Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Vampifans Views 105 - Back to Blogging

Hi, folks. First of all, an apology for my lack of posts this past week or so. I have had some serious problems with my computer and it had to be taken away to get repaired. This is the second time in the past seven months I have had computer problems. I am thinking it might be time to get a new computer sooner rather than later.
Anyway, I should get back to blogging again very soon as I have a load of new material to show you. Also, I will be spending most of this afternoon checking out the blogs I follow and commenting on them as normal. Ten days without my computer felt like an eternity. On the plus side, I got a lot of painting and modelling done, so it wasn't all bad news. You'll be seeing the fruits of my labour on my blog.
For those of you who e-mailed me to enquire about my absence and my health, many thanks. I really appreciated it. Let me reassure you all that my health is fine. Alas, the same could not be said about my computer.
Kindest regards from Bryan aka Vampifan.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Shadows of Brimstone Heroes 04

Still sticking with Shadows of Brimstone, here are four more Heroes to use in the game - the Frontier Doc and the Jargano Native, both with male and female versions. I recently bought these four figures from a seller on eBay for a very reasonable price. He had glued them, painted them and stuck then on two pence pieces. I don't know what he glued them with (probably polystyrene cement) but they just came apart in my hands. Also, the paintwork was sloppy and amateurish. The basing was unusual but I went along with them, although I did add my own sand and gravel to the bases. I used superglue to stick the figures back together, which is recommended for resin figures and gave them brand new paint jobs. I am very happy with how they turned out.
If there's one thing that the Old West frontier is known for, it's being deadly! Whether it comes from the barrel of a gun, the bite of a venomous snake or being crushed by the constricting grip of a slimy tentacle, death lurks around every corner. That's why frontier docs are so commonplace throughout the West. They may not be the toughest or the fastest, but the doctor is vital for patching you up and keeping the Hero posse going one bandage at a time. These are resin castings, each coming in two pieces, with the arm holding the collection jars being separate. The collection jar is a special piece of Starting Gear that helps define the character. These are superb sculpts and will no doubt, see use in other Wild West games. The standard of sculpting with the new resin figures for Shadows of Brimstone is very high. Height-wise, they are very compatible with the Tombstone figures from Black Scorpion or the Knuckleduster 32mm scale range of Wild West figures.
Legend has it that the ancestors of the tribal native humans of Jargano were originally from Earth, finding their way through an ancient portal and becoming trapped on the other side. Struggling to survive for millennia against aggressive tribes of Serpentmen and all manner of vicious and primal creatures of the swamp, these native hunters of Jargano have become renowned for being perhaps the deadliest and fiercest warriors of any world. The Jargano native is a savage and primitive hunter from the murky swamp world of Jargano. Still bearing his or her tribal weapons and gladiatorial skills, learned in the savage, pre-historic lands of his home, the Jargano native is an expert tracker, hunter and hand-to-hand fighter. Though they do not understand written language or technology, their keen senses and combat reflexes make them a fierce addition to any posse. These resin cast figures came in three parts with both arms being separate pieces. The person who sold them to me had added a bow and quiver of arrows to the back of the male warrior. I thought that this was an excellent idea, as they are skilled in archery. Note that their daggers have been painted to represent flint and not metal. I have painted them with bronzed skin, so they could double as native Americans in a standard Wild West game. Another option is to use them in a pre-historic setting, where they'd fit in perfectly.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Shadows of Brimstone - Old West Allies 01

As I mentioned in my last Monthly Musings post I have been doing a lot of work on my Wild/Weird West project, including painting lots more figures. The eight figures I'm showing here are classed as Old West Allies, and whilst they were produced by Flying Frog Productions for their Shadows of Brimstone game they are generic enough to be used in any Wild West game.
When Dark Stone was first discovered in the area around Brimstone, outsiders flooded in, looking to get rich. Now, they come looking to make a name for themselves (and maybe get rich along the way too). Though many of those that arrive are true Heroes in their own right, most are common folk with dollars in their eyes, blinding them to the horrors that await. Hiring themselves out as henchmen, they join up with posses heading into the dark mines. The flood of fortune seekers and merchants have also brought with them supplies and pack mules to carry the load, blacksmiths to support the effort and forge the "black rock", and faithful dog companions to help in hunting through the dark places of the world.
At the far left is, of course, a blacksmith. With the discovery of Dark Stone and the rush to get rich, blacksmiths have become a good ally to have at your side. Between shoeing horses, forging the black rock and maintaining weaponry, there is more call than ever for a good blacksmith than ever before. A rugged and sturdy fighter, a blacksmith can hold his own in a fight, but can also work with Dark Stone in the field to enhance the rest of the posse's attacks. This is a one-piece casting made of plastic and he is my first Old West blacksmith figure. I recently bought the Sarissa MDF blacksmith's building, which I have yet to make, so he'll be right at home in there.
The next three figures are assorted henchmen. Mercenaries and hired hands, henchmen are the easiest ally to find. Everyone and their brother it seems (often literally), has come to find their fortune in the battered lands around Brimstone. But most do not realise the terrors that dwell down in the mines, and the probable gruesome fate that awaits them. These plastic figures came in three parts - one single common body and legs, a choice of two right hands (one holding a pick, the other a pistol) and a choice of three heads. I used all three heads and both hands, but rather than duplicate the the weapons, I cut the third henchman's arm off at the elbow and remodelled it with Milliput so that his hand is resting against his pouch.
Dogs are a common sight on the frontier, helping to guide cattle, protect territory, or just roaming the streets of every settlement as strays. There is no ally more loyal than the faithful dog, sniffing out valuable treasures, running ahead to scout the area for threats, or holding off hordes of creatures with their fearsome bark. This was also a one-piece plastic casting and is such a versatile figure that he could be used in so many games and genres.
Pack mules are the work horses of the Old West. Loaded down with all manner of tools, gear, supplies and loot, a pack mule can be indispensable for hauling around the extra equipment and treasures collected throughout an Adventure. Though slow and non-aggressive, a pack mule can be easily spooked, kicking wildly as it finds its way out of danger. This plastic figure came in four parts - right and left body and right and left equipment packs. It is the only pack mule I have and oddly enough, it is my favourite figure out of this set. The dog comes a close second. These are the six figures that you get in the Old West Allies boxed set.
Included in the boxed set are cards for Ally Specialities, giving them different abilities or gear and modifying their cost to hire. In addition, there are different types of henchmen you can hire. Figures for some of them are available from the Flying Frog webstore, which is where I got mine. The Mexican bandido is known only as Loco, although I gave him the surname of Lopez, as it is nicely alliterative. He is basically a lesser version of the Bandido Hero with his pistol and dynamite. He is a two piece resin casting, with his sombrero a separate piece.
Another specialist ally currently available is the mutant blacksmith. His lower face and the right side of his torso are covered in tentacles. He would most likely be found in one of the mutant towns that are cropping up around Brimstone. He is a one piece casting made of resin.
These are extremely useful figures and I am very pleased that Flying Frog are producing these generic Old West figures. Not only are they are a useful addition to Shadows of Brimstone, but they will certainly see use in my more normal Six Gun Sound campaign. I just need to give them names.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Vampifans Views 104 - Monthly Musings 75

Doesn't time pass quickly when you're enjoying yourself? It hardly seems a month has passed by since my last Monthly Musings. As always, I start with a picture of Vampirella. This is the second of my pieces of artwork by Spanish artist, Manuel Sanjulian, whose paintings graced many a cover of the original Vampirella monthly magazines in the 1970's. I wonder if one of the two panthers behind Vampi aren't her friend and ally, Pantha, in her animal form?

As is usual these days, this has been another very busy month for me, hobby-wise. My enthusiasm for the new Necromunda sci-fi skirmish game is still very high. I recently finished painting the four new Forge World Bounty Hunters and Hive Scum, so I'll be showcasing them soon. I've ordered second boxed sets of the Escher and Goliath gangs as well as two sets of Orlock gangers. I want to expand the size of my gangs. These new plastic figures offer so much customisation. For the Eschers in particular, I wanted to make some more gangers to use the two weapons included in the boxed set that weren't used by the 10 figures I did make.
Forge World Escher Weapons set 2
Just as I was thinking about what to do with the other 8 gangers Forge World announced the release of not one but three blister packs of Escher weapons to arm your gangers with. Talk about overkill! There did seem to be a fair bit of duplication amongst the three sets so I only ordered one of them - set 2 if you're wondering which one (see picture to the right). I liked that set best of all because it offered alternative heads as well as weapons.
I still have lots more of my old Necromunda metal figures to show you and I will get round to it sooner rather than later. A couple of days ago I received my pack of 200 rare earth magnets from China, and so I will be able to magnetise my scratch-built Underhive scenery and get them all painted. I must admit, I'm not looking forward to painting 60 pieces of scenery, but it has to be done. I'm currently painting the barricades and doors that came with the new starter set box.

For my WOIN blog and The Ace of Spades Campaign, I have been digging out some of my old sci-fi figures and rebasing them on MDF bases. I can't wait to show them on my blog but at the same time, I don't want to interrupt what is going on in the Alien Base scenario for my The Ace of Spades Campaign. Playing and writing up this campaign is so much fun. If you are following this scenario, you can see the level of tension mounting as the crew delve deeper into the apparently abandoned alien base. There is a very palatable sense of growing dread.

However, what has been taking up most of my time this past month has been my Wild West project. I have made four new buildings, all made of MDF - a sheriff's office and jail, a land office, an undertaker's and a small double storey building under construction. My town is growing. The sheriff's office and jail were produced by TT Combat and the other three by 4Ground. I am also busy making lots of card furniture items for the interiors of my Wild West buildings. I am getting very close to posting my first Wild West batrep. I have also been painting lots more Wild and Weird West figures, which I plan on showing you very soon. I can tell you that my first batrep will feature the Two Hour Wargames rules, Six Gun Sound. There were two versions of this set of rules. The original set, subtitled Blaze of Glory, were highly detailed, which I certainly approved of. The more recent version was much more streamlined and was designed for fast play. What I have done is to take elements from both sets to come up with my own set of hybrid rules. I also designed my own character record sheets, similar to the ones I designed for All Things Zombie. So far, I have created stats for 48 Grunts and Stars, more than enough to get me started. Six Gun Sound will only feature traditional Wild West scenarios. The Weird West stuff will be covered by either Dracula's America, High Moon or Shadows of Brimstone. I like all three sets of rules. This project has been a long time coming and now, at last, it should come to fruition.

With today being Good Friday I wish you all a very happy Easter. 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Necromunda: Redemption Gangers 01

I'm still sticking with Necromunda for the time being and in this post I want to showcase my original Redemptionist gang who were known as the Triple K Gang. They finished eighth out of twelve when I ran my first campaign. Sadly, I can't put names to any of these figures as the player who ran them kept his gang roster sheet and I didn't get a copy.
At the far left is a Redemptor Priest, the leader of a Redemptionist gang. This particular Priest is armed with a Melta-Gun, an Autopistol and a Sword.
At the far left is another Redemptor Priest. He is armed with a Hand Flamer and a Sword. For the Redemptionists, the whole of creation is riven with vile corruption that can only be cleansed through blood, faith and fire.
In the centre of this group is a special character known only as the Arch Zealot. He is one of the most famous and feared of all Redemptor Priests in the Underhive. He is a mystic and a prophet of the Redemptionist cause, leading a solitary existence in the Underhive. He wanders constantly from place to place, preaching to Redemptionists and whipping them into a state of intolerant fury which almost invariably ends at the very least in a lynching, and more often than not in wholesale slaughter and genocide. His views are considered to be rather - erm - extreme, even by his fellow priests and some would say that he should be banished from the Redemption cause altogether. The Arch Zealot denounces all who voice such opinions as weak-willed traitors, and such is his following amongst the common mass of Redemptionists that those who argue against him either quickly recant or are lynched by an angry mob whipped up into a frenzy of blood lust by one of the Arch Zealot's rabble-rousing speeches. He is armed with a Flamer, a Stub Gun Pistol and a Sword.
The Redemptionist gang does not have any heavies. What they have instead are Zealots and Deacons. At the far left are two Zealots. Zealots are crazed individuals touched by the Emperor's fury. They are so filled with bile and anger that they are in an almost permanent state of rage. The most common Zealot weapon is the Eviscerator, a giant double-handed Chainsaw fitted with an Exterminator flame cartridge to slice and burn the unbelievers into charred lumps (for their own good, of course). The Zealot at the far left is armed with such a weapon.
His colleague is carrying a Massive Axe instead. Both of them are also armed with Stub Gun Pistols.
The Deacons attend to the secular affairs of a Crusade, silencing dissenters, controlling the crowds while the Priest preaches, protecting his person from defilers and so forth. Deacons are confirmed Brethren who are fanatically loyal to the Redemption and completely trustworthy in the Priesthood's eyes. Their faith is rewarded with a position of responsibility and the best weaponry. The Deacon second from the right is armed with a Grenade Launcher and an Autopistol.
The Deacon at the far right is armed with a Flamer and a Stub Gun Pistol.
The standard gangers of the Redemption are known as Brothers and the juves as Novices. Collectively, they are the Brethren, the great mass of supporters from the Underhive who have dedicated themselves to the path of righteousness.
At the far left is a novice armed with a pair of Autopistols and a Sword.
Next to him is a brother armed with a Shotgun modified with an under-slung Exterminator (a one-shot Flamer), a Stub Gun Pistol, Frag Grenades and a Flail.
The brother in the centre of this group is armed with a Hand Flamer and a Knife. This figure was a Cultist I converted from the Citadel Chainsaw Warrior range.
The brother second from the right is also a conversion. He is based on the brother at the far left in the two photos below. I swapped his Autogun Rifle for a Frag Grenade. He is also armed with an Autopistol and a Knife.
At the far left is a novice armed with an Autopistol, a Stub Gun Pistol and a Knife.
At the far left is a brother armed with an Autogun Rifle with Exterminator, and a Knife.
The next two brothers in line are each armed with a Shotgun, a Bolt Gun Pistol and a Knife.
Second from the right, this brother is armed with an Autogun Rifle with under-slung Exterminator, an Autopistol and a Knife.
Finally, at the far right is a brother armed with a Hand Flamer, an autopistol and a Knife.
The Redemptionists are one of the Outlander gangs and as such, are considered as Outlaws. The Redemption is a powerful force amongst the Houses that control Necromunda, with active or covert followers in all of them. House Cawdor has dedicated itself to the Redemptionist cause entirely and is effectively controlled by the Redemption. There the path of righteousness is at its purest with regular public witch hunts and mass burnings of heretics and mutants. The Brethren of Cawdor are so pure that they view even Redemptionists from other Houses as little better than sinners.
The Redemptionists are an interesting gang and I have mixed feelings about them. I like them better than the Cawdors but I dislike all religious fanatics. They are a gang I'd enjoy playing against but they're not a gang I'd want to play myself.