24 April 2014

All Quiet on the Quar Front - Tanks

Like most of you, I read about the All Quiet on the Martian Front (AQotMF) Kickstarter back in the day. While I recognized the "H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds Miniatures Game" as a good idea, I've never been a big fan of retro sci fi, VSF and the like... Until a few weeks ago when, with the models release getting closer (the KS should be shipping next month and the rest of us can pre-order them since yesterday) a comment by JBR on TMP (too many TLA?) got me looking back at some of the model. He was eagerly looking forward to the plastic US tanks that he qualified as great conversion fodder for 15mm not-40K Imperial Guard...

All pictures in this post are from Alien Dungeon's (AQotMF manufacturer) blog or Kickstarter page.
And indeed... The "Baldwin Mark II steam tank" is just begging to become a not-Chimera while the Mk III turreted variant has not-Leman Russ written all over it. Just lose the coal chute and smoke stack... Or wait a minute. Those are actually quite characterful and nicely though elements of the model. And I've always be quite liberal about what I consider a adequate proxy*. You don't even have to go all low-tech coal-fueled victorian to use them: for a slightly more zorty blend of sci fi, why not envision "crystalized unobtainium" fueled tanks? Just paint the coal electric blue (or whatever colour unobtainium happens to be in your made up universe), add a bunch of matching unobtainium giant crystals on the table and voilà!

I wasn't fan of the retro feel of it, but the nicely detailed and well
thought form-follows-function back is really growing on me!
Back to the  AQotMF vehicles... Next to the MkII not-Chimera and the MkIII not-Leman Russ, you also have a not-Basilisk Mobile Gun, a water-tank-carrying-coal-trailer-pulling Fuel Tender that's both a great characterful model if you stick to the coal burning steam tank concept and an easy conversion for a not-Hellhound (lose the trailer, add a turret), and a larger MkIV not-Baneblade (not fan of it's "spiky" tracks, though; wonder if I can "shave" them off easily). The only IG (armoured ground) vehicles you'll need a bit more work to model are the Hydra and Manticore. But then again nothing requiring uncanny modelling skills. And I won't be saying a word over the ass-ugly Taurox (and that's unfair to certain asses)!

On top of that, you also have a bunch of not readily translatable in 40K terms but still very nice vehicles like a Tesla Lighting Gun carrying tank, a crane-equipped-trailer-pulling Munition Carrier, a Tesla Mine Layer, a Clamp Tank (probably too specific a weapon for anything but Martian tripod fighting)... Some people aren't fan of the shitload-of-variants-all-based-on-a-single-chassis concept but personally I love it! Add in the couple of static Field Guns/Howitzers and you've got all you need to ferry and support a well-rounded steam powered combined arms force!
* In fact, when modelling big licences universes, I actually prefer proxies, which I find... More liberating! Let's say I was collecting actual models from Star Wars. I'd feel constrained to use them consistently with that universe's background. The Rebel Alliance fights Imperial Stormtroopers and that's about it. No rebels fighting the Trade Federation or, even worse, 40K Imperial Guard... No crossing the streams on my game table, thanks! With more approximate proxies however, I feel entirely free to make up my own stories and to mix and match whatever storylines I can think of. So my Organization of Unobtainium Exporting Planets could perfectly be fighting a N'tau army while the "real" Star Wars Trade Federation couldn't fight Games Workshop Tau (not sure what the plural is: Taus, Taux?), could they?
More posts about this project:


  1. Yeah, I have been eyeing these off to add to my DKOK IG.

  2. I can't wait to see what players do with these.
    I like the monstrous land battleships, as well, particularly that Goliath Mk V.
    Lots of potential in that product line.


  3. Yes, lots of potential on those. Thanks for making me look at them with a fresh eye!