Saturday 29 June 2019

Vampifans Views 120 - Monthly Musings 90

So here we are halfway through 2019 and I start with a painting of my favourite super-heroine, Vampirella. The artist of this portrait is Jim Silke and I'll be showcasing his work for the rest of this year. He has a very distinctive style that is instantly recognisable. His work has adorned the front covers of a few Vampirella comics.
As always, this has been another busy month for me hobby-wise. I am still painting the figures from Core Space by Battle Systems Ltd. and making good progress with them. On the gaming front, I am thoroughly enjoying playing the latest adventure of my The Ace of Spades Campaign, which you can read about on my WOIN blog. Doing the batreps for this project is very time consuming but just so much fun. The story is building up to quite a dramatic climax as the crew prepare to take on the vast criminal empire known as The Organisation. There will be blood spilled!

I thought I'd do something different and show you my list of painted figures and unpainted figures.
7TV2e. All of the figures I own for this alternative TV and films skirmish game have been painted.
A Touch of Evil. This board-game set at the start of the 19th century by Flying Frog plus its two expansion sets has all of its figures painted.
Castle Ravenloft. This AD&D board-game has had all of its figures painted.
Death Match. A sci-fi arena combat game. All of the figures I own for it are finished.
Firefly Adventures. The figures for this sci-fi board-game and its two expansion sets are all finished.
Nemesis. A superb sci-fi board-game with all of its figures painted very quickly.
Rumbleslam. A fantasy wrestling game with all of its figures and arena painted.
Secrets of the Third Reich. Although I only own a force of German infantry, they are all painted.
Strontium Dogs. All of the figures I own for this 2000 AD based game have been painted.
Zombicide Seasons 1 and 2. All of the figures from the original boxed set and first two expansion sets, Prison Outbreak and Toxic City Mall have been painted.

ABC Warriors. The figures by Wargames Foundry have been painted but those by Warlord Games remain unpainted.
Core Space. I am currently working on it and expect to have all of the figures painted in the next couple of months if not sooner.
Doctor Who - Exterminate! About 90% of the figures I own for this skirmish wargame are finished.
Dracula's America. A Weird Wild West skirmish game with about 60% of the figures finished.
Judge Dredd. Despite painting loads of figures by different companies for this franchise I still have some old boxed sets of figures from Warlord Games yet to paint - Brit City Judges, Sov Judges, Cultists, Muties and Sky Surfers. They probably make up less than 10% of my total collection.
Necromunda. All of the scenery and the two gangs (Eschers and Goliaths) that come with the starter boxed set plus the Ambots and some Forge World individuals are painted. I haven't started on my Cawdor, Delaque, Orlock or Van Saar gangers.
Resident Evil 2. Over 50% of the figures have been painted, enough to play most of the starter scenarios.
Rogue Trooper. My Wargames Foundry figures have been painted but none of my Warlord Games figures have been painted.
Rum and Bones. The heroes of two of the eight factions have been painted. Still loads left to paint.
Shadows of Brimstone. Another Weird Wild West game with loads and loads of expansion sets, most of which have been painted. I probably have 15% of my total collection left to paint.
Super Dungeon Explore. All of the figures for the 1st edition game have been painted. The figures for its expansion set, Forgotten King, remain unpainted.
The Walking Dead. All of the figures from wave 1 (the largest wave by far) have been painted. The figures from waves 2, 3 and 4 are unpainted.
Tombstone. A Wild West skirmish game by Black Scorpion. Over 60% of its figures have been painted.
Zombicide: Black Plague. All of the figures from the starter boxed set have been painted but most of its many expansion sets remain unpainted.
Zombicide: Season 3. I have only painted a few figures from its two big expansion sets, Angry Neighbours and Rue Morgue.

7TV2e: Apocalypse. No figures painted yet. However, this is a very recent purchase and I am keen to get started on them.
Last Night on Earth. The figures for this zombie game and its expansion sets by Flying Frog Productions remain unpainted.
Mars Attacks! No figures painted from the boxed set or its few expansion sets.
Massive Darkness. No figures painted from this boxed set or its numerous expansion sets.
Zombicide: Green Horde. No figures painted from this boxed set or its numerous expansion sets.

Make of this what you will. I'm glad my Hall of Fame outnumbers my Hall of Shame by two to one. Now that I live on my own I have a lot more time to devote to my hobby and I'm now getting a lot more painting done. With so many unpainted figures in my collection, this is a good thing. Some of my Work in Progress figure sets will get completed by the end of this year -  especially Core Space, Doctor Who: Exterminate! and Resident Evil 2. Others, like Rum and Bones, Super Dungeon Explore, Zombicide: Black Plague and Zombicide: Season 3 are unlikely to see much progress, if any. I'll keep chipping away at my other Work in Progress sets and make a start on my 7TV2e: Apocalypse set. I'm afraid I lack the motivation to do any work on the other four Hall of Shame sets. If you feel inclined, do let me know about your own Halls of Fame and Halls of Shame.

Monday 24 June 2019

Core Space - Civilians

In Core Space, civilians, human or otherwise will often get caught up in the action. They perform the day to day duties needed to keep things running and are not used to being invaded by Traders or Purge and can therefore act irrationally. Although lightly armed, they are not trained soldiers and are prone to panic.
Civilians will sometimes trade with characters, join a Trader crew or attack them without provocation. Civilians can join a crew and likewise, a trader can retire and become a civilian. However, civilians are not always what they seem, so be careful. Civilians may be Galactic spies or even disguised Purge Live Ones on reconnaissance duty!
The three civilians to the left of these two photos are part of the boxed core set, whilst the other two were Kickstarter add-ons.
At the far left is Butler, privileged, pompous and entitled, he demands the best. His empty swagger hides a deeply insecure man whose fortunes have teetered on the brink more times than he cares to admit.
Gan'eek is a skilled engineer and tech designer who works in the rough end of the galaxy. He prefers to be in the thick of the action rather than take the soft posting that his family had arranged. He is a member of the Ech Triune race, renowned scientists and engineers.
In the centre of this group is Kaori. Young, strong and fast, she grew up on the mean streets working as a "runner", a foot courier who could deliver to places traffic could only dream of. She is a self-styled cyberpunk using her credits to buy and upgrade the tech she needs to stay one jump ahead of the competition.
A downtrodden plumber by trade, Treva Jole has spent the last few years fixing the hot tubs of the rich and famous. He looks on in envy at his customers but also envies the Traders' exciting lives on the edge, something Treva can't bring himself to commit to.
Finally, is Ooma, a member of an obscure species who ambles through life with his malfunctioning translator, the eternal tourist even on his homeworld. However, his bumbling facade hides an extremely sharp and in some ways, devious mind.
I always say that you can never have too many civilians whatever genre they belong to and that is certainly true of sci-fi civilians. I have already used some of these in my The Ace of Spades Campaign on my WOIN blog and will certainly use them when I start my new Judge Dredd campaign.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Core Space - Crew of the Ion Hope

The two Trader crews that come with the starter boxed set of Core Space by Battle Systems Ltd. are the crew of the Black Maria (shown last post) and the crew of the Ion Hope, which I'm showcasing here.
First up is the Ion Hope's captain, Arianna Sabrine, a 32 year old human. A little cocky, Arianna appears to be ex-military with a confident air. She served in the inter-system navy of Calypso in the Frane System, before taking early retirement to marry a fellow crew-mate. Her and her husband, Wyot Sabrine, were successful Traders, their fearless and reckless nature helping them to not only own their own ship outright but to also buy the Ion Hope.
The good times were short lived when her husband died in an engine explosion after a confrontation with the Purge. Left as the sole owner of the Ion Hope, Arianna had little choice but to carry on as a Trader, a bit less reckless and the cocky attitude in part a front. She knows it could all be over in the blink so it's best to enjoy it now. Arianna tries to be a good person and has turned down ethically dubious missions that other Trader captains would jump at. She is a natural leader who others turn to in a crisis.

Next to her is Roykirk Inskipp, a human who is in his mid-fifties, an advanced age for a Trader. He knows how to survive and others would do well to stick by him. Softly spoken, he uses diplomacy when he can but also knows when to shoot a gun. Despite his age he has very quick reflexes and is able to gauge new situations accurately. He would make an excellent captain but prefers to be a lieutenant, despising the life or death decisions a captain has to make.
Originally an engineer by trade, he has adapted many times during his life and has a wide plethora of skills including technician and medic. He tries to avoid killing when he can and has been known to relinquish a valuable item if it means he doesn't have to shoot someone for it. he is close to his crew, especially Arianna who values his input.
Second from the right is Gak, a Quell alien of indeterminate age. Gak is Arianna's gun man, always close by. He is a very quick thinker with a dry sense of humour. He is a large biped with bisecting arms effectively allowing him to carry four weapons at a time. Although the Quell appear argumentative and rash, in reality they are introspective, each carrying the destruction of their homeworld close to their heart.
Gak refers to himself in the third person, as all Quell do. He also knows that his large size and gormless expression can cause humans to think he's dumb, but he is fine with that, he prefers to be underestimated. Gak keeps his cards close to his chest and rarely talks for the sake of it, he talks when he has reason to. He has formed a close bond with Arianna, a woman he respects, despite her being a member of a backward species.

Finally, is David Tirgarde, a 34 year old human. In many ways, Tirgarde is in it for himself. He is an incredibly skilled and intelligent crewman but has a cold blooded attitude to his fellow beings. He has a quick and cynical sense of humour, which is amusing to newcomers but chafes anyone who knows him.
His attitude makes him hard to like, the awareness that he would sell you out in a heartbeat ever present. Roykirk has tried to treat him as family but so far Tirgarde has proven resistant. Why Tirgarde is this way is unknown, as he rarely speaks of the past or the future, only ever the here and now. Tirgarde has a nest egg hidden away in an off-world account. He plans for an early retirement and sees work as just a means to get what he wants.

I like this crew more than the crew of the Black Maria, simply because Arianna has a lot in common with Kimberley Wells, the captain of The Ace of Spades from my ongoing N.E.W. campaign.

Monday 17 June 2019

Core Space - Crew of the Black Maria

I have finished painting my first batch of 32mm scale hard plastic figures for Battle Systems Ltd's, Core Space sci-fi skirmish game. Over the next few posts I'll be showcasing my painted figures for this excellent game, starting off with the crew of The Black Maria.
First in line is Jace Dolman, a 38 year old human. Captain Dolman had a short but distinguished career in the military of his homeworld Kalli in the Derfer System. He became sickened by the constant civil wars between the nations of his planet and their neighbours and decided to cut his career short. After buying himself out of military service he found himself broke and in the rough end of the galaxy.
Jace spent most of a decade bouncing between jobs but eventually found work. He used his skills to establish himself as the cool-headed pilot of The Black Maria, a heavily financed trader ship constantly teetering on mechanical failure and repossession. After four years his Captain died and he found himself reluctantly in charge, left with the responsibility and financial burden of the ship. Jace takes his responsibilities very seriously, the welfare of his crew always his main concern. He uses his military-honed wits to keep his crew alive and ahead of the competition.

Next up in Eli Renton, a 36 year old human who is a trained soldier with a sardonic attitude that didn't fit well with his superiors, eventually resulting in a dishonourable discharge. He believes that every soldier and every civilian is not an expendable asset and tries his hardest to keep everyone alive. He likes to have as much information as possible before making a decision but can make sharp judgements under pressure.
Renton always looks for ways to avoid conflict, reasoning that the best way to win a fight is to not be in one. He would like to be anything other than a soldier, but his skill-set always brings him back to the fringe worlds, risking his life for little gain. He dreams of settling down and having a family but he craves excitement, and the Trader life gives him what he needs.
Jay "Lars" Larsen is a 42 year old human and the ship's technician, an overworked, underpaid master of his trade. Over the years professional differences with his employers have seen Lars move from prestigious positions in the Galactic heartland to head spanner-monkey of a decaying ship in the fringes. This is a position he greatly prefers, as he holds absolute authority.
A bit querulous with a short fuse, Lars struggles to form close friendships and has little patience with those he considers less knowledgeable than him - everyone! Arrogant and surly, he is however, an excellent technician, able to fix the most dilapidated machine with the minimal of resources. Keeping the ship from falling apart is a full-time job, but Lars also doubles as the ship's medic, approaching each injury as an engineering problem. Unfortunately, a good bedside manner does not come with it.

Finally, is Lukas Beck, a 40 year old human, who is the ship's quartermaster, keeping the crew supplied with food, weapons and other essentials. He is a speculator of the galactic stock exchange and a trader in every way, looking for the very best deals and infuriating his crew by insisting on travelling from port to port and negotiating until he is satisfied. Trader life is often lean but none of the crew have missed a meal since Beck joined up, so he's doing something right.
Beck looks younger than his years which can be a hindrance during negotiations, but he has learned to let his inexperience do the talking. He prefers to stay out of trouble but fights ferociously when backed into a corner. He claims to want a normal job in a quiet sector but the glint in his eye says otherwise.

In Core Space there are currently six crews, each made up of four humans and/or alien species. I haven't mentioned how the crew are armed and armoured as that can change from mission to mission depending upon what they can find or trade. I can certainly envisage using all of the Core Space figures in my N.E.W. or Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD games, which is a nice bonus.

Thursday 13 June 2019

The Walking Dead Chris - Leader of the Hunters

Last month I bought a limited edition boxed set of Chris the Hunter for Mantic Games' The Walking Dead game. Normally only available at gaming conventions he was offered for general sale for a very short time. Mantic Games have offered limited edition figures for a short period in the past and for the most part I've ignored them. But this one really grabbed my attention so I placed an order for this set.
The set contains a hard plastic figure of Chris along with two resin cast supply tokens. The Hunters were a group of human survivors who practised cannibalism. They appeared in volume 11 Fear the Hunters (issues 61-66) of the comics.
In this volume, Rick and company continue their journey to Washington and begin to suspect they are being stalked by someone in the woods. They meet a pastor and join him at his church. Dale is kidnapped from the church during the night by a band of cannibals. Dale is reunited with his friends before he dies. Rick's group, enraged, hunt down the cannibals and torture them to death.
The figure of Chris is up to the usual high standards of this range. What really impressed me from this set were the two supply tokens - a grisly collection of body parts and butcher's tools along with a weapons and ammo cache. Both of these are excellent additions to the range. I admit I was very happy that I bought this set. It cost me £14.95, roughly £5 per figure. Note that this set is no longer available on the Mantic Games' webstore.

Monday 10 June 2019

MC1 Citizens 08

In this post I'm showcasing three 28mm scale male Mega City One citizens, all of whom were sculpted by me. I've used them in other sci-fi games, as they are generic enough to be used in more than one sci-fi setting.
 The citizen at the far left serves a number of useful purposes. Is he just an ordinary shopper? Or is he something more sinister - a terrorist, perhaps? Is he carrying a bomb in his bags? Is that a real beard and moustache? Why the dark glasses and wide brimmed hat?
In the centre is the only named character out of this trio. He is Jon Kupishii, an office worker. He is carrying a briefcase and a folded up overcoat. Because he is keeping his head lowered, he might have a shady secret. Or maybe it's just a wise precaution because in a city with so many adults being unemployed, those with a job are often resented.
Finally is an anonymous shopper. This fashionable young man has been shopping for groceries at Mosgrove and Thrung, a well known department store (think Marks and Spencers), noted for their green bags with the distinctive white M&T logo.
I still have few more citizen types to show you but they'll keep for another time.

Thursday 6 June 2019

MC1 Citizens 07

Here are another four female citizens from Mega City One. These four 28mm scale figures were sculpted by me many years ago. Two of them are named NPCs whilst the other two are yet to be named.
At the far left is Mercedes Night. Mercedes is a private investigator who specialises in tracking down missing persons. She is carrying a torch in her right hand. Note that she is unarmed as she does not have a permit allowing her to carry restricted weapons. Although she can carry legally sanctioned weapons, she prefers not to.
Next up is Joanna Lubley, a blocker whose hobby is shopping for clothes, shoes, handbags and perfumes. When Games Workshop brought out the first Judge Dredd RPG in the 1980's they included a couple of sheets of cardboard NPCs for you to cut out and use in your games. One of those NPCs was Joanna and I based my sculpt on the picture of her.
Second from the right is another blocker, a citizen who spends her entire life in one city block. She is not based on any character that I'm aware of - she's just the product of my fertile imagination. In case you're wondering, those question marks on her jacket were drawn on her with a fine nibbed Rotring pen.
Finally, this brunette citizen was originally designed to be used in Cyberpunk games like Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun, but of course she fits in just as well in Mega City One where I'll use her as a standard Citizen.

Monday 3 June 2019

MC1 Citizens 06

In this post and the next one I'm going to take a look at some of my female sci-fi citizens to use as inhabitants of Mega City One. Rather unusually, all five have been given names by me.
At the far left is Maria Mercurial, the star of an old Shadowrun scenario. The figure was produced by Ral Partha and she has cybernetic arms and legs. The sculpting on her is exquisite and perfectly proportioned. In MC1 she would be a Star, a notable singer with a big following of fans.
Next in line is Tina Merrill, who is either a Blocker or a Citizen. She is a very old figure produced by Citadel Miniatures as part of their Spacefarers range which were created long before Warhammer 40,000 came into being.
In the centre of the group is Takazumi Tomokumi a 1/48th scale model who came with a plastic Manga hover vehicle. I forget who exactly produced her and the vehicle but it was a Japanese firm. Given that she is a driver I've decided to make her a professional Driver. She will undoubtedly be one of the racers in the Superslab Slam scenario that appears in the Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD rulebook (see p.203 -207).
Fourth in line in Zoe Heriot whom fans of Doctor Who may recognise as one of the companions of the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). Her figures is produced by Black Tree Designs. I'll be using her as an Employee - a Personal Assistant to a corporate manager.
Last up is Kisten Galdot, a Blocker or Citizen. She was produced by West End Games as a rebel operative for their Star Wars range.