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Recently, I got a combo deal on a box of the Mantis Games "Mars Attacks" Scenery Upgrade Pack pieces, plus five pewter miniatures from Worlds End Publishing's "This Is Not a Test" miniatures game.




First off, I really should have assembled my minis before base-coating them.  There are some similar-but-not-interchangeable break points in a couple of the figures -- particularly the second long-coat figure from the left, and the second body-armor figure from the right.  Both of them have an arm piece (minus the hand) and a two-handed weapon (shotgun or assault rifle), but as I found out, they are NOT interchangeable.  Although I have the assault rifle at the feet of the body-armor-wearing model on the second-from-right, it actually fits with the second long-coat figure (with a slight indent in the chest piece where the rifle neatly nestles).


Assembling the figures varies in how fiddly they can be.  The heads, once properly trimmed of flash, nestle into the collar sockets of the figures pretty well, and pinning them might have been overkill on my part.  The female sniper was probably the easiest to assemble, as the sniper rifle scope and stock nestled neatly into a couple of slight indents on the chest armor area (I can see one of the larger notches in the picture); I chose to go with the ranger hat for her rather than the pony-tail head, since I figured this might pass for an NCR Mojave Ranger.


The far left figure I imagine is supposed to be the leader; he has three head-swap options (beard + ponytail, mustache + ranger hat, and helmet + gas mask), and two right-hand weapon options (pistol or futuristic bullpup SMG).  The bullpup looked a little too futuristic in the wrong way for Fallout, so I went with the pistol (with some very delicate pinning) and I chose the ranger hat head to keep with the NCR look as much as possible.


I borrowed the gas-mask head for the remaining long-coat figure (2nd from left), and experimented until I figured out that the assault rifle was the proper weapon, and which arm was meant to fit in place with it.


The two remaining figures without long coats I figured I'd paint up as Vault-Tec Security: The right-most figure came with two face-shielded helmet pieces -- one with the face shield up, and the other with the face-shield down.  I divided the two helmets among the two remaining body-armored minis.  One model got the shotgun (another bit of fiddly assembly involved), while the other has a spiked baton, plus a choice of either the shield or a hand gun (and I went with the shield).




Once past the challenge of assembly, the miniatures had a nice balance of detail, IMHO.  Most of them have boots with spurs -- making me wonder whether in the world of "This Is Not a Test," they still have horses.  (I wish they did in Fallout.  I can't help but feel that a perfect game for me would be a mash-up between Red Dead Redemption and Fallout: New Vegas.  I'd even settle for a full-sized Giddyup Buttercup, if that's what it takes to stay true to canon.  ;)  )  Ack.  Now I have that song going through my head: "Oh these spurs, that jingle-jangle-jingle!  (Jingle jangle!)"


That's #80056, Reaper Bones "Jersey Barrier" up front.  It's one of the few I haven't yet plastered with pseudo-graffiti, caution stripes, or paper postings.  I love how it has enough textural variation to it that all I need is a warm grey base coat and some granite-grey dry-brushing, and it's pretty much ready to go.  In the background is #80036, Reaper Bones "Shipping Container," of which I have several, and likely will get even more.  One of these days, I ought to kitbash a few of them into "junktown" shelters.


The truck is just a 1:43 toy with some 40K bitz and paper decals.  It's a bit large for 32mm, but it's entirely fitting in the Fallout universe for cars to be on the too-big side.  (Now if only the ROADS in the Fallout games weren't so ridiculously SMALL.  Traffic in Pre-War 2076-AD Boston must have been an absolute nightmare.)


Most of the rest of the terrain is from a "Mars Attacks" Scenery Upgrade Pack from Mantis Games, supplemented with some papercraft and cardboard.  I printed the "Travel Service" sign from a Fallout: New Vegas screenshot, did a mirror-flipped version in Photoshop (keeping the text the right way) for the reverse side, then layered some thin cardboard around a plastic rectangular shingle piece included in the set, so I could get a suitably retro-looking sign.  The Upgrade Pack includes 4 wall-connector pieces that have a plug-in spot for either one of two rectangular sign pieces, or one of two hanging planter pieces.  I plan on digging through my spare sprue bits to find something else of appropriate diameter so I can make some alternative signs to plug into the side of the ruined building.  That way, the same ruin could play the role of a Travel Service here, or Cherry Liquor next time, or Buck's Steak House, etc.


The street is from a bunch of Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" tiles I'm still working on, from the "Urban Streets (Clean)" set.  So far, I've just base-coated it grey, spritzed some black on the street, white on the sidewalk, then re-dusted it with grey again (to reduce the contrast), dry-brushed it with various tones of dirty grey to bring out the crack details and grunge things up a little, and swirled around the bottom of the paintbrush water cup to get some watery sludge to dribble into the gutters and around the various grills and grates to suggest weathering and the residue of the sewers backing up during heavy rains (since nobody's keeping things clear after the bombs dropped, after all).


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I've heard of "This is Not a Test" but know little about it other than that it's a Post-Apocalypse game. Probably need to look it up as Post-Apoc is... excellent. Anyway, I like what you've done with the models and the terrain. It all adds up to be very atmospheric!

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18 hours ago, Mehman said:

I've heard of "This is Not a Test" but know little about it other than that it's a Post-Apocalypse game. Probably need to look it up as Post-Apoc is... excellent. Anyway, I like what you've done with the models and the terrain. It all adds up to be very atmospheric!


You can download a set of demo rules for free from the Worlds End Publishing web site.  There's definitely some Fallout inspiration in their choices for sample pictures of the game (miniatures, scenery), and it's even called out as an inspiration in the intro, but the game is by no means devoted to Fallout -- it's more on the "generic post-apocalyptic" side.  As opposed to certain games that have very specific troops with very specific stats and equipment and organization, this seems to have a lot more leeway on group makeup -- e.g., that you could grab a bunch of mutant or raider or whatever miniatures, and come up with some stats to fit what you've got, vs. having to go out shopping for specific minis to fit the requirements of your "warband" as dictated by the game.


Editing is a bit amateurish, but readable.  I think the writer goes a little overboard in the department of "Hey, whatever your group agrees on is fine."  That's the sort of attitude I think works better for RPGs than for battles between two players.  For instance, under Measuring: "Pre-measuring is allowed in the game provided it is not abused, as determined by the other players."  Well!  That's mighty generous, but let's hope you've got a 4-way game going, or democracy is going to have a hard time resolving this.  (Some examples of what might be an "abuse" would be instructive, but none are given.)


Activation looks like a mess.  Every model has a "Mettle" stat (roughly willpower/morale), and when it's your turn, you pick one of your models and roll a d10 stat test against its Mettle.  Did you succeed?  You activate that model with 2 action points.  Fail?  You activated it with just 1 action point -- and that ends your turn.  Otherwise, if you keep succeeding, you go until you've run out of models to activate.


I guess my initial take-away from that would be: 1) The more models you have, the greater the chance that you might end your turn with one or more of them standing around going "Derp!" and doing nothing.  2) Whatever you do, don't let the guy with the rock-bottom Mettle go first!


Oddly, hits caused by ranged attacks are not resolved until after you've activated all your models.


Also, did I mention the amateur editing?  Here, under "Jumping":


"Players may jump any object up to 1" distance with no stat test or penalty."  <-- Jump any object?  Up to 1" distance?  I'm sure there's got to be a clearer way to phrase whatever is being communicated here.


"Jumping larger games require an Agility test (MET/TN10) and players should determine if even possible." <-- English is speaking yes?  For to jump larger games?


Apparently the last update on this was in 2014.  I think it could use a wee bit more polish, but regarding the goofier aspects of the rules, I figure a few house rules should be able to patch things up.  (For instance, I find the "Mettle" activation concept to be interesting, but I think it would be best if the test only affected whether a model gets 1 or 2 Activation Points -- NOT whether the player's turn ends right there.)


The art's pretty nice, and the shots of minis in action and scenery setups are downright inspiring.  Considering that the demo PDF is FREE, I'd say it's worth checking out despite my petty gripes about the editing.  :)









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On 6/19/2017 at 11:50 AM, Jordan Peacock said:

Traffic in Pre-War 2076-AD Boston must have been an absolute nightmare.

It already is, why should the future be any different?::D:


Very cool figures, and I like seeing the 'in action' shots with terrain.

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