Thursday, 17 August 2017

Massive Darkness - What I Got

I mentioned in my last post about my "Happy Thursday" where I received a load of parcels on that joyous day. I showed my Dracula's America Kickstarter package that I got last time. Now, it is time to show you what I got in the biggest parcel of all - my Massive Darkness Kickstarter package, which contains one of everything.
Massive Darkness is a dungeon crawl boardgame with 30mm scale miniatures created by Cool Mini Or Not that can be played with 1 to 6 players. No dungeon master is required as the enemy forces are controlled by an artificial intelligence in a similar manner to the zombie hordes in Zombicide. In this post I'll just show you all that I received for my Kickstarter pledge. I'll review the game itself in a later post. The picture above shows everything that came in a huge brown box. That is quite a hefty amount!
At the back here is the basic game box (it's big, heavy and packed to the gills) and the Lightbringer supplement, which adds crystal caverns and lava flows to the dungeon, plus loads more monsters. The other six boxes were optional buys containing more monsters and heroes. In the middle row from left to right are the Elementals set (contains 4 large elementals - air, earth, fire and water), the Ratlings set (contains 22 assorted Ratlings) and the Troglodytes set (contains 21 assorted Troglodytes and a large Minotaur). In the front row from left to right are the Reptisaurians set (contains 22 assorted Reptisaurians), the Bloodmoon Assassins vs the Hellephant set (contains 3 heroes and a large Hellephant monster) and the Warrior Priests vs the Spearmaiden Cyclops (contains 3 heroes and a huge Cyclops monster).
Two slightly smaller boxed sets feature the Noble Warriors vs the Cockatrice (contains 3 more heroes and a Cockatrice monster) and the Sorcerers vs Lord Tusk set (contains another 3 heroes and an Ogre Lord monster). To the left are three packs of crossover cards for using Zombicide: Black Plague heroes and zombies in Massive Darkness and for using the Massive Darkness heroes in Zombicide: Black Plague. I really love this so much. Kudos to Cool Mini Or Not for offering these cards! Finally are two boxed sets containing 3D plastic chests and pillars and doors and bridges to replace their card counters.
Here's a peak inside the basic game box. As with Zombicide: Black Plague, the heroes have a plastic dashboard to record their equipment, wounds and experience points on. I really like these a lot. The heroes are made of brown plastic and the monsters on grey plastic. The attention to detail of the sculpts is truly amazing and elevates the figures to miniature works of art. Beneath the big tray of monsters in the box are the tiles, dice, counters and cards.
Finally, here's a look inside the Lightbringer supplement, which contains three new heroes, a load more monsters, the crystal and lava tiles and a book of six new quests that makes use of the new tiles.
My mountain of unpainted figures goes up by another couple of hundred (sigh!) but do you know what? I don't care. I'm very happy with this purchase and the crossover potential with Zombicide: Black Plague was the icing on the cake and for me, made this a must have item. Plus, having read the rulebook, I can see that this is a great game in its own right. I very much look forward to playing it.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Dracula's America: Shadows of the West

Have you ever had one of those days when everything went right for you? They are rare but when they do happen it is such a wonderful feeling. Last Thursday was such a day for me. I received so many parcels that morning you'd think it was Christmas and my birthday rolled into one. From Amazon, I receive two plastic storage boxes that I keep figures and boardgame counters in. I received 12 miniature merchant starships from Brigade Models as well as five 28mm scale sci-fi figures from Space Vixens from Mars, and two big Kickstarter parcels. The first was everything produced for Dracula's America and the second, which came in a huge box, was everything that was produced for Massive Darkness, the new dungeon crawl game from Cool Mini Or Not. To top it all I had two hospital appointments that afternoon for check ups and both went amazingly well with the two consultants being delighted at my progress since my major operation in 2013. It was just a great day. Anyway, in this post I want to take a closer look at Dracula's America.
To give it its full name, Dracula's America: Shadows of the West is a skirmish wargame set in an alternate world Wild West where Count Dracula kills Abraham Lincoln in 1869 and becomes President for Life of the United States of America. Naturally, this intrigued me greatly and I quickly supported the North Star Nickstarter for this project by ordering one of everything that was on offer - rulebook, figures and dice.
I was very impressed by the quality of the products when I received them. the rulebook (shown to the left) is hard-backed, in full colour and runs to 140 pages. It is very easy to read and the rules are simple and easy to learn. The basic rule is if you roll a 5+ you have scored a success. On a roll of 1-4 you have failed. Characters come in three classes - novices, who roll d6s, veterans who roll d8s and heroes who roll d10s, so you can see, the more experienced your character is, the greater the chance he has of scoring a success. Some tests require one die being rolled, whilst others require three dice being rolled. Modifiers add or subtract the number of dice you roll but you can never roll less than one die. The more successes you roll, the greater the degree of your success is. That is the basic rules in a nutshell. Very simple.
The rulebook is split into three sections. Part 1 is The Rules, which cover the core rules, advanced rules, building your posse and 7 simple scenarios. Part 2 is Campaigns, which goes beyond one-off games into linked games that form a campaign. Part 3 is Dracula's America, which introduces the supernatural elements to the game. In here you will also find details of the six main factions of the game. The Twilight Order are the forces of good and light who have access to blessed weapons and ammo. The Red Hand Coven are the thralls of Dracula and his Shadow Union. The Skin Walker Tribes are native Americans who become shape-shifting guardians of nature. The Crossroads Cult are demon worshippers. The Congregation are sworn to stop the Dark Confederacy and to protect the remnants of the Free South with the power of Voodoo. The Dark Confederacy are made up of necromancers who raise the dead so that the Southern states may rise again in power.
I should point out that it is entirely possible to play this game as a straightforward Wild West skirmish game without using any of the supernatural elements... but where's the fun in that? This game is called Dracula's America and that is the setting I want to play in. I can't wait to get started. I can see crossover potential with THW's High Moon rules and maybe with Shadows of Brimstone, but that would require more work.
Here's a photo showing all that I received in my parcel. The rulebook, six of each type of dice used in the game and 42 beautifully sculpted 28mm scale figures. By ordering one of everything I earned a nice discount on the recommended retail price.
Here's a closer look at the figures. I based them all on the green plastic bases that came with them. Some of them, which I've glued to MDF bases, should have been glued to 40mm diameter plastic bases, but I thought they were far too big for the figures so I glued them on smaller sized bases. Only the summoned Temple Snake has been glued to a 40mm diameter base (see far left of the back row).
In the back row are the summoned creatures. In the fourth row from the front are The Congregation. In front of them in the middle are the Dark Confederacy. In the second row are from left to right, two Crossroads cult members, four Red Hand Coven vampires and two free exclusive figures I got for backing the Nickstarter, a Chupacabra and a Jackalope. In the front row are the forces of good - the Twilight Order and a single Skin Walker at the far right.
If you'd like a closer look at the figures, I've included this photo taken from the Nickstarter campaign which shows all of the figures except the Chupacabra and the Jackalope. The painted figures were painted by the highly talented Kevin Dallimore, a man whose work I greatly admire.
I'm a big fan of the Weird Wild West genre and I'm building up quite a collection of figures for this genre. I'm also slowly building up my collection of Wild West buildings and scenery. I think you can expect to see a lot of Weird West posts on this blog in 2018, by which time I should have enough painted figures and buildings to do it justice. I have to say that I am very impressed with the Dracula's America rulebook and setting. I see no reason to convert it to one of my other systems but to play it as written. But what has really impressed me is the quality and sculpting of the figures. Indeed, some of them are so good, they have jumped to the front of my painting queue. My favourite figure out of this range may well surprise you but I shan't say who it is until I have painted him or her. Yes, I am a tease!
The rulebook, dice and figures are all available from North Star. See here - http://www.northstarfigures.com/list.php?man=248&page=1
Highly recommended if you are at all interested in the Weird Wild West.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Warlord Games Manta Prowl Tank

Up until now I haven't looked at the vehicles of Mega City One that I'll be using in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. That changes now as I showcase one of the most awe-inspiring vehicles used by the Justice Department. The Manta Prowl Tank is a vehicle used by the Judges to deal with serious disturbances such as riots. It can also be used in wartime. It has antigravity and a powerful armament. It is not the Justice Department's biggest tank, however, which is the more powerful Heavy Tank, which runs on caterpillar tracks and is reserved for military use, as opposed to normal law enforcement.
This resin cast model was produced by Warlord Games and I was fortunate enough to buy mine just a month before the Judge Dredd range was temporarily suspended. It measures 29cm in length, 24cm in width and is 6cm tall. I don't know what it weighs but it is solid resin and quite heavy. It came in numerous parts which I glued together with two part epoxy resin for a strong bond. It comes with a small flight stand, which I have fitted for these photos but it has not been glued to the tank. It raises the model about 2 cm off the ground. I have placed my 28mm scale Wargames Foundry figure of Judge Scott alongside it in my photos to give you some idea of just how large this model is.
In JDMG, the Manta Prowl tank is classed as a Massive Hover Vehicle, so it is not affected by difficult or impassable terrain. If a Justice Department force wished to use one in a game, it would cost them a whopping 900 Credits, making it the most expensive vehicle in the game.
It has a crew complement of 2 drivers, 4 sensor operators, 5 gunners and can carry 30 passengers, including 4 Lawmaster bikes. Its JDMG stats are Move 12". Agility -2, Ramming Dice 10D, Front Armour +10, Side Armour +8, Rear Armour +7 and it has 30 Hits.
Its weapons are a High Intensity Laser Cannon (scarily powerful!) and two Anti-Personnel Laser Cannons in its turret as well as Stumm Gas Dispensers and Riot Foam Jets. Note, when activated, the Stumm Gas Dispensers and Riot Foam Jets will attack every model (friend or foe) within 6". However, they may not be used if the Manta Prowl Tank moves in the same turn.
The following rule applies to the drivers. If only a single model uses a Move action to drive the Manta Prowl Tank, its Agility becomes -4. Both drivers must use a Move action on the tank to avoid this; with the Manta Prowl Tank being moved on the second driver's action.
The following rules applies to the sensor operators. If the Manta Prowl Tank does not have any sensor operator crew positions filled, it may not use any weapons. If one or two sensor operators are present, it suffers a -2 or -1 penalty to all shooting attacks respectively. If four sensor operators are present, it gains a +1 bonus to all shooting attacks. Sensor operators must spend two Special Actions in each phase, or they will not count as being present at their stations.
There is no question at all that the Manta Prowl Tank resin kit is a very impressive model. Despite its very high price tag (I paid £125.00 for it) I have no regrets in buying it. It may not see much use in my campaign but when it does you'll just know that the Judges mean business! However, I do have one major criticism of the model and it is this - this is NOT a 28mm scale model. It is vastly under scale. There is no way you could fit 11 crew members, 30 passengers and 4 Lawmaster bikes inside it unless they were 15mm scale. Now I can understand the problem of scale here. To make this in true 28mm scale would mean doubling it in size, making it roughly two feet square, which is just unfeasible for tabletop skirmish gaming. So I accept the scale reduction on the grounds of playability. It is still a mightily impressive model and is one that I am incredibly proud to own.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Warlord Games Missy, Professor Yana and Chantho

I could have shown the Warlord Games figure of Missy when I reviewed my plastic Cybermen. After all, she was part of the boxed set that featured the Cybermen reinforcements. But I deliberately held back so that I could showcase her alongside Professor Yana and Chantho. These three characters do share a history as I'll explain.
At the left of these two photos are Chantho and Professor Yana. The kindly Professor Yana worked on the Utopia project at the end of the universe with his assistant, Chantho - a Malmooth whose every sentence started with "Chan" and ended with "Tho". However, Yana was actually the renegade Time Lord, the Master - his biology altered by Time Lord technology, the Chameleon Arch. When the Master discovered his true identity he fatally wounded Chantho with a live electric cable. In her final moments, Chantho managed to shoot the Master, triggering his regeneration as he stole away in the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS. The Master was once again unleashed upon time and space.
The Master makes numerous appearances in the Doctor Who TV series but it was in the 2014 episodes,  Dark Water and Death in Heaven that Missy revealed herself to be the latest regeneration of the Master or rather a female version of him, known as Missy, a shortened version of Mistress. This figure very faithfully captures the likeness of Michelle Gomez, who played Missy to such wonderful effect. Yes, I am a big fan of Missy.
Michelle Gomez maintained John Simm's (the previous Master) portrayal of the character, specifically the psychopathic behaviour and inappropriate emotional responses to certain situations, as well as the original traditions of ruthless, murderous behaviour and grandiose, Machiavellian criminal intelligence that have been consistent throughout all incarnations. However, she also displayed a much more coquettish manner, with her new female identity allowing her to fully express aspects of the Master's ambiguous bond with the Doctor (as previously explored by Simm's incarnation in The Sound of Drums). While determined to torment and corrupt the Doctor with moral temptation while inflicting pain and death to humanity, she frequently referred to him as her "boyfriend" or "friend" and appeared to ultimately desire his acquiescence and company. She is also well aware that she is even more dangerously psychopathic than before, describing herself as "Bananas" to UNIT agent Osgood right before killing her (Death in Heaven). However, when circumstances result in Missy being kept in a vault and monitored by the Doctor after an averted execution, Missy actually comes to show signs of remorse for what she had done in the past, to the point that she prepares to side with the Doctor over her own past self (The Doctor Falls).
The Master and the Doctor are shown to have similar levels of intelligence, and were classmates on Gallifrey, where the Master outperformed the Doctor. A similar connection between the two was also referenced in The End of Time in which the Master reminisces with the Tenth Doctor about his father's estates on Gallifrey and his childhood with the Doctor before saying, "look at us now". In the 2007 episode Utopia, the Tenth Doctor calls the transformed and disguised Master (Professor Yana) a genius and shows admiration for his intellect before discovering his true identity. The Tenth Doctor further expresses admiration for the Master's intellect in The End of Time by calling him "stone cold brilliant" and yet states that the Master could be more if he would just give up his desire for domination. The Twelfth Doctor states that Missy is "the one person almost as smart as me" (The Lie of the Land).

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Vampifan's Views 94 - Monthly Musings 67

Once again, it has been another busy month for me, with much accomplished and much to chat about. First up, I present the first of a series of illustrations featuring Vampirella and Batman together. The artist is Bo Hampton and he has depicted Vampirella as she appeared in the 1970's during the Warren Publishing era. Seeing as they both tend to hunt their prey during the night, it might seem an obvious team up but in fact, they have not met before. However, Vampirella did once appear in a crossover comic with Catwoman, so she does have some connection with DC Comics' Gotham City. Somehow, I just can't see Vampi and Batman getting along together very well.

As you will have noted from my recent posts, I have been painting a lot of figures from Warlord Games' Doctor Who: Into the Time Vortex range; in particular, Cybermen and Daleks. There is more Doctor Who goodness still to come real soon. "Cough," Missy, "Cough!" Speaking of Doctor Who, I know that the TV series has a lot of fans from amongst my followers, but no one has said anything about the casting of the new Doctor - Jodie Whittaker. So I'm going to be the first to stick my head above the parapet, so to speak, and offer my opinion.
Personally, I think it is an excellent choice and I am very excited about the new series. I have absolutely no problems with the Doctor regenerating into a woman. After all, a precedent was set when the Master regenerated into Missy, and she was superb. I am also delighted that Jodie was chosen as I have a lot of respect for her and I've enjoyed all of her previous performances that I've seen. I am also glad that the fan speculation that the Thirteenth Doctor might be Kris Marshall or Tilda Swinton was so wide of the mark. Neither of them would have been good choices in my opinion. I am also glad to have seen the last of Bill Potts and Nardole (or Nardull as I often called him), neither of whom I liked. I rated them amongst the worst of the Doctor's companions. I will, however, miss Peter Capaldi, who was, I thought, one of the better Doctors to have appeared in the series. Still, exciting times ahead and I am so very much looking forward to this year's Christmas Day special.

At the start of this month I ran a review of the three Scavengers figures produced by Wargames Terrain Workshop (see here ). I mentioned that I was going to repaint the skin of the very tall female and that I would take another photo, which showed the the three figures alongside a standard 28mm scale figure, so that you could judge just how tall Dave Stone's sculpts are. Here is that photo.
I much prefer the tall female (alien or mutant?) with her blue skin now. My figure of Vampifan (at the far right) by Copplestone Castings is exactly 28mm tall and provides a handy reference point for you to compare sizes with. I did add this photo to the original post but I very much doubt if anyone noticed it.

My big news for this month is that I have started a new blog, called Vampifan's WOIN Blog. Here is the link to it - https://vampifanwoin.blogspot.co.uk/ I won't go into much detail about it here as I'd only be repeating what I've already said in my introductory post. Suffice to say, the blog is dedicated to the What's Old Is New RPG systems by EN Publishing. I have put a lot of work into this new blog and I already have ten posts ready to publish. I'll be alternating my posts between my two blogs, which means that Vampifan's World of the Undead will most likely only be appearing once per week instead of twice. However, I have so much material for both blogs that I may increase my blogging frequency to three times per week. We'll see if I can spare the extra time. I doff my hat to Clint Burnett and Phil Curran, who were eagle-eyed enough to note that I've been advertising my new blog in the sidebar of this blog for over a week now and both are my first two followers.
Here's a teaser photo showing my figures of the crew of The Ace of Spades, who'll be featuring in a truly epic space opera-type campaign I'll be running on the new blog, using the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG rules. Check it out if you're at all interested or feel free to ignore it if it's not your cup of tea.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Warlord Games Cybermen part 02

To accompany the Cybermen from the Exterminate! skirmish game and the Missy and the Cybermen expansion set, Warlord Games released the Nightmares in Silver boxed set, featuring 10 metal Cybermen variants from the Doctor Who TV series from 1966 to 2013. The Cybermen - originally humanoids from Earth's twin planet, Mondas - have been constant adversaries of the Doctor from his first incarnation to the present day. The Mondasians replaced parts of their dying bodies with cybernetic parts and thus were born the first Cybermen. Eventually, they added emotional inhibitor chips to suppress all feelings. Logical and resourceful, no other Doctor Who villain has changed appearance so often as the ever upgrading Cybermen. From their inaugural appearance in 1966 to their current form, they have evolved to reduce their weaknesses and enhance their strengths. The Cybermen are a formidable and persistent foe.
These four Cybermen variants all appeared on Doctor Who during the 1960's. At the far left is what I have termed the Mk.1 Cyberman, and he debuted in a 1966 episode called The Tenth Planet. Although the Doctor defeated them, in doing so he triggered his first regeneration.
A year later, the Cybermen returned to face the Second Doctor and his companions, Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield, in an episode called The Tomb of the Cybermen set on the planet Telos, where an archaeological team uncover the resting place of an army of Cybermen.
In the 1968 episode, The Wheel in Space, the Second Doctor and Jamie battle the Mk.3 Cybermen on a space station shaped like a wheel. The Doctor uses an X-ray laser to destroy the Cybermen's ship.
Later that year, in The Invasion, the Mk.4 Cybermen unleash a hypnotic beam that paralyses most of the Earth's population. The Second Doctor, with help from UNIT, the RAF and the Russians, destroys the Cybermen spaceship, thus preventing their invasion.
In 1975, in Revenge of the Cybermen, the Fourth Doctor and his companions, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan, arrive on Space Station Nerva orbiting Jupiter, where the Mk.5 Cybermen plan to destroy a new planet called Voga, which is nearby. Voga is rich in gold, which is harmful to Cybermen as it damages their breathing apparatus.
After a long absence, the Mk.6 Cybermen appeared in a 1982 episode called Earthshock, to destroy a peace conference on 26th Century Earth. In stopping them, the Fifth Doctor's boy genius companion, Adric, sacrifices himself.
Arriving in England in 1988 in the Silver Nemesis episode, the Seventh Doctor and Ace found the Mk.7 Cybermen, a 17th Century sorceress and the Nazis vying for control of a statue created by Rassilon. The Doctor tricked the Cybermen into thinking they had the artefact, but it was actually a bomb which destroyed their fleet.
Fast forward to 2006, and the Tenth Doctor, Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith are trapped on a parallel Earth in a two part episode, called Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel. A mega-corporation called Cybus Industries, led by megalomaniac John Lumic, plans to convert the population of London into Mk.8 Cybermen with the help of emotional inhibitor sensors.
At the far left is a Mk.2 Cyber Controller, made by Black Tree Designs and gifted to me by Blaxkleric a good while ago. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to showcase him. Being 28mm scale he is clearly smaller than the Warlord Games figures, but that doesn't bother me in the least. Note how his head is very different to the normal Mk. 2 Cyberman. The "helmet" indicates his leadership status.
Next to him is another non-Warlord Games Cyberman. This Cyber Leader is an old plastic 30mm scale figure from the 2007 Doctor Who Micro Universe range of collectable miniatures produced by Character Options. The "C" on his chest identifies him as belonging the Cybus Industries and the black trim on his head indicates he is a Cyber Leader.
Returning back to the Warlord Games Nightmares in Silver set, second from the right is a Mk.9 Cyber Leader from the 2011 episode, Closing Time, in which the Eleventh Doctor and his companion Craig work together to repel another Cybermen invasion of Earth.
Finally, is the Mk.10 Cyber Leader from the appropriately named 2013 episode, Nightmare in Silver.
The Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald discover a whole new Cyber upgrade (a cross between the Cybus Industries Cybermen and the Mondas evolved Cybermen) on a military-controlled extraterrestrial theme park, Hedgewick's World of Wonders. It is this variant of Cybermen that appear in Warlord Games' Exterminate! skirmish game. That is why I have painted this figure as a Cyber Leader as denoted by the black trim on the sides and top of his head. And, no, it does not bother me that he appears to be running. You can see he has clearly been modelled on the Cyberman in this poster for the episode.

These highly detailed metal sculpts are a worthy addition to the plastic Cybermen made by Warlord Games. Whether you prefer old-style Doctor Who to the recent reincarnations, you're sure to find something in this set to suit your tastes. I make no apologies in stating that I much prefer the new series, but each to their own.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Warlord Games Daleks

The Daleks are without doubt, one of the most iconic race of bad guys in the sci-fi universe and one of the most enduring. They first appeared in the Doctor Who TV series in a December 1963 episode called simply, The Daleks. Like the Cybermen, the Daleks have evolved over time and whilst the basic shape and form of a Dalek remains constant there are subtle differences between the many variants. The Daleks shown here, produced by Warlord Games as part of their Exterminate! miniatures skirmish game, are known as the Time War Daleks, who first appeared in the 2005 episode of Doctor Who called Dalek. This is one of my all-time favourite episodes of Doctor Who as it showed the Daleks in a new and terrifying light, making them enemies to be truly afraid of.
Here are the four types of Dalek I have from the Warlord Games range. At the far left is Davros, the supreme leader and creator of the Dalek race. He is the only metal Dalek figure made by Warlord Games at the time of this posting, and he comes in three parts. He is available in the "Davros and the New Dalek Empire" boxed set, which contains him and 12 plastic Daleks.
The Dalek Leader is easily identified as being all black in colour. In the Exterminate! game he is a unique figure. Note that I painted the 52 sensor globes around his lower body and the two waistbands in gloss black paint. He is one of the plastic multi-part models and I gently bent his eyestalk, sucker arm and exterminator weapon to reposition them.
The black headed Dalek is a member of the elite Imperial Guard. Whilst they are also a unique choice in the Exterminate! game, you are allowed to field three of them as a single unit. As you will see below, this is what I have done.
Finally, we come to the standard patrol Dalek and the only limit to how many of them you can field is the points total you have decided on for your force. They are cheap, but very tough and hard to kill. I currently have 20 of them.
For those interested in how I painted them I first primed them with Foundry Black Shade 34A. I then painted the bodies in Citadel Skullcrusher Brass. When dry, I gave them a Citadel Agrax Earthshade ink wash. The 52 sensor globes around the lower body and the two waistbands were painted with Citadel Liberator Gold. The three appendages were painted with Foundry Spearpoint 35C. The two side lights on the head and the middle section of the eye stalk were painted with Foundry Arctic Grey Light 33C (basically, it's white by another name). I used Foundry Black Shade 34A to paint the bulbous end of the eyestalk, the three recessed rings of the head, the plunger end of the right arm, the tip of the exterminator weapon and the lower skirt. I painted the upper half of the skirt with Foundry Stone Shade 57A and finally, I painted the end of the eyestalk with Foundry Vivid Blue Shade 22A. It looks like a lot of work, but really, they were very easy to paint and I was able to plough through them very quickly.
Unlike most of the other figures in the Warlord Games Doctor Who range, the Daleks do not come with separate bases. To be honest, they don't need them but some gamers like to affix them to bases anyway. I haven't, but what I have done is glue a piece of thin card to their undersides, to hide the ugly hole there and to give them a perfectly flat base, which I cut to fit snugly. I painted the card black and as is custom with my figures, I stuck small adhesive stickers to them to identify each one.
Here are all 25 of my Warlord Games Daleks lined up in rank, with Davros and the black Dalek Leader in the front, just ahead of the 3 Imperial Guard Daleks. Behind them is the bulk of my horde, the standard patrol Daleks.
That is quite an impressive sight and a very formidable force. I have to admit to being a huge fan of the Daleks and they are without doubt, my favourite Doctor Who alien race. These figures are just superb, extremely well sculpted and fit together very easily.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Warlord Games Cybermen part 01

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I had bought the Exterminate! skirmish game by Warlord Games along with the "Missy and the Cybermen" and the "Davros and the Daleks" boxed sets to go with it. The Exterminate! games contains 12 plastic 32mm scale Cybermen and 12 plastic 32mm scale Daleks, as multi-part models, that can be snapped together or glued. Mine are all glued. The two expansion sets contain a further 12 Cybermen and Daleks along with their respective leaders, Davros and Missy, who are sculpted in metal. There have been numerous versions of the Cybermen over the years as they have evolved into more efficient machines. These models are the latest version, which first appeared in the 2013 episode of Doctor Who called Nightmares in Silver. The sculpting of them is top notch. I have really taken to the Warlord Games Doctor Who miniatures range and the Exterminate! game is a great little sci-fi skirmish game.
The sprue that the plastic Cybermen comes on contains six Cybermen bodies (two standing still, two advancing with right leg leading and two advancing with left leg leading), six right arms in three different poses, and seven tiny Cybermats (four on bases, three unbased). This gives you a lot of variety in the way you can pose them. On some of mine, I cut off their left arms and repositioned them to add even more variety to my horde.
Painting them was so simple and I was able to paint them all in just over a week. I first covered them with Foundry Gunmetal Light 104C, followed by a Citadel Nuln Oil ink-wash. Then I dry-brushed them with Foundry Gunmetal Light 104C and a second dry-brushing with Foundry Spearpoint 35C for that shiny silvery look. Eyes, mouths and joints were picked out with Foundry Black Shade 34A and the light in the centre of their chests was painted with Foundry Vivid Blue 22B.
Here is my horde of Cybermen and Cybermats. Please note that the Cyber Leader at the centre front is an old plastic 30mm scale figure from the 2007 Doctor Who Micro Universe range of collectable miniatures produced by Character Options. I cut him off his integral base and glued him to a 25mm diameter slottabase. He fits in so well with the Warlord Games figures that I decided to include him as my Cyber Leader.
For those who keep count of such things, there should be four more Cybermats in these two horde photos but I deliberately omitted them, because this formation looks aesthetically pleasing without them to me. If it bothers you, please don't come complaining to me!
I'll be posting my review of Missy in a separate post as well as reviewing the Warlord Games Nightmares in Silver boxed set of 10 versions of Cybermen through the ages. But next time, the spotlight will shine on the Daleks.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

JDMG MC1 Perps - Cyclos Street Gang 02

Having looked at the leaders and heavy weapons team of my Cyclos street gang last time, in this post I'm reviewing the rest of the gang - the grunts. These figures are also part of the Scotia Grendel 28mm scale set of Nexus humans from their Kryomek range.
At the far left is "Fixer" Hicks, a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero. He is well armed with a Hand Cannon Pistol, an Electro Prod and a Knife. His two talents are Accurate and Skilled and Deadly. He costs 90 Credits.
To his left is "Killer" Kane, who is a Level:0 Punk Infantry Minion. He is also armed with a Hand Cannon Pistol and he costs 50 Credits.
In the centre of this group is "Mad Dog" Dallas, a Level:0 Punk Infantry Minion. He is armed with a Spit Pistol. He costs 50 Credits.
Second from the right is "Bitchin" Ripley, who is a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero. She carries a Hand Cannon Pistol and an Electro Prod. Her starting talents are Accurate and Luck of Grud. She costs 85 Credits.
At the far right is "Woolly" Lambert, a Level:0 Punk Infantry Minion. Her only weapon is a Hand Cannon Pistol. She costs 50 Credits.
These final four figures are all cheap Level:0 Punk Infantry Minions. At the far left is "Bad Boy" Brett who is armed with a Handgun Pistol and an Electro Prod. He costs 40 Credits.
Standing next to him is "Jiz" Spunkmeyer, whose only weapon is a Handgun Pistol. He costs 30 Credits.
Next in line is "Fingers" Bishop, whose weapons are a Handgun Pistol and a Club. He costs 35 Credits.
Finally, crouching down, is "Azza" Newt, whose nickname was shortened from "pissed as a newt!" She is armed with a Handgun Pistol and a Knife and she costs 35 Credits.
This is a large gang, made up of 18 figures. They are extremely well armed but their total lack of armour means they'll suffer casualties very quickly. A small force of Judges, like Judge Scott's team, ought to be able to take them out relatively easily but not without picking up a few wounds. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Cyclos gang fares on the tabletop.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

JDMG MC1 Perps - Cyclos Street Gang 01

One thing that Mega City One is not short of is street gangs. Every sector and every citi-block has them. Here, I present another one of my many 28mm scale street gangs. This one is called the Cyclos Gang and all of these figures were produced by Scotia Grendel as part of the Nexus human faction of their Kryomek range of figures. They are still available on their webstore at £6.00 for three to four figures per pack of five packs that make up the set. There are 18 figures in total. This gang originally appeared in my old Gangs of Mega City One campaign, and was run by one of my players, Dave, who was a huge fan of the Alien and Aliens film franchises. It was he who came up with most of the names of the gang, basing them on names of characters from those two films. In this, the first of two posts, I'll review the leaders and the heavy hitters of the gang. The grunts will appear next time.
At the far left is the leader of the gang, "Yappy" Kotto. He is a Level:3 Punk Infantry Hero, armed with a Sawed-Off Stump Gun Rifle and an Electro Prod. In JDMG, if an Electro Prod hits a target, it does no damage but will automatically stun the target for one round. He has four Talents - Accurate, Brave, Luck of Grud and Voice of Command. He costs 140 Credits.
Standing next to "Yappy" is his second in command, "Ape" Apone, who is a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero. He is armed with a Long Rifle, upon which he has written, "Rock and Roll". His three Talents are Accurate, Brave and Crackshot. He costs 115 Credits.
In the centre of this group is "Marlene" Dietrich, a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero. She is also armed with a Long Rifle and she has scrawled "I aims ta please!" on it. Yes, she's a sniper. Unsurprisingly, her two talents are Accurate and Crackshot. She costs 90 Credits.
Second from the right is "Nosey" Parker and at the far right is "Giddy" Giger. Both are Level:1 Punk Infantry Heroes with identical stats. They are each armed with a Sawed-Off Stump Gun Rifle. They have the Accurate and Brave Talents. They cost 80 credits each.
 Next up is the heavy weapons team, who are all armed with Heavy Spit Guns. They are led by "Wetback" Vasquez, a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero. She has the Talents - Guided Shot, Maximum Firepower and On Their Knees. She costs 170 Credits, making her the most expensive member of the gang.
Next in line is "Duck" Drake, a Level:1 Punk infantry Hero. His two talents are Brave and On Their Knees. He costs 145 Credits.
Second from the right is "Screamer" Hudson. He is also a Level:1 Punk infantry Hero and he has the Talents - On Their Knees and Swift and Deadly. He costs 145 Credits.
Finally, there is Jackie Frost, yet another Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero. She starts with the following two Talents - Luck of Grud and On their Knees. 
Note that they all have the On Their Knees Talent. This means that any Infantry model hit by their Heavy Spit Guns, must make a Will check or suffer Knockdown, in addition to any damage they might take.
I've had this gang a very long time now and I think they're a great set of figures. I particularly like the fact that they have an almost even split of males and females in it - 10 males and 8 females. They remind me of a gang of penal troops with explosive collars around their necks and neural cameras fitted to the tops of their heads. However, in my JDMG campaign, they are just another street gang, trying to make it big.

Monday, 10 July 2017

JDMG MC1 Robots 04

The three 28mm scale robots that I'm reviewing this time are all designed for death and destruction.
The two large robots (they stand 45mm tall) to the left are a pair of Assassinator Droids. These appear in the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game rulebook, but as part of the Mobsters gang roster and not the Renegade Robots roster, although they may be recruited by a Renegade Robot force. Also, these are not the official Assassinator Droids for the game. I do have a pair of official figures produced by Warlord Games but I haven't made them yet. These robots were originally produced by Alternative Armies as part of their Ion Age Firefight range of figures. They were SK12 Psychoborg (the one in the centre) and SK15 Psychoborg II (the one at the far left) and they were part of the Shia Khan forces. I have no idea if they are still available or by who if they are. I only know that Alternative Armies no longer sell them.
Highly illegal, Assassinator Droids are used by mobsters in high-end heists or raids against the Justice Department, when even a team of Blitzers will not suffice. Extremely expensive, only the most successful outfits will be able to afford more than one. Normally, Assassinator Droids are fitted with Flight Packs, but these ones aren't. Instead, they have been fitted with much heavier weaponry. The one at the far left is armed with a Missile Launcher, and the other one is armed with three Spit Gun Rifles, which fire simultaneously. The Assassinator Droid's usual weaponry is a Club, a Laser Pistol and a Spit Gun Rifle. A standard Assassinator Droid is a Robot Infantry Minion and costs 195 Credits. I haven't worked out the stats for these two yet but when I do I'll be upgrading them to Infantry Hero status. They will be tough!
The robot at the far right is a non-standard Combat Droid, whose design was clearly influenced by the ED-209 robot from the original Robocop film. He is a multi-part model and unfortunately, I can't remember who produced him. If anyone can recognise who produced this figure, please let me know. He is roughly 35mm tall and he is a very old figure probably from the late 1980's or early 1990's seeing as Robocop was released in 1987. He has two Heavy Spit Guns mounted on both sides of his body in place of his arms, and has a pair of Laser Pistols popping out of his mouth. That's a lot of firepower!
All three figures are superbly well sculpted, very heavily armed and they just look as menacing as hell! They'll prove to be very tough opposition for my team of Judges.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

JDMC MC1 Robots 03

In these past couple of months I have more than doubled the amount of robots I have for my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign, as I have dug deep into my collection of 28mm scale sci-fi figures to increase their numbers. I'll be reviewing them in this and the next post. In this post I'm looking at Servo-droids, Robo-docs and a unique Combat droid.
First up are a pair of very old and long out of production Grenadier Servo-droids. This robot was part of a boxed set of 20 Gamma World figures. I bought two boxed sets, which is how I have ended up with two of them. The robot was a two-piece casting with his two left arms (cast as one piece) being separate from the rest of the figure. As such, I was able to glue them on in different positions to give them some variety in their poses. These servo-droids have four arms, two with normal hands and two with specialist attachments - a hoover nozzle and a large sucker contraption. These are fantastic sculpts from the 1980's and are as good as, if not better, than many contemporary designs.
In the centre of the group is another very old figure, bought in the early 1980's. I have no idea who produced him, other than it was an American company. He has only recently been repainted and rebased. To me, he looks like a typical butler, which would certainly tie in with him being a Servo-droid. He's probably called Jarvis or Jeeves or something similar.
At the far left are two more ancient figures, who were also bought in the very early 1980's. These were made by Irregular Miniatures, who are still going today, but these are no longer in their catalogue, as far as I can tell. They too, have been recently repainted and rebased. I see them as little maid robots, programmed for domestic duties. They are average sculpts but look a lot better with their new paint schemes. Irregular Miniatures are renowned for their inferior sculpts, but their figures are extremely cheap.
Moving on, we have a pair of Robo-docs. These are very similar in design to the Grenadier Servo-droids shown above, which is hardly surprising as they are from the same boxed set of Gamma World figures. These also came with separate left arms. There are a few slight differences with the Servo-droids - back packs and hand attachments, but they are, essentially, the same design. I think these are far better than the official Robo-doc that Warlord Games made for JDMG.
Finally, we have my unique combat droid. He is unique because he was sculpted by me. His name is Chunky, and he is based on a robot character from a Stainless Steel Rat story that appeared in the 2000 AD comic many years ago. The strip was drawn by Carlos Ezquerra and just looking at Chunky, he has the feel of a Carlos creation. In the story, Chunky was bristling with weapons, which were all hidden away behind panels in his body. He was very polite but also had a sarcastic sense of humour. Jimi DiGriz had a tough time defeating him. Chunky clearly made a huge impression on me, because I wanted to make a figure of him as soon as the story ended. In common with the other robots shown here, he was made in the 1980's. I once used Chunky in a GURPS Space Opera campaign as the guardian of a lost Forerunner site and his points total was a staggering 2500 points. He was designed as a party killer... but my PCs defeated him! How they did it is a story for another time.