Monday, May 22, 2017

Curvaceous Thief

I bought a role-playing adventure party from a Shapeways shop called Small Ox Miniatures.


They were a little expensive, but I wanted to see how good 3D printed minis could be. After washing them a lot, I primed them with acrylic gesso. The last time I primed a 3D model with spray paint, it melted on me. Plus, the gesso helped reduce the surface graininess.

Here is the first to be painted.


She is either a thief, or an assassin, I am not sure. She seems to have a lot of heavy plate armor on her. She also has the curves, not that there is anything wrong with that! I would like to have seen some side arm like a sword, and a quiver for her crossbow bolts. If you look at the above picture, they all seem to have rather large heads in proportion to their bodies. I assume all but the Dwarf are humans, but the look a little on the Gnomish side to me, maybe it's the big heads.

Small Ox has several other lines of fantasy figures, but they seem be a little on the expensive side for the price.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Harpoon: Captain's Ediion

There are a lot of wargames that were published in the good old days that are now out of print that I wished I had purchased. So, I've been picking up a number of them. One reason is to have some board games available if needed. The other is looking at them in terms of converting them into miniatures games. This is nothing new for me. Way back in the late 70s, my buddy Mark and I used the rules for Avalon Hill's Midway as the basis for a very simple naval game using handmade ship miniatures. We also once tried using AH's Panzer Leader to have a microarmor battle.

I've been focusing on naval and air board games because there are few miniature rule sets out there compared to land-based games. My latest purchase is Harpoon: Captain's Edition (H:CE).


Unlike Harpoon rules, H:CE is a board game that takes place during the 80s. The rules are pretty simple, but not simplistic. They are also pretty clear cut and well organized. I read them in about 20 minutes and didn't feel confused about any particular part. I noticed that some of the mechanics are very similar to those of other modern naval rules, Shipwreck in particular. I think these can be easily converted into a miniature game. There are only two minor drawbacks. First, weapon stats is somewhat abstracted.

Sample of ship cards for H:CE. Weapon and defence stats on the right.
As seen above, there are anti-aircraft/anti-missile defenses, anti-ship weapons, and so on, but you don't know specifically what the weapons are. The weapon systems for Rory Crabb's Naval Command is the same way. I prefer to know exactly what each weapon does so that I can build my own boats. However, with a little work, I can figure out weapons data.

The second issue is more of general complaint of a number of modern naval rules. Many rules seem to focus on the "big ships" and leave out smaller ships. For example, there are no Soviet missile boats such as the Komar or Osa, or even the larger Nanuchka-class and Tarantul-class missile corvettes in this game. I can forgive H:CE as it has a narrowly focused scenario that takes place in the Northern Atlantic. However, I don't understand why other rules sets do the same thing. Not to pick on them, but Naval Command is an example. Interestingly, I've seen this in some WWII naval rules regarding destroyers. It's as if they don't exist. Again, I can work out the stats for these smaller ships, but it would be nice if they were already done by the author of the rules.

I need to get back to my 6mm miniatures. I have been making some pillboxes and small bunkers out of polymer clay. I will give a report on those soon.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rebels in a Box

Here is my generic rebel army with most of its technicals:


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Another COIN Aircraft and a RPG

It's been a long hiatus of doing much hobby stuff, but finals are now over. Today was commencement. Fortunately, I had lunch right after the ceremony with good friend and colleague. Usually, I am rather melancholy for a few days after commencement, but the lunch was a pick-me-up.

Anyway, I've started back into working on stuff. First off, a COIN aircraft for the Federal Republic of Gambusia:


It is a Hawker Sea Fury from MSD Games. They have some really nice models that are probably a little better than Heroics & Ros. 

Like the Kiowa Warriors, this plane painted green brown but now with Middlestone camo. The roundel looks like a british one, but the center is actually green. The rockets are modified C-in-C Sidewinder missiles. I have another Sea Fury that I plan to put more modern rocket pods on. I don't usually do anything with the panel lines, but this time I did and it turned out well. 

Onto the RPG gunner.....
I noticed that my rebel units are pretty skimpy in the basic riflemen category, so I've started beefing up those. I seem to get obsessed with various weapons and this time is the Soviet/Russian RPG-29:

Source: modernfirearms.net

Pretty simple: a tube. But it's a tube that can really punch major holes in modern armor. According to Wikipedia, it has taken out MBTs such as the M1 Abrams and the Challenger 2. It's secret is that it has a tandem warhead that can defeat ERA or modern composite armor. An avid converter who posts on one of the microarmor groups on Facebook made one out of a RPG-7 gunner, so I thought I could too.Here are some pre- and post-painted pictures:


I used a RPG-7 gunner from GHQ's Bush Warrior pack. First, I tried cutting off the entire RPG off, but the gunner's head came off along with it. Then I cut off the front and back ends on another victim. I then glued two pieces of an 8 mm styrene rod. Hopefully, it won't bread off. I plan to mount this guy in the center of the base with two other figures on either side of him. That should protect him. The back part of the barrel is a little warped, but overall it looks pretty good. I think I got it pretty close to the proper length scale-wise. 

I don't really have any sort of story as to how Gambusian rebels got a hold of one. Northern Chalupistan doesn't even have them in their arsenal. It will be a one-off weapon, so probably not a battlefield game changer. 

When I get closer to completing the rebels, I will post a group portrait.