Monday, September 30, 2013

Defiance Games Kickstarter: Watch out, my Marines are getting a big firepower boost!!!


Defiance Games is running a kickstarter campaign that is funding a pretty substantial expansion of their Alien War showings.

It includes:

  • more Marines, (females this time, thus making the UAMC a coed force!) 

  • German Mechs (These will be great support for my Panzergrenadiers I picked up last year, see below:) 
    Box Art

  • and the above Hardsuit power armor for the marines.

Having purchased a few different items in their list of products, this will help my games I can run for Tacticon 2014 in Denver, CO. I bought in at the $65 level because of all the stretch goal items I was going to get.  I am excited to buy for this type of figure, it seems like there would be more of these around, but there aren't. I also think the price is pretty good, especially compared to the DUST! minis.

 If you are interested, you can find them here until Oct 9th, 5:30pm EDT.

So say we all! Skirmish gaming in the BSG universe (Pt. 1)

 I really enjoyed the reboot of Battlestar Galactica (of course when I was in Junior HS, I enjoyed the original too!)  There were many great ground battles fought between the Colonial Marines and the new Cylon toasters (centurions). I would like to create a battle for some far flung listening outpost or some other excuse to fight...

My friends at Rebel Minis have some great figures that I feel would work wonderfully as Fleet Marines. They can be found here. I have only base-coated  these, more to come on those specifically. I think I need to order some more of these as I only have the one pack so far.

While at Historicon this year, I stopped by the Old Glory booth when I saw the magic word "sci-fi" minis...I found these Blue Moon figures to use as Cylons, with some slight modifications and painting wonderfulness...Here they are with only a base-coat and wash. They still need a gloss and highlights as well as an eye located somewhere on the chrome dome!

I still have some work to do (obviously) including the maps for the scenario and some scenery to fight over. Plus, if anyone knows of plans for a Raptor, that would be off to watch some episodes to catch the flavor!  

More to come!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Don't open, dead inside!!

(2014--Year of the sci-fi)

In 2011, I was played some games at Ghengis Con in February.  These games were all using Force on Force from Ambush Alley Games. I enjoyed the simple dynamics of the rule set, so I took a chance on Ambush Z, their take on the zombie problem.

Wargames factory's zombies are pretty cool, and incredibly affordable!

For only $19.95 you get 24 zombies.  They are multi piece models and it was easy  to remove the parts from the sprue and organize them.

As you can see there are legs to the waist, torso and head parts, as well as right arms.

This hoarde represents about three boxes of the zombies.

He kind of looks like a fat Chuck Norris...


This guy has both arms and seems to be saying "Come at me bro!"

These two pics show the considerable amount of flash and mold lines.

Another view of the horde!

Army painter's "necrotic flesh" is the base coat for the Caucasian zombies...but that is the next installment!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Defiance games Marines Review (part 2: Assembly)

Well, since 2014 is the year of the sci-fi, I am gearing up for those conventions with builds of the various figures I accumulated recently. In preparation for next year, many of my purchases this year were sci-fi. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, defiance games was on my pre-x-mas list last year.  I started to assemble them this week, and there are some pros and cons to these guys. Let's start with the good:

These guys are about 32mm foot to top of head:

They went together easily. The legs were one piece and I glued them directly to a base (I used a washer as it was not as artificially tall as the standard 28mm base, will blend into the tabletop terrain better, and offers a bit of heft to the model.).  

Next came the torsos. They fit together quite smoothly.

I had a choice to make, which guns to include....most of my guys were riflemen, 


With a few heavies thrown in for good measure.

But as you can see, there is one drawback:

I have three leg sets, six different head selections, five gun choices, four left arms....but only TWO torsos! What the heck? That grouping makes no sense! I had "almost enough" to make one more marine per sprue x  11 sprues, so I could have had 11 more guys per box? I should have casted an extra 11 in resin. 

(I may still buy another box and do that. It seems a huge waste of extra parts, I am kicking myself for building all of the guys now!)

So here is a finished marine:

I did mix up the guns a bit, and used all "closed face" helmets. (What can I say, I like the uniform look.) There were other head choices: open helmets

Or no helmet at all:

The only kit included were backpacks, (only one per sprue, I'm using them for radios) ammo pouches, (two per sprue) 

and small pouches (three pouches per sprue, I mounted them on the men's arms).

Overall the fit was good, guys went together quickly using testor's glue (in the black, sloped bottle) and they look cool.

Now for the cons:

First there was a lot of flash on the arms, as you can see in these pics:

There were considerable mold lines, which depending on where they were located on arms and legs, difficult to remove...

After priming them with Armory white primer, they are ready to be painted, however, I have to come up with a camo scheme first.

Next up, painting in Part 3!

Friday, September 20, 2013

1/72 Soviet T-80 (Revell 03104) kit review

Here is another review of 1/72 scale (or if you will 20mm) kit I built for a buddy. The kit is molded in a light tan plastic. I built these while on a business trip to Atlanta.

I have 3 of these in my gaming collection, all built for scenarios in Chechnya. Nick needed 4 built and after 2, I discovered a trick that makes it easier.

The kit has multiple sub assemblies with the most difficult one being the tracks. While that assembly is typical of Revell Germany models, it is fiddly.  As you can see the individual track sections are a bit gappy, but since Nick bases his models, it shouldn't be an issue.

The tracks go together in six areas: bottom piece, diagonal pieces for lower front and back, individual links around the front and back wheels, and finally a long top piece. Maybe this picture will help...

After doing these enough it occurred to me that guessing the exact places to glue some of these pieces wasn't working! I tried gluing the seven other wheels in place, but NOT the drive wheel (the one with the sprockets at the rear of the assembly on each side) until I had lined up the rear diagonal piece onto the gears. That made things much easier.

Gluing the top hull and side skirts into position was very forgiving, as you can see, any mistakes on the upper part of the tracks are covered.

The turret had many smaller sub assemblies the worst of which was the snorkel tube at the rear.

One of the best things about this kit is the mantlet and the barrel assembly which was only 3 pieces, and the whole thing plugged right into the turret. Normally the barrel is a two piece job that has to be glued, and sanded and filled. (UGH!)    Not here.

Overall a fine kit, typical of the Revell AG quality.  Total time: 2.5 hours including drying time. 

Here are some pics of the same kit, finished for Chechnya:


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bunkers, Bunkers, Bunkers!!!

I had a dream, and this dream involved a trip to Fredericksburg, VA in July. Why, do you ask? There can only be one reason...HISTORICON! (cue dramatic music) And, as I have this crazy need to run a game at every convention I go to, (I am seeing a doctor, I promise) I went into crazy construction mode!

I had recently read a book called Blackhorse Riders by Philip Keith. Excellent read about a unit in a bad situation. I decided to use that as a basis for my scenario.

In the book, the assaulting force runs into a log bunker complex, so I needed some of those. I looked around for some economical ones and decided to create some after finding Gunbird's tutorial on Fields of Fire Reloaded (Online forum:

The tutorial was excellent and I was able to create two examples, one large and one smaller. Since I am a caster of parts, I decided to create a mold of these two prototypes:

I live in Denver and am lucky enough to have a place called Reynolds Advanced Materials in town. They have amazing products and some of the most helpful employees I have encountered in the hobby business.

From this mold I was able to cast an additional 30 (and yes, it sucked to be the US player in this scenario with the bunkers two and three rows deep).

It was a matter of painting, texturing, and flocking the mass of resin bunkers you see above.

This is part of the ton of vehicles painted for the scenario

This is the NVA player's view (looking at the Charlie Company forces):

Overall a great scenario, frustrating for both sides. I've run this one now approximately six times and I get mixed results, some overwhelming NVA victories and some US routing the enemy, but always enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1/72 Trumpeter Kit review

I recently  was asked to put together some Trumpeter kits for a friend. He does Force on Force in 20mm.  I thought a review would be appropriate.  These kits were a joy to assemble, and went together quickly.  The LAV kits given to me came in three varieties: LAV-25, LAV-AT, and LAV-C2 (command and control).

Many of the steps that you complete are similar, and many of the parts, in fact, are used in all three variations. Since these are wargame models and not kits for a diorama or other purpose, I decided to leave out a few parts. Of course, I didn't realize this until after I completed the AT kit as seen below.

There were these little fiddly bits (I think they were torsion bars) attached to the wheels that were incredibly difficult to keep glued in, so I recommend  leaving them off. My friend bases his vehicles on plasticard anyway, so they won't be seen.

This is the LAV-C2 model. All that is needed (besides a killer paint job) are a few antennas.

This LAV-25. The only part missing is the turret basket, which will be replaced by a Black Dog kit...( 

Which allows my friend to make these vehicles look like they are on campaign.

LAV with the AT hammerhead

Rear view

As you can see the instructions are quite simple, with uncomplicated pictures (unlike the ace kits I've done) there just were not all that many detailed parts.  Overall the kits were of moderate to easy difficulty, and moderately decent detail.