Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Rebel Minis - 15mm Infiltrators and Sahadeen War Maidens

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Rebel Minis 15mm Sci Fi INFILTRATORS

Bloody Magnificent!

Click on photos for close up views

I'm simply left speechless by the photos sent over by Mike at Rebel Minis this evening. In this instance, I think the pictures of these new 15mm INFILTRATORS can be left to speak for themselves.

Packaged as 21 figures from six unique sculpts, these Ultra-tech Nano-Suit soldiery, can be used variously as Ultra-tech infantry, dismounted Grav armour crew, downed dropship pilots and Spec Ops.

The photos are jaw-droppingly fantastic! And as such Dropship Horizon accepts no liability for dental work or jaw reconstruction. You view these photos at your own risk!


Rebel Minis 15mm Sci Fi War Maidens

I'm also pleased to be able to share with you a preview of Rebel Minis new Sahadeen War Maidens. Crackingly good looking minis too. I'm sure you'll agree they are suitable for a mix of Sci Fi, VSF, Adventure and Pulp genres. More details on packaging and pricing will appear on the Rebel Minis website soon!


Cheers
Mark
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Monday, 28 September 2009

IN THE PIPE... 15mm Alien 'Skins'

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Another Dropship Horizon exclusive....I'm delighted to announce that Chris at Outland Games will shortly be joining the hallowed ranks of 15mm Sci Fi manufacturers.

His first two figure ranges are 15mm Lizaroids and a race known as 'Skins'. A range of AFVs will follow in due course.

Chris has sent me a photo of WI greens - or should that be 'greys' of his first 'Skins' to share with you.

Outland Games' 15mm 'Skins' WIP


The 'Skins' illustrated are the light version in a skullcap and communicator. Heavier armoured 'Skins' are likely to follow.

Chris also has a fully assembled and painted GZG armoured Grav 'Battalion' for sale on his website. Check out the photos here (click). Really nice looking force.

Chris is asking just US $288.00 plus US$15 dollars shipping anywhere in the world. By my reckoning that's around £200.00 all in, for a Grav force of £100.00 in bare metal fully painted and ready to do battle.


Cheers
Mark
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Saturday, 26 September 2009

O.D.S.T. All the Way!

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If you are a manufacturer or sculptor
Don't think Stormtrooper
Don't think Space Marine
Don't even think SPARTAN.

Think O.D.S.T.

This is 2009, not 1979, so
Give me 15mm figures I can believe in!





Mark
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Friday, 25 September 2009

Take Me To Your Leader. Redux!

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I have to admit that I fancied getting some 15mm.co.uk's HOF range Grey Aliens for some time. You can't help but fall for their tongue-in-cheek 1950-60's 'B' Movie charm.


Tuesday evening, I decided to take up 15mm.co.uk's offer of FREE samples, click here for more detail. But, to make the flat rate postage even more worthwhile, I went for the ASL10: 100 Point Alien Squad Leader (ASQL) Grey Alien pack, together with a blister of HOF56: Human Cultists.


My reasoning was, well if I'm going for movie inspired miniatures, one of my all time favourite films is THE OMEGA MAN with Charlton Heston (1971). The Cultist miniatures remind me of the movie and so will become the denizens of my post apocalyptic urban (and/or Martian desert) terrain and at the very least pop up in my Sci Fi 1-2-1 character skirmish games.

At the end of this week, it was great to find a package from 15mm.co.uk waiting for me when I got home from work this evening. 48 hour turn around - not shabby at all! Means I can be confident that if I place an order at the beginning of the week, of receiving it in time to work on the project that same weekend.

The Grey Aliens are everything I expected of them with one exception. The Saucer. It's bloody marvellous! The photos simply don't do it justice! The same could be said for the Cultists who are again, very nice miniatures - and I am bearing in mind Leutenant Brittan's clever paint job on them, over on the Farpoint Salvage blog.

Full review of both products as time permits in the coming week together with a full step by step guide to painting and basing the Grey Aliens as a self-contained project for next weekend.

Cheers
Mark
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RAFM Traveller - 15mm Vargr, Aslan and Droyne

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On 17th July I reported news direct from the RAFM homepage which stated that the ex-Traveller line of tanks and miniatures was being taken out of production.

RAFM's homepage has since announced an expansion to the range of miniatures - in essence ex-Citadel Traveller Vargr, Aslan and Droyne. However the larger more expensive ex-Martian Metals' Grav tanks and AFVs formerly in the Grav Tanks section of the website have been removed from sale.

I'm glad the Mid-High tech figures are still available . Undoubtably these new additions will be popular. I checked Ebay today and found three, yes THREE! 15mm ex-Citadel Traveller Aslan miniatures being offered for £10!

Don't forget Critical Mass Games' Protolene Khanate will be released on 23rd November and Khurasan Miniatures' Felids very soon.

Before anyone in the UK rushes off and orders these minis - between the Post Office, HM Customs and RAFM's own not cheap overseas rates, the delivery charges come to about 50% of the order value. It's worth bearing in mind that in the UK, we have to order goods of value less than £18 or get charged 15%VAT, PLUS, an £8 GBP administration charge from the Post Office.

Cheers
Mark
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Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Fuzz

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Just a quickie to bring to your attention 15mm.co.uk's HOF52 Megopolis Police Patrol. Actually, not just the Police Patrol but also Lieutenant Brittan's excellent paint job. Look at that that helmet mounted blue optic, it almost looks real. Check out LB's other excellent work by following the links in his latest Special Corps blog entry.


A heads up for you. This neighbourhood will be attracting a lot more alien jundies and general intergalactic scumbags over the coming months. We are going to need a bigger police presence to keep this sector of the galaxy safe.

HOF52, 10 figures for £3.50 from
WWW.15MM.CO.UK

Cheers
Mark
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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

N Scale Near Future/Sci Fi from GFI

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Tom over at GFI gave me a heads up last week about his 19 new AFVs for Near Future/Sci-Fi in N scale.

You know, I'm tempted, really tempted by them. There's enough detail in N Scale for the model soldier freak in me but without the painting pain of 15mm. Whilst N scale are also small enough to have many of the benefits of 6mm especially affordability, combat ranges and room for manouvering Grav on the tabletop.


Plus, and it's a big plus..... these AFVs simply ARE my personal vision of Hammers Slammers....look at that 'Combat Car' above! Whilst the enclosed hull might not be strictly canon, I definitely prefer it, as I never got the Slammers open top Chelsea Flower Show 'pergola' look.

GFI already produce some nice Near Future infantry and a comprehensive range of N scale Modern armour, vehicles, infantry and accessories. If you need additional suitable infantry, the N Scale Modern Germans, Brits and SAS/Spetnaz put many established Modern figure manufacturers to shame, whilst Force XXI has a small but tasty range of opposing 10mm Grav armour.

Even if you are a committed 15mm gamer, take a look, there are some potential ideas for Future kitbashing Modern armour:


Cheers
Mark
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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

'O' GROUP.......Rationalisation

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I'm cooking! Not in some power charged I am all I can be kind of way - actually cooking. So text now, pics to follow as I do my Jamie Oliver in the kitchen this evening.

With Force XXI back in the race, with some very, very tempting 15mm Gunships and sexy Soviet Blok Grav armour, plus all this new stuff from Critical Mass Games, Khurasan and GZG, more to come from Rebel Minis; it's been time for a rationalisation at the Dropship Headshed. We've been shuffling minis around, retiring some, swopping others to meet our current wants.

As I really haven't bonded with the Critical Mass Drop Troops, they're a bit 'Darcey Bussell' for my tastes, I've packed them off to the Master Chef. In return he has given me his painted Earth Force Marines and a handful of GZG New Israelis. Can't have enough Earth Force Marines I say, sooooo classic Traveller!

Tell me M.C.? What the hell did you use to stick these E.F.M.s to your card bases? 15 year old Stalinist Bostik? An hour and two sliced fingers later, I have removed the Earth Force minis from the card and stuck them, plus any remaining card, Bostik and blood onto my 'standard' 40mm round bases. I can hear Master Chef right now...

"No 1 rule of wargaming!
You can't love your troops

unless you BLEED for them!"

At the moment we are both concentrating on Critical Mass' Light Recon as HALO O.D.S.T. proxies. Somewhat inspired by Phil's treatment of the Light Recon over at Firezone Studios, I've painted a 'Commando Platoon' black overall with Citadel OOP Striking Scorpion Green helmets armour and pads. Not on the plan, not gritty, but very Sci Fi.

If I ever got into 6mm Sci Fi - and it might not be far off, might be the best way for me to fight my Sci Fi Hyborian campaign, Phil can paint my minis for me (as long as I still have a job that is).....mucho hairy on that front at the moment.

Well that's it - SANS MARCHE - Sur La Table!

Cheers
Mark
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Monday, 21 September 2009

Sci Fi Rambles in Uruzgan

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I downloaded Operation: Uruzgan, the first 'Ops' (scenario) book for use with Ambush Alley's Force on Force last week.

Operation: Uruzgan takes a detailed look at Australian operations in the Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan and contains:

  • 9 Historically Accurate Scenarios
  • A Historical Overview of Operations in the Region Since Anaconda
  • Special Rules to Represent the Unique Flavor of Taliban Operations in Uruzgan
  • Special Rules to Represent the ADF’s Operations in Uruzgan, Including ROEs and COIN based tactics
  • 5 New Vehicle Write-Ups, including the Bushmaster IMV
  • Uruzgan Specific Fog of War Cards
  • Uruzgan Specific Asset Cards
  • Guidelines for Using Scenarios with Other Coalition Forces
First off, the production quality is superb - this is nothing less than a professional product. Well done guys!

I haven't had a chance to do more than scan the scenarios and various chapters, due to still being less than par but I have to say that this is pure classic Traveller Book 4: Mercenary territory. You can lift these scenarios and drop them into any platoon level Sci Fi system. Rebel Minis Earth Force Marines conducting COIN on Mars against the Sahadeen - not a problem!

My own classic Traveller Book 4: Mercenary 'tickets' were always less than glamorous. Laserburn Mercs or Asgard Imperial Marines fought lonely and desperate 'police actions' in Peruvian style hills - think Proof of Life (2000, Russell Crowe). I guess because of the visualisation I had of South American guerrilla and COIN warfare imprinted on me at an impressionable age through reading War of the Flea (Robert Taber).

Operation: Uruzgan takes me back to those games and gives me an opportunity to replay these types of missions again - this time with Ambush Alleys' draft Tommorrows War - and also possibly FAD4 using the Traveller supplement, which reminds me - I still have Tom War BatReps to post, though the photos are still stuck on the faulty camera. Stuff it, I'll take some 'supplementary' photos of my figures in 'Mog City' at the weekend to illustrate the BatReps and post them up individually next week.

Cheers
Mark
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Critical Mass Games - Wave 2 Released

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Just a quick reminder that Wave 2 of Critical Mass Games new 15mm releases are available on the website NOW!

Wave 2 includes Arc Fleet Rifle Infantry and the full range of Combat Walkers previewed on Dropship Horizon last week whihc showed pre-production photos illustrating the breakdown of parts.

The Combat Walkers are available singly and in discounted platoon sets. Something worthwhile to take on those Rebel Minis' Martian Walkers and 15mm.co.uk Giant Mechas on their own terms!


Whilst designed to support the Arc Fleet forces, these beauties will fit in with many Near Future and Sci Fi ranges currently on the market.

Remember that the Combat Walkers come with a randomly supplied crew figure. See the variants below:

I had a rewarding chat with Craig on Saturday regarding painting and basing techniques. You can clearly see Craig's fine work in this picture of the Arc Fleet Rifle Infantry:


If you want to achieve these sort of painting results yourself pop over to the Critical Mass Games' Forum and follow Dales' step by step tutorial on painting the Light Recon in a 'Desert' scheme (Dales Desert Painting Guide).

It's worth keeping an eye on the Painting & Modelling thread to see how other gamers have painted their minis. I particularly like the overall effect of the painted miniatures by Alexmunkey and Tri3. Something about Phil of Firezone Studio's more classic Sci Fi hits an inner cord with me and subsequently inspired me to paint some of my Light Recon miniatures in a similar fashion as a 'Commando Strike Force'.

Combat Walkers and Arc Fleet Rifle Infantry are available from:

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Free Samples from 15mm.co.uk

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Alex over at 15mm.co.uk has alerted me to a great limited time Free Sample Offer they are running:


15mm.co.uk are offering you the opportunity to get sample packs of ten randomly picked LASERBURN 15mm sci-fi and ten TTM 15mm Fantasy figures. All you do is pay for the postage. If you are planning on making an order with 15mm.co.uk anyway, remember they also sell Ancients, Medievals, Renaissance and ACW, these Sci Fi and Fantasy samples are absolutely FREE!

This exclusive offer runs until Friday 2nd October 2009.

15mm.co.uk are also now selling Plasticard Bases for ASQL (Alien Squad Leader) and other 15mm systems (such as HOTT, DBA etc). A wide range of bases are available at very reasonable prices. Worth checking them out:


Cheers
Mark
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Thursday, 17 September 2009

'O' GROUP....... Mars 1889

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When Space 1889 first hit the shelves at the tail end of the 80's, I was living in New Jersey where I shared an apartment with a theatre director and sometime actress. We met in London over Vodka shots at Break For The Border. She was a typically theatrical type, so you can imagine the dramas and emotional rollercoaster ride. Made more 'interesting' that she was somewhat pissed at having been in the same drama class as Rebecca DeMornay, but not done quite so well on the big screen, and not been quite so blonde!

I remember buying Sky Galleons of Mars from The Compleat Strategist in New York, on East 33rd. I had a strong affinity with the shop through The Courier, which was THE BEST wargames' magazine for many, many years in my humble opinion.....

Sky Galleons was a blast to play! Lot's of fun! There's just that something about Peter Pig's 15mm Sudan range naval crew figures (packs 60 & 61) that make me want to scratchbuild my own 15mm aerial Gunboats.


As if I don't have enough projects on the go......tempting though, definitely one for the back-burner. Where this rambling trip down memory lane going, is to say that I picked up a couple of 'Specials' from the Too Fat Lardies this week. You can't fail to love these 'Specials', with their self-effacing humour and eclectic mix of down to earth wargaming articles.

Of particular note to Sci Fi gamers is the 2008 Summer Special which contains Bag the Jedi - a fun variant for the Lardies superb WW2 aerial combat game Bag the Hun!

Best read for me, was the 2008 Christmas Special. What piqued my interest here was twofold - They Don’t Like it Up ‘Em! Sudan rules in the Gilder manner. Expect more regarding VSF games on the blog as a result. Also, A Damnably Close Run Thing - Scott Dallimore's Indian Mutiny variant for the Lardies' acclaimed Sharp Practice Napoleonic/Black Powder skirmish game. There's something about the Mutiny that makes me think of Victorian Mars more so than the late Victorian 'Gunboats down the Nile' period. It occured to me that this could be a good, racuously fun 'skirmish' game option with only a few tweaks.

Before I hare off at a tangent with other rule systems, I'm going to make sure my VSF armies are ready to take the field first and foremost with ALIEN SQUAD LEADER (ASQL)2.0. Which, when all is said and done, is a fun set of rules that's tactically challenging without being demanding to learn, memorise or play. The 'Victorian Imperial' army template in edition 2.0 opens up ASQL to VSF.

Definitely more VSF and traditional Space Opera games with ASQL in the coming months.

Cheers
Mark
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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Incoming Transmission..... Critical Mass Games 15mm Arc Fleet Combat Walkers Preview

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Never mind your Battlemechs and Japanese manga mecha, if you want real world gritty 15mm Sci Fi walkers look no further than
Critical Mass Games new range of Arc Fleet Combat Walkers available to order from Monday, 21st September.


The Scout Variant with three chin guns is £8.50. Each of the 3 Heavy Support Variants with two wing weapons is £10.50. These Heavy Support Variants are a) 2 cannons, b) 2 missile pods, c) 2 cannon/missile pods.

The photos below show pre-production components (minus the crewman, one of three supplied randomly with each Walker). Better photos will be available on the Critical Mass website.






In addition, there will be 'platoon' box sets of 3 Scout Walkers at £23.00 or 3 Heavy Support (all same type) for £29.00.

Wing mounts and crew will be availble in seperately, contents and price TBD.

Further photos to whet your appetite can be found in a previous post from July (click here)


Cheers
Mark
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Iron Maiden First Strike: Photo BatRep

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There hasn't been much opportunity to enjoy the outdoors this year in Kinkydeenshine, but the tail end of last week turned everything round and we finally got our 'Indian Summer'. Over a candlelit Lamb Tangine, Heather declared we should make the most of the weather and play at least one Sci Fi wargame in the garden.....


Candlelit Lamb Tagine

Next day, post hangover.....covert surveillance satellite AL1CE is brought out of orbit and lands in the Kerrang Desert just inside the borders of AceeDCee.

Downed A1LCE Recce Satellite in crash crater guarded by AC/DC Combat Air Patrol

AC/DC troops of 78th 'Riff Raff' Rapid Reaction Force enjoying the pleasures of detached duty at El Burro

Iron Maiden First Strike Company.
"Boots on the ground chief!"
Sgt. Major Blane scopes the enemy.


The balloon goes up!

For those about to rock.....

Uh-oh!

The Dance of Death!!!

The sun/s ALWAYS shines on Bruce!
No. 4
'Powerslave' platoon securing the objective


Shot of table plus garden to please the missus

All over bar the BBQ....

By no means a serious game. My original plan had been to play a solo scenario with a full Grav mech company, walkers, dropships, the works....but decided to keep it simple for Heather's first experience with Future War Commander (lite!).

As a serious fan of AC/DC since her college years, she was happy to lead 'Angus' and the boys, leaving the 'Iron Maidens' to me. One of H's favourite films is Predator (1987), so she fully 'gets' that the Iron Maidens were super-soldiers wearing adaptive camo suits and a match for her 'eavy metal.

Interestingly Heather's only reference for Grav vehicles is Luke's skimmer on Tatooine in Star Wars, so the Grav APCs followed the course of the pass rather than use their full inherent 3D mobility.

Great thing is she wants to do it again!

Cheers
Mark
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Monday, 14 September 2009

Incoming Transmission..... Khurasan 15mm Karkarines

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A new 15mm Sci Fi race from Jon at Khurasan Miniatures:

Karkarine Marines

Khurasan Miniatures 15mm Karkarine Marines
TTC-1201 Karkarine Infantry, 4 figs for $2.49

TTC-1202 Karkarine Command and Hvy Wpns, 3 figs for $1.79

Lovely miniatures! Plenty of photos on the website together with the much anticipated Pelagic Dominate Heavy Grav AFVs. Simply inspired! Well done Jon! These are some of the best if not THE best 15mm Sci Fi miniatures to appear so far this year - where do I start? Headline thoughts.... animation, discernably different and naturalistic poses, sculpting consistency, inherent believability, radical!

I want to encourage you to look beyond the full on Sci Fi battle be it platoon, company or battalion level and use these figures in Pulp, Apocalyptic/Gamma, VSF and Sci Fi RPG games too. 'Venusians' instantly comes to my mind, as does Waterworld and post apocalyptic pirate concepts.


Don't forget to read my original preview from 23rd July for more detail (click here)!

Karkarine Marines. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Galaxy. Available now from:


Cheers
Mark
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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Iron Maiden First Strike: FWC BatRep

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Satellite Recovery.....

WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!


video
"Out of the Silent Planet"

"Run to the Hills"


"Be Quick or Be Dead"

First blood for my Critical Mass Augmented Troopers. Full BatRep to follow.....

"Tailgunner"

Anyhoo! A gratuitous close up of my two favourite figs of the Iron Maiden First Strike Company taken at the start of the game.

"Leyton One, Leyton One, we have Number of the Beast
in company strength. Repeat. Company strength."

Cheers
Mark
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Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Face of God: FWC BatRep

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The Face of God

Echo Zulu, Echo Zulu. This is Panjur 5. Boots on target.
By Crom! You've got to see this!
All round defence initiated......



SITUATION:


Massive unidentified electrical signals are being received throughout the Sector. The source of these signals has been pinpointed to an uninhabited rock in a forgotten backwater, Nu IV. A nearby frigate has been ordered to assemble a task force of Marines and investigate.


Weather: Violent dust and electrical storms reducing all ranges by half

Terrain: Open, desert Mesa terrain forming natural ampitheatre.

Enemy Forces: Unknown......


Friendly Forces:

MISSION:

Locate, identify and report on source of signals eminating from planet surface.

Execution:


SUMMARY:

The scenario was designed to be simple, fun, solo game following a blowout Chinese Take Away one evening. It pitches two very different forces at each other and ended up being surprisingly well balanced.

One of the things that struck home in designing the forces for the game using the FWC points based system as a guide, was very definitely NOT to grab a shopping bag full of attributes and tech upgrades, because they sound cool but instead to carefully tailor the Unit Attributes/Weapons and Tech Upgrades to the role your forces will play in the mission.

I enjoyed playing the game, especially the near run ending. It was challenging but not demanding/ The scenario begs to be replayed with different forces, especially aliens and I already have an image in my head of an alien vs alien encounter.

Just in case you are wondering, the 'Face of God' monument is a volcanic basalt rock ornament we brought back with us from Santorini, two years ago. It's been crying out to be used in this type of scenario!


Cheers
Mark
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