Monday, October 12, 2020

Finished 28mm Civilians for The Boulevard

 A wet October weekend hereabouts gave me the time to finish several small painting projects: One being some civilians for my urban-style 7TV/Gangwar setting: The Boulevard. These will also serve as additional investigators for my 1970s Call of Cthulhu game.

Pictured herein are some modern civilians from Old Glory's Civilian Pack 1. While OG describes these as "32mm" they're really closer to 28mm, and are shown next to some 28mm Crooked Dice police for scale.

Figures by Old Glory and Crooked Dice


These where cleanly cast and fairly straightforward to paint - a series of earth tones, blue jeans and polyestre. I plan to add a Jimmy Hendrix decal to the shirt of the guy in the red & white jacket, once I gather up enough nerve. 

28mm Figures by Old Glory Miniatures

28mm Figures by Old Glory Miniatures

The kid in the middle is another photographer - this one is a young cub, like Jimmy Olsen. I like the James Dean hair. The woman on the end is another favourite of mine, wearing that "Casual with Jacket" look of the late 70's.

The other projects compleated this past weekend were for my D&D game. Those interested are invited to view my Fantasy Blog: Countless Hours of Real Effort...



Friday, July 17, 2020

Boulevard Reinforcements in 28mm

This past weekend, I took a break from working on West Philly buildings in favour of painting some reinforcements for the Norton Agency.

Reverend Iley Bright operates the Bethel Baptist Bible Mission, a store-front church that aids and supports the neighbourhood, (and occasionally, the Agency) spiritually and financially. A blood-and-thunder preacher, he has been known to take to the streets in a righteous cause, brandishing a shotgun and the Bible, because "You get more respect with a shotgun AND a Bible..."



Miniature is a modified Reverend Grimme from Deadlands.


The next miniature hasn't yet had a character name (actually, I like the name of Dynamite Jackson...) assigned; he reminds me of the fellow from Black Dynamite (a jolly great film, btw). Action Jackson is from RAFM, in their Modern Heroes category.




He so cool, he give Morgan Freeman pneumonia. I used him straight out the box. I would love to see a pack of disco/leisure suited investigators, some in shades, to round out "That 70's Look".

Can you dig it?...Ω


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Rocking the Lurex

One of the fascinating aspects of 70's wargaming is 70's fashion - a cavalcade of man-made fabrics that would burn like a chemical fire should misfortune strike. Still, it was visually stunning.

Lurex is one such fabric. Quoth Wikipedia, Lurex is "...yarn is made from synthetic film, onto which a metallic aluminium, silver, or gold layer has been vaporized. "Lurex" may also refer to cloth created with the yarn."

Lurex is still extremely popular in the music industry, but we've all seen it: Julie Newmar's cat suit from the original Batman TV show was made of Lurex. Now I understand the name.

I decided to attempt a Lurex outfit, based on a picture of Swedish model Ulla Jones. Two types of glitter-based craft paints were employed; a gold glitter with smaller spangles, and a clear glitter with larger ones.

The miniature is available from Casting Room Miniatures as part of their "Tedious Hippie Scum" set.





These are the third set of pictures, taken with Megz' I*Phone - it allows me to compensate for the myriad of different light bulbs used in our home.

The bit of gloss on her hair and skin is a side effect of the paint-on dullcoat - it ain't dulling.  I might need to hit the fig again to take off the last on the sheen, without dulling the sparkle of the sequins...Ω

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

WIP: 28mm Columbia Rumble

Most of my readers already know that I don't like to show gaming on unfinished projects - it's simply one of my little peccadilloes. The lock down, however, has me stalking about the house, muttering like the mayor from "Jaws" - "Get past Memorial Day...Maybe we can save the summer...etc..."

And so I decided to have a wee scrum, using Nordic Weasel's Gang War rules and Full Metal Anorak, setup on some terrain that will eventually look like 1970's West Columbia Boulevard, Philadelphia.

Please excuse the foamboard pavement and unfinished buildings. Also, don't mind the gaps - they will be covered with crossing lines and other road markings.

Scipio's Squad L to R: Scipio, Ravelle H., Afrodite J., Alonzo H.

The scenario was generated using Gang War, with some modifications to make it less Apocalyptic. Five orange "Points of Interest" were set up around the 4-foot square playing area. These are either worth money ($100 each), are worthless, or result in a hazard (large sink hole, crazy wino, crack head, etc.) As these can remove a figure from play, they are best collected after resolving all game combat.

Also, it's a smoggy night, and all missile ranges are limited to 9".

Scipio "Africanus" Norton and his agency squad are cruiz'en the hood, collecting debts and looking to keepin' it peaceful, when they spot a group of Tong Boyz fixing to expand their territory. The squad sets up to defend.

Red Elephant Oriental Boyz
"Get some cover!"

The Boyz are the Red Elephant Tong; in FMA terms they are Trained/Motivation 3, with some Improvised Hand Guns. They are rated for Gang War as 'Aggressive', meaning they will advance on their opponents by half their movement at least, and will use available cover. Their leader is rated Average.

The Boyz advance

Scipio and his Agency are slightly better - all are average, with MOT 3, and armed with pistols, except Ravelle (who is rated 'Trained' and armed with a shot gun).

Turns 1 and 2: were spent with the Tong Boyz advancing and Scipio's Squad taking cover (using "In Position" markers for an additional bonus).

Alonzo and Afrodite take cover by the Chevy Chevelle

The Tong Boyz gather by the Pontiac.

Turn 3: Two of the Tong Boyz peeled right to flank Afrodite and Alonzo, who have taken cover by a 1970 Chevy Chevelle (as seen in the 2K release of "Shaft"). The leader and his two Tong-mates took cover by the phone booth and yellow Pontiac. Ravelle fired his shotgun at the lead Tong and missed. The Tong returned fire at Ravelle (crouching by the cab) and managed to knock him out/seriously wound him. "This game is rigged!" he muttered as he passed out.


"Do Not Scratch the Trim!"


Turn 4 and 5: With Ravelle down, Scipio was outnumbered. The lead Tong member fired, missed and then charged. Scipio shot him down...mutha&#@%!  This while the two Tong flankers, sheltering in a burned out building, negotiated the uneven ground over the two turns.


"One Saturday Night Special, coming up!"

Turn 6 and 7: Scipio put the charging Tong down, when the leader followed in a shoot-then-charge moment. Scipio was hit, but shrugged it off ("Ain't no thing at all...") and capped the leader with a Spectacular Death.  The rest of the Tong failed their morale, except the phone booth shooter who charged. 

"Nuh-uh man. Big mistake..." BLAM!
Turn 7 (continued) Scipio took a point blank shot at the charging Tong, and missed. The TongBoy then failed morale, and ran for the cover of the phone booth. Scipio put one into his back, and the TongBoy went down. That was enough for the last two survivors, who fled down the boulevard.

The result was a clear victory for the Agency. They made an Enemy of the Red Elephant Tong Boyz (We'll Be Back!), but between picking up POIs and winning the scenario, they netted $600. Ravelle had a local "Doctor" check him out, and the wound was light, only keeping him out of the next tussle.

Scipio was thinking "It doesn't get much better that this..." when his fav'rite bar suddenly opened for business.

"The Light is On and I'm Open for Business..."

"Well, Aw right!"

Post Game Thoughts:

This scenario was originally being prepared for a 7TV 1st Ed. game, only I hadn't finished adapting those rules from their British oeuvre to an American, Blaxploitation-themed one. Full Metal Anorak is flexible enough to handle this well.  Nordic Weasel's Gang War, though set in a post-apocalyptic world, also adapts well to handle a vigilante campaign, revolving around a neighbourhood "fixer" and his cohorts.

The odds are in favour of our protagonists. Despite that, Ravelle went down in the first exchange. I made a mistake with the Tong leader, as I should have sent him down the right side with the other two Boyz - I thought about just arbitrarily moving him, but then I heard Scipio (in my mind) say "Don't you mess wi' them figures, boy." I decided to let the action unfold automatically.

There was a bit of after-action drama - one of the POIs turned out to be a hazard...

"We Had a Noise Complaint..."

A successful Save vs. Int and a Franklin disarms the situation...Ω



Thursday, May 21, 2020

28mm Civilians from Old Glory

Work continues apace on my 1970's game. In searching for some civilians as collateral damage/light backup, I discovered Old Glory's SuperFigs Civilian Pack #1. These are listed as 33mm on the Old Glory website.


SuperFigs Civilians #1 by Old Glory Miniatures

These were living in my cart for a bit, whilst I debated how much bigger 33mm was compared to 28mm.  As it happens, at least in this case, the answer was "not appreciably".

Below, the same miniatures are presented on a 1-inch grid, alongside a 28mm Copplestone Casting, painted as John Shaft. Taking into account the height of the slotta base, one sees immediately that the minis, even if mounted on standard washers, are size-compatible with regular, non-heroic 28mm.


Figs by Old Glory Miniatures and Copplestone Castings
Especially pleasing is finding two figures as a news team, and one as a photographer. Two of the figures will join my Funkadelphia street crew, as will the gentleman with the wine bottle. The rest will become random street civilians  The boy with the ball is interesting - obviously a football/soccer ball - but not appropriate for 1970 Philly unless he's attending one of the private academies...

...I think I'll paint it as a basketball and name the figure "Little Foul" as he's leading with his foot...Ω

Monday, March 30, 2020

More 28mm SciFi for Five Parsecs from Home

More brushwork over the (enforced) weekend, for use with Five Parsecs from Home:

Inspired by the character of Eve Logan from The Chronicles of Riddick. This is a Copplestone Casting that I've had from the late '90s. Still available from Northstar Figures/Copplestone in the Babes with Guns set.


Nifty miniature with smooth lines, nice curves and tall to boot. Matches well with the Riddick lore, it that Eve Logan might also be a Furyan.

Next; Santana from the 2013 Riddick film.  A Moonraker Miniature (Wasteland Adventurer) that I think is intended to be a Road Warrior.  The scarf pretty much makes the mini. The machete has been added.  The 5:00 O'Clock Shadow at Noon is darker in real life, as is the hair.



Machete really needs another going over, with shiny metallic silver, to capture the well-kept and honed image, suggested in the film.

Leeloo Dallas Multipass and the Major. These excellent wee beauties are from Heresy Miniatures.




They show what a fine talent Andy F. is, and why he should turn out some new Sci-Fi minis...like Mangalores.

 Final offering of the day - two more Copplestone figures via Moonraker Miniatures.




I'm unable to provide a hotlink, since Moonraker has temporarily paused trading until the Virus situation stabilises...Ω





Thursday, March 26, 2020

Not Quite Another Bughunt - 5P/FMA



With the lock-down firmly in place, it was time to have a go at a Five Parsecs from Home/Full Metal Anorak/Bughunt game.  A fireteam of four was rapidly generated: Logan, Kupperberg, Farlander, and Correia. From various backgrounds: Prison Planet, Hi-Tech World, and Trade World - each location providing some small benefit for that particular trooper.

Quick word on mechanics: I use the 5PfH/BH campaign shell to generate the troopers backgrounds, the scenario and objectives, and the campaign turn in between encounters. The actual scenario resolution is driven by Full Metal Anorak. So there are twice as many rulebooks to search through than normal. But, hey!  It's Lockdown!

For this scenario, I used part of my paper-terrain space station as the encounter board. Three green  poker chips were placed as 'Objective' markers, each of these gets a 'Contact' marker (potential hostiles). Also, six 'Tactical' markers are placed, as evenly spaced as possible, about the board.

Rolling 1d6 for mission Priority, I had a 1, which was a relief, as this was essentially a training mission for me and my squaddies. Priority 1 also means 1 additional 'contact' marker is placed on each objective...you see where this is going? Had I rolled a 6, it would be six times the "fun".

Mission Priority also provides points where you can shop for support - in this scenario, I picked a tough-as-nails Gunnery Sgt., named Sigler, armed with a boarding cutlass and auto-shotgun.

Contact markers are randomly moved several d6 in various directions. Your squad enters a random board edge. And the Hunt begins.

Turn 1 and 2: The squad headed for the first objective, and immediately encountered the opposition: crazed robots.  I decided to roll randomly, and that's what was selected.

"I thought it was supposed to be bugs..." said Logan.
"Maybe it's bugs in their programs!" joked Kuppenberg.
"Secure that pun!" growled the Gunny.


D6 with the '2' will move in the Slow Phase
Initiative in 5P is slightly different, since it's designed as a solo game. Adapted for FMA, each player figure has a Motivation Rating, from 1 - 3, 1 being best. To move in the first phase, AKA the 'Fast' Phase, a number of d6 are thrown, those that roll over their Motivation may now move, shoot and take special actions.

The aliens/bugs/robots move and take action in the second phase.

Finally, in the last or 'Slow' phase, any player models that haven't yet moved are free to do so.

It's a neat system, and it reminds me of Two Hour Wargames
"I just Burked myself..."
reaction system, but IMO it works more smoothly and is less cumbersome.

Turn 3 - 4: The robots at the first objective were quickly dispatched, due to some hot die rolls. The objective turned out to be the Evac point.  Each objective is rolled for details, usually before actual play begins. One objective was lifted, and the other, in the Med Bay, had a 'hack' result, meaning someone was going to be using their Tech skillz.


"You are BURKED, my lad!'
While the main squad was clearing the first objective, Trooper Kuppenberg went off to investigate on his own. He found a Tactical marker, made his Tech roll, and was able to remove a Contact marker that was getting close to his fellow squaddies...and then he bumped into two more robots.

Kuppenburg ran for the exit, and decided to make a Tech roll (5-6 on a D6) to lock the door. Rolled a 4. "NOOOOOooooo!"


"C'mon you Rednecks!"
As Burke, I mean Kuppenberg, dodged mechanical claws, he dropped his ACR and pulled out his standard issue Heavy Service Pistol. Shots rang out and slugs ricocheted off the robotic steel plating.

The rest of the squad, hearing the shots, ran toward the sound of the gunfire.


"And that's what we mean when we say
'Fight Like Robot'"
Running in FMA/Stargrunt II, to me, has always seemed awkward, with many players conflicted on what works best.  For my games, I've implemented "Run" as an additional action. First action, you get your regular move distance. With Run, you get to add your movement Die type. So, if your model has an 8" move, it gets that distance, then rolls a D8 when it Runs.

Results seem to be, you will occasionally fail to make the distance, but you won't be standing 2" from where you started 3 minutes ago.

Pvt. Logan has stabilised Kuppenberg,
and he's walking.
By turns 5 - 6, The rest of the squad had reached the room, from where they'd heard the shots. Kuppenberg lay crumpled on the floor, with an obviously chuffed robot standing over him.
Extending it's claws, the robot advance on the squad...

...however, walking into a three-way crossfire of aimed shots doesn't do anyone a bit of good...and the saucy 'bot was gunned down with dispatch


Main Objective in Sight
Turn 7 - 8: Pvt. Logan was able to stabilise Kuppenberg on the second attempt (luckily she didn't kill him on a '1') and since the damage taken wasn't heavy, he was able to walk and fight at a reduced level (he dropped a Quality die).  I was glad I had traded some of Logan's pre-gen points for Medic-1. She is fast becoming my favourite model.
The rest of the squad headed for the Med Bay, where the objective was to hack the computer and bring the data back to HQ for analysis.

"Who's our tech?" asked Sgt. Sigler
"That'd be Kuppenberg, Sarge" replied Pvt. Correia.
"Well sheet!" swore the Sergeant, "I guess you're our new Tech, Correia!"
"I lay awake at night and think of you, Sergeant..." muttered Correia.

"What's that, Marine?" growled Sgt. Sigler.

"I said, 'Sergeant! Yes, Sergeant!'" Correia exclaimed.

"Damn straight, you did." said Sigler. "And now that we're all in agreement, let's get into Med Bay, grab the data, and GTF off this rattle-trap.  On the DOUBLE!"


There was a single robot in Med Bay, but a Contact marker was slowly moving closer. The Sgt and Pvt Farlander charged the Bot, guns blazing, while Correia swung clear of the brawl and ran to the Med Computer.

"Jesús en una muleta!" she cursed under her breath. ¿Dónde está el maldito fabricante de capuchino en esta puta?


"Marines! EXFILTRATION!
Just behind Correia's back, Pvt. Farlander took a swipe from a claw and went down hard. Sgt. Sigler emptied his service pistol into the metal attacker and was pleasantly surprised when it began to gout smoke from it's seams and crashed over satisfactorily.

"No time for triage" Sigler said to himself, as he picked up Farlander and slung him over the shoulder.
Sigler yelled to Corriea, "Don't be gentle, Cariño! Kick the drive loose if you have to!"


Correia drew back her armoured combat boot. Wham! she kicked. Wham! Wham! WHAM! The impacts kept time to shouts in Spanish:
"Abre! Abre! ABRE! TU PERRA!"
There was a snapping sound, accompanied by the skittering of some plastic something across the floor. The drive, with a data crystal,  slid open.

Correia picked up the crystal and grinned as she showed it to Sgt. Sigler. "Just like Prom Night, Gunny!"

"A natural Romantic..." said Sigler. "Marines, EXFILTRATION TIME!"


Outside the Med Bay, Logan and Kupperberg headed cautiously into the comms room.  Logan held up Kupp's ACR, "Can you handle this?"

"Yeah" he said. "Just don't ask me to dance..."

Logan grinnned "I'm not asking you to dance. I'm asking you to fight..."

FMA allows for fighting while wounded, unlike SGII. For a light wound, the model has it's combat quality degrade by one level, so Kupperberg drops from a D8 Quality to a D6. He also cannot run.

The two marines made slowly for the EVAC point.

"Dropship Kalgon; take us away!"
Turn 9 - 10.  Just behind Logan and Kupperberg, Sgt. Sigler crossed the main corridor. Several close contacts were being held off by a Tactical marker (more on these in the notes).

They entered Comms just as two more Robots moved in.

Putting the unconscious Farlander down, Sgt Sigler swore, "Jesús en una muleta!" as he raised his shotgun. Correia raised an eyebrow.

The shotgun blast caught both bots, destroying the lead one. The other advanced on Corriea,metal claws grasping.

Actually, Gunny Sigler took the brunt of the melee, because he is one tough hombre (AC d12!) and I was playing the odds. Correia and Logan provided fire support, again, playing the odds that any stray shots wouldn't damage Sigler.  The strategy worked, even had it failed, Sigler is not a regular member of the squad, and can be replaced by an exact copy - but I would have missed him.

By turn 11(pursued by yet again two more robots) the Squad had reached the EVAC objective - not sure how they were extracted, possibly a hole in the ceiling. There was one walking wounded, one incapacitated, and two objectives achieved.  Mission: Success.

Post-Game Thoughts:

Tactical Markers - these add a neat twist. When contacted, a successful Tech roll (5-6) creates a tactical effect - it can be removing a Contact marker or creating a Blocking Zone vs. Aliens. This latter was how the Sarge got across the main corridor whilst carrying the wounded Farlander.

This scenario was pretty hard, for a priority 1 game. I was getting close to despairing, until I realised I had short-changed the main squad a second Fire Team. That's an automatic back up, and then you can requisition heavier weapons, etc. by paying some Priotity points.  Of course, the first Smart LMG the squad acquires goes to Pvt. Correia.

Creature Movement Does Eventually Get Boring - rolling movement dice for a dozen Contact markers does get a little tiresome, especially on the far side of the board, where one just knows they will never come into contact. I'm thinking about a hack.

On the other hand, there's always an off-chance that a new Contact marker will appear in your squad's way. This happened on the penultimate turn, where the EVAC point was attacked by a single robot. Logan and Kupperberg were able to bring it down with concentrated, aimed fire.  Still, made for a tense turn.

Campaign Turn: After the encounter, models use are assigned experience points, roll for reputation increase, apply for cross training, go on R&R, if up for some and recover in sick bay. In the case of Kuppenberg, since he had been stabilised with a light wound, he would require a turn in sickbay, so if the team goes out, it will be without him, and Farlander as well.

Farlander had been recovered while incapacitated, so  he had to roll on the chart  and take his chances - fortunately, he also came up "Lightly Wounded" so he'll have Kuppenberg to keep company.

Correria had enough experience points to buy a trait upgrade - she was a half-point down on her Move trait (3.5") so that was increased to 4". They're still slow, but at least they're all slow together.

Logan was able to improve her Motivation to a "2", meaning she will be taking a more active role in future encounters.

Sgt. Sigler went on to his next assignment, nannying another set of wet-arsed boots on a thankless job of keeping Mankind's Final Frontier safely expanding.

"Damn Straight!"...Ω