28 Mar 2015

Combat Medic

Hey guys,

moving on with the modern, I have a medic for you.

As in what can be seen, conversion work has been limited to gun swap, but it took a lot of carving to cut away the gun that was moulded to the body with most of its length.

He carries a large backpack that looks a lot like the new ones that Army purchased a year or so back, so I painted it tan and I am quite satisfied with it. It is accurate and it gives the miniature a nice contrast.

On the other hand, I got lazy and just painted a red cross on a white field on his right arm, which I believe should have some blue in it to be correct.
I could not make a good cross on the backpack even after three tries, so I gave up on it. If anyone is interested, the white is actually sandy and red is "red leather" to make it blend in a bit more.
One (and the only) thing that bothered me with this miniature was that it was apparently left unfinished! It lacks an upper arm pocket on the left arm. I can see how a thing like this can be missed out, but it bothered me to no end. As I painted it in my "hobby halt" season, I just opted for painting the insignia on it, instead of trying to sculpt a pocket.

I can not wait to play another game, where I will make sure to have someone extracted...and I need to play another game where a bomb disposal unit does something - sounds like I have a plan already!

This is it for today and I still have a JTAC left - I am saving him for the last as he was customised a bit more, but as usual - nothing went quite as planned!

Thanks for looking,

24 Mar 2015

The Children of the Sea Serpent: Chapter 1

The good guys.
The bad guys. One of them quite impatient.
My name is  Dr. Oscar Webb. My irrational fear of the sea and any other large body of water, for that matter, has not always accompanied me.

It was not until an interesting incident back in the twenties that I started shivering at the sheer tought of the water. For...you see...something lurks in the darkness of the depth. Something so terrifying, I risk fainting just by writing about it...as you can probably see from my shaky handwriting.

It is best I start at the beginning. Years ago, I was recruited into a top secret governmental agency, called Threshold. I would imagine you have not yet heard of it. Agency has been working in the shadows for hundreds of years, some say its roots go back to the mad emperor Nero of Rome, but I digress.

I was with the agency for a long time and have grown accustomed to dealing with queer things and beings, yes, beings, that do not belong to this world. But nothing could have prepared me for what I have encountered in those days of Autumn 1924.

It was me, my  good friend Stan Hastings and a scholar Artemis Seaton (who possesses certain...gifts) that were sent on a mission in a scarcely populated coastal area in New England. Reports of blood-freezing chanting and daemonic rituals were coming to the Agency more and more frequently. It was a routine mission, find out more about the possible cult and its practice and break it...little did we know, that we were already late.

It was a cold, misty morning, when we went on a foot patrol around the area and we closed in on a worm eaten old barn in the middle of the forest. We heard human voices - or so we thought - and closed in with weapons drawn.

We tried to remain unnoticed for as long as possible and took cover behind the barn. We could heard human sounds...no doubt of that, but there were also sounds that you would not be expecting to hear on the shores. What are we to deal with on this god forsaken place?

There was no time to think - it was time to act! Helped by Artemis, Stan climbed in the barn to outflank the godless worshipers, while I rushed around the corner, putting my faith in Diana, my family shot gun. I emptied both barrels in the direction of a villain and made sure he would see another day. Artemis was following closely behind me.

Inside the barn, Stan was under light pistol fire, but managed to keep his skin whole. I would be worried about Stan more, hadn't I been approach by a being of such a repulsive look, even horror writers would faint! The slippery scaly humanoid rushed at me and I did my best to protect myself - the rest is lost to my memory as I was bested in the fight.

This story continues as it was told by trusty Artemis and Stan. Stan was of quick wits and charged the imposing figure he thought was a leader of the group. He was locked in a fight with the cultist, but was unable to secure a definite victory against the evil doer.  In the mean time, that awful fish-man hybrid shambled towards Artemis, whose wits were so strained, he missed the creature at point blank with his pistol and then fell tho his attack in close combat.

Stan could still not overpower the leader of the party and henchman decided to intervene. Afraid he might hit his leader, he joined in the brawl and did not fire from the distance. This decision turned out to be his undoing, as Stan hacked through him with ease. This small victory apparently motivated Stan to focus and he finally settled the dispute with the cultist.  He wasted no time and rushed around the corner to meet the devil that dealt such a great amount of pain to his friends. He emptied a clip, but did not manage to hit the shambling young man, who turned towards Stan but failed to reach him and engage in a close combat. While Stan always preferred to dance to the song of swords than orchestra of powder, a rusty old cleaver that that pitied creature dragged behind it made him think twice and he instead decided to keep some distance and rather fill the abnormality with lead.

After two carefully aimed shots, the being dropped dead on the spot and Stan rushed to get me and Artemis to hospital, where is it I woke up.

The mission was costly for our little team, as poor Artemis lost all his trust in the fire arms and pledged never to use them again - they are inaccurate and not worth the bother, he claims! As for me...oh god...that forsaken beast has swung its blade all over my face and the result is beyond imaginable. I dread seeing myself in mirror - how can I ever let my loved ones see me like this?

Post-game thoughts:

While it has its cons (First version at least), Strange Aeons is by far the most fun I have playing games. Fast and simple and if I play alone nobody hears me adding the sound effects!

To be completely fair, I replayed the scenario, as after first game all three agents were removed from play without causing any damage whatsoever. Henchman with the Tommy gun was killing them without too much trouble - the profile is strong by itself and it had all the best rolls! According to the injury roles, one died and the other one was horribly crippled, so I decided to cheat a bit and call it a practice game, as I haven't played in months.

Artemis suffers from Ballistophobia and will need to preform a test before he can fire a weapon, while Oscar is now hideous, which means every human that comes into base to base contact with him, will have to throw a resolve check.

15 Mar 2015

Squad Leaders

 Hello guys,

I painted the last of the soldiers I currently own: two squad leader shown this week, a medic and a radioman/JTAC following in the next weeks. I decided to stretch this pack to give me more time to paint new things to show without any other two week long pauses!

In Slovenian Armed Forces, every squad of two fire teams of four is lead by a ninth member, a Squad leader.

For these two roles, I am using an EOD pack soldier (left) and a Command pack commander (right). I might mention that now that I am typing this, I just remembered that I planned to sculpt sidearms on them, which squad leaders would carry.  It really bothers me that I forgot about them, but that is what you get when you stop working on a project mid-way! On the other hand, I don't like going back to my miniatures after the varnish, so I might leave them as they are.
Other than the interesting poses (that are not too dynamic, but not bland, either!), there is not much to say about them. Each of the two is pretty much the same as any other solider I painted so far and carries an F2000S rifle.

For your amusement, here is a photo of a squad (I know, I know...) taken from the recruiting website. Note how the camouflage patterns of the uniforms and vests are different.

That's it for today!

Thanks for looking,

9 Mar 2015

London loot!

Hi guys,

sorry again for the lack of posting. I was busy with everything else last week, but my mojo is slowly returning and I am working on the moderns.

Among other things, I've been visiting London (funny how traditional this became as I was boasting I would never go to London some years ago!) over weekend. Main purpose of the trip was to attend Fortress Study Group Member's day. I have been a member for three weeks or so and whole trip was planned last minute as I figured I might as well go. I will never forgive myself, but I've missed a chance to visit North East again and, less importantly, I "just" missed yet another Salute.

I also visited two games shops (Orcs Nest and Dark Sphere). I was thinking about picking up a box of plastic Dark Age Warriors and maybe SAGA rules. I have factions all planned and everything. In the end, I decided against it and I will rather focus on what I have. In the end, I only bought a bottle of white primer. I found out games shops don't really work on my wish to buy anything, for some reason. I think the miniatures just aren't what I imagine them to be on the internet!

Thus, this was the only Saga I bought:
Other three are horror related - I was reading my Lovecraft tales on the plane, which reminded me why I loved Strange Aeons so much when I started collecting miniatures for it two years back (time moves so fast!). Those are Penguin book's new collection, they are 4 of the 80 small booklets at 80 pence each. Well worth the money.

They also had some great looking WW2 reprints. I looked at the Tips for Home Guard, which was pretty fantastic, but not exactly what I was after. I had high hopes for "German plans for invasion of England" but it turns out the original name of the text would actually be translated something like "England's Geostrategic report" or something along those lines. It was mostly about the geography and urbanisation of various parts of Britain.  I didn't look at the others, but I Commando one is probably quite interesting. 

I went to a poundland on one of the days, but as I was catching last minutes, I only visited one of the two closely together (Killburn High Road station, turn right at the exit and walk a bit). I returned on the last day, went to the second shop and behold:

Yes, they are the lousy police cars, but not like those I bought in the past. They are all pickups and as such good enough (given the price) to be transformed into technicals for my rebels! Amazing! I was hoping I would find suitable vehicles somewhere, and those were really gifted by the gods. I only picked one box, two machine gun armed and one with some sort of a gun should be enough.
They also had some speedy kind, but I have no use for those, as I already have the "ordinary" patrol cars of the same "quality".

This is it for now, but I am highly motivated and should be tackling my lead pile in near future!

Thanks for looking,