Monday, August 9, 2010

Product Review: Wargames Factory Shock Troopers

Picture courtesy of Wargames Factory

So my order of the new Wargames Factory Shock Troopers plastic boxsets arrived the other day and I thought I would do a review of them.

For more information on the set, prices and updates on related products visit the makers' website

Big D over at Hogs of War did a neat pre-release promo post back in April that really piqued my interest and so, with a mate interested as well, we thought we would get a few each for a project we are doing.

Now I would have liked to have written this sooner but there were delays in the product actually getting to Tony and the Wargames Factory Team from their outsourced manufacturer. This is one of the perils of outsourcing. However I just want to congratulate the team for handling things very well. They kept in contact and were really good about the whole thing.

My initial impression of the miniatures is clouded by my many years of using GW miniatures so immediate comparisons to Imperial Guard, the Cadian Plastic Boxes in particular, were made. The castings of the sprues was really good and there is really very little work in preparing the parts for assembly. The contents of each box is six identical sprues with three bodies on each with enough extra parts to overload a pack mule. So in each box you get six of the following sprue.
Image courtesy of The Hogs of War

The mystery head being a tentacle-mouthed one similar to what you might expect from a Genestealer Cult Magos Hybrid or a Cthulu Cultist. The bodies themselves bear a resemblance to Death Corps of Krieg but quite a bit different to the Forgeworld versions. You get alot of extra heads, a mix of normal helmeted heads and mutant heads so you could in fact use them easily for a Traitor Guard list. While that faces aren't quite as detailed as the equivalent GW heads it doesn't really matter IMHO because they still look good and by the time you paint them you won't notice.
The primary guns to me at least, being ignorant of the story behing these minis, appear to be an over-under combo of pump-action shotgun and assault rifle. A little awkward for my taste but, on the whole, cleanly designed. While the number of body poses is limited it is still possible to get a lot of variation out of the kits.
Another thing that really impressed me is that the sprues will stack using the casting vents. So you can stack the large number of sprues in one interlocking pile.
The one let-down for me is the integral base that the bodies are cast with, while it is easy enough to clip off and file back I find it a nuisance. Maybe it is just me.

Price-wise if we compare the $41Au that you pay for a plastic set of Ten Cadians (equates to $4.10 per miniature), to the equivalent cost of around $18.40Au per box when you order the 7xDeal that has free shipping (equates to about $1 per miniature). Yes you have to order seven boxes in the bundle deal to get them this cheap but the other deals are really good (one box is only about $21.80 plus shipping). So already you are making a really big saving on getting that army off the ground.

The downside is that if your FLGS happens to be a GW store don't expect them to let you play with miniatures from another company.

All in all I would rate them 4/5.
They get my seal of approval and have also been passed around the club with a few interested members thinking about placing a group order for some.

Possible uses for these miniatures in gaming other than a substitute for IG include: Infantry models for Post Apocalypse RPGing, Secret Weapons of the Third Reich alternate troops, Maybe Warmachine infantry swaps (kinda hard to justify that last one, as it may confuse other regular Warmachine Players), and a whole lotta other 28mm games that need generic infantry including Alt. History and Steampunk (some of the heads would make neat Cylon Heads).

The 63 I got from splitting the 7 boxes with my mate are being added to my Skitarii Army with a few little parts swaps.
On that last note, Cadian arms will hot-swap with these without any chopping or filling (except on the Cadian Special weapons, which I could never get to fit properly on the Cadians anyway). Additionally the heads can be added to Cadian bodies with very little effort (you have to trim the neck shorter). I suspect the some of the Hasslefree Pulse Rifles or G36Cs would also look really beaut on these guys.
Oh yeah and some of the Flamers had an accident, they got sacrificed to my Storm-Trooper Equivalents for my Skitarii Legio as part of their power-plant backpacks.
Pics of the conversions soon.


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