Saturday, 30 December 2017

Vampifans Views 100 - Monthly Musings 72

It's my end of the month musings and also my 100th Vampifan's Views post and 100th post of 2017. Yay! 😊 This month's Vampirella picture offering is by Tim Sale, who has done a lot of work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. I don't have a lot to say about it other than I like it. Tim has certainly given Vampi a most impressive cleavage!

This year, Christmas was a strange affair for me as it was the first time I have spent it on my own. My mother, whom I live with and care for, has been very ill this past year and has spent more time in hospital than at home. Sadly, she was kept in hospital over the festive period. I did spend a couple of hours with her on the afternoon of Christmas Day, which cheered us both up a lot. But it was not the same being all alone the rest of the time. I do think that if she survives 2018, it will be a miracle, but who knows what the future might bring?

My mum gave me a big cheque for me to buy whatever I wanted for my Christmas presents and I spent it on gaming stuff, paying for two Kickstarter projects I backed in December. With the recent release of Necromunda by Games Workshop, I am devoting a lot of my time to that game by building up a large collection of scenery. The official scenery by GW is very nice but far too expensive, so I've been looking for cheaper alternatives and the best deal, in my opinion, are the Industrial Hive Complex sets produced by TT Combat. Check these three sets out.
TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 1

TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 2

TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 3
They just scream Necromunda, don't they? These three sets cost £43.95, £40.95 and £38.95 respectively. You can pay as much as £70.00 for just one platform item (the Promethium Refinery set) from GW, so this is a considerable saving. I was going to wait until mid-December to order these in time for Christmas but ended up buying all three sets on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The reason being, if you ordered them on that weekend you'd also receive an exclusive Escher ganger and Goliath ganger figure as well. These two figures are beautifully cast in resin and will be unbelievably rare. I'm busy painting them up right now so I'll showcase them very soon. My TT Combat sets were put away and I didn't open them until Christmas Day. I also ordered a few other official Necromunda scenery items from Wayland Games, because they offer them at 20% discount on most GW items. So I guess you could say I've had a Necromunda Christmas. Of course these scenery items will also see use in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and in my N.E.W. games.

Currently on my painting desk are the new Goliath gangers for Necromunda and some more Weird West figures. I have recently finished painting some figures for Judge Dredd, the Skinwalkers faction for Dracula's America and a lot of miniature starships as I build up my fleets for my The Ace of Spades Campaign using the N.E.W. role-playing rules. I think the reason that my painting output has increased so dramatically this past year is because I've spent so long at home on my own. Not having to care for my mother has given me a lot more free time to devote to my hobby.

Looking back on 2017, I'd say it has been a great year for me hobby-wise, possibly the best ever. There were a few highlights for me and the one I'm most proud of is that I posted more batreps in this year since I began blogging way back in 2009. I started off in January with my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign, which used the Comic Life format to great effect. Expect to see more of this campaign in 2018. In June I spent a most enjoyable weekend in the company of Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop and he introduced me to his Death Match sci-fi gladiatorial game. Also in that month I took part in the Forgotten Heroes challenge. I originally planned on sculpting the two human characters from the Bug Hunters comic strip but surpassed my expectations by converting the four robots as well.
Kimberley Wells, the sexy and charismatic captain of The Ace of Spades.
In July I began a new blog devoted to the What's Old Is New role-playing games. This quickly became a labour of love for me as I created a unique sci-fi setting in which to set a long running campaign featuring the all female crew of The Ace of Spades independent scout ship. The first scenario of the campaign ran to 16 parts, which was a mammoth undertaking on my part but by far and away my favourite gaming experience of 2017. Indeed, I have to say that playing that scenario was my favourite gaming experience ever! Everything about it worked so well - the figures, the scenery and most of all, the story. It also introduced me to starship combat, something I had never done before. I enjoyed it so much that I am now building up a large collection of starships to use in future scenarios. Suffice to say, there will be a lot more stories to tell in this campaign throughout 2018, starting with the next chapter in January.

That was the past. So what of the future? What are my plans for 2018? Pretty much more of the same, which means more figure reviews and more batreps. As I said above, the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign and The Ace of Spades Campaign will continue. I hope to do some batreps for Rumbleslam and Necromunda, although the latter will have to wait until I get the Escher and Goliath gangs painted as well as the scenery items. I also hope to be able to finally get some Weird West games played. I am slowly building up a collection of Wild West buildings, most of which are produced by 4Ground. By Easter, I should have enough made to run a small skirmish, either with the Dracula's America or High Moon rules.

All that remains is to wish you all a very happy New Year. I hope it's a good one for you.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Scafford Gang Mutants 01

I covered the Shadows of Brimstone Scafford Gang in a previous post (see here ) but I recently bought some more figures for the gang and here they are.
At the far left is Sergeant Caleb Bunker, a veteran of the American Civil War who fought alongside Colonel Scafford and who became a trusted lieutenant of the gang. In the Scafford Gang boxed set, there are rules for using Scafford Lieutenants but no figures for them. The rules recommend substituting Colonel Scafford himself for a Lieutenant or if both figures are required, using one of the normal outlaws as the Lieutenant. Now that Flying Frog have produced this figure, the problem is solved. His mutations include a third arm and a mass of writhing tentacles around his chin and lower head. I painted his skin in Foundry Cadaverous Flesh 46 to give him that extra mutant look. He still wears his Confederate uniform but it is tattered and dirty. I do wonder where he got a coat with three arms? The figure is a one-piece casting made of resin and is very detailed, but he is heroically scaled, standing 35mm tall. He is a very cool sculpt.
The other three figures shown here are from the Dark Stone Brutes set. The Scafford Gang is one of the most notorious Mutant Outlaw gangs in the West. They make their hideouts up in the hills and mines around Brimstone and have become hideously mutated by the corrupting effects of the Dark Stone there. The Dark Stone Brutes are members of the Scafford Gang that have become fused with rock and Dark Stone, itself, growing out of control to become hulking monsters. Towering over other humans, the Dark Stone Brutes have become crazed, responding only to fellow members of their gang, and smashing any others that come too close, with their powerful rocky arms. These are multi-part plastic figures. The one in the white shirt has not been converted but the other two have. For the one in the black shirt I repositioned his left arm, whilst for the one in the sand shirt, I repositioned his right arm, which required a bit of Milliput to fill in the gap at the elbow. The Dark Stone Brutes are about 45mm tall and have been mounted on 40mm diameter bases that came with them.
I bought Sergeant Bunker directly from the Flying Frog webstore, where he is still available for $10.00. Note that he is a limited edition figure so I don't know how much longer he'll be available for sale. The Dark Stone Brutes set was purchased from a seller on eBay for £15.00. You can still get it for that price on eBay. If you order direct from the Flying Frog webstore, the set costs $19.99.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Harvesters

Sticking with my current Weird West theme, here are three interdimensional aliens that were produced for Flying Frog's Shadows of Brimstone game - the Harvesters. Using tears in the fabric of space to pass between worlds, these interdimensional travellers  cross over in search of raw materials and artefacts to collect. Wearing heavy environmental suits to protect them from the hazards of our reality, the Harvesters are nearly indestructible. Often times they are connected to their own world through long hoses that stretch out behind them and extend back through a shimmering gateway, bringing whatever substances they require to sustain them in our world. Lumbering but ruthless, the Harvesters are relentless in their search for anything of interest or value to bring back to their own dimension.
Harvesters are alien collectors from another dimension that wear massive suits of powered armour to "dive" into other worlds. They seek out new technology, ancient artefacts and all forms of Dark Stone to take back home with them. The Heavy Environment Suits that the Harvesters wear make them almost impervious to harm. This gives them a brutally high Defence and makes them immune to Critical Hits as well as damage from explosives (like Dynamite) and Environment/Weather sources.
Harvesters also have several special attacks that can be triggered by Grappling their opponents - when they roll doubles on their Combat to Hit rolls! This double To hit roll determines which special Grapple Attack is triggered and happens even if the double rolled would miss. One ability called Bash means that the Hero hit is Bounced D3 times (just like Dynamite Bounces) in random directions using the Dynamite Bounce Chart. This Bounce will move the Hero model through any other models in the path, but if the space they would end on is already occupied (or would hit a wall), place the Hero in the last unoccupied space moved through.
These plastic figures came in five parts, not including their bases. Very helpfully, their arms can rotate, allowing you to pose them differently as I have done. They look very much like old-style deep sea divers crossed with sci-fi powered armour. It is rather unusual to see such aliens who'd be more at home in a sci-fi setting than in a Weird West game, but dimensional travel is a major feature of Shadows of Brimstone so that means anything goes. I'm thinking of having these three aliens pop up in Mega City One in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. Note that they are very tall, standing roughly 50mm high. They are glued onto 40mm diameter bases.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Foundry Zombie Gunfighters

This post concludes my reviews of the 28mm scale Weird West zombies I painted last month. This time the spotlight falls on seven zombie gunfighters produced by Wargames Foundry as part of their Old West range. I must admit that I bought this set many years ago but never got round to painting them, which, for me, is a shameful admission. The "kick up the pants" I needed came when I saw Simon/BlaxKleric painting his set of them as part of his Zomtober project a couple of months ago. Seeing his work spurred me on to painting my set and here they are. Simon, many thanks, mate!
At the far left, this zombie gunfighter has a nasty wound in his left arm and most of the flesh has been stripped from his lower left leg although his foot is intact. As Simon pointed out, he does sport a very impressive moustache!
Simon mentioned in his post that the next zombie in line bears a striking resemblance to "Wild Bill" Hickock and he's right. We have both painted him in identical colours but Simon's looks wetter than mine, due to his insistence on gloss varnishing his figures. No comment! "Wild Bill" appears to have been bitten in the left cheek and left elbow and he has a massive gunshot wound in his back.
Moving on, we have a one-armed cowboy. His arm wound is particularly impressive. A piece of bone protrudes from the flesh of his upper arm. He has also had a lump of flesh chewed from his right cheek. Note the hole in his hat from front to back, showing he had a lucky escape from someone's gunshot!
At the far left is a zombie gunfighter in a similar pose to the one at the far left. He, too, has suffered a serious left arm wound.
The figure at the far left is not listed or shown on Foundry's webstore but I received him anyway, and so did Simon. If he is a freebie, he is very welcome. He has been badly wounded in both arms but it looks like his left arm wound is not as serious because he can still aim his pistol with it. His right arm hangs uselessly by his side.
In the centre is a US Cavalry trooper armed with his .45 Springfield carbine. Around his belt is a holstered pistol and a knife in a sheath. There is a bullet hole in his left chest and a massive exit wound in his back. His back wound looks like it has been worsened by being gnawed upon, which is certainly a possibility with flesh-eating zombies around.
Last in line is an old timer armed with a double-barrelled shotgun. Some miscreant has gone and stolen his boots, although in his current undead state I doubt if he cares. He has a cut to his lower right arm and from the fresh blood around his mouth, it would appear he has been feasting recently.
It may seem odd to see zombies wielding guns but in the Weird Wild West they are a common occurrence. Certainly, there are rules for zombie gunfighters in THW's High Moon and in Dracula's America. These are superb sculpts, so full of character. Note that they are true 28mm scale, which may make them appear small when mixed with heroic scaled figures from other ranges. This does not bother me in the least as I'll happily mix and match figures regardless of their size, but I mention it in case it matters to you. This is set OW010 Zombie Gunfighters and they currently retail for £12.00 from the Foundry webstore. I'd be interested to know if you still get the freebie figure with them.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Reaper Zombie Miners

I mentioned last time that I'd had a big session painting zombies to use in my Weird West games - Dracula's America, High Moon and Shadows of Brimstone. The three figures I want to show here were bought very recently and they are set 50317 Zombie Miners from the Reaper Chronoscope range.
At the far left is a bare-headed zombie carrying a pickaxe. Whether he can use it or not is debatable and probably depends upon the rules you're using. In most games, zombies lack the intelligence to use weapons. I couldn't see any obvious wounds on him so he is one of my rare zombies without any gore effects on him.
In the centre of the group is a zombie I decided to paint up as a Negro. He is carrying a spade. He has a bandage around his right wrist which has bled through. That could have been from the fatal bite that transformed him into a zombie.
At the far right is another bearded male miner carrying a pickaxe. He has a slight cut to his left arm. On all of my zombies shown here, after I'd painted them, I gave them a dry-brushing of sandy brown paint for that dirty, dusty look. I did not want these in clean, pristine looking clothes.
The sculpting of these three figures is absolutely first class and they really show up the zombie miners from the Shadows of Brimstone set that I showed last time. They would certainly fit in well with those particular zombies either as replacements or reinforcements.
This set of three figures costs £10.90, which is a bit pricey, but you are paying for top quality sculpts, so I didn't mind. Look out for yet more Weird West zombies next time.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Zombies

I don't know why it has taken me so long to paint these 12 zombies from the Shadows of Brimstone starter set, The Swamps of Death. I guess I was probably thinking, keep the best till last, but sadly, so much other stuff got in the way that I kept putting them further and further back. Anyway, I recently had a big painting session of zombies and they finally got done.
It is not uncommon nowadays, in the areas around Brimstone, for the dead to rise back up from their shallow graves and seek out the living to feed upon. And in these parts, there is no shortage of dead. As animated corpses, these undead nightmares are slow and shambling, but attack in large numbers to surround their hapless victims. Feeling no pain and without fear for their own well-being, Hungry Dead, as they are often referred to, are very difficult to kill. Often an inexperienced foe will empty shot after shot into them, doing little more than blowing off small chunks or fingers. This, of course, does nothing to stop them and often just leads to one or more zombie joining the ranks, as they tear him apart and infect him with their zombie plague.
These twelve plastic figures in the boxed set come in three poses. The six shown above are the most numerous. The two at the far left are the standard figure. They come in four parts - body and head, legs and separate arms. Having separate arms means you can pose them differently, which is a big help. For the other four figures, I have converted each one separately. The zombie third in line from the left has had a writhing mass of intestines sculpted on him, as they spill from a gaping stomach wound. It would have been remiss of me not to have done this particular conversion! Moving on, the next two have had hats added to their heads. The zombie second from the left also had a bandanna added around his neck and his left arm lopped off at the elbow. The zombie at the far left was a very clever conversion. By leaving his legs off I was able to pose him as a crawler zombie. A very simple but effective conversion.
You get three each of the other two poses. The males are meant to be zombie miners and once again, the one at the far left is the standard figure. The one second from the left had his hat cut off to donate to one of the zombies shown above. I sculpted the top of his head with Milliput to show him bare-headed. I also repositioned his pickaxe. For the third zombie miner, I simply cut off his hand and pickaxe and sculpted on a bit of bone showing through his wrist.
The three female zombies were all one-piece castings. The one in the red, black and white dress is not converted. The woman in the green and black dress has had her right arm cut off. The last one, in the blue and ochre dress, has had a head swap. I used one of my spare heads from the Warlord Games Project Z female zombies set to make her look different to the others.
These make a nice small horde of Weird West zombies. I quite like their poses and I certainly had a lot of fun making them all look different. I do enjoy converting zombie figures. I hope I have shown that they don't all have to look the same but if that's what you want then go ahead. Personally, I like my figures to appear unique. Although these are designed for use in Shadows of Brimstone, there is no reason not to use them in other games. Dracula's America and High Moon immediately spring to my mind. I'll be showing more Weird West zombies over the next few posts.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rumbleslam Twisted Shadows

At the same time as I ordered my Cryptborn Nightmares team for Rumbleslam, I also bought this team - the Twisted Shadows. What particularly drew me to this team were the two Witch Elves. When it comes to fantasy I have a particular fondness for Dark Elves. Way back when I played Warhammer regularly my two biggest armies were Vampire Counts (obviously!) and Dark Elves. Of all of the Dark Elf units, the Witch Elves were my favourite. Those ladies were vicious!
From left to right, the Twisted Shadows team is made up of Lysintra the Witch Elf Brawler, Zeeriel the Witch Elf Grappler, Madame Medusa the Gorgon, Blink the Shadowling Brawler and Switch the Shadowling Grappler.
The Twisted Shadows team is agile, fast, hard-hitting, and very tough to face. But they're also extremely weak when punched back, so watch out! Twisted players of Gomorrah will love a little extra power in their teams.
Dark Elf Brawlers and Dark Elf Grapplers can take a bit more punishment, and are very good at their respective roles. Their Art of Seduction ability turns an already good attack into an even better one by incapacitating the opponent's ability to defend properly.
Shadowling Brawlers and Shadowling Grapplers are best used to sneak in, do a devastating special attack, and then Shadow Jump away again before the enemy even notices they were there!
Finally, the massive Gorgons are out and out damage dealers. Their special abilities are very powerful, but its their grapples and Crowd Pleasers that really make them a mainstay in any Gomorrah team.
As well as buying the Twisted Shadows team, I also bought a couple of Superstars for them - Comet and Phage. 
“Comet is an enigma wrapped in mystery and perversion. Known by many as the strangest wrestler to enter the ring, this painted elf has exhibited some very strange tendencies over the years. Whether it is admiring himself in the ring, or tracing out the blackened lines of his skin-tight suit, he has surprised and chilled many a wrestler and viewer. In interviews, he has shown a definite lack of personal space and social norms. His face is meticulously painted each day, and the ritual of brushing his hair sixteen times before a match is never missed. Comet seems to love his body and appearance more than anything, and should his opponent smear his paint, they had better be ready for pain.”
Wow! Just look at that stat card. Seriously. Umm... I don't know what else to say. So. Much. Gold. Comet is a great Superstar for... well... anyone really. Seriously. Wow!
"In nature it is sometimes the most beautiful of flowers that contain the most poison. The same can be said for this Dark Elf. A wrestler of nearly unparalleled beauty, Phage has enjoyed the adulation of her peers for years. Her seemingly shy and modest appearance however is merely a facade she wears to lull her opponents into a false sense of security. Behind her sweet and charming mask is a soul as black as pitch. This sadistic superstar takes great pleasure in inflicting serious and debilitating injuries on her foes. Several promising careers have ended early due to Phage crippling or maiming the superstar but nothing has been done to stop her. She pretends they are all accidents and even apologises openly to her victims, but it is all an act."
When is a Dark Elf better than a Dark Elf? When she's Phage. Increasing on a Dark Elf's already decent stat line, Phage really does have it all. With great attacks on top, she's a formidable opponent. That said, she costs a lot of Dosh! If you fancy adding her to a Gomorrah team, she pairs perfectly with the Twisted Shadows, who make her even more mobile!
I must admit that I just fell in love with the three Witch Elf figures for this team. 😍 They are as gorgeous as they are deadly. The other team members aren't bad either and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they perform in the ring. There are a lot of parts to the Gorgon, but she went together very well without the need of any drilling and pinning. When I glued the tails onto the two Shadowlings I had to slightly widen and lengthen the holes for them to slot into but that was a simple job. Note that as with all of my Rumbleslam figures, I have glued them to MDF bases instead of the clear plastic bases that they are supplied with. And in case you're wondering, all of their clothing items were painted with Humbrol Gloss Black acrylic paint.
The Twisted Shadows Team costs £22.00 from the TT Combat webstore and Comet and Phage costs £7.00 each.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Rumbleslam Cryptborn Nightmares

Given my love of all things undead, it was inevitable that I would want the Cryptborn Nightmares team for TT Combat's Rumbleslam game. Let's take a closer look at them.
The Cryptborn Nightmares are a team made up predominantly of undead types. From left to right are the Mummy - Namhophar the Celebrated, Zed the Zombie, Wolffang the Werewolf, Crashnukh the Orc Skeleton and Boney Bonaparte the Human Skeleton. I gave them those names.
The Cryptborn Nightmares are a team of extremes. On one extreme are the skeletons: dime a dozen, but prone to collapsing into piles of bones. Whilst on the other extreme are the mummies: rock hard opponents that don't ever stay down for long – if you even manage to get them down in the first place! Teams from the Rolling Bones will find great longevity in these undead monsters.
Zombies and Mummies are some of the most reliable wrestlers in Rumbleslam. They have lots of power, and Rise From The Grave helps them to just keep going and going. Make sure to use those Crowd Pleasers!
The Werewolf is probably the best all round WEIGHT 3 wrestler in the game. Werewolves are quick and extremely efficient at throwing the opposing team out of the ring.
Finally, Skeletons and Ork Skeletons aren't too worrying on the face of it, but their special abilities hit extremely hard. Just be careful not to put them against far superior opponents, or Brittle Bones will make them explode from a particularly savage beating!
In addition to buying the standard team as shown above, I also bought two Superstars for the Cryptborn Nightmares - Fang and the Grave Digger.
“A vampire older than record books, this dark denizen of the night has plagued the land for millennium. For a while, that was enough to entertain the ancient entity. But like all things, the shine soon left the apple. He would sleep, and hope that the next century would be of more interest. One hundred years passed before his eyes opened once more. Awake, thirsty and eager to see what new delights the world had to offer, Fang ventured out into realm to find the city streets alight with life! The sound of cheers met his ears, and he grew curious enough to venture inside a building. What greeted him was Rumbleslam! For the first time in hundreds of years, the wicked man smiled.”
Fang has entered the ring! He's a fantastic all-rounder superstar, with decent stats and a couple of +1s on his card. He's fast and vicious! Superhuman Spinebreaker is a Grapple Ability you'll be using lots and lots. It's easy to do, and thanks to Fang's Vampirism Passive Ability, replenishes his Stamina at the same time. But that's not all, because if you pass a Crowd Pleaser, the whole team gain the same benefit!
Fang obviously fits in perfectly with The Cryptborn Nightmares, boosting their already decent regenerative capabilities and their reliance on grapple attacks. But he's also a great choice for any team with lower Stamina – The Deadly Divas and The Twisted Shadows come to mind – as his constant replenishing can make up for their main weakness!
Some of the Superstars are clearly based on WWE wrestlers from real life (see the Grave Digger below). But Fang appears to be modelled on Blade as portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the films of the same name. I'm cool with that.
"Little is known about The Grave Digger. He has declined all interviews and questions to date. Who was he before his death? How did he come to be undead? Many have asked and yet none have received more than a chilling glare from the towering giant of a superstar. An enigma both in and out of the ring, The undead superstar has amassed a cult following who worship his every match and claim he is the chosen one."
Want to play one of the most recognised wrestlers in all of Rumbleslam? Grave Digger is strong, tough, and surprisingly quick. Get a Crowd Pleaser off and he can do quite a lot of attacks in one turn, and his Deadeye ability stops enemy wrestlers from moving!
Grave Digger is a Rolling Bones superstar, and fits perfectly alongside The Cryptborn Nightmares.
I just had to buy this figure. He is based on one of my favourite WWE characters - the Undertaker. What I particularly like about this model is that he comes with a choice of two heads - bareheaded or with his hat. I had to choose the hat version as that was very much a trademark of the Undertaker. Please beware that the Cryptborn Nightmares team are made up of a lot of parts. The Werewolf comes in seven pieces not including his base. Also take care when handling the skeletons. They have very fragile limbs which I reinforced with a tiny amount of Milliput, Fortunately, I didn't have any breakages.
The Cryptborn Nightmares team costs £22.00 for all five figures and Fang and Grave Digger cost £7.00 each.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Hydra

I recently bought this huge monster, the Dark Stone Hydra, for my Shadows of Brimstone game. I was able to buy him for a reasonable price on eBay. In the first photo, I have included a figure of a 28mm scale female to give you a clear indication of the size of this monster. He is huge! Any one of those heads could easily swallow a man whole.
Not all creatures that stalk the canyons and mines around Brimstone are from an Other World. When the resonating horde of Dark Stone blew Brimstone off the map, it released waves of Void energy across the land, tainting the earth and mutating man and beast alike. The Dark Stone Hydra is one such creation; a common rattlesnake, found throughout the deserts of the South-west, grown massive by the twisting powers of the Dark Stone.
With multiple hissing heads, spiked Dark Stone shards protruding from its body, and a brutal Dark Stone rattle,these savage beasts are a terror beyond imagining, made all the more frightening by their common appearance throughout the region.
The Dark Stone Hydra is a gigantic and terrifying beast. It is not only massive, but also fast and deadly as it strikes, slithering between models to change targets and snapping with all of its fanged heads. The Dark Stone radiation that taints this creature also exudes from its body, corrupting those that stray too close, and its ability to regenerate damage offsets the fact that it loses power as you cut off its heads.
This figure came in ten parts, not including its 50mm diameter base. The assembly instructions for it were clear and precise. It went together very well. I copied the colour scheme for it from the box art, but I painted my Dark Stone rattle and shards in gloss black instead of purple. It is a most impressive model and the sculpting and pose of it is first rate. There are a few of these currently available for sale on eBay, with the cheapest being offered for just £20.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Vampifans Views 99 - Monthly Musings 71

November is always a special month for me - it's when my birthday is. More on that later. But first, my Vampirella portrait is by Bo Hampton, whom I recently showcased with his three illustrations of Vampirella and Batman. This black and white picture of Vampi shows her in a pensive mood as she is about to wipe away a dribble of blood from her chin. It is beautifully rendered and I like it a lot. What I particularly like about it is that she has been portrayed with realistic proportions, something that some comic artists fail to achieve.

I'll keep my birthday news until last. So what have I been up to this month? On the painting front I have mainly been painting undead - YAY! I have finished painting roughly two dozen Weird West zombies from three different companies and I'll show them all next month. I have also painted the undead wrestling team for Rumbleslam. They are the Cryptborn Nightmares. In addition, I have also painted the Twisted Shadows team for Rumbleslam. Both of them will be shown very soon. I have also made and painted my MDF wrestling ring that I ordered from TT Combat. This just takes the game to a whole new level and visually looks stunning.
Currently I'm working on some more figures to use in Dracula's America or any Wild West setting. I'm also painting some more figures for Judge Dredd, after Foundry Miniatures finally stopped selling their 2000AD range of figures. I already had most of the range but was missing just a few. Fortunately, I was able to get them just before the final day of their sale. I'm not sure if this decision to stop selling them has anything to do with Warlord Games acquiring the rights to make figures for all of the 2000AD series. Whatever the reason, I was sad to see this much loved and long running range bite the dust.
My brother has been printing out lots of 3D models for my gaming needs. He has a 3D printer and it is something I'd like to own but not just yet. The stuff he's been doing for me came from a few Kickstarters run by Hayland Terrain that I backed. I have terrain and furniture items for fantasy, Wild West, contemporary and sci-fi settings. Once they get painted up, they look fantastic. A post showcasing what I've painted so far is definitely on the cards. At the moment I'm mainly asking him to print out furniture items for me.

Speaking of Kickstarters, the latest one I've backed is Core Space produced by Battle Systems Ltd. As you know, I am a huge fan of their products. Core Space is a follow up to their superb Sci-fi 2 terrain sets which I recently acquired. It is fully compatible with that setting but has more of a gritty cyberpunk feel to it. But the biggest change is that it is also a skirmish game with miniature figures. For the first time Battle Systems are producing miniature figures in 32mm scale. They do look superb! Just check out these photos of the new scenery and figures.
 A game in progress as the Purge robots close in on the heroes.
 The crew of the Ion Hope - Roykirk, Arianna and Gak.
The crew of the Black Maria - Renton, Jace and Lars.
I must admit that I fell in love with this project as soon as I saw the photos for it. The scenery will fit in well for my JDMG and N.E.W. games and so will the figures. Having watched a couple of play-throughs of the game on YouTube I must admit to liking the game very much. The project is fully funded and I've already increased my pledge once. There is just so much great stuff being added to this project as more people back it. Sadly, it won't be released until November 2018, but that'll be a lovely birthday present for me.

So, birthdays. On the 24th of this month it was my birthday. So I decided to treat myself to something special and with the money my mum gave me, I ordered the new Necromunda: Underhive boxed set and the Necromunda: Gang War supplement. Now, those who know me well will know of my deep hatred of Games Workshop - they have done so much wrong that has hurt the hobby and the people who once supported them. But I do acknowledge they are trying to make amends nowadays. That said, I still won't buy anything from them other than a few of their ink-wash paints. So I ordered these two gifts to myself from Wayland Games, who were selling them for 20% cheaper than GW. That works for me! Better the money in my pocket than GW's!
In my mind, Necromunda was the best game that GW ever produced, and so I was very pleased to see it return. I ran a hugely successful Necromunda campaign in the mid-1990's which is still remembered fondly to this day. In it, I played two gangs - one from House Escher and one from House Goliath. And look at which two gangs are featured in the new boxed set - House Escher and House Goliath! 😍 That was incentive enough for me to want this new game. Plus, just look at how cool these new sculpts are. Note that the photos are from Games Workshop.
The brand new House Escher gangers, looking ultra-cool and awesome. These are my favourite gang in Necromunda.
The gangers from House Goliath - just as muscle-bound as I fondly remember them. Big brutes with big weapons!
There have been changes made to the game, which is inevitable, and in my opinion, the changes are all for the best. The biggest change is that with Necromunda: Underhive, the game is played on flat boards, rather like Zombicide. 3D doors, barricades and other items are provided but it is essentially a boardgame with miniatures. Those of you who remember the original game will recall that it was played on 3D terrain on different levels, which added an interesting dynamic to the games. Fear not, that element is still here, but the rules for using 3D terrain are presented in the Necromunda: Gang War supplement along with the campaign rules.
This is the first time in many a year that I've been excited by a GW release. I look forward to making and painting the gangs. I will be playing the game using the new rules - both sets. But in addition, I can see me using the scenery and gangs in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game. I remember when I first saw Necromunda way back in 1995 my first thought was that is so like Mega City One! Welcome back Necromunda! You have been missed.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Vampifan's Views 98 - Name Generators

There is a website I'd like to bring to your attention, assuming you've never heard of it before. It is called Fantasy Name Generators and you can find it here -
This is one of the most amazing websites I have ever come across. Despite its name, it doesn't just generate names for fantasy settings. It covers all genres and settings, including loads of popular culture games, films and TV series, in addition to real life.
On the Home page are lists for such settings as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Guild Wars, Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Mass Effect, Rift, Game of Thrones, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Final Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Halo, Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and Harry Potter, to name but a few. Then there are loads of lists for other pop culture settings, generic fantasy names, real names, place names, town and city names, as well as many other name generators and descriptions. In all, there are over 1,000 name generators. How awesome is that?
I like to name my figures. To me, each figure is a character with a personality and a backstory. But coming up with individual names is not easy, especially when dealing with alien races. So for me, this website is a godsend. For each category, the program generates ten random names. Sometimes you have the option for male or female names, depending upon the category. I recently posted a review of six Spartan characters on my WOIN blog. Spartans are very similar to Klingons. So I went to the Star Trek category and clicked on the Klingon name generator. I was able to find suitable names for my three male Spartans and three female Spartans in a matter of seconds. Most times I saw a forename I liked and used it with a different surname that I preferred. You have that option to mix and match. When I showed my three contemporary witches in my last post, the WTW necromancer was unnamed. I called her Anastasia Tenebris, a name I found from the Witches name generator on this website.
If you like naming your figures then you will find this website a valuable resource and I highly recommend bookmarking it. Just glancing through the lists will open your eyes to its potential. I came across this site very recently when I decided I wanted to give all of my Rumbleslam wrestlers names. Only the superstars are currently named. The standard team wrestlers are not. So I did a Google search for fantasy name generators and came across this site. In no time at all I had found suitable names for my Heavy Pounders and Green Bruisers teams. Yes, there are other name generator sites out there but none are quite as prolific as this one. Very highly recommended!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Contemporary Witches 01

As a complete change of pace I thought I'd show you three contemporary witches, two of which were recent purchases and one, which I've had for quite  awhile now. They are all made by different companies to varying standards.

First up is my favourite figure out of this trio - the limited edition version of Jill Lucas by Silver Fox Productions for the RAFM Miniatures range of USX Modern Day Heroes. Jill is available in two versions - normal and limited edition. The limited edition versions differs from the normal version in that it comes with the spell effect rising from the pages of her spell book. Only 300 of these figures have been produced and mine is number 117. They all come with a small certificate. Jill is obviously a Goth Girl. The sculpting of her is just exquisite. I love her coffin shaped backpack and her red plastic horned tiara. The spell effect of the ghostly skeletal head is such a cool touch. Limited edition Jill Lucas is RAF09001 priced at $10.95. If you want the normal version, she is RAF02838 priced at $5.95.
In the centre is Witch Hazel, sculpted by Kevin White as part of the Hasslefree Miniatures range of Modern Day Adventurers. She is obviously based on the character of Willow Rosenberg from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, specifically series 6, when Willow turned bad and almost destroyed the world. I'm using her as an evil Goth Girl rather than bad Willow, and keeping the name Witch Hazel. I should mention that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series, Angel, still remain two of my all-time favourite TV series and I would love for someone to do a full range of figures from both series. Witch Hazel has cast a levitate spell on herself. Once again, the sculpting of her is sublime. She is listed as HFA041 Witch Hazel on the Hasslefree webstore and she costs £4.00.
Third in line is Anastasia Tenebris, sculpted by Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop. She is actually described as a female necromancer but that just makes her an evil witch in my book. I must admit to having mixed feelings about this figure. On the plus side, I like the concept of her raising the dead so spectacularly. What is cool is that her base, with the two rising skeletons has been cast in transparent green resin. Most of this has been obscured by my painting but the ghostly flame effects do show some of the green resin beneath my dry-brushing. The necromancer is a separate casting and could, if you wanted, be glued to a different base. She'd fit well on any 25mm diameter base. What lets this figure down is the sculpting of the necromancer. Compared to the other two on display here, she looks rather crude. Now don't get me wrong, Dave is a very talented sculptor. His scenery pieces and monsters are just superb. However, when it comes to sculpting humans, he still has a long way to go to match the work done by the likes of Kevin White and B. Van Schaik, who sculpted Jill Lucas. The female necromancer is not named, so I gave her the name of Anastasia Tenebris. She does not appear in the WTW webstore's online sales section, but you can see her in the News and New Releases section as part of the September 2017 new stuff. I'm sure if you sent Dave an e-mail he'd be able to give you a quote for her price. I can't remember what I paid for mine.
I bought the figure of Jill very recently, and Anastasia a couple of months ago. Witch Hazel was bought a few years ago as soon as she was released. I could have called this post, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, but decided not to. I do like all three of these figures but I haven't decided how to use them yet. My thoughts at the moment are to wait for the release of N.O.W. by EN Publishing to use them in that contemporary setting RPG. Oddly enough, Anastasia is the one who has the most gaming potential. She is such a generic sculpt that she would fit in well in almost any genre from fantasy to sci-fi. I am pondering about whether to make her an ally of Malexica in my JDMG campaign. Does Malexica need an ally? We'll see. And no, I haven't forgotten about that campaign. A new batrep will be coming soon.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Dracula's America Supernatural Creatures 01

In Dracula's America there are many supernatural creatures, some of which may be summoned and others which may be randomly encountered during a scenario. In this post I'm going to review four of them, three summoned creatures and one encountered creature.
At the far left is a Temple Snake. A terrifying form of Voodoo-Spirit also known as Grand-Zombi, a Temple Snake takes the form of a gigantic serpent topped by a grinning human skull, which breathes sheets of supernatural fire upon its victims - its favoured prey being the corrupted Undead of the Dark Confederacy. A Temple Snake is a Major Entity with the Fearsome exploit. It has a breath attack with a 4" fire corridor. It can be summoned by Congregation Arcanists only. Note the Voodoo doll with a pierced heart tied around its body.
Next in line is the Swamp Baka. Malignant Spirits forced to inhabit a hulking, roughly humanoid form crafted from the decaying plant and animal matter of the swamps, then bound to the will of a powerful Houngan, Mambo or Bokor of the Congregation. A Swamp Baka is a Major Entity with the Fearsome, Hard to Kill, Lead Belly and Tough exploits. It ignores rough ground and may unleash writhing tendrils, using the rules for a Lasso. A Swamp Baka may be summoned by Congregation Arcanists only.
Second from the right is a Sasquatch, which can appear as an Unwelcome Guest on the Supernatural Events table. Sasquatch are elusive guardians of the wild and are terrifying foes when roused to anger. It has the Fearsome, Lead Belly and Supernatural exploits and when Shaken, gains the Mean and Ornery exploits. It ignores the penalty for moving through forested rough terrain. It always ignores Native American models, and cannot be deliberately attacked by them in return.
Finally, is the Wendigo. Feral spirits of winter and hunger, the Wendigo are the twisted souls of mortal men and women who committed cannibalism in life. Now, they possess a craving for fresh meat that can never be sated. A Wendigo is a Minor Entity with the Fearsome and Ornery exploits. When they fight against a Shaken opponent, they gain the Mean exploit. Wendigo can be summoned by Skinwalker Tribes Arcanists only.
Each of these figures cost £6.00 from the North Star webstore. Apart from the Wendigo, they are all one-piece castings. The Wendigo comes in two parts - head and body. They are an interesting collection of figures. My favourite is the Swamp Baka.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dracula's America Supernatural Hired Guns 01

The Hired Guns I'm reviewing here can only be recruited in Dracula's America if you're using the supernatural rules. The game can be played as a normal Wild West skirmish game without the supernatural elements.
At the far left is a member of the Carpathian Guard. They are a unique fighting force that began life as Dracula's Cossack henchmen in Eastern Europe. Their uniform may have been standardised since then but their resolve to protect their assigned vampire ward has never wavered. Rumours persist that, though still mortal, their lives have been prolonged unnaturally by regular infusions of vampiric blood. The Carpathian Guard are Veterans with the Nerves of Steel and Tough exploits. They are armed with a Pistol and a huge, two-handed Woodsman's Axe. They can only be hired by the Red Hand Coven Faction.
Next up is the Stitch-Doctor. First reported during the American Civil War, the undead Stitch-Doctors unnaturally prolong their existence through harvesting the organs of others. Despite their unsavoury reputation and the odd missing patient, their medical skills are still highly prized. A Stitch-Doctor is a lowly Novice with the Supernatural exploit. A Stitch-Doctor never rolls for injuries - they keep the choicest spares for themselves! They are usually armed with a Pistol.
At the far left is a Skinwalker shape-shifter made by North Star for Dracula's America. The Skinwalkers whose name has been taken up by this faction are shape-shifting guardians of Nature made up of Native Americans. Up to two members of a Skinwalker posse may be shape-shifters with the ability to transform into either a bear or a wolf - this is chosen when a model first becomes a shape-shifter and cannot be changed from that point on. A Skinwalker shape-shifter must begin each game in Human Form. Shape-shifters are Supernatural and may assume Beast Form or return to Human Form by using an entire Move Action to do so. All weapons and gear that they carry transforms too, as part of the magic. In Beast Form, the model is replaced with a suitable bear or wolf model. I bought some specifically for this purpose, which I'll show in a later post, once I get them painted.
These three figures can be purchased in the same set - DRAC16 -Hired Guns from the North Star webstore (see here - ) In a previous post, I lamented the fact that there was only this one figure produced for the Skinwalker Faction. Well, I'm pleased to say that North Star have resolved this issue by producing a set of seven figures to use as a Skinwalker Posse, see here - Suffice to say, I have already ordered them.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Assorted Sheriff and Deputies

I have shown a lot of police figures in the past, both American and British. They have almost all been of the kind you'd find in urban or suburban environments. Today, I'm concentrating on a small unit of police you'd find in the rural areas of America - the sheriff and his deputies.
These are from a variety of sources. At the left are two figures produced by Reaper as part of their 28mm scale Chronoscope range. At the far left is Sheriff Joe Don Mitchell and next to him is Deputy Wayne Tisdale. These are the names Reaper have assigned to them and I saw no reason to change them. The sheriff is a metal figure but Wayne is one of the plastic figures I got with one of my Reaper Bones Kickstarter sets (I think it was Bones 1). They are both in very similar poses but I think they are full of character. They are just how I'd imagine a sheriff and his deputy to look like.
The next two figures are very old 25mm scale Citadel figures. The fat deputy is called Hoyt Axlebury and his partner is Carl Whiteley (both named by me). Hoyt was designed for the old Paranoia range and Carl is even older as he was part of the 1920's Gangster range, both produced by Games Workshop in the 1980's. Who remembers either of them? The fact that they are 25mm scale doesn't bother me in the least because as I keep on saying, in real life people come in all shapes and sizes. These guys just happen to be on the small size. Hoyt is a fantastic sculpt but Carl is a bit bland.
The final figure is Deputy Jennifer Lewis. I named her and sculpted her. When I made her, way back in the 1980's, female cop figures were unheard of. She was always meant to be a deputy. I made her to partner Carl. I did debate about whether to sculpt her with the Mountie-style hat the other deputies are wearing or give her the more traditional peaked cap. In the end, I went with the peaked cap. She's not a brilliant sculpt but she's not bad either and she serves her purpose well.
Probably the most obvious use for these figures is in All Things Zombies as the cops of a rural setting. But I also think they'd work extremely well in 7TV2e, especially in a Scooby Doo scenario.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Rumbleslam Green Bruisers & Heavy Pounders

The two teams that you get in the starter boxed set of Rumbleslam are the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders. I'm going to take a closer look at them here, along with a couple of their superstars. Note that in the game only the superstars are named. The basic team wrestlers are unnamed but I decided to name all of my wrestlers, just to give them more character and personality.
The Green Bruisers are made up of Orcs, Goblins and Trolls. From left to right are Trolgar the Troll, Wurgoth the Orc Brawler, Grabda the Orc Grappler, Brik the Goblin Brawler and Grok the Goblin Grappler.
The Green Bruisers are some of the biggest stars of the Rumbleslam arena. They're fast, they hit hard, and they don't let up! If you want a team that likes getting stuck in, regardless of what danger it poses to them, these greenskins are for you, and make an excellent choice for The Rolling Bones.
Trolls are big, blue, and mean. They have absolutely devastating special attacks, so make sure they're in the right place because they don't move fast. Their Regeneration ability helps them to stay in the fight long past most other wrestlers.
Orc Brawlers and Orc Grapplers are the ones you want to be getting into combat! Hit first, and make it count. And if you can't reach the enemy, use their Da Boss ability to pick up goblins and throw them instead!
Goblin Brawlers and Goblin Grapplers do not hit hard. But getting them into a fair fight is not what they're for! They're quick and can do lots of actions a turn, meaning their special abilities will get lots of use. Of particular note is their Antagonise ability, which makes opponents slower and angrier!
The Heavy Pounders are made up of Humans, Halflings and Ogres. From left to right are Dragark the Dark Destroyer, an Ogre, Vyctor Fistpike the Human Brawler, Stafford "Furious" Titangrip the Human Grappler, Bertram Goodbody the Halfling Brawler and Turpin Oakbottom the Halfling Grappler.
The Heavy Pounders fill that ideal space between speed, strength, and defence. They're reliable and even the smallest member can be extremely useful. They're easy to learn, but tricky to master. The crowd loves them though, multiplying their already solid stat lines even further. Kaiser's Palace teams needing some stability should look no further.
Ogres are big. Ogres are strong. Ogres are hard to throw out. What more could you want? It would be tempting to just brawl away with an Ogre, but that means that you're not using their many useful special attacks. A Choke Slam does wonders when paired with the Halfling Brawler, and a Belly Bomb Bonanza hits every opponent in base contact, if you're brave enough to climb the turnbuckle to do it!
Human Brawlers and Human Grapplers do what they say, and do it well. Don't go getting their roles confused though, as they won't be nearly as effective. Brawlers first do the damage, and then grapplers move in and throw the opponents out of the ring. A tried and tested formula that works match after match.
Halfling Brawlers and Halfling Grapplers get a lot of actions per turn, and their special abilities are cheap to use, meaning they'll be mainstays in your team.
Next we come to the superstars and I have two for each team - Statesman and Triple D for the Heavy Pounders and Gun and Gobba for the Green Bruisers.
“The Statesman is as much a fan of wrestling as he is a superstar. Growing up watching the heroes of old in the ring, the young wrestler trained his body with painful tenacity. He was soon the picture of perfection. Joining the ring at eighteen, his selflessness and devotion to the sport fast became a shining example that inspired countless fans.”
With a stat card like that, it's obvious that Statesman is a great all-rounder. He makes a great centre-piece for any team, his unassuming look hiding a solid line up of skills. With a regenerative ability on all KO'd wrestlers for his Crowd Pleaser, and his Shield Passive Ability giving close friendly wrestlers his awesome Defence, Statesman is at his best when helping out team mates. With a great all-round stat line and hailing from Kaiser's Palace, he's the perfect companion to The Heavy Pounders, or any team with low Defence and low Stamina WEIGHT 1 wrestlers.

“The bad girl of wrestling, Triple D is synonymous with rule breaking. A powerful wrestler who has held numerous titles in her time, Diana will take on anyone who threatens her reign at the top. Using all the methods at her disposal, she has been known to cripple opponents that might one day rise to challenge her. She has dubbed herself the Queen of the Ring, a title her fans cheer with extreme diligence and fervour.”
Triple D is a fan favourite, and for good reason. If you feel like your team is lacking a wrestler that can pick up and throw any other wrestler fairly easily, go for Triple D. Although you might struggle to even lift other wrestlers with the amount of great special abilities she has. Her biggest problem is that she doesn't have 10 AP to do everything you want! As a Heel character she rolls Crowd Pleasers differently, so if you feel like your Heavy Pounders need to take a walk on the wild side, she's the perfect wrestler for it.
So we all know who Gun is based on... yes, he's an Orc Hulk Hogan. If you want a great Rolling Bones wrestler who may Hulk Out when he's down on his luck then look no further.
 “They say you’ve never seen a show until you’ve seen Gun fight. An Orc of a different kind, Gun is far different to the rest of his race in the ring. Unlike his bloodthirsty brethren this charismatic Orc is there to entertain. A master of ceremony he thrives under attention and can often be seen pleasing the crowd with poses, chants and shows of power! This superstar is adored by his followers who go time and time again to see his exploits.”

Gobba the Goblin has some weird stats. His Dexterity is the highest in the game, and he uses it as his Defence too, meaning he's extremely hard to damage at all. He's fast too, so good luck catching him! Although with such a low Defence, Grapple, and Stamina, he's delicate too.
Gobba is the ultimate support Superstar. There Is No Try is an Active Ability that allows you to move an enemy wrestler 3 squares in any direction, putting them in the best place for you and the worst place for them! And his Crowd Pleaser removes all negative counters from friendly wrestlers. Considering the all-out attack nature of the Green Bruisers, Gobba complements them perfectly, giving them some much needed defensive stability.
"Wrestling is a sport for the physically gifted. Or so everyone thought until this mysterious goblin entered the ring. Wielding a special power alongside his seemingly inhuman dexterity, he joined the Rolling Bones casino and waited for his debut. It was a match to remember, though only a handful of fans remained to watch the small superstar battle. Assuming his team would lose easily, many missed him pushing and pulling his opponents around the ring with nothing but a wave of his tiny hand. Despite his clear superiority, Gobba didn’t mock or belittle his adversaries at all. It was almost unheard of to watch a wrestler wait for his opponent to stand before striking again.”
TRIVIA FACT - Gobba is rumoured to be the younger brother of Gobbo who appears in this blog here -

Although you get the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders in the starter boxed set, you can also purchase them separately. They cost £22.00 per team, which is a reasonable price, I think. The four superstars I showed here cost £7.00 each, which is pricey. All of the figures are made of resin and most are single piece castings. They are expertly sculpted and so full of character. I like them all.