Sunday 28 February 2021


I recently commented on my extremely slow moving Freedom Force project. Well, in the wake of that post, I was struck by some inspiration about adding to that project with a couple of models that I'd not really known what to do with.

Thus, I present Pinstripe and his gang.

Pinstripe and the Gangster in the white hat are from Crooked Dice and I bought them with several other Pulp villains as part of a Kickstarter campaign. I had intended to make a Pulp cast of generic gangsters, but I had no real inspiration about starting them. 

However, it struck me that with the addition of a gun, the Hulking Henchman could pass for Pinstripe from Freedom Force, and the Kingpin of Crime was pretty much a dread ringer for his Gangster henchmen.

Pinstripe is, appropriately, a fairly chunky miniature. He's not a perfect imitation of the character and there are several inaccuracies: he's not wearing a shirt, tie and waistcoat; his gun is not a Tommy Gun, it's a Soviet PPSh-41 (probably procured from Nuclear Winter); and the colour of the sweater isn't magenta enough (I may change it as the colour balance on the model seems 'off').

However, what I am pleased with is my first ever attempt at pinstripes. Although daunting, these weren't really optional with a character called 'Pinstripe'.

However, YouTube came to the rescue and I came across a tutorial which suggested painting them without worrying about them being perfect, then correcting them with the base colour. I left shading and highlighting afterwards, ignoring the pinstripes themselves.

If I'm being picky, the pinstripes on one of the legs and the arms are wider than on the rest of the model (I actually think they're better as I got more confident as I went on). However, given how wary I was of doing this, I'm delighted with the end result.

I'm absolutely over the moon with the Gangster. Although I chickened out of giving him pinstripes as well, and opted for a drybrushed pale grey for the suit.

I really like the colours from the character in the game. I think the white accents and yellow waistcoat really help the model to pop. If I'd painted this as a generic gangster, I almost certainly would have gone for something duller, and I'm glad I haven't.

Now that he's painted, he will almost certainly pull double duty as a Kingpin of Crime in games of 7TV: Pulp.

The two henchmen are actually just a fortunate coincidence. They are Heroclix miniatures I painted a long time ago to use with my BMG miniatures, before my collection got out of hand.

Their proportions don't really fit with the KM Batman miniatures, but they are almost exact imitations of the Hitman henchmen from the Freedom Force game.

I've rebased them on resin bases to match the rest of my Freedom Force miniatures and I now have enough to actually play a game, setting Mentor and Microwave against Pinstripe and his goons as they do a shady deal with Nuclear Winter.

I'm not counting painting the bases as miniatures, even though they actually took more effort than the Weeping Angels from my last post. I need to maintain some integrity in my tally.

Acquired: 34
Painted: 39

Friday 26 February 2021

Angel Delight

In a somewhat angelic post, I've been adding to my Doctor Who and Marvel projects with some Weeping Angels and, well, Angel...from the X-Men.

Angel is, curiously, one of my favourite X-Men, despite never really reading the comics he was in and the movie and cartoon versions of the character being somewhat lacklustre.

I think it comes from owning only two sections of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, 'Abomination to Circus of Crime' and 'Galactus to Kang'. Angel was the first big hero entry in the book, and so I probably read his entry more than others.

This lack of completeness in my collection of Handbooks might explain why I only get some of the obscure references in the MCU (like the original Guardians of the Galaxy) and not others (obviously, I can't give an example here, but think of something beginning with R or Q).

The miniature is from Reaper and came in two parts. I painted the wings and did the red on the body before attaching the two parts. This was a wise move as I'm really pleased with the wings and would have been incredibly annoyed if I'd got red on them.

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with the quality of the cast, as there looked to be some mould slipping on the back of the legs and the left side of the face is a bit deformed. Fortunately, the pose of the model disguises most of the problem.

The pose is actually an interesting one, aiming for the idea of the character lifting off with a massive beat of the wings, rather than the more typical spread-wing flying pose you see.

I don't know if it's the angle I've posed him at, or the miniature itself, but it's not quite right. I think the head possibly needed to be looking upwards more.

However, the amount of white I was dealing with did concern me, but after my recent escapades with Kingpin and Emma Frost, I think I've learned how to tackle this sort of issue to a reasonable standard.

Also from Reaper, this time the Bones range, are these two Weeping Angels. These horrors are probably the best addition to the bad guy canon from all the 'New Who' series, and the episode 'Blink' is brilliant.

I've not done anything clever with them, just a drybrush of light grey over dark grey. Simple but effective. The Weeping Angels don't have any defining feature like glowing red eyes.

I hadn't planned to buy these, but I was placing a Reaper order and they were cheap. I'm normally not a massive fan of the Bones range for smaller miniatures. However, given that these are meant to look like worn stone, the relatively soft detail isn't a massive problem. I shall probably get more at some point.

These three are unlikely to see the table in the same games, but it seemed fitting to paint them at the same time.

Acquired: 34
Painted: 37

Thursday 25 February 2021

Spider-Man's Amazingly Derivative Friends

As I continue to plough through my range of comics (and movie) inaccurate for Earth: 21476, I come to Black Cat (who is definitely not Catwoman) and Firestar (who is definitely not Starfire).

To be fair to Marvel, they actually acknowledge that Firestar was created for the 'Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends' cartoon in the 80s as a direct analog for the Human Torch (who in a shocking twist for Marvel, was caught in a rights issue). However, I cannot, for one second, imagine that she wasn't named in relation to DC's Starfire.

The model is from Reaper Miniatures and also has more than a nod towards Starfire itself, with the flaming hair which is something Firestar doesn't actually have.

She's mainly painted with Cassandora Yellow wash over white, which comes put a touch patchy, but is more effective than my other methods of painting large sections of bright yellow. Apparently, the yellow contrast paint is really good, but I don't own it.

The face is a bit oddly shaped (a bit like a Gelfling from the Dark Crystal). Sadly there was also a bit of a mould line across it which fortunately the mask obscures.

With the base, I've tried to mix in some dead grass radiating out from the flames. Not actually burned as Firestar's 'flames' are apparently 'microwaves'. I've never microwaved grass, so this is my approximation of it.

Amusingly, I've read a couple of articles that try to argue that Black Cat is in no way a copy of Catwoman, despite being a cat-themed burglar with an on-off flirtatious relationship with an urban hero. 

They claimed that Catwoman's comics costume in 1976 (when Black Cat was created) wasn't a black catsuit and that the Lee Meriwether/Ertha Kitt/Julie Newmar TV version (which did wear the catsuit) was 10 years earlier and so Marvel artists couldn't possibly have been influenced by that.


The miniature is also from Reaper and was done rather simply. The costume isn't exact (as you'd expect). It clearly draws from both Black Cat and Catwoman, but refrains from the outright sexualisation (despite having comic book proportions) the two characters endure in its pose, which is something I like.

These did come in a delivery of several miniatures from different sources that you should be seeing soon, so the numbers have taken a bit of a hit.

Acquired: 34
Painted: 34

Saturday 20 February 2021

The Hammer Falls

Continuing our Border Princes WFRP campaign, the companions (Wolfgang the Camp Follower, Rudiger the Zealot, Garil the Dwarf Jailer and Heinz the disgraced Noble) have been tasked by their new prince, Dieter von Masserschloss, with recapturing a ruined castle taken by the forces of his enemy, known only as Dhouda.

With only the small company of barely-trained spearman the group had mustered from Imperial refugees (along with their families in toe) a way must be found to drive the enemy from the castle to prove their worth to Dieter and reclaim it as a new home for the soldiers and their families.

The cold water splashed around Heinz Castel's ankles as he, Wolfgang Braun and Rudiger Reich dug earth, moved rocks and placed fallen branches at the direction of Garil Ragnarsson, in an attempt to dam the small stream.

He wasn't happy.

Heinz didn't view himself as well suited to manual labour. His feet were cold, his arms were sore and his hands were muddy. What was more, his idea of creating a distraction by sending a burning raft down the stream towards the ruined castle had been ignored, even ridiculed. Heinz was normally easy going and calm, but an unusual anger was festering in the pit of his stomach.

Instead of creating a diversion, the others had decided to follow Rudiger's plan of damming the stream to draw some of the inhabitants of the ruin to investigate the cause, and then capture and interrogate them about the defences before attacking.

Heinz knew it was a better plan than his. That's why he was angry.

"That should do it," called the Dwarven stonemason. Heinz had thought he'd been a jailer, but apparently all Dwarfs were trained in at least one craft or trade in their youth. Heinz wondered if the mathematical lessons his father had insisted he sit through with his tutor would ever be useful in this godsforsaken backwater they had found themselves in.

"It's not totally watertight," continued Garil, "but it should be enough to get their attention." The Dwarf looked wryly on their construction. He was glad none of his kin were around to pass judgement on the shoddy workmanship, but it was all they could manage without tools or a skilled workforce. It would serve.

"Now all we need to do is wait," said Rudiger grimly as he walked over to where the murderous looking flail he wielded with such deadly skill was propped against a tree.

"And hide too?" put in Wolfgang, "It's no good if they see us and leg it back to warn others."

Garil nodded sagely, "Aye, true. We need them to get close and all strike on the same signal."

"I'll wait nearer the castle," said Heinz curtly, and stomped off, swinging his crossbow onto his back.

Wolfgang stared after him, "what's troubling him?"


Heinz must have been the first to see them approach, but from his vantage point in a nearby tree, it was only moments later that Wolfgang saw the two cloaked and hooded figures moving through the trees along the line of the stream that had been reduced to a trickle.

They didn't seem too alarmed as neither of the men had drawn their blades, and both had bows across their backs. They were walking without speaking as they passed beneath Wolfgang, but didn't seem to be looking around them, and were instead intent on the stream.

When they got into view of the dam, Wolfgang saw them quicken their pace and run. In mere moments they would be between the points on either side of the stream where Rudiger and Garil had hidden themselves.

Wolfgang was supposed to give the signal at the right moment. Too early, and there would be too much space between the ambushers that their quarry might escape through. Too late, and the men would clearly see where the clumsy Dwarf had squatted down behind a rock thinking he was hidden.

He was just about to call when the silence was broken by a twanging sound, followed by a whistle and a thud as one of the two men was pitched forward with a crossbow bolt embedded in his skull.

Heinz hadn't waited.

Wolfgang scrambled out of the tree, desperate to reach the second man before he could turn tail and run.

However, he needn't have worried. Rudiger came barreling from the man's left, and before the hooded figure could get his blade free from his scabbard, had swung his flail low, taking the man's legs from him, dumping him on the ground.

Before he could clamber to his feet, a solid lump of Dwarf dropped onto his chest, pinning the thrashing man in place.

"Calm down lad, we just want to talk."


"That was a damn fine shot, don't you think?" said Heinz as he sauntered up, his frustrations now swallowed by his self-satisfaction.

"Yes," said Wolfgang as they trudged towards where Rudiger and Garil were wrestling with the man on the ground, "if you ignore the fact we wanted them alive."

"What's the problem? We've got one of them."

"Aye, and if you two would stop yer yapping and help us, we might be able to question him," snapped Garil from on top if the man, "I can't even tell what he's saying."

Wolfgang, remembering the voices he'd heard the night before, spoke firmly in the heavily accented Bretonnian he'd learned as a boy, "stop struggling or you'll end up like your friend."

At the sound of Wolfgang's words, the man's struggles lessened, "get this thing off me!"

"Only when you've calmed down," replied Wolfgang.

"Okay, okay."

The man stopped moving. Garil clambered off him and he came up on to his knees. Rudiger stood menacingly behind the man, whose hood had fallen to reveal a weathered face, with a broad nose that had been broken at least once. Heinz slowly and carefully reloaded his crossbow in full view of the man before pointing it at his frightened face.

"Tell us what we want to know, and you might get out of this alive," said Wolfgang.

"You won't kill me?"

"I won't kill you."

The man looked around at the others for some sort of reassurance, but saw only grim, impassive faces. He nodded.


The interrogation turned out to be easier than Wolfgang had imagined. He'd feared having to witness some of the things Garil had said he'd learned in the jails of Delberz to get the man to crack. The Bretonnian seemed to have little loyalty to his comrades and openly told of there being only a dozen of them in the ruin, not enough to hold the broken walls against determined assault.

They were a scouting party from Dhouda's forces, and their orders were to lay low during the coming campaign and be a staging post for future raids and incursions into Dieter's lands.

After Wolfgang relayed what had been said to his companions, Garil asked, "do you believe him?"

"I don't think he's got a good reason to lie," replied Wolfgang, "what he said seems likely and matches what we've seen so far, and he knows we'll kill him if we find out he's lying. I think he's a mercenary who just wants to live."

"That's a shame," said Rudiger.

"What do you mean?" asked Wolfgang.

"We don't have men spare to guard him, and we have orders from Dieter."

Wolfgang's face fell as he looked to the emotionless faces of his comrades. The Bretonnian clearly understood some of the exchange and asked in a worried tone, "now I've told you, you'll let me go, yes?"

Wolfgang looked sadly at him, "no, I'm sorry."

Horror sprang into the man's eyes, "but you said..."

Wolfgang turned away as Rudiger raised his flail.

"I only said I wouldn't kill you."


Rudiger was poised, ready to strike. His faithful flock of Sigmarite warriors were crouched in the undergrowth behind him along with Garil and Wolfgang. They would attack over the rubble of the ruined north tower and drive the defenders before them.

Heinz had taken a handful of men in a flanking attack through the other ruined tower to the southeast. Their job was to hit any determined resistance from behind.

Rudiger knew he would have to strike hard and fast. The small company of men they had briefly trained would waver if they met determined resistance. If the captive was to be believed, there weren't many in the castle, but they would be experienced. Rudiger trusted that the element of surprise and the armour of faith would be enough to win the day.

For himself, he felt more protected than usual. Not only had he Wolfgang and Heinz stripped the corpses of their prisoners of their armour, but Rudiger could feel Sigmar's hand on his shoulder. Victory today would win this place for his followers. Giving them a home and him a place of strength to build his vision from.

His new Empire.

Rudiger stood and raised his voice to the heavens, "now is the time, my brothers! Now is the hour when you cease your flight from danger. Now is the time when you put aside your fear. Now is the moment when you show your true worth. Let us take this place for your families, for your future, for Sigmar!"

A cry rose around him as the spear armed men stood and began to move quickly towards the rubble, "FOR SIGMAR!"


Heinz heard the shout and smiled. He knew he could count on the zealot to make enough of a fuss to draw all attention away from where he and his picked team of men began stealthily moving towards their target.


Rudiger had barely reached the first of the rocks from the tower when arrows whipped out from the darkness of the tower towards them. From the sounds behind them he knew that some of them had found their mark and sent men tumbling to the ground.

Rudiger did not look back. It was not that he did not care for the faithful; quite the opposite. To look back would be to slow down and show doubt. Both would be deadly to the rag tag force behind him. No, he must lead, and charge into the breach as a shining example to those that followed.


Garil saw two men fall in front of him. One of them was hit in the leg, and was simply wounded. The other, though, took an arrow to the chest, fell and did not move again.

The Dwarf remembered talking to the man during the march. His name was Stefan. He was a cobbler from Ostland and had travelled so far to die in this place. He had a wife.


Rudiger clambered as fast as he could up the rubble. He saw hooded figures quickly disappear from view as the arrows stopped coming.

Good. Let them flee. It would inspire the men to see their cowardly foes retreat. However, he knew that they must strike before the enemy could form an organised defence. Even a handful of bowmen could cause havoc amongst unarmoured spearmen if given the chance.

Rudiger increased his pace as he scrambled upwards.


Wolfgang urged the men on. He remembered the first time he had gone into battle in the north. It was nothing like this. The enemy had been a seething mass of mutated filth, determined to rip the men of the Empire limb from limb. Fear had driven him on; the knowledge that only victory would keep him alive.

This fight was different. The unseen enemy were not as terrifying, and just men. But to these simple folk that had fled from the abominations of the Storm, the prospect of charging and fighting for their lives would still hold dread.

It was different, but Wolfgang knew what the men must be feeling. He urged them on nonetheless.


As he clambered down the other side of the rubble, into the ruin of the tower, Rudiger heard a great number of shrill cries go up as a murder of crows were disturbed from their roost and took to the air.

The enemy were also clambering, but upwards, over the smaller pile of rubble on the other side of the tower. Just four of them. That had been why the arrow fire had been so desultory.

Rudiger wondered momentarily where the others were. They had been told to expect a dozen. Were they about to be ambushed? Were they charging into a trap?

It didn't matter now. They had no option but to continue onwards.


Heinz pressed on.

The tower they had made for was more intact that that which Rudiger's force had assaulted. There was less rubble to navigate, but the far side of the tower was still standing, and Heinz guessed that they would have to still get through a door to reach the courtyard. Even a couple of men would be able to hold such an obstacle, and Heinz prayed that his small group had not yet been noticed.


From the shadows of the ruined tower, Rudiger and the leading men reached the top of the second mound of broken stonework and looked down into the courtyard.

Blinking in the light, Rudiger understood why there had been so little resistance. In the centre of the courtyard a troop of horses had been gathered and were being hastily saddled and packed.

They were getting ready to flee.

Of course. Rudiger had assumed that their enemy would stand and fight, but this was a scouting party, with orders to lay low. They knew they couldn't hold the place against determined assault, and they had no idea that their attackers were little more than beggars dressed in sacks. Heinz's 'uniforms' had worked.

Rudiger now took in the full picture. They were going to ride out of the flooded gate. Even if Heinz appeared from the opposite tower as planned, they would be too few to stop them and the horsemen would ride free.

What was more, his own assault was slowing down on the rocks, and below them a handful of the enemy were now stood in line, with bows bent, pointing up towards them.


Garil looked up towards where Rudiger had reached the top of the fallen masonry and briefly paused, silhouetted against the sky.

He was certainly a brave, if not foolhardy, man. Garil did not know what exaclty had happened to the Middenlander, but at times he reminded the Dwarf of his own kin that had taken the oath if the Trollslayer. A path that had called to the wronged Dwarf more than once.


Wolfgang also looked towards Rudiger, but wondered what the hell he was doing. He was making an excellent target to be shot at, posing like a fool at the top of the rubble.

As if in answer to the Nordlander's concerns, a volley of arrows whipped past Rudiger, narrowly missing him. Wolfgang did not know whether his friend's life was charmed in some way, but in the time he had known him, Wolfgang had seen Rudiger recklessly charge into danger many times and emerge unscathed.

One of the men stood alongside the preacher was less fortunate. An arrow caught the man in the shoulder and pitched him backwards. He fell head first onto the rocks, and made a sickening noise as his skull connected with a jagged stone. The man lay still, blood oozing from beneath him.


Still no sign of opposition.

Heinz could hear the noises of battle ahead as he made his way quickly across the floor of the ruined tower. As he had guessed, a door lay ahead, but there was no sign of any guards, save for an ancient skeleton slumped against a wall, a rusted scimitar in its grip.

He reached the door, gently pushed it open and peered out.


The volley of arrows shook Rudiger out of his reverie and he began the descent towards the enemy.

The bowmen did not stay to fire a second volley and ran towards where their horses were being held for them. They mounted up and then the whole group spurred towards the gate.

Rudiger saw the door of the tower opposite open and Heinz appear. He was too late to block the escape of the horsemen, but Rudiger smiled to see the nobleman rush after the riders, slashing wildly at the rear most with his heavy mace, as they passed out of the gate.

Rudiger was overwhelmed. They had taken a castle with little more than a rabble of refugees in an almost bloodless victory. Truly, Sigmar was with them.


Garil moved cautiously up the stairs of the keep.

After the horsemen had fled, it had been quickly decided that they needed to check the place was truly deserted. Rudiger had led the search of the remaining towers and outbuildings, whilst Wolfgang had taken some men to tend to the dead and injured.

Heinz had hurriedly led his party back for the women, children and sick just over the hill to bring them to the safety of the castle. There had been an immediate fear that the horsemen might discover them and do some mischief, and so Heinz had gone with all haste.

That left the job of searching the keep to Garil and a handful of men.

Upon entering the ground floor of the large hexagonal building, it had struck Garil as odd that the great hall of the ground floor showed no signs of occupation. It was untidy and wrecked, of course, but the structure of the building was sound, and it seemed the natural place for a party of men to camp.

As they had moved up to the next level, which only extended across half of the hall below, Garil had discovered two equally unoccupied bedrooms. Motheaten tapestries hung on the walls, and the rooms smelled musty, but again it struck Garil as strange that whilst occupying the castle, nobody had thought to sleep somewhere warm and dry.

Perhaps they had always intended to flee if attacked and so had wanted to be close to their horses? Without provisions, a prolonged siege could turn a castle into a tomb. Yes, that made some sense. It's not what Dwarfs would do, but men might think like that.

Garil and his men pressed onwards and upwards to the top of the keep. Their way lit dimly by arrow slits in the walls. The top floor was divided into several rooms around a central hub. These rooms, again untouched by any recent activity, appeared to have been abandoned in a hurry. Cupboards thrown open, items of clothing left on the floor. As if the original inhabitants of the castle had needed to flee quickly.

The only room that seemed totally undisturbed was what appeared to be a library in the southwestern corner of the building. Rows of shelves held books upon books. Garil could guess why these had been left untouched. Like himself, most men lacked the skill to read, and books would not be what most people of any race would reach for in an emergency.

Garil knew Heinz could read, all nobles could, and he presumed that Rudiger might also know how. He doubted it was an ability possessed by the farrier, Wolfgang. Perhaps there would be something here to in interest his companions.

What interested Garil, however, was in the southwestern corner of the room. Positioned by one of the arrow slits was what Garil recognised as a spy-glass. A device for looking long distances. Unusually, this one was fixed in position, so that it could not be moved and would look only at a single spot in the distance.

Garil wondered what could require such scrutiny as he put his eye to the end of the spy-glass and peered through.

He was surprised to see that beyond the hill the castle was on, not only were there no more hills, but also the lush green vegetation ceased and an expanse of dead, flat earth opened up to the west. Garil presumed that this must be the area Markus had referred to as the 'Barrens.'

In the centre of the fixed view that the spy-glass gave of this desolate landscape was what appeared to be a single tower, pointing up at the sky like an accusatory finger. Unusually, this tower was not grey, as one might expect of a construction made of stone, but instead it was pale. White. Bone-white.

For the good of all!

Whilst I'm on a bit of a superhero kick, I've returned to my slowest of slow-burning projects: the Freedom Force.

Mentor is the alien who brings canisters of 'Energy-X' to Patriot City whilst fleeing the Dominion and accidentally creates the heroes and villains of the game.

Mentor is also the co-founder of Freedom Force, acting as a... ahem... mentor to Minuteman. He also possesses a range of mental powers with which he battles evil.

The model is from Crossover Miniatures, and I've had it years. It was only pointed out that it would work as Mentor when I posted my first Freedom Force miniature, Microwave (as seen below), on a Facebook group, as another chap had already had the same idea.

In retrospect, the green is too dark and at least needs highlighting some more. Perhaps with yellow.

I had to freehand the silver stripes, head wires and weird logo on his chest. I'm never very confident with freehanding, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

There are no more members of Freedom Force in the painting queue, although I may have a plan for Minuteman and El Diablo. However, if you have any suggestions as to where I can find suitable proxies, please pop them in the comments below.

Acquired: 28
Painted: 32

Thursday 18 February 2021

Big Bad Guys?

I've decided to refer to my Marvel project as Earth 21476; my own branch of the multiverse where I can pick an choose what characters, costumes and story elements I want. An environment where I can never be wrong and where I can revisit classic stories with my own twist.

As such, I need some nefarious threats to my ever-growing legion of superheroes.

Introducing Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, and Emma Frost, the White Queen. Both of these two have been sat in my unpainted pile for quite some time as they were each, in their own way, problematic.

They also both needed me to get a handle on painting white, which I think I have. I actually learned quite a bit about painting white with these two, including using thin outline of Nuln Oil to heighten contrast.

The Kingpin is from Hasslefree Miniatures. I really like the sculpts from Hasslefree but they have a tendency to be on the small side. Usually this can be explained away as 'people aren't all the same size'. However, Kingpin is supposed to be much bigger than other characters and it was this that prompted the enormous tactical rock.

Despite the fact that the sculpt is based on Vincent D'Onofrio's excellent take on the character from the Netflix Daredevil series, I've go with the more recognisable comic book colours for him to further reinforce that this is Kingpin and not just a bald bloke in a suit.

Emma Frost is an amalgamation of several different models. The body is a Crooked Dice Femdroid, the cape is from a Hydra Miniatures Valkeeri and the head (which has the side effect of making it look like she's being played by Joan Rivers) is from Crossover.

I hadn't got round to her for so long, despite buying the Femdroid for this purpose as I didn't have the right head and I didn't fancy sculpting a cape. It was only this week that I realised I had the right bits lying around. The cape looks a little stuck on at the back, but Emma Frost's wildly inappropriate costumes generally defy gravity, and so I'm not to worried about it - it's probably held on by see-through straps and boob tape.

Both characters will need some help before unleashing their villainous plots. I have a few models amonst my zombie survivors which can be repurposed as henchmen for Kingpin, and he is always willing to hire help.

In recent times, Emma Frost is actually one of the X-Men, but if I want to use her as a villain, she can be joined by Jason Wyngarde (Mastermind) as a nascent inner circle of the Hellfire Club.

I've also done as Deadpool asked and repainted the yellow shoulders on my Wolverine (this doesn't count as painting a model). He now looks more like the leather-clad movie version. I'll save taking photos until I've solved the claws issue.

Acquired: 28
Painted: 31

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Minimum Effort

You may have noticed that I have a bit of an attention span issue when it comes to completing projects. The slightest thing can trigger a change of focus, or a return to a previously mothballed project.

Watching the latest MCU offering, Wandavision (which is excellent on a variety of levels) has done just this and my low-rent Marvel project has once again come out to play.

This project began long before even Knight Models (let alone Marvel Crisis Protocol) were producing miniatures and involves me hunting out proxies which work for Marvel characters.

I'm aware that they're often not quite right for characters, but for me there's a charm to that and inaccuracies are easily hand-waved away with the word 'multiverse'.

This collection has also saved me from getting into games like MCP, which although pretty, would likely consume my entire gaming budget.

Storm is from Crossover Miniatures, and is a very simple model (there is a short cape hidden behind her back) that I've not done anything particularly notable with, although I am quite pleased with the hair and eyes.

Crossover Miniatures all come with three head options, which does allow for some variation and, with a bit of imagination and inspection of the range, allows you create decent imitations of quite a few familiar characters.

As a side note, Angry Piper of Dead Dick's Tavern (see the side bar) put me onto a thing called Fem-buary. Basically committing to paint at least one female miniature in February - I think it's about recognising the representation imbalance in miniature gaming. Storm is my Fem-buary contribution.

Deadpool is from Hasselfree Miniatures with a spare Crossover head added. 

"My mask isn't right."

I know the mask is not quite right, as the design on it is more Spider-Man than Deadpool. It's close enough.

"Meh! At least it's better than the trainwreck you did for Wolverine. He's not even got f***ing claws! Wolverine without claws is like The Golden Girls without Bea Arthur; it's The Golden Palace, just f***ing wrong. Wolverine is all about the claws, even that clusterf*** Origins movie got that right."

Okay. I'll try to give him some claws.

"Oooh...fix those pineapple on a pizza yellow shoulder pads while you're at it."

Will do.

Hasslefree have a few not-Marvel characters hidden in their range if you look closely - Jessica Jones, Scarlet Witch, Punisher, Kingpin and several Black Widows can all be spotted, and I'm sure there are other conversions possible.

I'm going to mix painting a few more superheroes in with my Daemons, just for a bit of variety. I'm also, once again, working on my own rules set, which I might write about fairly soon.

Acquired: 28
Painted: 29

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Riding High

Work on the Daemons of Tzeentch continues with my first HQ unit: a Herald of Tzeentch riding a Disc of Tzeentch, or 'Fluxmaster'.

This model comes from the Burning Chariot plastic kit, one of the four kits included in the Start Collecting: Daemons of Tzeentch box. 

The chariot kit is really versatile, allowing you to build a Burning Chariot (an Exalted Flamer on a Chariot), a Fateskimmer (a Herald on a Chariot), or break up the component pieces to potentially create up to six other models.

I opted to go for the latter option, making the Fluxmaster and using the Exalted Flamer, 2 Screamers and 3 Blue Horrors in other units.

When it came to painting, he/she/it was done in almost the same way as the Pink Horrors, except that instead of drybrushing Emperor's Children over Flesh Tearers Red, I washed Baal Red over Emperor's Children to much the same effect.

The staff was done with some Blue Ink I didn't realise I still had. It's so old, it's in a hexagonal pot.

The Disc was done quite simply with Retributior Armour and Agrax Earthshade. I may end up going back to pick out some more details with silver, blue or red.

The magic 'swoosh' was done with Nihilakh Oxide as I was going for an ethereal effect. I'm not sure whether it just looks like water.

I've not done a picture from the front as it looks a little odd from that angle. Both the magic fire bolt and staff are on exactly the same axis and the face is not as defined as the pink horrors. It's a minor criticism given that there are other options I could have chosen for both arms and heads.

I have, however done a picture of the force so far. I'm well and truly over half way through the box. The Flamers are probably up next, as they are built.

After a ropey start to the year, I'm also incredibly close to the break even point already, which is good.

Acquired: 28
Painted: 27

Wednesday 10 February 2021

In The Pink

Feeling good about my progress this week, as I've managed to get 10 Pink Horrors done and set the tone of the whole army.

(For reference, the photos are a bit ropey because the garden is full of snow - yes, I did slip over and dump the models into the snow at one point.)

The plastic kit they came from went together really easily, with enough room for variation (swapping heads and arms) to keep things fresh when I make more, which I will be doing.

Horrors are the main troops unit in the Tzeentch Daemons army, and so I'll probably end up painting quite a few of them. The main goal with these was to settle on a paint scheme that I could replicate easily.

After missteps with my Dropzone Scourge, I knew that Flesh Tearer's Red contrast paint comes out as a dark pink if used over a white base, and so I used that with a heavy drybrush of Emporer's Children.

The claws and teeth also used a base of white with Skeleton Horde contrast paint, as I wanted them to be fairly bright.

The tongues were done with Caledore Sky washed with Drakenhof Nightshade (the same as the Blue Horrors), and, as ever, Retributor Armour washed with Agrax was used for the gold bits.

The bases were done in the same way as the Blue Horrors with Agrellan Earth.

It was interesting to see how the Tesseract Glow worked on larger areas of flame, and I think it's actually better on a bigger area (it's definitely more 'glowy' in real life). The real test will be on the Flamers.

There were other details that needed picking out, like gems (Blood for the Blood God), feathers (Drakenhof Nightshade over white) and metal (Iron Breaker).

All in all, I'm really pleased with them. However the slight caveat to that is the unit champion (the 'Iridescent Horror') which lost some detailing the face thanks to the undercoat I used, and so I worked quite hard to highlight and shade to put the detail back in.

I keep on running  into issues with Army Painter sprays, especially the white one, that I don't have with other manufacturers. So much so that I will avoid Army Painter as much as I can (the most recent brushes I bought are a bit duff too).

All in all though, I'm really pleased with the Horrors. They look suitably vibrant and weren't a massive chore to do. I'll probably do future Horrors in batches of five as there were A LOT of teeth and claws to do. 

I feel like I've broken the back of the set now, so I'm going to reward myself by painting a character.

Acquired: 28
Painted: 26