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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"Department X Only Takes The Best."

"Greyhound Sixteen to Trap One. We've found something."

These three 28mm scale metal miniatures of some X-Commandos are manufactured by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” and can be found within the company’s Heroes and Allies product line as SKU: DEAL 72. The 'blister' actually contains four figures "equipped with body armour, Department X badged berets and either Pistol, MP5 SMGs or SLR/FN Rifles."


Having assembled the soldiers by attaching a mix of male/female heads to their torsos courtesy of a little pinning and super-glue, they were each primed "Citadel" Abaddon Black and enthusiastically dry-brushed with "Vallejo" Heavy Charcoal. I then 'picked out' each troopers' hand-weapon using some "Vallejo" Gunmetal, and their shoulder and beret badges with a couple of dollops of White. Both of these areas were later shaded using "Citadel" Nuln Oil.

"Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" WIPs - A Federated Security Mutaint

As I wanted my figures to resemble the U.N.I.T. troopers depicted during the April 2008 Doctor Who television story "The Sontaran Stratagem", I shied away from leaving the Commando's headware all-black and instead pigmented it using a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. I also left their aforementioned badges predominantly white, rather than attempt to painstakingly 'sketch in' the red cross upon a blue background which the Department of Extraordinary Affairs uses as their top secret organisation's emblem.


In addition, I changed up the palette on the X-Commandos' uniforms by painting all their hip-holsters and leg straps in "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, as opposed to the Heavy Charcoal I had used in the past. This arguably gave each soldier a little more contrast than the all-black 'official' colour scheme used by both "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" and their modern-day U.N.I.T. counterparts, even after a "Citadel" Nuln Oil wash. It did mean though that I felt obliged to go back and re-paint the fourth squad member I'd previously pigmented.

"Supers Unlimited" WIPs - N-Rage has been primed, shaded and highlighted with "Vallejo" White

Each miniatures' flesh was treated to my usual standard combination of either a "Vallejo" Heavy Skintone layer splashed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade and final highlight on the fingers/cheekbones with (more) "Vallejo Heavy Skintone, or a mixture of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. Lastly, I applied a little "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson to both the ladies' lips.


Following the completion of the X-Commandos, I have made some initial progress on one of the company's Federated Security Mutaints in an effort to experiment with the technologically modified minion's pale zombie-like flesh. Plus I've layered, shaded and then 'Zenithal highlighted' my model of N-Rage by "Kitbash Games" so as to test my recently opened "Vallejo" Fluorescent Orange...

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joehcc
joehcc
Mar 08, 2021

I did originally think that these commandoes were from Dr. Who's unit pals, mostly becuase "department X" only rings distant bells in my mind.

I;m pretty sure theses guys could be used for either genre with only afficianadoes of either baulking at the idea,

They look great and the detialing is superb !

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Mar 08, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Joe. I entirely agree. "Crooked Dice" are currently doing a deal on some of their X-Commandos, so I've added a few more to the Kickstarter pledge due to arrive in May, and may paint them up in green with light blue berets, as per the U.N.I.T. during the 7th Doctor's tenure.

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undercoat2670
Mar 05, 2021

Nice job on the commandos, looking really good.

What is that mutaint based on then? Like the contrasting dark grey bits you have done.

Can't wait to see N-Rage done as very interested in the fluorescent paints and how they turn out.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Mar 05, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Undercoat. The Mutaint is based upon the Mutoids from "Blake's Seven". I'm hoping to have N-Rage finished soon, although I'm planning on completing a few other "Supers Unlimited" figures first.

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wargamesterrainworkshop
wargamesterrainworkshop
Mar 05, 2021

Great work on your Unit trooper Simon, is that all of them completed now ? Great progress on all the others, was never a fan of the mutants, with the lump of gum stuck to their heads, but that's a personal taste

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Mar 05, 2021
Replying to

Cheers Dave. I have another three squads of X-Commandos to paint over the next few months, and then some classic British soldiers who hark back to Jon Pertwee's U.N.I.T. days.


Personally, I always liked the Mutoids in "Blake's Seven", and think these sculpts make excellent proxies. I was hoping they'd do some of the male ones which I think appeared later, who wore Bane-like gas masks.

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wsd50
Mar 05, 2021

Nice work on the X commando's, they are nice looking figures, should work well as UNIT troopers (though in my day UNIT were always dressed in green 😉


The Fedsec mutant is coming along well,, that is one scary looking woman! Wouldn't want to bump into her in a dark corridor!


I'll be interested to see how you get on with your fluorescent orange experiment too.


Cheers Roger.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Mar 05, 2021
Replying to

Thanks very much Roger. I do own the "Crooked Dice" not-classic U.N.I.T. soldiers too, so they should make an appearance at some point too. I was also tempted to paint these X-Commandos up as the camo with pale blue berets U.N.I.T. shown in the 7th Doctor's era - namely "Battlefield".


I've actually finished the Mutaint now, having done some more test work on her flesh. I always find my eyes on the "Crooked Dice" figures appear rather rectangular in the pics but not so much to the naked eye.


My fingers are crossed for Project Orange too, LOL!!!

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