Sunday, 11 November 2018

"Macragge Is The Homeworld Of The Ultramarines Chapter Of The Space Marines..."

"...And the capital world of the stellar realm of Ultramar."
This 28mm scale plastic section from a crashed Imperial Aquila Shuttle was made by "Games Workshop" and was one of a handful of terrain pieces included within the Nottingham-based company's Battle for Macragge starter set. Produced "for the 4th edition of Warhammer 40,000", yet devoid of any of that wargame's infamous double-headed eagle insignias, I thought the broken metal debris would actually prove useful for any Science Fiction influenced or Post Apocalyptic based tabletop, and resultanly super-glued it onto a laser cut 120mm x 90mm oval MDF base.

The model was initially primed with a coat of "Vallejo" Black and subsequently treated to two layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. It was then heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before being enthusiastically dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. I have predominantly seen this piece painted using various military grey colour schemes, but as I wanted it to fit in alongside my "Gamma World" terrain, I followed my usual palette for ancient corroding rusted metal...
Yellow Adder Combat Car WIPs - "The Ion Age" vehicle has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
As a result I liberally applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over all the girders, especially focusing upon each of its bolt heads, and later set about blending the orange bits in with the rest of the wreck's paint scheme via a second "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey dry-brush. Lastly, I tried to ensure the ensemble matched the basing for the rest of my scenery by pigmenting its highly-detailed base with "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, before applying some "Games Workshop" grass flock to certain areas.

Sticking with a similarly straightforward colour scheme, I have begun reworking the third of my 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle produced by “The Ion Age”. As with the other two Combat Cars I finished last month, I intend for this model to resemble a motorised unit which wouldn't look out of place within a "Rogue Trader" era Imperial Guard force. However, having been increasingly frustrated and disappointed with how my previous two transports have turned out, I have decided to apply a significantly darker shade of grey upon this particular Prydian Army automobile and lighten it up using a couple of dry-brushes.
US Lunar Force Buggy WIP - The metal model has been primed "Vallejo" Dead White and washed with Pale Grey
Having finished assembling my "Yellow Adder combat car variant armed with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod in a turret", I have instead turned my attention towards a US Lunar Force Buggy made by "Ground Zero Games". This particular conveyance is entirely metal and came in several pieces which seemed to take an age to super-glue together. Fortunately, the end result has been well worth the effort, as the little exploration transport's attention to detail is absolutely top-notch.

I have already finished progressing the large-wheeled machine's underbelly with "Vallejo" Dead White and Pale Grey, and subsequently gritted, painted, shaded and varnished its large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand too. Hopefully this should mean the rest of the "Moongrunt" miniature can be simply dry-brushed with some additional white, before I start to 'pick out' its tyres and some of its astronaut's details... 

Friday, 2 November 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Moongrunt" November 2018

US Lunar Force Buggy WIP - The metal model has been assembled and primed "Vallejo" Dead White
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will primarily focus upon a cardboard box full of 15mm "Moongrunt" miniatures I actually bought whilst at "Warfare" in Reading last year. Sold by "Ground Zero Games", this US Lunar Marines Starter Force was one of three similarly-sized sets which the Essex-based manufacturer tempted me with during a moment of weakness, and, rather embarassingly, is actually the first one I've since opened...

As 'usual' I've also used the turn of a playing card to determine just how many of these miniatures I plan to paint over the course of the next thirty days, and rather alarmingly this target will be a truly formidable ninety points; more than twice that of October's "The Ion Age" challenge. Fortunately over the past few days, I've already managed to assemble a Lunar Buggy, an awesome Rocket Sled and incredibly hefty Lunar Rover, so they should give me a somewhat straightforward six points per vehicle for starters (using the points system from the annual "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge").
US Lunar Force Rocket Sled WIP - The metal model has been assembled and primed "Vallejo" Dead White
In addition, I have sought inspiration for the background behind my Lunar Force from the old "Action Man" adventure mini-book "Race For The Moon". Published by "Purnell" in the Late Sixties this publication tells the story of Action Man's investigation into the death of astronaut Commander Sheffield and the machinations of the Asiatic Federation. I thought a 'modern-day' version of the struggle between Cape Canaveral's Space Administration and I.N.S.E.C.T. (International Secrets Trust) to be the first to reach the moon and seize control of the natural satellite would provide plenty of tabletop opportunties, especially as "Ground Zero games" also produce a Chinese "Moongrunt" range as well...

Of course I've yet to start work on or even unwrap my US Lunar Marines Starter Force's "full platoon of infantry". But you can probably imagine that I already plan to proxy one appropriate astronaut figure as "Action Man" himself, as well as perhaps another to represent Sheffield; even if the American is surprisingly soon revealed by the murderous Chang to have been one of the traitors on the Moonship Project. 
Punchline and Roughneck WIPs - The two resin figures have been assembled and under-coated
Alongside this trip down memory lane, I also plan to paint up a couple of super-hero models from "Kitbash Games" and their upcoming "Kickstarter" for their "Supers Unlimited" range. PulpCitizen of "Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer" blog fame has very generously introduced me to the wonderfully wacky Punchline and psycho-looking Roughneck early, and resultantly I have already assembled, based and primed the resin miniatures.

There's a real old-school Silver Age of Comics feel to these characters which I absolutely adore, with the Shadow Axis' angry ex-entertainer, Punchline, owning a pair power gloves which clearly pack a mighty punch, and Roughneck proving to be a misguided back alley street fighter turned anti-heroic vigilante. Delightfully however, these "strecth goals" really are the tip of an impressively large roster of comic book characters planned for release, so I'm hoping to get them on the tabletop very soon and post a few playtests of their "Supers Miniature Gaming" rules.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

"The Adder Is The Standard Light Ground Vehicle For The Muster."

"Do you want to liberate worlds held by the Marcher Barons or resist the advance of the Prydian Army?"
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is produced by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035A Red Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. Staffed with "a crew of two" and "capable of dealing with low level threats", I fitted the transport's turret mount with a Moth rotary cannon and actually went as far as to super-glue it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

However, having previously painted one of the range's other Adder vehicles, I decided against trying to frustratingly paint its under-floor whilst it was already 'based' and prised it off by its wheels, having first allowed the grit I use for my basing to dry. This left me with four spaces on the stand into which I could later re-attach the vehicle, and meant I could also pigment the Combat Car's underbelly like it was an overturned turtle.
"Rumours abound about the ever increasing numbers of Muster and Retained..."
Due to my ‘modelling’ part of my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" era of the Imperial Guard, I undercoated the entire automobile with two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed the entire "four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I then 'picked out' its easy to reach axles and exhaust pipes with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil.

I painted the conveyance's lamps with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, before applying some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to its hub caps, as well as its formidable-looking Moth rotary cannon. Ordinarily at this point I then treat my miniatures to a layer of "Coat d'arms" Gloss Varnish, but startlingly, my trusty pot of protection did anything but preserve my paint-job, and instead 'tore off' the vast majority of its "Citadel" Nuln Oil shading.
"...Along with some of the shining lights of the Starvaulters being sent to the remote Carmarthen Star Cluster."
Mightily miffed, I decided to try my hand at applying a white and dark grey camouflage pattern to these 'bare' areas, and actually managed to get half-way around the tankette before I spotted just how poorly the paint seemed to be covering the "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey undercoat. Something was definitely going amiss with the varnish, so having experienced a similar result with a second camouflage coat, I resigned myself to simply re-painting the entire vehicle "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, washing it with (even more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil and this time varnishing it with "Vallejo" Gloss Varnish.

Unfortunately, probably as a result of either the first coat of varnish, or perhaps the four layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey used to undercoat the model, parts of the resin sculpt would appear to have significantly softened, especially on its bonnet. In addition, the "Citadel" Nuln Oil has turned out a lot darker and rather gloopier on this model than it did on my previous Combat Car, despite my desperately trying to imitate the self-same coverage of shade...

Monday, 29 October 2018

"By Virtue Of My Authority As An Officer Of The Army Space Corps..."

"...I hereby claim this planet, its moons and satellites for the greater glory of the Sontaran Empire."
This 28mm metal Sontaran model is produced by “Black Tree Design" and can be bought from their "Doctor Who" range as code DW304 Linx The Sontaran. Forced "to make an emergency landing on Earth while on reconnaissance when his ship was attacked by a squadron of Rutan fighters, Jingo was created by Robert Holmes and made his BBC Television debut in the 1973 story "The Time Warrior".

The figure was initially undercoated with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, roughly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Irongron's ally then had his knee-pads, belt and neck armour base-coated with "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and subsequently shaded with (more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The troopers will slowly have their base layers 'picked out' before shading starts
Originally I had thought the Sontaran sculpt was just awkwardly handling his rheon carbine, and resultantly started to 'pick out' the weapon with "Vallejo" Dead White. However, I later felt the firearm looked better with just a straightforward "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil paint scheme. In addition, because I wanted the alien to look somewhat swarthy I shaded his "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone with some Strong Tone Quickshade by  "The Army Painter".

Moving over to my 15mm miniature collection, I am still painting up a few more Muster First Patrol troopers produced by "The Ion Age", and have set to work trying to complete a three-figure stand of ordinary soldiers before the end of the month. In addition, I have primed a trooper carrying a formidably long Charlatan IV 22mm Launcher, and the Medic model from the Prydian Infantry range's Muster First Patrol Command pack.
Boromite X-Launcher WIP - The Heavy Weapon Team has been based and primed
Ideally, in my mind at least, both of these 'special' figures should 'sit' upon a pair of small "Flames Of War" bases and be accompanied by an ordinary trooper. But with my completion of the aforementioned three-figure stand I'll actually have finally finished painting all of the basic Muster First Patrol figures which I own. Time to order more then clearly...

Lastly, I have managed to find some time to base and undercoat a Boromite team with X-Launcher for my "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" skirmish force. It really is early days yet for this heavy weapon team addition by "Warlord Games", as I'm currently planning on predominantly just expanding my extra-terrestrial mining army with some extra squad members rather than an entirely new unit. However, this portable magnetic launcher not only hurls explosive missiles or bombs at my opponents but, if I spend the points, can also propel some special munitions packages such as Arc, Blur, Scramble, and Scoot.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

"Centuries passed..."

"...And the region of space containing these now green and pleasant worlds became richer and safer."
These three 15mm miniatures are from "The Ion Age" miniatures selection IAF008 Retained Knight Post Charlie and are all armed with Angis Rifles. Operating within the Prydian Army as Lances of twenty-two men, I've actually painted them to proxy some "Rogue Trader" era 'beaky' space marines from the "Warhammer 40K" universe originally "developed by Rick Priestley as a science-fiction version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle." 

Resultantly, the trio have been based them on a medium-sized plastic "Flames Of War" stand by “Battlefront Miniatures” and undercoated "Vallejo" Heavy Blue. As I'm currently building a Crimson Fist Chapter of Adeptus Astartes, I then heavily washed the armoured warriors with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and 'picked out' their hands with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter.
"Epic" Bloodletter WIPs - The Less Daemons of Khorne now needs just their hand-weapons to be shaded
Each figure's formidable-looking firearm was initially layered with "Vallejo" Black, and subsequently treated to a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before being washed with Nuln Oil. Disconcertingly, this "Citadel" Shade actually seemed to evaporate whilst I was varnishing the models with "Coat d'Arms" Gloss, so I actually ended up applying some more Nuln Oil to both the Retained Knights' armour and weapons before they were finally tabletop ready.

Momentarily staying with "the distant future, where a stagnant human civilization is beset by hostile aliens and malevolent supernatural creatures", I am making plenty of progress on another ten tiny plastic "Games Workshop" Bloodletters produced for the Nottingham-based company's "large-scale battle" "Epic". I'm not entirely sure where this 6mm project will take me, but for now I'm aiming to get eight stands (totalling forty figures) finished to represent a Bloodletter horde and then rummage around my collection for some opposition...
Badrock WIPs - The super-hero is slowly having all his base layers painted ready for shading
Lastly, I have found a little time to persevere with all the base layers on a formidably large resin sculpt of the "Image Comics" super-hero Badrock (formerly Bedrock). I've actually managed to acquire a handful of resin super-hero sculpts from a private collector, but this one is by far and away my favourite if for nothing else than he arrived as a single cast.

In addition, having done some research into the character's various costumes, I was rather pleased to spot a few illustrations depicting Rob Liefeld's creation sporting an all-red leotard and boots, which has meant my painting the super-strong giant has become considerably easier than I initially thought. Of course, the "Youngblood" still has plenty of work left to do, but hopefully he'll be ready for some tabletop shenanigans soon... 

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

"Like All Of Khorne's Creatures They Are Formidable And Ferocious Warriors..."

"...Among the deadliest in the galaxy with savage ferocity and... strength far out of proportion to their body mass."
These five plastic 6mm scale Bloodletters were made by "Games Workshop" for their now long Out Of Production (OOP) tabletop wargame "Epic", and are part of a small tub of second-hand lesser daemons of Khorne I managed to stumble upon whilst picking my way through the numerous stalls at this year's "Colours" at Newbury. Originally I had hoped to paint enough of these tiny figures to use with "NetEpic Gold", but having scoured the various other 'downloadable' rule-sets available, and seen that they all require some outrageously expensive old miniatures for my Khorne Army to be 'legal', I'll probably now end up using them with a homemade rule-set; especially as I've since discovered my purchase contains a healthy mix of "Space Marine - Second Edition" and "Epic" Bloodletter figures, and ideally I'd like to field both together.

The diminutive models were all originally super-glued to a thin strip of wood, and primed using two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red. They were then washed using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red. I subsequently 'picked out' their loincloths and horns with some Black and applied a layer of Heavy Sienna to their Hellblades. Lastly, I pigmented their hand-weapons using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, finished the blades off with a delicate dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass, and assembled them upon a small "Flames Of War" rectangular stand by "Battlefront Miniatures".
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Adder Combat Car has been completely base-layered
Setting aside this enjoyable, if not a little eye-straining distraction, I have been busy progressing some additional miniatures from my slowly dwindling "The Ion Age" collection, most notably a second of the company's 15mm scale Adder Combat Cars. Unlike the first of these four wheeled light vehicles I've previously painted, I actually left the resin model off of its base until I'd finished painting its underbelly, and resultantly it's proved far less frustrating an experience.

In addition, I thought I might try and 'pick out' a few more of the sculpt's details than its predecessor, such as its hatch, and somewhat break-up its all-light grey monotony. However, although I've gone with another recognisable 'military colour', I'm not convinced (Russian) green is really the right colour to complement the grey, and may change it for something colder, like blue. That way, I might then later paint some more of my Muster First Patrol miniatures and their accompanying vehicles with a green and tan palette in order to replicate that of the Cadian Imperial Guard Shock Troops in "Warhammer 40,000".
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Noble of Prydia has been primed and is starting to have his detail 'picked out'
Finally, I have started painting one of "The Ion Age" 28mm Nobles of Prydia to use as a proxy for Horus Lupercal; "the most favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, and ultimately, the greatest Traitor in the history of Mankind." I've long fancied using this particular miniature to represent the fearsome Primarch, even though his great size when compared to the Prydian Army's 15mm knights bears little resemblance to the real ratio between the Warmaster and his early 31st Millennium space marines.

However, on the tabletop that should mean Horus will really dominate his force, and the sheer amount of wonderful detail on these larger models means I'm very willing to suspend my disbelief for the duration of a battle or two. Indeed, I plan to buy a few of these Marcher Barons in order to help populate my "Horus Heresy" themed tabletop with the various favoured sons of the Emperor of Mankind...

Sunday, 21 October 2018

"From Those Dark Ashes Rose More Than Fifty Worlds..."

"...Who wished only for stability and peace."
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is made by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035C Black Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. An anti-vehicle variant, I fitted its turret mount with a Fretan-type Railgun so it can punch through other automobile's armour, and provided the ensemble with some additional 'tabletop' stability by super-gluing it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

As I'm ‘modelling’ part of my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" era of the Imperial Guard, I undercoated the 45mm long kit with a double coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed the entire "four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I then turned my attention to the Adder's incredibly hard to reach underbelly and desperately tried to 'pick out' its axles and exhaust pipes with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil.
Retained Knight WIPs - The three Prydian warriors have had all their base-layers finished 
With hindsight, this incredibly frustrating and tedious phase of its painting could easily have been avoided by simply waiting to permanently afix the vehicle to its rectangular stand until after I had finished working on its metallic-coloured supporting frame. However, at the time I did think I had ample room to get my "Winsor & Newton" University Series 233 paintbrush into the resin castings nooks and cranies. Needless to say, I subsequently omitted to glue the two additional Adder Combat Cars I'm currently working on to their "Flames Of War" bases until after I had finished pigmenting their undercarriage.

I picked out the "35mm wide and about 25mm tall" conveyance's lamps with "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, before applying some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and later, Nuln Oil, to its hub caps and impressive looking Fretan-type Railgun. Finally, in order to better tie the model in with the "Warhammer 40,000" Imperial Guard, I applied an old (somewhat yellowed) "Games Workshop"  decal of a double-headed eagle onto its bonnet.
Sand Worm WIP - The hefty resin and metal model has been modified, based and primed
With so many "Vallejo" Bluegrey models and figures before me currently, I've also been progressing three 15mm Prydian Retained Knight miniatures in order to give me some brighter colours with which to work with. These 'beaky' warriors are my favourite sculpts from the entire "Ion Age" range, and have been base-coated "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Heavy Red" in order to resemble early Space Marines from the Crimson Fists Chapter. 

Lastly, I have turned my attention to a fantastic resin sculpt of a Sand Worm made by Dave Stone for "M.J. Figures" as part of their "Sand Wars" range. Originally arriving with six unbelievably fragile metal 'horned teats' for its front, I have made some 'hamfisted' modifications to the 20mm scale monstrosity using grey-stuff, and based the brute upon a "Games Workshop" plastic 80mm circular base... 

Friday, 19 October 2018

"That Which Was Known Was Forgotten..."

"...And anarchy threatened all the children of the then Free Companies."
These two 15mm miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" code IAF022 Muster First Patrol (Pose Four Muster Patrol Trooper, Anvil 888, Kneeling and Pose Eight Muster Patrol Trooper, Prone), and were part of a much larger order I picked up in person at "Salute 2014". The figures are actually designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but I’ve based them together in order to form a small heavy-weapons team for a home-made set of rules loosely based within the early “Rogue Trader” era of the “Warhammer 40,000” Universe.

Both soldiers were resultantly undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Black and had their uniforms ‘picked out’ with Heavy Bluegrey, as well as shaded with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, in order to try and replicate the palette of the Imperial Guard way back when their '"hard plastic" boxed set made its debut in January 1989. I then applied a little “Vallejo” Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to any visible epaulettes and cap badges.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - Both the Red Adder Combat Car and Orange Adder Combat Car have been primed
I picked out the troopers' bare hands using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, whilst treating both soldiers’ stowage, alongside the prone patrolman's boots, to a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I applied a base layer of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to their the mortar-man's impressively sized Anvil 888 and a piece of equipment strapped to the bottom of his observer's backpack. Both of these areas were subsequently heavily washed them in Nuln Oil so as to dull the metallic paint down somewhat.

In addition to adding some extra infantrymen to my 15mm 'Imperial Guard', I have also been progressing a pair of Prydian Vehicles for them to use. However, unlike the Black Adder Combat Car I've previously been painting, I decided not to permanently glue these transports down upon their "Battlefront Miniatures" Large "Flames Of War" bases until after I have finished 'picking out' all the metal struts and axles on them with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
Badrock WIP - The single cast resin piece has been based and primed "Vallejo" Heavy Red
Unsurprisingly, this much easier access to each conveyance's underside has actually caused me to see and pigment even more of each armoured car's belly than on the previous resin four wheeled light vehicle I've worked on, but in arguably half the time. As I also wanted to 'show off' the Adder hull's great versalitity I have armed one with a Moth rotary cannon in a turret mount and the other with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod.

Stepping away from science fiction momentarily, I recently was super-lucky enough to take possesion of an awesome resin sculpt depicting the "Image Comics" super-hero Badrock (formerly Bedrock) from a private collector. This terrific miniature has immediately gone to the front of my paint queue and already been primed in his costume's predominant colour ready for finishing over the next few days...

Sunday, 14 October 2018

"At The End Of The Aeons Old Khanate Wars..."

"...interstellar civilisation was near to its end, and dark times followed."
This "single piece white metal casting depicting two 15mm Retained Knights" is produced by "The Ion Age" and can be pruchased as model RWP01 Patrol Angis Vignette from their Collected Monthly Miniatures range. Created by lead designer Sam Croes the "former rewards programme item" consists of the broken body of a fallen Yordist Knight lying face down in the mud who has lost a battle against a victorious knight of the Prydian Army.

However, as I don't actually play the manufacturer's rule-set "Patrol Angis", I decided to instead paint my piece up to represent Garviel Loken's bitter defeat at the hands of the "Warhammer 40,000" traitorous space marine Ezekyle Abaddon during the Battle of Isstvan III. In fact, in many ways I think this two-figure ensemble is a perfect proxy for the Warmaster's First Captain, even if the triumphant Prydian Knight lacks the Despoiler's iconic pony-tail and anything resembling Terminator armour.  
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Black Adder Combat Car has been shaded and had its metallic areas 'picked out'
As the "great centrepiece for any 15mm Ion Age force" didn't come with a base, it was super-glued upon a small “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand and primed with a double layer of "Vallejo" Black. I then sought inspiration from the Abaddon and Loken "Horus Heresy" Character Series by "Forge World" and attempted to replicate their colour scheme upon the two significantly smaller figures in front of me.

Resultantly, I applied a layer of Heavy Bluegrey to Garviel's battered body, and then gave the fallen 'space marine' two coats of Dark Green. I next washed the prone Sons Of Horus warrior with some "Citadel" Nuln Oil before 'picking out' his shoulder-pads using more "Vallejo" Black and a combination of Heavy Sienna, Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Retained Knights have all been primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue
Ezekyle was somewhat more difficult to re-imagine in the form of a Prydian Knight, so I simply tried to capture the flavour of the Master of the Justaerin's palette by applying some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson to one of his knee-pads and one of his shoulder-pads, whilst 'highlighting' a couple of his armour's adornments with "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, his formidably-sized Angis rifle was treated to some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a heavy shade of Nuln Oil.

Alongside my 'Abaddon' I have also managed to base-layer the entirety of a Black Adder Combat Car I aim to use as mobile support for my 'Imperial Guard' themed Muster First Patrol, as well as primed three Retained Knights to bolster the numbers of my 15mm Crimson Fists Space Marine Chapter. I've actually started working my way through an old order which I collected in person from "Salute" 2014, so once these models are finished I'll be turning my attention towards some of the opposition I also purchased at the same time...

Friday, 12 October 2018

"Where Once There Was Hard Won Unity..."

"...There is now only dire civil conflict and destruction."
This 15mm scale resin hover light vehicle is made by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF036D Orange Adder Combat Lifter from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. "Capable of dealing with low level threats" I armed the infantry support Adder with a Hermit Grenade Launcher in a turret mount and provided it with some additional 'tabletop' protection by super-gluing it upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

Because I am ‘modelling’ my Prydian Army upon the "Rogue Trader" Crimson Fist Space Marine Chapter I undercoated the 60mm long vehicle with two coats of “Vallejo” Heavy Blue and washed the entire "standard light ground" automobile with “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The Adder’s forward and rear hatches were then picked out with “Vallejo” Heavy Red before being both glazed in “Citadel” Bloodletter and later washed using Carroburg Crimson.
"The Ion Age" WIP - The primed Black Adder Combat Car has had its metallic areas base-coated "Vallejo" Black
I also picked out the 30mm wide conveyance's sidelights and main armament using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst ensuring the hovercraft's skirt wore a nice even coat of "Vallejo" Black. As a final step I 'picked out' a couple of its lamps with White and Pale Grey, before applying a “Warhammer 40,000” Crimson Fist decal by "Games Workshop" to the transporter's front in order for it to proudly sport its Space Marine Chapter's symbol.

In addition this vehicle I have made some progress on a Black Adder Combat Car which I plan to utilise as part of my slowly growing Muster First Patrol. Admittedly my infantry force already contains plenty of heavy weapons, but as its on 'foot' I felt it lacked the murderous mobility a "four wheeled light vehicle" decked out with a formidable-looking Fretan type Railgun could provide...
"The Ion Age" WIPs - This special edition Retained Knight is slowly having his armour's detail 'picked out'
Sticking with "The Ion Age" and my re-imaging of its universe to something more akin to that of "Rogue Trader", I have been beavering away on one of the range's former rewards programme items which depicts a pair of retained knights. I thought this piece would make for an excellent proxy of Ezekyle Abaddon during the Great Crusade when he was the First Captain of the traitorous Sons of Horus, and have subsequently begun painting the model accordingly.

Of course, this 15mm scale figure doesn't really look a great deal like the Terminator-armoured Chaos Space Marine with a gigantic lightning claw, yet stood atop a similarly attired fellow warrior, I couldn't help but think of Abaddon's epic defeat of loyal Captain Garviel Loken on Istvaan III at the start of the Horus Heresy. Resultantly, I have my eye on painting up a few of my retained knight miniatures in both the Sons of Horus Legion colour scheme, as well as that of the Primarch Sanguinius' Blood Angels...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

"Across The Entire Prydian Precinct There Are Planetary Militias..."

"...Otherwise known as Planetary Defence Forces."
These two 15mm miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" code IAF022 Muster First Patrol (Pose One Muster Patrol Officer, Moth Type 8 Pistol) and code IAF021 Muster First Patrol Command (Pose Four Muster Patrol Trooper, Standard Bearer), and have rather embarrassingly been sat upon my painting table since they were first ordered in March 2014. The figures are actually designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but I’ve based them together in order to form a small Command base for a home-made set of rules loosely based within the early “Rogue Trader” era of the “Warhammer 40,000” Universe.

As a result, both figures were originally undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Black and had their uniforms ‘picked out’ with Heavy Bluegrey, as well as shaded with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, in order to try and replicate the palette of the Imperial Guard, back when Mark Copplestone was sculpting them. I then applied a little “Vallejo” Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to their epaulettes, ribbed body armour and cap badges, as well as the top of the standard so as to make their status ‘pop’ that little bit more on the tabletop.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - These Muster Patrol Troopers have had all their base colours blocked in
I picked out the trooper’s bare hands using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade, whilst treating the officer’s gloves, the standard’s pole, and both soldiers’ backpacks to a coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I applied a base layer of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to their firearms and heavily washed them in Nuln Oil so as to dull the weapons down somewhat.

Sticking with “The Ion Age” and my Muster First Patrol miniatures, I have also managed to make some substantial progress on three more figures from their 15mm range. I intend at some point to greatly add to the number of regular Guardsmen carrying Moth Type 6 Rifles my ‘Imperial Guard’ company can field, but for now am solely focusing upon models I already own such as a Heavy Weapons Team carrying the awesomely-named Anvil 888 (mortar).
"Heroclix" WIPs - Black Widow, Hit-Monkey and Dum Dum Dugan
In addition, I’ve been busy pursuing a 'few' S.H.I.E.L.D. reinforcements for my tabletop campaign involving the fictional espionage, special law-enforcement, and counter-terrorism agency defending the Earth from an invasion of Dire Wraiths. "Wizkids" don't seemingly do a Rom - Space Knight "Heroclix" model currently, so I've instead started working on arguably the next best thing - his childhood friend known as Firefall.

I’ve also taken receipt of an additional box of models from my favourite “Wizkids” Second-hand emporium from across the Pond, “Troll And Toad”, which included Hit-Monkey; a gun-totting primate who formed part of Dum Dum Dugan’s “Howling Commandos Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Considering the “Heroclix” figure’s diminutive size and predominantly black colour-scheme, the “World’s greatest assassin” shouldn’t take too long to paint, so I’ve added a couple of extra super-heroes to the mix such as the Japanese macaque’s boss, and the Black Widow.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

"Bloodletters Are Horrific Lesser Daemons Of Khorne..."

"...That specialise in close combat fighting."
These five plastic 6mm scale Bloodletters were made by "Games Workshop" for their tabletop wargame "Epic", and sadly are now long Out Of Production (OOP). However I was fortunate enough to purchase a small tub of second-hand lesser daemons of Khorne from a stall whilst perusing this year's "Colours" at Newbury, and resultantly hope to paint enough figures up to at least give me eight stands worth (250 points) to use with the "NetEpic Gold" free-to-play rule-set.

The tiny figures were initially all super-glued to a thin strip of wood, and primed using two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red. They were then washed using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red.
Some Undead models from "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King's Quest" by "Mantic Games"
I subsequently 'picked out' their loincloths and horns with some Black and applied a layer of Heavy Sienna to their Hellblades. Later I pigmented their hand-weapons using a combination of "Vallejo" Brass and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and finished the blades off with a delicate dry-brush of more "Vallejo" Brass.

Originally I had intended to permanently base my Bloodletters upon a circular lipped stand, as I've seen "Epic" Space Marines based this way before and really liked the look of them. However, having gloss varnished and cut the miniatures off their painting branch, found them far too fiddly to assemble together as a 'bunched up' fivesome. So in the end decided to go with a small "Flames Of War" rectangular stand by "Battlefront Miniatures".
"The Ion Age" WIP - The Adder Combat Lifter has been completely base-layered
In addition to finishing my "Epic" test-pieces, I have also managed to complete the second of the scythe-carrying Skeleton Warriors found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games". I've now finished re-basing all of my previously painted models for this boardgame onto the smaller Undead square stands used for "Kings Of War", and hope to add to their total over the next few weeks... 

Finally, I've made some significant in-roads on my latest resin vehicle by "The Ion Age". As the 15mm science fiction range has a real "Rogue Trader" feel to it, I've been painting up some Prydian Army models as Crimson Fist Space Marines, and felt their infantry would appreciate the additional firepower of an Adder Combat Lifter in their fight against the Xenomorphs XX121.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

"...The Arm Of A Zombie Reached Up And Pulled A Lever."

"Clanking mechanisms that had lain dormant for ten centuries creaked into life."
These two 28mm scale Ghosts form part of the "twenty six detailed and fully assembled miniatures in coloured plastic" found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games", and initially appear in the boxed set's sixth adventure, "Turned Around". Each desperately dragging a heavy ball and chain, the restless spirits haunt the corridors of an ungodly crypt located at the farthest end of the scenario's rotating rooms and are able to "Walk Through Walls"...

Initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Black, both figures were heavily dry-brushed with Heavy Charcoal before having their crippling encumbrances 'picked out' using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As I wanted the metallic objects to appear somewhat ancient and soiled I then applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash to them, and blended it in with the help of a delicate dry-brush of (more) "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"The Ion Age" WIPs - The Muster Patrol Trooper has had all his base layers blocked in
I've rather embarrassingly actually owned an unpainted Undead "Kings Of War" army for several years now, and one of the main reasons I bought "Dungeon Saga" was so I could paint up a number of its decaying denizens and subsequently use them for "Mantic Games" tabletop mass battle rule-set. As a result, I've found myself becoming increasingly irked by the large paving stone bases upon which the Necromancer Overlord's minions stand, and with these two miniatures finally decided to take the plunge and re-based them upon the 20mm square bases predominantly used by Undead infantry troops.

In addition to finally finishing my pair of Ghosts, I have also made some significant progress on the first two Muster Patrol models I want to add to my current meagre-sized 15mm Prydian Army by "The Ion Age". Approximately four years ago I actually decided to start a weekly painting challenge for three months by 'picking' a painting subject based upon the turn of a playing card every seven days, and perhaps unsurprisingly ended up painting a small collection of figures from across a variety of ranges. These days I'm more concerned with monthly painting targets, yet felt the principle was still sound, and so have set myself the target of finishing forty points worth of the marvellously characterful science-fiction figures over the next thirty-one days instead.
"Bolt Action" WIPs - A German soldier, Rommel and a British Tommy
I have actually 'borrowed' the points system from the annual "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge", and have been using its methodology to track my painting output over the past few years. For 15mm scale models I'm going to need to paint up a fair few foot soldiers as they only weigh in at two points each. However, as vehicles are worth six points apiece you can expect a handful of vehicles to promptly appear too so as to supplement my total tally over the next few weeks. To begin with though I'm hopeful this nearly-finished Standard Bearer, along with his Captain, will get me off to a reasonable start...

Lastly, I had the pleasure of attending "Warlord Games" Open Day on Saturday 22nd September 2018, and amongst my loot managed to not only bag the event's two free "Bolt Action" miniatures entitled "War Without Hate", but also their Western Desert Campaign Book's special figure of Rommel. I actually ended up buying quite a bit from the Nottingham-based manufactuer's Second World War range, as well as a few "Konflikt '47" weird war infantry units too, so expect plenty of vampires, werewolves, zombies and armoured exo-skeletons in the near future.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "The Ion Age" October 2018

"The Ion Age" WIPs - An Adder Combat Lifer, Muster First Patroller and an Adder Combat Car
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures will heavily focus upon several of the incredibly detailed 15mm scale science fiction models produced by "The Ion Age". I've not actually painted any of the figures or vehicles from this genre for a couple of years now despite owning a sizeable number of their seemingly "Rogue Trader" influenced sculpts, so my plan is to 'flesh out' both my previously pigmented Prydian Army and Muster First Patrol with some additional infantrymen and resin vehicles. 

In the past I've used a palette similar to that of the Adeptus Astartes chapter known as the Crimson Fists for my Prydians, and the original light grey uniform worn by the Imperial Guard for my Muster men. As a result I intend to paint their corresponding vehicles in similar colour schemes, possibly 'touch-up' a few of my older miniatures, and then hopefully re-fight one of my earliest Battle Reports against H. R. Giger's Xenomorphs (as manufactured by "Pendraken Miniatures").
"Dungeon Saga" WIPs - Three re-based Skeleton Warriors at various painting stages
Of course, that doesn't mean I've given up working on several "Dungeon Saga" figures by "Mantic Games". This project momentarily stalled following my decision to re-base all the plastic models from "The Dwarf King's Quest" starter set onto the somewhat smaller square stands needed to play the company's mass combat rule-set "Kings Of War".

With hindsight I really should have done this at the start of "Saga'Tember" as I was never happy with the large stone-paved bases which the skeletons, ghosts and heroes came on. But with them now re-based my flagging enthusiasm for these classic dungeon crawlers has been significantly rekindled, and I have even gone so far as to make some additional purchases to add to my future Undead Forces...
"Necromunda" WIPS - Three House Goliath gangers assembled, based and primed "Vallejo" Black
Lastly, I have finished assembling my seven-figure Goliath gang for "Necromunda" by "Games Workshop". These multi-part miniatures have proved somewhat more time-consuming than I anticipated as I actually tried 'kit-bashing' a couple of my members instead of simply following the 'load-outs' in the boxed game's instruction manual.

Fortunately, I didn't do any lasting damage to any of the figures and have subsequently been able to weaponise them as per the Nottingham-based company's suggestions. These three final figures will simply be the grunts of my force, and, as with my other "hulking brutes", will be painted up so as to  loosely represent the Harkonnens from Frank Herbert's "Dune" universe.

Monday, 24 September 2018

"Let Them Try And Deal With The Banshee."

"She would be their doom..."
This 28mm scale Banshee is one of the "twenty six detailed and fully assembled miniatures in coloured plastic" found inside the "Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King`s Quest" boxed game by "Mantic Games", and is sculpted to represent the "restless spirit of Elshara". Bound by the Necromancer Mortibris to the confines of an underground room "dominated by a huge stone pillar", the spirit is the four heroes' main adversary in the rule-set's third adventure "Restless Guardian".

Undercoated with a double-layer of "Vallejo" Dead White, I actually decided to step away from the Undead creature's 'official' all-blue palette and instead rather mercenarily used the figure as a test-piece for an upcoming "Games Workshop" Nighthaunt faction for "Age Of Sigmar". Resultantly, she was shaded using some "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dead White.
Goliath WIPs - The ganger is slowly being painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Ironbreaker
Finally, as I wanted the Banshee's unruly flowing hair to stand out somewhat from the rest of her ethereal form I subsequently washed it with a spot of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade and Agrax Earthshade, before trying to 'blend' these areas in with even more delicate "Vallejo" Dead White dry-brushing. The model's square cobbled stand was treated to a combination of "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade so as to better fit in with all my other basing, but I'm not convinced it really works all that well to be honest and may therefore re-base all my "Dungeon Saga" figures for "Kings Of War" should I ever decide to use them for that mass combat tabletop game.

With a few more "Mantic Games" Undead figures just needing to be varnished and flocked before being posted, I have turned my attention towards pigmenting the first of my Goliaths for a huge “Necromunda” project I plan to take through until the end of the year. I've already had a delivery of more MDF scenery from "Blotz" to go with the few pieces of their "28mm scale sci-fi style wall sections” I purchased at "Colours", and hope to quite quickly get a number of these structures painted in order to represent the corridors of Arrakis.
Goliaths WIPs - Baron Harkonnen, Feyd-Rautha and Glossu Rabban have all been assembled and primed
I'm probably one of the few who thoroughly enjoys repeated viewings of David Lynch's 1984 American epic science fiction film “Dune”, and therefore thought that setting my "underworld of corrosion" on Frank Herbert's desert planet would be a great way of blending two passions together. For now I'm simply going to focus on painting my "hulking brutes" up as House Harkonnen, so have decided upon a predominantly black and metal colour scheme, with some flashes of blue for the basic troops and perhaps a little red for their leader Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, as well as champions Glossu Rabban and Feyd-Rautha. 

Currently I have assembled all three of my gang's central characters, and dished out a number of the rule-sets' status weapons amongst them. This means my corpulent planetary governor will wield a power hammer and Plasma combi-stubber, his sadistic eldest nephew a two-handed 'Krumper' rivet cannon, and the ruthless Feyd a Renderizer. Of course, the "Games Workshop" models themselves require some 'willing suspension of disbelief' to resemble the noble family I have in my mind, but if this project grows any legs then I may well dive into my bitz box and possibly produce some more appropriate-looking figures in the future...

Friday, 21 September 2018

"The Robot Wars" - Coming To Kickstarter Soon

"The Robot Wars"
I've previously posted about the exciting announcement that Russ Morrissey's “Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game” is coming to Kickstarter soon both here and on the "Dawn Of Comics" website. However, up until recently, I hadn't seen much about the W.O.I.N. (What’s Old Is New) engine-based rule-set's first supplement which firmly focuses upon the veteran street judge's experiences during "The Robot Wars". Fortunately "EN Publishing" have now kindly released some of its contents...

The below is the second article in my coverage and was originally published on the "Dawn of Comics" website...
"All across Mega-City One, the Robots are turning against their human masters."
Hot on the heels of their announcement that “The Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD” Tabletop Adventure Game will be up on “Kickstarter” on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 5pm GMT, “EN Publishing” have now revealed a significant insight into one of their core rule-book’s adventure supplements, the 101-page sourcebook “The Robot Wars”. Based upon “the first extended storyline of the comics character Judge Dredd” which was originally published for the British anthology comic “2000 A.D.” in 1977, this incredibly exciting expansion will not only allow players to take on the role of the Judges during John Wagner’s tale of droids rising up against their human masters, but also allow them to act “as Civilians and Perps in Saving Matt Damon Block, as war rages across the embattled city.”
"Chaos reigns as the charismatic Robot leader, Call-Me-Kenneth, rallies the city's Robots to his side..."
The hefty tome’s attention to detail is truly breath-taking due to its inclusion of “expanded rules for Robot characters”, from affordable animal pet robots through to expert assassination models, and an in-depth discussion of the robot's role in society; which delves into both the changing of their original programming, as well as their power being harnessed by criminals “for a variety of tasks”. In addition, before handing over the situation to the player characters, Andrew Peregrine’s work provides its readers with “a quick rundown” of what happened to Dredd in each episode’s original storyline and how he dealt with the challenge, plus exciting “summaries of Dredd's earliest case files”.
"Play as Judges... or as Civilians and Perps in Saving Matt Damon Block, as war rages across the embattled city."
Arguably this essential addition to the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD roleplaying game’s biggest highlight however, is in its coverage of the future lawman’s mechanical manservant Walter the Wobot and “the charismatic Robot leader, Call-Me-Kenneth”. All of the statistics for both the “small sentient mechanoid” and murderous “carpentry robot” are supplied within this sourcebook, including a comprehensive look at just how their various machine-driven appendages and skills, such as Walter’s extendable limbs and annoying lisp, can impact gameplay. Indeed, fans of the “new Messiah for robot-kind” should be particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity of not only being able to utilise the entire array of Call-Me-Kenneth’s integrated power tools whilst perhaps leading an attack on the Grand Hall of Justice, but also portray the automaton on the tabletop in his resurrected form sharing a sense-shattering showdown with old Stoney Face atop a huge flying oil tanker…"