Good evening fellow Mayanauts! I'm a little late with my thoughts on the new Infinity releases, but I wanted to let the Robotech article stay on top for a bit. Anyway, this month we have a good mix of stuff including a character that people have been clamouring for since... well, for a long time! Let's have a look...
First out is a Ariadnan Scots Guard armed with a missile launcher. This miniature was teased ahead of the main release and when I first saw it I almost didn't think it was an official CB model. Even looking at it now (in this much better picture) I still think something feels off. There are several small things, like that flow of the coat, the hunched head, the stiff looking left arm and the wonky missile launcher that throws me. It is not like all these details are really bad it's just that they "muddle up" the mini in my mind. Then again, I might change my mind entirely when I actually get to see it in the flesh. I has happened before! It's certainly not a bad model but it lacks something I've come to expect from CB. Then again an angry Scotsman with a missile launcher should be on everyone's wishlist!
To weigh up the bad start let's look at the PanO special character Kirpal Singh! Now this is a miniature who lives up to CB's high standards in every way! I've always felt PanO to be a little bland, nice looking, but bland. With some exceptions of course, like the Bagh-Mari and the Akhalis Sikh Commandos. And here we have a Akhali character - turban and all! The armour looks great, the new re-sized rifle looks a lot better as well and the assault pistol definitely means business. Love the pose as well as you can really see the heft of the rifle and the way he's nonchalantly aiming the pistol - like he's taking potshots at a retreating enemy. The head and face is a welcome departure from the bland (again!) faces of many other PanO minis. This guy not only is a character, he has character.
The armour has been re-designed and looks quite different from the originalr Akhali Sikhs. But considering their age this is to be expected. The biggest departure is probably that the fins on the backs of the old ones have been replaced by the jetpack(?) thrusters. I'm all for it as that is one of the things I really liked about the Crusader Brethren. It also helps visually identifying miniatures with combat jump. The redesign also makes me wonder if we might see a box of newly sculpted Akhali Sikh Commandos in the not too distant future...
Alright, with all that awesome I need to cool down a bit with the Haqqislam Support Pack. "Yawn, just another repack" you might think, but then you'd be wrong! While the Nasmat helper bots are the same both the Doctor and the Engineer are new sculpts. While the old ones were servicable there's no denying that these new miniatures blow them out of the water! They retain the same essence as their forebears but have become a lot more detailed and simply put, look more realistic. Although I can't help wondering why they issued the Doc with a childrens flak vest...
Another special character! Domaru Takeshi "Neko" Oyama was one of the first special characters I memorized simply because his name kept popping up everywhere on the forums when I started playing. I've seen a number of conversion for him, and I'm happy to say that the official model looks nothing like them! Not because the conversions were bad in any way, I just feel that a special character should be just that - special. While you can see the Domaru power armour beneath, Neko like to dress with panache so have put on some traditional samurai armour and a vest (jin-haori,if I remember my samurai correctly) on top. This really makes the model stand out and I think it looks awesome!
I've seen some comments about the "weird" way he's holding the sword (left hand at the very end of the hilt) but this is at least common in kendo, both in single and two sword fighting. To me it looks fine. The biggest debate has been about his face and hair though! Apparently the entire model is an homage to Mugen from Samurai Champloo anime, and pulling up pictures of him the similarites are certainly there. It's not what I expected but seeing Takeshi's background as a young roughian who don't really care much for tradition I think it fits. In game he's basically a souped up Domaru, meaning he's even more of a melee monster! Definitely a mini I will pick up.
Finally, what would an Infinity release be without something for the Tohaa? This time we get a neat box of Chaksa Auxiliars. I don't know what I expected of the chaksa, but it certainly wasn't this! They kind of look like classical 'Grey aliens' on 'roids, except there are some elements of the EI in there as well... except softer and more... human looking. Overall they look pretty badass and I can imagine a lot of people being disappointed that they are actually merely the Tohaa versions of remotes. In mostly any other game miniatures like these would come with heavy armour and devastating weaponry, but if you look at them you see a lot of bare skin. And I don't care how big you are... bare skin spells doom in a gunfight! So having them at ARM 1 seems perfectly appropriate to me.
They basically correlate to the standard remotes of the other factions, although a bit slower but more well armed. They have decent PH as well so are able to dodge reasonably well which is nice. All in all a pretty cool box!
Another good month, although I still haven't figured out that Scots Guard. My favourite model this month is probably Kirbal Singh, closely followed by the Chaksa and Oyama. The Haqqislam specialists are great sculpts as well, but don't quite pack the same punch as the other guys. I'm not sure when I'll be able to buy any of these for myself as there are three kickstarters I'd like to invest in but... Oyama at least will be mine!