Friday 27 September 2019

Blackstone Fortress: The Dreaded Ambull

Or, the most expensive Umber Hulk I will ever own.

It is a nice sculpt, not huge, with some interesting grubs literally dropping off the beast. They are rad-maggots, that help heal its wounds. The kit includes two Borewyrms as well, which are the Ambull's larvae.
Ambull and Borewyrms

With Traitor Guardsman for scale

Rear view

Skull-o-meter: 0?!

Friday 20 September 2019

Blackstone Fortress battle report- Into the Deathmaze

This is a battle report from our protracted Blackstone Fortress campaign. BSF is a dungeon crawler in space, with unusual grimdark characters filling the adventurer tropes and journeying into a mysterious alien space station to glean its secrets. They are opposed not only by creatures in the station, but also by the forces of Chaos, who want to control the Blackstone Fortress themselves. 

Each Expedition takes four explorers and throws them against random challenges and encounters. They recover items which can be traded for upgraded equipment back at Precipice Outpost, and they also discover Clues. Finding enough Clues allows you to launch another Expedition with a climactic Stronghold mission; a more challenging encounter with added scenario rules.

Here's a Stronghold encounter, Into the Deathmaze. We've launched eight previous Expeditions so have a bit of experience under our belts. On this expedition, we've battled through some smaller skirmishes and challenges to get here and are a little bruised already.

Click to embiggen!

UR-025 is certainly a powerful tanking robot. But he couldn't have got there without Locarno's sneaky sacrifice!

I won't pretend it is a fantastic game, but the setting is fun and the figures and components are superb.  To be honest, it allows you to tell a nice pulp story. The new Escalation campaign expansion looks pretty good.

Report created with Comic Life 3 and LensFX iOS app.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Batman: Gotham City Chronicles completely painted

Holy painted miniatures, Batman!

Yes, Robin, it was a simple matter of working steadily towards a goal.
Batman: Gotham City Chronicles

Whew! You are no doubt relieved to hear that I'm Bat-done with this Bat-project, from Arkham to Zsasz. I began in late May, so that is over three months of fairly steady painting. It was an achievable goal because it was finite, and I had a year in which to mentally prepare myself before a huge carton arrived. It was mostly interesting painting as well, with bright colours and nothing too complex. (Except for masks- I thought they'd make painting faces easier, but that is not necessarily true!) I had a deadline- which always helps- of the games we played a few weeks back. Towards the end, a lot of the figures were a basecoat and wash, without necessarily a highlight.



I did enjoy the research as well, immersing myself in bat-lore and trying to find the drawings the sculpts were based on. It was one way to celebrate Batman's 80th! If you were only ever going to read one Batman, I'd recommend Hush. Lovely artwork, decent story, and every Bat-villain under the sun.

I have pre-ordered/ crowdfunded a few more Batman miniatures- not as many- and they'll arrive mid-2020, same Bat-Blog!

Indulge me in my wish-list for figures that I'd like which have not been made:
  • Other Batgirls- Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, Batgirl of Burnside
  • Carrie Kelly/ Robin
  • Ace the Bathound
  • Slam Bradley

I'd love to see more of the comical/ kooky villains because the game can be a hilarious romp:
  • Kiteman (Hell yeah!)
  • Condiment King
  • Egghead
  • Crazy Quilt

It comes with a decent selection of thugs and muggers, but I'd like to see some classier cannon fodder such as smartly-dressed gangsters and mercenary contractors. And some Rocket Penguins. And Dollotrons. And maybe some dedicated evil hackers. And a Bat-Signal!

Time for me to relax, revert to 28 and 15mm, settle back into once a week posting, and read something other than Batman.

Thanks for following this journey!
Detective Comics #1000 (2019)
Batman will return to WwB in 2020.

PS After taking the Heroes and Villains shots above, I realised I'd left a few characters out- full marks if you work out who!

Friday 13 September 2019


"At least tell me what it looks like! [Batmobile speeds past] Uh, never mind."

Highway Patrolman, Batman Begins (2005)

There have been many Batmobiles over the years- this one certainly belongs.

Batman: The Return (2011)

It comes with red transparent plastic windows, and I chose not to paint them. I removed the rubber tyres and taped the windows before spraying black, but couldn't disassemble it further. Then I edge-highlighted all the panels in medium and light grey. Madness. I then painted the metallics and lights, and added some heat-staining to the exhausts. I painted the tyres Panzer Grey.

Tyres off and taped windows before spraying and painting
Removing tape at the end

Bat-tally: 215/ 215 (100%)

Tomorrow I'll post a group shot and some closing bat-thoughts.

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Batman: Rogue's Gallery 4

My final bat-batch of villains! A bit of variety today.

Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter is a predator, hunting for girls to be his perfect 'Alice'. He drinks psychedelic teas, and has mind control hats. I chose not to paint his chequered trousers.
The Mad Hatter

Batman: The Dark Knight #21 (2013)

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Henchmen of the Mad Hatter in his Wonderland Gang.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Or vice versa.

The Wonderland Gang

Batman: The Dark Knight #16 (2013)

Ra's Al Ghul

A true arch-villain, the Demon's Head is centuries old thanks to the life-prolonging Lazarus pits. Such criminal facial hair. He looks a bit like an operatic piratical vampire, unfortunately.
Ra's Al Ghul

Bruce Wayne: The road home (2010)

The Penguin

The Penguin remains a classic bat-villain, despite having no powers beyond a mind for criminal enterprise. And an armoury of weaponised umbrellas.
The Penguin

Detective Comics #27 (2014)

Painting his henchmen's nets almost drove me mad. I chose not to paint the insides, and did the weights lilac to match Penguin. I'm not sold on this- should I go back to black?
Penguin's goons

Penguin and his flock

The Dark Knight #26 (2013)


Gotham's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, scientist Dr Kirk Langstrom becomes the monstrously named Man-Bat with use of his bat serum. It's a large figure, and was quite fun to paint.

The Dark Knight #28 (2014)

Mr Freeze

Mr Freeze is an expert in cryotechnology to bring his frozen sweetheart, Nora, back to life. But he can't tolerate warmth, and lives a life of crime. I wish the model had a glass dome. I added some icy slush effects with a paste of Woodland Scenics' 'Realistic Water' and 'Soft-flake snow' and Secret Weapon's 'Ground glass' for extra sparkles.
Mr Freeze

Freeze-Ray. Tell your friends.


Bane is a mercenary who can bulk himself up using the drug Venom, which is pumped into him from his backpack.

Venom Bane

Batman: The Dark Knight #6 (2012)

I quite like Tom Hardy's Bane, despite the absence of the signature luchador mask. Check out Bane's freestyle rap:

Bat-tally: 214/ 215 (99.5%)

Friday 6 September 2019

Batcave menagerie- Bats, Bat-Cow and a T. rex

What animals are in the Batcave?


First- of course- bats. I'm looking forwards to stymying villains' plans with a swarm of these distracting mammals. They were some quick and nasty drybrushing and look fine en masse.

Tyrannosaurus rex

Secondly, a robotic Tyrannosaur. In Batman #35 (1946), Batman and Robin encounter a robotic dinosaur which is later brought to their trophy room. It is a staple item in every Batcave illustration, along with a giant penny and a giant playing card. It can be controlled to help defend the cave.
T. rex


Batman #58 (2019)

Batman Eternal #25 (2014)

Detective Comics #850 (2009)
I primed it bone with a rattle-can overspray of military green, then a wash of Vallejo 73.300 Sepia. Some light drybrushing then details including gloss varnish to the eyes.

It is a ridiculously large and gorgeous sculpt- it still only counts as one for the Bat-tally! I can only hope I get to use it in other miniatures games.

Seriously huge.


After a raid on an abattoir, Robin rescues a cow with a bat face pattern, and christens her Bat-cow.

Batman Incorporated #1 (2012)
Batman Incorporated #9 (2013)
Batman Incorporated #13 (2013)
Batman Incorporated Special (2013)

Batman Incorporated Special (2013)
The Battling Bovine was a controversial addition to the game- critics would have preferred a serious character, and fans became a bit obnoxious with spamming of 'Moo!' comments to the haters. I do like the whimsy. I used stippling to give some texture to her fur.

Bat-tally: 201/ 215 (93%)