Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Versatile Mini's: Ground Zero Games

One of the things I love so much about 15mm sci-fi miniatures is there versatility. It's very easy to set aside multiple uses for the same set of figures -and all the more so because so few 15mm miniatures have the instant "brand recognition" of the likes of GW's Space Marines or Privateer Press' Warmachine Line.

The New Israeli's from GZG's are a case in point. Earlier this year I painted a batch of these figures to represent Mass Effect human marines. Now, with a quick re-paint with a nifty white colour scheme I can use them as Imperial Stormtroopers for games of D6 Star Wars Battles. I also intend to use them as Zaman Droptroopers for games of Tomorrow's War. And, in a pinch, considering I intend to add many walkers to the force (in keeping with the Stormtrooper theme), I could even use them as Tau. However, that being said, I have the GZG UN troopers ear-marked for any Tau invasion of Bad Landing.

What's more, by swapping out the aforementioned walker-type vehicles for more traditional tracked or wheeled vehicles, I can even field these miniatures as an especially well-armoured Imperial Guard force. It's amazing (to me at least) how much use a 15mm gamer can squeeze out of one set of figures, helped along simply by a few minor changes in the force structure and some tailoring of vehicle themes for the force.

But I reckon that for a versatile 15mm alien range, you can't go wrong with GZG's Alien Mercenary sets SG15-X05 and SG15-X08. Three blisters will net you 36 of these monsters -which are ideal for painting up as Gears of War Locust, 40K Orks, the Mercenaries from Fifth Element or any other "thug" type alien race you care to mention -even Star Wars Gamorreans! I only have 36 of these guys at the moment, but I intend to net myself another three packs soon to take the force up to 72. I also plan to add in a few vehicles with a random selection of "Orky" refinements made up out of green stuff. That said, I could have just as easily painted my lads grey and purchased a few of the more insect-like miniatures lines out there for Bio-tech support (Khurasan's insect aliens make for excellent grubs) and painted myself a Locust army instead. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact the grey Locust skin would be lost in the lunar-themed scenery of Bad Landing, I probably would have.

Anyway, that photo just up there is a snap-shot of my first test-miniature for the "Ork" force I'm building for Rogue Trader and Tomorrow's War. I've painted quite a few more of them since then, but dearly beloved is down visiting her mum for the holidays and so there'll be no more photo's till she comes home.

 Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Until next time.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

15mm GZG Free Trader Crew & The City of Bad Landing.

Crew of the "Glow-Worm" class vessel Sanguinity, if you follow me. Available as two separate blister packs from Ground Zero Games: SG15-X04A and SG15-X04B.


Unfortunately, the lighting conditions for these pictures weren't wonderful (my painting spot-light can only do so much) so the marvellous detail of the GZG sculpts doesn't come through all that well. But let me tell you they're lovely sculpts and instantly recognisable. The reading crew-member in the second picture even has a sculpted moustache. The individual sections of the well-dressed lady's tiara and necklace are also sculpted very cleanly.

Recently, I've been moving away from the concept of 15mm solely in a Mass Effect Context. This should be good news for everyone who follows this blog (all dozen or so of you), especially given it means I'll be posting more often. So, what am I up to 15mm wise?

Bad Landing Terrain Project:

In recent weeks I've set about re-painting my GZG New Israelis. While the Grey colour scheme was very close to what I was after, it just doesn't go well with my "luna-scape" 15mm sci-fi basing. Now they have something of the Imperial Stormtrooper look going for them (pictures to follow). I could have simply changed the basing style, of course. But that would be problematic. You see, my biggest project right now is the creation of a 15mm "Colony" board. The city of "Bad Landing". I'm going for a look inspired by the Hadley's Hope colony from the movie Aliens, with a little bit of the settlement from the BBC TV series Outcasts as well. I'm hoping to portray the settlement through several era's of it's development.

In stage one, it'll be a simple mining/terraforming/geo-survey colony. So the original buildings will be pre-fab and shanty style structures, with maybe a bar, a landing port and a few industrial looking structures or two. Not to mention an atmosphere processor. The terrain piece in the Free-Trader pictures is from this era: it's a repainted Pegasus Hobby's WWII ammo dump. On this board, it will represent the dump for seismic survey charges and mining charges rather than an actual ammo dump, but I think it looks the part.

Another look at the Re-Painted Ammo Dump from Pegasus.
In stage two I'll add small apartment buildings such as those made by Old Crow, a larger hospital, police station and so on. Perhaps even a few agri-domes or an enclosed park of two. This will mark the beginning the colony's growth into a proper town rather than a mere frontier mining settlement. The landscape will still mostly be a barren lunar rock, and the colony will start to look more established and settled. However, we're still talking more Mos Eisley than Star Trek Earth.

Stage three will see the addition of high-rise buildings, corporate headquarters, malls, franchise style stores and the like. By this stage the colony will have more of a "Traveller" look than an near-future look, but there should still be plenty of opportunities for game play. Again, the soil will be of the lunar rock variety, but gene-tailored plants  and open air parks and gardens will make the city look much greener than it did in the early stages.

I hope to have a few more updates on my progress posted soon. Currently, my WIP for the settlement is an industrial-style cess-pit. Other than the fencing around the edge, it's almost done. After that, I have a few more buildings in mind. You won't be seeing any actual habitat buildings for a while though. I need to order in some building parts from Jon at GZG before I have a go at those. My skills with the old Green Stuff simply aren't up to the task.