Thursday, 24 May 2018

Necromunda Bounty Hunters & Hired Guns 02

Having showcased my old school Necromunda bounty hunters and hired guns last post, this time I want to show some of the figures for the newest version. These four are produced by Forge World and as such are shockingly expensive. If you thought Games Workshop's prices were bad, check out those of Forge World! 😲 These four figures cost me £38.00 in total - £20.00 for the three humans and a whopping £18.00 for the Beastman! Note that these are all resin cast miniatures, and as such, are highly detailed and exceptionally well sculpted. However, in no way do I think that justifies their high price tags.
Gor Half-Horn is a Beastman - a mutant of the strain Homo Sapiens Variatus - and as such is possessed of horribly animalistic features and an unpredictable and violent temperament. These characteristics serve to make Gor a figure of dread in the underhive, but equally they make him a target for every raving zealot he encounters. As a sanctioned bounty hunter, Gor is entitled, in theory at least, to go wherever he will in pursuit of of his targets; in reality, he has often found himself the quarry, though so far none have bested him. Because it is so rare for a Beastman to be sanctioned as a bounty hunter, Gor has become the subject of numerous legends throughout the underhive. Some say he was once a member of an Abhuman Auxilia attached to an Astra Militarum regiment and the sole survivor of a battle of apocalyptic proportions. Others whisper that he was once in the employ of an Inquisitor, whose service he fled for a life among the damned. Some have even claimed that he was not born an Abhuman at all, but a noble scion who developed hideous mutations in his adolescence and fled downhive lest he be put to death by his own kin.
Gor is armed with a Chainsword, Plasma Pistol and Shotgun. He came in seven parts, not including his base and despite his high price, I do think he is an awesome figure.

Yolanda Skorn is also a bounty hunter. There is little mercy for gangers who challenge their leaders and fail. Most end their end their days rotting in the bottom of the Sump. Sometimes, though, a rival is so impressive, simple execution seems like a waste. This was the case for Escher bounty hunter Yolanda Skorn. the leader of her former gang, the Bloodmaidens, looked into Skorn's crazed eyes, even as she grinned through sheets of blood from her freshly carved exile scars, and decided nothing so cruel and beautiful should be taken from the world.
Yolanda is armed with a Stub Gun, Stiletto Knife and Frag Grenades. She was the figure I most wanted from this set. Being a huge fan of the Eschers, I was drawn to her as soon as I saw her. Incidentally, Kal Jerico often ran with a sidekick called Yolanda, who was once an Escher ganger. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Moving on to the hive scum hired guns, we have Mad Dog Mono second from the right. He works the great Ash Gates of Port Mad Dog when he is not hiring out his services as a mercenary to gangs, Ash Wasters and outlaws alike. Born into the Longshore clans, he grew up on the edges of the Palatine Cluster, the great hives visible only as shadows against the toxic horizon, their spires taunting him with the promise of safety and wealth. Life for a Longshore clanner is usually short and brutal - if the poisonous winds don't get them, then a faulty cargo lifter, angry Ash Waster or wandering wasteland creature probably will. Mono's fate was changed, however, when a scavvy trader sold him a strange, one-eyed hood. It turned out to be an ancient strato-pilot helmet, and as Mono discovered, its oculus augur gave him a unique views of the world and amazing reactions as a result.
Mad Dog Mono is armed with a Stub Gun and a Grab Hook. He is probably my least favourite figure out of this set.

Not so long ago, Grub Targesson (aka Lumpy Nox) was an upstanding member of the Merchant Guilds in Hive Primus, then one day he woke up to find an odd lump growing out of his shoulder. as the cycles ground by, the lump grew and Grub found it harder and harder to hide his deformity. Then, one day, it spoke to him - which is when Grub fled to the underhive.
Grub is armed with a Shotgun, a Fighting Knife and Frag Grenades. I like him slightly more than Mono but nowhere near as much as Yolanda.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Necromunda Bounty Hunters & Hired Guns 01

Here I present a selection of my bounty hunters and hired guns from the original Necromunda skirmish game. These 28mm scale figures were all produced by Citadel Miniatures for Games Workshop. Bounty hunters and hired guns could be hired by any gang. They usually had better stats than starting gangers but the downsides were they could not advance in experience and they had to be paid each time they took part in a gang fight.
These four heavily armed men are all bounty hunters. I'm afraid I don't have names for them as none of them were used in my original Necromunda campaign. The muscular chap at the far left is armed with a high-powered Las Rifle, a Chainsword and in holster and sheath, a Laspistol and a Shotgun respectively. Note that he has a cybernetic left arm.
The next bounty hunter has a Wild West vibe about him with his long duster and cowboy hat. However, his weapons are very high tech with a pair of Bolt Pistols (one with a scope sight), a Shotgun and a Sword. He has a bionic left eye. I really like this figure a lot. He looks so cool!
Second from the right, this green-haired bounty hunter is armed with a Shotgun and an Autopistol in a holster on his right hip. He has a cybernetic right arm and a bionic right eye, and he is wearing a respirator.
The bounty hunter at the far right is heavily laden with all sorts of gear on his back and is the only one out of this quartet not to have any cyberware. He is armed with a Bolt Gun, a Bolt Pistol with scope sight, a Shotgun, an assortment of Grenades and a Demolition Charge.
Next up are the hired guns. These are much less skilled than the bounty hunters but are also much cheaper to hire and make for good cannon fodder. The three to the left are unnamed scum. At the far left is a guy who clearly works out as he shows off his bulging muscles. He is armed with an Autopistol and a Plasma Pistol.
The elderly gent next to him is armed with a Knife and a Flamer Pistol in his hands and an Autopistol in a holster on his right hip.
The fat dude in the centre of this group is firing his Plasma Pistol in a two-handed grip. He also has a Knife in a sheath on his left side.
The other two are special characters - the famous Kal Jerico and his sidekick, Scabbs, both of whom appeared in numerous stories in prose and graphic novel format. Born the son of Necromunda's Planetary Governor Gerontius Helmawr and Heleana Jerico, Kal left the luxury of the spire for the life of a bounty hunter in the Underhive. As well as hunting those with bounties on their heads, Jerico often has a bounty on his own due to his unorthodox methods, leading as often as not to trouble finding him. He resolves these situations using his trademark debonair swashbuckling style, relying on quick wits and his good luck more than brute strength. Ambidextrous, Jerico wields two laser-sighted duelling Laspistols as his trademark and carries a trusty sabre. He also uses Photon Flash Flares and Frag Grenades to escape from unpleasant situations
His trusty and unpleasant companion, Scabbs, is a half-Ratskin, and he is armed with a Stubber Pistol. These were limited edition figures and as such are very rare. They were not part of the original range of figures but appeared much later.
One of my favourite characters and sculpts is "Mad Donna" Ulanti, the renegade noblewoman. She was once D'onne Ulanti, twelfth daughter of old Sylvanus, patriarch of the Noble House Ulanti up in the Spire. Sylvanus wanted to keep her pure for a convenient political marriage sometime, so he kept her locked up in a needle-thin tower on the outside of the spire. Some say Sylvanus used to slip in there to torment her, others say it was living amidst the unroofed skies that drove her crazy in the end. Whatever it was, her character defects only became apparent when she first met her husband-to-be and gouged his eyes out with a fork as they shared a banquet. As he lay screaming, the guards rushed in but didn't know who to shoot so sweet D'onne shot them both with the count's own pistol and then escaped the palace in all the confusion. She kept going down until she reached the hive bottom, and it was there that she was taken in by an Escher gang and her career as a gang fighter began with them. She soon got a reputation for craziness and she carved up a lot of people who got in her way. Eventually, she left the Eschers and drifted away. She is now available for hire for any gang except Goliaths, Redemptionists, Scavvies and Spyrers. She is armed with a Plasma Pistol, Laspistol and Chainsword. She has a bionic right eye, a replacement after she gouged out her own eye when a bartender called her "pretty!"
The last three figures are all bounty hunters. The woman standing next to "Mad Donna" is Amazonia Gothique, elder sister of Escher ganger, Corisande Gothique (see here ). She is armed with an Autogun Rifle and a Chainsword. This is a figure that I converted from a very old Citadel fantasy female Chaos Warrior who was armed with a Battleaxe and Shield. I cut off the tab on her left arm to fix the shield to and removed her Battleaxe and sculpted her an Autogun to replace it. The Chainsword was added from my spare parts box. When I ran my original Necromunda campaign, I recruited Amazonia to my Escher gang right at the start and she stayed with them for their first five gang fights and proved to be a real asset, as she helped them to victory after victory.
The two figures to the right went on sale round in the early 2000's, when GW redesigned a lot of the figures for the game, not very successfully, in my opinion. These two were amongst the few that I did buy then. The woman, second from the right is armed with a Bolt Pistol with scope-sight and a long Dagger. The woman at the far right wields a Combi-Bolter/Melta Gun and a pair of Laspistols in her holsters. She is wearing a respirator and is carrying the severed head of one of her victims. I do like this pair but they have never seen action with me. I may just use them when I start my new Necromunda campaign, in which case, they will get named.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Rumbleslam Deluxe 3D Arena

When I bought the boxed starter set for Rumbleslam by TT Combat I also bought the 3D arena kit made of MDF at the same time. The kit was very easy to build but rather complicated to paint. Still, I took my time and it ended up just as I wanted. There was just one problem and that was what to do with the ropes? I should say that the kit does not come with ropes, so you must come up with your own solution. I dismissed using thread, because I thought that would snap too easily. My brother suggested using plastic wire, which he had used to hang a spaceship model from his bedroom ceiling. This seemed like a good idea but proved very difficult to tie knots in so I abandoned this idea. After much thinking, I eventually hit upon a solution that really appealed to me - brass rods. I use these for the stands of my miniature spaceships. I thought if I glued them in place at each corner with superglue, that would give me a solid bond and ropes that would look good and be very sturdy. Once glued in place and left to dry overnight, I painted them in red, white and blue.
Here is my arena set up for a four team match between the four teams I currently own - the Green Bruisers (orcs and goblins), the Twisted Shadows (dark elves, shadowlings and gorgons), the Heavy Pounders (humans, halflings and ogres) and the Cryptborn Nightmares (undead and werewolves).
The ropes look really good, especially when painted. The arena itself came unpainted. I left the central area its natural wood colour and very carefully painted the surrounding area and the signs and logos. This was painstakingly slow work and required a very steady hand but I never once made a mistake.
In addition to the arena, you get four stands to position over the four corner turnbuckles to allow any of the larger based characters to stand on top of the turnbuckles. These are useful additions that come with the three legs each - the fourth leg being the turnbuckle itself, which they partially rest on. Here I show all four in use at the same time.
In the centre of the arena is the referee. This is a limited edition figure that I was lucky enough to purchase. Stats are provided for him as a good ref or as an evil ref. He is a bald-headed human. I'll showcase him in a later post so you can get a closer look at him.
In this particularly memorable match, the huge creatures all leapt from the turnbuckles to surround the ref and...
...each one grabbed a limb and played "wishbone" with him, pulling him apart! The troll got an arm and the body, the others just got a limb. So, victory for the Green Bruisers. Referees? Who needs them anyway?
The Rumbleslam Deluxe Ring is available for purchase from the TT Combat webstore for £14.95. With the exact measurements as the flat play mat, this ring makes an excellent upgrade to your Rumbleslam matches. Now that I have it made and painted I hope to showcase some Rumbleslam batreps in the near future.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Assorted Wild West Fauna 01

As you know I am slowly building up quite a collection of 28-32mm scale Old West figures, buildings and scenery. Whilst most of my figures are humans, I have also been adding various animals and birds that are appropriate for this genre. In this post I want to showcase some of them.
These three impressive looking bears are grizzly bears produced by Acheson Creations. These are part of the Primaeval Designs range of Prehistoric Mammals and are actually sold as Giant Cave Bears, but I thought they would make perfectly acceptable grizzly bears. I actually acquired these as part of a Kickstarter that Acheson Creations ran a few years ago to promote the Prehistoric Mammals range. This set was one of the optional add-ons you could buy.
The grizzly bear is a large sub-species of brown bear inhabiting North America. Scientists generally do not use the name grizzly bear but instead call it the North American brown bear. Note the pronounced hump on its back (particularly visible on the centre figure). This is a good way to distinguish a grizzly bear from a black bear, which does not have this hump.
Here is a black bear, and it is noticeably smaller than the grizzly bears. This figure was produced by North Star and was a freebie for those who bought all three of the latest factions in the Dracula's America range. Certain individuals in the Skinwalker tribes can transform into either a bear or a wolf, which explains why this bear figure was included. The black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America and is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. The American black bear is the world's most common bear species.
The animal alongside the black bear is a reindeer produced by Ral Partha, but I'm using it as an elk because reindeer are not native to North America, but elks are. This is specifically a Rocky Mountain Elk. This was a two-piece casting, with the antlers being separate from the body. There are six sub-species of elk, which can be found in North America. Until recently, red deer and elk were considered to be one species, but DNA studies indicate that elk should be a distinct species.
These three animals are coyotes, which are native to North America and are widely distributed across the continent. The coyote is smaller than its close relative, the grey wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. These figures were sculpted by Johnny Lauck who used to run Mega Miniatures before he retired, and were part of a limited edition Kickstarter, Road Kill Animals, which I backed a few years ago. They never went on general release, making them very rare indeed.
As of 2005, there were 19 sub-species of coyote that had been identified. The colour and texture of a coyote's fur varies geographically. I copied this colour scheme from a photo on Google Images, showing a prairie dweller. Mountain coyotes are generally greyer.
These four rattlesnakes are my most recent acquisitions and they are available from TT Combat as part of their resin cast Western Accessories Set, which is an incredibly useful set, containing 26 pieces, including 10 dynamite, 5 cowboy hats, 4 snakes, 4 cacti, 2 animal skulls and 1 dynamite plunger, all for £8.00. The snakes come in two separate sculpts and so I have painted them in slightly different colour schemes.
The 36 known species of rattlesnakes have between 65 and 70 sub-species and all are native to the Americas, ranging from southern Canada to central Argentina. Rattlesnakes are the leading contributors to snakebite injuries in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly their bites are seldom fatal.
At the far left of these two photos above and below is a hawk, a medium sized bird of prey that is widely distributed around the world. This figure was also sculpted by Johnny Lauck as part of his Road Kill Animals range. I was surprised that he sculpted a hawk and not an eagle but I'm not complaining.
The four remaining birds are clearly vultures. A vulture is a scavenging bird of prey. The two types of vultures are the New World vultures, including the Californian and Andean condors, and the Old World vultures, including the birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. Some traditional Old World vultures (including the bearded vulture) are not closely related to the others, which is why the vultures are to be subdivided into three taxa rather than two. New World vultures are found in North and South America; Old World vultures are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia, meaning that between the two groups, vultures are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. These four vultures are the Californian condor species, the largest North American land bird. The figure sitting on the Tombstone signpost was produced by Black Scorpion as a free stretch goal available to anyone who bought all seven gang factions in last year's Tombstone Kickstarter. The other three figures are more of Johnny Lauck's Road Kill Animals range.
Most of my Wild West games will take place in town settings and so it is unlikely that any of these figures will feature much in them. But for games set out on the range, then they will make for very useful potential encounters. Whilst my default set of Wild West rules, Six Gun Sound, does not have rules for animal encounters, its Weird West supplement, High Moon, does. So too, does Dracula's America.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Dead Man's Hand Civilians 01

Anyone interested in playing Wild West games in 28mm - 32mm scale, can't have failed to notice just how many companies cater to this range. There are lots! 😊 My favourites are Black Scorpion, Flying Frog Productions, North Star and Reaper. I have just started collecting figures from the Knuckleduster Miniatures 32mm Gunfighters' Ball range and I like them so much, I want them all! I tend to favour the larger scale figures but I am quite happy to mix and match 32mm scale figures with 28mm scale figures. Last month, I purchased some furniture items and civilian figures from the Dead Man's Hand 28mm scale range, and it is these civilians I want to showcase here.
These three figures are from the Civilian Bank Figures Set and have been designed for use with the 4Ground Bank, although there is no reason why you couldn't use them with any other bank you have. The female included in this set could be a secretary working at the bank or, more likely, is a customer.
The two males are obviously bank staff. The elderly gentleman in the centre is holding a large book, probably an accounts ledger. The younger male at the right is surrendering, no doubt the victim of a bank robbery. I have yet to name any of these characters and the 4Ground Bank is still on my shopping list, but it is a model I will definitely be buying. This set of three figures costs just £5.00.
This next set is the Civilian Bar Staff Set, or more specifically, Rogan's Bar Staff. Rogan's Bar is another 4Ground model, and I do have it made and painted, which is the main reason I particularly wanted this set. Yet again, you could use any appropriate figures to replace these three, but I was happy to use these "officially" produced miniatures.
At the far left is Cathie "Cat" Rogan, the daughter of the bar's original owner, Jim Rogan, who was murdered 10 miles out of town a few years ago. No one knows who killed him or why, but they hadn't counted on Cat being so determined to make a success of the bar. Cat is cool, determined and resourceful, with a good head for business. Three years ago, she extended the bar upwards by adding a bunkhouse for travellers to rest overnight. 
The two males are the middle-aged bartender, holding a bottle, and an elderly general assistant who is brushing the floor. I have yet to give them names. This set of figures also costs £5.00 for all three.
This photo, taken from the Dead Man's Hand webstore, shows the three staff members standing outside Rogan's Bar. Note that I have based my figures on 20mm diameter slottabases, for two reasons - one, it gives them a smaller footprint, and seeing as they are in static poses, works well for them, and two, it just gives them a bit more height against my 32mm scale figures.
The third set I bought was the Undertaker's Staff Set. Yet again, these were designed to go with the 4Ground Undertaker's building, which I do have, and it is also made and painted. According to the signs on the building, it belongs to one C.F. Caldwell, so I named the undertaker, standing at the far left, Charles Franklin Caldwell.
In the centre of the trio is the firm's carpenter, who not only makes coffins, but also furniture items as well. At the far right is the firm's young assistant and general dogsbody. I shall name these two in due course. Yet again, this set of figures costs £5.00.
This photo, is also taken from the Dead Man's Hand webstore and shows the three figures inside the Undertaker's building. Here's a link to the webstore - http://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/deadmanshand/dmhminiatures/civilians.html
Whilst not essential purchases, these will help populate my towns and make for useful bystanders and NPCs. They are very well sculpted but note that they are true 28mm scale, which makes them look a bit small when compared to 32mm scale figures. This doesn't bother me, but it might be a concern to some of you. Note that they come with integral metal bases and not slottabases.