The first Crusader Brethren was released back in October and was well received by the community, although I wasn't all that impressed myself (not really a knight fan), and here's the HMG version. It's already been previewed at Beasts of War and has been ridiculed for its little Hopscotch skip! Of course it's supposed to look like he's just landing from his air drop and you can see that if you actively keep it in your minds eye as you look at the mini. But as soon as you stop thinking it he's back to hopscotching! Well... for me anyway. There's also something about the loincloth that rubs me the wrong way - which is understandable as long loincloths like this are hard to get right I think. I sound awfully negative which I don't want to as I really like the design of the mini, it's just the pose that's a bit awkward.
Next up a box of Bao Troops which is something I've been looking forward to since I got my Paradiso book. With a solid statline, a decent selection of anti-infantry weapons and Multispectral Visor 2 the Bao provide a relatively cheap alternative for anti-camo duty. The concept art that we saw a while back looked brilliant but I don't think sculptor Javier Ureña has managed to capture it quite as well as I hoped. Again it's the loincloth that throws the models off balance a little. For a moment I also thought we saw the return of the infamous combat high-heels when I saw the Bao, but that's an effect of the concavity of the shin guards, and perhaps the angle of the photo. Now, I'm nitpicking a bit here as I think the rest of the model looks great and it looks like you can leave the loincloth off if you want. In any case I'll be getting a box for sure!
Aww... our beloved Ko Dali truly has been sepsitorised and turned into an agent of the Combined Army. While I would have prefered a new model for the regular Yu Jing version of her I can't deny that this model really is spectacular! Obviously the inspiration has been Kerrigan from Starcraft but CB has been able to put their own touch upon it of course. The large wing like structures will make her hard to hide though, and I'm not sure I'd use the "tail" thing if I got the model myself. In game the new and improved(?) Ko Dali is quite a scary CQB monster with two assault pistols and a nano-pulser. She's still fairly fragile though, so until she's been able to absorb some extra wounds from downed models through Protheion it might be best not to use her too aggressively.
Another mercenary box and another reason for me to start a Qapu Khalqi army! These new Kaplan Tactical Services are some of my favourite Infinity miniatures released so far! The Spitfire KTS that was released a while back was ok, but a hunched, slightly static pose short-changed the the model I think. Here we get a few different poses that, while still hunched, really help to bring out the cool design of these mercs. Again I think we've got some video game inspiration going on here as the KTS look quite similar to the Combine soldiers from Half-Life 2. I just want to get these guys and the Druse and paint them in a kind of police-esque colour theme of dark blue and off-white (again, like the Combine)! Damnit! How am I ever going to complete a faction with cool stuff like this being released all the time?!
Finally we have the mandatory Tohaa release, this month in the form of their AD troop Gao-Tarsos. Now I quite like what I've seen of the Tohaa so far, with the Spec-Ops being my favourite, but none of the models have really impressed me enough to start considering getting some Tohaa of my own. Until now. This guy sculpted by Jose Luis Roig is absolutely awesome! This is a perfect example of how to make a good looking dynamic pose that looks natural (which is ironic as Jose also sculpted the hopscotching Crusader Brethren). The big jump/drop back on his back looks nicely hi-tech and alien at the same time and the helmet simply looks badass. I really hope we get to see the HMG version soon enough as I would want to have as many as possible of these if I ever start collecting Tohaa. Do have a look at the larger and better pictures at Angel Giraldez blog.
So in summary a good month overall, although I think the Bao could have been a little better and that Crusader Brethren will always be the butt of jokes when on the field. On the other hand Ko Dali, the KTS and the Gao-Tarsos are altogether brilliance and great examples of what you can expect from CB at regular intervals. My favourite model of the month has to be the Gao-Tarsos although I think it'll be a while before I actually own one myself. Now... let's take a quick look back on January as well...
Ariadnian Briscards. Very nice, realistic looking sculpts, although the different size (scale?!) of the Sniper Rifle compared to the rest of the guns look somewhat silly.
Yu Jing Celestial Guard Hacker. Quite a surprise to see a model for the CG hacker, but a very welcome one as it's probably the Yu Jings most cost-effective hacker. The updated CG model looks great and I hope that some day in the future we might see resculpts with this kind of detail for the rest as well.
Tohaa Gao-Rael. Sinister looking medium infantry that I quite like. The small weapons of the Tohaa helps to add that hi-tech feel I think.
ALEPH Support Pack. Nothing new here, move along. Good mix of stuff though. Definitely a good box to pick up for a fledgling ALEPH player.
Wildcats. I liked the earlier Spitfire Wildcat but this girl is even better! Some people have complained about the pose and that it's a bit "too much" and the hair doesn't seem all that popular either. Both work for me though, and I'd be happy to have this Wildcat in my army if I played Nomads.
My favourite January model is definitely the unassuming but very well sculpted Celestial Guard hacker, closely followed by the Wildcat. Seeing as I'd like to try out playing the ISS I could see an ALEPH support box in my future as well.
Speaking of the future the rumoured releases for March are ALEPH Penthesilia (motorcycles, woo!), a box of Nomad Reverand Moiras (resculpts methink), a box of Tohaa Chaksas, Shasvaasti Haiduk, Caledonian Volunteer HMG and a PanO support box. Some new Moiras would certainly be welcome and ALEPH motorcycles sounds awesome! Roll on March!