Sunday, 4 December 2016

“You Are Too Clever, Doctor. Clever And Dangerous.”

"Destroy him. Die, Doctor, die!"
These "finely-sculpted" and rather overly-large 28mm scale "pewter" models of six shape-changing Zygons are produced by “Warlord Games” and were some of the first “much-anticipated” miniatures which ‘materialised in stores’ as part of the Nottingham-based company's Doctor Who Miniatures Game range. Arguably based far more upon the “fictional extra-terrestrial race” depicted in the 2013 BBC television story “The Day Of The Doctor”, as opposed to the Warlord Broton’s more obvious rubber-suit wearing brethren from the 1975 tale “Terror Of The Zygons”, these figures are wonderfully detailed sculpts and proved such an absolute pleasure to paint that I quickly went from possessing just a pair of the stranded aliens to owning an intimidating half a dozen.

Originally primed with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, my ‘go to’ pot for portraying flesh since the frustrating cessation of “Citadel” Tallarn Flesh and Pallid Flesh, these miniatures were all predominantly painted using a colour scheme inspired by that recommended on the “Warlord Games” “Into The Time Vortex” website. However, rather than simply ‘build up’ the figures’ shading with increasingly lighter layers of red, I instead just heavily washed them with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson and then dry-brushed them with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone.
"The humans will be following our course by their radar. Transmit a jamming signal."
One somewhat contentious suggestion from the Zygons Paint Guide was to paint their hands and feet in black. Such an obvious physical feature of the “shape-changing humanoids” certainly wasn’t evident during the Tom Baker era, and wasn’t all that noticeable during their recent appearances in “The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion” either. However, as the more ‘modern-day’ monsters now appear capable of firing “electrical charges from their hands that can stun or disintegrate” the thought of blending in some old OOP “Citadel” Chaos Black over the ends of their sucker-covered limbs appealed as I thought it would make the models more interesting to the eye…

With my ‘distracting’ refugees from the Zygor homeworld completed I have finally been able to start working on my monthly unit for the “Age Of Sigmar” rule-set by “Games Workshop”. In the past, I’ve painted up a sizeable gathering of Plaguebearers, Nurglings and Bloodletters, as well as a Beast of Nurgle, Rotbringer’s Sorcerer, Herald of Nurgle and Lord of Plagues. However, I haven’t yet really tackled any of the corking scenery currently being produced for the “tabletop wargame” which replaced “Warhammer Fantasy Battle” in 2015.
Balewind Vortex WIPs - The scenic piece has twice been dry-brushed and had its details undercoated in black
This “multi-part plastic kit” of a Balewind Vortex will change all that, and arguably count as an additional ‘unit’ for my Host of Nurgle, due to the “swirling, violently swaying vortex of fell energies” needing to be summoned by my force’s Chaos Wizard before it can be placed upon the battlefield. Indeed, as far as “Age Of Sigmar” is concerned the “platform from which” powerful spells may be cast cannot actually be set up at the start of the game and instead can only be conjured upon the successful roll of a 7 or higher during the Hero Phase.

A genuinely formidably-sized piece of scenery, I’ve decided to paint the model in three separate pieces before assembling it. As a result I have begun working on the base of the “howling gusts” and not only undercoated it’s skull-festooned icon-covered stone foundation with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, but also started building up the dark foreboding carvings with plenty of dry-brushing.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Konflikt '47" December 2016

"Secrets Of The Third Reich WIPs - The regular British infantryman is almost finished already
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing mountain of metal, plastic and resin models has been somewhat surprisingly superseded by an impulse purchase of a rule-book at last month's "Warfare" wargames show in Reading, and a subsequent rummage through a box of partially painted miniatures which has stood unattended for a couple of years. Consequently I intend to try and dedicate myself for the next few weeks to a batch of "Secrets Of The Third Reich" figures by "West Wind Productions" and some 'World War Two' models by "Warlord Games", in order to be able field a couple of 'sizeable' forces suitable for "Konflikt '47".

Indeed, as far as previously painted "West Wind Productions" miniatures are concerned, I already own enough 'Weird War Two' figures to deploy a minimum-sized 199 point German reinforced platoon for the "standalone game inspired by the hugely successful Bolt Action"; one which contains both a Leutnant and his two Wehrmacht Infantry Squads, as well as seven "animated corpses of the Totenkorps...
A basic "Konflikt '47" reinforced German platoon, with accompanying Totenkorps Squad
Disappointingly however, I do not yet currently own quite enough finished "Secrets Of The Third Reich" models to field a similarly-sized British contingent. Although I am only short of a single (regular) Tommy equipped with a carbine rifle, and two red beret-wearing, identically-armed, members of the Airborne Infantry.

As a result of these slightly frustrating omissions I am initially focusing the majority of my attention upon three of "West Wind Productions" characterful Commando sculpts, two of which have had their Gas Mask heads swapped for British Para Heads in Berets with Gas Masks. Eager to play my first game of "Konflikt '47" these figures have already all been based, primed and worked upon, with my 'missing' regular Infantryman already close to completion.
British Matilda Mark I Infantry Tank WIP - The vehicle needs to be based before much more work can be done 
One of the real attractions of Chris Hale's alternative World War rule-set is the fact that players can additionally also utilise any of the ('historically accurate') units found within the "Bolt Action" Army books. This has rather inevitably led to me returning to an 'old' metal and resin "Warlord Games" model of a British Matilda Mark I Infantry Tank I actually started painting for a game of "Savage Worlds" a couple of years ago.

Having dusted off "the first of the infantry tank concepts to see production and combat", I have given the 'slow and under-gunned' motor vehicle a generous double-coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Green, and started work on both its turret-mounted Vickers heavy machine gun and accompanying commander. Unfortunately, I don't though currently own any more of the "Games Workshop" 120mm x 92mm oval bases I predominantly super-glue such transports upon, so once I've finished painting its underbelly I'll have to wait until my new stands arrive through the post before I can make any more progress on it.
The Mausoleum WIPs - Three long-dead swordsmen in various states of completion
Such a 'healthy' obsession with "Goblin Clockwork Miniatures" brainchild and all of its 'Weird War' shenanigans does not however, mean that I have forgotten my plans to paint ten skeletons with which to re-enact The Mausoleum scenario from the "Frostgrave" rule-book, and I have still been busily putting pigment to plastic on the first three of my Undead warriors by "North Star Military Figures". Indeed, I have even found time to locate a number of old "Games Workshop" Dwarven shield emblems with which to decorate the bony antagonist's rather bare and formerly uninteresting wooden shields.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

"...Often Called 'Foo Dogs' In The West..."

"...By the Sixth Century AD they were already popularly depicted as guardian figures."
These two large and characterful 28mm scale resin Chinese Guardian Lions are made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" and can be purchased from their Oriental Scenery range as a "pair of Temple Dog Statues." Measuring approximately 53mm in length, 28mm in width and 48mm in height, the models were based upon two thin-lipped 50mm circular bases so I can use them as scenery/objective markers for some "Busido" influenced games of "Song Of Blades & Heroes" I have planned.

Initially I did contemplate painting my "Shi" similar to the stone statues recently posted by Andy over on his excellent blog, "Da Gobbo's Grotto". However, in the end I decided to go with a somewhat bright, metallic colour scheme that would not only help the pieces really stand out on my tabletop, but would also give me the opportunity to once again use my current favourite paint - "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide.
"The lions are traditionally carved from decorative stone, such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron."
As a result both models were primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a double coat of Brass. The protective idols were then heavily washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass.

With the basic painting of the imperial guardians finished, I turned my attention to 'weathering' the traditional Chinese monuments by applying plenty of "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide over the models, and then giving them a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass. Afterwards I underocated the statues' stone plinths with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before roughly highlighting it in "Vallejo" Dark Grey and lastly Heavy Bluegrey. As a final touch though I dripped some Strong Tone Quickshade down the sides of the podium to give the faint impression of damp slime, and actually glued some static grass to parts of the stone slab in order to suggest the statues have stood fixed upon their bases for a long time...
Bloodletter WIPs - These Khorne Daemons now need to have their Hellblades painted "Vallejo" Gold
Having unashamedly found myself since August, drawn to some of the "mighty battles" found within the "Age Of Sigmar" rule-set by "Games Workshop", I have slowly been building up a Befouling Host of Nurgle unit by unit, month by month. This current 'motion of the Moon' has seen me attempt to whittle my way through an allied warband of ten Bloodletters. But with December fast approaching I've realised that I needed to somewhat 'step up my pace' in order to finish my Slaughter-kin as planned.

Fortunately I've managed to dedicate a fair portion of my recent hobby-time to both a couple of the remaining Khorne daemons, and the group's Icon Bearer; an impressively tall model which has had to have its base heavily weighted down with lead shot on account of him carrying a formidable-looking "Gore-drenched Icon"... 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

"It's The Aliens Again, I'll Bet My Pension."

"What do you want this time, you green swine?"
This 28mm scale "pewter" model of the "Donn Noble's grandfather", Wilfred Mott, is produced by “Warlord Games” and forms part of the five-miniature strong "Tenth Doctor And Companions" boxed set. "Unusually open-minded about the extraterrestrial", the "strongly patriotic former soldier" was first seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Voyage Of The Damned" and is the fourth (and final) of my weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

Initially undercoated with a double helping of "Vallejo" Charred Brown, the elderly stargazer's shoes were picked out with a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst his trousers were painted with German Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. In order to give the tenth Doctor's final companion a splash of colour, and in order to stick with Mott's colour guide as per the "Into The Time Vortex" website, his jumper was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue, his shirt collar Iraqi Sand and his hat Heavy Red. These areas were then washed with "Citadel" Asurmen Blue and Carroburg Crimson respectively.
The Mausoleum WIPs - Three long-dead swordsmen in different states of completion
Somewhat frustratingly, considering that the figure is based upon the likeness of actor Bernard Cribbins, Wilfred's model comes clean shaven, and as a result I had to try and build-up the illusion of whiskers on Gramps' face using paint. In the end I had to settle for a base-coat of "Vallejo" White, with a wash of Pale Grey, and then finally some more White. But overall I was very unimpressed that such an instantly recognisable characteristic of the Tenth Doctor's final companion wasn't included as part of the sculpt...

Moving away from "Warlord Games" "officially approved by the BBC" wargame, and turning instead to this month's "Frostgrave" theme, I have finally started to make some progress on the first of ten plastic "North Star Military Figures" skeletons I want to finish so as to be able to re-enact The Mausoleum scenario from the skirmish game's rule-book. Initially I was planning on painting the Undead warriors as colourfully as their live counterparts but have subsequently changed my mind and instead used a far more sombre, decaying palette of browns and greens.
James Kirk WIP - The Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise has simply been primed for now
Announced back in July 2016 by "Modiphius Entertainment", as part of the development of "Star Trek Adventures", this 32mm soft resin miniature of Captain Kirk had successfully eluded my attempts to acquire it until the recent "Warfare" show in Reading, when I was finally able to sign-up for the playtest of "the first new official Star Trek role-playing game to be produced in more than a decade" and collect one for free. Eventually the model will apparently become available in "collector's blisters as well as crew packs giving you whole away teams or bridge crews from different eras". But for now I simply wanted to get hold of one just so I could see how well the range will paint up.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

"Blos So Folt Do No Cro Blo Cos So Ro."

"Language assimilated. Designation Earth English. You will be catalogued."
These three "finely-sculpted" somewhat over-sized 28mm scale "pewter" models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games” and were some of the first miniatures made available as part of the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range. Slightly two-dimensional in their poses, the figures are based upon the "black armoured Rhinoceroid bipeds" first seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Smith And Jones" and as a result will help represent the Shadow Proclamation on my "Doctor Who" tabletop.

Initially primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "logical but stupid" mercenaries were subsequently dry-brushed with "Vallejo" German Grey and heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Their collars and toecaps were then 'picked out' using a combination of Ironbreaker and more Nuln Oil, whilst their equipment (energy-weapons, scanners and translator devices) were painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Troop five, floor one. Troop six, floor two. Identify humans and find the transgressor. Find it."
Lastly, the Judoon commander had his bare head coated with "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The "single-minded" extra-terrestrial's teeth were then highlighted with "Vallejo" White and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. 

Having taken the step to start collecting this somewhat oddly-scaled range of "Doctor Who" miniatures, and use them to play some games of "7TV" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", it seemed obvious to me that I was inevitably going to need to purchase at least one of "Warlord Games" Doctor and Companions boxed sets. As a result I picked up the models of the Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones, Rose Tyler, Wilfred Mott and Donna Noble from "Caliver Books" at "Warfare".
"Doctor Who" WIPs - The Tenth Doctor, Wilfred Mott and Martha Jones
Despite being somewhat static in their poses, these figures really do capture the likenesses of their television counterparts rather well, with Sylvia Noble's father, as portrayed by Bernard Cribbins, proving an especially endearing sculpt. Indeed, I have been so taken with the elderly National serviceman that I've already started painting him up as my fourth and final Mo'Vember 2016 submission.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

"The Bloodletters Form The Core Of The Vast Legions Of The Lord Of Battle."

"They each wield a murderous Hellblade."
These three 28mm Bloodletters have been assembled from the "finely detailed plastic" Bloodletters of Khorne kit produced by “Games Workshop”, and have been based upon "Citadel" 32mm Round bases. Led by my previously painted Bloodhunter, the Blood God's followers are the first of nine (additional) Khorne daemons I need to complete in order to field an allied unit of Slaughter-kin as part of my ever-growing Host of Nurgle for “Age Of Sigmar”.

Having assembled the models, each 'deadly warrior' was given a double undercoat of “Vallejo” Heavy Red and subsequently heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Next, the “Warmongers of Khorne” were dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Red and had their horns, hands, hooves, spines and sword hilts 'picked out' with “Citadel” Abaddon Black.
"As a host, they march as one, in formations with supernatural precision."
The majority of these areas were then blended into the the daemonic soldiers' surrounding red flesh by the gentle application of some more "Citadel" Abaddon Black using a "Winsor & Newton" Galeria '00' round brush. In addition, the Bloodletters' Hellblades were undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna before being repeatedly coated in Gold.

The great two-handed weapons, which Hit on a 4+, Wound on a 3+, and are Rend -1, were then all washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and finally dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gold. As these swords are capable of causing a "Decapitating Blow"; which inflicts a Mortal Wound instead of its normal damage on a Hit Roll of 6 or more, I paid extra attention to ensure that their edges were especially shiny.

As a last touch I picked out all of the Chosen of Khorne's teeth with White and their snake-like tongues with Heavy Ochre. These areas were then washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade respectively.
Zygons WIPs - The "Doctor Who" aliens have been undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone
One of my few purchases from "Warfare" 2016, was a couple of boxes of Zygons produced by "Warlord Games". This "fictional extraterrestrial race in the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who" has recently seen something of a resurgence in popularity, and as a result the "Into The Time Vortex" 28mm sized miniatures were at the very top of my 'Buy List' for the annual wargames show.

Bizarrely however, I didn't actually end up buying my metal shape-shifting aliens from the "Warlord Games" stall, as the Nottingham-based manufacturer was selling the figures at full price and wasn't offering any show deals - "especially for the Doctor Who miniatures." As a result I simply visited the "Caliver Books" stand right beside them and picked my Zygons up from them for £1.99 less per box... 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

"Apprentices Offer A Huge Degree Of Tactical Flexibility..."

"...Players who no longer have apprentices on the table may not activate any figures in this phase."
This 28mm model of an Enchanter’s Apprentice is manufactured by “North Star Military Figures” and can be bought together with his wizard as code FGV103 from their “Frostgrave" Range.  Able to activate “up to three soldiers within 3 inches of the apprentice”, the novice spellcaster is the third of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge with Dick Garrison (of “Rantings Under The Wargames Table” fame).

Initially I had planned for this formidable-looking figure to be similar in appearance and colour to the miniature photographed within the “Frostgrave” rulebook published by “Osprey Games”. But as I also wanted his clothing to be similar to that of his ‘master’ I eventually decided to go with the same combination of greys I had used on the Enchanter, and therefore used both "Citadel" Adeptus Battlegrey and “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey on his leggings and great coat. These areas were then washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil, before I ‘picked out’ the great hammer wielder’s red trim with Vallejo” Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Bloodletter WIPs - These Khorne Daemons now need to have their Hellblades painted "Vallejo" Gold
As the ‘wannabe’ wizard was absolutely festooned with an assortment of chisels, pouches, pliers, blankets and metalwork, I decided to ‘tap into’ a selection of my paints, utilising “Vallejo” Heavy Blue, Heavy Brown and Heavy Green, as well as "Citadel" Ironbreaker. All of these items were then washed with either "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade or "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

With the recent completion of my “Games Workshop” produced Bloodletter Champion, I am finally making some significant inroads with the rest of the plastic Khorne daemons I want to use for “Age Of Sigmar”. These multi-part “Slaughter-kin” will initially be allied to my Host of Nurgle, and as such I need to be able to field a minimum unit of ten figures; ideally including a (gold-horned) musician and standard-bearer.
Temple Dog Statue WIPs - These resin models now just need their stone plinths and bases finishing
To be honest I had hoped that their predominantly red and black colour scheme would make such a painting target perfectly feasible within the space of a month. But the inclusion of a large golden sword, as well as the ‘gentle’ blending of their hands, horns and hooves with the rest of the “Chosen of Khorne”, has significantly increased the time it takes to finish just a single Bloodletter.

Alongside my miniatures I am also making some good headway on the two Temple Dog Statues I recently bought from "Wargames Terrain Workshop" for some oriental-flavoured games of "7TV" by "Crooked Dice game Design". Having successfully applied some of the "Citadel" technical paint Nihilakh Oxide to the fair-sized pieces of scenery, I now just need to finish off weathering their stone plinths before I can finish off their 50mm circular bases and flock them with some tufts of grass.