Wednesday, 30 October 2019

"Willpower Isn't A Problem For Something Like This."

"John's constructs are built from the inside out."
This 37mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of a Violet Lantern Stop Sign is miniature number R106.13 from the War of Light DC "Heroclix" range, and could be found inside the New Jersey-based company's Lantern Corps Power Batteries Red & Violet boxed set. Depicting one of the Star Sapphires' telekinetically controlled solid light constructs, this 3D Special Object was released as part of a "six-month story-line Organized Play program" in 2014 which actually included the release of a Violet Lantern Corps' Power Battery, along with several differently-shaped constructs, such as a decoy, catapult, crossbow and scissors.

The construct was first removed from its dinky "Wizkids" base and subsequently super-glued onto one of the thin 40mm circular bases I use for the vast majority of my objective markers. As I wanted to use this model for my Green Lantern Corps, it was then treated to three coats of "Vallejo" Dark Green so as to ensure its translucent pink plastic was completely masked in paint.
"Heroclix" WIPs - A Gotham City Police Officer, Squirrel Girl and a Skrull Commando
The miniature was later thoroughly washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green Shade and heavily dry-brushed using some (more) "Vallejo" Dark Green. It's stand was initially primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and dry-brushed using both Doombull Brown and the base colour Rakarth Flesh. Finally, it was somewhat drowned in Agrax Earthshade, sealed using some PVA glue and flocked with static grass.

I'm currently nitpicking my way through quite a few partially-painted "Heroclix" miniatures, following the recent discovery of a sizeable tub full of the debased and/or broken plastic figures. This find has proved additionally distracting on account of its contents featuring some of my favourite comic book characters, such as the shape-shifting Skrulls, Gotham City's always outgunned Police Department, and the bushy-tailed Great Lakes Avenger known as Squirrel Girl.
"Star Trek" WIPs - These Borg drones need to be tidied up before being washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil
Hopefully, many of these models will see some tabletop action as a result of my desire to return to the zed-covered streets of both "Zombicide" by "Guillotine Games" and "Resident Evil 2: The Board Game" by "Steamforged Games Limited"; albeit with a super-heroic twist. But having downloaded the rules to "Marvel: Crisis Protocol" by "Atomic Mass Games", I might just see whether I can give that skirmish game a try-out before my pre-ordered starter set arrives...

Despite the final "Zomtober" 2019 weekend already being 'in the books', I am also still hoping to finish painting the last five “Modiphius Entertainment” Borg drones I have remaining from their "Star Trek Adventures" role-playing game before the end of the month. These nicely-detailed figures have now all been dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and "Citadel" Ironbreaker, so just need to be tidied up with a little Abaddon Black before being doused in Nuln Oil...

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Iron Legionaries Are The Core Of Any Iron Golem Warband."

"Those fighting in the Eightpoints hope to prove themselves to Archaon..."
This 28mm scale model of an Iron Legionary is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golem "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". "Boasting an excellent toughness... when armed with shields", this figure came in five separate pieces and included the option to either be armed with a spiked mace or battle hammer.

Having glued the close-range fighter upon its 28mm circular base, the brutal warrior was primed with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of his numerous pieces of armour, as well as some tiny symbolic hammers dangling from his chest, pigmented using a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The vast majority of these areas were then given to a coat of the "Citadel" Flesh Tearer Red, which had been previously 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
"Heroclix" WIPs - These Skrulls are all having their black boots, pants and gloves 'picked out'
This Contrast colour provided the superb smith's shoulder-pads, helmet, spiked knee-guard, shin-plate, back-plate and gut-protector a metallic red hue, which also allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to shine through. The Legionary's chain-mail loincloth, face-plate, chain-link belt, straps, vicious-looking hammer and bolas were painted in "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and subsequently shaded with Nuln Oil.

Due to some poor results in the past, I stepped away from the warband's 'official' "Games Workshop" pale grey skin and instead applied a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to all the chaos warrior's flesh. Lastly, I 'picked out' the shaft of the Iron Golems' hand-weapon with a little "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, and later shaded it using some out of production "Citadel" Badab Black. 
"You are an imperfect being, created by an imperfect being."
With the complexity of another "Games Workshop" highly-detailed plastic miniature behind me, I have attempted to regain some of my hobbying sanity by quietly persevering with a quartet of Skrulls by "Wizkids". These old "Heroclix" Skrull Commando sculpts are proving significantly easier to progress, and should hopefully soon be ready to face the likes of Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four on my tabletop.

This being the fourth week of "Zomtober", I have also been busy progressing three more female Borg drones by “Modiphius Entertainment”. These identical resin figures were predominantly painted in the same way as the rest of my Borg Collective, with the exception of their "Vallejo" Dark Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green eye lenses, and a couple of entirely "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil cybernetic limbs...

Friday, 25 October 2019

"Weird War Two" 28mm Battle Report: Dunkirk Evacuation

This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to play out a game utilising many of my painted "Secrets Of The Third Reich" 28mm miniatures by "West Wind Productions", and took place upon a 3' x 3' "Deep Cut Studio" Beach Playmat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of sandbagged positions produced by "Tablescape" from their dugout range.

The British started 'holed down' inside a series of trenches running the length of the tabletop's eastern half and consisted of two units of Commandos armed with carbine rifles (20pts), a unit of Commandos armed with Bren light machine-guns (10pts), a heavy machine-gun team (10pts) and a two-man sniper team (10pts). Whilst the German forces started the fight along the western edge of the table, and consisted of two units of Mech Grenadiers armed with 45 auto rifles (20pts), a unit of Mech Grenadiers armed with assault rifles (10pts), a unit of Mech Grenadiers armed with sub-machine guns (10pts), a two-man sniper team (10pts), and five zombie packs (50pts). In order to win the Germans had six turns in which to either eradicate all of the British, or have a unit still at full strength reach the English Channel.
“The story so far… British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has authorised Operation Dynamo and initiated the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in northern France. Cut off from any reinforcements and surrounded by German troops, a small force of British infantrymen decide to make a final stand so as to give their colleagues as much time as possible to escape. However, the brave Tommies soon realise that they won't just be facing the Wehrmacht, but an undead enemy which is desperate to feed upon their brains...!"
With a disconcerting groan of "Brainssss" the forces rushed east towards the British lines with their zombie packs leading the way. Stumbling forwards on their cumbersome legs, the flesh-chomping ghouls didn't worry about seeking any cover in the grassland and were completely exposed to the weaponry of their enemies. Behind them, the Axis infantry matched their pace, using the walking cadavers as a 'meat shield'.

Only the Nazi's Sniper Team held back, simply adjusting their position so as to have a better view of the Allies' Heavy Machine Gun Team. However, this availed them naught when it came to the Shooting Phase. Indeed, the German's firepower was sporadic and ineffective as their bullets sought to bypass the flailing zombies just in front of them in order to penetrate the sand-bags of the British positions. A lucky shot from the Second Wehrmacht did though manage to take down one of the British Heavy Machine Gun Team's operatives.
In return, the British remained steadfast at their posts with the First Rifles, Sniper Team and Bren-carrying Commandos unsurprisingly focusing all of their firepower upon the oncoming zombie packs. All of the zeds in front of the Mech Grenadiers armed with Assault Rifles fell before this stinging attack, whilst another brain-hungry cadaver fell further north was brought down by a shot from the Second Rifles. Ominously, the British Heavy Machine Gun Team utterly tore up a second zombie pack, yet despite being riddled with holes the German Undead continued to rush forwards with loss...

The zombie pack's continued to rush east regardless of the casualties they had already taken, and would soon potentially be in charge range of their decidedly mortal prey. At their backs, the German infantry kept stride, lining themselves up into positions so as to wreck havoc across the entire length of the British lines once they opened fire. Both the German Assault Rifle section and those Grenadiers armed with submachine guns poured bullets into the British First Rifles, killing one of the brave Tommies. To the north, the British Heavy Machine Gun Team were similarly peppered by the Nazi Sniper Team and the Second Wehrmacht. The Allied crew was reduced to a single soldier, and he only survived thanks to his bullet-proof vest sparing him from a bullet.
Realising that the Germans were about to overrun their first defensive position, all the British units apart from the Heavy Weapons Team began to fall back. This move invariably lead to an impotent firing display, with only the Second Rifles and the lone member of the heavy weapons team causing any casualties to a fast-approaching zombie pack.

Desperately outnumbered and on the back foot, the British continued to retreat behind the sandbags of their secondary line, with only their Heavy Machine Gun Team remaining in its initial position. Disappointingly, the Allied southern flank continued to fire poorly, causing the British to once again rely upon the Second Rifles to finally dispatch the last zed of a zombie pack. However, in a moment of heroic magnificence though, the British Heavy Machine Gun Team also managed to mow down an entire unit of flesh-craving cadavers too.
Despite the sudden appearance of three large holes in their Undead 'meat shield', the Germans continued to advance east, with their southern zombie packs finally reaching the Allied trench vacated by the British First Rifles. Behind them, the bulk of the Axis infantry marched on, with the Second Wehrmacht even cautiously approaching the noble British Heavy Machine Gun Team in the hope that their Sniper Team would take out the lone Tommy operating the lethal gun before they died before it themselves. With the Allied forces hunkered down behind their sandbags, the Germans had few targets except the somewhat exposed Commandos carrying Bren guns, and resultantly, two of these brave lads fell dead into the sand.

With a savage snarl the zombie pack closest to the surviving Commandos armed with Bren guns, launched themselves into a frenzied charge upon the infantrymen and tore them to pieces. To their south, the other zed horde closed in upon the British First Rifles' position, whilst to the north the Second Wehrmacht dispatched the Allied Heavy Machine Gun Team with some murderous bayonet work. The vast majority of the German forces were now stood in the first line of British trenches, and peppering the Allies' sandbags for all their worth. This formidable firepower slowly started to whittle away at the Allied numbers, as a Tommy from the Second Rifles fell to a Nazi Sniper's bullet.
The situation for Winston Churchill's men was getting increasingly desperate. However the firing from the First Rifles and their Sniper Team managed to reduce the zombie packs swirling about them. But disappointingly the British Second Rifles were unable to wound any soldiers from the Second Wehrmacht.

Gritting their teeth, the First Rifles gripped their carbine rifles tightly and bravely charged the Undead enemies before them in the south-east corner of the battlefield. Medals were clearly in order for all, as unbelievably the Tommies emerged from the brutal slaughter victorious, having wiped the gruesome cadavers out. Inspired by their colleagues' 'steel' the Second Rifles charged the Second Wehrmacht, and managed to topple one of the German soldiers.
In retaliation, the Axis response was game-winning, with the remaining zombie pack tearing through the British Sniper Team in seconds. Behind them the First Wehrmacht raced east to reach the coastline, but victory wasn't claimed until after the combined firepower of the German's assault unit, submachineguns and First Wehrmacht had completely eradicated the heroic First Rifles. Only the battered British Second Rifles survived, and wearily they were forced to surrender to the Second Wehrmacht.

Adolf Hitler's forces had won the day, and now only the English Channel stood between the Axis army and the green grasslands of the United Kingdom...

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

"This Is Not A High-Brain. It Is A Primitive."

"Class three one nine eight. Selected male, Doctor-Gond."
These three 28mm metal Kroton models are manufactured by “Black Tree Design” and can be purchased as Code DW214 - Kroton Armed from their "Doctor Who" miniatures range. Having "evolved from predatory quasi-organic tellurium based crystals which could mimic their prey's abilities", these aliens enslaved the Gonds for several generations and made their first appearance in Robert Holmes’ December 1968 BBC Television story "The Krotons".

Plagued with "poor eyesight in daylight" the trio were primed using "Citadel" Abaddon Black and layered with two coats of Ironbreaker. Each figure was then washed with Nuln Oil and some Drakenhof Nightshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.
"Warcry" WIPs - This Iron Legionary has had all his brass and red armoured 'picked out'
As with the previous pair of Krotons I've painted I 'picked out' their featureless crystal heads with some "Vallejo" Dead White, shaded them with some heavily-watered down "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, and subsequently gave them a dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Dead White. In addition, having perused some 'official' photographs of the extra-terrestrials in their "combat-shape configuration", I realised that the tubing to their pincer arm needed to be pigmented "Citadel" Abaddon Black.

Moving across to some infinitely more complicated (and resultantly much more difficult) miniatures, I have been slogging my way through my Iron Legionaries for "Warcry" by "Games Workshop". With hindsight I really should have pigmented these Iron Golems in sub-assemblies, as their multiple tiny hammers and sweeping chainmail have consistently blocked my brush-tip from getting anywhere close to some of the figures' nooks and crannies.
"Heroclix" WIPs - These Skrulls have all been re-based and primed
In addition, my utterly mad decision to attach a ball and chain onto each model's hip has caused me some considerable consternation too, with the 'spare' weapon blocking access to a fair bit of each warrior's lower limbs and leg armour. Hopefully however, the rest of my warband's poses are infinitely more accessible, and I feel I am slowly getting better at pushing the "Citadel" Flesh Tearers Red Contrast paint around each sculpt's detail...

Lastly, I have dug out a handful of unbased "Wizkids" miniatures from my pre-painted plastic mountain to work on as adversaries for my Fantastic Four super-team to battle. The old "Heroclix" Skrull Commandos are admittedly a little two-dimensional, but their formidably powered leader, the Super Skrull, should prove a far more colourful subject to work on...

Monday, 21 October 2019

"Yes, It Appears The Monoids Have Become Overlords."

"You speak of the distant past. Following the recent revolution we are now the masters."
These two 28mm metal miniatures of some Monoids are manufactured by “Black Tree Design", and can be purchased as Code DW112 Monoid and DW138 Monoid II from the Penzance-based company’s "Doctor Who" miniatures range. Thwarted by the First Doctor "from wiping out the last of humanity with a bomb" secretly planted inside the head of a giant statue, these one-eyed humanoids made their first appearance in Paul Erickson and Lesley Scott’s March 1966 BBC Television story "The Ark".

The aliens from "at least ten million years in the far distant future" were undercoated using two layers of “Vallejo” Heavy Green and drenched in The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The figures were then dry-brushed with (more) “Vallejo” Heavy Green, before having their distinctive “mop-top” heads painted using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Sienna and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Black Tree Design" WIPs - The Krotons just need their heads to be shaded and dry-brushed
Finally, the Monoids' large cyclopean eyes were 'picked out' with a couple of dabs of "Vallejo" Dead White at either side of a "Citadel" Abaddon Black pupil. Despite these old sculpts lacking much of the equipment their television counter-parts carried, such as a voice box and heat prod, I'm really rather fond of these miniatures, and am grateful to John Olsen for including them in my latest order as freebies following its significant delay in arriving...

Staying with "Black Tree Design" and early "Doctor Who" I have also dusted down a trio of Krotons from the Second Doctor's era which I purchased way back in April 2018, and are were already partially finished, courtesy of the Ninth Analogue Hobbies Challenge. Unlike the other crystalline aliens I've painted though, these three are armed with the unwieldy canister weapons that the extra-terrestrials used so ineffectively to try and destroy the TARDIS.
"Assault a vampire's lair with Paddy Mayne and the MI-13 Commandos."
In addition to painting I have also been busy re-basing some more of my "Secrets Of The Third Reich" figures by “West Wind Production". Having dug out the ruleset's old "Doomsday" expansion book and perused its numerous missions I'm all set for a Weird War Two 'Unternehmen Seelöwe' campaign using some homemade 'quick-play' rules.

I'm actually planning re-fighting the evacuation of Dunkirk first, so already have enough basic British Commandos carrying Carbine Rifles with which to put up a staunch defence of the French beach. However, for the invasion of Britain, I thought the Allies would want to bring out some of their 'big guns', and resultantly got to work on two armour-suited Tommies; with one carrying a Flamer and the other, a Vickers Machine Gun...

Saturday, 19 October 2019

"Put ‘Em On The Endangered Species List!”

"There's no such thing as a grey gorilla."
This 51mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of a Lab Gorilla is miniature number 061 from The Lab “Horrorclix” expansion set, and depicts an “unstoppable… Mankiller” presumably escaping captivity from Pandora Labs. Released in January 2007 as part of an initial 96 figure-strong expansion set with “a sci-fi/horror theme”, this miniature is another of my entries in this year’s “Zomtober” Challenge.

Hacked from the undersized 28mm circular stand I had previously super-glued the figure onto, and subsequently attached to a far more accommodating 40mm lipped circular base, the “beast’ was undercoated using two layers of “Vallejo” Dark Grey and enthusiastically covered in “Citadel” Nuln Oil. The ape was then heavily dry-brushed with (more) “Vallejo” Dark Grey, before his fur was treated to an additional highlight using a mixture of three parts Dark Grey and one part Dead White.
"Someone's not dead until they're completely dead."
With the bulk of the Lab Gorilla finished, I ‘picked out’ all the model’s flesh with “Vallejo” Dark Grey and its metal sutures with a little “Citadel” Ironbreaker. Both of these areas were shaded “Citadel” Nuln Oil. I also applied a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson to the brute’s partially-closed wounds, and then gave the front of the undead experiment a generous dry-brush of (more) “Vallejo” Heavy Red so as to suggest just how much blood the animal had lost whilst it was alive.

The monster’s neck bolts, presumably connected to the primate’s “Vallejo” Squid Pink brain, were pigmented with a little “Vallejo” Brass and dash of The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. Whilst the miniatures rotting teeth were given a coat of “Vallejo” Iraqi Sand and “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. As something of a final touch, the walking corpse’s eyes were simply spotted using “Vallejo” Dead White.
"Enter the ultimate competitive miniatures game with the Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave core set."
Lastly, the steel cage door was primed with “Citadel” Abaddon Black and coated twice with Ironbreaker. It was then shaded using plenty of Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker. As I wanted the animal pen to look rather run-down, I also applied some spots of heavy corrosion to the metalwork, courtesy of “Mig Productions” Extreme Rust Wash, and gave the entire ensemble a second dry-brush of “Citadel” Ironbreaker to help tie-it all together.

This week has also seen me assemble both Grashrak’s Ravagers and Skaeth’s Wild Hunt from the "Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave" core set, as well as all the hard plastic scenic pieces from the "Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave – Primal Lair" box too. I'm not sure just when I'll get around to actually priming or painting any of these "Games Workshop" miniatures, but the "thematic scenery elements" look very useful for any fantasy-based tabletop, and not just exclusively for a hex-grid game.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

“Cringe, You Pitiful Human Worms!”

"You... And unsuspecting millions... shall perish!"
These eight 28mm scale plastic “Wizkids” models of an Ultron Drone are all miniature number 015 from the "Marvel" Age Of Ultron "Heroclix" range, and represent some of the numerous basically-programmed replica robots the adamantium armoured super-villain Ultron has created during his various attempts to destroy the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Capable of creating an overwhelming “robotic swarm” around an adversary, these bio-synthezoids were initially bought in bulk from “Ebay” as a potential quick-scoring entry for the Ninth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, but ended up being sidelined in favour of some Dire Wraiths…

Following the semi-patient removal of each figure from their ‘clicky-base’, the automatons were super-glued onto 25mm circular stands, and roughly undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black so as to predominantly ‘cover-up’ their bright silver pre-paint. I then applied a double-coat of Ironbreaker to all eight models, before enthusiastically washing the horde in Nuln Oil, and later dry-brushing them with (more) Ironbreaker. 
"My sensors are locked on target!"
With the basics completed, I turned my attention to ‘picking out’ each Ultron Drone’s small internal nuclear furnace, which is visible through their eye-slits and mouth. This was actually quite easily done in the main, using a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson. However, having reviewed the official “Wizkids” colour scheme, I quickly spotted that their paint-job showed the red hot energy source glowing through the front of the robot’s jawline too.

Honing my “Windsor & Newton” University Series 233 000 brush-tip to a particularly fine point, I therefore attempted to ‘dab in’ this extra detail, but quickly discovered that any noticeable trace of a gap between the metal machine’s forward-facing rectangular choppers was long-gone. As a result my additional ‘dollop’ of “Vallejo” Heavy Red looked decidedly odd, so I swiftly set about ‘correcting’ all eight of the replicas with a dash of “Citadel” Ironbreaker and splash of Nuln Oil…
"Diehard Miniatures" WIPs - This Skeletal Spaceman has been primed, washed, and had his axe picked out
Recently I've been pointed in the direction of "Diehard Miniatures", and as a result thought I'd pick up a parcel of metal miniatures to potentially submit for "Zomtober" 2019. One such figure is an awesome-looking undead astronaut from the company's Skeletal Spacemen collection, which I thought I might paint as a predominantly white-suited luckless NASA cosmonaut.

To be honest this particular range has really sparked my imagination, so I'm hoping to build up quite the brain-munching horde over the next few months. In addition, I've purchased some of their colourful Chaos characters too, which are enjoyably reminiscent of the worlds of "2000 A.D.", "Star Wars" and some other science fiction-flavoured genres.

Monday, 14 October 2019

"Wings Away -- !"

"Never thought my Beast Boy talents would earn me a leading role..."
This 28mm scale figure of a Hawk is one of the eleven multi-part resin miniatures which can be found inside the Teen Titans Bat-Box for the "Batman Miniatures Game" by "Knight Models", and represents the superhero Garfield Logan in his bird of prey form. "A shapeshifter who possesses the ability to metamorph into any animal he chooses, Beast Boy first appearing in the November 1965 issue of "The Doom Patrol" by "DC Comics", but was then later re-invented by Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez into the Changeling for the October 1980 issue of "DC Comics Presents".

The large bird came in two pieces, yet still proved something of a problem to prepare for priming, courtesy of the resin resisting all efforts to super-glue itself together. In the end I was therefore frustratingly forced to pin the model's tail feathers to the 'puff of cloud' created by Logan's transformation. Disconcertingly, I also had a bit of a nightmare attaching the miniature to its correct cobble stone street base too.
Teen Titans WIPs - Dove, Beast Boy and Raven
As the Bat-Box "contains a complete Teen Titans team" I foolishly assumed that despite the sculpt's impressive wing-span that it would sit upon one of the numerous 30mm bases supplied in the 350 reputation points starter set. However, after green-stuffing the "able hunter" onto just such a sized stand, I built a few more of the box's contents and quickly discovered that none of the much larger human heroes, including a couple which surprisingly stood upon significant pieces of rooftop, were supposed to use the (spare) 40mm lipped base I had mistakenly set aside for one of them...

Fortunately, once Beast Boy's Hawk Form had been re-based, the bird was a straightforward pleasure to paint. It was undercoated using a double-layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, drowned with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, and heavily dry-brushed with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green. Lastly, I applied a couple of dots of "Citadel" Abaddon Black for the creature's eyes.
"Black Tree Design" WIPs - The Monoids just need some shading and their cyclopean eyes 'spotted' 
Over the past few years whenever I have found myself planning a foray into the wargaming world of "Doctor Who", it has been courtesy of the "Warlord Games" miniatures range. But over the past ten months the Nottingham-based company has been disappointingly quiet with their releases for the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" rule-set. Most recently they have sadly announced on their "Facebook" Group" that "the Doctor Who releases have been placed on the back burner for the time being" due to their staff focusing on such projects as "the launch of our Dredd range."

This demoralising situation has inevitably lead to me turning my attention back to my quite embarrassingly large "Black Tree Design" backlog, and the arrival of a (perhaps final) order made in July has caused me to start slowly making my way through some of their more simple-to-pigment figures. This pair of predominantly green Monoids is a good case in point, as the cyclopean duo are already almost finished having just been primed, shaded and dry-brushed...

Saturday, 12 October 2019

"One Of Warcry’s Most Powerful Fighter Types..."

"...This massive wall of meat and metal is a match for pretty much anyone in the game."
This 28mm scale model of a Breacher is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golems "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". "Hardy and ruthless", this figure actually took quite a while to assemble as it came in ten separate pieces, including a staggering four parts simply to build its formidable-looking spiked hammer-hand.

Once glued upon its 40mm circular base, the Ogor was undercoated with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of its numerous pieces of armour, as well as some tiny symbolic hammers dangling from his chest, painted using a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The vast majority of these areas were then later treated to a coat of the "Citadel" Contrast colour Flesh Tearer Red, which I had previously 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
Four Reavers tackle an Ogor Breacher and a Duardin Armator
This application provided the indomitable fighter's shoulder-pads, helmet, spiked knee-guards, shin-plates and gut-protector a distinctly reddish hue, but also allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to peek through. This particular effect was further exaggerated after the model had been gloss varnished, as for some reason the "Coat d'arms" hard protective transparent film seemingly reacted with the "Citadel" Contrast colour in places, completely eradicating the Flesh Tearer Red so as to leave just the "Vallejo" Brass shining through...

Despite this 'set-back', which to be honest left the Breacher looking like it had covered itself in oily blood as opposed to donning a suit of metallic red armour, I subsequently painted the tyrant's chain-mail loincloth, face-plate, chain-link belt, straps, spiked hammer-hand, and spiked ball-fist with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker, and shaded them with Nuln Oil. Both the ogor's weapons and loincloth were additionally treated to a smear of "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.
"Resistance is futile."
Lastly, I started working on the Breacher's flesh, and as with my previously-painted Duardin Armator, I initially tried to replicate the warband's 'official' "Games Workshop" pale grey pallor with a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. Unfortunately, despite washing the skin with some watered-down "Citadel" Nuln Oil it simply didn't turn out as I had hoped, so I soon swapped palettes and applied an infinitely more successful combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade instead.

This being the second week of "Zomtober", I have also been busy pigmenting another male Borg drone by “Modiphius Entertainment”. “Designed for use with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game”, this resin figure was painted in precisely the same way as the rest of my Borg Collective, with the exception of his eye lens, which was 'picked out' using a spot of "Vallejo" Dark Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

"Permits Are For Homo Sapiens, Fool!"

"Not for the Vanisher!"
This 28mm scale plastic “Wizkids” model of the Vanisher is miniature number 005 from the Marvel "Heroclix" Mutant Mayhem range and depicts Telford Porter back when he was an "early enemy of the X-Men". A "minor mutant" that possesses the ability to teleport himself "a distance of almost 3000 miles", this member of the Brotherhood of Mutants was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and made his first comic book appearance in the November 1963 issue of "The X-Men".

Initially undercoated using some "Vallejo" Heavy Green, the figure was entirely drenched in "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green, and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green. The super-villain's face was then treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, before having his cheek bones, nose and lips 'picked out' with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone.
"Black Tree Design" WIPs - The two Monoids have been based and primed
Finally, the professional criminal's mask was painted using a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black and his eyes dotted with "Vallejo" Dead White. I'm actually hoping to purchase a second copy of this mutant at some point in the future, so I can pigment his costume in its original pinkish red tights and purple cape colour scheme...

Way back in July of this year I was so buoyed with the amount of "Black Tree Design" miniatures I was currently painting that I took advantage of one of the manufacturer's weekly "Doctor Who" range discounts, and bought a bunch of different figures predominantly originating from the Time Lord's first incarnation. Regrettably this purchase did not go smoothly at all, with several chase-up emails being required before I got finally received a response some two months later.
Iron Golems WIPs - These two Iron Legionaries are slowly having all their chainmail and chains picked out
To be honest I was all for cancelling my order and trying to reclaim my money back. But then owner John Olsen finally got in contact to both apologise for the substantial delay and offer me a few freebies for my patience. Four weeks later, my models have at long last arrived, including a pair of much appreciated extra Monoids from the March 1966 BBC Television story "The Ark". Having previously painted five of these one-eyed humanoids in the past I have immediately based and primed the duo in order to hopefully get the aliens' reinforced faction on the tabletop soon.

In addition to the pair of flipper-footed extra-terrestrials, I am progressing three Iron Legionaries for my Iron Golems "Warcry" warband. These "Games Workshop" plastic miniatures don't fortunately seem to have as much infuriatingly detail as some of the skirmish game's other heavily encumbered participants, and as a result should hopefully prove to be far more straightforward to complete.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

"Escape Area 51!"

"The popularisation of... the Grey alien is commonly associated with the Barney and Betty Hill abduction claim."
This 28mm scale model of 'The Visitor' was produced by “Spectre Miniatures” and was only available as a strictly limited edition figure for a short time on the company’s website in September 2019. Strongly influenced by the "purported extraterrestrial beings" known as Grey Aliens or Roswell Grays, the "metal cast" sculpt was promoted by the Nottingham-based manufacturer as needing the wargamer's help to both "return home", and "maybe atomise some agency staff on the way."

Having been super-glued onto a 28mm circular lipped base, the Zeta Reticulan was primed using two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and shaded in "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The miniature was then dry-brushed with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, before being washed with some additional, albeit heavily watered-down, "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Finally, the figure was given a second, incredibly light dusting of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and had its large, oval eyes 'picked out' with "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
"Wizkids" WIPs - The Lab Gorilla is slowly having all its gory detail picked out
With the bulk of the Gray completed, I turned my attention to the alien's deadly death-ray. The 'official' paint-job depicts the Flash Gordon-like weapon in a sort of mottled brass, but due to its shape resembling that of an old Buster Crabbe rocket I was sorely tempted to go with a bright red. In the end, however, having realised my own palette choice had made the Visitor much darker than that advertised by "Spectre Miniatures" I went with a simple combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil...

Recently I've unearthed a reasonably sized pot of partially-painted and re-based "Wizkids" miniatures, which I have slowly started to 'chip away' at. One such figure, initially destined to join The Riddler's gang as a significant heavy during my early 2017 "Mutants & Death Ray Guns" Gotham City campaign, was an old "Horrorclix" model of a badly-mutilated Lab Gorilla; unsurprisingly sold as part of the range's The Lab Expansion.
"Warcry" WIPs - The Ogor Breacher just needs his armour to be painted metallic red to be finished
Despite needing to be attached to a larger base than the 28mm circular stand I had initially super-glued the ape too, the killer primate's vacant eyes, bleeding incisions and exposed brain immediately struck me as making him the superb subject of a "Zomtober" 2019 entry. So following an undercoat of "Vallejo" Dark Grey, a wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and subsequent dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Dark Grey, I am hoping to get the hairy undead beast ready for a weekend varnish.

Lastly, I am definitely on the home run to complete my Iron Golems' Ogor Breacher for "Warcry". In many ways this incredibly detailed, and resultantly incredibly frustrating to paint, "Games Workshop" Chaos warrior has proved a real painting antagonist over the past few weeks. But now the end is in sight, and the first of my three Iron Legionaries is progressing nicely I'm hoping to put all the re-paints and touch-ups behind me and get the entire warband "hailing from the Ferrium Mountains in Chamon" ready for the tabletop...

Sunday, 6 October 2019

"Half Beast. Half Boy. All Ape!"

"Garfield Logan, A.K.A. Beast Boy. Can transform into any animal."
This 28mm scale figure of a Gorilla is one of the eleven multi-part resin miniatures which can be found inside the Teen Titans Bat-Box for the "Batman Miniatures Game" by "Knight Models", and represents the superhero Garfield Logan in his gorilla form. Inadvertently given his transformational powers by his parents, when they subjected him to "an untested serum" based upon the West African green monkey in order to save his life, Beast Boy was created by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown, and made his first appearance in the November 1965 issue of "The Doom Patrol" by "DC Comics".

The large primate came in two pieces, and as a result was straightforward to assemble. However, I did experience some consternation when it came to attaching the model to its 40mm lipped base. In the past I've always replaced "Knight Models" heavily sculpted cobbled-street stands for my own bare ones, and subsequently then gritted them as per the rest of my hobby collection. But as the bases supplied with this 350 reputation points starter set seemed of a far better quality than the previous ones I've seen, I decided to go with it.
"Don't hesitate to fire... believe me, you'll be doing them a favour."
Quite bizarrely though, this meant that the gorilla's feet tag started the figure off in the centre of the base, resulting in the formidably-sized brute having its forearms dangle over the edge by a significant margin. With hindsight I probably should have just ignored the stand's slot, snipped off the miniature's tag and super-glued Beast Boy down flat onto the base. As it was I simply used a bit of green-stuff to help support the animal in a more upright pose, so it hopefully looks like he's mid-way through smashing his paws down upon the ground...

Painting-wise, the figure was a joy, and was simply primed with a double-layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and shaded using a generous amount of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. I then heavily dry-brushed the entire ensemble with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green, before finishing the gorilla off with a couple of spots of "Citadel" Abaddon Black for his eyes.
"Warcry" WIPs - All the Iron Golems have now been assembled, based and primed
This week is also the first round of "Zomtober", so alongside my member of the Teen Titans, I have been busy pigmenting my first entry; a male Borg drone by “Modiphius Entertainment”. “Designed for use with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game”, this resin miniature was painted in precisely the same way as the rest of my Borg Collective, with the exception of his eye lens, which was 'picked out' using a dab of "Vallejo" Dark Green and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.

In addition to everything else, my brush-tip has not been shy in re-working the colour scheme upon my latest member of my Iron Golems for "Warcry". All of the chains on my "Games Workshop" Ogor Breacher have been base-coated and shaded, so I've currently just got to finish off the hulking warrior's dark flesh before returning to his brass armour...

Friday, 4 October 2019

The Warsmiths Known As Armators..."

"...Craft the Iron Golems' imperious battle plate and brutal weaponry."
This 28mm scale model of an Armator is one of the eight multi-part plastic miniatures which can be found inside the Iron Golems "Warcry" warband boxed set by “Games Workshop". "Hailing from the Ferrium Mountains in Chamon", this figure proved surprisingly simple to assemble, considering the Nottingham-based manufacturer's reputation for overly-complicated kits, and literally just consisted of a head, torso and 28mm circular base.

Once built, the duardin was primed using a double-coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and had all of its numerous pieces of armour, as well as some small symbolic hammers dangling from his metal wrist-guards, painted with a combination of Brass and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. A number of these areas were subsequently treated to a layer of the "Citadel" Contrast colour Flesh Tearer Red, which I 'watered down' using some Contrast Medium.
"Warcry" WIPs - Three Iron Legionaries assembled, primed and being worked on
This mixture gave the brutal warrior's leg plates, gut-protector, shoulder-guards, helmet and spiked gauntlets a distinctly reddish hue, but simultaneously allowed some of the "Vallejo" Brass underneath to peek through; especially once the model had been gloss varnished. I then pigmented the diminutive fighter's chain-mail loincloth, face-plate, chain-link belt and spiked hammers with some "Citadel" Ironbreaker, before shading them with some Nuln Oil. Both the Armator's weapons and loincloth were later dry-brushed with (more) Ironbreaker.

The Iron Golem's hammer handles were simply given a lick of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and significantly darkened with a splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Lastly, I started working on the dwarf's flesh and initially tried to replicate the warband's 'official' pale grey pallor with a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. To begin with I actually thought this choice was going to work out great, and actually got to the stage where I had started to wash the skin with some watered-down "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Teen Titans WIPs - Raven, Beast Boy (Eagle Form) and Beast Boy
However, having set the figure aside to dry I swiftly came to the conclusion that the mixture wasn't working out as well as I expected, so changed tactics and went for a deep rich "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade combo instead. This last minute turnabout looked a lot better in my mind, and gave me the added bonus of not really needing to pick out all the short metal spikes protruding out of the savagely cruel killer's limbs due to the palette's dark shadowing.

In addition to my first "Warcry" figure, I have also managed to find a little time to progress my recently purchased "Teen Titans" Bat-box for the "Batman Miniature Game" by "Knight Models". I'm really struggling with the soft detail on these ultra-light resin sculpts, so in many cases am simply going to rely upon a base-coat, shade and dry-brush in order to get the majority of their detail highlighted...

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Star Trek Adventures" Zomtober 2019

"We are the Borg. Existence, as you know it, is over."
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been rather waylaid by Simon Quinton’s recent announcement, over on his brilliant "Brummie’s Wargaming Blog”, that the next few weeks will once again host the annual "Zomtober" Challenge where fellow wargamers "just need to paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday.”

There's currently a modest host of bloggers already 'setting out their stall' for the event (see below), with both “Mantic Games” “The Walking Dead” and “Kings Of War” zombies being much mentioned. For my own part I’ll be focusing upon the last of my Borg drones by “Modiphius Entertainment”; surely the best science-fiction based zeds this side of Joe Schreiber’s 2009 “Star Wars” novel “Death Troopers”? In addition, I hope to build and paint half a dozen small cybernetic cubicles to use as scenery for a Borg-themed tabletop, using some seemingly OOP hard-plastic “Deadzone” terrain sprues.

"Knight Models" WIPs - Raven, Dove and Beast Boy (Eagle Form)
In addition to my Borg, I also hope to make some significant progress on the contents of the Batman Miniatures: Teen Titans boxed set by “Knight Models”. Designed to allow a player to field a 350 reputation point force straight to the tabletop, this Bat-box contains eleven “detailed ready to paint & assemble resin” models including Robin, Raven, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy (human, hawk, gorilla & tiger form), Hawk, Dove and a Trigon Portal.

Disappointingly, my first impressions of this collection are far from favourable due to the sculpts’ bizarre dark grey resin. In many ways the figures remind me of the low-grade additive manufactured models currently flooding the amateur super-hero gaming market by any one owning a 3D printer. They are incredibly light, bendy and breakable. Plus, “Knight Models” seem to have some insane belief that a limb or full torso will remain firmly attached to the rest of the ensemble with just a modicum of super-glue, even when its contact point is the most flimsy of surfaces…
September 2019 - The month "Modiphius Entertainment" made its mark upon my hobby time
Statistics wise, the past four weeks have proved to be one of my most productive Septembers since 2014, with more than twice as many models being painted during the period than were finished last year. This productivity was (once again) largely due to my infatuation with the various “Star Trek Adventures” models currently being released by “Modiphius Entertainment”.

A slew of Borg-related characters such as Lore, Locutus of Borg and the Borg Queen herself, along with another bunch of Romulan Uhlans has helped see the London-based company rocket into my Top Three favourite manufacturers of the year, quickly casting aside my usual mainstays of “Games Workshop”, “Warlord Games” and “Heroclix”.  Whether my love of “Star Trek” will continue to the point where it’ll eclipse my long-term commitment to “Black Tree Design” and their “Doctor Who” range remains to be seen, but considering my ongoing battle to receive my most recent massively overdue order from John Olsen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised…