Tuesday, 24 February 2015

15mm Vending machines

Vending machines are everywhere. The workplace, stations, airports etc. They also seem to crop up in many computer games such as Fallout and Borderlands. You can get plenty of vending machine models in 28mm many of which seem to mimic the machines found in the computer games. In 15mm there seems to be few models out there.  

I have found that HO scale items for model railways seem to work well. 

These I found cheaply (£2) on ebay. They are simple blocks of wood with vinyl printed stickers on. I am tempted  to go find some skins of the Borderlands vending machines and make some more suitable machines more suitable to a SF setting. 

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Outpost Raid - Gruntz Batrep

Rules: Gruntz

Outpost Skivo lies near the boards of the Badlands and Hullscape on the world of Wolfden. Scouts from the Mads Tribals and the Scrappers of Hullscape spot each other casing out the Outpost. As both groups have different objectives within the outpost they decide to join forces. 

Outpost Skivo. The base is defended by the Wolfden Security Forces. Both sides have a points value of 190. The Security Forces are low grade (trained) and mostly armed with pistols but they do have a couple of vehicles which pull their points up. The Mads and Scrappers are higher quality and are armed with rifles. The Mads have body armor too. 

 The first squad (armed with pistols) are on sentry duty. All the Wolfden Security Forces figures are GZG Colonial Militia.

The Scrappers deploy. The Scrappers figures are 15mm.co.uk Post Apoc gangers

The Mads deploy. The Mads are 15mm.co.uk armed tribes men. Both sides plan on using the available cover to sneak up on the Outpost. 

The command post receives satellite warning of forces amassing to the north of the Outpost. Lt McKilla sounds the alarm and rushes out of the command post. 

The second squad grab their rifles and assemble outside the barracks. The gravcar (bottom left) starts up. 

The Mads objective is the water plant. 

The Scrappers are after the Outpost's Power Node which they want for providing power to one of the old derelict space wrecks that they live in. 

The Mads move out along the flank. 

The Scrappers also move out along their flank. 

The Grav car moves forward, a little too enthusiastically nearly throwing the gunner out of the back. I must get that base fixed. 

The second squad moves out to protect the water plant as Lt Mc Kenna rushes to reinforce the squad manning the barricades.

The first squad go to Overwatch. 

The combatants maneuver towards their objectives. In the distance the Wolfden APC starts up. 

The Mads hide behind the shrubs as they hear the grav car approach. The car swings around the shrubs catching some of the tribals in the open. 

The Scrappers rush the barricade. Living in the toxic rotting starship hulls does things to your mind. 
The first squad open fires on the advancing Scrappers. Their pistols drop three of the gangers. 

The Mads open fire at the grav car causing some damage. The machine gun and autocannon of the grav car returns fire missing the Tribes men. 

Realizing that they cannot clear the barricade the Scrappers slow their advance and open fire hitting two of the Enforcers. 

The APC autocannon opens fire at the Scrappers missing the gangers.

Lt McKilla moves forward beyond the safety of the barricade. 

Cooly the Lieutenant levels her pistol and moves a Scrapper into the next world. 

Upon seeing the deaths of their comrades the Scappers yell "Run Away!! RUN AWAY!!" and flee the Outpost.

The Mads cause more damage to the Grav Car. The Car's gunners continue to miss the tribes men. The Grav Car's driver slams the car into reverse in an attempt to get out of rifle range. 

The APC moves up to support the battered Grav Car. It's Autocannon turns a tribal into mush. 

The APC rumbles through the Mads' line crashing into one of them. 

The tribes man did little to slow the progress of the armored vehicle. 

The Mads fire at both vehicles missing. The APC swings back around while the Gravcar approaches cautiously. The Grav Car's guns get hits (finally) but fail to cause injury. The Mads become suppressed. 

 As the Mads are distracted by the vehicles the second squad move up unnoticed.

 The Enforcer's weapons drop two of the Mads. 

The APC swings back around. 

The APC's weapon causes another hit but with no injuries. However the Mads have had enough and go into "Condition Brown" causing them to flee. 

The Grav Car follows up it's weapons cutting down another tribal. "Oh you can hit something now!" McKilla sneers into her communicator. 

The Second Squad also follow killing another fleeing tribes man. The remaining Mads make it off the field of battle. 


Gruntz plays really well and feels quite intuitive. I found the rules easy to learn and the rule book has flow charts to help the understanding of how the game mechanics work. I can see me using these rules again. 

I would split the teams to the sizes recommended in the rules. As I have 10 man squads (simply because that's the amount of figures I have), I will look to split them into a 6 man squad and a 4 man squad. The smaller squad will have higher stats. Or it will until I build the forces up more. 

The vehicle crews need to be higher quality too as they had trouble hitting anything.  Each of the gangs could do with a leader too. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Wasteland Wondering - Feb 2015

Welcome to another Wasteland Wondering where I ramble on about what hobby stuff I have been working on or thinking about.

Frozen Wastes Boards WIP

This week I have been working on some snow boards for my Frozen Wastes of Mattblackgod's world. They hopefully can also be used for SSS games.

The Frozen Wastes boards started life as 12mm MDF board. They where given a couple of coats of white emulsion which was left over from a home decorating project. Last Christmas I grabbed a couple of cheap rolls of cotton wool snow mat when I was dragged decoration shopping. I glued it on with PVA and then gave it another coat of PVA to seal it. Some snow flock was sprinkled over the top while it was drying.

I thought that would have sorted it however the next day I noticed that the PVA has dried yellow in places. Nooooooo! Cue the yellow snow jokes. The next dry day I get the boards will be whizzed outside for a couple of coats of white emulsion.

The bottom cotton wool fabric was further attached with hot glue and duct tape. 

Space Wolves

I have been working on some 40K Space Wolves that I got for Christmas. Don’t worry I have not gone over to the 40K dark side. 

The Space Wolves are busy figures detail wise and I have got them 99% done. They need only the bases and the transfers applying. These minis will be used for the Frozen Wastes in a Fallout Brotherhood of Steel style faction. 

GW Mourn Mountain Snow has been applied to the bases. So far I am not impressed. The snow has dried a light blue grey instead of white. Ideal for really old snow and ice but not what I am looking for. I will give the bases a coat or two of white and maybe some snow flock. Pictures to follow next week.

15mm Stuff

This week has seen work on a 15mm Sherman tank which I have Sci Fi-d up with extra armour and a plasma gun. It will be joining my Browncoats Mercenaries faction. There is also a Matchbox Helicopter which has gotten SF treatment. They just need paint.

A Ion Age trader got painted too. The little guy just needs basing. Pictures to follow (I am such a tease aren’t I?). I seem to prefer paint 15s rather than 28s. Does that make me weird?

Hammer Slammers rules:

I got a quick test game of Hammers Slammers this week. They are easy to learn and pretty easy to play. I did find that they didn’t seem to have any ramming rules or pistol stats in there. But for large platoon or company battles they will work very well. The rule book lists most of the factions in the novels (to my knowledge). It has lots of eye candy if SF armor for those of you that like that kind of thing.

Fletcher’s Cove.

I have piles of Mantic Deadzone terrain I am working on. These will be mixed with platformer kits. The terrain will be useful for Undercity type games. Inspired by the Ferrograd boards I have seen in the Lead Pile Blog I hope to do something similar. 

I am going to create a pirate/freelancer base in my Wild Galaxy Setting. This base will be a large mined out asteroid out in the frontiers of Human Space and will be called Fletcher’s Cove. The asteroid was used by the mining company as a base and station until the loss of Earth. It lay derelict until pirates and other space trash moved in.

The name of the station is in honor of the author of some of my favorite Sci Fi novels Jonathan Fletcher. His books are littered with great inspiration. He is not only an author but top model maker too.

I have several 28mm gangs to use for this project. There will be Pirates, Space Scavengers, Space Bums, Smugglers and other trash.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Sprue Cutters Union Topic - Is the Hobby Dying??

The Sprue Cutters Union is back and bigger than ever! If you are into modelling and maintain a blog, facebook page or website about it…. join us! This includes the Wargaming fraternity too. If you make models for whatever purpose then you are welcome in the Union.

Write your article about the topic at hand and share it over at The Combat Workshop. Also don’t forget, as a courtesy to the other bloggers, to post the links to their respective articles in your own article post. Simple as that and everyone is welcome!

This months SCU topic asks is the Hobby Dying?

Looking at it from the amount of young blood out there coming into the hobby. I do see kids making models and Games Workshop kits are always a big hit with the younger crowd. Until recently this was the main demographic of the retailer.

My Father is a big model maker too and I got into the hobby from him when I was young (the wargaming side of my hobby sort of just happened). He is a member of a club and he reports that most of the members are late 30's to 70's. There is few teenagers there. But then looking back to when I was that age I don't think I would have wanted to spend too much time with older folks.

One thing we should all be aware be it Wargaming or Scale Model Making or Trains is that this hobby isn't for everyone. It takes patience, skill and a eye for detail. It make also require an interest in history. One thing that is often overlooked is the imagination to picture what you can do with that kit. There are other requirements of course such as time and an understanding partner/family.

As a model maker and wargamer I see both hobbies biggest threat is popular culture. You will often notice that in movies and media there is a trend to make anyone who makes models much less play with them as social misfits. Even the Die Hard baddie Hans Guber talks about his love of scale models as a child. The art in what we create is often missed (or ignored) and we are sneered at ironically usually by those people who can't walk past a mirror without trying to kiss their own reflections or live by putting a cost on everything & everyone. Our hobby will always be underground until some one "cool" pushes it out into the public eye. Maybe one day it will happen and our art will be appreciated.

So what about sales? It has been well documented that there is many small stores closing and there has been major model store chains vanish from shopping centres and malls. Looking at the issue its not that sales are down that is causing this but the fact that our shopping trends have changed. We now shop online because we can get our addiction cheaper or find more variety that what is available locally.

Is there a decline in model kits production? Having a trawl through the web there seems to be more and more interesting looking kits and models to choose from. There is also plenty of other products available for the modeller to use too. Looking at wargaming there is many figure producers out there providing a plethora of figures covering just about any conflict real or imaginary. In short I can only say that I think that we are in the Golden Age of both Scale Modelling and Wargaming.

Lastly I will look at technology and the future. We are in a age of computers and a culture of want it now. Which not only effects the model making hobby but hobbies such as Custom Car & Motorbike building. For us as modellers the dawn of the 3D printer is exciting. The ability to print our own parts would be great for replacing bits or for those extras that made a model. We can for a price get custom figures made up. The technology is in its infancy and costs are high. At present it used mainly for prototyping. However I can see in twenty years or so 3D prints being common place. How would that effect us? In addition to making bits I foresee us downloading our kits from the manufacturer and printing it off in situ. (the lazy may want to just print the model off complete ). That would (probably) mean cheaper kits and less storage space of the to build cue (and hopefully a happier partner).

In short I think we are living in the golden age of our hobbies and the future is bright. It is far from dying. While there is someone with imagination and a need to build something physical this hobby will stay alive. It will remain underground until popular culture pushes it forward and the art of it is recognised.

Read Some More!

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!
The Combat Workshop

Kermit's Bench

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