Regular visitors to this site will know that one of my regular complaints is sci-fi figure manufacturers who produce a lovely range of basic infantry but then never get around to providing all the support teams that you need to make up a proper fighting force.
Okay, so some of these infantry squads are so loaded with their own weaponry that it could be said that they don’t need any support, but this doesn’t really gel with me. As the Marine Corps saying goes: always hit a nut with the biggest hammer possible…the nut gets cracked and the hammer is untouched!
It was therefore great to see that Khurasan Miniatures, that wonderful if somewhat erratic source of the esoteric, have released a couple of support weapons for their 15mm Hauk range.
The Hauk, for those of you who don’t know, are avians: birdmen to the non-Latin speakers. The existing range had some nice infantry and a couple of officers, but nothing more. Now, however, they can field mortars and their equivalent to a medium/heavy machine gun.
Each weapon comes with the same stand, and the option of either a mortar, shown above, or a machine gun, shown below. There’s also a sniper figure, two new types of officer (one pointing, one with clipboard) and a casualty figure. I have ignored the casualty figure, and couldn’t be bothered to see if I could make the stands multi-purpose, so bought enough packs to give me four three-man mortar teams, with officer, and six three-man MMG teams, with officer. Add two snipers, and I still have lots of casualties and snipers left over, but I’m sure they’ll come in useful some time in the future.
As you can see, I paint my Hauk with a simple but very colourful “parrot” pattern. Undercoat in white, immediate heavy wash with Agrax Earthshade; paint talons and beak yellow; paint wings, tail feather and head crest dark green then highlight with bright green; highlight all the armour in white; weapons are painted black highlighted in grey.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
Assault Tripods with Black Dust Emitters
Assault Tripods with Green Mist bombs
Last three Scout tripods
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 (email@example.com) and I'll happily come to some arrangement to take them off your hands.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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...
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!
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...
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.