Friday, 3 July 2020

The T is for Transformer

A slight change of pace from Pulp City, I've painted a Soviet T-26a tank ready for my first (socially distanced) game of Bolt Action in three months.


As ever Russian tanks are a doddle to paint because the Soviet Union conveniently did nothing fancy with their paintwork during WW2.

The tank is from Rubicon and the kit has about ten options for the specific model of T-26. This one is the first type (hence the 'a'), with two turrets armed with an MMG each, an arrangement that would quickly find itself obsolete in the early years of the war.


However, this is not a massive problem because although the kit is designed for you to build a single T-26 model, with some careful planning (and a little bit of cardboard for a hatch) you can also field the same hull with a different turret arrangement as an OT-26 flamethrower tank.

Despite the thin armour and propensity to explode, the OT-26 has more uses in layer war games, as it not only does something the rest of my Soviet tanks don't, it also will be more specifically suited to clearing urban areas of tenacious german defenders.


Additionally, it is also possible to switch the turret out again to field the T-26b, armed with a light anti-tank gun. This isn't going to stop a Panther, but it might give some Japanese tanks (which have suddenly trundle over the horizon) pause for thought.

On the subject of the Japanese, my new T-26 (the specific model I'lluse is currentlya military secret) will be taking the field against them this weekend as Matt and I battle over barren landscape of Khalkin Gol, pitting my conscripted Soviet hordes against his shiny new veteran Japanese.

Despite being able to use it as three different tanks, the T-26 only counts as one model painted, but I've not bought anything new recently. However, I might possibly have started a brand new army...

Acquired: 217
Painted: 203

Sunday, 28 June 2020

From tiny seeds...

And so I come to the last of my Kitbash Miniatures (for now), and the last of my Shadow Axis team (for now) with the team 'tank', Blackthorn.


Despite being, once again, a great sculpt, this model has proved the hardest to paint and is probably the one I'm least satisfied with. It's ended up darker and less defined than I wanted. I've tried several comvinations of drybrushes, highlights and washes, but it's just not turned out how I wanted.


I eventually went with some edge highlighting to a point where I was okay with what I had, and decided to back away before I ruined it. And I'm not unhappy, I'm just a bit sad that he's not as striking as some of the others I've done.


You might also notice that I've not followed the basing pattern for the Shadow Axis. Firstly, this is because having a humanoid plant, whose powers involve causing strangling vines to erupt out of the Earth, stood on metal walkways wouldn't make sense (although I did consider having the vines bursting through the floor).

However, the main reason is that I intend to also use this model as part of my Masters of the Universe project, being a fair representation (although it would be, if I'd got the lighter colour I was going for) of the 2002 version of a character called Evil Seed, who briefly joins forces with Skeletor.


I may revisit Blackthorn to try to brighten up the highlighting, but for now I'm stepping away from him until I know how I want to proceed - which I suspect involves a paint I don't currently own.

Rather than finish this little run on a downer, here's a more optimistic picture of the whole team assembled.


I know of at least four more potential teammates for the Shadow Axis that might be joining them in the bot too distant future.

Acquired: 217
Painted: 202

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Thunder and Lightning, Very, Very Frightening

I'd like to apologise about the recent change in the weather. I suspect that me painting this chap might have something to do with it.


This is Stormfront, meteorological master and leader of the villainous cabal known as the Shadow Axis.

Here's a closer look.


This is yet another model from Kitbash Miniatures Kickstarter, which shipped recently. I didn't initially add Stormfront to my pledge as I was primarily looking for models that could double up for other projects, but when I realised that I had a fairly hefty Shadow Axis team in the making, I decided to add the leader.

And I'm really glad I did, as he's probably been my favourite model to paint from the range...even with a white cloak!


I've started to get the hang of using GW's Apothecary White contrast paint, but I've found that you really have to use it first for larger areas like the Stormfront's cape - which opens up the possibility of buggering it up whilst you do the rest.

However, this is such a cleanly sculpted model that this didn't prove to be anywhere near as problematic as I thought it might be.


I had considered chickening out and painting him up as the Sentry from the Dark Avengers, but two things stopped me.

Firstly, I'd just be trading issues with a white cloak for issues with a yellow costume. Secondly, I really, really don't like the character and the "let's mind-wipe everyone" retcon which was a really Bobby Ewing in the shower moment in the New Avengers.


Another thing I'm really liking about the Kitbash range is the use of integral flying bases, where characters have effects like Stormfront's smoke, and the 'just taking off' look, rather than simply jamming a transparent plastic rod up their ass.

There's only one more member of the Shadow Axis that I own to go now (although there are at least three I didn't buy initially that are now on the shopping list) before I've painted my whole pledge.

However, fear not, dear reader, I'm in a bit of a supers mood again, and I've got plenty to be going at.

Acquired: 217
Painted: 201

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

It's All About That Base

I was muttering yesterday about the need to do something to make the bases of the Shadow Axis more interesting, and low and behold a package of resin bases I'd bought at a steal off Ebay showed up today.

Some cutting, sticking and a bleeding thumb later, and the deed is done.


Technically, these are Alien vs Predator themed (and I have about 10 in the lot with alien goop and eggs on them), but they ate generic enough to suggest a secret lab, chemical plant, or fire escape.

The eagle eyed amongst you will also have spotted that the Shadow Axis have a new member, the demurely dressed young lady who might look a bit familiar.


I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong. This is 'Immolator' an alien princess, exiled from her home world, with the power to fly and project fiery blasts...

...what?

Well, yes, that is a bit similar to a certain DC Comics character, but they're totally a bit different. 

How?

Well...she's a villain and...and...her outfit is even less practical.


Okay, I'll admit it. I've painted her as Starfire.

I had a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, they are somewhat similar in look, and rather than fight this fact, I embraced it.

Secondly, I still have my BMG collection, and Starfire is a character I never bought. I'm not going to buy any if the KM boxed sets because I don't want to remortgage, but adding Starfire to my Teen Titans roster is possibly useful when I get round to using them again.

Finally, there's the outfit. There's no avoiding the fact that the representation of women in the superhero genre is somewhat problematic. This sculpt exemplifies the issue. Personally, I felt a bit less creepy and a bit more justified painting this model as an established character. YMMV.


Having said that, I've worked quite hard to get this right. Particularly on the skin colour, which is a bit paler than it looks here. The 'flames' are done using Hexwraith Flame, and I expanded them around the feet, so that the join with the base is hidden.

Fortunately, Wargames Illustrated haven't slapped me in the admin again today, so progress has resumed and my painting tally has hot a bit of a milestone.

Acquired: 217
Painted: 200

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

What are we doing tonight, Brain?

The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!


This is Big Brain, another member of the Shadow Axis, from the Kitbash Miniatures Kickstarter.

He's a fun little miniature I can see being used in 7TV games as a Mad Scientist or Insidious Industrialist. I've also painted his boots brown and trousers green as a nod to the obscure Marvel villain, Gremlin, so that he can be used in that capacity should I so choose.


The coat was done with the GW white contrast paint. Unlike others, this doesn't seem to reduce the amount of painting work required. However, I have found that if used over a white base, it helps start and guide the highlighting process.

I'm getting a little fidgety about the bases for the Shadow Axis, and so there may be a little rebasing operation when I can get my hands on something a bit fancier.

Although it's been only a day since my last post, my painting tally has taken a hit thanks to Wargames Illustrated being back in production and sending me six Germans in winter coats. I have a cunning plan for these, but they still add to the pile of shame.

Acquired: 217
Painted: 199

Monday, 22 June 2020

Extra Special Ops

Today's offering from Kitbash Miniatures is the second of the free stretch goal miniatures: Shadow Soldier.

Shadow Soldier is the evil twin/counterpart to Soldier Hex of the Covenant (which I didn't buy), and they are both military types with a flair for the arcane. Fortunately for me, one of the teams Shadow Soldier work with is the Shadow Axis, the team I bought.


In terms of painting, I went for a very military theme, with the idea that he's a covert ops specialist - in fact in Pulp City he has the infiltrator role, allowing him to get into enemy territory and take out targets early.

I'm not sure if I've ended up with the clothing being too dark, or whether this helps the infra-red goggles (he ignores the stealth rule) and magical incarnation stand out.


The magic circle (to coin a phrase) is actually a small conversion, using the hand of a Heroclix Doctor Strange figure. I like that it makes the magical element of the character more obvious visually, even though from certain angles it does look a bit like he's holding a fan or a dinner plate.

Another one done, another day without buying more stuff, another step forward on the tally.

Acquired: 211
Painted: 198

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Smackdown!

Another Kitbash Miniatures super done today. This time is the villainous wrestler Mayhem, tag team partner of Alpha Male, who I painted last year.


When the Kickstarter launched, I had intended to paint and use Mayhem as Piledriver, one of Marvel's Wrecking Crew. However, despite being a solid unit, he's dwarfed by the model I used as Wrecker, which is on a 40mm base. What's more, I didn't want to ruin the model with badly sculpted hair.


Therefore, with the Piledriver idea shelved, when it came to painting, I decided to simply have Mayhem match his tag-team partner, who I painted in tribute to Ravishing Rick Rude. This means that the hot pink tights will certainly make them stand out and identify them as a unit on the tabletop.

In game terms (at least in Pulp City) Mayhem and Alpha Male are able to chain activate after each other, out of the regular sequence. However, as brawlers, they'll really need to be up close with the enemy to take advantage of this ability.

Fortunately, I've not bought anything else since yesterday, so my painting tally gets to move in the right direction, albeit slowly.

Acquired: 211
Painted: 197