Cobra Patrol and Transport

Although most of my Action Force in 28mm scale project is based around the Red Shadows as the primary protagonists, I do occasionally dip into the world of their successors, Cobra.

I’ve recently been kitbashing some Cobra infantry using various bits and pieces from my sprue mountain. The bodies and legs for these guys have all come from Warlord Games World War II US Infantry. The arms are are mixture of the same US infantry and the old Wargames Factory apocalypse survivors and biker sprues. These are also where most of the weapons were sourced from.

Cobra Troopers

The heads are all I have left from a set of specially produced GI Joe bits – two in the style of Cobra Troopers, the remaining two representing Cobra Vipers. The backpacks are from the same source.

Vipers

These are very much ‘inspired by’ conversions rather than an attempt to accurately model the old toys or cartoon and comics characters.

Vipers

Transport for these foot troopers is a 1:48 scale Tamiya model of a modern Japanese Defence Force Light Armoured Vehicle.

I built this a couple of years ago and it has been waiting on the painting table for quite some time. The transfers are in fact stickers from a small GI Joe toy.

The paint job on this was a basic blue block colour (applied by spray can) with detail added using an Army Painter wash. The kit as built was unmodified (although I didn’t bother with the interior detail – there is an upainted driver in there though!)

On patrol – watch out Action Force!

Space (Force) 1999 – 3D Printed Eagle Transporter

This is the culmination of about four months worth of work. I came across this excellent set of 3D print files by alpokemon on Thingiverse earlier this year. For those that don’t know this is the classic Eagle Transporter from Gerry Anderson’s Space 1999.

The original in action.

I set about printing this with the idea of using it as a centrepiece for 28mm scale gaming (more specifically 7TV). By doing some back of the envelope calculations I worked out that I would need to scale the files up in order to meet my favoured 1/48 vehicle scale for gaming.

So then the printing began……and it took a very long time indeed.

Back in March I was keeping a log of how much time the individual print jobs were taking. I soon gave up adding this up, but lets say we are talking about well over 100 hours worth of printing at least.

As per usual for scenery and vehicles I printed this using my FDM printer, a CR-10S by Creality. I originally chose this printer for the larger than standard print bed size and this was very useful when printing out this model.

I did use my resin printer for some of the smaller parts like thrusters and cargo pod feet.

The print quality (and tolerances) I am getting at the moment are really good, which helped significantly with this model as it did require quite a bit of fitting and assembly. The one weak point was the landing gear which have snapped numerous times and have been continually super glued back together.

At this point I started to think about painting and colour schemes. Rather than paint up in the traditional TV series colours I decided to merge this with one of my other ongoing projects – Action Force in 28mm scale. At this point I need to take a slight diversion, promoted by this project I have recently got into collecting the original toy line of 3.75″ (1/18) scale action figures and vehicle sets. One of the vehicles I have recently aquired is the Space Force Cosmic Cruiser. It is this that I decided to base the Eagle paint scheme on.

An original Palitoy Cosmic Cruiser Action Force toy.

Due to the current long summer hours and (occasional) decent days of British summer weather I switched my airbrushing to outside. This has been aided by the aquisition of a new mini-compressor. The completed model after getting an all over undercoat of black from a spray can was ready for airbrushing.

The outdoor painting setup

The main body and cockpit were given coats of progressively slightly lighter coats of grey.

The four ‘legs’ of the craft were then completed using the same technique with blue.

Finally the engines were also airbrushed using a base gun metal followed by a silver highlight. All paints were from the Vallejo Game Air or Model Air ranges.

I switched back to traditional brushwork for the orange of the frame. This was mainly because I would have struggled to effectively mask the model for airbrushing on top of the work I had already done.

I went to my stash of decals and transfers to add some detail (including some small reporduction Action Force logo toy vehicle stickers). The one thing I wasn’t able to source was the Space Force specific logo. While in the past for miniatures I have hand painted this I wasn’t confident I’d be able to do a good job of this freehand at this scale. I may subsequently add something to the nose cone of the ship if I can figure out printing on decal paper on my Inkjet printer.

The final stage was weathering, and as per usual I feel I may have gone a little overboard here. I used a mix of Plastic Soldier Company and Modelmates weathering spray cans for this, plus a sponge chipping technique using a dark brown paint. I do think the engines came out looking pretty good.

All in all I am really please with the result and I look forward at some point in the future (when face-to-face gaming can resume in earnest) using this in a game of 7TV. Perhaps as part of a Space Force versus The Argonauts game (the latter of which I am eagerly awaiting delivery from the most recent Crooked Dice Game Design Studio Kickstarter).

In the meantime here is a selection of images showing a Space Force Eagle Transporter being prepared for a mission by Action Force personel. All figures are from Gripping Beast and are heavily inspired by the original action figure line.

Pulp Sky Raiders

I bought these figures before Christmas and they had been sat mostly complete and just requiring some finishing touches for a while. I finally got round to tidying up and basing these the other day.

They are a mix here of miniatures from the Pulp Figures and Artizan Designs ranges, all in that niche Pulp genre that borders on Steampunk – the world of airships and rocket men. Think Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow and you’ll not be far away.

Zeppellin Trooper – Pulp Figures
Harpoon Gunner – Pulp Figures
My squad leader – Pulp Figures
Another harpoon armed pirate – Artizan Designs

In addition I dug out some miniatures I completed a while ago to join the team.

Pulp Figures
Statuesque Miniatures
Sky raider with Lewis gun – Pulp Figures

I’m looking at fielding these in games of 7TV Pulp and have some transport lined up for them in the shape of one of the more industrial looking airships from the recent Skys of Sordane Kickstarter which I backed earlier in the year and which is now starting to deliver (in the form of STL files for 3D printing).

I’m looking forward to printing this – though I suspect it will take quite some time

Finally here we have a group shot of the full team…..

Coming to raid the skies near you soon

Print, Paint, Exterminate!

I’ve been on a bit of a quest to paint up as many Daleks as I can recently. No idea why (although catching up with loads of old Doctor Who on Britbox may have something to do with this).

From a gaming perspective Daleks are pretty easy to come by nowadays due to the release of Warlord Games Into the Time Vortex range of miniatures and supporting Exterminate boxed game a few years ago. I’ve recently written about painting up some of these models.

Warlord Games Davros (metal), Special Weapons Dalek (metal), Dalek (plastic)

More recently I’ve also been painting up some of the redesigned ‘new paradigm’ Daleks. This radical new design of Dalek is now believe it or not ten years old, and while the TV series went back to the classic design quite quickly I managed to buy up quite a lot of the cheap plastic models that were given away on the front of magazines at the time. Just coincidentally these are also the perfect scale for 28mm gaming.

The one thing I have been really missing is a proper old school classic design of Dalek for the tabletop. Here’s where the wonderful world of 3D printing comes to the rescue. There are loads of designs for Daleks uploaded to Thingiverse of varying quality and accuracy, but I eventually settled on trying the files by Stryker123.

These look to be designed to be printed at a much larger scale than the 28mm tabletop standard. The design files are split into components, but there is also a completed (assembled) version in the files. By chance this defaults to a near perfect size for the tabletop (although in the end after some trial and error in printing I scaled them by 105%).

Printed on my resin printer (an AnyCubic Photon) these have come out well, albeit with some problems printing the sucker arms and gun sticks (that are just that bit too fine for the resolution I am printing at).

This particular batch were printed in clear resin, which made for quite a spectacle working on them in the summer sun!

In the end following further test prints I ended up printing the sucker arms and guns seperately and sticking them on to the ‘completed’ models on which the majority of these features had not come out. In fact the gun stick was so fine I just ended up using trimmed bits of scaffold to represent them in the end.

Based and ready for painting

Stryker123 has provided incredicbly accurate Dalek designs covering all the 1960s variants. While to the non-geek eye many of these look very similar I was delighted to see the effort that had been put in here.

I have concentrated mainly on the models from the very first Dalek story and also from the classic ‘Evil of the Daleks’. My painting has also followed these stories. However for the very first Daleks I went with the colour scheme that this model was given when appearing in more recent ‘Nu-Who’ story a few years back.

For my ‘original Skaro Daleks’ I went for the colour scheme shown here.

The models were given a black undercoat and this was followed by a complete coverage of silver. Both colours were car paints from spray cans obtained from the local Poundland.

I painted the ‘grills’ (between body and dome) in this case using Black Templar contrast paint from Citadel. This provided a nice deep shading will keeping the grills hightlighted in silver. Nodules and for the banding on the original Daleks without shoulder slats was acheived using a light blue. The nodules or domes on Dalek models are very definitely not one of my favourite things to paint!

A couple of the ‘Evil’ versions were painted with black domes to indicate that they were part of the Emperor Dalek’s guard. In addition to the standard silver models I undercoated a handful of others using Citadel Wraith Bone with the intention of painting these in red and gold liveries.

Not canon in terms of Dalek colouring, but a nice contrast to the silver hordes.

Finally I left one of the black undecoated models as it was in order to paint up a Dalek Supreme to command my new forces. These are all still work in progress.

I’m currently working on some profiles for the Daleks for 7TV and will cover them in a future article.

Ainsty Castings OOP resin scenery piece shown alongside a couple of troops.

Hero Forge versus Cobra

During the month of May, Hero Forge ran a discount on their website which I took advantage of to design up a few characters for my Action Force in 28mm scale project.

I’ve tended to concentrate so far on modelling and gaming with the original Action Force teams and the Red Shadows. However I do have a growing set of Cobra forces to add to the mix. (You can read more about Cobra and their relationship with the Red Shadows in my previous article.)

All of these figures were designed using the Hero Forge tools and then purchased as STL files and printed in resin on my AnyCubic Photon 3D printer.

First up we have the villainous Doctor Mindbender. Not a character I remember much about from my childhood. He was never part of the ‘Battle Action Force era’ Cobra team and to be honest I cannot remember him from the Marvel UK title or subsequent toy ranges either.

Doctor Mindbender

However, having been catching up with GI Joe in comics over the last few years I felt that his distinctive look would be a good fit with my tabletop forces.

Digital render
The printed and painted miniature

Next it is the iconic Baroness. I’ve previously painted up and used a miniature from Hasslefree to represent her, but wanted something a bit closer to the source material.

The Baroness

The Baroness was painted mainly with Citadel Contrast paints with the (very basic) Cobra logo freehanded.

Digital render
The printed and painted miniature

Finally (although not yet painted up) we have Copperhead, the Cobra Water Moccasin pilot.

Reichbusters troops, transport and E-100

Quite some time ago I 3D printed a couple of vehicles that I was intending for use in the games of 7TV I ran at Hammerhead.

These were rescaled from the original files that were downloaded from Thingiverse. Designed to be printed at 1/100 (15mm) scale I blew these up to 1/48. I wanted a couple of pieces of ‘terrain’ to add to my UFO/V2 rocket base board and so went for something suitably ‘Weird War’. So here we have an E-100 (one of the so called ‘paper panzers’) and a slightly more realistic (in that it actually existed) Opel Maultier.

In the end these were both surplus to requirements for the game (I’d got more than enough terrain in the end and hadn’t realised just how big the E-100 would end up being).

I got some nice smooth prints from my Creality CR-10S which made preparation and painting a joy. Both models were basecoated in Dunkelgelb spray (from Plastic Solder Company) over a black undercoat.

The airbrush was used to add the dark green camo patches and weathering was achieved using a sponging technique. Decals were appropriated from my stash (they were applied following the base coat / camo, but prior to the weathering).

Opel Maultier in 1/48 scale

I’ve also recently been making a dent on the big pile of plastic miniatures I need to paint for Reichbusters. At about 35mm (maybe even 40mm) scale these also fit in very well with the 1/48 vehicle prints.

As an aside I am a big fan of using 1/48 vehicles for my standard wargaming with 28mm figures. I find the usual 1/56 vehicles (such as the Bolt Action and Rubicon ranges) while albeit nice models, just a little small in comparison to based 28mm miniatures. The bonus here is that I could use these vehicles with slightly larger figures, such as the Reichbusters ones, without having to worry too much.

Having done a couple of test pieces I chose a squad of ‘standard’ German troopers from the game to tackle first. These are lovely one piece miniatures, the sculpting and ‘hardness’ is good for boardgame pieces so I can see them being used extensively outside the actual game for more wide ranging tabletop adventures.

The test model – I subsequently switched from a black to a white undercoat

One of the disadvantages of course with board game minis (especially when considering troop types) is a lack of variety in poses. To work around this a bit for this squad I varied the colour scheme slightly. While keeping the basic field grey fatigues (for which I used an excellent multi-shade set from Andrea Colour) I varied things like the trenchcoats and boots by using different colours. This was mostly achieved using Citadel contrast paints (black, grey and various browns).

I kept the bases simple this time, dropping the rust effect
Maultier with troops

Unlike the test models which I had undercoated black I worked up from a white undercoat here (as I knew I wanted to use contrast to save some time).

Three of the troops showing slight variations in paint scheme

Although these chaps did get a bit repetitive I really enjoyed painting them and as such I’ve picked a variety of different models from the game to paint up next. As the weather has been so good recently I have been doing a lot of undercoating outside and some of this lot have been done using my new favourite tool, Citadel Colour Wraith Bone spray.

Pulp Painting Update

In between everything else I am finishing off at the moment I got the chance to put the final touches to a few Pulp themed miniatures (some of which I have had on the painting desk for a long time).

First up a trio of ‘bad ‘uns’ from Warlord Games. A BUF section leader and two blackshirt goons. Ostensibly for the ‘Very British Civil War’ or ‘Operation Sealion’ settings, I’ll be using these guys in my games of 7TV Pulp. Always good to have a few fascists to give a damn good thrashing to.

Extensive use of contrast paints on these chaps.

Next, more evil! This time a tommy gun armed cultist from the CMON board game, Cthuhlu Death May Die. Just slightly bigger than 28mm this lady owes her allegience to Hastur and is from that same expansion set.

Combination of airbrush base coat of light green with a yellow wash.

Next up, another rotter! This time a Crooked Dice 7TV Pulp era gangster. The base for this no good scoundrel was aquired from a set of Batman Miniatures Game figures I have not yet done anything with.

I used flock and a Modelmates mould effect to cover the slotta base and add some character to the flagstone base.

This next guy could sit in any number of settings or factions. I have had this figure for years (it is in fact from some of the left over stock I had when I ran the shop). He’s a Kung Fu master from the Ral Partha Europe Pulp Adventure range.

With the advent of contrast paints, I’m not longer actively avoiding painting white

Finally for now, some space based adventure. Here is one of the macguffin markers from the recent 7TV Pulp Science Fiction Kickstarter. Wouldn’t look out of place inside an Imperial palace on a far off world.

Warp Lightening green contrast paint over a silver base coat, highlighted with a dry brush of silver.

It is joined by some ‘Alien Legionaries‘ in an alternative blue garb (as opposed to their movie inspiration red).

I love these minis, but have really struggled to paint them to my satisfaction. Switching from red to blue has strangely helped.

“Fire in that direction!”

SAS Force Attack Buggy

This started off as something else, an oft stated phrase that applies to most of my hobby projects. In this case I was looking for 3D models from the ‘so bad it’s good’ 1982 cinematic masterpiece Megaforce.

I’m going to be covering Megaforce in it’s own project at some point soon, but having purchased and printed some excellent versions of the buggies from the movie I once more got distracted.

The inspiration

So here we have some more additions to the 28mm scale Action Force motor pool. This time it’s SAS Force getting some new wheels.

The buggies in the Megaforce film had a nightime adaptive camoflage and this idea of a fast stealth single man attack vehicle kind of fits in with the SAS aesthetic.

Render of the 3D model purchased from CGTrader (original scale 1/24)

The 3D print files were scaled down from their original 1/24 scale to 1/48 (my chosen vehicle scale for 28mm gaming). After an unsuccessful test print on my FDM printer (too many tiny parts), I switched to the DLP resin printer and mangaged to get two done in a single print.

Painting was a simple black undercoat followed by a grey drybrush, concentrating on edge highlights.

Black undercoat applied with spray can

Details were picked out in yellow to match the colour scheme of the classic toy line. Weapons and windscreen were painted silver (with the later getting a blue wash). Reproduction stickers were from Vintage Star Wars Collectibles.

My plan from a gaming perspective is to use these in 7TV, with the vehicle rules from the 7TV Apocalypse box set.

So, what is next for SAS Force…..?

Red Shadows New Recruits

The ranks of the Red Shadows have recently expanded with the addition of three new recruits.

First up we have this great model from Crooked Dice Game Design Studio, ‘The Jack Booted Sadist’. Bearing a not disimilar look to a 90s Bond villian I decided to go full on Red Shadows with the uniform.

Painted primarily in contrast paints, I’m still trying to think of a suitable moniker for her. Red Fury perhaps?

Next we have a miniature I have painted quite recently in the past, but which once I’d completed I knew I would have to re-do as one of the Baron’s fanatics. This guy is from the Prince August Future Shocks line of vintage post-apocalyptic models. Getting on for 40 years old, these sculpts are lovely and benefit from being 32mm scale (which of course dating from the 80s means they match up well with modern 28s).

Again I used contrast paints for the block colours, but then highlighted up using more traditional methods. I’ve gone for an Asian skin tone here using Citadel Darkoath Flesh contrast over a white undercoat. I’m quite pleased with how it has turned out.

Finally we are onto a 3D print. This is the ‘Enemy Escape Armour’ (more familiar to GI Joe fans as the Cobra Snake Armour). A 3D print design by ‘Jabberwock’ on Thingiverse (based on the original toy), this was scaled to 45% and printed in resin on my Anycubic Photon.

Yet again Blood Angels Red contrast paint was used for block colours. The highlighting and stripes were based on consulation of the excellent Palitoy Collectors Guide published by Blood for the Baron.

Action Force SHADO Mobiles

I’ve recently been on a roll with the 3D printing and have got a setup I am really happy with now for both FDM and resin.

On the FDM side (using my Creality CR-10S) I have been concentrating on vehicles and scenery.  This has given me the opportunity to go back and visit models I previously tried to print with limited success.

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There were three in the bed…

One such example is the excellent SHADO mobile by AlPokemon that is available free to download on Thingiverse.  I had previously tried to print this before I had got my settings ‘fully dialed in’.  Armed with a new found (if not slightly tentative) confidence I loaded up the printer bed and set to work on not one, but three of these iconic vehicles.

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Fresh off the printer.  One standard, two with turret options.  Note the size of the recess for the turret, I’ll come back to that later.

At the same time I have been going back to my ‘Action Force and the Red Shadows in 28mm scale‘ project.  Having done something similar before (albeit with a commercial model kit) I decided it was time for the Action Force teams to buy up some of that surplus SHADO inventory and kit themselves out with some mobile support.

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Tracks are one piece but applied to individual pegs which were extremely fiddly to glue in place on the model (as opposed to my fingers)

I printed two variants this time, one the standard SHADO mobile, but the other with a ‘turret’ option.  The STL files contained options for a gun turret and a couple of different communiations arrays.  In order to provide some flexibility for gaming I decided to magnetise these turrets and their attachments.

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Turret recess

In the end I went with a tiny magnet and a 5p piece, which just perfectly fit the recess in the model.

It’s probably important to note at this point that I made no scaling changes to the file prior to printing, and the models I would say at a rough guess are approximately 1:48 scale (more than good enough for 29mm gaming).

Top tip if using coinage with magnets – check them first.  Apparently not all 5p coins are magnetic (who knew?).

Having previously tackled Space Force I decided that it was the turn of Z Force (infantry) and Q Force (naval) to add to their arsenals.

For the Z Force Mobile (which I envision as a HQ vehicle or forward observer) I went with the traditional green and black camo. The airbrush was used for this with Vallejo Russian Green as the base over a black undercoat.

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Z Force camo for that 80s cold war flavour!

Camo was black with grey highlights and details were picked out in red and yellow as a nod to the original toy line.

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Windows were base coated white prior to a coat of Citadel Contrast Space Wolves Grey

Decals and stickers were primarily reproduction Action Force toy stickers from Vintage Star Wars Collectibles.  However I also added some waterslide decals from my stash.  In both cases I applied a coat of Humbrol gloss varnish to the area prior to application.

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Designed for the original toy vehicles which were scaled to the 3.75″ action figures these were also perfect for wargaming scale.

For sticker application I did not wait for the varnish to dry; this enabled me to reposition these with relative ease.  Once dry I then re-applied gloss varnish as a top coat to seal both the stickers and decals.

Finally some highlights were picked out in yellow and red and some weathering was applied (more on which later).

The end result, ready to take on the Baron!

On to the Q Force variant.  Unlike the Z Force mobile I went for one of the turreted versions.  Many of the Q Force toys had a strong yellow, blue and red livery and I decided to try and, if not replicate, at least give a nod to this.

action-force---q-force---swordfish--loose--p-image-348121-grande
The original Q Force Swordfish toy provided some of the inspiration for the colour scheme as did the primarily yellow action figures.

Unlike the previous version, the majority of this model was painted from spray cans, rather than using the airbrush.  Undercoat for this one was Citadel Wraith Bone (which is a kind of off white) applied from a can.

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Taken outside this photo shows the Wraith Bone much more grey than it actually is ‘in the flesh’.  It is nearer to a cream colour.

Basecoat was a dark yellow using again a spray can, this time Averland Sunset.

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Highlights were achieved with a lighter yellow Humbrol spray.

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Interestingly this is a gloss paint, but I was trusting to the final coat of Dullcote to sort this out.

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Tools of the trade.

Highlights were picked out in blue, with an orange tint for the windscreens.  Next up was weathering, which as per usual I went unintentionally a little overboard with.  Chipping on both this and the previous model was achieved using a sponging technique.  A weathering spray (from Plastic Soldier) was further added for a really grimy look.

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On the assumption that the Q Force vehicle would spent a lot of time by the sea I also added in some streaking using a Modelmates rust effect.

For both models, tracks were simply painted dark grey, dry brushed with a ‘plate mail’ silver and then weathered down with Army Painter Dark Tone wash.

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Finished and ready to take the fight to the Red Shadows.

So you may have noticed from the photos that I printed three models and have only mentioned the two so far.  Well the final one isn’t going to the Action Force motor pool, it’s destined for another fighting force, a Megaforce if you will….

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