Wednesday 30 April 2014

Ogre Chop Shop Finale

Here are all the cybertanks models I've posted this month showing the relative size of the models.  Click on links to be taken to the page with larger pictures, so from front to back, left to right: the Mark 2 and behind it the Mark 3, next is the  Doppelsoldner, In front is my Mark 2S, and behind the ultra rare Mark 4 that was never released, then the Mark 1, and finally the Ninja.

The Mark 2 & 3 and the Doppelsoldner will be painted in my green scheme differential dazzle I've used on my conventional Pan European forces: 7th Demi Brigade Légion Etrangère, which can seen here.  The unique Mark 4 will be painted in a new splinter scheme with Pink as its base colour.  My custom Mark 2S, the Ninja and Mark 1 will be in my Combine yellow differential ambush camo scheme, which can be seen here.

These are the Combine infantry with the bases having had Milliput added.  Next up I will finish cleaning up the castings, and then I will apply basetex texture paint to add some texture to the bases.

The above is a close up of what represents a Company of infantry under Ogre Miniature rules where each figure equals six men.  What they looked like before can be seen here.

Finally, a surprise bonus picture of my Combine armour that I have been working on.

Those doing these did mean I didn't get around to assembling the armour for my new Nihon force, which I presented earlier in the month.  All the turrets on the tanks are magnetised too.

So, the next step is to prime this lot up, and then start putting down the base colours.  I've been thinking about the game a lot while assembling this force, and listening to Meeples & Miniatures, and the thought occurred to me that in the bigger scheme of all things wargaming that Ogre games are really not that large.

By that I mean if you play the largest scenario, Body Blow, one is only required to field 150 armour units and 75 infantry for the Pan Europeans, with six Mark 3s, two Mark 5s, 40 armour and 50 infantry for the two player game.  The three player game, with two people commanding the Pan Europeans ups them to 160 armour and 80 infantry, and that is that.

By the standards of large miniature wargames this is small beer, and I can't help but think that if Ogre Miniatures sales were limited by the small amount needed to be able to play the largest scenario.  OTOH I may have a rather skewed perspective here, and in all honesty I am not a large game player, much preferring smaller actions, rather than trying to re-fight Kursk in one-to-one scale as my friends once did.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Combine Mark 2S Custom WIP


To give you some idea of the size of my scratch build here it is next to the official Ninja on the left, and next to my Pan European Mark 3 with the tower cut down the on the right.

As you can see my Mark 2S is shorter than the Mark 3, and shorter and dumpier than the Ninja.  When I checked it is wider than the Ninja, and narrower than the Mark 3.

And here is my model next to a SJG Mark 2 Ogre.  The Mark 2 is a lovely little model in its own right, but I don't feel it has enough of what I would call the Combine look about it.  It looks to me to be something the Pan Europeans would do with the Mark 1 templates to produce their own Ogre variant, but I recognise that is just my opinion on this matter.

Finally, here is my model showing some work I've done on my long dormant custom Ogre project, which started off as a Ninja, but after the official one came out my model went on the back burner.  Now it will represent a Mark 2S, based on Henry Cobb's stats.    I've cleaned up a couple of areas that needed to be tidied up, and I have added some panels to give the model some extra detail.  This is pretty much close to finished, though I've not represented the anti-personnel batteries.  I'm just not sure how to do them.

Friday 25 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Combine Mark 1

I now have three of these, with another on order from SJG.  This is the first one I've made up, and the plan is to be able do the whole four Mark 1 Ogres attacking the command post variant scenario.

It's a bit tricky to magnetise the turret, because the casting is quite thin at the point where the magnet needs to go.  As per my want I've filled in the underneath of the casting with Milliput.  I know most people will never see this, but I will know, and to me that is what is important.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Doppelsoldner WIP

The Doppelsoldner waiting for me to drill out the barrels of the secondary batteries.  The Pan European designs are in someways much more convincing designs for a large cybertank i.e: they have turrets.  However, they don't have that iconic look of the Mark 5.

I magnetised the turret too.  The turret bustles hit the body fairing, so I had to gently file them, and cut into the fairing to allow the turret to rotate fully.

I didn't like the fact that the model is designed so as to join the two halves together with the bellows like projections.  In my opinion this puts a lot of stress on the casting, which will be prone to metal fatigue.  So I cut the projections down and put magnets in them.

I didn't go the whole fill the body cavity in with my Doppelsoldner, because look at the vast cavernous space I'd have to fill.  So I just built up lips to hide the lack of an underside.  Interestingly, the Fencer has a lip on the rear of the chassis and doesn't require this modification to hide the fact that the casting is hollow.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Salute 2014: The Bloggers

I went again this year, which considering how I felt at the end of last years show that I blogged about here, might come as a surprise, but as they say what a difference a year makes.  Last year I was recovering from not having my contract renewed, and not realising how burnt out I was from my job, this year I was a totally chilled pussycat.

So, I arrived fashionably late at 11.45.  No queues, no fuss, no muss.  Straight through the door like some VIP.  Started walking the show.  Bumped into people, pretty much everyone I wanted to meet bar one;  so a big hi to John Lambshead who I missed seeing.  My plan was that we would meet en passant, we would bump into each other at the bloggers lunch time meet, or Plan B; I would have you called on the tannoy.  Plan B failed, because it was broken, and so ends a sad tale.

Still I met up with Tamsin, who will definitely try and come around to my place this coming year, so we can break the "we only meet at shows" friendship thing we have going.  She has her Salute Loot post up on her blog here.

Met up with Rchard & Nick from TooFat Lardies, John & Mel from GZG.  Talked to Henry about the upcoming seven page Ogre article that is going in the next issue of Miniature Wargames.  Said hi to Dave at Caliver Books, the guys at Pendraken, got John Treadaway to sign my copy of the Crucible.

Then I hung with all the cool bloggers for my fifteen minutes of fame.

I bought two things at the show, and I was given  one present.  Thank you Graham, from GRAMODELS, who made me a periscope for me.  Not painted as he wasn't sure what type of camo I wanted, woodland or urban.  Me I'm thinking fluorescent orange or pink, because I know the first thing that will happen when I lay it down on the table is that I won't be able to find it.

The show felt different this year, which might be down to the lack of the bring & buy stand, or any number of other reasons one might think of.  Whatever, I don't know, but I did enjoy the show, which I think can be put down to prior planning prevents poor performance.  In this case taking the right glasses with me, wearing a small rucksack to distribute the weight, and wearing comfortable shoes.

So goodbye Salute 2014, and hopefully I will see all my blogger friends again next year.


Friday 18 April 2014

North American Combine Infantry WIP

To end week three of Ogre miniatures here are the 6mm Combine infantry figures I've based.  I need to texture the bases next, and then I'll be another step closer to completing the miniatures I need to run the games of Ogre at Blast-Tastic! in October as announced here.  I guess that makes that official then.  You heard it here first.

Each base of three figures counts as a platoon, and I have based some figures as one's and two's for casualty accounting.  The above represents three Company's worth of men.  This is equivalent to a Battalion sized formation, and as I have the same number again this means I'm fielding what can be called a short infantry Regiment.

I haven't a clue what to call my new Regiment, so any suggestions for a name will be considered.  Perhaps I need two names, one for each Battalion as the US Army names its infantry formations differently to British conventions.  I shall have to go away and do some research.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Pan European Mark 3 WIP

Week three of the Ogre fest.

Here is a side view of my newest Mark 3, showing the cut down tower to represent it being lowered.  No doubt some bright spark is going to come along and tell me the Mark 3 wasn't able to lower its tower, and I'll say who says it's lowered?

I've gone and positioned the secondary batteries at a different angle too, so as to visually differentiate my Pan Euro Mark 3 from my two Combine Mark 3 Ogres.  Not sure that I actually like the look, but it's cannon, so it's cool.

Here are a  couple of pictures showing how I built up the model with magnets from the get go.  I started with gluing in the first magnet to the front half and reinforced the joint with Milliput.

I then added Milliput to the rear half and pressed the magnet into it while it was still soft.  All looking a bit rough from the magnet being pulled out while the Milliput was drying.

Here you see how the embedded the magnets into each half of the body shell.  After all this was set I added more Milliput to fill out the cavities in both halves of the Mark 3 body.  This is to both strengthen the joint, and give the model a more correct visual profile when looking at it straight on where one can see the underside.

Friday 11 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Pan European Mark 2 WIP

Ending week two of my April Ogre postings here is my Mark 2 assembled, and looking pretty spiffy.  This is one of those models, which for me at least, looks better sitting in front of one than it does in pictures.  I don't know why that should be, but it just is.  For me, the design looks more like what the Pan Europeans would do to improve the Mark 1, rather than a true Mark 2 design, but that's just my opinion and it is worth exactly what you paid for it.  Hence the posting stating this is going to be a Pan European Ogre.

I routinely fill in the underneath of all my Ogre models, not to give them heft or anything, but because when I look at the model at eye level I notice the hollowed out bottoms, and it annoys me.  Most people I imagine are less fussy about this than I.

I've magnetised the turret so that it doesn't come off during handling, but still allowing it to fully rotate for the play value on the table.  As they say in advertising; keep watching this space for more, as I prepare for week three, and further pictures of my alarmingly big Ogre collection.  It's a bit like Pokemon; gotta catch them all.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Combine Ninja WIP

In my mind the Combine  Ninja is the cutest of all the Ogre models issued by Steve Jackson Games.  There is something about the proportions that make it look sleek, fast and tidy.

Here is what the bottom looks like when one has embedded the magnets in Milliput.


And finally a close-up of the magnets and how I've strengthened the joints with fillets of Milliput around the rear body joint.  This prevent the magnet from being sheered off, as super glue is not good at handling sheer forces, whereas Milliput does.

Friday 4 April 2014

Nihon Vehicles WIP

A tray of miniatures that I stripped back to bare metal.  They were originally painted yellow, and used as stand-ins for my Combine force, before I became an MIB and started demonstrating Ogre officially.  I've split the models that use to be my Combine force into those that are going to be used with my Nihon Mark 4, while the rest will form the core of a Chinese force at some point in the future.

Most of the models I have are the old Ral-Partha BattleTech vehicles, including the long out of production original Pegasus scout GEV, which is a lovely miniature.  The light tanks, as I have said before are Heroic & Ros miniatures; the turret from their Merkava, and the body from the Bradley.  The modified SRN4 is if I remember correctly from Stan Johanson's range he used to market for BattleTech, long gone I'm afraid.

I held back on sorting out these models under the mistaken impression that SJG were interested in developing their Ogre miniatures line, which clearly they are not, because they can't make money selling them.  Every cloud has a silver lining, in my case it means I can expand my forces using stand ins with a clear conscience.  Finally, I also want to shout out to Super Galactic Dreadnought's blog, where he posted these two images that I'm re-posting for the record.

If you look at the list above one can see Combine Set 8 with the tantalising title of Divisional Assets, which may have been a tracked mobile command post of some sort.

The list with the Paneuropean Set 12 Archangel GEV-MCP and escorts would have introduced another new unit to the game, and the escorts were most likely to have been some GEVs.  However, none of this ever happend, and most likely never will.

In my opinion, without a targeted marketing strategy to generate sales interest, and new additions to the miniatures line to maintain it, Ogre miniatures was never going to make enough money for SJG, and arguably even if it was making money it wouldn't make enough to satisfy the bottom line.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Ogres in the Chop Shop: Nihon Mark 4 WIP

Welcome to the first in a series of Ogre miniatures related post that I am putting up this month.  I had thought about doing an April's Fool post for Ogre, but the idea I had left a bad taste in my mouth, and wasn't funny for any definition of funny that made one laugh; more like crying in frustration from the attitude express here; my post and Phil Reed's reply follows it.

So the picture above shows one of the sample models of the Mark 4 that Steve Jackson Games rejected some time back in the 1990s I guess.  Now assembled and resting on my workbench in all its massive glory.  For me this model goes a little past the line of how big is too big, because it is larger than the Mark 5 and the later Mark 6 models.  So I can see why it wasn't brought to market.  Not only that, but it would cost a small fortune to produce and an even larger one to buy.

As you can I've used neodymium magnets to connect the two halves of the model together, my preferred method of choice nowadays when it comes to Ogres.  The colour scheme for my new Nihon Ogre force is going to be overall pink with purple and orange splinter dazzle, it's going to look awesome.