I thought I'd do a quick run-through review of some recent acquisitions here at SteelonSand Towers, which in typical fashion crept in under the wire, and added metal to a project that was officially on hold....so much for good intentions!
The temptations in question were a couple of types from the new kid on the block in the 6mm Sci-Fi market, namely PlasmaBlast Games, run by Marios in Greece.
Now as ever, I need little excuse to feed the 'metal' habit, and to be honest, I didn't have a clear role or niche in mind when ordering these particular minis, although having got my hands on them, quite a few interesting possibilities have opened up.
As you can see above, I chose the Nizzlebat Light Grav Tank and Jagon Medium Grav Tank from the Orbital Combine, as well as the Barracuda Medium Tank and Spiderblade Light Assault Tank from the Progenitors.
Ordering was efficient and easy via the Plasmablast Website, and the choice of turrets available for the various vehicles meant you could tailor the order to suit your particular requirements; I went for the Infantry support version of both Barracuda and Spiderblade.
The order arrived within eight days direct from Greece, and was well packed in a strong cardboard box, the minis themselves being in the usual plastic ziploc baggies.
What was immediately noticeable was the quality of the casting of these models, with absolutely no flash being present, and the whole very clean and in proportion. Mold lines are visible, but are not obtrusive.
They are a little on the pricey side in comparison to similar from GZG or Brigade, but given the quality and the fresh and interesting design concepts on show, they are well worth the expenditure.
Plasmablast have some excellent photos of their product up on their website, including detailed images of all the various variants, so I won't duplicate their efforts here, merely show what I purchased in their 'naked', unpainted states, which should give any potential buyer a closer idea of what they will actually receive.
In turn then , the Nizzlebat and the Jagon:
Some beautiful, techie-looking lumps, bumps and protrusions, and a really unique looking design, make these a sure thing for depicting something suitably Alien and menacing. The Jagon turret, as with all the models, fits in nice and snugly, and is an intrinsic part of the model, rather than being just an afterthought, with a whacking great gun to boot!
(Remember, all shots on this page are clickable for an enlarged, Macro view)
From above, you can see the comparative sizes, the larger mini being around 24mm in hull length:
From behind, the superlative detailing is also apparent:
Moving on to the other two, the Spiderblade is on the left (Which is described on the website as a 'stripped down' version of the other), whilst the Barracuda is resplendent on the right with full-length steel skirts protecting and enclosing the running gear:
This is more apparent in the following photo, where you can see a side view; again the design concepts at work mean that you could choose a particular vehicle type for a particular role on your table top, an approach well explored by in particular, Brigade, and also effectively engineered here:
The rear view again gives you an idea of the size, here in the 25mm or so range:
Moving on then, I thought I'd throw in some comparison shots, and below we see the Barracuda up against the Wildebeest HQ APC, SF300-607b, from the SAC faction, a hefty counterpart if there ever was one:
I think it more than holds its own in the role of a medium to heavy tank, an appearance which is underlined when it is placed beside the German Thrall Hover Truck, SF300-310, also from Brigade:
I've been a little underwhelmed by the rather old-school Warsaw Pact feel of some of the MBTs from the recent Brigade Neo-Soviet releases, and have been considering these new contenders to make up part of just such a force, so here is the Barracuda up against the Kunitsa APC, SF300-1203:
Hmmm, certainly more on the medium side of things, I think, but a good, solid looking counterpart all round.
Of course, my initial approach to small-scale Sci-Fi was based around the use of Irregular's 2mm range, and in particular the cross-over potential of various scales of mini, but I must admit that the quality of this exciting new range has me wondering whether I ought to deploy some purely 6mm units too......is that a version of 'scale creep', I wonder.....
So finally, then, the Nizzlebat in the company of that old favourite, the 2mm IKSF28 two legged walker:
Not too badly out of scale, and again opens up the possibilities of some mixing and matching as the mood takes me - certainly I would heartily recommend investing in this new range of models, particularly as Marios expands it, and I for one, will probably continue to be tempted whilst I drift aimlessly toward yet another new project!