Thursday 29 June 2017

“Okay, Hoagy – Let’s Hit ‘Em Low!”

"Yup! The stogie's right, Sam!"
This 28mm metal model of Hoagy can be bought either from the “Wargames Foundry” “2000 A.D.” character range as Stock Code AD071, or from “Warmonger Miniatures”, and is based upon Sam Slade’s “dozy droid” companion. Created by John Wagner and Ian Gibson for the multi-issue story “Day Of The Droids”, the kit-built “imbecilic robot” would go on to hinder “Robo-Hunter” in many of Slade’s most memorable cases and made his first appearance in Prog 152 [February 16th 1980].

Disappointingly somewhat larger in size than his actual comic book counterpart, I was initially rather undecided as to which colour the robo-sidekick should be. Kevin Dallimore’s wonderfully vibrant green version on the “Wargames Foundry” website appeared a very persuasive palette, especially when I saw the cover illustration of Prog 259, which seemingly rendered Hoagy in a similar hue. However, having done a bit more research, it quickly became clear that the robot was predominantly ‘inked’ on the printed page a metallic blue with large yellow eyes; and I resultantly primed my miniature using some “Vallejo” Gunmetal Blue.
Torquemada WIPs - The Grand Master has had all his armour's tiny details 'picked out'
The figure was then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Gunmetal Blue. This ultimately was a bit of a time-consuming process, as the acrylic paint tends to turn noticeably silver in colour as it wears thin on the brush, so I had to keep stopping to recharge my “Windsor and Newton” and dab the white synthetic bristles dry.

Once finished, I turned my attention to carefully ‘picking’ out the droid’s two eyes with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and shaded them with some watered-down “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade. As a final touch, I dotted both orbs with Abaddon Black, and then highlighted around these areas with “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand in order to try and draw the casual observer’s eye towards Hoagy’s face. The robot assistant’s nameplate was layered using “Citadel” Abaddon Black and then painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.
Gang Fighter Leader WIPs - The Boromite has had all his reflex armour finally base-coated
Sticking with the “2000 A.D.” comic book theme, I have finally found the time to focus upon the final figure I currently have planned for my "Nemesis The Warlock" mini-project. Purchased at “Salute” 2016, I had intended to simply ‘pick out’ Tomás de Torquemada’s sword and leave his resplendent red armour alone. However, the “Wargames Foundry” sculpt is so good, it seemed a pity not to try and ‘pick out’ most of the Grand Master’s various hydraulic attachments.

Lastly, I have returned to my Boromites by “Warlord Games”. I’m admittedly playing catch-up with this particular project, but hope to get my first unit of five Gang Fighters posted up soon, and then get cracking on the second so I can finally begin playing some “Beyond The Gates Of Antares”.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

"Some Days You Just Can't Get Rid Of A Bomb!"

"Hand me down the shark repellent Bat-spray!"
This 35mm metal model of Batman (Adam West) is made by "Knight Models" and comes from the company's "Batman Miniatures Game" range. Taken "directly from the Sixties Television Show", the sculpt depicts the Caped Crusader as portrayed by American actor, Adam West, during Executive Producer William Dozier's colourfully-camp "live action series."

Sold as a three-piece "white metal kit", the figure's instantly recognisable head was pinned into position upon the torso's shoulders, and its legs (which come with the bat-belt sculpted on top of them) were super-glued in place too. Ordinarily, I'd actually pin the upper and lower halves of my multi-part miniatures together, but because the back of the Bright Knight's underparts rested against the underside of his cape, I was confident that there was enough contact between the two components for my Cyanoacrylate adhesive to do its work.
Batman (Adam West) WIPs - The model was primed, washed, dry-brushed and then layered
Having attached the model upon a 30mm lipped circular base, as opposed to the pre-moulded stand which comes with it in the box, I primed batman with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and then liberally washed him with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade. Disconcertingly, I did find that in certain areas this "Games Workshop" Shade somehow 'ate' away at the "Vallejo" paint underneath, and resultantly I had to reapply some more Heavy Blue to these patches of bare metal before giving the entire miniature something of a heavy dry-brush.

With the basics finished, I set about 'picking out' Adam West's grey leotard using "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, and later inked the garment with some "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Frustratingly, despite using a freshly opened bottle of the Shade, the wash somewhat 'glooped' everywhere rather than simply run into the sculpt's nooks and crevices, so I subsequently had to try and desperately dry-brush the tights with more "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey in order to lighten the costume's colour and lessen the 'blotchiness'... 

I painted the Caped Crusader's famous utility belt with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Gold; subsequently shading these areas with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade and Agrax Earthshade. The figure's bat symbol was patiently painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and some watered down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade, before being highlighted around the symbol's edges with more "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre.
Batman (Adam West) WIPs - The model's tights, utility belt and face were then washed and highlighted
To begin with I'm only planning on creating a couple of 150 Reputation point-sized crews for the "Batman Miniatures Games", and this particular version of Bruce Wayne will be my Batman affiliate team's Leader. To be honest I'm not particularly familiar with this rule-set currently, but was immediately won over by this sculpt's wonderfully characteristic sculpt and the model's abilities of "KaPow!!!" and "Shark Repellant Bat-Spray"; a ranged template weapon which may be used twice during the game and causes its intended target to lose 1 Action Counter if successfully affected.

Fortunately, I have additionally managed to lay my hands on the "Knight Models" Commissioner Gordon and SWAT Team blister. Due to Batman (Adam West) costing 75 Reputation points alone, this four miniature set would either allow me to pair the Bright Knight up with James W. Gordon (Sidekick) to create my own version of the 'dynamic duo', or field a couple of law enforcement henchmen alongside the Caped Crusader instead...

For those interested in the "Batman Miniatures Game" I'd highly recommend PulpCitizen's "Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer" website and Simon Quinton's "Brummie's Wargaming Blog". Both of these bloggers predominantly post about their painted crews and latest tournament accomplishments, plus provide plenty of useful tips and advice as to how to make best use of the many models currently available.

Sunday 25 June 2017

"The Perimeter Isss Clear!"

"It ssseemsss ssssomething has been inssscribed."
This 28mm scale plastic "Wizkids" model of Manphibian was kit-bashed predominantly using the scaly green extra-terrestrial's miniature from their "Heroclix" Amazing Spider-Man range. However, because the pre-painted figure has no feet (on account of the original sculpt depicting "the creature from the deep" stalking through the waters of a lake), I additionally super-glued some boots, grenades and pouches belonging to a "Games Workshop" Cadian soldier onto the miniature.

Created by Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella, Dave Cockrum and Sam Grainger, the alien first made his comic book appearance in the September 1975 issue of "Legion of Monsters" by "Marvel Comics", and would develop from being a simple monster seemingly seeking revenge upon the murderer of his mate, into a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities (S.T.A.K.E.) department and one of Dum Dum Dugan's "Howling Commandos".
Gorgon WIPs - The Brass Bull now requires just a final dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass
The miniature was initially primed with “Vallejo” Heavy Grey, and then had its boots and numerous large waist-bags painted using a combination of White and Pale Grey. His automatic rifle was undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, double-layered with Ironbreaker and finally treated to two washes of Nuln Oil.

In order to try and give Manphibian's skin a "shimmer quality" I shaded the entirety of the S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponsmith's scales with both Biel- Tan Green and Agrax Earthshade and subsequently used a little Carroburg Crimson on and around his webbing, and some Druchii Violet in the model's darker recesses. The entire monster was then lightly dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Grey. As a final touch I highlighted the extra-terrestrial's eyes with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.  
Hammerer WIPs - The constructs have been assembled, primed and based
With my latest entry for this month's "Forgotten Heroes" challenge finished, I have spent a little time washing and dry-brushing a Brass Bull by "Reaper Miniatures". This large "Bones" figure will double as both a formidable-looking statue and as a living Gorgon for my forthcoming "Dungeons & Dragons" campaign, and, besides needing it's paved stone-slab base to be painted, simply requires a final dry-brush with "Vallejo" Brass to be tabletop ready. 

In addition, I have assembled, based and primed three metal "Chainmail" Hammerer models. Sculpted by Jim Warner, these large Out Of Production (OOP) constructs will be used as proxy Police Robots for "Metamorphosis Alpha", and may well accompany my small Twig Blight band as extra guards of "the metal doored cave" which is initially encountered by the Grand Duchy of Geoff's adventurers in "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks".

Thursday 22 June 2017

"You Know The Doctor. You Understand Him. You Will Predict His Actions."

"Predict! Predict! Predict!"
These two 28mm scale "easy-fit plastic" models of a Dalek are made by “Warlord Games” and can be found within the company's "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" "fast-paced tabletop miniatures game". Created by Terry Nation and designer Raymond Cusick in 1963, these particular sculpts are based upon the "hostile alien life-forms" revised Time War shell, which appeared in the June 2005 BBC Television series story "The Parting Of Ways".

Having previously painted my force's Patrol Leader, Dalek Sec, as well as several of the 'basic' warrior units which Davros created in order "to fight in the Time War against the Time Lords", I decided to paint these particular miniatures as Imperial Guard Daleks - a Dalek organisation made up of Daleks dedicated to protecting the Emperor Dalek at all costs.
Nemesis the Warlock WIPs - The alien has had his skin washed and dry-brushed, as well as his robe inked
As with my other Kaled Mark III travel machines, the figures were first super-glued onto 40mm lipped circular stands before being undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. I then gave each Dalek a double coat of Brass, liberally washed them with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and gave them a heavy dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass. 

With the basics finished, I subsequently picked out their eye stalks, control arms and multi-range variable power destructors with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, and additionally painted the Daleks' audio scanners with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey. As a final touch, I used some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to coat the pepper pots' fenders and domes.

Despite the recent announcement that "Warlord Games" will be producing models of the Supreme Red Dalek, the Special Weapons Dalek and the Genesis Ark, their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" rule-set doesn't yet contain any specific rules for these specialist models or the Emperor's Personal Guard. But it does contain a Dalek Patrol recruitment card which, whilst only providing two models on the tabletop, also generates a highly valuable Fate Token; an ability, alongside the traits "Override" and "Tank", which I felt was rather appropriate for a pair of Daleks "who were used to protect the Dalek Emperor" in his throne room...
Manphibian WIPs - The S.H.I.E.L.D. operative has had his flesh layered, and washed with green and brown shades
Focusing on a somewhat older mini-project, I have managed to make some excellent progress on my "Indyclix" figure of "Nemesis The Warlock". This plastic "Wizkids" pre-painted "2000 A.D." comic book character had been sat gathering dust in my painting queue until very recently, but is now close to completion.

Lastly, with this month's "Forgotten Heroes" challenge now two-thirds finished, I have 'unleashed' my paintbrush upon a converted "Heroclix" figure of Manphibian, which I actually assembled twelve months ago. The extra-terrestrial’s white boots and pouches have all now been completed, as has the anti-hero's automatic rifle, and I am currently slowly washing his scaly hide with green and brown inks in preparation of some light dry-brushing.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

"No Two Snowflakes Are Exactly Alike."

"Frozen to her core, fragile Crystal became frigid Killer Frost, an ice maiden..."
This 28mm coloured plastic “Wizkids” model of Killer Frost can be bought as miniature number 47 from the DC Comics “Heroclix” Unleashed range. "Formerly... an adversary of the superhero Firestorm", Doctor Crystal Frost's alter-ego was created by Gerry Conway and artist Al Milgrom, and made her first comic book appearance in the June 1978 issue of "Firestorm".

Able "to absorb heat from external sources and transmute it into waves of cold", the miniature was undercoated with “Vallejo” White, washed with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and subsequently dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. I then carefully 'picked out' some of the details of her face, hands and legs with some watered-down "Citadel" Asurmen Blue.
"We broke one of our spears ...trying to make the thing hiss and let us in the cave."
As well as finishing my affiliate of the Secret Society of Super Villains, I have also completed an anachronistic objective marker/piece of scenery for my “Metamorphosis Alpha" project. This resin (spacecraft) deck hatch can be bought from E-bay Store "Second City Games" and comes as part of their impressive Sci-Fi Scenery Airlocks, Cargo Bay Door, Hatchway auction.

Super-glued upon a thin 40mm circular base, the access door was initially primed with "Citadel "Abaddon Black, layered with two coats of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey before being treated to a hearty application of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash.
Dalek WIPs - The Two Imperial Guards and damaged Dalek just need some washes to be applied
In order to help blend this modeller's product in with the rest of the scenic piece, the hatchway was once again dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and then had some of its brighter surfaces toned down with more Extreme Rust Wash; albeit this time the foul-smelling "Mig Productions" solution was applied from a very-well shaken bottle in order to 'water-down' the rust particles on the brush. As a final touch the model's base was flocked using "Citadel" snow, so it would better fit in with the cold wasteland my "Metamorphosis Alpha" campaign will start in.

Finally, I've made some good 'in-roads' on two more plastic Daleks by "Warlord Games", as well as my destroyed Dalek objective marker. Having already painted up six of the extra-terrestrial mutants' "ultimate" Time War casings, I thought I'd try a slightly different colour scheme instead, so I'm painting my latest additions as Imperial Guards.

Sunday 18 June 2017

"The Very Definition Of Corporate Control."

"A terminal virus within the body corporate."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of (the) Ghost can be bought as miniature number 28 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Armour Wars range. The super-villain turned "anti-hero figure" was originally created by David Michelinie and Bob Layton to be "one of Iron Man's foes", and made his first comic book appearance in the June 1987 issue of "Iron Man". An "anti-capitalist saboteur who seeks to destroy various political and economic institutions he views as oppressive", the Ghost wears "a battlesuit of his own design" which "enables him to turn himself and any objects he touches invisible or intangible."

Primed with “Vallejo” White in order to 'cover up' its initial pre-paint, the former IT researcher was washed with Pale Grey and then dry-brushed with more White. His eyes were then 'picked out' with the careful application of some watered-down "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"After ten seconds, the blood pillar will recede and in its place will be the devil..."
In addition to completing my member of Thunderbolts, I have also finished re-working an old "Wizkids" plastic column into a grisly objective marker/piece of scenery. This particular 48mm tall model is from the out of production "Mage Knight" Dungeons Miniatures Game Artifacts Set 1, and could arguably have simply been super-glued to a base and varnished; it's pre-paint was so good. However, I quite fancied dry-brushing its multiple-faced column, and felt if I was going to do that, then it only seemed reasonable to start from scratch...

As a result, I undercoated the entire figure with "Citadel" Chaos Black, applied a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Red to the gory pillar, and washed this area with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Once dry, the column was highlighted with more "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and I completed the '3D dungeon accessory' by painting its stone base and capital with a combination of Dark Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Brass Bull WIPs - The "Menaian Bull" has been primed and layered
Finally, I have started preparing a number of "Reaper Miniatures" I plan to use for my forthcoming "Metamorphosis Alpha" and "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" campaigns. The models are all from the company's various "Bones" ranges, and whilst I'm not admittedly a fan of the "unpainted polymer" they're cast in, I really don't think you can quibble about their price; especially for some of their larger monsters.

This Brass Bull is a good case in point, and measures an impressive 90mm from tail-tip to horn-point. Admittedly, I'm not quite sure how I'll utilise quite such a formidable-looking adversary when Level One of Gary Gygax's "Dungeons & Dragons" module consists of just the Officials, Officers and Technicians Quarters. But I'm pretty sure I'll come up with some reason as to why the adventurers encounter a "Menaian Bull" amongst the crashed spaceship's maze of corridors, compartments and automatons. 

Thursday 15 June 2017

"He's Not Your Typical Werewolf."

"A werewolf? How effective is that? Full Moon's what, twice a month?"
This 28mm scale plastic model of the “Marvel Worldwide” character Warwolf was kit-bashed together using the top half of a "Mage Knight" Feral Werewolf, a "Games Workshop" powerfist and the legs of a "Heroclix" S.H.I.E.L.D. Trooper. The conversion piece initially looked rather top-heavy, so after pinning the lycanthrope’s torso to his legs, I used some grey-stuff to make the waist fill out a little more smoothly. In addition, I 'bulked up' the area by cutting off the figure's original waist pouch and replaced it with a number of larger bags and grenades, courtesy of a "Warhammer 40K" Cadian Trooper sprue.

I actually began building this ‘Forgotten Hero’ for last year’s challenge, as I wanted to ‘convert’ a number of "Wizkids" figures into some of the lesser known members of the "Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D."; a sadly short-lived comic book series which depicted the escapades of a top secret division of operatives who "defend the world against super human threats too dangerous for normal men." Created by Richard Buckler in 2005, Martin Reyna is the leader of Area Thirteen's S.T.A.K.E. team, and received the codename Warwolf due to the Gene Package embedded on his right mechanical arm which can be used to transform him into a werewolf.
Deck Hatch WIPs - This doorway will eventually lead to the 300 year-old starship Warden
The miniature was initially primed “Vallejo” White, with its furry torso and head receiving a coat of Heavy Sienna. I then began tidying up and highlighting all the figure’s pouches, as well as his boots and belt with Pale Grey. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent’s distinctive blue uniform was painted using a combination of Heavy Blue and “Citadel” Drakenhof Nightshade (with some Asurmen Blue too).

I tackled Reyna’s fur by washing it with “The Army Painter” Heavy Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushing it with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. Ordinarily, I’m perfectly satisfied with this finish, but on this occasion thought a light highlight of Heavy Brown over the werewolf’s head and claws would help bring out the figure’s finer detail in these areas.
Killer Frost WIPs - A nice straightforward case of white undercoat, blue wash and white dry-brush
Disconcertingly, I then faced a similar dilemma with Warwolf’s jagged teeth and mouth. The anti-hero’s open jaws are full of teeth, tongue and slobbering lips, as well as a roof which has lots of delicate tissue ridges sculpted upon it. However, I felt that if I painted the inside of the palate red, then that would clash with Martin’s lolling tongue and simply make the entire snout look far too busy. As a result I simply ‘brushed’ all the fangs with “Vallejo” White and a dab of “The Army Painter” Heavy Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst ‘picking out’ his tongue with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson.

With this week’s submission to “Forgotten Heroes” completed I have managed to spend a little time working on a simple objective marker I plan to use for my opening game of James M. Ward’s “Metamorphosis Alpha”. This rusty resin (spacecraft) deck hatch is by “Second City Games”, and once finished will be flocked with snow ready for my unsuspecting winter-clothed "Dungeons And Dragons" party to negotiate and unlock…
The Zygons attempt to stop the Daleks from activating a stellar converter and destroying the Earth
Finally, as something of a straightforward distraction, I have primed, washed and dry-brushed a rather simplistic-looking sculpt of the "DC Comics" super-villain, Killer Frost. Destined to be given a snow-flocked base, this pre-coloured plastic "Wizkids" miniature of Doctor Crystal Frost will ultimately be used as the perfect "foil for Firestorm", once I've actually gotten round to painting up a "Heroclix" miniature of the Nuclear Man himself. 

Tuesday 13 June 2017

A Twig Blight Is An Awakened Plant..."

"Its branches twist together to form a humanoid-looking body with a head and limbs."
These three 22mm tall metal models of some Twig Blights were produced by “Wizards Of The Coast” as part of their “Dungeons & Dragons” range and, before they went ‘out of production’, could be bought as Code WOC40049. Described as “a small, evil plant creature that looks like a woody shrub when rooted in soil” the diminutive monster with “a thirst for blood” first appeared in the Third Edition of Gary Gygax’s fantasy role-playing game, in the 2000 adventure “The Sunless Citadel”.

Originally undercoated with “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna, the Twig Blights were all subsequently washed with “The Army Painter” Heavy Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna. As a final step, in order to try and bring out even more of their ‘wooden’ detail, all three of the figures were highlighted with Heavy Brown.
"Mage Knight" Column WIPs - The bloody piece of scenery has been primed, washed and dry-brushed"
As I actually plan to use these miniatures to play "Expedition To The Barrier Peaks" using the rule-set "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games", I have been busily pouring over the Plant Physical Mutation Table for some suitable traits. In "Dungeons & Dragons" the tiny tree-like creatures are armed with a poisonous piercing attack so in addition to having Short movement, the Forester, Dim-Witted and Photosynthesis characteristics, as well as being "immune to poison and unaffected by drugs" themselves, the small plants will also potentially inflict a poisonous wound upon an opponent "every time" they win "a Combat roll."

Sticking with "Dungeons & Dragons" I have also based and started re-painting some fantasy-themed objective markers. This column comes from the "Mage Knight" Dungeons Artifacts Set 1, and possesses "unique powers you can use in your game to create new and exciting adventures." It's actually been sat in my painting queue for a couple of years now, but I've finally found the hobby-time necessary with which to prime, wash and dry-brush it.
Hoagy WIPs - Sam Slade's assistant has been primed, washed, dry-brushed and had his eyes 'picked out'
In addition, I've found myself becoming increasingly drawn to the world of the British comic book "2000 A.D." and the miniatures I own that are based upon its characters. I actually bought this "Wargames Foundry" model of Hoagy at "Salute" 2016, and, despite undercoating it, soon 'packed' the badly over-sized metal figure away in a drawer with a load of other long-forgotten purchases.

Initially I had thought about using the robot as one of the worker automatons my adventurers would initially face upon entering the crashed spacecraft in "Expedition To The Barrier Peaks". But soon set such a notion aside due to Sam Slade's "idiot understudy" being too recognisable and woefully out of scale with all the 'officially licensed' "Dungeons & Dragons" miniatures I wanted to use.

This change of plan hasn't however, made me rethink painting Hoagy up, and having re-primed him, on account of the original undercoat peeling away from the figure over time, I am now in the position where the robot simply needs his eyes and chest plate to be 'picked out' before being finished. Hmmm... Perhaps I should paint up my accompanying miniature of Robo-Hunter and have the pair of them travel the the ravaged "mid-25th century" landscape of "Gamma World"..?  
The "Warlord Games" website - Featuring someone's "Awesome battle report..."
Recently I have had a little trouble with a couple of the plastic Daleks produced by "Warlord Games" for the excellent miniatures game "Doctor Who: Exterminate!". Ordinarily, I would have chalked such assembly issues down to bad luck, but on this occasion I followed the sage advice of Hils (of "The Game Cupboard" fame) and contacted the company's customer services department.

The result is that I now own a nice new sprue of Daleks, and, having been put in contact with the brains behind their promotion for the Doctor Who Miniatures Game, have even had my recent "Doctor Who: Exterminate! Battle Report: The Daleks Verses The Cybermen" featured on the "Warlord Games" website as a tweet. I genuinely don't think you can beat that for service and free publicity...

Sunday 11 June 2017

Doctor Who: Exterminate! Report: The Daleks Verses The Cybermen - Part Two

"The story so far... A space freighter has crashed on an alien world, scattering its cargo throughout the vessel's hold. The cargo consists of rare crystals imbued with Vortex Energy, enabling their possessors to bend the very power of the Time Vortex to their own ends. The Daleks need the crystals to perfect their ultimate temporal weapon. The Cybermen want them to advance their experiments in time travel."

With the initial clash of the two mighty extra-terrestrial forces finished, both factions took stock of their position and set about recovering "Shocked" miniatures, rolling "to remove Under Fire tokens", and replenish their Battle cards. One Upkeep Phase rule we didn't implement was to refresh our Adventure cards as we simply wanted to stick with just the 'game changers' we'd originally been dealt at the start of the scenario.

Seizing the Initiative, the Cyber-Leader ordered all four of the Cybermen in the south to move within 6" of the Daleks facing them, and thereby put them within proper range of their Cyberguns. In addition, the silver giants also captured Vortex Node (6) and received five Victory points for their efforts.

Meanwhile the Cybermats scuttled back northeast behind the foundation of the Vats, and watched as the Cybermen to their north began spreading out west towards their gold-coloured foes. One Cyberman moved from the south end of the Toxic Waste barrels to the northeastern edge of the Vats. Whilst the Cyberman "Under Fire" boldy marched west straight towards the approaching three northern Daleks and Vortex Node (1). Another Cyberman acquired Vortex Node (4), collected three Victory Points and the possibility of firing (out of sequence) using the objective's "Temporal Anomalies". 
Believing this rare opportunity could 'break the battle wide open' the Cyber-force played a Battle card which allowed them to "double" all their hits "scored during a combat action." But then rolled all misses. As a result the faction played one of its Fate Tokens to allow them to "Reroll any or all dice after they have been rolled to resolve an action." This resulted in four hits, which despite its armour, left the Dalek target "Shocked". The final Cyberman to the north, who had been stood by the end of the crates, advanced west and captured Vortex Node (1) for a single Victory Point. The Cybermen were suddenly starting to dominate proceedings, and their Cyber-Leader gave an 'impassioned' "excellent."

Realising that the majority of his opponents were now within 'easy' range of his Daleks' Disruptors, and that by ordering his units to remain stationary they would all be able to fire their weapons at "Full Blast" [Range: 6" & Attack Dice: 8], Dalek Sec commanded his faction to stay where they were. True, it meant that the Kaled Mark III Travel Machines would have to survive a barrage of Cyberguns, but the silver giants' weapons were inferior and the Dalek's armour superior. The Patrol Leader did however, order a "Rapid Response" which allowed him "to automatically remove all Under Fire tokens from your faction."
In the south the Cyber-Forces opened fire, and quickly forced Davros' creations to start expending both any Battle cards which could be used "as if it were a Fate Token", as well as the real things, in order to save themselves from being repeatedly "Shocked". In the end however, the Cybermen's firepower was simply overwhelming, and two of the Dalek units were "Exterminated!" Incredibly, Dalek Sec himself almost joined the burnt out hulks when the Cyber-Leader managed to cause three hits upon the black-coloured Kaled. But fortunately, the Patrol Leader somehow successfully rolled three armour saves and simply received an "Under Fire" token instead. 

To the north, the Cybermen were equally as successful with their shooting, as two Daleks were also "Exterminated!" by a pair of the silver giants. Whilst the others, 'invigorated' by their faction's evident success, chose to stride towards their remaining foe and engage them in hand-to-plunger close combat, rather than fire their Cyberguns at them.

Similarly favouring an assault, the two Cybermat Swarms raced west back round the Vats towards Dalek Sec, threatening to tear the Patrol Leader to shreds with their sharp tiny metallic teeth. Unfortunately, the "leader of the Cult of Skaro" channelled his entire Disruptor's "Full Blast" into one of the swarms, and five hits later had "Exterminated!" them. The other remaining Dalek in the south, also directed his attention to the Cybermats, but only succeeded in blowing the 'small metal rodents' onto their backs by 'Shocking' them. Still the "energy thieves" threat had momentarily been abated.
Sadly the lone northern Dalek desperately trying to hold off half the Cyber-Force single-handedly, wasn't able to replicate this success against his opponents, despite initially rolling eight hits upon his silver-coloured target. Amazingly, the Cyberman was only "Shocked" even though the Dalek wisely used his Faction's second Fate Token to re-roll his attack's final result in order to try and at least reduce his opposition by one...

It was clear that if Dalek Sec was going to salvage anything from this skirmish, his faction would have to win back the Initiative. This was not the case though, as, having recovered any "Shocked" miniatures, rolled "to remove Under Fire tokens" and replenished both sides' Battle cards, the Cyber-Leader was once again 'in charge' of the action and immediately ordered all of his Cybermen to move west and engage their fast-diminishing foes. Only the remaining Cybermat swarm was unable to obey this command, on account of them having two "Under Fire" tokens.
Calculating that his faction would probably not survive a close assault at the hands of the Cybermen, the Dalek's Patrol Leader ordered his last two units to withdraw 6" west out of harm's way. The Dalek Battle Computer did not give Dalek Sec much hope that his dwindling force would survive even this tactic, and was quickly proved correct when the Cyber-Forces opened up with another salvo of Cybergun energy blasts.

The Cybermen in the south fired at the back-peddling Dalek before them. The Kaled Mark III Travel Machine's armour managed to save the first shot's two hits, but then needed to expend a Battle card which allowed the Daleks to cancel "all hits scored... during a combat action" when it was struck four times by a subsequent attack. Despite not being destroyed though, the Dalek was suffering from two "Under Fire!" tokens and therefore would not be able to return fire.

Likewise, Dalek Sec was caught by a successful Cyber-blast, and after the appropriate Battle cards were all played, found himself "Shocked" and "Under Fire!". The Cyber-Leader understandably 'went in for the kill' and using "Additional Sensory Input" to "ignore" the fact that his target's range "would make that shot inaccurate" fired at the prone Dalek. Incredibly though, the Patrol Leader survived the attack.
Finally, the lone Dalek in the north was struck by a Cyber-gun energy beam, and looked destined to die as a result of three hits. Desperate to try and keep the Dalek 'in play' the faction utilised a Battle card which caused the Cyberman to "re-roll any or all of the dice". But it wasn't enough, and the single surviving hit became an "Exterminate!". The battle was over, with the Daleks having only two remaining models alive, and the Cybermen, through a combination of Vortex Nodes and kills, having a total of fifteen Victory Points. Perhaps the Daleks don't always "conquer and destroy" after all..?

Thursday 8 June 2017

"Mu-Scan Follows By Encoded Psignal."

"Retrieval now indicates a 98% co-incidence with forty-seven previous raids in the Aphis Sector (102)."
This 28mm metal model of a Necron Raider was sold by "Games Workshop" as Necron Warrior 5 (Code 9947011000205) and mercilessly 'chopped up' by Dave Stone of "Wargames Terrain Workshop" fame, so as to provide some of his other figures with cybernetic limbs. Fortunately, its remains have since been very kindly gifted to me, and resultantly become the second of three Necron-themed objective markers I plan to accompany my 'Oldhammer 40K' Necron Kill Team.

Having initially been super-glued to a thin 40mm base, and dramatically posed with the aid of some "Gale Force Nine" Grey Stuff, the supposedly long-deceased robot was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently layered with Ironbreaker. The skeletal automaton was then washed with Nuln Oil, roughly dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, liberally treated to a coating of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash, and finally given a second dry-brush of Ironbreaker.
"Dungeons & Dragons" WIPs - A Half-Elf Sorcerer, a Gnome Infiltrator and a Lizardman Warrior
A similar technique was applied to the Necron's Gauss Flayer using "Citadel" Abaddon Black and "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash. Although the weapon's tip was actually painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. Lastly, so as to imbue the defunct "spine-chilling" machine with an Egyptian aura, the raider's collar was 'picked out' using "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, Vallejo "Heavy Blue" and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade", as well as "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

In addition to my Necron objective/spawn marker I have also begun painting three of the five adventurers I plan to use for my "Expedition To The Barrier Peaks" campaign. These wonderfully animated, yet sadly 'Out Of Production' "Dungeons & Dragons" miniatures were made by "Wizards Of The Coast", and predominantly come from the company's discontinued "Chainmail" range.
Nemesis The Warlock WIPs - The "2000 A.D." comic book character is slowly being progressed
As I plan to actually use "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games" to play this old "D&D" module with, rather than the fantasy tabletop role-playing game by Gary Gygax, I thought a broad range of heroes and races would really help test out many of the rule-set's numerous traits, abilities and weapons. As a result I am currently painting a Gnome Infiltrator (with repeating crossbow), a Half-Elf Sorcerer, and a Lizardman Warrior...

Finally, having recently finished both Torquemada and some Terminators, I have started work on their "fire-breathing demonic alien" opponent, "Nemesis The Warlock". This plastic "Wizkids" pre-painted miniature has been sat gathering dust in my painting queue for a couple of months now, but having spent a little time on the "2000 A.D." comic book character, I am already halfway through painting all of his battle armour.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

"You're All Puppets, Tangled in Strings."

"There are no strings on me."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of Ultron-14 can be bought as miniature number 30 from the Marvel “Heroclix” Age Of Ultron range. The robot is "most recognised as a nemesis of the Avengers" and was the first "Marvel Comics" character to wield the fictitious metal alloy adamantium. He made his first appearance in the July 1968 issue of "The Avengers" and was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

Version 14 was responsible for the creation of Alkhema, the War Toy, "whose mind was based on that of Mockingbird." But was ultimately defeated by the "West Coast Avengers" when his 'automaton mate' eventually rebelled against him" despite her sharing his twisted desire to replace humanity with machine life. 
Warwolf WIPs - The converted plastic model has now had all of its shredded clothing painted and washed
Initially primed with “Citadel” Ironbreaker in order to mask its rather flat-looking pre-paint, Ultron-14 was washed with Nuln Oil and then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker. His mechanical maw was 'picked out' with Abaddon Black, and his fiery eyes painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

Sticking with "Marvel Worldwide" influenced figures, I have focused much of the past few days' hobby-time upon a conversion I've previously 'engineered' using pieces taken from a "Mage Knight" Feral Werewolf, a "Games Workshop" Space Marine, and a "Heroclix" S.H.I.E.L.D. Trooper. This miniature of the cyber-werewolf Martin Reyna was originally one of my planned submissions for last year's "Forgotten Heroes" challenge, and even comes complete with a grey stuff sculpted utility belt, with accompanying plastic grenades and pouches.
Twig Blight WIPs - The tiny models have all been primed, washed and doubly dry-brushed
Unfortunately, I never got to finish the former team leader of S.T.A.K.E. before the event was over, so this year I am determined to get Warwolf done. As a result I have already completed the model’s S.H.I.E.L.D. belt pouches and shoulder-guard, as well as painted/washed the anti-heroes' torn blue uniform. Now all I need do is wash his furry torso, apply some brown dry-brushes and pick out the figure's sharp fangs...

Finally, I have started working on three Twig Blights for my "Expedition To The Barrier Peaks" campaign. These tiny OOP "Dungeons & Dragons" models by "Wizards Of The Coast" have spent an eternity sat within my collection, but seem to be just the sort of "neutral evil" plant monster that would accompany a party of Vegepygmies in protecting a crashed spaceships's long overgrown entrance-way.

Sunday 4 June 2017

Doctor Who: Exterminate! Report: The Daleks Verses The Cybermen

This game was played using the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" rules by “Warlord Games” and, in essence, followed the parameters established for the "Guide To The Time Vortex" skirmish scenario "A Meeting Of Metal". However, in order to allow both sides to slowly get to grips with Fate Tokens, Battle Cards and Adventure Cards, as well as their factions' unique Special Traits, a couple of minor 'House Rules' were followed. Lastly, a few last minute 'tweaks' regarding General Deployment and Winning The Game' were necessary so the battle could be accommodated upon a 2' x 2' gaming mat instead of the recommended 3' x 3' table...

"The story so far... A space freighter has crashed on an alien world, scattering its cargo throughout the vessel's hold. The cargo consists of rare crystals imbued with Vortex Energy, enabling their possessors to bend the very power of the Time Vortex to their own ends. The Daleks need the crystals to perfect their ultimate temporal weapon. The Cybermen want them to advance their experiments in time travel."
As both sides were permitted three Recruitment cards each, the Dalek Faction started with a Patrol Leader (Dalek Sec), and two Dalek Patrols; both of which generated three Daleks each. In addition, the Patrol Leader, a special character, also created two Fate tokens to be added to his faction's Fate Pool. Finally, the Dalek's received five Battle cards in order to "reinforce hits and defences during combat actions" and five Adventure cards "to use during their game." These were randomly dealt from the fifteen generic Adventure cards found within the boxed set. This provided the Daleks with "Combat Senses", "Lucky Hit", Medi-Kit", "Rapid Response" and "Finish Them!"

The Cybermen began with a Cyber-Leader, and two Cybermen Recruitment cards, which provided four Cybermen apiece. The Cybermen were also allowed to field a Cybermat Swarm because when used as a "Leader's Retinue" for a Cyber-Leader, this Recruitment card "does not count towards the faction's limit". This "Swarm" is "made of two bases with three Cybermat miniatures on each. Each base counts as one character and uses the attribute stat line and special traits as normal." The Cyber-Leader also generated two Fate tokens for his faction's Fate Pool. As with the Daleks, the Cybermen received five Battle cards, and five Adventure cards. These latter cards consisted of "Regenerate!", "Shield Of Steel", "Additional Sensory Input", "To Arms!" and "Spatial Distortion."
Having deployed on opposing table edges, and placed six Vortex Node markers on the battlefield, the Cybermen immediately played their Adventure Card "Spatial Distortion", which when discarded "just after deployment", allowed them to "move any two Vortex Nodes up to 4" from their original position." As a result, Vortex Nodes (1) and (3) suddenly tumbled east towards the Cyber-Leader's line. This was "most satisfactory"...

With the game already seemingly shifting out of their favour, the winner being the faction with fifteen or more Victory Points at the end of a Turn, Dalek Sec's battle computer gloatingly informed him that the Daleks had won the initiative, and he immediately ordered his southernmost Daleks forward towards Vortex Node (3). The golden Kaled's Mark III travel machines glided 6" towards their immediate goal, forming an orderly line as they passed a row of barrels. To Dalek Sec's north, his other squad of Daleks fanned out into a formidable-looking wall of death and trundled towards Vortex Node (1). Pleased with his faction's deployment, Dalek Sec himself reached Vortex Node (2), and discovered that the "great resource" would not only provide the Daleks with three Victory Points, but as it was a Spatial Disruption, it would also allow him to "immediately move a distance equal to its Movement value." As a result the Patrol Leader slid up to the south end of the Vats in order to give the Daleks in that area some covering fire.
Sensing that there might be quite the battle for Vortex Node (3), the Cyber-Leader emotionlessly ordered his accompanying Cyber-Mats to scuttle west 6" towards the objective and hold off Dalek Sec's faction until his Cybermen could arrive. In addition, he waved the four Cybermen to his south forwards and watched as they stomped 4" west. To the north, four more silver giants also clomped west, this time filtering around the Toxic Waste towards Vortex Node (4). 

As their humanoid-shaped opponents were now in view, the Daleks in the north opened fire with their Combat Blasts [Range: 6" & Attack Dice: 4]. Unfortunately though, all of their targets were out of their weapons' "effective range", so resultantly, the Daleks' shooting action was "considered inaccurate" and suffered a -1 Attack Dice penalty. This meant that none of their Combat Blasts managed to overcome the Cybermen's defences [Armour: 3 Dice], but did succeed in allocating two Under Fire tokens onto one of the silver giants; meaning that the Cyberman could "neither Move nor Shoot during its activation."
Fizzing with the indignation of his Daleks' impotent attack to his north, Dalek Sec decided to take matters into his own tentacles, and fired upon one of the Cybermen approaching Vortex Node (6). Like his compatriots, the Patrol Leader's Combat Blast was outside of "effective range", but he was a better shot [+1 Shooting Dice]. Three of his attacks therefore penetrated one of the Cybermen, who despite having used a Battle card to fend one off, was still "Shocked" and crashed to the ground in a helpless state. With their opposition a little lightened, albeit temporarily, the Daleks in the south sacrificed their opportunity to fire, and instead made " a second movement action during the Shooting sub-phase." In doing so, one of the Kaled's Mark III travel machines captured Vortex Node (3) and discovered that the black-coloured resource objective was worth a single Victory Point.

Believing that his Cyber-Force had to stamp their authority on this battle before all was lost, the Cyber-Leader motioned for the silver giants to his south to return fire and utilised a Battle card which doubled all their "hits scored during a combat action". Targeting their Cybergun [Range: 6" & Attack Dice: 4], and relying upon their weapon's special "Energy" trait ("a weapon... with this trait [also] counts Surges as hits when Shooting), one of the Cyberman managed to 'Shock' one an incoming Daleks. But before his comrades could push home their advantage and destroy the downed 'pepper pot', the 'merciless killer' employed the Adventure card "Medi-Kit" to "immediately recover any Shocked character within 2" of a selected fully operative character."
To the north, instead of firing, the Cybermen who were able to move, fanned out around the Toxic Waste, with one actually travelling south to the very end of the yellow-coloured barrels. Nearby, the two Cybermat swarms rushed southwest towards the Dalek "Under Fire", staying out of its 2" "contact and engage in close combat" range, but well within their own engagement range of 6"; owing to their "Hunter" trait which allows "a miniature... [to] make an engagement movement of up to its Movement instead of the usual 2".

Nodding in emotionless satisfaction, the Cyber-Leader moved to take Vortex Node (5) and obtained a single Victory Point. However, he was also able to take advantage of a Temporal Anomaly, and "immediately resolve a free Shooting action". Aiming his Cybergun across the Vats' foundation at Dalek Sec, the Cyber-Leader realised his shot would be outside his weapon's "effective range". But subsequently took some 'comfort' in his computer brain's calculations that because his target had the "Tank" trait it was "so bulky or cumbersome that it cannot claim cover when being shot at." Utilising one of his faction's Battle cards to award him an automatic hit, the Cyber-Leader struck the Dalek thrice. But incredibly, thanks to playing an Armour Battle card, the Patrol Dalek was ultimately able to avoid any injury whatsoever from so fortuitous an attack.
Finally, the Cybermats scurried over towards their intended prey, the southern Dalek who was "Under Fire". It was going to be a contest between sharp metallic teeth and manipulator arm. The swarm had three Attack dice (including a +1 "Engaging modifier" and +1 "Multiple combat" for "each miniature after the first that is attacking the same target") compared to the Dalek's two Attack dice. Remarkably, the tiny robotic rodents were unable to gain an advantage over the plunger of the Kaled Mark III travel machine, and the fight was a draw. As a result the Cybermat swarms were "pushed back one inch" and beeped angrily...

Dum Da Dum, Diddly Dum, Oo-ee-oos…