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A friend of mine recently received a bunch of resin minis he'd ordered from Brother Vinni (of Russia) last year.  He sent the bulk of them off to someone else to be professionally painted, but he had a few left over that he was willing to let me give a go at.  The intent was to paint these up as Fallout miniatures, as (great minds think alike!) my friend has been interested in running a Fallout-themed game.  (I think originally he was going to do something at GenCon or some other big game convention like that, but the minis ended up getting here a year late.)


A large part of my work consisted of just trying to assemble the things.  They're resin figures, highly detailed, without the disfiguring bubbles that have characterized certain expensive resin figures I've dealt with in the past.  The resin is slightly flexible but delicate, prone to a lot of flash (very filmy), and there are lots of parts.  The "Mr. Gutsy" robot knock-off was the worst, at 9 parts (3 delicate arms, 3 delicate eye-stalks, main body, lower body, and flight rod), so I've set that aside to work on much later, once I've tackled the bulk of the figures and can feel as if I've made some sort of progress.  The female figures are challenging, as the limbs are very thin, granting very little surface area for pinning their arms to the body (and OF COURSE the arms had to be separate pieces).



These troopers (scafrifle & scafgatling) from Brother Vinni's "Nuclear Sandlot" line look blatantly like the Brotherhood of Steel in the Fallout series of games.  

For "scafrifle," parts consist of main body, 2 arms, 2 shoulder pads, and head.  The weapon is a pretty clear attempt to represent the laser rifle from Fallout.  One was missing a shoulder pad (far left), so I faked one with putty, but I couldn't quite manage to duplicate the "tab" with the hole through it ... so I guess this fellow had some "battle damage."  Minor pose variants are possible since the head and arms are separate pieces, so one could get several of these guys to form the bulk of a Brotherhood of Steel force.  I ended up adding some small bits of wire (not shown) to the top of the laser rifle for the final version in order to make it look just a little more like the game model.

For "scafgatling," parts consist of main body, left arm, laser-gatling (recognizably patterned after the game model), helmet, backpack unit, and 2 shoulder pads (though these are slightly smaller for some reason than those used for "scafrifle" rather than just using the same ones over).  Although the backpack unit has a bump that's apparently meant to fit into a hole in the figure's back, it didn't fit for either model, and I had to shave it off in order to glue the pieces on.  Aside from which way to face the head, there really isn't much possibility for posing, since it's a two-hand weapon and one arm is fused with the body, but this is supposed to be a "support weapon" anyway, so I figure one could get by with just one for a squad.  (Well, apparently TWO, but I didn't make the ordering decisions here.)  The gatling gun and left arm assembly is especially clumsy, as there's nowhere for the gun to rest against, and the left hand didn't seem to line up quite right with the presumed location of the "handle."  A tiny crumb of putty in the gap between gun and leg is helpful to give glue an anchor point.



Brother Vinni's "veteran" looks like nothing so much as the iconic NCR Ranger depicted on the cover of "Fallout: New Vegas."  The figure comes with an empty right hand, and a left hand holding an SMG, yet the bag also included a sprue with two revolver hands (one right, one left), making for an easy conversion to get the figure to hold the Sequoia pistol that's a mark of the NCR Rangers.  ... Okay, not REALLY so easy after all, as the hands of the figure have protective wrist guards, so I ended up having to chop off the empty hand at a slight angle, and do the same for the replacement gun hand to get it to mesh and look at all right, and pinning the tiny hand and wrist was a very delicate operation.

Brother Vinni's "sniper" looks very, very Fallout-ish ... but for the life of me, I can't actually place just what this guy is supposed to represent.  This figure comes with a small backpack/ammo pack that's optional (and I considered NOT adding it, because the back texture of the armor is fairly interesting), and likewise the two tiny shoulder pads with the figure could just as well be left off and he'd still look great.  I'm just painting him up as some sort of generic "mercenary" type without any particular faction insignia.





The three guys to the left are the "Nuclear Adventurers" (n-adve), and come as a group.  There are no instructions, and it's a slight puzzle to match up which weapon arms go with which figure (as two of them have two-handed weapons, and there's only one way to arrange them so the wrists line up properly).  I really like the figures (yay, gas masks!), and they nicely capture the look and feel of Fallout adventurers or raiders or generic adversaries, without being blatant property rip-offs.  (It helps that they actually have backpacks, knapsacks, and other indications of inventory that are often woefully lacking on representations of typical PC types.  "Where do you keep that thing, little buddy?")


Oh yeah, and at some point I ran out of 1" diameter washers, so I ended up using a few 25mm round plastic bases instead.  I ended up using Instant Mold and some impressions of terrain bits to make "rusty techno-plating" and "cracked earth" textures for bases -- plus to give myself enough of a layer to drill into for pinning the feet down of the minis.  In a few cases, I was able to keep enough of the resin "flash" on the bottoms of feet to embed them into putty (if it was still uncured at the time I started assembling), but most of the time it was easier to just drill and pin.  For a few figures, I added threads of putty (for cables), bits of sprue (for misc. techno/junk thingies), or whatever other bits I had lying about, for variety.


The rightmost figure in the picture is a more generic power-armor (or "armour") trooper, though his face plate looks suspiciously reminiscent of the Enclave.  (The odd thing is, Brother Vinni already has a blatant Enclave rip-off in the form of the "Ant Soldier," so if that was the intent, why not just go ahead and add the antennae/head-cables and make it official?)  Due to the similarity, I'm painting him up in dark armor and going for Enclave imagery.  I haven't yet resolved as to whether or not I'm going to attempt adding a couple of loops of cable to the top of the helmet for the full Enclave look.  This figure was actually much easier to assemble than the "scafgatling" figure: the gatling and attached hands notched into place with the arms fairly easily, and the backpack fit in place properly.  The tiny shoulderpads were (as with scafrifle & scafgatling) a challenge to trim from the sprue properly, but even they fit a little more easily on the shoulders.  I suspect this must be a later sculpt, building upon experience with the earlier ones.





Lastly, my friend picked up two "Hooligan Girls" (hool01, hool02) from Brother Vinni's "Action Girls" line (most of which are NSFW).  These were among the rare models actually bothering to wear clothes while leaping into combat, although they didn't look particularly appropriate for a post-apocalyptic setting.  The one on the left came with the SMG and brass knuckles, but I opted to give it a gas mask and neck-strap via some putty, for more of a nuclear-wasteland-survivor vibe.  The middle one came with a baseball bat and an empty left hand, but I used the leftover left-hand pistol from the Nuclear Sandlot "veteran" figure so both Hooligan Girls would have short-range-and-melee options.  Both figures consisted of main body (with head attached), with two separate arms (joined mid-arm, at their shirt sleeves), so there's some very slight posing possibility by varying the positions of their arms ... and I suppose the arms might be interchangeable between the two Hooligan Girl figures for a little more variety if building a "gang."

The one on the right is one of another 3-figure set from the Nuclear Sandlot, billed as "Post-Apocalyptic Citizens," and they rather blatantly look like Fallout vault-dwellers.  (A view of the back would make that even more obvious, as the back of the belt has the "Vault-Tec" look from Fallout 3 & New Vegas ... though that particular aspect didn't seem to show up in the Fallout 4 vault-dweller jumpsuit design for some reason.)  The rifle arm and left hand (holding binoculars) are separate pieces, but there's no room for alternate-posing without some conversion work.  The right left is slightly bent, with the foot resting upon a stone, and that was pretty easily incorporated into the base.



Overall, the figures are of fairly nice quality.  I'm a bit put off that it took as long as it did for the figures to actually be delivered, and that there was a part missing, but they're nicely detailed.  Assembly was a bit fiddly, but since it was resin, it was nowhere near the nightmare I had when trying to assemble pewter boutique minis for a friend (e.g., Relic Knights "Kisa" with those super-thin multi-part ARMS -- what sadistic person decided to break up the mini THERE?!?).





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The Brotherhood of Steel knock-off figures (scafrifle / scafgatling) were the easiest to do, so I finished them first.  Painting the main body was mostly just a matter of painting them all "Denim Blue" (a light blue-grey), giving them a "Graphite Gray" wash, then dry-brushing with Denim Blue again.  The photo somehow makes them look more BLUE than they appear to my own eye, incidentally.  I made the eye optics blue (light blue, then a lighter blue pinprick center, then a dot of darker blue wash) based off of an action figure or model depiction of the Brotherhood of Steel, and painted the shoulder cables yellow as per the in-game figure.  For the lasrifles, the main body is painted a dark green, with yellow stripe details, and a few touches of gunmetal.  Similarly, the laser-gatling just gets a few touches of darker grey, gunmetal, and a dot of red (because in ONE depiction of the weapon, that's how it looked).  I added the yellow bands around the barrel just because I thought it would look nice.  The chest emblems are small paper prints; the actual game models don't have big Brotherhood-of-Steel logos on their chests, but there's no way I could print small enough for the shoulders (I just made a weak free-hand attempt there), and I wanted to somehow "brand" them as BoS visibly.

I don't recall seeing the sorts of backpacks on the laser-gatling wielders (in the game, I don't think that weapon comes with a matching backpack?) so I just painted them in a way inspired by the look of the main body of the laser-rifle.

I'm perplexed at how the patches of rust paint on the bases come out looking fiery orange in the photo.  Maybe there's something wrong with my eyes?  (But I use my eyes to view the MONITOR, so wouldn't I also see it incorrectly th-- ARGH!)

The background is some more Plasticville O-Scale building work.  (I got a big grab-bag bundle of O-scale Plasticville "spare parts," including THREE Supermarket facades, so I decided to work them together to make a "Super-Duper Mart" building front for a game scenario.  They're also more interesting for the background than my portable painting work-area or my junky game room.)


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What turns a Hooligan Girl into a POST-APOCALYPTIC Hooligan Girl?  Scrap armor, I say.  Lots and lots of little paper license plates.  Also, while I'm print-happy, some caution-tape for that baseball bat, and a couple of rusty street signs (sign posts courtesy of some Reaper figure sprues).


Once I started gluing rusty license plates onto the girls' bodies, it occurred to me that the one in Daisy Duke shorts looked especially ridiculous, so I ended up painting in her pants legs -- though I kept a bit of my ruddy, patchy, dirty skin-tone work by giving them a "shredded jeans" look.  On the girl on viewer's left, I tried painting a "Red Rocket" logo freehand (because there's no way I could print a glue-on logo that tiny and have it do any better, or so I thought), though it occurs to me belatedly that I'm not even sure that logo T-shirts EXIST in the Fallout universe.  (I mean, it's just not something I've seen anyone wearing, and apparently clothes in the year 2077 were REALLY made to last, because clothes you find in the dresser drawers of ruined houses are still wearable 200-some-odd years later ... even the pajamas.  But I digress.)




I hate to think what'll happen if that girl raises her arm too high.  A bit of license plate edge digging into the neck while running and fighting is bound to leave a mark.  But post-apocalyptic armor is rarely very PRACTICAL, it would seem, so much as it's about just saying, "Look!  Pieces of identifiable scrap put together in such a way that hints that I have at least some access to actual tools, but I couldn't be bothered to paint or pad anything properly!"  ;)


Oh yes and in case you're wondering, one of the Hooligan Girls DOES have a bald back to her head.  She's got bangs and a bit of hair down the sides in the front, but behind that it's a smooth dome.  I suppose I could have painted her as if she had hair, fairly easily, but I decided to go for unevenly-shaved stubble, as I figured that looked more post-apoc-punkish.  Also, I figure that red tint to her hair isn't natural.  If Dandy Boy snack cakes, Nuka-Cola bottles, Insta-Mash potatoes, Sugar Bombs cereal and even Salisbury Steak TV dinners can survive the Apocalypse, sit around for 200+ years, and still be consumable, then under some sink somewhere, surely she can find a usable bottle of "Just Like Natural" hair dye.  I would've given the other girl PURPLE hair, but somehow the brown I ended up with for the undercoat just looked fairly nice as-is (by my standards anyway), so I left it.


The gigantic truck in the background is a mangled Fisher Price toy I found in the thrift store.  The building in the background is another Plasticville building (one of maybe 2 or 3 gas station facades I ended up with -- and not a single retro Frosty Bar, Diner, or Motel :( ), which I fixed up to represent a Poseidon Energy "Fuel & Fusion" station (gas and coolant, serving both old-style gas-guzzlers and newer nuclear-powered cars, before The Big One dropped).

Oddly, though the buildings are billed as O-scale, the garage simply isn't large enough to actually hold any of my O-scale model cars (1:43 scale).  It's more appropriate for Hot Wheels / Matchbox standard cars, or charitably 1:64 scale.  Eh, I won't point this out to the players, and maybe they won't notice.  Maybe.  If they do, then my excuse will be that for outdoor environments, I necessarily use "hyper-scale" for my building representations, or else we'd never fit it all on the table.  

(I mean, that seems to fit perfectly with the precedent set by Fallout games.  There's no way I should be able to walk across the ruins of Las Vegas in as short a time as it takes me in the game.  And a "city" somehow consists of just a few very small buildings.  So ... yeah, I'm just being true to the games.  THAT'S the ticket!)

EDIT: P.S., although these minis are going back to my friend for use in his Fallout games, I liked the way my page-o'-license-plates-and-street-signs worked out for texturing, and I've got a lot of rusty paper license plates leftover.  I think I'm going to go digging through my Box o' Kickstarter Bones to see if there are some figures I can transform into wastelanders by haphazard addition of scrap-metal "armor" pieces, strips of caution-stripe tape.  I already have a number of Mage Knight minis I grabbed for quick raiders/fiends for my Necronomicon scenario, and I could probably make them fit the part even better with a few spot details like this.

Edited by Jordan Peacock
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Saturday, I made progress on the sniper.  (Well, technically, I worked on the whole lot of them, but this is the one that seemed to make the most progress.)



This is the Sniper (SKU "sniper") from Brother Vinni's Nuclear Sandlot.


The arms are separate and need to be glued (or, better yet, PINNED), so there's some slight variation possibility with how they're attached -- mainly in that the left arm is normally posed with hand resting against hip, but due to my getting the pinning hole slightly off-center, I had trouble getting the arm to attach in a way that looked decent, so I ended up with the hand out forward a bit, looking as if it ought to be holding something.  The shoulder pads helped immensely to cover up the joining parts, but by then I had the hand positioned oddly, and I started thinking more about what it could be holding, than whether I'd go back and try to re-attach it properly.




I used a disposable plastic application needle (for applying stuff like epoxy or super glue, I think), making the neck of the bottle out of the thinnest portion of the "needle" near the end (in the area meant to be snipped off), and using that to anchor the "bottle" through a hole drilled through the left "fist."  I then used a wider-diameter, hollow section of the plastic needle closer to its base, which I could fit AROUND the thinner part, thus thickening out the bottle.  I painted the interior of the hollow "needle" section before joining the two, in hopes that it would give the illusion of a clear but filled bottle of Nuka-Cola (with the thickness of the clear side-walls still being visible to an observer, rather than just pretending that the ENTIRE bottle is going to turn brown, edge to edge).


I couldn't very well paint a Nuka-Cola logo on the bottle (though I tried), so I tried to hammer home the theme more by having a half-buried Nuka-Cola sign on the base.




Although the figure looks pretty decent even without the optional backpack (or without the shoulder pads, while I'm at it), I decided to go ahead and attach it, because if this is some wasteland adventurer/scavenger type, he really needs some place to keep the loot.  (It kind of bugs me when I see representations of adventurers who have only attire and weapon, and PERHAPS a prop, and nary a way to carry loot, when I KNOW adventurers are going to be hauling around as much of the stuff as they can possibly carry.  ;)  )

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While I'm at it, I did some quick work on the quasi-generic "Nuclear Adventurers" (SKU "n-adve"):




I briefly entertained the idea of trying to color-code goggles and modify outfits to make these characters seem a little more Romantically Apocalyptic ... but upon reviewing the looks of the particular characters for that, I saw that I was really nowhere near that, and might as well just start from scratch.  (Besides, nobody is posed to look like Zee Captain, with a mug in hand, and without that, the whole exercise would be fruitless.)


The most I did was that, upon noticing that one of the group had a jumpsuit, and NO gas mask, I thought to paint him up as some poor naive banished Vault Dweller, with the blue-and-yellow vault jumpsuit, but without enough sense (or resources) to wear an honest-to-goodness gas mask.  He tries to make up for it by having a gun in each hand ... even though one of the guns is clearly two-handed.

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Brother Vinni Nuclear Sandlot "Veteran":




As noted before, this fellow is slightly modified with a swap of the right hand (replaced with a right gun-hand included on a sprue with the pack).  Since this is supposed to represent an NCR Ranger (from Fallout: New Vegas), I applied some printed paper details, including an NCR logo on the back of the jacket, and a license plate arm guard (only because I thought I could recall seeing an NCR Ranger -- maybe it was a cosplay costume? -- with a license plate arm guard at some point, though I couldn't find a picture to back up my questionable memory ... and the bracer was almost the right size for my paper license plate anyway).


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Oh yeah.  An earlier statement I made about not getting the Enclave soldier ... well, one or more may have been sent off to the pro for painting, but it looks like one was left in my not-Fallout grab bag to work on after all.  Combined with the Power Armour trooper, I went for an Enclave look:




On the left is the Power Armour trooper, basically just done in dark grey, washed with a darker grey, dry-brushed back with a slightly less-dark grey, given some spot color for the two eye-covers and a yellow "fan exhaust" bit on the back, and a couple of Enclave paper emblems for the shoulders.


In the middle is the "Ant Soldier," properly assembled, and there's just no getting around how much this is an Enclave soldier, right down to the finer details on the plasma rifle.  The figure is multi-part, with body, head, left arm, right arm, and rifle (OH how much flash there was!).  I gave him paper Enclave emblems as well, on the shoulders rather than the mini-pauldrons integrated into the main body.  He's got pretty much the same paint scheme as the Power Armour trooper.  Although the rifle is a separate piece, doing some sort of weapon swap would be problematic, as there's basically a "nook" in the right arm where the stock of the plasma rifle fits perfectly.  Without the plasma rifle there, I would probably need to either find another weapon with a stock that just happens to more-or-less fit there (and fake the rest with putty), or else just gap-fill that spot entirely.  At that point, I might as well just dig through my "bitz box" and find some entirely different arms.


And so we get to the guy on the right.  He's not finished, but I spent so much time on that flag and the little details and I thought it would at least add an interesting visual element to the pictures of the other two.  His banner/arm is a bit from Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy (I'm pretty sure of it) from some "bitz bag" grab bag deal I got years ago at a game bazaar.  His left arm is from a Tau trooper, and I gave him a high-tech Tau rifle on the back.  It's probably TOO high-tech for Enclave (needs more gratuitous cables and rings and glowy bits, less anime styling) but if any faction could pull it off, Enclave is the closest in the Fallout setting.  (Maybe the Zetans, but they seem to be all the way into rocketships-and-ray-guns territory, in which case the gun would need fins.)

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And here's probably one of the more iconic of the bunch -- the Vault Dweller!




I used some Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty to make the asymmetrical shoulder pad and the linking shell bandolier and strap, to make him look more like the "Lone Wanderer" (canon depiction of the protagonist in Fallout 3, even though the game offers the chance to modify the character's appearance considerably).  As it so happens, "101" is one of the easier numbers to paint freehand on the back of a vault-dweller's jumpsuit, so that worked out fine for me.


I used a mix between "flesh" and "nutmeg brown" to paint up the beard area to give a suggestion of stubble.  Binocular lenses are painted in "denim blue" (light blue-grey), with dots of white for highlights.  My "rust shorthand" scheme is just to paint the sprue and the back side of the printed sign with "pumpkin orange," then to stipple it with "graphite grey."


The sign post uses another strip of Reaper pewter sprue.  I love that stuff for exactly this sort of base decoration.

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These are amazing!  I am sooo jealous!  Out of curiosity what system is your friend planning on using, or what systems have you used?  I have looked at a few but nothing has blown me away.


For my own convention one-shots, I've just used Savage Worlds with some homebrew material derived from Yves Geen's "Savage Fallout" blog:




I have a few house rules I plan on employing to get the proper feel, though.  There are just a few things that are particular to the feel of Fallout games that don't translate easily into Savage Worlds without some special consideration.  (After all, Fallout as it appears in the computer games is very, very level-based, and dependent upon "hit points," and Savage Worlds doesn't have those.)


As for my friend?  He hasn't told me yet about the particulars of his plans.  I confess, I got distracted by the shiny new toys to paint.  I'll have to ask.  :)

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My favorite that I found was Fallout PnP.  I started converting it with perks, etc from fallout 3 and New Vegas.  I can't remember if I finished or not, though I do plan on picking it up again someday.  Although now I would probably try to convert it to Fallout 4.

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And here's the last one in the group:




The model from Brother Vinni ends up looking more like the "Mr. Gutsy" robots, with three robot arms with gun-like attachments.  For variety, I thought I'd try to convert it to look like the "Mr. Handy" model -- a household multi-purpose servant robot that nonetheless ends up being scary in combat because this is the Fallout universe, and so of COURSE they'd give the thing a nasty claw, a spinning sawblade AND a blowtorch to help with household chores.  (Ah yes!  A blowtorch -- just what I need every day in the kitchen!)  Also, although the Brother Vinni models were otherwise free of bubbles that have plagued my experience with certain lines of pricey resin miniatures, this one happened to have a structurally-compromising one in the joint of one of the robotic arms, and another one of the arms was miscast to lose the tip of its "gun" attachment.  So, I had some work to do on the robot arms anyway.

I used a tiny gear from a grab-bag deal of watch parts to serve as the saw blade, with a piece of wire and some epoxy putty to make the saw attachment; I used some more epoxy putty to gap-fill the hole in the broken arm, and I went ahead and posed the arm so that the attachment would rest against another support point for extra stability.


For the blowtorch, I used a translucent orange "flame" piece from a HorrorClix model -- the "Firebreather" (22/23/24) from the Freakshow set -- on a piece of wire.


For the claw arm, I'm going to have to try carving up a small piece of plastic or other suitable material, since I didn't happen to have a pincer claw at the ready to pin on.


For the initial painting, I based the figure grey, gave it a graphite-grey wash (to dark recessed details), and then went back over with a light blue-grey mix, in an attempt to get the basic look of the silvery light-blue-grey scheme associated with the robot in the game.  I left the metal gear unpainted, since I figured the bare metal looked much better than anything I might hope to do with metallic paints or my attempts at NMM.


I'm pondering giving the Mr. Handy something to carry in the pincer arm -- perhaps a box of Abraxo cleaning powder (inspired by an Abraxo ad poster that appears in the Fallout games in various places) or perhaps a box of Sugar Bombs or a Vault-Tec lunchbox (inspired by a video advertisement for Fallout 3, featuring Mr. Handy briefly).  Boxes with flat, printed surfaces are pretty easy to make from printed paper and filler, and would provide a quick way to add a little more Fallout "branding" to the mini-scene.

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