Thursday, May 24, 2012

Defiance Games UAMC Marines painted

Here are the first two fire teams of Defiance Games UAMC Marines painted.  My wife is working on a set of these as well.  We are trying to get them ready to be the Titania Planetary Guard for an upcoming battle. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitbashed Medium Hover Tank part 1

 I picked up a couple of these Matchbox "Rev Rigs" tanks today at Walmart.  I didn't like the wheels but I figured that I could convert them into hover tanks for my Hell Knights.  They are slightly chunkier than my light hover tank so I thought they would be good as medium hover tanks.

 I had to locate the screws that held the wheels and drive on so I could take the tank body off which was the only part I was looking to use.  There were four screws on the side of the drive part but I had to remove the tires to get at two of them.  After that I was able to pry the drive apart to get at the screws holding the tank body on.  This pretty much wrecked the drive part but at least I got some nice gears I can use for other projects from it.  I figured I would make the hover drive from cheap disposable razor handles exactly like I did on the other hover tank

The one really bad thing about this toy is that the turret doesn't turn.  It's fixed in place with screws and post and even when you remove those it doesn't turn because the hole on the body is smaller than the hole in the turret.  Makes you wonder why they even put a hole in the body.  On almost every tank toy or model I have ever seen the turret had a simple key attachment system that allowed it to turn and held it in place.  I have no idea why they didn't use that on this toy.  There is no way a kid could get the turret in his mouth so it isn't a choke hazard.  I'm planning on figuring out a way to make the turret turn.  I'm going to have to put a bottom in the body anyway so I think I can rig something that should work.  Also the pintel mounted gun is really ugly and huge.  I will likely switch that out with a better looking weapon.  I have some cheapo machine guns in mind that aren't that special but they look way better than that thing. 

I'm pretty happy with the toy over all though.  I think it will be no harder to put together than my other hover tank project way.  Each kit bash has it's own little issues.  Unfortunately it will probably be next week before I get to this project because I'm going to an SCA event over the weekend. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cheap Toy Tank Painted

 Well here is the painted tank I posted a couple days ago.  This is one of those "Army Men" tanks that I got out of a pack that had two tanks and a bunch of toy soldiers.  It basically cost about two dollars.  I think it painted up pretty well.  I may have over done the dirt on the skirting.  It's not as nice as a high quality resin or plastic tank kit but I'm pretty happy with it. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cheap toy tank "upgraded"

I picked up a pack of cheap army men that came with two equally cheap tanks.  These are the typical army men tanks based loosely on the M48 Patton Tank.  I used to use these as Predator tanks for my Space Marine army way back during 2nd edition 40k. 

We added a laser cannon made from a automatic pencil and a coaxial scatter laser from a Dark Eldar Heavy weapon.  The armoured skirting and reactive plates are made from thin cardboard cut from a box of crackers and the hinges are made from spare sprue.  We also plated up the bottom so it wasn't just a hollow cavity.

This is a pretty cheap attempt to make a "futuristic" tank.  I think it will paint up well enough to suit our needs.  We plan on using these as the MBT of the Titania Planetary Guard. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Defiance Marines Assembled

Well we got our Defiance Games UAMC assembled.  Or rather I should say my wife got them assembled.  I did four of them.  She put these together while I was assembling a squad of Cadian Imperial Guards from Games Workshop.  In fact she got 22 assembled while I'm still working on a 10 man squad.  In my defence I'm cutting all the skulls and wings off the IG gear and that is slowing me down but I still feel inadequate. 

I guess you could say these guys went together well but there were some issues.  Many of the parts are very small.  The web gear pouches are tiny.  Like 1/16thx1/8th inch square.  The shoulders are small and hard to line up and you have to be careful getting the arms to line up with the guns.  I would say they are slightly harder to assemble than a box of Imperial Guards or any other GW kit besides Fantasy Undead. 

The guns are probably the highlight of this particular set of minis.  They are very nicely sizes and designed.  It's nice to see some plastic Sci-Fi troopers that aren't armed with over sized guns.  I also like the fact that these are not just stand in Imperial Guards.  They aren't armed with some variation of las guns but instead bullpup assault rifles and SAW style machine guns.  This makes them actually not Imperial Guardsmen instead of not/Imperial Guards if you follow.  I actually like the helmet design.  I've seen similar concepts in articles about "future soldiers".  I can see why some people don't like them but there are lots and lots of conversion heads out there to work with.  The armour is not awful.  It's clunky but a lot of modern body armour is as well and these are suppose to be "near" future troopers.  I would have liked it if it was a bit more sleek looking but it doesn't put me off.  The leg armour is the most questionable.  It is thick at the ankles.  Armour design is one of those aesthetic choices that is very subjective.  I've seen worse and far more impractical designs than this but it does have a slightly clunky feel.  Proportionally they are more correct than the "husky" Imperial Guard designs. 

As far as detail goes I would have to say that they aren't GW yet.  I don't care for a lot of GW concepts but their models are nicely detailed.  These are softer in detail.  Similar to Wargames Factory "Shock Troopers".  I wish the entire model was a sharp as their guns.  The guns are fairly sharp and detailed but in places the detail falls off on the rest of the model.  Hopefully they will get better at this with future releases. 

The place these guys really win is in value.  Purchased from Defiance they are a bit over a dollar a fig and purchased from they are a bit less than a dollar a fig.  Considering that Imperial Guardsmen are now about $3.00 a fig that is a very nice value.  Lets put it this way.  For a platoon of plastic Imperial Guardsmen you can buy a Company of these guys.  When you are putting little boots on the table top instead of models in the display cabinet that makes a big difference.  These guys are good enough to make decent troopers to game with.  No I wouldn't expect to win a painting contest with them but I don't enter a lot of those.  I'm looking forward to having big battles in 28mm scale again without having to run up a credit card or pick up a second job.

We will be using these guys as the Titania Planetary Guard for our Sci-Fi games.         

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The War Effort!

 Our game budget is pretty slim at the moment so we have to make do with what we have.  Her is a pic of some hover tanks and apcs we are building up out or corrugated cardboard.  We will plate them with lighter cardboard and detail them with bits. 
Here are some more vehicles we picked up for the militia.  We have less than $15 in all of these.  We got the weapons out of some little toy soldier packs. 

I know they don't look as nice as highly detailed resin and plastic models but the cost pennies on the dollar and when we get them detailed up and painted I think they will work quite nicely. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Battle of the Ghost Compound (No Limits Battle Report for Station 42)

Hell Knight mercenaries of Operation "Stop the Signal"
 May 14, 3031 Operation "Stop the Signal" is conducted by the Hell Knights mercenaries.  The goal of the Operation is to shut down a broadcasting station that the Titania Militia is using to recruit new members to their cause.  A small force of Hell Knights board their transport to be air lifted to the "Ghost Compound" about 30 kilometers Northeast of Station 42 where the broadcasting station is reported to be located.
Members of the Titania Militia at the "Ghost Compound"
 After handing a crushing defeat to the militia at Bunker 1138 the mercenaries expect only light resistance.  They are unaware of the efforts of Carson Boon in recruiting new members.  Even though his own unit of irregulars were wiped out in the previous engagement he has managed to recruit new members to his force. 
Just prior to the battle
 The Hell Knights, backed up by Lola their faithful Hobelar Light Hover Tank approach the "Ghost Compound"
"Lola" and a Hell Knights casualty
 The Militia draws first blood, killing a member of the Hell Knights Armoured Assault Squad with autocanon fire.  Lola Moves into position to fire at a Militia artillery position but fails to score any hits. 

The Armoured Assault Squad takes cover
 The heavily armoured mercenaries scramble for cover in a large rocky outcropping.  More fire begins to erupt. 
Militia Casualties
 The mercenary Veteran Rifle Squad guns down several Militia members atop a compound building.  The riflemen certainly prove their worth with this accurate shooting. 

A militia "sniper"
 The mercenary sniper also scores a hit taking out an enemy sniper before the marksman even gets a shot off. 
The AC10 silenced
 Not to be out done one of the Scout squads takes out the crew of the AC10 autocanon.  The elite mercenaries seem to have the upper hand at this point. 

Scout Squad 1 under fire
 The Militia strikes back killing two mercenaries in Scout Squad 1.  It is believed these men were killed by Carson Boon himself. 

Scout Squad 2 also taking casualties
 Encouraged by their leader militia members armed only with pistols manage to kill two member of the Hell Knights 2nd Scout Squad despite the fact that the squad had good cover. 

A mysterious armoured vehicle arrives to support the militia
 To add insult to injury a mysterious armoured vehicle arrives using it's scatter laser to wipe out the rest of the 2nd Scout Squad. 

Another strange armoured vehicle
 Another armoured vehicle shows up and fires on the mercenary tank missing it with an impressive looking missile. 
The militia field canon scores
 The mercenary tank is hit from the front by the militia field gun.  The tank is badly damaged by the gun but not destroyed.
The mercenary sniper is taken out
 The Hell Knights sniper is killed by a militia sniper believed to be Redjack, a friend of Carson Boon and the co-founder of "Boon's Irregulars".

The Militia fights on
 More militia members are killed by the mercenary veteran rifle squad.  The man believed to be Carson Boon is hit but appears to be protected by some kind of energy field that keep him from being hurt.
"Lola" destroyed
 Another armoured vehicle roars onto the battlefield firing a high explosive missile into the side of the mercenary tank.  "Lola" explodes, her turret flys into the air and lands among the rocks. 
More armoured vehicles
 A fourth armoured vehicle pulls up.  It's light machine gun and bolt guns fire into the scout squad killing the scout armed with a frag grenade launcher. 
The mercenaries fall back
 As "Lola" burns the Armoured Assault Squad preforms a fighting retreat shooting at the armoured vehicles but failing to do any damage with their heavy blasters. 

The riflemen score
Armed only with light laser rifles the Veteran Rifle Squad destroy the armoured vehicle that killed their tank.  Unfortunately it is too late to turn the tide of the battle.  Only six mercenaries escaped the fighting.  Four members of the Veteran Rifle Squad and two Scouts from squad 1.  The Armoured Assault Squad were taken out by the Militia's armoured vehicles although they survived many shot the combined fire was just too much for them. 

This battle was a decisive victory for the Titania militia and Carson Boon.  The Hell Knights lost most of their troops and their tank which was a major blow.  It seems the resistance on Titania is much better equipped and much more determined than the mercenaries believed them to be.  Will the mercenaries pull out of this operation?  It's hard to say but the militia has definitely struck back hard against them. 

Notes:  This was our second battle in the narrative phase of our Station 42 No Limits campaign.  The forces were about equal at close to 1100 points.  My wife again played the militia and I played the mercenaries.  The battle only lasted three turns and by the end of turn two it was clear the militia were going to win.  Giving the militia a fortified position an equal points may have been too much of an upper hand but the mercenaries really devastated the militia at Bunker 1138 so we decided to tip thing in their favor a bit. 
My wife really played it smart holding the improvised armoured vehicles in reserve until I had committed my forces.  She used to play Orks when we played Warhammer 40,000 so she understands how devastating heavily armed light vehicles can be.  She used her heavy guns to go after my tank then brought her more lightly armed vehicles against my infantry.  She had some fantastic rolls which helped. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Station 42 Battle Preview!

We were going to have another battle in our new campaign centered around Station 42 but we spent too much time preparing so we ran out of time to play.  Hopefully we will fight this battle before the work week starts up again. 
The Hell Knights will be attempting to silence a militia broadcasting station and drive the Titania Militia from a small compound they have taken over. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What madness is this? Improvised Technical Vehicles

We've decided that the militia needs some extra punch for our Station 42 campaign so we are working on some improvised armored cars and technical vehicles for them.  Here is a WIP shot of one.  They body is a very cheap car we got at the Dollar Tree shop.  They come in two pack for a dollar so these are very inexpensive to build.  We've plated them up with some card stock and put various weapons from model and miniature kits on them. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hell Knights Sniper finished and more WIPs

 I actually finished this sniper when I finished the scouts but I forgot to photograph and post him.  I'm happy with the way he turned out.  The sculpt is a little odd in places but he will make a nice additions to my army.
Here are some reinforcements for my scouts and armoured assault squad or Catachans and Storm Troopers if you prefer. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hell Knights Scouts Finished

I finished the scouts for the Hell Knights.  This would actually be two squads since in the No Limits rules the maximum size of a squad with infiltration is 6.  I'll be adding a couple more troops to these so I can field full strength units.  I've got enough GW Catachans to make a whole scout platoon so I'm planning on that and a squad of commandos which will be elite units using the Catachans as the base models. 

Of couse when I'll also be using them as Imperial Guards for 40k.
I'm pretty happy with these.  I think they match the rest of the army quite nicely. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Defiance Marines came in today!

Well after a very long wait my Defiance USM....  ehh UAMC Marines finally came in.  This new game company had a lot of trouble getting these off this ground.  These Marines are their first offering and they came out months after their release date.  That wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that they took pre-orders in late November of 2011 with a release date of January 2012.  Well they kinda missed the mark and that made a lot of people angry.  Myself included. 

I pre-ordered.  I put down my own money up for these and had to wait quite a while longer than expected to get my product.  I certainly vented a bit about that on some of the forums I went to but I was surprised a bit about one thing.  A lot of people got really angry at Defiance about just about everything. 

However it seemed that the people who got the most upset were people who had not in fact put any money down on the pre-order.  It seemed some people were determined to hate these minis no matter what.  Again most of these people were not they people who actually pre-ordered.  Every complaint in the book was lodged against these minis by people who hadn't invested a dime.  They hated their design. They said their proportions were off.  They said they looked like shit because they were computer renders. A lot of people hated the helmets.  They even hated the fact that you got extra legs and arms.  I think a lot of them even hated the fact that the company was U.S. based.  Mostly the hate came from people with no money invested. 

In my opinion most of their complaints were complete bullshit.  They are certainly entitled to their opinions but that doesn't make their opinions any less bullshit. 

Most miniature companies are not Games Workshop or even Reaper.  Most of them are very small companies with very limited capitol.  I'm certainly not letting Defiance off the hook completely but sometimes a small business can't recover from set backs so easily.  People are used to big business in every day life.  They are used to prompt service without delays and big companies with deep pockets that can fix things much more easily than small companies. 

Now all bullshit aside I think these are nice minis.  A set of non-gothic, non-Nazi styled sci-fi troopers.  They are a good value too.  I'll post a better review when I get them together but I'm plenty happy to finally have these minis.  I'm planning on getting at least one more box to assemble as is and probably another box or two to assemble with some Pig Iron heads.   

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hell Knights Mech Build "The Guts"

I'm working on this Iron Man "Assault Armour" to use as a mech for my Hell Knights.  It's a really cool. toy and it only cost me about $20.00 U.S. which is way less than any similar game model would cost.  The biggest problem with the toy is that they middle of the torso and legs are basically hollow.  The idea is that you put the little Iron Man action figure inside the armour.  Well that's all good but it makes for a pretty silly looking mech.  What I needed to do was figure out a way to make the guts to fill out the torso and legs. 

I had some other considerations.  I plan to get several of these so I didn't want to use model kit bits because I only have just so many of them.  It would have looked really good but I would have had to have made the guts of each mech different or track down several model kits of the same kind which would have made this project much more expensive.  What I needed were cheap bits I could pick up almost anywhere.  I used a bottle cap to fill out the main part of the torso and a little weapon bit from the toy that hung under the arms and looked stupid.  The "gyro" is just a wooden barrel you can get from various craft stores or craft suppliers on line.  The leg structure is made from half a plastic cloths pin cut in half.  The nylon cord will by the myomer muscles I will wrap around the legs and inside the torso.  The network cable will be stripped of it plastic coating and the smaller wires will be used as wiring. 

I think this will go together pretty easily.  I'm going to paint the guts silver then give them a wash.  The wiring I am just going to give a wash.  Then I'm going to put the guts in after the mech is painted.  I think this will produce a much more real looking mech than just painting up the toy as is.

Oh and this is post 200 for my blog!  

Avengers toys for the Hell Knights

 Well I went ahead and picked up two of the Avengers Toys.  Here is a shot of the Iron Man "Assault Armour".  It's about 7 inches tall so I think it will make a nice light/medium sized mech.  The torso and legs are hollowed out so I'm going to have to come up with something to fill those gaps but I have some ideas already.  I've got the toy shown here with all the weapons but I'm only going to use a couple of them for the final version. 
The other toy I picked up was the Iron Man "Firestrike Assault Jet".  Apparently Iron Man likes to "Assault" things.  It does in fact come with some landing gear and an underbelly turret with a pair of really big guns.  I think this would be a great support VTOL for my Hell Knights for the Mech/Tank hunter role. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Avengers Toys for converting to 28mm Sci-Fi vehicles.

 I recently picked up an Avengers Quinjet from Walmart to convert to a Sci-Fi drop ship.  I haven't done anything yet but since then there have been a number of cool Avengers toys released that could be useful for miniature gamers.  I hope to get another one or two of these ships to use as transports for my Hell Knights mercenary army. 
 These little VTOLs look really interesting.  I can't tell from the packaging if they have any landing gear but I can probably manage some if they don't.  I think these would be great for Shadowrun and a number of other Sci-fi settings.  I'm planning on getting at least two to use as air support units for the Hell Knights. 
 I'd like to get at least two or three of these "tanks" to use as self propelled guns for the Hell Knights. 
 My setting has Mecha in it but it's hard to find good robot and mech toys.  These look pretty good and I think with a little modification they would work nicely.
Most Robot toys are either too tall or two short but these look really good.  I think these would make good medium sized mechs.  I'm planning on getting one each for my Hell Knights mech forces but I'm going to change up the armaments so they don't look the same.  The little holes in the chest are for the figures heads to show through but I will be filling these. 

I hope to pick up one of each of the mechs and the tank and VTOL tonight after work.  This is one of those cases where I may still get in trouble for buying all this stuff even though I have a wargame wife but I think she will change her mind when she sees how cool they look. 

Hell Knights Scouts skin and hair WIP

I got the skin tones and hair done on the scouts.  Now I just have the weapons and bases.  I'm pretty happy with the way they are turning out. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hell Knights Scouts and Sniper WIP

I got the drybrushing done, blocked in the skin tones and applied the wash.  Now I have to highlight the skin and finished the details.  I really like this stage because it always feels like I'm almost done. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hell Knights Scout Squad and Sniper

I've been working on this squad for my Hell Knights mercenary army.  We are using No Limits for our rule systems and infiltrating squads can't be any larger than 6 models but I am also making these guys up as an Imperial guard army so these guys will just be used as a veteran squad for that version of the army. 
I'll be putting more up about the background of the army for my own setting soon.  These guys will soon see action in the Station 42 setting.