Friday, 21 October 2016

Russian Federation Walkers


I like Dream Pod 9s Heavy Gear miniatures.  Small giant robot walking tanks, what's not to like?  However, as is my won't, the chance of me playing in their Terra Nova setting is minimal, not because it's not a great setting, I would go so far to say it's one of the best SF RPG setting books ever published, but because I like to do things my way.

Here's my Meggido-Kadesh-Bashan kitbash: perhaps I should call it a Mekabashan?  Perhaps not.  It is meant to be a command variant, hence all the extra gribbly bits, which I think makes it look interesting.

I'm using the Caprice walkers as a basis for my own near future setting as Russian Federation combat armours:  combat armours being sit and drive large power armour suits.  Clearly Russian combat armour is designed to deal with soft ground, from all the snow Russia gets.

The generic name for these in Russian is Pokhodnaya Boyevaya Platforma or PBP, my first conversion of a Caprice Ammon, which I called Object 295, can be see here.

I also made up a couple of Caprice Accos, so I could make my mind up which weapon I preferred?  Still not sure which one I like best.  Again I've added gribbly details bits, in particular the fuel tanks that are signature item on Russian tanks, which for me adds a Russian feel to the models.

My observations on the plastics is that they're OK for what they are: cheap intro models.  The plastic is slightly shiny, and feels like it's some sort of engineering plastic i.e: designed to be slippery.  Some people have had difficulties gluing them with conventional plastic cement.  I use Butanone aka MEK, which welded the plastic together.  Also, I would have also preferred a lighter colour than the very dark grey because it would be easier to see the details when trimming the models off the sprue.

I'm also a bit fussy when it comes to mould parting lines and therefore spent a considerable time filing and fussing over the parts before assembly.  When I took these pictures, I could see that I hadn't paid enough attention to the finish and went over the models with a fibreglass pen to polish the surfaces up.  Also, in my opinion the sprue-gates on the mould did not take into consideration ease of cutting the models off the sprue e.g: on the Accos the sprue attaches to the nose of the legs, which means it is easy to lose detail when trimming the model unless great care is taken.

Still, way better than the Robotech models for ease of assembly.

As for differences between the injected moulded models and the resin originals, I only have the Ammon to compare.  This I can say is going to turn out differently, because the legs are from the Meggido, and do not feature the extra box-like structure on the upper leg that the Ammon has.  As such, it will sit lower and be less imposing.  I will make an Ammon up next and post pictures comparing the plastic to the resin and pewter model in due course.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Catching Up


This last week has been very busy with work and having to deal with changing my internet service provider.  The one bright light amid all the stress this caused was my Heavy Gear KickStarter pledge arriving from Dream Pod 9.

I took some pictures of everything unpacked, kept the rule-book out to read and had a hell of job getting everything back inside the box.  Whoever packed this did an excellent job.  I ordered the Caprice army in addition to the four army starter pack, added a couple of extra Accos, and took advantage of the option to buy some Terra Nova terrain: Badlands Outpost and four stone heads.

As you can see in the above picture I also took up the offer to add a couple of standard models to my order: the new Hoplite and a couple of metal Gears – Hunter and Jaguar for a special conversion.  So Christmas has arrived early at the Paint-it-Pink household.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Venasque Medieval Re-Enactors

I'm back from a holiday in Provence, and during my week in the south of France I was taken out for the day to a Medieval Faire in Venasque.

Troops strutting their stuff.

My French wasn't good enough to follow the presenters spiel, but the demonstration was understandable.

The authenticity wasn't always 100% pucker, and there were Orcs in amongst the re-enactors, but all the same people went to a lot of trouble to dress up, which is what counts.

One of the Orcs.

These people we thought were meant to be lepers, but were Cagot, which we read more about in a newspaper about French news written in English.  For those who are interested in reading more Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a book called An Accursed Race, which can be downloaded here.

There were people dressed as lepers with bells on them, which is how we knew they were meant to be lepers, but I failed to snap a picture of them.

And there was archery demonstration, and how could we resist having a go?  Susan shooting, and getting a bruise on her arm for her trouble.

And no I didn't get a bruise on my arm, but there again I shoot modern recurve bare bow, whereas Susan shoots longbow, which requires a different technique.  Late edition update, a picture Susan took of me shooting.

And finally, there was a cute dragon the kids could ride on.

So a fun day.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Bad Dog Rules 2

Here's an update on my progress with writing the Bad Dog rules, the initial outline can be seen here.

For those of you who don't know, I've been busy writing other stuff.  If you follow my other blog I've been involved in editing my second novel and thinking about the feedback I received from my first novel, which was rejected.

In addition, I've been busy writing a monthly article for Galactic Journey:
April, A Peek at UK fandom
May, Red Star, Blue Star
June, Home Counties SF
July, A Cultural Divide
August, Seven Days of Change
September, Disaster on the Moon
And if you haven't read Galactic Journey, it's a blog that is recording what is happening on this day 55 years ago that relates to science fiction and fantasy, and of course space.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Newten Town Phase 3

Tally-Ho! chaps here's the first aerial recon shot of my next project Operation Blitz...

Back in the real world, I have made eight town boards for wargaming on.  This is not enough to make up a three-by-three area to play on, and arguably I want a minimum of twelve boards to make up a four-by-three area, which would pretty much fill my dining table.

It would be good to have a choice about what boards to use or swap out to make more scenarios too.  Hence six more board for my Newten Town project. 

Hence Phase 3.  I've had these hanging around for a while gathering dust and thought it's time to get on with finishing them.  After all they won't paint themselves.  I'm doing dribs and drabs as the mood takes me, but with my Heavy Gear KickStarter models arriving in the foreseeable future I really need to get my act together.

So much to do, so little time to do it in.

Friday, 2 September 2016

My Truck

I own a classic military vehicle.  I mention this, not because it has any great wargaming relevance, because lets face it a M1009 CUCV radio truck is hardly likely to be the central attraction of a wargame, but because of an article on fuel consumption.  My partner was reading a piece comparing modern cars, and trucks, claimed mileage per gallon versus the actual miles per gallon.

As was her wont, she then thought about my truck, and went off and found figures for it.

Would it surprise you to know that my 1984 Chevrolet Blazer with a 6.2 litre V8 diesel has a better mileage than a smaller modern Land Rover.  Also, officially my truck produces 160hp, at the wheels where it counts, and though the official figures are 19 mpg, probably because I'm an old biddy who potters around town, I record 22 mpg.

Who would have thought that a 32-year-old classic car would be greener than a new car with all the whizzy toys?

Also, it's worth remembering that if one is going to go on about being green, then one has to factor in the carbon cost of making the car.  A first order approximation being that the resources used to make the vehicle are equivalent to the amount of fuel the car will consume in 100,000 miles.

Ironically, cars that are more economical will need to go further than this.  I mention this because my truck is now standing at 99,902 miles on the clock, which also means the engine is probably just about run in.

So not only is it painted green, but it's pretty green to run, as time adds a certain quality when a vehicle is still soldiering on after 32 years, because the biggest cost is building it.  Besides which it carries all our gear when we go off to do archery practice on Saturday.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Newten Town Grafitti 3

You can't actually see this graffiti as clearly as the pictures allows because I removed the facing building to take the shot.

Chopper and Attention in Russian graffiti.  Chopper, for those who don't read the 2000AD comic, was a character in the Judge Dredd strip who was renowned for putting his tag on the Justice Building in Mega City One.  Apparently, in my far future wargames setting, the 2000AD comic has inspired a new generation of street artists.

I got the inspiration for the Cyrillic from a picture of a warning sign for one of the forbidden Russian cities.  BTW Newten Town translates as Novyy gorod desyat'.

A picture with the blocking building in place. And the final shot showing where the Chopper graffiti resides.

The Scorpion is from my old BattleTech campaign and was Susan's mech ride, with the all important coffee maker custom addition to her machine's cockpit.  From working on revamping the graffiti on these building I've been motivated to take down the other six town boards that I started and plan to start working on them again.  I'll take a picture of them to show the work in progress soon.

Colour me excited with the impending arrival of my Heavy Gear Kickstarter package.

Monday, 15 August 2016


I've been a bit busy entering archery competitions and winning a medal for my efforts.  Hurrah me!  However, here's a sneak look at the custom decals I received for my Heavy Gear miniatures that I showed here and here.

With these I will be able to finish my FAT-Cs.

Just in case it isn't obvious these are very tiny.  Now all I have to do is find some free time to spend applying said decals to my models.  Oh the laughter never stops in our household.

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