Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Shocking Forces

In my slow quest to collect every piece of old lead I can get my hands on I've discovered a number of ranges I somehow missed back in the day. I've talked before about the Metal Magic Spacelords and Grenadier Future Warriors now available from Moonraker Miniatures. Unlike the imported German Phagons, I technically came across a few examples from the newest lead squeeze in the eighties when they were new, but not the particular sculpts that have drawn me to the line now. These fellows started life with a line that grew out of Grenadier's K-Force. Sometime later Demonblade Games bought them, expanded the range, and renamed them Shock Force. Later still Mega Miniatures came into them, but they have since sold them and I know not to whom, which is a shame, really. These are some great models. I picked up several examples in Demonblade blisters. Below you can see an "Org" called "The Bullet: Org Cleaner" and a "mutant" dubbed "Dominator."

Since their arrival on the Tartarus Rim they've become the security chiefs for the Rex-Avis clan. The fellow in the Italian suit goes by Eldovsky, or Ivan Grigorievitch to his friends. He's fond of subtle solutions to complex problems. His partner (both on and off the clock) is named Cookie Bernard. Cookie favors a more direct approach. The two of them have been traveling companions for quite a long time, but only managed to get officially hitched recently, thanks to a loosening of Imperial control in the sector. In spite of their differences they seem to make a remarkably good team.

Shock Force is truly a great source for interesting characters. Not only do they have sci-fi beastmen, satyrs, demons, mutants, and ambiguously vampiric sorts, but among their more distinctive bits are their space rats. They seem a little scarce at the moment, so I have only the example below, which was one of the heavies, but they had a full line with rats of all sorts and sizes. 

I've placed her with "Trooper Gaxt" for a size comparison. This boy is . . . large. I really should have put her on a square Ogryn grade base, but she came with the round slotta that I used. This is something of a problem, really, as she's so front heavy I had to add some honest to god lead to the back of the base to keep her upright. And that's not the only problem: She was also rather poorly cast, with several large voids that needed filling and a couple of large fractures. Further, the feet are rather too delicate for a miniature of such weight. They are extremely light and her pose puts her on the balls of her feet, placing a great deal of stress on the slender rat arches. Not a visual problem, mind. I think they look great. But they bend so easily that they ultimately broke under the strain of gravity and a paintbrush dumping her on the concrete floor. I solved the problem by adding in two wedges of greenstuff below his feet so that more surface area is in contact with the base, as you can see below.

For all the challenges, I must say I am fairly pleased with the result and I'm hoping I can pick up more of these rats, and more of Chaz Elliot's work in general. The details were quite compelling and characterful. This girl has a story to tell and I like having her in my world. And while this miniature had some casting problems, the others were absolutely fine. My hope is that she is the exception rather than the rule, and her unusual size and complexity masked the trouble allowing her to slip through. So far I've found no other problems in the dozen or so miniatures I picked up. On all the others the details are as crisp as any castings I've worked with; sharp, clean, and lovely. This gives me much hope.

As always, thank you for joining me. It's been a fun ride and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I.

The Composer


  1. I'd never heard of that range before, but your right, they do look pretty cool!

    I like the Band-Aids over the guys nipples. Begs the question of what happened to him to require them though :D

    With the rat guy I'd be inclined to pin him. Coz he's only gunna break again in the matter how much you try and glue him.

    Drill up through his feet well into his calves, leaving a fair bit of pin sticking out of from the soles of his feet. Then when you mount him on the base bend those pins over on the underside of the base and Areldite the bastard in place.

    He'll be rock solid then.

    My two cents :)


  2. Very interesting characters taking up space in your world, Mr. C. The rat guy is a monster of a beast. I'd like him on my staff. Good to see you cogitating and bringing to life some more sentients to populate the universe.

  3. ^TO,

    I considered pinning him, but there's really not enough material there to drill out and pin. Keep in mind, he broke not at the skinny ankle you see, but the even skinnier foot. The toes broke off the left foot and the right foot broke off the tab. The model essentially goes back from the tab at a very shallow twenty or so degree angle, with only the toes connected. Both feet are more or less in the air as though he were standing tippy-toe. You'd have to pin his feet, as his legs don't in any part line up. And his feet are only maybe eight or nine millimeters long, a few wide, and maybe one and a half thick (I just measured as best I could), which is shorter and skinnier than I think I could successfully pin. They're . . . small. You see the problem. They needed more support, since the angle is so acute. Giving him some Green Stuff wedges so all his weight isn't concentrated in a tiny cross section of a few square millimeters seems to have solved the problem.

    Anyway . . . glad you like the range. :) And yes, the pastie-aids are . . . interesting. I'd say maybe it's an old miniature code, but I have other bare chested boys of the same vintage. He's just that kind of guy, I guess. (Which works out fine for the fellas who go with the characters.)

    ^Thank you Jay!

    I haven't decided who the rat runs with yet, but whoever he aligns with will be glad of the support. That's a heck of a piece of artillery he's got.

    1. Actually, that was my suggestion, to pin up through his ankles. Don't bother trying to pin his tiny feet...that way lies madness :)

      It doesn't matter about the angle of his calves, coz you can just bend the pins down straight into a vertical position after pinning.

      If you've already added green stuff on his heels your gunna have to hide that in the basing material. Just the same as if you'd pinned him.

      Anyway, whatever method you choose I hope he stays stable enough to game with.

      Cheers :)

  4. Didn't write the post until after the miniature was finished. Was trying to clear up potential misunderstanding about where the weakness lies. It's really quite an odd pose. I'm alltogether fine with pinning. Done it a number of times for a variety of reasons, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work here. Wanted to, but . . . well . . . let me see if I can show you more clearly. It's weird. To pin him, I'd have had to have the pin stikcing out of his heel, I think, which is midair, particularly on the right foot. The bottom of both heels is still visible, even after my little GS wedges.

    You can see the feet a little better here:

    1. You could hide it by grinding a little channel out of his heel and then bending the inserted pin into that recess?

      Anyway, it's pretty easy to be an armchair expert, so I'll stop grilling you about it :D

      Best of luck :)

  5. You may be in your armchair right now. (As am I, technically.) But you're no armchair expert. You've done too much excellent conversion work for that. I appreciate your suggestions and will keep them in mind if I rebase him . . . since I am slowly getting tired of the way he tips over on the mat. Sorry to defend myself over-much. I just . . . well . . . I thought of pinning him. Decided against it, but maybe you're better at it than me. Or maybe you have better tools. Maybe you have a dremmel tool or something fancy like that that makes cutting channels easier. Ought to buy one of those.