Wednesday, 7 January 2015

"Unit Three Move In."

These five 28mm Federated Security models are by “Crooked Dice Design Game Studio” and are ‘dead-ringers’ for the dastardly black-clad henchmen of the Terran Federation from the BBC science fiction television series “Blake’s Seven”. Three of the miniatures, which are slightly thinner than ‘heroic 28mm’ scale and are somewhat sedentary, have been sculpted by “Crooked Dice” regular Ian Mountain. Whilst the more dynamically posed and slightly thicker-set Federation goons are by Martin Buck. All of the models came with separate heads.
Each figure was initially given a double undercoat of “Citadel” Abaddon Black before they were all rather roughly dry-brushed with “Vallejo” Heavy Charcoal. This is a new paint to me, although I have owned it for quite a while as it came as part of a larger set of dropper bottles, so I wasn’t entirely sure what effect it would actually have on the models. Needless to say I’ll be using it in the future to highlight all of my predominantly black coloured figures as it really brought out the detail of each model’s sculpting. However I did feel the need to tone down its contrast to the undercoat somewhat so I applied the first of three eventual washes of the “Citadel” Shade Nuln Oil over each miniature.
Once dry I painted each helmet’s green trim with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Khaki and “Citadel” Thrakka Green, and all of the figures’ visors with “Vallejo” Heavy Red. Finally their belt buckles and Federation rifles were painted with “Citadel” Boltgun Metal and their key chains with “Mithril Silver”. All of these areas, except the helmet trim, were then given two coats of Nuln Oil to tie them all together.
I am currently working on a second squad of these 'terrifying troopers', having bought both the Federated Security Starter Set from "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", as well as a few additional carbine-carrying guards. Indeed, having almost finished their Guard Commander with Balaclava I have managed to dry-brush four of the henchmen's jump suits with charcoal and 'pick out' the trim on their gas mask helmets.
Originally I had swapped two of the models' heads with those from the company's Balaclava head sprue in order to create a couple of non-commissioned officers. But I found the heads to be slightly too large for my liking and as a result they seemed to actually make the miniatures marginally taller than those wearing the helmets; something which irked me to the point where I swapped the heads back.

Instead my Terran Federation forces will now be lead by Space Commander Travis, using the wonderfully understated Stefan Travers miniature by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio".

16 comments:

  1. Another great entry, I love all these Blake's 7 miniatures.

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    1. Cheers Michael. They are rather ruining the painting of the models I had planned for the challenge though... and "Crooked Dice" have just released some more science fiction minis this week.

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  2. Lovely job on these dude!
    I loved this series as a kid, these are bringing back some nice memories.

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    1. Many thanks Bob. Really getting into this project now - all thanks to a Secret Santa pressie as well!?! As soon as I've got the next squad finished, we plan to run a short campaign just using B7 minis and the Space Hulk tiles. Hopefully that'll bring back some more memories as we're hoping to base the games on episodes :-)

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  3. Great job. They all look fantastic. I really must resist these trying to be good. I have 6 balaclava heads in the bitz box.

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    1. Cheers Simon. I'd be very interested to see how you get on with the balaclava heads. I'm going to see if they work better with the thicker Martin Buck troopers as I think they're too big for the slimmer Ian Mountain sculpts. I have seen them on the new "Crooked Dice" not-Unit soldiers and they look awesome - and they're thicker-set minis too.

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  4. I do like how these have turned out, Simon. You're building up a nice force of Federated security personnel. I look forward to seeing them taking part in one of your scenarios.

    Incidentally, whilst there is nothing wrong with using the tiles from Space Hulk for your sci-fi games you do have other options. Resin terrain is far too expensive, even if it does look gorgeous. But have you considered card terrain, which is really cheap, but does mean you need to take time out to build it? I have some myself and can point you in the right direction if you're interested.

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    1. Thanks Bryan. That is much appreciated. We were using the "Space Hulk" stuff as otherwise it'll never be used. However I do own the "Mantic" plastic stuff from the Deadzone kickstarter, which I know some are using for corridors. Just no time to build it yet though. I've also got the Omega Prime - Core Set pdf from Wargame Vault. But again its been finding the time to print it, cut it out and glue it. I'd be very interested in your opinion though. What do you recommend?

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    2. Stoelzel's Structures make an excellent sci-fi set called Blue Giant (a play on the words Red Dwarf) that gives you options for clean floors, walls and rooms or covered in either green or purple tentacles and other alien growths. It also comes with loads of furniture and props. Here's a link to it -
      http://www.wargamevault.com/product/132194/Blue-Giant?manufacturers_id=4244
      Price is $10.00 or £6.61. The set contains over 300 pages. That's a lot of bang for your buck.

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    3. Cheers Bryan. I'll give it a look and see how I get on :-)

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  5. Excellent figures and painting. You are not making easy to stay away from crooked dice minis. Please paint something I don't want next time 😉

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    1. Cheers CW. If its any consolation I'm supposed to be working my way through my "Heroclix" and "Pulp Figures" presently, not "Crooked Dice". And as tomorrow's posting will show, because I've spent the past week painting British sci-fi minis I've become distracted by another manufacturer as well...

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  6. Great team of goons. I love love love that juicy 'tache on the commander as well.

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    1. Thanks Dai. I went with a big bushy brown one in order to at least try and break up some of the black & charcoal. I did consider grey but then thought he'd look a bit too old for the job! Just basing him now for Saturday's submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

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  7. Another cracking paint job there Simon, I particually like the way the green bands around the helmets has turned out, I does look like the clear green ones from the originals, well done sir.

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    1. Many thanks Roger. A couple of them have gone a little too green for my liking but I've just painted another four, and a larger brush means I can get the wash on the trim in one long stroke. The trouble with Thrakka Green (or mine at least) is that it dries very quickly, so if you make a mistake you're doomed!

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