Author Archive

RAFM Mammoth Strider Size Comparison

Posted on March 25th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

   I’ll admit that I’ve been searching the internet for RAFM Heavy Gear miniatures.  What can I say, wargaming and making models is my hobby.  I found a Mammoth Strider for sale on eBay that had a very small pictures and an incomple…

RAFM Jaguar

Posted on March 23rd, 2017 under , . Posted by

And here is the final model for my first squad of RAFM model for my Heavy Gear project.As you can see this is the first Gear I’ve gone off piste by converting the medium autocannon using a contemporary Dream Pod 9 very light field gun as the basis of m…

RAFM Assault Grizzly

Posted on March 20th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Again, due to the kindness of a fellow wargamer, Jochen Wenzel from Germany, I now own a Grizzly… ho, ho, ho!  Jochen thank you very much for your generous offer, I’m lost for words.My plan is to be able to get nine Northern Guard Gears onto the…

Size Comparison RAFM versus Blitz

Posted on March 17th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

  Click on the picture to see a larger image.As requested a size comparison of a RAFM Gear next to Blitz models and with added 1/100th and 1/144th scale models of the Abrams for real world comparison.From this quick shot my gut feeling that t…

Russian Walker Combat Group

Posted on March 16th, 2017 under , . Posted by

And here are my Russian walker conversions that I’ve completed so far.

This project seems to have dragged on longer than I intended down to being distracted with other things, and being undecided on how to organize them.  My friend Roger suggested in a comment that I use, the Russian motorised rifle company layout–a total of twelve vehicles, of which something like nine are general purpose, two are special purpose (carrying the machine gun / anti-tank platoon in the original) and one is command/HQ.

So, I will need to assemble three more Accos, and then I can start painting them.

Also, as a result of this decision, I’ve decided that my Ammon conversions will be used as part of my 15mm Heavy Gear Force project and plan to get a Moab and add two extra legs as a support walker.

RAFM Assault Hunter

Posted on March 13th, 2017 under , . Posted by

This is the third of my original RAFM score that consisted of three Hunters, two Jaguars and a Bricklayer.  My next step is to make up the standard Jaguar as the squad leader for this my first squad of Gears.  I’m not sure if that’s a legal s…


Posted on March 10th, 2017 under , . Posted by

When models are in the process of being painted sometimes accidents happen.  I dropped one of my Chinese FATS-C and broke the leg.  This slowed me down as fixing the leg and repainting the joint was a bit demoralizing.  Now repaired, and…

X-Wing: Into the Asteroid Field

Posted on March 8th, 2017 under . Posted by

Sunday last, we had some friends over for the afternoon from the Physics department, who had all expressed an interest in Star Wars and were up for learning to play X-Wing.  For the occasion I played the soundtracks to the movies in the background…

RAFM Hunter

Posted on March 6th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Back here I showed my first clean up of my Hunter Commando, and now I’ve moved onto the next RAFM Gear and tidied everything up, as can be evidenced by the picture of what it looked like when it arrived.What I learnt during this assembly was how easy i…


Posted on March 3rd, 2017 under . Posted by

Hopefully you see that I tweaked the standard poses the figures come in to add a bit more variety to the squad.Again these were a project I started on over the Xmas period, but not quite getting around to taking pictures and posting my progress.  …

RAFM Hunter Commando

Posted on March 1st, 2017 under , . Posted by

And here it is, painted, decals applied and varnished.  A classic real rob anime scheme inspired by the VOTOMS show.

Also, I’d like to add an observation about size and scale, one of my hobby horses.

This model, measured to the top of the head, stands 43.5mm.  That’s 1 and 3/16ths of an inch for my American readers.  In 1/87th scale, 3.5mm to the foot, this means the model represents a Gear that stands at 12.42 feet.  The current Blitz 1/144th scale, 2.12mm to the foot, and my Hunter stands at around 28mm, which is 13.2 feet.  And just as a comparison a slightly larger Blitz Gear like the Mamba stands at 34mm, which is 16.04 feet tall.

Funnily enough the RAFM Hunter, if treated as a 1/100th scale model, which is 3mm to the foot would stand 14.5 feet tall in real life.  So everybody is right when they say these models are suitable for 15mm wargaming, because they are.

I found  some pictures from the RAFM catalogue Heavy Gear Northern Guard online, with a list of all the models issued.  Those listed in bold are those I’ve managed to get hold of.  Still looking for a model of the Kodiak for my collection just because I like it

Hunter 1200
Assault Hunter 1201
Jaguar 1202
Strike Jaguar 1203

Cheetah 1204
Strike Cheetah 1205
Grizzly 1206
Assault Grizzly 1207

Hunter Commando 1208
Bricklayer 1209
Fire Jaguar 1210

Rabid Grizzly 1211

Kodiak 1212 

White Cat 1213 

Light Artillery 1214

1215 Number apparently not used

Sniper Infantry 1216 
(not shown)
Recon Infantry 1217 

(not shown)
Standard Infantry 1218 

Heavy Infantry 1219 

1315 Number apparently not used
Black Cat 1221 

(not shown)
Armored Hunter1222 

(not shown)
Cheetah Fang 1223 

(not shown)
Hunter Recon 1224 

(not shown)
Crossbow Grizzly 1225 

(not shown)
Predator Jaguar 1226 

(not shown)
White Cat EWH 1227 

(not shown)
Black Claw 1228 

(not shown)
Kodiak Destroyer 1229 
(not shown)
“Desert Sharks” Box 2050 

Mammoth Strider 2052 

(not shown)
Assault Mammoth 2053 

(not shown)
Klemm tank 2055 
(not shown)

So my plan now is to make up my standard Hunter next, and then the assault Hunter and a Jaguar so I can field a four Gear squad.  After that I’ll make up a squad of Southern Gears then it’s either the Cheetah or Bricklayer: the former is missing its butt-plate and the latter is missing its claw, so both models will need to have new parts fabricated.

Day by day my RAFM Gear Force project proceeds to grow ever larger.  Muwuhuhahaha!

Jovian Wars KickStarter

Posted on February 23rd, 2017 under , . Posted by


I told myself I wasn’t going to get into another project and resisted making a pledge with the new Dream Pod 9 Jovian Wars.  I really can’t afford it: time more than money, but also money: it’s a thing, right?

Anyway, I failed my resist new shiny roll.

So now I have a pledge in for the basic four capital ships and a pack of exo-armors and fighters.  Given the KS ends in the middle of next month I may be able to add a couple more ships to my pledge.  We shall see, but how could I resist Gundam!  Sorry, I mean Jovian Wars cough Gundam really cough.

The latest blog on how to make a fleet for a basic skirmish game.

Jovian Wars is about building a strategy when selecting your fleet and then using that fleet to achieve your objectives in a game, usually by out maneuvering your opponent and defeating in combat.


The Jovian Wars Kickstarter has new ship designs available so let’s look at how you might go about building a fleet.

And here’s the link to the full text.  And the KS is already fully funded with extras unlocked, so it looks like a good deal is there to be had, and those spaceships are gorgeous.

Last Russian Walker Conversion

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

The plastic Ammon from the Dream Pod 9 KickStarter is for me the most disappointing Caprice model.  Primarily because it doesn’t match the size of the resin and white-metal version they produce.  As you can see from the picture the legs of th…

Heavy Gear Cobra One

Posted on February 18th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

  I think I mentioned that I managed to find a RAFM Artillery Cobra, and it arrived today.  The box was incredibly tatty, but this is my first pristine out of the box Gear, and it’s a beast.  Just look at the sprue!  They don’t…

Heavy Gear Force Awakens

Posted on February 17th, 2017 under , . Posted by

  It’s the kindness of friends that makes life fun.  Thanks to Sitzkrieg for expanding my Southern Gear collection.  Left to right: Mamba Brawler, Jager Blitz and Armored Jager.For a long time there was no hints or signs that I woul…

Traveller: Martian Metals K’Kree

Posted on February 17th, 2017 under , . Posted by

There is rare, and then there is rare as rocking horse pooh or chicken’s teeth, the latter not being as rare as you think–genetics being what it is and all.  I bought these models on a trip to Toronto back in 1984 from a shop on Yonge Street.  Yes, they’ve been sitting in a box for 33 years waiting for me to paint them up ever since.

Equally surprising is that fact that despite all the things I’ve gone through over the years I managed to keep hold of them.  What provoked me to get them out, clean off the white oxidation and base them was assembling the Clear Horizon figures, because I thought what the heck, three more 15mm figures is no big deal.

So here they are ready to be primed.

By now the news of Loren Wiseman’s death has broken out on the internet.  He along with Frank Chadwick, Marc Miller and Rich Banner were the founders of Game Designers’ Workshop who published the Traveller RPG.  Though I had played D&D before going to university, it was playing Traveller that made me go and buy the rules (little black books), and start running games.  So many happy memories.

So now I have another good reason to paint these because time is fleeting, and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything one wants to do, so best to do those things that are meaningful while one has time.

Visigoth Tank

Posted on February 14th, 2017 under , . Posted by

When I got the Visigoth Khan from Dream Pod 9 my first thought had been it looks very Russian, but when got to thinking about playing games I felt that my Russian walkers would look better with air support, as in a helicopter gunship.  Given that …

X-Wing Battle

Posted on February 10th, 2017 under . Posted by

 First turn of the game: my X-wing with Wedge piloting it is at the back as it is going around one of the asteroids while Poe Dameron’s X-wing is closing with Darth Vader and Dylan’s A-wing has come over to help.Last weekend we did the fourth Fr…

Heavy Gear Mods

Posted on February 9th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

After fixing my RAFM Hunter Command I was looking at my Hunter conversion I made to represent Sergeant Espera’s APE suit, from my second novel, and thought I can do better than that.  Such is the burden of being self-critical.  Below is the o…

More BattleTech Alpha Strike Pictures

Posted on February 6th, 2017 under . Posted by

These are a selection of the pictures that were not used in Miniature Wargames magazine the other month for the Alpha Strike article.  Atlas versus Locusts is in my mind the classic BattleTech what if fight.I supplied a lot of duplicate shots for …

RAFM Hunter Commando

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 under . Posted by

      I can see why old Heavy Gear grognards lament the passing of the large Gears.  This is a lovely model, full of character, even if the casting quality is not a patch on current Dream Pod 9 products, which are far better as e…

Further Size Comparisons

Posted on January 26th, 2017 under , . Posted by


Last year I posted a piece comparing the size of Dream Pod 9 Gears/Mechs against a scale real world vehicle.  And then another piece looking at the size of the Visigoth tank next to an Abrams.

This time I’m comparing a RAFM era 1/87th scale Hunter Command with a 1/144th scale Hunter conversion next to 15mm–1/100th scale–Abrams and a 1/144th scale Abrams with a Clear Horizon Epsilon 15mm miniature and a MechWarrior Dark Age 10mm Grey Death Legion power armour figure.

What does this mean?

I’ve been bitten by the accidental purchase of six RAFM era Gears.  I say accidental because I put a low bid on them not expecting to win, but I did: hence accidental.  Now I have the urge to acquire more RAFM Gears because they’re lovely and shiny, must catch them all…

Realistically, if I can get hold of a couple of Southern Gears then I’ll probably be satisfied as it will allow me to have heroic scale stand-in models of my character’s mechs from my novels.  OTOH though, the temptation to go full-on 15mm for my Bad Dog verse project is strong because it’s so much easier to get figures in different poses.

What you’re hearing is the sound of the wargamers lament.

SF Figures: What I Want

Posted on January 23rd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Work in progress on my Clear Horizon Epsilon 15mm miniatures that I’m using as MARPACE suits for my Bad Dog universe setting.  I’ve still got to add the heads and some weapon packs to finish these off, and hopefully you can see that I’ve tweaked the poses a bit.

Following on from my previous article about SF wargame rules, I shall now talk about what I want in a range for any science fiction miniatures game.

A variety of poses.

It’s really as simple as that, with the caveat that with poses comes support weapons.  How many poses?  Thousands of them!  Well, perhaps, but realistically I probably want the following:

Commander doing the pointing at things thing, so that I can imagine them saying five rounds rapid fire sergeant!

A radio operator, though it’s arguable whether we shall still have a separate RTO person when soldiers are networked together, but assume a dedicated receiver-transmitter has better range, but there again satellite phones suggest perhaps not.  I want one.

A senior sergeant figure character, then with these three your command team is sorted.

For the rest of the platoon I want enough poses to make a squad look like people, rather than the old school toy soldiers who are all in the same pose.  Think Airfix infantry, but without the naff poses.  So, we could have:

Standing casual (weapons at rest)
Standing shooting
Kneeling casual (weapons at rest)
Kneeling shooting
Walking  (weapons at rest)
Walking shooting
Lying on the ground (sniper or taking cover)
Lying on ground with binoculars (sniper or recon)

Then there should be support options:

Light support gunner
Heavy machine gun team (two figures)
Anti-tank/vehicle missile operator (two figures–one carrying spare reloads)
Mortar team (two or three figures)

That adds up to 19 poses, which would allow one to make a platoon of 27 to 39 figures with sufficient variety that unit would look good.

SF Rules: What I Want

Posted on January 20th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The above is a crop of a picture I got from Catalyst games showing off their BattleTech rules.  I must admit my first reaction was this is not exactly selling BattleTech as a fun game to play.  What I want are a set of  rules that I can …

Battlemech Group Shot

Posted on January 16th, 2017 under . Posted by

As you’ve read in my last blog post, I recently had cause to take my battlemech models off the shelf to take pictures of them, which meant dusting them and then getting my terrain boards out and setting them up to look interesting.  I can’t show y…