Friday, 21 June 2019


I have a soft spot for the Gotham City Police. They've got no super powers or gadgets, they're (mostly) constrained by the rule of law and the whims of the Mayor, they're targets for supervillains, sometimes they're sent to hunt the Batman, and are a bit of a laughing stock to other police forces because crazy vigilantes do their work for them. I liked Gotham Central (2002-2006), a comic book series about the police where Batman and friends are hardly present.

Cops with handgun

Cops with baton

Commissioner Gordon

I've always liked Jim Gordon, a man thrust into the centre of the Batman's shenanigans. He overcomes corruption in the GCPD and rises to its very head, but somehow can't work out either the identity of Batman or that his daughter is Batgirl. In Year One, an excellent origin story, it is hinted that he has always known about Bruce Wayne but chooses not to let on.

Batman: Year One (1987)
Batman: Eternal (2014-15)
I liked that depiction of Gordon wearing gloves and carried that over. I'm a little concerned my paintjob looks like he's got a Groucho Marx disguise on...
Commissioner Gordon

Bullock and Montoya

Harvey Bullock appears to be a slob, but is a hardworking and loyal detective. He's old-school and not afraid to break the law to get results. His partner, Renee Montoya, is an excellent detective in her own right. She has struggled with homophobia from both her colleagues and her immigrant parents.
Detective Bullock

Gotham Central (2004)
Detective Montoya

Detective Comics (2015)

Major Crimes Unit

Friday, 14 June 2019


For their Batman boardgame, Monolith decided to draw solely from comics for design inspiration, and not from film, television, or computer games. Most of the time they drew from the 2011-2016 New 52 era of stories, but there are exceptions.

This Catwoman is from Hush (2002). Hush is beautifully illustrated, and the mystery tale is a good introduction to the (often convoluted) storylines from the comics world. I gave my Cat orange lenses- they often change depending on the artist and lighting.


Catwoman in Hush

And this Catwoman is from The Long Halloween (1996), another excellent mystery by the same writer, but a different illustrator. She's portrayed as very muscular and the sculpt catches this.


Catwoman in The Long Halloween

I wasn't looking forwards to painting all the lycra and leather for this game, and I did struggle a bit with the highlighting. In the end, I think they are acceptable.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Kill Team: Deathwatch vs Harlequins

I got to play Kill Team using my mate's figures and scenery last weekend. We're both quite inexperienced and aren't up to speed on all the nuances and quirks of the system, but gave it a fair go.

I borrowed his Deathwatch: five marines including a Frag Cannon, a Black Shield, a Bolt Rifle, a Thunder Hammer, and a leader with a Phase Sword.

I didn't get a good picture of his Harlequins, but there were Harlequin's Kisses and fusion pistols.

We played a mission where I was defending three objectives. He could capture or destroy them.

Deathwatch setup- red discs are objectives

Harlequins prepare to run down the board...

...into a Frag Cannon shell. Kaboom!

Harlequins swarm the Sergeant...

...and attack my left flank.

The Sergeant cannot hold them off...

... but his death opens an opportunity. More Kabooms!

The last Harlequin goes down.
We also played a game of Kill Team Arena, which is a more 'balanced' scenario in closer confines. The Deathwatch pulled out a win here as well.

Kill Team Arena
In both games the Harlequins were, as expected, blisteringly fast. They didn't hit as hard as expected, however, and were very fragile. Their fusion pistols are still very nasty, but the Deathwatch Frag Cannon is devastating, particularly in overwatch.

It was great to play on nice scenery with gorgeous painted figures.

Photo effects with the Lens FX iOS app.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Arkham inmates and Zsasz

I have a friend who works in mental health and gets upset about inaccurate portrayals of psychiatric facilities- One flew over the cuckoo's nest, electroconvulsive shocks, strait jackets etc. She'd be livid about Arkham Asylum!

I decided to go for some quick wins with some orange paint. I used Army Painter Fire Lizard and Light Tone over a Daemonic Yellow basecoat.

Zsasz is a recurring bat-villain. He is a psychotic knife-wielding killer, who cuts himself to keep a tally of his victims. I don't usually add blood to weapons, but there are exceptions such as this.

Batman: Cacophony (2008)

Friday, 24 May 2019

Batman Began

So, last year I threw cash at the Batman: Gotham City Chronicles Kickstarter. This week I received boxes of plastic stuff, and it will occupy a fair bit of my painting and blogging time.

I've made a start with the eponymous hero. I'm relieved the belt gives him a splash of colour, because otherwise's he's just boring monochrome, albeit with a dynamic pose. I'm not game to pump up the contrast in the cape much more. I'm adding a new scale tag for the blog- these figures are easily 35mm soles to eyes, and are on 30mm bases.

I have a vague strategy for painting the figures. Some are used more often (basic thugs etc), some use similar colours, some are just cool or will otherwise be fun to paint. There are plenty of bright colours, hidden eyes and faces (thus quick to paint) and dramatic capes. Be prepared for plenty of bat-content on this blog!

Friday, 17 May 2019

Journeys in Middle-Earth: the bad guys

I'm on a bit of a fantasy kick recently, what with Journeys in Middle Earth, SAGA: Age of Magic, and Game of Thrones (no spoilers please!). Here's the baddies from JiME:


Goblin Scouts

Orc Hunters

Orc Marauders

Hungry Wargs


Hill Troll
I enjoyed batch-painting these figures in their bite-sized quantities. I used Army Painter Oak Brown and Leather Brown with Vallejo 337 Highlight German Black (which is a dark brown) as three brown colours in rotation for their clothing and equipment, then Army Painter Gunmetal to weapons and armour, then Army Painter Strong Tone wash. I did the orcs and goblins with various green/ brown skin tones. I did the wargs following my 'How to paint wolf pelts' guide. I really appreciated the Hill Troll; he's got great muscular anatomy. I added a 40mm base to the wargs and troll.
Journeys in Middle-Earth

Friday, 10 May 2019

Journeys in Middle-Earth: Heroes and comparison to GW

I succumbed to its dark call, and got Journeys in Middle-Earth, a cooperative campaign boardgame. I had a lot of fun painting the miniatures- here they are on my criminally underused Realm of Battle:

Journeys in Middle-Earth heroes
 I really enjoyed painting their cloaks.





Beravor, female human ranger

Elena, female elf musician
The miniatures quickly grew on me. They're not identical to the wonderful Peter Jackson/ Alan Lee/ John Howe/ Weta Workshop visions, but are certainly similar and recognisable. I had thoughts of using my large-ish collection of gorgeous GW figures, but they are more fragile. And there's a significant size mismatch:
GW and FFG
Next week: the baddies!