Friday, January 17, 2014

15mm Claims Another Victim

I've always been a 28mm man.  Oh, I had a few obligatory 15mm Traveller minis back in the day but I've never collected or gamed in 15mm.  Ever.  Then something extraordinary happened.

I started reading blogs by some excellent modelers and gamers.  I would look at their stuff and often it would be difficult to figure out whether I was looking at a 28mm or a 15mm lay out.  I started clicking links to mini manufacturers and finding a ton of very nice looking 15s.  I resisted the urge.

For a long time I reasoned that I had an extensive collection of 28mm figures and terrain.  I reasoned that I had built my entire hobby around this scale for so many years it would be too challenging - and too expensive - to begin again in a new scale.  I reasoned that as I've aged my eyesight is less acute, my hand a bit less steady.  I had many very good reasons for not getting into 15mm.  Then last week I said, "the hell with it" and took the leap.  There's no looking back.

Truth is for a long time I've wanted to get into scifi gaming that was not 40K or a 40K-look-alike.  I wanted some real, gritty future scifi and all the best stuff seems to be in 15mm for that genre.  So, with a 5150:  Star Army campaign in mind I went shopping.

First up was to buy some Earth Force and Sahadeen platoons from Rebel Minis.

Earth Force primed, based and ready for paint.
Sahadeen still in the bags.
You can't beat the price on these figures and they seem pretty good to me.  Of course, these are the only 15mm figures I've seen in person so maybe there's better stuff out there.  Regardless, I like the look of these.  I decided to use #10 washers for bases and a larger fender washer for the sniper team.  I think I would have liked to have slightly larger bases but these are fine.  I've been watching videos on how to paint in 15mm scale and am looking forward to diving in.

My campaign idea is for a desert world with these two as the main opposing forces.  I also want to get some Garn from Khurasan just because they are cool figures.  They will act as an indigenous force, possibly fighting the others or sometimes used as mercenaries by both Earth Force and Sahadeen.  I will also be buying some vehicles from Ground Zero Games; models to as yet be determined.

I decided to build a dedicated desert terrain table for this project.  I went with a simple 3'x3' table, which is the recommended size for Two Hour Wargames.

Just needs paint and texture!
Bottom showing support braces.
This was easy enough to build with leftover lumber I had from some home remodeling projects.  The plywood is 1/4 inch underlayment for flooring.  The braces are 1x2 boards.  A little wood glue and some air nailer brads and staples fasten it all together.  It is designed to sit on a card table (or any other table!) and is quite light and easy to move around.  I'll probably put some self-stick felt pads on the braces so I can use it on something like the dining room table.

Finally, I've also begun to build some "desert research post" buildings.

Dug through the "bits box" and found some likely components...
3 research station buildings started from breakfast cereal tubs and plasticard.
The model bases are all old CDs.
The power station. The chimneys are a set of cannons from an old toy.
I'll also be making some patches of rough, rocky ground and some desert mesas.  I'm having a blast and am reminded of the bygone days of scratch-building from my early years in the hobby.  I have that same feeling I had when I first bought Warhammer 40,000:  Rogue Trader and infinite possibilities abound.

So, that's been my week hobby-wise.  I should have more to show soon.  Until then, carry on.


  1. You have been busy ! The set-up looks good and you seem to have a very good grasp of what you want and need from this project which is an essential from my viewpoint.
    When I first saw the Traveller 15mms way back when they first came out they were tiny and I'm guessing that these newer 15mms have suffered from the same scale creep that other "scales" now do.

  2. Thanks! This is probably the first time I've had such clear vision before beginning a project. : )

    The Rebel minis seem to be quite accurate 15mm. I measured a standard trooper (the one in the pic) and he's exactly 15mm from bottom of feet to eyeballs. Of course I guesstimated eyeballs because of his helmet but he seems pretty good to me. I hear you about scale creep, though.

  3. Awesome I like the pipe stack you added to the building. I may have to borrow that Idea for a few of my own. Have been wondering what to add on top.

    I don't have any rebel mini's just a few Khurasan and Micro Panzer. The good thing about 15mm it lets you do those projects you've always wanted to do usually cheaper and easier to store. Once you get going they become quite quick to paint.

    There is a competition over at Dropship Horizon with loads of prizes put up by various 15mm makers. Might be worth a go it started 15th Jan and ends 15th Feb UCT

    Following with interest apologies for waffling on a bit.


    2. Thanks, Simon. I really like some of the stuff from Khurasan. I'm amazed there is so much brilliant 15mm stuff out there. Thanks for the link to the contest too. I doubt I will finish anything in time but if I do I'll submit a pic. Couldn't hurt, right? And no need for apologies. It's social media...waffling is allowed. : )

  4. Welcome to the small side. I have a load of things to do in 15mm sci fi, I just got side tracked and it went on the back burner. Seeing you tackle it so enthusiastically makes me keen to do some more.Thanks for the kick up the......

    1. You're welcome! I'd love to see what you're working one. I've been painting my Earth Force minis and I'm amazed that they don't seem so small any longer. I'm really enjoying this scale. Kinda wish I leapt sooner.