Sunday, 5 November 2017

Federation Troopers!: Armoured 25mm Sci Fi

The next items from my Clear the Desk painting challenge are done and also celebrating over 20 years of war gaming and 10,000 views of the blog! Thanks to everyone who has surveyed my wares!!

Now, don't jump to conclusions about the paint scheme just yet. These are Denizen Miniatures 25mm Federation Troopers, started in 1995 and finally finished.

Back then I was broke and couldn't afford Games Workshop 28mm Space Marines but I could afford these guys and the Citadel paints - see where this is headed. So I bought these guys and the Ventuarians - again of which I realise I don't have any pics up on this blog - will remedy. Hence the paint scheme.

After finishing most of them in the 90's, about seven years ago I realised I had more Ventuarians then I did Troopers, my OCD (Obsessive Collectors Disorder) kicked in, and I grabbed some reinforcements.

They went out to a commission painter, got prepped, and almost immediately came flying back unfinished - literally chucked across the table, with the grumpy quote "Paint your own xxxxing figures". I do. I have. 😆 But into the desk they went and there they sat, until now.

I was worried about the paint match up after 20 years but was astonished to find some of the paints actually used all those years ago (and they say hoarding doesn't pay dividends!), and more astonishingly, that some were still active and ready to paint.

The Ultramarines blue was from the Citadel paint renaming/bottling in the 2000s and needed a bit of coaxing TLC with some Lahmian Medium, but matched the 90's blue pretty much perfectly.

The Blood Angles red was hardened like plastic but I used it as a palate reference, and it turns out that 90's Blood Angles Red =  Evil Sunz Scarlet + Yriel Yellow - little dabs of yellow at a time until satisfied approx. 1YY : 5-10ESS).

Hats off to Citadel (ah come on, don't boo) as the rest of the lads have been painted and occasionally gamed with for over 20 years, without a vanish, and still look freshly painted, and were only very slightly chipped.

There's something to be said about these Denizen figures, I reckon they're still some of the best generic sci fi on the market. I think they've aged better design/figure-wise, than most of the more successful brands.

I also painted up these two behemoths in the 90s, as Dreadnought stand-ins, they scale pretty well. Not sure what code they are or were, but they're from the - still available - Dream Pod Nine, Heavy Gear range.

I also found these sentry guns in the same storage bin as the troopers, pretty chipped up, and touched them up. Not sure, but think they're either Ground Zero Games or Denizen.

Which brings us to the next job in the challenge. A half-completed blister of Games Workshop minis no less and some loose colonials - you can take that one if you like.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sudan: Royal Artillery (Limbered)

The Clear the Desk painting challenge continues, with first units for an intended Camel Corps Brigade, completed for Black Powder: Blood on the Nile.

These guys sat requiring construction, next to the undercoated Ja'liyin from the previous post for ages. The limber, crew, and horses are ZW54 and ZW55 from Newline's Zulu range, and the 9pdr guns and crew are from HaT's 8210 British Colonial Artillery.

Yes, I know the horse team is meant to be made up of six horses, which would look good, but doesn't scale well in BP, so there's two per team for this army.
As both sets were produced for the Zulu war, all the crew have had puggaree conversions, which is only just and proper, and why I think I procrastinated so long before completing them, but in the end the conversions only took about half an hour to do all twelve.

The limber came together with no hassles, with only some fiddlyness when mounting everything together, at once, with white glue and super glue, coz I'm impatient :). As ever the Newline metals prepped in about ten minutes. A commission painter prepped the guns so can't comment on them but from the box art diagram, them look fairly simple (3 pces: wheels, carriage, and barrel).

Its good to get a couple of core units for a brigade out the way (they can be used for any British brigade) and its on to the next thing I found, wrapped up in tissue paper, smushed up in a plastic bag, right at the back of the desk - a group of Sci Fi figures to finish a unit I started in 1995!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Sudan: Ja'liyin Tribesmen

Halfway through the Clear the Desk painting challenge, for your viewing pleasure (not really eye candy, more eye broccoli), some Ja'liyin tribesmen for the Black Powder, Blood on the Nile supplement. These have been made up from multiple 20mm plastic sets as there aren't any of these tribesmen on the market - and have been undercoated and getting caught up in the curtains behind the desk occasionally, for well over a year.

The rank and file are the peltasts/light troops from HaT's 8044 Alexander's Light Infantry (in a previous life, they were actually peltasts painted by Chasseur) and the Numidians from HaT's 8020 Hannibal's Carthaginians - African Infantry set, with the shields shaved off.

The Emir on horseback and the standard bearer are also from HaT, 8249 El Cid Moorish Command, and one Emir on a donkey from Waterloo 1815's 011 Dervish Infantry.

The reference is from Col. Snooks' Go Strong in the Desert, Plate 23 on page 98 and contemporary coloured sketch on page 101. With many more plates from Michael Perry in the book, this is a must have reference for this period and I reckoned seeing how they made the effort to research the tribe, I'd make the effort to individually paint the 24 diamond patches and coloured bands onto the jibhas of these 20mm figures :)

Still, I reckon I know one sure fire thing to remedy the pressing hordes of Ansar, next to which these guys will take their place: some Limbered Royal Artillery from the same period.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Heavy Mechs: Ground Zero Games 15mm Sci Fi

Almost half way through the Clear the Desk painting challenge and in the next alcove over lurked these two bruisers, one in a fairly sad state of collapse after moving cities a few years back.

They're Manned Ambulatory Combat Unit (MACU), M98 Chargers, from the amazing Ground Zero Games 15mm Stargrunt range and they are excellent. I bought them years ago and am happy that they're finally done (although they may yet get tactical markings added once more 15mm are completed).

There are two weapon loadouts. V15-MEC01A with two forearm heavy cannons - 'Type A' and V15-MEC01B with a heavy multishot missile pod and one multibarrel super-gatling - 'Type B'. Heavily armed and armoured, I reckon these things would be first echelon AT/IS and indirect fire close support for troops on the table.

They come in many parts and require some care of thought in regards to pre-assembly posing, but are well designed and go together to enable an astonishing range of poses, and make for an enjoyable build (I basically tried to work with gravity and built from the feet up, constructing the torso separately, so as to work the pose on the centre, pelvic mount before final assembly).

They'll take their place alongside the other completed 15mm forces and at a push, I reckon they could be used for 25mm as well.

So some pretty versatile mechs for the collection... but what's this I see coming? A cloud of dust on the Dervish desert horizon...?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Warmaster: Empire Crossbowmen

Yes, Warmaster - fantasy at that.  Continuing on with the Clear the Desk painting challenge, I found a unit of undercoated Empire crossbowmen sitting at the back in one of the alcoves.

These figures and Warmaster itself are fantastic, although long OOP - but one can hope. The rules are now a 'living rulebook' and available for free online at Dark Press, and Rick Preistley has his own site, but more focused on ancients rather than fantasy.

You'll notice that there are three units finished, even though I only found one in the desk. Well, it turns out I forgot how many figures made up a unit and painted half in blue dominant scheme and the other red dominant. Then counted. Then went - "oh dear" (I didn't really, but the expletives used do not bear repeating).

So then I went on the hunt for another blister, found one, got confused as to how many I had, then had a panic, then found another unit I'd bought painted from the interweb, amongst the finished Empire stuff.

Greatly relieved that I could still field 3000 points when I finish  the rest of the army (its only been 17 years!), to go with the finished Tomb King army, I realised that the painted one looked a little dull compared to the new units, and touched it up.

Had an 'OMG! These guys are so cool!' moment when I uploaded the pics. So cool... so single... :)

So, that's one alcove of the painting desk completely cleared of prepped figures and now the home for glues. On to the next alcove and I see two 15mm armoured behemoths from GZG undercoated, washed, and drybrushed - and I ask myself why didn't I just finish those megaliths of death at the time?

Monday, 9 October 2017

United States Colonial Marine Corps: Sci Fi Mid-Tech

"We're on an express elevator to hell, going down! Hoo ha!"
Thought I'd post these guys up after the GZG post, they're very old Denizen 25mm Mid-Tech from way back when.

White squad, after a quick touch up from nineties colour scheme below..
You can still get them today BTW from the Denizen website. They are excellent figures.

Yello squad, Hicks as sqaud leader - hoo ha!
These guys have some history, I must have purchased them in the 90s and was going through 'a phase', so they originally started out life painted as 'blue team', but so many people went "ah, um..." when they saw them, expecting marines colours, that in 2015 I repainted them all warry-like.

My original colour scheme from the nineties.

Red squad with no other than Vasquez on the squad support weapon.
I see from the pictures that some of the blue is still showing through so will remedy that before someone writes a decent set of &^%*&^% sci fi rules... and I have a game with them...

Commanders, hopefully my EEO Lt. will be better than Goreman.
Funnily enough when I watched Aliens to get the colour scheme rightish in 2015 (for like the millionth time), it was the first time I noticed the almost tiger-stripes DPM/camo on their trousers and more general tan/brown/green DP on the armour. Thought I'd give the armour DP a miss as possibly would be too disruptive at this scale - may revisit that decision!

Legion of The Jungle Night: Sci Fi Mid-Tech

"The moon is a drop in a black hole, The sun is a hell of a light..." - Yello
... and now for something completely different... Having had  enough of all that white strapping to build the AWI Americans, British, and Hesse-Cassel for the time being, I felt the need to get all 'warry' as my sergeant used to say.

Yello Squad, patches on right arm denote squads to avoid confusion during games
The random mess of half-prepped or waiting-to-be-painted-figures on my painting table had begun to do my head in, so have given myself a Clear The Desk painting challenge.

Blue Squad, five HAMF legionaires
This included some of Ground Zero Games fantastic Federal Stats Europa (FSE) 25mm infantry from the Stargrunt range. I'm not sure what codes I've got but they sure look suitably menacing and mean.

Red Squad, rear armour also has red highlight for ease of identification in battle (far left)
I started off trying for a black theme but once the clothing was done, the armour screamed for a DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) theme. Its not the best but I went for a kind of dark jungle disruptive pattern, as messy disruption patterns seem to be all the rage in today's military fashions.

"The birds of paradise, Disappear into the green desert, You will not find excess in the jungle..." - Yello

Legion Command
These will take their place alongside my Denizen mid-tech... which I just realised I don't have any photos up on this blog. Will remedy - Edit: They can be seen here.

Right, one alcove of my painting desk is almost done, I can't believe what's coming up next and how long its been waiting to be painted.