Tuesday, August 12, 2014

28mm VOTOMS / Heavy Gear conversions

Hello, my name is Scifi Sitzkrieg and I have a problem.  I've been told that the first step is admitting it.  I have no legitimate use for more VOTOMS yet I picked up three more for a great price!  :)   At least now I'll have a full squad of five when they arrive in a few weeks as it seems all the VOTOMS in North America were bought out long ago and I have to buy them from various far flung locales.

Since I have a full squad theoretically, I decided to try and kit them out like a squad in Heavy Gear.  Along those lines, I decided to make two of them "strike" variants with bazookas.  At first, I had hoped my left over RAFM larger scale heavy bazookas would do the trick but they were much too small.  I decided to instead convert two weapons from things I had laying around so below you'll find pics of my new bazookas constructed from left over 40k bits and sprues as well as two dried out ball point pens.  I'm not a sculptor but I tried to make them at least reminiscent of HG style bazookas as I prefer that look to the more rounded versions you find in VOTOMS.

Included in the second pic is the old RAFM scale bazooka for size comparison.  I plan on using two of them as the "gunner" versions with the MAC GAT-22 rifle and the last one converted to a command variant.  I'll have to add some extra comm gear somewhere to visually identify the "command:" Jager.  Ideally, I'd prefer to field them as a squad of 5x Basilisks but I can't find a way in the Heavy Gear Southern Field Guide to field 5 Basilisks including two Strike variants and three Gunners.  

If I'm missing some swap in FIF that allows this, feel free to tell me in a comment below!  I'll likely wait till I get the remaining three models before I start painting them as I prefer to do assembly style painting (i.e. all the weapons on all the models in a row before moving onto some other part).  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quick update on the VOTOM paint scheme...

Hey guys and gals, nothing too earth shattering for this update as I've just been working on how I want to paint my VOTOM gashapon.  Since I'll be using them along with my 40k Cadian minis, I had initially thought about painting them up like the infantry with a black chest, shoulders, and head with the rest green.  When I tested out that paint scheme in MSPAINT, I frankly didn't like the result.  The base gashapon color is pretty similar to my northern army scheme ironically...

so I think that I'll continue that scheme as an homage to the HG models that were inspired by the VOTOMs.  To add in a bit more 40k specific flavor, I'll likely color the weapons and head attachements black and add some 40k style decals to the model like cadian symbols on the shoulder pads and an aquilla on the chest.

I'll likely use the flesh tones over the upper limbs as with the gears and the Dark Angel/Hunter green for the green parts which shouldn't be an issue as I'm covering up relatively similar colors.  Ideas?  One option would be to keep the red shoulder color in deference to the VOTOMs roots and also because that would add a splash of color not otherwise seen on the model.

Monday, August 4, 2014

FLASH! Movement Rules

I figured I'd try to incorporate the alpha style movement rules into my FLASH! house rules in regards to the lack of movement dice.  Basically, you're counted as being at combat speed for modifiers outside of your own turn unless you hold an action for later use (like standby for coordinates).  This cuts down on the chit and dice clutter on the tabletop as the vast majority of units don't need to have a movement die next to them.  Instead, the movmeent die counts as a withheld action tracker so you know that the model still has an action to use despite already being activated and simultaneously at what speed.  In effect, your model stops to use whatever speed you want during your activation and then returns to combat speed after unless you "hold" an action for later.  I tried this out during the game this weekend and it worked well.  It made taking stationary shots a bit safer but cut down on the near invulnerability of fast moving elite units conversely which is a much more important change.  My cheetah at top speed moving across the field actually got pegged with an average roll because it "only" had a +2 instead of a +3 to defense rolls base.

Movement:  Your model is always considered to be at combat speed for all purposes outside of it's activation unless you use withhold an action for later use like with standby for coordinates or reaction fire.  Place one die at the appropriate speed for each "reserved" action to be used after the model's activation.  Reaction fire prior to activation is still resolved at combat speed.

 I also finished putting together and priming my NuCoal veteran GP squad over the weekend but didn't have enough time to paint them so didn't use them in my recent test game which instead featured a more traditional North vs South engagement.  I decided to completely vet out my gearhunter squad with 2x Lbzk and 2x MACs for use as snipers and flankers.  I really like the Chasseur MkII models with the only complaint being that I kind of wish the heads were a bit different and not just Jaeger copies (maybe something like the CV model head for all of them?)   The sculpts and casting overall were nice but I did have one sheared leg broken at the knee (no big deal as I had 6 models in 3 blistes for a 5 man squad) and two of the LRPs were miscast (again no big deal as every HG player tends to have extra LRPs).

 I'll hopefully be painting these bad boys up soon as the final planned painted additions to my HG army.  I don't have any more southern or nucoal models left to paint once I'm done so I'm only left with about a dozen various gears for my north.  Until I actually get regular games going, I don't plan on painting up the northern models any time soon.  No fears though seeing as how I should at some point (fingers crossed!) be finally getting my Robotech minis (or at least the 1/3 portion they shifted to "wave 1" after an 8 month delay and counting) that I'll be working on and posting about for the blog.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

NuCoal GP and VOTOMS update

It took me a few months of very intermittent painting but I've got my NuCoal GP squad done.  My Fort Neil Tank Regiment force is now complete and has some supporting units to flank around the main hovertank assault with every model capable of moving at least 16 inches in hover mode.  The GP consists of 5x Chassuer Mk2 hover gears with two Lbzk upgrades and two MAC upgrades along with the command model.

I think the paint scheme turned out a bit better on the gears than it did on the tanks and bikes.  I had initially planned on putting the skull decal on the front chest panel but it looked odd there and detracted from the solid red so I instead put it on the right shoulder top instead (after trying about the calves as well).  They still remind me a bit of men in tuxedos but I do actually like the overall look in the end unlike with the tanks.  Here is the whole army in a pic just as a reference.

Special thanks goes out to Paradox 01 on the dp9 forum for a tip about putting a brown undercoat on top of black when you want to put red as the final color.  I suspect this will be last Heavy Gear hobby work that I do for a long while.  My only opponent in the state has pretty much gone belly up in terms of interest in playing for a variety of reasons and there is alot of uncertainty in Heavy Gear at the moment with the upcoming release of the next edition Beta rules.  I'll still try and play my FLASH! house rules locally here if I can get an opponent but I'll likely bow out of the new edition until the final version shakes out next summer.  I've still at least a dozen more unpainted Northern gears that I'd like to eventually work on as well as probably another squad's worth of odds and ends gears that I don't plan on working on currently so I'll have plenty on the plate next summer if I like what I see.

In the meantime, I've also put my 40k Deathwatch Truescale marine squad on hold for the moment as a dastardly thread on Dakka about an excellent VOTOMS 28mm campaign  (Iron Hands VOTOMS) got my interest in VOTOMS piqued again.  Infinity is coming out with a new edition this summer which I plan on checking out so I figured I'd get some models to use along with my existing 40k collection to test the waters with that new ruleset.

The thread on Dakka which gave me the idea of using them as TAG (Tactical Armored Gears) models and Paint it Pink Blog's very nice VOTOMS articles on various model sizes (Paint it Pink) helped alot in getting the scale right.  I basically plan on trying out the rules using my Cadian IG as Nomad Infantry and the VOTOMS as Gecko TAGs.  Additionally, I wouldn't mind trying out 28mm Heavy Gear using my FLASH! rules and 40k figs.  Basically, the cadians would be northern infantry with the VOTOMS as 28mm Gears (Hunter XMG?).  Opposing them would be my xenos "earth" forces with either Tau or Eldar tanks as Earth Light Hovertanks and eldar "GREL" jetbikes or Tau stealth suit FLAILs.

In any case, thanks for reading and I hope to post an update with the VOTOMS soon (or at least not the two months it took for the NuCoal GP squad).