Happy New Year 2015!

Just a short post here for the New Year. Firstly, a Happy New Year to those who read this blog.

Secondly, a bit of an update on the state of my miniature painting and hobby work, since it’s been dark for some time now.

Leonard is now a requirement of my New Year posts.

I haven’t painted a thing since the start of October, and have had very little desire to do so. A mixture of painting burnout, work requirements cranking up massively as always from October to December, fatigue, and an increasing amount of annoyance at things like Kickstarters (especially Mantic’s rolling incompetence in getting KS order fulfilment right) – along with new consoles renewing my interest in electronic entertainment and looking into older games in the backlog – and not actually having done any wargaming in months now all combined to put the wargaming stuff on hiatus.

So I’ve been writing up some videogaming reviews for something different, and in some cases, enjoying the act of writing more than the games themselves which is a bit of an indictment on the quality of some of those videogame releases.

While I was well on my way to completing my goal of finishing 365 figures this year, the final quarter and burnout stopped me dead in my tracks. For 2015, my goal(s) will be firstly to beat this year’s output, and secondly hopefully hit that 365 – which is only going to be possible via batch painting units and scenery to balance out the character models and such that I’ll take more time on. And yes, I count repaints, touch-ups an rebasing older figures to today’s standards to be “finishing” figures.

Tanks for the Memories, 2014. Also, for the awful pun!

Here’s what I got finished this year. Many of these made it to the blog, but quite a few didn’t – particularly the Gondor figures, which I intend to share in unit form once the army is more complete. No links to specific entries, but I’ve thrown in a few semi-random shots of some of this year’s graduates.

Jan ???
3 SWM Orange Plastic Jersey Barriers
5 SWM Hesco Barriers

Jan 22:
30 DUST Zombies

Jan 31:
Bones Treeman

Feb 1:
3 DUST Quonset huts

Feb 2:
2 DE Reaper Bolt Throwers

Feb 3:
10 WarZone Zombies
5 sets of Barrels finished (3)

Feb 6:
4 Statues (updated)

Feb 7:
2 Trapdoors (completed)
Tank Turret Scenery
Rolled Ute Scenery

March 1:
7 Dryads
6 Tombstones (scenery)

March 2:
Resin Crypt
Resin Large Grave
2 Warhammer Siege Ladders
Warhammer Siege Ram
Warhammer Siege Wheelbarrow
Resin sewer grate (Helm’s Deep!)
Armorcast 2-storey ruined brick building

An ogre musician proudly displays his increasingly popular “sea urchins”.

March 8:
1 Set of Barrels
2 individual WHS Barrels
2 Tool Boxes
1 Wheeled Battering Ram.
1 WHS Bucket

March 9:
2 WHS Buckets
WHS Stone Dropper
Resin WarZone/Chaos Throne
Resin Porticullus
1 Tool Box
Jerrycans
8 Flesh Hounds (touch-ups, bases, finishing)

March 10 or thereabouts:
2 Metal barrels

April 19:
6 Ogres (rebased, touched up)
4 Mummies (rebased)

April 26:
26 Men of Gondor (touch-ups, flocking bases)

May 18:
5 Gondor Archers
1 Ghoul/Zombie (rebased, touched up)

May 23:
11 Orcs (rebased, touched up)

May 24:
3 Undead (rebased, touched up)
1 Orc (rebased, touched up)
1 Wardancer (rebased, touched up)
1 Gladiator (rebased, touched up)

I ain’t easy… you know the song.

May 26:
1 Orc Musician (rebased, touched up)
1 Orc (rebased, touched up)
2 Goblin Fanatics (rebased, touched up)
2 Goblins (rebased, touched up)
1 Goblin Musician (rebased, touched up)
2 Swordsmen of Gondor

May 27:
1 Dwarven Slayer (rebased, touched up)
1 Dwarf Champion (rebased, touched up)

May 31:
1 Dwarf Warrior
1 Female Adventurer
5 Gondor Spearmen

June 1:
2 Gondor Captains
1 Space Adventurer (highlights)

June 2:
3 crates

July 3:
Cthulhu Statue
2 Goblin Squig Hoppers (finish/touch-up)
Beregond
Faramir
Dark Angels Dreadnought

That Dreadnought. This is him.

July 14:
11 Gondor Scouts
1 Rackham Scenery

July 21:
9 Gondor Scouts

July 22:
9 Landmines
3 Adobe Buildings

August 3:
9 Gondor Bowmen

August 4:
6 Minefield Signs

August 20:
6 Bones Skeleton Archers
1 Skeleton Repaint

August 25:
Ogre Thug Mod & repaint
Necromancer touch up rebase
Army of the Dead Standard

August 26:
6 Gondor Warmachine Crew
12 Gondor Archers

Have I mentioned Gondor enough yet?

August 30:
2 Familiars (rebased)

August 31:
5 Gondor Swordsmen

Sept 1:
Liche
Gondor Avenger Bolt Thrower

Sept 8:
5 Craters

Sept 22:
12 Ghosts

Sept 23:
8 Walls

Sept 24:
3 T-34/85 Tanks

Sept 25:
6 Dragon’s Teeth

Sept 26:
Grendel Leech-Slug

Who you gon’ call?

Sept 27:
T-34/85 Commander
2 Gondor Musicians
4 Gondor Swordsmen

Sept 28:
6 Gondor Swordsmen

Sept 30:
6 Gondor Swordsmen

Oct 2:
Confrontation Hill Ruins #2 (Dark)
LotR Ruins.

Day 275:
319 Figures Completed

Right now my urge/desire is to paint up a bunch of Warlord/Foundry Romans and Greeks for Kings of War, but first I’ll make myself finish off the many things taking up the space on my painting desk. We’ll see how it works out.

New Year’s Hobby Resolutions 2014

So I guess it’s that time again, the year is done, the party is over  – Time to reflect on the year that was and blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

Pictured: Leonard doing what I *still* feel like doing.

I had a kind-of painting goal for 2013. Even when I set it, I knew it was unrealistic. It was to finish 365 “things“. So that included finishing half-painted figures, individual pieces of terrain, rebasing, renovating and touching up old models, and, oh yeah! – and painting stuff from start to finish. A modest goal, compared to the many people out there who seem to manage to paint entire armies in a couple of months, but a laudable one, nonetheless.

Pictured: Some stuff that got painted or renovated in 2013. Except for 2 of the dwarves.

Unfortunately, I came up with it in March, after more than three solid months of partying playing World of Warcraft – so I was 3 months down to begin with. By day 226 I had 124 completed, and by the end of the year I had 142 models painted. Not too bad, and my best year in many, if not ever – though it does include a lot of “updated’ models and doesn’t even touch the amount I bought this year… 

Pictured: Some of the backlog. A lot of this stuff arrived this year.

I’ve had my 2014 goal planned since I came up with the 2013 one, though – Finish painting more figures than I did in the preceding year. Which I’ll continue on with, probably till I drop dead. The “stretch goal” will once again be to try and finish 365 figures.

More specifically this coming year, I want to get a few projects done, across a few genres:

Fantasy:
Finish the 2k pts Ogre Army for KoW
Paint a 2k pts Dark Elf/Twilight Kin Army for KoW
Paint a 300?600? pt Allied Detatchment for KoW to ally with others (Giant, Trebuchet, Wolves)
Paint an Undead Army for KoW using GW, Mantic and LotR Undead (also doubles as an Army of the Dead for LotR SBG and WotR!)
Finish a ton of Men of Gondor for SBG/WotR and KoW armies of Man

Pictured: Not yet 2k points of KoW Ogres, with some older stuff and a Contemptor from Damo.

40k:

Resurrect/update my previously-finished old Dark Angels Combat Patrol into a 6th Edition 600-pt Combat Patrol
Paint 600-odd points of Deathwing as a CP
Paint 600-odd points of Ravenwing as a CP
Add some extra DA stuff back in – like the almost-finished Dreadnought, Asmodai, etc and Bingo! 2k+ point DA army!

Pictured: Finished 2E and 3E-style Dark Angels models with some WIP Ogres. Proper gallery to come later when the updated force starts getting put together…

Resurrect/finish/update my old 3.5-edition Iron Warriors CP force into a 2013-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol, then expand into 2k points or so.
Resurrect/update my 3rd-edition Mentor Legion Marine army into a 2013-edition army (including a Combat Patrol force)
When the IG codex comes out, resurrect/update my 2nd/3rd-edition IG army into a 2014-edition army (including several Combat Patrol forces)
When the IG codex comes out, resurrect/finish/update my 3rd-edition Deathworld/Jungle Fighters/Ogryn/Sentinel Maori-themed IG CP into a 2014-edition Combat Patrol force.
When the Tyranid codex comes out, resurrect/update my old Tyranid CP force into a 2014-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol.

Pictured: Formerly-complete Tyranid Combat Patrol (with Aliens as CC-warriors) now needing to be updated to 6E. Also some unfinished large models.

Resurrect/finish/update my old 2005-edition Ork CP force into a 2014-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol. Despite previously being close to finished, this is one of the harder ones, since in the interim they’ve changed the way Ork units buy and allocate special/heavy weapons pretty substantially, and also halved their point values – so it will need a lot of shuffling and a busload of additional Orks to bring back up to 600pts…

So as you can see, there are a couple of themes running through there… hopefully I can make some or most of it a reality, since much of it shouldn’t involve painting too many additional models… for all but the Orks, anyway.

“Stretch Goals” for the 40k-2k/600pt-Combat Patrol project are Grey Knights and Blood Angels.

Pictured: A huge pile of junk/future wargaming room.

Also – Convert the shed into a games room, and actually play a bunch of games! The major part of the clean-up and carpeting is planned hoped to happen over the next few weeks since I have annual leave. This will allow a lot of the mess being stored in the “painting studio” to be moved out.

Pictured: A bloody mess.

This will allow me to move my “long-term” painting projects onto the actual, proper painting desk that I have, while I’ll still be able to move individual models into the living room to work on when I want to paint while being less isolated. It’ll also allow indoor/late night gaming & boardgaming to take place on the table in the living room, rather than being covered by my crap.

Pictured: Where I *should* be painting. Note how covered in crap it all is.

Pictured: Folding table in the Living Room. AKA Where I *actually* paint.

A lot of this is due to finally purchasing our own place, after renting for years and having things in storage and then living in a short-term rental for 18 months with most of our stuff in boxes. In the last year, there’s been much unpacking and lots of culling, but that stuff happens sporadically since work seems to become more demanding each year. Every so often buying some more Bookshelves or Detolf cabinets (AU$150 for a Detolf compared to US$60? Talk about regional price fixing that would make GW blush!) As well as that, I appreciate a good videogame, so I like to chill out with some Battlefield4 or GTA5 or what have you as well as working on hobby and home.

One thing it was really nice to finally get finished only a week and a half ago was turning the small “second lounge” room or whatever the hell real estate agents call them into a display space for cool crap. This room had been half-filled with boxes (literally, not figuatively) for pretty much a full year, so it really brings a smile to my face whenever I walk through it now. I’m even able to stop and look at these things now! I’ll do a proper update on the stuff in here a bit later, but here’s the room, about 90% done as it is today (move the miniature cases out, put some more stuff in the cabinets, sort out under the desk a little). Here are a couple of pics.

Pictured: Display Room, Left Side.

Pictured: Display Room, Right Side.

And yes, I’m clearly a very lucky man in that Marouda shares my enjoyment of this sort of stuff on display, and is even willing to play games and do a tiny bit of painting with me. I should point out that the consoles are all her fault, since it was at her urging that we bought our first SNES and Mega Drive, all those years ago. That’s about it for this post. I haven’t done any painting since just before Christmas, but I hope to start again in the next couple of days. So last of all, I’ll just wish…

~ A Happy 2014 to you all! ~

Mini-Review: Academy 1/48 Challenger Kit

While sitting and waiting for a doctor’s appointment several months ago, I was browsing Dakka on my phone when someone posted an eBay link to some 1:48 scale tanks, by a Korean company called Adademy. Since 1:48 is one of the appropriate scales for 28mm miniatures (some of our figures’ weird proportions are 1:35, some 1:48, some 1:56), I checked out the link, and on seeing the price of $15 a pop with free shipping, 5 minutes later, I’d ordered a platoon of three British Challengers to use in moderns or proxy into 40k, WarPath or any other games that might require tanks – particularly ones that look like they might actually work. I went with the challenger since it looks modern and pretty cool but isn’t as immediately recognisable as the US Abrams series (to those of us outside the UK, at least).

Sexy Box Picture

Open Box!

Hull/Chassis in-bag

Turret, detail parts and road wheels.

A couple of in-box and sprue-in bag shots. Nothing too exciting here. Tracks are rubbery plastic, as is not uncommon for tracked vehicle model kits. So far, so normal. I also took a bunch of comparison photos with some 40k models, so people can get an accurate look at the size. Bear in mind in these pics the wheels and tracks aren’t assembled on the Challenger, so the actual kit would end up a bit taller.

A nice amount of detail for the price.

Front-on details.

Profile with the Chimera.

Profile with a Rhino.

Model’s-eye view, front on.

With: Techmarine, Cadian Stormtrooper, Ork Boy, Imperial Stormtrooper.

Gamers-eye-view, side-on with models.

Gamers-eye-view, front-on with models.

Yes, I took a whole lot of photos. Mostly because I went with what I personally like to be able to see when looking at kits like this on the web, so some comparisons with other commonly-used vehicles (sorry, I couldn’t find my Russes) and some of the models most likely to be spending quality time with it (sorry, my Mantic Corporation guys aren’t built yet, and my half-painted moderns are still hiding out somewhere since  I moved).

More direct width comparison.

More direct length comparison.

A very detailed turret underside? Perhaps not! (Yeah, I thought there was a piece missing, too!)

As Academy is clearly a budget-ended model company, you can see how they subscribe to an “out of sight, out of mind model” with the underside of the turret and main gun. Even so this is acceptable for a model to be used in wargaming in my mind, as we tend not to remove the turret unless the model is destroyed, and the underside of the gun really can’t be seen unless you’re looking front-on at tabletop eye level with the gun elevated to maximum.

Given that I’m looking at this kit as something to use/convert for miniatures wargaming, I’d say it will do the job admirably and at a very reasonable price. I’m not going to be doing a Mig Jiminez on it and creating a museum-quality work of art in 1:48 with it, and so if you’re also looking for wargames-friendly models, I’d suggest the Academy line as worth checking out. In the same scale, there’s also an Israeli Merkava, a US M60A1 (Patton), Soviet T-72, German Leopard 2 A5 in the $15 price range, with other tanks (Panthers, Tigers, T-34s, and more) becoming available as the kits go on with motorised elements and a slight price increase going on to $25 and $30+ per kit… I’d have jumped on the T-34s if they were also in the $15 price band, but alas, not! Maybe I’ll buy some M60s next.. then some T-72s! 🙂

Overall, the Challenger is a nicely-detailed kit that looks like it will go together quickly and easily. Certainly for fifteen bucks and free shipping, I found them to be a worthwhile purchase, and no doubt will find them even more worthwhile once they’re assembled, painted and used for something!

Quick edit – 23rd Oct 2015: – For the serious model makers – people from Britmodeller and Armorama, etc. I’d avoid the Academy kits. I’ve got a few others in 1:48, and they’re really not up to the standards that you’ll be looking for. For starter modellers, your kids, and for wargamers like myself where the kits can be “good enough” in terms of accuracy and details – or used for terrain, they’re fine and in fact pretty good value. For serious armour modellers though, these aren’t the tanks you’re looking for.

cheers!

From the Painting Desk #2

The last few posts have mostly been a series of reviews of Kromlech and Maxmini’s resin conversion components, which has been fun (I’ve still got a few more of those posts to make, not to mention some reviews of Scibor, Puppetswar and Bitspudlo to put together, but those reviews take a bit more energy than I have at the moment. I’ve been under the weather for almost three weeks now as Winter has hit Melbourne, and have been keeping up with my work commitments, so blogging has taken a back seat for the past few. I’ve been painting a bit when I feel up to it and just enjoying the process. I put together one of these WIP posts some time ago – Back in March 2010, so this is the (somewhat) sequel. Though there’s also been a few other half-arsed WIP posts made as well. Unfortunately, not much has been done on those LotR figures in the last one of these posts since the post was made. Having moved twice since then, the figures are safely boxed away until I find them and decide to get back and finish them.

The main things I’ve been completing are boardgame figures from the D&D series of Ravenloft and Ashardalon. I’ve got Drizzt but won’t be opening it until:

a) All the figures from the previous 2 are completed

or

b) We finish the campaign in Ashadalon (as we’ve finished Ravenloft)

I just finished a triad of ghouls from Ravenloft that I must have started a full year ago. Since I don’t like the models, I found it to be quite a hard slog. I’ve also been working on some semi-random figures, which we can/do use as PCs in the boardgame, and just generally looking through my old models to try and “finish” some of those half-painted figures that have been sitting around for a long time – in some cases quite a few years or even more than a decade. While in theory I’m a miniatures wargamer, I haven’t played with any regular consistency for close to ten years, so whenever I try to start working on or completing an army, it’s been easier than ever to get distracted. Now that we’re in our own place, it’s going to be easier to get back into it, though even with a FLGS nearby that runs events regularly, I find myself pretty deep in a rut that prefers to come home to a warm, heated/airconditioned house with drinks, TV, snacks and all the other amenities than to go and hang out in a crowded games store for the evening. So once again, army building has been pushed to the side, and I’m now going for painting for pleasure with only a side order of “duty to get specific things finished” – in this case, the D&D figures – and it’s been enjoyable to actually finish some models.

I’ve also been trying to play around with some new techniques. Specifically: weathering powders, oil paint washes, verdigris effects, and things like MIG washes for various rust effects. I still haven’t tried NMM. I can appreciate how good it can look, but there’s still just something about it that doesn’t sit well with me, and I prefer to use actual metallic paints. I’ll get around to learning it at some stage, as after all, it’s just another technique for the painter’s toolkit.

So, some photos. I’ve been keeping the D&D figures out of photos since I started them – until I complete the set for each game I won’t be showing them off. This is because the figures are nice, but not quite “wargamer” standard being made of that bendy plastic, and so my paint has been more concerned with getting a tabletop quality that I’m happy with for boardgaming – which is below what I’ll generally do for a nice metal model from Citadel or Reaper, etc.

Old, old Citadel Ranger, and a Brettonian Lady of some sort.

The foot figure is an old Citadel ranger, which I picked up around the time of WHFB3, twenty-odd years ago. I started painting him only last year, in a scheme that is somewhat a homage to the paint he had in a very old issue of White Dwarf. The red bow is a nod to GW’s “red period”, though I may yet decide to go over it with a more neutral brown before I complete it. He’s probably only got an hour or so worth of work left on him now, but I feel that I need to be over this cold in order to put in the last bit of work at a standard I’ll be satisfied with. The Brettonian lady must be at least 5 years old? Certainly the majority of the paint on her was done in that time period. When I found her, I again noted that she probably only has an hour or less of work to be completed. I considered doing some freehand on the horse’s caparison, but my wife (who the figure is for) likes the figure as it is, and for my part, I’m not entirely sure which green I used on it…  again though – I need to get over this damned colds before I can do so.

Dwarven Standard (cleric!) and Half-Orc thief.

These two figures were started essentially as proxies for the bendy plastic D&D hero figures that didn’t inspire me at all to get painted. The D&D Dwarf was okay, but not great, and the Half-orc was arse. Both of these were started last year before I moved, and have just come out of the case to be finished. The Dwarf is either a GW Runesmith or Standard bearer, but I figure that he’ll work nicely as a cleric – armed with a (rather large) Warhammer and an (even larger) Dwarven Holy Symbol. The half-orc thief is from Reaper, and didn’t fit onto a 25mm round base, and his stance was wide enough that he’d end up overlapping one too much if I cut the broccoli base off, so he ended up on a Proxie Models 40mm round base. Apparently D&D Half-orcs are supposed to have grey or greenish-grey skin these days, but I’m going a ruddy human tone with a touch of orange instead. Like the old Blanche hobgoblin face icon. I’ve been painting my D&D orcs with a dark brown, Weta-version Uruk-Hai skin tone anyway rather than the GW green I paint my Citadel orcs. The dwarf is pretty close to that “final hour” stage, while the Half-Orc needs a bit more work to get there.

WHFB3 Wardancers

After rebasing a couple of my old, old WHFB3 dwarves about a year ago (ones that survived my Dwarf Army cull, back in the days of my youth) to boardgame with, I’ve decided this week to go through many more of my old models from decades past and update them. I don’t mean strip them entirely (I made that mistake with some very well painted for the day Rogue Trader marines last year, and regret it badly). I mean rebase them on 25mm rounds since I’m pretty much at the point that I recognise and admit to myself that I’ll never play WHFB again. I’ve always strongly preferred the aesthetic of round bases, they’re still just fine for skirmish games like Mordheim, Song of Blades and Heroes, LotR, Fanticide, Realm of Chaos’s warbands and if I decide to use them in another Fantasy mass battle game like Kings of War (somewhat likely) then I’ll simply mount them in/on regiment bases, WotR -style. I’ll also take the opportunity to touch up paint chips, brighten sword blades, perhaps reblend some cloth highlights and pretty up gems, but the essence of my original paintjobs will remain the same. The linked dwarves for example, had bright yellow shield rims changed to metallic bronze, their warhammer heads brightened up and bright yellow belts changed to a yellowish tan. The rest is original 1980’s/early 90’s paint. Like the Dwarves, the Original Wardancer models from the Wood Elves’ range are some of the few of these old models that survived successive culls through the years. I always had a soft spot for the Wardancers that GW painted up like Eldar Harlequins (though they predate the Harlies!) Maybe I’ll mix these fantasy figures in with my 40k Harlequins when I get around to playing them?

Wardancer, Dwarf, Knights, Undead

A few more figures getting the rebasing/updating treatment. The wardancer will pretty much be left alone. The dwarf will get a bit of a touch up (even though there’s something about him I don’t really like). I’ll probably brighten up the knights’ armour, add another layer of highlights to the plume, repaint the horns, and I also need to figure out what to do with their shields – since I’m unhappy with both. Either repainting the devices (Bat, Snake) or something more drastic. Basically, I’ve never truly been happy with either of these figures, so I need to do something to fix them this time. The skeleton.. well, yeah. Clearly he needs a complete clothing overhaul.

The bases for the models in both of these pics are obviously WIP as well. The sand is still drying as I type this.

Squigs!

A shot of some squigs I found earlier today. These guys will be getting round-base updates for 40k Orks. The scaled squig looks good in person, but due to his downward pose photographs badly. I’ll have to see what I can do for him when I rebase him – so his face can be more visible. I’m still very happy with the paint on my Scarlet Squigs, and the yellow one is a paint-over of a figure I bought from a friend in the late 1990’s, that also turned out nicely. With the exception of the greenie, these ones just need rebasing.

More Squigs!

More squigs. Obviously I bought a blister of the newer models sometime around 2004-5. Nothing had been done on these models since my Ork army got shelved in late 2005. The Yellow one was simply painted a pale yellow, but when I found these about three days ago, I was just staring at the models on my painting table, basically wishing I could finish the ranger from the first photo and so I started playing with yellows and oranges. I’m thinking I might try some orange-yellow oil washes on him as well, to experiment a little more with the technique.

The Painting Desk.

My temporary painting desk, a folding table in the lounge/dining room. Until I get the garage sorted out properly, I won’t be able to get the “studio” sorted out properly, so this is my temporary location. It’s not too bad actually. It’s a bit of a pain to pack up, but it’s doable. I’ve got heat and television and Marouda doesn’t have a problem with it, so it’s all good for now. There’s a pegasus and unicorn of hers there who are also getting their bases upgraded (though theirs will be bright green static flock rather than brown sandy dirt). A techmarine, Reaper Vampire, lizardman and bones troll and a bunch of my WIP D&D figures. You can also see my philosophy when it comes to paint brands is simply to use whatever works best for me at the time for the project.

I hope to have some nice shots of finished models sometime soon. I usually like to use natural light for those, but the days have been short and dark for some time now, and I’m at work for a good amount of the daytimes as well. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this and poking around my paint desk!

MaxMini Jump Packs – Polish Resin #7

In what’s getting close to my final MaxMini review post for awhile, I’m sharing their various Jump Packs today. I picked up set of 5 of their Iron Pattern Jump Packs shortly after they were released, though due to the joy of moving twice in a relatively short period, they got put in a box and not used (story of my figures’ bloody life!) Recently, I decided to start to resurrect some of my armies, so I’ve been buying cool resin bits, which at the moment mostly sit around until I can work out some army lists and then motivate myself to get them started/finished.

I originally got these to use either with my Iron Warriors or possibly my old-school-style Crimson Fists. So anyway, with 5 of these suckers already in hand, I needed to get another 5 to finish a squad. So I did. I may need a second 10 of them so I can kit out both armies with them. I’ve tried to give my Iron Warriors more of a Renegade Marine vibe than a gribbly chaos marine one. As cool as the new DV figures are, and as much as they harken back to the old Slaves to Darkness style, I actually want to go with the “loyalists with spikes” look for the dour, mechanically-oriented Iron Warriors – more likely to amputate a tentacle and replace it with a bionic arm than to accept it as a gift of chaos, so studded mechanics work from my perspective.

Size Shot – Maxmini Iron Pattern Jump Pack.

Here’s the pack being modelled by a marine I’ve been working on for a mate. He won’t have a jump pack in his final form, but since his wasn’t glued on, I thought he’d work fine as a Jump Pack model. As you can see, this Jump Pack is a pretty big piece of work.

Maxmini Silver WIng Jump Packs

While I was at it, I decided to pick up a set of 10 of their other two new styles. The Silver Wing Pattern Jump Packs will go perfectly with either Blood or Dark Angels, and as I have a small DA force and an unbuilt BA force, there’s potential to once again buy a second set of them so both forces can use them. The DA already have a mostly-built Assault Squad though, so maybe I’ll just grab another 5 for some Character models.

Size Shot – Maxmini Silver Wing Jump Pack.

As you can see in the photos, the Silver Wing packs are just as big as the Iron Pattern, though I was surprised as the details are almost entirely different, aside from the turbines and the part that plugs into the back of the model they’re being mounted on. The detail is really quite nice, with lots of exposed wires, pipes and tubes again giving it an old-school look, though perhaps not all that OH&S-friendly.

Maxmini Bronze Pattern Jump Packs

Finally, I grabbed a set of 10 of the Bronze Pattern Jump Packs. These don’t fit the old-school vibe in the exact same way as either of other the turbine-topped styles, but I thought the huge vented intakes looked pretty cool, so I again got a set of 10 to kit out a squad (of something TBD).

Size Shot – Maxmini Bronze Pattern Jump Pack.

Now if you thought the other two were big, these will really impress. These ones are edging towards being ludicrously big, but despite this, I really like them. The sculpting and design on them are really well done and a bit different. They still look a little Horus-Heresy-retro, but perhaps like something that was newer then. They look like something that would fit in with the era of this classic Paul Bonner Dark Angels painting (used as a WD cover back in the day). Not-quite Rogue Trader, Not quite modern era. Around the days of Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine. Note the marine firing! If you look carefully, you can see how he’d probably like you to say hello to his little friend..

Paul Bonner’s seminal Dark Angels-Scarface artwork.

MaxMini Head sizes – Polish Resin Extra!

After some requests for size comparisons on the MaxMini from Dakka and in the comments, I’ve taken some quick photos to help people judge which heads are right and wrong for their own purposes. I’ve also got an older review – of the Steam Knight helmets. Though I only used Marine bodies on that one, as you can see in that post, they’re on the smaller side, and so I think they’d work on smaller like the below Mantic/McVey models as well.

MaxMini heads and various figures.

From left-right, we have a Sedition Wars female, a “marine” made of a Maxmini head, GW torso and Anvil Industries legs.  A sci-fi Bombshell Babe. She’s about the height of a marine, but less bulky – A good representative for many of Reaper’s sci-fi figures. Next is A Mantic Enforcer, Mantic Corporation with actual head, Sedition Wars male, and another Mantic Corporation fig with Maxmini “Biohazard” diving bell. Last up, we have a completed GW Space Marine.

MaxMini heads

So. Opinion time. The gladiator helmets are a little small for marines, but workable. They’re also suitable for the McVay and Mantic figures, as actual gladiator helmets are pretty damned big.

The Black Lotus helmets are perfect for marines, but a bit big for the truescale figures – unless you want big ancients helmets for them.

The “Immortals” Egyptian helmets would work on the McVey/Mantic bodies. They might seem a touch big, but then there’s a lot of bling on them, so if you disregard all of the spikes and so forth which make them look bigger, they work. Similarly, they work on marines, but may look a touch smallish.

MaxMini heads.

The Mecha-Egyptian helmets (V.1) look perfect for marines, but a bit big to go with the truescale figures. Similarly, the Biohazard heads are perfect for marines but too big for the truescales. A possible exception for the “diving bell” helmet, since diving bells IRL are huge, so with a trim to the neck they could work with truescale figure – depending on what you’re trying to do.

The Hybrid heads are a good fit for truescale figures – bear in mind that they are deliberately bulbous, though. They seem a little small for marines.

Once again, I hope this is helpful. I realise it might be a touch mroe useful if I clipped off a bunch of the heads and blu-tacked them to a Mantic and GW torso, but I don’t want to cut up the sprues at this stage, since it makes the heads easier to lose. (yeah, after moving house, I need to find those Steam Knight helmets I linked earlier..!)

Polish Resin #6: MaxMini Gladiator, Alien Hybrid, Biohazard, Black Lotus Heads

So it’s the next set of pictures and commentary of the recent order I received from Maxmini. In my last post I looked at the two types of Mecha Egyptian heads that they offer. This time it’s a bit more varied. Once again, all images are clickable for bigger versions.

MaxMini Gladiator Helmets.

First up are the Gladiator helmets. I bought these without any incredibly firm use for them, simply because they looked so nice. I’ve been considering using them as heads for Pre-Heresy-styled World Eater Gladiators. Maybe Khornate ones that still have their old Relic-aged helmets – or I’ve just realised as I’ve been typing this that they would be perfect for my Iron Warriors berserkers that I’ve been intending to build for the last 5 years – I’ve just been needing a way to make them unique, but distinctly both berserkers and Iron Warriors without using the “bunny ears”. Now I’ll have to buy a few more… hmm…

MaxMini Alien Hybrid Heads

Next up are the Alien Hybrid heads. Again, I bought these without any immediate purpose. I’ve got a bunch of old-school Genestealers and Hybrids that I need to get around to sometime, but they’re not a priority in my paint queue for the time being. As you can see, they’re finely detailed, though they’re quite small – more truescale than heroic. Having said that, I’m sure they’d work well on top of a guardsman’s body. Something I’m happy to have in my bits box for the moment when I’m building something and decide I’ll need them.

MaxMini Biohazard Heads

MaxMini Biohazard helmets. Unlike the others, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with these from the moment I saw them. These will be going onto the heads of Plague Marines and Death Guard. When I got these, I opted out of the one sculpt that didn’t appeal to me (in execution, not concept) by asking the MaxMini guys for a custom mix. Since they’re able to do that without a hassle from a lot of the items in their range, it was no problem, and I picked up an extra pair of the “diving bell” sculpt, which I really like. I’ll probably pick up some more of these down the line as well, as the Diving Bell also has a lot of potential outside of the specific CSM use I plan for most of them.

MaxMini Tribe of Black Lotus Helmets

Finally, for this post at least is the Tribe of Black Lotus Helmets. A bit of a long, unwieldy name, yes, but some great sculpts. In the past I’d considered these but passed, as I didn’t have a specific use for them, but now I’ve pretty much got two solid options for them, and will probably go with both. These will be used in a mixture of a Greek-themed Space Marine force (no, not Minotaurs, though I’ll certainly use some of their Forge World parts) and also steal a few of them to use on Various Slaanesh Champion and Emperor’s Children figures. (2017 Edit – Erm, yeah, I am actually doing Minotaurs now, using these on the odd commander-type model!)

Maxmini Tribe of Black Lotus Helmets

As you can see, these parts are pretty much flash-free, with just a small bit of cleanup required on an occasional piece. Clean bubble-free casts, and quality (non-itchy!) resin.

There’s a few other nice-looking head/helmet styles on offer from MaxMini as well that I’ll be purchasing in the future to check out. The Space Police, Steam Knight Noble and Zombie heads are all ones that look good and I’ll likely be purchasing and reviewing in the future, so look out for those (in a couple of months.)

The next post will be MaxMini stuff, as I’ve got some jump packs and other odds and ends to review. After that, I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’ve bought from Kromlech, Scibor and Puppetswar to photograph and review, so the Polish Resin series will have a fair few more installments to come!

As always, I hope people find these shots useful!