|In 2166 an Elvis tribute band working the Martian Casino Circuit was sent to the Utopia Planitia Prison by a CSO Court for a violating their record contract they were coerced into. These entertainers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by their record company, they survive as Ronin. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, if someone owes you money (lots and lots of money), if you need a hip gig for your kid's Bar Mitzvah, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... |
Ellvissss Montoyaaaaa and the Martian Mafiaaaaaaa!
Rezolution by Aberrant Games is one of my all-time favorite miniature wargames. Set in the late 22nd Century in a very distopian cyberpunkish earth, this setting is clearly inspired by Blade Runner, The Matrix, Shadowrun, Total Recall 2070, and a whole host of other cyberpunk influences. Futhermore, it has a very cinematic asian action movie feel to the game. I often describe it to people as "Blade Runner, if it was directed by John Woo".
Of the 4 original factions (APAC, CSO, Dravani, and Ronin), the Ronin offer a lot of fun and customizability. They were not my first choice faction, that turned out to be the APAC which I've always been happy with. However, since then I've come to collect all factions in the game including the mysterious Vatacina. However, other players who had chosen Ronin were customizing their figures to make a more themed gang, and this got me thinking.
So the Ronin are sort of mercenary / street gangers that to some can be considered modern day Robin Hoods, mercernaries, vigilantes, or just simple anarchistic thugs and killers. They are a rebellious bunch made up of illegally enhanced cyborgs (called Bricks and Brawlers), rogue telepaths (called ESPers), computer hackers & techies (called Ghosts and Fiddlers), martial artists (called Fists) and your gun-fu fighters (called Shootists). They are lead by experienced Shootists called Mavens. They tend to strive on confronting authority, like the CSO and APAC, and even centers of power like megacorporations. They are also hired out as specialists by these same entities.
So the theme I picked....Elvis Impersonators. Yep, and I really don't even like Elvis. But something really cracks me up whenever I see an Elvis impersonator. I still have memories of when the town Elvis Impersonator (yes, I grew up in a town with an Elvis Impersonator) came to the garage I was working at asking to get his ride fixed because his got a gig he can't miss tonight. When I first saw this figure from RAFM I immediately remembered the movie 3000 Miles to Graceland which the figure was most likely inspired from. Later RAFM released other gun-toting Elvis Impersonators and I thought it would be cool to make an entire unit of Elvis impersonators, sort of like The Flying Elvises. Hasslefree Miniatures came out with another one and that was the critical amount I needed to kick off this project. The name Elvis Montoya and the Martian Mafia came to mind, given that a terraformed Mars was a big part of the Rezolution setting and it just fit in well in place of the Memphis Mafia.
So I started accumulating these figures including buying some extras just to have the heads on hand, and picking up the figures I needed to make the basic Ronin crew.
Elvis Montoya - The Maven
I used the RAFM Pretender figure for my Maven. The Maven is essentially a upgraded Shootist armed with a pair of Dual Smart Pistols, a Shotgun or Assault Rifle and Hand Grenades. As this guy was pretty much the inspiration for the crew, I pretty much kept him unmodified. He was pretty well armed to match the description of the Maven. I simply added a pair of Imperial Guard hand grenades from Warhammer 40k to his belt. Then I took a Necromunda shotgun and added it to the floor just to indicate he has one available. The model was basecoated in Reaper Misty Grey with white highlights. To simulate the glittery sequened outfit, I drybrushed some Reaper Polished Silver over the figure.
Slick Deadeye - The Second
For my Second, I used the RAFM Pretender #2 figure. The Second is sort of a sharp shooting sniper figure who can back up for the Maven in command. The Second is armed with an Assault Rifle, Pulse Pistol, Mono-Blade and Smoke Grenades. However the M-16 the figure had was too recognizable and just wouldn't look right in the 22nd century. I dug through my bitz bin and found a sniper rifle from Shockforce. I had to carefully cut out the M-16 around his hand, leaving the stock as it was cast to his forearm. Removing the stock from the Shockforce rifle, I was easily able to reinstall the new rifle into his hand. For the Mono-Blade, I used a knife from either a Gangs of MegaCity 1 Plastic Ganger set or a GW Dark Eldar Warrior.
EL-Vbis - The Ghost
Ghosts are sneaky cyborg computer hackers whom are generally upfront weak but have some surprising skills that can turn the game around. All too often, I have had a robot or cyborg of mine get hacked and turned against me when a Ghost gets within range. Ghosts are armed with a submachine gun and a pistol. They also have a computer board which they use to wirelessly hack into computer terminals and enemy robots and cyborgs. They have some external cybernetic enhancements, based on their tastes and the tech (legal and illegal) available to them. For EL-Vbis, I simply used an unmodified Grenadier Future Warriors mini from a set called Teen Robo Hunters. These Future Warriors models are great and versatile minis for any near futururistic or post apocalyptic setting. They are still available through em4 Miniatures under the name Future Skirmish.
Tony Watts - The Fiddler
Fiddlers mess around with robots, drones and all sorts of techie devices. They often use bomb-bots as their main choice of weapons but are armed with a choice of a flame thrower or pulse pistol and EMP grenades to take out nasty robots and cyborgs. I made Tony from another RAFM figure The Pretender #3. Removing the contemporary .45 ACP from his hand I replaced it with a sci fi looking Bohkin SMG from Hasslefree Miniatures. This was to represent his Pulse Pistol. Going through my bitz bin, I found a stun baton from a Gangs of MegaCity One plastic gangers set. Removing the handle and fitting it to his open left hand I made it look like a trackball fitted to his wrist that he can control his bots with. The bomb-bots pictured here are from Abberrant Games.
Fast Hands Eddie - The Fist
Fist are martial arts masters. They excel in close combat, and are only armed with some shuriken for some ranged weapons. They deliver some devastating blows with their bare hands and have some surprising resistance to attacks made against them. So I had to make an Elvis impersonator doing his 'karate moves'. The Hasslefree Miniature, Yamcha seemed to prove the ideal pose.
I took the figure and made a simple head swap with The Pretender #2 from RAFM. Using a little green stuff to fix the head in the right position, then I used some more to make the collar. This supported the head better, hid some of the cut-up work behind his head and gave him a bit more Elvis flair.
Bubba Chuck Watson - The Brick
Bricks are big muscular fighters who prefer to carry heavy weapons like rocket launchers and mini-guns. They carry a heavy pistol as a backup and pack a wallop of a punch in close combat. They are often enhanced by cybernetic parts or from muscle building drugs. Bubba Chuck is made from Hasslefree Miniatures, Bubba the zombie hunting Elvis impersonator. I had to remove the guitar that came cast under his left arm, but kept the shoulder strap. I then used a Grymn Twin Mini-Gun from Hasslefree Miniatures for his mini-gun and an ammo belt I removed from a Shockforce machinegun.
Witchey Woman - The ESPer
ESPers have very useful psychic powers that allow them to teleport themselves (and a few others), set people on fire, and turn an enemy model against one of his teammates. Not very powerful in combat themselves, as they're simply armed with a 9mm pistol and a knife. But they can really enhance a team. This figure is a Hasslefree Miniatures Witch Hazel, a mini inspired from a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although not an Elvis impersonator, I figured she didn't have to be. Her clothes looked rather 60-70s era and she could easily be the one of the backup female vocalists to the band. This figure was pretty much unmodified. I did go as far as mounting her on a thin steel rod to make her look like she's levitating.
John E-Brav-0 - The Brawler
Brawlers are the latest addition to the Ronin faction. They are cybornetically enhanced bruisers who can devastate an enemy unit in a single blow, throw the the unit across the battlefield or simply plow through a gang of enemy models leaving broken and bloody bodies in their path. This model is made from the official Aberrant Games Brawler model. I did a simple head swap with RAFM Pretender #3. Then I painted him up to look like Johnny Bravo from the Cartoon Network Series. He's the super-buff Elvis inspired baffoon always looking to pick up some hot chicks and get some cheap beef jerky. Although I wanted to add some sunglasses to him, but I really liked the way the eyes came out.
Ol' Bubba - The Shootist
After building my initial Ronin crew I realized that I still needed some of the most important units in the game, the shootists. So far all my games I had to resort to hiring out some non-Elvis shootists as temps. Shootists are gun-fu fighters armed with assault rifles or a pair of smart pistols (advanced automatic pistols), hand grenades and a machine pistol. I was able to dig up this old Shock Force mini, The King, part of a post apocalyptic redneck faction called the Scarlet Brotherhood. I think this mini actually predates all other Elvis minis that I've used so far. He's been OOP for a while but I snagged one in a Shockforce bundle I got on eBay. He's now available through Mega Minis as Moonshiner King Bubba.
Bubba came with a potatoe masher hand grenade, that he was holding like a microphone and a machine pistol. I didn't like the looks of the machine pistol and wanted a pair of matched pistols. So I dug through my bitz bin and found a pair of sci-fi looking pistols from Starship Troopers, Skinnies. The hand grenades were GW Imperial Guard hand grenades.
Goldie Luchs - The Shootist
Another shootist I found was this model from Cool Mini or Not Miniautres called Blanca deLuxe. Based on the bell bottoms and glasses, I figured she'd fit in well with the band. The figure is unmodified, but I painted her in shades of metallic gold, and going with a gold theme. With the gold theme, I came up with the name Goldie Luchs, as in Goldy Lockes, but meaning golden lynx.
In one of first assignments Elvis Montoya and his Martian Mafia recieved was to remove an APAC gang that was extorting local merchants. Calling out the gang in a duel the two gangs faced off in a ruined part of the slums.
Elvis and John E-Brav-0 make for the upper levels as they are persued by an APAC TADS (Tactical Armored Deployment Suit). Witchy Woman jaunts Bubba Chuck and Tony Watts to a more advantageous position above the battle.
An Bishoujou Senshi, a genetically engineered school girl assassin, attempts to block John E-Brav-0 from getting at the Arashi with her poisoned blades. The Brawler defeats her in close combat and throws her across the battlefield where she strikes the Arashi in the back. The schoolgirl assassin's body is broken against the Arashi's Storm Shield, wounding the Arashi and knocking out her storm shield.
John E-Brav-0 slams into a Panther Securi-bot, totally destroying the cyborg cat in a single blow. After the rest of the ronin crew finish off the APAC gang, John E-Brav-0 leaves the remaining Enforcers beaten and broken.