December 15, 2016

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Back in the spring (which feels like a long time ago) I picked up a used copy of the Star Wars - Imperial Assault core set. Over time I've continued to add expansions and figure packs, with the hopes of some day painting it all. I know that's unlikely but at least now I have a start.

One of these figures had a broken staff, so I had to get creative trying to find a piece to replace it with. It's noticeable if you know what to look for, although at arms length I think it's a perfectly serviceable repair.

Gasp, shock...yes I've actually played the game a few times, and the rules allow you to take different versions of the troopers: regular and elite. The cards for the elite squads are red, so I painted the bases of one pair red to help differentiate them during the game.

The depths of red cloaks took a lot of coats to do and I could easily have kept going...but it's red, so who really cares. I do like the focus that the gloss coat gives to the helmets, which helps keep them from looking entirely monotone and boring.

November 30, 2016

Watchmen Model Review for BMG

I recently finished painting my Watchmen figures for the Batman Miniature Game from Knight Models and am excited about the results. They have been in progress since sometime in June and have only gotten one game in so far, but let's just talk about the models this time.

Rorschach was the first figure I completed. True to the movie, like all the Watchmen figures, he is a top-notch one piece model and was quick to finish.

Nite Owl is a really dynamic single piece model who proved very each to paint. He's also my favourite character visually from the movie.

The Comedian is where I stalled in my progress. Being largely black, it was a challenge to get enough colour and variation to be happy with. Additionally, I'm not sure if I clipped his cigar off when I was cleaning up the model or if it actually isn't there in the original cast. I wanted him to have one so I did a little experiment with a tiny chunk of paperclip. It ended up a touch on the big size, but works really well considering. I can hear Jeffrey Dean Morgan's bitter laugh when I look at this figure.

Ozymandias is another single piece cast and he works well with the dynamic purple and gold. The gold proved to be a bit of a challenge as it's a colour I don't use often. I do wish his pose was different, as I don't like the hands behind his back. That aside however, he looks great.

Silk Spectre II was the last model I finished and the one I was most concerned about. The details are very fine and I don't have great brush control. My fears were unfounded though, as she turned out extremely well and is a figure I'm very proud of. Gloss coat is something I use very sparingly and it looks great on her here.

Let's hope that the Watchmen will appear in the DC Universe Miniatures game sometime soon. If they do, I desperately hope that we'll see a Dr. Manhattan to finish out the line!

November 20, 2016

DC Universe Miniatures Game Rules Now Available

A few days ago Knight Models posted the rule book for the DC Universe Miniature Game for download. That in itself is exciting news for me, but even better was that it included several profile cards for existing models in their Batman range! Check out for all the characters and even some info about the latest FAQ for the Marvel game.

November 01, 2016

SuperFigs: Adder and Mystick

I always seem to have a few work-in-progress models on my table at any given time. Some of them tend to languish there for months (or years), but others will land and get finished right away. I'm not sure why that's the case, but that's how it goes.

These two models were in the 'months' range, along with a few others from the "SuperFigs" line (for SuperSystem) who've yet to see completion. While I was working on Hawkeye and Deadpool from Knight Models I did a bit of work on these two as they shared some common colours.

First up is the villain Adder. She's a member of one of the villain groups; I believe the League of Supervillains. I've got Blackbird and Saber Skull from the same team in the queue for this month.

The next one is Mystick. She's a free agent according to the profiles from 3rd edition. I'll have to sit down and do some conversions of their profiles into 4th edition. I've done a few other conversions in the past and they seemed to work out fairly well.

I'm sure I say it every time I post a figure from this line, but I really love them. They're characterful, one-piece poses that are extremely easy to paint and look great on the table. They fit nicely in scale with Knight Models and a lot of other comic-themed models and I'm always happy to get these on the table no matter what game it's for.

October 24, 2016

Knight Models: Deadpool & Hawkeye

I had some demos for the Marvel Universe Miniature game scheduled in early in October, so I wanted to put together a few teams with the figures I had. Due to the limited number of characters I actually had painted, I needed to finish up a few more to round out the teams.

Both of these figures are highly detailed, as I've come to expect from Knight Models. Neither one had much in the way of gap filling required. A bit of filing and cleanup you'd expect with any metal model, some super glue and primer and I was ready for paint.

I opted not to deviate from the studio colour schemes almost at all.

Deadpool is a versatile character for both heroic Superhuman and Mutant teams. He's effective at range and close combat, so he makes a good utility model to add to your team.

Although his "Bodyslide" ability is reactive, I'd suggest keeping Deadpool out of situations where you need to use it that way. One of my personal tactics is using it early to get him into combat with an opposing model in the first activation. If you're using Captain America, deploying Deadpool nearby to benefit from Cap's leadership will help ensure that you hit for solid damage right off the bat.

I was never a big fan of Hawkeye in the regular or Ultimate universes in the comics. I do enjoy Jeremey Renner's version of the character in the movies, but Hawkeye just feels like another archer to me. That said, this model is very high utility. I think he's currently the model with the highest number of red abilities, and he really has something for almost any situation.

You'll want to keep Hawkeye in a good position to shoot, but being careful to not take damage. He doesn't have a very long health track, and he starts to lose his effectiveness after a few hits. You really want him on the board as long as possible to make use of all those trick arrows!

I ended up using Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Panther against Captain America, Wolverine and Black Widow. Deadpool will get some time on the table soon, but for now he's waiting impatiently.

The photos don't really do the miniatures justice. I'm not an amazing painter but I am very pleased with how well these guys turned out. However I was having a lot of trouble getting good photos today. They look much better in person!

September 21, 2016

Some Classic Characters Painted for BMG Demos

When preparing for my demo earlier this month I planned out a little 2x2 table to force the player's characters into combat more quickly. I had originally planned to do some kind of bank heist scenario using loot and the safe boxes, but it seemed too far from the actual way the game is played. It wouldn't help if I made things more complicated just for the sake of a custom scenario. In the end I decided I'd do 200 reputation crews: Arkham City Batman and Robin vs Classic Harley, Joker (Killing Joke) with Turk along for the ride. Since I only had Turk painted I had some work ahead of me and only a few days to do it!

Having a deadline is often helpful for me, even if it's a self imposed one. I was able to paint all four characters over a few sessions on Friday and Saturday. Harley's face detailing was just too small, so I wasn't even able to do some white in for her eyes, and may go back now that I'm no longer under pressure. The rest turned out very nicely and I'm happy with them. Robin is my favorite paint job of the four.

This version of Joker does better with a bunch of henchmen around him, but I love the sculpt and the poison flower. It just captures what I think most people want when having a Joker model on the table. For Classic Harley...I just love the acrobat trait. The ease of getting around the board is great, not to mention that Harley can dodge bullets as she also gains Dodge. Her 360 attack didn't serve much use in the demos, but the players loved the flavor of "True Love: Joker" as well as the mallet!

In one of the demo games the Joker crew caught Batman up on some containers. Harley hit him and pushed him with her mallet. Luckily Batman had a special counter in reserve and was able to use his cape to avoid falling damage. The Joker crew won by a slim margin in VP.

In another demo game, Batman and Robin went on the offensive, picking apart The Joker crew from the bottom up. Turk got hammered by a batarang then several bat-fists to the face. Harley picked up some loot but misread the dynamic duo's plan and paid for it with getting knocked out twice! The Joker made a last gasp effort to collect some victory points on his ammo objective, but Robin dropped a smoke grenade on him, blinding him. Batman rushed into the smoke and took the Joker down hard.

In terms of the models and the rules, I think the Arkham City version of Batman and Robin make a great team. On initial release Robin lacked a little in the damage department, but was given "Combo w/ Bo" later which helps a lot. His smoke grenade is a potent weapon against groups of henchmen and more expensive characters, hindering their ability to move and spend counters. Batman is pricey, but can do it all. Ranged attacks without direct line of sight, good mobility with Batclaw. His damage isn't to be underestimated either, as he has "Reinforced Gloves" which can't be stolen.

All the players had a great time and I really enjoyed running the demos. I've got a demo game of Batman Miniature Game and the Marvel Universe Miniature Game scheduled for Saturday October 1st at Fallcon. Check their schedule page to sign up!

September 12, 2016

The Berserker Island Beasts

With play underway for the  Calgary Dreadball League's third season I had a finished season 2 human team, or a season 4 martian team that I could have used, but I didn't really want to play either of those teams in league play. This is the final of my four original season 1 teams to be painted.

If you've stopped by and read any of my posts about other teams, you've have seen that many of them are based on characters from Masters of the Universe. The "Berserker Island Beasts" are based Beastman, who is also serving as their offensive coach.

Despite looking through lots of reference images, I struggled to find a colour I liked for the fur and ended up using the bright P3 Ember Orange. Selecting uniform colours for the team was also a challenge as Beastman doesn't have much in the way of accessories or colours other than orange, and those he does have vary widely depending on the depiction. The Beastman figure I'll be using is an old Grenadier miniature from the 80s, but he's not painted yet.

The Veer-myn team has no jacks, just plenty of strikers, a couple guards, a keeper and also the MVP "Reek Rolat" who will only play for Veer-myn teams. Might as well paint him up the same as the rest.

I modified a few of the striker figures to try getting some more variation in the poses. The end result is serviceable, however the models for this team are not my favorites from the line. Despite that I've enjoyed playing the team in a few games so far.

Here's a quick paint recipe:

- fur: P3 Ember Orange & other browns
- wraps and teeth: GW Bleached Bone
- armour: GW Hawk Turqoise, GW Goblin Green, white
- metals: P3 cold steel
- straps: P3 Greatcoat Grey
- tails: P3 flesh

I coached this team to an undefeated 5-0 record to win the 2016 CDBL Championship. I didn't miss the fact that the don't have jacks. The low skill of the strikers is well mitigated by their speed, and adding an extra guard made a huge difference to how well they were able to survive against other teams.

August 12, 2016

Marvel Minis by Knight Models and...Kinder Surprise?!

After I had my original four Avengers figures painted for the Marvel Universe Miniature Game, I knew I wanted to build up the list while I waited for some more cosmic figures to be released. Having already built several other early-release figures I looked through the cards and chose Wolverine, Black Panther and Deadpool to join my team. Deadpool still taunts me from my painting table, but the other two are finished and ready for battle.

Wolverine is a nicely done sculpt. Appropriately small of stature and big on the snarls, he was a simple model to build. Only the forearms were separate and fit together easily. I mounted him on a resin base insert I had rattling around. Even based on that, he's still shorter than all the other Avengers, even Black Widow.

I did some looking around online to see if I could find inspiration for a costume colour scheme, and ended up with the two-tone blue you see here. I think it fits nicely. His skin is GW Tallarn Flesh, washed with GW Badab Black, highlighted with the base colour and then a very light dry brush of P3 Menoth White Highlight.

The suit is GW Mordian Blue and P3 Cygnar Blue Highlight. The claws were done with P3 Cold Steel. All the blue were dry brushed using Army Painter Ash Grey then washed with GW Asurmen Blue, along with the claws. I reapplied the base colours then highlighted the claws with GW Mithril Silver.

Black Panther is a similar build to Wolverine, with only his arms being separate pieces. I had to use a little putty to smooth over the gaps on him. After priming him grey I applied two thin coats of P3 Thamar Black, followed by a solid dry brush coat of AP Uniform Grey. His necklace got a coat of P3 Cold Steel. This was all followed by a wash of GW Thraka Green. The gloves and boots got a heavy dry brush of P3 Trollblood Highlight, and a much lighter one on the raised areas of his suit. Finally I gave everything a wash of GW Badab Black and then retouched the necklace with GW Mithril Silver.

I was tempted to go back in and to some brush highlighting on the suit, but opted not to. I like the soft transitions of colour and didn't want to have sharp areas that would make it look too shiny.

Finally we have Spider-Man. If you were paying attention you already know that he's not by Knight Models, although they do make one for the Spiderman Miniature Game. I picked up a few Kinder Surprise eggs at a dollar store in July, and this little guy was inside one of them. The detail isn't great and he's a touch large in terms of scale, but after I glued him together I decided to rebase him and throw it into my collection.

From a table distance away, I feel like he looks just fine. Certainly not KM calibre, but hey for $1.25 I'm not going to complain!

Animal-themed heroes to the rescue!

August 05, 2016

BMG Nightwing Paint & Review

Nightwing was a spur of the moment paint job a few days ago. While waiting for some washes to dry on another batch of figures I ended up alternating work on him. Although initially not very excited by the pose I'm really quite pleased with how he turned out. He took also took a minimal amount of time to do, clocking in at under 45 minutes start to finish including dry time.

After priming him grey I applied two thin coats of black to get nice even coverage on the suit and mask. I followed that with a wash of GW Asurmen Blue, and once dry applied a light dry brush coat on all the black of AP Uniform Grey. It has a slight touch of blue in it and brought out the models details perfectly. The hair was done the same way, followed with two ink washes of black.

On the blue detailing I painted a solid coat of P3 Platinum which I followed with two even coats of Tamiya Clear Blue. The face was done with a base coat of GW Flesh and then some highlight of Elf Flesh.

In terms of gameplay I think Nightwing is one of the best Batman-affiliated free agents for his points. If he is ideally positioned and undamaged he can attack twice in the same activation, using 3SC+1AC for Electric Storm, and the remaining 2AC to net another three attacks through combo with his electric baton. Handy and mechanic mean you're very likely landing two of those attacks.

The biggest challenge to laying down that kind of beating is his 6 willpower. If you've suffered anything more than 1 damage you'll be unable to do this, so if possible, picking up a Titan on the way to the fight is crucial.

Nightwing is also highly mobile with Batclaw and Acrobat. He can get where he needs to be faster than most free agents, climb scenery more easily, and with Sneak Attack can stop his target from defending in certain situations. He also has some ranged weaponry when necessary, although I'd suggest saving those as a last resort.

In my last game using Nightwing I was able to knock down AK Red Hood, forcing him to flee combat or take a KO in the next turn. Shortly after I was able to land several solid hits on Dark Knight Returns Batman and KO him. To add insult to injury, acrobat let me climb up to activate the Batsignal for another 4VP that same round. I know I won't always be that lucky, but the potential for damage output, combined with his mobility makes him a current favorite for now!

July 14, 2016 is open! is open! They've got an excellent selection of figures and scenery from Knight Models for both the excellent Batman Miniature Game, and the new Marvel Universe Miniature Game.

Currently service is only available to orders shipping within Canada, but options for service for US customers is being investigated.

In the very near future they will also be launching their own line of custom-sculpted resin bases too, so it's well worth checking them out!

June 15, 2016

More Lovely Ladies From Knight Models

It's a good time to be a fan of tabletop, comic-themed gaming. There are a lot of options out there now; Marvel Universe and Batman Miniature Games both from Knight Models, Pulp City by Pulp Monsters, and even a few build-your-own character games like SuperSystem and Power Legion.

Batgirl was the earliest free agent model that I purchased, as well as the first one that I started applying paint on. However, I found the level of detail off-putting and didn't get very far at first. When I built the model she required a bit of putty work, and I ended up adding some pouches on her hips to cover up some unsightly join lines. I confess that I like her pose but I dislike the single point of contact with the base as it has a lot of metal to support. I've already dropped her once and every time I pick her up I'm afraid she's just going to fall apart.

When painting her I had originally opted to go with the straight black and yellow colour scheme from the "Arkham Knight" video game, but found it was just too dark. I added the blue to the inside of her cape which really helps add some visual interest. The detail on this model is very high; so high in fact that I struggled a lot with it. The armour plates and everything...I don't know how people paint details on figures like this, I simply don't have the brush control for it.

The Arkham City version of Poison Ivy provides me with a second leader for my beloved Poison Ivy crew. Like Batgirl, I found her quite a challenge to paint. Those vines on her skin are remarkably tiny! I wanted her to be green to contrast against the more human-like one that I painted from the starter set. Unfortunately she ended up quite a bit greener than I had originally intended (a bit too much She-Hulk). Someone on the forums had posted a figure with a cream shirt which I liked the look of and borrowed.

Ironically the last four female figures I've painted were all redheads; starter pack Poison Ivy, Black Widow, and these two. I'm happy with the hair colour of each of them turning out slightly different.

I've already had a few games with my new Poison Ivy and think she's great. She's a good leader for henchmen like the Blackgate Prisoners, and has good synergy with her plants. It's a bit odd that this version has rules that let her interact with plants, but the Ivy from the starter set does not.

I've played a few games with Batgirl as well, and for some strange reason she always performs better for me than the much more expensive Batwoman. It's odd, but I'm not willing to write Batwoman off just yet. With the new expansion book I can include Batgirl in a Birds of Prey team and am also looking forward to trying out the expanded equipment list for Poison Ivy's crew.

May 26, 2016

Marvel Universe Miniatures Game - Avengers Painted

Shortly before the Marvel Universe Miniatures Game was released by Knight Models I picked up several single pack figures at a slight discount. The game dropped shortly after, but has so far seemed difficult to acquire in Canada. I'm hoping once I get out an do a few demos it will pick up locally like the Batman game has started to do.

This is the original model for Black Widow, which I prefer greatly over the highly sexualized one that comes in the Avengers starter box. Don't get me wrong, she's a sexy character but I think the new sculpt is a little over the top. She was the first Marvel figure I painted. It a pretty easy paint job and I think she turned out well.

This figure proved more difficult to paint than I expected. It's a great looking pose, but I wish the details on the shield were a little deeper. I'm not the greatest when it comes to steady detail work, so found doing the stripes on the shield highly frustrating. A wash or two would usually bring out the lines on something like this, but they're shallow enough that it didn't seem to work this time. I had a similar problem with the 'A' on his helmet, as I simply don't have the brush control skills to really put the paint where it needed to be.

Thor was actually the second Marvel figure I finished and was surprisingly easy to do. I tried creating a blue glaze for the first time, to give the illusion of some of the light coming from his hammer. I don't think it was entirely successful, but it'll do.

Another experiment here. I've done a similar technique as you see on the red here; a black base coat, gun metal dry brush followed by a few coats of Tamiya clear red. I used the clear yellow here too, and followed with a few washes of GW Sepia. To dull down the gloss I painted two highlights on the yellow and one in red. The eyes and other glowing bits were done with white, some P3 Trollblood highlight mixed w/ white, and several coats of the same glaze I used on Thor.

When I was taking the photos I realized how much of a mess I made on the face plate, so he'll be getting some touchups before I use him in a game. If I don't do it now I never will, and I hate having models with little mistakes like this on the sort of drives me crazy.

Once that's fixed I'll be happy with these, and want to paint up Wolverine and Deadpool soon, I'm hoping to pick up a Black Panther, Vision and Hawkeye this summer to round out the team, although that'll likely be a few months down the road. Once Groot shows up in my mailbox I'll be doing up the Guardians next I think!

May 10, 2016

Going Green in BMG

Ok I'll confess right up front that I know next to nothing about the character of Swamp Thing, and am unclear as to why he would align himself with Poison Ivy or Batman at all. However, when I saw the miniature I was really impressed, and when I painted it earlier this month I was truly in love.

This figure is superbly sculpted and very well cast. As with any model this size and number of pieces there was some gap filling required, but it was super easy to blend in and I dare anyone to point it out on my painted figure.

This figure almost painted itself. I think total it took me less than 3 hours and was a lot of fun experimenting with different shades of greens, browns and yellows.

May 01, 2016

Three More SuperFigs Complete

During my April painting frenzy I finished up a few more of the SuperFigs models that have been sitting around waiting for colours. According to the profiles available for SuperSystem, first two are members of the "Crusaders of Crime"; Dark Templar and Black Claw.

After I painted Dark Templar I realized that he's almost a perfect looking figure to use for The Master, to lead my Omega Flight team. I considered repainting him without the gold and adding a little more red, but opted against it. Most people aren't familiar enough with the character to really know the difference, so he'll do just fine as is.

Black Claw was going to get a bit of glow effect on his left hand but I messed it up and just went back over it with the previous colours. I like the dark outline on his eyes, which feel like they make him look a little more eeeeevil.

Finally I finished up the massive-for-no-reason Stalker. There is nothing in the character profile that would explain his size. Like a lot of the other SuperFigs I had to trim down the integral base on him a lot. With Stalker I wanted to try a few colours that I don't usually use and think it turned out nicely.

The jumpsuit is P3 Ironhull Grey, the cape is GW Hawk Turquoise, the gloves are P3 Cygnar Blue Base and there are a few touches of P3 Murderous Magenta in there too. I used some AP Dark Tone as a wash. After that I went back in with the base colours, and finished it off by highlighting the cape with some P3 Trollblood base.

April 29, 2016

Escape from Blackgate!

With round 2 of our local BMG escalation league fast approaching, I decided I'd better paint up some henchmen for Poison Ivy to take with her. Round 1 was played at 150 rep, and I played several games with AC Catwoman and Classic Poison Ivy. I ended up winning 1, losing 1 and tying 3, so pretty middle of the road all said. I tried one game with Swamp Thing and it was a tough go having only one character on the board.

I had already constructed both sets of Blackgate Prisoners and my Killer Croc figure. I decided to batch paint them as I was planning on having them all wearing the same clothes. As a bit of an experiment I tried painting the prisoners' jumpsuits with my under-used airbrush, using Badger "Minitaire" Charred Stone for the main colour and going over it with a light touch of Badger Fur. Croc got the same treatment, but I also painted his skin starting with Pestilence Flesh, then Rotten Wood on his underbelly and finally some Gremlin Green on his back to brighten him up.

The primer coat on my prisoners was really grainy around the feet so some of the details below the knee are sadly obscured, but I painted them up as well as I could nonetheless. I used way more colours that I expected.

Killer Croc colours:

- Testors Gloss Yellow on the eyes
- P3 Skorne Red inside the mouth
- GW Bleached Bone and P3 Morrow White on the teeth
- AP Plate Mail Metal on all the shackles and chains
- drybrush of GW Bleached Bone and P3 Necrotite Green on the skin
- wash of AP Soft Tone over the entire model
- Testors Gloss Black on the claws

Prisoner colours:

- AP Barbarian Flesh and P3 Umbral Umber for the flesh tones
- P3 Bloodtracker Brown for the straps
- P3 Jack Bone and AP Ash Grey for other clothing
- AP Plate Mail Metal for all the chains and metals
- VMC Cork Brown for backpack and big stick
- VMC Ultramarine for the bandana
- P3 Cryx Bane Base and VGC Dark Green for one of the shirts
- Washed all figures with AP Soft Tone
- Highlighted jumpsuits with P3 Greatcoat Grey and the clothing with AP Ash Grey
- Skin Highlighted with GW Elf Flesh
- Tamiya Clear Red for bloody weapons

There were a bunch of other colours used for minor touches or highlights, but I'm tired of listing them. I elected to go with grey as I don't particularly like the orange in the packaging photos, and wanted something that would sort of look at home no matter which villain crew was hiring them. It felt like they took a long time to paint, but overall I think they probably took about 90 minutes each. Recently I've been painting single figures, so doing a batch as large as this did feel time consuming!