With the imminent arrival in the post of the Crooked Dice 7TV Argonauts Kickstarter I’ve been trying to clear the decks a bit. That has mainly involved revisiting both my post apocalypse and pulp projects.
On the Pulp front I have had both Crooked Dice and miniatures from the Cthulu Death May Die boardgame half finished for quite a while.
First up some cultists from the latter. A mix of colours and paints (including some contrast) were employed here. The tommy gun armed female cultists are not from the core set and add a bit of variety. My intention is to use these miniatures in games of 7TV Pulp.
Continuing with the Death May Die miniatues I have also started painting up the character models, including this one which really caught my eye. A military veteran by the looks of things, with a Soviet flavour, I’ve not actually read much around the game so don’t know his actual background.
On the side of the heroes we have one of my favourite sculpts ever for 7TV. You may remember him from such insprirational sources as ‘The Land that Time Forgot’ and ‘Warlords of Atlantis’….
Slightly out of leftfield I also had this very characterful home guard figure from Warlord Games Bolt Action Operation Sea Lion range. I’ve painted quite a few World War II British miniatures in the past, but I wanted to try out a suitable contrast paint for the uniform for the first time.
I ended up going with Aggaros Dunes over a grey undercoat, which was a relatively good match (albeit a little light).
Finally, staying Pulp but switching to science fiction we have this bombastic fellow. I actually lost a couple of the bits for this model. He was suppossed to have wings and be wielding a mace, but both are lost somewhere on my cellar floor. So diving into the bits box I dug out a suitably retro rocket pack and ended up 3D printing a raygun holding left hand. The latter was from a past Bombshell Miniatures monthly Patreon release.
I’ve switched over from doing individual characters to concentrating on getting through some bad guys and their minions.
I fancied giving the Riddler and his goons a go, and these are the results. I am concentrating on tabletop standard here so plentiful use of contrast paints and washes. To break up the monotony of painting lots of the same pose of miniatures and give them some variety on the table top I have played around with variations on a standard scheme – changing up the different shades of green and also varying skintones and hair colour.
All in all these have come out okay I think, but I have to say I am not a massive fan of the range of green contrast paints in the Games Workshop range. I am (as many others have), coming to the conclusion that contrast is just one of many tools in a painters arsenal and really aren’t always a complete solution. Without going off on too much of a tangent, the browns (and Snakebite Leather in particular) are wonderfully versatile and the Basilicanum Grey is my new favourite method of shading metallics. The greens however….not so great for me.
Back to the miniatures, I also painted the boss man himself, spending a little more time on the detail here.
I painted all of these miniatures based on what I think the characters should look like, rather than basing them on any reference materials (so I am sure any DC Comics fans would have a thing or two to say about some of my choices).
In addition I have also recently completed both Catwoman and Killer Croc figures from the set.
Killer Croc was a joy to paint, certainly the larger miniatures like this in the set contain more detail and are perhaps of a higher standard than some of the more standard sized ones.
Much, much more to do, with Red Hood and his gang and the Court of Owls both contenders for my next job.
I set about printing this with the idea of using it as a centrepiece for 28mm scale gaming (more specifically 7TV). By doing some back of the envelope calculations I worked out that I would need to scale the files up in order to meet my favoured 1/48 vehicle scale for gaming.
So then the printing began……and it took a very long time indeed.
Back in March I was keeping a log of how much time the individual print jobs were taking. I soon gave up adding this up, but lets say we are talking about well over 100 hours worth of printing at least.
As per usual for scenery and vehicles I printed this using my FDM printer, a CR-10S by Creality. I originally chose this printer for the larger than standard print bed size and this was very useful when printing out this model.
The print quality (and tolerances) I am getting at the moment are really good, which helped significantly with this model as it did require quite a bit of fitting and assembly. The one weak point was the landing gear which have snapped numerous times and have been continually super glued back together.
At this point I started to think about painting and colour schemes. Rather than paint up in the traditional TV series colours I decided to merge this with one of my other ongoing projects – Action Force in 28mm scale. At this point I need to take a slight diversion, promoted by this project I have recently got into collecting the original toy line of 3.75″ (1/18) scale action figures and vehicle sets. One of the vehicles I have recently aquired is the Space Force Cosmic Cruiser. It is this that I decided to base the Eagle paint scheme on.
Due to the current long summer hours and (occasional) decent days of British summer weather I switched my airbrushing to outside. This has been aided by the aquisition of a new mini-compressor. The completed model after getting an all over undercoat of black from a spray can was ready for airbrushing.
The main body and cockpit were given coats of progressively slightly lighter coats of grey.
The four ‘legs’ of the craft were then completed using the same technique with blue.
Finally the engines were also airbrushed using a base gun metal followed by a silver highlight. All paints were from the Vallejo Game Air or Model Air ranges.
I switched back to traditional brushwork for the orange of the frame. This was mainly because I would have struggled to effectively mask the model for airbrushing on top of the work I had already done.
I went to my stash of decals and transfers to add some detail (including some small reporduction Action Force logo toy vehicle stickers). The one thing I wasn’t able to source was the Space Force specific logo. While in the past for miniatures I have hand painted this I wasn’t confident I’d be able to do a good job of this freehand at this scale. I may subsequently add something to the nose cone of the ship if I can figure out printing on decal paper on my Inkjet printer.
The final stage was weathering, and as per usual I feel I may have gone a little overboard here. I used a mix of Plastic Soldier Company and Modelmates weathering spray cans for this, plus a sponge chipping technique using a dark brown paint. I do think the engines came out looking pretty good.
All in all I am really please with the result and I look forward at some point in the future (when face-to-face gaming can resume in earnest) using this in a game of 7TV. Perhaps as part of a Space Force versus The Argonauts game (the latter of which I am eagerly awaiting delivery from the most recent Crooked Dice Game Design Studio Kickstarter).
In the meantime here is a selection of images showing a Space Force Eagle Transporter being prepared for a mission by Action Force personel. All figures are from Gripping Beast and are heavily inspired by the original action figure line.
I bought these figures before Christmas and they had been sat mostly complete and just requiring some finishing touches for a while. I finally got round to tidying up and basing these the other day.
They are a mix here of miniatures from the Pulp Figures and Artizan Designs ranges, all in that niche Pulp genre that borders on Steampunk – the world of airships and rocket men. Think Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow and you’ll not be far away.
In addition I dug out some miniatures I completed a while ago to join the team.
I’m looking at fielding these in games of 7TV Pulp and have some transport lined up for them in the shape of one of the more industrial looking airships from the recent Skys of Sordane Kickstarter which I backed earlier in the year and which is now starting to deliver (in the form of STL files for 3D printing).
Finally here we have a group shot of the full team…..
More recently I’ve also been painting up some of the redesigned ‘new paradigm’ Daleks. This radical new design of Dalek is now believe it or not ten years old, and while the TV series went back to the classic design quite quickly I managed to buy up quite a lot of the cheap plastic models that were given away on the front of magazines at the time. Just coincidentally these are also the perfect scale for 28mm gaming.
The one thing I have been really missing is a proper old school classic design of Dalek for the tabletop. Here’s where the wonderful world of 3D printing comes to the rescue. There are loads of designs for Daleks uploaded to Thingiverse of varying quality and accuracy, but I eventually settled on trying the files by Stryker123.
These look to be designed to be printed at a much larger scale than the 28mm tabletop standard. The design files are split into components, but there is also a completed (assembled) version in the files. By chance this defaults to a near perfect size for the tabletop (although in the end after some trial and error in printing I scaled them by 105%).
Printed on my resin printer (an AnyCubic Photon) these have come out well, albeit with some problems printing the sucker arms and gun sticks (that are just that bit too fine for the resolution I am printing at).
In the end following further test prints I ended up printing the sucker arms and guns seperately and sticking them on to the ‘completed’ models on which the majority of these features had not come out. In fact the gun stick was so fine I just ended up using trimmed bits of scaffold to represent them in the end.
Stryker123 has provided incredicbly accurate Dalek designs covering all the 1960s variants. While to the non-geek eye many of these look very similar I was delighted to see the effort that had been put in here.
I have concentrated mainly on the models from the very first Dalek story and also from the classic ‘Evil of the Daleks’. My painting has also followed these stories. However for the very first Daleks I went with the colour scheme that this model was given when appearing in more recent ‘Nu-Who’ story a few years back.
The models were given a black undercoat and this was followed by a complete coverage of silver. Both colours were car paints from spray cans obtained from the local Poundland.
I painted the ‘grills’ (between body and dome) in this case using Black Templar contrast paint from Citadel. This provided a nice deep shading will keeping the grills hightlighted in silver. Nodules and for the banding on the original Daleks without shoulder slats was acheived using a light blue. The nodules or domes on Dalek models are very definitely not one of my favourite things to paint!
A couple of the ‘Evil’ versions were painted with black domes to indicate that they were part of the Emperor Dalek’s guard. In addition to the standard silver models I undercoated a handful of others using Citadel Wraith Bone with the intention of painting these in red and gold liveries.
Not canon in terms of Dalek colouring, but a nice contrast to the silver hordes.
Finally I left one of the black undecoated models as it was in order to paint up a Dalek Supreme to command my new forces. These are all still work in progress.
I’m currently working on some profiles for the Daleks for 7TV and will cover them in a future article.
In between everything else I am finishing off at the moment I got the chance to put the final touches to a few Pulp themed miniatures (some of which I have had on the painting desk for a long time).
First up a trio of ‘bad ‘uns’ from Warlord Games. A BUF section leader and two blackshirt goons. Ostensibly for the ‘Very British Civil War’ or ‘Operation Sealion’ settings, I’ll be using these guys in my games of 7TV Pulp. Always good to have a few fascists to give a damn good thrashing to.
Next, more evil! This time a tommy gun armed cultist from the CMON board game, Cthuhlu Death May Die. Just slightly bigger than 28mm this lady owes her allegience to Hastur and is from that same expansion set.
Next up, another rotter! This time a Crooked Dice 7TV Pulp era gangster. The base for this no good scoundrel was aquired from a set of Batman Miniatures Game figures I have not yet done anything with.
This next guy could sit in any number of settings or factions. I have had this figure for years (it is in fact from some of the left over stock I had when I ran the shop). He’s a Kung Fu master from the Ral Partha Europe Pulp Adventure range.
Finally for now, some space based adventure. Here is one of the macguffin markers from the recent 7TV Pulp Science Fiction Kickstarter. Wouldn’t look out of place inside an Imperial palace on a far off world.
It is joined by some ‘Alien Legionaries‘ in an alternative blue garb (as opposed to their movie inspiration red).
I recently got a rather large box in the post all the way from France. Inside, my Reichbusters Kickstarter pledge rewards. I am a bit of a sucker for Weird War settings and games and from what I saw when the campaign was running, the game looked right up my street too.
However it was really the miniatures I was after. I fully intend to play the game, but like many things in my collection the thought ‘I could always use this for 7TV‘ is never far from my mind.
Now, there are a LOT of figures here. The scale is somewhat larger than standard 28mm and probably sits somewhere between 35 and 40mm. Fine on there own in any game, but might look a little odd alongside other parts of my collection. Where this isn’t really a problem is with the ones that immediately caught my attention when opening the boxes for the first time. The ‘Vrill Panzers’ – basically big stompy (piloted) robots.
There are two of these in the set of boxes I received, they are (like all the miniatures) one piece casts in a very hard PVC style material. Absolutely no sign of warping or bending weapon syndrome from what I have seen so far. The Vrill Panzers are chunky, really nicely detailed and heavy; however they are by no means the biggest models in the set (more on that later).
So in terms of getting the Vrill Panzers painted up I thought I would go for a ‘late war’ dunkelgelb, by really weather it up. With there being two in the set I could afford to experiment a bit on this first one.
First step was a wash in warm soapy water. This is something I never used to do on any models, but now religiously do whether I am painting PVC, hard plastic, resin or metal.
Once dry I applied decals. There were none provided with the game, but I have a huge stash of World War II and Dust Tactics decal sheets that I have amassed over time, so I had plenty of choice. My usual approach, which I used here, is to paint the area I am going to apply the waterslide decal to with gloss varnish first. Once dry I applied the decal itself and again let it dry before another coat of gloss. I placed a few markings strategically then moved on to the weathering.
The first stage was to stipple using an old bit of sponge both dark brown and then silver across the most worn areas of the model. Next it was time to dirty it all up. My plan here was to paint on Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone. I have had some success in the past with a fairly light coat of this brushed on to models. It leaves them very shiny, but protected and I always apply matt varnish as the final step in these cases.
The problem I hit here was my can of Quickshade was quite old and hadn’t been sealed properly the last time I used it. As such I had to remove a thick skin from the surface of the shade within the tin before application to the model. This is where the alarm bells should have run, however I proceeded to ‘slap in on’. It was at this stage I noticed how thick and gloopy it was. I stirred it up as usual but once applied it became obvius that something was wrong. Rather than apply the subtle shading I was after, and rather than immediately receeding into the contours and crevises of the model it just sat there like some vile dark slime.
Through excessive mopping up with a brush I was able to dave things to some degree, but the weathering has ended up being much, much heavier than I intended. Once the matt varnish (Testors Dullcote) was applied things looked a lot better, although I had made some of the decals rather difficult to make out.
The final weathering stage was to add some rust (it seemed apt with how heavy beat up the mech now looked). I drybrushed on some Citadel Dry Ryza Rust and in the end I think this turned out OK.
The base was in part basecoated in silver and then painted over with Citadel Basilicanum Grey (a contrast paint, this is my new favourite way of painting a gun metal effect). All the bases in the game have a metal gantry / walkway look to them, so this fitted quite well especially when finished up with some more drybrushed rust. The areas that looked more stone like were done in greys.
All in all I think I managed to rescue it. Apart from the Quickshade incident it was an enjoyable model to paint. As I have another one in reserve I might go with a different, cleaner, more fresh of the production line look.
In addition to the Vrill Panzer I also painted a couple of the ‘troop’ models from the game to test out some colours and techniques.
I’ve also started on the monstrous Projekt X mech. Remember when I said the Vrill Panzers weren’t the biggest model, well this fella is truly gigantic (and actually quite difficult to lift). He is still work in progress and I’ll cover this in another article.
So first up we have a Hawkman prince from Cold War. This was a resin miniature that was a bit fiddly to glue together but was relatively straight forward to paint. The scale of this range is slightly bigger than the Crooked Dice figures at about 32mm scale, but they don’t look too out of place together. Anyhow the character on which this miniature takes it’s inspiration is somewhat larger than life!
Back to the Crooked Dice figures, I had not yet given the ‘spider queen’ a lick of paint. Looking somewhat like a good girl gone bad (perhaps Dale succumbed to Ming’s charms), I decided to go for a white colour scheme to contrast with the darker tones of some of my other villains.
I’d added some additional Otherworldly Guards miniatures to my base Kickstarter rewards in order to have a plentiful supply of expendable minions. I’ve been trying various colour schemes on these with intention of being able to use them as either good guys or the hordes of the Emperor Ming.
While recently tidying up my hobby area I came across a set of Scale 75 coloured metallic paints that I had previously stocked when trading but never really used. Many of these were the usual golds, silvers, bronzes and coppers you get across similar ranges, but there were a few primary and secondary colours in here too. One in particular, Ruby Alchemy, caught my eye as being ideal for a slightly camp set of space soldiers.
With some additional details picked out with Emerald Alchemy from the same range, I am quite pleased with how these came out. Depth was added using Army Painter washes and the metallics were picked out with a standard Citadel gold. Unlike most of my recent painting there was very little in the way of Citadel Contrast paints used here, with only skin tones applied in this way.
The final addition to this little troupe is a 3D print from Bombshell Miniatures. Printed on my AnyCubic Photon resin printer this was a free sample model that was made available to promote their recent Bikes and Bots Kickstarter.
All in all I’ve really enjoyed the variety and freedom of palette painting these style of miniatures.
While I only have a few of the 7TV Crooked Dice Miniatures left to paint, this months’ set of printable files from Bombshell Miniatures have recently landed via their monthly Patreon and the theme is similar.
Like most folk in these interesting times I find myself with a lot more hobby time than usual at the moment. Despite having a number of different projects on the go at the moment (including a recent delivery of my Reichbusters Kickstarter rewards) as per usual nothing ever stops me getting distracted.
I’ve always been a big Doctor Who fan, and so when Warlord Games released their range a few years ago I dove in and bought the Exterminate boxed game. I played the game a few times, but it didn’t really do anything much for me (and I defaulted back to my standard approach of ‘oh well, at least I can use the figures for 7TV’).
And therein came the problem. As you may be aware the Warlord Into the Time Vortex range was scaled at about 38mm and so most of the figures are much bigger than standard wargaming minis and so don’t really ‘play well with others’. The exception to this in my opinion are the plastic multi-part Daleks that came in the core game (and also released seperately with Davros).
But to base or not to base the muderous pepper pots? Logic states that to minimise any scale discrepancies when mixing these with others, then leaving the Daleks unbased would be the way to go. However logic is for Cybermen! Also the only real option being to place them on 28 or 30mm bases, and that just looked, well, odd.
Any how having filed my painted (unbased) Daleks away in their very own Genesis Ark (i.e. a box in the cellar) I forgot about them for a few years. That is until I was tidying up the other day and came across a set of basecoated but otherwise unpainted squad of Daleks.
Having previously almost exlusively painted these guys so far in a bronze scheme as per the new series, I opted to go with a more classic series feel for these guys. One of the more obscure Daleks is the so called ‘red top’. Real creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation (not Davros), had a small collection of full sized props and when interviewed for Doctor Who’s 10th anniversary back in 1973 one of these appeared in the photoshoot.
A combination of props from the TV series and the sixties films, ‘red top’ had well, a red top (while the rest of the body was the standard silver and blue). There’s something quite retro about this look that puts me in mind of the crazy sorts of random livery that the Daleks often had in comic strips.
I used a combination of standard and contrast paints for these guys. I also remembered why I hadn’t painted any in a few years…. Those blasted globes on the bodies – I very nearly gave up (due to a combination of boredom and cramp).
In addition to the standard plastic ‘drones’, I also had a couple of half finished metal models, the Supreme Dalek and the Special Weapons Dalek. Not too happy with the former, but think the latter came out OK.
So what’s all this waffle about basing then? Well since then Primaris Space Marines have happened.
Well they introduced the 32mm circular base.
Just the perfect size for a Mark III Travel Machine!
First up we have the hero himself, that chap who will save every one of us. The inspiration for this model is very clearly the original (and possibly the best) Flash of them all, Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe. This is a lovely sculpt that perfectly captures that old school retro science fiction look.
Also a pleasure to paint, I went for a fairly traditional colour scheme here based on the original comic strips. Citadel contrast was used for the majority of this model.
Following on from our lead, we have an ally and co-star in the form of the ‘Renegade Royal’. This is one of two variations of this sculpt I received and has a passing resemblance to a certain James Bond from the eighties. Again all painted in contrast, not so keen on the green here, maybe a bit too rich, but all the same a suitable shade for a prince of Arboria.
To go along with the Prince I tried out another colour scheme on one of the ‘Otherworldy Guards’, this time as a tree man to accompany Barin.
Finally for this update we have a slight diversion to the excellent Princes of the Universe range by Cold War Miniatures. I’ve previously written about this excellent set of figures, and a few months ago picked up some of their then new ‘space Mongols’ range. So yes, it is yet another Ming, but a bit more kitted out for action and leading the Legions of Mongo on the frontlines.
This resin miniature is probably slightly bigger in scale than the Crooked Dice range, but it is close enough for me.
Just as an addendum, I also completed one of the ‘macguffin’ tokens/models from the 7TV set.