Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Giant Robot Support/Alternative Mekanoid Dictator

I was going through my old to bin and I came across a rather impressive toy that I remember playing with 5-7 years ago. Then it struck me by its look it could make an awesome giant support machine, or even a secondary type of the monstrous Dictator (From Khurasans awesome Mekanoid line).
Here it is in all its glory:
The walker had a few more pieces as well, such as rocket pods that fit between the shoulder and head (You can see the space where they plugged into) and the top to the cockpit.
From the look of the cockpit compared to this Rebel Mini’s figure, it looks like it even fits around the 15mm mark!
Even not as a Mekanoid this has a lot of gaming potential in my eyes. Though, for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the toy or its toy line! All I remember it was based on a show, an American cartoon if memory serves, that had a sort of far future dieselpunk kind of feel. Even the name of the show evades me! I also had a few other toys from the line, such as this really cool red fighter…. But they have been lost to time.
If anyone can identify this I would be very thankful!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Space Demons Cometh

So, Khurasan Miniatures Space Demons have already caused quite a stir in the 15mm Sci fi community for their excellent craftsmanship and perfect Not-Alien looks. I actually ordered mine a couple of months ago, but didn’t get pictures of my mostly finished force until later. Heck, I was even surprised when I found the pictures I had taken of them while they were still unpainted; I had forgotten I even took those!

Well, here is my force currently:
It consists of:
  1. 16 Stealth Demons
  2. 8 Hammerhead Demons
  3. 16 Assault Demons
  4. 2 Space Demon Kings
I figured this was a good and sizeable force to start with. My original intention was to just go with enough for 15mm scale guncrawl/spacehulk style gaming, but I later decided I would also get enough for skirmish wargaming as well.

I am currently experimenting with my force layout, trying to think of fits the Space Demons and keeps them from playing like humans. I’m gaming for now with FAD (Fast and Dirty) a free squad based rule system for 15mm Sci-Fi. The Stealth Demons have fallback and deep strike style abilities, with my main goal to make them harassers. The Hammerheads are the only ranged unit of the force, and I have them set to be reserve until they are needed for anti-armor. Then the Assault Demons are linked with the Demon Kings with the Hivemind ability, and are meant to just rush the enemy. Once I work things out I think I’ll post the army list I’m putting together.

The Stealth Demons:
Assault with King:
The Hammerheads:

Getting and starting the minis: Each “squad” comes with 8 space demons in a little baggy like the below. The flash on them was VERY minimal, and they are some beautiful sculpts.
Being that they are soft metal, the tails can actually be bent and twisted a little for differentiation to keep your swarm looking fresh.
The heads come in the same bag as the bodies, but are unattached. This lets you position them however you would like. They also come in two variants: Ones with the ‘tongue’ and those without.
I tend to base all my 15mm minis on metal washers you can get from the local hardware store, using larger ones for weapons teams and Demon Kings.
Here they are after having been based and had their flash removed:
And finally with them flocked after adding a little putty to the bases. The flock itself is the coffee ground material described in one of my other posts.

Final Notes: I LOVE the Space Demon designs not just because I am a huge Aliens fan but also because they have a lot of character as well. You can definitely see the Giger inspiration, but they start to take on a life of their own, different then their xenomorph counterparts; As well, the hammerheads seem to get some inspiration from the flying creatures in the movie Pitch Black.

The sculpts are well defined and they were a joy to paint, especially since they were my first 15mm scale army! Thus I went with something simple and effective, black base with some dark grey, grey, and white drybrushing. I want to eventually go back and work on them some more, and add in more detail.

I plan to eventually expand it with more Assault and Hammerhead Demons, a Queen, and a few more Space Demon Kings so I can try to make variants!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cheap Wargaming Terrain:

I’m always looking too find ways to make my gaming cost less; and by cost less I mean find cheaper supplies so I can buy more minis. Terrain is one of those things that you can pour a little, or a lot into and get varied results. I enjoy trying to find the most bang for my buck when it comes to this. It’s sort of a mini game for me, how much can I make with as little money as possible all while still making it look nice?
What’s one way of doing this? Well, let’s look at one thing you might do everyday.
Yes, what you see above you is a most sacred relic, the coffee pot. Contained within it is the means of producing the holy black liquid that we Americans all crave and desire, Coffee. Joking aside, let’s open it up and see what’s inside.
There we go, that’s the stuff. After serving it’s purpose coffee grounds are often tossed. Though, a quick google search will reveal lots of interesting (and some quite effective) uses for coffee grounds, such as in here: http://www.thegoodhuman.com/2010/06/08/16-ways-to-reuse-old-coffee-grounds/

But! This is a wargaming blog, and as such we’re hear to read stuff about wargaming! So, it hit me one day as I was about to toss the grounds, if I dried these, they’d make awesome ground cover! We grind our own coffee, so the grounds tend to be nice and small, perfect for basing at smaller scales like 15mm.

The only catch was to dry them. So we have two main sources of doing so: #1 The Sun
By putting them into a small metal pan and shaking it around so that it’s all distributed evenly, we can let the number one heat source on the planet use its free energy to do our bidding; It’s both primitive and green!  Letting that inner caveman or hippie give a victory cry is optional but encouraged.
You’ll want to use a metal pan here, as it will warm up faster and hotter then say, plastic. You’ll want to occasionally go out and stir or shake it around to make sure all of it dries evenly. Though, this option won’t work in some weather, such as rainy or snowy seasons. Which brings us to our second main option: The Stove
The bonus of the stove is that you can dry it effectively no matter what the temperature or weather outside is. Though it won’t be ‘free’ like the Sun is, so console your inner hippie and move on. While it will use up a little bit of resources, using the stove will usually be much faster unless you live in a hot, dry climate. Even so you want to make sure you open it up and stir it around so that everything dries evenly. You’ll want to make sure that it isn’t burning either. I haven’t really experimented much with temperature, so just keep an eye open and find what works best for you.
After they are done, I'’ll stick them into a sealed container to keep them safe (and preferably not spilled all over my floor or desk). As a last note, remember that coffee grounds are organic, so if they aren’t dried right mold will take to them and that could get nasty (and bad for your health.
The grounds are good for rough dirt, light gravel, and other such wasteland terrain. Try mixing different grounds together, or with sand for some differing terrain types. I generally glue them onto a base or piece of terrain, then seal with a black primer before I paint. So far it’s working ok!