Saturday, 29 November 2014

Empire Of The Dead - London Bobby

This metal 28mm miniature is one of the eight figures found within the boxed set EOTD-07 London Bobbies by “West Wind Productions”. The model is my fifth and final submission for the Mo’vember 2014 challenge Dick Garrison is running over on his blog “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”. It’s also the first of five models I’m currently painting from the miniature manufacturer’s “Empire Of The Dead” range to use as a State gang for the post apocalyptic skirmish ruleset “Across The Dead Earth”.
The Victorian Policeman was reasonably simple to paint once I had decided upon how I was going to paint his famous dark blue uniform. As a result he was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and then given two healthy washes of the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil. The copper’s cape was just painted Abaddon Black. Whilst I picked out his silver belt buckle, custodian crest and fastening chains with a combination of Boltgun Metal and more Nuln Oil. His truncheon was painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and a wash of “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade.
As something of a diversion I’ve been pottering away on this rather tall “Heroclix” model of Frankenstein’s Monster. I’m actually using this figure as a test subject to see whether I can simply use the pre-paint as the undercoat and just block in my colours on top of it; as opposed to applying at least another layer of paint over the models as I currently do. Despite being a 28mm scale model it is actually larger than the 40mm “Graven Images” version I painted up as part of Zomtober earlier this year:
In addition I’m also basing and preparing even more of the “Wizkids” miniatures for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I’m hoping to submit the Joker model as the Comedy subject for one of the bonus rounds. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

28mm Battle Report: Batman And The Thing Verses Catwoman And The Abomination

This adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board with three ruined buildings, a small forest to the northeast and a central sewer grill populating it. Five objective markers, ranging from value 1 – 5, have been dotted around the board and the winner is the side who holds the most points at the end of the sixth turn. However no-one will know how many points each objective is worth until the end of the game.

The scenario was basically designed to give us an opportunity to try out the Abomination’s Fearsome Special Effect and to see how well some of the more sophisticated co-stars worked, having given them Disadvantages and additional Special Effects (having removed basic Special effects).
“The story so far… Catwoman and the Abomination are planning to set-up a new criminal headquarters in the grounds of a disused Gotham City factory. Having overheard a radio broadcast dispatching Gotham Police Department units to their location, Batman decides to also attend. But en route he briefly stops off at the Baxter Building for some much-needed muscle… Benjamin Grimm, the Thing.”

At the start of each turn both sides would have to roll to see whether any of their models would arrive on the tabletop and a number of House Rules were agreed; Catwoman would be able to use her Infiltrator Special Effect to start the game on the Heroes side of the table, and although the Gotham Cops could shoot at the villainous co-stars they could only do so until their hit points were at 1. After that the Police would have to go in with their nightsticks and knock them unconscious. The criminal’s deployment zone was on the western edge and the heroes on the opposite side of the table.
To begin with only a handful of extras appeared on the table. One ‘Eavy headed north towards the ruin containing the northwest objective [Objective One] and then hurried west along the northern table edge. A second ‘Eavy rushed directly towards the central objective [Objective Three] and proudly stopped atop the sewer grill. One of the Policemen moved north towards the forest in order to get a clear line of sight upon the northern most hired muscle. Raising his pistol he fired, but the -1 penalty for shooting at long range proved costly and the bullet whizzed wide.
The second turn saw four more Gotham Cops come onto the table; albeit one of them warily stuck to the shadows. One of these Policemen immediately took aim at the ‘Eavy in the centre of the table, and despite the long range shot, struck the criminal down thanks to some Audience Appreciation. A fellow flatfoot ran past the Policeman and replaced the fallen hired muscle at the sewer grill. Meanwhile another Cop joined his companion near the north-western forest and also fired at the close by ‘Eavy… without success. Suddenly the other newly arrived Gotham Cop revealed themselves to be Catwoman, who then charged into the policeman who shot one of her henchmen. Down he went under a torrent of cat claws. Realising she was too exposed amidst the men of Gotham Police Department, Selina Kyle used her Heroic Surge to double move into the nearby forest and evade being shot at. 
Turn three was a “Cliff-hanger” in every sense as the Event Card gave both sides five additional Luck points to use for the rest of the game. The Cop by the forest took careful aim at the northernmost criminal and utilising some Luck brought him down. The Cop in the centre of the table, realising he was something of an open target, moved northeast towards Objective One. With no sign of Batman of the Thing, the Abomination crashed into the battle and immediately made his presence known by rushing to the sewer grill. Behind his massive form, an ‘Eavy moved south to the ruin in the southwest corner [Objective Four]. With a flash of a black leather cat-suit, Selina Kyle rushed out of the Forest and using her Luck knocked out a Gotham Cop. Inspired by her fighting prowess another ‘Eavy also charged into a Policeman in the northeast corner [Objective Two] but despite adding +1 to his Strength for the Charge, the criminal failed to render the flatfoot unconscious. To make matters worse for the forces of evil, the first Cop Catwoman had clobbered, unsteadily got to his feet, rubbing his head. He was back in the fight.
With a roar the Batmobile finally arrived for Turn Four, alongside the Fantasti-car. Encouraged by the Dark Knight’s arrival one of the Cops took careful aim and shot at Catwoman. The +3 bonus the Policeman received along with some Audience Appreciation resulted in the feline burglar taking a flesh wound. Then Ben Grimm was in front of her. She daintily sidestepped his first tender tap using her Dodge Special Effect. But the Thing then used his Good offence to re-flick his little pinkie at Catwoman, and with a soft “bink” Selina Kyle was on the floor unconscious. Realising that the Abomination was the main threat however, Batman raced towards his green-hued foe, hurling an ineffective bat-a-rang as he ran. A Heroic Surge later and the Dark Knight was within 6” of the Abomination but with some Luck passed his Fear Test and charged into the brute. Bonus’ galore were then considered for the imminent fist-fight but the green behemoth’s Invulnerability saw the Abomination still standing despite Bruce Wayne’s Fists of Fury Special Effect.

A Gotham Cop rushed forward to support the Caped Crusader but fear got the better of him, and the policeman scurried backwards as soon as he realised the size of the Abomination. In the northeast corner by the Forest an ‘Eavy took down a Cop with his crowbar, whilst another hired muscle rushed to the sewer grill. But all eyes were upon the Abomination as he threw a punch at Batman. The gamma giant’s fist struck home and his great strength immediately negated the Dark Knight’s body armour. With a little help from some Audience Appreciation the Abomination felled Bruce Wayne and with a roar of triumph moved towards the petrified Cop who had already been backing away from him.
The fifth turn saw the terrified policeman splatted by the Abomination. The green fiend appeared invincible and set about stalking the lone flatfoot in the southeast ruin [Objective Five]. The hired muscle in the northwest ruin [Objective One] rushed east along the northern table edge, whilst another ‘Eavy took his place within the derelict building. The Gotham Cop next to the southeast building, sensing his impending fate, steeled his nerves and stepped out to face the Abomination, firing a slug into the beast. The bullet struck home but failed to penetrate.
The final turn saw Batman remain unconscious, along with Catwoman. However the use of some Audience Appreciation tokens meant that the villains activated many a criminal before the remaining good guys could respond. In a Rage the Abomination charged into the Policeman who had been shooting at him. A wild swing missed the flatfoot, and then the Cop used some Luck for another punch to go wide. A third blow also failed to strike its target and using his own Luck the gamma giant threw a fourth and final punch… which also missed. Meanwhile one of the northernmost ‘Eavies decided to try and outpunch ben Grimm. However all his blows failed to hit their target.

In a last desperate move the Cop facing the Abomination tightened his grip on his nightstick and gave the green-hued creature a serious clubbing around the head. Because of the Abomination’s Invulnerability the Policeman first needed a 6 to stand any chance of causing the behemoth an injury, and when that number was rolled we all dove into our “7TV Summer Special” rulebooks to see what dice roll the Cop now needed to see his blow knock the Abomination off of his feet… it was a 4. Rolling just a 3, the flatfoot sighed, realising that the fight was over. A quick look at the objectives saw that the criminals held three for a total of 9 points, whilst the heroes, holding none whatsoever, had scored zero. The day was lost for the Dark Knight… for now at least.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

'Oldhammer' - Lizardmen Army - WIP - Part Two

With just a few days to go until the deadline for “A Tale of Several Gamers” first month, I have realized with some horror that I may well have been going about my ‘Oldhammer’ army painting in a decidedly wrong manner. Other painting distractions aside, I’ve found my choice of painting my force’s leader first and foremost an unwise move as despite the “Citadel” miniature’s excellent pose and sculpting, it is frankly so detailed that it is proving to be an absolute pain to actually paint (at least using the methods I ordinarily use for my 28mm figures).

As a result, my plan to spend just a few days concentrating on Gluckle the Greedy before painting up the rest of my skink warband has stagnated into a painfully slow month-long attempt to paint just the white-skinned champion. This means that few of my other Lizardmen miniatures have had much attention besides an undercoat of blue paint and a quick wash of ink to help me see the figures’ detail.
No more pontificating however, as I find there is nothing better than an imminent deadline to focus the mind and get the paint flowing. Clearly I’m not going to be attaining quite the number of points I initially had in mind for this month’s opening foray but as I spent only just over half my £25 budget, and should have a couple of minis painted, along with a few blog posts on the subject, I am hopeful that Space Cow Smith will be magnanimous enough to award me a handful of points in a few days’ time.

Perhaps my biggest problem has been to try and copy the superbly painted albino skink from my copy of the “Games Workshop” 1996 Lizardmen Warhammer Armies book. I quite quickly found this challenge tremendously off putting and demotivating as I’m simply not that good a painter. Having cast aside my ‘Eavy metal Painter syndrome, I’ve gone with a simple paint scheme for my Skink champion which should still make him ‘stand out from the crowd’. Instead of painting all his rope bindings a myriad of different colours, they’re just going to be red and the vast majority of his leathers, humble brown. This has allowed me to swiftly paint most of his numerous straps and bindings, with just a block colour and wash.
I’ve also started something of a ‘factory approach’ to the four basic Skink warriors I own. Presently they’re been undercoated, washed and then ‘black-lined’. I’m now starting to ‘block in’ their metal weapons, shields and arm bracelets.

Space Cow Smith has actually created a blog called “A Tale Of Several Gamers” for us to all post our ‘Oldhammer’ themed posts on so if you’re interested or want to take part then I’d recommend you give it a visit at:
A Tale of Several Gamers is Go!

Monday, 24 November 2014

"Across The Dead Earth" - WIP - Part Two

I’ve finally finished two of the many 28mm scale wooden Commercial Style Buildings by “Wargame-Model-Mods” I plan to construct in order to play “Across The Death Earth” by “Dead Earth Games”. As the rule set is based in a post-apocalyptic environment and designed as a skirmish game I want to be able to populate a 3x3 table with as much ‘cover’ as possible. 
A previous posting as to how I paint these buildings can be found here:
In addition I am slowly painting up the five “West Wind Productions” models I plan to use as the start of my State gang. All the figures are from their “Empire Of The Dead” range and I’ve now finished most of the blue undercoat on the British bobbies, and even started double-washing them with black shade. I am slightly struggling with the finer detail of their black and white sleeve markings, but think I have worked out an approach using a black ink wash prior to some black and white line work, that is both reasonably quick and produces a neat result. I’ve also managed to get some areas painted on my Queen ‘Queenie’ Victoria gang leader model, having painted her blue sash and the majority of her light machinegun.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

“Truly This Man Was The Son Of God.”

This somewhat odd choice for the subject of a 28mm wargaming miniature comes from a small batch of metal models I’ve recently purchased from the “Space Vixens From Mars” webstore []. I’ve actually seen this company's figures for sale at several shows but somewhat surprisingly never really paid them much attention. This is despite the fact that usually there’s some sort of ‘Space Vixens’ participation game taking place besides the stall, which ordinarily seems to be extremely popular and well-attended.
This particular figure, Jesus of Nazareth, simply caught my eye whilst I was simply ‘passing the time’ on the internet and is product number DW05 (from Episode 25J ‘Temptation In The Wilderness’). It comes from the manufacturer’s Divine Wind Range, which seems to be a selection of the historical, alternate and fantasy characters the Space Vixens have met during their adventures through time and space. It was an absolute pleasure to paint as a result of its clean sculpting and is my fourth submission for the Mo’vember 2014 challenge Dick Garrison is running over on his blog “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”.
As a fair proportion of the model was going to be white I simply undercoated the model using “Vallejo” ‘Blanco’ before washing the figure’s linen under robe with watered down Quickshade Strong Tone by “The Army Painter”. Jesus’ heavier outer robe was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. Finally his hair and beard, in an effort to make it seem somewhat darker than his brown clothing, was first given a coat of “Vallejo” Charred Brown and then a wash of the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil. The miniature’s flesh was painted with my usual three stage system of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone, “Citadel” Ogryn Flesh and then some highlights with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone.
I’ve been so inspired by the quality of my models by “Space Vixens From Mars” that I have already based three more up, ready for a ‘quiet’ moment when a ‘Star Trek’ mood takes me. These figures are from their Rim Alien Range, and consist of a Male Pointy-Eared Rim Alien With Pistol, a Male Ridged Rim Alien With Pistol and a Reptilian Rim Alien With Pistol.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

"I Hate Personal Violence, Especially When I'm The Person."

This 28mm metal model is one of the two miniatures found within packet Future Freedom Fighters 2 by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. I wanted to base this retro space liberator on the “Blake’s Seven” television series character Vila Restal, as played by Michael Keating, so as a result I have tried my best to replicate the colourful costume the lowly Delta grade criminal wore during his early stories.

To begin with the model was undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Brown and I then used Heavy Sienna followed by a wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The petty thief’s upper garments from the British science fiction programme were a little less easy to replicate, especially his actual top which seemed to be a dark mixture of purple, black and dark blue. In the end I opted for an undercoat of “Vallejo” Charred Brown, and gave this ‘Color’ a wash of more Strong Tone Quickshdae. This simple compromise seemed to capture the deep dark look of the garment without the necessity for painting in lots of multi-coloured stripes and bands.

Vila also wears some sort of dark-coloured emblem on his jacket so I painted this with Heavy Violet and then washed it with “Citadel” Badab Black to help it ‘mix-in’ with the surrounding blackish-brown top. The sleeves were painted using “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I find this Shade doesn’t quite darken the underlying colour as much as its now sadly ‘out of production’ predecessor, so it can make a useful alternative wash if I don’t want everything to look depressingly dark. The shirt was painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Warmgrey and “Citadel” Druchii Violet. I must confess I’m not too impressed with the Shade as it seems to be a little too ‘goopey’ for my liking. Finally I painted up the thief’s toolbox with “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and Heavy Red (with a wash of the “Citadel” Shade Carroburg Crimson).
Having finished Vila Restal model I now only have the second Freedom Fighter from his “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” code to complete and I’ll have finished my “The Way Back” mini-project. Although ideally I hope to also finish the cult TV company’s Tweedy Mattison ‘not-Eleventh Doctor Who’ miniature within the next few days as well.
I’ve also managed to base these five models from code PLT09 Kojar Of The Forest Tribe by “Pulp Figures”. These are great Bob Murch sculpts and consist of the Jungle Man with his wife, son and daughter; as well as Bongo The Chimp. All of which have been based in preparation for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, which starts in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 17 November 2014

"Across The Dead Earth" - WIP - Part One

For the past few weeks I’ve been reading with great envy a number of blog postings regarding the post-apocalyptic skirmish wargame “Across The Death Earth” by “Dead Earth Games”. I’m not entirely sure why I never opted in for the kickstarter but battle reports such as ‘Capture The Convoy’ on Simon Quinton’s “Brummie’s Wargaming Blog” made me determined to grab a copy of the rules just as soon as they were on general release. A couple of weeks ago this finally happened and I immediately ordered a copy their excellent rulebook. After a very quick turnaround it arrived and for the past few days, in between some other painting projects, I’ve been pouring through Rich Chappell’s extremely well-written ‘survival manual’ trying to work out what scenery and miniatures I need to get gaming in a world set “three generations on from The Last War”.

There's a very good review of the "Across The Death Earth" kickstarter and its models on "The Spiderweb Of History" blog here:

Back in March of this year I picked up a bag of 28mm scale wooden Commercial Style Buildings by “Wargame-Model-Mods”. Over three posts I constructed one of the larger buildings, textured it, painted it and based it… and then placed the remaining nine structures on a shelf for another day… Readers of the “Across The Dead Earth” scenery postings on both “Brummie’s Wargaming Blog” and “Brains And Guts” will know that these buildings are precisely what I need to create some fun-packed post-apocalyptic battles, so I’ve taken down three of “W-M-M” models and started painting them up so I’ll at least have a handful of structures to fight around during my first battle report.
As you can see these will be nothing actually fancy, just simply single-storey and ground floor ruins. But they should provide plenty of cover and vantage points to start with. If you fancy high-rise mayhem then I’d urge you to visit Lord Siwoc’s posting “Post Apoc Terrain Buildings” and see just what you can do with “W-M-M” buildings:

Likewise Simon Quinton is doing a fantastic job on a scratch built piece of terrain on his blog here:

In addition I have been rummaging through my lead mountain trying to find some suitable miniatures for a couple of gangs. Now “Dead Earth Games” do produce some great models themselves, sculpted by one of my favourite sculptors Andrew May (of “Meridian Miniatures”). But I currently own a fair few unpainted figures so have really been trying and resist the urge to get any new models for the past few weeks; especially as they’ll be plenty of time for that next month.

Having read up about The State an idea occurred to me, and as a result I’ve dug out some London Bobbies miniatures from the “Empire Of The Dead” range by “West Wind Productions”. I actually started painting three of these back in July, but quickly put them back in a drawer when my attention wandered to something else. However I’ve now added a fourth flatfoot to the group as well as model of Queen Victoria with a gun, who’ll act as the group’s leader. The narrative goes that this particular gang considers itself to rule the Dead Earth in the former United Kingdom. So having raided Madame Tussauds my leader has donned some royal attire, and garbed her trusty gang members with some apparel from the Black Museum of New Scotland Yard. Thus ‘Queenie and her Peelers’ has been borne.
As I hope to use the campaign rules to build up this gang, they’re actually a rather low-costing group for now. Indeed with the exception of Queenie and her Light Machinegun, and her pistol-carrying sergeant, the others are all only armed with wooden truncheons (clubs). But as they all see their leader as the reigning sovereign, I’ve awarded each gang member the General Trait of Loyal. I’m hoping in future to perhaps build a second similarly influenced gang from The State and escalate the situation into a bizarre English Civil War campaign. 

For now however I just want to get the buildings finished and the miniatures painted. Having pondered how to actually create the bluish black colour Victorian Policemen are typically painted, I’ve decided to simply give the models a deep blue undercoat and then apply a couple of washes of black ink. The copper’s cloaks themselves will be black, and that should give me plenty of dark colours upon which I can pick out silver buttons and belt buckles.For those especially interested in “Across The Death Earth” then a link to their webstore can be found here:

Simon Quinton’s “Capture The Convoy” battle report is here:

Sunday, 16 November 2014

28mm Battle Report: Judge Dredd And Commissioner Gordon Verses The Riddler

This adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board, with a small forest to the northeast, a larger forest to the southwest, and a single story building at the centre. Five objective markers, ranging from value 1 – 5, have been dotted around the board and the winner is the side who holds the most points at the end of the sixth turn. However no-one will know how many points each objective is worth until the end of the game.
“The story so far… The Riddler is desperately trying to instigate a breakout from Arkham Asylum. Alerted to his escape attempt, Commissioner Gordon attends along with Gotham City Police. Aware he’s outmatched the senior policeman summons help via the bat signal, but when the batmobile arrives it is an altogether different kind of lawman that emerges from the vehicle… it is Judge Dredd."

At the start of each turn both sides would have to roll to see whether any of their models would arrive on the tabletop. Amazingly none of the forces of justice did, so despite Edward Nigma not being present himself, a number of his ‘eavies did appear from the southeast corner and immediately began to fan out towards the objective markers.
The second turn amazingly saw both Gordon and Dredd, as well as all of the Gotham Police, arrive from the northwest corner. In addition the Event Card Cliff-hanger was played giving both sides an additional Luck card each. Two cops ran east along the north edge and stopped with clear line on sight on the objective in the centre of the table, right beside the front of the derelict building [Objective Three]. Gordon dived for cover behind the batmobile [Objective One]. He was joined by another cop and together they fired off a couple of pistol shots at an ‘eavy approaching Objective Three. Despite using their Luck, the shots went wide. Finally a cop ran south along the western edge towards the objective marker buried deep with a forest in the southwest corner [Objective Four]. With still no sign of the Riddler himself, but with another three ‘eavies coming onto the table, the hired muscle began taking position around some of the objectives. Two disappeared into the trees to take Objective Four, whilst another crouched beside the small rocky outcrop in the southeast corner [Objective Five]. Another ‘Eavy joined the hired muscle near to Objective Three.
Turn three saw the forces of evil start to take the upper hand as the Riddler appeared and immediately played the Event Card Red Jersey on Gordon allowing his men to reroll any hits or wounds on the commissioner for the rest of the game. Using his Leadership, Nigma ordered three of his ‘Eavies to dominate the centre of the table (and Objective Three), as well as the objective in the north-eastern forest [Objective Two]. Urging his men on, Gordon and his Gotham Police officers all took aim [giving them +2 to hit] and poured pistol fire into the group of hired muscle taking shelter within the shadow of the central building. Disappointingly none of the shots struck home. And even the cop giving an ‘Eavy a taste of Gotham nightstick by Objective Two failed to land a telling blow. It was clear it was time for a taste of Mega-city one justice. Judge Dredd rushed up alongside Gordon and using his Signature Weapon, the Lawgiver, felled one of the ‘Eavies by Objective Three. 

Suddenly however the entire game changed as the Riddler used his ‘On The Payroll’ Star Quality and having won an opposed Morale Test revealed that the Gotham cop in the forest by Objective Two was actually on his side. As a result the remaining loyal Gotham police officer on the northern table edge found himself swamped by baddies, and was pulverised by an ‘Eavy thanks to ‘A Good Offence’. Realising the day was about to be lost, Judge Dredd interrupted the Baddies’ turn with a Heroic Surge and running towards the centre of the table shot the ‘Eavy who had just brained the hapless flatfoot. “The crime is murder of a Gotham police officer. The sentence is… death.”
Sensing the veteran street judge was capable of taking Objective three on his own if he wasn’t quickly stopped, an ‘Eavy charged into Dredd, but failed to land a blow. Incensed ‘Uncle Joe’ gave the hired muscle a one-course supper of Mega-City knuckles, and then promptly pulled out a Miniature Flamethrower on another nearby extra. The ‘hotshot’ roasted the perp on the spot. Meanwhile Commissioner Gordon, encouraged by the lawman’s sentencing rushed to the centre of the table and claimed Objective Three.

The penultimate turn saw the ‘Eavy by Judge Dredd momentarily rise to his feet as both sides used their Audience Appreciation tokens to activate an additional model. The traitor cop ran out of the north-eastern forest and tried to put a slug into the cop taking shelter by the batmobile. He missed and then took a bullet himself for his trouble. So much for taking the Riddler’s dollar bills. Watching from the first story floor of the central building, Nigma realised the battle was lost if he let Gordon and Dredd dominate Objective Three, so threw himself out of the derelict structure’s window and landed beside an astonished police commissioner. Using his sword cane, his signature weapon, the supervillain speared Gordon straight through and the elderly policeman crumpled to the ground. Distraught as his bosses’ demise the cop in the south-western forest [Objective Four] beat one of the ‘Eavies there unconscious. Fortunately, now down to just three models, the forces for good easily passed their Shaken Test thanks to Dredd’s high morale.
The final turn saw the future lawman charge into the Riddler. Everything went quiet as this confrontation was without a doubt going to make or break the game for Gotham Police Department. Thanks to an Audience Appreciation token Dredd landed a hefty smack on Enigma’s jaw, but before the master of puzzles started to need to eat through a straw, the Riddler used his Luck to force the judge to roll the hit again. The lawman missed, but was allowed another reroll due to his Good Offence and the punch not only struck home but knocked the criminal senseless. Inspired by Dredd’s fisticuffs the cop in the south-western forest amazingly stunned the other ‘Eavy by Objective Four. Desperate to consolidate their hold of some of the objectives the remaining hired muscle rushed to contest Objective Four and ensure they held Objective Two and Objective Five. Finally all was quiet to see whether the Riddler would regain his senses enough to challenge Dredd for Objective Three. Because he had three hits, Nigma had three chances to roll a six and recover… and did so with one of his dice.

As a result all the Gotham Police Department held was Objective One by the batmobile but when revealed it showed it was worth 5 victory points. With a groan the Riddler’s two successfully held objectives proved to only be worth 2 victory points and 1 victory point; giving the day to Judge Dredd and justice. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

“Who’s A Good Bizarro Doggie?”

This rather jolly 28mm “Wizkids” model of Lockjaw is number 001 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Fantastic Forces range and is my third submission for the Mo’vember 2014 challenge Dick Garrison is running over on his blog “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”. The figure is actually quite large and as a result I was unable to accommodate him on the usual 40mm round base I reserve for similar-sized figures. As a result I have placed him upon a “Games Workshop” 60mm base instead.
'WALKING THE DOG' - Ben Grimm and Lockjaw encounter Ironclad on Yancy Street
As the vast majority of the model was going to be brown I undercoated the Inhuman using “Vallejo” Heavy Brown and then simply picked out the alien bulldog-like being’s large moustache with “Citadel” Abaddon Black. Lockjaw’s antenna was easily apinted using Boltgun Metal with a Nuln Oil wash. To try and bring out the detail of the Pet Avenger’s facial folds I slowly washed the model with Devlan Mud. Once dry I then concentrated on applying additional washes of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade over the model.

If you’re interested in seeing other Mo’vember blog postings then please visit Dick Garrison’s latest submission here:

In addition if you’re interested in Lockjaw, then a review of the 2006 “Marvel Comics” issue where he becomes the Thing’s pet can be found here:
In between other painting projects I am still beavering away these three miniatures by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. I’ve almost completed the Freedom Fighter Vila, and finally boxed off and washed the red costume of Jenna. In addition I’ve finished the highlights on Tweedy Mattison’s black trousers, washed his pink shirt (to go with the “cool” red bow-tie I have planned for him) and started the undercoat for his brown jacket.

Speaking of “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” I have received a lovely envelope from the company with the words “Secret Santa” emblazoned on them. This was my first year in participating in Ian’s ‘Secret Santa’ over on “The Blog With No Name” [] and I just want to thank him, his excellent wife Cath and whoever has bought me some “7TV” goodies. Very much appreciated and I look forward to doing a Christmas Day posting when I open my present.
These five models are from code PWM32 Arresting Gestapo Troopers by “Pulp Figures”. I’m planning to base and prime a number of Bob Murch’s superb miniatures in preparation for my participation in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge next month.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

“I’m The Rhino! Ain’t Nothing Can Hurt Me!”

This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of The Rhino is number 86 from the “Heroclix” Marvel Sinister range and has been sat on my painting desk for quite some time. The figure was given two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and then repeatedly washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil in order to build up the dark colour on the supervillain’s thick polymer mat suit.
Rocket Raccoon and Daredevil tackle the rampaging Rhino!!
I was actually extremely tempted to just treat the model to a black wash and then simply drybrush over the miniature with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. But I didn’t think that would give the dark grey colour I was after. So instead I simply concentrated on certain muscle groups sculpted on the figure, and slowly built up the colour and brought out the detail. I purposely painted both horns and Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich’s clenched teeth White without a wash as I really wanted them to stand out from the dark grey costume and attract the eye.
In addition I’ve almost finished painting this coming weekend’s Mo’vember miniature; the “Heroclix” model Lockjaw, and just need to tinker with the Inhuman’s eyes and apply one or two more brown washes over the teleporting mutant dog’s body. I’ve also started building up the flesh areas on next week’s challenge submission, the diminutive acrobatic member of Alpha Flight known as Puck.
A Mindless One, Star-Lord, The Abomination, Blade and Drax The Destroyer
Finally the majority of these five pre-painted “Heroclix” models have just arrived from my favourite “Wizkids” American internet store “Troll and Toad” []. As you can probably imagine postage across the Pond is not cheap, but the prices of their “Heroclix” models when compared to the ridiculous costs of British EBay auctions makes it a far cheaper option if you can save and then make a bulk order.  All these models still require priming as I’m hoping to paint them up as part of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge when it starts on 5th December.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

28mm Battle Report: Batman And Rogue Trooper Verses Dracula

This adventure takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board, with a small forest to the northwest, a couple of small swamp pools and a large complex layout of sewer pipes. The objective is for Batman and Rogue Trooper to find an ancient Chalice of the Vampires before Dracula or one of his minions does. There are five potential sites dotted about the sewer works but only one contains the artefact. The winner is simply the first side to locate the Chalice and leave the table from their starting edge.

“The story so far… Rogue Trooper’s search for the Traitor General has lead him to the outskirts of Gotham City. But instead of finding any clue as to the whereabouts of his target, the Genetic Infantryman encounters Batman desperately searching for a relic of the vampires. Teaming up the pair set off for the last known location of the Chalice of Vampires. But the Lord of all Blood Drinkers, Dracula, and a party of his fanatical followers may have just got there before them…”

The game started with Batman and Rogue Trooper approaching the Sewer Works from the West and the Vampires from the East. The initial Audience Appreciation (AA) roll was tied, so as Dracula had the Weaver of Fates Star Quality we agreed for him to be immediately allocated an extra AA token as well as the two extra Event Cards he was entitled to.

The heroes won the reroll and Batman immediately dashed north towards the possible north-western relic site. Because the Dark Knight has the Leadership Special Effect he was able to activate the G.I. as well. Rogue moved east towards the central relic site, but fearing a horde of hungry vampires rushing straight at him, stopped short of the relic site and fired off Gunnar at one of the hissing blood drinkers. Unfortunately Dracula produced the Event Card “Astonishing Accuracy” which meant the bio-chipped weapon automatically missed. As a result we agreed that Rogue would be allowed to use one of his Luck cards and (re)roll the shot. The target vampire was well over half the distance of the Infantryman’s rifle but because the G.I. has Eagle Eyes, this penalty was ignored. The High Calibre shot rang out and a vampire dropped; Bagman having supplied Gunnar with silver-tipped ammo.
With a loud hiss the vampires leapt into action. One of them even managing to reach the north-east relic location and search it within a single turn. Fortunately for the heroes it was empty. Using his two AA points to activate a fourth model, Dracula ordered a couple of the vampire lackeys to rush towards Rogue’s location but both failed to cross the difficult terrain of the sewer pipes. Cursing, Dracula himself leapt effortlessly across them and using an Adrenalin Boost (or at least a quick snack from a blood bag he had about his person) took a third action to charge into Rogue Trooper. The Lord of Vampire’s utilised his knowledge of Pressure Points to roll an extra die to damage but amazingly rolled a one to hit, and, doubtless having simply caught Helm a glancing blow, was forced to use his Luck to try again. This time he struck the Infantryman but unbelievably rolled snake eyes to wound. What was in that blood bag… carrot juice!?!

The start of the second turn saw Dracula win the Initiative and a couple of AA tokens (allowing him to activate an additional lackey again). The Transylvanian Count then played the “No Faith In The Plan” Event Card on Rogue Trooper, reducing the Souther’s morale by -2. As the vampire’s fanatical lackeys split up with some heading towards batman and others towards the central site, all attention was momentarily drawn to the vampire minion in the south-east corner who searched that relic site… and came up empty. Incensed Dracula utilised the shoe dagger in his Russian footwear and caught the G.I. off guard, causing a wound. The Lord of Vampires pressed home his attack and after both combatants had used their Luck to shrug off the effects of poor dice rolls, it was Dracula who stood tall over the unconscious blue-skinned Infantryman. Suddenly all went quiet as the vampire lackey in the centre of the Sewer Works searched the potential site for the relic and found… nothing. 
Batman, realising he was at just one of the two remaining potential relic sites, looked about him in desperation, but the Chalice wasn’t there… it had to be hidden in the south-west corner. With a swish of his cape, the Dark knight bolted for the opposite edge of the tabletop, and using a Heroic Surge, not only reached the final site’s nearby drain system but managed to strike Dracula a savage wound with a Bat-a-rang as he rushed by. The tiny bat-shaped throwing star had penetrated the vampire’s undead flesh, despite the Count’s Invulnerability.  Thank goodness Alfred had insisted on him dipping his weapons in a garlic broth before he left the Batcave. With a grim smile the Caped Crusader also saw Rogue get to his feet, doubtless brought to his senses from something within the box of tricks known as Bagman.

Sadly the next turn was again won by the Lord of Vampires and instructing one of his lackeys to race towards the final relic site, Dracula floored the genetic infantryman once again before hurtling into Batman himself. But the Dark Knight would prove less easy to incapacitate. A bruising sweep of the vampire’s fist evaded Batman’s body armour and only Luck saved him from an early fall. But Dracula still needed to use his own Heroic Surge if he was going to take the Caped Crusader down. An ‘All or Nothing’ swing by the Count produced a double six but it still took all three of the dice his knowledge of Pressure Points created to bring Batman to his knees.
Behind him the central vampire attempted to chomp on Rogue’s neck but ended up breaking both his fangs on the Infantryman’s genetically toughened skin. But with neither the Dark Knight nor the G.I. recovering their senses at the end of the round, the fight was over, and Dracula, the relic in his hand, was able to disappear into the night with his vampire minions.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

“It Isn’t Just One Man, Damn It. It’s Zorro!”

This superbly detailed 28mm model of The Masked Bandit comes from code Mex1 by “Boot Hill Miniatures” and is the second of my submissions for the Mo’vember 2014 challenge Dick Garrison is running over on his blog “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table”. The figure is actually accompanied by a mounted version of ‘Zorro’ and forms part of the manufacturer’s rather extensive ‘Alta California’ range.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of the figure was black it actually took a considerable amount of time to paint due to the almost overwhelming amount of detail on the bandit’s sculpt. Numerous metallic areas such as the Californio nobleman’s spurs, girdle, scabbard, hat and boots were picked out with “Citadel” Boltgun Metal” and then washed with Badab Black. Whilst Don Diego de la Vega’s sword was given an additional drybrush of Boltgun Metal along the length of its blade. The face took a devilish amount of effort to ‘get right’ and a one stage I was all for simply painting in the ‘whites of his eyes’ and making do with that. However I was eventually able to ‘draw in’ a line of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone within the mask’s eye-slits and was them with “Citadel” Ogryn Flesh.

I also considered at one stage breaking up the sheer monotony of the black by aging ‘Zorro’ with some flecks of grey in his moustache and pointed beard. I have also seen several very nicely painted versions of the model with both a swirling red cape and scarlet mask; similar to Douglas Fairbanks’ cinematic version of the character. For once however I thought I’d leave well enough alone, and go with the all-black ‘in his prime’ bandit.

If you’re interested in taking part in Mo’vember then please either leave a comment and link below, or visit Dick Garrison’s excellent blog here:
Meanwhile I am still working through the numerous painting phases needed to finish these two Freedom Fighters by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. They’ve been joined on my painting table by another of the company’s “7TV” pulp science fiction sculpts, Tweedy Mattison. I was going to ‘hold off’ on this figure and the rest of their ‘not Eleventh Doctor Who’ range for “The Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge” but as “Titan Comics” have just started publishing a monthly series of comics depicting the Matt Smith incarnation of the Timelord, and the miniature was already based, prepared and primed, I couldn’t resist but start painting him.

If you’re interested in reading “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor” by “Titan Comics” then my review of its first issue can be found here:
These five models are from code PHP05 Doc Thompson and his Fabulous Four by “Pulp Figures”, and are part of a modest number of miniatures which have recently arrived across the Pond from the superbly talented sculptor Bob Murch. I’m hoping to paint up a vast number of these personality figures, alongside numerous henchmen and villains as part of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. As a result I’ll be preparing and basing, and then posting, a vast array of these 28mm metal beauties over the next few weeks in anticipation of the 5th December start date.