Monday, April 22, 2013

Starguard!


I have known about the venerable line of Starguard! miniatures for a long time, but I was always hesitant about ordering them because it was not clear to me how big they actually were. Most of the information with respect to size referred to the Dreenoi and Amazons, which were taller than 1 inch, making me think the figures were more in line with typical 25mm (to the eye) sci-fi miniatures. However, I was assured by John McEwan at Reviresco that the Starguard! miniatures were definitely 1/72 scale, so I went ahead and ordered some of the figures that I was interested in.

The first figures are from the Imperial Terran Marines Assault Squad (S-135). They wear a round space helmet with combat armor that is based on that of Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars. Some of the other figures in this line actually wear the Stormtrooper helmet as well.







The next figures are the Terrasan Necromorphs Maggot Squad (S-145). These represent undead soldiers of the Terrasa Regents. They wear gas masks and jump packs. Their bloated and rugose heads look rather disturbing. I'm not sure whether to keep them as is, or to file the heads down a bit so they look more human. The last figure is an officer who reminds me a bit of Cobra Commander (there is also another officer in this line who looks like Dr. Doom).








The next group are Eli Raiders (S-115). I really like the design of their helmets. However, the spikes on the officer's helmet will have to go. All of the figures wear jump packs.








Last is an Amazon MG Squad (S-142a). The Amazons are tall in their high heels, but even without them, they would probably scale out to 6 feet tall (which is not inappropriate for Amazons). They are very much in proportion to 1/72 scale figures, so I have no problem with them.




Finally, a comparison of Amazon, Eli, Terran Marine, and Necromorhph.


I would have preferred that the figures come with separate jump packs, and the officers did not wear capes, but overall the figures work for 1/72 science fiction. They are definitely old school in sculpting style and design aesthetics. The lines that I ordered were not as dated to me, but some of the other figures definitely have the look of sci-fi from the 1930's on up to the 1970's. Some of the weapons the figures are armed with clearly fall into the category of "raygun" style weapons, and I may replace them with more conventional looking weapons.

I'm not sure how I want to paint these figures up. Some nice artwork by Niklas Jansson can be found at Android Arts with the official color schemes. Most of the schemes might be okay for shipboard combat, but probably not too useful dirtside.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ModelCollect

ModelCollect is a new manufacturer of both pre-built and unassembled model kits from China. Their tanks come with a diecast metal lower hull, but all other parts are in plastic. Currently they produce various versions of the Russian T-90 MBT. Pictures of the built up kits look absolutely fantastic, and they run only half the price of an Ace Models T-90.

These kits have received some praise in the braille scale modeling community, so I decided to order some of their pre-built models to see for myself.


I ordered two T-90As (welded turret), and a TOS-1A. When I received the models, they looked pretty much as advertised, but then I noticed was that there were various small parts rattling around in the boxes. Not a good sign.

T-90A (72001)


T-90A (72004)


TOS-1A Rocket Launcher (72003)


There are a couple of reasons why these models came in such a poor state:
  1. The plastic is very soft, and many of the parts look to be made close to scale, so parts and attachment points are very, very thin.

  2. The packaging was poorly designed in that there was not really enough buffer space to accommodate the various parts of the model.



I realize that they are a new company and all, but 3 for 3 with multiple breaks is just unacceptable. Overall, these kits are definitely display models only. Many of the parts are just too fragile to hold up to any sort of handling (which includes being forced into its packaging).

anigif

絶望した!ModelCollect に絶望した!

The TOS-1A Heavy Flame Thrower System fires FAE munitions, and is also known as the Солнцепёк (Soltsepek), which some translate as "Sun Scorcher," and others as “Blazing Sun.” The multiple rocket launcher (if it was attached) can rotate, but the firing angle is in fixed position. Of all the models, I do think that this one might have the potential of being a wargaming model if built carefully enough.


The T-90As are actually really nice models. Unfortunately, all the parts that broke off all have small attachment points, so will require more than a bit of effort to reattach securely.



My advice is to stay away from the pre-built models until they improve their packaging. However, if you build static models, the unbuilt kits are definitely worth looking at.