Saturday, August 25, 2012

Viliani Imperial Reconaissance Troop

Recce/recon units simply fascinate me.  I'm not sure if it's the mission (get out there and be shot at) or the fragile nature of the units.  I do know that, given a choice, I'll happily take the reconnaissance group in a wargame.

Which brings me to my Imperial Recce troop - poor buggers. In my Traveller universe, the First Imperium is stingy as far as vehicles go.  Infantry is the poor relation - 12,000 worlds yields a lot of blaster-fodder, but tanks cost money; to build and to transport.

Still needs a gunner...

So, for efficiency's sake, most Imperial vehicles do the work of two - either transporting two squads/sections or performing double functions.

The recon troops also act as artillery spotters.  Since they're attached to the artillery, they can also carry the company mortars, which means they are responsible for placing them, with crew, as well as recovering them. And they get to look for the enemy.

Difficult to do well?  Of course, but that's life in the Gisadia Ziru Sirka.

Some readers might remember these from a previous post - except that now I've added dedicated drivers and carried troops. Miniatures are GZG Japanese Corporates, the drivers are a conversion (since there's no telling when Jon T. will get back to this particular line) with the head and shoulders of the Japanese troops atop GZG generic vehicle drivers.  The hover-vans are old Force XXI 15mm  - the Vilani like big vehicles.  Force XXI hasn't come back into production, sadly.

I love the Force XXI aesthetic, and greatly miss not being able to add to my Force XXI collection. I do wish these would come back into production...Ω

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ravenstar Grav Tank - The Aslan are Coming...

Late last month, Chris at Ravenstar Studios posted a picture of his new 15mm LandCore Mercury Fast Attack Grav Tank on The Miniatures Page.  Some of the posters who replied didn't much like it, citing not enough guns and disliking it's smooth, teardrop, fluted design.

I think it's marvelous!

Shown with RAFM Aslan and GZG New Anglian Confederation for size comparison.

For years, I've been looking for something to use as an Aslan AFV, and this fits the bill, nicely. It's a pity that when it comes to "alien" designs there is such a dearth of available miniatures out there. Chris seems intent on correcting this.

Casting is nice and clean, with no bubbles in the resin. The model comes in four parts - hull, turret, main gun and a small aft propulsion panel. All are in resin, so the main gun is a bit fragile and prone to breaking.  Concerned buyers might like to recommend to Chris that this last piece might be better cast in white metal.

Shown on a 1" grid

Size - the brute is enormous. The turret hatch, with modification, would easily accept a 25mm mini. It will serve as a main battle tank in 15mm and as a light fire support sled in 25mm.  While I was really looking for something in a support sled size, I will happily amend my upcoming scenario to accommodate a larger MBT.

It's just that awesome.

Show with GZG V15-20A for size comparison.

There is only a single main gun - which suits me fine. In Traveller, energy weapons are often of the "Rapid Pulse" variety, and if memory serves correctly, in a Striker II game, this tank's main gun would be able to engage between two to five targets in a turn.  For close in support, there are four small hemispheres that will work as point defense and sensors.

It took Ravenstar about two weeks to send the mini, which is fine in my book. There was an extra mini added to the order - looks like an enclosed air/raft.  Of that, more later.

To order from Ravenstar - visit his blog.

Rumour has it that Chris is preparing to release an APC model - I am hopeful that it will compliment this nicely...Ω