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This topic contains 32 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Alexander Wasberg 8 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #36558

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Got a few beautiful minis from Onslaught’s “OTC” range, and not being one to go with the flow, I’m painting them as Sci Fi warring clans from the Sengoku period. First up are the Yari Ashigaru of the Uesugi Clan:

    This project seems smoother than most for some reason. More as I go along!

    #36905

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Made some base labels to suit my growing force – thought I’d put them up here for general interest.

     photo Uesugi Clan_zpsfmvvrru6.png

    #37199

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Very nice,lovely idea, sci-fi sengoku!

    Are you planning something for all the major clans, or are you just picking some that suits you?

    #52871

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    So the uptick in popularity of Horizon Wars at the club, not to speak of science fiction generally becoming mainstream in the group where previously it was not, has brought me back to the Techno-Sengoku Jidai project I’ve had on the table for a long time.  I finally worked out a good scheme for the Uesugi Clan’s hover-cavalry: ivory white and purple.  I still have to add weapon details, clan markings and so forth, but the base colors, I think, came out with a pretty striking contrast.

    I really want to use Horizon Wars as the rule set for these games but I want to expand the Cavalry types (or at least try some upgrades or mods) since there are so many different weapons the OTC has available.  And when those Tavshar Mecha come out, ohhhhh baby.  Mecha of P4-6 will be the dominant battlefield force in the Odayakana Jidai.

    #52905

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Beautiful work as always, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the Tavshar Archon too!

    #52933

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks man! I painted and stripped down this figure twice before I got a combination I was happy with. Now I have a formula in my book I can mass produce them and get the whole clan painted.

    They’re going to be battling the Kanda Clan for control of Northern Honshu, but I’m not sure what the colors I want to use for the Kandas yet. I’ve done so many brightly colored forces by now I may have exhausted my possibilities! Blue and Green may be good, but with the Uesugi using purple I may choose a stronger if less historical contrast. Green and gold maybe.

    Hell it took me a year to come up with this one, after all…

    And for the record, I’ll be calling my mecha Tavshar Ronin, in honor of a short lived game they remind me of, not to speak of the fact that they’ll be fighting for Japanese liege-lords in the Odayakana Jidai…

    #52935
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Great work! Interesting theme you’re going for.

    And for the record, I’ll be calling my me ha Tavshar Ronin, in honor of a short lived game they remind me of

    The mech arena combat game where the figures were designed to have interchangeable pieces? I remember it, too. A domestic (as in Swedish) production, IIRC.

    #52937

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    It was Cell Entertainment, yes. A superb idea that was way ahead of its time. I loved the theme, and the miniatures, and this is as close to replicating the feel of it as I’ve yet seen.

    #54169

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    SO!  I finally have a little holiday, here, which are fairly infrequent for me given the vicissitudes of the construction business.  But while I’m off, I thought I’d take some time for my hobbies, and wouldn’t you know that the Tavshar Archon kits arrived!  So why not? Uesugi Clan Ronin, away!

    In the Odayakana Jidai, which begins at the end of Konoye Shogunate in the year 3530, the biggest battlefield powers are the Ronin, which are the remnants of the AI super-machines used to keep order by the Shogunate for nearly three centuries.  The Konoye were wiped out, however, in a sneak nuclear attack on Neo-Edo in 3497; the culprits were never found.  Several attempts at compromise to establish a new Shogunate failed, and by 3530, all the various clans all  fell into internal strife, accusing each other of the Neo-Edo nuclear attack and of sabotaging the political process.  This brought about a new period of warring states, known ironically as the Odayakana Jidai, or the “Age of Great Serenity.”  The Ronin, for their part, have been forced to strike out on their own after the fall of the Konoye clan left them without a clear chain of command.  If you know SJG’s Ogre, think Rogues, but with a built-in sense of honor and duty.  They may or may not be manipulating the clans they ally themselves to, as well, and as “masterless” AIs, they often switch sides.

    It’s taking me a lot of time to build these models, but that’s okay.  It’s definitely one of the most complex metal kits I’ve built in a very long time, and for anyone else who wants to build one, here are some of the tips I have for you!  First and foremost, do not bother with CA glue.  It’s not strong enough for this model.  I know they give you those ratings and how strong superglue is, but I just doesn’t hold up with this many parts.  Only the most delicate bits are likely to hold together with cyanoacrylate. DO use two-part epoxy.  This advice came from the man at 15mm.co.uk himself, and he was dead to rights.  It’s the only glue strong enough to hold all these parts.  I always hated using two-part epoxy when I was a kid because I could never seem to make it hold, and I ended up with gunk all over everything, but this time I managed to figure it out, so if anyone has had similar experiences with epoxies, here are my sub-tips for using it on these models:

    1. Wear rubber gloves working with this stuff.  I can’t stress this enough – no matter how clean you think your hands are, they’re not clean enough.  Moreover, it has a tendency to go kind of all over the place when you apply it, even though it’s pretty viscous when mixed; the last place you want it is on your skin.
    2. Sand and roughen the parts you’re going to connect, and THEN, clean them very thoroughly with alcohol.  There is dust, oil, bits of metal on them that you can’t see and it will spoil the bond.  Then, clean them a second time.  Then a third.  Any dirt, oil or grime on the contact point will ruin the bond.
    3. Only try to glue pieces vertically.  If the bond joint is in any way perpendicular to your work surface, the glue will tend to draw down with gravity and again, this will spoil the bond.  This can mean that building the model is kind of laborious, but it’s definitely worth the time so be patient.
    4. Because of all the undercuts and fiddly parts, I recommend priming it in pieces and then sanding off the contact points before you glue them.  Otherwise you won’t get primer on all the bits that will need them, and any parts that get abraded when you glue them together can be touched up with brush-on primer before painting.

    Here’s a shot with a squad of Uesugi Clan’s Ashigaru, to show you how imposing this bad boy is at 6mm scale:

    This Ronin will be Yoshitaka, who has allied himself to the Uesugi. He’s armed with an Antimatter Lance, an extremely powerful weapon that fires only about twenty milligrams of antimatter with each shot, but can cause an annihilation impact on contact that is equivalent to nearly a kiloton of TNT.  About right for the Uesugi, who are masters of ranged weaponry.

    So here we go!  Yet to be introduced but at the back of my mind:

    1. Mercenaries from the American Merchant-States selling their advanced weapons and soldiers to the highest bidder
    2. European Gaijin with their own agenda: Catholics and Protestants who are sometimes allied, and sometimes at war, working towards their own inscrutable goals
    3. Warlike but less-advanced Primorski, Siberians and Muscovites, recovering from their own nuclear disaster centuries before, and now looking to take advantage of Nihonese civil war to expand their own spheres of influence and grasp for the lost glories of their own shattered empire

    And on and on we go…

    #54172
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Imposing indeed!

    Thanks for the assembly tips. You didn’t pin any of the joints, then? I got me one of those as well (same weapon, even), but I’ve already packed it away (unassembled) and can’t be arsed to retrieve it to check how suitable the joints are for pinning.

    By the way, is it necessary to assemble it in that spread-legged pose? The Loud Ninja / 15mm.co.uk “studio” Archons are in the same pose. Just wondering.

    As for your other factions, have you considered including some Emishi and Ryukyuans (or some future equivalents thereof) as lesser allies for the clans?

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by Rhoderic Rhoderic.
    #54174

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    The legs are single pieces but the feet are separate, so you can narrow the stance somewhat but altering it more than that would take some modding.  I also don’t recommend pinning as the parts are rather small and narrow, so drilling them out for pins didn’t work so well for me, so I puttied them up and then stopped.

    I’ve thought about the Ainu, but not Emishi or Ryukyu – they’re good ideas!  Maybe they’d provide something none of the main clans have, like air or sea power?  Hmm…

    #54176
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Thanks again for the info. I’ll consign myself to using epoxy when I assemble mine, then. I’m no stranger to epoxy, but one just has to remember never to store an epoxy-glued figure anywhere that gets too cold (then again, I’m not actually sure superglue can handle it either, so maybe I’m just being unfair).

    I suppose that when I said “Emishi”, I meant “either Emishi or Ainu”. The Emishi would be kind of like “Ainu light” or like an Ainu-Yamato hybrid, really. I only referred to the Emishi instead of the Ainu because the former had greater and more significant contact with the Yamato Japanese during the Sengoku period. But at any rate, the general idea I’m getting at is to have one faction of “half-Japanese” allies (Ainu/Emishi) representing the diffuse northern fringes of the Japanese realm, and another (Ryukyuans) the likewise diffuse southern fringes.

    I’m reminded of Samurai Champloo, where one of the protagonists is Ryukyuan and stands out as rather different among the Yamato Japanese because of it. There’s an episode where he duels an Ainu warrior, illuminating a clear contrast, but also in a strange way a sort of kinship, between the farthest southern and farthest northern non-Yamato peoples that are both being dominated and gradually assimilated by the Yamato Japanese.

    #54185

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    That’s a truly imposing beast!

    Thanks for the tips on assembly, I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I’m hoping to soon.

    Love the amount of background you cook up for your games, it really makes it that much more enjoyable!

    #54213

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks guys! And thanks for the compliment Alexander – I’m always writing weird stories in my head as I work on models like these. Part of the fun of it!

    And to answer your question from, like, forever ago, I’m starting out with just the Uesugi and the Kanda clans. My best choice after that would be the Taira or the Restored Oda, but a lot depends on what rules I end up wanting to use. If I go with Horizon Wars, which is most likely and which I’ve thought the most about, each type of tank from the OTC line will be for a different Clan’s heavy cavalry as a style marker, even though the light cav, infantry, etc. will all be just different paint jobs, and probably the missile carriers will be the standings for armored artillery for all clans, too. All the OTC rigs would be P1 or P2 mechs, and I might mix in something like the Kreen “scuttlers” or perhaps some Heavy Gears from DP9 as P3 mecha. The Ronin will all be P4-6 depending on AI sophistication and weaponry, but with some bent rules for agile frames and stealth, to really make them battle-dominant. Like in a battle with Ronin, a side that doesn’t take at least one would be at a severe disadvantage.

    If I go with a more granular system, though, like Dirtside or Strike Legion Tactical, all bets are off, and any side could potentially get any unit type.

    #54235

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Here’s Yoshitaka, fully completed.  Which is to say almost, because the head isn’t attached – I’m leaving that off because of the undercut; I’ll destroy my brush trying to paint under it, so the head goes on separately.

    These are great models.  Very well sculpted, well balanced, and they have a really cool Giant Samurai feel that is nevertheless very technical in a way that makes them seem “believable.”

    #54245

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Came out great, but I bet it will look even better with some paint on it 😉

    Have you decided on a unique color scheme for the Yoshitaka, or will it have the same as the rest of the Uesugi clan?

    #54267

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I’m going to give him Uesugi markings.  A big tan and purple mech will cut a pretty striking figure I think.

    #58498

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yoshitaka-san is nearly completed.  Just some markings and some dressing on the base.  But I’m pretty happy so far!

    #58501

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    That looks amazing, really like the paintjob! Will he have some opposition showing up? 😉

    #58522

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks, man! I’m happy with the look!

    And yes, eventually there will be Ronin for other factions. At the moment I think the next one will be Tsuneshige, a fire support model armed with a bevy of heavy tactical missiles, who’s allied to the Kandas. But I also have finally got a few potential opponents at the club so I may focus on finishing a single army before I move to the Kanda Clan. I might also have Tsuneshige switch allegiances and go for the Uesugi. So many choices!

    #58621
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    This is looking great!  That mech is very imposing, I’ve been planning on getting a couple when I can.  They are almost Five Star Stories in look, and I luvs them.  Great idea for a Horizon Wars force too!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #58629

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yeah, man, it scales out beautifully for a class 3 or even a class 4 mech at 6mm scale, especially with Onslaught tanks, which are slightly big, and their infantry which is slightly small. And although it is a really challenging build it’s super worth the effort.

    I loves it. I loves it GOOOD.

    I’m going to base up OTC rigs as equivalents to Class 1 mecha, possibly in teams rather than individually. No idea what would ride for a Class 2, though – maybe those Mega-Rigs, although they don’t follow to the Ronin stylings quite as well. Ah, well. Maybe Heavy Gears.

    #58843

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    So let me tell you, I earned this weekend.  So this afternoon, after sketching for a few hours, I turned to the miniatures table and began working on the rivals to the Uesugi in the Northern Prefectures: the Kanda Clan.

    The Kandas are a reformist clan, and have enjoyed a long and very profitable trading relationship with the American mercantile City-States, as well as some contact with the Europeans, especially the Catholics, who are officially tolerated within Kanda-held territory.  The disaster at Neo-Edo in 3497 left them as one of the major claimants to the vacant Shogunate, but they attempted to compromise, particularly with the Restored Oda.  Their willingness to do this, and to engage in commerce with the Americans and the Europeans, has earned them the distrust of the Uesugi, and skirmishes in Akita and Aomori in the winter of 3505-6 led the Kandas to undertake a major rearmament program.

    The Kandas are somewhat behind in weapons technology, as evidenced above – their battle tanks still rely on electromagnetic railguns developed in the 33rd century.  They’re also lacking in the industrial-scientific complex available to the Uesugi, so they are generally unable to produce advanced plasma, antimatter and particle weaponry and have to purchase it from other clans (or those American states who make them).  However, their relationship with the Americans has given them access to advanced artificial intelligence programming, which they have implemented far more broadly than any other successor clan, and they deploy weapons like drones, powered armor and combat rigs in far greater numbers than their opponents.  They also make far more extensive use of “genius” grade missile guidance, an edge that has attracted the Ronin Shigemori to their cause.

    The colors were suggested by a friend of mine – I think it’s pretty effective, although I basically cribbed the pattern from the Earthlight Division in order to create a design contrast to the Uesugi.  I added some brown ink shadows in key locations to boost the contrast in the photo above – as you can see below, it was originally a little too bright.  Overall very effective though, I think, and with two notoriously difficult colors, too.  Just takes a lot of thin layers and a lot of patience.

    #58844

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    That is very nice brushwork sir! While I wouldn’t have thought that red and yellow makes a good mix normaly, you really have pulled it off. 🙂

    Very much looking forward to seeing Shigemori!

    #58857

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks, Alexander! I don’t normally use a lot of warm colors, but I wanted a very sharp contrast between the Uesugi and the Kanda. Blues and greens were too close in value to the purple I’m using for the Uesugi and the effect needed more “oomph.” Plus, red, black and gold are the Kanda colors – I shied away from black as it would have been too heavy, though.

    #58858
    William Harley
    William Harley
    Participant

    I like that red and yellow colouring, thanks for sharing.

    #58904

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks! I consider the contrast pretty effective!

    I’m already getting the next Ronin together, and am looking with great interest at those Ion Age mecha as potential units for the armed forces of the African superpower Mwenemutapa.

    #60049

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Shigemori is under construction!

    Armed with a Class-B particle disruptor, formerly of the destroyer “Hagakure,” Shigemori also carries a riot shield to allow himself extra defense as he advances on the enemy.  This is a slight kitbash, taking advantage of an extra shield I found in the packet when I opened it – I missed this when I counted parts, no idea how.  But it’s a cool look, and goes with the character of a former “peacekeeper” taking on a combat role.  Among the Ronin, Shigemori is something of an idealist, and still holds on to the original tenets of their programming.

    The last part to assemble is the hip flaps.

    #60101
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Looking great!  Love that yellow and red, very vibrant.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #60280

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thanks! The current Ronin is getting the red and gold, assuming I manage to get him to stay together. Some of the joints have turned out weak and need extra work. But patience is part of the game with multipart metal models like this one. And the styling is so nice on them.

    #60382
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Bought some new pin vice bits just for this sort of thing.  Have an older Micropanzer Stomper in metal that needs lots of pins in the joints to stay together.  takes some work.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #60383

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yeah, the joint is holding this time – there was some leftover filing dust on the shoulder that spoiled the bond.  A good cleaning and some sanding and alcohol and it seems to be in better shape.  Many of the Archon parts are too delicate for pins, though, and ball joints make judging the connections a pain. Generally two-part epoxy has been excellent for the purpose and when the joints fail it’s easily chalked up to human error (the glue will peel off, indicating oil on the surface, or flecks of metal will be visible in the bond).

    #60536

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Shigemori looks very impressive,  can’t wait to see him in color 🙂

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