Since August I have been watching the progress of Eli Arndt’s tiny Fleet Scale Mecha designs and I am pleased to be able to say that Eli giving me the chance to get them into production has turned out brilliantly. This month will see them released in their own part of the 15mm.co.uk website along with a special Barking Irons Online article for them all about their presence in USEME and how to make best use of them overall in gaming.
FS01 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour
FS06 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour
These are some of the smallest wargaming pieces I have ever dealt with and on average each of them is 6mm or less in size. That said some clever mold making and production sees them in white metal which was then painted by Eve Hallow. They will be released as single miniatures and as value sprues which are a little cheaper. There are nine different, and they are different, mecha and from the paint schemes I asked Eli for Eve has done a super job (I heard him gibber when he handed them over that never again…too small!).
O.G.Joel has a draft of a 6mm rules set for USEME and these will fit in lovely.
Well done Eli!
- Slaughterloo Box Set OOP
I had been watching the shelf for near a year but it finally happened last week…Alternative Armies sold its last stock copy of Slaughterloo; that being the boxed set of three books and card sheets released in 2006. A while back at a company meeting it was agreed that when the day came we would remove the game from sale for a month and then bring about a new version. This was going to be a new edition but progress has been halting and there is no rush as the existing mechanics of the game are excellent and vastly more than the old first edition. I can almost hear you all now reading this and saying ‘what no more Slaughterloo..you devil..why? We love that big battle wargame’.
Fear not! Slaughterloo will continue. In fact it will do so at Christmas of this year for at this very moment I am working on ‘S2 Redux’. That is a new run of the game. Same mechanics, same rules, same content but in a different format to the box set. Coded 5030 Slaughterloo will become a single thick book along the same lines as Flintloque 3rd edition became in 2009. Bigger than any one Flintloque book this one will contain all three of the box set books with updates in the army stats tables to account for the passage of time. All of the cards, tokens and so on to play the game will be in the book for photocopy and personal print…but also on the Alternative Armies website as free digital downloads. Excellent value and all in one place. Sneak peek below of the new cover with brand new artwork by Edward Jackson and logo by Sam Croes.
The draft new cover!
More on this on Barking Irons Online nearer the time.
It has been a big, big year for 15mm science fiction miniatures on 15mm.co.uk and that means its been a big year for it for me too. I have commissioned and accepted more than fifteen packs for the HOF range (and accepted two dozen SHM miniatures too) and while most of these have now been released some are still to come. Of those still to come the next ones on the release schedule have been spoken of before on this blog the Rim Mercenaries. So it really is a mercenary dream realised.
HOF83 Rim Mercenaries Assault – rear view
HOF82 Rim Mercenaries Patrol – rear view
HOF82 Rim Mercenaries Patrol – front view
HOF83 Rim Mercenaries Assault – front view
These are coming out this Friday and were designed by Elton Waters. I plan an article on Barking Irons Online about them and the theory of the expansion and a little discussion about WHY more Rim Mercenaries and how it ties into the USEME series and O.G.Joel.
Uncle Rogipoos and Jose survey their new premises!
A few weeks ago Tony Harwood asked me to do him a little favour. What is it you ask! To send on a gift to Roger Willcox, or as he is better known to the Notables Yahoo Group ‘Uncle Rogipoos’. I was delighted to do this for Roger as he is a very entertaining and stand up fellow who often makes me laugh with his crazy tales of adventure on the group. Also to help out Tony who is a very talented modeller and fan of Flintloque. Above you can see the item which was the gift. The coop of the Were-Chickens of Beesdone. I could not resist having a look and taking some pictures. This image shows the coop along with Uncle Rogipoos and his pet Armadillo Jose, two miniatures from the VLE10 set based on Roger’s characters.
I can say that Roger got the gift in perfect time for Halloween as Tony asked me. He did open it a day early and I accept the blame for this as a recent bad head cold made me forget to email Roger and tell him not to open it to the 31st! But hey ho. I know Tony is planning a book on his wonderful terrain, perhaps the coop will feature in it.
Carrying on from the first part of this posting about the 777th Croaked Line for Flintloque and Alternative Armies I present to you all the end result of the molding process. White Metal miniatures!
Below you can see all of the poses in this brand new regiment both front and back views.
Vampyre Officer, Skeletal Liche, Skeletal Standard Bearer, Zombie ‘squeeze box’ player
Rear View of the above four
Zombie Chef, Decayed Zombie Private, Fresh Zombie Private, Skeletal Zombie Private
Rear View of the above four
Poor Dead Luigi!
Going from the top we can see all of the white metal loveliness. These are ‘tins’ that is master mold castings which are then used to make the production molds which will make all of the miniatures which will go out to Flintloque players all over the world. These are brilliant miniatures filled with character and inspiring a lot of adoration even at this point.
Being an Undead formation the unit code for these miniatures will be twenty eight figures strong which will be released alongside a pack of all the poses and a couple of blister codes for trooper boosters and extra dead Todoroni. So far reaction to my asking has been that the casualty should be in the core pack but not in the unit code. This might change. I know Todoroni players will want a pack of corpses for their mortal troops demise on table.
I am going to save naming these miniatures and character ideas until I see them painted up and complete which brings me onto the next part of this series of wee articles. Rob Alderman is busily painting up his own set of the 777th Croaked Line in a uniform of his choice…but…Eve Hallow is also painting up a set of the same with his own idea of the uniform. My plan? To bring you both versions! As this is a brand new Undead unit there is a lot of leeway with uniform choices and flesh tones. Rumour has it that Rob has gone for a variation on the Bella Lugosi Militia uniform and Eve has riffed on the historical uniform of ‘Kingdom of Naples’ line infantry. We will see what is what soon enough. I will be impartial and intend to studio photograph both sets…perhaps a vote on the Notables Yahoo Group to chose which uniform becomes the one for the official website page.
Until the flesh rots people….
Since I began this blog I have been asked to give an account of a new set of Flintloque miniatures from their deepest origins through concept to greens to white metal and release. This process often takes six months if not near a year in some cases so it is only now that a project has come along that I have been able to detail in such a manner. Interested? Well you should be for this is the stuff of miniature making magic!
Back when Flintloque 3rd Edition 5026 Death in the Snow was published in 2010 the realm of the Witchlands was greatly expanded and among those expansions were more troop types and unit profiles. In the months that followed the feedback from the new book was really good and one of the most talked about subjects was ‘Undead Todoroni’. After all had the Todoroni of Nepolise not come a long way since the late 1990′s, from a unit of militia to a whole army in their own right with cavalry, artillery and more? With that army in the Witchlands it stood to reason that there must be re-animated Zombie Toads! I had come to this conclusion on my own and as a result I squeezed in a mention of the ’777th Croaked Line’ in the army structure of the Dark Czar. This mention caught players attention and led me to a conversation with miniature designer and Toad Mad man Rob Alderman in May this year.
As you can see above we came to an agreement over what a potential set of 28mm white metal Undead Todoroni would look like. Rob’s sketches along with his own and my own input worked out a concept and then a design tender that would meet the needs of fan’s of the shambling dead. Over the course of a week we batted it back and forth, consulted mortal Todoroni uniforms and other Undead formations and agreed on a total of nine greens to be created. This took Rob about ten weeks among his other tasks as a designer and working man (he is a busy chap!) with a couple of checks of progress and some images to finalise creative direction. Once carefully package Rob sent the greens to me at Alternative Armies where they arrived in late August. You can see them below!
As you can see Rob followed the initial sketches and expanded on them too. My own input kept his sanity hat screwed on tight and we worked out that in doing a full (and with nine greens it is a full unit) set we would need to provide not only troopers but also the command and the always found Witchlands requirements of a Vampyre and a Liche. Since no Undead Todoroni exist in the Flintloque range they would also be ‘firsts’. Details discussed included the style of dress and demenour of a Todoroni Vampyre (slick and slightly camp as it turned out), if a Zombie Todoroni cannot sing like normal Todoroni then what is the unit musician doing (playing an accordian of course!), the standard bearers flag pole topper (a homage to Mad Queen Maria’s glove puppet Mr Froggy). As well as those we decided to vary the level of decay in the troopers (as in the rules of 5026) and to avoid bayonets as many gamers now prefer their muskets bare. Late on in the process we decided to drop the fourth trooper and replace it with a unique and new miniature for the Undead…a Zombie Todoroni Chef! Why..well humour of course, it is Flintloque’s goal. The last addition was a dead Todoroni. This figure has several purposes in that it could be a dead mortal Toad (battlefield marker) or a corpse ready for re-animation or such.
So that is it for the initial stages of this new set of miniatures. Any questions just post below or email me direct.
This is the first of several postings on the ’777th Croaked Line’ and in the next one I will be detailing the master molding stage and white metal ‘tins’ along with an account of each pose.
HOF80 Aquafid Infantry. Strange…but Good?
On Friday 15mm.co.uk released another code in to the expanding and well loved HOF (Hordes of the Future) 15mm Science Fiction line. Since I took over the design command of the range (back in the region of the mid thirties of the code listing) I have tried to base expansions mainly on wargamers requests and also by reaction to releases. Already emails have come in about HOF80 Aquafid Infantry ranging from ‘hurrah another new race‘ to ‘these are awful, why are you not making more Cultists or Retained Knights?‘. These emails always intrigue me so I wanted to do a little posting here on the blog to tell you all why.
Designed by Elton Waters these latest miniatures added to the range were in response to r requests for a ‘fish man type of infantry’ and as normal I took the top three off the list of requests every few months and had them created. I will not discuss the other two at this time but one was a Human pack for pulp and near future gaming and the other was a Human medical pack for primary use with HOF Fire Team and other systems. The name Aquafid combines a word for water and one for fighter for a title that confers the right meaning. So the system I used created the Aquafid like it did the Grey Aliens, Automatons, Cultists, Octopods, Triorbs and others. But why the response by email?
I think that is comes as a shock (sadly) to a lot of wargamers now that a company will create miniatures by request and not just make more and more soldiers with spiky bits and big guns. No civilians or support staff, only warriors. I believe that codes such as the Aquafid are vital to the soul of the whole wargaming hobby. We are a hobby of intense creativity and diversity and no where is this more clearly seen at the moment than in 15mm Science Fiction which is in the midst of a golden age of expansion. New Races and Oddities are central to maintaining this just as they were in the 1990′s and 1980′s for 28mm and 25mm Science Fiction. If makers only releases yet more human troops what would be the point? Eventually we would all just be fighting ‘Ultra Modern’ without the sci-fi element using miniatures so similar to each other they all came out of the same cookie cutter (does this sound familar to you at all?).
There is a very good reason I listen to customers…they know what they want as individuals and if you list their feedback by hundreds you see a pattern. Each time a new release is made in HOF (and in SHM for that matter) feedback comes in, orders come in and opinions are shared. Sometimes new races and oddities fall on their faces and go no further and in other cases they sell so well that they warrent expansion. Two good examples of this are the HOF Cultists and the HOF Octopods. Both began with one pack of infantry poses and now have three or four (with more to come!) each for a fuller force. Without the system I use neither of these would exist at all.
Will the Aquafid spawn a support pack, a command pack or others? Are they too strange? Only time will tell. But now you know my thoughts and perhaps now they are not as weird as they first appeared.
I welcome comments and feedback on miniature design ideas and I always will.
This week Alternative Armies will be making its late summer, early autumn releases. I have been working on these for a few days on and off to get them ready and they are a lovely little lot indeed. Several new Trolkin for use in Flintloque and in Slaughterloo along with the first female Elves in the whole range (aside from the Empress Morgana of course!) all of whom have been sculpted by the talented Rob Alderman.
Trolkin come from the frozen land of Copendaz and are the lesser cousins of the huge Trolka. While smaller these Trollish soldiers share many of the same characteristics including stony skin and bulbous worty features plus a habit of wearing clothes too small for them and are more than a match for an Orc in a fist fight. There is a great free booklet which I wrote that can be be downloaded from the company website (here is a link to get it from this posting) which gives the reader a mass of information on the Troll races plus great artwork by Edward Jackson. The new miniatures include Colonel Skande Stoyne whose character was set in a Notables Yahoo Group competition last month (see this previous posting) and a character from the Troll booklet the owner of the Marske Company, Towern Marske. Also a dead Trolkin in the uniform of the Lergo Line (a lot of wargamers like to put those who fall onto the wargames table). These releases are another stage closer to the agreement that Rob and I had on bringing the Trolls to a full divisional force which would include cavalry, artillery, infantry and command.
The last of the releases is the Elf Ladies. I have been looking forward to this pack for a while as I was the one who said ‘there is a real gap here, we need more woman!’ while playing Flintloque back in the spring. Three lovely miniatures, a young strumpet, a wife of middling means and a more mature woman. Really useful and top of my list for more Flintloque miniatures over on TTWG blog once I have the Elf Dragoons sorted out.
I have put images of the new miniatures in to this posting for you all to look at. Both painted and raw metal alloy. You will be able to find these white metal miniatures on Alternative Armies as of this Friday.
I have a Flintloque scenario for Barking Irons Online which features these new miniatures plus a full section of Dogmen Lancers and some Burrovians. It has been playtested and I plan to do a concept posting on TTWG blog once time allows.
Over the last month Eli Arndt, talented sculptor in the SHM Range, has been working on finishing his Fleet Scale Mecha. You can see these above in an image I linked to from his own blog. Normally I do not post about ‘greens’ or if you prefer miniatures which are not yet molded for white metal production but I am making an exception for these little fellows. Once Eli has completed the designs he will be mailing them to 15mm.co.uk for inclusion in its ’6mm scale’ range. While these are not actually 6mm scale their naval scaling for comparison to starships puts them roughly into that category; certainly in terms of producing them for sale.
Eli and I are good friends who speak regularly and he has turned down offers from other companies to get ahold of these sculpts in favour of working with me on them. Of course this makes me happy and it also pays me back for the faith I had in him when he was just starting out with his first Uhul designs a couple of years ago. Thank you Eli.
I will be posting more on these tiny mecha when the time comes and looking at game systems they can be used with.
I saw an interesting posting on the Dropship Horizon Blog a few days ago. At the time I was too busy with other things to do anything on it so I just bookmarked the page and moved on. But now, here I am back again. What is it about you ask? Well it is about a theory. Can you get the wargaming public to finance your new miniature designs and through that your new company without those wargamers seeing miniatures upfront or the promise of any end result?
There are a huge number of miniature wargame companies across the world and this is a great thing as it brings diversity and great choice to thousands of customers each day. Many of these companies I do not know the names of and a large number exist only for a few months or a year and then fold for one reason or another. But in the last couple of years the way of beginning a company has changed. While I will not go into the other ways of making the process easier with free e-commerce software, low cost hosting, print on demand books, electronic publishing and so on I do want to look at Indeigogo and Kickstarter for funding miniature design work by using this as an example.
You can see the posting here and read about it but the gist is as follows. A brand new (so new they do not have a website or any presence I would find beyond this and a few other blog postings) and shiny new company called ‘Grinning Skull Miniatures’ wish to release a range called the ‘Oggum’, 15mm scale white metal miniatures of science fiction war pigs. You can see a screen grab below.
Taken on 5th August 2012
The aim of the Grinning Skull is to raise 2000USD for their range of 15mm miniatures. They have given themselves until 4th September 2012 to raise the funds.
Will they do it? I shall check back near the end of the time allotted to find out and will post a second time on this topic then. But my gut feeling is no, they will not. Will I be incorrect?