Saturday, 15 December 2018

Crooked Dice Games UFO Aliens 01

Of all the Gerry Anderson TV series produced in the 1960's and 1970's my favourite, by far, was UFO. Made in 1970, the series lasted for 26 episodes. The series' premise is that in 1980 (a date indicated in the opening credits), Earth is being visited by aliens from a dying planet, who are abducting humans and harvesting their organs for their own bodies. The alien incursions may also be a prelude to a possible full-scale invasion. The series' main cast of characters are the staff of a secret, high-technology international military agency called SHADO (an acronym for Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) established to defend Earth and humanity against the mysterious aliens and learn more about them, while at the same time keeping the threat of an alien invasion hidden from the public.
Crooked Dice games have recently released three of the UFO aliens, which I was most pleased to see. I like these a lot!
The three figures each come with a choice of two heads - bare-headed or helmeted. For this alien who is abducting a young female, I chose the bare-headed version. Note that his green skin is an effect of the life-sustaining fluid that fills his suit. A similar concept was used in James Cameron's film, The Abyss for the deep-sea divers, but that didn't have the green staining.
The other two aliens are wearing their helmets. Their rifles are ballistic weapons with scope-sight.
It has long been an ambition of mine to recreate UFO on the gaming table. I do hope that with the release of these aliens that CDG will release more figures from the show. They already have a figure for Commander Ed Straker, the commander in chief of SHADO. I want to see more SHADO personnel, the other named heroes, the SHADO troopers and most especially, the Moonbase personnel.
The alien carrying the female hostage costs £6.00 and the other two cost £4.00 each. Rather peculiarly, CDG offer a "deal" where you can buy all three for the price of £14.00, which is exactly the same price as buying each one individually. I don't see how that is a deal!
If you're interested in what the actual UFO from the series looks like, here's mine, along with a SHADO Interceptor, which operates from Moonbase. These 28mm scale die-cast models were produced by Product Enterprises and are exceedingly rare. They came together as a boxed set and I bought mine from a model shop in Newcastle that closed down quite a few years ago. There is a set currently available for sale on Amazon UK for the staggering amount of £325.00! I paid nowhere near that for my set. That said, they are incredibly detailed models made and painted to a very high standard.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Crooked Dice Spectrum Agents 02

I recently backed the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter by Crooked Dice Games and that got me looking back at their range of figures. So, I ordered a few figure sets to plug gaps in my current collection of their figures. One of those gaps was for their not-Captain Scarlet inspired figures, whom CDG call Time Lift Security. For me, however, I'm using them as Spectrum agents, the organisation created by Gerry Anderson for the 1960's TV series, Captain Scarlet.
At the far left is Lieutenant Lemon, a female agent. When I first ordered my Spectrum agents a few years ago, this particular figure was out of stock, and I've been meaning to buy her ever since. Lieutenant Lemon is a character created by me. She did not appear in the TV series and indeed, the only female agents in the series were the Angel pilots. Nevertheless, I'm pleased to finally have her, and I have no problem with including female agents in Spectrum.
Next to her, is Lieutenant Lime, another female agent. She is part of a set of three specialist agents and she is armed with a Netter, which obviously fires a net for capturing enemies. This is something that CDG have devised as it never appeared in the TV series, but I can see it being a useful weapon in Spectrum's arsenal. 
Second from the right is another specialist agent, Captain Brown. I do have a vague recollection of Captain Brown appearing in the TV series but he was not a regular character and he may have appeared only once. He is armed with a heavy assault gun. The weapon appears to be a beam weapon as opposed to a ballistic weapon, so perhaps it is a heavy electric gun as Spectrum's enemies, the Mysterons, are very vulnerable to electricity.
Finally is the third specialist, whom I have named Captain Turquoise. He is wearing a jet pack, which definitely did appear in the TV series, although Captain Turquoise did not - he's another of my own creations.
If you can remember my review of the first batch of Spectrum agents, well done! If not, or if if you just want a reminder, you can check it out here -
The specialist agent with jet pack costs £5.00 and the other two cost £4.00 each or you can buy all three for £12.00. The female agent with the pistol costs £4.00. Spectrum is green!

Friday, 7 December 2018

Mantic Games The Walking Dead Scenery Items 01

Even though the Zomtober and Zomvember challenges are over, I'm still painting stuff from The Walking Dead game by Mantic Games. Having painted all of the wave 1 figures I next turned my attention to the scenery items that are supplied with the boxed starter set. In it you get 3D models of barricades, objective pieces and vehicles to replace the card counters that also come in the set. I have painted all of the barricades and objective tokens and I'll be showing them here. I've yet to start painting the four vehicles but they are high up on my "to do" list.
You get six barricades with two of each design. The front of the barricades are shown to the left of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, whom I have included for scale purposes. This barricade is made up of  a wooden wall supported by five wooden crates.
The next barricade is made up of four sheets of metal panels resting against piles of breeze bricks and tyres.
The third type of barricade is made of two metal fences resting against wooden planks and a couple of traffic cones.
This photo above shows the various objective items. There are five basic designs of which you get two of each of them - wooden crates, metal cans, suitcases and backpacks. In addition, is one special objective - the bag of guns that Rick grabs from his old police station. This is used in a couple of scenarios as the main objective that must be found.
Although designed specifically for The Walking Dead, they are all generic enough to be used in any contemporary or near future games. They are very useful items and far better than the card counters they are meant to replace.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Battle Systems Red Rocket Garage Set

A couple of months ago in my Monthly Musings I mentioned that I had bought the Red Rocket Garage set from Modiphius for their Fallout game. Although sold by Modiphius Entertainment, the set was actually designed by Battle Systems, one of my favourite producers of 3D card scenery. It did not take me long to make the building and other items from this set and to paint the edges of them to give the set a more realistic look. I've been waiting a while to showcase this set and so here it is.
The set consists of the Red Rocket Garage, 2 petrol pumps, 2 power loaders, 2 crates, 1 sign, 1 short corrugated iron wall, 3 pieces of scatter debris and a 3' square neoprene gaming mat. For me, and many others, the best thing about the set is the gaming mat. It is compatible with Battle Systems' Wasteland terrain mats and is usable for so many games. I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of it in various post-apocalypse and sci-fi games.
The garage itself and most of the other items are made of thick card. The actual Red Rocket and the two petrol pumps are made out of resin and come unpainted. I have glued the rocket and its support struts in place. The walls of the garage have been glued to the floor.
 This set fits in perfectly with my background picture boards.
This being designed for a post-apocalyptic game, everything looks dirty and abandoned. Note how the Red Rocket sign is hanging askew - a clever touch.
 As with all Battle Systems sets, the texturing is just amazing and very highly detailed.
This photo above shows the front of the garage with the forecourt canopy removed. Here, you can see the two petrol pumps much more clearly. To the right, you can see one of the two power loaders, which my brother, who has played the Fallout games, tells me are used for carrying suits of powered armour. Suffice to say, he was able to tell me a lot about the garage. I should just mention that I do not play computer games at all, so my knowledge of them is very limited.
The canopy and the roof of the garage are both detachable. The interior of the garage consists of an L-shaped room and a square workshop. It does not include any furniture. Presumably, they were looted. Various posters adorn the interior walls.
I think this is a great set, even though I am not a Fallout fan. I won't be playing the computer game or the miniatures game. When I bought this set a couple of months ago it cost me £60.00. Checking in on the Modiphius webstore today, I see that they have increased its price to £75.00 and it is currently out of stock. I'm mighty glad I bought my copy when I did.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Vampifans Views 113 - Monthly Musings 83

Greetings, one and all, to another of my Monthly Musings. As usual, I'm starting with another Sanjulian painting of Vampirella, whose work I have been featuring all year. This is a beautiful piece of artwork that I am most impressed with.

November has been a very good month for me. In my past few posts, I have been reviewing the Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats game. The game is very good and I plan on playing many more games of it. Having bought the two Crew expansions sets, they will improve it immeasurably. Extra Crew and new Jobs greatly add to the re-playability of the game, which is no bad thing.

I have finished my Zomtober and Zomvember challenges for this year. Concentrating on making a start on my collection of The Walking Dead figures certainly revived my enthusiasm for the game. The biggest problem I have with these monthly painting challenges is that they are only meant to last one month and then a new one comes along. For me, as soon as Zomtober ended I wanted to carry on painting more of my The Walking Dead figures, which is what I did. Having completed all of the wave 1 figures, I have now turned my attention to the scenery items. I'm working on the 3D barricades and supplies. I have ordered a few scenery sets from Mantic Games for the game as well as the Here's Negan spin-off game. One of the scenery items I ordered was Hershel's barn, which will fit in very well in Wild West games as well as contemporary games.

Currently on my painting table are a mix of sci-fi figures. I'm painting figures from Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet and UFO TV series (both produced by Crooked Dice Games) as I decided it was long overdue that I plug a few holes in my collections of them. In addition, I am also painting the newest figures from the Strontium Dogs skirmish game by Warlord Games. I have also been painting more 3D scenery items that my brother has printed out for me to use in a variety of games.

For my WOIN games, I have rebased and repainted some more of my old sci-fi figures to use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. I have also made a start on creating characters from the Judge Dredd and Worlds of 2000 AD book. As you may well be aware, I have a huge collection of Judge Dredd themed figures, so I have loads to create character stats for. Fortunately, character creation is something I very much enjoy doing so it is no great hardship - it's just very time-consuming.
Thanks for reading and all the best to you.