I love the way that Mantic Games do their miniatures, and the GCPS troopers caught my eye immediately. Even so, I wanted to spice my little team of them up a bit, rather than just leaving them baseline without any tweaks.
While this isn't done yet, and I there's a long way to go, I'm happy with where I've gotten so far.
The metal GCPS commander comes with a cigar-smoking head attached to his body, as well as a few arm options. Originally, I simply gave him the sword arm and pistol arm, but decided that they would be better suited on another officer further down the line.
Instead, I removed his head (destroying a lot of it in the process, unfortunately) and pulled the arms back off, replacing them with a standard GCPS weapon and a hand ordering something to be placed down near him. Maybe it's artillery, or him just ordering the others to regroup, but I like how it looks, especially from behind.
The duster really gives me some Fallout: New Vegas vibes. Considering the Glactic Co-Properity Sphere and New California Republic both have an unnerving "good-publicity colonialist" feel to them, that makes sense.
It was extremely tempting to simply swap out some parts for cut and re-sized 40K pieces, but I've tried to go a step further. While the two models above are fairly basic so far, I'm planning to make every one of my troopers into a proper airborne unit, complete with thruster jets (made from sprue cuttings), slings, and other assorted equipment that reflects their new role.
The slings are a couple of the few Warhammer 40k parts I plan to use. I want to keep this project Mantic-centric, but the slings are generic enough to not really ruin that goal. The extra bumps and pieces on the sprue parts used for the thruster packs aren't perfect, but I'm leaving them like that to suggest a rough, unreliable design - just like something a corporation would create.
Another of the non-Mantic parts used was the briefcase arm on this unspecified officer, which comes from one of the Raging Heroes kits I got for my partner (which I still haven't finished building and painting for him). This was purely because I didn't have an easy way to get something similar without resorting to existing 40K parts, and it required a lot of trimming to fit.
You might even be able to see the seam where the RH arm is cut. Tey're longer than normal Mantic arms, so the elbow had to be removed and replaced with the top of an unused GCPS arm. In a way, this gives him a single-piece glove, implying that the contents are something dangerous. It's probably the lunches.
These designs aren't done yet, and there's plenty more troops that need to be tweaked and improved, but so far I'm getting somewhere with this. Mantic's miniatures have really captured my attention, so I have future conversion ideas already on the way even befoer I finish this one.
As part of Phoenix Company, I decided to kitbash some freebie pieces given with one of my Spellcrow orders to create some sniper rifles.
I have plenty of old minis from the Warhammer 40,000 Battle for Macragge starter box, and one just happens to be the Imperial Pilot, a unique model that I don't think has ever been created since (and never had any rules, since he was more of an objective marker). Given that he has a similar general design to a Cadian, I thought it would be appropriate to finally start working on him.
For a miniature that released way back in 2004, it holds up well and it's surprisingly versatile. I could see this being a medic, a commander, an artillery crewman, or - as I've chosen to use him - a pilot. His uniform isn't black like the basecoat, but actually uses a Tamiya black paint that's slightly lighter, as well as some other Citadel and Tamiya paints for the rest of him.
He's not done, but for what's essentially my first miniature that's this close to being done, I'm fairly proud of it!
I'll do a full article on the GCPS Hornet later on, since I still have two to build, but this short update was just for me to gush over how much I love the design! I've had to make some changes, mainly by cutting down part of the clip-on design so that the transport container doesn't rip off parts of the vehicle when I take it off, but it looks so good!
Nothing much got done today, hobby-wise, but I based my models and added them to my hobby shelf. I'll get something more practical done later on.
After the arrival of some parts from Anvil Industries (my first purchase from them, actually), I decided to test some out with one of the soldiers here, as well as creating another out of standard Spellcrow parts to fill out the front line. After all, you can't have a force of nothing but specialists.
Since I needed more frontline infantry, it felt logical to just try and craete some bog-standard soldiers. While the Anvil parts are unfortunately slightly smaller, and make soldiers with less height to offer, I can work around that if I make some careful conversions and tweaks to the space between the two.
I'll have to work on the Anvil Industry parts and get them to scale up properly, but that shouldn't be hard if I spend some time fooling around with some of my random sprue scrap.
Phoenix Company needs more frontline troops, but I couldn't help myself from making this medic or specialist. I don't have a particular idea in mind for him yet, but he's armed with one of Spellcrow's laser pistols and a non-specific gadget (taken from one half of some arms from the Astra Militarum Heavy Weapons Team sprues).
Originally, I was going to have him holding the item up to his head, but the angle wasn't quite right. This way, it looks more like he's checking a scanner or looking over some kind of visual equipment - not exactly the same kind of vibe as UFO: Aftermath, but I can always create a real medic later on.
I might make him another automated sentry gun operator in the future - after all, if it's automated, there's no reason to have him kneeling down next to it. I could also use him as a mortar spotter, too, when I get around to making those.
On the third day of Christmas, I ended up accidentally creating Little Duck from Warframe as a miniature.
I was mostly just trying to test out using other spare parts as neck pieces, and a third-party Dark Angels helmet ended up being the one I chose. It wasn't until later that I noticed how similar they are to Little Duck.
I wasn't sure what to make this afternoon, and I ended up combining parts randomly until I got something that looked cool. Apparently, it ended up being Little Duck, which I'm not opposed to.
There really isn't much to say about this one, to be honest - mostly just a Shock Troop with some minor changes. I might keep this one out of Phoenix Company and just have the world's first Little Duck miniature.
For the second day of Christmas, I've pieced together something a little more defensive and less mobile.
Phoenix Company is mostly a ground force in the original UFO: Aftermath canon, but they're also avid users of collapsible machine guns. While I'd love to re-create that here (and might do that in the future), an automated sentry gun seemed more appropriate for repelling whatever creatures crawl out of the Bioamass.
The soldier had to use a normal guardsman torso, but I couldn't cover it up with the arms due to the pose - instead, I've added pouches and other minor pieces to try and bulk up the front, making the flak gear look slightly more combat-amour-like.
The boxes on the base are a minor detail, made from one of the normal ammo boxes and some scrap parts. I didn't want to connect it to the gun itself, since I liked the idea of having them strewn about like they had been scavenged.
A lot of the parts used here were taken from various Tamiya tank kits, mostly smaller details on the front of the weapon and the extended barrel.
The backpack - a standard Spellcrow one - required some extra pieces underneath to fit properly. Since the operator here is unarmed, it made sense to choose one that had a knife and a few grenades, especially since grenades in UFO are completely viable as a trooper's only weapon.
The first addition to Phoenix Company in this Christmas season is this lovely lad - a heavy flamethower operator.
I’ll modify the helmet to make it look like less of a Stahlhelm before I paint anything, since I want Phoenix Company to look as multinational as possible like its canon self. The gas mask itself suits me just fine, but the two are a single moulded part, and having a WW2-German-esque helmet in my legitimate resistance movement seems... off.
I know the mask breaks the feeling of a proper Phoenix Company army (if you know the UFO: After(blank) series, at least), but it breaks up the monotony of normal heads quite well.
This weapon obviously wouldn’t be technically legal in something like 40k, but I have plans for my own wargame in the future. I made a lot of careful cuts to connect them properly, so they’ll look great painted. The logistics of how the gun works aren’t obvious, but I personally love how it turned out.
Beefing up the neck was really important. The helmets didn’t quite work as-is, but adding some extra material underneath as a neck raised it too high. A spare Tamiya tank part was perfect, acting almost like a collar that makes the suit look sealed around the neck.
Perhaps I'll create a wire or cable between the backpack and the flamer once he's painted - I don't want to do things out of order. That tiny tank on the back would be a great connection point, though. I love this part of the model overall, because it’s not obvious what each part is for: the pilot light, the small fluid holders, it’s all vague enough without being too techy.