Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Swish swish

When I took up wargaming again after a twenty-year hiatus, I decided to swap from 25mm to 15mm. This is partly because the humble Shogun Kamikaze already had lots of 15mm miniatures and terrain but also because 25mm wasn't really 25mm anymore, and I find modern 28-32mm minis too big for my liking. With a totally blank slate, I didn't really know where to start or what to do. I had a notion to make some kind of robot army in 15mm. If nothing else, it would be easy to paint. 

Even though I don't particularly care about them, the Terminator films were undoubtedly an influence on my thinking. I had in mind that the army should be plentiful in numbers and firepower but unimaginative, copying the human form except when it would be impractical. The bulk of the force consists of lots of 15mm.co.uk's Automata infantry. After basing, I washed them with thinned Windsor & Newton black ink, then I put a blob of white paint in the eye sockets followed by a blob of Windsor & Newton red ink, and finally drybrushed them with silver. Some time later I changed my mind and changed the eyes to blue:


I prefer the blue because it gives the robots a more clinical look, and lessens their resemblance to the Terminator robots. While I don't mind taking inspiration from the films, I want the army to feel like it's mine. Because of this, I'm about to slightly change the miniatures below from red eyes to blue, so this post is really just for my own reference - I'd like to remind myself what they looked like before in case it all goes horribly wrong!

For heavy firepower, I used the Heroclix Clone Wars super battledroids instead of vehicles. I don't recall them from the new Star Wars films, which I've only watched once, but I liked the slightly Art Deco look of the design, so I hoovered up two of each model from eBay. I really probably only needed four but I ended up with sixteen of them. They are pre-painted, and this is how they looked when they arrived:


They weren't great, but not bad enough to warrant repainting either, so I flocked the bases with sand and painted them, then drybrushed the minis with silver to brighten them up. To reduce their resemblance to their film counterparts, I expanded their original single eye slit to cover the whole front of the head. Here are all of the unique minis:


And here is the whole bunch (except for the chap in the top picture, who arrived late to the party and, five years later, is still awaiting a re-touch):


I don't recall the battle droid below being in the film either. The minis are about 70mm and are gigantic when used as 15mm robots. While I gave them a baleful red eye each, I won't be drybrushing these with silver because the factory paintjob is a lovely 'burnished bronze' colour that is much more interesting. In fact, I'll one day paint all my other minis to match, just as soon as I work out how to achieve the colour.


There are only a few 'non-bipedal' elements in the army. The minis below came from the Wings of Death boxed set for the Silent Death space combat game. After picking up a set from eBay, I found out that the spaceships are also sold by eM4. Although intended as spaceships, I think they work well rebased as 'skimmer'-type robots:


I chose them for the swept-forward wings, which look both aggressive and creepy, and put me in mind of the Cylon fighters from the Battlestar Galactica TV shows.


That's it for now. The next time you see these, they will have blue eyes...

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