Well look what came in the mail the other day…
I took part in Dreamforge‘s second Kickstarter for their Leviathans.. well it was for their Leviathans, but I think the Eisenkern models got more of the attention. And no, I didn’t just get these, in fact I consolidated a number of sprues into these two boxes so that I bring them around and do the photoshoot when it’s convenient for me. I got two more support weapons set plus Wave III coming.
At any rate, this is a box opening review, I hadn’t the opportunity to put any Eisenkern together yet so I can only make limited comments on the assembly aspect. But off the cuff, it’s quite an impressive set. I’ll also be very honest here. I got these to use as renegade Imperial Guard in 40k. So, I’m not as yet interested in the game system that is to come out, but I can always make some provisions for them. Still, the main focus is to organize the miniatures according to GW ruleset.
First up is the basic 20-trooper box, and you do get a lot of value for what you buy. 20 torsos, 24 legs, 20 various heads, 20 bases, Oodles of personal weapons — nothing heavy, so no plasma or melta equivalent, though we can always rely on the good old Munroe Effect on those RPGs… Arm poses are plentiful, so variety shouldn’t be an issue.
Anyway, I’m quite pleased with certain aspects. On the manufacturing, it’s nice to see that Wargames Factory has included stacking pegs and holes on corners and middles so that we can stack whole sprues up — it’s convenient. However, there seems to be several versions and not all are cross-compatible, which is annoying. And Wargames Factory clearly labels each sprue to the box it comes in, so that’s very easy to identify the runner. These little attention to details score points with me.
On the miniatures, I’ve included a GW Marine as scale reference but generally they feel correctly scaled; body proportion looks appropriately small besides the genetically enhanced Space Marine™. I’m also quite please to see that a lot of the parts are clearly keyed; torso fronts are keyed to back, and separate legs are keyed appropriately, so alignment is less of an issue. Backpacks and shoulder pads are not keyed, but has indents, so alignment should not be an issue. It’s a nice touch because I can leave these parts off so that I have a “light trooper” model.
Waist joints are NOT keyed though, and neither are shoulder joints. Shoulder joints I’m not so concerned about, but waists I am, because it’s easy to slip. I’ve preferred a GW-type depression/ raised dome joint, but done is done… Head joints are massive and the head is actually a bit oversized, but it is a full-enclosure helmet, so fair enough.
Weapons look appropriate, but the design separated the pistol grip to go with the arms and I do have assembly concerns there. Another area of concern is that arms are in pairs, and you do need to pay attention to which arms are a pair. Given my way of storage/ working, I’m going to have issues there.
Incidentally, the box advertises the kit as a 1/56 scale. Personally I feel 1/48 is more correct but what the hey, it’s plasti-crack…
My pet peeve with the setup: Bases are part of the runner. I feel that the bases could have been a separate runner. In any game system that relies on standard bases, you’re going to have a future need for spare bases when gamers start asking for them for conversions et. al. Putting the bases into the base kit isn’t what I would do — instead, I’ll use a lower injection molding technology to create simple bases. The space saved that way on the kit runner can then be used either to get more parts in or to reduce the size or number of runners needed. But again, done is done.
Having gone through the overview, the details on these are actually quite good. Easily GW 3rd/ 4th Gen level, for armour details:
Looks like that newfangled technology the Kickstarter was for does deliver… Flesh/ organics is a bit less crisp though:
Overall, the basic 20-trooper box looks to be a good buy. It also comes with an accessory sprue that I didn’t take a photo of, but it’s basically a half-sprue with some additional parts.
I also got the Accessory Pack for these boys:
As you can see, oodles of weapons and options. TOO MANY OPTIONS! So many arms, weapons, extras… It’s nice but overwhelming. Basically, I’m never going to finish using these.
But the real reason why I got the Accessory Pack is this:
A sprue for 3 Mules, the Eisenkern’s semi-autonomous baggage carrier. My happy Space Marine™ is sitting on the countertop, so you have an idea how big it is. The leg joints are a bit over-complicated though, there should be a way to simplify this. I’d love to have more of these, as they are great for scenery.
And finally, the Support Weapon Squad box. Each comes with a MG, a cannon and a mortar. Personally I don’t like this setup, nor do I like the way the honkin’ huge base takes up roughly 1/8th of the sprue when it could have been separated. Still, I love the mortar design and the cannon design, and Imperial Guard without heavy weapons is a bit strange.
Happy Space Marine™ is again next to the weapons to give you an idea of the scale. Again, it looks appropriate; the HMG setup looks smallish next to the Happy Space Marine™, but genetically engineered giant and all that, so it looks correct. You don’t get as many spare parts as the basic trooper box, but you do get shell casings for the cannon, MG drums, spare mortar canisters, etc. etc. So it’s still quite value for money.
The crew sprue is above, and deliberately flipped so that you can see the keying. It should be swappable with the basic Trooper box, so you can easily have kneeling riflemen by doing some judicial leg swaps.
Overall, I’m quite happy with how these turned out, barring the base issues. This is just my planned “light” platoon; I’ve actually gone more for the Heavy Troopers, and those are in Wave III. I’ll probably build these up over time and have them up on this site, so check back every now and then.