Friday, 24 March 2017

Resin Anime Figure Finished

Well, it was a long haul, but she's finally finished. Hats off to me for another job well done. I think I need a holiday though!

I was so near to completion for months, but I ran out of steam at the last hurdle. Thankfully, I had a bit of spare time over the weekend and finally got her last lance done. At the start of this project, I wanted to use her as an excuse to try out some verdigris and marble effects. I learned a lot about both techniques, although actually the most valuable experience turned out to be just from working on a figure this big. I think I gained more knowledge about painting in sub-assemblies and large resin pieces as I learned about anything else. Finishing her off also gave me a break from working on 28mm scale for a while, and it was nice to do something different.

Anyway, that's enough text for the moment. Enjoy the pictures.

Sometimes it's fun to look back to the beginning too - it was a long journey alright... But probably one I'd take again given a few months to rest up!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Anvil Industry, Trench Fighters Review

I'm back with another review again, this time for Anvil's Trench Fighters range.

Following the success of my recent review of Anvil Industry's modular Regiments miniatures, I got talking to them, and they actually offered to send me a sample of their new Trench Fighters for free (I knew that running this blog would pay off one day...). The miniatures were given in exchange for a fair review, so I jumped at the chance. After all, I'd been thinking of buying a few bits from the range at some point, and as I was confident that they'd be nice miniatures, I was happy to oblige.

If you missed my first review of the Regiments parts, you can find it here.

What is a Trench Fighter?

The Trench Fighters range is really an expansion to the Regiments kits that Anvil already make; essentially adding in hundreds of components to an already diverse selection. The Regiments parts are a set of modular infantry bits that allow you to make completely unique infantry models. There are a huge range of different heads, torsos, weapons and legs. These options have now been expanded with the Trench Fighters release to include some cool new additions; most notably trench coats as well as some awesome new kit that runs the gambit from full on sci-fi lasers to WW1 & 2 inspired helmets and trench accessories. Overall, there are enough parts for literally thousands of combinations, so there's never been a better time to start building the squad of your dreams. The picture above shows two miniatures that I built entirely from the new Trench Fighters parts.

My sample regiment. I've been experimenting with dramatic photos lately, but the miniatures speak for themselves.

The Review

For this review, I was supplied with the parts to make about 10 men, with a large variety of heads and cool bits to play with. In an effort to cover all my bases, I decided to build and paint 5 of them up as a distinct regiment, to show what could be achieved in an army setting, as I'm sure a lot of Imperial Guard players will be wanting to know!

For the other five guys, I decided to build them like some kind of Post-Apocalyptic Survivors. Not only is this great for me as I like a good skirmish game, but it also gave me the opportunity to really go to town messing about with different bits. Here's some early pictures of what I came up with:

I went with long-greatcoat legs and the skull faced helms; because despite what Gillette might tell you, what a man really wants is a skull for a face and a bangin' trench coat. It's the best a man can get.

 On a serious note, you can see the resin quaity clearly in these shots, and those are crisp details that Games Workshop's Finecast can only dream of. The banner pole assembly is also a nice part that Anvil have created. The officer head comes from a sprue of several different capped heads that were my personal favorite part in the release.

For fun, I created these five all differently. They use a wide variety of bits, with mostly shorter trench coat legs and Trench Irregulars torsos. I suggest taking the time to have a look at each one individually, as if you like any one particular look, you could replicate a whole force of them. My personal favorite is the guy with the Bren Gun - although I swapped the sickle clip for a belt feed from a different Anvil gun as it was getting in his eye-line.

Resin Quality

I'd say without reservation that I consider Anvil's resin to be the gold-standard. This stuff really is what other manufacturers should be aspiring to; clean crisp details, minimal flash and mould lines are almost invisible. I also haven't noticed any warping in their parts either, so I'm assuming that everyone at Anvil worships Satan or something and have traded their souls for the secrets of casting little men. People might be dubious about taking my word for it, as I was given these just for the review, but I bought the last lot of stuff off my own back without telling Anvil about the review that I was writing and the quality was exactly the same. I really can't praise them enough, as anyone who has been hobbying  for a while will know what a minefield resin miniatures can be. I can only advise anyone interested to place a small order and see what turns up - I think you'll be impressed.


28mm, and as I did a bit of kit bashing in my last review, I can vouch for the fact that the parts are compatible with plastic Imperial Guard bits. Size wise, I'd probably call them semi-heroic; with good proportions that are very comparable to miniatures in 40k and a lot of other game systems.

In the interest of clarity, I've taken a shot of some Anvil guys side by side with a few infantry models from other games. As you can see, the scale is pretty much what you'd want it to be for any 28mm game.

From the left, a space marine, 3 Anvil models (the guy in white is from my last review of the Regiments Range), a Chaos Cultist, Dark Eldar Warrior, Cult Neophyte and a Pan-O Fusileer from Infinity.

Fitting, Mould Lines and Working with Anvil's Resin

As I mentioned earlier, there aren't a lot of mound lines. Anvil's resin both looks and feels like plastic; with an ease of building that really does defy what you generally take for granted with resin. The parts come fitted with short pegs on the tops of the arms and a peg at the waist to help position the torso correctly. They go together easily, and I had no problems putting my 10 infantry together in an afternoon. All the parts are completely interchangeable and can be used with any other bits from both the new Trench Fighters and the Regiments kits.

Delivery and Purchasing 

Anvil do free delivery on all orders of £40 and over. This includes international orders. The flat rate of £2 for UK orders below that threshold or £4.50 for international orders is pretty reasonable too. As these Trench Fighters were a sample, I didn't go through the purchasing process this time, but it's pretty easy; with drop-down menus that take you through the hundreds of options on offer and package deals for full units and more. If you're tempted by any of these models, I'd recommend heading on over to Anvil and having a dig about as the chances are that you can build exactly what you want (I know from personal experience that if you like 40k, you'll happily find enough bits to make some really nice custom Steel Legion as well as dozens of other familiar regiments). 

Anvil often also use slimline boxes for smaller orders; meaning that they fit through your letterbox with ease - leaving you with time go go out and buy all of those paints you're going to need when they arrive...


What I really love about these sets is that they let you tell your own story. Rather than being constrained by one look or feel, you can really go to town and create something unique. With all of the options on offer, you could quite happily make everything from an outer space boarding squad to a feral world warrior. The weapon arms are diverse too; giving you some great options as far as cool poses go. Rather than go on forever, I'd rather illustrate the point with a few miniatures that I built:

Why not go mean and militaristic with long trench coats and German-style helms with a future edge? The picture below also shows the great detail on the back of the coat. Models have backs too! And luckily Anvil haven't failed me there...

Not your thing? How about a WW1 style Brodie with a medic pack and pick axe? Just one example of the kind of thing you can make.

Or you could go wild with some trench irregulars bits and a nice shotgun.

Stick bomb, machete and snow mask? The shorter coats are cool too as you get some nice leg armour  which makes them look a little more high tech.

Plain gas masks are always a winner, and with a lot of weapon options to choose from to go with your chosen look there's no end of variety to be had.I painted this guy up in blue, as I wanted to show how different one unit of Trench Fighters can look from another.


I think the pictures speak for themselves. Both the quality of the models and the customer service from Anvil are great and well worth your attention. They really do offer something you don't see every day; the ability to design your own miniatures from the ground up, and with hundreds of options and an ever expanding range,  there's bound to be something for everyone. 

I'll leave you with a few more pictures that I didn't fit into the body of the article and this link to Anvil for you all to check out:

Monday, 13 March 2017

Anvil Industry - Trench Fighters, the Opening Salvo

Anyone following Anvil Industry's latest project will probably already be aware that They're finally going over the top this week. For those of you who missed it, let me fill you in.

A few weeks ago I did a review of Anvil's Regiments; modular resin infantry kits that offer a huge variety of cool parts and customization options. The range is getting a massive expansion this week with the first wave of Trench Fighters releases. These additional parts feature a huge number of new options, with enough great-coat toting  gasmasked badassery to have any Imperial Guard player salivating with anticipation.

After my last review, I got talking to Anvil, who kindly sent me a sample of the new range that arrived this Saturday. I'll be doing a full review soon, once I've painted up a few of them. For the minute I thought I'd share the first few miniatures that I built to showcase the kind of thing that you can create with a nice selection of bits. Everything I've used is entirely from the Trench Fighters range and everything is Anvil Industry.

The skull-faced helms were too cool to resist; they're certainly imposing with the new trench legs and torsos. My favorite part has to be the captain's hat though; no army should be without a sprue
of those if you ask me!

The fun of these sets is that they really let you make something of your own. As it was for the review, I wanted to go with a look that I think will be popular, but equally you can really go off the rails and design something totally unique. For fun, I've done a piece of background for the unit that could fit in most sci-if universes, and I'd encourage anyone with these to do the same and really have fun with it.

Warriors of Zod

Ignored and forgotten by the galaxy for over 1000 years, the people of Balomar IV had returned to a feral state; eking out an existence hunting through the ruins of their once proud civilization. That was until they unearthed the holy Zod from deep underground. A colossal machine of unknown origin; Zod was a supercomputer that once formed the core of a great interstellar ship. In their ignorance, the primitive people determined it to be a God and set about emulating their new patron deity, and living by its edicts.

Centuries past, and industry returned to the planet. They reverse engineered what they could and gleaned holy knowledge from sacred data stacks; with each file decompression being hailed as a devine event. Their priesthood stood in awe of the machine as it trailed off numerical data that they interpreted and acted upon with fervor. Over time, wars were fought at the machine's command and the balance of power shifted over the whole planet from one sublime edict to the next. Whether the machine was really commanding its followers, or merely tracking astrological phenomena, nobody can say, as the gates to the High Temple of Zod have been sealed for 100 years. 

In battle, the warriors of Zod fight like religious zealots; their belief in their God is absolute. They daub their skull-faced helms with chalk derived from the processed remains of their fallen enemies, in homage to their ancient past; all the while singing hymns in binaric machine code and exclaiming holy co-ordinates in muttered voices. Many are the worlds that have scoffed at the primitive appearance of their invaders, only to discover the fury of their reverse engineered archeotech weaponry.

Stay tuned, as I'll be working on these and more over the next few days.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Converted Reaver Jetbikes

Continuing on with the Start Collecting set, I've built these 3 jet bikes. In keeping with the rest of the force, I wanted to keep the sinister feel going and my brother had mentioned the idea of arming them with some of the spare spear polls from the raider. I built the first one and liked it so much that I built the other two the same way. I did have to do a bit of conversion for the third one, as the spear was a trophy spike with a bunch of skulls on it. I swapped the end for a skaven spear head (I really like plastic glue for this kind of thing as it gives a lot of strength) which seems to have worked well.

Needless to say, I went with the helmed heads, as not only are the cool, but masks are a key theme of the Haemonculus stuff, so it was an easy choice. I did think of saving them to use on another unit down the line, but in the end I couldn't help but use them.

I haven't glued them in the flight stands; as I want to be able to paint them. These last 2 pictures show them with some airbrushed basecoat layers in grey/white. I'm planning to use white on some parts of the bikes, and white and black are both much easier to paint with the help of the airbrush as it lets you lay down a very smooth coat of paint, not only allowing for a subtle blended look, but also avoiding some of the problems with the inherent claginess of most white paints.

Well, that about rounds out everything in the box set. I guess I'd better get to work actually painting some of it!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

1 Year of Tabletop Apocalypse!

Well, it really is an auspicious day around here. The blog just turned 1!

It seems like as good a time as any to look back on how things are going. So far, I've published a total of 158 posts (I suppose this one will make 159). That is one hell of a lot of writing, and its funny how things can really sneak up on you. I wonder how many words it has been by now, I know that The Chronicle of Bungo alone has hit the 10,000 word mark recently. Speaking of 10,000, at the moment the blog is generating just over 10,000 hits a month. Not bad when you consider how it all started with a joking telephone conversation about how I should start a blog.

I don't really involve myself in social media, so most of my blog hits come via the various reels on other people's blogs and Google; in that way, the growth in my audience has been very natural. I've also had a few helping hands along the way, and some of the blogs proudest moments have been when I've been featured by Wargames companies, like Anvil Industry, hell, I even made it into Raging Heroes' news letter once! The Better Know a Blogger article on St Andrews Wargaming certainly didn't hurt either.

There are a few things I'd like to improve though. I write all of this stuff either at work, or on an I-pad, as I don't even have a laptop or PC these days. The problem with that is that I can't create decent graphics, or even adjust anything at the moment; leaving the site in a kind of limbo, when I would really like to update the look a lot. Small niggles aside though, it seems to be going well, and more people are reading it than ever, so I shouldn't complain.

Several months back, I did an article called "The Best of Blazmo" showcasing some of the best bits on the blog up until that point. It seems as good a time as any to revive it again, so let's take a look at some of my proudest moments from the last 6 months (in no particular order!):

2) Completed Pan-O Force

3) Raging Heroes, Sister Celenia

4) Converted Chaos Defiler

5) Genestealer Cult Force

6) The Grot Battlewagon

7) Anime Figure

8) Greyfax in NMM

9) Finished Squaduary Entry (Anvil Industry Regiments)

10) Dark Eldar

Well, that about does it for now. If you like what you see, don't forget to follow the blog or check back later for more. Also, don't forget to leave your birthday wishes below!