Ah, the first Infinity models of the year. I like that fresh new smell! We get the starter boxes for the two forces in the Operation Icestorm set and instead of repeating what I've already said I'll simply post the pictures and refer to my previews thoughts on them here. There's also some non-model news that I'll get to below.
The new PanOceania starter (without the Father Knight of course)
The new Nomads starter (without the Reverend Healer)
Now, here's something completely new! The Yan Huo Invincible for Yu Jing. Ever since we saw the first concept art for these guys there's been a lot of buzz in the community about what the actual models would look like. And I think it's fairly close to the concept. To me it seems like the biggest changes are the missile launchers (yes, that's what those things are) have been slimmed down a little while the actual trooper has been made considerably bulkier, which is certainly a good thing as I imagine it would have looked extremely top heavy otherwise. How the guns are actually mounted remind me a lot of the excellent Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live.Die.Repeat or All You Need is Kill) with Tom Cruise, just take a look at this picture, and with the addition of the stabilizer fins they actually look like they might work (hell, we could probably build something like this today. Just imagine what another 100 years will do). What on the other hand looks a little silly is that he's actually holding the trigger mechanism. While I understand it from a visual standpoint I really think targeting would be handled through some kind of cube integration.
While I at first was a little "hmm..." about it, now I'm all kinds of excited and even though this is the "worst" equipped of the three variants I simply have to add him to my collection! I'm sure it'll be fun to have a burst two missile launcher to spring on unsuspecting enemies. Muahahaha!!
Next up we have a new Ragik with Spitfire for Haqqislam. I've always liked the Ragik models and their wings as it instantly communicates what kind of model it is while also looking a lot more lo-tech than the PanO, ALEPH or (soon) Yu Jing alternatives. It seems like the wings have grown a little bit, both in size and thickness and I imagine this is to make them easier to mount and harder to break off. A good trade-off I think. Having lost their HMG profile (just like the Yu Jing Tigers) it was necessary to quickly release a Spitfire sculpt to cover the cap. My favourite thing about this guy though, is that he's full of that Infinity dynamism that made the game stand out from the crowd back when it was released. The older Ragiks are certainly very dynamic and I'm happy to see CB keeping up with tradition. Especially as we've seen far less of these kind of poses in recent years. More runners please, CB!
The final release of the month is the SWC box of Unidron Batroids for Combined Army. You might remember me really liking the base troopers in starter box and seeing as this is more of the same I'm a happy camper! What's new are of course the interesting looking new weapons they're carrying - the Plasma Sniper Rifle especially looks very alien and I'm eager to see how often you'll encounter bent ones when playing in the wild. Hehe! The really small Spitfire is an interesting take on the weapon, like it's childishly simple technology for the EI to shrink. The K1 Combi Rifle on the other hand is a little larger (and seems quite scary in game!).
While I really like the models and would pick them up for that reason alone if I started CA, I don't know how much use they would actually see in game considering they're not the best troops the EI has to offer, to say the least. It would be another matter if they were linkable, but they're not. Yet.
Finally, while this is not an Infinity model release it's some Infinity connected news that is well worth spreading! The long awaited Angel Giraldez Masterclass book on how to paint miniatures will soon be up for pre-order (or might already be at your local store!) and since I know the print run is very limited you really should try and pre-order it if you're interested. Of course PanO players have an extra incentive in that you get the resculpted Joan of Arc with the book. Oh, and it's also interesting that this is is Volume One... hmm.... ;)
Great releases this month! While I'm partial to the Yan Huo, and I think it's probably the best model overall, I really like that new Ragik and his running pose! However, I think I'm most excited about getting my hands on Angel's book as I think it will help me up my painting game.