Thursday, 19 October 2017

"Sometimes You Have To Play The Role Of A Fool..."

"...To fool the fool who think they're fooling you."
These two 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” Mime Monsters are both figure number 041 from the New Jersey-based company's “Horrorclix” Nightmares line. However, rather than deploy the pair of 'guardian monsters who rescue victims' for the discontinued "collectable miniatures game" I instead, plan to utilise them as "hand-to-hand specialists" for my Joker gang when playing a Gotham-focused variant of "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" by "Ganesha Games".

Both models were originally undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey in order to 'mask' their pre-paints, and had their boots 'picked out' using a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. Their trousers were then simply treated to a layer of Abaddon Black" and I started work carefully following the line of their braces with "Vallejo" Heavy Red. Unfortunately, at this point in the process I encountered a bit of a problem with the softness of one of the Mime Monsters' sculpts, which simply made it impossible in places to trace any sort of detail whatsoever.
"Heroclix" WIPs - The Joker accompanied by lackeys destined for Mister Freeze and the Riddler
As a result, I washed the successfully painted suspenders with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson and gave the creepy-faced creature's beret a generous dollop of Abaddon Black, and left its counter-part's straps pure Abaddon Black but painted its flat-crowned hat with "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. To finish the "Horrorclix" Nightmares off, I washed both of their grey ribbed shirts with Nuln Oil, and 'picked out' their ghoulish faces with "Vallejo" Dead White and a wash of Pale Grey.

Unsurprisingly, my enthusiasm for re-painting "Wizkids" models is currently rather high, and has been 'fanned' by the arrival of some more "Heroclix" models from "Troll And Toad"; a webstore which "offers one of the Largest selections of Yugioh cards, Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering cards, and Collectible Miniatures at Great Prices." This has caused me to take a sharp modelling knife to a couple of figures in order to 'create' a second gunman for the Riddler's crew, as well as base and prime an alternative sculpt of the crowned prince of crime armed with a sub-machine gun and maniacal grin.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The corpse is slowly having his decaying detail 'picked out' and washed
In addition, I have finally returned to five DC Comics "Heroclix" Hypertime lackeys I started to paint as the beginnings of a gang for Mister Freeze eighteen months ago. All of these plastic figures were slightly converted so as to give them winter bobble hats as part of the 'Forgotten Heroes' challenge, and courtesy of my renewed fevered fervour for "Gotham" I have already almost finished the first of them.

Delightfully, I've also found myself 'powering through' my meagre collection of Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". With a little bit of luck I am hoping to post at least three brain-chomping cowboys for this week's Zomtober challenge entry, and provide my recently completed Crusaders of the Order with some shambling, but potentially still deadly with a gun, opposition...

Monday, 16 October 2017

"Security? I Seen Better Security In A Sieve Than Arkham Asylum!"

"You go ahead and try to negotiate... I'm getting to some cover."
This 28mm pre-painted plastic “Wizkids” model of Harvey Bullock is miniature number 015 from the DC Comics The Joker's Wild “Heroclix” range. Contentiously created as a lieutenant by Archie Goodwin for issue 441 of "Detective Comics" in 1974, the "crooked police detective" didn't really come to prominence until Doug Moench and artist Don Newton introduced him "as a device to resolve the ongoing plot-line with Gotham City's corrupt mayor Hamilton Hill" in the April 1983 edition of "Batman".

The "wise-cracking loudmouth with a Brooklyn accent" was initially primed with a thinned down layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. This was due to the miniature's pre-paint having quite worryingly softened much of the sculpt's detail, and my eagerness not to therefore worsen an already bad situation. Harvey's shoes were then 'picked out' with Heavy Sienna, and, along with both his huge overcoat and fedora, were later heavily shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. 
Boromite Gang Fighter WIPs - The alien is slowly having all his reflex armour 'picked out'
The doughnut -lovin' Detective's trousers, tie and hat-band were simply painted "Citadel" Abaddon Black, whilst his firearm and belt buckle were treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Finally, his dirty, soured shirt was base-coated "Vallejo" White and subsequently stained with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshade.

I was actually in two minds about purchasing Bullock's "Wizkids" model on account of all the pictures of poor, thickly-coated pre-paints I'd seen on the 'interweb.' Ultimately however, I decided to buy one as I simply couldn't imagine any series of linked wargames based upon the "Gotham" television show not featuring the overweight, grizzled cop. Disappointingly though, I fear my concerns have somewhat materialised around how little detail I was able to extract from the figure's soft-sculpting; particularly his face and tie...
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - Clutching a large revolver the corpse just needs some washes to be applied
With the latest addition to my "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" campaign completed however, I have found a little more hobby-time with which to continue working on the 500 points worth of Boromites I need to paint in order to deploy a Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". I've actually already managed to get a couple of these metal "Warlord Games" miniatures finished this month, but want to be able to 'field' a second five-figure strong squad of Gang Fighters before I post up (yet) another article on them.

Likewise I've found myself equally as committed to progressing a few more undead cowboys for this month's Zomtober challenge. Sold courtesy of "Wargames Foundry" I'm hoping to get at least one packet of the Newark-based manufacturer's Zombie Gunfighters finished before the competition's deadline expires, and resultantly am ploughing headlong into the second of their magnificently dead seven...

Saturday, 14 October 2017

"Joining The Order Grants Your Posse Access To Various Blessed Weapons..."

"...And ammunition with which to vanquish evil."
This 28mm metal Crusader of the Order from "Dracula's America" can be purchased as part of Code DRAC101 - Twilight Order by "North Star Military Figures", and is the second of my submissions for this year's Zomtober challenge. Blessed with "Nerves of Steel" and awarded "a suit of armour (counting as Boilerplate)", the Crusader of "the New World" was "born to fight a particularly insidious evil: the Vampire."

The model was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Charred Brown and had his shoes 'picked out' using Heavy Sienna. The cowboy was then heavily shaded using "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. His 'Holy Land' armour and rifle were given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his Saint George's cross chest emblem was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. lastly, the "Tireless" Crusader's collar was given a 'touch' of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey.
Zombie Gunfighter WIPs - The pistol-toting cadaver now just needs some washes to be applied
Alongside my plans to use this member of "The Twilight Order" for "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games", I also hope to employ this particular miniature as the Rancher in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions. The plastic 'frontierswoman' figure in "Swamps Of Death" is frankly a bitterly disappointing, softly-sculpted individual. So as the character is meant to be armed with a hunting rifle, I thought such an obvious-looking force for light as the Crusader figure would make a rather good replacement for the male version of the hero.

With both of my planned Zomtober 'survivor' models finished, I have subsequently turned my attention towards painting up the seven (not six as their website advertises) figures found within Code OW010 - Zombie Gunfighters by "Wargames Foundry". This first cowboy cadaver appears very similar to how I'd imagine "Wild Bill" Hickok would have looked after his murder "while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory by Jack McCall", and even carries a disfiguring face wound similar to that caused during the Wild West legend's fatal shooting.
Sea Devils WIPs - The Third Doctor's famous foes still need quite a bit of work to be finished
With "Warlord Games" recently releasing a tease of one of the new Sea Devil faction Adventure Cards for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop skirmish game, I couldn't help but 'dig out' my final box of the Aquatic Silurians and start painting them. The card, "Sonic Summoning", reads "eerie sonic pulses summon additional Sea Devils to the scene" and when discarded allows the player to "return up to three Exterminated Sea Devil characters to the game."

This 'sneak peek' has also coincided with rules writer Roger Gerrish recently stating that he's "tried to aim for a basic faction size of around nine to ten minis", so I figure that my current six-model strong Sea Devil 'warband' simply won't be enough to tackle the Daleks or Cybermen without some additional reinforcements. Fortunately, the miniatures are proving something of a joy to paint, and I've already made some strong progress on the latest trio.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: The Joker Verses The Riddler - "Battle For Gotham Village" - Part Two

THE RIDDLER'S CREW DEFENDS THEIR CLAIM ON GOTHAM VILLAGE
“The story so far… The Joker, the Riddler and Two-Face have decided to try and establish their dominance over Gotham City once and for all, by 'taking over' large areas of Batman's place of residence in an effort to be declared the metropolis' undisputed crime king. Determined to bring this violence to an end however, is Commissioner Jim Gordon, whose G.C.P.D. have begun retaking the streets in the name of justice..."
GOTHAM CITY - THE JOKER MAKES HIS MOVE TO CONQUER UPTOWN
"Having decided to launch a bold attack upon the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso in Gotham Village, and snatch the territory away from Edward Nigma, the clown prince of crime has come face-to-face with the puzzle-obsessed Riddler and seemingly gunned him down. Despite losing their leader however, Edward Nygma's crew continue to try and hold off the Joker's muscle-bound thugs..."
THE TABLETOP - GOTHAM VILLAGE

Galvanised by the apparent demise of his boss, the Riddler's gunman plugged the closest Joker thug with a bullet, and then leaped behind a crate checking his fire-arm. The weapon was unfortunately empty, so he'd need to re-load it with his only extra ammunition clip before he could do much else. The crowbar-armed goon surrounded by Joker thugs approached the nearest one and swung his weapon. The blow momentarily brought one of his opponents to the ground, and encouraged Nygma's third crew-member to dust himself off and also leap into the fray developing on the western edge of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.

Dismayed at the evident 'fight' still left in their opponents despite the 'death' of the Prince of Puzzles, the Joker's men simply re-positioned themselves on the edge of their target's roof-top...
THE JOKER'S THUGS DOMINATE THE ROOF-TOP AS THE RIDDLER'S GOONS REGROUP
Clutching his crowbar, one of the Riddler's goons aimed a hefty swing at the thug he'd recently felled, and put the unarmed criminal out of his misery with a killing blow. The goon's similarly armed colleague forced another of the Joker's minions back towards the sheer drop separating the two buildings, whilst the Riddler's gunman quickly reloaded his pistol.

Two of the Clown Prince of Crime's musclemen leapt upon the Riddler's goons, and throwing a huge punch, tried to make their superior numbers count. With the sound of a crowbar clipping the side of a head however, the Joker's thugs were soon put right, and another of the unarmed minions was down for the count. Sensing that his forces were about to be overwhelmed by Edward Nygma's more heavily-armed men, the white-faced criminal mastermind and expert chemist ordered for another of his gang to vault over onto the roof-top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.
DESPITE THEIR NUMBERS THE JOKER'S THUGS START TO FALL BEFORE TWO CROWBARS
Fending off the Joker's gang as if they were an invading boarding party attacking their prized galleon, the Riddler's crowbar-armed goons tightened their grips on their hefty weapons once again, and with a heavy blow battered another thug to the ground. Three of the Clown Prince of Crime's minions was now out of action and that meant it would only take the purple and green-attired crew-members to fell a fourth muscle-head to win the day for Edward Nygma.

Having initially appeared on the verge of victory with the 'demise' of the Riddler, the Joker was now facing imminent defeat at the hands of his opponent's obstinate crew. He rushed to the eastern edge of Gotham Village Cathedral's roof and took aim at one of the crowbar-welding goons thwarting his plans for domination. The shot rang out, Nygma's man fell to the floor, but it was only a flesh-wound, and Edward's minion would clearly soon be back on his feet if the Joker let him. With a curse, the Clown Prince of Crime waved for his final henchman, still sheltering behind a sofa, to cross over onto the roof-top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.
THE JOKER TRIES TO WIN THE DAY WITH ANOTHER SHOT FROM HIS 'GOLDFISH-SHAPED' PISTOL
Realising he was about to be pummelled by the Joker's thug if he didn't get up on his feet immediately, the Riddler's goon snatched up his crowbar, stood up and whacked his assailant to death before the amazed thug knew what had really hit him. The battle was won for Edward Nygma, and despite still maniacally laughing away to himself, the Clown Prince of Crime stole away into the shadows along with his remaining grim-faced henchman...   

Monday, 9 October 2017

"I Suppose You're Wondering Why I Did It."

"Robots are in the Grand Hall! They're all over" They're killing every judge they find!"
This 48mm tall metal miniature of Nero Narcos is not commercially available, as its actually one of the last models to be produced by "Mongoose Publishing" as part of their laboriously long "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" 2012 kickstarter. Indeed, it has taken the Swindon-based company so long to finally sculpt and dispatch the "2000 A.D." recurring villain, that Mongoose Matt has had to turn to "the forges of Magister Militum" to get the criminal syndicate leader cast rather than use the range's former 'owner' "Warlord Games".

Despite my difficulties in acquiring the armoured robot however, the Frendz Mob boss was rather straightforward to paint, with his "Vallejo" Heavy Violet double undercoat  and subsequent "Citadel"  Nuln Oil shade doing most of the work. The model was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Violet, and then lightly highlighted with "Citadel" Ironbreaker in order to give Nero's body a metallic sheen. These areas were later washed with Druchii Violet to help blend them in with the rest of the figure's purple paint scheme.
Crusader Of The Order WIPs - The armoured cowboy now needs just his cloak to be shaded
The model had his piercing eyes 'picked out' with a little dab of "Vallejo" White, and his formidably-sized hand-weapon painted using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Unfortunately the brains behind 'Operation Doomsday' was also treated to a coat of "Vallejo" Gloss Acrylic Varnish, which left a less than smooth sheen to the figure's overall appearance and soon had me ordering some more of my trusty "Coat d'arms" Gloss Varnish...

With Zomtober 2017 now in full swing, I've been persevering with a second Crusader of the Order by "North Star Military Figures" to use as a Weird Wild West 'zombie survivor'. This particular member of The Twilight Order in "Dracula's America" comes armed with a rifle, and wears some wonderfully archaic medieval body armour. The model just needs his dark brown duster to be washed and should then be ready for both posting and gaming. 
Juddon Enforcer Conversion WIPs - The model has had his right arm replaced
Turning to "Warlord Games" and their excellent "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, I have started work on a not overly-ambitious Judoon conversion. One of the things I always like to do when fielding my forces for "this fast-paced tabletop miniatures game" is make the models generated by one type of recruitment card appear different to those produced by another of the faction's cards.

In the case of the Judoon, the Leader was always going to be the helmet-less sculpt which comes inside the extra-terrestrial mercenaries' boxed set. But what about the basic Judoon and the Judoon Enforcers (who have +1 range)..? Having 'chopped' up another helmet-less Judoon miniature to use as a Fisher King ghost (and plans to similarly create a second one), I've therefore decided to create two Enforcers by simply pinning the helmet-less sculpt's gun arm across one of the helmeted models' chests...

Sunday, 8 October 2017

"Standing As A Shield Between The Darkness And The Ignorant..."

""From Ancient Greece and Imperial Rome to the present day, mankind has always been preyed upon..."
This 28mm metal Crusader of the Order can be purchased as part of Code DRAC101 - Twilight Order by "North Star Military Figures", and is the first of my submissions for this year's Zomtober challenge. Bestowed with "Nerves of Steel, a suit of armour (counting as Boilerplate)" and starting each game with all his "weapons fully loaded with Silver Bullets for free" the New World knight is one of two non-Hired Gun models which can be fielded when using The Twilight Order in the rule-set "Dracula's America" by "Osprey Games".  

The figure was initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Charred Brown and had his boots 'picked out' using Heavy Sienna. The model was then somewhat drenched in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. His medieval armour and fire-arms were given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst his Saint George's cross chest emblem was put in place using a little "Vallejo" Heavy Red and some "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, the collar of the gunfighter's shirt was 'tagged' with a dab of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, and his belt buckle treated to a dollop of Brass and some more "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Boromite Gang Fighter WIPs - The alien is slowly having all his reflex armour 'picked out'
In addition to being lined up for "Dracula's America", I am also planning on using this particular model to represent the Lawman in "Shadows Of Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions. The plastic 'policeman' figure in "Swamps Of Death" is frankly a very disappointing, softly-sculpted individual. So as he's meant to be armed with both a Peacekeeper Pistol and a Sheriff's Badge, I thought such an obvious-looking force for justice as the Crusader miniature would make a rather good replacement.

With the first of my two Twilight Order models finished, I have managed to find a little hobby-time to continue progressing the 500 points worth of Boromites I need to paint in order to deploy a Scouting Force on a "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" battlefield. In the past these extra-terrestrial miners produced by "Warlord Games" have caused me a lot of frustration, but currently I'm somehow managing to remain patient enough to slowly 'pigment' all the lumps, bumps and reflex armour of another Gang Fighter.
Mime Monsters WIPs - The "Horrorclix" clowns now just need their white-faces and berets to be painted
As a result of my "Gotham" campaign finally getting underway using "Mutant And Death Ray Guns" by "Gamesha Games", I have also started searching through my collection of "Wizkids" plastic models for any sculpts which would make welcome additions to the tabletop skirmishes. One of the crews I would dearly love to add some character to is the Gotham Heights based Joker Gang, which currently lacks any real thematic feel to its muscle-bound members.

Sadly, having scoured my rather embarrassingly extensive collection of "Heroclix" figures, I wasn't able to source any lackeys which quite captured the spirit of the Clown Prince of Crime. Fortunately however, I was able to find quite a few models from my pile of "Horrorclix" miniatures, and have immediately started finishing off a pair of partially-painted Mime Monsters to use as "Hand-To-Hand Specialists". 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: The Joker Verses The Riddler - "Battle For Gotham Village"

THE JOKER'S GANG INVADES GOTHAM VILLAGE
This game was played using the basic rules for “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the start of a campaign involving some of Batman's greatest foes as they jostle for control of Gotham City. This particular scenario is a straightforward roof-top confrontation between the Joker and the Riddler, and comprises of two small 150 point parties fighting across a pair of 8"x 8" high-rise buildings made by "Battle Systems".

“The story so far… The Joker, the Riddler and Two-Face have decided to try and establish their dominance over Gotham City once and for all, by 'taking over' large areas of Batman's place of residence in an effort to be declared the metropolis' undisputed crime king. Determined to bring this violence to an end however, is Commissioner Jim Gordon, whose G.C.P.D. have begun retaking the streets in the name of justice..."
GOTHAM CITY - UPTOWN IS FAST FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF THE JOKER AND RIDDLER
"Having already launched a series of successful crime waves from the safety of his secret headquarters in Gotham Heights, the Joker has decided to launch a bold attack upon the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso in Gotham Village, and snatch the territory away from Edward Nigma. Unfortunately for the clown prince of crime though, the puzzle-obsessed Riddler is unwilling to give up part of his province without a fight and has mustered his men in readiness for just such an assault..."
THE TABLETOP - GOTHAM VILLAGE
Attacking from the western edge of Gotham Village Cathedral, the Joker hid behind an abandoned fridge unit, whilst his five thugs tried their best to seek shelter amidst the rest of the rooftop's detritus. The Clown Prince of Crime was armed with a Pistol [Medium Range +1 Combat], and some Joker Venom [Frenzy Drug: gives +1 in melee for the duration of the game]. He was also equipped with the Steadfast trait [+1 on Morale rolls]. The Joker's men were all low-cost unarmed minions with no special characteristics whatsoever. 

On top of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso, the Riddler was also hidden behind a dilapidated freezer unit, whilst his three-man crew crouched beside an old sofa. Edward was armed with his trademark bladed question mark walking cane [Powered Weapon: +2 in melee] and an explosive 'surprise' box [Fragmentation Grenade: A C4 kinetic attack]. He was also Slippery [so does not receive a Free Hack when leaving a melee]. Nygma's (more specialist) gang consisted of two Goons armed with crowbars [Powered Weapon: +2 in melee] and a Goon with a Pistol [Medium Range +1 Combat]. 
THE RIDDLER AND HIS CREW SEEK COVER BEHIND A FRIDGE AND SOFA
Indignant at the Joker's obvious attempt to seize control of his territory, the Riddler moved east and hunkered down by the roof's air-conditioning unit. Behind him, his three 'stooges' stood still, waiting for their boss to hurl his 'surprise' package at their opponent's gang and 'get the party started'.

Meanwhile, The Clown Prince of Crime, spotting Edward Nygma moving towards the western edge of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso rooftop sprang out from his 'hiding place' and fired his 'goldfish-shaped' pistol at him. From so great a distance the shot understandably went wide. However, it was action enough to galvanise the Joker's thugs into moving forwards towards the Riddler, and crouch down behind the various crates, drink machine and sofa.
THE JOKER'S THUGS PRESS FORWARDS AS THE RIDDLER'S CREW RE-POSITION THEMSELVES
Sensing their foe was about to launch something of a foolhardy attack upon their roof-top, the Riddler's gunman moved up to the roof-top's central crate, whilst one of the crowbar-armed goons scampered over to the area's south-western crate. Edward, steely-eyed, remained by the air-conditioning unit and motioned for this of his remaining goon to accompany him.

As deadly as he is laugh is maniacal, the Joker stepped forward, fired his pistol and brought Nygma's closest 'companion' to the ground with a minor flesh-wound. With a roar of laughter the Clown Prince of Crime's thugs rushed west. Three of them stopped at the very edge of the Catherdral's roof-top, and readied themselves for the jump. But a fourth minion made the leap in a single bound and landed in front of the green and purple attired goon situated by the south-western crate. The last of the criminal mastermind's thugs also moved east, and sheltered behind the sofa close to his white-faced boss.
THE JOKER CACKLES AS HIS THUGS PREPARE TO JUMP ACROSS TO THEIR OPPONENTS' ROOF-TOP
Anticipating the Joker's assault, the Riddler barked at his fallen crew-member to get to his feet and retreat east away from their opponents. But before Edward could order anything else though, the Clown Prince of Crime took his time to aim a shot right at him, and astonishingly felled the "genius-level intellect" with a single bullet. The Riddler was 'out for the count' and his crew seemingly leaderless.

Encouraged by their bosses incredible success, one thug jumped over the frighteningly deep chasm between the two buildings, and closed in on Nygma's goon by the south-western crate. He was soon accompanied by a second thug, who, throwing a mean punch, caused Edward's crew-member to retreat back a step. Believing that victory was soon to be in their grasp, a second of the Joker's thugs braved the 'leap of faith' and landed on top of the Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso.

It looked as if the Riddler's dominion over the territory was about to fall, especially with the Joker's gang outnumbering the remnants of Nygma's crew two-to-one. But Gotham Village wasn't lost to Edward just yet, and the battle between a steel crowbar and a muscle-backed fist was yet to be fully finalised...