Jun 022014
 

Morley have always been a straight shooting, fair dealing type even if he’s not too bothered with following the law of the Empire. Most of his peers mock him for being bland, boring or lacking style but Morley doesn’t care. Morley does the job and Morley’s getting paid. That about sums it up. He’s the captain of his own ship, sometimes taking long contracts with big corporations and sometimes doing small jobs for private contractors.

If your money’s good, you’re good with Morley.

Morley’s a Metal Magic Spacelords C3064b Cybertech S.E.C.S Troop with heavy laser, firing.  As always with this range, it’s sculpted by Josef Ochmann and released in the early 90s. I really like this model, and the whole sub-range of S.E.C.S troopers. I have a few more that will make up Captain Morley’s crew. Together they’ll be one of two warbands I’m painting up to try out Pulp Alley.

May 232014
 

Here’s a guy I’ve previously owned, sold, bought again and now finally painted! Commander Skroob is the man in charge of the Empire colony on McKemmler IV and also chief of police in the settlement New Haigts. In this picture he’s accompanied by two Automated Sentient Officers of Law Enforcement, android police manufactured by ArmaSec. Virtually indestructable to anything less than assault weapons, the ASOLEs are armed only with stun-sticks and a short temper. They patrol the streets of the settlements as peace keepers, processing misdemeanors on the spot.

I’m surrounded by Automated Sentient Officers of Law Enforcement!

Skroob is a Metal Magic Spacelords C3706b Trader With Cape, while the ASOLEs are starship crew Security Officers C3720e and C3720f. They were all sculpted by Josef Ochmann and released in the early 90s. Skroob is available from EM4 but seems to have been out of stock for the last few years. If you want one, prod Doug about it and maybe he’ll bring more minis from this great range in production again.

Why didn’t somebody tell me my ass was so big?

 

I used varnish as an effect for the first time, giving the helmets and armour parts a glossy finish. Worked out alright, I suppose. Oh well, now they’re painted and ready for a game! The photos ate pretty much all attempts at highlighting the black, and the gloss now only looks like a crap varnish. Still, they look kinda cool together and I like them quite a bit even if they all have sausage fingers.

Citizen, pick that up! You have fifteen seconds to comply!

May 212014
 

Here’s a not-so-short brief of how I’m imagining the galaxy in the world I’m setting my games and scenarios. Heavily based on that of early Warhammer 40K, I’ve added and removed as I saw fit. It probably does not make sense from any perspective at all – but I’m just pulling a skeleton back-story together so any and all players have a common idea of the background for the scenarios.

The Empire of Earth
After millennia of total war, the galaxy is more or less at peace in the 41th millennium. Mankind lives in relative stability with xeno races, often sharing systems and sometimes even planets, with the squat, eldar and ork races. The behemoth theocracy of the Imperium have crumbled, and the imperial army have been decimated as the major warp gates imploded during the last great wars with the forces of chaos. Humanity is united under the banner of the Empire of Earth, but the god-emperor is no more. The main challenge for the imperial administration is to keep the large and powerful corporations in check and to maintain diplomatic relations with the xenomorph races (xenos).

Core system Empire city

More Empire city.

Only the core systems are under direct administration of the Empire. The rest of the galaxy is sublet to vassal corporations, much like feudal Europe. The armed forces of the Empire consists of the Imperial Guard, the Imperial Navy, Adeptus Mechanicus and the Inquisitorial Diplomats. The old Emperor is still worshipped as a prophet and avatar of God, but the imperial church have undergone a cathartic reform. It is a monotheistic state church of the Empire, but the Empire as a state is now a secularized republic. The name “Empire” is more symbolic than anything, indicating the far reaches of the Empire rather than a political system.

You know the drill by now. Empire. City. Thing…

Yup. More core system city scapes.

 

The Imperial Guard is usually deployed to systems where a large presence is needed over a longer time. A bit like the UN armed forces of today, they’re mainly used for peace keeping. It consists of mechanised infantry with heavy weapon support, but also various elite or specialist squads and regiments. These regiments often contain xenomorph races, such as beastmen, ratlings or squats. Less common are regiments of eldar or orks, but they do exist.

Imperial guardsmen manning an outpost on Aridid Minor, a core system planet plagued by Genestealer cults.

The Imperial Navy consists of two branches; the space fleet and the imperial marine forces. The majority of large scale armed conflicts and wars are resolved with the help of the imperial fleet either in space combat or by means of weapons of mass destruction. Military doctrine have changed, so no longer are massive wars fought planet-side with thousands of troopers charging at each other. Instead, either a system is purged from orbit or tactical nukes and small strike teams of space marines are used. With such a reality, all-out wars are not started lightly and this balance of terror is one of the contributing factors to the current stability in the galaxy.

Smaller ships like these are often used for in-system travel.

 

The Adeptus Mechanicus are based on Mars, from where they scour the galaxy for long lost relics and old technology. Their focus lies on improvement of current technology and new inventions. They have changed into a fully atheist organization and the old ways of worshipping the machine god are gone. They rely heavily on using automatons such as servo skulls and servitors as well as personal cybernetic augmentations. Remnants of the old ways remain in the form of deviant cults, still worshipping the god in the machine. This sometimes lead to internal, ocassionally even armed, conflict.

Brother of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Renegade cultists.

Adeptus Mechanicus with marine bodyguards.

Gun servitor, shambling and/or shuffling.

 

The Inquisition, in the now secular republic, have pretty much lost it’s power. Their main purpose is to aid the Ad Mech in exploratory missions, or to participate in diplomatic missions involving iso-worlds (renegade worlds refusing the Empire, living in the old ways of the Emperor) or xenos.

Inquisitorial transport preparing to drop off a “diplomatic party”.

Inquisitor Sokil Su caught off-guard by an Eldar negotiator.

 

A perilous galaxy
Of course, the galaxy is still a dangerous place. Tyranid hive fleets roam the universe, pirates and privateers harass trade routes, the taint of chaos pours from lesser gates and temporary dimensional rifts. Genestealer cults occassionally surfaces on remote outposts and colonies, and every so often new intelligent life-forms are encountered. Mutant raiders and zealous followers of the Imperium of Old are other factions constantly causing the “new” Empire troubles, especially on the aforementioned colonies.

Eldar pirates in combat.

An imperial outpost over-run by Tyranid.

 

These colonies are usually rather small frontier towns or settlements. Sometimes a colony will grow into a huge metropolis, but that’s rare. Usually a colonized system will consist of a handfull settlements with a few thousand Imperial citizens in each. Indigenous species are mostly left alone, as the Empire or corps normally only colonizes a system to exploit natural resources.

A mercenary on a iso-world colony

Shuttle dusting off from a colony on a fringe system.

Remote mining colony

On many colonized systems the base technology level is fairly low, with higher tech mixed in.

 

Corporations in the Empire
Huge vassal corporations (simply called corps or vassals) rule over planets or systems with absolute control. The Empire has little to no control over the vassal systems. Imperial policies and regulations are usually followed, but ignored when convenient. The Empire rarely enforces law forcefully, but it happens. Most of the time, corps get away with a (big) fine and a slap on the wrist, as the Empire can’t afford the enmity of trade federations and corporate cartels. Corporations work together to maintain trade stability, but the alliances are fragile. Lesser wars fought between rival corps are commonplace. Each corporation have their own standing armies or employ mercenary forces.

Sigma Corp troops regrouping

 

Funnily enough, long after I had drafted this post, I discovered that Space Cow Smith had written a much more thorough and comprehensive series of articles on pretty much the same subject as this. They align pretty well with my over-all vision (wow, delusions of grandeur much?) and idea so here’s a linkydink:
http://talesfromfarpoint.blogspot.se/2014/04/the-state-of-imperium-part-1.html
http://talesfromfarpoint.blogspot.se/2014/05/state-of-imperium-part-2.html
http://talesfromfarpoint.blogspot.se/2014/05/the-state-of-imperium-part-3.html

 

May 182014
 

Meet Paulie, a small-time crook gone big-time over night. Papers is currently based on McKemmler IV, where he’s been mixing it up with ArmaSec agents. Wanted by the Empire for data theft and various other cyber crimes, a bounty have been issued on him. The big question is, can he count on his newfound friends in ArmaSec to bail him out if he gets caught? Probably not…

Paulie Papers, planning capers.

This is a Metal Magic Spacelords C3706c Civilian Carrying Documents. Sculpted by Josef Ochmann and released in the early 90s, he’s still in production and available from EM4 Miniatures for a measly £1.50 at the time of writing. Go get one!

This marks a special occasion by the way. Not only is this the first painted miniature I’m posting this year, it is also the first painted miniature for my scifi project. Oh joy! If you think I’ve downgraded the backgrounds a bit you’re absolutely right. In my constant strife to optimize the process I’ve done several changes to my regular approach to miniature painting (and posting). First of all, I’ve tried to keep as limited a palette as possible. My main source of inspiration is 80s comics. Secondly, I’m doing no blending or serious highlighting or shading. Basecoat, wash, basecoat, highlight. That’s it. I’ve also omitted the scatter or static grass on the base as I’m not 100% certain how I’ll base these models. I want them to be able to share monsters and creatures with my fantasy models, so I’m going for a similar basing style. I might end up putting static grass on these too, or some other ground scatter. The jury is still out. Furthermore, I won’t do scenic shots of the models I post as my main purpose with posting this is to get an online reference and documentation on what I’m painting. Every now and then I might do “specials” with groups of minis, but for now – white backgrounds will have to suffice. This to reduce the setup time and general faffing about with the photos.

Finally, I won’t do detailed write-ups or come up with personalities for EVERY miniature. If I have something, I will post it of course – but I won’t force it.

PS. Collaborative credit to Paul over at sho3box who inadvertently helped me name this guy when we were discussing it and the alliterative naming method Stan Lee has employed. A bit geek, yes.

May 132014
 

I’ve been longing to do science fiction gaming for a long time… a long, long time. However, I haven’t been able to decide on what type of scifi I’m after. I’m equally attracted to Star Wars style swashbuckling, Star Trek-like away team in 60s tv-show action, hard scifi “future modern” warfare, Warhammer 40K space fantasy and Mutant Chronicles mega corporation mercenary fighting. About the only scifi gaming genres I’m not keen on is spaceship combat, really.

The stuff I’m hoping to be painting for the next little while (ie few years). In the bags are a bunch of the earliest Orks (and in the small bag a few Battleclones from Spacelords). It’s a nice mix of old and new.

So, after some introspective soul-searching I came to the conclusion that I want mostly 40K. Mostly. No Dark Eldar, no Necron, no Tau. No “only war” stuff. In the grim darkness of my future, there is some war – but mostly every-day business, wheelings and dealings, schemes and plots. So the main conflict of Emperor vs Chaos must go. Come to think of it, so must the space marines. “WHAT?!” I hear you say. Yeah, no space marine chapters such as they are in 40K. No emperor and no heresy. In fact, no Horus either. Screw all that! I’ll have power armoured elite troopers (ie space marines), some will be organized in chapters (but no Blood Angels, Space Wolves or Ultramarines). I’ll pick a few chapters I think are cool (that means, chapters which colour schemes I like the look of – I don’t know enough background fluff). Those are in, the rest are out. Never existed. Or maybe they did, aeons ago. It’s not really important.

What I’m currently painting.

What I’m aiming for is adventure gaming with the pathetic aesthetics ever present. Main focus will be on 28mm skirmishes using 10-30 miniatures, mainly older sci-fi stuff such as the initial releases for Rogue Trader (up to and including some early 90s stuff), Hobby Products fantastic Space Lords range and Alternative Armies very nice (and old but rechristened) Ion Age range. It has Bob Olley sculpts! I’m not sure what rule system to use here either. Most likely something a bit more accessible than Rogue Trader, such as Savage Worlds Showdown or Pulp Alley.

Here are a few sources of inspiration that I’m drawing heavily from:

Docking Bay 94, Mos Eisley and Tatooine in general. Nice, grubby and lived-in look.

 

Hunters 2 for the iPad and iPhone. Even though you only see a top down view, both troopers and environments are hugely inspiring to me for some reason.

 

Fun 40K! Pic nicked from Jonas’ Death World Adventures. Click the pic to check out his battle report.

 

Firefly, cause it’s a pretty decent space western!

 

2000AD.

 

More 2000AD (I even have a Sam Slade mini ready for paint).

 

Seriously… 2000AD! Almost anything will fit nicely into “my” universe. Strontium dogs, rogue troopers and robo-hunters sound exactly like the type of thing I want. Judges, not so much. It’s too recognizeable (though that could be argued about Johnny Alpha too) and contained within it’s own story. I’ll nab some ideas about mutants, the cursed earth and the dark humour from Dredd though.

 

And here are a few things I’m avoiding completely:

Boring, stupid 40K. This is the image taken from the English wikipedia article on 40K. I shitte thee notte! Marvel at the colourful scenery and well painted miniatures!

 

Dark Eldar

 

Grimdarkonlywaryawn!

 

Squat bikers. Regular space suit and pirate squats, yes! Long haired with bandanas and vests, NO!

 

Arm-flailing retro robots of the 50’s futuuuuure. No thanks. You guys are fun in other contexts.

 

Chaos Space Marines as such. They’re just too big, too bad and too obvious. Not really fun bad-guys. There’s something about this image though… something about the over-the-top daftness is alluring. If I end up using chaos marines, I’ll make sure to not take them seriously! How could anyone take these guys seriously though? Their flamers have “pointy tiff”!

 

Next, something properly painted on this blog – for the first time this year! You jokers in the back muttering “for the first time ever, more like” – don’t think I don’t hear you! Also a more detailed campaign background, to prime my poor uneducated friends who couldn’t tell the difference between a hormagant and a carnifex. Noobs.