Monday, March 19, 2018

Microworld tanks for Battletech


I've always been a fan of the stats for Battletech's Goblin medium tank. The Goblin's been in use for longer than anyone can recall (seriously, in the fluff there's no start date for production), and used to varying degrees by just about every non-Clan faction. For the succession wars, its easily the best el cheapo MBT available, the only problem is, they never made a model for the original goblin, rather the mini is for the later redesign.

Here they are on a 1" grid.

Luckily, in an image search online, I at some point came across Microworld Games, a small company in New Jersey that makes pseudo OGRE tanks among other things.

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ATTENTION Steve Jackson Fans: THESE ARE THE MINIS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!!! Unless of course you like paying outrageous ebay prices (cardstock OGREs? Wut?) for ancient minis..

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Anyways, I ordered a 3-pack of their New Terra MBTs , which with shipping came to pretty much the same price as a blister-pack of (2) Bulldogs from Iron Wind Metals (before they add shipping). So, a good deal in my book!

Being 15 tons lighter than a Manticore, they look to be just about right in size.

The casts are excellent and the minis look really good! Their scale is a close approximation of what the Goblin ought to be sized I think (though to be fair, scale of miniatures is the battletech miniature range's most consistently inconsistent flaw). They have a smaller light tank that I think I'll order in the near future to use as proxy Scorpion light tanks (especially as I loathe the actual Scorpion mini).

The gate on the rear hull, it just the right size (after being scraped flat) to look like a ramp for the tank's troop compartment. 

I probably ought to have gotten those at the same time as my proxy Goblins to save on shipping, but I opted not too given I didn't know of anyone who's bought their minis (and as a user of photoshop, I can assure you that photos lie!!), not to mention hobby funds provided by selling my little bit of Warmahordes stuff on ebay were limited. But, as I'm happy with this purchase, there's no longer any worry about product quality.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Organizing the troops...


Its been kinda quiet on the hobby front here of late, further compounded by a 2-day mild migraine which wiped out any thoughts of painting minis. I did however do a bit of inventorying/organizing of my Battletech forces at least.

Death by a thousand paper cuts...

First up I did managed to at least glue three more infantry platoons to their respective bases, making for yet another frustrating painting session in extreme miniature at some future date. I also opted to glue the 6 medium lasers bitz onto my Hunchback. Whilst the versatility of that miniature's design is quite like an Omnimech in the fluff, the weapon attachments constantly jiggle around due to their loose fits. Paint would never hold under that kind of abuse...and beside, the all-laser variant is what I put into my lists 9 times out of 10 anyways. 

As for the aforementioned organization, rather than run 3-4 separate companies with more or less fixed army lists, I lumped most everything into my Free Worlds League's Marik Militia. This gives me a combined-arms battalion consisting of a mech company, a tank demi-company, and an infantry company mounted in heavy hover APCs.

Grey = Unpainted.

The Lyran Alliance's Dixie CTM is more of a place holder than anything. The mechs and tanks in that bunch aren't available to the Marik Militia, barring the Goblins. However those were only used in small numbers during the Star League era and early succession wars.  But back to my earlier point, the unit isn't set, as just about all of the rest of the Inner Sphere's realm's could use these mechs and tanks. 

Of course, until painted any mini's allegiance is in flux...but for right now that's what these models need more than anything else: paint. that everything is all rounded out, its time to get painting I suppose.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sgt. Hensley


I thought I'd try something a little different than the usual 'this is what I painted this week' post guessed it, the mini I painted this week. I wanted to make one of those trooper vignette/profiles like you see in Forgeworld's Imperial Amor campaign books. 

That was my intent anyways. 

It didn't really turn out as well as I had wanted, but I don't have any more time to fuck with it, so screw it. Here ya go:

Yes, I am well aware that this will suck to read for those on you using smart phones.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park photo credit goes to Mark Harris Photography.

Monday, March 5, 2018

30k Blackshields in Pariah Armor


The best of the bunch I think.

I really like the idea of blackshield marines for 30k. For those not familiar, Blackshield Marauder squads are kinda like 40k CSM squads weapons wise, as the Blackshields can't have tactical squads. They variety of options is mindboggling, though you can easily make them a nightmare (for yourself) on the table top if you go overboard with them.

Some Blackshields, modify their armor/weapons for greater mobility/flexibility in very unsanctioned ways by the holy standards of the mechanicus. Sometimes its case of lacking the resources to properly maintain their equipment, in others this is done quite intentionally.

Okay cool, now how to model them?

Like this!

30k marines with bare heads (the bare head bits are never in short supply), and maybe scout marine arms. Could work I guess, but I found some necromunda goliath to space marine size comparison photos online, decided they were about the same size, and went that route instead.

The squad as a whole.

The necromunda bitz are a bit pricey, so I opted for the cheapest bodies available on ebay-yup, the ballerina berzerkers. All went together fairly well, after a fair bit of trimming off of Khorne emblems, trimming shoulder joints and to be honest I'm quite happy with the results!

No idea what these guns are called in Necromunda, but they work well for Pariah Bolters (i.e.: 16" ranged astartes shotguns).

The Necromunda Goliath grenade launcher fits in perfectly! Whilst it would make for a decent heavy bolter, the Blackshields conveniently can get grenade launchers.

Just following taking pics of these, I primed 'em up and hopefully will get some paint on at least one of 'em this week.

*apologies for the typos, but Blogger is all sorts of fucked up today!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Pariah Medusa for my 30k Blackshields


After acquiring a $20, on-the-sprue rhino on ebay, I was able to make some progress on my big momma conversion kit for my 30k marines...

Beware black primered models/minis in ebay listings...because you won't see just how badly the model is assembled till it arrives on your doorstep!

The rear deck plate shown in the link above wasn't included in the ebay auction, Luckily though it doesn't look like anything is actually missing if you didn't know it was supposed to be there in the first place. There is a bit of minor damage that needs to be repaired due to being thin resin that was manhandled by the prior owner, but its nothing a little bit of plasticard can't easily cover up. 

easy fix, moving on...

The only piece of the original rhino I kept was the top deck which thankfully hadn't been glued in place. Whilst it doesn't look bad in the top photo, when looked at from the side, you could see right thru the tank due to a large gap. Thus, the front hull was tossed aside, and a goodly portion of the top plate had to be cut away as well. I also needed to do a bit of filling in of said gap on the bottom of the cannon itself. I suck at greenstuff application, but luckily a strip of plasticard fit in perfectly!

Front and top partially removed...!

Plasticard to the rescue!

With that all taken care of, it all fit together nicely. I swapped out the havoc launcher for a sensor pod which presumably mounts a targeting array for the cannon, not to mention cameras so that the driver can actually see forward and...ya know, drive this beast!

Hmmm...that add-on is a bit too traitorish for the Salamanders, so to the Blackshields this will go!

Look at that gun! Now that is how you over-compensate!! Screech this is normally your M.O., so I hope you're taking notes!

Side by side with one of Kushial's Vindicators, this gun makes the Vindi's Demolisher cannon look like a mere pop gun! As such, this will be used as a Medusa instead. But that presents another problem: along with any sort of a forward vision, there's no room for the front hull-mounted heavy bolter. the pintle mount! 

That works!

Seriously, where else would it go? The weapon is so friggin' big that there's no internal space for...well, anything! Best not to ask how many rounds are stored internally (assuming one is already in the breech, I'm guessing two!), or where the engine, driver, gunner(s?) and other internals would actually go with a gun this large mounted on a mere rhino. True, the Legion Medusa is supposed to be on a reinforced basilisk hull, but the Blackshields already have pariah weapons and power armor, so why not add vehicles to that list?

Now aside from a little bit more work on the hull and of course paint, all that's needed is a 2nd rhino to follow this tank around, acting as an ammo carrier (but don't hold your breath).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Armored Warfare!


Yes, because this is fair...

Kushial and I finally were able to get our all tank Battletech game in after I had to cancel on him some ways back. He was running his fully painted, Federated Suns Caselton Militia, and his force consisted of:

2 Alacorns
1 Ontos
1 Schrek
2 Saladins
1 Pegasus
1 Hetzer

All were base variants with standard 4/5 (Gunnery/Piloting) crews.

I was playing the 'bad guys' aka: the Fucking Wobblies, of which none were painted. I had a Level II consisting of:

4 LBX Manticores
1 Schrek AC Carrier with Precision Ammo
1 Kurita Behemoth

All had 3/5 crews except for the Schrek which had a 2/5  (my command tank).

His Hetzer finishes off the 1st of my Manticores...

I had advanced technology vs. his tried and true preference of overwhelming brute force! Things started off well for me with the behemoth dropping 2 of his tanks in as many turns. That said it missed partaking in the middle point of the battle due to being (1), bereft of targets and (2) mud-fucking-slow!

Meanwhile, there was armored clusterfuck at knife fighting range on the other side of the table, in which I saw my Manticores all go up in flames. His force didn't fare too much better, and by game's end all I had left was a badly beaten up Behemoth (with only 1 point of armor left on it's turret) vs. an equally chewed up Saladin and a moderately damaged Alacorn.

With that, my Wobblies raised the white flag and in typical fashion, they summarily nuked the planet from orbit.

A 3-turn montage of many tanks (but mostly mine) dying!

Sorry, there weren't too many pics and of those that were taken, most were badly out of focus. Despite my defeat, we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and I'm sure we'd both be up for this kind of game again in the future.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Imperial Guard re-emerge!


So, whilst rooting around in the spare room in a desperate search for the snow flock (that I haven't used in years) for Kushial's Leviathan's base, I found a few bedraggled survivors from several of my old Imperial Guard armies. I haven't fielded the IG since...well, they were actually called the Imperial Guard.

Yeah, fuck rebranding just for copyrightability. 

I knew I still had the Commissar...somewhere, but the rest: no.

The dirty...half-dozen?

The green and brown guardsmen are lead by Sgt. R'Kansas and his huge double-barreled shotgun. They're the sole survivors from my old 110th Ryza Pioneers army. The Heavy Bolter gunner is from an older, urban warfare/Military Police themed (if I recall correctly), all metal Cadian army. Honetly I don't recall much about that force.

Dating from back from when the Catachan models still looked cool. 

Then there's the Catachan Lt.. This has always been one of my favorite minis. In fact, I saw it painted on someone else's blog recently, and was wondering just why I'd sold it. Especially as it often goes for $15-$20+ on ebay. Thus, I was happily surprised to find that not only do I still have this mini, but he even has a pet dog! No idea when/where that bit came from, but it's staying regardless.

Alles Klar, Herr Kommissar?

And then...we have the Venerable Commissar Borg. His name, 'Commissar Borg' came from one of those little blue army brochure/pamphlets that could be found in the 40k section of the game shop back in the days of 2nd edition. Somebody added 'The Venerable' to it at some point (I forget who) due to the mini's age, and he's been known as that ever since. This is the first Imperial Guard mini I've ever bought! He's been painted and 'armed' several times over the years, and has executed Guardsmen in every IG army I've ever had. Yes, he's sometimes killed enemy models too.

Now that I know that I have them again, I guess they'll be commandeered by the Inquisitorial Kill Team. Not sure if any will get repainted any time soon, but they may eventually.