Thursday, 30 November 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" December 2017

"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Zygon WIPs - The aliens have just some tidying up and basing to be finished
Ordinarily at this time of year I have already begun busily prepping and priming a multitude of miniatures I earnestly aim to get painted during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC), and perhaps unsurprisingly, subsequently end up with a painting desk simply teeming with all manner of genres, scales and materials. Indeed, its amazing just how much more room a 'gadzillion' undercoated models can take up as opposed to when they are sat upon a shelf safely ensconced within their restrictive blister/box or tucked away within a draw still firmly held upon a sprue.

On this occasion however, I'll be doing something entirely different, and rather than participate in my fourth event, I'll instead try to reduce my ever-increasing mountain of metal, plastic and resin models by embarking upon an inaugural, personal goal entitled the Partially-Painted Pledge. As a result, I don't intend to purchase any more miniatures until "Salute" in 2018, and over the next four months endeavor to paint a hundred figures I've previously started working on; whether they be merely prepped, primed, layered or almost finished.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Sergeant Rock are all at different painting stages
Leading this charge will be a plethora of "Warlord Games" miniatures for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop game. I've only recently had my review of the company's Zygon models published on the “Doctor Who News” website, so thought a quartet of the “shape-changing humanoids”, which have done nothing but gather dust ever since I super-glued some Scatter Shrooms by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" to their bases, would be a good place to start.

To be honest I currently own quite a considerable backlog of the Lenton Business Centre-based company's miniatures, and with their imminent release of ("Gale Force Nine" manufactured) resin First, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, along with K-9, its become clear that I need to give my partially-painted Tetraps, Vervoids, Draconians, Ogrons, Sea Devils and Clockwork droids the much-needed attention they deserve.
"Victrix Limited" Austrian WIPs - The fusiliers have had all their white uniform 'picked out' and shaded
In addition, I have 'unearthed' a significantly-sized box of long-forgotten "Heroclix" plastic figures, which should help me conclude a number of "Wizkids" mini-projects from yesteryear. I actually attempted to paint Sergeant Rock and the “DC Comics” 1959 comic book character's Easy Company at the start of my first AHPC in 2014. Whilst my initial plans to field Hellboy and his numerous associates from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense disconcertingly arose just a few weeks later in early 2015...

Similarly, I am persevering with my aspiration to finally play some Napoleonic Wars in 28mm, despite already finding myself somewhat behind on November's French fusilier-focused goal. Hopefully, the seemingly straightforward target of just four predominantly white “Victrix Limited” Napoleonic Austrians for this month should be more easily attainable, and thus leave me plenty of opportunity to 'finish off' my outstanding Frenchmen.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

"In 1799, The 36,000 French Troops In Italy Were In A Desperate State..."

"Supplies of all sorts were inadequate, discipline was breaking down, desertion was increasing..."
This 28mm plastic French Fusilier can be assembled from the numerous components found within the “Victrix Limited” French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807 boxed set, and will accompany a number of additional fusiliers, grenadiers and voltigeurs which I plan to use for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame". Painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as shown in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”, the model has only taken a staggering six years to finally complete and is the last of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

The miniature was originally primed with "Citadel" Skull White and had its boots, rifle, pouches, backpack and hat undercoated with Chaos Black. I then began the slow process of 'picking out' all his straps with either "Vallejo" Dead White or Heavy Sienna, and subsequently washing them with either Pale Grey or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Victrix Limited" Napoleonic French - These two miniatures are approximately half-way finished
The soldier's uniform was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and an old OOP pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue, whilst his cuffs and collar were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally, the wooden areas of his musket received an application of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and the metal parts some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.

Ordinarily, I don't like to post models on this blog which haven't been properly based, but as this figure will ultimately be one of four super-glued upon a 40mm x 40mm square base, I thought I'd make an exception. In addition, it gives me an opportunity to voice how frustrating an experience I found returning to this miniature after so long was, due to "Games Workshop" (yet again) changing their painting range in between times.
Draconian Statue WIPs - The "Frontier In Space" monument has been primed, coated, washed and dry-brushed
Indeed, the Nottingham-based company's decision to step away from their excellent "Citadel" Foundation paints and washes in 2012, was my main motivation for turning to the "Vallejo" Extra Opaque Game range in the first place. Fortunately, I think Heavy Red and Heavy Blue make a fair substitute for the OPP "Citadel" Mechrite Red and Mordian Blue, especially as I understand the colour consistency of the French uniform during the Napoleonic Wars was somewhat intermittent due to weathering and differing dye pigmentation anyway.

Momentarily stepping away from so detailed a painting subject, I was rather pleased to recently receive half a dozen small resin plinths from "Telfer Model Design". These stone bases will hopefully help me turn a few of my 'superfluous' models into scenic statues, and I've wasted no time in taking a spare Draconian from the "Warlord Games" "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" range and pinning it in place.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

"My Ghosts Will Make More Ghosts."

"Enough to bring an armada. Enough to wake me from my sleep."
This "officially approved" 38mm scale metal miniature of a rhinocerid humanoid from the planet Judoonia is manufactured by “Warlord Games” and can be found inside their Judoon boxed set. However, unlike the three figures sold as part of the "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, this specific model has been slightly converted so as to turn it into one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

These spectral pawns of the alien warlord were a highlight of the 2017 televised story "Before The Flood", and, as "Warlord Games" have yet to produce any miniatures based upon the deceased likenesses of Albar Prentis, Jonathan Moran, Richard Pritchard and Alice O'Donnell, I thought I'd re-purpose a couple of the Shadow Proclamation's enforcer as some early (undead) victims of the Fisher King. However, because the Ghosts of the Drum can only seemingly kill their prey using physical weapons I decided to replace this Judoon's right hand with another carrying a plastic "Frostgrave" hand-axe.
"It's the call of the Fisher King. The call of their master."
Originally, I didn't anticipate this particular alteration requiring much in the way of drilling and pinning at all, especially as the hand-weapon by "North Star Military Figures" was a single-cast piece. Annoyingly however, no sooner had the conversion's super-glue dried than the axe simply broke away from the hand which was holding it; revealing what I can only imagine to be an internal flaw within the plastic itself. In addition, the rhinoceros-like headed alien's eyes were both hollowed out in order to help create the impression of the visual organs atrophying and sinking away inside his head...

Once the axe was re-attached I undercoated the miniature with "Vallejo" White and shaded it with Pale Grey. The "single-minded" Judoon was then washed with some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, a little Biel-Tan Green and finally dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. To complete the model, I 'picked out' its axe's handle using "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and painted its blade using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Bonesnapper WIP - The House Goliath ganger has been assembled, primed and dry-brushed
Alongside "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" and "Warlord Games", I have also found "Games Workshop" to be a consistent thorn in my wallet's side over the past few months, and like so many other old-time gamers couldn't help but "head back to Hive Primus" and purchase a copy of the new "Necromunda". Needless to say, the starter set is absolutely packed full of some of the most fiendishly devised 28mm plastic miniatures ever created, so I have decided to start slowly by simply assembling, priming and dry-brushing the Goliath known as Bonesnapper.

Comprising of a staggering nine pieces, this "living testament to brawn over brains" is incredibly detailed, and sits upon a nicely-sculpted sewer-like base. As a result, I plan to just paint five gangers from House Goliath and then move my sights onto some of the Escher fighters which also come in the hefty skirmish tabletop war game box...

Thursday, 23 November 2017

"By My Clever Riddles..."

"I'm setting Batman and Robin up for the kill!"
This 28mm plastic pre-painted "Wizkids" miniature of a Lackey is number 019 from the "DC Comics" Hypertime range, and has been painted to coincide with the palette I’ve previously used for my Riddler’s Mole Hill Gang. However, as I wanted him to be a pistol-toting minion, as opposed to one carrying a cruel-looking crowbar, I have substituted his close combat weapon with a gun-hand cut from a Marvel “Heroclix” Infinity Challenge Henchmen model.

Happily, due to the nature of the plastic and the hand in question butting up against the crook’s body, I didn’t need to use anything other than super-glue to ensure the replacement piece was securely attached. Albeit, the new hand is somewhat larger than its predecessor and is adorned with a non-matching fingerless glove…
Judoon WIPs - These two alien mercenaries just need their toe-caps to be picked out
The model was initially undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, and had his trousers and woollen hat treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Niel-Tan Green. The Lackey’s jumper was then painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Druchi Violet. Finally, the hand-gun was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and washed with Nuln Oil.

Due to an imminent self-imposed deadline to pitch a substantial Judoon faction up against the Fisher King in a "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game, I have been persevering with the last of my pewter "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" by "Warlord Games". These two black-clad mercenary police will actually give me more than I need to field a 'basic' six-strong Judoon force. But as I was already going to be painting one of the models it seemed silly not to work on my final unpigmented figure at the same time; especially as the sculpts are identical.
"Victrix" Napoleonic French WIPs - Work has finally started on the two soldiers' backpacks and muskets
Lastly, I have spent quite a bit of time progressing a pair of plastic Napoleonic French by "Victrix Limited". It's been some years since I last attempted to 'pick out' all the straps, pouches, bags and cuffs of so detailed a Line infantryman, and my enthusiasm for renewing this 'Marengo' project has been slightly dampened by the fact I can no longer use the same "Citadel" paint colours as those which I applied on my previous Frenchmen.

Fortunately, I have managed to find some suitable alternatives within the "Vallejo" Game Color range, and additionally located an old, yet still very usable, OOP pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue wash. I have also undergone a little 'shopping therapy' by taking full advantage of "Warlord Games" Black Friday sale and ordered myself a rather nice Napoleonic 1809-1815 Russian 6 pounder cannon...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

“Justice Is Swift.”

"Scopo Trono Frojo Kofo Todo."
These two 38mm scale "pewter" models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games”, and are based upon the extra-terrestrial humanoid rhinoceroses first seen in the 2007 BBC “Doctor Who” television story "Smith And Jones". However, having already previously painted three of the “Doctor Who: Exterminate” miniatures before, these two figures have had their right arms cut off and replaced with a pair carrying the aliens’ energy weapons.

Fortunately, these sculpts seem remarkably well disposed towards such straightforward conversion work, and despite their limbs being somewhat ‘slight’ in size, they were easily removed at either the wrist or elbow and subsequently hollowed out with a pin-vice. Indeed, the models’ disassembly went so well that at one stage I was actually considering a head-swap; albeit common sense and sound judgement ultimately prevailed, and I put my junior hacksaw down.
Silents WIPs - The aliens have been primed, dry-brushed and are slowly having their details 'picked out'.
With my ‘chop shop’ antics completed, both miniatures were primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. They were then rather heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and had both their equipment and weapons ‘picked out’ using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, the Judoons' collars and toecaps were layered with Ironbreaker and later shaded with more Nuln Oil.

Sticking with “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” momentarily, “Warlord Games” have recently released some fiendishly-painted examples of their range’s upcoming Order of the Headless, and these monks have rather inspired me to begin pigmenting three more Silents to form the bulk of a Papal Mainframe faction. I’ve only managed to get some basic layering done so far on the members of the intergalactic religious order, but spookily this work has coincided with the “Doctor Who News” website publishing my review of the Nottingham-based company’s Silence miniatures…
Grave Digger WIPs - The two versions of the same wrestler are still in their early stages
Way back in 1994, the "World Wrestling Federation" undoubtedly held one of it's most bizarre "SummerSlam" bouts ever, when two versions of the Undertaker fought one another inside Chicago's United Centre. At the time I thought the fight was an absolute hoot, even though it was clear that Ted DiBiase's version of the 'undead' professional wrestler (played by Brian Lee) was clearly a fake, so when I spotted that "TTCombat" had released a special edition of their "Rumbleslam" character Grave Digger, I immediately thought of replicating that somewhat ludicrous event.

Obviously, these two incarnations of the "Rolling Bones superstar" aren't really all that alike, with the 'limited' resin figure not only replicating Mark Calaway's 'Biker' image as opposed to his 'graveyard' one, but the model disconcertingly being significantly shorter in height too. However, I still thought the idea of pairing the duo up within the squared circle would make for an interesting fight and give me the option of 'fielding' the "The Streak" during a couple of different stages in his illustrious career.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

"Boo Yeah!"

"The Showiest, flashiest and most charismatic dwarf you are ever going to see..."
This 28mm resin miniature of Ronnie Salvage is produced by "TTCombat" as part of their "Rumbleslam" range, and bears a striking resemblance to the late great American wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. "One of the superstars hailing from Kaiser’s Palace", this "nimble dwarf" brings high stamina and annihilating special attacks to the squared circle, and is the third of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Composed of some sort of hard plastic-type resin, I actually had a bit of problem with Ronnie when I initially based him and snapped off one set of his trailing arm ribbons. Mortified by my fat fingered fumbling, as well as being all too aware that the flashy wrestler could never appear in public without his tell-tale tassels, I drilled an appropriately sized rectangular-shaped hole into his arm at the spot where the fashion accessory had broken away, and super-glued it back in place.
Converted Judoon WIPs - These two metal mercenaries just need some inks to be applied to them
Once re-assembled, I primed the model with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and started to work my way up the portly figure using a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Crimson Carroburg for Salvage's boots, pants and cowboy hat. The dwarf's skin was created by applying a shade of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade over a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone. Ordinarily, I simply leave the "specially formulated" wash to do its job and just highlight areas such as the nose, cheeks, hands and fingers. But on this occasion there was so much flesh on show, especially on the chest and stomach, that I added some additional Heavy Skintone to these areas too.

Finally the 'Atomic Drop' crowd pleaser's "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre leg tassels, hand-wraps and vest were given a wash of (more) "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and Ronnie's pair of flashy shades were 'picked out' using a little Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. For a moment I did consider basing the wrestling superstar differently as to how I ordinarily 'flock' my models, for the sportsman was supposedly going to always be 'fighting' in a ring, and thus having him appear upon a grassy base didn't really make much sense at all. Fortunately though, I then spied that "TTCombat" produces a "Rumbleslam" Grassy Mat and my problem was readily resolved...
"Victrix" French WIPs - The plastic soldiers have a phenomenal amount of detail to 'pick out' 
Having attended "Warfare" in Reading this weekend, and now bought the last of the figures I plan to purchase for the foreseeable future (or at least that's the plan), I have started trying to properly clear up some space on my painting table by finishing the odd project or twelve. Needless to say, what with "Warlord Games" offering a fiendish 'three for two' deal on their "Doctor Who" range at the Rivermead Leisure Complex-based show, I am now rather inundated with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" models, so plan to polish off a handful more Judoon figures over the next few days for starters...

Similarly, I have quite the gathering of plastic Napoleonic French by "Victrix Limited" stationed within my line-of-sight. These wonderfully moustached unflinching Frenchmen will be getting a lot of attention as a result, and despite all their straps, pouches, bags and cuffs, should still be finished in time to meet my Mo'Vember Challenge deadline at the end of the month.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

"Those Who March With Us Will Certainly Face Abuse..."

"...Misunderstanding, bitter animosity, and possibly the ferocity of struggle and of danger."
These two 28mm metal miniatures of Sir Oswald Moseley's bodyguards can be bought, along with their British Union of Facists leader, as Code 403012203 from the "Warlord Games" German Army range, and are "modelled upon Mussolini's fascist party." Costing an additional 13 points per man, the Blackshirts' rules can be found within the "Bolt Action" book "Campaign: Sea Lion", and accompany the former "Conservative MP for Harrow" everywhere on the battlefield.

Initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the para-militarists were highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The bruisers' belt buckles were painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil, whilst their hair was 'picked out' using either "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade or "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Judoon Ghost WIPs - The Fisher King's minion has been washed and dry-brushed
Finally, one thug's club was pigmented with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and his companion's knuckleduster was given a lick of "Vallejo" Brass. Both of these areas were then treated to a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

To be honest, despite the straightforward palette, I found both of these miniatures quite a struggle to finish on account of their faces, and particularly their small eyes. I know that some hobbyists prefer to avoid painting pupils by simply applying a dark wash into a sculpt's facial recesses, and I've never been so tempted to follow such a technique as I was with these two chaps. In the end though, having found it impossible to pinpoint two spots of white for each eye, I settled for just the one and hope they don't appear too cross-eyed as a result.
Snakeskin Harvest Marker WIPs - The dead "Guild Ball" player can be used as an alternative sculpt on the pitch 
Sticking with "Warlord Games", I've been asked to pen an article for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" website as to how I went about converting my two Judoon ghosts to accompany their towering Fisher King miniature on the tabletop. As a result, I've spent a bit of time progressing the final figure's paint-job, and thus hope to have the undead extra-terrestrial mercenary finished and ready for posting by next week.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I've also found myself momentarily drawn back to "Guild Ball" by "Steamforged Games Limited". The company recently released "The Dark Harvest" boxed set as a seasonal special edition to celebrate Halloween, and as soon as I saw it contained deceased versions of the players who have so far been killed whilst playing the medieval sports game, I knew I had to paint them up...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

"Souls Wrenched From The Dead."

"Repeating directions to here, to this spot, over and over."
This "finely-sculpted" 38mm scale "pewter" miniature of a 'black armoured Rhinoceroid biped' is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found inside the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" Judoon boxed set. However, unlike the three figures sold as part of the "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, this particular model has been significantly converted so as to turn it into one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

These deadly grotesques were a highlight of the 2017 televised story "Under the Lake", and having figured that the "outer space" mercenaries would be obvious opponents of the planet Tivoli's towering conqueror, I've subsequently decided to re-purpose one of the Shadow Proclamation enforcers as an early (undead) victim of the Fisher King. However, because the spectres can only seemingly kill their prey using physical weapons on the science fiction programme I decided to replace its right arm with another carrying a quarry scanner, and swapped its incineration blaster for a plastic "Frostgrave" hand-axe.
Judoon WIPs - The alien mercenaries have been assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed
As one can probably imagine, both of these alterations required a fair amount of drilling and pinning; especially the hand-weapon by "North Star Military Figures", which frustratingly broke in half at one point courtesy of a 'slight' fall. In addition, the intergalactic policeman's eyes were both hollowed out in order to help create the impression of the visual organs atrophying and sinking away inside his head...

Once all this conversion work was finished I set about re-priming the miniature with "Vallejo" White and washed it with Pale Grey. The corporeal Judoon was then shaded with some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, a little Biel-Tan Green and lastly dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. To finish the model, I 'picked out' its axe's handle using a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and painted its blade using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Ronnie Salvage WIPs - The dwarf wrestling superstar is getting closer to completion
With a second Judoon ghost eagerly being prepared and the "Doctor Who News" website currently running my review of "Warlord Games" "mercenary intergalactic police force", my enthusiasm for Russell T Davies' "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" is (hopefully) understandably at an all time high. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, I have also assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed four further Judoon models; with the aspiration to have them quickly painted and ready to battle the Fisher King... 

Such fervour has not however, meant I am any less enthused by the fantasy-sports game "Rumbleslam", and resultantly, I am still working my way up the "charismatic dwarf" Ronnie Salvage. Indeed, just as soon as I have finished the "Kaiser's Palace veteran" I aim to get cracking on half a dozen more "TTCombat" wrestling superstars - "Boo Yeah!"

Sunday, 12 November 2017

"Garrek Gorebeard Delights In Taking Severed Heads..."

"...Scalps and other trophies from those he has slain, brandishing these grim souvenirs to stoke his... bloodlust."
This 28mm scale "push-fit, red plastic" miniature of Garrek Gorebeard comes as part of the "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" starter set by "Games Wokrshop", and, rather usefully, can also be used to represent "the chieftain of a murderous band of Khorne-worshippers" in the Nottingham-based company's "Age Of Sigmar" tabletop wargame as well. Earning "the title of Gorebeard after ascending to his position by biting the throat of a rival, staining his beard in blood", the mighty warrior is not only the first of my Khorne Bloodbound warband to be painted, but the second of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Initially primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone to mask the model's vividly red coloured plastic, the war dog's trousers were painted with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and his leg armour, shoulder pad, wrist bracelet and symbolic belly plate were all subsequently treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. In addition, Garrek's numerous chains and incredibly well-detailed double-axe-head were given a layer of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being generously washed in Nuln Oil.
Demon Bunny WIPs - The large rabbit has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
The mortal Bloodreaver's belt, numerous straps and wrist-guard were 'picked out' with some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst his "Grisly Trophy" was originally undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Warmgrey and then shaded with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and a little more Strong Tone Quickshade. As Gorebeard has the impressive ability in "Age Of Sigmar" to "add
1 to the Attacks characteristics" of his unit’s melee weapons for the rest of the battle whenever he "slays any enemy Heroes", I decided to give the severed head's lifeless eyes an especially haunted look using a tiny dollop of "Vallejo" Dead White.

I created Garrek's infamous bloody beard by highlighting its "Citadel" Abaddon Black undercoat with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and then washing the various strands of hair with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. As a final touch, and in order to ensure the miniature fitted in with my Chaos Host for "Age Of Sigmar", I painted its highly-detailed based with "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and (even more) Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter". This colour scheme is what I use on all my bases these days, and whilst it did seem somewhat a shame not to 'pick out' all the numerous skulls littered around Gorebeard's feet, it does mean the (allied) model can be readily included within my Tallyband of Nurgle.
BUF Bodyguard WIPs - This pair of "Bolt Action" bruisers have had all their different areas layered 
To help this "Age Of Sigmar" assimilation even further, I decided to also flock the base with static grass despite it actually depicting the chieftain being stood on some sort of dried mud-bank. This is an extremely straightforward process whereby the stand's paint-job is covered in a protective layer of PVA glue, and I then dab some more of the adhesive primarily around my figure's feet before depositing it in a large tin of static grass. Whilst the glue is still wet and the model is literally suffocating in flock, I gently but firmly push down onto the grass in order to ensure the small threadlike particles are well and truly embedded in the PVA; a process I might repeat on two or more occasions if I feel its coverage is still too 'spotty' after a couple of hours drying.

With such a 'patience-testing' piece finished, I have turned my attention momentarily towards a couple of much easier mini-projects, such as a "Horrorclix" Demon Bunny by "Wizkids", and a pair of "Warlord Games" British Union of Facists' bodyguards. I've already managed to get some basic priming, shading and dry-brushing done on my 'Rabbit of Caerbannog', whilst Sir Oswald Moseley's thugs now simply need to have some shades applied to them before they are finished...

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Ambushes Isengard - Part Two

“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 has sprung a trap and ambushed Saruman's formidable force as they are emerging from between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace..."

The handful of Uruk-Hai who had emerged from the western shadows raced towards the two Gondorian archers positioned to their north. The foul-smelling orcs were starting to get close to their attackers and there were clearly still large numbers of them nearby shrouded by the darkness.
Faramir joined the 'threatened' pair of bowmen in the north, in order for them to utilise his Leadership Trait [increase the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one]. One of the archers loosened an arrow into Lurtz's emerging throng and staggering scored a Gruesome Kill; causing one of the large orcs to retreat back west and another to actually flee... Inspired by their comrade's skill, the two bowmen to the south of the Crumbling Remnants also fired into the dark morass and revealed another Uruk-Hai. Behind them, all of the emboldened Warriors of Minas Tirith pressed west towards the centre of the battlefield.

Something had clearly gone amiss with Saruman's raiding party within the western shadows, as for a fourth time, no perceptible activity took place between the Fallen Angel and Blasted Terrace. Perhaps the "large, smart orcs with slanted eyes, thick legs, and large hands" were yet to recover from their birthing strains within Orthanc's breeding pits..?
Regardless, the northern Gondorian archers continued to fire at those targets which they could see, and sent another orc scurrying backwards. To the south, the bowmen took advantage of their opponent's idleness and rushed beyond the westernmost edge of the Crumbling Remnants, before loosening their arrows. One Uruk-Hai retreated, whilst another fell to the ground, dead.

Lurtz was suddenly barking orders out from somewhere within the western shadows, as another "fighting Uruk-Hai" emerged and urged his brethren east towards the closest of the human bowmen. The Gondorians responded by killing one of the orcs, and were joined on the 'front line' by Faramir and a swordsmen; it seemed certain that within moments the two warbands were close together and hand-to-hand fighting would take place.
With a roar those creatures of Isengard visible to their foes suddenly swung south and headed straight towards the pair of startled archers stood just by the southwestern edge of the Crumbling Remnants. The orc 'surge' was momentarily 'pushed back' by a panicked hail of arrows, and sensing that perhaps the moment had come for a heroic deed, the warrior of Minas Tirith beside Boromir's brother, charged into the nearest Uruk-Hai... And was unceremoniously hacked to pieces...

The smell of man-flesh and human blood presumably finally incensed Saruman's lack-lustre force into action, and the entire morass of dark, vaguely-shaped shadows flooded forwards and reached one of the Gondorian archers. The bowman desperately tried to use his weapon to fend off the attacking Uruk-Hai, but was unsurprisingly knocked to the ground. However, before the man could be run through with one of the orcs' vile swords, his colleague fatally pierced his assailant with an arrow.
To the north, one of the archers' bows snapped asunder through over-use, and as a result, the two bowmen decided to retreat east away from their formidable-looking enemies. The Gondorian line was still holding Mount Fang's minions at bay, as well as dwindling away their numbers. But their 'trap' was starting to falter and their own strength beginning to ebb away...

Sensing that a sudden savage push could 'break' the weakling humans and hurl them back east in tatters, the Uruk-Hai pushed further east, with one orc fast-approaching the fallen Gondorian archer, and another even daring to challenge Denethor's youngest son. Amazingly however, before any sword could fall in anger, the prone human bowman was suddenly back upon his feet and firing an "Aimed Shot" at the oncoming creature of Isengard...
With a groan, the servant of Saruman the Wise fell dead to the ground, and the Uruk-Hai's fighting spirit was momentarily broken - Faramir's plan had worked, and Osgiliath would remain in Gondor's hands for a while longer at least.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"Often An Inexperienced Foe Will Empty Shot After Shot Into Them..."

"...Doing little more than blowing off small chunks or fingers."
This 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighter can be bought as part of Code OW010 from "Wargames Foundry", and was originally going to be one of my submissions for last month's Zomtober challenge. "Drawn by the shadows gathering across the nation" the undead cowboy will actually play a dual role on my tabletop, proving useful as one of the supernatural creatures who can make an appearance in "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", as well as also replacing the softly-sculpted plastic Hungry Dead models in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" White and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade in order for me to better see the figure's detail, I used "Citadel" Abaddon Black on the walking corpse's boots and belt. The grisly cadaver's trousers were then painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and his holster with Heavy Brown, before both areas were washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Doctor Who News"
As I wanted this particular 'killer' to appear drenched in the grime and dried blood of death, I washed his tattered shirt in a mixture of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and (even) more Strong Tone Quickshade. The pistol-carrying ghoul's decaying flesh was created by applying some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green shade over a layer of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand.

The zombie gunfighter's pistol, belt buckle and ammunition belt were painted using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Whilst "Vallejo" Heavy Blue was lightly dry-brushed across his "Citadel" Abaddon Black hair, and later washed with Nuln Oil, in order to give it a slightly undead bluish tinge.
Juddon 'Ghost' WIPs - The dead alien has had his axe re-attached and painted
"Warlord Games" recent announcement that more models are finally on the way for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game has certainly helped reinvigorate my determination to paint some more of the models I already own from this particular range. Indeed, I've actually managed to additionally harness this enthusiasm for the "finely-sculpted scale pewter and plastic" figures by joining the editorial team of the "Doctor Who News" website, and penning for them an ongoing series of reviews based upon the rule-set and its accompanying sculpts. The first of these is already available to read here: "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" - The Miniatures Game.

Sadly, in my excitement I did inadvertently drop my Judoon Fisher King ghost test figure from a significant height, and as a result snapped his plastic "Frostgrave" axe off at the hilt. But with a little patience, filing and pinning, I have re-attached a somewhat shorter version of the hand-weapon back, and finished painting its base colours. Once shaded, I'm hoping the bright red axe-blade will really stand out in stark contrast to the deceased alien's ghostly hue.
Brightshield WIPs - The Stormcast Eternal has been primed, washed and now needs a lot of detailing
Lastly, with my model of Garrek currently submerged within my flocking tin, I have started to progress the first of my Stormcast Eternal figures for "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". Like the Bloodreaver chieftain, Angharad Brightshield is one of the four plastic "Games Workshop" miniatures which need to be assembled in order to play the game's introductory quick-start confrontation...

Sunday, 5 November 2017

"We Know That England Is Crying For A Leader..."

"...And that leader has emerged in the person of the greatest Englishman that I have ever known..."
This 28mm metal miniature of Sir Oswald Moseley can be purchased, along with two bodyguards, as Code 403012203 from the "Warlord Games" German Army range, and represents the BUF leader at a time when "Adolf Hitler apparently had plans" for him should Great Britain fall. Described as being "dangerously charismatic", the Anglo-Irish aristocrat appears as a (veteran) Imperial Commander in the "Bolt Action" book "Campaign: Sea Lion", and is the first of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Sixth Baronet of Ancoats was roughly highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Moseley's trousers were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Dark Grey" and (more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst his arm-band was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Garrek WIPs - Gorebeard just needs his axe to be shaded and 'ponytail' painted before being finished
Sadly I did subsequently somewhat struggle to 'pick out' the British Union of Fascists emblem on the one-time Conservative politician's sleeve, and having never seen a decal with such an insignia, eventually decided to 'flub' the issue by simply giving it a coat of "Vallejo" Dead White and then shading it with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Admittedly, this 'botch-job' doesn't look anywhere near as impressive as the delicately-lined symbol clearly visible on the advertised "Warlord Games" official figure, but it did help me keep my sanity...

Having finished such a relatively enjoyable and straightforward paint-job, despite the contentious background of the character in question, I have made some significant progress on another of my Mo'Vember Challenge pieces, Garrek Gorebeard. This "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" plastic model really is proving to be a patience tester, on account of all his fiddly chains, armour, belts and less-than-helpful pose.
"Rumbleslam" WIPs - Waaarrrior, an Orc and Ronnie Salvage still need plenty of work
Fortunately, the surprise arrival of the "Rumbleslam" superstar, Waaarrrior, from my regular miniatures store "Dark Sphere" has not only given me something a little easier to paint, but also motivated me to actually finish off both the Orc Brawler and Grappler from the "TTCombat" product's starter box. Indeed, the sports game's "fan favourite", clearly influenced by the late James Brian Hellwig, has already got me thinking about re-enacting the Ultimate Warrior's pay-per-view main event match with "Macho Man" Randy Savage at Summerslam 1992, where the duo fought for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

I have still have a bit of work to do on my sculpt of the dwarf, Ronnie Salvage, yet hope over time to build up quite the stable of "Rumbleslam" figures who are based upon World Wrestling Federation, and World Championship Wrestling characters. Certainly "TTCombat" don't appear to be too shy in matching a plethora of superstars' likenesses to their miniatures, and that hopefully means in the future that I'll be able to re-play a number of my favourite bouts from the late Eighties and early Nineties...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

"Now that Batman And Robin Have Been Put Away on Ice..."

"...Nothing can stop our ingenious ice crimes!"
This 28mm plastic pre-painted "Wizkids" Lackey is number 019 from the "DC Comics" Hypertime range, and forms the beginnings of a "Gotham" gang for the former cryogenics expert, Mister Freeze, which I actually started working on over eighteen months ago. Intended to resemble Doctor Shivel's bobble-hat wearing goons from the February 1966 "Batman" Television story "Instant Freeze", the figure has been slightly converted, courtesy of a small ball of two-part modelling putty, and should have originally been finished during the 2016 "Forgotten Heroes" challenge.

Having drilled a small hole in the top of the figure's head, inserted a small piece of metal rod, and sculpted a simple 'bobble', the henchman was primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and had his trousers painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. I then layered his jumper and hat with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and treated them to a wash of  "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The undead cowboy has already had all but his head painted
The lackey's 'bobble' was 'picked out' with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, whilst his crowbar was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Finally, I painted the chilly criminal's flesh using some "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and then simply picked out his fingers, nose, ears, lips and cheeks with more "Vallejo Heavy Skintone. The miniature's base was flocked using some "Games Workshop" Snow.

Setting aside my "Heroclix" models momentarily, I've been lucky enough to find some time to continue working on another of my Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". I managed to get a handful of these pistol-carrying brain-eating cowboys painted during last month's Zomtober challenge, and hope to get the rest of the 'blister' finished over the next few weeks.
Garrek Gorebeard WIPs - The chieftain still contains a lot of unpainted detail
Similarly, I've continued to make some good progress on the first of my "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" plastic figures. The quick-start sheet to this "action-packed combat game" states you only need (paint) four of the miniatures found within the starter box, before you can "quickly" be taken "through the basics of moving and attacking with your fighters."

As a result I'm initially focusing upon the Bloodreaver Garrek Gorebeard, and slowly working my way up his impressively-detailed sculpt with my paintbrush. The "chieftain of a murderous band of Khorne-worshippers" will be joined by Blooded Saek in the game's introductory battle, and should also prove an eye-catching character on the "Age Of Sigmar" tabletop, now "Games Workshop" have released his Reavers' statistics for its "story-driven" wargame too.