Archive for Concept

Wreck Restoration

Posted in 40K, Minis, Nostalgia with tags , , on October 27, 2013 by stingersix

I was watching this video on YouTube about these guys who restored a totally destroyed Sherman tank.

I was inspired. On a few occasions, I’ve had the chance to restore some jacked up models to fully painted glory. My Space Marine Drop Pods were the first – I have three of them and all were trashed when I got them. I stripped the paint, added some new parts where needed and voila, they look like they were assembled right off the sprue.

I actually enjoy the process of taking some poor model that has been ruined with a heavy coat of house paint (or somesuch), with broken and missing parts, and restoring them. I’ve recently come into a couple new acquisitions and I have plans for them – or at least one of them.

Once I have my Daemon army done, I mean to add an allied force of Chaos Space Marines, specifically, Kharn and a squad of Berzerkers deploying out of a Chaos Land Raider. I’ll eventually get the Kharn and ‘Zerker models, but I need a Land Raider. Well, at the swap meet we had at the store a couple months ago, I bought a trashed Land Raider hull for 5 bucks..

photoAll this bad boy needs is side sponsons, a turret and hatches. If I strip it and repaint it in glorious Khorne blood red, add a few spikey bits and I will have a suitable mount for my ‘Zerkers. The warsmiths of the Fallen pulled this out of a shellhole somewhere and commenced to twist whatever is left of its machine spirit to their own dark aims.

And there is this.20131027_152430Some of you kids may never have seen one of these or even know what this is.  This is an Old School Land Raider from the old Rogue Trader days of the late 1980’s. They were one of the first plastic kits GW produced, and they actually came 3 to a box! I don’t remember the price but they were maybe $35 or thereabouts. I know, outrageous! 😛

Anyway, this came into my hands via a woman who came into the store a couple weeks back with a box full of old minis stuff that belonged to her departed husband. She wanted to give it to us and we accepted. I opened the box and there it was. I didn’t hesitate to scurry of with it – I haven’t seen an old Land Raider like this for 20+ years!

Now, I could use this old warhorse for my ‘Zerker’s ride – say it was an old holdover from the Heresy or something. I think I can strip the paint off, though it looks like it might be Testor’s plastic model enamel. I could add some new bits – maybe update the lascannons?

What do you guys think?

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Thinking ahead

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , on August 22, 2012 by stingersix

So, I’m working my way through the 40K Fight Club 2012 Painting Challenge and I’ve managed to keep up so far. By the end of the year, I should have my Space Marine collection properly bulked out and I’m starting to think about what I want to do for next year. I may or may not do another year-long challenge – keeping to a fixed schedule for painting output is difficult at times and the enjoyment of painting for me is in painting for its own sake, so rushing isn’t my style.

At any rate I have two potential projects and a third more nebulous one in mind. With my Space Marines, once I have the painting challenge wrapped up for the year, I’ll still add to them when the spirit (of the Emperor) moves me. For these new projects I’m thinking of a more focused approach, and that is to make a list and buy and paint models to match.

The first idea is to do Chaos Daemons. My primary interest in this army is simply this – color! My Space Marines are basically grey, and yeah, I been painting grey for 20+ years. Chaos, in contrast, and by definition, is chaotic! I can do whatever colors I want! Oh, I’ll stick to some base pallettes – red for Khorne, blue for Tzeentch, brown/green for Nurgle, pink for Slaanesh – but otherwise I’ll just do as I like. Most of the models I’ll do stock, in that I won’t do an unusual amount of conversion work.

The Chaos Daemon codex just got some new models which are cool, and I expect more in the next year. New plastics and Finecast models will be nice to see. I’m especially interested in seeing what they do with the Greater Daemons, since I think the current ones aren’t so hot. The Khorne Bloodthirster (which I am sure to get) looks kinda ass (IMO) and an update would be welcome.

I thought of doing a mono-Khorne army, but having seen the power and utility of a multi-god force on the table, I’ll probably go with that. I know people say Chaos Daemons may not be so hot, but the thing about them is, they are a huge pain in the ass to deal with, and mostly I just want to cause trouble with them on the tabletop! Winning or losing is not my priority – the daemons of Chaos will always come back!

My second idea is…Tallarn Imperial Guard! Why? Because although I groove on superhuman Space Marines and chaos gribblies, the poor lowly grunt with a lasrifle gets a lot of respect from me. This project would be more involved (and expensive). I’m a freak for the British Long Range Desert Group in WW2, and if I do a Tallarn army, it will be heavily inspired by the LRDG. At the moment, I’m toying with various list ideas.

What I want currently is a fast, mobile striking force. I’d like to fill the FA slots with Sentinels and even some Forge World Mukaali cavalry. I know the IG is big on heavy armor, but I wouldn’t go that route (event though the Tallarn are famous for their tank units, as well as their recon assets). I realize it’ll probably get shot off the table in no time in actual play, but again, I don’t care that much if the army simply impresses the hell out of people looking at it. Getting blown away in a head on engagement is historical too, as those few times the real-life LRDG patrols did go in guns blazing, while they had some successes, they usually took heavy casualties.

Of course, I know that Tallarn models are a little hard to find, all metal and expensive. But, I acknowledge all that and I’m willing to accept it. The final thing I’m considering, in keeping with the LRDG theme, is doing some crazy truck conversions to use as counts-as Chimeras. This would take both time and money, but again, willing to accept it.

My third and final, sort of pie-in-the-sky project is an Adeptus Mechanicus counts-as army. Haven’t given a tremendous amount of thought to it, just looked around the web to see what others have done (and there are some amazing AdMech armies out there). Anyway, just thinking about this one. I’d use a lot of 3rd party minis and conversions I think.

So, that’s where my miniatures brain is at right now!

Considering a conversion

Posted in 40K, Minis with tags , , , , on July 25, 2012 by stingersix

I like converting minis. Always fun to come up with something original. I just finished a Terminator Chaplain which was a conversion based on one I saw on From The Warp.

Although I added a few touches of my own, it wasn’t my original idea and I now want to do one of my own.

My philosophy on minis conversions in general is to make subtle ones that don’t require a great deal of cutting, re-shaping or green stuff. If I can put something together from different parts that comes out looking unique that’s usually where I want to be.

I now have it in mind to try and make a Space Marine Captain for my Rising Suns, and this time, I want to try using some of the Kromlech samurai bits, specifically, the helmet and sword. I’m not entirely sure I like those helmets though – need to see them for real, not a picture. Of course, I could just magnetize the head so I could swap it for a normal looking helmet. I’m sure I’ll use the sword though. For the body, I want this guy to have a jump pack so I’ll use an Assault Marine torso with a commander’s breastplate. I’d like to give him artificer armor so I need to find some bits that are suitably ornate – I’ve looked at BA Sanguinary Guard but they look more Greek than anything else and have blood drops all over them.

Any recommendations for bits?

Just because you can…

Posted in 40K, Blather with tags , , on July 19, 2012 by stingersix

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I haven’t said anything about the new 40K 6th edition yet. Though I’ve yet to play a game of it, I already think I like it more than 5th. Some of the stuff in there allows for more random events and I like that. One thing that has people talking is the possibility of taking Allies as part of your force.

I’m pretty strong on fluff (and some say 6th is the fluff gamer’s game) so I was very glad to see the inclusion of Allies. I can already see wanting to take a few Grey Knights along with my Marines in the ongoing campaign I’m playing with my friend Adan – not because they kick ass (which I’m sure they do) but because having them fighting alongside the Rising Suns would perfectly suit the story we’ve created (err, excuse me…”the narrative we’ve forged” – do I need to add a copyright on there, GW?).

Space Marines are:

Battle Brothers (close allies) with: Black Templar, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Imperial Guard, Space Wolves and Tau (go figure). Those all make perfect sense to me, except for maybe the Tau – when did the Imperium decide to be friends with the space communists? Need to dig into the fluff section a bit more. Anyway, I can live with it. Of all of those potential allies, I’m most likely to bro-fist the IG, since I prefer the idea of serving alongside some no-name IG regiment rather than having a detachment of those more famous Hollywood Astartes Chapters stealing my thunder!

Allies of Convenience with: Eldar, Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle. Again, these all make sense. The way I play, with a story as a foundation for these mini-campaigns I like to do, I can see the tension between the regular Space Marines and these allies fitting right in.

Desperate Allies with: Dark Eldar, Necrons, Orks: Right, just because you can…etc. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I stoop so low as to add these guys to any list I run! The only place for these xenos armies is crushed under the treads of my tanks!

Come the Apocalypse: Chaos Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Tyranids. Kill ’em all, let the Emperor sort ’em out.

From a pure marketing standpoint, I think the addition of Allies is a brilliant move. Sell more models! I mean, I was already thinking about doing a small IG strike force. But now, what about a small GK detachment? Or a few Eldar corsairs? Or…

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, he said…

40K and Me, Part: Whatever

Posted in 40K, Blather with tags , on October 28, 2011 by stingersix

So, I am playing 40K now. Didn’t think I would but as long as I’m having fun, I’m in. I’m still learning the game and I expect to lose a lot, but so far I’m doing all right. Basically, I’ve decided I’m going to play it on my own terms. Primarily that means no tournaments or “competitive” type play (by which I mean just playing to win). I paint lots of miniatures and I like minis games, but my real hobby love is pen & paper roleplaying games. What this means for my minis gaming is, I always/often write up a story behind the game I’m about to play. Even if it a bare minimum of detail, I like to give the tabletop battle about to be waged some kind of context.

OGs (Original Gamers) who remember the old 40K: Rogue Trader from back in the day will recall that it was a curious blend of miniatures game and RPG. The scenario generator in the back of the book is a goldmine of ideas that you can still apply to the 40K tabletop today. And even if you don’t do that, you can still create any sort of storyline you like for your games, so that they’re not just another in an endless series of 1500pt slugfests over the same 1d5 objective markers. Just thinking about doing that bores me senseless.

Currently, my 40K mentor (if you will) Adan and I are playing a 3-scenario mini-campaign, his Alpha Legion Chaos Marines against my Rising Sun Marines. The idea is the Chaos boys have launched a raid on the Rising Sun homeworld to steal some of their geneseed. In the first action, which you can read about here, the Alpha Legion made off with some of the Chapter’s geneseed. What made this more than just a 1,000pt shootout was, for us, the story that came out of it. There were some heroes (like my Sergeant who we’ve given a WS/BS bump after his amazing knock-down, drag-out fight) and some goats (my Chaplain who lost the battle). Both Adan and I are excited about the next game.

So, this is how I mean to play 40K, with a focus on building the games around some sort of story. It’s clearly not the best minis game out there in absolute terms, but there is fun to be had with it with the right people and the right attitude.

You think you can take me? You gonna need an army if you think you can take me!

Our Stargrunt Setting

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , on July 10, 2010 by stingersix

The Stargrunt crew in these parts has made up, together, a setting in which we fight our Stargrunt battles. You’ve heard me drop tidbits of it here and there in various battle reports, but I thought I’d spell it all out for everyone to see.

Each player came up with three aspects of one of the states, factions or power groups. We built on each others ideas too, incorporating some of them into our own. The result was a setting with lots of conflict and lots of room to explore. Here goes (warning: this is long) –

Stargrunt Campaign Setting

It is the year 2257 and humanity has colonized over 120 worlds within 200 light years. The area of human colonized space is known as the Human Sphere. Most colonies originally belonged to nations or corporations, but some have achieved their independence, usually through revolution, but occasionally through diplomatic means.
On Earth, major nation-states still exist but have formed into three huge super-states. Earthly power struggles continue but the threat of total nuclear or nano-annihilation of the homeworld means most “wars” are low-intensity proxy conflicts.

It is the off-world colonies of mankind which now suffer the scourge of war. National armies and fleets still exist, but corporate armies, rebel armies and mercenaries do the bulk of the fighting.

As humanity pushes its frontiers outwards, it is starting to make contact with alien races, sometimes hostile ones. The human lust for control, wealth and new planets to exploit ensures that there will only be more conflict with these aliens in the future.

Pan American Union
* The Pan-American Union (PAU) has spread out across the stars based on the belief that they have a manifest destiny to control the Milky Way Galaxy.
* They have been in conflict with the Trinary Alliance, religious fanatics who fled Earth in the wake of the Humanist Expansion.
* The PAU recently colonized the planet Alpha Theti, which holds the ancient ruins of a long lost culture.

Confederated European Union
* The Confederated European Union (CEU) comprises the largest coalition of national governments on earth, with many allies both on Earth and off-world.
* The CEU contested with the PAU and the Han Empire for early control of habitable colony worlds during the Humanist Expansion.
* Many individual CEU member states are having a hard time maintaining control over their colony worlds; many independence movements have turned into full-blown rebellions.

Delta Hyperion Pirates (DHP)
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates are based out of the star cluster of the same name. Because of the current political climate, no government has been able or willing to commit appropriate forces necessary to deal with the pirates, and as such the dozen worlds in the Delta Hyperion star cluster have suffered under their raids and hostile embargos.
* PAU intelligence suggests that the DHP forces may be led by renegade PAU Admiral Byron Wade, as his command vessel, the CSV-91 “Ticonderoga” has been identified in support of pirate vessels in orbit over BLV-7d “Bel Valis IV” during the seizure and looting of the Grandia Orbital Colony.
* The DHP lack sufficient ships and manpower to acquire significant territory, but their reach and capacity for raiding extends as far as trade vessels and national borders allow. Current trade sanctions and heightened security by the Han Empire and PAU appear to have great success in combating the threat of raids, but also seem to be pushing free traders and corporations into the ranks of the DHP.

Ramstar Heavy Industries

* Ramstar is one of the largest mega-corporations in the Human Sphere with its headquarters in the Earth L4 orbital habitat. Ramstar underwrote many early colonization efforts for the PAU, and managed to secure exclusive, extra-territorial colonization rights to several resource-rich systems. Ramstar colonies are nominally under PAU governance but in practice, Ramstar colonies are wholly corporate owned.
* While maintaining a sizeable military force of its own (the famous/infamous Ramstar Striker Battalions) Ramstar often subcontracts PMCs (private military corporations) to carry out any military or paramilitary operations on its colony worlds. Ramstar also has a PMC management company called Sandline Interstellar which brokers PMC contracts to select clients.
* Ramstar’s activities on the frontier have increased of late, with heavy investment in research missions with high probability of alien contact.

The Xind Compact

* The Compact is a coalition of seven alien races who, after warring for decades, unified when they discovered ancient structures built by an unknown race they call the Progenitors. The structures contained symbols and traits from all their cultures, which show links to their religious and cultural myths. The Compact is made up of the following races: Xinthi, Movat, Eal Tran, Tzitzimime, Shal, Reaqti, and Morbundi.
* The Xind Compact has recently lost contact with an archeological survey team on Na’Jal-Shih (Theti Alpha on human starcharts) that was studying Progenitor ruins. The last recorded image transmitted back to Compact relay stations showed warriors from an unknown race, all bearing the emblem of a four-pointed star with a strange, curled-horned animal in the center.
* Ramstar Heavy Industries has recently sold the rights to Alpha Theti at a rate well below the standard Survey and Exploration fees to the PAU. The PAU, desperately in need of new colony worlds, didn’t ask questions.

United Democratic Socialist Systems

[UDSS] (a.k.a. Liberated Workers Union)
* As Ramstar Heavy Industries expanded rapidly across the human sphere, they needed cheap and expendable labor to build and operate facilities. The further Ramstar moved from the sphere of influence of the United Nations of Earth (U.N.E.), the more liberties they were able to take with how they treated their workers. On many distant worlds, the workers were nothing better than slaves overseen by Ramstar’s private armies. Any demands by workers were met with threats, violence, and sometimes murder. In 2223, workers lead by Sidney J. Hill, rebelled when a private army attempted to break a recently formed union on Obregón III. The bloody rebellion would last three months, but the workers emerged victorious, with the private army withdrawing claiming “cost overruns” to Ramstar. In control of an interstellar communications array and a ragtag fleet of ships, they fomented rebellion across the sector. After 12 years of fighting, and 20 liberated worlds later, the United Democratic Socialist Systems was born.
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates were essential to the success of the workers’ revolt. Without the pirates’ ships, they wouldn’t have been able to hold off the Ramstar counterattack. Now, they are indebted to the pirates and forced to form a loose alliance. While that works when you are rebels, it doesn’t work when trying to establish diplomatic ties and pirates start raiding your own trade ships. The UDSS is trying to work their way out of the current arrangement, but they lack starships and the public will to do so.
* As of late, the Han Empire and the PAU have been engaging in minor skirmishes with UDSS troops. That combined with Ramstar declaring bounties on UDSS ships and Trinary Alliance missionaries trying to subvert their government, the UDSS Workers’ Council quickly learned that governing isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.

The Han Empire
* On Earth, the Han Empire controls or dominates Asia and the Indian Sub-continent (after a long and terrible war that only recently ended). Pacific nations such as Indonesia, Japan and Australia are client states fully dependent on the HE for their livelihood.
* The Han Empire controls an economically and scientifically significant string of contiguous colony worlds which it rules with an iron fist – there have been no successful rebellions in the Han colonies, though there have been numerous uprisings. The CEU covertly supports and foments some rebel movements on Han worlds. Where Han space and CEU space meet, skirmishes occasionally break out.
* The Han Empire conducts active and extensive espionage and counter-espionage operations in all areas of human space, against all power-blocs. Outside of their own sectors, they are well known for hiring mercenaries to further their aims.

Beckert’s Battalion (War Pigs)

* Beckert’s Battalion (more commonly known as the War Pigs) is a battalion-sized (and getting smaller) mercenary infantry unit operating primarily on colony worlds on the PAU frontier. The commander, Colonel Beckert was once a * Ramstar employee who resigned his commission after the pacification campaign against the rebels of the Altair mining colony.
* The War Pigs have taken contracts with certain worlds of the UDSS (not all of which were successful). This has often brought them into conflict with other PMCs hired by Ramstar. They’re far from the best, but certainly one of the cheapest mercenary units money can buy. While unable to stand against heavy armored units, they are most suited to light infantry missions.

Calico Jack’s Hellcats
* Jacqueline “Calico Jack” Sage was once Commodore of the PAU Vanguard fleet “68th Hellcats”, though after multiple life-threatening injuries sustained in the “Calico Conflict” (an anti-insurgency operation on the planet Calico), she was unable to continue her service. After three months in rehabilitation, she was medically discharged and deemed unfit for the rigors of PAU fleet command. However speculation from unknown sources believes these “Hellcats” are the PAU’s indirect way of dealing with the piracy issue that currently deters them from faster colonial growth.
* The Hellcats are currently on contract to Ramstar, with planetary transportation and protection provided by PAU fleet elements.
* A battalion sized mercenary unit specializing in jungle and urban combat, operating modified PAU military hardware. Known for their use of use of bi-pedal walkers and armored transport carriers that are rarely seen outside of PAU forces.

Osiris

* Osiris was originally a CEU based multinational that built heavy-lift rockets and was instrumental in humanity’s move into space. By 2257, Osiris was fully extra-territorial, with its headquarters on Alpha Centauri’s corporate enclave. Osiris is now active in colonization efforts throughout the human sphere.
* Osiris Interstellar Security is a division of Osiris that provides security consultant contracts. Unlike most mercenary operations, Osiris Interstellar operates only small teams of specialists assembled for specific purposes. O.I.S. hires exclusively from special forces and intelligence services, usually employing them as training cadre for local military forces. O.I.S. can assemble strike teams for more direct action, and has done so on numerous occasions, though these teams are usually never more than company sized.
* Osiris works mostly with colonial governments within the PAU and CEU, and has worked with the Han Empire but only in a limited capacity. O.I.S. operatives have been involved in conflicts with governments of the UDSC, including the notorious pacification of the Deneb colony.

Tzitzimime
* The Tzitzimime are one of the more belligerent species among the members of the Xind Compact and their military forces have skirmished with humans on certain Compact/Human Sphere border worlds. Based on observation of Tzitzimime raiding tactics, Human xenobiologists have surmised that their society is loosely organized around powerful and charismatic leaders, somewhat like the old Earth vikings. The largest Tzitzimime military force yet encountered was the equivalent of a human infantry brigade.
* Physically, the Tzitzimime resemble 8-foot tall grasshoppers, naturally earning them the nickname “Bugs” or “Spugs” by the humans that have encountered them. While insect-like in appearance, they are four-limbed vertebrates and do not live in hives. Technologically, the Tzitzimime are on par with humanity, though they appear to employ more advanced plasma technology.
* Tzitzimime raiders have until now only hit human colonies and expeditions on the PAU frontier. It is not known if their territory extends to other regions of the human sphere.

Kryton Corporation

* The Kryton Corporation is primarily involved in financing the development of colonies belonging to all three of the major Earth powers, the PAU, CEU, and Han Empire. Their business relationship with the PAU is the strongest, and Kryton Corp is often along on CEU ventures. The Han Empire deals with Kryton more out of necessity, and is actively looking for ways to reduce their dependence on the Kryton financial monopoly on off-Earth investment.
* Kryton Corp also underwrites expeditions to new worlds on the frontier, particularly those with the goal of discovering resource-rich worlds.
* Kryton maintains no standing military force, instead contracting out to mercenaries on a per-job basis. Kryton does however, have a long record of hiring Ramstar to do its dirty work for them.

Tomorrow: The History of the Altairian War

New Project Concept – Olympica

Posted in Blather, Games, Nostalgia with tags , , , , on July 2, 2009 by stingersix

“The Webbies want your mind”

So says the back cover blurb of Olympica, an old sci-fi wargame (of the Metagaming variety) from back in the mists of time. You old dogs may remember this one, having saved up your pennies to buy these little games that came in plastic bags (hey, c’mon, it was 1978 – I was 11). Anyway, inspired by some of the fan-made upgrades that you can see in the BGG entry I linked to, I’m considering doing one myself, with miniatures – sculpted board with terrain, and 15mm minis.

And thinking about those, I’d like to try to heave close to the original look and feel. Here’s the cover of the old game.
pic10430_md

For the UN Marines, I’ve already decided I’d like to use Rebel Miniatures Earth Force Marines. For the UN vehicles, Rebel’s grav tanks should do nicely. The UN also has these funky drilling machines (because their enemy lives in tunnels) and I think I could convert Rebel’s combat flatbed into one.

But, I’m stuck on the Webbies. That’s a Webby on the back cover up there. They’re kinda like group-mind space communists I think (on close reading of the rules fluff). So, I’m taking recommendations for good 15mm troops to use for these guys. Suggestions?