Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Shambling Zombies (Tooth & Sword)

This is simply a group shot of my ten Shambling Zombies from the Meridian Miniatures Tooth and Sword range. I wanted a picture of all of them together so I could link from the T&S page I have set up at the head of the blog.

Five were painted this year for Zomtober, while the original five were painted in 2015.

Coming up I hope to start painting some more Adventurers soon to battle against them!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 (Week 5)

My Week 5 Zomtober minis are done - another set of five Shambling Zombies from Meridian Miniatures' Tooth and Sword range. To be honest, I had planned to paint a contemporary Zombie too, but I have been feeling unwell for most of the week so decided to concentrate on these five alone which ultimately meant getting more minis painted overall - a 'good thing' in my book!

The painting is pretty simple and uses my usual Zombie flesh recipe, with Vallejo Model Color Green Grey as a base, some VMC Burnt Umber mixed in to shade, then highlights by adding VMC Basic Skin Tone. The eyes are graduated from VMC Sky Grey down to Silvergrey. To speed up the painting I used VMC Camo Black Brown mixed in to shade the various trouser colours.

With these done I hope to get some Tooth and Sword Adventurers and some Impact Minaitures chibi Monsters painted over the next couple of months (while also cracking on with my G.I. Joe Project again), but as ever my plans will probably change with a whim!

Finally, well done to every blogger who participated in this year's Zomtober, well done to everyone, and hopefully we will all sign up again next year!


Zomtober 2017 blog roll (click blog names for links):
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer - pulpcitizen
  4. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  5. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  6. Saturday Mornings - Ivor Evans
  7. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  8. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  9. ANYTHING BUT A 1! - Clint
  10. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  11. The Wargame Addict - Wargame Addict
  12. Lead Reckoning - Fred Jackson
  13. da Gobbo's Grotto - Wargaming blog - da Gobbo Grotto
  14. Never Mind The Jankers - Roy Williamson
  15. Paintbrush and Superglue - Matt
  16. Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera - Phil Curran
  17. Wargaming With Barks - Barks
  18. Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist - Edwin King
  19. EndTransmission's gaming stuff - Paul Smith
  20. Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers - Colgar6
  21. dead lead project - myincubliss

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Mummy (Chibi Fantasy)

This Mummy was painted up as a 'quick win', done in roughly two hours (which for me is very fast, although many hobbyists paint, and speed-paint, much more quickly than me!). I tackled this one to essentially to get me back on track with painting my Zomtober mini for Week 4. The figure is produced by Impact Miniatures as part of their Chibi Adventurers and Monsters range. I picked it up to complement my Tooth and Sword Shambling Zombies (since its fits with those as they cast humans as the unliving).

I went with a super simple approach, base-coating with a mix of Vallejo Tan Earth and Ivory, then dry-brushing with additional Ivory, then highlighting with the same mix to tidy up, working up to near Ivory. The skin was painted with Green-Grey, mixing in a very dark brown for shadows, then highlighting up with Green Grey mixed in, and a dab of the Tan Brown-Ivory mix. The eye was done with a near-black mix with a red iris slightly lighter in colour to its outer edge. I still have a bit of work to improve on how I do chibi eyes, but I reckon that will come with time.

My plan is to get some fantasy gaming in in the next few months, basically as soon as I have a couple of parties and plenty of Monsters painted up.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 (Week 4)

Another Zomtober week comes to an end, and another Zombie painted!

Unlike last week's offering, there appear to be clearer causes of death for this week's Zombie - either a torn out throat or maybe a broken neck. Prior to that, it looks like she was chewed on by walkers for a little while (they seem to have taken small bites rather than going for a full course meal). Either way, she certainly carries a lot of injuries.

The figure is by Studio Miniatures (as have been all the Zombies I have painted this year so far); I found some of the bits of the mini hard to figure out, but overall I do like the sculpt, and the various signs of trauma certainly make it distinctive.

I went for quite a muted palette of colours with the clothing. Then, when all garments and flesh were painted, I liberally applied a mix of Tamiya Clear Red, Vallejo Smoke and Army Painted Strong Tone to areas of wounds etc and where I thought blood would spread. The flesh is my usual recipe of base Vallejo Green Grey, mixing in Burnt Umber for shading and Basic Skin Tone for highlights.

Zomtober 2017 blog roll (click blog names for links):
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer - pulpcitizen
  4. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  5. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  6. Saturday Mornings - Ivor Evans
  7. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  8. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  9. ANYTHING BUT A 1! - Clint
  10. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  11. The Wargame Addict - Wargame Addict
  12. Lead Reckoning - Fred Jackson
  13. da Gobbo's Grotto - Wargaming blog - da Gobbo Grotto
  14. Never Mind The Jankers - Roy Williamson
  15. Paintbrush and Superglue - Matt
  16. Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera - Phil Curran
  17. Wargaming With Barks - Barks
  18. Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist - Edwin King
  19. EndTransmission's gaming stuff - Paul Smith
  20. Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers - Colgar6
  21. dead lead project - myincubliss

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 (Week 3)

This week's offering for Zomtober is another Studio Miniatures Zombie. I left this one quite late and basically did 90% of the painting this morning. That said, I am reasonably happy with it as tabletop standard and it adds another mini to the horde, and takes one more out of the unpainted pile.

I am not sure what injury killed this Zombie, so I added a bloodstain to his t-shirt to indicate trauma over and above his dislodged eye.

The past three weeks has seen some stunning outputs for Zomtober and to everyone taking part, well done; but I am most in awe of the painters able to complete multiple minis each week.

Several other bloggers have been re-posting the Zomtober bloggers list with their posts, so I felt I should at least do the same:

Zomtober 2017 blog roll (click blog names for links):
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer - pulpcitizen
  4. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  5. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  6. Saturday Mornings - Ivor Evans
  7. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  8. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  9. ANYTHING BUT A 1! - Clint
  10. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  11. The Wargame Addict - Wargame Addict
  12. Lead Reckoning - Fred Jackson
  13. da Gobbo's Grotto - Wargaming blog - da Gobbo Grotto
  14. Never Mind The Jankers - Roy Williamson
  15. Paintbrush and Superglue - Matt
  16. Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera - Phil Curran
  17. Wargaming With Barks - Barks
  18. Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist - Edwin King
  19. EndTransmission's gaming stuff - Paul Smith
  20. Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers - Colgar6



Saturday, 14 October 2017

Quarter 3 2017 Painting Summary

Overall I am pretty pleased with my volume of output, in the middle of my low and high targets for July to September, but overshadowed by the amount I painted in the same period in the year before.

I made significant headway into my G.I. Joe Project over the past three months, which was positive, especially as Brummie and myself have now managed to play a few games of Squad Wars to test the rules and iron out the bumps. This month I am taking a bit of a break from the Joe stuff, but I fully expect to carry on painting more next month.

I also painted an Adventurer from the Meridian Miniatures Tooth and Sword range (that Bat Spell Caster below is not giant size - really!), which was pleasing as the range has been untouched for far too long after receiving my Kickstarter pledge.

This also lead to me starting and writing up a third draft of a set up rules for fantasy skirmish adventure gaming - 16,000+ words mainly written in September for that! I hope to get some fantasy scenery done before too long to go with more Tooth and Sword minis.

Finally, astute readers may have noticed an absence of BMG minis in the past few months. This is intentional. Basically due to concerns with how the 'official' BMG Facebook community is run, and specifically certain behaviours of its lead admin (most stuff I won't go into, but stuff that is so bizarre to sound made up in some instances, and just downright wrong in other instances), including exclusion of community members seemingly by whim in certain instances, including myself. Therefore, I am no longer buying Knight Models products, attending their officially-sanctioned   tournaments nor will I be blogging about their products until and if there is a notable change in the status quo. I have had civil conversations with Knight Models on the matter, and I have explained why I will no longer be supporting them or their products while the situation remains unchanged, and they have stated they are considering the situation. I'll miss attending the tournaments and playing BMG against Brummie, but for me it is a matter of principle.

Anyhoo, I am hoping to keep painting momentum through the next few weeks and will hopefully churn out a few more minis.


Painted in Q3 (-7 from Q3 2016)
GI Joe: 13
Tooth& Sword: 1


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Mimic (Fantasy Gaming)

A bit of an odd one this, amid this month's Zomtober outputs, and mainly finished because Zomtober has seemingly reignited some painting motivation.

Mimics are tried and true Dungeons & Dragons monsters that have popped up in other franchises such as Japanese console rpgs. They are creatures which inhabit dungeons pretending to be treasure chests etc. in order to pounce on unsuspecting adventurers!

This sculpt is from Reaper Miniatures and is cast in their Bones material. I did a poor job of clean up, and I have to say I really don't like the Bones material at all.

Cheap is great, but in hindsight I would have probably preferred to do this one in white metal, and would likely have cleaned it up better had that been the case.

I have a Fantasy Gaming Project looming (probably using Tooth & Sword minis for the protagonists and many/some of the antagonists), so the Mimic is intended to be part of that. I have already picked up another couple of Mimics from another manufacturer so expect to see something similar in the not too distant future. More details in due course!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 (Week 2)

This week's offering is a mini that was started but not finished for last Zomtober; he has basically sat part-painted for a year, meaning I am very glad to clear something out of the dreaded painting queue!

It has been great to see so many Zomtoberists progress to Week 2, so very well done guys.

This week's mini is from Studio Miniatures, and I think of it as part of my sub-set of Mutant Zombies. Most of my Mutant Zombies so far have also been Big/Boss Zombies so this is a nice addition to those ranks as a smaller model. No blood splatters on this one, but the remainder of the month will see more regular Zombies stumbling forth.

I am still generally doing modern-era Zombies for this year, with bits and pieces from a few ranges, however, an order of some chibi Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombies has arrived in recent days - now I am just awaiting bases for them.....

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Zomtober 2017 (Week 1)

My Zomtober Week 1 mini is in the bag, phew!

I had a slow painting month in August, so Zomtober is just the ticket to help me pull up my totals for the year.  Having the mutual support of other Zomtoberists is a great spur for me to get 'something done', so well thanks and done to the 20 or so of us who have decided to take part this year.

Zomtober has helped me paint at least 30 minis over the 5 years it has been going, and this is the 24th modern Zombie I have added to my collection due to Zomtober (taking me to a nice round 40 in total).

I am not pursuing any kind of theme this year, just clearing odds and ends from years' worth of backlog Zombies, including this mini from Studio Miniatures. I imagine that prior to rising as a Zombie, this one had its neck chewed and hand chewed away then his neck broken before dying - very unfortunate!

I used this mini to try out how I shade and highlight what is a fairly new colour for me (the brown used for the long sleeve t-shirt), since I'll be using the same colour on another mini I have coming up. I may add some new acquisitions to the Zomtober painting queue, but that will depend on overall progress.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Bat Spell Caster (Tooth & Sword)

A change of pace on the minis painting front with this post. I needed something of a 'palette cleanser' (for me, doing something very different) to avoid sliding into another painting lull. I was rummaging around the hobby room yesterday and though again about Tooth & Sword (a Kickstarter I backed in 2014, and minis are available from the Meridian Miniatures web-site - click for link). My G.I. Joe Project will be carrying on, but doing this mini was simply a way of getting back on track with painting minis.

I was instantly captivated by the designs, old-school D&D realised in minis form via anthropomorphic chibi adventurers! Unfortunately my capacity to buy minis exceeds my capacity to paint them! While I know the style is not to everyone's tastes, it certainly grabbed by attention. 

In 2015 I painted the Shambling Zombies, and now three years on from the original Kickstarter I have finally got around to finishing one of the adventurers. 

I picked up the Bat Spell Caster from the painting queue yesterday and figured out how I wanted to approach it. There are some big smooth surfaces which means a different feel for painting those, and I have more to learn there, and unlike the Shambling Zombies I had to properly tackle the eyes this time around. I think I will learn as I go with the Tooth & Sword adventurers.

In part painting the Bat Spell Caster was prompted by some rules tinkering I was doing yesterday, but all in all, I am pleased to have added to the painted minis tally for this year, and added some more variation to my recent outputs.

Tooth & Sword
Minis owned/painted: 24/6 (25%)
Good painted: 0
Neutral painted: 0
Wicked painted: 1
Monsters painted: 5

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Kamakura (G.I. Joe)

Kamakura is yet another G.I. Joe and Arashikage ninja - there sure are a lot of them! He was added to the canon in the early 2000's through the Devil's Due Productions comics, and later appeared in some G.I. Joe cartoons.

Kamakura is the son of a Crimson Guardsman who forms a bond with Snake Eyes, and in the DDP branch of the comics continuity and the action figure canon becomes Snake Eyes' apprentice. My main reason for adding him to my G.I. Joe Project was that I felt RAFM's Ronin mini was a good fit for the character.  Me and Brummie are constantly searching for options to fit G.I. Joe and Cobra characters, and successes in finding a mini which we can then match to a character drives additions to the project more than anything else.

In preparing the mini I trimmed the sword back a bit (it was incredibly long!), and swapped his head for a spare Pulp City Ninja head that I had. Unfortunately my green stuffing around the neck was a bit rough, but it will do. I decided to use a different green than that used on most of my Joes - Vallejo Model Color Flat Green. The primary painting was pretty straightforward allowing me to make quick progress with base colour, washes, dry-brush and highlights. The colours are an approximation of one of the many versions of the Kamakura action figure, but not a like for like copy on the model's details.

I am hoping to get some more Cobra done over the next few weeks, although with Zomtober coming that will be dependent on available time. I have quite a few minis part -painted for the project right now that I really need to start finishing off.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (18)
G.I. Joe: 13*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 4*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Helix (G.I. Joe)

Helix is the latest addition to my G.I. Joe forces, and one of the newer characters added to the canon. I first encountered her in the pages of the IDW comics and was immediately impressed with how she was pitched to readers. Apparently the character was developed for a video game which tied into the Rise of Cobra film, but I haven't played that.

Helix possesses an unusual capability called Total Organic Battlefield Awareness, essentially the capacity to perform complex calculations very rapidly, applying those calculations to anticipate what allies and enemies will do in battle. In the comics, the business-like Helix quickly forms a comradeship with the uber-cool Snake Eyes. There is a very cool sequence in the comics when the two of them take on a remote Cobra garrison and unleash hell on their enemy.

In sourcing the model I encountered a happy accident. Brummie and I have been looking up lots of options for G.I. Joe Project characters, yet while searching for another model which I thought I had unpainted in my collection, I stumbled across this Dionne from Hasslefree Miniatures. The hair and pose were an obvious perfect fit for what I wanted for Helix. I considered adding a webbing belt but opted against it as my green-stuff skills are simply not up to that kind of thing, so instead I concentrated on trying to convey an approximation of her colour scheme.

Naturally Helix will make her way into Squad Wars games where she will be a bad-ass on a par with the best of the best like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (17)
G.I. Joe: 12*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0


Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Dead Walk....Zomtober 2017 is Coming....

The dead lead (and resin and plastic!) shall walk again! Zomtober rises!

The sixth annual Zomtober is almost upon us - that time of year when bloggers like my buddies Rob (click here for his blog) and Simon (click for his blog here) and myself commit to getting some more Zeds or Survivors painted.

The rules
The Zomtober rules are simple.

To take part you just need to paint one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday (we use Sunday's as the end of each Zomtober week). So that means posting one or more newly painted Zombie or Survivor minis each week on or before the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of October 2017. This year has a very tight start and there is nothing stopping bloggers starting that first mini early in readiness for the Sunday!

Anyone commenting on this post will get added to the blog list below (and feel free to do something similar on your own blogs - as the word spreads, more and more bloggers can be involved!). Last year we had around 15-20 bloggers involved, and it would be great to beat that this year. So welcome all to this year's Zomtober!

Zomtober 2017 blog roll (click blog names for links):
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer - pulpcitizen
  4. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  5. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  6. Saturday Mornings - Ivor Evans
  7. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  8. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  9. ANYTHING BUT A 1! - Clint
  10. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  11. The Wargame Addict - Wargame Addict
  12. Lead Reckoning - Fred Jackson
  13. da Gobbo's Grotto - Wargaming blog - da Gobbo Grotto
  14. Never Mind The Jankers - Roy Williamson
  15. Paintbrush and Superglue - Matt
  16. Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera - Phil Curran
  17. Wargaming With Barks - Barks
  18. Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist - Edwin King
  19. EndTransmission's gaming stuff - Paul Smith
  20. Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers - Colgar6

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

First 10 G.I. Joes

These are my first ten 'enlisted' G.I. Joes, although these are actually my first eleven G.I. Joe characters thanks to Timber. I think going forward I will try and do updates for every ten additional characters, and will count the animal companions into that, otherwise it will get confusing for me let alone for unfortunate readers!

Sgt. Slaughter was painted in 2016,  kicking things off, but the rest have been painted in the last few months as the project heats up.

Now on to the next ten! Yo Joe!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Grunt (G.I. Joe)

Grunt is my tenth 'enlisted' G.I. Joe (I have eleven characters so far including Timber), and the sixteenth character in all for my G.I. Joe Project. He is one of the original characters that formed the first wave of characters for the A Real American Hero line.

As one of the classic characters, Grunt was developed through story arcs outlined in the Marvel comics as well as file cards of updated versions. In many ways he is the quintessential G.I. Joe infantryman, as befits his name.

To help him stand out from any potential 'Greenshirts' I may paint, I opted to base his main colour on the tan re-paint of the action figure which was released a year or so after the first version.

I had a bit of a struggle shading the Medium Grey base colour, but a bit of a brainwave allowed me to correct that after being unsatisfied with the first shade colour. The painting isn't brilliant, but I am happy to have finished him after a bit of a slow month in August (although when I get my Vipers finished, that will add a bunch of minis in one hit).

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (16)
G.I. Joe: 11*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Monday, 28 August 2017

Ninja Viper (Cobra)

One of the things the G.I. Joe mythos certainly has is a lot of different ninjas! It only makes sense for my G.I. Joe Project to include a few as well. I have more planned and have been scouring the web for ninja models to use.

Ninja Vipers are the elite of the Cobra Viper ranks. Consequently I am treating them as lesser to the Red Ninja Viper in game terms for my gaming using Squad Wars, so formidable in close combat but the least of the ninja types as it were. And the Ninja Viper is certainly outclassed by the likes of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Jinx.

I started the mini a while ago, but as usual got side-tracked. While painting up a squad of other minis (I never enjoy batch painting these days), I decided I need something finished fast and picked up the Ninja Viper again and was able to finish the painting quite quickly. August has been a lean month overall on the painting front, but I hope the work I have done helps me into September's outputs.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (15)
G.I. Joe: 10*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hotwire (Cobra)

What a difference doing 'something'/'anything' makes! After posting my WiP post, I managed to paint Hotwire in the same afternoon (my equivalent to speed-painting....), and from that I hope to carry some momentum forward to get a few more minis finished this month.

Hotwire was added to the canon in the 2000's as a Cobra as a convention-only special character. The deranged Hotwire comes from a lineage of Bavarian scientists operating within criminal spheres and he specialises in B.A.T. Maintenance & repair, and is also a bio-mechanical engineer.

As mentioned in the WiP post (you can see the source inspiration and chosen base mini below), I zeroed in on tackling this model mainly based on ease of conversion - the mini is from Studio Miniatures and was immediately obvious as a candidate for reworking for my G.I. Joe Project. However, as I plan to eventually paint up some B.A.T.s (Battle Android Troopers), it makes sense to have a character who can boost them, making it an even better decision to make Hotwire. Therefore, expect to see Hotwire eventually in mine and Brummie's games of Squad Wars at some point. Painting him takes me up to four Cobra characters, so I have a way to go to catch up with my number of Joes and the number of Cobra that Brummie has painted. I have a nearly-finished Cobra Ninja Viper, and a few Joes already part-painted, so with luck a few more minis may get done this week.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (14)
G.I. Joe team: 10*
Cobra: 4**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Monday, 21 August 2017

Hotwire (WiP; G.I. Joe Project)

I don't often do WiP posts, but as I have hit a painting slowdown this month (so far in August I painted 6 DUST Quonset Huts glimpsed in the last post, but haven't finished any character models yet), I thought I might do so at this time to help gee me up!

This mini will become Hotwire, a recent addition to the Cobra forces in the G.I. Joe mythos. Basically he seems to be a deranged engineer-scientist specialising in modification of BATs (Battle Android Troopers).

One of the things driving decisions for Brummie and me in our choice of characters to add to our G.I. Joe Projects is the availability of source minis. Hotwire is a case in point - while we were scouting options, I checked out Studio Miniatures' Survivors range and picked out two good possibilities. One of those options led to Hotwire, who started off as a not-Doc Brown type (Back to the Future). It is not a character I would have even considered except for the relative ease of conversion I saw in the source mini.

I set to work on his lower trouser legs and arm cuffs with a file, to turn the areas into boots and gloves respectively, and added a bit of green stuff for a trouser near a boot top. I also added a layer of thin plastic under his shoes to make him a tiny bit taller to fit the other minis and bulk out his boots. I am reasonably pleased with how that bit of work turned out and hope he paints up well enough that he looks 'right' and the work seems correct. I have a few days off so I plan to finish several minis this week, including Hotwire, motivation permitting!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

First Squad Wars Play-tests

This week saw the inaugural play-test games for Squad Wars, using a mix of minis from mine and Brummie's growing G.I. Joe collections. My initial feeling was that a lot of things worked as I hoped and a few things need tweaking, which is all good.

We managed both a small and a medium sized game in less than three and half hours, which is without having played the game before and so I it felt it was fairly speedy overall, all things considered. That time included making a couple of cups of tea and stopping to have discussions about whether or not certain things worked to create a satisfying game-play feel, so ultimately probably closer to three hours or less in total for the two games played.

The games helped identify a few issues to fix - nothing fundamental but certain special rules and how they can be applied differently to improve the experience.

Brummie was really supportive and kindly gave feedback and insights, as well as noting the log of changes to be made and also took two of the pictures in this post (thanks very much mate!).

I wish I had taken more pics myself but I was understandably focused on the games themselves and talking Brummie through my ethos for certain design choices. I opted away from making a Battle Report at this stage as the key thing is getting the fundamentals right in terms of using time well.

Anyway, suffice to say, it feels on the right track of what I want and I hope to get more Squad Wars gaming in with Joes versus Cobra before too long.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Steeler (G.I Joe)

Steeler is a bit of a touch-stone for me, so I am very happy to add him to the G.I. Joe ranks. Back in 1983, my 10-year self was fortunate enough to receive the Z Force Battle Tank and Steeler as a Christmas present, and I loved it. Motorised vehicle that could go forward, backwards in different directions? What was there not to love! That Action Force (Z Force was one of the four arms of Action Force in the canon) tank was a repaint of the original G.I. Joe set of the MOBAT and Steeler. The character was adapted to the Euro-centric Action Force and the colour scheme changed.

I decided to use the G.I. Joe version colour scheme as my primary influence, recalling a kind of bright olive green for his fatigues on my toy version so working that in instead of the standard green I have been using. Then there was the case of differentiating three different types of 'black' and ultimately it was a fairly straightforward paint-job.

In the Marvel US G.I. Joe comics Steeler is a character who has some key moments in earlier issues then is featured sparingly afterwards. But he has a tank to command, and that is the key thing!

I hope I can carry some of the momentum of the past couple of months into August and progress further into my G.I. Joe Project.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (13)
G.I. Joe team: 10*
Cobra: 3**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Red Ninja Viper (Cobra)

Red Ninja Viper (or Red Ninja depending on which version of the source action figure you refer to!) is my latest addition to my G.I. Joe Project, serving the enemy forces of Cobra. I prefer the longer Red Ninja Viper name as it just sounds cooler to my brain and ear.

The character is far from a leading light of the canon, and is among a plethora of ninja types that thread through the G.I. Joe mythos. It is a character 'after my time' so to speak, and only one I came across while researching options for the G.I. Joe Project. In Squad Wars games I am probably going to pitch him as an individualised character, but effectively an 'extra' type for bulking out the Cobra forces with some extra individuality - that may change though. The mini itself was a spare copy of Storm Shadow that I had from a friend's private commission, so be sure to expect a white-clad ninja before too long.

For painting I went with a bit of a hybrid of the various incarnations of Red Ninja/Red Ninja Viper. I started painting the mini at the same time as Jinx but fell behind with this one while stuff like Stalker, Timber, Shipwreck and Short Fuze got finished instead. Thankfully I have been able to retain some painting momentum and was able to get the mini finished while working a little on some other characters.

I reckon Red Ninja Viper may get a run out before too long as Brummie has recently gone into painting overdrive (check out his blog to see what I mean - link here), meaning that collectively we have a lot of characters to choose from to start gaming with.

Coming up I have a mix of Joes and Cobra in various stages including: Baroness, Duke, Gung Ho, Rock N Roll and Roadblock. Of course with my random approach to painting that could mean something else entirely like a Cobra Ninja gets painted instead....

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (12)
G.I. Joe team: 9*
Cobra: 3**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

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