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Jordan Peacock

IMEF Marines & "Bugs"

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At last, my two remaining IMEF trooper figures came in my friendly local game store, and I got them painted up to join the rest of the squad.


Reaper P-65 #65089 (Reggie Van Zandt, Intergalactic Marine) & Chronoscope #50274 (Sarah Blitzer, IMEF Sniper)



For Reggie, after some consideration (and concerns about the P-65 metal compared to regular Reaper miniatures), I decided to go with the slightly-cheaper P-65 version (with lead-based pewter). As far as I'm concerned, any differences in the handling of the metal are negligible; I have no plans to go throwing this figure against any hard surfaces, so I hope the "softer" metal will suffice. So far, it seems to be holding up just fine.


For Sarah, the original mini was conspicuously under-armored in the chest area. At first, I had wondered whether "Sarah" was just a generic sci-fi miniature who'd been lumped in with the IMEF just for naming purposes, but upon actually getting the figure and painting it, I could see that there were certain design cues in the gun body, the armored knee guards, and in the goggles and headgear that seemed to fit with the rest of the IMEF troopers. Still, the lack of that breastplate and the IMEF insignia was unfortunate in my opinion.


I had planned on using Instant Mold and Apoxie Sculpt to "cut-and-paste" the breastplate piece from the Nick Stone model, but while that worked for my Jean Paul DuChamps/Werewolf conversion, it really didn't work here: Simply put, her shoulders are narrower, and the proportions are off. So, I just had to wing it with the Apoxie Sculpt. Alas, it shows, especially when you can see a side-by-side comparison of Reggie and Sarah, but I think it still gets the idea across (and I still prefer the figure this way to the unarmored original).


Both figures here have been re-based on War Cast Studios 25mm industrial round bases (http://www.warcaststudios.com) as with most of the other IMEF troopers.


Now I just have to put some serious work into giving these guys a derelict spaceship to roam around and hunt "bug aliens" in.

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I've been aiming to build up my collection of things for the IMEF troopers to blow up (for a future sci-fi/cyberpunk campaign), and one possibility that caught my eye was to go the "cyberpocalypse" route with some robots/cyborgs. It helps that my Friendly Local Game Store has the Cyber-Reavers at a discount, so the per-figure cost is much less than just about any other pewter sci-fi adversary I might go for.


Reaper Chronoscope #50097 Cyber-Reavers (initial batch)



This has got to be one of the easiest paint jobs I could hope for. To get a "burnished metal" look, all I had to do was to apply some slightly watered-down black acrylic paint to the BARE METAL, then wipe off the high points before the paint had time to start drying and developing a "skin." (If it starts to dry, there's a high chance of more paint pulling away than intended.) As a result, the low points retain the black paint, for shadowing, and even a little bit of black paint remains in small "pores" in the metal, giving it a slightly burnished look. Details such as glowing dot eyes can be added later (first with a dot of white, then going back with a dot of red, then doing a bit of clean-up with black and a fine brush for any "splash.")


This was so easy, I couldn't help but go for a few more.


Reaper Chronoscope #50097 Cyber-Reavers (4 sets)



Once I replenished my stock of War Cast Studios "industrial" 25mm resin bases at my Friendly Local Game Store (and picked up some of the new "industrial tech" bases -- http://www.warcaststudios.com/home?page=shop.product_details&category_id=15&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=67), I went ahead and based and painted the rest of my Cyber-Reavers.


Model Variation:

In the sci-fi scenario I've been building up around the IMEF troopers, this "endoskeleton" design is a common one, put out by a number of manufacturers, so I wanted some variety in how the 'bots look. I have a few old Ral Partha "Necrovores" and some Heartbreaker Hobbies Warzone "Machinators" that I might polish up a bit to represent other design variants as well. But for these particular models, I hinted at some variations by painting some of the robots with a shiny white carapace, versus the "burnished pewter" look going on with most of the rest. (But of course, the "burnished pewter" look is just so quick and easy that I couldn't resist using it for the clear majority.)


I experimented with the arm sprue that comes with the blister pack, and rather than going with the conventional "one robot, one gun" lineup, I paired a few "empty-hand" arms together so three of my Cyber-Reavers are unarmed (though this means that it's offset by three Cyber-Reavers who are going all "John Woo" with paired pistols as a consequence).


Further slight variation is fairly easy, considering how thin-limbed these figures are, as stance can be easily adjusted by slightly widening or narrowing the space between the feet, and the amount of bend at elbows and knees can be slightly adjusted without noticeable warping, with a bit of care.



Basing Considerations:

One tricky thing about basing these figures is that the "skelebots" are extremely thin-limbed (not surprising - they're skeletons!) and while this has advantages when I want to do some slight pose variants, this presents a challenge when trying to pin them down to bases unless I don't mind them all having wobbly-looking shins. Normally this process would involve taking a hobby pinning drill and boring a hole in the heel of one or both feet, then inserting wire, and matching it to holes bored into the resin base. The shin area on these figures is exceptionally thin and warps very easy with very little pressure (it's pewter - soft metal), and the bottom surface area of the feet is so small that, combined, it makes for a bit of an ordeal to try to drill those holes.


Thus, after my first batch of Reavers (at top), I tried another method: The figures normally come on tabs that are meant to be fitted into the slotted plastic 30mm bases they originally came with. Rather than cutting off the tabs entirely for re-basing, I used metal snips to trim away all of the tabs EXCEPT for the areas directly attached to the bottoms of the feet. I then tapered those sections of pewter into triangle/wedge shapes, so I'd have some built-in anchors. I used the conical head on my Dremel to bore some anchor holes into the surface of the resin base under each foot, then inserted the wedge anchor points, and filled any remaining gaps with tiny amounts of epoxy putty. Once the putty hardened, the figure usually popped right back out again, but this was easily fixed with a dot of super glue.



Future Steps: Battle-Damaged "Synth-Skin" Reavers:

I still need to make some "battle-damaged" bots with "synth-skin" remnants, but for that I am going to have to chop up some other figures and use a bit of Instant Mold and Apoxie Sculpt. My basic plan: Take a cheap plastic HorrorClix figure that I didn't like the face of anyway, chop off part of the head, then use Instant Mold to make a partial copy of a Reaver skull, and insert that. Voila! Battle-damage with a part of the "synth-skin" torn away to reveal cyber-skull underneath. I'm also toying with the idea of doing something with some of the "heroic dollies" -- another idea inspired by my miniatures-kitbashing hero, Froggy the Great. ;)


"Battle damage" on limbs is going to be a bit trickier, since I'd need some meatier limbs to have much ROOM to expose cyber-circuitry underneath that will paint up well with my limited skills. This may require a bit of trial and error. Of course, this could be a great excuse to get #50201 Cyborg Parts, but price-wise, it would be more cost-effective for me to just do the "unthinkable" and chop up some perfectly good complete Cyber-Reavers. (I might just go back and do that at some point; it's not like I put very much effort into the paint job on the "burnished pewter" ones.)



Scenery Notes:

Just in case anybody asks, the scenery in the background of the bottom picture consists of some old plastic cassette tape organizer trays used for room walls, some foam and some plastic cross-stitch grid for the floor "grill," some parts from a broken Micro Machines Star Wars play set for the control panel in the foreground, and then a couple of resin Grendel scenery sets (Cargo Bay set cargo door, and "stasis pods" from the Med Bay set).

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If you're looking for a scenario skirmish scifi thing, might want to look into Sedition Wars. That's where my IMEF and NOVA are headed.

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If you're looking for a scenario skirmish scifi thing, might want to look into Sedition Wars. That's where my IMEF and NOVA are headed.


I've got a "We've Got Movement!" lined up, along with the scenery kit and one each of the limited edition character add-ons, so, yeah, I'll be doing something with Sedition Wars eventually. :) However, I've got a request from one of my most regular attendees to my RPG sessions that I run a sci-fi/cyberpunk campaign (after I finish up my zombie-apocalypse campaign), so I've been slowly working my way toward getting some minis painted up for such a campaign. I'll also be painting up all my Sedition Wars figures, but I fear that having the Strain as my big-bad would be seen as AWFULLY close in theme to another zombie-apocalypse campaign.


Plus, another motivator was that I was trying to stick to Reaper minis because at the time I started this, my Friendly Local Game Store was providing table space, and I was encouraged to use minis currently provided through that store, so my game would serve as a "demo" of sorts. The FLGS has changed its policies, however, as I guess hosting table space for weekly RPGs wasn't a money-maker, and I'm having to move things back to my house ... so I guess that's no longer a constraint at this point.


I've got some AT-43 Therians, some Warzone Mechinators, some Ral Partha Necrovores, some Mongoose Starship Troopers bugs, etc., that I can press into service as opponents for my IMEF, once I come up with Savage Worlds RPG stats for them -- since it no longer matters that these aren't in print or carried by my FLGS if they're no longer providing me with free table space -- but I still have quite a few Reaper minis to paint up that might be put to good use here, too.

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Could you write up the steps you took to paint the IMEF's? The variety of shades you're using is quite impressive, and I'd like to learn how to do it.


FWIW, the publishers of Song of Blades and Heroes has put out Mutants and Death Ray Guns, a post-apocalyptic sf game system that uses any sf miniature. $8 PDF.


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Could you write up the steps you took to paint the IMEF's?


Er, well, it's not like I have a really serious scheme here.


1) Base-coat white.


2) Mix "flesh tone" paints and water down to paint any exposed skin.


3) Mix roughly equal portions of mid-tone grey, black, and light blue, and water that down slightly, to paint the armor and cloth portions of the figure. (Sarah Blitzer was a bit different, in that I painted "body suit" portions a dark blue.)


4) Use mid-tone grey to paint splotches on armor and cloth areas for "urban" camouflage.


5) Paint armor straps black. Use slightly watered-down black to paint shadow-lines under armor, and meandering lines as part of the camouflage scheme.


6) Go back and paint highlights on armor edges in a slightly darkened mid-tone grey.


7) Apply small areas of white paint to spots where I'll be going back with bright color details, such as the glowing-blue portions of Reggie Van Zandt's heavy gun, or the green visors of Jazz Jenkins and Erik Proudfoot, the red sensors on assorted headsets, etc. After that dries, go in with touches of color.


8) Miscellaneous detail work, interspersed with clean-up as needed (as I inevitably blotch a bit too much paint here or there in the process of painting).


A lot of it is basically just a case of me making it up as I go. It's not like I'm *serious* about any of this. :D

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If you want rules try checking out the Judge Dredd KS, the rules for that game can be downloaded free from the company's site now.


Another alternative is to see if you can find the original WH40K Rogue Trader rules; back then it was a skirmish game with WYSIWYG rules!

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