Category Archives: Sci-Fi Gound

Terrain Week

I needed a break from painting my Germans for Chain Of Command, so starting this past Thursday, and finishing today, I worked on terrain.  I planned on making some bocage, but after a trip to the hobby store, I ended up with some strip styrene to make tank traps with.  Then, I saw some great 15mm stone walls on Brookhurst Hobby’s site, so I ordered those.

bocage_start bocage_start_cross_sectionIn the model airplane section of my local hobby store, I found this curved piece of wood, as well as the flat pice I used as a base.  This will serve as the basis of my bocage.  I glued them together, let it dry overnight, then cut them with a circular saw, since I don’t have anything more subtle.  Then I sanded the sharp edges to a slight curve.

tank_traps_start tank_traps_start_2At that same hobby store, I found this strip styrene.  They had all kinds – I beams, hollow square, etc.  I thought it would be perfect for tank traps.  I used superglue to make the tripods, and glued them to some leftover wood from the bocage base.

The mini is a 15mm Sci-Fi soldier from Rebel Minis.  I’ll be using him as a size reference today. For you Flames Of War players, he’s almost exactly the same size as Battlefront’s plastic soldiers.

walls_startThese are the 15mm walls, cleaned and ready for primer.  They are resin, and are made by Peter Pig.

bocage_primed bocage_with_rocks bocage_with_rocks_paintedI primed the bocage black, glued some model railway ballast rocks to it, and let it dry overnight. Then I used some leftover Citadel sepia shade on it, and let that dry.  Last, I dry brushed it gray.  I like the black / brown / gray combination.

tank_traps_primedI used some vinyl spackling mixed with sand to fill in the base of the tank traps.  I talk about that process in several other blog posts.  I let that dry overnight, then primed it all black.

 

wall_primedAt the same time, I primed the stone walls black.

tanktraps_top tank_traps_completeI painted the tank traps and base.  I used the sepia shade on the base to good effect, I think.  I could probably use more practice painting rusty metal, though.

walls_closeup_full walls_extra_closeI’m really happy with how the walls came out, and they were really easy to paint.  A dry brush of gray, followed by a dry brush of white.  Then a green dry brush for the grass, some light dabs of tan, and a tan paint for the weeds.

The gate is brown, with a yellow-brown highlight and a black wash.

bocage_complete_side

bocage_closeup_2The bocage was a lot more work than the rest.  I used Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue.  I spread it all over the top, then stuck the foliage on it.  I used several different colors.  After it was dry, I touched it up with some more glue and foliage.  When that was dry, I soaked the whole thing in watered down PVA glue.  That took 2 days to dry, but they are pretty solid now.  Nothing is falling off these bocage.

Finally, some static grass on the edges.  I think I need a “greener” static grass.  This is “winter grass”.  I need to get some “summer” grass or something like that.

treesI had originally ordered some Woodland Scenics trees from Amazon when I ordered the foliage, but they turned out to be too small to stick on the bocage, so I based them on the last of the leftover base wood from the bocage in 2 groups of 4.

all_terrain_on_workbench all_terrain_on_grassThe fruits of 7 days of labor.

I’m going to get back to painting my Germans, but at some point I need a lot more trees, some more tank traps, some farm fields, roads, minefields, etc.  The list goes on.

I really enjoy making terrain.  It’s a nice break from painting minis.  Now I can attack my Germans with renewed enthusiasm.

Rules and more Rules

So many rules, so little time.booksFrom top to bottom:

  • SAGA – The base rules plus all the expansions in the folder that came with expansion #4. I play this a lot recently.  I have a six point Anglo-Dane warband.
  • Dreadball Season 2
  • Dreadball  - Base rules.  I love Dreadball.  I play the base game only so far.  I have a season 2 team, unpainted.  It will get painted soon.  Dreadball is a ton of fun.
  • Monster Hunter International - The RPG based on the novels.  I GM a campaign.  Lots of fun.  Humans with guns fight monsters – werewolves, zombies, etc…
  • Star Wars Edge Of Empire -  RPG. I do not currently play.  It seems like a fun game.  Unique dice mechanic.
  • Eclipse Phase –  RPG. I am a player in a campaign.  Great game, and the most high quality rulebook here.  Very unique sci-fi setting. The printed book is well worth it’s price, however, the rules are also available for free.  Creative Commons rules!
  • Chain Of Command – Just released (Fall 2013) WWII platoon level rules from Too Fat Lardies.  I’ve not played them yet, but they seem really nice.
  • Gruntz - 15mm Sci-Fi rules.  A great introductory set of rules, and you can add complexity later.  I’ve played them a few times.  Fun.
  • Tomorrows War – Another 15mm Sci-Fi ruleset.  Well reviewed, but overly complex and, frankly, the book is hard to read.  Black text on a busy background.
  • Traveller - I have so many great memories of playing Traveller as a kid in the ’80s.  Sci-Fi RPG.
  • Traveller 5  - Not the “final” Traveller I’d hoped for.  Overly complex.

So, that’s my physical rules collection.  In digital, I’ve got a bunch more, but the only digital rules that are not also here in physical form that I play / want to play are:

  • Quadrant 13 – Company level 15mm Sci-Fi rules.  Seems like a great game.  I’d love to play some day.
  • Full Thrust: Cross Dimensions – Super fun space fleet combat game.  I’ve got two full fleets of minis painted up for this game.  Quick, deadly, tactical space combat.  Free rules, too.

Army Painter’s Color Primer Review

I recently got a buttload of 15mm Sci-Fi minis from the Critical Mass Games Kickstarter.  I need to paint them, so I can have a full company vs. company to try out Quadrant 13.  I looked into how to speed up the painting process, and I came across The Army Painter’s Color Primer.  They spell it “colour” but they are wrong. :)

I use Army Painter’s washes – Strong Tone and Dark Tone, and I like them a lot better than the Citadel washes I had used previously, so I was already feeling positive toward the company.

The genius thing that Army Painter has done here is that they have a “100% match” regular paint for each color primer.  So you can, in theory, spray your minis with the colored primer, paint the other colors, then touch up with the 100% match paint.

Anyway, I wanted to try it out before I sprayed it all over my CMG minis, so I tried it on Kurasan’s “Terror Of Clambake Beach.”  These were perfect, because they are mostly one color.

raw_terror cleaned_terror The Clambake Beach minis before and after cleanup.

 

terror_primed After priming with “Ultramarine Blue”.  In the back is the spray primer and the 100% match paint.

 

Khurasan_terror_of_clambake_beach_15mm_PLA-6The completed minis.  I drybrushed a mix of the 100% match paint with a bit of Citadel’s Runefang Steel, then painted the eyes, mouth and teeth.  Of course I messed that up, so I had several touchups to do, and they blended perfectly.

Then I washed with Army Painter’s Strong Tone mixed with acrylic medium to thin it.  Basing was done my standard way.

 

The color primer really sped the whole process up.  I’m a fan.  The 100% match paints really seal the deal.  I think this will save me about 25% time when I paint the 79 infantry from the CMG Kickstarter.

Critical Mass Games ZAS Kickstarter Delivers

I’ve become a bit of a Kickstarter addict.  I’ve pledged hundreds of dollars over the last 6 months on various miniature and other gaming related projects.  The one that started me down this path of addiction was the Critical Mass Games ZAS 15mm Mercs.

Well, today it arrived.  It’s the first Kickstarter I’ve backed that has delivered (it was the first one I pledged, so I guess that makes sense).  I pledged Mechanised Infantry Commander for £85.00.  Two full platoons of troops, four Infantry Fighting Vehicles, three tanks, and more.  The many stretch goals that were met added heavy weapons, tripod mounted guns, and more.  I did the math, and for £85 I got £120 worth of minis, based on the CMG website prices.

Below are pics of the “new” stuff.  Some of the minis that are part of the Kickstarter, like the tanks and IFVs, are existing CMG products.  The pics below are for the new minis made for the Kickstarter.

The quality of the minis is very good.  There’s some flash, and some minor mold lines, but that’s to be expected, and it’s better than most minis I’ve bought.  The detail is good, and I like the sculpts a lot.  The pics below are right out of the box – no cleanup at all.

CMG_Kickstarter_box

My wife texted me when I was at work that I had a package from the UK.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_all

Here’s everything.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_squad

This is a single squad.  Six troops, six different sculpts.  Gotta love that.  I got eight squads like this one.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_heavy_weapons

The heavy weapons squad.  I got one of these.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_command

Two command groups (medic, radio man, commander), two drones, and one company commander.  The drones have 2 different guns, so you can choose which to use.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_mortar

Rocket assisted mortar.  Three teams like this one.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_energy_cannon

Energy cannon.  Three teams like this one.

 

CMG_Kickstarter_gatling_gun

Gatling gun.  Three teams like this one.

 

Besides the tanks and IFVs, there are 2 shipping containers, 2 objective markers and a command turret that will fit an IFV or a tank.  As I mentioned earlier, they are previously existing CMG products, so I’ve not pictured them here.

I’m totally stoked about these minis.  This doubles my force.  When I finally get these painted, I’ll have two full companies of troops.  I can finally play Quadrant 13!

What’s on my Table – June 2013 Edition.

I’m taking a break from painting Dreadball to work on some 15mm stuff I got from Rebel Minis.  I’ve got a Monster Hunter International RPG campaign starting next month, and I want to get some monster minis ready for it.  To that end, I ordered a bunch of werewolves, zombies, cops, FBI agents and more from Rebel Minis and Khurasan.

all_clean

This first batch is from Rebel Minis, since they arrived first.  In fact, I ordered on a Sunday night and they arrived on Thursday.  Now that’s quick service!

There’s a some shipping containers, some sci-fi troops to round out my Earth Force, some “mall cops”, who all have awesome mustaches, werewolves, and government agents.

Here they are after cleaning.

 

primed_and_ready

Here they are primed and ready for paint.  In the back are some minis that have been hanging around my work table waiting for paint for a while now – 2 from GZG and 1 from Khurasan.

 

rebel_minis_15mm_shipping_containers

The finished shipping containers.

 

rebel_minis_15mm_werewolves

The finished werewolves.  They are kinda boring, I think.  Brown on brown.  I tried to get some red on the eyes, but they are too small – I just made a mess that I had to go back and fix.  Same for the teeth.  Anyway, you can tell what they are.

 

In the back of those last two pics, you can kinda see a special order I just got from Khurasan.  More on them and the rest of what’s on my table in a future post.

Happy gaming!