Tuesday, 15 August 2017

"Snake Eyes Is Proficient In Twelve Different Unarmed Fighting Systems..."

"Snake Eyes was one of the original figures in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline in 1982."
This 28mm metal miniature of Snake Eyes is from a private collection and therefore not commercially available. Fortunately however, I was lucky enough to be able to acquire a spare casting of "one of the most prominent characters in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero franchise" and subsequently decided to paint him as the Ninja Commando's carded action figure appeared in 1985.

Initially primed with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "hand-to-hand combat instructor" was dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. His girdle, grenade belt and visor were then 'picked out' with "Vallejo" German Grey, and also washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"A wolf who befriended Snake Eyes while the commando lived in his cabin in the High Sierras."
Snake Eyes' Uzi sub-machine gun was painted using "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey, whilst his katana sword was treated to a layer of "Citadel" Ironbreaker. Both of these weapons were then shaded with Nuln Oil. The handle to the "underwater demolitions" expert was picked out using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

As my "jungle, desert and arctic" survivalist is based upon the second version of the "Hasbro" toy soldier, and was therefore packaged alongside his wolf Timber, it seemed silly not to also paint-up an appropriate-looking Canis Lupus figure. Luckily, Simon Quinton of "Brummie's Wargaming Blog" came up with the suggestion of using one of the wolves "Leading Edge Games" produced in order to "support the Bram Stoker's Dracula board game (1992) and roleplaying game (1993)".
"...Timber helped his friend, pouncing on Destro before he could shoot Snake Eyes."
As a result I patiently cut away the integral metal base to Snake Eyes' close companion, super-glued him to a typical 25mm plastic circular stand and undercoated him "Vallejo" White. The Creatures of the Night set sculpt was then washed with Pale Grey, before being dry-brushed with more White. 

With the basics finished, I dabbed the animal with plenty of Heavy Bluegrey using a piece of ragged blusher pad, and carefully washed this area with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Finally, Timber was dry-brushed with some additional "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, and had his fearsome fangs highlighted.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

"The Cyber-Megatron Bomb Will Be Delivered."

"We must destroy life on earth completely, every living being."
This 40mm tall metal Cyberman miniature is manufactured by “Warlord Games” and form's part of the Nottingham-based company's "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate the Doctor's old enemies during Derrick Sherwin's 1968 television serial "The Invasion", this 'Planet 14' version of the silver giants saw the costume department add some "ear muff type shapes to the sides of their helmets and one-piece silver wet suits to their bodies."

Initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the figure subsequently received two layers of Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, before having its eyes, mouth and central chest unit panels 'picked out' with Abaddon Black.
Zygon Leader & Elite WIPs - The models have all been primed and washed
Sticking with my collection of "Into The Time Vortex" miniatures, I have recently started planning out some significant reinforcements for my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Zygon faction. Most notably this involves somehow 'converting' three of the metal models in order to 'earmark' them as the Zygon Leader and two Zygon Elites on the battlefield.

'Catching wind' of this endeavour "Warlord Games" very generously dispatched a quartet of their Zygon models to my doorstop for free, and having spotted some of the Scatter Shrooms sold by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" I hatched a plan which would fortunately no longer require my hack-sawing up any of the figures.
Wendigo WIPs - The "Minor Entity" has been primed, washed and bloodied
Instead, having taken inspiration from the fungi-inspired Zygon technology which captures plenty of screen-time during the 1975 adventure "Doctor Who And The Terror of The Zygons", I have simply super-glued a few of Dave Stone's resin pieces onto the miniatures' bases. Indeed, the leader of the "metamorphic humanoids" is literally surrounded by all manner of mushrooms, in order to generate the impression of the 'warlord' walking through the flora of Zygor.

Finally, I have been progressing the first of my models for "Dracula's America" by "North Star Military Figures". In game-terms, the Wendigo "can be summoned by Skinwalker Tribes Arcanists only", but I actually plan on using him (and perhaps a couple more) to proxy a Night Terror encounter in "Shadows Over Brimstone" by "Flying Frog Productions".

Saturday, 12 August 2017

"Gang Fighters Are The Most Numerous Of Boromites."

"They form the backbone of the Labour Guilds spread across Antarean Space."
These two 28mm metal Gang Fighters are manufactured by "Warlord Games" and come as part of the Boromites' Gang Fighter boxed set. Intricately detailed with all the extra-terrestrial's lumps, bumps and reflex armour, these armed alien miners are the final pair of miniatures needed in order for me to field a Gang Fighter Squad on the tabletop.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey, the figures were washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then had a layer of Chaos Black applied over all their weaponry and hip-flask. These metallic areas were subsequently treated to a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil, whilst both "long-ranged" Mag Guns had their power lights 'picked out' with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.
"Their toughened skin... means even the most basic of Boromite footsoldiers can prove to be a formidable opponent."
The Boromites' numerous pouches were precisely painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. Before finally, the models' yellow(ish) armour and all their "separate multi-functional nanite receptor nodes" were carefully coloured by heavily washing a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre with some "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade.

This first of the two planned Gang Fighter Squads I aim to field as part of my Boromite Scouting Force costs 112 points in "Beyond The Gates Of Antares" on account of each member being given Plasma Grenades ("at 2 points per model"). The projectiles are actually "the most common grenade type used by the fighting forces of Antarean space", but "are fitted with powerful micro-suspensors that give them limited homing ability once close enough to a target."
"The Tenth Planet" Cyberman WIPs - The silver giant has had his grey overalls painted grey
In addition to finishing off my Boromites, I've also finally started work on the last of my remaining miniatures from the "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013 by "Warlord Games". This particular model, sculpted to represent the silver giants as they were originally envisaged by costume designer Sandra Reid, is simply packed with time-consuming detail such as numerous tubes, wires and chest unit dials.

Fortunately, my painting of the artificially modified Mondasian could not have come at a better time, with "Warlord Games" teasing not only the release of a Cybus Cyberman all-metal set in the future, but also an "Attack Of The Cybermen" themed box as well.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

"The Beacon Is Ours."

"Once our landing is detected, the Vogans will attack in force."
This 40mm tall metal Cyberman miniature is made by “Warlord Games” and can be found within their "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to resemble one of the silver giants during Gerry Davis's 1975 television serial "Revenge Of The Cybermen", this was first version of the "cybernetically augmented humanoids" to appear in a Cyberman story which didn't "include an appearance by the Second Doctor."

Originally primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the model later received two layers of Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. The Cyberman was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, and had its eyes, mouth and central chest unit 'picked out' with Abaddon Black. Unfortunately, I ultimately found the facial details of this miniature a little soft, predominantly because I'd already applied three layers of paint to the area, so really struggled to make a neat job of the Cyberman's eye and mouth slits. 
"Silence. We have not failed. Our computers are assessing an alternative plan."
After several attempts, and becoming increasingly aware that my efforts were only adding more pigment to the troublesome area, I eventually decided to scrape away all the paint from the face, and simply applied a single coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker to it. Once I had washed this part of the figure with Nuln Oil, as well as dry-brushed it yet again with Ironbreaker, I found the detail far easier to spot with the naked eye and 'pick out' with Abaddon Black.

Initially, I was going to leave the model well enough alone at this stage, and even went so far as to varnish and flock it. Delightfully however, I then received two additional copies of the sculpt from "Warlord Games", in thanks for all my coverage of their "Into the Time Vortex" range, and thus took the opportunity whilst working on them, to turn my first miniature into a Cyber-Leader by painting the "altered handlebars on the helmet" with some "Citadel" Abaddon Black.  
Dracula's America WIPs - A Wendigo, and two Crusaders of the Order
Gordon Richards, famed owner of the "I Have Wrought My Simple Plan..." blog, recently made me aware of the "North Star Military Figures" 'Nickstarter' "Dracula's America", and unable to resist the allure of the Weird Wild West game, I uncontrollably pre-ordered some of its models. To be honest, despite the attraction of a world where "Count Dracula is President of the United States of America", I actually plan on using these miniatures as replacements for the disappointingly poor multi-part plastic characters found in the "Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death" boxed set.

As a result I have immediately based and primed two Crusaders of the Order so as to represent the Lawman and Rancher from "Flying Frog Productions" board game. In addition, I have started work on a disconcertingly tall Wendigo, which has proved simply too disturbing a model not to want to paint...

Monday, 7 August 2017

"What's The Worst That Could Happen?"

"Dr Pepper, so misunderstood."
These two resin Soda Machines are produced by “Wargames Terrain Workshop” and can be found within the company's ever-expanding Future City Scenics range. Measuring 25mm x 25 mm x 40mm the vending dispensers can be bought from Dave Stone already pre-painted, but as I wanted mine to be rusty artefacts from a bygone era, I purchased these without any prior pigmentation.  

Both soda machines were painted in precisely the same manner, and were initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before being treated to a double layer of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. The fizzy pop dispensers were then heartily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and subsequently dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey. Finally, they were given a good application of "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash, and once again dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.
"Taste excitement with Pepsi."
To be honest I was mightily tempted to stop there and simply finish the two pieces of resin off with a coat of gloss varnish and some basing flock; one grass for my "Gamma World" campaign, and the other snow for "Metamorphosis Alpha". However, having spied some of the custom vending machine stickers "Stick-2-Quality Zacparis" sells on "E-bay" I changed my mind and instead put the scenery items to one side whilst I waited for my 'decals' to arrive from Australia. 

Fortunately I did not have to wait long, and for my purposes, the stickers were delightfully almost the right size straight out of their packet. Once stuck to my soda machines, I then set about weathering the dispensers by caking on plenty of radioactive rust using pieces of grit and PVA glue. Once each ensemble was complete I applied more "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash into the corners of the machines' panels and all over the heavily rusted parts. This 'technical paint' was taken from the very bottom of its bottle, so it was ultra-thick and prone to cracking. 
"G.I. Joe" WIPs - Shipwreck, Sergeant Slaughter and Destro
I next dry-brushed the resin pieces for the third time with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey, and tried to especially catch both all the areas of heavy rust, as well as the edges of the metallic advertising sheets in order to suggest the picture had worn away in parts. As a last step, I took some additional "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash, this time having shaken the solution, and simply touched up the odd area which had become a little too silvery for the look I wanted.

Despite my dalliance in some items of scenery, I am also continuing to progress the six "G.I. Joe" miniatures I recently managed to acquire from the hands of a private collector. Indeed, having spent a bit of time getting my model of Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV close to completion, I've actually started block-painting this mini-project's final figure, Shipwreck (and his pet parrot named Polly); a sailor originally created as a character for the "Sunbow/Marvel" cartoon series in 1984.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

"You Will Ferry Us To The Wheel."

"We will assemble your laser defence rays."
This 38mm tall metal Cyberman miniature is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be purchased as part of their "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to resemble one of the Doctor's "most persistent enemies" at the time when their "now iconic ‘frozen teardrop’ shapes in the corner of their eyes were [first] introduced", this figure depicts the "emotionless space-faring cyborgs" during David Whitaker's 1968 television serial "The Wheel in Space".

The model was initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before receiving two layers of Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. The entire model was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, and the Cyberman's eyes and shoulder-tubing were 'picked out' with Abaddon Black. As a final touch the silver giant's chest-piece light was painted "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, darkened with an application of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and then brightened back up with a tiny dab of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre.
Sea Devil WIPs - The 'Aquatic Silurian' has had its belt, weapon and limbs painted and washed
With another of my "Nightmares In Silver" completed, I have momentarily turned my attention away from the adversaries of the Second Doctor, and instead firmly set my sights upon one the Third Doctor's best-remembered foes instead; the Sea Devils. Previously I've tried painting all six of my "Aquatic Silurians" in a single batch, but have subsequently selected just a single miniature with which to use as a pilot piece.  

This change of tact, along with "Warlord Games" intimation that they might be developing a couple of boxed sets based upon Patrick Troughton's Sixth Season serial "The Mind Robber" and Tom Baker's wonderfully Holmesian tale "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", has certainly inspired me to get the model close to completion, and Malcolm Hulke's creation now simply needs a bit more dry-brushing/shading before being finished. In fact, considering that the Nottingham-based manufacturer has also recently released pictures of some painted Movellans, my finishing the remaining five Sea Devils has become something of a priority... 
"G.I. Joe" WIPs - Major Bludd, Sergeant Slaughter and Destro
Progress on my latest mini-project, a handful of metal miniatures based upon the "line of action figures produced and owned by the toy company Hasbro" called "G.I. Joe", is going very well, and resultantly, I have managed to add both the evil Cobra Command's Destro and Major Bludd to my painting queue. As with the character of Sergeant Slaughter, I actually know very little about these two terrorist members of the Cobra Organisation except that the metal mask-wearing weapons manufacturer is the leader of the Iron Grenadiers and founder of M.A.R.S. Industries, whilst the poetical Australian is simply a paid mercenary.

I have started painting Major Bludd in the brown/black palette used for his original 1983 action figure. But am now reconsidering this colour scheme, and may well replace it for the reddish brown and blue-armour look 'favoured' by "Marvel Comics" when they were publishing the comic book adventures of "G.I. Joe" in the Eighties. Indeed, I think such 'outlandish' attire may well better-suit Sebastian by making the miniature stand-out that bit more on a battlefield presumably populated by so many other black and brown pigmented models...

Thursday, 3 August 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "G.I. Joe" August 2017

"G.I. Joe" WIPs - Snake Eyes and Sergeant Slaughter
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my ever-increasing horde of metal, plastic and resin models has been severely influenced by the infectious enthusiasm of PulpCitizen ("Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer") and Simon Quinton ("Brummies Wargaming Blog") for a "line of action figures produced and owned by the toy company Hasbro" called "G.I. Joe". Indeed, the dynamic duo's regular blog posts featuring different members of the G.I. Joe Team, as well as the evil Cobra Command, have proved so persuasive, that I have actively sought out and acquired some surplus miniatures from a private collector in order to let me join in their "ongoing struggle" to keep the Free World safe from the terrorist plots of the Cobra organisation.

Resultantly, I aim to paint up a handful of 28mm scale metal miniatures which are based upon the franchise's characters when they were originally sold as carded 3 3/4 inch action figures back in the early Eighties. This was a time of great change for the "American icon among toys", as it had evolved into "an elite military unit" rather than just a representation of the four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces; so kindly expect some outrageous colour schemes and probably the last thing you'd want to wear if you were genuinely "dedicated to defending freedom against the evil Cobra..." 
Timber WIPs - The wolf has been undercoated, washed, drybrushed and now layered with grey
To start this mini-project off I have decided to paint "one of the original and most popular members of the G.I. Joe Team", Snake Eyes, and the "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" character, Sergeant Slaughter. I've actually managed to make some good progress on "the team's original commando" due to my 'mirroring' of the action figure's 1985 black-grey palette, and additionally, finished the olive-coloured boots on G.I. Joe's formidable drill instructor.

Finally, inspired by a suggestion from Brummie, I've begun work on one of the wolves "Leading Edge Games" sold in order to "support the Bram Stoker's Dracula board game (1992) and roleplaying game (1993)". This particular sculpt is from their Creatures of the Night set, and will hopefully make a perfect proxy for Snake Eyes' wolf Timber. 
Zygon WIPs - The "Doctor Who" monsters have been primed, shaded, dry-brushed and detailed
With so much attention currently placed upon "G.I. Joe" it would be all too easy to believe that my collection of "Doctor Who" miniatures by "Warlord Games" have been left simply gathering dust on my painting table. But instead all I have done is temporarily just re-focus my "Into The Time Vortex" mojo upon some reasonably straightforward painting subjects.

I have wanted to increase the number of Zygons I can field in a game of "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" since the shape-changing extra-terrestrials were beaten by a Dalek invasion force during my recent "Cube Of Death" battle report, and this momentary desire to tackle a less-taxing series of aliens is just the opportunity I need. In fact, two of the "metamorphic humanoids" are already close to completion, with another four miniatures, generously gifted to me, waiting in the wings...