Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Predator Rescue, Part 02

So, I spent the evening filing and gluing where necessary.

The turret has been filed and the autocannon has been glued into a fixed elevation. You will also notice that I have covered the turret ring with a playing card that is glued in place. Originally I thought that the addition of the card would give some much needed friction and help hold the turret in position. Boy did it! However, I was in a magnetic mood and decided to glue a magnet into the interior of the turret directly to the playing card. Now the entire turret will stay in place because of the magnets. See the pictures for details.

Playing cards make pretty decent modeling material
The top panel of the hull just needed some filing and it popped into place as pretty as you please. I also layered some playing cards that I glued together with some super glue. I then glued the card into the turret ring opening and finished that off by gluing a magnet to the underside of the playing card.

I was originally going to paint the interior of the hull and then remembered that a predator has no transport capacity and therefore no reason to open the ramp. So, I will not be painting the interior. The exhaust pipes have been drilled out and opened up.

The Bitz Barn is currently out of stock on Rhino track sets. So, I turned to eBay and found four sets for sale ranging from $10 to $11 (including shipping). I am not ready to spend that kind of money just yet. Remember, I wanted a nice cheap tank in comparison to retail price.

I can see four possible outcomes to the track issue.

1. I run without tracks at all. This smacks of white trash though.

2. I fabricate my own tracks in some manner. Sounds, tedious.

3. I wait for The Bitz Barn to get restocked. The lazy, yet cheap method.

4. I bite the bullet and pay $10-$11 for a complete set off of eBay. The lazy method.

This bears more thinking...

Greeblies for the turret

Monday, November 5, 2012

Predator Rescue, Part 01

Well, 6th edition hit and I could no longer deny my lust for GW, yadda, yadda, yadda. More later.

My latest endeavors have been to run solo 40K skirmishes using the Savage Worlds RPG. More on that later.

As such, I have been on a bit of a terrain building jag lately. I will post more about that in the future.

Needless to say my gaming life has continued and involved the stripping and repainting of my Blood Angels (for the third time!). I have also been working some of my back log as well as picking up the Dark Vengeance starter and going ga-ga over those particular miniatures also.

Basically, my self-imposed exile from GW and 40K failed in the most spectacular fashion.

Anyway, I got the bug to get a Predator tank. I have always liked the look of them and there is something about the symmetry/silhouette that I find elegant. Not wanting to pay the $57.75 to pick one up at the local GW, I bought one off of eBay.

Now, I specifically looked to buy a cheap pre-used/assembled/abused model. I have a fair amount of experience stripping models and rebuilding them. So, I was essentially looking for some one else's piece of junk to make a part of my army. I always figured that I could disguise the most egregious abuse as combat damage.

So, after some judicious bidding I ended up owning a destructor-pattern predator with lascannon sponsons. I got this low-mileage and slightly abused item for $30.99. That's ~47% off of the NIB price.

Fully Convertible

From the pictures you can see I got a model that has no tracks, two broken lascannon sponsons, one mis-glued hatch plug, and no apparent filing down of the mold lines. Oh, and it was covered in dust.

One the plus side I will not have to strip the model as the primer job is quite good.

The turret mount is in good shape and has been glued (correctly) in place. No issues there. One of the hatch plugs is upside down and shows the periscope and mounting cross/indention for mounting the HK missile. As this does not interfere with the functioning of the turret I am not going to mess with it. All this part needs is a filing/trim to correct a bit of a tight fit and it is good to go.

The whole shebang!

The turret is missing the cupola hatch and that will be dealt with out of my bits box. The storm bolter mount has cracked but not yet broken. I am going to use a bit of glue to correct that issue. A general filing and trimming will bring the turret up to snuff. The autocannon elevates and depresses a bit too easily. That will either be frictioned up using some white glue or just plain old glued into the correct elevation.

The sponsons/lascannons needs some filing and to be re-glued into place. Magnetization will also happen.

Worse mounting design ever!

The hull needs very little clean up/filing. The interior is clean and the ramp functions nicely. This might be the first Rhino STC with a painted interior, in my army. The exhaust pipes will be drilled out and some greeblies from my bitz box will finish the overall look of the tank.

The sides are glued into place and appear to have the correct spacing. Complete track sides are available for $1.60 per side from The Bitz Barn. I will be placing my order shortly. Luckily, tracks are not needed during the refurbishing/painting of the said tank.

We threw track, Sarge!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finishing up that Full Thrust review...

Sorry, folks.

Seems that my last post, a supposed review, didn't actually review anything.

Full Thrust is flat out the best space combat game I have ever played.

There are several reasons for this (in no particular order);

1. Free - 'nuff said

2. Build your own ships! - the point build method seems fairly balanced with every option having a counter of some sort.

3. Cinematic movement with a nod towards inertia - movement is life or death

4. Range and facing matters.

5. Dead simple basic mechanic - gets you playing within a few minutes.

6. The options, oh God, the sheer amount of options that you can use to add to the basic game. Objects, bases, minefields, stealth, sensors, repair parties, towing, and even more!

7. Scaleless - You are not locked into a given scale and you can even use markers or chits instead of miniatures.

8. Hexless - no special board required to play - you are not constrained for instance you could turn the living room floor into a huge battle space.

9. Equipment light - dice, ships, movement record sheet, ship status record (you can fit 12 on a regular page), measuring tape, turning template (made from and old CD), and a pencil. I already owned all of this stuff for other games, except for the turning/vector template which I made from an old AOL CD and a sharpie

10. Tons of resources. Even a Facebook fan page.

11. Alternating activations/integrated turns

The system lends itself best to each side having less than 10 ships per side. I got my gaming buddies to play and we were knocking out games within a few minutes. No game lasted more than 20 minutes and that was with 3-5 ships per side. We played six games before calling it a day.

We did not play with fighters and I have heard that "paper" carriers can break the system at some level. I don't have enough experience to say one way or another.

In the end I cannot recommend Full Thrust enough. Hell, its free, you're not risking anything to try it out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bring the Rain! - A Full Thrust Review

These days most of my hobby time is devoted to painting miniatures for my various Pathfinder games.

I have been interested in playing a space combat game for a while.

I tried Star Wars Starship battles when it came out but, in the end, found it to be too simplistic.

I have purchased and played the quite excellent Battleship Galaxies when it came out. It is a really nice game with some unique resource management challenges built in as part of the game play. My only real gripe is the set up time involved and the somewhat limited play area (even though two game boards are included). I never felt like I got a real chance to outmaneuver my opponent.

I received some Firestorm Armada ships for Christmas and they are very beautiful ships. Unfortunately I am not interested in purchasing another rule set or learning it. Especially one that requires cards, tokens, and dice.

So, I hit the interwebz hard and found several free rule sets that seemed to fit what I was looking for. Of all the choices available, the most popular seems to be Full Thrust.

Full Thrust was originally published in 1991 or thereabouts. A second edition was released circa 1995. Jon Tuffley wrote these rules. Jon is well know for running Ground Zero Games and authoring several rule sets such as Stargrunt 2 and Dirtside 2. Don't be thrown by the age of these rules! They have stood the test of time and survived.

Full Thrust is non-setting specific. So, you can play practically any background you can come up with. Conversions can be found throughout the Internet covering setting specific ships and fleets for old favorites such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Starblazers, BSG, BFG, and Babylon 5.

There are many Full Thrust resources out there;




Ammund Runec

Pathfinder character I regularly play. Owner/Manager of the Black Steel Mercenary Company.

Ammund Runec

Male Human Fighter 10                          Initiative +3                               Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)

AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +3 Studded Leather)

HP 101                                                                                     Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +4

Base Atk +10; CMB +12; CMD +26

STR 14, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 12

Deadly Aim, Dodge, Improved Critical (Longbow), Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (Glaive), Weapon Focus (Longbow), Greater Weapon Focus (Longbow), Weapon Specialization (Longbow)

Acrobatics +6, Acrobatics (Jump) +4, Appraise +2, Bluff +10, Climb +7, Craft (Bows) +13, Diplomacy +13, Disguise +2, Escape Artist +3, Fly +3, Heal +1, Intimidate +8, Perception +7, Ride +3, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +10, Survival +8, Swim +2

DF = Darter Fletching (+1 to hit)
PBS = Point Blank Shot (+1 to hit and damage)
DA = Deadly Aim (-3 to hit, +6 to damage)
RS = Rapid Shot (full-attack action, -2 to hit to each attack)
VS = Vital Strike (x1 attack only, roll 2d8 plus modifiers for damage)

Widow’s Lament (+1 Bastard Sword) +14/+9 (1d10+5/19-20)

Glaive +13/+8 (1d10+3/x3/ Reach 10)

Heart Seeker +19/+14 (1d8+8/19-20/x3)

Heart Seeker (DF) +20/+15 (1d8+8/19-20/x3) 

Heart Seeker (DF, PBS) +21/+16 (1d8+9/19-20/x3)

Heart Seeker (DF, RS) +18/+13/+18 (1d8+8/19-20/x3) – Full Attack

Heart Seeker (DF, RS, PBS) +19/+14/+19 (1d8+9/19-20/x3) – Full Attack

Heart Seeker (DF, RS, DA) +15/+10/+15 (1d8+14/19-20/x3) – Full Attack

Heart Seeker (DF, RS, DA, PBS) +16/+11/+16 (1d8+15/19-20/x3) – Full Attack

Heart Seeker (DF, VS) +20 (2d8+8/19-20/x3) – x1 Attack Only

Heart Seeker (DF, VS, PBS) +21 (2d8+9/19-20/x3) – x1 Attack Only

Heart Seeker (DF, VS, DA) +17 (2d8+14/19-20/x3) – x1 Attack Only

Heart Seeker (DF, VS, DA, PBS) +18 (2d8+15/19-20/x3) – x1 Attack Only