Sunday, 11 March 2012

100th Post

Mega Trade Part 2 – my previous post – was actually a bit of a mile-stone article in the life of this blog. It was the Big ‘C Note’, the ‘One Tonner’, the 100th Post.

This, on one hand, goes to show just how silly stats and post numbers are, as some of my posts are barely worth the cost of the electrons that gave their all for them. On the other hand, it does indicate that I have been able to maintain some sort of consistency, or persistence, of posting over the last 26 months or so, and that I’m still enjoying writing about Traveller and model making and painting.

My computer suffered a terminal Windows boot meltdown a couple of weeks ago which has been a major pain in the fundamental posterior orifice. Since then I have had to fight for processor time with my daughter on her machine. Fortunately, as my old machine had been getting a little erratic, I had bought a Terabyte external drive and shifted all my pictures, music and general files, including my website, gaming and blog files, over to it some months ago. So, when Windows finally broke, the only really important files I lost access to were my business emails, and my contact list, which included the logon for my website. This makes updating it a little difficult.

“Bother”, as the Great Sage, Winney the Pooh, said.

Anyway, enough pity party.

Cover of Blasters and BulkheadsI’ve just finished painting a pack of Twanax Horde from Blue Moon Manufacturing, as well as a couple of packs of Ground Zero Games Hammer’s Slammers figures, and a starship captain from Khurasan Miniatures. What these figures have in common, apart from being fun to paint, is a slight pulpish air about them. This is rather fortuitous as I’ve just finished reading my new copy of Blasters and Bulkheads.

While B&B has a very strong Star Wars vibe about, it does claim to be a more generic Pulp/Space Opera Science Fiction Skirmish game, and I can see that you could play out Van Vogt’s Lensmen-based games or even Dominic Flandry scenarios or adventures from Andre Norton’s stories. B&B has one of the better quick-play psionic combat systems I’ve read, and I like the way that the focus is on characters, with minions or henchmen coming along for the ride as mobile scenery. I’m really looking forward to playing B&B, and seeing if I can poach some ideas for 5150: New Beginnings – which has a much better solo play aspect.

Twanax Horde by Blue Moon Manufacturing and GZG UNSC MarineGetting back to the figures – the Twanax are basically Yetis, and while I painted them up in shades of brown, I’m now thinking that I need to get a second pack to paint up in greys and whites as Abominable Snowmen, for my GZG Scan Fed figures and for the Snow Troopers/Pulp-guys-that-get-eaten-by-The-Thing that Khurasan Jon is talking about releasing in a couple of months.

Hammer's Slammers Infantry from Ground Zero GamesThe Slammers figures from Ground Zero Games are quite fun in a retro sort of way. I thought of them as being light troops or dragoons and bought enough skimmers to have two ground squads and a squad mounted on the little one-man grav bikes. After dithering over how to paint them, I went with a grey splotch camouflage over Olive Green – a fairly conventional paint job. While they lack the body armour we tend to associate with modern soldiers, Hammer's Slammers Skimmer troopersthe detail on the figures suggests that they wear some sort of harness. I’m seriously thinking of getting another couple of packs to paint up in a more pulpy dress uniform style as palace guard. Mixing the visor-up with the visor-down packs works for me, though the visor down with more solemn uniform colours could make them look more ‘faceless’ and ‘oppressive regime’ type troopers. Either way, they are very nice figures.

Khurasan Space Captain and GZG UNSC marineThe starship captain from Khurasan Miniatures is part of the DPLS spaceship crew pack (TTC-2501). He always seems to be painted up in the style of Han Solo, which made me think Lando Calrissian, and this is what I attempted.

So, in the midst of the computer frustrations, I have managed to complete some figures that I'm very happy with.


  1. Great figures there Kobold. And congrats on the 100 posts :)

    I feel for you on the computer front, having been there a few times in the past. I'm probably going to need to get a new PC myself shortly thanks to the small HD on my rather old laptop getting increasingly rapidly filled by the bloatware that is Windows. Well, it's managed to keep me going for over 4 years now, so it's about time

  2. 100 posts-Congratulations! I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the comparison of B&B and 5150 New Beginnings. I like solo play options, as my regular opponent (my son) appears, apparently, to have a life, and thus isn't always around! (Well, he is 28!)

  3. Congratulations on the 100 posts and on putting paint to so many figures in the last few days. Good move on the back-up drive too. Which reminds me, I haven't updated my back up for a while. Thanks for the reminder.

    @Gunrunner: He has a life? How indecent of him. Tell him to come home for a game every once in a while. Kids these days... they don't call, they don't write... they don't email. Seriously though, have you tried to find a club local to where to you live? I enjoy solo-gaming too, but it's no-where near as much fun as playing against a live opponent.

  4. Well done on 100 posts. All good ones as well!

    How much shipping did you pay to NZ for your Blue Moon figures? I look on their website and the prices they suggest give me the willies!

  5. Hi Guys, thanks for all your comments:

    @Tamsin - I highly recommend some sort of external backup drive - my one cost me $NZ140 about a year ago for a terabyte of storage. Runs off a USB port, though needs external power. The ones we have at work all run off USB power supply which is even tidier. Make easier to backup material than running it off to CDs/DVDs.

    @Gunrunner - first impressions are that 5150: New Beginnings lends itself to solo play with the reaction test tables. Some people have commented negatively about this but in a solo situation, I see this as a positive. 5150 can also be played as a team game against the reaction tests/AI of the system, or player v player. Blasters and Bulkheads on the other hand is designed for players, or player teams, to play against each other in the style of a more tradition wargame.

    In style, if B&B is Star Wars/Space Opera, then 5150 is Star Trek/Traveller. This is not a criticism, more of an observation, though I'm thinking of cunning ways of using both games in my Traveller campaign (as I like both styles of Science Fiction).

    @Lead Legion - I hope to have at least another ten finished in a day or so - droids, Hishan, and a couple of other aliens.

    @dylan - Blue Moon's shipping ended up being either $US9 or SUS12, or about the same as Khurasan's, for eight or ten packs of infantry (including a couple of Fereen on Goranax - which are very big). Blue Moon has this archaic eCommerce programme that just assumes all international shipping will be via UPS International Courier. When the nice ladies at Blue Moon (a nice lady answered my slightly panicky email querying the shipping charge and another nice lady was doing the packing and dispatching) work out how much your order weighs, they then charge your card (or refund your Paypal account) accordingly. In my case, the $NZ actually dropped vs the $US in the couple of days it took to process the order so my refund was slightly more than I expected - though I'm not about to run away to be a ForEx trader, just yet. So, basically, Blue Moon is as affordable as any other overseas range, though the initial bill is scarier.