Saturday, 18 January 2020

To Me My Ex-Men!

They're mutants. They're super. They're in a world that hates and fears them.

Enter the Super Mutants!

I've now finished all the models I need to play through the first four tutorial scenarios for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. Let the games begin.

I made a decision to keep things simple with them after much musing and research about painting rust effects. I figured that I didn't want to experiment with a technique I was unsure of on models that I was uncertain I'd be able to strip effectively if it went wrong (due to the PVC).

Therefore, I stuck with simply adding a wash of Agrax Earthshade on top of the Nuln Oil wash I usually use to give the metal a grubby look. I may give rust a go on some other models first and come back to add some later.

The Brute was probably the most straightforward of the bunch to do as there's a lot of skin on show and not much in the way of fiddly details.

I went with a dark green drybrushed with a paler green, wash with Biel-tan Green, and then washed with Agrax Earthshade. I then picked out some facial features and the fingers with a paler green to highlight.

The 'Aviator' is probably my favourite of the bunch. Mainly this is because there's quite a few characterful details about the model, like the flying helmet, the skulls and the 'piratey' way he's holding his guns.

With the bases I've stick with the same greys and pale browns as I've used before to allow models to mix and match between factions and remain consistent. Apparently, mixing and matching is perfectly plausible in narrative games.

You may have noticed that I have two versions of the same model, and the box only comes with three Super Mutants. This is due to the fact that when I opened the box I found that the Super Mutant with the rifle had a somewhat melted face.

However, fair play to Modiphius, a couple of emails and a photo later, they had sent me a replacement free of charge.

It was at this point that I discovered that Super Mutants have the same sized heads as Space Marines...

Never one to look a money saving venture in the mouth, I performed a head swap and switched the model around on it's base for variety in order to add a fourth member to the band.

From what I've read, Super Mutants aren't actually likely to have cybernetics (although one in the first game had a bionic eye) and don't really need gas masks. However, I've also learned that pretty much anything in Fallout can be explained away, for example he might have been subject to fiendish experiments, or stolen the mask from the Brotherhood of Steel.

Anyway, I like it.

In terms of progress, I've taken a hit this week as I picked up the first issue of GW's new partworks magazine, Mortal Realms, in order to grab £35 worth (or, more accurately, models they charge £35 for) for £2.99. However, I'm still in the black...for now...

Acquired: 17
Painted: 23

Sunday, 12 January 2020

One Woman And Her Dog

As promised, I've pressed on with my Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniatures and completed the Sole Survivor (who's apparently called Nora) and her sidekick Dogmeat.

I have to admit to being back to being sceptical about the material these were cast in as both lack some of the detail is expect in metal miniatures. Specifically, Nora's face leaves more than a little to be desired and lacks any real character.

However, this might actually be the true scale sculpting jarring with the more exaggerated models I'm used to. The hair is also a bit flat, but it's able to pick up a little highlighting.

However, rest of the model has plenty of detail, and I'm particularly pleased with how the Pip-Boy (the wrist computer thingy) turned out; I'm rapidly falling in love with Hexwraith Flame and looking for excuses to use it.

It's also nice to get an excuse to use bright colours. In my mind, everything post-apocalyptic should be fairly muted and washed out, however, given that Nora has spent the last 200 years in suspended animation, it makes sense to me that her clothing would be just as bright as when she went into the vault.

Dogmeat (there's a story in that name which I'm not aware of), is an Alsatian, and as such I approached like I did the dog for my 7TV cultists. However, I went for dark grey rather than black because there was less fur detail to highlight.

I'm happy enough with how he's come out (as I am with both of them), and feel that the elements I'm less happy with are more a consequence of the sculpting than anything I've done.

The only thing I'm really annoyed with is that my photos have washed out the bases, so there's actually quite a bit of detail on them that you cant see.

As well as Nora and Dogmeat, I finished some more pieces from the Mantic treasury terrain crate. The plate has a horrible mold line running through it, but otherwise these will be great as terrain or objective markers.

One of the odd side effects of this set clearly being two sets of one casting, is that there are two of everything, including the sword in the stone. I really can't imagine a need for two of these.

Additionally, there were only two pedestals, but four options to go on them. So I have a crown on a cushion and a plate and goblet spare. They might be easier to find a use for than a spare excalibur.

So with these five painted, my tally grows. However, the purchasing has begun and I recieved a parcel containing ten pieces of scenery, and Modiphius kindly replaced the poorly cast super mutant.

Additionally, I've done some sorting out, which has involved throwing out a few bits of very old terrain that were damaged and I was never going to use, and making the decision that some other pieces were fine as they were and now count as painted.

All this mathmatical jiggery-pokery means that I've continued to build my early lead.

Acquired: 4
Painted: 19

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Settling In To 2020

Another day, and another couple of miniatures finished. This time two settlers from the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare starter box.

These are the generic good guy grunts of of the survivor faction in the game, although it's interesting to note that outside 'battle mode' (which is what they call points based play) there seems to be no restriction on mixing factions as you please.

Although still made from PVC, these two represent a step up from the Slave Tech, which suggests that not only will the resin sculpts be very nice, but also that PVC is a bit if a hit and miss affair.

In fact, the only real gripe I have with these two is that this guy's base is slightly warped so that it doesn't quite sit flat, and it's also quite bland compared to some of the other bases. I might have to add a few tufts to it.

In terms of colours, I've kept most things muted to suit a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and used liberal doses of Agrax Earthshade to tie things together. I've also tried to vary colours as much as possible to avoid uniformity and give a rag tag feel to the models.

The only brighter colours I've used are the woman's hair, the sight on her gun (which is pale blue), and the man's scanner, which uses hexwraith green to suggest the green and black screens all things Fallout seem to have.

Her base is different from the others I've done so far, as it's the wooden floor of an interior, rather than exterior roads or wasteland. However, I've used the same colour as the wasteland with a wash for the wood m to keep her tied to the overall colour palette.

All in all, I really like how these two have come out. Next up are the Sole Survivor and a dog, called Dogmeat.

Acquired: 0
Painted: 10

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Going For Gold

Starting the year as I mean to go on, this morning I've put the finishing touches to some of pieces from one of the Mantic Terrain Crates I got for Christmas.

This one is, unsurprisingly called 'The Treasury' and contains not only these piles of coins and gems, but also some stacks of chests, heaps of armour, some plinths and even two (count 'em, two!) swords in stones.

There's two of each piece in the set, which handily means I can show you the front and back of each at the same time.

I've tried to add a little variation by mixing up the colours of the gems on each piece, although I may revisit some of these with a few darker colours, as the pastel ones look a bit too much like Lucky Charms. Although this would be a good excuse to paint a leprechaun.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with all of this treasure, although I can imagine needing some of it occasionally in Rangers of Shadow Deep. However, I have got an inkling about a board for 7TV: Fantasy when it eventually appears.

So that's me off and running into 2020. I need to build a lead early if I'm going to win this year, as I have some Kickstarters due to deliver in the spring, and I know what I've done with some vouchers over the holiday period...

Acquired: 0
Painted: 8

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Don't Look Back In Anger

As 2019 comes to an end it's time to review how I've done with my gaming resolutions for the year.

However, before getting to that, here's my last miniature of the year; a slave tech from Fallout.

As it's from the starter set, this miniature is cast in PVC and it suffers for that. The material seems to struggle with finer details like faces and, just like Reaper Bones, has mold lines that I don't see until the models are painted.

This was never going to be my favourite from the set, but he's done to an acceptable standard.

And now on to the resolutions I set for myself; let's see how I did...

1. No New Games - Fail

Despite my resilience earlier in the year in deciding to pass up the AVP game I won, the lure of new and shiny games got to me in the end. Pulp City, Rangers of Shadow Deep and Fallout: Wasteland Warfare have all dragged me into their orbits in recent months. In fairness, two of them are solo games and all three have a small model count, but a fail is a fail.

2. Finish Old Projects - Fail

I listed a number of games last year and I've only actually 'finished' one of them, Terminator: Genisys (by which I mean I don't have a backlog and have two fully painted forces). However, although I've painted some Batman and Dropzone Commander, I've actually bought more for each game, and I haven't touched the Walking Dead, Flames of War, Dropfleet Commander or my War of 1812 army, again.

3. Continue Solo Campaigns - Fail

Although I have entered into a cooperative Rangers of Shadow Deep campaign with my daughter, I didn't actually return to the solo campaigns I mentioned last year in the Walking Dead or Super Mission Force. I will return to these campaigns one day, but I'm still waiting for motivation to strike.

4. Paint More Than I Acquire - Fail

With the addition of the Slave Tech, a slight readjustment of what qualifies as a 'model' in the Mantic terrain I recieved, and a late secret Santa gift of an IS-2 tank (with infantry), the final score stands at a depressing 276-226.

226 is not a bad tally, and I have been somewhat hampered by Wargames Illustrated's constant stream of free sprues, but I've got into a slightly generous habit of giving these to people whole use them rather than hoarding. However this still wasn't enough to see the lead pile reduce.

5. Play & Paint More 7TV - Success

I've been to five 7TV events this year and played quite a few games with Matt as preparation and as a playtester for the Menagerie of Terror. I've painted more Masters of the Universe miniatures (and taken them to two events, winning best cast at one), loads of terrain, giant ants and a scorpion, a V cast, several vehicles, and numerous other miniatures. In fact, my focus on 7TV related projects is probably the reason I haven't made that much progress in other areas.

With such a weak performance this year, I'm going to keep things simple for 2020 and just have the one resolution.

I'm going to conquer the lead mountain!

Not the one in Colorado though.

I'm not going to get rid of the lead pile altogether, that would be crazy talk (let's not bring up Operation Unthinkable, m'kay?), but I am going to aim to finish off or get rid the backlog from those older projects that have been haunting me for several years. I'm also going to paint more than I acquire; and this time I'm going to build up a solid lead before Christmas ruins it.

And that's me signing off for 2019. Thanks for sticking with my meandering blog, and I wish you and yours a very happy new year and I'll see you on the other side.

On the plus side, my painting should improve as I will once again have 2020 vision!

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Into The Wasteland

As mentioned in previous posts, I took advantage of a Black Friday deal to pick up Fallout: Wasteland Warfare with 50% off and it was wrapped up as a Christmas present.

To be honest, without the money off I probably wouldn't have bought the game as I really have no experience if the Fallout setting; I've never played any of the console games and I really first encountered Fallout through the board game about six months ago.

So why by Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, I hear you ask?

Well, firstly it was cheap. However, more importantly, I'd heard good things about the AI system, as, increasingly, any new game I buy needs to have a solo option simply because of the amount of other systems vying for time in our gaming group.

Additionally, I've been looking for something with a post-apocalyptic flavour (that isn't Mad Max of Zombies) use with 7TV:Apocalypse, and so if I don't like FWW, I'll still have an option for the miniatures and scenarios.

Speaking of miniatures, I've started into the 12 miniatures that came in the starter set. This first one is Aspirant Goddard, who belongs to something called 'the Brotherhood of Steel', however the miniature also seems to see use as other characters when they are wearing power armour.

On the subject of the power armour, I'm intrigued by the similarity between this suit and the later design of space marines (after the initial womble design). I'm curious as to whether GW might have been 'inspired' by Fallout, in the same was that the film Aliens possibly 'inspired' Space Hulk.

In terms of painting, Aspirant Goddard was pretty straightforward. I went for dry brushing the silver rather than washing to get a slightly more battered and scratchy look. I've also tried to use a brown wash in places to suggest wear and rust, but I don't think this has come out in the picture.

I'm actually really happy with him.

I'm also really happy with my two super mutant hounds.

It seems that the concept of 'super' mutants doesn't have the X-Men vibe that the term suggests. Rather, they are all large, strong and aggressive.

In terms of painting, I've kept things simple, using washes and dry brushing for the most part. The hardest part is doing the bases, as the models come attached to them.

If I have a gripe, it's about the material the miniatures in the starter set are made of. It's a pvc not dissimilar to the material used for Reaper Bones, which I've found to be fine for larger models like the hounds and Aspirant Goddard, but lacks definition for more detailed features, like faces, and so the smaller models will need more work. I've also contacted Modiphius about replacing one of the super mutants, which has a miscast face that lacks real detail.

However, given that Modiphius are apparently good about this sort of thing (watch this space), the rest of the box is nicely cast, and everything else in the range is cast in resin, I'm not overly worried about this.

I think I've given up on breaking even in my painting tallies by Wednesday, but I suppose I still need to chart my failure.

Acquired: 276
Painted: 225

Saturday, 28 December 2019

They Came From The Sky...

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas. I have, and along with the required family time and food gobbling, I've been getting a bit more painting done.

I've painted three Marauder dropships for my Scourge Dropzone Commander army.

They're actually the last three models from the starter force I bought back in the summer (well, in truth, there's a spare Invader transport that I've used as a test piece that I need to work out what to do with).

I've used the same colour scheme as the rest of the force, although it looks very different in natural light. 

Now I've worked out what I'm doing, this should be a relatively fast way to get additional units done, and I'll need additional units as Pete and I are planning to play the Battle For Earth campaign with our respective Dropzone and Dropfleet armies. The games escalate in size and so it should give me plenty of impetus to add units in the future.

The only downside with these is that they were second hand. The person I'd bought them from had already stuck the widgets to the base of the models and so they've ended up with paint on during the many paint stripping processes they've been through. However, as they're underneath,  this shouldn't be a problem. Also, one of the flying stands is cloudy due to glue spillage and so I'll gave to swap that out with my Resistance flight stands when I play.

I'm waiting for drier weather to add a few coats of varnish to them as the tank models actually stack on them like a CD rack, and so I want to avoid the inevitable wear as much as possible.

You'd think that with all these Scourge done, I'd be sailing towards my goal of painting more models than I acquire, however, this happened...

...thanks Santa...

That's a grand total of 70 new models!


Acquired: 276
Painted: 222

I'd better get painting before Wednesday.