Friday 26 October 2012

New Releases from Critical Mass Games, Oddzial Osmy, and Khurasan Miniatures

Critical Mass Games has added the Star Marines their Mercenaries range.

I like the chunky look of these new figures - they're almost a cross between GZG NAC Power Armor and those cool armored robots on the Fox network during football games. Critical Mass also expanded the Mercenaries armored vehicles, adding the Warmonger tank, Vanquisher self-propelled artillery, and Hellfire AA tanks. 

All three vehicles are available in Tracked (very useful for near-future games or low-tech factions) and Grav (advanced races/settings) variants.

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The Oddzial Osmy New Vistula Legion, one of 15mm SF's most popular human factions, has been augmented by Long Range Recon Patrol pack. The LRRP team carries a good assortment of weapons and equipment, including a recon drone and large rucksacks for long-haul missions.

The LRRP pack is now available in the UK from Fighting 15s and in the US from Picoarmor.

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Khurasan Miniatures has released the XM-6 Heavy Grav Tank for the Federal Army. Jon wrote up some nicely detailed background fluff for the XM-6 on his blog - definitely worth a read if you're a fan of his Federation Forward universe. 

It's a big tank - 125mm long. This would make for a worthy opponent to the Topgun Marketing tanks (it even shares the orbital-deployment concept), and definitely has uses in settings like Traveller and Hammer's Slammers. It's also big enough to fit comfortably in a 20mm Sci Fi army, and could even be a light tank in 25mm/28mm games.

Thursday 25 October 2012

New Aliens on the Horizon From Ambush Alley/GZG (UPDATED)

Attention Dropship Horizon passengers. If you would be so kind as to look to the pictures below, you will see a strange and new alien race on its way out from the partnership between Ambush Alley Games and Ground Zero Games

Appearing the forthcoming Tomorrow's War supplement from AAG titled, "Dagger and Claw" these creatures are the Darghaur and one of many races planned. These minis look like they will be another fine addition to the growing number of aliens available for 15mm science fiction.

Here is what Jon had to say about them..


An exclusive first look at the 15mm Darghaur for Tomorrow's War! This alien race will feature heavily in the forthcoming TW supplement, Dagger and Claw. I won't pre-empt the book by going into great detail, suffice to say that these guys are going to give the human forces on Glory a lot of hassle. They are tough critters with their turtle-like carapaces, favouring large-calibre projectile weaponry.

We'll be selling them in packs of ten figures (including separate heads, with a few spares for customising!) which makes up the basic "squad" organisation of the Darg forces. The Dargs have no visible sensory organs, communicating with each other telepathically - their horned "antler" racks denote their rank, with the lowest troopers having their horns cut down to stumps while team, squad and higher leaders sport progressively larger displays.

The first of the Darg figures are now ready for production, and will be up on our (GZG) webstore very soon - - please also keep an eye on for information about the rules supplement!


While they are not released yet, I'll make sure to post again when they hit dirtside.

Monday 22 October 2012

Nevis and Averum - Blue Moon's Recent Aliens

So, it seems a few new aliens in 15mm snuck past us here at the ol' Dropship Horizon. Back around June-ish, Blue Moon Manufacturing released two new ten-packs of aliens - the Nevis and Averum.

Both packs present to the gamer with five poses of light infantry, equipped with rifles and little armor. Neither pack seems to offer an obvious leader or special weapon type, though the latter shouldn't be hard to convert from any one of the poses.

Nevis painted by Rich McGee

Averum painted by Rich McGee
Thanks to Rich for the use of his pics of his expertly painted examples of the figures.


Sunday 21 October 2012

Danger on Outpost 32 - Custom Terrain Features

Once I had finished painting all the figures from the USE ME Danger on Outpost 32 box set, the time had come to take a close look at the scenarios. The first game in the campaign is a plan shoot-'em-up, with teams of Zeta Reticulans entering the Outpost's domes through airlocks. The scenario page includes this suggested setup map, designed for a 2' x 4' table:

My tables are mostly 2' x 2', and I chose my badlands-style table for this campaign. I figured the smaller size would be fine with the low figure count, as long as the terrain density increased just a bit. Finding terrain to represent the two airlocks on the Zeta Reticulan table edge were simple enough - I knocked together some IMEX Cyberclicks bits leftover from my 40K days to build two of these:

The doorway is obviously designed for 28mm figures, but works fine as part of a larger (invisible) structure. So that took care of the airlocks. I already had plenty of hills, but the water features posed a bit of a problem for me. The only decent water feature in my terrain collection is a swamp for my Red Planet board... not really useful for this scenario. So why not take the opportunity to build a quick water feature for my badlands board, and use it for the Outpost 32 campaign?

The scenario fluff describes the two water features as tourist beaches. My version of Outpost 32 feels more like a refugee colony, so I decided to make them simple lakefronts instead. Then I had the idea... if I made two lakefronts that were identical in width, they could combine to be a single small lake in other games. 

So I found a good-size scrap of MDF out in my garage and traced a basic lake shape. Then I drew a straight line right through the middle, cut out the two pieces with a jigsaw, and cleaned the rough-cut edges with a sanding sponge. Once they were clean, I borrowed one of my wife's spray paint cans... a blue pastel to give me an easy basecoat for the water.

Once the spray paint had dried, I found an appropriate-size scrap of packing styrofoam to form the "shoreline." To get the right shape, I flipped the lake pieces upside-down and clamped them to the styrofoam. Then I just used a hot-wire cutter to trace the lake piece, removed the lake piece, cut the inside,  and then shaped the ground texture. A few cheap craft paints, a bit of white glue, and the water features were ready for the tabletop. And since the foam and MDF were already in my garage, I was able to add to my terrain collection without spending a penny on extra materials.

Here's my final interpretation of the Scenario One setup map:

Up next: Scenario One AAR. 


Saturday 20 October 2012

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Check it out folks,


Thursday 18 October 2012

Brog Infantry, Grav Armor, and Exoplanets

Rebel Minis has released another of PF's alien races - the Brog Empire. Just the basic infantry pack is available so far, but it has a great variety of poses and weapons (including a casualty figure). Command and Heavy Weapon packs will follow in the near future. 

The Brog are carrying the same weapons as the Pangalactic Legion. Lots of force development opportunity with that... you could use the Pangalactics as a "foreign legion" to augment a Brog force... use the Brog as a separate subject race, or even develop a campaign based around a double-dealing weapons merchant. These are definitely worth a look!

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And if you're looking to add some high-tech support vehicles to a new alien army, Ravenstar Studios has added a handful of items to the Land Core 15mm range. First we have the Mazer/Archer family of combat vehicles. The Mazer Tank has a cool split-design turret - reminds me of what we see on some spaceship miniatures. For that matter, wouldn't be hard to imagine that it is the same gun found on that faction's warships. The same hull is utilized on the Archer - available with missile or artillery cannon turrets. 

The Passser grav APC is a good complement to the new tanks. It definitely screams "we're not from around here!" to me. The steps leading down from the troop hatch makes it a pretty convincing assault vehicle.

And finally we have the Stinger flier - which looks like a very heavily armed and armored gunship.

If you want to pick these up (or any of Chris' other great vehicles and mecha), Ravenstar Studios is having a 10% off sale through Friday. 

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Our universe looks bigger and bigger every day.

There have been more than more than 800 exoplanets discovered since 1995. Since they are generally detected by measuring the "wobble" of a star and extrapolating mass, most of these planets have been lifeless gas giants. Ultimately, it seemed like we wouldn't find any Earth-sized planets with our current technology.

That all changed this week, with the confirmed discovery of a planet just slightly larger than our own world. And was it found halfway across the galaxy like many of these discoveries? Nope, it's in orbit of Alpha Centauri B - our closest neighbor has an Earth-like planet. 

Okay, so there are a few differences. The planet is Mercury-close to the star and has an orbit of only 3.2 days. So unless it's inhabited by Balrogs with 5-point seat harnesses, we probably won't find any signs of intelligent life. Or maybe that extreme environment is why nobody ever checks out the local Galactic Planning Office to view hyperspace bypass routes... 

Either way, it's very inspiring to learn more about other star systems, and how many planets our galaxy really holds. I fully expect to read confirmed discoveries of Earth-size planets or moons in the "Goldilocks zone" within the next decade. 

So here's the real question. How long will it be until we find out what is on those planets?


Monday 15 October 2012

Not 15mm, But Maybe Still Useful - Flyers From Dust Tactics

Many of you may have seen these already, but I just stumbled on the new aircraft models coming out for the German faction in the Dust Tactics miniatures game.

These are designed, like many of the aircraft for that game, as stub fighters and small, almost midget air support craft for the skirmish/small battle scale types of play for Dust. While I feel they are a little scrawny for the 28mm games they are intended for, I do seem some potential for those among us 15mm science fiction gamers who are always on the look out for usable aircraft models for re-purposing.

While I haven't had a chance to look one over in the flesh, they look like they might work nicely as dropships, gunships, or even civilian spaceport dressing with just a little bit of modification.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Danger on Outpost 32 - The Last Few Figures

Nothing feels better than painting a complete set of minis faster than expected.

Having finished the Zeta Reticulans and the alien militia and citizens of Outpost 32 in three painting sessions, all that remained were the six armed human figures which represent the Outpost's security forces. They consist of an SHM Bounty Hunter and five HOF Muster infantry. I started with the Bounty Hunter figure, which is a pretty nice sculpt and pose. I basecoated the figure with Vallejo Heavy Ochre and painted  his jacket and boots with P3 Cryx Bane Base. A quick brown wash over those areas give his pants and shirt a nice "fatigue" appearance, and the impression of a leather jacket. Then it was a simple matter of painting his face, hair, hands, and gun.

After my earlier failed experiment with a yellow color scheme, I decided to try something a bit different. Using the same ochre color, I painted the paints and sleeves of the five Muster troopers. Then I drybrushed the Sun Yellow over the ochre. This gave me a much "richer" yellow color than doing two coats of Sun Yellow directly over white. Then I painted the armor, boots, gloves, and helmets with Vallejo Scarlett Red, the backpacks, weapons, and faceshields with Reaper Master Tarnished Steel. After applying black Wonder Wash to the entire figure, I went back and very lightly drybrushed the yellow again, and added a yellow stripe to my chosen leader.

I really like how the Muster troops turned out. The sculpts didn't seem all that detailed when they were bare metal, but really came out once I started painting. And it gave me another excuse to use another Big Ten conference color scheme... who would have thought that football uniforms work so well as Space Opera military colors?

It only took about three hours to finish these, not counting the drying time for the bases. So in four sessions, I finished every figure in the Danger On Outpost 32 boxed set. Not a bad way to spend a week!

Up next: a close look at the scenarios, including a few custom terrain pieces.


Friday 12 October 2012

GZG Previews New 15mm Science Fiction

Jon from Ground Zero Games was nice enough to send this preview with pics and everything to us here at Dropship Horizon. I'll let him speak for himself on this. Read below. It's a big one!!!

Hi all,
This Sunday (14th) is SELWG at Crystal Palace, London - hopefully we'll see many of our regulars there!

We've got a nice bundle of new items ready just in time for the show
- full details below, they'll be up on the store very soon with pictures.

This is what we have for you this time round.....


The first full production releases for the Official TOMORROW'S WAR 15mm range! We are launching EIGHT packs in the first wave - our normal 8-figure packs with 2 each of 4 different sculpts in each pack
- four each for both the DPRG (Democratic Peoples' Republic of Glory) and RANG (Republic of Arden National Guard):

TW15-RA01   RANG rifles pack A (8 figs, 4 different poses)
TW15-RA02   RANG rifles pack B (8 figs, 4 different poses)

TW15-RA03   RANG SAW gunners (8 figs, 4 different poses)
TW15-RA04   RANG MRAWs and Snipers (8 figs, 4 different poses)


TW15-DP01   DPRG rifles pack A (8 figs, 4 different poses)
TW15-DP02   DPRG rifles pack B (8 figs, 4 different poses)

TW15-DP03   DPRG SAW gunners (8 figs, 4 different poses)
TW15-DP04   DPRG RPGs and Snipers (8 figs, 4 different poses)

All TW15 packs are £3.60 each inc. VAT (£3.00 ex VAT for non-EU customers)

The moulds for these are very new and not yet run-in, so we haven't been able to cast many for this weekend - so at SELWG on Sunday we will have VERY LIMITED stocks of these packs. If you want to be among the first to have some, come and see us as soon as you arrive!
For those of you who bought our pre-release taster packs of the DPRG and RANG figures (pack codes TW-DP1 and TW-RA1, which will shortly be withdrawn from sale), please note that the sample figures previewed in those packs have been reissued in the production packs above - but with many new pose variants added to the range, so the figures you already have will fit right into your new units.


As well as the Tomorrow's War range, we are also launching several new items in our SG15/V15 ranges this weekend:

For our very popular UNSC Light Infantry range, we have a pack of RAM MORTAR TEAMS, a pack of GRAV BIKES for fast attack and recon units, and a manned groundmount HEAVY PLASMA CANNON that makes an great emplaced defensive weapon:

SG15-U28    UNSC/L RAM Mortars - two teams (2 weapons, 2 tripod
mounts and 4 crew figures)
            £3.00 per pack inc. VAT (£2.50 ex VAT for non-EU customers)

V15-92A           UNSC/L Grav Bikes - pack of 2 bikes, 2 riders, 2 stands
            £4.50 per pack inc. VAT (£3.75 ex VAT for non-EU customers)

V15-93A           Heavy Plasma Cannon on ground mount, with UNSC/L gunner
            £3.00 each inc. VAT (£2.50 ex VAT for non-EU customers)

Plus, for the NAC, another great little vehicle for your rapid-mobility forces - to go with the very popular Mules and Trikes, we have a hybrid light carrier with the front wheels and rider of the all-terrain trike, attached to a small load-bed running on tracks (rather like the German Kettenkrad!). Due to the vehicle's parentage, and despite it being a slight misnomer (as it has two wheels and two tracks), the troops using this versatile little transport tend to call it the "Halftrike". The loadbed can carry a palletised cargo load, a fireteam of seated troops or, for attack and escort duties, a gunner and rollbar-mounted weapon. The kit is supplied with two alternative weapons, a rapid-fire autocannon and an automatic grenade launcher.

V15-94A           NAC "Halftrike" light load carrier, supplied with
driver, gunner and two alternative weapons.
            £4.50 each inc. VAT (£3.75 ex VAT for non-EU customers)

Last but not least, we have a variant version of our extremely popular "spider drones" - this time replacing the twin cannon of the 84A version with a single rotary tribarrel cannon:

V15-84B           Spider Drones with rotary cannon (pack of 3)
            £3.00 per pack inc. VAT (£2.50 ex VAT for non-EU customers)


Hopefully that's enough to be going on with - for the Vacc-Heads out there, sorry that it's all 15mm again, but I AM working on getting some new FT stuff ready in time for WARFARE in November - so you haven't been completely forgotten!

All the best,

Jon (GZG)

Thursday 11 October 2012

Post Apocalyptic Warriors, Beasts, and Robots

All kinds of new releases this week.

Eleven items were released by The Scene today - they have promised 100 new items by November. The Wasteland Warriors range of post-apocalyptic mutants are reinforced with two different War Walkers.

Three new packs were added to the popular Heavy Battle Robots range, and will be very useful for everyone converting them into not-Space Marines. All three packs include separate arms - one pack is Heavy Weapons, another Hand Weapons/Guns, and finally Hand Weapons and Power Fists. 

A new category has been added to The Scene's figure ranges - Alien Beasts. Three creatures are now available. And finally, two remastered buildings have been added to the Desert Dwellings range.

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15mm.Co.Uk also has a variety of alien creatures - released under the SHM Range. Here are the Nessite and the Slurmite (the latter may have a fondness for highly addictive beverages):

And the furry Avarep Cobra (which might be a useful Ysalamiri for Star Wars games), along with the Galdor Burrower.

It's a nice little variety of creatures. I can imagine playing games where Nessites can appear out of water terrain, and Avarep Cobras can jump out of tree bases.

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Splintered Light Minis is one of the finest producers of 15mm fantasy minis on the market. David's figures are always worth a look - many would be ideal primitives in mixed-technology games, and even hard SF gamers could put some of his beasts to use. While he's always had a couple packs of sci-fi minis (which don't resemble the crew of a famous smuggling vessel in any way...), David surprised everyone this week by unveiling an expansive post apocalptic range.

All four packs were inspired by the novel Through the Fury to the Dawn, which was written by David's brother-in-law. I hadn't heard of it until seeing these figures, and it's very tempting to pick up a book when I know there are perfect figures to wargame the setting. David released packs for Survivors (including the book's seven main characters), Zombies, Gangers, and Giant Ants.

And these figures certainly wouldn't be restricted to the setting within the book - they would mix extremely well with post-apocalyptic and horror figures from Rebel Minis, Highlander Studios, Khurasan, and the Wasteland Warriors mentioned above from The Scene.


Loud Ninja Games Chuhuac Space Raptors on Kickstarter

Designed by Dropship Horizon's own Eli Arndt, the Chuhuac concept has been slowly developing in his mind for over a decade. It took on a life of its own over the last year; Eli was able to flesh out his ideas, gather concept artwork, and initiate the first sculpts. Here's a glimpse at the sculpting progress:

The figures look like they will match the concept art perfectly. Their appearance is the perfect balance of horror movie creature and Saturday morning cartoon - the right paint scheme will make them right at home in any sci-fi setting. In Eli's own words:

When it comes down to it, how can you not love the idea of one of prehistory's most efficient and thrilling predators, tricked out with armor, guns, gear and zooming through the cosmos. What is more evocative than the image of armored raptor warriors darting across the battlefield, raining down a hail of energy bolts from their advanced weapons, eventually closing with their enemies to put them under a sickle claw.
Here's the first two packs that we can expect to see after the Kickstarter campaign:

Chuhuac Troopers. Six poses of battle-ready soldiers equipped with standard weapons.
Chuhuac Command/Heavies. Six unique poses depicting 2x plasma gunners, 2x squad automatic gunners, and 2x alpha leaders.

And that's only the beginning. Eli has plans to turn the Chuhuac into a complete figure range - troopers with heavy assault rifles, snipers, dynamic assault poses, battlesuits... Take a look at the stretch goals on the Kickstarter page to see the concepts, and chip in a few bucks to get them onto your gaming table.

Good luck with the campaign, Eli!