Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A new force, new sweet rides, and a new inspiration

I've been away for a bit but don't let you think that I've been slacking off on my painting. Since my last update I've finished off my Khurasan federal army infantry (to be posted later, once they get some vehicles!), as well as an entire opposing force for them. One of my departures from the norm this last painting session was to try my hand at painting some vehicles for Reddit's monthly motivational painting challenge. My particular challenge was to get 4 Khurasan Iguanas and 4 Khurasan Polecats up and painted before the month was out. Here's how they turned out, as well as some other stuff I've been working on:

Khurasan Iguanas

Khurasan Polecats

More pics, and more stuff, after the jump...

Yes, these are taken on top of a bottle of Tapatio, because everything is better with a little Tapatio ;).

This was my first time using pigments on any models and I think it's somewhat apparent that I got maybe a little carried away with it. Not a huge worry as it does accurately reflect the terrain I was envisioning in my mind when I was painting them. While my two previous forces have primarily been concentrated around a more industrialized setting I wanted my Khurasan army troops and the new force I was making to be something a little bit more rugged. For that I thought of both a dusty and wet river delta would make an awesome project for a new gaming board, and this:

Seemed like a perfect inspiration for just what I had in mind.

With that down, I had one infantry range that I've absolutely loved the look of but hadn't gotten around to painting, GZG's New Israelis. These guys have always been high on my list of favorite 15mm figures, and I was pretty thrilled to get started on them, here are the results:

All in all, an overstrengthed platoon of men with abundant support weapons, with some of the more unique looking comms troopers thrown in (as an aside, I'm not sure if GZG decided to make the New Israeli comms troopers look like they were wearing yarmulkes, but if so, nice touch). 

Of course, plain old infantry and vehicles does not a sci-fi force make, so I added in some of my ever present GZG mini hover drones, some Khurasan Federal Power Armor and Nova Respublik power armor (again, narratively retconned to be a repurposed mining drone) and called it a day:

 I happen to love this pic of the Khurasan Power Armor as I think it really shows the dynamism of the poses available to these particular sculpts. In my opinion, the sense of action that you get from this specific model and pose are just superb.

 More "repurposed mining drone" action

I'm still working on a background narrative for all these forces and I have continued to flesh it out as I add more models and more variety to the forces that I'm building. One of the most difficult things I've encountered regarding narrative is the presence of any sort of heavy vehicle. If current trends in military technology continue I have a hard time imagining conventional militaries utilizing large amounts of armored vehicles. Of all of the Sci-fi franchises that I've had experience, I think Bioware's Mass Effect's interpretation of relatively near future combat will be the most likely; small units of infantry will be used to secure high value facilities and populations while the largest amount of force destruction will be handled through the use of air and space power.

In that vision, you can see that there's not a lot of room for any sort of heavy ground vehicle. I think that some existence of them is justified in that any world's police force will need some sort of heavy vehicle in the event of riots, and lesser settled worlds could very well benefit from having a vehicle similar to the iguana above as an explorer vehicle and as protection against hostile indigenous fauna. 

I think in the narrative I've been building I'm looking at a failed state background, where an inconsequential planet is being fought over by petty warlords, and said planet lies outside of the sphere of influence of any sort of political entity capable of affording the investments necessary to project any air or space power of significance. That would allow for the presence of some sort of heavy ground vehicle, though in that case I think I'm going to stick with things like the Polecat and the Iguana, stuff that would be useful for any planetary government or could be said to have been repurposed for combat like the Technicals seen in modern combat


  1. Great looking army!

    I'd love to see a shot of them all fielded and ready to mow down the enemy... looks like they've seen some action!

    Any games planned?

    1. Thanks Mr. Harold! I'm thinking a nice game of Gruntz next week might be just what's needed to give these guys a proper welcome to the field ;).

  2. Well Mike, you have been a busy lad! This all looks terrific, and I love the weathering you have done on the vehicles with the pigments- which ones have you used? I have a couple of bottles of Mig pigments which I have only had a quick dabble with, but a bit of insight into how you have applied the stuff would be most helpful! Nice work.

    1. Thanks GR! I wasn't slacking, I swear!

      I used Secret Weapon Pigments (they're a wargaming accessory manufacturer located right in my home city and their stuff is amazing) to weatherize my iguanas and polecats.

      I applied it after I finished painting and sealing my models:

      Application was really easy, just load a brush (said brush will forever be assigned to "pigment duty") with the weathering powder and spread it around on the part that you're looking to weatherize until you don't have any loose grains about. The SW stuff doesn't smudge once you have all the loose stuff off, doesn't need to be sealed (in fact, sealing it will ruin it!), and doesn't transfer off to your hands. It's incredibly easy to use and is really effective, I couldn't recommend it more. Of course you can always stack pigments on top of each other as well. I haven't tried any of the more advanced weathering techniques (e.g. salt and hairspray) though I'm thinking about giving it a go on the next opportunity I have.

    2. Cheers Mike, that's really helpful!