Wednesday, 29 April 2015

They Mostly Come at Night... Mostly...

Who remembers Space Hulk? I'm not talking about the new 'limited edition' version that gives Games Workshop license to print money, but the original box set from 1989. Although the rules were pretty simple, the first edition has a really intense edge to the game play, especially when playing as the Terminators. The few against many with a generally inevitable end. It was ruined when GW decided they could sell more figures by turning it into Warhammer 40,000 in Space and cramming in as many races in as they could.

Anyhoo, Ninjasuarus Rex has been busy buying up second hand Genestealers and even a second box set to augment his original box. He has been working on an idea to retro-fit the Space Hulk game back to its original inspiration, the 1986 film Aliens. This essentially means getting rid of the lumps of plastic that stand in for the Terminators and replacing them with a bunch of human figures that are based on the film. The figures came from Denizen Miniatures in their 25mm Sci-Fi range and are lovely minis; they are really well proportioned and the women look like women, not gravity defying buxom wenches, which is usually the case.

He also undercoated a good number of Genestealers and the Marines, so we were able to play a game last Sunday (waiting for him to actually finish some figures would be like waiting for Godot, so undercoated figures are a damn site better than nothing...). He also scratch built the bases for the figures to look like the metal floors of the spaceship, bloody lovely they look too! With two box sets, he was able to make a large layout for the Marines and Genestealers to fight in. Dean took the Genestealers and Ninjasaurus and I took five Marines each. The basic premise was for the Marines to survive for 15 turns. Did we do it? Well, read on and find out...

'How many drops for you is this Lieutenant?'

'38... Simulated'
'How many combat drops?'
'Two, including this one.'

'Somebody said "alien" she thought they said "illegal alien" and signed up'

'I like to keep this handy, for close encounters.'

'We're all gonna die man.'

'That's the grenade launcher. I don't think you want to mess with that.'

'Maybe we got 'em demoralized.'

'This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.'

'That's right outside the door. Hicks, Vasquez get back.'

'My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are.'

'Eat this!'

'Oh, maaaaaan and I was getting short. Four more weeks and out, now I'm going to die on this rock. This ain't fair man.'

'You always were an asshole, Gorman.'

'They're coming outta the walls. They're coming outta the goddamn walls. Let's book'

'I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.'

'Look, I'm telling ya, there's somethin' movin' and it ain't us! Tracker's off scale, man. They're all around us, man. Jesus!'

'I got signals. I got readings, in front and behind.'

'Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man... This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!'

'That can't be; that's inside the room.'
'It's reading right man, look!'
'Then you're not reading *it* right.'
'5 meters, man. 4. What the hell?'

'Remember: short controlled bursts.'

'Game over, man. Game over...'

For the Marines it was game over. Our last soldier was eaten by a Genestealer on the fifteenth move despite doing her best to take down as many of them as possible. It was a slow attrition from the start and even though there were long corridors to fire down the xenomorphs just kept coming! As usual, the game was pretty intense and we realised very early on that the room we began in just was not defensible. We were in the process of regrouping elsewhere, when the swarm overpowered us!

I expect we'll have a few more games of this in the future, so stay tuned for more AARs!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Still Alive!!

I am still alive!! I survived San Francisco, but have got home to find myself jobless and computerless, but more happily, engaged. 

Unfortunately, there has been no updates since I got back last week. I am working on the computer situation. A new one should arrive in the next couple of days, until then I have to use my (now) fiance's computer, which I am not very good with... 

Normal service will be resumed as soon as it arrives, but until then here's a picture of a German 15cm sFH 18 for Stalingrad. It's a crappy picture from my mobile and not finished, but there is more to come!

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

An Ecstasy of Fumbling

After completing the first trench section, I was enthused enough to complete the other two that came with the set from Early War Miniatures and here is a semi-complete step-by-step account of how I painted them. The first photo was taken after I had put the sand and PVA over the areas outside of the trench. They had also been sprayed dark brown in the following picture, but you can see that I have also painted the wooden parts of the trench furniture in Khaki Grey. It's looking pretty ugly at this stage:

Next up was a drybrush of the entire piece with Khaki, this also included painting all the sandbags in Khaki as well. I also painted the wriggly tin in a rust colour during this stage, but still, it looks like a mess.

This is the second of the three pieces, this one had more open areas of plastic, the tops of dugouts, which you can see I have also drybrushed in Khaki. This whole process took a couple of hours and was pretty boring to be honest, it's large areas of flat that need to be dealt with!

As I said, this is not a complete tutorial, but the next stage was the inkwash the trench furniture and sandbags in Army Painter's Dark Shade, then a drybrushing of German Camo Beige to highlight the wood. Finally, I added clumps of static grass and varnished the entire things. Here are all three finally finished:

In the set I got a couple of roofs for a dugout that is the feature of one of the trenches, the interior is nicely detailed as you can see here:

As for holding them together, EWM recommended using rare earth magnets, you can see how I super-glued four to the edges of each piece. They are strong enough to stop the pieces moving about in a game. It took a  little while to get these in the right place. The way I did it was to glue four on the edge of one board, then matched up another board and held the two together with masking tape so they wouldn't slip. I then superglued the corresponding magnets on the other board.

And that was it, pretty simple really, and is how they look when defended by a big group of Germans under attack from British tanks and infantry!

I said it before, these are an excellent product and probably the best trenches that I have seen on the market, I intend on getting some more, to create a second line of defence plus some other bits and pieces like mortar pits and the like. The more I can add to these the more choice I will have for scenarios.

Well, that's it from me for a while, I am off to San Francisco for a fortnight on Saturday, so there will be a break down in communication until I am back, but thanks for reading!
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