Friday, 23 May 2014

A Two-Headed Troll

Howdy Yoll,

I've finally painted something - go me!

This time it is a Reaper Miniatures Two-Headed Troll. He's a really nice model - big and chunky, with lots of fun details and plenty of character.

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Quite a lot of time went into this guy. I've really be struggling to paint properly for the last few months on account of my various heath troubles: so I'm feeling pretty chuffed with this one, just for having finished it.

I kept the colour pallet to very simple historical dark-age colours to keep the model feeling 'mythological' rather than 'high fantasy', but to add a little interest I played up the fugly, minging quality of the troll with some brighter colours - lavender lips, dark pink boils, orange rust and turquoise verdigris on the metal.

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Although he (or is it 'they'?) has (have?) yet to be named, I've already done their stats for Of Gods and Mortals. Anyone got any ideas for a name (or two)?

Hope you like him.

Mr. Marx

The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +38       Painted: +15          Total: -26

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Review: Plasmablast Games 6mm

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Hey Internet,

Today I thought I'd do a little review of my recent purchases from Plasmablast Games of Greece. This is the first order I have ever made with the company, but I have been left with a very positive impression and thought I'd share. I had a little bit of an email 'back and forth' with them and they seem like an altogether nice bunch of guys.

The larger part of my order was a trio of 'Maarghast - Heavy Assault Tanks'. The model comes in two verities; one with a pair of  'plasma cannons', or another with a single, much larger, 'plasma cannon'. Both types cost 3.8€ each, which is rather a lot for a single 6mm scale tank, but I think they are well worth it.

I did expect the tanks to be a fair bit larger given their price-tag. I've included a penny (20mm across) in the photo below to show their size. That said, I was not at all disappointed by their size; I far prefer the more 'realistic', daintier, 6mm scale model to one that is a bit more over-the-top in its proportions. They'll fit in far better alongside their GHQ comrades too.

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The design of the models is what sold me on them. They have a really groovy retro-futuristic 'neo-soviet' look to them; lots of curvy panels and smooth lines. I'm quite sure that the tanks are 3D CAD designed - and as you'd expect from that, the quality of the sculpting is flawless. No wobbly strait lines or anything of the kind. The level of detail is also superb. My photos are crap, but check out the renders below to see the intricate panel lines and things. Its also worth pointing out that, despite their curvy surfaces, they don't have any problems with 'stepping lines' from the 3D printing process.

The other thing that I am particularly pleased with the the quality of the casts. The mold lines are  virtually non-existent. I'm not sure if it is just because these tanks have only just been released and the molds are new, or if Plasmablast just has very good quality standards, but either way they are superb.

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^ Renders off the website.

The other half of my order was four 'Wolfbite - 3x3 Missile Trikes'. I really liked the design of these funky little three-wheelers, and thought that they'd make nice attack-bike sort of things. I was quite surprised by how large they were then they turned up - I'd expected them to be a good 1/3rd smaller. I don't know if the models are 3D CAD designed or traditionally sculpted, but either way they are really nice. Like the tanks, they are very nicely cast. Given their size and quality they are well worth their little 1€ price tag (per model).

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I'm thoroughly pleased with my little tanks and look forward to their future releases. If you're into small scale sci-fi go give them a look:  Plasmablast Games.

Mr. R. Marx.

The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +38       Painted: +14          Total: -27

Sunday, 18 May 2014

6mm Civilians

'afternoon Internet, 

Today we've got some bases of 6mm scale civilians for my 'Kaiju Monster Battle Hour!' project. 

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Civilians are a stock feature of any good Monster Movie, and so, of course, must be a feature of my little games. Whether they are in need of rescue or need corralling out of the area (usually before the military can open up with their 'anti-kaiju missile') I'm sure they will see plenty of use. 

The models are a mixed bag. I know the yellow jeep is from Brigade Models, the red lorry is from Irregular Miniatures and I think the rest are all from Heroics and Ros, but don't quote me on that. 

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I've painted this models in dribs-and-drabs over the last few months - usually when I've mixed up too much paint and don't want to waste it. Recently my 6mm roads turned up, giving me the chance to actually finish these guys up. 

All they were waiting on was their bases, and after experimenting with many different shades of grey, I found that Vallejo Sea Grey is the closest to the colour of the roads. I think they merge into the table pretty well with a flat coat of the stuff.

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Whenever I find a good source of decent civilians I'll add to my little collection. If anyone wants to prod me in the right direction, please go ahead.

Like them?

Mr R. Marx.

The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +38       Painted: +14          Total: -27

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Oathswarn Miniatures 'Project Pantheon' Kickstarter

Hey Internet,

I have just backed my first ever 'Kickstarter' project!

I don't think that I've muttered about it on here much before, but I've never been a fan of kickstarter (and other crowd-funding systems) in our little hobby.

I love the idea of it - a way for people to share their enthusiasm and get new projects off the ground - but I couldn't help but feel that some companies have turned crowd-funding into a sort of glorified pre-order system.

I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that; I just feel it gives out a vibe of dodgyness. I can't escape the feeling that placing all that money in the hands of small companies will go awry at some point...

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But, yes, anyway. I've made the leap and backed 'Project Pantheon 1: Odin, Lord of Asgard' by Oathswarn Miniatures.

Its a simple very simple project with a nice low buy-in of £22.

For that small investment I'll be getting a very pretty looking 40mm scale model of the Norse God Odin, mounted on his eight-legged horse Sleipnir, which I will of course be putting into my 'Of Gods and Mortals' Project.

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At first glance, £22 felt like a terrible lot for a single figure, but I've since had no problem justifying it to myself - its huge and its bloody lovely.

I have no idea how well this new addition will fit in with the converted OOP Spartan Games 40mm Greeks that I have been using as Gods so far, but really I don't care. Even if there is a noticeable disparity, I'm only ever going to have one or two Gods on the table at any one time, and even then, they are flipping Gods after all, so it hardly matters.

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Much to irritation of my bank manager, the sculptor has already got his teeth into their next Norse God sculpt, Freyja, brother of Freyr,riding her dire boar Hildisvini. If she ends up looking as good as the fellow I've put my money down for already, I fear she will too find herself in my possession before too long.

Mr. R. C. Marx

Friday, 9 May 2014

HS-120 Science Tank [2]

Hey Internet,

I got a little too carried away 'being all Soviet' in my last Blog Post and neglected to do my usual 'short review' and 'how I did the model' bits.

The HS-120 is a 'Socrates class Bombard' from Spartan Games' Dystopian Wars game. The model is a single piece of resin and really rather nice. Its a CAD design, so as you'd expect, it has perfectly strait lines and plenty of detailing.

I was similarly impressed by the casting. There were no air bubbles or anything, but more importantly, the model appears to have been cast in such a way that it had absolutely no mold lines! Mold lines do my head in, particularly on models with lots of little details, and not having to deal with them was really rather nice. Although I got this one off a friend a fair while ago, new it would only have cost about the same as a GHQ tank, which isn't all too bad.

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The model is intended to be a 1/1200th steampunk tank, but I couldn't find any features on it that tied it irreparably to that scale. With its nice rounded turret, Archimedes screws and silly big gun with lots of cliché steampunk pipes 'n stuff going in and out of it, I thought it'd fit right in as part of my 6mm Soviet faction.

Painting wise, she's the same colours as Nova Streltzy that did the other week. Its mostly drybrushing and edge highlights so didn't take long to get done. I had a bit of fun with the glowy purple bits and the odd brass pipes. Maybe I should have painted more of it red? Still not sure though - the bare green has a nice 60's Soviet tank feel. All in all it only took about 2 hours start to finish, including me arseing around doing some other bits and pieces.

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^ I really like how the big cog is responsible for elevating the turret. Very Soviet. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

HM-120 Science Tank [1]

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* * *
Greetings Comrades,

Today we unveil the latest weapon in our great Union's struggle against the Capitalist menace: The HM-120 (Hayka Mashina; Scientific Vehicle).

The HM-120 is the culmination of many years of thought and labour. Armed with the new 'Brainial Beam' it insures our military supremacy for many decades to come.

Developed by the great minds of the Moscow State University, the 'Brainial Beam' is a new and formidable weapon that renders even the most opulent Western war machines inoperable.

Although its workings are of course secret, it is known that the weapon functions by attacking the very minds of its target, drawing their deepest fears and anxieties to the forefront of their consciousness, rendering them insensible with madness within moments.

Also of note are the 'Archimedes Screws' that take the place of the usual endless-tracks seen our other great armoured vehicles. Developed by Comrade Archimedes, by order of Comrade Stalin himself, these screws allow the HM-120 unrivalled mobility on any surface, and with floatation tanks allow it to traverse bodies of water.

The HM-120 will be deployed in coming months under the direction of the Bureau of Psychotronic Warfare.

Commanders are invited to respond with their thoughts on this new weapon.

Comrade Marx.
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The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +31       Painted: +10          Total: -23

Combine Z P - First Attempts at Variable Focus Image Stacking

Hey Internet,

I've never been happy with the photos that I post up on this little blog. Up until now, I've been taking loads of single photographs and using the ones that are sort of 'the most in focus'. Even the best photos of these have had real problems with depth of field - because the photos are taking a photo of something so small from such short a distance, some parts of the model are in focus while others are just a horrible blur.

However, I've recently downloaded and started using a piece of free image stacking software called 'Combine Z P', and have been having a bit of a play. This is what I've managed to do so far;

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Now I just need to sort some decent lighting out...and maybe get myself a Macro lens....


Monday, 5 May 2014


S'up Internet?

Whats in a name? 

Well, I've finally got one for my 6mm scale Kaiju project - Kaiju Monster Battle Hour!

Just thought I'd let you know.



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Hey Internet,

Bit of a weird one today - a giant mutant carrot.

I have no who this miniature is made by or where I got it from (or I would have even contemplated buying it!), but I think it is just perfect for this project.

With the exception of Exseletor, everything that I have done to date for this project leans towards the more serious side of the 'silly rubber-suited monsters' genre. This model makes a nice break from that; being far more Mighty Morphin Power Rangers than Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The model is very simple (because its a carrot) but it has a real goofy charm. Painting was easy-peasy^1. I went for nice bold colours, as subtlety felt a little out of place. Purple lips, green 'arms' and a bright orange body. In all it only took a few hours, including me doing other things while layers dried.

I'll keep my eye out of any more 'mutant fruit and veg' models that are out there, with the vague hope that one day I can put on an 'Attack of the GM Vegetables' scenario.


^1: I apologise for this pun.
* * *

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Just a few inspirational images from around the 'web

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The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +31       Painted: +9          Total: -24

Sunday, 4 May 2014

6mm Russian Artillery: SAU-122 "Gvozdika"

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Hey Internet,

Just a little update - three 6mm scale SAU-122 "Gvozdika" self propelled guns.

I'm not sure where these models are from - I got them second hand from a friend - but they are quite ropey sculpts with hardly any surface detail. I painted them to match my other Federation stuff. Given the lack of detail it didn't exactly take long.

With these done, I think I have must have about all I need for my Russian Federation forces for both my 'Kaiju' Savage Worlds project and for Cold War Commander.


The Lead Tally - 2014

Acquired: +31       Painted: +8          Total: -23