Friday, 16 February 2018

Necromunda: House Goliath Gangers 02

When Necromunda was first released by Games Workshop in the mid 1990's I collected just about every miniature that was produced for it. My favourite gang was from House Escher, but the gang whom I had the most fun playing were the Badland Bastards from House Goliath. I plan on showcasing all of my old Necromunda figures alongside the new figures as and when they are released. To start off with I'm going to show you my Badland Bastards, starting with the leaders, heavies and juves in this post and following up with the ordinary gangers next post. The Badland Bastards were the second largest gang I collected, so it makes sense to split their review into two parts.
At the far left is their legendary leader, Big Fub (Fub stands for Fucking Ugly Bastard!). I describe him as legendary, and in my campaign, he certainly was. The Badland Bastards got off to a terrible start. In their first five games, they lost two, won one, and lost the next two. However, their fortune changed in their sixth match, against House Orlock. They won and went on to win their next ten games afterwards. It was an impressive winning streak. In one memorable skirmish, House Orlock  arranged an assassination attempt on Big Fub. In turn one, he was hit by a Plasma Cannon and was taken out of the fight. It narked me that my gang never got a chance to make a move but I had my revenge when I rolled to see what wound Big Fub would sustain. Not only did he score a no injury but he also gained impressive scars. Justice was seen to be done, in my opinion, and Big Fub claimed that game as a victory! When my campaign ended, the Badland Bastards were in second place out of 12 gangs. I converted my figure of Big Fub, to give him a Plasma Gun to go with his Melta Gun, Plasma Grenades, Power Sword and Knife. The Plasma Gun replaced his Slug Pistol. Such was his strength that he could use a rifle weapon in each hand!
Standing next to him is an alternative leader figure, whom I didn't get to use. I named him Torus the Bull. He is armed with a Grenade Launcher, Chainsword, Frag Grenades and an Autopistol.
The three heavies are from left to right, Stubber Orman (armed with Heavy Bolter, Las Pistol and Knife), Chebs (armed with Autocannon, Las Pistol and Knife) and Li'l Butch (armed with Las Cannon, Las Pistol and Knife). In the original rules, a gang could have no more than two heavies at any one time, so Stubber Orman was not used by me. Stubber Orman and Chebs were official Citadel House Goliath heavies but Li'l Butch was a conversion of a Citadel Golden Heroes supervillain.
Moving on, here are my juves for the Badland Bastards, although two of them made it to ganger status.  At the far left is Cheney, who made it to ganger status. He is armed with an Autopistol and Chainsword. I converted him when he made it to being a ganger and I replaced his Knife with a Chainsword. Next up are the two twins, Brokk and Grokk. Brokk is armed with a Slug Pistol and Knife, whilst Grokk is armed with a Las Pistol and Knife. Neither were used in my gang.
Fourth in line is "Deadeye" Dick, who is armed with an Autopistol and a Knife. Second from the right is Spitz, a young juve armed with a Las Pistol, Frag Grenades and a Knife. Finally, is "Two Gun Billy" Small, armed with a pair of Las Pistols and Krak Grenades. He also achieved ganger status and he is a converted version of Spitz. I replaced his Knife with a second Las Pistol and repositioned his right arm.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Necromunda: Limited Edition Figures 01

I have been lucky enough to acquire some very rare limited edition figures to use in Necromunda and I want to share them with you here. In this post I am showcasing two gangers for House Goliath and one for House Escher.
At the far left is Kolossus, who I'm going to use as the leader of the Brass Brutes gang I showed you in my last post. This means that Skullshank will now be downgraded to a Champion. I have had this figure for many years now but I never used him in my old Badlands Bastards gang. When I got the new Necromunda game I dug him out and decided he'd fit in much better with my Brass Brutes gang as their leader. I added the Furnace Plate Armour to his chest, which was made from Milliput, so that he fit in with the other figures and also because I didn't want him to be bare-chested. I had forgotten who made him. I originally thought he was a Kevin White sculpt, but I recently discovered he was sculpted by Steve Buddle for Heresy Miniatures before he left to work for Games Workshop. This figure was a limited edition variant of the Barbarian Warlord, who is still available for sale. This version has a different head and his axe has been replaced with a shotgun. For me, the cloak makes him stand out as a leader. I'm looking forward to finally getting to use this superbly sculpted figure.
The next two figures were produced by TT Combat and they are incredibly rare. They were only available during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend of November 2017. If you spent £100 you'd get one of them for free (your choice of which one). They were also available to buy separately but only during that short time period. As it happened I had a big order I wanted to place with TT Combat, so I got the Escher for free and I paid for the Goliath. They are both made of resin and are very nicely detailed and sculpted.
The Goliath ganger has been named Cyber Monday for obvious reasons. He is fitted with a cybernetic right eye and a cybernetic right arm with a circular saw attachment. In addition, he carries a Power Hammer and he has a Stubber Pistol in a holster on his left thigh.
The Escher ganger was named Black Friday. Her pink and blue hair colouring was a deliberate nod to my favourite DC Comics supervillain, Harley Quinn, whom she reminded me of. She is armed with a Shotgun and a Power Sword. Note that she has been painted in the alternative colour scheme I'm adopting for my new House Escher gangers. I'm replacing the traditional yellow armour pieces with pink armour. Pink will be the predominant colour for my new Eschers. I'm hoping to get them painted soon.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Necromunda: House Goliath Gangers 01

The new boxed set for Games Workshop's Necromunda contains 20 plastic multipart figures for gangers from two of the six main houses - House Goliath and House Escher - 10 for each gang. As luck would have it, these were the two gangs I used to play when I ran my original Necromunda campaign way back in the mid 1990's, so that made me very happy. Both gangs did well in the campaign. I have made all of the figures for the two new house Goliath and House Escher gangs and recently finished painting the Goliaths. Below, I present the Brass Brutes of House Goliath.
These five gangers shown above and directly below are my close combat fighters. From left to right are Skullshank the gang Leader, Kruger, "Splitter" Korg the first Champion, Nox the Ripper and Brakk. Note that these are the names given to them in the boxed set and they are all made as per the build instructions provided.
Skullshank is armed with a Power Hammer and a Combi-Pistol that combines a Plasma Pistol and a Stubber Pistol. Kruger is armed with a Brute Cleaver and a Grenade Launcher which can fire Frag or Krak Grenades. "Splitter" Korg wields a two-handed Renderizer. Nox the Ripper is armed with a Brute Cleaver and a Spud-Jacker as well as Frag and Krak Grenades. Brakk is armed with a Spud-Jacker, a Stubber Pistol and Frag Grenades.
These next five gangers are my ranged combat fighters. From left to right are Grendel the second Champion, Varik, Drago, Rork and Bonesnapper. These were also named and made as per the instructions provided with the game.
Grendel is armed with a Rivet Cannon and a Fighting Knife. Varik, Drago and Rork are all armed with Stub Cannons. Varik also has a Fighting Knife and Rork has both Frag and Krak Grenades. Bonesnapper is armed with a Combat Shotgun and Frag Grenades. All of the gangers wear Furnace Plate Armour.
These are exceptionally detailed plastic models, allowing for a lot of customisation, if that's what you want. I was quite happy to make them as instructed. They do look different enough to the original plastic and metal Goliaths, whilst still being recognisably Goliath. As such, I decided to paint them in a totally new colour scheme, and replaced the red armour with gold armour. There are still parts of them that are red, as a nod to other House Goliath gangs.
My first Goliath gang was called the Badland Bastards led by the legendary Big Fub. I could tell you some stories about them! I had so much fun playing them. I will showcase them, and all of my original Necromunda figures in future posts.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Necromunda: Underhive Scenery WIP

Ever since I bought the new version of Necromunda last November, I have been doing a lot of work for it so that I can showcase it to its best advantage on my blog. This new version of the sci-fi skirmish game comes in two flavours. The boxed starter set is a boardgame played with miniatures and is referred to as Zone Mortalis, whereas the old style Necromunda, that many players like myself, are familiar with, is played with on 3D scenic gaming boards, and that version is known as Sector Mechanicus. In this post, I'm concentrating on the Zone Mortalis version.
The starter set comes with 9 double-sided heavy card tiles that can be set up in various configurations to show the area your gangers will be contesting.
This photo shows a typical set up, with the addition of some of the plastic doors and barricades that also come in the box. Obviously, no figures have been placed yet. It looks fine and I'm sure many people would be more than happy to play their games in this manner. But, when browsing the internet for Necromunda scenery, I came across this picture below.
It's got proper walls! I was hooked. I wanted my boards to look like that. I quickly discovered who produced these walls - an American firm called Death Ray Designs. These walls are made of MDF and come in kit form, unpainted. If you are interested in purchasing them, it is the Deadbolt's Derelict: Corridors Bundle set and it costs $130.00. For that you get 24 columns, 20 single walls and 18 Double walls, which is more than enough for any of the scenarios presented in the Necromunda: Underhive rulebook. I don't mind MDF models at all but I saw a few problems with this set. Although $130 wasn't a bad price for the amount of stuff you're getting, the $82 post and packing charge was too high for me. Plus, such a heavy parcel coming from America would most certainly incur customs and excise charges, which I most certainly did not want to face. So, I shelved the idea of buying this set. But the idea of having 3D walls wouldn't go away, and I started thinking, how hard would it be for me to make my own? And that is exactly what I did!
Here is the same board set up that I showed above, but this time with my scratchbuilt 3D walls added to it. How cool is that? I'm really pleased with how they have come out.
 Here's a different view of the same game board.
Here is a close up of my columns, single walls and double walls. They are all made of black foam-board, which is 5mm thick. I based their dimensions on the ones used by Death Ray Designs. I added strips of thick cartridge paper to them. The front and backs of the walls are recessed and I made use of the scenic bases that Games Workshop provide their ganger figures with, and thankfully, also sell separately. I had no intention of using these bases with my figures. Instead, I used circular MDF bases and coated them with sand and gravel to match the bases of all of my other 28mm scale figures. However, I did think that the new bases would look good as part of a scenery piece. I used the smaller 25mm diameter ones on my single walls and two of the larger 32mm diameter ones on my double walls. For my columns, I added a single control panel from TT Combat's Industrial Hive Control Panels set. There are three different designs for these panels and I used a mixture of all three. I had to buy two sets to cover all that I needed, as you only get 18 in a set and I needed 25.
 I made 25 columns and here they all are. Each column only has one control panel on it.
I made 15 double walls and 20 single walls. This gives me enough to play any of the scenarios from the Necromunda: Underhive rulebook. The one thing that my home-made walls don't do, which the MDF walls do, is link together. That's not a problem for me. I'm not in the habit of knocking over  scenery on my gaming table, so I should be okay.
Painting them is going to be a major task, simply because there are so many of them. I'll be keeping the paint schemes simple - a base coat, a wash and a dry brush, should suffice. I may add some little touches like graffiti and blood splatters on some of them, but not too much. It just goes to show what can be achieved with a little bit of imagination and a little bit of skill. Making these saved me a fortune over what the MDF ones from Death Ray Designs would have cost.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Vampifans Views 102 - Monthly Musings 73

Derrik and Mavis - my parents - much loved and much missed.
Somehow it seemed inappropriate starting this Monthly Musings with a picture of Vampirella, so I begin with this photo of my mum and dad, both now sadly departed. No doubt they are now reunited in Heaven and I'm sure they are looking down on me. In some ways losing my mum was a shock, because the last time I saw her she was in such good spirits and very much looking forward to getting back home. Sadly, on the day she was due to be discharged, she passed away. It all happened so suddenly. Thankfully she went peacefully in her sleep and the cause of death was recorded as frailty of old age. That was a blessing as I would not have wanted her to suffer. But, she had been very ill this past year so I was fully expecting her to die and was prepared for it. When she was admitted into hospital in December she was suffering from pneumonia and I did not think she'd make it. But she did, and she made a good recovery. There was no indication that her health would fail so rapidly. Within half an hour of receiving the phone call that she was seriously ill, she passed away. I would have liked to have been with her in her final moments but on the other hand I'm pleased that my last memory of seeing her alive was a happy one. That is how I want to remember her. The funeral won't be until mid-February. I'd have preferred it to be sooner but it can't be helped. I am coping well. The support from my friends and neighbours has been a great comfort to me, and once again, thank you for all your messages of sympathy. Living on my own has now become the norm for me. As mum spent most of the last year in hospital I have grown used to being on my own. That said, I will still miss her.

Life goes on and I have been keeping myself very busy, when not dealing with real life issues, with my hobby. I am now back to blogging. Yay! I have had quite a productive month. I have been making lots of sci-fi scenery items for the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, Necromunda and my The Ace of Spades Campaign. On the figure painting front, I have just finished painting my new House Goliath gang for Necromunda. I was going to paint my House Escher gang straight after them but they got pushed back in order to make way for two dozen figures I bought to use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign.
I have been thinking for some time that I need multiple figures to represent the crew of The Ace of Spades. I have been specifically looking for space-suited versions of them without much joy, when quite by accident I stumbled across a set of three figures produced by Black Hat Miniatures - COBM25 Female Troopers in Spacesuits. They just looked perfect for what I wanted. Here they are to the right. With a bit of conversion work I could make each one unique, and that is what I have done. As soon as I finish painting them I'll showcase them on my WOIN blog. I need these real soon for my next scenario, Alien Base, which is set on a world with a methane atmosphere. Even though I wanted 12 figures to represent the non-android members of The Ace of Spades crew, I ordered five sets of them to give me a better selection of choice to match the space-suited figure with their casual clothing counterpart. Conversions have been done and they're getting painted now.

I seem to be concentrating on three projects at once - my The Ace of Spades Campaign, Necromunda and Weird West. For Weird West, which includes Dracula's America, High Moon and Shadows of Brimstone, I have bought a lot of 4Ground Wild West buildings, thanks to Colonel Bill's having an excellent sale on them during December and January. The service from them was first rate. Once I get them all built I'll finally be able to post some Weird West batreps. Up till now, the only thing holding me back was a lack of scenery. That is no longer a problem. I have also bought a fair few new Shadows of Brimstone figures thanks to some excellent deals on eBay. I also received the first supplement for Dracula's America called Hunting Grounds. I haven't read it yet but it does look good. To coincide with its release North Star offered a bundle of new figures to go with it - Tong Assassins, Plains Indians Skinwalkers and 7th Cavalry. I have ordered them and I'm expecting them in the next day or two. So, I have plenty to keep me busy. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Thanks for reading and take care.