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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Ground Zero Games

Alright these guys don’t do any VSF (Yet, please oh please oh please). I bought a small number of their figures so I could do standard SF versus Bugs (there was a really cool book about this, which sadly has yet to be made into a film). I have some old Martian Metals Traveller grav vehicles so I figured with a few infantry guys I’d have a force that could fight the bugs using Dirt Side or something like that.

I have a large number of GZG 25mm figs that fit really well with Denizen and other true 25mm but decided I would pick up some of their 15mm as well.  Service was excellent and so are the figures. They have some flash that needs to be removed but for the most part are fairly effortless. I haven’t finished painting them yet, but even a coat of spray primer brings out good details. The animation is nice and there is a vast selction of equipment and poses.

Again if you are looking for “standard” futuristic Sci Fi in 15mm GZG should be your first stop.

I forgot the coolest thing. In the robots set is a drone from Silent Running! Excellent

M.Y. Miniatures

I ordered a number of miniatures from M.Y. Miniatures who offer some interesting lines of figures in 15mm. These include a large number of extinct animals, primitive tribesman and some fantasy elements. Some of the older figures are currently being re-sculpted. I’ll offer a quick review of their newer material.  The order arrived very quickly and service was excellent. Michael sent along a few extras which was extremely generous. Cost was reasonable and packing was good. One of the nicest pieces is a two pony wagon. The kit goes together well and the ponies look nice and shaggy. I haven’t painted this yet, but from the look of things this will be a nice kit and a useful addition. It will be good for any period from about 1700 on to WW2, depending upon who is placed in the seat. I was really looking forward to the Megatherium, or giant ground sloth. The figure is well cast, but seems a bit small-not as much mega as therium. On a personal note the pose of the animal reaching upwards with one of its huge forepaws doesn’t work for the use I had planned for it (as a mount for my Venusian Heavy shock cavalry). In terms of the animal and its lifestyle is a very good pose indeed. Another winner is their extinct Australian giant lizard. This could be a modern day Komodo Dragon. This figure is well animated and I particularly like the extended tongue as the beast tastes the air to seek its prey. The ground walking vultures are very nice and the cattle workmanlike and useful. I was also sent several additional figures for review, including some nice bears, a couple of sabre-tooth cats and an array of various pachyderms.

Another very cool item is the conning tower of a Japanese mini submarine. Just the thing for landing agents on teh American West coast!

Some of these are very nice and others appear to be some of the older castings, which aren’t up to M.Y.’s current standards. I look forward to doing business with M.Y. in the future.

Khurasan Miniatures

Khurasan is known for 15mm historicals but they have begun to branch out into other realms. This includes 28mm Sci Fi and various 15mm efforts. I picked up 15mm figs from their Mystri island WW1 era lost world setting, one of their historical lines and the 28mm Sci Fi setting.

From Mysteri Island I bought their three personality figures, a female big game hunter in pants with an elephant gun and pistols, her British companion and a Germanic type fellow with an eye patch and a pistol. All three are very well sculpted and cast. The lizard men come in an assortment of poses and a number of turtle shell shields were included. these glued on easily and the effect of a couple of dozen cherging headlong looks fearsome.

From the 28mm range I bought alien arachnids (go figure). These were a bit fiddley to put together but once I got the method down assembled fairly well. You will need to drill out the holes for inserting various parts onto the main body. Once assembled they look pretty nice (perhaps nice is not the right word). Download the instructions from the web site. It makes assembly much more simple.

Good service and good products with more on the way

Terry

Evil Gong Squidmen

In the HQC universe at least two alien races have been described. The most obvious are la seplurdi or “True Martians”. These intelligent creatures inhabit Mars (as could be guessed from their name). The Oonaliss on the other hand are a technologically advanced semi aquatic race. I’ve been toying with these guys for some time and have been torn between a froglike lineage and one from molusca. I ordered some East Riding Miniatures frogmen and some Evil Gong squidmen. The squids have arrived first and boy are they wonderful. The detail is nice and crisp, very little flash and they come in several poses. These are low tech land-squids with spears and clubs. they also have shields. The sculpting is good and the poses are animated like one would expect for such boneless creatures.

Obviously they have regressed from any starfaring days due to their long exile in the deadly seas of Venus. I look forward to painting these squidlets up, they should look really nice on the game table.

I will have to do charts and such for these strange creatures for The Sword and the Hive as soon as I get a chance.

I will post pictures there as soon as possible. Currently Evil Gong’s web page is down and undergoing revision. Their email address is still up on TMP http://theminiaturespage.com/man/evilgong/. David the Evil Brown responded very quickly to my email and the figs arrived from Australia very rapidly. I look forward to Evil Gong’s web page being re-erected and ordering more of these strange creatures.

Terry

Modeling Information Added

Since I posted this originally I’ve done more work on the small walker. I want to use what I’ve done as a master for resin casting. Anyone out there with experience who wants to lend a hand will be most welcome! I’ve added three pages with information on some of my modeling efforts. They are all currently still in progress. I’m looking forward to finishing the Targee especially. She isn’t for gaming but for display and once she is finished I hope to thrill some sci fi convention goers with her. I was hoping to have her ready for Archon next month but that is pretty unlikely. By the grace of God next year!

Bug Miniatures-GFI Miniatures review

The Sword and the Hive is a set of miniatures rules and even when I role play I tend to have figures on the table. This means that miniatures are important to this setting. Many years ago Scott Flower and I developed a line of Bug figures when his company Game Tech was still up and running. We just felt that great big bugs would be fun to game with, what has now matured into HQC was just a few random thoughts in notebooks and posts to various lists. I did some of the design and kit bashed some masters. Scott re-sculpted them into usable miniatures and made RTV moulds. He also designed a few of the bugs from scratch. Together we produced about a dozen figures all told, but sadly we really never got them into commercial production. After years of looking round I finally was able to get the figs in production with Game Figures, Inc. Tom Dye has done a great job bring the minis out. I’ll review the figs now (this is not at all an unbiased review-let me say that right up front) First let’s cover the two Lancer’s a Minor one and a Media one. The minor comes in a pack of 4 for 9.95. It requires assembly but is very easy to put together. The Media lancer is a bit tougher to build but is far larger; you get three in a pack, again for 9.95. Both lancers look the part of scary rapidly moving critters. The Chopper and Shooter figs use the same basic structure and both have three models (requiring assembly) per pack. These miniatures tend to be a bit fragile when assembled, but can be restored quickly. I always bring a bit of super glue out to events for quick repairs. The Large and Small crabs are some of the best looking bugs. Scott designed the large crab from scratch. They both assembly easily. Just make certain you have a good surface on which to glue the tail of the large crab. Both paint up very well. The Mantis is based on the same idea as the smaller crab and is also easy to built. All of these come with three bugs in a pack for 9.95. Scott also deigned The Worker, a more generic fellow which has three models in the pack. These creatures have fore limbs designed for manipulation rather than hunting and killing. Finally there is the ant, which can be used as a small worker or a small trapper in the HQC universe. The figures are all workmanlike. They may not be up to the current state of the art standard for the industry but they look great on the game table and are priced reasonably. You can put together a scary looking horde without selling a kidney. We hope to put a flying bug out soon. The original wings were vac formed and that has been a problem in terms of scaling up. Look for the flying lancer soon. Game Figures also produces a giant scorpion, a giant beetle and another giant Bug in their fantasy lines. The giant Beetle makes a great Major Trapper if its head is cut and placed in a small resin crater. The giant scorpion can be a Super Major Crab or Crusher if the stinger is removed.

Languages and scripts

I’ve added two links, one to the created language Lojban, the second to an artificial writing system called 12480. Alien cultures need there own languages. The la seplurdi, the very strange aliens discovered on Mars needed a language they could use to communicate with humans. After some querries Michael from my list suggested the created language Lojban. I believe he also located the created numbering/script system 12480.

The aliens use a number of communications methods when passing information between themselves but use lojban when communicating with their human slaves. All languages on Mars and Venus are derived from Lojban. This doesn’t mean a lojban speaker will be fluent in a language from Venus. In the thousands of years since Venus was abandoned by the aliens languages have changed. Consider the roots of English four thousand yars ago and how it is spoken today and the problems should be in perspective.

Terry