Saturday, 29 February 2020

"We're Your Metal Men!"

"Attention, Metal Men - - to me!"
These three 28mm figures of Iron, Tin and Lead are produced by “Wizkids” and can be bought as miniature numbers 009, 010 and 026 respectively from their World's Finest DC "Heroclix" range. "Advanced artificially intelligent robots" who were created by scientist Dr. William "Will" Magnus, this super-team first appeared in the March/April 1962 edition of "Showcase", and were created by Robert Kanigher amd Ross Andru.

Having previously painted sculpts of these automatons from the "DC Comics" "Heroclix" expansion Crisis, I wanted to do something different with them, and try out a couple of paints I haven't used that much since obtaining them. As a result each model was cut-off from its 'clicky-base', permanently attached to one of the 40mm thin-lipped circular bases I use for all my objective markers and then primed using a colour somewhat similar to that of their comic book colours.
"Atomic Mass Games" WIPs - Venom and Erik Killmonger
I therefore used "Citadel" Leadbelcher on the "slow-witted and loyal" Lead, "Vallejo" Silver on the "self-doubting and insecure" Tin, and "Citadel" Ironbreaker upon the "strongman" Iron. All three figures, whose 'personalities mirror their namesake metals', were subsequently shaded using "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before being simply dry-brushed using their main base colour.

Staying with super-heroes, or at least villains, a recent release update from "Atomic Mass Games" has made me aware as to just how far behind I'm falling painting up my "Marvel Crisis Protocol" miniatures. I'm still really keen on just focusing upon arch-nemesis being pitted against their bitterest rival for now, so have spent a little more time tidying up Killmonger's impressively-detailed stand and applying a base coat of "Vallejo" Russian Uniform World War Two to his trousers.
"Doctor Who" WIPs - Sauvix, an Armoured Sea Devil and an Auton
In addition, I've managed to get some "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey onto Venom's 50mm circular base, and apply a "Citadel" Nuln Oil wash to it as well. Despite not having yet even assembled Eddie Brock's hated foe, Spider-Man, I'm actually hoping to get this 50mm tall monstrosity completed over the next few days, and then properly focus upon finishing N'Jadaka whilst the plastic glue dries on Peter Parker's alter-ego.

Lastly, my enthusiasm for "Doctor Who" has suddenly been rekindled once again. Rather embarrassingly I have had a quartet of undercoated Autons by "Black Tree Design" on my painting desk since I finished my test piece artificial life form way back in September 2019. So along with an Armoured Sea Devil and its commander, Sauvix, I thought I would finally get them ready for my time-traveller's tabletop...

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

"The Trapper Will Smother Any Prey Trapped Within It."

"Those caught by the initial attack are prevented from using weapons by the great musculature of the Trapper."
This 45mm square pre-painted plastic model of an Earth Elemental is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 031 their Volo's and Mordenkainen's Foes range of "Dungeons & Dragons" figures. A "large sheet-like monster that disguises itself as a floor or ceiling", the rare creature made its first appearance in December 1975 within the pages of "The Strategic Review".

"Resistant to both fire and cold damage" the amorphous form was initially primed using a double-layer of “Vallejo” Dark Grey, positively drowned in “Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo Dark Grey. I then applied a couple of even coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey to the 'flat body the fiend conforms to the floor surface of its lair' and washed that with (more) "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"Dungeons & Dragons" WIPs - The Banderhobb has had been used as a test-piece for a number of techniques
As "Trappers are 95% likely to appear as a normal stone floor when tested by any normal means", I dry-brushed this upper surface with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, just as if I were painting the paving tiles of a dungeon. This process actually made a bit of a mess of some of my earlier work with the "Vallejo" Dark Grey, so as a final touch I simply went back and tidied the monster's edges up.

Despite the Tenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge entering its final few weeks, and my still needing to pigment approximately another forty or so 28mm miniatures to achieve my annual target for the event, I have spent some of my precious hobby-time fooling around with a large plastic Banderhobb by "Wizkids". This giant bipedal toad from the New Jersey-based company's "Dungeons & Dragons" range arrived with a horrible pre-paint job which predominantly consisted of a jarringly yellow dry-brush all over the figure's dark green base-layer.
"Wizkids" WIPs - The Yochlol has been primed, shaded, dry-brushed and tidied-up
Having scrutinised some 'official' illustrations depicting "the enigmatic monsters of shadow and flesh", this colour scheme itself wasn't actually too wide of mark; albeit its their bloated stomach and gullet which are predominantly yellow. As a result I've been testing out some wet-blending, sponging and simple layering to see which technique works best for me, as I've little experience of painting paler underbellies...  

Far more straightforward a subject have been three "Wizkids" Yochlols, which despite some initial priming problems, now seem to be close to completion. The 28mm scale demons really didn't like my disconcertingly translucent "Vallejo" Heavy Goldenbrown until they'd be undercoated with a couple of layers of Heavy Brown first. But now they just need their red cyclopean eyes to be 'dabbed' in place before being finished.

Monday, 24 February 2020

"And Until The Day When Our Demands Are Recognised..."

"...We refuse to touch the soil or breathe the air of this fallen world."
These four 28mm U-Men figures are produced by “Wizkids” and can (still) be bought as miniature number 002 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Mutant Mayhem range. Members of an "organization of fanatical humans" who believed "that using stealing and grafting mutant body parts through surgery" would lead them to become "physically superior", this movement first appeared in the 2001 "New X-Men" Annual and were created by Grant Morrison and Leinil Francis Yu.

Having pried each model off of its 'clicky-base' and super-glued them onto plastic 25mm circular stands, the "humans empowered with mutant abilities" were primed using some "Citadel" Abaddon Black. I then 'picked out' all of their environmental suits' pipes, apparatus and breathing masks, as well as their carbines, with "Citadel" Ironbreaker. Each miniature was later shaded using some "Citadel" Nuln Oil and 'tidied up' with a little more Abaddon Black.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Bi-Beast, an Abominable Snowman and a Dire Wraith
Sticking with "Heroclix" re-paints, I have made some more progress on the eight Dire Wraiths I plan to add to my ever-expanding Wraithworld invasion force. These figures are reasonably straightforward to pigment, and as a result, I was momentarily tempted to convert a few of them, perhaps by way of a head or arm realignment. In the end though, I've settled to keep them as they are for expediency's sake, and just hope that the New Jersey-based company produce some more inhabitants of the Dark Nebula, such as their Deathwing forms.

I have also managed to get a little further on my Bi-Beast and Abominable Snowman. Working on the 63mm tall Yeti has proved something of a frustration after I discovered I had inadvertently splashed some "Citadel" Nuln oil onto his "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey fur. Unsurprisingly this has meant I have had to infuriatingly go back over those areas first before starting to 'pick out' all this "Vallejo" Dark Grey flesh...
"Wizkids" WIPs - Rolling Oil, a Yochlol and a Bunnyip
"Tritex Games" are continually tempting me with their 'reduced in price' range of plastic "Dungeons & Dragons" and "Pathfinder Battles" models by "Wizkids". I have always been a big fan of the oozes, jellies, slimes and puddings, so simply couldn't resist when I saw they were stocking the large Rolling Oil miniature from the Ruins of Lastwall expansion, and have immediately set to work re-basing, priming and dry-brushing the "inky spill".

Fancying a few other weird dungeon denizens, I have additionally undercoated a trio of Yochlols and Bunnyips. These smaller, yet just as oddly-shaped creatures, are arguably a bit more rubbery in texture than I ordinarily like to put a brush to, and are likely to be far more colourful (once finished). than the Rolling Oil figure I'm working on alongside them.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

"The Girl Belongs To Zzzax!"

"Caught in my grip of nuclear fire, even steel can melt!"
This 58mm tall plastic model of Zzzax is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 025 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Mutations & Monsters range. "Formed from electricity by an act of sabotage at a Con Ed nuclear power plant in New York City", the humanoid creature was created by Steve Englehart and artist Herb Trimpe, and made his first appearance in the August 1973 issue of "The Incredible Hulk" by "Marvel Comics".

Brought to life by absorbing "the minds of the terrorists and several engineers", the translucent orange figure was initially primed using a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and later soaked with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. I then began an hour long process of slowly dry-brushing the electrical super-villain's nicely-detailed body with an increasingly lighter combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and White using a professional cosmetic kit's makeup brush by "Abody".
Metal Men WIPs - Lead, Tin and Iron have all been re-based and primed
This really proved something of a patient process, and I made sure not to clean my brush every time I concocted a new mix, so as to help blend the different layers together. After finally applying a 'pure' "Vallejo" White dry-brush, I decided to apply a layer of Yellow Fluorescent as something of an experiment. This seemed to work reasonably well, but in the end I decided to somewhat dampen the luminosity with a final dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" White.

As a penultimate step I noticed in some of the comic book drawings of Zzzax that the monster has a noticeable pair of eyes, and even visible teeth in his mouth. I therefore 'picked out' these areas of the figure with a little "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before applying a couple of brush-tips full of "Vallejo" White. I then applied a couple (more) lines of "Citadel" Abaddon Black to the eye sockets to help give the always-angry behemoth a grimacing scowl.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Bi-Beast, the Bat Sentry and Proteus
I actually painted up a number of "Heroclix" Metal Men figures approximately four years ago, so was rather intrigued recently when I discovered that "Wizkids" had gone and had the "DC Comics" super-group re-sculpted for their World's Finest expansion set. Obviously, I wasn't in any urgent need of a replacement Tin, Iron or Lead figure, but having been gifted some spares I did think the new look Silver Age of Comics heroes would make some rather splendid objective markers.

In addition I've made some slow progress on a couple of my larger "Heroclix" models, as well as re-primed my Bi-Beast a far stronger shade of orange after I found his original undercoat turned out a little too dark for my liking. The Bat Sentry has had a spanking new 'lick' of "Citadel" Abaddon Black all over it, having gained some significant dust whilst lurking on one of my many shelves, whilst Proteus is slowly being 'sponged' with various shades of green prior to being washed with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green...

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

"The Hulk Must Be Destroyed, By The Hand Of -- The Abomination!"

"Smash him! Crush him!"
This 43mm tall pre-painted plastic model of Emil Blonsky's alter-ego, the Abomination, is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 049 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Xplosion range. "Introduced as a KGB agent and spy" who would go on to deliberately expose "himself to a greater quantity of the same gamma radiation that transformed Bruce Banner" into the Hulk, this human mutate first appeared in the April 1967 issue of "Tales To Astonish" and was created by Stan Lee and Gil Kane.

Having previously completed Chinese scientist Chang Lam's incarnation of the Abomination from “The Ultimates” comic book series by "Marvel Worldwide", I thought I'd initially undercoat the original Ravager of Worlds with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and doused him with plenty of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. I then gave the "large scaly humanoid" a dry-brush of (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Green" so as to help bring out all his sculpt's marvellous details.
"Green Lantern Corps" WIPs - Ch'p, Salaak and Kilowog have all been re-based and primed 
With the bulk of former Agent R-7 completed, I set about pigmenting his trunks with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade, as well his irregularly-shaped teeth with "Vallejo" White and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. Lastly I dotted the Abomination's eyes with a couple of spots of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, tidies them up with a line or two of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and finally shaded them with a little Agrax Earthshade.

Having finished working on a character who, in accordance with Stan Lee's wishes, actually defeated the Hulk in their first battle, I have decided to stick with a 'green theme' by re-basing and undercoating my "Heroclix" figures of Salaak, Ch'p and Kilowog. I've previously painted a number of Green Lantern solid light constructs, so thought it was about time I actually applied a paintbrush to some of the Corps' more memorable members.
"Dragons & Dragons" WIPs - A nearly finished Trapper, and dry-brushed Banderhobb
In addition, another shipping notice from "Tritex Games" has rather spurred me on with my recently acquired Trapper and Banderhobb miniatures by "Wizkids". I'm really starting to get rather enthused by the New Jersey-based company's "Dungeons & Dragons" denizens, and the sheer range of large wandering monsters they've been producing in recent years.

Unfortunately, these models are proving something of a distraction from some of my other painting projects, especially when having finished a creature I am immediately torn over whether I actually need a group of the self-same destructive horror for my tabletop as opposed to just a solitary catacomb dweller. Luckily, "Tritex Games" are consistently contacting me with 'end of stock' deals for some of the older plastic sculpts, so such 'impulse purchases' aren't quite as damaging to the wallet as they might ordinarily be...

Monday, 17 February 2020

"You're Fish."

"Fish come out of the water and they die."
This 35mm scale metal miniature of the Black Manta is produced by "Knight Models" for their "Batman Miniature Game", and can be purchased as either part of the DC Universe/Batman Miniature Game: Secret Society of Super-villains set, along with Killer Frost and Professor Zoom, or as a single blistered figure. Sculpted to depict the "ruthless and murderous underwater-based mercenary" wearing his infamous "nigh-invulnerable battle-suit", the archenemy of Aquaman was created by Bob Haney and artist Nick Cardy, and made his first appearance in the September 1967 issue of "Aquaman" by "DC Comics".

"Currently in the New Suicide Squad under the command of Amanda Waller" this four-piece model was carefully assembled and primed using a double layer of "Citadel" Abaddon Black. The "expert in mechanical engineering and military tactics" was then enthusiastically dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal before being drenched in "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Zzzax is slowly being dry-brushed with increasingly lighter shades of yellow
I 'picked out' Black Manta's advanced technological suit, his jet pack propulsion system, wrist-mounted speargun, diving helmet and hand-weapon with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Later I dry-brushed both the helmet, jet pack and Death Ray with (more) "Citadel" Ironbreaker. As a final touch I layered his eye lenses with Vallejo" Heavy Red, and shaded them in "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

Sticking with the theme of super-villains, I have continued to labour away at my 60mm tall plastic "Heroclix" miniature of Zzzax. This electrical foe of the incredible Hulk has patiently had all his detail dry-brushed with numerous, ever-increasingly light tones of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre to the point of almost pure White, and is now ready for me to experiment upon using my recently purchased bottle of the "Vallejo" Model Color, Yellow Fluorescent...
"Wizkids" WIPs - A Dire Wraith, a U-Man and the Abomination
In addition, I have been pottering about on a number of other models manufactured by "Wizids", including another of Bruce Banner's arch-nemesis, namely Emil Blonsky's alter-ego, the Abomination. This old figure is one of my all-time favourites produced by the New Jersey-based company, as it depicts the former KGB agent in his original mutated guise, and has proved an absolute pleasure to prime, shade and dry-brush.

I've also found some time to 'crack on' with the four remaining U-Men I want to complete so as to provide the nefarious Nazi, Major Maxim, with a suitably-sized retinue of sinister frogmen. Plus, having taken a ‘deep-dive’ into my “Heroclix” backlog, I have located, re-based and undercoated another eight-figure strong sisterhood of Dire Wraiths with which to potentially threaten the “Marvel Wordwide” universe with...

Saturday, 15 February 2020

"Well I Made Up The Name TARDIS From The Initials..."

"...Time and Relative Dimensions In Space."
This 145mm tall printed MDF Police Box Dice Tower is manufactured by "XLC Wargame Terrain" and can currently be bought from their range of seven different dice towers. Built using 3mm MDF and comprising of nine separate pieces, the "object used by gamers to roll dice fairly" comes bearing a pre-painted design based upon the 1929 Gilbert Mackenzie Trench British Police telephone call box, and resultantly would prove especially thematic for any "Doctor Who" inspired tabletop.

The tower was assembled reasonably quickly using both PVA Wood glue and the kit's crystal clear instruction leaflet. However, it's one frustration was that the glue didn't bond terribly well with those parts covered by its satin finish 'veneer'. Whilst this was perfectly understandable, it did mean that the ensemble wasn't really stable enough to stand on its own (to properly dry) until after the majority of the build was complete.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Abomination and Bi-Beast
Alongside side working on my MDF Police Box Dice Tower I have been slowly re-basing and priming a number of "Wizkids" pre-painted plastic figures linked to the "Marvel Worldwide" comic book character, the incredible Hulk. Foremost of these miniatures is an old sculpt of Emil Blonsky's alter-ego, the Abomination, which depicts the cursed KGB agent as he originally appeared way back in the late Sixties. I've actually already previously painted "The Ultimates" version of the Hulk's arch-rival, but much prefer this (admittedly smaller) traditional-looking Master of Evil.

In addition, I have starting working on two more of Bruce Banner's leading foes, namely Zzzax and the Bi-Beast. The Zzzax model whilst originally a reasonably-sized chunk of translucent orange plastic, will hopefully prove a straightforward enough painting subject, courtesy of a fair amount of dry-brushing. Unfortunately however, the Bi-Beast's figure is tremendously disappointing, and isn't anywhere near as tall as the monstrosity pencilled by the late Herb Trimpe in the early Seventies.
"Wizkids" WIPs - The Abominable Snowman, S.T.R.I.P.E. and Zzzax
Far more impressive looking, is the "Wizkids" Promotional "Heroclix" of the Abominable Snowman, which as memory serves I was able to track down from its frozen lair at "The Troll And Toad" website in America. I've previously already undercoated the brute with a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Dead White as part of my preparation for the Tenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, so have now treated the furry beast to a wash of Pale Grey prior to some significant dry-brushing.

Lastly, I've stumbled across a partially-painted miniature of Pat Dugan's powered armour suit S.T.R.I.P.E. (Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer). This "DC Comics" figure still has a fair amount of work to do on it despite having already had all of its metalwork finished, and, like the Abominable Snowman, doesn't fit in with my current notion to 'Hulk Out' with my "Heroclix". But it's such a cool-looking figure, that I thought I'd spend enough time on it to get it completed anyway...  

Thursday, 13 February 2020

"This Won't Hurt A Bit, You Freak."

"Waste recycle on."
These four 28mm U-Men models are produced by “Wizkids” and can (still) be bought as miniature number 002 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Mutant Mayhem range. Dedicated to "using mutant body parts to augment their human bodies, as well as to grant themselves superhuman powers" this "cult of geeks" first appeared in the 2001 "New X-Men" Annual and were created by Grant Morrison and Leinil Francis Yu.

Having previously painted a fair few of this particular model in the past, I thought I'd spend a little time beforehand converting three of the U-Men so they carried some of the more 'specialist weapons' used by Dr. John Sublime's acolytes to harvest mutants. As I result I simply snipped off the barrels to their propulsion guns and attached some spare "Gale Force Nine" bitz I had left over from assembling the vehicles from the "Tanks" World War II skirmish game.
"Precinct Omega" WIPs - Three of the "Ballmonsters!" have been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
I wanted to make these deadly devices as 'weird' as possible, so ended up drilling/pinning all sorts of odds and ends, including the entire barrel of a 15mm armoured fighting vehicle, a combination of a tank's open turret hatch and spare wheel, and some bizarre piece of plastic I really haven't a clue about. In my mind, these choices ultimately gave my U-Men a 'long range' explosive option to force out hidden muties, some sort of wind turbine option to knock over targets or extinguish flaming super powers, and a hand-weapon which looked as if it might fire a debilitating net...

Once assembled, the quartet's environmental suits were initially primed using a couple of coats of “Citadel” Abaddon Black and had all their breathing pipes, apparatus and weapons picked out using a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As I haven't yet ever created an actual leading U-Man figure, I did momentarily consider painting one of them with the garish blue face mask found on the "Wizkids" pre-paints. But as I really don't like that look much, I decided to stick with my 'tried and tested' second splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil instead, and have them lead by either the Black Manta or my recently completed Major Maxim.
"Wizards Of The Coast" WIPs - A Lizardman Warrior, Gnome Infiltrator and Human Monk
As something of a colourful distraction from all the U-Men's "Citadel" Abaddon Black and Ironbreaker I have been slowly pigmenting most of the "Ballmonsters!" models I bought from "Precinct Omega" at "Beachhead" 2020. These characterful 'heads' have loads of detail on them, and whilst the fantasy sports rule-set they've been designed for isn't out yet, I have a few ideas in mind to get them onto my tabletop quite soon...

In addition, I have re-primed a number of old "Dungeons & Dragons" adventurers which have been gathering dust in one of my drawers for a good couple of years. Apparently produced by "Wizards Of The Coast" way back in 1999, I've gone for an odd-looking party of adventurers, starting with a Gnome Infiltrator (with repeating crossbow), a Human Monk, and a Lizardman Warrior...

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

"Your Insolence Has Exhausted My Patience."

"Your persistence is admirable. But your arrogance will prove fatal!"
This 45mm tall plastic “Wizkids” model of Major Maxim is miniature number 054 from their Indy “Heroclix” range and depicts the Hammer operative during a raid upon Eddy Owen's house in England, when the "robotic monstrosity" was searching for a mystical artefact from Atlantis known as the Helmet of Second Sight. Working for a secret organisation "built out of the remnants of the Nazi Empire", the cyborg first appeared in the August 1998 issue of “Danger Girl” and was created by J. Scott Campbell Andy Hartnell.

Willing to "stop at nothing to complete his orders", Maxim was initially primed using some "Vallejo" Black and then treated to a coat of "Citadel" Abbadon Black. I did consider subsequently dry-brushing the figure with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal, as I do for all my predominantly black miniatures. But decided against it as I wanted the hulking brute to appear as devilishly dark as he does in the heavily saturated "Cliffhanger" colour comic books.
"Wizkids" WIPs - Four of the eight "Heroclix" U-Men currently on the painting table
The Major's belt buckle, pipes, medal, breathing apparatus, goggles and cap badge were painted with "Citadel" Ironbreaker and later shaded using some Nuln Oil. I then picked out his armband with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, and tidied up its sculpted Hammer emblem with a touch of Abaddon Black.

As a final touch I dotted the fascist fiend's eyes with a couple of dabs of "Vallejo" Dark Vermillion, and washed them with (more) "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. I also pigmented the fluid tanks at the sides of Maxim's breathing apparatus with "Vallejo" Steel Grey", before dappling the areas with "Citadel" Asurmen Blue.
"Knight Models" WIPs - The Black Manta has been dry-brushed, layered and shaded
Having finished Major Maxim I wanted to give him some Hammer agents to command as quickly as possible, so having painted some "Wizkids" U-Men in the past, I quickly dug out some more figures from my embarrassingly large "Heroclix" backlog. However, as I wanted some of these frogmen to be armed with specialist weapons, I converted a few of their firearms using some spare pieces of "Gale Force Nine" 15mm plastic tanks.

In addition, my recent trip to "Beachhead" 2020 reminded me that at last year's show I bought a few cheap "DC Comics" super-villains made by "Knight Models" for their "Batman Miniatures Game". Considering I am currently using a lot of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and Ironbreaker, my figure of Black Manta therefore seemed an obvious subject to paint alongside my U-Men... 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

"Beachhead" Loot 2020

"Warpainter Scenics" - A flower patch, vegetable patch and collection of resin cobblestone pavements
This weekend I decided to make my second trip to the Bournemouth International Centre, Dorset, so as to visit the tabletop games show “Beachhead”. The team behind this event, now in its fifth year, are clearly becoming increasingly ambitious and it was clear from the larger trader hall and surrounding tournament areas just why they're "really pleased that it is rapidly becoming the go-to show on the South Coast.

Hoping to start slowly by circling clockwise around the venue's outer stalls first, I quickly stumbled across "Warpainter Scenics" and their collection of pre-painted garden scenery. Of particular interest was a fantastic looking collection of cabbages, beetroots, lettuces and cauliflowers all penned together in resin, as well as a large packed box full of some clearance items.
"I-Kore" WIP - A long out of production Koralon Hydra
These 'end of the line' pieces were incredibly priced, and suddenly enthused with the notion of the Third Reich being bravely battled across a quaint British village green I dived in with great gusto. Ultimately, I desperately tried to be restrained, but still ended up carting away four marvellously colourful flower displays, and a load of resin pavements to encircle the numerous pre-painted cottages I already own...

Similarly as tempting were the pre-printed wargame terrain produced by "XLC Wargame Terrain", whose "Desecration City" range of heavily fortified concrete positions, seemed particularly suited to either "Warhammer 40k" or Weird War Two. Fortunately, despite being strongly tempted by some of their barracks, cell blocks and towers, I ultimately walked away with just one of their Dice Tower: Police Box kits in my hand. I'm a big advocate of populating a tabletop with just a single manufacturers' scenic items, as I think a mix of resin, plastic, and wood from different sources tends to shatter the environment's illusion, and therefore thought the dice tower would prove simple test product to try out.
"Precinct Omega" WIPs - Two large "Beachhead" show specials and a pair of smaller Microclopi
Most of the show was unsurprisingly populated with the usual suspects like "Great Escape Games", "4Ground", "TTCombat", "Warlord Games" and "Plastic Soldier Company". These companies are great if you're after their very latest release or they're doing a special show deal, but it wasn't until I spied a battered box beneath the "Scotia Grendel" table that my I spied my prize pick of "Beachhead"; a load of old "Void" boxed miniatures from "I-Kore". These resin/metal marvels immediately took me back to a distant past when I was absolutely infatuated with the sci-fi skirmish rule-set, and for just a fiver each I simply couldn't stop myself picking up the lot, including a mighty Koralon Hydra.

Besides a quick visit to my regular e-store "Element Games" in order to snag their sole "Warhammer 40,000" Start Collecting! Necrons box for use with the "Space Marine Adventures" boardgame by "Games Workshop", the last dealer to catch my eye was "Precinct Omega" and their utterly bizarre range of "Ballmonsters!" Sculpted to work with the manufacturer's partially-written fantasy sports miniatures game, I thought these tiny heads were splendidly different, and despite deciding to superglue mine onto normal 25mm circular bases, as opposed to the clear plastic flight stands they come with, they should hopefully prove an interesting project to paint.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

"King T’Challa Is The Leader Of Wakanda."

"A technologically advanced nation that houses rich deposits of the precious metal vibranium."
This 40mm scale plastic figure of King T'Challa is produced by “Atomic Mass Games” and can be bought as part of  the company's Black Panther & Killmonger expansion set for "Marvel Crisis Protocol". Assembled using eight separate pieces, not including its stand, the model depicts the leader of Wakanda having already connected "to the panther god Bast by eating a special heart-shaped herb."

The miniature was initially primed using two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black and thoroughly dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. I then shaded the Avenger with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, before picking out his eyes with a couple of dabs of "Vallejo" White. I also 'picked out' all his metalwork with a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.
"Wizkids" WIP - The Trapper has been undercoated with "Vallejo" Dark Grey
Originally, I had figured on simply dry-brushing T'Challa's circular base with my usual combination of "Citadel" Doombull Brown and Rakarth Flesh, and subsequently drowning it in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I even considered applying a few tufts of static grass to some of the rubble. However, my experience with the "Knight Models" Teen Titans was still somewhat fresh in my mind, and my slight dislike for how that particular approach had worked out for them...

As a result the Black Panther's pre-modelled street pavement was undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey using a make-up brush, and additionally 'tidied up' with the odd line of "Citadel" Nuln Oil in order to bring out some of the concrete paving slabs' impressive details.
"Wizkids" WIP - The Banderhobb has been undercoated using "Vallejo" Heavy Green
Having stepped away from my 'tried and tested' basing methods, and previously painted two versions of Wakanda's crime-fighting monarch before, I thought I might as well go 'completely mad' by applying a coat of "Vallejo" Matt Varnish over the entire miniature too. Ordinarily, I stop with just a coat of Gloss Varnish, as I really like the sense of nostalgia the shininess brings, but for my range of "Marvel Crisis Protocol" models I'm hoping to use the gloss as an extra effect, rather than just 'slap it on' everything...

"Tritex Games" recently contacted me with a tempting sale concerning their pre-painted "Wizkids" miniatures for "Dungeons & Dragons", and as I'm currently in something of a fantasy tabletop mood I couldn't resist picking up a Trapper and Banderhobb. Unsurprisingly, both of these models have gone to the very top of my painting queue, and not only already been re-based but primed in an appropriate "Vallejo" Model Color.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Heroclix" February 2020

"Wizkids" WIPs - A Doombot 3095, Major Maxim and a Hulk Robot
This month's themed attempt to reduce my mass of metal, plastic and resin models will focus upon a large number of "Heroclix" pre-painted figures I've 'dug out' from my collection and started priming. Many of these miniatures actually represent the minions of both the "Marvel Worldwide" and "DC Comics" universes, and as a result have rather embarrassingly been gathering dust for quite a considerable time in numerous drawers, containers and on shelves.

For starters I plan on building up a sizeable force of Doombots for the Latverian Monarch, Victor Von Doom. I've previously painted a handful of the dictator's robotic replicas, but just the one Doombot 3095 before, so have re-based and primed as many of the 37mm tall figures as I could find in my "Wizkids" container box. Disconcertingly, I actually own another twelve of the mechanical brutes, so once finished, should be able to field quite the Doctor Doom force on the tabletop.
"Marvel Crisis Protocol" WIPs - Killmonger and the considerably larger Venom
Somewhat along similar lines, I thought it would be fun to progress some of the numerous Hulk foes the New Jersey-based company have produced over the years. I've already got both a green-skinned and grey-skinned painted model of Bruce Banner's alter-ego, along with the fiery Red Hulk. However, having recently fancied playing a few games sets within the Gamma Ray scientist's brutal world, I've realised that I'm distinctly lacking in villains for the jade giant to pummel, hence the desire to pigment four Hulk robots for starters...

As a slight change of pace I have also started work on a few more of the "Marvel Crisis Protocol" miniatures by "Atomic Mass Games". I'm still somewhat nervous about going 'all-in' on this game, as I own re-painted "Heroclix" versions of the majority of its range. But the idea of pitting arch-nemesis against their bitterest rival really appeals, so I have assembled Killmonger to face-off against my Black Panther, and Venom to battle my yet-to-be-built Spider-Man.
January 2020 - "Lucid Eye Publications" currently dominates my Top Ten Manufacturers of 2020
Productivity wise, the past four weeks have proved to be my third busiest January to date, and this has almost exclusively been as a result of my interest in the "Toon Realms" range of "Lucid Eye Publications. The 28mm scale "white metal figures" have really captured my imagination, and resultantly I've finished several partially-completed units I had previously 'benched' this time last year.

In addition to King Victor's Royal Guard and Men-at-Arms, I've also gone on to polish off some additional Grove's Shrubs, Sterling the Wandering Knight, and the first batch of four Lord Rascal's Ghostly Wraiths. Undoubtedly, a fair few more of this manufacturer's models will making an appearance in the weeks to come too, as I try to get a few more ready for submission into the Tenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.