Daffyd Platypyros – Dragon Duck for Runequest

My good friend and Runequest Gamesmaster Graeme backed a ‘Quackstarter’ by Darcy Perry, ‘Quack Keep’;  that produced a great range of Duck miniatures, perfect for use in Runequest.

The highlight of this quirky Kickstarter was a large resin ragon Duck by the name of Daffyd Platypyros. I play Runequest with Graeme and another amigo Andy. Andy & I clubbed together to buy Daffyd for Graeme’s birthday.

I assembled Daffyd too and here he is in four turnaround shots (the dark lines are green stuff I’ve used to fill gaps).

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This is a fun sculpt with lots of character. The kit is good quality too, with nice resin and very little flash, or bubbles that needed filling.

The colour text for Daffyd reads “Not everyone loves being a duck or a dragon. It can be a real curse. Daffyd didn’t ask for this… duckiness. Sometimes she could just spit… flaming corrosive acid. Thankfully the curse lifts each moon for just a night or two.” And the miniature has a suitably brassed-off look on its face, with a great frown and scowl:

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If any of you remember the English entertainer Rod Hull with his hand puppet Emu, the look on Daffyd’s face reminds me of Emu scowling just before attacking someone!

The kit is nicely detailed, from the texture of the fur , musculature of the legs and the vicious-looking claws…

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To a suitably feathered tail (apologies for the blurry photo):

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All in all a great not-so-little kit. I wonder if Andy and I will end up facing a Dragon Duck in the near future in our Runequest campaign? And more importantly is this a Dragon that turns Duck-like or a Duck that turns into a Dragon..? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Deadzone Industrial Battlezone: Conveyor Belt Station

I originally assembled this 3.5 cube long building to accommodate the conveyor belt sections from my Industrial Battlezone / Industrial Accessories Terraincrate pieces.

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However, in the weekend of frenzied construction that saw me build my fortified walls/ compound terrain, I partly cannibalised the above structure for some of the half cube treadplate pieces, to act as battlements. I didn’t have any qualms about doing this, as I’d realised that this 3.5 cube structure was just a little too big for games of Deadzone and that I wouldn’t get much use out of it.

So, I took what parts were left over and constructed a far more games-of-Deadzone-friendly tower for the conveyor belt to run to.

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I added some pieces of cork, cat litter and sand to the conveyor belt sections to represent mined minerals and decided to paint them a kind of ‘martian red’ as a contrast to my mainly yellow and blue Battlezone terrain.

I airbrushed this red colour onto the tower in the nooks and crannies and onto the ramp, to try and give the impression of a build up of this red dust.

I imagine that a worker or two would be stood on the first level of the tower, watching the minerals trundling past, removing anything or interest (or that poses a problem) before the rocks are dropped down a ramp and into a pile, waiting to be collected. (I’m going to create a pile of minerals to place at the bottom of the ramp, to finish this structure off.

I snuck in a couple of interesting bits and bobs amongst the rocks:

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Looks like somebody came to an end in the mine…

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And what’s this segmented cylindrical container..? Could it be the source of the Plague outbreak here at Outpost 31? Me thinks so…

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I had fun painting these (especially sponging on the rust and dirt) until I realised that in all the rest of my Industrial terrain, the blue cubes are at the bottom of the structures, with yellow on top. D’oh! Oh, well – I’m considering this one structure the exception that proves the rule.

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Thanks for reading!

Assembling the Mantic Games Plague TAD 65 Hornet Dropship

Here’s my attempt at some instructions based on my own experience of assembling Mantic Game’s Plague TAD 65 Hornet Dropship, which I think is a great little kit for use in games of Warpath and Warpath: Firefight.

Start with the main part of the Hornet’s hull:

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The rotor you want to use here is the odd one out, small in diameter and with a thicker rim than the other two. Be sure to put the rotor in place in one of the two halves of the tail before gluing the tail pieces together. The rotor doesn’t have any room to really move (unlike the wing rotors) once you’ve assembled both halves of the tailpiece, so you can glue it into place if you wish. I left mine loose.

The two halves of the cockpit fit together nicely and once assembled, you can glue the cockpit to the tail section. The plate with the two cross-shaped holes in it goes underneath these two parts and is where the transparent flight stand slots into place when the Hornet’s cargo hold (which hasn’t been assembled yet) isn’t in place.

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This plate only fits into place one way, and once added, the Hornet looks like this:

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I put the hull to one side to cure and gathered up these parts next to build the wings:

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Now this time, the rotors do something funky, so be careful not to glue them into place.  Dry fit the rotors in place and have  atest run at adding the circular pieces that hold the rotors in place. Once you’re happy with how they fit together, glue the circular pieces in place, being careful not to get any glue on the rotors. There y’go, the rotors now spin on their axis. Totally useless really, but still a nice little feature.

 

Flip the wings over and glue the vents into place on the front. In this photo  the wing on the left has the vent already glued in place so you can see how they fit.

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Don’t be fretting about that little pin on the rear of the vent. It took me ages to persuade myself I wasn’t missing some kind of trick with it.

Now to glue the wings in place. The two tabs on the wings fit nicely into the corresponding slots on the hull. Dry fit to make sure you can get the wings flush against the hull. I had to file the front tabs on the wings down a little to get them to fit. Once you’re ready, glue them into place.

Now the kit is beginning to look like a dropship!

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Now for the hold. (Apologies, I forgot to take a photo of the parts for this before beginning to assemble them). Firstly, glue the two halves of the hold together. The hold is designed to be detachable, the four pins on its roof fit into the slots in the plate on the underside of the hull.

Unfortunately, when my Hornet arrived in the post,one of these pins had snapped off. The hold still clips into place, but the grip isn’t very good. To compensate for this I have magnetised mine – two 3mm magnets keep the hold nicely in place.

I trimmed the widest, locking part of the three pins off, leaving the narrow tabs to sit inside the gaps in the plate and help lock the hold and hull together.

The hatch with the open door goes at the front of the hold, where the pins are closest to the edge of the roof. Once that’s glued into place and before you glue on the other end, you need to fit the sides of the hold in place. These are designed to open and close once the kit has been assembled, so pop the pins on one end of each side panel into place in the holes on the open hatch you just glued into place. Do NOT glue them, or they won’t function properly. I like the thought that’s gone into the design here. with steps built into the inside of the doors.

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You can make this job easier for yourself by putting the doors in place so they are in the closed position, as in the photo below:

 

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Apply some glue to the open end of the hold (be careful not to add any glue to the end of the pin) and then pop the second end hatch in place so it covers the pins on the door. The doors should now be hinged and open and close freely.

Landing gear. These are an optional part of the kit. I figured out how they work but messed up in trying to attach them. They can go here on the Hornet’s hull…

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You can cover the aperture for them with these hull plates NB a warning – I found these to be a very tight fit, so when you dry fit them, be patient and gentle when removing them again.

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Instead of these plates you can have the landing gear. You’ll need these two parts.

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The semicircular tab on the ‘legs’ fits neatly in the hole on the ski like ‘foot’, giving you this:

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NB before you try dry fitting the landing gear into the Hornet’s hull, learn from my  inor tale of woe. I found the pin at the top of the landing gear to be a really tight fit in the hull, so much so that when I tried to remove it, it snapped off. I was able to pin the pieces back together, but after another test fitting it I decided to assemble my Hornet with the landing gear stowed away, as the Hornet can rest adequately on it’s hold and the front of the blades. Here’s  a photo of how the landing gear do look when in place (albeit mine look a little wonky because of said breakage):

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Now for the really fun part of assembling the Plague Hornet – all the ‘Plagueified’ pieces (whaddya mean, that’s not a word? Well, it is now…)

Here’s what you need, with the Plague parts on the left and the standard GCPS parts on the right. You;ll see that the Plague version comes with some cool bladed attachments, perfect for skewing infantry during low level strafing runs:

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I glued the winglets on first. These fit in place wit the blades down, like so:

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Now glue the horizontal stabilisers together. These go onto the Hornet’s tail. Each stabiliser is keyed to only glue together one way, but when assembled, you can choose to put the stabilisers either way up on either side of the Hornet. I chose to assemble mine so the scrapes on the horizontal part of the stabilisers was at the fore, as that’s where I think most damage would be taken as the Plague Stage 3A’s pilot the Hornet towards their foe:

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Next the front of the hull. Nice and easy, but do dry fit this to make sure it goes in place flush and then glue it down.

 

Now for the blades. It took me a while to puzzle out how to attach these. Look carefully and you’ll see one of the tow blades has three diagonal lines. You’ll see them on the right-hand side of the blade on the right in this (blurry) photo:

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So the blade with these lines (on the right in the photo below) fits in place nicely, but the other blade, which doesn’t have them, is a bit more tricky.

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I pinned this second blade in place for good measure. These blades are PVC rather than hard plastic, so glue them in place with superglue instead of polystyrene cement.

You have several weapon options in the rules for a Plague Hornet: Missile Launcher, Rotary Cannon and Laser Cannon and. I magnetised the two cannons so I can easily swap between them. The missile launcher doesn’t extend far enough backwards for me to magnetise it to the hull, so if I want to display this weapon option, I’ll blu-tack it into place.

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I forgot to take any photos when assembling the rotary cannon, but essentially, a circular socket glues into the main part of the weapon and ten the three barrels are keyed nicely to fit into this socket. Again, use superglue to assemble the Rotary cannon, as it’s PVC, not hard plastic. Here’s the Plague Laser Cannon (top) and the Rotary Cannon (bottom) in situ:

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So now the Plague Hornet is pretty much completed. Here it is so far, in all its battered glory:

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But wait; there are some parts left. You can use the pinions (on the left) to mount the Plague HMG weapon (middle) and if you have the patience of a saint, you can assemble a hard plastic Stage 3A and use the arms you get in this kit (right) to have him operating the HMG:

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I tried to do all this. Several times. Argh, I found that when the pinions were in place and extended widely enough to allow the Stage 3A to fit in place, then the  doors of the hold wouldn’t fully close. I didn’t want to be limited to having the doors open or closed, so I’ve come up with an alternate solution.

I’ve assembled two hard plastic Stage 3As, armed one with the HMG options from the 3A hard plastic  sprue (which is the same weapon that comes with the Plague Hornet kit) and armed the other with a standard weapon. Here’s ‘Rambo’ Stage 3A with the HMG:

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I’ve added a magnet to the inside of each of he hold’s doors and have placed a magnet in one foot of each Stage 3A. So, when the doors are open I can place one or both of them onto either door, blazing away with the HMg or as in the photo below; looking ready to leap off the Hornet and into the fray:

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Here’s a shot from the front, showing the Hornet with both doors open and both Stage 3As in place:

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Now, it was when I added the photo above to this blog that I thought 2It bugs me a little that the wings and hull of the Hornet don’t have any battle damage at all compared to the ‘Plagueified’ parts…”

So, I set about my Hornet with a saw, knife, pin vice and some needle files and added some extra battle damage. Here’s a before and after look at the right wing:

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And here’s the damage added to the left wing:

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I haven’t tried to go too  nuts here, just some gouges and scrapes that are proportionate to the sculpted damage on the Plagueified parts, that are deep enough to show up when I paint the Hornet.

For some finishing touches, I’m going to add the ‘dead GCPS trooper’ trophy to the front of the Hornet. I also have plans for some parts from my bits box to add a few further trophies to the hull, but I may not add these until I come to paint the Hornet, so more on these in a future post showing the painted model.

I’m thinking I’ll add the dead GCPS trooper that’s laying prone to some Battlezone crates to make a nice little line-of-sight-blocking bit of scatter scenery.

So, there’s my journey in assembling my Plague Hornet – I hope it’s helpful in assembling yours too.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembling the Plague Mule Transport

The new Mule Transport for Warpath and Firefight looks great and as a Plague player, I think the parts for the Plague version look superb, making it look even better than the GCPS version.

The lack of any instructions threw me a little, but after some head scratching and lots of dry fitting I seem to have it all worked out and thought I’d share how I made progress, in case it’s helpful to any other Plague players out there.

So, here’s my instructions on how to assemble the Plague Mule Transport.

Here’s all the Plague bits you’ll be needing.

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Some of these are hard plastic and others a softer PVC, so I used both polystyrene cement and superglue to get the best results. When reading the guide below, the norm is that you will be using polystyrene cement unless I specifically mention using superglue instead.

To begin, I connected the handle of the pintle-mounted heavy gun, as it’s a small piece and would be easy to lose. I was having ideas about what to do with this weapon, so I didn’t glue the handle in place yet. More on this later.

I assembled the wheels to get them out of the way.  Remove flash from inside tyres with sharp modelling knife and file down the edge of the wheels so they’re easier to slide into the tyres. Try dry fitting before you add glue and use superglue when you do.

These are a very tight fit, so be careful to push them into place levelly. It’s easy for one side of the wheel to end up at an angle inside the tyre, making it hard to push the wheel all the way flush down to the bottom of the inside of the tyre.

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Next up; the flatbed section of the Mule, with sides, tailgate and main chassis.

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Glue just one side panel into place. Do not glue them both in place, as the tailgate has pins that fit into side panels, so that the tailgate can be lowered and raised.

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Do not add glue to these pins.

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Slot the tailgate’s pin into the loose side panel, position the pin on the other side of the tailgate into place in the panel you’ve already glued t the flatbed, then glue the second panel in place. The tailgate should still move down…

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…and back up again. I like the steps modelled into the inside of the tailgate.

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Now to glue this flatbed assemble onto the chassis. Turn the flatbed over and you’ll see three pins on the bottom of it that fit neatly into the holes on the chassis. Glue them together.

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Now for the large rear suspension. This piece fits nicely in place as shown below, just be sure to fully push the larger of the two connections (on the right of the photo below) into place, so it’s flush against the chassis, then before the glue sets; rotate the left side downwards and pop the peg in to place in the hole in the chassis. Repeat with the other rear suspension piece on the other side of the chassis.

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The two, smaller front suspension come in three parts each, small, medium and large. Group them together like this. At the top you have a small piece, in the middle a medium-sized piece and at the sides a large piece. You need to glue these together to form a sub-assembly, before gluing this sub-assembly to the chassis. Here’s how I did it.

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The smallest parts of the front suspension have an oblong end and a round end. Glue the oblong end into the corresponding hole on the medium sized piece, as shown below. Work on the next step quickly, before these two parts you’ve just glued have had time to set.

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Grab the chassis and turn the front suspension sub-structure upside down. You’ll see an oblong hole on the chassis where the oblong tab on the suspension fits and a small round hole where the round end of the smallest part of the sub-assembly will fit.

Have a quick practise dry fit so you see how they go together then glue the sub-assembly into place on the chassis. As you have worked quickly, the joints of the sub-assembly should still have some flexibility to them, making it a little easier to fit everything in place.

Now look at the last, large piece. On the opposite side to the big hole there are two grooves that correspond to the two pins on the sub-assembly. These go together and the round peg at the other end of the large piece fits into the hole on the chassis. This is a bit fiddly, but persevere and you’ll get it right:

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Repeat to fix the suspension on the other side of the Mule and when viewed right way up and from the front, it’ll look like this (don’t worry about those ‘floating’ pins at the very front of the suspension – you’ll be adding the spiked battering ram to these shortly):

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Next – gluing the wheels in place. Give the suspension time to dry, especially the more fragile front suspension, 10 minutes should do it. Go and put the kettle on.

Enjoying our cuppa? Good, now dry fit each wheel, one by one, to make sure each wheel fits all the way down onto the suspension, so you can get a good fit. I used superglue to glue the wheels in place instead of polystyrene cement as I found it gave a stronger hold. (I think the wheels are made from pvc rather than hard plastic, but am not 100% sure).

I’m going to leave adding the Ben Hur-style hubcap blades until later, to make the Mule easier to handle for the remainder of the assembly. Which isn’t too much, now.

Here’s how everything looks so far with the Mule upside down.

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Stop making vroom vroom noises and pushing the Mule around your work top and grab these bits to assemble the Mule’s cab.

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As you can see, you have a couple of choices to make here. Do you leave the side door and the circular top hatch open or closed? I decided to go with open, but more on this later.

For now, the main part of the cab has four pins that very obviously fit into four holes on the chassis. Glue these two pieces together.

Next, glue on the left side of the cab, the piece without the missing door.

Now for the other side. The door can be fitted so it’s closed or open.  If you’re wanting to model a Plague 3A leaning out of the open door blazing away with a rifle (as I had in mind) you’ll leave the door off.

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Now glue the hatch at the rear of the cab (with the x on it) in place.

These two grab rails fit into place either side of the hatch.

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Here’s the left one of these glued in place:

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These are a bit fiddly, but put a dab of glue at the top, bottom and on the rear of the oblong plate with the four studs, push the bottom peg in first, then press the oblong plate into place and you should be able to neatly pop the top peg in too. Repeat for the other side.

That just leaves the pintle mounted weapon, battering ram and wheel spikes, dead GCPS dude (and the side door and top hatch) . All of these are manufactured in a softer pvc plastic, rather than the hard plastic that the rest of the Mule is comprised of, so use super glue rather than polystyrene cement to fix them in place.

I may be wrong about this, but I don’t think the Plague weapon option is designed to fit with either of the gun shields provided, so I haven’t bothered. It’s certainly possible to glue/greenstuff them into place if you really want them, but I’ve left mine off. Also, note that the peg on the Plague weapon (that fits into the pintle mount on the cab) is very short, possibly making it a little fiddly to glue in place.

The spiked battering ram fits on the front of the cab easily, with the two pegs on the front suspension fitting the holes at the bottom of the ram and the bar going uppermost against the cab. Use super glue for this PVC piece.

I added the ‘Ben Hur’ hubcaps next, which fit on very easily. Again, these are PVC, so use your super glue.

Now, I decided I wanted to model a Stage 3A popping out of the circular hatch at the top of the Mule, ‘Oddball” style (if you’ve seen the film Kelly’s Heroes, then you’ll understand what I mean) and to have another leaning out of the open side door blazing away with a rifle. I pinned the circular hatch in place to make sure it was a strong joint and the doorway has (so far) stayed in place with just super glue.

I will paint the dead GCPS dude separately to the Mule and glue him in place at a later date. As far as I can tell, from the position of his (I assume dangling) right arm, he goes in place something like this, but there’s no real right or wrong here, just where you think he looks coolest. So at this stage, with the Mule pretty much done, here’s how it looks:

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My Oddball 3A for the top hatch was an easy build. I just left the legs off a hard plastic Stage 3A, blu-tacked the body in place on/in the cab and then glued the arms on so that they both practically fitted and looked quite natural – one arm is pointing and the other is holding his rife in  a relaxed position, against the cab of the Mule.

The “Rargghhh blam-blam-blam-blam” 3A was a bit more of a faff. I selected the pair of legs that I thought would fit best and soon realised I needed to lop off the left leg at the knee, so the 3A will stand low enough on the Mule’s cab to fit under the open door.

I faffed about with several options for his left arm, before realising it’s far simpler to leave it off.  I can stand the 3A in place in the door so you can’t see his left arm at all. It doesn’t look like he’s missing a limb and it helps to physically fit the model in place. Here they both are:

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I decided to go all in and create a 3A to man the pintle-mounted weapon too. To create this I used a pair of arms that comes with the Plague Hornet kit, so you won’t get these arms in the Plague Mule kit. Of course, I also used more hard plastic Stage 3A parts. I magnetised the bottom of the gun and the pintle mount, so the gunner is removable. Here he is, with implied  budda-budda-budda heavy weapon noises:

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Put ’em all together and what have you got? A ‘Vroom Vroom Rargghhh blam-blam-blam-blam  budda-budda-budda’  battered hunk of a vehicle, bouncing across the war zone  at full tilt towards the enemy, guns blazing!

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Yeah, I know that the pintle-mounted weapon couldn’t be firing without turning Oddball into a fine red mist from the waist up, but Rule of Cool and all that. I think it looks great and as far as I’m concerned, Oddball would duck back down into the cab before ordering the gunner to start blazing away (and we’ll just ignore the fact that Oddball’s physically bigger than the actual opening in the top of the cab. ‘K? ‘K).

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Here’s a closer look at ‘Rargghhh blam-blam-blam-blam’ so you can see that his missing arm and half leg aren’t really noticeable. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the muzzle flash piece I’ve pinned to the end of his rifle, for extra blam-blam effect when painted.

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And one last look at the whole motley crew.

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Thanks for reading!

Deadzone Fortified Battlezone: City Walls and Compound

Looking at Mantic’s new Terrain Crate offerings, the Military Checkpoint and Compound, I started to think how cool it would be to have a long wall built from these kits. Why? I’m not 100% sure.

I’ve always loved castles since visiting some of the great Welsh castles on holiday with Mum n’ Dad when I was a nipper, so that’s a factor. Cool genre imagery like the bug attack on the base in the film Starship Troopers, the walls of Mega City One in 2000ad and the huge wall blocking in the people of Racoon City in the first Resident Evil film all spring to mind too.

I was idly browsing on E-bay later on the same evening I’d been looking at the new Military sets and unexpectedly found one of the old Fortified Sectors at pretty much RRP, including the P&P. I snapped it up! It arrived just before the Bank Holiday weekend and I spent a good few hours on Saturday and Sunday contentedly clipping off and cleaning up the pieces and planning what I was going to build.

I originally had in mind a four foot wide two cube high wall, with one central gate, but quickly realised that the gate section would look lost with the wall being the same height. A three cube high gate just didn’t quite look right and would be a bugger to store, so after a good few hours of building I had a wall:

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Here’s some Enforcers to give it a sense of scale.

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I realised around midnight on Sunday (I was happily clipping, filing and gluing away whilst enjoying some ale) that I could actually stretch to a six foot wide wall.

The Fortified Sector comes with three double cube sets of gates. I’d originally only wanted to use one of these in my build, as I thought multiple gates just weakened the fortified look of the structure. However… by using both sets of gates I would only need to find another four cubes-worth of wall.

Rummaging around in my box of assembled-but-not-painted-yet structures, I found several parts I needed, especially the elusive tread plate style half cube walkways (which I wanted all along the wall sections), so at 1am in the morning I was breaking apart old builds to get the parts I needed.

I had pretty much all day on Monday as hobby time and as I was used to what I was doing by now, after a heckuva lot of clipping and filing off and old connectors from my old builds I had a six foot wide wall:

Deadzone-Terrain-crate-fortified-battlezone-6-foot-wall

And it’s when I was looking at this that I had a eureka moment! I’d decided to use the wall pieces that fit along the diagonal of a cube (they came on the ‘Urban Expansion D’ sprues) to pad out the last two cubes worth of width I needed. I’d realised that I could finally use the odd shaped- tread plate walkways with them and thought the fat they angled back from the wall looked a little different. Hang on a minute! If I built two more, then I’d have four corners and that means I could create a…

Deadzone-Terrain-crate-fortified-battlezone-walled-compound

walled compound! AKA a Space Castle! (heh). I was blown away by how this looked. I hadn’t even considered making an enclosed compound when I started this build, and if anything, it looks even better than the four or six foot lengths of wall.  The Enforcers help show just how big this compound is!

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Sadly, with the gate sections being wider than the walls, at six cubes wide as opposed to four, I can’t incorporate them into the walled compound, as I’m two individual cubes worth of wall short… Curses!

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Although I can just about fudge it by plonking the walls atop one another… Nah, doesn’t look good enough. I’ll just have to use the gates for the four or six foot walls.

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So, here’s a look at everything I actually built that comprises the six foot length of wall or compound. (NB all of this did not come solely from the Fortified Sector set – I cannibalized quite a few other buildings to get the parts I needed to do this).

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Here’s a close up of the gates:

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And from the rear. I really wanted to build this as one piece, but decided to split the build into two, at the centre of the gate’s arch, as a six cube-long build is problematic fme to store. It irks me that the top of the gate isn’t quite level as a result, but I can live with that.

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I originally intended to have railings running along the back of the first floor of the gate houses and along the walkways on the walls, but realised that it wasn’t very practical, as it would mean models on 40mm bases (Enforcer Peacekeepers, Plague Stage 2As etc) would no longer fit onto the walkway. It would be aesthetically pleasing to me, but again, I can live without for game play’s sake.

I’m really pleased at finally putting to good use some of the huge number of these little buttress pieces I have. They really fit the fortified look and save the ordinary connectors for use elsewhere:

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I think the satellite/radar dishes look fun glued to either side of the gate house walls.

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I wanted to keep the doors so that they could be removed, so decided to glue each of the two door sections together with some kind of brace. I had several broken railings from pulling apart kits the night before and thought that they would pass as a kind of sophisticated interlocking mechanism, as well as being just wide enough to practically secure the two halves of gate together. So more clipping, trimming and filing later:

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I do need to add one of the little buttress pieces to each side of the door though to help them stay stood up. All three door sections love falling over and clattering as loudly as they can. (grr).

Here’s the front and back of the four cube ‘solid’ wall sections:

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I really wish I had been able to use the same type of urban tile all the way along the bottom of each wall section but simply didn’t have enough of any one tile. It doesn’t really matter at all, but little details like that, where I know I could have done better, do irritate me. I do love the effect the angled braces at the bottom of the wall look, though. I had a bag with dozens of these in as I’d never really found any proper use for them, but they came into their own here. They look like they belong on a fortified structure and they serve the practical purpose of keeping each free standing section of all stood upright, even with miniatures on the walkway.

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Here’s the other section of wall, that incorporates the other gate sections

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And here’s the angled corner pieces. Makes me happy to finally put those angled bits of tread plate walkway to some use:

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You can see just how hey work here:

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And although I think they’d require some form of special scenario rule, the walls can fit on a standard Deadzone board in a variety of ways:

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Now all I’ve got to do is get all of them painted.. (agh!).

Thanks for reading, folks!

 

Deadzone Industrial Battlezone – Pumping Station

I recently spent a day off work assembling structures for Deadzone with the Battlezone tiles I had left over. I wanted to make something fun-looking with the pipe sections and one of the things I built was this pumping station, which I like so much that I bumped it up to the top of my painting list.

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If you’re familiar with the Battlezones range, you’ll have looked at the stairway on this building and thought – that’s new! The stairway and railings on this building aren’t part of the Battlezones range. One of the members of the ‘Deadzone Fanatics’ Facebook group has designed and 3d printed them. I saw a post showing them, thought they looked brilliant and contacted Luther,the gent who’d created them to ask if he’d be prepared to sell  some to me. Long story short – he was and I bought two sets of the stairs plus two sets of railings.

Luther runs Kraken’s 3D Print Workshop – I advise you to take a look as there are some great pieces suitable for Deadzone, Warpath, Star Wars and fantasy games. Luther sells the 3D print files now more than the printed parts, you can Check out his Facebook page here.

This kit uses one set of stairs- the other is part of another building that I haven’t painted yet, but it’ll find it’s way onto this blog soon. Here’s a closer look at the painted stairs:

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I think they add a perfect touch of scale and realism that is the icing on my Battlezone cake.

The building is painted in the same industrial yellow as the rest of my Industrial Battlezone (and most of the rest of my Battlezone scenery).

I purposefully kept the pipe sections separate from the structure, and made them modular, to give me maximum flexibility when setting up future games of Deadzone. They’re in four sections…

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…and can be assembled at full length, or by leaving out the two-pipe section, a bit shorter.

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The pipes were undercoated in black and airbrushed with a base coat of Citadel Leadbelcher. I mixed some Army Painter String Tone ink with a little green ink and slapped it along the top of the pipes and along the joints and seams.

I’m really pleased with the rust effect on the pipes. I used Modelmates Rust Paint but as I was covering  a bigger area with it than I’d ever attempted before , I tried sponging it on for the first time. Whilst still wet, it looked a bit duff and I felt disheartened, but after drying for 5 minutes the lighter shades of rust came out and I think it looks very realistic. It certainly reinforces the scale of the scenery.

To finish this post off, here’s a couple of close up shots of the rust.

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Thanks for reading!

Deadzone Plague Stage 2A and Stage 3 Conversions

I have three each of the three different Plague Stage 2A sculpts for Mantic Game’s Deadzone. I’ve already painted one of each which you can see here and I’ve always intended to make some alterations to the remaining models, to give them some variety.

The Plague Deadzone team ‘The Kovoss Kryptics’ are an absolute gift for converting Plague Stage 2A and Stage 3 miniatures; I picked up a team during the latest Dreadball Kickstarter. The tentacled, clawed and spiked arms and the array of bodies and heads of different Warpath universe alien species are great fun.

I decided to take advantage of the ability to adjust restic through ‘hot water treatment’ and so, armed with some inspiration from online, my tool kit, restic Stage 2A and Stage 3s and a kettle; set about creating this motley crew.

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Plague 3A Conversions

Here’s a look at each gribbly in turn. First up the Stage 2As:

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Stage 2As are nicknamed ‘Leapers’ in the Warpath ‘verse, so I decided to really try and capture the feel of one hurtling across the Deadzone, vaulting over scenery to get to its foe. The addition of a clawed arm adds to the ferocious look.

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This was a simple conversion, although fiddly to achieve. I glued the piece of Battlezone terrain to the base first and them pinned the arm to it without glue,so the palm of the hand could swivel on the terrain.

Because the miniature’s arm was not designed to be glued in place at this angle, I knew I’d have to pin the arm to the body at the shoulder and fill with greenstuff to get the two parts to stick together and survive handling and transport in the future.

So began a good few minutes of faffing, first positioning the arm at the correct angle on the piece of Battlezone and then holding the shoulder against the body to see where I’d need to drill a hole so that the two parts would fit together in a way that was practical and yet gave me the dynamic look I was trying to achieve.

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Having an extra arm myself would have helped me here as I’d get one bit just tight, move the second piece to match and lose the positioning of the first piece. over and over. After some healthy swearing I managed to get it all looking just right and was then able to pin the clawed arm in place and finally add the head, adjusting it so that the face was still looking forward given the new angle the torso was at. In the end I’ve been able to capture just the look I had in my mind’s eye.

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The second Stage 2A is my least favourite of the three sculpts, so I decided to jazz it up a bit with my favourite piece from the Korvoss Kryptics set, a tentacled arm. I couldn’t find any Nameless heads so used an insectoid one to give a real hybrid feel to this Stage 2A.

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I pinned him to the piece of wall that comes with the Plague 2A set to try and give him the feel of being crouched, coiled and about to leap off and live up to his nickname.

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The clenched fist on the right arm (again from the Korvoss Kryptics set) helps to give the sense the Stage 2A is tensing, ready to uncoil.

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This was the simplest conversion of the three, but I’m still happy with the result.

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The third Stage 2A conversion has had some hot water treatment and uses a head and two arms from the Dreadball team, to allow him to be swinging about the top of a Battlezone lamp post. He’s resting one foot on the cap from the Industrial Battlezone pipes. With that particular head, he reminds me a little of Doomsday, from the Superman comic books.

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When I get around to painting this chap, I’m going to add some damaged wiring from the end of the lamp post. This is my favourite of the three Stage 2A conversions and he’s inspired by a very similar conversion I saw online a couple of years ago.

The four Stage 3 conversions are just a bit of fun. I don’t have the right heads to go with the various bodies and tails etc, but what the heck; the Plague are supposed to be mutations, right?

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These guys will mix in nicely with and add variety to my other restic and hard plastic Stage 2s.

More photos as and when these guys get painted.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Send in the Big Guns! Mantic Games Undead Army Balefire Catapults, Painted.

Here’s my Undead army’s artillery, in the form of a battery of three Balefire Catapults.

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There’s usually a good debate about how effective these are in games of Kings of War. With them only having a one in three chance of hitting, you really need to take a battery of three to stand a chance of doing damage each round (lines of sight etc permitting), and three Balefires is a lot of points to sink (300), so I only tend to select them for my army in bigger games , 2,000 points and upwards.

But rules aside, these are nicely detailed hard plastic kits that allow you to build some variety into the look of each Balefire and its crew by positioning each catapult’s arm differently and varying the look of the skeleton crew.

Here’s a look at all three from one side:

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And the other:

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In these photos you can see some of the nice little touches that come with this kit, such as the arm option with the telescope, giving one o he crew a good ‘spotter’ look and the pointing “There, fire over there!” arm.

A skull is sculpted as being loaded onto each catapult and you get a bag o’ ammo and arms clutching several skulls to make up a ‘loader’ crew member.

I’ve painted the catapult’s payload in a sickly glowing green, to match the look of necromantic energy I’ve used across other models and units in my army.

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I’ve added a white rose transfer to the protective shield son the front of each catapult, as this is my army’s sigil:

I painted the wood in a pale colour, thinking of cut wood rather than the darker browns of bark, and an Army Painter Strong Tone ink wash has brought all the nice detail in the sculpt, the wood grain and the rope and many bits of metal bolting and lashing the contraptions together.

Looking at them again whilst writing this blog, I think I’ll go back and hit each catapult with a little bit of the rust effect paint, to make them look really weathered!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Other One’s Guide to Painting – Yorkshire Stone Tutorial

After posting up my blog about my Fortified Manor, I received some very flattering comments about how I’d painted the set. Amongst them were a couple of requests for a quick tutorial on how I painted the ‘Yorkshire Stone’ effect. So here we go! 🙂

A quick note first. You may be wondering “Why Yorkshire stone..?”. Two reasons. Reason One: Everybody seems to paint their stone walls, rock faces, hill sides in some variation of black basecoat drybrushed grey. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all, I simply decided that I wanted my scenery to look different. So different how?

That brings me to Reason Two: I live in Yorkshire and ever since I moved here in 1990, I’ve been enchanted by the colour of Yorkshire stone, especially when sunlight is shining on the local buildings and they almost light up with a honeyed glow. So, I decided to try and replicate the golden colour of Yorkshire Stone in my scenery.

You can see examples of this (with varying degrees of success) in how I’ve painted my Tabletop World Stone Bridge, Windmill and the GW Deathknell Watch, Walls and Fences and Fortified Manor. It’s after painting the Fortified Manor that I feel I’m finally happy with how the stone effect looks.

So, here’s how I do it, using a section of stone wall from the GW Garden of Morr kit as an example.

After washing the kit in warm, sightly soapy and allowing it to thoroughly dry, I undercoated it in Vallejo Model Colour Black paint using my airbrush. No reason you can’t use your go-to black undercoat for this, or even brush the undercoat on, as long as it’s a thin coat of paint with even coverage.

Yorkshire Stone Tutorial

Next step, add your base coat. I use Miniature Paints #62 Sand for my Yorkshire stone colour. I have a large tub of this I bought around 2000 which is still great to use, but a quick Google search shows you can get it from Ral Partha Europe in case your local model/craft store doesn’t stock this range.

I airbrushed this on for speed and convenience, leaving a little bit of variation here and there by spraying the paint less thickly in places. Once dried, the wall looks like this.

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I then used a paintbrush to apply the base #62 Sand colour to random pieces of stone, the pillars and capstones. (note the airbrushed base coat looks a little darker in this picture than the one above simply because it was getting dark outside as I took this photo). With the base colour added here and there, the wall looks like this:

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I next mixed a little brown paint into the base colour and painted a couple of random stones using this colour and then did the same by mixing some grey into the base colour and picking out another few stones. This gives four different shades of stone (airbrushed base colour, brushed on base colour and sand/brown and sand/grey), which I’ve found seems to give a final overall effect that’s pleasing to the eye. If you want to go to town you could mix in a little olive green with the base colour too and pick out a few more stones in this.

I painted the earth at the base of the wall Vallejo Model Colour 70.872 Chocolate Brown, the gate and spikes on top of the wall Vallejo Model Colour 70.863 Gunmetal Grey and picked out the Skulls in Army Painter Skeleton Bone. The wall now looked like this:

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The next step is the one that really brings things to life. I brushed on a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone ink. This is marvellous stuff and I always have it and the Soft and Dark Tone inks in my paint box. Apply it liberally. I find that using a flat brush results in less air bubbles in the ink as you apply it, compared to using a ’round’ bristled brush.

Once you’ve coated the entire wall section, give it a minute or two to settle and then look at the wall to see if the ink is pooling too heavily in any one place. if it is, you can remove some using a paintbrush or small twists of tissue paper. NB -I always lay my walls down flat if the model allows it when the ink is drying, so there’s less chance of the ink running down to the bottom half of the piece of scenery.

Give it  a couple of hours to completely dry and the wall looks like this:

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Now at this stage, your wall looks pretty fine, so you could leave it here if you like. But a final drybrush and some detail work will really make it pop.

Now before you drybrush the wall, be absolutely certain that the ink has completely dried. Very little ruins all your hard paintwork like taking a drybrush to a model where the wash isn’t dry and then smearing said wash all over the upper surface of the model. Trust me on this.

I used a 50:50 mix of the Minature Paint #62 sand Vallejo Model Colour 70.847 Dark Sand (which despitethe name is much lighter in colour than Miniature Paint #62 Sand) to drybrush all the stone work, skulls included; whilst trying to avoid the gate and spikes.

When drybrushing, try to work the bristles of the brush down the model predominantly, as light generally hits something from above, not below.

I followed this with  a drybrush of just the Vallejo Dark Sand and finally  a 50:50 mix of Vallejo Dark Sand and pure white. After a quick touch up of the gunmetal paint on the hoops either side of the gate, I added some Modelmates rust effect paint to the metal sections and highlighted the skulls here and there with the same Dark Sand:White mix.

There you have it – job done:

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The Army Painter Strong Tone ink ties together the different shades of stone brilliantly and even adds a degree of shading to each individual block of stone that comprises the wall. It’s really great stuff and I highly recommend it.

I’ll add some static grass to the base of the wall so it ties in with my gaming boards, but that is how I paint Yorkshire Stone on my models. I hope you find this tutorial useful.

Thanks for reading 🙂

15mm Salamander Army for Kings of War

Before Mantic games existed, I played Warhammer using 15mm miniatures. This was chiefly down to what I considered the horrendous cost (even then) of Games Workshop miniatures. Other reasons are that I thought then (and still do today) that rank upon rank of 15mm miniatures laid out on a table just looks great, somehow more impressive than 28mm to me; and that there was fun in looking through the 15mm ranges available and seeng what you could buy or kitbash to fill entries from the army list.

I had a large Undead army, a fledgling Tomb King army and a small Lizardman army. Then Mantic began, my friend Mister C introduced me to them and 28 mm gaming suddenly seemed affordable. The rest, is history,as you can see from all the 28mm Undead army blog posts here.

Recently Mister C has dug out an old 15mm army and devised base sizes to bring it into line with Kings of war at the smaller scale. This weekend, I’ve dug my Lizardman army out of the shed so that I can sit down and begin to work out how if could play as a Salamander army.

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Looking at these Lizardmen for the first time in years, I’m very pleased with how they look and feel quite keen to get underway with a new army list and the work of rebasing them. That’s easier said than done, as at this stage I don’t know what material I’m going to use to create the bases, but at least I can have fun planning out a new army.

Here’s a unit by unit look at the army as it is today. In the future I’ll update the post to show the rebased and renamed units.

First up, my Slann Mage Priest:

Sadly, I don’t think there’s  good ‘port over to the Salamnder army for this chap. He was kitbashed from an old pre-painted D&D model, whose head I bulked out with Milliput to give him a more Slann-like look. The throne is two slotta bases glued together with pieces from my bits box to make up the throne.

Skink Terradon (IIRC) riders. These will become Ghekkotah Skyraiders.

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Saurus warriors, who could become Salamander primes or Ancients. This with spears can be Ceremonial Guard.

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A Saurus Champion / Salamander Battle Captain.

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Mounted Saurus / Kaisenor Lancers

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Kroxigor / Tyrants

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Jungle Swarms (who don’t really have a counterpart in the salamander list).

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Skinks and their mobile ‘cannons’. Can’t remember the names in the Lizardman list, but these will make Lekelidons or Komodons for the Salamanders.

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Skinks / Ghekkotah Warriors

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More Skinks with blowpipes / Ghekkotah Hunters

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Skink characters who could become Mage-Priests and (with a bit of converting) Heralds.

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Lastly, here’s two units I was working on that never got finished. This chap will make a great Battle Captain on Rhinosuar

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And a W.I.P Stegadon that will make a fine Ankylodon Battle Platform.

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So, that’s everything as it stands. Updates to come as progress is made and possibly; new units purchased…

Thanks for reading!