Saturday, January 22, 2011

In which our hero receives packages from far and wide

Ok, I have had more than a few orders pop up over the last two weeks, so I am going to give some rapid-fire reviews here just to get them out. Might not be any pics, but I am not all that fond of the bare metal photos anyway to be honest, and was mulling over doing less of those anyway - it's rare my contribution is better than what's on the originators' websites after all.


I got in a pretty good-sized order from Khurasan with a variety of things in it. First, I got three of the big Felid transports. I am actually going to use these are assault transports for the GZG (space ork) alien mercs. The big trucks have an orky vibe anyway, and once I get them loaded doen with random stowage and a nice rusty paintjob they'll be absolutely perfect.

I got some Felids too, despite repurposing their designated vehicles. I am going to be using the Khurasan Cafaretta transports and their gun carriage cousins for the Felids. The Felid minis themselves are really nice. A bit on the bigger side, but that fits their concept very well, and they're definitely not anywhere near out of scale. I might have to snip some bases to get them on the 5/8" washers I've been using for infantry, though. The poses are what I like - they're not static, but also not frozen in some awkward pose. The armor is excellent, I like the angular armor, something you don't see all the time.

As for the Cafaretta series vehicles, these things are among my favorite scifi designs. I love the idea of a dual-mode hover transport, still able to use wheels for fuel savings and practicality, but launching into lift mode for fast attack above terrain complications. Makes for a very flexible force. The design itself is a bit derivative of the Aliens dropship, but that's not a bad thing. All in all, the abundance of rivets and a set of really nice lines makes it just look fantastic. I picked up the transports pretty early in my buying process and it took me a little while to settle on just which infantry force would get to use them, but there was never a point at which they were not going to figure into my plans. With the recent release of the Hunter gun carriage variants, I am even relieved of the uncertainty of what additional vehicles I would need to flesh out a full force. The Hunters' trio of armaments cover a variety of roles and provide a full set of options for a light vehicle force. The aspect of the new hunters I do find confusing, however, is the way that Khurasan has decided to package them. The kit includes all three payloads, but only one mounting bracket. You can, however, buy additional mounting brackets for a buck. Where this strikes me as odd is that it is a waste of metal and certainly is costing both Khurasan and the buyer more in the process. If you want the buyer to be able to build a swappable kit, include extra cradles. If you expect them to only build one, sell the vehicle with a single payload and make the payload+bracket an optional purchase. It just seems like the least efficient option.

Not done with Khurasan yet, I also went in for a Space Demon (Giger Alien)  force, or the start of one anyway. I still need to sort out thee guys from a gaming standpoint - there's not a very good army list for them in ASQL, as hive mind isn't quite right and none of the others are even close - but they're just too neat and too ubiquitous in the genre to pass up for long. I really like the Prince models, with their back crests and the hammerheads are a nice addition to the xenomorph concept. I need to come up with a non-black paint scheme, though, The canonical approach is so redundant at this point. I've seen the models painted red to good effect. I am thinking of a sepia/chestnut over salmon scheme right now, sort of an extreme fleshtone.

Needing some distinctly-scifi primitives to fill out some ASQL armies, I ordered in a few dozen Micropanzer Swarm Alien packs. These are well-intentioned figures. Unmistakably alien, with a definite hat-tip to District 9's extraterrestrials among others, they're exactly what I wanted for ASQL - primitive troops that can't be mistaken for figures poached from a fantasy line. They won't harsh your scifi buzz. The figures themselves, though excellent in concept have a couple of blemishes. First, the legs are really fragile. While the spindly appearance makes the concept work, the thin joints can bend and break much to easily. While I didn't get any broken ones in my order, I did manage to break a couple while shoving some bent ones into place. It's fixable, but you are going to have to go easy on these guys. They're also kind of big. For whatever reason, I wanted them to be a bit diminutive rather than imposing. That's not Micropanzer's fault, just my aesthetic. Still, as melee troops, a bit of hulking isn't a bad thing. I figure on painting them up a bit like cockroaches and sending them to war as the cheap cannonfodder in front of the space orc mercs as an ASQL Alien Imperial army.

The third shipment (or third and fourth, actually) is a force I wasn't really planning to do until I saw some models I couldn't resist - the Heavy Gear Trooper and Recon Drones. There is just something irresistible about them. I wasn't sure when I ordered them if they would be big enough to pass as a vehicle of some sort, but was not above using them as droids if not. Envisioning an Eastern Bloc industrial aesthetic, and knowing that if they could pass as vehicles I would need some really short drivers, I chose to mate these with the Rebel Minis Sons of Thunder. Together these form the core of a machine cult or industrial combine alien force, and with some green-grey paint accented with red stripes here and there should look very nice together. Once I got the metal in-hand, I found the drones to be right at the very edge of being plausibly driven by a Son of Thunder pilot, but it is not out of the question. A moot point in the end, however, as I have more or less decided that these will be a very nice option for an ASQL Mechanical army - the squat infantry being sufficiently robotic in character and fully-augmented to be indistinguishable from an all-machine force. As an excuse to get the HG drones, this works fine. I do, however, still need to sort out some more assets for the army, or else they will be relegated to being either only usable for small games or only having light units and infantry. I think I can make something out of the Heavy Gear Naga Strider, with a sculpted nose that more closely matches the tall bubble motif of the drones, this should serve well as a heavy mecha/MBT unit, albeit an expensive one.

I have way too much stuff all ready.

But there's never enough, is there?

I already have another core army incoming from GZG, and want to add some more primitives in the form of Khurasan Plutonians and some Hydra Minis plant people. On top of that I really want to build a pharaonic alien army based around Critical Mass Games' Protolenes, Old Crow's Alien armor, and GZG's not-Stargate aliens. And buy more of everything, and a pony. And, and, and.

I have a problem.

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