Saturday, 7 April 2018

Kickfinisher?

This was meant to be a triumphant post as I finished off the Scourge Dropfleet Commander fleet I acquired via a somewhat overly successful Kickstarter campaign.

However, I’d neglected to notice that kitbashing my own corvettes would leave me short of Frigate bases, so this isn’t quite the celebration I’d hoped.

However, I have done these guys...



Four more cruisers and four more frigates to add some flexibility and choice to me fleet building and allow me to not just take what I have.

Let’s have a look at what’s been added.



A Chimera troop ship. I’ve already got one of these, but this game is won by grabbing objectives on the ground or in space. Gargoyle strike carriers are fast and effective, but they need the protection of being in atmosphere if I want them to last longer. However, in games with space stations, this protection is removed and this will be where the Chimeras come in, with enough armour to survive at least a couple of rounds and disembark enough troops to win the day.



A Hydra fleet carrier. I also have one of these, but it’s proved itself so good that I decided to get another one. The Hydra carries extremely powerful bombers (which are arguably better than those possessed by the other factions) and grant me some much needed ranged threat.



Two Yokai light cruisers. I’ve done two of these because light cruisers have to come in twos. They are less durable than the other cruisers in my fleet, but faster and cheaper, in fact, they’re are as fast as most frigates and the two of these cost about the same as my Basilisk battlecruiser, lending a lot of firepower to the fleet.

The trick will be learning when to unleash them.



Four Scylla frigates. These are unusual ships which possess the ability to fire upwards from atmosphere without penalty. I can imaging them at their best when lurking below a space station, blowing up enemy carriers as the seek to land their troops.

Also, as they’re called Scylla, I fully intend to sing ‘Surprise Surprise’ every time they shoot.



And I’ll finish with a picture of my full fleet, although I cant imagine me them all hitting the table at the same time.

My intention when backing the Kickstarter campaign was to get enough ships in one go to ensure that I didn’t need to buy more. Building my own corvettes was part of this plan.

However, not only have I not finished my ships, I’ve also spent money on something else. A very big something else. Watch this space...

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Mentors, Mutants and Masked Vigilantes

Continuing in the spirit of finishing things off, I’ve completed almost all of the batch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniatures I picked up just after Christmas.



The models are all Heroclix sculpts as most of the characters are fairly hard to find proxies for. Also, Heroclix, even if ordered from across the pond, are cheap as chips and, for the most part, decent models hidden under ropey paint jobs.

As such, I have simply tidied up the paint work on these four and thrown a wash over them.

Yes, I’m lazy. But I’m my opinion, it works.



Of the four, Splinter is probably the model I’m least happy with. This is mainly because, as ever, these photos jave down up some bits I’ve missed, such as the toes and trim of the robe which I’m going to have to revisit. However, it’s also a bit of an odd model.

I actually bought a Splinter proxy some time ago from TT Combat’s Rumbleslam range. Unfortunately, I’d never seen the miniatures in the flesh and, quite frankly, it is massive, about the size of a GW Black Orc.

There are actually plenty of alternatives for Splinter out there. Obviously there are probably Skaven options amongst the GW back catalogue, but I can’t be bothered tracking them down, Greebo Miniatures do a couple of excellent, if expensive, versions, and Mantic have a suspiciously Splinter-like coach amongst their Dreadball range.

However, for the moment I’ll simply tidy up the missed bits and be happy with what I have.





Rocksteady and Bebop, the Shredder’s loyal, if stupid, minions are quite characterful miniatures. If I have a complaint about these two, it’s the fact that they are small, my Turtles tower over them. However, in the 80’s cartoon, they weren’t big and they are only extras in the 7TV rules and so shouldn’t be too imposing as they won’t last long against the heroes in a half-shell.

Again, Greebo Miniatures do two impressive sculpts for Rocksteady and Bebop, and certainly Rocksteady is big enough to be given the large trait in 7TV. If I’m feeling flush at some point, I might place an order with Greebo, however, pricey models, shipping costs from Poland (I think) and the fact that my TMNT casts aren’t really in regular use, might mean that this will some time in the future.



The vigilante, Casey Jones, is the model that there are most potential alternatives for out there. Hockey-mask wearing thugs are quite popular and easy to find, however, seeing as I was buying the other, more specialist, models, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to spend another pound.

As it happens, Casey is probably the one of the four I’m most happy with and which required least tidying up.

And so both my Turtles and Foot Clan casts are complete...well, almost...

I have the Krang to consider. I still have a model for Warlord Krang to paint, however, I will probably wait until I have something to use as the Krang Droids...Necrons or Terminators (based to match my TMNT stuff) are probably most likely, I just need to work out a way to put Krang aliens in their bellies.

Friday, 30 March 2018

One Man & His Dog

Erm...that’s all there is to say really.



When I last used my 7TV cultists, in a game against Mystery Incorporated, Matt, who was using the cultists, complained that the unit card said he could include a dog handler, but I didn’t have one.

And so, I bought one.

It’s been nice to do another if the cultists from Crooked Dice, as they were the my first completed cast last year. They are wonderfully simple models and quick to paint. I may have to add the female cultists at some point.

And there we have something else removed from the painting desk, although painting the dog did give me an idea about something else, and so I’ve actually added another two models to the queue.

Technically, this is a zero progress post. Hmmm...

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Gang’s All Here



In the spirit of finishing things off, I’ve taken the opportunity to add to my Necromunda Orlocks for the first time in around twenty years.

The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, I had a brief flurry of nostalgic excitement about the release of the new Necromunda just before Christmas, until I found out that fundamentally the rules hadn’t changed massively, you could only get the full rules if you bought the big box (which includes two gangs of fiddly sprues) and you also needed to buy supplements to play the campaign - this is Cheaphammer after all!

Secondly, in a former gaming life I’d beefed up my Orlocks with a handful of Grenadier models that have now been repurposed into different projects over the years, and so my gang were a little short handed should we start a campaign.

Therefore, I took to eBay and secured a couple of Juves without needing to remortgage, and a healthy dose of begging netted me a couple of the original plastic hangers from Matt.



They’ve all been painted and based to fit in with the rest of the crew, obviously, who had a spruce up last year to serve as the Purple Dragons in my games of 7TV with the Turtles. I’m not sure these guys will see service in that way not that I’ve painted the Foot Clan, but there’s always an option.

However, you may remember that a few months ago, Matt and I began a fledgling Necromunda campaign. We were hoping to tempt Pete, who had Spyrers (filth) and possibly Wes, into the fray, but we’ve not really pushed that yet.



The two plastic gangers are packed with nostalgia for me. A friend and I bought the original box between us when we we sharing a house. He took the Goliaths and I had the Orlocks. We pretty soon moved onto the metal models, and although he moved on to the Delaques, I stuck with the Orlocks (although I did have a brief flurry with the Ratskins).



They’re certainly a bit dated now, but they are perfectly serviceable (more than can be said of the Goliaths) and fit in well with the rest of the gang.

The Lasgun is a bit big and some of their features are a bit cartoonish, but overall, I like them, even if the design of the Orlocks is a bit soft rock.



The addition of two more juves fixes an issue that I’ve had in Necromunda for a looong time. Namely the fact that I always had to recruit gangers rather than juves due to lack of models.

Although out of print models, and particularly Necromunda models, can get expensive, I didn’t spend more than a few quid on either of them. There doesn’t seem to be the demand for Orlocks that there is for the likes of the Escher models. Sometimes it’s good to be vanilla.



All in all, I’m pleased to get these done and off the table. I’m now ready if we do pick up the campaign, no matter how long that takes.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Last Defence of Mother Russia

Given that I’ve spent much of 2018 starting new projects, I’ve decided to try and clear out the tail end of some long running projects.

First in the firing line, so to speak, are the last few Russians for my Bolt Action army.



Most of these are made from some Plastic Soldier Company models which I’d given to Matt after I’d used a bunch to create my VBCW BUF force. I retrieved them (much to his delight, allowing his painting vs acquired tally to start the year in a very healthy position) mainly because I wanted to add some crew to my SU-76 (I’d lost the original crew somewhere). As he’d returned the whole bag of the PSC miniatures to me, complete with the pennies he’d based them on (so I made a 14p profit too!), it seemed silly not to add at least some of them to my army.



The Plastic Soldier Company Russians are, quite frankly, not great. However, they are cheap and serviceable, and if your are starting Bolt Action on a budget, they are the best way to acquire a fairly sizeable force for minimal cost.

The infantry box contain 57 models, allowing you to build several LMG squads and command. The heavy weapons box adds MMGs, anti tank rifles and mortars, and there’s also a box with 45mm anti-tank guns. If you throw in the fact that you have less fiddly assembly time than with a Warlord box, then there really are advantages to this range.

The downsides are that they lack an amount of detail, you get duplicate models and some of the sculpts are just funky. There is one model throwing a grenade with what looks like a withered arm that’s been dislocated at the shoulder...I’ve not used him.

I have used one of each of the sculpts to try to keep variety in my force.



I’ve painted the commander as a Commissar, as that’s something I’ve never used and it adds something different...blue trousers. In game it gives you the chance to reroll morale tests for the cost of one model, as the Commissar shoots them! I needed to find a new arm for this one, but simply used one of the many spares from my Warlord sprues.

The female officer is going to serve as a medic for me. I’ve never used a medic, and they’ve become a little less useful since the 2nd edition rules no longer counter-intuitively make them the best option for manning the machine guns in transports. I know the picture is a little blurred, but don’t worry, she doesn’t really have any sort of facial features to speak of that you’re missing.



The riflemen and sergeant have all been done in the same slapdash way I did all of my Russians. They’ve turned out okay, and so will slot into the army well.



The LMG team has been done in much the same way. I quite like the pose of the gunner as it is quite characterful (for these guys) and also marks him out from the more ‘action’ poses of the Warlord LMG gunners.



The AT Rifle gunner is actually the last of my Warlord models with a slightly converted PSC LMG loader. The rock was added to the base when I realised that when I’d clipped everything off the Warlord sprues, I’d neglected the AT rifle stands, therefore I needed something for the rifle to rest on. What I like about this model is that the Soviet rules allow me to take up to three Anti-Tank teams, and so I can use this alongside my other AT rifle team and either the surprisingly effective Mine Dogs or the surprisingly less effective Tank Hunters.



The SU-76 was painted some time ago, but I’ve taken the opportunity to add some decals and the crew.



Sticklers for historical accuracy would point out that the crew would not be wearing their full kit in the cramped conditions of the vehicles.

In response, I intend to point out that it’s even less historically accurate to have a light howitzer firing by itself without any crew.



Personally, I’m quite pleased with how this has turned out. It still comes at least second to my T-34/85 as my best tank, however, it is a cheaper option, there’s an optional rule that allows me to take an inexperienced SU-76 instead of the free rifle squad, and I have enough tanks for a game of Tank War, and so this vehicle will see some action.

Overall I pleased to get these guy off my painting table and put a lid on the Russian army. I’d still like to add some decals to my two tanks, and I may still add vehicles, but I certainly think I’m done for infantry. The only infantry I can see myself doing now are a few casualties using the renaming PSC models - perhaps as pinned markers.

Expect to see some more projects reaching ‘completion’ as I endeavour to clear some space on the painting table for the influx that follows my birthday this year.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

“What, do you guys come off an assembly line or something?”

Another batch of Resistance soldiers for Terminator; Genysis, and this time, in the full spirit of Cheaphammering, they’ve been co-opted from Mars Attacks by Mantic Games.



I picked up Mars Attacks cheaply a couple of years ago, with the intention of using the scenery and miniatures for zombie games and 7TV. Unfortunately, the single piece miniatures are a bit slender and small to fit in with most 28mm ranges. Fortunately, so are the Terminator; Genysis miniatures.

Here’s a comparison.



The miniatures are more individual than the Terminator Resistance models and so add some much needed variety to the force. The bases and uniforms are slightly different but not worryingly so. In fact, the only major downside is that most of them are armed with assault rifles, which are largely useless against Endoskeletons. Weight of fire is their only hope of slowing the machines down.



Fortunately, these troops also give me access to light machine guns, something that I’ve not had access to previously, partly due to the fact they’re not in the main rulebook. However, and errata has fixed that and so I’ll be able to add massed firepower at range to hold the terminators at bay.



The set also includes a missile launcher. Unfortunately, I can’t technically add a third until I bring my force up to 750 points.



At the moment, I’m currently only at 500 points, however events have taken place that mean that reaching that next benchmark might be easier than I first thought.

This also means that I get to start adding fun stuff to the machines, and I have plans for that too.

This is beginning to get out of hand...

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Rage Against The Machines

Matt and I found time recently to play a couple of slightly larger game of Terminator: Genysis and, I have to say, it’s a much better game than I have it credit for.

Both of our previous games were tutorials which feature just a couple of Endoskeletons and ultimately the machines were stopped by a couple of lucky shots. However our most recent games were using the last tutorial mission and had 16 Resistance against 10 Termunators, and those machines were relentless and frightening and both times humanity was in a panicked struggle for survival.

This has prompted me to paint the Resistance models that came in the starter I picked up cheaply at last year’s Salute.



I’ve gone quick and dirty with painting these as their not the greatest miniatures in the world (serviceable, but not brilliant), and I’m not a fan painting in bulk.



There are four poses in the set and there is a degree of interchangeability with optional weapons. However this is limited, for example, the female fighter can only have a plasma rifle or a shotgun (something that non of the other models can have), and so I’ve tried to bring in some variation with different skin tones, hair colours and other features like bandannas.

I was a bit confused that with single pose models in uniform there was only one of the sculpts with a helmet on. Uniforms bring uniform isn’t really an issue, but hairstyles being the same becomes noticeable. I think these would be more desireable for other games if they were all in helmets.



I’ve gone with a simple dark grey with a wash, I didn’t even bother highlighting (don’t tell the paint police), and most of the weapons are black. I’ve allowed myself the luxury of doing the plasma rifles silver both to easily differentiate them from the assault rifles, but also they are supposed to be machine-tech and so silver makes some kind of narrative sense.

The basing, like on my Endoskeletons is just bare sand with some tufts added. As well as being quick, it means my models will be easily told apart from Matt’s (who’s done great bases) should we decide to merge our forces for a bigger game.

My initial aim is to get both of my forces up to 500 points. For the machines this just means making one of them a command unit and purchasing a reroll, however for the Resistance I will need to get creative with some cheap vehicles and my much-unloved Wargames Factory Apocalypse Survivors, as well as a few other surprising sources.

Watch this space. I’ll be back.