Friday, 29 December 2017

"We Didn't Leave Earth To Be Safe."

"Seal all inner doors! Mother, any additional ammo on board?"
These three 32mm scale resin "Prodos Games" miniatures of H.R. Giger's Aliens are from the company's "Alien Verses Predator: The Hunt Begins" board game, but can also be purchased separately as AVP Alien Infants. Each model comes in a number of separate pieces so as to provide numerous different poses, and resultantly caused me a little head-scratching as to which way their wonderfully-detailed tails should be attached.

The "hostile, deadly and numerous" extra-terrestrials have their tail spines protruding out of the top of their lethal appendages according to the photograph of the company's officially painted models, and this seems to fit with the motion picture versions too. However, I have also seen numerous versions of the kit where the tail has been super-glued the other way round too; a position which seems to be particularly popular with those hobbyists wanting to have the tail rearing up from behind the Alien like some sort of stabbing venomous serpent.
"What happened here?"
In the end I went with the second option, as I actually felt the resin pieces themselves literally bent far more favourably with the spines pointing down. Although even this 'safe option' didn't stop one tail from snapping in half when I was trying to re-position it in order to ensure my future handling of the figure on the tabletop was more manageable. Indeed, with hindsight I believe that one of the reasons I may well have held back from painting these miniatures for so very long was due to my concern over (mis)handling them...

I initially gave the Alien Infants an undercoat of "Citadel" Abaddon Black before simply dry-brushing each model with "Vallejo" German Grey. The Stalkers were then washed with "Citadel" Nuln Oil before I applied a second, significantly lighter dry-brush of "Vallejo" German Grey over the figures' more prominently raised surfaces. Each mouth was painted using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Grey and "Citadel" Nuln Oil, whilst their head carapaces were treated to a final thick coat of Abaddon Black.
Dungeon Wall Tile WIPs - The 3D printed piece has been primed, washed and dry-brushed
Having previously painted several "Horrorclix" versions of this iconic monster, it is clear that the "Prodos Games" sculpts are infinitely superior, if not a little less robust. This has meant that despite my application of the same recipe the "Vallejo" German Grey appears far more visible to the naked eye than it does upon the "Wizkids"models; presumably because there are significantly more ridges on the newer miniatures for the pigment to sit upon.

Lastly, on the sound recommendation of PulpCitizen ("Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer"), I have purchased a large room's worth of "Dragonlock" 3D-printed tiles from the Ebay seller "3D Horizons". These somewhat hefty 'plastic' pieces are apparently sold "under agreement from Fat Dragon Games" and will hopefully form the start of an entire dungeonscape to rival that of any produced by "Dwarven Forge" and at a significantly cheaper price; albeit I obviously have to paint my own parts up...

32 comments:

  1. A very nice post to end the year, Simon. For once, your gloss varnishing enhances the look of your Aliens. I have heard a lot of bad reports about Prodos in respect to their treatment of Kickstarter backers. I hope you weren't one of those affected. It has certainly put me off ever purchasing from them.
    I don't play enough fantasy games to warrant start collecting 3D terrain to make a dungeon complex, but if I did, I'd go with the Battle Systems fantasy card terrain set, an even cheaper option than yours... and it comes pre-painted! Still, I wish you well with this new project, as you've obviously decided this is the route to take.

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    1. Thanks Bryan. Thankfully, I didn't do the "AVP" KS, and bought my boardgame elsewhere after the KS was all over. As memory serves I've only ever bought from "Prodos Games" in person at "Salute" and frankly found them rather amateurish - loads of enthusiasm for their ranges, but rather unfocused on their products - if that makes sense. I also vividly remember the very unhappy KS line at "Salute" for people who hadn't yet received their goodies - not a good advertisement for a company.

      I'm hoping to do a lot of "D&D" in 2018, and having always wanted something similar to "Dwarven Forge" I rather liked the idea of 3D Terrain; plus the seller has been very communicative so far, and is steadily building up his range. As you say, not the cheapest option, nor easiest, but one over the next few months which should build me a nice-sized set.

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  2. All the best on the dungeon project. In this `day and age` (awkward expression that, which sort of has a vague meaning at best lol) the choices for starting an under realms for your miniatures is multi optional, and I think it really comes down to personal preference: myself I like making my own moulds and casting my walls and floors in plaster of paris... easy (and easy to paint) quick to make, and if any tile breaks, just make another.

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    1. Cheers Steve. I thought a "D&D" tile posting would attract your attention :-) There are so many options out there, as you say, but I'm hoping that this 3D one will keep going until I've enough for a BatRep or two. I've thought about self-casting myself, but must confess I'm a bit too lazy to get into something like "Hirst Arts" :-)

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    2. Hirst Arts are labour intensive. Nice though.

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    3. Indeed they are, Phil. I've bought a few pre-made kits from Ebay, and always thought they still needed a lot of work before being tabletop ready (e.g. sanding down the tile bottoms, so they lay flat etc).

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  3. Great job on the aliens Simon, and interesting dungeon sections. Hope you have a great New Year mate and look forward to seeing you in 2018

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    1. Thanks Dave. Happy New Year to you too, and I'll certainly be seeing you at "Salute" and hopefully, "Bovington" in 2018 :-)

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    2. Look forward to it mate, are you going to Beachhead in Bournmouth in February ?

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    3. I'm hoping to, if I remember it. I think Roy is hoping to be there as well :-)

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    4. Indeed he mentioned it on the cupboard, always great to put a face to an avatar ! Could be a mini blog meet up

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    5. "Could be a mini blog meet up" - now that would be cool, Dave :-)

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  4. They look awesome dude. Fine additions to the hive. I had similar fears with the rresin figures from Provost and it is what has killed my desire to buy them.

    Those tiles are off to a good start dude

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    1. Cheers Simon. Hoping to do some more "Alien Vs Blake's Seven" BatReps in the New Year, hence I wanted to build up my hive force. I think I was very lucky in being able to pin the broken tail back together, as the resin just about took the thinnest wire I could find. I own a lot of "Prodos Games" early stuff, so I'll be doing more in the future but don't plan on buying anything new from them.

      The tiles are great, imho, and once I get enough painted (just be a prime, wash, dry-brush) then I'll start posting more of the range up :-)

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  5. Now THAT grabs my attention as well: some more AVB7 in the New Year. Can`t beat a good Terry Nation classic - and add some Aliens and you have a winner every time. I would like to see and read these AARs very much indeed. Apart from Dave`s rules and a few final batreps for the said same, in prepertion for my own swan song before the big house move into the wilds of Robinson Crusoe land, I have been making my own universal set of table top wargame rules which will work (like G.U.R.PS. does) for everything: so usable for my Chibis, my Fantasy, Sci-fi, Historical... the lot. So I really will be able to play a game of Frostgrave, or Zombies, or Dredd, or Gotham or.. what ever, and instead of needing to rely on learning endless rules, I will simply be able to turn to one universal game manual. Based heavily off Edge of the Empire/Imperial Assault, it works a treat, and because its only for me (and us) I dont have to worry about borrowing material so woohoo, yeeey me hehe. Been working on it for months now, and nearly finished and totally playable (the zombie section alone is actually my magnum opus I believe).

    Intrigued with your aliens AND your new dungeon project to go with it all. Best of luck with it all, and I will check in when ever I can to see progress :-) Will you keep using M&DRG`s?

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    1. I hope to keep using "Zombicide" for my "Alien vs B7" campaign, Steve, using the old "Space Hulk" tiles and converted missions as I've done in the past - the first few BatReps dwell within my 2016 postings.

      Spookily the next BatReps though will be using my own rule-sets (M.I.S.S. - Moore's Incredibly Simply System), as its a really simple pick up and play set which easily allows lots of minis on the tabletop. I've just finished reading the "Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens" comic book series (the reviews are on my Brown Bag blog) and this'll be one of the first big battles of the New Year; alongside a "Doctor Who" one using almost all of the "Warlord Games" minis I own.

      "M&DRG" will continue to play a large part of my BatReps though, as my "Judge Dredd" campaign continues, alongside "Gotham", and I plan to use "Song Of Blades & Heroes" for more "Lord Of The Rings" and my 3D "D&D" campaigns - of which I've set aside February for a gigantic push :-)

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  6. I love those Aliens, and I'm infatuated with your "Alien vs B7" idea (which I'll be looking up in your earlier postings, and following in the future!)
    I also really like the idea of being able to get Dragonlock dungeon terrain WITHOUT access to either a 3D printer or a friendly 3d printer owner ;-)
    I was reprimanded by my gaming group for not putting on a Christmas dungeon this year, which made me realise I'd neglected my fantasy campaign, so I'll be resurrecting that over on my own blog in 2018, and will show you my own 'take'(arrived at after a L.o..n...g personal quest)on 3D dungeons there ;-)

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    1. Thanks Greg. The "Alien Vs B7" campaign was definitely one of my gaming highlights of 2016, and as I managed to paint up a couple of extra additions to my forces in 2017, it should be back with a vengeance in 2018.

      I look forward to seeing your own 3D dungeon project in the New Year - sounds like just the sort of thing to keep me motivated with mine :-)

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  7. Fantastic stuff Simon! Even in 32mm those Alien figures are simply terrifying, especially with those teeth showing!

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    1. Cheers Ivor. The "Prodos Games" aliens are quick wins in my books, but look very good in their shiny off-black on the tabletop :-)

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  8. [From: Caveadsum1471] - "Nice looking aliens, good luck with the 3d dungeon terrain.
    Best Iain"

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    1. Thanks Iain. Much appreciated. I see Blogger is playing up with the comments again though.

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  9. Aliens vs Blakes 7 a very cool idea. D+D eh! That takes me back. I found my old cleric, dwarf and human adventurers in the loft while Christmas decoration hunting. The poor dwarf has bad lead rot.

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    1. Cheers Phil. "Aliens vs Blakes 7" is certainly on the cards for a return in the New Year, and yup, they'll be plenty of "D&D" stuff too. Are you thinking of saving your dwarf with some green-stuff and a re-paint?

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    2. Green stuff?
      I Googled and found this possible cure for my little friend.
      Antique restorers used the following procedure on lead antiques which also works on lead miniatures.

      Soak overnight in white wine vinegar.
      Boil in de-ionised water.
      Wash and clean between each process.
      And then repeat.
      It will take a long time to do and some details on the miniature will be losted (or fall off), dependent on how much the miniature has been affected by Lead Rot. The Lead Rot will go soft slowly, so you will need to repeat the process. You can help to speed it up by using modelling picks and files.

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    3. Ah, I read into your comment that dwarf has already lost some of his features to the rot, hence my thought you'd need to green-stuff them back. That sounds like a long process to get your little guy back on the mend.

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  10. How are the Napoleonics coming along? have you completed enough for a skirmish game?

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    1. Not enough Naps finished yet for a skirmish, Phil, but another progress report should be posted soon :-)

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  11. Nice work on the Xenomorphs and the dungeon pieces. :)

    Jason from 3DHorizons has been a real pleasure to deal with. :)

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    1. Thanks Leon, and for recommending "3D Horizons" - hoping to get the entrance hall painted this month and then on to some side corridors and rooms :-)

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  12. You swine!!! My aliens project a kind of ground to a halt and only today I was thinking if kicking it off again. Now I see you have started yours, I'm starting to feel the itch for xenomorphs again:-). I had the same quandary with the tails and thought they look best ridge down! Did you put the tails in hot water before bending to shape? They should not break that way and you can have fun twisting them round!. I've had a few issues with broken and/or missing pieces but went straight to Prodos and had no problems with getting replacements. The KS backers may not be happy but I have found the customer service to be very good. I can also vouch that though they appear fragile the miniatures do bounce rather well and stay in one piece! :)

    Hopefully Fantasy RPG will be returning in January for our little group and I must admit I too would like some 3D dungeon terrain. Could not see any that seller you recommended but will keep an eye out.

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    1. Ha Hah! Sorry Mark :-) I didn't put mine in hot water, but to be honest, the one which broke wasn't being bent anywhere near as much as the other two (its the one with the tail straight up in the air). You're spot on about them bouncing :-)

      Glad to hear your good news story for "Prodos Games", as I haven't done business with them for a while, though that KS queue at "Salute" left a heck of an impression upon me.

      I've got a lot of plans to finish last year's "D&D" project, its all a question of finding a month to fit it in, but the 3D terrain should encourage me to do it :-)

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