Mutant Ikwen Arrive!

Regular visitors to the site will know that one of my regular moans is that sci-fi figure manufacturers rarely produce a full range of figures: they usually produce enough to build an infantry squad, but after that you have to mix and match from other ranges in order to get support weapons, different types of vehicles etc.

The Chuhuac

Loud Ninja Games are better than most: their Chuhuac, for example, have a variety of infantry supported by gravbikes, really cool battlesuits, good-looking AFVs and APCs...everything you could need to represent a fast-moving rapid reaction or reconnaissance force. Cracking stuff.

Up to now, however, their Ikwen range has been limited to a set of what Eli has called militia: enough infantry-types to form a platoon but not much more. I use them as the technical support for the Chuhuac, usually having them positioned defending a supply point or landed transport vessel. Some rather nifty Ikwen terrain pieces are also available, but no support weapons, vehicles and so on.

My Ikwen Engineering Types

Late last year, however, Loud Ninja announced a new set of Ikwen figures: hardened fighters. These were another set of infantry, but this time Ikwen in full combat mode. Now I don't need any Ikwen 'hardened fighters', as that doesn't fit in with the way I use them, but I like to support the smaller manufacturers, and one can't moan on about having no variety if you don't buy them when the variety appears! I also quite fancied having my usual engineer-types suddenly morph into wild warriors ("never make the Ikwen angry") with a quick bit of on-table figure swapping.

The figures duly arrived and I've now painted them:

Ikwen Hardened Fighters

They are pretty nice figures, albeit a little rougher than their predecessors.

That, however, is not really the problem.

The problem is that they are a different size to the militia. Look:

Errrrr...

You can see that the new Ikwen are about a head taller than their forefathers. The height isn't the only problem: look at the difference in size of the calves, width of the chest etc. The Ikwen were big anyway (fully explained by their background) now they are huge...and they just don't have the proportions of a 15mm figure: they look...wrong for 15mm.

A related, and annoying problem is what this means for the basing. Note how the original militia Ikwen neatly fits onto a 5p piece, as do the vast majority of 15mm infantry. Now look at the billy-big-balls width of the stance of the hardened fighter: his feet are almost as widely apart as a standard 15mm human is tall!

Not a problem, I hear you cry, he's a very tall Ikwen.

Yes, but he doesn't fit on any sort of sensible base any more.

Billy Big Balls

Billy Big Balls

Anyhow, I have them now, and will have to get them onto the tabletop to see whether they annoy me enough to get rid of them.

Scale creep is a problem with 15mm sci-fi.

Khurasan has a couple of lovely ranges that are quite frankly so 20mm as to be unusable (the Soriog for example), and now it looks as if the Ikwen have unfortunately followed suite.

Q13: Another 15mm spaceship from Ravenstar

Along with the Stinger that featured in a post on Monday, I also took advantage of Ravenstar Studio's recent sale to pick up a larger model: the Horizon Transport.

This rather retro-looking ship will do nicely as transport for the Ikwen Logisitics Technicians attached to my Chuhuac troops. It looks like something a bunch of newt-like techies would travel round in!

The model was really easy to put together. The main body comes as one chunk, with the landing skids, engine nacelles, and rear fins as separate bits. They glue in place without much difficulty, leaving you with a model that sits very nicely on the tabletop, looking just like a transport should look.

My paint job is really no more than a spray and touch-up that doesn't really do the model justice, so I'm also posting the picture from the Ravenstar site.

Yes: perhaps a little bit better looking than mine...although I've just fully comprehended that actually the 'professional' job is also very much a spray and touch up job: just a better touch up job than mine!

Anyway, it's a great model that will do the Ikwen proud. Cost from Ravenstar is $25 which, as I said before, used to be good value!

Q13: Vasseth in the Jungle

Here's the final squad of Vasseth Strike Tanks for my 15mm Chuhuac army: this time painted up for jungle operations (matching the camo of the 1st Platoon).

These I painted in the same way as I do WW2 Soviet tanks, just added a lot more of the lighter colour dry-brushes. So they are sprayed in the Army Painter Soviet tank base coat, then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade , then dry-brushed with GW Loren Forest, and finally what used to be called GW Bleached Bone (I think it's now called Screaming Skull!).

Very easy: and the longest part of the process is waiting for the initial spray and then the wash to dry.

I am liking these very much, and can't wait to get them onto the tabletop.

Highly recommended!

Q13: Vasseth in the Desert

As promised, here's the next batch of Vasseth Strike Tanks for my 15mm Chuhuac army. This squad is camouflaged for desert operations, matching the Chuhuac 2nd Platoon colouring.

Someone saw the command tank I posted yesterday, and asked me what I had used for a hover stand i.e. where did I source that little black post keeping the vehicle off the base.

It's actually a cut-down Chart Pin: you know, those flat headed pins available in different colours designed to be stuck into charts. The flat head makes it easy to push in, the fact it's a centimetre or so long and half a centimetre wide makes it easy to pull out!

These are ideal as hover stands: just the right height, and the flat head makes it easy to glue them to a flat bit of the underside of the vehicle. Even better, the bases are mdf, so if you leave a little stub when you cut the pin bit off (eye protection, please, as clipping them shoots the sharp bit in very unpredictable directions) you can push the stub into the wooden base as you glue it, giving you an even better bond.

Tomorrow I'll post the squad camouflaged for the jungle.

Q13: Vasseth Strike Tanks for the Chuhuac

One of my favourite sci-fi ranges are the Chuhuac from Loud Ninja Games. These are like mini velociraptors with body armour and guns, and paint up really beautifully.

Up until now, however, the only armoured support they have had is from what are called 'Battlesuits' : one man fighting vehicles with a big gun and missile launcher on top and a couple of small guns in front. Nice, but not proper tanks!

Now, however, that gap is filled with the release of the Vasseth Strike Tanks. These are wedge-shaped hover vehicles with the same asymmetric armament as the Battlesuits. I bought seven of them: one squad of three for each of my platoons, and one for the Company HQ.

The models come with loads of different armament options. I used the big main gun for them all, and added either a twin-barrelled autogun or a small missile launcher to all except the Company HQ vehicle: that one I fitted with a much larger missile launcher that I found in the bit box.

Here it is:

Watch this space for the jungle and desert camouflaged versions coming up tomorrow and Wednesday!

Q13: Chuhuac Herdmaster

What I should be doing is continuing to paint my Six Day War lead mountain: no point in having ten Egyptian T-55s if they have no supports and no-one to fight.

What I actually did this weekend, of course, was to dive into my sci-fi lead mountain, painting up a few bits and pieces from projects that needed completion.

Here's the commander of my Chuhuac mercenaries, the Herdmaster, and his APC:

I'm still loving the Chuhuac: just got to get them onto the battlefield again.

You can see the rest of the Chuhuac gallery by clicking here.

Q13: Chuhuac Army List Updated

Here's a recent post about the Ikwen figures from Loud Ninja Games:

Some of you may already have seen my Chuhuac: 15mm velociraptor-like aliens from Loud Ninja Games. They are a great set of figures, full of life and animation, that are a real pleasure to paint up and play. I usually use them as mercenaries: a rapidly-moving, light infantry force designed to hit hard and fast and then disappear again.

So when Loud Ninja Games announced their second release, the Ikwen, I was at the front of the queue to buy a set. These are salamander-like aliens, also in 15mm, whom Eli has conceived as a sort of low-tech planetary militia. 

I loved the figures, but didn't really like the idea of fielding them as envisioned...so I've come up with an alternative use for them: they are paid by the Chuhuac as their logistics tail. The little dinos are the teeth, the Ikwen the tail...and just as the various cooks and bottle-washers in other armies have sometimes had to pick up their rifles and fight (Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge etc) so the Ikwen occasionally go into battle as well.

I've now had time to update the Chuhuac Army List to include the Ikwen engineers and taken the opportunity to make a couple of other tweaks as well. You can access it from this page here.

Q13: The Chuhuac Get Some Logistical Support

Some of you may already have seen my Chuhuac: 15mm velociraptor-like aliens from Loud Ninja Games. They are a great set of figures, full of life and animation, that are a real pleasure to paint up and play. I usually use them as mercenaries: a rapidly-moving, light infantry force designed to hit hard and fast and then disappear again.

So when Loud Ninja Games announced their second release, the Ikwen, I was at the front of the queue to buy a set. These are salamander-like aliens, also in 15mm, whom Eli has conceived as a sort of low-tech planetary militia. 

I loved the figures, but didn't really like the idea of fielding them as envisioned...so I've come up with an alternative use for them: they are paid by the Chuhuac as their logistics tail. The little dinos are the teeth, the Ikwen the tail...and just as the various cooks and bottle-washers in other armies have sometimes had to pick up their rifles and fight (Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge etc) so the Ikwen occasionally go into battle as well.

Here they are:

More Chuhuac

I'm still determined to clear all the Chuhuac off my painting table: these 'velociraptors with guns' are just too nice to leave languishing in the lead mountain. They have such animation, such character, that they deserve their place at the front of the queue.

Here is a platoon of spec ops Chuhuac in city camouflage, and four Sirrus APCs in desert colours (to go with the desert colours platoon of infantry painted earlier). Very nice.

Q13: Chuhuac Scout Squad on Grav Bikes

More sci-fi!

As part of my drive to clear some of my lead mountain, I am really concentrating on trying to finish my Chuhuac: superbly animated velociraptors-with-guns from Loud Ninja Games.

Next off the mountain and onto the painting table was a 'wing' of nine Chuhuacs riding grav bikes.

The figures come with body molded with the bike and separate heads. This was quite cool, as it allowed me to vary the amount of neck I used to show some of the wing craning upwards and some crouched low over the nose of the bike. I have even modeled one looking to the left as if to check his mates were still with him!

My only real problem was how to show the bikes 'floating' above the ground. I tried wire, but couldn't get a decent stick. I eventually settled on using those little Hama-bead things that gave me a big enough surface area to ensure a good bond between bike and base.

Here they are:

Q13: Chuhuac APCs

I am now on a quest to finish all my Chuhuac figures. Most of the army is done: only the special ops unit and a few Big Men to finish.

Next off the production line are three Sirrus APCs. I now realise, of course, that I should have bought four of the little beauties: that way I could totally mechanise one of the Chuhuac platoons. Ah well:  one more thing to buy...and I may as well pick up four more for the second platoon as well! 

The eagle-eyed among you will also have spotted that I have added a GZG self-propelled rotary cannon as well. Always good to give your little dinos a bit of extra firepower!

Q13 Army Lists: The Chuhuac II

Originally posted 4th May 2014

One of the most exciting things about sci-fi gaming in 15mm is the speed at which new ranges of figures are becoming available. Along with prolific incumbents such as Khurasan, Critical Mass and GZG, new manufacturers are appearing almost on a monthly basis...and one such is Loud Ninja Games with their first range, the Chuhuac, available exclusively through 15mm.co.uk.

These are fantastic models, full of life and animation, that paint up really nicely as well. I have painted one 'platoon' in a jungle-type camouflage, I'm half way through another in desert camouflage, and my special ops teams will be in an urban camouflage.

Here, then, is my first stab at a Chuhuac list for Q13. Their prime attribute is the ability to move quickly (well, they do look like velociraptors!) and each platoon comes with its own spotter as well, so good EWSO technology. As they are light on vehicles, I've statted  the battlesuits as armoured car-like individual vehicles rather than superheavy infantry. I see them as a fast-moving light infantry force that overwhelms quickly through speed rather than firepower.

And if you disagree, then fine, that's the beauty of Q13: you can design as you wish to design them. Just send me a pdf of your list, and I'll add it to this site.