Thursday, 30 May 2013

IHMN - Her Majesty's Martian Constabulary

As promised, photo's of my first company for In Her Majesty's Name - Her Majesty's Martian Constabulary (HMMC). (I did think of calling it the Royal Martian Constabulary, but decided to use the rules' name as a theme.) The company is based upon the Scotland Yard list (from the rulebook) with a few twists, mainly supposing that the best and brightest candidates are at the heart of the Empire - i.e. Scotland Yard - and those who wash up in the British Martian Colony are (for varied reasons) not as ... competent or disadvantaged in some other way ...

In the descriptions below, IHMN figure types from the Scotland Yard list are in bold, as are extra equipment that the figure may have and game values not on the list. All the figures except for Frannie are from Ironclad Miniatures.

So, first up is the company's leader their Consulting Detective, the Countess Adler, more commonly called Lady Eileen, who is pictured to the right. As you can see, she is holding a bouquet of her favourite Martian Orchids. These sweet smelling flowers have an uncanny knack of clearing noxious vapours very rapidly and are as effective as a breath preserver. Her female intuition (intuitive) has been of great benefit to her and HMMC more than once.
Points: 50 = 43 [Consulting Detective] + 2 [breath preserver] + 5 [intuitive]
To the left is Lady Eileen's plucky young maid - Frannie, an orphan from the mean streets of New York (tough). She is very plucky (4+), a superb shot with her pistol (SV +3), but not terribly good in a fight (FV +0), much preferring to use her natural speed (Speed +2) to run away, although the protected clothing (brigandine) supplied by her mistress has saved her from harm more than once.
Points: 20 = 4 [Pluck 4+] + 4 [SV +3] + 5 [tough] + 2 [speed +2] + 3 [pistol] + 2 [brigandine]
Next is Lady Eileen's ... assistant perhaps is the best word ... Mr Sheldon Cooper-Holmes. A veritable encyclopaedia of knowledge, he is lacking in social skills, and although on Mars he aspires to be a consulting detective, in London he would almost certainly be a Chief Inspector. Although he lacks leadership ability, the strange way that his mind works does make him impervious to the mystical powers his company has occasionally faced. Although Mr Cooper-Holmes believes that he has a most erudite wit, he doesn't ... not at all ... in no shape or form ...
Points: 30 = 31 [Chief Inspector] -6 [remove Leadership +2] + 5 [impervious]

The Good Doctor - Dr Leonard Hofstadter-Watson is Mr Cooper-Holmes' great friend and colleague and is hopelessly enamoured with Lady Eileen. No more of a leader than his friend Dr Hofstadter-Watson is constantly mistaken for a medical doctor when he is, in fact, a doctor of engineering - Frannie has suggested that, perhaps, he shouldn't carry his tools in a doctor's bag, but he has yet to listen to this sage advice ...
Points: 24 = 27 [Good Doctor] -3 [remove Leadership +1] -5 [remove medic] + 5 [engineer]
Inspector Corbitt was a Sergeant during the years that he spent at the Metropolitan Police with his good friend Barker and although an 'inspector' in HMMC, he remains a Sergeant at heart, readily deferring to those he sees as his betters (mainly Lady Eileen, occasionally 'Dr HW' and (rarely) Mr 'CH').
Points: 18 = 18 [sergeant] 

Sergeant Barker served in the 'Met' with Corbitt as a constable, and, like Corbitt, although of higher rank in HMMC he remains a Constable at heart. His many years on the beat have given him a wide knowledge of first aid techniques though (medic)
Points: 16 = 11 [constable] + 5 [medic]

The Constables of HMMC are equipped as their Scotland Yard brethren are, although they do regularly carry carbines. Also, due to the relative paucity of street lighting in Martian cities, they are issued Carbide Lamps for night shifts
Points: 11 = 11 [constable]. Equipment options as Scotland Yard, plus can carry carbide lamp at +3 points

So there it is! opinions requested!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

In tomorrow's post ...

Just thought I'd let you all know that I've finished my first IHMN company - "Her Majesty's Martian Police". I've done 14 figures - all from Ironclad Miniatures - and it will be based on the Scotland Yard list with some tweaks.

I hope to get photos of the figures done tonight and if I do I'll publish them here tomorrow; it is really hectic at work though, so it might be Friday before I can publish them :(

In other news:
  • I've also done my 2mm mediterranean village from Brigade Models, so might get some pics of that up tomorrow as well
  • I've ordered some figures from Brigade and Black Tree to experiment converting into Martians
  • Got some stuff from Irregular on the way, more 2mm and some of their 42mm to use with my 40mm

Friday, 24 May 2013

Clearco Miniatures 02

I got some more photos done this morning before leaving for work and these are a bit better and are probably as good as I'm going to get until I get my lighting sorted properly.  So first up is a line-up style shot with the Clearco girls mixed up with other manufacturer's figures as a size indicator.

From left to right in the pic below the manufacturer's are: Copplestone, Clearco, Clearco, Copplestone, Clearco, Clearco, Studio (I think!), Clearco, Clearco, Black Cat Bases.
As I said before, the figures are on the large side, but as you can see they fit nicely. They are also different heights (as real people are funnily enough!) and are help by not being on slottabases, although if they were, it wouldn't be an issue - for me anyway. Obviously YMMV.

Onto individual pics of each of the figures; in each of them the Clearco girls are paired with Van Fampi and Zed-Me, two figures that I have used a lot for size inidication.
added right hand (RH) pistol
no hands added
added RH pistol
added RH pistol
added RH pistol & LH hammer
open RH, put spade in it
So there you have it - my painting of the Clearco Female Survivor set. One thing I should mention is that Juan, the man behind Clearco, mentioned that the spade in the last lady's hand was intended to be held by the lady in the second photo - I guess with the handle resting on her hand - and the lady in the last pic was intended to hold the crowbar ... I might change them to match the intentions, but I'm not sure.

In other news:
  • Did some more painting last night and decided on the uniform colours for Her Majesty's Martian Constabulary; need to check how it looks in the cold light of day yet though ...
  • Did some work playing with Stoelzel's 'The Cottage' yesterday to 'redden' it up for a Mars version; the prints look good
  • I was right - 6 IHMN companies identified and in the process of quantifying them

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Only one - but it's a biggie!

I finished the Clearco ladies last night, but the photos I took this morning have not come out well at all :(

Therefore I'm going to try again tonight - hopefully with better results!

I also finished Talos and that photo came out better and has a Clearco lady in for comparison. I'm very pleased with how he's come out, but the magic dip I used has given a very glossy finish - I don't think it did this last time I used it .... perhaps I didn't shake it enough ...

In other news:
  • I fished out my VSF minis last night and started painting them - really getting into this painting lark again now ...
  • I had a quick guestimate at how many IHMN companies I could make and I got to about 6 without even trying! more details on that after I've finished my Clearco series - and read the rules of course!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Clearco Miniatures 01

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently bought the 'Modern Female Survivors' set of 6 figures from Clearco Miniatures. I've not finished them yet, so this post is a review of dealing with Clearco and an initial review of the figures themselves..

Dealing with Clearco
After learning about the existence of Clearco on the Board of the Living Lead, I decided that I really liked the figures and emailed Clearco as directed on their blog. Personally, I don't really like ordering by email like this and would prefer to use a shopping cart system - it feels more professional and less ... 'transient'.  However, this is Clearco's first release, so expecting a fully-fledged webshop is unreasonable, so I enquired via an email. One very quick response later (within an hour!) and I'd learnt that the postage to the UK was very reasonable (just under 3 euros, but Clearco have moved location since then, so that will probably change) and I ordered a set.

I got an acknowledgement of my payment, which doesn't always happen with online purchases (but I am certainly reassured when it does!), that was a non-automated email saying that the mini's would be sent as soon as possible. This was followed 3 days later by a mail saying they had been sent, and then the mini's arrived 3 days after that.

To sum up then; ordering from Clearco has been one of my most trouble-free, speedy, and well-communicated experiences in the world of internet shopping - not just hobby related purchases. Obviously, with their recent move across the continent, this may change, but my impression is that I would be surprised if it did.

The Figures
The first thing to say about the figures, is that they are incredibly light. I didn't really twig before ordering them that they are made of resin - this means that they are much lighter than even hard plastic figures - so much so that my initial reaction on picking up the parcel when it arrived was that it must be empty! but (obviously!) it wasn't.

Having opened the parcel, I found the figures inside and then made my second discovery - of the six figures, two have both hands cast on them, three have one hand cast and one has no hands at all. Where there is a hand (or two) missing the arms end at the wrist and either have a sleeve or bracelet/watch to disguise it - a very nice touch IMO. To fill these 'stumps' there is a selection of hands and articles shown in the pic to the right. Missing from the photo though is the crowbar (my bad, I didn't realise it wasn't in the shot at the time). These bits are quite delicate though; circled in the pic are the two bits of the axe-hand that I managed to break when washing them - so be careful!

Size-wise, the figures are on the large-ish side. The pic to the left shows a quick comparison, featuring a Grekwood Miniatures Hospital Zombie, Clearco in the centre and Zombie-Me. I'll do some more comparison shots when I've finished painting them, but to me, although large, the mini's are not overly so, and IMO, completely compatible with my other 28's. (If you look REALLY closely at the pic, you can just about make out the stump at the end of the right arm in this pic.)

 To try and counter the lightness of the figures and as they are not slotta-base figures (which you can see in the pic above and to the right; they have small (and quite thin!) integral bases), I decided to add an extra steel disc to the normal coin I base my figures on - as shown to the right - which I then hid with wall filler (my current basing material of choice).
Well that's it for now other than these last two pics which show their current state of painting and how I filled the 'stumps'.

Just so you know, in this pic, the left figure came with no hands, the other two with no right hand.
And in this pic, the centre figure had no right hand, and the other two hand both hands present.  The rightmost figure has an open right hand which allows the crowbar or spade to placed there. Unfortunately you can also make out the top edge of the steel disc - corrective surgery needed! The leftmost figure has no need of weapons - attitude seems 'enuff' for her!

To sum up: I'm very pleased with the figures and glad I got them. The missing hands, and selection supplied, allows for a wide range of choice and I think it's a great idea.  I will buy more from Clearco in the future, I'm sure.

In other news:
  • Very nearly finished my Steve Barber Models' 'GMB4 Talos "The Man of Bronze"' last night
  • I've managed to get my main Lord of the Rings Online character into Moria - it is incredibly spectacular and well worth the wait

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Painting? What's That? and "In Her Majesty's Name"

First of all, apologies for the extended lack of posting [again! :( ] ...but moving on from that ...

As followers of my blog may remember, I moved home in the last quarter of 2012, and since then I've not done a single bit of painting ... I'm really not sure why that is, but I just haven't. Going back over my (infrequent!!) blog posts, I've made some buildings, but no painting :(

Anyway, after I first saw them on the Board of the Living Lead, I decided to get some of Clearco Miniatures' first releases - Modern Female Survivors. Anyway, I've nearly finished these and hope to 'magic dip' them tonight, so look for pics later this week ...

In other news:
  • My copy of "In Her Majesty's Name" VSF rules from Osprey arrived yesterday. Not read much beyond the introduction as yet, but my first impressions are very, very good! I'm certainly looking forward to reading the rest.
  • I've based all my Land Ironclads and 2mm Infantry, so hopefully now I'm painting again I'll get some of them done and photographed soon.
  • As well as the Clearco mini's I've mad a start on my 40mm Greeks as well, and I'm looking forward to the release of Of Gods and Mortals Mythological Wargame Rules from Osprey later in the year, which seem tailor-made for these figures ...
  • I'm getting everything I need together to build a 15mm country village for my VBCW project
  • The '1st Light' spaceship will get some attention in the near future ... (honest!)