Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Fallout: NCR Rangers (and Rogue Trader Cowboys)

Well following on from the awesome time that I had hosting the Fallout vs Rogue Trader game at BOYL/Oldhammer Day 2015 I have continued to expand my forces for playing games in Bethesda's popular post-apocalyptic universe.

My exceptionally supportive girlfriend actually took part in the original Fallout game at Foundry in August and really enjoyed it, taking an instant liking to the post-nuclear setting of the Fallout franchise. So it came as no surprise that when she found out that I was planning on expanding my Fallout forces she was keen to get involved and have her own faction to play with. I sent her off to do a little research on the setting and when she returned she told me that her favourite force was that of the New California Republic and more specifically their elite NCR Rangers. With this in mind I then set about locating, purchasing and painting up some figures to represent these characterful soldiers on the tabletop so that she would have some troops to command.

Ranger Athena and her posse of the NCR's finest prepare to engage the enemy!

If you have played Fallout: New Vegas you will know that the latest incarnation of the NCR Rangers is a very Western/Cowboy themed force who are very similar to the real-life Texas Rangers both in origin and background. Within the game the Rangers come in three distinct varieties: Civilian Rangers who dress and and are equipped like generic cowboys, Patrol Rangers who wear advanced combat armour and Veteran Rangers who are the elite of the elite and dress completely differently.

Ranger Athena in all her glory! I have given her a Cowboy Repeater and a Ranger Pistol. As she is the group's leader she has  a silver pistol with custom-pearl grips! Obviously she is a woman used to the best things in life!

I decided to start with a team of basic civilian rangers dressed like cowboys as firstly I love a good western and secondly these would be a real challenge for me as they are very different to my usual sci-fi/40k projects. The models that I sourced were from the excellent western range of figures offered by Black Scorpion miniatures and I have to say the sculpts are absolutely fantastic, they are exceptionally evocative pieces of miniature art!

Regular readers of my blog will know that my girlfriend's alter-ego in RT/40k is the noble Inquisitor Athena; well I decided she would need a similar avatar in the wasteland and so Ranger Athena was born. The figure above is her proxy in the wastes and for those of you who met my partner at BOYL 14/15 you will notice a striking resemblance between the model and her!

This Ranger just carries a pistol and a very impressive mustache!

I used a variety of paints on these figures, again this was new to me as I am usually exclusively a Citadel man! Predominantly I used paints from Foundry's growing range and I have to say these are excellent, they really flow well and help to bring the model to life. I honestly can't recommend them enough, especially when used in conjunction with their painting guide authored by Kevin Dallimore!

A second Cowboy Repeater enhances the Ranger's long-range firepower...

I actually bought over thirty models from Black Scorpion as I wanted a good selection to choose from, my eventual choices were based on the overall look of the miniature, how well it fitted my theme and its armament. Weapon-wise I went for a mix of shotguns, ranger pistols and the ubiquitous cowboy repeater (Fallout's take on the classic Winchester Rifle) as I felt it would provide the troops with some long-range options coupled with some very strong short-range stopping power.

...whilst twin pistols will give an increased rate of fire up close!

Have no fear for the left-over models... these will inevitably be put to good use in the future either representing more Rangers...or Caravaners; Prospectors, Regulators or any other number of Fallout NPC's!

For real close-up stopping power you can't beat a shot gun...and this one has two barrels!!

The joy of these models is that I can easily use them in a variety of settings (hence why I have kept the bases pretty non-specific) in the future. I have never played any cowboy wargames, but should I wish to then I now have a small force available for action. Additionally I could quite happily use these guys as frontier colonists from a backwater planet in games of Rogue Trader, after all the universe is a very big place and if there are Feral Worlds and  Feudal Worlds then why not have a few Western Worlds too!!

I am really excited by these models as they have opened a whole new avenue of modelling and painting opportunities to me that I had never considered before! I hope my wonderful girlfriend likes them and that we get them on the tabletop soon!


  1. I have to say the model is strikingly accurate with just the elements to set her in another universe !
    That's a very nice set of models here and as you pointed out, they can be played for many games which is just the best you could hope for.
    Great job !

    1. Thanks JB! I'm sure she'll be pleased to hear you say that!! When I was looking for a model to represent her and I came across this one I was like 'wow' it's a very close match! I am really looking forward to getting them on the table (whatever setting!)

  2. Your fallout/RT project has such appeal, I'm a huge fan of the series and your work is doing Bethesda's product proud. I like how you've incorporated Inquisitor Athena for use in the game, what a crossover!
    She could also be used in a game on a feral world where tech is low and she has to be covert; just one of a dozen or so possibilities for these sculpts and your imagination.
    If you're looking for a fun western game my favourite is Boot HIll, it's more of a combat RPG, combat is quite visceral and has a cool gunslinger mechanic for when shooting gets up close and personal, it's one of those games where you try not to get too attached to your character as they may not last past game 1. The figures you have here would fit in quite well and foundry's mounted Cowboys would give you a quick fix if you wanted to mount up and ride! (Their cart mules are pretty fine too and the steer driven bailer is quite nice)
    There's also some decent digital western building PDF out there, with your skill set I think you could crank out enough for a shoot out at the OK Corral in a weekend.
    I ramble, but this is an awesome project!
    PS can you pls get to work on the lone survivor of vault 111 with trusty mutt companion? That would make my day, fallout 4 is only 3 days away!

    1. Mate; thank you very much for the encouragement and praise! I'm really glad you are enjoying the project!!

      I am pleased I managed to get Athena into the setting; she is a great character/avatar for my girlfriend and I like expanding her legacy!! I think your low-tech RT undercover theme is a great idea and it has given me some inspiration for a few narrative battles.

      I will definitely look at those western rules as I am surprised by how much I love these models and I would love to put them to good use!! I'll also take a look at that western terrain... I might even use it to represent Klamath or Redding from Fallout 2!

      Hmmmm I like the Vault 111 survivor idea.... That can go on my list of projects!!! Watch this space!!

      Can't wait for Fallout 4 to hit the shelves!!