Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Stalk The Line

A distressingly long time ago (November 2017!), I built myself a Stalker for Eastern European post-apocalyptic action. He has seen little action, as it happens, but the recent release of Zona Alfa has given my interest in the genre a kick in the pants.

As before, I grabbed a load of Warlord Games WWII plastics and a bunch of their modern zombie-survivor special forces, and bashed the lot together!
First up, a shotgun-toting scout. This chap has actually been sat on my desk since November 2017, as I built and started painting him immediately after finishing the first Stalker! The arms from the special forces sprue aren't as generic as the WWII ones, so only fit on certain special forces torsos (usually at a strange angle). This is the only figure I was able to put together that had a relatively natural pose! Still, I really like the hunched, cautiously advancing pose.
This guy is, hands-down, my favourite of the bunch. At first, I worried that it was a little too close to the pose of the original Stalker, but it ended up coming together perfectly. The balaclava head is from the special forces sprue, and didn't sit particularly well on the WWII body, so I went to the green stuff and added a fleece collar. This bulked out the shoulders a bit, and blended the head into the body, while also giving a bit of pop to a mini that might have come out a little dull otherwise (due to the grey balaclava). The AK has had the magazine clipped off, while the spare mag in the left hand was originally intended for an StG 44.
Another greatcoated guy, this one hauling some salvage, while attempting to keep his rifle at the ready. The head is actually from a Frostgrave sprue, and required the collar be carved open a little wider to fit. I reckon it works out with a decent parka-ish effect. This one got a similar paintjob to the original Stalker, though I tried to keep the weathering a little more prominent, as if from fresh splashes rather than worn-in dirt. I'm not sure how well it worked out - I quite like the effect, but it might be a bit too different from the original model. My favourite aspect of this model is the sawn-off shotgun on his backpack - I found a full-sized field shotgun on a zombie survivor sprue and sawed it down to suit! There's nothing holding it onto the backpack, which would normally be a peeve, but... rule of cool!
This last one is my least favourite of the bunch. It just didn't really come together the way I'd hoped. While I do like the pose, the single rolled-up sleeve is a little odd, and I really had a hard time painting the face on this one. Getting the thin fringe of fleece on the cheek-flaps of the hat was a personal victory! He'll be an expendable scout, I suspect.

All told, I've now got a viable Zona Alfa gang of five figures (viable in terms of numbers - I still need to stat it out properly), and a hankering to kitbash some more!
The obligatory group shot. The original Stalker is at centre.
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Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Los Vochos

I had so much fun putting together my last car for Gaslands: Refuelled that I snagged a couple more Hot Wheels and set to building a couple more. Both cars are VW Beetles - one a '49 Beetle pick-up, the other simply labelled as "Custom VW Beetle" and so fit together really nicely... so nicely, in fact, that, rather than fill out the team I'd started previously, I immediately thought of them as a new team.

With some education from a friend about the Beetle's Mexican connection, it didn't take long before I started thinking of them as part of Team Caudillo, a Puebla-based subsidiary of Rutherford. For all intents and purposes, though, they're a Rutherford team. Unlike previously, I planned out the full crew before starting on the vehicles.
El Técnico
El Técnico
Sponsor
Rutherford
Vehicle Type
Special Rules
Cost
Build Slots
Car
-
12
2
Weapons
Cost
Build Slots
Handguns
-
-
Mortar (forward-facing)
4
1
Mine Dropper (rear-facing)
1
1
Upgrades
Cost
Build Slots
-
-
-
Perks
Badass & Military
Cost
Total Cost
Well Stocked
-
19
Televised Carnage
-
Fully Loaded
2

El Rudo
El Rudo
Sponsor
Rutherford
Vehicle Type
Special Rules
Cost
Build Slots
Truck
-
15
3
Weapons
Cost
Build Slots
Handguns
-
-
Heavy Machine Gun (front-facing)
3
1
Heavy Machine Gun (front-facing)
3
1
Upgrades
Cost
Build Slots
Armour Plating
4
1
Perks
Badass & Military
Cost
Total Cost
Well Stocked
-
31
Televised Carnage
-
Rapid Fire
2
Loader
2
Dead-Eye
2

Following on from Dusty Roads, I maintained the wrestling theme - lucha libre in this case - with these vehicles. "El Técnico" is the lucha equivalent of 'Face' or 'Good Guy', while "El Rudo" is 'Heel' or 'Bad Guy'. El Técnico is a basic car armed with a mortar and a mine dropper. I also gave it the Fully Loaded perk to make full use of the boost to both weapons' ammo rating. El Rudo is more of a blunt instrument, designed to hurl out vast quantities of bullets from its two heavy machine guns. This is achieved by piling on the Rapid Fire, Loader, and Dead-Eye perks, while armour plating helps to keep it in the game for longer - it's a proper gun truck. Combined, the pair add up to a full crew's worth of 50 points.
The build was really swift and simple. El Técnico's roof rack is already on the model, so it was a simple case of gluing a mortar to it. Similarly, El Rudo got two machine guns on its roof. Both weapons are resin test casts from North Star's upcoming Implements of Carnage sprue for Gaslands. Very nice pieces, and all I really did was clip down the gun barrels so that they overhung the cab less.
Painting-wise, my original plan was to continue the lucha libre theme, using a lucha mask stamp as a team logo. A test-run, however, revealed that it proved just a little too large for the doors, and an awkward fit on the ridged bonnets. Plan B, then was to just keep it simple, with a blue-and-metal palette reminiscent of the mask of Blue Demon. Drybrush pretty much everything with khaki and metal for weathering, then coat it all with a brown wash, before picking out the tyres, windscreens, and weaponry with a dark wash. Varnish and add a bit of static grass - job's a good'un.
I don't know if they're going to win any races, but I'd hope that they'll be able to blow up some other vehicles.

Until next time...
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Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

From The Vault: Wuxia

I've previously posted about my love of Song of Blades and Heroes, so I won't go into that again. This, however, is my second warband for that game – a monastic order based on wuxia and old kung fu movies.
This is a really eclectic mix of figures, featuring miniatures from five different manufacturers. There's a lot of variation in the sculpting (both scale and quality) but, with a relatively unifying paint-job, they all fit together.
The gang does include more options than the average game of SoB&H would normally allow, so I threw in a few spear-armed peasants to help round out the force if there was a point of two going spare. These Redshirts are Foundry Chinese pirates, converted to hold wire spears.
The core of the gang are its fighting monks, and these three all come from Reaper.
Every warband needs some heroes, though, and its first was this monk, again from Reaper. It's officially a half-orc, but I ran it as a demon seeking redemption through meditative contemplation... and kung fu.
The second is a dragon-headed Bruce Lee-style miniature from Hasslefree. This was the last figure painted before the project was pushed to one side, and so he never really got a backstory (or even a statline, if I recall correctly).
One thing that was almost always fielded was this big dire ape (a D&D pre-paint), run as a Yeren ("Chinese Wildman – a bigfoot-like creature). Although mouldlines on fur are always a pain to clean up, I do really like this model.
Leadership (and some magic) was found in the form of these two. The one on the right is another Hasslefree martial artist, fielded as the top student of the temple, while the one on the left is the abbot – it's a model from the now-vanished (I think) Chinatown game from a company called Stone Circle.
Painted around the same time as the above gang, these terracotta warriors are from Renegade. They were painted up really quickly (and shonkily, even by my standards!) for reasons that escape me now. And, no – I have no idea what that is on the chest of the one on the right...

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Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

From The Vault: A Little Bit of Cyberpunk

I can't remember any particular reason behind buying and painting these figures – perhaps I just fancied doing some Cyberpunk minis.
The borgs in front are from the Urban War game (a spin-off of iKore's Void setting, now carried by Scotia Grendel), the troopers at the back are from East Riding Miniatures.
I do like the borgs – they're nice sculpts, and a doddle to paint, with sharp details and clean lines. Their size is all over the place, though!
Speaking of size, these basic troopers are immense! I really like the aesthetic, with the stubby carbines and the Dredd-style helmets, but they definitely don't mix well with regular 28mm figures. Alongside the larger borgs, they're fine, but they do dwarf the one with the chain-gun arm...

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Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

From The Vault: VBCW

The Very British Civil War craze from a few years ago was one I really wanted to join in with. I loved the idea of the Abdication Crisis spiraling out of control and into civil war. The figures that were put out for it were incredible, and I couldn't resist buying and painting a few, even though there was absolutely zero chance of ever getting them to the table.
My first unit was repainted Black and Tans from Musketeer Miniatures (now carried by Footsore). I decided to theme the force around my old college – Lincoln – hence the dark and light blue bonnets. These guys were members of the college's UOTC formation – hence the more uniform appearance.
Of course, every college needs staff, and so these Musketeer/Footsore IRA figures were pressed into service as porters, groundskeepers, and the like. Their armbands were painted in the same two-tone blue to tie in with the uniformed chaps above.
Of course, as a college with close ties to the Church, it made sense for Lincoln to side with the Anglican League, which gave rise to this command group. A limited edition (I think – at least it used to be) Foundry figure, flanked by two from Artizan's pulp range.

Long since departed this world, there was also a Hurricane, painted in the same two-tone blue colour scheme (light undercarriage, dark on top), complete with a flight stand made from a coat-hanger. It was a mess, but I did enjoy the brief foray into Airfix kits.

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Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.