Sunday, 23 July 2017

Short Fuze (G.I. Joe)

Short Fuze marks my ninth Joe character finished, and eleventh mini for the project as a whole. I started this one a whole ago but slowed down as I found a few bits awkward to paint. I picked him up again this weekend and was able to make more headway, enough to want to finish him.

Most of the original G.I. Joe team had very similar uniforms, so expect a few more that don't look too dissimilar before too long in among the more varied later characters. Regardless of the uniforms though, I will probably mainly stuck to the same base green colours for fatigues and helmets to add a little coherence. The original figure had black webbing straps and a green backpack; I decided to go for a dark olive colour as a bit less stark than black. In my overall painted minis tally for the month, quarter and year, I am counting Short Fuze and his mortar as two separate minis - that seems fair as they are on separate bases!

Short Fuze was the team's first mortar specialist (but not the only one!). In the canon he is a solider from a military family, with a logical and thoughtful side although with a noticeable temper. Reading the comics, he is certainly not a top tier character, and is generally just 'there' in the wider ensemble.

In developing Squad Wars, Short Fuze gives me a chance to try out the rules for mortars which naturally have a few wrinkles to them.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (11)
G.I. Joe team: 9*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Shipwreck (G.I. Joe)

'In the navy, come on people and make a stand' - ah, Shipwreck is my latest G.I. Joe Project addition, and with his naval attire he will stand out a mile among the mainly greens and browns for many of the G.I. Joe team uniforms!

Shipwreck is a tough petty officer who calmly faces any situation, not easily rattled. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there were a fair few naval personnel in the G.I. Joe ranks.

The mini is from a private commission which I was thankful to get hold of. I decided to swap the pistol weapon he had for something heavier looking to give a little more 'grounded' look - the irony of that choice is not lost on me given he walks into battle with a parrot on his shoulder! The painting was nice and straightforward, and once I had blocked in the main two blue colours and flesh, I started working from the waist down before tackling the remaining bits.

One of the most fun things for me in this project so far has been creating the rules cards for the minis; basically distilling how the characters are described in their file cards and the Marvel comics into a set of rules that feels right. Suffice it to say a lot of cards are done and a lot of conversions bubbling into mind.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (10)
G.I. Joe team: 8*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Prepping for Squad Wars Play-tests

When play-testing I like to have game materials to make things easier. For Pulp City, this meant facsimiles of game cards where possible, as well as a copy of the rules text to hand.

While developing Supers Unlimited and Squad Wars under the Kitbash Games banner, I have taken things a step further. These projects are obviously deeply personal to me, and so I want to get things as right as possible. Just having a very rough draft copy of the text to look at helps me think about how pages could be laid out, the sequence of things, etc. In the past I would work with pdfs of simple Word layouts. This time, and to help my own personal thought processes, I decided to go a step further and get mini books printed.

In addition, with my G.I. Joe Project underway - and which will be the main vehicle for play-testing Squad Wars - I decided to get cards for the various characters printed up as a motivator to play. That may sound unnecessary, but from my time with Pulp City I saw that testers gave more feedback if they had print outs (from Word) at roughly game card size for characters than a primary Word document not formatted down to game card size. They gave more feedback again if they had draft versions of the final cards. So from that learning, I have developed cards as something to hang games of Squad Wars onto, and will do the same with Supers Unlimited at some point.

Since both games feature 'build your own' rules for Characters (they have some nominal IP, but that is to help give some contextual pointers and supply pretty pictures to look at!), players can just as easily use a roster sheet, whatever takes their fancy, they don't have to use cards like I have developed (although templates will be made available at some point).

Friday, 14 July 2017

Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game - Kickstarter

Like the sound of 70's style New York street gang skirmish? Then Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game could be just your thing!

The project is funded with 15 days to go and has some very cool minis - I am already backing and looking forward to what Iain and Funky Skull Games will unleash next!

Street Wars NYC: 1970's Street Gang Miniatures Game -- Kicktraq Mini

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Timber (G.I. Joe)

Timber is Snake Eyes' wolf companion, and not a mini I envisaged doing at the outset of my G.I. Joe Project. Painting got underway on the project in the last few weeks and it was then that Brummie mentioned he was doing one, so with that in mind I cobbled some rules ideas together, and that is how plans quickly change!

It may seem a bit bizarre, but a number of Joes and Cobra operatives had animal companions; therefore, excluding them wouldn't have been right. Brummie and I have been talking about ideas of how we can include a few more of the characters who had animal companions.

The mini was given to me by Brummie, but I have no idea where it is from. The painting was pretty easy, although I had to touch up the fur on one side to even out the patterning better. I tried to give a nice look representative of the various toys to the fur colouring, and even researched timber wolves' eyes colours for reference!

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (9)
G.I. Joe team: 7*
Cobra: 2**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0

As I mentioned, I have prepped rules for personal use, to be able to use Timber in games of Squad Wars alongside Snake Eyes of course (either in a G.I. Joe team or an Arashikage Force).

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Stalker (G.I. Joe)

Stalker is my sixth member of the G.I. Joe team finished, and my eighth G.I. Joe Project mini in all. He is a character I like a lot in the comics, probably because he was in the first G.I. Joe story I read (which was a reprint of the American stuff).

Although the pictures have washed out most of my highlighting on Stalker, I am reasonably happy with how he turned out. I decided against painting a camo stripe pattern as the base green colour is quite dark, and I opted for a fairly light contrast with his webbing and backpack. I started Stalker before Jinx, but finished the latter first which is pretty typical for me.

I have a few other members of the G.I. Joe team underway, and I hope to finish at least two or three more before the end of the month; Brummie and I have provisionally set early August for our first Squad Wars play-test. I have being prepping lots of materials for the opening games and I am looking forward to seeing if things work as I want them to.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (8)
G.I. Joe team: 6
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Jinx (G.I. Joe)

First up a big apology to regular readers for accidentally removing content from 100 comments from the blog; a slip of the mouse button while trying to sort out a load of spam comments caught me out and Blogger has no recycle bin unfortunately. Lesson learned!

Jinx is the latest mini completed for my G.I. Joe Project, and one of the characters less familiar to me until recently. I came to G.I. Joe through Action Force and the IDW comics published form around 2008 and onward. And so it is now I am making inroads into the old Marvel G.I. Joe comics, and shamefully have still not watched the movies (I have them on DVD, just too little time as always!). The upshot is that I have yet to see how much of a bad-ass Jinx seems to be but I hope to rectify that before too long!

Jinx is one of the good guys on the G.I Joe team, a protege of sorts to Snake Eyes, trained by the Arashikage clan. If there is one thing G.I. Joe canon is not short of, its ninjas....

The mini is one among a private commission I was fortunate to be able to get minis from. I started painting her a few days ago when I realised how I could paint up a spare ninja that I had for the G.I. Joe Project. Since both minis would be predominately red I made start on the pair before concentrating on Jinx's highlights and final work. By my standards it was a pretty quick turnaround which is always very welcome.

In the next few days I hope to finish Red Viper Ninja (Cobra) and Stalker (G.I. Joe), and after those I have a few more in the project painting queue.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (7)
G.I. Joe team: 5
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Working on the project has given me minis which I will be able to use to test out Squad Wars against Brummie. As a consequence I have been translating lots of characters from the G.I. Joe milieu into game stats for Squad Wars. And when I say, 'lots', I am not joking....

As an example of a character as defined in Squad Wars terms, here is the card I have prepped for Jinx. This is for personal use and won't be featured in any of the commercial side of Squad Wars when it is eventually launched (that will have IP that is my own for obvious reasons). The  game is designed to use a fairly low model count and mix solo characters as well as squads. Players won't need to use cards, a simple roster sheet will be fine, I just like having gaming cards and so while designing a simple template for free use, thought I would do some G.I. Joe characters with the template.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Quarter 2 2017 Painting Summary

2017 Quarter 2 was a big improvement over Quarter 1, I am happy to say!

I got off to a very strong start painting 11 minis in April alone (I managed just 7 in January to March).

April certainly had a very much 'supers' flavour to my hobby outputs as I was also finishing up the draft text for a rules set (Supers Unlimited) I plan to release through Wargames Vault later in the year, and my first BMG tournament of the year (with a poor placing compared to last year's successes).

With the supers focus, April saw me tackle some minis which have been long overdue completion, as well as some ranges I haven't revised in a few years - a 'good thing' for me.

May and June combined saw me paint or finish another 11 minis, and in all the three months put me back on track with my overall target for the year after the slowdown I had in February and March. I started doing some work on new and dormant projects during this time:

  • My SMG Project: essentially conversions of Knight Models stuff to add a few more options to the SMG crew ranks; the game may be dead but I have a few ideas I want to execute for it yet, complete with rules profiles for any new characters I do.
  • My G.I. Joe Project got 5 new models added, meaning I am track towards having playable forces for another project....
  • ...Squad Wars; a rule set I started working on a couple of years ago got a dust off and some heavy re-writes and is now almost ready for some play-test games; the game is intended to recreate military pulp-action scenarios from classic 1980's series such as G.I. Joe, Action Force, M.A.S.K., The A-Team, MegaForce etc. The game is not attached to any existing IP, just intended to emulate some of the things you might expect from gaming this kind of over the top genre.

It has been much happier for me hobby-wise in the last few months, mainly as I feel more productive in recent months. This has coincided with me taking a decision to leave the Pulp Monsters partnership (responsible for the Pulp City game). There a number of reasons behind that decision which I won't go into here, but the ultimate gain for me has been more time to mess around with projects which interest me. It has meant I have completed two draft game manuscripts ready for play-test, and have a third around half done.

I have been able to explore some new skills, getting to grips with GiMP and Photoshop as far as I need them (recently with GiMP very much so, especially as Fotor is essentially becoming a paid platform for generating collages).

So all in all, things have felt much more productive lately, in writing and design, as well as painting, which has been a good thing personally.

Painted in Q2 (+10 from Q2 2016)
BMG: 11
GI Joe: 5
SDZA Supers: 3
Other Supers: 2 minis
SMG: 1 mini (SMG Project)

Friday, 30 June 2017

White Tiger (SMG Project)

Well there we go - White Tiger is done, just by the skin of my teeth!

My contribution to Forgotten Heroes (click for link) and it has been great watching various projects unfold - well done all. I promise to be better organised next year - although I feel my G.I. Joe stuff this month is in keeping with the whole thing too. :)

Thankfully this was a fairly simple paint job which helped speed things up. I was able to go a little messy doing the necklace with the knowledge I could tidy up the 'white' areas. The white was mainly done using Vallejo Pale Blue Grey as a base up to Off-White. For some deeper recesses I mixed in a bit of Blue Grey.

I decided to shade the eyes with a pale green to tie into the amulets he wears, representing the glow of mystical power they infuse into him. Other than that a pretty simple paint-job.

I also worked up a rules card for him for the defunct Spider-man Miniatures Game, just to complete the project. His Reputation cost may get a slight re-jig when I rework how I have engineered my best guesses for KM's points formula. I fear not, there are more home-brew conversions planned for SMG in the near-future.

SMG Painting Summary
SMG characters owned: 15+2
Percentage of owned characters painted: 47.1% (8 models)
MUMG minis re-based to fit my SMG: 0
SMG Project minis painted: 1

White Tiger WiP

A quick update post on White Tiger. With work on other projects this one got a little side-tracked unfortunately.

The conversion is pretty simple and I ultimately opted to omit the leg-straps. I tried doing something with green-stuff but what I was trying simply wouldn't work, and I lack the sculpting skills to render them in fine-scale in keeping with the mini's aesthetic any other way. Therefore I have to accept they are a stage too far for me.

The teeth on the necklace were trimmed back and green-stuff amulet pieces added. I may need to do a bit more on those once I can see them better when the mini is undercoated (my eyes struggle to pick out some details on/against bare metal and I often can see much more clearly when undercoat is applied). I filed the boots and gloves to lessen the trademark Black Panther grooves, and then painted that over with brush-on matt varnish with the idea that the relatively thick liquid should fill those grooves - at least that is my plan; again I may need to do a little more once I can see things more clearly with the undercoat.

I still hope to get the mini painted today, time permitting. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cover Girl (G.I. Joe)

Cover Girl is the fifth of my G.I. Joe Project outputs this month (sixth overall), and like the others comes from a private commission. I started the mini at the same time as Hawk, but after initial progress suggested Cover Girl would be finished first, it ended up that Hawk was the first to be completed a couple of days before her.

I didn't really encounter, or at least notice, the character in the 1980's when reading Marvel UK G.I. Joe reprints or the original Marvel UK Action Force material. However, but when IDW (a smaller comics publisher, and lately a publisher of games etc.) started producing their new G.I. Joe comics she was introduced in the second year, which was my first proper exposure to the character.

In the main canon Cover Girl is a specialist armoured fighting vehicle driver, but also works as an undercover specialist in later stories. Although I have seen her shown as blonde and a red-head, I settled on blonde as I have Scarlett and Lady Jaye still to paint up, red-head and auburn respectively.

I hope to keep my painting momentum into the next couple of months on my G.I. Joe Project to enable some Squad Wars play-test games pretty soon with Brummie (click for link to his blog).

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (6)
G.I. Joe team: 4
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Hawk (G.I. Joe)

Hawk is my fifth G.I. Joe Project mini, my fourth this month - I seem to have hit an accidental stride!

My first exposure to the character was really through Marvel UK reprints of the Larry Hama stories, when he and Stalker walk into a bank robbery and take down the robbers - at least I remember it as Hawk!

Hawk is effectively G.I. Joe's head honcho, their really big kahuna when he is promoted to general.

As I am writing up a skin of the Squad Wars rules for personal use with the G.I. Joe Project stuff, that has helped get me focused to paint a few minis this month. With the way I envisage the game, a small game with named characters may be as few as 3 or 4 models per side, potentially facing around 7 to 9 nameless Grunts and an accompanying named character.

With the rules ideas that I am playing around with, I see different benefits from taking Hawk instead of Duke etc. I hope what I have put onto the page feels right on the tabletop. As a consequence, I want to get a fair few different characters done to try a variety of things, which is why Hawk has been finished now and why I will focus on getting a selection G.I. Joe characters finished first. I now have a few more Joes in the painting queue which I hope to finish soon.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (5)
G.I. Joe team: 3
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe)

Snake Eyes is my fourth painted G.I. Joe Project mini, and probably one of the coolest characters in the Joe-verse.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Snake Eyes is basically a silent ninja-uber-commando working as part of the  G.I. Joe team, with strong connections to other key characters such as Scarlett, Stalker and Storm Shadow. This version is based on his second iteration as an action figure.

I started painting the mini late last year and ended up getting side-tracked by other projects. He was started sometime after Major Bludd, but I only picked up work on him again when I started tackling some recent G.I. Joe Project minis that kick-started with the painting of Destro. I'd like to get a couple more done before the end of the month if I can, and have started work on Hawk, Cover Girl, and Stalker, and I need to finally finish off Gung Ho. Three out of those four with Snake Eyes should give me a playable starting force for Squad Wars.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (4)
G.I. Joe team: 2
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Major Bludd (Cobra)

Another G.I. Joe Project mini done! Unfortunately Major Bludd had been languishing in the queue of part-painted minis for far too long.

Major Bludd is an ex Australian SAS member turned mercenary who joined the Cobra Command payroll. He frequently serves a s a field leader and is not averse to working against other members of Cobra at the behest of Cobra Commander. Unlike many Cobra operatives, Bludd isn't a true believer, instead his prime motivation is simply money.

I admit I struggled with the limited palette of the character, especially highlighting the uniform. I changed the gun the mini came with for another that felt more appropriate. I tried to bend his gun arm forwards, but not enough; in hindsight I should have re-positioned the head to be looking along the gun. Despite the painting, the main thing is that the mini is finished and adds to my slowly growing forces.

I have already started work on a few others, and have Gung Ho to finish who has been part-painted for as long as Major Bludd. In addition, work continues on Squad Wars to eventually get some games in with the minis.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted
G.I. Joe team: 1
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Friday, 16 June 2017

Destro (Cobra/Iron Grenadiers)

A year on from my first G.I. Joe project mini, the second finally arrives - my usual snail's pace then!

Destro was nice and quick mini to paint up. I decided to emulate some of the more recent iterations of his colour scheme layout although the mini is modelled after his classic appearance. I have so many projects on the go that this one fell down the priority order, which is the cause for the slow pace. The mini is from a private collection and not commercially available, but I was lucky to get a copy; I decided the replace the pistol with something chunkier and more menacing (I envisage it as a large calibre pistol).

For those who are are not G.I. Joe (or Action Force) fans, Destro is one the bad guys, a weapons supplier to Cobra predominately, but also the leader of his own faction - the Iron Grenadiers.

I mentioned last year that I had been developing a set of rules called Squad Wars, and work on this has resumed - I am now on the third draft and getting much closer to what I want the rules to do, and the feel I want them to create. I hope to get in some G.I. Joe influenced gaming against Brummie before too long!

G.I. Joe Minis Painted
G.I. Joe team: 1
Cobra: 1*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Eye of the Tiger!

Well, that escalated quickly! No sooner than I set course with my SMG Project, than I learn of something called Forgotten Heroes which perfectly dove-tails with my own project  - the only requirement being to produce something in June and following the rules as set out:

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

I think #1 is a slight fudge for me as my character never had a mini made while Marvel stuff licensed by Knight Models, and only had a single Heroclix incarnation.
#2 is a bit of a fudge as Knight call their 'scale' 35mm (I know it is not a scale per se....).
#3 is do-able, and for #4 read on....

My character (as can be seen in the top picture) is White Tiger, a character created in the 70's amid the martial arts craze that swept American popular culture. White Tiger (Hector Ayala) was Marvel's first Hispanic hero, and really was only a sporadically-seen character for the next twenty-five plus years. Nowadays his mantle has been taken on by other characters (his sister and niece), and White Tiger is probably an apt Forgotten Hero.

My plan is to use the Black Panther mini as the basis for the character. His gloves and boots will get a little filling with Milliput. His pointy panther ears will be removed and filed down. His panther-teeth necklace will be trimmed back and an amulet made out of green stuff. And if I feel really confident, I may (emphasis on *may*) try to do his boot/leg wraps.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

SMG Side-project...

I have been bitten by the bug of a new side project in recent days, and as any hobbyist knows, that way lies peril as there is never enough time for every project!

I like designing character rules and I like playing games. I also like what Knight Models did to a limited extent with SMG, but lament there wasn't more. The now defunct SMG range extends to 15 officially released minis with cards, plus 2 minis with leaked cards which were never printed (Elektra and Venom).

I started musing and pondering this week, which is what general leads me down the rabbit-hole of a new project, and may be regarded as 'unwise' by the more learned hobbyist....

My idea is simple: create more stuff which I can use for SMG assuming my main opponent agrees to it being used! But any good project needs some boundaries, so I am following these rules:

  1. All minis must have a Knight Models mini as their primary basis to ensure some degree of aesthetic consistency;
  2. Characters should fit within the general street-level-plus milieu already established (so no this time);
  3. Characters should reflect the comics as opposed to movies;
  4. I must create a card for each new or re-purposed character.
Now, I already have given myself a slight head-start in the SMG Project, as I have painted Black Panther (shown on the blog last July) and Black Widow already. I set to work adapting a cost schema I obtained from a fellow hobbyist and engineered it so it gave me ball-park near costings on Daredevil and Elektra, using that to inform the costs I assign to new characters as I develop them. 

One of the first examples is the Black Panther card in this post. I tried to encapsulate a classic sense of Black Panther (so omitted the Lord of the Dead stuff). T'Challa has a storied history operating solo in and around New York, and stood in for Daredevil for a while. In the same way that BMG stretches Affiliations (think Cyborg to Batman), I felt his natural home was Spider-man's faction. Expect to see more in my SMG Project in coming months!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Killer Frost

This version of Killer Frost is based on her incarnation in the Injustice video game, and while a cool-looking mini (no apologies for that pun!), it was a pain in parts to paint, which slowed me down, and was the reason why I picked up Swamp Thing, Alfred and Scarecrow as 'quick wins' - all were started after Killer Frost!

The mini's arm positions made it really awkward, which was compounded with some poor colour choices in places, which makes the final mini a little rougher than I like, but it is another mini down which is the most important thing. The arms were a pain to get into position, with very fine contact points and no obvious way of pinning as they joined at a right angle to wrist and bicep.

Killer Frost can be used in pretty much all villainous crews as a Free Agent, becoming a Sidekick in Mr. Freeze crews, which seems more about cold theme than how either character is consistently shown in the comics. She can also be used in a Suicide Squad team alongside the likes of Deadshot and Riddler - so I may have to look at building up a few more members for that option before too long.

In game terms she looks reasonably durable for an End 6 character thanks to Acrobat, Adaptable, Resilient and Runaway. On top of that she brings a low threat shooting attack and Stop, on top of unarmed attacks doing 1 Blood. So definitely some useful stuff, but not top-tier by any stretch.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 24.6% (69 models)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Scarecrow (Batman Begins)

Scarecrow (the version depicted in Batman Begins) was a nice quick win for me, painted in short spurts over a few days, and helping maintain my recent momentum of finished minis. He can only be used in a League of Shadows crew, which means I am not planning to field him any time soon, but that aside, it is another mini taken out of the growing backlog. I purposefully picked this one to do now as I thought he would be fairly straightforward, and thankfully that was the case.

In game terms he offers area of effect threat through a template, but that is limited in range so places him in harm's way. More importantly, he has a Trait allowing him to remove a KO character within 20 cm, so ideally he would follow a character doing Stun as opposed to purely Blood damage.

Next up for BMG I want to finish at least one of Killer Frost or Robin, and maybe even Zsasz (the latter has been part-painted for months unfortunately), and ideally I would like one of those to be completed before the end of the month.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 24.3% (68 models)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


I started painting Alfred before switching to Swamp Thing, but ended up finishing the latter first, and chose both simply because I am struggling to paint a couple of other minis (Damian Wayne/Robin and Killer Frost). I felt I needed to get something finished as the most important thing, and so I am pretty pleased to have finished both of these minis.

Alfred is a Henchman for Batman crews, but not one I envision using much as he is very much predicated on a support role. For his Reputation value his Medic and Business Agent abilities in particular are simply not enough to make me want to use him.

There has been a little controversy about how Knight Models marketed and made available the Alfred miniature. Originally it was pitched as an 'exclusive' miniature available to pre-orders of the original BMG core rule-book; later it appeared as an occasional tournament prize, and later still it was made more widely available through a couple of sales promotions. As a consequence there is no regular Alfred alternative on sale at this time, and Bat-fans lacking the mini but wanting a list with Alfred may need to wait until the next sales promotion.

In the next couple of weeks i hope to get another couple of BMG minis painted and retain some momentum if I can.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (67 models)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing is my latest painted BMG addition, and is yet another Sidekick. Swamp Thing primarily sits within the Poison Ivy crew, but his Affinity to Batman makes him a Free Agent in Batman crews. I am not especially looking to build up either crew right now, instead I wanted to get a mini painted very quickly and Swamp Thing seemed to fit the bill, once he was readied....

Assembly of the mini was straightforward and just required a bit of green-stuff filling at the various joins (none were a snug fit, and each join had a gap ). However, before that I had to remove the 'surf log' the mini was attached too. Knight Model's way of solving the fact that they sculpted the mini with a stance wider than their designated 'Large' model base size was to mount him standing on a log, which in no way fitted the urban basing style I have for the line - all my BMG minis are mounted on bases from the same range (Fraktured by Dragon Forge). That meant a lot of clipping, sawing and filing to remove the log, and with assembly included, meant that prepping the mini probably took longer than the painting.

The painting was intentionally quite rough to begin with, with a base layer, a variety of brown and green washes, with some dry-brushing, then picking out areas of colour, all of which made painting quite a big mini pretty simple.

Although I said I wasn't looking at developing my Poison Ivy or Batman crews right now, I like the thought of Swamp Thing coupled with either Clayface or Solomon Grundy. Swamp Thing is a costly but powerful, potentially hard-hitting and seemingly durable character, and could lead to lists quite unlike those I usually go for. Hmm, thinking hat on....

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing further)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.6% (66 models)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Alberto Falcone (BMG)

You wait several years to paint yourself a BMG Sidekick, then three come along seemingly at once! Alberto Falcone is a character who first surfaced in The Long Hallowe'en Batman story, and is a very recent addition to the BMG range.

I have been working on another mini (Damian Wayne) but stalled over some of the fiddly bits of painting that one, so decided I need to get something finished really quickly or risk hitting another slump.Looking in the painting queue I saw Falcone who I reckoned I could get finished quickly, and thankfully I was correct. A couple of brief painting sessions over the course of a day got him done, so I am very happy about that.

Alberto Falcone is part of the Organized Crime crew, but this does not mean I am embarking on Organized Crime any time soon, it was simply expedient to paint him up. He seems a decent and sneaky threat on the table, especially to more vulnerable Leaders with his Assassin Trait offering up extra Victory Points.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: forgot to include the Batmobile in my last update)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (65 models)

Friday, 5 May 2017

Who Will Save Us Now? Watchmen 'Homebrew' Update (BMG)

I like the Knight Models' Watchmen minis (missing detail on Nite Owl aside!), but found them somewhat lacking on the table (only one run out mind you, so hardly cast-iron evidence - I will accept!), a view which seems shared by many. Basically the game has moved on but Knight have never really addressed updating the Watchmen despite several recent opportunities.

Well it turns out that Knight can no longer produce the Watchmen - by which I take as the movie incarnations as the movie rights are a somewhat messy affair; Knight are not saying why they cannot produce them, just that they cannot do so.

So what to do with an underwhelming crew? Homebrew update of course! Several years working on a supers-based minis game has taught me that it is better to be cautious as it is easy to make things 'over-powered'. As a consequence I approached my personal update with a simple rule of thumb - each character got one new Trait, no more, and two characters each got a single Ammo weapon. Then it was a case of dusting off my GiMP skills to produce some cards - the downside meant retaining a certain level of Spanglish that was inherent on the source cards.

The Updates and Why I Chose Them
Working through in some kind of order:

Comedian - he had a hefty array of Traits as-was, and his greatest weakness was his relatively low Defense for a character of his Reputation value. I added Undercover to reflect that he stumbled on to Ozymandias' plan to an extent, was at the Kennedy assassination, may have murdered Hooded Justice and was generally very good at sneaking around as a special ops and spy. To cap this off I added a tear gas grenade which he is seen firing during the 1977 riots in the movie.

Ozymandias - was given Precise Blow; I saw this on another gamer's homebrew update (credit to Liam Callebout). Based on the source material, especially the Before Watchmen comics, this just seemed very fitting for a man who always plans every single move he makes, and who has the coordination to parry a bullet with a piece of furniture and later catch one in his hand.

Nite Owl - I chose something simple for Nite Owl, Master Fighter. Functionally this is worse than the rerolls Silk Spectre gets from Unarmed Combat Master, but I didn't want to duplicate what she had, and at a similar Reputation cost Damian Wayne has the same Trait. With Bonebreaker, Brutal and Arrest already I feel it is a fair trade-off and upgrade.

Rorschach - I felt Cruel fit his efficient way of putting foes down; while the character has some nobility about him, he is incredibly brutal and the rule functionally fit with his existing repertoire. On top of this I added a one-shot attack based on firing his grapple gun at a hapless target.

Silk Spectre II - I had a few thoughts about stuff that could fit, but a lot came down to 'gamey-ness', and so when I thought about Silk Spectre I recalled two sequences in the movie in particular (the street gang fight and the prison raid) when she just mows through hordes of mooks, and Devastating Blow seemed the nearest representation of that.

Let me know what you think, comments and critique welcome!