Sunday 30 April 2017

Emperor Penguin

In painting Emperor Penguin, I have now finished six BMG minis in just under two weeks, putting me well on target for the annual target I set for the range, as well as helping me get back on track with my painting overall. I am pretty happy with the results as I set out to paint up a mini in a day (well, an afternoon in reality); I am not planning a Penguin crew any time soon - no, I chose the mini as I thought I had a good chance of starting and finishing it in a single day. That said, I quite like what I see in game terms...

Emperor Penguin (also known as Emperor Blackgate in the comics) is a fairly recent addition to the batman rogues gallery. He starts off as a number-two to the Penguin himself, then sets his boss up in order to take control of his crime operation. Soon after he took a combination of Bat-verse serums (venom - Bane's stuff and Man-bat serum) with some help from Poison Ivy to become superhumanly powerful - as you do - and later takes the name Emperor Blackgate following his incarceration.

Which brings me onto his game rules, and I have to say, I like what I see. As far as Leaders go, Emperor Penguin offers very good durability with Defense 4, Endurance 9, Tough Skin and Regeneration. This makes the fact that he is geared up for close combat a much more palatable option, and makes him a less vulnerable option than Penguin, but at higher Rep cost and at the loss of some Funding.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: new Penguin crew, Penguin Lieutenant, Reaper, new Catwoman, Arkham Knight Sniper, Arkham Knight Nightwing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.9% (64 models)

Friday 28 April 2017

Talia (Arkham City)

This Arkham City version of Talia was started at the same time as the comics version, and both were set aside together. It is one of the older sculpts in the range and wasn't the greatest cast, with some of the detail shown on the 'studio' picture that was simply not visible on the copy I had. Therefore I am happy with the mini being 'done' more than what I have achieved with it - I did a better job on the comics version Talia than this one; for example the highlighting on the face is a bit sharp to my eye in the picture.

The hair colour I chose is pretty atypical for Talia in comics and movies, but looking at screenshots of Arkham City it looks like she had a kind of 'dark blonde' colour so that is what I opted for, even though the studio paint-job has her a a red-head. It also helps differentiate her from comics Talia.

In rules terms, I prefer this Talia to the comics alternative. Both are Sidekicks, but this one is simply a better combatant in my view, and as there is an alternative tournament card set of rules for her, that one may be better again as the cheapest option able to cover ranged and close combat offering greater flexibility. If I did field a League of Shadows crew I would be more tempted with the tournament card profile, but time will tell if I ever get around to playing that crew.

In all it has been a productive couple of weeks for me with my BMG painting, and I have even made a start on yet another mini I hope to complete soon - Robin (Damian Wayne), probably inspired by painting up two version of his mum!

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 271 (added: Alberto Falcone, and I have a bundle of stuff on order)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (63 models)

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Talia Al Ghul (comics)

Talia is my 62nd painted BMG character, and oddly enough, only the first Sidekick I have painted in the range. For readers unfamiliar with the game there are several main character ranks: Leader, Sidekick, Free Agent and Henchman. Out of 270 character models (and rising....) almost 40 are Sidekicks, so in other words, I am long overdue actually painting one...

This is one of currently two versions of Talia, both of which I started a while back and both were subsequently sidelined to finish other stuff prior to my recent painting slump. Regaining BMG momentum helped get me on track to finish this mini and do a little more work on the Arkham City version of Talia. I have seen Talia depicted with an array of hair colours over the years, so decided on painting her as something of a red-head. Probably a lighter hair colour than she has been depicted with, but I am happy with the contrast to all the dark parts of her costume.

I don't have painted League of Shadows or LexCorp crews yet (Talia is the only dedicated LexCorp mini released so far), so I don't expect to use this Talia anytime soon, or indeed ever. However, even if I was using either crew, she does not wow me with her character design in game terms, so she may be destined to forever remain in the cabinet. Still, the most important bit is another mini done, and my first Sidekick to boot!

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.0% (62 models)

Sunday 23 April 2017

Hugo Strange

Another BMG mini done, following renewed motivation spurred by finishing Prisoner 05 and Joker, although Hugo Strange proved somewhat infuriating in the painting! The pale greys I was mixing up as the base layers to the 'white' looked fine until painting on the 'white' which made them look too dark. I stepped away from my usual choice and now realise that was a mistake!

While Prisoner 05 and Joker were cases of finishing part-painted stuff, Hugo Strange was done from scratch over a couple of days - he just took longer than planned due to the 'white' and then dropping him at one point (clumsy me!). I hope to finish off another couple of part-painted BMG minis very soon.

With so many BMG minis still to paint I am not entertaining thoughts of repainting Hugo Strange, so I accept him as he is. Even though I have been a fan of the character since a memorable story back in the 1980's, to be honest he is not likely to make it to my gaming table any time soon, if at all. The main reason being that I just don't see a place for him in any of my more likely crews since his rules push him to be surrounded by Arkham Asylum Inmates and Free Agents with 'Mental Disorder' rules. He offers buffs for relevant models, but at a cost of being the cost equivalent to a couple of Henchmen and not being able to take Catwoman - including her Arkham City VP generator version. For me he simply does not offer enough value in what he does, especially as many of my games are in tournaments where I feel he would be lacking. Mileage may vary though.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.6% (61 models)

Thursday 20 April 2017

Joker (Arkham City)

Joker was started many months ago (early September 2016), with a view to building up a new crew to be able to play with. I got side-tracked (as usual) so that hasn't really materialised - I certainly have a playable Joker crew, but not necessarily one I would choose to play if that makes sense?

As the mini had been part-painted for some time, it was recently finishing Prisoner 05 that motivated me to want to clear this one too. This Joker is my 60th painted BMG mini, and I hope to clear some other part-done minis from the range in the next few weeks.

Arkham City Joker recently saw a cost increase via FAQ/Errata which I think has been long overdue, simply because he bends four major areas of rules (initiative and game length; counter allocation for his Henchmen; being able to shoot around corners; a universal re-roll via Luck). I have faced Arkham City Joker crews a few times and it has always been the fact he bends so many areas of rules which I found frustrating to play against, so I am more than content with the cost adjustment even if I end up fielding this version of Joker myself.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing since posting Prisoner 05)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.2% (60 models)

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Prisoner 05 (BMG)

Prisoner 05 for BMG has been part-painted for far too long. This is likely due to a combination of factors curtailing my motivation, few directly due to the mini itself.

It has been almost four months since I last painted a BMG mini, so I think that says quite a lot. Based on last year I averaged a little over two BMG minis per month, so I am far off that pace in 2017. Hopefully I will get a few more done over the next couple of months.

In game terms, Prisoner 05 offers a fairly decent package I think, for what is relatively low Reputation and Funding. As he relies on his Automatic Gun and Smoke Grenades, his low Willpower is not a problem, and Endurance 5 is a nice touch. For me though, I am not looking at using any crews right now into which Prisoner 05 would neatly fit, so he is likely to sit in the figure cabinet for a while.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: quite a bit since the last painted mini)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 21.9% (59 models)

Monday 17 April 2017

Sandblaster (Crimemasters)

Sandblaster is a mini I assembled and undercoated years ago. Her undercoat was black, which I reckon puts it at least as six or seven years ago, maybe more. In other words - long overdue to get out of the dread 'painting queue'!

The mini is produced by Reaper in their Chronoscope range, and to be honest, the detail is somewhat soft. That said, she made for a fairly straightforward paint job, even if a pretty basic one, which was ideal after the barren painting spell of February and March.

I'll be using the mini as Sandblaster, a Super in the ranks of the Crimemasters, a Team I'll use to play-test Supers Unlimited (you can read more about Supers Unlimited in general on the Kitbash Games blog). A crook who never made the big time, Jenna Thomas was part of a gang who stole a sample of sand energised with extra-terrestrial energy. The sand was affected following the appearance of Ion, the Caller and his subsequent battle with The Watch near Groom Lake. The sample was being held and tested at OMNI Labs under government contract. With inside help, the gang secured a flask of the sand for their buyer, but as they tried to escape, an OMNI security guard's energy pistol blast shattered the flask and reacted with the contents, spraying them across Jenna's body. She awoke days later, handcuffed to a hospital bed in an isolation unit. Thinking only of escape, her body turned to a crystalline form and as living sand she slipped her bonds, escaping into the night. Months later, the Villain known as Sandblaster started her Super-crime career.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Shadowblade (SHOC Force)

Shadowblade is the final member of SHOC Force (for now!). Like the rest of the Team the mini is from the Nexus Miniatures range of models. The range was perfect for me in creating a Team visual across a group of minis.

Shadowblade is an Unhuman like her colleagues; in her case her powers allow her to teleport short distances, and give her enhanced stealth capabilities which she allies to formidable combat prowess.

A former assassin for hire, Shadowblade is now trying to build a new life and atone for her past, while supporting the SHOC Force cause and Dr. Omega's Unhuman Manifesto.

I followed the basic template of colours for SHOC Force with Shadowblade, although her costume is the most varied of the bunch. It has been twenty eight months since I first painted Oculus and Razorclaw for SHOC Force, so this has been a pretty long-gestating project. It also means the first finished faction for my 'Super Earth' project - basically the minis I will be using to play-test Supers Unlimited.

More hopefully, I seem to have regained some painting momentum which I hope lasts for a while and gets me back on track with my output goals.

Thursday 13 April 2017

Dr. Omega (SHOC Force)

Dr. Omega is the second of my very recently finished batch of minis. Like the rest of SHOC Force, the sculpt is from Nexus Miniatures; for my purposes he is an Unhuman Super, the most powerful member of SHOC Force and its leader.

Dr. Omega is a powerful psychic, with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Most heroic Super-Teams view Omega and SHOC Force with suspicion, which has resulted in many skirmishes as Omega pursues his Unhuman Manifesto.

To add a regal element to Dr. Omega I thought the purple cape and gold trim would be good options. it helps differentiate the model from the rest of the Team and hopefully elevates him a little in 'rank'. The rest of his costume colours are aligned to the standard SHOC Force template.

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Fortune (SHOC Force)

Fortune is the third member of SHOC Force I have now painted, almost two and half years after completing Oculus and Razorclaw. Like the other members of the Team the mini is produced by Nexus Miniatures.

With the model I wanted to achieve a kind of generalised 'East Asian' skin tone, but I am not sure how successful that was. The rest of the colour scheme follows the pattern of the SHOC Force uniform template.

Like his Team-mates, Fortune is an Unhuman, one of a secret off-shoot of humanity gifted with amazing powers. In Fortune's case he can manipulate probability to a degree, in order to create plausible shifts in the likelihood of events. In terms of direct power, Fortune is possibly the 'weakest' member of SHOC Force, but he is nonetheless vital to their successes.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Quarter 1 2017 Painting Summary

The first of my 2017 Painting Summaries shows I had a bad couple of months on the hobby front. 'Real life' stuff reared its head and impacted my motivation to paint in particular. So, following a fairly good January, I then didn't paint anything for pretty much two months, and have only just started to get back on track.

I painted Feartigo and Grimm Lee Chan from Pulp City (click for link to my blog for Pulp City), and Green Goblin, Goblin Knight and the Goblin Minions from the now-defunct Spider-man Miniatures Game.

On a more positive note, I am hoping the fallow period is behind me as in the past 3 weeks or so I have painted 5 minis (some still to be shown). In addition, while I felt unmotivated to paint during those eight weeks, I did find enough impetus to pull together a rules draft for a skirmish minis game, and work on stuff for another two games while I was at it.

Painted in Q1 (-9 from Q1 2016)
Pulp City: 2 minis
SMG: 5 minis

Sunday 2 April 2017


Granite is my first painted non-Pulp City, non-Knight Models Super in almost two and half years - certainly long overdue!

Doing the recent writing on Supers Unlimited triggered me to start work on a bunch of unpainted Supers minis which have been sitting around for years, and hopefully means I can start to get back on track with painting in general after a barren couple of months.

The mini is actually called Rocco and was part of the defunct ComfyChairGames line (makers of Spinespur, who created two Supers minis including Rocco/Granite). Unfortunately the mini has not been picked up by another manufacturer yet (unlike its companion piece John Henry which is now with Rebel Minis).

In my mind, Granite is an Unhuman, living on the same Earth as the members of SHOC Force, Heroes like Targeteer and Villains such as Lady Tiger. I see him as a reluctant Hero and sometime viewed as a Villain by the public at large, and a member of the powerful Elemental Four along with Aquamarina, Airstriker and Firelight. The Elemental Four follow their own path, protecting and preserving the planet even as doing so brings them into conflict with other Teams of super humans.