Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Armies Army BTR 260 & 290 APCs

I'm currently assembling a new force known as the "Hoplites".  The reason for this name will eventually become clear over the next few months.

Infantry wear combat hardsuits and rely on 6 and 8 wheeled amphibious armour for mobility.

I'm using Armies Army BTR 260 and 290 APCs, bought during the 20% off sale October 2017.  It turns out that only a few weeks after I placed my order, the entire sci-fi range was transferred to The Scene and some of them are now available once more.

The BTR 260s will form the light reconnaissance part of the force.

BTR 260.

BTR 260.

BTR 260.
The BTR 290 PocoMaxa or Wolverine will be the fire support vehicle for the force.  This isn't yet available from The Scene.

BTR 290 PocoMaxa aka Wolverine

BTR 290 PocoMaxa aka Wolverine

BTR 290 PocoMaxa aka Wolverine
BTR 290 APCs will be the main transport vehicles, carrying an 8 man squad plus 4 crew.

BTR 290.

BTR 290.

BTR 290.
There are distinct differences between the 260 and 290 vehicles.  The 290 seems to have additional bow armour plates as befits its heavier role.

BTR 290 on left, 260 on right.
The detail on the rear doors is more clearly defined on the back of the 260.  Mine do have slight mould lines too, I don't know if those from The Scene will too.  They're easily cleaned up with a bit of milliput.

Comparison of rear door detail.
Of course the main difference is the length of the vehicles.  The 290 is considerably longer to accommodate the additional troop capacity, with a fourth pair of wheels.  You can see that the front hatch detail is more clearly defined on the larger 290.

Comparison of length.
The BTR 290s have a slightly rough texture.

Slightly textured finish on BTR 290.
 The textured finish is visible on the front hull too.

Slightly textured finish on BTR 290.
The BTR 260 has a smoother finish but you can see its 3D printed origins in some of the fine detail.

Smoother finish on BTR 260 but with 3D printing lines visible.
Hoplite infantry are supplied by Ground Zero Games OutRim Coalition hardsuit troops.  Fire support will be missile launchers and portable plasma guns in the anti-tank role and gauss squad automatic weapons for infantry support.

Support weapons: Missile launcher, plasma gun, gauss machine gun.
Standard troops are equipped with gauss assault rifles, effective for both normal ground combat and in hard vacuum for starship boarding operations.  Their hardsuits are environmentally sealed but run on filters for ground operations, conserving their limited air supply until it is needed.

Infantry with gauss rifles.
The exact colour scheme is still to be determined but will probably involve fairly subdued greens, browns and greys.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Oldhammer - Adventurers Starter Set

 Today, a trip down memory lane.

My interest in wargaming / roleplaying was piqued by chance more than 3 decades ago during our fund-raising Cub Scout jumble sale, when I picked up a copy of the boxed set D&D 1st edition for about 50p.  No dice but it did have Player and DM books plus the Expert rules.  Soon afterwards I received my first gaming miniatures, the Adventurers Starter Set from Citadel Miniatures and the Citadel Colour basic paint set (with additional pot of "smelly primer").

The following hideously daubed monstrosities were my first attempt at painting these little figures...

Young Fighter.  His sword-wielding hand broke off and had been glued back rotated through a quarter turn.  I'm quite proud of his shield design, this was painted 4 or 5 years after the initial paint job.

Wizard with Magic Staff.

Heroic Knight in Armour.  Very small in stature, probably only 5'6" in real life!

Stout Dwarf Warrior.

Devout Cleric.  Just don't ask why his nose has been painted with Humbrol fluorescent Fire Orange enamel.

Indomitable Gnome Fighter.

Stealthy Dwarf Thief.

I still have the original box!

The box currently contains a different mix of dungeon explorers, but more on them another day!

I should point out that I would have been about 11 or 12 when I painted those figures!  Back then, "Titillating Pink" was obviously the correct colour for a wizard's skin and I'd never thought of mixing colours together to make "bronzed flesh" more.. er... "bronzed".  Some have been revisited over the years, an ink wash here, a bit of undercoat there in preparation for re-painting.

I think a visit to the garage to soak in paint stripper could be called for.  After that I'll try and re-create my original paint schemes but with slightly more skill!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

New toys!

 Some recent charity shop buys.  First, we have a Matchbox helicopter that is close enough in scale for some Action Force adventures.

Not sure yet whether it will be military or just a civilian helicopter for use as a mission objective.

Second is a Hot Wheels Star Wars car which, with a suitable repaint, will be an admirable piece of post-apocalyptic transport.  I'm sure a few jerry cans and other items of stowage will dress it up appropriately.

I probably won't bother to disassemble these and strip the existing paint, just an overspray of undercoat chould be enough to prepare them for their new colour schemes.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Escape from Zombie Planet!

The latest adventure from the Old Buckenham Bone Crushers, using my own home-brew rules...

The zombie plague continues to spread on the colony world Arturo.  3 small groups of survivors have converged on an outlying landing field.  Together, they have formulated an escape plan. 

An overview of the landing field and associated settlement.
The townsfolk have been trapped in a building but are running out of food.  Now they will have to make a break for it.

The townsfolk survey the area.
More survivors have reached the outskirts of the settlement and are concealed in some rickety shacks.  They've made their way here in the hope of finding a ship to take them off-world and it looks like they could be in luck!

Wilderness survivors prepare for action.
Interstellar Mining and Extraction Consortium have a small cargo lifter almost ready for launch.  The crew have been holed up for several days but this looks like it could be their chance to complete launch prep and escape.  Navigational charts need to be downloaded from a nearby spacecraft undergoing maintenance.

Nav charts and supplies are located near the IMEC cargo lifter.
The 3 groups have been in radio communication and have finalised their escape plans.  Before the IMEC ship can take off, they must gather five important sets of supplies which are situated are various points around the landing field.  These include food, spare parts, CO2 scrubbers and other vital items.

The wilderness survivors make the first move.  Rummaging in the shacks they find some blankets.  It's not much but they might come in useful.  They decide that their safest approach route is over the rocky outcrop between them and the settlement.  This will avoid various zombies lurking in the woods and will give them a good view across the settlement and landing field.  Tying the blankets around their bodies, they prepare for the climb.

The IMEC team strike out from their cargo lifter towards the other spacecraft, pausing only to gun down a nearby group of zombies.  There seem to be few zombies on this side of the landing field.

IMEC crew members dash to recover them.
The townsfolk are going to make a break for the vehicle parked outside.  After taking a pot-shot at the zombies from the roof, they start to make their way downstairs.  Inside the building they pick up a datapad and some of the operating codes for the loader-bot outside.

Other than the zombies which heard the gunshots and are moving towards the townsfolk, the undead  lurch and shamble randomly around the area.

It looks like the townsfolk have misjudged the situation.  As they reach the ground floor, zombies burst in through the doorway, threatening to overwhelm them.

Townsfolk find there are zombies downstairs!
On this occasion luck is with them and in the nick of time they pile out of the fire exit and dash towards the off-roader.

So it's time to leave!
Realising time is of the essence, the IMEC crew sprint desperately to the spacecraft.  While one of them sets the nav charts downloading to their cargo lifter, the others start to drag the supplies towards a nearby forklift.

IMEC crew have reached the dry-docked shuttle.
The townsfolk start the engine and rumble away from the buildings in the off-roader.  One jumps out and dashes around behind a building.  Will the zombies see him or are they distracted and following the vehicle? The off-roader rattles down the road, its tracks mincing to mush the 3 zombies who stand in its path.
Townsfolk squash zombies on their way to the woods.
Turning into the woods, they pause to collect some supplies.

They skid to a halt next to the supplies.
Over in the woods, the wilderness survivors are reaching the bottom of the outcrop.  The rifleman sprints to the corner of the building to see if there are any zombies nearby.

Wilderness survivors have reached the edge of the settlement.
He recoils in horror as a decaying, one-armed undead lurches around the corner!

Rifle Rick encounters a zombie.
The IMEC mechanic swings the forklift around and his companions load on the supplies.  Now they can get it back to the ship more quickly!

IMEC crew load the supplies onto a forklift.

Two of the wilderness survivors check out a nearby building - they have discovered a store, crammed full of fuel drums!  The rifleman survivor makes a snap decision.  He will try to lead off the zombies by running away from his companions, deeper into the woods.

More zombies close on Rifle Rick.
A fanjet sits temptingly within reach but the survivors wisely choose not to risk trying to break through the cordon of zombies surrounding it.

Too many zombies to risk a run for the fan-jet.
Circling back from the woods, the townsfolk's off-roader falls victim to a zombie horde drawn to the sound of the engine.  The zombies manage to overturn the vehicle!

Townsfolk misjudge their escape route!
More zombies are closing in, attracted by all the noise.

Can they escape?
As the townsfolk ponder their situation, flames start to lick around the side of the vehicle.  Time to abandon it and move out on foot!

The zombies close in...
The fuel drums look heavy.  Luckily there is a digger nearby, should prove useful for transporting them.

Wilderness survivors have found a fuel depot.
Back in town, Andy Axe has used the datapad and codes to activate the Loader-bot.  It should prove useful for carrying more supplies.

Andy Axe activates a loader-bot to pick up some supplies.
In the woods, Rifle Rick finds he is cut off and surrounded.  It looks like his time is up - but will his sacrifice allow his companions to escape?

Rifle Rick has run deep into the woods to draw off zombies.
The last thing to go through his mind is... a zombie's teeth!  Aaaargh!

He has sacrificed himself to give his friends a chance.
Thanks to his decoy of the zombies, the other wilderness survivors have loaded a digger with fuel drums and are preparing to make a run for the cargo lifter.  Their last act at the fuel depot is to rig the remaining drums to explode.

They have been busy loading supplies and fuel drums.
Andy Axe rides the Loader-bot through town,picking up some supplies en-route.  As it passes one of the buildings, he leaps nimbly through the top-storey window ready to search it.

Andy Axe leaps from the loader-bot into a building.
The Wilderness survivors detonate the fuel dump.  The explosion attracts zombies from much of the town, hopefully it will leave a clear path for them to get to the cargo lifter.

Wilderness Survivors detonate the fuel dump.
Back at the burning off-roader, the townsfolk jump clear and scarper for the cover of the woods.

Townsfolk flee the zombies.
Out of sight of the zombies, they press on towards the landing field.

Townsfolk seek concealment in the woods.
The remaining wilderness survivors are ready to go.  Zombies are closing in, drawn by the explosion.

Wilderness survivors prepare to depart.
They cut round the side of the town where they see more zombies shambling towards the noise.

They make their way through the settlement.
On the other side of town, Andy Axe has emerged from the building, having found nothing useful.  A road grader wouldn't normally be his vehicle of choice but it beats walking!

Andy Axe decides his new ride is a road grader.
His comrades emerge from the woods nearby.  Can Andy get the vehicle started and pick them up before they are all overrun by the zombies?

Can he get to his companions before the zombies get him?
Meanwhile, the Wilderness survivors trundle through town, knocking aside zombies as they go.

The digger knocks aside zombies who lurch into its path.
The Loader-bot continues its circuitous march towards the landing field.  Not realising that it isn't alive, Zombies are attracted to its clunking mechanical footsteps.

The Loader-bot is running into trouble...
The number of zombies beating at its legs proves too much for the Loader-bot to handle and it keels over and crashes to the ground, disabled.  Looks like those supplies won't be making it to the escape ship.

... and it's down!
But the wilderness survivors have a plan!  One transfers to a nearby lorry, taking some fuel drums with him...

Wilderness survivors transfer part of the load to a new vehicle.
... while the other diverts to the wrecked Loader-bot to try and collect the dropped supplies.  Engine started, the lorry heads for the landing field via the woods, the road being too crowded with zombies to allow safe passage.

Split up!
Andy has evaded the zombies gathering by his new road grader.  Swerving across the road he picks up his colleagues.  Alas, they have no supplies - but at least they're all still alive.

And Axe picks up his buddies.
Back in town, the digger has been loaded with the supplies - but it has taken crucial seconds to do so and now zombies are surrounding it.

The digger runs into trouble.
Zombies beat at the bodywork of the vehicle, leaving bloody hand prints and smears on the paint.  The digger is great for driving into zombies but the scoop is no use when the zombies are attacking from the back!

Zombies surround the vehicle.
The inevitable happens as the digger succumbs to weight of zombie numbers.  Pistol Pattie's chances of survival are slim as flames erupt from the stricken vehicle.

The digger is overturned and bursts into flames!
In fact her chances of survival are precisely zero.  It's a toss-up whether she burns to death or gets eaten by the zombies first.

One more survivor becomes zombie food.
The townsfolk witness Patty's gruesome demise and decide to waste no more time.  They have to get to the landing field, and fast!

Unable to save the wilderness survivors, the townsfolk head for the cargo lifter.
Back at the cargo lifter, the IMEC crew have successfully loaded their supplies on board and updated the nav-comp.  They're ready to go as soon as the others arrive with the supplies they've gathered.  They should be here any moment, a vehicle can be heard approaching through the woods.  Not sure what's been happening back in the town, there's an awful lot of smoke billowing up over there...

The IMEC crew have loaded the ship.  But what has happened to the others..?
So... not what you'd call a win for the survivors!  Although 2 full groups made it to the escape ship, they failed to gather anywhere near enough supplies.  Perhaps they can make a sub-orbital hop to another settlement to search for other supplies?  But they certainly aren't escaping the planet just yet.