Mantic Landing Pad for Deadzone and Warpath, Painted

Outpost 31, the setting for my games of Deadzone, can now include a landing pad in its list of facilities.

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This Battlezones kit has some useful and fun pieces, such as 45 degree angled plates, steps and support legs. I’ve combined my Landing Pad Battlezone with pieces from the what were labelled as Urban Expansion D sprues in the Deadzone Kickstarter, although I can’t find them on Mantic’s web store at the moment to be able add a link up to illustrate which parts I mean.

I’ve built a 3 by 3 cube pad, as I felt that the 4 by 4 pad you can build from the kit is just too large to be practical in a standard game of Deadzone. I added to the basic landing pad  kit by using some of the aforementioned Urban Expansion D sprues to build up the bulkheads around the base of the pad . I’ve also added a modular tower for personnel to be able to embark and disembark from the pad. This is a separate piece to the pad, giving me some additional flexibility for set up (and making the kit easier to store).

I’ve moved away from my usual colour scheme of ‘industrial yellow’ for the landing pad and opted for a more utilitarian blue/grey colour instead. A friend has loaned me his set of stencils by Anarchy Models, which have proved very useful in adding some bits of detail, like the hazard stripes you can see on the triangular sections of the main pad, below.

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In the photo below you can just make out the dusty trail leading from the centre of the pad towards the top of the photo, left by personnel as they leave their vehicle and cross the pad heading for the elevator in the tower. The rest of the landing pad looks a bit too clean for my liking. I intend to add some scorch marks from the vehicle that lands there, but I’m waiting to receive wave 2 of the Warpath Kickstarter, which will include the Hornet vehicle. Once I have that, I can see where the thrusters are located on the kit and then paint scorch marks on the pad so they match the relevant positioning of the Hornet’s thrusters.

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A better look at the trail of muck left by footfall, along with general weathering added by edge sponging dark brown paint here and there.

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The tower used to gain access to and from the pad:

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Signs of the damage caused by the current Plague outbreak at Outpost 31:

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A more intact section of the landing pad’s superstructure.

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Agh! Speaking of the Plague, looks like another assault is starting. Kinda convenient to help give a sense of scale to the landing pad, though 😉

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Whoa, this Stage 3 Ghoul is getting a little trigger happy! I’m going to sign off and head for cover. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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TT Combat Intermodal Containers Painted

I bought a set of these Intermodal Containers by TT Combat to go with the awesome Dock Crane model that they produce.

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These mdf models are a great addition to any modern or futuristic gaming table. They’re quite easy to assemble and have some functionality in that the doors can be open and shut after you have built them. The hinges are quite literally a square peg in a round hole though, so I heartily recommend trimming or filing the door hinges down to be more round and less square, or the door are awkward to open and may tear the surface of the hinge.

You get three containers in the pack (a bargain for £5.95) and each one is different in that two have the name of different shipping companies laser cut into the sides and the third is blank:

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I’ve painted mine in vibrant colours typical of real world shipping containers, so they add a good splash of colour to the tabletop whilst remaining grounded in reality to a degree.

I used some Anarchy Models stencils to stencil “Deadzone” and a bio hazard symbol onto the orange container.

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I brushed watered-down pva glue onto the the models before cutting them free from their frames, so that the mdf wouldn’t drink up the paint so much. I sprayed on a black undercoat and acrylic paints then airbrushed =nicely onto the models without soaking in. A bit of edge sponging and some dusty brown airbrushed here and there made the containers look more weather worn and less lego-like, given their bright colours.

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The Intermodal Containers fit snugly into the hoist of the Dock Crane kit:

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There’s a funny hammering noise coming from inside the red container at the moment. Just let me see what’s… Agh – run!!!:

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Thanks for reading (now leg it!!!) *Brainsz!*

TT Combat Dock Crane Painted

I made something of an impulse purchase at the end of February – an mdf Dock Crane by TT Combat. I was impressed by how big the kit looked on their website and thought it would be a nice centre piece for whatever game I was playing – an that it was something I could use in any of several games (Deadzone, Warpath and The Walking Dead:All Out War.

I’ve never built an mdf kit before and made a couple of rookie mistakes in the process, but more on the process later – I think it’s turned out alright in the end:

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The Dock Crane is essentially four legs, a frame and a long boom that bisects the structure and protrudes the same length again out from it. At the rear of the structure are two gantries that allow access up to the cabin.

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It was these gantries that cemented my decision to buy the kit. I liked the fact that miniatures can be placed on them and coincidentally, each gantry is pretty much a Deadzone cube in height, meaning it can function as terrain for that game.You can see a 30mm Mantic Plague model on the first gantry up to give you a sense of scale.

The upper gantry leads to the rear of the crane’s cabin:

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Which fits snugly against the gantry as you can see in the photo below where the cabin has been moved slightly forward. I’m impressed y the details that are laser-cut into the mdf, such as the hinges, door handle and the logo and name of the crane company -“Poseidon Shipping”

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And the vent you can see on the side of the cabin and bolts on the boom. (More on the necklace chain later!)

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The crane comes with a hoist although the kit doesn’t provide any rope or chain to fix the hoist to the boom. (an observation, not a complaint; the diagrams of the kit on the TT Combat website make the actual parts very clear). I found some kid’s necklaces at Poundland and so for £2 had all the chain i needed to fix the hoist to the boom.

I originally pondered trying to built some kind of winch./pulley mechanism, so I could turn a handle and raise and lower the hoist. I soon gave up on this as just being too much of a faff (I’ve got plenty of other painting and hobby stuff to be getting on with) and so went for a simpler solution. I twisted two of the clasps from the necklaces to form hooks and fixed them to the rear of the cabin’s underside.

This means I can have the hoist lowered at full length:

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Or I can loop the chain under the cabin and fix it in place so the hoist is suspended. I know this isn’t realistic in terms of how a crane works, and that leaving the chain’s clasps in place looks  a bit crude, but I’m not fussed, it means I can have the hoist raised or lowered and the chains stay in place .

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In the three photos below you can see the hoist and cabin flush with the gantry in the top image, midway across and fully extended.

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Here’s the crane from the top down:

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I assembled the kit in stages, so I could paint the hollow interior of the four legs and more easily handle the sub-sections of the kit to paint it. The kit as a wholé is preeeetty big and quite unwieldy to turn upside down and this way and that for painting.  Here’s where I made my first rookie mistake.

I undercoated the bare mdf using black primer, which seemed to work just fine. But when I came to airbrush on the base coat, the mdf just drank the paint up. I’m used to airbrushing hard plastic kits, especially the Mantic Battlezones; and I wasn’t prepared for how much mdf drinks up paint. A text exchange with a friend and  a quick bit of research showed me that I really should have painted all the bare mdf with watered down pva glue before applying any paint.

With my having covered all the pieces in black undercoat and most of them with a (quite pathetic) base coat of Vellejo Dark Yellow,I didn’t want to have to paint on watered down pva and wait for it to dry, I just wanted to crack on with painting this great looking kit. So I hand painted on two coats of dark yellow before I ended up with a satisfactory base coat. Doesn’t sound much, bt given just how much surface area there actually is on this kit, it took me the best part of that day’s hobby time.

Once that was done, I was able to get airbrushed paint to take without it being gobbled up and so applied a coat of Citadel Averland Sunset. I highlighted this with an old pot of Citadel sunburst yellow i still have and with that, the basic paint work was done.

I then carefully hand painted the trident logos on the kit in silver and the “Poseidon Shipping” logos in a suitably aquatic looking blue. I happily found that the laser cut edges of the letters help to guide bristles and keep them where they need to be. You still need a steady hand, though! Some dark grey for the hoist arms and black for the roller wheels on the cranes’s feet and I was then ready to weather the kit.

I edge sponged dark brown onto the edges of the kit (which again took ages – there’s a lot of edges!) and dabbed some rust effect here and there around the rivets. The rust effect didn’t seem to work as well on the mdf as it does on hard plastic, it’s just left one-tone smudges rather than the effect I’m used to; but I don’t think it’s made a mess of things. I airbrushed some warning hazard markings onto the end of the boom, too. See for yourself:

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You’ve probably already thought that the kit looks a bit wonky here and there in the photos above. As I’ve glued the sub sections together to form the whole, a bit here has ended up not quite at a right angle to a bit there – in several places. I wasn’t lax when trying to assemble the kit, so I’m not sure what I could have done about this, but I chalk it down to my inexperience in working with mdf. Maybe assembling it as a whole to begin with would have been the way to go.

Still, I only find it mildly irritating. I think the kit is great. I found it challenging to assemble, but I think it looks very impressive. It certainly dominates a table top:

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Miniatures can interact with it nicely:

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And my Plague 3A General gets a good view of the Battlezone through his binoculars from up high on its gantry 😉

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TT Combat separately sell a pack of three Intermodal Containers that are compatible with the hoist and which you can see in several of the photos above. More on these in their own blog post soon.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Deadzone Plague Stage 3A Ghouls

I’m currently playing through the Nexus Psi campaign with my amigo Mister C , so I thought it was time to get some of my Stage 3A Ghouls painted up. I assembled a sprue’s worth of the new hard plastic 3As and gave myself a General, three troops and a specialist with a flamer as I don’t have a 3A armed with this weapon from the older restic kits.

I grabbed one each of my restic 3As with a grenade launcher and a HMG to give me a good spread of weapon options and set about choosing a colour palette; olive and grey for the military looking 3A; and grey, blue and yellow for the ‘engineer’ (the same palette I used on the Plague Zombie wearing similar get up).

Here they are:

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I think this chap below has turned out very well – the sculpt on the pieces I used to build him is very good, with lots of sinew and muscle detail…

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…and great detail with the bony protrusion on his spine.

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I used the running legs to try and get a dynamic ‘in yer face’ charging 3A. I’m pleased with how his eyes turned out. I’m trying to emulate the excellent artwork from the cover of the Nexus Psi book, where the Plague have burning orange/yellow eyes. I’m painting mine red with yellow pupils.

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The ‘Engineer’ next. I like how dynamic the 3As are. There’s a great sense of motion and general “Rarrrgghhh!” I’ve tried something for the first time ever with this miniature. I saw resin muzzle flashes for sale at the recent Vapnartak gaming show in York. They’re resin pieces by Anvil Industry, very nicely detailed and reasonably priced. I pinned it into place easily but then made a botch job of painting it. Nothing that can’t be fixed though.

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Even with the crude paintwork, you can see in the photo below just how effective the muzzle flash looks. I really like them and will be putting them to good use going forwards.

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Next up is my 3A General, with his ragged great coat and field glasses.

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And lastly two restic 3As with heavy weapons from  Deadzone V1. I like the original 3As, but the new plastic models are much nicer to paint, with a lot more depth and detail,

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These are all I’ve painted up for now, but there’ll be more to follow and photos of them here when they’re done.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Deadzone Plague Stage 2B Burster

I loved the idea of the Plague Bursters from the very first time I saw the concept art for them back in the Warpath Kickstarter and read their description;

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Image Copyright Mantic Games Ltd

Stage 2B Plague, colloquially known as ‘Bursters’, are the main source of transmission of the Plague. If allowed to close with an uninfected enemy they will inject infectious material through spines in their limbs and torsos. Well-placed weapons fire can cause the Bursters to literally explode before they can do this, but the risk of infection for those caught in the spray of ejected material, through wounds or damaged armour, is still very real. Mechanical targets are of course immune to infection, but a 2B is still strong enough to tear them apart.

I was really pleased to see how well the actual models turned out. They truly look bloated and disgusting. Not in any way, shall we say; “Nurgle-esque”, but properly warped, alien and just downright icky.

They’re metal models and come with a great selection of heads, arms and legs and two torso varieties, so you have plenty of options for assembling them. I’ve assembled one of mine so far and I pinned the arms on for some extra hold, as the joints are quite broad and I was concerned one good knock might break a limb away (I don’t want mine to literally burst!)

I decided to paint up my assembled Burster as part of my February panting oath for the ‘Mantic Madness’ Facebook group and looked to the way Mantic have painted theirs as seen in Warpath and Deadzone books:

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Image Copyright Mantic Games Ltd

I particularly liked the bruised look of the Burster’s left arm and leg in the photo above and after a quick google for how skin and flesh looks when infected (not for the squeamish, I can tell you) I decided that I ‘d try and paint my own Burster to look especially bruised and rotten, like bad fruit:

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I used purples for the swollen belly, mutated limbs and concentrated areas of sores/blisters and a more human flesh tone for the less affected areas of skin.I originally painted the very prominent boils a fleshy colour and gave them white ‘heads’ like nasty acne. I thought this ended up looking  a bit too bright, so I washed them with a watered down green ink , which has ended up contrasting nicely with the purple and looks suitably alien too.

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I lie the bony carapace coming through down the Burster’s spine and painted it appropriately, as well as a few of the protrusions on the arms and shoulders, but I left the bony knee protrusions in a fleshy colour as I didn’t want them to end up looking too much like kneepads.

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I used Citadel Bugman’s Glow as a base colour for the flesh and added varying amounts of purple and black to this with my airbrush over the ‘infected’ areas. A drybrush of Bugman’s Glow and then Army Painter Skeleton Bone helped tie the fleshy areas together, after which I set bout picking out all the boils and spots as mentioned above and detailing teeth and eyes.

I’m happy that this chap has ended up looking suitably like he’s about to burst, so he’ll do as proof of concept for me to continue and get the rest of my Bursters assembled and painted. Photos of them here when they’re done.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Minion Miniatures Zombie Hulk

The Zombie Hulk is a ‘miniature’ that was originally intended to be part of Minion Miniature’s first kickstarter, but sadly it was not unlocked as not enough money was raised.

Many folk, such as myself, were very keen to see this unlocked; so I was very happy when Minion Miniatures announced a second kickstarter , with the express aim of creating the Zombie Hulk. Suffice to say, the second kickstarter was also a success and after nine month’s wait, a package arrived in the post yesterday with some rather interesting resin parts in it..

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Long story short; y’put ’em all together and you get this!

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This is one big fella. To be honest, when I first assembled it, as much as I like the miniature, I did think to myself, “Well, it’s not really THAT big…”  However, putting it alongside a troop of Mantic 30mm skeletons gives more perspective 🙂

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Yep, he’s a whopper!

This is a resin kit and it’s very well cast. There’s going to be some filling required at the joints and there are mold lines to remove, but all in all, I’m very pleased with the quality.

There are lots of great gruesome details too. The Hulk is literally crawling with corpses. Some are impaled on its ‘trophy rack’:

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And others are bursting from its body ready to attack:

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Still more are helping to hold its guts in:

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And others are just tearing themselves free:

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Yes, that is the Hulk’s ass. The attention to detail with the cellulite is almost exquisite *barf*.

On the whole, the Zombie Hulk went together easily. Some of he corpses coming out of it were tricky to assemble simply because of how small the parts are, but it’s nothing that couldn’t be dealt with by a combination of patience and pinning.

The trickiest part to assemble is the corpse on the trophy rack that is impaled through the back of the head and the gut. I had to drill out the holes in the corpse to make them big enough for the spikes to fit and then drill some more for them to fit in level so both spikes were at the same height ready to attach to the Hulk’s shoulders. And then both the arms needed gluing on separately. Gah! Again, pinning and patience were the way forward (ably assisted by some green stuff).

Here’s the corpse parts, so you get more of an idea of the assembly required;

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In addition to the corpses, there are other nice details like armour plates bolted directly into the Hulk’s flesh, a pair of vestigial (dragon?) wings which I guess the Necromancer had knocking around. As part of the kickstarter you also received a second, cyclopean head:

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The fangs on this are particularly good. I think I’ll magnetise the neck and heads so I can use either one for a bit of variety.

I’m most likely going to use the Hulk as a proxy for a regiment of Zombies in my games of Kings of War. If Mantic ever revise the fan-made colossal monsters list which included an Undead Titan, then the Hulk can serve as one of these too. I’m going to carefully base him so he will work in either role.

I’m planning on assembling two or three new regiments of Zombies ready for Mantic’s summer campaign this year. One will incorporate a GW Corpse Cart I have spare and the other the Minion Miniature Flesh Golem I acquired in their first Kickstarter.

Once I’ve had more practise painting these zombies and trying out a few colour palettes and combinations for flesh tones, I’ll tackle the Hulk. So I don’t realistically see me painting him until the back of this year, but photos will go here when I do.

I hope Richard, the creative force behind Minion Miniatures, is able to expand his model line and get the rules published. I’m very interested to see what other miniatures might be in the range, given the quality of the two I already have.

And it’s gotta be said- this boy has guts…!

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Thanks for reading, folks 🙂

 

Deadzone Plague Strider

I was highly impressed after using a Strider with my Plague strike team for the first time in a game of Deadzone. So much so that I bumped the model up to the top of my ‘to paint’ list, painting it in December and finishing off the base today.

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I think these are superb kits. They come with parts to build for the Enforcer, Rebs or Plague factions and if you buy the ‘Formation’ set, you get three Striders at a reduced price and another weapon option, an awesome metal burst laser.

I picked up three individual Striders at Kickstarter a couple of years ago, so I don’t have the metal burst laser, but I can try and convert one from the Defence Lines Battlezones set. Anyway, enough of what I don’t have. What I do have is a Strider assembled with a heavy flamer…

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And a chainsaw.

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The canopy is broken open, and you can see the Stage 3A pilot manning the controls (one of the several canopy options you get with this kit):

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I’ve gone for an olive colour scheme for the armour on this Strider, over a metallic understructure. I imagine it as a GCPS vehicle taken over by Plague forces. I’ve painted both the chainsaw and flamer in an ‘industrial’ yellow. Everything has then be suitably distressed with some edge sponging to give the Strider a dirty and battered look.

With this model having such a large base, I wanted to make sure it was interesting. I hacked up a spare door from a Battlezone set and pinned this and the Strider to the base, which was otherwise covered in pva glue and sand.)

I couldn’t resist adding (part of) a victim to the base, so with the legs of a Plague Zombie and a spinal piece from the Kings of War Zombies kit,  I’ve added half the corpse of an unlucky GCPS marine and a suitable amount of gore to the chainsaw (Tamiya clear red pint mixed with Army Painter Strong Tone ink) to suggest it’s just carved its way through this unlucky soul.

 

 

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I’ll be getting some good use from this model as I play through the Nexus Psi campaign with my amigo MisterC. Yikes – it’s not a machine I’d like to come face to canopy with!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

Painting the Secret Weapon Tablescapes Urban Tiles

I dedicated all of my hobby time over the Christmas and New Year holidays to painting my set of 24 Tablescapes urban tiles (20 clean and four damaged). I had just over a week off work over Christmas and New Year, so knuckled down to getting them done.

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I undercoated them all using black spray paint. I’ve found that here in the UK the matt black car paint you can pick up from Poundland or Poundworld is just fine for undercoating Tablescapes tiles and Battlezone tiles. It has quite a smell to it, but if you spray outside and then bring the tiles in to dry, leaving the windows open for the smell to get out, the odour fades overnight.

These cans are a lot cheaper than GW or Army Painter sprays and I don’t like using my airbrush to undercoat scenery, as the paint coverage is very fine and rubs away when handled. I went through just over three cans to undercoat all 24 tiles – not bad for £4.

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Here are the rest of the tiles, drying in the kitchen. They do look a bit shiny in these photos, but GW, Vallejo and Army Painter paints adhere to this undercoat just fine, both when applied by bristles or airbrush.

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I picked two test tiles to determine if the colours and techniques I’ve chosen work well; a plaza tile and a straight road section. If I was happy with how they looked in the cold light of the following day, I’d crack on with the rest.

I used Vallejo Model Colour Medium Sea Grey (#70.870)as the base colour for the pavements (the sidewalks for those of you in the US of A). Using my airbrush I applied a heavy coat of this paint along the edges of each flagstone on the tile. Having a uniform colour at the edge of each flagstone and thus the edge of each Tablescape tile means that when tiles are set next to each other, they should look consistent and blend in well together.

I then lightly filled in the centre of each flagstone, allowing some of the black undercoat to show through to give  a more natural and irregular feel to the colour. In the photo below you can see a progression from right to left from the edge of the flag being delineated to the centre being filled in.

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Here’s how both tiles looked after this stage:

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I then made a thin mix of Citadel Zandri Dust and Vallejo Medium Sea Grey (a 5 drops to 2 ratio) and lightly airbrushed that into the centre of each flagstone, adding a heavier coat to a few, scattered  flagstones. This both added some ‘warmth’ to the cold grey colour and added further irregularity.

Now to paint the tarmac. Firstly I masked off the pavements/sidewalks, using standard masking tape and clingfilm. A coat of Vallejo Model Colour Dark Grey (#70.867) was then lightly added with the airbrush, again allowing the black basecoat to show through here and there, to give a non uniform effect.

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I the added a few drops of Vallejo Model Colour Grey Blue (#70.943) to the Dark grey (a 5:2 mix of the grey blue to the dark grey) and used this to highlight the road surface, spraying lightly along and around the cracks in the road and adding further variation to the surface in the more plain areas.

The manhole covers and grilles were given a coat of Citadel Leadbelcher and a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink.

To further exaggerate the cracks in the road surface and dents and cracks in the flagstones, I added some black to the Vellejo Dark Grey and lightly airbrushed over the cracks, finishing off by thinning some Army Painter Dark Tone ink and using a brush to run some into the cracks where they are deepest. By now it was dark outside (at 4pm – blummin’ winter months!) so this photo has shadows from the overhead light, but you can see the difference adding the Zandri Dust has made to the pavements/sidewalks and the grey blue shading along the cracks in the road.

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I was happy with how these two tiles looked in daylight the following morning and so set about painting the rest of the tiles in a production line using the methods for the pavements and road surfaces described above.

I saved the four damaged urban street tiles for last, as they are very intricate and I wanted to have the practice of painting the 20 other tiles before tackling them. I also decided to leave adding any road markings until after all the tiles had been painted.

I painted the plaza tiles and road sections (straights, crossroads and t-junctions) first. The plazas comprised fully of flagstones took the longest to do, with all the individual flagstones to delineate:

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I painted the other plaza tiles (with the central square) so that some of the central squares where the colour of the road surface and others where the same as the pavements, to add more variety to the finished tiles.

The two unique straight road tiles were fun to paint. One has a huge grate/grille on it and the other has a nifty security barrier that can be raised and lowered.

After a couple of afternoon’s painting, I had all 20 of the clean urban street tiles finished and so set about the four damaged tiles. These are gorgeously detailed and before I started painting any of the urban tiles, I was a little concerned at how long it might take for me to do them justice – but when I came to paint them, I found that the techniques for the clean tiles worked fine. I just needed some careful airbrushing with the nozzle set to a narrow setting, to be able to get effects I was very happy with by carefully spraying around the cracks and damage, so that colour built up around them, leaving the black undercoat visible in the recesses.

Two of the four damaged tiles I bought have craters on them. I painted these a light brown, adding darker brown in the centre and then pure black in the very middle of each crater, which gave a nice, blasted effect. The pavements and roads were then painted as above.

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Now, to add road markings or not? I decided some yellow lines would add a nice contrast to the overall light and dark grey of the tiles, so added a strip of 6mm Tamiya Masking tape to the centre of each straight road section, a further small piece either side of this as a 6mm measure and then standard masking tape either side of these to make a double yellow line template. To keep a uniform edge to each road section, I masked off the end of each tile so that the yellow lines didn’t extend all the way to the edges (I decided not to try and add any yellow lines to the t-junctions).

I then airbrushed Citadel Averland Sunset straight onto the existing grey. A couple of coats of this built up the yellow lines nicely. I forgot to take a photo of just the masking tape in place, but you can hopefully see how I set it all out in the photos below.

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Here’s where I made my first real mistake, too. I should have masked the rest of the road surface with paper or clingfilm. I was very careful to only spray the yellow paint where I wanted it to go, but some still drifted onto the grey of the road surface. When I removed the masking tape I was miffed to see where the yellow spray extended onto the road surface. I didn’t think to take any photos of this a I was keen to immediately set about correcting my mistake and crack on with the rest of the work.

This was nothing that couldn’t be fixed by spraying on some more dark grey and then the darkgrey/blue grey mix, but it was an irritating waste of half an hour of daylight. So; learn from my mistakes: always mask off more of the tile than you think you need to!

Otherwise, the lines worked very well. Here they are fresh from the masking tape being removed:

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They did look too pristine though, so I sponged on some of the dark grey paint to make them look more worn and realistic, which I think did the job just nicely:

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I debated whether or not to add some white pedestrian crossings to the cross road tiles and was initially planning to, but by the time I had worked my way through the yellow lines, I was beginning to get a little weary of masking and airbrushing that day and so shelved doing the pedestrian crossings for another day.

I gave all the metal manhole covers and grilles a light drybrush with silver paint, then mixed up a brown/orange colour which I dabbed on here and there for a rust effect. I’m not happy with how the rust looks, so will be buying some rust effect paint or a pigment and revisiting these in the near future.

Here’s the finished damaged tiles:

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The security barrier tile was next. I decided to add some warning markings to the road surface and a black and yellow hazard line to give the tile even more variety from the others. My amigo Andy has loaned me a set of stencils by Anarchy Models and I used them to add the warning words and the hazard stripe.

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The barrier’s raised up in the photo below:

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Here’s the other side of it:

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I noticed that the gutters on all the road tiles looked very pristine, way too clean; so mixed up some Army Painter Soft Tone ink with  green ink to make a suitably mucky colour and brushed this along the gutters, dribbling some into the cracks and manhole covers on the roads too.

I then used  a large drybrush to brush some Vallejo matt varnish over each tile. When the weather is warmer, I’ll add a couple of thin coats of Army Painter anti-shine as I’ll need to spray these outside and if I do it in the cold, the varnish may end up with that ghastly frosting to it.

I’ll be coming back to them to add pedestrian crossings to the crossroad tiles,but otherwise, I’m very happy with how they have turned out.

EDIT: About a week after writing this blog, I acquired some Modelmates Rust Paint, which I’ve applied to the metal manhole covers, grates, grilles etc. This is a great product (and as Modelmates are no longer trading, I was very happy to find some, with help from fellow gamer Nick ‘Daedle’ Williams) wich gives a great effect and dries very quickly.

Here’s  a look at several more of the finished tiles (which hadn’t had the rust effect applied at this point):

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As I’ve found with the Rolling Fields set; Tablescapes tiles give you soooo many options and variety when setting up your gaming board. I now have tiles from the Rolling Fields, Forgotten City, and both clean and damaged Urban Streets, so am absolutely sorted for my games of Kings of War, The Walking Dead:All Out War and Warpath. Here’s few final photos to show off the Urban tiles.

This first set up was with a (big) game of The Walking Dead:All Out War in mind:

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And then for Warpath:

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And with some scenery added:

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Thanks for reading 🙂

Deadzone Plague Murderbirds

In Wave 1 of my Warpath kickstarter came these gorgeous (and infuriating) metal Plague Murderbirds.

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Gorgeous because- well, look at them. Plague ridden winged death. Great sculpts of varying sizes that incorporate pieces of scenery in a clever way. There’s a whole lot of metal in these miniatures and this is where the infuriating part comes in. The smaller flocks of Murderbirds are very fiddly to assemble. Still, with a bit of perseverance, you can do it. To help, the last section of this blog post is a guide to assembling your Murderbirds.

Skipping ahead a bit, here’s how mine look now they’ve been assembled, based and painted:

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No, the Murderbirds above aren’t wearing lipstick. I decided to try and paint one Murder (?) of Murderbirds to look as if it had just pecked somebody to death, but I don’t think the blood works somehow and they look a bit… meh. Ah, well, I’m happy enough with the others 🙂

These Murderbirds perched on a corner of ruined building are my favourite of the five sculpts.

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Right, as promised above, to help you assemble your own Murderbirds more easily, here’s an impromptu “The Other One’s Murderbird Assembly Guide”.

Firstly, here’show you want to be grouping the various components ahead of sticking any superglue on them. First up, the large Murderbird in mid flight has the more ‘eagle-like’ of the two heads. There’s two separate tail-feathers (I thought they were small wings at first) and a quick dry fitting easily shows which tail-feathers go on this beastie.

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The Murderbird perched on the ammo crate has the more vulture-like of the two heads and the two large wings.

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The two wall sections fit together with these three Murderbird pieces.

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And now for the fiddly pieces. there’s two separate ‘flocks’ of smaller Murderbirds, which you’ll want to group like this:

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And this.

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The first two, large Murderbirds above are quite easy to assemble, but I’d recommend the first thing you do be to get the one that’s in flight and widen the socket that the flying base fits into. I assembled mine first, later realising the socket was too narrow for the flying base to fit and when filing it so it was wider, snapped off the wings I’d just glued in place. Grr.

Once you’re happy the vertical piece of the flying base will fit in the socket, glue ‘im together , I recommend pinning the wings in place. Add the tail feathers last or else you might push them off whilst gluing the wings on. He’ll end up like this:

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You’ll notice what look like two metal washers amongst all the pieces in this kit. These are designed to fit in the circular depression inside a standard round Deadzone/Warpath plastic base, so you have the option of basing the Murderbirds on these rather than the clear plastic flight bases.

The vulture headed Murderbird perched on the ammo crate is easy enough to assemble. Again, pin the wings on first, then add the head and lastly the tailfeathers. That way there’s less you’ll knock off a piece you’ve just glued on. Here he is assembled:

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Now for my favourite bit; the ruined cornerpiece with Murderbirds perched on it. I found it best to glue these two birds to the top of one side of the cornerpiece first (apologies for the blurry photo) :

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And then glue this solitary chap to the top of the other side.

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Then you can glue the two cornerpieces together. Having the toppers already in place just makes things easier. Then you just have the Murderbird that’s taking flight to glue into place  – definitely worth pining or else he’ll drop off the first time you transport this piece anywhere (or sneeze in its general direction).

Here’s how the finished piece looks:

Next are the two small flocks of Murderbirds in flight. Don’t even think about trying to just glue these together. I tried several times and they just kept falling apart. Trust me; pinning supported by green stuff or millput is the way to go with these and even then, it’s fiddly work. I’ve broken mine down into two sub assembles like this.

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Which I’ve then assembled to get these finished pieces:

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I’m going to base the flock above using one of the small metal bases, sat inside a standard round Mantic base,which will be more in keeping with the size of the miniature than the clear base used above.

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My Number One piece of advice regarding the Murderbirds and in particular the two small flocks? Patience. Allow time for glue and green stuff to dry, preferably overnight, before coming back to finish them off. It’ll save you a few grey hairs/pulling some hairs out.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Deadzone Plague Stage 3Z Zombies

As you may already now (or have guessed from the title of my Blog) Zombies are one of my favourite things, so I was happy as a Bantha in Poodoo when Mantic released their Plague Zombies.

I’ve ended up with circa 100 of them, and have so far assembled about a dozen. Having had fun using small numbers of them in recent games of Deadzone, I thought I’d get four Zombies (a cube’s worth) painted up. This small number would allow me to try out a ‘proof of concept’ in terms of the colour palette and method of painting them I had in mind.

Here’s the four of them basecoated:

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The design of the Plague Zombies allows you to build Zombies that appear to be either former military (GCPS troopers) or scientist/engineers. The second Zombie from the left has been built using the torso and arms from a Kings of War  Zombie. The KOW Zombie and Ghoul sprues are compatible with the Deadzone Plague Zombies, greatly expanding your modelling options.

I painted the three military Zombs in a suitably olive looking palette and the engineer in the grey/blue scheme Mantic have used , which I like. I wanted to try a different colour for the Zombie’s flesh from the usual ‘necrotic green’and so; inspired by careful viewing of recent episodes of The Walking Dead (loved the ‘sand zombies’ on the bridge!) and the changed colour scheme for the Plague in Deadzone V2, I’ve gone for more natural flesh tones and tried to make them look more bruised than rotten. I’ve gone for red/orange eyes with burning yellow pupils, as per the great art on the cover of the Nexus Psi expansion.

Here they are all-but finished:

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I’m happy with how they look. They don’t look great this close up, but look fine for the ol’ “three feet way away” test. This first chap needs a bit more work on the guts he’s chewing on- I’ll add some darker reds to the gore and then some blood effect with Tamiya clear red mixed with Army Painter Strong tone ink, when I get some more painting time next Saturday.

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This is my favourite zombie of the four, both in terms of he pose and how the painting has turned out. Very “Brainsszzz!” 🙂

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Here he is in profile, where you get a better sense of how dynamic his pose is:

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I like that this Zombie is trying to bray you with is rifle, which he’s forgotten how to shoot:

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And this engineer style Zomb is brandishing his tool (oo-er missus) at you:

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Well, four down, about 96 to go (ulp!) I’ll add to this blog post as and when more zombies get painted. I think I’ll use rotten green skin tones for a few and grey for others, to add some variety to how they look and to stop me getting too bored painting them, but it’ll be a long time (if ever) before all 100 are painted).

Thanks for reading! 🙂