Review: Wanted: Weapons of Fate – GRIN AB – 360

Another mini-review today. A Micro-review, perhaps. Or even, just a simple warning…?

Watched the movie the other weekend. Played the game tonight (got them in a cheapish bundle months ago after reading reviews of the game).  A bad game of a below-average action film of a ?? comic.

Played it for half an hour? Maybe an hour?

  • Muddy green and brown-tinged graphics with high-contrast thrown over the top of it.
  • Shitty cover-shooter mechanics. As in, not “oh those shitty cover-shooters” but a truly shitty shit shit implementation of cover-shooter mechanics.
  • A muddled jumple of a story that’s even worse than the film’s story. Terrible/laughable attempts at creating dramatic tension. Even for a game.
  • Poor gunplay.
  • Too much pointless juvenile swearing for me to give it away as a gift to one of my students.
  • Looks like an XBox 1 title.
  • Reviews called it “competent” “decent” “7.3/10” “3.5/5”, etc.
  • They lied.

Shitty game tries to use style to hide it’s lack of substance. Fails at both.

I’ll give it another half an hour, or hour in case it magically becomes kind of alright. It won’t of course. Then it’s frisbee time for this piece of trash.

===-

Verdict: Avoid.

Update:

Had another quick play with it. Awful, awful game. By comparison it makes the movie look like Citizen Kane.

The movie was below average, but somewhat alright in a trashy, watch-once-and-forget action movie kind of way. This is just dire.

Review: Bomberman Land – Hudson Soft Company, Ltd. – Wii

A Mini-review of an old game. Yay!
First up, let me say that I love Bomberman, and I’ve been a fan and enjoyed it for more than 10 years. Right back to when I used to have friends.

As I’m a fan of the game, I picked this one up as an impulse purchase, because, well, I own a Wii, and Bomberman is awesome. After some time, (more than a year) I’ve finally gotten around to giving it a whirl.

Now at this point, I’m simply going to cut to the chase. This game is a steaming pile of utter shit. Do not buy it, do not rent it. Not, under any circumstances. Here are a couple of reasons why:
1)   It took me over 10 minutes to get control of my character. Sure, I tried “Story Mode” thinking it would be similar to traditional story mode. Or possibly the awesome multiplayer story mode that my wife and I used to play in an arcade version of Bomberman years ago late at night in a dingy Chinatown arcade in the city – Instead, excepting a moment when I got to name my character – ANAL – I was locked in shitty shit shit badly written slow-moving non-skippable cutscenes for a little over 10 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. The only reason I sat through it is because I had bought the stupid game, and it was getting to the point where I already knew I’d never turn it on again. 

Oh god, please just let me play…


2)   Once in the game, I wasn’t actually in the game. I was in a lobby area, where I was supposed to talk to idiot NPC bombermen and go do training to buy “TP” to buy new clothes. WTF? I got into the first game, and guess what?

3)   It wasn’t actually Bomberman. It was a ripoff of Pang, only not nearly as well done or fun as Pang. And I liked Pang, too. When I got out, I was again stuck in a cutscene with more fucking Bombermen. At this point I turned the game off.

4)   In desperation to find a redeeming feature, I tried going straight into battle mode this time. It was okay, it was your usual Bomberman battle mode, but with sideways Wiimotes as the controllers, and an unpolished feel to the whole thing, which shouldn’t be considering they’ve been making the same fucking game for 10 or 15 years.

What. The. Fuck???

5)   Did I mention at all that despite my Wii being set for widescreen, the game is in 4:3. But not sidebarred, oh no. The game runs in glorious stretch-o-vision on widescreen TVs. Since the definition is so low on the Wii, it’s also presented in jaggy-o-vision.

6)   At this point I turned the game off. Forever.

I have a GC version of Bomberman that I picked up at some stage in the past and never played sitting next to my pile of stuff to look at, but after this piece of rancid shit, I’m scared to fire it up. I can’t believe this was developed by Hudson themselves, since it played like Bomberman as farmed out to some shitty 2-bit dev company.

So in closing. If you want to play Bomberman, avoid this piece of shit shovelware like the plague. Pick up the rather good version of Bomberman off XBLA (or PSN, if it’s available there as well), Or even better, fire up Super Bomberman 1 or 2 on the SNES, which might be jaggy on a big TV, but plays damned well.

====

Verdict: Avoid. At all costs.

Review: Dungeon! The Board Game

Something a little different this time. A mini-review of the re-released Dungeon! board game, by Wizards of the Coast. I’d played the original (Jedko Australian Edition) many times as a young’un, back in the 70’s(?), 80’s and 90’s as my older brothers were into D&D briefly back in the day. I’d also picked up the 1989 (giant board!) edition from TSR when it came out, though I may be missing some pieces from that one now.

So when I saw this one for the low price of AU$24 from Games Empire,* I grabbed it within a few days.

This edition carries the full Dungeons and Dragons branding on the box, something that neither of the other versions I played have, despite the historical links that both games have. The components and cards have some nice artwork on them. Certainly far better presentation than the 1989 edition, though the tiny line art of the original holds a special appeal to me. The cards are a little cluttered though, but still easy enough to work out what’s what. The cards are tiny though, and to keep costs down, you no longer get a “full compliment” of monsters for each room and chamber. I’ll explain in a moment.

They’ve changed the classes again. In the original you have an Elf, Hero, Superhero and Wizard. In the 1989 edition you had named characters such as “Floid the Warrior” and “Madeline the Paladin” – the characters in the ’89 edition are Elf, Warrior, Thief, Dwarf, Paladin, Wizard, so there’s some expansion in there . With the new edition, they’ve been updated to more modern D&D tropes.

We have the (Halfling) Rogue, (Dwarf) Cleric, (Human) Fighter and (Elf) Wizard – pretty much analagous to the original four in that order.

I honestly don’t know what the playing pieces for the orignal were – we always played with miniatures from Minifigs’ fantasy range. The ’89 edition has 6 plastic versions of Ral Partha metals of the day. The 2012 edition has card standees. We just used some appropriate GW Fantasy figures instead of the standees.

The rules are quite simple and well laid out, in a full-colour folded pamphlet. They’re also available as a free download on the WOTC website.

A smaller board this time around.

In order to cut the costs of production down, they’ve changed a few things. The board for this edition is much smaller then the ’89 edition. About 75% of the size, with about 70% of the play area. The cards are the same tiny size that they ever were, but due to the shrinking of the board, you no longer lay out the dungeon before playing with treasure, then monsters, then play. Now you put the monster and treasure cards into stacks, and as you enter new rooms and clear them, you add “coffin” chits to represent cleared rooms. When you get your butt kicked, you put a numbered chit next in the room instead and put the mob at the end of the board at that number point, along with the treasure they looted off you. It actually works well in order to speed up setup by about 90%, but there’s a bit of danger of forgetting to lay in the coffin chits. Along with this, they’ve cut down on the number of included monster cards – no longer including enough for each room and three for each chamber. Now you just use them till you run out, then reshuffle the discard pile.

Much nicer artwork – very reminiscent of the original, but some of the spaces aren’t always clear.

The board artwork for this edition is miles better than the ’89, which featured some pretty ugly-but functional room layout. I was honestly shocked when I opened the ’89 version back then and saw they’d changed it. The new one looks good – like a reworking of the original, but can be a bit hard to work out what’s going on – mostly because of the shrinkage. If I could get hold of a 1st edition set, I could compare, but I don’t think I’ll see my brother’s set again after all these years…

Playing it for the first time in many years, I’ve got the following thoughts. It’s a really, really simple game. Something like the Castle Ravenloft boardgame plays like Descent 1st edition by comparison. It’s really more of a D&D-themed kids/family game. It’s also pretty heavily based on the luck of your dice rolls. Having said that, it’s still fun as a light-hearted and (as of this edition) pretty quick game that you can pick up and play with people who aren’t really into more complex miniatures, war and board games. The premise and gameplay are simple and easy to get into. There’s a little bit of optional rivalry – such as when I ran towards the monster that stole my wife’s magic sword and secret door card so I could kill it and steal her loot – which proved to be the edge that just won me the game later on.

I won! Hurrah for me! Also, lucky dice rolling.

Overall, I enjoyed the newest edition of Dungeon! Some of that is clearly a childhood affection that remains, but given it’s low price and accessibility to non-grognards, I’d still give it a recommendation. It’s a good game to play before diving into something deeper on a games night, or a light game for an afternoon or evening.

I also asked my wife, aka Marouda for her opinions on it, since she hasn’t played it for years either.

The game was pretty straightforward and fun with just 2 players. There weren’t too many rules so would be good for very young players, families and when you just want an easy game. I played a cleric during my first game as a cleric only needs 10,000 gold to win the game and not 20K or 30K as for the other classes. However I found my cleric found the level 3 monsters tough. Depending on your class the various monsters for each level will be tougher or easier to defeat. It did not help when I lost my magic sword and secret door treasures. I will probably play a character that requires 20,000 gold to win as I will be able to gather more loot in the lower level dungeons, anyway that’s my strategy.

*Note* I have no affiliation with Games Empire, I just find them to be a great local AU place for boxed boardgames, card games, FFG, heavy stuff, etc. FoW stuff is about the same price as going to the UK. Mostly stuff is 20-25% off usual retail with no need to jump through hoops or a complicated discount scheme. Some things are a couple dollars more than going to the UK, or sometimes a little less. $10-15 postage depending on how much you buy. When all else is equal (or close enough to equal) I’m fine with paying a little bit more to support a local retailer.

On that note – they’re much friendlier than similar places located in Bentleigh and handily, not surly/rude bastards on the phone like places located in Bentleigh. Oddly, since they’re interstate, I also get stuff much, much faster than places located in Bentleigh. So local isn’t quite as local as I’d like, but service trumps distance. c’est la vie.

Kickstarter Experiences Part 4

First up I guess is the Trollforged Assimilation Alien Host, by Ed Fortae. Basically, Ed is the guy behind Trollforged the company and Trollcast, which is being touted by many as a new all-singing, all-dancing material for miniatures. I went in for $200 which gives me a shitload of gribblies, which will hopefully arrive sometime this year.  The estimated Date is May, so Ed has another 5 months to deliver. There’s apparently going to be a campaign manager at some stage, as well as a while complex system of trades and exchanges. Some guys on Dakka worked out a way to turn it into a feasable counts-as Tyranis army, so I’ll probably do something along those lines. But try and do so in a way that still gets me at least one of each of the cool insectoid figures. I can see use for these in 40k roleplay as well. Not much has been updated since the end of the campaign, but my understanding is that Ed keeps regular updates on his Facebook or his blog or some shit like that. I’d prefer real updates via Kickstarter’s email system, but this one is so far out right now that I’m not too concerned.

Then there’s the Almost-Rans. Campaigns I wanted to back but didn’t for one reason or another.

Relic Knights, by CMON and Soda Pop Miniatures. I was originally in for an early bird pledge, but a combination of poor communication from the creators, especially over the GenCon weekend, not showing the sculpts and a large financial drain (I bought a house and had some massive bills) nixed this one. They also went a bit too far down the “add $10 for THIS” road for my liking. I really like the look of two of the factions (Black Diamond and Noh), not too interested in the rest. – But it was just too expensive. In the end I wasn’t able to up my $1 pledge as I decided to prioritise other things in their stead. I was interested in getting the SDE stuff, but it wasn’t laid out clearly how to get just those, so I left it. Maybe I’ll pick up some of their figures from Miniature Market in the future.

Kingdom Death: Monster by Adam Poots. Apparently Kingdom Death miniatures are the most popular thing in the history of the universe. I was originally in for this, but the combination of being very expensive, the game itself being a bit MMO-lite and unappealing to me, the figures being out of scale to the rest of my collection, and being very expensive eventually got me to drop it. There are some fantastic looking models, but I simply couldn’t justify the amount it would have cost me to buy the stuff I was interested in and then wait a year for it to arrive, especially as it got more and more all about the $15 or $40 add-ons. I put the money towards a new fridge instead.

AE-WWII by Blackball Games. I was interested in this one purely for some of the models, to use with Sot3R/Dust/Incursion. I wasn’t interested in paying for yet another Weird-WW2 ruleset. I wanted to get a couple of their figure sets in a deal without the rulebook (PDF it, if you must, but I don’t want the hardcover). I pledged a buck so I could politely suggest it in the comments. Almost all of the models in this KS are ones already in their range, so it should have been easy enough. They ignored the suggestion/decided not to do it, so I left my pledge at a buck. They made $10,663 of their $10,000 goal – so perhaps they should have taken more suggestions on board? /shrug

Imbrian Arts by Jody Siegel. This one, like Kingdom Death features some beautiful sculpts, many of which are very evocative of the Rackham style. Basically, I just found this one a bit expensive for what it is/was. Unless you wanted an entire themed set, the individual figures were $12 a pop (ie – may as well buy them at retail for less, or an equally-nicely sculpted Avatars of War figure). The themed sets offered better value, but only if you wanted all of those figures anyway. A friend suggested that the $300 pledge level offered insane value. Sure, but only if you actually want and would buy every one of those figures anyway.. or most of them, at least. I’d have happily gone in for a “choose 10 figures” type thing, similar to what Bombshell Babes also did (and they started off as quite expensive for the base level as well). But they didn’t, so I left it at a buck.  I figure that if I’m giving you money 3 or 6 months in advance, I’d like a reasonable price break, rather than pay pretty much the same price I could buy them from at retail down the road. meh.

He made a killing on it, so good luck to him!

Now:

Updates!

I’m a little more generous when it comes to no new updates in general at this time of year – for the campaigns that bothered to keep us up to date, anyway.

 

Kings of War: Nothing new shown or heard. I assume they’re still on track for their delivery since Ronnie is a machine when it comes to this sort of thing by all accounts.

 

Sedition Wars: Apparently my first shipment has been sent. It’s in transit. Comparisons showed that it was sent out a full week later than some other people who are also in Australia. I wonder if my critical posting here and/or on Dakka had anything to do with that? 😉 (nah, I don’t think they give two shits, TBH.)

 

Avatars of War: Got an update (!) a couple of weeks ago. Felix has finished a couple of dwarf units and a couple of characters. This week he showed off a bunch of concepts for nice, moustachioed human warriors. Hopefully he finishes the dwarfs before getting distracted by the new shiny and sculpting the humans instead. I’m sure the standard will be the last one to be sculpted..

 

Reaper: No new news. Last I heard, everything was running to the modified plan of everything being sent at once in March or May or whatever the fuck it is.

 

Stonehaven: I lost the little box of dwarves on my desk and only found it again today. I still need to look at them properly. They just started a new Kickstarter for gnomes which I’ll discuss in a forthcoming post.

 

Pirate Goblins: Well… no word from Bruno since the last email, nor updates or anything. Last update was around the 15th of December with Bruno saying that they’d be sent out between the 17th-20th of December. After that, nothing. He was pretty active on Facebook though, until/including New Years’ Eve Until people started grousing in the comments a couple of days ago, including posting links to his facebook account and the Indiegogo fraudulent campaigns page. Then this appeared.

================

Just a quick update to let everybody know what’s happening.
I’m just back from the hospital where I did spent the most of the 3 last weeks with no internet access.
I’m discovering all the fuss about the goblins and I feel very sorry for everybody.
Just to let you know the sending of the miniatures was given to a Help Center for mentally inadequate center the week before Christmas as I was taking some holidays with my kids and wanted to be sure that the miniatures would have been sent, I will check with them on monday what happens and why they didn’t seem to have sent the miniatures.
I’m really sorry for all this and will try to do my best to reply to everyone and be sure that every body will get what he paid for !
Please accept my sincere apology for all this…

================

UH-HUH. This all seems above board, right? Right? “I’ll send them out next week”.. then silence… then “I gave them to people with intellectual disabilities to send out right before Christmas.” A bit of an easy scapegoat for his own lack of responsibility, if you ask me.

I posted the following:

azazelx said 28 minutes ago
I work with people with intellectual disabilities, and to be frank, I certainly wouldn’t be giving a help centre something as extraordinarily complicated as a IGG/KS fulfillment to do.

141 Backers, many variances in their orders, international addresses, the need to PAY for the actual postage. That’s no simple task for individuals with an ID.

No, this is clearly BS.

Then Bruno sent me a message shortly afterwards:

================

“Hi, You really do think that I’m sitting on 13kg of goblins miniatures and 1300 dice just for the fun ? I didn’t post anything on facebook since the 30th of december as I was in hospital with no Internet Access for [redacted], I might have been seen connected as the computer at home was still turned on as it always is. I will go tomorrow to take back the miniatures and will send them by myself. I’m really sorry for all this.”

================

Bruno is now claiming that he’s going to start to send them out himself. We’ll see what happens. There certainly appears to have been more than a little bullshit involved. Ah, my first true Kickstarter Drama. I imagine that if I do get my miniatures in the end I won’t be getting that extra goblin I was wanting, after all.. :p

He’s certainly managed to kill off his chances of getting the Pirate Dwarves funded with his actions regarding the Pirate Goblins. (Which were barely funded.)

 

Red Box Games: Tre’ has been pretty good with regular updates, but he’s also spent the last couple of months saying that everything would be done “in a few days” or “next week” to a point where it’s become meaningless (remember, it was originally an October 2012 delivery date, and we’re about to hit February 2013).. He’s also been starting his second Kickstarter “tomorrow” for the last three weeks, and it finally went up yesterday. A few days ago we finally got a proper breakdown of the status of everything. With this, it pretty much confirms that there’s fuck-all chance of my KS1 stuff arriving before his KS2 finishes.

In fairness, here’s his post:

Hey Everybody. I am really sorry for the long delay in my latest update and for the continued delay in fullfillment. I wanted to post a generla update lettign everyone knwo what teh exact current status is on the KS fulfillment.

I have in hand and approved castings of: (lots of stuff cut for brevity)

 I now await the delivery of:

 Guarthagust, Ulbrecht, Yrsa, Fenris ( needed an adjustment for the sake of efficient casting ), Conradt Warp, Horsemen, Horses

 I must approve the castings of Yrsa and Conradt Warp and the horse. The production moulds are made and Ed is confident with them but I need to actually see the results of these production moulds before approving Ed and Brian to go ahead with casting 100’s of copies.

  Every delay in the fulfillment thus far has been strictly for the sake of your final satisfaction. I did not want to settle for anything less than the most perfect model I could deliver so when we had castings with visible shrinkage I asked that those molds be remade. That took a while and then casting the 100’s of required minis took even longer.

 The horses have been a real trick unto themselves. Neither Ed nor I have ever made horse models and this turned out to be a bit more difficult than either of us expected. I am especially particular about the Yrsa figure as it is by far the most complicated and delicate figure I have ever released and it is the replacement figure for the most popular figure I have ever produced. It MUST be perfect.

   In the end I was too optimistic in my expectations of delivery, AND I was remiss in never pushing the expected delivery date backward as the work load expected by that date grew exponentially. It is a mistake I will not repeat. I am ready and waiting for the delivery of these last items to begin shipping the rest of the KS rewards but until those figures are in hand and approved I can do little more than wait. 

  I do expect to have the last of the expected casting within the next week or two. Ed has informed me that the test samples of Yrsa, COnradt, and Horse #1 were shipped to me on friday last which means I SHOULD receive them for approval tomorrow. At which time I will inspect the castings and call Ed with the yay or nay. Upon my approval Ed will finish the last three horse molds and Brian ( if he is back in from being Ill…. get well Brian! 😀 ) will begin casting the rest of the Yrsa, and Conradt Models. 

  There are still 100’s of copies of each mini left to be cast BUT I will be taking shipments of these figures in batches as they are cast to allow to me to begin filling orders as quickly as possible.

  I had intended to have ALL commitments from this first campaign fulfilled before running a second campaign but the realities of development did not allow for this. The difference in this second campaign is that all planned models are already sculpted and mastered ( with the exception of the Goblin footmen ) so the actual production overhead is cut in half. Ed already has the masters and they are ready for the production of production molds. All that is needed is for me to be able to finance the slot in Ed’s work schedule to have those molds made and have castings run. 

  The expected delivery date for the second kickstarter products is set for August of 2013. This is the nearest  date that Ed and I both fell confident in to deliver all planned products, however I will be creating a module in my regular webstore in which you will be able to pay for ” batch shipment ” of any figures involved in this campaign. Figures will be produced in the order in which they are funded and will be available for shipment in specifically timed batches. When ever a batch is ready to ship I will post an update letting all of the backers know. At which point they will be able to ” purchase ” the shipping cost for that batch and have it shipped to them then rather than having to wait until the final pieces are produced and in hand.

   Again, My deepest apology for the delays thus far and my most sincere appreciation for your patience with me in this.

  Cheers,

   Tre’

So while I still trust and like Tre’, I won’t be going in for the second Kickstarter. He’s made a bunch of mistakes and some poor choices along the way, but I trust him to eventually come through. I doubt I’ll go in for the second KS, but that’s because I need to see Trollcast in my hands before dropping more money on it. Like every other material out there, it’s got a bunch of people who swear by it, but until I see it for myself I ain’t spending another $100-150 on it for figures I don’t have any use for just to support a guy’s small business. Very different rationale to not trusting him to come through, though. Instead I’ll be using that money on stuff from other small outfits like Puppestwar, Victoria Miniatures and so on..

In the comments of the new Red Box Games Kickstarter, there’s some slightly disturbing portents regarding the new prices. Remember, Trollcast is supposed to be making miniatures cheaper to produce.

RiTides about 22 hours ago

….
I’m a little bit bummed that bonebacks are about $3 apiece, even at Kickstarter price, which is more than I paid for the metals! But I think I’ll be over the sticker shock soon.

….

Bonebacks were some of the few figures I was potentially tempted to pick up if I did go in for this one, as I’m not otherwise fond of the RBG goblins aesthetic. I think I’ll probably have to leave it out. Apparently Tre is going to start sending out the stuff that’s been sitting around. It’ll cost him a fair bit in postage, but I think he sees how important it will be to fulfill KA1 before KS2 finishes. For my part, he’ll have to send out about 3 late figures at a cost of about $4 including the baggie. On one hand, I can see how it adds up, OTOH, it’s only a tiny fraction of the $150+ I sent him with the initial promise of October fulfilment. Since we’re almost 4 months late now, I don’t actually feel bad about this..

 

Studio Miniatures Zombies: Well, they didn’t go into the post the next day just before Christmas as Stuart suggested. Someone got in contact with me 3 weeks ago (early in the new year) to confirm my address, but then no-one replied to the email I sent then asking for confirmation or the one I sent almost 2 weeks ago…  (Stuff from the UK is usually 5-10 days). I finally had a parcel arrive on the 25th of Jan with my missing stuff – it was sent on the 8th of Jan. A week after I got back to them, and 3 weeks after they initially said they’d resend them by…

All in all, I wasn’t impressed by their fulfilment. Would I go in on another campaign my Studio Miniatures? Maybe. But only for a small amount.

 

Dreamforge Games Leviathans:  Had mostly gone quiet after the holidays, with the shipment due to hit the US shortly. The latest is that the cargo container hit LA and the figures are on their way to Utah and WGF to be sent out around the world.

 

Mantic’s Dreadball: Again nothing new shown or heard. I again assume they’re still on track for their delivery of the second wave.

 

Bombshell Babes: Had another nice update showing progress a couple of days ago, including a couple of very nicely painted models. Apparently all here is on-track.

 

Mongoose’s Judge Dredd: Got some more stuff 2 weeks ago – Two lots of Rifle Judge+Giant/Fergee/Space+Citi-Def. Got another small package this last week as well, with one of the Justice Dept II sets and a few others. (No sign of the same for my wife’s pledge.) According to Matt from Mongoose, the figures that were already sculpted and in their existing JD line that were repackaged for the KS are now also in transit. Not sure where that leaves the Specialist Judges set.

Realm of Chaos – “Oldhammer” Part 1

Inspired by the Realm of Chaos Blog, I’ve been wanting to dig out some of my old classic unpainted RoC figures and paint them up. Since my paint room still has lighting issues, I did the next best thing and dug out a bunch of my old figures, purchased and painted back in the day. I wince a little when I see some of them, or I look at them and think about how I could paint X or Y much better now, but then again some of the sculpts aren’t the sharpest, and the blown up photos really do reveal every flaw (and bit of dust stuck to them after 20+ years in figure cases.) Some of the photos have the focus a little off, but then again I just took them in the downstairs bathroom, once I noticed that the light in there is pretty good(!)

I guess it’s important to remember that I was a teenager when I painted these, and was obviously incredibly influenced by the various GW techniques and palettes of the day, going from the 3rd-edition WFB through to the “GW Red period”. I intend to rebase these, as I’ve always preferred round bases, but I’m in two minds as to whether to repaint or touch them up. (There are some truly awful figures I won’t show and will definitely strip, but most fall into that middle ground, as these do.)

Without further ado, here are some of the old school:

Mister Fly-head here is, I believe, a Jes Goodwin Sculpt. I think it may have actually come out after Slaves to Darkness as part of the Lost and the Damned waves, though it’s also very possible that it came out during the huge time gap between the two books. It was one of my first attempts of using a glaze over a white basecoat, in this case, Windsor & Newton Blue. Remember when White Dwarf explained techniques like that? Because that’s where I learned to do it. If I were to repaint it (or if I decide to touch it up) I’ll be going over the red rope belt, and perhaps seeing if I can do something in a metallic blue or green over the eyes.

This guy is another of Jes’ sculpts (I think). A beastman, obviously. I’m still pretty happy with this guy, given his age. I doubt I’d do anything to him besides go over him with tweezers to get the dust-hairs off (not that you can really see them IRL. For some reason, one of my friends always had a huge issue with the Union Flag design on the shield. I just told him, tongue in cheek, that it’s a stylised 8-pointed chaos star, but he still couldn’t handle it..

A Chaos Champion of Khorne, though today he’d simply be a Chaos Warrior, I guess. This figure came out later, during or after the Lost and the Damned phase. I think Mark Copplestone sculpted this one, and from memory, he did a champion for each of the four powers. The brass/gold is simply W&N Burnt Sienna ink glazed right over Humbrol enamel gold. I used Humbrol enamels for a long time, since many of the GW metallics still weren’t up to scratch. The armour was another glazing experiment of the day from a White Dwarf. Painted red, then tiny yellow dots painted over the top. Then a glaze of red ink, then more dots, then another glaze, and so on – for several layers. It looks a bit chunky here, but with the figure in hand, it looks quite decent. Again, a figure I’m happy to leave alone, aside from rebasing.

A beastman. Not sure who sculpted this one, though Jes did a lot of the beastmen of this era, I’m not sure if this is his or not. His dog-face means he is a worshipper and follower of Khorne. Oh, the days when beastmen were less generic! I do like the new ones, but I enjoy the variety and character of the old sculpts. He’s a little over-bright perhaps, and his armour is a bit pristine, but them’s the breaks, and it just goes to show that nothing ever changes in the world of Warhammer – just check out most Space Marine armour(!) freehand runes of Khorne on the shield and armour. I gave him a ruddy Swamp Brown fur, highlighted with Orc Brown, and the same treatment as the warrior above for his mace. Again, one I’ll be leaving alone. Maybe a tiny touch-up on his toenails.

Yep, it’s the same model again. I came to paint this one later on, and wanting them to all be individuals, I gave him a rich red fur along with a pinkish muzzle and of course, the pale milky-yellow, pupiless eyes of a follower of Khorne. (which I also gave to his mate, above). A duller gut-plate with a red rune on it, and a more stylised rune of Khorne on his shield.

This beastman is definitely one of Jes’ models. Pretty straightforward with a ruddy coat and a half-rune of Khorne on his shield, as taken from the Slaves to Darkness pages. Can you guess which god my warband(s) were usually aligned with? This one again doesn’t need to be repainted. His blade uses a technique I learned back in the day. Can’t remember if this one was from White Dwarf, a friend or something i discovered myself (probably after a messy accident).

If there was something that you wanted to remain a metal, particularly a little weather-beaten or simply not pristine – you masked it when you primed, and then inked the bare metal with black drawing ink. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then wipe as much of it off as possible. The ink would stain the metal of the miniature, darkening it, while also remaining in the gaps and crevasses. I used this a lot in those days, especially considering how average-to-bad many of the metallic paints could be. I still use it today, on occasion.

Another of Jes’ beastmen, using a facial sculpt that found it’s way onto several models. Again this guy is pretty straightforward and needs no repainting. Same technique as above for the blade, and the same palette of Swamp and Orc Browns for his fur. The loincloth is a little bright, but it’s there to signify “Khorne”, and the old spiky shield is a little bit crap, but it’s old-school, so it stays. The horns aren’t awesome, but given the age of the mini, they’re good enough…

Another double, I think this is the last (painted) duplicated RoC figure I have. Again the main thing I wanted to do with this one was make him distinct from his twin. I’ve gone for a slightly more generic look this time, rather than Khornate. I also used a Marauder Miniatures’ Dark Elf shield on him, since it’s got a chaos star on it. If I remember correctly, he was pretty much fully painted and sat there in a case for a few years before getting the shield added to finally complete him.

A chaos sorcerer. Yes. Painted in pretty much Khornate colours. I painted him to twin him with another Chaos Champion with bone armour, who I painted with the same palette (copied from a White Dwarf). I’d kinda like to repaint him completely, but I’m not sure. I’ve regretted stripping some of my old marines from the RT era that were actually pretty decently painted – especially after seeing and picking up the same figures down the line from eBay.

That’s it for this post. More here!

Enterbay RM-4 (Not-)Jason Bourne. Part 1

Rather than yet another post bitching about Kickstarters, I’ve decided to write about something else today.

I still haven’t had much of a chance to do any miniature painting or gaming, as I’ve got to fix up the awful lighting in my new hobby room and have been distracted by all kinds of other RL shit. So I’ve been playing World of Warcraft and Saints Row 3 to get some kind of fun in.

Today I decided to look through some of my boxes of 1/6 scale stuff and perhaps try and get a figure from that lot built or kitbashed. I had a box from j-p hobbies arrive yesterday with a bunch of parts for me to do a couple of kitbashes, so I started with that, though my Vladimir Putin has been hamstrung by my inability to tie a 1:6 tie with my big sausage fingers.

As an alternative, I decided to break out my Enterbay RM-4 nude, that just happens to have a Matt Damon likeness, and was offered with an outfit that kinda just happens to look a bit like (one of) Jason Bourne’s outfits.

It’s quite a good likeness, I think you’d agree – though not perfect. I actually bought three of this figure. One with the Bourne outfit, and two to bash into the two main outfits seen in Green Zone. (PMC and DCU). I’ll get to work on these later, though I spent some time and money tracking down the correct gear for them about 2 years ago.

Naturally, as I was taking the photos, immediately after taking him out of the packaging for the first time ever, something bad happened. His arm just fell off.

Good to see 1:6 quality, direct from the manufacturer is the same as it ever was. Since it’s been 2 years since I purchased this figure, I’m pretty much up a certain creek without the means to paddle myself elsewhere. Trying to glue the cracked peg in place will be a temporary solution at best, though I might try it with plastic cement. Luckily it does dry fit in place, and so if I manage to not play with my dolly and just leave him posed and in place it’ll be okay.

Checking out all the clothing and parts, I see that the black clothes are really likely to stain the figure, so I’ve had to give them a bath in white vinegar. Once they come out of it, I’ll leave them out to dry, and if I’m lucky, I can assemble Maniac Matt Bourne in the morning and update this post. I also noticed that he doesn’t come with a pistol or a handbag. I mean satchel. satchel. right. I’ll have to look through my bits boxes to find both. I’m 100% sure I’ve got appropriate ones for both. It’s just a matter of finding them in a room filled with boxes of 1:6. I’ll either give him a Beretta 92 or a SIG-Sauer P225. Whichever of those (or close to) I can find first.

Here’s a shot of everything that you get. The RM-4 comes with two fisted hands with quite decent paint, a neck peg if you’d like to use an alternate head on this body, moulded boots, a longsleeve tee, black pants and a black jacket that looks like a rough analog to the one from The Bourne Supremacy.

Over on OSW, there were a bunch of people modding the figure to take off the ankle extensions that Enterbay inexplicably added to this nude, but on balance I’m not going to push my luck, and my Jason Bourne can be slightly taller than he should be. BeastX shows why he has that name with an awesome height mod.

Being an Enterbay figure, for the price they were selling it, it was an absolute bargain – simply because it was unlicenced. Enterbay’s clothing is as always high quality.

Welp! About tine to take the clothes out of the vinegar and let them dry… Hopefully I’ll have an update tomorrow!

Some new Distractions

So, here’s a quick, low-quality picture of my Mentor Legion that I’m in the process (kinda) of updating. Well, I built some extras for the squads and half-built some others. I need to find a bunch of right arms with bolters for some of them. I also need to find a decent brush for basecoating the green on the newbies…

Wow. That is one shitty picture. I’ll get some better ones a bit later. I actually found the custom decals that I made years ago yesterday featuring the original Mentor Legion icon. Unfortunately, I tried to seal them on the sheet with hairspray back in the day, and it caused the ink to run horribly. I just wish I could find the original photoshop file, but it was done so long ago it may even be on my old, old Powermac G3. Which is in storage at my parents’ place somewhere. I should find it, salvage whatever files on it are worthwhile and recycle it. Hmm…

Here’s the Studio Miniatures Zombies, the assembly of whom was how I spent a lot of my day.

So.. it’s also 2 weeks later since John said he’d post out the missing half of my order after getting in contact with Stuart  just before Christmas (when he initially said he’d send them out “tomorrow” – i.e.: before Christmas). They asked me to confirm my address. I did so, and asked them to confirm what they’re sending out. I didn’t get a reply, and that was the last I heard – No German Zombies yet.. Once again, pre-paying for product via crowdfunding results in sterling customer service. I probably won’t order anything from Studio Miniatures again. I’m getting a bit tired of shitty customer service. Their reasoning for sending the wrong stuff was that Indiegogo didn’t register the increased pledge – that’s because they sent me a PayPal invoice, and also managed to ignore the instructions for which figures I wanted that I sent both through email and their survey… in order to make sure they didn’t get it wrong(!)

I’ve started assembling the civilian zombies, and they are indeed very slight in stature, though their proportions are okay. They’re noticibly smaller than even the Mantic ones though. With only 4 rather bland torsos and pretty much the same for arms (6 pair) they’re not a real interesting set of zombies. I’d have been much happier if they were a little bigger, which would have made the parts cross-compatible with Mantic zombies and perhaps others. (without going anywhere near GW’s zombie scale)
The detail level is.. well, there’s not a lot, but at the same time they’re very small. The heads have basically no detail on the sides, being so tiny. Some don’t even have ears. Out of the 8 heads, only one is partly skeletal, which is a shame. Most of the others could be used for scruffy living people. I think a bit more variety would have made the kit a lot better, but as a cheap set they appear alright, though you could very easily use the kit for the living homeless. The resin heads are far, far better than the standard ones in the plastic kit, but then again, after these are drybrushed and dipped, I’m not sure who would be able to tell the difference on any but the construction helmet head.

The hardest part is the tedium of scraping off the (small) mold lines on every component. Hopefully I can finish the assembly in a couple of days, then I can start the basecoats and maybe get them dipped by next weekend. If I’m lucky…

I’ll also put together some size comparisons compared to other ranges’ figures (like a Space Marine). I’ll also try and take a shot comparing them to the figures in Last Night On Earth and Zombies!!!

There’s some good pictures and size comparisons out there with:

InfinityModels

Sprue Shots

Lots of other Zombie ranges

In other KS news, Sedition Wars is apparently in the midst of shipping. Dreadball is here and I haven’t had a chance to QA the figures. Stonehaven is here and I haven’t had a chance to QA those either. Bombshell updated again today and seems to be coming along. Red Box appears to be having more delays on fulfilment from Trollforged but is pressing on, bloody-mindedly with his next KS starting any day/hour now. (I’m doubtful mine will arrive before his second campaign finishes).  Trollforged’s own KS seems to get snippets of updates via their own forum or Facebook or some shit. Not via the actual backer update system, but it’s still supposed to be a way away. I got another little box of new Dredd figures from Mongoose and I still wonder why they haven’t sent out the pre-existing sculpts/models? Haven’t heard anything for a couple of weeks from Reaper, Dreamforge or Mantic (Kings of War) since before Christmas.

More annoyingly…

Bruno Galice of the Pirate Goblins hasn’t updated his page since the end of October, or even commented in the comments section for 29 days, when he said that he’d get photos up “this weekend” of the bases and painted miniatures “next week“. Also that he’d gotten the figures in hand and that he’d start shipping the figures “early next week” and that “there won’t be a box” as “the printer went out of business with my money.” Which sounds awfully inspired by what happened to McVey/Mantic. Anyway, clearly the shipping promises were bullshit. Anyway, 29 days since he’s made any communication to his backers, and it appears that he spent New Year’s Eve at some renfaire, but no Facebook communication to his backers either. You stay classy, Bruno. Good luck getting the Pirate Dwarfs funded after this.

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/bruno.galice

I don’t feel like Bruno set out to scam his backers. I do feel like he may have gotten overwhelmed, not budgeted properly (or used the money that he had in hand for other purposes, like paying the rent and electric bills, wine, etc. With 141 backers and if he’s spent the money on other things, this might be the reason that nothing appears to have been sent out or received.

Hm, I did intend to write this up without adding a Kickstarter rant, though I guess it comes to mind naturally since I’m putting together some figures that came from Indiegogo, and wondering when I might actually get the other half of the figures, and being annoyed at the lack of a reply to my followup email from Studio – which brought to mind “hey, whatever happened with those goblins?” and in turn me checking up to see what the latest was – which turned out to be bullshit, and in turn, the latter half of this post.