Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Ral Partha Lakota Sioux

The Sioux are groups of Native American tribes and First Nations peoples in North America. The term can refer to any group within the Great Sioux Nation or to any of the nation's many language dialects. The Sioux comprise three major divisions based on language divisions - the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota. The Dakota reside in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa. The Nakota are considered to be the middle Sioux and they mainly reside in Minnesota, Montana as well as Western Canada. The Lakota, also known as the Teton Sioux, are the westernmost tribe, and are known for their hunting and warrior culture. In any of the three main dialects, Lakota or Dakota translates to mean "friend" or "ally", referring to the alliance that once bound the Great Sioux Nation.
The Lakota Sioux took part in numerous wars including Red Cloud's War (1866-68), the Great Sioux War of 1876, which included amongst others, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
I have slowly been building up a collection of Plains Indians from numerous companies but the four 28mm scale figures I'm showcasing here were bought many years ago in the 1990's and were actually created for the near future Shadowrun game. That said, they are sculpted in such a way that they fit in perfectly in an Old West setting of the late 19th century.
At the far left is White Eagle, a Lakota tribal chief, who is wearing a buffalo skin head dress and cloak. He is armed with a coup stick and a knife. He is Jackson Ryder's adoptive father. He is a quiet, thoughtful man with a stoic exterior, although in recent years he has become more relaxed. He became leader early in his life, and now, not even 50, he has led the band for more than 15 years. Although a fine warrior and hunter, he is anticipating the toll that age will take on him and has been looking for a worthy successor. Against all the odds, he believes he has found one in his adoptive son, Splits Arrow. He worries that because he is white, the tribe will not accept Jackson as chief.
Next up, is Jackson Ryder, aka Splits Arrow, a white man who was raised by White Eagle when Jackson was orphaned as a child. Ryder is a character from GURPS Robin Hood, who is a reincarnation of Robin. In this supplement you can play Robin Hood in one of five alternative settings - 17th century Scotland, the Old West, a contemporary setting with superheroes, a cyberpunk world and a far future sci-fi setting, as well as the traditional Sherwood Forest setting. Jackson is now fully integrated into his adoptive tribe and regards them as his family. His skill at bow and arrow is legendary. He is also armed with a knife and a tomahawk. His efforts on the part of the Lakota have earned him a great reputation among the Sioux, whilst his reputation among whites as a renegade has grown; there is talk of hanging him as soon as he is captured.
Jackson's closest friend in the tribe is Lone Tree on the Plains. In the supplement, he was a male ally but I decided to change his sex, to match that of the figure. She is the daughter of White Eagle and is glad that her father is grooming Splits Arrow to take over the leadership of the tribe. She views Jackson as a brother and the two work well together. She is armed with a bow, arrows, knife and tomahawk.
Finally is Looks at Fire, the tribe's medicine man and shaman. He is respected and honoured for his wisdom and experience, and is consulted on every important matter undertaken by the band or a member. His love of children extended to the young Jackson, whose interest in tribal lore and ceremony Looks at Fire encouraged. Note that his figure was produced by Grenadier Miniatures, as part of their own Shadowrun range.
These are four superb sculpts and they fit in so perfectly with the GURPS Robin Hood characters that I had to use them as such. I do have plans for using them in a Six Gun Sound setting, so that is something to look out for.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 2 - The Walking Dead Survivors

In the Zomtober challenge you must paint at least one zombie or survivor figure per week. I have already shown eight zombies in my first post. Now I turn my attention to the survivors. These figures are all from the wave 1 boxed set of The Walking Dead skirmish game by Mantic Games. There are two very different groups here. First up are four of the Atlanta survivors who Rick Grimes teams up with when he goes searching for his wife and son. The second group are a gang of miscreants who are opposed to them. Most of these are only known by their first names in the comics and game but I have given all of them full names for use in my own games.
First up at the far left is Allen Lomax, who is a bruiser. His figure is armed with a bolt-action rifle.
Dale Horvath is the lookout and marksman of the Atlanta group. He is armed with a sniper rifle with fitted scope-sight.
Second from the right is Donna Bell, an unarmed support member of the group.
Finally, is Jim Rothenburg, another support member and a mechanic. He is armed with a 9mm pistol.
Leader of the gangers is Derek Prescott, who is classed as a tactician and a heartless mercenary. This brutal skinhead is armed with a 9mm pistol.
Next in line is Patrick Singleton, a bruiser armed with a baseball bat.
The weak link of the gang is Liam White, who is an unarmed support member.
Last of all is Sandra Vega, who is the gang's runner and she is armed with a knife.
These hard plastic figures are incredibly well sculpted, full of character and an absolute joy to paint. By the way, this weekend is the 15th anniversary of the launch of The Walking Dead comic, and to mark the occasion, Mantic Games have a 15% discount offer on all of their The Walking Dead products. I made use of it by placing an order for the Greene family farm scenery set and the prone bodies set. The barn, fences and hay bales that come with the farm set will also work well for my Wild West games and dead bodies are always useful.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 1 - The Walking Dead Zombies

This post is a bit late but that's only to be expected when I'm painting two batches of 20 figures this month for the annual Zomtober challenge. I've just finished painting the first batch and am about to start the second, so I'm way ahead of schedule. I am working on getting all of the figures completed from the Kickstarter wave 1 box of Mantic Games' The Walking Dead skirmish game. What better a way to start than with a bunch of zombies? It has been such a long time since I have painted any contemporary zombie figures, so it was nice to return to them as I always enjoy painting them.
At the far left is a severely wounded old man. His chest bears a pair of large cuts forming a cross and his stomach has been ripped open.
Next to him is a young punk with a Mohican haircut. He sports numerous cuts and wounds.
Second from the right is a young female whose left arm has been bitten off or ripped off.
At the far left is a police patrol-woman who has been shot, stabbed and bitten. The blood on her hands is still fresh, so most likely came from a victim she has recently fed upon.
In this next batch is a young man in a baseball cap who has lost his left arm just above the elbow. There is also a gaping hole in his stomach. The zombies fed well on him!
The guy in the yellow T-shirt appears to have died from a single gunshot to the heart. The entry wound is in his back and the exit wound in his chest. A nice clean kill... for a human!
The skinny-looking female second from the right has had half of her face bitten off.
The female at the far right appears to have been a shop assistant, judging by her clothing. She has been shot just below her right breast and there is a massive exit wound in her back. Also, her left arm has been broken and hangs at an odd angle, with bone showing through.
These were an absolute joy to paint. They were the first figures I've painted from this range and I like that they are made of hard plastic and that they are superbly detailed. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get round to painting them but I'm glad I've made a start on them. Lots more to follow!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Black Scorpion Townsfolk 02

Following on from my last post here are the rest of my Black Scorpion 32mm scale townsfolk from their Tombstone range of figures. I haven't got round to naming any of these yet but it's just a matter of time before I do.
These five figures come from the Civilians 03 set. At the far left is a dog, which I was pleasantly surprised to see included. Another useful figure is the little boy holding a poster. Figures of Wild West children are extremely rare, so once again, I was mighty pleased that he's included in the set.
In the centre of the group is a banjo player. Note his holstered pistol on his right hip. Next in line is a farmer or homesteader with a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Finally, is a drunken cowboy who is having difficulty walking in a straight line. He has his revolver drawn but the chances of him hitting anything with it must be very remote.
This set of five figures cost £9.60 from Black Scorpion's webstore.
This next set of figures are the Town Watch, the brave folk who volunteer to join a sheriff's posse or defend their town from bandits and outlaws. They are a mixed bunch, that's for sure. At the far left is an elderly bespectacled gentleman armed with a .45 Colt Army Revolver and a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Next up is another old timer who also wields a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Not as old as the previous two, but still getting on in years as denoted by his greying hair, the gent second from the right is left-handed and is firing a .45 Colt Army Revolver.
Last in line is a spunky lady who means business as she wields a 12 Gauge Sawn-Off Double-Barrelled Shotgun. This set of four figure also costs £9.60.
As always, the sculpting of these resin-cast figures is just superb. They were very crisp and a pleasure to paint. They are also so full of character - each one looks like he or she has a story to tell - and I love that in a figure.
Note that my next posts will concentrate on my Zomtober challenge. Progress is going really well.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Black Scorpion Townsfolk 01

In this, the first of two posts, I'm reviewing a couple of sets of Black Scorpion 32mm scale Townsfolk from their Tombstone range of resin cast figures.
The four figures to the left are the Civilians 1 set, consisting of a miner/prospector, a store owner with broom, an elderly fat gentleman and a young lady with umbrella. I haven't named any of these yet. This set costs £9.60 for the four figures.
At the far right is a rambler and Humphrey the dog. I named the rambler as Russell Tucker, or as most folk call him, "Ole Man Tucker." He and Humphrey are inseparable, which is rather appropriate given that they are a one-piece casting. Together, they cost £4.50.
Next up are Civilians 2, which also consists of four figures -  a blacksmith, a bartender, a doctor and a middle-aged lady. This set also costs £9.60.
All of these figures are crisply sculpted and were a joy to paint. I will be using them in my Six Gun Sound games and I will name them all and give them character record cards.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Vampifans Views 111 - Monthly Musings 81

September has once again been a very productive month for me hobby-wise, more of which later, but first here is a delightful portrait of Vampirella by the talented Spanish artist, Manuel Sanjulian. This would seem to be a perfect pose for a Vampirella statue but it hasn't happened so far. Speaking of Vampirella statues, my collection has now reached double figures and they take centre stage on my china cabinet in my living room.

The big news for me for September was the launch of the Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000AD Kickstarter by EN Publishing on the 25th. Amazingly enough, this project was fully funded within 9 minutes! I was never in any doubt that it would get funded but I wasn't expecting it be so speedily funded as that. I backed it for the Chief Judge's Pledge, which gets me the basic rulebook, the Robot Wars supplement, the Games Master's Screen, the card counter set plus free PDF copies of the books. Note that initially, a dice set was offered but they have been replaced by a set of cardstock counters of Judges, perps and civilians. This is because supply of the dice would have delayed the release of the other products and EN Publishing are committed to short delivery times, which is certainly to be applauded. To be honest, I have so many six-sided dice that missing out on these ones is no big deal.

The Kickstarter runs until Friday 26th of October 2018 and the estimated delivery time for the physical products is January 2019. PDFs will be sent out once the Kickstarter closes. Here's the link for it - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/enworld/judge-dredd-and-the-worlds-of-2000-ad-roleplaying?ref=email I was absolutely delighted to see that my review of the Kickstarter that I posted on my WOIN blog gets a mention. So too, does Blaxkleric's reviews that he did on the Dawn of Comics website. No doubt Simon will be just as chuffed as I am.

Speaking of WOIN, I am hoping to continue to my The Ace of Spades Campaign very soon. I have the scenario all written out and character record sheets created for the major participants. All that is missing are a few 3D scenery items that my brother has printed out for me. I should receive them later today when Mikie comes over to visit me.
A couple of weeks ago I ran a review of the N.O.W. rulebook on my WOIN blog (see here ) and in it I mentioned a few ideas for campaigns that I'd like to run with those rules. Andy suggested I go for a zombie apocalypse campaign with my PC of Vampifan taking centre stage once again. John, however, expressed a desire for a St. Trinian's campaign. They'll be pleased to know that I plan on running both campaigns later on. The St. Trinian's campaign will kick off first. I am busy creating character record sheets for the staff and students of this infamous girls' school and I have lots of ideas for scenarios. This will be a campaign using cinematic rules with an emphasis on fun and slapstick. Gritty and realistic it won't be! I'm still thinking about what I want to do with Vampifan - make him a loner or give him a family? Make him an ordinary human or perhaps a Chosen One? I am very excited about running both campaigns, plus continuing my N.E.W. campaign with Kimberley and crew. And next year I have big plans for running a brand new Judge Dredd campaign once I get the new rulebook. 2019 should see lots of WOIN gaming. These are exciting times.

Earlier this month I bought this boxed scenery set from Modiphius Games - the Red Rocket Scenery Set. What immediately attracted me to this set is that it is designed by Battle Systems Ltd., whose scenery sets I absolutely adore. Although this set is designed to be used with the Fallout Wasteland Warfare sci-fi skirmish game, I have no desire to start collecting figures for it or playing the game. I'm not a fan of computer games and I know so little about the game and its setting. What I do know is that this set would work perfectly well in any post apocalypse game like All Things Zombie, Judge Dredd or Strontium Dog. The garage itself is a superb model but what really makes this set worthwhile is the 3' square gaming mat that comes with it. Made of mouse-mat material, it is compatible with other Battle Systems Post-Apocalypse gaming mats. I can see me using this mat a lot in my Strontium Dog games. The boxed set costs £60.00 and here's a link to where you can purchase it - https://www.modiphius.net/collections/fallout-wasteland-warfare/products/copy-of-fallout-wasteland-warfare-product-template Expect a full review of this set real soon.

Painting has been going well, as always. Lots more sci-fi and Wild West figures painted this month, all of which will appear on this blog or my WOIN blog soon. A couple of days ago I received all of the Wave 5 figures for Mantic Games' The Walking Dead game and that got me thinking. I have had this game since it was first released ages ago but haven't got round to painting any of the figures for this game yet. It is about time that changed. I understand that October is known as Zomtober to some of you. So this will be my Zomtober challenge but I'm playing to my rules so I'm not an official entrant. I plan on painting all of the figures shown here in the top tray of the Kickstarter Wave 1 boxed set. My deadline is the end of October, and I'll post progress reports throughout the month when a batch of figures gets finished. I have every confidence in my ability to complete the challenge and I look forward to painting this lot. If I finish in good time, I'll move on to more figures from this range or maybe do the scenery pieces.

All the best from Vampifan.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Black Scorpion 7th Cavalry

One of the seven factions offered in Black Scorpion's Tombstone Kickstarter last year was the 7th Cavalry faction and I'm showing them here in their entirety. The regiment was constituted on 28th of July 1866 in the regular army as the 7th United States Cavalry. It was organized on 21st of September 1866 at Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of an expansion of the regular army following the demobilization of the wartime volunteer and draft forces. From 1866 through 1871, the regiment was posted to Fort Riley and fought in the American Indian Wars. In the Battle of Washita in1868, the regiment sustained 22 losses, while inflicting more that 150 deaths on a Cheyenne encampment, mostly women and children. This attack was led by George Armstrong Custer, who later led the 7th Cavalry to the most calamitous defeat of U.S. forces in the Indian Wars.
Typical of post-Civil-War cavalry regiments, the 7th Cavalry was organized as a twelve-company regiment without a formal battalion organization. Battalions at this time were flexible tactical organizations, with companies being assigned and removed as the field commander desired or felt necessary. Throughout this period, the cavalryman was armed with the .45 calibre Colt Cavalry Single Action revolvers and Trapdoor Springfield Carbines, calibre .45–70, until 1892. The regiment used the McClellan saddle. Sabres were also issued but not often carried on campaign.
From 1871 through 1873, 7th Cavalry companies participated in constabulary duties in the deep South in support of the Reconstruction Act and, for half the regiment, again in 1874–1876. In 1873, the 7th Cavalry moved its garrison post to Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. From here, the regiment carried out Custer's 1874 Black Hills Expedition. This led to the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, starting a gold rush in 1874 that precipitated the Great Sioux war of 1876-77. In June, 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer was killed in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Montana, along with 267 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. Although the regiment is well known for the Battle of the Little Bighorn, it also participated in other battles of the American Indian Wars, including the Battle of Bear Paw in Montana (30th of September 1877 – 5th of October 1877) and the Battle of Crow Agency in Montana (5th of November 1887). On 29th of December 1890, the regiment instigated the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota, an event that signalled the end of the American Indian Wars.
In these two photos we have Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer on foot and mounted on a white horse. Although Black Scorpion sell him as Custer, I have no desire to use him as such. I don't plan on running any of Custer's battles in my Six Gun Sound campaign, so I will rename him when I find the right time to introduce the 7th Cavalry. That said, they are really superbly sculpted figures. Note that the horse came with separate front and back right legs, but you wouldn't be able to tell from my photos as I hid the joins so well with Milliput. Custer on foot costs £4.50 and the mounted version costs £9.60.
At the far right is an unnamed officer. Actually, I haven't got round to naming any of the figures from this faction yet. He is armed with a pair of .45 Colt Cavalry Revolvers. He costs £4.50 from the Black Scorpion webstore.

These four figures are from the 7th Cavalry Set 1 priced at £9.60 for all four of them. At the far left is a trooper with a single .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver. Next to him is a trooper with a .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver and a Sabre.
Second from the right is a trooper armed with a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun and .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver. The trooper at the right of the group is armed with a .45 Trapdoor Springfield Carbine and a .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver.
Next up is 7th Cavalry Set 2, consisting of four more troopers and again, they are priced at £9.60 for all four. At the far left is either an officer or an NCO armed with a .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver and a Sabre.
Next in line, from left to right, are a trooper armed with two .45 Colt Cavalry Revolvers and two troopers armed with .45 Springfield Carbines.
7th Cavalry Set 3, is also priced at £9,60 for the four figures shown directly above and below consists of three troopers armed with twin .45 Colt Cavalry Revolvers.
Last in line at the far right is a trooper armed with a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun and a .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver. I have no idea why two of the troopers are toting Shotguns instead of Carbines, but it does offer more variety, so I'm not complaining.
All of these figures are available from the Black Scorpion webstore and all are cast in resin. Note that I have glued all of mine to MDF bases, which I bought separately from Warbases. The 25mm diameter bases are MDF slottabases. There is no denying, the level of sculpting on these figures is extremely high. You may think that they are expensive, and I wouldn't argue with you, but bear in mind, you're paying for very high quality figures and quality comes at a price.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Knuckleduster Wild West Starter Faction

Knuckleduster Miniatures produce a superb range of 32mm scale Wild West figures for their Gunfighters Ball range that, as far as I'm concerned, are second only in quality to the Tombstone range produced by Black Scorpion. As well as selling individual figures, they also sell faction sets, which usually consist of six figures and these are better value than buying the figures individually. The faction sets cost £18.50 for six figures as opposed to paying £21.00 if you bought the same six figures individually. Obviously, the first faction set I bought was this one here - the starter faction. It does contain six figures but I'm only showing five of them here. The missing figure - Honest John - will appear in another post real soon. He has joined another faction.
At the far left is "Rowdy Jack" Ferguson, a cowboy. He is armed with a .44 Colt Army Revolver. Next to him, is his his good friend, "Buck-tooth" Billy Watkins. He is armed with a pair of .44 Colt Army Revolvers. In the centre of the group is hired gunfighter, "Mysterious Dave" Mather. Dressed in a smart suit, he has notched up a few kills already. He, too, is armed with a .44 Colt Army Revolver.
Second from the right is bartender Bob O'Neill who is armed with a 12 gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun, which he no doubt keeps handy behind his bar. At the far right is "California Kate" Knox, who took over the leadership of "the Graceful Seven" and renamed them "the Elegant Eight." She is a Rep:5 Star with the Born Leader, Marksman and True Grit attributes in Six Gun Sound. She is armed with a .45 Colt Cavalry Revolver and a Knife.
These are really beautifully sculpted figures and I plan on collecting the complete range of them. My favourite figure here, has to be "California Kate," whom I had to add to my Graceful Seven gang as their leader. These are all one piece metal castings. Rather unusually, they come with MDF slottabases, which I like a lot more than plastic slottabases.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Let's Rock

A punny title for a post all about rocks, or more specifically, rocks usable for wargames. Now that I am heavily involved in Strontium Dog and my Wild West and Weird West projects I knew I needed more pieces of rock scenery to use in my games and in this post I want to show you my current collection.
First up are these three rock towers produced by Warlord Games as part of their terrain items, where they are called Hoodoo Rocky Terrain. Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and "broken" lands. Hoodoos are most commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains. While hoodoos are scattered throughout these areas, nowhere in the world are they as abundant as in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
These three towers come in a boxed set and are fully painted. You can buy them in black or brown colours. I opted for the brown coloured set. I'm not sure what they're made of - it feels like some sort of hardened polystyrene. They are very light. Sadly, when I checked the Warlord Games webstore, they were currently out of stock. No price was given for them but I do remember they were very cheap. I bought mine over a year ago. You may remember I used them for the first time in my introductory Strontium Dog batrep, not too long ago.
Moving on, we come to some of the best rocky terrain pieces on the market and they are made by my good friend Dave at Wargames Terrain Workshop. First up is the impressive piece - a Large Natural Arch as it is described on Dave's webstore. This is a huge and chunky piece of resin. It comes in two parts. The thin "leg" at the left is a separate piece. I drilled and pinned it before using epoxy resin to glue it in place. I hid the join with Milliput and added lots of Milliput to the inner surface of the leg, which was flat, in order to give it a more natural look.
I'm using my 28mm scale figure of Vampifan in all of these photos to give you a true sense of scale of the rock pieces. According to the WTW webstore, this piece measures 240mm long by 55mm wide by 140mm tall. Incredibly, for such a huge chunk of resin, it only costs £10 unpainted or £18 if you want Dave to paint it for you. I bought all of my WTW rock pieces unpainted. My painting recipe was to prime them in matt black, then cover them in Foundry Rawhide Shade 11A. I gave them a wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade. Finally, I dry-brushed them in Foundry Rawhide Shade 11A, then Foundry Rawhide 11B and last of all, Foundry Arctic Grey Shade 33A. I used an old half-inch paintbrush for all of the painting, which was ideal for covering such a large area quickly.
Moving on, is the WTW Natural Arch/Bridge. The piece in the centre of these two photos above and below was supposed to sit atop the two outer pieces to form an arch or a bridge. I decided to keep the pieces separate to give me more smaller pieces. Besides which, I already had two arches and I didn't want a third one. In addition, I glued the top of the pillar from below to the long flat part to give it more height and to offer more protection for those hiding behind it. Also, note that the bottom part of both these pieces were flat. If I'd used them as intended, I'd have wanted to make them look more natural by filling out their bases with Milliput.
I'm very pleased at leaving them as separate items as they give me more bang for my buck. This three piece set costs just £8 unpainted or £14.40 if you want it painted.
Here we have three smaller rock pieces that I bought from the WTW webstore. At the far left is a small rock pillar. This was supposed to have the small rock slab that I glued on top of the bridge above sitting on top of it. Instead, I kept it separate and I rounded off the top of the pillar with a small amount of Milliput. This little piece costs £3 unpainted or £5.40 painted.
Next in line is the Rock Formation - Natural Archway. This piece has been made as intended. Because the base of the crosspiece on top of the two pillars was smooth and flat, I added Milliput to it and gave it a more textured and natural look. It was glued in place with epoxy resin.
The final piece of Dave's rock terrain that I bought is the Small Escarpment, a sloped slab of rock that measures 110mm long by 55mm wide by 50mm high. There's not much more to say about it other than it costs £4 unpainted or £7.20 painted. I have to say that I am mightily impressed with these pieces. They are superbly sculpted, looking very natural, and are great value for money. They are definitely some of Dave's best work.
Finally, because I'm devoting this post to rocky terrain pieces, I thought I'd end with something I sculpted myself many years ago. I made this skull rock piece to go with my Dark Elf army for Warhammer as part of the kingdom of Naggaroth, also known as the Land of Chill. It did appear in a few battles I played as unpassable terrain. I built it around a circular plastic pill/tablet box and covered it in Pronto Das modelling clay, which I sculpted into the shape you see here.
The base, made of very thick card, was covered in small stones taken from my back garden. Sand and gravel were glued to the base to fill in the gaps. The sides of the pillar upon which the skull rested were covered in sand. The whole piece was primed in matt black then dry-brushed with successively lighter shades of grey. I'm really proud of this piece and I'm sure it'll get used again in the future, although not in Warhammer, which I doubt I shall ever play again.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Vampifan's Superheroes and Supervillains 09

Deathwish is a GURPS Supers scenario book that features a heavy metal band called Deathwish, who are all super-villains. I played this scenario with Vampirella, Wolverine and Gothique as the heroes. You can check out this old post to see who the three heroes are - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2016/07/vampifans-superheroes-and-supervillains_8.html
This was one of the best scenarios I ran when I was playing my GURPS Supers campaign in the 1990's with my gaming buddies, Dave (Wolverine) and Rob (Gothique). They were triumphant in the scenario but the final battle was a tough one as I considerably beefed up the stats of Deathwish to make them more of a challenge against three very powerful superheroes.
At the far left is Sorceress, aka Morwena the lead singer of Deathwish. Her real name is Amanda Carazone. She is the daughter of a wealthy politician from New England. She spent her childhood in the lap of luxury - anything she wanted, she got. Amanda was 21 years old, attending a small girls' college, when her father skipped the country with his secretary and every dollar the family owned. For the first time in her life, Amanda found herself penniless. Wandering the streets,stunned and confused, she was taken in by the Black Moon Society. The leader of this group recognised the magical potential that lay just below her conscious. She spent the next year learning to use her powers, but eventually left the society. She wanted her good life back.
She travelled to Los Angeles and took a singing job in the nightclub of a ritzy hotel - it afforded her the perfect opportunity to meet wealthy men who could be set up and taken for every penny they had. It was at this hotel that she met Necrovore who recognised a good voice when he heard one. Much to her surprise, she found herself attracted to him and the two began working as a team. On his advice she changed her name to Morwena.
They linked up with a crazy young man, Bobby Anderson (aka Demolition Man) and law student Harry Johnson (aka Psytron). Bobby played bass guitar and Harry played drums. Together they formed the nucleus of the heavy metal rockers known as Deathwish. They auditioned for a lead guitarist and accepted a teenager called Arvyn Runeweaver. That was three years ago. They burst onto the music scene with the sizzling Wish upon a Star album. This was followed by the controversial but phenomenally popular Wishcraft album, which was banned in many stores because of its cover. Disaster struck when Arvyn Runeweaver tragically died of spontaneous combustion. He was replaced by Eddie Traynor (aka Whirlwind) who proved to be a more talented guitarist.
The group released their third album, Wishing Hell earlier this year and are planning on recording a live double album, Blow out the Napalm and Make a Wish. Their fans, predominantly young (under 25) have a well earned reputation for causing violence and mayhem. The official Deathwish fan club has over 100,000 members known as "Death-heads" who are obsessed with the band's music. Deathwish themselves recently used their superpowers in the pursuit of crime, particularly museum robberies. For the past year they have successfully raided nearly a dozen museums throughout the USA, amassing a small fortune in artefacts and treasures.
Morwena has been described as "sex incarnate" by Rolling Rock magazine. It went on to add, "Watching her move is more erotic than most porno movies. She does not just sing to the crowd - she makes love to it with her voice. She wrenches emotion out of every syllable she croons."
Her figure is a Grenadier superhero who was not converted. She was a perfect match for Sorceress. For my GURPS campaign I increased her points value from 500 to 900. her superpowers include Control Weather, Insubstantiality, Magical Aptitude level:3, Shockwave level:10 and Surge level:5.

Next in line is Eddie Traynor the lead guitarist of Deathwish and a supervillain known as Whirlwind. He is a native Californian - he surfed, skated, grew his hair waist-length, bleached it blond and did everything a "typical" California boy should do. His consuming passion since he was seven years old has been his guitar. He practised for at least two hours every day, rain or shine, until he could make the instrument do anything he wanted. When puberty hit, Eddie found he had several other talents - flight, for instance, and the ability to control winds. At first he only used this power to provide good windsurfing weather - but when he found he could turn invisible the temptation to do some crimes became overwhelming. About this time Eddie got the chance to try out for Deathwish. Much to his surprise, but not to anyone who heard him play, he got the job. As far as Eddie is concerned, he has died and gone to heaven. Not only is he playing with one of the hottest bands in the world, but he is working with an accomplished group of meta-villains that can teach him the ropes on how to most effectively use his abilities.
His figure is also an old Grenadier superhero. I re-sculpted his hair and added his long ponytail out of Milliput. I increased his GURPS points value of 650 points to 750 points. His superpowers include Control Winds level:5, Damage Resistance +20, Flight, Invisibility (Switchable), Invisibility to Machines, Super Flight, Whirlwind level:16, Wind Blast level:10 and Wind Jet level:10. 
In the centre of the pictures is Harry Johnson aka Psytron. Harry knew he was cut out for a career in law and diplomacy from an early age. When he turned 13 he gained the ability to sense what others were thinking. He also had another passion in life - the drums. These two forces held him in a mental tug of war throughout his teenage years, resulting in an internal compromise when the time came to choose a good college. He could go to a good school, but it would be a good school near Los Angeles, the musical Mecca. So Harry ended up at U-Cal Berkeley, studying by day and drumming by night. He had never considered adding crime to his list of hobbies until he met Demolition Man. Something about Bobby's hedonistic passion for life rubbed off on Harry. He began using drugs and collaborating with Bobby on jobs. Finally they met up with Morwena and Frank, and a partnership was formed. Harry (who adopted the name H.I. Jynx at Frank's behest) had developed a serious cocaine problem at this point, and had also become convinced that he didn't have to fool with the existing political structure. With the help of his team-mates he could take over the world!
The figure of Psytron is yet another old Grenadier superhero. I added his Uzi sub-machine gun to him. He cost 500 points and his superpowers included Telepathy level:10 and Teleportation level:22

Next up is Frank Birmingham aka Necrovore, the band's keyboard player and only non-superpowered member. Frank had always been the best at anything he tried. He was smarter, stronger, faster and quicker than any of his friends at high school, and he excelled in sports in college, where he lettered in track, baseball and basketball. Instead of a career as a professional athlete, however, he was drawn to music. He loved the creativity involved in starting with a blank piece of paper and a melody in his head ending up with a song or sonata. Although he worked extensively with various symphonic groups, his true love was rock and roll. After graduation, Frank headed for the best recruiting spot in the world for musicians - Los Angeles. It was here that he met Amanda and convinced her that Morwena was a much more commercial name. The pair met Harry and Bobby shortly thereafter and the nucleus of Deathwish was formed. Frank is slightly uncomfortable as the only non-super in the group, but makes up for it by being the organiser and planner. He is still more interested in being in a good band than in committing crimes, but is willing to go along with it if it keeps everyone else happy.
The figure of Necrovore comes from the Citadel Golden Heroes range of superheroes. I added his Uzi from my spare parts box. Despite being a non-super, he still cost 500 points, which is very high for a "normal" GURPS character.

Finally, is Bobby Anderson, bass guitarist of Deathwish and supervillain known as Demolition Man. Bobby grew up on a farm in rural Kansas. He would have undoubtedly ended up working at the local cement plant, just like all his friends, except for a life-changing incident when he was 16. His mother got sick and he was sent to Los Angeles to stay with his aunt whilst his father cared for his mom. L.A. opened his eyes to a whole new world - he returned home six months later with an earring, a skateboard, a bass guitar and an attitude problem. Upon his 17th birthday he left home and wandered around for several weeks before stumbling across a commune called Avalon. It was run by the infamous Society for Creative Anarchy. Armed with a confused notion of what anarchy meant (he was expecting wild parties, uninhibited sex and no work) he joined. He began to notice some strange goings-on in the commune. Visitors, some obviously superhuman, were flying in and out, and there seemed to be a lot of action centred around the storage building in particular. One night he slipped the lock to the building and began exploring. A huge grin appeared on is face - he had found some sort of weapons locker. The walls were line with suits of armour ranging from medieval plate mail to high-tech battle armour. But one suit in particular caught his attention - it was silver and red and had a huge morning star attached to it. He tried it on and found that a small display inside had a menu explaining the suit's various powers. Demolition Man was born. He left that night and headed back to Los Angeles where he began playing with different bands and robbing banks. He met Psytron in a bar - the drummer was intrigued by someone whose mind he couldn't penetrate. The two of them became friends and then partners in crime before linking up with Sorceress and Necrovore to form Deathwish.
I couldn't find a suitable figure to use as Demolition Man and so I sculpted him myself. His morning star came from my spare parts box. He calls it Dorothy! I increased his points value from 750 to 800. His superpowers all come from his battlesuit which grants him Damage Resistance +30, Dark Vision, Enhanced Strength 120, Insubstantiality, Invisibility, Invisibility to Machines, Move through Earth and Penetrating Vision. The morning star could do a whopping 16 dice of damage!
I had wanted to highlight this group when I was doing my posts about my own superhero and supervillain figures but I couldn't find the figures. Then quite by accident last month, I found them in a box that I never thought they'd be in. It was a lucky find. I rebased them and photographed them so that I could type in this post.
Here are the portraits of Deathwish that I used for their GURPS character record sheets. The illustrations of them in the scenario book were very poorly drawn, so I drew the portraits of Sorceress, Whirlwind, Psytron and Necrovore based on the poses of the figures. The portrait of Demolition Man was taken from the cover of the scenario book and you can see it below.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Strontium Dog - Darkus's Howlers

Not all Strontium Dogs are mutants. The alien howlers that follow Darkus are a good example of individuals willing to kill a few humans for some credits. With a reputation for eating those they served termination warrants on, Darkus and his crew travelled from their home world of Kunghung to the planet Burrito when the amnesty on the 49th Territory was lifted and a veritable army of bounty hunters assembled to take down the many outlaws and ne'er-do-wells that had been hiding in the Badlands.
The bloodthirsty ways of Darkus and his howlers brought them into conflict with the other Strontium Dogs. After learning that Johnny Alpha and his companions, Wulf Sternhammer and Middenface McNulty, were after a massive six million credits reward for galactic criminal, Xen the Brainwraith, Darkus used a combination of torture, superior tracking skills and low cunning to go after the big bounty, leading to an inevitable shoot-out with the howler's fellow bounty hunters.
These figures of Darkus and two of his howlers are terrific sculpts, and are among my favourites from Warlord Games' Strontium Dog range. They are part of a boxed set that includes the three figures shown here as well as two character cards (one for Darkus an done for a howler), two Armoury cards (Dimension Warp and Psi-tector) and one Chicanery card (No Honour). The boxed set costs £15.00.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Strontium Dog - Rogue SD Agents

Not all S/D agents play by the rules - in fact not many worry about the law at all! Sometimes a Strontium Dog goes too far and ends up becoming the hunted rather than the hunter. Fly's-Eyes Wagner is such a case in point, going rogue after killing his partner. A termination warrant was placed on him and was taken up by Johnny Alpha. He returned to his home town of Sharpville to kill his father, whom he blamed for his mutation.
With Johnny on his heels, Fly's-Eyes used a dimension warp to escape, and Johnny, along with Wulf and the Gronk, jumped after him. They ended up in a hellish dimension where anything that died came back to life - fortunately for Fly's-Eyes, who was shot by Johnny, but resurrected. Together, Fly's-Eyes and his would-be captors forged across the bizarre dimension to find a way back to Earth, earning themselves a special ticket to do so. Alpha used his to send Fly's-Eyes back to the offices of the Galactic Crime Commission to get his bounty. His Fly's-Eyes mutation gives him a +1 bonus to his Evade stat but he is automatically Pinned if he ever gets Stunned or Injured.
Second from the left is Slabhead, an unremarkable Search/Destroy agent and an occasional ally of Armstrong Jones and Big Cynthia. His most notable asset was the two Dervish Dogs that accompanied him - Spiro and Giro. Utterly relentless, these wildly gyrating, slashing and slicing monsters could demolish a tank and smash through concrete walls, though were barely under the control of their handler or themselves. 
Although these are all minor characters they are all well sculpted and I particularly like Spiro and Giro, who follow the Pack rules, meaning they activate together as one. These four figures are available to buy in a boxed set priced at £15.00. The set also includes 3 character cards (Spiro and Giro share the same stats), 2 Armoury cards (Live Wire and Time Trap) and 1 Chicanery card (Last Gasp).
I noticed that Warlord Games have just shown the wave 3 figures that are available for pre-order. It is great to see this game getting such solid support and, of course, I'll be buying all of them.