Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trucks and Trucks

I've been building and painting some more vehicles recently. I'm aiming for models that will be generic enough to be useful in several settings, so I can get the most out of them.

For all guerrilla/insurgent forces modern and futuristic, they need cheap transports and weapons platforms - enter technicals. I tried doing it the cheap way by starting from some Matchbox pickup trucks, and the results don't seem bad.
I repainted a couple of Matchbox Honda Ridgelines and added Liberation Miniatures DShK heavy machine guns to them. The result looks haphazard and threatening at the same time - which is good for the intended effect.
The Matchbox die cast model has a full gray plastic interior, including cup holders, (!) and I left that all untouched.
The truck beds have boxes and packs in them, so I painted these to give the technicals a lived in look. The beds are also big enough so 1/72 figures can be placed in them to give them more flavour. All in all, this is pretty cheap and effective, considering that the trucks were $1 each at Wal-Mart.

I also built a pack of 2 Pegasus quick-build WWII US Army GMC trucks. These are very nice models, quick to build but with good detail at the same time. I painted them in a generic olive green colour that's suitable for many wars, settings, and factions.
These trucks are quick and easy to get to a gameable state, and are yet another Pegasus offering aimed at wargamers.
You can see the detailed folds of the canvas top, which I painted in a khaki colour.
The trucks also include a driver each, and I gave them a quick paintjob too.

I'm very impressed with the Pegasus trucks, and will probably get more. These will be good as both transports and objectives in gaming scenarios.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sci-fi Miniatures and Scale, non-power armour

On the Ambush Alley forum, I was asked to post a size comparison similar to what I had done before, except with non-power armour GZG 25mm miniatures. So here they are:
A GZG 15mm Ixx, a GZG 25mm NSL Panzer Grenadier, a Caesar 1/72 modern French soldier, and a Caesar 1/72 nun.
A close-up of the Ixx, 25mm NSL Panzer Grenadier, and 1/72 French soldier.

After I took those pictures, something felt wrong, and I realized that I based the 25mm GZG figure on a washer so that the base was taller than the others. I then compensated for this by placing the other figures on washers of the same size.
These are the same as above, but with washers under the other figures so the 25mm GZG is not propped up unfairly.

What to think then? While the GZG 25mm power armour miniature can get away with being bulkier simply by virtue of being power armour, the non-power armour 25mm soldier doesn't look quite right with 1/72 miniatures. The proportions of the GZG miniature, even though it's miles better than heroic scale "28mm," still doesn't quite match the realistic proportions of 1/72s. So even as bulky sci-fi armour, it still doesn't really fit. But like always, this comes down to personal preference.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Aliens, finally

I've finally finished painting (still need to do basing) the first batch of GZG Ixx miniatures. These are nice miniatures, being 15mm but large enough to serve as aliens in 1/72 scale.
These are pictures of my first unit, a leader, 3 regular warriors, and a heavy weapon that I'll use as a flamethrower.
From left to right, a Caesar partisan, an Ixx, and a Caesar modern French soldier. This shows the size of these aliens, massive for 15mm, but a good "normal" size for 1/72.
Another shot with a Caesar modern French and an Ixx. These two will be on the same side in my campaign.
This is the second group of Ixx, with an autocannon style heavy weapon. I think two groups are enough for now in my planned campaign.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More Partisans and UAVs

Here are some more pictures of the painted partisans:
I use some Caesar modern urban resisters (insurgents) mixed with the partisans to create light machine gun teams. These fit together fairly well, and fixes the problem of the Caesar set not having a lot of support weapons.
Here are the RPG teams from the previous post, along with another light machine gun team. The Bren gun is the only support weapon included in the Caesar partisans set. Too bad they couldn't put in more.
I use an old ESCI WWII Soviet radiowoman as one of the specialists. She'll probably serve as an electronic warfare specialist or a hacker of some sort.
Another group of partisans with small arms. Their leader (on the right) is a James Bond wannabe.
Back to the regular army, I'm using some plastic Silent Death fighters as UAVs. This is a reconaissance micro-UAV.
Here's the UAV flying over an APC.
This is another fighter I'm using, as an attack UAV.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I've painted up a mix of Caesar WWII Partisans, Orion Chechen Rebels, and ESCI WWII Russians to use as the Anarchist faction in my sci-fi campaign. They represent partisans who use a variety of civilian clothes, old military uniforms, and a mix of old and new weapons. The bulk of the group consists of Caesar's excellent WWII Partisans set. I only have a few photos here, but I'll take more tomorrow.
A few Caesar and Orion miniatures that I'll use for RPG teams.
A mixed group of partisans armed with various small arms.
A close-up of a submachingunner that shows the detail of the Caesar miniatures.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sci-fi Miniatures and Scale

Due to the dearth of power armour in 1/72 or 20 mm scale, I asked for help on a mailing list. Someone replied that GZG 25 mm power armour will work just as well. My first reaction was "but they're too big!" However, since I believe in empirical observation, :) I actually took out a couple of my GZG 25 mm NSL power armour and did some comparison shots. The results are rather surprising.

From left to right, Caesar 1/72 modern French, GZG 25 mm NSL power armour sergeant, Caesar 1/72 nun, and another Caesar 1/72 modern French.

From left to right, Caesar 1/72 modern French, GZG 25 mm NSL power armour, Caesar 1/72 nun, and GZG 15 mm alien Ixx.

From left to right, GZG 25 mm NSL power armour with plasma gun, GZG 15 mm alien Ixx, GZG 25 mm NSL power armour, and Caesar 1/72 nun.

From the pictures, it's pretty clear that the 25 mm GZG power armour can be used with 1/72 miniatures as some sort of large armoured suit. It surprised me quite a bit that it would fit so well. Oh well, I guess I have power armour miniatures for my sci-fi campaign now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mostly completed sci-fi faction

I've done a bit more painting and now have a mostly completed force for one faction in my planned sci-fi campaign. The only thing left is painting the bases.

My science fiction setting involves a civil war in a colony nation called San Carlos, and I use the modern French troops to represent the militarist faction that has the loyalty of most of the regular army. This is the faction that has the most modern equipment, (San Carlos is a relatively "third world" nation in my setting) with toys like UGVs and UAVs, as well as alien auxiliaries.

Below is a full section of the Falangian Guard, the elite infantry of this faction:

The section consists of a section leader and two fire teams each with three men. The first fire team has a multi-purpose missile launcher and two men with assault rifles, and the second fire team has a SAW and two men with assault rifles. In Ambush Alley, each fire team will be one unit, with the section leader attachable to either one.

Here is a close-up of the section leader:

For transport, the infantry have wheeled APCs, and I use VAB models.
Here is a fire team exiting the rear doors of an APC:
For dedicated anti-tank duties, UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) with missile launchers are used:
Here's the full force I have so far, with two sections and transports, and an anti-tank UGV section:
Just for interest sake, here is a size comparison between a VAB and a BTR, which I will use for the military of New Harmony, a nation bordering San Carlos:
I guess I still have some more units to do. I still have UAVs and aliens (the GZG Ixx) that need painting, then I'll be going on to the Anarchists...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Vehicles

I've been doing some more vehicle work and here are the results.
Here's a French VAB model by Heller. This is actually a very nice model, with only 39 parts and very easy to assemble, but also with quite a bit of detail. I just finished a base coat and camouflage colours, but for now it's fairly serviceable. I've got 4 of these models and they'll serve as the APCs for my sci-fi troops.
This is the view from the top of the same model.
The BTRs from the previous post have also had a basic paintjob done. I've got three prepared this way now, enough for a motorized rifle platoon. Now I just have to paint the troops...
A closeup of one of them.
A view from the back.

I've decided to actually use Ambush Alley: Force on Force rules for now, even for the sci-fi games. I'll be posting stats for my vehicles soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

1/72 Sci-Fi

One problem with 1/72 scale plastics is the lack of science fiction models. However, there are good miniatures of very modern armies, and these can be used for mid-tech science fiction forces. Also, there is a wide range of sci-fi minis available in 15 mm metal, and the aliens in many of them can work well with 1/72 scale. I'm currently trying to create science fiction forces with 1/72 plastics, and here are some examples of what I have so far.

Here is a 1/72 scale Caesar modern French soldier and a Ground Zero Games 15 mm alien, the Ixx. Due to the massive size of the Ixx (for 15 mm) they can be used quite nicely together with 1/72s. In this case, they are for my force of alien tribesmen (tribesaliens?) led by human officers who sort of have a French Foreign Legion vibe. The FAMAS rifle looks pretty futuristic too.
More 1/72 scale Caesar modern French with FAMAS rifles. These will form the backbone of a mid-tech sci-fi army.
This is a Ground Zero Games missile launcher drone along with another Caesar French soldier with an APILAS missile launcher. The UGVs (unmanned gound vehicles) will be a nice sci-fi touch to the heavy weapons teams.
Now here's something for them to blow up. These are Trumpeter 1/72 scale BTR-80 models. Modern wheeled APCs can be used in a variety of sci-fi settings. Wheeled APCs make a lot of sense, even on alien worlds, since they're cheap and low-maintenance, and sure beat walking when nothing higher tech is available! These will be used in an opposing force to the Caesar French.
These are Orion 1/72 modern Russian soldiers. When I first got them, I thought they looked horrible and were extremely poor quality. However, after a primer undercoat, they don't look so bad. A simple paint job and a wash can bring out some good detail. Again, these will be used as the enemy for the Caesar French. Those poor Russians, they never get a break!

I will probably use Fast and Dirty 4 for the ruleset for now. When Ambush Alley's sci-fi rules come out, I'll definitely get that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Painted Humvees

Here are pictures of two painted Humvees. Like I said before, these are painted with a simple base coat and are "game-ready." I'll put in washes and highlights later. These models are from Dragon and are one of their easier kits. The Humvees come two per box and are relatively easy to assemble. I also skimped on the details inside the driver's compartment since you can't see anything inside anyways.
The two of them together.
You can see the nice detail from the back.
The following is one of Dragon's more complex kits, an Amtrack (AAVP7A1) with reactive armour. The thing has over 170 pieces (for a 1/72 model!) including photo-etched parts. I actually left quite a bit of detail off so it can be usable as a gaming model - too many small pieces can break off easily. It still looks very impressive even with only a base coat right now. I still have to paint the tracks and other detail.
You can see its size through a comparison with a Humvee.