Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Ninja and a Shed

While I'm never going to have the vast towers and murky streets of Blade Runner, the setting I've been gradually putting together does have a vaguely cyberpunk feel, like a border town in the future, where high technology sits alongside waste and junk.

There's always been a strong Japanese element to cyberpunk, probably because the genre was invented around 1980, when Tokyo looked to be the city of the future: Blade Runner has blimps advertising sushi, and Neuromancer has a replicant ninja. In keeping with this, I converted a ninja-type assassin from various bits I had lying around.



The head and torso come from a 40k Vindicare assassin, which I got cheaply with a load of broken parts (someone else had already hacked the legs off). The right arm and gun originally were part of an Infinity model, and the left arm is from a genestealer hybrid. The legs were based on the legs of a plastic Eldar guardian, although I had to cut them down because they were incredibly long. I sculpted some appropriate shoes instead of the pointy boot things that Eldar seem to wear.

Here he is with a bit of paint. As ever, he's slightly washed out, so the colour looks more extreme than it actually is. Strangely, the contrast on the base has hardly come out at all.




The other current project is a clinic for the Necromunda town, based on a TT Combat model. At present, it looks like a big white shed.






It will look better once I've stuck some more bits on. I'm thinking of getting hold of the recent objectives set to make some medical gear for the interior, and perhaps building a more technological extension on the side. It's got plenty of potential - which means that it's a long way from being finished.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Nurgle Champion

So great was the corruption of the governor that folk did not argue about whether he would fall to Chaos, but which of the ruinous powers would claim his soul. The governor's crazed ranting had inspired many a Khornate militia to go on the rampage. His subterfuge and treason were worthy of a devotee of Tzeentch. And his depraved, insatiable lusts would have made a priest of Slaanesh wince.

But ultimately he belonged to Nurgle, the god of corruption and decay. Now his name is lost, and he is known only as Threebellies, a monster as bloated as he is stupid, whose ruins everything he touches.


I've never really been very into Chaos in Warhammer, either in fantasy or 40k, although some of the really old stuff has an entertaining Hieronymous Bosch feeling. It's pretty take-it-or-leave-it for me, and most of it I'd leave. In particular, I've never really got Nurgle, whose models always looked a bit jolly and suffered from an excess of tentacles.

Anyway, a friend of mind gave me part of a really old metal Great Unclean One. I had no real use for it, until I discovered that the upper body of one of the riders from the Maggoth kit fitted really well on top of it. By which I mean that it was grossly misproportioned.




I found a tutorial for painting suitably rancid skin and followed it. He does look a bit like a mouldy strawberry up on end, but in the circumstances, that might not be an entirely bad thing.




 Lovely.




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Maniacs


Presidential Decree 69784/603/17
Top Secret

Dear science guys,

Listen, I have had the best idea how to solve the prison overcrowding crisis and the recruitment problem at once! We get convicts and fill them with drugs and stuff until they're really big and kind of mutated like that guy in that cartoon. And mad, too. They've got to be mad. Then, we point them at the bad guys and let them loose! Cool, huh?

 Of course, we'd want real crazies to begin with, homicidal maniacs and stuff, otherwise it won't work. And we'd need to give them lots of big weapons. Sometimes, I amaze myself with all the brilliant ideas I have. It's gonna be great, so great. I can't see how this could go wrong.


For a while I've been interested in the "Storm of Sigmar" starter set for Warhammer Age of Sigmar: mainly because for £20 you get a lot of pretty decent models. In particular, I think the armoured Khorne chaps are really well sculpted and would make an excellent replacement for the old and lumpy plastic Chaos Space Marines. I've also been tempted to have a go at converting some Sigmarines, and this seemed to be the easiest way to get some on the cheap.

The box comes with five "bloodreavers". These are low ranking Khorne fighters (Khorne seems to be the chaos god of choice in AoS, and now everything Khorneish has "blood" in the title), and to my mind they're a bit too massive to be entirely convincing as normal humans. I thought it would be good to update them to look like post-apocalyptic maniacs, like the War Boys from Mad Max or the Raiders from Fallout.

That involved cutting off their Viking-style helmets and replacing some of their weapons. I also did some minor converting to make the poses a bit more dynamic. I gave them metal gas mask heads from Pig Iron Productions to make them look more sinister.



Painting-wise, I went for orange convict-type trousers and a lot of dirt. I wanted to use a messy style on the torsos, with a lot of washes over a pale undercoat, but it was too messy and I just ended up painting them in the usual way. Oh well: it's pretty messy as it is.


Now, on a different note, you're clearly people of excellent taste (after all, you're reading this...). So why not pre-order my next novel? The Pincers of Death, an exciting tale of war, giant soldier ants and hovering teapots right: HERE. I can promise that the jokes in it are even better than the ones here. Honest.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Inglorious Technicolor!

While I really enjoy making terrain, I've found that my natural instinct is to colour everything grey. Although most fantastical buildings probably would be made of either stone or concrete, it does make for a rather drab battlefield, especially if you can't paint the neon lights like those in Blade Runner.

So I decided to experiment with some colour. I looked at pictures of the favelas in Rio, where crude buildings are often painted very brightly, and tried to do a colour scheme like that on a model. The building I made was built out of a cheap wooden chest that I bought at an art shop (perhaps for storing jewellery) on top of a lower storey made out of textured plasticard. Additional doors, windows and tech stuff were attached to break up the outline from a variety of old models and basing kits.



I'm really not sure what to make of the result. The green colour bothers me a bit: I tried to mute it down with sponged-on highlights/dirt, but it does feel very lurid. I'm reminded of the sort of "you'd never know it was a shampoo bottle, honest" terrain from the early days of wargaming. That said, the colours do tie in quite nicely with the market stalls and some of the random machinery that I've already made. Here's a back view:


I do like the brickwork (it's a bit washed out here) and the object source lighting. I'll have a think about the green colour. If either of you readers happen to have any thoughts, please do send me a comment below.

Anyway, more terrain. For some reason, since time immemorial, it has been the custom in the UK to sell oranges in a mesh bag. Recently, these bags have had a sort of plastic fishnet panel at the front. I hacked up one of these and used it as wire for a fence. Stuck between bits of sprue, and suitably painted, it looks quite convincing.



Sunday, 25 June 2017

Zombie Flamenco Apocalypse!

Please note that the following post contains graphic descriptions of both rooting and tooting, and hence may not be suitable for those of a sensitive disposition.

This weekend was the Glastonbury Festival, and so my friend James and I met up to stay inside, play board games and drink tea.

First was Project Z, Warlord Games' zombie wargame. This was the first time either of us had played it, and for simplicity's sake we took on a solo scenario, controlling three survivors of the apocalypse each. We had to get from one side of the board to the other, battling through a shuffling horde of the undead on the way.

The rules were reasonable, in that they made sense and had plenty of opportunity for strategy and cunning. We played the scenario twice: the first time, all the survivors reached "safety" (in this case, a ruined building that was about as safe as a house made out of dynamite in the middle of a forest fire). The second time, one of our survivors, a bold fellow with a chainsaw, was pulled down and devoured.

Many zombies were slain, so many that the undead were forced to recruit some extra help from James' stock of Konflict 47 German zombies. The modern and Nazi zombies sealed a sinister pact in a scene that was much like the inlay art of Dark Side of the Moon.

Comfortably numbed

Overall, we agreed that for £30, Project Z wasn't bad at all.

Next up was the very reliable Shadows of Brimstone, also known as Cowboys v Cthulhu. Once again it was time to mosey on down to the old mine and draw a six-shooter on some varmints from Hell.

A horde of zombies prospectors and flamenco dancers attack the heroes


The first mission involved slaying industrial quantities of zombies, after which we were both rather tired of the shuffling dead, even if some of them were dressed like flamenco dancers. Taking on a new mission, both Sherrif Meatballs and Doc Casserole pulled their weight again, butchering a wide and colourful range of monsters and sending them to wait at the edge of the board.


In a truly manly climax, Sherrif Meatballs whipped out his Sherrif's badge, the sight of which sent Doc Casserole into a frenzy. Shooting wildly in all directions, Casserole squeezed off twelve bullets in a single turn, like the rootin', tootin' son of a gun that he is, scything through a range of monsters, and the day was saved. The mine was strewn with more bodies than a Nick Cave ballad. The two adventurers swaggered off to town to drink whiskey and have their mutations cut off.

Doc Casserole in action. Note (a) rooting and (b) tooting

 And then we tried Shadow War: Armageddon. This game pits small groups of Warhammer 40k soldiers against each other, and is strongly based on Necromunda. So far, so good. James took five harlequins and I used my squad of ork commandos.

The orks lurking innocently behind some shops


And then it went a bit wrong. The harlequins had special rules that made them very hard to hit and completely impossible to pin, as well as being able to pass straight through cover. They charged the orks and went through them like a knife through butter. The orks fought back - and died immediately. It was clear that the game was as good as over, and we called a halt to things.

My feeling is that the various forces are too different for the game to run smoothly, and the ability of the harlequins to ignore the pinning rule (which is pretty fundamental to Necromunda) was a gigantic advantage. We decided to give it another try, but with less extreme forces. Bit of a shame, that.

Anyhow, a very good weekend was had by all (well, both). Quality stuff!


But That's Heresy 4: Special Rules





I’m beginning to think that a wargame stands or falls on its special rules, and the more special rules it has, the greater the chance it has of falling.

The problem with special rules is that they override normal rules. They tend to say “No matter what, this happens” or, perhaps worse, “No matter what, you can’t do that”. Let me give you an example.

Years ago, I played Fantasy Battle against a High Elf army. I carefully positioned a tough unit of lizardmen to charge a smaller unit of axe-pixies (or swordsmen or whatever they were). I charged, ready to make the most of my cunning deployment. But it was not to be.

The High Elves had a rule that not only meant that they always struck first, but that they got to reroll any misses. My cunning lizardmen were simply wiped out before they had the chance to strike back. Had the High Elves not had that rule, I would have won hands (claws?) down. 


A High Elf trying to look casual.

I learned my lesson. Quite simply, anything that touched the axe-pixies would die without a chance to hit back. So I bought some fire-breathing lizards. The next battle, I kept away and set the whole axe-pixie unit alight from range. Sometimes, revenge is a dish best served flambé.

You might argue that I ought to have known about the special rule before I played. I'm not convinced by this. I feel that, as a fairly casual player who nevertheless wants to have a fair chance of winning, I shouldn't be confronted by rules that can't be got around and seem to go against the common sense of how you win a tabletop battle (by manouvering, charging first, etc). The rules should roughly follow the logic of the game.

The special rule, therefore, had two effects. First, it won my opponent the first battle without him having to put in any effort. It caught me by surprise and meant that all my manouvering was a waste of time: anything attacking the axe-pixies would just die. Second, it meant that I never went near them. Every time they appeared, I killed them from range. 

Some lizardmen, out for a stroll.
 
So what was the upshot of this? Largely that, by having this special rule, the axe-pixies were a waste of space. My opponent didn’t get to use them, because I wouldn’t and couldn’t fight them, so buying them was something of a waste of money for him. And they forced me into one particular tactic: not a dirty trick as such, but one that trumped his unit as it would have inevitably trumped any of mine if I had let it reach them.

I doubt this made the game better for either of us. This sort of thing doesn’t open up tactical opportunities: it closes them, forcing players to get around the special rule in a particular convoluted way. Neither I nor my opponent became better players or had more fun because of it. 

This is one of the reasons why Necromunda is such a good game. Because everyone is so similar (they’re human riff-raff), they all have nearly the same rules. Nobody can spring huge surprises on the other. When you lose, you don’t feel cheated, and when you win, you feel like you’ve earned it. And the games are almost always close run. If you are going to have special rules, they should: (1) apply to everyone (in which case, are they still special?); (2) have a very small, limited effect; and (3) not go against the common sense of a player who doesn’t know them.

Ten years later, am I still hung up about the High Elves (who were not even proper elves, because proper elves wear green and live in trees) and their special rules? Of course not. But it's a fair point. And I watched the axe-pixies burn. Yes, burn.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Gaze Upon My Orks And Despair!

The last two yoofs are finished for the ork commando force. These guys came as "broken", because their weapons had snapped off. I gave the one on the right a Roman soldier's sword to act as a commando dirk. He's probably the weakest sculpt of the four: I think the old moulding methods rather limited his movement. The other yoof's axe had broken off. Because every commando unit in an old war film has an explosives expert (or just a lunatic who likes things that go bang), I drilled a piece of dyed string into the handle of the axe and painted it as a stick of dynamite.




The unit now has ten members, and is ready for a bit of gorilla warfare!

Warlord games had a half-price sale, and I bought a couple of ruined houses sold for Bolt Action. The houses are Italieri kits and small, even by Warlord's standards. I assembled one and painted it in a quick, rough way for use as a generic ruin. I left off the sandbags and modern details, and cut away the top of the doorframe to make it look less tiny. To be honest, if I had bought these things at full price (£16 each!) I'd be feeling cheated.

At any rate, it can't be that terrible, because Orke Waaargate has taken up residence in it.

An Englishman's home is his castle. An ork's home is his hovel.


And finally, a bit of resin terrain from Spellcrow which I bought ages ago. I don't think all the bits were sent, but as with much Spellcrow stuff, it's a really nice, detailed sculpt.

Needs work, but plenty of opportunity for extension.


Now, how will the orks perform in combat? Will the terrain be getting some use shortly? Wait and see.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Swiss Army Boys

So, after that unsatisfying interlude, let's move on to something else. A while back, I discovered that people sell broken miniatures very cheaply. And often, their definition of "broken" is very wide.

I picked up four old ork commando miniatures for £4 on ebay. They are from the period just before the orks were redesigned to be hulking, ape-like creatures with bandy legs, and are noticably smaller than the modern sort. Which is handy, since Shadow War Armageddon allows the orks to take "yoofs", who are the equivalent of "juves" in Necromunda: new recruits lacking in experience.

 These two guys are the first two commandos.


They've still got the cartoon British WW2 look, perhaps even more so than their modern counterparts. I suppose they're not the most sophisticated miniatures, but the paint went on them very easily. They seemed to come together really simply. I enjoy painting the skintones like this, too: adding pink to the mix makes it feel more like actual skin.

Best of all, though, is the rear view (so to speak). The orks have rucksacks, pouches and coils of rope, as you'd expect from commandos, but look at this! They've got Swiss army knives! How cool is that?


I think that's an excellent touch. There's real charm to that. Sometimes it feels that, as models become ever more slick, full of detail and precision - and bigger - it's this sort of quirkiness that appeals to me. I find this kind of detail endlessly more appealing than rows of identical soldiers, as similar as they are elite. It's fun.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Disappointment

Normally, if I am late in doing something, it's because something went wrong. My car broke down, my knee flared up again, I got lost on the way, something like that. So it's rare for me to be able to say that I got delayed by anything exciting. However, this week, I am late updating the blog because I have been putting the finishing touches to my latest novel before sending it to the publisher. I don't get to say stuff like that very often.

Anyway, here is the Cannoness from the last post, with some paint. Perhaps it's the harsh lighting, but what seemed like a decent paint job looks bleached here - more accurately, washed-out and over-shadowed at once. Not great really.



I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Perhaps I'm just kidding myself, but I think the paint job is pretty good - not award winning, not inspired, but at least a decent gaming model. Here it just looks bad.

Oh well. I'm off to write my book. If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

EDIT!

I has a try with a different camera. I think this has come out a bit better. Maybe. I had to darken the colours somewhat to get rid of the washed-out look on the armour, but I don't think I've doctored the picture too much.




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Converted Crusaders of the Cardinals Crimson

A very quick post here. Ages ago I found these guys on ebay for half price:

They're from a not-quite-defunct game called Wrath of Kings, notable for its quirky sculpts remeniscent of the old Confrontation game that Rackham used to make. They have a strange mix of medieval and steampunk equipment.

It occurred to me that they could be good models to accompany the Sisters of Battle. I expect that mobs of chanting monks are about as common in the 40k world as hedgehogs on the British road system, and probably suffer much the same fate. Also, the background mentions some people called the Cardinals Crimson, who sometimes send crusaders to help the Sisters (in between making prog rock albums).

I bulk-painted five of these guys, using a pretty fast technique. As a result I won't be winning any prizes for brushwork, but they look decent (if suitably weird) together.


Finally, this is what I'm working on at the moment. It's not terribly clear, but it's an old cannoness body with added arms. A small dragon-type creature is perched on her left gauntlet, cut from a dark elf knight years ago.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Holy Rollers

There comes a point in life where you stop and try to take stock. Where am I going? How did I get here? And why have I got so many Sisters of Battle tanks?

I've always liked the Sisters of Battle. They look cooler than Space Marines: they're less chunky and their armour has a sleek, antiquated style that fits the medieval feel of 40k better than brightly-coloured slabs of steel. They've got a bizarre concept and some wacky special rules. And of course they're the underdogs. For the last 10 years, the question has lingered of whether they are going to be "squatted" - ie, written out of the game. The background fluff has made them the standard victims of pretty much any other species, often in stupid circumstances. And weird people on the internet hate the possibility of being beaten by an army of girls, even little lead ones.


But most of all, the Sisters of Battle are 40k at its purest. Yes, I realise that the marines are more "iconic", so much so that there's a statue of one outside GW HQ (although there are Sisters in Rogue Trader, too). But the 40k world is basically the medieval church in space, and the Sisters are the sworn defenders of that church. In a setting based around war, piety and craziness, Joan of Arc is king. Well, queen.

What this means is that it makes "sense" for the Sisters to have the most absurd, over the top vehicles in the game. They should look like lumps of cathedral on tracks. In fact, I'd go one further and say that the aspects of the Sisters that I don't like are the recent, booby-lady elements: the Repentia and, to an extent, the Pentient Engine. So let's have a look in the motor pool of the Order of St Triniana and see what I've got.



First up is this early-model Immolator. Built on an old Rhino chassis and equipped with twin heavy flamers, it's great for quick trips into town and then for burning town to the ground when it displeaseth thee.


This is a standard-model late-variant Immolator, armed with twin multi-meltas. I finished this one today, although I've had the parts knocking around for ages. The only conversion I've made was to sculpt scrolls on the front and door, because I couldn't remove the doors from the second-hand Rhino on which I based the model and hence couldn't use the doors with Sisters iconography. Other than that, it's "normal".



And here is an Exorcist. This, incredibly, is the "standard" variant, complete with pulpit, keyboard and rocket-launching pipe organ. It must be one of the silliest kits to ever grace the 41st millenium. It probably weighs about a kilo, being lead on top of a plastic Rhino. My favourite detail, among endless other details, is that the pilot operating the keyboard has her eyes closed, presumably because she is so into playing Bach's Tocata and Fugue that she isn't bothering to check where the rockets are going.



For once, the conversion I made is less absurd than the standard model. This Exorcist is equipped with launchers taken from a Dust Tactics walker. The front was extended with parts from an old steam tank, and the back was built up with scenery bits. As with all the others, the paint scheme is meant to suggest marble, although I'm not sure I was terribly successful there.



And as for this... well, I suppose it's an Exorcist too, since the Sisters only have a few sorts of tank. It's essentially a mausoleum from the Garden of Morr on top of a Rhino, with extra bits and pieces.It was partly inspired by a sculpture by Kris Kuksi, but just as much by whatever I could throw together. I have doubts as to its military effectiveness, but I bet the Sisters like all the twiddly bits.




Monday, 29 May 2017

Gunbeast!

It feels like a little while since I last posted here - at least eight days! - but rest assured, I have not defected to the real world and have continued to work on little plastic people instead.

Little plastic aliens, to be more precise. Ages ago, I made a sort of four-legged tyranid based on a picture of a Hive Guard, before GW had brought out its models for them. The picture looked like this:







My own version was half tyranid warrior, half cold one (a sort of riding dinosaur that looked like a fat velociraptor). What with Shadow War Armageddon being out, and tyranids being a playable race (although surely a rubbish one, given their last few sets of rules) I thought it would be good to improve my slightly half-arsed conversion.

So, I added armour, bulked up the plates on its back, lengthened the front legs (made from genestealer claws) and added some extra ribbing from a necron to make the model look more biomechanical and to link the front half and the back half together more.





The gun is actually from the ancient - and dreadful - genestealer hybrid models from the Space Hulk Deathwing supplement.The head came from some kind of large-scale robot-person from the old Inquisitor game, back when you could order individual bits.

Anyhow, here are some pictures of the gunbeast painted up. Unlike most tyranids, he can open his mouth without his tongue flopping out like some sort of gormless space-labrador.






I think I might do a vehicle next. I've finally got the parts to finish the Immolator I've had knocking around for ages, and I recently bought the crane-and-tractor scenery pack from GW. So, mobile church or red rural ride?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Return of the Space Jockey (and Radio Boy)

Last week I watched Alien: Covenant, which was an entertaining and completely pointless film. It had some excellent scenes (especially the one in the sick bay) and a lot of pretentious waffle in between them. It seems that no explanation of the question "Where does the Alien come from?" can be as awe-inspiring at the question itself. I ended up with the sneaking suspicion that Ridley Scott had really wanted to make A.I.

But anyhow, the film inspired me to go back to the space jockey model I made ages ago out of half a tyranid, half a cap gun and a broken mouse. It was looking a bit worse-for-wear and rather unfinished. On closer examination of the Giger artwork, the jockey isn't just black/grey, as I'd thought: the pilot itself is a faded bone colour, while the rest of the machine looks grey/brown in places, as if bleached.

I had also left part of the "targeter" on the jockey: while my model is nowhere near an exact copy of the original, it was quite a large part of the Alien model, so I added one of my own. The end result (so far) looks like this:


Here is a tour guide/genestealer magus for scale.


The pilot is a bit too brown, and I'll have to blend him down with some grey washes. But it's definitely an improvement. It does look as if he's grown out of the chair - which, in space jockey circles, is quite a compliment.

In other news, I've finished the sixth member of the ork commando squad. This guy is exceptionally dangerous, because he has the radio set and can order in airstrikes. Unfortunately, there is always the risk that either he or mission control will get excited and mix up the present position for the one they want bombed, but such is the price of success. Or stupidity.



I ended up removing his spindly aerial, and replacing it for a suitably wonky-looking gun left over from a Skitarri kit. I think it worked quite well.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Rebasing the Blimp (2)

I wonder sometimes if I update this blog too often. I don't know how frequently you're supposed to add to a blog to "maximise traffic" or whatever the phrase is. But the way I see it, I might as well add things as I make them (and when I'm pleased with them), as most of this blog is for my own entertainment. Besides, multiple shorter posts are easier to read than a few very long ones, I think.

Anyhow, I've finished mucking around with the bottom of the blimp so that it slots into the stand and now "hovers" above the scenic base.



The mechanism by which the stand connects to the blimp itself is slightly crude, but it's hidden by the adverts and actually doesn't look too out of place with the slightly cobbled-together look of the blimp.

Here are some rules for the blimp:

Advertising Blimp

It is not uncommon to see automated blimps drifting above the city, even in some of the warzones of the Scorched Earth. Some are leftovers from an earlier age, advertising all sorts of luxuries that have not been available for decades: others have been refitted to sell products, offer services and spread propaganda to the citizens below.

The advertising blimp is treated as a piece of terrain. It cannot harm other models or be harmed by them. Every turn, the blimp moves 2 d.6 inches in a random direction. If its base comes into contact with a structure or model, it immediately stops. Roll a d.6 to see what effect the blimp has each turn.

1-3: A new life awaits us in the off-world colonies! The sight of rampant commercialism fills the combatants with hope for a better life. All models within 6" of the blimp gain +1 leadership.

4-6: Look at the shiny pictures... Distracted by images of soft drinks, sushi or scantily-clad humanoid females, all models within 6" of the blimp suffer a -1 penalty to their leadership.

All such bonuses and penalties cease to have effect if the blimp moves more than 6" from an affected model.

"Oceania? That sounds like a nice place to live."

As an added bonus, I was tempted to direct you to the song "The Blimp" from Captain Beefheart's album "Trout Mask Replica", on the grounds that it's sort of appropriate, but really, you'll manage without it. Of course, you could just listen to Zeppelin instead.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Get Me The Choppa!



As the Armageddon campaign wore on, the Big Boss realised that it would be just as effective to break the will of the human defenders as to kill them all. So, he gave the order to his commando squads: the officers leading the Imperial Guard's resistance were to be assassinated.

One such officer was Lord Commissar Heinrich von Eefilmann, a pupil of Yarrick himself, whose ruthless efficiency put the ruthless efficiency of less ruthlessly efficient commissars to shame. A crack team of ork commandos sharpened their knives, gathered large backpacks and big coils of rope, and set out to achieve the impossible.

Sentries were throttled, throats cut, vehicles sabotaged, supplies blown up and even cable cars surfed in the course of that deadly, if rather anachronistic, mission. Finally, the death-blow was struck by Burk "Slasher" Gutrip, a veteran commando with a bionic leg and a collection of sharp implements that would shame an operating theatre (albeit a rather rusty one).

Burk stole von Eefilmann's head and brought it back to his superiors in triumph. But the mission was ultimately a failure: now that their commissar was dead, the morale of the Imperial Guard improved significantly, since there was nobody left to execute them every time they sneezed.


 I've got to say, I'm rather pleased with this guy. Most of him is a metal doc figure, which came without a right arm or head. I used a Spellcrow head and a plastic right arm. His left leg was just a peg, which stuck me as a bit primitive. So I made him a new leg out of odds and ends, and I think it looks much better.

There really are some terrific metal ork models out there. The Space Marines might be covered in skulls and rosettes, but the orks look mean, as if they've had a try at fighting everything and come back for a second go. Next up in the unit is this guy, who will be the radio operator and comms genius just as soon as I've attached his head and painted him. I think he will be Plunk Teksmash.




Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rebasing The Blimp

Last year, I made an advertising blimp to hover over the futuristic battlefield, distracting the combatants with promises of a better life in a different game system. It looked like this:



Unfortunately, the base I made for it just wasn't strong enough. The blimp is based on about a kilogramme of solid resin (I hope the DEA isn't reading this) and the puny 40k flying base I'd used wobbled for a bit, and then snapped. The blimp was brought back down to earth very quickly. The humanity!

I got a replacement flying base very cheaply off the internet and got to work decorating it. Given the Blade Runnery feel of it, the base needed some high-tech bits and a lot of decaying, grubby stuff.





Like that. I always thought it was a good idea to keep those random bits of zoid. It then received some paint:


The transparent stand for the blimp slots into the cross in the middle. Now I've just got to work out how to fix it on there!