Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe)

Snake Eyes is my fourth painted G.I. Joe Project mini, and probably one of the coolest characters in the Joe-verse.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Snake Eyes is basically a silent ninja-uber-commando working as part of the  G.I. Joe team, with strong connections to other key characters such as Scarlett, Stalker and Storm Shadow. This version is based on his second iteration as an action figure.

I started painting the mini late last year and ended up getting side-tracked by other projects. He was started sometime after Major Bludd, but I only picked up work on him again when I started tackling some recent G.I. Joe Project minis that kick-started with the painting of Destro. I'd like to get a couple more done before the end of the month if I can, and have started work on Hawk, Cover Girl, and Stalker, and I need to finally finish off Gung Ho. Three out of those four with Snake Eyes should give me a playable starting force for Squad Wars.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (4)
G.I. Joe team: 2
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Major Bludd (Cobra)

Another G.I. Joe Project mini done! Unfortunately Major Bludd had been languishing in the queue of part-painted minis for far too long.

Major Bludd is an ex Australian SAS member turned mercenary who joined the Cobra Command payroll. He frequently serves a s a field leader and is not averse to working against other members of Cobra at the behest of Cobra Commander. Unlike many Cobra operatives, Bludd isn't a true believer, instead his prime motivation is simply money.

I admit I struggled with the limited palette of the character, especially highlighting the uniform. I changed the gun the mini came with for another that felt more appropriate. I tried to bend his gun arm forwards, but not enough; in hindsight I should have re-positioned the head to be looking along the gun. Despite the painting, the main thing is that the mini is finished and adds to my slowly growing forces.

I have already started work on a few others, and have Gung Ho to finish who has been part-painted for as long as Major Bludd. In addition, work continues on Squad Wars to eventually get some games in with the minis.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted
G.I. Joe team: 1
Cobra: 2*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Friday, 16 June 2017

Destro (Cobra/Iron Grenadiers)

A year on from my first G.I. Joe project mini, the second finally arrives - my usual snail's pace then!

Destro was nice and quick mini to paint up. I decided to emulate some of the more recent iterations of his colour scheme layout although the mini is modelled after his classic appearance. I have so many projects on the go that this one fell down the priority order, which is the cause for the slow pace. The mini is from a private collection and not commercially available, but I was lucky to get a copy; I decided the replace the pistol with something chunkier and more menacing (I envisage it as a large calibre pistol).

For those who are are not G.I. Joe (or Action Force) fans, Destro is one the bad guys, a weapons supplier to Cobra predominately, but also the leader of his own faction - the Iron Grenadiers.

I mentioned last year that I had been developing a set of rules called Squad Wars, and work on this has resumed - I am now on the third draft and getting much closer to what I want the rules to do, and the feel I want them to create. I hope to get in some G.I. Joe influenced gaming against Brummie before too long!

G.I. Joe Minis Painted
G.I. Joe team: 1
Cobra: 1*
Iron Grenadiers: 1*
Oktober Guard: 0

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Eye of the Tiger!

Well, that escalated quickly! No sooner than I set course with my SMG Project, than I learn of something called Forgotten Heroes which perfectly dove-tails with my own project  - the only requirement being to produce something in June and following the rules as set out:

  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.

I think #1 is a slight fudge for me as my character never had a mini made while Marvel stuff licensed by Knight Models, and only had a single Heroclix incarnation.
#2 is a bit of a fudge as Knight call their 'scale' 35mm (I know it is not a scale per se....).
#3 is do-able, and for #4 read on....

My character (as can be seen in the top picture) is White Tiger, a character created in the 70's amid the martial arts craze that swept American popular culture. White Tiger (Hector Ayala) was Marvel's first Hispanic hero, and really was only a sporadically-seen character for the next twenty-five plus years. Nowadays his mantle has been taken on by other characters (his sister and niece), and White Tiger is probably an apt Forgotten Hero.

My plan is to use the Black Panther mini as the basis for the character. His gloves and boots will get a little filling with Milliput. His pointy panther ears will be removed and filed down. His panther-teeth necklace will be trimmed back and an amulet made out of green stuff. And if I feel really confident, I may (emphasis on *may*) try to do his boot/leg wraps.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

SMG Side-project...

I have been bitten by the bug of a new side project in recent days, and as any hobbyist knows, that way lies peril as there is never enough time for every project!

I like designing character rules and I like playing games. I also like what Knight Models did to a limited extent with SMG, but lament there wasn't more. The now defunct SMG range extends to 15 officially released minis with cards, plus 2 minis with leaked cards which were never printed (Elektra and Venom).

I started musing and pondering this week, which is what general leads me down the rabbit-hole of a new project, and may be regarded as 'unwise' by the more learned hobbyist....

My idea is simple: create more stuff which I can use for SMG assuming my main opponent agrees to it being used! But any good project needs some boundaries, so I am following these rules:

  1. All minis must have a Knight Models mini as their primary basis to ensure some degree of aesthetic consistency;
  2. Characters should fit within the general street-level-plus milieu already established (so no this time);
  3. Characters should reflect the comics as opposed to movies;
  4. I must create a card for each new or re-purposed character.
Now, I already have given myself a slight head-start in the SMG Project, as I have painted Black Panther (shown on the blog last July) and Black Widow already. I set to work adapting a cost schema I obtained from a fellow hobbyist and engineered it so it gave me ball-park near costings on Daredevil and Elektra, using that to inform the costs I assign to new characters as I develop them. 

One of the first examples is the Black Panther card in this post. I tried to encapsulate a classic sense of Black Panther (so omitted the Lord of the Dead stuff). T'Challa has a storied history operating solo in and around New York, and stood in for Daredevil for a while. In the same way that BMG stretches Affiliations (think Cyborg to Batman), I felt his natural home was Spider-man's faction. Expect to see more in my SMG Project in coming months!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Killer Frost

This version of Killer Frost is based on her incarnation in the Injustice video game, and while a cool-looking mini (no apologies for that pun!), it was a pain in parts to paint, which slowed me down, and was the reason why I picked up Swamp Thing, Alfred and Scarecrow as 'quick wins' - all were started after Killer Frost!

The mini's arm positions made it really awkward, which was compounded with some poor colour choices in places, which makes the final mini a little rougher than I like, but it is another mini down which is the most important thing. The arms were a pain to get into position, with very fine contact points and no obvious way of pinning as they joined at a right angle to wrist and bicep.

Killer Frost can be used in pretty much all villainous crews as a Free Agent, becoming a Sidekick in Mr. Freeze crews, which seems more about cold theme than how either character is consistently shown in the comics. She can also be used in a Suicide Squad team alongside the likes of Deadshot and Riddler - so I may have to look at building up a few more members for that option before too long.

In game terms she looks reasonably durable for an End 6 character thanks to Acrobat, Adaptable, Resilient and Runaway. On top of that she brings a low threat shooting attack and Stop, on top of unarmed attacks doing 1 Blood. So definitely some useful stuff, but not top-tier by any stretch.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 24.6% (69 models)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Scarecrow (Batman Begins)

Scarecrow (the version depicted in Batman Begins) was a nice quick win for me, painted in short spurts over a few days, and helping maintain my recent momentum of finished minis. He can only be used in a League of Shadows crew, which means I am not planning to field him any time soon, but that aside, it is another mini taken out of the growing backlog. I purposefully picked this one to do now as I thought he would be fairly straightforward, and thankfully that was the case.

In game terms he offers area of effect threat through a template, but that is limited in range so places him in harm's way. More importantly, he has a Trait allowing him to remove a KO character within 20 cm, so ideally he would follow a character doing Stun as opposed to purely Blood damage.

Next up for BMG I want to finish at least one of Killer Frost or Robin, and maybe even Zsasz (the latter has been part-painted for months unfortunately), and ideally I would like one of those to be completed before the end of the month.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 24.3% (68 models)