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[personal profile] bluegargantua

 So back in the mid-90's, we got into a game called Legions of Steel by Global Games. You played a team of space marines who invaded an underground complex to take out malevolent AIs from another dimension. In the process you had to kill off a bunch of Terminator-looking robot enemies. We all enjoyed the game and we thought it was quite a step up from Space Hulk (which we loved so that's saying something).

 Like all good game companies, the line of miniatures was expanded to include other alien races that were hoping to stave off the Machine invasion. One such race was the Fantasians. They were straight up Soviet Aliens. They lived in a Communist dictatorship and it was even hinted at in the fluff that they'd visited Earth and inspired Lennin. I really liked the figures (I liked pretty much all the figures for this game) and I liked their panache and so I had a small squad painted up. Later on, when the game expanded to more wargame-y open terrain skirmish battles, I got a number of their regular line troopers and painted up a force for them.

 Then Global Games disappeared down a black hole and were never heard from again -- or rather there were rumors of a reboot that never happened. I was very pleased to see that Legions of Steel was released as a game for PC, Android, and iOS.  The implementation is quite good, but there's been almost no support for it since release and they only have Humans vs. Machines and not my beloved Fantasians.

 So I'm going through the scree of Lead Mountain and I came across a few packs of Fantasians that I'd purchased but never actually painted up. So I decided to rectify that:

Fantasian Mobile Artillery Squad

Rejoice, Brave Soldiers of Fantasia! The Mobile Artillery Squad has arrived to help you win the day!

I don't believe this is an "official" formation for Legions of Steel, but it's what I had on hand and it makes for a fun little group. You've got three heavies in power armor backed up by a pair of troopers who act as a security detail or forward observers. Definitely a group for open battlefields and not underground bunkers, but they provide much-needed support in the field.

We'll start with the power armor:

Fantasian T85/36 w/AT4

Above is a T85/36 with AT-4 (you might notice a Soviet flavor to their weapon system names). The AT-4 is an anti-armor cannon and the main weapon carried by this unit. It's got a machine gun on the other arm for softer targets, but its main job is to kill tanks dead.

Fantasian T85/36 w/AT4

Here's a side view so you can see the AT-4 a bit better. Also, you'll notice the design on the shoulder pad. This was part of my "try something new" task when painting these guys up. I decided to experiment with water-slide decals. In this case, I had some 15mm WWII Soviet tank decals and couldn't imagine a better subject. I put markings on both shoulders of the power armor guys and put a star on the helmets of the troopers. I was a bit worried that this was going to turn into a frustrating chore, but I was pleasantly surprised and how smoothly it all went. It was a little fiddly getting the decal properly sited on the mini, but eventually it got where I wanted it and then I carefully removed the excess water and everything turned out ok. I'm not looking to do this for every mini, but I can see where it'll be helpful for some projects and I'm happy I got a chance to practice it.

Now for the big boom-booms:

Fantasian T85/43s with K2 SHAW

This is the T85/43 with K2-Shaw rocket racks. Yeah...the designs are very heavily influenced by WWII Soviets. What else can I say? Power armor with rocket artillery and the arm-mounted machine gun. I don't have the rulebook in front of me so I have no idea how good those rockets actually are. The Fantasians generally worked off a "quantity has a quality all its own" so high rates of fire, but less effective at actually killing things. I suspect the same would be true here, but if you caught the enemy out in the open, this would do a number.

Rounding out the squad, the troopers:

Fantasian Stormtroopers

Standard Fantasian troopers armed with spray-n-pray PPSH and a bandolier of Gauss Grenades. Not as heavily armored as the troopers of other races, the Fantasians are faster and they do get the lead down-range in a hurry. Honestly, they're probably better suited to open battlefields where they have more room to maneuver. Still, I love my little alien Commies.

Finally a couple of photos comparing paint jobs:

Three Generations of Fantasians

Three Generations of Fantasians

So we have power armor and troopers. The figures on the far right were painted by my friend Chris who got me (back?) into miniatures gaming in college. I don't think Chris actually won a Golden Demon, but he has placed in several GD competitions so he was the gold standard of painting we all aspired to emulate. Eventually I figured out that was a mug's game and that I should be looking to paint figures well enough to please me and get stuff rolling on the gaming table.

The figure in the middle were all painted by me a year or two out of college I believe. A basic three-color scheme with a hint of inking and that was pretty much it. Still, I've got three squads of those troopers waiting to prove Fantasian superiority.

And obviously, the figures on the left are the ones I just did. I went all in on the Russian theme and used appropriate colors. There were washes, highlights, and decals. The overall effect is more muted (though I'm not opposed to more colorful sci-fi minis), but I do like how everything came out. I was even able to do a bit of detail work that didn't leave splotches all over everything.

So that was my little Legions of Steel project. It was a lot of fun and I'm kinda hankering to see if I can score any more figures off eBay or something. I am also reminded of just how nice those minis were. Not too much flash, weighty metal, fun's really too bad those designs went out of print. Nothing new on the horizon, although I've got some small projects left in lead mountain. I also have a heap of plastic WWII vehicles that need some sort of paintjob, but I need to track down some Army Painter spray paints in appropriate armor colors. We'll see what happens.

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