Sunday 24 November 2013

Batvember 5: The Mighty Quinn

My final entry for Batvember is, as promised, Harley Quinn (aka the ridiculously named Harleen, I don't know what they were thinking either), the Joker's right hand girl, main squeeze and one third of the Gotham City Sirens.

I have to admit that had I not seen the second hand lot on eBay, I would never have bought this model as if already painted a Heroclix Harley. However, I'm glad I have her as the model has bags of character and was thoroughly enjoyable to paint. However, seeing the picture above I've realised that I haven't painted the diamond on her legs, so she's not quite finished.

So that's it for Batvember, it's been pretty productive and has seen not only the arrival of new models, but a full game table and the arrival of a third faction for the game.

To celebrate the end of the month I've been playing with Comic Life (which has an iPhone app I hadn't heard if until today) and produced a comic strip of the game I played earlier in the month as an experiment.

I suspect that more of my battle reports will be using Comic Life in future.


Saturday 16 November 2013

Batvember 4: She's Out Of My League

As promised, the next of my little windfall of purchases: Talia Al Ghul. I was pleased to be able to pick her up cheap as I was never intending to pay full price for her as 'leather-clad chick with sword' is actually really easy to find alternatives for and the scale issues are not so important with female characters as women tend to be shorter than men.

Once again, my photos seem to let down what is, for me, a pretty satisfactory paint job.

This is actually a better model than the image on the Knight Models website let on. However, the is a lot of very fine detail which meant that I really had to work hard on getting the face right first time because several layers of paint would begin to obscure detail. It's not as bad as Mr Freeze's face, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking.

As well as being able to join Batman, Talia represents the official arrival of a third faction in my games, the League of Shadows (or Assassins, depending on your preferred source material). She can lead the three Blackgate Prisoners against Joker, Harley and the two clowns or my massive Police Force. She adds flexibility and variation to my games, which is good.

Finally, I've done a small piece of terrain (I've been busy alright). A couple of oil drums cut from the display stand that my Batmobile came on. Nothing fancy, although I'll probably add some labels when I get round to getting the printer out.

Next week is even busier for me so I'm not expecting to produce that much, however, the plan is to get my official Harley Quinn done and to add a couple mor small pieces of scenery. We'll have to see ho that goes.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Batvember 3: Who are these clowns?

So, I've had a bit of luck.

I was perusing eBay the other day and came across something that you don't see very often; second hand Batman miniatures which aren't 'pro-painted'. The lot included Talia Al Ghul, Harley Quinn and two of the Joker Crew.

Now here's the rub. The models were assembled, undercoated and without bases and cards, none of which are obstacles to sale. However, the Joker henchmen were from the box with Clown Prince which meant that a) anybody who had bought or was going to buy the Joker (in other words everybody) wouldn't really want them, and b) they were of particular use to me as I already have a Joker that I like and would struggle to justify buying another one to get the henchmen.

As you've probably guessed, I leapt at the lot and won it for roughly two thirds of the cost (including postage) if two characters and a pair if henchmen.

So, to cut a long story short, here's two if the four as this week's offering for Batvember.

Yes, there are three of them. We'll come to 'Chuck' in a bit.

First up, the Ringmaster. This is a chunky model and very sturdy compared to most of the Knight Model sculpts I've seen. I'm very happy with the colour I've got for the hat and epaulettes, but the mask probably needs a bit of highlighting work.

Secondly 'Auguste' (or Contra Auguste, I can't remember). This guys positively simplistic compared to the Ringmaster. I chickened out of putting the Arkham logo on his top, but I am very happy with his mask.

Finally, Chuck. This model has been bodged together with parts from several models: legs from a Clix henchman; upper body from a Clix Ra's Al Ghul; hands from the Bolt Action Russian sprue; blades from 40k; and the head of an Ancient German. He'll be used as the High Security prisoner from the Blackgate box, and I call him Chuck because he looks a bit like Chuck Norris (to my eyes anyway). Frankly, if Chuck Norris was in prison, he would be HIGH security...

So that's it for this week. It looks like next Sunday will be ladies night with one or both of Harley and Talia making an appearance.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Batvember 2: Street Skirmish

As I've finally got enough terrain to fill a table, I decided to have another go at grappling with the rules of the Batman Miniatures Game from Knight Models.

I decided to keep it simple and have a Rep of 130 for the game pitting Batman against Killer Croc and two Blackgate escapees.

The scenario was a Skirmish, which is pretty much a pitched battle in other rule sets. I didn't bother with enigmas or objectives, but I did use lamp posts and sewers. Admittedly I forgot all about the effects of light, but in the end, the fact that Batman can see in the dark and the bad guys had no weapons which could shoot beyond their vision range meant that the light sources were irrelevant.

This was a solo game to learn the rules so don't expect anything too tactical.

Here's the board. Batman began Behind the building on the right near to the Batmobile. The convicts were in the warehouse, probably looting it, whilst Croc began in the sewers. I hadn't put the sewer grates on at this point so if you see any two pence pieces later, that's what they are.

Alerted to a break in at a warehouse, the Dark Knight uses his Batclaw to take to the rooftops to survey the scene.

Unaware that they are being watched, the two crooks make for the exit with their stolen goods.

Suddenly a caped figure swings down into the street and hurls something at the villain with the gun, striking him on the head.

With a bellowing roar, a huge shape erupts from the sewers. It seems that the Caped Crusader has swung right into a trap.

Shots are fired as the villains charge. Batman is hurt but manages to knock down on of his assailants with a swift sweep of his legs.

Realising he is outnumbered, Batman swing back up to the rooftops, hurling a Batarang as he flees, further injuring one of the gang.

Having assessed the situation, Batman attacks again: fists, claws and weapons fly in a flurry of attacks, blocks and counter attacks.

Batman hands out a beating to Croc's gang, knocking one of them out. Seeing that they are overmatched, Croc and his companion flee for the safety of the sewers.

Batman won, mainly because his high defense value and counter attack ability make him damn near impossible to hurt. I  also threw him into combat to test the rules, but it's clear that his ability to see and shoot round corners in the dark means that he could just snipe his way to a small win.

I liked Croc as a character, he's pretty straight forward, but starting in the sewers and able to pop up anywhere is a nice touch. The mooks were mooks, meh.

The game works and I like a lot of it, but there are a lot of fiddly rules which need to be repeatedly referenced I'm not sure are necessary. I'm not entirely sure that beyond the alternating activations, this game delivers anything that can't be easily replicated by something like  Necromunda.

I'll continue to give the game a go as it has some charm and the work on building the characters has been done for me. I've also got a few people interested in a game. I can easily do gangs of 300 points, so that's the next game I'm likely to play, and I'll try to bring in other rules like enigmas.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Batvember 1: Gotham by Gaslight

First week down and to go along with Scarecrow and the Blackgate Prisoners I showed you earlier in the week I've completed 5 lamp posts and a big ass building.

I'm getting perilously close to a full game board of terrain and so rather than discuss how I superglued and sprayed grey paint, I thought I'd do a few 'action shots' if my progress on the project so far.

The Dynamic Duo On Patrol

The building is from Dust Tactics and I picked it up as an impulse buy some months ago. At the moment it's simply sprayed grey on the outside and black on the inside. I'll probably highlight it later.

It's a decent building to look out but with hindsight I'd have spent my money on one of Sarissa Precision's City Block buildings as this one doesn't have floors, doors or even a roof as it comes in the box. It's modular design does offer some flexibility of construction, but not really without buying several sets.

Robin Spots Crooks Down Below

This shot allows you to see my roof. Plastic sheet cut to shape (tricky to achieve as the building isn't all right angles) and sprayed with textured paint then trimmed with thin balsa rods I had knocking about. I'm really happy with how it's turned out.

But Wait...Who's That Inside?

Here's a close up of one of the lamp posts. They're from Westwind and although a bit rough on the casting in places, the price was good enough for me to overlook the obviously lower quality than the official Knight Models ones.

I've not given up on the Batman Miniatures Game and three lamp posts are used in each game, their light making shots easier to make on the dark streets if Gotham.

Villains Plot Nefarious Deeds...

As you can see, I've kept the inside black as the inner walls don't carry any detail, and I don't want to draw attention to them. I am going to mount the building on a base and so there will be flooring eventually.

I decided not to construct a second floor as I couldn't see a way to make it work. I'm going to build and buy a range of furnishing so that this building can function as a range of grander buildings where the roof height seems appropriate: library, museum, bank, etc.

The furnishings in the picture are from Heroquest and will do for now.

Meanwhile At The Chemical Works...

This is terrain I've had knocking about for a while. The warehouse is from Warbases and I've finally done the roof (textured paint again). 

The chemical silo is a piece I built for use with 40k some years ago. It's actually a Pringles tin, a marker pen, a pipe fitting and some bits of a computer. I still thin it looks quite good.

Gordon's Team Moves In...

The warehouse was clearly designed to be a shell on the table with the doors fixed in position. However, with the clever use of magnets my doors are fully functioning!

Miscreants Lurk In The Dark

The floor of the warehouse was done with dolls house paper which would look good if it weren't for the fact that the glue bubbled. It's okay, but I may get round to replacing it.

A Dastardly Ambush!

Firefly and Killer Croc emerge from behind the tower, giving you a better view of it. The green bit at the bottom is actually a pool of sludge. The photo doesn't show it, but it's shiny (simply done with PVA rather than more expensive products).

For the sake of the game, I probably need to add some ladders to this and the  wall of the big building to allow characters without bat ropes the chance to climb them.

That's all for now. I'm quite excited for the rest of the month as I've just procured some more miniatures on eBay which should get here in time to be added to Batvember. Next week I'll have finished my third Blackgate Prisoner and possibly have begun to clean up the streets if Gotham...literally!