Monday, 27 August 2018

Cheaphammer Down Under

G’day mates!

Apologies for the lack of posting, as might be apparent from the post title, I’ve been on holiday in Australia. 



In fact I still am.

I’ve turns out that the Australians are quite generous with their free WiFi, and so it seems only fair to do my first international post. After all, cheaphammering never stops.



First stop was the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne which whilst being a really impressive mark of respect, also houses a fantastic exhibition in the crypts about Australian involvement in conflicts. I learned about quite a few things that I wasn’t aware of, and abou which I’ll definitely be reading more about. I’ve now got a hankering to do an Australian Bolt Action army.



Whilst in Melbourne, I stumbled upon the excellent Mind Games store on Swanston Street, and I feel the need to give it a shout out as a frankly excellent gaming store. Not only did they have numerous ranges of miniatures (including a limited number of KM Marvel figures at their original price point) available across their two stores (both on the same street), but they also had literally floor to ceiling board games.



If you find yourself in this neck of the woods, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out. Also, go to both stores as they have slightly different stock in each.

Whilst perusing their wares I noticed that they stock Reaper miniatures. I’ve always got a hit list of Reaper sculpts that I’d like to pick up for different projects, but finding places online that stock the exact miniatures I want all at the same time is a chore, and I really don’t like the idea of paying double postage to the same store if I can avoid it.

What’s more, the nature of Reaper packaging means that when I come across stockists at shows, it’s always a bit of a drag to go through all the racks looking for models that may not be there.

Therefore it was pleasing to be able to browse in comfort and pick up three models off my list, all in the Bones range, so they’re not only cheap, but they won’t impact on my luggage allowance on the way back.



This Clay Golem is going to find his way into my Marvel project, but I’m not sure what as (I’d always pegged him as a Hulk conversion, but the KM one is bigger and better). At the moment, my favourite idea is as the Absorbing Man, but that may change.



This Nymph is going to be painted as Flutterina for my Etherian Great Rebellion. Technically the skirt is too long, but I’m resigned to my She-Ra models being not exact copies of the originals.



Finally this Wasteland Warrior, despite being intended as a Mad Max type, will actually be joining my Terminators as a biker gear wearing Infiltrator. In comparison with the Terminator miniatures, he should look bulky enough to be a convincing Arnie-alike.

I probably will get round to Mad Max types, however I will probably wait until Crooked Dice does it’s Apocalypse Kickstarter in October.

However, whilst on the subject, it’s worth noting that whilst in Melbourne I stumbled across this replica of the last of the V8 Interceptors in an exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (I think that’s right) or ACMI, which should prove suitable inspiration when I get to the new CD range of vehicles.





Another source of inspiration for my gaming was the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Queensland, which has give me extra motivation and ideas for getting on with making the jungle terrain I’ve begun for Masters of the Universe and Pulp gaming. In fact, whilst there, it was pointed out that the location was used for some of the filming of The Phantom starring Billy Zane, with the peak pictured below used as Skull Mountain in the movie.



Whilst there we saw plenty of saltwater crocodiles in the wild.



Which has prompted me to want to add a monstrous croc to my pulp games, and so I picked up this chap for a couple of dollars.



He needs work, obviously, but properly painted and based, he should be a formidable obstacle for my adventurers.

Obviously, I’ve not only been shopping for toys and spotting movie references, however I still have a couple of days left in Sydney, and so I’m going to see if I can track down some gaming stores here as well and see if I ca pick up anything else useful.

Intermittent posting of my painting and gaming progress will resume shortly.

No worries.

Friday, 10 August 2018

New Avengers: Breakout, Issue #2



This is the second part of my campaign based on the initial scenario from the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, which in turn was based on the Breakout storyline from New Avengers.

A massive power surge has his the Raft maximum security prison, releasing acres of dangerous supervillains. In the last issue we saw Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents battling to contain the escape on the surface level of the Raft.

Meanwhile, down below, lawyers Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Foggy Nelson are paying a visitor to a mystery client who is voluntarily confined in the Raft. Accompanying them are their hired bodyguard, Luke Cage, and their S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison, Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman.

When the power surge hits they find themselves plunged into darkness, surrounded by villains and a long way from safety.



Due to a lack of suitable 3D terrain, my set up for this game is based on the underground base map from the Terminator: Genysis game with a few pieces of scatter terrain to liven it up. 

Although I’d prefer a 3D set up, this is actually great for what I wanted, which is narrow passageways within a confined area.



With big names up top, the heroes for this scenario are a little more street level:
  • Daredevil - Brawler
  • Luke Cage - Brick
  • Spider-Woman - Wildcard
  • Foggy Nelson (I treated him a 2D henchman wth 2 body points)
  • Mystery Client (more on him later)


The villains are a bit more of an interim set up. The original scenario requires just Carnage, however, I wasn’t able to get a decent sculpt of the character at a price I was happy to pay, also I wanted to add a bit more variation to the game:
  • Venom - Super Brawler (the symbiote is the progenitor of Carnage nd so makes a good replacement)
  • Hydro-Man - Wildcard (Hydro-Man is actually in the comic and so makes for an appropriate addition)
  • Zzzax - Super Wildcard (although not in  either in the scenario or the comic, Zzzax was on the Raft during the breakout, and adds an interesting third objective to the game)
Scenario Rules: CARNAGE IN THE DARK

Description: Plunged into darkness, a group of heroes trapped in the Raft must try to meet up with an innocent prisoner and restore power to the security systems whilst protecting a civilian lawyer.

Setup: Define a 3x2 area of narrow passageways and cells (all doors are unlocked). In one corner is the cell of the innocent prisoner, in the opposite corner is the generator room. The heroes and a civilian lawyer deploy in the centre of the board. One villain deploys in the generator room, whilst the other villains deploy in the centre of each of the shorter bird edges.

Special Rules: The villain that deploys in the generator room is drawing power from it and may not leave or act until a hero enters the room. The generator can be fixed if a hero takes a special action, TN3 (Science background adds +1 goal to this test), whilst next to it. Once reactivated it can be broken like any other object by the villains, but not before.

The innocent prisoner may not act until he is convinced to help by one of the heroes with a special action, TN3 (Social Sciences background adds +1 goal to this test). Once convinced to act, replace the prisoner with a Powerhouse hero.

The civilian lawyer has a profile of: Move 6”, Body 2, Psyche 2, 2D on all tests, Social Sciences background. Villains cannot attack the civilian lawyer unless he is the closest target at the start of their activation.

Characters cannot fly, levitate or leap in this scenario.

Objective: There are three objectives: restarting the generator, convincing the prisoner to help and keeping the civilian lawyer safe; the heroes gain one victory point for each objective achieved. The villains gain one victory point for each objective the heroes fail to achieve.

End Game: The Raft is filing up with dangerous villains looking for an escape. After five rounds the heroes will decide that they need to head to the surface to help stop them.

Rewards: 2/1

Special Events & Conditions: Stygian Darkness. If the generator is fixed, this condition is ended. If the generator is broken again, the Stygian Darkness returns.

Post-Battle Specials: Villains that are not KO at the end of this game are added to the villain roster for the next scenario. If the innocent prisoner is convinced to help, treat one villain that was not KO as if it was.

The innocent prisoner and civilian lawyer do not take part in the next game.











Despite getting the Hulk involved, with both the generator still out of action and Foggy KO, the victory went to the villains, despite Daredevil running the length of the board. T add injury to insult, Spider-Woman will be at -3” move and -1 dice in attacks for the next scenario; fortunately her ability to fly should keep her safe and useful.

This one was a tough ask for the heroes. Venom proved extremely hard to hurt in the darkness, Hydro-Man’s density decrease made him an excellent blocker. However, they lost mainly because I pulled Luke Cage away from  protecting Foggy to join the futile assault on Venom.

In the original comic, it’s not the Hulk in the cell, it’s the Sentry. However, a free download for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game offered the Hulk as alternative inmate, and as I had the  Knight Models Hulk, I thought I’d use it.

With the heroes winning the first game so handily, losing this one sets up the final battle of act one nicely. All six of the New Avengers will go up against a massed horde of escaping inmates.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

We Are Venom

No messing around with the title today.

I’ve painted the classic Spider-Man villain, Venom.



Do those that don’t know, Venom is an alien symbiote which initially bonded with Spider-Man as his suit, but was then rejected by him and so joined with others (e.g. reporter Eddie Brock, or Mac Gargan aka the Scorpion) who hated Spider-Man too to take down webhead.



The model is from Heroclix. Despite not always being the best models, Clix do cover a wide variety of characters and those that are less generic in their design are often to hard to source elsewhere.

Frustratingly, Heresy Miniatures used to do a ‘licker’ which I’d mentally pegged as Venom some years ago. Sadly the Miniatures disappeared from the webstore, probably due to that fact that it was not dissimilar enough from creature designs owned by the Resident Evil franchise.



 In terms of painting, I kept things simple, using a black ink to give Venom his oily look. I know I could have done this with layers and patience, but I’m not great with either.

The white spider legs on the costume posed a few issues, but I worked hard on keeping things neat, and overall I’m happy with the result.

Venom was the last model that I needed to paint or the next scenario of my Breakout campaign. Technically, it should be his symbiotic offspring Carnage, but I couldnt find a reasonably priced and not fugly model available and so I went with Venom instead. I figure I’ll actually get more use out of Venom, as he’s more ubiquitous across the Marvel Universe.

Not tat I’ve got everything ready I can proceed with the next pages of my Breakout campaign.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Deadlier Than The Male



Emerging from the undergrowth today is another character for my 7TV Pulp project. This time it’s the obligatory, nubile, fur bikini clad cave woman that the genre would have is believe were typical of prehistoric women.



The model is from Antediluvian Miniatures and was really quite simple to paint with almost everything being in the same brown palette, which meant washes were easy to do.



Readers of a certain age will realise that this miniature is clearly based on Racquel Welch’s iconic cave woman from the film ‘One Million Years BC’.

I’ve not gone for Ms Welch’s famously red hair for two reasons. Firstly bacause of the red hair I’ve given the explorer I painted recently, I don’t want all the female characters in my burgeoning pulp collection to look alike.

Secondly, by giving her blonde hair she can, just like the jungle lord, serve double purpose as a character in my Marvel project: Shanna the She Devil, a character who was apparently designed to specifically appeal to a female audience...



Yeah...riiigghhhttt...

Shanna is a vet and wildlife activist who ends up living in the jungle (in only a leather bikini apparently) and protecting the creatures that live there. Eventually she crosses paths with other heroes and villains of the Marvel universe and finds her way to the Savage Land  where she ends up marrying Ka-Zar, becoming Jane to his Tarzan.



She’s not a perfect match for Shanna’s ‘outfit’ (which is always skimpy and sometimes leopard print) but she’ll do.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Fantastic Four?



Okay, I know, there’s only three of them. However, in my defence I’ve not been able to find a model that suits the Invisible Woman yet, and I wanted to get the others off my painting desk, as two of them have been almost finished for quite some time.



Mr Fantastic is from Crossover miniatures. He needed a neck extension as I felt that elongated body and arms with the head just sat in his shoulders looked odd.

I’m quite pleased with the badge I painted free hand because usually I’m rubbish at this sort of thing.



Thing is from Knight Models and I’m really happy with him. I’ve even managed to give him blue eyes.

The model itself is massive, which in itself isn’t a problem as depending on the artist, Thing is a bit ‘scale neutral’. With most of my Marvel stuff he looks big, but fine. However, he makes some of the larger models, like Wrecker, look puny. I’ll just have to be careful who I put him up against.

As a side note, as Thing was and Avenger at one point, he fits into my Avengers team for the Marvel Universe Miniatures Game, which I might one day play again.



Human Torch is a Heroclix model that I’ve simply rebased. I figured that I could either repaint him to achieve much the same effect or just leave him as he was. Also, as ever with Clix, scale is all over the place and he’s actually a bit big. I think the translucent material hides that enough that it’s not a problem. Mind you, What with the size of Thing and the stretching of Mr Fantastic, scale is not really an issue in this team.

All that remains now is to find a miniature that I like for Invisible Woman. There are a couple of candidates out there, but either I’ve already used them for other characters or there are guns and holsters that need removing.

Fortunately, the Fantastic Four aren’t needed in my current campaign and so I don’t need to hurry my decision. And at a push, I could always use the empty base.

She is invisible, after all.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

In My Element

If you know anything about this blog, you’ll know that I appreciate models that are cheap, quick to paint and preferably dual use.

And so I present today’s offering...



Cheap? Check. Both are models I already had.

Quick to paint? Check. Little more than washes and dry brushing.

Dual use? Check. Despite their original uses, both of these will find employment in my Breakout campaign.



This elemental is from Descent and is the first of the larger models from the game that I’ve painted.

Even though it’s meant to have sections of all four elements on the model, I decided to go for just fire for a few reasons:
  • it’s quick,
  • I needed a way to distinguish between the regular elemental and the master in the game, the other one will be painted with all four elements to achieve this,
  • I wanted a fire elemental to stand in for the villain Zzzax in the next scenario from Breakout (technically Zzzax is purely electricity but this works, see below)


I quite enjoyed doing this. I’ve never really mastered painting fire, but I think this is an improvement on my previous attempts.

I’ve made a departure from my usual basing for my Descent minis basically because it wouldn’t look right to have a fire elemental on a grassy base, so I decided to have the whole thing scorched.



The water elemental isn’t a great model (it’s from the D&D Miniatures Game) but it’s been painted for a purpose.

Just like the fire elemental standing in for Zzzax, the water elemental will be proxying for Hydro-Man. However, this is more of a stretch, as you can see here:



He can turn his whole body into water, but this is the more iconic look. Annoyingly, there’s a decent Heroclix sculpt if this character that I used to own, I forgot to order one when I was getting some other miniatures for the campaign last week. Therefore, the water elemental will have to do.

This really was simply undercoat, blue wash and a bit of white highlighting with a darker blue in the eyes. I also used liquid green stuff to make a watery base and merge the elemental’s rather amusing feet into the water. I think it’s worked out okay.

I’m not sure what else I’ll use this for, but I’m sure it will be useful.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

New Avengers: Breakout, Issue #1



This is the first stage of my Super Mission Force campaign. I’ll be using the Breakout event from the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying rulebook, which in turn was based on the storyline of the same name in the pages of the New Avengers back in 2005.

The premise of the story is that the Avengers were disassembled when Scarlet Witch went nuclear in the wake of the House of M storyline. However, fate conspires to bring a group of heroes back together when there is a mass breakout at the Raft maximum security facility.

The idea of using RPG scenarios to frame a miniatures campaign came from the Angry Piper (Dead Dick’s Tavern blog) and it makes lots of decisions for me in terms of planning and allows me to get on with the bits I enjoy - painting and playing.



An additional advantage of this approach is that it allows me to use the campaign resources from the excellent Marvel Heroic Roleplaying from Margaret Weis Productions. Although I love this system, it never really took with the people I have roleplayed with (partly genre, partly system) and so I never got further than the introductory adventure.

Sadly, despite winning design awards, the game lost its license (I think this was when Disney bought Marvel) and so only a few source books were produced. However, I have almost all of it, which means that there is a lot of potential in this idea.



This first action scene is on the deck of the Raft, a maximum security prison for super-powered villains, and sees heroes respond to the emergency from the surrounding area.

My Raft has been put together using my Dropzone Commander tiles with a few buildings and other industrial terrain to add some cover. The sea is simply the reverse side of my green flock cloth...it’s black because it’s night time.



The heroes for this game are some of the highest profile characters in the Marvel universe:

  • Captain America was the first responder to the emergency, and headed straight there in a helicopter with some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
  • Spider-Man was settling down to a movie night with Mary Jane (his wife, not the narcotic) when he heard the explosion. He used his webbing to hitch a ride on Captain America’s transport.
  • Iron Man was at a party some miles away when he was alerted to the emergency, and is flying towards the Raft as fast as he can.
  • The S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents are a mix of Raft staff and Captain America’s reinforcements. The models were drafted in from my Terminator Resistance force.


The only villain in this scenario is Count Nefaria, hence the need to get him painted, a character who is one of the most physically powerful villains in the Marvel universe.

Scenario Rules: NEFARIOUS ESCAPE

Description: There has been a massive power outage on the Raft prison facility, threatening to release scores of super-powered villain into New York. As heroes and security services rules to stem the tide, the first to emerge is the immensely powerful Count Nefaria.

Setup: Define a 3’x2’ area as the Raft. Captain America and Spider-Man deploy on one of the shorter edges of the Raft, whilst Count Nefaria deploys within 6’ of the opposite edge at the point of the main entrance to the lower levels. A henchmen group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents deploys in the centre of the Raft.

The area surrounding the Raft is water and presents a danger of drowning to those that land in it. Other suitable terrain can be placed around the Raft surface as appropriate.

Special Rules: Iron Man is travelling towards the Raft at high speed. At the start of each turn make a chance test to see if Iron Man has arrived. On turn 1 the test is TN4, on turn two it’s TN3, and so on. Iron Man will arrive automatically on turn five.

When he arrives, place Iron Man on the board edge closest to the end of the Raft at which Captain America deployed.

Objective: The heroes must subdue Count Nefaria. The Count must survive to the end of the game.

End Game: Count Nefaria is waitingbfor his ionic energy to replenish enough for him to escape far from any pursuing authorities. He will be fully replenished after five rounds.

Rewards: 2/1

Special Events & Conditions: None

Post-Battle Specials: If Count Nefaria escapes, some of the reinforcements destined for the Raft will be sent in pursuit of him instead. Heroic henchmen will not be able to use the ‘hordes’ rule in scenario three.









Well, that was...brief.

I only go to the beginning of turn three and Spider-Man lands an almighty blow that knocks Count Nefaria out cold (he really was weak from the power dampeners). 

Admittedly, the Count was entangled (+1D) and Spider-Man was charging (+1D) and using his Power Attack manoeuvre (+2 rerolls), but 8 goals on 7 Dice is still a lot. However, the Count failing to get any on his 5 dice (with a reroll) meant that his Regen ability counted for nothing, and failing his KO check ended the game. If I use Nefaria again, I may look at toughening him up a bit, although it really was just a lucky hit that dropped him.

Amongst the heroes, Spider-Man was obviously the star of the show, and Iron Man was late. Captain America was tough to use as he had neither the speed or range to get into combat with Nefaria. He was left on ‘Battle of New York’ duty, marshalling the extras and supporting them with his Enhance ability. I suppose this was in character and did save the henchmen from significant damage.

I probably did the wrong thing with Count Nefaria on the first turn, as charging henchmen gives them more dice in defence. The Count should have blasted them from a distance.

There was no post-game sequence as I’m only tracking the heroes in this campaign and they didn’t even take damage, let alone get knocked out. However, they do have 2 story points towards developing during the campaign.

The next scenario could be a few weeks as there are a couple of characters I need to paint and they still haven’t arrived yet. However, this was an enjoyable start to what could be a long project.