"A squirrel with the proportional speed and strength of a squirrel!"
These two 28mm scale metal squirrels are produced by “Black Cat Bases” and are available to purchase from their Small Animals range. Sold as a pack of four medium-sized rodents, I potentially plan to use the diminutive sculpts as status markers for my partially-painted “Wizkids” figure of the “Marvel Comics” super heroine, Squirrel Girl.

Having carefully snipped the duo from their rather formidably thick metal sprue, the two bushy-tailed animals were super-glued upon a circular 25mm base and undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. I then shaded them using some “The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before roughly dry-brushing the two miniatures with (more) “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna.
"Is that all your pitiful will can accomplish?"
I was actually tempted to call the tiny models done at this stage, but upon reflection decided to ‘pick out’ their eyes and noses with some “Citadel” Abaddon Black, as well as add some “Vallejo” Dead White to their underbellies. As I didn’t want to simply paint their stomachs with a finely pointed tip, I instead found an old, badly-battered brush and dabbed at the animals instead. This seemed to produce a far less precisely defined, somewhat mottled area of paler fur.

Alongside the completion of my Squirrels, I have also completed a fourth hard light construct from “Wizkids” War of Light DC "Heroclix" range to use as a Green Lantern themed objective marker. This Violet Lantern Wall is miniature number R106.04 and was super-glued onto one of the thin 40mm circular bases I use for the vast majority of my scenario markers.
"Warcry" WIPs - The final three Iron Golems have had all their brass-work base layered
As I wanted to use this model for my Green Lantern Corps, it was treated to a triple-thick layer of "Vallejo" Dark Green so as to ensure its translucent pink plastic was completely masked in paint. I then thoroughly washed it with some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green Shade, before heavily dry-brushing it using some (more) "Vallejo" Dark Green.

Stepping over to three infinitely more highly-detailed (and significantly more time-consuming to paint) models, I have been slogging my way through the last of my hard plastic Iron Golem warriors for "Warcry" by "Games Workshop". These incredibly characterful miniatures have now had all of their brass-work brusquely bass-layered with "Vallejo" Brass, and I'm now slowly working my way up each Chaos fighter picking out their flesh, chain-link bindings and over-the-top hand-weapons...

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

"Welcome To The Bloodwind Spoil..."

"...A Chaos-twisted wasteland that stretches out before the Varanspire's fortified walls like an open wound."
This 28mm scale model of an Iron Legionary is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golem "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". Known for piling the corpses of their defeated enemies upon burning pyres, this figure came in five separate pieces and included a couple of hand-weapon options.

Having permanently attached the Chaos warrior upon its 28mm circular base, the close-range fighter was undercoated with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of his numerous pieces of armour, as well as some tiny symbolic hammers dangling from his chest-plate, painted using a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The vast majority of these areas were then given to a coat of the "Citadel" Flesh Tearer Red, which had been previously 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
"Glory or death."
This colour provided the model's shoulder-pad, helmet, shin-plate, back-plate, gut-protector and circular shield with a striking metallic red hue, which also allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to shine through; especially once the model had been gloss varnished. The Legionary's chain-mail skirt, face-plate, chain-link belt, straps, formidable-looking spiked club and bolas were painted in "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and subsequently shaded with Nuln Oil.

Stepping away from the warband's 'official' "Games Workshop" pale grey skin palette, I applied a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to all the miniature's flesh. Lastly, I 'picked out' the shaft of the Iron Golems' hand-weapon with a little "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and later shaded it using some out of production "Citadel" Badab Black.
"Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps."
With yet another time-consuming "Games Workshop" figure finished, I also managed to complete a third light construct from “Wizkids” War of Light DC "Heroclix" range to use as a Green Lantern themed objective marker. This Blue Lantern Mallet is miniature number R207.03 and was super-glued onto one of the thin 40mm circular bases I use for the vast majority of my scenario markers.

As I wanted to use this model for my Green Lantern Corps, it was treated to three coats of "Vallejo" Dark Green so as to ensure its translucent blue plastic was completely masked in paint. I then thoroughly washed it with some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green Shade, before heavily dry-brushing it using some (more) "Vallejo" Dark Green.