A look now at yet another "Test" project, this time Sci-Fi related, in the shape of the excellent 'Eylau Sequence' minis produced by War Times Journal. Yes, you guessed it, the recent rush of shiny new metal across the pages of the Blog has ignited the need for more of the same - and I found myself justifying just a small purchase of a selection of these intriguing models.....only to test the water as it were...... :-)
For some time now, Jim over at WTJ has been working on a whole new type of line, a far cry from his normal 1/3000th naval, and has come up with a product that is of similar quality, which is further supported by a whole slew of relevant gaming and background information, from creative fiction to stats and rules - you might say he has written a whole new Sci-Fi Universe into the canon, or should that be Microverse?
I won't attempt to explain the well-thought out and inspiring ideas behind the range here, the WTJ site itself has links to all the relevant information, but suffice to say that what we have is a future war where the main protagonists employ tiny or even microscopic vehicles to engage each other, autonomous, armed and deadly!
Being such a small scale fanatic, I knew I couldn't resist the siren call of these 'tiny' minis for long, so took the plunge with the sculpts that I will be showcasing here.
Now WTJ, in the same way as their 1/3000th Pre-Dreadnoughts, have detailed photographs of the miniatures on their site, so I won't attempt to replicate those here, but merely relate those I acquired to one another to give an idea of how my own project might shape up.
Two of the factions in the Eylau Sequence story have vehicles that are named for, and loosely designed around real-world flora and fauna, with the Californians employing reptiles, and the Selangor carnivorous fish. The Mediterranean states are the exception with a less organic look, deploying craft of hard, technical weapon-related nomenclature.
I got a selection of heavy and light from the various factions, with a view to producing a sort of battleship and escorts type of unit from each.
From the Californians, then, we have the larger L35 Chameleon (WTJ-9011501) and the smaller L63 Whiptail (WTJ-9011502):
The sculpts on these are clean and sleek, with the very high quality detailing familiar to purchasers of the company's ships. There are some mould lines visible, but to be honest at this scale, these become more part of the design than extraneous to it, and where present are very clean and sharp. Seen here in their 'out-of-packet' state, there is a small amount of venting/flashing remnants, but nothing worth speaking of.
The intriguing concepts brought forward from WTJ, not only the miniature technology but the 'organic' design background are fresher than the standard 'future aerospace-spacecraft with wings' or 'alien equals bulbous bugs' approach, and I think it is great to see some new thinking in terms of styling making it from concept to the gaming table - I have seen in various discussion forums that these minis could equally be used as Grav-tanks or even Fleet-scale spacecraft, as well as for their intended purpose.
In keeping, perhaps, with this novel approach, WTJ has decided to include a unique mounting system with these miniatures; to whit a notched metal part to the base of the mini that corresponds with it's own small metal stand and base - these are included within the purchase price of the mini itself.
I was initially sceptical about this, having moved alongside most gamers into the area of using magnets and plastic stands for vehicles such as this, and I also feared, given the small weight of the minis themselves, for what the balance and fit would be like.
I need not have worried; in line with the product quality on show elsewhere in their ranges, WTJ's MGVs should fit neatly and easily onto the stands - indeed, in the following picture, the Chameleon and its partner are balanced 'au-naturel' on the corresponding base pedestal - at this stage no glue involved!
Of course, gluing would be necessary, and the company has thoughtfully provided advice on their website as to how this is done, although many people might have their own ideas as to how to do this, or might even feel the notch and groove pedestal would not fit into their standard basing - but I don't think this makes the minis any less attractive!
Moving on, we see the EU11 Mace (WTJ-9011406) alongside the EU7 Lance (WTJ-9011404):
These Mediterranean/Australian craft have a much more technical look, and would therefore, perhaps, more easily fit in as alternatives alongside existing small-scale Sci-Fi ranges.
It wouldn't be hard to imagine either as Fleet-scale starships, for instance.
I think the L35 Chameleon is particularly effective, and has great proportions, and let's face it, just looks d*mned cool, even in an unpainted state:
It's heavyweight foe might be the K312 Rock Shark (WTJ-9011306), which has a really menacing aspect, again with a technical edge.
These micro- or even nano-bots look like they could kick up some serious fuss, even if it is on such a small scale - the game statistics themselves feature the option to have them battling it out out with insects, fungii or even malevolent mold, and the terrain might be littered with impeding ice crystals, dust or hair!
At the moment, my take on these minis will probably follow the conventions laid out by WTJ themselves, including the basing - I've even got a bag of mini toy plastic insects somewhere that would add some colour to their combats - but it does occur to me that the more organic-looking sculpts might even do double duty as some scary alien Aero-Fauna in VSF/Aeronef gaming.
Hopefully, a lick of paint should firm these ideas up a bit, and I'll return to these little beasties in forthcoming posts - in the meantime, remember the old adage that it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog - small can be deadly!