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...

Monday, 2 October 2017

"Let Me Kiss You Better! Kiss You With My Big Green Lips."

"I think you'll find the Prime Minister is an alien in disguise."
These three 36mm tall metal Slitheen miniatures are manufactured by “Warlord Games” and can be bought from their "Into The Time Vortex" range. Sculpted to replicate the "family of Raxacoricofallapatorian criminals" during Russell T Davies' 2005 story "Aliens Of London", the rivals of the Blathereen family, were "not [actually] created using CGI technology" on the small screen "but... mechanical prosthetics" and have made the most television appearances "of all the aliens created for the revived series".

All the figures were initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki, enthusiastically shaded with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green and dry-brushed with some additional "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki. Their clawed toes and fingers were subsequently picked out with "Citadel" Abaddon Black and "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand, before being washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Iraqi Sand. 
"Ahhhh... excuse me. Your device will do what? Triplicate the flammability?"
The Slitheen's matter compression units (on their throats) were simply painted using a combination of "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. Lastly, each living calcium biped had some Strong Tone Quickshade dabbed over all their joints and skin wrinkles. These areas were then blended back into the extra-terrestrial's green flesh by applying a second careful dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki.

Recently, I have become rather inspired by the American crime drama television series "Gotham", which is based upon some of the characters published by "DC Comics"; most notably James Gordon, Bruce Wayne and Oswald Cobblepot. My sudden obsession with this particular programme has inevitably led me to 'dig out' my re-painted collection of "Heroclix" plastic miniatures and also reinvigorated my idea for a Batman-based campaign set upon the rooftops of the Caped Crusader's famous "place of residence." 
Harvey Bullock WIPs - The G.C.P.D. detective is slowly having his softly-sculpted detail 'picked out'
I have previously tried just such a series of battles using the “Pillow A-Go-Go” ruleset by Australian-based company “Fiendish Fabrications”. Unfortunately however, despite playing a pilot confrontation between Batman and the Riddler, as well as a "Marvel Comics" version featuring Moon Knight and Stilt-Man, the project never managed to gain that much momentum and was soon forgotten in favour of the (then) newly released second edition of "7TV" by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio".

This time round I have chosen to utilise "Ganesha Games" rule-set "Mutants And Death Ray Guns" for my rooftop shenanigans, and, rather than wait until I've completed some additional resin scenery by "Ainsty Castings" (probably the project's biggest sticking point the first time round), I am using the pre-printed cardboard terrain produced by "Battle Systems". As a result, not only has the battle for control of Gotham already progressed to its third turn (behind the scenes), but the first clash of competing crime bosses is ready to be resolved... 
The Joker and the Riddler battle for control of Hokus & Pokus Occult Curioso and Gotham Village
In addition, I have realised that the Gotham City Police Department simply wouldn't look right without Jim Gordon's partner, Detective Harvey Bullock, being part of the team. To this end, I have acquired a "Heroclix" miniature of the no-nonsense policeman and am busily painting him up in anticipation of the Commissioner's need for some extra firepower.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Zombie Gunfighters" Zomtober 2017

Zombie Gunfighters WIPS - The undead have been primed and washed to help see their detail
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been rather waylaid by PulpCitizen's recent announcement, over on his brilliant blog "Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer", that the next few weeks will once again host the annual "Zomtober" Challenge where fellow wargamers "just paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like" and post it to your blog by “that week’s Sunday.”

There's currently a whole host of bloggers already 'setting out their stall' for the annual event, and this year there seems to be more than ever taking part:

"Saturday Mornings" - Ivor Evans
"28mm Victorian Warfare" - Michael Awdry
"Miniature Mayhem" - Terry Silverthorn
"The Wargame Addict" - Wargame Addict
"Lead Reckoning" - Fred Jackson
"Never Mind The Jankers" - Roy Williamson

As a result, I have deferred from choosing a haphazard painting subject for October and instead managed to base, flock, prime and shade a small horde of Zombie Gunfighters recently purchased from "Wargames Foundry"; a characterful collection of undead cowboys which actually numbers seven figures in total, as opposed to the six depicted on the Nottingham-based company’s Old West range website.
Zombie Gunfighters WIPS - The undead have been primed and washed to help see their detail
These 28mm metal models consist of a handful of pistol-welding gunslingers, a union soldier and a shotgun-carrying ruffian, and were originally bought in order to replace the rather disappointing soft-sculpted Hungry Dead plastic miniatures which come in the “Shadows Of Brimstone” by "Flying Frog Productions". Indeed, as the "fast-paced, fully cooperative, dungeon-crawl board game" can require a good dozen or more animated corpses on the tabletop simultaneously, I've already got plans to fork out and procure some additional painless nightmares from "Wargames Foundry". 
Crusaders Of The Order WIPs - The armoured cowboys are having their detail slowly 'picked out'
For now however, I am humbly focusing upon my initial ensemble of Old West cadavers, though I have admittedly, also added a couple of cowboys by "North Star Military Figures" to the mix in an effort to re-galvanise my desire to visit "Dracula's America" sometime soon. I have previously primed these two Crusaders of the Order so as to represent the Lawman and Rancher from the aforementioned "Shadows Of Brimstone" board game, and resultantly hope to use "Zomtober" to get the pair of Weird Wild West survivors finished alongside my horde of hungry cadavers.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Verses Isengard

LURTZ AND HIS URUK-HAI RAIDING PARTY
This game was played using the basic rules of “Song Of Blades And Heroes” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the first in a series of adventures involving the second son of Denethor as he attempts to thwart an invasion of Osgiliath by the Forces of Mordor. The scenario was used as a basic introduction to Andrea Sfiligoi's "fast play fantasy skirmish rules", and resultantly comprised of a small band of five Uruk-Hai confronting a similar sized group of Minas Tirith warriors over a 36" x 27" tabletop populated with some "Battlefield In A Box" Gothic terrain by “Gale Force Nine”.

“The story so far… At the bidding of Sauron, the Lord of Isengard has sent forth Lurtz and some of his Uruk-Hai to scout out the human defences at Osgiliath. The "large black orcs of great strength" have penetrated deep into the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor undetected and reached the Crumbling Remnants (of Anárion's Hall). However, ever mindful of Saruman's machinations, Faramir is unknowingly leading his patrol straight towards their location, almost as if he can smell the foul creatures on the air..."
THE TABLETOP - OSGILIATH
Positioned in the northwest, Lurtz beckoned his small raiding force to him and pointed out past the Fallen Angel in the direction of the Crumbling Remnants. That was where the White Wizard wanted them to scout up to and so far they hadn't seen any sign of the puny humans. The large orcs' "first leader" knew his mission well... kill anything living which they encountered.

Saruman's "second-in-command" was treated as an Orc Champion, equipped with a hand-weapon and shield. He was awarded the Savage and Hero traits, which meant he could inflict a gruesome kill just by doubling his opponent's score [as opposed to needing to treble it], and would always roll one automatic success, regardless of his Quality. Because his accompanying Uruk-Hai were all wearing armour and carried a sword/shield, they were classed as Orc Heavy Infantry, and were therefore also given the Savage skill. In addition, because of their heavy armour, the four Uruk-Hai could only move a short distance (75mm) per action.
FARAMIR AND HIS PROTECTORS OF OSGILIATH
Faramir's command were grouped together as if emerging from the southeast. The two bowmen were treated as Archers, and thus given a Shooter (Long - 180mm) skill, whilst the two swordsmen were used as Heavy Infantry, and subsequently reduced to moving just a short distance (75mm) per action. Denethor's second son was made a Leader, and therefore increased the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one. In addition, Faramir would force all friendly models to make a Morale roll if he died. 

The Warriors Of Minas Tirith won the Initiative and immediately started to move northeast. One archer and a swordsman moved west along the southern edge of the Blasted Terrace, whilst the younger brother of Boromir led his remaining two men north.

Smelling man-flesh, two of the Uruk-Hai rushed south past the Fallen Angel, heading towards the Buried Monument. The other pair of "Orc-folk" ran east, and with a roar urged on their white-faced leader, who had clambered atop the huge statue's remains with a huge bound.
LURTZ LEADS HIS URUK-HAI OVER THE FALLEN ANGEL
The Gondorian archer and swordsman at the south end of the dilapidated fortress continued to move west past the Blasted Terrace in order to obtain a good view of the Crumbling Remnants. Faramir meanwhile approached the centrally-based ruins, leaving his accompanying forces straggling behind him to the east.

With a bellow, Lurtz pitched his mighty frame across the Fallen Angel and raced south-east towards the Crumbling Remnants (of Anárion's Hall). He could now see at least one of his hated foes coming towards him and was eager to sink his teeth into the human's flesh. Rounding the western end of the broken statue behind him, and equally as enraged with bloodlust, came two of his Uruk-Hai. Whilst  another tried to emulate his leader's feat of agility by climbing up and onto the "dense terrain".
THE TWO FORCES RACE TOWARDS THE CRUMBLING REMNANTS
Faramir ran into the circle of the Crumbling Remnants and realising his party was about to be attacked by the oncoming savage orcs, ordered his archers to prepare their bows. Looking behind him however, the Lord of Emyn Arnen was astonished to see his men already faltering at the sight of the ferociously crazed enemy.

Turning his attention back to his own solitary predicament, Boromir's younger brother whitened visibly as Lurtz barrelled into him, and viciously chopped at the Gondorian's bearded head. With a clash of steel the warriors engaged in a closely fought contest which incredibly resulted in the huge Uruk-Hai being momentarily knocked to the ground at Faramir's feet. An outcome which literally stopped the rest of Saruman's forces dead in their tracks.
FARAMIR SPOTS HIS PREY, AND THE CLASH OF HEROES BEGINS
Sensing a glorious victory was at hand; one which would surely ingratiate him with his "sombre, cold, and detached" father, the Prince of Ithilien moved in for the finish. Lurtz was truly at the mercy of his enemy, and due to being "a fallen model" was not only "attacked at +2", but would be killed if he lost the combat "even by one point".

Amazingly though, the Uruk-Hai summoned up all his great strength to parry Faramir's murderous blow, and rising to his feet, spent two actions performing "a powerful attack" upon his foe. Denethor's second son could do little about such a tremendous assault and died quite horribly as a result.
LURTZ DEFEATS FARAMIR AND THE WARRIORS OF MINAS TIRITH RETREAT
Such a horrific sight was too much for many of Faramir's followers to witness, and the subsequent Morale Test saw only a single swordsman remain within the confines of Osgiliath. The Uruk-Hai had been successful in their scouting mission for the Lord of Isengard, and dealt Gondor a heart-wrenching blow with just a couple of sword strokes...

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

"Shipwreck Grew Up In The Shadow Of The Navy..."

"See the target, shoot the target is his philosophy."
This 28mm metal miniature of Shipwreck is from a private collection and thus not commercially available. Fortunately however, I was lucky enough to be able to acquire a spare casting of the "Chief Petty Officer" and subsequently chose to paint him in a palette similar to how the Machinist's carded action figure appeared in 1985.

Originally primed with a double helping of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the Gunners Mate later had his trousers painted with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue and his shirt Heavy Bluegrey. Both of these areas were then washed with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade. In addition, I picked out the M-16 qualified expert's belt buckles with a combination of "Vallejo" Gold and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
Slitheen WIPs - The aliens have had their claws, toes and teeth 'picked out'
Shipwreck's s firearm was 'picked out' using "Vallejo" Boltmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. Whilst his sailor's hat was initially layered with some "Vallejo" White and once dry, shaded with Pale Grey. Finally, the character's pet parrot named Polly, was predominantly painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Khaki and "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green. Unlike the action figure's feathered companion I did add a little "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre to the bird's feet and beak to help break up its mono-tone palette.

Sticking with the colour green, I have managed to make some excellent progress on my three formidably-clawed extra-terrestrial criminals from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorian. Produced by "Warlord Games" for their "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop miniature game, these Slitheen have proved a real joy to paint, and now only need the application of some brown washes, a spot of dry-brushing and a little tidying up to be finished.
Beast Of Nurgle WIPs - The creature has been dry-brushed, and had several washed applied to it
Having recently completed my Host of Nurgle's second Herald of Nurgle, I have also found time aplenty to start building up the 'bruised banana' look of my force's third Beast Of Nurgle. These horrendous aberrations still only cost 60 points in "The General's Handbook 2017" and resultantly continue to be one of my favourite "Games Workshop" units for "Age Of Sigmar".

Indeed, I'm sorely tempted to purchase another three of the "Finecast" sculpts in order to bring my 'Warhammer Fantasy' herd up to full-strength. For now though, I have been haphazardly applying plenty of purple and blue inks across the slimy monster's hide, and bestowed upon it a horribly poisonous "Citadel" Abaddon Black "stomach-churning" tongue, with which to playfully lick its ill-fated prey... 

Monday, 25 September 2017

"A Gorgon Can Breathe Out A Cone Of Vapour That Turns Creatures To Stone."

"The Gorgon is a magical beast that resembles a bull, covered in dusky metallic scales."
Sculpted by Bob Olley, this large 28mm scale Brass Bull is made by "Reaper Miniatures" and was originally produced in metal upon its release in June 2006. My version however, is available as model 77256 from company's "Bones" range, and measures approximately 90mm in length, 35mm in width and 36mm in height; not including the animated construct's tail.

The polymer Gorgon was initially primed with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and subsequently treated to a double coat of Brass. The "magical beast" was then heavily washed with "The Army painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Brass.
"Out Houses were, after all, very much a part of the American West."
I began 'weathering' "one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game... Dungeons & Dragons" by applying plenty of "Citadel" Nihilakh Oxide over the model, and later gave him a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" Brass. Lastly, I undercoated the "very aggressive" creature's cobbled stone base with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

With my neutrally aligned Gorgon completed, I have additionally finished work on a piece of Wild West Terrain I recently bought from "Wargames Terrain Workshop" for the Weird West rule-set "Dracula's America". This resin Out House is "supplied in three pieces: main structure, front panel, and door", and contains plenty of "internal detail" in order for its door to "be glued in multiple positions."
Judoon Ghost WIPs - The spectral alien mercenary has been painted white and shaded with grey and brown
Having taken Dave Stone's advice to paint inside the wooden building "before attaching the front panel", I undercoated it with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, and then treated it to a couple of layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. The lavatory was then washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being first dry-brushed with 'pure' "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and then later with a lighter combination of Heavy Sienna and White.

Finally, I have made a little more progress on the converted Judoon model I plan to use as one of the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King in the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" skirmish game by "Warlord Games". The Shadow Proclamation enforcer has been base-layered and shaded, so now simply requires a second dry-brush of "Vallejo" White before I start to 'pick out' his improvised hand-weapon.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

"I Waited For You."

"Bill? Bill, talk to me. What have they done to you?"
This 42mm tall metal Cyberman miniature is made by “Warlord Games” and can be found within their "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Clearly sculpted to resemble one of the silver giants during Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis's 1966 television serial "The Tenth Planet", I’ve actually attempted to paint the Mondasian model to replicate Bill Potts’ cybernetic conversion in the 2017 story “World Enough And Time.”

As a result the figure was originally primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, treated to a double layer of Ironbreaker, and subsequently shaded using some Nuln Oil. The Twelfth Doctor’s ill-fated companion was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, and had her cloth body costume and face covering painted using "Vallejo" Heavy Bluegrey and White. Both of these areas were treated to a wash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil.
"Your astronomers must have just discovered a new planet."
Bill's hands, which in the television series were 'replaced' with a pair of latex gloves, were initially given a coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and subsequently washed with watered-down "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade. Her eyes and mouth were 'picked out' with Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. But only after repeated attempts as I found the soft detail of these areas incredibly difficult to paint with any sort of success and ultimately had to simply leave the face well enough alone for my sanity's sake.

Having made the conscious decision to paint the Mondasian Cyberman in order to use it as a 'companion' rather than one of the Doctor's foes, I was rather delighted to receive two additional copies of the sculpt from "Warlord Games", in appreciation for all my coverage of their "Into the Time Vortex" range. This gave me the opportunity to paint both Krail and Regos Krang from "The Tenth Planet", and readily distinguish them from my Potts figure by using "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone on their hands rather than Heavy Ochre.
Judoon Ghost WIPs - The spectral alien mercenary has had his right arm cut and left hand drilled
With the completion of all the miniatures from the "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013, as well as the additional silver giants "Warlord Games" have generously gifted me, I have turned my attention towards converting a couple of  Judoon models into the two "Incorporeal" ghosts which should accompany the Fisher King on the "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" tabletop.

I've gone with the Shadow Proclamation enforcers as I figured the "outer space police" would be obvious opponents of the planet Tivoli's towering conqueror, and only plan on using the non-helmeted version of the "Rhinoceros-headed humanoids" so I can paint the deep-set black eye sockets which were so hauntingly well-done on the 2017 televised story "Under the Lake". In addition, I intend to have all my ghosts carry (fire) axes so I can paint the improvised hand-weapons in colour rather than the whitish grey palette I ordinarily use for all my spectres.