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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.


I asked my friend this weekend (while delivering to him the so-far-completed miniatures), and it looks like he's going to use the Fantasy Flight Games "Star Wars" system (that is, the system used in "Edge of the Empire," "Age of Rebellion," and in "Force and Destiny"), in order to go for a more "narrative" style.


I found this a bit ironic, since FFG's Star Wars RPG is really designed for more "theater of the mind" style of play, rather than using miniatures.  You don't have, for instance, rules that cover how many tabletop inches your character can move, and typical miniatures-games particulars on determining line of sight and such.  Rather, when there's a combat, at its most basic things are treated in a very one-dimensional way: All that matters is whether your enemies are within melee range, within short range, medium range, or long range, and movement basically consists of traversing from one range band to the next.  If there were ever to be a situation with a THREE-way battle, it would get messy.


However, for our own "Edge of the Empire" campaign, we ended up using miniatures anyway.  On the more abstract level, I found it useful in non-combat situations where PCs were splitting up and running about, doing various things, to help keep track of who's back on the ship, who's outside, who's in the cantina, who's within whisper range of each other, and who's going to need a comlink.  And even ON a ship, who's in the pilot's seat, who's co-pilot, who's manning the gun pods, who's sitting on the gravity couch next to the holochess table, and so forth.  How many inches apart they might be doesn't matter terribly, but having some sort of representation on the table (Micro Machines toys, printed maps, or even just some paper outlines that I've labeled "SHIP," "CANTINA," "OUTSIDE") can serve as a nice shorthand way to represent locations -- especially for the player who was off in the kitchen getting a soda from the fridge to quickly get up to speed on who's where, and who's got company, with a glance at the table.


For action scenes, I would often use map layouts, but establish "zones" on the map rather than using a grid or a tape measure, inspired by how distances were handled in a semi-abstract fashion for the old Marvel Superheroes game.  A small room might be a zone unto itself: Every mini placed in the room is considered to be within melee range of every other mini, and anyone in the next room is in short range.  Or, for a larger room, it might be that I have to break it up a bit; I might either mark off the map accordingly, or else simply tell the players at the outset of the battle, "the hangar bay is really big, so the hangar-bay-door side HERE is one zone, and the area around the loading platform THERE is another zone."  And any time miniatures are placed, I take pains to clearly place them in one "zone" or another, rather than leaving anyone ambiguously halfway between.


I had a bit more trouble with space battles.  IMHO, the space battle system didn't quite lend itself as easily to a "theater of the mind" approach, but it didn't easily translate into miniatures, either.  Fortunately, that shouldn't be an issue for a Fallout game using the system at all.  :)

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After a bit of a hiatus (involving an awful lot of travel this spring and summer), I've gotten back to working on some of the minis, especially as Necronomicon 2016 isn't that far away, and I really need to get something on the schedule soon.




Here's the "Mister Handy" (Brother Vinni's "Nuclear Sandlot - Flying Bot") done up in the usual blue-grey, with sawblade (clockwork gear), flame (piece from HorrorClix "Fire Breather"), and claw (wire, putty) attachments -- holding a box of Abraxo.


Mister Handy Trusts ABRAXO ... for all your (post-apocalyptic) cleaning needs!


The background piece is a Bachmann Plasticville O-scale Diner I managed to pick up for a reasonable price on Ebay.  (It was cracked, and the accompanying "Frosty Bar" was missing some pieces, but since I'm doing these things up as ruins, that's *perfectly fine* with me.)  I used clear blister plastic to make the broken window inserts, assorted printed elements for decoration, and did some sloppy washing and dry-brushing for some super-quick "grunge" effects.  (If I want to get more serious about rust and corrosion and such, I can always go back and do more later, but my main intent was to get this thing table-ready ASAP.)  A nice touch about the Plasticville pieces is that they can be assembled without glue -- though, granted, a lot of the Ebay Plasticville bits I've gotten on the cheap are already CAKED with glue, as not everyone seems to agree with me.  But for those that managed to escape glue-happy owners, I can potentially assemble and break down the piece quickly, and store it to take up a bit less space than a typical terrain piece of comparable size.  


I suppose I could take advantage of the removable rooftop and make an interior furnished piece sometime, but in practice I don't suppose that I'm going to be moving miniatures around on the inside.  For a small building like this, it's an objective for anything going on in an outdoors environment, and if someone goes inside, all that really matters is someone is "inside the diner" or NOT, as a single move action should be sufficient to traverse the interior, and thus any combat taking place inside is going to have every participant within short and potentially melee range.  Hence, even if it's a mostly miniatures-heavy game, I can get away with a certain amount of "theater of the mind" for any action taking place inside one of these little buildings without needing a complete floor plan.


As with most Plasticville O-scale buildings, it looks pretty nice next to 28mm-32mm scale minis, and has a bit of a "hyperscale" effect: There's no way the building is really large enough to be a full-size diner, complete with cooking area and bathrooms, but at a glance it gets the idea across.  It isn't an issue here, but I've found that the vehicles that go with the "O-scale" Plasticville buildings are closer to your typical Matchbox/Hot Wheels vaguely 1:64 scale, and hence the gas station or fire station don't have garages that can accommodate actual O-scale vehicles.  I've often seen these buildings listed as "O/S Scale" and since "S" scale is billed at around 1:64 scale, I suspect these are closer to S than O scale ... but as long as it passes the eyeball test for my players, it's good enough for me.  (After all, it's kind of in keeping with the weird scale in Fallout games.  A number of times I've observed that roads in-game often aren't wide enough to actually accommodate the cars that supposedly once drove on them, let alone have any room for someone to pull over onto the shoulder or parallel park by the sidewalk, etc.)


Alas, also as with most Plasticville buildings, it has "PLASTICVILLE" in big print on the front.  In the picture, I've obscured it with the foam-core/printed "Parker's Restaurant & Fountain (parking in rear)" sign.  I haven't decided whether to have some debris permanently occupying that spot (it would cut into the "break-down-and-store" appeal of the piece), or what.

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Brother Vinni Nuclear Sandlot "Robot" (AKA "Bot-01")

More rush-painting for Necronomicon 2016 (which is later this month).  The one on the left is painted up in typical default Protectron scheme as depicted in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.  The one on the right is patterned after the Protectrons in the Nuka-Cola bottling facility.  (I'm using it as a PC option for my convention scenarios, with a flawed personality chip.)






Brother Vinni Nuclear Sandlot Flying Bot (AKA "bot-fly")

This is the same model I used for the "Mr. Handy," but left with the default "arm" extensions, to represent a military "Mr. Gutsy" model.  The star is just a printed paper piece I glued on, since my free-handing of stuff like that is wretched.  The piece on the left is the Reaper dumpster done up all rusty and with a tattered Fallout-setting poster (which I used as a backdrop for another one of my Reaper Fallout mini conversions in another thread).

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And here's yet another Mr. Handy!



Brother Vinni Nuclear Sandlot Flying Bot (AKA "bot-fly")

This is another Mr. Handy, although this time I managed to keep the arms pretty much intact even with my conversion work (a gear and some putty for the saw blade, another HorrorClix "flame" piece for the flamethrower) ... but this time around, I managed to break the eye-stalks.  So, I opted to try to salvage this by having a Mr. Handy that's actually looking FORWARD for a change, rather than every which way at once.  The scenery consists of some Hot Wheels track and playset pieces with a bit of painting and putty (to add cracks and such, for a more post-apocalyptic look), with an odd building from some sort of Spiderman game/playset (I got it in a thrift store, so I'm not certain of the details) from ages ago.


If anyone happens to be in the Tampa, Florida area this upcoming weekend (Friday-Sunday, October 28-30, 2016), and you'd like to see any of these minis "in action," you might check out the Necronomicon convention.  I'm helping with miniatures and terrain for three GMs, and there'll be plenty of Fallout to go around.  :)

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A while later, and I happened to score a few Brother Vinni models (or pieces thereof) in a grab-bag deal of minis off Ebay.


This one is another "Vault-Tec" power armor ... only this time I actually know it's "Vault-Tec Power Armor," versus "just some generic Fallout-esque power armor," as I thought when I painted up the first mini.


This is a Brother Vinni resin 28mm-scale gaming miniature, SKU code "techarmour" - "PostApoc Power-Armour" - from the "Nuclear Sandlot" line, painted with acrylics to represent the prototype advanced power armor developed by Vault-Tec in its "Secret Vault" project.


It's based on a Secret Weapon Miniatures resin 25mm beveled "Flagstone" base. (At least, I THINK it's "Flagstone." I actually got it in one of their Bag o' Stuff deals. Whatever it is, it works great for a cracked, deteriorated sidewalk area.)


This obscure bit of equipment appears only in "Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel" -- a game that I've never played, but all reviews I've seen generally indicate that it was terrible, and that it's questionable as a "canon source" for Fallout. Nonetheless, I've seen this design of armor work its way into mods for Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4, and it looks like Brother Vinni did a sculpt of it.  (Most of his obviously-Fallout minis have disappeared from his "Nuclear Sandlot" line, but this one is still in the catalog ... probably because, honestly, the only "official" images of Vault-Tec power armor are so low-res and blurry, it's probably just artistic license that produced the armor as it appears in so many Fallout 3/NV/4 mods.)


I actually kind of like the design, though this mini was sculpted well before Fallout 4, and hence has the old "suit of armor" look, versus the newer "exo-frame so large you actually step INTO it to operate" approach to power armor. I've tried to rationalize that the Enclave Advanced Power Armor and Vault-Tec Power Armor represented a new, more compact sort of power armor that didn't rely on exo-frames (and the "X1" is a different sort of armor that only bears SUPERFICIAL similarities to Enclave Advanced Power Armor), so I could justify still using the "Ant-Soldier" (Enclave) and "TechArmour" (Vault-Tec) minis ... but that's a bit of a stretch when they look so shrimpy next to the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare "Fallout 4" style power armor minis.


But I still like the model, so I painted it anyway. :)

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