Wednesday, 30 March 2016

"Weird Tortures In A Ghastly Abode Of Horrors."

"A tale of devil worship."
These three 28mm metal "Pulp Figures" models come from Bob Murch's "Weird Menace - The Strange Villainy of Pulpdom" range and can be found in either PWM 04 - Evil Hooded Minions or PWM 05 - Evil Hooded Minions II. The Cultist holding a rifle was 'advertised' as carrying a lantern. But as I wanted all my garbed goons to be armed I swapped this hand with one carrying a spare rifle which I had left over from painting my New York City 'Boys In Blue' last year.

To make painting these cultists reasonably simple, all of the models were initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Violet. I then managed to pick out all of their shoes with a combination of Heavy Brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade, and a trousers with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Asurmen Blue. The other two minions' slacks were just too difficult to reach with a paintbrush, so for sanity's sake I settled on them being "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
"Seized by the Devil's disciples... for sacrifice in the Temples of Hell."
All of the bounder's firearms were predominantly painted using "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Although I used "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna for the rifle butts and applied more Strong Tone Quickshade on these areas. The villains' hands were initially given a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, before being washed with some watered-down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade" and then received a final highlight of more "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.

Besides beavering away at more "Pulp Figures" I have recommenced trying to re-base a number of my old “Copplestone Casting” figures in order to get them back on to my tabletop. This particular figure is from Code FW23 Zombie Troopers, and was probably painted back in 2007, when I gave all my models a "protective coat of PVA". At the time I started using "Citadel" Space Wolves Grey for my zombies flesh as I wanted to paint a unit of waterlogged undead, and felt the bluish hue was more appropriate. 
Re-basing the Undead - This Zombie Trooper has been re-painted before having his new base flocked
I have managed to re-paint a couple of areas on this figure in order to bring out more of the model’s detail, such as using "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil on his automatic rifle and armoured knee-pads. I've also applied some Doombull Brown to his belt pouches and repainted his damaged Snakebite Leather shoes before washing all of these areas with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

Monday, 28 March 2016

"...And They're Gonna Come In Here And They're Gonna Get Us!"

"Oh yeah, sure! With those things runnin' around? You can count me out."
These five 32mm scaled resin "Prodos Games" miniatures of H.R. Giger's Aliens are from the company's "Alien Verses Predator: The Hunt Begins" board game. But can also be bought separately as AVP Alien Stalkers. Each model comes in a number of separate pieces, presumably in order to provide different poses, and are predominantly designed to be positioned somewhat forward facing, as if they are moving at speed. However as I wanted the Aliens to stand a little more upright than advertised, I simply repositioned their limbs in order to make them lean over less.
"Let's just bug out and call it even, man!"
I initially gave these "different kind of animal" an undercoat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black before simply dry-brushing each model with "Vallejo" German Grey. The Stalkers were then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before I applied a second, significantly lighter dry-brush of "Vallejo" German Grey over the figures' more prominently raised surfaces. Each Aliens' mouth was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst their head carapaces were treated to a thick coat of Abaddon Black.

The "Alien Verses Predator: The Hunt Begins" board game comes with another ten Aliens in the shape of Infants, which I hope to have finished within the next few weeks in order to use for "Zombicide". However if you want to get a proper feel for all the miniatures within the game then I'd strongly recommend visiting "The Angry Lurker" and seeing all of Francis' hard efforts; as he's painted all of the figures which come with the box set already.
"Pulp Figures" WIPs - Just some inking to do on the Hooded Minion
With Bob Murch March drawing to a close, and my latest three Evil Hooded Minions simply waiting for their grass flock to dry, I thought I'd try and squeeze in some painting on a final few of the sculptor's "Pulp Figures". As a result I have finished block colouring the tenth (and last) of my Cultists from Bob's Weird Menace range and made some more progress on a couple of miniatures I've still outstanding from his Kojar And The Forest Tribe packet; a Tarzan-inspired blister which currently is currently only available as part of the Heroes & Personalities catalogue.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

"Muscle! Plenty Of Muscle! I'm Iron!"

"Doc --? Is this the way a robot's supposed to act?"
These three 28mm pre-painted plastic models of Iron, Gold and Mercury are by “Wizkids” and can be bought as numbers 015, 009 and 008 respectively from the toy company's “Heroclix” DC Comics: Crisis range. Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru in March 1962 these characters form part of the superhero group The Metal Men and made their first appearance 'as a last minute filler' in Issue Thirty Seven of "Showcase"; a comic anthology series published by "DC Comics".

Built by Doctor William Magnus, these three "advanced artificially intelligent robots" each have an individual personality which mirrors their namesake metals. As a result Iron is super strong, Gold can stretch his form almost infinitely and acts as field leader. Whilst hot-headed Mercury can "melt and pass through small spaces before reforming."
"What kind of robots are you? Speaking of emotions as if you were real people!"
Understandably each miniature was very straightforward to finish on account of their monotone colour scheme. To begin with the models were undercoated with either "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey, "Gold" or "Heavy Red". They were then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Before finally being dry-brushed with more of their base colour.

Disappointingly Gold's thick pre-paint job did produce a somewhat unsatisfactory result using this technique on account of the figure's soft detail. Indeed there was a marked difference with the quality of the "Wizkids" sculpt to that of the infinitely superior See-Threepio plastic miniature by "Fantasy Flight" I recently painted in precisely the same manner.

In addition to progressing this enduring "DC Comics" Silver Age super-team I have also been working on some other "Heroclix" forces of justice for my "Cosmic Cube Wars" mass super-hero battles project. The first of these is an incredibly animated Spider-Man model, who will hopefully start leading a unit of Spider-friends known as the Outlaws (such as the Sandman, the Prowler and the Rocket Racer) when I've adapted some "Age Of Sigmar" rules for him.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Spider-Man, Gotham City Police Department officer and Charcoal
I have also based and primed three more Gotham City Police Department officers which I plan to use as standard law enforcement miniatures for my games. I have already previously painted up a few of these, but want to be able to field quite a few of them so they can be lead by the likes of Commissioner Gordon as well as Superman and Daredevil.

Lastly I have been rummaging through my "Wizkids" collection for any appropriate "Marvel Comics Group" villains turned heroes who joined the Thunderbolts; a group of super-powered criminals lead by Hawkeye who have supposedly turned over a new leaf. One such character is the fan-created Charcoal, the Burning Man. Capable of flight in a fiery form or transforming himself into diamond, the former member of the Bruiser Brigade had a short-lived publication life on account of copyright/ownership issues.   

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

'The Cosmic Cube Wars' - WIP - Part One

Tombstone WIP - Plenty of henchmen and goons will be accompanying Spider-Man's foe 
For the next couple of months I plan to finally make a significant dent in my quite considerable plastic mountain of "Wizkids" superhero miniatures, and in order to keep my momentum going I thought it would be useful to have an aim to such a time-consuming project. As a result I've been working on a gaming idea that the "evolving, sentient being" known as the Cosmic Cube is basically up for grabs and whoever claims it as their prize will have mastery over all of time and space.

Unsurprisingly numerous super-villains, even some who exist outside the "Marvel Worldwide" universe, believe they're the only candidate for such omnipotent power. Whilst plenty of super-heroes, aghast at the prospect of criminals such as the Joker, Tombstone or Torquemada being the cosmos' overlord, have set themselves the formidable task of opposing such plans. 
Alloy WIP - Lots of different metallic paints have yet to be applied to this giant-sized model
All rather unoriginal and contrived I know, but such a plot should encourage me to paint up plenty of "Heroclix" models over the coming weeks and provide me with the opportunity for some large-scale tabletop battles using the "Age Of Sigmar" rules by "Games Workshop". Hopefully there should be a few fortnightly BatReps as well...

One of the first super-teams I've already started painting are the Metal Men by "DC Comics". I already own most of the pre-painted Magnus Labs robots. But felt the team would be incomplete without them being able to fuse together into the much larger entity known as Alloy. It's still early days for the formidably-sized gestalt. Although I have managed to lay down a few coats of gold and red (Mercury) on the huge figure's limbs.
Nightmare & Mindless Ones WIP - The majority of the demon's behemoths just need to be shaded
Alongside the giant "Wizkids" sculpt I've also primed and based on 40mm circular bases a load more Mindless Ones lead by "the evil ruler of the Dream Dimension", Nightmare. I've already previously painted up two of the extra-dimensional monsters as part of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, so these additional seven cyclopean creatures should form an especially tough 'bodyguard' for Doctor Strange's arch-foe.

In addition I'm hoping the inclusion of the "demon from the dimension Everinnye" as an excuse to slowly introduce the rules for magic into my "Age Of Sigmar" games. It would certainly be fun to have the one-time servant of Shuma-Gorath confront the Sorcerer Supreme in a duel of the mystic arts...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

"Criminals Are A Superstitious Cowardly Lot."

"So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts."
This 28mm pre-painted plastic model of The Batman is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 003 from their “Heroclix” DC Comics: World's Finest range. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in May 1939 the Dark Knight made his first comic book appearance in Issue One of "Detective Comics" and has since gone on to become the second greatest "Comic Book Hero of All Time" after Superman...

As the original miniature supposedly depicts a "stealthy" Caped Crusader, I went with an incredibly dark palette of "Citadel" Abaddon Black undercoat, followed by "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal for the wall. I then washed the piece of terrain Bruce Wayne's alter-ego is hiding alongside with some "Citadel" Nuln Oil" before dry-brushing the area with more "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal.

Finally I painted The Batman's face with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Fleshtone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. His eyes were picked out with "Vallejo" White. Because I wanted to retain the deep dark look of the cowled vigilante I decided against highlighting his cape and instead simply roughly handled the model after varnishing it, in order to transfer enough grease 'n grime from my fingers onto the miniature so as to bring out the sculpt's details.
"Heroclix" WIPs: Plenty of washes and dry-brushing ahead for Iron, Tin and the Cosmic Cube  
Having now successfully participated in the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and achieved my 500 point goal, I've started basing/priming a considerable number of "Heroclix" miniatures I intend to use for some large-scale tabletop battles using the somewhat contentious "Age Of Sigmar" rules by "Games Workshop". These games will at their simplest concern the forces of good fighting evil in order to stop them from acquiring the legendary Cosmic Cube (amongst other objective markers I plan to paint/create). But will feature characters clashing from a number of different comic book universes, such as "Marvel Worldwide", "DC Comics", "2000 A.D.", "Dark Horse Comics" and "Star Wars"...

The initial battle-lines for the opening skirmish of "The Cosmic Cube Wars" will involve a plethora of "Wizkids" miniatures I've already previously painted, and should see the despicable Black Mantra, amongst other super-villains confronting Commissioner Jim Gordon and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence in an effort to unlock the secret identity of... The Batman. Hopefully I'll have the BatRep ready for posting next weekend.
Metal Men WIPS: Lead, Gold and Mercury ready for some shading and dry-brushing 
In the meantime I have started assembling five of Doctor William "Will" Magnus' six Metal Men. These "artificially intelligent robots" are long-time allies of the Caped Crusader and as they all have single-colour paint schemes, should be pretty quick to complete. I may though need to apply some grey-stuff to one of Tin's hands, as the figure's limb is rather malformed on account of originally being attached to the side of Lead's bulky model (on the same base).

In addition I am currently trying to locate an affordable "Heroclix" sculpt of Magnus and Platinum. For although the DC Comics: Crisis range contains the pair as a single-base figure, the pairing is rather expensive for such a small(ish) pre-painted model.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2015 - WIP - Final Week

Evil Hooded Minions WIPs - These heavily-armed scoundrels just need some washes to be applied
With the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge closing in upon its last few days, I have been busily block-painting these three Evil Hooded Minions made by "Pulp Figures" in order to use them as my final Pulp Side-Challenge submission.

As with the other Bob Murch disguised desperadoes I've finished over the past couple of weeks, I have tried to give at least one of the heavily-robed goons a different coloured pair of trousers and light brown shoes in order to 'break up' their all-purple monotony. In addition I've armed one of the cultists with a spare rifle I had left over from painting my New York City 'Boys In Blue' last year.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Batman and Mister Freeze simply need a wash and dry-brush to be finished
I've also started trying to clear up a large number of "Heroclix" figures I currently have 'lurking' in and around my painting area. Some of these, such as my latest Batman miniature, are actually new arrivals which have immediately leapt towards the top of my painting queue. Whilst others, like Mister Freeze, have been sat waiting an eternity for me to simply add the odd layer of paint here and there upon them.

Because I'm currently rather enthused with the "Games Workshop" rule-set "Age Of Sigmar", and equally taken with the idea of fighting some large super-hero related battles in the near future. I fully expect both of these figures to now be finished in quick succession, especially as they simply need a quick application of some washes, and the odd bit of dry-brushing to bring out their sculpts' finer detail.
"Frostgrave" WIPs - Plenty of painting left to do on this boar, small construct and snow troll
Lastly I'm still trying to whittle down my 'mountain' of "Frostgrave" models, and as a result have been tinkering with a few more "North Star Military Figures" from the skirmish game's Bestiary. These creatures, both flesh and animated, range in size from the tiny Small Construct and portly Boar, to the much larger Snow Troll.

It really is early days for all of these 'chance encounters'. But I'm hoping for a couple of them to be painted alongside the last of my Witch's "Frostgrave" warband; which has impatiently been awaiting its final two members (and a BatRep or two) since I assembled them towards the end of last year...  

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

"Nefarious Members Of A Criminal Cult..."

"...Occult villains steeped in arcane lore..."
These six 28mm metal "Pulp Figures" models come from Bob Murch's "Weird Menace - The Strange Villainy of Pulpdom" range and can be found in either PWM 04 - Evil Hooded Minions or PWM 05 - Evil Hooded Minions II. These purple-garbed goons are my latest entry to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge's Pulp Side-Challenge, and in addition have scored me enough to complete my 500 point goal for the three-month long event.

To make painting these cultists reasonably quick, all of the models were initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Violet. I then picked out their shoes and trousers with a variety of colours, predominantly using a combination of Heavy Brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade for their footwear, and "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Asurmen Blue for their slacks.
"...Sinister villains plotting world conquest..."
Any fiendish firearms were painted using "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. Whilst the scoundrel with a sword had two coats of "Citadel" Ironbreaker applied to his blade. All of these weapons were then washed with Nuln Oil. The little areas of flesh showing on these shadowy schemers were first given a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, then washed with some watered-down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade" before being highlighted with more "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.

Finally, despite future plans to have these blaggards lead by the fearsome Crimson Scorpion, another of Bob's terrific models from his "strange villainy of pulpdom" collection , I thought I'd paint one of the minions up as a (sub)leader of sorts. As a result I've decided to spotlight one of the miniatures, a wealthy bounder known as Sir Awdry, who is clearly pointing in the direction of an order he's just given, with a "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson hood .
"Horrorclix" WIPs - These large 40mm tall pre-painted plastic models have simply been primed for now 
In addition to my six featureless fiends I have been merrily basing and priming a small number of "Horrorclix" miniatures. The formidably large Carnage Bot is another much appreciated gift from the ever-generous blogging-legend Bryan over on "Vampifan's World Of The Undead". I'd never seen this terrifyingly tentacled automaton but have already got plans for the killer robot to represent a Mark III Eradicator in my "Gamma World" project.

Having previously painted an awful lot of Aliens by "Wizkids" I also thought it was about time to start on some 'worthy' opposition, so have started with a 'pilot' Predator piece. Like his 'acid-for-blood' opposition, this 40mm scaled Yautja is rather large compared to many of the other "Horrorclix" sculpts. But that should simply make the finely-detailed model stand out on the tabletop even more.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

"Skinks On Foot Can Move Over Marsh, Rivers, Streams, Ponds Or Lakes..."

"Deep within the steaming jungles of Lustria, fearless Old Worlder explorers have encountered Lizardmen."
This 28mm metal “Games Workshop” model of a Skink Warrior is the first of a small regiment of figures I originally started to paint a couple of years ago. Back then I had hoped to build a small force based upon the 1996 “Warhammer” Lizardmen Army book and actually use these figures with the original ‘Mass Combat Fantasy Role-Playing Game’ rules from 1982. Disappointingly this project was soon derailed after my disappointment with the paintjob for the warband's white-skinned leader Gluckle the GreedyRecently however I have found my interest in such 'Oldhammer' figures rekindled, and as a result I've finally finished this particular cold-blooded warrior who is armed with two hand weapons.

To begin with the Skink was undercoated with “Vallejo” Turquoise and then washed them with “Citadel” Asurmen Blue in order to bring out the tiny sculpt's detail. I then painted all of the Lizardman's weapons, shield, bracelets and clothing with "Citadel" Abaddon Black before starting to pick out all the fighter's details such as his "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna loincloth, Heavy Brown leathers and Heavy Red javelin tassels.
Daughter Of S.H.I.V.A. WIPs - These masters of unarmed combat will all be dressed in purple with grey fur
In addition I undercoated all of the creature's areas destined to be painted with Brass and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna first in order to help the metallic acrylic colour cover the model better with just a couple of (straight from the pot) layers. Lastly I picked out his eyes with a tiny dab of “Vallejo" Heavy Ochre.

With the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge now fast approaching its final week I'm still trying to paint up a few more miniatures for the Pulp Side-Challenge. Having picked out all the detail on these three Daughter of S.H.I.V.A. (classic) sculpts by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", and finished their fur-lined boots, I now just need to 'pick out' theses ladies' belts, swords and Seventies hairstyles.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Dark Knight is destined to become an objective marker
I have also been rifling through my "Wizkids" collection in order to identify just how many minion-type models I own. Having recently been inspired by "Marvel Worldwide" publishing their nine-issue comic book mini-series "Secret Wars" and the "Games Workshop" rule-set "Age Of Sigmar", I thought I might attempt to combine the two and game some really large super-hero related battles as all the different publishers' universes crash into one another.

To begin with I thought I'd try and paint some more Lackeys from the “DC Heroclix Hypertime” range. This time however I intend to make it more readily obvious that the goons belong to the Riddler by having some of them wear purple trousers and green jumpers, and some more have green pants and purple tops.

I've also had a few additional "Heroclix" figures arrive from "Troll And Toad" including a couple of Ultron-5 models I plan to use to bolster the Adamantium automaton's robotic forces, and a rather nice Batman figure I have immediately re-based upon a 40mm circular stand to use as an objective marker.

Friday, 11 March 2016

"Once This Is Paid, The Soldier Will Fight..."

'To recruit a Templar, a Wizard must pay a retainer of 100 gold coins.'
This 28mm metal model of a Templar is made by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with a Knight as code FGV202 from their “Frostgrave” range. I initially undercoated this dynamic sculpt of a 'Poor Fellow-Soldier of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon' with “Citadel” Abaddon Black in order to create a nice foundation for his heavy chainmail, leggings and boots. All his armour was then painted with "Vallejo" Gunmetal and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Whilst his footwear, belt and straps were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

As I wanted the warrior to be wearing a white tunic, but balked at the idea of applying some red chevrons to it as illustrated in the skirmish game's rulebook, I gave the knight's clothing two coats of "Vallejo" White and then simply washed these areas with the transparent acrylic Pale Grey.

Finally I concentrated upon the Templar's side-dagger and sword. The hilt of his double-handed weapon was painted using "Vallejo" Gold and more Strong Tone Quickshade. However as I wanted his weapons' blades to stand out somewhat from his dark(ish) chainmail and helmet, I picked them out using "Citadel" Ironbreaker, shaded them with Nuln oil and then highlighted them with a little more Ironbreaker.
Evil Hooded Minions WIPs - These unrecognisable fiends just need some washes to be applied
In addition to finishing the latest addition to my Witch's warband, I have managed to block paint three more Evil Hooded Minions made by "Pulp Figures" and destined to be entered as part of my Pulp Side-Challenge submissions for the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

As with the other Bob Murch criminal cultists I've been progressing I have tried to give each disciple a different coloured pair of trousers and shoes in order to try and 'break up' their all-purple monotony. In addition I've armed a midget with a rather nice little torch and set it alight with a combination of "Vallejo" colours and a "Citadel" wash.
Sharkman WIP - This mutated shark still has a lot of work yet to be done on it
Lastly I have been working on a huge "Bones" model of a Sharkman by "Reaper Miniatures". Having simply undercoated the entire brute "Vallejo" Bluegrey, I have washed the monstrosity with "Ciatdel" Nuln Oil and then dry-brushed it with more "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. This has provided the figure with a nice layer upon which I plan to blend over some additional grey and white, as well as helped define the sculpt's great detail.

This model was bought in order to represent a Sep or Land Shark as part of my slowly progressing "Gamma World" project. But it would also make a terrific Co-Star for a water-themed game of "7TV2" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" or a deep-sea abomination for a "Zombicide" scenario I have in mind...

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

28mm Age Of Sigmar Battle Report: Doctor Who & The Cybermen Verses The Yeti

This game was played predominantly using the free downloadable rules of “Age Of Sigmar” by “Games Workshop”. However as we were only playing with eleven models aside on a 2’ x 2’ battle-board, a number of house rules were implemented in order to make the skirmish flow more smoothly. This included having each model represent a single unit (and thus having its own Warscroll or rather Black Scroll of Rassilon with which to “provide all of the rules for using them in the game”) but additionally allowing two of these models per force to be upgraded to unit leaders (and thus gaining an extra attack); and then nominating one of these two ‘leaders’ as the General. In addition although we omitted to roll for any random terrain features, we did partially apply the Mystical rule to the Temple of Rassilon, which meant that a dice was rolled for each friendly unit inside the terrain feature during the Hero Phase. On a roll of a 1 the unit is befuddled (by the trickery of the Timelords) and can’t be selected to move or attack until their next Hero Phase.

In addition we agreed that a unit could only charge another unit if it could first see it and as we were using units of just a single model we decided that during the Battleshock Phase, when “both players must take Battleshock tests for units from their army that have had models slain during the turn”, we would instead test any units within 3” of an eliminated friendly unit, and add the number of removed models to the test’s roll when comparing it against their Bravery statistic.

“The story so far… The Timelords have used the Time Scoop to teleport a group of robotic Yeti and the Cybermen into the Death Zone on Gallifrey in order for the High Council to watch them fight. Unbeknownst to them however Doctor Who is also in the forbidden area and realising that the Great Intelligence plans to desecrate the Temple of Rassilon and plunder its technological secrets, has made an uneasy alliance with the red-domed Cyber-Controller to thwart the plans of the inter-dimensional being…”
Before the game started a number of boulders and trees were positioned around the circumference of the tabletop, and the Temple of Rassilon was placed in the centre. The Great Intelligence deployed its Yeti first and decided to spread out its forces in order to try and outflank its opponent. Its Chief Yeti was placed in the centre of the battle line along with two Guard variants and an Attacking Yeti. Whilst the Intelligence itself inhabited a big Attacking model just to the North of the Chief and selected a Guard Yeti and Attacking Yeti as its protectors. In return the Cyber-Controller decided to concentrate the bulk of his force in the centre of the table and drive West straight to the Temple. As a result he was accompanied by two Mark II Cybermen, with three more of the “Tomb” variants just to the South. The silver giant then placed his inferior Mark I models to his flanks, and noticed that the troublesome time traveller had joined the two “Mondas” units he had dispatched to the North-West corner of the battlefield.
Battle Round One started with the Cybermen winning the initiative, and their Cyber-Controller, as the force’s General, used his Command Ability of Inspiring Presence to ensure one of his ‘bodyguards’ would not need to take any Battleshock Tests until their next Hero Phase. This was aruably a rather moot move as it was unlikely that any silver giants were likely to be destroyed within the First Round, especially as their Bravery statistics were at worst a formidable six (for the “Mondas” model) and seven for the upgraded units. In addition we decided that Cybermen wouldn’t flee anyway. But perhaps the Cyber-Leader would consider a tactical withdrawal if he believed it was logical to save a unit from further damage. It was felt that the Great Intelligence would probably behave similarly, although its units’ Bravery statistics were a little lower and the inter-dimensional being could feel fear…

In the Movement Phase the Cyber-Controller and his central line stalked West towards the Eastern Entrance of the Temple. Whilst his Mark I Models to the South, ran and reached the Southern Entrance. Doctor Who moved cautiously towards from rocks in the North-West corner of the battlefield. As no Cybermen were within charging range of the Yeti, it was the end of their turn.

In response the Great Intelligence commanded his faster moving robots East and two actually entered the Temple of Rassilon through its Western Entrance. The Chief Yeti and two more of the shaggy robots rushed South-East towards the Cybermen near the building’s Southern Entrance. Deciding to deal with the silver giants to the North itself, the Intelligence moved East and urged its slower Attacking Yeti onwards behind it.

Having moved to the Charge Phase two of the Yeti South of the Temple, one of which was the Chief robot, both successfully rushed into the “Mondas” Cybermen by the Southern Entrance. However the two Yeti to the North disappointingly failed to roll high enough to reach Doctor Who and his group of Mark I Cybermen and therefore could not move.
In the Combat Phase the Chief Yeti, albeit a basic guard model, rolled his two Attacks needing a 4+ to hit. The dark brown hairy beasty’s rending claws gave it the Ability to “re-roll hit rolls of 1” but it didn’t need them as it rolled a 5 and 6. The robot then rolled to see if either of its hits wounded the Cyberman, again needing 4+ and this time rolling a 5 and 5; two wounds. Fortunately for the “Mondas” model it had a Save of 4+, and confidently felt its suit of armour would protect its internal wiring, especially as it had the Ability to “re-roll Save rolls of 1”. With a frothing gurgle of pain though the silver giant crashed to the ground lifeless having rolled a 3 and 2… First ‘blood’ to the forces of the Great intelligence.

Realising his colleague had fallen, the other “Mondas” Cyberman to the South attacked the Yeti who had just charged him. One of his two attacks struck his opponent’s furry hide and penetrated his inner workings. The (older) Guard model had no Save whatsoever and exploded into flames. With both sides having lost models within the Turn it was time for some Battleshock tests for the surviving combatants. Unsurprisingly both the Yeti and Cyberman passed them.

Battle Round Two began with one of the two Yeti already inside the Temple of Rassilon succumbing to the mind tricks of the Timelords and was unable to move or attack until their next round. The other hairy robot moved further East, supported by an Attacking Yeti model, and spied the Cyber-Controller at the Western Entrance. All of the Yeti in the North, including the one inhabited by the Great Intelligence also pushed East in order to threaten the Cybermen and Doctor Who. Whilst to the South, a lone Attacking Yeti moved past a tree and targeted the “Mondas” Cyberman stood by the Southern Entrance.

In the Charge Phase the two Yeti able to move within Rassilon’s Temple ‘piled in’ to the Cyber-Controller and the Mark II Cybermen accompanying him. Another Yeti to the North also managed to reach this main Cyber-group, so the fur looked certain to fly momentarily. Meanwhile one of the other Yeti in the North, an Attacking model, managed to reach the Mark I Cyberman leading the way for Doctor Who.
In the South the Chief Yeti twice slashed away at the solitary “Mondas” Cyberman near the Southern Entrance. The shaggy robot’s claws managed to penetrate the silver giant’s armour once. But it was not enough for their emotionless foe to fall. Instead it attempted to strike home a couple of fatal chops on the neck of the recently arrived Attacking Yeti. However neither blow was successful. In retaliation the angry hairy beastie hit back with both its clawed paws and despite the Mark I Cyberman’s armour, which allowed it to “re-roll Save rolls of 1” the mighty humanoid fell lifeless to the ground. In the North the Yeti and Cybermen exchanged a series of blows which resulted in one of the Great Intelligence’s pawns being destroyed. All of the observing Timelords’ eyes though were fixed to the battle taking place on the steps to the Temple’s Eastern Entrance. The Cyber-Controller made three formidable attacks on the nearest Yeti and utilised his electrical charge Ability, which on a Hit Roll of a 6 “inflicts 2 Mortal Wounds instead of its normal damage” and therefore does not need to “make a Wound or Save Roll for the attack”, to immediately bring the hairy brute down. A Mark II Cyberman beside the red domed leader brought down the Attacking Yeti in a similar manner. Whilst the final Yeti from this charge was smashed to pieces by a deadly chop from another “Tomb” Cyberman. In return for their great loss the Great Intelligence’s robots had simply damaged a couple of the silver giants. The Cyber-Leader had survived the inter-dimensional being’s pre-emptive attack. Now it was his turn…

Pointing with one of his massive hands the Cyber-Controller directed three of his Mark II units South-West to engage the triumphant Yeti threatening his group’s Southern flank. The red domed monster himself confidently strode into the Temple of Rassilon along with a single bodyguard. To the North Doctor Who and a “Mondas” Cyberman joined a Mark II model in order to tackle the fast approaching Great Intelligence and the Yeti accompanying it.
 In the South the newly arrived superior “Tomb” Cybermen immediately made their presence felt by chopping the Attacking Yeti near the Southern Entrance into the ground. The Chief Yeti desperately fought back. But despite gouging two deep wounds in one of its silver assailants, the hairy robot failed to bring its foe down. These Mark II Cybermen were tough with three Wounds apiece. However before the Yeti could do another else an electrical discharge from one of the other Cybermen surrounding him brought the beasties down. The Southern flank was now completely in the Cybermen’s control.

The combat in the North was no less brutal as the two robotic warring factions, and one elderly Gallifreyan, clattered into one another. An Attacking model Yeti, directly in front of the unit inhabited by the Great Intelligence desperately tried to bring down the Mark II Cyberman before it but failed to hit it. A second Yeti beside it had more success with its “Mondas” model opponent. But the grey-faced Cyberman still didn’t collapse to the ground despite suffering a Wound. Doctor Who produced his sonic screwdriver and made 3 Attacks on the Yeti which stood between him and the inter-dimensional being. The Timelord needed a 4+ to Hit and a 3+ to Wound but only managed a single hit on the extra-tough hairy robot, who promptly made a 4+ Save. In turn this allowed the hairy beastie to utilise its Gore Claw Ability which allowed it to roll a dice and “for each roll of a 6, the attacking unit [in this case Doctor Who] suffers 1 Mortal Wound after all its attacks have been made.” Fortunately the Yeti failed to strike his blow home.
Battle Round Three, whose initiative was won by the Great Intelligence, didn’t initially see a great deal of movement as most of the combatants were now warily circling one another. The Yeti inside the Temple of Rassilon freed itself of its Gallifreyan befuddlement and stomped South towards the damaged Cyberman stood just outside the building’s Southern Entrance.

Believing it would never have a better time to rid itself of Doctor Who the Great Intelligence urged the Yeti it was inhabiting onwards and attacked the Timelord once again. This time the hairy beastie twice managed to Wound the time traveller, and only once did the Gallifreyan manage to make his 4+ Save. Roaring balefully the inter-dimensional being directed one of its accompanying Yeti to further assault Doctor Who, and again the old man found himself on the receiving end of two successful Wounds. With a sigh the Timelord fell to the ground unmoving, having failed the second of his Save rolls. Delighted with the downfall of his nemesis the Great Intelligence had even more cause to rejoice as one of his Yeti took down another of the “Mondas” Cyberman in the North. Disappointingly for the entity though things were not going its way in the South where the Yeti which charged the injured Cybermen just outside the Southern Entrance to the Temple of Rassilon was destroyed before it could even raise a claw. The double deaths in the North did however result in the remaining Mark I Cyberman in the area needing to make a Battleshock Test. Which the grey-faced robot unsurprisingly passed with ease.
Momentarily ‘alone’ within the Temple of Rassilon the Cyber-Controller went ‘mad with power’ meaning he could not move or attack until his next turn. However that didn’t stop the red domed robot from directing all of his Mark II Cybermen in the South to run North either through the building or around it’s perimeter in order to face the Great Intelligence’s rising threat. In the meantime the Yeti tried desperately to take advantage of their numbers in the North by battering the few Cybermen in the area. Fortunately for the Cyber-Controller, and despite his units taking some Wounds, none of his Cybermen fell before the hairy onslaught…
Battle Round Four was won by the Cyber-Controller and the red domed robot immediately had his remaining unengaged Cybermen circle North and trap the remaining Yeti in that area. Thundering through the Temple of Rassilon himself the silver giant made his way to the steps of the North Entrance and from there directed the attack personally. However his 3 Attacks upon the nearest Yeti were incredibly saved by the furry robot’s hairy hide and in return, using its Gore Claw ability, the ‘Abominable Snowman’ rent a hole in the Cyber-Controller’s armour. Sensing the slightly towering figure was vulnerable another Attacking Yeti launched an assault and managed to injure the Cybermen’s leader further. Surely the unthinkable was not about to happen…
Rallying around their badly wounded Cyber-Controller, the silver giants savagely fought back with one Mark II Cyberman savagely chopping a Yeti to pieces. However before its target expired the hairy robot managed to utilise its No Respite Ability, which means that when the “model… is slain in the Combat Phase, you can make a pile in move and then attack with the model before you remove it”, and damaged its armoured assailant. Sensing this as a weakness in the sea of Mark II Cybermen surrounding it, the Great Intelligence lashed out and injured another of the “Tomb” models. But before the inter-dimensional being could do anything else the Yeti it was inhabiting was suddenly fried by an electrical charge from another of the Mark II Cybermen…
With the Great Intelligence (momentarily) vanquished, and the Cybermen in complete control of the Temple of Rassilon, it was clear that the Cyber-Controller had won the day (and even managed to get rid of that pesky time traveller too)…

Sunday, 6 March 2016

"Reload With Poison Tips."

"Harvest what we need for the organ stores. And we're out."
These ten 28mm pre-painted plastic "Wizkids" models of the U-Men are all miniature number 001 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Mutant Mayhem range. Created by Grant Morrison for the 2001 "New X-Men" Annual by “Marvel Comics”, this "so-called Third Species"  religiously believe that their bodies "must not be exposed to the air or touch the earth of the 'fallen world' until it has been perfected, hence their special suits. They carry weapons used for harvesting mutants, such as propulsion guns that fire razors or bullets."

However having painted and submitted five identical models to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge last year (as "the perfect henchmen to accompany Black Manta") I thought this time round their scuba-diving gear would simply make them excellent Pulp deepsea saboteurs or dastardly Nazi Invaders for Hellbaby and the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence) to thwart.
"Uhh... Somebody Want To Finish Him Off Now?"
Whilst painting one of the models though, I did decide to see just how easily these miniatures could be converted, and as a result I created a slightly recognisable squad leader by replacing the relatively straightforward barrel of his rifle with the more complicated weapon of an old plastic "Citadel" Cyberman.

As with the underwater villains I've previously painted, I initially gave all the figures an undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black and then started to 'pick out' all their breathing pipes, air-tanks, weapons and face plates with Ironbreaker. These metallic areas were then heavily washed with the Shade Nuln Oil.
Alien Stalker WIPs - These dry-brushed extra-terrestrials now need to be washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil
Having finished my U-Men I have started painting the first of a number of 32mm scaled resin miniatures from the "Alien Verses Predator" board-game by "Prodos Games". Despite being "the fastest of the brood" these Alien Stalkers will form part of my Walkers horde for a H.R. Giger-inspired "Zombicide" game I have in mind.

The models are actually proving somewhat difficult to paint in that they are, unlike their plastic "Horrorclix" counterparts, surprisingly rather bendy and are so full of detail that even after a couple of undercoats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black I am still finding small pockets of bare resin.   

Friday, 4 March 2016

"What Kind Of Animal Would Do This To A Dog?"

"Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!"
These three 28mm plastic pre-painted models of Marro Marrden Nagrubs were made by “Wizards Of The Coast” and used to be available from their "Heroscape" Swarm Of The Marro Master Set 2 range.

Initially super-glued upon 40mm circular bases, the deadly massive hounds were all undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, dry-brushed with "Vallejo" German Grey and then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Once this Shade had dried they were each given a second, significantly lighter dry-brush of "Vallejo" German Grey over their bellies and legs, and had their sharp pointed teeth painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Finally each monster's head and spinal carapace was given a coat of Abaddon Black.
"Well, not much to say, is there? Death was instantaneous."
A very much appreciated gift from Jez of "Carrion Crow's BuffetI was originally somewhat tempted to actually stick to these Nagrubs' original colour scheme of a bone underbelly and legs with green chitinous armour. However I soon decided that they'd actually make excellent H.R. Giger-inspired Alien dog-creatures, and as a result I have painted them in exactly the same way as I have with my previous "Horrorclix" Aliens.

In addition to finishing these 'loyal guards of the Hivelord', and I currently have another six on my painting table awaiting priming, I have started blocking in the base colours of ten Evil Hooded Minions cast by "Pulp Figures". These characterful Bob Murch sculpts are part of my planned Pulp Side-Challenge submissions for the Sixth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.
Evil Hooded Minions WIPs - These unrecognisable fiends just need some washes to be applied 
As these various "nefarious members of a criminal cult" are predominantly purple, on account of their robes and hoods, and because I thought simply painting their trousers and footwear black would make them look a little monotone, I've been trying to give each disciple different coloured slacks in order to try and give the impression they've just thrown their 'garments of office' over the top of their day-to-day clothes.

In addition, although I do plan for these villains to be lead by the fearsome Crimson Scorpion, another of Bob's terrific models from his "Weird Menace" range, I thought I'd paint one of the minions up as a (sub)leader of sorts. As a result I've decided to paint one of the miniatures who is clearly pointing in the direction of an order he's just given with a bright red hood.
Doctor Who teams-up with the Cyber-Controller to battle the Great Intelligence and his Yeti in the Death Zone on Gallifrey