Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Xmas Goodies: Yummy, Yummy Yum, Yum


Goodies indeed this Xmas. Not only did I get some North American Combine miniatures and Charley's War Volume IX, both of which I knew I was getting, I also got a surprise prezzie.  I like surprises, and this one came in the shape of an Olympus F2.8 60mm Micro 4/3rds macro lens.  I had forgotten how much better fixed focal length prime lenses are than zooms, no matter how good the latter might be.

Here are some examples done on the fly to test out the new lens.

This, I think, really shows off the camo scheme quite well.

Super extreme close-up and one can really see the shading and blending, and dust, doh!
And here is the Blood Sucker on my urban terrain board, looking good, and hopefully giving a good indication of the size of this model.

Sweet cruelties abound as I spot a splash of green on the wall of a building that I've never noticed before.
The Strikedog shape is nicely broken up against the buildings.
Dream Pod 9 Heavy Gear Jerboa paratrooper mech, shown for a size comparison.
So I'm now able to get 1:1 macro enlargements of my models with this new lens,  and I can see it is going to up my game, and with it force me to up my preparation time too. So, just got to work out what weekends I'm free in January and then I will be able to arrange for my first game of Heavy Gear Blitz.
  

Monday, 24 December 2012

Xmas Greetings & Salutations



Just to wish you all festive Xmas greetings and I hope that you are having a good time this year.
   

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Beetles, Tortoise & Fatties



First up are three Diving Beetles that appear both in the Pailsen Files series as Marine specialist mecha, and in the Armored Trooper VOTOMS Stage 2;  Kummen Jungle Wars segment of the original series. Two are primed with Citadel Foundation Catechan green, while the middle is in olive green, which is much easier to apply over the foundation green. I have another couple of these and intend to paint this unit up in a jungle stripe camo.


Next is Mellolink in his motorcycle and side-car combo and my one and only Standing Tortoise of the Secret Society,  not yet cleaned up and primed. This is one of the two enemy mech designs that appear in VOTOMS, being seen in the Kumen Jungles Wars segment.

The other main mech type that Chirico fights are the Balarant Union Fatty's, which I have none of at this time. They look like this:


The above is a picture is from the Takara F144 Series 3 box set, and if anyone has any of these they would like to sell to a good home please contact by leaving a message here?
   

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Blood Sucker & Strikedog Done


Blood Sucker triptych.

First seen here, as a work in progress, now finished.  These were a bit of a challenge to paint, and I'm not convinced that my photography does them justice either? But please bear with me as I indulge in VOTOMS frothing goodness.


Strikedog triptych.
Next up is a extreme close-up portrait of the Blood Sucker piloted by members of the Red Shoulder Brigade.


Here is an extreme close-up portrait of the Strikedog. On my monitor both of these pictures measure five and half inches tall.

On my monitor this picture scales to one inch, which is how big the models really are.

  

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

BattleTech Infantry Paradigm 2



Last time I talked about how I was creating a paradigm for deploying infantry in BattleTech and have them deployed on a one-to-one basis, just like battlemechs and vehicles. This time I want to talk about simple rules that add flavour, but don't slow down the game. These rule suggestions are based on using the models to represent numbers of men attacking, and from that easily calculate their attack value.

Sound too good to be true? No, not really, and here is how to do it.

If you look at the classic BattleTech rules one can see that pretty much a platoon of 30 men does an average of 15 points of damage. Yes, the numbers vary, but if you add them all up and divide by the number of choices it really is an average of about 15 points. Interesting that, and I wrote about this earlier here.

Modern infantry today came generally attack with a wide variety of weapons, bringing considerable firepower to bear on their targets.

So, to calculate the damage the infantry will inflict divide the total number of figures by two and that is your usual damage at the standard ranges for infantry of one, two and three hexes.

Now we can play around and assume that infantry come with anti-vehicle weapons, and to represent that attack divide the total number of men by four and round down to an even number to calculate the number of two point attacks. I'm using the same range bands as SRMs, which are three, six and nine hexes for this .

Finally, to allow for a longer range LMG attacks against other infantry we can use the same divide by four metric and again use the same ranges, but no longer need to round down to an even number.

So for example a 28 man platoon will do 14 points of attack at one, tow and three hexes, which now represent a close assault melee. At ranges three, six and nine they can do seven points of attack against infantry representing normal firing. Finally, they can do six points of attack at a vehicle, or mech at ranges three, six and nine, in the standard groups of two.

Okay, this is a lot less detailed than the current CGL expanded infantry rules, but it is a lot simpler and gives the flavour of modern infantry. We shall be playtesting these in the next game.
 

Monday, 17 December 2012

200 Posts Blowing My Own Trumpet



It was just back in August that I was celebrating the third anniversary of this blog. Oh how we whooped it up in the Paint it Pink household, and now I find I've reached two hundred posts too! Will the partying ever stop? I've even gone through the 40K of pages read milestone too, which slipped by mostly unnoticed by me.

No matter how hard I try to be a good girl and do some more historical wargaming, I inevitably find myself painting up more SF stuff. Especially if that SF stuff happens to be mecha from Japanese anime shows like VOTOMS, Fang of the Sun Dougram, or even Gundam Universal Century timeline stories.

Now that TooFat Lardies have released Quadrant 13, any discipline to maintain forward momentum on my Charlie Don't Surf army, or my Through the Mud & the Blood army is rapidly dissolving in a sea of frothing Q13 frenzy. My recommendation is that you all go buy the bundle right now. Just throw the money at the computer screen.

Other than buy Q13 what else can I say about my 200th post? Well, who would have thought I could write so much? Not me, but there again one can't always see the bleeding obvious when it faces one. My only problem with writing more is discipline that and keeping myself motivated to work. I'm trying to developing my writing skills, so as to be able to have a better understanding of what makes good writing? As I would like to be able to write better stories too.

Other than that, we played a game on Sunday, which while a bit stressful for me, turned out rather well. The rule modifications are starting to really gel for the players and as one of them said "it really felt like a combined arms game, with everything having its part to play in the battle". Expect a report and photographs later in the week. So I all hope you had a nice weekend, and of course we are counting down to Xmas festivities.
  

Friday, 14 December 2012

Dogs are Back in Town

  

Here are four of the Takara F144 Scopedogs from the VOTOMS TV series that I have based and painted olive drab. The model on the far left is the turbo-custom version that Chirico Cuvie pilots in Stage 1: Uoodo City segment (I tend to read Uoodo as Voodoo). While the model at the end on the right is a variant that I shall be using as my command variant from the Armor Hunter Mellowlink spin-off OVA.

The Scopedogs are fielded by the Gilgamesh Confederation in the VOTOMS TV series, and ideally I would like to play games set in the VOTOMS universe with these mechs. The background setting to the TV series is the end of a war between the Gilgamesh Confederation and the Balarant Union who are the two main combatants in a war that has been going on for a hundred years. By the end of the TV series fighting has broken out again between them, which let's admit is total hog heaven for a wargamer.

Anyway, these four mechs will make up the first squad of my Heavy Gear army I'm building. On the advice from Heavy Gear forum readers I'm going to using the stats for the Basilisk for my Scopedogs. The second squad will be made up of a Blood Sucker and three Strikedogs that will use the stats for the Black Mamba and Silverscales that the Gear Garage army list provides. Though I have the Blitz rule-set I've yet to play a game, as I would like to play against someone, rather than roll dice by myself. I find it's hard to find time and people to play with, which is a bit depressing really. So we shall see how it goes in due course.


Not wishing to do anything to less than total excess, here are another four Scopedogs to provide alternate variants, either for the first squad, or to form an additional third squad. I think that these poses add real character and variation to the figures. The plan is to paint all these Scopedogs in the scheme I tried out on the Blood Sucker and Strikedog that I posted here. That will keep me busy for quite sometime too.

Initially I primed these models with white paint, but since I started this project I've gone over to priming using Citadel's Catechan Green Foundation colour instead, as painting the olive drab over white was a pain to try and get a consistent coverage while keeping it smooth and thin.


Finally, these are the models for a fourth squad, providing yet more alternative poses for me to choose from when fielding my army. One can never have too much of a good thing! The models on each end of this line-up are the two recent acquisitions I got given by Jon at GZG, and they are both variants I don't have. As you can see these are primered using Catechan Green and are awaiting me to get around to painting the olive drab base coat.

Initially I intend to use my House Steiner infantry to accompany these, as the army I've drafted on Gear Garage has two platoons of APC mounted infantry as the core of the army, with two squads of mechs/gears in support, which seems rather sensible to me.

Needless to say I am also waiting the arrival of the NuCoal Jerboas I ordered from Dream Pod 9, which were posted on the ninth of December. I may be lucky and see these arrive before Xmas, as one never can tell how fast parcels will come, but realistically I suspect that they may not arrive until after Xmas. Then I will be able to do a size comparison, and hopefully they will prove to be compatible? My intention being to use them for the OPFOR as stand-ins for Balarant Union Fattys. I've also got some spare weapons coming with them, including a couple of bazookas that I have plans for.
    

Monday, 10 December 2012

BattleTech Infantry Paradigm 1


At the top are three bases each with three figures, which I think makes a good representation of a squad/section of infantry for the game. In front, on the left, is a single figure on a base to allow for casualty removal during the game.
One of my desires in my current campaign is to play games with more stuff on the table than the typical BattleTech game, where it is mostly mechs with the occasional vehicles, or infantry acting as speed bumps. I also want more battlemechs too, don't get me wrong, but I want infantry, vehicles artillery and air support as well. If we can have combat engineers, medics, bridging units, and other specialist toys too that would be even better.

Not that every game has to have all the toys on the table, but I want the game to be fun when they are. More stuff is after all more stuff to play with.

I'll be honest as say that infantry in BattleTech aren't much fun, unless you are an infantry gonk.

I would consider myself an infantry gonk, but my current players aren't. This makes me sad, as I want them to see the fun to be had by playing infantry. So I want to work towards a paradigm for deploying infantry when playing BattleTech on the tabletop. A paradigm being a fancy way of saying a pattern, or model of how to deploy infantry so as to act as an example that can be copied, and therefore be an exemplar for others.

I also want to have the infantry models in my games to cover the area that real infantry platoons would be expected to cover. More info on infantry platoon frontage here. You will note that a squad in real life is expected to defend an area that is about the same size that a platoon in BattleTech would occupy. However, I want to just move on to basing figures, rather than talk about the rules this time around. How I want to organise them, to meet the needs of the the game, and increase the players enjoyment when using them?

Everything else in BattleTech is represented by one model except for infantry, and I just don't like the way it looks on the table, and it puts me off playing with infantry. Therefore I base my figures on coins, and can comfortably fit three conventional infantry figures to one base.  However, I have had to base my battle armour, and jump infantry as two figures to a base, because of their size. I also use two figures on abase to represent the platoon commander, and single figures on a smaller base for casualty removal. So quite a lot of variants when you think about it, and all because I don't like one base equaling one platoon, because to me it looks wrong.

Then it is a matter of deciding what number of bases make up a squads/section? I'm thinking a minimum of two bases, and a maximum of four bases. This would allow players to face Word Of Blake six man squads/sections, or 12 man larger squads/sections, for when one wants to represent contemporary practice e.g.: British Army sections, or US Army A teams. I'm thinking two three man bases with one small mortar section of two bases for House Steiner platoons, because it allows for one up front and two back formations.

Platoon size can then be based on a minimum of two squads/sections per platoon, up to a maximum of six squads/sections, per platoon. This is really only to allow for Word of Blake/ComStar forces in BattleTech, as historically three, or four squads/sections are more usual in the real world. Generally I would expect to see platoons organised as two to four bases of figures per section, with two to four sections, giving a range of platoon sizes from four bases up to a maximum of 16 bases.

This as it stands is quite a lot of figures, but it does bring infantry into the game on an equal representational footing by keeping to the one-figure-equals-one-man basis that BattleTech uses for both vehicles and battlemechs.

Once this is in place it is easy enough to count bases and add up the attack value from that, but how I intend to do that is for the next post.
 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Myomers for Real

  
  
The University of Texas at Dallas with some international helps from researchers from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil. have come up with yarn that has been filled with wax that can be made to contract and expand like muscles.  Link here.

I can't make this stuff up.
   

Friday, 7 December 2012

Internet Transmitted Meme



Dave over at Old School Miniatures and Fred over at Lead Reckoning have both nominated me for the Liebster award. Thank you fellas. Anyway, there are rules, and here they are:

  1. Show thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from some of the most supportive people on the internet—other writers and artists.
  5. And best of all – have fun and spread the karma. 

Now to nominate five blogs, which is more difficult than it seems as a lot of blogs have already been nominated, but after looking through my reading list I found ten I like. Ten I hear you say. Yes ten, because I was nominated twice. So that means twice the amount of love to spread around in my opinion. In no particular order:

BattleTech Engineer, because Eric is a good guy. A right royal PITA, but still a good guy and has done more for BattleTech than most other players I know.

Battle Cry for Robotech shiny goodness.

Gruntz, while arguably a business blog, is still a blog about the trials and tribulations of Robin bringing his dream rule set into the world.

HobbyDr's Game Table, just madness I tell you, but a lot of fun too.

Martian Metals Ogre Mk Vb 2, not a title that rolls off the tongue, but this is a site for all  lovers of SJGs Ogre. BTW: size your pictures to no more thatn 800 x 800 pixels and you'll be unlikely to run out of space on your blog.

Rothgar's Workbench, another fine blog with Ogre stuff, but also so much more. Everytime I read this I just want to say "by Rothgar's Hammer you will be avenged...".

Roundwood's World, this guy makes me weep with the quality of his work. Check it out.

Spaceman Spiff's Blog Full O' Battlemechs... and More, which has just got to take the prize for the blog with the longest title that I read. Another fantastically skilled modelmaker and painter that just makes me weep at how bad I am. Anyway, the blog does what it says in the title.

Super Galactic Dreadnought, spaceships are cool, and this guy does spaceships.

Wargaming for Grown-ups, Trebian is what I call well sorted, and always interesting to read.

So consider this internet meme well and truly spread around, I feel so dirty now, and just enjoy hanging out reading friends stuff.
  

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

VOTOMS WIP


Strikedog on the left and a Blood Sucker on the right.

After Dragonmeet I can now relax a bit and paint something other than OGRE/GEV miniatures for a while. So here are my work in progress pictures of two VOTOMS I've been working on. These are painted up using the British Army on the Rhine Berlin Brigade pattern, but with a different colour pallette.


Still a little bit more work to do around tidying up the guns that got a bit of over paint on them.

The Blood Sucker fins on the shoulders are supposed to be communication aerials.

As you can all probably imagine these were quite fiddly to do, and all done free hand with no masking tape. The models are so small that using masking tape for the camo pattern would have been a nightmare.

Does this I'm getting into Heavy Gear? Yes it does. While BattleTech remains my first love, and the mechs from Fang of the Sun Dougram are my favourites, I also like VOTOMS too, and as Freddie would say I want it all. Of course this means I will have to paint a lot more gears, as mechs are called in Heavy Gear, but that is a burden I think I can bear?

So I have a bunch more of the Takara VOTOMS on a tray waiting to be painted. However,  I'm still going to need an OPFOR, so I just ordered from Dream Pod 9 a pack of NuCoal Jerboa gears and some spare weapons for conversions from them. After getting a copy of Life on Terra Nova at the weekend I've been catching up with the background universe that Heavy Gear is set in. While I'm drawn towards the Southern factions, because they look most like VOTOMS, because I have a load of real VOTOMS I thought I would go with using NuCoal gears for my OPFOR.

I like the look of the Jerboa gears, which was why I chose NuCoal as a force. My VOTOMS will represent a Southern Milicia unit. More updates in due course, and some pictures of the two VOTOMS that Jon from GZG gave me that I have now assembled.
  

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Operation Dragonmeet

     
KR Multicase foam trays are wonderful for storing and transporting one's miniatures.
Well here they are, my force for the OGRE demo.  This photo doesn't show everything as there is an extra layer of infantry under the infantry you can see on the left.  Still spaces to expand a bit more, but my Combine infantry and vehicles will require separate trays, which I guess I will rotate with the Pan Euro forces as required?


This was the board we use, from the Deluxe Ogre set that Roger brought in.  Set-up was done by me on the fly as we didn't have Steve Jackson recommended layout to hand.  The plan was to have the players be the defenders, and let them have a couple of extra armour units, but that plan was changed to just letting them be the Ogre.  So I took one GEV to make up to my full 12 armour units for the game.

 

My other five Ogres were put out on display for people to look at and handle.  They were much admired and people all thought the use of magnets to join the two halves together was good.  All down to seeing Daniel, the Ogre line developer, doing this to his Ogre models.


The first game and the first take down of an Ogre for the day. So close and yet so far.  The second game and the second Ogre is taken down by the defense, with enough defenders left that this counts as a total defensive victory.


Roger, my new cell leader and Southern head honcho setting up the day.  I had arrived early and helped me to put out the display boards he had brought back from Essen.

I was at the show for eight hours, and five games of Ogre for new players.  On reflection, given that I played the defense for four out of the five games, the Ogre only won once when I was helping two friends to play the game against each other, I think that I'm going to have to reduce the defense force by one or two armour units, when I play defender, to give new players a better experience of the game.  It's not that I don't like winning, but that's not my role when demoing, and I know the stats and the tactics far too well for my own good.

I got to briefly rush around the show while catching something to eat, and bought two books from House Atreides, a second hand stand, for five pounds each.  A nice condition copy The Ogre Book, first edition from 1982, which is good to have as my copy fell to bits and had to be put into sleeves.  The second book I got was a  copy of Heavy Gear's Life on Terra Nova in reasonable condition, which will help me get into the game's background more.
      

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