Sunday, 25 September 2016

Confrontation Tech Gang

In the year 1990 a series of articles were published in White Dwarf, introducing a semi-roleplay style game of gang warfare in the far future, Confrontation.
The game was never officially published but the setting later evolved into the Necromunda game.
Only a few miniatures got released and a few more got cast but were only available to some staff.

One of the available gangs I always loved was the Tech Gang. Working class cybernetics tecnicians running amok in the underhive. 
I believe they were among the last sculpts Mark Copplestone did for Games Workshop,  before he left and did the groundbreaking Future  Warriors range for Grenadier UK.

The designs were based on John Blache's sketches (see below) but have a lot of details that became trademark Copplestone. What we have here though are Cyber-skinheads with rayban shades and Doc Martens boots. Adorned with implants, bits of hardware, respirators and power tools.
Both the leader and another ganger have 'Dune' style nose-plug repirators, like the John Blanche painting below. The others have more traditional gasmasks connected to a repirator with a tube. One has a backpack with power drill and another two gas bottles and a blowtorch braser or cutter.


Some of Mark Copplestone's Future Warriors

Its not class or ideology, colour creed or roots, the only thing that unites us, is Doctor Martens boots.


Oddly I can't seem to find any studio painted tech gangers. Only the two used here as tyranid brood brothers, or the later sculpts by Roy Eastland.


David Lynch's Dune rendition apparently had a huge influence on John Blanche's concepts.
The sketches are interesting, I did some high-rez scans from one of the  White Dwarf articles, to make out what is written. These five seem to be the sketches that Copplestone actually based his miniatures on.


It's interesting to  read that tech gangs wear white overalls.  I'm still not sure what colours to paint them. Yellow is too much Bond villain minion for me, orange looks like convicts. white is for laboratory scientists and grey could make them look like electricians or hardware store employees. I think I will settle for blue with orange details. Like Nasa overalls, or this space-suit.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Imperial personalities

I've been painting random Rogue Trader miniatures sculpted by Mark Copplestone. This is a space marine scout. I always thought they were pretty weird, especially compared to the later Goodwin scouts.
The other day I figured the strange padded armour and the mohawks could actually look very good painted a bit like the Harkonnen troops in Lynch's Dune film.


Here's a commissar fig. I always loved the models but I don't care about the commissar background. Besisdes you wouldn't need a dozen different figs. So I'm painting them all differently. This one in German uniform from the Great War.

Next up are a squad or half platoon of these Imperial Guard figures. A Planetary Defense Force or a lost squad in the underhive. The latter for a parallel Confrontion project-
-namely a Tech Gang that should arrive in the mail soon, reinforced by these characters amongst others. Possibly also the scout above as an A.W.O.L. maniac marine.
And last, but not least, the what I call Second Wave Copplestone marines, i.e. the Death Eagles, marines with terminator honours and some characters.



Da Kaptin's Log

I got a bit carried away lately and started to buy used toy soldiers on ebay. Something I have always tried to avoid.
I joined a Kickstarter campaign, another thing I've always tried to avoid, for new Kevin Adams'space orks and from there I also needed some original,  pre-plastic arms, orks. The ones with the flak-pad armour. 
I'm particularly happy with these two orks. With the huamn caucasian skin and stubbles and the seventies orange space suit I managed to break with the traditional 'Eavy Metal green orks in red armour.

I found a die cast Lancia armoured car and converted it into a battlewagon.


Some years ago Dr.the Viking showed an ork grav tank he built on LAF and his blog. Some months later I found exactly the same shampoo bottle on the beach (with labels written in cyrillic!) and later I even found the same espresso machine caps so I had to do the same grav tank.

 
More to come in the near future..

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Space Orks


I’m not very sure when my obsession with orks started.  My first White Dwarf was the one with the Eldar Craftworlds and later on I bought the previous one with some of the Waaargh booklet stuff. It’s about twenty-five years ago but I think it was the ork building article that triggered it. The small photograph shown below  (high res scan for those of us who are getting blind) is what Rogue Trader was about for me. Then I got ‘Ere We Go and later Freebooterz and there was no  return from 40K for years.

The article made me go out and find this ‘foam board’ and I built two of these ork buildings and I learned to build scenery.

Recently I dug up all my orks and I realised there were much less than I remembered. Probably because some of the best painted ones were for my mate. I didn’t have much to spend at the time and most of my hobby consisted of drooling and frothing over catalogue pages and ‘armylisting’: endlessly planning armies and drawing mobs of orks.

Now one of the odd things about the whole ork obsession was that there were a few thing things that never really convinced me.  First, the amazing pencil drawings by Paul Bonner didn’t quite look like the increasingly cartoony Kev Adams’ Orks and their plastic arms. The other thing was this forced division into clans, each with every thinkable kind of squad, with their backplates, banners and glyphs. Pretty damn restrictive for a notoriously anarchic race. Literally every bloody detail was already decided in the book limiting my own creativity without me noticing it.
Reading older White Dwarf PDF’s now from a year earlier I found out it wasn’t always like this. Just look at the style of the first full metal orks. They all looked crazy, with silly hats, ridiculous armour and german coal scuttle helmets or kettles with spikes. And the early artwork looked just like them. I’m particularly fond these days of David Callagher’s paintings of that time.
And specialist orks weren’t decided yet, when you read the Book of the Astronomican. No Mekboys in sight! Only champions with special functions depending on the scenario.
Or how about this old 40K –Paranoia crossover. Every character with a silly name. I could call my ork warlord Lesley if I wanted too.

But somehow with the introduction of the Space Marine game in Epic scale, things started to get neatly categorized. Clearly existing ork models with common traits were put together and differentiated one from another in special squads and eventually clans.
 
By the time ‘Ere We Go! came out most orks on the cover were painted as average bald guys with hardly any eccentricity or individuality left compared to the early orks.