Wednesday, June 29, 2011

15mm "Space Demons"

Further in the ongoing 15mm sci-fi escalation, I've painted a few of Khurasan's "Space Demons" obtained from a TMP member in a moment of weakness (mine, or his?)

The models are fantastic and I'm glad I took the opportunity to pick them up, particularly as Khurasan is now hors-de-combat for the immediate future.

The models painted up wonderfully, and fast.  Black undercoat as usual, Boltgun Metal, Badab Black wash, Boltgun Metal again on some odd highlights, Black Ink on the head, brush on 'Ardcoat (gloss varnish), done.

I based them individually on pennies (as opposed to Flames of War bases like the Earth Force Marines) for two reasons: first, I'd like to be able to use them for skirmish games in 15mm like Space Hulk; second, I think they look better based individually than as a unit (who ever heard of a "unit" of Aliens??); third, they were already glued to the pennies when I got 'em.  Okay, that's three reasons ;-)

Now for the Daddy (or is that Big Momma??)

That is one large Space Demon!  (S)he's painted in the same way, based on a washer.  This bad boy/girl will wreck your shizz, no question.

So that's the latest update on 15mm sci-fi!  Now that Canada Post is moving, be on the lookout for some more updates (and new armies?) over the summer.

ps Sorry about the stray bits of static grass on the models, I was in a rush to take pics this morning.  d.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

15mm Sci-Fi Vehicles

As you may know, our New Insane Project for the month is 15mm sci-fi.  A few days ago I blogged about my Rebel Minis Earth Force Marines and posted some pictures.  I also started this thread on TMP about the post, and got generally favourable comments on the army, except for one commenter that thought the vehicles weren't up to the standards of the infantry.  Subsequent to that, I went back to Gilles and asked that he do some more work on the vehicles - and here is the result.

Antenna were added using thin wire and painted black.  Gilles said that he started with a basecoat of GW Codex Grey over a black undercoat.  He then painted in the camouflage pattern in Graveyard Earth with an old brush using a stipple method to create soft edges. 

This was gone over with a mix of Iyanden Darksun and Graveyard Earth.  The tracks were painted with GW Dark Flesh.  Missile warheads were picked out in Mechrite Red.

The whole vehicle was given a wash of GW Badab Black.

Gilles then applied some decals from a Flames of War "Afrika Korps" set - tactical numbers and the small round decals that I thought looked good as national symbols for my sci-fi troops.  Gilles had to paint in small white circles on the vehicles first, to show up the negative space on the decal.

Last came some weathering - a drybrush of Scorched Earth around the tracks and lower hull, followed by a lighter drybrush of Bubonic Brown higher up, and some weathering to the decals.  We think they look OK :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

PrairieCon XXXII Report

PrairieCon XXXII was held two weeks ago at Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada (one of my own alma maters in fact!)  The Con was a great success and I am advised that registration set a new record for attendance.

On the Saturday evening I set up a 28mm Stalingrad game on an 8x4 table, using terrain I obtained earlier this year from a fellow member of TMP.

The terrain is fantastic resin stuff from Precision Model Designs.  I obtained it in one large deal, fully assembled and ready to go, specifically with a view to using it at PrairieCon.

I designed the game for eight players and we ended up with seven in the game.  Each player controlled three maneuver units - each unit consisted of an infantry section, a command section, a section of two heavy weapons, or an armoured vehicle.  This is enough for one person to comfortably control in a setting where they're not familiar with the rules.
Speaking of rules, we used our "Blitzkrieg" rules developed by me and Conscript Greg.  They are fast-playing and have some unique mechanics that we like.

Each player in the game also had a special mission for his force - the Scouts had to leave play via the enemy table edge, the German Pioneers had to blow up a Goliath SP explosive vehicle, the NKVD had to wipe out an enemy unit in close combat, etc.  It's always interesting to see how convention players choose to achieve these special missions (or not ;-)

Anyway, we had a good time playing the game, and it even ended right on time, with a marginal German win due to their having achieved more of their special missions.

Later in the evening, Conscript Greg ran his very popular Robotech game.  In his game, the Zentraedi have invaded Mars and are trying to leave the table via the human's board edge, to reach the SDF-1 or something.  The humans are trying to prevent this.

The game was played on Greg's really excellent "desert" game boards (that stand in for everything from Afghanistan to the Sudan to, well, Mars) with some of my styro-tastic hangar buildings.

Awesome game, Greg!  I'm sure we'll be back to PrairieCon next year with more games.  I just have to plan a game that involves less than 5 large boxes of terrain.  Makes things difficult to transport in my small car... again I need to thank Greg for terrain schlepping for me in his spacious new Ford Edge...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

15mm Sci-Fi Gauntlet Thrown!

Here's the first of the 15mm sci-fi "armies" you'll be seeing completed on the blog.  The models are all from Rebel Minis' "Earth Force Marines" range.  I know some of my fellow Conscripts such as Mike F. have been hard at work on their forces, and I hope that we can have a game soon!

The models are based four to a Flames of War "medium" base for use with Future War Commander.

"Command" types are two to a small base - I have some "higher command" models on the way from Khurasan.

Sniper or heavy weaponeer?

The vehicles turned out reasonably nice I think.  Still need some tactical markings.

Enjoy the pics and come on fellow Conscripts - when are we gonna have a game??

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Food for Powder"

Two weeks ago the Conscripts enjoyed a visit from from Conscript "founding managing director" Curt C, who makes his home in our neighbouring province to the west these days, but still makes time to peel down the highway and throw an occaisional game and visit. This trip marked the debut for the "grand manner" style of Napoleonics gaming with 25/28mm figures for us here in Winnipeg, and man was it cool!

Curt staged a game for the group on the Thursday night - a replay of his tried and tested "When Things Go Boom" scenario, an entertaining "what-if" engagement post Battle of Waterloo. He has already filed a report on his blog, and you can see some photos there.

As one of the players who tried in vain to crush the British rear-guard, I cannot report not much more than heavy casualties for the french side...Dallas and Dave V handled the defence of the village very well. Meanwhile, together with Brian and Mike F, those of us on the French side endured frustration and rocket attacks. The darn rocket battery chased off our Dragoon Regiment! Stupid brits...

Unfortunately my picture-taking that night was a fail, but check out "Analogue Hobbies" (Curt's blog) for some great pics. The game was outstanding, and it looked awesome. A big thank you to Curt for rolling out the game, and to Dallas for hosting!

Curt stayed over the weekend, as his wife was attending the religious ceremony otherwise known as the U2 concert that Sunday (I was able to go too, and I have to say I will now shut up about Bono after watching an incredible rock show). We were able to fill the time before the concert with some great gaming, including a first deployment for my Austrians! Here are some pictures.

The scenario was the Battle of Venzone, set in Italy in the 1809 campaign, with a brigade on each side. It is exactly the sort of battle no exalted history or rules-book-scenario writer spends much time on, and is exactly the kind of battle that is a great game with Curt's modification of Black Powder, which he calls "Food For Powder".

In the scenario, the Austrians are the aggressors, led by a fire-eating officer (pretty rare), who is leading an attack against an advancing French column.

The scenario was the one Curt and I had committed to playing in 25/28mm quite some time ago, and was the inspiration for me to get moving on painting my Austrians for this scale. Needless to say, it was quite exciting to finally deploy the lads for action!

In the spirit of this rare agressive Austrian officer, I attacked the French as soon as we could, launching my Hussars, supported by Dragoons, at the French Dragoons as they moved on to the table. The battle went well for the Austrians - the Dragoons were driven off, and in the follow-up for the assault, the Hussars caught a French battalion in column, wrecking their day as well. The charge finally whimped out in the face of a French artillery battery.

Curt countered by using the "Follow Me!" ability of his brigadier to get the artillery back into action, and my Hussars soon decided they had enjoyed enough action for the day. But their work was done - the French column was damaged and stopped - time for the ground pounders to get to work!

I sent the infantry straight up the middle, with the Grenzers in the lead. We had the advantage of one French battalion being driven into a square by the presence on my cavalry. A firefight lasted for a few turns (as I failed on my command rolls to get the brigade fully in motion) but we managed to out-shoot the lads in the square, and ultimately drive them off.

The Grenzers paid the price for "screening" the assault, but the following Austrian regulars were able to make up for the sacrifice, driving enough French units away while still "holding their bottle" in the face of some heavy-duty musketry.

It was an absolute thrill to get the Austrians on to the table to for the first time. Curt will surely find another scenario soon, and accompanying roster that I can use as a new target to build toward. Thanks again for the game dude!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PrairieCon is this weekend!

PrairieCon XXXII runs this weekend (3-5 June) in my home town of Brandon, Manitoba.  Both Conscript Greg and I are running miniatures games on Saturday.  Greg is reprising his excellent Robotech game and I am engaging in further amortization of the Stalingrad terrain.

We hope to see you at PrairieCon - in the meantime here are pics and battle reports from some games we've run there in the past.

Greg's Robotech Game

Playtest of my Star Wars space battle game

"Escape from Mos Eisley"

Zombie Game from 2008

PrairieCon website