Thursday 31 October 2019

What Exactly Do They Do?

I wrote a few months ago that the Eternian Palace Guard were the most ineffectual guards in the universe. However, they do face stiff competition in this regard from today's offering: Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD.

Admittedly, they do a bang up job of blaming Batman/Bruce Wayne for pretty much any crime he's framed for, and the Commissioner does an excellent line in being used as bait in ostentatious traps, but when it actually comes to tracking down and apprehending criminals, they're not exactly up to scratch.

This bunch are from the Batman Miniatures Game and were never high on my shopping list because early on I repurposed some Heroclix into these roles. However, when my recent Batman bug bit, I took the opportunity to snap up a second hand set that have been sitting in my FLGS for a good long while at the bargain price if £10.

Second hand models which have already been assembled often have slight issues, and with the fiddliness of Knight Models miniatures these were slightly mor pronounced. Bravo (above) needed disassembling to straighten out his shotgun, which still isn't prefect, and Alpha (below) needed a gap in his shoulder filling as he'd been put together badly and I couldn't remove his arms.

The SWAT team aren't my best work as I struggle a bit with dark colours. I prefer to use washes the shade that highlight up. However, the dark outfits also hide a multitude of sins, so I'm not going to worry about it too much.

I'm much happier with Commissioner Gordon. I've gone with grey hair rather than red as I've always associated the older version of Gordon as being in the Commissioner role, and the younger incarnation, such as in Batman: Year One, being the one with red hair.

Nothing amazing, but another four models to the good. I really do enjoy painting the Batman range. I need to remember that.

Acquired: 190
Painted: 183

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Distractingly Sexy

I'm off to another 7TV even in Darley Dale in November. This one has been named 'Open University' and so this seemed like an excellent opportunity to break out my Mad Science cast and deliver a lecture in whupass.

However, I needed to add to my cast as this event will be at 40 ratings, and so I present the newest intern in the Faculty of Cryptobiology and Pseudoscience, Russian exchange student, Ivana Benderova.

I should really explain that the post title and the rather hideously inappropriate pun are both references to the rather foolish comments of Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt at a conference in Korea in 2915 (I think) and the subsequent Twiiter storm in response.

The model itself is a now out of production Crooked Dice miniature which was part of their not-Doctor Who range which was pulled when Warlord Games got the official licence. It's a very good likeness of Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, but as I already have Amy in her police uniform, I figured I wouldn't need a second. The long coat doubles very well as a lab coat.

As an added bonus I've tried to paint her with a nod towards Gwen Stacy as played by Emma Stone in 'The Amazing Spiderman' so that I can use her in my Marvel games (I did have a notion to paint her as Mary-Jane anyway.

She'll be joining what I'm now referring to as the 'Lost Faculty', a group of scientists engaged in projects that are so cutting edge, they are regularly drenched in blood.

The faculty is led by Proffessor von Schteppyonde, the world's leading expert in mutagenics and pink goop. He is ably assisted by: Dr Connor Kurtz, Herpetologist; Dr Alban Vladislav, Pain Management; Sylvia Smother, HR; Bob the Janitor. They are accompanied on their lecture tours by their most successful experiments, including 'Ze Vurm'.

As I needed to add a few more ratings, Baxter Stockman will be a guest lecturer in robotics and non-terrestrial technology, but will be using a different profile than his TMNT card.

You will be able to get a copy of the revision notes  for their lecture tour in a few weeks time.

Acquired: 190
Painted: 179

Monday 28 October 2019

Getting the Gang Back Together

Following my work on Solomon Grundy, I decided to root out all of my unfinished BMG and not only did I discover that I had more than I thought, but I also discovered that there were some that needed very little work to complete.

One example of this being the most important characters from everyone's favourite award winning superhero film, Joker's gang from Suicide Squad! (Not everything in that last sentence is true.)

These guys came in the somewhat mystifying Suicide Squad boxed set, which completely missed out the main villains of the film and instead seemed to focus on a non-existent conflict between the Squad and the Joker. What's more, the rulebook featured scenarios based on the animated film Assault on Arkham rather than the actual movie.

My own theory about this is that despite having the license to produce these miniatures, Knight Models were only given access to the trailers (which heavily featured the Joker gang) and so completely missed out on the whole plot involving the Enchantress.

The Grin Twins. Very straightforward job on these. I have no great love for the film or the characters, so I didn't take too much time over them.

Goat Head Priest. Similarly straightforward to paint. The ammo belt is somewhat flimsy and so I'll need to be careful with it.

Eyeball Man. Imaginative names these, aren't they? Essentially they're all just blokes in masks.

Can you guess?

Yep, Panda Man. Probably my favourite of the gang and the one I'm happiest with.

One if the reasons I abandoned these before finishing them is that I can't imagine a situation where I'd use them ahead of my more conventional clown-themed Joker gang. However, I've decided that I'll actually use them in my Black Mask gang, as he originally worked with a gang called the False Facers who all wore different masks... see where I'm going here?

Anyway, that's five more completed, even though they didn't take much work, it goes some way to offsetting my recent purchases:

Acquired: 190
Painted: 178

Saturday 26 October 2019

Zomtober: Back From The Graveyard

My Zomtober experience this year has been featuring me resurrecting games and projects that have shown few signs of life on the blog for some time. This week is no exception, and in fact goes further with not only breathing life into a game that had gone cold, but also bringing back a character that was eliminated from my collection.

I present Solomon Grundy for the Batman Miniatures Game...again.

My first Solomon Grundy was actually a Knight Models Hulk which I repurposed as Grundy and then later repainted as Hulk. This one is actually the proper model...well, it's the original metal sculpt, not the more recent resin one.

Painting was really easy, just as it was last time, with a lot of dry brushing. The sculpt is really characterful, although there is a small hole in the elbow joint that I might need to go back to fill.

What painting Grundy has done is reignite the spark of life in my collection of Batman miniatures. I'm not sure I'll be going back to BMG, which is heading into it's third edition already, as Knight Models continue to find new and innovative ways to alienate and annoy their customer base. However, I will try to scoop up a few bargains as people inevitably rage quit and sell their collections with the arrival of a new edition.

In fact, this has already begun and I've picked up Comissioner Gordon, three SWAT cops, Dr Strange, three Arkham Inmates, a Penguin Lieutenant, and three actual Penguins, all for bargain prices. Although it's nice to splash the cash, it's not great for my painting tally.

Acquired: 190
Painted: 173

Sunday 20 October 2019

Cold War Double Agents

A couple of weeks ago I showed some Pulp City miniatures that I'd originally bought for other purposes which will now be used for Pulp City.

This time I have two miniatures which have specifically been bought to round out my team for Pulp City, but which have another simultaneous purpose.

These two are Professor Hammer and Sneischinka, both of the Red Republik, a faction based on the concept of Cold War Soviet supers (like the film 'The Guardians' but with a better narrative...and acting).

Professor Hammer is the leader of the team, boasts rocket propelled fists and inspires his comrades with communist propaganda. The colour scheme I've gone for is based on the villain Nuclear Winter from the PC game 'Freedom Force', and that will be his alternate role.

Nuclear Winter is a communist agent who gets bathed in a combination of liquid nitrogen and the mysterious Energy X when a nefarious scheme goes wrong.

I was prompted to do this by a particular miniature in the Kitbash Games Kickstarter which bears a good resemblance to another Freedom Force character, and with some other projects coming to a close, creating the Freedom Force and their villains, using Super Mission Force for rules, will become a new niche project for me. I've already spotted how I might put together Liberty Lad from my bits box.

Sneischinka is a versatile character who can take on either snow or ice forms and fulfil the role of either blaster or tank as needed.

In terms of painting, I've done her as a combination of the old and new versions of Frosta in the She-Ra cartoons to add to the Great Rebellion.

Personally, I'm quite pleased with how she's come out as she sort of seems like a grown up version of the Netflix character.

I did have to perform a little ankle surgery as the model had broken in the post, but I think I've done a decent job of repairing her.

In addition to being used as Sneischinka and Frosta, there's also a potential for her to serve triple duty as the Ice Queen, one of Nuclear Winter's lieutenants. The model isn't perfect for this, but she's certainly a decent proxy for a minor character until I find something better.

So two models done, but a new project started which will result in purchases, so questionable progress when considered in the long term.

Acquired: 178
Painted: 172

Saturday 19 October 2019

Zomtober: Telltale Signs Of Infection

A slight change of theme this week. I've jumped ship from my 7TV zombie horde to my Walking Dead zombies and survivors that have been on hold for some time.

As well as two generic zombies, I've completed Lee and Clementine, the main characters from Telltale Games Walking Dead app game, which were show only exclusive models.

I'm really pleased with how Lee has come out, especially his shirt. I was really concerned about whether he would end up looking too much like how I've painted Morgan. However, instead of using a pale blue for his shirt, I simply washed white with Drakenhof Nightshade and it's come out not too dissimilar to a denim shirt effect.

Clementine was the trickiest of the four to paint as the t-shirt lacks definition against the backpack straps and arm. I also probably should have done more with her shoes and sleeves, but I didn't want to ruin it.

I was a bit concerned that I wasn't going to like the finished product until I got to the backpack and cap. The molded details really help to lift the model and give some focus to what could be a very bland paint job.

The two zombies I've done using my usual methods, keeping their outfits really simple. 

The male zombie was put in green overalls as a nod to Shawn Greene (brother of Maggie) who appears in the Telltale game (spoiler doesn't go well for him).

The old lady is possibly meant to be Herschel's wife, one of the key occupants of 'the barn'. I gave her the sort of random collection of night clothes that an old lady who'd taken to her bed with an infection might wear.

Next week I might jump to yet another game system for my zombie fix, but for now,  that's four more on the painted pile. Things are looking good...

Acquired: 178
Painted: 170

Saturday 12 October 2019

Zombtober: A Heavy Week

It's been a bit of a long week at work, so I've not got a lot of painting done, but I have managed to meet my Zomtober commitments with this chap...

In my quest to add a bit more variety to my zombie horde, my 'Tank' from last week is now joined by the somewhat politically incorrect 'Bloater', a large zombie that explodes when killed, spraying infected guts everywhere.

The miniature isn't actually a zombie, but a henchman-type from Pulp Figures, but I've felt since I got him as a Secret Santa gift that there's something about the shape of the model that doesn't seem right. However, he's fine as a bloated and distended corpse.

I've held back on the blood as there aren't a lot of places that seemed appropriate for it. I have used some on his arms to disguise a couple of mould lines that I failed to remove properly.

Only one model painted, and two more Quest Minis for my He-Man project arrived in the post, so not a lot of movement in either direction.

Acquired: 178
Painted: 166

Saturday 5 October 2019

Zomtober: A Strong Start

It's that time of year again, when myself and several other gaming bloggers cease shambling alone through our hobby wasteland and cluster together to create a frothing horde of necrotic flesh.

Yes, it's Zomtober!

My first entry is a repurposed Reaper Bones Clay Golem. He was really simple to do, as he's almost naked and so pretty just needed my zombie skin recipe over the whole model.

For reference, this is a base coat of Kislev Flesh, wash with Biel-Tan Green, drybrush with Ushabti Bone and wash again with Agrax Earthshade. I then finish off the eyes (Ushabti Bone again) and liberally slop red paint and Blood For The Blood God about.


I suppose that I probably should have more blood on him given the state of his hands and mouth, but realism is never my biggest concern when it comes to zombies.

The only other painting that was needed was his loincloth, which, when painted blue have amusingly ended up looking like a pair of Daisy Dukes. In my head this is because this chap was bitten whilst at the gym or on Muscle Beach.

Aficionados of the blog will be aware that I have two zombie hordes, one for Mantic's Walking Dead game, the other for general use. The big guy is for the latter as the 7TV: Apocalypse box added more variety to a potential zombie movie cast, and so one of the things I want to do this month is add models to reflect this greater diversity.

If you are a blogger and want to take part in Zomtober, the rules are simple.
  1. Paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like,
  2. Post pictures of your work posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday (that means if you want to join in this week you've got a day),
  3. It's also helpful to post a link to your blog in the comments of this post on Brummie's Wargaming Blog, as I think Simon is coordinating things this year,
  4. There are no prizes, just sharing motivation with like minded gamers trying to spread the zombie gaming  virus.
Blogs currently taking part are:

Brummie's Wargaming Blog link 
Four Colour Super Minis link
 Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer link
 Saturday Mornings link
 Doctor Merkury's Lab link
 Fantorical link
 The Lost and the Damned link
Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers link
 Miniature Mayhem link
 Azazel's Bits Box link
 Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera link
The Wargames Addict link

So that's it for now, apart from the fact that 'Tiny' adds another one to my painted pile.

Acquired: 176
Painted: 165

Wednesday 2 October 2019

The game that came in from the cold

One of the interesting features of the Kitbash Miniatures Kickstarter that I backed recently was that each of the miniatures will come with profile cards for Super Mission Force and Pulp City.

Although I have plans for the miniatures I've bought, it occurred to me that I'd accidentally acquired a decent sized Pulp City team from the Shadow Axis faction. This prompted me to remember that I'd accidentally acquired miniatures from another faction, the Red Republik.

When I say 'accidentally,' I actually mean that I'd bought each of them to use in another project. As it happens, I'd not actually followed up on adding any of them to each project, and they'd say unloved on my shelf for some time.

Pulp City is also a game that had been put 'on the shelf'. Despite being a game with fantastic miniatures and, from what I'd seen, interesting gameplay, lack of opponents and customisation had made me look elsewhere for supers gaming.

However, as I said, realising I was not only about to acquire a full team, but also already had the best part of a team in my possession promoted me to finally start painting with the aim of at least  being able to put on a demo game.

Chernobog was obviously bought to serve as Thor in my Marvel project. Despite already having the Knight Models Thor, I'd figured that this model would scale with my 28mm project better.

The trouble was that motivating yourself to repaint the same character a second time when you don't have to (Thor should be fairly big), and so Chernobog has had to wait until motivation arrived.

As you can see, I've still painted him to look like Thor because...well...I still have the 28mm Marvel project and he does scale better. It was also simple to do and allow me to use him as his heroic version 'Perun' should I choose to.

S.P.U.T.N.I.K. was another model bought for my Marvel project, but less obviously so. My intention was to use him as a proxy M.O.D.O.K. but I decided that there was too much conversion work to do and I didn't fancy painting loads of A.I.M. goons (so much yellow!).

The model itself is my favourite of the three and the face is really characterful. There is lots of detail to play with which worked well with my over use of washes.

The only fly in the ointment was that I'd foolishly assembled the whole model, which made getting the paintbrush to certain points awkward. If any of my loyal readers are considering getting this model, I'd highly recommend not attaching him to the chair until he's done.

Siberian was bought to use as Tiger Claw, a villain from the 2012 animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, a combination of 7TV not having a profile for Tiger Claw, and the need to give him an eye patch, jet pack, guns and cut off his tail made me not bother.

To say that the tiger stripes intimidated me would be putting it mildly and I had to strip the model twice after two abortive attempts (one had a horribly bright orange, the other was aiming at a white tiger which just looked unpainted). However, I watched a couple of videos, studied pictures of tigers and I'm really happy with how he's come out.

The Red Republik are meant to be themed as a Cold War Soviet force and I've tried to tie the team together with red items on each model and the snowy bases.

I'm going to give the game a try solo, using the Avengers I finished last week as the Supreme Alliance faction (to which they bear an uncanny resemblance) before I try luring others in.

In terms of my painting progress, not only have I painted these three, but I also spent some time with my terrain haul, removing trees from bases, fixing trunks and trimming errant branches. The cork bases have also been broken up to uses as basing material, such as can be seen on S.P.U.T.N.I.K. As I counted the woods as four models acquired, I'm counting them as four models completed.

Acquired: 176
Painted: 164