+ inload: Infinity Operation: Icestorm +


+ Corvus Belli have recently released a boxed set of their tabletop skirmish game Infinity. I have been vaguely following CB's miniature releases over the years, as they burst onto the scene with some great, dynamic sculpts. More recently, their work has picked up in release pace and realism as they have embraced computer-aided design. I hesitate to say they've picked up in 'quality', as I think traditional hand sculpting is a different (though obviously comparable) discipline, and hand-sculpted models have a different appeal and charm. In addition, CB have always produced some very nice sculpts, so it's unfair to dismiss the earlier stuff as lower-quality. +

+ Anyway, CAD brings with it a number of advantages, not least of which is consistency, speed and the ability to produce extremely fine detail. Since the sculpt can be much more easily reproduced, tweaked and altered than a hand-sculpt, manufacturers can get some absolutely gorgeous models. +

+ Icestorm comes with two sets of figures that each represents a special operations group, and an extra model to represent a civilian/operative. The two groups are from rival factions of the near-future game – PanOceania and the Nomads. In generic terms, PanOceania are influential, well-equipped and well-trained professional soldiers – perhaps with a hint of smugness about their worldview – while the Nomads are rogues and rebels; a disparate group that want to live off-grid for a number of reasons. A very simple 'blue vs red' set up that seems sensible for a starter set. +

+ The models are all high-quality multipart white metal, and supplied in small individual baggies. They have been well-designed to glue together in proscribed poses. I found they went together well and required minimal cleanup – slight trimming of vents, but virtually no flash whatsoever. They're also true 28mm, which makes them fairly small. This is quite nice to see; I've been getting fed up with models that don't fit on their bases! +

PanOceanian Fusiliers, the lowest-level PanO troopers in the box
+ I decided I'd paint the groups up together, in order that I end up with a complete set. The box has a set of missions to teach you the basic rules, and mission one pits teams of three basic troopers against each other. These groups seemed a sensible starting point. +

Alguaciles, the Nomad equivalent to the Fusiliers.
+ I trimmed the slotta tabs from the models and attached them to tupenny bits, onto which I had superglued some small spare bits from the Microarts Studios terrain pieces I showed last month. I then used PVA to secure the join and added fine sand for some basic texture. I'll probably go back and develop the bases a bit more at a later date. I decided to use coins to base these models (much as I do for Epic figures) to give them a bit more weight and stability. +

+ Since these are more realistically-proportioned models, I think they looked a bit odd on the supplied slottabases, standing proud of the terrain. Using coins for the bases also dropped their height a bit. This won't affect the game, as there's a silhouette marker mechanic to deal with line of sight issues. I probably would have used coins anyway – 'models first, rules second' – but it's nice to not have to worry about the potential for annoying other players. +

+ The models have a lovely sci-fi feel, with great detailing and appealing details, and I'm looking forward to painting them. The Nomads in particular have a great Battlestar: Galactica vibe to their uniforms, and it's nice to see diversity both in gender and race. Each of the figures is quite distinct and has a lot of character; from the cornrows of one of the Nomad (centre of image above) to the excellent draping on the PanOceanians soft clothing. +

Nomads – rear shot

+ The downside of this is that conversion work is made that much harder – you risk creating odd poses or destroying the lovely balance of the figures, but since they're so good anyway, I don't see this as a problem. In fact, it's quite appealing. I've got so used to converting things and having to build from (necessarily) generic multipart models, it's quite nice to go back to constructing models that are deliberately in a specific pose. +

+ One point of note is that these are very fine figures, which means they are likely to be fairly fragile. The joints, while designed with notches and recesses to help you glue things in the right place, are very small and thus vulnerable. Careful play should see problems kept minimal, but drilling and pinning is going to be time-consuming. I'm relying on using superglue and being careful!+ 
PanOceania – rear shot

+ As you can see, I've got stuck into the painting on the PanO team. Once assembled, I primed the figures grey, than used a light dusting of white spray from above at a fixed angle in order to establish some initial tonal work. I'm not sticking with the official colour schemes – since the models are monopose, I wanted to add my own touches and paint scheme seemed the obvious choice. +



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