My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mounting up the Torakk Riders

Staying off of the forums has helped me get some more painting done. Part of the purchase from Microworld Games were the Torakk Riders from Dark Realm Miniatures. To me, these 6mm science fiction miniatures are very reminiscent of the rider in Ralph Bashki's movie Wizards. (Here is a link to the movie poster. I am not going to link in the image itself.) Of course the riding beast is different and the rider has Kraytonian armor, so I guess it is just the pose.

I started off by priming these figures white. I then used various browns, yellows, and reds in washes, inks, and glazes to get my beast tones. I then painted a darker flesh color for the 'horn' and the 'beak', then washed it in brown to blend it in.

For the rider I first coated him in gloss, then washed him in Citadel Nuln Oil (a black wash). That got the black mostly into the depressions and only lightly colored the white primer. I then washed the armor with Citadel Camoshade and that colored the figure the green that you see. I then picked out the equipment in various colors and washed over them in browns or greens in order to blend in the colors.
Yes, I did actually paint the eyes white on these guys. They were pretty well defined in the sculpt.

These guys had a bit larger base, ½" circle punched from magnetic business cards, which I covered with sand, painted my standard Cocoa color (which is colored more like light caramel), washed in dark brown to give some depth, and then added static grass.

All in all it took about two evenings, as this style requires a lot of time drying (due to all the washes and glazes).

The figures were fun to paint, but … they are not 6mm, in my opinion. Never mind that the total figure height is so tall, but the rider itself is much larger than the GW Epic Space Marines and larger than even the Kraytonian infantry, which they are supposed to duplicate. Torakk Riders must be the 'cuirassiers' of their day!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Abominations Arrive!

Onslaught Miniatures announced that the next wave of their 6mm science fiction line is out, and I had to buy some. This time it is the Abomination, reminiscent of Genestealer Hybrids. As I loved the game Space Hulk (First Edition, along with all of the expansions, and the articles from White Dwarf magazine), I still have a collection of 28mm Genestealer Hybrids from Citadel Miniatures. These are not reduced sized copies of those original miniatures, but they definitely give you that feel, just as their Legion figures give you the feel for the Tyranid species without actually copying them.


First up are the three variants of the close combat Abominations. As you can see, two are four-armed and one is two-armed.



The body armor is well formed. I painted the armor a dark gray, then picked out the high spots with blue paint. For the flesh I primed the figures white, washed them in GW purple wash (the one no longer available; I have not tried the new ones), then picked out the high spots in sunburned flesh. If you click on the pictures, you will see a greatly magnified image.

Next are the Abominations with squad automatic support weapons.


As you can see, two are held slung low – the left hand actually holding a handle on top of the weapon – while the third uses a more traditional grip. The first figure is three-armed – he looks like a leader signaling with upraised claw – and the additional of a "bionic eye" lends to that aura. I like him; I need to add some markings to his armor indicating that he is a leader.

As with the previous figures the armor is well defined, making it easy to pick out the detail with a paint brush. I started getting a little better with the faces on these guys.



Finally, we have the Abominations with the heavy weapons. Two weapons look like the weapons on the GW Epic Orks with heavy weapons; they look like missile launchers to me, which is great, because it gives the unit some anti-armor capability. The last looks like a shoulder-mounted laser weapon.


It almost looks like I painted the teeth white on some of these guys, but that is just the purple wash not getting into the crevice of the mouth and leaving it white. I cannot see it with the naked eye, but I had to laugh when I saw the pictures.
The openings on the front and back of this weapon are well defined, so it warranted a wash in order to highlight it. I was worried that the wash would overpower the light gray color, so I used Army Painter's Soft Tone Ink. I probably could have gone darker, using something like an armor wash.

The 'sun glasses' worn by this figure is purely an accident of painting. But he does look cool!

All in all, these figures were very fun to paint. In all of the GW Epic figures that I have, I was never able to get any Tyranid forces on eBay, largely because others outbid me; they were very popular (and expensive). From a skirmish viewpoint, using something like In the Emperor's Name (ITEN), FUBAR, or Angel Barracks' KR16, the Abominations are probably a better force to collect. When gaming at a larger scale – where units are squads or platoons – the Legion are an excellent choice to represent mass attacks by the 'Bugs'.

New Science Fiction Rules

Speaking of which … Ganesha Games has come out with a new set of science fiction rules called SWATTERS! It has some interesting concepts for representing multi-unit combat (think Sixty-One Sixty-Five for science fiction) that I think can be applied across many genres. I hope to do a review and battle report soon.

Well, I need to keep off of the forums for awhile, so I hope to get back to the painting table and finish some sample figures of the rest of the Legion line (I bought the Gashers, Stalkers, and Winged Stalkers when I bought the Abominations). I have also painted up some Dark Realms figures, but I am a little unsure I like the results. The figures are great to paint, don't get me wrong, but I think I chose a bad color scheme.

Angel Barracks has come out with a new draft of his KR16 rules. They are free, so other than your time, there really is no cost to downloading them and trying them out. As far as I know, they are only available on the Angel Barracks forum on Yahoo. (If I am wrong, don't worry, Michael will probably correct me in the comments section.)

iPad Gaming

I got into the game Frontline Tactics on the Mac. It is a pretty repetitive game and you will probably find it additive for about 20 hours, but as part of an experiment with the online account, I downloaded the game it to my iPad. I had a point where I had to wait someone for awhile, so I started playing the game on my iPad to while away the time.

There is a new mobile gaming technology that I heard a podcast about that allows the developer to pop up an ad, at appropriate breaks in the action, while gives the gamer in-game rewards for play. It is not too annoying (it pops up at the end of each mission) and I have tapped on a few to see what they were offering.

I surprised the wife with an early delivery of flowers for Mother's Day. My wife used to not like to receive flowers, but now that she has a lot of land, she likes trying to see if she can take the cutting and get them to grow. I have not given her flowers in awhile so she was surprised by the gift. "Why did you decide to give them too me this year?" she asked. "Oh, just because …"

… just because it earned me 250,000 credits in the game Frontline Tactics, that is!

There is a board game called Eclipse that has been converted to the iPad. It has been a long time coming and greatly anticipated. As it was less than $10 ($6.99, I think?) I decided to pick it up, because of all the buzz.

Stay away! It is a huge time drain!

Seriously, the game is very fun and has gotten me interested in the board game itself. People that play the board games say that the iPad version has a few implementation issues (i.e. the rules are different from the board game), but only one crashing bug has been reported (that I have heard of) and it is apparently not likely to be triggered.

Money well spent (even if the time is not).

BattleLore

And finally … the BattleLore over Vassal tournament is finally over. (I love the gaming, but scheduling within a time limit creates pressure I really did not like. In the end I was starting to get irritated over the scheduling issues.)

I won both rounds, scoring 8-2 and 8-7. Yes, I won the tournament! As strange as it sounds, this was the first BattleLore over Vassal tournament that has ever completed, so that makes me the first champion. This for a game no longer printed and poorly supported by the license holder.

One of the things that came out of it, however, is how much Chris and I prefer the Epic version of BattleLore. It actually lowers the luck factor of the card draw, plus uses larger maps and more units. It seems like we will be using this format more often in the future.

New Readers

Welcome to new readers Les and Dehewes. Dehewes' profile pointed me a nice Kindle blog that shows new Kindle eBooks that come out and go on sale. Les has an interesting blog, Wargaming France 1940, where he games that subject in 6mm. He is also a solo gamer, so it will probably be a source for ideas for me for my Solo Battles blog.

I hope you guys enjoy the blog content. Feel free to leave a comment when something strikes you.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").