I've been ruminating on 15mm sci-fi for a little while now as I get my hobby mojo back and am able to spend some time painting my way through the gubbins I collected over the years.
Back in the day (2008 to be precise) I bought my first 15mm sci-fi figure, a Laserburn classic and promptly fell in love with the scale. I was at uni at the time and didn't have the time to spend hours on painting figures or the space to game 28mm or indeed the budget.
Slippery Jim diGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat
Here I found myself painting through the entire pack which had 15 figures and two vehicles which I had picked up for under a tenner including postage. I played some small skirmishes and found myself enjoying my hobby as I could put together a small force and paint it in a relatively short time.
Over the following years, forces have been collected, painted, gamed and then sold off but I haven't lost my love for the little guys.
Skirmish Forces in 15mm. Average cost, £5.00
Now for the most part, I played Rogue Trader but I do have a ridiculously large collection of rulebooks for various systems and I have a hankering to try out as many as I can and am slowly painting my way through a couple of different forces that will be beating each other up while I try out the assorted gaming systems too.
Tiny adventuring parties!
This has been one of the big pluses for me as I can bodge together a fairly large force for peanuts compared to trying to do the same in 28mm scale and still have enough space on a small gaming table to actually play a game or two. Compare this to the likes of 40k where a squad will set you back a minimum of £20. There's enough stuff available in 15mm to proxy most forces and it's affordable enough to put together a ten man squad for about £3.
Insatiable alien eating machines!
Villainous Noble and henchmen
It's not all easy sailing though as I have noticed that 15mm sci-fi seems to trend more towards what is classed as Hard Sci-Fi (think Hammers Slammers rather than Elves in space) so some of the 40k forces are a bit tricky to do (I'm looking at you Eldar!). Slowly but surely, more out there ranges are becoming available, such as the assorted Ork figures that have been released in the last couple of years and some of the Space Dwarves I've seen but the new releases seem to still be more hard sci-fi than anything else.
Lucius Goldburg and Underlings
Another issue I've found is that a lot of the 15mm scifi blogs have gone quiet in the last few years. Back in 2008-11 there was an abundance of people trying out the scale, blogging about it and creating some brilliant conversions and off the back of it, lots of new companies and ranges sprang up.
Skip forward to today and while there are still new releases cropping up, the excitement of 15mm scifi seems to have almost vanished in the blogsphere. Yes, there's a thriving facebook community which has some really inspiring stuff on it but where are the blogs that follow a project (or in my case a scatter gun approach to any project!) or has someones slowly expanding painted collection on it.
Savage Alien Frogs!
But what can I do to re-enthuse folks with 15mm scifi goodness? Well I think I am going to have to make a start by getting my finger out and painting, converting, scratch building and sculpting enough to give me some forces to play around with and then play lots of games and actually blog about them!
Mollusc Freedom Alliance!
I currently have a fair number of my Governor General's force painted and a few more bits and bobs in the works as well as assorted villains and a slowly expanding Xenos herd but I hope to speed up things a bit and finish out some starting forces over the next few weeks before throwing them into battle!
Squat Armoured Cruiser
I'm also thinking of sculpting a few bits and bobs that have been lacking in 15mm scale and running a small kickstarter to get them into production. It's early days with them at the mo but I will be sharing more in the coming weeks once we've finished moving house and settled in our new digs.
Shadow Wars Armageddon anyone?
In the meantime, I hope my long and rambling waffling inspires at least one person to have a bash at 15mm scale sci-fi. Who knows, you may enjoy it!
The Governor General and Retinue.
I suspect that blogging time is going to be sparse as we move and until we get our new place sorted out but I will try to keep things moving along in any spare moment I have.
In the meantime, All the best!