Friday 31 August 2012

DreamForge Games 15mm Crusader on Kickstarter

Mark Mondragon has expanded the DreamForge Games plastic kits Kickstarter - the 15mm version of the Crusader is now available for pre-order!

Mark is already famous among the 15mm Sci Fi crowd for sculpting many of Khurasan Miniatures' "big guys," like the Siler super-heavy tank, the Tribal Dual-Purpose Light Spaceship, the Mekanoid Dictator and Hatchet, L-HAC Battle Mech, and the Parasachnid Ogre Beetle. He started DreamForge Games to design and produce figures and vehicles for his Iron-Core universe. Most of his products are 28mm, but he released a 15mm resin Crusader early this year (and it sold out almost instantly!). 

DreamForge Games is using Kickstarter to make the leap from pricey resin kits to high-quality injection-molded plastic (these will be produced through Wargames Factory). The Crusader will be the first 15mm Sci Fi mecha release in plastic - and who knows what kind of possibilities this could open up in the future?

The 15mm Crusader will stand 4.5" tall. Kickstarter orders are $44 for one, $79 for two, or $105 for three mecha. DreamForge has ambitious plans for additional weapon arms, complementary vehicles, and 15mm infantry in the future.


Tuesday 28 August 2012

New 15mm Sci Fi from Black Cat Bases

We now welcome Black Cat Bases to the ranks of 15mm manufacturers!

Their first four releases are now available on their website. First we have a pack of three pulpy-looking robots. The left robot is around 23mm tall, to give you a hint at scale:

These are accompanied by a pack of five Future War Troopers with a nice mix of weapons.

And for you horror gamers, two packs of zombies. One set is dressed in business attire, the other in basic street clothes.

I look forward to seeing what paint schemes are devised for the first two packs. Every spaceport can use at least a few pulpy robots roaming the streets. :)


Sunday 26 August 2012

15mm.Co.Uk Releases USE ME Starter Set

Don't forget! Danger on Outpost 32 is a complete 15mm science fiction experience in one box and you can get 10% off to Dropship Horizon visitors until 27th August.

It includes rules, scenarios, a great assortment of miniatures, stats to use those minis in the starter scenarios, and even a pair of D6s round things out. For more details of Danger on Outpost 32 and how to order with your Dropship Horizon discount see Chris' post here.


Saturday 25 August 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

Neil Armstrong, first man to step on the moon has died at the age of 82. He was a man who singularly inspired not only a generation by his and his crew's courage, but who also left a lasting legacy of hope for every man, woman and child on the planet with a single sentence  "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 

The space race and decades of scientific advance and discovery beyond created many heroes. Some gave their lives in the endeavour to help man reach his dreams beyond the bounds of this planet.

I am sure I speak on behalf of all the crew of Dropship and all of us bound in our vision of a future that lays in the stars, "RIP Neil". And to everyone who had the right stuff, we raise our glasses and say "Thank you. Per ardua ad astra. " 



15mm.Co.Uk Releases USE ME Starter Set

The USE ME series of rules (especially UM001 Science Fiction) has been a huge success for 15mm.Co.Uk. Not to take away from the rules or miniatures themselves, but a major reason for that popularity is how well Gavin Syme responds to customer requests and feedback. Between his blog, the Barking Irons website, the Notables Yahoo! Group, and email conversations, he is constantly looking for ways to help serve the gaming community.

So, what did the community wanted to see from the USE ME series? A complete boxed game.

And here it is! Danger on Outpost 32 is a complete 15mm science fiction experience in one box. It includes rules, scenarios, a great assortment of miniatures, stats to use those minis in the starter scenarios, and even a pair of D6s round things out. The specific contents are:
  • The USE ME UM001 Rulebook
  • Danger on Outpost 32 - scenarios and stats for the boxed game (also available as a free PDF)
  • A force of fourteen HOF Grey Aliens
  • A team of four HOF human troops (Muster Infantry in the Ion Age setting)
  • An assortment of nine characters from the SHM range (including Eli's Prang, which is one of my favorite 15mm alien sculpts)

That's a pretty sweet deal for £20.00. It's the perfect introductory system for newcomers to 15mm Sci Fi, a nice travel set to keep alongside your primary collection, a demo game for clubs or conventions, or even a simple reinforcement for your existing figure ranges. And Gavin promises this is just the first - we can expect to see a few more boxed sets to complement the USE ME series.

Also, Gavin has a weekend surprise for the Dropship Horizon faithful. We had been emailing about the best way to debut Danger on Outpost 32, and...
I can offer them a little something though, a special code to get 10% off their order until 27th August, only on DSH.  Details below, you could put that in the posting.  The code is live as of now. 
Get 10% off your order until 27th August 2012 for readers of Dropship Horizon blog.  To get the discount put items in your cart as normal, then when finished go to the postage screen and select your region.  Then proceed to the checkout (white background on this page) and enter this code as it appears here in the Discount/Promo box – ‘ dropship ‘ .  Your total will automatically reduce by 10% on screen.  This offer is valid for use with any products on the website including USE ME, HOF, SHM ranges.
So, why are you still here? Head on over to 15mm.Co.Uk and place an order!


Friday 24 August 2012

New Releases Inbound From GZG (Updated with more pictures)

Another cool release from Jon at Ground Zero Games.

Not only are we getting three new variants on the Gauntlet APC, we are also getting new Crusties. Jon was kind enough to send some advanced previews of the Crusty Non-Combatants and the Heavy Armored Support. I'm sure pics of the Gauntlet variants and the new sculpted NAC Power Armor heavies will be out soon.

Full list of new releases:

SG15-X15     Crusty Armoured Heavy Infantry support weapons

3 each of 2 different figures - one with heavy railgun/launcher and one with heavy plasma projector, to give fire support to the Crusty Armoured Infantry (SG15-X14). Supplied with 6 (optional) separate backpacks.
£3.00 GBP inc. VAT (£2.50 ex-VAT for non-EU customers) per pack of 6 figures.

SG15-X16      Crusty Non-Combatants 

2 each of four different figures - adult carrying large case on back, adult kneeling over box, adult standing with bundle under arm, juvenile carrying cylinder. The latter two figures may be used separately OR posed with the juvenile holding the adult's hand (claw?).

Produced in response to many customer requests, these very versatile figures can be used in many ways - civilians, refugees, scavengers, equipment porters/bearers or  as additional crew and ammo carriers for Crusty heavy weapons teams.  £3.00 GBP inc. VAT (£2.50 ex-VAT for non-EU customers) per pack of 8 figures.

SG15-A23     NAC Power Armour (new sculpt) Support Weapon Troopers

2 each of 3 different figures, with rotary autocannon, HAMR anti-materiel railgun and HVAT missile launcher. Supplied with 6 separate jump packs.  £3.00 GBP inc. VAT (£2.50 ex-VAT for non-EU
customers) per pack of 6 figures.

V15-82D     Gauntlet IIT Hover MICV 

Turretted version of GauntletAPC, with 3 gun options included - twin light autocannon, light fire-support mortar and plasma cannon).  £7.50 GBP inc. VAT (£6.25 ex-VAT for non-EU customers) each.

V15-82E     Gauntlet IIR Hover FDC/Comms Van 

Raised-roof version of Gauntlet APC with comms array, as command post communications van or Fire Direction Centre for artillery and AA units.  £7.50 GBP inc. VAT (£6.25 ex-VAT for non-EU customers) each.

V15-82F     Gauntlet IIS Hover Field Ambulance

Unarmed, raised-roof version of Gauntlet APC with rear loading doors).  £7.50 GBP inc. VAT (£6.25 ex-VAT for non-EU customers) each.

As if this wasn't cool enough, Jon so teasingly promises there is more to come soon!


EDIT: Thanks to Jon for speeding more pics to us for posting the same day!

Monday 20 August 2012

GameCraft Miniatures Afghan Hovel - Upgraded

The GameCraft Miniatures Tomorrow's War structures are definitely ready for 15mm sci fi games right out of the box. But what about their modern buildings? Are there any simple-yet-effective ways to take their MDF Afghanistan and Middle East buildings and turn them into science fiction structures?

You bet!

I started with one of the MDF two-part Afghan hovels:

I figured a building like this would have tons of applications in a space colony. It could combine a small one-man residence with some office or work space. Maybe the colony's doctor lives in one side, and his examination/procedure room is on the other part. Or a planetologist - replace the exam room with a research lab. The colony's mechanic could use this design - an open workbay in the middle, a fabrication shop on one end, and a retail counter on the other. Even the security forces could use one side as a basic patrol station, with the other holding the colony's brig.

No matter the application - this building would need just a bit of work. I decided to start simple - by covering the square openings. So I fired up the old CAD program and whipped up some futuristic two-layer doors and windows. 

I printed these on cardstock, cut them out, and glued the layers together. They aren't remotely as nice as the building accessories available from The Scene, GZG, or Brigade, but they were good enough for a basic proof-of-concept. 

A few bits of scrap made for some decent roof accessories. The solar array is made from four tiny scaps of Evergreen Plastics 1/8" grid plasticard, a lid from an old film can, and a few scraps of plastic sprue from my Games Workshop days. A kebab skewer became two lengths of power conduit, capped by another scrap of plastic sprue and based on a scrap of leftover cardstock. 

Finally I hit the whole model with some black spray primer. Then it was just a simple matter of finishing it with cheap craft paint. 

For a few hours' worth of effort, it's really not a bad little building. A little texture on the roof would probably help - extra fine black gravel, or even flock to represent a "green roof." The results have definitely convinced me that any of GameCraft's buildings can be useful in 15mm sci fi games.


Sunday 12 August 2012

Tomorrow's War Refugee Huts by GameCraft Minis

Earlier this week, I gave you an overview of the 15mm MDF buildings from GameCraft Miniatures. I was eager to get some of these buildings onto the game table once they were assembled  I decided to start with the Tomorrow's War Refugee Hut.

The standard Hut kit consists of the two side walls, the front and rear walls with the curved beam-structures, a separate center beam-structure, and a roof piece made of high-quality cardstock. The Small Hut is similar, but omits the center curved beam. I also ordered the optional surface detail kits, which augment the front and rear walls. The geometric details are etched well into the surface of the building and into the card roof. It wasn't obvious to me on the GameCraft website, but the etched details were quite prominent even after painting. When I buy more of these Refugee Huts in the future, I'll probably skip the surface detail kits (though I still think they'll look great on some of the larger buildings).

Assembly was easy. The card roof is sturdy, but flexible enough to conform to the curved beams. Once I assembled the MDF parts, I put a thin line of superglue along the tops of the beams, flipped the roof and building over, and gently rocked the structure back and forth against a soft surface until the glue set. It worked - the roof doesn't look bunched or pinched.

I started by painting the Small Hut. It took a basecoat well; I used flat Krylon black primer, but any spray primer will work. The card roof didn't warp at all while the spray paint was drying (which was my only real fear with this building). Once it was dry, I simply drybrushed the whole structure with a few different metallic colors, applied some rust weathering powder, and my Hut was ready for the battlefield. I got a bit carried away with the rust powder (that stuff goes a LONG way!), and my first Hut ended up being a very nice match for my GZG Shanties and BWS Startown Slums.

But then I started to wonder about it in other applications. The support beams really do give the impression that this building could have been made from a big space transport (similar to the buildings in the BBC series Outcasts, or some of the concept art for Stargate Worlds). So maybe this was the first building in the colony - an improvised structure to shelter the settlers until the main buildings were complete:

It works. 15mm structures tend to mix fairly well, especially if you're trying for a colony that had to expand more quickly than expected, a crowded spaceport, or a refugee village. There's some great skirmish scenario fodder. Your opponent has to search your buildings for a VIP or a critical piece of alien tech. They could drive themselves mad going through all your shiny futuristic structures, while you actually kept it hidden in the old rusty hut behind the hill...

Either way, these Refugee Huts are going to see very frequent rotation on my battlefields. Based on my experiences with these buildings, the Tomorrow's War building ranges are going to be the first place I start whenever I need new 15mm terrain. They're inexpensive, easy to build, and look great with a minimum of painting effort. Could we ask for anything more?

Next up from my GameCraft order - my attempt at "futurizing" one of the modern Afghan hovels.


Friday 10 August 2012

The Scene - New Items and Sale Ending Today

The Scene's 20% off sale ends at midnight (UK time) today. If you haven't had a chance to order yet (or you've thought of even more goodies to buy), Mike released a few new terrain items this week.

For the Building Accessories range, there are a few new air conditioning units, a new rooftop/freestanding storage tank, and some new hatches and ventilation fans.

The Heavy Weapons and Miscellaneous range welcomes a new missile launcher system in two different sizes. These are great for converting or scratchbuilding vehicles, or even as rooftop defenses for buildings.

And speaking of buildings...

We have the long-anticipated return of the Desert Dwellings! These have been modified slightly - they still mix well with the older ones (if you're one of the lucky few who managed to get them), but the edges are far less damaging to the molds. Mike also updated them with a tiled floor. It's a nice change - I might have to do the same to my older versions.  


Tuesday 7 August 2012

A look at GameCraft Miniatures' MDF range

GameCraft Miniatures offers one the most expansive ranges of 15mm wargame structures. When they ran their 4th of July sale last month, I really couldn't decide where to start. So I decided to just get a little bit of everything.  My order consisted entirely of MDF products, from three different sub-ranges:

I figured the Tomorrow's War buildings would be great out of the box, and the modern buildings could easily be sci-fied into something useful for my games. The walled compound in particular, is to serve as the base of operations for my HOF Cultist figures. I want to turn them into something like the Holy Order of Byzantium that Mark described a couple years back.

All GameCraft products are made to order, so there was just a little bit of waiting time to receive my goodies. But it was well worth it. The first thing I noticed opening the box was the strong woodburning aroma. My wife still claims that was the best part of the whole experience. :) I examined the building components. Their cut and fit was flawless (as it turns out, lasers are fairly precise cutting tools), and the engraved detail would make them very easy to paint.

I decided to start simple, with one of the small Afghan-style hovels.

White glue or carpenter's glue would work just fine on these, but I decided to go with superglue just to get them together quickly. The superglue works perfectly to assemble these buildings - no problem with the MDF soaking it up. Even though the parts fit squarely together, I decided to assemble a super-deluxe, high-tech, MDF wall squaring device for this step.

It took just about as much time to put the Legos together as it did the building itself. I kept the plain door off for now - figured that step could wait until I figure out how I want to "upgrade" these buildings.

But overall, this is a fantstic little structure for just over four dollars. As is, it looks like anything that could be found throughout central Asia. But its size and shape also reminds me of those sustainable living small houses that are getting so popular (see here for an example). Small homes like that seem like just the thing that will exist on future colony worlds, and it gives me some good ideas for finishing the buildings. 

Meanwhile, I decided to assemble everything in the order.

The only thing that I didn't glue together was the landing pad - I might try to hack up some old action-figure playsets and turn it into an elevated platform. Everything else assembled without giving me any problems. While I can't vouch for GameCraft's resin or foamboard products yet, I have no problem recommending the MDF products. They're an excellent value - and you can fill a whole tabletop without breaking the bank.

In the next article: the small Tomorrow's War refugee hut from assembly to painting.


Thursday 2 August 2012

Grinning Skull Minis wants to sell you some War Pigs!

We have a new addition to the ranks of 15mm manufacturers!  

Grinning Skull Minis is currently running and Indiegogo (similar to Kickstarter) campaign for their first concept range - the Oggam War Pigs. The early concept art reveals a race of nasty-looking boar-men:

There are plans to eventually develop them into a complete alien army for sci-fi settings. And they would be well-suited for a mercenary force. And today on TMP, our colleague Eli observed that the Oggam would make excellent post-apocalyptic mutants.I could easily see a gang of these duking it out with alien plants or damaged cyborgs in a game of Mutants & Death Ray Guns.

We'll have to keep an eye on Grinning Skull Minis to see how this all works out. If you're interested in a pack or three of these, head on over to the page on Indiegogo and support the project!


Wednesday 1 August 2012

Sale on at The Scene

The Scene's 20% off sale has begun, and is running through midnight, August 10th.

Check out Mike's growing collection of 15mm figures and vehicles including battle robots, drones, zombie hunters/post apoc survivalists, wasteland mutants, river boats, jetbikes, and many more. 

He also offers a ton of scenic items, including some very nice hand-made pieces and an assortment of pewter building fittings.  The latter would be extremely useful for finishing electrical box buildings or "futurizing" some historical or modern structures.