Two Hour Justice Department
At our recent Club Mongoose (taking place on the second Saturday of every month) we were due to start a new Judge Dredd miniatures game campaign, so I thought it fitting to paint up a brand new force. Of course, I got somewhat side-tracked after that decision, so I did not actually get round to the new miniatures until the Friday evening – I am sure this tail is recognisable to many miniatures gamers!
With just an evening to go, I figured I would go with the Justice Department, as they are quick to paint, you do not need many models, and they look great on the table!
Quickly putting a 500 Credit force together, I came up with this;
Street Judge Harkness, with Academy Star (an extra Hit) and Accurate
Street Judge Harper with a second Lawgiver, Dual Shooter and Dual Pistol Master
Psi-Judge Cooper with Resist Flames and Ectoplasmic Shield.
Okay, I admit it – I knew one of my long-term opponents was taking Sov-Judges and that he would not be able to resist taking a Flamethrower, otherwise I would likely have gone for something other than Resist Flames on Psi-Judge Cooper!
Anyway, that came to 500 Credits exactly!
Now I just had to paint them…
One thing you have to understand first; I paint a lot, but I am not a great painter. It is really something I do to relax when in front of the TV in an evening, and I am perfectly happy if I just end up with something that looks good on the tabletop. My standard method of painting is to undercoat white, do all base colours, and the apply the Magic Goop across the entire model. Some people call this the Dipping Method or Army Painter wash, but I use a watered down mix based on Ronseal Quick-Drying Satin Walnut Wood Varnish, and use a brush (though I once dropped a Skaven in the jar by mistake…).
However, that requires some amount of drying time, and I only had the evening to completely finish the models off.
So, instead I undercoated the models black, intending to use this as the base coat – it needs a good, solid coat to do this, but with a spray, that is easy.
With the models completely black, I lightly drybrushed all of them with Codex Grey which pretty much finishes the jump suit. That took all of 20 seconds per model.
For many years, I used Games Workshop paints exclusively, but since they changed their range, I have started to switch to Coat D’Arms paints, which just happen to mirror Games Workshop’s original range of paints (I am fairly sure they come from the same production plant). However, I had chanced to pick up Averland Sunset from the new range as, being a ‘base’ colour, it should be able to paint straight on to black – which no other yellow I have come across is able to do effectively.
Went on like a treat, and soon the shoulder pads and badges were done. Averland Sunset is actually more of a brown, but Golden Yellow went on top of it easily. Leaving the base colour showing through on the dips and crevices meant no shading was needed (I was going to Goop the shoulder pads, but decided not to after I had done the top coat).
After that, it was time for the gloves, pads and boots. With the success of the shoulder pads, I figured I would continue in the same fashion, doing a darker green first (Catachan Green), followed by a lighter one on top. I was going to use Goblin Green, which matches the comic strip colours quite closely, but after doing one glove on Judge Harper, thought this a bit bright. I switched to Snot Green and, to my eyes, this hit the right balance.
Finally, I just needed to do the details – faces/chins were Elf Flesh followed by the Magic Goop, the only place on these models that I used it, and Psi-Judge Cooper’s hair was Hairy Brown (from Coat D’Arms) with a lighter dusting of Games Workshop’s Terracota. I polished her off with some lipstick and eyes.
The last painting job was simple red lines on the helmets (Blood Red), and then on to basing.
I usually cover the top of the base with PVA glue, then sprinkle sand on top. From experience, I know I really should leave this for at least four hours to dry before proceeding, or I risk the paint outracing the glue to drying, which causes cracks to appear in the finish. I was in a hurry and left them for just two and a half hours which, in this case, seemed to be enough.
After that, the bases were painted completely black, drybrushed with Codex Grey, and then the rims redone with black to make them neat.
Finished! Without drying time included, these models took way less than two hours, and I even managed to get a Cadet Judge done at the same time, just in case I needed any Mercenaries the next day!
So, how did the games go? I had some very close scrapes with a bunch of renegade monkeys in the Cursed Earth, and was very lucky against not one but two gangs of robots, each one packing fast-moving Robodogs and a massive Demolition Droid. The first Demolition Droid I managed to critical hit twice in a turn, which was enough to take him down, while the second was ‘convinced’ to retreat when all his Robodogs were dealt with!
However, Judge Harper did buy the farm when fighting against the first robot gang (a well placed Long Rifle shot did for him), so Judge Ianto has now taken his place, also from the school of Twin Lawgiver Shooting.
After a good few games, Judge Harkness is now Level 3 with many Hits, and Leg Shot and Disarming Shot added to his repertoire (hint: use Leg Shot on Robodogs, they hate it!), while Psi-Judge Cooper now has Incinerating Finger at her disposal – it does not seem much, but read its description. It can be very nasty when used as a coup de gras.
I also have 700-odd Credits in the kitty. I should tool up with Lawmasters all round, but I am also tempted by Riot Judges…