Thursday 31 March 2022

Epic Walker Week - Crusader Robots

The quick-moving Crusader robot is armed with a power sword in each arm for close combat, but a back-mounted las-cannon ensures it doesn't lack in anti-tank firepower either.  Apparently they're often used for "mutant hunting", presumably because they aren't affected by fear or terror and won't be corrupted by the unnamed powers.  They also make excellent fast tank-hunters.

Crusader maniple.

 Speedy and well-armed, they also look really cool, a good deal less static in their poses than some of the other robots and more insectoid than human in shape.  I always liked the Crusader but sadly never got a full-scale version, so these little chaps will have to do instead!


Wednesday 30 March 2022

Epic Walker Week - Colossus Robots

If you're besieging someone, a maniple of Colossus robots will come in handy.

Colossus robots.

Equipped with a siege hammer, the Colossus excels in attacking units entrenched in buildings.  A right arm bolter and back mounted melta gun round out the armament.

Colossus robots.
Like the Conqueror, the Colossus also appeared in smaller, plastic form - in this instance it was included with the original Imperial Guard sprues.  Unlike the Crusader, the Colossus plastic pose was pretty similar to the metal pose but that's presumably just because the metal one is fairly static.  The plastic ones are about 2/3 the size of their metal counterparts.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Epic Walker Week - Castellan Robots

My maniple of Castellan Robots is an ideal anti-infantry unit.  Each Castellan is equipped with a heavy bolter for ranged combat plus 2 power fists for when things get up close and personal.

Castellan robots

Those power fists can be dangerous even for vehicles in close combat!

Monday 28 March 2022

Epic Walker Week - Conqueror Robots

The Legio Cybernetica is the arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus reponsible for autonomous battle robots.  Robots are deployed in maniples of 4.  A maniple can be a mixture of different types but I've chosen to keep mine each to a single type.

In the original Space Marine/Adeptus Mechanicus "Codex Titanicus" supplement, robot maniples were given "programme" counters which would last for the entire game, plus objective markers to place on their target points.  The situation around them dictated which orders the robots automatically received each turn, e.g. if a maniple with "Take and Hold" orders had arrived at their objective marker, they would switch to First Fire orders.

Robot maniples would usually be painted in Legio Cybernetica colours but I've painted mine to match my Crimson Fist Space Marines.

Conqueror robots.

The Conqueror is a tank hunter, armed with an autocannon in the right arm, power fist in the left arm and a back-mounted heavy bolter for anti-infantry work.

Conqueror robots.
A couple of points of interest: Conqueror! was the name of the original White Dwarf article on robots in 1st edition Adeptus Titanicus, hence my decision to start my Walker Week with this particular design. The Conqueror also appeared in a smaller, weedier guise in on the Epic Space Marine sprues, not much larger than the basic infantry and in a much more static pose than the earlier metal version.

Saturday 26 March 2022

Quest For Makuta - the Bionicle Adventure Game

Bionicle game

We had a nice trip to the market town of Diss today, and we always enjoy a browse of the charity shops while we're there.  Today in the Oxfam shop we came across the Lego Bionicle Adventure Game: Quest for Makuta for a mere £2.99.

The blurb on the back.

Number 1 son (7 years old next month) has enjoyed playing with my Bionicle stuff for the last couple of years and he didn't need much persuasion to spend his saved up pocket money on this rather than some bit of useless tat from one of the other shops.

Mata Nui.

The game comes with a set of neat jigsaw fit hex tiles, shown here assembled as the island of Mata Nui, home to the Bionicle Toa (player characters).


The components are decent quality, nice thick card stock.  It's a shame the playing pieces are plastic pawns with card inserts instead of actual plastic figures.  I suppose I could always order some of the Bionicle Hordika minifigures which are quite cheap (and the right colours, though not exactly the correct shape), but I'll wait and see how the game plays first.

Bionicle Guide
 I was asked to get out my Bionicle guide (a previous 50p Charity shop find) so we could have a look at some of the glyphs and try to translate them.

The Bionicle Lexicon.
With any luck, we might get a chance to try playing the game tomorrow!

Friday 25 March 2022

Epic Rhinos and variants

Several years ago in 2015, before a home 3D printer was really an option for a skinflint like me, I ordered a few Epic 40K bits from Shapeways.  These included a range of add-on parts for the basic plastic models, some of which were lascannon and heavy bolter turrets for converting Rhinos into Razorbacks.  These simply glue onto the top hatch once you've trimmed off the hatch handles, fitting neatly between the hatch hinges.

Lascannon Razorback, standard Rhino, Heavy Bolter Razorback

I also had a selection of Predator bits including las-cannon and heavy bolter sponsons, autocannon and twin las-cannon turrets.

Predator Annihilator
The turrets have a hole designed to allow magnetic attachment, but I've just glued mine on. The sponsons are shaped to glue precisely onto the Rhino side hatches.

Predator Annihilator

These will supplement my old metal Predators nicely.  The originals were one of my first Epic purchases, £2.99 for 3 back in 1989.

Predator Destructors

Using a comunication antenna from a set of Ground Zero Games 15mm tank accessories, I converted one of my old plastic models into a Deimos Command Rhino.

Deimos Command Rhino

Whirlwind turrets enhance my artillery support.  I have quite a few metal Whirlwinds already, but as far as I'm aware, no-one ever complained of having too much artillery available.

 These turrets also came with alternative Rhino top hatches which is a nice touch, though it's a bit fiddly shaving the existing hatches off.

Whirlwind (notice whitish bloom on top of turret).

Whirlwind Hunter turrets provide some previously lacking air defence for my Space Marines.  Replacement hatches are included again for the additional sensors.

Whirlwind Hunter.

The 3D printed parts do have a few problems, in the seven years since I bought them they seem to have developed a slightly greasy feel and you can see the paint is affected in a few places.  This is particularly evident on the top of the Whirlwind turrets where some sort of whitish bloom has appeared, especially in the recessed panel lines.  I assume they were probably printed in a resin, perhaps there is an issue with less cured resin leaching out through the surface over time.  I still have a few bits left to use and I might pop them in my curing station to water cure for a minute or two before I use them.

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Epic Land Raiders

My collection of epic scale Crimson Fists includes that staple of any Space Marine armour force, the Land Raider.  These come from my original copy of the game plus a complete extra copy and some additional lots of models I got from eBay.

Land Raiders.
Transporting 10 infantry and armed with 2 heavy bolters and 4 las cannon, the Land Raider is the archetypal Space Marine armoured vehicle.

Land Raiders.

Painting is to various standards, rather than re-paint every second-hand one from scratch, I've just added the main blues and reds over the top of the original colours.

Land Raider.

As a result, the tracks are a combination of greys, blacks and silvers and the blues are a mix of either GW Moody Blue or a base coat of Humbrol 104 Oxford Blue with a top coat of 25 Blue depending on how long ago I painted them (the Moody Blue ran out about 20 years ago).

Land Raiders.

Despite the mix of colours, they still look pretty uniform from a distance.  I have a total of 13 completed so far, with several more part-painted, certainly enough to take down a Titan or two depending upon which version of the various different Epic scale rules I'm using.

Monday 14 March 2022

A Lance of Locusts (or should that be a swarm?)

After the success I had with printing my mini-mecha for WeaselTech, I wanted to try a few normal scaled BattleMechs.  I've always fancied having some extra fast recon units so some Locusts seemed a good choice, especially with the more dynamic poses you can get with 3D printing.  They are also one-part, so gone are the days of fiddling with small metal parts, trying to hold them straight while the glue sets!


I bought a load of lipped hex bases from eM4 Miniatures in their recent sale. I filled these with Wilko brown wood filler and superglued the Locusts in place after sanding their feet smooth.  A sprinkle of small rocks and some fine sand/brown tile grout gave a good texture.  Wilko grey primer always gives a good undercoat.  I didn't spend much time on any of these, just dobbed the paint on for some rough camo schemes and an appropriate black or sepia ink wash.


The LCT-1M carries a pair of LRM-5 launchers and a medium laser and virtually no armour.  It needs to rely on its speed for survival and when I introduce a new player to BattleTech, I'm thinking of 2 or 3 training missions emphasizing different aspects of the game.  A training mission with 2 LCT-1Ms sparring with LRMs at long range could be interesting, wouldn't need many hits to disable the enemy but keeping moving would be the key.  This is a simple green, khaki & red-brown camo scheme.


The advanced LCT-1VB carries a small pulse laser and medium pulse laser in each arm as well as the torso medium laser, plus ferro-fibrous armour, endo-steel chassis, XL engine and double heat sinks.  I just think it looks cool, so I've printed 2 of these.  The first is a green and grey colour scheme.


The second LCT-1VB is a sort-of re-creation of the basic green colour scheme I used on my bendy plastic Locust from the Battletech starter set I got back in the early 1990's.


 *Updated* - I dug out my old, strutting LCT-1V for a quick comparison photograph.  The new green is a bit more subdued, but that's just the change in my painting style over almost 30 years.


Old & new.

The standard Locust's machine guns are replaced with SRM-2 lauchers on the LCT-1S. It also loses a little armour compared to the standard Locust, but if the pilot is lucky, the extra, longer-ranged damage they dish out will compensate.  This is just a khaki base coat, sepia wash, khaki drybrush and a bone drybrush to finish.


 Cockpit canopies were all painted with my 1980's GW Enchanted blue, with a faint highlight painted on that seems to have completely vanished in the photographs, but you can see it in real life.


I shall have to try printing something bigger another day, perhaps some Shadowhawks and Wolverines to supplement the 2 bendy plastic ones from the old boxed game.  As always, you can see the print lines up close, but from 12" away you can't really see them.  I'd say it's far less of an issue than the bad mould lines that are almost impossible to hide on some of the metal 'Mechs I've bought over the years.

Saturday 12 March 2022

When you gotta go, you gotta go...

Something I'm sure will come in useful in future games - perhaps as a mission objective?!

Always take some spare loo roll with you!

This portaloo is from tabletop-terrain's 28mm scatter terrain set, I rescaled it to 70% for my 15mm games and printed it as a solid object, lying on its back to reduce the printing time.  The paint job was very quick, my old GW Enchanted Blue was a suitable plastic colour, with a white roof.  A wash of 50/50 black ink and matt varnish gave some shadows and it was done.