Product review: Prodos Games Amazon Riders

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It’s no secret that I gave up on Games Workshop a while ago, with their constant re-doing of their codexes, the new edition of 40K dropping while I still hadn’t taken all of the previous edition’s pieces out of the box, and their just downright egregious pricing of the new plastic minis cemented the demise of GW for me. That and the fact they still hadn’t done anything to the Sisters of Battle range, which was still apparently because of issues they were having with the details.

Well, bollocks I say.

Anyhoo, I’m not here to lament the downfall of a company I used to love, but it’s a good segue into the new miniatures I picked up recently after discovering them through the Aliens Vs Predator – ‘Bug Hunt’ game my friend ordered.

Prodos are based in Warwickshire, UK, not too far from my hometown. I was pleasantly surprised by this, always nice to know that there are other companies making minis that are in your own backyard. Now Prodos and the AVP license they secured are a somewhat of a bone of contention with quite a few fans out there, essentially regarding the Kickstarter for that game and various issues that have followed since the funding of said game. I’m not going to go into all that, and if you’re really dying to know, just google it and do some research, but I won’t be taking any more space up here discussing it.

Prodos have quite an extensive line in support of the Mutant Chronicles game (for those that remember that in it’s original incarnation from the early 90s), and the figures are cracking! I seem to remember Praetorian Stalkers from back in the day, I wonder if they’ll make an appearance again?

They also make a game called ‘Space Crusaders’ (notice the ‘s’ on the end there), which I know little about, but it appears to be a small-scale skirmish system they have developed. Also in support of this game are also a line of miniatures, which is where we come to rest with my product review (thanks for sticking with me through the wall of text!).

I’ve been looking for figures to use as juves in my Judge Dredd game, as some of the Warlord Miniatures ones are a little clumsy, so I wanted to look elsewhere, such as reusing Clan Escher figures from Necromunda. I found these minis and I thought they’d make an excellent fit, so I picked up a box of Amazons on bikes and also a box of ‘Mabs’ as well (just for something different to paint). A peruse through their online store and you’ll see some definite influences in the designs, that’s all I’ll say. So let’s take a look at these ‘ere bikers…

Seen here against a Judge on his Lawmaster bike
Seen here against a Judge on his Lawmaster bike

I forgot to take a picture of these ‘in the box’ so here are the Mabs, which will give you an idea:

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First impressions: the ‘resin’ they use is lightweight and durable. I’m not sure what the overall differences in resins are to be honest. I know there are different grades and whatnot, but my knowledge is limited. A cursory glance at the pieces showed minimal flash to be removed (yay!) and only a few vent pieces that needed trimming off. This resin has a different ‘feel’ to the resin Forge World uses, and has almost no air bubbles that I can see, which is refreshing.

Figures are well packed and the box art is pretty neat. One thing I would’ve liked on the box is maybe a little background as to who these girls are. Even though I’m not using them for the game they are intended for, a little back story is always cool. What are their origins?

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Assembling these minis was no hassle at all, and went together really well with superglue gel. They come with bases and even have ‘smoke’ you can add to the rear tire to suggest movement. This reminded me a little of how GW are adding similar details to their plastic miniatures lately too, except the ones you get in this box are optional. After assembling this trio, I was left with some extra bits, which looked like shoulder pads although I’m really not sure, and I’m not sure if they actually go on these minis.

There is some incredible detailing on these figures, with delicate filigree edging and chaos emblems on the bikes and the armor that the girls are wearing, as well as skulls and fleur-de-lys as well. The faces have character too, although they look a little odd in their unpainted state, they’re going to be full of attitude once they go under the brush.

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Two of the Amazons are obviously on the move, and the movement is captured really well, with the long hair trailing behind the rider who is hunched down adding to that motion. The third is obviously at a standstill, or taking a breather, as the relaxed posing which has her sitting back on the seat would suggest.

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The bikes are suitably chunky, but not too crazy, and are balanced well with the build of the riders, making them a ‘believable’ match up. Guns mounted either side of the front wheel obviously mean business! These girls wouldn’t look out of place in a scene from Akira as they have a great cyberpunk feel to them that comes across well in the design and execution of the final models.

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My only ding against these figures, and indeed the Space Crusaders line is that with the range being predominantly female, they really make sure you know that they are women, really more than is necessary. GW hit a good medium with their Sisters of Battle range: you knew they were women in power armor without having to resort to exaggeration of certain parts of the anatomy, something Prodos should take into consideration if they are looking to create more figures for this game. Having a woman in power armor only to have most of her torso exposed not only makes you scratch your head with questions like ‘how on earth would this armor protect her’, but can look tacky. You have to be very careful with that line between aesthetically pleasing and just cheesecake for the sake of it. Prodos have seen an gap in the market that needs attention: a lack of female figures for futuristic battle games such as 40K, which GW have only made wider with their lack of support for that line, only to possibly shoot themselves in the foot with the female demographic that also enjoys this hobby.

I’ll probably paint body stockings on my Amazons to veer away from the fact they appear to be wearing cyber-bikinis. Maybe even some harlequin style leggings or something bold that you would see in the pages of 2000AD.

In summary: Prodos are proof that GW are just bullshitting about their reasoning for not turning their attention to the SoB line and giving the miniatures the much needed overhaul they deserve. They just simply want them to fade away or get ‘squatted’. We can clearly see by the miniatures above that making sisters in resin or plastic is very doable, and because they (GW) can’t be arsed to do anything about it, companies like Prodos will be happy to step in and take the money. That said, if they can move away from the objectification of the female form that seems to pervade the miniatures, I think they would make a killing, as they are showing they have the tools and the talent.

These ladies will be up in the gallery once they are painted! Thanks for reading!

 

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Crusader, Adepticon, oh, and some Sisters of Battle news…

Ultra quick post today my lovlies…

After what we thought was going to be a big shit dump of a mess, no thanks at all to Brauerhouse in Lombard, We’ve actually managed to secure a spot on a show for this saturday night for all those people at Adepticon who want to listen to some heavy metal. So,  Brad, our He-Man-esque guitar player, whose pastimes include playing guitar for us, and wrestling dragons, managed to get us on the bill with She Likes Todd and Situation red. The best bit is it’s f*cking FREE to get in,  and only a 10 minute ride from the Adepticon venue. For more in depth details on how to get to the show from Adepticon, be sure to swing by Dethtron’s blog, Dick Move, to get the information. So, come along, hang out, have fun, drink some beer, and pick up our brand new release EP – ‘Rise of the Templars’ for a mere $5 🙂

In other news, I found out yesterday, with thanks to the Blood Of Kittens network, that we have a little taster of what is to come for Sisters of Battle! HELL YEAH!! It appears to be a page from the upcoming new codex… Looks like Sisters will be ‘losing’ acts of faith as an ‘extra’ , but gaining some of them as standard special rules. I’m wondering if different slots will have access to different AoF? AND we see that Repressors are included as vehicle options. Could this possibly mean a plastic kit??? and WTF is an ‘arcaballista’? Anyway, i’m very excited, and you will be too, when you see the image by clicking here! 

If you haven’t already, I urge you to join up with BoK, it’s a great network for fellow 40k bloggers.

Thanks for listening, and see you Saturday night!

Paul

100th Post! Today is Old Stuff Day… Black Templars revisited!

Rob over at Warhammer 39,999 had a great idea for resurrecting old blog posts that may have been missed by newer readers, or just forgotten about in the annals of internet time.

I guess When Cannons Fade is still in it’s infancy when you look at some of the other big players out there, but thats ok. I’ve never really been one to post up army lists, dissect rules, or start working on the math behind my beloved hobby (I leave all that complicated stuff to Dethtron 🙂 ).

I do however, enjoy focusing more on the hobby side of the game, the painting, converting, WIP side of it, so thats what this contribution to Old Stuff Day will be, a look back on my boys in black, my Templars.

This post from back in February 2009 showcased my efforts for the founding of my Templar chapter. I had acquired the Assault on Black Reach box set, and given the Orkses away to my buddy Evan. I thought that this would be a great way to start an army, or at least bulk up the plastics I had already been amassing.

First to be tackled was the Dreadnought. The snap-fit style of the set was good, although I think they used a harder type of plastic, because cutting and trimming it was a bitch! Eventually, after some blood, sweat and tears were expended the honored brother, in all his resplendent glory, was finished:

Don’t forget to check out the original post for more views: http://whencannonsfade.com/2009/02/27/completed-the-aobr-dready/

Fast forward to August of 2009. After tinkering around with some other bits and pieces, I did a test run on how I would be painting my boys in black. I was very happy with the results:

Before

 

 

After

 

 

 

You can see the post and pictures in it’s entirety here: http://whencannonsfade.com/2009/08/27/chaos-lord-wip-and-black-templar/

November 2009 sees the appearance of my Black Templar Assault Marines. Exactly as the label says:

So there we have it, a couple of snap shots from WCF’s past. Since then I feel that I have improved on my painting skills (i’m pretty pleased with my Templar Rhino with xtra armor, and my Landspeeder). There will be more Templar goodness to come, but I do hope you’ll swing by the WCF TARDIS and have a look back through the archives!

Yes, this is an old picture of me with the TARDIS...

Cheers!

Paul

Nurgle lord – the end is in sight! (maybe)

I can’t believe that I hadn’t posted these, or maybe I had, but I couldn’t find them…

Anyhoo, to kick off 2011, our first contender is a WCF veteran, as he’s been on here from the start, my Nurgle Lord. I tend to do a little, and put him away, then come back and do some more… still, he seems happy enough, belching and farting in my gaming closet… This year, though, I’m aiming to have more completed stuff posted and not just dribs and drabs. This guy, though, is the exception. He didn’t do too badly in a game I had just before xmas either. yay!

You can see the PP ‘Bloodstone’ base that I use for the basis of my rusted metal here.


A brown ink was over the bloodstone gives it depth…

Boltgun metal, chainmail highlights and some chestnut ink to finish the job!

He’s getting there! Another couple of hours should get the job done. In the meantime though, I am working on my Black Templars Rhino.

Black is such a pain in the arse to paint >sigh<

TTFN

Paul

2nd anniversary is on the horizon!

Actually, it’s even closer than that, like, this Sunday! I can’t believe that 2 years ago, I thought ‘what the hey, i’ll give this blogging thing a go’ and here I am, still posting away, forging friendships and getting up to all sorts of general asshatery. I will be celebrating next week with some more articles, some interesting news, and maybe some pizza and beer, stay tuned!

When Cannons Fade now on Facebook.

Indeed. Not content to just plod around here on wordpress, I decided on my lunch break at work to see if I could get some presence on Facebook. Lets see what happens…

If you click on this link, it’ll take you there. Not much on there right now, but i’ll figure a way to tie it in to this site.

Please feel free to add it/like it/send it to your grandma. I’ll be putting promotional discount codes and stuff up on there, so it will be worth keeping an eye on it.

The final arguement of kings…

So I returned home from a 12 day trip to England on Tuesday. I was supposed to come home on Monday, but this volcanic ash cloud from Iceland I guess had other ideas. Anyhoo, 48 hours later and I am feeling somewhat human again, and seem to be relatively caught up with sleep!

During our time there I managed, thankfully, to go and see one of my favorite bands, the mighty BOLT THROWER! These guys were my first ever live show, waaaaay back in the early 90’s at the tender age of 13. They blew me away then, and certainly did this night too. So, waves of nostalgia were abound as myself, my good lady Diana (who was super excited at the prospect of seeing them also…) my mate Matt Crump, and his good lady Lou entered The Asylum venue, which was pretty big. A bit like Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Looks small from the outside, but is frakkin’ huge on the inside. The roster was: Some local band who’s name I can’t remember, followed by Rotting Christ, then local Brummies Benediction, then finally, Bolt Thrower.  We all sat in the bar for the first 2 bands. I was mildly interested in seeing Rotting Christ, but they were pretty boring, plus we could watch proceedings on a huge projector screen in the bar. The turnout was excellent, and the place was packed. I was pretty excited to be seeing Benediction live also, as I was a bit of a fan back in the day, but I have to say I was not impressed at all with them, especially since Dave Ingram was not on vocal duties. Grunt he may have done, but he did it in his own way, and this guy just didn’t cut the mustard, as far as I was concerned.

Just before they went on, me and Matt caught up with Martin Kearns (drums), who I actually know through an old job of mine, and Barry Thompson (guitar). Unfortunately we didn’t get too much time to chat as they were about to go on, and although Martin said to stay around after the show, we had to leave 😦 ah well!

I snagged myself a Bolt Thrower hoodie and beanie from the merch table, a little bit miffed that the other shirt designs which I actually preferred were either out of stock, or didn’t have my size. WTF! lol! Anyway, the ladies decided they would stay in the bar and chat, while ‘the lads’ went out to see the band. It was hot as hell in there! Right from the opening intro they did’nt disappoint, and certainly reinforced my love for this band who have lived up to their own lyrics: ‘In a world of compromise – some don’t’. It really is the audible version of a tank driving across a battlefield littered with skulls, and I loved every minute of it. They only really played later stuff (I think, I was too busy moshing), but I don’t care, as I love it all. I got goosebumps when they played World Eater/Cenotaph, to which myself and Matt were furiously playing air guitar to.

Bolt Thrower really made up for the lacklustre support they had, and made it more than worth the effort to go and see them. I really hope that they play out a little more, and that they actually play some US dates too…

It makes me proud that I have my humble little corner here in internetland named after a Bolt Thrower track, call me a fanboy if you will, but I don’t care. Like they say, if the cap fits…

Paul