Saturday, 25 September 2010

Exclusive Preview: 6mm Super Heavies from Plasmablast

I'm lucky enough to be able to bring you another super 6mm exclusive preview now, this time of the as yet unseen Super Heavy tanks to accompany the developing Sci-Fi range over at Plasmablast Games.
The ever-gracious Marios Damoulianos over in Greece was kind enough to send me some pre-release samples of the new Super Heavy Tanks that will complement the available Progenitor and Orbital Combine vehicles, so I thought I'd share them with you all prior to their planned debut in approximately a months time.

As you can see above, in the company of their respective Heavy and Medium counterparts, these new vehicles are definitely impressive; truly 'super', and climbing towards the Ogre range of things, I think!
That is not to say, however, that they are crude or ugly in any way however, indeed, as you will be able to see in the photos in this post, the detail, interest and quality of these minis is second to none.

We can see below the two side by side, and the dimensions are immediately apparent, easily filling a 50x50mm square:

First up, let's take a look at each from the ground up, as it were, here the Orbital Combine version, perhaps a hover or GEV unit:

Each vehicle comes with separate weapons and utility turrets, in the case of this one, a main and subsidiary turret, along with two nifty missile launchers:

Its counterpart, a more conventional tracked type:

Its weapons fit, again a main and subsidiary, with in addition two rather cool gatling and missile combo types:

Let's see the Progenitor Super Heavy complete with the weapons in situ; a front view to give you an idea of the definition that you might expect from the production models when available - obviously these are advance copies, so according to Marios, might still be a little rough around the edges. (although I can't see where!)

I think the turrets and weapon-fits as such, whilst following on faithfully from some of the innovative designs already apparent from Plasmablast, might not be to everyones' taste, but being cast separately, could of course be mixed and matched as required:

In any event, whatever your preference, the proportions and balance of the individual turrets are spot-on, and they slide easily and sit comfortably into the pre-drilled mounting holes. As usual with Marios' work, there is no flash or venting remnants to dispose of, and whilst mould lines are apparent, I don't think they are particularly obtrusive.

Attention to detail is the key here, with every surface having had some thought applied to it; I believe Plasmablast have gone down the route of using 3D computer software for their initial designs, and this pays dividends in the overall appearance:

The Orbital Combine version has similar qualities, even down to the individual missile launch tube covers in the two smallest turrets. (Remember, all photos are 'clickable' for a close-up view.)

The only issue that did cause me some concern was the fact that when the main and subsidiary turrets are mounted together, the overhang from the main weapon systems on both vehicles means that when they are pointing forward, they rest directly on top of the fore-turret.
This serves to sadly obscure the smaller turret entirely, both losing a view of the excellent sculpting, and to some extent making the vehicle as a whole look slightly less realistic. (If you can use such a word in the case of such wonderful monsters!)

Of course this issue could be solved by some clever posing of the individual turrets when making them up; or even perhaps putting a small shim below the main turret to lift it up a little - but this would necessarily spoil the nice conformal fit that Marios has produced.

That one issue aside, these are great pieces of kit, and if you are disposed towards some serious firepower having a place on your table-top, then these will definitely fit the bill.

Finally, let's take a look at each model up against its smaller team members once more:

I've go to give Plasmablast top marks for continuity of vision in the depiction of these two factions, and think that it is great to see them making an effort to develop and widen their ranges - we all have our favourites from the established companies out there, but these additions can only serve to re-inforce that one weakness of almost all Wargamers -the need to add to the Lead Mountain!

I for one will be very happy to see these available in a month or so's time, and look forward to keeping an eye open for more from the company in future - If you are of similar mind, feel free to bombard Marios with demands for more of the same!

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