Friday, January 3, 2014

My project pile and wishlist for the new year

The cold (at least for California) winter months are here in full force, the blockbuster video game season has passed, the holidays are over, and the BBQ's are long put away until the arrival of Memorial day... that can only mean one thing, it's back to wargaming for me!

It wasn't until just the other day that I realized how long it has been since I picked up a paint brush or did anything hobby related. With that being said, it's time to get going and get back into the game. What better way to do it then to detail a list of some of the models that I'm excited to get on the table, some projects I'm planning on working on, and a few sneak peaks at what has me most excited for wargaming in 2014.

My list of projects, and some bonus things to look forward to in the new year after the jump...

1. Clear Horizon's Hell Divers

All 18 infantry sculpts (Photo: Clear Horizon Miniatures)

One of the best things about taking a break from the hobby for a little bit is catching up on all of the incredible new releases that you may have missed. Number one on my list of things I'm most excited to get playing with are Clear Horizon's Hell Divers infantry. Conceived by Mr. Harold over at Clear Horizon Salvage, these models are supposed to represent elite drop troops able to deploy from orbit in a moment's notice. I followed his development of these mini's from the first concept art sketches, to greens, and finally to release. After months of waiting, I decided to pick them up as a Christmas present to myself. I ended up picking up the HEL/DIV Task Force, a package deal with about 10% savings that contains three drop pods, two line infantry squads, and a support element, and could not have been happier. Prompt shipping, absolutely gorgeous minis, and even pre-made Gruntz cards!

A picture of the Hell Divers emerging from their drop pod. These miniatures are amazing and are a great example of what is possible in 15mm. (Photo: Clear Horizon Miniatures)

2. Critical Mass Games' Zas Infantry

The four figures that started one of the most successful 15mm sci-fi Kickstarters yet. (Photo: Critical Mass Games)

When I first broke away from the more mainstream war games I was in a bit of a dilemma. I'd always been interested in 15mm sci-fi but had no idea where to start in this unique slice of the wargaming pie. After a little searching I stumbled across Dropship Horizon, one of the best and biggest blogs in 15mm sci-fi, who had this image splashed across the top of the page as their banner:

Zas Mercenaries exiting a Kaamodos armored car (Photo: Critical Mass Games/Dropship Horizon)

Needless to say, I was hooked. After a little internet sleuthing I was happy to discover that these models were available through Critical Mass Games, but much to my dismay, were a very small range. These guys look great, why aren't they their own army? Well, it turns out I wasn't the only one thinking this as CMG took to Kickstarter and decided to sculpt and release an entire army of Zas. And when I say an entire army, I mean it, they threw in everything; AFV's, VTOL's, crewed-weapons, drones, even some terrain items. I bought in on the last day of the project and have been quite pleased with just how much lead I got out of being a backer. 

I'm definitely looking forward to getting them painted over the next couple of weeks (or months, there are a LOT of minis here). 

3. Ground Zero Games' new NSL line.

(Neu-Swabian League Riflemen. Photo: Ground Zero Games)

It's always a treat to see a line that you previously weren't too hot on get turned around into one of the best looking projects you've seen. I remember seeing the new UNSC line released by Ground Zero Games and absolutely having to use them (they're currently serving as my previously seen "ashies") and I'm getting that same "itch" from these guys. These new NSL sculpts are incredible. If you haven't checked them out yet do yourself a favor (and your wallet a disfavor) and head over to Ground Zero's website and take a look.

4. Clear Horizon's Power Armor & VTOL's

Lest you think that Mr. Harold over at Clear Horizon has been resting on his laurels after releasing the Hell Divers he's got one project that will be released soon and another that (fingers crossed!) should be on a wargamng table near you by the end of 2014.

The first up is a pair of VTOL's that from all indication should be released in Q1 2014:

(Yes, the large one even has a ramp that opens in the back! Photo: Clear Horizon Miniatures)

(A painted VTOL in action making a hot drop. Photo: Clear Horizon Miniatures)

While VTOL's are always a welcome addition, the thing that has me most excited to get my hands on is this power armor (in the concept art phase currently) for the Hell Diver range:

(Clear Horizon Power Armor Concept Art, set next do Hell Diver concept art for scale. Photo Clear Horizon Miniatures)

One of the most iconic "This is sci-fi!" concepts is power armor. For evoking the imagination, establishing the setting, and as a model, communicating the magnifying power of technology, correctly scaled power armor is unrivaled. 15mm is the scale I've seen this concept work best in (though Warhammer 40K's "Terminator" armor is a solid second), as the best power armor out there towers over its regular infantry counterparts. Given my excitement for the finished Hell Divers it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is easily one of my most anticipated models for the new year.

5. Tomorrow's War 
(Tomorrow's War rule book, created by Ambush Alley Games and Published by Osprey)

I picked up the Tomorrow's War rule book and have been skimming it over for months now. This, along with Gruntz, was the big release in the rules department from last year, and although I have skimmed it several times, I need to sit down, give it a good read through, and play a few games. People who have played Ambush Alley's Force on Force swear by the game engine so I reason that I should give it a look and see if I've been missing something by skipping out on Ambush Alley's rules sets.

6. The unconquerable pile of personal projects

These include a woodland terrain board, --I have three shopping bags full of trees/vegetation/rocks etc for this so I'm clearly out of excuses--, finishing up my industrial sector terrain board, and finally getting some semblance of order to the rule set I've been working on (50+ pages of typed notes and 2 journals full of rules, time to get to editing...). Oh yeah, and I swear this year I'm going to build a light box for photographing my minis ;).

Well, that's my list for the new year. As always when it comes to the hobby, there's bound to be a unexpected additions to the list, bad cases of painter's block to overcome, and of course, epic battles to be fought on the living room table!

What's on your project list? Do you have any releases you're excited for this year? Any requests for something you'd like to see? Let me know in the comments!


  1. C'mon then Mike, splash some paint on and let's have a look!!

  2. those Clear Horizon minis are very cool...