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Pacific Rim project

January 11, 2014

© Warner Bros.

Last year, I saw an awesome film. That film was Pacific Rim, and it is the story of huge piloted robots punching giant monsters in the face with rocket-powered fists. It really struck all the right chords in its blend of cheesy, cool and childish, immature fun.

It’s none too surprising, that I quickly started turning the idea of gaming the film or something similar around in my head. I never did anything with the thought, though, so it was buried under a pile of other half-formed ideas. However, when I received the movie on blu-ray for Christmas and watched it again, the project again bubbled up…

…you know where this is going, right? It’s another project! Likely to provide endless fun and remain unfinished, just like all good projects. Dear reader, I give to you…Pacific Rim in 6mm or so! Sure, it’s not a very imaginative title, but it’s very descriptive.

The Game

Utopia’s warpg approach – a combination of tactical miniatures combat and role-playing sequences – has worked wonderfully, and I’m sure I’ll go that way again here. The Pacific Rim setting provides great opportunities for both. There loads of drama potential with the different pilot teams simultaneously co-operating and somewhat competing on kill counts. Then there’s all the “argggh, my brother is dead”-melodrama and such.

The Rules

This was an easy call. I love the Flying Lead rules system by Ganesha Games, and the company produces another two sets of rules that perfectly fit what I’m doing: Mighty Monsters and Samurai Robots Battle Royale. The first one contains rules for gigantic monsters and the other for huge robots. They’re a perfect match for what I’m doing – there are even ready-made stats for a few of the Pacific Rim jaegers (giant robots). If the Utopia campaign is any indication, the rules will make for a nice, cinematic game. The rules also include the possibility to create your own monsters and robots, which will come in handy.

The Miniatures

The best part of any project, of course. I’m looking to keep this project very manageable, as the Utopia game is running simultaneously and this will be more of a side project. What this means is that I’m looking at around six or so jaegers and a similar number of kaiju – monsters, that is. For me, this is a foray into new territory: 6mm scale miniatures. At least I’m thinking it’s 6mm. Shows how much I know.

Anyway, I’m basically drawing from a single source for my jaegers: Reaper Miniatures’ CAV line. Here are my picks:

cav_weasel cav_hemi cav_waraxe cav_dauntless cav_hawk cav_spitfire

I love how the models are really characterful. They’ll of course receive cool names, interesting crews and things like that, but they already tell a story just by existing. A bit like Cherno Alpha. No, really, don’t these machines simply get you thinking about their stories? Combined with this jaeger name generator, one of those just might be Helios TornadoShrike Brigand, Emerald Havoc or Lucky Diablo…and this is why I love new projects.

The kaiju are more of a challenge. They have a really unique look in the film, but luckily I’m not much of a purist. So far I’ve come up with the following:

knifehead scunner

The two minis above are official Pacific Rim clix minis. They should be about the right size for this project.

stone_elemental

This is a stone elemental by Reaper Miniatures. While it looks nothing like the two monsters above, I have a feeling that it might be possible to paint it to resemble not stone, but thick hide and plates of bone. We’ll see! I love the sheer brute strength the model radiates. 

teraph

seraph

The Teraph and the Seraph are from Privateer Press’ Hordes line. They’re cheerfully original looking, with multiple limbs and eyeless heads. I can see them getting thrown around in densely populated urban areas.

The challenge in finding suitable minis for the kaiju is that they shouldn’t be too readily recognizable as something else. This efficiently rules out most things like Tyranids and monsters from D&D and the Cthulhu mythos. If any of you readers come up with good ideas, I’m all ears.

The Terrain

I’ve decided to make the terrain on the cheap. This will probably mean a lot of paper terrain, which is luckily readily available for free. I’m tempted to build a seashore piece, as in Pacific Rim the kaiju wade out of the ocean (to attack cities on, you know, the Pacific Rim). I might add in some pre-cut mdf or cardboard terrain too, as there are some pretty sweet bridges and the like available. I’ve long been wanting to use some gloss effect paints, and painting water is a good use for them.

So here’s my first hype post about an upcoming project. The first minis have been ordered, so this is officially underway. Feedback welcome as usual!

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9 comments

  1. This sounds awesome. Watching with interest.


    • Thanks Barks!


  2. Nice! Looking forward to seeing more.


    • Thanks Paul! I’ll try and get something done 😀


  3. Very nice. I followed Pacific Rim through its production and while the movie had room for some improvement, it really was much better than I was expecting. Its extra nice that you went for 6mm for this as its my second favourite toy soldier scale and the first scale that really cut my teeth on, so lots of nostalgia factor for me 🙂

    Im credited as a playtester for Mighty Monsters, which makes me even more invested, although giant robots and kaiju have been on my mind for the >30 years since I watched G-Force/Battle of the Planets/Science Force Gatchaman as a kid. I have not played nearly as many games of the two rules systems that you mention as I would like though: it hasnt quite bubbled to the top of my very busy project list for the last couple of years. I will be living vicariously through your project for a while yet too 🙂

    The Reaper CAV stuff looks perfect for the setting to me. Some of the old Kryomek aliens from Scotia Grendel may work as kaiju, although matching miniatures with the particular look that the Pacific Rim kaiju have might be tough. Again, the kaiju choices that you have made so far look great. As well as some GW titans I have many gashapon that get fielded in this sort of thing, Gamera, Godzilla, Kiryu, Rodan, Gaos etc.

    I also put together some crowds of 6mm civilians, cops on motorcycles, fire engines and the like, but I have yet to use them in a game. I also painted up some 6mm Power Rangers and some heroes and individual little kids (the flashback scene with the young Mako is possibly my favourite part of Pacific Rim) and alien invaders, but again I have yet to use them.

    http://sho3box.wordpress.com/tag/kaiju/

    Hopefully this project will stoke those 6mm fires again for me, while simultaneously giving you a lot of fun.

    So get on it! 😉


    • Thanks for the comment Paul! Pacific Rim had room for improvement? What? Where? Ok, there could’ve been some more jaeger/kaiju action and the hipster scientist is annoying. Still, it’s one of the single most fun movies I’ve seen in ages, striking a perfect balance between cool and cheesy. It also has a giant robot hitting a giant monster with a ship, so there’s that.

      I’ve been looking into the Kryomek aliens, and some of those might find their way into the game. I only just remembered I have a largish Tyranid creature (an old Lictor, actually: https://dawnofthelead.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/lictor-genestealer.jpg) and with a headswap and some greenstuff I think it will make a lovely kaiju. I love what you’ve done with your 6mm stuff, definitely inspirational! It really is a strange scale for me, but then again the only minis I’m painting are 50mm or so 😀

      I’m happy to provide you a vicarious project. Funny how our interests tend to go down pretty similar routes! Obviously a sign of a promising bromance.


      • Putting issues of bromance to one side for now (to be returned to at a later date), I would like to clarify that while I thought that PR had room for improvement, I loved it for the cheesy, aimed-squarely-at-11-year-old-boys feast of exploding badassery that it was. In some ways it is a film that I waited my whole life to see. I just wish that I was twelve when I saw it.

        As for 6mm being a weird scale, once you get into painting infantry at that scale it becomes an joy. Conversions and unique bits of miniature expression can be achieved in a fraction of the time that the same thing would take in 28mm.

        My giant robot/kaiju 6mm project will happen over the next few years, but for now I wait hungrily for your next update.

        Good luck!


  4. How are the Ganesha Games rules? Have you tried them out?

    I have played their original Songs game, and enjoyed it. I’m curious about the rules. Unfortunately, funds are elsewhere due to moving house, so can’t afford to drop the cash on both sets of rules. Do they solely contain Robots in one and Kaiju in the other? Or could I get away with getting one book? My main focus will be the Kaiju, due to how disparate their powers can be compared to your mecha. So as long as there’s a few builds for robots in Mighty Monsters, that might be my choice. But I’m not sure.

    In the past I have built a board for 28mm/Heroclix scale figures [https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t1.0-9/261720_10150213007379220_3747294_n.jpg] and as tempting as it was to get a 6 inch or larger Godzilla figure to go with those guys, I feel like it’d be much more fun to go the other way, and build another cardboard city, but in the 6mm tiny scale.

    Good luck with your project!


    • Thanks for the comment RW! The GG rules are very nice, I’ve had a few quick test games with them. If you’re familiar with the Songs mechanics, they’re easy to pick up. If you’re only picking up one set, go with Mighty Monsters, as it also has rules for robots. SRBR adds plenty more detail, but if your focus is on kaiju, MM will do nicely. Then again, the price difference between just one game and the bundle is only $6, and you get a second full game.

      Really liked that shot of your table, I’ve always dreamed of building a nice 28mm cityscape like that!



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