Monthly Archives: January 2016

Doctor Who- Cybermen

Von Greg

Doctor Who, especially the Doctor Who Miniatures Game ruleset, have been the bread and butter of my convention games ever since I reentered (with any seriousness) the miniatures wargaming hobby 2010. Designed by Graeme ? and Karl Perrotton, (currently the brains behind 7TV and Crooked Dice), DWMG was simple for new players to pick up and most importantly for me, really captured the feel of the Doctor Who universe. With its status as an unofficial, fan-designed product, it was cheap to adopt and supported by an active and friendly player-base. Even though regular updates ceased during the middle of the Matt Smith era, there are still a wealth of expansions and supplemental material available from the rules website.

Late last year, when Warlord Games announced their acquisition of the official license for a Doctor Who miniatures game, what should have been exciting news, instead had me feeling a bit anxious for all the long term unofficial producers of “Whovian” miniatures. Would Warlord go on an IP crusade and cut off the supply? The notion has already forced a few “not-Who” miniature projects underground.

After some conversation with friend, game designer, and fellow HAWK, Buck Surdu, I’ve decided to inventory what Doctor Who figures I already have so that I can plan to get the few items I need before figure lines potentially disappear.

First up are the Cybermen, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. These silver cyborg precursors to Star Trek’s Borg have appeared many times in my games from my 2011 “Victoria Hawkes and the Silver Menace” to my Schlegel’s Ferry offering for the 2016 HMGS Cold Wars convention.4

Classic Who

I’ve relied on the former Harlequin sculpts (now owned by Black Tree Designs) for most of my force. They have almost every design from the Mk.I Cyber-Mondasians from the Hartnell era, through the Tomb Cybermen and “Invasion” models, but I settled on the Cyber NeoMorphs from the 5th-7th Doctor series, since it was the best of the available sculpts and while not always 100% accurate, mix well in earlier Doctor’s adventures.

First up, are the 3 old FASA/Citadel Models I had lying around in my collection since the late 80s:

I find the detail on these guys to be a slight step above the Harlequin ones, but due to their age, they are a bit vertically challenged and measure up closer to the 25mm than to the 28mm standard.

Next, is the Harlequin/Blacktree Cyber Controller:

A very good mini overall, but he seems to be a bit skinnier and shorter than the rest of his troops.

Now for the bulk of the collection. Over the years, I’ve had some bouts of selective amnesia when placing my Doctor Who orders and have wound up purchasing these guys in groups of 10 every time I wanted something from Black Tree. The results are below:

There they are in all their glory. 24 painted Cyber NeoMorphs, ready to upgrade the universe. As a postscript, I found 6 more of their completed brethren in another box right after I took the photo, so my actual fieldable force numbers stretch to 30.

With this many troops to command, I decided early on to paint up the alternate sculpt as Cyber Lieutenants in order to give the Cyber Controller some flexibility in his force deployment.

Total Inventory:

Painted:

  • 3 FASA/Citadel Cybermen
  • 30 BlackTree/Harlequin Cyber NeoMorphs
  • 1 Cyber Controller
  • 2 Cyber Lieutenants/Leaders

Works-in-Progress:

  • 2 Stealth Cybermen

Unpainted:

  • 20 BlackTree/Harlequin Cyber NeoMorphs

New-Who

Until recently, sources for the revived series Cybermen have been a bit scarce and anyone wanting to run a Cyberman game from the 10th Doctor forward has had to resort to a lot of “make do” measures. I’m sure this will change under the watch of Warlord Games, but I’m afraid that they will just do the redesigned Cyber model from the end of the Matt Smith era and bypass the tried and true Cybus industries Cyberman.

I was lucky enough to get in on MicroUniverse’s Doctor Who line while it was briefly available and obtain two of their Cybermen. While a bit more realistically proportioned than standard 28mm offerings, they did serve me well as a token presence for the cybermen in my early games of DWMG.

On the complete opposite end of the quality spectrum are these lovelies from the Doctor Who Adventures UK kid’s magazine. Packaged as a free giveaway along with some equally horrid Sontarans, these mildly bendy plastic monstrosities allowed me to bulk up my modern era cyber force quickly at a decent price. The results are really lacking. In fact, I had to draw on their eyes since they weren’t molded on.

Inventory:

  • 2 Microuniverse Cybermen
  • 16 Doctor Who Adventures Cybermen

What’s to Come?

On the positive side, I was able to obtain 20 “not-cybermen” from an undisclosed source, and they are an absolutely excellent rendition of the now classic Cybus model Cyberman. I hope to have these guys assembled and painted up in time for the 2016 Cold Wars convention.

Next up- Daleks!

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A Fourth Combat Patrol (TM) Video

Buck

I just posted another Combat Patrol ™ Instructional video on YouTube. This one describes the process of anti-tank fire. You can get to it through the rules’ Web page or directly on YouTube.  Check it out!

One of life’s great joys: knocking out a Nazi tank.

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Making Frostgrave’s Harbor: Part III (Final)

Chris Palmer   This past weekend, during the big East Coast Blizzard, I worked on building the actual dockside for the city of Frostgrave.  I used pink foam insulation sheeting for the core of the wharf, and the cork tiles,I’ve been using for my Frostgrave buildings to do the facings.  For the top surface I used some cobblestone roads I got at Walmart over the holidays in their Christmas village section.
   (You can click on any photo to see it larger)

     I made three 1’ sections, and a fourth small ramp piece.  After everything was assembled, I primed it all black.  After that, I drybrushed all the stonework with three levels of gray, and the wood with browns, and then applied snow and icicles.

     I’m very happy with how everything has come together.  I think this will be a fun addition to my Frostgrave games.  I can’t wait to have a chance to try this setting out.

When I wasn’t building terrain, I was outside Frostgrave “LARP-ing” 🙂

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Vandorendra, Snake Demon: Figure 193 of 266

Chris Palmer

     This week I wrapped up the Bedevilled Set by painting Vandorendra, Snake Demon.  The Bedevilled Set now joins the list of completed sets over in the righthand column.  I’m going to take a short break from doing Vampire sets next week, and start working on 4 of the Orcs from the Orcpocalpyse add-on set.  I realized I didn’t want to get to the end of painting the Bones I Vampire pledge, and suddenly be faced with 20 orcs to paint, so I thought I’d start feeding them in between sets.
      I prepped Vandorendra in the usual way; soaking the figure in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.25" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

     I began by painting her entire upper body, and the underbelly scales, all Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  I then painted the rest of her upper snake scales with Crafters Acrylic “Cinnamon Brown”.  I also painted the area of the base in between her snake coils; were the skull, bones, and sword are, as well as the weapon grips, with Ceramcoat Walnut.  Next, I painted all the weapon hilts and jewelry with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.

    After the first colors had had a while to dry, I gave the entire a figure a wash with GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  When the wash was dry, I painted her hair black.  I also painted the skull and bones on the base with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and the sword scabbard with Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna”.

     Next, I highlighted the hair with a mix of Folk Art “Cloudy Day” and Black, then I did finer highlights with just the “Cloudy Day”.  Then lastly, I mixed a little White with the “Cloudy Day” and did some spot highlights on the hair.  I also did highlights on the the skull and bones with Americana “Buttermilk, and finer highlights with Crafter’s Acrylic "Light Antique White”.  I then finished painting the ground under the skull, bones, and scabbard by drybrushing it lightly with GW Khemri Brown", and then Crafter’s Edition “Taupe”

     I then painted her eyes, giving her pupils with Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”, I also used the “Apple Maroon” to paint the tiny gem on her forehead".  Next I mixed some of the “Apple Maroon” with some of the Territorial Beige" to paint her lips.  Next, I highlighted her skin and the underbelly scales with the base “Territorial Beige”, I then mixed a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Flesh” with the “Territorial Beige” to do some lighter highlights.   I followed this with doing highlights on the rest of the scales with Americana “Sable Brown.”   Next, I painted her nipples with Americana “Charcoal Grey” mixed with a little of the “Territorial Beige”. 
       My next step was to paint all the weapon blades with Folk Art “Gunmetal Grey”.   Then, I used Ceramcoat 14K Gold to  highlight all the weapon hilts and jewelry that I had painted Bronze earlier.  I then went back and used Folk Art Silver Sterling to add highlights to the blades.  Lastly, I painted the rest of the figure’s integral base with the “Walnut”.
     After the figure had the afternoon to dry, I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish” in the evening.  The next morning I flocked the base using a sand mixture, and later that afternoon I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote.  

   
I’m very pleased with how this figure turned out.  I was interested to see how the “Territorial Beige” would work for a darker skin tone, and I think it came out looking pretty good.  
Figure 193 of 266: Complete

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Derro Trio

Norman Dean The notion of gathering a team to explore the slowly-thawing ruins of a once-great city seems a little on the nose today, given the blizzard that’s currently hitting the East Coast. None the less, here are the latest additions to my growing band of adventurers–a trio of rather grumpy-looking dwarves.

(OK, technically they’re listed as “derro,” which in D&D are some demented subspecies of dwarves, but I did not bother to look this up before painting them, and thus they lack the distinctive coloration of derro. So–dwarves.)

First, we have just a regular Derro, apparently one of a set of three, though I didn’t end up with either of the other two. I had a bit of fun doing his hat. He doesn’t seem particularly heavily armed or armored (just some sort of hook/club thing and some rope) so I’m thinking he’ll be a rogue or thief.

This guy is the Derro Leader, a little more heavily armed than the first. He’s kind of asymmetrical; his left arm has some sort of padded protection and a thick leather glove, while his right arm is bare except for an oddly-shaped buckler. In Frostgrave terms, he’ll probably end up as a Thug.

And here we have the Derro Mage. His pendant strongly suggested an eye, so that’s how I painted it. Between that, and his demon belt-buckle, his Frostgrave role may be a Summoner.

And here are the three of them together! The Derro Leader’s scale armor is a little more apparent from this angle. All in all, I had fun with these guys–as Bones go, they didn’t have too much extraneous detail, and their somewhat exaggerated features give them some character. I ended up playing around with some unusual color choices as well, especially with the first two.
I have some more Bones in my queue, but I think I’m ready for a change of pace–my next goal will be to get some officers and flags painted for my 19th-century imagi-nations…

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Combat Patrol(TM) Design Articles on Cigarbox Battles

Buck

I wrote a longish article on the design process for Combat Patrol™: World War II.  It was originally serialized and posted on The War-games Website.  After the six-month exclusive period expired, the articles have been reposed on Cigarbox Battles.  The first three parts of this four-part article are posted now.  Please give them a read and let me know what you think.  I have always found reading about how other serious designers go about their design process.  If you haven’t heard of Combat Patrol™, see the rules’ Web site here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 will be published in February.

While you are at the Cigar Box Battles site, this is a fun article.

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Bones II: Two Skeletons

Chris Palmer

     This week I also completed two skeletons fro the Bones II “Shambling Dead” set.  In the past I have always painted my skeletons by priming them black, and then drybrushing them with various shades of off-whites and white.  This time, I wanted to try starting with a white undercoat, and then using a black wash to darken the recesses.  I also wanted to try using a darker off-white in my drybrushing.
      I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.  I then glued one of the figure to a white-primed 1" fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue and the other to a black primed 1" fender washer.  I then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

     I began by painted both skeletons entirely with White.  When the White was dry, I gave both a wash with GW “Badab Black” wash.


     I drybrushed them first with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and then with Americana “Buttermilk”, then lastly with Crafters Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  
     I then painted the shaft of the halberd, and the bow, with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  Next, I painted the head of the halberd, and the base of the archer, with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.  I also painted the base of the halberdier with Americana “Neutral Grey”.   My next step was to give the halberd shaft and the bow a wash with GW “Agrax Earthshade” using a wet brush.  While I had the “Agrax Earthsahde” out, I also used some of it with a fine brush to help delineate some of the bone joints that had become obscured by the drybrushing.   
     I then worked on completing the rust effects on the halberd head by adding splotches of Crafters Edition “Spice Brown”, and then some lighter splotches of  Accent “Golden Oxide” to give the impression of rust.  Afterwards, I drybrushed it lightly with Some Folk Art “Gunmetal Grey”.  I then worked on the rocks that the halberdier stands on, and drybrushed them with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, followed by Folk Art “Platinum Grey”
    When everything had overnight to dry, I gave the figures a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  That afternoon I flocked the halberdier’s base with Woodland Scenics “Snow” flock, and the archer’s base with regular green flock.  The next day, I sprayed the figures with Testor’s Dullcote.
     I’m pleased with how the new methods I tired turned out.  I think these skeletons turned out looking pretty good.  

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Dwarven Forge’s City Builder Terrain System Kickstarter Arrived!

Chris Palmer    Just a quick blog update to let folks know that I was surprised to find my fulfillment package from Dwarven Forge’s City Builder Terrain System Kickstarter waiting for me on the doorstep this afternoon.    It was last March when I bought into this Kickstarter.  I didn’t receive any shipping notice, so it came as quite a pleasant surprise.

    It’s going to take a while to unpack all the little pieces, with each one being individually bagged.  But, I unpacked enough to play around with some simple builds.

Here’s a simple tutor structure, with a free DF figure and giant rat that came with my package.

One of the cool features, is the metal sheets in the roof pieces that allow magnetic accessories to be applied, like this fire.  There are also fire inserts that go in the window.

After the fire…  Here are some of the ruined pieces. I’ve noticed some pieces, like this ruined roof, are warped.  I’m going to need to see how to un-warp these.  Perhaps the same treatment as Reaper’s Bones figures.

More to follow in the coming days, as I have a chance to play around with everything.

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Making Frostgrave’s Harbor: Part II

Chris Palmer    This past weekend I was able to finish working on the ships for my Frostgrave waterfront.  I began by base-coating the ships dark brown, and then dry-brushed them with successively lighter coats of a grey-brown mix of paint.  (For part one of this article, see: Making Frostgrave’s Harbor: Part I

The small ships with their paint jobs, before I “winterized” them.

The large ship all painted up in it’s weathered look before permanently gluing it to its base, and before getting its winter treatment.

     I then applied snow paint and flocking to the bases, and a little to the ships themselves.  I also added a few Water Effects icicles to the ships.

The finished large ship, with the Templar aboard checking out.

A close up of the detail.

The Templar checking out two smaller vessels in the frozen harbor.

Detail shot of one of the smaller ships.

        I’m really pleased with how the ships came out.

     Since the city of Frostgrave is thawing out, I thought it might be fun to add some spots in the harbor where the ice had melted through, and the water was actually visible.  I figured it would be fun to have these areas where folks could push their enemies into the freezing water, or perhaps evil things could emerge.
     While at the local hardware store a couple weeks ago, I picked up a sheet of fluorescent light covering that had a cool crystalline pattern to it.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it at the time, but I thought it might work perfectly for this project.  I actually ended up using it to make the water portion, instead of ice, because when you painted the underside, the texture made it look like rippling water.  I began by cutting out a roughly oval section of the sheet.

Painting a “hole” on the underside of the plastic sheet.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the surrounding snow, so at this point I masked the “hole” and sprayed the sheet white.

In the end, I decided to use some white felt to represent the snow, as that was what I was going to use for the harbor anyway.  I applied a small ring of Water Effects around the hole to represent the edge of the ice, and then I glued the felt over the plastic sheet to be the snow.

   Next up, I will be building the ruined dock along the city’s edge, so stay tuned for Part III.

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Combat Patrol Science Fiction Support Weapons

Buck

Box art for Cadian heavy weapons

Box art for Cadian heavy weapons

I have been collecting figures to adapt Combat Patrol™: World War II for science fiction skirmishes.  I have the Woodbine figures from the movie Aliens, the Sergeant Major’s Miniatures Firefly crew, and a bunch of Reaper Bones science fiction figures.  Chris pointed out that for an open-field type science fiction skirmish we needed some vehicles and support weapons.  I am working on a a scratch-build APC (more on that when I finish it).  Someone directed me to Pig Iron’s Web page, where I ordered a bunch of heavy infantry with support weapons.  Until those arrive, I found this box of Games Workshop Warhammer 40k support weapons.  This weekend I assembled and painted them.  The interesting thing about this box of figures is that it comes with crew for three weapons, but enough parts to make three each of several different weapons.  I guess you are supposed to choose which weapons you want to build; however, I wanted to be able to use any mix of them in a game.  As a result, I assembled them for maximum flexibility, sacrificing some aesthetics.  The figures don’t look as much like a permanently-mounted two-man crew any more so that I can mix and match them during a game.

Configured with heavy AT type gun

Configured with heavy AT type gun

Configured as mortars

Configured as mortars

A shoulder-fired AT rocket

A shoulder-fired AT rocket

Configured as laser cannons

Configured as laser cannons (with shoulder-fired AT rocket launcher in the foreground)

Configured as machinegun-like things

Configured as machinegun-like things

There were also a bunch of extra canteen, rifles, ammunition, and other bits.  When I build my space ship, I will use them to equip the arms room.

Even though the flexibility meant that the figures didn’t fit as nicely behind all the weapon, and some of the poses are a bit off, I am happy with the final outcome.

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