Tuesday 27 January 2009

RAFM - GZG Comparison

A quick comparison photo tonight which shows figures from RAFM's Infantry Pack No.1 (ex-Citadel Traveller 'Military' High Tech troopers) side by side with GZG's new SG15-V15 pack.

The RAFM figs are all 15mm to eye level except the central figure who is 14mm, the smallest in the pack. At a 2 foot viewing distance the figures can be happily mixed together on the tabletop.

Saturday 24 January 2009

Abduction Alley

Rebel Minis have announced new 15mm Alien Greys. The first pack, available now, are unarmed, and the pack contains one sculpt with arms that are poseable to make an unlimited variety of Aliens.

Rebel Minis 15mm Alien Greys

Mike says these are about 15mm to the top of the head, so slightly shorter than Rebel Minis current modern range of miniatures. This pack includes 24 15mm scale Alien Greys, sculpted by Martin Baker, and they look great!

Really useful miniatures and I'm already thinking of using them as Alien 'Zombies', or Alien Abductors in a parody of Ambush Z! by Ambush Alley Games. Armed Alien Greys will also be available from Rebel Minis shortly bit don't let that hold you back from ordering these now!

$10.95 USD for 24 Alien Greys.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

In Space No-one Can Hear You........

.......buy GZG SG15-V14 Armed crew figures in heavy EVA suits. These miniatures are perfect for any number of scenarios inspired by Alien, Outland, 2001, UFO, or yesteryear Sci Fi classic. Whether set on a lunar surface, an abandoned spaceship or the deep vacuum of space.

SG15-V14 contains 6 BIG figures, with two each of 3 different poses for £2.50. The figures themselves are 16-17mm to eye level, approximately 10mm across the body and 19mm tall overall. They also carry huge life-support systems on their backs, looking not unlike that beer fridge you have in the garage!

Don't be put off by the size of these figures when compared to more conventionally sized Sci Fi miniatures. A quick Google will show them to be correct in size and bulk, and I think they look great for shambling down starship corridors or into those alien caverns. Rather than try to describe the detail on the figures, I'll let the photo above do the talking. They will repay a colourful paint job that makes the best of the sculpting and are perfect for a wash of GW (Citadel) Devlan Mudd or similar over a light base colour and then picking out the detail.

I chose to use these figs to give the Master Chef's 'wash' technique a go. In the photo below you will see the successive stages as each wash is applied over the BARE METAL. I'm delighted with the results. I painted the gold visor after the second wash, then added another careful thin blue wash over it during the third coat, before a final quick gold highlight.

I love the 'electric blue' metallic fabric effect of the wash. Whilst the original plan was to paint the boots, gloves, and equipment in white or yellow, and maybe even paint the helmet white, yellow, orange or red - for that utilitarian starship crew effect - I may well just leave them as is and pick out the weapons and other minor details.

I thoroughly recommend this technique if you need to paint a number of figures quickly for a game, especially miniatures like these with full faced helmet visors. It's not just speed painting but warp-speed painting! By the time you finish applying a coat of wash to the third miniature, you can return to the first to apply the next coat. 24 figs given 3 coats in an hour. To block paint visors, weapons and bases takes just one more hour. Though the paint job is still to be finished as you can see in the photo here, that gold visor really lifts the figure above the ordinary.

TIP: Don't be tempted to add black or brown ink for more depth to the shadows. It just looks muddy. I've tried.

TIP: Make sure you don't allow the wash to pool or create tidemarks on flat surfaces. Further coats of wash won't hide them!

There's even less excuse now for that pile of Sci Fi lead to get any larger. They probably won't win any prizes but it does get a platoon or more of 'painted' figures on the table with just one evening's work.


Listen Up!

OK Marines, take a knee, the Master Chef here.

High Command have noticed that there are far too many unpainted figures out there and something needs to be done about it. I presume you are painting RAFM High Tech infantry and you want to paint them as Spartans. What else do you want to paint them as?

I’ll talk slow, so try to keep up.

Buy some artist mountain card, dark brown shade or whatever
fits the terrain you will fight on most of the time.


Glue your figures onto the base. Remember, don’t cluster and make it easy
for the alien scum to take all the guys with one frag grenade!


Let the glue DRY! This means YOU!

Get your green ink/wash. We use GW Thraka Green but there you go.
Apply the wash liberally over the figures.


Do it again to cover anything you missed at stage 4.
If you need a 3rd coat, you are off this course, you dumb grunt!

Let the ink dry!
No one won a war by handling wet figures.


Paint the visor – yes paint it GOLD!
What other colour do you paint visors?


Apply unit patches; a simple red dot on the left arm will do.
No patches, no crossed paintbrush insignia ribbon.


Paint the weapons and kit black, steel or whatever.
No pretty colours! Repeat


Use brown ink to dye the edge of the card and add flock etc to taste.

Find some alien scum and KILL THEM!

The Master Chef's Alien Scum
Ex-Citadel Traveller Aslan with GZG Kra'vak APC

Master Chef On Deck

Listen up Marines !

We have a new occasional columnist on board.

The Master Chef!


Sunday 18 January 2009

IN THE PIPE... 15mm Xenomorphs

There is an ancient nightmare in the consciousness of many races.
A terror that transcends the reaches of galactic space.
A horror waiting, quietly, patiently in the darkness......
..... for mankind.

I'm pleased to be able to announce a new range of 15mm Xenomorphs in development at Khurasan Miniatures. Jon has been kind enough to provide me with photos of the greens as they've been sculpted. The detail and animation is just mouth watering!

Space Demon King - detail

With Jon's permission I will describe the background to the range and publish pics of the SPACE DEMON KING green. More pics of the various miniatures in th
e range will follow as they near production.

What I can tell you now is that you
are going to be blown away mister!

There are two types of
Space Demon xenomorphs - Royalty and Warrior.


  • The Queen Space Demon is an enormous telepathic commander, some 25mm tall, who reproduces the warrior types whose will commands and directs the Space Demon Assault Warriors.
  • The Space Demon Kings are huge and highly intuitive creatures, as big as a queen, and again 25mm tall. They are the assault leader and linebreaker, but also leader of the infiltrator warriors. One or more may be spawned by the queen when very large numbers of prey are present and have advanced weaponry.
Space Demon King (Green)
from Khurasan Miniatures


  • Space Demon Infiltrator Warriors are usually hatched when they are likely to be in environments where they will be isolated. (Like one single infiltrator on a human spaceship, for instance!) They are silent stalkers who are more intelligent than the other warriors and don't need the telepathic commands of the queen to function. However they also appear en-masse when a Space Demon King has spawned, and will work to outflank the enemy and assassinate his leadership to support the king's frontal attacks. At the same time a few of them will serve as the king's immediate bodyguard in the centre of the line when he is present.
  • Space Demon Assault Warriors stay with the queen and launch themselves headlong at the enemy, always at her instruction. They are the cannon fodder of the hive, warrior drones that count the enemy guns by expending their lives, etc.
  • Space Demon Hammerhead Warriors are specialist scouts using their extremely enhanced senses to find the enemy and telepathically report on their location from far away.

You're gonna need a bigger BLIP!

Thursday 15 January 2009

The Right Stuff

Following popular demand on TMP, GZG released a series of packs before Christmas with figures in Vacc-Suits, or 'spacesuits' to those of you from the Apollo generation like me. The cream of the crop has to be pack SG15-V15: Armed crew figures in light duty vacc-suits.

SG15-V15: Xeno Fodder!

There are 8 figures in a variety of combat poses armed with a medley of smallarms. This is the Science Fiction I grew up with - none of this W40K power armour and huge shoulder pad wimpery - but men in fragile spacesuits with shotguns and short range laser weapons boarding starships, fighting for control of a crater on the lunar surface or a engaged in a do or die struggle between humanity and bugs.

The figures themselves have more slender and human proportions than many of GZG's previous 15mm Stargrunt packs. I certainly welcome this change to the new style. On the Barrett Scale I would subjectively still regard them as a 15M. As you can see from the photo above, the detail is really good and lends itself superbly to an ink wash.

I want to highlight that I really like the weapons forwards, finger on the trigger, style of pose. A couple of the figures who have a more determined advancing into danger/combat stance are brilliant. This is just what I want from my miniatures and to my mind makes this the best pack of figures within GZG's 15mm catalogue to date.

I would really love to see a militarised pack of these figs with SAW, rocket launcher or heavy energy weapon and an NCO/platoon leader in more typical 'command' pose - leading or issuing orders. Nevertheless, I can't wait to lead these miniatures on their first space corridor guncrawl......


Tuesday 13 January 2009

Walking The Dog

George out walking his dog

In this case, it's a Star Wars Titanium Series AT-ST by Hasbro, £5.95 from my local Forbidden Planet. 70mm tall and 35mm wide at the 'hips' it makes an excellent 15mm support weapon or AFV in it's own right. Go on, you're itching to paint George plus his UNSC buddies white and call them Stormtroopers now aren't you!

Here's my Titanium Series AT-ST's in a 'Benghazi or Bust' Weird WWII game. Herr Leutnant Clumpf's band of hardcore Peter Pig 15mm DAK raiders, storm Monty's HQ.

Monday 12 January 2009

First Sci Fi Purchases of 2009

Errr, well, not quite, but yes, Sci Fi.....

Flames of War (FOW): BR790 British 7th Armoured Infantry
QRF, Post War British 1 ton Humber truck
QRF, Post War British 3 ton Bedford RL truck
QRF, Post War Mobat Recoilless Rifle (Anti-Alien Gun Mk.1)

Blame that Matakishi's Tea House man and his Dr Who Project.

Bear with me. There's just something about these FOW 7th Armoured Infantry in berets which screams early 1960's Dr Who to me. An early U.N.I.T. style force or just plain, unlucky National Servicemen dealing with alien interest in Earth post Sputnik/Gagarin/John Glenn. I know the Brits had SLR's at the time, but this is old time Black & White TV Science Fiction - it's mix and match of 1960's modern and WW2/Korea vintage. Look and you'll see there's very definitely a Lethbridge-Stewart, a Sergeant 'Benson' and a Corporal 'Hedges' amongst those figures. It's perfect fodder for Alien Squad Leader.

This comes after playing around with those GZG USNC today, whom I thought they would make passable Sontarans if heavily black inked. But, I may also now have an excuse, as if needed for some of Irregular's Sci Fi Goat Men.

Did I actually write "to keep me sane" in my first post......

Old Crow Miniatures Compatability

For TMP Member Cacique Caribe (C.C.):

The squad leader to the right of George is from Old Crow's Infantry Squad C15001.

He is a slender figure which doesn't quite come out in the photo. The standing firing figure in the C15001 pack is slightly more slender still. As you can see, the Crow figure's base is lower than the GZG figure and when raised to the same height as George, he is also 15mm to the eye line. The Old Crow figures are therefore a 15S using the Barrett system.

However, given that George wears USNC 'hardsuit' and full helmet you can easily mix both manufacturers figures in the same force as different types of troops without having to go into 'squint mode'. Same is not true of all the GZG range though. It's worth bearing in mind, once painted and deployed on the tabletop differences in height and bulk between 15mm figures are mostly insignificant. Mostly.

A full review of Old Crow's Infantry range to follow.


Meet George

Who is George?

First of all, let's check out George's origins. He comes from GZG's SG15-U1: UNSC Hardsuit Marines pack. I aim to use George as our control figure against which all other 15mm Sci Fi figures, AFV's and accessories will be base lined.

Why George?

I know, you are asking, why pick George out of all the figures available on the market? Well, there's something classic about George that to me at least, embodies humanity in space in the age of interstellar exploration, colonisation and of course, war. There's a certain NASA meets Traveller Imperial Marine feel which gives him an epoc spanning quality. George can also cross canons quite easily, transcending his Stargrunt origins. Due to GZG's lead in the 15mm Sci FI figure market over the past few years, a lot of gamers will have George and therefore he will be a common frame of reference.

Above all though, George is 15mm from the sole of his boot to the eye line of his visor, and of relative human dimensions for a grunt in a 'hardsuit'.

Throughout my reviews, I'll use the Barrett Measurements System, as popularised in The Courier magazine. By way of explanation, the figure is assigned a number and letter which when combined, describes his relative height and 'bulk' in comparison to other figures.

The number is the height in Millimeters from the bottom of the figure's foot (or top of the base) to it's eye. The letter refers to the "heft" of the figure: L = Light; M = Medium; and H = Heavy.

Thus George is 15M - 15mm from foot to eye and of medium build. Perfect.

I may add the occasional 'Space burger' symbol, if I think the figure had one too many Space Burger Royale's before hauling his backside onto the Dropship. It's the Irish devilment in me ;-)

Take Me To Your Leader!

"We're in the pipe 5 by 5!"

Welcome to my blog dedicated to 15mm Si Fi gaming. Why blog? Well, as you asked, to keep me sane in what will be a crazy year. Also, I rather wistfully hope, to provide focus (ha!) for my burgeoning 15mm Sci Fi collection, which now outstrips every 15mm WW2 AFV I own.

2009 is going to be a great year for 15mm Sci Fi! New ranges will be coming on stream, Ground Zero Games (a.k.a. GZG) is committed to expanding their 15mm Stargrunt miniatures and AFV's, whilst the glossy and very professionally produced Future War Commander will bring new gamers into the genre.

I began playing 15mm Sci Fi back in my latter school years durng the tail end of the 70's. Miniatures from Tabletop Games (TTG), Asguard & Citadel fought in space stations, starports and on starships. It was a universe of Laserburn and Traveller. And then, Traveller Book 4: Mercenary changed everything. My 15mm heroes now fought on a dozen worlds no longer as adventurers, but as mercenaries, insurgents, planetary forces and Imperial Marines, backed by TTG's own hefty APC, Airfix Scorpions and Roco Minitank 1/87th Modern German AFV's.

It was a golden age, if make do. Whilst the wargaming world moved on 15mm Sci Fi not only stood still, but declined in the UK. Citadel's Traveller Minis went overseas, TTG disappeared to resurface periodically, Asguard went south. But then my own life and interests changed too.

Sometime after we slipped into the C21st, Mercenary turned up once again when we moved home. I dusted off my original Laserburn and Traveller miniatures and wanted to get back into 15mm Sci Fi. Two websites informed me of what was available/possible and generally rekindled my interest. These were Brian Burger's Brians Wagame Pages, and Andy Cowell's Smallgrunt.

This blog is a thank you and tribute to both of them and I intend it to
become a single point of information, news and all things 15mm Sci F gaming for everyone who wants to climb aboard the express elevator going planetside!