6mm-Minis

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!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

HUMOUR: Cannibal Stew... For Two!

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TOP: Into the cannibal pot with 'em!
Ummm... maybe not THAT one.
Hi All,

A short post thanks to a joke from my buddy Leopold:
A cannibal was walking through the jungle and came upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal. Feeling somewhat hungry, he sat down and looked over the menu...

+ Tourist: $5
+ Broiled Missionary: $10.00
+ Fried Explorer: $15.00
+ Baked Democrat or Grilled Republican: $100.00

The cannibal called the waiter over and asked, 'Why such a price difference for the Politician?'

The cook replied, 'Have you ever tried to clean one? They're so full of crud, it takes all morning.'

As another short note, I will probably be meagerly posting on the Blog this weekend as I'll be at the ConQuest San Francisco 2007 gaming convention in the Bay Area...

TOP: Be careful what you eat because...
You are, after all, what you eat!

To learn more about ConQuest San Francisco 2007, please follow this link:
http://avalonconventions.com/conquestsf/

Have a great Thursday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MINI WARGAMING: New 10mm Sci-fi Producer: Black Skull Games!

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TOP: There's a new 10mm sci-fi company...
...Black Skull Games.
No official logo ready for public distribution yet.
Hi All,

It's recently come to my attention that a new 10mm sci-fi company is about to come to market... Black Skull Games (BSG)! According to one GenCon 2007 attendee, BSG had a booth and has announced that they will be selling miniatures and rule book in the next few weeks through their web site.

TMP members discussed it here:
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=117595

And one gentleman, Carlos, was kind enough to take a photograph of the BSG booth at GenCon 2007 and be kind enough to allow me to feature his photograph here at 6mm-Minis. You can find his Gencon 2007 photos here:
http://flickr.com/photos/8365266@N05/1243892710/

Thanks Carlos!


TOP: The Black Skull Games booth at GenCon 2007.

The web site is very much a work in progress, and you can find it here:
http://www.blackskullgames.com/

Here's what a fellow at TMP said about Black Skull Games:

I do happen to work for Black Skull Games. Let me try to answer a few of your questions about Universal War. As I mentioned already, the scale is 10mm and all of the miniatures are created from a metal alloy. It is a d10 system, where all modifiers are added or subtracted from the result of a d10 roll. Play occurs on a subdued grid system (...each grid square is 1" x 1"), but has the option to be played without a grid. Each player begins play with a point allotment to build the army they wish to field. The player determines how fast each model moves, how many weapons it has, how powerful the weapons are, what special abilities they have (i.e acid blood), etc.

The game includes a story line where a vast army of Martian Invaders has occupied Earth and a force of genetically enhanced humans called Terror Troopers have just left their secret tunnels to counterattack. The story provides a series of illustrations and unit statistics to start players off, but the true goal of the game is to allow players to play the armies and story lines near and dear to their hearts, be it a certain science fiction book or movie's background.

I do not have any pictures to post, but some will be posted on the website in the next week or so. The model line will initially offer Martian Invader infantry, Terror Trooper infantry, and Mutant Giants. Other races and armored vehicles are on the way. The game is very flexible, allowing units from other games to be recreated and inserted.

Check out Blackskullgames.com web site in about a week or so to get the low down.

Here's what BSG has up about their new game "Universal War" at their in-progress web site:

Universal War

“The Universe is locked in eternal war. Amidst the uncounted galaxies of space, a million races struggle to survive a conflict that has raged since the dawn of creation. The young race of man, recently ascended from the primordial ooze of Earth, is just the latest to learn of his impeding doom.”

Have you ever watched a science fiction movie thick with dramatic battle scenes and wished that you could step in and control the action? Wished you could command your own termination machines, armored storm troopers, or slime-covered aliens. If so, then behold, for the means to do so is here before you now, within the pages of this book.

Welcome to Universal War, a 10MM-1/180th scale, mass-combat, science fiction, miniatures war game. It allows players to lead fantastical armies amidst the unlimited planetary war zones of the far future and compete with one another for supreme control over all the fictional worlds ever made popular by novels, comic books, toys, television, and the cinema. Universal War allows its players to build and battle any army they can dream up. There are no limitations and no forbidden ideas, so summon your chosen legions and let the battles begin.

The game looks promising... a sort of GURPS-like universal minis system... much like what I previously worked on with my "Planetfall" project and what others are also working on such as Mark "Extra Crispy" Severin.

If you're interested in 10mm sci-fi, please check out this excellent discussion group:

And Mark "Extra Crispy" Severin is also developing a small scale sci-fi minis game called "Steel Crush" here that is well worth checking out:

In other related news, Mongoose Publishing is developing their 10mm Babylon-5 GROPOS 10mm sci-fi game, which will hopefully come out soon. They own the master molds to the now defunct Agents of Gaming GROPOS miniatures.

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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, August 28, 2007

FILMS: "Cthulhu - Silent... But Deadly!"

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TOP: Cthulhu comes to film (2005)! ...again!

Hi All,

There's a new (2005) Cthulhu film out. And while there's one newer (2007) Cthulhu film out, the 2005 edition is a SILENT film... very cool!

And here's what's been written about it:

Written in 1926, just before the advent of "talking" pictures, The Call of Cthulhu is one of the most famous and influential tales of H.P. Lovecraft, the father of gothic horror. Now the story is brought richly to life in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a haunting original symphonic score. Using the "Mythoscope" process, a mix of modern and vintage techniques, the HPLHS has worked to create the most authentic and faithful screen adaptation of a Lovecraft story yet attempted.

From the cultists of the Louisana bayous to the man-eating non-Euclidean geometry of R'lyeh, the HPLHS brings Cthulhu to the screen as it was meant to be seen. Eighteen months of production and a cast of more than 50 actors went into making this film a period spectacle that must seen to be believed. The DVD includes The Call of Cthulhu (47 minutes, black and white), the high-fidelity and "Mythophonic" soundtracks, a 25 minute "making-of" documentary featurette, two slide shows, deleted footage, a prop PDF of the Sydney Bulletin and more.

TOP: Cthulhu takes a bath and a nap at the same time.

To appeal to Lovecraft fans throughout across the globe, this DVD provides inter-titles in 24 languages including: Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Euskera, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Luxmbourgish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Welsh. These aren't just subtitles either; they are the real title cards rendered tastefully in each language.

If you thought the story was scary before, wait until you see it in Welsh!

This is not the first Cthulhu film ever made, but it promises to be a good one...

Some of Cthulhu's other film appearences have included:

- (2007) Arkham NW Productions, a Seattle-based production company, produced a 2007 feature horror film titled Cthulhu loosely based on the short story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", and also incorporating elements from several other Lovecraft stories. Cthulhu is a 2007 American thriller/horror movie, directed by Dan Gildark and was co-written by Grant Cogswell.
Link here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu_%282007_film%29

- (2005) The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society (The film featured in this post) has produced an independent black-and-white silent film titled The Call of Cthulhu, based closely on Lovecraft's original story.
Link here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Call_of_Cthulhu_%28film%29

- (2001) "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is the principal storyline in the 2001 film Dagon, which also credits the Lovecraft short story of the same name.

- (2000) "Cthulhu" is an Australian low budget horror film made in 1996-1997 and released in 2000, by producer-director Damian Heffernan. It was mostly based on the two Lovecraft stories: "The Thing on the Doorstep" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth".
Link here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu_%282000_film%29

- (1991) Cast a Deadly Spell is a Horror/Detective HBO movie with Fred Ward, Julianne Moore and Clancy Brown. Ward stars as 1940's hardboiled private detective Phillip Lovecraft, in a parallel world in which magic is real, monsters and mythical beasts stalk the back alleys, zombies are used as cheap labor, and everyone -- except Lovecraft -- uses magic every day. Yet, cars, telephones and other modern technology also exist in this world. The movie is very much an homage to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Though not based on any one particular story by Lovecraft, the film features many Lovecraftian tropes, and can be considered to take place against the unified backdrop which has come to be known as the Cthulhu Mythos. Frequent references are made to the Necronomicon, the Old Ones, and Yog Sothoth throughout the film.
Link here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_a_Deadly_Spell

To learn more about Cthulhu, please check out this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu

Have a great Tuesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

P.S.
A special Ryleh greeting to my favorite Cthulhu cult member, Kimbo, out there!

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Monday, August 27, 2007

COOL STUFF: The Star Wars You Never Knew...

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TOP: Darth Vader's real "stay-at-home" Mom...
...not the silly Episode I version...

Hi All,

Every now and then, I go looking for Star Wars images on the Web... just to see what I can find. As I've mentioned before, it never ceases to amaze me the massive effect that Star Wars has had on world culture... such as that UK survey in which a significant percentage of Brits claimed that their religion was "The Force." I'm not kidding about that either...

So, here are a couple of the more choice Star Wars images that I've enjoyed:

TOP: The Empire would have never amounted to anything...
...if they would have recruited more hippies.
TOP: Darth Vader must have had this Rebel artist killed...
...preferably by Force Tickling.

And here are two reasons why "The Dark Side" isn't limited to any one group... we're all susceptible to it, ya know? And for the record, I'm not very fond of either of the dominant political parties in the USA... I really feel that the American people could use a few more viable choices.

TOP: This Dark Lord will probably claim that her "village" raised you too!
...even if you're a Wookie, Jawa, or Sand Person.
TOP: And this Dark Lord looks like he's done kissing babies...
...he's ready to start raising taxes!

Evil, huh?
Have a great Monday!

Update (27 August 2007 @ 2:10pm PST):

A fellow nicknamed Chronoglide over at TMP was kind enough to further elucidate me about the religion of "The Force" in the UK:

Chronoglide: Lots of Brits entered The Force or Jedi as their religion as a political statement, not because they were Star Wars spods. We had been lead to believe, by the media (...now there is an Evil Empire), that if enough people put it down on the survey, that it would become recognised as an official religion by the Government. Most of the anarcho-hippies that called themselves Jedi probably hadn't seen one of the films in years, if at all. So don't get the impression that we're all Skywalker nerds.

P.S.
My other car's an Ewok glider

Link here:
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=118033

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

P.S.
Spod is a British slang term for an annoying "computer geek" if I'm not mistaken.

Link here:
http://www.catb.org/esr/jargon/html/S/spod.html

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Saturday, August 25, 2007

PERSONAL NEWS: Out Testing Today - Wish Me Luck!

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TOP: A darned weekend day at the office! Dagnabit!

Hi All,

Well, I won't be around most of today... I've got to take a big promotional test for work today... it means even more good money if I can do well on the chimeric beast of a test, but who knows? Why do they always seem to schedule these things on weekends when we don't get paid?

TOP: A "Chimera" of a test...

The Chimera Comic is from this fine web comic, which I adore:
http://yafgc.shipsinker.com/index.php

At any rate, please wish me luck and fortune!

Have a great Saturday!

And a hearty Gut Shabbos to my Jewish readers!

Shabbat Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Friday, August 24, 2007

FUN VIDEOS: The Saga of "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!"

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TOP: The video that started it all...

Hi All,

The Internet continues to astound me with the way it's changing our culture, bit by bit... I imagine it's a bit like the way that television and feature films would seem to someone who grew up without them... they've made a profound impact on life. Well, the latest cultural twist, in my opinion, has been the spread of Internet video... on places like Youtube that have essentially put the power of television and film into the hands of the regular man. Independent films are getting easier and easier to film... as well as cheaper. Think of the Blair Witch Project... and the new political battleground is on Blogs (weB-Logs) and... at Youtube. Every savvy candidate now puts his own political ads on Youtube... and since Youtube is essentially free, this makes it much more possible for a political aspirant to not have to come from a moneyed class.

Well, part of the craze has been "viral videos," which are these free videos that have been posted and then become unexpectedly popular... usually to the tune of hundreds of thousands of unique views... and the "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!" saga has been a fun one that I've been following... and enjoying the quirkiness of it. Give me "Zombie Kid" any day over PSAs (public service advertisements) or political ads! It all started with the above video...


TOP: Zombie Kid on Bill O'Reilly...

And the next thing we know, the "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!" saga made it to a spoof of The Bill O'Reilly Show.


TOP: The Zombie Kid Turtle Song...

And from there, folks started putting the "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!" saga to... music.

And from there, hundreds of videos featuring the "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!" footage have been made... in every kind of video you could imagine... movie spoofs, music videos to Rock'n'Roll, Heavy Metal, Country & Western music, and every kind of YOU-NAME-IT! I think the above video is a good ending to the saga, but I have a feeling that there will be many more "Zombie Kid: I Like Turtles!" videos before the public's attention turns elsewhere.

Mazel Tov, Jonathan the Zombie Kid! Enjoy your couple of minutes in the lime light... and enjoy those turtles your mom decided to let you have... along with the rest of your menagerie!

I hope you enjoyed the saga of the turtle-adoring Zombie Kid.

Have a great Friday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Thursday, August 23, 2007

PERSONAL NEWS: Adventures In Light Rail #2: "Husband-Wife Becoming One."

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TOP: Debra & Lester Finch.

Hi All,

Today I'm going to take a break from my regular blogging about gaming and funny crud and take a minute to count my blessings. One of my many blessings is being able to take public transport to work everyday... I avoid wear and tear on my car and riding rather than driving is stress-free: no traffic, no lights, no delays, no accidents, etc. Riding the Light Rail is a serious blessing for me.

The other big blessing is that riding the Light Rail helps me to connect with people. We all ride the train together everyday and the folks I ride with in my car know me and I know them. Everyday before or after work, I can expect my posse to greet me and ask about my day as well as me being able to ask about theirs. We chat about our jobs, life, our families, and all the important stuff. I get greeted by name like "Norm" on Cheers and it's a very positive part of my life. I feel like I have a family away from home and that I'm part of a community... something very important to me.

Well, one of the folks I see everyday is a certain Debra Finch, one of the nicest ladies I've ever known. Every SINGLE day, she greets me with a smile and we chat pleasantly for a few minutes before we each walk to our respective work places. And Debra's now inspiring me with one of the most generous things that one person can do for another: she's donating a kidney to her husband, who would otherwise not continue to live. All I can say is that that act of generosity is an amazing thing. May she and her family be blessed.

I'll be praying for the Finches and I'd be grateful for the prayers of any of my readers who would be kind enough to do so.
Surgery (Kidney Transplant) Date: September 10, 2007
Time: 8:00a.m.
Where: UC Davis Hospital

TEAM Members:
Debra L. Finch
Lester G. Finch, Jr.
Timothy J. Finch

Please pray for my friends or otherwise send positive vibes to them however you can.

Have a great Thursday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FILMS: "Speedracer Film In The Making!"

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Hi All,

I just learned that there will be a new film about Speed Racer debuting next year. For those of you who haven't heard of Speed Racer, it was a semi-cult'ish children's cartoon that was originally shown in the 1960s, but I recall watching it in the 1970s and 1980s... as re-runs. It's about a "super race" in which the racers, some of whom dress like Mexican wrestlers, have James Bond-like cars with "super gadgets" in them such as boosters, jumpers, super speed, underwater capability, and all sorts of other goodies. Some of the enmities between the racers border on the lethal and much like the old Hanna Barbara race cartoons, the more dastardly of the racers were never afraid to play nasty tricks on the protagonist "Speed Racer" or the other less-aggressive "Nancy" racers.

You can learn more about the new Speed Racer film here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_Racer_%28film%29

And Speed Racer in general here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_racer

Here's some of the projected cast of the new film:

Directors: The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wachowski



Racer X (...one of the racers dressed like a Mexican wrestler): Matthew Fox (Lost, the television series)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fox_%28actor%29

Chim-Chim (...the chimpanzee): ? ...maybe CGI?

Pops Racer: John Goodman

Mom Racer: Susan Sarandon... UCK!

Except for Susan Sarandon, whom I can't stand, the film looks like it might actually shape up to be entertaining despite Hollywood's best efforts to otherwise ruin every pop icon with a bad feature film. If you ask me, they'd be better off casting a real chimpanzee for Chim-Chim and a CGI character in place of Susan Sarandon. The Mom Racer character would be more real and warm with CGI. She practically ruined the Sci-fi Channel version of Dune all on her own...

*** Maybe they could get Clyde, the orangutan from Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980) to play either Chim-Chim or the Mom Racer role? ***

I really liked Clyde and he might just be willing to take a break from guzzling beer at his private jungle pad to shoot another film...


And who can forget the immortal words of the Speed Racer theme song:

Here he comes
Here comes Speed Racer
He's a demon on wheels
He's a demon and he's gonna be chasin' after someone.

He's gainin' on you so you better look alive.
He's busy revvin' up a powerful Mach 5.

And when the odds are against him
And there's dangerous work to do
You bet your life Speed Racer
Will see it through.

Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer, Go!

He's off and flyin' as he guns the car around the track
He's jammin' down the pedal like he's never comin' back
Adventure's waitin' just ahead.

Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer, Go!

I originally learned about this news here:
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=117095

Thanks, Murphy!

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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MINI WARGAMING: 6mm Zombies Shamble Back Into The Picture...

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TOP: Exodus Wars' upcoming 6mm zombies by Warmaster Nice!
Unpainted, at this point...

Hi All,

Warmaster Nice of The Epic Lounge recently shared some great photos of the new 6mm zombies coming out for the Exodus Wars 6mm sci-fi miniatures line, which I featured a few posts back and now, he's painted them. Please check them out:

TOP: Creepishly cool painted 6mm zombies!

And here are Warmaster Nice's words about these cool little undead beings:

Must....have... BWWWAAAAAAAAIIIINSSSS!!!!!

Better late than never. Here's a sneak preview of the zombies. They still need a bit of touching up before I can snap the proper pics for the online store. My main complaint is with the bases though: I went for our standard flocked Exodus Wars base. However there's no doubt these minis would look even cooler on a proper sinister looking base.

And one last shot of his zombies and a few more words:

TOP: More cool shots of the Exodus Wars 6mm zombies.

WN: To summarize there's 10 stands of zombies to a pack:
- 20 male zombies,
- 10 female,
- 10 boys and...
- 10 girls with teddy bears.

Please take a gander at Warmaster Nice's wonderful Epic site if you get a chance:
http://www.mustangsalling.dk/epiclounge.html

And keep checking out the Exodus Wars site for when the new 6mm zombies release:
http://www.exoduswars.com/

And speaking of 6mm zombies, I've written about 6mm zombies a number of times here at 6mm-Minis. Find all of my 6mm zombie posts here:
http://6mm-minis.blogspot.com/search/label/6mm%20Zombies

I can think of one other source for 6mm zombies off the top of my head: "Z scale" railroad figures. They make good 6mm civilians or, with a little "graveyard skin pallor," make good zombies as well.

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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, August 21, 2007

HUMOUR: A Barbie Toy That Shouldn't Have Made It... But It Did!

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Barbie's Dog Takes a Dump

TOP: Barbie's dog just may be eating its own feces. Weird!

Hi All,

I don't know if this commercial toy pitch is real or a gag, but I found it amusing. And, personally, I think there should be a market for this toy... I hate walking along public pathways and finding "doggie treats" that haven't been looked after... especially if I find them the hard way! "Doggie treats" really put a cramp on a good hike...

TOP: My baby sister was good at "beheading the tyrant."
I lost several Darth Vaders to her machinations...

I also have a soft spot for Barbie as I once dated a Greek girl who was really named Barbie... although Ken used to take a beating from my G.I. Joes. He's really a wuss. Although my baby sister would get even by biting the heads of my Star Wars men... Darth Vader was no match for her... his head rolled... my little sister has some serious Sith powers!

Update (21 August 2007 @ 7:10am PST):

Coyote BD was kind enough to point out that not only was this toy REAL, but it has been recalled. Thanks, Coyote BD!

Please check out this link:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07271.html

Have a great Tuesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Monday, August 20, 2007

QUOTES: John Stuart Mill On Ethics & War.

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TOP: TOP: John Stuart Mill, frontal shot.

Hi All,

I had today off and one of the activities I enjoy most on my days off is: reading. Reading is good for the soul and it invigorates the mind... and I strongly feel that any kind of reading benefits the reader... even tabloid trash rags, People Magazine, and that like. Even that sort of written drivel keeps words flowing through the mind. However, to really stimulate the mind, one has to read the writings of intelligent people, not just professors and philosophers, but the people that made a difference and their time and resolved to share their thoughts. One such person, whose writings I often return to is John Stuart Mill, a British philosopher, Political economist, and a Member of Parliament among his many other accomplishments.
Here are a few of his quotes that really make me think...

John Stuart Mill on the military:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill on the freedom:
"The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."
John Stuart Mill on the conformity:
"In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time."
John Stuart Mill helped to foster and develop a philosophy known as utilitarianism, which I don't feel I've ever really understood despite much study, but that's another topic altogether...

TOP: John Stuart Mill, profile shot.

To learn more about John Stuart Mill, please check out this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stuart_Mill

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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GAMING NEWS: Mongoose Gets a Traveller License!

.
TOP: Mongoose now has a Traveller license!

Hi All,

One of my favorite all-time sci-fi games is the Traveller series... It originally came out at the end of the 1970s (...shortly after Star Wars came out) and really established Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and science fiction in the gaming mindset. And now there's exciting new news that may breath some fresh new life into Traveller: Mongoose Publishing is coming out with new materials for Traveller!

TOP: Some cool limited edition 28mm Droyne figures from...
J.D. Lauck of MEGA Minis.

So, without too much further rambling from me, here's the Mongoose Publishing press release:

After a near 10-year gap in which only reprints of the Traveller game system have been available, Mongoose Publishing becomes the centralised resource for Traveller titles with the publication of their core rule book Traveller: Science-Fiction Adventures in the Far Future, in February 2008. On this foundation, Mongoose will produce a supporting line of supplements, adventures, and source books detailing the official and original Traveller universe of the far future.

The materials published by Mongoose will be placed in and part of the canonical Traveller universe.

It is our aim to halt the fragmentation of the Traveller game, and reintroduce one solid system (...based on Classic Traveller), with one source for the official Traveller universe.

But that is not all. . .

Mongoose Publishing Science Fiction RPGs:
Mongoose will also be using Traveller in its licensed science-fiction properties (...each featuring a Traveller logo).

We have pioneered this concept already with Runequest, publishing a rules set and supporting adventures and source books, then using the Runequest rules as the basis for other alternative fantasy role-playing settings, such as Hawkmoon, Elric and Lankhmar.

The first licensed setting to be produced using the Traveller rules set (...and available in early 2008
) will be Starship Troopers, a welcome return to bug-blasting action across the galaxy! Hot on its heels will be Strontium Dogs, based on the hit 2000AD comic strip. After that, who knows... ???

TOP: Cool Traveller starship miniatures from...
Ken Burnside of Ad Astra Games.

To the greatest extent possible, we intend that there be a transportability of characters, concepts, and even equipment between the various systems. So, it will be perfectly possible for your Strontium Dog Bounty Hunter to land on a planet in his Scout/Courier, only to find him battling for his life against waves of Warrior Bugs - with no conversion needed between the games!

All games and settings will therefore be able to utilise the core supplements, such as High Guard, Mercenary, and 760 Patrons, while retaining their own character.

News Release URL:
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/news/news_item.php?pkid_news=166

And Traveller certainly has seen many versions from the Classic Traveller timeline to one sin which the mighty Imperium degenerates into civil war, ones in which vampire-like computer viruses take over the world, a "Space Viking" scenario in which the Traveller universe recovers from a "Dark Age" and many more. I'm really curious exactly which timeline and background Mongoose will choose to continue.

TOP: One of the two Traveller computer games.

And the product range has been vast as well including: four different versions of the RPG game, miniatures in 15mm & 28mm, starship minis, at least two computer games, posters, sci-fi novels, clothing patches, adhesive stickers, T-shirts, and who knows how many other spin-offs and other goodies.

Here's the rest of the Mongoose Publishing press release:
Open Gaming License:
Once the rules for Traveller appear, we plan to make them available under the Open Gaming License (OGL). At the same time, we will issue a Traveller Logo License (TLL) which makes the Traveller logo and titling available to licensees.

Far Future will Publish T5:
Far Future is proceeding with plans to produce the long-heralded Traveller 5, initially as an extensive CD ROM package (...estimated at 1000 pages) by the end of 2007, and a distilled 350-page Traveller 5 Core Rules book in the first half of 2008.

T5 will be a superset of the Mongoose Traveller rules, providing detailed coverage of rules, concepts and history not available elsewhere. There will be cross-compatibility between Traveller and Traveller 5, allowing you to use rules and supplements from each.

Traveller will be faithful to Classic Traveller, with an upgraded task and combat system. Traveller 5 will be a superset of those rules, providing greater detail and more insight into resolving situations in Traveller.
And eventually, we might even see Striker III, a Traveller miniatures ruleset of Chadwick'ian lineage. The key developer behind Striker III resides nearby (...when he's not in Texas) and he runs a web group where you can learn more about the project, which I've shared a link for below.

TOP: "The Journal of The Traveller's Society," THE Traveller magazine!

And here's a half dozen or so more helpful Traveller links:

Freelance Traveller
link:
(Probably the best link for anything Traveller)

Citizens of the Imperium
forum link:
(Probably the best Traveller forum around)

Far Future Enterprises
link:
(Marc Miller's site, one of the creators of Traveller...)
(Find reprints of older Traveller materials here and...)
(it's also the home of Traveller 5)

Ad Astra Games
link:
(Find Traveller starship minis here)

MEGA Minis
link:
(Find limited edition 28mm Traveller minis here)

Loren Wiseman's
home page link:
(A creator of Classic Traveller & the genius behind GURPS Traveller )

CT Striker
Yahoo E-group link:
(One of the best discussion groups for Striker III)

Classic Traveller
Yahoo E-group link:
(One of my favorite discussion groups for Traveller)

6SFWG
(6mm Science Fiction War Games) Yahoo E-group link:
(Striker III and anything & everything related to 6mm sci-fi can be found here)

Have a great Monday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Friday, August 17, 2007

MINI WARGAMING: Traitorous "Tzeentsh" Titans From L-4!

. TOP: One of the Titans from L-4's awesome "Tzeentsh" legions.

Hi All,

My buddy L-4 is always working on something or another... ever since he retired from the Army, he spends part of his time at the gym, whether working or working out, and practically the rest of the time modelling and/or playing games. I've known him for something like over a decade now and seen him develop from a basic painter and customizer (...like me!) to a master in his own rights (...unlike me!). Today I'm going o showcase two of this latest creations, both Epic Titans, giant robots, made for the traitorous "Tzeentsh" legions of L-4's home-brew 6mm sci-fi gaming background.

The first Titan to be featured is one I call "Sorcerer's Bird of Prey," a four-winged walker with limited jump capability, medium to heavy armament and a bad attitude!

TOP: A front view of the "Sorcerer's Bird of Prey."TOP: A side view of the "Sorcerer's Bird of Prey."
TOP: The "Sorcerer's Bird of Prey" as it might appear to an enemy.

And the second Titan to be featured is one I call "The Master's Eerie Mount," a two-legged, two-armed walker with little to no jump capability, very heavy armament and an equally bad attitude!

TOP: A left side view of the "The Master's Eerie Mount."
TOP: A right side view of the "The Master's Eerie Mount."
TOP: A rear view of the "The Master's Eerie Mount"...
...accentuating it's rear defense turret.
TOP: A top view of the "The Master's Eerie Mount."

These basic chassis of these Titans were both made by the now out of print Seventh Street Games, which later turned into Flagship Games. L-4 mined his near-endless bitz box for pieces and decals, which he used to transform these cool models. Believe it or not, the mecha were originally AZTEC mecha in the Spirit Warrior background! While Seventh Street Games is out of business, Flagship Games is still alive and well although the miniatures themselves are most likely still out of print. If you wanted a couple, I'd recommend first making an inquiry with Flagship and then going to Noble Knight Games if Flagship doesn't have any.

You can find the Flagship Games site here:
http://www.flagshipgames.com/

You can find the Noble Knight Games site here:
http://www.nobleknight.com/default.asp

You can find all of the photos of L-4's "Tzeentsh" Titans here:
http://s48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/Legion4/Tzeentch%20Titans/

Have a great Friday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Thursday, August 16, 2007

SHORT STORIES: "Ground Zero, An Immortal Psychopath & Several Centuries of Extensive Genetic Engineering"

.
TOP: 23SKDU's awesome custom Raven Wing!

Hi All,

The other day ago I was reminiscing about all the great Stargrunt and Dirtside II games I used to enjoy with my friends in the 1990's and it reminded me of the old Star Grunt listserv and one of the best pieces of short fiction of I've ever read. I scoured the Internet looking for it, E-mailed some friends, and then, in a sudden moment of recall, remembered that my friend Andreas AKA Javelin-98 kept a copy on his site. So, without further ado, enjoy!

"40K vs. Stargrunt!"
"Ground Zero, an Immortal Psychopath and..
Several Centuries of Extensive Genetic Engineering"
By: Tom Sullivan.

Fair warning: The following short story contains some cursing AKA foul language, and lots of it! Under the circumstances, such language use seems not so much inappropriate as it does mandatory.

"Christ," whispered Pugh, "It looks like someone slapped a set of treads onto a dumpster!"

Kemmerman snorted his agreement. "And check out Buck Rogers there! Sticking his big, ugly ol' head outta the hatch, and not even bothering to stick a helmet on it! Think he's got a 'Shoot Me' sign on his back, too?"

"Cut it," snapped the sergeant, "We've got work to do here. Sorenson, have you got a lock yet?"

"Yessir," he replied, his gaze remaining fixed on the Scorpion's display. "Ready when you are, sir."

Nodding, the sergeant tapped at his com unit. "Jessup? You ready?" He nodded again at the reply. "All right then, on my mark...NOW!!"

There was a sudden sharp crack, and the enemy officer’s head vanished, replaced by a rapidly dispersing red mist. This sound was followed a heartbeat later with a loud "Crump!" as the Scorpion rocket penetrated the side of the APC. The vehicle skewed sideways, smoke and flame billowing from the hole in its side, as the second rocket hit, this time impacting at the rear.

TOP: All of 23SKDU's Raven Wing are mounted on...
...custom motor bikes!

The APC exploded with a satisfying roar, scattering pieces of men and metal across the field. "That," Pugh said with feeling, "was abso-fuckin-lutely beautiful. You know that? That's a goddamn piece of art right there, Billy! You should get down there and sign it, you know?"

Sorenson shrugged as he repositioned himself, targeting the second APC. "It's eighty percent inspiration, ten percent perspiration, and one hundred and ten percent detonation, my man."

The APC shuddered, and obligingly lost a tread, as the rocket hit it.

"It's a damned good thing that you can shoot, buddy," Pugh said, "...cause you sure as shit can't add." He shook his head, waving at the men spilling out of the crippled vehicle. "Now look at that! Bright red armor? What are they, color-blind? Or just stupid?"

TOP: Even the regular grunts have custom rides.

"Neither," interrupted the sergeant, "they're arrogant and VERY well armored. Now, shut up and shoot."

"Yessir," Pugh muttered, shouldering his rifle. "Shooting away, sir. Doesn't seem to be doing much good, sir."

"When I want your opinion, Pugh, I'll be sure to tell you what it is, understand? Just keep firing. And Sorenson, wait for my command, dammit!"

The armored men seemed largely indifferent to the rifle fire, only a few even bothering to return it.

Miller shook his head as he sprayed bullets down the hill.

TOP: 23SKDU's Raven Wing Master is an amazing conversion!

"Jesus, what the fuck are they firing? Howitzers? Those are the biggest goddamn rifles I've ever seen!"

Pugh snorted. "Yeah, but do think they can actually hit anything with 'em? Might as well just throw the damned things at us for all the good they're doing!" He yelped, jerking back as a crater was blasted into the ground a foot away from his head.

"Yeah, yeah...fuck you too, Murphy!"

"You know," Pugh noted after a moment, "they really don't seem very happy, sir. In fact," he added, as he changed clips, "they seem downright pissed. Sir."

The sergant ignored him. "Jessup? There's a guy down there with a very big gun. Yeah, the one painted yellow. Eliminate him for me, would you?"

There was a flash, a bang, and one of the men at the bottom of the hill collapsed, a neat little hole visible in the side of his helmet. Pugh made an approving noise. "Very nice, Jessup! You and Sorenson, you're like the... the... Boticellis of the battlefield, you know? Fuckin' artistes, I tell ya!"

‘Boticellis of the battlefield’, Pugh? What are you on, anyway?”

“It’s called culture, buddy. Give it a try sometime. You’ll like eating with a fork, I just know it!”

"Um, sir?" Miller said, abruptly, "Sir? They appear to be charging, sir. Up the hill, sir."

"Yeah," the sergeant replied with satisfaction, "Yeah, they certainly are, aren't they? The big bastards are nothing if not predictable. Just keep firing, private. Williams, Cook? Be ready."

"My God," Pugh marveled, "the guy in front has a sword! A goddamn sword! What’s in his other pocket, a flint fucking spear?"

They did, he had to admit to himself, certainly LOOK impressive. Each stood at least seven feel tall, and their brilliant red armor made them look even bigger. "Kind of a shame they're such morons," he muttered.

TOP: Great poise on the Raven Wing Master!

Two of the charging men fell, neither making it even halfway up the hill, but the remaining seven kept coming, firing, apparently at random, as they did.

"Now!" the sergeant shouted. "Now, dammit!"

The man in the lead, the one waving the sword, was cut almost in half by the incoming plasma bolt. Those behind him stopped sort, caught in the crossfire as William's and Cook's squads opened fire. Sorenson fired the Scorpion, catching one man squarely in the center of his chest. The result was, while interesting, far from pretty.

The concentrated fire of fifteen men proved sufficient. Almost. Only one man made it to the top of the hill, his armor cracked and pitted with innumerable bullet holes. Moving with remarkable speed for such a large man, he surged forward, grabbing the sergeant by the throat before the rest of the squad could react.

"Now," the man rasped, his voice distorted by his helmet, "you shall die, in the Emperor's...."

*BLAM*

He stopped.

Looked down.

Saw the smoke rising from the barrel of the pistol pressed firmly against his stomach.

And fell, gently, to the ground.

The sergeant stepped back, rubbing gingerly at his throat. "He was a tough bastard, I'll give him that much," he said, hoarsely. He prodded at the corpse with his toe, dislodging the man's helmet with a sudden fierce kick.

"Jesus, what did they do?" asked Pugh, "Shave an ape?" The man's features were grotesquely exaggerated, almost to the point of caricature.

"That," said the sergeant, "is what happens when you combine several centuries of extensive genetic and bionic engineering with being raised from birth to worship an immortal psychopath. Makes you understand the Promixa Covenant, doesn't it?" He sighed. "Stupid goddamned fanatics. They think the entire universe should play by their rules. Well, fuck that. We're gonna show 'em how a war is SUPPOSED to be fought. Space Marines, my ass!" He kicked the corpse again, not gently.

"How do you like life at ground zero, asshole?"

FINIS!
Praise "Bob!"

And, before I forget, here's where you can find the site of Andreas AKA Javelin-98:
http://home.comcast.net/~kudby/

And the photos came from my buddy L-4's buddy: 23SKDU! You can check out a cool photo album of his work here:
http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a53/23skdu/Ravenwing/

The figures in the photos are all 28mm GW Space Marines on heavily customized bikes.

Have a great Thursday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MINI WARGAMING: New 6mm Sci-fi Aliens From Baccus!

.
TOP: Command Horizon, 6mm Sci-fi as only Baccus could do it!

Hi All,

Peter Berry of Baccus does it again. I'm happy to share his latest miniatures news and photos of his new product:

TOP: New FLABs AKA Centauroids with APCs.

We've been promising to release some infantry for the Centaurs for some while now. I'm pleased to be able to say that not only are the FLAB infantry now available, but we've also released two Armoured Personnel Carriers for them. A Light and a Medium version. And to be even-handed, the Humans get some Air-support with the addition of a Fighter.

You'll find piccies and full details at:
www.commandhorizon.com

TOP: Another view of a FLAB APC section with accompanying infantry.

We're also working away on the next update to the CH rules themselves which will allow you use the Centaur modules and infantry to full effect. We've been chatting about Combat Engineers some really nasty Area Denial rules and all sorts of goodies. As ever, there's still lots more yet to come in the Command Horizon ranges.

Cheers,
Peter.

I've long been of fan of Peter's and am very happy to see the Baccus brand name attached to a new 6mm sci-fi game. I've participated in the development of the game contributing to the background and game mechanics although I can confidently say that the existing Command Horizon rule set is primarily the genius work of Peter and his chief caster AKA henchman, Igor. And, of course, the fans like myself have been a big part of the development of the game as well!

His new FLABs AKA Centauroids are very cool 6mm sci-fi aliens and the accompanying range of miniatures is outstanding... He's already done more with this range than Gladiator did in all the years they had it.

And, oh... what's a FLAB? Here's the background story:

TOP: A front view of a FLAB AKA Centauroid infantry stand.

Over the last couple of months you’ve witnessed the release of a number of Centaur vehicles - but what about the beings behind them? Why are they called ‘Centaurs’ and where do they come from?

Their full story is yet to be published. What was known of them prior to the first and devastating contact of 2607 came to us from the Intelligence Service of the secretive ‘Sisters of Galactic Enlightenment’.

Their contact was the result of tenuous and as yet undisclosed forms of communication with the aliens. It was from these initial impressions that the term ‘Centaur’ first came into use. Little of the physical appearance was apparent from the contact other than that they were quadrupeds with two arms and bilateral symmetry. It proved too tempting to link them to the Centaur race of ancient Greek Mythology and that name was adopted. In fact this proved to be spurious as their appearance proved to be nothing like the half-man, half-horse of legend.

TOP: A rear view of a FLAB infantry stand.

It’s not known who first coined the term ‘FLABs’ for the Centaurs. It certainly originated in the military and was in wide usage from the very earliest campaigns against them. The origin is as a simple acronym, whose most acceptable rendering is ‘Four Legged Alien Beings’. It is an absolute certainty that the original wording was less ‘correct’ in its language.

And here's one of the preview photos of the new human fighter release:


TOP: The Human Skyfighter!

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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, August 14, 2007

MINI WARGAMING: Robot Gang Project Complete... For Now!

.
TOP: Maksim's robot gang (painted and everything!).

Hi All,

Short post today... mostly I wanted to prove that I could finish a project. These are the same robots from a few weeks ago that I was working on... the "Savage-munda" gang. I assembled them, primed them, put a base coat, a wash, a little bit of detail and pronounced them ready for combat. I'm no Matakishi, but I'm proud that I got these guys from raw metal to ready in less than a week's time... with a busy work week.

TOP: The robot gang takes cover.
TOP: The robots scoured the cargo yard looking for the missing droid.
TOP: Maksim's droid gang really had to have something in this cargo yard...
They searched it for... like forever!

TOP: Maksim's robot gang (bottom) started next to...
An abandoned construction tractor (middle)...
And a weird ventilation complex (top).

I still have some more bots in my "28mm Robot" storage shoe box, but these guys are table-ready for now.

Have a great Tuesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos 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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