Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sci-Fi Troopers from Mantic and some 40k action

Some weeks a lot of projects come together all at once - its one of those this post.  I've been playing some bits of the new edition of 40k and with so many space marine armies around in our local group I was keen to bring something not in powered armour to the table.  As I've posted previously I'm collecting a Grey Knights army based around Inquisition troops and various other sci-fi miniatures I am interested in.

Very recently I got a copy of Mantic's Project Pandora as I was keen to try the game as I had heard good things from Frontline Gamer and the designer himself.  My ulterior motive was to get some of Mantic's Corporation figures to see if they would be another good source of troopers for my slowly growing force.

The Status Quo guitar swing in full motion
So what do I make of these guys?  They are roughly the right size to go with my Heresy and Hasslefree troops, although somewhat more spindly (possibly more realistic but less fun!).  The figures come with very limited options - a few alternate heads and a few special weapons (which I elected not to use).  Not the end of the world in my experience, but even the repeated 3 fixed pose bodies are very similar meaning the overall look of the squad is very repetitive.

My favourite kind of trooper, one with no face
The figures arrived already removed from sprues so I'm not quite sure whether what comes in the game box is the same as what's in the squad box if you buy them separately.  I also discovered the plastic is somewhat different to the previous plastic Mantic used, superglue being a better choice with this stuff than liquid poly.

The guns I found really hard to paint for some reason, especially given the industrial polymer (or 'grey') look I am using on my guys.  They also look slightly bent to me - see the blue dude above.

One of these things is not like the others...
Like the rest of the troopers so far, I'm continuing the red and blue squad split.  I was originally planning to make each squad a different colour, but this limits the intermixing I can do - especially as I don't know what figures I will eventually put in the army overall.  Inquisition henchmen squads have a lot of options.

The powerfist equivalent thingy is pretty nice actually
Overall I didn't much enjoy painting this squad, the model's details are quite shallow which means most of the detail is sort of hinted at rather than nicely raised and accessible to paint - especially for rank and file troops (potentially as cheap as 3 points each) I'm not willing to spend a lot of time teasing out subtle details!  The guys do fit into the rest of my troopers reasonably well, especially when mixed in.  I don't think I'll be getting any more of these to increase my army size and I fear these chaps will long be the first casualties from a squad (which in the new rules means putting them in front...)

So moving on, and to prove I'm not unfairly judging these guys, its time to show off some other figures from my growing force.  I'm still experimenting with the best way to get photos of my figs (I will give up and get a lightbox at some point) so excuse the spam here!

First up and key to the selections I am making is Inquisitor Coteaz.  By taking this dude as my HQ I get to take henchmen as troops rather than elites, allowing me up to 6 squads!

This is the first Finecast figure I got from GW and despite a few issues (I had to sculpt a new finger, fix a toecap and a few bubbles) the detail is exceptional on this thing.  I've since varnished it, but for the first few games he was unprotected and no paint rubbed away so the material seems to be pretty good if you can get a good casting.  My Mannfred Von Carstein on foot is story for another day...

In contrast to my issues with the Mantic guys, this figure was sculpted to be painted.  Despite the density of the detail in places I had no trouble going to town on him and am very pleased with the final result.  I also changed the skin tone as a nice reference to Samuel L. Jackson in Star Wars - you'll notice the hammer has a purple (s)haft.

Next up is another Hasslefree figure, the Smudgester.  Despite being tiny (that's a 25mm base he's on) he's full of character and perfect for use as a Jokaero in my henchmen.  I quite like the orang-outangs of 40k but this guy is even cooler if you ask me.  He also reminds me a man-hound character from the Ravenor series of novels called Fyflank - we'll come back to his owner in future.  The Jokaero are also quite small and have some unique abilities in game, the key one illustrated by this figure is being able to fire one of a variety of very heavy weapons each turn so I am very happy with this proxy.  I've named him Frank in reference to Men In Black's little alien talking Pug dog.

Next up are a couple more ABC warriors (from Foundry) - I'm getting close to having them all done now.  This is Deadlock who despite being generally a nice model has a pretty awful sword blade - I might replace it at some point.  So aside from being armed with a spatula like weapon this is another figure I like a lot with a lot of cape to go to town painting.  In game so far I've used him as a lone Paladin - yes I've actually got a Grey Knight (proxy) in my Grey Knight army, don't worry there wont be many!  Turns out having a unit of one is quite a lot of fun and the rules aren't a bad match for Deadlock's character.

Here's Ro-Jaws.  He's a toilet cleaning bot in the stories, so I use him as a servitor, it sort of fits.  I've upgraded the heating unit in his head to a multi-melta so he can do more than just fling poop at my opponent.

Finally (usually for me) some sneak previews of future bits for this force.
First up is a Knight Paladin figure.  Based on a design a friend of mine came up with using pieces from all sorts of GW kits, this huge figure (that's a Dreadnought base) is a reference to the Epic games of yesteryear. I've decided to use this as a Dreadknight - if I ever get my Mongrol built I'll have 2 then!

To finish here's my first Chimera proxy.  Its a land train/ bull dozer thing from Ramshackle games. This was a bit of a pain to build but it looks great (and check out the prices) so I may just get several more when they reopen their store.  They are roughly the right size and again fit in with another character theme I am working towards in this force.

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