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...


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


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


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

Saturday 20 June 2020

Kitbashing Nostalgia

I've been back at work this week (which is weird) and this has had an impact on the time and motivation I've had for painting. 

However, I've still managed to paint up Plasmatron from the Kitbash Miniatures Kickstarter.

Those that are both observant and middle aged might recognise that I've painted Plasmatron to resemble Microwave, a character from the classic PC superhero RPG, Freedom Force, for my slowest burning nostalgia project.

The model is another cool sculpt, and I'm annoyed that I rushed cleaning up the few bits of flash and mould lines under the legs and right arm.

In terms of painting, it was a very quick job. I'm especially happy with developing a new approach to orange which focuses on highlighting up rather than my usual washing down.

I also tried to give the visor a more comic book look, but it didn't really work, so I washed over it and then drybrushed a pale blue. I'm happy I tried to be more ambitious, but also happy with the final result.

I may have had limited time for painting, but I've been more than able to buy a few more miniatures. I bought a small lot from Ebay and managed to grab an extra miniature from Kitbash for a total of 6.

Acquired: 211
Painted: 196

Saturday 13 June 2020

A Rough Neck Of The Woods

As I mentioned in my previous post, my Supers Unlimited Kickstarter from Kitbash Games has arrived and so I've started to work my way through it with one of the free stretch goal minis, Roughneck.

I've painted him pretty much as presented on the card, as it's a colour scheme that won't be out of place in other supers games or post-apocalyptic settings.

The model is nicely sculpted, but if I have a gripe it's that the baseball bat feels a little small. However, that may just be due to the oversized nature of weapons on many miniatures.

Roughneck joins my small band of heroes of Empire City (the Kitbash Games setting). He joins Doc Cosmos that I was given well before the Kickstarter campaign was conceived, and Tox, who has had a rebase after his time in the Evil Horde so that he abides by his profile card - Kitbash has provided each model with profile cards for use with Super Mission Force and Pulp City.

With that in mind, I decided to finally give Pulp City a try and have a bit of a throw down with my daughter between the heroes and a villain team consisting on my only Kitbash villain so far, Alpha Male, and two of my Red Republik characters from Pulp City, Siberian and Chernobog (yes, he looks like Thor).

In the ruined quarter of old Empire City, the cosmic crusader, Doc Cosmos, has teamed up with two of the Outcasts, Tox and Roughneck, to track down Alpha Male, henchman of the Shadow Axis. Word on the street is that he's meeting some contacts from a villainous organisation from outside Empire City. Doc Cosmos hopes to prevent these nefarious types joining forces and so our heroes enter the abandoned part of town, unaware that they are walking into a trap...

We got a few things wrong, but it was a fun game that was really easy to get to grips with once we'd decided the powers descriptors. With a game being only four rounds, it doesn't take long to play either.

I'm looking forward to getting more of my pledge painted to try out different characters and maybe pit my new team, Shadow Axis, against the Red Republik as their alliance falls apart.

Acquired: 205
Painted: 195

Thatched Barns Where Brigands Drink In The Reek

Sorry for the hiatus, apparently the real world wants to get started again so I've had to dial back on the amount of time I spend painting.

However, I have found the time to do these...

These are additions to my Burning of the Westfold scenario, which requires a grand total of seven buildings, although it doesn't specify that they all have to be fancy-shmancy, fairly pricey, Games Workshop models (although that is clearly the implication).

Therefore, I have gone with Renedra's cheap and cheerful thatched outbuildings, and for good measure I bought a pack of their fences whilst I was at it.

The outbuildings are really simple pieces and at £8 for two, kind to the pocket. Annoyingly, when built there is a gap between the roof and the walls at the highest point, and this needed filling. If I did more of these I'd address the issue before assembly.

In terms of painting, I've kept it really simple with a series of drybrushes, as these are never going to be a centrepiece and I just wanted to get them done. The last drybrush on the wood was a pale grey to get them to fit that aged ash look of the Rohan buildings in the films.

I may get round to basing them so that I can add some extra details to make them a bit more interesting - I'm imagining one as a wood store with a chopping block outside.

They are fairly versatile little buildings and I can seen them getting used for all kinds of fantasy setting, and historically the Dark Ages (maybe earlier?) right through to WW2, where they will be at home on the Eastern Front.

Speaking of versatility, these fences will get a ton of use.

There were eight sections on the sprues which I've put together as four lengths based on tongue depressers. I needed to trim them to fit and I also needed to mask the join as there aren't enough support posts to put an extra one per base.

I've painted them in the same way as the outbuildings.

All in all, the whole lot are simple, but I like them, and I'm sure theyll see a lot of table time.

I'm going to count them as 6 models for both acquisition and painting purposes. I've also recieved my Kitbash Games Kickstarter pledge, and as these came from my friend Leon, who runs Kitbash, it included a few other miniatures I'd ordered from him, plus a couple of freebies he'd thrown in. All in all, this amounts to another 15 models.

Acquired: 205
Painted: 194