Sunday 31 January 2016

GCPD Detective (BMG)

The GCPD Detective was a 'quick and done' addition to January's output (following finishing the Court of Owls Talons William Cobb a few days ago, and Strix last week), picked up and painted as I was having a 'hmm' moment while waiting for some paint to dry on some other minis. It was essentially a bonus mini completed - I am not starting a Law or Batman crew at this time, honest!

I tackled this as it was already prepared, and while looking at it I realised there would not be too many colours needed, and I had a good feeling about how to tackle the brown coat. A case of the right mini at the right time I think, as I await arrival of the remaining Court of Owls minis - as soon as they do turn up I need to get stuck into them.

The mini reminds me of a slimmer, less slovenly Harvey Bullock, and I am amazed that in some 200 or so minis released so far for the BMG range, there is still no Bullock model.

As I do not currently play either Law or Batman crews, I can't comment much on his abilities, but he seems a reasonable offer for his Reputation and Funding costs, so I imagine I would use him if I start either.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 186 (added: nothing new, but I have an order pending)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 19.4% (36 models)

Thursday 28 January 2016

William Cobb (Court Of Owls)

William Cobb follows Strix and is the fifth Court of Owls mini I have painted, and another step closer to having a full 350 Reputation limit crew.

This is my favourite model from the first Court crew box, and was easily the most crisply cast in the box. I found the painting a bit of a struggle with all the costume seams (Knight Models painted their studio version as though it is metal banding, but looking at the source art and colouring it looks more like seams to me from there), coupled with the fact maybe like a lot of hobbyists, sometimes I just find painting harder than at other times.

In the comics, Cobb is revealed as the first Talon encountered when Batman finally learns of the Court of Owls' existence, but also the great-grandfather of Dick Grayson.

I recently had a very brief run-out with the Court sans William Cobb, and from that I am looking forward to using him. He lacks the overall threat of Strix, but what he offers is that he is probably the best option in the crew against higher-Defense characters. Elusive, Martial Artist and Stealth Through the Equipment list) will make him more survivable, while Undercover may get him close at deployment to a prime target be it Objective or enemy model.

To complete the crew I need to paint at least one more mini, preferably two. I need to add another Talon - Brandon O'Malley - as well as the new Leader option (partly because I feel it has better rules in terms of how I want to play the crew, and mainly because I think it is a better sculpted model). That gives me a few weeks to get things finished for the next Titan Games tournament in Lichfield, which I think is a reasonable target.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 186 (added: nothing new)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 18.8% (35 models)

Wednesday 27 January 2016

The C'thu (for Relics) Kickstarter

I have backed this (The C'thu - A Cthulhu Mythos Inspired Relics Faction - click for link), and it is well-funded on its opening day, and now has just 6 days left to run.

I have a number of Relics minis (and will get around to painting them, maybe this year I hope!), so I was more than happy to back this. A great alternative approach to fantasy minis.


Sunday 24 January 2016

Strix (Court Of Owls)

My Court of Owls crew grows, and Strix is the fourth addition to it. This one has taken a while to finish, and really stalled soon after I started it, which was not long after Xiao Loong, so October or November most likely. My renewed enthusiasm for the Court for an upcoming tournament was enough to re-focus me after painting the Gotham Butcher last week. It also means I am well into this year's BMG target.

I haven't precisely followed the colour scheme of the comics with inexplicable bare arms and midriff. The mini seems to be modelled vaguely with the option of bare arms, but like Knight Modles I ignored that in painting.

The casting, unfortunately like all of this crew box except William Cobb, was pretty rough in places. I have had some excellent Knight Models casts, but in all honesty too many have been of a sub-standard quality given their price point. I continue to collect the range purely because of the IP; playing games is a welcome bonus and a motivation to paint for me.

I have been doing some analysis and despite appearances, Butcher is not the crew's heavy-hitter: the most dangerous model is arguably Strix, followed by Brandon O'Malley and William Cobb. This makes Strix a 'must have' in the crew. This is a simple artefact of how rules that affect hitting and damaging targets have been designed in BMG. Therefore, I need to work out how to get the most out of Strix since her attacks can be blocked 50% of the time, meaning it is possible to get her bogged down against the wrong type of target.

In the next week I hope to finish William Cobb which will take me to a 300 Rep crew, and will leave me one or two minis from my tournament crew.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 186 (added: nothing new)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 18.3% (34 models)

Sunday 17 January 2016

Gotham Butcher (Court of Owls)

Painting the Gotham Butcher means another BMG mini done, and also reflects that I have settled on what I want to be my next tournament crew (if it all gets painted in time): the Court of Owls.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I like the addition of the Court of Owls to the Batman mythos, despite my overall general dislike for the New 52 from DC Comics. Because the majority of my games tend to be at tournaments, the Court of Owls were not pressing to be fully painted up since they did not meet the typical Reputation value of the tournaments that I attend, however this month another crew pack is due for release to meet that limit. Unfortunately the rules as written mean the Court cannot make full use of the other points value allocation (Funding) at this time for crews above 300 Reputation; still I am going to give them a try or two.

Gotham Butcher is huge. I don't like putting together multi-part metal minis at the best of times, and this one was no exception as it was plagued by three big gaps that required green-stuffing, as well as pitting in quite a few areas. The character in the comics is very big, but as a representation this could have been a little smaller IMHO - even crouched over he is around 55 mm tall to the peaks of his mask, and that is a 40 mm base that he is mounted on.

The painting was fairly quick by my standards, despite the large size of the mini. I have really slowed down in terms of output over the past 3 months, so it is pleasing to get something else finished, even if it is far from my best work. Having the looming deadline of a prospective tournament as a motivation should help me get a few minis done in the next few weeks. As things stand technically I need 3 more minis to finish the crew, two of which are in varying stages of progress - I hope to finish at least two more Court minis this month. However I would like to use the new Leader option instead, and I am weighing up not using Strix who is nearly finished in favour of two more Talons. In all the planned crew will be 6 or 7 minis in total.

Gotham Butcher is possibly the cheapest Large Free Agent going right now, and brings some real hitting power with Claws, Brutal and decent Strength. Due to all the possible points combinations, he has to be included in a 350 crew unless I want to leave myself many points short. I think it will take a little getting used to to maximise his impact on the table.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 186 (added: nothing new)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 17.7% (33 models)

Sunday 10 January 2016

Batman (Animated Series)

There are a lot of versions of Batman of the BMG range, and this became my favourite as soon as I saw it. That fact, combined with my need to get some painting momentum and motivation, made this the ideal choice to tackle as my first mini of the year.

For the most part the painting was really straightforward, and unusually and pleasantly for a Knight Models mini, it came in only two parts. In all it was done over a couple of sessions in a single weekend, which is quick for me!

I am not planning a Batman crew any time soon unless there are a few more minis in the Animated style to accompany him (there is only Catwoman so far). That said, I suspect any additions in the same style would be nice and simple to paint, so they would jump up the painting queue simply for ease. However, so far Knight Models seems to just dabble in the TV related stuff in terms of specific ranges: 2 Animated minis; Arrow from the Arrow/Flash/Legends of Tomorrow milieu; Penguin from Gotham; Adam West Batman from Batman '66. Each seems to be crying out for more minis from the same source material.

I would love to see the a selection of characters from Animated series - any of: Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Robin (Tim Drake), Bullock, Commissioner Gordon, Renee Montoya and Gotham Cops as a mix of BtAS and the New Batman Adventures characters.

Still, I am off the mark on the painting front in2016, and that is the main thing. I  need to get back to painting my Joker crew and would like to get that done by the end of February.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 186 (added: Spice crew box for Two-Face; Killing Joke Joker; Gatling Brute for Joker/Harley; Militia Medic and Militia 4; Katana; Batman and Catwoman (BtAS); Militia Gatling Brute; and Black Manta)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 17.2% (32 models)