Friday, December 24, 2010

Freebootaz Support the Toys for Tots Follow-up!

As a follow up to the Freebootaz charity auction for the Toys for Tots:

The auctions are now closed, and raised $2234.98 for Toys for Tots!

Thanks to everybody for going to bid, and helping out such a great charity.

Thanks to the Freebootaz forum for going to the effort of putting so many donated models, and painting, and building some cool scratch builds, and just putting their time and energy into helping make this happen.

Hopefully next year will be even better!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Freebootaz Support the Toys for Tots!!!

Hello everybody! I just wanted to talk briefly about a great little tradition that was started by the Freebootaz, of the 40KRadio forum, a couple years ago, and has been going strong ever since.

That is their support for Toys for Tots!

Every year, since they have started, the Freebootaz, the 40KRadio forum members, have put together charity drives in the form of donating, building and painting Warhammer 40K armies to auction. All proceeds from these auctions goes directly to the Toys for Tots charity, which has a long generous history of ensuring children in need may have a Christmas wish come true with a gift of a new toy.

This year is no different, and the Freebootaz have built and painted enough miniatures that they were able to create 4 rather large Ultramarine armies. The cherry on top of all that is a lovely scratch built plasticard Thunderhawk, similar in scale to the current Forgeworld version of the Thunderhawk.

On top of that, these auctions not only include some really nice miniatures, but some Ultramarine related extras. Each auction has something different, and all are worth checking out and bidding on, if not for the cool stuff, for the excellent charity these auctions will help.

So without further ado, here are the links to each of the auctions.

Warhammer 40K Ultramarines Space Marines Painted 2nd Co

Warhammer 40K Ultramarines Space Marines Painted 3rd Co

Warhammer 40K Ultramarines Space Marines Painted 4th Co

Warhammer 40K Ultramarines Space Marines Painted 5th Co

Warhammer 40K Ultramarines Space Marines Thunderhawk

While I have not personally contributed to this, I do wish to thank the Freebootaz who were directly involved with this project for doing such a great job, and being so generous. This was obviously a labour of love for every one of them, and just watching these projects come together into a cohesive whole was a joy to see. Hopefully next year I'll be able to contribute something beyond being a cheerleader, and promoting it where I can.

Bid well and good luck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fantasy Flight Games Miniatures Games Roundup

Fantasy Flight Games has recently released several new lines of pre-painted and unpainted miniatures.

Of interest, specifically for roleplayers in more contemporary settings, or super hero settings, or the like, are the Arkham Horror Investigators line, which has quite a few models that would be suitable as civilians, detectives, even pcs, heroes and villains, for the Arkham Horror game and the Mansions of Madness board game.

Arkham Horror Investigators pre-painted miniatures, complete set.

The whole set is available with a single purchase, 48 prepainted miniatures for $191.52 US, and is something I'm considering for myself, if only because they would make decent NPCs for various games.

Apparently, the game itself is quite enjoyable too, as it is a gothic Lovecraftian horror type board game in the vein of C'thuluesque creepy. And the new expansions also have miniatures. Just dig around FFG website for more.

Next in the FFG stable of Pre-Painted miniatures are the City of Thieves pre-painted miniatures collections.

City of Thieve pre-painted miniatures sets

These miniatures are more in the vein of Victorian Fantasy-Steam Punk, and if they are roughly 28-30mm scale, would probably suit many Steam Punk themed RPGs or table top battle games, and make decent substitutes for miniatures in games like Malifaux, perhaps. There are several sets, and they are all collected, so NO RANDOMS, which for me is a huge draw! I like to get exactly what I want instead of having to waste time and money buying random packs of minis I hate or will never use more than one of anyway.

For the anime lovers in you, and those who like alternate science fiction with a Japanese pseudo fuedal flair, there are the miniatures (and complete rules) for Anima Tactics. There are some lovely miniatures here, though they appear to be a slightly larger scale, possibly in the 32mm to 38mm range. Though very specifically tailored to the Anima Tactics background, which is heavily character dominant, there is enough variety in these miniatures that they could easily be suitable for RPG or other games.

Anima Tactics Complete Rules Book Cover

With such stunning miniatures, like The Colonel, shown below, how can  you not want to own some of these and lavish a trophy worthy paint job on them?

Anima Tactics: The Colonel

See all of the available models at the links below:

Light Faction Miniatures Line

Dark Faction Miniatures Line

Neutral Faction Miniatures Line

Unfortunately, not all of the miniatures are pictured, though the source art is in most cases. So you may be surprised with what you actually get here. Overall, they have some nice themes and some nice fluid poses in the miniatures, with large surfaces that will lend well to painting free hand detail.

For the WWI Aeronautical junky, there is the Wings of War range.

This range of models is pre-painted, and designed for immediate play using the Wings of War rule set. However, I'm sure with some slight modification, they may be usable with other air superiority miniature battle games in the WWI era, or perhaps be suitable for use in games like Crimson Skies, if you keep your scale consistent. Again, scale on these is difficult to see, so compatibilities may arise, but definitely worth investigating. Especially as there is a model for the "Red Baron" and Billy Bishop, to name a few WWI Aviation pilots who have gone into the annals of infamy.

Fokker DR I - Manfred von Richthofen

FFG has also bought AT-43 and Confrontation from the failed Rakham, and is now selling those products on their website. At this time it is unclear if they will be continuing production of those lines, or are just clearing out the existing inventory.

However what FFG has done is port the AT-43 rules set to an alternate WWII setting (*admittedly this is speculation on my part based on what I've seen of the game so far). The game is called Dust Tactics, a tactical miniatures board game for 2-4 players, featuring pre-painted miniatures, and Mech Tanks, etc.

Dust Tactics Starter Set

Dust Tactics Contents

As you can see, the basic models appear to be unpainted, and moulded in colour. This is fine for some pick up gaming with the basic starter set. But there are "Premium" Expansion Packs available, which appear to be pre-painted.

"Premium" expansion pack - "The Gunners"

This is currently also available as a $300 collector edition, Dust Tactics Deluxe Edition, presumeably because the quality of the "professionally" pre-painted starter set is so high from the photos I've seen. Your opinion on the value of this may vary, though, especially if you are handy with a paint brush yourself. But if you want a nice starter set that also displays nicely, it might be worth investigating.

As I've mentioned earlier, there may be scale issues if you are planning to use some of these miniatures as alternative miniatures in your table top miniatures or role playing games, but since the photos available are not taken in relative context to familiar items, you'll be taking your chances. Having said that, I would love to see some better pictures of all of the FFG line of pre-painted miniatures, not only to show the detail, but perhaps in comparison to a standard 28mm miniature to see how well they scale. So if you know of any pictures online, or have some yourself, which show these miniatures in scale with the 28mm standard, please post in the comments below!

That wraps up today's roundup! It is by no means a complete representation of the FFG selection of miniatures and games with miniatures, but meant to be a primer for you to go and explore their website to see what they offer. There are plenty of nicely sculpted miniatures in their lines, ranging from soft plastic to metal, both painted and unpainted.

All images in this article are the property of Fantasy Flight Games and are used without permission for the purposes of reviewing and educating the hobbyist. No challenges or claims are intended. Please click through and visit Fantasy Flight Games and explore all they have to offer.