Friday, March 29, 2013

The Underground Menace

21st-century biological research revealed that naked mole rats possessed truly remarkable abilities:  resistance to pain, low-oxygen atmospheres and ionizing radiation, as well as the effects of cancer and aging.  However, centuries passed before the mechanisms behind these were fully understood, and the necessary technology available to transfer these advantages to genetically engineered human beings.

Astr-O-Myne Corporation's interest in exploiting the mineral riches of newly-explored extrasolar planets conveniently coincided with these advances.  Robots were fine for chewing through relatively homogenous space rocks.  But for planetary mining, Astr-O-Myne required a new and exceptionally hardy breed of human workers.  Arrangements were made with certain Terran governments wishing to reduce crowded prison conditions, and the first genetic experiments were a spectacular success.  The new miners were stronger, tougher, and instinctively knew their way around tunnel networks.  And best of all, they had little choice in the matter: aside from their lifetime contracts with the company, the gene transfer resulted in a pallid, warty appearance that set them apart from normal human society.

"Mole Men"
15 mm


It was only a matter of time, however, before these underground super-men and women felt their working conditions had become intolerable, and decided to throw off their corporate shackles...

Insurrectionist miners emerge from a reconnaissance tunnel to search a company outpost.

I've been working on these for a while, and figured I'd finish them up before I really got going on my Half-Life figures.  These miniatures are "Titan Scouts" from Rebel minis.  The papercraft buildings are "IKubes" and a PODS container, downloadable for free from Topo Solitario papercraft.

(Obligatory link to Spacejacker's different take on the same figures)


  1. Very nice. The one kneeling is a simple but great conversion. The colour scheme looks good too.
    Also like your background for them.

    1. Thanks. He's actually supposed to be climbing out of a tunnel in the ground, but as it turns out, that's not as easy to depict as it seems.

    2. Now that you mention it I see the hole he is standing in. Neat!

  2. They look great and I love there background to.

  3. Thanks, Mr. M. for a great post. Of course, the painting and basing are very nice to view. But what particularly struck home to me this morning is how you have cleverly and successfully (for me anyway) integrated backstory and links into your prose which assist the blog visitor to enter-in to some of the process you've gone through to bring this post to life. Well, done.

    I'm off to scope out Topo Papercraft now.


    1. I actually read the article about naked mole rats a while ago in The Scientist, it's pretty amazing to me as a biology researcher and it's definitely grounds for some decent gaming "fluff". All the best hard sci-fi has some basis in established science, after all.

      Of course IRL the mole rat studies will hopefully have much more mundane applications, like new cancer treatments, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.

      Topo Solitario IS a wonderful site with some great models, it's too bad my papercraft skills are limited or these guys might have a paper tank too :) Boxes I can do. Anything more complicated, not so much.

  4. These are an interesting little group of minis. I particularly like the figure in a kneeling pose, as this is not a common sculpt. Your painting gives them maximum appeal!


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