Monday 30 May 2016

"...It Is Not Strictly Necessary For A Wizard To Have An Apprentice."

"Essentially, the apprentice is learning his trade from the wizard..."
 This 28mm model of a Witch’s apprentice is manufactured by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with his wizard as code FGV110 from their “Frostgrave" Range.  Initially armed with a staff, this “second-spellcaster” will hopefully be worth his cost of 200 gold pieces by providing my warband with “a huge degree of tactical flexibility.”

Because I wanted this figure to be similar in appearance and colour to the one photographed within the “Frostgrave” rulebook published by “Osprey Games” I undercoated him with some “Citadel” Abaddon Black before working my way up his numerous furs using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil. In addition I painted his tunic with “Vallejo” Heavy Violet and washed it with “Citadel” Druchi Violet.
"A warband can consist of no more than nine figures (ten if you count the wizard!)"
In addition to his wolf-pelts the mystical apprentice also seemed to be adorned with a red waist-sash and polar bear headdress, so I painted his girdle with Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson, and then his ‘crown’ with “Vallejo” White and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The animal skin was then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” White, and had its bright teeth picked out with the same colour.

Having finished my apprentice I have finally completed my Witch’s initial warband for “Frostgrave”. Lead by a certain young Cimmerian Barbarian called Conan, this fledgling party of adventurers should bring me both glory and gold within the ruins of “the great city of Felstad”. Costing 500 gold pieces my hired followers consist of an Apprentice (200 gold pieces), two Crossbowman (50 gold pieces each), a Templar (100 gold pieces) and a Barbarian (100 gold pieces).
Engineer's Guild WIPs - These mechanical players all need their joints and armour painted next
With my “Frostgrave” project momentarily shelved, I have subsequently turned my eye towards trying to paint a team of “Steamforged Games Limited” miniatures for their medieval sports game “Guild Ball”. Sadly I have found my actual enthusiasm for my remaining Union players somewhat lacking, so thought I’d tentatively ‘dip my toe’ back into the genre’s waters by trying my hand with a few of the mechanical constructions fielded by the Engineer’s Guild.

As a result I have assembled, undercoated and dry-brushed the striker Velocity, her “Season Two” team-mate Hoist, and the club’s mascot Mainspring, in an effort to get the “Guild Ball” mojo flowing again. All three of these “Mechanica” should prove fairly simple to complete, once I’ve picked out their metallic areas, and will hopefully thus galvanise me into doing some more figures over the next few months.

Thursday 26 May 2016

"Behold: My New And Improved Spider-Bot!"

"Now follow my designs, my dear mechanoid... And construct another eight hundred!"
These three 35mm metal models of Spider Robots are made by "Knight Models" and are from the company's "Spiderman Miniatures Game" range. They were created by Otto Octavius "to better assist him as a hero" when he took over control of Peter Parker's body in order to become the Superior Spider-Man, and were capable of sending him both information and images through "the lenses in his mask, his mobile phone, his tablet or even his television." Created by Dan Slott these 'spider-bots' first appeared in Issue Two of "Superior Spider-Man" in March 2013.

Although the comic book versions were actually small red and blue spiders" I decided for my own sanity to simply paint the tiny electro-mechanical machines with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and wash them with "Citadel" Carrobrug Crimson. The models were then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Red, before I added a little White into the mix and delicately picked out each sculpt's detail. Finally I gave them all a glaze of "Citadel" Bloodletter.
Superior Spider-Man WIP - Lots left to do on Octavius' alter-ego, as well as his heavily-armed minion 
In addition to the Spider Robots I have also assembled and based both Superior Spider-Man himself, complete with his four mechanical spider-legs, and the first of three armed Spiderlings. These two multi-part metal miniatures form part of "Knight Models" Superior Spiderman & Spiderlings Starter Set, which up until "Salute 2016", I had thought weren't available unless ordered directly from their website.

Interestingly these "Marvel Worldwide" figures are not apparently compatible with the "Marvel Universe Miniatures Game" but will actually be my first gang for the "Batman Miniatures Game" (despite that franchise being based upon "DC Comics" characters). As a result I've given Octavius' alter-ego a double undercoat of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and applied a similarly generous layer of White to the anti-hero's first minion.
Avon & Servalan WIPs - These two "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" miniatures will soon be finished
Finally, enthused by my current "Alien Verses Blake's Seven" project, I thought it was about time I added a couple more models to my forces, and so have earnestly begun painting another of the Future Freedom Fighters cast by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", as well as their wonderful Lady Winterly sculpt. These two cracking figures will make excellent proxies for early incarnations of Paul Darrow's Kerr Avon and Jacqueline Pearce's sultry Supreme Commander Servalan.

Predominantly garbed in black, courtesy of his "Project Avalon" costume, I have already managed to paint the vast majority of the "aloof and sardonic computer expert", and simply need to finish off his flesh areas before he is ready for varnishing. The Federation Administrator is taking a little longer to progress on account of her gown's tiny neck straps and the fact that I'll be trying to give her blue eye make-up...

Tuesday 24 May 2016

"My Whole Body's Changing. Look At My Arm. Get Me To A Hospital, Please."

"Nurtured. You don't mean to say you've been feeding him?"
This 28mm metal model of a Failed Experiment Scientist is from code SKU: 25 by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio”. The figure is one of several miniatures I have painted so as to represent the Krynoid-infected staff of eccentric botanist Harrison Chase, from the 1976 British Science Fiction television serial "Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom". 

This particular figure has been assembled and painted in order to represent the millionaire's hapless plant scientist Arnold Keeler. Accidentally contaminated by the carnivorous extra-terrestrial life-form when he was supervising a fiendish experiment upon Sarah Jane Smith, my version of the mild-mannered underling has yet to fully transform into the adult "galactic weed", so has had a set of the company's Failed Experiment Heads and Arms pinned to its torso.

"Dear Arnold" was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" White before his trousers and Seventies kipper tie were painted using a combination of Charred Brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. The brilliant researcher's laboratory coat was then given a heavy wash of "Vallejo" Pale Grey. The garment was then suitably 'dirtied' by the haphazard application of "Citadel" Thrakka Green, Carroburg Crimson and more Strong Tone Quickshade.
"I need medical attention! Look at me."
The plant-zombie's formidable claw was painted using Vallejo “Heavy Grey”, Heavy Red, “Citadel” Thrakka Green, Carroburg Crimson and Strong Tone Quickshade. This menacing vegetable growth, along with his facial disfigurement and rupturing shoulder, were then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Grey. The one-time human’s flesh was painted predominantly using Heavy Skintone washed with some watered down “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.

This (second) 28mm metal model of a Failed Experiment Minion is from code SKU: 26 by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and along with Arnold Keeler, actually concludes my (badly overun) Zomtober 2015 “Doctor Who And The Seeds of Doom” project. The figure has been assembled in order to portray one of Harrison Chase's luckless Security Guards, and was painted in a similar manner to the misguided scientist, apart from his“Vallejo” Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Nuln Oil overalls.
Apprentice WIPs - The magic-user simply needs some washes and face-paint before being finished
Having finished the final two minions for my "Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom" project, I have started to make some serious headway on the last of my Witch's warband for "Frostgrave". This single-cast metal miniature by "North Star Military Figures" costs 200 gold pieces in the game, and like his magical master I've tried to keep the Apprentice's colour scheme as close to the rule-book's illustration in order to do him justice.

This has meant slowly working my way up the figure, picking out his numerous wolf-pelts, purple tunic and leggings, red waist sash, and Polar Bear skin headdress. All of which have taken time and patience to 'pick out', ink and highlight. In addition, having reached the top of the lesser-wizard's staff, I have realised that my model is badly miscast as the wooden stave seems to have somehow partially melted into the side of the Apprentice's head; as opposed to being completely free of the animal hide.    

Saturday 21 May 2016

Zombicide Report: Alien Verses Blake's Seven - "Exterminate" - Part Two

“The story so far… A Federation experiment on an extra-terrestrial life-form has gone horribly wrong. Having successfully secured the endoparasitoid species on board the orbiting Weapons Research Facility, Roj Blake has momentarily joined forces with Section Leader Klegg and two Federation troopers in order to help reduce the number of Aliens which they face. But can the Liberator's crew trust the Death Squad troopers, especially when the rebels are already struggling to cope with the seemingly unending waves of murderous creatures..? And just how is Vila Restal going to survive having been ambushed by three Alien Stalkers..!?!"

Terrified at being surrounded by three Aliens just west of the Green Room, Vila swung his space Fire Axe for all he was worth and somehow managed to chop two of the Stalkers down to size. Unfortunately the monster's acidic blood sprayed all over the thief, causing him two wounds. Hearing his cries Blake barked out an order to Jenna via his wrist communicator and then picked up a nearby machete he just happened to spy lying around. Stannis meanwhile, scooped up a shotgun she had found in Green Central and started blazing away at the remaining extra-terrestrial tormenting Restal. The creature fell to the floor dead. But once again injured Vila by covering the cowardly criminal in its acidic blood.
Section Leader Clegg smiled as he heard the rebel scum shouting and screaming up ahead. Perhaps he wouldn't need to kill them himself after all. For now though he contented himself with simply searching the Robot Room and was delighted when he discovered one of the Federation's latest Terran gas-mask helmets. Further North, the two Death Squad troopers opened the door to the Green Room, claimed the area's objective for their corrupt Administration and nervously watched an apprehensive Vila. Even more concerning was the fact they could all hear the rending of metal some distance away, as if the fearsome fiends they fought were trying to tear through a bulkhead door...
Blake, having quietly spoken to Jenna, once again searched Green Central and found Plenty of Ammunition. The Liberator crew's leader swapped weapons with his female companion, and then smiled as he saw Stannis lift a space katana off of a wall-mounting. Hearing fast-approaching footsteps Roj turned to see Section Leader Klegg, two Death Squad troopers and Vila join him.

The pounding at one of the airlock doors to the North was getting increasingly louder. Until without warning the supposedly secure interior entranceway buckled to one side and through the large gap poured a number of the savage-looking extra-terrestrials. With alarm Blake noticed that a couple of the brutes resembled vicious canines. Bracing themselves the heroes momentarily awaited the arrival of the Aliens...
   Roj once again gave Jenna a quick order and then blazed away with his pistol at the fast-approaching monsters. Unfortunately he missed completely and had to watch impotently as Stannis took down one of the brutes before she bravely moved northwards. Desperate for a weapon better than his space fire-axe, Vila used his torch to hunt around Green Central for something useful and found a rifle and pistol. Unfortunately his significant injuries meant the thief was extremely limited in what he could carry. In addition his red-hot acid burns weren't helping his aim much either, as Restal missed when he tried to fire the rifle.

Section Leader Klegg boldly moved north alongside Jenna, and showed her what a professional soldier could achieve by killing an Alien Stalker. The Death Squad commander was soon accompanied by his troopers, who promptly slew a Hound and actually advanced to outside the Radio Room. A sudden growl to the west gave one of the Terran troopers concern enough to cause them to fire down the corridor at another extra-terrestrial canine. But the shot went wide and the formidably-jawed dog-creature was upon him. Fortunately the man was momentarily saved by his recently acquired new-and-improved Federation helmet.
Staggering East away from the hungry Hound, the Trooper saw six more Alien Stalkers rushing towards him from down the length of the corridor. With a curse he fired at the canine-like creature who had just attacked him, and brought the beast down. Realising that the back-suited soldier was about to be torn to shreds, Jenna joined him and killed another of the extra-terrestrials. Hearing the sound of fast-approaching Aliens to their West, Blake quickly spoke to Vila, before positioning himself, along with one of the Death Squad troopers, at the western entrance to Green Central.

The thief meanwhile rushed up to the Radio Room door and easily opening it, found himself face-to-face with another of the fearsome dog-mutations. Paralysed with terror Restal failed to shoot the beast with his space rifle. Moments later however Section Leader Klegg was beside him, and before the cowardly criminal could cry-out the Terran veteran had dispatched the Hound and claimed the objective inside. Unfortunately for the Liberator crew this meant that the Federation Administration minions had now raised the danger level to orange, whilst they were still far behind in the green...

Da Da Da Dah Da Dahhhhh... Da Da Dah Da Dahhhhhhhh

Wednesday 18 May 2016

"Chap With The Wings There. Five Rounds Rapid."

"What the blazes is that? Some kind of ornament?"
This 28mm model of an Animated Construct was sculpted by the extremely talented Andrew May and can be bought from "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" under Code SKU: MINI 291. The 'living gargoyle' is available to villainous casts in the company's "7TV" Second Edition rule-set. But I plan to use mine to represent Bok, the stone servant of Azal from the 1971 BBC television serial "Doctor Who And The Daemons", and have him lead a group of Scary Statues...

Requiring a simple enough paint-job, the hefty miniature actually proved somewhat troublesome to pin together on account of its outstretched arm not fitting terribly well with its join at the creature's shoulder. Indeed, eventually I had to use quite a lengthy pin and some grey-stuff to firmly attach the limb and even then I couldn't achieve the angle illustrated on the "Crooked Dice" website.
"Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink." 
Fortunately once set firm, Bok was relatively straightforward to finish. Having applied a couple of coats of "Citadel" Adeptus Grey to the figure, I was able to apply a wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil over the model and then slowly dry-brush it with more "Citadel" Adeptus Grey. I then simply added some "Vallejo" White to my palette and lightly went over the miniature again in order to catch the gargoyle's raised surfaces with my paintbrush.

As a final touch I thought I'd just add a little demonic colour to my statue by picking out his eyes with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and then treating them to a glaze of "Citadel" Bloodletter.
Arnold Keeler WIPs - The malformed botanist just needs his mutating head to be painted and will be finished
I have also managed to get some more paint on one of the last “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” figures I've yet to complete as part of my Zomtober 2015 project "Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom". Painted in order to represent Harrison Chase's hapless botanist Arnold Keeler, I've been persevering with the scientist's white laboratory coat, and having finally managed to highlight it a "Vallejo" Pale Grey wash, have been busy dirtying it up with all manner of green, red and brown inks.

As with all of the Krynoid-infected zombies I've painted for this long-running enterprise, the deformed plant biologist will be used to represent a 'Runner' when I try to replicate the Timelord’s six-parter using an adaptation of the “Zombicide” rule set by “Guillotine Games”.

Sunday 15 May 2016

"... I Wouldn't Go Near That Place."

"They say that when the city was living, they used to take prisoners and slaves there."
This 28mm model of a crossbowman is manufactured by “North Star Military Figures” and is comprised of assorted pieces from their Frostgrave Soldiers twenty multi-part hard plastic boxed set. Carrying a crossbow and dagger, as well as wearing leather armour, the soldier is the second of two such similarly armed men I have within my wizard’s warband, and costs my magic user 50 gold pieces for his considerable services.

Having initially built the figure using some ‘Contacta Professional’ liquid glue for plastics by “Revell”, and then added even more equipment from one of the box’s sprues onto the infantryman’s back, I gave the model an undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black. Once this was dry I slowly worked my way up the model, using various combinations of “Vallejo” paints and “Citadel” washes as I went.
Animated Construct WIPs - Bok is destined to lead a horde of six Scary Statues
The most predominant colours used were “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna for the mercenary’s fur ankle armour, gloves and scarf, Charred Brown for one of his backpack and crossbow, Heavy Brown for his bolt quiver, a rope coil, boots and a side-pouch, and “Citadel” Doombull Brown for his flesh. All of these areas were then given a coat of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.

To add some much-needed contrast to my Crossbowman’s rather dour-coloured assemble I used “Vallejo” Heavy Green and “Citadel” Thrakka Green for his upper robe, “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue for his leggings, and a spot of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson to represent a large ruby sat upon a second side-dagger he carries. Finally, as I wanted the Moor’s plain bullet-shaped helmet to appear old and battered, I gave it a coat of “Vallejo” Gunmetal Grey before heavily washing it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil.
Re-basing the Undead - This Zombie Trooper has been re-painted before having his new base flocked
Having finished my Crossbowman, and been extremely taken with the sculpting of the Animated Construct I picked up from "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" at "Salute", I've managed to spend a little time building up the gargoyle's highlights using an old pot of "Citadel" Adeptus Grey, Nuln Oil, some droplets of "Vallejo" White and some patient dry-brushing.

I have also almost finished 'touching up' another of my old “Copplestone Casting” figures in order to help get it back on to my tabletop. This particular figure is from Code FW23 Zombie Troopers, and, like some of my other armed cadavers, was probably painted way back in 2007. This model has actually taken some quite significant work as his boots and trousers had become quite badly damaged before I'd even re-based him.

As a result I've taken advantage of his perilous predicament and slightly tweaked his original all-blue colour scheme by completely re-doing his trousers, and even bloodied-up his rather sickly blue-green rotting flesh. In addition I've painted his belt pouches and holster brown, whilst adding some metallic colour to his unimaginative Chaos Black automatic weapon.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Zombicide Report: Alien Verses Blake's Seven - "Exterminate" - Part One

This game was played predominantly using the "Zombicide: Toxic City Mall’ rules of “Zombicide” by “Guillotine Games” with a few additional house-agreed variances on account of us attempting to try and play the second "Space Hulk" Mission by "Games Workshop". In addition as I wanted to try out some science fiction heroes and villains, and have already plenty of painted “Crooked Dice”, “Heroscape”, "Prodos Games" and “Horrorclix” models ready for the table, we simply swapped the Survivors, Walkers, Runners and Fatties with some future freedom fighters, Alien stalkers, 'Alien hounds' and larger Aliens. 

“The story so far… A Federation experiment on an extra-terrestrial life-form has gone horribly wrong. Having successfully secured the endoparasitoid species on board the orbiting Weapons Research Facility, Roj Blake has momentarily joined forces with Section Leader Klegg and two Federation troopers in order to help reduce the number of Aliens which they face. But despite the threat which faces both the Liberator's crew and the Terran Administration, can the dislikeable Death Squad commander actually be trusted..?"
As aforementioned before we started we incorporated a few special rules of our own in order to make the game play a little differently. The biggest change was that each 'survivor' could only initially perform two actions instead of three on account of the cramped corridors and sense of claustrophobia. In addition all of the Aliens were treated as being Toxic on account of having acid for blood. This meant that "upon elimination" they would inflict one wound upon their assailant if they were both in the same zone (or rather tile). In order to somewhat 'even up the odds' though, it was also agreed that the somewhat contentious Ranged Combat rule of assigning hits in the targeted Zone to Survivors first would be ignored.

The Liberator's boarding party consisted of Blake ('Zombivor' with the skill Born Leader), Vila ('Zombivor' with the skill Break-In), and Jenna (Survivor with the skill Matching Set). Section Leader Klegg (Survivor who starts with a pistol) was given some additional rule tweaks in order to try and represent the two members of his Death Squad accompanying him. Essentially these minions could operate separately to their commander, utilise his weapons as if they were their own, add to his items, as well as contribute experience with their kills etc. But if injured just once they would immediately die. Finally if Klegg himself fell before the extra-terrestrial menace, then his underlings would dutifully flee in terror.
The object of the mission was simple. Either one of the freedom fighters or Section Leader Klegg had to survive the Alien's assault long enough for their experience to reach the Red Danger level. There would only be two Alien Spawn points and a series of airlocks initially separating the slimy space creatures from the player's starting zones. These doors could however only withstand five hits before being destroyed and would be attacked by the extra-terrestrials if there was no-where else for them to move. To help speed the game along four Objective Markers were placed around the base, in the Robot Room, Green Room, Radio Room and Stargate Room. Each of these was worth five experience points.

Using his Born Leader skill Blake contacted Klegg, and gave the villainous Terran commander an extra action. He then ushered Vila up to Green Central's western door and watched the thief dutifully open the airlock. With a yell, Restal ran back the way he'd just come. There was an Alien Stalker in the room. Jenna immediately moved beside Blake, raised her space pistol and fired. She missed. The Section Leader meanwhile was experiencing similar problems from his southern entry point. The Federation Death Squad had found an Alien Stalker inside the Red Room, and Klegg's shot had gone wide. Fortunately one of his troopers quickly dispatched the fiend. Whilst the other moved into the scarlet-lit room itself.
Shouting Jenna an order, Blake raced past the Alien as it moved towards him, and safely entered Green Central. Jenna joined him and then whirled to fire upon the hissing creature behind them. Again though she missed. Vila momentarily hefted the fire axe he was carrying, and then remembering the monsters had acid for blood, cowered further back into the alcove he was trying to hide in. Unaware of the freedom fighters' slow start Klegg walked into the Red Room and found a crowbar. Beside him his troopers quickly opened the area's western door and marched into the corridor beyond. To the north the Alien was momentarily torn between so many living targets. But as the earth female was the noisiest, the Stalker decided to leap towards her. 
Giving Jenna another quick order, Blake moved north out of Green Central and headed towards the corridor junction linking the Stargate Room and Radio Room together. Stannis  hurried beside him, and looking backwards finally took down the Alien Stalker that had proved so tiresome since their mission's start. Realising he was finally safe (for now at least) Vila made his way into Green Central and lock-picked the area's western door.

Klegg meanwhile was still searching the Red Room but having found naught except a glass bottle headed after his men. Up ahead of him the Section Leader saw one trooper open the eastern door to the Robot Room and blow away the Alien Stalker which leapt out at him. Whilst his black-suited companion claimed the objective inside and took the Federation Death Squad's experience into the Yellow Danger Level. Smiling Klegg thought of how unprepared the hated rebels would now be, and how hungry the Aliens rushing through the air-ducts sounded...    
Blake tapped his wrist communicator, shouted an order to Vila, and then made his way back to Green Central. Inside he searched an especially dark corner for equipment, and with a shout of warning backed away from the hissing Alien he had foolishly disturbed. Hearing Roj's cry, and realising he'd need more than a space fire-axe to help his leader, Vila quickly opened the eastern airlock to the Green Room and screamed in terror; three Aliens were stood in the doorway. Jenna grimly raised her weapon on the extra-terrestrial menacing the Liberator's captain, and took the fiend down with her shot. Its acidic blood sprayed over Blake, and the freedom fighter took a seemingly unnecessary wound. Apologetically Stannis joined her injured team-mate in Green Central.

Further south and oblivious to the increased numbers of Aliens their actions had caused, the Federation Death Squad spent some considerable time searching their surroundings for useful objects. But had to settle for two bottles of water and a space baseball bat. Vila meanwhile had other things on his mind, as the three extra-terrestrials in front of him, angrily leapt upon him... 

Da Da Da Dah Da Dahhhhh... Da Da Dah Da Dahhhhhhhh

Sunday 8 May 2016

"Salute 2016" - Loot - Part Three

Group Captain Villain by "Artizan Designs" and painted by Michael Awdry
Ordinarily I don't usually get the opportunity to post other people's painted miniatures. But one of the biggest delights of "Salute 2016" was attending the annual Blogger's Meet-Up and chatting with some of this hobby's more notable luminaries. This year's gathering was especially remarkable however as it meant I could personally collect a prize for winning the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Pulp Side-Contest from the extremely amiable Michael Awdry (famous for his terrifically compelling site "28mm Victorian Warfare").  

This cracking metal model of Group Captain Villain is made by "Artizan Designs" and can be found singularly as code PLP048 within their "Thrilling Tales" collection. The Terry-Thomas lookalike can also be bought as one of three figures sold as code PLP565 Mercenary Pilots.
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - Bok, a Police Sergeant and Police Marksman
Sir Awdry was clearly inspired by the wonderful paint-job found on the '28mm high metal figures specialists' website as he has readily reproduced their vibrant colours on his much-appreciated gift. Full details concerning Michael's quality brushwork on this miniature can be found on his blog's "Stop That Pigeon!" posting.

In addition to collecting my prize, another of my pre-orders from "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" consisted of several figures originally only available from the manufacturer's "7TV" Second Edition Starter Casts. The Animated Construct is probably something far more akin to what writer Barry Letts had in mind when he created the stone gargoyle Bok for the 1971 television serial "Doctor Who And The Daemons", and will hopefully prove an formidable-looking leader to the six painted Scary Statues I already own.
U.N.I.T. WIPs - Corporal, Dog Handler and Marksman
Followers of the excellent "Vampifan's World Of The Undead" blog will know that Bryan Scott has recently been posting several Policeman as part of his Cops 'n' Robbers project. Inspired by this I thought I'd pick up a Police Sergeant and accompanying Marksman to add to my own collection of the 'Boys in Blue'.

Finally I felt it prudent to stock up on a few new additions to my ever-growing United Nations Intelligence Taskforce by buying an Army Corporal, Army Dog Handler and Army Marksman. These superb sculpts will supplement my growing U.N.I.T. ground forces. At least they will once I eventually get around to actually painting some of them...  

Thursday 5 May 2016

"Life's Full Of Questions Isn't It, Batman?"

"Though, naturally I prefer to think of them as riddles."
These two 28mm plastic pre-painted "Wizkids" miniatures are part of the five-man "Heroclix" criminal gang I'll be fielding along with the Riddler in my "Cosmic Cube Wars" campaign. As with their fellow colourful colleagues, both figures have been painted in colours similar to those worn by Edward Nygma's alter-ego, so as to represent members of the Mole Hill Gang. The models consist of a Lackey (number 019 from the "DC Comics" Hypertime range) and a Thug (number 013 from the "Marvel" Infinity Challenge set).

Obviously each miniature was essentially painted in the same way, by having their trousers, tops and hats treated to a combination of either "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Druchi Violet or "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Thrakka Green. Any metallic areas, such as the belt buckle, shades and crowbar, were given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker before being washed with Nuln Oil. The Thug's skin colour was created using a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a wash of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
"A riddle a day keeps the Riddler away."
Ordinarily I don't tend to go into too much detail as to the specific rules I'll be using for my models until their Battle Reports (BatReps). But as these minions will be one of the 'pilot' forces in my first mass super-hero battle using the "Age Of Sigmar" ruleset by "Games Workshop", and there seems to be a little interest in how I'll actually be using them on the tabletop, I thought I'd pen my thoughts below:

As the Mole Hill Gang will essentially be made up of a combination of unarmed and crowbar-wielding goons, I have differentiated between the two by giving the Lackeys 5+ (To Hit) and 3+ (To Wound) and the Thugs 4+ (To Hit) and 4+ (To Wound). The Lackey converted in order to hold a pistol will be the group's Leader so will be able to make two attacks rather than just one). Each members basic statistic's line will be 6" (Move), 6+ (Save), 5 (Bravery) 1 (Wound), 1" (Range), 1 (Attack) and 1 (Damage). No model will be able to Rend.
Crossbowman WIP - The soldier's crossbow needs finishing, and then his head completed
The Riddler will be a unit in his own right, and along with his great intellect will wield a lethal blade-tipped cane. In order to try and replicate his distracting riddles and proficient ability with his weapon the super-villain will have a 2" (Range), 1 (Attack), 4+ (To Hit), 3+ (To Wound), -1 (Rend) and D3 (Damage). The 'Warscroll' I have selected for Nygma will also provide him with a Pithy Comeback - allowing him to make one additional attack with his cane if charged in the same turn, and "Riddle Me This" - a dice roll which will either cause a hidden Riddler explosive surprise box to detonate within 13" of his model, or dumbfound an opponent to the point where they'll receive +1 to all wounds made against that unit until the next Hero Phase. The rest of his basic statistic's line is 6" (Move), 5+ (Save), 6 (Bravery), and 5 (Wounds).

Having finished my Riddler's minions, I have made some good progress on the second of my two "Frostgrave" crossbowman. This multi-part hard plastic miniature by "North Star Military Figures" will cost my Witch just 50 gold pieces to join his warband. But has proved incredibly time-consuming to paint due to my poorly thought out placement of several bits of equipment. Indeed both his weapon and dagger have really tested my brushwork's patience on account of their angles and close proximity to one another.

Sunday 1 May 2016

"Salute 2016" - Loot - Part Two

Blake's Seven WIPs - Space Commander Travis, Servalan and Kerr Avon
The first of my pre-orders collected at "Salute 2016", these superb likenesses by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" of Brian Croucher, Jacqueline Pearce, Paul Darrow and Michael Keating will make welcome additions to my "Alien Verses Blake's Seven" project, even if I do already own miniatures of Travis, Servalan, Kerr Avon and Vila Restal.

Fortunately all of these new sculpts by Ernst Veingart depict the 'Federated Security Command' personnel and 'Freedom Fighters' in post-Season One attire. Indeed Avon and Vila both appear in their Season Four costumes. Whilst my 'second' Travis now gives me the opportunity to field the Space Commander as either the Terran Officer ordered to destroy Blake (as played by Stephen Greif) or as the disgraced Federation renegade from Season Two... or perhaps even as both?
"Crooked Dice" WIPs - Two differently posed Claws of SHIVA and Vila Restal
Servalan's figure did admittedly cause me to momentarily pause before purchasing her, as despite wearing the costume seen in the second series story "Weapon", it would once again need to be painted white. Obviously I didn't want to own two miniatures of the same character in similar-coloured dresses, so have decided to paint her clothing bright red instead; bearing in mind that was another popular choice during her later televised appearances.

In addition to my science fiction figures, I also picked up a couple of packets containing the company's Claws of SHIVA sculpts. These 'razor sharp fighting clawed' henchmen would arguably make a good proxy for a lightly armed Shredder (of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Hero" fame). But for now the four formidable-looking minions will form part of my increasing legion of unfinished martial-artist miniatures I am currently collecting...
Bull Snapper WIP - This large metal miniature has been super-glued to a 40mm circular base
Undoubtedly a spur of the minute buy, and one of several "Privateer Press" models I ended up coming away from "Salute 2016" with, this impressive Bull Snapper is the first of a small Gatorman warband I hope to put together for the new "Hordes" rule-set when it's released later this year.

I've always liked the idea of gaming with some alligators, though if I'd known how difficult it would be to glue this heavy multi-part metal 28mm scale model together I probably wouldn't have bothered. Indeed, despite my best efforts with grey-stuff, there are still a few flaws to the figure's joins which I am hoping my paint-job will predominantly cover up.