Monday, 8 February 2016

Getting them started early: Labyrinth

I picked this up in a "Charity Shop" and thought 'this looks good' one for all the family (see below, note even the balsa tank in the background [that my youngest son had weathered up for me with a black crayon] did not help me win):

We got the family round the table and gave it a go. Early introduction to a bit of role playing (RPG) methinks and true to form the kids wiped the floor with me and my good wife. Something about agile little minds (plastic intelligence?) and old 'world-wise' minds crystallised in set patterns. I didn't stand a chance really.

"No dice" involved with threw me a critical blow as I could not just blame the dice or "get lucky"!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sci-Fi Robots (Part 1: Assembly)

Dramatic drum roll ... 30 Day Project announced ... Sci-Fi Robots

[Note: As some of my blog readers are also players in my "Space Crusade" campaign I pondered on keeping progress on this project a secret in a vain attempt to retain the surprise "Oooh shiny" factor come the next game but decided to publish instead.]

Not so 'Secret' Confession: I cannot resist popping into Games Workshop outlets (gasp, shock, horror ... historical wargaming community can ostracize me) just to see the painted figures on display (honest guv, no dice rolling, don't understand the rules anyway), so it takes something "good" [aka sexy] before I make a purchase, despite all the protestations and pleadings of the oppressed Sale Staff. I generally buy "one offs"  rather than commit (sorry should that be addicted?) to a particular honour bound "range" [Xmas present list as per the Codex or you are an unbeliever], but I have to report  ...  I succumbed (again) ... to these strange Martian Robot figures, top marks to Games Workshop design department (see below):

Shiny, shiny, shiny alert! Called" Sicarian Infiltators" (looking very post-apocalyptic circa 1980's apocalypse moveis) and/or "Sicarian Ruststalkers" (aka Star Wars Commando Droids) from the Adeptus Mechanicus Scitarii range (and I have absolutely" no idea what that means). Games Workshop have cunningly slipped two model types into one box just to induce you to buy it twice and it might just work to the weak-willed [unlike me?]. However to foil their cunning marketing plan I decided to do two of each basic type and then make a judgement call as to whether I make the Commander figure or go back to another grunt (50:50 call at the moment).

Note: Not cheap either at £28 a box and £5.60 a figure! I was also expecting the figures to be larger than they actually were, yet intriguingly the purchase still retains its silky allure and they grew in height as I assembled them, very fragile looking though. Lots of fiddly interchangeable parts and spares to play with on five set "body poses". Definitely a "modelling" project than a 'slap-and-snip together' affair! Seemingly as many parts left of the sprues after they had been assembled. If only I was any good with "Green Stuff" I reckon I could make another five figures easily. 

Standard rules of engagement for the Thirty Day Project, one small thing per day (no matter how small) to ensure forward progress is maintained throughout the period.

Day 1:
Open the box. Washed parts in hot water and washing-up liquid and dutifully read the assembly instructions (which were more complicated than I expected, again "fiddly parts").

The unboxed set of 'many parts' (see below): 

The intimidating 'Byzantine' instruction sheet that even if I carefully follow "I get wrong" (see below):

Day 2:
Managed to assemble three out of the four "base figures" [torsos, legs and back pack on base] (see below):

Day 3:
And now there is four, two destined to be Infiltrators with "Dome Heads" and two destined to be Ruststalkers with the "Clone Wars" Commando Droid heads (see below).:

Day 4:
The "Infiltrator pair" definitely post-apocalyptic 1970's/80's Sci-Fi IMHO which I like (see below, both "gunned up" but one with hand-to-hand pointy sword, the other with a long pointy "tazer" thing):

Day 5:
Ooops, I got one wrong! A head swap is required (see below, can you spot the difference? Pipes were supposed to go into the chest not hanging loose like I had them originally [see Day 4]):

Day 6:
The "Ruststalker pair" they seem to hand-to-hand specialists, one wielding double "long sword/katana, the other a ripping claw and short power sword - though I could see these carrying simple guns too. I seem to be coming down on the Ruststalker preference as they have more of an "army trooper" feel to them - even contemplating ripping out their left arms and gunning them up from the Inflitrator kit (see below):

[Note: Despite trying to meticulously follow the instructions I had to try multiple heads before I got it right "in my eyes". The "fiddle-factor" is high with this construction but it produces a 'finely-lined' end figure.]

Day 7:
The Commander figure. I went for the "Infiltrator" option in the end as I was not taken with the hooded head, does a robot need a hood? The "Commander Figure" is typical of Games Workshop nonsense in making distinct model types instead of just painting them slightly different (see below):

Basic built complete, painting next.

To be continued ...

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Looking for an 'interesting' 30 Day Project to start in February

I have veritable melting pot of disparate interests at the moment (bad sign, need to focus), so am I am looking for a suitable "30 Day" feel good project to 'focus' (focus, good idea) on. Something 'doable' that I can look back on with earnest satisfaction and think I have accomplished something thatwas quite useful and could be used almost immediately.

Inspirational Sources

Reading (1):
  • Napoleonic, 'The Peninsular Campaign' in particular
  • WWI early naval battles (Audio: The Battle of The Falklands)
Active Game Playing (2):
  • PS4 Pacific War Carrier Battles, like the graphics, silly game play as I have it on 'easy' settings, but strangely satisfying
  • Space Hulk, eyeing up another evening with friends and there are some unfinished 'odds and sods' to paint and (ahem) an issue of an "impulse" purchase I might admit to later that could be painted up in time 
Modelling (3) or rather "stalled modelling projects from 2015":
  • Balsa Tank (Scale 54mm)? Stop laughing, it's as viable as anything Sci-Fi I've done so why not?
  • Star Wars 'First Order' TIE Fighter (Scale bigger than 20mm but smaller than 28mm)
  • Really need that RAF (Battle of France) 1940 Fairey Battle (1:72 scale) to be finished 
  • A Revell Spanish Galleon (1:450 scale)
  • 28mm Saxons/Vikings
  • A Revell (1/144 scale) French Rafale modern jet fighter
  • 28mm Napoleonic Victrix
  • 2mm Napoleonic Irregular Miniatures
  • 15 mm Prussian or French (I think that would see me off)
  • Chasing eBob for those Bannockburn 28mm Scottish Spear :(    
Board Games and Rules (4):
  • Napoleon's Battles (First Edition) although there is a YahooGroup exposing their Fourth Edition via Cavalier Press
  • Wars of the Roses (A Coat of Steel)
  • Impetus
Other things calling from the attic (5): 
  • 20mm T-28 WW2 Russian Tank
  • PSC 1/250 Small German Half-Tracks (20mm)
  • PSC Marders (20mm)
  • 25/28mm Renaissance Italian Wars
  • 1/3000 Pacific War ships  
Whimsy, whimsy, whimsy! Where to go ... roll a dice?

Monday, 1 February 2016

A Balsa Tank?

One of the "fun" things I was given at Xmas. My wife's predictions were, a usual, true to form. In the sense that although I was a little dismissive of it at first (understatement, "What's this for?"), once my tiny little hands started working on it I really 'enjoyed it' in an "Art Attack" way. Crude, rough and ready but FUN! The finished product IMHO is as good as many (any?) a GW 40K vehicle product [dig dig, I like their figures but don't see the point of the majority of their vehicles, aka "The Basilisk" come on that thing fires "off planet" for gawd's sake!] at a knock down SALE price of a couple of quid (see below, end result being a modern 2000+ supertank?) :

It needed a bit of UHU glue in places, although it has a Red (Chinese or Russia) Star I think it has a American "Super Patton" feel to it. All balsa and 95% old old fashioned "Workwood Slot Joins". I think it could even fit into one of Tim Gows - 54mm Garden Wars!


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Gone Orange .. Hope You Like It

My previous "Awesome Black" style template was just too much of a "Pain in the @$$" to read IMHO. Only took me five years to figure out!

Hope you like the readability of the new style :)

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Just Another Day in the Space Marine Corp (4)

With the primary objective completed and no further Chaos minions to despatch it was time to exit before the computer operated (via a simple countdown timer) attachment clamps disengaged the Docking Ports back to the mothership. The Imperial Fists were situated close to their exit but the Ultra Marines had to traverse the whole length of the Space Hulk's sector. This lead to an amusing series of random event rolls whereby the Chaos Overlord (aka me) was hoping to get a Genestealer into play to 'make my day'. As 'befit to the fickle whims of Chaos' the Genestealer appeared only 'after' the last Ultra Marine was safely behind the bulk head door. Aw shucks! No amount of 'creative' cajoling by myself and the other Space Marine players could entice the brave Ultra Marines back out (see below, "I'll huff and I'll puff"):

Counting the Cost: The Deadpool

The Blood Angels:

Despite suffering 100% casualties the official report showed that The Blood Angels showed "Good Heart & Soul" [The Chaos Commander glibly added "and  liver, spleen and brain matter all over the floor and walls of the Space Hulk"] in their combat, but they faced overwhelming odds and unlucky dice rolls in combat. Fate favours "lucky generals." Zero Points. The Blood Angels are currently in the process of recruiting a new batch of Space Marines heroes for their next mission, apply within (see below, some Chaos kills but horrific casualties):

The Imperial Fists:

Despite losing two Space Marines the Emperor's Elite Bodyguard brought in the goods with an impressive bounty of kills, including the primary objective (aka, the Dreadnought, see below). The Imperial Fists were declared the game winners and the Space Marine Commander was promoted from the ranks of a lowly Sergeant into the bottom rung of the Space Marine Officer Corp. How this 'Sharp-like' character takes to the formality of the Officers Mess is still another matter. Still as a reward The Imperial Fists get plenty of extra equipment cards to play with on the next mission as well as a second Command Card, "Oooh!" Well done (see below, a haul of dead Chaos minions both major and minor):

The Ultra Marines:

A very 'canny' (as in clever if not cautious) performance that preserved force integrity (no casualties, not quite the Space Marine Corp if you ask my humble opinion). Clipping their way through the Chaos minions and taking out the dangerous Recon Android showed tactical prowess. Some would say The Ultra Marines were a tad risk adverse but they are at least are ready to "go again," now tooled up with some extra equipment. Their mettle will be truly tested next time  methinks (see below, the kill total really needed that androd):


Yes, all his (or rather my) minions were dead or destroyed, but already the strange Forces of Chaos were twisting and threading their parts together, reconstituting or spawning a new army of minions. Aided with plenty of new Space Marine biological matter, diabolical horrors will await the Space Marines. The toll of Space Marines [seven all told including a precious Space Marine Commander] greatly pleases the warped Chaos entity. The Chaos Commander has earned the right to pick a "Random Event Card" of their choice as a backup 'trump' so the Genestealer is now a definite for the next game [evil laughter] so he eagerly awaits the next scenario in anticipation, especially as it promises him an additional three androids to play with (see below, these Space Marines did not make it back to their 'mothership'):

All said and done a really good night of fun, dice and beer. Fab, cannot wait for the next one!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Just Another Day in the Space Marine Corp (3)

The ferocious Dreadnought unceremoniously pushes the inert body of the Blood Angels Commander, supported by the last Chaos Space Marine Trooper they engage in a firefight with the last two surviving Blood Angel Space Marines. Bolters versus a Plasma Gun and Autocannon. The Bolter bounce harmlessly off the armoured hide of the Dreadnought (see below):

Predictably the Space Marines are gunned down by the superior heavy weaponry of the Dreadnought. The Blood Angels true to the spirit of their cadre have taken 100% casualties (see below):

Their work done on the Blood Angels the Dreadnought and surviving Chaos Space Marine (now nick named 'Bud') hunker back into the 'Alamo' and await the Imperial Fists and Ultra Marine teams "to have a go". Time is on the side of Chaos as for every turn the Space Marines delay an "interesting" Chaos event card is drawn. The Chaos Commander eagerly awaits an opportunity to play a Genestealer on teh reduced strength Space Marines (see below):

Showing tactical brilliance along with bravery of the highest order the Imperial Fist Commander goes headlong into the fray with a Dreadnought busting Megabomb equipment card in hand. A spectacular roll of double three (6 damage points) and an additional one and three (four damage points) from his power sword in hand-to-hand combat splits the Dreadnought down the middle, leaving is a fused bunch of spare electronic parts, radiating noxious fumes. All hail to the Imperial Fists (see below):

The last combat act was the execution of the remaining Chaos unit on the table, despatched by a tooled up Imperial Fist touting an Autocannon (see below):

In the last few rounds Chaos' fortunes had crashed from the high of wiping out an entire Space Marine squad to being smashed up by a no-nonsense 'Alamo' clear-out. The Ultra Marines emerged from their tactical positions (being somewhat gun-shie after rolling a lot of double zeroes all game they deduced that discretion was the better part of valour! All the Space Marines had to do now was survive a series of random event cards until they got back to their 'shuttle entry points'.

Next: Run, Run, Run Away ... I mean Mission Accomplished Tactical Withdrawal in Progress