Monday, 14 November 2016

JDMG MC1 Chief Judges, Support Staff and SJS Judges

I have a mixed bag of Mega City One Judges to show you this time. They all work in the background and are vital to the smooth running of the Justice Department. There can only ever be one Chief Judge and I have four of them, although that does include two versions of Chief Judge Cal. I will only be using the current Chief Judge - Barbara Hershey, in my JDMG campaign. The others were bought purely to complete my collection.
Support Staff includes members assigned to the Academy of Law, Accounts Division, Personnel Division and Public Surveillance Units, plus Station Judges, who spend most of their time within a Justice Department establishment, typically a Sector House, obtaining data from PSU and distributing it to sub-departments to be analysed and distributed to Street Judge patrols for investigation.
The Special Judicial Squad (SJS) are men and women dedicated to ensuring corruption and other wrongdoing is stamped out within the Justice Department. They are usually extremely competent veterans of the streets since the criminals they normally face are both highly motivated and well equipped. SJS Judges can still be found on the streets, following leads and supporting their colleagues when necessary.
At the far left of this quartet of figures is Chief Judge Barbara Hershey. Taking over from Chief Judge Hadrian Volt after the Second Robot Wars, Hershey has had the longest reign of any Chief Judge other than Clarence Goodman who served from 2057 to 2101. She was appointed Chief Judge in 2122 and served until 2131 when she was succeeded by Dan Francisco. His tenure only lasted three years and Hershey was reappointed Chief Judge in 2134, where she remains in office to the present day (2138 at the time of writing). Since then she has presided over several major disasters that have threatened Mega City One, and has survived numerous assassination attempts. I was a big fan of Hershey from the first time I saw her when she was just a Rookie Street Judge and my opinion of her remains as strong as ever now that she is in charge of the Justice Department. She rules wisely and commands the respect of almost all of the Justice Department, including most tellingly of all, Judge Dredd. This figure, produced by Warlord Games as part of the Heroes of Mega City One boxed set is an excellent representation of her. A great figure befitting of a great character. In JDMG she is a Level:14 Infantry Hero, making her one of the most powerful and experienced Judges in the game.
Next in line is Chief Judge Hilda Margaret McGruder, who served as Chief Judge from 2104 to 2108, succeeding Judge Griffin and from 2112 to 2116, succeeding Judge Silver. A former head of the SJS, McGruder was a controversial figure whose grip on sanity decreased as she got older. Many of her decisions were unpopular, particularly in her second term (the abolition of the Council of Five and the failed Mechanismo robot programme, to name but two), which ultimately led to her resignation. She died fighting criminals in the Cursed Earth, on a top secret mission with Judge Dredd, which remains classified. Her figure is produced by Wargames Foundry as AD44 Chief Judge McGruder from their 2000AD range. It is a very good likeness of her and is well sculpted, although perhaps a tad too tall.
The other two figures are different versions of Chief Judge Cal, with the one second from right being AD16 Chief Judge Cal with Judge Fish from the Wargames Foundry 2000AD range, and the one at the far right being Warlord Games' version from the Chief Judge Cal's Retinue boxed set. Of the two. I prefer the one made by Warlord Games, but both are very good sculpts. His reign as Chief Judge lasted exactly 100 days from 2100 to 2101 and was documented in the story entitled "The Day The Law Died!" which ran in 2000AD progs #89 - #108 (1978 - 1979). A mad Chief Judge, who made his goldfish his deputy, Cal brought Mega City One to its knees, through his own powerful force of will and pure cunning. It took a dedicated force of Judge-tutors, led by Judge Dredd, to end his reign.
These three Judges are all part of the support staff of the Justice Department. All three were made by Warlord Games. At the far left is Acc-Judge Whishaw from the Justice Department Accounts Division. If there is any division within the Justice Department more loathed than the SJS, the Accounts Division is probably it. The justice accountants work tirelessly to prepare, manage and deliver the annual Justice Department budget. To achieve this, armies of accounting clerks work within the administrative offices of every major justice facility, from Sector Houses and armouries to the Grand Hall of Justice itself, checking and verifying data, auditing disbursement vouchers and debit memos. Stats for an Acc-Div Judge in JDMG can be found on page 6 of the Blood on the Streets supplement.
In the centre of this trio is Judge Wheeler, who works as a Chief Quartermaster in one of the Sector Houses. A former Banshee Interceptor driver, Wheeler is very knowledgeable about all of the Justice Department vehicles. This Judge figure was supplied with the Banshee Interceptor car. I decided to give him a promotion in my campaign from Pursuit Driver and make him my team's Chief Quartermaster.
At the far right is Academy of Law Tutor Sawyer. Judges permanently injured in the line of duty often find themselves reassigned to the Academy of Law, where their experience and knowledge can be passed on to the next generation of Judges. Their bionic replacement limbs and organs are a stark warning for cadets of the dangers present on the streets of Mega City One. Judge Sawyer has an advanced bionic right arm and an advanced bionic left eye.
Finally, I come to my SJS Judges. At the far left is SJS Judge D'Spatch who is available as AD58 SJS Judge Slocum from the Wargames Foundry range of 2000AD figures. I renamed him because Judge Slocum was part of Chief Judge Cal's retinue and died at Cal's hands, being pickled alive for inadvertently calling Cal "crazy." SJS Judge D'Spatch appeared as a character in the Rookies Guide to the Justice Department by Mongoose Publishing for their Judge Dredd Role-Playing Game. I found him interesting enough to use as a character in my own campaign. Interestingly, and perhaps disturbingly, he sports a Hitler moustache! Note that he is armed with the Mk.I Lawgiver Pistol.
The other three figures were all made by Warlord Games and I have named them all. From left to right are SJS Judge Fincher, SJS Judge Patton and SJS Judge Sharp. The figure of Fincher was an unnamed Judge who was part of the Chief Judge Cal's Retinue boxed set. The other two figures were available to buy individually. SJS Judge Patton is female and note the Judge's helmet at her feet. It has a bullet hole in it! This makes me wonder, has she just executed a corrupt Judge or is she investigating the murder of a Judge? SJS Judge Sharp is unusual in that he sports a full beard and moustache, a practice that is generally frowned upon by sticklers for the Law. It would certainly not pass unnoticed by Judge Dredd!

22 comments:

  1. All useful stuff, particularly the SJS judges. I quite like the sculpt of McGruder being tall, I like the idea of her being stern and pinched faced so for me it works. Again a lovely selection of miniatures for our delight. Judge Cal is suitably crazy with Judge Fish - are we going to see some Kleggs?

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    1. I'd say most of them are useful, Andy. I have little use for Chief Judges Cal and McGruder. As for Kleggs, you will definitely be seeing them in my campaign. I'm actually painting a whole bunch of them right now.

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  2. All hail judge "Fish!"

    Excellent additions

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    1. It's the psych cubes for you, m'lad! Hail Judge Fish indeed!

      Ahem, thanks anyway, Clint!

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  3. I wish I knew who all these characters are. Its all gobbldigook to me, but I do like the models themselves. The overall green and black looks really attractive. You`ve done the fine detail nicely especially the faces. I wish I knew what was going on, and this all makes me wish I understood the JD universe a bit better (like you wit D&D), but sadly I can only read and try and glean what everyone is talking about :( But still get to enjoy the `feel` of the thing, which is always nice for inspiration (though I feel I`m letting you down Bryan, by not being able to respond properly to your magnificent JD postings).

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    1. Steve, my friend, you have nothing to apologise for. Just because you don't know who most of these characters are doesn't mean you're left out in the dark. You have a basic knowledge of the Judge Dredd universe and that should suffice. These are all secondary characters and some will never appear in my campaign and others may appear only fleetingly. The important characters to concentrate on are the eight heroes of my campaign, who were shown in my first JDMG post. You do know that your comments are always welcome. And, yes, your knowledge of D&D (and many other subjects) far outstrips mine.

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  4. More Justice Department goodness, Bryan, though this one more than the others shows the difference in sculpting quality between "Wargames Foundry" and "Warlord Games"/"Mongoose Publishing". Fortunately your painting eye was clearly working overtime for some of these minis as you've really picked out some minute detail on the figures. The SJS has especially benefited from your paint-brush imho :-)

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    1. You are right to highlight the differences between Wargames Foundry and Warlord Games. The Foundry figures are slightly taller. Personally speaking, this doesn't bother me at all. As I keep on saying, in real life we come in all shapes and sizes. You are also right about the SJS Judges. Because their stylised American flags on their shoulder pads were much bigger than those on the belts of, say for example, the Street Judges, I was able to add little white stars to them. Thanks for your comments as always, Simon.

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    2. I'm not too bothered by the height difference myself Bryan, albeit Judge D'Spatch is a little too big for my liking. I simply think some of the "Mongoose Publishing" sculpts look a little 2d compared to some of the "Foundry" figs. The SJS pads really are awesome imho and you've really made them pop with your paintwork. Did Patton's mini come with the helmet at her feet or is that another of your most welcome additions?

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    3. Looking at Judge D'Spatch I think his head is too big for his body. The SJS shoulder pads have come out especially well, probably because they are so big so I can add more detail to them. The helmet that I added to Judge Patton's base actually came with the bearded SJS Judge Sharp. However, I decided to add it to Patton's base because I think she is a much cooler figure than Sharp. Like Judge Dredd, I do not approve of Judges having facial hair. So Sharp got punished by me by losing the helmet with a bullet hole in. You can tell, I'm going to be a stern Judge! ;-)

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  5. More excellent additions Bryan, the detail on the shoulder shields is mind boggling!!

    I loved the old Judge Cal story as a kid remember that one well.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Many thanks, Roger. If you can remember the old Judge Cal story as a kid then you're going back many years - 1978-79, in fact. I was 21 at the time!

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    2. I was 10 (oops I mean -26, I'm only twenty one you see!)

      Cheers Roger.

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    3. Lucky man! I wish I was only 21!

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  6. Right, I give up. I'm going to have to do my own Justice Department now. Obviously, as the official JD figures are no longer easily available, i will have to get a bit...creative. But I think i've found a suitable (and inexpensive) alternative, which match the style of my existing Adeptus Arbites figure. Not sure exactly when, but Justice WILL be served...

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    1. I have no doubt at all that you will succeed, Jez. The Wargames Foundry range of 2000AD figures is still available but I'm sure you can find some far cheaper alternatives. I very much look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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  7. {{HAHA, I actually wrote this in the wrong space... I did it in your last article by mistake, so maybe you might delete the other one }}


    Interestingly, while I don’t know Judge Dredd very well at all, a basic understanding is all.... I have the film(s) have read a few of the graphic novels and anthologies, and have watched enough games of it being played over the years (and have sat in on a few too) to have a slightly better than average understanding I suppose... still, I feel a total novice. Yet this is the type of subject I could have really gotten into without too much effort (just the outlay of cash to have started and finished the collection is staggering, so stopped me in my tracks). I LIKE things that feel complete (like Super Dungeon Explore does, like Arkham Horror Does, and Heroclix and Black Plague, etc). I LIKE subjects where you not only get to collect vast numbers of miniatures and expansions to bring the whole experience together, but also gives you the ability to breathe life into the project as a whole... by the very virtue of having enough of a collection that the experience feels rich and complete. Admittedly I do prefer to make games and campaigns come alive when I can make it all up (like you have to do with Dungeons and Dragons or something) as opposed to simply following an idea laid out by someone else’s imagination... that’s why I could never smavishly follow Doctor Who or anything similar. I’m not a follower: I like to create not copy. That`s my one and only problem with Super Dungeon Explore for instance. I don’t like that the game world is so defined and the players simply follow the world as laid out (poorly I might add) by the game designers. It’s too limiting and stifling for me. I like to be given a set of rules, some cool guidelines and ideas, and then be let loose and allowed to make the game how I want it to be: not how am told it should be. Follow a story already invented by other people (like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones for example) and my endeavours never seem to come alive round the table in the same way that things I invent myself always seem to do. Exceptions to this are Ravenloft (because its D&D and by definition is fantastical and promotes wild imagination) and also, perhaps strangely, so too with Hero and Horror clix. However, Judge Dredd, I think, is a subject could very easily have `followed` because the sheer scope is (like clix) so vast - and utterly diverse, with a myriad of unique options available to the happy gamers to try out.

    I am envious (in a good way, my friend) of your amazing JD collection AND the cool terrain. Because the sheer scope of adventures and batreps and opportunities to make this futuristic world come alive, is staggering... you have no excuse now not to make this experience absolutely amazing, hehe. I greatly look forward to seeing it happen.

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    1. Many thanks, Steve, for such an informative and insightful comment. I totally agree with all you said. You are spot on when you said "Judge Dredd, I think, is a subject I could very easily have `followed` because the sheer scope is (like clix) so vast - and utterly diverse, with a myriad of unique options available to the happy gamers to try out."
      Just look at the games that have come out for Judge Dredd. The current "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game" gives you the options to play a group of Judges (as I will be doing) or playing a perp gang or even setting your campaign outside of Mega City One, like for example Brit Cit. There are so many options. You have a whole world to play in and interact with. Believe me, I have big plans for this campaign. I hope I can live up to your high expectations.

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  8. ah, you`ll do an amazing job I have no doubt :)

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