Elucidian Starstriders Kill Team

Most of my current gaming (that isn’t 7TV) is Kill Team, the skirmish level Warhammer 40k ruleset from Games Workshop.

I recently bought the Elucidian Starstriders, a Kill Team based around a Rogue Trader and her retinue of followers. Previously released for the first edition of the game, this was recently re-released for the latest version along with rules support in the 2022 annual rules supplement.

This team is quite diverse in terms of it’s models, however I wanted to choose a single colour to try and tie them in as a squad. Wanting to do something different to the box art / studio colour scheme I decided to go with an emerald/jade green as this theme.

So here are my Elucidian Starstriders who I’m looking forward to bringing to the table for my next game.

Elucia Vhane (Rogue Trader) and Canid (good boy)
Rejuvenat Adept
Death Cult Executioner
Lectro-Maester
Voidmaster and Voidsman
Voidsmen

Random Red Shadows

I have been neglecting the blog for a while, so in an effort to get back into gear and start posting more regularly again, what better thing to revist than my neverending Action Force Red Shadows project.

I was delighted to find some 3D sculpts based on Baron Ironblood and the boys available on the Patreon of Random Miniatures. The offerings on here are as the title says very Random, but there have been a number of ‘G.I. Bro’ (sic) releases over the last year or so. Then out of the blue a few months ago came some wonderful old school Action Force Enemy inspired sculpts for download and printing.

So here are some of the Baron’s mechanical legion, namely Red Jackal and a pair of Mutons. These printed really nicely and were painted up from a Wraith Bone primer undercoat using primarily Citadel Contrast paints. I’ve tried to stick to simple colour schemes following the original toys.

I’ve got a few more to complete including the Baron, the Black Major, some Krakens and Skeletrons, Red Laser and of course the Red Shadow legions themselves.

More to follow soon…

Stationery Wars – PEN TOP Bots for 7TV

I’ve recently been printing and painting the excellent ‘Pen Top Droids’ from BMT3D. These are a lovely set of sculpts that evoke a variety of aesthetics, from steampunk and dieselpunk to pulp and sci-fi.

To me however they scream spy-fi and therefore would be ideal for a 7TV cast. Before I go into the background I have come up with for these automatons a note about how I painted them.

The squad – printed and ready for painting

Following printing and curing I based them on hex slotta bases (because for some reason I cannot adequetly explain I am really into hex bases at the moment). I then proceeded to undercoat them with a spray can of silver paint. My usual source of cheap silver paint from Poundland seems to have dried up (not literally, they just haven’t had any in stock for a while). So I went slightly up market and bought from my local branch of Boyes a can of Rustoleum Metallic Silver.

Rustloleum Metallic Silver

Wanting to paint the squad of ten miniatures quickly I dispensed with a usual grey or white undercoat and went straight on with this silver. It went on really well but is much more highly pigmented with metallic than normal miniature paints. Conclusion – very ‘sparkly’ and ideal therefore as a base for contrast paints.

WIP – heads / domes painted – showing how the silver shines through.

At this point I have to switch back to the lore and background that I have created for these robots. Being based on the design of a pen top I decided to colour code their heads based on the typical colours you would get in a set of writing pens or biros. My original idea was to have my troops with blue tops (as the common rank and file), but the blue Ultramarines contrast paint is quite thick and the silver didn’t sparkle through as much as I would have liked. Also wanting to avoid black for the same reason I eventually went with the following colour coding.

  • Unit leader – Blue
  • Section leaders – Red
  • Troops – Green
  • Specialists – Yellow
Green top troopers
Blue unit leader

The rest of the bodies were given a wash, first with black and then sepia to give them a slightly worn appearence. The small piece of tubing on the guns was painted grey and one of the Citadel ‘gem effect’ paints was used for the red power indicator. The gun barrel was painted bronze. A nice touch on the sculpts were some ammo pouches on the back of the models and these were painted a light canvas brown. These were all then also washed as per the main body.

Yellow specialist

To keep the domes ‘sparkly’ I dispensed with the matt varnish phase for once and finished up the bases with some texture paint, a simple drybrush and some tufts. The edges of the bases were finished with grey.

Red section leaders

So once the miniatures were painted I turned my attention to getting them organised and usable in games of 7TV. Using the rules for customising profiles and the excellent casting agency app I have pulled together so far a profile for my unit leader and troops.

These are based on the Minion Commander and Minion profiles from the 7TV 2nd Edition (aka Spy-Fi) core set, which can be both purchased as a boxed set and is available also as a free download from Crooked Dice. There have been some minor tweaks based on the cutomisation guidelines and these are outlined below:

  • Addition of the ‘Robot’ special effect to both profiles
  • Replacing melee attacks in both cases with Shield Bash (renamed to Body Bash – I can imagine these guys using their shape just to push assailants away)
  • Removal of all ranged attacks bar SMG (which is what I feel matches most closely the miniatures as sculpted)
  • All of which has resulted in slightly higher ratings costs for each compared to the base profiles
PEN TOP Bot Leader profile for 7TV 2nd Edition (created in the 7TV Casting Agency app)
PEN TOP Bot profile for 7TV 2nd Edition (created in the 7TV Casting Agency app)

What about the background then? Well I am imagining a series called ‘Stationery Wars’ where the evil genius and crackpot scientist ‘Doctor Ryman’ has unleashed his robotic creations on the world. Created deep within the bowels of the secretive B.I.C (Binary Input Conglomerate) organisation the hordes of P.E.N.T.O.P (Positronic Enhanced Neural Tactical Operational Prototype) bots are ready. Their aim? Nothing less than world domination and the implementation of a new world order based on Rymans twisted science.

Who can stop them? Rumour has it that an initial prototype was smuggled out of the B.I.C labs many years ago by a disgruntled employee alarmed and disgusted by the direction in which the research was going. Wanting to adapt robotics for good and the service of mankind, maybe the S.T.A.P.L.E.R (Super Tactical Armed Prototype Laser Enhanced Robot) programme is our only hope.

STAPLER – coming soon

A quick postscript – Mike at BMT3D does some lovely 3D designs. You can find some of these on Thingiverse, but his full range is available via his Patreon. If you haven’t got a 3D printer and would like to buy printed copies of these and his other minis I have a license to do so and they are available through either my Etsy store or online at Tangent Miniatures.

Journeys in Middle-Earth (or preparing for 7TV Fantasy)

A couple of years back my long standing gaming buddies bought me a copy of the Lord of the Rings Journeys In Middle-Earth by Fantasy Flight Games for my birthday. I have since been (very occasionally) working through painting the miniatures in this app-driven board game. My aim was always to have a fully painted set of miniatures before giving the game a go, however the pandemic has rather extended that timescale.

Journeys in Middle-Earth.

So I have not actually dived into the rules much, but as you have probably guessed the minis caught my attention. The nature of the games publisher’s licence agreement means that rather being based on the movie likenesses the miniatures are based on original art. This gives them in my opinion a more generic feel and opens up more possibilities outside the boxed game.

With 7TV Fantasy coming soon, I decided to look at painting up some of the character miniatures for use in a ‘high fantasy’ setting. Most of the following figures were painted with a mix of tranditional acrylics alongside contrast paints.

First up we have the main Hobbit himeself – Bilbo Baggins. I decided to add a splash of colour here giving him a deep red waistcoat, but to tie together with the rest of the band I went for a green cloak (see the other pictures below).

Bilbo – where it all began!

Next, the King returns, it is Aragorn in his ‘Strider’ guise. Again I have concentrated on greens here to tie him in with the other characters. I’ve gone for a darker more weathered skin colour to reflect his time out in the wilderness as a ranger.

Strider.

I’ve gone for more earthy and warm tones for Gimli. A lot of use of my favourite contrast paint, Snakebite Leather, for the armour.

Gimli.

Again I have tied the group togehter using green for the cloak.

Next up is Legolas…

Legolas.

And finally we have a new character introduced for the game, Beravor, a Dunedain ranger.

Beravor.

I appear to have missed out one character from the core game that I need to find out and finish, Elena the Elven bard.

The miniatures are all approximately in the standard 28 to 32mm scale and are going to mix well with other models which bodes well for using them in 7TV Fantasy. As one piece miniatures they were easy to prepare and paint (all the minis above were undercoated in white). There was very little clean up required and for board game miniatures very few cases of ‘bendy sword syndrome’.

I’m looking forward to painting up the rest of the miniatures from the box and who knows (7TV Fantasy aside) I might even get to field them in a game of Journeys in Middle Earth at some point in the future.

Red Shadows Specialist Troops and more Mutons

More minions for the evil Baron Ironblood! The Red Shadows were an iconic bad guy for me, almost up there with Star Wars Imperial Stormtroopers (and about as accurate in their shooting).

The foot troops of the Baron. Original Red Shadows 3.75 inch scale action figures

One thing they didn’t have however was much variation. While Action Force has specialist teams for undersea (Q Force) and off planet (Space Force), the Baron could not really match this in terms of his rank and file troops, at least as the toys were concerned. As an aside, the Battle Action Force comic occasionally showed some interesting variations on the standard enemy troops such as frogmen and astronauts, but actual action figures were sadly lacking.

Although variations of Red Shadows troops such as these Frogmen made an appearence in the comics, they were never realised in the toy range.

So while I continue my quest to model and game Action Force and the Red Shadows in 28mm scale I’ve set about trying to redress this balance.

First up we have some ‘hostile environment’ or maybe special forces troopers. These are the rather excellent Wargames Atlantic Raumjager miniatures given a suitably red uniform. I imagine these guys would maybe be Ironblood’s special shock troops for fighting in hazardous or even alien environments.

To lead this squad I did a bit of kitbashing using a plastic body of a Bauhaus officer from the original Mutant Chronicles Warzone boxed game from the late 90s. I swapped the head out for one from my bits box that originated in the old Wargames Factory Greatcoat Troopers set.

Next up we have a Red Shadows space engineer. This miniature is from Gripping Beast and is itself inspired by the original Space Force Engineer figure. In my mind the Enemy wouldn’t be shy about stealing and repurposing Action Force technology and kit, and this guy represents that albeit with a suitably updated paint scheme.

Last but not least we have another variation on the Muton – the death robots of the Baron! These miniatures are ‘Harvesters’ and are a multi-part plastic kit found in one of the expansion from the Shadows of Brimstone board game. They have that ‘deep sea diver gone wrong’ look that really chimes with the aesthetic of the original action figure.

Now if I could only find a suitable miniature for this guy…

Original Kraken action figure

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

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…..?

Reich Busters Vril Panzer

I recently got a rather large box in the post all the way from France.  Inside, my Reichbusters Kickstarter pledge rewards.  I am a bit of a sucker for Weird War settings and games and from what I saw when the campaign was running, the game looked right up my street too.

However it was really the miniatures I was after.  I fully intend to play the game, but like many things in my collection the thought ‘I could always use this for 7TV‘ is never far from my mind.

Now, there are a LOT of figures here.  The scale is somewhat larger than standard 28mm and probably sits somewhere between 35 and 40mm.  Fine on there own in any game, but might look a little odd alongside other parts of my collection.  Where this isn’t really a problem is with the ones that immediately caught my attention when opening the boxes for the first time.  The ‘Vrill Panzers’ – basically big stompy (piloted) robots.

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Vrill Panzer top right (more on the big chap in a bit…..)

There are two of these in the set of boxes I received, they are (like all the miniatures) one piece casts in a very hard PVC style material.  Absolutely no sign of warping or bending weapon syndrome from what I have seen so far.  The Vrill Panzers are chunky, really nicely detailed and heavy; however they are by no means the biggest models in the set (more on that later).

So in terms of getting the Vrill Panzers painted up I thought I would go for a ‘late war’ dunkelgelb, by really weather it up.  With there being two in the set I could afford to experiment a bit on this first one.

First step was a wash in warm soapy water.  This is something I never used to do on any models, but now religiously do whether I am painting PVC, hard plastic, resin or metal.

Once dry I undercoated with a can of black primer and followed this with a base coat of dunkelgelb (from Plastic Soldier Company – again in a can).

2020-04-14 13.02.05

Once dry I applied decals.  There were none provided with the game, but I have a huge stash of World War II and Dust Tactics decal sheets that I have amassed over time, so I had plenty of choice.  My usual approach, which I used here, is to paint the area I am going to apply the waterslide decal to with gloss varnish first.  Once dry I applied the decal itself and again let it dry before another coat of gloss.  I placed a few markings strategically then moved on to the weathering.

The first stage was to stipple using an old bit of sponge both dark brown and then silver across the most worn areas of the model.  Next it was time to dirty it all up. My plan here was to paint on Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone.  I have had some success in the past with a fairly light coat of this brushed on to models.  It leaves them very shiny, but protected and I always apply matt varnish as the final step in these cases.

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Ready for Quickshade

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It’s all about to go wrong

The problem I hit here was my can of Quickshade was quite old and hadn’t been sealed properly the last time I used it.  As such I had to remove a thick skin from the surface of the shade within the tin before application to the model.  This is where the alarm bells should have run, however I proceeded to ‘slap in on’.  It was at this stage I noticed how thick and gloopy it was.  I stirred it up as usual but once applied it became obvius that something was wrong.  Rather than apply the subtle shading I was after, and rather than immediately receeding into the contours and crevises of the model it just sat there like some vile dark slime.

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Bit much?

Through excessive mopping up with a brush I was able to dave things to some degree, but the weathering has ended up being much, much heavier than I intended.  Once the matt varnish (Testors Dullcote) was applied things looked a lot better, although I had made some of the decals rather difficult to make out.

The final weathering stage was to add some rust (it seemed apt with how heavy beat up the mech now looked).  I drybrushed on some Citadel Dry Ryza Rust and in the end I think this turned out OK.

The base was in part basecoated in silver and then painted over with Citadel Basilicanum Grey (a contrast paint, this is my new favourite way of painting a gun metal effect).  All the bases in the game have a metal gantry / walkway look to them, so this fitted quite well especially when finished up with some more drybrushed rust.  The areas that looked more stone like were done in greys.

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The finished article

All in all I think I managed to rescue it.  Apart from the Quickshade incident it was an enjoyable model to paint.  As I have another one in reserve I might go with a different, cleaner, more fresh of the production line look.

In addition to the Vrill Panzer I also painted a couple of the ‘troop’ models from the game to test out some colours and techniques.

I’ve also started on the monstrous Projekt X mech.  Remember when I said the Vrill Panzers weren’t the biggest model, well this fella is truly gigantic (and actually quite difficult to lift).  He is still work in progress and I’ll cover this in another article.