Sunday, February 27, 2011

TAU Empire Gun Drones

I will go on record, that I have not played Warhammer 40K, since I left Halifax in 1997. I have a Space Wolves army and I have on occasion bought some WH40K figures with the idea of using them for possible Traveller or Snapshot scenarios. It was with this idea in mind that I purchased a used pack of Tau Empire Drones at the Librairie Donjon Montreal last year. I learnt Thursday evening that Librairie Donjon closed last November and another game store has opened in its place.

 Tau Empire: Gun Drones by Games Workshop

There were seven drones in the package I purchased but there only enough pieces to fully build five models.  According to the Games Workshop website they sell them in squads of  four, and they appear in the 40K universe as units of 4 to 8 models acting in conjunction with a unit of Tau Empire Fire Warriors.

I have designed this as a unit of five drones centered around a command sensor drone. There are two sets of senors mounted on the unit, so that it can provide stereoscopic imagery to a command centre. It is armed to defend itself, while the other four drones can act on seek and destroy orders. I imagine that these figures can be used in either 15mm or 25mm scale games.
The Game Keeper
H3L 2E8

Elephants? 25mm RAFM & Ral Partha

Since I was painting an undead war mammoth, I thought I would continue with an elephant theme. 

The first is an RAFM Ancient Indian Unarmoured Elephant. It has been very hard to track down any information about this piece. I honestly haven't got a clue as to how long it has been sitting in my collection of figures. When researching Asian Elephants I read that they can rang in colour from dark brown to dark gray. I even read somewhere elephants that some may appear to be pink. I originally gave the figure a white base coat and went with a brown wash for it's skin. It had a similar effect to some photos I saw of elephants after bathing, before they become covered again in dust.. I suspect that the model came with two crew, but I only have one in my possession.

RAFM Unarmoured Indian Elephant

The next elephant is an African elephant with a sole crew member. I believed that it should be a two man crew (rider/driver and javalin/bowman). I am pretty certain that this figure was by Ral Partha.The model has easily been in my collection for 25 years and was recently rebased. It always hung out with my Roman Army. I found a photo of one for sale with a Later Carthaginian DBA army at GAJO.

 Ral Partha Unarmoured Catthaginian Elephant 

And finally a photograph of these two elephants next to my Undead War Mammoth to provide some idea of how large it really is.

Undead War Mammoth by Grenadier Miniatures

War Mammoth of the Undead Legion, Model Number 5501, went in production by Grenadier Miniatures in 1984. The company itself ceased to exist in 1996. There are a couple of variations of the model that I have seen photos of on the internet.  The miniature is old and was sold on eBay without it's original packaging. I tried to work with the metal but the two front legs proved to be very brittle and fragile. The armour trunk, and the tail had broke in transit. After my experience I decided to leave the tusks in their current position. I would prefer to have them pointed more forward instead of at 90 degrees to the head.

 Notice: 15mm Skeleton next to foreleg for scale.
The angle of the tusks are better view in the 3rd photo. 

The model is 25mm scale and came with three skeletons for crew members. I found the quality of these pieces to be rather poor and decided to "man", the Mammoth and it's double howdah with 15mm figures by Black Raven. Two riders are located on the neck, with two figures in each half of the howdah. In addition there is a kneeing crossbowman, next to the command banner and a swordsman standing near the left foreleg of this undead behemoth. It was armed with a catapult which fit on it's back between the two halves of the howdah. I choose to disregard this weapon system, as I felt it did not add to the overall effect of the model. The howdah halves are decorated with large scale (compared to the 15mm crew) skulls and shields. These trophies can be explained to be ogres or giants that were vanquished by the Undead Legions.

Bone Coloration caused by high iron (pyrite) content leaching into the soil.

The model when completed was unstable. I drilled a hole into it's body and mounted the model on a clear 60mm Game Workshop aerial base. The mammoth no longer falls over and I like the effect of the round base. I feel that this figure fits nicely into my large scale HOTT Undead Army. The actual base size for the behemoth under the HOTT rules should be 60mm x 60mm. The diameter of the base is 60mm so when positioned in combat I feel there shouldn't be any problem.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Undead HOTT Part III

This is just a quick posting on two additions to my HOTT Undead army. The first is it's camp. The camp consists of a resin representation of an open mass grave. Numerous bits of skeletons, skulls and ribcages are exposed to the elements and other, more malevolent powers.

Open Pit Grave, with 25mm Undead (Plastics)
Note: Photo revised Feb 21st

The resin piece is 100mm x 90mm, and is supposed to be for 25mm scale. I have added some broken 15mm Irregular Miniature Undead as well as a number of broken 25mm Plastic Skeletons that I received with a Undead Mammoth, that I have yet to paint. It would appear that the first troops of the next horde are starting to assemble.

The second is two elements of flyers. Both are Bat Swarms (Model 03355) by Reaper Miniatures.

Roman Siege Equipment Update

Last November I posted some photos of Roman Siege equipment. At that time I identified in two photographs Warlord Games Scorpions and Crews. Those figures are more likely by Foundry. These two elements are the figures by Warlord Games. I was looking at the Warlord Games website recently when I realized my mistake.

Warlord Games Scorpions and Crews 

(Note: Musician by Foundry from Emperor Trajan Pack)

In Memorial: Harris MacPhail and a 25mm Sassanid Persian DBA Army

It has been just over five years since Harris passed away. We were room mates, on and off for almost ten years, first meeting at the Dalhouise University war games club in 1975. By the end of the school year we were sharing a three bedroom, war game drop-in centre on Carleton Street in Halifax. It was the start of a long friendship, as well as years of gaming competition, in many different fields. The two most pronounced, were 1/300th micrarmour. Harris had the Germans, and I, the Soviets, and of course WRG 5th and 6th Edition Ancients.

In the beginning of our Ancient gaming, I had a plastic Airfix Roman Army but the time came to make my first purchases in metal. There was a small craft and hobby store located on the bottom floor of the Delta Barrington Mall. I no longer remember its name, but they carried a tiny inventory of Heritage Miniatures. I made a purchase, of some 25mm Sassanid Persian Cavalry. I do not remember why, but I was talked out of continuing with the Sassanids, and to allow Harris to build it instead. He received the figures that I bought and I returned to Rome.

25mm Sassanid Persian Elephants (Heritage Miniatures)

I have in my collection of figures, two of the elephants that he painted for this army. Late last year on eBay I saw twenty 25mm Sassanid Levy Infantry by Heritage Miniatures for auction. I thought of my buddy Harris and made a bid. I hoped to have the figures painted earlier but it was only in the past week that I finally worked on them.

The DBA II/69 Sassanid Persian (220AD-651AD) list consists of
1x3Cv (Gen), 1x4Kn or 3Cv, 4x3Cv, 1x2LH, 1 EL or 3Cv.
1x 3Aux or 3Cv, 2x7Hd. and 1x2Ps

25mm Sassanid Persian Levy Spearmen by Heritage Miniatures
2 Elements of 7Hordes

From the package of figures I produced two elements of 7 man hordes and three elements of 2 man psiloi. I know the list only calls for one element, but I was already using the same figures for two types of elements. I wasn't going to use them to also provide the  element of auxilia.So I based extra psiloi. I figure that I can use some of my later Roman, as well as some of my Saracen DBA/HOTT Arabian Cavalry to complete the other requirements needed to field the Sassanid Persians.

 25mm Sassanid Persian Levy Spearmen by Heritage Miniatures
3 Elements of 2 Psiloi

I hope that the figures will see battle early next month when I plan introduce a recent gaming acquaintance to the joys of DBA. Romans vs the Sassanids. May the best Empire win. After the clash,  I'll raise a glass of rum and coke in memory of Harris, and the many battles we had between these two old foes.