6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

MODELLING: Inexpensive terrain...


Lil Mini Shops, now OOP, made some of my favorite microarmour 1/285 terrain.

Hi Guys,

I think that inexpensive terrain is great, BUT...

Inexpensive terrain is usually less attractive than a set of manufactured terrain items combined with home-made ones collected and purchased over many years.

In my personal case, I've been a microarmor player since the early 1980s so I have a huge set of 1/285 or 6mm terrain.

A cool WWII microarmour layout I saw.

I have also played 6mm sci-fi games such as Dirtside II and am now developing my own sci-fi tactical ruleset for miniatures combat so... I have plenty of 6mm or 1/285 sci-fi terrain! I have a homemade Mars the Red Planet set, futuristic cities, an alien mushroom forest and much more!

My upcoming game called "Planetfall" is intended for use with 6mm, 10mm or 15mm miniatures. You can check out the link to my blog in my signature here for more information.

My personal terrain collection is a combination of home-made items (trees, swamps, hills, mountains, etc.) and manufactured items (structures, skyscrapers, etc.)... Most of my structures (buildings, skyscrapers, airports, etc.) scale best at 6mm to 10mm while natural terrain items (woods, swamps, hills, etc.) do well at most scales.

I think of terrain as having pros and cons. Here are a few:

Description: These area collections of paper, felt and home-made items.
Attractiveness (1-10): 5-7
Pros: Inexpensive, easy-to-collect, very functional, requires little work in many cases...
Cons: Has a very home-made look and feel to it, not very durable, not always recognizable by all gamers as terrain items...

Description: These are downloadable paper templates that have to be folded and sometimes glued. They are far more attractive than most home-made kits although they require a lot of work to make. There are whole clubs on the Internet dedicated to paper terrain. They are more attractive than most home-made kits and are usually made from free designs on the Internet although some pay kits are also available.
Attractiveness (1-10): 6-8
Pros: Inexpensive, easy-to-collect, some nest for easy storage, very functional...
Cons: Requires A LOT of work in many cases, will not hold miniatures in many cases, not very durable...

Description: These are collection of foam packaging building and home-made hills... they can often rivel or surpass manufactured foam terrain.
Attractiveness (1-10): 6-8
Pros: Inexpensive, easy-to-collect, very functional...
Cons: Requires A LOT of work in many cases, not very durable...

Description: These are manufactured buildings and terrain items, usually made from plaster, hydrocal, or resin. They are made in many diiferent scales 2mm-54mm with larger scales being much more expensive. On the other hand, some types of scenery such as industrial structures are very hard to get otherwise.
Attractiveness (1-10): 6-10
Pros: The most attractive, easy-to-collect (sold through retaillers), very functional, will hold miniatures, usually durable but not impervious to ham-handed gamers depending on the material...
Cons: EXPENSIVE, requires a lot of work in many cases (painting and assembly), requires a large number of pieces to really have a strong effect...

An assortment of microarmour building I saw on E-bay.

Have a great day!


Notes regarding photos / pictures: These are not all my images. I am using various images from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

GAMING NEWS: Playtest game - 15 November 2005

Hi Guys,

Today I ran a short playtest scenario earlier today (15 November 2005) using Planetfall through a game module for Traveller that I designed. My friend Dean and I playtested a short encounter between four Imperial grav tanks facing eight Zhodani warbots. It was fun and the game system worked out really well. We managed to play five turns in about an hour, which was remarkably good considering I was teaching him along the way.

I'm still mastering my digital camera (and a new computer as well), but I'll try to take photos for the gang.

The game is just shaping up wonderfully and I've gotten support from so many different sources... other gamers, my local community, my local gaming clubs, miniature manufacturers, science fiction licenseholders, etc., etc.

I think that I can have the game adequately playtested and published by April 2006 if not sooner.
I'll be concentrating my efforts towards finishing the "Planetfall" rules and developing the "Planetfall - Traveller" game module.

I'll be writing up a more detailed battle report for the playtester's forum and hope to have it posted before the end of the day on 16 November 2005.


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MINI WARGAMING: The "Hive Father" mourns...

Chroma,15 Nov. 2005 (17:47):

[quote=MaksimSmelchak,15 Nov. 2005 (16:55)]

Hi Chroma,Looks good![/quote]

Thanks! That means a lot coming from the Hive Father!

Hi Chroma and Gang,

I've never thought of myself as the "Hive Father" although the title has a certain ring to it... :D
I also don't want to be overly pessimistic, but I'm not sure if the E-A 'Nids project has "official" support anymore. The SG forums are practically dead... the shake-up of many forum changes and indefinite press releases have killed the game in my area and... I can't get any response from the Specialist Games (SG) staff as the E-A 'Nid project head. That doesn't bode well in my book.

I would like to finish the E-A 'Nid project, but I don't want to put a lot of time in on it until I know what's going on. I feel emphatically out of the "proverbial" loop. Even if E-A goes under, I want to finish the E-A 'Nid project as a fan-based creation, but until I have some idea of what's going on, I'd prefer to let the project lay low.

I have absolutely zero problem with you guys wanting to push it forward and will even encourage and support you.

I hope you can understand why I don't want to pour my heart into a project with such shakey support.

I've been stung too many times by Epic rejections. I love the game, but can't stand what the company is doing with it... or maybe not doing with it... as it is. This one is starting to sting to because I've put a lot of time and effort into E-A to see it wither away on the vine. It's almost like seeing a child become seriously ill. It breaks your heart.

Until I have some idea of what's going on (...and I have made polite inquiries of Specialist Games.), I'll be putting most of my effort into the new game I've designed, which I hope to publish early next year (...by April 2006). If anyone is interested, my game is called "Planetfall" (PF) and is, in many ways, a huge improvement over E-A. I've added a number of innovative game mechanics that I offered to E-A during playtesting, but were either not read or rejected and that's OK by me.

Here's a link to the PF support group:


I sure hope that SG will be able to survive all the turmoil going on. I think the world of Jervis and would hate to see him get his funding cut. I wish the entire SG staff every kind of happiness and prosperity.



Monday, November 14, 2005

GAMING NEWS: Becoming a "Planetfall" PLAYTESTER...

Hi Guys,

Several folks have been asking about becoming a "Planetfall" playtester... here is what is asked of prospective playtesters...

First of all, be aware of the requirements for a playtester:
- To run at least one playtest game a month or more and submit feedback and/or a battle report for your game...
- To keep up with the playtest forums...
- To realize that a rule set in development isn't done... it's being developed and that is a slow and steady process... you will be reviewing rough drafts and trying out an experimental game...

You may want to ask more questions about the game to make sure that you are really interested. The game might not be your cup of tea. However, if you're looking for a successor to Dirtside II or a simpler Striker game, then "Planetfall" is probably what you're looking for.

Once you're aware of that, you apply using three steps:


Here's HOW TO APPLY to be a "Planetfall" Playtester:

- Write these three simple things and either send them to me as a private E-mail or post them publicly on the "Planetfall" support group forums:


Q1. Share what you expect from a good science fiction miniatures game in written form.

Q2. State what you are expecting from "Planetfall - The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine" in written form.

Q3. Share a little bit about your background as a gamer and what qualifies you to be a "Planetfall" playtester.

There is no specific quantity of writing required as long as you respond to the three questions/requests: Q1, Q2 and Q3. It would help if you put your responses into the form of A1 (Answer One), A2 and A3, but I'm not requiring this. Several people have already aswered these questions to me either publicly on these forums or a number of folks privately through personal E-mails sent to me.


I will then read and respond to every "Planetfall" playtester application.

Successful applicants will receive a letter of congratulations and an E-mail invitation to the "Planetfall-Playtesters" E-group and have full access to all of the playtest material downloads and to the playtesting and game development discussions there.

Unsuccessful applicants will be sent an E-mail letter thanking them for their time and inviting them to reapply later.

- At that time, I will ask all playtesters to electronically sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement).

- I will then ask for a small honorarium, which every playtester will receive back as a discount of the game when it is published early next year (2006). The honorarium amount is $10.00 USD, the price of a single movie. In the case of the game not being published (Fat chance of that since I'm dedicated to this project and am investing a lot of time and money in it!), all honorariums to playtesters will be fully refunded to their owners. If the game requires more time to properly devlop, more time will be taken although the goal at this time is to publish by April 2006.


Thanks for your time.



Sunday, November 13, 2005

GAMING NEWS: "Planetfall" project is still up and well!

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to drop a line that the "Planetfall" project is still up and well. The playtesting team is currently 24 folks strong and there's plentyof room for more playtesters.

I will be running another "Planetfall – Traveller – The Fifth Frontier War: Zhodani vs. Strephonian Imperials" playtest game this upcoming Tuesday (15 November 2005).

Anyone interested in becoming involved should drop me a line or post on the support group for the game and we'll get you taken care of.

We're still working out some kinks in the game, but we're having a good time doing it!



Sunday, November 06, 2005

PERSONAL NEWS: I got a new computer!

Hi Tas and Gang,

I almost forgot to tell you that I received a new computer for my birthday and that has great implications...

I'm final entering the 21rst century in terms of computing power!

For one, my new computer has multiple USB ports, something my old one did not have.

So what's important about a USB port you ask?

Here's one thing...

Digital cameras feed into USB ports...

I'm sure you make the connections from there...

Imagine that? Ralph AKA L-4 and I both making a splash in the world of digital photographs at the SAME time!

I have a number of Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Ultramarines just waiting to go under the lense and become a part of your Horus Heresy project!