by Grant Hill
Several new releases for Infinity were announced by Corvus Belli at the end of August 2010. The company are kind enough to provide us with review samples on a relatively regular basis. The average miniature for the Infinity range tends to have a good level of detail and be well cast, with small mould lines. To avoid repetition across our Infinity reviews, the detail and casting will only be mentioned if the particular miniature is different to the rest of the range. Review samples were sent to us for the following August 2010 releases:
- PanOceania Shock Army of Acontecimento
- Yu Jing Keisotsu Butai
- Ariadna Métros
- Combined Army Hungries: Gakis and Pretas
Shock Army of Acontecimento Price: €33.25
This PanOceania box set acts as a starter set for the sectorial army list of the same name. This army specialises in jungle warfare and is detailed in the Human Sphere expansion. The boxed set contains six figures: three Acontecimento regulars, an Akalis Sikh commando (with boarding shotgun), a Bagh Mari, and a Knight of Montesa. The Knight is exactly the same figure as we reviewed as part of the May 2010 releases, as a brief summary I thought that the figure was one of the best examples of the “space knight” genre but in construction needed some gaps filling around the joins.
The Bagh Mari is also available separately, and has been part of the Infinity range for quite some time. The figure is comprised of six pieces: body, left arm with knife, right arm with combi rifle, one large ariel, and two smaller ariels. The arms join at the shoulders with ball and sockets, while the large ariel fits into a recess on the back of the head. The only tricky part of assembly is adding the smaller ariels to the back/shoulders. Using a tip once given to me by TGN reader PsychoticStorm, I left the excess metal on the ends of the ariels, and used them to “pin” the ariels in place (after making the recesses slightly bigger with a drill). The figure is well detailed and sculpted, but standing it next to the Knight and regulars, I can’t help but feel that it looks a little dated (slightly chunkier, less intricate). While this figure would be the best in the whole range for many other manufacturers, Corvus Belli seem to be getting better and better.
The Akalis is currently exclusive to this boxed set, but is the same figure as a previous sculpt with a weapon swap (boarding shotgun in place of an HMG). Similar to the Bagh Mari there are six pieces, but instead of the two smaller ariels there are two fins that represent the in-game combat jump ability. These fins are placed into recesses on the back, and the only construction difficulty was that one of the recesses needed some excess material removing from it. Just like the Bagh Mari, the slightly chunkier sculpting of the Akalis next to the knight dates it a little, but the armour design and number of extra details such as boot print, side arm and pouches still make this a good piece overall.
The three regulars are all armed with combi rifles (one with a light grenade launcher attachment) and are comprised of the main body and a separate right arm with weapon. The right arm joins at the shoulder via a ball and socket, while the left hand is part of the gun piece and joins at the wrist. This means assembly is easy but painting all of the detail might be tricky as the weapon is held in front of the chest. All three figures have a very similar pose, with one knee raised as though they are advancing at speed. This means that they look superficially similar when placed close together. While the sculpting is to the usual Corvus Belli high standards, it’s worth specifically mentioning the faces/heads. They really are excellent with almost lifelike quality.
Overall this boxed set represents a good way to start a new PanOceania army (assuming you like the theme). Bought individually the figures would total to around 44 euros (the regulars are usually only available in packs of two, and the boarding shotgun Akalis is an exclusive), so getting the box for €33.25 is a good deal too.
- Fantastic sculpting on the regulars’ faces.
- A good deal on some great figures.
- The Akalis and Bagh Mari look a little dated next to the newer sculpts.
Keisotsu Butai Price: €7.75
The Keisotsu Butai are cheap expendable troops for the Yu Jing faction and can be included in the Japanese sectorial army. The figure is supplied as three components: body, right arm with missile launcher, and left arm. Construction is very easy with the arms joining at the shoulders with Corvus Belli’s “ball and socket within a ball and socket” arrangement. While this means it’s very easy to get the figure into the pose from the promotional pictures, anything else will require a bit of conversion work.
The pose on the figure looks to me like he has just nailed someone with a missile, topped off with the left hand making a “gun hand”, maybe at the smoking destruction he just caused. The index finger and thumb are really well sculpted (no sausage fingers here) but I suspect the pose is probably divisive. Personally I think it’s a little over the top, but it fits in perfectly with the anime stylings of the Infinity universe. The same missile launcher has been provided with other Yu Jing figures, but I really do like the futuristic but somewhat realistic design.
- Nice weapon design.
- Love it or hate it “gun hand” (that is very well sculpted).
Métros Price: €13.25
The Ariadna Métros are a territorial defence force. This pack contains one trooper armed with a rifle, and the other with rifle and a D.E.P. (Rest in Peace in Spanish – a one shot anti-tank weapon). The figure armed with a rifle is provided as two pieces: body, and rifle. Both hands are part of the weapon piece and join at the wrists. This makes construction easy but there’s little chance of variety in pose. The D.E.P. trooper also has the weapon join at the wrists, but there is a third piece, a rifle that attaches to his backpack. I found that you could place this with either the barrel pointing to the sky or to the ground and went for the former.
The sculpting and pose of both of these figures is some of the best that I’ve seen at this scale. The overall design is basic fatigues (could even be casual clothes) with only the weaponry and knee pads marking them out as non-civilians. Combined with the low tech nature of the Ariadna faction, this gives the minis good generic appeal as I could see them as special forces or paramilitary in a modern or near future game. The faces are particularly well sculpted with visible scars and facial hair. Posing is dynamic without being over the top. The D.E.P. trooper is carefully advancing into position, while the other figure could easily have his back to a wall, ready to move round a corner. If I was really pushed to find a downside to these figures it would be that the way the weapons are held makes it difficult to paint the chest area, but that’s being overly picky.
- Great pose, design and sculpting.
- Facial detail is superb.
Hungries: Gakis and Pretas Price: €33.25
The Hungries are fierce aliens manipulated by the Combined Army to feel artificially hungry. Both the Gakis and Pretas are female, but the Preta has a symbiotic male at the base of the skull. In addition to improved intelligence, the Preta can also excrete poisons to defend itself and its nest. The current box set contains four miniatures and are new sculpts that replace the original Gakis and Pretas. As the Hungries are often deployed in relatively large numbers, this new box set is attractive as it’s cheaper than buying the equivalent number of older product.
Inside the box there are two sets of identical legs, one set are labelled A (two parts) and the other set are B (single piece). There are then two small plastic bags containing parts that are marked on the metal sprues as either A or B. Although both sets of legs with the same label are identical, inspecting the tab reveals an inscription; “cut tab for jump pose”. After sorting through the plastic bags, it’s revealed that in addition to the legs, each figure has two arm claws, a head, a foot, and a “cod-piece”. The box contains four Gakis heads and two Pretas heads (with symbiote). Out of the total of eight, two of the arm claws have a tab attached, which is used if you want to make a jump pose.
The arms attach at the shoulders with ball and socket joints (with a smaller ball and socket inset) that offers some small degree of rotation. I found the arms quite tricky to attach, especially when trying to make one of the figures in a jump pose (I would recommend pining in this case, as the joint is supporting the weight of the whole figure). I think this was partially caused by the shoulder joints being a little tricky to get to, especially with my large fingers. I also found that for the figure I assembled in the jump pose that it was very easy to bend the blade of the arm claw and I’m worried about it snapping. This was enough to mean that I only made one jump pose and three more “grounded”.
Once assembled the Hungries have very dynamic poses. While I like the imagery that it’s just about to rip someone apart, I have no idea how I’m going to transport them without breaking parts off. This leads me to conclude that they are better suited to a painter/collector rather than a gamer. While design is subjective, I prefer the new sculpts of the Hungries as they are more detailed than those they replace and just seem a better representation of a fast killing machine. I was a little disappointed that there are only two Pretas heads, it surely wouldn’t have been that difficult to include a couple more.
- A cheaper way to field a number of Hungries.
- Great detail and a much more dynamic design.
- Only two Pretas heads.
- Fragility means they may be better suited to painters than gamers.
- Arms are a little “fiddly” to attach.