Friday 30 March 2018

"Man, You Just Blew Yourself A Pair Of Doors."

"Ah, good, that's all settled. And now we shall open these doors."
This excellent felt-lined MDF Flip Card Box is made by "N-FX Game Design Studio" and "is specially designed to hold and protect your deck of cards whilst you’re gaming." Sold unassembled as part of their Stands/Holders range, the Flip Box has been designed to help easily "pick your next card up without all the hassle of your stacked deck sliding around" and comes in nine unpainted parts.

As I was very keen to additionally use this 'gaming device' as a piece of scenery for my "Doctor Who: Exterminate" wargames, I super-glued one of my spare resin air-locks onto one of its ends, and decided to try and turn it into some sort of Cyber-vault by under-coating it in its entirety with two layers of "Citadel" Ironbreaker.
"Doctor Who" WIPs - A Dalek, a Sontaran and Professor Kettlewell's Robot
I then liberally washed the ensemble with Nuln Oil and dry-brushed it with more Ironbreaker. Before 'picking out' some of the details on the "Second City Games" futuristic door with some "Vallejo" Heavy Red, "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and Abaddon Black. Finally, I applied some (pre-supplied) felt to the holder's base and interior in order to help prevent it from damaging either my gaming mats and the cards.

With my latest "N-FX Game Design Studio" scenic piece finished, I have added a few more of my "Doctor Who" miniatures by "Black Tree Design" to my painting queue. I've been pottering around on my Sontaran Warrior for a while already, but a recent "Warlord Games" sneak peek of their blue-themed modern day 'Nu-Who' versions has inspired me to try and get the militaristic clone finished before I find myself buying a load of theirs.
Black Templar WIPs - A tenth space marine for my first squad, and a Scout Sergeant
Similarly, whilst progressing a few of the Nottingham-based company's plastic gold Daleks, I have fortunately unearthed an entire bag of classic sculpts which I now want to paint so as to re-enact the Skaro mutants' civil war. As a result I've finished basing one piece and primed over its silver partial-paint-job with the admittedly more lack-lustre grey colour scheme of the Imperial faction's opponents. In addition I've set to work on an old miniature of J.P. Kettlewell's Experimental Prototype Robot K1; the Fourth Doctor's very first monster from his debut 1974 BBC Television story "Robot". 

Lastly, I've set to work on a pair of plastic "Warhammer 40K" figures, in order to help 'bulk out' my old Black Templar army. To be honest though, I'm presently rather 'out-of-love' with "Games Workshop" after they suddenly announced the cancellation of their weekly modelling magazine "Warhammer Conquest" before I'd even so much as seen an issue. I had been hoping the prospect of a few miniatures and bite-sized rule chunks would help me get into the Eight Edition of their tabletop miniature wargame, but now fear I'll have to preserver into the "dystopian science fantasy universe" unaided... and demotivated.

Monday 26 March 2018

"Put On The Headsets Or You Will be Dispersed!"

"The high brains have been captured."
These two 28mm metal Kroton models were manufactured by “Harlequin Miniatures” and represent the "semi-sentient armoured crystalline beings" first seen in the December 1968 BBC Television science fiction serial "The Krotons". Unfortunately, the "predatory quasi-organic tellurium based crystal" creature with its feeding tube intact would appear to be out of production. But the other Kroton can still be bought as code DW212 from the "Doctor Who" range sold by "Black Tree Design".

A "crystalline race from the planet Krosi-Aspai-Core" the pair of extra-terrestrials were primed using "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently layered with two coats of Ironbreaker. The figures were then washed with Nuln Oil and some Drakenhof Nightshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.
"Crocodile Games" Wendigo WIPs - The hairy hunters have been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
I was tempted at this stage to leave the miniatures well enough alone, but thought they looked a bit too monotone with their decidedly silver palette. As a result, I 'picked out' their featureless crystal heads with "Vallejo" Dead White, shaded them with some heavily-watered down "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and gave them a light dry-brush of "Vallejo" Dead White.

With two more of my embarrassingly large backlog of "Doctor Who" models completed, I've pulled out some partially-painted Wendigo Hunters I bought off of Ebay years ago. Produced by "Crocodile Games" I would appear to have an entire Hunting Party on my hands, including their Hunter Leader. I recall that these figures were in a truly shocking state of affairs upon their arrival, perhaps the reason why I simply spirited them away into a cardboard box, so I have had to spend a fair bit of time re-assembling a couple of them, re-basing them all and bending the odd spear or three.
An extremely generous donation of "Heroclix" miniatures from the Michigan Killdozers
In addition, despite their white fur, all six of the "Wargods Of Hyberborea" models had previously been primed with black paint and then had their undercoat rubbed off for some reason; presumably with a toothbrush or some such. This has meant I have had to apply several thin coats of "Vallejo" White over the miniatures in order to cover their bare metal, but also not 'stodge up' all of their detail.

Finally, long-term followers of "Fantorical" will know I also run a daily comic review blog entitled "The Brown Bag". This secondary hobby really helps fuel my painting mojo and also seems to go down rather well with a few comic book collectors across the other side of the Pond. Having recently heard that I was looking to grow my collection of "Heroclix" figures so as to actually play "Wizkids" game rather than re-base/re-paint them, they rather generously banded together in secret and incredibly generously sent me a rather large, undeniably heavy box containing over a hundred of the rule-sets pre-painted figures... 

Thursday 22 March 2018

"The Only Bear On The C.I.A. Death List!"

"Shako! The Eskimo word for Great White Bear. It means simply... Killer!"
This 28mm sized metal Polar Bear is produced by "Copplestone Castings" under Code PolEx011, and comes from their Polar Perils High Adventure range. An impressive 60mm in length, I immediately thought the animal was reminiscent of the 'Ursus maritimus' "who unwisely swallowed a capsule containing a secret government-created germ warfare culture, thinking it was a tin of food, and became a target of the CIA agents based at Ice Station Delta" in the Late Seventies "2000 A.D. comic book strip "Shako".

The hefty animal was initially primed with "Vallejo" Dead White and shaded with some "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. It was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dead White before being sporadically washed with some heavily-watered down Iraqi Sand. Finally, the beast was given a third and final dry-brush of Dead White and had his claws, nose and eyes simply 'picked out' with "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
"Your curiosity will cost you dear, Human."
In addition to Pat Mills' savagely brutal co-creation, who I also plan to utilise as a fearsome addition to my frosty "Gotham" crew for Mister Freeze, I have also completed painting a 31mm tall plastic "Wizkids" Dire Wraith Queen. This green-hued extra-terrestrial can be bought as number 010b from the "Marvel" Guardians Of The Galaxy "Heroclix" range and is destined to lead my previously finished band of sorcerous shape-shifters.

Created by Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom for the December 1979 issue of "Rom", the Skrullian deviant was undercoated with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and heavily washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. She was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Green before having her eyes 'picked out' with a tiny dollop of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre. As I wanted the super-strong sorcerers' pupils to particularly stand out, I didn't bother shading them, and instead simply tidied their edges up with some additional "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
Putrid Blightking WIPs - The two boil-covered armoured warriors are half-way finished
Lastly I have made some significant progress on my final two "Age Of Sigmar" Putrid Blightkings. This pair are all I need to field a five-strong unit of the "enormous, bloated warriors" for my 1,000 point Nurgle Host, but are proving rather time-consuming on account of each sculpts incredible detail; whether it be simply the amount of pustules and boils littering their bare flesh, or the number of decaying skulls tied about their plate armour.

Fortunately, my enthusiasm for this "Games Workshop" fantasy rule-set is currently riding rather high on account of the Nottingham-based company finally revealing their latest faction for the game, the Idoneth Deepkin. These Sea Elves look tremendous, with "colossal sea beasts", "living tidal waves", and "predatory shoals of fish", as well as "Aelves riding sharks and giant turtles with bolt throwers" too. Marvellous stuff...

Monday 19 March 2018

"Boromite Work Gangs Are Armed With Mass Compactors..."

"...Which are extremely powerful at short ranges..."
This 28mm metal Boromite Ganger is made by "Warlord Games" and forms part of the Boromite Work Gang boxed set for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". "Supplied unassembled and unpainted" this "genetically-engineered" miner is the second of five miniatures I require in order for me to field a 123-point costing Work Gang armed with Mass Compactors, Implosion Grenades and a Mag Pistol.

Originally primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the partially-knelt panhuman morph was shaded with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had some Chaos Black painted over all its weaponry, ammunition pack and hip-flask. The Ganger's metallic areas, including its firearm's nozzle, were subsequently treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst its Mass Compactor had its hand-grips and main body slightly corroded with a light touch of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash.
"Harlequin Miniatures" Kroton WIPs - The two crystalline creatures need their heads finishing
The power lighting on the Boromite's weapon was 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, plus his pouch was painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a splash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Lastly, the figure's yellow(ish) armour, his numerous "multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" and cumbersome tool's distortion compensator were all layered with "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.

With just three more "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" miniatures left to finish, I have momentarily turned my attention back to some of the old "Doctor Who" models I recently discovered during a large clear out of my lead mountain. Quite possibly cast by "Harlequin Miniatures" as opposed to "Black Tree Design" in the Mid-Nineties, I did initially think I only owned a single model of the crystalline race from the planet Krosi-Aspai-Core.
"Trust in your hatred for the mutant and the heretic, brothers."
However, I've since discovered a second Kroton figure within my horde which rather interestingly does not have the "predatory quasi-organic tellurium based crystal" creatures' airline sculpted on it. Bizarrely though, both versions of the "semi-sentient armoured crystalline beings" are listed as Code DW212 on the internet, with a second variant entitled Kroton Armed available as Code DW214. Whatever the story, instead of painting them all metal as originally planned, I thought I'd try something a little different by making their 'frosted' heads white with a subtle blue hue.

Finally, having recently re-gritted and flocked part of my old Black Templars for "Warhammer 40K", I have gone back and done precisely the same thing to the rest of my Crusader Squad, including their Sword Brother and a couple of Heavy Weapon options; a rocket launcher and flamer. I've yet to work out just how many points this force costs using the statistics in the "Index: Imperium 1" supplement, but hope to have enough to at least put up some form of opposition against my Chaos Daemons...

Thursday 15 March 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Star Trek - The Devil In The Dark Returns - Part Two

"Captain's log, Stardate 3196.1. A distress call from the pergium production station on Janus Six has brought the Enterprise to that long-established colony. Mister Spock and I have beamed down to locate some odds and ends which will help Chief Engineer Scott rig up a spare circulating pump. However, we've encountered a killer silicon-based life-form known as a Horta, and whilst my First Officer bravely risks his life keeping the creature occupied, I must continue in our mission alone..."

Despite not being able to receive a 'costed action' this turn, the Horta was still able to 'poison' Mister Spock as a 'free action' due to the alien's "This Creature's Body Secretes An Extremely Powerful Corrosive" trait. However, whilst this attack ordinarily deals "1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters", the previously wounded half-Vulcan was now utilising "The Occipital Area Of My Head Seems To Have Impacted With The Chair", which meant he could "reduce damage taken by 1" and was resultantly unharmed by the "silicon-based life-form".

Believing he could now both capture the rocky beast's full attention and simultaneously deal it a telling blow, the "hero for the ages" boldly announced "This Is Captain James Kirk Of The United Spaceship Enterprise" and opted for a 'Running Shot'. Halving his speed, "the quintessential officer" moved into a position to blast his pointy-eared friend's attacker, and fired his phaser. The U.S.S. Enterprise's captain rolled a 5 and 4, which was then added to his Attack of 11. In addition, because he had the Starfleet keyword, Kirk was able to utilise Spock's "I Have Analyzed Their Tactics, Captain" and "modify [his] Attack +1." The Horta's Defence was only 18, so the creature momentarily shuddered under the 'death ray'.
Unfortunately though, the rock-eating monster currently had the "A Silicon-Based Life Would Be Of An Entirely Different Order" trait, making it Impervious and reducing "damage taken by 2." Kirk's phaser presently only caused two damage, so the terrifying tunneller suffered no wounds...

Hoping to catch the understandably distracted Horta unawares, Spock tried to chop the brute, but rolled a 5 and 1, which when added to his Attack 10 was less than the Horta's Defence. In retaliation, the creature tried to assault back yet also failed to roll higher than the half-human's Defence. It was stalemate.

Realising his phaser was currently completely ineffective against his foe, Kirk raced west to Objective One (Hand Container) and with a triumphant shout realised that it contained more than enough parts for Scotty to temporarily fix the pergium mining colony's damaged main circulating pump. He flicked open his communicator and quickly relayed the good news to his Science officer.
Receiving the news Spock knew that all he needed to do was momentarily escape the clutches of the Horta in order to be beamed to safety aboard the orbiting U.S.S. Enterprise. To do so though he needed to attain a 4-6 on the roll of a D6, and successfully rolled a 6. Travelling east back towards his starting co-ordinates, the green-blooded half-Vulcan contacted his Constitution-class starship and gave directions for the mission's party to transported immediately. Spock's second action on-the-trot, dealt him "1 unavoidable damage", but he didn't care.

The Horta however, infuriated by the blue-shirted intruder's departure, quickly followed the Human who had unwisely tried to burn him with the phaser. Using its "Astonishing That Anything Of That Bulk Could Move So Rapidly" trait the "silicon-based life-form" had soon closed upon Kirk. The fearsome fiend shuddered as it suffered "1 unavoidable damage" on account of receiving a second consecutive costed action, and readied its extremely corrosive acid for next turn.
Maddeningly, there would be no 'next turn' though, as both Kirk and Spock vanished, only to momentarily reappear victorious on the teleporter pad in the U.S.S. Enterprise's transporter room.

Monday 12 March 2018

"Nurgle Wishes To See Rot And Contagion Bloom Across The Mortal Realms..."

"...Drowning the bastions of his enemies in a tide of putrid filth."
This 28mm scale Putrid Blightking is one of the five multi-piece plastic figures which can be assembled from the sprues found inside the “Games Workshop” Putrid Blightkings boxed set. I had initially thought to use the predominantly plate armoured combatant to represent a particularly blessed Plaguebearer, and resultantly super-glued a Plagueridden's head upon the stump of his neck to better illustrate the point. However, the "hulking warriors of Nurgle" aren't actually daemons but blighted mortals, so I later ended up replacing the head with a formidably horned one from the kit and repaired any damage with a bit of grey-stuff.

Due to the "favoured mortal servant" wearing so much armour and chainmail I undercoated the model with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before laying down a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey over it. He was then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. The brute's soiled loincloth was treated to some "Citadel" Abaddon Black, two thin coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red", some "Citadel" Nuln Oil" and lastly a careful dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Red.
"Yet Nurgle is not malicious - far from it."
With the basics finished, I began slowly working my way up the miniature by picking out all the severed skulls handing from his armour with a combination of "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. Each grisly ornament was subsequently lightly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, and made a little more gory with a dab of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

In addition I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna to both the Blightking's sword and shield as a base-coat, and then treated the "slime-encrusted" armaments to some "Vallejo" Brass, a shade of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and then the "Citadel" Technical paint Nihilakh Oxide. These areas were later dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass to help blend in the patina.
Polar Bear WIP - The 'Ursus Martimus' needs to have his claws, eyes, snout and mouth picked out 
Whilst picking out the few spots of pustule-covered flesh on the "Age Of Sigmar" model, I also took the time to simultaneously apply the exact-same recipe of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and “Citadel” Biel-Tan Green to a couple of Nurglings. I plan to use a plethora of these tiny pot-bellied gremlins as Wound Markers for some of my host's larger miniatures, so was pleased to get a pair finished as I waited for the paint to dry on my Putrid warrior.

Finally, I have salvaged a Polar Bear by "Copplestone Castings" from out of my partially-painting backlog, and applied a fresh undercoat, wash, dry-brush, shade and second dry-brush to the animal. Originally I did consider placing 'Ursus Maritimus' on a lipped circular base and using him for "Frostgrave", but then felt he might make an excellent addition to my ever-increasing "Gotham" crew for Mister Freeze...

Friday 9 March 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Star Trek - The Devil In The Dark Returns

This game was played using the 2017 "Heroclix" Quickstart Rules by "Wizkids" in order to allow us to quickly field a handful of pre-painted miniatures from the New Jersey-based company's "Star Trek HeroClix Away Team: The Original Series" range, and took place upon six of the cardboard game tiles found within the "Necromunda: Underhive" boxed set by "Games Workshop".

The Federation faction, which began on the western edge of the tabletop, consisted of Captain Kirk with Mister Spock, and cost 100 points. Whilst their opponent, a single Horta, started in the east and also cost 100 points. The planet Janus VI had five strategic locations identified and at each of these sites was placed a piece of the pergium mining colony's dismantled main circulating pump. However, until either Kirk or Spock examined the component it would not be know just how many parts it would provide Scotty's repairs with. The U.S.S. Enterprise's Chief Engineer required eight parts to "rig one up" before the reactor went super-critical in ten turns time...

In addition, it was decided not to utilise the Star Fleet officers' Team Ability: "United Nation Of Planets"; which provided each figure with +1 Speed whenever "given a Move action". As we were only playing with 100 points per side, each faction's starting Action Total was only one. But because Kirk started the game with "I'll Keep That In Mind, Mister Bailey, When This Becomes A Democracy", the Federation were allowed "Action Total +1" on account of this Leadership; providing both the Captain and his First Officer with the ability to act whenever possible.
"Captain's log, Stardate 3196.1. A distress call from the pergium production station on Janus Six has brought the Enterprise to that long-established colony. Mister Spock and I have beamed down to locate some odds and ends which will help Chief Engineer Scott rig up a spare circulating pump. However, somewhere within these passageways lurks a killer silicon-based life-form known as a Horta..."

Taking the initiative, Captain Kirk directed Mister Spock to travel west towards Objective Three (Drink Dispenser). The Starship skipper was ordinarily quicker than his First Officer with a Speed of 8 to the Vulcan's 7, but currently the blue-shirted scientist could utilise "Fascinating"; which courtesy of a Sidestep provided a Free "move up to 2 squares." The green-blooded half-human easily reached his goal and gathered up two spare parts to aid Scotty in building his temporary fix.
James Tiberius Kirk meanwhile, headed north to Objective Four and incredibly collected four more parts. The U.S.S. Enterprise crew-mates were already only two pieces shy of completing their mission. And yet, before the Constitution-class vessel's captain could celebrate, he heard Commander Spock gasp in surprise as the Horta, using its "Astonishing That Anything Of That Bulk Could Move So Rapidly" trait, travelled east straight up to Objective Three and closed with his pointy-eared friend...

Mister Spock attempted to break away from his rocky opponent, and see whether Jim could make a Running Shot at the creature. To do so though he needed to attain a 4-6 on the roll of a D6, but rolled a 2 and failed. His action was over, and to make matters worse because this was his second action on-the-trot, he was dealt "1 unavoidable damage".
"The first and only student at Starfleet Academy to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test", Captain Kirk was torn between making a break for it and heading towards Objective Five or racing south-west in order to help his friend. In the end he decided to simply stay put and catch his breath. He couldn't help his half-Vulcan colleague by arriving at his side winded (i.e. also being dealt "1 unavoidable damage" for receiving an action on two turns consecutively).

The Horta however, infuriated by the Humans invasion of his territory had no such qualms and immediately utilised its "This Creature's Body Secretes An Extremely Powerful Corrosive" free action to "deal 1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters." Spock cried out in pain and then watched in increasing horror as the "silicon-based life-form from Janus VI" launched an attack at him. The creature had an Attack Value of 10, and rolled a 1 and 4, thus totalling 15. Fortunately for the blue-shirted scientist his Defence Value was 16, meaning the U.S.S. Enterprise's Commander narrowly avoided the assault.
Despite owning a "physiology [that] was very different from the carbon-based norm more commonly found in the galaxy", the Horta gave an involuntary shudder. Like its green-blooded target it had received a second action on-the-trot, and been duly dealt "1 unavoidable damage" through its exertions.

Believing his pointy-eared friend could manage on his own, James Kirk decided to take advantage of the rocky creature's inability to momentarily do anything, and struck out west for the far away Objective One. If Spock could escape the acidic clutches of the Horta then he'd be able to retreat back towards Objective Five, and having scoured four separate objectives the Federation officers would definitely own enough spare parts to help Scotty complete his temporary repairs. It was a gamble for sure, but one "Starfleet's youngest starship captain" was willing to risk...

To Be Continued...

Tuesday 6 March 2018

"Hey! This Ain't No Blamed Super-Robot!"

"Whatever in Sam Hill it is -- It's alive!"
This 70mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of Dragon Man is miniature number 020 from the Avengers Marvel "Heroclix" range and is based upon the "artificial dragon-like humanoid android who was animated via alchemy." "Built by Professor Gregson Gilbert of Empire State University as an experiment", the "former supervillain" was created by Stan Lee and artist Jack "King" Kirby for the February 1965 issue of "The Fantastic Four".

Super-strong, as well as being capable of both flight and breathing fire, the automaton was originally primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Dark Grey and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The "initially non-sentient" machine was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dark Grey, before having its shorts painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"I ain't afraid of no ghost!"
Sadly, despite the great sculpting for the rest of Dragon Man, his head is significantly too small in size when compared to the robot's classic massively beaked look under the pencil of Kirby or John Byrne ("Captain America" #248). However, despite this disconcerting inconsistency with the robot I managed to momentarily set aside my disappointment and picked out his teeth and eyes with "Vallejo" Dead White, as well as his tongue with Heavy Red.

In addition to Dragon Man I have also finished working on five “Newark Model Soldier Company” miniatures which were given away free upon entrance to a number of the “Partisan” wargaming conventions many years ago. They consist of Paul the Postman, Stuart the Telegrapher, James the Swordsmith and two copies of Little Lau the Chimney Sweep.
"Copplestone Castings" Deinonychuses WIPs - The dinosaurs have been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
Because the sculpting of these figures is a little 'crude', I've previously painted some of this range up as ghosts, and have simply replicated that recipe upon these too. As a result I undercoated them all with "Vallejo" Dead White, subsequently shaded them with a wash of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and then dry-brushed them with (more) "Vallejo" Dead White.

Finally, I have discovered two poorly-primed Deinonychuses by "Copplestone Castings". This pair of dinosaurs were in poor-shape to be honest, but I felt as part of my Partially-Painted Challenge, it might be nice to breathe life back into them with a decent couple of layers, a wash and dry-brush. Now I just need to decide whether to give them any markings, or simply paint the maned-one's feathers red...

Sunday 4 March 2018

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Boromite Work Gang" March 2018

Boromite Work Gangers WIPs - The alien miners have an incredible amount of armour
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my potentially insurmountable collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures is to simply focus upon a unit of five Boromite Work Gangers which I desperately need to finish in order to finally complete my 500 point Scouting Force. I've been occasionally beavering away at these "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" sculpts for a few months now, and actually managed to complete the squad's first figure at the end of January. However, since then I haven't really found the motivation to get the other "Warlord Games" models tabletop ready...

Admittedly, part of my reluctance to tackle these extra-terrestrial miners is due to their incredibly time-consuming detail, but the recent loss of their leader (who most probably fell into my bin unobserved) has meant that I simply couldn't face painting them until I had obtained a suitable replacement. Now that has been done, along with a few extra personnel, I plan to have the "genetically engineered" workforce varnished, flocked and fighting for their survival within the next few weeks.
Putrid Blightking WIPs - The warrior has yet to have his bronze weaponry weathered and dry-brushed
Of course that doesn't mean I'll be turning my gaze away from the remaining Putrid Blightkings I require in order to field a five-strong unit of the "enormous, bloated warriors", nor the four tiny Nurglings I plan to use as wound markers for some of my larger "Age Of Sigmar" Chaos models. I want these miniatures to be finished sooner rather than later in order to be able to field a 'genuine' 1,000 point Nurgle Host and then begin work building up the strength of my Khorne forces.

There's also a lot of new models on the horizon for this rule-set too, with the Daughters Of Khaine army looking set to include harpies (Khinerai Heartrenders) and serpent-bellied warriors (Melusai Blood Sisters); all of which are going to be nearly impossible to resist purchasing. Plus I've been sat upon a boxed set of Kharadron Overlords for far too long, so its time to start thinking about working on a sky-fleet of iron-clad warriors, all "aboard fantastical machines of war armed with powerful aetheric weapons."
"Since its founding, the Black Templars have campaigned on a never-ending crusade."
Finally, I couldn't help but notice that the Nottingham-based company are about to embark upon a new subscription service involving "Warhammer 40K" which appears similar to their 2002 "Battle Games in Middle-Earth fortnightly magazine (published by "De Agostini"). As seems to be the way with all these offers "Warhammer Conquest" thus includes a number of deliveries per month "with minis and gifts included with each issue." Of particular interest to me though is the prospect that the publication will teach me how to play Warhammer 40,000 "in bite-size chunks"; something I enjoyed doing when learning their "Lord Of The Rings" tabletop rule-set almost two decades ago.

Hopefully this investment will help me finally get some use out of the "Dark Imperium" boxed set I bought last year, as it has already encouraged me to seek out my old Black Templars and re-grit/flock them. Admittedly, these members of the "second Founding chapter derived from the Imperial Fists" are on smaller bases than the Adeptus Astartes stand upon these days, but the models date back to a time when I 'protected' my figures using PVA glue as opposed to varnish, so I didn't want to risk needing to repaint any of them if I damaged one whilst re-basing them...

Thursday 1 March 2018

"Wizkids" Battle Report: Fantastic Four - The Cosmic Cube Of Doom - Part Two

"The story so far… The Cosmic Cube has mysteriously appeared within a derelict suburb of New York City. The Fantastic Four want to take it into safe-keeping, but Doctor Doom intends to seize the cube for his own nefarious plans. Accompanied by three Doombots, the Latverian Monarch has therefore already launched a devastating attack upon Reed Richards and Johnny Storm..."

With a loud bellow of "It's Clobberin' Time!", The Thing charged into Doctor Doom, using his additional pace to buckle the plating of the medieval-looking monarch's armour [Attack: 5 + 2 dice for the Charge]. The "skilled sorcerer" was ordinarily had to hit due to his armour's augmentation [Heavy Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 5 or 6], and his "elaborate schemes" [Stupefy: Opponent's are -1 Attack/Shoot when fighting this model]. But the sheer formidability of Ben Grimm's assault meant that Victor Von Doom suffered two wounds.

Sensing her husband's plight, Sue Storm-Richards stopped trying to whittle down her opposition with force field projectiles and headed towards Objective Three (Cosmic Cube). Mister Fantastic headed west towards the abandoned vehicle in order to get his elastic fists into range of the evil doctor's Doombots [Short Range Shoot: 2 dice]. Meanwhile the Human Torch attempted to melt the mechanoid confronting him in the ruined building. Unfortunately though, the robot was proving to be annoyingly fire-proof.
Reed Richards charged into Doombot Omega, and managed to penetrate the android's armour. Only Doctor Doom could save the automaton now [Command: A friendly unit that is within 12" may re-roll a single dice roll once per turn], but it wasn't to be and the construct exploded into flames.

Johnny Storm attempted to continue the destruction by burning his way through Doombot Alpha, yet was once again thwarted by the machine's tenacity to survive. Ben Grimm continued to pound away at Victor von Doom, but the Latverian Monarch's armour was proving difficult to best. It truly was looking set to be a slug-fest of Stan Lee proportions in the centre of the battlefield. Sue Storm-Richards attempted to connect with another of her force field projectiles at Doombot Beta, however the missile missed its intended target.

Inspired by it's creator's commanding presence nearby, Doombot Alpha chopped away at the Human Torch inside the ruined building, and struck the human mutate a painful blow. Only Johnny's fiery form [Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 6] prevented the youth from taking a final, unconscious-rendering wound. Things weren't looking good for Flame-head.
Doctor Doom continued to wrestle with Ben Grimm, the two powerhouses testing each other for physical weaknesses, whilst Doomboot Beta ineffectively returned fire upon Invisible Girl.

Mister Fantastic reached Objective Two (Oil Barrels) and readied himself to throw a far-reaching punch at his arch-nemesis should the fiend overcome the Thing. However, Reed didn't think he needed to worry too much as he saw Ben Grimm jolt the "skilled sorcerer" with an earth-shattering punch. Victor von Doom didn't look as if he was going to last much longer...

In the north-west corner, buried within the ruined building, Johnny Storm continued to struggle with Doombot Alpha, whilst his sister, Susan, made a mental note to visit the X-Men's Danger Room at some point in the near future and brush up on her marksmanship.
Doctor Doom realised that the battle was now brutally balanced. The Latverian Monarch failed once again to hurt his rocky-hided foe, whilst his armour's in-built sensors informed him of Doombot Alpha's stalemate with the Human Torch. A scream to the east however, informed him that Doombot Beta had finally caught Invisible Girl a glancing blow. The woman's invisibility [Stupefy: Opponent's are -1 Attack/Shoot when fighting this model] had made her a difficult target, but once struck, the Storm-Richards' defensive shield [Armour: Saves any hits on a roll of 6] had easily been penetrated by the automaton's armour-piercing laser technology [Armour Piercing: Models with Armour may not make any saving roll].

With the fight having entered its final stage, Doombot Beta took Objective Five (Statue) revealing a single Victory Point, whilst its fellow robot attempted to defeat a wilting Human Torch. Fortunately for the Fantastic Four the fiery youth survived the attack. Enraged at his androids' failure to overcome their foes, Doctor Doom battered Ben Grimm with a ferocious wallop which caused the Thing to visibly shudder. However, it was not enough to fell the former pilot, and Aunt Petunia's favourite nephew had enough still in him to return the favour...
With an alarming bang and shower of sparks, Victor Von Doom broke apart as a result of Benjamin Grimm's latest punch, collapsing to the ground and revealing himself to be a simple facsimile of the Latverian Monarch. Sensing victory was at hand, Sue Storm-Richards captured Objective Three (Cosmic Cube) which was worth five Victory Points and Reed Richards remained by Objective Two (Oil Barrels) claiming four Victory Points. The battle was over and the Fantastic Four had clearly outfought Doctor Doom's evil robotic forces...