Some completed painting

Something of a rarity at the moment, I have actually managed to complete some painting!  Below are four elements for my Carthaginian DBA army and some Heroclix repaints.



The first element of African Spearmen (spears) and the Spanish Scutarii.



Two elements of Gauls.


Angel, Colossus, Rogue and the Scarlet Witch.  It looks like Wanda is giving someone the fingers – probably because she is facing –

Dear old Dad!  Magneto leads the Brotherhood of Unhappy Miffed Muties (BUMM).  What? Klaw isn’t a mutie!  It’s OK, though, Magneto accepts him due to his excellent choice of costume colours.  Juggernaut and the Blob vie for who is the heaviest heavy.

On the paint bench right now:  the rest of the infantry for the Carthaginian army, some Clone troopers for Star Wars, and Storm.  Arrived in the letter box today is THE next project – the first boxes of Dystopian Wars – Britannian Naval and Armoured battlegroups, and the Prussian armoured group.  The Prussian navy, alongside some carriers and the deck of cards are still coming in a second box.  I ordered them from Total Wargamer who have Dystopian Wars post free worldwide at the moment.



The Superhero project

I’ve been putting up the odd blog post with pictures of repainted and rebased Heroclix for a while now.  But I haven’t seriously worked out what the hell I was going to do with these figures.  I decided against Heroclix own rules fairly early on, and as I have now thrown out all the old bases, it is too late to go back.  I have Supersystem, which has been heartily recommended by a number of people online, but I really need to do a couple of playtests to work out how they go.  The final option is to write my own rules based around the stats that are in the revised Marvel Universe handbook.  My biggest issue is that I’m just not sure whether I want to play this solo or with an opponent, and what it is that I am trying to achieve.  Do I just want a stand up slug fest, or do I want a lot of narrative and role-playing?  I’ll continue to ponder…

Meanwhile, here are some photos of my Superhero collection as it stands at the moment:

First up is Alpha Flight and the X-Men.  I’ve repainted and rebased quite a few of the mutants, as they are my nostalgic favourites.  Jean looks like she is about to clobber Cyclops who only has an eye for Emma (who is half out of shot).

Next up are the Brotherhood of sometimes evil mutants, plus a couple of Marauders, followed by the FF and some of their villains.  You can tell from this picture that I’ve repainted the Blob and Magneto, and of course I’ve already posted the Fantastic Four (my second favourite comic as a teenager).  The Wizard is picking fleas out of Annihilus’ wings I think.

Moving on and here are some more of the FF’s baddies, followed by Spiderman and his rogue’s gallery.  Doom is a repaint, the flash was a little too much for Mole Man and he is walking off in another direction.

The Masters of Evil.  I remember reading the issues with the siege and destruction of Avengers’ Mansion by the MoE.  I’m afraid I completely missed the years when they reformed and became the Thunderbolts.  What a silly name.  Masters of Evil was so much classier.  I’m missing the Absorbing Man, but don’t worry, he has been ordered and is on his way!

Avengers’ rogues gallery continued.  I love Korvac.  The Avengers was a very cool comic when Shooter was writing it, and there is something about Korvac that just resonates with me.  Of course he is pretty powerful, so a game will consist of everyone showing up to his house and being obliterated, but them’s the breaks.  To the right are Power Pack.  You either love these kids or you hate them.  Or you’ve never heard of them.  But for me, if it had not been for the Pack, I would not have started reading X-Men, then X-Factor and then Fantastic Four, Thor, Avengers etc ad infinitum.  The Power brats had their stories retold as the backup strip in the UK weekly Return of the Jedi comic, and this soon became my favourite story rather than the Star Wars stuff (fair enough, those Star Wars stories were pretty naff).  Power Pack met the X-Men and FF and it was this little exposure that made me look into these other comics.  Thanks Power Pack!  I promise that your first adventure won’t be visiting Korvac’s house…

Finally we have the Defenders and the Avengers.  Thor is the only chap to have a repaint here, but then his movie was better than anyone else (although 3D is SUCH a rip-off gimmick!).  I’ve ordered a different Cap – this one was bought to fight Weird War Two games, but just doesn’t look right without those ridiculous little wings on the side of his head.

SO that is the collection, although Thanos is on his way too (maybe he and Korvac could have a tea party).  All these toys and no real plan for how to use them.  I’d be happy to hear from people recommending rules systems, I’ll try to have a test game of Supersystem and see how it goes.


Heroclix conversion

Dan and I have had quite a collection of Heroclix figures for a while now, and I’ve done a few repaints and posted them here at various intervals.  Well, now I’ve been reading through the Supersystem rules and I’m looking forward to finally playing a few games with these figures.

As such it is time to get into the repaints with a little more vim and vigour.  That includes a few conversions.

I’ve already stated that the X-Factor series of the 80s was one of my absolute favourites, and at the same time I was picking up the Classic X-Men reprints, and was reading through the Byrne run and the Dark Phoenix saga.  The team of the early 80s is the quintessential X-Men team in my mind, and it was with this in mind that I decided to convert my figure of Jean Grey into Phoenix.

The original Danger Room Starter Set Jean Grey in X-factor costume.

A bit of carving with the hobby knife and some green stuff for a belt, and here we have my favourite super redhead all ready to game with.

I really enjoyed this conversion work.  I’m just finishing off Magneto, Colossus, Wolverine, the Blob and Thor.  Thor? Well, after the X-Men the Avengers are next on the list.


Something out of the blue

An eternity ago I posted pictures of my Fantastic Four figures and Dr Doom.  Well, a couple of weekends ago Dan was down and we were having a lazy Sunday afternoon talking about the usual important stuff and I picked up some figures and started to paint.

When it comes to comics my absolute favourite is the original X-Men, later re-united as X-Factor which is the title I collected as a young teenager. I have a real love for these characters, but got lost in the 1990s when scripting started to deteriorate and it seemed you needed to collect 17 books to keep up with what was going on.  Then, a few years ago I discovered Astonishing X-Men.  I would say that Joss Whedon’s writing revitalised the X-franchise for me completely.  I loved the direction things had taken with the team, and this became my favourite superhero comic run since the late 1980s.

And so, I have begun to put together the astonishing X-Men team, starting with Cyclops (my favourite superhero character ever), Emma Frost (who would have to be one of the sexiest comic book characters ever) and Shadowcat.  Although the Heroclix figures were not in the correct costumes, I painted over them with the more modern versions of their costumes (it hurt to give Emma long pants…).

I’m not a fan of the way Heroclix sculpts the faces of the women.  The foreheads are too short and the faces feel squashed.  Cyke’s old costume had raised detail which is usually not that noticeable but seems to really come though in the photo.  Otherwise I’m happy with how the repaints turned out.

Here’s a close up of Cyke and Emma.  As always, you can click on the pictures for a larger view.

Colossus, Beast, Wolverine and Magneto are currently on the painting tray.


By Natholeon Posted in Comics

Boogie Groove

About 20 years ago Dan and I strted inventing our own comic characters. We spent untold hours in the back of his Mum’s garden shop coming up with our universe of Marvel and DC rip offs (mostly Marvel). The gem of this time was Delta Wave, a team of mutants that went through several transformations. I was obssessed with the early Marvel writing of Stan Lee, and for this reason the comics basically sucked. They were 20 years out of date in terms of writing. I also felt that I was a better artist than Dan, and I guess in conventional John Buscema terms I was – but Dan had style, which I didn’t recognise for quite a while.

When I got to Uni I invented a team called Boogie Groove, with the basic plot that some aliens (the Disc’oers) gave 4 teenage surf bums powers in order to fight some other aliens (the Gysk). Why didn’t the Disco’ers do it all themselves with their superior technology and superhuman abilities? Because they weren’t groovy enough! Sound like the thinnest plot ever – it was miles ahead of Delta Wave! Anyway, I did a rough draft (you could call it pencils, but I wouldn’t go that far…), which Dan took away and added to. He was geeting influenced by artists that really appealed to his style, and in 1996 created the first few pages of Boogie Groove. For the sake of nostalgia, I thought I’d post them here:

BoogiegrooveBoogiegroove 2

Boogiegroove 3

Never did finish it, but maybe one day…


By Natholeon Posted in Comics

Comics Addiction

In my initial post on the site I mentioned that Dan and I really became friends through a mutual love of comics. Mostly the X-titles of the late 1980s, but also the Avengers and Fantastic Four. I even read a few DC titles, although they were never Dan’s cup of tea. Well, we would have given anything to be able to collect figures to game our heroes in those days, but there just wasn’t anything around. Dan remained an avid comics buyer, but myself, well I just picked up the odd thing here and there, and tried to keep up with what Claremont and others were doing to the X-men (which was pretty much wrecking them…). I have to say that my interest was rekindled when Joss Whedon started Astonishing X-men. It was so good to see the team well written for the first time since Louise Simonson’s run on X-Factor.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to provide an in-depth critique of comic books, but to show how they link to wargaming.  This came about when I stumbled across Battleground Weird War in my surfing, and was pleasantly surprised to see figures of the Invaders (Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch) fighting the Nazis. After some research I found that these figures were from the Heroclix range. This is one of those collectible games with booster packs i.e. you have to buy heaps to get the figures that you’re after. So I sourced a company, Strikezone, who provided the figures individually. I worked out how much the Invaders would be, and added the X-men in just for old times sake, and contacted Dan to let him know. Well, he wanted them all! So in nio time flat he had ordered 76 assorted goodies and baddies. Unfortunately the postage from the US is a killer – it makes up a third of the total cost of anything you buy, and the initial plan was for about 100 figs, but that made the postage even worse – about 1/2 the total! The good thing was that the figures had arrived within a week – very speedy.

On Saturday we pulled them all off their Heroclix bases and remounted them. The painting is often very basic and quite shabby in places, so we’re going to touch them up. Alongside the Pagenses this weekend, I touched up the Fantastic Four. The figure that I painted least was the Thing, as I felt he looked OK. The other three members got the full treatment, particularly the Human Torch.

 Fantastic Four

 So what to do with them. Well, Dan and I are looking at adapting WAB for superheroes. Certainly it will take a lot of role play, and we think that a lot of the Pulp atmosphere needs to be added – eg. scenario driven games where players are awarded points for clever traps, boasting, using cliched lines (‘I’ll be back’, ‘you haven’t heard the last of me’ etc). But in the meantime- my Arthurian Combrogi are awaiting!