Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Minifigs Ships: Work-in-Progress shots

A quick look at the Minifigs ships currently on the Workbench; some simple blocked colours, and not much in the way of detailing; I could say that this is to compliment the 'toy' style sculpting, but has more to do with the limitations of my painting skills!

They've been great fun to have a go at, and begin to ooze character and charm as they emerge from their metallic state and begin to take on an identity....

So far just generic colour schemes pertinent to the period 1906 onwards, with a view to having a range of appearances that will suit them flying the flags of many nations, depending on what takes my fancy!

The Transport ship you'll spot has been pressed into service as a Hospital ship, and the Torpedo Boat destroyers and submarines are quite plain at the moment - I think given the size of the minis, they would actually stand quite a lot of detailing, should one wish to go down that route, certainly the addition of masts as done by Steve over at the 'Castles of Tin' Blog really make them look smart - not sure if I will attempt this though - I'm a bit too ham fisted for such delicate work.

Favourite so far, I think, is the Lord Nelson Class Battleship - a really meaty looking fellow - haven't thought much about a basing scheme as yet - have to give these an ink wash and a varnish first, and then I'll probably rush headlong into expanding the Fleet!

I've also put some thought as to their employment as 'Imaginations' navies, so keep on the look-out for some posts detailing the background fluff.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

2mm News: New 2mm blocks are on their way!

News from Ian Kay and the gang at Irregular Miniatures that some new 2mm blocks are about to go into production has reached SteelonSand Towers.

I'd thought I'd give everyone a heads up, as although this has been a discussion point over at the 2mm Yahoo Group recently, not all of you small-scalers might be signed up as members there.

Ian has said that the new blocks will include an Infantry marching column four files wide and some 19mm deep, as well as a two file cavalry column of the same depth, there will also be a new Command unit that will be on an arrow shaped base.

Hopefully the new items will be appearing in the coming couple of weeks up on the website, and be available to purchase.

There has been a lot of discussion around the likelihood of producing some of the existing block codes without the normally integral flags, and I know that Irregular are likely to be looking at doing some separate flags as well; Ian has asked that if people are interested in 'flag-less' versions of existing 2mm H&R blocks, then could they drop him a mail at ian_kay@sky.com, in order that he can get an idea of the likely demand, and therefore look at the practicalities of mould production.

Without trying to steal anyone's thunder, Irregular are also thinking about putting some more modern urban buildings into production eventually too, so keep checking the News page at the Irregular website for forthcoming details:


In any event, it's great to see a manufacturer pushing forward with some new 2mm blocks, and I'm sure that the more people show an interest, and furthermore invest once they become available, then hopefully this is a trend we shall see continue into a teeny-tiny, but small and perfectly formed future!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Small Scale Sci-Fi: Drone Army Progress

In the current spirit of 'getting on with stuff', here's a few photos of an old project now almost complete; namely the Small Scale Sci-Fi Drone Army made up of the 3mm AFVs by Germy available from GZG.

In line with my previous efforts, they are mounted up on 50x40mm artist's card bases backed with magnetic sheeting - the general idea is to produce a number of army factions on roughly company-sized unit bases, that will then battle it out under the auspices of some Homebrew rules.

Bases will be divided into a number of classifications, from Super Heavy through Medium to Light via Scout, Attack, Aerospace and Infantry, etc, giving a quick play basic system of combat. In theory, bases will be identifiable by the number and placement of the miniatures thereon, as much as by their size or appearance.

The only exception so far, in typical fashion of course, is my version of the Germy Cyber Tank, which is intended here as an Ogre-type vehicle, in the guise of the Drone controller unit.
Then again, I haven't yet sorted out how Aerospace units - VTOL, ground attack, shuttles, drop-pods will be based yet either......

The base colour is provided by some Homebase sample-sized matt emulsion named "Delicious", to give a sort of Martian dust look; I have a vague and somewhat experimental notion of using a playing surface that is not flocked or even coloured - so the unit bases themselves will be the only colouring - each faction sort of taking their background along with them as it were - not sure how much play this will actually have though, in the long term....

Moving on to one of my favourite notions when handling Sci-Fi, namely the all-scale 'mash-up', where mixing and matching various minis can provide some interesting effects - let's see the Drone scout machines alongside some 6mm USNC Hardsuit Infantry from GZG:

I think that they would make some pretty good mini-warbot type machines to accompany 6mm troops, kind of like some of the robots currently under development:

Next, the Germy Cyber tank alongside a couple of items from Brigade Models in 6mm, the German Thrall Hover Truck and SAC Wildebeest Command APC:

Given the size of the Germy piece, it would certainly give most 6mm a run for it's money, if not an Ogre, then at least a pretty big mega-tank thingie:

My plan is to go back and flesh out some of the other factions for this project, namely the Alien Telosians and Krevlak, the Humanoid Mid-Tech Rimworlders and Federation - looking in particular to add in further units and make-over the somewhat sparse bases, and then do a couple of other factions that have a movie theme, then work on the rules themselves - so hopefully more to come on all of this in the near future.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Minifigs Ship Repository

After too long away from both the activity of modelling and gaming, as well as the all-important wittering on about same in the pages of this Blog, I've blown the dust off the laptop and am making a small return with news of projects, both old and new, beginning with the arrival of some heavy-weight and historic larger scale warships.

I am sure a lot of you will have been following the saga of the Minifigs ships as it played out over at David Crook's Blog, 'A Wargaming Oddyssey', that finally resulted in the re-introduction of the range of early twentieth century pre- and dreadnought vessels to production:

A fascinating tale of detective work, co-operation with fellow enthusiasts, and blood sweat and tears that saw the Minifigs ships rise phoenix-like from relative obscurity and the pages of an occasional Ebay auction to full availability once more.

Like many others, I had followed this progress avidly, and whilst I had concentrated mainly on 1/3000th navies in the past, I couldn't really resist the charismatic lines of the Minifigs warships themselves, so evocative of both the era in which they were originally designed and produced and also of the early days of the Hobby itself; Fletcher Pratt et al crouching on the floor pushing their like around, and launching the popular phenomena of Naval Wargaming.

I had numerous discussions on the subject with David, and after he made the difficult decision that he would be unable to push the project of his collection of ships forward, as he wanted to concentrate on other scales, I was overwhelmed when in an incredible act of generosity, he gifted me the balance of the flotilla.

The story of the Minifigs line and its earlier incarnation, of course has been ably chronicled by the excellent work done by Steve Cady over at the 'Castles of Tin Blog', where, with a similar sense of commitment to these charming sculpts of yesteryear, he has not only shone a light on the original history of the ships, but also produced some amazing completed examples, definitely in the eye-candy class:

I will truly be standing on the shoulders of giants in taking over the baton of David's collection, and moving the painting and basing forward in whatever way I can.

So, I've been lucky enough to be handed the raw materials of a new project very much on a plate, and hopefully will be talking through it all as it progresses here at the Blog; thanks to David Crook, the hard work is done, and all I need to do is to throw some paint in their direction in order to get things moving.
My initial thoughts, given that the sculpts seem to have been based in a generic way around the ship inventory of the Royal Navy in the period of 1906 and thereafter, is to use them as the vessels for a pair of 'Imagi-Nations', namely the Empire of Bostro-Danubia and the Republic of Risorgimentia.

There is more on of all of this to come, and as the repository for David's collection, I hope that in the near future this Blog will see plenty of Minifigs ships in action!