Tuesday, 29 November 2016

"...Often Called 'Foo Dogs' In The West..."

"...By the Sixth Century AD they were already popularly depicted as guardian figures."
These two large and characterful 28mm scale resin Chinese Guardian Lions are made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Oriental Scenery range as a "pair of Temple Dog Statues." Measuring approximately 53mm in length, 28mm in width and 48mm in height, the models were based upon two thin-lipped 50mm circular bases so I can use them as scenery/objective markers for some "Busido" influenced games of "Song Of Blades & Heroes" I have planned.

Initially I did contemplate painting my "Shi" similar to the stone statues recently posted by Andy over on his excellent blog, "Da Gobbo's Grotto". However, in the end I decided to go with a somewhat bright, metallic colour scheme that would not only help the pieces really stand out on my tabletop, but would also give me the opportunity to once again use my current favourite paint - "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide.
"The lions are traditionally carved from decorative stone, such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron."
As a result both models were primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a double coat of Brass. The protective idols were then heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass.

With the basic painting of the imperial guardians finished, I turned my attention to 'weathering' the traditional Chinese monuments by applying plenty of "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide over the models, and then giving them a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass. Afterwards I undercoated the statues' stone plinths with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before roughly highlighting it in "Vallejo" Dark Grey and lastly Heavy Bluegrey. As a final touch though I dripped some Strong Tone Quickshade down the sides of the podium to give the faint impression of damp slime, and actually glued some static grass to parts of the stone slab in order to suggest the statues have stood fixed upon their bases for a long time...
Bloodletter WIPs - These Khorne Daemons now need to have their Hellblades painted "Vallejo" Gold
Having unashamedly found myself since August, drawn to some of the "mighty battles" found within the "Age Of Sigmar" rule-set by "Games Workshop", I have slowly been building up a Befouling Host of Nurgle unit by unit, month by month. This current 'motion of the Moon' has seen me attempt to whittle my way through an allied warband of ten Bloodletters. But with December fast approaching I've realised that I needed to somewhat 'step up my pace' in order to finish my Slaughter-kin as planned.

Fortunately I've managed to dedicate a fair portion of my recent hobby-time to both a couple of the remaining Khorne daemons, and the group's Icon Bearer; an impressively tall model which has had to have its base heavily weighted down with lead shot on account of him carrying a formidable-looking "Gore-drenched Icon"... 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

"It's The Aliens Again, I'll Bet My Pension."

"What do you want this time, you green swine?"
This 28mm scale "pewter" model of the "Donna Noble's grandfather", Wilfred Mott, is produced by “Warlord Games” and forms part of the five-miniature strong "Tenth Doctor And Companions" boxed set. "Unusually open-minded about the extraterrestrial", the "strongly patriotic former soldier" was first seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Voyage Of The Damned" and is the fourth (and final) of my weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

Initially undercoated with a double helping of "Vallejo" Charred Brown, the elderly stargazer's shoes were picked out with a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst his trousers were painted with German Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. In order to give the tenth Doctor's final companion a splash of colour, and in order to stick with Mott's colour guide as per the "Into The Time Vortex" website, his jumper was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, his shirt collar Iraqi Sand and his hat Heavy Red. These areas were then washed with "Citadel" Asurmen Blue and Carroburg Crimson respectively.
The Mausoleum WIPs - Three long-dead swordsmen in different states of completion
Somewhat frustratingly, considering that the figure is based upon the likeness of actor Bernard Cribbins, Wilfred's model comes clean shaven, and as a result I had to try and build-up the illusion of whiskers on Gramps' face using paint. In the end I had to settle for a base-coat of "Vallejo" White, with a wash of Pale Grey, and then finally some more White. But overall I was very unimpressed that such an instantly recognisable characteristic of the Tenth Doctor's final companion wasn't included as part of the sculpt...

Moving away from "Warlord Games" "officially approved by the BBC" wargame, and turning instead to this month's "Frostgrave" theme, I have finally started to make some progress on the first of ten plastic "North Star Military Figures" skeletons I want to finish so as to be able to re-enact The Mausoleum scenario from the skirmish game's rule-book. Initially I was planning on painting the Undead warriors as colourfully as their live counterparts but have subsequently changed my mind and instead used a far more sombre, decaying palette of browns and greens.
James Kirk WIP - The Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise has simply been primed for now
Announced back in July 2016 by "Modiphius Entertainment", as part of the development of "Star Trek Adventures", this 32mm soft resin miniature of Captain Kirk had successfully eluded my attempts to acquire it until the recent "Warfare" show in Reading, when I was finally able to sign-up for the playtest of "the first new official Star Trek role-playing game to be produced in more than a decade" and collect one for free. Eventually the model will apparently become available in "collector's blisters as well as crew packs giving you whole away teams or bridge crews from different eras". But for now I simply wanted to get hold of one just so I could see how well the range will paint up.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

"Blos So Folt Do No Cro Blo Cos So Ro."

"Language assimilated. Designation Earth English. You will be catalogued."
These three "finely-sculpted" somewhat over-sized 28mm scale "pewter" models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games” and were some of the first miniatures made available as part of the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range. Slightly two-dimensional in their poses, the figures are based upon the "black armoured Rhinoceroid bipeds" first seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Smith And Jones" and as a result will help represent the Shadow Proclamation on my "Doctor Who" tabletop.

Initially primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "logical but stupid" mercenaries were subsequently dry-brushed with "Vallejo" German Grey and heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Their collars and toecaps were then 'picked out' using a combination of Ironbreaker and more Nuln Oil, whilst their equipment (energy-weapons, scanners and translator devices) were painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Troop five, floor one. Troop six, floor two. Identify humans and find the transgressor. Find it."
Lastly, the Judoon commander had his bare head coated with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The "single-minded" extra-terrestrial's teeth were then highlighted with "Vallejo" White and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. 

Having taken the step to start collecting this somewhat oddly-scaled range of "Doctor Who" miniatures, and use them to play some games of "7TV" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", it seemed obvious to me that I was inevitably going to need to purchase at least one of "Warlord Games" Doctor and Companions boxed sets. As a result I picked up the models of the Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones, Rose Tyler, Wilfred Mott and Donna Noble from "Caliver Books" at "Warfare".
"Doctor Who" WIPs - The Tenth Doctor, Wilfred Mott and Martha Jones
Despite being somewhat static in their poses, these figures really do capture the likenesses of their television counterparts rather well, with Sylvia Noble's father, as portrayed by Bernard Cribbins, proving an especially endearing sculpt. Indeed, I have been so taken with the elderly National serviceman that I've already started painting him up as my fourth and final Mo'Vember 2016 submission.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

"The Bloodletters Form The Core Of The Vast Legions Of The Lord Of Battle."

"They each wield a murderous Hellblade."
These three 28mm Bloodletters have been assembled from the "finely detailed plastic" Bloodletters of Khorne kit produced by “Games Workshop”, and have been based upon "Citadel" 32mm Round bases. Led by my previously painted Bloodhunter, the Blood God's followers are the first of nine (additional) Khorne daemons I need to complete in order to field an allied unit of Slaughter-kin as part of my ever-growing Host of Nurgle for “Age Of Sigmar”.

Having built the models, each 'deadly warrior' was given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and subsequently heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Next, the “Warmongers of Khorne” were dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and had their horns, hands, hooves, spines and sword hilts 'picked out' with “Citadel” Abaddon Black.
"As a host, they march as one, in formations with supernatural precision."
The majority of these areas were then blended into the daemonic soldiers' surrounding red flesh by the gentle application of some more "Citadel" Abaddon Black using a "Winsor & Newton" Galeria '00' round brush. In addition, the Bloodletters' Hellblades were undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna before being repeatedly coated in Gold.

The great two-handed weapons, which Hit on a 4+, Wound on a 3+, and are Rend -1, were then all washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and finally dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gold. As these swords are capable of causing a "Decapitating Blow"; which inflicts a Mortal Wound instead of its normal damage on a Hit Roll of 6 or more, I paid extra attention to ensure that their edges were especially shiny.

As a last touch I picked out all of the Chosen of Khorne's teeth with White and their snake-like tongues with Heavy Ochre. These areas were then washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade respectively.
Zygons WIPs - The "Doctor Who" aliens have been undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone
One of my few purchases from "Warfare" 2016, was a couple of boxes of Zygons produced by "Warlord Games". This "fictional extraterrestrial race in the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who" has recently seen something of a resurgence in popularity, and as a result the "Into The Time Vortex" 28mm sized miniatures were at the very top of my 'Buy List' for the annual wargames show.

Bizarrely however, I didn't actually end up buying my metal shape-shifting aliens from the "Warlord Games" stall, as the Nottingham-based manufacturer was selling the figures at full price and wasn't offering any show deals - "especially for the Doctor Who miniatures." As a result I simply visited the "Caliver Books" stand right beside them and picked my Zygons up from them for £1.99 less per box... 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

"Apprentices Offer A Huge Degree Of Tactical Flexibility..."

"...Players who no longer have apprentices on the table may not activate any figures in this phase."
This 28mm model of an Enchanter’s Apprentice is manufactured by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with his wizard as code FGV103 from their “Frostgrave" Range.  Able to activate “up to three soldiers within 3 inches of the apprentice”, the novice spellcaster is the third of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

Initially I had planned for this formidable-looking figure to be similar in appearance and colour to the miniature photographed within the “Frostgrave” rulebook published by “Osprey Games”. But as I also wanted his clothing to be similar to that of his ‘master’ I eventually decided to go with the same combination of greys I had used on the Enchanter, and therefore used both "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey on his leggings and great coat. These areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, before I ‘picked out’ the great hammer wielder’s red trim with Vallejo” Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Bloodletter WIPs - These Khorne Daemons now need to have their Hellblades painted "Vallejo" Gold
As the ‘wannabe’ wizard was absolutely festooned with an assortment of chisels, pouches, pliers, blankets and metalwork, I decided to ‘tap into’ a selection of my paints, utilising “Vallejo” Heavy Blue, Heavy Brown and Heavy Green, as well as "Citadel" Ironbreaker. All of these items were then washed with either "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

With the recent completion of my “Games Workshop” produced Bloodletter Champion, I am finally making some significant inroads with the rest of the plastic Khorne daemons I want to use for “Age Of Sigmar”. These multi-part “Slaughter-kin” will initially be allied to my Host of Nurgle, and as such I need to be able to field a minimum unit of ten figures; ideally including a (gold-horned) musician and standard-bearer.
Temple Dog Statue WIPs - These resin models now just need their stone plinths and bases finishing
To be honest I had hoped that their predominantly red and black colour scheme would make such a painting target perfectly feasible within the space of a month. But the inclusion of a large golden sword, as well as the ‘gentle’ blending of their hands, horns and hooves with the rest of the “Chosen of Khorne”, has significantly increased the time it takes to finish just a single Bloodletter.

Alongside my miniatures I am also making some good headway on the two Temple Dog Statues I recently bought from "Wargames Terrain Workshop" for some oriental-flavoured games of "7TV" by "Crooked Dice game Design". Having successfully applied some of the "Citadel" technical paint Nihilakh Oxide to the fair-sized pieces of scenery, I now just need to finish off weathering their stone plinths before I can finish off their 50mm circular bases and flock them with some tufts of grass.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

“I Give You The Mausoleum Of All Hope And Desire…”

"The final and funniest folly of the rich."
This excellent 28mm scale resin model of a Mausoleum is made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Graveyard Scenery range. Shipped as a single cast piece “with hollowed out core”, the building is 100mm long, 80mm wide and 58mm in height, and will provide me with an impressive central scenic piece for when I want to re-enact The Mausoleum scenario from the “Frostgrave” rule-book by “Osprey Publishing”.

Initially undercoated with “Vallejo” Dark Grey and washed with both Nuln Oil and (patchily) "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, I tried to bring out the rectangular structure’s grainy-bricked detail with a heavy dry-brush of more “Vallejo” Dark Grey, as well as a subsequent lighter highlight of Heavy Bluegrey. As a final touch I then picked out the crypt’s wooden door using a combination of Heavy Sienna washed with Strong Tone Quickshade, and “Citadel” Ironbreaker shaded with Nuln Oil.
Apprentice WIPs - The amateur Wizard 's numerous tools and pouches are slowly being 'picked out'
With Mo'Vember now well underway I have continued to apply myself to the third of my four submissions and the physically intimidating “Frostgrave” Apprentice (Enchanter) cast by “North Star Military Figures”. This wonderfully detailed magic user had somewhat ‘lulled’ me into a false sense of security by sporting a rather bare-looking front-facing upper apron. However, the detail sculpted onto the Transmuter’s back more than makes up for this, and is absolutely packed full of water bottles, pouches, blankets and metal-work. Indeed, if anything this figure is even more complicated than the Imbuer’s fur-clad master.

Equally as difficult and time-consuming to paint will doubtless be the first of my ten multi-part plastic “Games Workshop” Space Marines which I have assembled in order to play the company’s latest version of “Kill Team”. These three “Warhammer 40,000” models are comprised of parts taken from the boxed game’s Tactical Squad sprue and the Ultramarines Upgrade Pack, and will provide my force with a Veteran Sergeant (armed with Powerfist and Bolt Pistol) as Team Leader, as well as my Guerilla and Indomitable specialists.
Ultramarines "Kill Team" WIPs - The first of ten space marines destined to battle Nurgle
Admittedly the last thing I currently need is to be lured into the dark embrace of Rick Priestley’s “dystopian science fiction universe.” But the requirement to simply field just 200 points worth of miniatures, along with the skirmish feel to this “stand-a-lone two-player game”, has really swept me up; especially as my current “Age Of Sigmar” Nurgle Host already boasts enough models to create a legitimate Plaguebearer warband.

In addition, I love the idea of fitting out each model with lots of extra kit and details in order to personalise them on the battlefield. This is particularly true of my "shrewd and experienced commander", and the three 'uniquely talented' specialists I must employ as part of my Tactical Squad. As a result, my bare-headed but heavily decorated Guerilla specialist is adorned with all manner of honours such as a laurel and parchments, as well as numerous purity seals. Whilst my Indomitable plasma-gun carrying Adeptus Astartes proudly wears an Iron Halo upon his right shoulder pad; a “special honour badge given to a Space Marine who has shown exceptional initiative or bravery on the battlefield.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

"Bloodletters Brandish Their Brazen Hellblades..."

"...And howl maddened battle cries as they lope into battle."
This 28mm Bloodletter is one of the plastic multi-part models which can be assembled from the sprues found within the “Games Workshop” Bloodletters of Khorne boxed set. Part of my ever-increasing Befouling Host of Nurgle, Part of my ever-growing Host of Nurgle, this allied chaos unit champion is known as a Bloodhunter, and as a result “makes two attacks rather than one” with its Hellblade during a turn of “Age Of Sigmar”.

Having assembled the model as per the boxed kit’s instructions, the model was initially given an undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red before being copiously washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The “Chosen of Khorne” was then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Red and had details such as its horn, hands, hooves, back spines and sword hilt base-coated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black. As the leader was ‘blessed’ by the Blood God, its enormous horns were painted with “Vallejo” Heavy Warmgrey and washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
Temple Dog Statue WIPs - These resin models have been primed, layered, washed and dry-brushed
Once these curved formidable-looking outgrowths were finished, I used some more "Citadel" Abaddon Black to gently blend the daemon's dark hands and trotters in with the Slaughter-kin's red limbs. In addition the Bloodhunter's Hellblade was undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna before being treated to at least two coats of Gold. The great two-handed weapon, which can "cut effortlessly though any armour crafted by mortals", was then washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and subsequently dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gold.

Lastly I picked out the Warmonger of Khorne's "sharp, needle-like teeth" with White and its "serpentine tongue" with Heavy Ochre. The lesser daemon's "slavering jaws" were then washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and it's tongue with Reikland Fleshshade.
Criminal Element WIPs - These clown-masked goons have simply been based and undercoated
Having long been an admirer of "Bushido" by "GCT Studios", I have recently acquired a couple of impressively large Temple Dog Statues produced by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". I am not admittedly intending to actually play the "oriental fantasy tabletop miniature battle game". But have acquired enough models to want to 'deck out' a suitably atmospheric oriental themed board with which to play some games of "7TV" upon. These two resin statues will be the start of just such a mini-project...

I have also found the time to base and prime three more of  the new Criminal Element models recently released by "Spectre Miniatures". These novelty mask, boiler-suit wearing minions come armed with an assortment of automatic weapons, as well as a shotgun, and are potentially carrying "grenades, thermite, breaching tools, [or even] money" within their large holdall bags.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

"...Enchanters Are Often The Least 'Wizardly' Looking Of All Wizards..."

"Enchanters are hands-on wizards who work their magic by investing it in objects or people."
This 28mm pewter model of an Enchanter is made by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with an appropriately attired apprentice as code FGV103 from their “Frostgrave” range. A "hands on" Magic User who works his magic "by investing it in objects or people", this Transmuter will provide my warband with an alternative leader to my Witch, and is the second of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

As I wanted this miniature to be similar in appearance and colour to that illustrated within the “Frostgrave” rulebook published by “Osprey Games” I initially primed him with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and then began working my way up his numerous layers of clothing using "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. These areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. In addition I painted the craftsman's red trim with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Mausoleum WIPs - The resin building has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
As the wizard was fantastically adorned with an array of tools, pouches, blankets and furs I found myself quickly utilising most of the paints I currently own, from "Vallejo" Gold, Heavy Brown, Charred Brown and Verdigris, through to "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Doombull Brown. All of these items were then heavily washed with either "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

Alongside my Enchanter I have also been working on the centre-piece for the opening "Frostgrave" Scenario "The Mausoleum", and as a result have managed to undercoat, wash and dry-brush this awesome resin free-standing crypt by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". Cast in a single piece with a "hollowed out core", I have yet to apply a final light(er) grey highlight to the building's crumbling stone. But once this has been done, and the tomb's door painted brown, then the monument should soon be generating plenty of skeletons on the tabletop "at the end of every turn"...
Judoon WIPs - The mercenary intergalactic policemen require their scanners to be picked out
Lastly, I have finally succumbed to temptation and purchased a box of three Judoon by "Warlord Games". These "high quality pewter castings, officially approved by the BBC" are very well cast indeed and certainly capture the Rhinoceroid bipeds' single-minded pursuit of the law; even if the sculpts are a little two-dimensional from certain angles.

I actually have little interest in the company's "Doctor Who Into The Time Vortex" rule-set, as I plan to use the miniatures for "7TV" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio". However, the game's website ["Into the Time Vortex"] is already proving to be both a useful place to visit for its painting guides and an enticing advertisement to purchase more miniatures from the figure range "based on the BBC's enormously popular TV series".

Thursday, 10 November 2016

“A Mortal Who Resists The Ravages Of Nurgle’s Rot…”

"These larger, more powerful Plaguebearers often lead armies of their kind..."
This impressive-looking 28mm multi-part plastic Herald of Nurgle model is made by “Games Workshop” and can be bought either as an individual miniature or as part of the company’s “Age Of Sigmar” Daemons of Nurgle “Start Collecting!” boxed set. “Wiry and muscular, with a massively deformed leg and entrails so exposed that they touch the floor”, the mortal hero is ‘blessed’ with being “Disgustingly Resilient” on the tabletop; an ability which allows the Plaguebearer to ignore “a wound or mortal wounds” on a roll of a 5 or more. Furthermore, he also ‘enjoys’ the rather useful “In Death There Is Life”, which permits the chaos daemon to heal a wound “each time a unit is wiped out within 7” of him.”

Having super-glued the Herald of Nurgle together and placed him upon a "Citadel" 40mm circular base, the seven-piece figure was given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki, washed with “Citadel” Thrakka Green and dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki.  I then ‘picked out’ his numerous festering wounds, “repulsive Balesword”, gory innards and “spindly arm” with “Citadel” Abaddon Black.
Bloodletter WIPs - These Khorne Daemons now need to have their Hellblades painted "Vallejo" Gold
Once all this base layering was finished I painted his guts, exposed spine, organs, “ribbed tongue” and “lesions” with either “Vallejo” Heavy Red, Dead White or Heavy Warmgrey, and subsequently heavily washed these areas with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. In addition, I applied some shading to the Plaguebearer’s “rancid flesh” and complementary Nurgling, using a combination of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, “Citadel” Thrakka Green, and (more) Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, all the creature’s zits were ‘pimped out’ with “Vallejo” Heavy Ochre and treated to a coat of “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.

With most the daemonic hero now complete I turned my attention to the numerous bells which adorned the miniature’s body and horns. These were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass, "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide. Lastly, the herald’s formidable-looking Balesword, which “weeps vile toxins”, was dry-brushed with “Vallejo” German Grey.

Having now settled upon a colour scheme for a unit of Bloodletters to accompany my “Age Of Sigmar” Host of Nurgle, I have been busy washing, dry-brushing and progressing my daemons of Khorne. Despite being predominantly red and black, the “Slaughter-kin” are proving somewhat time-consuming due to their wonderfully over-sized Hellblades; which I am planning on painting using a combination of “Vallejo” Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Kill Team" WIPs - Once finished these Plaguebearer Specialists can also be used for "Age Of Sigmar"
Sticking with all-things “Games Workshop” I have recently succumbed to the call of “Warhammer 40,000” and purchased the genre’s “Kill Team” boxed starter set. This “standalone two-player game”, which focuses upon “brutal close-quarters combat in the 41st Millennium”, has really caught my imagination, especially as it only requires 200 point forces, and, as a result, has led to me assembling some more of the company’s repulsive Plaguebearer figures to use with the rules.

In fact, having also bought the fantastically illustrated Codex: Chaos Daemons I have realised that I already own enough Nurgle-related miniatures with which to field a suitable force for the game. However, as the “32-page softback Kill Team book” bestows special abilities upon certain members of your squad, I wanted to use some Nurglings to ‘mark out’ my ‘elite’ Plaguebearers on the tabletop. Delightfully, the added bonus to this endeavour is that the additional miniatures can also be used to bolster my current unit of Tallyman of Nurgle for “Age Of Sigmar”.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

"In Some Mythologies, The Grim Reaper Causes The Victim's Death By Coming To Collect Him."

"People in some stories try to hold on to life by avoiding Death's visit."
This terrifyingly chilling 28mm scale resin statue of the Grim Reaper is made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Graveyard Scenery range. The model is an impressive 98mm tall and has been based on one of the thin-lipped 40mm circular bases I use as stands for my scenery/objective markers.

The figure was initially undercoated with an old pot of "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and washed with Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with more Adeptus Battlegrey and given a final highlight of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. With the actual stone statue finished I painted the Grim Reaper's famous great scythe with a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The over-sized farming tool was then dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Brass before its blade was partially washed with "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide. These areas were subsequently, once again, dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Brass.
Apprentice WIPs - The amateur Wizard is slowly being painted from his grey leggings upwards
Despite my Mo'Vember challenge only really having just started I am already making some good progress on the third of my four submissions; a “Frostgrave” Apprentice (Enchanter) by “North Star Military Figures”. Slightly less-detailed than his wizardly master, this understudy's sculpt still packs plenty of craftsman's tools around his waist with which to test the impatient painter.

Fortunately, as with the Transmuter's model, I have decided to simply ‘pick out’ each of the amateur Imbuer's items one at a time as I work my way up the miniature. In addition I have decided to veer somewhat away from the Apprentice's colour scheme as illustrated within the "Frostgrave" rule-book, and replace his light brown garb with light grey so as to better mimic the clothing of his mentor.
Criminal Element WIPs - These clown-masked goons have simply been based and primed
Finally I have given in to temptation and purchased a handful of the new Criminal Element models from "Spectre Miniatures" "comprehensive range of extremely accurate modern 28mm miniatures and vehicles." These clown-faced heavily-armed thugs immediately struck me as being highly reminiscent of the not so jolly bank robbers depicted at the start of the 2008 super-hero movie "The Dark Knight", with the sculpt for Criminal Element Commando - Bravo making a suitable proxy for a 'realistic' Clown Prince of Crime.

As a result I plan to paint up a few of the rubber-headed goons, along with some appropriate 'Gotham-like' law enforcement specialists, and start using my "Battle Systems" Urban Apocalypse Terrain for some shoot-out shenanigans; potentially using either the recently updated "Kill Team" rules by "Games Workshop" or "7TV"... 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

"Nothing Is Permanent In This Wicked World - Not Even Our Troubles."

"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot."
This 28mm metal model of Zombie Charlie is one of many figures made by “Studio Miniatures” that I received as part of my “Z-CLIPZ” pledge during the company’s “Hollywood Havoc” Kickstarter, and is the first of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame). Based upon the Undead version of an unlucky member of staff who happened to be devoured during the zombie apocalypse whilst working at a theme park, the brain-eating cadaver is dressed as the instantly recognisable Charlie Chaplin character, "The Tramp"; including his famous bowler hat and moustache.

Primed with a double-coat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black, the dead “Hollywoodland” employee was dry-brushed with “Vallejo” German Grey and then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I then picked out all the corpse’s ‘bangs and bumps’ with either a combination of “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and “Citadel” Thrakka Green, or "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Enchanter WIPs - The Wizard is slowly being 'dressed' from his padded footwear upwards
 Having finished such a straightforward paint-job I am currently making some good progress on my next Mo’Vember model; a “Frostgrave” Enchanter by “North Star Military Figures”. This particular “hands-on” wizard is absolutely packed full of intricate details, not least of which is his red-trimmed bearskin fur overcoat and the numerous tools dotted around his belt.

Fortunately my technique of simply slowly ‘picking out’ out each item one at a time as I move up the model is keeping both my paint-brush steady and my sanity intact. Albeit I ultimately decided to paint the mage’s leg bindings and leather straps black in order to reduce the overall amount of brown I was applying to the figure, and because some of the details appeared incredibly fine and fiddly…
Herald Of Nurgle WIPs - The Nurgle Hero's severed head, Nurgling and brass bells have all been finished
All this brown and grey would ordinarily have proven somewhat dispiriting, but fortunately I have continued to paint my Herald of Nurgle for “Age Of Sigmar”, and as a result been able to add plenty of colour to my palette in the shape of red and green washes. This multi-part plastic miniature is now practically finished, having had its rotting corpse-like bloated body shaded and highlighted.

In addition I have completed the numerous brass bells which adorn its stag-like antlers, as well as the cheeky-faced Nurgling that is clearly enjoying its ride into battle atop the Plaguebearer Hero’s shoulder. The daemon just needs his Balesword to be dry-brushed and his numerous zits washed before he’ll be ready to accompany my Host of Nurgle on the tabletop.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

“And At The Headquarters Of The Royal Flush Gang…”

"The cards give us the winning hand."
This 28mm scale pre-painted plastic model of Ace of Spades is by “Wizkids” and can be bought as number 016 from their 2008 DC Comics Crisis “Heroclix” range. A super-strong android who was created as part of the second version of the Royal Flush Gang, the villain is “continually [being] rebuilt or replaced with newer versions because of his usefulness”, and first appeared in the June 1982 issue of “Justice League Of America”.

An impressive 55mm tall, this rather muscle-bound miniature was super-glued to a “Citadel” 40mm circular base and primed with “Vallejo” White. The criminal was then heavily washed with Pale Grey and dry-brushed with more White. Finally I attached his instantly recognisable chest emblem using a decal from a packet of "At Your Fingertips UK" nail art I bought for just such an occasion.
Herald Of Nurgle WIPs - The Plaguebearer Hero has had all his internal organs 'picked out' ready for washing
Despite being an extremely straightforward paint-job I’m rather underwhelmed by this particular sculpt of Ace of Spades, predominantly because my own experience of the character is via the DC Animated Universe rather than the comics. As a result I envisage the robot as a blank-faced behemoth with no eyes, nose or mouth whatsoever. Whereas the “Heroclix” figure has both some very animated facial features and a bizarre squint, which frustratingly proved somewhat tricky to pick out with a paint-brush…

Super-villain distractions aside, I have spent some time working on the “Games Workshop” Herald of Nurgle I recently assembled in order to lead my unit of Plaguebearers for “Age Of Sigmar”. Initially I was somewhat over-awed by the seven-piece plastic miniature’s detail and complexity. But having realised that the Nurgle Hero is essentially just a slightly bigger Plaguebearer, I have made some good progress on its “massively deformed leg” and “entrails”, and now just need to finish tidying up its rotting flesh before applying my usual concoction of predominantly “Citadel” washes and shades.
Bloodhunter WIPs - The Bloodletter Champion just needs his facial features to be painted
Sticking with ‘the tabletop wargame that replaced “Warhammer Fantasy Battle” in 2015’, I have additionally begun painting an allied unit for my Host of Nurgle. Having previously glued ten of these “finely detailed plastic” Bloodletter models together, as well as primed them, I thought I would pilot a colour scheme I liked from an illustration within “The General’s Handbook” on the daemon’s leader, a Bloodhunter. That way if the paint-job didn’t work out too well, I could still make the necessary adjustments to the other figures without automatically needing to re-do the Champion; as he is arguably meant to appear somewhat different to the rest of his unit.

The followers of the Blood God Khorne are ordinarily depicted as simply being all-red with black horns, swords and tongues. However as I want mine to stand-out on the table-top a bit more, I thought I’d make their swords predominantly gold, and their horns a pinkish-red. I also felt the imagery of them all having black hands and hooves, which then blended into the red of their limbs, made them look formidably demonic too.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Frostgrave" Mo'Vember 2016

"Frostgrave" WIPs - These adventurers have so far just been based and primed
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing horde of metal, plastic and resin models has been severely influenced by both Dick Garrison's suggestion that we once again dedicate part of our hobby time towards miniatures of a 'beardy' nature (in celebration of Mo'Vember), and some recent games of the skirmishing phenomenon known as "Frostgrave" by "Osprey Games".

I actually tried to dedicate myself to painting up a host of adventurers “battling through a ruined frozen city in search of magical artefacts” last year, but got so distracted with the game’s fantastically colourful Bestiary that it inevitably took me several months before I finally finished assembling my Witch’s warband. This time I aim to be far more disciplined and spend the next few weeks simply focusing upon just a handful of the fur-faced miniatures I received as part of the rule-set’s first ‘Nickstarter’.
The Mausoleum WIPs - A long-dead axe-man, spearman and swordsman
To begin with I plan to provide my travelling party with a pair of substitute wizards. My Witch has proved extremely valuable so far during my initial forays into the City of Felstad on account of his ability to successfully summon a Snow Leopard (and his Apprentice’s to conjure an Ice Toad) as an animal companion before any conflicts have even started. But I can’t always rely on such accommodating dice rolls and therefore thought a far more “hands-on” wizard might provide an invaluable alternative. 

As a result I’ve decided to paint up a long white-bearded Enchanter, complete with an assortment of craftsman’s tools, and his bulkier, bristle-faced protégé. Both of these 28mm sized pewter miniatures are produced by “North Star Military Figures” and disconcertingly come absolutely crammed full of detail. However once on the tabletop they should allow me to enchant the armour, weapons and strength of my warband, as well as potentially animate constructs before a blow has even fallen in anger...
The Mausoleum WIPS - A long dead cultist, great swordsman and armoured axe-man 
In addition to my magic-users I also thought I might try and bolster my treasure-hunting party's options by including some more missile-based troops. I already employ two crossbowman and have found their +2 Damage Modifier extremely useful when it comes to wearing down the opposition. For the cost of a single Templar (100 gold pieces) another duo of such hired soldiers would also prove doubly useful by providing me with an extra pair of hands with which to snatch any loot from under the very nose of my wretched opponent.

Sticking with “Frostgrave”, I am also hoping this month to paint enough skeletons to re-enact The Mausoleum scenario from the tabletop game's rule-book. This particular "unique and interesting" encounter depicts rival groups stumbling across "a small square or rectangular building" which is described as "overflowing with both gold and the undead..."
Zombie Charlie WIPs - The hapless comedian has been dry-brushed and had his undead flesh picked out
As the setting's Special Rules state that "at the every turn (right after the creature phase) another skeleton moves onto the board through one of the doors in the central building", in addition to the two models which start the battle alongside the Necromancer's resting place, I'm planning on getting at least ten of the long-dead creatures finished. This total should provide enough opposition for at least eight or so turns, and allow me to use some of the cracking undead heads and limbs found within the "Frostgrave" Cultists multi-part hard plastic boxed set.

Finally, as something of a 'baton passing' project from Zomtober to Mo'Vember I have started work on the first of my zombies by "Studio Miniatures". This particular figure arrived as part of my pledge for the "Hollywood Havoc" Kickstarter and depicts an unlucky Theme Park staff member dressed as one of "Hollywood's greatest stars", Charlie Chaplin.