Sunday, January 11, 2015

Covert Ops Team

This is my latest project, ClearHorizon's Covert Ops teams. I wanted to give these guys a neutral color scheme to emphasize their covert nature. So this was a light gray base coat over white primer, then a thinned out black ink, three layers of highlight to bring out the magnificent, fine detail, and finally another super thin black ink over the whole thing.

I don’t usually ink infantry, but the detail on these models is so fine that I couldn’t show it all off by just painting in the usual highlights. They are made for ink. It settles right down into those details just right.

I’d like to try this project again with airbrushing the basecoats, dark from the bottom and light from the top then hit it with ink and done.  I think that would be just about all it would take. Maybe pick out the guns and edges with a brush before the ink.

I was excited to try out Clearhorizon’s new hex tile sci-fi bases. They are a very nice product, though a bit tricky. You cut through the cast on, metal base right around the model’s feet, straight down like you’re taking their shoe size. At this point they look like they have on platform shoes. Then drill out holes in the sci-fi base to match where the feet go and just super glue the platforms into the holes; Bob’s your uncle. They fit right over a US penny, which is what I did here to maintain my magnet base system, and I like the added weight, such as it is. The acrylic is very sturdy and the hex pattern can really posh up a model nicely.

Thanks for looking,

Tom Kelley

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Civilian Field Trucks

The 7th hour came and went on the rumbly, dusty track that passed for a road out in the Inhab. Kilometer after kilometer of deserted, rocky waste rolled by. Sure it was going to be an Eden, god's new promised land, a fertile, bountiful paradise where citizens could idle their time away pondering the greater questions of life and what it means to be alive; but now is our time. I mean, someone has to tend to the vast terraformation apparatus of this world; and for what, some future generation, able to walk free among the trees and vales? 

For now, though, there is kilometer after kilometer of lifeless, rocky wasteland. You could call it the badlands, or as we say the Inhab; Inhabitable Zone. The mind does tend to wander out here, with nothing new to see. Blue sky is a blessing, at least we have that in common with Old Earth, but otherwise brown and tan is the whole landscape before us.

The thrumming of the engine and the occasional whoosh of wind outside the truck; the tinny stream of country-western coming from the radio, we're not completely hopeless after all. The atmo out here is, of course, barely breathable. That's why we wear the sup-ox respirators outside. We are still in the microbial genus of the terraformation process, after all. Which is to say, you could last a few hours at most outside, at which point you'd begin to dream. If you're lucky, you might be able to shake it off, get up and locate some supplementary oxygen, but that's only if you're lucky.

In the Inhab, you have to bring your sup-ox. The familiar band of habitable atmo that surrounds the equator, the Habzo, is where civilization, such as it is, can flourish. The climate around the planet's midriff, if you will, is breathable. That's the stage of T-formation we live in; barring the occasional storm passing though, bringing CO2 in its wake, like a plague, only less biological and more fundamental.


They did tell us one day we would pay to breathe, but who believed them?

Our field trucks are atmosealed, thank god, so we can breathe easy inside. But there is no lock, so the second you open the door, all that sweet oxy dissipates into the atmo.

Maintenance supplies are routed regularly to the HVAT-25 Atmospheric Scrubbers; it’s our job to get it there; lucky us! But at least it’s better than the alternative. It's totally stupid, but if we let our contract slip, then the republicans will be able to claim our hold as territory of the Republic, god forbid! Those loonies would have us all hup-tooing their progressive line before the day grew long!

No, we had a contract, a contract with the original colonial authority, not whatever passes for a CA these days.

I mean, who in hell do those jokers think they are, Nu-Mars Republic; like they don't even know how to spell 'new', WTF bastards! Uniting the free-holds into a unified political body…F-them!

We were here long before they ever showed up, and we'll be here long after they’ve sucked their last molecule of CO2 in the street, or I'm not a free-holder by the grace of god the almighty!

Still... legally, the charter is the only thing between us and total assimilation, so we had better maintain our seventeen HVATs, or the breach of contract will give the Nu-Mars Republic all the legal ammunition it needs to seize our hold, and all of us with it, to become shiny new citizens in their new utopian paradigm; not that 'legal' is the only ammunition it would take.

Thanks for looking!