Wednesday 28 November 2018

"According To The Map Reference Now..."

"...That should be the entrance to the city of Telos."
This 100mm x 100mm x 60mm square MDF box was bought from the seller Tepic2000 on Ebay, and converted into a square futuristic building for my Cyber-City by using several of the excellent 3D decals sold by “N-FX Game Design Studio”. Undoubtedly a fairly simplistic ‘kit-bash’, the medium-sized installation is the second of several such science-fiction based structures I intend to use in order to help recreate the Cybermen’s catacombs on the planet “Telos”; the homeworld of the Cryons, which was later also inhabited by the Cybermen.

Having assembled the box and its lid without any major difficulties using some PVA glue, I affixed a number of 3D decals over its numerous surfaces in order to try and replicate grills, grates and electronic panels. These ‘details’ are self-adhesive and despite sticking to the wood very well indeed, could still be peeled away from the surface and re-aligned whenever I made a slight mistake in their orientation or decided upon a different sticker.
"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" WIPs - A Sontaran, a Quark and a Sea Devil
Once I was happy with the look of the facility I gave the entire piece an undercoat of “Vallejo” Black before applying two coats of “Citadel” Ironbreaker over the structure. I then heavily washed it with Nuln Oil, shading the building as haphazardly as I could so as to make the ‘box and its lid’ appear rather grungy.

In addition, I decided at this stage that I wasn’t going to worry too much about it’s interior and base, as these were in all likelihood never going to see the light of day. Lastly, I gave the building a rough dry-brush of (more) “Citadel” Ironbreaker in order to help bring all the “N-FX Game Design Studio” decals to the fore...
"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" WIPs - The Thirteenth Doctor and her TARDIS
Despite the underlying theme to next month's Ninth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge being firmly set within the Third Age of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, I have started to prepare/prime a number of "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures to help contribute towards my 500 point target. Some of these, such as a formidable number of Sontarans and Quarks, will simply be submitted as regular enties, but I do have my eye on a few figures from "Warlord Games" "Into The Time Vortex" range to use for the fortnightly themed Bonus Rounds.

One such thematic contribution will probably be a green-costumed Sea Devil for the "Water Feature" round, as I've been planning on painting an individually-garbed reptile-like humanoid to use as a Sea Devil Overlord for some time. Whilst the Thirteenth Doctor, complete with her time travelling TARDIS (and a handful of assistants) would arguably make a suitable entrant for the Challenge's final "Fellowship" bonus round...

Monday 26 November 2018

"Kamelion Is A Tool Of An Earlier Invader Of Xeriphas..."

"...And instrumental in my escape from that benighted planet."
This 28mm metal model of a Gelsandoran android is produced by “Black Tree Design" and can be bought from their "Doctor Who" range as code DW534 Kamelion. Freed by the Fifth Doctor "from the Master's control and invited... to join the TARDIS crew", this "first non-humanoid companion since K9" was created by Terence Dudley and made his BBC Television debut in the March 1983 story "The King's Demons".

The robot was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Black and subsequently treated to a couple of layers of "Citadel Ironbreaker". The figure was then liberally washed in Nuln Oil, before being roughly dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker. Finally I picked out Kamelion's transparent brain pan and stomach-based power cell with a combination of "Vallejo" Black Green, Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green shade.
"The Lord Of The Rings" WIPs - Two Nazgul and a mounted Mouth of Sauron
With less than a calendar month until the Ninth annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I have been rather busy scouring through my collection of boxes, drawers and bags of unpainted miniatures looking for any thing especially suitable for the event's "Lord Of The Rings" theme. Fortunately, I have clearly attempted to build up a sizeable horde of second-hand "Games Workshop" models in the past, and resultantly have been busy assembling and basing, or at least re-priming, a number of the range's classic metal miniatures.

Alongside a rather nice-looking mounted sculpt of the Mouth of Sauron, which pleasingly only needed a couple of watered-down "Vallejo" Black coats to mask its ghastly previous paint-job and have him ready for the start of the AHPC, I have also discovered a pair of named Nazgul on foot to add to my gaggle of Ringwraiths. I know little about the background to the Dark Marshal and the Shadow Lord, but both are wonderfully dynamic figures and look so much more interesting than the normal heavily shrouded incarnations seen throughout director Peter Jackson's film trilogy.
Sauron WIP - The Necromancer has been re-assembled and re-primed ready for the AHPC
Similarly, I was delighted to uncover a small plastic tub containing the separate parts of J. R. R. Tolkien's main antagonist himself, Sauron. Perhaps somewhat bizarrely, I was never a fan of "Games Workshop" and their insistence on producing small 'vignette' sets for their "Lord Of The Rings" miniatures range. The Dark Lord Sauron boxed set, containing the arguably useless prone forms of Elendil and Isildur, is a case in point, so presumably I spotted a complete Sauron being sold separately at a show's stall somewhen...

To be honest though, it's taken a fair bit of work to put the Necromancer back together again, as his original paint-job was not only poor, but contained lots of powdery putty which I have had to scrape off his joints so as to create better bonding surfaces for the super-glue. I've also taken the liberty of pinning the weighty model together with wire, just to ensure he doesn't fall apart again as he presumably once did when first assembled.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Top Ten Manufacturers Of 2017 - A "Fantorical" Viewpoint

This particular article has been sat as a draft on this blog since the early part of 2018, and was initially going to form part of a series of postings looking back at the different manufacturers/genres I’ve been painting since “Fantorical” started. With this current year now almost complete, and my attention currently being turned by all manner of products both well-established and newly found, I thought it was a case of ‘now or never…’

These past twelve months have genuinely seen me desperately try and reduce the towering mountains of metal, plastic and resin miniatures which have surrounded me for far too long. Undoubtedly, I have failed in this particular mission, as I have uncontrollably flitted from genre to genre as the year has progressed and disconcertingly purchased far more models than I could possibly have painted within a similar time period. But in trying to limit my spending and increase my focus upon my valuable hobby-time, I have also built up quite a few interesting statistics as to what I seemingly prefer to paint and game; something I thought I'd share by means of my Top Ten Manufacturers of 2017...  

No.10 - "Victrix Limited" - "1803-1815 French Fusiliers"
My desire to own a fully-painted Napoleonic army is probably a dream many wargamers have, especially those who predominantly dabble in historical tabletop battles, so the idea of dedicating an entire month to the plastic 1803-1815 French Fusiliers produced by “Victrix Limited” initially seemed like a good plan to reinvigorate a small partially-painted force I’ve had sat gathering dust for years. Sadly however, the project’s impetus was quickly eroded beneath a sea of straps, cuffs, waistcoats and epaulettes, and disappointingly I only managed to finish three figures during the entirety of 2017.

No.9 - Private Collection - "G.I. Joe"
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the late Summer 2017 was my introduction to, and subsequent acquisition of, some "G.I. Joe" miniatures from a private collection. These 28mm metal models are fantastically sculpted and absolutely packed full of comic book/ cartoon strip character. Indeed, despite only managing to complete a handful of figures I have clearly embarked upon a journey of discovery concerning the "Hasbro" toy action figure line, having watched three of the franchise's movies already... 

No.8 - "Wargames Foundry" - "Old West"
My desire to purchase this particular collection of 28mm metal Zombie Gunfighters was literally due to my bitter disappointment over the quality of the softly-sculpted plastic Undead miniatures found within the "Shadows Of Brimstone" boxed game by "Flying Frog Productions, and by "North Star Military Figures" decision not to produce a generic 'walking dead' horde for "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games". Coupled with the Zomtober Painting Challenge, this almost created a 'perfect storm' of productivity and despite some of the cowboy models containing an incredible amount of detail, I was rather pleased to get five of these colourful figures finished before my motivation misfired...

No.7 - "Wizards Of The Coast" - "Dungeons And Dragons"
I've been dabbling away at my "Expedition To Barrier Peaks" campaign for some considerable time, and, unhappily, have yet to properly progress any of my actual adventurers. That hasn't however stopped me from building up a formidable-looking opposing force for my project's opening scenario using "D&D" miniatures taken from the Washington-based company's official line, as well some figures from its long OOP "Chainmail" range. Admittedly, both the Twig Blights and Hammerers required reasonably straightforward paint-jobs, but along with a plastic Wind Elemental I've still managed to get seven figures closer to my goal... 

No.6 - "North Star Military Figures" - "Frostgrave"
In many ways, this is a bit of a cheeky entry considering that almost half of the 28mm plastic models I completed from this range were actually for a "Nemesis The Warlock" science fiction project, rather than to use with Joseph McCullough's fantasy-based rule-set. Yet whether my painting subjects were skeletal warriors or fanatical heavy-weapon armed cultists which required a few additional resin components, they all originated from the selfsame series of plastic "Frostgrave" kits. Sadly, I never got anywhere near the dozen or so Undead fighters I wanted in order to experience the unholy dangers of "The Mausoleum", nor managed to arrange a game of "Mutants & Death Ray Guns" using my Terminators from Terra.

No.5 - "Copplestone Castings" - "Future Wars"
Propelled by a desire to replicate some of Mad Max’s post-apocalyptic antics, and an urgent need to accrue some quick(ish) points for the Seventh Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge before its end, I really threw myself into a number of “Copplestone Castings” codes at the start of 2017, and ultimately came away with a fairly impressive plethora of painted miniatures. True, the possible highlight of this month-long project was probably the rusty paint-job I provided on a 1/55th Scale Mgebrov Single-Turret Armoured Car produced by "The Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company", rather than any of Mark’s characterfully sculpted Terminator Robots and Grey Aliens. Yet overall I still managed to ‘pot’ eleven models from his Future Wars range, and even got the vast majority of these finished figures on the tabletop for a Judge Dredd team-up set in the Cursed Earth…

No.4 - "Games Workshop" - "Age Of Sigmar"
“Games Workshop” undoubtedly made something of a major comeback in my books with the release of their fantasy battles “Age Of Sigmar” rule-set, and as a result I spent a fair portion of 2017 beavering away on some reinforcements for my Chaos Army. Predominantly occupied with doubling the size of my Nurgle Host’s Plaguebearer unit. I did however also ‘dip my toe’ into the Nottingham-based company’s "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire" boxed set with Garret Gorebeard, as well as test the waters with their release of the “ultimate Warhammer 40,000 boxed set" "Dark Imperium" by pigmenting a lone Death Guard Plague Marine.

No.3 - "Wizkids" - "Heroclix"
Super-Heroes have long been a major love of my life, so it should have come as no surprise to anyone that I managed to re-paint over twenty-five of “Wizkids” plastic “Heroclix” miniatures during 2017. Interestingly though, after a strong start fuelled by my desire to incorporate “The Avengers” into my games of “Zombicide”, my interest in the genre rather dried up during the vast majority of the year and didn’t surprisingly return until near its end when I began my short-lived “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” campaign featuring the Joker and the Riddler, and subsequently required some reinforcements for their gangs. Disappointingly, my enthusiasm for this turf ‘Battle for Gotham City’ petered out shortly afterwards, but at least I managed to finish two long-time languishing kit-bashed “Forgotten Heroes” in the shape of Warwolf and Manphibian.

No.2 - "Black Tree Design" - "Doctor Who"
“Black Tree Design” were undoubtedly a major contributor to helping me succeed in my 500 point challenge during their Seventh Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, with the manufacturer producing a fine array of straightforward-looking “Doctor Who” miniatures. Tapping into my deep adoration for the BBC Science Fiction Television programme’s classic era, I somehow managed to complete some ten Nimon, ten Robot Mummies and seven Voord before the event finished, as well as assemble a rather nice little sandstone backdrop for my seated Sutekh The Destroyer miniature.

No.1 - "Warlord Games" - "Doctor Who"
By far my most popular producer of miniatures in 2017, “Warlord Games” fiendishly ‘got me’ with two of their rule-sets - “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” and “Beyond The Gates Of Antares”. Initially, mainly due to my aforementioned collection of “Black Tree Design” figures, I was rather loathe to start collecting a second range of Time Lord-based miniatures, even if they were in a different scale and seemingly appeared far more focused on ‘Nu Who’ rather than the original thirty year-long series. But I eventually wilted with the release of their “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” Boxed starter set at “Salute” and the awesome “Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Coupled with a determination to ‘field’ a Boromite Scouting Force for “Beyond The Gates Of Antares”, alongside a few “Bolt Action” models, I ultimately ended up completing a staggering ninety-eight “Warlord Games” miniatures during 2017; over three times more than any other manufacturer.

Thursday 22 November 2018

"A Nox Warrior Is One With Its Armour..."

"...And their armour is one with them."
This trio of 15mm metal miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" Code AIAF001 The Nox and are part of the first order I ever made with the Girvan-based manufacturer in March 2014. These "best of the ordinary legionaries" found within the Shia Khan Empire are designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but as with their Prydian Army models I have based them together in order to form an infantry unit for a set of home-made rules.

All three figures were undercoated with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Red, heavily washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson and later dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red in order to try and bring out all the wonderful tiny details of their "Segmentum powered armour". I was rather tempted to then leave the "elite troops" well enough alone, but soon afterwards plumbed for their 'official' colour scheme courtesy of some "Vallejo" Black being used to 'pick out all of their ribbed piping and backpacks.
US Lunar Force Rocket Sled WIP - The model has had six more occupants permanently fixed in place
The rectangular medium-sized “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand actually consists of two copies of Pose Four (Nox Discens [private] with Flora Grenade Gun) and a single Pose Two (Nox Discens [private] with Janus Blast Gun). However, I painted both of the different types of firearm in the same way using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a splash of Nuln Oil.

Sticking with 15mm miniatures, only this time those produced by "Ground Zero Games", I have finally managed to assemble and attach six seated US Marine Corps Extra-Planetary Expeditionary Force Luna figures into the rear of my US Lunar Force Rocket Sled. These "seated troops" come as part of the "Moongrunt" US Lunar Marines Starter Force, and although I had contemplated painting them separately before super-gluing them on board the transport, I have since decided to do it now. 
"Lord Of The Rings" WIPs - Two primed Ringwraiths and the Mouth of Sauron
With so much currently going on upon my painting table I had completely forgotten about this year's fast approaching annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, especially as I was planning on allocating my hobby time from December to focusing upon the backlog of partially-painted models I have acquired over the past few years. I may well still do so, but as this is the Ninth year of Curt Campbell's event, and resultantly has a definite "Fellowship Of The Ring" feel to it, I thought I would also apply myself to tackling a 500 point "Lord Of The Rings" flavoured challenge during the AHPC as well.

Fearing for my sanity, and scrambling about my collection of metal and plastic miniatures, I have subsequently started work both prepping and priming the first of my entrants; two "Games Workshop" Ringwraiths and the Mouth of Sauron (on foot). As on average I'll need to complete eight 28mm scaled figures per week so as to reach my ultimate goal, I plan to prioritise such predominantly straight-forward subjects for the challenge, as well as hopefully pick up a fair few bonus points during its series of fortnightly thematic Bonus Rounds...

Tuesday 20 November 2018

"A Jeep Drove Him Across The Vast Space-Field At Cape Canaveral..."

"Action Man sat in the back of the jeep, silent, watching and listening."
This 15mm scale "all-metal multipart kit" is produced by "Ground Zero Games" and is model MG15-USV02B US Lunar Force Buggy from the company’s "Moongrunt" range. The vehicle is actually a variant of USV02A as it comes with a new nose section, and "includes two seated USLF crew in vacuum suits with backpacks."

Having previously painted similarly-sized transports before, I decided to paint the buggy's under-belly before I permanently attached it to a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand. However, I did mark the position of its four wheels on the base before gritting and painting its groundwork, and was therefore later able to simply super-glue the automobile in place before applying some static grass around it.
Nox WIPs - The elite troops have been primed, shaded, dry-brushed and had their details 'picked out'
The buggy actually comes in eighteen separate pieces, including its drivers, their oxygen apparatus, two sets of seating, and lots of wheels and axles. Resultantly, its assembly took some considerable time and patience so as to ensure each part was firmly affixed before I moved on to another part of the conveyance. Once built though, it was fairly straightforward to paint, courtesy of its double undercoat of "Vallejo" Dead White.

The model was then heavily washed with "Vallejo" Pale Grey and dry-brushed with (more) Dead White. Subsequently its wheels were painted using some Black, whilst the astronauts' space-visors were 'picked out' using a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I did momentarily debate as to whether to not flock the vehicle using my normal green grass method, as admittedly this doesn't seem terribly moon-like. But the recent discovery of a still unopened boxed ESU Naval Infantry Starter Force in my collection, which largely consists of Earth-bound Soviet Union soldiers, made me decide to stick with my usual basing process.
Stone Golem WIPs - The "Bones" model is slowly having all its details layered, washed and dry-brushed
Maintaining my 15mm momentum I am also steadfastly ploughing my way through my backlog of Nox figures by "The Ion Age". These elite troops of the Shia Khan Army are proving enjoyably simple to pigment, considering that their wonderfully characterful space armour is predominantly red. Initially I hadn't intended to go to all the trouble of painting their black leg piping and gauntlets. Yet now I've started to do so I think the extra effort makes them stand out as demonic warriors all the more.

In addition I have dug out an old partially-painted 28mm Stone Golem by "Reaper Miniatures" to provide a bit of variety to the scales I'm currently working on. Already primed and washed, this "Bones" model will probably end up with a snow-covered base so it can be used on both my "Frostgrave" tabletop, as well as in my long-stalled "Metamorphosis Alpha" campaign.

Sunday 18 November 2018

"Warfare" Loot 2018

Able Company WIPs - These "Sally 4th" 28mm miniatures have been based and primed
This past Saturday I made the annual trip to the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading and attended the opening day of the Wargames Association of Reading's weekend long show "Warfare". I've actually been regularly attending this event for well over a decade, but having bought just a few 'bits & bobs' this time round, disappointingly felt that it has probably seen far better days than it does in its current format. Indeed, a handful of the usual faces, such as "Hysterical Games", were noticeably not there, whilst the likes of "Warlord Games" and "Mantic Games" arguably presented some disconcertingly underwhelming stalls...

Fortunately, I did still manage to rummage around and purchase a few pieces of interest, with "Sally 4th" in particular providing a fine display of their wares, including some of the miniatures which form part of the Albedo Combat Patrol ACP164 Anthropomorphic "Kickstarter". Based upon "the unique comic book art of Steve Gallacci" I was sorely tempted to buy a few automatic-rifle carrying rabbits, foxes, dogs and cats, yet in the end actually decided to 'pick up' four of the manufacturer's 28mm metal figures from their Classic Movie Miniatures range.
US Lunar Force Rover WIP - The huge 15mm vehicle has been superglued together and partially primed
I'm not currently convinced as to what rule-set I plan to use these somewhat chunky Able Company characters with, albeit "Sally 4th" would seem to be targeting them towards those who play the Game of Extraordinary Action and Adventure entitled "Pulp Alley". So for now I have based them all on the lipped circular stands I use for my "Bolt Action" models, just in case I decide to utilise them as characters for "Konflikt '47" at some point in the future. In addition, I have had to do some restoration work to the barrel of the not-Jim Morita miniature's firearm, after the soft metal muzzle came away whilst basing him. Hopefully, once painted, the piece of metal wire I have employed as a replacement will look good enough...

Equally as enjoyable to visit was "Ground Zero Games" which was located in exactly the "same location as the last few years - first aisle on the left of the main trade hall." I've been tremedously impressed by their 15mm "Moongrunt" range in recent weeks, so treated myself to a second of their US Lunar Marine Starter Force boxes. These 'reinforcements' should enable me to hopefully build both variants of their US Lunar Force Rover, which is a truly formidable-looking and heavy combination of resin and metal, as well as give me a surplus of astronauts to potentiall paint up in the orange and yellow of Moonbase Alpha from "Space 1999".
Cave Troll WIPs - The two metal "The Lord Of The Rings" monsters have been reassembled and primed
Perhaps the show's highight for me however, was it's Bring & Buy sale, which whilst seemingly dominated by discarded "Flames Of War" forces and unwanted partially-painted "Warhammer 40K" warriors, did contain a tidy little collection of old "Lord Of The Rings" miniatures by "Games Workshop". Admittedly, some of the Nottingham-based company's early plastic sculpts for their Strategy Battle Game are still reasonably accessible in today's second-hand market, despite being released to co-incide with the 2001 film "The Fellowship Of The Ring". But I can't remember seeing two of its early metal Troll models sold together as a pair before.

Incredibly, the box was handled by at least a couple of (dis)interested parties before I could 'nab it', and I was particularly pleased to see that both the monsters' arms were already pinned in place and that they came with a small horde of Moria Goblins too. Of course, I have subsequently cleaned up the enormous cave dwellers' joints up and re-attached the limbs before gritting their bases with gravel. I'm hoping to get these finished reasonably quickly, as I've already assembled a sizeable collection of 'half-done' Middle Earth-based models ready for the start of next month's Second Partially-Painted Pledge challenge.

Thursday 15 November 2018

"This Prydian Precinct Was Governed By The Council Of Addans."

"The Addans were themselves all Marcher Barons..."
This trio of 15mm metal miniatures come from the "The Ion Age" Code IAF022 Muster First Patrol and are some of the last remaining models of an order I originally picked up at "Salute 2014". The soldiers are actually designed to be used with the company’s “Patrol Angis” rule-set, but I’ve based them together in order to form an infantry unit for a home-made set of rules loosely based within the early “Rogue Trader” era of the “Warhammer 40,000” Universe.

All three figures were resultantly primed with two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil in order to try and duplicate the palette of the Imperial Guard way back when "Games Workshop" first released their '"hard plastic" boxed set in January 1989. I then applied some watered-down "Vallejo" Black to their body armour, shoulder-pads, boots and weapons, whilst 'picking out' their capbadges with a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Nox WIPs - The Shia Khan EMpire elite troops have been shaded and had their base layers painted
The troopers' bare hands were painted using some “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and subsequently shaded with “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade. I also applied a double coat of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna to their backpacks and any waist-baggage before treating these areas to a healthy dose of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I applied a base layer of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to their Moth Type 6 Rifles and heavily washed them in Nuln Oil so as to dull the metallic paint down somewhat.

Sticking with my quite considerable backlog of miniatures from "The Ion Age" range, I have managed to make some more progress on some of the numerous Nox figures I own. Despite being sculpted to represent the elite troops of the Shia Khan Empire in "Patrol Angis", I have been painting these demonic-looking warriors as if they were heavily-armed Bloodletters recently escaped from the Eye of Terror.
US Lunar Force Rocket Sled WIP - The metal model has had its underbelly primed and washed
I've a fair few of these models from Code AIAF001 to pigment "Vallejo" Heavy Red and then thoroughly immerse in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. However, I shouldn't get particularly demotivated by working on a horde of similarly-posed sculpts as I have since discovered that I also own some of the more recently released Nox figures armed with both Janus Blastguns and Jupiter Plasma Rifles, so I can always add some of these into my queue to mix my Khanate Army schedule up a bit...

Lastly, I've also been busy basing some of the models found within the US Lunar Marines Starter Force by "Ground Zero Games", such as a fantastic multi-piece US Lunar Force Rocket Sled. This vehicle actually comes with enough rear seating for an additional six astronauts and initially I had planned to purchase said space explorers from the Essex-based company at "Warfare" in Reading. Fortunately though, having rummaged through the starter set's cardboard again, I have discovered that I already own enough of the "Moongrunt" travellers to fill my flyer to capacity.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

"In A Term Of Near A Millennium..."

"...The brightness of the stars was once more the promise of Humanity."
This 15mm scale white metal and resin vehicle is manufactured by “The Ion Age” and is model IAF035B Yellow Adder Combat Car from the company’s Prydian Army Vehicles range. Typically entering the battlefield with "a crew of two", I equipped this Fire Support variant with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod in a turret and actually painted the automobile's underside before super-gluing the model upon a large “Battlefront Miniatures” plastic stand.

However, having recently experienced some issues with the colour scheme I have previously applied to my two other transports, I decided to actually 'pilot' a much darker palette to this particular conveyance and therefore replaced my usual two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey with "Vallejo" Dark Grey instead. I then washed the entire "four wheeled light" transport with “Citadel” Nuln Oil and set about giving the four-wheeled vehicle a heavy dry-brush with (more) "Vallejo" Dark Grey.
Nox WIPs - The Khanate soldier has been primed, shaded, dry-brushed and detailed
Slightly dissatisfied with the highlighting, I subsequently added an extra step to my usual painting pattern by adding some "Vallejo" Dead White to my Dark Grey and then applied this slightly lighter shade over the model courtesy of a second dry-brush. With the majority of the miniature finished I set about 'picking out' its axles, exhaust pipes, missiles and wheel trims with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. I also applied a little "Vallejo" Dead White and splash of Pale Grey to its headlights.

With the last of my current collection of Combat Cars completed I have turned my attention to painting up some of the numerous Nox figures I own. Unlike my Prydian forces I plan to essentially stick to 'official' "The Ion Age" colour scheme for these elite troops of the Shia Khan Empire, yet alter their background for my "Rogue Trader" themed games by using them as gun-totting Bloodletters; suitable chaotic foes indeed for my Imperial Guard and Crimson Fists to face.
"Moongrunt" WIPs - The US Lunar Marines have been primed and washed
These days there are simply loads of different Nox poses to chose from within the range, but when I first bought mine a few years ago there were actually just three regular trooper sculpts, and resultantly I purchased a good dozen or so where the Segmentum power armoured warrior was simply stood upright carrying their Flora Grenade Gun. As a result, although I plan to eventually add a little more variety to my blood-stained force in the future, I first intend to plough on through the horde of Khanate soldiers I currently own.

Sticking with 15mm, I have also managed to prime and shade the first of my US Lunar Marines by "Ground Zero Games". These "Moongrunt" 'test pieces' will hopefully be reasonably quick to paint, considering that all they now need is to be dry-brushed and have details such as their weapons and helmet visors pigmented before being based...

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.