Sunday, 25 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes 2017 - The Bug Hunters

My work for the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge is now completed. My entries are based on a little known sci-fi comic strip that appeared in Computer and Video Games magazine between October 1985 and February 1987 called The Bug Hunters. I loved this story back then and I still love it today. It has long stuck in my memory. My initial plan for this challenge was to sculpt the two human characters from the story - Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. But I soon realised I could convert various robot figures into B-Con, OTISS and X. The big stumbling block was the robot, Big Red. He is huge and I didn't fancy sculpting him from scratch. But, a big part of me wanted to make all six of The Bug Hunters heroes, so I searched on Amazon for a suitable robot toy to convert into Big Red. I struck lucky when I discovered a 5" tall action figure of Baymax from the animated film Big Hero 6. Now the challenge was on to get the conversions done before the end of this month. At that time, Melissa and Jackson had been sculpted. B-Con was a very simple conversion. OTISS, X and Big Red were much harder conversions but I finished them all last week and got them painted in just three days. Now at last I can present to you, The Bug Hunters.
From left to right are Melissa Ravenflame (an executive working for the Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems (IDEAS) Corporation, Jackson T. Kalliber (head of IDEAS Security), B-Con (a former prison security droid), OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System droid), X (a former bouncer and black marketeer) and Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition droid and not the sharpest tool in the box). Their mission was to find and fix bugs and glitches in artificial intelligence systems, computer systems and other robots. It is fair to say, they met with varying degrees of success. Big Red accidentally managed to totally destroy more than one children's home and orphanage!
I am immensely proud of my two sculpts and four conversions. Just compare these two photos above with the picture at the top of the page, taken from issue #1 of the comic series to see just how close they resemble the artwork. So, what are my plans for them? I will use them in some one-off adventures using the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG by What's Old Is New. I've already worked out the stats for Melissa and Jackson and I'm currently working on the stats for the four droids.
Here's a reminder of what OTISS, X and Big Red started out as - RoJaws, Hammerstein and Baymax. That's quite a change, huh? Note how much taller Big Red is to Baymax. His lower legs were lengthened considerably. The word RED on his chest was made out of cartridge paper, cut out and glued in place. Incidentally, Big Red is a lot less posable than he was as Baymax. His arms can still move up and down, but that's it.
I'd just like to end by saying how much I enjoyed this challenge. This was a project that grew bigger for me as the days passed by. At the start of June 2017, I never imagined I'd have the full set of The Bug Hunters in 28mm scale. But I have and I feel I have surpassed myself with this challenge and right now I'm feeling incredibly proud.
Finally, just for Roger, is this photo of my six entries taken against a plain white background. I'm sure you'll appreciate it, mate!
I have been asked about what figure was B-Con based on? Well, I can tell you he came from a range of very old (mid 1980's) Citadel 28mm scale Paranoia robots. This range of robots came in two halves - upper and lower bodies. The idea was that you could swap them around to come up with an infinite variety of robots. I bought loads of them and never got round to painting any of them, let alone making them. So, as a consequence, I had a large amount of robot body parts just lying unwanted in one of my spare parts boxes.

Fortunately, I remembered I still had them and as I rummaged through them I saw the perfect upper and lower body parts to make B-Con. His upper body came from the robot shown in the picture at the top right of here and his lower tracked body part came from the robot shown to the bottom right of here. All I did to convert him was add the searchlight on his chest, his hat and his sunglasses. Oh, and I cut the weapons off his lower body. As I said, a very simple conversion.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Assorted Wild West Children 01

As I mentioned in a reply to one of the comments made last time, finding figures of Wild West female townsfolk is hard but finding figures of children for this genre is even harder. Fortunately, I do have some. Here's a sample of some of them.
All of these are plastic figures, with the four to the left coming from an old boxed set of Airfix 1/72nd scale (20mm scale) Cowboys. I got these as a child during the 1960's, and I still have the figures from that boxed set. Seeing as I was after figures of children, their lack of height compared to 28mm scale figures actually worked to my advantage. The small girl and boy at the far left were designed as children for that set. Now they fit in as young children, in the 4 to 7 age bracket.
The next two figures in line were adults from that set but work well as older children in 28mm scale. I have to admit that the detail on them is muted, especially on their faces, which are very featureless. But, no matter. They suffice for my needs as crowd fillers. The figure at the far right was given to me by my dad. He used to collect Lledo vintage cars and vehicles and this figure came with an old newspaper delivery van. He is true 28mm scale and although he is meant to be from the 1930's I thought he'd fit in with my Wild West figures. He is also the only one of these children whom I have named. I called him Joey Black, after an NPC of the same name who appeared in an old TSR Boot Hill scenario called Mad Mesa. Joey was a paperboy working for the Mad Mesa Gazette, so it seemed appropriate to use this figure for him.
I'm currently painting a couple of child heroes for the Shadows of Brimstone game - male and female orphans, and they are superb sculpts. Not all children need be innocent bystanders. I strongly approve of Flying Frog's decision to include children as hero characters in their Weird West game. I'm planning on buying the two Wild West children figures from Reaper's excellent Chronoscope range next month, so expect to see some armed children here soon.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Assorted Wild West Female Civilians 01

In this post I'm reviewing some of the assorted Wild West female civilians that I've amassed over the years. It is rather sad that figure manufacturers make far more male characters for Wild West gaming than females. Actually, this is true of most genres. Certainly amongst the civilian population you'd expect a roughly 50/50 split, but that is most definitely not the case when it comes to the Wild West. For sure, civilians are mainly used for background fodder or for obstacles to be helped or avoided. But even if they are just used to populate a town without taking any part, they are worth having to add a sense of realism to a gaming board.
At the far left is a 25mm scale Ral Partha female homesteader with baby. She is beautifully sculpted and whilst she is on the small side, I don't mind. Females are, generally speaking, smaller than males. My one criticism of this figure is that I'm not happy with the way I painted the baby's face. It looks more like a doll than a real baby!
Moving on, next to her is a very old Hinchliffe Models townswoman. I recently repainted her, as I wasn't happy with my original paint scheme. She has the look of a plucky woman who is up for a challenge. For such an old figure, she looks remarkably good.
 The next two ladies were both produced by Citadel Miniatures. Yes, I know, Citadel never made any Wild West figures. The woman in the light brown dress was part of a long out of production Mythos Investigators range. She is supposed to be used in a 1920's setting, but I thought she'd work just as well as a Wild West townswoman.
 The old lady at the far right is a conversion of a Judge Dredd perp known as Mad Ma Mahaffy. I cut her arms off and remodelled them out of Milliput. She has such a timeless look about her that she could fit in anywhere from the 1800's to the present day. I'm using her in my Wild West setting as a shop owner.
At the far left of this trio is another Hinchliffe Models 28mm scale figure - a Victorian lady, who certainly doesn't look out of place in a Wild West setting. She has also benefited from a recent repaint. With her bright yellow dress she'll certainly stand out in a crowd.
I close with a pair of female civilians who are amongst the oldest figures in my 28mm scale Wild West collection. They are from a small range of Wild West figures made by Minifigs in the late 1970's and have been out of production for many years now. They were designed as 25mm scale figures but being old women, I think their lack of height, when placed next to 28mm scale figures, works to their advantage. The old lady in the black dress is the original sculpt. On the other one, I removed her bible and repositioned her right arm. I also added a collar to her dress.
They certainly aren't the most exciting figures I've shown on my blog but they serve their purpose as innocent bystanders that I'll use in Six Gun Sound. Plus, you can never have too many civilian figures.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Assorted Wild West Gamblers 01

I like to mix things up on my blog so I'm returning to my Wild West figures for a few posts. The theme this time is gamblers. Here are four 28mm scale gamblers from assorted manufacturers.
At the far left is Jacques Villard, who is a Dixon Miniatures 25mm scale Old West civilian. He is listed as WG12 Gambler Standing with Cigar and he costs £1.40. I'm not that bothered that he's smaller than the other figures on display here. People come in all shapes and sizes in real life, so why not in miniatures?
Next up, is Commodore James Duvall, who was made by Grenadier Miniatures as one of 10 figures in a boxed set called "Western Gunfighters". He is loosely based on the character, Commodore Duvall played by James Coburn in the 1994 film of Maverick. He is, in my opinion, the best sculpted figure of this quartet. Note the card sticking out of his sleeve on his left arm in the photo below. Probably his ace up his sleeve! That is such a cool touch.
The figure second from the right is as yet unnamed. I can tell you that he is a very old figure made by Hinchliffe Models, who have been out of business for many years now. I bought him in the very early 1980's. His right arm was originally hanging by his side but I bent it to give him a less static pose. Hinchliffe figures were usually tall and slim, but I think he stands the test of time very well.
Finally, is "Hoodoo" Brown, a figure sculpted by me. He is an exact copy of a 54mm scale figure I made for my long running Wild West campaign that I ran in the 1980's. Back then, all of my Wild West games were played with 1/32nd scale figures, buildings and scenery. It might not be immediately clear from the front view, but he is smoking a cigar. Also, note that he is left-handed.
These figures are mainly intended for use with Six Gun Sound, my go to Wild West rules, but could also appear in Shadows of Brimstone.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes 2017 Update 01

Following on from my intro to the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge (see here - Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2017 - Intro), here is an update of my work so far. As I said before, I was originally just going to make the two human heroes, Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber from The Bug Hunters series. The good news is that I have sculpted both figures and they are undergoing paintwork right now. Both have come out really well, but I'm particularly impressed with my figure of Melissa.
I was lucky enough to find the parts needed to convert an old Citadel Paranoia robot into B-Con. He was an easy conversion to do, and he's also being painted right now. I am not going to show these three just yet. I want to wait until all six figures are completed.
I had no intention of making the other three robots, OTISS, X and Big Red for this challenge. I thought it would be too much work, especially making Big Red, who is huge. However, things soon changed and when I realised that OTISS and X looked a lot like RoJaws and Hammerstein from 2000 AD comic's ABC Warriors and Robusters series I knew I could make them as well. Wargames Foundry make excellent figures of RoJaws and Hammerstein. How hard could it be to convert them? So I ordered them last week and they arrived two days later.
I had to add a bit of Milliput to the base of Hammerstein as he kept falling over, due to his centre of balance being off kilter. So, now all I had to do was find a suitable figure for Big Red. I did not have high hopes, but anyway, I decided to check out toy robots on Amazon UK... and found the perfect robot for Big Red. This big fellow is Baymax from the Disney animated film of 2012 - Big Hero 6. He is a posable action figure, but he'll be a lot less posable after I've finished with him. As always, Amazon were very quick to post him to me.
Size-wise he's just about perfect, although I will be lengthening his legs. As soon as I saw the figure, I knew I could work with him and make, what I thought would be a very difficult challenge, a much easier task. Yes, there is a lot of work to do on him, but I have the basis of his figure all ready to go. Most of the hard work has already been done for me. I just have to add some detail to him. Hah! That's all!
The first thing I had to do was remove certain body parts from the three figures. RoJaws had his arms and head cut off. Hammerstein lost his head and right arm. I had to saw them off. I've drilled and pinned a paper clip into his shoulder so that I can sculpt his new arm around it.
Baymax has had his head and shoulder pads removed - they just clipped off quite easily. I sawed off the mounts on his back for his wings. His wings came separately but were never going to be used by me.
Now I can get to work on them with my Milliput and hopefully get them finished by the end of June. I'm pretty confident I'll meet the deadline. I don't usually do work in progress posts but I especially wanted to do this one, just to show you how Big Red was going to evolve. Next time you see him he'll be looking a lot different.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

John Carter of Mars Heroes 01

When Dave Stone recently visited me, he discussed how his sci-fi gladiators game, Death Match, originated. It was whilst watching the 2012 film, John Carter, where John is fighting in an arena, that Dave thought how cool it would be to create a sci-fi gladiators game. Despite the film getting panned by many critics, Dave and I are both fans of the film. So from that germ of an idea, the game was developed. Anyway, what I forgot to tell Dave was that I had a small selection of 28mm scale John Carter figures. They are produced by Tin Man Miniatures and I bought them at the beginning of this year when TMM had a 30% discount sale. Funnily enough, they are also offering this same discount this month up until the 18th. Dave's comments about John Carter got me to thinking about how perfect these figures would be for his Death Match game. Currently, he only has one human gladiator (a female) for sale in his webstore. More will be available later.
From left to right are John Carter, Dejah Thoris and Woola. Most likely for copyright reasons, Tin Man Miniatures have renamed them as Jack Carson, Princess Dari and Moola. Jack Carson/John Carter is available as shown above or in a nude version. He is armed with a cavalry sabre and a pistol and he would be right at home in a game of Death Match. I won't go into any details about who John Carter is, as I'm sure most, if not all of you, are familiar with him. If not, check him out on Google or Wikipedia... or get the book the film is based on, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Princess Dari/Dejah Thoris is a native of Mars (called Barsoom by the inhabitants of Mars) who falls in love with Carter. I am quite familiar with Dejah from the comic book series by Dynamite. Indeed, she once teamed up with Vampirella and Red Sonja in the epic Swords of Sorrow series as one of the three wielders of the aforementioned swords. Once again, Tin Man offers a clothed and nude version of this figure. This time, I opted for the nude version, although as you can see, she isn't totally nude, just topless. Whilst she is a very good fighter in the books, comics and film, I don't think she'd fare well in Death Match. Her lack of armour and single weapon puts her at a big disadvantage. At least Carter has a pistol to deal with opponents at a distance, even he is also lacking in protection.
Moola/Woola is described as a "Calot" - a large creature that resembles an amphibian and behaves like a loyal dog. He becomes devoted to Carter and is rarely far from his side. He has ten legs and thus is very fast.
I bought these figures because, A) I liked the film, B) I'm a big fan of Dejah from her comics and C) because they were on offer at the time. I can certainly find uses for all three figures in some of the games I play. I'm undecided about buying more figures from this range to recreate a Barsoomian skirmish game. I received very good service from TMM, who are based in America. They quite often have these sales, so it is well worth waiting for one to come along if you want to place an order with them.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2017 - Intro

So, it's June and that means it's time for the Forgotten Heroes challenge, which is run by fellow bloggers, Jez and Roger. I very nearly gave it a miss this year because the figure I was planning on converting (a Twilight Knight) by Soda Pop Miniatures into a Chibi Lady Death was discontinued earlier this year before I could buy her. But having greatly enjoyed the challenge last year, I decided to take a totally different tack and a one that no one could possibly envisage.

I'm currently heavily into sci-fi gaming. So I have decided to make a couple of 28mm scale sci-fi figures. Yes, make them. They will not be conversions but rather will be sculpted by me from scratch. The two figures I'm going to make are the two human heroes from the old comic strip, The Bug Hunters, Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. Already I can hear everyone saying, "Huh! The Bug Hunters? Never heard of them!" Understandable! Let me give you some background info on them taken from the Comics Corner section of the Weird Retro website.

"Back in October 1985 a serialised comic began to appear in the pages in Computer and Video Games (C+VG) magazine. The series ran almost every month until February 1987. For any teenage computer geek growing up in the 80s, C+VG was the must buy computing and gaming magazine, and the addition of The Bug Hunters only made the magazine all the more worth buying. The sight of Melissa Ravenflame on that first panel, set many an adolescent comic book/computer geek's heart a flutter. (As sad as that is!) See the picture to the left.

The Bug Hunters was scripted by Jerry Paris, whose early work was for Marvel UK on titles such as Freefall Warriors; drawn by Pedro Henry (the pseudonym of renowned British comic book artist, Steve Moore), who gave Alan Moore his leg-up as a comic book artist; and inked by Garry Leach, who worked on the seminal British comic book 2000 AD, and also collaborated with Alan Moore. Both Steve Moore and Garry Leach worked on the regular feature in 2000 AD Tharg's Future Shocks. During the period of The Bug Hunters appearing in C+VG, Leach also worked on Judge Dredd. For a comic strip series appearing in a computing magazine, The Bug Hunters was exquisitely pencilled by Paris and inked by Leach, creating some of the most memorable images of comic book art in the mid-80s UK.

Computer and Video Games was first published in November 1981, and was the world's first dedicated video gaming magazine. The first issue featured an article on the arcade game Space Invaders. The magazine ceased appearing in a printed format in 2004, but continues as an online magazine format as it has since 1999. In the 1980s, C+VG was the multi-format magazine of choice for all gamers and computer geeks. It featured news, reviews, as well as hints, tips, game maps and long list of programming code for readers to laboriously type into their home computers to create games.

However, in 1985 when The Bug Hunters first appeared it was a shift for the magazine, as they used the images and characters from the comic series to promote various sections of the magazine. Set in 23rd Century London, the aforementioned Melissa Ravenflame was working on a new project for IDEAS Corp. (Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems). Three years earlier they had created the most addictive computer game ever, called GOD. She teams up with Jackson T. Kalliber, an ex-military man who looks like a cross between Burt Reynolds and Charles Bronson. He's put a team together of robots, that include OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System), Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition), B-Con a security droid who helped with a prison break, and X a "fascism" droid who can pirate anything. Thus a rag-tag team of robots.

Over their time in C+VG, The Bug Hunters went through a darkly comic series of adventures. Beautifully illustrated, told with a quintessentially British sense of humour. An almost forgotten gem of a comic book series, that stands as an example of the genius of comic book artists working in the UK at the time. Especially those that went through the 2000 AD stables. It was one of the greatest multi-serialised story, multi-artist comic books in the world."

I'm just happy that due to copies of C+VG now being in the public domain on I was able to download all 15 episodes of this series to keep as a permanent reminder of one of my secret pleasures of the 1980's. My brother used to subscribe to C+VG and whilst I had no interest in computer gaming (I still don't) I absolutely adored The Bug Hunters comic series.

So, I plan on making Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber as my entries for this year's challenge. I would love to make/convert the four robots but that can keep for another day. Perhaps they might be next year's challenge.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

JDMG Scenario 07 - Citi-Def Suspects

When my good friend, Dave Stone, came to visit me recently, he asked if we could play a game of the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game? I was only too happy to oblige. I had been thinking of running a follow up scenario to the last one, Devereux's Debut, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to implement it. Previously, Judge Scott and Psi Judge Devereux had foiled a gun smuggling plot. They arrested the buyers but the seller, Mr. Johnson, managed to escape. However, the most important concern was that they captured all of the stolen guns - a crate load of Spit Gun Rifles. Tek Division went over the evidence and discovered that the guns came from the Citi-Defence armoury of the James Caan Block in Sector 13. Judge Stone was assigned to bring in the James Caan Citi-Def leader, Byron Hazlett, for questioning. He may have been unaware of the missing guns or he might have been either directly or indirectly involved in the crime. Either way, he had to be questioned. As a precautionary measure, Judge Stone requested back-up from Judge Moore and Med-Judge Nash. It proved to be a wise decision!
Street Judge Stone - Level:3 Infantry Hero with 4 Experience Points and worth 200 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +2, Shoot +2, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +2, Armour +5, Hits 4.
Equipment - Boot Knife, Daystick, Lawgiver Mk II Pistol, Stumm Gas Grenades and Standard Issue Armour.
Talents - Armour Buster, Incendiary, Pour it on and Warning Shot

Street Judge Moore - Level:3 Infantry Hero with 5 Experience Points and worth 200 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +2, Shoot +3, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +1, Armour +5, Hits 3.
Equipment - Boot Knife, Daystick, Lawgiver Mk II Pistol, Stumm Gas Grenades and Standard Issue Armour.
Talents - Accurate, Close Combat Shooter, Crackshot and Luck of Grud.

Med Judge Nash - Level:3 Infantry Hero with 4 Experience Points and worth 200 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +2, Shoot +2, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +2, Armour +5, Hits 3.
Equipment - Boot Knife, Medi-Kit, Lawgiver Mk II Pistol and Standard Issue Armour.
Talents - Doctor, First Aid, Medic and Paramedic. 

Byron Hazlett - Level:3 Citi-Def Officer Infantry Hero with 4 Experience Points and worth 165 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +1, Shoot +1, Melee +0, Melee Dice 2D, Will +2, Armour +5, Hits 4.
Equipment - Spit Gun Rifle and Shell Jacket.
Talents - Agile and Quick Dodge.
Special Rules - Rallying Cry and True Leader.

Joe Markowitz - Level:2 Citi-Def Soldier Infantry Hero with 2 Experience Points and worth 205 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +1, Shoot +2, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +1, Armour +5, Hits 3.
Equipment - Spit Gun Rifle, Hand Bombs and Shell Jacket.
Talents - Aim, Frag out and Suppressing Fire.
Special Rule - Trigger Happy.

Nick Lewis - Level:1 Citi-Def Soldier Infantry Hero with 1 Experience Point and worth 150 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +1, Shoot +2, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +0, Armour +5, Hits 2.
Equipment - Spit Gun Rifle and Shell Jacket.
Talents - Aim and Suppressing Fire.
Special Rule - Trigger Happy.

Russ Kokin - Level:1 Citi-Def Soldier Infantry Hero with 1 Experience Point and worth 150 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +1, Shoot +2, Melee +1, Melee Dice 2D, Will +0, Armour +5, Hits 2.
Equipment - Spit Gun Rifle and Shell Jacket.
Talents - Aim and Suppressing Fire.
Special Rule - Trigger Happy.

Semel Javan - Level:1 Citi-Def Medtech Infantry Hero with 1 Experience Point and worth 105 Credits.
Stats - Move 5", Agility +2, Shoot +0, Melee +0, Melee Dice 2D, Will +2, Armour +4, Hits 2.
Equipment - Spit Gun Rifle, Hand Bombs and Shell Jacket.
Talents - First Aid and Medic.
Special Rule - Lifesaver.

For this scenario, the Justice Department forces totalled 600 Credits and the Citi-Def soldiers totalled 775 Credits. In theory, it should have been a close match, but that did not take into account the number of critical hits that were rolled!
I played this scenario on a single 2' by 2' sci-fi battle mat by Battle Systems to represent part of the interior of the James Caan Block. Dave and I quickly put together some interior walls and added various furniture items to many of the rooms.
The three Judges started in the lower south-west corner.
The five Citi-Def soldiers on this floor are represented by dice, with each number representing one particular character. I knew which numbers corresponded to which characters but Dave, who was controlling the Judges, didn't. This added a degree of uncertainty to the proceedings. Until he drew Line of Sight to a die, he wouldn't know who he was facing. Just out of interest, the numbers were
  1. Nick Lewis - Level:1 Soldier
  2. Joe Markowitz - Level:2 Soldier
  3. Byron Hazlett - Level:3 Officer
  4. Semel Javan - Level:1 Medtech
  5. Russ Kokin - Level:1 Soldier
The Judges must remove Byron Hazlett from the table, preferably alive. The Citi-Defence soldiers win if they prevent this from happening.

This was a fun game that was played in good spirits and much amusement. Dave had never played JDMG before, but the rules are very simple and he quickly picked them up without any difficulty. He also quickly learned the value of being in hard cover for his Judges! It looked like an easy victory for the Judges and it certainly was. That was almost certainly down to Dave's amazing dice rolls. He scored an incredible ten 10s on the night! A roll of 10 is an automatic critical hit, which, if it penetrates, will do double damage. Neither of us could believe Dave's good fortune!
When it came to working out the wounds the Citi-Def lot received, things took a turn for the worse. Both Byron Hazlett and Joe Markowitz, the leader and second in command respectively, were killed outright. Oops! Nick Lewis suffered an injured left leg wound (-1 to his Movement stat), Russ Kokin suffered a crippling left arm wound (-1 to his Agility and Melee Dice stats) and Semel Javan took an injury to his left arm (-1 to his Agility stat). All three served time in the iso-cubes.

Judge Stone earned the following experience points -
+1 for surviving the battle.
+1 for slaying a Level:1 Hero.
This earned him 2 experience points, which took him up to 6. Sadly, this was one short of what he needed to reach Level:4. Bad luck, Dave! However, do read the conclusions below!

Judge Moore did exceedingly well. He earned -
+1 for surviving the battle.
+3 for slaying a Level:3 Hero.
+2 for slaying two Level:1 Heroes.
This earned him 6 experience points, enough to raise him to Level:5. However, a character can only advance one level at a time, so he rose to Level:4 with 10 experience points, just one point short of Level:5. He added +1 to his Will score, bringing it up to +2 and +1 to his Hits, bringing them up to 5. He also acquired a new Talent from the Punk Breaker list - Voice of Justice, which allows him to re-roll a failed arrest attempt. He has obviously been taking lessons from Judge Scott.  His credits score increased by +25 to 225.

Med-Judge Nash earned the following experience points -
+1 for surviving the battle.
+2 for slaying a Level:2 Hero.
This earned him 3 experience points, bringing him up to 7, which was just enough to make it to Level:4. He added +1 to his Movement score, bringing it up to 6", so that he can reach wounded colleagues quicker, and +1 to his Hits, bringing them up to 5. He also acquired a new Talent from the Gunslinger list - Accurate, which allows him to re-roll a failed 1D Shoot attempt. His credits score increased by +25 to 225.

So, was Byron Hazlett innocent or guilty? After an extensive search into his past history, it was determined that he was innocent of any wrongdoing and if had surrendered to the Judges instead of shooting at them, he would have been released without charge. However, when the Judges turned their investigation over to Joe Markowitz they discovered an entirely different story. It was he who "misappropriated" the crate of Spit Guns and it was he who sold them on to a certain "Mr. Johnson". It seemed that Markowitz was in the pocket of the Mob and a search of his financial records uncovered a number of other illegal dealings he was directly involved in. He got his comeuppance in the end but purely because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The other point I want to cover is why all three Judges didn't level up in this scenario. It certainly could have happened. When Russ Kokin shot and wounded Judge Moore that ended Turn 3. At the start of Turn 4 Dave could have chosen any of his three Judges to act first. If Judge Stone acted first he would have almost certainly shot and KO'd Kokin, thus getting the extra experience point he needed to level up. But Dave acted very selflessly and said it just made sense that Judge Moore would lash out at the perp who had just shot him and act first. So, it was Judge Moore who got the last available experience point, even though he didn't need it. It was wasted on him because he was already at the maximum experience points he could attain at Level:4. I have to applaud Dave for such a sporting gesture. Simon, you owe him one!
The campaign is starting to gel really well, and I like how the scenarios are starting to link together. We haven't seen the last of the mysterious "Mr. Johnson" or indeed, Malexica the Necromancer. Hopefully in my next scenario I'll get to feature Judges Burnett, Huntsman and Webb and see if I can get them advanced to Level:4.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Vampifan's Views 92 - Monthly Musings 65

Reflection of Vampirella by Mike Mayhew
I have had a great month, which I can't wait to tell you about. But first, I begin as always, with a portrait of my beloved Vampirella. This stunning piece was painted by Mike Mayhew, a highly talented comic artist, whose work has featured on a few of my previous blog postings.

So, what have I been working on these past four weeks? On the painting and modelling front, I have mainly been concentrating on my N.E.W. sci-fi campaign. I have repainted and rebased a lot of my old sci-fi figures so that I can use them in this new venture. I have also been buying some new figures of alien races to use in the campaign. The heroes of the campaign will be the all female crew of "The Ace of Spades" scout ship. They are all completed and I have photographed them so that I can show them to you soon. The miniature starship I'm using for "The Ace of Spades" has been painted and based.
To help aid in any starship combats I may do in the campaign, I bought a 3' by 3' stars mousepad gaming mat made of synthetic cloth from Deep Cut Studios. I'm a huge fan of these types of gaming mats. I paid a bit extra to have a hex grid printed on the mat, which they did in a very subtle, understated manner. You have to look very closely to see the hex grid. Note that the photo to the left of here is of the 6' by 4' mat without the hex grid, but it gives you a good idea of what the mat looks like.
In addition to this, I have also been churning out NPC record sheets and printed gaming aids. There is a lot of work to do when setting up a sci-fi role-playing campaign but I am extremely enthusiastic about this project that it is all time well spent.

Just over a week ago I received this bundle of Doctor Who goodies from Warlord Games, containing the Exterminate! miniatures skirmish game, which pits the Cybermen against the Daleks, and the two expansion packs featuring Davros and 12 more Daleks and Missy and 12 more Cybermen. Davros and Missy are metal figures, whilst the Cybermen and Daleks are multi-piece plastic kits, that can snap together very easily. As most gamers will probably do, I glued mine together. Despite some criticism of how awkward the Daleks were to assemble, I had no problems with mine. They all fitted together perfectly. The Cybermen come with three different bodies and three different right arms, allowing for lots of variety. Although the Daleks are all in the same pose, I found it very easy to bend their eye-stalks,  manipulator arms and weapon arms to give them some variety as well. Plus, you can paint leader or named Daleks in different colours. I haven't played the game yet but having read the rules, it looks like a simple game to play. The rules remind me a lot of the Project Z rules (also by Warlord Games), which I was highly critical of. Until I actually play a game or two I'll keep an open mind on the rules. I certainly can't fault the figures. They are all beautiful sculpts. Incidentally, the rules do allow for the inclusion of the Doctor and his companions and a few alien races (Judoon, Silence and Zygons).

I forgot to mention in last month's musings that I had been invited to take part in Tim's (aka Dark Eyed Warrior) Pathfinder fantasy campaign called "Keep on the Borderland". It is a very long time since I did any fantasy role-playing and whilst I have never played Pathfinder before, it shares much in common with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, so I wasn't too far out of my depth. I play a mightily strong 1st Level human fighter called Per, who has only recently joined the party of adventurers in their quest to clear a passage through the Menador Mountains for caravans to travel safely between the five towns that border the pass. You can read about how the party is getting on here -
Tim weaves a fascinating tale in his play by e-mail campaign and I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience, simply because it is such a huge departure for me.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the month was getting to meet Dave Stone, the head of Wargames  Terrain Workshop. As readers of this blog will know, I'm a huge fan of Dave's work and he kindly agreed to come and visit me so that we could spend a full day gaming and chatting. Dave is every bit as enthusiastic about our hobby as I am, and was a great conversationalist. He told me of many of his plans for future projects, which whilst I was not sworn to secrecy about, I'd rather keep quiet about until Dave is ready to reveal the relevant info. Suffice to say, I was drooling at the prospect of just what is planned!
We got to play two games during a very late evening session. The first game was Dave's sci-fi gladiatorial game called Death Match, which has only just been released on his webstore. This game really appealed to me. Dave kindly sent me a pre-release copy of the rules to play-test, which I did. I even made my own Death Match arena. I ordered the four-player game from Dave, which he brought with him to save posting it to me. What was even better, he also brought along all of his painted figures for the game. WOW! I was gob-smacked at A) how well painted they were (you can tell that Dave is a master painter) and B) just how tall many of them are. Believe me, the photos on his webstore give you no indication of how tall they actually are. For example, the female Arachnid must be about 4-5" in diameter and 2-3" tall. She is a beast in every sense of the word!
So, we played a game with Dave taking a Ceratid male (a rhino-like humanoid) and me taking a Scabendi male (a reptilian humanoid). And, yes, we did use Dave's painted figures. Before we began, Dave told me he always got beat at Death Match, especially when playing against his wife. Well, it was to be Dave's lucky night because things went bad for me from the start, rolling double ones for my activation (the worst possible result!) and proceeded to go downhill from there. I was soundly beaten by Dave, but I can't complain. He was by far, the better player on the night, and I refuse to blame my bad dice rolling.
I plan on giving this excellent little skirmish game a full review on my blog in the near future. I just want to get my figures painted for it first. I also plan on investing heavily in this game. I especially want the full 3D arena Dave is hoping to bring out for it. Dave has also told me about the new expansion races he wants to add, and one of them, the feline race, has me very excited.
The second game we played was the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game. This was a continuation of my campaign and I let Dave play the Justice Department (led, of course, by Judge Stone) and I played the perps. Full details will appear in my next post as another Comic Life batrep. This was the first time Dave had played this game and he took to it very well.
It is unusual for me to get any visitors, seeing as I live so far north, and even rarer to have a gaming friend come visit, so I'm sure you can imagine just what a thrill this was for me. Dave was the perfect guest and I'm sure this visit will cement our friendship even further. It will certainly linger in my memory for a very long time. Dave, mate, you more than made my day - you made my year!

Finally, I haven't forgotten about the prize draw competition I set a couple of weeks ago. I'll post the results of the winners some time in June, just in case anyone else still wants to enter. One change I am prepared to make, seeing as some entrants came from abroad, is that if you'd prefer a straight cash prize instead of a gift voucher I can do that providing you have a PayPal account. This also applies to UK-based entrants. Have fun and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

JDMG MC1 CitiDef Soldiers 02

Here I present another small group of Citi-Defence soldiers. These come from the James Caan block in Sector 13 of Mega City One, where my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign is set. All five figures were pre-painted 28mm scale sci-fi troopers produced by EM4 Miniatures. Sadly, this set is out of production now, so these are very rare figures. I won't go into any background info for the Citi-Defence squads as I'd only be repeating what I wrote here - JDMG MC1 Citi-Def Soldiers 01
The only painting I added to these figures was on their bases.
At the far left is the squad's officer, Byron Hazlett, a Level:3 Infantry Hero. He is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle and he wears a Shell Jacket. His four Talents are Agile, Quick Dodge, Rallying Cry and True Leader. He costs 165 Credits.
His second in command is a Citi-Def Soldier and Level:2 Infantry Hero called Joe Markowitz. He is armed a Spit Gun Rifle and Hand Bombs and he wears a Shell Jacket. His three Talents are Aim, Frag Out and Suppressing Fire. He also has the Special Rule, Trigger Happy. He costs 205 Credits, making him the most expensive recruit in this squad.
In the centre of the group is Nick Lewis, another Soldier, but this time, a Level:1 Infantry Hero. He is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle and is protected by a Shell Jacket. He has two Talents - Aim and Suppressing Fire and the Special Rule, Trigger Happy. He costs 150 Credits.
Second from the right is another Level:1 Soldier and Infantry Hero, Russ Kokin. He is identical in every respect to Nick Lewis.
Bringing up the rear is the squad's Medtech, Semel Javan, a Level:1 Infantry Hero. He is armed with a Spit Pistol and is less well protected, wearing Pad Armour. He has the Talents of First Aid and Medic and the Special Rule of Lifesaver. He is worth 105 Credits.
They are not a great force by any means but on the plus side, they are made up entirely of Heroes, making them more resistant to arrest attempts by the Judges. I am planning on featuring this squad in the next episode of my JDMG campaign, which should appear next month.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

JDMG Chainsaw Warriors Citi-Def Squad

One of the best solo boardgames I have ever played was Chainsaw Warrior, produced by Games Workshop way back in 1987. In this game, designed for solo play, you took on the role of a battle-hardened warrior who has to clear a large building full of zombies, mutants and a powerful evil creature known as the Darkness. To complement the game, Citadel Miniatures produced a small range of 28mm scale figures. Although you were only meant to use one Chainsaw Warrior in the game, I decided to build a small squad of them to use in other sci-fi games. I boosted the squad size with very early versions of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guardsmen. These were all slightly converted to match the official Chainsaw Warriors. I ended up with a squad of 10 Chainsaw Warriors. I recently dug them out and rebased them in order to use them as a Citi-Defence squad for my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game.
The three figures to the left of the photos directly above and below were the official Chainsaw Warriors. Because these are meant to be an elite squad I made them all Jaeger Squad Commandos. I have named all the squad but haven't worked out their JDMG stats yet. So, at the far left is Jan Podoski, who is armed with a Missile Launcher, a Spit Pistol and a Knife. All of the Chainsaw Warriors wear Shell Jackets and are equipped with Respirators, Stim-Packs and Sucker Guns.
Next in line is Stephen Craven, who is armed with a Heavy Spit Gun. In the boardgame, this powerful weapon was known as "the Reaper"!
In the centre of this group is Brett Andrews, the leader of the squad. He is a Citi-Def Officer armed with a Chainsaw, a Knife and a Spit Pistol. This figure is the default Chainsaw Warrior who is used in the boardgame. He is named after Brett Ewins and Dave Andrews, who did much of the artwork for the Chainsaw Warrior game.
The figure second from the right was a limited edition figure of the Chainsaw Warrior that Citadel Miniatures made for use in the Talisman game. I have named him Mark Dixon and he is another Jaeger Squad Commando armed exactly the same way as Brett Andrews.
Last in line is Tony Oliver, who is armed with a Laser Pistol, a Spit Pistol and a Knife. I converted him by adding the helmet visor and the ammo pouch bandolier slung across his chest and back.
The next five figures are all converted Imperial Guardsmen. The four to the left are Jaeger Squad Commandos. At the far left is Dan Rockford, who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle, a Spit Pistol and a Knife. I added the visor to his helmet.
Standing next to him is Chris Faulkner who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle and a Knife. Once again, I converted him by adding the green helmet visor.
In the centre is Graeme Wooton, who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle, Laser Pistol and Knife. He underwent quite a lot of conversion work. From top to bottom I added his helmet visor, body armour, webbing over his back and chest, communicator on his left chest, studded gauntlets, holstered pistol and a knife in a scabbard on his right boot. He is unrecognisable from his original figure.
At the second from the right is Dave Gallagher, who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle, a Laser Pistol, a Hand Bomb and a Knife. I added his shoulder straps, pistol in shoulder holster and his communicator on his left chest.
Finally, is Patricia MacDonald, a Citi-Def Med-tech, who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle, Electra Zap Gun Pistol and a Knife. I converted her by switching her sex from male to female. I remodelled the chest armour by adding larger breasts and shoulder straps. I also gave her a ponytail and a knife in a scabbard on her right boot.
Although I have yet to work out their JDMG stats I know they will all be Hero characters, most of whom will be Level:1 to reflect their elite status. Brett Andrews, the officer, will be a much higher Level, possibly 4 or 5. These guys are nothing like a normal Citi-Def squad. They are well trained professionals with good combat experience and training. If they go up against the Justice Department they will be tough opposition.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Vampifan's Views 91 - 1,000,000 Page Views & Prize Giveaway

My blog has just reached a major milestone. One million page views. Yes, one million page views. Okay. I know a lot of them will have come from me (I check my blog at least five times per day) and of course, the dreaded spammers. But for those of you genuine followers I would say a massive THANK YOU!
Since starting my blog way back in March 2009, I never expected it to be quite so popular. It has been an absolute labour of love for me. Even if it wasn't quite so popular, I'd still post it twice per week. It lets me showcase my vast collection of 28mm scale miniatures, which is a good record for myself to remind me of what I have. Plus, it's a great platform for me to record my batreps, which I so enjoy doing. I am at heart a gamer and the reason I collect miniature figures is to game with them. I am not a competition painter... never have been and never will be. My painting is of a good standard but not great. I have certainly developed as a painter this century as I try out new techniques like dry-brushing, ink washes, highlighting and shading. When I look at my old figures from the 1970's and 1980's I think, "oh my God, did I really paint that?" But I have developed a lot and I'm very comfortable with my painting style nowadays, even though it is more time-consuming.
Thanks to my blog I have made some amazing friends from all around the globe, which is what the Internet should be about. Without your continued support this blog would never have achieved the respect and reputation it has. What I do may not be everyone's cup of tea, and I'm fine with that, but for those of you who do get it, my heartfelt thanks.
Incidentally, this is my 799th post, so maybe I should have a double celebration for 800 posts and 1,000,000+ page views. How about a celebratory competition? Yep, I thought that would attract your attention! I'm feeling flush, so I'm going offer three cash prizes in the form of gift vouchers that can be redeemed at online stores. First prize will be for a £50.00 gift voucher and the two runners up prizes will be for £25.00 gift vouchers. You get to chose which store you'd like your gift voucher for. Doing a quick cursory glance, I noticed that Amazon, Games Workshop, Mantic Games, Warlord Games and Wayland Games all offer gift vouchers that can be redeemed at their online stores. There are probably others but I'll leave them for you to decide on if you are one of the lucky winners. To enter the competition all you have to do is leave me a comment saying why you like this blog. Simple, huh? I'll get my mum to draw three names out of a hat (my baseball cap) sometime next month. I'll then announce the winners on my blog and they can tell me what store they'd like their gift voucher for.
Once again, many thanks to every one of you who have viewed my blog.

Bryan aka Vampifan.

Late news extra. 
Dave Stone from Wargames Terrain Workshop has a further gift to offer for the lucky prize winners. He'll add a resin cast miniature of Tweak and/or Ape Judge Heston to the prizes. Note that these rare figures are not available from his webstore.
Tweak the good alien from the Judge Dredd Cursed Earth Saga.

Ape Judge Heston. Both figures painted and sculpted by Dave Stone.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rum and Bones Wellsport Brotherhood Heroes

Last time I reviewed the Bone Devils undead faction of the Rum and Bones boardgame with miniatures. This time I'm highlighting the British pirate faction known as the Wellsport Brotherhood. Note that not all of the crew are British, but most are. Captain Pale and his Wellsport Brotherhood have sacked ports and ships from the Spanish Main to the far Mediterranean to the East Indies.They appear in an area, linger for a year, then vanish out into the blue. No one quite knows where "Wellsport" is, and none of the crews are talking. Theory has it that Wellsport captains can conjure their ship far across the waves to a magical island of piratical delights; ale, women (and men), song, and feasting... but it only works if you've got the coin. Either that or "Wellsport" is whatever local destination they've chosen as their home base. The magic one has a much better ring to it, eh?
The five Heroes shown directly above and below are part of the original boxed game. At the far left is Captain Daniel Pale the Bastard of Wellsport. He commands the Brotherhood with an iron fist and a velvet glove. He's tolerant of their excesses at port and utterly ruthless in his discipline at sea.
To his left is Brute "Stumper" Pete the Chief Wellsport Bosun. He earned his nickname "Stumper" in the Royal Navy after he lost his leg battling the Wellsport Brotherhood. He didn't take well to the constant jokes about his peg leg, so he deserted and sought down Captain Pale, who readily accepted him as a loyal crew member.
In the centre of the group is Gunner Blackout Bart the Drunken Marksman. He is another RN washout. Captain Pale recruited him when he witnessed Bart was just as accurate with his pistols and cannon when drunk as he was when sober. Alcohol has no affect on his aim!
Next in line is Quartermaster Margaret "Miss Mags" Hale the Wellsport Paymaster. She grew up as a seafarer and when she managed to find the semi-mythical island of Wellsport, Captain Pale recruited her on the spot. The two have an obvious affection for one another and as such she has become the de facto First Mate (and any new crewman making the obvious pun only does so once!).
Finally, is Swashbuckler "Mad Ivan" the Dervish of Wellsport. A former officer in the Bey of Algiers navy, Danar ibn Mohammed was forced to flee his post when the Captain-Bey was deposed in a bloody uprising. He soon found employment with Captain Pale and his crew. His nickname resulted from an encounter with Blackout Bart who, whilst drunk, slurred the name "ibn" into "Ivan" and the name stuck.
These five Heroes were all included as stretch goals during the initial Rum and Bones Kickstarter project. I start with Captain Anne Bonny the Ruthless Commander. By joining the Wellsport Brotherhood she was able to fulfil her lifelong dream - being able to command a ship of her own.
Next to her is Brute Baston the "Not So Noble". Twin brother to the French pirate Gaston Duchampe, Baston and his brother cut a dashing pair through the ranks at Parisian court. Where Gaston was lucky in love, Baston was lucky in cards (he was a brilliant cheat). Both brothers were forced to flee Paris by angry men for pursuing their wives and purses. Baston now travels with the Wellsport Brotherhood where his shocking talents with swords and cards earn him praise and renown.
In the centre of the group is Gunner Grace O'Malley the Sea Queen of Connaught. As a leading figure in the Irish resistance to English conquest in the late 1500's, it could be argued that she commanded the whole Irish naval forces at one time. Her skill with paired pistols is the wonder of Wellsport.
Second from the right is Quartermaster Theo the Terror of Nova. Theodore MacAdler was the bastard son of a long-dead captain's widow. He was press-ganged into the HMS Nova at age 17. He eventually jumped ship and found his freedom with the Wellsport Brotherhood.
Last in line is Swashbuckler Slevin the Lucky. Quick with a smile smile or joke, "Lucky" Slevin is renowned for his sunny disposition and brilliant swordsmanship. He's a welcome addition to the Wellsport Brotherhood and a boon to any ship as his luck seems to rub off on anyone he spends time around.
I like this faction very much. I think the three female pirates are just terrific. I love the idea of running an all-female pirate crew. The Wellsport Brotherhood are well matched against the Bone Devils. In the four games that I have played with these two factions, both sides have won twice and lost twice. I have yet to try them out using the new rules from Second Tide. So a rematch is definitely on the cards. I do plan on showcasing the game with a batrep in the near future, so most likely I'll use these two factions for it.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rum and Bones - Bone Devils Heroes

Last month I finally got round to painting the first of my Rum and Bones 35mm scale figures. I chose the two sets of Heroes from the original boxed game - The Bone Devils and the Wellsport Brotherhood. I'm highlighting the Bone Devils in this post and I'll showcase the Wellsport Brotherhood next post. The Bone Devils are the undead faction and are, without doubt, my favourite faction.
The Bone Devils are an accursed lot. In life they committed crimes so horrible that even Davy Jones wouldn't have them in the Locker. But rather than bemoan their fate, Captain Albrecht and his fellow undead pirate lords are doing one better: now that Jones has gone down to meet Old Scratch, they're gonna take his treasure, claim his power, and expel everyone from the Locker! Death among sailors will be a thing of the past, and they'll be forever free to comb the waves in search of plunder!
From left to right are the Bone Devils "A Team" starting with Captain Albrecht the Thrice Damned. It is said that even the Devil wouldn't cross him. Next up is Brute Little Tom the Undead Juggernaut. Note that Little Tom is the midget in the stomach cavity of the giant skeleton he controls. Little Tom has no legs! In the centre is Gunner Ghost-eye Gunther the Witchlock Duellist. He was a German pirate who was killed by a lightning strike before he was raised by Captain Albrecht. Next in line is Quartermaster Patchwork Porter the Soul of the Ship. He is a sea creature who regularly misplaces stuff. Finally, is Swashbuckler The Spectre aka the Avatar of the Reaper. He is bound to Captain Albrecht by an unholy pact of revenge against Davy Jones for slights both real and imagined.
These next five Heroes were all stretch goals offered in the initial Rum and Bones Kickstarter project. At the far left is Captain Dracula the Prince of Darkness. A long-time associate of Captain Albrecht's, he was intrigued to learn of the troubles in the Locker and the appearance of Davy Jones's treasure in the living world. Since then he has taken up service with the Bone Devils and often commands his own ship and crew. To his right is Brute Eric the Dead, a Cursed Norseman. One of the most famous Viking sailors from out of time, Eric the Dead (as he is now called) is one of the most feared Bone Devils afloat.
In the centre of this group is Gunner Mr. Smith the Dark Manipulator. He's no captain but rumour has it that his crimes rival those of Captain Albrecht himself. The two of them have a chilly accord built around them, which makes the crew wonder just how they knew each other. Mr. Smith's distinctly German accent is a near match for Captain Albrecht's, which stokes speculation. Next in line is Quartermaster Daedalus the Soul Herald. He was once a disciple of the Ferryman himself, and would light the way to the river Styx for souls lost in Limbo. But the Ferryman is a stingy boss, and Captain Albrecht offers far better pay. Lastly, is Swashbuckler Renfield the Blood-crazed. A long-time disciple of captain Dracula's, Renfield is incurably insane. Most recently, he has decided he is also a vampire.
I absolutely love these figures and this game. For a very long time I have had a hankering for playing a pirate skirmish game. There are numerous rules sets to choose from but none appealed to me as much as Rum and Bones did. It ticked all the boxes I was looking for and it is now one of my top ten favourite games. These figures are a lot taller than most pirate miniatures available on the market but I don't mind that at all. I will only be using these figures in Rum and Bones, so won't be mixing any of them with my other figure ranges. They are exquisitely sculpted, with a certain cartoon-like quality to them, which I find so endearing. They were an absolute joy to paint. Note that I painted their bases to match the planking of their ship. I deliberately left the sides of the bases unpainted so that I could readily match their plastic colouring with their respective crew position - white for Captains, green for Brutes, purple for Gunners, orange for Quartermasters and yellow for Swashbucklers.