Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Foggiest Notion (or It's Not a Problem, I can Handle It Part IIa)

Some of you (in particular my Gaming and ACL Friends) will be aware of miniatures related disaster I had recently - during a particularly bad spat of weather, we lost some slates off the roof - and that resulted in the wind blowing around inside the attic and knocking over a stack of figure cases.

This resulted in the greater majority of my BMG Collection (both part painted and fully finished) bouncing around in the cases - damaging all of them, three have been repaired without having to strip the paint off them. The rest are being stripped - and will be started again. One, Nightwing, was irreparable - when I tried straightening his batons the broke off and the left ankle (which had been repaired once before) is beyond my skills to repair it now sadly.

I had a decided notion to get back on the horse, and re-build my painted collection ASAP - which is hard for me (I'm a slow painter with bad hands) but still, here I go.

So my other BMG painting is going to remain on the shelf for now, whilst I play catch-up (see that article here) most of my finished Batman's are being stripped now so I turned my attention to the Arkham Knight Batman. I decided to keep him on the Gargoyle (I know some haven't, but I like it LoL) - and I'm finding him a little hard going for some reason. So far I've glazed him to give definition - painted the under-mesh of his suit and started the Gloves and Boots.

The Red Hood was an easy repair, his arm came of clean - and he needed re-basing (all that needs doing now is a tidy/touch up around his feet)

Officer Porkins (as I call him) was in a bad state, the GCPD Writing on the back of his jacked had chipped off - his flashlight arm had come off, and his nightstick was completely gone (I couldn't find it) - the replacement is a paper-clip/putty effort.

The GCPD Detective is a new paint job, I started him whilst Agent Ron was soaking in the paint stripper. Ron's now ready to clean up properly and polish.

The Detective is well on his way now, I'm pleased with the progress on his coat - still need to tidy up around the buttons.

Lastly, and this was a FIDDLY one - my Urban Batman. The arm and ear broke off - the ear sheared off, and was lost. The Arm was just a clean up and re-glue - then touch up the paint around the join.

I'm REALLY chuffed with the ear repair!

Currently I'm planning everything to 200 Reputation Crews (200 IS the NEW 350) - to give me something to build on, I've got to keep on top of this - as losing all that work was really upsetting (and I have a Wonderland Crew and Arkham Knight coming) - and I want my painted collection back (at least GETTING BACK) to where it was before).

Friday, 30 October 2015


Well, the new NEW Releases for the BMG are out - and its a festival of exciting stuff.

First Off we have first Models for the Direct-Only Knight Models Legends Line - with the Arkham Asylum and the Arkham Knight Batmobile being the first two - stunning stuff.

Then, as if THAT'S Not enough - the Batman Arkham Knight Batmobile Resin Kit - anyone who doesn't go "oooooh" at least once is NOT a true Batman Fan (LoL).

The Limited Edition Joker Cover BMG Rulebook is available again (until 11/8/2015) unfortunately, WITHOUT the Limited Edition Red Hood Joker, but its a great opportunity to pick up this alt Cover BMG Rulebook.

Right, onto the Metals - the Stuff we're all really interested in!


All I can say is WOW! THIS is the Joker Model I've been waiting for personally (and his Rules are pretty nice too).

FINALLY A Joker who can Intimidate (Intimidate Rule) and Wind People Up! (Demotivate Rule) - AND he FINALLY has his Acid Flower!

Joker/Harley Crews now also get a new Thug in the Gatling Brute! 

A Beast of a Model, that has the "Anti Tank" Rule - does that mean Vehicle Rules in the near future, I certainly hope so!

Next Up 'Spice' and some new Two-Face Goons - I much prefer these to the original Releases, and now with Spice Two-Face finally has a Sidekick!

The new Two-Face Models are gorgeous, but I think so much nicer than the original releases we need a new Two Face as well (come on Knight, how about it).

Last (but not least) Militia Set I - an eagerly awaited Henchman Upgrade for the Scarecrow Crew. 

A Medic, and a Rocket Launcher Henchman (who also has the Anti-Tank rule).


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Review: Counter Attack Bases - Super Hero Skirmish Templates and Crit Dice

One of the things needed to play the Batman Miniature Game is templates. The game needs two: An Expansive template (also called a flamer template in other game systems), for weapons and abilities that have an expansive spray effect, and an Explosive template, for weapons and abilities that effect an area.

I've been meaning to pick some of these up for a while know, but so far have not had crews that need them. Now that I do, I decided to take a look at what was out there.

Knight Models have a page in the back of the rulebook with templates that you can photocopy and cut out. I don't really fancy this option however, as photocopies stuck on card aren't going to last very long.

However, a number of industrious companies out there have come up with acrylic templates. I decided to go with Counter Attack Bases, using their 'it's not designed for BMG, honest' range, Super Hero Skirmish:

I went for clear acrylic, though they do a number of colours. I also went for the default text, both in content and font, and again, you can order custom text and fonts at an extra cost. I also picked up some Crit dice, used for the Collateral Damage roll in the game, as they looked quite snazzy.

First up, the Expansive Template:

This clocks in at £5 from Counter Attack Bases. If you want custom text, you pay an extra £1.25. It's made from quite thick and sturdy 3mm Perspex, so it's not going to break any time soon. In addition, the printing and text is sharp, and the perspex is very clear, so you can see what's going on under the template. It's not cheap for what it is, but seeing as you'll only probably ever buy one of these, I think it's worth it.

Next, we have the Explosive Template:

Again, it's made from the same 3mm Perspex, and is very sturdy. Once again, the perspex is clear and the text is sharp. This one costs £4, with the additional £1.25 for custom text, and is available in a range of colours.

Now, let's have a look at the dice:

These are 16mm pearl red dice, with the 'CRT' logo replacing the '6' side. They clock at £1.25 each. I really like these, as there's no confusion as to which dice is being used for the Collateral Damage dice.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with my purchase from Counter Attack Bases. They also do a range of acrylic tokens, for objectives, abilities and effects etc. Not sure whether I have a massive need for these, but it may be worth looking at them at some point.

Considering that you need these for play (the templates, not the dice), and only really need one set, an initial outlay of £9.00 plus postage is not too bad, in my opinion.

Dan's Rating: 9/10

Monday, 26 October 2015

Rebasing Clayface! - Part II

So, now that the green stuff on Clayface's base has set, I can get on with painting.

First, I've primed it in white (GW's Corax White, which is slightly 'off' white.):

Once primed, the 'claytrail' got a base-coat of GW's Mournfang Brown:

It certainly has a gloopy look to it so far! Next I hit it with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, then a dry-brush of XV-88, again, by GW (snakebite leather to us old fogeys!):

Once the claytrail was done, I moved onto the paving slabs, based with Dawnstone, washed with Nuln Oil, then highlighted in Dawnstone and finished off with Administratum Grey:

The edge of the base was painted Abbaddon Black. All that was left to do then is attach Clayface to his new base, touch up a few chips on him, then varnish the whole lot, including the new base. 

The finished product:

I'm very pleased with the way this has come out. Not only does it look nice, but it has also solved the balance issues of the miniature, as he's now at a slight angle, which has redistributed the centre of gravity. 

Plus, he now matches the rest of my collection. Now I just need to summon up the courage to rebase my Two-face crew!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Knight Models Legends

Well, the "big reveal" Knight Models Legends - something new from Knight Models a Direct Sales only range of Products for the DC (and I would think) Marvel ranges.

"Knight Models Legends was created with the idea of bringing the magic of comic book universes to our original product range. Iconic Buildings, detailed vehicles and even alternate miniature lines will all become reality with this new brand. We will be using different materials such as resin for many future releases as we would like KM Legends to be known for its superior quality"

We at the A.C.L. are chuffed, really pleased - anything which expands the range and extends the "Universe" for collectors and gamers is a great thing.

They've even 'teased' us with another image - Its OBVIOUSLY some form of Bat-Vehicle (look at the wheel) but what?!?

They are also updating the Website, adding in all the current ranges - and even new resources too, like a Crew Builder.

Exciting Times all Around!

Friday, 16 October 2015

It's Not a Problem, I can Handle It (Part II)

The new releases ARE REALLY calling me this Month, and I mean all of them - so I've made the effort here and there to do SOME work on my BMG Miniatures, even if its just a little blocking in.

My Process is a little different to most - so my Mini's always go through a "messy" phase.

Deathstroke has had multiple shading washes, Army Painter Strong Tone Ink, left to dry and then followed by Army Painter Blue Tone Ink, then a final (after drying) Army Painter Strong Tone Ink wash. These were thinned slightly (as usual with Airbrush Thinner rather than water).

After that a VERY light dry-brush of dark Grey - this helps show all the details.

The "plates" in Deathstroke's Armour was painted Army Painter Plate Mail Metal - and then, when dry washed with (you guessed it) thinned Army Painter Blue Tone Ink.

Early Days yet, but you can see where I'm going with him (I hope). I'm going for the more metallic look, which appeals to me - and I'll more than likely use Army Painter Greedy Gold with an Army Painter Jumpsuit Shader wash for the Orange Plates and Side of the Mask.

I'm trying a TOTALLY different Look with my Blackgate Prisoners Set One - basing them around this picture.

As you can see the more violent Criminals sport dirty white Coveralls, as opposed to the classic orange of the General Population.

So far I've got the basic blocking in, and the first "dirtying" wash - I need to start working up the highlights, through a dirty white, to a final highlight of Vallejo "Off White" (I rarely go to pure white).

Last we have the High Security Henchman - again, I'm staying away from the Orange - the look of him to me says he's ready to be transferred to Arkham, so I'm going for red Coveralls.

The washes/glazes put in place so far, are preparing him for that - so far, in successive order I've used Army Painter Soft Tone Ink, going over it once - letting it dry and then going over the leather straps with it a second time. When that was all dry, I washed the Coveralls with Army Painter Red Tone Ink - I didn't think any of the washes this time at all.

As you can see, its given me a base from which to work - now it's the fun stuff. Highlighting and Detailing - the parts of painting I love the most.

Still, there's so much more to do!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Building a Better Batsignal (well, just building one really)

The Batsignal is an iconic piece of Batman History and Lore - and a very useful piece of kit (in the game) for Batman/and Law Forces Crews.

Batsignal (Law Forces, Batman): Variable VP.

A Batsignal Marker is a Difficult Obstacle and Objective. A Batsignal Marker be deployed anywhere in the opponent’s deployment zone. If there are no deployment zones, the opponent may place the batsignal anywhere on the playing surface. The Batsignal starts in the “Off” state. A Character can manipulate a Batsignal to change to switch on/off. At the end of the round; if the Batsignal is On, the owner Scores 4VP, if the Batsignal is Off each opponent Scores 1VP.

The Batsignal must still obey the “not on or near terrain” rules for all objectives. A Character may not manipulate a batsignal to do anything more than change a Batsignal between the ON and OFF state. A Batsignal may be manipulated any number of times per turn.

I know its not the most complex MDF Kit out there, but as I was planning to tackle this myself, I thought I would run through it as a "walk through" for the ACL Membership. I used Army Painter Paints and Vallejo Airbrush Thinner for the painting process.

Before I start in earnest, I would like to apologize for my (to be frank) practically non-existant camera Skills LoL - and a big thanks to Linda (my partner) for being so patient while I was doing this walk through.

It seems a fairly straightforward kit, looking at it in the packaging - and to a certain extent it is. But, as I learned - it is kinda fiddly to get just right (yes, that is one of my BMG rulebooks under there - it goes mostly everywhere with me).

After removing all the MDF components from the frame, I decided pretty much straight away that I wouldn't be lighting this kit - I may do another in the future, and do it then - but this is for gaming, so I wanted to keep it free of hassles and messing about.

For cleaning the parts on small MDF Kits, I don't use sand paper - I find it to be a little too "destructive" on the smallest MDF pieces - I prefer a very sharp knife (be careful guys) and a set of old and used (and therefore smooth) diamond files. As they are worn they are smooth enough not to be too abrasive on the MDF. Once finished, I laid them out as the two separate assembly's for the signal.

Whilst it IS possible to assemble it so it moves around, side to side - its quite a fragile "spindle" in the center. Still, I glued it (TINY dot of glue) so it would be still "moveable".

The reason being, I wanted the angle "straight" across - so leaving it free - meant I could adjust it before undercoating.

As you can see from these pictures, its not "set" in place.

The main light fitting goes together smoothly when cleaned up properly, dry fit all the components to see if they fit.

Glueing, then checking as you proceed with the assembly.

Till you have the finished assembly completed.

The "signal" top part is easy - just a circle of MDF glued over the batsymbol in another circle underneath.

As I had decided NOT to have lighting, I wanted my Batsignal to pop a little on the tabletop - so I used a circle cutter and very thin plasticard (yellow paper or thin card would do) to have a colour effect behind the "Bat".

And I decided to make it Yellow, as it gave amore Comic Book feel to it.

Undercoating is done (by airbrush), black on most of it - and a good strong yellow (50/50 Army Painter Daemonic Yelly and Desert Yellow) on the disc for behind the bat-symbol.

Next up, was to "wet brush" (kinda like drybrushing) with Army Painter Gun Metal, but the paint is wetter on the brush - I thinned it a little with airbrush thinner (I rarely use water to thin acrylic paints personally) to facilitate this. Don't make it too wet though, as MDF can expand with too much moisture. The "on off" tokens were painted Army Painter Greedy Gold.

I was careful not to paint over the black of the Bat - and put a thinned black paint wash over the "glass" and when dry polished it so the black remained only in the etching. You can see here I've set the "angle" of the cross support, with the paint and washes it will stay there - no need for more gluing.

Next was a shading wash, not all over - but rather in the cracks and joints. I used Army Painter Dark Tone Ink, that I had thinned slightly.

Next I went over it again with Army Painter Gun Metal, and washed the tokens with Army Painter Soft Tone.

Then I weathered things a little, you can cheat and get the rust and corrosion paints from Games Workshop - but you can also use Army Painter paints with a little thinning/mixing to the same effect. Rust can be created by heavily thinning Army Painter Lava Orange and then adding a little Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Varnish to thicken it. Paint in random cracks here and there, likewise darker corrosion can be replicated by using Army Painter Strong Tone Ink neat in various places around the rust.

Whilst the picture isn't very clear, I have "aged" the model subtly in places. I also drybrushed the tokens with Army Painter Greedy Gold.

Next I drybrushed both assemblies all over Army Painter Plate Mail Metal, and tidied up the black on the Bat. I then went over the edges of the Bat symbol with very dark Grey, and painted the lettering on the tokens black.

At this point I sealed everthing (except the glass) with Matt Varnish - and gloss varnished the "on off" tokens.

A great little Kit (and very useful - or annoying - depending on your choice of Crew in game) and fun to build and paint.