Q13 AAR: Stalemate in the Crop Fields

Time for another game of Q13, so time to get the space Dwarves back onto the tabletop to battle another of my so-far-untested forces: the Tah-Sig.

This would be an encounter battle fought across a battlefield consisting of crop fields separated by a series of access roads and narrow strips of open ground. The storyline was that this time it was the Dwarves who were the aggressors: outnumbering the Tah-Sig by a fair amount and needing to get as many units as possible off the table on the Tah-Sig side.

Click on the picture below to see what happened:

Q13: Vornid Infantry Re-Based

Although I like my Vornid infantry (15mm sci-fi: homicidal plants with thorn guns from Khurasan), I haven’t used them very much because, up to now, they have been based a singles and the way that the figures are made means that the bases don’t fit into any of my sabots. That means that using them involves moving lots of single figures round the table individually: a right pain!

I therefore decided to re-base them: each squad of ten Vornid based individually converting to six bases of five Vornid each. That gives me the same three squads, but the capacity to field ten fireteams if needed for another system.

I had two four-squad platoons (i.e. eight squads) but they proved a bit unwieldy. I therefore painted another squad up and now have three platoons of three squads each, all efficiently based for moving round the table.

Here’s my revised Vornid company, plus one of the individual platoons. You can see the detail of the entire force in the Vornid gallery.

A Bit of Fun

One of my more unusual scifi armies are the Vornid. These comprise a base of Khurasan’s plant infantry supported by a variety of Ravenstar’s Horrid bio-vehicles. You can see the gallery by clicking here (opens in a new window).

As you’ll see, I’ve been using Slishians (from Hydra Miniatures) as Big Men, but have now found a rather amusing alternative:

The enemy sure looks like plant food to me!

Not sure who the manufacturer is (I bought these on impulse some time ago and have only just got around to their layer of the lead mountain) but these are, of course, models loosely based on Audrey II, the “villain” of the musical comedy A Little Shop of Horrors.

Great fun, and have encouraged me to expand and re-base my Vornid army: but more on that later…

More Brigade Models SciFi

The last time my Hura (four-armed aliens from Clear Horizons) took the field, they were soundly beaten, with their defeat due, in art, to a lack of AA protection and no electronic warfare capacity.

As Clear Horizons don’t produce any AA or EW figures for the Hura (I mean, why would you!) I have decided to use Brigade Models’ sci-fi Polish range to fill in the gaps. I’ve already posted the AA half-tracks, now here’s the EW vehicle:

Officially this is the Suwalska ‘Hetman’ command vehicle, but it does very nicely as an Electronic Warfare specialist for the Hura.

Now all I have to do is save up for a few Suwalska APCs…

Q13 AAR: Dwarves vs Xar

As my recent painting has been almost wholly focused on clearing all the sci-fi dwarves from my lead mountain, I thought it was only right and proper to get them onto the table again for my next game of Quadrant 13. It would also be a good opportunity to give the Xar (six-legged “critters” from GZG) their first outing.

Click on the pic below to see the report:

Q13: Last of the Invaders

Just finished photographing the last of the All Quiet on the Martian Front tripods I have been working on. This last batch consisted of another three scout tripods, two grenadier tripods, seven assault tripods and a power node terrain piece.

That’s a lot of points for the Painting Challenge!

Rather than have the tripods as a separate Martian army, I’m going to use them as the AFV element of my Invaders army that uses the Khurasan Alien Invasion range as its core infantry component. As I’ve also now had a chance to photograph all of them, it means another gallery added to the Q13 section of the website: one that shows the entire force.

You can find that by clicking here, but here’s a picture of the army en masse:

1.invaders.JPG

Oh yes, finally, someone wrote in asking what colour the tripods were sprayed: it was Ford Neptune Green from the Halfords range of car paints.

More Martian Tripods

Still working my way through all my All Quiet on the Martian Front tripods.

First up are three more Scout Tripods:

Only three more of them to go!

Next is a quick one off: the Slaver Tripod, which I will be using as the command tripod for the Invaders' AFV force:

That's a metal tripod (the Scout Tripods are all plastic kits) and weighs in pretty heavy.

Finally for this batch, there's an extra I picked up as part of the Kickstarter offer: a downed Assault Tripod.

That's it for this update: plenty more tripods to go.

Oh, and I've had a chance to update the TFL Painting Challenge Scorecard.

First of the Martians

last weekend's work

My current project or, rather, one of my current projects, is to add the All Quiet on the Martian Front models that I bought as part of the original Kickstarter to the figures that I've painted from Khurasan Miniatures' 15mm sci-fi The Invaders range. I spent last weekend building all the tripods, so this weekend's task was to paint up the first of them.

I didn't fancy brush painting twenty-four plus large 15mm models, so determined that most of the work would be done via spray paint...but which colour to choose. I wanted something metallic, which meant buying some new paint, as all my existing sprays are various shades of dull green or brown or desert yellow (i.e. WW2 and 6DW colours).

I was driving home, thinking about where to get appropriate sprays, surrounded by other cars, when I suddenly realised that I was looking at exactly what I wanted: metallic car paint. A quick trip to Halfords, and I bought a couple of cans of a light green metallic colour. Each can was only £6.99 as well: considerably cheaper than GW or other hobby paint.

Spraying all the tripods took up a can and a half, but twenty minutes in today's blazing sunshine dried everything off nicely. I wouldn't have time to complete all of the models after the initial spray, so settled on the small flying drones and three scout tripods.

Flying Drones

Very simple to finish them:  I painted the "eye" red, any equipment in two shades of grey, any electricals or power sources in a light purple, the tentacles in black-dry-brushed-with-iron, and then found a few places to put a drop of scarlet or metallic blue for variety. Finally, I based them as usual, then used Halfords lacquer to finish them.

I'm very pleased with the result.

The first three scout tripods

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.

More Invaders!

You may recall that my current project is to paint up the company of "The Invaders": a 1950's inspired 15mm sci-fi range from Khurasan Miniatures.

First up, a couple of weeks ago, were the Kalinet Warborgs (see post on July 8th). Now, to go with them, I've completed the troops from the Warcaste: little green men:

I've got two platoons (each of three heavy squads) plus enough drone controllers and electronic warfare specialists to give the opposition a right pain in the keyboard!

These are lovely little models: proper 15mm rather than being little green men who tower over the opposition. The arms and legs look delicate, but I had no problems when painting or basing them. Variety isn't bad: I reckon there are about eight or nine variants plus the command and drone control figures.

They painted up very easily. Spray dark green, then highlight all skin in two lighter shades ending with a very bright green for the last highlight. All clothing was dark purple highlighted in lilac. Weapons were two shades of grey. They have loads of augs in their heads, all of which I touched up in gold. Took about two hours per platoon from start to finish.

Now all I have to do is to add the high command of Greys, and I'm done.

Recommended.

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...

 

15mm Sci-Fi Dwarves from Clear Horizon

Some of you may wonder why so much of my own painting recently has been 15mm sci-fi rather than adding to my WW2 collection, the period I play most often.

Truth of the matter is, when I did a little add up on my lead mountain a year or so ago, I discovered that I had thirteen companies (yes, companies i.e. three platoons plus supports or around 100 figures) of different sci-fi figures lurking in the cupboard.

This seemed a bit excessive, even for me, so 2017 has been the year when I reduced that figure.

How am I doing? Well, so far I have painted the Xar, the Hura, the Tah-Sig, filled in the gaps in my Chuhuac, and added three platoons to my Dwarves i.e. have knocked five or so companies off the list.

That only leaves me with the Praesentia (ex Critical Mass), the Astagar (ex Critical Mass), the Foreign Legion (Khurasan), the Martians from AQOTMF (not sure now), the Alien Invasion aliens (Khurasan) plus assorted other platoons to add to my existing armies.

Here's the latest bit of sci-fi goodness to emerge from the painting table: Clear Horizon's hi grav space mercenaries or sci-fi dwarves to the rest of us. 

Nice figures, plenty of character. Very dwarvish, but not very small (they tower above last week's Sons of Thunder from Rebel). And no separate platoon command figure, so I either buy another pack of eight and waste seven, or use a figure from someone else.