Gisby's Gaming Blog

June 5, 2017

Barsoom: Green Martians

I bought a bunch of Bronze Age Miniatures Green Martians. (Not what they call them, but…) I like them. They are very animated, and loaded with decorated harness. There are a few spots where the strap detail is a bit soft, usually caused by the extra arms crossing the body.

Note: The figures are all the same size, the pictures are not all to scale.

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I drilled the heads and inserted pins for the peculiar Green Martian ears, and I think it improved the look. The greens I used for the skin are a bit dark to show up well in these pictures, a problem with many of my figures.

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The figures are multi-part, with separate heads, arms, and many loose weapons. The arms at least benefited from pinning, and there were some gaps to fill. (These may have been the result of my attaching the arm at the wrong angle)

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They came without bases, but had pegs on their feet that would fit onto the holes on many plastic bases. I used larger fender washers as bases.

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There are several variants I do not have, and some I do have are positioned differently on their site, so you can build a good-sized force with no two the same.

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March 4, 2017

SPACE 1889: Cavalry

I’ve been making cavalry, from various ex-Grenadier Elves, (from Forlorn Hope Games) and mounts from various companies. I have ‘Thoats’ (Formerly Hexatrixes, bought from Ral  Partha) ‘Tauntauns’ (ex-Grenadier Traveler riding beasts) and Gashants from Rafm. I can’t guarantee the provenence of every one: I bought some from the manufacturers, some from ebay, and some from other 1889 gamers.

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A General or champion: A GW Elf from a bargain bin in a comic store many years ago. He’s riding a Thoat and waving a RENEGADE shield. He originally had a spear, that I replaced with a flattened wire sword.

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Steppe Martian light cavalry. An ex-Grenadier Elf riding an ex-Grenadier riding beast from Traveller. The beast looks like a Tuantuan, so that’s what I’ve been calling it. They’re not bad looking, and the mount is nice and alien looking. This was my first try, I have since finished the unit, but have not yet photographed it.

Because of the angle of the saddle, I had to bend the legs into a more seated position otherwise the rider leaned back in an odd fashion.

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Martian heavy cavalry. An ex-Grenadier Elven Knight riding a Gashant. They did not want to fit together. I had to carve away a lot of saddle, and inside the rider’s legs, plus clip the bottom of the surcoat. I have never been a big fan of Gashants, they always looked to me like they would have sore backs. But it’s not so bad after all.

Again, I have since finished the unit, and they don’t look bad at all en masse. The Gashants might look better with designs painted on them, or colourful toucan-style beaks.

February 5, 2017

SPACE 1889: Martians

Of course you want random personalities for 1889 games and battles, and there are plenty of choices and ranges that can be found. These are a few of my recent conversions and repaints.

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An Old Glory Tarzan painted as a Wyrm Cultist, and a pair of plastic D&D figures. Replacement swords are made from wire hammered flat.martrand1

3 Forlorn Hope female Elves

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3 old GW Elves

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3 plastic D&D figures. Swords and bows are wire. The female archer has the quiver from the bird-handler in the next row.

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A plastic D&D figure, with 2 RAFM Martians with D&D heads.

January 19, 2017

New Project – Martian Flyers

Filed under: Barsoom, Pulp Gaming, Red Vector Games, Science Fiction, SPACE 1889 — gisby @ 08:51

REDvectors is an odd company, in that they seem to prefer to do custom work. Rather than have an ordinary website, they show you what they have made, and encourage you to approach them with ideas.

Mick then sits down and plans them out, and asks if that’s what you want, and if so, gives you a price.

I originally approached them because they had made a small Martian skiff, rather similar in style to the sand skiffs from Star Wars. (Which have themselves been re-purposed for many a Martian table)

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This is one of mine, a great little kit: Perfect fit, nice lines, a great price.

I am quite taken with them, but while they are great personal flyers, I wanted something a bit bigger. So I contacted Mick, and asked for a design 50% bigger in length and width, but with railings the same height.

This is the design he presented me with: It is NOT the same as the flyer above, it’s much larger.

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It’s about 10 inches long, with lovely lines, and will be sweet on Barsoom or 1889 Mars. I will probably mount a small gun on the front of each.

So I have two on the way, and I am very excited. More news as it unfolds.

December 15, 2016

SPACE 1889: Martian Flyer

This is a laser-cut MDF Martian skiff from RedVectors. It’s a lovely kit, well designed, and a joy to build. I recommend it.

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Stylistically it’s strongly influenced by the Desert Skiffs in Star Wars. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a good look. It’s useful for Star Wars, Barsoom, SPACE 1889, or of course any other game with flying boats.

It comes with a stand as shown, but it isn’t perfectly stable, especially with a metal crew. Having the supports farther apart, a longer base, or farther back on the hull might help.

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The crew shown above are my Martian Marines from Forlorn Hope Games, with a RAFM pilot.

There are two options for the prow: The railing as shown, or an oval platform for a gun. I think there is also an option for the hull with layered MDF making a solid stepped hull.

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The  railings and other fittings are best (or most easily) painted before assembly (I couldn’t wait, and assembled it as soon as it arrived)

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There is no visible means of propulsion, but if you want it, a propeller is easily added.

Now if they’d only build one 50% longer.

 

October 31, 2016

SPACE 1889: Green Legion

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This was the third of my RAFM Martian Legions, made up from a mix of stripped & rearmed figures and new figures. As always, the standard bearer is the Martian from the Adventurers pack.

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The unit colours, aqua and blue were taken from the scout figure on the right, still sporting his paint from 25 years ago.

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I tried for a brighter steel for this unit, to contrast with the Black Legion.

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The halberdier has a replacement glaive from wire, and a more stylish hairstyle.

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The unit looks good, even dressed in aqua.

 

October 16, 2016

SPACE 1889: Ship’s Artillery

My SPACE 1889 kick was started when I bought a Crossover Miniatures Omura class airship. It’s a 28mm laser-cut MDF ‘not-a-Hullcutter’ and is pretty darn big, with room for a lot of crew.

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It also needs a lot of artillery for the deck, with various long and short guns, and a massive Lob Gun amidship.

The Lob Gun (above) is an ECW mortar from RENEGADE. It’s a lovely piece, and comes with huge cannonballs and a powder charge.(Plus an ECW crew, of course)

The Master Gunner is converted from a Wood Elf archer, and the assistant is converted from the open-handed Elf. All figures are from Forlorn Hope Games.

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All other gunners are also made from the same open-handed Elf, with slow matches and rammers added from wire.

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The guns are from the Irregular Miniatures Pirates range: There are three different barrels, but all carriages are the same. Each gun comes in four parts: Barrel, carriage, and two very tiny  trunnion straps.

As it happens, I needed three different rates of cannon, so they were perfect.

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The rammers are made from a piece of wire. One end has a brush made from crochet cotton wrapped around the end and hardened with cyano adhesive. The other end has a block made from a strip of paper wrapped around the shaft and hardened with cyano.

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The slow match is a fine wire wrapped around a heavier wire. I made a prototype y-shaped linstock, but it looked too high-tech to me. I wanted more primitive gunnery for my Martians.

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I went for a dark grey-blue uniform because gunnery is a dirty business, and this shade won’t show the grime so much.

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This gun is on a prototype deck base. It’s about the right size, but the final bases will be planked rather than a plain square of wood.

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If worst comes to worst, they make a fairly worthwhile battery for a fortress.

September 18, 2016

Barsoom: A Few Beasts

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A Bronze Age Miniatures Banth. Rawr!

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Bronze Age Miniatures Calot. He’s not exactly how I pictured a Calot, but I like him.

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This is a plastic D&D monster that I use as an Apt. Strictly speaking, he doesn’t look like an Apt, but whenever anyone sees him they go ‘Ah! An Apt!’

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He’s the male, I gave him a mane so you could tell him from his harem.

September 4, 2016

SPACE 1889: Martian Artillery

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My Martians needed artillery. So I went to the Irregular Miniatures site, and found a renaissance cannon. Animal-headed, it was alien-looking enough to be perfect.

So I ordered it.

When it arrived, it was beautiful, just like in the picture. It was just a bit bigger than I expected. I was looking for a field piece, and got a huge field piece. But hey, nobody said the Martians had well-designed artillery.

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I picked up four RAFM artillerymen to man it. I made the gun tools out of wire.

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All in all, I rather like it as a unit. The gun is impressive, and sized way out of proportion to it’s effectiveness.

August 26, 2016

SPACE 1889: Black Legion

This was the second of my RAFM Martian Legions. After I painted the first, I decided to check my unpainted figures to see what more I had. I was sure I had a legion and a half unpainted.

I first checked my painted figures. To my surprise I found a legion-and-a-half painted, far more than expected. Not well painted, I really hated them. They were converted to different weapon styles, and painted as individuals. They just didn’t look good.

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I went to my unpainted pile, and lo and behold, there was still a legion-and-a-half in my unpainted pile. At some point I had picked up another Legion, giving me a total of four.

So I stripped the painted figures, re-armed them to fit in the Legion, and started painting them.

I wanted an elite-in-their-own-opinion unit, dressed in black and red.I was trying for a dramatic look. I’m not sure how successful it was.

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The officer has had his sword replaced with a wire blade, shaped and flattened. The standard bearer is the Martian from the Adventurers pack.

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The halberdier has a glaive, made from wire.He was one of the figures converted to wield two swords

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The big sword also has a wire blade. I went with a darker steel for their armour, with a darker black wash. (A darker wash, not a darker black, duh)

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This halberdier has a cutting spear, also made from wire. This unit seems heavy on figures retrofitted back from my conversions.

The figures look better after retrofitting than they did when converted, and I am overall quite pleased with the results. The red and black looks sort-of-dramatic, and the unit looks good en masse.

Two more units to go!

 

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