Sunday, 28 July 2013

Call of Cthulhu - Deep Ones.

Deep Ones.
"I think their predominant color was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked ... They were the blasphemous fish-frogs of the nameless design - living and horrible."
(H.P.Lovecraft - "The Shadow Over Innsmouth")

Hybrid children watch the sea...
Maybe it was the calling of the sea, the foul murmurs of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, or maybe the fish and chips I had at the weekend - whatever, I decided to make a start on my Deep One horde. Currently a work in progress, I have dug out all my 'Deep One' miniatures and started work on about half. Out of the initial twenty, three of these are almost done but I have most of the detailing work to complete on the others. I also have two hybrid types undercoated and then another fourteen, a mix of hybrids and pure, to begin.

A fishy collective.
The figures are a mix of old Grenadier, RAFM, em4, CP Models, Black Cat Bases, plus some Black Tree Design Fishmen and Troglodytes to bolster the ranks. At the back is a huge mutated Deep One, aka a Frog Daemon also from Black Tree. Due to their monstrous nature and the practice of mating with humans, I felt there was a some flexibility in the actual physical shapes they could potentially have. The idea is that these are a mixed bunch of pure Deep Ones right through the various stages of hybrid plus the few inevitable grotesque mutations.

...pray for Father, roaming free.
As far as painting goes, I have tried to go for the 'classic' look, as described by Lovecraft, greyish green with white bellies. I could not decide on the colour of the eyes so settled for a glowing yellowy look.

Blasphemous fish-frogs indeed!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Sarissa Warehouse

Though I seem to have trouble focusing on one project most of the time I have been recently concentrating on building up my 7TV / DWMG collection. One thing with this is that a good bit of terrain really helps with the feel of the game, whereas you can get away with a green matt and a couple of trees for a dark ages setup. I am currently trying to get a bit of 'modern' scenery together so decided to look at a few centre pieces for this.

A few months back I picked up the Sarissa Precision CityBlock Warehouse as I had seen this on a couple of other blogs and thought it looked great. I ordered and finally have got around to making it and thought I would add a few photos.

Warehouse in mid build.
Above is the warehouse in mid construction. After arranging all the component parts and figuring out what was what, I began by painting these before construction, as advised by Matt on his blog. I initially tried to spray undercoat the windows in white but overdid it a little and made the board a bit soggy. Leaving this to dry I began on the other parts, selecting a mix of greys for the 'concrete' parts and mixing up a near enough version of 'London Brick Yellow' for the walls. I painted the wooden steps, pillars and loading doors with burnt umber and the rails in black. Internal dividing walls and window were in white and the front door red. I also used a variety of reds with a wash of Baal Red to create a dirty brick look on the loading bay.

Completed warehouse with some foliage for effect.
Construction itself was relatively simple, just have some big rubber bands and some good glue handy! Follow the instructions and you can't really go wrong. Painting the thing took the bulk of my time. The etched detail can take quite a few thin layers of paint so don't be afraid to splash it on.

Rear view showing the loading bay doors.
The roof is tightly held on with small notches around the edge of the walls and lifts off to reveal the internal detail. This has clearly been designed for 'play' as the mezz level also lifts out to show the rooms beneath.

Inside showing the mezz office level.
The wooden stairs are also removable, as are the loading bay doors. There are small stands for these if you want to add them but I decided on them as they are. I also left the grey steps (back and front) to be removable.

Plenty of space inside!
You are also provided with four large box crates but I hadn't glued these when I took the pics. I also bought some plastic pallets by Siku from eBay to create some cover inside.

The Doctor wonders why there appears to be broccoli in the front garden.
The pic above hopefully gives some idea of the scale of this building - it is a bit of a beast! As I said before, it is really designed to be 'play' usable rather than being an accurate model of a warehouse. Having said that, check out what Headnhalf has done with his one - very effective!

I can't wait to get this on the table and in use. It will be an excellent centre-piece and I can highly recommend it despite it being a tad pricey at £50.

Now all I need are a few more buildings from the CityBlock range and a couple of metres of wire fencing!

The Doctor is 'Tweedy Mattison' from Crooked Dice (as if you didn't know)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Doctor Who - U.N.I.T.

The Unified Intelligence Taskforce - formerly known as the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, and more usually called UNIT - was a military organisation which operated under the auspices of the United Nations. Its remit was to investigate and combat paranormal and extraterrestrial threats to the Earth. UNIT was not the only alien defence organisation, but it was the one with which the Doctor had the closest personal involvement.

An early 20th century counterpart to UNIT was LONGBOW. This world security organisation was set up by the UN precursor, the League of Nations. LONGBOW dealt with the occasional extraterrestrial incident, but was disbanded after the League and it failed to prevent World War II.

The roots of UNIT itself, however, lay in later alien encounters. The Intrusion Countermeasures Group headed by Group Captain Ian Gilmore, which got involved in the Shoreditch Incident, served as a specialised military force with scientific assistance would seem almost a trial run for UNIT, though not an international organisation. Though Gilmore did have two scientific advisors serving much as the third incarnation of the Doctor and Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw would later, the seventh incarnation of the Doctor did most of the work on the technical end.

A second incident was the takeover of London by the Great Intelligence, with robot Yetis and a deadly cobweb-like fungus. Assisted by the Second Doctor, another group of British infantrymen, led by Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of the Scots Guards beat back the Yeti from the tunnels of the London Underground.UNIT themselves would later consider this to be the origin of the organisation.

The United Nations were aware the world faced threats from extraterrestrial sources. Space programmes sent probes deeper and deeper into space; mankind was drawing attention to itself. Unable to get the British government to form a permanent special operations force for alien threats, Lethbridge-Stewart went over their heads to the UN Security Council, who proved more receptive. The UN established UNIT with the mandate to investigate, monitor and combat such threats. At the suggestion of Gilmore from the ICMG, Lethbridge-Stewart was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and put in charge of the British contingent. This contingent was organisationally known as Department C19 within the British government.

One of UNIT's first missions was an intensive investigation of International Electromatics that turned violent. UNIT agents were killed and UNIT launched a helicopter raid to liberate prisoners at an Electromatics' facility. With the help, again, of the Second Doctor, UNIT discovered the company was a front for a Cybermen invasion and was able to defend against it. Lethbridge-Stewart became convinced of the necessity of scientific advice in battling extraterrestrial threats. He recruited Liz Shaw from the University of Cambridge. Coincidentally, the Third Doctor had been exiled to Earth by the Time Lords. He agreed to join UNIT as its scientific advisor just in time to help defeat the Autons. The Doctor continued to assist UNIT. Liz and he helped them fight such foes as The Silurians and the Primords. Liz Shaw left UNIT and was replaced by Jo Grant as the Doctor's assistant, though she only had managed to take science up to A level, of which she later said "I never said I passed". When he met her, UNIT made an enemy out of the Master. UNIT locked up the Master after several attempts to destroy Earth

When the Doctor's exile was ended, his association with UNIT became more sporadic, especially after his regeneration into his fourth incarnation. 

Ministry of Defence, UNIT headquarters
The Doctor did return to Earth with Sarah Jane Smith, but would work less with the Brigadier and more with such other officers as Colonel Faraday (the Brigadier having gone to Geneva) and Major Beresford. The Doctor, however, never officially left UNIT.

As a United Nations group, UNIT often served as security at peace conferences and the British contingent had foreign soldiers such as Sergeant Zbrigniev.

UNIT often faced hostility to its operations when investigating research facilities and companies. A common tactic against them was an appeal to any contacts in the Westminster government. These forced Lethbridge-Stewart either to back down or go over the government's heads to Geneva.

(Text from Tardis Data Core)

Figures are Harlequin / Black Tree & Gripping Beast Mo-Fo.