Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Assorted Werewolves 01

And so back to my reviews of my collection of 28mm scale werewolf figures. These five figures, made by Recreational Conflict, Zombiesmith and Hasslefree Miniatures, have all been sculpted as they are about to transform into their wolf forms, making them part human and part werewolf.
At the far left are two figures made by Recreational Conflict and sculpted by Brian Cooke. Jack, wearing the white shirt and jeans, could almost pass for human. His transformation is only just starting. His head is not quite human at this point. Sensibly he has got rid of his shoes and socks but unless he loses his shirt and jeans very soon they will be ruined if he transforms further.
The second figure in line shows the transformation much further down the line and now he is at the halfway point between being human and being lupine. His head is visibly changing and becoming longer and hairier. His hair has lengthened and he is growing fur on the backs of his arms. He has also grown a bushy tail. I'm not sure why but he has quite a prominent erection. Perhaps he's just excited!
Crouching down in the centre is Zombiesmith's Wolfboy. He is more wolf than human but he hasn't fully transformed. There is something very primitive about this figure. He is very muscular which makes me think he must be a teenager rather than a pre-teen. He was so small that I was able to glue him onto a 20mm diameter slottabase.
The final two figures are unquestionably the best of the bunch. Sculpted by Kevin White for Hasslefree Miniatures they are HFH052 Insane man in Straightjacket and HFH053 Transitional Werewolf. The insane man is fully human but from his pose he is clearly getting ready to transform.
The transitional werewolf is a very dramatic figure, beautifully sculpted and animated. You can almost feel his power as he rips apart his straightjacket to unleash his inner beast. His head is thrown back as he lets out a triumphant howl that says, "I'm free now! You can't hold me captive!" Once again, his transformation has made him sexually aroused as he sports a big hard on. Curious!
The Recreational Conflict figures can be found under the Lead Bones section of their webstore. Wolf 1 and Wolf 2 (Jack) cost $2.50 each or you can buy them both together as set Were 1, which costs $5.00. The Zombiesmith Wolfboy can be found in the Horror section of their webstore under the heading, Breathers. He costs $3.00.The Hasslefree figures are located in their Fantasy Humans range and cost £4.00 for the Insane Human and £4.50 for the Transitional Werewolf.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Rum and Bones Kickstarter game

I interrupt my reviews of werewolf figures to bring to your attention a new miniatures-based board-game produced by Cool Mini Or Not called Rum and Bones. This is being launched as a Kickstarter project this month and is proving to be VERY popular. It was fully funded on day one of its launch. You may well bemoan the fact that it is yet another Kickstarter project and that its launch is far too close to Christmas for you to be able to afford to back it. Plus, unlike most Kickstarter projects this only has one pledge level. $100 is the price to pay if you want it. Too dear, do I hear you say? Your arguments are valid and not unreasonable. But I have fallen hook, line and sinker for this game and so I'd like to show you why this is such a perfect game for me.
The above photo shows you everything you get in the basic boxed set... and its a lot! First up, are map boards for two pirate galleons - one crewed by humans and the other by assorted undead. Ah, undead - that had me hooked from the start! The figures consist of 70 plastic 32mm scale figures made up of 48 deck hands, 12 bosuns and 10 heroes. In addition, you get 8 six-sided dice, 10 hero stat cards, 2 sea creature cards (a Sea Dragon and a Kraken), 60 Tide cards, 113 tokens, 15 tiles and the rulebook.
To the right are the game boards featuring the two galleons. At the top of the picture is the ship crewed by the human Wellsport Brotherhood. Below them is the ship crewed by the undead Bone Devils. The objective of the game is to destroy three of the five targets that line the centre of each ship (deck gun, ship's wheel, main mast, rigging and armoury). Next to the central three targets are spawning points where you bring on new crew each turn. Crews board the opposing ship via any of the three gangplanks. Heroes can also swing from ropes but risk missing and falling in the sea. Embarrassing!
The five heroes of the Wellsport Brotherhood are from left to right, Captain Daniel Pale, Quartermaster Margaret "Miss Mags" Hale, Swashbuckler Mad Ivan, Gunner "Blackout" Bart and Brute "Stumper" Pete. All have three unique abilities they can use. Some cost nothing to use, whilst others (usually more powerful) cost a certain amount of gold coins to use. Gold coins are distributed at the start of each turn and can be collected by defeating enemy crew members.
The five heroes of the Bone Devils are from left to right, Captain Albrecht the Thrice Damned, Gunner Ghosteye Gunther, Brute Little Tom (Tom resides in the chest cavity of the pirate he has possessed), Quartermaster Patchwork Porter and Swashbuckler The Spectre. These also have three unique abilities each. Both sides have access to their own Tide deck of 30 cards which can either help them or hinder their opponent.
The Helrokker gang are a group of mercenaries and may be used by either side. From left to right are Gunner Alex of Pain, Quartermaster The Killmaster, Brute Thunder Lars, Captain Napoleon and Swashbuckler The Slasher. I'm not overly impressed with this group but they come free with the game, so who am I to complain?
At the time of writing there are four optional extras you can buy for the game. I want all of them! This set provides you with three more Wellsport Brotherhood Heroes. They are from left to right, Quartermaster Theo the Terror of Nova, Captain "Bloody" Anne Bonny and Gunner Grace O'Malley. The idea of having a pirate ship with an all-female crew certainly appeals to me. A lot of fans have asked for this and it may yet happen. Note that each side have five heroes consisting of a Brute, a Captain, a Gunner, a Quartermaster and a Swashbuckler. They all have their own special abilities, strengths and weaknesses and all are unique.

If there was ever any doubt that I'd be interested in this game then this optional set would have sealed my fate and sucked me in. This set offers up three more heroes to use with the Bone Devils. From left to right they are, Quartermaster Daedalus the Soul Herald, Captain Dracula and Swashbuckler Renfield the Blood Crazed. Oh, joy! Captain Dracula! Who better to lead a gang of undead pirates than the infamous Dracula? He is such a cool figure and a must have for me.

The third optional buy is a full expansion set and it costs $40. Two ships were never going to be enough. Mazu's Dreadful Curse offers 3 Chinese junks (much smaller than the two galleons but collectively, just as strong), 24 deckhand figures, 6 bosun figures, 5 hero figures, 30 Tide cards, 3 Objective tiles, 3 Deployment Point tiles, and 3 Windgate tokens (this blessing of Mazu allows the pirates to quickly move between the different ships! They're like a teleport spell.)
From left to right the Mazu's Dreadful Curse heroes are Captain Shen Wei and Shen Yong, Gunner Mister Koga the Many-Fingered, Quartermaster Lo Fang the Demon Serpent, Swashbuckler Xia the Red Mist and Brute Lang, Lord of Lang (er, Kung Fu Panda, anyone?). This is another must have expansion set. I'd buy it just to get the not-Kung Fu Panda figure. He is so cool!
It did not take long for the makers to bring out an optional set of Heroes to use with Mazu's Dreadful Curse. Once again, this set consists of three heroes and they are from left to right, Swashbuckler Lien Hua the Flower of Death, Brute Ai Fei the Favoured of Mazu and Captain Shu Ming the Merciless. These are very nice sculpts and I was very pleased to see that they are all female, although I wish they had not made a second female Swashbuckler because Xia the Red Mist from above is just as good. I'd have much preferred to see a female Gunner or Quartermaster instead.

For many years now I have wanted to play a pirate skirmish game. What held me back was I was just waiting for the right set of figures and rules to come along. For me, the timing of the release of Rum and Bones couldn't be better. Now that I am quite happy to embrace change in my gaming hobby I had no hesitation in backing this project. I have seen online demos of the game being played and it certainly does appeal to me. It is not a game that should be taken too seriously. Just look at the figures. Some have a very cartoon-like feel to them. In my opinion, this is a good thing. It makes the figures unique and gives them their own identity. This game is going to be a LOT OF FUN to play. It's due for release in July 2015 and I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on it.
You can read a lot more about this game  at the official website here - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coolminiornot/rum-and-bones

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Grekwood Miniatures Werewolves

I'm going to be reviewing a lot of my werewolf miniatures over the next few weeks. I am well aware that werewolves are not part of the undead but I do see them very closely related to the horror genre and I just couldn't ignore them. I have already showcased my West Wind werewolves on my blog (see here - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/west-wind-werewolves-01.html ) but I own a lot more than just them. I thought it was long overdue that my Lupines share the limelight. So today, I'm going to review four of my newest werewolf figure purchases and these beasts came from Grekwood Miniatures. They were co-sculpted by Keith and Carl Sutherwood.
What is not apparent from my photos is just how tall these creatures are. They stand roughly 43mm tall from the soles of their feet to the tops of their heads. This is not a case of scale creep. These are meant to be larger than life. They are meant to be tall (roughly 8-9 feet in real life), powerful and menacing. Each figure comes in four parts - upper body, lower body and two arms. I drilled and pinned the arms to the bodies and used superglue to attach the arms. However, I used two-part epoxy glue to stick the two halves of the body together. Their bases are 30mm diameter plastic slottabases. The gaps between the body parts were filled in with Green Stuff modelling putty. Carl very kindly and very helpfully supplied a small amount of Green Stuff with the figures along with instructions on how to fill the gaps and create the fur effect. Now that is good customer service!
The poses are from left to right, walking, standing with arms outstretched, jogging and running. For more variety you could mix and match body halves and/or arms. As soon as I saw these figures I knew I wanted to paint them with black fur. It's an easy option, I know, but it works so well. I normally paint my werewolves with gloss black eyes but I felt that would not be a good idea with these having black fur. So, I gave them demonic red eyes, which provides a nice contrast. They were relatively easy to make (for an experienced modeller like me) and very simple to paint.
I see these as part of my shock troopers in my tribe of werewolves. When I did my review of my West Wind Werewolves I wrote this - "anyone who has played White Wolf's Werewolf: the Apocalypse role-playing game will know that this figure represents a lupine in Crinos form, the most powerful of their five forms, ranging from human (Homid) to wolf (Lupus). The other two forms are Hispo (a dire-wolf) and Glabro (a human with wolf features)." This statement applied to an even larger werewolf figure but it still apples to these four Grekwood werewolves. Carl's four werewolves are clearly shown in their most powerful Crinos form. Try to keep these terms in mind as I will be referring to them as I continue my reviews of my collection of werewolf figures.
The figures cost £7.00 each but you can buy all four for just £24.00, saving you £4.00. This is what I did. Also note that Carl will supply some Green Stuff to smooth over the arm and body joins. They are also supplied with 30mm diameter slottabases. I can highly recommend them.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Ken the Zombie vs Kandy Pane

Another post with only two figures to review. You'd think I was slacking! Not so, I have loads to show you. Here, I present a duel between Ken the dapper zombie and Kandy Pane, a cheerleader and zombie slayer. Who will win? My money's on Kandy.
Ken the Zombie is made by the Network Model Soldier Company and I recently won him in an e-Bay auction. Apparently he was a limited edition figure for their Partizan range. He is quite a character and is clearly of aristocratic stock. His top hat and tails have seen better days, as has Ken! I like how he is doffing his hat. He must be a Smart Zombie to retain that much intelligence and good manners. He holds a cane in his left hand, which I gloss varnished to give it a shiny polished look. The blood around his mouth and neck may have come from a victim or may be his own. With his intestines hanging out of a big hole in his stomach he was clearly a victim of a zombie attack when he was human. Note that Ken comes with an integral metal base, which is something of a rarity these days.
Kandy Pane is made by a new figure company called SLAP Miniatures. I was looking at their range of werewolves, (which I bought) when I spotted Kandy in their webstore. They offer a very small range of survivors but in my opinion, Kandy really stood out as being the most useful for me. This teenager was once a member of her cheer-leading team before the zombie apocalypse began. Now she is a kick-ass zombie slayer. I like her a lot and I suppose she could just as easily be a vampire slayer similar to Buffy Summers. In real life a chainsaw is not the best of weapons to wield but in nearly every zombie apocalypse game it is invariably the number one melee weapon for taking out zeds.
Both figures are very nicely sculpted and both will fit in well with true 28mm scale figures, meaning they are not over-sized like some alleged 28mm scale figures. Ken is hard to come by but often pops up on e-Bay. Kandy Pane is much easier to buy. You'll find her in SLAP Miniatures' Human range, where she costs £2.69.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Black Scorpion and Shadowforge US Army Medics

I only have two figures to show you this time round, and one of these, you've probably already seen (unless this is your first visit to my blog). The new figure is a female US Army medic made by Black Scorpion. The second figure is my Shadowforge US Army medic, but she has had a slight makeover.
At the left of my two photos is a very sexy female medic whom I have called Kelly Marie Delaney. I know that some of you won't like her because she is showing too much bare flesh, but I disagree. I think she's a really nice figure. The detail on her is very well done. Black Scorpion have recently stopped making their figures in white metal and instead use resin. She is one of the very few resin-cast figures that I own and I must admit, I was very impressed with her. She stands 32mm tall from the sole of her boots to the top of her helmet, which may make her too tall for some of you but not for me. Certainly, she fits in very well with the rest of Black Scorpion's US Army soldiers. She is armed with a 5.56mm Colt Commando Assault Carbine. She carries a first aid box in her other hand. Little details like her dog tags, wristwatch, head band and left upper arm bandage impressed me a lot. She is an incredibly beautiful woman with a spectacular cleavage. Check out her arm muscles. I wouldn't want to get on her wrong side!
When I last showed my figure of Shadowforge's female US Army medic, Diana Webster, I told you that I had sculpted a pair of trousers and knee-pads for her. My good friend, Joe/Zabadak, suggested I also give her a T-shirt. I thought this was a great idea and this is what I have done. I'm sure you'll agree this was a change for the better. She now looks more professional and less like some sort of stripper (analogy courtesy of Mathyoo). There were some very interesting suggestions as to what her "pistol" could be. I still favour my suggestion of it being a dart gun but I did like Blaxcleric's suggestion that it be a flare gun. I'm afraid Hugh's suggestion of a price labelling device and Joe's hair-dryer idea were non-starters, even though they did give me a laugh!
You can find the Black Scorpion female Army Medic under their Collectors Series range and not as you'd imagine under their Moderns (US Marines) range. She is listed as Medic Girl and she costs £3.50. I have recently discovered that the Shadowforge range of figures can be bought from Australian company Eureka Miniatures. Diana - Combat Nurse, as she is listed under their Shadowforge Characters range, costs Aus$4.00. They also stock Tatiana the vampire and Nina Chi the sci-fi cop that I recently reviewed. I've dealt with Eureka Minis before and despite being based in Australia they are a very reliable company. Shown below is a picture of Diana taken from Eureka's website so that you can see what she looks like if you purchase her. I don't know where her sunglasses came from because my figure was certainly not wearing them. As you can see, she's not exactly dressed for front-line combat, is she?