Thursday, 19 February 2015

Republic of the Sphere



I noticed I had a bunch of pictures of my BattleTech miniatures that I've not posted for one reason or another.  So this post is one of several I'll be putting upto address this shortfall, because after all this is supposed to be a BattleTech blog.  Here are my two Republic of the Sphere mechs.  The first is a Anubis.

Hopefully you can see that the paint scheme was inspired by the MechWarrior Colossus class tripod. 

 

I was making my own sculpt of this, but Iron Wind Metals are now selling this, so perhaps I will buy theirs at some point and be done with mine.  So here's my unfinished Colossus class tripod for comparison.

 

Below is a Light Ray, and I have a Legacy and Wight both waiting for me to get around to giving them some love, but I've been busy with other stuff, and just forgotten about them with working on all the other stuff I've been doing.

   

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Birthday X-Wing

   

It was my birthday yesterday and I was given some Star Wars: X-Wing expansions sets by my partner.  As you can see the plush toy kittens were very excited.  A big box had arrived and I had sat patiently all day to wait for my partner to come home so that she could enjoy the surprise on my face when I opened the box.  She'd kind of given away what was inside by asking me if I'd be disappointed if I didn't get a Millennium Falcon, which was on my Amazon wishlist, when she asked me if the Rebel transport would be a nice thing to have?

The answer to that is an emphatic yes.


Then we had to have a drink to celebrate my birthday, which we drank while I unpacked all the bits & pieces that come with each Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars set.  And girl don't you get a load of stuff to go with each model.  It took a while.  Then we ate a meal I'd made, and it was suggested we should play a game to celebrate my birthday.

Not by me, but by my partner.  How wonderful is that?

The kittens wanted to play with it all, but I suggested restraint, and a compromise was made where they'd get to fly the shuttle with an X-wing escort and have the freighter on the table to admire.  My partner set up the kittens deployment, which was less than optimal it has to be said. They were flying Red Squadron's finest: Garven Dreis (Red Leader), Wedge Antilles, and Luke Skywalker escorting a vanilla captured Lambda shuttle.  No extras in this set-up, which came 104 points, and is not tournament legal, because there is no Rebel Lambda shuttle cards at this point in time.


We took it in turns to operate the dials for the kittens, but both of us managed to not manoeuvre the formation very well for the first couple of moves as we kept flying into the shuttle.  It moves very slowly, and has a big base that mucks up one's well laid cunning plans to fly around it.  As an added wrinkle to how we played last time, when Susan ran the kittens fleet I controlled her force and vice-versa when I moved them.  This idea worked really well, because it meant that neither of us could know what the other was doing and react accordingly.


Meanwhile the Empire swept in from both flanks.  The scenario was to get the shuttle across and off the board for the Rebel scum to win.  Above is Susan's tight formation, which she adroitly  manoeuvred to good effect, mostly consisting of: a generic TIE Advanced Storm Squadron pilot in the lead, with Night Beast and Mauler Mithel for a total of 56 points.

Below are my TIE fighters all in a line, and I was slightly too clever for my own good in the first formation turn, ending up with them all touching each other at the end of the move.  Still it was a cunning plan that mostly worked.  My three pilots were; Howl Runner, Dark Curse, and a generic Black Squadron pilot that added up to 48 points.  Together our force also came to a grand total of 104 points.  Perhaps on hindsight we should have gone for Darth Vader in the TIE Advanced, because the kittens seem to play better than us!?


There was a lot of toing and froing around the board as we both tried to shoot the shuttle while not being blasted to smithereens by the X-wings.  I lost a TIE fighter to the kittens and one could see how the game was going to play out from there on.  Still a highlight was a lucky save by one of the Imperial pilots who had been targeted by Luke Skywalker, who got the nickname Dodgy Luke Skywalker on account of his ability to avoid being hit when shot at.


The Force was strong with my Black Squadron TIE pilot: I thought she was a gonner when Dodgy Luke threw three hits, but as luck would have it I threw three evades, which was very lucky indeed.

Basically if you haven't played the game the pilots all get to choose to play an option from there list on their pilot cards, and it generally pays for the TIEs to choose evade, because they're a bit brittle having no shields.  I had done a reverse turn and my ship was stressed and therefore unable to choose an evade token, so this was a lucky roll of the dice.


And here is the moment where the kittens gloated in their moment of triumph.  TIE pilot Mauler Mithel's last chance to destroy the shuttle whose shields were down, hull damaged and generally looking like a target, and he missed.  He did survive being shot at by Wedge Antilles who was on his tail, but the kittens won again.

We played one more turn to see if the Empire could stop the X-wings from escaping.  We managed to take down Red Leader Garven Dreis, but Mauler Mithel died, and the game ended with four of our six TIE fighters destroyed – Howl Runner and the TIE advanced Storm Squadron pilot having to go back and report their failure to Lord Vader. 
  

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Industrial Mechs



Industrial mechs, people either seem to love them or hate them. More useless than a useless thing unless you need a mech.  Above is a modified Forestry mech with additional rocket pods added to supplement the cutting arm.


A much modified industrial mech with a beefy (it's all relative when one is dealing with converted industrial mechs) combination of gun and missiles.


Another custom modified industrial where I've slapped on some machine gun pods and a missile pod.  All of these were made up for my Mummerset Operation Sandbox campaign, which you can access by clicking the link or looking under the Labels in the left hand column.

  

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Pan Euro Huscarl WIP Update



I've been a bit distracted with other stuff over the last week.  First off I was spending time with my partner who was using up their annual leave allocation.  So we went shopping, ate out and hung out with each other, which has been very nice.  I also managed to sprain my wrist, which is still very painful, and it has also slowed me down a bit.

However, here is an update on the progress I've made in reshaping a standard Mark 5 Ogre into a Huscarl, with nods to the original Martian Metals sculpt.


So here are  pictures of the right and left side showing the changes made to the shape of the sloping armour, which you can compare to the original Martian Metals casting here.  I cut-off the anti-personnel mounts before doing the all this, and when I'm ready I will glue them back on in their new position.


And a shot from the rear that I think emphasizes the angles of the side-armour better than the shot from the front.  The next step is to work on the rear missile bins by making them into something approximating the half-round casings on the Martian Metals model.  Everything is still looking a bit rough at this point, but it will all come together as I refine the surface finish using fine grade files.


So still a lot of work to go, because while filing and carving the Milliput to shape takes time, getting the finish smooth and adding details takes even longer.
  

Friday, 6 February 2015

300 Posts! This is Madness, This is Paint it Pink!



Except green ships again...

Well I've been anticipating this post for a few weeks, and at last my anticipation has been met.  After five years I've reached 300 posts.  Yippee, hip-hip hooray and all that.  What more can I say?  Well if you read Miniature Wargames & Battlegames magazine you may well have seen Henry's editorial content on the internet and blogging, and if you are thinking about joining the bloggerverse his pieces are well worth reading.

Above is the missing spaceship from the nine that I've repainted so far.

Had a problem with the base and had to remount the pole and touch up the paintwork around the hole.  So here it is, and off it will go towards my 2015 Vis Lardica painting challenge total.  For those of you looking at the spaceship and wondering who made it, sorry I can't remember.  What I do remember is that it's a lash-up of parts that I glued together to make something that can work as either a dreadnought, or spy-ship, or in my case a Fleet tender.

NB: Picture changed as feedback suggested my picture wasn't showing the miniature and its colours off to their best.
  

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

CASE-2X Updates



Here are the finished Heavy Gear models that I've converted to represent the combat armour suits in my novel Bad Dog.   The above shows my February submission to the ongoing TooFat Lardies Vis Lardica 2015 painting challenge.  What I have here are two sets of jump off point markers, three stone heads from Heavy Gear for a mission objective marker, and two much modified Heavy Gear models.

Here are close-up pictures of my finished Heavy Gear models that I've converted to represent the combat armour suits in my novel Bad Dog, which are used as recon units, or for Special Forces operations where getting conventional vehicles into the Area of Operations would be difficult.


This is the standard Marine Corps CASE-2X: Combat Armour System Environment Dash (Mark) 2 Extreme.

This miniature shows the CASE suit in its stripped down configuration, to maximize speed.  Therefore it carries a basic load-out consisting of a M41-AC2 20 mm auto-cannon with a 40x53 mm under barrel grenade launcher, and on the left arm it has an inbuilt snub nosed Beowulf 50 cal anti-personnel weapon.

The second picture shows the CASE-2XC (Command variant) that officers ride in to control their command.  Again the CASE suit carries the basic load-out, but has a one-shot anti-armour missile pack on the right shoulder.  Added to give the commander some defensive capability against vehicles, rather than an indicator of putting her in the front-line as such (think TOWs on Bradley recon IFVs).

I have also received another packet from Dream Pod 9 with more Jaegers, a Kodiak and for some reason two Diamondbacks (I must have had a reason for doing so, I just forget what it was).  So my plan now is to start fiddling with the Kodiak and Diamondbacks to make up the next Bad Dog universe combat armour suits.


Finally, I also thought that the stone heads turned out really well too.  So here's a close-up.


  
NB: Edited pictures as feedback suggested the pictures were rather dull and didn't show my painting off at its best.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Fleet Arrives



So what you see here is the refreshed GSN fleet, courtesy of Rear Admiral Henry Hyde who commissioned me to write a spaceship article.  They're also my first entry to this year's Vis Lardica painting challenge.
 
To my dismay, I found that several of the models were damaged: bits broken off and castings deformed by gravity (lead is softer than pewter and several ships were noticeably drooping), and so they're all going through a refurbishment programme to get them fit for purpose.  I should add that none of the bases for my space-fleet were finished either, so I took the opportunity to actually repaint the ships.

This is therefore the first of several posts that will show off my space-fleets.

These are unimaginatively called my Green Space Navy (GSN for short, where the "G" can also stand for generic, if I feel in the mood).  These are very old models that I've had for over twenty years.  They've mostly been sitting on my display shelf getting dusty all that time, so when I took them down to photograph I had to wash them to get the dust off.  Oops, as they say.

The above picture shows part of my cruiser squadron.  These are models from the QT Models Starforce range, which later became part of the Citadel spaceship line, all to 1/10,000th scale.  The three smaller ships have been modified them by the simple process of removing the add on fins that I thought looked terrible.  I have two more ships to finish to complete this squadron, but they need more work to rectify age related stress fractures.


More QT Starforce 300 models representing my main battleships (dreadnought and super-dreadnought) and two corvettes.  Both of the larger ships have added stardrive units attached to them.  Also, the larger model to the right has also been modified as I didn't like the front end of the original, so I cut up a spare model to get the front bridge unit you see here, which also gives the ships a unified fleet look.
   

Saturday, 17 January 2015

CASE-2X Combat Armour: Shiny Distraction



I've been mumbling about Heavy Gear for a while, having gone so far as to put my money where my mouth is by signing up for the KickStarter, and buying miniatures, but my intent is not so much to play games in the Terra Nova setting, rather to play games in the my own setting.  For those who follow my writing blog you will know I've written my first novel working title Bad Dog.  I've even written the first drafts of two sequels, so I'm quite invested in my story, and being a wargamer I want to play games in my universe.

The above are a load of bits & pieces that arrived recently.  Some were bought specifically to provide the parts for converting some Dream Pod 9 miniatures to make a model of my CASE-2X combat armour, called Dogs by the Marine Corps pilots in my novel.  My first attempt at making a Dog can be seen here.  I wasn't totally happy with it, because it just looked like a slightly modified Heavy Gear Jaeger, which funnily enough was what it was.

So here is my second attempt using the main torso from a Heavy Gear Mamba to change the look of my combat armour suit.


On the left is my heroes mecha from the first novel, and on the right is her officer variant from the sequels.  I've used the Dream Pod 9 snub cannon to represent the 20mm auto-cannon, modified with a frag cannon to represent an under barrel grenade launcher.  I've also added a parts to represent the over the shoulder sensor post and the arm mounted snub 50 cal, which is part of fixed load-out for all Marine Corps Dogs.  The command variant adds a shoulder mounted rocket pod, and has extra antennae for all the communications gear a command suit carries.  The head on the command model comes from Dream Pod 9s Razor Fang Mamba.

Tell me what you think.  Be honest, this is for posterity, as in they will become canonical  and I want to get the look right.  For instance I could go with Mamba heads for the basic Dogs, and use Cobra heads for the command variants?  My next step is to make models up for the rest of the named characters in Bad Dog, followed by an Army Special Forces suit from the first sequel called Strike Dog, and an Air Force Forward Observer suit from the third novel called Ghost Dog.

After that there will be rules.  Whether these will be variant Heavy Gear Blitz Beta, or something else will rather depend on play-testing of the new rules from Dream Pod 9.  Either way models will be made and games will be played.
  

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