Sunday, 28 February 2016

15mm Khurasan Lhurgg Tribesmen

This week we are looking at the 15mm Lhurgg Tribesmen, from Khurasan miniatures.  Now, normally, in most sci fi games you do not see naked sword wielding aliens.  However, in Alien Squad Leader, such warriors are not out of place.  I picked these guys up for my Alien Imperial Faction for ASL games (and for Gruntz as well).  This faction is required to have a certain number of primitive aliens, mainly for cannon fodder.

There are two types of kits of Lhurgg, ones with swords and ones with small arms.  I have both sets but these guys are the first to see paint.  The models are substantially larger than most 15mm ranges.  You can see, compared to the GZG DRPG trooper, that the aliens stand quite taller than an average human.  The castings were clean, with little clean up.  Most of the clean up was around the groin area, funny enough.

Since most of my models are earth tones, greens or greys I wanted to do something different with these guys.  When looking at them I imagined an evil, carnivorous reptilian race, with little creative thought or emotion, but which behaved only according to basic instinct: feeding and reproducing.  I went with bright colors to bring out the details, especially the sexual organs.  When I showed by wife my prototype her disgusted reaction assured me that I was on the right track color wise.

I used the Reaper Master series Blond Hair Triad for the skin.  I then washed the model in diluted GW Sepia wash, then did another highlight with the triads.  They have an orange-yellow skin tone, sufficiently alien looking.  I was originally going to avoid any washes on these models and do all the highlighting by hand.  However, after a trial run with a prototype I realized that my skill level is not good enough for such work on 15mm.  While looking ok the wash brought out details that I never could by hand.

The models are certainly not for everyone, but they capture the feel that I was looking for.  Hopefully I can get their fellows painted up later this week.

Khurasan Lhurgg Tribemen

Three Headed Mutan Lhurgg

Nice ass!

Monday, 22 February 2016

15mm Sci Fi Aircraft - Matchbox Skybusters Stealth Launch

Sometimes the best models are not models at all.  Although I have some flying units in various 15mm Sci Fi armies, until recently I had no fixed wing aircraft.  However that changed when I found these: Matchbox Skybusters Stealth Launch jets.  They reminded me of the Gi-Joe Conquest Jets and the Russian Su-35.  These come in many color schemes but I liked this one the best.  The only modification I did was to remove the wheels.  I then mounted them on flight bases.  That is basically it.  They make good additions IMO to any Sci Fi Force.  They are cheap too, $5.00 USD. 

Matchbox Skybusters Stealth Launch Jets

Remove the wheels.  Missiles can be painted as well.

Mount on a flight stand.

Bomb your foes!

15mm Alien Squad Leader / Gruntz Mechanoid Army

This week's featured army is actually one of my newer ones, "The Mechanoids", a faction from Alien Squad Leader.  It was painted in five days last week, one of my fastest jobs to date.

One of the main attractions about ASL is two fold: the army lists and the freedom to choose models and the interpretation of the lists.  The Mechanoids were based off the "Terminator" movies: soulless mechanical killing machines, bent on destroying organic life.  The Mechanoid list contains one of the fewest amount of unit types to choose from in ASL: Terminators (basic robotic infantry), Liquid Metal Terminators (close combat monsters), Robotic Attack Craft, Robotic Dropships, Heavy Weapon Droids and Battle Mecha (which I call Warbots and Death Machines, as a nod to the Gamma World RPG from TSR).  Many armies have at least double the number of unit type choices.  Luckily however, the Mechanoid units are powerful and resolute, making up for a small number of choices. The army can accommodate games of up to 300 points.  Quite large for ASL.

I could have gone with the classic "Skelebot" style robot, as there are many variations to choose from different manufactures.  However, I was really drawn to the robots from the Critical Mass line.  They reminded me of a type of Invid from the Robotech cartoon from the 1980s.  Perfect for my alien robotic horde.  These guys would become my base infantry.  I chose a lighter paint scheme, an off white sort of color.  I wanted these guys to look new, right off the assembly line and to pop out on the tabletop.  I gave them glowing red lenses for eyes (Reaper Fire/Phoenix Red and Fire Orange).

Mechanoid Terminators

Heavy Weapon Droids
The Warbots were a little tricky.  There are many choices available on the market for larger robots.  I decided to go with GW Tau Gun Drones.  I cobbled together four of them from my bit stores.  This makes two units, more than enough for a 200 pt army.  There were other options I could have gone with, but I felt the Gun Drones went well with the Critical Mass robots, both being rather sleek looking.

Mechanoid Heavy Droids

Battle Mecha
Death Machines are the premier units of the Mechanoid force.  ASL ranged weapons are few: Antiquated Small Arms, Modern Small Arms, Heavy Weapons and Primary Weapons.  Each unit can be equipped with only one type.  The Battle Mecha are equipped with "Primary Weapons", the strongest in the game.  Only one other faction: Human Imperial, has access to this weapon type.  This allows the Mechs to easily outrange almost anything they face, a huge advantage, and this weapon type also generates a (-1) to all armor saves.  Being a Battletech fan, and with several unpainted mechs lying around, Clan Mechs seemed a perfect fit: three Mad Cats and two Vultures.  The Mechs are also equipped with close combat Impact Weapons and Homing Missiles, both extra options for the units.  I did consider using Tau Crisis Suits instead, but I didn't want to spend more money they I needed to on this army.  I used the same Reaper reds and oranges to jewel the cockpit windows.  There are no decals at the moment since I cannot see the reason why a robotic army would use such markings.

Mechanoid Battle Mecha

Robotic Attack Craft
The final unit in the force are the twin Robotic Attack Craft.  Air units in ASL operate differently from other games.  An attempt is made each turn to call in an airstrike.  The difficulty depends on what table edge you want the unit to enter on, with the players home edge being the easiest (7+ on a 2d6) and the opponents the most difficult (9+ on a 2d6).  The units come in at low level, stop near their target, launch an attack (they are equipped with Heavy Weapons) and then leave the battlefield.  Only units on overwatch can target them so they are protected against attack for the most part.  However, their arrival is iffy and they cost the same as Battle Mecha.  My model choice was no model at all, but a Matchbox toy.  The toy itself was quite garish.  I primed and repainted it in the same scheme as the mechs.  They were only $5.00 each, quite a bargain.  The model is airbrushed with the same colors as the Mechs, in a color modulation style, similar to how I do 15mm armor.  It is hard to see the change of colors in the photos, but it is there.

This became......
Mechanoid Robotic Attack Craft


Overall I am pleased on how this force came out.  Mechanoid lists are quite small in the game.  The army is powerful and the units resilient.  Their units hit more often and almost all have energy shields.  However this comes at a cost.  A 200 point game will only see 13 units on the field, whereas a Human Colonial Army can easily field 30+.  Mechanoids cannot win a war of attrition so the player needs to be careful and play to their strengths: long range shooting and avoiding close combat.

The principal paints used on these models is listed below.  All basecoats were airbrushed on. 

Robotic Attack Craft, Warbots and Death Machines
Tamiya Medium Grey basecoat; shaded with Reaper Dirty Grey and  highlighted with Reaper Weathered Stone. 

Vallejo Model Air US Airforce Grey, washed with Minwax Polyshades Tudor, then highlighted with the game grey again and finally Reaper Master Fallout Grey.  This will be the last time I use Minwax.  I much prefer the effects I can achieve via traditional shading, especially when I use Reaper Master triads.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Ground Zero Games 15mm New Swabian League (NSL) Panzergrenadiers

This weekend I realized that although I have posted a lot of photos of my various forces, I have not focused on any specific force that I have completed.  Therefore, this will be a first in a series of posts which will focus on one particular force that I have painted for 15mm Sci-Fi.  First up, New Swabian League Panzergrenadiers from Ground Zero Games.

The NSL castings from GZG are extremely clean.  There was virtually no cleanup required.  They are compact infantry, armed with assault rifles with integral grenade launchers.  Additional figures include GMS(L) [guided missile system, light], Laser Snipers, Plasma Guns and Squad Automatic Weapons.  Heavier weapons include Autogrenade Launcher and Autocanno teams.  The models were individually based on 1/4" washers.  For stand based games I use blue tac to attach them to the various bases.  This allows the best of both worlds.  The force itself contains enough models to form at least two full platoons, more than sufficient for most games.

Originally I had planned on a camo scheme.  It was simple to achieve but I felt that it did not go well with the hard armor plate of the model.  I therefore decided on a more traditional German color: Tamiya Field Grey.  The models were airbrushed in that color then washed black.  I then did highlights by hand over the armor plates.  The remaining features were picked out in other colors and the visor done in a metallic blue. 

The old style Power Armor units were done in an identical fashion.  However, when the larger models came out I did them slightly different.  Instead of a black wash I used Minwax Tudor Polyshades.  This gave the models a less dark appearance.  This worked for me.  The older models are significantly smaller than the newer designs.  This relegates them to Light Power Armor in my games (or robotic infantry in Alien Squad Leader). 

Overall, these are my favorite GZG models and exemplify the newer GZG sculpts: clean and highly detailed.

Original 2013 Prototype

GZG NSL Panzergrenadiers


Auto Grenade Launcher

Power Armor (new style)

Power Armor (old style)


NSL Power Armor, old and new syle

Friday, 12 February 2016

15mm Sci Fi City

Now for something a little different.  Behold, my 15mm Sci Fi urban setting: Raccoon City.  It has many things to offer both residents and visitors.  Lets take a look.

Raccoon City
Welcome to Raccoon City.

Urban Slums...gotta live somewhere.

Enjoy the Riddel Theater (aka Peep Show), then head on over to Uncle Chen's for a bite to eat.

Pizza for the masses and the Hard Rock Café for the sophisticated.

Guns, guns, guns!  We have a special right now, buy one get the bullets free.

Can there be no safer place to live than beside an Arms Dealer?

For the sophisticated male there is always something to do to pass the time.

Had a little too much to drink?  No problem, stumble over to the motel for a nights sleep.

Every city needs some big unnamed buildings.

Of course there is more than one bar.  Variety is the spice of life.  BTW, "Tarantula" is playing at the Riddle.

"Drink Nuka-Beer!"

There is plenty of parking downtown.  Too bad no one can afford a vehicle.

The downtown core.

Need cash?  The Pawn Shop is always open.


more downtown.

The apartment buildings are from Old Crow (resin).   The other buildings are from Mad Mecha Guy (MDF).  Building fittings are from GZG.  Roads were made from hobby store wood.  All buildings were airbrushed.  Paints used were mainly Tamyia Dark/Neutral/Light Grey, Tamyia Medium Grey, Tamyia Hull Red and Vallejo Model Air browns.  

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