Η λίστα ιστολογίων μου

Δευτέρα, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Miniatures of some fame (Part I)

Going through some of my figures, I've come across several that have been "inspired" by movies, TV series and books. Here are some of them:

Indiana Jones: Or rather, the "not-Indiana-Jones" available from Elhiem Figures as the American Adventurer. Elhiem Figures has a whole bunch of interesting pulp miniatures and some great WWII stuff. Plus they are super to deal with. I removed Indie's gun and created a whip from thin copper wire and superglue. The knife on the left hand is sculpted rather awkwardly, so I cut it off at the wrist and repositioned it. Other, than that, it's a great miniature to paint and at a price that is hard to beat. Now, let's go kick some Nazi butt.

Mizz Whip: Again from Elhiem Figures. Although not from any particular movie per se, hot Nazi chicks with whips are a mainstay in the pulp genre. Real easy miniature to paint and an excellent foil/love interest for Indiana.

Flash Gordon: Wargames Supply Dump has a series of heroic 28mm miniatures (essentially 30-32 millimeters tall) set in a "not-Flash-Gordon" universe. This is Dick Garrison, a.k.a. Flash Gordon. The miniatures offer excellent value for money and Roger, who owns Wargames Supply Dump, is great to deal with. One of the friendliest persons I've met on the miniature business to date.

Ming the Merciless: Or rather, Khang the Compassionless. Again, from the Dick Garrison series. For it's price (a bit under 2 British pounds) this is an excellent figure. Great sculpting, tons of detail and clean casting. If you are into pulpy sci-fi, you can do much worse, but not easily better.

Alien Queen: "Seventeen days? Hey man, I don't wanna rain on your parade, but we're not gonna last seventeen hours!" Ah, the queenie from Aliens. Sculpted in 15mm scale by Khurasan Miniatures, its one of their Space Demon line. There are several different sculpts on this particular line, some inspired from the Alien franchise and some from Pitch Black. Highly recommended if you are into 15mm science fiction.

That's all for now from (still unseasonably) warm Athens. Goodnight to all.

Σάββατο, 27 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Non-conventional fantasy

By definition, all fantasy in non-conventional, however elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins have become a mainstay of the genre's literature and wargaming. Not so with lionmen. Other than the old (but very good) Red Steel box set for 2nd edition AD&D and Thundercats, humanoid big cats have not featured in any major books or games (if I am wrong, please enlighten me).

So who should my Lion Men face against? Are they good or are they evil? Where do they live? Who are their neighbours? After utilizing my powers of Google-Fu I've come up with a lot of potential enemies and allies for my warband. Rhino-men, hyena-men and jaguar-men, oh my. Before deciding on adversaries, I started to visualize the corner of the world where the battles would take place and how the Lion Men would fit in the greater scheme of things.

Lion Men (and Lion Centaurs) are a group of tribes or hunter-gatherers living in a great savanna plain, somewhere south-east in my fantasy world. To the north lie tall mountains with forbidding heights and treacherous passes. To the south, near the equator, sweltering dark jungles. Due to the image that the lion has in our culture, Lion Men are good and noble.

So who are their opponents? Hyena-Men are definitely good enemies. Splintered Light makes them and I've ordered a skirmish pack from them already. Hyena-Men are the age-old adversary of the Lion-Men. They are cannibalistic, vile creatures that prey on lion cubs (a delicacy for the Hyena-Man palate) and have tamed Terror Birds (think of them as big ostriches) to use as mounts. For centuries the slow war between Hyena-Man and Lion-Man has been waged across the savanna with no side being granted an advantage.

To the periphery of the savanna, I've placed high mountains and forbidding jungles. The mountains are the home of the Lynx-Men and Gryphon-Men. Again, noble and good creatures and allies of the Lion-Men. The jungles are dominated by the Jaguar-Men, distant cousins of the Lynx-Men, given to dark sorcery and necromancy.

Some interesting options also available are Meerkat Men (available from Magister Militum), Dogmen (from 15mm.co.uk), Rhino-Men and more Lion-Men (from East Riding Miniatures) and Snake-Men (from Armies of Arcana). There is still plenty more weirdness out there (Duck-Men anyone) but I think I'll pass for now.

Next step? Make a rough map of the area and start making some scenery. Patches of high grass, copses of trees , a village surrounded by a zarreba... All of this is rather easy to make and not specific enough to limit their use to fantasy wargaming or the particular area (as far as I'm concerned trees are trees). And paint up those Hyena-Men when they show up.

Δευτέρα, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2010

My Lionman Warband

I really like the Song of Blades and Heroes game system. I've started off with the basic rule book and expanded with most of the supplements available. If you are into fantasy skirmish wargaming I highly recommend it. If you are into other periods, they offer a Napoleonics and a Modern version as well. I've gotten both (it's hard to resist at the prices Andrea is charging) but I haven't had a chance to playtest them yet.

Initially I tried to game with 20mm figures. Unfortunately the amount of figures available for 20mm fantasy wargaming is rather low. Lots of humans are available, but the amount of non-human races and monsters available is anywhere between low and pathetic. So I decided to try 15mm-scale figs. After window-shopping and asking around at The Miniatures Page, I settled down to ordering some figs from Splintered Light Miniatures. They offer some skirmish packs, I guess for Song of Blades and Heroes (although you can stat any miniature, SoBH has some lists in every book). I ordered some singles from the excellent Archer Collection, a big troll and the Leonine Blood Pride Warband. Ten figs of Lion men including a Lion Hero and a Lion Centaur Hero, 2 Lion Warriors, 2 Lion Centaurs and 2 Smilodon Warriors. The figures arrived in little time and needless to say I was highly impressed with what I saw. Crisp sculpting and excellent casting with very little flash. In no time they were primed and painting commenced.

Now, when I was thinking of a scale other than 20mm for fantasy wargaming, folks were dead-set against 15mm for skirmish wargaming and RPG use. The figures are too small, they are difficult to distinguish on the table and so on and so forth. Apparently, these aren't. I went for simple bold colours and simple patterns, a wash and highlighting. The results are great for a pack that costs less than many 28mm single figs.

Here are my Lion Centaurs

Here is my my Lion Hero with one of the Centaurs

All in all, great figs for a very very good price. The pack gives you close to 500 points, quite a bit considering the average SoBH is 300 points. The figures are all good solid melee fighters, with high mobility (in the Centaurs) and hard-hitting power (the Smilodons). Ranged firepower is missing, but I'm thinking of getting the Leonine Dark Pride Warband as well. This will provide me with some adversaries for my Leonines (in the form of the "evil", at least in my mind, panthers) and some lions for harassment.

I'll try them out against my dwarven warband when I get the chance (and the gaming table cleaned up). That's all for now from unseasonably warm Athens.

Παρασκευή, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2010

My German TOE

I'm almost finished with my late war German WWII platoon. I still have 6 figures left to paint. My current Table of Organization and equipment is as follows:

Platoon HQ: Junior CO and NCO, 2 runners, medic, radio operator. I've based all of them singly (on 22mm round steel washers) except the medic who is based on a 4X4cm base with a wounded figure. I plan to use the medic more as a marker, going from squad to squad as needed.

Infantry squad: Squad leader (with MP-40), assistant squad leader (with MP-40), rifleman (with MP-40), 4 riflemen (with Kar-98 rifle), machine gunner with MG-34 or MG-42 and assistant gunner (with Kar-98 rifle). All figures are based singly on washers except the machine gunner and assistant gunner who are based on a 4X4cm base. The platoon will have a total of three squads.

The TOE is more indicative of a German Grenadier Battalion (as seen on www.bayonetstrength.150m.com) than an armoured of panzer grenadier battalion. However, I plan to use it for Gepanzert and Grenadier platoons alike. I think that the 2 machine guns present per squad in the armoured platoons would be a game breaker, regardless of the amount of terrain present on the board. I'll probably playtest the 2 MG version eventually, but for now I'll settle for one.

I still have to paint some figures with Panzerfausts, but I'll not bring the total force of each squad to more than 9. I'll probably reduce the number of figures available per squad in scenarios anyways, as I find units at 100% unrealistic under combat conditions.

Τετάρτη, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Break out the 88's

Managed to find sometime today and snap some pictures. Here is the brand new Italeri 88mm Flak 37 with crew. The kit is highly recommended for wargamers. It comes in hard plastic, it is relatively easy to assemble and comes with an almost complete crew (8 instead of 11 which is the full complement). There are some disadvantages though. The gun can only be modeled deployed (unlike the old Airfix kit). The crew is clothed for North Africa. There are some unsightly mold marks in hard to fill places. And that's all that's bad for this kit (not much in fact).

Wanting to get the most bang for my buck I decided to paint the gun in the good old Panzer grey scheme and the crew as Luftwaffe gunners. I like Panzer grey a lot more than the later schemes because it weathers so well. This allows me to use the figs and model from Poland to (probably) late-war France and Ostfront. Whereas it is true that Panzer grey had been replaced by Dunkelgelb by mid '43, Luftwaffe Flak divisions might have stayed with the older colours longer. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The figure with the tropical cap might look a bit weird, but let's say he is just eccentric. I also plan to make an emplacement and some ammo markers for the gun as well. Although not a 100% correct, I'll just use some crates from the Airfix Forward Command Post kit. They look like they are the correct length. That's all for now, from warm and humid Athens...

Τρίτη, 9 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Projects Galore!

Despite life, I've been able to get quite a bit of modeling and painting done lately. I don't maintain the blog as much as I would like, but work, family and assorted woes have seriously cut down on my time. I hope that this will change with the new year.

I finished today my Splintered Light Blood Pride Warband. The mrs. borrowed the camera today so it might be a few days till I get some pictures taken. The miniatures themselves are really easy to paint. With 15mm figs I prefer to go with bold colours followed by a simple wash and the occasional highlight. This way they paint fast and look good enough on the tabletop. I think I'll be ordering some more stuff from Splintered Light Miniatures for Christmas, or a bit earlier. I'm contemplating of either Dark Dwarves or Dark Elves for my next choice.

I've also made significant headway on my WWII projects. My Germans are coming along nicely, with the third squad, medic and platoon command on the bench. Hopefully I'll be done with them by the end of next week. For my table (4'X6') a platoon is pretty much all I need. Of course, I plan to give them several assets. A couple of tripod-mounted MGs, a couple of 8cm mortars for off-table support, a couple of PaKs and a Panzerschreck team or two... But this will have to wait till the opforce of US Infantry gets painted.

My 6mm fantasy army is on the back burner for now. But I think I'll be starting with it again after the Germans are done. Expect pictures soon (hopefully).