Saturday, 27 February 2016


Airbrushing is all the rage these days. It has long been the preserve of proper artists whether they work in two or three dimensions but accessibility has increased as the price of a good quality set up comes down and a wealth of tutorials for hobbyists who want to try their hand at airbrush techniques can be found on YouTube. For a novice there is a lot to take in and a lot you need to know before you throw down a wad of cash on a rig and get started. Here I share my experiences.

I have vague memories of simple airbrushing in primary school. A metal tube was used to blow paint onto a piece of paper and create unusual effects. The cardinal rule was do not inhale! As an adult this advice still serves, but we’ll get to that.

It was Forge World who popularised the technique for me. Those expertly painted tanks and monstrous kits achieving effects that we as hobbyists could never seem to emulate with regular brushes alone no matter how hard we tried. How many ‘Eavy Metal vehicles were in fact painted using air brushes? My own experience with airbrushes is still basic and ongoing but I am making progress and if what I have learned thus far can help you avoid the few stumbling missteps I have made on my journey then I have achieved something! I will go into each of these in more detail in future articles but for now here is an overview of what you need to know.

The Theory

An airbrush works by atomising paint using compressed air to create a vacuum which draws the paint into the airstream for delivery. The amount of pressure required depends on how thick the paint is. The thicker the paint the more pressure required. If you are using an airbrush for fine miniature work you will be working with pressures between 10-50 psi.

An experienced and talented airbrush operator can blend one or more colours almost seamlessly without the need for blending or feathering and also much more quickly. If you want to be able to do more than just basecoat your miniatures then these are the effects you will need to learn.

The Airbrush

Airbrushing done correctly requires the right sort of kit. The starting point is the airbrush itself. I am not talking about the super basic kit such as the Games Workshop hand flamer spray gun. Whilst this is good for base coating especially large areas such as terrain with the right modifications it is not a precision airbrush.

There are a number of different types of airbrush but the best is a dual action trigger airbrush. This allows for the greatest measure of control over the application of paint. By pressing down on the trigger you release the airflow and by pulling back on the trigger you release the paint. The amount of paint you release is determined by how far back you pull the trigger.

The Compressor

A large part of the control you have over the paint will come from the airflow. Although you can purchase cans of propellant for airbrushes these are next to useless. You cannot create a smooth consistent stream of paint with what is essentially an aerosol can. In order to get that strong, smooth and consistent flow of air you require a compressor.

This is a pump that pushes the air through the airbrush at pressure. They tend to be loud and get hot but they are essential. The best kind of compressor has an auxiliary storagetank which stores air under pressure that can be bled off when needed. This has the advantage of not requiring the compressor to be running all the time and allows you to have a ready air flow available all the time that does not require you to wait for the pump to run up to speed.

Attached to your compressor should be a moisture trap. This sucks the excess moisture from the air that is comprising your air flow. Excess moisture can change the consistency of your paint which if already thinned could make it too runny or even clog up your airbrush with water droplets.

Lastly should be the pressure gauge which will allow you to change the pressure the air that flows through your brush is under. For finer layers you will want to work with lower psi, 10-20psi, for larger areas or for thicker layers you will require higher psi, 40-50psi


An airbrush is a precision instrument made up of many components. In order to keep it in good running order you need to take care of it. To do this there are a number of tools and you will need.

The first stop is some airbrush cleaner and a pipette. The pipette will make handling the airbrush cleaner much easier as generally this comes in bottles and trying to tip this solution into your reservoir can get messy. Every time you have finished using a particular paint you should clean your airbrush thoroughly. Paint that dries inside your airbrush can restrict the flow of air and paint as well as contaminate your colours if they are different enough. This also means you should try and get through using the colour you are on quickly to reduce the time this has to happen.

If you are unfortunate enough to find dried paint in your airbrush you will need to dismantle it for a thorough clean. Small brushes will be invaluable if this is the case. More delicate work can be done using a Q-tip soaked in cleaner. (Q-tip is an American term for Cotton Bud - Al)


Atomised paint and airbrush cleaner can cause extensive damage to your lungs if inhaled. You should never hold the airbrush or model you are painting close to your face when working. Work in a well-ventilated area and if using lacquer paints always use a facemask. Also be aware that compressors can get very hot even if on for only a short time. Do not pick up or touch your compressor until it has had a chance to cool down.


Thinning paints is a pain. Some paints such as lacquers need to be thinned in order to use but with acrylics there are several range of paints that have been specially formulated to be used straight from the bottle such as Vallejo’s Model Air range or Badger’s Minitaire. I have recently started using both and already I have noticed an improvement in my ability to manipulate the paint and in the amount of time it takes to clean the brush after use.

Right now I am still at the basing stage but some brief trials of the air brush formula paints has given me the confidence to attempt to use then to paint my Eldar vehicles. Keep watching the Conclave to see how that works out.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Horus Heresy book review: Meduson - Warhammer World Exclusive Anthology

A quick note before we continue; We are now at a stage of the Heresy where cross referencing and combining of narrative threads is becoming inevitable. This book in particular sees elements from previous titles picked up and even adopted by different writers like never before. It's not essential to have read the previous titles but it will grant you a better understanding of what it going on. So, you will notice a fair few titles in bold text throughout the review. These are links to previous titles that i have reviewed. These are for the most part devoid of spoilers so feel free to check them out. Now, on with the review... 

As a book that you can only pick up from Warhammer World, Meduson is likely a title that has not garnered as large a readership as perhaps it deserves. Even at its normal price of £30 it is a hefty sum but on Ebay it can fetch much more. Is it worth it though? Well maybe not the scalpers prices, but it's of decent length and ‘exclusiveness’ aside (my how I have come to hate that word) is it worth shelling out thirty notes for this compilation of short stories on the shattered legions?

Meduson: By Dan Abnett

Well, with Dan Abnett penning the very first entry, maybe that is enough on its own to justify the asking price and secure demand. Work from Abnett for the Black Library is as scarce as the Emperor’s Tears these days and i'm beginning to wonder if we will ever see Warmaster and Penitent. Still, he has produced a decent story for Meduson here, as you might except (in Abnett we trust). Based around Shadrak Meduson (who will be known to many a reader, although this title is at the start of his rise to prominence). Reeling after the massacre at Isstvan, the council of Iron bicker and quarrel over which action is to be taken next. Without Ferrus Manus and his guiding hand and clear leadership they are rudderless. Like the proverbial deer in headlights they are frozen, indecisive, destined to be destroyed before they can rally. When the entire council is laid low in a traitor ambush it is left to Meduson to help to reforge the Iron Hands into a new fighting force and reclaim some glory and pride to keep the shattered legion from disintegrating completely. A task he never wanted but was always destined to fulfill.

I rather enjoyed this story from Dan, he captures the natural inflexibility of the Iron Hands extremely well, detailing the Iron Council’s hostility to Meduson’s forward thinking perspective. He effortlessly portrays the extent to which the legion is wounded without resorting to crying space marines, something that I feel Nick Kyme could learn from having read Deathfire (review very soon). Of course being a Dan Abnett story there is hidden depth, and metaphors abound, though nothing particularly hard to discern. Still, it’s nice to have something with layers as a lot of short stories can often come across as a bit superficial. Shadrak Meduson himself is also well written, being a compelling and complex character, a Terran born Iron Hand riling against an inflexibility that he knows will doom his brethren.

Dan understands the universe in which he is writing inside out (indeed he is one of the few authors that could genuinely claim to have significantly added to its lexicon) and the story absolutely feels authentic, oozing class and putting you right in the moment. It’s a focused tale, centered around Shadrak and making no apology for it. Reading this story feels like slipping into a comfortable pair of shoes. The vast majority of readers will have read a substantial amount of Dan’s work and even were his name not on the pages odds are that you could tell he was the author. The action is typical Abnett as well, punchy and realistic and typically ‘against the odds’ heroic.

One does however get the feeling that Dan is running on autopilot here, it is ‘Abnett by the numbers’ nothing exceptional, it feels rote. It’s not lazy at all, its just not exactly vintage Abnett, you don’t get the feeling he is stretching himself in any way. I very much got the same feeling from ‘The Unremembered Empire’ and that really felt like half a book, and at that, one that i'm not sure Dan will ever finish. Still Abnett running at half steam is the equal of many other author’s best efforts and even were the odd short or novella all we can expect in the future from Dan as he addresses his other commitments it would be better than nothing. A fine and strong start, well worth your time and integral to the majority of the stories in this book.

Unforged: By Guy Haley

Unforged is a very short story indeed, set on Isstvan shortly after the massacre. Surviving members of the shattered legion are being hunted by traitor legion kill squads and daemon engines and signals for help can not be trusted as Horuses warriors are using false beacons and distress calls to ensnare and kill their loyalist counterparts. Unforged deals with one such scenario as stranded loyalist Astartes, some of which you will recognise from ‘Strike and Fade’ a previous short from Guy, pick up a signal from a Storm Bird in a deep crevasse on Isstvan, representing possible salvation but just as equally annihilation. Guy does well with the snippet, doing a good job of showing how damaged the Astartes are following the massacre and the myriad of ways they have been affected with profound repercussions. The story does seem somewhat brief but Guy does pick up the thread later with his second story Unspoken, which continues the narrative. There is not a great deal to make this stand out apart from the shocking ending but there is not a great deal wrong with it either.

Immortal Duty: By Nick Kyme

I’m one of those that really enjoys Nick’s short stories and novellas but struggles with his full length Heresy novels. Therefore I fully expected this to be another stand out installment, especially seeing as he was returning to the Iron Hands, whom he had impressed with in Scorched Earth. Unfortunately it isn’t. Immortal Duty starts with an Iron Hand about to be executed for some past transgression. What follows is a flashback to that transgression, a boarding action, well written and intense with some superb battling between the disciplined and mechanical Iron Hands boarding parties and wildly insane Word Bearers forces. Throw in a little personal vendetta (which for some may turn a little convenient), and you should have the makings of a classic. Sadly it doesn’t quite come off, we get the idea that the Immortals are kind of like Dwarf Slayers, committed to seeking a noble death in the Emperors service but it’s never really clarified or expanded on. The actual content of the story is fine, but the construction of the narrative is clumsy and haphazard, leaving the reader struggling to work out exactly what the point to everything is or worse, even care. Its the same problem that plagues some of his novels and I was surprised to see it rear its head here in such a short tale. Not one of the highlights sadly.

Grey Talon: By Chris Wraight

Long time Conclave readers will know that i really rather like Chris Wraight’s work. From the excellent Battle of the Fang to his awesome Swords of the Emperor fantasy novels, he is a writer that rarely puts a foot wrong and delivers time and time again. Apart from his second Space Marine Battles book that is, Wrath of Iron. My problems with that can be found in the linked review, but suffice to say after his other excellent works I found it a disappointment. Thankfully here there are no such problems. Part of this is due to a much more diverse character list as Chris works in the White Scars that he has also brought to life in his Horus Heresy titles Scars and Brotherhood of the Storm The titular Grey Talon is a captured and repurposed Lunar Wolves ship, and the story starts with a wonderfully recounted history of the vessel, bringing us right up to date where it is under the control of Bion Henricos, another famous Iron Hands Legionnaire. Cleverly playing upon some well founded animosity between the Iron Hands and White Scars, Wraight weaves a tale of rivalry and mistrust mixed in with some excellent ship to ship combat and the inevitable boarding actions.

The White Scars have been scarcely featured in the Heresy bar Chris’ own work and the fact that he has stamped his identity on them pays dividends here, the Iron hands, being survivors of the Isstvan Dropsite Massacre, have BIG issues working with marines that once (admittedly in error) declared for Horus and the theme and subject is revisited several times throughout the pages that Chris has to work with. Before the story builds to a conclusion that satisfies and tantalises in equal measure. It is an excellent story and i was left eagerly awaiting more. Hopefully Chris has another heresy novel in the works as we speak.

The Keys of Hel: By John French

John French is rapidly getting a reputation (at least in my eyes) for being the most brutal and harsh Heresy writer. Whilst we have yet to see a full heresy novel from him (I’m sure there is one coming) his short stories have been not far off Sci Fi horror in places, none more so than Riven, a Horusey short that showed what happened when measures taken to mitigate Iron Hands losses went too far, reanimating legionaries to fight again with the help of their augments and some dark forbidden technology. Cyber zombies.

Of course with such desperate measures taken they are not going to sit well with other members of the legion and such is the case as the undead marines come across a ship that has sallied forth from Medusa to seek out survivors of the Massacre. The Keys of Hel are something that is ark and forbidden for a reason and I really can’t see a happy ending for this offshoot of the legion. With some utterly brutal and savage combat that is John’s specialty and a horrific sense of unease perpetuating the story, (not to mention the chilling epilogue) it was nice to see what I had figured was a throw away one off story picked up and continued and see yet another way in which the Iron Hands have been so utterly destroyed by the massacre. More par for the course visceral nastiness from Mr French and I can’t help but wonder if Crios and his fellows will appear in a larger way in an upcoming novel.

Deed Endure by Gav Thorpe:

I’m a Gav Thorpe fan but I have to be honest and say this was the most disappointing story in the anthology. For one thing, Gav has already done sterling work with Ravenguard and I was rather hoping they would feature here as they are certainly a shattered legion, but given the X Legion centric nature of the book I guess that was a bit too much to hope for. There are a couple of so-so stories among the mostly excellent line up but this one in particular really did just nothing at all to impress. Gav, normally so very good at characterisation, falls back upon established and tired tropes here and it makes everything a bit mediocre. A joint fleet consisting of one Iron Hands ship and one Salamanders vessel are above a World Eaters training base. The Iron Hands are all for obliterating the site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure) whilst the Salamanders insist that they need to launch a ground assault to minimalise civilian casualties. The Salamander officer carries the superior rank (although no discernible personality) but this seems to count for little and the Iron Hands, (here entirely unlikeable and bullish)are not about to listen. Inevitably the two legions come to blows in some admittedly well written action and though i'll not spoil the ending here, I have to say I found it spectacularly stupid and illogical given the situation the legions are in.

It’s a case of seen it all done it before for this story, the character templates are worn and obvious, no subtlety or anything creative about them. I’ll give Gav points for the action as that is pretty good and an interesting take on the Iron Hands motto but that’s about all I really took from this story apart from a rather cool sounding heavy suit of Terminator armour that could be interesting as a model. The main problem is with the characters, the Iron Hand is detestable and two dimensional, the Salamander is foolish and dull, (really committed to throwing away the remaining few troops he has to rescue civilians?) and it take this the stereotypes to beyond their reasonable limits. Average at best, among such stellar company it comes off as noticeably inferior. A shame, and nowhere near up to the standard of his work with Corax and co.

Very Rogue Trader like. 

The Noose By David Annandale:

David’s previous work ‘The Damnation of Pythos’ is widely regarded as one of the poorer books of the Heresy. I honestly didn’t really see it that way, I really enjoyed the way he showed how non Astartes are affected by the Heresy and although the rest of the book was pure bleak filler that was meandering and pretty dull I did think that it had a fair few redeeming factors. It was certainly one of the most ‘chaosy’ books we’ve had for a while anyway. Well here he gives us a pseudo sequel as the shattered legions bait a trap for the Emperors Children, who acted as such a great antagonist in that book. David, spends a bit of time on the III Legion too, though he does not have enough space to do them justice as before. With a fair bit of back and forth and as much focus on the traitor legion as the loyalist I rather enjoyed this short story as the Iron Hands look to adapt their strategy in order to wreak revenge on their foes. It’s not as bleak and horrific as Damnation of Pythos but honestly, what is? A good read and a surprise to see David continue to develop his narrative strand as Pythos seemed to be as final as final gets, i'll even forgive him using the name of a deceased character accidentally towards the end. A decent read, nice to see how the amalgamation of the shattered legions leads to a change in tactics and battle philosophy.

Unspoken: By Guy Haley

Unspoken acts as a follow up to Guys earlier story Unforged and really is a bit too far after to do so as many a reader might take a while to associate the two. It’s a character development and introspective heavy piece although there is some good anti Alpha legion (who are being their usual infiltrating sneaky selves) action to be found. It ties into Nick Kyme’s Scorched Earth novella and the focus is on one of the Salamander characters from Unforged and the effect that the events of that tale had on him. There is great character development and it is nice to see that Guy can pick up loose threads and intertwine them with his own narrative. Some of the construction of the story, (mixed perspectives) is a little jarring though which lessens the impact and makes the story a little harder to follow than it should have been but this is easily offset by the quality of the prose . It’s a great progression piece which actually sees characters move on and promises more to come. (no novel from Guy yet either I think). With this and the other great Haley shorts that I have read (like Twisted from Blades of the Traitor) there is clearly some great talent yet to reveal its full potential. Maybe we won’t miss Dan and Graham as much as we think.

The Either: by Graham McNeill

After having Dan Abnett start the anthology with a story about Shadrak Meduson, it seems fitting that another Black Library alumnus should end it with a tale about his nemesis. I shouldn’t need to tell you anymore than that, like Dan, Graham is a safe bet, rarely setting a foot wrong in the many stories he has produced (The Reflection Crack’d from The Primarchs being a noticeable exception) and here he has delivered another great tale. Set just before the Warmaster leaves for Molech, the story finds Tybalt Marr, convinced that the Shattered Legions present more of a danger than is suspected, not as completely destroyed as thought and still representing a credible threat to The Warmasters plans. This is a position not shared by his brothers, like Abbadon, and Little Horus Aximand, both members of the Mournival who have recently voted against Tybalt Marr’s inclusion. They try to prevent him from presenting the information to Horus and distracting the Warmaster at a vital point in the war. . However, Marr, haunted by memories of the assassination attempt on the Warmaster is resolute in his beliefs leading to more conflict within the legion as he sticks to his guns.

I really enjoyed this very character heavy piece. Graham does a superb job fleshing out Marr and indeed the Sons of Horus in general, who are really gaining an identity of their own after the missteps of the past (False Gods i’m looking at you). There is not a great deal that actually happens, most of the depth of the narrative (and it is a long story) is based around Marr’s position in the legion and the internal politics of the Mournival, But what is here is superbly crafted. Tybalt Marr comes across as ruthless but oddly identifiable, a shunned son not given his due and bitterly looking to prove his point. Hopefully Graham will continue to bring out pieces of this calibre in the future or commitments permitting, another novel. Hopefully a more focussed one than Vengeful Spirit (which this story parallels). In all honestly though if we get anything from Graham it is likely to be thousand sons based so it may be that we need to rely on other authors to keep us in touch with the Warmaster. Mostly this story functions as set up for future encounters between Meduson and Marr so only time will tell what will come....

Meduson is EXCELLENT. Although not every story is a stand out they are collectively very strong. The unified theme helps a lot, this anthology works a little like Mark of Calth, though i would argue it is vastly superior. Meduson appears frequently throughout the book even if just in the background or mentioned in passing, and helps tie the theme together. The different takes on the Iron Hands themselves can be a little jarring when presented in a mass like this, and it is fortunate that the authors are writing about different characters, often picking up their own threads and combining them with another authors works. This interchangeability is most pleasing and bodes well for the series should an author become unavailable and be unable to continue what they started. I would actually like to see more themed anthologies like this, but not as exclusives.

So to the original question? Is it worth the price? Well, £30 may be a premium price, but this certainly is a premium product in content if not construction and presentation. If a novella priced at £15 with four stories is worth the price then it follows that this is as well as it is a big book. That said, however it is not bigger than a hardback heresy novel which carries a cover price of £20 so it could just be argued that the novellas themselves are grossly overpriced. At the end of the day I feel that the price has been raised purely to justify the exclusiveness of the book and this is something I cannot really support. The titles within are being slowly released as audio dramas as the Black Library marketing machine kicks in again but if you are at Warhammer World and were to pick this up over any of the limited novellas which command the same price. i don’t think you would be too disappointed as the quality within is for the most part very high and even the poorer stories are far from awful. I would like to see much, much more like Meduson with the strong unifying theme and picking up of previous narrative threads being combined to make a cohesive setting, but lets hope release method wise, its a one off.


Monday, 1 February 2016

Wasteman Kickstarter review.

It’s nice when Kickstarter works you know, when it does exactly what it is supposed to, what it was designed to do. In this instance, Kickstarter has done that. It has given Jason Fairclough the opportunity to turn his modest range of post apocalyptic styled miniatures into a full fledged game, to realize a dream he has had for many years and hopefully give birth to something that will grow (mutate?) and go from strength to strength.

The Mutant Maestro - Jason Fairclough

This is the Age of the Wasteman.

The Kickstarter was unremarkable and that perhaps is a good thing, a well though out campaign (maybe a little light on the pledge levels but that's about it) with some modest stretch goals saw the KS fund with time to spare. From then on Jason did a very decent job of keeping people updated and although there has been a slight snag with the larger resin models and bases he was upfront about it and made the (much appreciated) decision to ship in two waves so that Wastefans would get their goodies in a decent time. This meant from completion of the campaign in April, Jason had product in his backers hands by late November, a mere 8 months. Whilst admittedly he had less volume to contend with than most Kickstarters it's an impressive feat nonetheless. All I am awaiting now is the bases as far as i am aware. 

A veritable horde of goodies!

So, towards the end of November i received my pledge, and i'm not ashamed to say I've been having so much fun with it that i have only now got round to writing a review!

This is what has turned up.

2 x Posses – I opted for Kritters and Bandits. Each comes with activation tokens and dice
2 Titanatrons
3 X Hazmatadors
And of course the KS Exclusive Radical Trevor
MAD Cards
Blank Stat cards

Now a fair few of these are already painted and I must say I have not had so much fun painting in quite a long time. It’s actually been a pleasure to get on with these models. I've been solidly working on them for some time, sadly this has something to do with a couple of legends that have passed away recently (RIP Mssrs Bowie and Kilmister) but nonetheless it has been a lot of fun. But before we get to the models, lets have a look at the Rulebook.

The Rulebook.. your guide to the wastes.

We’ve seen pages from the rule book a few times already, particularly Jasons striking and unmistakable artwork, now though we can finally get to grips with it and having read it i cant wait to get a game in against Lee, who also backed the KS (Cybjorgs and Lunar Coalition if memory serves).

The first thing you will notice about the book is that it is not a hefty tome, being more codex size in thickness (not the old 3rd pamphlet codexes, a proper codex) this is no bad thing as Wasteman is a fairly simple game (albeit one with a nearly limitless hidden potential depth) and designed for large skirmishes at best (well at the moment at least)

Take a seat, get ready for a ride into the nuclear wastes...
One thing i would have liked to see an increased page count for though would be the fluff. In my interview with Jason (LINK) before the KS launched I made sure to have a bit of a chat about the world in which he has created and if i am completely honest i was a little bit disappointed not to see more of that present within the background section of the book. Of course what Jason has presented does do the job, being a brief overview of Earth from present day to the irradiated wastes it is in the game, but then i'm a self confessed fluff whore. I love it, it adds to the immersion and is one of my main reasons for investing in a game. So a bit light on background but certainly not on character, the whole book has that in spades....

Sweet but short.
The rules are next up and overall very well presented, there is a sense of irrevence present here that i love, a knowing nod to the reader that this is an OLD school game for the modern age, more than a little reminiscent of Rogue trader. In fact the whole vibe around Wasteman is old school GW and it filled me with a pang of nostalgia even as it stoked the fires of enthusiasm.

However, to write this off as halcyon days Warhammer 40k would be doing Wasteman a massive injustice as it is very much its own thing (though of course inspired by many sources) for a start its a D10 based game, with an alternate activation action point system, allowing for great freedom of tactical choice on the part of the player. Special rules add the meat to the framework of the rules mechanics and although the rules do suffer just slightly from a lack of clarity in places and the odd grammatical error they are more than passable and this is a first edition after all.

The book is wonderful... 

The game mechanics may not be GW in nature but the feel of the game certainly evokes the very best elements of the games we used to play, with a fast and furious pace and the possibility for all sorts of crazy events (just look at the Youtube gameplay vid) it will be an absolute blast to play and i cant wait to get stuck in. Jason has been putting pics up of his playtesting for a while now and it is clear that he has had a lot of fun developing the game. Further mixing things up are the M.A.D (Mutually Assured Destruction) cards, a hand of cards that either player can use to wreak havoc, be it taking control of a robot temporarily or a random whirlwind displacing a player, allowing of an easier shot they are sure to make sure that no two games play exactly the same and are one of my favourite elements about the game, encapsulating everything zany and nuts about the game. MAD cards indeed.

Another thing that really must be mentioned is the depth of scenarios in the book, given the relative brevity of the other sections I certainly wasn’t expecting around eight different scenarios to be presented, but there they are and each one looks like loads of fun. What’s more, there is plenty of scope to create your own (I have a few ideas myself) and it looks very easy to come up with bespoke missions. Add to that the 'Mods' that you can use to well, modify your game and it is clear that this book can yield a LOT of playtime. 

I love the M.A.D cards, detailed like B-Movie posters....

So it might not be the thickest or most comprehensive of books but it does everything it needs to, it serves as a great introduction to Wasteman and the character of the game is thick on every page. There is a great sense of humour to it, (I mean one pages extra space is taken up by a joke - in binary naturally) even the whole idea of the game is seen as a simulation, (Geometric Amalgamation of Malicious Events), designed to allow you to survive the wastes. It's wonderfully characterized,a mix of Troma, Fallout, Mad Max and many other influences with a heavy dose of 80's/90's culture and rock/metal harking back to the early days. There is a knowing tongue in cheek feel to it that is pure joy, If by the time you have gone through it you don’t want to play you are probably dead.

So to the models! I don’t have the proper bases yet with the condition tokens that i found so intriguing but can talk about the actual figures themselves.

That may or may not be a new play mat from the starter set the models are on ;)

Firstly a word about Jason’s sculpting style, personally i love it, i think it oozes character and is perfect for the game. The uncharitable might call it crude and certainly from a technical perspective they are not as clean cut or detailed as some figures available from other manufacturers but each and everyone has been created with a care and enthusiasm that is impossible to deny. Just wait till you start to paint them, i've not enjoyed painting anything so much in an AGE. So many little quirks and touches abound on each model. Everyone has a character of its own and personality. A world away from the sterility and dullness of many of today's CAD offerings. And of course absolutely in keeping with the rough and ready coarseness of the world that Jason has created.

Stat cards.

It also just works in metal, they feel refreshingly old shool and working on Wasteman miniatures has reminded me how much I miss metal as a medium. I've been spoiled of late by plastic figures that are more model kit than miniature. Even my abrasive fingers are countered by plenty of brush on varnish with spray to dull down.

The bandits were the the first to catch my eye, part of this may well have been due to Jason's Metal Band T –Shirts paint scheme, maybe I've always secretly had a thing for nurses uniforms. Either way this was the posse that first grabbed my attention. From the buxom Valkyrie-ish Olga to Otto's sneering face and Molotov cocktail i saw most potential with this warband, the only one i am not a fan of really is ... the big brute 'BBQ' 'holding the flamer, i'm not sure why, maybe its the lack of dynamism, its just not doing it for me, love the other models though and a fair few of them have received paint already.

And one has been converted! Following the loss of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister from Motorhead, I decided a tribute was in order, of course I had no idea i'd be doing another tribute a week later and indeed planning another now in my head for once I get the correct components) and I decided Otto was the best basis, muttonchops and moustache, a bullet belt, a pumpernickel hat to reflect old Lemmy's fascination with World War memorabilia and of course the converting of the Molotov into a bottle of Jack (refilled with petrol i presume – Lemmy would never waste JD) He’s not quite painted yet (the Motorhead logo is startlingly difficult to paint at 32mm scale) but i'm looking forward to getting him sorted.

RIP Lemmy....

Next up is the Kritters, im not really sure why i went for these over the Manglemen, in fact i'm probably going to pick up the Manglemen separately, maybe i'm a sucker for an octopus (sorry) but again something just drew me to them. Jed is painted (as Tom Araya from Slayer – Thankfully NOT DEAD) the octopus has seen the barest amount of paint, other than that not done much at all, Early days though! Pretty cool models, looking to get them painted, looking grotesquely mutated and maybe a bit of an OSL glow on them too. Tom and his animal friends will see the field of battle sooner rather than later i hope.

Hell awaits.....
And then there are the extras, i don’t recall ordering two Titanotrons but clearly I did, maybe I had a robo heavy scenario in mind but they are great figures, lumbering forward. Posing potential is limited as they are practically one piece models but the right arm is separate and you can move this to make them look a bit different as you will see from the photo. Big heavy pieces that are prone to topping but should be fine once their big bases turn up. Awesome figures, had so much fun painting and weathering them.

As an aside the sponge that comes in the packaging is great for stippling paint for rust.....

Hazmatadors (who presumably handle the moo-tant bovine - i'm sure you can see what Jason did there) are next, dudes in radiation suits, nice and varied – not much to say, much approval. Look great. Actually the first model i painted and immediately regretted using 20 year old sunburst yellow as the base colour.....

Radical Trevor is i believe a kickstarter exclusive model, a fully suited up astronaut that is clearly a veteran of the wastes with skulls on his staff and shoulder. He bears the Confederate flag in Jason's vision but once David Bowie died i knew there was only one thing i was going to be doing with him. Union Jack and an Aladdin Sane zigzag on the visor (as well as a couple of other Bowie references – points if you get them both) and Major Tom was born.

Not finished but he will be soon....
And (if i may digress a moment) this is the wonderful thing about Wasteman. The creativity is has ignited in me is supreme, you can convert your Warhammer 40,000 minatures but they are always going to be part of a normal set universe. If you wanted you could make a space marine Bowie tribute i suppose but its just not going to fit like Wasteman. 40k and universes like it with their constant war mantra are too staid too serious. Wasteman invites nay DEMANDS your imagination, your creativity. The character creation section is there for a reason as are the blank data cards. Use them, make Wasteman your own.

Ahem, anyway, back to the models. Another epic figure i picked up was Johan the Slayer (i'm not going to lie, this is probably going to become Jeff Hanneman (RIP) Brandishing his guitar/axe its another archetypal classic Wasteman figure. Lots of potential there. One thing to bring up quickly is the quality of the casting, very few mold lines and flash to be found here. I did notice that a few areas of the Titanotron were a bit pitted but tbh this just added to the weathering.


Xam is a great little model, i think its a bounty hunter, heavy armour, chinese looking hat, futuristic rifle. Awesome. Really suits Jason's sculpting style. Then you have Bagman, a mysterious figure in a suit with a bag on his head. Bit of a Ronseal model there, and of course Lowbot, a little stunted version of the Titanotron and my girlfriend's favourite, i think she described it as 'cute' and tbh i would find it hard to disagree. 

And though thats all I have for now there is so much more. There are loads more posses, a myriad of different robots and monsters and other denizens of the wastes, that's not even to mention the behemoths, huge wasteland creatures that are cast in resin due to their size. Jason has even designed some scenery pieces to supplement the range.

these are 35mm models. .That Rad Dragon is HUGE!!

So that's Wasteman, a crazy fun post apocalyptic skirmish game that harks back the the very best ideals of what wargaming is all about. It will easily sit alongside my very favourite game systems and Jason is to be congratulated on running and fulfilling an excellent Kickstarter campaign. In fact he is currently planning another for a starter boxed game which is certainly something that i will be interested in. In the meantime the rules and models from the Kickstarter have already started to be released on Jason's website so go have a look! 

There's your URL....

Of course it's early days but this is a very promising start for the world of Wasteman, with a great miniature range to back up up a zany and hectic game, I can only see Wasteman being a great sucess, there is already a burgeoning community on the official facebook page. Come join us, it promises to be a blast of Atomic proportions......