Monday, August 15, 2022

On The Painting Desk - Under the Martian Yoke Baddies


I have been working on various projects to help support the releases of my own games on the Wargame Vault.  Today, I am focusing on creating adversaries for my game Under the Martian YokeIt is a survival horror game set after the Martian Invasion of the Orson Wells' broadcast.  The game is designed to be a solo/co-op/versus experience as the survivor's of the Martian attack struggle to escape Martian territory and to freedom.  

The game has a number of adversaries that survivor's may encounter.  The biggest and most dangerous are the Martian Tripods of various types.  Thankfully, I have a variety of Tripod models from the now defunct All Quiet on the Martian Front.  However, there are a variety of other tripod models available on the market as well.  

In addition to the the Martian Tripods, there are smaller foes as well.  That includes various drones, animated human corpses, modified animals, and even wild, feral dogs to face off against.  I have a few drones from Alien Dungeon and plenty of Irish Wolfhounds thanks to my Dark Age Irish army from Wargames Atlantic.   

Martian Tripods and Martian Drones from Alien Dungeon, and Mantic Games Zombie amongst 4ground buildings represent my Martian Foes at the moment.

However, some of the most flavorful foes are the re-animated human corpses combined with Martian technology to turn cadavers into puppets of the Martian war machine.  The idea that Martians drink the blood and fluids from human captives is horrifying, but the idea that they then recycle these victims into unthinking killing machines is even more monstrous!  In the rules, these take a few different types and forms.  However, I did not have great minis to represent these models.  

I searched around for suitable models to either buy or 3D print for the game.  I found plenty of zombie models, which would be great for Rabids.  However, The other types I was less excited about my options.  I decided the best way forward would be to make my own using Green Stuff and left over bits from my Dark Age Irish.  The bare feet would work great for my purposes.  

There were five main adversaries I wanted to have for the game.  They were the animal-esque Ferals, and the cadaver troops of the Rabids, Butchers, Shockers, and Gunners.  Ferals were based on animals and their bodies the Martians ensnared, found, or captured.  The others were all based on human frames.    

These would be the easiest enemy trooper to use.  Rabids are victims of one of the Martians wicked chemical weapons.  It turns them into raging, rabid killing machines in hunt of other human prey.  These creatures remorselessly hunt down other humans to rend them apart in a rage.  These creatures will continue to hunt and chase their prey until they themselves can no longer physically carry-on.  Rabids still lurk about in the wake of the Martian advance.  Pockets of the Rabid producing gas also still lingers and can infect unsuspecting survivors who stumble into it.  

Rabids are the easiest to source for the game.  Any zombie model will do.  For mine, I have a few Mantic Games zombies from The Walking Dead solo-game.  Honestly, any modern, non-fantasy zombie will do the job in this role.  Thankfully, there are tons of great models on the market for your Rabids.  

Unarmed Survivors are forced to deal with a Rabid 

Martians have an imperfect knowledge of Earth, its flora and fauna.  As a result, they tended to kill and destroy anything that came across their path.  This included livestock, wild animals, and domesticated animals like dogs.  Now, the Martians know that their primary prey is humans.  However, they still made use of these animal victims of their invasion.  Martian science re-animated these unfortunate creatures and sent them to hunt down humans, fueled by pain induced rage. 

For the Ferals, I was able to find Cyber-mastiffs and similar creatures in various lines.  I was also able to find plastic barnyard animals and dogs as well to serve as a base for conversions.  To start with, I took two Irish wolfhounds from my Wargame Atlantic Dark Age Irish.  I then applied Green Stuff to make them into the bio-organic, techno-zombie monsters.  

Work-in-Progress Ferals

A Butcher is the slang name given by survivors to these mindless and unliving cadaver corpses of the Martian invaders.  They are human bodies, revived with Martian technology into a violent unlife.  Their limbs have been modified with sharp blades, heavy axes, and sharp barbs.  Their heads encased in Martian detection and control gear, and their nervous system replaced with bio-electrical impulse drivers.  

For the models, I used left-over Dark Age Irish from Wargames Atlantic.  Their bare feet, bare arms, and modest clothing provides a great base.  Martians care little about human clothing, so having such modest clothes makes sense.  I also had a 3D printed Thrall for a vampire Blood Bowl team that was damaged while cutting him out of supports to use as a base as well.  

From the bases, I used Green Stuff to turn them into the monsterous, unhuman Butchers.  They had single-eye Martian detection gear and controllers fitted to their heads.  I also replaced their limbs with weapons such as axe blades, swords, and even a Martian style Reaper- tentacle.  

WIP Martian Butchers

In addition to Butchers, the Martians also created the Shocker.  Shockers have been fitted with an electrical arc to their hands, powered by a Martian battery implanted in their back.  This sheathes the Shocker in an arc of deadly electricity.  It is incredibly damaging on the organic material of the cadaver, but is a deadly and powerful weapon against any human survivor.  Electrical power arcs, sparks, and pops between the prongs of a Shockers pronged gloves, arcing off any nearby electrical conductor.  

Again, I used Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish as a base, and applied Green Stuff as needed.  The core idea was to add Martian detection and control gear to their head, and the deadly Arc gauntlets to their fists.  It was challenging connecting the gauntlets to a back mounted battery via green stuff cables.  

Work-in-Progress Shockers

The final Martian cadaver soldiers are the Gunners.  Like all of these "undead" techno-Martian atrocities they are revived human corpses sent to kill their former human comrades.  They have been fitted with Martian detection and control gear, and are driven by brute application of electrical impulses to the nervous system.  Instead of simple blades or electrical arcs, the Gunner has been equipped with a low-power Martian Heat Ray that can be used to attack targets at range.  For re-animated corpses, they are surprisingly accurate and can force human survivors to keep their heads down.  

Again, the main components are Wargame Atlantic Dark Age Irish models models fused with Green Stuff parts to create the Gunners.  One of their forearms is fitted with a squared off, bulky, heat ray attachment that mirror the ones used by tripods.  They also have detection and control gear headware added.  

WIP Gunners to hunt down human survivors

Final Thoughts on Martian Terror Troops
These round-out my Martian Foes for the game.  They took me a few hours to assemble and sculpt using simple Green Stuff techniques.  They give me a wide variety of Martian Foes for my survivors to encounter during my games.  Add this to my collection of Tripods, Drones, and Feral dogs and I should have more than enough "monsters" for most game sizes.  Next up, I will paint-up my new cadaver troops and show my progress.    

If you have suggestions for other miniature lines I could use for these troops types, let me know in comments.  You can find Under the Martian Yoke and try the rules out for yourself at the Blood and Spectacles Wargame Vault Page.

I look forward to sharing these guys fully-painted up soon.  I think my messy, imprecise, and dirty painting style will do them justice! 

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  1. These are great! I love the effect you created with the glowing bright green paint. Even more, I like how you are modifying and creating your own world with miniatures on the market. Good luck with the rules!