Sunday 31 May 2020

Lockdown Day 69


I've been busily painting away today but I find myself having a bit of a ponder on the possibility of gaming further in the Battletech universe but in different scales and with different rules.

I've really enjoyed the setting and am keen to explore it more, be it the earlier stuff or a revamped version of my own.

Almost at random, I settled on initially having the action set in the Magistracy of Canopus, one of the larger of the Periphery states. Reading through the background, I'm struck by how interesting the writing is as the whole of the Periphery is pretty much a backward wasteland following two centuries of almost constant warfare and as such the military units of said state are struggling to rebuild and protect their planets at the same time.

Canopian Space

This is part of the reason that the Canopians have hired the rather down at heel mercenaries Wilson's Hussars who have thus far done a steady job of protecting their new factory at Rynn's Steading.

I'm planning on building some small scale gubbins to give me some skirmish possibilities featuring espionage and skulduggery as the Canopians try to acquire new tech from nearby Inner Sphere states and other Periphery powers seek to disrupt them. With this in mind, I'm looking at putting together some small space ships too as I quite like the idea of skirmishes with free traders, pirates and other bits and bobs.

We shall see how it goes but I am really impressed with the sheer breadth and depth of the background that Battletech has developed over the last thirty odd years and am surprised more folks haven't explored it.

Hopefully tomorrow will see the last of the Pirate lance finished and then I want to finish off my Canopian vehicle lance and then finally get the infantry put together!

I seem to be slowly ramping up to a bit of a long term campaign featuring a number of different elements all tying into an overall narrative. For the short term, I think there's going to be more Papertech stuff but I hope I'll get more of my assorted random sculpts put together.

In the meantime, All the best!

Saturday 30 May 2020

Lockdown Day 68


It's been a bit of a sculpting day here again and my Hunchback is pretty much ready for paint!

Jenner, Hunchback and Panther

I do like the rather silly design with its massive boombox shoulder mounted autocannon and tiny arms and massive chunky legs and think it will make a good addition to my fledgeling force. I've been trying to keep the sculpts close to the original designs but there are some which are so ugly that they just need a bit of a rework into something a bit cuter!

I'll try and get some mechs painted tomorrow so my pirate lance is finished and I will need to start on a few other bits and bobs to flesh out my Battletech project a bit.

I'm keen to give each of my small forces a decent selection of light, medium, heavy and assault Mechs so will need to have a bit of a think about what I want each to have and how I'm going to sculpt them.

Speaking of sculpting, I have had a bit of a peruse of Critter Commandos and quite like the idea of it so have decided to play around with some sculpts and have made a start on my Penguin Patrol:

Penguin troops and Bad Egg power armour

They've been really fun little sculpts to work on but there's still a fair amount still to do to get up to a full squad of infantry and power armour and possibly a Tech or vehicle or two but we shall see what I can come up with.

I've also sketched out some Bunnies with guns and a Bunny version of the Thundercats tank so may try my hand at making a bigger vehicle...

Sadly I'm running a bit low on sculpting supplies so am having to pace myself till more arrive next week but hopefully the pause in sculpting will give me a bit of time to work on painting what I've been making!

Friday 29 May 2020

Lockdown Day 67


I've been having a bit of a retrofest looking at some old Battletech stuff this evening.

The last time I picked up Battletech was in the early 90's after picking up the 3rd edition starter set from Virgin Megastore in Edinburgh for £20. I remember at the time I was rather unimpressed with it as the plastic figures that came with the set was absolutely awful and I couldn't even get paint to stick to them. To make matters worse, my friend had picked up a boxed set of Space Rangers (which are still available from eM4 Miniatures by the by) and had 110 of the guys for the same price.

I put the box to the side and forgot about it for a couple of years until I left high school but eventually found it again and rather liked the style of the art and the background was rather interesting but I thought the use of a map sheet a bit off putting and eventually the figures went in the great clearout when I went off to uni.

I was sure I had kept the rulebooks somewhere but I think a box of my rulesets have gone missing somewhere during my several moves of house (my Chronopia books, Crucible and Man O War all vanished at the same time!) and the last time I found my mapsheets, I think they got ripped and chucked out.

I had thought about picking it up again but it seems to be selling online for stupid money, even without the miniatures so I'll need to just go with the newer stuff which I purchased as pdf's a few years back but I am still keen on reliving some retro style and part of that is trying out the game using a hex map.

The sheets are available in pdf and I wondered about printing it out but am looking for something a bit more sturdy, and not going to use all the ink in my printer. I even had a look at getting it printed out online but it's all a bit pricey for my liking.

Original mat!

There's some really nice neoprene mats being produced at present but they're too expensive too so I've picked up a sheet of felt from ebay for about a fiver and with a bit of stencilling and paint, I'm hoping to make a double sided mat of my own on the cheap!

I'll post my progress in the next few days once it arrives but hopefully I'll manage to get a hex mapped out on one side and a plain one on the other.

Fancy Gaming mat

I've got a few small pieces of felt kicking around so I'll try some experiments tomorrow and see how they turn out. 

I'm also working on a few more sculpts so I may have some things to show in the next update so watch this space!

All the best!

Thursday 28 May 2020

Lockdown Day 66


Here's the newest additions to my Battletech project:

Pirate Panther and Jenner

I added more bits and bobs to each with small pieces of plasticard, paper and card which I think has helped make the sculpts a bit more successful.

I went to town with giving them a chipped and rusty finish as pirates operating out on the Periphery aren't going to be spending much time painting their machines. I gave them a bit of graffiti with the snapping jaws on the Panther and it's pilot has scrawled His Red Right Hand on his Particle Projection Gun. I'll try and get some better photos when I've got the rest of the lance finished.

I'm also working on a Hunchback to give my Pirates a bit of punch:

Armed with an Autocannon 20, the heaviest weapon mounted on a Mech in the 3020's and capable of blasting a light Mech to scrap in a single shot.

I'm quite pleased with the sculpt thus far and I'm looking to getting it finished so I can get some more heavy machines built and added onto my roster. It's been great fun working on some of the bigger machines and at 50 tons, the Hunchback is going to be getting some assault class machines which are considerably larger!

Last but not least, I've got the next of my Papertech Kryomek gubbins in the form of Warriors:

I still need to get a second sheet of the gribblies done to add more variety to the weapons options and I've got one or two more weapons and the Warmaster is needing done too!

I've still got lots more to add to the papertech Kryomek project including Nexus Marines, SWAT and Colonial Marines as Talos Units, Kryomek Drones and all manner of vehicles. Still it's been fun and I'm heading towards having enough of the little guys to play a game or two.

I'll try and get another sheet put together in the morning and I've also been having a bit of a peruse of Critter Commandos and Fairymeat which may be getting a few test sculpts to see how I get on.

In the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Lockdown Day 65


I've spent much of the day working on finishing off an assortment of Mechs for my SD Battletech project and I've got four almost done and just in need of getting the basing done so pictures will follow in the morning!

I've really been enjoying the whole giant stompy robot thing over the last week or so and am keen to keep working one more Mechs, especially as I have now got two proper lances almost ready to game.

I'm also keen to explore my own version of the Inner Sphere so plan on adding some of my own mech designs. It's got me thinking about what other gubbins I can incorporate and it will keep me entertained! I'm keen on sculpting some lighter mechs as well as the big clunky beasts and I'll need to do some doodling to see what I can come up with.

As I've set things in the Periphery, I want to look at some unusual designs, be they pirate, Periphery state or whatever.

I'll post some doodles tomorrow alongside the finished pirate lance I've been working on and I'll need to try and play a game of Battletech rather than just Alphastrike and hope to play some games of Song of Blasters with a few mods for Battletech so I can play some quick skirmishes too!

In the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Lockdown Day 64


Here's the latest additions to my Papertech project in the form of more Nexus Cyclo's and the first of the Kryomek!

 Lots of Cyclo Convict Troopers!

I've now got pretty much all the weapon options for the basic Cyclo troopers but need to add one or two onto the EVA heavies but the latest drawing session has seen me add quite a few more bits and bobs to the mix.

 Gauss Rifles

SMG and Autopistols

 Recoilless Rifles

Next up, there's some EVA heavy troops:

 Pistols and Ballistic Shields as well as Combat Rifles

Heavy Weapons

Assault Specialists

Sadly I've not had chance to stick this batch onto bases yet but will have at them in the morning and it's not just Nexus troops I've been drawing, we've now got the first of the Kryomek:


Apologies for the quality of the pics but they'll have to do being as I managed to take them after 11pm and seem to have run a bit late with the posting today!

I've also created a bit of a Papertech page here on my blog with black and white images for folks to download and colour in themselves so they can play Kryomek on a budget too.

I hope to keep adding to it with odds and ends but will need to spend tomorrow working on my Battletech sculpts and I've had a couple of requests for Battletech standees too so will see if I can't put together the light mechs from the 3020's as well and get them up for folks.

All the best!

Monday 25 May 2020

Lockdown Day 63


I've spent much of today sculpting or drawing! I've got my four Mechs finished and ready to paint and have spent a bit of time putting together some papertech Nexus Cyclo's for Kryomek:

Cyclo Troopers

I went a slightly different route with these guys than with my Battletech stuff as I scanned them into the computer first which allowed me to quickly churn out a force and I am pretty pleased with the results.

 Combat Rifles

They're a bit stylised but were lots of fun to work on and I have enough of the little guys to play a decent sized skirmish using Kryomek or Song of Blasters or any other game I fancy that needs some poorly armoured convict troopers to get shot up.

 Pistols and Xeno Prods

Thus far I have one sheet of them drawn up but am working on another which will round out the weapon options and possibly add some casualties, command or even some EVA heavy armoured troops.

 Assault Specialists

I used 25mm squares of cardboard to give them a bit more heft so they don't fall over whenever you look at them which has proved rather handy too and I'm looking forward to rounding out my Kryomek infantry collection tomorrow.

Heavy Weapons

Once I'm done, I'll post up the sheets as jpegs so folks can download them and use them too and plan on putting together a bit of a page with lots of stuff for people to print and play as it's the least I can do during the lockdown!

If folks want, I can also put together a Battletech sheet or two so they can print them out too. Each sheet will be black and white and folks will be able to colour them in to whatever colour they fancy to make them more usable.

Once I have all the Kryomek stuff done, I'm planning on moving onto Void 1.1 and Chronopia and Warzone 1st edition so watch this space!

In the meantime, All the best!

Sunday 24 May 2020

Lockdown Day 62


I had intended to post up either the next installment of my Battletech Alphastrike campaign or show some pics of my latest sculpts but have been somewhat distracted by pondering on the possibilities of playing more games using the papercraft approach.

Whilst it's certainly not ideal as there's something really pleasing about having proper painted figures in whatever scale trundling around the table as it gives a visual hit that paper cannot, my recent success with playing five Battletech Alphastrike games in short order with twenty mechs all told at the cost of an hour or two of drawing cannot be sniffed at.

Over the years I have fallen foul of the Ooh Shiny Syndrome where I see a range or game that I like the look of and spend amounts of money on them only to not get them painted. Whilst the Lockdown has seen me paint my way through some of this, there are games that I'm really keen to explore but the cost of figures or indeed the difficulty of getting ahold of them is a decided issue.

Whilst out for our daily allotted socially distanced walk I had mentioned this to my wife and she suggested that I should make more of the cardboard standees for short term use and if I liked the game, I could then slowly replace them with my own sculpts.

This struck me as a rather good idea and I have decided to roll with it and see what games I have that I'd love to play but on a super tiny budget during the Lockdown. A little bit of rummaging later, I have settled on trying out this approach on a handful different games. The plan is to draw up a small force for some of the factions available and use the process to get a feel for the rules and possibly even play out a small campaign with them as I have done with my Battletech stuff.

This approach will hopefully see me playing a bunch of games, some of which I played back in the day and others which I have the rules for but never had chance to game.

While this may not be everyone's cup of tea, and to be honest, I would prefer to have lots of miniatures to paint but beggars can't be choosers. On the plus side, I hope to use the process to work out how I'm going to sculpt my own bits and bobs.

The games I plan on trying out are as follows:

Now I know that Kryomek and Void 1.1 are available but I want to try playing a game or two with my papertech stuff as the sculpts just don't appeal to me. Warzone is a brilliant game but getting the figures is pretty difficult these days so a papertech approach seems to be a good way to get some games in and speaking of an out of production game that the figures are hard to find, Chronopia is up there as one of my favourite games that I've not played in about 20 years now and getting figures for it that aren't covered in leadrot is really difficult.

I plan on spending an hour or two tomorrow morning putting together an initial clash with two small forces as well as finishing my Battletech Alphastrike game and working on some more sculpts so watch this space!

Don't panic though! I will be regularly posting pics of actual painted miniatures as well as I see this approach as a gateway into playing and enjoying games whilst sculpting all manner of interesting things for my own enjoyment.

I suspect that 2020 will see the end of my buying figures and me really sinking my teeth into sculpting my own stuff as it is just so much more enjoyable than working on other folks stuff.

In the meantime, All the best!

Saturday 23 May 2020

Lockdown Day 61: Defence of Rynn's Steading part 3


Here's the third part of my Battletech Alphastrike campaign!


Following the pirates escape at the Three Sisters, Captain Wilson has been pressured by the local Canopian government to increase his forces efforts to bringing the marauding invaders to heel. Meanwhile, stung by the loss of one of their heavy Mechs, the pirate commander Red Redowski has decided to target an isolated warehouse that he has heard houses much needed equipment that he desperately needs.

Wilson happens to be leading the lance that is defending the outpost and now he and the pirate captain will meet on the field of combat for the first time.

The Forces

Each force consists of 100 points with both force commanders opting to lead their forces.

Victory points will be awarded to the force in control of the central warehouse at the end of the game and bonus points will be awarded for destroying enemy Mechs or forcing them to withdraw from the field.

Wilson's Hussars

The Hussars Lance is commanded by Captain Wilson in his Marauder with Jones in her Jenner, Yaro in his Locust and Hayes in his Enforcer This gives me two light skirmishers, a heavy and a medium mech. Although I only have one capable of long range fire, the combination of speed and short range punch should put the Hussars in a solid position.

Red's Marauders

With only 100 points and several of the Pirates light mechs badly needing repair, the Captain Redowski has gambled on using his two heaviest remaining mechs along side a lighter skirmisher. Redowski pilots a Thunderbolt and is accompanied by Milo, his number two in a Wolverine and Ratchett in a Wasp. While the lance is understrength, it does pack considerable punch at all ranges and heavy armour. It will be interesting to see how they manage against the more nimble Hussars.

The Battlefield

The Battlefield

The isolated warehouses are situated in a valley surrounded by low hills with several small settlements dotted around and some patches of woods.

The Game

The Objective

The Pirates won initiative and the two heavy Mechs burst from the trees and thunder towards the objective whilst their lone light mech maneuvers into the hilltop village preparing to snipe any of the Hussars light mechs who try to flank it's heavier kin. 

Wilson's Hussars deploy behind the other hilltop village with their two light Mechs begin to make a dash down the flank, relying on their speed to avoid getting a pasting from the pirates heavies. Captain Wilson in his Marauder moves forward as fast as he can towards the objective with the Enforcer accompanying him.

Initial fire from the pirate heavies fail to score any hits, despite their higher piloting skill but in return Captain Wilson's Marauder manages to score a long range hit on the pirate Thunderbolt.

Turn two saw the pirate heavies continue their thunder run towards the warehouse, keenly aware that they need to grab some swag and deal some hurt to the mercenary force. The two mech commanders trade fire as they close with each scoring two hits a piece on their opponents but the Hussars Enforcer also manages to hit the Thunderbolt. Meanwhile the pirate's Wasp fires ineffectually at the Hussars Locust but the small mech is just too nimble and dances out of the way.

Turn three saw heavy fire exchanged between Wilson and Redowski with Wilson overheating his Marauder and scoring four hits on the pirate Thunderbolt and only taking two points in return. The Pirate Wolverine fires but misses the Hussars command Mech in a display of heroically bad dice rolling which would prove to be the turning point of the game.

Turn four saw the Hussars mechs in cover near the objective and the pirates gambit failing as in an intense exchange of fire the pirate Thunderbolt is utterly destroyed and the Hussars Marauder badly damaged. Seeing their commanders Mech explode, the remaining pirate Mechs begin to withdraw, exchanging fire with the Hussars light machines who were closing in on their rear.

Totalling up the victory points saw Wilson's Hussars win 2 points to the pirates 1 which saw the mercenary force drawing ahead slightly in the campaign.

Whee! This was a short but brutal skirmish which has cost the pirates dear with the loss of their heaviest mech and their captain dead or captured. Meanwhile, the Hussars have managed to hold the pirates off but at the cost of a second badly damaged Mech.

The after battle will see several of the Hussars lighter Mechs getting completely repaired but the techs having their work cut out to get the Marauder from this game and Archer from the last back into working order.

Meanwhile, the pirates have some difficult decisions to make as whilst they've had some success pillaging outlying areas, they are experiencing stiff resistance from what they had believed were a bunch of hasbeen mercenaries who they should have been able to wipe the floor with. Now two of their heavy mechs have been destroyed and it's looking a bit grim for the next battle. Despite this, the Vindicator and Spider from games one and two which had been badly damaged have now been put back into working order using some of the booty captured during the Three Sisters affair so they do still have a capable force that can give the Hussars a bloody nose.

We shall see how things go tomorrow as the fourth and possibly final game in the mini campaign plays out so watch this space!

In other news, following my last post where I was unsure about the direction I'd gone in with my Mechs that I'd sculpted, I've had another bash at it today and have spent a bit more time on each of the newer sculpts which should, I hope, give them the style that I want.

Work in Progress Shot

After feeling that I had hit a bit of a wall yesterday, I'm feeling a bit more confident today that I can stick with my SD Battletech project and see it completed, even if it's only going to be a couple of lances worth!

Thanks for the suggestions and support folks and All the best!

Friday 22 May 2020

Lockdown Day 60


Well here we are, two months into the Lockdown!

As promised, I managed to get some pics of my newest additions to my Lockdown project painting log:

Wilson's Hussars Battlemechs

I've managed to finally finish painting up my Mech lance for Battletech in the form of Wilson's Hussars Recon Lance (right to left, Wasp, Ostroc, Locust, Stinger). I must admit that I'm a bit conflicted about them as on the one hand, I enjoyed making them and painting the little chaps but on the other, I really want to go for a more hard sci-fi style with the original miniatures for gaming.

Alas to do so is a rather expensive process of either buying the figures which has got surprisingly expensive these days or investing in a 3d printer as there are some amazing fan sculpts out there which put the official (and rather clunky) figures to shame. Either option is currently out of my price range so I'll be sticking with my own gubbins for the time being.

I've also managed to paint up my second Hunter light tank and rework the other a smidge to improve the paintwork a little bit:

 Hunter Tanks 

I've got another tank built but needing detailing which I'll try to finish tomorrow and a small hover scout that I've just started too.

I'm also currently working on an opposing lance of pirates which should be seeing them ready to be photographed in a couple of days time...

I've also managed to play the third game in my Battletech Alphastrike campaign and it was a rather quick but bloody game which I'll post up tomorrow.

As with my usual method of flitting from one project to another, I am thinking of rummaging out my 15mm scale stuff as I've not done much for them in some time and am sorely tempted to put together a mini campaign for them next involving shenanigans set on the Periphery of the Battletech universe but not having any mechs and basing it around some covert goings on but we shall have to see how I get on.

I also need to finish painting my True Atronians and Kuld for my War of Ashes project, paint some more Rusty Robots and get on with my World of Twilight project that has kind of gone nowhere, not to mention my Leviathan stuff, assorted 6mm odds and ends and my Land Ironclads stuff...

So much to do!

I think I may take a day off from all the updates soon as well as I'm starting to get bit worn down with all the posts but I'll see how I feel in the next day or so and will see how I feel in the next few days.

In the meantime, All the best!