Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Cowboys and Rayguns - Dracula's America...IN SPACE!!


There's something innately cool about cowboys. Perhaps it's the swagger or the lawless lifestyle. Perhaps it's the cool hats and low-slung six-shooters. Possibly it's the jangling guitars and tolling bells accompanying the tumbleweed. Or it could be the high octane jail breaks and train robberies.

Needless to say, when Osprey published their Dracula's America ruleset last year, it got lots of folks I know pretty excited. After all, what could be cooler than cowboys plus vampires.

Cowboys plus vampires IN SPACE of course!

It is not a huge leap to transpose the whole game of Dracula's America into a science fiction setting. After all there's precedence for space cowboys - just look at Firefly, 2000AD's Lawless series and, er, Bravestarr. Not to mention that Rogue Trader has a bit of a frontier tinge and Necromunda was pretty much the Wild West too. 

So you have a nice, intuitive, fast and simple set of rules, with a variety of factions available. You have a bunch of people who would like to make some space cowboys and would like to yell 'Varmint!' across a table at each other.

Dracula's America in Space (DAiS) was born.
Cheetor over at Sho3box has already proven that the concept works rather nicely, and has painted some lovely Ratskins as a Skinwalker tribe.

The plan is to run a game of DAiS at Bring Out Your Lead 2018, hosted by Wargames Foundry. Each player will bring a small posse of space cowboys or similar to use. We've limited players to bringing three fighters each (a hero, veteran and novice). As most factions in Dracula's America get some cool fighter upgrades (for example a member of the Red Hand Coven can upgrade to be a Bloodkin - a vampiric thrall of Dracula himself), we've allowed most factions to include a vampire, high priest or other similar supernatural nasty.

With all that in mind, I put some paint to some figures I'd had in mind for DAiS ever since the concept was first floated. I fancied using some Rogue Trader Imperial Guard as Dark Confederates - sinister Southerners who have taken to using zombie slaves.

My small posse comprises an officer, two troopers and a revenant (zombie):


The two troopers are Imperial Guardsmen with head swaps. I added the head from the be-hatted Rough Rider torso to the autogunner, and the capped head from a sentinel driver to the lasgunner. I then added a little facial hair to reinforce the theme!



I painted the troopers in a scheme which could evoke Confederate uniforms, with brown fatigues and grey body armour. I chose a star for the unit badge because it looked a little like a sheriff's badge and further reinforced the Western theme.



The officer is converted from a lovely one-piece Imperial Guard Commissar sculpted by Mark Copplestone. I was a little hesitant when it came to chopping him up, as the original model is so nice. But in the end I decided his sword and peaked cap had to go!

He's pictured below with the Southern gent that I plan to paint up at a future point to accompany the posse. The sword got replaced with a laspistol, and I added a hat from Black Cat Bases.


In keeping with some images I found of Confederate officer uniforms, I painted his coat grey with yellow trim. I think he works pretty well as an amoral officer.


The revenant is a completely unmodified Citadel C18 series zombie, called Pek-Gregi in the catalogues. Sculpted by Kev Adams, he is simply (in my view) the best zombie Citadel have ever produced. The pose is great, and combined with the crow pecking out his cranial matter, you have a suitably frightening undead figure.


I painted Pek-Gregi with tattered grey clothing (rather than the brown fatigues) mainly for the contrast. But it does suggest that he's a dead officer rather than a trooper.

Residents of Black Dust Gulch frantically defend their homesteads.

I plan to add some more DAiS figures to this quartet to give me both a functional full posse and a squad of Imperial Guard. But for now, these troopers are ready to take on a space vampire, native shapeshifter or whatever dastardly cultists might oppose them amongst the cacti.

35 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And now I have to watch the whole series again...

      Delete
    2. Enlighten me, I don't know the reference :)

      Delete
    3. It's the catch phrase at the end of every Cowboy Bebop episode.
      It's totally cowboys in space and a must see honestly. ;)

      Delete
    4. My all time fav Anime series. Axiom, it is really very good and worth checking out.

      Delete
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_Bebop

      Delete
  2. I really like them. This zombie is foc ourse the best by far. I'm really glad you're taking the "bad" dark confederacy side since I'll be using the DF rules as well for my nomads.
    It's quite impressive to see how many influences went into that posse really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool - so your Nomads will be unfortunate desert-dwelling rad victims, while mine are darn tootin evil sumabitches >:)

      Delete
  3. That yellow trim makes him a cavalry officer. Not sure if there is anything you can do with that info...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course in space cowboy-ville, yellow trim might well make him jetbike cavalry, or indeed may have no significance whatsoever.

      Jetbikes though... ;)

      Delete
    2. Jetbikes yes! Bonus points if you put horse tack on them too.

      Delete
    3. They could be the Forsaken, members of Custer's 7th Cavalry who have been cursed ... they get werewolves

      Delete
  4. Brilliant! Not much else to say.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice color scheme ... it works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fond of grey and yellow, it's a nice combo I think :)

      Delete
  6. Yeah Axiom, you've gotta see Cowboy Bebop if you like cowboys in space. If you can, watch it through from start to finish. It's great!

    I really like the conversion you did to the commissar. He's been turned into a southerner 100%. Excellente :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Commissar was already a superior sneering character I reckon. The hat just reinforces it! Cheers Mr P.

      Delete
  7. Oh , I didn't see this coming... and I have to say it opens a world of possibilities :O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an appealing world, right?!

      Delete
  8. Really good work on these. The colours are fitting for sure, your brown, "Butternut" as it was termed (Though shades were incredibly varied) is spot on from what I learned when I painted up my old ACW army.

    That zombie.... Have wanted one of those for so long, cos yes, it really is the best one they ever made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was originally considering a motley selection of fans and browns for the butternut, but the single shade actually looked better in this context. Probably just as well as it's a theme rather than a historical representation.

      I was searching for the zombie for quite a while as it happens. I ended up buying several more than I needed just to get hold of him!

      Delete
  9. Excellent conversions and paint jobs. You have really evoked the desperate south with your ragged and tattered posse. 😉 The addition of the star and color choices are spot on. Can’t wait to blast them into outer space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who's to say you won't eat lead and be reanimated as new recruits?!

      Delete
  10. Nice idea and brilliantly executed. The conversions and paint jobs are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Simon! I still need to locate a robot horse!

      Delete
  11. Great idea and those space Confederates work very well indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kym. I'm looking forward to pitting them against space natives and stellar unionists.

      Delete
  12. So very good. I flat out love these guys.

    I'm really looking forward to getting some gaming in with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks cheetor! Your enthusiasm for the concept has been a real motivator in getting these done.

      I can't wait to tackle your Skinwalkers.

      Delete
  13. Hello,

    I am looking for original games workshop art. Done by artists - black and white, paintings etc.

    Do you have any for sale?

    Thanks
    Jiwan

    jiwanprasad@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, none of my collection are for sale. If you want to buy original art, try what I did - find an artist and artwork you like and contact them directly through their websites, Facebook profiles etc.

      Delete
  14. Inspired choice of components. You've set the bar really high for DAiS warbands. Shame the stetson disspeared from all the later Imperial Guard ranges – I suppose it was a bit too real world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish there were more hats in general in 40k. I'd love to see civilians in a random assortment of headwear. The lone IG Stetson has been claimed for its destined purpose!

      Delete