Sunday 4 October 2020

Few More Posts And Projects Section On New Wix Website

Both an Updates and Projects section have been added to the new Wix website
I've put a few more new postings up on the new Wix website, predominantly covering this month's planned Zomtober entries and some "Black Tree Design" Doctor Who finished miniatures.

I've also created a Projects section which can be accessed via the website's title menu. This will lead to a page dedicated to the past six month's painting projects, and record my progress. You can click on a finished miniature and will be taken to the posting covering its completion. I hope to have more projects added as time progresses...

In addition, I've put together a short Updates summary section at the top of the Wix website to also provide updates as to how the new Fantorical is going. My intention is to regularly update that area and then copy over the text to this old blog weekly.

Monday 28 September 2020

Few More Posts And Updates On New Wix Website

More "Alternative Armies" Elementals Have Been Added To The New Wix Website 

With a couple more new postings of finished miniatures having been posted up recently on the new Wix website, I've started the lengthy task of transferring some of my earliest articles across as well - starting with a retitled Monthly Musing from 2010, which focuses upon a 15mm Napoleonic "Black Powder" project I started (and disappointingly never finished).

I have though been somewhat hampered in my efforts by Blogger suddenly reverting to pure HTML whilst I'm looking at my pages' content, randomly realigning my paragraphs and haphazardly changing the fonts of previous postings...

In addition, the top of the website now contains links to this (old) Blogger site and a brief summary of "Fantorical" since its start as a printed 'fanzine' way back 2003. Going forward the plan is to create some more of these additional pages covering subjects such as purchases, "Kickstarters", shows and painting projects.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

First Post Up On New Wix Website

"Alternative Armies" Lesser Air Elementals Join My Earth and Water Elemental Units 
The first post for the all-new Fantorical website housed on Wix is up, so please do come pay it a visit here:

All of 2020s postings are now available, and over the next few months I'll be porting across the vast majority of my other postings during the past decade on Blogger. The good news is that Wix allows me to post-date my articles, so instead of overrunning my main feed with old posts, they'll simply slip onto the site in the background and be there to view should a trip down memory lane take your fancy.

Not all my posts will be coming across, and some will be combined so that they better fit the six paragraph style I currently use. For those interested I'll continue to provide some updates here on Blogger regarding what is coming across, as well as some of the other updates Wix seems to offer as an actual website (e.g. An About page, and Projects page).

Monday 21 September 2020

"The Future's Bright..."

"...The future's Wix."

After a weekend tinkering with Wix I'm pleased to say that Fantorical has definitely found itself a new home and over the coming weeks I'll be busy shifting across the majority of this blog's thousand plus postings over to that platform instead.

Why Wix?

Wix has a series of easy-to-use templates with which to create a website from scratch. In addition it also has a Blog page, which acts like a normal blogging platform with posts and tags etc. This makes posting really simple with the platform automatically positioning my pictures, text and captions. The platform also offers a lot more options once you start using the Wix editor to make your own templates. I haven't spent too much time on that yet, but it contains gadgets such as Popular Posts and Labels just like Blogger has.

Wix also seems to allow me to post bigger and better quality pics, so I'm hoping that'll encourage me to produce more Battle Reports. On Blogger these were always a very time-consuming type of post. But having now successfully transferred a few of this year's BatReps over to Wix it seems clear that the platform makes them extremely easy to configure and upload.

How Different Will Fantorical Look On Wix?

As I'm currently using a quite generic template on Wix, Fantorical will look a little less colourful to begin with. I rather like the snapshots personally but the background is too white and somewhat sterile-looking. However, the posts can now be broken down into Categories, so at the top of the page I plan to offer the option of subjects such as Finished Figures, Battle Reports, Wargaming Shows, and Monthly Musings.

What Is Being Transferred Over To Wix?

The vast majority of my postings on Blogger will be moving across to Wix over the coming months. This week's goal is to get all of 2020's articles across and then start posting new content regularly once again. I also aim to bring across my posts from 2010 onwards, as well as some articles from my earlier blogs/painting diaries. Obviously, these will come up on my main feed too, but will clearly be labelled under the category 'From The Vaults' or some such. Personally, I'm always fascinated by my ambitious projects from the past and seeing just how much I accomplished once a new 'shiny' arrived to distract me.

Disappointingly, the comments won't be coming across. I'm a bit gutted by this as I think this is the most important part of Fantorical - where we can discuss thoughts, opinions, suggestions, help, recommendations and advice. I did consider maybe taking a snap shot of the comments and adding them to the relevant post. But that seems a lot of work when the discussions will remain for all to see here on Blogger if anyone is that interested in a five-year old conversation.

What Will Happen To Fantorical On Blogger?

I've no intention of taking Fantorical down on Blogger, and indeed, for the foreseeable still intend to post updates (such as this) on the site. I'll also be signposting visitors to my new posts on Wix when they start.

I do plan on maintaining my comic review site "The Brown Bag" on Blogger until the end of 2020, before shifting that across to Wix. The postings on that are reasonably straightforward, so I'm hoping I'll be able to struggle through until Fantorical is fully ensconced on Wix. The thought of moving two sites over to Wix simultaneously was too much for me to contemplate...

Friday 18 September 2020

"We Interrupt This Transmission..."

"...For an important announcement."
Sadly, Blogger has decided to withdraw the Legacy Button on its platform and as a result I don't plan on using it to produce many more posts for the foreseeable future. I simply cannot stand the new version as it takes me at least four times as long to do anything, and then it still seemingly corrupts fonts and re-formats my postings for no obvious reason.

Indeed, having looked at a few of my older posts, the new Blogger seems to have altered them too, and the thought of going through my backlog of over a thousand posts to see what its altered isn't something I'm willing to do.

I will try and persevere with the new format but certainly won't be posting three times a week anymore - unless the Legacy Button makes a most welcome return. I'll also be exploring other platforms like Wordpress and Facebook as an alternative.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to still comment on people's blogs. But frankly this has really sucked the enthusiasm out of the hobby for me... 

UPDATE: I'm uploading/re-editing my 2020 posts on "Wix" to see how well it works. Please drop by to see how its going at:

Monday 14 September 2020

"Mudmen Are Formed In Pools Of Mud..."

"...Where enchanted rivers collect and evaporate and concentrate the dweomer."
These ten 15mm scale metal miniatures of some Lesser Earth Elementals are produced by “Alternative Armies” and can be bought either separately as blister HOT88 Lesser Elementals or as part of the company's pre-made twenty-four point strong HOTT1017 Elemental Army pack. The diminutive sculpts count as a Horde for "Hordes Of The Things", with five figures sitting quite snuggly upon a 40mm x 30mm base.

To begin with, each model was super-glued upon a wooden baton to help my brush-tip better reach all their details, and were primed in two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. The Mudmen were then washed in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.
"Because they are creatures of magic, mudmen are sometimes called dweomerlings."
I did consider subsequently applying a lighter tone to the diminutive figures so as to highlight each sculpt's smooth details a little bit more, perhaps by giving them all a fleeting touch of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. But I soon realised that I had a bigger problem to solve first because the Strong Tone Quickshade seemed to have acted like paint stripper on all the Lesser Elementals and disconcertingly disintegrated their base layers down to the bare metal.

As a result I had to reapply two more coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna to all of the miniatures and reapply the "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade once again. This time whatever chemical reaction had occurred before failed to materialise, so I swiftly gave them a (second) dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and thought it best to leave the brutes well enough alone...
"The Power Of Kroll" WIPs - A Swampie Warrior, Rohm-Dutt and Ranquin
I therefore simply 'snapped' all of the Mudmen off of their painting sticks, and super-glued them onto some pre-cut plastic bases I bought off "eBay". Admittedly, "Alternative Armies" do supply the necessary bases for the figures as part of their HOTT Army packs. However, the resin stands are a bit chunky for my liking, and I was keen to maintain the aesthetic established by my previously painted "De Bellis Antiquitatis" forces.

Finally, having recently watched several viewings of the 1978 "Doctor Who" adventure "The Power Of Kroll", I have assembled and based my collection of Swampie Warriors by "Black Tree Design". This is by far my favourite of the "Key To Time" stories, so I was rather pleased to discover I also own figures of the Swampie Leader, Ranquin, and the traitorous gun-runner Rohm-Dutt too.

Friday 11 September 2020

"Water Elementals Are Elemental Creatures..."

"...Made of water and various other liquids."
These six 15mm scale metal miniatures of some Lesser Water Elementals are produced by “Alternative Armies” and can be bought either separately as blister HOT88 Lesser Elementals or as part of the company's pre-made twenty-four point strong HOTT1017 Elemental Army pack. The diminutive sculpts count as a Warband for "Hordes Of The Things", with three figures sitting quite tightly upon a 40mm x 20mm base.

Initially, each model was super-glued upon a wooden baton to help my brush-tip better reach all their details, and were primed in "Vallejo" Heavy Blue. The Water Elementals were then drenched in "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Blue. 
"Its torso trails off into a vestigial whirlpool."
Next I took an old brush and lightly highlighted all the creatures' waves with some "Vallejo" White, making sure to apply the paint far heavier towards the crest of the waves. As a final touch, I went back to each figure's eyes and mouth, and applied some additional "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade to these areas.

All of the miniatures were then 'snapped' off of their sticks, and super-glued onto some pre-cut plastic bases I bought off "eBay" many many moons ago. To their credit, "Alternative Armies" do supply the necessary bases for the figures as part of their HOTT Army packs. However, the resin stands are a bit chunky, and I was keen to maintain the aesthetic established by my previously painted "De Bellis Antiquitatis" forces.
"The area around the aiming point is plastered with heavy shells."
Having finished the first of my entries for my HOTT'ember Challenge with Roger "Dick Garrison" of "Rantings From Under The Wargaming Table" fame, I have also completed painting one of the resin craters sold by "Warlord Games" to use as an Artillery Barrage marker for "Konflikt '47". The kit actually comes with a number of "craters of different shapes and sizes depicting pits in the ground where a bomb, shell, or a military mine has exploded", but even its smallest offering was somewhat larger than I would have liked.

I had hoped to contain my marker to a 25mm circular base. However, in the end I had to use a "Citadel" 50mm base instead. The crater itself is excellent though, and was painted using my 'tried and tested' basing palette of "Citadel" Doombull Brown, Rakarth Flesh highlights and Agrax Earthshade wash...

Wednesday 9 September 2020

"They're All Tame Until They Take A Chunk Out Of You."

"Well, you know what they say. Human see, human do."
This 28mm scale white metal model of a 'savage Simian Minion straight from the lab' is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their Simian Minions four-figure collection. The figure is designed to be used with the company's "7TV" United Radionics Programme Guide, but I intend to field it as one of several gorilla guards for my ongoing project based upon Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 science fiction film "Planet Of The Apes".

The miniature was initially primed with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being enthusiastically dry-brushed in Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. It was then drenched in "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before having its trousers and sleeves pigmented using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Druchii Violet.
"Mounted Simian" WIPs - The two cavalry models have been assembled, primed and dry-brushed
The Ape with Baton's face, ammunition belt, rifle and strap were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna", whilst the soldier's wooden stick was painted using some Charred Brown. All of these areas were later shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Finally, I 'picked out' the metallic parts of the gorilla's firearm with a little "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.

With my 'test piece' for my Simian Minion horde completed, I've spent a little time assembling, basing and priming four Mounted Simians. I'm not really sure whether I'll manage to get these cavalry models completed within the time-frame of my twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge. But they certainly have proved a welcome diversion after painting so many infantry figures over the past few weeks.
"Alternative Armies" WIPs - A giant Earth Elemental, a giant Fire Elemental and a Human Wizard
In addition, I have spent some time slowly progressing the largest (base-size wise at least) of the units for my "Hordes Of The Things" Elemental Army. The giant Earth Elemental by "Alternative Armies" has actually taken quite a toll upon my enthusiasm for the HOTT'ember Challenge, as its wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade has repeatedly stripped away its double undercoat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna back down to the bare metal underneath. Indeed, this particular amalgamation has resulted in a distressingly similar result on my ten lesser Earth Elementals as well...

Fortunately, I've had far more success 'testing out' my use of "Vallejo" Sun Yellow for the first time on my giant Fire Elemental. This particular Game Color gives a much brighter finish than my ever-trusty "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and should therefore hopefully prove a very visible contrast to the murky brown 'mud-men' on the tabletop.

Sunday 6 September 2020

"Each Section Was Led By A Corporal..."

rbons, and most of th
"...Armed with a Sten submachine gun."
This 28mm metal model is from the "West Wind Productions" "Secrets Of The Third Reich" blister B-SOTR04 Sten-B. However, rather than use the miniature for Andy Cooper's "Weird WWII game", this British soldier will actually form part of a (Regular) Infantry Section for "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games". Indeed, the figure will actually represent the section's "high quality" NCO, armed with a trusty submachine-gun.

The Tommy was initially primed using "Citadel" Doombull Brown and washed with an old pot of "Citadel" Devlan Mud. Once dry the infantryman's weapon, boots and large ammunition pouch were pigmented in "Citadel" Abaddon Black, whilst his bullet proof vest was painted using some Calthan Brown. In addition, I 'picked out' the infantryman's gas mask filter with a dab of "Citadel" Knarloc Green too.
Space Commander Travis wonders what could possibly lurk behind the closed hatchway
Both of these areas were darkened using (more) "Citadel" Devlan Mud. Finally, I 'spotted' the Corporal's eye-goggles with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, before applying some "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade" to the soldier's hands, ears and neck.

With my 500-point strong Great Britain And The Commonwealth army almost completed, I managed to make another visit to the LVL Up Gaming Store in Bournemouth so as to play-test some cooperative rules for my homemade brew entitled "M.I.S.S." On this occasion I brought along some figures taken from my old collection of science fiction miniatures by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", and some cardboard sections from the first edition of the Alien Versus Predator Board Game by "Prodos Games".
Supreme Commander Servalan sacrifices her Federation Troopers to the hungry space mutants
The scenarios we played involved Supreme Commander Servalan and Space Commander Travis leading a boarding party of troopers on board a Terran Federation Science Station which had suddenly ceased communicating with Star One. Needless to say, this was due to an alien viral infection getting out of control and turning the laboratory workers into nightmarish blobs of disease-ridden death.

We managed to get in five games during the afternoon, four of which we won, and one of which turned into a total bloodbath, as the mutated scientists devoured everyone in sight, including the noteworthy Section Leader Klegg; who up until this point had somehow managed to survive every exploration of the space station. Hopefully, we'll get some more games in next month, as I hope to add the Liberator's crew, some event cards and additional scenarios to the "Blake's Seven" proceedings...

Wednesday 2 September 2020

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Elemental Army" HOTT'ember 2020

"Alternative Armies" WIPs - A giant Earth Elemental, a giant Fire Elemental and a Human Wizard
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been rather waylaid by Roger 'Dick Garrison' Webb's agreement for us to both paint up a twenty four point "Hordes Of The Things" (HOTT) army over the next few weeks. Roger will be documenting his progress on a Conan the Barbarian force using 15mm "Copplestone Castings" over on his excellent blog, "Rantings From Under The Wargaming Table", whilst I'll be working on an Elemental Army by "Alternative Armies".

My particular HOTT Army is readily available from the Scottish-based wargaming company as a single pack containing an entire Magical army, and comprises of a multitude of figures taken from their HOTT and Tabletop TTF miniatures 15mm metal ranges. It consists of:

Magician General (Human Elementalist) @4AP - Human Wizard
Behemoth (Giant Elemental) @4AP - Fire Elemental
Behemoth (Giant Elemental) @4AP - Earth Elemental
2 x Warband (Lesser Elementals) @2AP - totaling six Water Elementals
2 x Shooters (Lesser Elementals) @2AP - totaling six Fire Elementals
2 x Hordes (Lesser Elementals) @1AP - totaling ten Earth Elementals
2 x Lurkers (Lesser Elementals) @1AP - totaling four Air Elementals
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - These Simian Minions are slowly having their base layers applied
I have always wanted to play HOTT and as a result own a couple of armies for the fantasy miniature wargame published by the Wargames Research Group. However, up until my whimsical challenge to Roger, I've never managed to find the inspiration to actually knuckle down and paint one of them. Unsurprisingly, this isn't the case any longer, so I've already started work on many of the Elementals, as well as the force's leader, a little known human wizard called Gandalf the Grey...
August 2020 - Strong month for the likes of "Otherworld Miniatures" and "Precinct Omega"
Painting wise, the past four weeks saw me enjoy my second most productive August since this blog started, with my "Planet Of The Apes" project using "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" miniatures really helping me keep my enthusiasm high for the entire period. I've actually still got a few more of these twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge hobby sessions left to complete, so realistically expect to finish even more Simian Minions over the next few weeks.

In addition, I managed to clear through all of my Oozes, Slimes and Puddings by "Otherworld Miniatures", and diminutive resin "Ballmonsters!" by "Precinct Omega". The vast majority of these characterful sculpts were admittedly rather straightforward, but they all helped me maintain a steady stream of tabletop ready models every couple of days...

Monday 31 August 2020

"Nothing Will Grow Here."

"There's just a trace of hydrocarbons, and most of the nitrogen is locked into nitrates."
This 28mm scale white metal model of an Albion Rocket Corporation Astronaut is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their ARC Astronauts three-figure deal. The sculpt comes with a helmet-wearing head, but as I wanted to use him as a proxy for Thomas Dodge from the 1968 movie "Planet Of The Apes" I swapped this part out for a bearded Human Minion Head instead.

"A man of science with a thirst for knowledge of the unknown", the Lieutenant was primed using two coats of "Vallejo" White, shaded in Pale Grey and dry-brushed with (more) White. I then 'boxed off' several of his cosmonaut suit's numerous buttons with a little watered-down "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before applying the combinations of "Vallejo" Heavy Red with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson", "Vallejo" Heavy Blue" with "Citadel" Asurman Blue, and "Vallejo" Heavy Grey with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green onto them.
"Man the guns. Join the Apes."
To slightly contrast with the member of the Icarus' plain white uniform I gave Dodge's data pad a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and washed it in Nuln Oil, rather than leave the electronic device "Vallejo" White as I had originally planned. Finally, Thomas' hands and face were treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a dash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

Momentarily stepping away from painting figures, I have managed to re-base the second of two 50 Cal HMG 'Comanche' U.S. Battle Suits by "West Wind Productions" I aim to re-purpose for "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games". This hefty metal miniature comes from Andy Cooper's "Secrets Of The Third Reich" range, and is part of a ‘US Armoured Infantry’ starter set I first started working on over a decade ago. However, despite being noticeably smaller, I thought the model would make a good temporary substitute for an Allied Coyote Light Walker, and give me a chance to try out the single-crew vehicle's formidable firepower on the battlefield before investing in one of "Warlord Games" resin/metal kits.
"Manufactorum Imperialis" WIPs - The large crane is being painted in sub-assemblies
In addition, I've also been working on some more of my "Games Workshop" Manufactorum Imperialis scenery for "Adeptus Titanicus" in the (ambitious) hope of owning both a fully-painted Legio Mortis force and accompanying terrain by the end of next month. I don't usually paint in sub-assemblies, but the pair of huge industrial cranes which come in the boxed set simply screamed to be pigmented in at least two parts.

Frustratingly, despite having done this the actual crane arms themselves are proving to be something of a nightmare due to all the inaccessible areas created by its metal struts. As a result I've somewhat scaled down my plans for these pieces, and instead now plan to simply have the monstrous machines predominantly painted "Vallejo" Heavy Red, with its various metallic areas only being 'picked out' where I'm easily able to reach them with my brush-tip...

Saturday 29 August 2020

"The Galaxy Is In Flames."

"The Emperor's glorious vision for Humanity is in ruins..."
These two 8mm scale fuel tanks are produced by "Games Workshop" and can be found inside the Nottingham-based company's Manufactorum Imperialis scenery set for "Adeptus Titanicus". Assembled from parts taken from the four "frames of detailed components" found within the box, both of these containers were built using two separate components and accompanied by a small cluster of individual oil drums.

It's clear that all of the Manufactorum Imperialis models are designed to be free-standing. But as I've always liked to base my terrain, especially when some of it is so small, I decided to assemble a simple vignette upon a pair of "Citadel" 50mm circular bases, and permanently attached all the parts in place with a few dollops of plastic glue. Hopefully, this would allow me to use these particular miniatures as scenic storage or some such for my 15mm sci-fi gaming tabletop...
"...His armies locked in brutal civil war."
All of the models were primed using two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and subsequently layered with a double-helping of Ironbreaker. I then drenched them in "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed the ensemble with (more) Ironbreaker. Finally, in order to help 'weather them' I sporadically applied some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash in many of the numerous nooks and crannies.

In addition to finishing my "Adeptus Titanicus" terrain, I have completed two more of my twelve dedicated painting sessions for my twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge using "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" models. I've set aside any unfinished "Planet Of The Apes" character models and spent the vast majority of my time ploughing through the eight Apes armed with batons I aim to use as General Ursus' main force of Simian Minions.
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - Two Apes armed with baton and one with a man-catcher
I'm not a great fan of batch painting so initially started working on just one of the gorilla soldiers, slowly working out a basic colour scheme I was happy with, and establishing what wash/dry-brush combinations would speed up the overall pigmentation process. Ordinarily, I like to paint my miniatures from the ground up and ensure each lower area is layered, shaded and highlighted before moving further up the figure.

However, with these particular sculpts that process has proved a bit more painful than usual because all the ape's straps and pouches have occasionally caused me to inadvertently 'catch' a previously painted part of the miniature with my brush-tip. As a result, for the rest of the bunch I'm simply going to try to get all of the base colours on the models as carefully as possible, and then tidy them all up at the end, rather than as I go along...

Wednesday 26 August 2020

"Taylor! Don't Treat Him That Way!"

"It's humiliating!"
This 28mm scale white metal model of a Simian is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their Simian Minions II four-figure collection. However, I was Lucky enough to purchase mine through the company's successful 7TV:Apocalypse "Kickstarter" as I thought the sculpt would make an excellent proxy for Doctor Kira from Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 science fiction film "Planet Of The Apes".

A "chimpanzee psychologist and veterinarian", the miniature was undercoated with a double-layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo Heavy Green. Her skirt and sleeves were then painted in "Vallejo" USA Olive Drab, shaded using some Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter", and carefully dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" USA Olive Drab.
"Up And At 'Em."
I applied a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to the tiny amount of fur peeking out from Kira's sleeves, and used the exact same mixture for her leather chest covering too. Finally I 'picked out' her flesh using a little "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and later gave these areas a splash of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.

Alongside finishing the latest addition to my "Planet Of The Apes" project, I have also completed one of the soldiers found inside the "Secrets Of The Third Reich" blister B-SOTR05 British Commando Carbines by "West Wind Productions". This figure will prove a welcome addition to one of my British Army's two (Regular) Infantry Squads for "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games" and help me take a step closer to achieving my current goal of being able to field a 500 point Great Britain and the Commonweath force.
"West Wind Productions" WIPs - Two British Commandos and an American Second Lieutenant
Unfortunately, I did have one slight problem pigmenting the carbine-carrying Tommy, and that was matching up his old "Games Workshop" colour scheme using their Out Of Production (OOP) Foundation Range with the "Citadel" Base paints available today. Luckily, I still have a few spare pots of Calthan Brown and Knarloc Green lurking about, and whilst I couldn't source any Dark Flesh I soon found its modern-day alternative, Doombull Brown, to be a pretty precise alternative.

I've also dug deep into my collection of unpainted "West Wind Productions" miniatures and assembled one of the four models found inside blister US-SOTR03 US Armoured Infantry Squad Command to use as an officer for an American reinforced platoon. I already have ten US troopers painted up from my "Secrets Of The Third Reich" days, as well as a couple of battlesuits, so hope to just paint up a handful more figures in the near future in order to own a 500 points force representing the United States too.   

Monday 24 August 2020

"Yich! What Strange Creatures!!!"

"All the ballmonsters love the microballs." 
These five 28mm scale resin models of some Microballs are produced by "Precinct Omega", and can be bought as Code BM052 from their Ballmonsters! range. Designed to be used for a "mad-cap gaming experience that mixes board-game, wargame and bar billiards for an experience unlike anything you've ever played before", the blister contains Scar, Nosey, Flathead, Toothless and Pointy.
"They probably couldn't eat more than three at once, though."
The pack also came with some clear plastic flying stands. However, as I wanted my "giant, carnivorous, helium-filled, bad-tempered beachballs" to bounce across the ground rather than simply fly through the air, I super-glued each 'head' onto a 25mm circular base instead. All of the miniatures were then primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown, before being drowned in Strong Tone Quickshade by "The Army Painter" and dry-brushed using (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Brown.

With the basics now finished, I slowly worked my way through all the Ballmonsters' teeth using "Vallejo" White, and their numerous spikes with a little Iraqi Sand. All of these areas were later washed using "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. Finally, I spotted the various eyes with either a splodge or two of "Vallejo" White or Heavy Red, and suitably shaded them with a dash of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"West Wind Productions" WIPs - Three Commandos, two carrying Carbines and an NCO with a SMG
Having completed the last of the "Precinct Omega" miniatures I purchased at "Beachhead" 2020, I have managed to find a little hobby time to progress the three British Commandos by "West Wind Productions" I need to make battle-ready so as to play some 500-point games of "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games". Luckily one of the carbine-carrying soldiers was already partially-painted, so most of my attention has been focused upon the other two necessary figures; especially the NCO armed with an SMG who had to first be assembled from straight out of the box.
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - Two Apes armed with baton and an ARC Astronaut
In addition, I have concluded the sixth of my twelve dedicated painting sessions for my twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge using "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" models. I'm nowhere near where I had hoped to be at the halfway stage. But am confident that the second of my Albion Rocket Corporation Astronauts should soon be completed, as well as the first of my many planned Apes armed with baton.

Indeed, I've already started on a second Simian Minion in the hope of quickly devising a knack/system with which to pigment the eight-gorilla strong party. The soldiers' predominantly black leather uniform is certainly helping matters, and I've even gone so far as to utilise a Leader Simian head for one of the figures so as to mark him out as a sergeant or officer...

Friday 21 August 2020

"Beware The Beast Man, For He Is The Devil's Pawn."

 "Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust, or greed."
This 28mm scale white metal model of a Simian is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their Simian Minions II four-figure collection. However, I was fortunate enough to obtain mine through the company's successful 7TV:Apocalypse "Kickstarter" as I thought the 'passive chimp' would make an excellent proxy for Doctor Cornelius from Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 science fiction film "Planet Of The Apes".

"A chimpanzee archaeologist and historian", the figure was initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo Heavy Green. His sleeves were then painted in "Vallejo" USA Olive Drab, and both his fur and leather chest covering with Heavy Sienna. All three of these areas were later shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"West Wind Productions" WIPs - Three Commandos, two armed with Carbines and the other with an SMG
Finally I applied a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade to Cornelius' flesh, and simply pigmented his furry head in "Citadel" Abaddon Black. Initially I did try 'picking out' the simian's fingers and facial details using a touch more "Vallejo" Heavy Brown, but quickly abandoned this idea as I thought the contrast was a bit too much.

Having recently found myself playing some "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games" I have perhaps unsurprisingly started work on a few more models to help expand my British and Commonwealth Army up to 500 points. Although at some point I plan to incorporate some of the Nottingham-based manufacturer's official miniatures into my force, I'm currently only using my old "Secrets Of The Third Reich" collection by "West Wind Productions", and so resultantly have simply assembled three more of their excellent British Commandos.
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The Warhound Titan legs have been layered, shaded and weathered
Two of these figures, both armed with a Carbine rifle, will simply help me better pad out a squad of regular infantry and, in the case of the red beret-wearing soldier, an Airborne Infantry Section. However, the third model will enable me to better identify my NCOs on the tabletop as he's replaced his rifle with an SMG (for an additional 3 points).

I've also not been slacking on making some visible progress on the first of two Warhound Titans I want to field for "Adeptus Titanicus" by "Games Workshop". Indeed, I've now finished the legs to the mechanical brute, and simply now need to complete its gun-laden hull before the heavily-armed monster is ready for some action during the Emperor's "brutal civil war".

Tuesday 18 August 2020

"Brown Mould Grows In Damp Subterranean Areas..."

"...And it grows by absorbing heat."
This 28mm scale pewter model of a Brown Mould was produced by "Otherworld Miniatures" as part of their DM7b Slimes, Oozes and Jellies II collection. Hand-sculpted by Paul Muller, I actually purchased this model many years ago and had previously painted it a garishly bright orange before storing it away in a plastic container for safekeeping.

Having 'relocated' the "dungeon hazard" onto a much more suitable "Citadel" 50mm circular base and (re)primed the monster with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown, I enthusiastically shaded it with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I then patiently dry-brushed the fungus with some (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Brown.
The vast majority of the Wehrmacht are wiped out by a massive British artillery bombardment
In addition to polishing off the last of my Dungeon Clean-Up Crew by "Otherworld Miniatures", I've also managed to get in a couple more games of "Konflikt '47" by "Warlord Games". Admittedly, the forces concerned only comprised of 200 points each, but they at least provided me with an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the rule-set and once again get to grips with gaming mechanics such as pinning, rallying and animated corpses...

The opening game certainly did not go as planned for the Wehrmacht and their experimental Totenkorps Squad. At one point it did look like the zombies were finally going to literally get their teeth stuck into some Tommy flesh, but the small seven-cadaver sized unit was simply too small to withstand the withering fire assailing their undead flesh from the Commonwealth Lines.
The British infantry hunker down as a German zombie horde fast approaches
In addition, some top work by the British Artillery Forward Observer, who incredibly comes as a free unit courtesy of Great Britain's "Artillery Support" Army Special Rule, rained merry hell down upon the rest of the German soldiers. Indeed, having only just recovered from a massive bombardment which badly pinned the majority of the Wehrmacht infantry down, almost the entire German force was then wiped off the battlefield with a ferociously precise follow-up barrage.

Fortunately, the next conflict was a much more even battle, with both sides walking away with a hard-fought draw. This time round though the Totenkorps at least managed to engage their enemy in close combat. However, the British Second Lieutenant soon put the last of the unholy squad back beneath the ground with a desperately brave shot of his pistol. In addition, the British Artillery was far less effective, even badly pinning a few of the Commonwealth's own infantry towards the end of the conflict...

Sunday 16 August 2020

"Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me..."

"...You damn dirty ape!"
This 28mm scale white metal model of an Albion Rocket Corporation Astronaut is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their ARC Astronauts three-figure deal. The figure actually comes unarmed with a helmet-wearing head, but as I wanted to use him as a proxy for George Taylor from the 1968 movie "Planet Of The Apes" I converted him using additional parts taken from the Lincolnshire-based manufacturer's extensive accessories range.

For starters I swapped out the model's space helmet for the bearded Travelling Man head, and cut off his empty right hand at the wrist in order to pin in place one of the four TLS Pistol hands instead. The entire ensemble was then primed with two coats of "Vallejo" White and I 'picked out' some of the cosmonaut suit's numerous buttons with a dollop or two of "Citadel" Abaddon Black.
 Statue Of Liberty WIP - The resin ornamental mantlepiece statue has been primed ready for layering
I had originally planned to leave the entire figure pure white, and perhaps simply settle for a small decal of the American flag on one of his sleeves. However, I couldn't source a tiny enough transfer for the miniature and subsequently realised that I had painted several of the suit's numerous displays when I had previously pigmented this particular sculpt a few years ago. As a result I used the combinations of "Vallejo" Heavy Red with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson", "Vallejo" Heavy Blue" with "Citadel" Asurman Blue, and "Vallejo" Heavy Grey with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green on the buttons.

I next applied some "Vallejo" Pale Grey to the folds and creases of Taylor's twentieth century spacesuit, and attempted to better blend these shadows in with a careful dry-brush of White. The West Point graduate's firearm was given a layer of "Citadel" Leadbelcher and drenched in "Citadel" Badab Black. Finally his hair and beard with treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and a splash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Hero Forge" WIPs - The post-apocalyptic survivor has been dry-brushed and had some details 'picked out'
With the first of my three planned "Planet Of The Apes"astronauts finished, I have begun working on a test piece I compiled using the "Hero Forge" Customs Miniatures website. This is definitely an expensive way of getting miniatures made, even with a "GenCon 2020" discount code, but is something I'm hoping to build upon in order to produce a line of models based upon my range of "Time's Rambler" graphic novels.

For starters though, I thought I'd get something reasonably straightforward made - a premium (black) plastic model of myself in slightly post-apocalyptic attire, armed with a big pistol and the obligatory squirrel (!?!). There are some slight striation marks visible on the back of the miniature's long leather coat. However, that has easily been resolved with a lick of paint or two, and certainly hasn't stopped me designing/ordering the first three figures for what I hope to be a sizeable range in the future...

Thursday 13 August 2020

"Because The Only Good Human Is A Dead Human."

"The only thing that counts in the end is power! Naked merciless force!"
This 28mm scale white metal model of a Simian Leader is produced by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be bought either separately or as part of their Simian Minions II four-figure collection. However, I actually obtained mine through the company's successful 7TV:Apocalypse "Kickstarter" as I thought the 'aggressive gorilla' would make an excellent proxy for General Ursus from Ted Post's 1970 science fiction film "Beneath The Planet Of The Apes".

"A leading official of Ape City", the figure was initially primed with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being heavily dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. Every one of the metallic plates and studs on the military commander's armour was then 'picked out' with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and thoroughly washed with a mixture of Nuln Oil and Badab Black.
"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - Cornelius, Kira, Ape armed with baton and Zaius
Ursus' uniform was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Purple and "Citadel" Druchii Violet, whilst his face was layered in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I had actually contemplated using "Valejo" Heavy Charcoal for the General's skin, but in the end thought it would make both the miniature and any subsequent gorilla soldiers I pigmented appear a little too dark.

In addition to finishing "the primary antagonist of Beneath the Planet of the Apes" I have somewhat painfully completed another two of my twelve dedicated painting sessions for my twenty-four hour 'Paint An Entire Project" Challenge using "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" models. I'm now quite a way behind schedule though mainly thanks to my having to re-paint two more Simian Minions after their original final washes of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade either disconcertingly dried white (presumably due to some chemical reaction with the heat) or simply cracked open the paint underneath.
"Ochre Jellies were known to exist in the dungeon of Xul-Jarak in Thar."
A recent rummage through a few boxes of old painted models I probably won't ever use again has also revealed my missing Small Ochre Jelly by "Otherworld Miniatures". For some reason I'd glued the ooze onto a 25mm circular base and applied a bright green colour scheme to it, so that the slime rather resembled a Rutan from the BBC Television Series "Doctor Who" or a particularly soggy iceberg lettuce.

Fortunately, I was able to both re-base and re-paint the "thick, golden sludge" so that it matched that of its twin, predominately using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Goldbrown and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. The 'giant amoeba' was then heavily dry-brushed using (more) Heavy Goldbrown in order to help highlight the wonderful detail Paul Muller had sculpted onto the ooze.