Sunday, September 23, 2012

28mm Sci-Fi Goodness - "Frank's Toybox"


Painted test models of Frank Hammond's amazing 28mm sci-fi troops
As I wait for more bases and hope for a lost shipment of Peter Pig stuff to hopefully appear (thanks for that, Canada Post and People's Pharmacy - incompetent clowns, but anyway...) I am taking another little fun side project: some new 28mm infantry from Frank Hammond.  These are near-future sci-fi troops and are the nicest 28mm sci-fi models I have seen in a long time.
The goodies arrived in no time at all...
I came across these via a TMP posting earlier this month, and loved the look of them immediately.  You can read about the genesis of these models here on Frank's Blog, (you can purchase them there too) but suffice to say it is the opposite from the plague of Kickstarter panhandling that is sweeping the hobby. He basically knew what he wanted, got them sculpted, and you can buy them too if you want. How refreshing.
Some of the troops waiting for the basing goop to dry
You can see the SAW gunner in the front row here - not my favourite style of MG, but the models are still awesome overall
Of course style preference is hugely subjective.  There are many people who do not care too much for "near-future" sci-fi, finding it too close to modern troops of today.  But if you like that "period" (and I am a huge fan), you will love these models.  They are the closest thing I have seen in 28mm to Khurasan's outstanding 15mm "Nova Respublik" troops.  The armour is cool, the weapons are cool, the poses are solid and the sculpts are outstanding.  These are what the 40k plastic Cadians should have been - lightly armoured but without the "special school" helmets and shoulder pads mixed with steroid-boosted bulk the current plastic Cadians bring with them.
AT launchers and sniper rifles
More riflemen waiting for the "goop" to dry before getting a coat of primer
As I wish the 40k Imperial Guard looked like this, I want to paint them in the blue scheme similar to that of my Rogue Trader era guardsmen.  They can serve as Imperial Guard proxies, or represent a mercenary regiment in our Spacekrieg period, playing either our home-made rules or Tomorrow's War.
Test model 1 completed, beside a similar model waiting for primer
This is not a huge collection of models - a variety of rifle-armed poses, an officer with a communicator or scanner, a trooper with an AT launcher, and a trooper with a SAW-type weapon, together with a rifle-armed trooper carrying an extra ammo load for the SAW.  There is also a trooper with a sniper rifle.  The SAW trooper is maybe the one model that I am not totally wild about with this collection - I have never been a fan of the standing MG-style rig (but I know it is popular generally).  But it still looks pretty cool...
Rear view of test model 1
To make these "40k legal" I have ordered some custom bases with sabots that will allow me to mount the SAW as a two-man "heavy weapon team", while the models themselves remain individually based for the other, more sensible rules sets (i.e. any other rules).  I will probably use the AT launcher as a proxy grenade launcher in 40k, and an actual light AT missile launcher in the better games.

In an actual 40k game this will lead to a shortage in terms of variety of troops and special weapons, but in my experience playing Guard in 40k the infantry are largely irrelevant, with success riding on what your vehicles can manage. Accouterments such as standard bearers, medics and other superfluous bits end up as diversions and wastes of points on the table.
When I first received the models, I thought they were huge - but clearly I've been doing too much 15mm recently, as you can see in this comparison photo they sit just fine on the 28mm spectrum - with more realistic proportions to boot
The first two painted test models
Frank says on the blog that he is hoping to have more figures done.  I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope that happens - but of course it takes a long time.  Perhaps someone can figure out a way to Kickstarter some more sculptors and casting companies out of the ether.

In the interim, I may attempt some conversions - the AT launcher model might be a candidate to end up with a kind of lascannon, while there may be some way to replace some of the rifles with flamer-type guns or melta-type guns.  But it's not a huge priority, or a huge worry.
The models are "light" - no big back-packs, which makes sense - you would probably leave them in the APC...
The extent to which I can manage to make these models "legal" for 40k is really secondary.  After all, 40k is a generally terrible set of rules, and we have so many other "periods"/rules where these guys will be able to play, and I look forward to getting them on the table sometime soon.  And if you like near future sic-fi, give these models a look - you will love them.

8 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

They are fecking beautiful, damn nice work!

Martin said...

Very nice figures! I've seen them before but not painted.

While you are using them for 40k (among others) I can also see a use for them as Ariadna troops in Infinity.

Curt C said...

Beautiful stuff, Greg! I think I see a place for these lads in our upcoming 'Heresy' project...

DaveV said...

Lovely figs. These would be great to do games set in Larry Pournelle's "CoDominium" future history, or many other near future sci-fi settings. Frank's painted Scots would be great as-is to represent one of the Scottish mercenary units that fought against Falkenburg's Legion on New Washington...

I do disagree about the uselessness of some of the Imperial Guard gear. For example, banners allow re-rolls of morale tests, crucial for the Guards middling Leadership of 7 or 8.

Dallas said...

^^ agree with Dave, but only useful if you remember you have 'em, and what they do - and so much Of the time, I forget...

Fantastic models and awesome painting, Greg!

Greg B said...

Banners, medics, commissars, advisors - these are the Future Shop extended warranties of 40k - sounding beneficial, but actually a waste.

Lead Legion said...

They look pretty damn good to me. I'm off to order a few.

Greg B said...

One other thing I forgot to mention - no skulls!!!