20mm resources for Zone Alpha.

Zone Alpha is a new SF skirmish ruleset from Osprey Publishing. I preordered it just after xmas and my copy arrived today. I had been following the development of the rules of the author, Patrick Todoroff’s blog Stalker7 link Taking its inspiration from Soviet/ Russian themed Science Fiction, starting with the excellent novel Roadside Picnic and the film of that book Stalker as well as the PC game series of the same name. Also the Metro 2033 series. It is a milieu that I’m rather drawn to (hence me having so many props at hand for the photo).

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Players take the role of a crew of explores/ trespassers/ robbers infiltrating a alien contaminated zone to loot it for valuable artifacts to sell on, all the while battling each other and the mutated inhabitants of the zone. Given how much I have invested in the scale I will be playing my games in 20mm rather than 28mm (even though there are some great figures in this scale). I thought I’d jot down my ideas of what I’m going to be using…

 

Human figures:

The top billing should be the two boxes of plastic Stalker figures put out by Dark Alliance– ideal for this game and currently undercoated waiting to be painted on my desk.

Under Fire miniatures do some great ranges that will be useful- their Chechens will make excellent bandits and the Russian range an excellent military themed crew.

Similarly Elhiem miniatures does a comprehensive range of irregular and modern Russian figures ideal for this game. Also their spare head range contains both western and Russian gasmask heads that will be ideal for conversions (another project on the go in the shed).

Both Under Fire and Elhiem have featured on this blog in the past.

For some wierder cultist types Stan Johansen miniatures would be worth a look.

Zone hostiles:

I’ll be getting my vermin swarms from either the Reaper Bones plastic range or Irregular miniatures.

Zombies/ Ghouls will be from the Twilight Creations bag O’ zombies, my mutant dogs will be from the same source too. A few metal Elhiem zombies will be added into the mix too.

Mutants will come from the CP Models range; they have some wonderfully quirky bits in their ranges.

Vehicles:

Here the advantage of choosing 20mm really comes in, so many plastic kits to choose from that cover Russian subjects. ICM, Model Collect, Revell, Zvesda are all company that you should look up.

If you don’t fancy making plastic kits look for ther many diecasts that are available for companies such as Fabbri.

The aforementioned Elhiem also other some 3D printed vehicles that would be great.

S and S models offers an extensive range of resin kits that cover most of the Russian basics.

Hope that will be of some use to you.

 

Given what I know I’ve got in the shed ready to go I’d probably be able to get a game up and running in no time at all… watch this space.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

New (to me) art for my wall.

My friend has just moved house and was looking to rehome some art work, she offered me this piece with a military theme.

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Either oil or acrylic, it depicts two German soldiers in action.

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In situ in my office next to my Wyndham Lewis print.

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Cheers,

 

Pete.

3D printer- my initial foray.

As previously mentioned I recieved a 3D printer for xmas and the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing around with it. I have also been looking on various website for as many interesting looking free files that I could find to try out.

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Assembly was a breeze with only one recalictrant cable proving to be difficult so I quickly printed off the test file to see how it turned out. I was rather pleased with the results. Fast and not too noisy (the cat is happy to sleep through it running)- generates a lot of heat though.

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The next day was, however, less succesful due to what is best described as user generated errors. I tried printing out a different figure but that one failed when a support gave way.

 

I decided to get some simpler terrain bits printed, that is after all what I primarily want to use it for. I found some rather nice manhole covers/ sewer entrances so printed off a set of 6 for myself.

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Given how pleased I was with these I tried my hand at rescalling some vehicles and printing them out. I found a 1:100 set of experimental/ prototype WW2 German designs and selected the smallest and resized it to 1:72. The first time I printed it I didn’t reorientate it so whilst one side printed out very nicely the other didn’t do well at all.

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I asked about and it seems that the correct way to go is tracks down so I tried again. Much better this time, but when it cam to cleaning off the suppors I fear I may have lost some detail.

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On person did suggest printing AFVs with them stood on their rear hull, I’m not really convinced but in the interests of experimentation I’ll give it a go.

 

I also resized some 1:200 WW1 tanks to 1:100 to use with the Great War board game I enjoy. It is a rather chunky print but once cleaned up I rather like it.

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That is where I have got to so far. I want to try some more scenery before I go into full production to make myself a Necromunda set up.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Clausewitz’s library

Being book obsessed I do like a good article on other people’s books, not what they wrote themselves necessarily but what they own(ed).

 

Therefore when I found this article I was all over it…:

 

https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2018/8/6/clausewitzs-library-strategy-politics-and-poetry

 

Interesting stuff… plenty of leads to follopw up to get into the thinking of one of the more influential thinkers in military history.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Update : The roaring 20s. . . ?

Firstly a Happy New Year to everyone. Also I hope you all had a good xmas holiday. Mine was very relaxed down in Kent at my partner’s Mum’s… that has been my big improvement of 2019 getting a wonder new partner.

This xmas the generosity of my presents from friends and family has been very humbling and has really been heartwarming.

In terms of hobby stuff the big item was a PLA Anycube 3D printer. I’ll post pictures of it once I’ve assembled it. It is not something I want to rush. I’ve loads I’m planning to do with it – a SF corridor set first I think as my first big project maybe some other SF terrain to get me started…

 

I also got loads of 40k stuff- my Death Guard Kill Team will be raised up to full army level. Additionally I got the box set of Imperialis Aeronautica so watch out for that too.

 

The other big thing for me in 2020 is that I’ll be starting my PhD- plan ‘D’ worked out so come March I’ll be at studying under Bath Spa University looking into Asymmetric warfare simulation models and their use in military training. Yup, a PhD in wargames. I’m really looking forward to it- I’m sure it will be lots of hardwork and some difficult times too though. Again watch this space as the game side of things will be blogged here too.

 

2019 saw lots of gaming but not as much megagaming- I think I was getting a bit burnt out with it tbh- will have to see what this year brings…

 

One last thing:

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Where has all the time gone? It didn’t seem that long ago I would roleplay this every week in my early teens in the 90s….

 

The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.“- William Gibson.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.