Friday 31 October 2014

“Chrtt? Chrrt!”

This tiny 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of a couple of squirrels on a tree stump actually forms part of the pre-painted Squirrel Girl miniature from the “Heroclix” Marvel Captain America range. The mutant super-heroine is actually accompanied by a number of the small rodents, so I’ve painted and based these two to represent Monkey Joe and Mister Freckle. 

Unsurprisingly the model was very simple to paint with the tree stump given a couple of layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and the two squirrels a coat of Heavy Red. Everything was then washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. There’s actually a third squirrel sculpted onto the shoulders of “Heroclix” miniature number 56 but I thought that one would make an excellent looking Tippy-Toe if I left it where it was and gave it a little greenstuff ribbon. 
I’ve also finally finished painting the five 28mm Thug miniatures from the “Heroclix” Marvel Infinity Challenge set. The figures actually complete the thirteenth and last of my painting challenges for 2014. I’ve previously painted one before but swapped a couple of colours around for some of the models just to slightly break up the monotony. As a result, although all of the trousers were painted with “Citadel” Shadow Grey” and washed with Asurmen Blue, the shirts were given a coat of either “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey or “Citadel” Adeptus Battlegrey before being treated to a wash of “Nuln Oil”. I also used either Dark Flesh or “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna with a “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade wash for their skin.
This week’s Top Ten Miniatures in my painting queue has changed from last week with four new additions. The first two are a couple of the plastic models I plan to paint from my recently arrived “Myth” kickstarter boxed set, and the third is a resin figure from “Ramshackle Games” that has taken me an age to get back ‘on the table’ despite my basing and undercoating the 28mm miniature a few months back. Lastly I’ve based the “Heroclix” Squirrel Girl model which accompanies Monkey Joe.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

“A Few Days In Space. What's The Worst That Could Happen?”

This rather tall 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Mister Fantastic is miniature number 72 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Clobberin’ Time range. Despite the pose being more in line with the cartoonish Plastic Man from “DC Comics” than the serious scientist Reed Richards, I still think this is a great looking model and has been great fun to paint; albeit it the Fantastic Four emblem on his chest took a fair few attempts before I decided that retreat was the better part of valour.

There seem to have been a variety of different shades of blue used as the colour for the costume of the Fantastic Four over the years, so I decided to simply stick with the dark hue “Wizkids” had already pre-painted the figure with. However, whereas their leader of the famous FF had just been given a very heavy drybrush over a black undercoat, I wanted my Mister Fantastic to tie in with the colour scheme I’d used for the shorts of his team-mate Benjamin Grimm, a.k.a the Thing. As a result I gave the model a couple of coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue before applying a double wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil.

In between these various applications I desperately tried to keep picking out the circle on his ‘4’ chest emblem with “Vallejo” White. But after more attempts than I care to remember I decided there simply wasn’t enough of the circular border to paint with my brush skills, so simply picked out the number in black and have left it at that… for now at least.
Mister Fantastic and The Thing battle the Mole-Man's Moloids
If you’re interested Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four appear in my latest review of the old “Marvel Comics” 2006 series of “The Thing” here:

Or if you’re interested in how I painted Ben Grimm then you can find my posting here:
This is the first of five miniatures I plan to paint as part of a fun Mo’vember challenge with Dick Garrison from over at the “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” blog. It’s Dracula from the Late Seventies “Marvel Comics” series “Tomb Of Dracula” and depicts the Lord of Vampires, courtesy of some superb art by Gene Colan, with a fine dastardly moustache. Rather lazily I was originally planning on simply painting in the face and hand and finishing there; as the rest of the model’s clothing should be black. But as this character is well-known, in comic-fan circles anyway, for his billowing cloak and suit’s blue highlights, I’ve picked out his suit and trousers with an appropriate colour.

If you’re interested in taking part in Mo’vember then please either leave a comment and link to your website, or visit Dick Garrison’s excellent blog here:

Monday 27 October 2014

"No, I'm Coming Back."

This 28mm metal model is one of the two miniatures found within packet Future Freedom Fighters 1 by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". The retro space liberator is the first of the "Blake's Seven" figures I plan to use for a series of "7TV" games which should hopefully re-enact some of my favourite episodes from the British science fiction television show, starting with the opening story "The Way Back".

To begin with the model was undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black before I applied a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey to the figure's trousers. I then washed this area with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The belt and pouch were picked out using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and was washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. I painted the Freedom Fighter's jumper with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy green and "Citadel" Thrakka Green before applying several thinned coats of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand" to his shirt.
Originally I then washed the sleeves and collar with more "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade but the shade came out too thickly for my liking and darkened the 'yellow' shirt much too much. As a result I repainted the sleeves, and tidied up the garment's collar with another coat of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and then washed all the areas with some watered down "The Army painter" Strong Tine quickshade. The teleportation bracelet was incredibly fiddly with all its buttons so I simply painted it with "Citadel" Boltgun metal, washed it with Nuln Oil and then, as they're supposed to be a tan-copper colour, washed it was Agrax Earthshade. I painted the barrel of the Liberator's hand blaster "Vallejo" White before washing it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then drybrushed the weapon to lighten it up and bring out the detail. Finally, I was tempted to just paint the model's hair black, but as I wanted him to be Roj Blake, I dug out an old pot of "Citadel" Dark Flesh and applied a coat of that to this head, along with a liberal wash of Devlan Mud.
As my final miniature for Zomtober 2014 I plan to complete painting this model of Judge Death by "Mongoose Publishing". It's taking some doing as I am finding some of the details to the sculpt to be of a similar standard to the Judges I've previously painted; that is instead of a clean cast some of the figure's edges appear to have been torn away creating a rip-like effect to some parts of the miniature. Nonetheless I've finished painting and inking the Deadworld judge's kneepads and belt, layered his first coat of 'ivory' upon his shoulder pads and elbow pads and finished his belt buckle. I've also picked out his judge's badge and the poor stitching to the top of his uniform. 

Saturday 25 October 2014

“You Cannot Kill That Which Doesss Not Live !”

This 28mm metal model of Judge Death in Spirit Form was sculpted as part of the October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter by “Mongoose Games” and can be purchased as code JD20129 from "Warlord Games".

This miniature is based upon the spirit form of the undead lawkeeper from a parallel dimension, and is my penultimate submission for Zomtober 2014. As I wanted the incorporeal spirit to fit in with a number of ghosts I painted over four years ago, I had to dig deep to try and find some ‘out of production’ pots of “Games Workshop” paint. The model was first undercoated with “Vallejo” White and then heavily washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green and, once it had dried, Devlan Mud. I then drybrushed the entire model with “Vallejo” White.
This really brought out the detail of the sculpting and helped me see which parts of the undead spirit I wanted to solidify. As a result I painted most of the figure’s head with “Citadel” Abaddon Black and then set to work painting the Deadworld Judge’s face, teeth and portcullis-shaped visor. Once completed I started the process of trying to mix the black of the villain’s helmet in with the white of his spirit form. This was accomplished by alternating drybrushing the adjoining areas with “Vallejo” White and “Citadel” Abaddon Black until they merged to form a slightly greyish layer.
The original posting of my ghost miniatures by the “Newark Model Soldier Company” can be found here:
Having completed Judge Death’s spirit form, I’ve now started painting this “Mongoose Publishing” model of a corpse he’s inhabiting. There seems to be many different variations as to his uniform and its colouring but I plan to go with bone for his right shoulder pterodactyl, elbow pads and left shoulder pad and green for his belt and kneepads.

Thursday 23 October 2014

“Strong As The Hulk. Twice As Mean.”

This hefty 28mm model of The Abomination is miniature number 33 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Avengers range. It is based upon the alter ego of Chinese scientist Chang Lam from “The Ultimates” comic book series and stands an impressive 56cm in height. As I’m a huge fan of the ‘original’ Abomination by “Marvel Comics”, I don’t actually like this alternate universe (Earth-1610) version of the super-villain; who was actually decapitated and eaten by the Hulk. But the pre-painted plastic figure is definitely one of the more impressive and dynamic sculpts from “Wizkids”.
The model was reasonably straightforward to paint despite its size and was simply given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy green” before being heavily washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. I was actually close to simply stopping there but eventually gave the model a rough drybrush of more “Vallejo” Heavy Green. This really helped bring out the detail of all the muscles and sinews sculpted onto the figure. The toes and teeth were picked out with “Vallejo” White and then also washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. Originally the model also had its large thumb nails painted white but I thought these looked dreadful as they starkly stood out from the rest of the dark-skinned monster. As a result I decided not to pick out these areas on my model and simply left them green along with the other fingers.

If you’re interested in the original Abomination, Emily Blonsky, then I look at the character’s latest appearance in “Savage Hulk” on my daily American Comics Review Blog here:
As you can see from this week’s Top Ten Miniatures in my painting queue I’ve made a few additions, most notably more “Heroclix” in the shape of The Hulk and The Flash. I have also got a very nice Tweedy Mattison model from “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and the previously posted Masked Bandit from “Boot Hill Miniatures”. I am currently just painting the spirit form of Judge Death and then I’ll start work on this ‘living’ version of the Deadworld Judge by “Mongoose Publishing”. I’ve not been able to make any progress on either my “Crooked Dice” Blake’s Seven project or The Shadow by “Graven Images”.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

"Bullets Go Right Thru Him - - Don't Even Phase Him!"

This rather large 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model is of N’Kantu, The Living Mummy. First appearing in the August 1973 issue of “Supernatural Thrillers”, the three thousand year-old super-hero was actually conceived by American comic book writer Steve Gerber; better known for creating Howard The Duck. The miniature is number 11 from the Marvel Amazing Spider-Man “Heroclix” set and is a common figure. As I joined Zomtober 2014 a week late I have been trying to play a bit of catch-up with the other contributors, and this miniature’s submission means I’ve finally caught up.
After initially undercoating the model with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand, I applied a heavy wash of the “Citadel” Shade Agrax Earthshade over the entire figure. I then drybrushed more “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand across all of the papyrus bandages N’Kantu is wrapped in. I actually did this with an old fine detail brush as despite being rather time-consuming, it gave me much better control over how heavily I applied the technique. This was important as I wanted some of the areas to remain quite dark, damp with the millennia, and others reasonably light. I even considered applying a light drybrush of white over the model as a final highlight, but then thought it would make the Living Mummy look a bit too clean for my liking.
Painting the figure’s face was an adventure in its own right as the “Heroclix” model not only had no wrappings across N’Kantu’s mouth but had the Living Mummy moaning with visible white teeth. Having painted both the white eyes and teeth on several occasions and not being happy with any of my attempts I finally decided to abandon the open mouth and give the model a closed tight-lipped grimace. As a result I used a sharp knife to cut out the tiniest of slivers of plastic and then simply applied my “standard zombie flesh “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey undercoat across the area. Once washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and Thrakka Green, the mouth area merged in with the rest of N’Kantu’s face but left a satisfying pool where his lips were pursed. Having solved the problem of the mouth I then turned my attention to the miniature’s eyes, and eventually plumbed for simply undercoating them with “Vallejo” White, washing them with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and then picking them out again with a tiny spot more of “Vallejo” White.
Dick Garrison over on the “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” blog has come up with a cracking idea for a challenge during November. In line with ‘Movember’ the plan is paint up a moustached model for each weekend during the month, so I present to you my roster of miniatures. They’re all 28mm “Heroclix” pre-painted plastic figures and consist of Dracula, Wulf Sternhammer, Lockjaw, Puck and Doctor Strange. If you’re interested in joining in just for fun then simply drop Dick a comment at his blog:

Sunday 19 October 2014

28mm Battle Report: The Thing And Nightwing Verses Blockbuster

This third simple game of “7TV” by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” is designed for us to get more familiar with some of the Event cards printed at the rear of the core rulebook. As a result I’ll only be using a couple of Heroic Co-Stars against a handful of Villainous Extras and their Leader. As I’m not using any actual Stars or Villains all the Gadget cards have been put to one side.
The adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 board, with a large number of crates and barrels covering the playing surface. The objective is for The Thing and Nightwing to ‘collect’ as many clue pieces as they can by the end of the sixth turn. The clues range in value from 1 point to 5 points worth of information and are dotted about the tabletop. However the heroes won’t know the value of their clues until the end of the game when they are revealed (back at the Batcave). To win the heroes’ clues must be worth more than those being held by the villains.
“The story so far… Batman is apparently dead and Gotham City has gone to hell as a result. The Penguin and Two-Face are carving up the crime rackets between themselves in a large scale gang war. But a mysterious third player has entered the game, and Dick Grayson needs to find out who that somebody is. Unwillingly to yet don the cape and cowl of Batman, Nightwing locates a downtown warehouse believing it to hold enough clues to reveal the identity of this third criminal mastermind. However it’s guarded by a group of ‘Eavies lead by the superhuman Bruiser, Blockbuster. As a result Grayson teams up with native New Yorker Ben Grimm, and together they break into the warehouse…”
As both heroes would deploy upon a random table edge, a D6 was rolled for each co-star. The Thing started on the eastern side of the building, protected to his south by a large wall of radioactive barrels. Whilst Nightwing began the game from the southern edge, with an unobstructed route straight to the warehouse’s centre and Blockbuster (as well as an ‘Eavy and a clue). The Audience Appreciation fell in the favour of the heroes, and (as opposed to dealing out some Event Cards to each player as per the core rulebook) they were awarded the first Event Card to be revealed – Faulty Gadget; which would have no effect upon the turn as no villains were carrying any.
Ben Grimm spotted a useful looking clue to his right, and the ‘Eavy (number two) guarding it a moment later. Discretion never being the behemoth’s greatest strength the former test-pilot moved straight towards the crowbar carrying criminal and with a loud “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” [Rage Special Effect] knocked the man cold. Meanwhile Dick Grayson charged into the ‘Eavy (four) in the southwest corner and utilising his knowledge of Pressure Points, stunned the man.
Realising something was amiss ‘Eavy (one) travelled down from the north-west corner of the warehouse and ‘Eavy (five) moved west towards the figure of Nightwing. As there were some crates in between the hired muscle and the Bludhaven vigilante, the ‘Eavy had to hurdle the obstacle, and did so with ease.
Blockbuster, using his Leadership to activate a nearby ‘Eavy (three), rushed off to face The Thing, and spotting Ben Grimm with his back to him, charged into the founding member of the Fantastic Four. Using the charge to boost his Strength, Blockbuster negated The Thing’s rocky hide armour and using some Audience Appreciation stunned Grimm. Falling to the floor, the blue-eyed super-hero guessed Blockbuster had been taking advice from some of those damn Yancy Street Gangers. Sensing his hapless foe was at his mercy, the Bruiser started putting the boot in…
Concerned at his friend’s incapacitation, and noting that none of the fallen had sufficiently recovered in order to get to their feet, Nightwing gritted his teeth and ensured he passed his Shaken test. With the Audience Appreciation once again falling in the heroes favour, Dick Grayson snatched up a clue and charged into the oncoming ‘Eavy (three).
However despite trying his Luck, he failed to land a punch upon the hired muscle. Now was the time for a Heroic Surge and Nightwing lashed out with an ‘All or Nothing’ attack… so down went the ‘Eavy. Then leaping over the fallen body, the Strongarm charged into another fast-approaching ‘Eavy (five) and decked him as well.
Blockbuster, sensing that his men were dropping around him like ninepins rushed towards the Blundhaven police officer but had to stop short. Seeing the three fallen senseless ‘Eavies surrounding Nightwing, none of whom roused themselves at the end of the turn, the Bruiser’s morale broke and he fled the table top with the surviving ‘Eavy (one). The tabletop and all the clues belonged to the super-heroes.

Friday 17 October 2014

"Born on a Monday..."

This large-sized 28mm “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy is my second submission for Zomtober 2014. The pre-painted plastic miniature is number 73 from the “Heroclix” DC Hypertime range.
After initially undercoating the model with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, I applied a few layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey to the figure’s shins, hands and face. I then simply washed these areas of undead skin with the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil. I painted the model’s footwear with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. Because I wanted to make the large wooden tree branch stand apart from the zombie’s big shoes, I gave that a coat of an old OOP pot of “Citadel” Dark Flesh. Both areas were then washed with Agrax Eartshade. I then simply dry-brushed more Dark Flesh over the club.
Solomon’s hair and shirt were originally just painted with “Vallejo” White and washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. But as the two areas bordered one another so closely, especially at the back of the model, I decided to apply a “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade wash to the shirt, and dry-brush more “Vallejo” White across his hair.
These two “Mongoose Publishing” models of Judge Death will be my fourth (and fifth) submissions for Zomtober 2014. I wasn’t planning on painting any more miniatures from the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game range after all the ‘fun’ I’ve had this year with some of their Judge sculpts. But as I want my models for this splendid Undead painting event to be zombie characters rather than run-of-the-mill brain-eaters, the Deadworld Judge fits the bill admirably.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Retained Knights - Part Four

These two 15mm miniatures are from "The Ion Age" miniatures selection IAF008 Retained Knight Post Charlie (Launcher) and IAF001 Retained Knight Post Alpha (Loader). I’ve based them on a small “Battlefront Miniatures” stand in order to represent an Anvil 888 Launcher team. The models were initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue before being washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Their hands were then picked out with "Vallejo" Heavy Red, before I treated them to a glaze of "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally the models' weapons were painted using the "Citadel" combination of Boltgun Metal with Nuln Oil.
I’m also close to finishing off the layers on my next two “Heroclix” pre-painted miniatures by “Wizkids”. Solomon Grundy just needs the large tree branch he’s wielding to be painted and washed, and his hair inked, and he should be finished. I’m not that happy with the zombie’s all-white eyes, as they appear to be at an odd angle to one another. But that appears to be where the sculptor put the pupils. The Abomination needs even less work to be done, though I’ll probably repaint his right leg as the brown wash seems to have pooled rather thickly on this area, so it has gone a slightly darker green to the rest of the behemoth’s body. This really is a monster of a miniature and dwarfs the Frankenstein’s Monster by “Graven Images” I’ve recently finished.
I’ve ‘borrowed’ an idea from Bruno “Count Von” Beveridge’s excellent blog “Lead of Alive” for a Top Ten miniatures posting. But rather than do a list I thought I’d simply show the top ten miniatures in my painting queue at present; a bit of a ‘What’s on the Painting Table’ if you will. There’s a bit of a mix as I continue to plod away at the remaining Thug “Heroclix” models from my (final) painting Challenge of 2014. Plus a couple more, the Living Mummy being this week’s Zomtober submission. My “Crooked Dice” Blake’s Seven project hasn’t really progressed much this week, except that I’ve repainted and re-inked Roj Blake’s sleeves. Finally The Shadow by “Graven Images” has momentarily been ‘overshadowed’ by my determination to finish my “Frankenstein’s Monster” first. Hopefully painting on a few of these figures will shift gear in the next few days and they’ll be an all-new roster…
For a more well-thought out Top Ten though here’s the link to “Lead or Alive”:

Monday 13 October 2014

"Look! It's Moving. It's Alive. It's Alive..."

This 40mm “Graven Images” model of Frankenstein’s Monster (Code CH101) has been an absolute pleasure to paint and is the first of my four submissions for Zomtober 2014. It comes from the late Jim Bowen’s “Cliffhanger” range, which focussed on early science fiction and fantasy characters from both literature and the cinema. Originally distributed by “Monolith Designs”, the miniatures are now owned by “Waugh Games” and are being re-released on their store’s website [].
After initially undercoating the model with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, I applied a few layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna to the figure’s trousers and jacket. I then washed these with the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil. As I wanted to try and give the creature a greenish hue, the face and hands were initially painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. I then washed the areas with ordinary tap water in order to make them wet and applied a combination of “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade and Thrakka Green. Because the areas of skin were already wet the Shade and Wash formed a good swirling mix over the undercoat. I also wanted to give the monster a ‘Boris Karloff’ look, all whites of the eyes, so simply draw a black line around the eye sockets and filled in the eyeballs with a dot or two of “Vallejo” white. The neck bolts were picked out with “Citadel” Boltgun metal and then washed with Nuln Oil and Agraz Earthshade.
My second and third submissions for Zomtober are plastic pre-painted “Wizids” models from their “Heroclix” line. Solomon Grundy is a ‘genuine’ zombie, and has actually taken a bit of time to even get this far as I’ve struggled to get his grey skin right; my earlier attempts all giving him a Hulk-like greenish glow. Fortunately as the majority of this clothing is black, he should be swiftly finished now I think I’ve got his undead skin wash right. The Living Mummy is another of the walking dead models I own which I thought would both be simple to paint, and fit in quite nicely with Zomtober. In addition I think he’d make an excellent team-up with Batman in a game of "7TV" as King Tut attempts to raid the Ancient Egyptian exhibition at Gotham City Museum.

Sunday 12 October 2014

28mm Battle Report: Rocket Raccoon And Groot Verses Mega-City Judges

This second simple game of “7TV” by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” is designed for us to get more familiar with the shooting mechanics of the core rulebook. As a result I’ll only be using a couple of Heroic Co-Stars against a number of Villainous Extras. All the Gadget and Event cards have been put to one side, as I hope there to be more than enough bullets flying around as it is.
The adventure takes place upon a 2x2 board, with a large walkway dominating the table, and some collections of barrels providing some additional cover. The objective is for Rocket Raccoon and Groot to ‘snatch’ a wanted criminal from out of Mega-City One custody and escape with him back to their teleportation site. The Senior Judge in charge of the prisoner will be calling in reinforcements and they’ll slowly arrive upon the table at a random edge once per turn. The Guardians of the Galaxy must therefore risk the firepower of the Judges in order to grab their bounty and escape with him.
“The story so far… Rocket Raccoon and Groot have time-travelled to the Earth in the twenty-second century in order to collect a bounty on an inter-galactic temporal trickster. Unfortunately their prize has already fallen foul of Mega-City One’s justice system and as a result been arrested on the street by a Senior Judge. Realising that they’ll never be able to claim their reward once the criminal has been placed in an iso-cube and is ‘doing five’, the anthropomorphic raccoon grabs his hefty rapid-fire blaster and begins a very unwise ‘rescue attempt’…
The game started with the (first) Judge appearing just north of where Rocket and Groot have teleported onto the street, causing the pair some consternation. Having won the Initiative Groot was immediately activated and started running towards the opposite corner of the gaming area. Whilst Rocket, utilising his sidekick special effect, opened up with his weapon on the freshly arrived Judge. A ‘Good offense’ and an ‘Audience Appreciation’ token later, the Judge was out of action for the rest of the game; probably destined for the Long Walk having been bested by a large mutant squirrel. Rocket then ran to a nearby ladder which lead to an overhead walkway.
Hearing the gunfire the Senior Judge, right boot still pinning her prisoner’s face to the pavement, spun round to see Groot fast approaching and opened up with her Lawgiver. Two bullets struck home but failed to penetrate the alien’s body armour.
Fortunately a (second) Judge appeared alongside her, doubling their firepower at the fast-approaching Monarch of Planet X. Six bullets whizzed towards the seemingly invulnerable sentient tree-like creature and none could penetrate its bark. In the meantime Rocket scurried up a ladder before racing along a walkway. Reaching a large gas tower the raccoon got ready to give his over-sized partner some covering fire once he freed their prize.
Behind Rocket a (third) Judge ran into the action and immediately started clambering up after the raccoon. Believing that they now had their targets in a crossfire the Senior Judge opened up on Groot but was again thwarted by his super-tough bark. Nestled beside the gas container Rocket launched a salvo of bullets towards the seasoned street judge, and took her down for the count.
Another (fourth) Judge appeared from the south and immediately broke cover from behind some barrels to chase after Groot, as the alien was fast-approaching the prisoner. The (third) Judge reached the walkway, unable to properly aim due to his weapon’s high burst of fire, sent a hail of bullets towards Rocket Raccoon. Fortunately not even the use of a couple of Audience Appreciation tokens was enough for the Lawman to wound the mammal.
Groot however was not as lucky as the (second) Judge guarding the perp finally got one of his Lawgiver’s bullets to penetrate the alien’s bark and the extra-terrestrial took a wound. With an “I’m comin’ Pal!” Rocket scampered down the gas tower’s ladder and brought down the (second) Judge with three bullets despite his lengthy range.
Another (fifth) Judge entered the fray from the north, and ran towards the action until he saw the towering plant monster charging towards him. With an “I am Groot!” the Flora Colossus flattened the newly-arrived Judge straight into the sidewalk. Meanwhile Rocket spun round to put a bullet or two into the (third) Judge on the walkway, partially clearing the way for his friend to free the target of all their endeavours.
Sensing his dire predicament, as Control reported there were no more available units to respond to his assistance call, the (fourth) Judge clambered up the gas tank’s ladder and started peppering the small furry mutant with his Lawgiver. One of the bullets struck home, and Rocket gave a startled yelp of pain.
Having dragged the criminal to his feet and encouraged him to move towards their teleportation site with a fierce “I am Groot” scowl, the Monarch of Planet X rushed to his friend’s aid and clambered up to the top of the gas tower. Despite his -1 penalty, as the (fourth) Judge had the advantage of the high ground, the alien pounded down upon the Lawman, ending the Grand Hall of Justice’s threat long enough for the duo to ‘retreat’ back to their orbiting spacecraft…

Saturday 11 October 2014

Graven Images - Cliffhanger - WIP - Part Two

Having definitely been enthused by Zomtober 2014 I’ve been feverishly progressing my painting of this splendid 40mm model of Frankenstein’s Monster by “Graven Images”. As you can probably imagine for so large a figure the coat and trousers were extremely simple to paint and all I’ve had to give them are a couple of coats of brown and then a very heavy black ink wash. The high quality of Jim Bowen's sculpting has also meant that it hasn't taken me too long to ‘black line’ around the hands, shirt, head and shoes either.
I’ve also picked out the monster’s shirt with some dark grey and then his undead skin with some far lighter blue-grey. To try and get the skin tone right I’ve been looking at quite a few pictures of Boris Karloff in full-makeup and realised that for most of the photographs he actually tries to roll his eyes up so that his pupils are barely visible and all you can see are the whites of his eyes. As a result I’ve tried to darken the sockets with black and simply paint in his eyes with white. To create the wash for his decaying flesh I’ve used a mixture of green and brown shades thinned down with water. I’ve still got a few bits to finish off on the miniature, such as his neck bolts and basing but hope to have this all done by tomorrow’s Zomtober deadline…

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Graven Images - Cliffhanger - WIP - Part One

I’ve recently bought a handful of these ‘hefty’ 40mm models to use for some pulp fiction “7TV” action set in the Forties. Sculpted by the late great Jim Bowen, these “Graven Images” models are from the “Cliffhanger” range and extremely nice casts. To begin with I’m going to start with one of my favourite crime fighting vigilantes, The Shadow and arguably “Universal Studios” most recognizable undead creature Frankenstein’s Monster.
I must confess to being somewhat apprehensive about painting The Shadow as he wears a particularly fine flowing cape which includes one of my most dreaded subjects to paint… a red lining. However I have a rather nice 28mm model of Jon Pertwee as “Doctor Who” by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” which wears a similar cloak and thus is generating an identical painter’s block for me. So as this “Graven Images” model is significantly larger, I thought it’d make an excellent test piece upon which I can practice my red lining technique.
Until very recently I hadn’t realised that other wargaming bloggers were participating in Zomtober; a bit of fun to encourage many painters to slap a coat or two upon their undead miniatures. Having been ignorant of this acrylic gore-fest I’ve already missed the weekend deadline for the first posting but plan to use ‘Frankie’ as the subject for one of my two Zomtober posts this week.

Please follow this link to read up on what Zomtober is all about:
There’s actually quite a few colour schemes out there for Boris Karloff’s film version of the monster, ranging from green outer clothing and brown shirt, to perhaps the more common-placed black shirt and trousers with grey shirt. In the end I decided I didn’t want to paint two miniatures predominantly black at the same time, especially as I planned for them to be the main antagonists for my first few games of “7TV”. As a result I’m going to go with a brown suit, washed with black ink, and a dark grey shirt with black boots. Obviously the undead creature’s skin has to be Karloff green.
The subject of my second Zomtober submission will be this old “Wizkids” model of Solomon Grundy, a zombie supervillain from the “DC Comics Universe”. It is not one of the best sculpted plastic figures from the “Heroclix” range, but should prove relatively straightforward to paint in a short amount of time. To keep him company, I’m going to also try and progress a couple of other pre-painted supervillains, the Rhino and the Abomination.

Monday 6 October 2014

Blake's Seven - "The Way Back" - WIP - Part Four

Over the past few days I've concentrated on just the one Freedom Fighter miniature by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" and managed to get most of his clothing finished as a result. The belt and pouch were quite a simple affair using some brown and a wash, and I've managed to pick out the buckle with some silver.
I've gone for a yellow look to the rebel's shirt, but I think the brown wash has come out a little gloopier and darker than I hoped; especially on the right sleeve. With hindsight it may have been better to have treated the areas to some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" instead of the "Citadel" Shade. But usually once I've put a coat of Gloss Varnish over a model the washes tend to 'brighten up' a bit. 

Saturday 4 October 2014

28mm Battle Report: Batman And Howard The Duck Verses 'Eavies

I’ve been a huge fan of the “7TV” rule set by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” since it the core rulebook was first released in 2011. Indeed my article “The Misadventures of Gnatman and Dobbin: Zombies Not Included…” in Issue 67 of the “Wargames Soldiers and Strategy” by “Karwansaray Publishers” is based upon the game. But having not played for a while, I thought a series of simple scenarios would help ease me back into the mechanics and let me post some battle reports at the same time.
This first game will use just a Heroic Star and Co-Star against a number of Villainous Extras. In addition I’ve selected a few Gadget cards for the heroes, but didn’t use any Event cards as I wanted to get used to the ‘bread and butter’ mechanics of the Action:Engine system without having too much interrupt the flow. Indeed the game was predominantly a slugfest so I could reacquaint myself with basic Melee attacks, Charging and ‘All or Nothing’ Attacks. Although once the Dark Knight entered the fray there were Bat-a-rangs whizzing all over the place.
The adventure takes place upon a 2x2 board, with some collections of rocks and a couple of small toxic pools scattered about. The objective is for Howard the Duck to survive ten rounds, whilst being attacked by an increasing number of ‘Eavies who plan on having roast fowl for supper. Batman is desperately racing to the duck’s rescue but it’s unclear just when he’ll arrive, and every turn until the last, another extra will arrive upon the table at a random edge. Howard therefore must fend off the hired muscle until the Dark Knight arrives and rescues him.
“The story so far… Batman has intercepted an alarm from S.T.A.R. Labs, which has detected a shift in “the Cosmic Axis” that has opened a portal from another world in the vicinity of Gotham Harbour. As the Caped Crusader makes his way towards the eastern end of the Sprang River, he receives a feed from one of the docks’ closed circuit television cameras showing a strange fading illumination on a small island which sits within the river. The picture quality is poor as the optical instrument is at its maximum range, but the Dark knight can just make out from the grainy footage what looks like a large duck being chased by the island’s inhabitants. Clearly the local tramps and drunks are planning on making a meal of the feathered fowl… but the bird appears to be dressed in a shirt and tie, and smoking a cigar.!?!”
The game started with the (first) ‘Eavy winning the Initiative and running (double move) straight towards the feathered fowl. Deciding to run for cover behind a cluster of rocks on the small island’s westernmost corner Howard also did a double waddle. With no sign of Batman arriving, a (second) ‘Eavy appeared in the island’s south-eastern corner and ran forwards to join up with his colleague. In the meantime Howard backed away even further to ensure a rocky outcrop was between him and his foes.
With the Caped Crusader still elsewhere, swinging from Gotham rooftop to rooftop, a (third) ‘Eavy arrived in the south-east corner of the island. Sensing he would be easily swamped by the hired muscle if he remained in hiding, Howard decided to put his best webbed foot forward and trust in the teachings of the school of Master C’haaj. The duck double-moved towards the (first) ‘Eavy and utilising his Heroic Surge to initiate a second activation, flicked his trusty stogie towards the man. It flew towards its target as if it was a Rocket Cigarette and was inadvertently swallowed by the hired muscle; putting him out of action for the rest of the game with a touch of heart burn. Howard then charged into the (second) ‘Eavy and demonstrating just why he was also known as Shang Op – Master of Quak Fu, he stunned the man. The surviving (third) ‘Eavy attempted to charge into the duck himself but despite having ‘A Good Offence’ rolled low. Still there was no sign of Batman. But a (fourth) ‘Eavy arrived from the north, doubling the fowl’s attackers. Howard went in for ‘All or nothing’ on the (third) ‘Eavy and brought the hired muscle crashing to the ground, before he hid behind the island’s central rocky outcrop.
With the (third) ‘Eavy staggering to his feet and a (fifth) ‘Eavy appearing from the south, Howard the Duck leapt out at his opponents and floored the (third) hired muscle a second time. Snatching a handy crowbar from a nearby pile of debris the (fifth) ‘Eavy saw a chance to wallop the duck from behind but didn’t account for Howard’s Dodge ability. Suddenly a shadow briefly fell over the island, there was the sound of something flying swiftly through the air, and the (second) ‘Eavy, who had just reawakened, was more permanently out for the count thanks to two bat-a-rangs. The Dark Knight had arrived. Using an ‘Adrenalin Boost’ to obtain a third action for the turn, Batman charged into the (fifth) ‘Eavy currently assaulting Howard, and producing a bat-blade incapacitated the hired muscle for the rest of the fight. But a (sixth) ‘Eavy was already rushing down from the north.
As a (seventh) ‘Eavy appeared, Batman began hurling Bat-a-rangs but all missed despite him using his ‘Luck’. As a result the (sixth) ‘Eavy rushed past the Caped Crusader and charged into Howard, but the duck’s ‘Dodge’ ability continued to keep his feathers safe. An (eighth) ‘Eavy now arrived, and Batman and the Duck Wonder were in danger of being encircled. Batman’s bat-a-rangs rang true this round and down went the (fourth) ‘Eavy. An ‘All or Nothing’ feathered fist from Howard felled the (sixth) ‘Eavy, and the bat and bird went back-to-back to fend off their enemies.
In the south-east corner of the island, a final (ninth) ‘Eavy emerged and started running towards what he hoped was an easy supper. But Batman now saw a chance to get the duck to safety and together they rushed north towards the (eighth) ‘Eavy. The hired muscle was all that stood between the Dark Knight and freedom, so he eventually fell under a flurry of bat-a-rangs. Hearing the fast approaching footsteps of their pursuers behind them the Caped Crusader scooped up Howard in one arm, and with the other fired off a bat-cable into the nearest dock building and together they leapt into the air and away…

Friday 3 October 2014

Modern Middle Eastern Alliance Fedayeen - Part Two

These four bases of 6mm "GHQ" miniatures form part of a larger Fedayeen Squad I've been painting as a Frontline Asset for my Middle Eastern Alliance (MEA) army. Originally the force consisted of a unit leader, accompanied by five stands of soldiers armed with assault rifles. These additional stands give the squad some much needed specialist weapon support in the form of two SVU sniper rifle stands and two AT-13 Sexhorn-2 anti-tank missile system stands.
All four bases utilise models taken from the "Micro Armour" stock codes TW1 Mujahadin Individual Infantrymen and TW2 Mujahadin Individual Heavy Weapons. The models were initially undercoated with "Vallejo" White, washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White in order to bring out their detail. I then 'picked out' the soldier's footwear, weapons, hands and faces with "Citadel" Abaddon Black. The areas of skin were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Ogryn Flesh wash. Many of the models were additionally adorned with one or two ammunition belts, which I painted using a second hand pot of "Vallejo" Brass followed by a wash of "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade.
In addition I’ve finally knuckled down and started to progress painting of my 15mm “The Ion Age” miniature collection. This particular lead/resin mountain has swelled quite considerably in recent months due to the company releasing a plethora of excellent looking vehicles and terrain pieces, as well as numerous new infantry models – all of which come at a fantastic discount if pre-ordered. As a result I’ve managed to finish painting this Retained Knight Anvil 888 launcher team and should soon have them based up ready for the battlefield.