Thursday, 20 October 2016

Shadows of Brimstone Targa Custodians, Pylons and Guardian

I'm reviewing two Enemy Packs for the Shadows of Brimstone game today and both are related. I present to you the Custodians of Targa and the Guardian of Targa. These constructs obviously come from the other world known as the Targa Plateau.
Ancient caretakers from the Targa Plateau, these large spider-like robots roam the halls and chambers of the ancient alien city, maintaining the systems and repairing damage done by intruders and the rigours of time. On occasion the Custodians of Targa will stray through a portal and begin terraforming whatever world they end up in, building new pylons and converting the area into a remote extension of Targa itself. The Custodians of Targa are a dangerous enemy to fight, as they not only have a powerful Electro-shock if you get too close, but also a Defence Laser that they blast away with as they close in for melee. The primary function of a Custodian is its Repair protocols, allowing them to repair damage to themselves and other robots and pylons nearby. This makes them extra difficult to defeat in groups.
These three models are just slightly bigger than the Void Spiders I showed recently - roughly 18mm tall. They are two-piece castings, with the heads being separate from the bodies and limbs. They are not supplied with bases and I chose not to glue them to a base. All three Custodians are identical but with the one at the far left I slightly bent his legs to make him appear taller. I also glued their heads on slightly differently so that they are not all facing directly forward.
Throughout the city of the Ancients on the Targa Plateau, stand a series of tall, Dark Stone Pylons. Re-activated after countless aeons as a defensive measure, these Pylons power up with a low hum of energy resonating through their master-crafted stonework. Atop each Pylon is a laser eye, ready to fire searing blasts of super-heated plasma at any invaders or unwelcome guests of the city. Though Targa Pylons are immobile, they have the ability to fire their defensive lasers in all directions. This makes them difficult to approach and virtually impossible to sneak up on. Frequently found in pairs, these Pylons stand as silent sentries left behind to watch over the once great city.
These simple sculpts came in two halves, cut diagonally down the column. They stand 60mm tall and have been glued to 30mm diameter bases. They were without any doubt, the easiest figures I have had to paint for Shadows of Brimstone. Their main colour is Foundry Granite 31.
The frozen over alien city of the Targa Plateau is home to many ancient terrors that have lain dormant for aeons. While the robotic Custodians of this long gone civilisation still roam the halls, maintaining the systems, there are also massive robotic Guardians that are awakened when the city is in danger. these mechanical monstrosities pull free from their alcoves to hunt down and eliminate whatever threat was detected. Easily standing three or four times the height of a man, these Guardians are cold and calculating in the execution of their duties to defend the city against all intruders. Many explorers have found their way to the Targa Plateau... far fewer have returned. The Guardian of Targa is a gigantic and terrifying construction. Its Hardened Shell has withstood the ages and can easily withstand simple gunfire. With four crushing arms, the Guardian smashes his foes, rocking the very foundation he stands upon. Though mainly a melee fighter, the Guardian also has a Burning Laser it fires from its lifeless eye at the start of each of its Activations. Though difficult to destroy, the Guardian can have its Control Systems damaged as it takes Wounds, reducing its effectiveness as more and more of its systems shut down and its arms go dead.
The Guardian is a multi-part model comprising 25 separate components, which includes its 60mm diameter base. Fortunately, detailed instructions on how to assemble the robot are provided. Because the arms are attached to the body by ball and socket joints, you have a fair degree of flexibility in how to position them. Both the Custodians and the Guardian were very easy models to paint. Note that I added some cut-offs from the model's sprue to add to its base, which I painted in light metallic blue. I added the Saloon Girl to my first photo of the Guardian to give you an idea of how tall he is. He actually stands 70mm tall. He is one incredibly impressive model.
I end with a group shot showing the figures from both sets together. I must admit that I am toying with the idea of using them in my upcoming Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. They certainly wouldn't look out of place there.

28 comments:

  1. My first thought on seeing these was that they would work well in a Doctor Who game, or indeed many other sci-fi settings. Very nice, though the guardian looks a bit top-heavy to my eye.

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    1. I think these would work well in most sci-fi games. Doctor Who is certainly a good possibility.

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  2. These would definitely fit into a JD game, plenty of robots, killer or otherwise to incorporate into your skirmishes!

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    1. I do have quite a few renegade robots to use in my Judge Dredd campaign, and these would certainly fit in well.

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  3. I am not sure what to make of these. I like the pylons as they would distract any nearby dogs or indeed werewolves.

    Overall I do like them (I think) and could easily be used in a variety of other settings Judge Dredd as you mention or any more generic sci fi.

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    1. Ha, ha, I love your idea of the Pylons causing a distraction for dogs and werewolves, Clint! That is something I had never considered.

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  4. I do like the figures Bryan, and I like the way you've painted them. I'm just not sure about them in the wild west setting, that just might be a step too far for me. (I could never take to firefly for the same reason).

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. One of the main features of Shadows of Brimstone is its portals to Other Worlds. This allows for some very strange settings and monsters. The robots found on the Targa Plateau is just one such setting. I rather like the fact that the Other Worlds are so varied and unpredictable. As for "Firefly" I really loved that show a lot.

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  5. Marvellous stuff Bryan, and I'm certainly tempted by the Custodians and those Pylons. Sadly the Guardian already seems to be a highly sought after item, with the only non-Ebay source (i.e. Amazon) quoting almost £40 for it. Your paint-jobs have certainly made them attractive but I'll wait and see whether I can locate a more reasonably priced deal for the two boxes. Thanks for tempting me though ;-)

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    1. As a complete aside Bryan, I see "Warlord Games" are seemingly completely sold out of their "Judge Dredd" range of minis!! Did you buy that many!?!

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    2. Now these are very nice. The Guardian figure has to be my favourite, as it has a definite Jack Kirby vibe and wouldn't look out of place in a superhero game.

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    3. @Simon. I was fortunate in that I bought my Guardian ages ago. You're right - he is hard to find and he is going for high prices nowadays. A shame.

      I have no idea what is going on with Warlord Games and their Judge Dredd range. No, I'm not responsible for this, but I can see why you'd think so. :-) I smell something fishy here. I wonder if they've lost the licence to sell them. It seems strange that the complete range has suddenly sold out. It's very suspicious and also disturbing. I was still hoping to complete my collection. Now, I have grave doubts that I will.

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    4. "I smell something fishy here" - I was certainly bemused as I wanted to take advantage of "Warlord Games" birthday deal of free shipping and finally pick up some additional Zombie Judges and Mega-City One Undead conversion pieces for a "Judgement Day" scenario. I've even dug out some old "Mantic Games" zeds in preparation. Fingers crossed someone will be selling them soon!!

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    5. I very much hope so, Simon. Thankfully I got all of the figures I needed the most. The few that I am missing (Demonic Cabal, Kleggs and the Judda) would complete my collection but were never high on my shopping list. I have wrote to Warlord games to try and find out what is going on. I'll let you know when I get a reply from them.

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    6. Cheers Bryan. I too have emailed them querying why the lack of "Judge Dredd" stock. Having just bought the "Judgement Day" graphic novel I have been badly bitten by the bug, so want to up my Mega-City Undead horde. Any ideas for suitable plastic knee-pads and shoulder-pads?

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    7. Sadly, it appears I have waited too long to order the Zombie Conversion Pack from Warlord Games. I don't know who else makes the likes of knee-pads and shoulder-pads. It looks like I'll be resorting to making my own out of Milliput or Green Stuff. Sorry, Simon, but that's the best suggestion I can come up with at the moment.

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  6. @Jez. I can see the Jack Kirby reference for sure. The Guardian would indeed fit in as a supervillain or possibly even a superhero.

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  7. With Warlord Games, they don't actually make their own figures (this is something most people don't realise). They are a `shop` to sell figures that other people make. They often buy warehouse fulls of other people`s wares (like the cool Perry Miniatures American Civil War Set.... now utterly sold out; and the Liberty or Death set... gone soon I suspect). Once gone they are gone, unless you get lucky and they briefly find a new batch. If you see something you want from Warlord Games, always best to strike while the iron`s hot. Personally I find Warlord Games to be THE most reliable, helpful, friendly, and (staff) well informer company in England at the moment. Write to the guys there and you will always get a quick, informative, and friendly response from them, and their replacement policy is second to none.

    Shadows of Brimstone has a distinctly "Cowboys and Aliens" feel to it, actually a lot more so than it does Lovecraft`s “Call of Cthulhu” which everyone usually quotes. Cowboys and Aliens (staring Daniel Craig/James Bond) is an interesting little stand alone film/movie, and is taken from the series of comic books/graphic novels of the same name.

    I really like the way you have painted these Bryan. Nice and atmospheric, and totally in keeping with the alien other-worldliness `portal gates` theme which Brimstone conjures up in the game. Cthulhu, Aliens, Cowboys, Native American Indians, this game is a heavenly mix of the lot, and a perfect slice of perfection.

    I don’t have this new batch of minis for the game, but easily made our own Pylons (hard to tell from the originals actually, only they cost pennies to make), and the Custodians and Guardians are so like other miniatures we already have in the collection... thankfully they make ideal proxies anyway. But the originals are pretty awesome too aren’t they, mmmmm.

    Nice... nice. One step closer to playing. How many more to do Bryan?

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    1. Many thanks for that most informative comment, Steve. I certainly did not realise that Warlord Games did not make their own figures, especially as some of the Judge Dredd figures were exclusive to Warlord Games. I do hope that someone else acquires the rights to sell the Judge Dredd range. It would be heartbreaking to see them gone for good.

      "Cowboys and Aliens" is a very good description of Shadows of Brimstone. Most of the monsters I have reviewed so far do have a Cthuloid feel to them but that certainly does not apply to these two sets. I thought of making my own Pylons but once I saw them for sale with the Custodians I just went ahead and bought them instead. Still, they do look rather easy to make.

      Actually, Steve, I have already started playing. I just haven't done any batreps to post on my blog. I only have about 30 more figures to paint to complete my collection, assuming I don't add any more in the near future.

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  8. I may be wrong about Warlord Games JD range, maybe they DO make them themselves, but I do know that the majority of things they sell (Perry Miniatures, Empress Miniatures, Hellion, Osprey, etc.... maybe JD is WG`s their own range.

    I was so tempted just to buy the Pylons too Bryan. But opted for the economical way in the end. Can`t wait to see some of your Brimstone batreps. You may well see some of my Brimstone quite soon (within the next three posts that's for sure) as I have combined my game neatly into my new Beaver Wars/French Indian Wars campaign.

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    1. Some of the Judge Dredd range were made by Mongoose for their Gangs of Mega City One game. Others, however, do appear to have been made by Warlord Games themselves.

      Oh, I am very much looking forward to seeing how you incorporate Shadows of Brimstone into your new campaign. No doubt you'll put your own unique slant on it. I'll be watching with keen interest.

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  9. yeeeey, yeah I`m not even using the official Brimstome rules, but my own rpg ones (work similar to CW only generic fantasy and sci fi). Likewise I look forward to all you have in store for us over the coming months.

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    1. It looks like we both have much to look forward to with each other's campaigns and batreps. I am looking forward to seeing how your new rules work.

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  10. These look excellent. I really like the style of these miniatures and like Hugh points out they will be useful in other games 7TV especially! I like how you have painted them all as well. Job well done Bryan. I can only think of adding some sort of weathering to some of them to indicate there age spent in the city.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. Yes, 7TV is another possibility to feature these robots. I did think about adding weathering effects to them. I have seen some excellent examples of robots painted in rust colours. Ultimately, I decided to go for the clean look as I imagine a high-tech society would be able to come up with rust resistant metals or even nano-technology that keeps them clean forever.

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  11. I have just received a reply from Warlord Games regarding the current demise of the Judge Dredd range of figures and I thought I'd share it with you.

    "Thank you for your message and interest in our models.

    As our license on Judge Dredd has almost reached its end, we are currently planning the future for its range and game and re-negotiating our agreements with the brand owners.

    Please stay tuned on our website pages and newsletter for imminent news on Judge Dredd developments!"

    So, fingers crossed that they will renew their license agreement soon and that the range continues. I am praying for a good outcome.

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    1. Precisely the exact same response I had, Bryan. It does sound at least somewhat more encouraging than a flat out 'our licence has expired.' I do though wonder how this may impact upon the "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War" Kickstarter as I'm still waiting on a number of goodies...

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    2. I'm cautiously optimistic, Simon, that the range will return. As you say, at least their reply is not a flat out "they've gone for good," which is encouraging.

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