Here is Shadowland Daredevil for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I’ll admit that I’m not an afficionado of Daredevil comics but I think that this is meant to be at some point when he became a baddie since he has a leadership for Criminal Syndicate. Daredevil’s attacks are not particularly exciting and so in my experience his main draw is his great defensive profile so usually I find that he just ends up trying to sit on an objective and tickle people while not taking much damage in return. His leadership ability is very good for attrition, especially for Rapid Fire characters like Hood or Winter Soldier, but it comes at the opportunity cost of not taking Kingpin’s amazing leadership instead.
Like the stealthy ninja that he is, Daredevil helpfully changed into a black costume to let everyone else know that he’d become a baddie. I tried a slightly different approach with the black suit as I wanted to avoid just being drab. This time I started with a black base then very heavily highlighted it in dark blue before hitting the lot with a blue wash. I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out – black but with a hint of colour. The red details and his eyes really help the whole thing to pop, and I’m very pleased with the way that this looks considering that basically it’s just a man standing around in a one-colour spandex outfit.
These are Hand Ninjas, a set of Grunts for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Grunts are meant to be normal (ie not superpowered) people and this is reflected in their abysmal stats. They come with ‘parent’ characters, in this case Shadowland Daredevil or Elektra, activate in their turn and have limitations in which parts of the game they can interact with. The Ninjas have a fairly unexciting attack and after a load of games with them I find that their main use is getting in the way and making enemy characters ‘waste’ attacks dealing with them; since the parent characters can bring them back in various ways it’s not usually too upsetting when the Ninjas inevitably get KOed.
I assume that bright red is not really a normal colour for stealthy ninjas to choose for their costumes but in the context of comics it probably stops them standing out amongst the even less tastefully attired heroes. I don’t think that I’ve ever actually read a comic with the Hand clan so it was an easy choice to use the box art as inspiration. I will say that the wraps around the arms and legs were a total pain to paint, even if they weren’t quite as frustrating as Carnage‘s horrible veins. The base is meant to be that ninja classic, the puff of smoke. I painted it grey and touched up the raised areas in white before hitting the lot with a black wash. The result is rather uninspiring in these close up photos but it’s pleasingly effective at tabletop distance.
This is Captain America for Marvel Crisis Protocol, this time with Sam Wilson in the costume. Coming in at one threat cheaper than Steve Rogers, this version of Captain America can offer a very different way to play Avengers. Indeed, his Leadership was dominant in the game for a while with very wide lists leveraging cheap affiliated characters; however, that seems to have fallen out of favour as a result of a rise of ‘predator’ rosters to this style and changes to the Crises and Tactics cards that it favoured. Captain America is highly mobile and has a long ranged attack which makes him ideal on wide Crises like Infinity Formula where he can leverage his speed to secure various Objectives. The downside to all of this is that he can be rather fragile and he’s somewhat vulnerable to single big dice spikes just dazing him out of nowhere. Usually when I see this Captain America he’s either KOed very early or he’s an absolute terror flying round and interfering with all of my plans.
It was a lot of fun to paint Captain America; by the standards of most superheroes he has quite an interesting costue to work with and red, white and blue is certainly a classic combination of colours. I slightly deviated from the box art as I didn’t care for the red boots and I wanted to keep the look a bit closer to Anthony Mackie’s highly enjoyable portrayal of the character in the MCU. I think that the black boot and pouches gives a slightly less comedic look, though I recognise that this is still not exactly the kind of outfit one might wear to the pub.
Here is Red Guardian, the last (for now) member of the Winter Guard in Marvel Crisis Protocol. Red Guardian plays rather like a budget Captain America too; he can do most of the cool stuff that Steve Rogers does but with a bit less panache, he gets dazed much more easily, and he can’t Bodyguard. What he does have is the Comrade’s Keeper card which does allow him to take a hit for a friendly character and then possibly throw the attacker away; unusually there is no size cap on the throw so he could hurl Dormammu or a Sentinel into the distance if needed.
Red Guardian’s red and white suit should have been painful to paint but actually it turned out to be a joy and I got him painted up very quickly and easily. I loved that the sculpt went all in on the old-school appearance with the enormous white boots and gloves. The contrast between the red and white turned out to really make both colours pop so that is something for me to remember in the future.
Red Guardian is meant to be a cheap and cheerful version of Captain America and his appearance in the Black Widow film toys with this idea a bit, although much of that is played for laughs anyway. Because of some oddities in the comic books, this particular person wearing the suit isn’t the same as the one portrayed in the film. Apparently in the Winter Guard there are just suits/jobs and they find suitable heroes to play that role; therefore there have been numerous Red Guardians etc as they retire or whatever. I guess that this maybe makes sense for suit-based heroes like Crimson Dynamo (after all, there could be anyone in there) but I do love the idea that there are a load of bear-people waiting to take over the role of Ursa Major when the current one decides to hand in his notice.
I was pleased to be invited for some more games on Allan’s excellent YouTube channel, Midlife Crisis Protocol, earlier this week. Here is a video of our first game between Allan’s Avengers roster and my Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants; I assume that at some point Magneto was asked to remove the ‘Evil’ from his club’s name as it was influencing juries ;). I’ve been trying out Mystique’s leadership as it enables some fairly fun plays in the current Crisis deck plus she’s so much cheaper than Magneto that I can include other big toys. In this case I can bring along both Hulk and Juggernaut which makes quite an interesting challenge for another team to deal with. As always, all credit to Allan for the work that goes into turning a fun game into a video.
This is the Magus for my Genestealer Cults in Warhammer 40,000. Of all of the modern plastic sculpts, this is surely the one which is most obviously a tribute to the classic art from the 90s (?) with a Magus looking just like this. The Magus is quite simple in the game, really just being a Psyker (ie a space-wizard) to either enhance your own forces or cripple the enemy. For some reason none of our games seem to have featured the Psychic phase very much and the Magus has similarly never really made the cut to get onto the table.
I absolutely loved painting the Magus. For a start, this was like going back in time to my early days in the hobby and finding that I had a plastic mini of one of the coolest pieces of art released by Games Workshop. The colour scheme was kept deliberately in line with the rest of the force, so mainly blues and yellows, though I did try to emphasise the blueness of the skin to increase the otherworldly-ness of this alien hybrid.
Here is the second of the Marvel Crisis Protocol games recorded by Allan for his excellent YouTube channel, Midlife Crisis Protocol, back in December 2022. This one I’m continuing to play Criminal Syndicate and he’s using a fairly brawling style of S.H.I.E.L.D roster. As ever, all credit for the video goes to Allan.