Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Mutant Menace Of Professor Medel

With 00101001 ready to roll, I've been frantically painting to get some of my other crews ready to go!  Well, frantic might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea.  Anyway, with the man made mechanical menace done I've decided its time to make some man made biological menaces as well so without further ado its time to turn our gaze to the horrific "pets" of Professor Medel.

XP-002a aka flitter wings (38 points each)

Quality 4+, Combat 3
Special rules: flying, stealth

The flitter wings were one of Professor Medel's first creations.  Flying along on silent wings, flitters will swoop down and bite at their prey before rising up into the air and out of reach again.

XP-005c aka Muffin (40 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 3
Special rules: long move, sprint, superior senses

Muffin is enhanced canine mutant that is the size of a man and boasts a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.  In addition to its already impressive move, Muffin can also let loose with a massive burst of speed to close with the enemy even faster than normal.

XP-013b, c, and d aka Boffo, Pickles (28 points each), and George (31 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 3
Special rules: +2 on climb rolls (all), big (George), savage (all)

Boffo, Pickles, and George are Professor Medel's constant companions and protectors.  George is the oldest and most powerful of the three but that doesn't make Boffo and Pickles any less dangerous.

Professor Johannus Medel (50 points)

Quality 3+, Combat 2
Special rules: genetic booster drug, leader, pistol 

Leader of this collection of home bred mutants is the infamous Professor Medel.  Known throughout the wastes for his gruesome experiments on man and beast alike, he usually avoids settlements but lone travelers are often easy prey for him and his... pets.

While I was worried that 00101001 might be a little over the top, I'm actually concerned that Professor Medel and his pets might be a little weak.   With their lack of ranged attacks and a Combat of 3 throughout most of the group I'm just not sure how well they will hold out, but even so I think they are going to be as fun to play as they were to paint.  The next step is to get the two groups to the table and slug it out but more on that later.  Until next time...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beware The Electrical Diagrams Of Doom!

Of all the games that FASA produced, I think there is no question that they were best known for Battletech.  They also made a few other games as well such as Shadow Run and Crimson Skies but none of them had quite the following that Battletech managed.  One in particular was their Renegade Legion series of games.

Set in the far future history has repeated itself with the resurrection of the Roman Empire.  Though they were first somewhat benevolent things took a drastic change and the government took on a tyrannical twist, reforming itself into the Terran Overlord Government or the TOG for short.  They began a campaign to conquer the galaxy and when the game is set they are well on their way to doing just that.  One of the last bastions of freedom is known as the Commonwealth supported by a group of TOG soldiers that have seen the light and turned against the TOG, the Renegade Legion.

I'm paraphrasing of course but this should give you an idea how the universe looked.  They did a good job developing the story and also made several different game systems to cover the various aspects of sci fi combat such as capital ship combat, fighter combat, and ground combat.  One that I owned and really enjoyed original, Renegade Legion: Interceptor.  As you can guess from the name, this was the game that focused on fighter combat.


Unlike Battletech with their standardized test style circles that you fill in, Interceptor tracked the armor with a grid.  Instead of just having the weapons inflict a set number of points worth of damage, they actually patterned the damage according to the different types of weapons.  Lasers burn deep into the armor while missiles blast off shallow chunks.  This part was a pretty cool mechanic but when you get through the armor things got a little... weird.

This is a copy of a record sheet for one of the fighters.

Sure it's actually a sheet for a corvette but you get the idea.
See the crazy mishmash of arrows on the left side?  That is the damage diagram, some kind of a mix between a flowchart and an electrical diagram that was used to keep track of damage to the internal systems.

Of the three main combat systems, I'm pretty sure this was the only one that used the flowchart method of damage assignment.  Leviathan (capital ship combat) and Centurion (ground combat) both used different systems which leaves the question "Why didn't they update Interceptor so that it matched up?"  Honestly I have no idea.  Was it the worst system in the world?  No.  My friends and I played a few times and enjoyed it but in the long run it just never caught on with anyone besides me.  Ah well.

So is it something that I would recommend scouring the internet to find?   No but if you have a chance to read some of the setting I'd check it out as its definitely an interesting twist on the whole sci fi empire thing.  Until next time...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Recycling... For Minis!

Years ago (twelve to be exact) the CMG Mage Knight hit the streets for the first time.  I never really got into it as the whole CMG/CCG thing just didn't appeal to me anymore but I did see some figures that I liked the look of.  Then again it was collectible so why buy a bunch of minis in the hopes of getting one that I might like the look of.  I mean sure I might do that now but then I was more sensible.  Sensible.  Yeah, let's run with that.

Anyway, I recently went trolling for some new minis that might have a different feel than what you find in the mainstream and what did I find?  None other than some of the same old Mage Knight minis that caught my eye years ago, plus a few "newer" ones that I hadn't seen.  One quick Paypal transaction later and they were winging my way to me at the speed of the USPS.

I vaguely remembered what they looked like then but the real question is just how are these figures now?  I have to say that time has not been kind to the figures from the original sets.  Not as far as the sculpts themselves but as far as the paint.  I had planned on repainting these anyway but it was surprising to see just how bad the original runs paint was.  Here are a couple to give you an idea.
Brass golem on the left and submersible golem on the right.
 It seems like the later sets (believe they were from the Unlimited series) fared much better in their overall paint schemes and also featured some more dynamic sculpts than the original minis..

Whirling golem from the Unlimited series
Still definitely not Golden Demon winners but not bad considering what they were.  The material used also seems to be more rigid as well though this is only a concern if you are looking to do any conversion work.

Then again I did say that I was going to repaint them anyway so how the paint held up is kind of a mote point.  The better question is how is the quality of the sculpt and personally I really like the look of these figures.  A quick re-basing and paint job later and voila!

One big happy family of mechanical menaces
Overall I'm really happy with how they've turned out.  Not super detailed but then they'll suit my purposes just fine.  And just what are those purposes?  Well, I was originally thinking of re skinning them for a Dungeons and Dragons 4e game but I'm now I'm also thinking about stating them up for Song of Blades and Heroes.  Either way I'm looking forward to getting them to the table and I'm even going to pick up some more as well.  After all recycling is good for the environment, right?  Until next time...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rats In Spaaace!!!

Next month Mantic Games will be releasing their new line of Veer-myn miniatures and I for one say its about time.  I mean who doesn't love the concept of the Skaven, the original rat men of the Warhammer world?  Sure putting them in 40k could be seen as going too far with the crossover between the two worlds but I still think it would sell like hot cakes.

Nightmare close assault troops

As for the Mantic line, these are for their Warpath science fiction miniature game.  I'm not familiar with the game myself but you can bet I'll be getting some Veer-myn for myself.

Night Crawlers combat troops

The figures look good and they'll make a great addition to any post apocalyptic or sci fi game and since they are all made of plastic (except for their fearless leader the Night Spawn) the conversion possibilities should be endless.  Once I manage to get hold of some and paint them up I'll be sure to do a review on them.  Until next time...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Reaper Bones

As most of you have probably noticed by now I really like Reaper Miniatures.  They have an extremely diverse selection of miniatures and a search engine to help you find just the one that you're looking for.  So what could they possibly do to make it better?  Well I'd definitely say that their new Dark Heaven Bones line is a step in the right direction!


For those of you that might not have heard about these, Bones are a new line of miniatures made out of plastic.  This allows for some great conversion possibilities as we all know that plastics are much easier to work with in that regard.  They can also be painted right out of the package.  How well do they paint up?  Here are some examples from my pack of kobolds that I recently picked up.


I'm happy with how they turned out but it did take a couple coats to get good coverage and you definitely have to wash them before you even try to paint them or you can forget about the paint sticking.  While I was painting them I also noticed that the details didn't seem as crisp as metal Reaper Minis that I've painted in the past but I think this is probably a result of the plastic material that they used.  Rather than a hard plastic the Bones material is pretty soft and flexible which I wasn't expecting.
Overall I think this is pretty much a wash between the good and the bad aspects until you get to the price.  The two packs of six kobolds cost about a dollar more than a single pack of metal figures that only contains three.  Twelve figures for seven bucks which is one helluva bargain.

So how does this all balance out?  Well, I definitely like the price (I mean really, who wouldn't?) and the other pros and cons really do seem like a wash so I'd definitely suggest checking them out if there's something that catches your eye.  Right now the selection in the Bones range is pretty limited, consisting of a total of twelve different packs but I imagine Reaper will expand this if they are well received.  Until next time...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tools Of The Trade

Back in the beginning of March I ordered a couple of Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes to replace my collection of aging and really plain Jane brushes.  Personally I thought that upgrading my brushes would probably make some difference but I never dreamed just how much of an improvement it would be.

These brushes are made with Kolinsky sable which comes from these guys.


Cute little sucker isn't he?  For those of you who might not know, this is a Siberian weasel and the Series 7 brushes are made using hair from the tail of these critters.  How's that for a bit of trivia that you might not have known?

From what I have experienced with these brushes they give you a much more consist and even flow than your average run of the mill brush making detail work easier than ever.  Usually I have found that the paint has started to dry when I go in to paint that eye but with these I find that the hair holds the moisture that much longer and lets you really get in for some fine work.  They also retain the point incredibly well compared to anything else that I've used, so much so that I've been using a size 1 brush almost exclusively for everything from cloaks to pupils.

So obviously I'm in love with these brushes but the question is where can you get your own?  You might be able to find them elsewhere but I would recommend heading over to DickBlick.com.  The two brushes that I purchased on their site retail for $59.18 but on their site you can get them for a mere $20.70 (before shipping of course) but from what I've seen so far these brushes are worth every penny and more.

You should also be aware that there are actually two different types of Series 7 brushes; the Series 7 pointed round and the Series 7 miniature brush.  The ones that I own are the pointed rounds and I would recommend these over the miniature brushes.  The rounds have longer bristles which really help give you that nice and smooth flow while the miniatures are noticeably shorter.  Not only do I think that this would effect painting but I also think it could have an impact on how long they would last.  With the shorter bristles it seems like it would be too easy to have paint get up into the ferrule which will quickly ruin the fine tip that you need for detail work.

I also would not recommend using these brushes for putting on base coats over a large surface.  Cheap brushes are easy to find so you might as well use these for the base coats and save the good brushes for the more precise work.  Until next time...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The 00101001 Gang

It's been a while since I've gotten any miniatures to the table but I think it's time to rectify that by heading back to the blasted future of Mutants And Death Ray Guns.  Digging through the various miniatures that I have laying about I've found a few different gangs that I can put together.  The first of these is a robot gang who are determined to sweep away the oppressive scourge of Humanity.

XTU-1a aka Needle Nose (52 points) and XTU-2b aka Zippo (50 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 4
Special rules: force field, intrusion module, needle gun/flamethrower

XTU-1a and 2b are both old military prototype stealth units designed to move behind enemy lines and either assassinate targets or launch terror attacks.  Both units are equipped with force fields and an intrusion module which make them extremely dangerous opponents when cover is available.  Needle Nose also mounts a needle gun making him an ideal assassin while Zippo carries a flamethrower for those late night barbeques.

ACAU-M1A aka the Brute (43 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 4
Special rules: big, steel plating

In sharp contrast to the two stealth units is the metal behemoth known as the Brute.  Towering over the rest of the gang, the Brute is encased in steel plating and mounts a now defunct cannon on its shoulder which makes him appear far more terrifying than he actually is which is still pretty scary.

SAR-05ds aka Siryessir (47 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 4
Special rules: all terrain ability, SMG

Rounding out the actual combat units in the group is Siryessir, an old robotic drill sergeant who speaks loudly and packs a sub machine gun.  Subtlety never really was his thing.

Medibot z37 aka Ol' Doc Hack (41 points)

Quality 4+, Combat 4
Special rules: medical robot, savage

Ol' Doc Hack is a malfunctioning medical robot that now tries to end the same lives it used to save.  Equipped with a savage old amputation saw and medical injector, Doc Hack likes nothing better than laying waste to the soft squishy things in close combat.

DASU DB-88 aka Diisun (55 points)

Quality 3+, Combat 3
Special rules: civilian robot, leader

Surrounded by vicious combat robots, Diisun has been able to worm his way to the top by using his free form civilian programming to heap commands onto the military robots with their very rigid command structure.

At first glance this gang does look pretty over the top.  Two of them have stealth while another is not only big but also has armor plating.  This makes for a potent core of the group which is why I really tried to add in some weak links to the chain.  Only half of the robots have ranged weapons and their leader has no real weapons and has the lowest Combat score of the bunch.  Is this enough to balance them out?  Only time and another battle report will tell.  Until next time...