Monday, 26 March 2012

Black Talon Primary Insertion Team finished

Not often I get to use that phrase, only another 4 gears and about 40 little mens to go and I can have a fully painted faction. Still hopefully I shall keep going, the blog is inspiring me to do more, as are comments left by people.

So here they are.

Eagle trooper with a heavy autocannon/light grenade launcher

Another Eagle trooper with a heavy autocannon/light grenade launcher

Eagle trooper with a gatling laser cannon and chainsword
Group shot, with the previously painted Owl C3
I've taken these shots (bar the Owl) before varnishing them, as I've noticed the varnish, even though I use a coat of gloss, then a coat of matt, it's still giving a bit of shine which I don't want when photographing them.

Quite a simple paintjob really, and I think that helped keep me going with them. These are now pretty much finished, though I still need to varnish the Eagle troopers, and think I may invest in some transfers for them. I'm also thinking of adding some grass tufts to the bases to make it look a bit less just straight desert and add a bit something extra in.

Looking forward to using these guys now in a game of Heavy Gear sometime, and I also have plans to use them as large powered armour for 15mm Tomorrow's war as well.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Scenery for the Club Demo game

So, the my local games group G3 (Glasgow Games Group) has been asked to run demo games of the new game from Westwind Productions, which is Empire of the Dead (you can check it out here). We'll be demoing the game at three of the Scottish shows (possibly more), which are:

Carronade by Falkirk Wargames Club
This is on the 5th of May, in Falkirk

Wappinshaw, run by the Phoenix Wargames club
This is on the 2nd of June in Glasgow

Claymore, run by the South East Scotland wargames club
This is on the 4th of August, over in Edinburgh

If you happen to be at one of these shows, be sure to pop over to our demo table and say hello.

So it's all hands to pumps for doing stuff for the game. The plan is to run the demo that is currently available for download from the Westwind site, of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson up against Jack the Ripper. With the help of some coppers as well. The aim of the scenario is basically to stop Jack the Ripper harvesting organs (a guy's gotta eat right??). We've run through it a few times at the club and it's a fun little scenario, doesn't involve a whole load of rules so is quite easy to teach, but there's still a good amount of challenge in it. Jack the Ripper is a beast in combat, well he is now that we figured out what we were doing wrong. He's now the Ripper again, rather than the Phantom Raspberry blower of old London town.

We've invested in some scenery for the game, which will obviously be kept by the club afterwards. From Sarissa Precision we have invested in some of the residential city blocks and one of the warehouses from their 28mm City block range. Whereas from Warbases we've invested in some of the red brick terrace, some shops, and a pub along with two of the tenements and one of the corner tenements from their Very British Civil War range. So it's fallen to me to paint the redbrick terraces, shops and pub. So I thought I would take advantage and put progress of how their doing.

Couple of photos below, showing progess on the buildings. I tackled one terrace, while the wife pitched in and started doing the pub.

Terrace after the grey undercoat. Aided by plenty of Irn-bru (it comes in pints!!)

The terrace and pub receive their good heavy drybrush of Burgundy paint by miniature paints.

The undercoat took very well actually, I was worried about it soaking into the MDF but it was fine. After that it was just a lot of heavy drybrushing of the buildings. The grey stayed in the recesses in most places, giving the look of mortar in the walls, however as they're hardly the nicest parts of London, I'm not worried about every bit of mortar being there.

Plan is to then drybrush these buildings using a terracotta paint, again from miniature paints. Then the windows/doors will be painted and glued into place before the buildings are assembled. The interiors are going to be painted black, and I'll need to figure out what to do for the roofs. If I have time, I may make some cornflake packet tiles for the top, as the roofs are just flat bits of MDF.

The only problem with all this, is that due to all the drybrushing of red, the paper on my painting table is beginning to look vaguely like a crime scene.

There's been a murder!!
I'll continue to post pictures as I make progress on these. I've also been working on my Black Talons as time allows, so some head way has been made on them as well. Once the rest of the squad is done, pictures shall be posted.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A review of Dream Pod 9's Heavy Gear Terrain

During the February sale at Dream Pod 9, my friend and I decided to take advantage of it and order some of the nice new Heavy Gear scenery that's being sold by them on their webstore.

We ordered it near the end of February, and got a shipping note on the 2nd of March, and then it arrived here on the 13th of February, which isn't too bad from Canada to Scotland, via the perils of two countries postal systems.

And here's what it looked like when I opened the box.

Big box of scenery goodness
My friend also agreed to let me hang onto them for a little while, so I could grab some photos of them "straight out the box" as it were. So onto a whole load of photos. I've added in my Black Talon and one of my critical mass guys for a rough idea of scale. Also these aren't assembled yet. Some of them aren't mine so I didn't want to assemble them. I'll see if my friend is willing to take some snaps of them once done and painted.

Badlands solar panel
Badlands wind turbine
Badlands outpost with a whole load of bits
Badlands homestead shed
Shipping containers
Twin water tanks
Water condensor
Stone heads (this is the four pack, I got the twin pack which only gets you the one on the far left and far right)
Badlands homestead tower
Badlands homestead housing module (the roof should be circular, the tab on the side is from the mould, again it's not mine so didn't want to cut it off)
Small stone heads trio
Quality wise they are really good. They're all solid casting, so no interiors which is a shame, but still fine. The resin they've used seems more flexible rather than brittle, and is very good stuff and has taken the details of the mould very well, as they are nice and sharp.

 Very little to no mould lines are present on them, and what is present I only needed to scrape off with a scalpel (I've started work on building mine). My only complaint would they have a large section of excess resin on the bottom (you can see it on the housing module, the shed, and some of the others). It follows the line of the actual scenery, though is recessed in by 1-2mm, and is just obviously excess resin. However a couple of minutes with a good saw should see it off, or for some hardwork and filling your house with resin dust a file would do the job (if you go this route, mind and wear a dust mask).

The parts fit together very well, as I dry fitted what I could of the outpost together, while a lot of the others were simply one piece casting, so no work is needed beyond a bit of removing mould lines and excess resin as described above.

Obviously these are scaled for Heavy Gear, which is 12mm scale or 1/144, but I also think that these would work pretty well for 15mm games as well, certainly the ones without doors would work. The ones with doors would work as well, as long as they didn't get too close to the doors. I placed my critical mass guy up against the door and he'd be hitting the top of his head off the frame as he walked in. Still they're off a good enough size that it would still be believeable that several guys, even at 15mm size could get in.

I must admit as well, the shipping containers were a bit small, I would've liked something bigger. Even with a 12mm trooper next to them, the trooper would probably be about the height of them, so something a bit bigger would've been nice. Other than that I'd say they were pretty decent value for money.

The only other con is that currently they're a DP9 store exclusive, so you have to order from them. Now while I have received excellent customer service from them on both this order and others, I'm always nervous of packages going missing when ordering from abroad, and then of course the added joy of customs tax pushing the cost up even more. Now that DP9 finally has a distributor in the UK, I would like to see them making these available, though I don't know if that will happen.

Anyways, over the next week or so, I'm going to get my bits assembled and cleaned off to get rid of the dreaded mould release on them, and then they can join the painting queue (which is vast), but I'll try and get these on it sometime. My friend and I are going to agree a paint scheme so our various bits of terrain match on the tabletop.

I hope that's helped a bit. If you're a player of Heavy Gear and are considering purchasing these I would recommend them. They're decent value for money, and I must admit, they are a good size for what I paid for them. If anyone has any questions though please feel free to ask, and I'll try my best to answer them.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Robotech Battles. Turns out dreams do come true

And who could say no??

So imagine my excitement, when during doing a quick check of the usual geek sites I frequent in the morning to see what's happening, I find out that somebody has approached Palladium about the production of a Robotech miniatures games.

Now for me this is a big thing, Robotech is what got me into anime and mecha, when I first saw it as a early teenager. To me it was amazing, as while other sci-fi shows that were live action were working with small budgets and the limited technology of the time, here was something that showed giant transforming robots, fighting aliens and massive spaceships. What's not to love.

The game is based on the aforementioned anime series (which in itself is an adaptation of the Japanese series Super Dimensional Fortress Macross) and tells the story of the newly fledged RDF, who are Earth's military, against an invasion by the Zentraedi, a race of giant green humanoid aliens. To counter this threat, Earth has developed the Veritech from the technology found when the Macross crashed into planet Earth, while it is being repaired and returned to service. The Veritech fighter allows the pilot to switch from Fighter mode, to Battloid mode (giant robot) and Guardian mode (a hybrid between the two) at will, and as the situation demands.

Anyways, enough of my waffle, here's a picture of two of the miniatures.

One of the human walkers, developed before Veritech fighters, and a Zentraedi Battlepod

From what I know it's going to be a 1/285 scale game, and they currently have a set of playtest rules that are available from their blog

Robotech Battles blog

They've also got a presence on Facebook, which shows a lot more pictures that have been put regarding models and 3D renders that have been carried out for future models. From what I know they've approached Palladium with both these and the current ruleset, with the intent on producing a miniature game, and I believe this has been met somewhat favourably.

Their facebook page, were they are keeping people up to date is here

Robotech Miniatures

I'm really hoping this goes ahead, as Robotech is a big memory for me, as mentioned it introduced to this whole thing of anime and mecha and all those things. All I can do is recommend you check them out and hopefully it'll go ahead and get produced. I've already warned my wife that if it does, I may end up filling our flat with tiny Veritech fighters.

Oh and one more thing, just to see if this can be the next dream to come true

Cause I can dream right...

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Painted Black Talon and WIP Arc Fleet

Well painting and all things modelling related has been a bit slow this week. Mostly due to due to in real life problems like work etc. I honestly can't say whether it'll speed up anymore either, as Mass Effect 3 arrived on Saturday, so I'm going to start playing my way through that pretty soon, once more immersing myself in the wonderful world BioWare have created.

Anyways, onto what has been achieved. I've finished the test gear for my Black Talons for Heavy Gear Blitz. I wanted to do one as I had a pretty solid idea of the colour scheme involved, but wanted to make sure it was okay before I just went on and painted everything in that colour. Now I am sure, I'm already starting work on the other members of the Primary Insertion Team, while the Operational Assistance Team (the heavy hitters) are being assembled to receive the same treatment.

An Owl C3 with a medium rifle, the leader of my Primary Insertion Team.

I wanted to go for a black colour scheme, to keep with the whole stealth idea, though decided to do the cloth muffling around the joints a light grey, and to throw a small amount of red at the shoulders and knees, along with some metal to give it a bit of colour and provide some contrast. The base is done to look like desert, to show the Terra Novan desert/wasteland. I may add some grass tufts to it though, to make it a bit more lively.

And just to prove they haven't been forgotten about in all this.

3 Arc Fleet, one NCO and two missile launcher troops

Some Arc Fleet troops from Critical Mass. They've received the base colours and they've been washed. They've now just awaiting the blue highlight and painting the gun and visor basically. Then another three will take their place on the pots.

Shall try and post more pics soon, if I can be pulled away from the Xbox.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Heavy Gear Blitz and more Critical Mass

Managed to get some more work done over the weekend on some projects, namely finishing up the last of the Augment suits for my slowly building Arc Fleet force from Critical Mass, and also managed to finally put together my Primary Insertion Team for the Black Talon force for Heavy Gear Blitz.

So here we go then. From Critical Mass Games, some Augment suits. I've shown the lasers before, but I jazzed them up a bit, so thought I'd post new pics.

Augment suits armed with laser cannons

Augment suits armed with plasma cannons

These will be placed on a base of 3 figures, with one regular figure and two specialist figures per base. I decided as well that the lasers and plasma cannons needed something a bit extra, given they were special weapons, so decided to give them a bit of colour on the guns. It will also save a lot of peering at figures with black guns, trying to work out whether that's a laser cannon or a plasma cannon on the tabletop.

I must say, I'm really impressed with these figures as well. Until I saw these figs, I'd always kinda brushed 15mm aside as not having much detail etc, but these are really nice. The only one I'm not incredibly keen on is the Plasma cannon on the far right, as he has a bit of a knockity-knees pose.

Anyways, on to part two, my Black Talons for Heavy Gear Blitz, from Dream Pod 9

Black Talon Primary Insertion Team
Assembled these guys at the weekend, which took a lot longer than expected due to my superglue being more like water that eventually sets. For those interested, that's an Eagle trooper with a heavy autocannon/light grenade launcher, an Owl C3 with a medium rifle and satellite uplink, another Eagle, this time with a gatling laser cannon and chainsword (all Eagles have these, just he's got his in hand to dish out some close quarters fighting) and another Eagle with again a HAC/LGL.

The plan for these is (and this has already begun) undercoat black, drybrush with dark sea green to bring out the edges, cloth covering at articulation points a light grey and then some panels either a darker grey or a dark red, I haven't decided yet. All the optics etc will be done a green colour. Hopefully I'll get these guys up in painted glory in a while.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bushido the miniature game

Well, as I'm currently painting away more Critical mass stuff, and working on building I haven't managed to get pictures done of what I've been doing, and it's been a bit of a slow week (who am I kidding, it's always a slow week were I'm considered for painting).

Anyways I thought I would put up a post about one of the other games I'm currently playing, Bushido by GCT studios


Set in a fantasy world, based on Japanese myth and lore mostly, this game is a small skirmish game released by GCT studios last year. They've brought out four factions so far, with a starter box and 3 new figures for each to date. They release a new one for each faction every 2 months, so it's hardly a strenous release schedule to keep up, and there is talk of releasing a full rulesbook, as currently there are only the quickstart rules available which you get in the starter set and can also download from the website.

Four factions currently present are The Prefecture of Ryu (samurai basically, with a few added bits. Also the faction I play), Savage Wave (Oni and Bakemono so far, with a few bits coming out), Cult of Yurei (cult of the undead, with zombies, undead oni and a few other cool bits), and the Temple of Ro-kan (mystical monks that control the elements and have animal friends).

The system is quite good. Each model has 2 actions, and can carry out a simple task (1 action) or a complex (2 actions) during it's activation. If you only use 1 action, you can go back to them later in the turn. Regarding the fighting (the important bit obviously), you have multiple combat dice, which you then need to split into attack and defence. These are decided in secret and rolled at the same time, with both attacker and defender rolling. These are then compared, with the attacker normally striking first, and the defender then gets to strike back if they are still alive. Each model also normally has one or more Ki feat, basically you accumulate Ki during the turn, then can use it in special moves etc.

Now to live on a bit of past glory, and show of the paintjobs for my Prefecture force.

Hiro Takeshi, the main man from the Prefecture starter. Note I added the banner myself.

Minuro, who's armed with an arquebus, and has a good range though takes time to reload.

Yoshio, one of the standard spearmen for Prefecture.
Jin, the other spearmen (spearwoman??) for the Prefecture. Clearly they're all about equality.
Hanso, the right hand man of Hiro, and armed with a pretty large No Dachi for cutting down enemies.

For those who think the colour scheme is familiar that's cause it possibly is. I used the colour scheme from the Dragon Clan from Clan War/Legends of the Five Rings, as I used to play them in Clan War back in the day, and also the fact that they shared a name was just too good a coincidence.

Hopefully people will give it a look, it's a great game and not expensive to get into with a starter being around £25. For those who want to give it a try before hand, the rules are available online, as are the stat cards for the starter sets and the first couple of releases for each faction. So hopefully people will give it a try.