Thursday, 6 February 2020

Get out of here Stalker: Wargame rulebook

So something arrived in the post today, something I almost thought would never arrive. Perhaps security around the zone has been tightened? Meet Zone Alfa a brand new entry into the Osprey Wargames series. So new in fact that I pre-ordered this copy. I have yet to read the rules but if they are as good as the artwork then this is sure to be the source of much fun in the near future.

Special credit goes to Sam Lamont the illustrator, there's some incredible scenes in this book!

So some exciting news but I am afraid those anticipating miniatures will have to wait a while longer. I have been very busy at work and have not had much time for painting. That being said I am slowly chipping away at some models and I may get some done soon.

I am looking forward to presenting this both to the local club and to my D&D friends. There are some fine prizes to be won, for those willing to brave the zone.

So until next time I wish you all a good day/night.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Special Forces/Mercenaries 1

Happy New Year to you all. I hope that the new year finds you all well. The new year is usually a time for new things. However, today I actually bring you something that has been years in the making. This figures were sent to me many years ago by Winttrix (Emmett) Some have actually featured on the blow before. However, they were in need of touch ups where they had chipped. Now, finally, I have finished them. I hope you like them, however, please keep in mind that the credit is to Emmett who is responsible for 90% of the work.

A Special Forces team? A mercenary unit or a well equipped militia. These figures have many uses.

Working on these figures got me thinking more carefully about camouflage. Matching Emmett's work was a challenge.

Once again making use of the summer sun. Although it is quite harsh, fortunately the photos turned out okay.

Something I like about these figures is the mix of colours, something that you don't get with those in uniform.

Repainting the gun to match Emmett's work was a very difficult task in this case.

Tried to get his face in this one. It is okay but I think the sculpting is not the best. Although it is decent enough.

Another part that needed a lot of touching up was the hat. Which actually turned out really well much to my surprise.

Yeeeeeehaaaawwwwww......... had to get that out of my system.

File under impressive moustaches too.

Emmett painted the stetson really well so it was quite the task for me to touch it up without ruining it.

A lot of work needed to be done on the back of this figure too.

Perhaps the most complex to touch up was this figure where I had to match the camouflage with the paints I had.

Another decision was to paint the grip of the gun. It works well and matches the look of what Emmett did.

I have not done anything at all to the bases. They are quite simple and I like them a lot. I think I will do similar in future.

The final photo. The last hear but hopefully one of the first for the new year. 
Well that is all for today. I hope that you have enjoyed this post. As you can probably guess from the title more Special Forces/Mercenaries are coming up. Some more are those painted by Emmett that I have touched up. Others are ones that I am painting from scratch and which will take more time.

Something to look for in future is me actually trying to do camouflage patterns correctly. I went along to my first meeting of the Auckland Wargaming Club last month. Didn't play any games but it was quite fun to watch them. One thing I did realise was that it would be hard to find others willing to play in the Oronegro setting at least initially. So I will use the old try but true trick of painting units up as if they were the real thing, but using them as whoever in the fictional world. To that end the Soviets, West Germans and Cold War British (and others) I got recently are likely going to be painted correctly, or as close as I can do. Painting up these special forces with their mixed camouflage is good practice for this.

Anyway as an aside I am also going to post a photo I took about a week ago. This was the sky at about 2pm, the photo was taken from the same balcony as the photos above. It has not been touched up in any way. The cause, the fires in Australia. For those unaware of the scale, that's over 2,000 km away. For those of my followers in the US, that's as if fires in Texas turned the skies in New York orange. The scale is quite horrifying. To put it simply the world that afternoon seemed apocalyptic. My heart goes out to those brave people fighting the fires over there and those who's homes have been lost or are still at risk. May rain come sooner rather than later.

Apocalyptic. That's how it felt. Dark at 3pm on a summers day. Totally unreal.
Anyway let us hope that this year will be a good one. I wish you all the very best, have a good day/night and I will see you all next time.

Monday, 23 December 2019

POWER ARMOUR!

Well hello everyone for what is certain to be the last post of 2019 by me. This one has been a long time coming so I hope you enjoy what I have to show you today/tonight. Let me introduce El Grupo de Contención (Containment Team) who are the final set of miniatures for el Ministerio de Investigación Burocrática (Ministry of Bureaucratic investigation). These miniatures are also from Elhiem Figures just like the last couple posts. Let's take a closer look.

Iron Man's somewhat more subtle cousins.
While the men and women in black make up the bulk of the MIB there are others who are trained and equipped to deal with those really, really persistent gas leaks. Most notable are El Grupo de Contención (Containment Team). Wearing the most advanced individual protective gear available to any Oronegrean forces, they fall somewhere between infantry and armour.

Group photo. Somewhat ruined by the shadow of the Camera.
In terms of protection they can easily shrug of most assault rifle rounds up to 7.62mm. Protection does extend up to 12.7mm (the 50 cal) however only for the torso and thighs, which are covered by the densest and thickest plates. Resistance to higher calibre rounds is limited to shots from long range and glancing blows. Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear protection is a central feature of the armour as is resistance to explosives. In short it can take a punch, the same kind of punch a light tank can take.

Another photo of the platoon
It should be noted though that protection is not even across body. The rear of the legs do not have any armoured plates to protect them and there's gaps on the underside of the arms too. This is mitigated by their advanced optics, digital battlefield awareness system and HUD prevent any threat sneaking up to attack these vulnerable locations undetected. Much like a tank it is important to consider the balance, in a triangle, between armour, mobility and firepower. So let's move onto the second factor of mobility. 

The platoon splits up into three fireteams each of four troopers.
Unsurprisingly given the level of armoured protection the armoured suit is significantly heavy. Even individual plates are hard to lift and a whole suit cannot be moved unaided. That's where the power aspect of the power armour comes in. Each suit has a basic internal mobility system, which prevents the suit from crushing its user. However, the primary source of mobility is the large exoskeleton which enables the wearer to run, jump and roll as if they were wearing gym wear. This exoskeleton is somewhat vulnerable due to being exposed but failure of the system is uncommon even when it received fire.

Some individual shots. This one shows off the wasteland theme of the base with dead grasses. A homage to Fallout the classic post apocalyptic game, which also heavily features power armour.
Finally we turn to firepower. Here things become less extraordinary. Usually it's just your basic selection of infantry weapons. There's some more exotic weapons, such as miniguns, available but these are rarely used. Assault rifles and general purpose machine guns are the norm. Light anti-tank weapons are sometimes brought out however the troops also carry a selection of grenades, which given the exoskeleton can be thrown over long distances accurately. This provides an alternative to rocket launched grenade systems.

Oddly for top secret forces these troops often wear Oronegrean flag patches. Although if you see them you are unlikely to be able to tell anyone after.
Overall then these forces are not the kind of people you as an extraterrestrial, or supernatural individual really want to encounter. Far less so if you are just a run of the mill human being. Which is a distinct and horrifying possibility. Despite belonging to the MIB these units are called into military operations. They are one of the very few groups who have the privilege to work with Los Angeles Negros, Black Angels, in combat operations. However, this only occurs when explicitly invited by the angels. Who, much to the horror of the MIB, are somehow able to contact the bureau but cannot be reached by the very agency which is able to locate a rogue alien slow gas leak, in a cave, in the jungle, at midnight on the other side of the globe, have never been able to track down their even more secretive allies.

The lighter green exoskeleton clearly visible in this shot. It is linked into the large "backpack" which serves as the power unit for the armour, a storage compartment, the battlefield computer and communication equipment.
Moving onto the miniatures themselves I must say that I am rather impressed. There's some areas where detail is lost and some holes not fully filled. However, the proportions are very good and detail is, upon the whole, excellent. 7.5/10

Heavy weapons troopers wear a slightly different variant of the suit. Notably the smaller "backpack" and larger helmet
In other news I attended my first meeting of the Auckland Wargaming Club. Watched a few games and got to show off these figures who were as yet unfinished. Wish these figures see any action on the miniature battlefield sometime soon? Well let's see, watch this space.

Ammunition belts unroll from within the "backpack". The heavy weapons version is easier to open to allow resupply of the internal ammunition magazine.
One final comment before leaving it to the photos and captions. Deciding upon the camouflage was quite a fun exercise. I decided to take that ambiguity between whether these units were infantry or armour and represent that through camouflage. The choice was for a four tone pattern, dark green base, with khaki patches bordered by sand on top and black below. This was influenced by some cold war tank patterns altered to work on the smaller plates of the power armour suit. 

Front on view highlights the different helmet design with wider visor. This allows a wider field of vision without use of a HUD.

Despite the weight of the suit these soldiers are highly mobile. Their operations require rapid response. Armour substitutes subtlety. When you can't take the time to sneak in you must instead survive inevitable fire coming your way.

So I have paid homage to the Fallout franchise but I will also mention the classic novel Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. Have to say I prefer the mechanical look to the naturalistic one described in the books.

Have to say that I probably wouldn't have had so many photos of so few figures but my camera ran out of batteries after photographing three. So instead of deleting some and using more of others I went with what I had.

This figure I particularly like for the pattern of the backpack. The "logic" of the pattern is clear to see. Whereas on other figures it is harder to make out after the washes were applied, the four tones stand out here.

Final photo, gun and helmet mounted flashlights are clear to see.
So that was quite a long post. Included many things that would previously been included on a post on the Oronegro blog, which usually focuses on the "in universe" aspects. However, I am still thinking about how to approach the story so before that's clear I am going to hold off posting there.

Also time to say greetings to the blog's latest follower Miguel Angel Martinez hope you enjoy what you find here. Welcome.

Now to you all I shall wish you all the best for the holidays and the new year. I look forward to bringing you exciting and varied content. Until then have a good day/night.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

End of University Purchases.

Well to celebrate the end of university I bought a whole load of models. Over the course of a few months admittedly. I have done a rather long post on my second blog for this. So instead of doing a repeat of that post I shall instead post the pictures and leave the comments to a minimum. I hope that you find this interesting.

The entire haul. What a mighty collection.

Here we have the S-Model 1+1 sets and the Caesar Infantry

The Plastic Soldier company T-55 tanks. These are really high quality. I hope they add more to this range.

ModelCollect tanks and two big box sets. The Revell set was 48% off! A real bargain.

A Dutch unicorn Boxer and two exciting Italeri reissues of the Esci cold war sets.

Another box set, a Zcvezda tank and some Trumpeter tanks.

To finish off we have some more infantry.
Well I am going to leave this here. I hope that you have a good day/night and I look forward to slowly bringing you these miniatures in a completed state.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

A preview. Unclear images

Usually when the lighting is so bad that I get images like these I just discard the photos. However, in this case I want to keep you guessing as to what it is I am doing. So here's some very grainy photos of what I am currently working on. These should be done in the next couple weeks (I am not setting myself an even more ambitious target, too busy atm). So I will move straight onto the photos.

This one here is the only one so far completed. Behind you can see the others, in various stages of completion.

Any guesses on what this is? I think this view gives it away more so.
Now, there will be points! I will be granting points for the following:
  • Correct guesses of the troop type.
  • Correct guesses of the manufacturer.
  • Double points for guessing the correct set this is from.
  • Creative ideas for the purpose of these troops!
So get your submissions in and earn yourself some points. What are the points for? I have no idea. Surely the point of points is just to earn them. Why would you want anything for points? I might think of a reward but otherwise just enjoy having the most points. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to adding more in the near future...... May have been a few hits in this post itself.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

The end of an era. The start of another.

Well my consistent post a week streak fell apart. This is the first post in three weeks and it isn't even about models. Not that I have anything to show you yet. However, there's a very good reason for that. As many of you are aware I have spent the last six years at university. Well last Wednesday I handed in my dissertation. The final piece of coursework to be submitted and all going well the last thing I need to get my degree.

Yes this is me. I think I have shown pictures of myself here before, many, many years ago.
Understandably those final weeks were all go so I haven't had much time to sit down and paint models. Have had time to buy them though and there was there was of course quite the splurge in celebration of handing in my dissertation! So there is certainly no shortage of models to paint for the foreseeable future.

So one era of my life has come to the end, provided I pass of which I am quite confident. A new era begins. I have already got a job in the field for which I have studied and tomorrow I begin full time employment. There's a good work/home separation. Which I hope means that the free time I do have can be dedicated to hobbies and other good things.

Thank you all who have kept following me all these years. My time at university has meant that I have posted very infrequently. I hope to change things now. Here's to a new era and all the excitement, turmoil and adventure it brings, especially in the miniature way. A great day/night to you all. I promise to at least post a sneaky preview of what I am working on, before the end of next week. ;-)

Friday, 25 October 2019

Women In Black

Last week I presented to you the Men In Black from the Ministerio de Investigación Burocrática now I present to you their companions. These figures even more than those before benefit from a Vallejo face painting set kindly sent to me by Michael Koopman. Took the chance to experiment with some darker skin tones and as I was in an experimenting mood I experimented with some hair styles too. Including the first attempt at representing dyed hair. These are more 20mm figures from Elhiem. These are more recent than the previous figures and the sculpts are much nicer. Keen to learn what you think. On with the pictures.
Obligatory stylish edited photo to start! Meet our heroes the women of the Ministerio de Investigación Burocrática.
No indoor shots today. The sun was wonderful. Probably should have spent the time outside rather than indoors painting and writing blog posts.
Rear shot. Far less interesting colour wise without the dashing white of their shirts against the black suits.
So now moving onto the individual shots. These are going to be... a little strange. Once again the light and my camera was just not playing ball. So these photos are going to be taken in a variety of places, at a variety of angles with the figure at a variety of distances from the camera. So enjoy and I apologise in advance.
First up we have the figure with my favourite post. True bad-ass look. She looks like she has just withdrawn her pistol from within her suit and is advancing to engage the threat. Really like it and far superior to the older men in black poses shown last week.

This post is hands down excellent, the movement the style I love it.
Another angle and taken in another location. I once again tried to paint some multi-shade blond-brown hair. Similar to the last figure I sculpted. Didn't turn out as well but still like the effect.
And a third for good measure.
Next up is the other pistol equipped figure. She was very fun to paint. Darker skin tone with a lighter dry brush. The effect works quite well in my opinion. This face painting set is such a step up from random art acrylic who's strange shade of beige labelled "flesh tint" was all I had with mixing a very hit or miss exercise. Also incidentally the only one of the figures to actually have glasses sculpted on. Initially I was just going to have her wear glasses but then I decided that in true MIB fashion all needed sun glasses!!! Hope you like her too.

More of a classic spy movie pose this time. Can imagine her about to turn around the corner and surprise the unsuspecting henchmen of an evil volcano lair residing super villain.
The shadow effect on the trousers took quire a while to get right. Quite amused my friends to learn how much effort I put into ensuring that I paint a suitably defined and aesthetic butt.
Onto the carbine equipped figures. Not 100% satisfied with the way the carbines came out. Something to try and improve in the future. These two were harder to photograph. Mainly due to the poses and how the light interacted with them. Still very nice figures even if the camera hasn't treated them very well. First up a woman with her M4 raised and on target, appears to be moving as well. I painted her hair to have a blue black look. Not that obvious in the photos I am afraid, however it is very, very subtle even when you have it in your hands. So see if you can detect the blue.

This figure is my least favourite. If only because the suit is closed. The contrast of white shirt and black suit adds so much to the minis. Nothing wrong but room for improvement.
That white spec on her pans is a tiny bit of dust. The camera once again shocks me with what it picks up.
Final figure and another one where I have tried to do something a little different. Wanted to try dyed hair, something to stand out, decided on blue. Did a dark glossy blue base with a lighter blue drybrush. I am quite pleased with the look and I hope you will like it as well.

Given that the colour pallet has up until this point been rather dull I thought why not change things up with a dash of blue!
Sadly a little out of focus but gives a better perspective on the hair. Might seem a little inappropriate for a super secret organisation. However, perhaps it helps give the impression of these people being not abnormal at all.
The Ministerio de Investigación Burocrática includes other branches than the classic men and women in black. However, these are a classic and can be used for a wide variety of other purposes. Within the Ministerio de Investigación Burocrática they are the first line in.... errr... ensuring that other ministries are exercising their duties efficiently... nothing to see here. Those blood curdling screams are just some loose monkeys. Certainly not anything paranormal. The pest control department has been slacking quite a bit recently haven't they?

That's all for this week. As an update on the university situation I have just got my dissertation to go now. Very close to completion now. Talking about completion I don't have any figures near completion which means that there's a lot of uncertainty with regards to getting another post out next week. Do have some stuff on my workbench/desk. So we'll see. But one post a week for five weeks is quite an achievement for me. Finally I will take this moment to say a very warm welcome to Ross Macfarlane. Good to have you here hope you enjoy what you fine.

Anyway until the next one I wish you all a very good day/night.