Friday, January 30, 2015

WIPs, BIG Models for Starship Gaming, and a Really Big Space Station....

As the title says, this is a continuation of the last installment, a WIP Part Deux of my mad project of adapting a 1/1000 scale Garmillas dreadnought to use as a Silent Death destroyer class warship, a really big kitbashed orbital station for use in same, plus some other large models for use in this classic space fighter combat game!

So, for you consideration Dear Readers, we begin with that Gaiderol-class battlewagon I'm transforming into a heavy destroyer bristling with torpedo tubes:

Impressive beastie, neh? Next up, some more of the Yamato-verse, specifically the old EDF cruiser model repurposed as a Silent Death Warhound:

Yes, that is the kitbashed orbital platform I just finished, and the smaller escort vessel if the new Yamato Mecha Colle Garmillas Warship mini kit from the new Yamato 2199 series. Interestingly enough, the exchange rate at the moment between the U.S. Dollar and the Yen is such that the older EDF cruiser model kit is not much more expensive than the newer and smaller Mecha Colle kit, and the prices are seriously low, with the EDF cruiser being less than $5.00, while the smaller, newer Garmillas ship is around $3.00 at the moment. The fighter miniature in the foreground is a Silent Death: The Next Millennium "Death Wind" TPAC ("Two Person Attack Conveyance," which is SD:TNM-speak for "two seater space fighter").

As for that kitbashed orbital station...

I used some old Zoid parts, two plastic cosmetic jar lids, assorted toy parts including some old Buck Rogers boardgame energy cannon pieces, a large plastic sequin for a radar dish, various plastic rhinestones, and a few model parts to build this orbiting abomination up. I specifically built it around a large plastic bead I placed on a standard plastic flight base, then added parts around it until I reached the final form. After spray priming it flat black, I painted the whole contraption by hand with water based acrylic craft paints, some decals from the spares box, and a shot of Testor's Dullcote. The fighter miniature in the second photo is a "Sorenson III" class patrol TPAC, shown here finished in the colors of one of the semi-regular militia fighter units of the Unkulunkulu Archipelago Defense Forces. The overall colors are cribbed from the pre-WW2 U.S. Navy's Neutrality Patrol colors used on carrier-based fighter aircraft, with the Rastafarian wing flashes of my Unkulunkulu fighter unit, a hodge-podge of types of ships ranging from small single-seaters to several heavy gunboats.

I freely admit that I shamelessly draw from actual history for inspiration in selecting paint schemes for my sci-fi projects, and my rather hefty collection of Silent Death fighters and such is no exception. If you get stuck on colors for your project, break out some books on historical military vehicles or aircraft. Remember: "Talents create," wrote Oscar Wilde, and "...geniuses steal!"

Next Installment: The Gaiderol finished (and other mischief).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a New Year....

So here's some new photos for everyone's amusement, a mix of work in progress and completed projects in need of some attention from my camera! 

So, we begin where we left off, with the 1/1000 scale Gamilas dreadnought model from Yamato 2199 produced by Bandai. The two-hex base is the result of my gluing the vertical post that came with the kit to a Litko Aerosystems acrylic two-hex movement base. The balance is perfect, and the presence of the model once it's done will be impressive to say the least. I have gotten the overall paint scheme to where I like it: 

The next step will be to add a few remaining detailing parts, some additional painted details, and decals to finish the ship with a suitable insignia and hull number. 

Moving along we next have a series of 15mm sci fi AFVs from Darkest Star Games. The first up is the Terran Scorpion 8x8 AFV. The kit comes with a selection of weapons and turret bustle options, a real boon to kitbashers such as myself for conversions and kitbashing projects alike:

These are part of a work in progress unit of mid-tech wheeled AFVs I've started using my existing accumulation of unfinished projects and resources. I have seven unbuilt Combat Wombat 8x8 AFVs, plus some assorted Matchbox 6x6 softskins and some 6x6 versions of the 4x4 VAB APCs I used in an earlier project (and chronicled on this very blog previously). I wanted to add a heavy anti-armor support asset to this mechanized light cavalry brigade, and Matchbox came to the rescue with their Real Working Rigs series Stryker, which with a little help from the left over bits from the Darkest Star Games Scorpions let me produce a suitably hefty beast to back up my Scorpions:

Next up are the Ventauran medium tank and APC, the meat 'n potatoes opponents of the Terran Federation forces produced by Darkest Star, along with the new Ventauran infantry figures produced by Darkest Star Games to accompany the vehicle ranges (the Terran Federation infantry have also just been released fairly recently, and they look da bomb!):

The posing and animation of the Ventaurans is dynamic to say the least. They come in a pack of eleven different poses, a mix of officer, NCO, two scoped heavy rifles, and the rest with assorted rifles or carbines. The AFVs come with two gun turret options apiece. Naturally, I used one turret and saved the others for kitbashing projects later on (and rest assured, I will post photos of those when the time comes!).

Finally, there's the end result of a bit of unscheduled dumpster diving on my part. One evening soon after Xmas I took the trash out to the bin and lo and behold there sitting atop the rubbish was a discarded, old, worn out smart phone protective cover and the plastic case that the new protective case had clearly come in. I was instantly inspired by the detailing of the protective case AND the container, and in less time than it takes to type these words, I was beelining back into my office, cackling maniacally all the way!

Here is the result of that chance encounter at the dumpster, a 28mm armored anti-grav APC with a definite Rogue Trader/2000 A.D. vibe that frankly all but built itself thanks to the shape and details of the original materials involved:

I'll be taking advantage of the rectangular opening in the top of the smartphone case to retrofit a vehicle commander figure and additional automatic weapon (like I didn't load this bugger down enough already!). Oh, and yes, the dozer bumper on the front of the machine is indeed the space bar from a broken keyboard!