Saturday, July 5, 2014

Odds, Ends, Sods, and Other Madness in the Bin...

So all the yikkyyakkin' about the return of the excellent Metal Magic Space Lords figures on TMP The Miniatures Page led me to post up some shots of what Space Lords figures I had readily to hand, and in doing so I stumbled upon a whole bunch of other fun things 28mm and sci-fi in the same storage bin (It's amazing what you find when you go digging!). So not being the quiet, retiring sort, I thought I should share them with all of you, my loyal cultists without further delay, so here for your consideration in no particular order are an assortment of accumulated squads, characters, vehicles, and scary space monsters from my mucking about in the hobby for the past several decades, starting with some old Galacta 25mm figures from Heritage Miniatures from the late 1970s:









The Galacta figures came out in the wake of the first Star Wars films. Here's a shot of the Arachnid Bug Warriors they're trying to face down with not-lightsabers:



I used various metallic shades on these bugs to give them a more exotic vibe. I have a bunch of the plastic Warrior bugs and Hopper Bugs in storage. When I eventually dig them out and paint up the whole swarm, they'll be done to match this style, as I find the visual effect to be quite impressive and pleasing to my beady little eyes...

Now, moving ever swiftly on, and speaking of '70s vintage figures, here's an old Greenwood & Ball/Minifigs Traveller adventurer I picked up aeons ago when I launched Federation Armory and acquired all of Ray Phillips' old stock, including a nice supply of original Traveller figures including this "not-Han Solo:"


The big fella he's standing next to is from the 1990s, an Alternative Armies Shia Khan Battlemaster if memory serves correct:



Another of the Shia Khan Battlemaster poses. I envisioned using them as alternative Ogryns for Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader:




Speaking of alternative figures for Warhammer fans, the figure next to the Shia Khan Warmaster/Inquisitional Ogryn is from Pig Iron, an indy U.K. outfit that makes some very handy, very gritty style metal figures. This batch I acquired off of EBay a few years back, and they are perfect as alternative Imperial Guard Stormtroopers:





Here's a Pig Iron figure next to a Reaper Chronoscope figure I acquired during a Paint n' Take event at  a convention in Texas I attended several years back:




Nice figures, those Reaper Chronoscope troopers:


Now, returning to the Oldies But Goodies... from waaay back in the '70s we have a group of Asgard Miniatures Trimote warriors:


These were inspired by sci-fi literature as so many '70s vintage sci-fi figures were, in this case Jerry Pournelle's classic The Mote in God's Eye

From the following decade came Grenadier Miniatures Traveller Imperial Marines, here reinforced by Ground Zero Games U.N. Space Command Marines to give them that extra little somethin' somethin' of heavy support weapons, all painted up for service on Mars complete with some very handy craft sand art sand of a conveniently rust red hue:




And some of the Future Wars troopers from Grenadier Miniatures form the 1990s, available now through EM4 Miniatures (who acquired the moulds for the Future Wars line when Grenadier went belly up, thus rescuing these fine Mark Copplestone sculpts for us to continue to enjoy):



I've got quite a few more of these squirreled away somewhere, and I am planning to consolidate the lot of 'em together with another two dozen or so that are in the WIP queue...

So what else did I muck up from that same storage bin? Well, there's these fun mechanical fellows from the Void Urban War series:



Like the Future Wars troopers, I have a few more of these handy robot soldiers in my WIP queue, and as they're so easily finished in a quick and clean polished steel look, I expect that when I dredge them up, they'll be joining their mechanical comrades in fairly short order...

Oh, and here's some Warhammer 40,000 Ogryns including the original Rogue Trader era Ogryn:





My poor Rogue Trader Ogryn! The Texas sun warped his base when I made the dire mistake of leaving a bin in the truck one day in the Lone Star State! Gah! I was lucky that the damage was as limited as it was... the stones on the bases are bits of clay cat litter, and yes, that's a classic "Have a Nice Day!" yellow smiley face button on his web harness, and I painted that waaay back in the 1980s when my eyes were younger and keener.

From the 1990s, I found some Ground Zero Games 25mm Stargrunt II hover vehicles, an APC and a hover jeep I painted up for my Pan African Union force. I recently rediscovered two more of the hover jeep in fact, so the timing was fortuitous as I want to paint them to match this original group of vehicles, which also happens to include a hover chassis mounted anti-aircraft "Calliope" eight barreled cannon system...




So that is what I found among other buried treasures when I went looking for some of my Space Lords figures. It is rather amazing what one can find when ya dig.

Next up, various and sundry from the painting tray, including some modern subjects, things Quar, and WW2 U.S. Army in 15mm:


Stay tuned to your TBD receiver for future transmissions from the Backnet!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Metal Magic Madness!

The Return of Metal Magic Space Lords! 

Yup. Thanks to EM4 Miniatures in the U.K., we're seeing a return of the classic Metal Magic Space Lords figures originally produced by Hobby Products of Germany back in the 90s! For those of you not familiar with these figures, they are a definite treat by anyone's standards, being close enough in size to more current lines of 28mm figures, yet done to such a high standard of execution and detail that they are still an excellent subject for miniature painters and gamers alike. I personally like them for their artistic vibe that has overtones of the classic work of the French sci fi artist Jean Giraud a.k.a. Moebius:


http://www.moebius.fr




The figures were sculpted by the Metal Magic team that included my old kamerade Josef Ochmann, who has since his days with Metal Magic gone on to launch his own miniature company, Obelisk Miniatures:


http://shop.strato.de/epages/61074886.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61074886/Categories



So when Hobby Products folded in the mid-later 90s, those of us who had been building up armies of Phagons, Battle Clones, Wartechs, and Yoyodyne were sadly disappointed to see them go! Enter EM4 Miniatures, who have built themselves up as an indy miniatures producer by picking up an eclectic assortment of very handy figures from defunct indy manufacturers, who wasted no time in acquiring the Space Lords moulds, and began by releasing a very limited selection of Wartechs, Wartech Bunkerbusters, and Yoyodyne Shigaru poses (but not the whole lines, dadnabbitt!!!!):


http://www.em4miniatures.com



Then the news broke on TMP The Miniatures Page just a few days ago that Doug over at EM4 had finally succumbed to popular demand, and began to release a great many more poses for the Phagon Battleclone and Wartech codes, along with the Space Lords civilians, much to everyones great pleasure!

So this news inspired me to go dig out some of my Space Lords figures for all of you to enjoy, as perhaps a number of you are too young to remember these very cool sci fi figures that can be used for just about any war-game or sci fi FRP system one could care to name. So without further ado, for your consideration, starting with the Phagon Battleclones:





Next, the Phagons themselves in all their carnivorous goatly glory:





Cybertech Bunkerbusters, hefty powered armor troopers even by today's standards (and very high tech compared to the pseudo medieval nonsense of one company I shall not sully my blog page naming!):





Wartechs, superbly detailed and well thought out high tech infantry fit for any sci fi wargaming system:




Wartech S.E.C.S., the Wartech's light infantry branch:



A Yoyodyne Elite trooper (space samurai) with a Citadel Miniatures Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Imperial Sanctioned Psyker figure (left) and ex-Grenadier Miniatures Future Wars female trooper (now produced by EM4!) for size comparison:



So as always, I just couldn't help myself, so I had to build up some heavy support for my Wartechs, starting with an anti-grav gunship/transport packing multiple gigawatt pulse lasers, automatic cannons, and a brace of heavy demolition warhead guided missiles:


Wanting a heavy grav tank for my Wartechs, I started with the base of an old television antennae and a pair of plastic food coloring bottles:




And of course, I just cannot pass up an excuse to kit bash up some alien mercenaries to add some auxiliary muscle to my Imperial Terran legions (especially when I get the alien mercenaries for dirt cheap on EBay or at the local Michael's crafts store):





These fellows were cheap plastic toy Meerkats that just begged to be redone as alien mercenaries, and given their actual size, they're actually more than a bit intimidating armed as they are with hand weapons that would normally require a human crew to manage (!!):



Of course, the challenge is to get the alien mercenaries to actually do what you want them to do when you need them to do it:


"NO! NOT THAT WAY!! THIS WAY!!! THE ENEMY IS THIS WAY!!! DOES ANYONE SPEAK MEERKATIAN?!!!:"


Next time, more oldies but goodies from the ancient past of sci fi miniature gaming! Stay tuned to this TBD transmitter frequency...