04 November, 2013

The Ultra-Modern Armoury

So what has been going on here at 10x28mm? There haven't been any posts all summer and most of the fall! Yes. that is very true. Honestly it's a combination of lots of stuff and nothing to report. Here's how it breaks down:

No painting, modeling or gaming projects all summer _ nothing to really report. I'd intended to crank out those Future Wars guys but the time never materialized. I'm hoping to get to them as the days get colder and I spend more time inside. Hah! (If you knew me that would be a fantastic joke).

There have been some cool purchases at the toy stores and Hobby Off. Matter of fact I just picked up a mess of 1/50 scale Lamborghinis... Aventadors, Diablos, a Countach... a bunch... and all a wonderful gaming size. I've also continued to support the industry via Kickstarter... and some of the projects have actually begun to arrive... so there will be more there too.

The biggest thing has been recreating a rules program that was lost irretrievably. The weapon stats on this blog all were created with a program I've refined over 20 years to spit out stats after you enter the real world data. Sadly that program was lost last spring. HOWEVER... I have been able to replace it... perhaps even refine it... thanks to some partial notes cobbled together from dozens of documents and notebooks. I've got the program running along again, and have just started to really test it out. This of course has developed into a project of it's own... The Ultra-Modern Armoury. It's running about 30 weapon stats over a dozen entries so far... I'd like to make a new post each month, something I hope is more manageable. I may blitz it a bit now, hoping to make it useful as a gaming resource quickly; there needs to be a critical mass of varied weapon types for that.

Anyway... if I'm a bit rare here, that's where you'll find me.


16 September, 2013

Hobby Off AVP Finds

Today's finds at Hobby Off:
Aliens Action Fleet Narcissis Lifeboat ¥420 ($3.99)
Aliens Action Fleet M577 APC ¥630 ($5.99)
Predator Action Fleet Warrior Transport ¥1680 ($15.96)

All three are about 28mm scale (Narcissis can be used as a smaller craft than actual scale)... and are thus mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!

P.S. Look these bad boys up on Ebay.. they run about $200 and up. Ha ha! I love Hobby Off

20 June, 2013

Man-crush crushed.

Well the Mekton Zero Kickstarter has been disheartening.

I was really stoked when it started. Immediately backed at $265. Sat back and waited for the fun. And waited and waited. Very little action by way of comments from the creator and sparse updates. Yes, I was coming off some awesome Kickstarters by Mantic, Palladium/Ninja Division, and Secret Weapon. Active creators that responded to questions and suggestions, and kept us involved with a solid stream of updates, info, ideas, and such.

Mekton Zero was not like this. Stretch goals were slow to be published... usually a day or so after the previous goal was met. Info on the projects and even pics/images of what they would be were few or nonexistent in some respects. The reward structure system seemed wonky... you got less for your money the more you pledged. Odd that. Indeed at my initial pledge level I was basically paying more than I would have at retail for the honor of helping to fund the project of an established company. WTF right?

For my $250 pledge I was looking at receiving:
Overall Value
$10 "backer" level got me:
bumper sticker ($10)
+15 to "citizen" ($25) level got me:
t-shirt ($15)
PDF copy of the game ($?)
+$0 & free PDF
+$25 to "militia" ($50) level got me:
Hardcopy of the game ($35)
+$10 to "mekton pilot" ($60) level got me:
KS exclusive Bendari mecha mini ($20)
+$25 to "veteran" ($75) level got me:
24"x36" poster map ($?)
-$25 & free poster
+$25 to "lieutenant" ($100) level got me:
GM screen ($?)
-$25 & free GM screen
+$25 to "commander" ($125) level got me:
5 Mekton dice ($10)
+$25 to "battle tactician" ($150) level got me:
KS exclusive 12 page mission ($?)
-$25 & 12 page scenario
+$50 to "ace" ($200) level got me:
Mauler mini ($10)
Vector mini ($10)

+$50 to "double ace" ($250) level got me:
2 unit patches (2x $5)

All in all I would be spending and extra $140 in exchange for a 12 page scenario book, a GM screen, a poster, and a PDF copy of the game.

The GM screen was described as being similar to the Mekton Zeta Tactical Display, which includes a 32 page rule addendum and retails for $10. The PDF of the game can't cost more than the hardcopy. And the poster can't be much more than the step grade of $25.  Even with the stretch goals... which upped the Mauler and Vector minis to 5 each ($80 value) and a couple PDF campaigns... my overwhelming conclusion was that I'd be a chump to back at higher than Mekton Pilot level. Considering the clutter of useless stuff (patches, t-shirts, posters, and bumper stickers) there was little gaming meat, and honestly I could do better buying from my local brick-and-mortar store where I get a 20% discount.

I wasn't the only one to notice this. Several backers expressed dismay at not having anything pledge worthy at higher levels, the lack of a merchandise free option (book/GM screen/dice) and the lack of any real discount for supporting the Kickstarter. My agreement with this, went as such:

@Uxxx... I feel you there.
I too am choosing to forego the t-shirt and bumper sticker... that gives me $25. Enough to cover international shipping and fund a set of dice. Definitely want a hardcopy of the book which puts me at Militia level. I'd like a copy of the referee screen, but I have no interest in a paper oversize map that will fill up the table and wear at the folds as we take it out and put it away. Smaller scale map (hand drawn if need be) is more table friendly. So that means I could spend another $50 for something that most likely will be around $20 dollars retail... I'll get it retail. My only real choice is whether or not to sit with Militia or up to Mekton Pilot for the Bendari mech.
I'd originally planned to fund at about 5 times that price point... but after consideration... it just isn't worth it. Sadly. Very, very sadly.

The creator responded a few posts latter about how the GM screen would feature exclusive artwork and a few tables that would not be in the retail release.

To wit me again:

With all due respect, I understand the exclusive edition idea of the referee screen... and if it was an add on I'd jump at it (as it seems would others) but, the alternate artwork doesn't offset the cost for me. And... if the extra charts were more than fluff I'd imagine they wouldn't be denied to the Mekton world at large; what would be the sense of hamstringing the line in order to thank 300 or so backers on Kickstarter, by leaving out game-vital charts/rules?

And then I got a personal address from the man; basically he laid out that it wasn't about me. I could do what I want, buy what I choose, but he didn't want to hear the complaints.

Now keep in mind... I wasn't trying to be a dick, I wasn't trying to tell him he sucked... I was trying to give suggestions and advice that would, perhaps, better resonate with the Mekton fans, like me, who were ponying up the dough for him to relaunch his business. He does not have to take my advice... but I'm not alone in my criticism or disappointment among the backers. I'm a long-time customer, who continually directed other backers to the R Talsorian web shop throughout the Kickstarter's run. He doesn't even have to listen or do what I suggest... it's a SUGGESTION. From a fan... from somebody who's bought every single Mekton and Cyberpunk release thus far. EVERY ONE.

Well until now that is.

There are many better uses on Kickstarter of funds. Indeed I rechannelled the money I had set aside for Mekton to two other projects... got a personal message from the creator of one, thanking me for the support (awesome!), and a freaking assload of miniatures from the other. Better use.

Maybe I'll pick up Mekton Zero at my shop... but quite possibly I won't. We'll have to see how it stacks up with Savage Worlds and the new RPGs. You know, classless systems with advantages, that are quick to play and simple. Maybe Interlock and RTal can transition to the 21st Century, maybe the next Kickstarter will better utilize the social side of crowd sourcing... who knows.

31 May, 2013

LBX Mecha: 10 or 28mm?

Okay, the gaming man-crush post is coming... trying to find a decent picture of Mark Copplestone... But for now lets talk giant robots.

I've picked up a few Danbōru Senki (Cardboard War Story) models over the past few months; got this one, LBX Gunther Yzelphar, and threw it together yesterday. They go together quickly and are molded in various color plastic, could benefit from some deburring with an Xacto blade, but looks okay as is.
They run about 4.5" tall (114mm). I'm trying to decide if I should use them at 10mm scale or 28mm. From the pics you can see how it compares to a Copplestone Casting 28mm. The chest could be used as a cramped cockpit... somewhat along the lines of the Scopedogs from Armored Trooper Votoms. Not all of the models would work in this manner, the female form models (Minerva and Pandora) have rather small upper torsos. The alternative is to use them as 10mm (1:161) scale giant mecha. The data chip compartment under the chest armor could stand in for a cockpit access hatch in that scale.

I haven't decided... I suppose I'll probably try them out in both scales and maybe decide later. I game in both, Heavy Gear and CAV are 10mm games, while most everything else I do is 28mm.

These are rather nice little kits that run about ¥1000 (~$10), but can often be had for about 30% less. They are fairly poseable, equivalent to an 80's GI Joe figure, but for gaming they might be more durable glued/pinned to a static pose.

The hands are rather simple, so I've taken to swapping them out with Ganpura (Gundam plastic model) detailed hand kits to provide more variety and dynamic poses. Weapon kits are available for the LBX line, and 1/44 scale Ganpura weapons work nicely too. And the best part is that the LBX models use standard connectors allowing you to mix and match torsos, legs, heads, arms, and such. Good deal.

26 May, 2013

Another Kickstarter... But it's for Mike Pondsmith!

The blog here is turning into a Kickstarter notification network, however the latest is from Mike Pondsmith and R. Talsorian Games; So my support must be expressed.

Pondsmith, as you can tell from previous posts, is the force behind my favorite game, Cyberpunk 2020, as well as the excellent Mekton series. Mekton, while not as popular, is the backbone of the Interlock system. Simply put, without Mekton there would be no Cyberpunk.

Mike has gotten back to his roots lately. CD Projeckt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 has reinvigorated R. Talsorian. CP2020 is back in print, Mike is supposedly working on a pen-and-paper CP2077, and now we have Mekton Zero - featuring an updated core rules sysem: Resolution.

From what I can tell Resolution will be a blend of Interlock and Fuzion, producing a more modern playing RPG mechanic. It will also function as a wargame engine in addition to RPGs. I don't know about you, but an Interlok version of Savage Worlds sounds just about perfect for me.

Anyway, I'll post more about my gaming man-crushes, Mike Pondsmith and Mark Copplestone in the next update, for now take a look at the Kickstarter for Mekton Zero, drop a few bucks if you will, not only is Mekton worthy, but a successful project here brings CP2077 closer and closer...

21 May, 2013

What D&D Character Am I? (Or: Lawful Good? Really?!)

I Am A: Lawful Good Elf /Rogue (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:

Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Primary Class:
Monks are versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Good-aligned monks serve as protectors of the people, while evil monks make ideal spies and assassins. Though they don't cast spells, monks channel a subtle energy, called ki. This energy allows them to perform amazing feats, such as healing themselves, catching arrows in flight, and dodging blows with lightning speed. Their mundane and ki-based abilities grow with experience, granting them more power over themselves and their environment. Monks suffer unique penalties to their abilities if they wear armor, as doing so violates their rigid oath. A monk wearing armor loses their Wisdom and level based armor class bonuses, their movement speed, and their additional unarmed attacks per round.

Secondary Class:
Rogues have little in common with each other. While some - maybe even the majority - are stealthy thieves, many serve as scouts, spies, investigators, diplomats, and simple thugs. Rogues are versatile, adaptable, and skilled at getting what others don't want them to get. While not equal to a fighter in combat, a rogue knows how to hit where it hurts, and a sneak attack can dish out a lot of damage. Rogues also seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding danger. Experienced rogues develop nearly magical powers and skills as they master the arts of stealth, evasion, and sneak attacks. In addition, while not capable of casting spells on their own, a rogue can sometimes 'fake it' well enough to cast spells from scrolls, activate wands, and use just about any other magic item.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus

20 May, 2013

Last Day of the Robotech Tactics Kickstarter

Robotech® RPG Tactics� -- Kicktraq Mini

Robotech... ick.

Still, I love Macross... I'll just have to edit all of the cards back to the original non-Anglicized names.

Palladium is another name that I have difficulty expressing enthusiasm for, luckily they aren't particularly involved in this one, it's really Ninja Division (Soda Pop Miniatures) behind this.

So the trend is looking good. Lots of unit variety coming, lots of add ons. I've chosen to maximize variety for my money rather than number of units, though that is also entirely possible.

End of the year should bring lots of mini goodness in a box with a name I despise shipped from my least favorite games company.

Life, you bitch.

08 May, 2013

Hobgoblin Ruby Beer

No painting tonight. Wife and daughter have the flu, on my own this evening getting the boy to sleep and feeding myself after work.

That said - once I got everyone settled, I sat down with this much storied (by my Commonwealth coworkers at least) English beer: Wychwood Brewery's Hobgoblin Traditionally Crafted Legendary Ruby Beer. Looks like it should come with a Games Workshop mini.

Decanted into a beer glass, I'm rather surprised at how little carbonation there is... you can pour it sloppily and get a decent head, but if you pour off the glass side, it has almost none. Doesn't taste flat though... indeed for a 5.2% beer this is an exceptionally easy drinking red. I'm sure I'll regret latter how easy it is to drain half the glass at a time... when the alcohol hits the blood stream.

I must say I bought this because of the cool label and D&D-ish mystique. I'll buy it again because it's a damn fine beer - far superior to my previous favorite (albeit pedestrian) red, Killian's. Killian's is like a PBR compared to this.

Wow. That was one heavy box.

Okay. That was quick. The nice people at Volks wasted no time in getting me my order of Vallejo Game Color and pumice basing compound. I went all in and got, pretty much, the entire line. There were a few out of stock items, but by ordering two 16 color sets and then filling in the blanks, I was able to get most everything. I'm actually only missing the Gloss Varnish, Thinner, and Metallic Medium. I can deal with that.

Yesterday my order of Liquitex Acrylic Gesso (both black and white) arrived, joining the 14 Ceramcoat pots I picked up at a craft store in Kaga. Toss in my sable brushes and I really don't have an excuse to not be painting anymore.

Well I do have to go to work today, so hopefully next week we will have some painted stuff up. Fingers crossed.

07 May, 2013

Super Dimentional Fortress Macross

When I was a kid, I watched Robotech. It was one of the early anime influences on me. In junior high school, I rediscovered Robotech through a friend who had the Palladium game books. It was at this time that I discovered that Robotech was a bastard creation of the late Carl Macek, who took three unrelated series and slapped them together. As offensive as I found the concept of changing someone elses work, I came to love Super Dimentional Fortress Macross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA in their original form. Soon after that I discovered how incredibly awful Palladium's game system was, and the search for better modern rules lead me to Cyberpunk and Mekton.

So there is a silver lining to the incredible pile of crap that the Palladium Robotech game represents.

Macross gaming holds a special place for me, but has been stunted by very limited miniature availability. I have a couple of the lead Battletech knockoff Valkyries... but not enough to really do anything with. I've also picked up a several soft plastic Valkyries from Japanese vending machines over the years - but Zentran mecha have been notably absent - so again, little utility in gaming.

Imagine my suprise at finding something on Kickstarter. Imagine my mixed feelings at it having both the Palladium and Robotech names attatched.

I decided to back it anyway. The rules have nothing to do with Palladium's percentile system, and they seem to realize that by keeping the three eras of Robotech distinct, Macross fans like myself will show interest.

So at the end of the year it looks like I'll be getting a good number of (round about a dozen) Valkyries and tons of Regults and such. Gotta start thinking of squadron colors. The Macross Compedium has a breakdown of a Valkyrie group being:
Group        Squadron     Team         Tactical
Commander     Commander    Leader       Fighter
                                   --- VF-1A
                      --- VF-1J --|
                     |             --- VF-1A
         --- VF-1J --|     
        |            |             --- VF-1A
        |             --- VF-1J --|
        |                          --- VF-1A
VF-1S --|          
        |                          --- VF-1A
        |             --- VF-1J --|
        |            |             --- VF-1A
         --- VF-1J --|
                     |             --- VF-1A     
                      --- VF-1J --|
                                   --- VF-1A
S            J            J            A

I'll probably bastardize that down by removing the group commander level and upgrading the squadron commanders to S variants. Even with that I'm looking at fielding two squadrons, thus two paint schemes. I might do that, especially if the models can be clearly numbered. Otherwise I might make groups of four (S, J, and two As) in 3 or 4 different squadron schemes. Yeah, I actually like the sound of that better. One will be the tan scheme cannon fodder squadron, a Skull squadron (possibly of the movie scheme rather than the series), the Blue Impulse inspired scheme Max flew with... and something else yet to be determined.

03 May, 2013

Grenadier's Future Warriors 28mm: 19 Years On

Nearly 20 years ago (christ, it can't be that long ago), Grenadier released a line of cyberpunk/post apocalyptic miniatures under the Future Warriors name. The minis were sculpted by Mark Copplestone, who was known for having worked for GW. The sculpts (as all of Mark's work) were excellent, beautifully proportioned, clean, a filled a sorely underrepresented genre of miniatures: 28mm near future.

It didn't hurt that the troopers were dead ringers for Colonial Marines from Aliens (and were a damn sight better looking than the licensed minis from Leading Edge Games (which sucked frankly).

The line was commissioned to support the Future Warriors: Kill Zone rules published by Grenadier during those twilight years of the former miniature giant. Sadly Grenadier was already on borrowed time and these fantastic miniatures vanished when Grenadier folded in 1996.

Luckily in 1996 there was this expansion of something called "the internet" and within a few years this invention would reveal to me that the Grenadier minis were not lost to history. Both EM4 and Mirliton SG continue to produce the ex-Grenadier minis (under the names Future Skirmish and Cyber Wars respectively), with significant overlap but not complete duplication. Additionally Mark Copplestone re-sculpted most of the line and offers them on his site as the Future Wars line.

I buy from all three, and this morning I was greeted by a package from Ring-Tail, a hobby shop in Ōita Prefecture. A couple months back I discovered their mobile site and placed an order for seven Cyber Wars packs (three packs of scavengers, three of troopers, and a pack of dataterms). They took some time to arrive, as they were not in stock and had to be ordered from Italy. That said the price was reasonable and I didn't mind waiting.

Today I'm just going to introduce the scavenger figs that I got, there will be shown in more detail as I paint them, with the troopers and dataterms (as well as assorted other stuff that has arrived) getting posts of their own in the coming days.

The first of the three packs is Cyber Wars CW1501 "Scavengers." It is a five figure pack, basically a re-release of the original #1501 Scavengers pack from the Grenadier Future Warriors UK line. All of the figures are Mark Copplestone sculpts dating from about 1994. Four of the figures were later released in blisters of two stateside as #1501 Scavengers and #1513 Street Scum. I have not been able to determine if the fifth figure was also re-released in a two-fig blister. EM-4 also offers these miniatures as part of their Future Skirmish line (from left: #0046, #0043, #0042, #0044, & #0045).

The second pack is labeled "1504 Future Savage," but is Cyber Wars CW1504 "Rebels" (according to Mirliton's web catalog). Essentially a re-release of the #1504 "Rebels" pack from the from the Grenadier Future Warriors UK line. Sculpts by Mark Copplestone about 1994. As above, EM-4 also offers these miniatures as part of their Future Skirmish line (from left: #0076, #0075, #0078, #0069, & #0077).

Finally (for today) is the Cyber Wars CW1521 "Gentleman Scavenger" by Mirliton SG. Consists of one figure from the #1525 "Overlords" pack from the Grenadier Future Warriors line. Mark Copplestone sculpt from about 1994, and offered by EM-4 as #0041 in the Future Skirmish line.

Once I can get my hands on some decent paint, I hope to get these guys finished sooner rather than latter. That shouldn't be too long, I'm putting together an order for Volks as soon as the Golden Week holiday is finished. They don't carry the Game Color case, and it actually costs more than ordering the bottle individually, so I made a list approximating the contents of the Army Painter complete set using Game Color. People might ask why I just don't get the Army Painter set. Well, I have not found a vendor in Japan, I have experience and the highest regard for Vallejo paints, and I can get 40 pots delivered of Vallejo for less than the cost (without tax or shipping) of the 36-pot Warpaints set. Clearly Game Color is the way to go.

30 April, 2013

Tablescape Kickstarter by Secret Weapon

Roads. Urban roads.

Secret Weapon has launched a Kickstarter for their Tablescapes terrain tile sets. Of particular interest is the Urban Streets design: Injection molded plastic 12" tiles of roads and sidewalks... both normal and damaged. I'm in, for at least two! And maybe a set of damaged ones....

The sidewalks will be 2" wide with 8" of roadway. The clean streets version above will consist of 8 unique casts, with another 8 casts in the damaged series. You can get them as all clean, all damaged, or mixed.

12 days left to help out.

28 April, 2013

Scale Observations

First off, I saw IRONMAN 3 last night and loved it. Ben Kingsley was perfectly cast.

I realize that my enthusiasm for the film means it is likely that reviews will suck and the fan boys will hate it.

Screw 'em.

Anyhow, waiting for a train to Fukui. Train platforms: in a larger station they seem to be about two train widths wide. Making track and platform area roughly equal.

Tracks and ballast tend toward the same dirty rust color with bare metal on the tops of the track.

Japanese platforms have a knobbed yellow tile safety line running parallel to the platform edge, about a meter in. The platform itself is asphalt and greyish concrete construction with dual pillars on the edge sides about every 6 or 7 meters (about 2.5 per carriage length).

26 April, 2013

Modular Building Design

So here I am sitting on the train for Toyama. I'm early so we are just sitting at the platform waiting for our departure time.

Out the window is this building, just north of the station. It's the Kanazawa-eki Mae Dai-Ichi building, offices I think, with a build-in vertical carosel parking garage. Looking at it got me thinking about game terrain.

Most buildings in Japan are of modular construction. You can see that this one consists of a number of square wall sections, roughly 10' x 10'. I took the first picture from the same train last week, and tracked the building down on my way to the station today.
Interesting is that, although it is modular, it maintains a complex, non-boxy shape. That's something you don't often get with building kits.
I've been looking at Secret Weapon's Clean Streets terrain Kickstarter, most likely to go with Ameritown plastic buildings, however they can seem overscale with the true 28s I favor. Thus, the possibility of scratchbuilding is not completely dismissed.

Studying buildings like this will hopefully help me design decent buildings.

Oh, I want a laser cutter...

23 April, 2013

Updated Appearance - Now Including Identity!

Finally made a proper banner and logo for the blog.

When I started game blogging I had a different blog for each game: Savage Delta Green was the first. But that quickly got out of hand and I've switched to a unified gaming blog, that you see here now.

10x28mm is a good name. 28mm minis are my favorite... real 28mm - at eye level. I have at least 10 active projects competing for my attention at any particular time. And the combination has a subtle reference to Aliens (the M56 Smartguns, UA571 Sentry Guns, and M42A Scope Rifle fired the M250 10x28mm HEDP, according to the Colonial Marine Technical Manual). That's cool because gaming Aliens with Cyberpunk 2020 was a big thing for me in high school.

So the logo is supposed to look like a shell casing headstamp (yes, I know the M250 round was caseless, sue me) and the title banner includes the names of various games I play, or have played in the past. It only took 4 revisions to get it to look right on the page. Yeah Star Trek and Star Frontiers and a couple other games aren't conventionally considered "near future," but I don't care. Near future is a relative term... they are all in a future nearer than 40K or Dune... or compared to geological time.

22 April, 2013

Wargaming Survey

This survey made the rounds on many of the blogs I follow, several months back. I started a response then but never got around to posting it. It's been sitting in my draft folder. Time to fix that.

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?

28mm (at eye level) near future. Always drawn to near future sci fi & technothrillers. Cyberpunk 2020 was my maturation into gaming; It's where I really began to write my own stuff, tweaked rules and really made the games my own. Because of that, near future (modern/cyberpunk-post-apocalyptic) is my favorite place to play.

2. Next period, money no object?
Star Trek based sci-fi. Real Star Trek not that crappy J.J. Abrams shlock. But the whole shebang - Original Series to Star Trek: Online. Have to be in 28mm of course.

3. Favourite 5 films?
Doomsday - all the fun of Road Warrior, Escape From New York and 28 Days Later, but crammed into Rhona Mitra's tight pants.  
Miller's Crossing - Best period gangster movie ever. Finney and Byrne are epic in this movie.
Terminator - not only is this a fun action/horror/sci-fi flick - it is also a superbly crafted film. Sad that Cameron's editorial eye has weakened over the years.
Apocalypse Now - best Vietnam themed movie.
Silverado - while I generally prefer spaghetti westerns, this is probably the best western I've ever seen. The only movie I've ever actually seen someone "cowboy up" in.

At least for the moment - this list is in somewhat of a constant state of flux: Often including Hardboiled, Sono Otoko Kyobo ni Tsuki, Run Lola Run, The Wrath of Khan... etc.

4. Favourite 5 TV series?
Max Headroom - far before it's time.
The Wire - never thought I'd like a series more than Homicide...
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. - no comment needed - perfection.
Star Trek: The Next Generation - the high water mark of the franchise.
The Venture Brothers or Flight of the Conchords - it's like something I would create myself - if I was that creative.

5. Favourite book and author? 
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets - David Simon
That's my favorite book, but my favorite author is probably Lovecraft.

6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Oda Nobunaga - The man neutralized a province of ninja to dominate the country. Show me one other general who has done that.

7. Favourite Wargames rules?
Combat Zone. Rules made in a spirit in direct opposition to Games Workshop philosophy.  Foundry's Street Violence and The Rules With No Name are also favorites.

8. Favourite Sport and team?
Japanese survival games (airsoft)... Hamamatsu J's Unit   (><)v 

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
October 1966 and cock block J.J. Abram's dad.

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Japanese Korean-style barbeque with kimchi and Kirin. The kind you get in Japan not Korea - it's like pizza in New York versus Rome.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Monica Bellucci. Have you seen Monica Bellucci? Look at Monica Bellucci and be happy...

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Michael Fassbender is almost cool and handsome enough.

13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
Grey. He was a complete badass before he died and they made him into a flying weaponized cyborg.

14. Favourite Military quote?
"A sucking chest wound is nature's way of telling you to slow down. "

15. Historical destination to visit?
Someplace old I suppose. 

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Buying a Warhammer starting set at a GW shop in 1999; Oh what I could have done with that money, that didn't suck.

17. Favourite Fantasy job?
Making movies.

18. Favourite Song Top 5?
London Calling - The Clash
Girl U Want - DEVO
Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher) - Gogol Bordello
Bullets - Archive
National Anthem of the Soviet Union - Sergei Mikhalkov

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Naming all the soldiers in a German infantry squad after characters from Sesame Street.

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Conservative politics and J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.

21 April, 2013

Hot Wheels HIN Dodge Neon SRT-4 (mid-scale) and more...

So on the way home from work today I stopped by HOBBY OFF, basically a Half-Price Books for toys, models, and video games. Searching through the diecast cars led to a couple larger "1/64" Jada diecasts - that are actually about 1/55. Yeah, scale creep happens with diecast too.

Anyway, beside the register I found another display of diecast cars. There I discovered not only a few more 1/55s but also two Hot Wheels mid scales: a Dodge Neon SRT-4 and a VW Golf Mk4 (the Spinner in the pic is actually from the BladeRunner limited edition box set, not a find at HOBBY OFF).

I got them all and brought them home to measure and scale. I must get a proper pair of calipers for this in the future, but for the time being I make do with a tape measure. I measure length, width (without mirrors), width, height, and wheelbase. Calculations put all of the five I eyeballed as 1/55s as very close:
Jada '03 Infiniti G35 coupe = 1/56
Jada '03 Dodge Magnum R/T station wagon = 1/55
Jada '02 Nissan Silvia S15 coupe = 1/51
Jada Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII sedan = 1/54
Realtoy MB G-Wagon 460 2-dr = 1/56

True, the Silvia (far left) is a bit big, but since it was a small car it mixes well with the others.

Hot Wheels mid-scales are sold as 1/50s. I have a number of them, mostly 60s and 70s American muscle from the G Machines line with a few modern imports from the Dropstars line. These cars are well proportioned for minis, typically 1/50 in all dimensions but width, which is exaggerated to 1/43. Perfect for the exaggerated bulk of mini sculpts. 28mm figures aren't dwarfed by the car when standing beside it, but can reasonably fit inside with appropriate shoulder room. Truly the best of both worlds.

Sadly the mid-scale range seems to have been abandoned by HW, and the cars tend to fetch premium prices due to the HW collector's community. When I seached for more SRT-4s, with the idea of using the sedans as cop cars, I found them to run for about $50. That's crazy. Still, I'll pick them up as I see them, hoping to replace the 55s in the future.

11 April, 2013

Cyberpunk 2077 - Looking excellent.

Two months ago, CD Projekt Red dropped a teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. With moving and life and all I haven't gotten to speaking on it until now.

It's a complete nerd-gasm. Chock full of references to the the pen-and-paper game (Network 54, Alt, Hammerman etc.). I am truly looking forward to this game, and the quality of the trailer leaves me very okay with waiting another two years.Cyberpunk is in good hands.

Speaking of hands... Maximum Mike (Pondsmith) was also featured in a CD Projekt Red video explaining Cyberpunk. It's also fantastic, a must watch.

I've read that Maximum Mike is working on developing a 4th edition of Cyberpunk to coincide with 2077. I truly hope this is true. Cyberpunk 203X (3rd ed.) was something of a misstep, not as bad as most make it out to be, but also not really worthy of succeeding CP2020. I truly hope that 4th edition is in the pipe, and that it is as excellent as 2077 promises to be.

26 March, 2013

Back on the Grid in the 2013

So. It has been a while. The end of 2013 saw my family and I moving to Japan, which has put quite the kaibosh on anything RPG or miniature related. For about four months my internet connectivity was limited to what I could do on my mobile... mostly Facebook updates. But the internet has returned, and the kids are in school, so I hope to be making regular posts in the near future.

Of course, even though I've been busy, I've kept my eyes open. I've collected a number of models from Tamiya's 1/48 scale WW2 line for use with Dust Tactics, and even some Dust Tactics minis from Amazon.co.jp. I've also found a few pull back ambulances that look to scale pretty well with larger 28s like Reapers and Clix, as well as a number of Bandai robot kits that I think have potential for 28mm scale semi-giant mecha, and Space Battleship Yamato plastic kits that scream Full Thrust.  Hopefully I can get something together and throw them up online here in the near future.

But there is a problem. Japanese paints suck. Really, they are freaking awful. I'd been unhappy with Tamiya acrylics before and dropped some cash on Mr. Color brand... which maybe worse. The pigment density is too light and they brush on very thick. The result is a translucent color with a pastey consistency. Tracking down some Vallejo is my priority... sadly that means a trip to Osaka, which is not in the cards right now.

I have discovered a miniature source that stocks many of my favorite lines, and I am currently awaiting delivery of an order of Ex-Grenadier Future Wars minis from them. I'm very excited.

So with a bit of luck I might be able to post something more interesting in the next week or so... from Japan. I do have a few unpublished posts that I will retroactively pop up in the mean time.

Oh. And the blog turned three on Friday. Woot!

18 February, 2013

Login Tabletalk RPG Series: Gundam Senki

Heh heh. So this is a Japanese RPG book, called a TRPG for 'tabletalk', as 'RPG' in Japanese is used almost exclusively for the videogame type. 

This here is a special one. This is the official MS Gundam RPG, using R. Talsorian Games Mekton Z rules. RTG, for those that don't know, was the company behind Cyberpunk 2020, my very favorite RPG. Mekton Z (pronounced 'zeta'), and thus Gundam Senki here, use the same system, Interlok.

Very cool. Not sure I'd have gotten it new, listed at ¥4800 in 1999) but my copy ran less than a quarter of that - and it still has the hex maps and fold-up counters!
So, the book is in Japanese of course, and rather difficult language (political, military, and gaming terms abound), but I now have official write-ups of the characters and mecha from the year one war! See, there's Amuro!

The book itself is about B4 sized and a very Japanese dust-jacketed softback. 336 pages, 123 pages of setting, 50 of rules, and the balance of NPC and mecha stats!

01 February, 2013

Dust Tactics Ideas

So Amazon Japan sells a number of Dust Tactics products. I've ordered a bunch... it's pretty reasonable and perhaps I can get some gaming happening eventually.

Another benefit is the extreme cheapness of Tamiya 1/48 models here. I've snagged a number of them so far. They are assembled into modules, but I haven't finished them, as I'm waiting to secure some decent paint for that. I do not like Japanese acrylic paints. At all. So until I'm rolling in Vallejo, I'm going to delay final assembly to ease the job of painting.

Anyway, in putting the Type 82E together I had this great idea for a 4-door, 3 axel variant. I snapped a pick of the box side art and Gimped up a couple quick sketches.  I will have to revisit this idea latter, with a couple more of the kits.

I also put an M8 Greyhound together... I left off the fenders, which was common among French operated units. I think it completely changes the look of the vehicle... leaner, meaner, more modern. I'd like to mate a MCW Hot Dog turret to it when I can get my hands on a spare one. Think I'll call it a Hellhound.

I have to decide as well on a paint scheme for the Axis. I'm tempted to do 3-color camo schemes on the German equipment, which is more accurate, but Panzer grey is pretty stereotypical. I guess I have some time to think.