Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Perhaps its oddly fitting that the one member of the Suicide Squad who isn't really a member is the one I got a defective figure for and then had to substitute with a non-Suicide Squad model.

Katana is a character that has hung around the fringes of Batman comics for years but to be honest I didn't truly become aware of until she showed up on Arrow.  Katana is a classic Batman character in that she isn't a meta-human but is someone who has undergone an unbelievable amount of training and has one additional element (in this case the Sooultaker Katana) that makes her extraordinary.

From a game mechanics point of view Katana is extremely useful for securing objectives as she is a volunteer and not subject to the normal Suicide Squad rules which can result in models suddenly (explosively) being removed from play.  I'm assuming Rick Flag will also have this rule but I'll have to wait until he's released to take advantage of that.

This figure is from the core Batman Miniature Game line as unfortunately the Katana I got in my Suicide Squad box was miscast to the point of not being salvageable.  Having said that I do like this figure and I'm extremely happy with how she turned out.

Well, this is what I got done on my lunch break today so with any luck I can still get Deadshot done after work today.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Two more recruits for Task Force X - movie edition

Over the last couple of nights I've gotten my next two members of The Suicide Squad done.

First up is Boomerang (I guess by the time line of the movie he hasn't been promoted to Captain yet).  I've got to say that as much as Boomerang has been a staple of comics and animation for decades he was one of the characters I wasn't confident would translate well to a movie.  The character is fantastic but his comic book costume has always made me think of a 70s era flight attendant.  I really feel like the movie team did a great job updating the character's look and feel without falling into other even worse tropes or stereotypes (although the Fosters was a nice touch).  I also feel like after at least 10 years of Hollywood trying to make Jai Courtney happen this might finally be the breakthrough.

Next on our list is Killer Croc.  This is going to sound really minor but one of the things I like about the inclusion of a character like Killer Croc in the Suicide Squad from a cinematic-world-building point of view is that he feels like he subconsciously forms a bridge between Batman and Superman.  The question/challenge most non-comic fans have had with the idea of Superman and Batman existing in the same universe is their power disparity.  The idea that it's hard to believe both these guys can be considered 'superheroes' in the same shared universe.  Killer Croc is effectively the first non-Kryptonian meta-human we've seen so far in the DC Cinematic Universe, this gives the audience a practical frame of reference to understand that there are beings in this world that are significantly more powerful than Batman who aren't nearly on par with Superman.  To me that starts to fill in some of the grey space and start to make the cinematic world feel more like the comic world.

I'm happy with how both figures turned out but of the two I'm definitely happier with Boomerang.

If everything stays on track I should get Katana and Deadshot done tomorrow night!


Sunday, 27 November 2016

First 2 members of Task Force X - movie edition

This week I was able to get prep work on a lot of miniatures done but with Black Friday craziness I didn't get much actual painting time in.  I've got a small cluster of fantasy figures I'm hoping to finish when I have time this week but my primary focus will be on two separate sets of superhero figures.

This afternoon I finished the first two members of the Suicide Squad from the Suicide Squad box set for the Batman Miniatures Game (soon to be DC Miniatures Game?).  I decided to start with two of the easier figures to paint which resulted in my painting one of the most interesting and one of the least interesting members of the Suicide Squad.  <spoilers ahead>

First up is Slipknot....poor Slipknot....
There's something of a tradition in new and/or one-off adaptions of Suicide Squad stories that the writers need to establish that the danger is real and unlike most comics the characters lives are in real jeopardy.  To establish this the writers always have to offer up an early death to sell the audience on what they're seeing/reading.  To my recollection the only story to break this rule was the Justice League Unlimited  episode "Task Force X" that due to being a cartoon marketed to kids probably wasn't going to have any neck bombs going off.  In the New 52 launch Voltaic drew the short straw, in Assault On Arkham KGBeast decided to test The Wall, in Arrow the character played  by Sean Maher (who's name I didn't even catch before he got neck bombed) learned the hard way that escape wasn't an option.  When the cast poster came out there were two things that struck me right away:
1.  Slipknot had less of a 'costume' than any of the other Hot Topic models in the movie
2.  Adam Beach is playing Slipknot!  Wow I haven't seen him in a major studio movie since....oh....
If you knew the formula it was pretty obvious that getting emotionally invested in Slipknot was probably not a good idea.  In addition I consider myself a comic-book fan of reasonably extensive knowledge and I don't think I've ever owned a comic with Slipknot in it.  Totally unrelated to DC Comics or this movie I would also like to point out that when my daughter was younger she watched an educational PBS show called Word Girl that had a superhero theme and the one villain that never got taken seriously (even on a show directed at 3-6 year olds) was "Amazing Rope Guy", draw your own conclusions.

The other side of the coin is El Diablo.  I hadn't been reading much DC stuff in the years before the New 52 launch so I'm not sure how prevalent El Diablo was then but when New 52 Suicide Squad title launched there he was and he was one of the characters that work best in stories like this.  He's clearly not a hero and he's done some terrible stuff but he's got a conscience and he's not a one-dimensional psycho.  But once again, unfortunately for El Diablo he has a place to play in fulfilling the Suicide Squad formula and it can't be every version of the story where Rick Flag is either the noble sacrifice or the good man left behind.  Sorry El Diablo you were (ironically) too good for this world.

There you have it (so far).  I've got Deadshot and Killer Croc on my table next as well as some newer Pulp City figures.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The most wonderful time of the year!

I've been very scatter shot on my painting for the last couple of weeks (lots of Suicide Squad coming soon though...) but I wanted to show some non-painting I've been doing.

Last year in the late fall I first got into Frostgrave and joined a number of Frostgrave groups on Facebook.  One of the things that really stood out with the Frostgrave groups was how much they re-purposed non-miniature products as scenery.  Everything from birdhouses to aquarium features to Christmas village dioramas got used for Frostgrave.  Some of it wasn't great and it was obvious that the main appeal was that it was cheaper than conventional hobby scenery but some of worked really well.

The other day a friend of mine posted some street lamps that he had gotten and it made me think I should bust out some of the stuff I've acquired the past few months and share what (in my opinion) cool stuff can be had on a budget.

First up the thing that really got me to start considering this a year ago; trees.  There are loads of retailers that carry trees for Christmas village dioramas this time of year and last year I made the mistake of waiting too long to get some and by the time I circled around to it they were sold out everywhere.  This year my wife remembered that I had been trying to get some and one one of her trips to Michaels to get yarn got me a bag of trees.

This bag was $29.99 sticker price but basically went on to the shelf marked at 50% off so it actually cost $15.

Here are all the trees spread out and to give you some idea, those small trees in front are basically 1" tall so this is a lot of trees for the money.  I'm pretty sure that anything short of a full forest on a 3'x3' table can be done with one bag of these trees.

Also given that I play the undead for most fantasy games I figured Halloween clearances might have some options for me and they did not disappoint.  Again Michaels was the big winner with coffins, headstones and a cemetery fence (not shown).  Unfortunately I left the fence (which is really cool) at a friend's house so I don't have it to show off.

These packs were $5.99 at full price but by the time I bought them they were 60% or 75% off (I can't remember) so for some scatter terrain they're pretty good.

The only downside with the Halloween pieces is that they are a little big (only just a little) and they're unique looking enough that buying multiple packs isn't as appealing as for the trees.

Last but not least back to the place I started.  When I saw Tod's street lamps and I had just gotten the Suicide Squad starter for Batman which means I need a pile of street lamps.  Unfortunately by the time I decided to grab some my local Michaels was sold out but my daughter wanted a few things from the Dollarama and they had some lamps that look perfect to me.

These were $2 per pack (so super cheap!) and to be honest the reason I only bought 5 packs is because they only had 5 in-stock.  When I'm on the road over the next week or two I'm going to hit up other Dollaramas in my area and see if I can find more.

Well there you have it.  I think this stuff works great and it was really inexpensive which leaves more money for toy soldiers.



Thursday, 10 November 2016

Extra Skeleton Creeps for Super Dungeon Explore

I've still got 4 miniatures left to finish from my Stilt-Town Zombies set for Super Dungeon Explore but I had a day off today so I wanted to get a larger batch of figures painted from start to finish.

To supplement the sets I already got last weekend I picked up the ghost manor tile set for Super Dungeon Explore.  The tiles came with 12 extra 'creeps' (which are the low level grunts for Super Dungeon Explore) which I painted today.

The Rattlebones as they are called are pretty basic figures, just skeletons that are wearing pants.  With the ghosts and the zombies I'm getting pretty close to having a starting force for ...something? done.

I think tonight/tomorrow I'm going to transition back to some more traditionally scaled undead models for Ravenloft.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

The good doctors (2 of 2)

Our second doctor can legitimately lay claim to having once been an actual medical doctor but as his areas of interest have changed I'm going to assume he has allowed his medical practise to lapse.

Although Strahd Von Zarovich is certainly Ravenloft's most iconic personality a close second and in many ways the P.O.V. character for much of the background in the original Ravenloft campaign setting  is Doctor Rudolph van Richten.  For those of you not familiar with Ravenloft van Richten is basically D&Ds version of Van Helsing from Dracula.

There was previously a van Richten figure in one of the D&D pre-painted miniature sets but to be honest he seemed a bit off the mark.  He was a bit too action-hero in his pose for an older man and also had a cape that was proportioned like Nibbler's cape from Futurama.  This new figure (by Gale Force 9) combines some features that make van Richten look his age while also updating his clothes to fit with the current D&D/Pathfinder aesthetic of layered leathers and adventuring gear.

I'm really a big fan of this figure not only for his intended purpose but again much like my updated Professor Vitale model it gives me another reasonable looking figure for a wizard who doesn't simply look like he wears his Gandalf cosplay to go adventuring.


The good doctors (1 of 2)

I've been working on two "doctors" for fantasy-themed games tonight, although in both cases their medical qualifications are somewhat dubious.

First up is Reaper Miniatures Plague Doctor for Pathfinder.  I believe this figure was for one of  their earliest Adventure Paths but I was tardy to the party so I'm not sure which one.  If any of you know what adventure module uses this wicked figure please fill me in, it seems like something I'd like to use.
Anyway I figured I'd stay away from the traditional dark colour palette for figures like this as it seemed excessively sinister, whereas the image itself felt like it conveyed that enough on its own.

I don't have any immediate plans to use this figure but I've been considering circling back to Frostgrave with a more evil warband than last time so I thought he might make a good Apprentice or Apothecary.  I also had thoughts that at some point I could find myself running a Ravenloft adventure where a figure like this could come in handy.

Speaking of which if all goes to plan my next doctor will be very well known to longtime Ravenloft players.


Friday, 4 November 2016


Adding to the assortment of Stilt-town Zombies today are two of the less common zombie variants.

First up are the Prowler Zombies.  These guys are very similar to the basic zombies I painted the other day but are a bit more dynamic looking.

The Pudge Zombies are the figures that actually convinced me to start doing the chibi figures.  As I mentioned earlier one of my thoughts going into this was that the stuff that had a more Hotel Transylvania vibe would be appealing to Zoe, and the Pudge Zombies remind me of a cross between the zombie bellhops and Frankenstein from that movie.

It was nice to get these done, I'll probably be taking a break from the Super Dungeon Explore stuff for a couple of days while I work on some figures that I need for my current D&D game.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Post-Halloween chibi zombies!!

When it comes to hobby deadlines I'm starting to think I might be allergic to them...

I got the first 6 of my 10 assorted Stilt-Town Zombies for Super Dungeon Explore done!

Much like the ghosts these figures are pretty basic but I really enjoyed them.  They have some nice texture and detail but certainly don't feel over-done.  I'm enjoying the chibi-aesthetic more than I originally thought I would and I'm now seriously considering making a Frostgrave warband out of the heroes.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Today's addition was a quick repaint.

Androida was one of the first Pulp City models I painted as she came in the mixed hero starter box.

She could also make a decent Jocasta stand-in if you were playing a Marvel game of some sort.

Ultimately Androida was a bit of a one-off for me.  As I mentioned the original Pulp City starters were mixed faction boxes with the good guys have 2 "Blood Watch" characters and 2 "Heavy Metal" characters.  Although I liked Androida and Iron Train the rest of the Heavy Metal faction didn't really appeal to me so they've just been hanging out not actually getting used for anything.

Who knows?  With more Pulp City on the Horizon for me maybe Androida can get a second (or would this technically be the first?) renaissance.