Saturday, 30 August 2014

New Vehicle Accessories from The Ion Age

Another quick update on what's jumping over at the Ion Age.

With all the cool vehicles and miniatures coming out, they have still managed to produce this excellent assortment of vehicle greeblies for their Adder. Not only can you pick up packs of these, but you can also grab individual bits.

For more info, head over - HERE

The Everyday War Gamer: DIY Lightbox

Many of us war gamers and modelers enjoy sharing photographs of our models through social media sites, forums and blogs. Unfortunately taking pictures of our small metal soldiers can sometimes prove to be difficult. Modern cameras are capable of capturing highly detailed images but simple things like bad lighting can ruin what would otherwise be a great picture.

An easy way to improve your photographs is to control how light falls on you minis. By manipulating the lighting you can minimize reflections and shadows that would otherwise obscure detail. Similarly, by controlling the light you can ensure that your photographs capture the true colors of your troops and help make them pop.

The easiest way to ensure good lighting is by taking pictures outside on a cloudy day. If your not patient enough to wait for perfect outdoor conditions then your next best option is to use a lightbox. There are dozens of lightboxes and light tents available commercially, but building your own is simple. Let me show you how it's done...

You can build it. You have the technology.

The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. You will need the following:
  • A cardboard box large enough to contain the models that you want to photograph.
  • Tissue paper (the kind for wrapping gifts, not the kind for blowing your nose).
  • Tape
  • A box cutter, hobby knife, or even a kitchen knife
  • A ruler or straight edge
  • A pen or marker
Now use your ruler to draw a square on three sides of the box. The optimum way to do this is to lay the ruler on the box, along the outside edge. This will give you pretty good spacing from the edge of the box face.

The next step is to cut out the squares using your box cutter. When you are done the box should look something like this (maybe without the cat peeking through):
Next you'll want to tape tissue paper over each of the openings that you cut into the box. You can trim off the extra, or just wrap it around and tape it to various points on the box.

The final step is installing a background. If you want the seamless look that many minis retailers use then a sheet of white poster board will do the trick. Trim the poster board down so that it will slide into the box. You want to tape it against the top of the back wall, then allow it to curve out towards the opening in the front of the lightbox. This is the final result:
Voila! You've just finished your lightbox.

Let there be light!

Now that the light box is complete all that's left to do it is light it up. You will need a total of three light sources. I am using two desk lamps and a magnifier lamp on a long arm to light mine. For best results you should try to use 100 watt daylight bulbs. Incandescent bulbs will work, but will give a slightly yellow tinge to your photos (which you can correct in Photoshop or GIMP, but that's another article).

The tissue paper will allow light through, but will diffuse it so that your model doesn't catch any harsh reflections. You can control the amount of shadow by how you set up your lights. If you want lots of shadows use light coming in from only one side of the box. To reduce the amount of shadow bring in light from both side of the box, and to eliminate almost all of the shadows bring in light from the top as well.

Take some pictures!

I think that you will find that using the lightbox makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your pictures. Here an example of my results without the box versus with it.

Friday, 29 August 2014

UK and EU Backers Will Have Their Rewards Shipped From Scotland

Project image

Hey folks,

I wanted to post an update on this Yan'drassi Invasion Kickstarter of mine. 

I have arranged for pledge rewards for backers in the UK and EU to have their rewards shipped from my associates at, in Scotland. While this will not reduce my shipping costs (I am contracting with them) it will reduce or eliminate the fees and taxes that are often associated with imported items from outside those regions.

I hope that this will help to eliviate any concerns folks in those parts of the world might have about backing a project based in the U.S. 



An Interview With Scott Pyle Author of Blasters and Bulkheads

By Eli

Hello all,

A while back I had a chance to interview Scott Pyle, author of Blasters & Bulkheads

If you are not familiar, B&B is a science fiction skirmish game that focuses on the sort of wild and crazy Space Opera adventure common in film and TV series as well as pulpy stories. The game plays with as little as a hand full of figures per side and utilizes the very entertaining Goalsystem rules. It is scenario driven game where objectives are key.

Thanks to Scott for the interview and if you haven't given Blasters and Bulkheads a try, please do. It's a treat.

1.       For those who do not know about B&B, can you give us a quick description of the game concept, in your own words?

In Blasters & Bulkheads, players use the Goalsystem mechanics to play out Space Opera style skirmishes in either 15mm or 28mm.  The game contains versatile, "build-your-own" rules that let players use whatever models they want from their collections. Rules for weapons from primitive to high-tech allow for just about any flavor of sci-fi players want, but with a mostly cinematic feel. You could play a Star Wars style skirmish just as easily as you could a a 40K or Inquisitor style battle.

2.       What would you say is the optimal number of figures needed by a single player to have  good game of B&B?

Five models per side feels best for me. But players can use as few as 1 or 2 models per side, up to as many as 20 or 30.  The Henchmen rules Goalsystem is famous for mean you can move a lot of "mooks" around very efficiently. 

3.       B&B was a pretty solid game to begin with. Why the new edition?

B&B 1st ed. was solid, but it still had some holes.  I wanted cleaner layout better suited to Lulu's print on demand process, a new cover, and slightly less emphasis on aping the tropes of a certain popular space opera series.  I kept Essence as one "source" of weird powers, and added in the idea of Psionics as well as an alternative.  I really wanted to make it so folks could do Inquisitor style skirmishes too.

4.       What would you say are the major differences between 1st and 2nd ed?

A lot of little things. Superior layout and cover artwork.  New mechanics for hacking, giant monsters, and destroying structures also add extra detail.  I added a few new powers as well.

5.       The 1st edition rules seemed very much designed to engage a very specific science fiction franchise that took place in a galaxy far far away, was this the plan and does that carry over to the new edition?

It still does, but as I suggested above, it's been broadened a bit to include other sci-fi tropes.  You can certainly still have your Essence Warriors running about slicing up the Minions of the Galactic Hegemony, that's for sure!

6.       I am a fan of both gritty sci-fi as well as Space Opera, will B&B work well for both?

YMMV, on this one!  You can use the build system to tailor games to your play style.  Want weaker characters?  Start them with less Vitality or lower damage resistance.  Or increase the Damage Numbers on some of the weapons.  B&B has enough dials to allow folks to tinker with the lethality to create killer games

7.       I know this is always a tough question, but what is your favorite element of B&B?

I love the character build system!  You can build just about anything, and we include rules for making your own new traits to add other stuff in as you see fit.
8.       What do you think is B&B’s strongest point(s)?

Versatile character creation, consistent mechanics, and a slant towards story-based skirmish play.  I like to think of B&B as adventure skirmish role-play in the same vein as some of my other games--SuperSystem and Goalsystem Delves.

9.       One rule, I really like is the Henchmen. Would you mind giving us a brief rundown on the concepts of these rules.

No problem!  The Henchmen rules work under the concept of many models moving and acting as a single model.  So your band of 5 nameless guards (5 being the starting, default size for a group), moves and acts as one model.  You make one attack and one defense roll for the whole group, for example.  If the group takes 3 points of Vitality loss, you remove 3 models. You can buy up a henchmen group to as many as 15, 20, or even more models.  It all depends on your collection of miniatures!

10.   B&B is very setting and scenario oriented. Does this mean we might see expansions of specific genres, an “in-house” setting or campaign books in the future?

Oh yes!  My partners Enrico Nardini, Joseph Dragovich, and I see a lot of potential to tailor the B&B rules to specific sub-genres and settings. Rico is getting ready to launch his own line of miniatures, Dark Vacuum. And we'll be doing write-ups for those models using the B&B rules.  I love the idea of a setting that features Xeno Anthropologists exploring lost worlds and discovering alien species and slumbering gods man was not meant to know about!  That's a possibility! 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Gruntz 15mm: D.E.A.T.H. Teams cyborg army

Ok so I managed to finish off the middle sized cyborgs for the army. They are the Synod's highly skilled shock troops and commandos. They drop from orbit using a combo grav pack/ shield generator which is used up during the jump. The empty packs are buried before the troops head out to their objective to reduce the risk of enemy observation.

The Jotuns are about twice the size of a standard bio-bod immortal and carry full auto lasers to support their smaller brothers.

All of the cyborgs are very fast and can cover a lot of ground. All cyborgs have the long runners perk, and some have the ultimate agility perk giving them a move of 7" standard.

All,in all the force is a fast hard hitting and we'll armored force but very expensive points-wise as befits a highly capable commando unit.


Lasers and Broadswords: Five Parsecs From Home Campaign turn 1

Post from Lasers and Broadswords blog. 

Written By Alexander Wasberg

Five Parsecs From Home Campaign turn 1 I have finally gotten my Campaign going!

My Adventurers can be found here: Link

Currenty stuck on a sandy, somewhat inhospitable world known as Ares-2, our heroes find them-selves in an unenvious position. This planet is a dump, quite frankly, and they would like to head to one of the myriad of other worlds on the fringe.

But there is a problem; in their latest attempt to "hit the jackpot", their spacecraft was destroyed when they tried to evade the local customs agents. The ship was a rickety old death-trap, to be sure, but it was their ticket out of here as well.

Now they find that they have no choise but to try and find a patron, do make enough dough to get a new ship, or failing that, a shuttle-ticket to a slightly more civilized planet.


Captain Black: As the leader, he goes out to find a job, and without too much trouble or haggling, he finds a Calamian diplomat, who offers them a job.

Mr. Hammer: The warbot is left behind to guard the room the group resides in at a local seedy motel.

Chiyo: Goes out to find something to barter for, the rent needs to be payed, even if they can't find a job!

Mr. Smith: Strikes out to look for a patron as well, has preciously little luck however.

The Job:
As the diplomat explained to the captain, the job is simple; Go to an run-down settlement a few miles south of town, explore the area and assess the damage on the remaining structures and the local micro-plant.
The reason is simple; the Calamian corporate interests in the area is great, but buying unsurveyed property on the fringe is unadvisable, so our heroes are doing so for them.

What he failed to mention is the gang of punks who have taken over the area since it's official abandonment a few years ago, but that information felt irrelevant to the diplomat, it didn't have anything to do with their main interest in the area after all!

The Mission:

The Group meets up back at the motel, grabbing gear and getting ready to head out:

The Captain brings his trusted revolver.
Mr Hammer is wired up with a Gattling gun (counts as rattle-gun) and a brutal melee weapon.
Chiyo carries a handgun, as well as her wrench.
Mr Smith has a modified assault weapon (counts as rattle-gun with assault module)

As the approach the area, they notice that there are indeed punks there, and not being terribly surprised at their employers failure to mention this, they get ready for work. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ambush Alley: Sneak Peek at 15mm GZG Brazilians in Hard Armor

Ambush Alley Games is showing off the latest figures from Ground Zero Games for their Tomorrow's War universe:

Psst . . . here's a sneak peak of Brazilian line troops in the hard armor whose unique optic suite has earned them the nick name of "Cyclops" or simply "Clops."

Brazilian Riflemen in Hard Armor:

Brazilian SAW Gunners:

Brazilian Troops w/Support Weapons (Assault Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Sniper Rifle):

Coming soon to the AAG store for US/Canadian customers and the GZG store for everyone else!



Monday, 25 August 2014

Kickstarter: The Yan'drassi Invasion - New 15mm Scifi Alien Force

Pledge today here:

Our very own Eli from Loud Ninja Games is at it again with another great Kickstarter,  The Yan'drassi Invasion!

A great looking concept and very cool miniatures designs, here is what Loud Ninja Games had to say:
A new 15mm science fiction miniatures range depicting and alien force made up of several distinct species.

The Yan'drassi in an interstellar empire made up of dozens of species presided over by the enigmatic and unseen, Yan. While most of these species contribute to the collective through economic means, several species make their contribution through military service.
This project is designed to bring that fighting force to the table. The bulk of the military is made up of the diminutive Neeks and the martial Tavshar. These aliens will form the core of the Kickstarter as well. Stretch goals will introduce the brutish Horgosi and other aspects of the Yan'drassi military. 
I've pledge already and the stretch goals planned look great too. Go check it out!

Preview: Introducing "El Diablo" - 15mm Scale APC from Coolhand Customs [Shapeways]

Check out this awesome upcoming 15mm vehicle from Steve at Coolhand Customs:  (also, make sure to check out his Shapeways shop for some great starship and other miniatures!)

Hello all, soon I hope to have the long awaited 15mm version of El Diablo available on Shapeways!

 This miniature has been in development for a whopping THREE YEARS, a 6mm version is presently available on Shapeways.  Speaking of which, Shapeways have introduced a great tool for confirming the models printability which is going to save a lot of time checking the complicated geometry. It comprises a system which breaks the model down to print layers and reconstructs the model for analysis purposes - if you look closely it adds a roughness that wont exist on the model which is sent to the printer. 

Print failures are the bane of a shapeways creators life, costing sales and wasting time, once everything on a model is green, we should be good to go.:)

note the rougher texture, this is an analytical model, the system reconstructs the uploaded model in a way that it can digest and check for thickness issues.
 A unique feature of this model is the working, poseable suspension and steering, each wheelset has fully independent, double wishbone suspension and ackermann steering, hit the play button for a demo of the movement range.  

This system allows for off road with great ground clearance, or a low riding, ground hugging high speed highway setup - this setup is best with the additonal aero armor (as pictured at the top of the post), which gives it a mean and exotic look. 

The (hopefully) working suspension system, just a few issues - this is working out pretty great so far! 
be sure to check out my store on shapeways, all sales help fund this and other projects!
 Direct links to the 6mm versions presently available (Thanks Gavin):
 Order in Ultra Detail or Frosted Ultra Detail for best results!

UPDATE: Here is a video showing the suspension

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Getting a Little More Wasted

New Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland Miniatures From

HOF20 Post Apocalyptic Warriors II

HOF21 Post Apocalyptic Assault

The above two packs are now added to the range of post-apocalyptic miniatures offered by Expanding on the theme of ragged, warrior survivalists, these miniatures depict shabbily clad humans in various sorts of head gear wielding rifles, pistols and blades. They are not overly encumbered and are kept just general enough that they could be inserted into a number of possible settings from their intended use to raiders of the space ways or even urban savages. 

Read more - HERE

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sale from Rebel Minis, RavenstarStudios, and ZombieSmith

Hello, JBR, here.  Yup, I'm an occasional junior editor, here, at the Mighty DH.
My humble thanks to Harold and Eli for bringing me in.

On to the news:  Rebel Minis, RavenstarStudios, and Zombiesmith are all having an End of Summer sale.

 20% off at, using the code "nocons" at checkout.
Sale is until the 31st of August.
For more details, check out Rebel's blog, at Rebelminis.Blogspot.Com


25% off at RavestarStudios until the 30th of August.
You can see Chris's offerings, including his 15mm LandCore and Horrid product line, at his blog, RavenstarStudios.

You can also email Chris at for price lists, pics, and to place an order.

Edit to Add:


ZombieSmith is also having a Summer Sale.  Thus, by extension, you can also save on their partner offerings from Flytrap Factory, as well as some tasty 15mm Quar.

15% percent off everything in the store. Use code: "summer" on checkout
Sale is completed at the end of next week (presumably Sunday, the 31st of August).


Full Disclosure:  I've done extensive freelance work for Rebel, and sculpted the Cold Navy product line that Ravenstar sells.  Just so you know.  ;)

Ion Age Quick Update

The Ion Age has released its wonderful new Geo Shelters. These are nice, small habitats structures for your temporary or semi-permanent colony needs. For more information, read - HERE

Thursday, 21 August 2014

FiveCore/Five parsecs from home cured my slump. A rules overview.

Written by Spacejacker Zero of Tiny Solitary Soldiers
Originally posted here. Used with permission.

FiveCore/Five parsecs from home cured my slump.

Well, I made it back to the UK. I'm much happier and my adventures continue.

This week I took a chance on "Five Parsecs from home", a sci-fi campaign book for the FiveCore system. I say took a chance because I couldn't find much about the product on the internet, but it seemed ideally tailored to the sorts of game I have been looking for, basically forever.

(I bought the PDF versions of Five parsecs from home and FiveCore Skirmish Rules from Wargames Vault.)

Here were the selling points that grabbed me:

  • 5 figures per side average game
  • Narrative heavy campaign system
  • Fast playing, narrative based combat system (as opposed to simulation or math heavy)
  • Firefly-esque setting and scope
  • Sandboxy, but not a totally blank slate
  • Provision for solo play

Unbelievably, every one of these claims was completely accurate. The FiveCore rules are a separate (inexpensive) download but the campaign book is where the whole package really starts to shine. It has a lot of very sci-fi specific extra stuff that meshes seamlessly with the core rules. This is because almost all new rules introduced still follow the same basic (and dead simple) dice mechanic.

This one point makes it very easy to make up new rules, even on the fly if you want.

The campaign system features a plethora of charts to generate characters and events. What I liked about them was that they provide enough detail to get your creativity fired up, but are not especially constrictive. The whole thing is designed to assist imaginative narrative.

The bottom line is that after reading the books, I immediately set to rolling up a Group and playing a game. An extremely rare occurrence!

I used my freshly rolled team against a simple gang for this first skirmish. I would definitely suggest using at least a couple of talents or special bits of gear on each side, even for your first game. Testing the game using bland identical figures will not reveal the richness of the system. It is not an exercise in power-gaming.

The game went splendidly. My group attempted to blow up a parked vehicle and escape into the woods. After 13 turns, 2 of team had bailed (run away) two were down on the ground from gunfire and a brawl respectively, and the last man (alien) standing detonated the vehicle's fuel tank with some well placed rifle fire.

Both downed team members recovered, although one will have to skip the next 2 battles and has a permanent limp, and the other has suffered mental scarring.

I will close this quick post with a bombshell. I've found my system.

I have no regrets about the last 4 years of buying, reading and testing rulesets (e.g Multiple Ganesha games, most THW, Pulp Alley, iTen, FUBAR, Savage Worlds et al) which have all had some really cool points... But the FiveCore Skirmish Narrative campaign combo has rendered all of them second-place in one play through. (at least as far as solo small-scale sci-fi narrative skirmish gaming is concerned).

Thank you Ivan Sorensen for writing such a great set!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New Wargaming Site: The Wargames Website!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up to a new discussion and news site for wargaming, The Wargames Website.

Brought to you by the same folks of Angel Barracks, It's a great place for discussion and news.  I've found everyone there to be very helpful and I don't see any off-the-wall or disturbing discussions.   It also seems to be growing leaps-and-bounds every day!

Shawn Carpenter from Ambush Alley Games has a great blog post about it too and has this nice quote:

"The Wargames Website is a new forum, but it's received quite a bit of backing from various game companies, including Ambush Alley Games. The crowd that's gathered there so far seems to be very friendly and knowledgeable about miniature gaming. I highly recommend checking the place out - it's a nice place and well deserving of our support!"

ClearHorizon Miniatures goes to Strategicon!

Only 10 days to go! ClearHorizon Miniatures will be at Gateway 2014 at the Hilton LAX!  This Labor Day Weekend, Aug 29 - Sep 1!  We'll have two tables set up in the main hallway.  We'll be carrying our entire line plus several brand new releases!

We'll also have the printed Gruntz Rulebook for sale at a discounted price and our entire range will be 10% off.

Our second table will have multiple gaming boards setup just for 15mm Gruntz Gaming!  It's free to check out the dealer area and our tables, so come on by!

For more information:

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Preview: Brigade Models shows off new South Africans vehicles and VTOL

Brigade Models is showing off some great new vehicle models: 

To follow up the recent release of the South African Rhino and Wildebeest, I’ve been working on some additional vehicles. I’ve remodelled the popular Buffel APC from the old range and beefed it up substantially – it now shares the same wheels as the Rhino and Wildebeest and could easily accommodate a full squad of infantry. It can be fitted with a cupola-mounted MG, or the roof turret ring will also take either of the secondary turrets from the Wildebeest’s forward mount.

Buffel CG

The other new model is the Hippo truck, which hasn’t been made in 15mm before. I’ve started with the basic design of the 6mm version, and added lots of detail.

Hippo CG

We’ve already had the new hulls for these two printed and they look great. I’ve been able to reuse lots of parts from the Rhino and Wildebeest, so all that’s needed to get these in production is moulds for the resin hulls – they should be out sometime towards the back end of September.

Hippo Master

Buffel Master

And check out this awesome VTOL:

 This is the Angelshark. It’s a small, one-man VTOL with a chin-mounted autocannon and a magazine-fed Kestrel-2 missile launcher in each tilting wingtip nacelle, which also house the main thrusters. The pilot sits between the engine inlets in a flat panel cockpit.

The model consists of a resin body with six metal parts – the two nacelles, chin gun and three small landing feet. We don’t have a release date yet, but as soon as we have the production mould for the metal parts we’ll be good to go.