January 30, 2015

Batman Miniatures Game - First Purchases & Crew Lists

The Purchase

Well this week I took the plunge and ordered some stuff from Knight Models for the Batman Miniatures Game. Let me say first off...OUCH. If you think the prices on the Knight Models store are high while you're browsing, wait until the shopping cart adds the taxes! Ordering enough stuff to get free shipping will cost you at least 150 Euros, but with the exchange rate and tax (21% VAT) the stuff I ordered cost me over $260 Canadian!

That's a lot of money to spend on nine models and a book in my opinion (others of you out there might disagree). I could have ordered fewer items, but then I'd have been hit with shipping charges as well, so the net cost per item would have gone up. With all the cash I've spent on gaming figures in my lifetime, even I feel like it's a ridiculous amount of money for figures I have to build and paint.

I'll definitely be looking for a cheaper source for Knight Models products closer to home if I order anything else. However, here's what should be on it's way to me in a few weeks:

- Arkham City Batman
- Arkham City Robin
- Arkham Origins Bane crew
- Arkham Origins Deathstroke
- Catwoman
- Objective Markers
- Rule book (Joker cover w/ exclusive Red Hood miniature)
- Sewer / Lamp post pack (3 of each)

I think I've got enough stuff to play some various sized games. Also, I've heard that the Red Hood mini comes with the Joker rules card so I can probably use him in place of Bane as a leader, but Bane's thugs might not work for the Joker in the game rules. These nine figures will also let me see a decent array of stuff from the Knight Models line and allow me to decide if I'll buy any more in the future.

For the heroes it's likely that I'll supplement their crews with some repainted Heroclix policemen to represent the GCPD and Commissioner Gordon. I'm sure I can cobble together a group of figures that will be close to 35mm scale, and can use the downloadable character cards from the game's website. That should be enough variation to give the game a really good spin.

The Play

I've had some helpful input over on the BMG English forums about some of the crews I can build with my incoming toys. Trying to keep in mind some limits ($500 per 150 rep, 1 Free Agent per 150 rep) and after a bit of tweaking I've got some good starter lists that I can mess about with as I learn how to play the game.

200 Rep Lists:

- Batman + Robin = 198 Rep
- Batman + Catwoman = 196 Rep
- Bane (Origins), Dallas, Smash, McGregor w/ Night Vision & Ammo Clip = 185 Rep, $1000

250 Rep Lists:

- Batman, Robin, Agent Ron, Bravo = 250 Rep
- Bane (Origins), Catwoman, Dallas, Smash, McGregor w/ Night Vision & Ammo Clip = 251 Rep, $1000

300 Rep Lists:

- Gordon, Alpha, Bravo, Delta = 298 Rep
- Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Tonfa Cop x1, Baton Cop x1 = 294 Rep
- Gordon, Alpha, Bravo, Delta

350 Rep Lists:

This is apparently the 'tournament legal' size for crews in the Batman Miniatures Game. I'm not sure if I can actually make crews that large with what I have (and a few coppers), but here's what I'm thinking...

- Batman, Gordon, Alpha, Bravo, Delta, Agent O'Donnell, Tonfa Policeman w/ 2x Flashlights = 343 Rep, $1500
- Bane (Origins), Deathstroke (Origins), Catwoman, Dallas w/ 2x Ammo Clip & Night Vision = 330 Rep, $1450

January 29, 2015

She Hulk Heroclix Repaint

After doing my Reaper Bones figure up as the Red Hulk, I decided to dig this one out for some custom paint work. The sculpt stuck in my head because it seemed to capture She Hulk's stature and strength, without sacrificing her femininity, or making her too 'cheesecake.' (Sorry the photos on this post are a little blurry.)

The skin on the figure was a really dark green and I wanted something a little more vibrant. So I repainted it using GW Goblin Green with a GW Thraka Green wash over top. It gave a little more depth, but when I tried highlighting with goblin green again it looked crappy. I'm obviously better at sharper edges and armor than soft curves. In the end I put another coat of wash over top of the green. It's decent but I'm not entirely happy with result, as I was hoping for something more along the lines of the green hulk I already have.

For her clothing I covered her shoes and the white areas of her suit with Secret Weapon Grey Wash to add some shadows. Following that I applied GW Bone White as a highlight on the upper areas.

The purple part of her suit was very dark so I added a little depth with some GW Liche Purple. The difference is very subtle, so I'm tempted to go over it with another highlight in a lighter purple to bring it up even more.

The original colour of the hair was almost perfect, so I dry brushed with GW Snot Green followed by the goblin green. Another coat of Thraka wash finished it up for a little more depth and shine.

She doesn't match with my other Hulk due to the darker skin tone, but in general it still turned out pretty well. Total painting time on this one was about an hour.

January 28, 2015

Go With Ah-nuld if You Want to Live

"The Terminator' and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" are some of my favourite movies of all time. I remember staying up late at a friend's house as a kid watching the original on BETA video, with the volume almost completely off, sitting a foot or two away from the small television screen. We weren't supposed to watch it, so we had to keep it really quiet so we wouldn't get in trouble. The eyeball extraction scene stuck in my mind for years, and still gives me chills every time I see it!

Fast forward nearly three decades and there have been more movies, toys and even a new movie on the horizon. There will be a coinciding miniatures game for the new movie, with 28mm figures. Consider me excited for that.

Long ago I painted some Copplestone Castings endoskeleton figures (check those out here) to use as some flesh-less terminator machines. Shortly thereafter I received my Reaper Bones box containing my Vampire pledge of stuff. Inside that box was a figure that you'd have a hard time convincing me wasn't based on Arnold in some fashion.

I chopped him off the integral base and super-glued him down to one of my magnetic 25mm rounds so he'd match my other terminators. This one would be an easy paint job too.

The Bones figures aren't supposed to need priming, but I prime them anyway. This time I used the Vallejo grey acrylic airbrush primer, painted on (I did the same with my Red Hulk). His skin was base coated with GW Elf Flesh and the t-shirt with GW Fortress Grey. The clothes and gloves all got two coats of black. The hair, boot heels, belt and holster were covered with GW Scorched Brown and the bottom of the gun hit with GW Gorthor Brown. Finally the belt buckle, zippers and gun barrel got some GW Boltgun Metal.

The skin and the gun got a wash of GW Sepia for some depth, then it was on to all that leather.

Black isn't a very eye catching colour to look at on a miniature. Ah-nuld is dressed almost 100% in black, so I needed to come up with a way to make him more interesting. I dry brushed him once with P3 Cygnar Blue Base and then again with P3 Coal Black. Following that I hit him with GW Badab Black. The effect is really subtle, but I'm very happy with it.

I toyed with the idea of painting one of his eyes red, but discarded it once I got to this point. The figure looks good, it's recognizable as Arnie, and I'm very happy with it.

January 27, 2015

Reaper Bones - Red Hulk

This figure has been rattling around in the big box of stuff in my Vampire Package that I got from the first Kickstarter campaign for Reaper Bones. I was given a version of this Bones model painted up in green and purple to represent the Hulk by Uncle Mike a while back, and decided I'd use mine to do a Red Hulk. While I don't know anything about Red Hulk or Red She-Hulk other than who their alter egos are, I think it's a cool look.

I painted this figure in less than an hour, including drying time for the washes. Highlighting took another 10 to 15 minutes. Very simple paint recipe:

- P3 Skorne Red for all the skin
- P3 Greatcoat Grey for the shorts
- P3 Menoth White Highlight for teeth and eyes
- Black to simulate some hair
- GW Fortress Gray for the nails

Once the base colours were applied I did some rough dry brushing: P3 Midlund Flesh on the skin and some P3 Trollblood Highlight on the shorts. Following that I splashed on some GW Badab Black wash on the shorts, followed by some GW Baal Red wash on the skin. I made sure to wick away the wash that pooled in the eyes and on the teeth so that I could paint them later.

For highlighting I used a bit of the GW Fortress Grey for the shorts and to add some detail to the hair. Some P3 Midlund Flesh was used to bring up the contrast on the skin and we were done. Finally I put a touch of P3 Yellow Ink into the eyes sockets and I was done. The paint job was effective and quick. I think the figure makes for a great looking Red Hulk.

January 15, 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 28mm

I have to start off by saying that this might be the nerdiest post I've written to date, and that's sayin' something! The amount of fun I've had working on these, and thinking about what kind of games or scenarios I could play with them has been pretty ridiculous. I'll admit that I fully intended to have these completed before end of the year...that obviously didn't happen.

There are a few options out there for figures, but they are either the wrong scale, too damned expensive of just don't capture the feel I was looking for; and then I found this!

The TMNT Foot Clan Street Fight board game was on sale for $12. After I liberated the figures out of the copy I bought, I made some cardboard standees so that I could still play the game with my nephews. It was a big hit during our Christmas holiday too!

Now about those figures...on the down side the plastic is pretty soft. The paint work is passable for a mass produced product, but (accurate to the current cartoon) each of the turtles is a slightly different colour which would make colour matching them quite tough. Their skin, chest shell, pads and wraps were all unique. Chopping them off of their coloured bases and putting them on 30mm rounds proved to be a cinch though and got me excited to get started. I had found my turtles!

The biggest problem was going to be their lack of weapons. The theme of the game is that the turtles have lost their weapons and have to find them (and some pizza) while avoiding members of the Foot clan. So I would have to do the same and find some weapons. And maybe some pizza too...

Donatello was the first candidate because he seemed like the easiest to create a weapon for. Uncle Mike let me dig through his bits bin just before Christmas, and I was able to find a very lengthy spear to use as a staff. First I tried drilling through the hand and threading it through but it proved impossible...and would have been too short that way. Instead, I chopped the staff at what seemed like the right spot and just super-glued a piece onto either side of his fist.

I was also curious if I needed to strip the paint off the figures completely, or just clean it up before highlighting. To test my theory I applied a liberal wash of GW Devlan Mud on Donnie to see how it would look without touching up the base paint. The wash gave him a much more depth, but it was pretty obvious I'd have to touch the paint up quite a bit on the others. Finding his colouring now to be far too dark I moved on to Leo, whose skin colour was much closer to what I was aiming for.

A good katana should be easy to find right? Not as easy as you'd think. There are a lot of figures in this scale that have them, especially Heroclix, but I tried a couple of these and they all seemed a bit too short. With a little more digging in my 'clix boxes I was eventually able to find something from a Hand ninja, along with a scabbard that I put on his back. You'll note that I repositioned his sword hand; I simply chopped it off and rotated it 90 degrees so he could hold the weapon without stabbing himself in the face.

It was after painting Leo that I decided I was going to forego the different skin colours on the others and make the figures much more uniform. It would make them look like a group, and also speed up the rest of my paint work.

Now, where to find a good sai? This was a tough one. I dug through more old Heroclix and considered making one out of a trident. I even contemplated clipping a sai off one of the extra arm sets from the Pulp City ninja box set, but that simply would have been a nightmare. In the end I made one myself by drilling a few small holes in the bottom of his hand and gluing in a few bits from a Mage Knight pride warrior figure. I found a small piece from the spear I used for Donatello's staff to represent the end of the handle and Raph was all set.

Where to find nunchaku? I was sure that at least one Heroclix figure has a pair and I was right. Those Hand ninja figures to the rescue again! (I'm sure there's some irony in that somewhere...) I chopped off the weapon and the end piece, but getting them to sit right in Michaelangelo's hand took a little trial and error. The end result is actually three pieces: the bottom piece, the chain and mid-air handle, and a small extra piece in between that and his hand. I very briefly considered giving him another pair but opted against it. Looks good though right?

My quartet of turtles was complete, but I knew it wouldn't be right if I stopped there. They were missing their master Splinter. I already had one of these so this was an easy hurdle to over come. In fact, the one and only reason to buy the Dreadball coach blister from Mantic Games is that it has a Splinter figure in it. In my opinion the other two figures are basically garbage (unusual for Mantic really), but that Veer-myn coach model was just the ticket.

The resin-plastic mix they use to make the original Dreadball figures is very hard. It took a lot of patience and a strong dose of caution to remove Splinter from the integral little round base he was cast on, but I'm managed it without any loss of limbs (mine or his). Splinter's paint job was the second one I finished, as I was working on him while waiting for various paints and washes to dry on Leo. That's not important at all, but there ya go.

I'd like to add an April O'Neil and a Casey Jones at some point. Maybe even a Usagi Yojimbo if I can convert one. All in good time...

Now I need to chose a rule set and come up with some TMNT gaming madness!

January 13, 2015

Lex Luthor in Prison Jumpsuit

For the new year I didn't want to post this as my first finished item. It just seemed...underwhelming. In truth this Lex figure had initially been painted for quite a while, but I was never quite happy with it. You wouldn't think painting a bald figure in an orange jumpsuit would be much of a challenge, but I ended up repainting it three times before it finally seemed to look done to me. The last repaint happened during my Christmas break, but I hadn't rebased him yet.

While working on my TMNT figures I decided that he needed a base that suited his outfit. I liberated a custom base insert from my Carnevale collection that looked like it might fit a prison cell and put him on that to add some character. Painting the base took a few seconds and he was all finished!

The figure itself is from the Heroclix Superman "Fast Forces" starter set.

I've got plans for more superhero game stuff, other incarnations of Luthor, and more 'clix conversions and repaints coming up this year. Keep your eyes peeled!