Monday, 29 April 2013

A civilian for all genres (I think?)

I decided to touch up another figure for use as a generic civilian for superhero/post apocalyptic gaming and when I took a step back and really looked at him realised that as a civilian with no relevant gear he also works really well for Shadowrun and possibly even Steampunk games.

I think the vest and tie but without any other items to define the period the figure is from means it would be passable for alot of different times.  I also thought that the style of the pants made it look somewhat out-of-time, but I might be over thinking that last bit.

Incidentally this is the Harvey Dent figure from the most recent Batman Heroclix set.  As soon as I pulled him from the pack I knew he was destined for a re-basing and some non-clix gaming.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Project Scrapheap: Now slightly less "scrapheap-ey".....and Bloody Bradigan

I finished another model for Project Scrapheap today, but more interestingly (for me anyway) I found all the rest of the models I need and ended up with a themed force in the bargain.

About 7-8 years ago Games Workshop published a Zombie Pirate list in White Dwarf.  I thought it was awesome but I can also be painfully lazy when it comes to building and converting so I found a bunch of sources for zombie pirate miniatures elsewhere and placed a bunch of orders.  My biggest single order unfortunately did not work out at all as I had planned, I ordered a ton of zombie pirates from the Reaper Warlord line which all look fantastic, but are all way to big to fit in with Warhammer I put them away in a box....and forgot about them.....until yesterday!

So I have now revised my list and Skarre will in fact be leading a Cryx pirate force with a couple of other models thrown in to round things out.  My new list is:
-Bloat Thrall (from the Helldorado line)
-Machine Wraith
-Bloody Bradigan
-10 Revenant Crew Of The Atramentous (from the Reaper Warlord line)
-10 Revenant Crew Of The Atramentous (from the Reaper Warlord line)
-Revenant Cannon (from the Reaper Warlord line)
-Revenant Cannon (from the Reaper Warlord line)
*  This leaves me with 2 more points for a 35 point game.  I have a few other models I'm trying to choose from to finish it off.

I mentionned the other day that I was disappointed I couldn't use most of the Mercenaries I bought with my Cryx army but apparently I had bought 1 model who isn't too choosy about who he works for.  Bloody Bradigan is basically a brawling berzerker who fights for the sake of fighting.  Thematically I struggled to figure out why he would be hanging out with a Cryx force without any other pirates around but once I decided on the zombie pirates he sort of fit in with them.
He drinks your milkshake

Now that my force feels more coherent I'm definitely feeling alot of enthusiasm for the project and I can't wait for the zombie pirates to hit the table.



Thursday, 25 April 2013

Project Scrapheap: Machine Wraith

I'm pleased to report that I was able to get my Machine Wraith done in one sitting last night.  It's great when you are speed painting and you get a model that has this much texture, you can basecoat it, hit it with a wash and then just go back and do some detail work and you're done!

I'm still struggling to figure out what use the Machine Wraith will be against a Hordes army but a buddy mentionned that because the Wraith is on a 40mm base I can use him to screen and protect a more valuable model on a 40mm base from shooting and magic effects early in the game.

I've got my first unit of proxy Bane Thralls (Confrontation Dawn Warriors) prepped up and I'm off to a decent start.  I just need to pick up some putty tonight to do a little work on Skarre and then I can get started on her as well.

Any thoughts on tactics anybody?  It sounds like I'll be playing my first couple of games against Circle and Everblight.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Project Scrapheap: Bloat Thrall

I've got some progress to report ALOT earlier than I expected.  After prepping my Machine Thrall for painting I starting looking through my backlog and unused models looking for more potential proxies for my new army.  I started off by going through all the stuff I had that used the same style bases thinking they were also likely to be closer to 30mm (or "heroic" 28mm) than other figs.  Surprisingly even though I have alot of Undead and Steampowered robots for Malifaux none of those quite worked, my Dark Age stuff was all too organic and not undead enough, I found of few potential Ex Illis pieces but the real treasure came when I dugout my Helldorado stuff.

Helldorado is a skirmish game that came out a few years back.  I bought into it with a friend but then he moved away and for a time the product was very difficult to get so none of my other gaming friends got into it.  So my Helldorado figures languished half painted in a box for about 4 years....until this morning.

In my opinion if you're going to proxy models your opponent should still be able to look at them on the tabletop and instantly figure out what they are.  So as great as it is to find things that somewhat convey what they are I find I generally want something that either looks spot on or couldn't possibly be anything else.  The great thing about this figure is that the reason I never painted a Bloat Thrall during my earlier time pianting Warmachine figures is that the Bloat Thrall miniature never appealed to me so finding a suitable proxy is a double win.  What also worked out in my favour is that I had half-painted the model before I put it away so when I found it it took me less than an hour to finish and base it!  So not only is my first model done but it's 2 more points that I hadn't figured into my list yesterday!

The model itself is the Damned Of Gluttony which comes as a 2-pack.  The first model is much smaller, being slightly larger than man-sized and then once it has consumed some opponents it grows to the model seen above.

It's great to catch a break on a project like this, now I jut need to get my paint brush back in hand and keep digging through the treasue trove.

Secret Society Of The 52: Obsidian

Back with a quick superhero interlude before diving head first into Warmahordes this afternoon!

Two characters who found themselves in limbo after DCs reboot who now look like they probably won't be coming back are Jade and Obsidian the children of the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott.  Obsidian was a great add to my DC collection because he has a fairly uncommon powerset in DC which is none the less fairly common in Marvel so he feels great for gaming in both venues.  Obsidian has a number of super powers based on his ability to tap into a dark energy (much like the darkforce dimension in Marvel).  He's also a really cool figure that has like many of my new Supersystem team done time as both a hero and a villain.

Like I said just a quick diversion, I'll be painting my Machine Wraith today, which as far as I can tell will be useless against Hordes armies but hopefully I can find some use for it in games as it is a sweet model.


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Project Scrapheap: Prelude

One of the tough things about the miniature hobby is that sometimes you like the figures but you don't like the game, sometimes you like the game but you don't like the figures, and sometimes you just find yourself a victim of your own shortsightedness and have to make do.

A couple of days ago a friend of mine invited me to join him for some Hordes/Warmachine gaming.  Awhile back I played a ton of Warmachine using my Cryx army and I really liked the game.  After awhile though the group I was playing with lost interest and we transitioned into some other games instead.  Having been bitten by the Warmachine bug again I had one immediate problem; all my painted Cryx stuff it out on loan to another friend and I won't be able to get it back in time to start playing.  The secondary problem is having played the game before and dropped it I'm hesitant to invest in a whole new army.  So the solution is to speed-paint a new army using the odds and sods I have kicking around from my last run at the game.

Is this a good idea?
Let's weigh the pros and cons.
1.  I've got a pile of stuff just kicking around that I might as well get painted anyway.
2.  When it's done and I get off my lazy butt and pick up my existing Cryx stuff I should have around 90 points worth of models for a big game.
3.  It will be the first time I've ever built an army and felt like it was free!  (yeah, I know I actually paid for this stuff at some point but that was awhile back)
1.  All of this stuff for one reason or another didn't make the cut (for a variety of reasons) to make it into my army the first time around.
2.  As it really is all odds and ends it's not designed to work together so I won't be able to get off the combos that seem to be what Warmahordes is all about.
3.  I have a bunch of really cool Mercenary stuff that I won't be able to use because it's not Cryx friendly.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter because I'm going to do it anyway.  So what will be in my force?
Skarre Queen Of The Broken Coast
Harrower Helljack
Machine Wraith
2 units of Bane Thralls (using Confrontation Dirz figures)
This will give me 15 of the 35 points I need.  I'm going to keep digging through my backlog looking for other stuff I may have that can fit in there but ultimately I'm assuming I'll have to buy 1 more Warjack, other than that I'm determined the rest will be made out of what is on hand.

The goal is to have 35 points done by the Monday after next, which gives me 13 days, shouldn't be a problem (assuming I can find some more models!).  So at this point I have to assume you can all see why I'm calling this "Project Scrapheap".

Incidentally I would really appreciate any advice any of you would like to offer in the comments section on how to use the figures I ultimately end up choosing and painting, I said I played alot, I never said I played well.

Wish me luck!


Monday, 22 April 2013


Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge zombie movie fan.  Not just since zombie movies became the rage but since the first time I saw Night Of The Living Dead on the late night horror show WKBW in Buffalo used to have on when I had rabbit ears on my TV.  I mention this to frame my next comment and avoid being accused of decending into hyperbole; Zombieland is the best zombie movie ever!  I have enjoyed alot of zombie movies over the years and Romero certainly broke new ground with his "Dead" series of films but Zombieland hits on all cylinders for me.  When it's tense,it's legitimately tense, when it's funny it is absolutely hilarious, when it's action time Woody Harelson manages to put the action heroes of the 90s to complete and utter shame, and it has hands down the best celebrity-as-themselves cameo in the history of movies.

Enough of my praise, back to miniatures.
As part of their line of modern post-apocalyptic survivors Studio miniatures released models of Tallahassee and Columbus from Zombieland.  These figures are not quite as iconic or spot on as the John McLane figure but they are still excellent figures of 2 great characters from a terrific film.
I was able to paint Columbus in about an hour sticking to basecoats ad washes but I put slightly more effort into Tallahassee as he was the nicer miniature and is ultimately more likely to see some regular use on the gaming table.

Also if nothing else I learned how to spell "Tallahassee" today.


Time to nut up or shut up!
Be a hero
Rule 8: Get a kickass partner

Design Diary: Movement

When considering how models move in a tabletop game there are a few elements that always seem important to make me feel like movement "feels" the way I want it to:
1.  Moving fastershould make it more difficult to hit with shooting attacks and to be hit by shooting attacks.
2.  Moving flat-footed every turn should not give you the same speed as someone who has been flatout running for multiple turns (or actions) without interruption.
3.  Vehicles should be able to continuously accelerate until they achieve their maximum speed.
4.  Vehicles should not be able to instantly and radically alter direction while moving at speed.

So to this end I've worked up the movement system for ground vehicles and figures on foot.

Every model may move it's "M" characteristic as a distance in inches at the cost of 1AP.
Models on foot may move M*1.5 for each consecutive AP expended on moving after the first (non-cumulative)
Vehicles may move M+0.5 for each consecutive AP expended on moving after the first (cumulative)
Vehicles performing a single M action may make (at base rate of movement) may make a 90 degree turn at either the start or end of their move.
Vehicles performing multiple M actions may make a 45 degree turn at the start or end of their move following a sucessful control roll.  A failed control roll interrupts the action and takes the player directly to the LOSS OF CONTROL (GROUND) table.
*Example 1*
John is a basic foot model with 3 AP and an M3.  If John expends 1AP on movement he moves 3", if he expends 2AP on movement he moves 7.5", if he expends 3AP on movement he moves 12".
*Example 2*
John is a basic foot model with 3AP and an M3.  If John expends 1AP on movement, 1AP on shooting, then 1AP on movement he moves a total of 6" (3", then resolve shooting, then separate 3" move)
*Example 3*
John is driving a car.  John has 3AP and the car has an M4.  If John expends 1AP on movement the car moves 4", if John expends 2 AP on movement the car moves 10", if John expends 3AP on movement the car moves 19".   If after expending all 3 of his AP on moving John also spends his first AP of his next activation on movement the car will move 32.5".

Friday, 19 April 2013

Justice League Dark:  Zatanna

A while back I posted a picture of a Reaper female magician with the stated intent of using her as Zatanna in some superhero gaming with the caveat that I wasn't sure if I could get away with using her in my DC Adventures game because her look in the New 52 reboot was radically different.  Just last week I got my hands on one of the New 52 Zatanna figs and decided to touch her up so I had the appropriate figure on a base that matched the rest of my new/current superheroes.

I have to admit I'm somewhat conflicted about this figure.  The design is well executed and I love the energy halos around her hands but I still prefer the "classic" Zatanna to the new reboot Zatanna.  I've moved away from my original plan for my game so I'm not certain I need her for DC Adventures anymore but I wanted to get her done and the figure itself could be used in lots of different modern/near-future games.

I think for my next superhero fig I'm going to dig into the backlog to pick out another member for my Secret Society of The 52 for Supersystem.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

There are some injuries even a tough guy can't "walk off"

Today's addition to the growing ragtag collection of survivors is John McLane circa the first Die Hard movie.

This is another fantastic miniature from Studio Miniatures and really showcases the highest standard of their sculpting.  There are a ton of companies out there doing movie characters of various quality but this miniature is in my opinion one of the best.  The likeness of Bruce Willis is decent and the details on the figure (wrap around the feet, the pose, the hair, etc) are perfect and in addition this figure has the best sculpted MP-5s in my collection.

I chopped up the plastic on the pack he came in to create some shattered glass for the base and I think the effect turned out reasonably well.

I've got a slew of other Studio Miniatures survivors on my desk waiting for some attention who should be debuting here soon.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

The B-Team: I love it when a plan comes together

The leader and final member of The B-Team got finished tonight; John "Hannibal" Smith.

Hannibal has the same great appeal as the rest of the team in that he can be a great generic survivor or he can represent the leader of a great team of action heroes from 80s TV.

Hannibal is armed with the same assault rifle as the rest of his buddies (I think it's an old Ruger but I'm not really sure) so it gives the team overall a coherent look inspite of their wildly different attire.

This brings to a close the B-Team but as I mentionned there will be a few more familar faces popping up shortly.


Friday, 5 April 2013


B.A. has now joinned his buddies on the B-Team.  As much as I liked the previous two members of the team B.A. has to be the best figure so far.  He looks exactly like who he's supposed to look like and although Wargames Foundry didn't go over the top on any of the character elements they certainly made sure he has no shortage of gold.

So far this is probably one of my favourite figures I've painted this year.  Fantastic figure, well executed, and let's be honest just plain 80s fun.

1 more member of the B-Team left and then I think it might just be time for a trip to Zombieland.


Oh yes, fools will be pittied....

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Killer Croc

Another member of Batman's rogues gallery touched up and re-based tonight; Killer Croc.

Killer Croc is a great villain to have access to because he makes a good second banana to a mastermind-type villain and also in DC Adventures he offers a different option for a PL10 Gotham City campaign in the event that the players make choices other than Bat-family style crime fighters Croc can trade blows with legitimate meta-humans.

I'd also like to point out that this new Killer Croc model from the recent Streets Of Gotham set is an absolutely fantastic model with great depth of detail.

I feel fairly confident that Croc will see some action in DC Adventures and even if he doesn't I can always do some kind of b-movie 'Killer Croc vs King Shark' and that would be fantastic in it's own right.


Killer Croc
The B-Team: Howlin' Mad Murdoch!

The second member of the B-Team is now done.  Howlin' Mad Murdoch is the team's chopper pilot and comic relief.

The funny thing about this figure is if you're a child of the 80s he's iconic but if you're not he's great as a generic survivor type fig.  In retrospect I guess the same could be said for Face and eventually Hannibal.

Starting work on these B-Team figures has also gotten me excited about digging out some of the survivors I bought from Studio miniatures awhile back so the parade of TV and movie characters will probably continue for another week or so.


Howlin' Mad Murdoch
(no relation to Rupert Murdoch)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Rogues Gallery: March 2013

This past month saw alot of figures get touched up but very few figures actually get painted from the ground up.

I got a ton of stuff done for superhero gaming with a few decent multi-use figs in there but no big projects that really grabbed me.

At the end of last month I mentionned that I was going to be painting some generic sci-fi gangers but the project that was for seems to have not materialized.

April will definitely see more superheroes, more post apocalyptic survivors and the rest of the B-Team.  I think I also have some more space-cops that need to get finished.


2 figures painted + 26 touchups = 28 new figures
A superteam begins to take shape....

I was prepping the other day to play a game of Supersystem and I decided I wanted to use familar heroes/villains with a themed force but there wasn't 1 particular team (X-Men, Thunderbolts, Avengers, etc) that I was particularly drawn to that particular day.  Instead I picked through my recently painted and touched-up Heroclix models looking for some inspiration.  I also thought back to my blog posts about my DC Adventures game and came up with my new superteam; The Secret Society Of The 52.

The idea which was drawn from my RPG idea of recycling characters that have found themselves in limbo following DC's New 52 reboot would let me build a team of characters many of whom are somewhat morally 'grey' (like the Secret Six or the Thunderbolts) and wouldn't feel out of place no matter who they were fighting (again  like the Secret Six or Thunderbolts).

For starters I needed a reason why these characters would still exist but not be known by the world at large in the comics universes.  Maybe if people had been 'pushed' to forget them (comic fans will get that one).  To that end I actually formed my team around the first Heroclix model I had ever repainted (for Gamma World originally) Max Lord.  Max would serve as both my backstory and justification for how the team that doesn't exist could exist.  After deciding on that I picked out 2 other models I had already done to fight alongside Max, Knockout and Raven.  The only hitch with that was that Raven has actually appeared in New 52 so she no longer felt like the right choice.  I had a bunch of other characters who have not yet appeared in New 52 but none of them felt quite right so I decided to haul out the box of Heroclix and see who wanted to volunteer to join the team, enter Magog.

Magog first rose to prominence in the Kingdom Come limited series as the catalyst for 2 key events in that story; the retirement of Superman and the event (I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it) that triggers Superman's eventual return.  He's a great fit because like Max Lord he's fought on the sides of both right and wrong so he's easy to root for and against.

While I was digging out Magog I also came across yet another member of The Secret Six I had never gotten around to fixing up; Ragdoll.  Ragdoll is a neat character because through most of the run of Secret Six he comes across as twisted but signficantly less evil or malicious than the other members of the team, frequently he's actually the comic foil,  but when you finally get the reminder that you had to be a villain in the first place to end up on the team you suddenly realize it's like you've spent a bunch of time thinking "gee that Joker guy isn't so bad, just misunderstood really".

Back to the B-Team this afternoon!