Red shirts and blue shirts – expendable extras

I’ve been finishing a lot of half completed projects recently. Two have synced in and completed at the same time. Although inspired by different franchises they have something in common. They are the expendable extras or cannon fodder of their respective universes, which are in this case Star Trek and G.I. Joe.

First up we have a set of ‘away team’ operatives, ready to beam down to a planet to be bumped off by whatever alien life awaits them. These are 3D prints from the Patreon of Bill Thornhill aka Lost Heresy.

With a very ‘star fleet’ vibe I have painted these guys up not just as the titular red shirts, but also in some of the other common colours from the original series. (I’m not a massive Star Trek fan, so not sure on the exact meaning of each colour uniform, however I have gone with the ‘rule of cool’.)

I scaled these up slightly from the originals to be more 32mm than 28mm, and like the chunky look that this helps enhance.

I’ve been trying to improve on my painting of faces recently and have taken some tips from the excellent Sonic Sledgehammer YouTube channel. I am now going all Citadel for my caucasian skins tones using the following steps (starting from a grey undercoat):

  • Base coat – Bugmans Glow
  • Wash – Reikland Fleshshade
  • First highlight – Cadian Fleshtone
  • Second highlight – Kislev Fleshtone (extreme highlights only)

I’m quite pleased with how these have turned out for a tabletop standard paint job and will probably be sticking to this method for faces moving forward. (I am also really enjoying the effect of using various contrast paints for non-white skintones.)

I am currently working on some other prints from this range armed with phaser rifles to go alongside these chaps, who I expect may end up getting some homebrew profiles for 7TV soon.

The second set of ‘minions’ of the painting production line are also 3D prints – this time by Monstous Encounters. Switching over to the bad guys this time these are ‘Venom Troopers’, obviously inspired by G.I Joe’s snake themed bad guys.

Not as pleased with the paint job on these guys, but as gaming pieces these will go well with some of my other Action Force / G.I. Joe minis I continue to add to (again mainly for 7TV).

White Line Nightmares – A 7TV Apocalypse Event

A few weekends back we finally held the much delayed 7TV APocalypse event at the Dales Wargames club in Darley Dale near Matlock. This was pushed back from April 2020 due to the pandemic and saw eight brave road warriors brave the wastelands for some games of vehicular mayhem.

Players arriving and setting up at our wonderful venue (Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale)

The original plan was to run three games during the day with the final game being a multiplayer ‘destruction derby’ type affair. In the end time beat us and we only got the two games in. (Lessons learned for next time – 50 ratings was probably too large a cast especially when taking into account the vehicle rules were not that fresh in everyones minds. Also standardising on table size might have resulted in more consistent game lengths.)

There was a great selection of casts (including some classic Road Warrior style marauders, the Joker and his crew, bikers, a forsaken BBC motoring programme, future judges and more).

On the table setup the highlight was the table brought by Paul O, the culmination of over twenty years work – a fantastic take on the refinery compound from Mad Max 2 (with matching cast) .

Paul’s amazing refinery board in action

So what follows is a mainly pictorial summary of the day.

Harley attempting to carjack Pen-E’s racer
Taking out the trash!
Stop signs are for losers.
Tonight, we test drive….Stig’s Lambo
This did not end well….
….neither did this….
….or this.

Some more shots below of the action on the refinery compound board…

The Gotham City style board also saw a lot of action…..

Meanwhile in the ‘cursed Earth’…..

Following the ‘night of the war’, survivors stumble across evidence of a Soviet submarine landing…

Another empty ruin of a city…..

And finally some shots of the huge table that was setup for the final multiplayer game that sadly did not get used (I am going to write about the scenario and rules tweaks I had planned for this game in a seperate article soon).

Next up on the 7TV events calendar is a ‘Fantasy’ day at Board in Brum in February. At Dales we hope to run another 7TV day next Spring, theme to be agreed, but with some tweaks to the format it would be great to try a vehicles based Apocalypse set of games again.

7TV Star Wars Day and Partizan 2021

I’m pretty late to the party with both of these, but over the last month or so I have actually attended some real events with real people.

Star Wars 7TV Day, 18th September 2021 @ Board in Brum

First up back in September was a visit to Board in Brum in Walsall for a day of gaming in a galaxy far far away. Using the 7TV rules, Star Wars was the order of the day. This was my first time playing 7TV since the participation game I ran at Hammerhead back in March 2020. Much fun was had, all three games were lost (of course) and it was just great to be out there rolling dice with folk again.

Games in progress at Board in Brum

I’m terrible at remembering the detail of games, other than to start with I had my first ever match up with my good buddy Wayne (of Tangent Miniatures fame). My force was mainly 3D printed and based around a post Return of the Jedi ‘Imperial Remnant’ faction. Most of the models were from SkullForge Studios, with some coming from Miller Bros. Sculpting and Design and a couple of actual ‘Legion’ plastic minis thrown in too.

Wayne’s bovine and cheese based cast (as in the dairy product not the game approach) were too much for my ragtag band. Some pictures of the glorious defeat below (including some of the Imperial Terrain scenery I had printed and painted for the event). Note Obi Wan ‘Cow-nobi’ in action!

My second game was against my regular 7TV nemesis Keiron, who had pulled together a really effective cast based on the most recent Star Wars trilogy. Played on a rather splendid Hoth based table with a vintage Kenner AT-AT toy as a centre piece, my cast (led by Grand Moff Hertzog) valiantly tried to complete the mission objectives, but were rather humbled by the new generation of Rey, Finn and a very pesky BB-8 who managed to fly across the board and steal the main episode objective on the first turn!

After an extended lunch break (lots of catching up and chat), my final game of the day was against Simon C (head honcho at Board in Brum). Simon and I had not played each other before despite being at many of the same events over the last few years, so it was great to finally get a game together.

The scenario laid down in this final game was the culmination of a narrative that ran through the day which saw the oppossing casts trying to locate a lost fleet of ships. The aim of this finale was to activate (or deactivate) a number of shield generators in the centre line of the table. This was an Imperial on Imperial engagement and despite actually getting to at least one of the objectives I ended up defeated (primarily because all of my cast were wiped out by the surprisingly and out of character accurate shooting of Simon’s Stormtoopers).

A rather nice Scariff setup at Board in Brum (I didn’t get to play on this one though).

All in all an excellent day playing a favourite game in a favourite setting with some splendid opponents. A big thanks to Simon for hosting and Mike Strong for organising the games and storyline for the day.

The next 7TV event I am attending I am also arranging and this will be at Dales Wargames at Darley Dale near Matlock on Sunday 21st November. It’s the (pandemic) delayed 7TV Apocalypse Event, White Line Fever. Following that there is another event at Board in Brum in January which will be 7TV Fantasy oriented.

Partizan on the Ground, 10th October 2021 @ Newark Showground

The other weekend I attended my first show for about 18 months, helping out Wayne at Tangent Miniatures on his trade stand (and also selling some licensed 3D prints).

This was my first time at Partizan (though I had been to the venue previously for Hammerhead) and it was also my first time trading at a show since I wound up Twisted Pinnacle Games a few years ago.

Tangent’s ever growing display case of metal miniatures.

As one of the first shows after the extended pandemic closure of such things it was very well attended with people obviously really keen to get back into the swing of both playing games and spending money (which was great for us).

A selection of the 3D prints I was selling on the day (including designs from BMT3D and Monstrous Encounters)

All in all a very enjoyable day in good company with the added bonus of selling some toys. I was also very good and only bought a couple of spray cans (from the Colour Forge range who had a stand next to us). More on this newish range in a future article.

Mike Tongue’s (BMT3D) Pen Top Droids were especially popular on the day.

Next up for Tangent is the big one at Salute in London’s Docklands in November. I shall be there helping out again, though not sure I’ll be able to be so controlled when it comes to the spending this time!

Stationery Wars – PEN TOP Bots for 7TV

I’ve recently been printing and painting the excellent ‘Pen Top Droids’ from BMT3D. These are a lovely set of sculpts that evoke a variety of aesthetics, from steampunk and dieselpunk to pulp and sci-fi.

To me however they scream spy-fi and therefore would be ideal for a 7TV cast. Before I go into the background I have come up with for these automatons a note about how I painted them.

The squad – printed and ready for painting

Following printing and curing I based them on hex slotta bases (because for some reason I cannot adequetly explain I am really into hex bases at the moment). I then proceeded to undercoat them with a spray can of silver paint. My usual source of cheap silver paint from Poundland seems to have dried up (not literally, they just haven’t had any in stock for a while). So I went slightly up market and bought from my local branch of Boyes a can of Rustoleum Metallic Silver.

Rustloleum Metallic Silver

Wanting to paint the squad of ten miniatures quickly I dispensed with a usual grey or white undercoat and went straight on with this silver. It went on really well but is much more highly pigmented with metallic than normal miniature paints. Conclusion – very ‘sparkly’ and ideal therefore as a base for contrast paints.

WIP – heads / domes painted – showing how the silver shines through.

At this point I have to switch back to the lore and background that I have created for these robots. Being based on the design of a pen top I decided to colour code their heads based on the typical colours you would get in a set of writing pens or biros. My original idea was to have my troops with blue tops (as the common rank and file), but the blue Ultramarines contrast paint is quite thick and the silver didn’t sparkle through as much as I would have liked. Also wanting to avoid black for the same reason I eventually went with the following colour coding.

  • Unit leader – Blue
  • Section leaders – Red
  • Troops – Green
  • Specialists – Yellow
Green top troopers
Blue unit leader

The rest of the bodies were given a wash, first with black and then sepia to give them a slightly worn appearence. The small piece of tubing on the guns was painted grey and one of the Citadel ‘gem effect’ paints was used for the red power indicator. The gun barrel was painted bronze. A nice touch on the sculpts were some ammo pouches on the back of the models and these were painted a light canvas brown. These were all then also washed as per the main body.

Yellow specialist

To keep the domes ‘sparkly’ I dispensed with the matt varnish phase for once and finished up the bases with some texture paint, a simple drybrush and some tufts. The edges of the bases were finished with grey.

Red section leaders

So once the miniatures were painted I turned my attention to getting them organised and usable in games of 7TV. Using the rules for customising profiles and the excellent casting agency app I have pulled together so far a profile for my unit leader and troops.

These are based on the Minion Commander and Minion profiles from the 7TV 2nd Edition (aka Spy-Fi) core set, which can be both purchased as a boxed set and is available also as a free download from Crooked Dice. There have been some minor tweaks based on the cutomisation guidelines and these are outlined below:

  • Addition of the ‘Robot’ special effect to both profiles
  • Replacing melee attacks in both cases with Shield Bash (renamed to Body Bash – I can imagine these guys using their shape just to push assailants away)
  • Removal of all ranged attacks bar SMG (which is what I feel matches most closely the miniatures as sculpted)
  • All of which has resulted in slightly higher ratings costs for each compared to the base profiles
PEN TOP Bot Leader profile for 7TV 2nd Edition (created in the 7TV Casting Agency app)
PEN TOP Bot profile for 7TV 2nd Edition (created in the 7TV Casting Agency app)

What about the background then? Well I am imagining a series called ‘Stationery Wars’ where the evil genius and crackpot scientist ‘Doctor Ryman’ has unleashed his robotic creations on the world. Created deep within the bowels of the secretive B.I.C (Binary Input Conglomerate) organisation the hordes of P.E.N.T.O.P (Positronic Enhanced Neural Tactical Operational Prototype) bots are ready. Their aim? Nothing less than world domination and the implementation of a new world order based on Rymans twisted science.

Who can stop them? Rumour has it that an initial prototype was smuggled out of the B.I.C labs many years ago by a disgruntled employee alarmed and disgusted by the direction in which the research was going. Wanting to adapt robotics for good and the service of mankind, maybe the S.T.A.P.L.E.R (Super Tactical Armed Prototype Laser Enhanced Robot) programme is our only hope.

STAPLER – coming soon

A quick postscript – Mike at BMT3D does some lovely 3D designs. You can find some of these on Thingiverse, but his full range is available via his Patreon. If you haven’t got a 3D printer and would like to buy printed copies of these and his other minis I have a license to do so and they are available through either my Etsy store or online at Tangent Miniatures.

A Billions Suns – First Play and Fleet Building

After nearly fourteen months out of action due to the pandemic, my local club recently was able to start having meetings again. So it was a couple of weeks back that myself and my good buddy Dorian ventured over to Darley Dale from Chesterfield to actually roll some dice in person.

We chose to give ‘A Billion Suns’ by Mike Hutchinson from Osprey Games a go. I picked the rule book up a couple of months ago because I had heard good things about it. I particularly liked the idea of there being no before-game force building (with ships requisitioned as required), and the concept of playing across multiple tables. Being part of the Osprey Wargames ‘blue book’ series the rules are concise and the author has good pedigree with Gaslands (a game I have not played, but have heard very good things about, particularly from the point of view of being an easy to ‘pick up and play’ game).

As a spaceship combat system I of course needed to source some ships. Having had a previous daliance with Gunpla I was aware of a range of Bandai kits based on the Japanese anime series ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ (known in the US as Starblazers). These inexpensive plastic kits (even taking into account the postage from the far east) have a really cool ‘warships in space’ vibe, so I picked up a few from Hobby Link Japan. (This was of course dangerous as I got distracted by Gundam models, but that is another story.)

The other advantage of these kits apart from the cost is the ease of assembly. As with most modern Bandai kits these are hugely well engineered and push fit (no glue required). Although not designed as gaming pieces, each comes complete with a flight stand which is useful for the game, and most are pre-coloured in mutliple shades (with the aim being of getting them on the table quickly, a quick wash / panel lining would make them look presentable).

While these kits gave me some really interesting and unique models for the game I also wanted to bulk out my available fleets with some more utilitarian designs. It is here that I remembered that Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) often released ‘grab bags’ of plastic ships from their space based version of Commands and Colours called Red Alert. I duly picked up a huge number of ships and stands from them for around £10 to £20 in total.

The club meeting soon came round and in the spirit of our club (where play is the most important thing), Dorian and I played our first game with a completely unpainted set of models!

We managed to get two games in during the day and I have to say it was a lot of fun. The rules were easy to digest and navigate round. I had the night before spent some time downloading and laminating tokens, cards and other game aids from the A Billion Suns website and this certainly helped keep the game flowing.

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I am not going to fully review the rules here, other than to alude to the fact that being a game where the outcome is based on earning credits from contracts (with the cost of your ships coming out of your total budget), it was an interesting variation on other much more crunchy games I have played in the past (I am looking at you Star Wars Armada!). Both games we played during the day were quite different (and this was due to the generation of the contracts you play for at the beginning of the game). This also resulted in a situation where in game one we were playing over three tables, while in game two it was entirely focussed on a single table.

I made the mistake of jumping in a massive battleship in game one, which while it looked cool (my primary reason for doing it), did mean I was in financial defecit from the get go and didn’t really figure out how I was going to earn this back. One of the things that became apparent during the game from a modelling perspective was that while we had lots of bigger ships we were lacking a bit when it came to the smaller stuff like fighters.

So with the aim of playing again at the next meeting (and doing a three player game next time – the rules seem to support multiple players very well and I can see that being a lot of fun), I have gone back to the modelling and painting.

This has primarily involved painting up the Red Alert ships, but also sourcing some additional ‘smaller mass’ ships to act as the recon, fighter and bomber wings the rules dictate.

For these I remembered that EM4 Miniatures (who I used to stock when running the store) did inexpensive plastic sprues of spaceships that would fit the bill. I picked a couple of these up and set about basing them on the spare stands I had picked up from PSC. (Interesting it has been pointed out to me that these designs actually hark back to a very old game by I.C.E. called Silent Death).

From a painting perspective both these and the Red Alerts ships were given a variety of base coats with a view to using both drybrushing and contrast paints to quickly get them done. I like the idea of replicating in part that 1970s sci-fi paperback cover style of spaceship, art by the likes of Chris Foss or similar to the old Terran Trade Federation books, so I have gone for quite a colourful palette.

To make them pop a bit more I did some selective highlighting with spot colours to represent lighting and variation in panel colours. I then touched up the bases painting them completely black (to match the tables).

One other idea picked up after playing the first game that I am going to do is to mark on the bases the in-game mass of the ships. This should make it a lot quicker and easier to requisition ships of different sizes during a game.

Next up will be to do some more work on the Bandai ships. Many of these come with decals or stickers, which once they are applied will be followed by a top coat and them some subtle shading and panel lining.

Of course I would be remiss not to mention 3D printing here, and I have added to my fleets with some resin 3D prints, most of which I sourced from Thingiverse and printed on my Elegoo Mars Pro 2. I picked the designs based on one of my favourite animes from back in the day (based more on my experiences of playing the role-playing game rather than watching the series) – Robotech. These will be painted in a similar way to the PSC and EM4 models.

From a hobby perspective I really like the flexibility the game gives you with fleet modelling (and this is mainly due to the fact as previously mentioned ships are requisition during play rather built into lists beforehand).

I’m looking forward to many more games to come.

Ironblood’s Creature – The Kraken Awakes

Continuing my Action Force in 28mm scale project and expanding ‘The Enemy’ forces of Baron Ironblood I present my version of ‘The Kraken’.

The Kraken in my vintage Action Force collection.

Kraken was initially a mail away figure in the Palitoy Action Force range and in the Battle Action Force comics was discovered frozen in the Arctic by the evil Baron before being reproduced in his labs as part of his army.

The Kraken data file from the Battle Action Force comic

I designed these in Hero Forge and printed them out on my AnyCubic Photon resin printer. I did three designs in Hero Forge, all based on the ‘Dragon-person’ template.

Digital render of one of the designs from my Hero Forge account

I’ve not attempted to do a ‘screen accurate’ version of the original toy, these are more a homage. However I have tried to replicate some of the key features of the figure. Primarily this meant arming my Krakens with some form of trident and trying to replicate the clothing (which to me always looked like some sort of swimming costume).

The prints in the bare resin.

For two of the designs I added backpacks and to maintain the look armed them with a suitably sci-fi looking blasters.

I’m rather pleased with the results – one of the tridents snapped while I was handling the miniature post-print. Rather than re-print I left as-is and I think it works as a variation on the weapon.

I went for a fairly straightforward paint job using primarily Citadel contrast paints, washes and some basic highlighting.

These guys are going straight into my Red Shadows cast for 7TV. The 7TV 1967 Annual contains an ‘official’ profile for the Kraken and I look forward to bringing one or more of these guys to the gaming table soon. Action Force beware!

Warhammer 40k 9th Edition – first play

A couple of weeks back, prior to the latest pandemic restrictions kicking in in our particular area of England I actually managed to play a game of something. In this case Warhammer 40k, which I have not played for over a year.

The battleground!

This was the first time playing 9th edition and having sold most of my 40k miniatures I was able to borrow a force and be guided through a game by my good friend Jamie.

We played the new ‘combat patrol‘ rules which allows you to play smaller quicker games, but without skimping on the big units (and in my case as a dyed in the wool Imperial Guard player….TANKS!).

Ork on tank action.

Now I am not brilliant at remembering rules and am never paricularly scientific about analysing games, but my main conclusion here is that 9th was a lot, lot more fun than 8th.

The commander of my borrowed Astra Militarum forces.

I played Guard facing off against Orks. Extra narrative was added by using the new set of ‘Open War‘ cards. These allow you to setup and play fun games really quickly and include things like deployment, objectives, twists, ruses and sudden death!

Example of the new Open War cards.

The game started off well for me with an initiative win and proceeded fairly positively from then on. It was back and forth and most importantly based on my previous more negative experiences was fast! Even though the turn sequence followed the standard IGOUGO format that Warhammer has been using for decades it felt fluid and interesting. This was helped significantly by some of the new rules (in particular the ability for vehicles to fire in close combat and not get bogged down), but also by the open war cards and the smaller force and table sizes enabled by the combat patrol rules.

The game lasted about two and half hours (yes we actually played a game to a five turn conclusion) – thank you again combat patrol! Apparently this was one of the longer games Jamie has played in the format. This bodes well for evening games once we are able to meet face-to-face again.

And, although it is never my reason for playing any game, I actually got a victory under my belt. Yup, I actually won something! The MVPs in my borrowed Cadian force were my mortar team and my off table support. Nuking the site from orbit – it is always the only way to be sure.

My star players!

I might just start up another Imperial Guard force of my own now, quite possibly using some of the excellent proxy models I have got from the Anvil Industries 3D print file Patreon.

Reichbusters – Projekt X and other gribblies

I’m continuing to plough through the pile of unpainted miniatures that came with the Reichbusters Project Vril Kickstarter earlier this year.

Lots to be cracking on with!

One of my longest ongoing jobs has been the completion of the epic Projekt X. This massive chunk of plastic comes in it’s own boxed expansion and is some sort of horrific zombie mecha type beast. I’ve not read the background yet, so I am not quite sure on the exact details, but needless to say this bad boy would involve a mix of both armour and organic style painting. (Also it is possibly one of the heaviest miniatures I have ever held.)

The beast in it’s box, standard 28mm scale mini for scale comparison

Following a good soapy wash and drying the model was undercoated in black and then given a zenith highlight with a white spray. The armour panels were airbrushed up from a dark grey through two subsequent successive highlights using Vallejo Air paints.

Work in progress showing zenith highlighting and initial armour plate airbrush of grey

The organic parts were painted with a Citadel contrast flesh. The ‘pustules’ all over the model were then painted white before an application of a contrast yellow and then a purple wash.

Prior to weathering I dug into my decals stash and found some suitable World War 2 German transfers from both some historical kits, but also a big pile of Dust Tactics sheets I had left over from stock when I ran the shop.

Application of decals (shown prior to weathering)

These were applied on top of a gloss varnish and once dry I used a sponge to apply chipping across the armour plates using a dark brown. Metal parts were then blocked out and I used dark grey contrast to shade these.

The faces were further highlighted in purples and fleshes to help them stand out, with various other bits such as cabling and the base being detailed and finished off. The whole lot was then topped off with a good once over of Testors Dullcote.

The completed Projekt X

More recently I have also been working my way through some of the ‘minions’ in the set as well as some of the more ‘gribbly creatures’ that are included. For the latter I wanted a quick paint job so contrast was heavily used.

Baddies of various flavours.

The slightly more human figures were painted in a slightly more traditional style using one of the best paint sets I have ever invested in – a German uniform set from Andrea Color I bought from a show about 5 years ago. Makes painting field grey a joy and useful across historicals as well as weird war and science fiction. (In fact I have recently been working on some Star Wars Imperial types and this set has come in very useful – more on that soon.)

I’ve still got plenty to finish off with Reichbusters and have not yet had a look at any of the hero models. For board game miniatures they are a real step up in terms of quality and a joy to paint, which I am sure I will still be doing for many months to come.

The Doom of Stahl Mask

So, the other weekend, when the real world was a bit more normal, I had the pleasure of running a participation game of 7TV at the Hammerhead show in Newark.

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I’ve already written about the preparation and background to this game in a previous post.  However I wanted to give an update on how things went, especially as this was my first time doing this sort of thing at a show.

First off, many thanks to Karl at Crooked Dice for asking me to help out and run a game alongside his trade stand on the day.  As many may know Hammerhead is quite unique in the wargaming calendar in being a show that is 100% based around participation games.  No ‘just watching’ here; it’s all about having a go.

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The setup on the day

I therefore wanted to make it as easy as possible for folk to play and to that end I had a set of pre-built casts ready to go.

Capture
The opening crawl…

I stuck mostly with the format and setup I had trialled at the club a few weeks earlier, with some minor changes to the bad guys in particular (as I had finished painting a squad of Pulp Figures Jet Troopen that I really wanted to field).

I also made a few changes to the scenario, dropping the peril cards but utilising the ‘Ark of the Convenant’ macguffin card.  I fleshed out a bit of the background and set the game up as the last part of a 12 part cinema serial called ‘The Doom of Stahl Mask’.  Stahl Mask was the titular villian and another great mini from Pulp Figures.

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The evil Stahl Mask

In addition to the ‘opening crawl’ I also dug out some quick reference sheets I’d picked up at a previous event and made sure each player had easy access to a plentiful supply of tokens for plot points and that dice and tape measures were close to hand.

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Setup and ready to go

I arrived in plenty of time to setup and having done a test setup of the table earlier in the week was able to set out the game fairly quickly.

Despite a bit of waiting around after the doors opened I soon had my first punters.  A chap and his teenage son who had played the game before (at Hammerhead the previous year) and who were keen to give the new Pulp rules a go.  This game was a joy to run as they both really got into the spirit (and ridiculousness) of the game and plot.  I am terrible at remembering the details of games, but this went pretty much down to the last ‘cliffhanger’ card.

Almost immediately I had another set of players keen to give the game a go.  Another father and son duo with previous experience, this was again a fun game to run through and at times attracted quite a crowd (viewing figures were high!)

And then straight into yet another game!  This time with a pair of novices.  Now this was a bit more of a challenge, partly because I had to spend longer on laying out the rules and helping out with some decision making; but mostly because my players were also trying to keep a couple of young ones from getting too board while they were playing.

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Henry Indiana adventuring archaeologist (renamed Ohio Smith by one of the players!)

All of a sudden it was 3.30pm and the show was nearly over!  Just like that!  I’d done three full back-to-back games without much of a break in between.  I managed to get a very quick look round the show and was able to pick up a few goodies from Karl (as well as a set of command cards for Iron Cross from the Great Escape Games stand).

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A Crooked Dice pre-release I was able to pickup on the day,  I expect he will be cameoing in many games moving forward!

I packed up utterly exhausted, but really pleased I had been able to run the game without too much of a hiccup and almost constantly throughout the day.  This was my first visit to Hammerhead (and the Newark Showground venue) in any capacity (I never managed to get in when I was trading).  I obviously didn’t get too much chance to look around, but it seemed quite busy (I think a lot of people realised that this might be their last chance to get out to a show for a while) and the venue was light and airy (albeit a bit chilly too).

I really look forward to the opportunity to do the same again sometime.  Sadly with the current global situation all shows (including planned games at Chillcon Sheffield and the next 7TV day at Dales Wargames) are now on hold, but I see this as an opportunity to plan out some new episodes and maybe get that ‘secret’ base finally finished!

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A new secret base WIP

Oh and of course I mustn’t forget the fact that I was able to pickup my 7TV Pulp Sci Fi pledge on the day…..

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“Klytus, I’m bored…..”

Cthulhu Death May Die Miniatures

Just prior to Christmas I picked up a copy of the newly released Cthulhu Death May Die board game by CMON.  This was another case of miniatures, rather than game driving my purchase decision.  In fact it was yet another case of thinking ‘oh I could use them in 7TV’, 7TV Pulp to be precise.

Cthulhu Death May Die

I’ve played quite a few Cthulhu themed games and continue to quite regularly with my weekly board gaming chums.  Favourites include, Mansions of Madness and the epic Cthulhu Wars.  The general consensus in our circle when Death May Die was launched originally on Kickstarter some time ago, was that although it looked nice and had the usual high quality components and miniatures that CMON regularly knock out, the theme and general approach seemed a bit too ‘shooty’ and not ‘investigator focussed’ enough for the setting.

CMON-DMD-investigators
Although shown as 3D renders here, the minis themselves are very close to this quality

Fast forward and I am browsing the posts on the 7TV Productions Facebook page and see a size comparison of 28mm scale Crooked Dice minis and the one-piece pre-assembled plastics from Death May Die.  The size is almost spot on, maybe a touch larger than 28mm, but certainly not too noticeable.  The sculpts themselves are lovely, with a nice mix of character models, minions and monsters.  Way back in the day I went in heavily on the original Zombicide game and expansions.  I have to say in comparison to this, the quality of the minis that CMON are producing for their board games has improved leaps and bounds.  Clean and crisp, with none of the old problems of thin bendy bits or soft detail.  There is the usual issue when using board game miniatures with skirmish wargames that your troops or minions tend to be all of a single or limited number of poses, but I can live with that.

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Cultist with tommy gun

With 7TV Pulp having a very much Cthulhu inspired theme as one of its genres I took the opportunity not only to pick up the core box of Death May Die, but also a few of the expansions.  There are some really nice big monster models here that I hope to be able to use with the upcoming release of the 7TV Menagerie of Terror card set.

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Cultists

The miniatures themselves are all one piece or pre-assembled in a quite hard PVC plastic which has made painting relatively easy.  Using mostly contrast paints over primarily a white undercoat I have started so far on the minions and monsters with a view to ploughing through these and spending more time on the character models later.

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Ghouls

While I will probably give the actual game a try at some point,in the meantime I am cracking on with the painting, including the big fella himself…..

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Cthulhu

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Cthulhu