Friday, December 30, 2022

Assimilation Alien Host: Alien Queens, Guards and Eggs


The new year in a few days will mark eleven years gone by since the now-defunct Ed Fortae as Troll Forged Games ran his Assimilation Alien Host kickstarter, a project that could safely be called ill-fated.  Ed has long since left the industry following some health issues without managing total fulfillment, and Impact Miniatures (one of my fellow backers who went in big on the project) stepped up and volunteered to try to finish it off, which still isn't entirely done.  Looking at the most recent comments shipping costs seem to be the main sticking point, and it seems unlikely that these sculpts will ever be on sales at retail.

Now, I have no personal complaint about the project, but that's only because I was one relentlessly pushy SOB back when it started to show signs of having problems, and managed to not only pester my own pledge out of them, I bought another backer's pledge on the TFG market page and managed to get that too.  People who weren't as demanding are still waiting and have been for over a decade.  It's not something that has a good fix, but it does serve as an excellent cautionary tale when considering backing a crowdfunding project.

Anyway, in the interest of preserving some memory of Fortae's sculpting for posterity, I've done a full gallery page of the stuff I painted from the range which covers about 80% of the minis that were promised, not all of which were finished and produced.  I've still got a fair number of figs unfinished even after all this time, but I did do a few of them this years so I'm adding them to the record.

   These are the Alien Queen and the Queen's Guard sculpts, along with a couple of bases of Eggs.

The Queen is a seven piece model - thorax, abdomen, head, two arms, two pairs of legs - and is one of my favorite sculpts in the whole range thanks to its truly creepy design.

The Guards are five pieces - serpentine lower body, torso, head, two arms.  The eggs are all separate castings, I've just clumped them together here on 45mm bases from Reaper.  I believe there are three or four different variations of them. 

The bigger models are quite large, fitting comfortably on 60mm bases.  Everything is made of a restic material that was a proprietary formulation of TFG as far as I know.  It's light and pretty durable, although its flexibility seems a bit variable.  There was (and maybe is) a vid of Ed bending the heck out of a goblin spearman fig without the stuff deforming permanently or breaking, but I've had small protrusions snap off while cleaning off the excess from casting.

Still had enough of them to do two sets with minor pose variations.

Started with three sets, you can see the other ones on the gallery page.

The arms on these figs (and the majority of the rest of the range) are simple spur and socket affairs, very easy to position as you like.

Truly a shame this project went as badly as it did, the minis probably would have done well at retail.  Still, I give some credit to both TFG and Impact for not selling them until the project fulfillment was complete, despite the fact that it most likely would have led to a cash influx that could have concluded fulfillment many years ago now.

If they ever do become available on the general market (most likely through Impact) I heartily recommend picking some up.  They go well beyond merely being Tyranid proxies and show some real creativity.

Couple of shots to give a feel for their size.  The gentleman with the pistols is an old Mordheim fig, so pretty much 28mm scale.

Say, what's that other thing there in the center?  Guess we'll find out next time...  

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Ravenstar Studios 15mm Landcore Grav Armor


Cleaning up 15mm stuff from years ago, in this case a pair of Ravenstar Studio's resin grav vehicles.

The turreted one is a Mercury fast grav tank.  Three piece model, sells for $16.

It's smaller cousin is the older original sculpt of the Passer grav APC.  Single piece, and the very similar newer version sells for $13 each, or $30 for a set of three.

Main difference between the old and new Passer sculpts are the rear, where the newer one takes off the steps down from the hatch and replaces it with a kind of air scoop.

Good sized vehicles, particularly the APC which looks big enough to comfortably carry a squad in power armor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Greenskins: Warhammer 40,000 Nobz Mob

More leftover ork miniatures today, this time a couple of boxes worth of nobz I've had sitting around for years.

They'll most likely be getting used as trukkboyz - well, trukknobz - in 9th edition if I ever bother to play again.

Regular nobz are phenomenally bad in modern 40K, but still work sort of okay in RT and 2nd ed. 

Their lack of popularity makes them real easy to trade for, and I've at least some of these figs just thrown in because their former owner didn't want them at all. 

That's exacerbated by the fact that they've come in a several different "discount" sets from GW over the years, although their idea of a discount is pretty daft.

Means even more players have some sitting around unwanted, though.

It's a shame they're so lousy in game, since the kit's really a nice one with lots of build options and tons of leftover spare parts, although these are built as pretty much pure melee guys.  That also makes them very suitable for "unit champion" nobz in a boyz mob, allowing me to split the big 30-boy groups down into smaller units when I want.

The leftovers are a bit hard to use owing to nobz being considerably larger than regular boyz are, so things like arm and head swaps don't really work. 

Still, they can be swapped onto Flash Gitz (who are just shooty nobz with more teef than sense) easily enough, and with a little surgery they fit the fantasy Black Orcs kit, which are now being sold as "Hard Boyz" in Age of Sigmar.

I expect to be fielding these as a single mob of ten, although I've done them up with two sets of back banners...pardon, nob poles so they can easily be split into a pair of five-nob units instead if need be.  In earlier editions their main role is to prop up shaky morale, so having small units backstopping the big boyz mobs is a decent approach.

Very much close combat focused, with each lugging a power klaw and a choppa to the fight.  Many have shotguns (or boomstikks, if you prefer the orkish name) slung on their backs for a bit of dakka.  GW in their infinite stupidity don't actually have rules for using them in 9th, despite their obsession with dataslates matching what comes in the box.  

Monday, December 5, 2022

Greenskins: Warhammer 40,000 Runtherd Kitbashes

Working on using up some leftover bits, in this case kitbashing a couple of ork runtherds, seen here with a few of their grot mob.

The runtherd on the right is the official model from the grots box and has been finished for a while.  He's a nice enough fig and comes with several options for assembly, in this case a whip arm and a grot-prod.  However, the basic body is fairly distinctive and has no posing options, making him rather static.  Not something I wanted multiples of, so I've re-tasked at least one of those bodies as a regular boy. 

The spare parts from his assembly fit reasonably well on the boyz bodies, so I've used them and some other bits box stuff to make two variant runtherds.

The gent on the left got a has another grot-prod, a whip coiled on his belt, and a drawn slugga.

The guy in the middle has a grabba stikk, a squig-hound, and an added back banner.  Even on the actual squig-herd the fit on the squig hound arm leaves it hanging off a 32mm base, so I've upgraded to a 40mm base so there's more room for it.  The gameplay impact is tiny, and reduces my general annoyance at models that don't fit their official bases.  Stop doing that, GW. 

No one in their right mind needs three runtherds in any iteration of the rules, but I've been watching what GW is doing with the way they change dataslates to fit the box contents and I'm prepping for 10th edition to downgrade the herders to unit champion stats and tells us the grot mobs now require 1-3 runtherds and 10-30 grots, with a minimum of one runtherd per ten of the little guys.  It's exactly what they've been doing with other armies as they get new books, and follows the same irritating pattern the lootas and burna boyz do with their mandatory spannas.  If worse comes to worse and that doesn't happen they can proxy as boyz, but if/when it does at least I'll be prepared.