Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chuhuac Update

Good news everyone!

Pedro has informed me that he is now ready to move forward with sculpting the Chuhuac. If all works out as it should, we should see the finished sculpts by end of April or early May.


Here is an early scaling sample from the sculptor using a GZG 15mm human and a GW 28mm human for scale.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Equipping The Chuhuac

As has been mentioned in prior posts, the Chuhuac are an advanced alien species. This technological sophistication reflects in their battle gear as well. Listed below are some of the concepts I had in mind when developing the look and personality of the Chuhuac...

The standard Chuhuac battle take the form of a tough body glove made of an ultra-strong, reactive nano-fiber. Not only does this provide insulation and protection from the elements, but it also contains sophisticated bio-monitors that constantly read body functions and vital signs. These systems are an extension of an auto-doctor system housed in the back plate of the armor. When medical issues are detected, the Chuhuac can receive basic first aid and some paramedic care without the need of a medical specialist.

The interlocking plates of the Chuhuac battle dress are designed to protect the aliens' spine and torso on the back while allowing maximum flexibility. The large plate on the shoulders contains not only the auto-doc systems mentioned above, but also a micro plasma generator with several universal power converter sockets. These sockets are used to power the various special weapons as well as other specialized and even mundane field equipment. Every Chuhuac soldier is equipped with such a power source, allowing any trooper to power weapons and contribute to the power supply of any encampment or special duties.

Both the body glove and armor plates utilize advanced materials that are light, resistant to extreme temperature, corrosive and fire resistant. The materials also have limited self-healing abilities, allowing them to close minor gaps and tears on their own. Application of special materials can accelerate this process, making the suit of armor a Chuhuac is issued likely to be the only one he'll ever need.

The final features of the basic battle dress are a comms system and built in holsters on the hip armor for additional plasma charges for their basic combat rifle. The comms system allows each trooper to access the greater command and control network. An antenna on the back provides both local communications and satellite uplink. Information from this tac-comms system is accessed through a monocle HUD attached to the impact-resistant headset system that also provides specialized optics.

Chuhuac weapons technology is based around the use of charged plasma. They have learned to adapt the various characteristic of plasma to provide for a number of tactical roles on the battlefield. While heavier weapons utilize the power packs built into their battledress, smaller weapon tend to use self-contained, interchangeable power clips.

Infantry Plasma Rifle
The standard issue weapon for the Chuhuac forces is a compact plasma rifle. This weapon fires powerful bolts of plasma utilizing a select fire option to provide for single shot, controlled bursts or full automatic fire. The weapon even includes an overcharge mode that allows it to fire a powerful charge of plasma at a reduced range, functioning much like a grenade. The power clips for the weapon each carry enough of a charge to provide approximately 100 shots before reloading. This may be reduced due to insufficient maintenance, damage or over-use of the heavy fire mode.

Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW)
The Chuhuac refer to these weapons as "tactical support weapon". Effectively a higher-powered, higher rate of fire version of the Infantry Plasma Weapon with enhanced coolant systems and the capacity to draw power from the universal power port on the battle dress. These weapons fire as a staggering rate but can also be fired selectively, if need be. They do not have a heavy fire mode like the plasma rifles. Their primary purpose is to provide covering fire for advancing and maneuvering troopers. There are independent power packs available for this weapon as well, allowing them to be used by Chuhuac outside their battle dress or by non-Chuhuac soldiers.

Heavy Plasma Gun
Instead of missiles and rockets, the Chuhuac continue to utilize their plasma technology to fulfill the role of heavy squad support. The heavy plasma gun take a similar system as the tactical support weapon but refocuses and calibrates the output into a dedicated heavy fire mode. The result is a weapon that is quite capable of defeating power armor, light vehicles and hardened structures. Like the tactical support weapon, the heavy plasma is also able to use independent power packs.

Body Modifications
Though a natural weapon, Chuhuac soldiers undergo bio-mechanical and bio-chemical therapy to enhance their natural anatomy. Mainly this consists of immune boosters, adaptive digestive enzymes and nano-tech toxin screens. One additional element to these sophisticated medical procedures is the introduction of bio-carbon fibers to the their bone structure. These enhance their frames, making them less vulnerable to fractures and debilitating injuries that would hamper their fleet-footed battle strategies. So enhanced, the Chuhuac needn't worry as much about an occasional careless misstep crippling them. These same carbon fiber deposits are used to enhance the strength and cutting characteristics of their natural toe claws, a hold over from their predatory ancestors. These modified claws can cut through hardened materials and slice effortlessly through flesh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Creating the Chuhuac - Part Two

When I started developing the Chuhuac the took form as numerous sketches and scribbles, trying to figure out just what sort of shape and overall effect I wanted. A lot of thought was put into just how they would move, what they would wear, how they would hold their weapons, etc.. 

I didn't spend a lot of time on hard line and details, because these all come out later in the process, but the feel and the lines and the general character of the species was what I was after at this point. In some cases, the aliens looked much less predatory and closer to Gallimimus or perhaps a Struthiomimus but neither of these had the look I was after, even if they were cool on their own. Still other designs had them more or less armored and in some cases looking less dinosaur and a little more fanciful such as in the sketches below.

As time went by I explored some ideas like outrigger heavy weapon pods (right), an idea I abandoned because it seemed too cartoonish, and various degrees of lighter armor and more "spacey" looking weapons (below). The concept started to gel and when I was happy with it, I took my sketches to Chris and he got going on the final concept art.

Art by Eli Arndt

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Creating the Chuhuac - Part One

Chuhuac Motion Studies
Art: Chris Miller
Though, like the Loud Ninja himself, the Chuhuac seem to have come out of nowhere, they did not. Rather, the Chuhuac are the culmination of years of dreaming and frustration, having languished as mere imagination for almost a decade.

Having been, like so many others, a huge dinosaur freak when I was a kid, I have always liked the thought of dinosaur or reptile-themed aliens. When I first started to get into 15mm science fiction miniatures, some fifteen or so years ago, I was always struck by the lack of any really dinosaur-like aliens. There were a few lizard men out there and some that came close, but none that had the look of what I had in my mind's eye. I figured that such a creature as a Velociraptor with a gun must be a very singular fantasy and kept it kicking around in the back of my head.

Early Concept Layout.
Note: Early mid-tech assault rifle style gun, hip armor and incorrect number of fingers on hands.
Art: Chris Miller
It was at a science fiction convention that I saw that my idea was not without merit when I view the cover of the science fiction novel "Dinosaur Wars" by Thomas P. Hopp, a local author, that depicted an alien much like the one I was envisioning. Thinking that perhaps the collective consciousness may have swung my way, I started courting various miniatures companies in and attempt to generate interest while I plied a few forums looking for others who might be interested in these same aliens. Though there was some interest, nobody seemed to leap at the idea. either they didn't get it or they kept thinking of something like the Sleestaks from "Land of the Lost" or that weird "what-if" evolved dinosaur man that circulated around the various paleo and science mags ages ago.
Later Concept Work
Note: Changes to SAW making it look more like a hi-tech energy weapon. also note more pronounced plumage , nasal and brow ridges marking an Alpha Leader type.
Art: Chris Miller
So the idea was shelved for some more years until the last year or so when i started dabbling in sculpting. My early successes as an amateur sculptor and the responses I got from others emboldened me to the idea and I tried to make one myself. I was not up to the task and so I decided to make a go of having them produced for sale. I would have my space raptors and I'd be able to share them with others. This is really what Loud Ninja Games is all about - sharing ideas with other gamers in a tangible and tactile way.

So, I set out to make it happen. I started by trying to hammer out the concept and the basics of the designs, myself. Though I'm a passable artist and can pull off some illustrating and a good solid sketch, it took the skills of a professional artist like Chris Miller, who I know through my association with the Minions of The Monster Master podcast crew. In only a few short weeks, Chris had the concept hammered out and forged into a solid, visually stunning image. My sleek, fast, cunning, hi-tech dino aliens had stepped into the light.

All the time Chris was drawing and sketching, I was considering who to tap to make them go 3D. The first and best guy for the job in my mind was Pedro Navarro who had done such a great job bringing the Harook from Mad Robot Miniatures to life. In my short time with Mad Robot Miniatures I had chatted with Pedro and received a few sculpting pointers and so I just had to see if he could do the Chuhuac. He could. I was happy.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Are The Chuhuac?

Sherawl showing its two rings.
Resembling the Dromaeosaurs of the Earth's prehistoric past, the Chuhuac are a species of warm-blooded saurian aliens hailing from the world of Sherawl. The name Chuhuac is a simplification   in the common language of the greater galactic community, the actual tonal and vocal pronunciation being a distinctly saurian sound with avian overtones. Properly pronounced, the species name sound something like, "CHOO-Hwaaaaa-k-k-k". The word starts with a low, guttural chuffing sound that trails into a low keyed whistle and ends with a three beat clucking/clicking sound in the back of the throat.

The exact origins of the Chuhuac are unknown, even to the species themselves. According to their historians, they were "nested" upon their home world of Sherawl by a great Star Mother who laid her celestial eggs on the world where she would watch over them until they hatched and then disappear into the stars. This myth and archaeological evidence would indicate that the species is not native to the planet but rather was seeded or came to the world of their own volition eons ago.

Examinations of the archaeological evidence indicates that at the time of the first signs of culture on the planet, the technology level of the world was actually much higher than it currently is but, declined suddenly and then had to work its way back to its current level. Culture also seems to have dwindled and then rekindled itself, suggesting that perhaps the Chuhuac did indeed come from some other place but for whatever reason were not able to maintain a society. 

The history of this saurian species mirrors that of most intelligent species with the notable exception that occasional bursts in the species' development occurred as bits and pieces of ancient technologies were recovered from the various ruins of their ancestors. Discovery, war, famine, enlightenment and near apocalypse are recurring themes throughout the thousands of years of continuous growth from their clouded past. Dating technology indicates that Chuhuac habitation on Sherawl may date back tens of thousands of years farther than their recorded history. Unfortunately none of the artifacts recovered from the original "nesting" sights has revealed any definitive data on where they came from or why they came to the planet or even if it was their intended destination.

The modern Chuhuac are an advanced culture with high level of technology that includes a mastery of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, intergalactic travel and a host of other sophisticated sciences. A part of the greater galactic community, the Chuhuac possess energy weapons as well as force field technologies and have vehicles that use gravitic drives both in military and civilian applications. Though they do trade with other species, these saurians are mostly insular and distrustful of outsiders. This has led to more than one conflict with neighboring systems including a nearby collection of systems populated by various saurian species known to the Chuhuac as "The Prey Worlds", a name that is accurately indicates the relationship between the Sherawl and these other worlds.

Image from public domain sources.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dinos in Spaaaaaaace...

Concept Art: Chris Miller
Concept: Eli Arndt

I am excited to show off a first glimpse at Loud Ninja Game's first product, the Chuhuac, a 15mm scale alien species for miniatures wargaming.

The Chuhuac are a species of aliens that bear a striking resemblance to earthly dinosaurs, more specifically the Dromaeosauridae family that includes such famous dinosaurs as Velociraptor and Deinonychus. An advanced species these aliens fight with lightning fast tactics promoting speed, hit and run, and maneuver over pitched battles.

Pictured above is the Chuhuac style sheet illustrated by the talented Chris Miller aka Biscuit Minions of the Monster Master podcast. It depicts the basic body design, as well as the head and tail variations for the Alpha Leader type and the various weapons that will be included in the first release. The miniatures will be sculpted by Mr. Bug Man, Pedro Navarro, himself.

I hope you enjoyed the advanced look at these upcoming miniatures.



Welcome to Loud Ninja Games

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the miniatures industry.

Loud Ninja Games is the culmination of years of thinking, wishing, planning and hoping. Like many gamers out there, I have always dreamed of going into business for myself and leaving a mark on the hobby. Over the years, I have transitioned from player, to hobbyist, then on to designer and sculptor. Now, I hope to add producer to that list.

Loud Ninja Games (LNG) comes to you with a very definite mission - to make minis that are different and fun.

My hope is to be able to bring a few new things to the hobby, taking on subject matter that I haven't seen out there and avoiding those things that have already been made available so nicely by other companies. You'll not likely see future warrior humans from LNG or another set of alien Greys. These have already been done quite well by others and I feel that I'd be taking away from their work and diverting my efforts needlessly in doing so. I don't want to make a laundry list of what I DO plan to make, but I hope you will come along on this ride with me and see where this little venture takes us.

Thanks for checking out Loud Ninja Games,