It’s been at the top of my mind to start posting more content on the Blog itself. When Lorenzo and I started the Blog and YouTube Channel the intention was to post content on the blog while playing, filming and posting videos on YouTube. However as our repertoire of games we play has changed and expanded from what originally was only an X-wing blog. The blog itself has languished to the point where it is simply an overlooked portal to our YouTube channel. I’m not big on New Years resolutions but I’d like to focus on getting more content on the blog. To that end I’d like to start a new feature called the Hobby Table where I document projects I’m working on for myself and for our videos. Click the jump to see the first of these posts in the series.
For the first post I want to focus on something that isn’t blog related. I recently received Halo Ground Command and the models are now sitting on the painting table ready to be assembled and painted. Before I get into what I did with the miniatures lets just talk about what is in the starter set for a second. Lorenzo and I have bought many starter kits in our time in the hobby. As far as starters go this is an excellent product. The box contains a ridiculous amount of product.
For the UNSC you get the following:
- UNSC Army Command Unit X1
- UNSC Army Infantry Unit X8
- UNSC Army Fire Support Unit X4 (2 Rockets, 2 Heavy Machine Guns)
- UNSC Spartan Special Warfare Asset X3
- UNSC M-12 Warthog X2
For the Covenant you get the following:
- Covenant Elite Zealot X1
- Covenant Grunts X11 (3 with Fuel Rod Cannons)
- Covenant Elite Minors X3
- Covenant Hunters X2
- Covenant Scout Ghosts X3
The box comes with a rulebook, 2 force commander cards, 2 plastic/cardboard terrain buildings, tokens, stat cards, reference sheet, two support flyers templates UNSC and Covenant (Pelican and Phantom) and a bunch of resin scenery pieces. All in all a lot of stuff is in the box.
I’ve never had a bad experience with a Spartan Product in the past. That being said some of their products don’t do it for us from an aesthetic perspective. The Halo miniatures looked good in all the images I’ve seen on-line and now that I have seen them in real life I think Spartan has really taken their miniatures to the next level. These models look like they popped right off the game screen and I’m really impressed by the quality. I’ve decided to start painting the UNSC first and so for this entry in Hobby Table we will be discussing the UNSC Rifleman Infantry unit. The next post will be a Covenant unit as I intend to alternate between the two factions until all the models are done.
First up we have the UNSC Rifleman Infantry unit. The models themselves are made of pewter and have a decent amount of detail. The bases have holes drilled into them for when you glue the models to the base. The only thing I’m not crazy about is that there are only three sculpts of the Infantry. Two of the models have the Standard UNSC Battle Rifle and one has a UNSC Shotgun but all of them are in the same three poses… Thankfully this can be mitigated by mixing and matching up different models because the rifle and the shotgun still count as small arms weapons in the game. This does allow for limited customization of how each base looks but I would have preferred more variation in the sculpts themselves.
I like how each unit in the game has a stat card that includes all the options for the unit. For example the UNSC Rifleman unit consists of four elements (bases) of three UNSC Marines with small arms. The unit can choose to replace one of the elements (Bases) with either two Marines with a Rocket Launcher or two Marines with Heavy Machine Guns for a certain amount of points. This allows the standard UNSC Rifle squad to be quite flexible in how it is constructed, and all he rules required for these options are on the stat card provided with the starter set.
The starter set provides enough bases and models to produce eight elements of UNSC standard rifleman armed with small arms, so two full units. They also provide the option to field them with either the Rocket Launchers or the Heavy Machine gun. I have chosen to configure the first unit based on the instructions in the rulebook as follows: Three elements of UNSC Marines with small arms, one element with two marines and rocket launchers. This leaves me enough regular UNSC Marines to field one more group of rifleman and to flesh out the UNSC Fire Support Group. While this may be confusing to read I like the system as it provides a lot of customization options, I also think it allowed Spartan to give new players a lot of options from the beginning with how they want the unit to play right from the starter set.
Anyway lets get on to the painting. As these models are mostly pewter I washed them before priming. I actually made a mistake gluing the models for the first base on before priming. I am worried that it will be difficult to paint the models attached to the base. For the other three bases I cut the metal models into separate pieces. I will then paint each model individually and add them to the base.
Once the models were primed using army painter grey primer I gave them a black wash using GW Nuln Oil. after this dried I painted the armour pads and helmets with GW Zandri Dust base paint and washed them with GW Seraphim Sepia. The guns were done with GW Abadon Black and GW Leadbelcher. I then went over the armour pads with Zandri Dust and picked out some of the details with GW Mournfang Brown. I used GW Ushabti Bone on one of the helmets as this miniature will represent the squad leader. This was done basically for appearance only and has no actual in game purpose, I just thought it added a little extra detail to the model and the squad. The two red stripes on the base are there to help identify the elements as part of a unit. Hopefully this helps avoid any issues with mixing up bases due to the limited amount of sculpts.
I think the models look great finished and the whole base only took me about 2 hours of work. I find I like this scale because it allows for more detail than I expected. The finished product looks good and I am eager to paint the rest of the group up. In the next post I will show the completed four elements for this group and than talk about whichever Covenant Unit I decided to paint next. Also I want to make this clear that it is unlikely that we will play Halo Ground Command in the near future. It was not purchased with the intent of using it for video purposes. This is a personal project and we may not end up playing games with these models for video purposes. That said maybe down the line we will pick it up and film a video though right now this is strictly a modelling project. With that out of the way stay tuned for more from the Hobby Table.