Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stormtroops and Shock Troops - a comparison

I have now assembled the first few figures from the Wargames Factory Shocktroops box. As I said in a previous post, I intend to use them for an Imperial Guard army for 40k, so they're being assembled to fit that system. For the first lot, I have stuck (almost) exactly to what is in the box - here are ten troopers, with a sergeant, a special weapon (grenade launcher) and eight lasguns. Once the heavy weapons are released, I will drop two lasgunners from the squad and draft in an autocannon proxy, which is why there are two guys without squad markings. From my four boxes, I will get six squads initially (Echo Yellow 1-3, Echo Red 1-3); once the heavies come out I will be able to spread out into another two squads (Echo Yellow 4, Echo Red 4).

Plus points:
The figures are in general nicely sculpted, the coats seem to flow well, the shoulder pads are distinctive without being intrusive. There are enough of the standard weapon to arm every figure; it's is a nice looking gun which is very much equivalent in length and bulk to the GW offering. There are five other gun options; three are similar to the lasgun in style and could be used to kit-bash other weapon types by combining them with GW parts. There is also a grenade launcher (which looks nice) and a flamer (which I'm not so keen on) so plenty of options for the standard troopers. There are a couple of water bottles and knives; I would have preferred one more of each, so every man got one, but nice nevertheless. There are enough spare powerpacks for every figure to get at least one hung from their belt, which is good.

Minus points:
The left hand is at the wrong angle. If you assemble the figures exactly as they come, the thumb is too high and the heel of the hand is too low. I have started amputating at the wrist and rotating it about 15° so that the gun sits neatly in the hand.
The command options are very weak - the only options are a pistol-packing right hand and a pointing left hand. The pistol is a real pea-shooter of a weapon, and this was the one adddition I made to the figures I assembled, exchanging it for a lasgun from the GW Cadians. If you assemble the pieces exactly as they come in the kit, it makes the command figure look very peculiar. This is a multi-part plastic kit, yet the only command figure you can make is completely two-dimensional. I have put one together for this blog entry, but it will be the only one to look like that - I will be drafting some Cadian parts in for the others.
The necks are too long. They are giraffe-necked if you assemble them directly from the sprue; I chopped back the length of the neck by somewhere between 1 and 1.5 millimetres (which may not sound like much, but in scale that's perhaps 3" out of the neck!) On the plus side, it's far easier than doing that with metal, and you quite quickly learn where to cut rather than having to offer the head up to the body each time. Another option would be to spin a 1/8" drill bit in the neck socket, which might be quicker; I will try that on the next unit.

I'm reading back, and I think I am coming over very negative. I don't want to, and I don't mean to. They are nice figures with a few small problems which are pretty easy to overcome or ignore. And at the price, they are hard to beat. Anyway, I have enough for two 35-man Imperial Guard platoons for under £50; that's pretty good going. I will almost certainly buy some more when I have assembled all of these, which is surely the acid test of a model.

And finally - the painted veteran squad, and a comparison between the GW Cadian Shock Troops and the WF Stormtroops - I think it shows that they can happily be used together.


Steven said...

very nice. how did you do the brown on the trousers, wash or drybrush?

Colin Hagreen said...

Very simple and quick - the brown was GW Tausept Ochre, with a heavy coat of GW Badab Black wash over the top. In fact, there's no shading on any of the models except through the wash, it's all done through a neat base-coat and a wash! I reckoned I needed a quick and dirty painting method if I was going to finish an Imperial Guard infantry army anytime soon!