Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, Florida
|Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:27 pm Post subject: Wargames Factory - Shock Troops / Zombies (Necropolis!)
It wasn't too long ago that I picked up the Greatcoat Troopers from Wargames Factory.
I picked these guys up at my friendly local game store specifically to use for megacorporate troops for Necropolis 2350.
The box included 6 sprues, each one containing 3 trooper bodies, with a variety of heads and weapons. There are enough heads on the sprues that I could completely outfit these guys with the pseudo-German helmets with goggles and gas masks as featured on the box cover, or give them all the "blast mask" look, or instead give them the "gas-mask and bug-eyed-goggle" look, and still have a few extra heads to use for "officer" types.
The optional head that's bleeped out in the picture as "a bit of fun" is a Cthulhu-esque tentacle-faced head; I suppose someone could use that as a bare-headed "alien officer," with the implication that all the regular troopers with their helmets on are aliens as well who have their tentacles hidden by gas masks. (Or maybe you just want the occasional alien in a mixed unit.)
These are "heroic 28mm" scale, which puts them into comparable scale with the Vikings/Huscarls.
(EDIT: I had a side-by-side picture that I found in a forum, of a Shock Troops officer head and what I think was a Saxon Fyrd head - but it looks like that has gone away. Basically, they compared pretty nicely, size-wise.)
My personal preference is to equip the rank-and-file troopers with the standard helmets-goggles-and-gas-masks heads, give the "blast mask" helmet to a heavy support (such as someone with a flamethrower), and then pick one of the "officer" heads for the group leader or other specialist.
The weapons have a nice mix, including several that are readily identifiable as fulfilling standard roles in sci-fi miniatures games: the flamer, the assault rifle (plentiful enough to equip everyone this way), the pistol, the drum-fed grenade launcher. There are also some variant weapons that have less visible distinction from each other, to take on the role of other specialized support weapons. (I used a bit of round sprue to make an extended barrel, suppressor, and scope to make a "sniper rifle" for one.)
Since torsos and legs are fused together, there's of course a limited amount of flexibility in poses, but I could get enough variety with turned heads and weapon placement so they didn't look like clones of each other. Added touches such as belt pouches, bayonets, grenades, etc., allow for a little more personalization - the same sort of thing I've seen with Games Workshop plastics.
And, as I always love about plastic sets with lots of optional heads and such, it's a great supply of "bitz" for conversions.
As for the downsides and watch-out-fors:
* Some trimming may be necessary on the bulb-bases of the heads to get their helmets down where they look about right. If you just cut the flash and glue them straight on, as-is, they look (in my opinion) as if the necks are just a bit too long.
* You'll really need model plastic glue to assemble these. This plastic does not seem to "play well" with super glue at all; I furthermore had to result to pinning, to minimize trouble with pieces popping off. I only used superglue to glue down the flat "base" of the miniature to the actual bases (laser-cut Gale Force 9 round bases) I put these on.
* The proportions seem a little more realistic than comparable Games Workshop multi-part plastics I've dealt with in the past, which should be a GOOD thing, but it also means that the facing surfaces are a bit thinner and the accessories are more "fiddly" than their Games Workshop counterparts. This makes assembly a bit more tedious. (And it is a further reason why superglue won't work here, or you're practically guaranteed to have a mess on your fingers.)
* As with all Wargames Factory sets, you'll need to supply your own bases.
There's also a Heavy Weapons pack, but I haven't bothered to pick that one up. That, I think, veers blatantly into the territory of "proxies for Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard," and I'm not sure that it's really as much "bang for the buck" since some of the space is devoted toward providing extra-large bases ala 40K for permanently gluing down gun, gunner, and spotter, effectively treating the team as a single unit (fine for certain wargames but not so much for RPGs).
Then, for the zombie hordes:
(Large image of some painted/assembled zombies.)
So far, the only set they have in their "Dark Futures" line would be the Zombie Horde miniatures. I actually got this in a bagged form at my local game store. It consists of 6 sprues, with enough parts to make 24 zombies, with parts left over (1 torso/leg combo in a long coat, then 5 torsos and 5 leg sets, plus an assortment of right arms).
One curiosity about this is that the left arms are all fused to the torsos. It's the right-arm pieces that are separate, giving you a certain amount of posability, but if you want a zombie doing the "both arms forward Frankenstein's monster pose," some cutting and work will be in order.
The level of detail is shallow and inferior compared to newer Wargames Factory releases, so unfortunately you're not going to get great results with basic washes and drybrushing. For instance, there's a torso with an open shirt/vest, but the cloth looks as if it's glued to the body, rather than hanging open; it's as if the sculptor just applied a thin layer of green stuff to the body to suggest areas of cloth, without any thought as to how it would hang - or as if the sculptor was trying desperately to avoid any deep relief that would make for a harder time releasing hard-plastic casts from die molds. There are one or two heads where I can't even pick out where the eyes are supposed to be (and from the sample painted picture, I think the artist had a similar problem).
These are pretty close to "true 28mm," so they look a bit short compared to the relatively cartoonish Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy zombies, and definitely compared to Horrorclix zombies. They also look noticeably shorter than the Shock Troop "Greatcoat Troopers."
Horrorclix zombies + Warhammer Fantasy zombie bitz work for exchanges, but the "bitz" don't mix quite so well with these - even though I could put these guys into the same "zombie horde" and it wouldn't break the scale, since a bit of size variation makes sense.
For assembly, plastic model glue is essential. Pinning arms and heads is a nightmare, and not worth the trouble; the facing surfaces are just too fiddly. However, I found it to be worthwhile to pin the torsos to the leg sections, since despite the larger surface area, with the "socket" arrangement, it meant a potential weak point for breaking off. (Your mileage may vary.)
As with most other Wargames Factory minis, you will need to glue these down onto some other sort of base, since otherwise they'll fall over fairly easily on the table. That is something to take into consideration when figuring out cost-per-figure when going this route.
I've considered doing some mix-and-match between the Shock Troops and the zombie figures to make "zombie corporate" minis, but haven't tried it yet. Although they're from the same company, there's a marked difference between the level of detail on the zombie minis and those of the Shock Troops (invariably with the Shock Troops coming out better), and the scales don't quite match either.
Still, both of these sets worked out fairly nicely as a more economical way to build up my supply of potential adversaries for church troops in a future game of Necropolis 2350 (one of these days...). Of the two, I far prefer the Shock Troops. The zombies are still a pretty good deal for a bunch of figures to bulk out my "horde," with some pose variety, but I wish the details were sharper.
I'll have to pose them around the papercraft corporation APC sometime for comparison, once I get them all painted up.
Wonderland No More Fan Material: http://greywolf.critter.net/wonderland.htm
Last edited by Jordan Peacock on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:30 pm; edited 2 times in total