Thursday, 27 April 2017

Vampifan's Views 90 - Monthly Musings 64

This month's Vampirella illustration was drawn by comics artist, Jae Lee, and shows Vampirella with Dracula and two of his concubines. Vampirella is not actually present in the room - that is just an image of her that Dracula has conjured, which is why her head is slightly translucent.

Well, once again, I have had an incredibly busy month. I have finished painting the heroes from the first two factions for my Rum and Bones game - the undead Bone Devils and the English pirates, the Wellsport Brotherhood. I hope to review them soon. They were a lot of fun to paint and very different from what I normally paint.

I've been buying some more figures for Shadows of Brimstone - heroes and monsters and I have a bunch of them on my painting desk right now. With me concentrating so heavily on my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign, Shadows of Brimstone has taken a back seat for the moment but it is not totally forgotten about.

Speaking of JDMG, I have finally managed to buy all of the figures for this range that Warlord Games had on general sale. eBay has been a huge help, and I certainly haven't paid over the odds for any of the figures I have bought from there. Indeed, many of them were cheaper than Warlord Games' recommended retail prices. The last set that completed my collection was the boxed set of 5 Judda, which I got for under £20, making it much cheaper than the RRP. It feels really amazing to have such a complete collection. Coupled with my already existing huge collection of sci-fi figures, the sky is the limit for what I can do in my JDMG campaign. A new batrep is in the offing, which will see the introduction of a new member to Judge Scott's team - PSI Judge Justine Devereux. I have had a few requests to add a female PSI Judge to the team, so I hope she'll prove a worthy asset. Judge Scott will be assessing her performance.

One game in particular has really captured my imagination this past month and that is N.E.W. the sci-fi role-playing game by EN Publishing that uses the What's Old Is New rules. I bought it mainly to check out the rules prior to the launch of the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game. But I became so enamoured with N.E.W. that I have decided to start a new sci-fi campaign using many of the player characters from my old and very long-running Space Opera campaign. I have converted the stats for the all female crew of the scout-ship The Ace of Spades and also created some new ones. I have charted out the star system the game will start off in - it's centred around our planet Earth. What I particularly love about this game is that it shares the complexity of GURPS but the rules are much more simplified. It very much focuses on character development, giving each PC a living story that makes them jump off the page. These heroes are far more than a set of numbers and stats. They live, they breathe and they have backstories. I love it! Indeed, I can foresee WOIN becoming my all time favourite role playing game and my "go to" set of rules for any RPG campaign I run in the future.

The game has also had me doing two things I never thought would happen to me. First up, I have actually sculpted some new 28mm scale figures this month. Unbelievable! I thought my sculpting days were long gone, but sometimes you need a certain figure that no-one else sells. Sure, I still do lots of converting, but that is not the same as sculpting a figure from scratch. The figures are finished but not yet painted. I'll review them later.
Secondly, I have started collecting miniature starships to use in small scale ship to ship combats. I have started with the excellent, and very cheap, set of 12 plastic starships sold by EM4 Miniatures. Twelve ships for just £2.55 seemed like a great place to start, and best of all, they're all different. That's them to the right, and I've circled the ship I'm using for The Ace of Spades in red.
For those of you wondering (Simon, I'm particularly thinking of you!) I do not plan on collecting any Star Trek ships, or any Star Wars ships, or rules sets for either franchise. The ship to ship combat rules in N.E.W. are simple enough for my needs and what I especially like about them is that most PCs on a ship has a role to play in the combat.

However, I did succumb to a new Kickstarter that opened earlier this month - Stars Reach pewter starship miniatures by Twilight Game Designs. Here's the link to it - The ships in all three factions, but in particular, the Human Commonwealth ships, greatly appeal to me and fit in well with my plans for my N.E.W. campaign. Check out the pictures below if you don't want to click on the link.

An unexpected bonus for backing this Kickstarter is that Ed, from Two Hours Wargames, is offering a free PDF of the 5150: Star Navy rules to anyone who makes a pledge for all three factions. I did and Ed has already honoured his promise. THW is one of four companies actively supporting this project, although the factions will be renamed for use in 5150. I will actually be renaming the factions for my own upcoming campaign.
I have never played any starship combat games before, so this is something I am very much looking forward to but I suspect in my N.E.W. campaign The Ace of Spades will do more running and hiding than actual fighting. That said, for its size, it is well armed, well armoured and has a cloaking device fitted, which will prove extremely useful in keeping it hidden.
I suspect that May is going to be an even busier month for me. I hope so because I'm feeling incredibly well right now. If I could bottle my mojo I'd make a fortune! Thanks for reading and take care.

Monday, 24 April 2017

7TV2e Foundry Film Crew

The last time I posted anything about 7TV2e was to review the Crooked Dice cameraman and television (see here - ). Both myself and a few others suggested it would be nice to see figures of other TV crew members. When I saw that Wargames Foundry had the following Film Crew set for sale on their website, I knew I had to buy them.
These are just perfect to use with the 7TV2e game. At the far left is the director. In such a male dominated profession, it is very unusual to see a female director. She is a nicely posed figure.
I deliberately painted the T-shirt of the guy standing next to the director with an orange and white colour scheme featuring the 7TV logo. He could fill numerous roles - a composer, director of photography, gofer, lighting director, producer, sound engineer, special effects guy, stunt co-ordinator, etc. It's a long list and he is so generic he could fill almost any role in the film and TV industry.
The next three figures are all wearing flak vests, suggesting they are filming in a war zone or somewhere where danger is present. In the centre of the group is the attractive female reporter, making sure her hair isn't out of place.
Second from the right is the cameraman and he's operating a hand-held camera, so he can get right in close to the action and track it whilst on the move.
Finally, is the sound engineer, holding his large boom microphone above his head. It is no surprise that his arms are so muscular.
These are delightfully sculpted figures. It would be interesting to see stats for them to use in 7TV2e in much the same way as Crooked Dice Games did for their cameraman.
You can find this set on the Foundry webstore as part of their Casting Room Miniatures Street Violence range. They cost £12.00 for the set of five figures and here's the link to them -
I'm going to be reviewing some more of my contemporary figures over the next couple of weeks, but my JDMG campaign has not been forgotten and I am prepping the next scenario right now.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

WIP - 3D Printed Sci-Fi Scenery

Last year my brother, Mike, built a 3D printer for his computer. He is a computer wizkid and my go to guy if ever I have any problems with my computer. Anyway, one of the first things he wanted to make with his 3D printer was a model of the starship Discovery from the film, 2001, A Space Odyssey. This was a major undertaking that would take a very long time to make. He made good progress but when he went to replace the printer spool he was using to build it he found that it was no longer available for sale. So he switched to another manufacturer's printer spool and discovered it was much, much better than the one he was originally using. The surface detail was much sharper and by then he had learned how to save time with his build and to make it more efficiently. At this point he had two choices - continue on with the build or start afresh. We discussed this and both agreed it would be wisest to start afresh so that the model would be consistent in its uniformity. So, what to do with the parts he'd already made? That proved to be an easy decision. I offered to take the parts he'd made off him and use them as scenery items in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. Just looking at them, I could see so many possibilities. So just last week, when Mike came to visit me during the Easter holidays (he lives in Preston and I live on the opposite side of the country in Gateshead), he brought all the pieces for me... plus a few extras.
This photo above shows everything he brought over. The two items at the far right are not parts of the Discovery model. I'll tell you about them shortly.
The two half sections that made up the front dome of the Discovery when put together in the above configuration looks just like some sort of small 28mm scale hab-zone building.
These components could be used as storage units or support pillars. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to leave them as is or use the connector rings to make four double height units.
At the top left is a component that could sit on a building's roof perhaps as a sensor array. The three booster engines would make great high tech chimneys. The hollowed out section in the middle row could be used as the body of a transport vehicle but will need a few more components to make it work. It's a conversion I could do. Or I might use it as a wall panel with the hollowed part facing inwards. That's what I plan for the long solid section to the right of it and the other items. The two curved sections will be used as barriers.
Here is more square wall panels and in the top left corner another roof item, possibly a lookout bay. It goes without saying that I will be painting all of these items.
One of the two non-Discovery items that Mike made for me was a Judge Dredd badge. This was such a nice surprise. Mike knows that I am a huge Judge Dredd fan. The other item is one of the very first things he made with his 3D printer. It's high tech bear trap like device and yes, it is a working a model. By twisting the base clockwise or anti-clockwise you can open or close the white jaws. I can see so many possibilities for using this. It could be used as a high-tech trap or the doors to a missile launch facility or some kind of an airlock.
Having told you that Mike wanted to make a 3D model of the Discovery it would be remiss of me not to show you the finished model. Mike finished making it just last week and took a couple of photos of it, which I'm only too happy to share with you. I reckon this is most probably 10mm scale or maybe 15mm scale. Honestly, how freaking impressive is this? 😮
This is what Mike had to say about it - "Total length is around 1100mm – I bought a 1000mm metal rod but it doesn’t go right to the ends of the sphere front and boosters back. I look at it and think it’s amazing that it came from nothing – it wasn’t like a model kit - I printed it from a very small (7.61Mb) CAD file and I take my hat off to the guy that modelled it. I also love how it’s free on Thingiverse. I reckon it probably cost me between £12 to £15 in materials, so very cheap for what it is. I downloaded the file about a year before my printer was finished so I always knew it would be one of the first prints. I estimate the plastic parts to be around 650 grams in weight and it takes roughly 1 hour per 10 grams to print, so about 65 hours in total."
The possibilities for the future are incredible. 3D printing is here to stay and is going to be a major part in the future of gaming. So much is already available and I'm very excited about 3D printing. It can only get better and more affordable.

Monday, 17 April 2017

JDMG Illegal Aliens - Kleggs

Kleggs are most famous in Mega City One for their use by Chief Judge Cal in suppressing the rebellious population through sheer terror. However, Kleggs are known throughout the galaxy for being particularly vicious mercenaries. Willing to fight for anyone, they demand nothing more than fresh meat from their employers who will usually supply this from the enemies the Kleggs are crushing. It is an easy arrangement that suits both parties.
These mercenary bands roam the galaxy, looking for anyone disreputable enough to hire them. When business grows thin, they will quite happily invade a town, city or world on their own time, terrorising the local population before eating them. This is when the mercenaries become an invasion force. The Kleggs rarely stay long on any world as they pay keen attention to mounting resistance, usually departing when their prey receives reinforcements and the fighting gets serious. Kleggs enjoy a good fight as much as the next alien, but they much prefer to hunt down helpless prey than trade shots with heavily-armed and well-trained soldiers.
Most Kleggs are not blessed with an over-abundance of intelligence, but among them are the ruling high caste, Kleggs bred for their ability to think their way round problems, and fine-tuned with an education centred around military conquests. The presence of one of these can make a Klegg invasion force much more terrifying.
All of the figures I'm showing here were produced by Warlord Games for the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and the stats for a Klegg invasion force can be found in the Blood on the Streets supplement (see page 114).
Wherever a Klegg invasion force appears, you can be sure the vicious Klegghounds will not be far behind. Gifted with an incredible sense of taste that allows them to track targets for miles, Klegghounds are adept at bringing down prey. These figures were cast in three parts - body, head and right arm.
In JDMG they are Level:0 Illegal Infantry Minions with three Special Rules. First is Klegg Master. You may only field as many Klegghounds as you have Kleggs in your force. A Klegghound may never move more than 12" away from a Klegg and if one finds itself further away, it may only make Move actions until it is within 12" again. Second is Nasty Bite, a melee attack that does 2 Damage with AP-2. Third is Sense of Taste. Few can hide from a Klegghound. The Klegghound will negate all Sneaky Does It Talents in the opposing force with the exception of The Shadow. A Klegghound costs 100 Credits to hire.
Grampus was the leader of the large Klegg invasion force that Chief Judge Cal employed to keep the streets of Mega City One clean. After the death of Deputy Judge Fish, Grampus was awarded the position in recognition of the work the Kleggs had done in bringing the entire city to heel. This awe-inspiring and imposing figure at the far left is much taller than all of the other Kleggs as befits such a member of the ruling caste. He is a Level:4 Illegal Infantry Hero, equipped with a Heavy Spit Gun and a Shell Jacket. His five Talents are Careless Charge, Dirty Fighting, Skilled and Deadly, This Is My Bite and Thundering Charge. He also has two Special Rules - Nasty Bite (as detailed above) and Ruling Caste, which allows all Kleggs and Klegghounds within 12" of him to re-roll any failed Will to Fight checks. Grampus costs 305 Credits.
Supporting Grampus are two Klegg Mercenaries armed with a Flamethrower in the centre and a Bludgeon Cannon at the far right. Both wear Shell Jackets. Both are Level:0 Illegal Infantry Minions but that will most likely change when I create their Character Record Sheets. They also have the Nasty Bite Special Rule (actually, all Kleggs have this rule). They cost 190 Credits each.
Here we have three rank and file Klegg Mercenaries, all armed with Heavy Spit Guns and all wearing Shell Jackets. Once again, they are Level:0 Illegal Infantry Minions. The Illegal classification means that Judges can attack them on sight without having to make arrest attempts first.
The Klegg in the centre of this group is also armed with a Cleaver, which raises his Credits score to 200. The other two are worth 190 Credits each.
I know how much everyone loves to see a group shot, so here is my small Klegg invasion force in its entirety. I'd love to be able to add to it, but even so, they will prove to be a formidable force to take on my current team of Judges. This is the complete range that Warlord Games produced but seeing as most of them came with separate heads it would be a simple task to swap them around to make different looking figures. I have no immediate plans for featuring them in my JDMG campaign but that does not mean they'll never appear. When the time is right they will arrive to cause trouble and mayhem. 😏

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Wargames Terrain Workshop Post Apocalypse Scenery 01

I continue with my reviews of Wargames Terrain Workshop scenery items, but this time I'm highlighting a couple of scenery pieces I recently ordered, both of which are from the Post Apocalypse range. In both cases I chose the painted options, both to save me the time in painting them and plus, they look a lot better than I suspect I could have achieved.
The two items I chose were the Toxic Pool and the Crushed Car. The Toxic Pool measures 197mm in length by 126mm in width and by 15mm in height. I specifically wanted it to use in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game. Toxic Pools are a common feature of Mega City One. In addition to being a great place for dumping corpses, I thought it would make for an ideal spawning point for some Toxic Zombies. Although I ordered the painted version, which costs £12.60, as opposed to £7.00 for the unpainted version, I repainted the surrounding earth banks to match the colour scheme of most of my figures and scenic bases. Dave Stone, who painted it, had given it a brown surround, just like on the crushed car. Note the skeletal hand and skull sticking out of the pool! A nice touch!
As soon as I saw the Crushed Car model, I knew that I wanted it. Dave has done a first class job on painting it and the rust effects are just superb. It measures 107mm in length by 59mm in width and by 24mm in height. The painted version cost £7.20, whilst the unpainted version is just £4.00. I did think about repainting the base but decided that the brown colouring complemented the rusty brown of the car, so just left it as is.
To the left of here is a closer look of the car in a photo taken from the WTW webstore. The car looks a lot brighter and more orange in my two photos but that might just be because of us using different cameras and lighting. The Crushed Car has already made an appearance in one of my JDMG batreps (scenario 05 - Robot Rebellion) but you have to look very carefully to see it as it was positioned well away from all the action by the rear wall. You can find both of these scenery items here -
I am absolutely delighted with these two items of scenery and you can expect to see them appearing in more batreps of mine in the future. What I particularly love about all of Dave's work is that they are very usable, well-detailed and superb value for money. Even his painted stuff is very affordable and often cheaper than similar unpainted products from other companies.