Thursday, 31 August 2017

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "General's Handbook" September 2017

Nurgle WIPs - The Great Unclean One and Herald of Nurgle have been primed, washed and dry-brushed
This month's randomly themed attempt to try and reduce my overwhelming collection of metal, plastic and resin miniatures has been superseded by the release of the "General's Handbook 2017" by "Games Workshop", and my subsequent desire to field 1,000 points of (pure) Nurgle for "Age Of Sigmar". Fortunately, the latest version of the "essential resource for all warlords of the Mortal Realms" doesn't appear to have greatly affected the previous Matched Play cost of my Host, and as a result my horde of twenty Plague Bearers of Nurgle (200 points), Herald of Nurgle (100 points), two Beasts of Nurgle (120 points), three stands of Nurglings (80 points), Rotbringers Sorcerer (100 points) and Lord of Plagues (100 points) still totals 700 points.

This means I only need to paint a humble 300 points of miniatures over the next few weeks, and when one of them, a large "Finecast" Great Unclean One, tallies a whopping 240 points on his own, it should be an easily achievable goal. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, I have somewhat raised the difficulty of this particular mini-project by adding a partially-pigmented Herald of Nurgle (100 points) to my painting queue, alongside an almost obligatory (third) Beast of Nurgle (60 points).
Beast Of Nurgle WIPs - The Chaos Daemon has been undercoated and heavily shaded
I have 'dusted off' my towering Greater Daemon of Nurgle before, but am so determined to finish the "Behemoth" this time round that I have already started work layering, washing and dry-brushing his large Plague Flail with "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The sculpt's "Corpulent Mass" is simply packed full of open sores, wriggling worms, and cherub-faced Nurglings, so I have no doubt I'll be spending a fair few hours elbow deep painting pustules, pimples and festering boils...

My (second) Herald of Nurgle is equally as distressed physically, and has actually been converted using a large scythe from the Blight Kings "Age Of Sigmar" plastic boxed set. Having previously painted one of these 'mortals who somehow resists the ravages of Nurgle’s Rot', I'm hoping to get this miniature finished in short order, and thus be able to buttress my unruly formation of Plaguebearers with a herald at either end.
Plague Guard WIPs - The Heretic Astartes has been primed and then layered
Finally, I have assembled a third "truly horrendous aberration". These "Finecast" pallid slugs are one of my all-time favourite "Games Workshop" sculpts, and I have had to wait quite a while to secure another model after the company's webstore 'ran out of stock' earlier in the year. In the past I have painted these 'writhing tentacled' horrors with a predominantly green and tan palette. This time round I thought I'd try a more poisonously pus-like colour scheme.

In addition to increasing my Host of Nurgle's size, I have been unable to resist 'dipping my toe' into the Eighth Edition of "Warhammer 40k" as well. This is largely due to the fact that my "Age Of Sigmar" warband is perfectly capable of being fielded on the "41st millennium" battlefield without any problems whatsoever. Indeed, simply using the eligible models I already own I can readily put 572 points of Chaos Daemons onto the tabletop.
Faramir battles Lurtz and a band of Uruk-Hai for the glory of Gondor
Sadly however, so 'unshooty' a force is not going to survive long up against any opposition armed with even the simplest of ranged weapons, so at some point I am going to need to add some much needed firepower to my army. A contingent of Heretic Astartes would fit that bill rather nicely, especially Plague Guard, so I have assembled a single plastic miniature from the "Dark Imperium" boxed set to use as a 'test piece'.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

"Feral Spirits Of Winter And Hunger..."

"...The Wendigo are twisted souls of mortal men and women who committed cannibalism in life."
This 28mm metal Wendigo is made by "North Star Military Figures" and can be bought as code Drac111 from the company's "Dracula's America" range. Possessing "a craving for fresh meat that can never be sated" the disconcertingly bizarre-looking model is one of skirmish game's "unique Entities" which can be summoned during a battle.

Initially undercoated with "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, the "wilful creature" was heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade and subsequently dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. The figure's antlers were then painted using a combination of Heavy Brown and Strong Tone Quickshade, whilst its hands and mouth were treated to some "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Recently, another earthquake uncovered an upper air lock..."
Alongside the first of my "Dracula's America" miniatures, I have also managed to finish painting one of the two airlocks uncovered by an earthquake in the "Dungeons & Dragons" module "Expedition To Barrier Peaks". Created by drilling away a portion of an old resin rock formation manufactured by either “Terrain Warehouse UK” or “Total System Scenic”, and super-gluing one of "Second City Games" airlocks to it, the ensemble was first primed using some "Vallejo" Heavy Brown and later washed with plenty of "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.

The large rock was then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Brown, before I 'picked out' the actual airlock itself using Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. As I wanted the distressed doorway to appear suitably rusty, I liberally applied some "Mig Productions" Extreme Rust Wash over all the sculpt's detail and then dry-brushed the majority of it away with some "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey.
Sergeant Slaughter WIPs - The drill instructor just needs his hat, moustache and hair painted
I've still got quite a way to go before I manage to clear my painting table, but the completion of the 42mm tall Wendigo miniature, and a significantly sized piece of scenery, has helped me obtain enough 'elbow room' with which to get some pigment upon my penultimate "G.I. Joe" model for this month, Sergeant Slaughter. I've decided to try and duplicate the drill instructor's colour scheme from his 1985 carded action figure, and resultantly have found myself working in olive, charcoal, red and flesh...

Monday, 28 August 2017

"Cybermen Do Not Promise."

"Now, that really is the end of the Cybermen, isn't it?"
This 36mm tall metal Cyberman miniature is sold by “Warlord Games” and can be bought as part of their "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013. Sculpted to replicate one of the survivors of Mondas following the removal of their "bulky chest units and head lamps", this model is based upon how "the fictional race of cyborgs" appeared the 1967 television stories "The Moonbase" and "The Tomb Of The Cybermen".

Kit Pedler's co-creation was originally primed with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before receiving two layers of Ironbreaker and a wash of Nuln Oil. It was then dry-brushed with more Ironbreaker, and the Cyberman's eyes, mouth-slit and somewhat torturous body-tubing were 'picked out' with Abaddon Black. As a final touch the figure's chest-piece light was painted "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre, shaded with some "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade, and then lightened with a tiny spot of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre.
Major Bludd WIPs - The mercenary working for the Cobra Organisation is almost finished
The completion of the penultimate model from my "Nightmares In Silver" box really has come at a good time, as "Warlord Games" have just teased its "Into The Time Vortex" fans with pictures of both Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor and Companion set (which includes Rory in his nurse outfit, Amy in her Police costume and a second version of Clara Oswald), as well as some sculpts of Odin and the Mire from the October 2015 episode "The Girl Who Died".

As a result, in order to clear some much needed space on my painting table, I have managed to spend a little hobby-time working on a privately commissioned miniature of Major Bludd from the "G.I. Joe" action figure series. To be honest, I had been considering colouring the Australian mercenary using the dark scarlet/blue palette depicted in his printed "Marvel Comics" exploits, but eventually decided to stick to the brown/black palette used for his original 1983 action figure.
"Mage Knight" Door WIPs - The doorway should make for an interesting objective marker
Whilst these days I undoubtedly have more than enough objective markers with which to populate a modern day or futuristic tabletop, I do still feel that I'm lacking a few fantasy-based ones. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to dig out another of my old "Wizkids" plastic scenic pieces and turn it into a 'prized' location of some kind.

Just why a partially open door would be a situated in the middle of a battlefield is admittedly anyone's guess, but I like the idea of it possibly being all that remains of a long-destroyed structure, or perhaps some doorway akin to that Lucy stumbled upon in C.S. Lewis' novel "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe"...

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Mutants & Death Ray Guns Report: Judge Dredd & Mad Max Verses T-800 Terminators

JUDGE DREDD AND MAD MAX BATTLE KILLER T-800 ROBOTS
This game was played using the basic rules of “Mutants And Death Ray Guns” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the second in a series of adventures involving Mega-City One's toughest lawman as he attempts to thwart the break-out of a virus strain left over from the Great Germ War. The scenario comprised of a small party of four Pure Human characters facing a larger (and slightly more expensive) group of Pure Robots across a 3’ x 3’ tabletop populated with some "Battlefield In A Box" Badlands terrain by “Gale Force Nine” and some additional resin pieces by "Wargames Terrain Workshop".

“The story so far… Finding his city once again threatened by the deadly 2T(FRU)T virus, Judge Dredd has travelled into the Cursed Earth so as to search for vaccine crates. Accompanied by Judge Giant (Senior), Old Stoney Face encounters the road warrior Mad Max and Immortan Joe's favoured soldier, Imperator Furiosa. Together, the band of heroes follow a rumour that some T-800 Terminators might have data on a long-lost supply of medicine."
THE TABLETOP - THE CURSED EARTH
Positioned in the northeast, Judge Dredd assembled his small force just behind Mad Max's black Interceptor, with a somewhat clear view of some promising-looking robot remains. The lawman's mission was to extract eight points worth of data from various locations dotted about the barren landscape before his party were either eliminated by the murderous killer robots which were known to inhabit the local plateau, or the 'intelligence deposits' were wantonly destroyed.

Because the Judges were wearing standard street-uniform, they were all treated as having a Flak Jacket (for armour) as well as carrying a pistol (to represent a lawgiver). "Old Stoney Face" had the additional special rules for being a Hero [always automatically rolls one success, regardless of their Quality], as well as being the group's Champion [+1 to Combat Score] and Leader [Quality increases by +1]. Judge Giant was made Steadfast [+1 Morale Rolls]. Max Rockatansky was also given the Hero trait, as well as Opportunistic [+1 to Activation rolls if there is a Knocked Down or Transfixed opponent a Short move of hi,]. He was given a Shotgun [+2 Combat Score]. Imperator Furiosa was awarded the special rule Coup-de-Grace [May immediately perform another attack against an opponent they've just Knocked Down in hand-to-hand combat] and Sharpshooter [+1 to Hit with ranged weapons but suffers -1 in melee combat]. She was given a Sniper Rifle [Long range and +2 Combat Score].
T-800 TERMINATORS PREPARE TO DESTROY SOME HUMAN INTRUDERS
The T-800 robots were grouped together as if emerging from the southwest. They were all treated as if they had Heavy Armour [If the model is beaten in Combat by only one point, the armour turns the blow and the round is a draw], and armed with Assault Rifles [Long range and +2 Combat Score]. In addition they were given the special rule Energy Cell [useful to manage "Ammunition Expenditure"].

The Terminators won the Initiative and immediately started to move northeast, with three of Skynet's first cybernetic organisms stomping towards a nearby Wrecked Car, and the remaining two moving west towards a Toxic Pool.

Judge Dredd moved west towards a large outcrop of rocks, whilst Max (with three successes) closed to within almost touching distance of some robot remains [Objective Two]. Furiosa, clutching her firearm, took up a sniping position behind the interceptor and Judge Giant started his 'long walk' towards a tall ruin [Objective Four] in the south.
MAD MAX REACHES SOME ROBOT REMAINS AS THE TERMINATORS FAN OUT
Detecting non-robotic lifeforms approaching their positions, the sentient hyperalloy endoskeletons momentarily paused in order to calculate the best strategy to nullify their oncoming opponents (or rather immediately failed their first Activation roll).

Using his experience of 'Hot Dog Runs', Joe Dredd ran behind a small rocky outcrop just northeast of a small grave marker [Objective One], and steadied himself ready to start shooting at any T-800s which unwisely approached his position from the southwest. Mad Max set about collecting data from the robot remains [Objective Two] and 'bagged' three points of intelligence regarding the long lost 2T(FRU)T virus vaccine. He then sprinted towards the Badlands Plateau. Furiosa, realising it would be some time until a Terminator entered her sniper rifle's range, headed west to give Dredd some added support. Judge Giant continued moving south.
AS MAX APPROACHES THE PLATEAU, A T-800 SIZES UP JUDGE DREDD
A T-800 marched towards Judge Dredd's position and opened fire. The robot's target was thrice its assault rifle's range and in cover, so it took a hefty -3 penalty, but because the weapon itself carried a +2 Combat bonus it was still a potentially lethal attack. Indeed, the outcome initially showed "Old Stoney Face" would have died a Gruesome Death, if he hadn't utilised his "once per game" Hero ability, which allowed him to "re-roll a single Combat or Quality roll." This 'second chance' fortunately lead to both the shot simply missing its target and the robot's weapon jamming.

A second Terminator joined the 'momentarily weaponless' T-800 intending to destroy some nearby oil barrels [Objective Three]. Whilst another of the Neural Net Processor CPU-driven automatons stalked past the Wrecked Car towards the Badlands Plateau.

As Judge Dredd calmly waited for a Terminator to enter his lawgiver's range, Furiosa moved ever further west into to provide him with even more firepower support. Max athletically hauled himself up onto the top of the Badlands Plateau and approached a rusty Dr. Pepper drinks machine [Objective Five]. Judge Giant continued south, trying to put the small ruin [Objective Four] between himself and the robots' assault rifles.
MAD MAX REACHES FOR A REFRESHING DRINK AS THE TERMINATORS TAKE UP FIRING POSITIONS
The Terminator with the weapons jam failed to clear his firearm. The 800 series beside him fired at Dredd, missed his target and reached the oil barrels [Objective Three]. The robot closest to the Badlands Plateau started to clamber up the rock formation's natural steps.

Taking a bit more 'heat' than he liked in his current position, Judge Dredd moved back behind a rocky outcrop a bit further northwest. Furiosa moved to take up his vacant position. Mad Max collected two points of data from the derelict Dr. Pepper drinks machine [Objective Five], whilst Giant, having reached and subsequently searched the ruin [Objective Four] for one point of intelligence, ineffectively fired his lawgiver at the T-800 climbing the Plateau's rocky stairway.

With a demoralising explosion, a Terminator destroyed the oil barrels [Objective Three], setting four points of data alight in the process. To the east one robot fired at Judge Giant but missed (and also ran out of ammunition), and another 'hunkered down' beside the Wrecked Car.
MAD MAX BATTLES A T-800 TERMINATOR ON TOP OF A BADLANDS PLATEAU
Sensing the moment had come for decisive action, Dredd broke cover and rushed south towards the grave marker [Objective One]. The Senior Street Judge had left himself badly exposed, but his effort could win him the day, if there was enough vaccine data buried beneath the tiny tombstone. Furiosa fired her sniper rifle at the closest Terminator and found her weapon jammed. Max rushed towards the T-800 clambering up the Badlands Plateau and at almost point-blank range discharged his shotgun at the automaton. The firearm ineffectively clicked... it had misfired!! Judge Giant also tried to dispatch the robot fast-approaching Rockatansky, but also failed to hit his target.

The Terminator stood by the remains of the oil barrels and took an aimed shot at Dredd. Incredibly, the T-800 momentarily staggered back as its assault rifle blew up in its hands. The robot with the jammed firearm finally cleared its chamber, and the 800 series by the Wrecked Car harmlessly fired towards Judge Giant. The endoskeleton in front of Max raised its weapon and momentarily appeared to have gunned the road warrior down. But using his "once per game" Hero ability, Rockatansky, despite still being Knocked Down, actually cheated death and saw the Terminator's weapon blow up!
JUDGE DREDD ATTEMPTS TO WIN THE DAY AS MAD MAX IS SHOT BY A TERMINATOR
Miraculously, the assault rifle of the fifth T-800, who had just joined its colleague beside the Wrecked Car and fired at Judge Giant, also exploded in its users hands. Skynet had clearly issued them with some bad stock. With so many ineffective opponents momentarily 'out of action', Dredd continued on to the grave marker [Objective One], collected the five points of data buried beneath it, and sealed a strong victory for his team-mates and Mega-City One's Justice Department.  

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

"Destro Is The Faceless Power Behind MARS"

"He dons his silver battle mask (a family tradition) and enters battle himself..." 
This 28mm metal miniature of Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV is from a private collection and thus not commercially available. Luckily however, I was fortunate enough to be able to acquire a spare casting of the "state-of-the-art weapons manufacturer" and subsequently chose to paint him in a palette similar to how the cut-throat businessman's carded action figure appeared in 2014.

Originally primed with two coats of "Citadel" Abaddon Black, the "Laird of the Castle Destro in the Scottish Highlands" was dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal and later heavily washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil. His hand-weapon was treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey, whilst his belt buckle, hands and beryllium steel mask were 'picked out' with "Citadel" Ironbreaker. All of these areas were then treated to a wash of Nuln Oil. Finally, his jacket's fleece was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.
"Hell Hounds track fleeing prey relentlessly."
With the third of this month's six planned "G.I. Joe" related figures completed, I've actually spent some time rummaging through my old collection of unpainted "Dungeons & Dragons" models, looking for something suitable to add to my "Expedition To Barrier Peaks" collection. Quite remarkably, my search not only revealed an old 2002 sculpt of a Hell Hound from the "Chainmail Miniatures Game" by "Wizards Of The Coast", but a fully based one at that.

Ordinarily, I don't usually dwell upon previously finished pieces, especially ones which come from a time when my painting technique was 'a little simpler'. However, considering that I did a little extra work on this "supernatural dog" by placing a plastic "Games Workshop" tombstone beneath his torso, I thought this particular 'protector of the supernatural' was rather noteworthy. In addition, you can bet he's going to turn up at some point to plague the Grand Duchy of Geoff's party of adventurers.
Mondasian Cyberman WIPs - The silver giant has been washed and had his 'flesh' picked out
Lastly, I have been working on the final miniature found within the "Nightmares In Silver" Cybermen Collector's Set 1966-2013 by “Warlord Games”, the Mondasian Cyberman. Initially a pleasure to paint, despite all its tubes and wires, I'm now somewhat struggling to pick out the silver giant's eyes and mouth.

Admittedly, if one follows the colour scheme shown in the 1966 televised "Doctor Who" serial "The Tenth Planet", then these facial features should simply be black sockets. But I think that would do the sculpt a great injustice, so I'm desperately trying to give the cyborg's mouth slit and eye slots a glimmer of metal around the edges. Unfortunately though, such a noble intention would seem somewhat beyond my skill with a paintbrush...

Sunday, 20 August 2017

"If We Cannot Hide We Must Fight."

"The invasion has happened; you're probably surrounded by Zygons."
These two 36mm tall "finely-sculpted" metal Zygons models are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be found within 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 shape-changing extra-terrestrials' famous suckers and will provide some additional reinforcements to my slowly expanding Zygon "Doctor Who: Exterminate!" faction.

Originally primed with two layers of "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone, these miniatures were then heavily washed with “Citadel” Carroburg Crimson and 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 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”.
Ogrons WIPs - The Daleks' pets have been primed and dry-brushed
Sticking with "Warlord Games" and their "officially approved by the BBC" range of "Doctor Who" figures, I having started work on my latest additions... six Ogrons fresh "from the outer fringes of the Mutter’s Spiral". These "tall, ape-like humanoids of limited intelligence" looked disappointingly thin and malnourished when I first saw them 'in the flesh' at Salute 2017, but have clearly been pleasingly 'beefed up' somewhat since then.

Viewed by many fans as simply the pets of the Daleks, on account of their two television appearances during Jon Pertwee's tenure as the travelling Time Lord, the Ogrons have actually been "used by other species as mercenaries" in the science fiction programme's wider canon. Indeed, I've been especially inspired to get these "mindless" minions painted, having recently listened to their misadventures in the "Big Finish" "Doctor Who" audio story, "The Romance Of Crime", starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson.
Fenn Signis & Gaarkhan WIPs - The two Rebels have been re-based and undercoated
With so many mini-projects on the go currently, the last thing I really needed was yet another distraction, and so it was with some horror that I recently found my "Star Wars" mojo reignited, courtesy of a review of "Imperial Assault" by "Fantasy Flight Games" over on "The Game Cupboard". To be fair, I already own a copy of the boxed game, and have previously painted a few of the miniatures, but rather ashamedly, I haven't actually ever played a game.

Determined to put that right I have subsequently had a look at the rule-set's Tutorial, and set about re-basing and priming two of the Rebel characters; Gaarkhan and Fenn Signis. This duo will (hopefully) just be a minor detour in my painting plans, as I don't currently intend working on any of the other plastic miniatures in the starter set. Having said that though, the pair might provide me with some George Lucas-inspired practice in time for the release of the Star Wars "army" miniatures game "Legion" next March...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

"My People Ruled The Earth When Man Was Only An Ape."

"We shall destroy man and reclaim the planet."
These three 38mm tall metal Sea Devil miniatures are produced by “Warlord Games” and can be purchased from their "Into The Time Vortex" range. Sculpted to resemble the "amphibious relatives of the Silurians" during Malcolm Hulke's 1972 televised six-parter "The Sea Devils", these classic "Jon Pertwee" monsters were made all the taller by the costumed actors wearing the creatures' head masks like "top hats". 

All the models were initially primed with "Vallejo" Verdigris, thoroughly washed with "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade and dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Verdigris. Their feet were all then painted "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and their legs Heavy Green. These areas were subsequently dry-brushed with Heavy Sienna in order to blend the two colours together, and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade.
"There are many thousands of our people in hibernation in this base."
The Sea Devils' weapon belts were 'picked out' using a combination of "Vallejo" White and Pale Grey, whilst the dull metallic look of their hand-weapons was created using "Citadel" Ironbreaker and a heavy shade of Nuln Oil. The Aquatic Silurians' hands and heads were originally treated to a layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and the webbing 'slimed' with some Heavy Green. Later, as with the amphibious Earth reptiles' legs, these areas were dry-brushed with Heavy Sienna and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. 

As a final touch, each Sea Devil's string vest was darkened/dirtied with a random application of both "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade and "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. These garments were then re-highlighted in places with some more "Vallejo" Verdigris being slowly drawn across them.
Master Necromancer WIPs - The Dark Confederacy's posse boss has been primed, washed and dry-brushed 
Jonathan Haythornthwaite's alternate Old West skirmish game "Dracula's America: Shadows Of The West" is increasing proving something of a distraction to my currently plethora of ongoing mini-projects. Not least because its gothic horror setting has produced a string of fascinating gunfighters, worrisome monsters, disturbing demons and pale-skinned undead.

As a result I've added this model of a white-suited Master Necromancer to my painting table, with a view to potentially actually creating a Dark Confederacy posse for the rule-set. The thought of the well-groomed, despicably amoral Southern gentleman leading a band of single-pistol armed bloodless Revenants sounds incredibly tempting, especially if I subsequently paint-up an opposing party of Union Cavalrymen lead by George Custer himself...

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

"The Cyber-Megatron Bomb Will Be Delivered."

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 12 August 2017

"Gang Fighters Are The Most Numerous Of Boromites."

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

"The Beacon Is Ours."

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

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

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

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

Monday, 7 August 2017

"What's The Worst That Could Happen?"

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 6 August 2017

"You Will Ferry Us To The Wheel."

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 3 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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