Posts Tagged ‘Colonial Marines’

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Utopia #3 – The hunters hunted

December 29, 2012

We just finished the third game of Utopia a few hours ago. If you’ve been following the progress of the campaign, you’ll know the last game ended with Sergeant Salt Brauer promising his superiors they’d make amends for killing the Predator they encountered – by capturing a live one. The orders were simple: no firearms, bring the creature back alive.Off went Utopia squad 16 (“The Sweet Sixteen” as they were instantly named), armed with tasers, flashbangs and a tranquilizer rifle, to bring down a Predator in the jungles of Triton-4. The squad’s sniper Wu managed to use his contacts in the munitions department to set himself up with some heavy duty poison darts for the tranq rifle. Hey, if the Predator died, it would be the scientists’ fault for supplying the wrong kind of darts! Meanwhile, trooper “Dog” Lau stole a thermal camera to help the squad get a bead on their prey.

With Cpl. Rodriguez injured and Pvt. Iljutsh dead, two new troopers joined the squad:

Pvt. Hämäläinen – a dour, quiet Finn. Hämäläinen keeps to himself and tends to his gear meticulously. His sullen mood prompted the squad’s medic Evans to arrange for Hämäläinen to receive a call from his mother to help his wellbeing.

Pvt. Bedford – the Brit Bedford is a passionate feminist. Coming from a career in private security and joining the military due to “workplace disagreements”, Bedford is a tough woman who can hold her own.

The squad moves out

The squad moves out

The squad set down and spread out towards three possible target sightings (we were using three Predator models on the table, with only one being the actual creature), with the exception of Pvt. Lau, who just happened to wander off alone – right into the line of sight of all the potential attackers. A moment later there was a flash of plasma, and Lau went down screaming. Before he fell, he managed to catch a glimpse of the attacker, eliminating the other two possibilities.

While the tech Ghillian ran to check on Lau, the squad turned their attention towards their so-called prey. At this point it became painfully obvious, that their weapons had a dreadfully poor range, and they would need to close with the Predator to actually knock it out.

The Predator wasn’t going to stand around waiting. Instead it charged out and impaled Pvt. Bedford with its wristblades. As the cloaked creature raised the screaming, thrashing trooper into the air, a wave of panic rippled through the squad. Brevet Corporal Haugen-Ankerson fled into the jungle, while a few others retreated. The squad was in shock over Bedford’s fate, and they were unable to stop the now de-cloaked Predator from charging across the clearing at Pvt. Ghillian. Having just checked that Lau was ok, Ghillian barely had time to register that she was under attack before the Predator’s vicious blades slashed her apart. Covered in blood and panicking, Lau clambered away on his hands and knees.

The last moments of Pvt. Ghillian

The prone Lau witnesses the last moments of Pvt. Ghillian

The creature’s charge had brought it out in the open, and Wu wasted no time. The sniper selected one of his poison darts and sent it into the Predator – to apparently no effect. The alien strode towards Lau, who desperately fired his taser. Laughing, the Predator tore out the darts and wires and then promptly keeled over, Wu’s potent poison working its way through the alien’s system.

The Predator is down!

The Predator is down!

No time was wasted by the squad as they mobbed the Predator. Sgt. Brauer tased the creature once more for good measure, and they swiftly tied up its hands and feet. Meanwhile, Hämäläinen got on Ghillians radio and called the dropship in. It was now only a matter of waiting for pick-up.

Evans tends to the Predator as Jane and Brauer look on

Evans tends to the Predator as Jane and Brauer look on

Problems did appear, though. First of all, the Predator was dying, its breathing slowing down and foam coming out of its mouth. Secondly, as if the Predator wasn’t enough, it was becoming apparent what they had been hunting, as Xenomorphs were suddenly appearing and could be seen skulking in the jungle.

The medic Evans did what she could with the Predator. Whether it was due to her xenobiologist ex-boyfriend or just luck, she managed to actually stabilize the creature. Around her the rest of the squad were throwing flashbangs and frag grenades (that weren’t expressly forbidden in the mission briefing) to keep the Aliens at bay as they waited for the dropship to arrive. Amidst all the chaos, Hämäläinen managed to establish radio contact with Haugen-Ankerson, who was returning from her panicked flight. The only problem was that Haugen-Ankerson’s way back brought her very close to one of the approaching Aliens…

Finally the dropship roared in, guns blazing. Sgt. Brauer quickly gave the order to fall back, and the squad packed itself into the dropship. Brauer himself heroically stood in the doorway as his second in command Haugen-Ankerson sprinted through the jungle and dived in the ship with the Xenomorphs snapping at her heels. The dropship soared into the sky, and squad 16 finally left Triton-4 behind. While their two missions had both been successful, victory had come at a heavy price: two troopers were dead and one missing and presumed dead. It was now apparent why ghost stories were told about the planet.

The third game of Utopia was as fun as the previous two, and for the same reasons. It was filled with drama, excitement and cinematic moments. I was a bit worried that I might’ve made the Predator a bit too powerful as it slashed its way through two troopers in two consecutive turns, but luckily our heroes turned the tide and put the creature down. The small RPG session at the start of the game are an essential part of the game, and they really breathe life into the characters. Sgt. Brauer’s drinking problem has evolved to the point where he simply eats powdered beer without bothering with the water anymore, while Pvt. Haugen-Ankerson is busy writing her wedding invitations and the Sweet Sixteen fight with Sgt. Hiroshi’s 12th squad over bragging rights.

Yes, I think this game actually works.

 

 

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Utopia #2 – Triton revisited

November 28, 2012

I’m happy to report that we played the second game of Utopia yesterday. After the events of Kessler-11, our group of misfits was in for another adventure. The mood was pretty low – the first combat deployment of the squad had left two members dead and one hospitalized. Imagine then the joy of a safer mission, one of reconnaissance and protection! Three new troopers joined the squad:

Pvt. Iljutsh – a former Russian truck driver who got into trouble for doing some illegal business on the side back on Earth. Generally likable despite his somewhat dishevelled appearance.

Pvt. Jane – A young, hulking man straight from the academy. Jane knows the manual back to front and is very motivated by the service in general. He’s also a very good poker player.

Pvt. Ghillian – Replacing the deceased Bjornssen as the squad’s technician, Ghillian is a young woman and a wizard with computers. She has a nice collection of retro 21st century music, which now replaces the Union of Terra official background music playing in the crew quarters.

In happier news, Pvt. Haugen-Ankerson had just gotten engaged, and the crew threw her a party. For some reason this made Sgt. Brauer even more sombre than usual. Not even the fact that his service would come to an end in a few days would cheer him up, nor would the sangria made from moonshine and powdered synthetic orange juice.

A team of scientists would be setting down on a planet to research strange signals and energy bursts that seemed to be alien in nature. Might it finally be a contact with another civilization? Oh, it was.

Unfortunately for the squad, the planet turned out to be none other than the notorious Triton-4, a place on par with LV-426 when it comes to ghost stories and urban legends. Even more unfortunate was the fact that the civilization encountered was that of the Yautja, more commonly known as Predators.

The squad set down on Triton-4 to look for a science team that had gone missing. They were looking for clues that would explain the team’s disappearance. The squad was also tasked with mapping the area and discerning the source of the weird signals picked up by the orbital platform’s scanners. Accompanying the squad were Dr. Ernest Klein and his three synthetic assistants (quickly named “Fucking Huey, Dewey and Louie” by Sgt. Brauer), cordially provided by Weyland-Yutani to help with the information gathering. Pvt. Kenny wasn’t too fond of this, his football career ending due to replicant technology being used on players leading to higher performance compared to unmodified ones.

At first, everything went nicely. The squad spread out and found some clues. Sgt. Brauer did stumble into a patch of poisonous fungus, but his iron constitution and high tolerance to toxic substances helped him shrug it off. Pvt. Kenny had his flamer fill up with treacle, but was luckily able to clear it up to keep the team’s heavy weapon operational. There was a spot of miscommunication, with the synthetics and the good doctor wondering out from the safety of the landing site, resulting in some heated words from Sgt. Brauer (“You haul those electronic asses back to the landing site on the double!”). Eventually a compromise of sorts was reached, and the civilians allowed to move about a little.

The science team and the last known picture of Pvt. Iljutsh

The squad had been hearing animal roaring and howling since landing, and this finally culminated in an attack by giant dog-like creatures. Despite their fearsome appearance, the beasts were brought down with heavy firepower and things quieted down once again. Pvt. Ghillian managed to repair the communications satellite the previous team had set up, allowing her to locate the source of the signals – it was a clearing on the far side of the area.

Upon reaching the clearing, the squad was surprised to find nothing but some shimmering air, as if distortion from heat. That’s when things started happening. Three red laser dots appeared on Sgt. Brauer, followed by a heavy energy blast that he evaded through sheer luck. The squad went on full alert. A few moments later the communications satellite, at this point unattended, exploded.

Pvt. Kenny approached the shimmering air in the clearing, and found himself bumping into an alien space shuttle. As the squad started wondering about this, an energy blast from an unseen enemy put Pvt. Iljutsh down, heavily wounded. Things started happening. The medic Evans ran over to Iljutsh to help, while most of the troopers nearby did this (with the same effect):

Further away, another energy blast put down the newly promoted Cpl. Rodriguez – instead of one attacker, the squad was facing two. Luckily, Pvt. Wu was at hand. The sniper took careful aim and managed to land a shot on Rodriguez’s nearly invisible attacker, disabling the Predator’s cloaking device in the process. The creature dived into the underbrush to hide and reactivate its cloaking system – hampered by the constant rain.

A Predator in the midst of decloaking

Further away, the torrent of fire unleashed by half of the squad had failed to even injure the second attacker, who promptly emerged from the trees, picked up Iljutsh and then disappeared into the jungle amidst a steady stream of pulse rifle fire. Iljutsh would never be seen again by his squadmates, although he would make an excellent trophy.

Meanwhile the other Predator had managed to activate its cloak and was making haste towards its ship, trailing green blood. In its haste it had completely failed to notice Pvt. Kenny, who was slowly making his way back from the ship towards all the action. Luckily for the Predator, it was able to ambush Kenny and charged into close combat…only to be brought down by a masterful shot from Wu. Despite Sgt. Brauer’s orders, Kenny decided to play it safe and turned his flamer on the wounded creature, torching it. With its last strength, the Predator managed to activate its self-destruct device.

The drop ship had been called, but it wouldn’t make it in time. There was only one thing to do: run! The squad went running for the relative safety of the encampment, with one of the synthetics carrying Cpl. Rodriguez. They made it just seconds before a massive explosion tore through the jungle, scrambling one of the synthetics despite it reaching the landing site. While Iljutsh was missing and Rodriguez was down, the squad had survived.

In their debriefing session Sgt. Brauer was dragged over hot coals for allowing his men to kill a sentient, advanced creature that they had managed to incapacitate. Despite Weyland-Yutani calling for Brauer to be taken to court-martial and executed, Cpt. Jensen allowed Brauer to keep his life and his squad, although it did mean the sergeant’s service would continue until terminated. Brauer also might have accidentally promised to lead his squad to capture a live specimen…

Man, this was another fun game. Lot’s of action and tense, cinematic moments. Suitably frustrated players (“What do you mean I missed? What the hell kind of stats do those Predators have?!”) who still managed to pull off a victory of sorts. No, seriously. Losing only one trooper and managing to complete the main objective plus an additional one to boot – not to mention bringing down one of the Predators – was no mean feat.

The narrative is now really starting to build up, as we were following characters from the previous game. We were also all familiar with the Predator movies, and this game managed to recreate the feel of those quite nicely. The Predators were very hard to kill or even target, resulting in lots and lots of useless shooting. When the Predators shot back, it was basically a trooper down per each shot. I was worried about balancing issues, as I didn’t have time to playtest the scenario, but everything turned out nicely.

The jungle setup

I was happy that I could deploy my jungle terrain for a change, and as you can see from the pictures, I managed to get the Zuzzy mat painted as well. There are only a few pictures unfortunately, as due to the poor lighting all the other pics came out very blurry. Things you can’t really see are the Predator shuttle that I scratchbuilt and the hellhounds from Heresy that are almost finished as I write this. Not to worry, they’ll feature in upcoming posts.

Utopia will continue in a few weeks, most likely with our heroes trying to capture a live Predator. Good luck with that, guys and girls!

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Project Utopia #1 – The start

November 16, 2012

Some of you might remember me time and time again fiddling around with the idea of warpg’s – a combination of wargame and RPG. While I’ve made some forays into it, such as the one-off werewolf game and the short-lived Triton-4, I’ve never really gotten it off the ground. This just might be changing!

My new gaming project called Utopia (from Union of Terra Orbital Platform Insertion and Assault) took off yesterday. The game is a continuation of Triton-4, basically. There’s a game master (that’d be me) and three players, and we are using the wonderful Flying Lead system by Ganesha Games. As the name suggests, the game deals with a squad of troopers sailing around on the massive orbital platform UTP Tien Shan and getting into all sorts of interesting situations. It’s 2100-something AD, and the universe is basically a mash-up of cool scifi influences (Alien, Terminator, Predator, Starship Troopers, Blade Runner, Pitch Black…to name a few), ditching strict internal consistency in favour of having fun and being able to use all the wonderful minis I’ve collected and painted during all these years. What this means is that we might have Weyland-Yutani, the Tyrell corporation and Cyberdyne Systems teaming up to create one hell of a synthetic being in order to fight the growing Arachnid menace, and so on. Canon purists will weep, we will have a great time!

As I mentioned, we had our first game yesterday. We started out by fleshing out the squad of nine by playing a short RPG session before moving on to the miniature game. This worked wonderfully, and we ended up with a pretty awesome group:

Sgt. Salt Brauer, the alcoholic leader of the squad, who is weeks away from completing his tour of duty.

Cpl. “Ace” Wembley, a through-and-through cynic, who also tends to take to drink to forget why she’s in the service in the first place.

Pvt. Lim Evans, the highly motivated, beautiful young female medic.

Pvt. Chora Haugen-Ankerson, Sgt. Brauer’s only friend who reminds him of his second ex-wife. She’s a large lady, and currently training to become an NCO.

Pvt. Wu, the resident sniper from Athens. Wu has good contacts in the supply department, and can get you pretty much anything you want.

Pvt. Diego “Ding” Rodriguez, who comes from a privileged family. After his father was sentenced into prison for shady financial dealing regarding orbital platforms, Diego was forced to sign up.

Pvt. Bjornssen, who is a large, mild-mannered Norwegian and the squad’s tech expert.

Pvt. “Dog” Lau, who’s a pretty despicable, scrawny and shady character with bad personal hygiene. He always tends to be up to his elbows in trouble over one of his schemes.

Pvt. Kenny, who never made it as a professional football player. Kenny is a hulking guy, although not the sharpest pencil in the box. He wields a dreaded flame unit.

Just like that, with maybe 20-30 minutes of light role-playing, we had nine personalities instead of “marine #3” and “NCO w/ shotgun”. This made it much more fun to wade into the miniatures part.

The first mission was set up as follows: the workers on the Alpha moon of the planet Kessler-11 had rebelled and captured the valuable refineries and mining towns. The orbital platform -based troopers would strike key locations around the moon in order to capture or eliminate the separatist leaders. It fell to this particular squad to take the refinery town of Velasco Creek. The town had been taken over by former workers’ representative Bjarn Halmer. Halmer’s workers had received a shipment of weapons from unknown sources and overcome the local police and security forces. They had also captured Weyland-Yutani representative Eldon Burke (related).

A negotiation situation had been arranged. What the rebels didn’t know was that the Union of Terra simply does not negotiate with terrorists, and had no intention of actually getting into any talks – with the exception of possibly trying to save Mr. Burke at the request of the corporation. The orders were clear: the squad was to eliminate Halmer’s men, and if possible, rescue Burke and capture Halmer alive.

How did it go?

Pretty well, actually. The squad split into two groups. While a larger group of six moved towards the landing pad where the negotiations were to take place, a smaller group of three snuck up from behind, climbing one of the large refinery silos for a good vantage point.

The large group was taking pretty long to get to the pad, so Halmer started getting suspicious and anxious. Meanwhile no-one heard Pvt. Rodriguez shove one of the rebel guards down from the top of the silo. After that things started happening pretty quickly.

Pvt. Lau spotted a couple of rebels through the window of a bar. He tried to open fire but this was his first combat mission and he had forgotten to load his gun. Thinking quickly he smashed the window of the bar with his rifle, allowing Pvt. Kenny to fill the interior with a nice blast of flame.

A firefight erupted through the small town of Velasco Creek. Lau and Kenny were hit by a shotgun blast, the furious rebels executed poor Eldon Burke on the spot and Halmer, not knowing that one of his guards up on the silos had been replaced by hostiles, ran right into the open and into the sniper Wu’s lethal sights. Halmer’s death led to half the rebels running away, and everything seemed to be going great for the troopers, who were bulldozing their way through the town and laying down a lot of fire.

All of a sudden one of the rebels managed to actually fire back, and that’s all it took. Bjornssen, the friendly man of the fjords, was no more. Rodriguez and Wu lost their nerve, and for a crucial moment left their vantage point. This breathed some more life into the rebels, and the remaining few got back into position to fire upon the advancing troopers. The same rebel that had killed Bjornssen took another shot and this time dropped Cpl. Wembley. By the time the squad medic got to her, Wembley was already gone. The furious troopers redoubled their efforts and mercilessly gunned down the rebels until only one remained. Despite losing two of his own, Sgt. Brauer kept cool and the remaining rebel was captured for questioning. Pvt. Lau eventually survived, but would need to spend some time hospitalized.

That was the game in a nutshell. A lot of fun, great cinematic moments and improvised narrative as troopers died, flamers roared and guns jammed. A good example of the narrative way the game was handled was that no “out of ammo” result was ever just that. It was always someone having forgotten to load their gun on the dropship, or the gun jamming because of being used as a blunt instrument or something similar. In some places narrative overruled the mechanics. For example, in Flying Lead a model usually has to shoot at the nearest enemy. However, I made an exception to this in the case of Evans the medic. Come on, the so-called rebels were basically civilians with guns! They’re not going to shoot an unarmoured medic with large red crosses on her clothing. Then again, a particularly evil or fanatical character might have, and so on. Flying Lead is a very good system for a game like this, as it is generic and flexible enough to accommodate pretty much anything.

I’m happy to report that none of the problems that we speculated on earlier cropped up. The biggest concern raised was whether the RPG aspect would hinder the tactical task of trying to win the game and vice versa. This never became an issue, and for that a huge thanks needs to go out to my three players. In addition to being experienced gamers, all three are very genre savvy, and it shows.

The RPG element was a big addition to the game, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I guess we humans are (luckily) built to relate to one another, even fictional, roughly sketched-out characters. Funny as it may seem, the deaths of Bjornssen and Wembley were far more meaningful that the deaths of two anonymous troopers. We even role-played a small memorial afterwards. It was hilariously cheezy (since everyone was well aware that we were, in fact, dealing with two wargame characters that had been created a few hours ago and would be replaced in the next session) but also weirdly touching.

All in all, I’m really happy about how all this seems to be turning out. Not only am I hugely motivated to get new stuff and paint what I already have, but I’m also really into miniature gaming for the first time in a long while – Blood Bowl excluded. I’ll be sure to show off all the related projects that this one will undoubtedly spawn!

What’s next? Well, my players will most likely read this post and I like to keep an element of surprise. Let’s just say that I’ll be surprised if we don’t need a new memorial after the next game…

Here are some pictures from the game for your viewing pleasure. While I sadly haven’t had the time to paint my Zuzzy mat yet, it worked nicely as a barren lunar landscape. The two hipstery pics are courtesy of one of my players, Joonas. You can click on the pics for larger versions.

One of the rebels keeps watch – the killer was the one on top of the next silo

The rebel negotiators with Burke in the front and Halmer the guy in green in the back

Pvt. Lau leads with Cpl. Wembley in the back and Pvt. Kenny on the right

A trooper’s eye view with Pvt. Rodriguez on the left and Pvt. Bjornssen on the right

A rebel’s eye view

The medic Pvt. Evans gets to Cpl. Wembley, only to find her dead

Dice roll as the bar goes up in flames

Privates Wu, Bjornssen and Rodriguez keep watch from the top of a silo, with the Blood Bowl die indicating a jammed gun

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From the painting desk #19 – Two more for the corps

October 28, 2012

Some painted stuff for a change, with yet more troopers joining my Colonial Marine/generic scifi force.

The first is another one of Defiance Games‘ UAMC marines. While the crispness leaves much to be desired, they’re still fun to and simple to paint and make for a nice addition to the force.

Defiance Games UAMC marine

Click for a larger version

The second mini is a different story altogether. Hasslefree Miniatures‘ McKenzie has been a favourite of mine since I first saw pictures of the green on the FU-UK forum years ago. You know how some miniatures are just so nice that they almost intimidate you into not painting them? That’s what happened to me here. Eventually I managed to tackle the task and I’m very happy with how the model turned out. It’s a great sculpt, with plenty of detail without getting too cluttered. I also think that the Colonial Marine paint scheme fits the model something lovely.

Hasslefree McKenzie

Click for a larger version

As always, constructive critique and other comments more than welcome.

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From the painting desk #17 – More Colonial Marine specialists

August 30, 2012

It’s a busy time here, with plenty of work. I’ve got a few new projects in the pipeline, and surprisingly this doesn’t even mean I’ve dropped my old ones. The Colonial Marines are still rolling out and they’re slowly moving towards a more generic futuristic army. My latest addition to the force consists of three models from three different manufacturers.

A while back, Paul a.k.a Sho3box commented on how he felt that the Colonial Marines deserved better leadership than that of the inept Lt. Gorman in Aliens.

Click for a larger version

Enter this officer from Copplestone Castings. With his simple stance and his hands behind his back, he really looks like he means business. I’m guessing actual combat drops instead of simulated.

Next up is a CM operating a sentry gun. The model is from Woodbine, and I really like the pose, with the trooper sitting on his knees and casually holding his rifle. I painted the laptop’s screen to suggest that it’s being used to control the sentry gun. I like the way his paintjob turned out, and I’m especially happy with the five o’clock shadow I painted on his face. The sentry gun is from the same set, and it’s a very nice piece of hardware as well. It will join my four em4 sentry guns to help my marines dish out loads of automatic, motion tracking death. The laptop’s screen didn’t photograph too well, due to the gloss varnish on the screen.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Speaking of em4, they produce the third model of this trio. I decided that attaching some form of special forces to the Colonial Marine strength would be fun, so I’m currently painting up these troopers in berets. I settled for a black beret with a silver/steel badge, and in my opinion it looks suitably special force-y. What do you think?

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A fun batch to paint, all were minis that painted up nicely. I ran into a terrible hitch during spray varnishing, as for some reason – humid weather I guess – my Army Painter matt varnish left the models with a horrible, gritty texture and turned all the blacks grey. After some brooding I went back and did a lot of fixing on the minis. The next run with the same can of spray went without a problem, so despite the setback the minis are finally finished.

As always, comments and critique welcome!

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From the painting desk #16 – Marine specialists

June 3, 2012

My Colonial Marine force is steadily progressing from being a small group of models to be used in Space Hulk towards being an actual fighting force of troopers, maybe eventually used in one game or another. My fairly relaxed approach to this project has enabled me to use all sorts of minis as USCM, and this post details another such case. This time it’s three different specialists. They’re all straying from the Aliens movie – you don’t see these guys in the film.

First up is a sniper. The model is a Games Workshop Imperial Guard trooper from the Schaeffer’s Last Chancers set. I’ve cut down the barrel way back when I bought them to make it look less like a lasgun. Looking back, I don’t really regret it.

Click for a larger version

The second model is a support weapon gunner from Defiance Games. Part of their multi-part UAMC marines, I painted this one up to see how they look like when painted as Colonial Marines. Can’t say I’m disappointed, so the DG marines will definitely be joining my force.

Click for a larger version

The third one is a conversion. Not a very complex one though! He was originally an em4 trooper carrying a laser. In my opinion lasers and CMs simply don’t go together, so I chopped down the barrel and added a massive flamer nozzle from GW’s plastic Catachan set. To further enhance the flamer look, I added a small canister from the same plastic flamer to the side of the backpack. I like how it turned out, as it does look like a pretty bad ass heavy flamer.

Click for a larger version

Finally, here’s a group shot of all three. I think they work nicely together despite different manufacturers. As I’ve said, uniform basing and …uniform goes a long way.

Click for a larger version

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Some hasslefree defiance

May 21, 2012

I recently added the Defiance Games UAMC marines to my Colonial Marine review. As I was playing around with assembling the minis, I remembered I had some of Hasslefree‘s wonderful pulse rifles kicking around. These guns are the pick if you’re looking to convert minis to an Aliens setting, so I figured I’d try one out on a DG marine. I did a very quick, rushed job (it’s still in need of putty work and filing), but as you can see, it makes for a very nice Colonial Marine. The size and scale of the HF gun is spot on, and the end result works really well. This combination is definitely worth considering, if you’re looking to make your own on the cheap.

Click for a larger version

The more I keep looking at that, the more my inner struggle against laziness increases. While the guns the DG marines sport are nice enough, the HF pulse rifle is a perfect rendition of the Aliens gun. Luckily I only have a few HF pulse rifles left…for now.

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Colonial Marine review updated

May 15, 2012

I just updated the Colonial Marine review with the UAMC Marines from Defiance Games. Go check out the verdict!

Click for a larger version

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All together now

May 14, 2012

Time to get back on the posting horse again, after my trip to Malaysia. I’ve been a bit busy lately, so really needed to stop for a moment and put a post together in order to keep this blog from going dormant.

I was recently asked to do a group shot of the terrain pieces I’ve finished for the Aliens board game, so I quickly rounded up the nine finished pieces and added some Colonial Marines and Aliens for style and scale. Below you can see the set piece of a valiant CM last stand.

Click for a larger version

Personally I think the miniatures and terrain pieces go together very nicely. What’s most important to me is that they capture that Aliens feel. Then again, I might just be blind to my own work, what do you think?

Also, I have to mention that I just got a new job as a project expert, working on a project focusing on preventing video gaming and gambling addiction in adolescents. So happy about this, as I actually get to combine my degree (MA in Education) with my interests and get paid to do it!

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From the painting desk #15 – Marine medic

April 2, 2012

After a moment of despair and bafflement  I’m back on the painting track. I’ve decided to keep adding to my Colonial Marine force, slowly expanding it outside the Alien canon and building it more into a generic human scifi army. This means I finally get to paint all sorts of wonderful stuff I’ve collected over the years. Maybe I’ll even find a new use for some old models.

I’m currently working on a group of four minis, who will all join the ranks of my CM force as various specialists. First up is a medic. Unarmed and -armoured, she doesn’t really seem to be geared for combat. The model’s posing still suggests that she’s out in the field, so maybe she’s been called up in an emergency situation or perhaps she’s aiding some civilians.

The miniature itself…well, what can I say. It’s a repaint of a Heroclix Paramedic. This was pretty much what I was working with (pic lifted from eBay):

Click for a larger version

While I did strip the model of paint with acetone, I was still left with some gritty, uneven surfaces, flecks of paint etc. Also, I didn’t notice some glaring mould lines until I was far into painting, so I had to go back and scrape them off. To be honest, this was a miniature I just wanted to paint quickly as it had been sitting (with a twin sister) in my miniatures cupboard for ages, so I didn’t do a very thorough job . Some will certainly be bugged by this, for me it was much more important to just finish the mini before I got frustrated by the soft detailing.

I think the model turned out ok. There are problems with it, especially a lack of detail on some parts. For example, a large part of the hair strands have been painted on. The paint coat is very uneven and frankly ugly in some parts, but the varnishing will help a little with this. Below is the medic on her own, as well as with a selection of other Marines. I think she fits in nicely.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

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