Monday 28 August 2017

Ninja Viper (Cobra)

One of the things the G.I. Joe mythos certainly has is a lot of different ninjas! It only makes sense for my G.I. Joe Project to include a few as well. I have more planned and have been scouring the web for ninja models to use.

Ninja Vipers are the elite of the Cobra Viper ranks. Consequently I am treating them as lesser to the Red Ninja Viper in game terms for my gaming using Squad Wars, so formidable in close combat but the least of the ninja types as it were. And the Ninja Viper is certainly outclassed by the likes of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Jinx.

I started the mini a while ago, but as usual got side-tracked. While painting up a squad of other minis (I never enjoy batch painting these days), I decided I need something finished fast and picked up the Ninja Viper again and was able to finish the painting quite quickly. August has been a lean month overall on the painting front, but I hope the work I have done helps me into September's outputs.

G.I. Joe Project - Minis Painted (15)
G.I. Joe: 10*
Cobra: 5**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Hotwire (Cobra)

What a difference doing 'something'/'anything' makes! After posting my WiP post, I managed to paint Hotwire in the same afternoon (my equivalent to speed-painting....), and from that I hope to carry some momentum forward to get a few more minis finished this month.

Hotwire was added to the canon in the 2000's as a Cobra as a convention-only special character. The deranged Hotwire comes from a lineage of Bavarian scientists operating within criminal spheres and he specialises in B.A.T. Maintenance & repair, and is also a bio-mechanical engineer.

As mentioned in the WiP post (you can see the source inspiration and chosen base mini below), I zeroed in on tackling this model mainly based on ease of conversion - the mini is from Studio Miniatures and was immediately obvious as a candidate for reworking for my G.I. Joe Project. However, as I plan to eventually paint up some B.A.T.s (Battle Android Troopers), it makes sense to have a character who can boost them, making it an even better decision to make Hotwire. Therefore, expect to see Hotwire eventually in mine and Brummie's games of Squad Wars at some point. Painting him takes me up to four Cobra characters, so I have a way to go to catch up with my number of Joes and the number of Cobra that Brummie has painted. I have a nearly-finished Cobra Ninja Viper, and a few Joes already part-painted, so with luck a few more minis may get done this week.

G.I. Joe Minis Painted (14)
G.I. Joe team: 10*
Cobra: 4**
Arashikage: 3*
Iron Grenadiers: 1**
Oktober Guard: 0
Red Shadows: 0

Monday 21 August 2017

Hotwire (WiP; G.I. Joe Project)

I don't often do WiP posts, but as I have hit a painting slowdown this month (so far in August I painted 6 DUST Quonset Huts glimpsed in the last post, but haven't finished any character models yet), I thought I might do so at this time to help gee me up!

This mini will become Hotwire, a recent addition to the Cobra forces in the G.I. Joe mythos. Basically he seems to be a deranged engineer-scientist specialising in modification of BATs (Battle Android Troopers).

One of the things driving decisions for Brummie and me in our choice of characters to add to our G.I. Joe Projects is the availability of source minis. Hotwire is a case in point - while we were scouting options, I checked out Studio Miniatures' Survivors range and picked out two good possibilities. One of those options led to Hotwire, who started off as a not-Doc Brown type (Back to the Future). It is not a character I would have even considered except for the relative ease of conversion I saw in the source mini.

I set to work on his lower trouser legs and arm cuffs with a file, to turn the areas into boots and gloves respectively, and added a bit of green stuff for a trouser near a boot top. I also added a layer of thin plastic under his shoes to make him a tiny bit taller to fit the other minis and bulk out his boots. I am reasonably pleased with how that bit of work turned out and hope he paints up well enough that he looks 'right' and the work seems correct. I have a few days off so I plan to finish several minis this week, including Hotwire, motivation permitting!

Saturday 12 August 2017

First Squad Wars Play-tests

This week saw the inaugural play-test games for Squad Wars, using a mix of minis from mine and Brummie's growing G.I. Joe collections. My initial feeling was that a lot of things worked as I hoped and a few things need tweaking, which is all good.

We managed both a small and a medium sized game in less than three and half hours, which is without having played the game before and so I it felt it was fairly speedy overall, all things considered. That time included making a couple of cups of tea and stopping to have discussions about whether or not certain things worked to create a satisfying game-play feel, so ultimately probably closer to three hours or less in total for the two games played.

The games helped identify a few issues to fix - nothing fundamental but certain special rules and how they can be applied differently to improve the experience.

Brummie was really supportive and kindly gave feedback and insights, as well as noting the log of changes to be made and also took two of the pictures in this post (thanks very much mate!).

I wish I had taken more pics myself but I was understandably focused on the games themselves and talking Brummie through my ethos for certain design choices. I opted away from making a Battle Report at this stage as the key thing is getting the fundamentals right in terms of using time well.

Anyway, suffice to say, it feels on the right track of what I want and I hope to get more Squad Wars gaming in with Joes versus Cobra before too long.