A chance visit to my local Half Price Books yielded an awesome result a week or so ago. Sitting out in the open was this little beauty:
Of course I swooped on it, especially for a mere $10! I wanted a set of these to paint up and possibly use in Judge Dredd as Juvies or something. It was a complete set too! I love finding some of the older stuff out in the wild still. The thrill of the hunt! (Even though I wasn’t on ‘the hunt’ that day).
So I’m considering picking up the new Necromunda, I really like the new Escher minis and I’m really liking the small scale skirmish games GW is finally embracing (again. It took how long for them to realize?). What’s everyone’s thoughts on it? Should I get it, or would I be better off picking up Kill Team?
“It does not matter how the galaxy burns, only that it does”.
“Warmaster – that is what it means, my brother. The strength to do what must be done.”
Welcome back, friends! This post sees the beginning of a long(ish)-term project between me and my good friend Matt. After exchanging several text messages through WhatsApp a couple of weeks ago, we decided upon a painting thing we could do together, and so The Horus Project was born.
Going through my drawers the other day (not my pants) I found an old back issue copy of White Dwarf. And by old, I don’t mean from the time in the mid-late 90s when GW were painting everything in various shades of red, no I’m talking about an issue from the 80s, July 1986 to be precise, so I thought I would take a look through and do a retrospective of sorts. Sit back in your armchair by the fire and grab a cup of hot chocolate while we fire up the WayBackWhen machine >cue TARDIS like noises<.
Right off the bat: The cover. There is the silhouette of the White Dwarf next to the title, then the subtitle: “The Role-Playing Games Monthly”, say whaaaat? Haha!
Then the artwork… I must say that this painting has always been a favorite of mine, right from when I first saw it in the Warhammer Fantasy Battle book. Titled ‘Amazonia Gothique’ by Games Workshop alumni John Blanche; it is a glorious, over-the-top image of a female chaos warrior, beautiful but deadly, and with some stunning, well maintained hair… I remember when I was in secondary school I painstakingly copied this image onto my art folder, not in full color, but lovingly shaded with pencil. I always loved the contrast of the green armor, the shock of white hair and the deep oranges in the sky. This remains a favorite of mine, and I would love to own a print of it so I could frame it.
Which reminds me… I must try and track down the miniature GW made of this, there were two versions IIRC? Actually, never mind, I just saw how much they are going for on EvilBay… ugh!
Now anyone here who’s old enough will remember that GeeDubya used to make miniatures and games for a whole plethora of other licenses. Judge Dredd? Yep! Doctor Who? Yep! Random assorted characters and beasties for roleplaying games? Well.. yep! As the risk of sounding like a totally old fart, I’ll go ahead and say that those were the “good old days” – back when a pack of 4 or 5 metal miniatures would set you back a whopping £1.95 (nearly $3?). But anyway, I’m not here to talk about prices! This issue of WD (which was typical of the magazine at the time) has a veritable mountain of stuff inside, including:
Call of Cthulhu scenario ‘Ghost Jackal Kill’ (with lots of Hound of Tindalos shenanigans inside!).
Psionics in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
The Uses of Intelligence in Role-Playing Games (for the characters, not the people playing the games!)
Using PSI Judges in the Judge Dredd role-playing games.
Cartoon strips – anyone remember Thrud the Barbarian and Gobbledigook? Me too!!
Letters page (and y’know, nerd rage really isn’t a new thing, is it?).
Adverts out the ya-ya!
Reviews of some films and games (yes, really!).
‘Eavy Metal – This is a real treat as it’s with Kev ‘Goblinmaster’ Adams and has some beautiful pictures of his work on some of those gorgeous vintage Citadel Minatures. I need a bib.
I LOVE looking through the old ads in the vintage WD magazines. These were the times that you would see an ad for Grenadier Miniatures on one page and then a GW ad on the next page touting their new releases, which where, in this issue, new figures for AD&D, Judge Dredd, their Samurai/Oriental Heroes range and then of course, the Machineries of Destruction:
Very sheckshy, yesh Mish Moneypenny? I remember the first war machine I ever had was the Goblobber. There was something to be said about those old box sets and figures, so I’ll post these up as well for you to all drool over:
Looking at White Dwarf now compared to then, well, there really is no comparison. They are similar in name alone. Over the years Games Workshop moved from a small indie business finding its feet and it’s fanbase to one of, if not the miniature gaming powerhouse it is today. Gone is the need to pay for the magazine through selling ad space to other competitors, or giving prime real estate to games systems that belonged to other companies, or even making figures for those systems. No, they have severed their ties to all that and become a hulking behemoth that only needs to worry about pushing their new goodies on the masses. I’m not knocking that at all, I mean, let’s face it, it’s a testament to their success, right? I just like to look back in time when it was obvious that the crew that ran GW at that time wore their influences on their sleeves, and supported all the things that they were interested in through their mouthpiece which was White Dwarf. (On a side note, I saw an ad for Bolt Thrower’s album ‘Realm of Chaos’ in another back issue. Those were the days!!!)
Nostalgia is a strong emotion, and looking through these old back issues is a trip down memory lane for sure. I hope you enjoy these images (used without permission) as much as I do!
Super quick update today, finished my Aquila Guard for my small (but growing) Infinity PanOceania force. Pretty pleased with the results! Here he is:
I really like the posing on this guy, the way the jacket is flowing, you can almost hear the howling wind blowing down the boulevard while he locks onto his next target with his sensors. I’m hoping that I can knock out 3 fusiliers in the next couple of weeks so I can actually start playing with a painted unit! Here is a group shot of the ones I’ve done so far:
I’m glad I went with the purple instead of the regular blue for PanO. More coming soon!
lastly, I’d like to say a big THANKS to all the new people who have subscribed to my blog. This means I’m going to have to start writing with more substance now lol! Cheers!
Well bloody hell, November already? was July really the last time I posted on here? Yikes. I really need to take a little WCF time out here and there a little more regularly.
While I may not post a lot on here, I do still do a lot of painting and gaming (I really hate the term “hobbying” which seems to be the term that GW have made their own). I haven’t picked up a Space Marine in forever, and strangely I haven’t missed it one bit. Instead, I raided the ‘drawers of shame’* and pulled out some miniatures that thought they would never see a bristle or a drop of paint. First up? Cybermen!
Classic Tom Baker era Cybermen from Blacktree Miniatures. They’re sort of whimsical, and charming in their own way. The proportions are a little off, but they only took literally minutes to paint. I think the bases took longer! I have some more to do, including some later era (from about the time of Earthshock/Silver Nemesis) which will be getting the treatment shortly.
Staying on the Doctor Who theme, I painted up ‘my’ Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor. Now, recently I had molded and cast a TARDIS from the old Dinky Toys die cast metal toy (available from Lord Chaos Creations ) . I cast a bunch up in resin, and thought I’d paint one up, as it’s almost perfect scale wise for wargaming miniatures, check it out:
I have a bunch of the metal Daleks to paint up as well. I’m thinking of incorporating them into my Judge Dredd game as illegal alien entities. Might be fun to have the judges of Mega City One square off against Daleks and Cybermen!
Speaking of the Judge Dredd game, I picked up a Chronoscope miniature that I thought would be quite good to throw in as a street punk, but as I completed her, I thought she seemed more disciplined than that, and have since decided to use her as a Wally Squad Judge (Wally Squad – under cover cop). Reaper make some beautiful figures and I’ll be picking up some more to add to the denizens of Mega City One:
And, with us just celebrating Halloween, I painted this cheeky little number up as a gift for my wife:
I’ve also picked up some new units for my late war British forces for Flames of War, a Commando Platoon and an accompanying mortar platoon. No paint on those yet, but I’ll have another update soon (promise!).
I’ve been having a lot of fun just picking random miniatures to paint, it’s bought a little of the excitement back, unlike looking at ranks and ranks of >insert your pain point of choice here< and thinking AARGH! I also recently picked up a Keeper rulebook for Call of Cthulhu too, and have been devouring the contents ever since. I’m going to have my first game very soon. I’ve never been a GM/Keeper before, so this should be interesting… gulp!
Toodle pip for now!
*Drawers of Shame – draw with unpainted miniatures. Not an underwear drawer with speedos in.
I know nothing at all about Infinity. I heard it was a complex game to master, but once you had it down, it could be quite a riot. I never really paid it much attention, that is, until this year’s Adepticon. Totally blown away by some of the display pieces I was eyeballing there, as well as the fantastic miniatures, I came away feeling kinda how I did when I first discovered the hobby – quite giddy!
I joined up with the official forums to cruise and see what the deal is with this game and the universe that it is set in, and seeing the very anime-inspired touches throughout the whole thing got me well and truly fired up. Bubblegum Crisis is one of my favorite Japanese animations, and for those of you who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, educate yourself for a moment:
What more do you need than five gals kicking cybernetic ass in powered armor against the soundtrack of 80’s Japanese rock music? not much. It’s very obvious that Infinity borrows very heavily from this genre, and I’m totally OK with that. It certainly makes for a refreshing change.
Recently I scored some Bubblegum Crisis miniatures on Ebay from the now defunct company Animail who for a short period of time in the early 90’s was releasing licensed metal miniatures from various properties. Here are the gals in all their unpainted glory:
…and one of them painted up:
You can see that there are some similarities between the Knight Sabres and the ORC Troopers from Infinity:
So anyway, These are my first tentative steps on the road to Infinity (there is a song in there somewhere I’m sure). I picked up the 2nd edition rulebook to get a handle on the world and the fluff. I’m hoping to pick up the new starter box set in the next few weeks. Looks like for now my army is going to be PanOceania. Now I just have to figure out putting the army lists together… Anyone out there have anything they can tell me about the game that a n00b should know in the early days?
Thanks for checking out my post about nothing lol!
It’s no secret that I gave up on Games Workshop a while ago, with their constant re-doing of their codexes, the new edition of 40K dropping while I still hadn’t taken all of the previous edition’s pieces out of the box, and their just downright egregious pricing of the new plastic minis cemented the demise of GW for me. That and the fact they still hadn’t done anything to the Sisters of Battle range, which was still apparently because of issues they were having with the details.
Well, bollocks I say.
Anyhoo, I’m not here to lament the downfall of a company I used to love, but it’s a good segue into the new miniatures I picked up recently after discovering them through the Aliens Vs Predator – ‘Bug Hunt’ game my friend ordered.
Prodos are based in Warwickshire, UK, not too far from my hometown. I was pleasantly surprised by this, always nice to know that there are other companies making minis that are in your own backyard. Now Prodos and the AVP license they secured are a somewhat of a bone of contention with quite a few fans out there, essentially regarding the Kickstarter for that game and various issues that have followed since the funding of said game. I’m not going to go into all that, and if you’re really dying to know, just google it and do some research, but I won’t be taking any more space up here discussing it.
Prodos have quite an extensive line in support of the Mutant Chronicles game (for those that remember that in it’s original incarnation from the early 90s), and the figures are cracking! I seem to remember Praetorian Stalkers from back in the day, I wonder if they’ll make an appearance again?
They also make a game called ‘Space Crusaders’ (notice the ‘s’ on the end there), which I know little about, but it appears to be a small-scale skirmish system they have developed. Also in support of this game are also a line of miniatures, which is where we come to rest with my product review (thanks for sticking with me through the wall of text!).
I’ve been looking for figures to use as juves in my Judge Dredd game, as some of the Warlord Miniatures ones are a little clumsy, so I wanted to look elsewhere, such as reusing Clan Escher figures from Necromunda. I found these minis and I thought they’d make an excellent fit, so I picked up a box of Amazons on bikes and also a box of ‘Mabs’ as well (just for something different to paint). A peruse through their online store and you’ll see some definite influences in the designs, that’s all I’ll say. So let’s take a look at these ‘ere bikers…
I forgot to take a picture of these ‘in the box’ so here are the Mabs, which will give you an idea:
First impressions: the ‘resin’ they use is lightweight and durable. I’m not sure what the overall differences in resins are to be honest. I know there are different grades and whatnot, but my knowledge is limited. A cursory glance at the pieces showed minimal flash to be removed (yay!) and only a few vent pieces that needed trimming off. This resin has a different ‘feel’ to the resin Forge World uses, and has almost no air bubbles that I can see, which is refreshing.
Figures are well packed and the box art is pretty neat. One thing I would’ve liked on the box is maybe a little background as to who these girls are. Even though I’m not using them for the game they are intended for, a little back story is always cool. What are their origins?
Assembling these minis was no hassle at all, and went together really well with superglue gel. They come with bases and even have ‘smoke’ you can add to the rear tire to suggest movement. This reminded me a little of how GW are adding similar details to their plastic miniatures lately too, except the ones you get in this box are optional. After assembling this trio, I was left with some extra bits, which looked like shoulder pads although I’m really not sure, and I’m not sure if they actually go on these minis.
There is some incredible detailing on these figures, with delicate filigree edging and chaos emblems on the bikes and the armor that the girls are wearing, as well as skulls and fleur-de-lys as well. The faces have character too, although they look a little odd in their unpainted state, they’re going to be full of attitude once they go under the brush.
Two of the Amazons are obviously on the move, and the movement is captured really well, with the long hair trailing behind the rider who is hunched down adding to that motion. The third is obviously at a standstill, or taking a breather, as the relaxed posing which has her sitting back on the seat would suggest.
The bikes are suitably chunky, but not too crazy, and are balanced well with the build of the riders, making them a ‘believable’ match up. Guns mounted either side of the front wheel obviously mean business! These girls wouldn’t look out of place in a scene from Akira as they have a great cyberpunk feel to them that comes across well in the design and execution of the final models.
My only ding against these figures, and indeed the Space Crusaders line is that with the range being predominantly female, they really make sure you know that they are women, really more than is necessary. GW hit a good medium with their Sisters of Battle range: you knew they were women in power armor without having to resort to exaggeration of certain parts of the anatomy, something Prodos should take into consideration if they are looking to create more figures for this game. Having a woman in power armor only to have most of her torso exposed not only makes you scratch your head with questions like ‘how on earth would this armor protect her’, but can look tacky. You have to be very careful with that line between aesthetically pleasing and just cheesecake for the sake of it. Prodos have seen an gap in the market that needs attention: a lack of female figures for futuristic battle games such as 40K, which GW have only made wider with their lack of support for that line, only to possibly shoot themselves in the foot with the female demographic that also enjoys this hobby.
I’ll probably paint body stockings on my Amazons to veer away from the fact they appear to be wearing cyber-bikinis. Maybe even some harlequin style leggings or something bold that you would see in the pages of 2000AD.
In summary: Prodos are proof that GW are just bullshitting about their reasoning for not turning their attention to the SoB line and giving the miniatures the much needed overhaul they deserve. They just simply want them to fade away or get ‘squatted’. We can clearly see by the miniatures above that making sisters in resin or plastic is very doable, and because they (GW) can’t be arsed to do anything about it, companies like Prodos will be happy to step in and take the money. That said, if they can move away from the objectification of the female form that seems to pervade the miniatures, I think they would make a killing, as they are showing they have the tools and the talent.
These ladies will be up in the gallery once they are painted! Thanks for reading!