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.

18 comments:

  1. Due to your postings. I ventured into my local GW yesterday for the first time in years. A lot of nice looking stuff, but the prices were scandalous! This 'frugal gamer' will be looking for deals online or cheaper alternatives.
    BTW, I do like the Ace figure - his expression makes him look like he's in pain. An atomic powerhouse in constant pain from the energy that courses through his body, perhaps?

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    1. Glad I'm encouraging you to at least sneak a peek at some "Games Workshop" stuff, Jez. Personally I find the GWs good for looking but somewhere like "Dark Sphere" good for the buying; albeit a lot of the specialist models are GW Webstore exclusives these days (i.e. you can't even order them at a GW). Is there anything in particular you were after as I may have some spares?

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  2. Hmm, a couple of rather anatomically improbable figures, I think. I like the way that the muscle-bound villain is finished - it's difficult to paint predominantly white [or black] miniatures well, but this one is nicely done.

    I expect the Bloodletter to suffer a broken neck very soon; there's no way that its bones are strong enough to support those horns :-) !

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    1. Many thanks Hugh. I did enjoy painting Ace up until I came to his distorted face. The Bloodhunter is a little top-heavy, but my goodness it'll stand out on the tabletop!! ;-)

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  3. I have no criticisms or complaints about your paintwork, Simon. What does irk me is the sculpting of these figures. The Ace of Spades is let down by his poorly sculpted face. I agree with you, he'd look a lot better with a simple blank face. The Nurgle Plaguebearer is probably the best of the three. As for the Bloodletter, Hugh is spot on about the ridiculously sized horns. I don't like them at all. Sorry, Simon.

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    1. Cheers Bryan, I too am not a fan of Ace of Spades' face; especially as the "Wizkids" rules clearly explain he's meant to be the robot version of the villain, and not one of the humans who later wore the costume. Very poor but he will make a good contrasting baddie for Batman on the tabletop.

      I think the Bloodhunter is a superb sculpt, which whilst heavy-headed, displays all the 'over-the-top' detail I'm currently enjoying with "AoS" (and you clearly aren't). I've loads more of these models coming so perhaps I'll convince you yet ;-)

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  4. Blimey...the Herald of Nurgle will have to be careful not to trip over his own guts! These Nurgle figs really are fantastically gruesome!

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    1. "These Nurgle figs really are fantastically gruesome!" - They are indeed Gordon, and the guts spill out all over the base too!! The "Age Of Sigmar" single-figure releases really are something special imho.

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  5. I always find the GW figs a little "busy". I.e loads of detail which can detract, that said the nurglite looks positively grotesque - in a good way and I think he's the standout of these three!

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    1. Thanks Andy, I too really like the Herald of Nurgle, and if you think it looks grotesque in these WIPs then I know you'll enjoy the next set of WIPs I have of it ;-) The Bloodletters are this months "AoS" unit, so expect to see plenty of red-skinned daemons too.

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  6. I too think I would have had to sand and greenstuff the face on spades, as I remember the cartoon version, your white paintwork though is excellent as always.

    Sorry but I'm not mad keen on either of the GW figs though, as Andy said they are a bit "busy" and just don't light my candle I'm afraid, though again your work on tem so far is top notch.

    No beards though?

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. I am certainly very tempted to get hold of a second model of Ace and do precisely what you suggest, especially as the cartoon version is somewhat angular so would look far more robotic imho. As it is Ace rivals the "Heroclix" sculpt for Ironclad as most disappointingly botched mini in my books.

      I've now finished painting both the Herald of Nurgle and Bloodhunter and certainly think the Plaguebearer Hero is an awesome-looking sculpt. Terribly busy, as you say, but a corking model on the tabletop too.

      "No beards though?" - It's not the weekend yet my friend, so get ready for Sunday mornings post. Then you'll see a beard ;-)

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  7. RFG - one of my favourite villain teams. Great stuff. :)

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    1. Thanks Leon. Much appreciated. I have a couple more members "Heroclix" minis but they're rather far down the painting queue currently.

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  8. Three very differentfigures all interesting for different reasons.
    The musculature on "Ace" just reminds me of any comic superhero nd I think looks great whilst the plaguebearer is fittingly revolting!
    I can't understand the probs folk are having with the Bloodletter's horns either, he looks great. I have a set of hors (from an Urdu I think), that are very weight, I struggle to lift them of the floor, let alone above my head!

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    1. Cheers Joe. I'm not admittedly all that keen on Ace's sculpt myself, on account of him not resembling the criminal I envisage. However i know of others out there who think its an awesome mini. As for the Herald of Nurgle and Bloodhunter, I think they're awesome minis and am looking forward to painting more of them up :-)

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  9. I've never heard of the DC villain before. He looks immensely strong though - who did he match up against?

    Plaguebearer boss is a busy sculpt. Looks fun to paint though. I like the Nurgling playing in his antlers!

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    1. Thanks Dai. I encountered the Royal Flush Gang as part of the "Batman Beyond" animated TV series, so have always associated them with Batman. However I know they've tackled Wonder Woman in the past (in the comics) too.

      The Herald of Nurgle is a corking sculpt imho, though the fact I have a second to paint is a little intimidating!!

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