21 May 2013

What's in the box? CMG Ayame Battlesuits

On 27APR I ordered a bunch of those from Critical Mass Games. They where sent on 08MAY and received on 17MAY. And then I took my sweet time to blog about them...

So what's in... The assortments of plastic bags that came in the box?
As you can see, a platoon is made of 3 suits: 3 pairs of legs, 3 torsos (the suits have no heads) and a whooping 18 arms (9 left, 9 right; and 3 different weapons, top to bottom: big energy weapon, hand with claws and 3 barrels guns). All models come with a white plasticard base displayed hereunder. Torsos and legs are resin, everything else is metal.
3 different models build around the same legs (common to the entire range) and torso (specific to those 3 variants; visually matching the base model here above but with modified top to accommodate weapons or arrays). The Comms variant  (bottom left) comes with all arms options, just like the above platoon and comms arrays (still on a sprue under the white base); the Hunter variant (top right) comes with the big energy weapons arms and two over the shoulder guns (still on sprue top right corner); and the Scout one (bottom right) with the three barrels guns arms and shoulder missile launchers (small blocky parts with small wings on the right)

Those 2 models are built on a slightly different torso as the rest (I mean not just the connecting point for the options but also the general design of the "face"). They both come with a clawed right hand and a 3 barrels guns left arm. The Predator (left) further come with a jump/jet pack and the mortar suit (right) with a... Mortar (with big autoloader drum).
 So what do I think?
  • Casting with no visible defaults, the resin parts will need some trimming though.
  •  The regular variant is 31mm base to top (there is a viewing slit 2mm from the top).
  • The  webstore is a bit confusing: similar variants are offered in the infantry part of the store (£5 each) and in the vehicle part (£4 each)... If I understand correctly, the £5 models come with a single set of arm but all three shoulder options, the £4 Comms comes with all three pair of arms but only the comms shoulder option, and the other £4 models come with both a single pair of arm and a single shoulder (guns or missile) or back option (jump jets or mortar). It IS written in the models' descrition but a pictures of the parts for each reference would really help. Details though.
  • IMO, the big strength of this range is the sheer number of options: the base pack alone allows for 6 different weapon loads (9 if you count functionally identical but symmetric loads), 2 of the assault weapons and the comm array can be mix matched (e.g. missile launcher on one shoulder and comms array on the other).
  • My only regret here is the different torso of the mortal and jump jets variants. 
The 3 torso fronts (top) and backs (bottom); left to right the basic variant, the shoulder guns/missile/comms one and the mortar/jump jets one.

As I already told in one of my earlier posts, I bought those to use as not-Tau battlesuits, with enough options for regular, HQ and heavy supports variants. That same wealth of variants makes them well suited for battlesuits only games à la Heavy Gear, although their designs (especially their legs/feet) is a bit strange for a human design. They'd also make great Lizard Squadrons for Near Infinity nomads.

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