Plastic Algoryn AI Squad: Box to Table

What’s all this then eh?

asher-headshotAsher sez,

Greetings travellers from distant space!  Another first here today as we take you on the life cycle of a new Antares release from box to table.  Even though we’re a little late to the party on this one due to the fact that in order for things to be shipped to Antipodean Space the packages have to go through 3 wormholes and an ion storm we thought you would appreciate seeing the new Algoryn AI unboxed, built and painted in a step by step process to give you all the info you need to decide whether to add these fellas to your force. (The answer is yet by the way).

The box.  Perhaps the least exciting part of the product, but nice and appealing anyway!  Lets go inside.

The contents.  The box features 2 five man squads, each on a separate sprue along with a sprue of 10 bases and a bag containing two bases and the flying stands or the spotter drones which are also included.

An individual sprue.  5 brave AI in potentia.  The sprue has 5 unique leg poses, 5 torsos, 7 heads (2 open faced, 5 helmeted) and all the weapon options.  That is, 5 Mag Guns, 2 Mag Repeaters, 2 Micro X-launchers a mag Pistol and an X-Sling.  Every possible option is accounted for!
Looking closer we can see that the Spotter Drone comes in two halves.  More importantly, the arms are laid out next to each other so there’s no confusion about which arm goes with which.
The Sprue includes the ever popular option of 2 Micro X-Launchers as well as the option to equip one squaddie with a Mag Repeater as well as the Leader.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to have top otion of making all my guys helmeted.  The Torsos come a front and back sections and are gated on the sides, to side cutters can be used to remove them without damaging detail.
Ta Da!  Assembled.  The squad went together really well.  Everything fit and only a few few, small mould lines were visible.  I’ll reiterate that I’m impressed with the gate placement.  It makes it very easy to remove the components from the sprues without damage.

Overall I was impressed by the quality of the sprue.  It was well laid out, and there was no chance of damaging the components removing them from the sprue.  The arms being laid out next to each other made it very easy to assemble them in an assembly line manner and only minimal clean up was required.  Initially I though that the poses on the arms and legs was a little off, but after actually getting busy, I was quite pleased with the poses I was able to come up with. There’s something about the proportions that still feels a little ‘off’ compared to the metals. The plastics are certainly a bit bulkier than the metals.  Anyway with the build finished, it’s time to paint!

Finished!  Squad 3 joins the ranks of the ADEF.

When comparing the new plastics to the old metals there a few things to notice.  The design has changed in a few areas.  Instead of a small crest on the left Shoulder, the AI now have a large crest on the chest, like the old Commander set.  In addition, they have lost some of the detail in terms of the holes which I painted as light sources, meaning my new squad is less colourful.  The backpack design has changed and I think I like the new design just as much if not more than the old one.  I also love the new leg design as I never liked the piping of the old legs.  The main thing that really bothers me is the guns!  It;s a small quibble, but the lack of stocks on the mag guns really gets to me and the new Micro X-launchers are tiny!  I don’t mind the design, but from a visual game play perspective I like special weapons to be really visually distinct to they stand out on the table.

Most importantly, they’re close enough to the old models that you could mix them in a squad and no one would seem out of place.

Overall I was actually more impressed with this kit than I was expecting to be going in.  I thought the poses were going to be goofy, but I was happy with what I managed to do.  I don’t mind the design changes at all (guns aside) and was very impressed with the kit on a technical level.  Most importantly, they were easy to build, had lots of detail to make for a fun paint and they look great on the tabletop!

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