I have my miniatures collection scattered between 12 banker file boxes and about a half dozen plastic bins so when something gets really buried there's a lot to sort through. The upside was I re-found tons of stuff I'd forgotten I had. As most of it is for games I no longer play I'll probably be tossing a lot of it up on ebay over the next month or so.
Once I had all the minis dug out I started getting them on bases and launched into stripping off a bunch of the rifles so I could replace them with pulse rifles. Working with pewter normally isn't too bad as I have a dremmel and a jewelry saw both of which tear through minis like butter. The copplestone marines however are made some super tough material that is a total PITA to work with.
The minis got super hot from the dremmeling and the metal was turning into slag rather than coming off in flakes like normal. After stopping and cleaning out the grooves on the bit four separate times it was completely done for. I though maybe it was just because the bit was getting old so I switched out bits and the new bit did no better. but at least at this point I'd removed the majority of the material. The fine ball engraver I use for the tight clean up was virtually useless and the tip snapped off after about 5 minutes.
I've been working with my dremmel for 3 years now and never run into minis that are this tough, they should make bullets out of these things! I switched out to hand carving the rest of the work which was painfully slow, but I managed to get 4 marines updated with their rifles.
Copplestone Troopers with Hasslefree pulse rifles added:
More troopers, later on these will be converted into carrying flamers:
The mini on the far right will be used for Apone. He should in theory have a helmet on but rule of cool is all bad ass leaders have a bullet proof head. Of the roughly 20 different male trooper sculpts only two have black features, the fact he also has a Sargent hat made him a natural choice for Apone. Prior to the combat drop he's always wearing his Sarge' hat on board the ship, I think I will need to add a cigar to complete the look.
And yet more troopers, these will remain as is:
The guy with the shotgun will of course be Hicks, one of the heavy gunners will be switched out with a female troops for Vazquez once I get a pack of the female troopers. The female heavy gunner had some crazy hair so I'll do a head swap with another one that has short hair and a head band on. I am also going to pick up some more minis from Hasslefree for Ripley, Newt and likely Bishop.
One very slight downside is that only two of the Copplestone troop options are armed with pistols. As the main scenario of the Aliens game takes place in the reactor room they've handed over their ammo and are using only pistols and flame throwers. It'll be too difficult to modify these to be carrying handguns so players will just have to use a little imagination. In more free form games they should all normally be armed with pulse rifles.
I also have about 15 more troopers and a 5 man bio-hazard team that aren't pictured here.
Of course with the marines all pretty much taken care of I need some Aliens. I have about 8 of the horrorclix aliens but some of them are in crazy positions up on walls. There's only about 4 useful ones and they are dang expensive to buy nowdays on ebay as they've been discontinued. I can sculpt some from scratch but that's probably more work than I want so I kitbashed this one out of parts I had on hand. I think it looks pretty good so far.
It'll need some green stuff work and the back pipes added. Once painted I think it'll make a pretty good approximation of an xenomorph alien. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the set of ridges on the head figured I'd try something different. But I may go with the more traditional sleek head. I like how the hands came out, it has the two middle fingers joined and a thumb like finger on either side side the hand.
It's a bit shorter in height than the horrorclix mini so it's probably a bit more in scale with the marines.
And then there's the not-predators, these are Heresey's "Hurn" but we all know what they really are. These guys are great models although a bit on the large and beefy side. I have 6 of these, three of each face variant. They have a couple weapon options, the downside however is that there's only one pose.
One really screwed marine: