Monday 15 June 2015

Repaints & Additions

Renumbered because I'm using a different conversion for Sgt Tachikoma's CASE-2X.  And yes I did repaint around all the other original decals.  Not recommended as a high fun activity.  Comparison with original paint.

I decided to repaint my first two CASE-2X suits, which can be seen here, because of negative feedback about the way the green looked.  I figured this was down to the dominant colour being lime green rather than olive green, which affected how the olive green I'd used looked.  Of course this is all highly theoretical given that you all are seeing the images on a monitor that will not necessarily reproduce the colours of the original.  Not only but also the size you can see these on your screen will also vary.  On mine they're humungous.

Still after playing around with them for a while I realized that I had to replicate the colours on the next batch, so I bit the bullet and bought a different shade of green that I liked the look of from the Army Painter range.

You can see the original paint here.

The big thing is that this camo scheme is not how the suits are described in the novel.  I describe something called ChameleonFlage, which does what it say on the tin.  This allows the suits to blend into the background, as long as they're not moving.  Moving will give their presence away.  I toyed with ways to fake this, but while I could probably do one model in something that looked pretty awesome as an interpretation of ChameleonFlage, I doubt I would have the will to replicate it across two squads of suits (ten plus models).  I say this because I've already experienced this feeling with a couple of VOTOMS that I painted, which can be seen here.

Another change to the scheme was making the whole of the lower abdomen armour orange; originally I'd split it in half, but I wanted to make replicating the scheme across the squad easier.
When shut down the CASE-2X Dogs are described as reverting to a grey/green colour, which would look pretty dull on a miniatures.  So this scheme is really all about making the models look good, while suggesting that they're in some sort of military camouflage scheme.  It works for me, and the new shade of green, called Greenskin looks tonally brighter to me, which helps make the models pop more.

Well another little packet on miniature stompy robot goodness arrived from Dream Pod 9, who are managing to rival GZG for fast service.  So more conversions to come.


Monday 8 June 2015

Object 295: Pokhodnaya Boyevaya Platforma

PrefaceIf you're confused by the changes made to this blog post title it's as a result of email exchanges with native Russian speakers.  See the notes at the end.

I've been following the latest Russian tank developments, and the introduction of the new T14 Armata tank, which replaces the cancelled T95 prototype that's better known as Object 195.  I mention this as an indicator of how my imagination works.  I had need to write a new opening chapter to the second novel  I'm editing.  I hadn't planned on introducing the Russian to the world of Bad Dog until the fifth novel, but the needs of plot required something bad happened to one of the supporting characters.  And it had to be a threat that would cause the teams mission to go pear shaped, big time; as in people dying.

Or as we like to say here in Britain, "It's all gone Pete Tong."  Rhyming slang for wrong, named after a former disc jockey.

So I came up with Progulki Boyevaya Platforma – Ob”yekt 295, which is Russian for walking combat platform, or Object 295, which would be the manufacturers project name.  I thought about making the name a reference to the Heavy Gear name Ammon, which means people, but decided I didn't like the sound of that in Russian.  However, see notes below, about the name and blog title changes.

Not only did I change the main armament to a rotary cannon, because they look awesome, but I've also tricked the model out with some stowage, including fuel tanks at the back, which is a very Russian thing.  I'm really, really pleased with how this turned out.


I've gotten some feedback on my poor Russian translation that suggests this should be called Mobil'naya Boyevaya Platforma (Мобильная Боевая Платформа), which means Mobile Combat Platform.  I'm awaiting a secondary confirmation from another source and we shall see what they say.

Just in: Shagayushaya Boevaya Platforma (Шагающая Боевая Платформа), which literally means Walking Fighting Platform.  Google translate suggest that the English transliteration should be Shagayushchaya Boyevaya Platforma, so close enough.  Many thanks to XXL from the Red Alliance forum for his suggestion.

Further developments: Pohodnaya Boevaya Platforma (Походная Боевая Платформа), which translates as Hiking Fighting Platform, and the English transliteration should be Pokhodnaya Boyevaya Platforma. Many thanks to my other Russian speaker and Robert Avery for acting as liaison officer with her.

Monday 1 June 2015

FATS-C: Kuijia

After taking this picture I realized I hadn't filled a couple of joints with Milliput.  Oops moment.

I know that one of my regular readers, who is also a Beta reader, has been waiting a while to see what I'd do for the Chinese forces armor suits or kuijia (assuming the translation I found is right?), which appear in the first novel.  Well here they are at last.  I've made up eight of the Dream Pod 9 Golems as a Direct Action Squad or bán, as it would be called in Chinese.  So what you see above is the platoon command squad.

I've used the Heavy Gear Alpha and Beta squad miniatures with a small amount of reposing and minor modifications to meet my needs.  I have another couple of packs to make up, and I plan to modify them slightly more – as in reposition the arms and legs.  However, it has to be said that these are one piece castings, and I may have to accept I won't get as much variety as I would like.

L to R: trooper, Shàowèi (Lieutenant), Missile, and support trooper.

I've assumed that each squad would form two teams of four, and I've given each team one missile support suit with a grenade launcher.  The lieutenant's fire team has a support trooper with what I imagine would be something equivalent to a M249 SAW, while the sergeant's team has a heavy weapons gunner, which I imagine would be their equivalent of a Browning M2.  This is not as far as I'm aware Chinese practice, but it seems sensible.  However, my research suggest that Chinese are not known for their tactical flexibility, and are historically are known for using larger formations.

The standard organization would be three bán to a platoon, which are called a pái.  Three pái make up a company, called a lián.

L to R: Trooper, missile, Zhongzhi (Sergeant), and heavy weapons gunner.

Of course as this is my universe, and given it's set sixty year in the future, then what I says go.  But I'm having second thoughts, and I may make the missile carrying suit the assistant squad leader and swap figures around when I make up the next lot of miniatures.  If anyone knows better about current Chinese military practice or aspirations then please let me know.