Friday, 2 March 2012

New Project: Conflict in the USA

My process of beginning a new project works something like this:

  1. Accrue inspiration from various sources - in this case; the graphic novel series DMZ, the computer games Modern Warfare 2 and Homefront and the film Red Dawn.
  2. Search for miniatures that may be applicable - consider what terrain would be needed and what kind of costs I would be looking at. I settled on 15mm for the scale and squad-and-light-support-level for the game size. 
  3. Start to build up resources for it - for this project I ordered various packs from QRF. I wish they did some mixed packs, but I now have spares if I decide to build the forces a bit bigger.
  4. Begin modelling...
  5. Start playing? Heh, like that ever happens...

I'm finally at Stage 4 on this project - it's been in my head since the end of last year, when I was reading a lot of DMZ. The basic storyline is that there is a second US civil war, with the Free States of America rising up against what they see as a tyrannical government. The series is set in New York City, which becomes the DMZ/No Man's Land between the two main sides. The city is given the "Beirut" treatment - split into numerous zones by the main opposing forces, neighbourhood militias, the UN, the private corporations (one in particular - "Trustwell" - think Blackwater meets Halliburton) and so on. 
I imagine the gaming side of this to play very well into a map-based campaign, with the various factions fighting for control of a particular neighbourhood. To begin with I plan on building squads and transportation for the USA, FSA and "The Ghosts" - an ex-Special Forces faction who are based in what used to be Central Park. To that end I ordered various packs from QRF's US infantry (with troops in Arctic dress for the Ghosts) and a couple of packs of Spetznatz, to possibly act as one of the militias.
I've also picked up various vehicles from a local £1 shop. Unfortunately, I didn't have the troops at the time to compare the Humvees to, so they are too large for the project. The deuce-and-a-halfs seem fairly perfect though and should be great once repainted.
These vehicles were also from the £1 shop. Again, these seem to scale great alongside the 15mm troops. The Ford pickup would make a great Technical and the Lincoln Navigator seemed like the perfect vehicle for a protection detail supplied by the Trustwell PMC.

I have yet to decide whether to keep all of this in NYC or branch out into the rest of the war. A recent post over on the great Winter of '79 regarding some new smalltown US cardstock terrain that is in production was rather intriguing. I also need to order a pack of the great looking troopers from Armies Army to fit the role of PMC

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this, please feel free to leave a comment! It feels nice to finally take the plunge into 15mm, which is a scale that has seen an amazing amount of growth over the past couple of years! I also have a pack of the alien mercenaries from Ground Zero Games that I plan on working on sometime soon - it could be good if I proxy the USA troops as early Colonial Marine-sorts...

So many ideas, so little time!


  1. Everytime I get near step 4 I go back to step 1 with a new idea.

    Congrats on nearing step 5, I'd love to see a report of your games.

    Also, congrats on using 15mm. I've only ever used 28mm to date, but there are some impressive 15mm lines out there.

  2. sounds good looking forward to seeing more of these. I'm a bit like Adam with some projects

  3. I just got one thing to say...

  4. Your projects never disappoint in the inspiration department, definitely looking forward to more of this!

  5. Your project sounds interesting, I look forward to more, and I'm like everyone else, I am forever starting new projects but rarely finishing any.... :(

  6. Stick to Matchbox scale die-cast cars. Perfect for 15mm, dirt cheap from the pound shop and easy to convert. Use them as scenery, actual working vehicles (not common in the DMZ) or as improvised weapon platforms. Word of warning though -matchbox buses, trucks etc are too small for 15mm. You'll have to hunt around a bit more for those.

    You also might want to keep an unpainted 15mm figure in your pocket when making trips to the pound shop. Just to check the scale.

    However, those humvees look perfect for 20mm or 28mm. If you don't want them and are happy to sell, I'll take them off your hands.

  7. Forgot to say, Rebel Mini's do a very fine range of 15mm Modern US soldiers, unarmed civilians, armed civilians, gun toating corporate types, bank robbers and all sorts. They're based in the USA but postage to the UK in insanely cheap. Fixed at $5 if I remember right. And those are some very nices pieces of lead.

  8. Cheers lads! I do tend to have a dozen or so projects on the go at once - I'm now back to painting WWII zombies, mainly as I fancied painting and nothing else was undercoated!

    Adam - this is my first foray into the world of 15mm! You should give it a try - the miniatures being produced for it are better than ever!

    LL - thanks! You seem to have some knowledge where 15mm is involved! Now that I've actually got some 15mm miniatures I'm better at sizing up vehicles in the £ shop. The Humvees would probably work nicely for 20mm - I'll get in touch :)