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Author Topic: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 1/72 (09.05.21 Update)  (Read 7284 times)

Offline Jack Hooligan

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A child of the 80’s, my favorite genre was near future dystopia. The media I was immersed in at the time all pointed to the 90s being a dark period. Games Workshop’s cult game, Dark Future…1995. John Carpenter’s classic film, Escape From New York…1997. One of my top 5 video games of all time, Smash TV…1999. As a personal tribute to these influences, I’ve grabbed three recent Oprey titles to game my vision of an alternate dystopian America in the 1990s.



Rewinding a bit, I want to talk a little more on how this all came together. I’ve long been a fan of Dark Future, owning it on several occasions, writing it about it in various blog posts over the years, but it’s always felt a little bit like a heartbreaker. The game has a lot of great imagery with the internal Carl Critchlow art, some fun novels by Kim Newman, and a line of great 20mm pedestrian Citadel figures by the Perry twins. However, the game itself never really brought all this together.



The above image from the back of the Dark Future expansion, White Line Fever, is the near future, post apocalyptic aesthetic I prefer. It’s grounded a little in reality. Not gonzo mutants, robots, super science, etc. But there wasn’t really a way to game pedestrians in the Dark Future rule book. This kinda thing really fired me up though.



There were some pedestrian rules in White Dwarf #105, and I did use those for a few games, but to get the real effect of the minis on foot in play, the game had to basically be a loop track. Playing the game with the rolling road scenario, minis would be on the side taking a few pot shots then gone. With a loop, when their car was wrecked, drivers could get out on foot and stay in the full game. This made all the games basically Circus Maximus in cars. It was fun, but I really wanted to include the gang on gang narrative like in The Warriors, or what would later come in GW’s Necromunda.



So, the wonderful Perry figures basically existed without a real game to do them justice. They remained my favorite metal minis for over 30 years, but I just didn’t have too much to do with them. This is where the recent set of Osprey releases have breathed new life into this hobbyist’s old obsession.

The first title on my radar was Gaslands. Reviews were amazing, but I was a late adopter as I already had a favorite game of auto duelling. I wanted something that uses gangers to go with the cars. Especially, since Mark Copplestone started releasing 20mm figures to go with Gaslands. A game attempt was made in an issue of Wargames Illustrated to include pedestrians in Gaslands, but I still wanted that gang vs gang feel that was missing in those rules.

Enter, Zona Alfa. This was gang vs gang, in an easy to play, narrative driven rule-set. Once the author confirmed the rules worked as is for 20mm, I knew this was it. But this was a totally different system than what Gaslands uses…how would this work. Easy, two different games in the same setting! I could use tricked up cars and gangers all in the same head cannon setting using two great, modern rule-sets.

So, for games of Gaslands the pedestrian figures will be used on the table for spawn points, flags, objectives, etc. This will make use of the models on the table. For Zona Alfa, the vehicles will be set up as the border of the gang’s starting deployment zone. It’s like the vehicles pulled up and all the members filed out to explore the area on foot. I’m also setting up my game to make use of the fantastic Copplestone and Perry figures in a way that ties into the Zone Alfa and Gaslands rulesets. Here’s the general plan…

Models : Zone Alfa Faction : Gaslands Sponsor

Copplestone Highway Patrol : Military : Highway Patrol
Copplestone Corporate Team : Scientist : Mishkin
Copplestone Punks : Bandits : Slime
Perry Dark Future : Independents : Miyazaki
Copplestone Wasteland Warriors : Cultist : Warden
Copplestone Bootleggers : Traders : Rusty’s Bootleggers

I’ll post more detail on these gangs in the future. Currently, I’m tackling this project with terrain, objectives, and hostiles first. Oh, a little more on this setting. Living in Texas, I’ve fallen in love with the American Southwest, and New Mexico’s Roswell is the perfect place to set a fictional exclusion zone. The timeline of the setting is similar to Gaslands, but with a few small additions. Essentially, that wasn’t a weather balloon in 1947, but an actual crashed alien craft. Reverse engineering that is what enabled earthlings to develop travel to Mars per the Gaslands background. 50 years later, a large scout fleet came to find the fate of that first ship, but with a War of the Worlds type illness befalling the aliens, they all crashed in and around Roswell. Currently, there are many crash sites around Roswell emitting gases, space spores, alien chemicals, etc. There are also creatures in the area spawned from these fumes or survivors from the wreckage. With the Y2K bug looming in the near future, earthlings are scrambling to get off planet to Mars before all technology crashes, and they’re stuck on a dying Earth forever. This is Roswell ’98.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned Last Days. Zombies are a hostile and objective in both Gaslands and Zona Alfa, so it made sense to pick that up too for games of strictly surviving in Roswell. I was buying zombie models at this scale anyway, so this gives me three titles, at least, to game as I work on this project.

Speaking of hostiles, let’s dive into some that set this area up as an exclusion zone and an area of excitement for televised Gaslands events.



First, we have the crew of the crashed UFOs. Each time I game this setting, I’ll put a crashed UFO somewhere on the table. It’s existence is what creates the area of interest. The model was a 3D print I bought off Etsy for 20mm scale. It’s got a lot of those 3D printing lines on it that I’m not too excited about. It looks fine on the ship, but not so good on the kicked up dirt and soil. The aliens are 15mm models from Rebel minis. I contemplated going green for better contrast with the table, but this being set in the 90s…Greys were all the rage. Alien Autopsy anyone? I’ll use these models as ‘Bandit’ hostiles on the ZA hostile chart.



The Greys didn’t come without guards. I wanted models to represent T-800 style killing machines. These models from Reaper were the closest I could find at 20mm. They’re actually ‘Small Robots’ designed for 28mm, but work perfect for what I need at 20mm. They’ll probably be used as ZA mutants. I might make them a little tougher than the default in the book.



Speaking of scale, one of the other joys of 20mm for me is how few models there are. I’m not awash in too many choices like with 28mm…anything I come across that can work feels like a found treasure. Above is a Perry Dark Future model taking aim.



Greys and their robot protectors aren’t the only things that arrived on Earth in the crashed crafts. In the background are open egg sacs…they must have somehow stowed away on or under the ships or something. Hatched spawn are surrounding a 20mm Perry Dark Future driver. These will be vermin hostiles in the Roswell zone.



To make the matter worse, they grow up into these nasties! Clearly these and the vermin above are references to the Alien films. Both sets of creatures and the eggs are from Elheim Miniatures under their 20mm sci-fi line, called Hives. The plan is to use these as the rad ghouls from the ZA rulebook. Again, I may modify the stat-line slightly. For the wet effect, I simply painted them Eschen Grey, sealed with Testor’s Dulcote, then when dry, did a wash of Nuln Oil Gloss. Super easy and very effective for this scale.

So, this kicks off my first major project of 2021. I’ll probably tackle a few more hostiles, then some terrain before I dive into the specific gangs and their rides. Here’s an early preview of one of ’em. Greenlight vehicles in true 1:64 scale. Perry Dark Future on the left, Copplestone Gaslands on the right, dog...far away.



For more posts like this and other mini misadventures, head over to Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 12:56:26 AM by Jack Hooligan »
Blog: Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
Gaslands and Zona Alfa Log: Roswell ‘98
Blood Bowl Log: Blitzmania

Offline Spinal Tap

  • Scientist
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What a phenomenal world you've created, really looking forward to more.

I have dabbled in multiple rulesets for the same characters/worlds but nothing with this depth.

I'm inspired.

Offline Cacique Caribe

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Inspiring indeed.  I planned to do something like that, that centered on a crashed UFO, but this setup is all out.  Off the charts.  Fantastic!

Dan
PS.  Is your source for the UFO still around?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 07:36:58 AM by Cacique Caribe »

Offline DivisMal

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That’s really amazing! And all in 20mm. Great :)

Have you tried the 1/72 soft plastic sold byiirc Dark Alliance? They would fit in pretty well. PM me, if you’re interested, I should have a few spare sprues.

Offline Jagannath

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    • Blades and Blasters
This is very cool - you’ve done a great job on that terrain too.

Offline Jack Hooligan

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Thanks, all, for the kind words. I'm really excited about this project, it's been a long time coming.

PS.  Is your source for the UFO still around?

They appear to still be very readily available. if you go to the Etsy site and search "crashed UFO gaslands" the one I used comes up from a few sellers. I guess they're all printing off from the same file shared around? There also look to be more traditional flying saucer UFOs that I don't recall seeing when I ordered mine at the beginning of 2020. Oh, it looks like you can also order these in 28mm if that's you're preferred scale.

Have you tried the 1/72 soft plastic sold byiirc Dark Alliance? They would fit in pretty well. PM me, if you’re interested, I should have a few spare sprues.

I bought the two boxes of their zombies, so am sitting on about 80 zombie figs for this scale...way more than I'll need. I'll probably look to ship out the extras to anyone that needs some when I'm done.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 01:52:10 PM by Jack Hooligan »

Offline Cacique Caribe

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Thanks, all, for the kind words. I'm really excited about this project, it's been a long time coming.

They appear to still be very readily available. if you go to the Etsy site and search "crashed UFO gaslands" the one I used comes up from a few sellers. I guess they're all printing off from the same file shared around? There also look to be more traditional flying saucer UFOs that I don't recall seeing when I ordered mine at the beginning of 2020. Oh, it looks like you can also order these in 28mm if that's you're preferred scale.

Most excellent!  I’ll give it a look.  Thanks so much.

Dan

Offline Jack Hooligan

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I realized this morning that I left the Gaslands Sponsors out of the OP, so updated the post.

Offline Easy E

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This is a great idea to mix several games to get the experience you want. 
Support Blood and Spectacles Publishing:
https://www.patreon.com/Bloodandspectaclespublishing

Offline Sir_Theo

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What a brilliant idea! I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Offline Jack Hooligan

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Re: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 20mm (01.28 Update)
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2021, 02:22:19 PM »
Get a New President!



There was an accident. About an hour ago, a small jet went down inside the Roswell Zone. The President was on board…

“The president of what?” is the obvious response from any self respecting ganger in 1998 Roswell, NM. When I saw the above 3D printed terrain piece available from the same Etsy seller that I bought the crashed UFO from, it was an auto-buy for multiple reasons.

Obviously, a wrecked plane being a call back to Escape From New York, having one strewn about on my table adds to the homage feel I’m going for. Additionally, I’m always pretty cognizant of storage and shoot for collecting terrain that fits in Really Useful Boxes.



Requesting this terrain for 20mm/Gaslands scale guaranteed a fit inside a 4 liter RUB. These sort of terrain items can also be bought for 28mm, but I don’t know if that would fit inside. RUBs are something I’ve recently moved my storage into, gluing a magnetic sheet on the bottom so that my washer based minis easily stick inside without moving around. I’ve been able to fit more minis in less space with this solution.



Anyway, back to the plane. It does have the same sort of 3D printed lines that I didn’t care for on the crashed UFO, but I think my issues are a little overblown. It’s easy to see these lines when painting, but at arms length, during game play, they fade away. I don’t think they’ll be that much of an issue. There are a few other 3D printed items I’ve got my eye on at this scale, but I think I’ve got enough for the moment, so will move on to some more hostiles next.

Speaking of hostiles, it looks like our Driver here didn’t stumble upon the plane’s black box, but a hive nest. Lookout, Driver!



I picked up a copy of Wargames Illustrated last year that had transfers for a Judge Dredd minis game. These were used only on the back pieces of the plane, so if I wanted a more clean, or recent, wreck I could just use the front four pieces. Originally, I was going to just use generic phrases that any Roswell ganger might tag living under the hopeless shadow of the Y2K bug, and not be too 2000AD specific, but Chopper gotta do his thing.

For the plane’s colors, I basically went with zenithal priming, added the yellow/red/organge colors of Southwest Airlines (what else?) to the tail, touched a few interior pieces with color, and added some agrax earthshade washes to dirty it up. It was a very easy job, but I think effective enough. Yeah, this isn’t Air Force One, but this was easy to paint up and generic terrain is best, imo.



The Renegade hasn’t found “the President” either. Nothing but hive infestations out here in the badlands of Roswell ’98.

For more posts like this and other mini misadventures, head over to Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 04:40:52 PM by Jack Hooligan »

Offline Cacique Caribe

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Re: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 20mm (01.28 Update)
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2021, 07:25:02 PM »
Definitely a perfect piece for an “Escape From New York” scenario.  Or escape from the deep desert.  Now you just need some robed desert nomads.

Dan

Offline Jagannath

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Re: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 20mm (01.28 Update)
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2021, 10:48:05 PM »
No way, I'm literally printing that plane at the moment.

For FDM prints I find that  painting with sponges wherever possible and not drybrushing or washing much helps, then a solid glos coat before matte really helps with layer lines. I print almost everything in resin now though, just chopped and reassembled in slicer.

You've done an ace job - will share mine soon

Offline Jack Hooligan

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Re: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 20mm (01.28 Update)
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2021, 07:04:53 PM »
This valley is just one long smorgasbord.



I’ve written previously (https://wyrdstonesandtacklezones.com/2020/03/28/gaslands-the-big-game-hunt/) about these models and their inspiration, so this is a bit of a push post. I’ve got some other models I had planned to post on this weekend, but there’s a cold snap here putting my Dullcote spray sealant plan on hold. I decided to get a shot of these graboid-like creatures with a Roswell ’98 UFO in the background so I can go ahead and get these creatures in the thread.

So, here’s the not-graboids from Tremors using Thorn Crawlers from Mage Knight and created from fluids that leaked out of the UFOs and seeped into the soil. For Zona Alfa, these will be large mutants and the mound entrance hole can serve as an mission objective deep on the table with a high threat level. In games of Gaslands, these are the creatures for the ‘Big Game Hunt’ scenario where the mound serves as the center point of the board as seen in the photo below.



For more posts like this and other mini misadventures, head over to Wyrd Stones and Tackle Zones
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 07:09:21 PM by Jack Hooligan »

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Roswell '98: A North American Exclusion Zone in 20mm (02.13 Update)
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2021, 10:07:08 PM »
Very cool. Looking forward to more.

 

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