Hanley’s Hope Office set by Combatzone Scenery for Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps

I recently enjoyed painting (most of) my Hanley’s Hope office set. This resin scenery is absolutely superb, with some lovely details including coffee cups and sheets of paper on desks to the paper sticking up out of a printer. It’ll really enhance my games of Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps and I’ll get just as much, if not more use out of the scenery in games of Deadzone.

When I finished painting the set, I realised I’d missed out the monitor display table (that Hudson uses to locate the missing colonists in the movie Aliens) so I’ll need to paint that another day. Here’s a look at everything else I got done.

First up, my favourite piece of the the office set – this corner desk complete with a printer that has paper sticking up from its loader. Lovely detail! With this scenery being for aliens and Aliens the movie having been released in 1986, some 37 years ago at the time of writing (anybody else feeling old, now too…?) the tech on display here looks delightfully retro, with cassette spools, deep monitors, desktop CPUs. So I decided to try and accentuate this f act with my painting, by using what i like to think of as a ‘Commodore 64’ style colour for the computers – a sort of light brown/yellowing plastic. It helps to break up the otherwise largely grey/white colour scheme and adds more warmth and interest to the finished pieces.

I suppose I’d better explain my general ‘recipe’ for this this paint scheme before I go on any further. I decided to try and keep the painting techniques quick and simple, as with all the detail in this set I could see myself going down a rabbit hole of intricate airbrushing and spending far too much time on them if I wasn’t careful. With hobby time being very rare for me these last few years since the birth of my lovely (now 3 three year old) daughter I need to get the most bang for my buck out of my hobby time, so I’m now accepting of cutting a few corners that I otherwise wouldn’t have been back when I had a lot more free time.

So I undercoated everything in black, basecoated with a heavy zenithal coat of grey from a rattle can and a lighter zenithal coat of white. Chairs were pained black and then drybrushed with a blue grey to add more warmth, computers given a coat of Army Painter Skeleton Bone and a wash of Soft Tone ink to bring out details like grilles on their sides.

I added a light wash of Citadel Nuln Oil to the rows of buttons and cassette spools to help bring out the detail and did some rough n’ ready line work with Nuln Oil to make sheets of paper and coffee cups etc on the desks stand out, as well as creating rough pools of shadow under the chairs and adding some definition to the gaps between cabinets.

I edge highlighted the computers with a mix of Skeleton Bone and pure White and the edges of the desks and cabinets etc in pure white too. A few dots of colour here and there; bright green ‘power’ lights on the bottom right of monitor screens, some random red lights on the computer banks (looking at these photos I see that I need to add a few more of these, maybe some blue and green too for a bit more colour) and then I got to have some fun. I had downloaded some Aliens-themed computer screen graphics well over a year ago, (so I can’t recall from where, but most likely the ‘Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps’ Facebook group) so printed those off, cut out the ones I liked most and used PVA glue to add them to the various monitors. Really simple but very effective. I couldn’t resist adding a few coffee rings here n’ there by dipping the end of a plastic protective tube from a paintbrush into some brown paint, removing most of the excess on a piece of kitchen roll and then dabbing the protector onto the desk tops. You’ll see a coffee ring on the left of the desk below, just below the cup. Okay, so the coffee rings are a little bigger than the actual cups, but I’m calling rule of cool here 😉

With all the fun details present in the sculpts themselves, like the open drawer, coffee cup, papers and in tray on the desk below, The monitor screens and coffee rings add more interest and colour and for me, help to make the pieces ‘pop’.

I think these data banks below might benefit from having some screen effects added to the blank squares and rectangles below the cassette spools. Amazing how many little things you note that can be amended when you’re looking at photos of your work instead of the actual pieces themselves.

I’m looking forward to getting a lot of use in more than one games system from these in the near future and must get that missing map table finished too.

This set is great value at £14 (at the time of writing, January 2023) and you can find it at Combatzone Scenery’s website here.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Mazon Labs: Reanimation Division Cyborgs

For a bit of a break from painting grey, white and red on my Mazon Labs mega build, I decided to paint up some Cyborgs as a palette cleanser.

Now, warning and apologies in advance. These photos are generally a bit blurry (I snatched time to take them around my three year old toddler being poorly with a broken arm and an ear infection – poor mite) and the actual paintjobs on these aren’t great. I’d say the camera makes them look worse than they look ‘in the flesh’, but that goes against the more common saying about ‘the camera never lies,’ so I’ll hold my hands up that these aren’t the best painting I’ve ever done – although they look much less awful from the standard gaming distance of about three feet away.

First up, my Cyborg Prime:

I’d like to redo the skin tones on this and the Kalyshi Cyborg Beta, as what was intended to look like an ‘undead grey’ has come out looking more like ‘Smurf blue’ in the end.

I automatically gravitated to using the much more impressive-looking Marauder cyborg as my Prime, as he really looks the part. However, looking at the force lists, the Prime and Betas aren’t equipped with Power Claws, they have Stinger Bolts and Charge Bursts instead. So, I thought the chap above looked the next most Impressive and so I’ve designated him as my Prime.

I decided to broadly use the same dark red colours for the Cyborg’s clothing as my Urbana Black Wing Rangers and Marines. My original intention was for them to look very grimey, perhaps with sore-looking, bloodied flesh. But somewhere along the way I totally forgot about this and combined with the Smurf effect described above, I generally feel quite ‘meh’ about the overall end effect.

Regardless, here’s what I’m using as my two Cyborg Alphas, as they both have claws built into their sculpt to act as Power Claws described in the force lists (Warning – blurry photos ahead):

These are the two Cyborgs that I feel happiest about how I’ve painted them has turned out, so its bleeping typical that they are the two with the most blurred photos. Back to the paint job, I went for a blue/white effect on cables and dials on my Cyborgs, totally forgetting that I’d painted my Lab Technicians so that the vials on their belts contain a shocking green fluid inspired by the classic 80’s horror movie ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’.’ So I’m going to revisit all of the Cyborgs and repaint the blues for the ‘reanimation serum green’, for a bit of consistency. May as well redo the Smurf blue whilst I’m at it.

Lastly, my two Cyborg Betas:

I’m happy enough with how the Nameless turned out, but the Kalyshi / Smurf looks… just godsawful. When I was painting the skin I found it hard to discover any crisp detail on the sculpt to benefit from shading and highlights, as the miniature feels to me a bit… mushy. But that doesn’t excuse the horror show that I’ve ended up with (which of course, my camera decided to crisply focus on and capture in painful detail). Yes, looking at this photo in particular, a repaint is definitely needed.

I’ve used a Cyborg Beta in a game of Deadzone and found it very capable, so I’ll have to try taking a Prime as leader in my next game and see how the ‘Networked’ special rule plays out. If you’ve tried this out yourself please feel free to share your hints n’ tips in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Deadzone: Mazon Labs Trans-Dimensional Laboratory Scenery

Right from the beginning of my Deadzone Mazon Labs ‘mega build’ I envisaged two laboratory areas in particular, each featuring some distinctive object source lighting (OSL). One will be Dr. Koyner’s personal laboratory / torture chamber (which I’m saving ’til last) and the other is this trans-dimensional laboratory.

I picked a trans-dimensional laboratory as it struck me that; as the Krastavor are described as being from another dimension, and Mazon Labs can now take them as part of their force lists, perhaps Mazon have been tinkering with warp portals or some other trans-dimensional tech.

I originally looked at using the summoning portal that comes with Mantic’s Dark Lord’s Tower Terrain Crate set, but I didn’t want to fork out £25 for it, as the portal is the only piece of terrain I’d really use. Then, whilst browsing on Etsy I found some superb retro-looking Frankenstein’s Laboratory-style scenery from RPGMiniForgeUK, which I just had to have. They make a nice contrast with the ‘hard’ sci-fi aesthetic of the Deadzone scenery, but are just perfect for a group of mad scientists such as Mazon Labs.

The ‘vat’ in the centre is a hollow ‘cup’ that just nicely takes a tealight-sized candle, so I’ve bought some green battery-powered Halloween tealights that fit perfectly and give an eerie light and flicker. The ‘cup’ can be removed, just leaving the base, which is just right to fit a 40mm round base on, such as a Krastavor.

And the two switchboards just ooze character:

You’ll note that the dial on the far right of the switchboard above has edged into the red. Can’t be good, eh..?

I wanted the lab to look as if it’s lit by a sickly green glow from the switchboards and the portal/vat, whilst the exterior is the same white/grey as the rest of my mega build. I sprayed the interior black, painted the mesh sections of the walkways and the fan blades in gunmetal, then gauging by eye, divided the walls of the two-cube high structure into three 2 inch high horizontal ‘bands’ and drybrushed Vallejo Game Colour Sick Green (72.029) onto the bottom ‘band’, Vallejo Game Colour Escorpena Green(72.032) on the central band and Vallejo Model Colour Yellow Green (70.954) onto the top band. I’d originally planned to use my airbrush to do this, but reckoned I’d need to use drybrushing to finish the effect off and get more of a transition between each band, so decided to go down the drybrushing route from the beginning.

With the three bands of colour drybrushed on, it looked quite stark and I was concerned that I’d chosen the wrong technique for the job. Sadly, I didn’t pause to take a photo of how it looked at this stage, I was in too much of a hurry to crack on and make it look better. But then drybrushing the Escorpana Green onto the Sick Green and then the Yellow Green onto both the Sick and Escorpnana, blended the three bands together really well (in my humble opinion) and I’m very happy with the end result. Yes, it’s a little grainy here and there (the bane of drybrushing) but I think I’ve achieved my aim of a sick green glow effect on the laboratory’s interior. I did use my airbrush to get a green OSL effect on the switchboards and vat.

Painting this trans-dimensional lab has given me the confidence in my technique for painting Koyner’s laboratory, for which I’m planning a purple/lilac/pink colour, scheme, trying to match the photo on page 69 (pause for Bill & Ted style guitar riff) of the Deadzone Force Lists book.

You can see my full Mazon Labs mega build here. (So far, it’s about two-thirds painted.)

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Deadzone 2022 Global Campaign Week One Batrep: Mazon Labs vs Plague

Deadzone 2022 Global Campaign Week One: Entertainment District.

Mission: Divide & Conquer

Factions: Mazon Labs vs Plague

+++”Again!? Another breach!?” Guard Commander Graves swore, violently and at length. Drawing in a deep breath and blowing it out through his mouth, he thumbed his intercom. “Simmonds? Some of your blasted experiments have escaped from sector 31. I’m sending you their last known co-ordinates. Put together a team, get out there and eliminate them before the ******* Council slaps Magnetar with a Containment Protocol. Be good to go in 10 minutes. Graves out.” There. Let the ruddy Plague woman deal with it. If it all goes south, she can take the blame…+++  

I set up a board using one of my Uncertain Scenery Skirmish Tunnel T Junctions as a food court, with a branch of ‘Soylent Shack’ as the street food provider of choice . Most of my (painted ) Deadzone scenery is purposefully very industrial in nature, so I chose pieces that looked less industrial and felt happy enough with the ‘edge of the entertainment district’ vibe I created.

This was a solo game, so to keep things simple for me I chose 100 points each of my two favourite factions, Plague and Mazon Labs. Here’s the strike teams. Mazon Labs , led by Dr. Simmonds…

And the Plague, led by a Stage 3A ‘General’:

D’oh! I totally forgot about the Scavenger rules for this week of the campaign, so they played no role in my game. Nonetheless – what happened and who was victorious..?

The Plague won the Recon Roll by 4 points, advancing the Murderbird forwards a cube and up onto the food court.


The Murderbird flaps ahead, securing the closest objective on the Plague’s left flank.

In response, The Blackwing Marine with grenade launcher fires at it twice (Command Dice) missing with each shot, the grenades scatter harmlessly into an empty cube.

The Stage 3D Hellhound sprints forward and aided by a Move Command Dice, secures the closest objective on the Plague’s right flank.

The Blackwing Ranger with flamethrower advances up onto the food court (with the assistance of Simmond’s splat Command Dice) and flames the Plague Swarm, failing to wound it but setting it on fire.

The Swarm puts out the flames without taking damage and, ignoring the Ranger, slithers over the Soylent Shack and onto the furthest objective on the Plague’s right flank.

Simmonds use another Splat to have a Black Wing Marie advance up onto the food court, where he acquires a shock baton item and takes a clear shot at the Swarm, causing two wounds.

The Ghoul with a HMG opens fire at the Ranger with flamer, not causing any wounds, but pinning him.

The Cyborg Alpha sprints up onto the base of the tower, discovering some intel (1VP).

A Stage 3A Ghoul advances with a Command Dice, climbing up onto the food court and shooting the pinned Ranger with flamethrower to death. Another Command Dice sees the Ranger turn into a Plague 3Z!

The Monocycle sprints up the ramp (picking up an adrenalin shot item as he goes past) and skids to a halt under the Soylent Shack’s canopy, opening fire (command dice) with a clear shot at the Plague Swarm, which shrugs off every blast!

A zombie sprints to back up the Murderbird.

The second Blackwing Marine climbs up to the base of the tower and can just see the Plague Swarm, blasting away at it but failing to remove the seemingly indestructible Swarm from the objective.

The second zombie also advances to support the Murderbird.

In a last effort to try and remove the Plague Swarm, Simmonds advances up onto the food court too, blasting with her pistol and hitting it twice but still unable to cause the final wound that will slay it  (it’s at this point that in my head I dubbed the Plague Swarm ‘Captain Scarlet’).

The Stage 3A General uses a Move Command Dice to drop down from his walkway, climb up onto the walkway opposite (picking up a stun grenade as he goes) and edging into the cover of a building.

Turn 1 Victory Points:

The Plague claim three objectives plus the 2 points for killing the Ranger. Mazon Labs have just 1 VP from finding intel

Plague 8 VP Mazon Labs 1VP


Mazon Labs have to get the Plague off the objectives, or the Plague will win at the end of this round. At least they get to go first, having finished first last round.

Simmonds bellows at the Blackwing Monocycle rider, who opens fire (clear shot, Command Dice splat and Command Dice Shoot giving him seven dice) and finally slays the Plague Swarm (2VP). The Monocycle then advances into the objective cube with the 3D Hellhound, squashing it flat under his tyre (1VP).

Simmonds, aware of being in the open on the food court, with the fallen Ranger with flamethrower obviously turning into a zombie and a Ghoul just two cubes away, uses an extra activation Command Dice to move into the cover of the Soylent Shack.

However, the Ghoul instead sprints around the far side of the Soylent Shack and, assisted by a Move Command Dice, engages the Monocycle in combat, causing a wound.

The Ranger with grenade launcher attempts to blow the Murderbird off its objective but misses yet again and the grenade scatters harmlessly off the board.

One of the two Plague Zombies backing up the Murderbird sprints onto the far objective on the Plague’s left flank.

The Cyborg Alpha charges past this zombie and into combat with the Murderbird, but the combat results in a draw.

The Second zombie charges into combat with the Cyborg, scoring three successes to the Cyborg’s… none. The Cyborg is slain! (2VP).

The Blackwing Marine on the food court sprints forwards, claiming the empty objective cube.

The former Ranger with flamer stands up, now hungry for brainszzz and shuffles into combat with Simmonds, but neither gains the upper hand.

The last Blackwing marine sprints down from the tower and into combat with the zombie occupying the objective cube on the Plague left flank, slaying it and claiming the objective for his own. With that, all the Mazon Labs strike force have activated.

The Murderbird hops forward, into the objective cube just taken by the Blackwing marine, pecking him to death (1VP) and reclaiming the objective cube for the Plague.

The Ghoul w HMG advances and the Stage 3A General is content to stay where he is and observe the battlefield, secure in the knowledge that he has won.

The Plague hold two objectives, giving them a total of 15VPs, whilst Mazon Labs hold just one, giving them a total of 7. The last objective cube is contested between the MonoCycle rider and a Ghoul.

Plague 15 VP Mazon Labs 7VP


+++Wearily shoving the ravening Zombie aside, Simmonds spat the command to fall back into her intercom. She’d completely lost all forces on her right flank, this flank was hot and getting hotter with that brute with a HMG advancing. Time to fall back, get reinforcements and live to fight another day. She’d still have Graves to deal with, but… Heh. A cruel smile twisted the edges of Simmonds mouth. She’d get by with her… infectious personality.+++

Mazon Labs-Themed Deadzone Board

With the release of Deadzone 3rd edition, I like the Mazon Labs faction more than ever and decided to create a Mazon Labs-themed board – a Mazon labs Mega-Build, if you will.

I was getting ready to start my build, using the few bits n’ pieces of spare tiles I had left, and had mentioned my plans in passing to my regular gaming buddies, when one of them did something that blew me away.

My good amigo Andy had recently moved house away from the area. We’d met up for a pizza n’ game night and Andy casually mentioned when he arrived “I’ve dug some Deadzone scenery out for you.” before producing a HUGE cardboard box from the boot of car, saying simply “This is for you.”

ALL of his Deadzone scenery. Desprued, clipped and filed, ready for use. And there was a LOT of it, as you can see below.

Andy told me he’d never get around to using it all and that he’d much rather enjoy seeing what I can do with it. Also that this was to say thanks for sticking by him through some tough times he’s had over the last couple of years. Wow, just… wow.

So, cue some option paralysis as I decided how best to use this hugely generous gift to create something truly worthwhile. I started by drawing up a list of things one may expect to find in a typical mad scientists’s lab complex, coming up with the following: Computer/ general admin labs; trans dimensional Laboratory (Mazon have gotta get those Chovar from somewhere, right…?); a canteen; general laboratories; cryogenic storage; a reception area, security checkpoint; guard room; vehicle bay; general storage; conveyor belts transporting corpses to a grinder/oven/pit; containment cells (for Aberrations, Plague Victims etc); animal storage cages; and a Biohazard lab with utility waldos to manipulate dangerous materials. All of which I’ve managed to incorporate into my build and about half of which, a year on, is painted.

To try and certain I wasn’t missing anything, I read through all my Deadzone rulebooks and supplements, plus the Warpath sourcebook, noting any information about Mazon Labs and incorporating it into my ‘Definitive’ guide to them, which you can read here.

So, full of inspiration about Mazon’s background, I drew out an 8×8 grid using a Sharpie on paper and spent the next week or so filling in those cubes with pencil ideas for what could go where. I had the general idea that I wanted an immersive, atmospheric board with lots of themed scenery accessories, neat little details and Easter eggs, to be discovered; all across multiple levels, with criss-crossing raised walkways and almost the entire layout ‘walled in’ at the perimeter to further give the impression of a confined space.

The layout would need to be as practical as possible. You’d be able to see and understand how Mazon staff would be coming from here and going to there. ‘This’ lab would need to have high wall with no windows as it was for top secret research. ‘That’ lab would need to be open to allow access to the facilities beyond. The board would be a fixed layout, set up the same each time, but the design needed to be modular, as I need to be able to store everything away in boxes in between games.

Mazon’s public-facing facilities (a reception and canteen) would be up top. These would be all pristine, shiny and white with corporate logos, watercoolers, potted plants, tables and chairs etc. A ‘lift’ from the canteen would then take Mazon staff down to sub-terranean levels and a security checkpoint. Staff could then either right to proceed towards general labs, an admin section, storage and a vehicle bay. Or they could go left (well it has been considered sinister for centuries…) to an enigmatic trans-dimensional lab and through yet another security checkpoint, past a Marine/Ranger guard room to the entrance to Dr Koyner’s private laboratory. And in there… well, that’d be telling. More on that as work progresses, but the list above should give you a good idea. In the lower levels, colours would be more muted, with perhaps lots of object source lighting to add atmosphere. I wanted to incorporate lots of elevated walkways and give the impression that Guards and Marines could be patrolling above your heads even as you worked away diligently in the Lab’s admin office.

As I began taking what was on paper and my mind’s eye and building it in three dimensions, I began to struggle to balance the narrative elements of my board (lots of walls and confined spaces) with practicalities of gaming, not least of which is being physically able to reach in and move miniatures and draw lines of sight. On many occasions narrative had to be sacrificed for gameplay, but I’ve stubbornly clung onto some of my narrative ideas and only time will tell, when I finally get to play a game using the board, if I’ve struck the right balance. I’ll be gutted if it turns out I’ve messed up and any sections don’t work well for gameplay, so I’d better get a couple of test game in before I start doing any painting, just in case I have to pull apart, redesign and rebuild anything I’ve already created.

Well, that’s more than enough waffle. Here’s the photos of what’s been painted so far with some additional glimpses of things to come.

“Come and work for Mazon Labs, a subsidiary of Mazon Holdings. From the moment you enter our state -of-the-art facilities here at Outpost 31 you’ll be made to feel welcome…”

Whilst you work in our well-equipped (and absolutely safe) laboratories at the bleeding edge of pharmaceutical endeavours, we can offer you relaxing canteen facilities with bay windows offering panoramic views over Outpost 31.”

That lift above from the canteen leads down to the labs, offices, vehicle bay, storage, torture chambers *cough* I mean Dr Koyner’s personal laboratory and more. (Only some of it’s painted so far though…)

The Trans-dimensional Laboratory (well, Mazon Labs have to be getting those Krastavor that are appearing in their strike trams from somewhere, right..?) is now complete.

I found some really characterful resin ‘Frankenstein’s laboratory scenery on Etsy (by RPGMiniForge) that I thought looks just perfect for a bunch of mad scientists such as Mazon Labs. I wanted the interior of the lab to look like it’s lit by the sickly green glow from the vat and switchboards, and used drybrushing to get an effect that I’m very happy with:

You can read a separate blog looking at the Transdimensional Laboratory in a lot more detail here.

And the office spaces are coming along nicely too, thanks to some resin office furniture by Combatzone Scenery designed for use with ‘Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps’.

Here’s some sneak peeks at other sections of this Mega Build that’ll get painted in the future….

This blog is very much a work-in-progress. I’ll keep it updated as I have the opportunity for hobby time and make further progress with painting. I’ll post regular links to this blog from the Deadzone Fanatics Facebook group, so keep an eye out there or please follow this blog to see more as the Mega Build unfolds. All, of course #forabettergalaxy.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Mazon Labs: A Definitive (?) Guide

As part of my prep for designing a new Mazon Labs-themed board for Deadzone, I’ve read through all the Warpath universe fluff I possess and made notes on any references to Mazon Labs, in order to build up a clearer picture of them that in turn could inspire ideas for terrain features for my new board.

I found the fluff very interesting and it struck me that not everybody will have read the fluff in Star Saga and all three versions of Deadzone to date and that if I arranged my notes into some kind of narrative, it may make interesting reading for others interested in fielding a Mazon Labs strike force in their games.

None of the below, bar my musings in the hypotheses at the end, is my own work. It’s a rehash of information from Star Saga and various editions of Deadzone, so the real credit is down to those who have developed the background and concepts over the years.

It’s worth noting that I’ve never read any of the Deadzone/Warpath novels, so if any of those feature Mazon Labs in any way, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to read the material in question and enrich the narrative below.

Right, enough waffle from me. Meet Mazon Labs…

SPOILER WARNING: The below contains spoilers for missions in Star Saga The Eiras Contract

Mazon Labs: History and Public Face

Mazon Holdings dates back to the early days of humanity’s expansion into the stars.

Created by Johnson Mazon, leadership passed down through Mazon family. With each new appointment, Mazon Holdings’ interests adapted into new areas such as Mazon Media, Mazon Tech and Mazon Life. With each new business under the Mazon holdings umbrella, their individual duty to report back to the board diminished and their autonomy grew. As long as the bottom line looked good, the board paid very little attention.

Mazon Labs is now one of the big players in the GCPS, a leading name in medical care and research. First created by Rupert Connor, one of the distant relatives of Johnson Mazon, Mazon Labs has passed down through the Connor family until Artemis Connor took over as CEO – where he has remained for an unusually long time.

On the surface Mazon Labs is one of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations in the GCPS, an ethical and responsible medical research company that works at the bleeding edge of pharmaceutical endeavours.

Universally recognised for its comprehensive health assurance packages, Mazon Labs are on a quest to stamp out disease using new antibiotics based on spores, fungi and alien lifeforms. They regularly set up Frontier outposts in new colonies, ensuring that paying subscribers on the fringe of the GCPS are covered in case of any mishaps.

Over the years Mazon Labs has been responsible for creating vaccines for the notorious Red Planet Flu, which wiped out millions, and eradicating grav sickness for the majority of humanity. With each new success, Artemis Connor is quick to appear across the GCPS media networks to talk about his latest triumph.

However, Mazon Labs has become the focus of much speculation and rumour in the past few decades. Links with Mazon Life, one of the most highly respected life extension companies in the galaxy, have come under scrutiny.

Rumours of a much murkier Mazon Labs began when Rebs leaked files ono Reb-Net that showed that the cure for the Red Planet Flu had come about after Mazon Labs had tested the vaccines on the indigenous species of Cavlax III, all but wiping them out whilst Mazon Labs researchers took notes from the safety of orbit. Connor dismissed the rumours, stating that Mazon Labs was there to save the inhabitants, not kill them.

BioMed Industrial, a bitter rival to Mazon Labs, claims to have frequently had its research stolen by Mazon spies or to have lost contracts due to Mazon Lab’s interference. BioMed have pointed out that there’s a worrying trend the planets on which Plague outbreaks occur are often those where Mazon Labs have research facilities.

Historically, Plague Outbreaks in the GCPS have been attributed to the discovery of mysterious artefacts and monoliths, with widespread infection such as on Nexus Psi. In recent years, outbreaks have been smaller and taken place without the discovery of an artefact, with victims appearing as if from nowhere only to quickly be controlled by Mazon Labs security staff. Whilst heralded by Connor as examples of Mazon Lab’s constant work to protect humanity, BioMed would ask via media networks how the outbreaks had started in the first place. Initial outbreaks that lead to Containment Protocols often occur near Mazon research facilities. Coincidence…?

Biomed Industrial released a video showing a fortress-like Mazon Labs facility, patrolled by Striders with Urbana Black Wing Rangers standing guard with weapons trained on the buildings inside the facility, rather than guarding it from outside intruders.

Inside, the footage showed Lab Techs working with mysterious gene sequencers and twitching bodies covered with sheers laying on gurneys. In the gloomy bowels of the facility, grimy cells with dim lights that flickered and sputtered, with Plague Victims howling and throwing themselves against the blood-stained, reinforced glass. Through one small window, the shadow of a towering Abomination. In another cell, shambling figure with raw and weeping cybernetic implants.

Artemis Connor dismissed the video as a complete fabrication, created by Rebs sympathisers working with BioMed Industrial and wanting to disrupt Mazon’s research for the betterment of humanity. BioMed collapsed overnight as the attention turned to its supposed links with the Rebs, allowing Mazon Labs to continue with its work undisturbed.

Mazon Labs: Private Face

The truth is that although some of Mazon Labs’ scientists are working for the betterment of mankind, the majority are working hard to weaponise their findings, creating new pathogens from alien mutagens that can be sold on the black market for use in combat situations. It’s not uncommon to find empty Mazon-branded containers on a battlefield, alongside empty shell casings. Rather than searching the galaxy for the best scientists available, Mazon Labs prefers to employ those with loose ethical codes who will protect their work at all costs.

The Mazon Holdings parent company dabbles in cutting-edge tech such as cybernetic enhancements, wormhole research and bio-implants – all research that can be ‘borrowed’. At no point do Mazon scientists ask if they ‘should’, they’re just concerned with whether they ‘can’.

Amongst those carrying out dubious research is disgraced bio scientist Renaldo Abominava. According to documents leaked by the Rebs, Abomninava is experimenting with reanimating the dead. Why pay or new rangers to guard facilities when deceased ones will work for free?

Reports from Dead Zones on more than one planet reveal that Mazon Labs recently appear to be working with a Dr Gayle Simmonds. This is all the more interesting for the fact that Dr. Simmonds succumbed to the Plague on Nexus Psi and since escaping that planet has been working to spread the Plague far and wide throughout the GCPS.

Rumours abound that at a Mazon Labs ‘Delta Complex’ on the warehouse world of Eiras, a planet on the edge of the third sphere, a Dr Lucas Koyner may have successfully developed a cure for the Plague. A protein complex dubbed Vector-P, has been isolated and reproduced by Koyner. Vector-P supposedly has the power to provide immunity to the Plague, to repel the infected and perhaps may even yield the secret of how to control them. Some whisper that a band of mercenaries have stolen Vector-P from Koyner, others that the Council of Seven have it instead. One thing is certain. If Vector-P does exist, the Council would stop at nothing to obtain its power, or prevent that power from falling into anyone else’s hands.

This could explain why the Council of Seven has up until now turned a blind eye to Mazon Lab’s shadier dealings and may even have actively encouraged such research. Imagine an infinite supply of Enforcers that could never be killed…

Mazon Labs: Nexus Psi

Nexus Psi colonisation was largely funded by the Reiker Corporation. Mazon Labs had several medical outposts set up across the planet, with a large research complex dubbed Outpost H36, built south of what would eventually become Reiker City.

The primary Mazon Labs facility on Nexus Psi was the Deepwater Medicentre, a fully-stocked alpha care centre catering to serious illnesses and injuries from anywhere on-world. (Supposition: The Deepwater Medicentre was located at Outpost H36.)

In the jungles at Outpost W4, one of the newer mining outposts, the Exploration/Retrieval Team Six Alpha discovered an alien artefact. Dr. Remy Urovic, team leader of Six Alpha, was the first to be infected when the artefact activated as it was being transported back to Outpost W4. Urovic mutated into a Stage 1 Plague Lord and pursued the survivors of his team, now led by Urovic’s deputy project leader Dr Gayle Simmonds, back to Outpost W4.

Outpost W4 was overrun in less than two weeks and the Plague spread across the planet until within a month, virtually no opposition remained. A Containment Protocol was enacted with Enforcer Pathfinders arriving on planet ahead of the main Enforcer units. One of the Pathfinders’ primary objectives was to locate the creature that was once Dr. Urovic and it was at Mazon Lab’s Outpost H36 that he was eventually found.

When Enforcer units entered Outpost H36 they found evidence of research conducted in the last few weeks, well after the Plague outbreak began; all bent towards the control and empowerment of the Plague virus. An encrypted wide band signal was being broadcast off-planet from the Outpost H36. All the tests and data logs were credited to the same research license – that of Dr. Gayle Simmonds.

It has since become clear that Dr Simmonds became infected by a Stage 2, transforming into something more than a mere Stage 3 Plague creature. Simmonds maintains a dangerous degree of intellectual and cognitive ability. Her fury at the casual abandonment of Nexus Psi by the Council of Seven has twisted her brilliance to one end: revenge. Bringing the Plague to the heart of the GCPs and using it to destroy the Council of Seven

The details of Dr. Simmonds travel since Nexus Psi are unknown, but recently she has been seen leading Mazon Labs forces in various Deadzones. It seems their mutual desire to control the Plague has led to an alliance, however uneasy or temporary.  

Notes and Hypotheses

Medi-bots are standard issue at all Mazon Labs facilities, due in part to their inherent immunity to Plague infection

Mazon Labs captures and tortures Chovars into organic hard drives, trapped in a constant nightmare of computerized coding.

Mazon labs force are seen using Krastavor; giant, intelligent, metal-clad spider creatures from another dimension. As they are from another dimension, is interdimensional travel part of Mazon Labs research? Does this in any way link to Blaine’s star ship, The Conqueror and its much-vaunted ability to travel through temporal and dimensional barriers?


Simmond’s wide band signals at Outpost H36 were picked up by Mazon Labs and they struck a bargain with her, getting her off planet and working ‘for’ them. Perhaps she has been instrumental in the development of Vector-P? Maybe she has been exposed to Vector-P and is now cured, or at least placated enough to be controlled by Mazon Labs.

But how long could a genius like Simmonds be controlled for? Perhaps the alliance with Mazon Labs is merely a stepping stone towards her aim of bringing down the Council of Seven.

Who is to say that Mazon Labs, Mazon Holdings and Artemis Connor himself don’t have designs on replacing the Council of Seven? After all, if Mazon Labs do have Vector P and it works as rumours suggest, what would stop them from infecting entire worlds with the Plague and depriving inhabitants (and members of the Council of Seven) of the cure unless they pay an exorbitant price for it?  


Deadzone V1 Nexus Psi rulebook

Deadzone V2 Nexus Psi rulebook

Deadzone V3 rulebook

Deadzone V3 Force Lists book

Star Saga The Eiras Contract Mission book


My painted Deadzone Mazon labs strike team.

My painted Dr. Gayle Simmonds

Deadzone: Mazon Labs Tac Drones

With the release of Deadzone 3rd Edition last year I’ve acquired some of the new options for Mazon Labs force list. Cyborgs will be gracing my painting table soon, but first up were these Tac Drones.

These are really nice resin kits, part of the GCPS Urban Pacification booster. You get two Tac Drones with four weapon/equipment options each. I magnetised he weapon options so I can easily swap the load outs from one game to another and painted the Drones dark red to match my Urbana Black Wing Monocycles and other Mazon Labs Marines and Rangers (you can find my Mazon Labs strike team here).

Here’s a top down look at one of these crab-like drones with no weapon option in place. (You can see the magnet I placed in the centre of the Drone, which is covered up when a weapon is in place):

There’s three different weapon load outs which count as a Troop choice in your force list. The Auto Cannon:

Heavy Laser Rifle:

Missile Launcher:

And a Specialist option for a Command Tac Drone:

I haven’t had the opportunity to use Tac Drones in a game yet, but will be including them in my force list the at the earliest opportunity. They can provide Supression and AP2 much more cheaply than a Strider, leaving more points to spend on gribblies that will run up and rip yer face off!

As always, thanks for reading! 😉

The Other One’s Painting Guide: Mazon Labs Urbana Blackwing Marines and Rangers

In the weeks before Deadzone 3rd Edition was released, I’d been playing games of Star Saga, using my friend Mr. C’s well-painted miniatures and scenery. I’ve always liked the Urbana Blackwing sculpts and the way that my friend has painted his, so I thought I’d give my Mazon Labs faction a bit of a boost by cracking on with some Urbana Blackwing Marines of my own. I chose the three sculpts below and set about painting them to match the Blackwing Rangers on Monocycles I’d already painted (which you can find, along with the rest of my Mazon Labs strike team, here).

I undercoated/basecoated the Marines with Citadel Wraithbone contrast primer:

Then slapped a coat of Black Templar contrast paint over the helmets, armour, webbing, weapons and boots:

The Blackwing’s BDUs were base coated using Vallejo Model Colour Burnt Red #70.814 and the faces with Vallejo Model Colour Basic Skintone #70.815.

The rest of the painting was very quick to do.

I gave the helmets, armour, weapons etc painted with Black Templar a quick drybrush of Vallejo Game Colour Glacier Blue #72.095 to further accentuate the detail. The BDU received a quick and not-too-careful highlight of Vallejo Model Colour Red #70.947. I picked out some of the pouches in Vallejo Model Colour Chocolate Brown #70.872 , then washed the pouches and skin with Army Painter Strong Tone Ink. A glow effect was added to the rifles using a light blue highlighted with white, the bases were textured with sand and PVA glue and when dry, painted with Vallejo Model Colour Dark Grey #70.994 and drybrushed with the Vallejo Glacier Blue and ta-dah. Done! They won’t win any painting competitions, but I think they’re great for a gaming standard.

Emboldened at how quickly I’d managed to get the Marines painted (the drying time for the PVA glue over the sand took longer than the actual painting), I also set about painting two Urbana Blackwing Rangers. You can see them both in the featured image at the top of the blog, but here’s closer look at the Ranger armed with a flamer – I just LOVE this sculpt.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Deadzone Scenery from Mantic HQ

Here’s few images for you to enjoy of some Deadzone scenery on display at Mantic HQ .

I especially liked the giant virus/contagion logo on the side of the industrial building in the image at the top of this blog. VERY striking. The new scenery accessories looked great in this set up in one of the display cabinets.

I’m definitely going to be stealing this idea of having various crates and junk being carried along sections of conveyor belt.

This five-cube high piece was heeeee-yoooge. I like the use of lengths of (I assume) plastic plumbing pipes running vertically, to avoid burning through all the Terrain Crate pipe sections:

Elvis has created this great homage to a certain classic sci-fi movie, which crowns another whopping five-cube high mega structure:

And I liked the functional design of the landing pad and the little touches that make it feel ‘real’ world, such as the airport-style row of seats at its base and the signage

Thee builds have certainly given me some ideas for adding to my own Deadzone scenery collection – I hope you’ve found some inspiration too!

Thanks for reading 😉

Hypersleep Pods by Combatzone Scenery for Aliens:Another Glorious Day in the Corps

Combatzone Scenery provide a nice set of three resin Hypersleep Pods to enhance the Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps game, for the bargain price of £6. I think they’ll work well in pretty much any sci-fi boardgame or RPG and they’ll certainly be putting in an appearance in my future games of Deadzone.

I initially planned to use my airbrush to paint the ‘glass’ sections of the pods so I could get a nice gradual shading effect. But when it came to it, my narrowest masking tape was too wide and more than covered the ‘metal’ cross pieces. In all honesty, I just couldn’t be bothered to try and cut such small pieces of masking tape to size, so I settled for brush painting some light grey highlights on a blue grey base colour. These aren’t very neat and I’m far from certain that I’m happy with the effect, but overall, these pods fall firmly into my “They’ll do” zone.

Each of the three pieces you get comprises two pods. Here’s a look at one of them on a gaming board next to the illustrated pods. As you can see, they look quite a lot larger, but actually only have a slightly larger footprint.

Here’s a closer look at one of the pods, top down and in profile:

And a look at them alongside the other Combatzone Scenery boards:for the Sulacco’s canteen.

The casting on my pieces has a few ‘pin prick’ sized bubble holes in them. Perhaps I could have filled these with liquid green stuff or something, but I’ve never used this product, the holes don’t bother me that much and I just wanted to get on with painting them.

You can take a look at Combatzone Scenery’s Hanley’s Hope *cough* range of resin scenery here. I highly recommend it.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂