Posts Tagged ‘Hasslefree’

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Salute 2017 part 1

April 26, 2017

It’s that time of the year again! Salute 2017 is now behind me, and I’m sitting at an AirBnb in Dublin – the city I’ll be spending the next three months in. As I noticed I haven’t posted in a long while (and the blog is at its slowest in terms of views since January 2010), I figured it’s about time for a post-Salute post. This post will focus on what I bought, I’ll make another one with photos from the show itself. If you can’t wait for the show photos, I suggest you hop on over to this blog for example.

Salute was fun as usual! I spent time with old friends and made new ones. I was especially hanging around the Random Platypus games, which were great fun. If you’re not on the forum yet, you should be.

My Salute haul was quite reasonable, for a given value of reasonable.

Random Platypus dice

Cute Random Platypus dice that I bought to support the forum and because they’re cute random platypus dice.

Plastic Banner Saga miniatures

Plastic miniatures from the Banner Saga boardgame that I was kindly given by Ian of Fenris Games, who I talked into Banner Saga. They’re surprisingly nice miniatures, and should be a nice change from my usual 18th century fare, speaking of which…

© Blue Moon Manufacturing

© Blue Moon Manufacturing

The Duelists and the Duelists booster pack from Blue Moon Manufacturing. I’ve been eyeing these for ages so I grabbed them when I had the chance. Lovely assortment of 18th century civilians here, and really characterful sculpts.

© Wargames Foundry

Balthazar’s Marauders by Foundry was a purchase inspired by three things: my reading up on slavery, visiting the brilliant London, Sugar & Slavery exhibition at the London Docklands museum and my long-standing need to add maroons to my pirate project. Differing from the picture, the pack actually had eight individual miniatures instead of six. They are lovely, lovely sculpts and will give me a great chance to work on different skin tones.

© Wargames Foundry

Three miniatures from this Gun crew by Foundry, that were given to me in the Random Platypus pre-Salute meet-up, as well as a bag of cannon!

© Hasslefree Miniatures

This Random Platypus from Hasslefree Miniatures, that I received as a gift. He’s brilliant, isn’t he?

Sailor and two native miniatures

Three unknown miniatures given to me by Phil of Slug Industries. They’ll find service in my pirate project obviously. Does anyone know where they’re from?

© David Wood

A full Political Parody Party from Dave of Dear Tony Blair. Love these foul little creatures!

North Star pirates

I had lost hope in finding these North Star pirates, but was given them as a gift by Andy from Ainsty Castings. I was super, super happy to have my hands on these.

I got the latest two Hounds of the Dagsterville from Jon who was working the Ainsty stand. They’ll be running around the streets of Port George soonish.

28mm bunny miniatures

And last but not least, these adorable Bunnies from Bad Squiddo Games. I bought them as a gift, purely on their cuteness factor.

Looking back at that list, I was given a lot of miniatures. Either everyone sees me as being really poor, or I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends in this hobby. I’d like to think the latter is the case.

 

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From the painting desk #48 – The Unkillable Frenchman

January 30, 2017

Another miniature finished, this time a pirate from Hasslefree. I’ve been putting off painting him for a while, and the reason is the Hasslefree curse: I love HF minis, but because of the high quality of the sculpts they always feel intimidating, and I find myself thinking I can’t give the mini enough attention. In the end I’ll paint them, enjoy it and love the end result. It has happened before (notice how I’m talking about the same thing on that post, and that was in 2012) and this time was no exception.

The miniature being very characterful, I once again found myself concocting a background story, as I tend to do while painting. So was born Jean Blanc – the Unkillable Frenchman. Pirates like Blackbeard would often count on their fearsome reputation to do their work for them as, after all, it was always better if you could take a ship without firing a shot. I applied this theme to the portly French pirate as well. He was wearing a padded coat and heavy armour, so I assumed these had obviously saved his life more than once, contributing to the legend of the Frenchman impervious to pistol balls and blades. I painted his hair grey to suggest he has been surviving on the seven seas for some time. This nicely tied in with his name, which in turn was a nod towards the original inspiration for the sculpt.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

“The Devil takes care of his own!” say the British merchants.

“Non. C’est simplement une abondance d’armures” thinks captain Blanc according to Traducteur nommé Google.

The captain was great fun to paint. A well-sculpted miniature will do that! No guesswork on facial features, no lacking definition or the usual annoying little problems often found on minis. It’s much easier to paint a nice miniature to a good standard. There were some quality issues uncharacteristic of Hasslefree, namely some pitting of the metal on the sword and the back of his coat, but nothing serious.

I went for a combination of bright and subdued tones, and picked a darker skintone than normal. After complaining in my previous post about laying paint on too thick, I paid extra attention to thinner layers and utilized my wet palette to what I think is good effect. For once, I’m really, really happy with a finished mini! I even painted some freehand wood grain on his peg leg, and I all but hate painting freehand.

As the lightbox tends to have really harsh lighting (note to self: might need a thicker filter), here’s a more natural, warmer shot of Blanc as part of the Queen’s crew. As you can see, he’s a big, bulky guy:

Pirate crew

Click for a larger version

That’s miniature #4 of 2017 finished. I’m going on a six week trip to Malaysia and Indonesia starting next Sunday, so that will sadly put an end to my painting for a month and a half. Still, I can think of far, far worse distractions, and obviously I’ll be taking a bunch of pirate books along for some holiday reading.

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From the painting desk #21 – More Utopia

April 14, 2013

Wow, this is actually my 250th post. While the blog hasn’t been updated as frequently as before, I ensure you it’s still going strong. As the blog now has a quarter of a thousand posts, I figured I’d give you a look at what’s up.

As you can’t have failed to notice, I’ve been running a near future military scifi campaign for a while now. With seven games played (AAR #7 coming soon!) this is the longest campaign I’ve run in good long while, and both I and the players have really enjoyed it. You can find the associated posts by checking out everything tagged Utopia. The campaign has not only allowed me to use a lot of my miniatures, but also has really inspired me to paint minis and build terrain a lot. Deadlines help too!

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Anyway, it’s on with the minis in chronological order. First up is a hunting beast for my Predators. The miniature is actually a hellhound by Heresy with the choice of a skeletal head. I really liked the idea of Predators using dog-like hunting creatures as shown in the Predators film. This one’s by no means a full match, but I think it looks fearsome and alien enough. Like practically all of the Heresy multipart minis, I had plenty of work getting the hound to a paintable state. There were some heavy mould lines and the fit of the parts really wasn’t stellar. After I’d all but finished painting it, I found out to my delight that I’d missed a glaring mould line on the hound’s side. As I didn’t want to ruin the paintjob, I painted some scarring over it, which I think turned out nice.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Next up is a conversion. While originally painted for Utopia, this fellow hasn’t appeared on the field so far. It’s actually the late-ish Pvt. Jane, who was captured fighting the Terminators. As you can see, he has been subjected to horrible experimentation and has been made into a cyborg. The model is a warbot from Pig Iron Productions with a head from Puppetswar and a minigun from Maxmini. I think the parts work nicely together and combine well to make a really intimidating figure. The paintjob is super simple, with basically just washes and drybrushing on the bulk. I paid more attention to the face, and I think it turned out looking pretty good. That resin head is pretty awesome, and I basically made this conversion just so I could justify buying the head…

L to R: Trill, Cohl, Abdul, Dastevan. Click for a larger version

L to R: Trill, Cohl, Abdul, Dastevan. Click for a larger version

Up next is a bunch of Utopia troopers – Trill, Cohl, Abdul and Dastevan. Nothing too special here, they were all given my typical trooper treatment. Trill is a Hasslefree mini, Cohl is a SWAT sniper from Foundry and Abdul and Dastevan are both from em4. I think Cohl is a good example of how a paint job can really change the way a model looks.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Topping off the post is General Hyun – set to appear in the upcoming Utopia AAR #7. Hyun is a Copplestone Castings miniature and I’m really really happy with him. Somehow those greys just turned out lovely and the uniform looks very crisp. I rarely get the feeling that I really nailed a mini, but with this one I’m patting my own back. Please refrain from posting ego-crushing comments!

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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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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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Sizing up

March 2, 2012

To my regular readers, apologies in advance. The post mentions a fair few points that I’ve made earlier, so there’ll probably be a feeling of repetition here.

Miniature size/scale is one of those things that tends to come up whenever different ranges are discussed. Some people will stalwartly refuse to combine different ranges in their games, if they’re not stylistically compatible. I used to be one of these people. However, as years have gone by I’ve started to alter my stance. See, the Colonial Marine review I did left me with a slew of miniatures from various manufacturers, in different sizes and styles. As I tend to favour a “waste not, want not” approach when it comes to miniatures (and stuff in general), I figured that the differences weren’t such a problem.

I think that one of the main reasons for the aversion to mixing sizes and styles comes from the way we view miniatures. Most comparisons are done at eye level, setting the miniatures next to each other and noting all the differences. However, when gaming we view the minis from what – half a metre, metre (that’s two to three feet for all you silly ancient measurement system types) up? In most games they aren’t next to each other either, and our eye will probably focus on the uniting factors, such as paint schemes and basing, instead of the differences.

Allow me to demonstrate. In the pictures below there’s a variety of scifi miniatures from six different manufacturers painted with a similar colour scheme. There are major differences in size and proportions, and viewed next to one another, the ranges certainly don’t look too compatible in terms of size and style, although the paint scheme and basing does help.

L to R: Woodbine, Denizen, Copplestone, 1st Corps, Hasslefree, em4, em4 plastic. Click for a larger version

Let’s have a look at the picture below. For some obscure reason my Marines have wandered onto a Blood Bowl pitch, where they are about to take on the Drakwald Ravens who are incidentally another group of miniatures of various styles and manufacturers. The photo is taken from a gamer’s eye view, e.g. me sitting down and viewing the game board from a usual gaming height. See my point? The same size and style differences are still present, but in my humble opinion they are far less prominent, even to the point of being negligible. The eye is drawn to the different bases (green vs. grey) and colour schemes (the Marines’ green and camo vs. the Ravens’ black and purple). What we have here is not a motley collection of miniatures of various sizes and styles, but rather two coherent factions.

Click for a larger version

Your mileage may vary, of course, but I believe that sticking too adamantly to a single manufacturer’s ranges will sometimes unnecessarily limit your options. Naturally if you’re painting miniatures only for display, it’s another story. If not, do something wild (well, ‘geek-wild’) and try mixing two or more ranges if you haven’t already.

Crazy, I know!

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Rumble in the jungle

July 29, 2011

Triton-4 has kicked off nicely! I’ve noted that the game provides both the motivation and the concrete incentive to do a lot of work on miniatures and terrain – so far we’ve played about a game per week, and that leaves me a week to finish whatever is needed for the next scenario or two. This weeks accomplishment was painting the three miniatures below – a pilot and a co-pilot/generic trooper from Woodbine, and a scientist from Hasslefree. All were used in a scenario detailed later on. I’m happy with how they turned out, and they were a joy to paint.

Click for a larger version

So far we have played three scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Landing on Triton-4

This was a peculiar wargaming scenario in that there was a distinct possibility of there not being any fighting at all. The two marine squads (numbering five each) landed on the planet. Their mission was to investigate the jungle near the landing site and find a suitable location for a communications satellite, allowing the USS Hades to transfer supplies and personnel down to the planet.

The marines went through the jungle in a fairly orderly fashion. A lot of strangeness was discovered, including dismembered animals, an abandoned camp site and a data recording device with unknown insignia. The only real action the marines got was when a weird flying creature attacked one of them. Some brutal hand to hand ensued, and finally Sgt. Kosltezlo was able to bring the creature down. The marines then found a suitable spot for the comm station, and set it up. Below are a few satellite photos (disturbed by the atmosphere, naturally) of the proceedings.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Scenario 2 – Rescue

With the comm station in place, traffic from orbit was ready to start. Disaster struck soon, however, as a dropship carrying one of the lead scientists suffered an engine malfunction and crashed. The pilot, co-pilot and the scientist all survived, but were now stranded in the middle of the jungle. To make matters worse, military technicians had been able to decrypt some data from the recording device found earlier, revealing a xenomorph presence on the planet.

With most marines stuck fortifying and building the base, Sgt. Kosltezlo took three marines with him to find the missing people. Xenomorphs were indeed present, and the crash survivors were quickly running and fighting for their lives. To make matters worse, most shots fired attracted more and more xenomorphs. The situation seemed desperate, with the rescue team quickly finding themselves in a serious fight instead of a search and rescue mission. The co-pilot was speared by a xenomorph’s tail, causing the pilot to panic and blindly run into the jungle. The scientist was manhandled from one marine to the other, and eventually the rescue team managed to drag him back to the camp, with the camp’s sentry guns chasing away any Aliens that tried to cross the treeline. While the mission was a success, the xenomorph threat was confirmed and their deadliness apparent.

Scenario 3 – The aftermath

Following the daring rescue, the marines decided to go on another recon mission. While most xenomorphs had retreated deeper into the jungle, some remained. The marines advanced carefully towards the treeline, where they could glimpse flitting dark shapes. All of a sudden a rapidly moving Alien managed to circle around them and pounced on the target it perceived the weakest – Pvt. Turner who was still a rookie, only just having joined the force. Turner was quickly joined by the other marines, and together the group of four managed to bring the creature down, with Turner himself delivering the killing blow. The youngster’s joy was short-lived, though, as acid blood sprayed from the broken body, showering Pvt. Turner and providing him with an agonizing death. The sight caused a ripple of horror, with Pvt. Glory escaping all the way back to base and the marines generally falling back. This prompted more xenomorphs to charge from the trees.

The other squad’s leader, Sgt. Slaughter (I assume that’s a nickname) surprised everyone by downing xenomorphs left and right. With his squad falling back around him, he took on first one creature, then another, surviving both and killing one. Other marines then moved up to help with the mop-up. With most of the xenomorphs downed, the marines set their sights on the treeline to put down the one remaining beast. The Aliens’ speed proved to be incredible once again, as the creature flitted through the trees to charge another bewildered rookie, Pvt. Austin. The soldier tried desperately to escape, but the xenomorph mercilessly cut him down before being gunned to pieces.

With the Alien threat neutralized, the marines finally managed to venture into the jungle. Their search brought up all sorts of interesting things, such as alien artifacts and  xenomorph eggs. Pvt. Stanton from the first squad managed to evade a strange attack – all of a sudden three red dots appeared, followed by an explosive blast. Of the attacker there was no sight, but it was apparent that the xenomorphs weren’t the only threat around. On a more positive note, the pilot who had fled earlier staggered out of the jungle, bloody and incoherent. He was taken back to base by Cpl. Burbank. It’s anyone’s guess how he made it out alive.

Most of the area had already been searched, when the marines made the same mistake as the dwarves in Moria: they dug too deep. With the marines spread out through the jungle, Pvt. Stanton suddenly found himself surrounded by no less than six Aliens, four of which tore him to pieces. The marines retaliated fiercely after this first casualty, and managed to completely eliminate the creatures in short order, with Sgt. Slaughter even destroying one in close combat. Pvt. Gunn’s flame unit was also invaluable, torching jungle and xenomorph alike. After this the exhausted marines retreated back to their camp.

The games were good fun, and we’re still getting to grips with all the rules. It’s getting quicker and smoother to play, and we’re slowly getting into the intricacies of the system. The narrative aspect is present, and we tend to view in-game events through a narrative filter. The second scenario especially was very cinematic and tense!

With these three games the campaign is off to a good start, and both me and the two players are looking forward to our next session on next Wednesday. Whatever’s coming up next, the marines are in for a rough time with three of the original ten troopers down.

By the way, feel free to comment on the satellite photo look of the pictures. In my opinion action report pictures are often quite boring, as they’re basically just miniatures standing next to each other.  I figured I’d simply use them as for a bit of flavour, so photoshopped them heavily. Personally I like the look, but CC is definitely welcome!

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