Wednesday, January 4, 2012

15mm Sci Fi from Rebel Mini's

I had my order from Rebel Miniatures arrive yesterday, I'd placed it during their pre-Christmas sale in mid-December. It was mainly a 15mm sci fi order, although I did get their pulp Cabras pack, which I'll use as a gargolye/demon sort of thing for Solomon Kane and Cormac Mac Art historical fantasy gaming.

Of the rest, I got the Earth Marines and the Earth Armored troopers, which I like as Traveller-esque Imperial Space Marines (better than RAFM's). I'm not sure what I'll do with the Earth Marines proper yet.

I also got the Magistrates pack, which I like as being Cobra-esque, in the GI Joe sense. I also got the Black Widow mercenaries, the Scourage (terminator robots), and the Sahadeen, which are sort of like lower tech rebels. There were also some vehicles in the mix.

So, given that in 25/28mm I have Star Wars, John Carter of Mars, Space 1889, faux-Space Marines/gothic sci fi, Star Trek, and post-apoc. stuff going on, what the heck am I doing in 15mm? Well, like I hinted at, Traveller. I love Classic Traveller, but will probably not be playing it as a RPG again (I'll always tinker with stuff though), so this will be a way to keep the love going. I'll pick up some RAFM Traveller packs later this year, if RAFM does a sale again, and I've learned that Critical Mass does some nice additional Vargr-alikes.

I may do some other things here or there as opportunities arise - Starship Troopers, Firefly, or the Star Risk novels (very Traveller-esque) for example, or just generic sci fi. It may even work for Battlestar Galactica, with the Scourage as Cylons.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


One day into the new year seems like a good time to review last year's resolution, see how I did, and try to come up with a plan for 2012. Assuming the world doesn't end in the meanwhile - we survived the end of the world twice in 2011, and while the Mayans were probably more on the ball than modern apocolypse cults, I'm pretty sure we're ok.

So first to review some of what I said at the end of 2010 (in bold):
The review is pretty simple: Lots prepped, not much painted!
Yeah, that can some up 2011 too, although I did finish the Vietnamese project I had on the table, and some terrain got done, there was too much chasing of butterflies. So after the review, I'm proposing (to myself), my plan to be more focused.

No more cleaning of figures until the backlog is cleared, with a few exceptions:
By "exceptions" of course I meant everything. Mainly it was a couple rounds of 6mm fantasy enthusiasm that caused problems, plus some aircraft prep, and one diversion for Star Trek ships.

Purchasing will be scaled back
It was, for about 3 weeks in October. I actually did scale back relative to 2010, but still spent too much. At least this year I didn't do any stupid purchases (1930's Car Wars, anyone?). 15mm sci-fi isn't stupid, and I lasted until mid-December, so there. Hopefully my plan to maintain focus will let me scale down my purchases in 2012.

Well, ok, two new projects may be allowed – 3mm ACW Terrible Sharp Sword, now that it’s released, and 6mm Hammer’s Slammers, IF they ever get released by Old Crow.
Check and check, at least I followed through on those. Some of my Ground Zero Games purchases have been in support of the Hammer's Slammers project.

Terrain purchases will include a space mat, an aerial mat (overland, already have naval), some 10/15mm pieces, 2mm Irregular, and 3mm from Simply 6 (via Picoarmor).
All good there, except for the aerial mat. And I want a different scaled space map for fighter actions. Unfortunately it looks like Simply 6 is out of the game for 3mm terrain.

2mm purchases for SYW India, my two fantasy projects (Kull, Imaro), Star Wars, and Land Ironclads.
Good there too, except the 2mm fantasy projects seem to have fallen off my mental wayside.

Star Wars capital ships from Studio Bergstrom (falling under the “completing a project” exception).
Again, good! Except I need one more Victory I Star Destroyer, and four more Mon Cal ships. And a Super Star Destroyer from Shapeways.

Then I'm good.

Some more Pulp Figures, particularly if I manage to make the Hot Lead convention in March and PF is there with a booth.
Well, Bob Murch wasn't at Hotlead, but I was. And I bought some of Artizan's pulp line, and some of Blue Moon's pulp cars. And some more pulp vehicles from Recreational Conflict.

And I still did a mail order purchase from Pulp Figures. They're still allowed for next year too. Of course, late this year Splintered Light Miniatures came out with 15mm pulp awesomeness, but I'm not that dumb. Thanks for not asking how many scales under 10mm I'm currently during the American Civil War in.

If Brigade (US version) has any sales, I’ll pick up some ERB Martian figures and VSF skirmish stuff.
If Brigade (UK version) has their summer sale again, I’ll pick up some Aeronef and Land Ironclads stuff – I hope you all admire the way I didn’t spend any money during their Xmas sale.

Yes to both. And I've avoided Brigade (UK)'s Xmas sale this year too. Despite their 15mm sci-fi, 6mm sci-fi, and great spaceship line. And aeronef, land ironclads, and Iron Stars stuff. I hope to be strong during their summer sale.

Splintered Light Miniatures have a few sales during the year, and I expect they’ll have some cool new Splintered Lands mini’s I’ll need, plus I have some of their 15mm stuff in the pending pile.
Yeah, they had sales. More of their 15mm Dark Ages stuff, their not-Firefly crew in 15mm, and a dragon to use in 6mm.

In January I expect to put in an order to round up WWII over the Pacific, there are 6 mini-starter packs that will do me, plus some spares for China. And some modern odds and ends. And I found I need another pack of D.XXI’s for the Finns. But THAT’S it.

Except that wasn't it. Some of the madness were Oddzial Osmy's Italian and French aircraft, but much of it lately has been the ongoing awesomeness of Roman, Arun and Roe, three designers on Shapeways, who've been doing 1/288 WWI aircraft for me (Roman, Der Kampfflieger) and 1/600 WWII-modern aircraft (Arun - Objects May Appear; Roe - Tinythingamajigs). Now I'm waiting for Dom to get some of the modern-era packs put together for me, so I can finish off WWII and the moderns (mostly).

At some point I’d like to place a small order with H&R for 1/300 WWI a/c, I have some gaps in my lineup, and they’re the only ones with a reasonable collection of interesting Interwar a/c.
Didn't get this one done. Am holding off on the interwar stuff in 1/300, as the Shapeway guys might get to it in 1/600. Will have to see how does the coolest stuff fastest. I'd like to wrap up WWI from H&R in one swoop, to get their 40% shipping cost out of my life.

So, my plan to focus more on painting this year is to limit the other stuff I get into - cleaning and prepping, building, etc - by fixing it to a strict schedule. I'll priortize painting projects too, but not put them onto a schedule, just work through one and then onto the next.

Painting Priorities:
1) Continue practicing on 25mm figures.
2) Finish the 6mm stuff that's been on my painting table half-started for a stupidly long time (I think I have a friend who'll paint the rest of my 6mm WWII stuff on commission for me).
3a) Vietnam air.
3b) VSF space (it's on the same tray as the Vietnam stuff).
4) Actual 25/28mm figures - VSF characters and non-Space Marines for my Gothic Earth project.
5) Star Wars fleet scale.
6) Actual 15mm's - Splintered Lands, India skirmish, dark ages, whatever's primed.
7) WWI air.
8) Star Wars fighter-scale.
9) WWII air.
10) Modern air.
11) 2mm fantasy and sci-fi.

Terrain can be done as prepped, and for the record, my definition of 'painting' includes priming.

Other projects, by month:
Jan. - Cardboard terrain
Feb. - WWII plane prepping
Mar. - Base texturing (for all the stuff I based in 2010)
Apr. - VN terrain, including hills
May - 2 and 15mm India miniature prep.
June - 2 and 3mm terrain, mainly texturing bases (India, Europe, sci-fi, ACW)
July - 6mm terrain (fantasy, WWII, modern, sci-fi)
Aug. - 3 and 6mm ACW prep. (and any Vietnam leftovers)
Sept. - Take 2 at cardboard terrain
Oct. - Build terrain from 3D puzzles and other wood things (e.g. birdhouses)
Nov. - Build 15/28mm sci-fi terrain (include the Naloomi's workshop stuff I have around)
Dec. - 6mm fantasy prep.
Bonus: Finish prepping my 1/72 marines in Vietnam.

If I get ahead of schedule, I'll just bump up the next month, which will help because I also have on my list:
- Modern aircraft prepping
- WWI aircraft prepping
- 15mm Indian terrain
- Spaceship prep. (Battlestar Galactica, Iron Stars)
- Basing/mounting/assembling aeronef and land ironclads
- Other 2-6mm figure prep. (may need to do some 6mm WWII prep. so I can get them off to be painted)
- Other 15-28mm figure prep.

The last two are all my lost projects: retro sci-fi, War Rocket, 3mm Cold War and Blitzkrieg Commander, 6mm moderns, 1/72 WWI, more VSF, modern spy skirmishing, more pulp, 2mm Ogre, tons of 15mm, 28mm gothic sci-fi, 2mm ACW.

Planned Purchases:
- 2 and 15mm India
- 2 and 15mm ECW (skirmishing/Solomon Kane for the latter)
- aircraft (all eras)
- mats
- 3mm fill-ins for Vietnam and ACW (e.g. the new Zouaves!)
- cardboard terrain
- a few big Star Wars and Star Trek ships from Shapeways
- Pulp Figures (a birthday present methinks)
- use my forthcoming Ground Zero Games Xmas coupon for some more 6 and 15m Sci-Fi
- Microworld's awesome 6mm dwarves should be released this month

A busy timeline, but if I can keep to that and actually finish some projects, or at least make a first dent in some of the huge ones (15mm gaming, for instance), then 2013 will let me get to all those lost projects, while actually using more of my toys. Right now my Star Wars and fantasy pre-paints, a few WWI aircraft, and my Vietnam project are all that I can play with.

Important to all this as well is resisting things that have tempted me repeatedly: ACW naval gaming (other than what's needed in 1/600 for Terrible Sharp Sword), pre-dreadnought and WWI naval gaming, 1/6000 modern naval ships (as targets for my a/c), 2mm big scale Napoleonics, the rest of the SYW in 2mm, ancients x50 projects, etc. etc.

Right, so off now to practice my big fig painting on those old 25's, and work on that cardboard terrain!