Saturday 17 March 2012

UNSC Colour scheme test

 I first started painting some of GZG's fine UNSC light troopers many months ago (I just checked and actually it was May 2010 - how time flies!).

Camouflage scheme

 I'm not sure that my original high-contrast scheme fits in with the rest of my forces, so I knocked up a couple of alternatives last night.  The first is a camo scheme using Humbrol 93 matt desert sand, GW rotting flesh and Vallejo Beastly Brown.  A brown ink wash and a light drybrush of the original colours gave extra texture, the gun is just matt black with a dark grey drybrush.

Grey scheme

 Next is a grey/white scheme.  Vallejo stomewall grey, black ink wash, drybrush in dark grey, light grey & white, gun as above.  Visor is GW red gore.

"Wimbledon" scheme
And finally a re-appearance of the original "Wimbledon" style purple/white/green scheme.

So... which should I go for?  All opinions much appreciated!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

More 15mm Mecha

 I've always had an affection for Zoids.  I remember the Zoids comic strip that ran alongside Spiderman for many months, my school friend had the "Marvel Collected Comics" issue that bound together the first few issues in one volume and it captured my imagination from that first moment.  The UK Zoids comic had a completely different storyline to the original Japanese series.

Zoids seem ideal for Mecha warfare in 15mm.  Supposedly constructed in 1/72 scale, the Zoid pilots were clearly below average height when compared to a 1/72 or 1/76 plastic soldier (interestingly, this carried through into  the comic strip, a human teenager was able to squeeze into a Zoid cockpit that was too small for an adult).

The plastic pilot

My first Zoid for use is Gunsniper, a saurian type robot based on a velociraptor.  Being one of the standard small wind-up Zoid types, it is impressive on the 15mm battlefield without being overpowering like a bigger battery-powered Zoid might be.  A quick test shows that the cockpit is a comfortable size for an NAC autocannon gunner (in this case he's a pilot for a different vehicle who's been given a head-swap and has no feet!).

Footless GZG pilot conversion

Although Gunsniper is held together well by the polycaps included with the kit, I'm going to glue it together anyway, then smooth some of the joins with Humbrol model filler and a quick file/sandpaper.  Colour scheme will become a more utilitarian olive drab - unless I decide to go for a high science fiction bright and flashy finish.  I'll probably go with the more basic colours so that it looks less Zoid-like and blends in with my other models more effectively.

Gunsniper in normal mode

Gunsniper carries a satisfying array of weaponry, another reason for it being my first choice of Zoid for 15mm gaming.  A  tribarrel 40mm cannon on each forearm will provide strong anti-personnel firepower, a chest mounted 80mm cannon gives additional anti-personnel and limited anti-tank capabilities, plus two missile pods on the back will provide the main anti-tank punch.  The missile pods also include jump-jets that pop out when you press a button on top.  These are a bit disappointing - it's not like you can't see the engine nozzle when it's in the retracted position so the "pop-out" feature seems pretty pointless!

Attack mode

In Tomorrow's War terms, Gunsniper will primarily be a Tech Level 3 piece of equipment.  It certainly looks faster, more agile and technically accomplished  than the Destroids, I imagine it will have been produced using cutting-edge technology including the latest sensors and armour.  Weapons will probably be a mix of Tech 2 and 3 systems.  It will no doubt incorporate some advanced tech such as detonation fields, stealth/ECM systems, possibly an AI.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Mecha in 15mm

2012 is being touted as "the year of 15mm mecha battles", so my entry to the fray comes in the form of these Robotech Destroids released as part of the Exofleet range.  Their first appearance was in the original Macross series but their technical specifications were reworked for the Robotech series.  They were re-worked again to become some of the first BattleMechs of the BattleTech game, though they are now known as the "unseen" due to copyright issues resulting in their disappearance!

These came from e-bay for the princely sum of £8.50, a purchase with which I am extremely pleased!

To add to the confusion,all are known by at least 3 names, the original Macross name, the Robotech name (those given here come from the Palladium Games' Robotech RPG) and the BattleTech name.
Phalanx or Spartan Destroid / Longbow BattleMech
Defender or Raidar X destroid / Rifleman BattleMech

Tomahawk or Excaliber Destroid / Warhammer BattleMech
I'm thinking about colour schemes, I'll probably go with something similar to the Tomahawk/Excaliber/Warhammer that I've already painted in a UK temperate green/black pattern (see it here).

I'll need to do a little work on them to add some detailing, I'll also need to work out how to add markings.  I don't have any transfers to match the original one I painted so I might try making some stencils so that I can paint them on.