Tuesday, 31 October 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Napoleonics" Mo'Vember 2017

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing horde of metal, plastic and resin models has been directly influenced by my desire to dedicate part of my hobby time towards miniatures of a 'beardy' nature (in celebration of Mo'Vember), as well as my recent acquisition of Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" and sudden desire to play some Napoleonics. Indeed, my yearning to fill a tabletop with some splendidly coloured 28mm forces from 1803-1815 has led to my purchasing an old hardback copy of "Grand Battery" by Jonathan Sutherland & Diane Canwell and "Song Of Drum And Shakos" by "Gamesha Games".

Fortunately, I am not about to embark upon such a time-consuming adventure completely from scratch, having actually tried to paint some "Victrix" French six years ago for a 'Battle of Marengo' project. That naive undertaking was perhaps always destined to fail, but it did cause me to purchase a considerable number of plastic Napoleonic infantry and cavalry, as well as actually paint sixteen Frenchmen up; albeit I don't seem to have applied any flags to their command stand... 
"Victrix" Napoleonic French WIPs - All of the soldiers' trousers have been painted
As I plan on getting to grips with the rule-set's basics by simply deploying just eight musket-armed infantry units (8 @ 4 SP each = 32 SP; Rated Average), and a Commander (1 @ 6 SP each = 6 SP), this means I already own almost half of the foot-soldiers needed for my first foray into "The Portable Wargame". Of course though, that still means I need to paint another twenty of Napoleon's finest, 'picking out' all their straps, cuffs, water bottles and stowage... and I haven't even mentioned their similarly sized Austrian opposition yet.

Realistically therefore, considering all the other painting projects and models I want to pigment over the next few months, I've decided to set a relatively low-bar of completing just four figures per month, and hope that before my enthusiasm for the project wanes too much I manage to finish enough soldiers off to at least start a few straightforward skirmishes; something which as a rule ordinarily helps reinvigorate my mojo. In addition, once I've completed these initial four Frenchmen I plan to start work on a few of their "oldest and, next to the English, the most persistent" of their "foemen", the white-coated Austrians.
Ronnie Salvage WIPs - The dwarf has had his boots and leg tassels 'picked out'
Sticking with 'beardy' miniatures for Mo'Vember, I have also been slapping a lick of paint onto one of my favourite miniatures from "Rumbleslam" by "TTCombat". Arguably, "the showiest, flashiest and most charismatic dwarf you are ever going to see! Ronnie Salvage is one of the superstars" of the Cornwall-based company's fantasy wrestling rule-set and has clearly been inspired by the late Macho Man Randy Savage.

As a huge fan of the old "World Wrestling Federation", and Randy Mario Poffo in particular, I have been picking up a number of this "fast paced high action" tabletop game's plastic figures since I first bought the "Rumbleslam" Starter Box towards the start of the year; the majority of which have clearly been modelled upon old-time professional wrestlers. So don't be at all surprised to see a few crop up over the next few weeks as I look to (re)assemble The Mega-Powers, The Bushwhackers and Legion Of Doom... 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

"The Origin Of The Boromites Goes Back To Ancient Times..."

"...When humans first began to mine and exploit the resources of Antarean space."
These five 28mm metal Gang Fighters are made by "Warlord Games" and can be purchased as the Boromite Gang Fighter boxed set. Arguably detailed to the point of frustration with all the alien miners' lumps, bumps and reflex armour, these armed extra-terrestrials are all the miniatures needed in order for me to field a second Gang Fighter Squad on the tabletop.

Originally primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figures were shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and subsequently had a layer of Chaos Black applied over all their weaponry and hip-flasks. These metallic areas were then treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst those carrying "long-ranged" Mag Guns had their weapons' power lights 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.
"Borom was not a planet but a star surrounded by a rocky asteroid belt..."
I painted all of the Boromites' numerous pouches using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and then turned my attention to their yellow(ish) armour and "separate multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" with some "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The Gang Leader's Lectro Lash was created by applying a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki across the hand-weapon's orb and later washing it with some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

These five miniatures make up the second of the two planned Gang Fighter Squads I will be fielding as part of my Boromite Scouting Force, and costs 112 points in "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" on account of each member being given Plasma Grenades ("at 2 points per model"). "Warlord Games" have recently updated their Boromite Army list to version 2.0. But fortunately, they've also kindly emailed me a free copy as a Portable Document Format (PDF) and having perused it the points haven't changed for the units I have assembled for my army, so it looks like I'm still on track for a 500 point force.
"Heroclix" Lackey WIPs - The 'converted' gunman needs some facial highlighting and his hat shaded
Having patiently persevered with my latest Boromite infantry unit, I've once again turned to my vast collection of pre-painted plastic "Wizkids" models to give me something far more straightforward to paint for a short while. This converted "Heroclix" Lackey still has a little work left on him to do, but should soon form part of the Riddler's ever-expanding crew for my "Mutants & Death Ray Guns" "Gotham" campaign.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

"An Unwelcome Guest."

"As animated corpses, these undead nightmares are slow and shambling, but attack in large numbers..."
This 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighter can be purchased as part of Code OW010 from "Wargames Foundry", and is my sixth and final submission for this year's Zomtober challenge. One of several "dangerous supernatural" creatures who can suddenly take "an interest" in a fight whilst playing "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", this brain-chomping cowboy can also make an appearance "in games where you are using the Innocent Bystander rules" and "instead decide to use Zombies".

Rather reminiscent of a rodeo rider, the miniature was primed with "Vallejo" White and actually quickly washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade purely so I could see all the sculpt's intricate detail. His boots, belt and waistcoat were given a simple coat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, whilst his leather chaparreras were painted using some "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and Gold, and them washed with more Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Feeling no pain and without fear for their own well-being, Hungry Dead are very difficult to kill."
I then 'picked out' the colourful cadaver's trousers and hat using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and treated his neckerchief to a dab of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. The putrefying gunslinger's ammunition, pistol and belt buckle were given a layer of Ironbreaker and later shaded with an old pot of Badab Black.

I created my zombies' usual vivid green look by initially using a base-coat of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and subsequently washing it with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, Carroburg Crimson and a little Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". In addition, I picked out the cowboy's bullet wounds with "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and treated these areas, alongside parts of his tattered white shirt, to a generous wash of more "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Stormcast Eternals WIPs - The bright blue plastic miniatures have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna
Having recently purchased "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" by "Games Workshop" I have previously spent some time assembling and priming Garrek's Reavers for my Khorne Bloodbound warband. Disconcertingly however, as I am currently reading the "Black Library" novel "The Gates of Azyr", billed as "the perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar", I have found myself rather drawn to the plight of the Stormcast Eternals, and resultantly, also now assembled the three Liberator figures for their "action-packed combat [board] game" as well.

Sadly, I don't think being produced in bright blue plastic does the sculpts of Angharad Brightshield, Obryn the Bold and their leader Severin Steelheart any particular favours, especially in their official publicity photographs. But now they have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, in preparation for a layer or two of Gold, I think these are some of the best detailed "Age Of Sigmar" miniatures I've seen; and sadly could very well tempt me to turn towards assembling a larger force for Order in the future... 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Ambushes Isengard

This game was played using the basic rules of “Song Of Blades And Heroes” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the second in a series of adventures involving the second son of Denethor as he attempts to dissuade the Forces of Mordor from invading Osgiliath. The conflict was based upon the Ambush scenario found within the pages of Andrea Sfiligoi's "fast play fantasy skirmish rules", and resultantly, comprised of a unit of ten Uruk-Hai being 'ambushed' by a slightly smaller sized group of Minas Tirith warriors, whilst the orcs were attempting to traverse across a 36" x 27" tabletop populated with some "Battlefield In A Box" Gothic terrain by “Gale Force Nine”.

The Ambush Scenario was also slightly modified from what can be found printed in “Song Of Blades And Heroes” in order to try and create the impression of an impenetrable hulking dark mass of Orcs rushing towards Faramir's men, and the Attackers therefore potentially simply shooting at shadows. As the Defenders, Lurtz's party would still place "markers (of the same size of the models' bases) instead of placing models" and place "two markers per model in his warband." But during play, the Defender would only "reveal whether the marker is real, substituting the marker with a figure, or if just a dummy, removing the marker from play" if "a marker is attacked, or whenever an opponent moves within one Long distance from the marker." A marker would not be revealed "whenever the Defender rolls to activate it" and instead were all assigned with the statistics of Savage Orc Heavy Infantry; Short Move: 75mm Quality 4+ Combat 4.  
“The story so far… At the bidding of Sauron, the Lord of Isengard has sent forth Lurtz and some of his Uruk-Hai to clear out the human defences at Osgiliath. However, before the "great soldier-orcs" can launch a devastating attack upon the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor, Faramir plans to spring a trap and ambush them as they pass between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace..."

Situated in the west, and overshadowed by the ruins of the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace, Lurtz marshalled his force about him. Saruman's "second-in-command" was treated as an Orc Champion, equipped with a hand-weapon and shield. He was awarded the Savage and Hero traits, which meant he could inflict a gruesome kill just by doubling his opponent's score [as opposed to needing to treble it], and would always roll one automatic success, regardless of his Quality.
Due to the Uruk-Hai accompanying him all wearing armour and carrying a sword/shield, they were classed as Orc Heavy Infantry, and were therefore also given the Savage skill. In addition, because of their heavy armour, the nine Uruk-Hai could only move a short distance (75mm) per action.
Faramir's part were initially positioned together as if emerging from the east. The four bowmen were treated as Archers, and therefore given the Shooter (Long - 180mm) skill, whilst the quartet of swordsmen were used as Heavy Infantry, and subsequently reduced to moving just a short distance (75mm) per action. Denethor's second son was made a Leader, and thus increased the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one. In addition, Faramir would force all friendly models to make a Morale roll if he died.
The Forces of Saruman won the Initiative but surprisingly failed to show any indication that they were about to emerge from out of the western shadows. As a result the "Prince of Ithilien" seized the opportunity to steal an advantage over his savage opponents and used his Leadership ability to spur his Warriors of Minas Tirith forwards. This caused two archers to speed northwest past the Buried Monument, and the remaining two bowmen rush towards the Blasted Terrace. Behind them, Faramir and his swordsmen headed west a little more slowly and cautiously.
Incredibly, there was still no real sign of movement from within the western shadows. Such a lack of haste of the part of Lurtz's troops meant that "J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium" had even more time to get his human forces into position, and before long Gondor's two northern archers had the Uruk-Hai just within their weapons' range and let lose some searching arrows. On this occasion the bowmen were too far away to cause any damage, but their shots did reveal the presence of two actual Orcs amidst the shadows.
Despite a few of their number becoming enemy targets, the "fighting Uruk-Hai" remained hidden within the shadows of the Fallen Angel and Hidden Terrace [i.e. they failed their turn's first activation for the third time on the trot despite only rolling two dice]. Luckily for Saruman however, all Faramir could muster was for his northern pair of archers to reveal a third Orc by peppering the western morass with more missiles. Cursing, the younger brother of Boromir turned to reprimand his stalled swordsmen and urge them onwards. The Men of Minas Tirith needed to be much closer to their bowmen if they were going to ward off "the Isengarders" from their bowmen once the ambush was properly sprung.

Finally "the servants of Saruman the Wise" started to move east, with a couple of Uruk-Hai breaking formation and fast approaching Faramir's archers in the north. It seemed clear to the man who would 'eventually succeed his father as the Steward of Gondor' that he needed to take matters into his own hand if his trap was to succeed. With a surge he moved west behind one of the walls of the Crumbling Remnants, and literally dragged one of his accompanying swordsmen with him. Emboldened by their leader's evident bravery Faramir's rearguard slowly followed a little way behind.
To the north, the two Gondorian archers continued to 'sting' the western shadows with arrows, but revealed no more Uruk-Hai. Whilst the Prince of Ithilien's other two bowmen positioned themselves directly south of the Crumbling Remnants and began notching their weapons. The trap had finally been sprung, but after so many delays would it still work...

Monday, 23 October 2017

"Beasts Of Nurgle Sometimes Feel Left Out Of The Fun..."

"...And so bound forth to join in whenever they can."
This 28mm scale "finely detailed resin cast kit" of a Beast of Nurgle is made by “Games Workshop”, comes as seven separate "Finecast" components, and (still) contains no instructions for assembly whatsoever. Luckily, I have already previously built two such 'truly horrendous aberrations' for my Nurgle Host, so was able to use my earlier models as a steer for the "Gale Force Nine" super-glue...

Having put my "embodiment of mindless decay" together and attached it to a 60mm circular plastic base, I primed it with a generous double-helping of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre before drowning it in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The "mottled pallid slug" was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and had both it's claws and tusks painted in Iraqi Sand. These areas were subsequently also washed with Strong Tone Quickshade.
Garrek's Reavers WIPs - The bright red plastic miniatures have been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone
In order to make this particular Beast of Nurgle appear noticeably dissimilar in colour to its predecessors, I added some "Citadel" Druchii Violet and Drakenhof Nightshade to different areas of the creature's hide and tried to create the impression of bruised flesh. However, as I still wanted the "grotesquely misshapen" creature to somewhat tie into the rest of my "Age Of Sigmar" Rotbringers, I later 'picked out' some of its pimples with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade.

With this latest addition to my ever-expanding Tallyband of Nurgle finished, I have dived straight into the newest of "Games Workshop" releases based upon the eight Mortal Realms - "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". An "action-packed combat game" set within the deadly ruins of a city which was once full "of wonder and magic", my desire to quickly assemble and prime Garrek's Reavers has been doubly motivated by the release of these renowned Bloodreavers' rules for "Age Of Sigmar"; a diabolical dual-use bonus if ever I saw one.
Garreck's Reavers WIPs - The bright red plastic bases have been primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black
Disconcertingly however, for a boxed game which boasts its suitability as a 'gateway game for beginners', I actually found a couple of the plastic Khorne miniatures far from "Easy To Build", on account of all their tiny, and oft-times potentially fragile, pieces. Indeed, there were a couple of times when I was either 'snipping' away the components from their sprues, or smoothing them down with a modelling knife/nail file, and felt the vividly red coloured material worryingly flex in my hands; something the sculpts' tiny chains appear particularly prone to do even when carefully handled.

Such issues also definitely made me feel that in difference to "Games Workshop" guidance, glue was an absolute necessity. Albeit, in all fairness the game's "comprehensive, easy to follow construction guide" did make the models' assembly a reasonably straightforward process once the pieces had been identified, separated and cleaned.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

"The Dead Do Not Rest Easy In Dracula's America..."

 "Refugees from back East begin to flood the West in ever-greater numbers in a bid to escape the Terror."
These three 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighters can be purchased as Code OW010 from "Wargames Foundry", and are my latest submission for this year's Zomtober challenge. "Hard To Kill" and "Fearsome", enemy models who wish to fight these models whilst playing "Osprey Games" Weird Wild West rule-set, must first "pass a 1 Die Nerve Test or suffer a -1 Die Modifier on its Fight Tests" even when the brain-chomping cowboys are "Down!"

The first of these gun-toting zeds seems to bear a strikingly strong resemblance to the "folk hero of the American Old West" known as "Wild Bill" Hickok, and was primed with "Vallejo" White. His trousers and boots were subsequently painted using Heavy Green and Heavy Sienna respectively, and both of these areas were then treated to a coat of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I 'picked out' his neckerchief with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and his battered hat with Charred Brown. Again, these areas were later shaded with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Foul and hungry creatures follow in their wake." 
For the one-eyed undead marksman, sporting a fabulously impressive moustache, I pigmented his suit using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and highlighted a couple of wriggling maggots found squirming about his head with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and a dab of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade. I also darkened some "Vallejo" Heavy Blue with a touch of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and carefully highlighted the ghoul's hair with the mix.

The third pistol-carrying cadaver, who disconcertingly is not actually advertised by "Wargames Foundry" as being part of their Zombie Gunfighters blister and resultantly 'bumps' the code's contents up to seven miniatures, had his vest painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade. In addition, this bowler hat was given a coat of "Vallejo" Charred Brown, whilst his shoes and holster were 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna; all these areas were then washed using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Conan WIP - The "Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago" Savage has been primed "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand
I created the vivid green look of all three of the zombies' flesh by initially using a layer of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and subsequently washing it with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, Carroburg Crimson and a little Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". In addition, I picked out some of the bullet wounds and gashes with "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and treated these areas to a generous wash of more "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final 'touch' all the living corpses' firearms and ammunition belts were given a coat of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.

Sticking with "Osprey Games" rules, my "Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago" Nickstarter pledge by "North Star Military Figures" has arrived. Amongst the plastic crewmen, large lizard and snapping turtle I bought, I also received the tabletop game's incredible sculpt of a Savage; a barbarian clearly ready "to tread the jewelled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”

Thursday, 19 October 2017

"Sometimes You Have To Play The Role Of A Fool..."

"...To fool the fool who think they're fooling you."
These two 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” Mime Monsters are both figure number 041 from the New Jersey-based company's “Horrorclix” Nightmares line. However, rather than deploy the pair of 'guardian monsters who rescue victims' for the discontinued "collectable miniatures game" I instead, plan to utilise them as "hand-to-hand specialists" for my Joker gang when playing a Gotham-focused variant of "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games".

Both models were originally undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey in order to 'mask' their pre-paints, and had their boots 'picked out' using a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Their trousers were then simply treated to a layer of Abaddon Black" and I started work carefully following the line of their braces with "Vallejo" Heavy Red. Unfortunately, at this point in the process I encountered a bit of a problem with the softness of one of the Mime Monsters' sculpts, which simply made it impossible in places to trace any sort of detail whatsoever.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Joker accompanied by lackeys destined for Mister Freeze and the Riddler
As a result, I washed the successfully painted suspenders with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and gave the creepy-faced creature's beret a generous dollop of Abaddon Black, and left its counter-part's straps pure Abaddon Black but painted its flat-crowned hat with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. To finish the "Horrorclix" Nightmares off, I washed both of their grey ribbed shirts with Nuln Oil, and 'picked out' their ghoulish faces with "Vallejo" Dead White and a wash of Pale Grey.

Unsurprisingly, my enthusiasm for re-painting "Wizkids" models is currently rather high, and has been 'fanned' by the arrival of some more "Heroclix" models from "Troll And Toad"; a webstore which "offers one of the Largest selections of Yugioh cards, Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering cards, and Collectible Miniatures at Great Prices." This has caused me to take a sharp modelling knife to a couple of figures in order to 'create' a second gunman for the Riddler's crew, as well as base and prime an alternative sculpt of the crowned prince of crime armed with a sub-machine gun and maniacal grin.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The corpse is slowly having his decaying detail 'picked out' and washed
In addition, I have finally returned to five DC Comics "Heroclix" Hypertime lackeys I started to paint as the beginnings of a gang for Mister Freeze eighteen months ago. All of these plastic figures were slightly converted so as to give them winter bobble hats as part of the 'Forgotten Heroes' challenge, and courtesy of my renewed fevered fervour for "Gotham" I have already almost finished the first of them.

Delightfully, I've also found myself 'powering through' my meagre collection of Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". With a little bit of luck I am hoping to post at least three brain-chomping cowboys for this week's Zomtober challenge entry, and provide my recently completed Crusaders of the Order with some shambling, but potentially still deadly with a gun, opposition...

Monday, 16 October 2017

"Security? I Seen Better Security In A Sieve Than Arkham Asylum!"

"You go ahead and try to negotiate... I'm getting to some cover."
This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of Harvey Bullock is miniature number 015 from the "DC Comics" The Joker's Wild “Heroclix” range. Contentiously created as a lieutenant by Archie Goodwin for issue 441 of "Detective Comics" in 1974, the "crooked police detective" didn't really come to prominence until Doug Moench and artist Don Newton introduced him "as a device to resolve the ongoing plot-line with Gotham City's corrupt mayor Hamilton Hill" in the April 1983 edition of "Batman".

The "wise-cracking loudmouth with a Brooklyn accent" was initially primed with a thinned down layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. This was due to the miniature's pre-paint having quite worryingly softened much of the sculpt's detail, and my eagerness not to therefore worsen an already bad situation. Harvey's shoes were then 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna, and, along with both his huge overcoat and fedora, were later heavily shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. 
Boromite Gang Fighter WIPs - The alien is slowly having all his reflex armour 'picked out'
The doughnut -lovin' Detective's trousers, tie and hat-band were simply painted "Citadel" Abaddon Black, whilst his firearm and belt buckle were treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Finally, his dirty, soured shirt was base-coated "Vallejo" White and subsequently stained with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade.

I was actually in two minds about purchasing Bullock's "Wizkids" model on account of all the pictures of poor, thickly-coated pre-paints I'd seen on the 'interweb.' Ultimately however, I decided to buy one as I simply couldn't imagine any series of linked wargames based upon the "Gotham" television show not featuring the overweight, grizzled cop. Disappointingly though, I fear my concerns have somewhat materialised around how little detail I was able to extract from the figure's soft-sculpting; particularly his face and tie...
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - Clutching a large revolver the corpse just needs some washes to be applied
With the latest addition to my "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" campaign completed however, I have found a little more hobby-time with which to continue working on the 500 points worth of Boromites I need to paint in order to deploy a Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". I've actually already managed to get a couple of these metal "Warlord Games" miniatures finished this month, but want to be able to 'field' a second five-figure strong squad of Gang Fighters before I post up (yet) another article on them.

Likewise I've found myself equally as committed to progressing a few more undead cowboys for this month's Zomtober challenge. Sold courtesy of "Wargames Foundry" I'm hoping to get at least one packet of the Newark-based manufacturer's Zombie Gunfighters finished before the competition's deadline expires, and resultantly am ploughing headlong into the second of their magnificently dead seven...

Saturday, 14 October 2017

"Joining The Order Grants Your Posse Access To Various Blessed Weapons..."

"...And ammunition with which to vanquish evil."
This 28mm metal Crusader of the Order from "Dracula's America" can be purchased as part of Code DRAC101 - Twilight Order by "North Star Military Figures", and is the second of my submissions for this year's Zomtober challenge. Blessed with "Nerves of Steel" and awarded "a suit of armour (counting as Boilerplate)", the Crusader of "the New World" was "born to fight a particularly insidious evil: the Vampire."

The model was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Charred Brown and had his shoes 'picked out' using Heavy Sienna. The cowboy was then heavily shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. His 'Holy Land' armour and rifle were given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his Saint George's cross chest emblem was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. lastly, the "Tireless" Crusader's collar was given a 'touch' of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The pistol-toting cadaver now just needs some washes to be applied
Alongside my plans to use this member of "The Twilight Order" for "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", I also hope to employ this particular miniature as the Rancher in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions. The plastic 'frontierswoman' figure in "Swamps Of Death" is frankly a bitterly disappointing, softly-sculpted individual. So as the character is meant to be armed with a hunting rifle, I thought such an obvious-looking force for light as the Crusader figure would make a rather good replacement for the male version of the hero.

With both of my planned Zomtober 'survivor' models finished, I have subsequently turned my attention towards painting up the seven (not six as their website advertises) figures found within Code OW010 - Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". This first cowboy cadaver appears very similar to how I'd imagine "Wild Bill" Hickok would have looked after his murder "while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory by Jack McCall", and even carries a disfiguring face wound similar to that caused during the Wild West legend's fatal shooting.
Sea Devils WIPs - The Third Doctor's famous foes still need quite a bit of work to be finished
With "Warlord Games" recently releasing a tease of one of the new Sea Devil faction Adventure Cards for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop skirmish game, I couldn't help but 'dig out' my final box of the Aquatic Silurians and start painting them. The card, "Sonic Summoning", reads "eerie sonic pulses summon additional Sea Devils to the scene" and when discarded allows the player to "return up to three Exterminated Sea Devil characters to the game."

This 'sneak peek' has also coincided with rules writer Roger Gerrish recently stating that he's "tried to aim for a basic faction size of around nine to ten minis", so I figure that my current six-model strong Sea Devil 'warband' simply won't be enough to tackle the Daleks or Cybermen without some additional reinforcements. Fortunately, the miniatures are proving something of a joy to paint, and I've already made some strong progress on the latest trio.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: The Joker Verses The Riddler - "Battle For Gotham Village" - Part Two

“The story so far… The Joker, the Riddler and Two-Face have decided to try and establish their dominance over Gotham City once and for all, by 'taking over' large areas of Batman's place of residence in an effort to be declared the metropolis' undisputed crime king. Determined to bring this violence to an end however, is Commissioner Jim Gordon, whose G.C.P.D. have begun retaking the streets in the name of justice..."
"Having decided to launch a bold attack upon the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso in Gotham Village, and snatch the territory away from Edward Nigma, the clown prince of crime has come face-to-face with the puzzle-obsessed Riddler and seemingly gunned him down. Despite losing their leader however, Edward Nygma's crew continue to try and hold off the Joker's muscle-bound thugs..."

Galvanised by the apparent demise of his boss, the Riddler's gunman plugged the closest Joker thug with a bullet, and then leaped behind a crate checking his fire-arm. The weapon was unfortunately empty, so he'd need to re-load it with his only extra ammunition clip before he could do much else. The crowbar-armed goon surrounded by Joker thugs approached the nearest one and swung his weapon. The blow momentarily brought one of his opponents to the ground, and encouraged Nygma's third crew-member to dust himself off and also leap into the fray developing on the western edge of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.

Dismayed at the evident 'fight' still left in their opponents despite the 'death' of the Prince of Puzzles, the Joker's men simply re-positioned themselves on the edge of their target's roof-top...
Clutching his crowbar, one of the Riddler's goons aimed a hefty swing at the thug he'd recently felled, and put the unarmed criminal out of his misery with a killing blow. The goon's similarly armed colleague forced another of the Joker's minions back towards the sheer drop separating the two buildings, whilst the Riddler's gunman quickly reloaded his pistol.

Two of the Clown Prince of Crime's musclemen leapt upon the Riddler's goons, and throwing a huge punch, tried to make their superior numbers count. With the sound of a crowbar clipping the side of a head however, the Joker's thugs were soon put right, and another of the unarmed minions was down for the count. Sensing that his forces were about to be overwhelmed by Edward Nygma's more heavily-armed men, the white-faced criminal mastermind and expert chemist ordered for another of his gang to vault over onto the roof-top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.
Fending off the Joker's gang as if they were an invading boarding party attacking their prized galleon, the Riddler's crowbar-armed goons tightened their grips on their hefty weapons once again, and with a heavy blow battered another thug to the ground. Three of the Clown Prince of Crime's minions was now out of action and that meant it would only take the purple and green-attired crew-members to fell a fourth muscle-head to win the day for Edward Nygma.

Having initially appeared on the verge of victory with the 'demise' of the Riddler, the Joker was now facing imminent defeat at the hands of his opponent's obstinate crew. He rushed to the eastern edge of Gotham Village Cathedral's roof and took aim at one of the crowbar-welding goons thwarting his plans for domination. The shot rang out, Nygma's man fell to the floor, but it was only a flesh-wound, and Edward's minion would clearly soon be back on his feet if the Joker let him. With a curse, the Clown Prince of Crime waved for his final henchman, still sheltering behind a sofa, to cross over onto the roof-top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.
Realising he was about to be pummelled by the Joker's thug if he didn't get up on his feet immediately, the Riddler's goon snatched up his crowbar, stood up and whacked his assailant to death before the amazed thug knew what had really hit him. The battle was won for Edward Nygma, and despite still maniacally laughing away to himself, the Clown Prince of Crime stole away into the shadows along with his remaining grim-faced henchman...   

Monday, 9 October 2017

"I Suppose You're Wondering Why I Did It."

"Robots are in the Grand Hall! They're all over" They're killing every judge they find!"
This 48mm tall metal miniature of Nero Narcos is not commercially available, as its actually one of the last models to be produced by "Mongoose Publishing" as part of their laboriously long "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" 2012 kickstarter. Indeed, it has taken the Swindon-based company so long to finally sculpt and dispatch the "2000 A.D." recurring villain, that Mongoose Matt has had to turn to "the forges of Magister Militum" to get the criminal syndicate leader cast rather than use the range's former 'owner' "Warlord Games".

Despite my difficulties in acquiring the armoured robot however, the Frendz Mob boss was rather straightforward to paint, with his "Vallejo" Heavy Violet double undercoat  and subsequent "Citadel"  Nuln Oil shade doing most of the work. The model was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Violet, and then lightly highlighted with "Citadel" Ironbreaker in order to give Nero's body a metallic sheen. These areas were later washed with Druchii Violet to help blend them in with the rest of the figure's purple paint scheme.
Crusader Of The Order WIPs - The armoured cowboy now needs just his cloak to be shaded
The model had his piercing eyes 'picked out' with a little dab of "Vallejo" White, and his formidably-sized hand-weapon painted using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Unfortunately the brains behind 'Operation Doomsday' was also treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Gloss Acrylic Varnish, which left a less than smooth sheen to the figure's overall appearance and soon had me ordering some more of my trusty "Coat d'arms" Gloss Varnish...

With Zomtober 2017 now in full swing, I've been persevering with a second Crusader of the Order by "North Star Military Figures" to use as a Weird Wild West 'zombie survivor'. This particular member of The Twilight Order in "Dracula's America" comes armed with a rifle, and wears some wonderfully archaic medieval body armour. The model just needs his dark brown duster to be washed and should then be ready for both posting and gaming. 
Juddon Enforcer Conversion WIPs - The model has had his right arm replaced
Turning to "Warlord Games" and their excellent "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, I have started work on a not overly-ambitious Judoon conversion. One of the things I always like to do when fielding my forces for "this fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" is make the models generated by one type of recruitment card appear different to those produced by another of the faction's cards.

In the case of the Judoon, the Leader was always going to be the helmet-less sculpt which comes inside the extra-terrestrial mercenaries' boxed set. But what about the basic Judoon and the Judoon Enforcers (who have +1 range)..? Having 'chopped' up another helmet-less Judoon miniature to use as a Fisher King ghost (and plans to similarly create a second one), I've therefore decided to create two Enforcers by simply pinning the helmet-less sculpt's gun arm across one of the helmeted models' chests...

Sunday, 8 October 2017

"Standing As A Shield Between The Darkness And The Ignorant..."

"From Ancient Greece and Imperial Rome to the present day, mankind has always been preyed upon..."
This 28mm metal Crusader of the Order can be purchased as part of Code DRAC101 - Twilight Order by "North Star Military Figures", and is the first of my submissions for this year's Zomtober challenge. Bestowed with "Nerves of Steel, a suit of armour (counting as Boilerplate)" and starting each game with all his "weapons fully loaded with Silver Bullets for free" the New World knight is one of two non-Hired Gun models which can be fielded when using The Twilight Order in the rule-set "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games".  

The figure was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Charred Brown and had his boots 'picked out' using Heavy Sienna. The model was then somewhat drenched in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. His medieval armour and fire-arms were given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his Saint George's cross chest emblem was put in place using a little "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, the collar of the gunfighter's shirt was 'tagged' with a dab of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, and his belt buckle treated to a dollop of Brass and some more "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Boromite Gang Fighter WIPs - The alien is slowly having all his reflex armour 'picked out'
In addition to being lined up for "Dracula's America", I am also planning on using this particular model to represent the Lawman in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions. The plastic 'policeman' figure in "Swamps Of Death" is frankly a very disappointing, softly-sculpted individual. So as he's meant to be armed with both a Peacekeeper Pistol and a Sheriff's Badge, I thought such an obvious-looking force for justice as the Crusader miniature would make a rather good replacement.

With the first of my two Twilight Order models finished, I have managed to find a little hobby-time to continue progressing the 500 points worth of Boromites I need to paint in order to deploy a Scouting Force on a "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" battlefield. In the past these extra-terrestrial miners produced by "Warlord Games" have caused me a lot of frustration, but currently I'm somehow managing to remain patient enough to slowly 'pigment' all the lumps, bumps and reflex armour of another Gang Fighter.
Mime Monsters WIPs - The "Horrorclix" clowns now just need their white-faces and berets to be painted
As a result of my "Gotham" campaign finally getting underway using "Mutant And Death Ray Guns" by "Gamesha Games", I have also started searching through my collection of "Wizkids" plastic models for any sculpts which would make welcome additions to the tabletop skirmishes. One of the crews I would dearly love to add some character to is the Gotham Heights based Joker Gang, which currently lacks any real thematic feel to its muscle-bound members.

Sadly, having scoured my rather embarrassingly extensive collection of "Heroclix" figures, I wasn't able to source any lackeys which quite captured the spirit of the Clown Prince of Crime. Fortunately however, I was able to find quite a few models from my pile of "Horrorclix" miniatures, and have immediately started finishing off a pair of partially-painted Mime Monsters to use as "Hand-To-Hand Specialists". 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: The Joker Verses The Riddler - "Battle For Gotham Village"

This game was played using the basic rules for “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the start of a campaign involving some of Batman's greatest foes as they jostle for control of Gotham City. This particular scenario is a straightforward roof-top confrontation between the Joker and the Riddler, and comprises of two small 150 point parties fighting across a pair of 8"x 8" high-rise buildings made by "Battle Systems".

“The story so far… The Joker, the Riddler and Two-Face have decided to try and establish their dominance over Gotham City once and for all, by 'taking over' large areas of Batman's place of residence in an effort to be declared the metropolis' undisputed crime king. Determined to bring this violence to an end however, is Commissioner Jim Gordon, whose G.C.P.D. have begun retaking the streets in the name of justice..."
"Having already launched a series of successful crime waves from the safety of his secret headquarters in Gotham Heights, the Joker has decided to launch a bold attack upon the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso in Gotham Village, and snatch the territory away from Edward Nigma. Unfortunately for the clown prince of crime though, the puzzle-obsessed Riddler is unwilling to give up part of his province without a fight and has mustered his men in readiness for just such an assault..."
Attacking from the western edge of Gotham Village Cathedral, the Joker hid behind an abandoned fridge unit, whilst his five thugs tried their best to seek shelter amidst the rest of the rooftop's detritus. The Clown Prince of Crime was armed with a Pistol [Medium Range +1 Combat], and some Joker Venom [Frenzy Drug: gives +1 in melee for the duration of the game]. He was also equipped with the Steadfast trait [+1 on Morale rolls]. The Joker's men were all low-cost unarmed minions with no special characteristics whatsoever. 

On top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso, the Riddler was also hidden behind a dilapidated freezer unit, whilst his three-man crew crouched beside an old sofa. Edward was armed with his trademark bladed question mark walking cane [Powered Weapon: +2 in melee] and an explosive 'surprise' box [Fragmentation Grenade: A C4 kinetic attack]. He was also Slippery [so does not receive a Free Hack when leaving a melee]. Nygma's (more specialist) gang consisted of two Goons armed with crowbars [Powered Weapon: +2 in melee] and a Goon with a Pistol [Medium Range +1 Combat]. 
Indignant at the Joker's obvious attempt to seize control of his territory, the Riddler moved east and hunkered down by the roof's air-conditioning unit. Behind him, his three 'stooges' stood still, waiting for their boss to hurl his 'surprise' package at their opponent's gang and 'get the party started'.

Meanwhile, The Clown Prince of Crime, spotting Edward Nygma moving towards the western edge of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso rooftop sprang out from his 'hiding place' and fired his 'goldfish-shaped' pistol at him. From so great a distance the shot understandably went wide. However, it was action enough to galvanise the Joker's thugs into moving forwards towards the Riddler, and crouch down behind the various crates, drink machine and sofa.
Sensing their foe was about to launch something of a foolhardy attack upon their roof-top, the Riddler's gunman moved up to the roof-top's central crate, whilst one of the crowbar-armed goons scampered over to the area's south-western crate. Edward, steely-eyed, remained by the air-conditioning unit and motioned for this of his remaining goon to accompany him.

As deadly as he is laugh is maniacal, the Joker stepped forward, fired his pistol and brought Nygma's closest 'companion' to the ground with a minor flesh-wound. With a roar of laughter the Clown Prince of Crime's thugs rushed west. Three of them stopped at the very edge of the Catherdral's roof-top, and readied themselves for the jump. But a fourth minion made the leap in a single bound and landed in front of the green and purple attired goon situated by the south-western crate. The last of the criminal mastermind's thugs also moved east, and sheltered behind the sofa close to his white-faced boss.
Anticipating the Joker's assault, the Riddler barked at his fallen crew-member to get to his feet and retreat east away from their opponents. But before Edward could order anything else though, the Clown Prince of Crime took his time to aim a shot right at him, and astonishingly felled the "genius-level intellect" with a single bullet. The Riddler was 'out for the count' and his crew seemingly leaderless.

Encouraged by their bosses incredible success, one thug jumped over the frighteningly deep chasm between the two buildings, and closed in on Nygma's goon by the south-western crate. He was soon accompanied by a second thug, who, throwing a mean punch, caused Edward's crew-member to retreat back a step. Believing that victory was soon to be in their grasp, a second of the Joker's thugs braved the 'leap of faith' and landed on top of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.

It looked as if the Riddler's dominion over the territory was about to fall, especially with the Joker's gang outnumbering the remnants of Nygma's crew two-to-one. But Gotham Village wasn't lost to Edward just yet, and the battle between a steel crowbar and a muscle-backed fist was yet to be fully finalised...

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: The Joker Verses The Riddler - "Battle For Gotham Village" - Part Two