Saturday, 2 October 2021

Starport scum 2 - meet Splutinsen

Hello and welcome back, 

Time for another (not so) exciting instalment of Spaceport Scum. 

This here is Splutinsen, a clandestine contact for information and you know spy stuff. No one actually knows what he looks like as he is always wearing a space suit with a tinted visor leading to speculation that he might actually be an alien. This is reenforced by his odd look and shape.

All attempts to capture him has proven futile and he has never been cornered. Strangely he just seems to appear usually startling his contact.

Splutinsen is actually an polymorphic alien usually in the form of a green blob in his natural state (assuming of course a polymorphic alien blob has a sex). He can mimic any shape or fit through any hole at will. He is never armed because he can become any weapon at need. Splutinsen was in a heated space battle and his ship was hit sending out of control. The ship spun into a white hole and ended up in another Galaxy. It is possible that it may even be a different universe.

Lost and unable to return home Splutinsen discovered GELF space and eventually humanity. He keeps this shape as both human and GELF seem to like it. Splutinsen wanders the worlds taking spy information jobs (as humans have a need for a weird thing called money) looking for another worm hole in the hope he can return home. 

Splutinsen is a star link figure that came with on of their starships. I gave it a couple of washes and a quick touch up before mounting him on a base. I will use him as a contact in my 5 parsecs games. 

Thanks for looking. Stay safe out there.

Meet the HZD machines

Hello and welcome back. 

It’s tIme to see the rest of the Finished Horizon Zero Dawn board game machines by Steam Forged Games. These figures are fairly quick to paint but have really shallow details making them a bit of a challenge. We have already met the Watcher machines in the link below.

watcher machines here

The grazer is a smaller herd machine from the Horizon Zero Dawn universe. It grazes keeping grass & plant life down using two rotary blades on each antler. This action also turns & aerates soil to allow new seeds to take hold. Meanwhile the machine “digests” and processes some material to produce a highly flammable fluid which is stored in the canisters at the rear of the machine. 

The fluid is harvested somehow and used as a resource by the automated machine factories known as cauldrons. Tribal machine hunters want this fluid for starting fires, making bombs or traps.

Grazers are often seen in herds with watchers and the occasional saw tooth acting as a guardian. Hunters have problems with the rotary blades. 

Next up the Striders, one of my favourite machines from the game. The Strider is a herd machine and resemble horses. They give similar kick attacks as horses if provoked. The machines grazes keeping grass life down while  “digesting” and processing the grass to produce a highly flammable fluid which is stored in the canister at the rear of the machine. 

Like other resource gathering machines the fluid is harvested and used as a resource by the automated machine factories known as cauldrons. Tribal machine hunters want this fluid for starting fires, making bombs or traps. Certain hunters have the ability to over ride the programming of Striders and can use them as riding machines. 

The Scrappers are pack machines designed to recycle damaged or “dead” machines using grinders at their jaws. The scrappers are highly territorial and aggressive towards humans. Scrappers are equipped with a radar to detect movement and have a energy weapon in the mouth assembly making a pack quite a hazard if encountered.

Shell walkers are a crab like machine with a cargo pod on the back. They move resources generated by the machines to the cauldrons (automated machine factories).

Shell walkers are equipped with a powerful power claw, energy shield and a ballistic energy weapon. The shell walkers also charge and leap into combat. Like all machines in HZD the Shell Walkers are aggressive to humans and will attack on site. 

The Saw Tooth is a newer machine to the Horizon Zero Dawn world intended purely to hunt humans. It is a large armoured machine that prowls around the machine herds to protect them from human hunters. 

Equipped with fangs and claws the Saw Tooth makes similar attacks to a large cat. Despite its size the Saw Tooth is a agile combat machine.

While I come up with ideas to use the machines in my own game worlds I did run into this in the Zone Raider rule book (another hard Sci Fi post apocalyptic setting that really appeals to me).


Humans, Morlock and Intelligent Robot are not the only forms of life that frequent the numerous Megastrata. Variants of ancient timeless flora fill lush bio-domes, while part-flesh, part-machine beasts roam specialized sectors once dedicated to their creation and containment.

These creatures are at best a source of food, lubricants and other resources. At worst, they are predators to be carefully respected, such as great Technobeasts that stalk ancient overgrown biodomes. Well-established Survivor cultures may even cultivate their own plants, animals and mech-hybrids for their own uses.”

I am wondering if the HZD machines would serve as Technobeasts in the forgotten bio domes of the Zone Raider Matrioshka world (well not quite a world!) setting. 

I have read that there will be other machines from HZD released by Steam Forged Games in the future. So there is a chance there will be more machine posts. 

Thanks for looking, stay safe out there.

Harvester Immuncytes

Hello and welcome back,

I have always been drawn to the background and setting of the Zone Raiders game. For those that don’t know it is a hard Sci Fi post apocalyptic setting on a Matrioshka world (think immense artificial world/Uber super computer built around a Dyson sphere).

One of the perils of the setting is the  Immunocytes - machines created by the post humans to deal with sentient life in the Matrioshka. 

The main Immunocytes are the Harvesters which sound like the usual skelebots.

From the ZR rule book:

“Harvesters are the most commonly encountered Immunocyte. Usually humanoid in configuration, they act as sentries or roving hunters. Each one has a high-powered projectile weapon as well as inhumanly strong bladed thrusts to tear apart unfortunate lifeforms.

Harvesters are a common boogeyman in most cultures, distinguished by their wailing electronic screech upon spotting a fresh target. Wary Zone Raiders can sense their presence by the uneasy tingling of ionized radiation their bodies output when in hunter-killer mode.”

I found these cheap Necrons on eBay, assembled and painted. Saved me a job. As most of the Immunocytes are eons old I chose to age these Necrons. This was done by mixing bestial brown with dark brown wash. After a few applications I painted the eyes and sorted the bases. As the tunnels of  Matrioshka are ancient they are covered with dust and dirt so I chose this over a metal plate base.

Base wise I chose a typical Post Apocalyptic style as I also plan to use these on Mattblackgod’s world as another wasteland hazard. I like the thought of a bunch of salvagers wandering into a field of immobile killer skelebots hoping they don’t suddenly activate. 

Now I have to figure out machines for the Reaper Immunocytes.

Thanks for looking, take care out there.

Orc Boss

Hello and welcome back, 

Now it is time for a visit to my mythical world of Mytharth. 

I got this figure free with a order. I have a bunch of these old Grenadier Orcs from aeons ago, some of the first figures I ever bought. So it was nice to get the Boss for free. 

I guess a Orc warband is in the future of Mytharth. 

Thanks for looking. Take care out there. 

Sci Fi Dropship.

Hello and welcome back, we are off to the edge of human space. 

Every crew of Spacers need a drop ship to move stuff around the worlds they visit. It is always handy to have some fire support from time to time too. Ex dropships aren’t always easy or cheap to come by. 

This drop ship is a Hornet from the mantic game’s Warpath line. My aim was to build something that looks like it was found abandoned on a battlefield. Possibly lightly damaged or suffering from a some failure. Or maybe the crew had dismounted to be massacred. 

My idea is that this thing is used as a taxi and I wanted it to have a battered long suffering look. I added a couple of half spherical beads either side of the cockpit. The drop ship has been modified with a extensive sensor suite probably found on a crashed military search vehicle. A well informed crew makes better decisions. Who knows what other modifications are hidden under the hull panels? 

The more civilised worlds take affront at privately owned armed gunships whizzing about so the weapons can be easily removed by the crew before setting off. Not that they ever go to the more civilised worlds very often.

I have modelled the Hornet with the undercarriage down as this will be scenery in games more than a vehicle. Apart from maybe those “Get to the Choppa” escape scenarios (admit it, you read that in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice).

Thanks for looking, stay safe out there. 

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Punk Apocalyptic

Hello and welcome back. 

This week the Punkapocalyptic KS landed whetting my Post apocalyptic appetite again.

The KS came with a rule book (in English at last!) and a book of additional rules (also in English).  The resin figures each have multiple weapon options and 3 or 4 heads. This gives lots of options and plenty of conversion fodder. I am looking forward to getting them assembled and painted. 

I had a quick flick through the rule books. The main rules are designed  for small numbers of figures from 3 up to about 18 per side. They are miniature agnostic rules for 28 to 32mm figures, although the publisher Bad Roll Games, would like you to have some Punk Apoc figures. Both books have a wealth of background, stories, beasts and faction lists for the Punk Apocalyptic world. There is some nice eye candy pictures too. Characters have quite amusing spoof names. One word of warning is that some of the language in the books is colourful and not very politically correct. Hey it’s after the end of the world, what did you expect? High tea and Queen’s English? 

Most of the action takes place around the area of Scrapbridge in what was the USA. The background fully covers the area in detail and there is a detailed world view. With the closed off high tech cities you get the feeling some Judge Dredd style figures would fit these cities well. There is no reason that you couldn’t use the rules for what ever part of the world you fancy your wastelands to be. Or if you are a 2000AD fan, a bit of Cursed Earth action.

This is a D10 roll set. Activation works off the figures attribute score. Highest figure on the table goes first, with highest dice rolls for same number until all figures have activated.

Shooting and close combat are the usual number with modifiers vs dice roll. Close combat is figure vs figure rolls. Then a wound roll which is toughness with modifiers and weapon penetration. 

There is no rules for moral, that I have noticed. Rare weapons are limited to 3 of a type of firearm per team (ie 3 pistols, 3 shotguns etc). You have to buy ammo for weapons and use it sparingly. You have to say how your warband is equipped but not how much ammo you bought which keeps the other side guessing. There is also rules for special ammo. There are also mutations and psychic rules too.

Both books have lots and lots scenarios and campaign rules. I need to dig further into this. There are rules for toxic and radioactive areas. Not forgetting the wandering beasts rules.

The optional and extra rules have beasts, campaign, solo rules, stories, new characters and a new faction. 

I will have to give the rules a whirl sometime. When I get a couple of spare hours. The ammo rules gives a real PA feel. Reminds me of the Mad Max video game where you have to use ammo sparingly and make the shots count. 

The Punk Apoc gangs and lines fit with other PA figure manufacturers such as MEP miniatures, Ramshackle, Lead Adventure and Copplestone. 

Thanks for reading, I hope to see you in Scrapbridge one day. 

Take care out there.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Fort Hardknox pt 2

 Hello and welcome back.

My hobby time over the last couple of weeks has been spent working my way through the fort Hardknox KS set by Fogou models. When the Kickstarter was active I went for the all in offer and got a lot of resin goodness. My progress so far. 

Note: the crates aren’t part of the set. 

The spigot holes on the gate house needed filling and I made a couple of plates to cover them. It was only long after I had painted them that I noticed the set came with a few resin plate panels. Doh! Still I expect they will be put to good use somewhere. 

There is still the fire steps and additional goodies to finish. Apologies for the mess around the fort, my games table seems to have become a temporary dumping ground. 

One nice discovery is that the resin can be painted without needing priming (I had missed a  few bits). 

This set has been hanging over my head since it arrived a couple of years back because of the sheer amount of stuff to paint. I have broken the back of it and I am looking forward to getting this set finished.

The destroyed wall pieces .

Looking at the set makes me want to break out my not Mad Max and not Warboys figures to recreate the fights from the Mad Max video game. 

Thanks for looking and keep a eye open for the next part of Fort Hardknox 

Take care out there. 

Friday, 27 August 2021

Meet the Watchers

Hello and welcome back, 

Meet the watchers. 

The first few figures from the Horizon Zero Dawn set have been painted. I thought I would start with the first machines you encounter in the computer game, the watchers.

These are light recon machines that now act sentries for the herds. When encountering humans they will alert the other machines in the herd before launching an attack.

The HZD watchers painted up quickly. My only grumble is that the detail around the lens is a little weak. It needs building up. If I had the time I would be tempted to cut a slice of plastic tube to make a lens. Or maybe put some green stuff and try to sculpt a lens. I hope the head detail on the other machines aren’t as bad,

Watchers & other machines built by different factories (known as cauldrons) have different coloured patches unique to that cauldron. 

My plans for these figures are to use them in a Sci Fi setting as the machines of a terraforming system to be encountered on a lost world. Back on Mattblackgod’s world I am thinking of a large island where tribals and machines live. Either adventures take place on the island or maybe a expedition of Guardians or Black City people investigating the island. 

I guess I now need to crack on with the other Horizon Zero Dawn machines. 

Thanks for looking. Stay safe out there.

Fort Hardknox part 1

Hello and welcome back. 

A while back I pitched in for the all in Fort Hardknox Kickstarter by Fogou models. Every post apocalyptic wasteland Warlord needs a fortress to help them dominate the wastelands. 

The Fogou pieces are very nicely detailed set of resin bits for making a post apocalyptic fortress. I managed to get most of the pile primed last year. Last week I finally got up the inspiration to start painting some of the pieces. 

I began painting by hitting the brown portions such as the logs and dirt filling. This was followed by painting all the panels different colours to give a scrounged pile of metal plates. I suppose I could have speeded the process up by spraying the models with a metal colour and then just picked out the brown parts. The tops of the logs & ropes got a coat of sand. While the log’s bark got a light grey dry brush to make the details pop. These pieces then got a dark wash to tie them together. The metal plates were then dry brushed with chain mail to highlight the details. The corrugated plates on backs of the walls got some red-brown and orange washes to give them that rusty feel. The pieces then got a brown wash. 

After that had dried I added some rust patches to the plates and then some graffiti with Posca paint markers.

It’s a start, I still have a massive pile of stuff to paint in the Fort Hardknox pile to paint. 

Thanks for looking. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Horizon Zero Dawn the board game.

For those of you who aren’t into computer games Horizon Zero Dawn is a role playing computer game set in a far future post apocalyptic world. It is a world of tribal humans, hostile machines and overgrown ancient ruins. 

I must admit that I got really into the computer game trying to uncover mysteries of the characters back history, what happened to the ancients, where did the machines come from while discovering the world and trying to survive. 

++ Spoiler Alert. Do not read the next section if you intend to play the computer game++

In the future a total extinction event is on the cards, everything organic dead. Some bright spark designed a self replicating robotic combat machine that runs by converting biological matter into resources and fuel. These military robots ran amok and started destroying everything organic. Humanity launched an all out war against the robots. Total global extinction was months away.  Horizon Zero Dawn was branded as a weapon to destroy the machine. In reality it was a way to continue life after the robots ran to a stop. It was a terraforming plan which the machines are a part of. The machines cleaned up the pollution and dead robots recycling them. Trees, plants and small animals where introduced. Once the world was ready humans were introduced. The plan was for them to be educated to their pre apocalyptic levels so they could continue fixing the world. But the education system was destroyed. So humanity remained at a uneducated primate level.

 ++end of spoiler++ 

I liked the premise of a post apocalyptic world populated by tribals and robots. But finding suitable machines would always be difficult in any scale. Then I discovered a advert for a upcoming model of one of the machines. 

Apparently there is a Horizon Zero Dawn board game by Steamforged games. How did I miss that one? I must be losing my grip on the wastelands. After checking online the figures are 32mm base to head. Lots of games workshop fans were complaining that the figures are too small compared with modern GW figures. As my collection has figures from 25mm through to 32mm heroic the size doesn’t bother me too much. So I found a copy and hit the buy button. 

The boxed game features hunters from the four main tribes and involves hunting machines for parts, supplies, scrap and shards (bits of machine casing used as currency). 

There are a few game boards, lot of card decks for each hunter and level and lots of tokens many of which relate to symbols in the computer game. Your hunters can level up during their machine hunts. However I am not really interested in the board game rules (which I still need to go through at a deeper level) but the figures. So let’s take a look. 

The hunters from the (L to R) Oseram, Carja, Nora and Banuk tribes. They are slightly smaller than classic GW and Grenadier figures but not too noticeably. The bases are a sliver lower so a shim might make them look larger.

The Watchers. These are recon machines, they usually look for resources for the machines. Now they roam around the herds looking for trouble (humans). They signal warnings to other machines and will attack. They use a leap attacks and tail attacks. There is a red eye version which carries a energy weapon in the head. These have extra head armour. I may modify one into a red eye.

Grazer these machines form herds. They will choose to flee but will attack when forced to. The rotors on the horns perform a dangerous attack. Grazers also perform kick attacks.

Striders are another herd machine. They will attack if you get too close. Striders perform powerful kick attacks in a similar manner to a horse. If you sneak up on them and have the right bit of salvaged tech they can be overridden and used as a riding machine. 

Scrappers are designed to recycle damaged machines. They operate and hunt in packs. In addition they actively hunt and attack humans in their territories. 

Sawtooth are a new class of machine to appear, the combat class. They patrol around the herds to protect them from human hunters. A single sawtooth can easily decimate and entire hunting party. 

Shell Walkers are strange cargo hauling machines. They transport the produced materials to the hidden automated machine factories (Cauldrons). They are equipped with a energy weapon, power claw and a energy shield. 

For these machines the painting should be fairly easy. Black under sides with dark grey highlights. Upper areas light grey or white. Then it will be the details like lens, cutters and chemical vessels. 

For building up the tribes I think a mix of the various Frostgrave barbarians and tribals would work. Some of the older Grenadier Future wars tribals should work too.  I suppose I need to figure out what ruleset to use with this models too.

Thanks for looking.