by Ian Wood
Corvus Belli sent us the following November 2010 releases for Infinity to review:
- Yu Jing Su-Jian Immediate Action Unit
- Pan Oceana Military Orders Sectorial Starter Pack
- Aleph Achilles
- Nomads Moderator with Spitfire
- Ariadna William Wallace
In common with Grant's Infinity reviews I'm not mentioning casting quality unless there is something particularly good or bad about a model, Corvus Belli's casting quality is generally good and consistent.
November was a bumper month for Infinity, with two boxes and three blisters including the long-awaited Su-Jian, Achilles and William Wallace among others.
Yu Jing Su-Jian Immediate Action Unit price €24.00
The Su-Jian is a dual-form robot that transforms between a four-legged mobility form and a humanoid combat form, with it's in-game stats and skills changing accordingly. The box contains two models, each representing one of the two forms so that you can swap the models as needed.
The mobility form of the model is the by now familiar four-legged Infinity remote style, sharing design cues with the other Yu Jing remotes including the armoured panels on the legs. The Su-Jian body sits particularly far back on the legs giving the feel of a spider or cat crouching, ready to spring — especially when combined with the hunched down 'head'. Like several of the other Remote models, there are small road wheels visible behind the clawed feet, helping justify the fast movement rate of the model in game terms. Of note is the extra piece stuck to the back of the area where the legs meet which apparently does nothing but then becomes the hip joint of the combat pose.
The combat form of the model is quite tall, standing at about 3”. Initially, it appears to be in an awkward curly pose until you realise that it's in the middle of unfurling from the mobility pose. The Transformer vibe on this model makes it a bit of a love it or hate sculpt but it's worth pointing out that it transforms from a robot to a robot, not a car or helicopter etc. The transformation must be quite complex as there are limbs moving to different anchor points with one pair of legs detaching from the central position in the mobility form onto the rear section which then becomes the hip, while the other legs migrate onto the side of the body/head piece to form the arms.
The mobility version has a fairly sane five pieces - the crossed legs, main body, gun and hip. The combat version is another matter. 14-16 pieces is definitely putting the 'multi' into multi-piece.
The crossed leg design of the mobility form fit together quite well with the body piece resting in the dip where the legs meet. The gun sits on a nub on the right side of the body and the 'hip' fits onto the back of the legs. The weapon will need pinning as the contact point is very small compared to the length of the barrel, I would also advise pinning the body onto the legs.
The combat form is altogether more complex to assemble, needing advanced modelling skills. The first challenge is to work out which part goes where which took me a good half an hour of looking back and forth between parts and box. To save you the trouble, I took the component photo with the pieces in roughly the right positions.
The hip joints at the tops of the legs are nice and sturdy with square pegs and holes to stop rotation, a good thing as the whole weight of the model rotates around the left hip. The hip to body joint is a semi-ball joint as in the mobility form. There are a number of armoured plates that need attaching to the limbs before gluing the limbs on. Apart from the hip to leg joins, I would advise pinning as many joints as possible, particularly the shoulders which have very small contact points.
In general the parts are free from warping and fit reasonably snugly, but without pinning it will be a very fragile model.
- Good attempt at a 'working' Transformer concept.
- Great detailing and form.
- Two-model box.
- Combat form is very fiddly to assemble.
- Concept isn't to everyone's taste.
PanOceania Military Orders Sectorial Starter Pack price €33.25
Sectorial armies are effectively themed armies or sub-factions within the main factions. They trade increased access to some units and also the abaility to form lonk teams for reduced or zero access to many of the 'staple' options for the faction.
The starter pack contains two Knights in powered armour, three Order Sergeants who form the backbone of the Order's forces and a Sergeant with Multi-Sniper Rifle and thermo-optic camo.
The Military Orders Sectorial is clearly designed to appeal to GW Space Marine players, but the style of the Knight models is closer to the old Alternative Armies Firefight range plus a heavy Anime/Manga feel.
The pack as a whole has a very cohesive feel with similar poses, styling and detailing. Of particular note are the guns - this was the first pack to include the new-style PanOceania guns after Corvus Belli decided to take the unprecedented step of making the guns smaller! This had been a problem with some of the older sculpts, with Chain Rifles and HMGs in some cases being bulkier than the model carrying them. Although I personally like the new versions of the guns but they can end up looking odd when mixed in with a non-sectorial PanO force with the older gun designs.
The three Order Sergeants are in similar but not identical poses, fitting their role as team members. The tabards and strapped on armour plates give them a knightly feel without encroaching on the Knight's territory too much.
The Specialist Sergeant Sniper is nearly identical in style to the Order Sergeants with the addition of a backpack and a larger hex-lined tabard - a nice touch as some of the other PanO models with TO-camo share the same hex-lined cloak material. This is the only model where I feel the smaller gun size doesn't work so well as it's not easily distinguishable from the Combi-Rifles.
The Magister Knight is in a slightly stilted running pose although the flowing tabard helps give the impression of speed. The detailing on the powered armour is superb, particularly the surprisingly small Panzerfaust two-shot missile system on the left shoulder. The small size of this helps show the technical prowess of Pan Oceana compared to the large, clumsy-looking twin-tube Panzerfausts of the other factions.
The Teutonic Knight is the clear star of the pack with the same attention to detail in the armour as the Magister but a far better pose, resting his sword on one shoulder while blazing away with his left-handed Combi-Rifle. The slight sideways tilt of the head and the curvature of the spine combined with the rested sword gives him a look of concentrated nonchalance while the same small Panzerfaust as on the Magister gives him some long-range punch.
The Panzerfaust and shoulder are in a slightly different configuration then on the Magister showing the articulation of the armour plates, with the Panzerfaust nicely aligned with the direction of the Combi-Rifle.
All six models in the pack share the same design of antenna which slots into the back of the head. If you've had bad experiences with fiddly Infinity antennas in the past, these are quite a bit chunkier and fit into a large depression/slot in the back of the head so are a lot easier to deal with.
The Order Sergeants all share the same body plus legs and left arm construction, with the right arm and left hand being part of the Combi-Rifle pieces. Although the three models are made up the same way, the distances between right shoulder and left wrist are distinct enough to make it clear which gun goes with which body. There is a triangle of space between the guns, the bodies and the left arms so painting after assembly shouldn't be too bad.
The Magister Knight has one leg attached to the torso, a separate right leg and two separate arms. The whole weight of the model rests on the separate right leg but reassuringly the join to the torso is massive, with two deep nubs to hold it solidly in place. This does however leave a slight gap along the front of the tabard which will need filling.
The shoulders fit into a deep bowl with a small nub in the bottom and fit reasonably well.
The Specialist Sergeant sniper is basically the same as the Order Sergeants in construction, with the addition of a 'wing' of the cloak that attaches to the left side to add a flaring shape that would be hard to cast in one piece. There is less space between gun and body than on the Order Sergeants.
This is the one model where I don't like the new reduced size gun - somehow it doesn't look large enough to be a sniper rifle!
For all that I love the pose and detailing of the Teutonic Knight, the detail feels slightly fuzzy and the sword-hilt is decidedly blobby compared to the rest of the model. The other arm is much better with crisp detailing on the gun, armour plates and the shoulder-mounted Panzerfaust.
The shoulders fit in the same way as the Magister and naturally end up in the position shown in the official photos.
- Cohesive and consistent styling across all six models.
- Teutonic Knight is an outstanding pose.
- Crisp details.
- 'Slouching' poses.
- Magister Knight's arms crossing the chest and face will make the model harder to paint.
- Fuzzy detail on Teutonic Knight's sword.
Aleph Achilles price €8.75
Achilles is the pinnacle of Aleph's cybernetic body and artificial personality projects, literally a TAG in human form.
Achilles' pose revels in Infinity's Anime inspirations, from to the blowing-in-the-wind hair to the slightly strained arm positions and reversed-hilt sword grip. It's a very dynamic pose which does a good job of capturing how bad-ass he is in game terms - given the opportunity he'll happily chew through most of an opposing force without much help.
Detail-wise Achilles follows the Aleph style very closely, sharing a lot of design cues such as the pointed knees with the Myrmidons which makes sense as they are based on his historical/mythical followers. In common with other faction models the details are fine but crisp with many small channels helping to break up the flatter surfaces while retaining a generally sleek look.
Achilles is a three piece model plus an optional Spitfire not shown in the official photos. The Spitfire has a small nub on one side which fits into a hole on the middle of his back. The arms attach via quite deep recesses with small nubs in the bottom, giving a decent surface area for gluing. Casting points are generally in sensible places like the shoulder where there is no detail and there is little flash and minor mould lines. However on the review model there is a tiny bit of extra metal along the side of his left index finger where there must be a slight rip in the mould. The left arm is also the piece with the most flash. The Spitfire somehow doesn't have quite as clean lines as most of the Aleph guns while the hair is a bit of a pain to clean up.
- 'FEAR ME!' pose, crisp detailing.
- Optional Spitfire which could also be used to convert other models.
- Stylised pose.
- Small casting error on left hand.
- Optional Spitfire isn't as crisply sculpted as the rest of the model.
Nomads Moderator with Spitfire price €7.75
Moderators are the militarised police of Bakunin, not as well equipped or skilled as professional soldiers but are well able to hold their own. Bakunin is an anarchic spaceship where the police forces can meet anything at any time and much of the population are cosmetically modified in some way, both of which are echoed in the Moderator models. The Spitfire is a medium machine gun which adds some much-needed punch to the range of Moderator models.
This is another love-it-or-hate-it extreme pose. The dynamism of the Moderator running full-tilt with a big gun is great, the potential for line of sight issues with a model that hangs on the edge of the base are not so pretty. Sharing the styling of the existing Moderator models, the Spitfire user is not in military uniform and has a semi-hooded armoured torso. The areas of bare skin have many finely-sculpted panels and inlays, giving the model a tribal look if one wants to paint it that way.
The parts are clean with a nearly invisible mould line on the body although the head appeared to have miscast cheeks until I looked at the official paint job and saw that it was yet more cicatrices/tattoos in a diamond pattern. The Spitfire gun is very well defined, more so than the Aleph Spitfire that is included with Achilles.
The arms fit into shaped depressions on the shoulders which are not round so the positions can't be altered, however there are no locating nubs. The right arm fits well and has a good surface area for gluing. The left arm is more problematic - the casting point on the arm is right where it attaches to the body which is good in that it's totally invisible once assembled and can't cover up detail, but it also makes the arm a less solid fit than the other side as you can't get the shape quite right. It's quite easy to end up with the elbow pointing too far down which then makes the wrist look wrong. Getting the wrist to join is a pain as the arm appears to have shrunk slightly during the mould making and casting process, leaving it a fraction of a millimetre too short to meet the hand moulded onto the gun.
- Dynamic pose.
- Fantastically designed and sculpted gun.
- Crisp and distinct detail.
- Line of sight issues in-game.
- Left arm is fiddly to attach and is slightly short.
Ariadna William Wallace price €7.75
Created by Aleph to act as a divisive force based on the Scottish warrior, William Wallace crash-landed in the Ariadnan wilds. Amnesia from the crash and the battle for survival wiped all trace of Aleph's hidden agenda, leaving Wallace to revert to his inherent character.
William Wallace is an interesting mix of historical and SF styling with the kilt, sporran and head being very normal but with the added touches of a communicator on his right lapel (not visible in the official photos), the armoured arms and slightly hi-tech looking backpack and sword. The pose on this model does a great job of giving the sword some mass and momentum, something sorely lacking in a lot of more heroic scale miniatures. This is clearly someone who is waving around a big heavy sharp thing and you really don't want to get in the way of his swing! The sculpting quality is generally good to very good although there are a few areas like the legs and shoes that feel slightly undefined.
Wallace comes in two parts, slightly unusually for a non-line infantry model. Although in-game he has ranged weaponry, this isn't shown on the model and unlike Achilles there is no optional gun to add on. The casting is generally clean with a small amount of mould line visible on the legs and kilt along with some flash around the sword hilt on the arms and sword piece. Unfortunately there are several small areas of mould damage on the review model, with extra metal present under the back of the ponytail, between the backpack and right shoulder and the back of the right upper arm. Apart from the strip between the backpack and shoulder, none of this is very noticeably when assembled. One of the venting points on the arm piece is on the left upper arm and is extremely close to the edge of one of the overlapping plates, making it's removal difficult. The arms join the body around the shoulder/upper arms area of the torso. This was a tight fit and the arms needed opening out slightly to reach both fixing points at once. The right upper arm is slightly thinner than the rest of the right arm meaning that the part on the body sticks out slightly, but this would be easily fixed with a bit of filing. Finally, the sword hilt doesn't quite line up with the middle of the blade which isn't visible at first glance but gets irritating after awhile.
- Good pose with some extremely fine detail.
- Realistically-sized broadsword that still looks like it's heavy.
- Arms crossing the chest and face make the model harder to paint but there is some room in front of the chest.
- Lower casting quality than normal.
- Not WYSIWYG.