Thursday, November 18, 2010

Band of Brothers

Here is my first foray into the 15mm SF. These are the Garn from Khurasan Miniatures. This company is coming out with tons of 15mm SF minis. It almost seems good to be true.

Group Portrait

I ended up painting them green. I've seen them done up in other colors, and those look really good, but I like my lizardmen-types green, be they fantasy or science fiction.

I couldn't tell what the leader was holding in his hand for a weapon, so I made one out of polymer clay. I was going for an old Star Trek phaser-type gun and I think I succeeded. I don't think I could re-create this weapon again however.

Garn Leader

The Garn seemed to have taken the minimalist approach to weaponry, which is cool. I get tired of the huge, oversized weapons I see on a lot of 28mm figures. There were several weapons to choose from for the heavy weapons trooper. It was a toss up, but I chose thing flame thrower looking thing. According to the website, the disc on their back is a force-field generator.

Garn Heavy Weapons Trooper

As I mentioned in previous posts, I hate having to deal with ground cover on bases. I think I saw the following method on another blog, but I forgot to bookmark it. I assume I did it according to their instructions. I took 1 part Liquitex oxide red paint (the variety that is in the tubes), 2 parts white glue, and a good amount of sand, mixed it all up into a paste. I then slopped it onto their bases the best I could. Between the paint, which is thick to begin with, and the glue, it really hardens well. Once dry, I diluted some black acrylic paint with acrylic floor wax and washed it on. The base, btw, is a US penny.

Garn Troopers

Pardon the speckles on some of the figures. My camera doesn't usually have that problem. I did use a flash on the close ups but not on the group portrait. I will have to see if there is a way to fix that on the camera end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A 15mm Renaissance

No, I'm not going into Renaissance wargaming. But I did take the plunge and started up into 15mm Sci-fi gaming (insert :-o emoticon here). I need to start a new line of gaming like I need another hole in my head. What can I say, I'm a wargaming junkie. I started for three reasons (always good to justify these things):

First, I blame TMP for my exposure to 15mm SF! SF in 15mm has really taken off. I am amazed at all the various lines that are coming out. I am very impressed by the sculpting and the variety that I see.

Second, it the price. As much as I have liked 25/28mm figures, I can't justify buying them. I started off back in the 1970s with 25mm medieval and fantasy figures. When I found the same in 15s, I switched. At first, I was not too impressed with the extent of the ranges, especially in the fantasy category, but I then realized that part of the fun was to make the best of what was out there....a limited palate, so to speak. Now, there is far more out there. It seems like with 15mm SF, I don't have to go through that drought that I did when I switched over to 15mm fantasy.

Third, is gamers. My gaming buddy is a newbie and loves Warhammer 40K. 40k ok, but, its very expensive, and second, I'm just not that crazy about the rules. Many years ago, I played several games of Warhammer Fantasy (don't ask me what edition). There were too many odd rules that I didn't like. When I suggested to the guy I was playing with that we come up with some house rules to correct these, he threw a major hissy-fit! Hey, its a game, not a religion! Call me Old School (which I probably am), but I prefer generic rules and feel not ones tailored exclusively to a line of miniatures. I figure that if we play 15s, it will wean him off of the 40K, at least enough to want to play in other scales/rules/periods of gaming. Not to go off on a tangent, but at least Flames of War looks like it will be fun for scales other than 15mm.

I was going to post some pictures, but as luck would have it, the battery on my camera went dead. I'm not even able to download the few shots that I managed to take. However, once I get my camera battery re-juiced, there will be pictures to follow....stay tuned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Your Ad Here

Mexico City is a really cool city. Its huge, and has a lot of things to do and see there. I've gone there several times while doing research in Mexico. What is not cool about it, besides its high crime rate (but what city doesn't?) is all the ads and billboards. I don't think there is a single building that doesn't have some sort of advertisement on it. So, I thought, any city or large town worth its salt on the Gambusian mini-continents should have ads on their buildings. So, here is my first very modest attempt:

A few new "innovations" with this building. I wanted it to be commerical, so I made some large shop doors. Yes, they looked uneven, but I blame it on the thin cardstock I was using. Also, I forgot to darken the interiors of the shops. These aren't innovations. First, I made the balcony railings out of window screen. Its easy to cut out, but difficult to glue down to the balcony. I found that if I put a tiny strip of cardstock at the bottom of screen, it glues better and is a little studier. You can see the difference between the first verses the second and third floors. The second innovation was with the windows. It sort of a pain to make them out of polymer clay, its somewhat limiting as to what you can do, you can't get them squared up very well, and they are disproportionally thick. So, I used this mesh screen that is used for knitting or something. It is made out of soft plastic, and comes in two sizes (at least as far as I know). I used my sprue-cutters to cut out windows. They are great because you can make various sized windows. The only drawback to them is that you really have to get in there with the sprue-cutter to get a flush cut otherwise you get little nubbins sticking out where you cut. The next time I used them, I will also glue them first on a paper backing for painting purposes. Here is what the building looks like on the side:

I took an ad out of some Chinese movie catalog and scanned it under a really high resolution. Then I shrank it down and swapped out the Chinese for Spanish. The Chinese is translated into Spanish, so the ad is still legit. My printer didn't do such a hot job at the edges of the text for some reason, but that is OK. You could say the ad has been there for awhile and has faded a little. I plan to get a little more creative in the future with my ads.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Just Clixed

I finally decided what I am going to do with these various 28mm scifi-ish figures I've been collecting and slowly painting. I plan to have a battle royale skirmish game with them over Xmas at my parents. I will have probably four to five sides. I'm sure I can get my nephews and my friend Karl to play. I haven't decided what rules to use, but I'm leaning towards Two-Hour Wargames, Chain Reaction 3.0.

Teams so far:

•Robot Terminators: Sid and his droogs

•Biker Gang: Big Karl, Bambi & friends

•Futuristic soldiers: eM-4 plastic soldiers

•Motley Crew: Various figures banded together for survival

To supplement some of the teams, I bought a bunch of Heroclix and other "Clix" plastic figures. They are more-or-less 28mm, and by and large, very cheap. The most expensive one I got was Hellboy, and he was only $2.00. The others where between $0.50 and $1.25. They are not nearly as detailed as the metal figures, but you can't beat the price!

Some Heroclix Ladies

Hellboy Heroclix

I plan to remove them from the bases and rebase them. I'll repaint them, too. For the heroine on the left, I'll probably try to place a pistol in her hand as she is only armed with a knife.