Here's what I got for my birthday presents today, some of it stuff that I ordered and other things that I had on my Amazon wish list. I'm fortunate to have a very tolerant other half who is more than happy to get me the things that I ask for, rather then random stuff like tokens or vouchers. I also have kids with some disposable income now, so I even got some bits and bobs from them, along with some presents from my relatives. I'm really looking forward to painting the Cruel Seas Kriegsmarine flotilla of S-Boats but the 15mm German and US things will go on top of my IABSM project pile for the moment. I also got a pack of SD Agent figures for Strontium Dog but it only arrived later in the day. Lucky me!
...but planning is essential.So, said Winston Churchill, apparently, so I'm going to take his advice (not Bojo's) and do just that. The planning bit involves extending some of my existing projects into 2019 and starting a few new ones, but the latter will definitely be outnumbered by the former. I will once again focus my efforts on both naval and air wargaming, although I'm sure other things of a more terrestrial or even extra-terrestrial variety will pop up. If they do, it will be very much at a skirmish level, rather than anything too grand.In the air, I'm obviously going to be focussed on the 1/285th scale aircraft for the 'Come And Have a Go If You Think You're Lard Enough' event in March. If that goes according to plan I might well do another Bag the Hun project in the same scale, with an eye on the Winter War for Blue Swastika Rampant. If not, then I'll definitely be expanding my 1/600th scale efforts but only after I've finished the MiG Alley / Bag the MiG and Corsairs and Cavaliers projects first. If
I painted the picture frame that I bought at the weekend with my knock off pot of Homebase Cashmere emulsion paint, added some spray splodges of Halfords Ultra Matt Khaki then dry brushed the whole lot with a tester pot of Laura Ashley Old Gold. I'm quite pleased with the end result, although I should have been more generous with the acrylic paste beforehand, so that all of the canvas was completely covered. I'll be using this terrain board for the No End in Sight post colonial project but also for many other things including Strontium Dog, Fistful of Lead:Viva la Revolution! and Gruntz Sci Fi / Near Future games to name but a few, so it has been well worth the ten quid I paid for it. I now need to make some hills but I already have some Battlefield in a Box plastic ones that might just do the job, if I re-painted them in matching desert colours.
As part of the excellent Kickstarter bundle for Galactic Heroes, I was given a very nice 28mm 'Rockets and Rayguns' style resin hover car. This is a lovely model and very well designed, with loads of Flash Gordon 1940's pulp stylistic features. It is, however, not something that I have any real use for, as I'm not going to do pulp sci-fi for my Galactic Heroes games. On the other hand, I thought to myself, why not re-purpose it for Strontium Dog? This would require a little light surgery to remove the obviously pulp sci-fi bits and the addition of loads of stowage to give it more of a 'spaghetti western in space' look. I think this would work well and would make a useful extra element for scenarios. It's worth a try at least?
British comics lost an icon this week with the death of Carlos Ezquerra – the creative genius behind Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha. Carlos’s character designs and universes underpin a lot of subsequent science fiction – including Warhammer 40,000. Two years before Games Workshop gave birth to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, they were dabbling with science fiction miniatures such as this trio of Strontium Dog characters. Left to right: Wulf Sternhammer, Johnny Alpha, Gronk. I’ve been painting this triumverate of bounty hunters with an eye on Warlord Games’ new Strontium Dog game. Excitingly they can also be shoehorned into modern Necromunda with the recent bounty hunter rules. The miniatures are from Citadel’s 2000AD range produced for the 1985 Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game. Though technically Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd inhabit separate universes, they have crossed over several times for reasons of awesome. Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd, Judgement Day, 2000AD #799. The Rogue
I had an email from Jaye Wiley yesterday evening with pdf's of his new sci-fi rules, Galactic Heroes, and a pack of several scenarios, all based on the Fistful of Lead system. The rules run to a comprehensive 60 pages and, although the core is familiar there are numerous tweaks, additions and extras to fill out the sci-fi aspect of the game. I'm looking forward to trying them out but I am still undecided about which way to go with this, either 15mm or 28mm. The former has the advantage of being both compact and cheap, as I have loads of figures already and like the idea of using the old Imperial Commander (Laserburn) range for this, while the latter is a bit more 'skirmishy' and detailed, assuming I can find a range of figures that I like and that isn't all 40K spikey bits. I also have a shedload of 15mm GZG figures that would be ideal for more hard sci-fi settings and the 28mm Strontium Dog figures can also be re-purposed as well.I'll just have to make up my mind!
I meant to get a few extra figures for Strontium Dog at Colours last weekend but, as I didn't go this time round, I decided to find some more online. I wasn't particularly taken by the official range of Warlord figures, although they are otherwise fine, so decided instead to use something else. This turned out to be a pack of two Gunbots and the Big Bot figure from the Rogue Stars range, sculpted by Mark Copplestone and Mark Owen, two of my favourite designers. They aren't too far off the visual style of Strontium Dog and will make the basis of an excellent and different band of characters or just allies for another faction. I'm sure I can work out some relevant profiles using the rules for character generation and so on. I can also use them for Galactic Heroes when that arrives, which should be pretty soon?
I have been scratching my head over the terrain to use with Strontium Dog, which requires a basic 3' x 3' area for skirmish scenarios. I was planning to make a terrain board for this and may well still do so but, in the meantime, I remembered that I had a second hand Deep Cut Studio vinyl desert mat in a cardboard tube somewhere in the garage. I dug it out and found it was 4' x 4', so have cut it down to size.I think whoever bought this first time round decided that it was too shiny, as it does reflect a bit when under artificial light, but I'm not too bothered and it will be more than suitable as a starting point. I've also kept the offcuts to use underneath any buildings or terrain pieces, suitably trimmed to size and stuck down to laser cut base templates so that they match the desert mat surface. I'd much prefer a cloth rather than vinyl but beggars can't be choosers!
I bought a load of 30cm x 30cm mdf placards in the Poundland 25p sale back in January with some modular terrain boards in mind. I did an experimental one yesterday by gluing two boards back to back, filling the holes then texturing with sand. I sealed the sand with PVA then undercoated the boards with some old emulsion paint (One Coat Matt Cashmere) I bought cheap in a Homebase sale, so that the mdf was sealed properly.I then did a bit of over spraying with Halfords Matt Khaki and a little bit of dry brushing with various tester pots. I'm not entirely happy with the end result but it's getting there. I think it needs some more dry brushing or possibly a wash of some sort to bring out the texturing but I'm not sure how to go about this just yet. It does match most of my existing desert terrain pieces, however, which is the idea.I will do some more of the desert boards when I've got hold of more spray paints, so that I can set up a basic 3' x 3' scenario area for Fistful of Lead and also Strontium Dog. If I can
It's Friday, so although I'm not paid due to the holidays, I thought I'd keep supporting the UK lead industry by adding the Strontium Dog Search and Destroy boxed set to my set up. I always loved these skimmer bikes in the original strip and think they are one of Carlos Esquerra's most iconic designs, really giving that Wild West in space look to the storylines. I particularly like the dust cloud effects on the models, which are a key feature of the images in the 2000AD storyboards. I also don't have a miniature of Wulf yet, so this is a good start, even if he's riding a bike rather than standing up. Cool!
I finally cracked and have ordered a set of The Good, the Bad and the Mutie at a decent price from an eBay outlet, which means I have yet another project to fit in somewhere before Xmas, if I can find the time. I was going to wait until Colours to get the Strontium Dog starter set and perhaps a few of the extras, but this was a good deal, so I thought I'd go for it now. If the rules turn out to be wonky, I can always use Galactic Heroes instead, although from what I've read and seen, they look pretty good. I still can't quite believe that Warlord have published this or that they've created a range of really nice 28mm figures but I'm really pleased that they have, as it is my all time favourite 2000AD strip. I just hope it doesn't get dropped like some of the other franchises have been in the past.
How did I miss this? My absolute all time favourite 2000AD strip and some superbly sculpted figures including Johnny Alpha, Wulf and Gronk, not to mention the assorted hangers on! The rules might be OK but, if not, there's always Galactic Heroes to fal...
I've just backed the new Galactic Heroes Kickstarter as my reward for a week of hard graft, with a Bounty Hunter level pledge that includes the rules, a pdf copy and access to the Stretch Goals and extras that will be unlocked as the Kickstarter rolls ...