Friday, February 16, 2007

Miniature Painting Videos

Here are some useful videos on painting miniatures:

Miniature and Military Model Painting Techniques Guide

Basic Model Painting Guide For Wargames

Miniature Model Basing Techniques

Here are some other videos by this guy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

1/300 Sci-Fi Stuff: JR Miniatures

One of the great things about getting FFT3 out is that I'll finally get the chance to do a full blown set of Sci-Fi rules based on FFT. FFT:2030 will cover near future combat; Railgun: 2130 will cover far future combat. In anticipation for this, I've started looking around for sci-fi miniatures. I'll post the results here.

First up is JR Miniatures. They make a large range of miniature wargames terrain for modern, historical and sci-fi. Here are some examples of their 1/300 sci-fi terrain:

The Battletech figure is about 2-3 times the height of a 1/285 MBT model.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Red Rick's 1/300 Site

This is a nice 1/300 scale site with lots of miniature photos. Many are unpainted, so you can get a good idea of how various manufacturers stack up. The opening page also has a stirring rendition of the Soviet Union national anthem.

I particularly like the comparison photos. Here's an example of the French VAB APC made by Scotia, CNC and GHQ:

Hat Tip: Microarmor Mayhem

Micro Armor Mayhem

Another nice wargaming webite. Lots of photos of well-painted 1/285 and 1/300 scale modern miniatures. An example:

I also like his manufacturer's reviews. Here's an excerpt:

Scotia Micro Models

What they make: Virtually everything. They have, far and away, the most comprehensive range of modern micro armor of anyone out there.

Scale: 1/300

Quality: Mixed. Some pieces, such as their UK Saxons, are very good. Other, such as some of their French engineering vehicles, are a bit rough. Additionally, Scotia models seem to run small. Scotia models have also been manufactured by SimTac in Connecticut and possibly by New England Hobby Supply. It does not appear that any new models have been added in the last two years, although they are still in production and their customer service is excellent. They also sell a good line of neutral equipment, such as generic towed 120mm mortars and 20mm Oerlikon AA guns.

Pricing: Typically about 60 cents a model, with large ones a bit more. Shipping from Scotland is surprisingly reasonable.

Favorite Models: Various UK Saxons, French Trucks

Least Favorite Models: Their M113s are kind of dreadful.

"Kind of dreadful"...I love it. Hat tip to Bob Mackenzie.

6mm Wargaming Site

6mm Wargaming is devoted to, well, 6mm wargaming. It's a very attractive site and covers most perios. Of particular interest to me are the nice photos of various 1/300 scale modern miniatures, with useful comments from the author:

"Scotia T64 BV. A good model from Scotia which shows the reactive armour very well. Unfortunately the casting around the road wheels is a bit rough."

FFT3 Update

Paul and I are working hard to get FFT3 out this year. Unofficially, we're shooting for sometime in the 3rd quarter, but delays inevitably seem to push deadlines back. These rules will be extensively revised and will incorporate many new changes. Here are some of the major ones:

1. A new artillery system. This system is faster than the current system and yields far more reasonable results. Artillery can now harrass and interdict enemy units, for instance. There's even a FUBAR chart that can create "unanticipated consequences".

2. A revised infantry combat system. Infantry stands now have different anti-infantry ratings depending on their weaponry. We'll provide the formulas so players can easily rate infantry units that do not appear in the data lists. In addition, infantry stands have two anti-infantry ratings -- one for close combat, one for ranged fire. In general, close combat is far more deadly than previously, which speeds the game up (particularly in infantry heavy games).

3. Movement allowances have been tweaked and raised a bit. On average, most vehicles will move 2 inches faster. This makes slower tanks much more useful.

4. Revised armor and weapons penetration scales. This requires that we re-rate every vehicle. With 500+ vehicles, this is taking some time. However, the new scale will allow us to model the differences between lighter armored vehicles with more fidelity than the current system. In addition, we can accomodate more advanced armor without forcing players to deal with absurdly high numbers.

5. Since FFT2 came out, we've learned far more about the armor composition of modern tanks and how projectiles and missiles penetrate the armor. This data was just coming out when FFT2 was released and we made a decision not to wait on it. Paul, who is an engineer by training, has devoted an incredible amount of time and energy to this topic. So there will be a lot of changes in how modern tanks compare to one another.

6. Vehicles will have discrete flank armor values, rather than generic values.

7. There will be at least one and possibly two new troop quality classes. We haven't settled everything completely, but here are the provisional levels: green, untrained, trained, average, good, veteran, elite. Category 1 Soviets, for instance, would be Trained (maybe Average). 1980s US and West Germans would be Good. Most third world armies would be Green. The new system will allow us to better model the differences between armies.

8. The game now explicitely covers armored warfare from 1910-2020 and will contain the complete rules for this period. Engineering, amphibious assaults and paradrops, for instance. The data will focus on the post-WWII period, but we will include representative data and army lists for WWII and WWI. An unofficial goal will be to include more vehicles and unit lists than appear in many dedicated WWII sets. WWII data will be released in a single, inexpensive data annex later on. FFT3 will not pursue the "Games Workshop" model and require players to buy numerous expensive add-ons to play typical battles.

There are many minor modifications and enhancements, but these are the major ones. And in case anyone is concerned, I want to assure y'all that FFT3 is still FFT. We have not changed the vehicle combat system. Indeed, most mechanics work exactly like they do in FFT2 (failed quality checks eliminate the stand, etc.). So rest assured that if you like FFT2, you will like FFT3.

Israeli ABM Hits Target in Second Test

The Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile (ABM) successfully destroyed a target Sunday. The target was configured to resemble the Iranian Shihab-3 intermediate range missile. This has gotta make the lunatic mullahs of Iran nervous...