Friday, February 28, 2014

Starting orbit #43... NOW!

   Today is the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday. That's right. Kids born on the day that I could first legally drink in Texas can now legally drink in Texas. Freaky.

   But, as my daddy always says, getting older may not be a lot of fun, but it sure beats the alternative...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Quick 15mm Sci-Fi update

   Just a quick update on the plans/ideas.

   I printed off the FUBAR rules and lots of the supplements. I am also considering strongly getting Gruntz, as many have suggested. These will probably work for the first phase, where I am not looking at having more than a few squads of infantry and a vehicle or two. Later, I may get 5150: Battalion Command or Future Commander.

   Looking at minis, I am getting closer to a decision. I like Khurasan's Federal Army and their Felids a lot. I wish I could see more painted examples of Ground Zero Games' minis. Rebel Minis is tempting, too. I will be getting Chuhuac. I am torn on the Ion Age Prydians. I think I will avoid bug hunts for now, so no worries there.

Game it Forward, Again

   I was given a large number of Napoleonic miniatures, both ESCI and Airfix, a few years ago by a friend who had no use for them any longer - an abandoned project. My idea at the time was to paint them quickly (i.e., spray can uniforms, craft store flesh hands and faces, black boots and guns, silver swords, DONE) and use them to establish a wargaming club at the junior high school at which I taught.

   The principal nixed the plan. Like any plan to do anything except what we had always done - unless it involved an on/off switch. Then he was all for it! But something that might interest the kids in history or art? Waste of time, parents won't like it, you can't use our library after school for it, blah blah blah. You can imagine why I quit, right?

   ANYWAY... you stand to gain from it. I have packed up two boxes of these minis, one French and one British (with a little Prussian help). Some of the boxes are sealed, most have been opened. I don't even know if they all contain what they are labeled as, honestly, but they are free. If you want them, you got them. Email me at, first come, first served. I'll even cover the shipping in the US. You just pay for shipping if it's going across a national border.

(Red Boxes are Polish Lancers)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Organization Day in the Man Cave

   I spent about four hours this morning tidying up the Man Cave. In the process, I tried to organize my projects a bit more. I was a little shocked at how much stuff I have for some projects, and how much I need for others. For example, I have two full bins of on-the-sprue Warhammer Empire infantry and cavalry, plus five additional boxes. Each bin is approximately 14" x 10" x 5". That's a lot of plastic to paint!

   You have to see it to believe it. So here are pictures of the Man Cave, mid-project.

The Man Cave
The big box above the glass case is Ogre.
Six bins of terrain, two bins of Empire figures (in bottom), more minis in other bins

Bookshelves and mini fridge (beer, water and Dr Pepper), plus some more terrain.
Boardgames, two forts, basing material. Packing material.
Historicon Event Listing covers framed.

Display case. Everything in it is painted.

The old painting table. More labeled boxes of minis.
Plus, two drawers under neath full of toys - mostly LEGO.

More minis, all accurately labeled (!).
Also, the drawers have minis, dice, tokens, markers, etc.

The Terrain Closet of Doom.
Lots of supplies, not a lot of stuff built. Story of my (gaming) life...

Slippy the Turtle, Man Cave Mascot
Another pair of bookshelves and some terrain boards.

   Not pictured were the flat screen TV on the northern wall, plus the media shelves with a couple of hundred DVDs and video games, plus the boys' rocker gaming chairs. Also, hard to see but right in the midst of the room is my primary gaming table, a 3'x6' solid wood (rock maple) trestle table. It weighs in the neighborhood of two hundred pounds for just the top. It can stop pistol bullets - don't ask how I know this, but trust me: it's been tested.

   I am going to purge some things soon. I already have two boxes ready to Game It Forward - look in my next post for that. Hint: it's 1/72 scale, plastic, and historical.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

15mm Sci Fi: To Be, or Not To Be?

   With the absolutely insane number of awesome 15mm science fiction minis coming out recently, I am seriously considering breaking one of my unwritten rules for this year: starting a new genre and scale. I have some science fiction minis, both 28mm and 6mm. Mainly in 28mm, it's a few Imperial Guard for Warhammer 40K that I originally purchased for Victorian Science Fiction, but hey, they count, right? Well, I am counting them. And the 6mm include both Battletech and Ogre Miniatures. That has grown in the past year or so, and will be continuing this year. I hope Steve gets those minis back into production soon!

   So sci-fi is not a new genre overall. But in 15mm - that I have not done. Yet. But the Chuhuac (Loud Ninja Games) croon in their reptilian voices. The Cultists of Andromeda threaten all civilizations, including the Hauk, the Terran Federal Army, the Nova Respublik, the Kingdom of the Jasmine Throne, the Meso-Nai, the Garn, the Felids, the Pelagic Dominate and many others (all from Khurasan!). The Quar (Zombiesmith), with their lower technology, resist alien invasion like heroes of old. The Sahadeen, Earth Force, Titan Marines, and the Brog Empire from Rebel Minis. The Prydain from Ion Age. That's what, sixteen various forces? And not even all that is out there, just my favorites.

   I think I am in deep trouble. I guess I need to start finding rules...

  So, I'd like recommendations for a rule set. Infantry heavy, with each side typically consisting of a platoon of 3-4 squads of 8 to 10 troops, plus a command section of 3 or 4 men (Officer, Sr. NCO, Radio, maybe a batman or runner, perhaps even a banner). Individually based. Needs to have vehicles as well, and handle varying technology levels and alien races - I want them to be more than merely cosmetically different from humans, the usual 'standard' infantryman. As far as vehicles go, maybe as much as a platoon added on, meaning up to 4 vehicles. Not including battle-taxis or trucks to maneuver the infantry if needed.

   Later on, if the rules could be scaled up to company level, with a multi-figure stand of infantry making a squad, three infantry platoons, a command section, and a heavy weapons platoon on each side, that would be great. Or maybe a second set of rules, but that would be less preferable.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two New VSF Vehicles

  I finished up two vehicle projects this week, and thought I would share them. First up is the French VSF landship I have named Les Bleus for the French rugby team. Their logo is on the rear of the tank. This is an Ironclad Miniatures Steam 1 Scout tank that I purchased from Iron Wind Metals at Historicon this past year. We had a minor hiccup in that the original box had two left hand tracks and no right hand ones, but the good folks at Ironclad despatched a replacement immediately. Good service is so nice to see.

I added smokestack supports.

   The second vehicle is the German (well, Prussian if you want to be picky) converted agricultural walker, the Holzfallermaschinen (Lumberjack Machine). Originally designed to assist in the clearance of the dense jungle terrain on Venus and in Germany's tropical colonies on Earth, the Holzfallermaschinen carried a saw, a pincer claw, and a flamesprayer. When military emergency arises (as so often happens), the tough "Holz" has been fitted with a machinegun by the Imperial Army and sent off to fight for the Kaiser. The Holz is a Games Workshop Ork dreadnought from the 90s, I think. All metal, I purchased it at Historicon in the flea market last summer.

Prussian flag, front and center. Makes a nice aimpoint.

Integral flamesprayer.

Hip-mounted machinegun. Walking and shooting won't mix well.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

LPL Update

   So, a brief progress report, for those of you interested. I have finished two of my first three teams to enter the Lead Painter's League painting contest. The third team, which is actually the First Round team, is almost done. I just need to do a bit of touch up and finish their bases. Quite exciting stuff.

  Unfortunately, one of the rules is that I am not allowed to show pictures until after the team has had their round. So, although I have gotten about twenty 25mm minis painted (minimum team size is 5, but I painted some extras, too) in the past week or so, I can't show them to you. I can show you one big thing that is not going in the competition, or I could if I had taken a photo already. Tomorrow, okay?

Brazos Evil Empire: Tanker's Tuesday:Medium Mk III tank

   A lovely article on a British tank design from the B.E.E. I want to obtain one of Warlord's Bolt Action A-9 tanks for VBCW. This one is similar.

Brazos Evil Empire: Tanker's Tuesday:Medium Mk III tank: In 1926, the British War Office wanted to replace their existing Mark II tanks with a new design. In May the Royal Tank Corps Centr...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Perfect for VBCW: the Armadillo

The Armadillo was an armoured fighting vehicle produced in Britain during the invasion crisis of 1940-1941. Based on a number of standard lorry chassis, it comprised a wooden fighting compartment protected by a layer of gravel filling the 'walls' of the fort and a driver's cab protected by mild steel plates. Armadillos were used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Home Guard.

   Warlord Games makes this historical but unusual improvised vehicle for their 28mm Bolt Action WWII game. When I saw it on TMP, my first thought was "Huh. That'd be perfect for Very British Civil War." Anyway, it runs $35.00, and you can order it from their webstore.

Friday, February 14, 2014

It... is... ALIVE!

   The Aethergraph, that is. I just posted a new issue online after a brief two and a half year long hiatus. It's 16 pages of VSF-y goodness. It's free. And it has no (real) advertising, just content. You can find it here: 

   I would like to thank the gentlemen who offered up articles, and apologize that not everything could make it in this issue. I am already slowly working on the next issue, squeezing it in between grad school assignments and painting and family and... well, you get the picture. I'm trying for a quarterly format, but to do it, I will need submissions! So, keep them coming to me at

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lead Painter's League, Pt. 2

   Okay, I have decided to go for it.

   I have everything but Round 9 at least partially planned out. I intend to go for all the bonus points, too, which means I am hitting up friends for some bare lead in the Ancients category. I have nothing, and don't really need anything, so I am reluctant to buy any. Well, maybe a few Egyptians to act as Nubian Guard for my Servants of Ra Company. If you have any Ancients you want painted (essentially Sumer to Fall of Rome), please let me know as soon as possible. I need at least five to make a 'team'. Maybe an artillery piece and crew?

   I am not going to spill the beans directly about what I am painting up, and the rules state that I can't share any pictures of my entries until after the contest, so there will be about 50 minis that I will paint that I can't display to you here until late in May. Please be patient. Better yet, please go to the Lead Adventure Forum and vote on the Lead Painter's League! Caveat: I think you have to sign up for a free account. Pretty painless, and they don't send you a lot of drivel in the mail. I think everyone ought to be on LAF as much as TMP, honestly.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lead Painters' League

   I am thinking of entering this year's Lead Painter's League competition on Lead Adventure Forum. I think the experience would be good for me, pushing me to paint more, plus getting some feedback on my painting skills from a wide variety of folks. Also, I would have to paint some unfamiliar genres to get the bonus points, and that's always good for progressing my skills as a painter.

   I'm just worried that my heavy schoolwork load will keep me from completing teams on time. I think I need to get working now so that I can get ahead of the curve.

Monday, February 3, 2014

6mm Cannons

   One of my gifts at Christmas last year was a box of Steve Jackson Games's Paneuropean Set 6: Howitzer Battery and Mobile Howitzers. I painted them up last week, along with another 6mm (nominally) giant, the Games Workshop Epic 40K Goliath Cannon. This will fill in as a terrain piece for 6mm VSF, the fabled Verne Cannon capable of intercontinental shelling. It could perhaps also be used as something for Battletech or even Ogre games, probably as some sort of orbital defense cannon objective.

Paneuropean 'Arquebus'-class Howitzer
Note French tricolor with Paneuropean Helmet logo.

I added the antennae to the bunkers.
I chose yellow ochre for the color because of the historical carriage color on French guns.

The Arquebus v. the Goliath

The Goliath.
Very simple, and I think striking, paint scheme.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fine Imports

   I went ahead and imported the files from my old terrain blog to The Scattergun Gamer. Look back in 2010, because that's when I stopped posting to it and started up The Scattergun Gamer. Which means that I am coming up on the 4th birthday of this blog. I know! I'll do a giveaway! Keep an eye peeled for more developments on this over the next couple of weeks. Maybe a contest...

Paint Table Turnover

   Having just finished a few bits of 15mm and 6mm scale stuff, the table was actually clear of minis for a few minutes. This will never do! So, I decided to rest my eyes for a bit and work on larger things. Now appearing on the paint table are:

Ork Dreadnought
(Games Workshop 40K)

   This fellow is destined to be a German VSF Walker. It's primary use is forest clearance, hence the big saw and claw which are permanent fixtures. However, it has two waist mounted hardpoints which permit the addition of weaponry "for self-defense against the primitives of Venus," according to the official statement of the Venusstaadt government.

Masked Minions with Flamethrowers
(Parroom Station)

   I love Bob Charette's Masked Minions. I already have 30-odd of them, and these two fellows will increase their firepower. Literally! I was going to paint them in infantry colours (blue) to be able to swap in and out with their rifle-armed fellows. But then I thought they needed a bit of flash, so I went with orange cuffs and collars instead. These devils serve Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton in his efforts to become Solarian Emperor.

Masked Minions with Diabolical Weapons
(Parroom Station)

   Did I mention how much I like Bob Charette's Minions? These five ne'er-do-wells will fill out a squad of ten minions armed with these diabolical weapons. The weapon itself is, as you can easily see, an electro-galvanic emitter rifle. Does ghastly things to the human (or Martian, Lizardman, Parotfolk, Selenite, etc.) body. And is especially effective against armoured mechanickal devices, as the current blasts around within the metallic shell. Diabolical! (Note, the minion on the right is finished; the one on the left is in process.)

British Infantry
(Empress Miniatures)

   And now to my favorite maker of British Colonial troops in 28mm. The sculpts on these are just awesome, and very clean casts. These have languished for a bit, and I have more to get to as well, but this is a start on getting that second full unit of proper British Redcoats. Only six more to go! These I will prime in white, like I did the others - a departure from my usual black primer, but it helps keep the redcoat nice and bright.

Steam 1 Steamtank
(Ironclad Miniatures)

   This little guy is the second piece in my French forces. I see it as a small scouting tank, sort of the 'torpedo boat' or 'destroyer escort' of landships. Armed with only a machinegun, it's greatest advantage is that it is very light, and doesn't bog down easily. The figure is for scale reference; this tank is only primed so far, and hasn't even had its tracks attached.