Thursday 31 December 2015

Quarter 4 Painting & Year End Hobby Review 2015

My 2015 in minis
Another hobby year ends, and in all it has been good for me I think, even if I missed some of my painting goals.

This year I painted 63 minis, more than in 2014 and matching 2013. Among those I painted my first Warmachine/Hordes minis, and next year hope to get a playable force together. I also painted my first Tooth & Sword minis and have a whole heap more to tackle in the year to come.

I hit my targets for Tooth & Sword, Zombies and especially BMG. I missed my targets for Pulp City, Warmachine/Hordes and particularly Anima Tactics: the latter saw my motivation evaporate when Cipher Studios curtailed new releases to a few previously unreleased minis. I keep hearing rumours of a 'new' Anima Tactics and hope they prove true.

Terrain I built and/or painted in 2015
On the painting front for 2016, I have set more modest targets (read: realistic) for some ranges, and so have set an overall goal of 50 minis across several ranges comprising smaller goals, which I think is do-able. Time will tell of course!

I played more games this year than last, across several skirmish systems (Pulp City, Batman Miniatures Game, Across the Dead Earth, 7TV2e, Song of Tomahawks and Muskets and Freebooter's Fate). Thanks to Rob, Simon and Dan M. for the games, and all my tournament opponents. Thanks to attending some tournaments I got to meet fellow bloggers Kieron, Carl and Dan H. which was great. And in the past couple of weeks I have <ahem> acquired some X-Wing Miniatures Game stuff...

2015 also saw me managing to assemble and paint some additions to my terrain options, giving me many more choices than last year. I really enjoyed the Fabled Realms stuff, and discovering the cheap as chips TTCombat range. In all I built and/or painted 15 terrain pieces in 2015.

With Simon (cheers mate!) I attended a few shows and picked up some bargains, and one kit in particular that I have wanted for many, many years.

2015 also saw the second Kickstarter campaign which I am directly involved in, which was a very nice success, adding two new whole Factions to the Pulp City range. Don't let anyone tell you a Kickstarter campaign is easy - it isn't, and that was with four of us contributing (well done to all of us Maciej, Devon and Melvin).

So 2016 beckons, and hopefully with it plenty of hobby activity!

My painting in 2015
I missed my absolute target of 68 minis, but hit my low-end target of 50.

Quarter 1: 16 minis
Anima Tactics: 2 minis
BMG: 10 minis
Warmachine/Hordes: 4 minis

Quarter 2: 13 minis 
Anima Tactics: 1 mini
Pulp City: 3 minis
BMG: 8 minis
Warmachine/Hordes: 1 mini

Quarter 3: 17 minis 
Pulp City: 5 minis
BMG: 11 minis
Tooth & Sword: 1 mini

Quarter 4: 17 minis 
Anima Tactics: 1 mini
Pulp City: 2 minis
Zombies: 5 minis
BMG: 4 minis
Tooth & Sword: 4 minis
Warmachine/Hordes: 1 mini

Sunday 29 November 2015

August (Joker Henchman)

With the painting of first, my Gas Canister Objectives, and now this Henchman, my Joker crew building starts in earnest.

Originally I was going to put them in the orange jump-suits of the Arkham City game, as I did with Knife Clown, but after seeing Dan's Joker crew (here), I changed my mind. I have now settled on a mix of green and purple garments offset with grey vests etc., and probably some denim on the Elites. Knife Clown will probably have to have some kind of repaint eventually to fit in.

August is the first mini finished with the new colour scheme in mind, and was something of a test piece. How I highlight the purple will probably evolve as I paint some more. I have 3 more Henchmen started, although only 2 of those are currently planned for the crew.

The current list is planned as:

  • Joker (AC version; I cannot see any reason to use any of the other 3 Jokers over this guy)
  • Joker's Daughter (just to make a change from the seemingly ubiquitous AC Harley Quinn)
  • Hush (already painted - yay!)
  • Borgon - Hammer
  • Sniggering - Assault Rifle
  • August - Axe
  • Contra-Auguste - Bat
  • Clown (Tube)

With August now finished, and Hush painted a while ago, that puts me one quarter of the way to achieving this crew. I hope to add at least a couple more during December, and maybe finish the whole crew by January or February 2016.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 173 (added: Joker Elites, Joker Henchmen blister, Two Face Henchmen blister, Scarecrow AK crew box, Militia Brute, Wonderland Gang crew, Talia - comics)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 17.9% (31 models)

Joker Gas Canister Objectives

Okay, I admit I am starting work on a new crew. I hadn't planned to do a Joker crew yet, simply since they seem ubiquitous. However, given Knight Model's concentration on Joker (there seems to be a new option almost every month), I have relented in that stance.

Not sure whether or not they will get much game time; in 3 tournaments where around 40% of crews were Joker, plus some other games against Joker crews, I have only seen 1 crew use them in one tournament of 3 games. That says something to me. They are a mixed offering for Joker as each offers 1 VP per Round which opponent's cannot score from, and because model's Activating within 5 cm risk being damaged, that deters enemy model's contesting the, The downside is that to score, the Joker player has to risk his own model's on a Willpower test, meaning Leaders, Free Agents and Sidekicks offer better odds of surviving when scoring.

I started these Gas Canister Objectives many months ago thinking I would finish them quickly simply to get them done. That didn't happen. Cut to recent weeks when I decided to put together a Joker crew, and it was high time to get them out of the painting queue.

I am going green and purple on all models in some way in the new crew, but using a different tone of each colour to those used on the hard surfaces like these Gas Canisters.

I had planned to do the free hand 'HA!' twice on each of them, but trying to paint at an angle around a curved surface was enough of a pain to make me want to do it once only on each.

So, summing up, they have simple colour schemes, but I am counting them against my painted total for the year since they have a few colours used, some shading and some highlighting (plus I don't count terrain, so these offset that!).

Saturday 28 November 2015


My first painted mini in November, and it has taken some time to get done. I started this during Zomtober but as I was focusing on my main theme (Zombie kids) it didn't get completed.

Come November, and a combination of work being very busy, consequent tiredness and finishing the Sovereign Theatre kit put painting minis on the back burner.

In the last week or so I have felt more motivated so a few more models have been concurrently tickled with the hairy sticks, meaning I may finish one, two or hopefully more before the end of the month... hopefully.

The mini itself is interesting to me, not least because Cold War, but I am very uncertain of that.
of the nature of his main injury, although the oversized hands are pretty crude. Not sure of the manufacturer, maybe

Now though, with another Zombie finished, I realise I really do need to do a new 'horde' picture before too long.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Sovereign Theatre (TTCombat)

Another kit I have bought from the TTCombat City Scenics range in order to improve my contemporary city-scape options, I was immediately taken with the Sovereign Theatre when I first saw it.

The kit is the usual great value from TTCombat in my humble opinion (£19.95 GBP shipped to  the UK, ordering via Ebay or the TTCombat site), and was the first larger kit for which I used my new technique for painting MDF kits: basically I paint parts together while still on the sprue where they are grouped with parts to be painted the same colour. The painting is done with 4 inch sponge mini rollers and Vallejo paint. The paint this way seems to work out cheaper than using up potentially multiple cans of spray, and I am happy with the texture, plus touch up colour matching is made easier!

The build time was hard to calculate as it was made over a few sessions, but I would say around two hours, most of which was spent on the ticket office and the overhang on which the theatre sign and movie line-up sits. There was a certain amount of fiddly construction there as parts had to be lined up to a couple of planes while trying to slot everything together.

The kit comes with a number options for movies/productions that are playing; theatre names and sign design; and also 'posters' to be stuck to the sides of the building. There are also seats which can be assembled and included but which I opted against.

The footprint of the base is approximately 12 inches by 8 inches, while the main building is an approximate cube, 8 inches wide, deep and high. The overhang is around 3 3/4 inches high. Pulp City figures and a Hasslefree Zombie are used for scale reference. Wildman (standing on the overhang) is on a 40 mm base, showing the overhang can accommodate 40 mm bases.

All in all a recommended kit, and I think it offers great value. Thus far, I have not been dissatisfied with any TTCombat kit I have picked up.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Scaffolding & Subway Entrances

Some recent terrain acquisitions to Pulp Citizen towers!

The figures used for scale are Gentleman (Pulp City) and a Hasslefree Miniatures Zombie.

The scaffolding set is produced by TTCombat costing £3.95 including shipping (within the UK), and comes with a wheeled power generator (not pictured). For the price I am very impressed with the kit and thoroughly recommend it.

The build time was a little over an hour, excluding painting. That time included cutting parts from the frame. It is not hard to put together, but the cross-pieces give a few placement options so I tried to leave one of the sides more 'open' to make it easier to get minis in and out of the middle level.

Subway Entrances
These subway entrances come as a pair and are by Polish company Multiverse Gaming. They shipped quickly and I thought the shipping cost was very fair, and so I will be ordering from them again.

The price is €11.95 (around £8.60 at current exchange rate). I think this is great value for the kits.

The subway entrance kits come with card relief detailing which I feel really lifts what could have been very boxy and flat constructs. Build time was around 20 minutes per subway entrance. the most fiddly thing to do is glue the card in place, and beware that the card detailing is quite fragile.

Both of these sets add extra options to my urban terrain and honestly I think both are great buys and well worth the investment.

Saturday 31 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 Summary

Another Zomtober closes and well done to everyone who took part.

No new minis to add from me in this post, but time for a little round up of what I managed to paint in Zomtober 2015.

This year I set myself three goals:

  1. The primary goals was to simply paint 1 modern Zombie per week (four in total); 
  2. The secondary goal was to paint something even tangentially related for each of Pulp City, Anima Tactics and BMG (3 minis in total);
  3. The tertiary goal was to paint my remaining Shambling Zombies for Tooth & Sword (four minis).

Well, I managed all of those goals and a little extra!

The month has seen me paint or finish painting twelve minis in total, which is my most productive month since I started tracking my output in the past few years, which has felt very satisfying indeed.

The Zomtober deadlines have been really useful for me personally over the years, getting me to focus on finishing things, which I find challenging a lot of the time since like many hobbyists I am easily distracted!

So roll on Zomtober 2016, and don't firget, with Sunday deadlines it will be a '5 week month'!

Wednesday 28 October 2015


Enthused with painting motivation I tackled this Feralgeist: an undead mini for Hordes and Warmachine that has sat part-painted for far, far too long (looking back the model was part-painted as long ago as April this year!). I am not sure why it took me so long to get it finished, but whatever the cause, something did cause procrastination.

So definitely not a Zombie (more like some ghostly 'thing'), but finishing this was entirely down to a desire to clear something from the backlog while motivation lasted.

The Feralgeist adds another point to my Circle Orboros force, not much, but every little helps! Since my gaming buddy Rob has a few painted Khador minis, maybe next year we can try a game or two?

Since I started tracking my monthly, quarterly and annual painting output, this has been the most successful month of all, so even finishing a simple mini like this is nice for me just to make a dent in the dread lead mountain.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 (Week 4)

The final week for me (barring a 'bonus mini' after this post like I managed after Week 4 last year!), and thankfully I have met my original goals for Zomtober - one Zombie per week plus getting related stuff done for Pulp City, Anima Tactics and BMG), and also getting four Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombie minis painted. All in all, I feel this has been my most successful Zomtober on a personal level both in terms of output, and in breadth of ranges tackled.

This week I finished Sharsha 'Fiedegunde' first (over on on my Anima Tactician blog), spurred on by painting Zombies (she isn't Undead, but I used my Zombie flesh recipe for her).

After that I finished my fourth Zombie kid (this year's accidental theme!; this mini is from the Tiny Terrors pack from Studio Miniatures), then I finally managed to complete the painting of the last two of my five Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombies.

With these additions I have managed to paint 11 minis in total so far this month, and with a few days left, there is the chance I may yet manage one or two more.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Pulp City: Cold War Kickstarter (Kicktraq)

Pulp City: Cold War -- Kicktraq Mini
Shameless plug time - the Kicktraq for the Pulp City Cold War Kickstarter with 10 days to go as I post this.

The reason why I am posting this, is that it helps the campaign's visibility on Kikctraq, which helps the campaign. Normal Zomtober service will be resumed imminently!

Sunday 18 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 (Week 3)

Another week, another Zombie kid! And some more yellow  - I am using the opportunity to practice painting yellow in anticipation of 3 minis I want to get painted soon-ish that all feature yellow quite prominently.

Work has been very busy for me this week, plus the Pulp City: Cold War Kickstarter launch took place, so time for painting has been limited when I have not been feeling tired. Therefore getting one Zombie painted was a nice small goal. All that aside, I now have some time off work so I hope to get a few more minis painted in the next 7 days!

In addition to this Zombie kid, I also finished Papa Zombie (click for link) in the past few days for my own Pulp City collection as a fitting ancillary miniature for Zomtober. That means I have finished two out of the planned three minis I planned to paint that were not regular Zombies or Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombies. That took me to seven minis for the month, already matching what I managed in 2014, and leaves me every chance of finishing ten or even eleven in total if momentum is sustained.

I need to prep another Zombie kid to ensure I can stick to the theme I stumbled onto for my own output this year, but I am fairly confident of meeting my weekly target for the final entry next week.

Friday 16 October 2015

Pulp City: Cold War (Kickstarter)

Some of you may not know, but I am part of the Pulp Monsters team behind Pulp City, and yesterday we launched Pulp City: Cold War (click for link) - a new Kickstarter campaign to produce two brand-new Factions, and it has already exceeded our target!

I had hoped to post this yesterday, but we were kind of busy with a successful launch night!

Honestly, I think our game has among the most amazing fans of any skirmish game. :)

Sunday 11 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 (Week 2)

Just one mini for this week, yet a theme for me for Zomtober 2015 is already emerging - this year looks like it will be Zombie kids! After painting last week's primary Zombie entry I dug out a few more Zombie child minis and settled on that as my focus.

The mini was fairly simple to paint although lacking obvious major injuries leading to Zombification, so I tried to paint his face as though that had been the main point of attack. Overall a pretty simple paint-job, although the yellow was a little bit of a struggle.

Although I have only painted two minis so far for my regular-Zombies horde, this is my fifth completed mini of the month with the other related stuff I have finished, and I hope to finish the month with a tally of between seven and ten painted minis in total, maybe slightly more if motivation permits. My best total in recent years has been ten minis in 2013, so if I match that I would be very happy. So far this month I have completed Xiao Loong for BMG, and two Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombies. I have also made some nice progress on a mini called Papa Zombie for Pulp City, so Zomtober impetus has certainly carried over!

Quarter 3 2015 Painting Summary

After finishing with V.H. (Pulp City) and Benjamin Orchard (BMG) in September, the third quarter saw my best output in terms of number of models this year, despite a relatively lean end with only 4 painted minis in the last month. That said, I doubled the output of the same period in 2014 and a little extra! So that was nice to say the least.

Painted in Q3 (+9 from Q2 2014!)

Pulp City: 5
BMG: 11
Tooth & Sword: 1

That takes me to 46 minis for the year. My BMG painting is well ahead of target; Pulp City is now probably on target for the year; Anima Tactics is so far off target it is hard to even consider. Overall I have since hit my low target of 50, but will probably miss my high target of 68.

I have started on painting my first Tooth & Sword at last, and will paint some more soon. Zomtober beckons of course, so I am hoping for a good October, and that may even include at least 1 Anima Tactics mini. I want to paint at least 4 more Pulp City minis this year, and have designs on painting a third crew option for BMG....

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Xiao Loong (Court of Owls)

Now this was a pleasant bonus for me from Week 1 of Zomtober - starting painting Xiao Loong and finishing the mini within a couple of days without impeding my planned Zomtober painting!

I have mentally set myself the challenge of painting tangentially related minis for 3 games (Pulp City, BMG and Anima Tactics) in addition to my core Zomtober painting. For BMG this has meant the Court of Owls Talons. Talons are assassin agents of the Court, and there is only ever one active at a time. In the first story-lines, many 'retired' Talons are brought back to life. They are incredibly resistant to physical trauma, have weird voices, and have risen from the dead - close enough to Zombies in some ways to count as a tangential inspiration for me!

Xiao Loong appears only briefly and is depicted as a somewhat tragic figure, ultimately seeking freedom from his servitude to the Court. This appears to be granted in final terms by Red Hood (Jason Todd), but whether Red Hood kills Xiao Loong is unclear as this happens is unclear as it takes place off-panel so is alluded to rather than shown.

In game terms, the Court is really limited by its current available Leader (Benjamin Orchard), to including only Court models, meaning a total Reputation limiting games to 300 Rep. 3 out of the current 4 Talons are Henchmen, although ability-wise they are equivalent to less-powerful Free Agents in capability, while giving up fewer VP's, and having better all around Skills and Traits than most higher-cost Henchmen. Arguably they are on par or better than Nite Owl and possibly Silk Spectre from Watchmen. Whether that proves the case on the table is another matter. Until I get more of the Court of Owls painted, not one I will be able to answer!

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 157 (added: nothing since the last splurge)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 19.1% (30 models)

Sunday 4 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 (Week 1)

Well, Week 1 is done, and already a number of great entries have been posted. My own contribution was a little rushed (having spent yesterday at the Derby wargames show), but I am pleased to have made the deadline with 3 minis!

I was determined to use this Zomtober momentum to get not only some regular Zeds painted, but also some more of my Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombies, and possibly some other minis that are not quite Zombies but which tie in loosely (more on those as Zomtober progresses I hope!).

I am not sure about the manufacturer of the Zombie child, and atypically for me it is not based on a Fenris base (jn stead a Dragon Forge base). It has been under-coated for at least a couple of years, possibly longer, and the clean-up was poor on my part (I noticed mold lines while painting), but to be honest, getting it painted was key and so I can claim that it is done.

The Tooth & Sword Zombies are helping me get to grips with a simplified approach to my painting, and I am happy to have painted two more.

For the weeks ahead, I have some regular contemporary Zombies part-painted to finish off, as well as two more Tooth & Sword Shambling Zombiesand possibly the secret-for-now 'other stuff'.

Monday 28 September 2015

Benjamin Orchard (Court of Owls)

Benjamin Orchard is a fairly recent addition to the Batman mythos, spinning out of the the mythology that has built up around the Court of Owls. I gave the Court of Owls storyline a try in collected edition format, and was intrigued enough to pick up the tpb's of the related Talon series, and that is how I became familiar with Orchard.

The game rules do not seem a very direct translation of the comic character's rules, as when we meet him he is revived with the powers of a Talon, which he was briefly in the 1930's, and as grandmaster he appeared in the modern-day Talon series; in addition, the other Talons were only active one at a time, each killing their predecessor when taking on the mantle, so having a crew of them also places them in the modern setting. Orchard's rules don't include the abilities of revived Talons.

The mini is very uninspiring for me, especially when compared to the various Talon minis. One issue I had was that the proportions seem odd, with an over-long torso and very thin stature, but that may be just me. In addition, the casting was not great, so in all a mini just to 'get done'. Therefore when it came to painting the mini I was satisfied to take a 'quick and done' approach, especially as after finishing Catwoman, I expect my BMG painting output to dwindle for a while.

I do want to get a Court of Owls crew painted, but right now their biggest limitation is that with so few models, the largest game size they can play in is 300 Reputation, and since local tournaments are usually 350 Reputation, I won't consider them until they have some reinforcements. That aid, as they are kind of undead characters, I may justify painting one or two for Zomtober...

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 157 (added: Hugo Strange and Arkham Inmates crew, Clown and Sniggering, Riddler (AK) and Robots crew, Robots blister, Azrael (AK), Red Hood (AK), Hatley Thugs)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 18.5% (29 models)

Saturday 26 September 2015

Zomtober 2015 Is Coming....

The dead lead walks once more....

The fourth annual Zomtober is almost here - 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 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 the Sunday (we use Sunday's as the end of each Zomtober week). So that means one or more minis each week on or before the 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of October 2015.

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!).

Zomtober 2015 blog roll:
  1. Brummie's Wargaming Blog - Simon
  2. Four Colour Super Minis - Rob
  3. Fantorical - Blaxkleric
  4. Fiends in Waistcoats - Robert Audin
  5. Mike's Random Wargaming Meanderings - Mike C
  6. Minis by Finch - Finch
  7. Chris' Miniature Woes - Chris Hird
  8. Metal Skirmish - PMMDJ
  9. 28mm Victorian Warfare - Michael Awdry
  10. Never Mind The Jankers! - Roy Williamson
  11. Cheaphammer!!! - Kieron
  12. Rantings from under the Wargames table - Dick Garrison
  13. Duke of the Blood Keep - Chris Bowler
  14. Deviant Designs Deeds - Ant Master
  15. The Rusty Dagger - Pierce
  16. Game Mayhem - Nobody667
  17. League of Extraordinary Gamers - LXG crew (very well done for the charity angle guys!)
  18. Sean's Wargames Corner - Sean
  19. Miniature Mayhem - Terry Silverthorn
  20. Brains and Guts - Lord Siwoc
  21. Rollntider's wargaming blog - rollntider

Saturday 12 September 2015

Ghetto Miniatures Kicktraq

This is the Kicktraq for the Ghetto Miniatures Kickstarter. Kicktraq tracks how well campaigns are performing and produces 'hot lists' which can garner more attention and hopefully backers. Currently Kicktraq is suggesteing the Ghetto Miniatures KS will be funded - I am keeping my fingers crossed. Ghetto Miniatures: 1970's New York Gang Skirmish Game -- Kicktraq Mini

Friday 4 September 2015

Ghetto Miniatures: 1970's New York Gang Skirmish Game Kickstarter

This is a new Kickstarter I think is pretty interesting for Ghetto Miniatures, a new range of 1970's New York Gangs and rules. As their blurb says: Battle it out on the means streets of the Big Apple.

I like this as it plays to a very Hollywood version of 70's street gangs (Warriors!), and so I find it more palatable than something emulating real world gang-fighting. The campaign has 29 more days to run.

Tuesday 1 September 2015


Catwoman is the first mini I have finished painting in September, and possibly the missing piece for a more robustly scoring BMG crew.

Playing in a recent tournament against Kieron (author of the excellent Cheaphammer!!! blog) gave me a healthy respect for Catwoman as a mobile model that should be given one task only - grab Loot! Doing so means she can score 2 VP per Round meaning she should have 10-12 VP scored per game if used right, which is not to be sniffed at. It potentially renders her a one-note model if I focus on the Loot-grab alone, but that maybe a price worth paying.

On the painting, I am in two minds - one moment I think the paint-job looks okay, while the next I think it looks a little rough in places. Part of that is that I struggled with the fine distinctions between different 'fabric' textures of her costume, but at the end of the day, she is painted which is the main issue.

One thing with the BMG range that has struck me as odd with all the minis that have duplicate versions, is that there has not been a Dark Knight Rises version of Catwoman yet. Despite that, and despite the presumably diminishing likelihood of a DKR Catwoman,  Knight Models seem to be ramping up their monthly output, so currently I know I will not keep up with that, but I probably need to paint at least 1 or 2 minis each month to hold steady with the overall percentage of the range that I have painted.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 141 (added: Arkham Inmates, Killer Frost, Arkham Knight Batman and Robin, Arkham Knight Harley Quinn crew)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 19.9% (28 models)

Friday 28 August 2015

Shambling Zombie (Tooth & Sword)

A first for me - painting a Chibi-style mini!

I backed the Tooth & Sword Kickstarter by Meridian Miniatures last year, completely enchanted by the style of the range. After quite some time, I have now finally found some to start tackling the minis with some tickling of the hairy sticks. Consequently, I decided to start down the 'easier' (in my own mind) path of painting a Shambling Zombie, using my usual Zombie skin recipe. The various other characters will follow after painting the first few Shambling Zombies.

Painting wise this was easier than I though, all I had to do was simplify what I do to suit the appropriate raised surfaces. The eyes are a little more complex than my usual zeds (who get flat VMC Silvergrey) - here I worked down from a more grey colour to the Silvergrey to create a slight sense of depth across the flat surface of the eye. The Chibi style will take a little getting used to in terms of technique. I think I will tackle more Shambling Zombies first just to get me in the right mode of thinking for painting for Tooth & Sword!

The base is by Fenris, and was chosen as round shoulder is my preference over slotta-style chamfered edge. These are 25 mm round shoulders to fit in the design for the Tooth & Sword game (more on that in a future post...).

On a side note, finishing this mini means that in July and August I have matched my painting output for January to March and April to June. :)

Monday 24 August 2015

Bank Of Baltar (TTCombat)

The Bank of Baltar is part of TTCombat's Dark City Scenics range. Ideal for superhero style gaming such as Pulp City, Supersystem and BMG, this piece is pretty large and seems to reflect a recent trend towards bigger MDF buildings intended to create a modern city-scape. I like the art deco-esque style and I am pretty chuffed with the piece. The painting isn't great, but I am still getting to grips with painting MDF stuff.

The model is so big my usual backdrop was too small! The figures used for scale are from my Pulp City collection; the large red one at the entrance is Amok, who is around 65 mm tall.

The basics
  • Footprint: 32 cm x 32 cm (base), 26.5 cm x 26.5 cm (building)
  • Height: 46 cm approximately
  • Build time: It took me around 4.5 to 5 hours, split over a few sessions
  • Price: I got this for £30, and have seen it between £30 to £40 depending on seller

The building is not really designed to have accessible interiors, simply because the lug and slots between levels are so tight and so not conducive to easy removal, and also because there are only three internal floors (of five stories). Really, the building is designed for exterior vertical movement and model positioning.

  • Value - honestly I think this is great value for its size
  • Simplicity - despite the lack of part numbers, it is actually straightforward to identify what parts are used and where
  • Size - for certain gaming environments/needs, size is good
  • Cuts - the laser cutting is very neat on the whole

  • Lugs - some are very slightly out of line in the middle section, meaning that the complex array of sections do not line up quite as neatly as desired, and some walls would have benefited from better-placed lugs to ensure everything lined up correctly
  • Interlocks - these are not really designed to fit sequentially - there was some forcing of the final wall piece of each 'box' assembly
Despite the identified cons, I am very pleased with this as a piece and would recommend it. Allow at least one 500 ml spray can for it though! I can say I will be buying more Dark City Scenics stuff in future.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Clock Tower (TTCombat)

A new terrain piece for me that did not take long to assemble or paint, and was excellent value in my humble opinion.

The Clock Tower is produced as part of the TTCombat range, which I think is part of the Troll Trader company. I bought it a few months ago and assembled it soon after purchase; if I remember correctly, it took around 30-45 minutes to assemble, and assembly was largely unproblematic. It was left awaiting time for painting, and the painting was finally done this month. After a grey spray undercoat, the actual painting only took 45 minutes.

The TTCombat range looks to lack some of the elegant construction of Sarissa and 4Ground, but it is great value and is pretty well cut, so that to me makes it a range i would go back to. This piece was a bargain at £3.95 including shipping!

I am most likely to use this for Freebooter's Fate or Anima Tactics games, but I could see it fitting Victorian-era settings and could probably sneak onto a Pulp City or BMG table. The models included for size reference are from the Freebooter's Fate (Trucco) and Anima Tactics (Kira) ranges.

I totally and unreservedly recommend this piece if it could fit your needs.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Pavilion A Subject (BMG Henchman)

Pavilion A Subject is the 27th BMG character mini I have painted, and the 23rd painted this year. the model comes in the same pack as File No. 08923, as well as Pavilion A Subject and the more famous Zsasz.

The main reason for tackling this mini at this time was that I wanted to try and maintain some painting momentum from last month's peak, and Pavilion A Subject seemed a fairly easy option. That said, the minis was not as enjoyable to paint as minis such as Hush, Nite Owl or Ozymandias, and it may be that I find painting Henchmen a bit of a drudge in comparison to the more recognisable heroes and villains of the range. The various mould lines and casting didn't help either, especially as I kept fining mould lines I had missed as painting progressed. Consequently my painting of this felt a bit scrappy while I was tackling it, but to be honest it is good enough for the table.

Unlike File No. 08923, there is a chance Pavilion A will make it into some of my crew line-ups. He is the joint cheapest model to field at 10 Reputation (along with Prisoner 01). I initially dismissed using Pavilion A out of hand, but reading comments of others has changed my mind due to one Trait - Unpredictable. Unpredictable allows the model to use Special Counters as wild cards, moving them into other Skills and not subject to the usual Skill maxima. Theoretically he could have 4 Attacks, 4 Defense or 4 Movement (5 or 6 Movement from Inspire and/or Follow Me); not all at the same time, but he can push the usual limits of counter allocation and then some, which suggests a lot of utility for such a cheap model. Of course the downside is that he is far from hard-hitting, and he does not benefit from Recovery rolls. Still, a cheap filler option, especially if I revisit the prospect of trying to create a true swarm list.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 132 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 20.5% (27 models)

Sunday 2 August 2015


Hush is a mini I liked the look of straight-away, and was eager to paint. I have read Batman stories on and off for over 35 years, but have not read any Hush tales, but I understand the background to the character (childhood friend of Bruce Wayne turned bad - so a mirror to Batman in some ways) - and I really like his visual.

I painted Hush over a few sessions in a couple of days, and as the hairy-sticking progressed well, I was glad to see him through. A while ago, I planned and stated that after painting Prisoner 01, I would likely finish off Ozymandias and maybe add Hush. In the mean-time I painted File No. 08923, and now that Hush is finished, I may rethink how long a lay-off of BMG stuff I have - not least because some of them have felt fairly quick (by my standards) to paint. Hush rounds out my Poison Ivy crew options for now. My Black Mask crew is almost where I want it and maybe needs either Catwoman or Mr. Freeze purely for Loot grabs. That leaves the option of finishing off the Watchmen, and I admit if Court of Owls gets to 350 Reputation, they will likely jump to near the top of the painting queue.

By the standards of some Knight Models minis, Hush was easy to put together which was nice. It was also nice to get the mini painted pretty quickly, especially to maintain some impetus after a productive July. The painting was pretty painless all told which was very pleasant, and may cause me to carry on adding some more BMG each month while I continue to have momentum with the range, if only because of the dent it makes in the 'lead mountain'!

Hush is primarily intended to go with my Poison Ivy crew, offering a combination of threat and 'game management': the latter aspect through his Mastermind, Persuasive and Scheming Traits.

Hush can only go with a few crews, and not Black Mask which disappoints me. One of the crews he can join is Joker: the thought of Joker, Riddler and Hush removing 1 opposing Take the Lead counter and adding 2 for their crew seems an intriguing strategy - for a 6 Round game that would give 5 counters to Joker and 2 to the opponent, meaning Joker will win 4 or 5 initiative draws. Add the Early Bird or Perfect Plan Strategies, and if  not countered, it is entirely possible that your opponent may not win the Take The Lead draw at all.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 132 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 19.7% (26 models)