I'm in the process of transferring wargames related posts from my other blog. This one was originally posted on 22 March 2004. Since posting this I have gone on to make quite a few kit-bashed mecha, which I'll feature in a subsequent post.
No, nothing to do with Kit Chan.
Kit bashing is when wargamers like me decide that an existing model kit is just not good enough, and decide to make our own. In this case, the game in question is Gear Krieg, by Dream Pod 9.
Gear Krieg describes itself as "two-fisted pulp superscience in a world at war". The short translation: World War 2 with mecha. (you can see the appeal straight away - I've always been a sucker for the gigantic fighting robot genre of anime and games). I bought the rules some time back, and was sufficiently intrigued by them to want to start a game.
A brief rundown of what's interesting: Gear Krieg uses a "roll many dice, take the highest roll" system, with more dice being rolled for better units. It also uses a "margin of success multiplier" system, where the number you defeat your opponent by in an opposed roll is multiplied against a damage factor to determine the final damage. This is quite new to me - I've tried the "buckets o' dice" systems (e.g. Warhammer), I've played the traditional "consult many tables" systems (e.g. Squad/Panzer Leader), and I've tried the radical "let's muck around with abstracted time" systems (Crossfire being an excellent example, which, despite everything, is a very playable and fun game).
Two problems that have kept me from buying Dream Pod 9's miniatures. One: the price is exhorbitant - a single mecha costs around USD$15 (and since the mecha have a "walker" mode and a "ground" mode, you need two of them if you're anal enough ... and I am). Add shipping, and it comes to quite a bit. Two: DP9 sells its miniatures in 15mm scale - and the preponderance of WW2 figs owned by the Napnuts (the group I game with) is in 20mm scale.
Solution? Make my own mecha. The initial results of the kit bash are in this gallery.
Since starting to use Flickr, I've begun to refurbish old posts where I used to link to an external gallery. Here's a picture of the Valkurie in question. Clicking on it will take you to a larger version.
I've posted pics of the drawings from the Gear Krieg rulebook for comparison, and I'm quite pleased with the results. It took me till 2am last night, but I managed to kitbash a Valkurie walker from an Airfix SdKfz 222 kit, an Airfix M4 Halftrack kit, and a whole lot of plasticard.
Sometimes it's the simple things that keep you going ...