Sunday 13 October 2013

From Pen & Pad to the table top :Dark Heresy Character Miniature

It's not just on the table top we do battle; we also indulge the adventures only available in role-playing games. We've been role-players as long as we've been tabletop gamers (some of us longer) and boast a large and varied list of adventures from a Star Trek role-play that is on its 155th mission, to fighting the Empire as rogue Jedi and pirates in Star Wars, had diplomatic problems with Centauri on Babylon 5, we've fended off contemporary foes lost behind enemy lines in Twilight 2000, hunted Owlbears in the borderlands of D&D and gone toe to toe with Hastur and the brothers of the Yellow Sign in Call of Cthulhu.

Recently SabbatWolf and the Doc got a hold of the Beta test of the Second Edition of the Dark Heresy Roleplay by Fantasy Flight and happily we gathered and rolled our Characters. I went with a Void born ex-guardsman with a long las and who has a interest in taking contracts to make his way in the Imperium.

As with most role-plays a visual representative of your character is a nice and useful thing to have luckily for me Sgt Longbeard had just the thing for my character. He presented me with the two metal Cadian Snipers

Picture courtesy of Games Workshop

Great I thought, the job is half done, nice little rocky resin base on the one who is standing up and i'm done................... But what about the other miniature? It'll be a shame to waste him, so after some time I had a thought - "How about a nice little Diorama?"

First thing I needed to do was get a setting for the piece. My character isn't a full blown sniper, more of a sharp shooter or designated marksman so I wouldn't need to place the figure in a snipers nest or buried in the under-growth, but maybe behind a piece of available cover as if keeping eye out covering the movements of the rest of the group. 

Secondly acquiring the right parts to make the diorama, I pulled a large base from my bits box - I believe it was from an old AT-43 Wraith Golgoth and started to layer some cork sheeting that the Doc gave me. Now the cover itself, i'm a fan of the forgeworld barriers but i wasn't really willing to drop that cash on a single diorama so I found an awesome resin barrier from a company called Wytchfire  and after some aquila symbols were added on the front and back it looked like it was cast in a Imperial forge.

With the aid of some plasticard, some GW barbed wire and a ton of PVA i had myself a starting point.

Next was texture; I had recently watched Saving Private Ryan and I had noticed during the scene where Private Caparzo (Vin Diesel) is hit by a German sniper there is a great wealth of information for ruins, roads, paving and mud in a warzone environment (massive credit to the set builders for that). With a few screen grabs and a spare pot of GW texture paint in a colour I don't really use I went to town. 

Time to add some colours! First thing I did was to give it a undercoat with Vallajo black primer (applied by airbrush). After I had an even coat I drybrushed the barrier with Mechanicus Standard Grey and highlighted it with Dawnstone. Finally I washed  it with Nuln Oil to give the cracks extra definition. For the mud I gave it a generous coat of Scorched Brown followed  by a wash with Nuln Oil. When that was dry i gave the mud a drybrush of Calthan Brown and to top it of a wash of Agrax Earthshade.

The barbed wire was hit with a coat of Leadbelcher,  followed by a coat of Vallajo Rust wash to give it the look of wire that has sat for months in mud and damp conditions. I'm extremely happy with this wash and i'm going to use it on some of the vehicle kits i'm currently working on. I had first painted the paving stones with a blue grey paint - which is a vintage GW round pot from the Rogue Trader days - but this was far too light and I had to start over and black it out. Second attempt at the paving had me working with a 1:1 mix of Vallejo black and Dark grey and this worked well but it wasn't completely right, so after a few washes I had the shade I was happy with.

Now if you are familiar with roleplaying your character either starts off with some kit or gathers it on their adventures so i need some items to represent my characters history as a Voidborn (Person born in space on an imperial ship with no homeworld), so a large kit bag, a roll mat and some extra bits would do. I pulled an Imperial Guard Vehicle accessories sprue and noticed that had these kit bags that consist of two backpacks, a carbine lasgun, some grenades and a mug hanging off it. Not have anything else to spare I took a razor saw to the bag cutting it either side of the lasgun and green stuffing the two ends together. Happy with the result i added a roll mat to the bottom and shaved off the mug and mounted the Las Carbine to the side.

Once the backpack was set in place with small amounts of greenstuff  I painted the backpack with Vallejo Yellow Olive, the grenades got a Khorne Red and Caledor sky finish. I highlighted the areas with the same colours with just a bit of Vallejo white in just to bring the colour up a shade or two. The Rifle and the binoculars were finished with a Vallejo US Olive Drab and highlighted once again with some Vallejo White mixed in. With this base was done - Now for the main figure!

I won't go through all the painting steps I did with the figure as everyone has their own way of painting flesh and clothing. I will however show you the steps i took to produce the final camo pattern on the cloak. 

I started by looking through the Doc's camouflage reference books and looking at a few sites like Kamoflage for inspiration. What I ended up with was three options; German Splinter camo, the US Pacific campaign camo and the Frog and Leaf pattern from the Aliens movie

Us Pacific Camo, Colonial Marine Camo, German Splinter Camo

 After some consideration i went with a scheme that was close to the US Pacific Camo pattern.

First was to cover the area in a light tone for this i used Vallejo Elfic Flesh

Secondly some random dots of Vallejo Beasty Brown

Now dots of Vallejo Camouflage Green

The Final Dots of Camo Colour are a Vallejo Sick Green.

Finally time to Dirty it up, to do this I simply coated the area with an Agrax Earthshade wash.

Once this was all dry i greenstuffed the mini into position as I didn't want any vapours from Superglue affecting the paint in any way.


Here are the finished minis. I'm generally happy with the results of this little project and I'm pleased to have taken it on. I hope the process has made sense. I wish I was able to convert the figures a little but due to the casts this wasn't easily possible.

The only issue now is we are playing Deathwatch - another Fantasy Flight RPG as well - so I'm now tasked doing  a mini for every member of the party! I will post those guys when they are done!

posted by Sero

Tuesday 17 September 2013

The war of tomorrow in 28mm..... Part 2

Some of of you may recall my first article on aliens/villains for Ambush Alley Games' Tomorrow's War (if not, find it here). I promised then that this would be the first in a series, and here's the continuation. This time I'm looking at minis mostly from the excellent Hasslefree Miniatures, the Druusch and some other odds 'n' sods.

HFSA004 Druuschan Drones (pack of 2) 

The Druusch: Zombie soldiers and cyber zombies. Not very alien, but plenty Sci Fi, right? Here's where I mix it up a bit. The Darghaur (again, one of the big movers and shakers of the 'Tomorrowverse' select susceptible individuals from each race they conquer to 'uplift' as liaisons. I've got a bunch of human psychics already painted (of whom pics below) who can act as leaders for my units. The Druusch will effectively be irregulars under the TW rules, low quality, high morale troops (not unlike Synthetic Humans) who rely on their leaders being alive to act properly. My thinking is that the Zombies are the products of an unscrupulous scientist cadre on an outlying (and isolated) human world, who were made a simple offer through a Darghaur liaison – turn your weapons over to Darghaur service, and be freed from all ethical constraints by your new masters!

Naturally, this provides all sorts of scenario opportunities – kill the scientists, destroy the 'conversion' chambers, free the prisoners awaiting conversion etc.
The Druusch are also a much more flexible race than the Sharclons, with 3 different troop types:
The large 'Jotuns', the smaller 'Strykers', and the regular 'Drones'. 

The Drones are clearly light infantry, no better than D6 quality with TL2 weapons and maybe TL1 armour (hey, they're wearing helmets. Safety first, kids!).
The Strykers are also light infantry (no pics as yet, they're still on the bench) but I'd give them slightly higher quality and each one comes with a SAW or other light support weapon. Probably best used as specialists, 1 per drone squad.

HFSA001 Druuschan Jotun #1

The Jotuns are the big boys (These guys are on 40mm bases!). Heavy weapons, some armour, pokey little brain cases though – high firepower weapons with similar troop quality to the Strykers.
Of course, these are another unit who will be hard going to break down. Very high morale, but easy to kill, unlike the Sharclons. They could certainly have Intimidating as a quality due to their size and their heavy firepower (I'd make that cannon a 4D weapon myself.

I mentioned Psychic leadership earlier. Essentially they'd function as bot controllers in Tomorrow's War, with a limited range and disruptable only by other psychics or the controller being hit by a weapon capable of targeting them specifically (such as a sniper team) or a weapon designed to disorientate like a flashbang. I've got a few minis earmarked for this but I'm always on the lookout for more suggestions. Here they are:

Wyrd Games' Bishop
 When I was painting this guy I decided he was a convict, possibly one of the scientist's original subjects (maybe sold off by the privatised prison he was held in once his government stopped paying the holding bill - a la Mass Effect 2), hence his prison orange jumpsuit trousers, chains, and olive drab gear looted from dead jailers. As such the guy was probably revelling in his new-found power, despite the horrific experiments he had to endure to get there. Sadly, his mind did not survive the process of gifting him mental control of his new undead minions. Room in there for a sub-plot scenario pitting him and some zombies against some lightly-equipped security and the Prison Warden who sold him off?
Painting wise he's quite a simple job, but some of the fiddly details made him take longer than he should have done; a common finding with Wyrd minis. Still a solid mini, one piece and full of character and storytelling potential.

Mongoose Publishing Zombie Mistress
With a name like 'Zombie Mistress' how could I resist this one? From Mongoose Publishing, I think this is a very solid mini. She is clearly posessed of great psychic (and probably telekinetic) power but is likely to be unhinged. She'll probably have Frenzy as a special rule. I envision her as a victim of the scientist cabal, taken prisoner during the initial Darghaur invasion. Possibly not as old as she looks, prematurely aged by the psychic 'enhancement' process. I forsee a scenario with a bounty-hunting team or US Marines headhunter unit out to capture/kill her and her warparty as they try to seize more captives to add to their ranks.
Another mini with loads of scenario building potential. Paint wise, quite simple, the body suit is a more generic pale brown than the Mongoose version (which I suspect is supposed to be made of patches of human skin) using a Vallejo Model Colour English Uniform base, lightened up to GW Foundation Khemri Brown. The cloak is VMC Black Grey highlighted up through GW Mechanicus Standard Grey to Codex Grey. The hair started black and was harshly highlighted up to white, and then a coat of Devlan Mud made it look lank and grimy. The claws (and the greaves) are a Reaper gold I got as a sample pot some years ago, and the blood effect is a mix of Vallejo Game Colour Charred Brown 1:1 Tamiya Clear Red, highlighted with pure TCR.

The last mini is this, formerly from Masq-mini (I think):

Edited for those at work!
This girl is clearly not a willing victim. Brainwashed, probably drugged, maybe a natural psychic, she is held in place by chains and is clearly wrestling with the forces coursing through her mind, trying to break free. I will likely use her as a prisoner/control node of some sort in a base defence scenario, with the guardians being under her control - neutralise her and cut resistance significantly. Free her, and she could be a powerful ally in a later scenario!
I painted her as an exercise in flesh tones. She was clearly designed as a more Fantasy setting mini, looking at her clothing, so I gave her blue hair to make her a bit more punk/SF. I have deliberately left her eyes pure white to emphasise the unnatural forces she is channelling. The chains were a bit fiddly to do, being actual loose chain link, but she was a fun little mini to paint. Pick one up if you can find her!

So how do they look as forces?
Family photo - Say Cheese! :)

 Well I've got to say I'm pretty happy with them so far. I've got a trio of Strykers and a pair of additional Jotuns to add. I'd also like to add some crazed scientists as VIPs. I'm thinking Moonfleet Miniatures' and Crooked Dice's offerings here may suffice. I want looks-good-but-easy-to-paint, basically.

 So that's some thoughts on the Druusch.

I have some thoughts on Hasslefree's Grymn to come next. These are very flexible, as we shall see....

Posted by The Doc.

Sunday 1 September 2013

The Word of Lorgar; a journey into painting an Arch-Heretic.....

When Codex: Chaos Space Marines came out I was struck by the appearance of this guy;

The Dark Apostle. He seems to embody all the fluff surrounding the infamous Word Bearers legion. A dark parody of the grim-faced Space Marine Chaplains, this guy preaches the word of the slavering beasts of the Warp.

I picked him up the week after he came out, and then he joined the lead and resin mountain. I got to talking with Sgt Longbeard a few weeks ago, who while mainly known for being a Warhammer Fantasy collector, mentioned that he liked the look and feel of the Word Bearers after reading the trilogy of novels by Anthony Reynolds sometime last year. He also mentioned he had been thinking about picking up a 40k army, but this wouldn't happen till next year.

Off I went to the miniature mountain with a gleam in my eye....

I wish I'd taken on-sprue pictures, but after the horror stories of Finecast (possibly more on which in an upcoming post by SabbatWolf, if I can get her out of the catatonic state that cleaning and straightening 10 Incubi has put her in) in the early days, I was a bit surprised by how well this guy was cast, on the whole. There seem to be tonnes of feeds (to ensure the resin feeds into the nooks and crannies properly, for the uninitiated), and I'm sure that's overkill, but relatively few airbubbles to speak of.
There are some gaps here and there when assembled, but probably less than if he'd been a metal cast.
I have two big issues with the material;
  • Flexibility – normal, real, unfilled resin does not bend the way this stuff does. I suspect the use of a filler is the main reason for the masses of feeds, and also the main reason for this aspect. The icon to mount on the guys backpack wilts in a stiff breeze. Not good. This may have to be replaced.
  • Use of triangular blocks in places to ensure filling – now for the most part these aren't a problem, they slice off easily, but in a couple of spots they are across detail, particularly the cuneiform symbols etched into his greaves. Irritating, especially when you've airbrushed the basecoat on and spot one you missed!
    All that aside, he's a great mini. Loads of character, and some really nice touches to tie him into the cultist models he'll eventually lead (the chaos star pendants and similar).
Once I'd done with the assembly, it was on to the painting!

I used my trusty airbrush (just a cheap chinese-made Badger copy I bought for basecoating) and these colours:
Vallejo Model Air. Love 'em :)
I applied a solid basecoat of the surface primer straight over the resin. It's what it's designed for!
I followed this up with a roughly zenithal highlight of the Fire Red, followed by the Ferrari Red, giving particular attention to the chestplate and shoulder pauldrons. I want the legion symbol to pop when I get it on there.

We end up with this:
Total time so far - probably less than 30 minutes
A note on basing; he's pinned onto a bit of spare sprue. This is a tip I got from a Youtube video (by Buypainted, I think) as a cheap and easy way to avoid handling an unbased figure. He'll eventually be based on a nice scenic base (of which another article soon) but for now this will do.

Next job, block in the areas to be dark colours in black. For this I prefer Vallejo Model Colour black. It's the flattest consistent finish I have found, and I will travel out of my way to buy more. The face I blocked in in Privateer Press P3 Midlund Flesh. I've been looking for a replacement for Cadian Fleshtone, and this is it! He's going to end up pretty pale, so this is a good start.

Next step – Ink wash with an old pot of GW Baal Red. I could have used Carroburg Crimson, but I had this to hand. You can't see much of a difference in my dodgy pictures, so I didn't bother uploading one one.
Once the ink was dry (I left it a good 2 hours) I picked out all the areas to be metallic in GW Chainmail. Sadly departed and replaced, but still available from Coat d'Arms. Try Black Hat Models for yours. I tend to get mine from them at shows - great range, and good quality too.

So this is where we stand. Still to do – details! Books on the ground will be dark brown, the Book Of Lorgar at his belt will get some special treatment (maybe it's bound in Space Marine skin?) The parchments will be the traditional off-white and I haven't quite decided what I'm doing with the staff/dark crozius yet. First I need to bend the parchment streamers on his pack into shape (ironic, as Finecast is most often out of shape) as they currently try to occupy the came space as his right leg. The pack will probably just end up black with sharp edge highlighting. Who knows, if I'm feeling really brave i might do some tattoos on that nice big bald pate of his.....

Posted by The Doc

Thursday 29 August 2013

The Paint Pot: 1,000 point Warhammer Fantasy Army in one sitting.

Welcome to the Paint Pot, In this section we aim to cover everything to do with the practical side of scale models and war gaming from model building and conversions to painting and army lists.

To kick us off we had a meeting on a  rainy Saturday afternoon myself and another member of the extended group Sgt Longbeard met and set ourself a challenge of constructing a 1,000 point Warhammer Fantasy Army in one sitting.

Now before we begin a little more information on the Sgt Longbeard, he is an ex GW staffer and has been Role-playing and War gaming since 1985 when he first sat down and played  'Keep to the Borderlands' in the 1st edition Redbox D&D. Longbeard is somewhat of a dedicated collector and boasts a collection that only truly be described as 'Impressive'.

Picture courtesy of

Now the Army itself, after some conversation it came down to two options - either an Empire army or a High Elf army, We set ourselves a few guidelines; firstly it will be completely out of the box with no after market parts or conversions and Secondly it would have to be tournament legal.

On what seemed like a flip of a coin we decided to go with the High Elves. First thing we did was grab the army book, a pen and some paper and started spit balling. First list we worked was a simple war band that included 30 archers, 30 Seaguard Spearmen, a Noble and Level 2 Mage totalling 960 point (we planned on filling the rest of the points out with some war gear) Luckily for us The Doc was in the room and he diagnosed our list as terminally stupid and so after a bit of treatment we had our final list.

  • High Elf Army
  • Heroes
  • Noble with Reaver bow (attached to the archer unit)                                       95pts
  • Level 2 Mage   With Caine's Ring of Fury                                                    135pts
  • Core
  • 15 Seaguard Spearmen    (with Musician, Standard and Hawkeye)               165pts
  • 15 Seaguard Spearmen    (with Musician, Standard and Hawkeye)               165pts
  • 15 Archers                      (with Musician, Standard and Hawkeye)               180pts
  • Rare
  • 2 Bolt Throwers                                                                                         140pts
  • Lothern Skycutter                                                                                     120pts
                                                                                                          Total 1,000 pts

So after a few hours of messing around showing each other the new tabletop stuff we've found online and gentle disagreement over rules are points we came out with our High Elf army. We will be putting them to the test under the control of the Doc against Longbeards trusty Dwarves so keep an eye out for a Battle report in our After Action Report section.

But little did we know but while Myself, Longbeard and the Doc were dealing with the high Elves SabbatWolf was quietly sitting in the corner with her nose in the army book and as we were finishing the last models with a grin she presented an alternative 1,000 point army and here it is...

  • Handmaiden of the Everqueen with Reaver bow                                            120pts
  • Level 2 Mage with Caines Ring of Fury                                                        135pts
  • 15 Archers (with Musician, Standard, Hawkeye and Light Armour)                195pts
  • 15 Spearmen (with Sentinal, Musician and Standard Bearer)                        165pts
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers (with Bows, Musician and Standard Bearer)                     125pts
  • 10 Sisters of Avalon (with a High Sister)                                                     150pts
  • 2 Great Eagles                                                                                         100pts

                                                                                                           Total   1,000pts

So there you have it given the right motivation and a little planning you can get yourself a great starting point for an much larger army.

posted by Sero

Monday 26 August 2013

Vintage Rhino MkI

We've all done it before, sitting at home, minding your own business, and before you know it, you've impulse bought something from E-bay.  It happens to the best of us.  Honest.

This time, Sero found himself the proud owner of a vintage Rhino, still on sprue.  So, following on from his last review of the classic Termie, it seems sensible to give his new purchase the Friendly Fire 'Pimp my 40K Ride' treatment.

So, here's the bad boy, in all its sprue-y glory, ready to be passed to the Mechanicus drones for construction.

the original complete Rhino Kit

What do we know about this vehicle kit....

  • It was GW's first plastic vehicle kit, sale price of £5 each or 3 for £10 (damn you inflation busting price rises!)
  • Release date sometime around 1989.
  • First produced in the original bone white plastic, though this kit is a slightly later version in the pale grey instead.
  • It was the core vehicle kit for Space Marines (huh!), Chaos Space Marines and 2nd edition Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard and Squats.  Thus proving the usefulness of 'Standard Template Constructs' to both the Imperium of Man and a much younger Games Workshop company.  It was built into a number of variants using metal add-on bits until 2005(ish).  The previous Immolator was the last vehicle to use the chassis.
So, it is clearly a pretty iconic piece of kit.

In his article about the Termie, Sero asked; 'is it still cool?' and 'is it still usable today?'

Is it still usable today?

There is no way on The Emperor's Scorched Brown Earth that 10 Space Marines will ever fit in this vehicle, however that is still the case in the newer one (unless you turn the Marine's into mush and pour them in through the top hatch).  So, no real change there.

At a first glance, the vintage Rhino looks teeny-tiny compared to its newer, bigger cousin.  Comparing the two side-by-side, we can see that the width of the vehicle is less than a centimetre narrower than the newer version, so not as small there then.  It is a little vertically challenged though - just like the Termie.  It would definitely stand out if it parked up in the wrong Rhino park.

A side by side comparison of the old and new Rhino Sprues

Also, we must remember that the current production version of the Rhino is not a replacement for the older kit as it is actually a different mark of the vehicle.  The current kit the Mark III Rhino whereas the older, out of production kit is the Mark I.  Given the way the Administratum works, it could be possible that some backwater or less well supplied world could still be using the Mark I design.

Considering that there is a trend for gaming in the 30K era, the Rogue Trader/early edition revivals and gamers using early marks of armour, it would almost make sense to use the older version of the Rhino too.

Is it still cool?

Watching the boys go all gooey over this aged kit, this vehicle clearly evokes all kinds of nostalgia amongst those who remember it first time round.

It is obviously a more basic kit than the modern version and it has fewer twiddly details, but asking if the vehicle is cool is a bit like asking if a '68 Mustang is still cool.  Of course it is! No doubt about it.  The vintage rhino's legacy alone in terms of the classic imagery and place in the hearts of any gamer over 14 should guarantee its 'coolness' for many years to come.

It actually has an option not available on the current kit, with two different options for the front hatches. Thus allowing a level of customisability that the new kit doesn't have.  Serial non-conformists like me have to consider this to be pretty cool.  Sadly, it didn't come with an accessories sprue that the later kit has, though it does have the standard stuff like smoke launcher and twin-linked bolters (storm bolter nowadays).

So, although on a modern gaming table, this kit has clearly 'had its day' and would look a out of place side by side with the newer models, unless it is part of an army purposely using older designs and kits, this is still a cool vehicle and it's legacy will live on in the memory of long time 40K players.  If used for its original purpose in an appropriately themed army, it will add a level of depth and authenticity that the later version of the kit would not have.  In short, this kit is still cool and, in the right circumstances, it is definitely still usable today.

The next question is.... will Sero keep it in the box or will he build and paint it??


Saturday 17 August 2013

The war of tomorrow in 28mm..... Part 1

I've been a fan of Ambush Alley Games' rulesystems since the original Ambush Alley (I even paid out to have it printed and ringbound from PDF a couple of years ago). When Tomorrow's War came out it seemed to be the toolkit I was looking for – flexible enough to handle everything from Corporate Wars to Martian miners rebellions to Bug Hunts. But I was missing a few things; firstly, psychic rules. I like Psychics, be they Mass Effect style cybernetically enabled Biotics or Star Wars Force users. Secondly, I wanted more detailed aliens rules. Thirdly, I wanted to be able to do various Cybernetic horrors, like Shadowrun/Cyberpunk cyberzombies.

The supplement, 'By Dagger & By Talon', has delivered all of this, and more. It has also given us a fascinating 'master' race in the form of the Darghaur. First mentioned in Tomorrow's War and with 15mm minis produced by the granddaddy of 15mm SF, Ground Zero Games, the Darghaur are a brutal oppressor species, implacable and unknowable – even to those they enslave. In short, fighting species are preserved and weaker ones obliterated.
Even though the Darghaur themselves are only available in 15mm at present, I game mainly in 28mm scale. I do remember an inference on Lead Adventure and there was a poll on the Ambush Alley forum asking who would buy 28s, so there may be hope...
The most useful thing about this from a wargamer's point of view is the variety of models that can be used as the villains. Over the next couple of articles I'm going to walk you through a couple of the ranges I'm planning on using as Darghaur slaves....

I picked these up as new releases at Salute 2013. They're really characterful little guys, clearly not your standard space dwarf. Bulky, clearly heavily armoured and professional, but with no beards! I could see them being converted for Demiurg for 40k as an alternative use – the downside being there are only 2 poses at present.

3 merciless warriors on the hunt for their masters' enemies...

This shot shows the 'weak spot' on the back....

How to use them for TW?
The Sontarans (who the Sharclons are based on) are presented as a warrior race – huge numbers of clone soldiers deployed in en-masse, Soviet/WW1 style wave attacks to grind down the enemy through attrition. This background still works for Darghaur Sharclons, and makes them the perfect disposable cannon fodder for the unscrupulous commander. Given the initial high cost of the minis (make no mistake – they are chunky little fellers) and their clearly heavily-armoured nature, I feel a high armour value is warranted, at least D8, maybe D10. Tech level 2, at least. Weapons wise they are certainly at least tech level 2. But what about Quality? This could be a random factor due to cloning batches. I would certainly see the leaders being decent, but the line grunts maybe not so much. D6-D8 is my feeling. Morale would be high too, due to their disregard for losses and commitment to the cause!
I think you could do something characterful with the 'weak spot' on the back (as visible in the rear shot above). Maybe grant a +1 firepower to attacks made against them from behind (in GM'd games/campaigns, maybe award this knowledge once they've been shot at from the rear?)
The main issue for them is likely to be their inflexible weapon choices (at least until Andy sculpts some more, hint hint ;) ), but this is simply part of their character for me. I would like to add some vehicles for them. Originally the Sontarans used Dr Who dimension folding tech for their craft (not unlike the TARDIS's 'bigger on the inside' schtick (obviously a cunning trick to save the production some cash!). I think I'd like something a bit more conventional for them though. Given the shapes of their armour I'm thinking Scotia Grendel's Void Syntha tank might be a good match? I might get another of the officers to add an 'unbuttoned' commander to the top hatch and have a crack at sculpting a different right arm to lose the pistol.

The base colour is GW Dark Reaper with an edge highlight of Dawnstone on the armour plates. I then applied a Druchii Violet wash to the bodysuit and the deepest recesses between armour plates.
Following that I painted in the outline for the unit markings in Dawnstone, and then went over this with Wazdakka Red. The eyes were also picked out this way, and both unit markings and eyes were given a slightly thinned coat of Tamiya Clear Red (of which and blood effects in the next article) to bump up the shine.
Weapon casings were edge highlighted with Vallejo Model Colour Black Grey, and the silver is simply GW Leadbelcher with a Nuln Oil wash. The glowy power cores were done with a Vallejo Model Colour Fluorescent Green, highlighted with VMC Fluorescent Yellow and finally given a wash of Tamiya Clear Green.
I wanted high-contrast bases, so I went for a light sand colour (VMC Dark Sand), which I inked with GW Agrax Earthshade and then drybrushed back up with Dark Sand.
They won't win any prizes for painting, but I'm very happy with their presence. I have another two to finish up for this squad, and I'm looking forward to getting a couple of hours to finish them off.

My review verdict?
For those who like no-nonsense metals, these are pretty good! 3 parts for the infantrymen, (body, weapon and head) and 2 for the officer (body & head), with good-fitting parts. As I noted earlier, they're not the cheapest bulk soldier out there at £4 apiece (£3.20 while Andy's currently got his sale on), but they do have a particular character and I don't feel that's an unreasonable price for well sculpted minis these days. They are a joy to paint, and the large open areas would lend themselves to extra blending or freehand very nicely. These three were finished in about 6 hours, all told, and the quality of the sculpt shows itself there in my opinion. They are limited by the very small number of poses, but I hope that once Andy's got some of the Dragon backlog out of the way these will appear – I'll be picking them up as and when they do!

Score: 6.5/10 due to the tiny range. If there were more options, I'd push it up to 7.5 easily.  

Posted by The Doc

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Tales from the Attic: An Introduction & Terminator Captain.

Hello and Welcome to Tales from the Attic, In this section we will be reliving the figures and games from our past. We will be digging through our bit boxes and figure cases, getting dirty in the lofts and attics looking for those forgotten gems and asking "do they have a place in our hobby today?" and "is this still cool?"

First thing we are going to be looking at is a classic Citadel Miniature from the days of Rogue Trader it's the Terminator Captain figure from the late 80s.


This figure has some pretty nice detail that stands up to today's critical eye and considering that the figure is nearly 25 years old I think that should be commended.  The scabbard does have skulls all over it which today is a hallmark of Chaos weaponry but we can forgive that.  He also has what i think is one of my favourite terminator crux shoulder pads from that era. 

One small issue is that compared to his modern brothers he's a little challenged in the height department but this is a very common issue with  vintage miniatures.

As it's a vintage miniature, i thought i should keep the paint classic. For this i got hold of the Warhammer 40,000 Compendium Book which was Published in 1989  and found a colour scheme from a chapter close to my heart - The White Scars all be it an Apothecary  (page 31 if you're interested )

So what do we need to do to make him playable in the current version of the Grim Darkness, well not that much.  The figure is armed with contemporary weapons, a Storm Bolter and Power Fist, and ignoring the Grenade launcher and the Sword he should be slaying heretics in no time! 

All that would need to be done is change the base to 40mm and he's good to go. He's readily available from all well known auction sites and you can get him for your army or collection for less than his modern equivalent.

For me, he does still have a place in our hobby and he is most definitely still cool.

Give this old timer a go he deserves it!

Posted by Sero