Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Squats, Robots, and Other Mischief...

Just a quickie update, some assorted nostalgia from the storage unit and other hideaways! So, we plunge right in, staring with Le Regiment de Sacre Bleu, 3e Battalion from my old Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader days back when men were men, Warhammer 40K was fun, and Squats were in the Imperial Army:

The Squat Inquisitor in the middle of the group is an old Archive Miniatures spoof figure, a dwarf Obi-wan Kenobi from the 1970s that I felt was a perfect fit for the darkly humorous (and humorously dark) universe of Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader...

Now here's a favorite figure of mine from any source, the Squat heavy weapons gunner with a maniacal grin on his face, as if he just knows how much mayhem he's about to inflict on whoever is downrange of his Conversion Beamer... the sculptor clearly captured the emotions of his subject quite strikingly:

I added the little guidon pennant to the back of the Conversion Beamer using a piece of copper wire. The pennant itself is some lead foil from the top of a wine bottle, a material that made for the absolute best flags and such for figures back when one could still get bottles of wine sealed with this material:

And the Squat company commander. Alas, I sold off some of his command many years ago to a collector, as I was no longer playing WH40KRT, but for nostalgia's sake and the fact that I am using these doughty fellows once again for 5150 and other sci fi skirmish games, I may just have to add some new recruits in the future and expand the company back to its original strength...

Now, shifting gears here, we see some classic robots from the Metal Magic Space Lords series, along with the largest of the Pahgon Battle Beasts from the series:

Here's the Phagon Battle Beast head on, probably the last thing many a hapless non-Phagon sees in their miserable existence once this bioengineered brute zeroes in on them...

Now here's something I alluded to last time, a 28mm T-80UK MBT produced by Empress Models I did up for Mark Ryan's son up in New York:

I used a generic factory finish I scared up using Google Images, keeping the vehicle fairly faction neutral in appearance so it will work as everything from a Russian service vehicle to a recent Taliban capture or post apocalypse piece of scenery or survivor hardware.

Moving along with things armored and tracked, here is my first 15mm Quar machine, the dreaded Baeliog heavy assault tractor:

I based the camo spec on a Great War French scheme used on the Char d'Assault St. Chamond. The main gun is much larger than that supplied with the kit, as my poor Baeliog was missing its main gun barrel (!) and I didn't have the patience to wait for Josh over at Zombiesmith to send me a new one, so I plunged into the spares box, came up with a left over 1/72 scale Reviresco 12-pounder gun barrel, and cut it down to fit, producing this menacing end result of Quarish ingenuity.

So I was minding my own business today typing away, and then I was interrupted by a distinctive and to my ears strange sound of a propeller driven aircraft flying over our complex, and decided to take a look out the window as we live near enough to Moffett Field to get some interesting aerial visitors passing through every now and again...

So here's what was making all the racket, it's twin rotors flailing away as the beast circled our neighborhood not once, but repeatedly enabling me to grab my camera and flail away trying to get some decent shots:

As it turned out, there were two of 'em, and they were escorting Air Force One(!!), which alas I was unable to get a picture of in time as my arthritis has slowed me down considerably over the years, and I was not able to shift my positions from upstairs to downstairs fast enough to have gotten more than a glimpse of the Presidents aerial limo disappearing towards the Northeast, with two Ospreys in horizontal flight mode barreling after the Boeing 747! 

I did manage to capture some very short video clips as well, so if I figure out how the heck to upload them for viewing on this blog, I'll do so at a later date. 

Meanwhile, those Ospreys got me to recall the fact that I have two (2) of the HALO MicroOps series tilt rotor gunships put away, just begging me to give them some upgrade love, and I am finishing up some GZG New Israeli troops that look like they're going to want a ride...

So until next time, Space Possums, stay tuned and always watch yer six! 

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!