Saturday, September 23, 2023

99. A Little Bit 'o Dis, A Little Bit 'o Dat

Edit Update:  It appears I update here SO infrequently, that even I don't remember what I've posted about.  Apparently, blog #98 has details on my Stargrave figures.  But hey, these are all new photos, so it warrants a whole new blog post.  I guess.


Ah, my sadly neglected blog.  Well, I guess I better throw a few bones to the hungry masses clamoring for more content.

What's that?  No one reads this because I never post anything new?  How dare you blame the person responsible!

Anyway, with that silliness out of the way, here are some pictures of 28mm miniatures I've painted recently.  (And by "recently" I mean sometime in 2023.)

First up are some Stargrave Crew miniatures, although I actually bought them to use in Space Station Zero.  This link is from North Star, but I think I got mine through  The box makes 20 figures, but I only built 10; 5 for my SSZ Explorer team and 5 for my son's Pirate team.

From L to R:  my Commander, Medical Officer, Ace Pilot, Soldier and Chief Engineer.  I went with a blue color scheme.

I added lots of add-ons that are in the kit.

This is my son's team.  From L to R:  Commander, Soldier, Engineer, Ace Pilot and Medical Officer.  I gave them a green color scheme.  According to him, his Soldier and my Commander are brothers.

He wanted lots of bits added, too.  Fortunately, he wasn't picky about much else.

One thing he wanted in particular was some sort of insignia on their left shoulder.  He drew out what he wanted and told me what color to make it, and I did my best.  You'll have to click on the image to make it larger to see it, though.

Next up are some Pulp Figures 28mm miniatures that I've had lying around for a long time.  These weren't for any particular game that I have in mind, but they were a good "different" thing to paint after lots of plastic sci-fi.  But I was also in a bit of a hurry, as I sometimes feel the need to "get-it-done," so these are actually a bit plain.  I was going more for rich colors than I was for adding intricate details and paint-y bits.  "It is what it is."

These are "Evil Hooded Minions 1."  I went with a deep rich purple, as Purple Hooded Minions just has a nice ring to it.  The little round ball at the end of the pistol is, I think, a blob leftover from molding, but I thought it looked kind of cool.  Is the gun firing?  Is it a ray gun only the zombies have?  Who knows!

Purple is a difficult color to do well, for me, anyhow.

These are "Evil Hooded Minions 2."  I did not paint whatever-it-is-they-call-it when a lantern casts it's light on the miniature.  I'm not that good, and I really don't care.

I painted all of their pants' legs a business-suit grey, because it totally fits with my idea of Corporate Suits Worshiping Great Evil.  They do that anyway, right?

But not all Great Evil is the same, and some Corporate Suits want to worship some other, alternative Great Evil.  So that's this group, "Cowled Cultists 1."  I wanted a menacing color scheme (that wasn't purple), so I went with a deep, rich, blood red.

Deep, rich, blood red is also a difficult color to do well.  I tried my best.

The blood red cult has got a better idea of things, in my opinion, 'cause if I'm going to join a Great Evil Worshiping Cult, I'll probably join the one with the hot women in it.  These figures are "Cowled Cultists #2."

Obligatory action shot:  the two opposing factions meet!

Here's a look at what this Cultist is reading.  Careful, or you'll go mad!

Anyway, that's it for the moment.  I do have a few more new things but they'll have to wait until next time, the big 100 post.  Feels like it needs something special....

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

98. Space Station Zero

Having seen a play-through on the Lead Adventure Forum about this new game called Space Station Zero, I had to check it out.  It's blend of horror, sci-fi and campaign play really caught my fancy so I purchased it in print.  The original post of the write-up also had pictures of their BattleSystems cardboard terrain, and that seemed to fit the bill just right.  That got purchased eventually, too.

I didn't really have dedicated miniatures that I wanted to use for it, and I really wanted to play it in 28mm scale, so my son used some old Star Wars pre-paints, and I dug out my Necromunda Escher gang, while I ordered and then painted some Stargrave miniatures.  You can see those closer to the bottom of this post.

One of the things about the game that I found difficult was being able to tell which miniature represented which character, since for me the miniatures were obviously not originally those characters, so I took a photo to help remind me.  In the game, different characters have different skills, so it's important to be able to know who is who.  My son, who has a much younger brain, had no problem with this.

Be warned, there are LOTS of SPOILERS below.  Stop now if you don't want the game Challenges spoiled.

I chose to run an Exploration crew of 5, with a Commander, Medical Officer, Soldier, Chief Engineer and an Ace Pilot.  (See the photo above for who is who.)

My son ran a Pirate crew of 5, with a Commander, Soldier, Engineer, Ace Pilot and Medical Officer.  (I think, L to R:  Commander, Engineer, Pilot, Medic, Soldier.)

Our first game began with Challenge 1, "Docking Bay Access Port," with Poison Gas and Ancient Sentries.  It's a good introduction scenario for learning the rules.

I used Space Marines to represent the Ancient Sentries.

I took these photos very quickly with my phone, so they are what they are.

We survived Challenge 1, and a random roll led us to Challenge 5, "The Medical Bay," where we had to overcome Medical Drones and Control Pods.

I ended up mixing Nightmares from Legions of Steel and Imperial Probe Droids to be the Medical Drones.  I only had 3 Probe Droids, so I had to use the Nightmares to supplement.

We were once again successful in surviving the Challenge, which then led us to Challenge 2, "The Darkened Hall."  There were Laser Traps and more Drone Sentries.

That Challenge ended up being fairly easy, so we moved on to Challenge 6, "Pod 6."  This Challenge had a Virus Bomb, Deranged Mutants and Gun Turrets.

I got to use some zombie figures for the Deranged Mutants.

We only just managed to survive that one, and moved on to Challenge 7, "Science Lab."  This had Experimental Mutants and a Black Hole.  By this time, I had finally finished painting the Stargrave miniatures for myself and my son.  Here they are:

Meet my Commander, Medical Officer, Ace Pilot, Soldier and Chief Engineer.  Going along with my not being able to tell who was who, I tried to differentiate these, by painting my Medic with a red helmet/white cross, the Pilot has cool sunshades 'cause pilots are cool, the Engineer has a wrench to fix things, etc.

These are (L to R) my son's Commander, Medical Officer, Ace Pilot, Soldier and Engineer.  I tried to paint them so it would be easy to tell who was who, but went mostly by what he told me he wanted them to look like.  I did talk him into letting me paint them with green jackets, in order to make them easier to distinguish from my blue jacketed figures when on the table. 

One thing he wanted was a "shoulder patch," identifying them as belonging to the same organization.  He gave me a basic design and that he wanted it an "aqua" color, and so I did the best I could.

These were recently shown in my previous blog entry about Blasters & Bulkheads, but here they are in greater detail.

I used some old Hormagaunts as the Experimental Mutants in Challenge 7, and a black hole as the Black Hole.

We continued to enjoy our good luck, and moved on to Challenge 9, "Chemical Lab."  This had Freezing Protocols, Anti-Fire Protocols, and a Chemical Reaction that, if not stopped, would kill all crew members in play!

We managed to strategize this one before starting, and gamed it pretty easily.  It helped that there were no monsters to deal with, more just a time-limit aspect.

Next we moved on to Challenge 11, which is where we left off.  Other interesting games have reared their beautiful/ugly heads, diverting my limited time and attention away from SSZ (or is it SS0?).  We'll get back to it eventually.

Never fear, the Stargrave miniatures have gotten a lot of use in those other games.  I really like the figures, and the box has 10 more waiting to be put together.  We never named our characters, partly out of laziness, but also because we were both afraid of the dying in the depths of Space Station Zero.  Maybe it's time to give the names.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

97. Blasters & Bulkheads, non-Jedi edition

I've been playing around with Battlesystems' cardstock terrain recently, originally to play Space Station Zero.  In fact, I should probably make a blog post about SSZ before this one, but too late now.  In order to play SSZ, my son and I had been using any old figures I had (some Star Wars pre-paints, some Necromunda), but I wanted something specific so I bought some Stargrave miniatures and painted them up for us to play with.  Which we did for a while, using Battlesystems' terrain.  (Come to think of it, I don't think I've shown the Stargrave miniatures I painted up.  They're pretty cool, I'll have to post them soon.)

Then I came home from work one day to find my son had set up the arrangement below, to play out one of his "stories."

I asked him about it and he told me what was happening.  I thought it sounded pretty cool, so I set it up again on the full table and tried playing it solo with a few different rules sets before finally deciding that Blasters & Bulkheads best captured the feel and pacing I was looking for.  (I also wanted to make sure it was a playable scenario before playing it with my son so as not to waste our time or get him frustrated.)

Here's how it went down:  (if you click on the pictures, they will magically enlarge.)

Here's the layout:  two 5-man squads (identical to each other because I'm lazy) enter the table at the bottom of the frame.  Their goal:  reach the inside of the building to activate the base defense weaponry that will eradicate the alien infestation.  The Aliens are coming from the craters, which must be wormlike holes leading underground somewhere.

At the end of the first turn, a few Aliens have been wounded by long-range shooting.

Dramatic Close-up #1.

Dramatic Close-up #2.

The state of battle at the end of Turn 2.  The little red bead markers are simply to identify which model has already activated.  With so many on the table, and sometimes hours between turns, it's easy to forget who went and who didn't!

Dramatic Close-up #3.  The "Out of the Fight" marker is actually a K.O. marker.  Crucially, the Aliens have made it into close combat, where they excel, especially the four-armed monsters.

Dramatic Close-up #4.

Turn 3 ends.  One more soldier is K.O.ed, with more tied up in melee.  Several Aliens have been dispatched!  Little by little, the firepower is winning out.

Dramatic Close-up #5.

Dramatic Close-up #6.

End of Turn 4.  Another soldier goes K.O., but one is making his way to the building, finally (upper right in the image).

Dramatic close-up #7!  The two new Aliens have ranged weapons.  Uh oh!

End of Turn 5.  Another man is down, but one is back up after a successful medi-kit usage (might not be exactly per the rules, but it felt right).

Dramatic close-up #8.

The soldier desperately activated the door to rush inside.

End of Turn 6.  Another man is back up, thanks to the last medi-kit, and a second is K.O.ed but he passes his K.O. check and therefore remained standing (wobbly, no doubt) [he's the one at the bottom of the image] and only one Alien remains...

...who is promptly "taken care of" when the lone soldier punches the defense weaponry button.  Yay!  "A day late and a dollar short," but better late than never.

The final tally:  2 K.O.ed, 3 more K.O.ed but either healed or passed their K.O. check.  5 of 10 potentially dead.  I'd say that was about the right balance.

If anyone is interested, I can post the stats of the soldiers and the Aliens that I used from Blasters & Bulkheads.  I sort of winged it, though, and they all could probably use some tweaking.

Anyway, thanks for reading!