Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Last Best Post of the Year

Last day of the year, and I'm moving on with my Babylon 5 collection. Today, we feature the Minbari!

I finished painting them yesterday, just in time to close the year with a nice fleet display on the blog!

There are a few reinforcements coming soon, since I found the fleet to be too small for my liking. 

The paint scheme of easy. A light blue primer, which already worked as basecoat, followed by Vallejo blue wash, and then highlighting with Revel Enamel light blue.

Hope you guys have enjoyed. I'm having much fun writing this blog, and look forward to a new year with plenty more wargaming and collecting!

Happy New Year to you all!!

*End of Transmisssion*

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some Vorlons and some Fighters

My small Vorlon fleet from Agents of Gaming arrived a couple days ago.

The reason it is so small is because the vorlon ships are so powerful, and therefore are going to be worthy so many points in any ruleset, that I'd hardly have a chance to field more than that on any single game.

I'll be painting them right away, along with the Minbari fleet, to post them on a contest going on on the Star Ranger Forum.

My Star Wars fighters, from Studio Bergstrom, also arrived this week. They came along with their silicon bases, which I already mentioned on a previous entry.

Fighters for the galactic Empire. Some Tie, some interceptors and some bombers.

And here are the silicon bases, ready to be cut out.

When I'm done painting the fighters, I'm going to post about them, but let me assure you those little toys from Drew, at Studio Bergstrom, are unbelievably detailed. Because of it, a little drybrush over a black basecoat is enough for them to look outstanding!

More on those vorlons and fighters in a few days (hopefully, painted...).

*End of Transmission*

Monday, December 26, 2011

Magnetizing 40k

A couple months ago I posted about my Black Templars army. What I did not show then was all the magnetizing I did on it, so to allow the models to work with different weapons and stuff.

Let's see some of those conversions here:

 One of my Predators

That tank shown above has several magnets. First, let's check the turret:

I used a piece of  T-shaped sprue to work as a stand for the magnet on the hull. Another magnet goes on the turret. There was some careful measuring to place the hull magnet in the exact height needed to contact the turret magnet, without being so high that the turret would be hanging without contacting the hull itself.

After the work was done, I gained a 360° turning turret that stays firmly fixed on the tank's hull, without risk of falling off.

I also magnetized the sponsors:

A close look reveals one magnet on the sponsor support, and another on the weapon top

The magnet on the lascannon

The magnet on the sponsor support

Not only those magnets allow for 180° turning without risk of breakage (anyone who handles 40k tank sponsors know how fragile those plastic turning pieces are), but also allow for easy exchange of weapons:

Magnetized heavy bolter

Finally, I magnetized the weapon on the turret, too, so I can have the option to use the twinlinked lascannon or the autocannon.

Here is how I magnetized the turret. One magnet is enough, no need of using on both sides of the openning. I had to drill deep to create room for the magnet, or else the weapon wouldn't fit in after that.

And if you use a single magnet on the turret, you only need to fit a magnet on one side of the weapon, of course...

Did the same thing with the dreadnoughts, which now all have interchangeable arms/weapons.

Now let's take a look on the Land Speeders. I'm particularly happy with them:

The crewman holding the Multimelta has a magnet between his hands. There is also a magnet on the weapon botton:

The bolter that comes along in the Land Speeder box has also been magnetized, and so now I can exchange them whenever needed. Also, showing weapon destroyed results are pretty obvious now (of course, the same works for all other magnetizd models, such as the tanks and dreadnoughts).

The missile launchers received magnets, too. Check the magnet on bottom of the weapon piece, and another on the speeder's internal compartment.

A closer look on the magnet placed on the vehicle

The flight stand got magnetized, too, so to make it easy to represent when the ship gets a immobilized hit (simply take away the base). It also makes transport waaay easier/safer.

(Never mind the terrain work I did on the base. I'm still learning how to do realistic rocks/grass)

Finnaly, we have the Vindicator tank, which got some magnets on its dozer blade:

Here again, drilling was necessary to create room for magnets. The one on the dozer blade is barely visible because I glued it in before painting.

The final aspect of the model is perfect. The dozer blade stays firmly in place:

Held aloft...

...Aaand upside down!

Some additional dreadnought weapons I'm working on already got their magic metal pieces:

2 Lascannons, an Asault Cannon and a Plasma Cannon, along with a pair of sponsor heavy bolters

And last, but certainly not least, I found a guy on ebay who makes resin bits for 40k (bitspudlo_com), mostly those which are mentioned in the rules, but never got released by GW (!).

I purchased 2 razorback Lascannons with Twinlinked Plasma Guns, for U$13.00 each:

It goes without saying that I used magnets on them, too...

The models came fit for turret turning, already, but since it was all resin, the risk of that mechanism breaking eventually was big.

And here it is, 2 fully and safely moveable sets ready for painting!

*End of Transmission*

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pax Stellarum - My homebrew ruleset

So I finally got to begin large scale testing of my ruleset for Spaceship Games. I'm calling it "Pax Stellarum". 

It's a reference to the condition of "armed peace" in which I believe star empires would live with each other. Surrounded by many enemies, it is unlikely they would invest in an all-out war against one foe in particular, leaving their other borders at the mercy of their other enemies. It's more reasonable to think conflict would happen on the terms of what we used to see in Star Trek: TNG, among Federation and Romulans: Skirmish exchange of hostilities.

Anyway, back to the topic, here. I played a scenario where the Romulans faced the Cardassians. The conflict was due to a recent discovery of large reserves of a rare mineral in an earthly planet on the Cardassian border. The cardassians showed little interest on that region until that moment, and had even shut down activities on a Nor station installed there decades ago.

Now, with the possibility of starting large scale mining operations on that planet, the Cardassians are looking forward to restablishing their presence there. Meanwhile, a Romulan task force is dispatched there to try and seize controll of the station, claiming to be supporting the right for sovereignity of the aliens who inhabitate that world against Cardassian opression.

I played about 1.500 points per side, with the following setups for each side:


4 D'Deridex Warbird (divided in 2 squadrons)
5 Scouts (in one squadron)
6 Birds of Prey (one squadron)


10 Galors (divided in squadrons of 4-3-3)
4 Keldons (one squadron)
10 Hidekis (divided in squadrons of 5-5)

The total hull points of the Romulan fleet was 68, and the Cardassians, 70. No side actually used 1500 points. It was 1477 and 1472, respectively.

Initial Spacefaring of the Romulan fleet was 10, and the Cardassians, 13. Therefore, the Cardassians had initiative, meaning the Romulans had to begin moving, and the Cardassians could begin the firing.

The abandoned Nor station, in orbit of one of the planet's moons.

Cardassian right flank

The Center of the Cardassian formation, with the Keldon Squadron escorted by a Hideki Squadron

Cardassian Left flank

Romulan right flank

Romulan left flank

The ships' sheets

The game begun with the romulan converging their forces into the middle, maneuvering to get the flanks of the center formation of the Cardassians (the Keldons), since the enemy Flagship was there. Destroying the enemy flagship is an important aspect of the game, because it forces the adversary to pass a morale check or leave the board.

This maneuver from the romulans left their flanks exposed to the Cardassians right and left formation, and they knew how to take advantage of it...

Here is how I turn ships on my game, regardless of what shape of base they are fit on: hex, square, round, etc. Also, note the marks for the 60° fire arcs on the ruler.

The converging Romulan fleet, being "enveloped" by the Cardassian flanks.

After all squadrons move, hostilities begin. The Cardassians concentrate fire on the small escorting squadrons on both flanks. The romulans, on the other hand, unleash their heavy warbird firepower on the Keldon formation, eliminating half of it on the first turn, along with most of the hidekis escorting them.

The Keldons return fire, crippling one warbird, that suffers a Critical Hit that negates its Prow fire (the die showing 6 indicates the Critical Hit, the die showing 4 indicates the remaining hull points)

The critical hit table

At the end of the 2° turn, the Cardassian flagship had been destroyed. The fleet passes a morale check and go ahead fighting. The crippled warbird is lost, too, but the Romulan Flagship is still intact.

On the end of the 3° turn, both fleets had already lost more than 50% of their total hull points, and so both must pass a morale check to continue the battle, or else they will flee to their mommies...

The Romulans pass the test, the Cardassians, not so much. Thus, the last prepare to leave the battle at the end of the next turn, and power up hyperdrives.

On the 4° turn, a Romulan scout rams a Galor, vaporizing itself on the process, almost managing to take the enemy with it, too.

The romulans get to repair Critical Hits on several systems. The Flagship, with a damaged Power Core, fails to repair it, and the risk of it exploding remains.

Luckly, the Cardassians leave the sector at the end of the 4° turn, leaving the Romulans with a pyrrich victory.

The Romulan Task force (what is left of it), in controll of the Nor Station.

The remains of the Cardassian fleet leaving the battle into hyperspace.

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with how rules worked out. 4 game turns played, in 2,5 hours (an average of 38 minutes per turn, with all the photo taking included), with lots of action.

I was particularly happy to see that the system affords a good number of ships to be played in a reasonable timeframe.

The casualties of this battle

Of course that I found somethings to be corrected, but so far it seems quite promissing. Next, I'll try my rules for fighters!

When I'm all done developing the rules, I'll upload it on 4shared or similar, so anyone interested may give it a try.

*End of Transmisison*

Sunday, December 11, 2011

End of the Year Workbench

The year is coming to an end, and I find myself increasingly surronded by unfinished "work" on my painting desk.

My Minbari fleet is ready for paint:

You can see there is a Babylon 5 Station, from Micro Machines, among the minbari. I'm trying to give it a more ralistic look applying black wash. So far, it's a mediocre job...

There is also some Centauri reiforcements in the works:

I just love that design of the Vorchans, and figured out  that the 5 I had weren't enough...

Also, there is some Minbari and Centauri fighters waiting their silicon bases to arrive. 

The silicon bases I refer to are those sold by Drew, from Studio Bergstrom. I mentioned them previously on this blog, on the post Fighters, Fighters and More Fighters.

Last, but not least, the rest of my Dindrenzi Fleet arrived:

Here it is, assembled and ready for primer:

I'll try to get the Minbari painted by the end of the year, but the rest is probably going to have to wait until January...

*End of Transmission*