Almost Finished with my 30k Thousand Sons Force. I finished the Cataphractii Terminators and all that remains are 2 mark IV Space Marines to make the squad up to 10
And that will probably be it for the 30k Thousand Sons as Games Workshop have discontinued the large plastic 30k box sets and have not put new models for a while. It is a shame really as I quite liked the 30k same but different space marines. There is always forge world stuff but it is expensive and I prefer plastics where i can. I still have some 30k Iron Warriors to paint up but then that is it.
Another Long time occupant of my desk finished and another northern army paint scheme. This time back to more yellow than brown
Vallejo Mecha Color Yellow Ochre 69.032 Vallejo Mecha Color Desert Dust Wash 69.522 Vallejo Mecha Color Gunmetal 69.058 Vallejo Mecha Color Steel 69.063 Vallejo Mecha Color Dark Steel 69.065 Vallejo Mecha Color Electric Blue 69.020 Games Workshop Nuln Oil Games Workshop Steel Legion Drab Games Workshop Armageddon Dunes A Red for the gun scope
Finished my 30k Thousand Sons Contemptor Dreadnought. It is a nice sculpt but the actual posing options (non) and one alternative arm option make it a one and done purchase. Not worth the £35 Games workshop are asking for it, in fact considering an easy build Redemptor is £25 which is bigger, this quite frankly a complete rip-off.
First off I will state I’m not that good of a miniature painter but my results have been getting better. But it is also fair to state there are not many guides on how to paint Heavy Gear miniatures, this is especially true for “standard” colour schemes these armies are shown in. So lets give the southern forces a shot.
First thing to do is undercoat. I used Games Workshop Mechanicus Standard Grey Spray
2. Next I painted the main armour bits Vallejo Mecha Color Medium Grey (69.038)
3. I painted the other armour parts with Vallejo Mecha Color Grey (69.037)
4. Next Vallejo Mecha Color Gunmetal to the V-engine and Weapons (69.058)
5. Next the gun barrels and the tracks and wheel with Vallejo Mecha Color Steel (69.063)
6. Added Games Workshop Nuln Oil Wash (this went a bit wrong as 1 coat did not match my trial miniature but 2 coats where too much) and then cleaned up with Medium Grey
7. Next we add the reds, Games Workshop Mephiston Red for the rockets and Mecha Color Red (69.008) on some of the small plates on the Jagers and the whole shoulder on one (also used on the knee armour on the larger models)
8. To finish off I used GW Bloodletter Glaze on the eye, Steel Legion Drab on the base and Armageddin Dunes for the base texture.
We looked at the 1/72 Model Kit last time, now lets focus on the 1/60 Bandai DX Chogokin versions. These are fully transforming figures which are on the expensive side of transforming toys (£160-£200+ Shipping and customs) but with takara’s Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime coming in at over £300 they don’t seem that bad.
Here we have the standard VF-31c. These are definitely a premium product, with excellent paint and die-cast which gives it a good weight. The hands are swappable with different poses, the standard hands are the ones it can be transformed with and they also have limited articulation. As of writing there are 4 of the main cast available and 1 “stock” version and 2 special editions. And there are also super packs.
Next we have the VF31c and VF31J with super parts. The C comes with the large missiles while the J lacks them. The parts bulk out some of the slimier parts but some have a tendency to fall off quite easily. They also make the figures move back heavy and harder to pose without them wanting to fall over. If you miss the pre-order/early order for the super parts then they because massively expensive to obtain, in some cases going for an much as the original figure.
Above is the VF-31f in Jet mode with super parts, it is presented on the standard stand that comes with the figure. For reference the only differences between the VF-31 are the deco and the robot mode head (The a also has different wing ends).
While nice figures collecting them can be problematic. First they are only available in Japan. There simple does not seem to be the interest in pushing the Macross brand internationally, this maybe due to Robotech and the harmony gold saga (makes me think of rambus and DDR2 problems). As a result they can be quite expensive to obtain.
With the VF-31a the problem is there was far higher demand than product produced and seemed to be going for around £500!?!? The VF-31J kai was a convention exclusive which made it rarer and more expensive than the other. Fortunately I was able to get one from ebay when they had a coupon day for a reasonable price.
Regarding the super parts, if you miss the pre-orders/early orders the price can shoot right up to the price of the original figure. As of writing we are still missing a release of delta 3. So take care and be aware of what you are getting into if you decide to collect these figures 🙂
Bandai have put out a completely differently engineered SV-262Hs Draken III which are the “badies” of the series which we will take a look at next time.
The black plastic kick starter miniatures arrived around September/October of 2016
My Caprice models where all put together by the 1st of April 2017 a few months after I had done some from the other factions. I did a paint scheme test with Reaper Ruby Red as the base on one of the accos and it looked fine on the smaller model but when applied to the larger mounts was a bit too dark.
So a long time went by and lost interest in HG for a bit and I got back into the various Warhammer products. Work did not resume until December 2018. But once it did I got them done quickly as the paint scheme is quite simple.
And the Mounts with the larger feet (Kadesh, Meggido, Ammon)
GW Mephiston Red GW Abaddon Black GW Leadbelcher GW Averland Sunset (missile Covers on the Aphek) GW Nuln Oil (wash) Reaper 09124 Adamantium Black Reaper 09104 Sparkling Blue Reaper 09103 Emerald Green Vallejo Mecha Color 69.020 Electric Blue
Next time I paint Caprice I would use the yellow (or an orange) for the Missile pod covers. I would also add some black to the bodies of the larger mounts (I did try the front of the Ammon been black but I did not like it)
In part I I when over what I think are the problems with Heavy Gear at the moment. Now I will write about how I think they can be dealt with.
Soft Reset / Mini-reboot / Time Jump
As new source books for Heavy Gear have been moving the story along. Currently we are at TN1950 in the middle of the 2nd CEF invasion. Evolving story’s are great but they also build up a pile of legacy stuff that comes with it. After a while its time for a reset of some type. Comic book for instance do this every few years.
For Heavy Gear I would propose going to back to a similar time. In particular TN1723 the ST- Vincent’s War. The main focus is North vs South, maybe 5 types of gear each, plus support vehicles and troops.
The natural progression would be move it on a few years to where Peace River introduce their gear line up, Nucoal at this point would be drawn from other factions gears as they become obsolete, CEF would come with the first invasion and see where it goes from there.
Bases and the Name
Scrap the Hex bases, for me they where a weak part of the plastics especially with the pointless slots in them. Go standard round bases 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm.
Drop the “Blitz” from the title. I would call the new one “Heavy Gear 23” or HG23. Also drop the weapon names abbreviations and reduce the total number of weapons.
The Games Workshop Model
Love or Hate games workshop, they do know how to get things done. So we have our main game HG23, when we have a side game or two that come with miniature releases that are compatible with the main game. I would have a Shadespire (MacAllen something or other?) like game with cards, counters and a board. Bring back a simpler HG Area and Badlands Rally.
A Release Schedule
In order to keep interest up we need a release schedule for new products, be it squads for the main or one of the side games.
More and better plastic miniatures. Hopefully the new KS will be a step up from the first one. We need better posing and just in general a more advanced product again more GW like.
More Basic painting tutorials
I think Heavy Gear could do with some good basic painting tutorial video’s using common modelling paints and how to achieve the common faction colour schemes (no mixing or blending or anything like that)
So I like the world of Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9. I like the implementation of their mecha (Gears) and the combined arms aspect. We have a time line and an evolving world story. It also has a tabletop game to go with it.
So what is the problem with it? Well no one seems to play it, stockist are almost non-existent and or hold minimal stock, interests is very low and its future seems to be dependent on kickstarter campaigns which don’t seem to have the draw of other miniature kickstarters. Added to that various 3rd party efforts have fallen flat on there face. Not inspiring stuff.
Dreadnoughts was a miniature game which was to be on a much larger scale than blitz, with landships been the main focus and the game was to launch with plastic miniatures and it all seemed interesting enough. Sadly it failed to gain the interest required to launch and seems to have been abandoned
Heavy Gear Assault hoped to revive the Heavy Gear PC gaming experience once provided by Heavy Gear & Heavy Gear 2. However this time single player took a back seat to multilayer e-sports. This was completely uninteresting to me (and others it would seem) but I keep an eye on the project. The kickstarter failed, but the game was made playable and money changed hands via steam and there own funding website. However as of writing it seems the developer was taken over by some bloc-chain related company. Development stopped and seems the servers for the game do not work and is currently unplayable.
Dream pod 9 (DP9) even had to cancel and rejigged one of there own miniature kickstarters , fortunately both new kickstarters did fund and we will be getting a new wave of plastics for 3 factions.
The Heavy Gear Universe was moving along with new resin and metal models as well as army books for Nucoal and Southern forces. I enjoyed the army books and a steady flow of new models kept my interest. This was near the end of 2012
Then came the first of the DP9 kickstarters in 2014. The idea was sound, a revised ruleset and most importantly plastic Northern, Southern, CEF and Caprice miniatures. It was funded and managed to reach many of its stretch goals. If anything to was probably too successful for a 1st time kickstarter which was to launch a new plastic range of miniatures. In the end it was clearly a learning experience for DP9.
1st problem was the computer models there had where not suitable to make plastic moulds, 2nd the KS was in CAD (Canadian Dollars) and most think where to be paid for in USD (US dollars) and CAD lost value compared to USD as the production when on. The result was some items where cut (the plastic Tiger and Sidewinder), though DP9 where upfront about this once the problem was apparent and we did receive an extra Acco instead. The project was not on time but we got 95% of what we where supposed to get. As I said it was hopefully a learning experience as some where unhappy with the quality and or design of some of the miniatures but I think they are a fine first effort and hoping for improvements on the next KS. It is wrong to expect Games workshop quality plastics on the first try.
This leads to the next two Problems
So the first KS was in 2014 and took until 2016 for it to be fulfilled. The problem? In that time and the time since (Start of 2019) almost nothing Heavy Gear (other than KS and yearly Chibi resin) has happened. It pretty much killed any continuing interest in the product for me and many others. Now the new KS plastics and the way other things have worked out its time for another Heavy Gear phase for me at least. But how long will that last?
The second problem, it seems like for some at least are the new rules. The problem seems the new rules are far too much like the old ones and can in parts be too complex and I personally find the gear loadouts and just general army building to be harder than it needs to be. But regardless of how I feel it clearly has not brought a core of new players to the game. It has hardly been the relaunch into a more successful Heavy Gear that I was hoping for.
It’s not all done for though
I still think there is good and worth in the Heavy Gear universe. It just needs to be capitalised on. So in Part II I will give my thoughts on that.
In the meantime assuming I have not put you completely off Heavy Gear in the UK you can find the plastics and some other bits at