Sunday, 30 October 2016

"The War With The Dead Has Reached Its Third Night."

"Don't they know how many corpses there are in the world?"
This 28mm single-piece metal model of a Zombie Mistress is made by "Mongoose Publishing" and could be bought, until very recently, as Code JD20051 from the "Judge Dredd Miniatures Games" range sold by "Warlord Games". Calling upon her dark psychic powers, the Zombie Mistress can both "raise the dead and command them to fulfil her every whim", thereby keeping "the Justice Department off balance for weeks."

Despite predominantly being clothed with a raggedly skirt and flowing cloak, I initially underocated the undead sorceress with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and “Citadel” Thrakka Green. This 'undercoating' technique allowed me to see all of the sculpt's detail and identify which areas needed to be painted what colour. As I wanted to try and give the 'zed hag' a grungy dirty look I selected "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna for her skirt and gloves, Heavy Skintone for her decaying skin leotard and Heavy Red for her tattered cape. All these areas, along with her White skull knee-pads were then treated to a generous wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"A... A walking corpse! How do you stop - "
With the zombie's clothing finished, I then applied a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker to the razor-blades disconcertingly attached to the fingers of her handwear, and to her ankle armour. Finally I dirtied up her face with some more Strong Tone Quickshade and 'pikced out' her lifeless eyes with "Vallejo" White.

In many ways the Zombie Mistress is my least favourite of the Mega-City Undead range which 'Mongoose Matt' had produced. This dissatisfaction is largely due to the fact that the character didn't actually appear within the pages of "2000 A.D." and therefore isn't official "Judge Dredd" canon in my books. But it's also based upon the fact that the miniature 'headlined' the Zombie Horde $6,000 stretch goal which finally convinced me to pledge big in the company's October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter; a fund-raising project which has astonishingly managed to actually outlive the "Judge Dredd" licence for "Mongoose Publishing"...
"Pick your target and shoot for their heads!"
My final contribution to Zombtober 2016 is another 28mm walking cadaver which has been assembled using plastic pieces taken from the "Mantic Games" "Kings Of War" Zombie Swarm and the metal 'bitz' found as part of "Warlord Games" Mega-City Zombie Horde pack. Painted 'in the main' using my combination of “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and “Citadel” Thrakka Green, the zed's colourful clothing was created using "Vallejo" Turquoise for his tattered trousers and Verdigris for his tiny shoulder-pad. These areas were then washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade respectively.

I had recently been hoping to significantly expand my Mega-City One Undead Horde by picking up a few of "Warlord Games"  Zombie Horde Conversion Packs, but as their license for "Judge Dredd" has reached its end and the company "are currently planning the future for its range and game and re-negotiating our agreements with the brand owners", I thought I'd pick-up four Zombie Judge models from "Mongoose Publishing" to disassemble instead. Sadly, I've only so far been sent one of the models I paid for, with Matt Sprange stating that he is "very low on stock across the whole Dredd range at the moment" and only having "two Zombie Judges left" as a result...
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - These models have been primed in readiness for the next zombie breakout...
Unperturbed, I have subsequently taken a modelling knife to the Zombie Judge I have so far received from 'Mongoose Matt', and used pieces of it in order to convert a few more "Mantic Games" zeds into undead Mega-City One citizens. Initially I had simply planned to do a head-swap with one of the plastic "Kings Of War" sculpts. However whilst cleaning the Zombie Judge's gloved hand of flash the entire part broke clean off. Having examined the poorly-cast miniature, its metal is rather crumbly and gritty, so I have drilled the offending metallic fragments out of the broken piece and simply super-glued it onto the arm of a third brain-eating cadaver.

Friday, 28 October 2016

"What'ss The Matter, Ssskippp?"

"Heavy 4 is out of control! Robot units neutralise!"
This 28mm multi-part walking cadaver is predominantly made up of plastic pieces taken from the "Mantic Games" "Kings Of War" Zombie Swarm. But has been converted, using some of the metal 'bitz' from "Warlord Games" Mega-City Zombie Horde pack, into the living corpse of Judge Garson; the deceased skipper of Justice Department tank Heavy Four who fell under the deadly control of the Sisters of Death during "Necropolis" and murdered his entire vehicle's crew.

Like all my zeds for Zomtober 2016, the former Judge was undercoated with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and heavily washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. His exposed innards were then 'picked out' with "Vallejo" White, Heavy Red and Heavy Warmgrey before being treated to a veritable 'bath' of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"At the massive breach in Mega-City's West Wall, the legions of the dead have come calling - "
With the majority of the lawman's decaying corpse painted, I began applying some colour to the remnants of his Justice Department uniform, and decided to simply replicate the scheme I used on a far 'healthier' Street Judge a couple of years ago. As a result his remaining belt pouches, knee-pad and elbow-pad, as well as his tank helmet, were painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Grey and "Citadel" Thrakka Green. Whilst his shoulder-pad was treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

Having finished Judge Garson, or rather the remains that would later be re-animated by Sabbat the Necromagus during "Judgement Day", I thought I'd also apply the finishing touches to another unlucky inhabitant of Mega-City One. This somewhat hungry-looking citizen's undead flesh was painted identically to that of his fellow futuristic walking cadavers. However, as I wanted him to appear rather more colourful than some of his brain-chomping brethren, I painted his clothing with a mixture of "Vallejo" Squid Pink, Heavy Violet and Heavy Green.
Zombie Mistress WIPs - This model still requires some additional brown and green washes
As I only have time for one more posting before Zomtober 2016 finishes, I have been busily progressing the final couple of "Mongoose Publishing" Mega-City Undead miniatures in my collection. It's not clear just where 'Mongoose Matt' got his inspiration for having the Zombie Mistress sculpted, as I don't recall such a creature existing within the pages of the British comic book "2000 A.D.". But as this model came as part of my pledge for the overly long (and still running) October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter, it seemed rude not to give her a lick of my paintbrush and finish her along with the rest of my zombies.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

“The Class Served With Distinction In The Dominion War…”

A Federation fleet with the U.S.S. Brattain in the centre of the formation, and U.S.S. Lantree at the rear 
These two 6mm metal miniatures of an Oberon Class Destroyer can be found within “Irregular Miniatures” Imperial Fleet Spaceship range as code DYE3, and are the final two models that I painted as part of “Star Trek” September. Measuring 30mm in width and 35mm in length, these pleasingly detailed vessels make good proxies for the Miranda-class Federation starships featured throughout the American science fiction television series "Star Trek” and as a result will represent the U.S.S. Brattain and U.S.S Lantree.

Originally seen in the “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” motion picture, the Miranda-class would actually go on to be “present in several major Federation engagements against the Borg, including the Battle of Wolf 359 and the Battle of Sector 001.” In addition they also participated “in numerous Dominion War battles” such as the First and Second Battles of Chin’toka and the Battle of Cardassia.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - This zombie predominantly just needs his face and shoulder-pad to be washed
Having painted one of these "Irregular Miniatures" sculpts before, both of the “escorts” were initially primed with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The vessels were then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, before having their impulse engines painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and their warp nacelles ‘picked out’ with Heavy Blue. These areas were then appropriately washed with either “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson or Asurmen Blue.

In the past I have had a nasty habit of drilling straight through the miniatures’ saucer sections whilst fitting them upon the old OOP “Games Workshop” ‘ball and socket’ flying stands I use for all of my “Irregular Miniatures” space ships. But on this occasion I somehow managed to enlarge the required holes without causing any damage to the models, and therefore didn’t need to find any ‘bitz’ with which to cover over a mistake. As a result both of these ‘untarnished’ vessels look slightly different to my U.S.S. Reliant; which required a piece from an old "Brigade Games" "Aeronef" mast in order to mask a ‘basing mishap’.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - This Justice Department zombie from "Necropolis" is almost finished
With last month’s project now finally concluded, I have committed my meagre hobby-time to finishing off the few 28mm scale multi-part zombies I still want to complete as part of Zomtober 2016. These brain-eating plastic cadavers, based largely upon “Mantic Games” sculpts, have proved enormous fun to paint on account of their futuristic knee-pads and shoulder-pads, and the fact that they represent some of the unfortunate Mega-City One citizens from the “Judge Dredd” comic book event “Judgement Day”.

In addition I have managed to assemble one of the figures, using some “Mongoose Publishing” metal components, as a hapless Justice Department tank commander. This particular individual was driven insane by the Sisters of Death during the twenty-six part 1990 story “Necropolis” and had to be gunned down by robots after he killed his crew believing them to be living skeletons. The man’s corpse was then presumably reanimated, along with sixty million other citizens, during Sabbat the Necromagus’ subsequent attack upon Mega-City One.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

"Gonna Squeeze The Life Outta You, Joe!"

"You're Going Nowhere, Joe!"
This 28mm single-piece metal model of a Zombie Judge is made by "Mongoose Publishing" and can be bought as Code JD20052 from "Warlord Games". The undead lawman is actually one of the more impressive-looking miniatures created by 'Mongoose Matt' as part of his infamously disorganised October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter, and was unlocked early on in the campaign as part of a Zombie Horde $6,000 stretch goal.

The partially-dressed member of the Justice Department was undercoated with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. As I wanted the figure to look suitably dank and rancid I painted his boots, knee-pads, belt, elbow-pad and glove with "Vallejo" Heavy Green as opposed to the colour Heavy Grey which I ordinarily use for my custodians of Mega-City One. These areas were then treated to a coat of more "Citadel" Thrakka Green, before I tidied up the Judge's ripped uniform with Abaddon Black.
"Shoulda stayed in your graves, Wormfodder!"
The model's belt buckle, shoulder-pad, and badges were 'picked out' using a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst in an effort to maintain the illusion that this Judge was dead and starting to rot, I washed his "Vallejo" Heavy Red helmet trim with the much darker "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, as opposed to my normal "Citadel" glaze of Bloodletter.

I would imagine the inspiration for the Zombie Horde's stretch goal, as it included "a number of zombies in ragged Mega-City One garb", was probably Garth Ennis' "2000 A.D." comic book story event "Judgement Day". However, as I currently only own just the one Zombie Judge miniature I plan to use him as the undead Judge Joseph Dredd depicted within the 1984 serial "City Of The Damned". Killed by a mutated future clone of Owen Krysler, the Judge Child, in 2120, this "mindless undead zombie" unceasingly stalked his time-travelling younger self and Judge Anderson until the "unstoppable" zed was transported back to 2107 and "deactivated"...
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - This zombie predominantly just needs his exposed brain to be painted
Alongside my brain-eating Judge Dredd I have also finished painting one of the remaining 28mm multi-part zombies I own which has been assembled from parts made by both "Mongoose Publishing" and "Mantic Games". Like Joe, this particular shambling ghoul was initially primed with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and then washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. But once dry actually had his shredded clothes painted using "Vallejo" Squid Pink and his belt pouch with Verdigris. Both of these areas were subsequently washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. As a final touch, and in order to make the walking dead look especially futuristic, I gave the zed a "Vallejo" Heavy Blue Mohawk and generously washed it with "Citadel" Asurmen Blue.

With just one more week of Zomtober 2016 left, I still have a handful more of my Mega-City One Undead Horde left to paint. Having 'set down my tools' on my other (side) projects in order to get them finished in time I have made some sterling progress on a third "Mongoose Publishing" cadaver, and hope to have it, along with yet another zed completed within the next few days.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

"A Carved Or Formed Grotesque..."

"Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal..."
These four wonderfully characterful 28mm scale resin Gargoyles are made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Graveyard Scenery range. The statues range in height from 27mm to 30mm and have all been based on the thin-lipped 40mm circular bases I use as stands for my scenery/objective markers.

Each model was initially undercoated with an old OOP pot of "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and washed with Nuln Oil. They were then all dry-brushed with more Adeptus Battlegrey and given a final highlight of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey.
Grim Reaper Statue WIPs - The intimidatingly tall resin model just needs its scythe to be washed and dry-brushed
In addition to the weather-worn Gargoyles I have also purchased one Dave Stone's chillingly impressive Grim Reaper statues. This 98mm tall resin piece has also been super-glued to a 40mm circular base and been undercoated with "Citadel" Adeptus  Battlegrey, and I am now slowly building up his impressive bronze scythe in order to prepare it for a generous wash of Nihilakh Oxide.

With Zomtober 2016 now two-thirds of the way through I have been busy painting the remaining few walking cadavers I want to submit before the challenge concludes. To that end I have spent the vast majority of my recent hobby time working on some of the Mega-City One undead I received from "Mongoose Games" as part of their 'controversial' 2012 “Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" Kickstarter.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - Both of these living dead still require some considerable work
The first of these is a Judge Zombie which fortunately is proving a far more enjoyable experience than the one I had whilst painting his 'healthier' colleagues a few years ago. Back then I felt the company's Judge sculpts were inconsistently sculpted with missing buckles, different styled helmets and shoddy casting. I'm pleased to say that certainly hasn't been the case with this particular miniature and his somewhat darker palette to the one I ordinarily use for my Mega-City One lawmen has really helped give the brain-eating Judge a darkly dank look.

I have also been pottering away on those zeds which I have super-glued together using components from both "Mantic Games" and "Mongoose Publishing". As I often try and work on a pair of models simultaneously, swapping between the two as the paint dries on the other, I have chosen a more sombre green/purple colour scheme for my next ghoul; albeit I am contemplating a bright "Vallejo" Squid Pink shoulder-pad simply to make the figure stand out on the tabletop...

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

“Born From Sickness And Despair…”

"As the Nurgling matures it feeds upon the filth of the Great Unclean One and pops out."
These two 28mm multi-part plastic swarms of Nurglings are made by “Games Workshop” and are two of the three such “stacks” that can be created using the “variety of characterful” components found within the “Gleeful Castoffs” "Age Of Sigmar" set. Indeed the company boasts that “you can actually make twenty-seven combinations of Nurgling towers” using their sprues should you purchase enough boxes of the “wriggling little horned beasts”, and that number doesn’t include the additional “individual Nurglings” the kit comes with “for using on bases for the rest of your army.”
"Sometimes Nurglings are gifted to Heralds or other powerful Chaos Champions to act as a living litter for him."
As a result of the complexity of these 'builds' I decided to paint the front, middle and back rows of each 40mm circular base separately and then later superglue the towers together after they had been varnished. This meant that, having placed each line of Khan’gurani’I on an individual stand, they were all initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. The tiny toothed daemons were then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki before having details such as their horns, “sores, cuts, lumps and opened orifices” coated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black.

With all the miniatures’ groundwork completed, I started painting the Nurglings’ internal organs with either “Vallejo” Heavy Red or Heavy Warmgrey, and washed the grisly sculpts with a combination of “Citadel” Thrakka Green, Agrax Earthshade and Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch their numerous zits were ‘picked out’ with a dollop of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and given a heavy covering of “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.
"A unit of Nurglings has three or more models."
Wonderfully timed to coincide with Zomtober 2016, I have taken possession of my pledge from “Studio Miniatures” and their “Hollywood Havoc” Kickstarter. These “highly detailed” 28mm models are part of their zombie horror range “Z-Clipz” and supposedly depict “the unlucky staff dressed as Hollywood’s greatest stars” who were devoured whilst working at the Funland Theme Park during the zed apocalypse.

The first three brain-eating cadavers I plan to work on are Zombie Lee, Zombie Charlie and Zombie Norma Jean; undeniably characterful undead versions of Bruce Lee, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe. My collection also contains the survivor versions of these silver screen personalities, alongside the company’s four “Monster Madness Haunted House” figures. However as I’m currently painting a number of other walking dead miniatures as part of my "Mongoose Publishing" Mega-City One Zombie Horde I thought I’d start with the infected versions first.
"Hollwood Havoc" WIPs - Bruce Lee, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe
What is somewhat disappointing about these models though is their seemingly slender size when compared to other zombie models I own. The Kickstarter was keen to emphasise that “all of these new miniatures are fully compatible with our existing modern zombies and survivors” and highlighted you could “mix them together for some movie madness” if you wanted. I don’t actually own any other “Studio Miniatures” sculpts to compare them against, but have found these latest acquisitions to be slightly diminutive when placed alongside even my slender “Zombicide” plastic zeds…

Sunday, 16 October 2016

"We're Outnumbered A Hundred To One!"

"Get back-up here now!"
This 28mm multi-part zombie is made from component parts manufactured by both "Mongoose Publishing", as part of their October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter, and "Mantic Games", and represents one of the many unfortunate citizens of Mega-City One who died during "Necropolis" and later rose from their graves so as to taste Justice Department flesh in "Judgement Day". The brain-eating cadaver is really nicely sculpted, apart from an overly large amphibian-like left hand, and undoubtedly wears it's recognisably futuristic knee-pad with pride.

Having assembled the model using some of the metal Zombie Horde Conversion Pack 'bitz' now sold by "Warlord Games", the walking cadaver was undercoated with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and haphazardly washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. As I wanted the walking corpse to be as colourful as possible I then painted his clothes using "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, Heavy Blue and Heavy Orange. These areas were washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, "Citadel" Asurmen Blue and Reikland Fleshshade respectively. Finally the zed's rancid body was made to look even more repulsively bloody courtesy of some “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - This unlucky blue mohawk adorned citizen will forever wear pink
With the third of my Zomtober 2016 submissions completed, I have made some steady progress on the next of my “Judge Dredd” zeds. One of the aspects of this mini-project I'm especially enjoying is trying to use as many brightly coloured paints as I own in order to try and replicate the garish nature of Mega-City raiment. As a result I have found myself opening some long-sealed "Vallejo" pots of Squid Pink and Verdigris, as well as feverishly dipping my paintbrush tip into such oft-forgotten pigmented hues like Heavy Orange and Turquoise.

A somewhat new company to recently capture my imagination is "Wargames Terrain Workshop". A predominantly scenery-focused company which offers "a range of highly durable, finely detailed modular terrain gaming boards and resin cast scatter scenery", they caught my eye with their current new line of stone gargoyles. Designed to "keep the spirits at bay", I have already super-glued all four the the sculpts from their Graveyard Scenery range on to my usual thin-lipped 40mm circular 'objective' bases and busied myself undercoating, washing and dry-brushing them with a combination of "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and Nuln Oil.
Gargoyle WIPs - The four different statues just require some final highlights before being finished
The somewhat rough-hewn pieces of masonry still require an extra lighter highlight and proper basing, but have already encouraged me to purchase a few more items from the Gloucestershire-based manufacturer's webstore. These 'very necessary' additions to my collection includes one of their wonderfully foreboding statues of the Grim Reaper, as well as a number of cemetery walls and posts which should help complete all the items I require in order to finally game last year's Zomtober project "Doctor Who And The Seeds Of Doom"...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

“The Beast Of Nurgle Is A Truly Horrendous Aberration.”

"Even after death, however, its presence lingered, as crops grew sickly and many fields had to be torched..."
This 28mm scale Finecast "Age Of Sigmar" model of a Beast of Nurgle is made by “Games Workshop” and can not only “batter their victims with their Claws and Tentacles”, but also “shower them with affection by enveloping them with their Slobbering Tongues.” As a result the Chaos Daemon, which is “no less deadly than it is ugly”, can muster an impressive D6 Attacks with its sharp talons and pock-marked appendages, as well as cause D3 wounds with its “primary organ of taste.”

These days sold by the Nottingham-based manufacturer as a “Webstore Exclusive”, the 48mm tall model was disappointingly something of a nightmare to assemble. However, my difficulty in super-gluing the “horror on the battlefield” together was not due to the miniature’s much-maligned resin, but because the multi-part casting came with both the wrong-sized circular base and no instructions whatsoever.
"Nurgle Rotbringers"
Such a complete ‘lack of direction’ for a ‘seven-component’ model which “has the appearance of a sticky and mottled pallid slug, with a face of writhing tentacles” really was incredibly annoying and it subsequently took a long time studying various illustrations of the “immense slug-like” monstrosity to work out precisely which piece fitted where. In addition, I had to wait until “Games Workshop” posted me a couple of 60mm plastic bases before I could really ‘get going’ on the “finely detailed resin cast kit” as I found the daemonic beast an almost impossible build without first gluing, and thus stabilising, its “webbed feet” to a flat surface.

Once assembled though, “the essence of mindless decay and horrid rot given putrid flesh” was an absolute joy to paint, as every one of its hideous details genuinely appeared “as crisp as ever in Citadel Finecast.” Indeed, just as soon as had I finished undercoating the Beast of Nurgle with a double coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki, washed it with “Citadel” Thrakka Green and dry-brushed it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki, I promptly ordered a second model from the “Games Workshop Webstore” to either accompany my first “curious and inquisitive pet” or be simply summoned when needed on the battlefield by my Rotbringers Sorcerer.
Nurgling WIPs - These tiny daemons just need their pimples to be 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre
With my primary painting phases complete, I then began trying to ‘pick out’ all the aberration’s “slimy secretions” which are dripping “with puss and ichor”, as well as its numerous sores and “grotesquely misshapen… maw.” These areas were thus either simply washed with “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade or Carroburg Crimson and then dry-brushed with even more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki, or given a layer of Heavy Red, Heavy Warmgrey or Heavy Ochre (combined with a “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade wash).

The Beast of Nurgle really is a fun piece on the “Age Of Sigmar” tabletop, as it actually acts very much like a bounding, overly-excited puppy dog. Its “Attention Seekers” ability seems to especially embody this desire to find “new friends to play with” by allowing the nightmarish conglomeration to charge in the same Turn in which they run or retreat. Whilst the slug-like creature’s inadvertent “Slime Trail” can cause opposing units to comically slip up “in the toxic slime trail surrounding the daemons.”
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - This zombie's futuristic garb will be a dirty yellow and blue, with orange knee-pad
Sticking with my ever-growing Host of Nurgle, I have been persevering and painting the multitude of “pernicious and capricious Daemons” I need in order to field a minimum strength unit of Nurglings. These cute yet fearsome terrors are certainly time-consuming to paint due to all their eyes, tiny teeth, boils and bleeding sores, but I hope to have enough of the multi-part plastic Khan’gurani’i completed within the next few days to assemble at least two more stacks.

Finally my participation in Zomtober 2016 continues to motivate me and I am making some good progress on another of my “Mongoose Publishing” Mega-City One zombie models. This partially plastic "Mantic Games" miniature is actually the first of my figures to feature one of the "Judge Dredd" Kickstarter's metal torso with arm conversion bits, as well as another of its excellent knee-pads, and as a result I have tried to make the brain-eating cadaver as colourfully-garbed as possible. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing Report: U.S.S. Enterprise-D Verses The Doomsday Machine

This game was played using “Wizkids” "Star Trek: Attack Wing” Original Series Organised Play Event rules for “The Doomsday Machine”. The game was set up using the following vessels from the Federation Faction - Ship Card: U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Manoeuvre Card: Galaxy Class, with Captain Card: Jean-Luc Picard and the Upgrade Cards: Data & Worf, and Ship Card: U.S.S. Constellation, Manoeuvre Card: Constitution Class, Captain Card: Matt Decker and Upgrade Cards: Damage Control Party & Dual Phaser Banks. In addition the Federation Faction spent 5 Squadron Points on the Structural Damage Check Resource.
The ‘encounter’ was played using the recommended set up on a 3’ x 3’ space mat, and followed all of the OP rules with the exception of allowing the Doomsday Machine to repair two damage to its hull at each End Phase.
“The story so far… While responding to a garbled automated distress beacon in the Kandari Sector of the Alpha Quadrant, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D passes by the long-dead debris of what was once all the planets in the L-370 and L-374 systems (See “Star Trek” TV Episode “The Doomsday Machine”). Suddenly, a wormhole appears before the Federation flagship and from within it emerges not just an old Constitution-class starship, but the vessel which destroyed the two systems decades earlier; an automated, self-sustaining doomsday machine. Immediately joining forces with the Commodore’s aged spacecraft in order to destroy the planet killer, Captain Jean-Luc Picard realises that history is strangely repeating itself…”
Dwarfed by the ancient robotic weapon, Captain Jean-Luc Picard gave the order for his Galaxy-class starship to move further into the debris field at Warp Factor Three in an effort to join-up with his superior officer’s vessel. The Federation flagship was put on Battle Stations, and Data was told to employ Evasive Manoeuvres (reducing the U.S.S. Enterprise-D’s Arrack Dice by two this Round). Commodore Decker meanwhile, instructed for the U.S.S. Constellation to bank left at Warp Factor One, and initiated his own Evasive Manoeuvres.

Believed to have been created by the Preservers in order to be used against the Borg, the Doomsday Machine maintained its course through the system at Warp Factor Two.
With a curse Picard realised that his course into the debris field was already in danger of putting his vessel within range of his foe’s anti-proton beams (eight Attack Dice) and therefore tapped into the Galaxy-class starship’s Auxiliary Power in order to reverse backwards away from the incredibly powerful planet killer. This stress upon the NCC-1701-D’s hull immediately prevented the Captain from using any actions (even free ones) during the turn. To the South Commodore Decker was equally aghast at the 50,000 year-old ship’s proximity, and, using his own vessel’s Auxiliary Power, ordered the U.S.S. Constellation into full reverse.
The Doomsday Machine moved towards Asteroid Four and in doing so entered Matt Decker’s attack range. With a cry of exhilaration the unkempt Commodore utilised his vessel’s Dual Phaser Banks (and subsequently rolled four Attack Dice). The Planet Killer’s neutronium hull was capable of resisting “many known types of weapon fire” and as a result treated “all Critical Damage inflicted on the Doomsday Machine as normal damage”, but was still reduced from ten hulls points down to seven. 

However, the NCC-1017 was now within range of the ancient machine’s own primary weapon, and immediately felt the effects of its devastating antiproton beam as all three of its Shields were destroyed and its aged hull was battered for two more points. Little wonder “even the Borg were incapable of resisting the Preservers machine.
Desperate to eliminate its need for Auxiliary Power, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D effortlessly banked to port and entered orbit around Asteroid Two. Able to utilise Actions again, Captain Picard ordered his vessel to Battle Stations and Evasive Manoeuvres. Cursing, Commodore Decker realised his Constitution-class starship was effectively finished as it was badly outmatched in a head-on confrontation, and so ordered it to travel away from its opponent at Warp Factor Three.

Having now locked onto the U.S.S. Constellation as its primary target though, the Doomsday Machine passed Asteroid Four and turned towards the significantly smaller fleeing spacecraft.

Sensing his imminent demise, Matt Decker ordered a Structural Damage Check and repaired one damage to his starship’s hull. The NCC-1017 was still using Auxiliary Power though, so was unable to utilise its Damage Control Party. Outgunned and unable to return fire, the Constitution-class vessel’s bridge crew prepared for the impactive of the planet killer’s primary weapon. Four hits thudded into the U.S.S. Constellation, and it was lost with all hands…
Alone, Captain Jean-Luc Picard drove the U.S.S. Enterprise-D straight past Asteroid Two, remained at Battle Stations and obtained a Target Lock with its weapons upon the enemy vessel (allowing him to re-roll any number of his Attack Dice). The Doomsday Machine passed around Asteroid Four and began to head towards the Galaxy-class starship like a shark rising towards its prey. 

The NCC-1701-D fired at the ancient robotic weapon at maximum range and scored three hits, reducing the planet killer’s hull points down to four. Commodore Decker had clearly done enough damage to the ancient device before he died to give the Federation flagship at least a fighting chance.
However the U.S.S. Enterprise-D still needed to withstand the Doomsday Machine’s formidable firepower and was rocked as its anti-proton beams initially scored four hits and two critical damages. Admittedly Picard was able to utilise his Battle Stations command to evade part of the damage. But the Galaxy-class starship still had its Shields entirely collapse (courtesy of a Direct Hit) and suffered Power Disruption (which caused the Federation Flagship to tap into its Auxiliary Power).

The French Starfleet Officer realised it was ‘do or die’, so quietly ordered for his ship to move straight ahead at a comfortable Warp Factor One and disengage Auxiliary Power. The NCC-1701-D went to Battle Stations and Mister Data was told to once again employ Evasive Manoeuvres. To the starboard side Jean-Luc saw that the planet killer was fast-approaching the Galaxy-class starship as if to swallow it whole.
Closing to short range (+1 Attack Dice) the U.S.S. Enterprise-D opened fire with all it had against the Doomsday Machine, hoping its Phaser Beam Arrays could fatally penetrate the ancient devices’s super-dense neutronium hull. The directed energy weapons poured into the Preserver’s planet killer, and due to Picard utilising his Battle Stations in order to convert two of the Galaxy-class starship’s dice into hits, blew the 50,000 year-old vessel up! It was over, and once again the Kandari Sector was safe.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

"Away From The Main Battle, A Zombie Finds Itself A Tasty Morsel."

"Hey! Forget the dead guy, everyone! Look what time it is!"
These two 28mm multi-part futuristic-looking zombies were mailed to me by "Mongoose Publishing" as part of their somewhat notorious October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter. The Zombie Horde were actually one of the fund-raiser’s earliest stretch goals and as a result formed part of my Sector Chief level pledge. Somewhat surprisingly though, this pair of predominantly plastic zeds are not actually manufactured by Mongoose Matt’s company, but by “Mantic Games”, and are in reality simply a pair of “Kings Of War” Undead Zombies with a couple of metal knee-pads super-glued on to them in order to make them look like former Mega-City One citizens.
"-- Fall back! They're all over us!"
Once assembled the walking cadavers were undercoated with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and subsequently washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. The brain-eating ghouls then had their clothes painted using a combination of either “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue, or “Vallejo” Heavy Brown” and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. With the zombies’ main colours finished I ‘picked out’ one of their knee-pads with “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, and the other with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.

In an effort to ‘bloody up’ their bare bodies I applied some light daubs of both Agrax Earthshade and (more) Carroburg Crimson to their green-hued skin, especially over any areas were the decaying flesh had been punctured or torn. I additionally ‘highlighted’ one cadaver’s goggles with Ironbreaker and the other one’s dirty matted hair with “Vallejo” Heavy Green. Both of these areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - A ravaged Judge and two former citizens at an early painting stage
With the first two of my Zomtober 2016 submissions finished, I have been beavering away on more of these “Judge Dredd” "Judgement Day" zeds. I’m now especially keen to get cracking on one of the few all-metal “Mongoose Publishing” models found within this stretch goal – the Judge Zombie. Currently cast by “Warlord Games”, I’m not sure whether I’ll use the miniature to just represent the undead Joe Dredd from the “2000 A.D.” serial “City Of The Damned”, or simply as a test piece for a small collection of flesh-eating lawmen…

Thursday, 6 October 2016

“My Friends, The Great Experiment...The Excelsior, Ready For Trial Runs.”

"Stardate 9521.6. Captain's Log, U.S.S. Excelsior. Hikaru Sulu commanding."
This 6mm scale metal miniature of a County Class Heavy Cruiser is by “Irregular Miniatures” and can be found within the company’s New Spaceship Range under code DYE5. Measuring 28mm in width and 60mm in length, this rather formidable-looking vessel will be used as a proxy for the Twenty-Third Century excelsior-class starships first seen in the 1984 Science Fiction Motion Picture “Star Trek III: The Search For Spock” and as a result will represent Captain Hikaru Sulu’s first command, the U.S.S. Excelsior (NCC-2000), during my planned “7TV” space battles.

Having painted several of "Irregular Miniatures" Imperial Fleet vessels up as Federation starships over the past few weeks, I stuck to my ‘tried and tested’ technique of initially undercoating the model with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, washing it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushing it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. In addition I decided to 'pick out' some of the prototype vessel’s more colourful areas such as its warp nacelles with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Asurmen Blue, and its saucer section’s deflector dish with “Citadel” Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
Herald Of Nurgle WIPs - The converted Plaguebearer has lost his scythe's Nurgling 
Originally I also started to paint a number of areas of the spacecraft with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. However I soon found myself struggling to reach some of these details, particularly those around the front end of the Excelsior’s nacelles, with my brush. This was partially due to the vessel’s main hull getting in the way. But I was also somewhat frustrated by the quality of the miniature’s casting, which was a little ragged and torn around the edges. In the end though I finally decided to abandon my plans when I realised just how predominantly red the extra work made the model look; something I especially wanted to avoid considering that the potential “fastest starship in the entire Federation” appears somewhat blue in colour when seen on the silver screen due to its transwarp drive.

As a result the majority of these red areas were treated to a layer of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey, washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey in order to ‘merge’ back in with the rest of the vessel’s main hull colour. Annoyingly though, even this simplification of the vessel’s paint scheme didn’t ultimately help lessen my time spent on the model as I ended up having to re-paint parts of the warp nacelles following my “Coat d’arms” Gloss Varnish suddenly going all cloudy…  
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - The futuristic cadaver has had his torn attire base-coated and washed
With my “Star Trek” themed “Irregular Miniatures” monthly project now concluded, I have started working on a second Herald of Nurgle for my “Age Of Sigmar” Tallyband. I have admittedly already begun painting one of these multi-part plastic miniatures this month. But having bought another “Start Collecting!” Daemons of Nurgle boxed set from “Games Workshop”, I thought I’d paint the two Plaguebearer heroes simultaneously.  I have however decided to convert this former Balesword-wielding Daemon by replacing his black-coloured sword with a Putrid Blightkings scythe and swapping his H.R. Giger-inspired head for that of a champion Plagueridden.

I had also added a second Nurgling to the Herald’s assemble by super-gluing one of the cheeky imps onto the staff of his hand-weapon. However, having primed the model, washed it and dry-brushed it, I came to realise that the additionally tiny terror was making the miniature appear a little too busy for my liking, and I have now ‘clipped off’ the "Tiny Plague".
"STAR TREK: ATTACK WING" - The U.S.S. Enterprise-D & U.S.S. Constellation battle The Doomsday Machine
Sadly, the Gleeful Castoffs’ removal has slightly mucked up the binding two-thirds of the way up the scythe’s shaft, but I now plan to simply paint that area “Citadel” Abaddon Black and maybe highlight it with a little Charcoal in order to cover over my mistake. If this doesn’t work out then I think my grey-stuff skills may suffice to re-sculpt the damaged cloth fastening.  

Fortunately none of these distractions have been particularly detrimental to my painting plans for Zomtober 2016, and my “Mongoose Publishing” Mega-City One Undead. Indeed, having already finished one of the futuristic cadavers (to be posted at the weekend) I am currently steadily progressing a second of the nine “Judge Dredd” knee-pad wearing corpses that I want to have finished before the challenge is concluded.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

“…The Very Personification Of A Boil Or Pustule.”

"They caper and dance about the greater Daemons..."
This 28mm multi-part plastic swarm of Nurglings is made by “Games Workshop” and is one of three such “tottering towers” that can be assembled from the numerous components found within the company’s "Age Of Sigmar" boxed set. Indeed, the 40mm circular base is actually composed of a front, back and middle row crammed full of the “tiny and malevolent” daemons, and such was the complexity of the overall ‘horde’ that I didn’t superglue the separate stacks together until after each of the ensemble’s elements had been individually painted and varnished.

As a result each ‘line’ of the “wriggling little horned beasts” was initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green. The “Gleeful Castoffs” were then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki before I ‘picked out’ details such as their horns, “sores, cuts, lumps and opened orifices” with “Citadel” Abaddon Black.
Nurglings WIPs - These razor-sharp toothed terrors still all need their eyes, sores and horns picking out
As each of the giggling Khan’gurani’i is capable of causing their foes a “Disease-ridden Demise” at the end of the Combat Phase (i.e. “each enemy unit that suffered any Wounds inflicted by the Nurglings in that phase” potentially suffers an additional D3 Mortal Wounds) all of the Tiny Plagues’ festering lesions and glistening entrails were coated with either “Vallejo” Heavy Red or Heavy Warmgrey, and appropriately washed with a combination of “Citadel” Thrakka Green, Agrax Earthshade and Carroburg Crimson. Lastly all the Mites of Nurgle's pimples were highlighted with a spot of “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and given a generous coat of “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.

Because I have yet to finish painting enough of these ‘minute copies of the dread master himself’ in order to field them as a complete unit for “Age Of Sigmar”, I have not so far experienced just how formidable an opponent the “slobbering heaps of putrid flesh” can be. However, I have managed to summon a single base onto the tabletop, courtesy of my Rotbringers Sorcerer, and been much impressed with their “Endless Swarm” ability; which during each player’s Battleshock Phase allows “any Nurgling models that have suffered wounds that turn but have not been slain” to immediately be healed back to their starting (four) Wounds. A useful regenerative gift that has caused the tiny daemons to impressively slaughter an entire unit of Tree-Revenants single-handedly.
Mega-City One Undead WIPs - The futuristic cadaver has had his colourful attire base-coated and washed
With the completion of my first Nurgling base, I have unsurprisingly been somewhat galvanised into trying to finish painting at least another two of the remaining eight swarms I own. However the sheer volume of “these pernicious and capricious Daemons” is proving rather off-putting too; albeit I have managed to make some significant progress to a few more rows, including the front piece of a second stack. 

Arguably this dalliance with the Plague God Nurgle has not been helped by my current participation in Zomtober 2016, and the lure of my “Mongoose Publishing” Mega-City One Undead. I currently plan to paint nine of these “Judge Dredd” inspired walking cadavers, and have already made some considerable progress with my first offering for this year’s zed-fest. These wonderfully characterful plastic sculpts are actually predominantly based upon “Mantic Games” zombies. But seem to really take on a ‘life’ of their own when fitted with the knee-pads, shoulder-pads, pouches and heads of hapless Mega-City One citizens.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Judge Dredd" Zomtober 2016

Judge Dredd WIPs - These living dead have been washed simply in order to bring out their detail
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been rather waylaid by PulpCitizen's recent announcement, over on his brilliant blog "Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer", that the next few weeks will once again host the annual "Zomtober" Challenge where fellow wargamers "just paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like" and post it to their blog by the Sunday.

As a result I have deferred from choosing a haphazard painting subject for October and instead managed to base, flock, prime and wash a small(ish) collection of shambling futuristic undead mailed to me by "Mongoose Publishing" as part of their infamously long October 2012 "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" kickstarter; a pledge which I am still waiting to be fulfilled four years later.
Judge Dredd WIPs - The majority of these zombies will be painted in futuristic bright colours
These 28mm miniatures predominantly consist of a mixture of plastic multi-part "Mantic Games" zombies with numerous metal torso, knee-pad, shoulder-pad and head conversion pieces produced by "Mongoose Publishing" in order to supposedly mark them out as Mega-City One citizens. However they also include a very nicely-detailed casting of an undead partially-decomposing Street Judge and an equally impressive-looking Zombie Mistress.

Presumably inspired by the "Judgement Day" comic book story event published with alternating episodes in both "2000 A.D." and the "Judge Dredd Megazine" in 1992, I am hoping to use these shuffling cadavers to partially game the events of World War Four and Sabbat the Necromagus' attempt to conquer the planet using the living dead; especially as I already own a fully-painted division of the Justice Department's finest. However, what does concern me is whether just eight flesh-hungry cadavers (not including their Zombie Mistress) will provide sufficient models for even the smallest scenario of "Zombicide" or "ZombieTV". If it doesn't then I may well be tempted to purchase a few more Zombie Horde Packs from "Warlord Games" in order to convert some of my dormant "Mantic Games" Undead Zombie sprues, as well as a couple more Zombie Judges...
Herald Of Nurgle WIP - The Plaguebearer Daemon has been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki
This desire to re-enact a conflict which "took the lives of three billion people" means I have had to somewhat curtail my aspirations as to the latest unit I intend painting for my Host of Nurgle for “Age of Sigmar”. Indeed disappointingly, I still need to finish off over a dozen Nurglings to achieve my daemonic "Games Workshop" goal for last month. With this potentially overwhelming commitment in mind I have therefore assembled just a solitary Herald of Nurgle multi-part plastic miniature to add to October's Tallyband of the Plague God.

Admittedly the Plaguebearer Hero appears an extremely well-detailed, busy and therefore time-consuming sculpt, complete with numerous bells, horns, trailing innards, a cheeky Nurgling and severed head. But once washed and dry-brushed I am confident that the Balesword-wielding Daemon will soon be finished. Particularly as I have converted a second one carrying a large scythe and some additional Nurglings using pieces from the Putrid Blightkings boxed set...