Thursday, 14 December 2017

Doctor Who: Exterminate! Report: The Daleks Verses The Fisher King

This game was played using the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" rules by “Warlord Games” and in essence, followed the parameters established for the "Guide To The Time Vortex" skirmish scenario "A Meeting Of Metal". However, in order to allow both sides to get to grips with the Fisher King faction's unique Special Traits, a couple of minor 'House Rules' were also followed concerning Fate Tokens and Adventure Cards. Whilst Battle Cards were not used at all. Lastly, a few 'tweaks' regarding General Deployment and Winning The Game' were necessary so the battle could be accommodated upon a 2' x 2' gaming mat instead of the recommended 3' x 3' table...

“The story so far… The Daleks, Cybermen and Zygons have decided to try and establish their dominance over the Universe once and for all, by conquering numerous planets, moons, stars, and galaxies in an effort to be declared the undisputed master of all space and time. Determined to thwart their plans however, is the Shadow Proclamation; whose mercenary police force, the Judoon, have begun retaking space-time in the name of galactic justice..."
"The campaign so far... Having witnessed the Daleks and Shadow Proclamation creep ever closer to a destructive confrontation, the Fisher King has decided to launch a surprise attack against Skaro's mutants in an attempt to expand his own territory. Landing upon one of the Dalek Empire's occupied worlds, the alien warlord has dispatched his (Judoon) Ghosts to collect a number of rare crystals imbued with Vortex Energy, which will allow him to harness the very power of the Time Vortex and dominate the planet. But the Dalek Emperor isn't about to give up the planet's valuable resources without a fight, and orders Dalek Sec to intercept the ruler of Tivoli and his incorporeal minions..."

The Dalek Faction consisted of three Recruitment Cards, thus started with a Patrol Leader (Dalek Sec), a Dalek Patrol which generated three Daleks, and another Dalek Patrol which generated two Daleks and a Fate Token. In addition, the Patrol Leader, a special character, also created two Fate tokens to be added to his faction's Fate Pool. Finally, the Daleks received five Adventure Cards "to use during their game." These were "Escape Plan", "Upgrade: No Mercy!", "Upgrade: Destroy The Deviant!", "Upgrade: Maximum Extermination" and "Strategist".
The Fisher King began with just himself on account of the "One Man Army" trait, which means he "can be the only Recruitment Card you take." However, in addition to generating two Fate Tokens, the conqueror of Tivoli was also allowed to field two Ghosts within 6" of him because of the "Ghosts" Adventure Card. As with the Daleks, the Fisher King received five Adventure Cards, the rest of which were "Lucky Hit!", "Additional Sensory Input", "To Arms!" and "Spatial Distortion."

Having deployed on opposing table corners, and placed six Vortex Node markers on the battlefield, the Fisher King immediately played his Adventure Card "Spatial Distortion", which when discarded "just after deployment", allowed him to "move any two Vortex Nodes up to 4" from their original position." As a result, Vortex Nodes (3) and (5) suddenly tumbled north-east towards the alien tyrant's starting position.
Realising that his towering opponent had already gained a distinct advantage over him, Dalek Sec immediately glided north towards Vortex Node (4) along with three drones. The remaining Kaled travel machines moved west, past the grey container, and captured Vortex Node (6). Davros' creations discovered that the "great resource" would not only provide the Daleks with three Victory Points, but because the node was a temporal anomaly, it would also grant them an opportunity to "immediately resolve a free Shooting action." Unfortunately for Skaro's mutants however, no target was within sight.

Waving his incorporeal minions forwards, one of the Fisher King's Ghosts moved straight through the blue container by Vortex Node (1), whilst its spectral companion and the alien tyrant travelled south.
As there was to be no Shooting on this occasion, the Daleks started to fan out even more, with two drones heading north towards the piping and sight of Vortex Node (2), Dalek Sec and a drone moving west towards Vortex Node (4), and the remaining two Kaled travelling machines gliding west along the southern edge of Vat Omega.

In response, the Ghost which had phased through the blue container collected Vortex Node (1) and gained a single Victory Point. Whereas its counterpart reached the previously displaced Vortex Node (3) and attained three Victory Points. In addition this particular node was a Spatial Disruption, which permitted the axe-carrying spectre to travel further south towards Pylon Beta and ever closer to Vortex Node (5).
With their battle computer calculating that the Kaleds were slowly losing the 'race' for the Vortex Nodes, the two Daleks south of Vat Omega moved further west towards Vortex Node (5) and obtained a good view of the fast approaching Ghost. To the north-east, the two golden-armoured drones attempted to hover over the heavy piping before them, but only one of them succeeded. Dalek Sec attempted a similar manoeuvre in order to capture Vortex Node (4). He also failed. The final drone glided up alongside the leader of the Cult of Skaro, and trained his blaster upon one of the Fisher King's incorporeal minions.

The Ghost by the blue container moved further east towards Vat Alpha, whilst the Fisher King clomped south and stood in front of a 'wall' of radioactive barrels. The alien tyrant's other Ghost reached Vortex Node (5) and was awarded with one Victory Point. It was also given the opportunity to have a free shot at one of the nearby Daleks, but could not as "Ghosts cannot used Ranged Weapons".
Eager to finally put the invading spectres in their place, the Dalek in the south-west corner which was closest to the apparition that had just taken Vortex node (5) fired his energy weapon, and as a result of three hits, exterminated his prey. The drone beside him then targeted the more distant Fisher King, resulting in the weapon receiving a -1 penalty due to the ruler of Tivoli being twice its effective range. The Dalek was unable to penetrate the towering alien's six defensive dice.

To the east, Dalek Sec and the drone alongside him also fired at the alien tyrant. But the Fisher King benefited from some additional cover, courtesy of the heavy piping near him, and none of the shots struck home. Ordinarily though, the "One Man Army" would still have been 'weakened' by some Under Fire Tokens. However, because he was also "Fearless", the Fisher King" ignores the effects of Under Fire markers."    

Dum Da Dum, Diddly Dum, Oo-ee-oos… 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

"I'm The Doctor. I've Lived For Over 2,000 Years."

"I've made made many mistakes, and it's about time that I did something about that."
This 38mm-tall "pewter" model of the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi, is produced by “Warlord Games” and forms part of the five-miniature strong "Twelfth Doctor And Companions" boxed set. "A lifelong fan of the series", the Scottish actor had previously played Lobus Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii", and made his (official) debut as the travelling Timelord in the December 2013 BBC television story ""The Time of the Doctor".

Originally primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Gallifreyan's trousers, waistcoat, sonic shades and guitar strap were dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. His electric guitar,  apparently "a limited edition 1966 Epiphone SG-400 Pro with the addition of a Bigsby Vibrato" was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Ogrons WIPs - The "ape-like hominids" have had their trousers blocked in with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown
The time traveller's collar was simply 'picked out' with a sliver of "Vallejo" Dead White and a dab of Pale Grey. Whilst his greying hair was initially layered with Heavy Bluegrey, washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil, and then dry-brushed with both (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and Dead White. As a final touch, I added some additional "Citadel Black" to his boots and coat in order to help them slightly contrast with the Timelord's off-black trousers and waistcoat; a somewhat controversial colour choice considering that the official "Warlord Games" palette provided him with an all-red jacket, whereas the actual televised costume contained a slightly visible dark red inner lining.

To be honest I'm in two minds about this particular sculpt of the Doctor. It's clearly based upon ‘The Hybrid will stand in the ruins of Gallifrey…’ BBC publicity poster for the December 2015 story "Hell Bent", and resultantly, does a very good job of conveying Capaldi's grim-faced determination to outwit the machinations of Rassilon and the High Council. But, its also been criticised by others for being far too sedentary for a war-gaming figure, with the "Gale Force Nine" resin alternative version proving to be infinitely more dynamic a pose. Personally, having now spent some considerable time handling the figure, I rather like the pose and simply dislike the fictitious character's guitar and (arguably contentious) sonic shades...
"Victrix Limited" French Fusilier WIPs - The soldier is slowly having all his straps 'picked out'
Momentarily sticking with the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game by "Warlord Games", I have made some slow-going in-roads on the half dozen Ogrons I started working on over three months ago. These "low-intelligence, ape-like hominids" have yet to have their Recruitment and Adventure Cards published as a PDF on the "Into The Time Vortex" website, but have now languished on my painting table for long enough and should help push along my Partially-Painted Pledge Challenge personal tally once completed.

Likewise, I am determined to bring an end to the outstanding single Napoleonic French fusilier I need to finish in order field a fifth infantry stand for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" rule-set. This particular 28mm multi-pose plastic soldier is actually proving a rather enjoyable painting subject, as I increasingly become familiar with Bonaparte's undoubtedly detailed uniform and (hopefully) improving my eye for all its straps, cuffs and pouches.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

“Twenty Million Zygons Have Been Allowed To Take Human Form…”

"You don't know whether they are human or not."
These four 36mm tall "finely-sculpted" metal Zygons models are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found as part of the Nottingham-based company's "Into The Time Vortex" range. Based upon the “fictional extra-terrestrial race” depicted in the 2013 BBC television story “The Day Of The Doctor”, these sculpts are covered in the metamorphic humanoids' famous suckers and, thanks to the addition of some resin scenic pieces, will provide my "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" faction with both a readily recognisable Zygon Leader and two Zygon Elite models.

Indeed, the only reason I went ahead and bought another two boxes of the shape-shifting aliens was so I could populate their bases with a couple of the marvellously-sculpted scatter shrooms made by "Wargames Terrain Workshop". In particular, I was keen to make my Zygon Force Commander stand out on the tabletop, owing to the character's unique trait and improved defence statistic. Whilst the Elite figures also needed to be 'easy to spot' on account of the duo not only generating an additional Fate Token for my faction, but also being able to utilise their "Electrical Discharge" ranged attack somewhat better than your average refugee from the planet Zygor.
The Ghost WIPs - The masked vigilante has been dry-brushed, shaded and now just needs some detailing
All four miniatures were primed with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, heavily washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson and then dry-brushed with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone. As a final touch, and in order to keep their colour schemes consistent with my existing Zygon models, I also controversially blended in some "Citadel" Abaddon Black over the ends of their feet and hands; a somewhat contentious palette choice which hopefully implies that these "Nu Who" variants are capable of firing “electrical charges from their hands that can stun or disintegrate”.

Dave Stone's delicately-detailed scatter shrooms were painted almost identically, except I then added both a wash of "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and Carroburg Crimson to the fungi, before giving them the lightest of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone dry-brushes. Initially, I had been tempted to paint the mushrooms in the usual toxic white stalk and red top palette, but ultimately decided to go with something far more akin to the toadstools which were dotted about the organic control consoles in the 1975 serial "Terror Of The Zygons".
K-9 WIPs - The robot dog has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
Sticking with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!", a sneak preview by "Warlord Games" of The Ghost's Recruitment Card has caused me to pull my metal miniature of the caped crime-fighter from out of a drawer, and give him some much needed attention with the paint-brush. Destined to be a loner on account of being a "One Man Army", yet still seemingly more than capable of holding an opposing faction at bay with his +8 Melee attack and 12" (flying) Movement, I'm now rather keen to see this "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio" model battling it out on the tabletop.

Similarly, I've also snatched up my recently arrived K-9 miniature and given the resin robot a fair lick of paint too. "One of the doctors most loyal companions", the "Gale Force Nine" sculpt is currently available now for free when you purchase the company's Six Doctors promotional multi-buy set, and "Warlord Games" have not been slow in releasing a PDF Recruitment Card for his "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" statistics either.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

"May I Have Permission To Address The Emperor?"

"My life at your command."
This statue of a long-deceased Draconian Emperor was created by pinning a ‘spare’ metal figure from “Warlord Games” “Into The Time Vortex” range onto a suitably-sized, square-shaped resin plinth, and then super-gluing the “Telfer Model Design” casting upon one of the thin-lipped 40mm plastic circular bases I try to use for all my scenic pieces. Dedicated fans of the 1973 Jon Pertwee six-parter “Frontier In Space” will doubtless note that the “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” miniature is actually that of a Draconian nobleman rather than the Emperor himself, but the effigy is significantly ancient and fashion trends have clearly altered over the passing centuries…

Once assembled and fixed in place, the model was primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a double coat of Brass. The figurine was then heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass. To give the idol some ‘weathering’ I applied plenty of "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide over the model, and later ‘blended’ this in with the rest of the colour scheme by giving it a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass.
Twelfth Doctor WIPs - The Time Lord just needs a hearty application of "Citadel" Nuln Oil
With the actual statue itself now finished, I undercoated its stone plinth with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and later applied two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey. I then shaded it with “Citadel” Nuln Oil before carefully dry-brushing the stone with more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey. Finally, in order to imply that the plinth was somewhat neglected and overgrown, I took some dabs of static grass and (PVA) glued them to parts of the slab around the sculpture's base.

Sticking with "Doctor Who" momentarily, I have made some considerable progress on my "Warlord Games" figure of the Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi. To be honest, I was initially about as enthusiastic to paint this particular miniature as I would be to watch the Scottish actor's first two painfully dire televised seasons as the travelling Time Lord. Nonetheless, once I got going on the somewhat sedentary-posed model I simply couldn't put my paintbrush down until he was almost ready for varnishing... 
James Kirk WIP - The Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise is almost ready for some washes
Arguably one of this year's biggest gaming disappointments, in my mind at least, was the release of "Star Trek Adventures" by "Modiphius Entertainment Ltd". Not only was the Fulham-based company's (entry) price point both bitterly disappointing and staggeringly high, charging £395 for their Borg Cube Collector's Edition Box Set. But, having seen the models and horribly out-of-scale geomorphic floor-plans in the flesh at "Warfare", "the highly anticipated... miniatures line" is rather underwhelming in the value-for-money stakes too. 

Fortunately, I did manage to 'snag' one of the role-playing game's 32mm "initial" models of Captain James Kirk twelve months ago. This single-cast  resin sculpt is admittedly, completely dissimilar in both style and physical proportions to the recently released multi-part Original Series Bridge Crew, so won't easily fit in with the rest of the range. However, as the Federation Officer is already half-started, I thought I take full advantage of my Partially-Painted Pledge Challenge and get him finished.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

"On A Few Occasions, Whole Formations Marched To The Rear In Search Of Food."

"The survivors would be of limited combat value."
These two 28mm plastic French Fusiliers have been built using the various parts found within the “Victrix Limited” French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807 boxed set, and will help form one of the eight musket-armed infantry units I plan to use for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame". Painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as illustrated in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”, I still (somewhat sadly) need to pigment another thirteen of the miniatures before I have enough bases with which to test out Bonaparte's forces; plus twenty-four Austrians to use as opposition...

The miniatures were initially undercoated with "Citadel" Skull White and had their boots, muskets, pouches, backpacks and hats layered with Chaos Black. I then began the patient process of 'picking out' all their straps with either "Vallejo" Dead White or Heavy Sienna, and appropriately washed these areas with Pale Grey or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Draconian Statue WIPs - The scenic piece has been weathered and now just requires some more dry-brushing
The soldiers' uniforms were painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and "Citadel" Asurmen Blue, whilst their cuffs and collar were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally, having decided against 'spotting' each and every one of their buttons for the sake of my sanity, I applied some "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade to the wooden areas of their firearms, as well as some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil to their metal parts.

With the "Doctor Who News" website recently posting my review of "Warlord Games" Nightmares In Silver: Cyberman Collectors set, I have found my enthusiasm for the Nottingham-based company’s “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” miniatures range to be at an all-time high, and have subsequently ploughed on with my Draconian nobleman scenic statue. The sedentary sculpt, one of three poses found within the Draconian expansion box, really does lend itself to being pinned upon a plinth, and should look suitably old once I’ve added some grass to both the statue’s base and the bottom of its stone pedestal.
Draconian & Twelfth Doctor WIPs - The reptilian humanoids and Timelord have been primed
Of course, having spent some considerable time permanently fixing the model to its podium, it seemed silly not to also base, grit and prime the rest of my “reptilian humanoids from Draconia”. The interstellar warriors only require six miniatures in order for their faction to ‘field’ three Recruitment cards worth of troops, so, having taken advantage of “Warlord Games” Black Friday deal whilst at “Warfare” recently, I should soon have my Noble, two bodyguards and three Draconian soldiers painted.

In addition, I’ve also decided to pay some passing attention to the rule-set’s Twelfth Doctor, as played by actor Peter Capaldi. To be honest, I’m not a fan of either the character’s sonic shades or electric guitar, but as I’m going to have to wait until Christmas before I can get my hands on the incarnation’s alternative “Gale Force Nine” resin sculpt, I’ve decided to set my reservations aside and knuckle down to the job in hand…

Sunday, 3 December 2017

"Great Big Space Rhinos, With Guns, On The Moon!"

"Did I mention the rhinos?"
These two "finely-sculpted" metal models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range. First seen in the 2007 BBC television story "Smith And Jones", I ended up purchasing a couple of boxes of these "black armoured Rhinoceroid bipeds" in order to field a pair of this particular pose on the table-top, and use them as Judoon Enforcers in the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game.

Initially primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "logical but stupid" mercenaries were subsequently dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal 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.
"Victrix Limited" Napoleonic French - These two miniatures are approximately two-thirds finished
Having finished the last of my "Judoon on the Moon" I have now turned even more of my hobby-time towards completing the outstanding Napoleonic French fusiliers I want to field using Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame" rule-set. These 28mm multi-pose plastic soldiers are slowly becoming increasingly familiar to my brush-tip, and as a result I am making faster and faster headway with them each day.

However, I am still somewhat infuriated with my (six year) younger-self for deciding to 'pick out' all the white straps on the soldiers' backpacks and stowage, when simply leaving them in their respective brown and greys would probably have provided adequate pigmentation for a 'rank' model. Indeed, as I clearly (and quite sensibly) chose not to 'pick out' each and every button on the complicated uniform, I'm struggling to rationalise why I then went on to make such a time-consuming, and patience-testing, resolution; albeit the final effect seems ultimately to be well worth the extra effort.
Brightshield WIPs - The Stormcast Eternal is slowly having her detail 'picked out'
Only slightly less cumbersome and detailed to paint is the first of my Stormcast Eternal figures for "Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire". I've previously taken a little break from this "action-packed combat" game's supposedly "easy To build" miniatures, having almost gone blind whilst painting Garrek Gorebeard, but now feel ready to tackle the numerous challenges of Angharad Brightshield.

As I've still yet to actually "explore the secrets of the Mirrored City" myself, on account of wanting to wait until I can play it using fully-painted figures, I don't actually know how powerful this Liberatess of the Steelheart's Champions is when stalking the "ever-changing labyrinth of endless stairs, cramped streets and soaring archways" of the "mercantile metropolis." But rather embarrassingly, that hasn't stopped me from previously adding to my "Games Workshop" plastic pile by purchasing Ironskull’s Boyz and the Sepulchral Guard...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" December 2017

"Doctor Who: Exterminate!" Zygon WIPs - The aliens have just some tidying up and basing to be finished
Ordinarily at this time of year I have already begun busily prepping and priming a multitude of miniatures I earnestly aim to get painted during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC), and perhaps unsurprisingly, subsequently end up with a painting desk simply teeming with all manner of genres, scales and materials. Indeed, its amazing just how much more room a 'gadzillion' undercoated models can take up as opposed to when they are sat upon a shelf safely ensconced within their restrictive blister/box or tucked away within a draw still firmly held upon a sprue.

On this occasion however, I'll be doing something entirely different, and rather than participate in my fourth event, I'll instead try to reduce my ever-increasing mountain of metal, plastic and resin models by embarking upon an inaugural, personal goal entitled the Partially-Painted Pledge. As a result, I don't intend to purchase any more miniatures until "Salute" in 2018, and over the next four months endeavor to paint a hundred figures I've previously started working on; whether they be merely prepped, primed, layered or almost finished.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Sergeant Rock are all at different painting stages
Leading this charge will be a plethora of "Warlord Games" miniatures for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop game. I've only recently had my review of the company's Zygon models published on the “Doctor Who News” website, so thought a quartet of the “shape-changing humanoids”, which have done nothing but gather dust ever since I super-glued some Scatter Shrooms by "Wargames Terrain Workshop" to their bases, would be a good place to start.

To be honest I currently own quite a considerable backlog of the Lenton Business Centre-based company's miniatures, and with their imminent release of ("Gale Force Nine" manufactured) resin First, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, along with K-9, its become clear that I need to give my partially-painted Tetraps, Vervoids, Draconians, Ogrons, Sea Devils and Clockwork droids the much-needed attention they deserve.
"Victrix Limited" Austrian WIPs - The fusiliers have had all their white uniform 'picked out' and shaded
In addition, I have 'unearthed' a significantly-sized box of long-forgotten "Heroclix" plastic figures, which should help me conclude a number of "Wizkids" mini-projects from yesteryear. I actually attempted to paint Sergeant Rock and the “DC Comics” 1959 comic book character's Easy Company at the start of my first AHPC in 2014. Whilst my initial plans to field Hellboy and his numerous associates from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense disconcertingly arose just a few weeks later in early 2015...

Similarly, I am persevering with my aspiration to finally play some Napoleonic Wars in 28mm, despite already finding myself somewhat behind on November's French fusilier-focused goal. Hopefully, the seemingly straightforward target of just four predominantly white “Victrix Limited” Napoleonic Austrians for this month should be more easily attainable, and thus leave me plenty of opportunity to 'finish off' my outstanding Frenchmen.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

"In 1799, The 36,000 French Troops In Italy Were In A Desperate State..."

"Supplies of all sorts were inadequate, discipline was breaking down, desertion was increasing..."
This 28mm plastic French Fusilier can be assembled from the numerous components found within the “Victrix Limited” French Napoleonic Infantry 1804 – 1807 boxed set, and will accompany a number of additional fusiliers, grenadiers and voltigeurs which I plan to use for Bob Cordery's "The Portable Wargame". Painted to represent the Infantry of the Line as shown in “Austerlitz – The Empire at its Zenith” by “Histoire & Collections”, the model has only taken a staggering six years to finally complete and is the last of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

The miniature was originally primed with "Citadel" Skull White and had its boots, rifle, pouches, backpack and hat undercoated with Chaos Black. I then began the slow process of 'picking out' all his straps with either "Vallejo" Dead White or Heavy Sienna, and subsequently washing them with either Pale Grey or "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"Victrix Limited" Napoleonic French - These two miniatures are approximately half-way finished
The soldier's uniform was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and an old OOP pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue, whilst his cuffs and collar were treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Bloodletter. Finally, the wooden areas of his musket received an application of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and the metal parts some "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil.

Ordinarily, I don't like to post models on this blog which haven't been properly based, but as this figure will ultimately be one of four super-glued upon a 40mm x 40mm square base, I thought I'd make an exception. In addition, it gives me an opportunity to voice how frustrating an experience I found returning to this miniature after so long was, due to "Games Workshop" (yet again) changing their painting range in between times.
Draconian Statue WIPs - The "Frontier In Space" monument has been primed, coated, washed and dry-brushed
Indeed, the Nottingham-based company's decision to step away from their excellent "Citadel" Foundation paints and washes in 2012, was my main motivation for turning to the "Vallejo" Extra Opaque Game range in the first place. Fortunately, I think Heavy Red and Heavy Blue make a fair substitute for the OPP "Citadel" Mechrite Red and Mordian Blue, especially as I understand the colour consistency of the French uniform during the Napoleonic Wars was somewhat intermittent due to weathering and differing dye pigmentation anyway.

Momentarily stepping away from so detailed a painting subject, I was rather pleased to recently receive half a dozen small resin plinths from "Telfer Model Design". These stone bases will hopefully help me turn a few of my 'superfluous' models into scenic statues, and I've wasted no time in taking a spare Draconian from the "Warlord Games" "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" range and pinning it in place.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

"My Ghosts Will Make More Ghosts."

"Enough to bring an armada. Enough to wake me from my sleep."
This "officially approved" 38mm scale metal miniature of a rhinocerid humanoid from the planet Judoonia is manufactured by “Warlord Games” and can be found inside their Judoon boxed set. However, unlike the three figures sold as part of the "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, this specific model has been slightly converted so as to turn it into one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

These spectral pawns of the alien warlord were a highlight of the 2017 televised story "Before The Flood", and, as "Warlord Games" have yet to produce any miniatures based upon the deceased likenesses of Albar Prentis, Jonathan Moran, Richard Pritchard and Alice O'Donnell, I thought I'd re-purpose a couple of the Shadow Proclamation's enforcer as some early (undead) victims of the Fisher King. However, because the Ghosts of the Drum can only seemingly kill their prey using physical weapons I decided to replace this Judoon's right hand with another carrying a plastic "Frostgrave" hand-axe.
"It's the call of the Fisher King. The call of their master."
Originally, I didn't anticipate this particular alteration requiring much in the way of drilling and pinning at all, especially as the hand-weapon by "North Star Military Figures" was a single-cast piece. Annoyingly however, no sooner had the conversion's super-glue dried than the axe simply broke away from the hand which was holding it; revealing what I can only imagine to be an internal flaw with the plastic itself. In addition, the rhinoceros-like headed alien's eyes were both hollowed out in order to help create the impression of the visual organs atrophying and sinking away inside his head...

Once the axe was re-attached I undercoated the miniature with "Vallejo" White and shaded it with Pale Grey. The "single-minded" Judoon was then washed with some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, a little Biel-Tan Green and finally dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. To complete the model, I 'picked out' its axe's handle using "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and painted its blade using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Bonesnapper WIP - The House Goliath ganger has been assembled, primed and dry-brushed
Alongside "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" and "Warlord Games", I have also found "Games Workshop" to be a consistent thorn in my wallet's side over the past few months, and like so many other old-time gamers couldn't help but "head back to Hive Primus" and purchase a copy of the new "Necromunda". Needless to say, the starter set is absolutely packed full of some of the most fiendishly devised 28mm plastic miniatures ever created, so I have decided to start slowly by simply assembling, priming and dry-brushing the Goliath known as Bonesnapper.

Comprising of a staggering nine pieces, this "living testament to brawn over brains" is incredibly detailed, and sits upon a nicely-sculpted sewer-like base. As a result, I plan to just paint five gangers from House Goliath and then move my sights onto some of the Escher fighters which also come in the hefty skirmish tabletop war game box...

Thursday, 23 November 2017

"By My Clever Riddles..."

"I'm setting Batman and Robin up for the kill!"
This 28mm plastic pre-painted "Wizkids" miniature of a Lackey is number 019 from the "DC Comics" Hypertime range, and has been painted to coincide with the palette I’ve previously used for my Riddler’s Mole Hill Gang. However, as I wanted him to be a pistol-toting minion, as opposed to one carrying a cruel-looking crowbar, I have substituted his close combat weapon with a gun-hand cut from a Marvel “Heroclix” Infinity Challenge Henchmen model.

Happily, due to the nature of the plastic and the hand in question butting up against the crook’s body, I didn’t need to use anything other than super-glue to ensure the replacement piece was securely attached. Albeit, the new hand is somewhat larger than its predecessor and is adorned with a non-matching fingerless glove…
Judoon WIPs - These two alien mercenaries just need their toe-caps to be picked out
The model was initially undercoated with “Citadel” Abaddon Black, and had his trousers and woollen hat treated to a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Green and "Citadel" Niel-Tan Green. The Lackey’s jumper was then painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Violet and "Citadel" Druchi Violet. Finally, the hand-gun was given a coat of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and washed with Nuln Oil.

Due to an imminent self-imposed deadline to pitch a substantial Judoon faction up against the Fisher King in a "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" miniatures game, I have been persevering with the last of my pewter "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" by "Warlord Games". These two black-clad mercenary police will actually give me more than I need to field a 'basic' six-strong Judoon force. But as I was already going to be painting one of the models it seemed silly not to work on my final unpigmented figure at the same time; especially as the sculpts are identical.
"Victrix" Napoleonic French WIPs - Work has finally started on the two soldiers' backpacks and muskets
Lastly, I have spent quite a bit of time progressing a pair of plastic Napoleonic French by "Victrix Limited". It's been some years since I last attempted to 'pick out' all the straps, pouches, bags and cuffs of so detailed a Line infantryman, and my enthusiasm for renewing this 'Marengo' project has been slightly dampened by the fact I can no longer use the same "Citadel" paint colours as those which I applied on my previous Frenchmen.

Fortunately, I have managed to find some suitable alternatives within the "Vallejo" Game Color range, and additionally located an old, yet still very usable, OOP pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue wash. I have also undergone a little 'shopping therapy' by taking full advantage of "Warlord Games" Black Friday sale and ordered myself a rather nice Napoleonic 1809-1815 Russian 6 pounder cannon...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

“Justice Is Swift.”

"Scopo Trono Frojo Kofo Todo."
These two 38mm scale "pewter" models of the "mercenary intergalactic police force" known as the Judoon are produced by “Warlord Games”, and are based upon the extra-terrestrial humanoid rhinoceroses first seen in the 2007 BBC “Doctor Who” television story "Smith And Jones". However, having already previously painted three of the “Doctor Who: Exterminate” miniatures before, these two figures have had their right arms cut off and replaced with a pair carrying the aliens’ energy weapons.

Fortunately, these sculpts seem remarkably well disposed towards such straightforward conversion work, and despite their limbs being somewhat ‘slight’ in size, they were easily removed at either the wrist or elbow and subsequently hollowed out with a pin-vice. Indeed, the models’ disassembly went so well that at one stage I was actually considering a head-swap; albeit common sense and sound judgement ultimately prevailed, and I put my junior hacksaw down.
Silents WIPs - The aliens have been primed, dry-brushed and are slowly having their details 'picked out'.
With my ‘chop shop’ antics completed, both miniatures were primed with two layers of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. They were then rather heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and had both their equipment and weapons ‘picked out’ using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. As a final touch, the Judoons' collars and toecaps were layered with Ironbreaker and later shaded with more Nuln Oil.

Sticking with “Doctor Who: Exterminate!” momentarily, “Warlord Games” have recently released some fiendishly-painted examples of their range’s upcoming Order of the Headless, and these monks have rather inspired me to begin pigmenting three more Silents to form the bulk of a Papal Mainframe faction. I’ve only managed to get some basic layering done so far on the members of the intergalactic religious order, but spookily this work has coincided with the “Doctor Who News” website publishing my review of the Nottingham-based company’s Silence miniatures…
Grave Digger WIPs - The two versions of the same wrestler are still in their early stages
Way back in 1994, the "World Wrestling Federation" undoubtedly held one of it's most bizarre "SummerSlam" bouts ever, when two versions of the Undertaker fought one another inside Chicago's United Centre. At the time I thought the fight was an absolute hoot, even though it was clear that Ted DiBiase's version of the 'undead' professional wrestler (played by Brian Lee) was clearly a fake, so when I spotted that "TTCombat" had released a special edition of their "Rumbleslam" character Grave Digger, I immediately thought of replicating that somewhat ludicrous event.

Obviously, these two incarnations of the "Rolling Bones superstar" aren't really all that alike, with the 'limited' resin figure not only replicating Mark Calaway's 'Biker' image as opposed to his 'graveyard' one, but the model disconcertingly being significantly shorter in height too. However, I still thought the idea of pairing the duo up within the squared circle would make for an interesting fight and give me the option of 'fielding' the "The Streak" during a couple of different stages in his illustrious career.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

"Boo Yeah!"

"The Showiest, flashiest and most charismatic dwarf you are ever going to see..."
This 28mm resin miniature of Ronnie Salvage is produced by "TTCombat" as part of their "Rumbleslam" range, and bears a striking resemblance to the late great American wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. "One of the superstars hailing from Kaiser’s Palace", this "nimble dwarf" brings high stamina and annihilating special attacks to the squared circle, and is the third of my four weekly submissions for this year’s Mo’Vember Challenge.

Composed of some sort of hard plastic-type resin, I actually had a bit of problem with Ronnie when I initially based him and snapped off one set of his trailing arm ribbons. Mortified by my fat fingered fumbling, as well as being all too aware that the flashy wrestler could never appear in public without his tell-tale tassels, I drilled an appropriately sized rectangular-shaped hole into his arm at the spot where the fashion accessory had broken away, and super-glued it back in place.
Converted Judoon WIPs - These two metal mercenaries just need some inks to be applied to them
Once re-assembled, I primed the model with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, and started to work my way up the portly figure using a combination of Heavy Red and "Citadel" Crimson Carroburg for Salvage's boots, pants and cowboy hat. The dwarf's skin was created by applying a shade of "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade over a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone. Ordinarily, I simply leave the "specially formulated" wash to do its job and just highlight areas such as the nose, cheeks, hands and fingers. But on this occasion there was so much flesh on show, especially on the chest and stomach, that I added some additional Heavy Skintone to these areas too.

Finally the 'Atomic Drop' crowd pleaser's "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre leg tassels, hand-wraps and vest were given a wash of (more) "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and Ronnie's pair of flashy shades were 'picked out' using a little Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. For a moment I did consider basing the wrestling superstar differently as to how I ordinarily 'flock' my models, for the sportsman was supposedly going to always be 'fighting' in a ring, and thus having him appear upon a grassy base didn't really make much sense at all. Fortunately though, I then spied that "TTCombat" produces a "Rumbleslam" Grassy Mat and my problem was readily resolved...
"Victrix" French WIPs - The plastic soldiers have a phenomenal amount of detail to 'pick out' 
Having attended "Warfare" in Reading this weekend, and now bought the last of the figures I plan to purchase for the foreseeable future (or at least that's the plan), I have started trying to properly clear up some space on my painting table by finishing the odd project or twelve. Needless to say, what with "Warlord Games" offering a fiendish 'three for two' deal on their "Doctor Who" range at the Rivermead Leisure Complex-based show, I am now rather inundated with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" models, so plan to polish off a handful more Judoon figures over the next few days for starters...

Similarly, I have quite the gathering of plastic Napoleonic French by "Victrix Limited" stationed within my line-of-sight. These wonderfully moustached unflinching Frenchmen will be getting a lot of attention as a result, and despite all their straps, pouches, bags and cuffs, should still be finished in time to meet my Mo'Vember Challenge deadline at the end of the month.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

"Those Who March With Us Will Certainly Face Abuse..."

"...Misunderstanding, bitter animosity, and possibly the ferocity of struggle and of danger."
These two 28mm metal miniatures of Sir Oswald Moseley's bodyguards can be bought, along with their British Union of Facists leader, as Code 403012203 from the "Warlord Games" German Army range, and are "modelled upon Mussolini's fascist party." Costing an additional 13 points per man, the Blackshirts' rules can be found within the "Bolt Action" book "Campaign: Sea Lion", and accompany the former "Conservative MP for Harrow" everywhere on the battlefield.

Initially undercoated with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the para-militarists were highlighted with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The bruisers' belt buckles were painted using a combination of Ironbreaker and (more) Nuln Oil, whilst their hair was 'picked out' using either "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade or "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
Judoon Ghost WIPs - The Fisher King's minion has been washed and dry-brushed
Finally, one thug's club was pigmented with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and his companion's knuckleduster was given a lick of "Vallejo" Brass. Both of these areas were then treated to a wash of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

To be honest, despite the straightforward palette, I found both of these miniatures quite a struggle to finish on account of their faces, and particularly their small eyes. I know that some hobbyists prefer to avoid painting pupils by simply applying a dark wash into a sculpt's facial recesses, and I've never been so tempted to follow such a technique as I was with these two chaps. In the end though, having found it impossible to pinpoint two spots of white for each eye, I settled for just the one and hope they don't appear too cross-eyed as a result.
Snakeskin Harvest Marker WIPs - The dead "Guild Ball" player can be used as an alternative sculpt on the pitch 
Sticking with "Warlord Games", I've been asked to pen an article for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" website as to how I went about converting my two Judoon ghosts to accompany their towering Fisher King miniature on the tabletop. As a result, I've spent a bit of time progressing the final figure's paint-job, and thus hope to have the undead extra-terrestrial mercenary finished and ready for posting by next week.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I've also found myself momentarily drawn back to "Guild Ball" by "Steamforged Games Limited". The company recently released "The Dark Harvest" boxed set as a seasonal special edition to celebrate Halloween, and as soon as I saw it contained deceased versions of the players who have so far been killed whilst playing the medieval sports game, I knew I had to paint them up...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

"Souls Wrenched From The Dead."

"Repeating directions to here, to this spot, over and over."
This "finely-sculpted" 38mm scale "pewter" miniature of a 'black armoured Rhinoceroid biped' is produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found inside the Nottingham-based company's "officially approved" Judoon boxed set. However, unlike the three figures sold as part of the "Doctor Who: Into The Time Vortex" range, this particular model has been significantly converted so as to turn it into one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

These deadly grotesques were a highlight of the 2017 televised story "Under the Lake", and having figured that the "outer space" mercenaries would be obvious opponents of the planet Tivoli's towering conqueror, I've subsequently decided to re-purpose one of the Shadow Proclamation enforcers as an early (undead) victim of the Fisher King. However, because the spectres can only seemingly kill their prey using physical weapons on the science fiction programme I decided to replace its right arm with another carrying a quarry scanner, and swapped its incineration blaster for a plastic "Frostgrave" hand-axe.
Judoon WIPs - The alien mercenaries have been assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed
As one can probably imagine, both of these alterations required a fair amount of drilling and pinning; especially the hand-weapon by "North Star Military Figures", which frustratingly broke in half at one point courtesy of a 'slight' fall. In addition, the intergalactic policeman's eyes were both hollowed out in order to help create the impression of the visual organs atrophying and sinking away inside his head...

Once all this conversion work was finished I set about re-priming the miniature with "Vallejo" White and washed it with Pale Grey. The corporeal Judoon was then shaded with some "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, a little Biel-Tan Green and lastly dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" White. To finish the model, I 'picked out' its axe's handle using a combination of Heavy Sienna and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, and painted its blade using some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
Ronnie Salvage WIPs - The dwarf wrestling superstar is getting closer to completion
With a second Judoon ghost eagerly being prepared and the "Doctor Who News" website currently running my review of "Warlord Games" "mercenary intergalactic police force", my enthusiasm for Russell T Davies' "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" is (hopefully) understandably at an all time high. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, I have also assembled, converted, primed and dry-brushed four further Judoon models; with the aspiration to have them quickly painted and ready to battle the Fisher King... 

Such fervour has not however, meant I am any less enthused by the fantasy-sports game "Rumbleslam", and resultantly, I am still working my way up the "charismatic dwarf" Ronnie Salvage. Indeed, just as soon as I have finished the "Kaiser's Palace veteran" I aim to get cracking on half a dozen more "TTCombat" wrestling superstars - "Boo Yeah!"