Archive for the ‘Giant monsters’ Category


Giant monster inspiration

March 16, 2014


When I’m doing a project, I tend to go crazy over inspirational media related to it. In that spirit, I present to you two film trailers linked to my current Pacific Rim project:


From GeekTyrant:

The film picks up years after E Day, the worldwide attack of massive insect like beasts, as the remaining humans from all walks of life must band together to survive and fight back against the monstrous invaders. Viewers are introduced to Ellen (Ceren Lee), a mother who has lost her child, and watch as she prepares to play a major role in the human resistance. The cast also includes Steve Braun (Wrong Turn 2), and Erica Gimpel (Veronica Mars).

The hit graphic novella series Enormous, tells of how humanity is plunged down the food chain when an ecological event creates gargantuan beasts that decimate civilization. The series explores how humans react and cope with survival from multiple points of views and from multiple settings around the planet. In the tone of Cloverfield and The Walking Dead, Enormous focuses on strong characters and complicated relationships with the monsters as the background.

Sounds pretty groovy to me. It’s a web series, and premieres on March 20th.


Oh, you ‘ve probably never heard of Godzilla. Apparently it’s some kind of a monster movie.

From IMDb:

An ancient colossal creature is accidentally awakened by mankind, and seemingly leaves nothing but destruction in its wake, as its presence becomes known to the world.

Official site can be found here. The movie premieres in the US on May 16th.

Really looking forward to both of these!


Street life

March 13, 2014

One of my all time greatest challenges when designing an urban board has been the creation of the city streets. Fixed or modular? Plastic, sandpaper, cardboard, felt? Should I paint in road markings? Maybe print out graphics and stick them to something? Seriously, plenty of projects have fallen on the wayside because I haven’t been able to figure out a good way to make all the streets before enthusiasm for the project has waned. As I don’t want my Pacific Rim project to go down that road, something had to be done.

I took a trip down to a hardware store. I had a plan to buy some vinyl flooring mat, if I could find a suitable texture or print. On my way to the flooring section, I happened to pass through the wallpaper section, and there were some pretty nice designs there, including one that had a suitable grey colour and some lovely texturing. I ended up buying a roll, which is approximately 10 times more than I’ll probably ever need in my wargaming life. The texture might be a bit large for 2-3mm scale, but then again pretty much anything apart from sandpaper is. This also allows me to use the wallpaper for building streets for 28mm as well. The wallpaper is surprisingly durable, and any small wear simply shows up as small white spots which don’t look out of place with the texture.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Now I had a roll of wallpaper looking an awful lot like blacktop, but nothing to attach it to. The smart guy that I am, I marched into the fiberboard section and bought some thin fiberboard. I then got home, cut the fiberboard into two smaller sections, taped the edges, glued some wallpaper on and had a perfect playing field! Or rather, would’ve had if I had remembered a little something called “warping”. As it was, I ended up with a wonky piece of fiberboard, which I simply binned rather than try and spend time to straighten it.

Next I turned to an old favourite of mine, blue insulation foam. I had used this to build a Blood Bowl pitch and most of an Aliens game board (which I really should finish one of these days), so it was a familiar material. I picked up a leftover piece, tried gluing some wallpaper to it with PVA glue and well…

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

…it turned out lovely, actually. What did we learn here? Find something that works (blue foam) and stick (wallpaper) to it. With this, I’ve bought a few sheets of Finnfoam which is our local brand of insulation foam. We’ll see what comes out of this! Comments welcome as always.


Pre-painted buddies

February 23, 2014

Two more additions to my Pacific Rim project, which is pretty much complete when it comes to miniature acquisitions. Now all I need to do is start actual work on the project instead of just buying things. That’s not entirely true, actually, as I’ve got a fair few buildings put together already! More about those in a later post.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

First up is Sasha Hammer. It’s a Heroclix mini, and the character portrayed is apparently an enemy of Iron Man’s. Just so you know. The mini itself is actually very nice, and fits the Pacific Rim aesthetic. With a slightly forward leaning pose, bulky upper body and reverse-jointed legs, the model gives off an air of menace. Sizewise it’s comparable to the other mechs I have, see end of post.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Joining the kaiju side is Zorog. Part of the Monsterpocalypse line, Zorog is an impressively large model. Most of the Monsterpocalypse (or “Monpoc” as it’s often called) minis are too cartoony to use in serious giant monster gaming, but Zorog fits in nicely – even with his massive pincers. Tall and bulky, Zorog received a larger 50mm base as opposed to the 40mm ones on (under?) the rest of the cast.

Both of these miniatures are actually quite nice as far as pre-paints go, and the vinyl is quite rigid. Of course they will be repainted, but if you were feeling lazy, they could be used as is. Both were fairly easy to pop off their bases.

Here’s a comparison pics to illustrate their size compared to my earlier purchases:

L to R: Sasha Hammer, Reaper CAV Weasel, Zorog, Pacific Rim Heroclix Scunner

L to R: Sasha Hammer, Reaper CAV Weasel, Zorog, Pacific Rim Heroclix Scunner

Now to actually get painting!


CAV mechs by Reaper – a review

February 6, 2014

As part of my Pacific Rim project (see previous posts) I ordered some mechs from Reaper Miniatures‘ CAV line. They were such nice models that I figured I’d review them for the benefit of other hobbyists as well.

By way of disclaimer I have to say that I know nothing about the CAV: Strike Operations game, so I’ll be reviewing these purely from a “giant robots to be used in Pacific Rim style gaming” point of view. I’ll happily take the liberty of interpreting the designs as I view them, so vents might become guns and so on!

All the miniatures are sculpted by Chris Lewis, and have integral metal bases. I’ve glued them to 40mm plastic bases. There were no major casting issues, only minor mould lines and very little flash on some models. All except one of the models are four part castings consisting of torso, legs and two arms. The parts fit together nicely on all the models.

You can find all the miniatures in Reaper’s online store. Prices are from approximately 7.50 EUR to 8.30 EUR.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Hawk has a strong Transformers vibe, mostly due to the chest reminiscent of Optimus Prime. Hawk stands at around 49mm from the bottom of his soles to the tips of the things on his back. I’m not entirely sure what they are, although their design and the mech’s name suggest some sort of jet engines. They might be weapons, too. Anyone more familiar with the game, feel free to comment! Hawk’s smallis stature made me put it on a washer to give him a slight height boost. Of all the models in this review, Hawk might be my least favourite one – it’s just a bit boring. Hawk is the exception to the “models come in four parts” rule, as his back..things add an extra two parts.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

If Hawk was Transformers, Spitfire is Gundam. With sharp edges, reverse jointed legs and sloping armour, this one is the most high tech looking of the selection, and the first word that springs to mind is “sleek”. Spitfire isn’t too tall, standing at approximately 47mm from the bottom of his soles to the top of its head. This is a lovely, lovely design, and one of my favourites. Spitfire’s bracers have hollows that I envision as weapon barrels or housings for retractable weapons.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Weasel reminds me of an old boxer with its arched back, long arms and broad shoulders. The somewhat retro pose and design further reinforce this thought. Weasel is surprisingly characterful for a giant robot! While Weasel only stands at around 43mm or so. However, the squat design with the head a part of the torso makes the model look bigger than it is. There are four barrels on Weasel’s chest, and the pose suggests that they’re about to fire something. A bit like this piece from Pacific Rim:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

The first impression I got from Hemi was “lanky”. With a fairly short torso and long legs, it reminds me of an ent from the LotR movies. Of course this ent is metal and has a pod of six rockets on the right shoulder, which makes a slight difference. There are also four barrels/vents on its chest, a searchlight on the left shoulder and two fins on its back. There’s something very menacing and purposeful in the design. Hemi is roughly 46mm tall.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Dauntless might be my favourite of the lot. 50mm tall, clunky, bulky and swinging two massive fists, Dauntless is definitely the Cherno Alpha of  this group. In addition to the very heavily built legs, Dauntless has two cannons on its shoulders. While the mech is only a few millimetres taller than the rest, it’s roughly 15mm wider than Hemi for example. You can really see the difference in the comparison pictures below. The size combined with the gorilla-like stance makes Dauntless look believably brutal.


Click for a larger version

Waraxe is the tallest of the models reviewed, at a whopping 56mm. As the name suggests, the mech carries a large axe. No, seriously. It’s a giant robot wielding a giant axe. How’s that for awesome! In addition to its namesake axe, the robot has a shoulder cannon as well as another gun in its left hand, reminiscent of a tonfa (aka nightstick). It has a slimmer build than Dauntless, and to my eye it looks a lot like a cylon from the new edition of Battlestar Galactica. The shoulder guards on Waraxe bug me a little bit, as they’re completely flat on the inside lending them an unfinished look.

Overall verdict: Well, these are some fine models. While writing the review I found it surprisingly difficult. Having never been into giant robots as a genre, I didn’t have many things to compare these to. I bought them for use in my Pacific Rim project, and for that they will be lovely as they’re a very characterful bunch. With good casting quality and nice sculpting, the main risk here would be boring designs for the robots, but that has been avoided here. Well ok, Hawk is a little boring, but he can be the exception to the rule. While I have a very specific use for the models, I can see them getting use in plenty of contexts and scales, so if you’re looking for some nice giant robots, you could do far worse than these.

The comparison pictures show the size of the mechs compared to each other. I also threw in some Pacific Rim Heroclix kaiju, as I figured there might be interest.


L to R: Weasel, Dauntless, Hawk


L to R: Waraxe, Dauntless, Hemi


L to R: Waraxe, Spitfire, Hemi

L to R: Heroclix Knifehead, Spitfire, Heroclix Scunner

L to R: Heroclix Knifehead, Spitfire, Heroclix Scunner




Size matters

January 23, 2014

So, my recent foray into the world of tiny miniatures continues. Remember a few posts back, when I said I would be doing Pacific Rim in 6mm or so? Oh, silly, silly me!

Why? Let me demonstrate. Below is a picture of one of my kaiju (an old, converted GW tyranid) standing next to a tall building in 6mm scale:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

See? Pathetic. The kaiju and jaegers in Pacific Rim are massive creatures, around a hundred metres or so tall, which should make them about the height of a 30-story building. Since I want to use miniatures that are around 50-60mm tall, that means I need to make the buildings a lot smaller. Which I did.

After playing around with Photoshop and the office printer, I had this:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Now THAT looks like a kaiju. This puts my project firmly in the 2-3mm scale. Or as I used to refer to it before: “pffffft look at all the silly scales people game in, that’s ridiculous.” There are actually a lot of nice things about this scale. For example, I don’t really need to make any humans, nor any vehicles smaller than trucks. I can also buy airplanes, tanks, ships and the like for a pittance, paint them quickly and scatter them all over the battlefield to be used as thrown weapons or blunt objects. The small scale also means that printed cardstock terrain looks really nice, even if it’s just a collection of simple box shapes.

Also, apologies for the less than stellar photo quality. They’re just quick snaps without any lighting set up!


Imaginary friends

January 16, 2014

When I’m getting started on a new project, I tend to immerse myself in it. I’m not really into doing intricate research to get every minute detail right, but rather I’m just consuming as much of source material as I can. In the case of Pacific Rim there’s of course the movie, the art/making of -book, the comic and the movie novelization (which I might or might not get), as well as a killer soundtrack. Then there’s the name generator mentioned in the previous post, plus another awesome tool: the Jaeger Designer.

The designer is a marketing tool for the film, and allows you to easily create your own jaeger posters with your own (albeit very limited) giant robot designs. I played around with it a bit and combined it with the names I created using the name generator, and now I have four named jaegers. While I don’t know whether they’ll make an actual appearance in-game, they’ve already got enough character that they’ll at least feature in back stories and get referenced in games. The designer is also a great way to try out different paint schemes for jaegers.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Emerald Havoc, Shrike Brigand, Lucky Diablo and Helios Tornado!





Now, a post like this might seem a bit silly. After all, there’s not much substance as such. No pretty minis, no built terrain, nothing. Still, in some ways this is the best part of a project for me: there’s not much actual work, my imagination is running wild and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. Things that hamper projects, like painting slumps, scheduling problems and bored demotivation aren’t yet a part of it. What’s not to like?


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.


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. 



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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