January 29, 2016


It's been a busy week for Knight Models. First up was the announcement of the upcoming release of their new Marvel Universe Miniature Game. This will use a new system, different to that of the Batman Miniatures Game. Some details about the MUMG can be found on Facebook or over on Ian's blog here.

It's interesting that it's a new system, but not entirely surprising. Many fans of the Batman game had discussed whether or not to bring in more powerful characters like Superman, and if in fact they could even be properly represented in the BMG system. With the web-supplement for a Spiderman Miniatures Game made available in December by Knight Models, many of us thought that this was the Marvel game and were happy that it was largely compatible with Batman.

I'm a bit conflicted on the announcement about the Marvel game. In one sense, a new system does allow for a better representation of powers and abilities without having to worry about puny humans like beat cops and clowns with baseball bats. On the other hand, it's not compatible with BMG, and means that the audience for both games (in my opinion) is being forced to make a choice. Some will choose to play both games, some will choose one or the other, and some will be turned off by the fact that there are two different games and choose not to play either. It's a potential fracturing of an audience that could prove difficult to surmount, especially for those trying to build the game(s) in their local communities.

All that said, the Marvel models shown so far look great and I'm curious to see how things play out.

I feel for the folks who splashed out the cash for the 'direct only' boxes released under the SMG banner only to find out a few weeks later that there is a full scale Marvel game arriving very soon. That seems like a bit of a kick in the balls from Knight Models. I've been pretty vocal about things, and not always as reasonable as I'd like. Change is hard...

BMG has also taken a bit of a hit with the announcements that some models from its range are being retired, and thus also becoming direct only.

The list of retired models for BMG were posted over on Wayland Games and are currently:

- Arkham City Harley Quinn
- Arkham City Poison Ivy
- Arkham City Talia al Ghul

It sounds like more retired models will be announced soon.

What are your thoughts on this?

January 27, 2016

Black Mask & Lex Luthor Heroclix Repaints

I have a few more repainted-n-rebased Heroclix figures for use in SuperSystem and possibly Batman Miniature Game.

Black Mask

This one was pretty quick and some of the work isn't really visible, but I know it's been done so...

- dry brushed the suit and head w/ dark grey
- painted neck to match skin on wrist
- painted the gun and briefcase
- went back in with pure black on shoes, gloves, pockets and lapels
- black wash on everything
- added traffic lines after a quick dry brush on the base to give a bit of 'pop'

Once he was finished it occurred to me that if I were to print out his card for BMG, I could actually field a Black Mask crew with Branden, some crooked cops and whichever generic henchmen I wanted. I've not used Branden and a few SWAT figures in a game yet so it could be worth a go.

Lex Luthor

I already have a Lex in a prison jumpsuit that was used in one of our games of Supersytem 4th edition. I've had the scientist outfit figure set aside for quite some time, and he'll be used in another game when we can arrange a time for it.

When I was touching up the paint work on this figure I was quite surprised at just how much detail is actually on it. There is stitching on the pants and some nice detailing on the straps and gubbins of his suit. I really didn't do much other than some washes on the main colours, a few small touches like the mouth, metals and red on the chest. I doubt it took me a half hour.

Lex is absolutely beside himself!

January 21, 2016

Batman Miniature Game Poison Ivy Starter Box Painted

I received the Poison Ivy starter box in late November. They seemed like such a nice change from all the police I had done last time, so it immediately jumped to the top of the painting queue for my Batman Miniatures Game collection. The plants are characterful and assembled quickly and without fuss. A small pass over the joints with some contour putty and they were ready for painting. After I brushed on some grey primer I got to work.

I don't usually use a lot of greens, so the plants went through several stages of greens, washes, dry brushes and various highlights. I don't know if I'll be able to recreate this look but I'm unconcerned for now, as there are no other plants available for Ivy anyway!

Ivy herself is one of the few one-piece models that I've seen in the range. In fact other than Bane from his starter set I can't recall any other models that are a single piece. If I had one complaint about this particular box it would be that Ivy is a touch on the tall side. I love the pose however so I'm willing to overlook it. She's actually a pretty simple paint scheme, and I'm proud of the colour on the hair and how it contrasts with the rest of the miniature. If you want to try replicating the base colour, it's a simple 1:1 mix of Army Painter Orange and P3 Red Ink.

I wish I could say that these were painted lickety split but I can't. After getting them started and all the base colours finished they languished on my desk over the Christmas and New Year holidays due to my catching a substantial cold. Getting back to them me took a while, but I'm glad to say these are my first finished BMG models for 2016.

Although models in the box clock in at under 150 rep, I have plenty of models I can add. The first crew I'm going to try out will be Ivy, her plants and Catwoman, which comes in at just under 200, or Ivy and Catwoman for an interesting duo at 150! I haven't got classic Harley yet, so it's the closest I can get to fielding a sirens crew for now. Since Knight Models added "Hates Law Forces" to Catwoman's profile I can't field her with my cops, so she's an obvious addition to Ivy's gang for now.

January 15, 2016

Ghouls for Strange Aeons

These certainly weren't what I was planning on being my first finished models of the year, but I was passing some time over the weekend and picked these out of the lead pile. I wanted to make some monsters that I've never used in my games of Strange Aeons and they'd been sitting around primed for a long time.

There are two different sets, the first one is the original pack of ghouls from Uncle Mike's line of Strange Aeons miniatures. I'm not sure if these are still in print.

The other batch are from RAFM's "Call of Cthulhu" line. I bought them so long ago I can't actually remember if they are ghouls or some other kind of beasties. I painted them with the same skin colours, but even so they don't really look like the same kind of creatures.

You can see what I mean when they're all together. The dude with the book could stand in with the UMW figures in a pinch. They're fine miniatures all 'round and will get some time on the table soon. I didn't spend a ton of time on them, but I'm pleased with them nonetheless.

January 12, 2016

Dreadball: Eternian Style

When I got my first shipment of stuff for Dreadball from Mantic Games and played a few games I was hooked. It's hard to believe it was over three years ago! The models, especially the early seasons, are a little fiddly and some folks don't like them, but I do. I think they are nicely sculpted and affordable, and the game itself is very solid. If anything they're almost too detailed for my skill set to do them justice.

Of course being a sports game I needed to come up with team names and colours. They should be bright, with high contrast, and have a logo of some kind. But what to do...?

My first team didn't start out with a name, simply a couple of colours that I chose thinking they would look good. I ended up with the "Avion Yellowhawks". Why 'Avion' you ask? Well, because I'm a child of the 80s who grew up watch poor quality animation that were thinly veiled toy commercials.

Anyone remember Masters of the Universe? You know, He-Man and Skeletor and all the brightly coloured characters from the cartoon and toy line? Of course you do! Well, while working on my first four teams I got it in my head that the Forge Fathers looked a lot like Ram Man from Masters of the Universe. Although they weren't painted yet, I know knew exactly how they would eventually get painted and named them the Royal Eternian Rams.

When I came up with the Eternian theme I had already started painting the human corporation as the Yellowhawks. So I couldn't go back and use the colours for Stratos, but the name seemed to fit. I found a 'hawk' logo online that looked like something I could paint and did them on the shoulders. After a major inking mishap I ended up repainting the yellow to red and re-naming them to be the Avion Warriors. I had to paint over my shoulder logos, so they still need a proper logo of some kind.

The final two Season 1 teams were a little harder. Orks...I thought they'd make good representatives for Skeletor and they played their first season as the "Snake Mountain Smashers," but that just didn't feel right to me. I've finally settled on some colours played the Keldoran Krushers in the second season of the "Calgary Dreadball League" that I've been intermittently running.

The rats could easily be Beast Man's pets, but what to call them? I wanted to tie them more into the world of Eternia. So after some digging I found out that Beast Man originally comes from a place called Berserker Island, and thus the "Berserker Island Beasts" were born! I'll be playing these guys in season 3 of the CDBL starting up later this month, so I need to get some paint slapped on them.

Season 2 heralded the arrival of four new teams. Doubling the number of teams means the number of match ups for the game quadrupled! Naturally the problem arises again though...what do I call all of these new teams? I'm enjoying my Eternian theme, even if everyone else thinks it's pretty lame. They're my toys after all so in the end I don't really care anyway.

The Robot team was the first and easiest to paint from Season 2. There is an obvious robot character in the MotU universe: Roboto. What if Roboto was the coach and he built a bunch of robots to play for him in the Eternian Dreadball League? They'd be the "Roboto A.I.s" of course. However, I also wanted to take their transformative ability into account. She-Ra's nemesis Hordak could transform, and the robots aren't too far off in design from his troopers. As cool as a Roboto-themed group would be, I decided to give them to Hordak instead as The Etherian Horde.

I played this team in a league a while back and they are quite challenging to play due to how expensive the replacement players are.

I've got two other teams painted that break theme a bit: the Synergy City Holograms, and the Martian Manhunters, but I'm not done with my Eternian theme by a long shot. I've planned out what all of the teams up through season 3 will be, but it does become more difficult once I get into seasons 4 thru 6. I might deviate a bit as common sense and time allows.

Here are a few bullet points for future team plans:

- The Z'zor are bugs. Buzz-Off is a from a race of bug-people. Andrenos is where Buzz Off is from. Why not feed some Andrenid warriors a little specially-made ambrosia and dump them on the Dreadball pitch? The "Andrenos Stingers" will be those warriors!

- The Judwan are greys...Gray Skull! They're grey aliens, they're fast and non-violent. The Judwan team will be "The Gray Skulls." It might be a little on-the-nose, but I laughed when I thought of it, so it's going to stick. I'll have to get creative finding a Sorceress model to coach them.

- Since I already had "The Horde", why not create a rival for them from Etheria? So we might end up with the female corporation team as "Princesses of Power" with She-Ra as their coach. I might do a mixed male / female team instead though. I'm not sure at this point as another human team is pretty low on the to-do list.

- The Hsss: The Nameless are a perfect team to go with King Hsss and his serpent-men.

- The "Trollan Wizards": With the Zees' tiny stature, ability to cause havok on the field, Orko finally has a place to shine. Or tarnish.

- The "Caligar Whiplash": The Teratons are almost impossible to fit into the MotU theme, but I'll think of something. I think maybe they can all be fat members of the race Whiplash belongs to?

- The "Zalesian Mystics" - Evil-Lyn is awesome and deserves a team. With the Asterians reputation for playing dirty it only seemed fitting for her to be their coach.

If you've got any suggestions for ideas that fit into my theme for season 4, 5 and 6 teams please do leave me a comment. I'd love to hear them!

January 09, 2016

1:43 Scale Vehicles For Gaming

A long while back I purchased some paper-craft terrain packs from WorldWorks Games and Fat Dragon Games to make buildings and scenery for my miniature gaming. I've only built a fraction of stuff from those purchases, and the pieces that get the most use are the buildings. There are various car models in there too, which I have used from time to time. The biggest challenge with them is that they're rather time consuming to build.

The vehicle options from them are varied in what's available so I started looking to toys and model kits to supplement my collection. The big discovery for me was the EagleMoss collection of Batmobiles that some folks were using for the Batman Miniature Game. Since finding out about those I have acquired a substantial collection, and I think they're really great looking. My only complaint about them is the lack of working wheels, but it's a minor thing. I'll post up some photos of my batmobile collection another day however.

My city streets were still in need of generic cars and trucks and the like, so I started looking around on eBay for a few things. 1:43 scale seemed to work perfectly, so that was what I focused on. I was able to find a few things like a generic hatchback, and some emergency vehicles that will end up as SWAT vans and a news van. You can see the van in the middle here.

On my last trip to Japan my friend showed me some neat little motorcycles. They look pretty small, but are actually quite realistic when it comes to scale. During the summer Walmart had a nice serious of police cars, of which I bought several. My personal favorites are the 80s style RCMP cruisers, but most of the games end up seeing the modern squad cars on the table instead. I think they've all shown up in a few BMG game shots last year.

With Christmas coming up more toys were on the shelves and I grabbed a ton of cars from the "Adventure Wheels" line. These are licensed cars like Porsche, Lamborghini, Mustang and the like. These look great for $5 a pop. They also had a few different big rigs for something like $12, so my collection really grew when I found these.

There was a line of trucks which I believe are a slightly larger scale called "Just Trucks", but are quite nice. I grabbed two of those, but wasn't able to find the Dodge Dakota that I really wanted. Inexpensive themed packs are common during the holidays too, a few of which have provided me with a ton of emergency and construction vehicles.

I've also been able to pick up some movie-related vehicles like a set of DeLoreans from the "Back to the Future" movies, a "Green Hornet" Black Beauty and a few cars from the "Fast and Furious" franchise. They're very pricey compared to the generics, but I'll probably make games or scenarios around them, or at least feature them in some way to make me feel like I got my money's worth.

A lot of these, especially the cheaper ones, will need weathering and in some cases some conversion or full repainting in order to get them in the shape I want. One of the main things I've got planned is turning a few of the cars from the theme sets into taxis, as generic taxis seem difficult to find for a reasonable price. I also still want to pick up a city bus and a maybe a school bus somewhere along the way, but will likely have to resort to eBay for those.

January 07, 2016

So What Will My Hobby Focus Be in 2016?

This is a really tough one. The start of a new year always brings about people making resolutions or at the very least trying to make changes in their lives. I generally try not to make sweeping resolutions because quite simply, I feel that's setting oneself up for failure or disappointment. Large goals or achievements, in my opinion, are the result of small, deliberate steps towards that goal.

Last year superhero gaming took the front seat for me: Batman Miniatures Game, Pulp City Supreme Edition and even Supersytem 4th Edition to some extent, all became regular parts of how I spent my hobby and gaming time.

The biggest culprit for me was the Batman Miniatures Game. I went in on this in a BIG way in 2015. With the delivery I received yesterday, including objectives and street scenery, I've acquired over 120 figures for the game. Most of these figures are built and primed already, but on the down side I have only painted 14 if you exclude those same objectives and street scenery. Despite the high cost per model the game play is fun and challenging, I think they look very good when painted...even if painted by me.

It is my hope that I can some day possess the full range of DC figures from Knight Models, and actually get them painted! Since I currently only own a little over half the range, it is going to take a while and a fair bit more cash. Also, until the Marvel figures are available through regular channels and are no longer KM web store exclusives I'll have to stick to repainting Heroclix for my Marvel characters. That's just fine, as I have boxes and boxes of clix collecting dust in a closet somewhere.

Another thing I spent a lot on in 2015 was 1:43 vehicles, particularly the Eagelmoss Batman Automobilia stuff. I have tons of vehicles now and am really only looking for a city bus and a school bus to cover the bases of what I want. I'd like to have some more classic stuff from the 20s thru 50s, but those far less likely to be found. If I do come across something however, it's likely to be a one-off purchase. A lot of the vehicles will need some weathering and customization but it's a very low priority on my hobby to-do list.

Pulp City ran another, much smaller, Kickstarter campaign in 2015. Having bought the collector's pledge from their Supreme Edition campaign (which was 2014 I think), and gone in for all the figures from the Cold War campaign, that pile is massive, something like 150 figures still to build and paint. I have one purchase planned for a few Pulp City figures to complete my collection but it's low on the list, as I know the longer I wait the less likely it will be that they end up releasing something before I paint what I have.

For 2016 I don't see my focus diverting much from superhero tabletop gaming. Some scenery building and painting will surely happen, and I know I'll suffer from continual distractions of other games, both new and already owned. I will be doing my best to stay focused, especially on restricting my purchases. I have so much stuff, maybe I'll even get rid of some of it!

January 04, 2016

Dec 2015 Progress Report

December is a busy time for me, but with some vacation time booked, I was looking forward to getting a few in-progress items knocked off and finished before the end of the year. Mother nature had other plans for me however, as I came down with a cold the first night of my vacation. I still have that cold now, but it's finally loosening its claws and I do hope to be rid of it in short order.

So here's what I got done built in December, despite being sick for a good third of it. It all ended up being building, green stuff and basing, as I didn't finish painting a single model in December. (Well, unless you count the Orks, which I had essentially done in November, so...I don't.) At least I honed in my focus on two games: Batman Miniatures Game and Pulp City.

- Built Ra's & League of Shadows starter box (4)
- Built BMG comic Ra's, Talia & Nyssa (3)
- Built BMG ninja booster pack (2)
- Built BMG Shiva starter box (4)
- Filled all the gaps on all of my Joker, Arkham Inmates and League of Shadows figure (~24)
- Built Pulp City villains starter (3)
- Built Pulp City heroes starter (3)
- Based all the above figures plus a few more

The only other hobby related thing I did was order even more figures for BMG. Meeplemart had a Boxing Day sale with 12% off of all regular priced stock. According to my tracking info, delivery was attempted today.

Happy New Year all! I gotta get painting...