Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Scatter Terrain and Robots


First up is some Gale Force 9 Badland Tors, which I repainted because I wanted more variation in the colour pallet. And I think these turned out pretty good.

For good measure I painted my Stone Heads from Dream Pod 9. Nine seeming to be the number that manufacturers name their companies. Just a coincidence, but like adding an X to a name makes it sound cool.

I did a lot of shading with glazes, filter, drybrushing to get that weathered craggy look. And finally, three 15mm robots and a jump-off point for using with my variant of the Chain-of-Command rules I'm still working on.

I need to matt varnish all of these before using them, but just felt the need to show some proof of life.

Stay safe, and I'll catch you all on the bounce.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

More Insurgents

I've been spending a lot of time at my workbench with only this handful of finished miniatures to show for it. I can only conclude I'm as slow as snail snot. Or some thing?! I'm pretty sure that when I was young I could paint whole armies in a week (30 plus figures). 

Now, it seems to take me forever to do this third section to complete my insurgent platoon and some support units. 

But here they are. The three Toyota Technicals below having had their gunners repainted to match my new standard paint job.

The green truck is new. I based the camo scheme on a half-remembered photo I saw, which funnily enough I found again.

To no ones surprise, my interpretation of said scheme is different to the original. Mostly down to the fact that I was painting my model to look nice, whereas the rebels just sprayed some blotches on their battered old truck.

I also worked on the red trucks highlights and shadow, and yes that was probably unnecessary, but I did it anyway. The yellow truck I mucked up whist doing so, and guess what?

Yep. You got it. 

I ended stripping and repainting it, but I think I did a better job on the tiger stripes. You can compare the previous paint job here.

And finally, two Nakamura Robotics Oshiguruma SDR (Search and Delivery Robots), converted for the insurgents as Highly Improvised Combat Armor aka Gunstriders.

Of course, I now need to varnish them. I've run out of Testors Dullcote and no one has any, and it may no longer be being made too. In further bad news, my other preferred matt varnish from Windsor & Newton is also out of stock.

Cést la vie.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Spot's On It

Bring it on. Anyone who doesn't think that the future has robots in it is sorely mistaken. I've lived with a love for robots ever since I was a child, and now the science, material technology, and engineering have come together.

Real robots.

Now all we need to do is start making them large enough to ride on, or ride in, and mecha will a thing.

Note: Always remember to consult a science fiction author before introducing robotic mechanisms into the world. Adverse, or unintended outcomes for human civilisation sometimes arise.

Monday, 21 June 2021

A Mecha Post

A month has flown by, and I'm genuinely bemused at my inability to have generated new posts, given how much painting I've been doing. But nothing has quite gelled into a finished model to show.

So here's a post with some book and manga suggestions for those readers who may be in need of some mecha reading.

Hardfought (1983) by Greg Bear
Cloned, energy-exosuited soldiers fight aliens, but human identity is the main casualty. On my to be read list.

Great Sky River (1987) by Gregory Benford
Post-apocalypse nomads in battlesuits fight to survive against alien robots. On my to be read list.
Rimrunners (1989) by C. J. Cherryh
After the Company War ends, a battlesuit trooper finds herself trapped, incognito, among civilians on the other side. One of my favourite books with power armour.

Warstrider Series (1994) by William H. Keith
Exotic aliens and “realistic” mecha that transform via nanotechnology. This is an early series from Keith after his BattleTech Gray Death series, which has a lot going on it that makes him one of my favourite authors.
The War for Eternity (1983) by Chris Rowley
Ursoid aliens and their human allies fight power-armored space marines. On my to be read list.

Legacy (1995) by Steve White
Human marines in welldescribed powered armor fight to liberate an alien world. Recommended to me.
Appleseed  (Manga) by Masamune Shirow
Battlesuited cops, cyborgs and terrorists clash in a realistic cyberpunk future. I love my treasured old copy I have.

Metal Skin Panic Madox 01 (Animeigo)
An ordinaryJoe finds a secret battlesuit – now the military wants it back. This is worth watching for the power armour design. Recommended, though good luck finding a copy, but you can watch it here.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Insurgents: First Batch

My intention was just to re-base these AK47 Peter Pig miniatures to my preferred basing style. I originally painted them back in 2010. My, how time flies. You can see here the old post here. Above is a shot showing the assorted wounded and dead counters.

However, after re-basing them I looked at the paint job and thought I can tart these up a bit.

And lo and behold, I took them to the next level. So here are some close-ups of the first two sections of my insurgent militia platoon.

Still need to varnish them, and afterwards I shall apply some grass tufts to their bases, but otherwise I'm calling these done. Now to start painting the mortar squad and the gunstriders.

Back in 2010, one of the reasons that I got stuck and never completed my AK47 Republic armies was the basing, which is one of those topics that requires a post all of its own, which I will no doubt come back to later when I talk more about the rules I'm working on.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Insurgent Platoon WIP

I've been busy working on the rules! Got a whole bunch of words written last week. I'm deep into the infantry construction process, which at points was doing my head in as I noodled different ideas and running numbers.

Edit: to add a close-up of my insurgents. 

I finished sculpting the seats for the Gunstriders. These are my idea for near future equivalent to Technicals.  Highly improvised walking platforms converted from Nakamura Robotics product; The Oshiguruma SDR: Search and Delivery Robot.

Slow going because it seems to take forever and a day for Kneadite or Milliput to harden.

So I've spent more time making other odds and ends, and stuff, as one does. In this case making a couple of tracked drones. One for my insurgents to use. The other a robotic fork-lift truck.

Here's another thing I made. A Jump-Off point for the rules, which will mark where troops can come onto the table.

An idea from Chain-of-Command that adds something to playing wargames that can be difficult to achieve: hidden movement, ambushes, and reserves.

And, whilst rebuilding my Toyota Technical I showed previously,  I found myself cutting apart another RAFM Gear, which was a surprise as I hadn't intended to start another conversion until I finished rebuilding the open cockpit crane mech.

So much for discipline.

That's all for now. Catch you all later.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Who Let the Dawgs Out? A review of Bad Dog


I caught this on Zepp Jamieson's 's blog. Found through David Brin's blog that hosts very lively discussions on everything SF. Both are worth checking out if you're into science fiction. Anyways, here's a snip of the review. Click on the link for the full review.

I’ve mentioned Groundhog Day, Russian Doll and Haldeman in this review, but in the end, Bad Dog wound up reminding me of something far grander and more ambitious: The Expanse. The blurb on the cover promises that Bad Dog is only the first novel in a Gate Walkers series, and if Pollard’s first novel is the metric to go by, she’ll give The Expanse a run for its money.

I look forward to the next installment.

I was stunned.

Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, it made my day.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Ready for Painting


I've finally finished the running pose that has taken me a long time to complete. I think the conversion of this CAS-3 Mod 1 Ape has come out looking pretty good. Head, torso and arms are magnetized and are moveable/removable to change the models pose or weapon loadout.

Below are two shots showing the other side.

And here's the previous conversion now completed, ready to paint. Again the head, torso and arms are magnetized allowing me to change the models appearance.

And again, the picture below shows the other side of the finished model.

I'll be painting both, just as soon as I've cleared the workbench of the models sitting on it, whose conversions are still ongoing works in progress, clogging up my space.

It is the way.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Insurgent Improvised Mecha: Obsolete


I was just sorting out some Heavy Gear miniatures to send a friend, rummaging around in my spares box, but a moment of m̶a̶d̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ inspiration overtook me and I made some insurgent Improvised Power Armor, inspired by the anime show called, Obsolete.

Having made them I needed a name. So I ran a thread on Facebook that generated the  following list of names:

Ambul Haters
ATSW: All Terrain Support Weapon. Mutated to the nickname, "Ant"
Battle Choppers
CKT-M4A "Cricket"DRGW-21, "Dragoon Walker" perfect dragoons, riding those steeds
Heavy Weapons Tactical Mobility Units better known as "Stompin' Ostriches" or "Stompies"
Highly Improvised Mobility Battle Объект
Islagiatt: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.
JICP: Jupiter Industrial Complex Pattern TKY-974 Storm Walkers though more commonly known to the troops as "Turkey Wankers" for how vulnerable they are to enemy fire. Designed by Herbert Bingle. Although being a well regarded engineer will never admit that the idea come around XMas.
Locust LCT-3A: Light Cavalry Transports
Marcher: MG units
Prairie Cat
Tripp(a)ers: Tactical Response Improvised Plantigrade Pod (Armor ) E R

With so many names to choose from I ended up making a poll:

Gunstriders finished first with 30 points; twice the votes of the next closest contender, the ATSW Ant with 15 points, which was three times more than HWTMU Ostrich/Stompies with 5 points. So Gunstriders will be the official name in the upcoming Bad Dog rules.

And to finish, today's post, I found this picture of the game banner for OHMU War Machine, which you can read a review of on Board Game Geek.

That's all folks. Catch you on the bounce!

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

CAS-3-Mod 1 Ape Rebuild

Still need to tidy up the mounting bracket for the missile pod.

And the rebuild of Espera's combat armor is almost done. I just need to tidy up the missile pod bracket that unfortunately I mucked up when sculpting it. Should get that done by end of the today.

Pretty pleased with this model, especially since all the weapons are removable, allowing me to change the load out. Cool, huh?

Picture below is a close-up of the parts I used to make the 75mm recoilless autocannon, and how I modeled the rocket pod mounting.

M75 80 mm HV recoilless AC M170-M 70mm LDFM

Below shows the flexible ammo chute I made, which is also detachable for ease of painting, if nothing else. I cut this from a piece of ribbon cable.

M134 GAU-2B/A ammo chute.

And some pictures of painted weapons that link back to the weapons list I posted here.

M240LC 7.62 x 51mm GPMG

Which reminds me I must remember to revise the rules to allow the Dogs to have these built in, but the Apes don't. Along with implications for encumbrance that I thought would be cool for the construction rules.

M26-AC with Mk30 GL

That's all for another week!

Thursday, 1 April 2021

North American Confederation Weapon Options

L to R: M41 AC230 with Mk39 GL; M240-M Griffin; M261 GAU-5L RAC; PGM; M2501 MVLS.

On Sunday I found myself working on my Bad Dog rules. Revising and expanding the equipment lists, and adding some background to the Gate Walker setting.

So here is a preview of the current list of weapons for combat armor.

Standard Weapon Options

GECAL 50    Three barrel rotary autocannon that fires the 12.7 x 99 mm fifty cal BMG round.

M2A1     This is the official nomenclature for the upgraded Browning Machine Gun. The M2A1 heavy machine gun fires a 12.7 x 99 mm BMG round. The M2A1  is known by many sobriquets including Browning machine gun, Ma Deuce, M2HB, and just by its initials BMG.

M21-A8    A 40 mm recoilless Gauss rifle with an eight-round cassette magazine/powerpack firing 10 mm discarding sabot rounds.

M26-AC    The M26-AC is Global Dynamics lightweight autocannon that fires a 20 x 102mm High-Explosive Dual-Purpose anti-armor (HEDP) warhead. The M26 comes with an inbuilt Mk 30 40 x 53 mm underbarrel single shot grenade launcher that fires High-Velocity Canister Cartridge (HVCC).

M41-AC230    The GEC M41-AC230 20 x 170 mm long-recoil autocannon and six magazines: four holding ten armor piercing tungsten-steel penetrators, and two with ten High-Explosive Air Burst (HEAB) warheads. The M41 comes with an inbuilt Mk 30 40 x 53 mm underbarrel grenade launcher with five rounds of High-Velocity Canister Cartridge (HVCC).

M47-Mod 4    A 40×53 mm automatic grenade launcher designed to be carried by combat armor with a large capacity removable rotary magazine allowing the weapon to be  reloaded. Various types of ammunition are available.

M75    A 80 mm lightweight high-velocity recoilless autocannon.

M121 CAMS    The combat armor mortar system is automated 120 mm variant of the M121 mortar system that has been upgrade with an autoloader mechanism.

M134    The General Electric Company M134 GAU-2B/A Minigun is a rotary multibarrelled machine gun firing the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round, and can be set to fire between 2000 and 6000 rounds per minute. The effective range is 1000 meters. 

M170-M    A tube mounted 70 mm light direct fire missile, the Mod 9 mount designed to be carried by combat armor (available in a variety of different number combinations).

M240-M    Griffin C 140 mm precision guided missile capable of being mounted on combat armor (available in a variety of different number combinations).

M261    The M261 GAU-5L is Global Dynamics special lightweight rotary autocannon variant of the old M197 Vulcan, redesigned to be carried by combat armor suits that fires a 20 x 102mm High-Explosive Dual-Purpose anti-armor (HEDP) warhead with the rate of fire limited to 500 rounds per minute. Due to the size of the round, the range of the weapon is three kilometers. Standard load-out is one thousand rounds.

Modular Launch Pack

M2501    A non-line-of-sight, micro vertical cold launch system can launch a wide range of different ordnance including Precision Attack Munitions, Loitering Attack Munitions, and Rocket Launched Reconnaissance UAVs.

Hope this small taster arouses some interest. Catch you all on the bounce.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Updates and More Stripped Acquisitions

Progress being made with the rebuild of Espera's Ape suit on the left, and the running repose companion CAS-3-Mod 1 suit.

I've repositioned the minigun on Espera's ride to sit under the forearm, and I've found a suitable ammo chute to connect it to the ammo pack on the back. I've also decided to modify the missile pod to have it hang off the backpack rather than being shoulder mounted.

I have a stash of various Gears since my first acquisition off eBay. I've now added a few more.


Above is an Armored Hunter stripped and currently sitting on my bench waiting for me to decide what I want to do with it.  I'm pondering over making it into a Heavy armored variant on an Ape, or a light version of a Buster thereby making my current Buster a two seat variant.

Decisions, decisions.

And pictured below are two Heavy Gear Kodiaks that I acquired and now stripped ready to be built. Now do I build them as twin seater Buster variants instead of using the armored Hunter for a single seat Buster variant?

Again, decision, decisions.

That's all for now. Catch you all on the bounce.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Mechs and Technicals

I'm almost at the stage, for a generous definition of almost, of wanting to start working on formulating forces for the rules. In a fit of inspirations I realized that asymmetrical combat between first world forces and third world insurgents/freedom fighters could be an option some players might want to have.

Certainly an actual thing in my Gate Walker setting, even if I haven't written any stories specifically about such actions, though the first book does have local Mujahedin assisting the Chinese special forces company attack my heroes. 

Given that thought, and the fact I have a small stash of Peter Pig AK47 15mm miniatures I can make use of them to explore aspects of the rules I hadn't considered. 

These are two Peter Pig Toyota Hilux's that I modified.

The one on the left I lifted and put tyres from a Humvee on to beef it up, and added a Bull bar on the front. The one on the right I made into a heavy version with double wheels/

Both have wheel wells enlarged, gotta keep street legal, to add more character. I also sculpted a wooden floor for the recoilless rifle variant to better hide the figures base.

I've also undercoated some GZG robots for my Marine Corps squad with heavy support, and made up a BigDog from a GZG Quad Transport Walker from Germy's 2mm range, to carry bullets and beans.

I also converted a second GZG Quad Transport Walker, and modified a civilian robot to represent the PetMan BigDog robot exploration team, seen here with a power loader variant of the GZG civilian robot.

For those readers who read my Strike Dog novel, I'm writing a short story about what happened to Romeo Echo Tango Two after they went missing.

And, in addition to all that, my beloved designed and printed up a poseable BigDog miniature. All the joints are articulated.

Okay, that's all folks. Catch you on the bounce.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Conversion and Repose WIP


Here's the current work in progress shots. Close-ups of the sculpting and pinning done to the middle and right hand mechs above. 

I've not yet finished the right knee on the running mech, and I've only just started cutting and pinning of the other mech on the right; also showing the pins for the base. 

Casting is still a case of practicing with molds and the sculpting mix to get good, clean casts, which is still eluding me.

As you can see above, I mucked up the canvas rolls, which broke when I split the mold. Not sure what I did wrong here as the other pieces were okay.

So that's all for this post. Catch you all on the bounce.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Conversion Casting Craziness

Oyumaru reusable thermoplastic, the blue stuff, is a pretty useful tool for those who want to replicate parts that are no longer available. Strictly speaking, my casting old RAFM parts skirts perilously close to piracy, except for the whole not available for 20+ years thing of a long defunct product.

BTW: If the owner of the RAFM original masters wants me to pay, or can supply me with castings, then I'd be happy to oblige.

So I cast a few bits & pieces, more as a way to experiment with the thermoplastic. It's a yes, no, and maybe on the results.

The tiny antennae, above left, were mostly unusable. The canvas rolls were fine. I'm going to experiment more with the mixture of the putty. Pure Kneadite is too flexible. Milliput seems okay, so far. A mixture of both is a bit hit and miss.

It's a toughness versus detail choice.

Anyway, I cast a sole from another model for the reposed leg of one of my work's in progress, because the bottom of the foot is noticeably bare of detail. You can clearly see where I am with the repose.

I'm having to build the joint and beef up detail on the casting that was worn/damaged/miscast.

And I had to go back and redo the exhaust on the other conversion I'm working on.

And I really pulled the boat out on the feet by taking the time to articulate the ankle, which will allow me to make an otherwise static pose look a bit more dynamic with the foot adjusting to irregularities in the ground.

That's all for now, because it's my birthday, and I have things to do...