Last Of the Astagar: the AFVs

The Astagar were originally a "bit part" race from the Critical Mass Games universe: providing squads of interesting-looking mercenaries rather than having a full range to themselves.

Such was their popularity, however, that CMG ran a Kickstarter to create a full range of Astagar figures and, although the Kickstarter wasn't successful enough for everything envisaged to be created, enough people signed up that all the basic infantry, infantry support weapons, APCs and AFVs became available.

Today's painting: three Astagar Main Battle Tanks

I took part in the Kickstarter but, as is often the way, didn't quite get exactly what I thought I'd pledged for. No real damage done, but I was short a platoon of main Battle Tanks and, unfortunately, CMG folded and sold their range to Ral Partha Europe who, although they have all the infantry for sale, haven't yet got around to the resin vehicles from the range!

Just the other day, however, a chap in the States announced on Facebook that he had some to spare, the deal was done, and my Astagar force is now ready for battle.

Last of the Astagar...

...for the moment, at least.

These are the extra grenade-launcher and flamethrower types used either in small three-man (snake?) teams, one of each per platoon, or to augment the regular infantry squads.

With what I have painted already, I now have two full platoons of three eight-man light squads each, which I can make into standard weight nine-man squads by adding the bombardier (red shoulder flash) or heavy weight ten-man squads by also adding the flamethrower chappie (orange shoulder flash).

All I need now is to find some of the original Astagar MBTs and SP artillery that were available on the Kickstarter. Anyone got any they don't want? Anyone...?

Q13: Astagar Second Platoon Finished

I've finally had a chance to finish the second platoon of Astagar infantry. Lovely models to paint up, and a nice variety of poses as well.

The Astagar were originally produced by Critical Mass Games, but are now available from Ral Partha Europe...well, at least the metal figures are: the resin vehicles are not yet there.

I bought the Astagar through their launch Kickstarter, but have been kicking myself since then for not buying the AFVs and SP Artillery models at the same time. So, my usual plea: if anyone has any that they want to sell me, please get in contact (address is in the right sidebar somewhere).

Just the squad support weapons to paint up now, and then that's the Astagar project finished (well, until I can find some AFVs and SP artillery for them).

More Astagar

More from my latest project: a company of Astagar, the 15mm sci-fi snakemen originally from Critical Mass Games but now part of Ral Partha Europe's offering.

Here is the first of the two infantry platoons that I am painting: 

Really nice models that paint up well. I like the variety in poses and tail positions.

If I have one gripe, it's their size. I know they are designed this way, but the models are mostly easily 20mm tall, which makes them very large when compared to a standard 15mm human. Either humans are the shortest race in the universe, or the world of 15mm sci-fi wargaming is suffering from extreme scale creep!

It also means that they are quite difficult to base. I had to use the Warbases equivalent of a small FOW base for each model, which means that they will take up an awful lot of room on the tabletop. I shall just have to see how that turns out.

Anyway, I like them...and would repeat my request that if anyone has any of the Astagar MBT or SP Artillery models that they don't need, I'll happily come to some arrangement to take them off your hands. They're not yet available from Ral Partha. Admin@vislardica.com please.

First of the Astagar "Foot"

As, of course, they have no feet!

Anyhoo, here are the first of the Astagar foot (sci-fi snakemen originally from CMG and now available from Ral Partha Europe): the mortar support weapons.

Nice figures that paint up well: I only wish my painting skills/patience were good enough to do them justice.

And, as a reminder, if anyone has any of the Astagar MBTs or SP Artillery that they don't want, do please get in contact (admin@vislardica.com) and I'll happily come to some arrangement to take them off your hands.

Q13: Astagar Army List Now Loaded

As I'm busy painting up our viperous friends, I thought it about time I produced a Q13 army list for them.

That's now available on the Army Lists page of the Q13 section of this website, or by clicking on the picture below.

An interesting "light" army, better suited to raids and quick assaults than to a stand-up, toe-to-toe sustained fight. I wish now that I'd got the MBTs and SP Artillery models when the Kickstarter finished, as I can see me sorely needing these in the tabletop clashes to come.

So, if you have any Astagar MBTs and/or SP Artillery models that you don't want, preferably unpainted, but I don't really mind, then please contact me at admin@vislardica.com and I'm sure we can sort something out.

Incidentally, the Astagar list is the twenty-fourth now available for free for Q13. Plenty of AARs to read as well, and plenty of room for more AARs if you want to send them in...

Q13: More Astagar: Very Snakey

Those who follow this blog regularly will know that I am currently building a 15mm Astagar army for Quadrant 13, the company-sized sci-fi wargame published by the TooFatLardies. The Astagar are a range of man-sized snakes originally from Critical Mass Games and now held by Ral Partha Europe.

Last time's post featured the six APCs needed to transport my two platoons of armoured infantry. Lovely models, but not very snake-y: they could have been from any vaguely humanoid race.

This post features the two types of, well, walker is the equivalent, although I'm not sure that "walker" is an appropriate term to use where the Astagar are concerned! These are most certainly snake-y enough to do the term justice.

First up is the Viperia Powered Armour i.e. battlesuits for our serpenty friends:

These are lovely models that paint up really well. They were painted the same way as the APCs: an undercoat of green, a bit of brown sprayed in random patterns, then a heavy drybrush to bring out all the detail. Finally, a nice gloss green for the visor/windshield.

The only pain is actually building the things. They come in five parts:  tail/base; torso; two arms and the shoulder-mount. The arms and shoulder-mount go on okay (a mixture of superglue and PVA glue does the trick...although it can sometimes take a few goes to really get that concrete fix) but getting the torso to stick to the tail/base can be a little annoying. The torso isn't stand-alone (i.e. it doesn't balance upright) so you really do need to pin or support the join whilst the glue dries. 

I say a pain, but it wasn't that difficult really.

Anyhow...how big are these, I hear you cry? Here's a quick comparison shot with a 15mm H-35 tank from Battlefront:

Next up are the Volos Assault Mecha: either a bigger battlesuit, or some kind of robot/android:

Exactly the same comments apply as for the Viperia, except magnified by the fact that these are bigger and heavier! Here's a size comparison with the same Battlefront tank:

Loving these two!

And, before I forget, there's several variants to all these: including this version pf the Viperia which I will use as an electronic warfare or communications Specialist.

So that's the support arm of the army done. Highly recommended, although the Volos aren't available from Ral Partha at the moment. I can't wait to get them onto the tabletop!

First of the Astagar

Critical Mass Games are, unfortunately, no more: their ranges having been absorbed into Ral Partha's offering. This has meant that whilst many of their infantry codes are still available, their vehicles are not...or at least not yet, Ral Partha assure us. At least their ranges are still available, even in part, as it would be a real shame for such an innovative series of ranges to die out completely.

One of the last things that CMG did before their demise was to run a Kickstarter campaign for their Astagar range: a range of sci-fi Snakemen-with-guns originally found as only a pack or two within their Mercenaries range but, such was their popularity, eventually promoted into a full Kickstarter project.

I backed the project to the tune of £173 and, in due course, received most of my order plus reward. Not all, which was annoying but, as I didn't immediately open the box and check everything, was as much my fault as anyone else's!

What I did receive, however, was excellent: six squads (eight each) of snake-y infantry; a couple of command figures; two support weapons; six snake-y battlesuits; one snake-y comms battlesuit; two huge snake-y walker-equivalents; and six APCs. Oh, and if you're interested, what I didn't receive were any AFVs or SP artillery, but...no matter.

These, as I said, have been sitting in an unopened box under the painting table until, bereft of anything to do now that the four Blitzkrieg in the West books are published, I decide to hack into the lead mountain and paint up an Astagar army.

I'm painting everything at the same time, so all units are on the way at once, but here's the first off the production line: the APCs.

Very nice, but not very snake-y!

Very nice, but not particularly snake-y, I hear you cry. Well, you're right, but the rest of the range more than makes up for that.

For those interested, I painted these very quickly:  base coat green, then another base coat in brown in strips, wash, drybrush, done. They have, I think, come out pleasingly battered.

The original version

Some of you will note that these don't look exactly like the APCs featured in the original Kickstarter. You are correct: I tried the engines on the way they were designed, but they looked odd: a downwards-facing vent at the front. To my mind, the engines look better the wrong way round. That way you have a vertical vent at the front to take in the air, with a downwards-blower to pump it out as a jet at the back.

As they looked a bit plain, I've added a few spare decals, including some human-script numbers. Not right for Snakemen? Well, yes...but I'm claiming the numbers are superimposed by your targeting scanner! They also make the models look better and mean I can use them for more general purpose APCs rather than just Astagar-specific ones.

More Snakey-ness next time...