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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"This Won't Hurt A Bit, You Freak."

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

"Waste recycle on."

These four 28mm U-Men models are produced by “Wizkids” and can (still) be bought as miniature number 002 from their “Heroclix” Marvel Mutant Mayhem range. Dedicated to "using mutant body parts to augment their human bodies, as well as to grant themselves superhuman powers" this "cult of geeks" first appeared in the 2001 "New X-Men" Annual and were created by Grant Morrison and Leinil Francis Yu.

Having previously painted a fair few of this particular model in the past, I thought I'd spend a little time beforehand converting three of the U-Men so they carried some of the more 'specialist weapons' used by Dr. John Sublime's acolytes to harvest mutants. As I result I simply snipped off the barrels to their propulsion guns and attached some spare "Gale Force Nine" bitz I had left over from assembling the vehicles from the "Tanks" World War II skirmish game.

"Precinct Omega" WIPs - Three of the "Ballmonsters!" have been primed, shaded and dry-brushed

I wanted to make these deadly devices as 'weird' as possible, so ended up drilling/pinning all sorts of odds and ends, including the entire barrel of a 15mm armoured fighting vehicle, a combination of a tank's open turret hatch and spare wheel, and some bizarre piece of plastic I really haven't a clue about. In my mind, these choices ultimately gave my U-Men a 'long range' explosive option to force out hidden muties, some sort of wind turbine option to knock over targets or extinguish flaming super powers, and a hand-weapon which looked as if it might fire a debilitating net...

Once assembled, the quartet's environmental suits were initially primed using a couple of coats of “Citadel” Abaddon Black and had all their breathing pipes, apparatus and weapons picked out using a combination of Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil. As I haven't yet ever created an actual leading U-Man figure, I did momentarily consider painting one of them with the garish blue face mask found on the "Wizkids" pre-paints. But as I really don't like that look much, I decided to stick with my 'tried and tested' second splash of "Citadel" Nuln Oil instead, and have them lead by either the Black Manta or my recently completed Major Maxim.

"Wizards Of The Coast" WIPs - A Lizardman Warrior, Gnome Infiltrator and Human Monk

As something of a colourful distraction from all the U-Men's "Citadel" Abaddon Black and Ironbreaker I have been slowly pigmenting most of the "Ballmonsters!" models I bought from "Precinct Omega" at "Beachhead" 2020. These characterful 'heads' have loads of detail on them, and whilst the fantasy sports rule-set they've been designed for isn't out yet, I have a few ideas in mind to get them onto my tabletop quite soon...

In addition, I have re-primed a number of old "Dungeons & Dragons" adventurers which have been gathering dust in one of my drawers for a good couple of years. Apparently produced by "Wizards Of The Coast" way back in 1999, I've gone for an odd-looking party of adventurers, starting with a Gnome Infiltrator (with repeating crossbow), a Human Monk, and a Lizardman Warrior...

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