First of the Astagar

Critical Mass Games are, unfortunately, no more: their ranges having been absorbed into Ral Partha's offering. This has meant that whilst many of their infantry codes are still available, their vehicles are not...or at least not yet, Ral Partha assure us. At least their ranges are still available, even in part, as it would be a real shame for such an innovative series of ranges to die out completely.

One of the last things that CMG did before their demise was to run a Kickstarter campaign for their Astagar range: a range of sci-fi Snakemen-with-guns originally found as only a pack or two within their Mercenaries range but, such was their popularity, eventually promoted into a full Kickstarter project.

I backed the project to the tune of £173 and, in due course, received most of my order plus reward. Not all, which was annoying but, as I didn't immediately open the box and check everything, was as much my fault as anyone else's!

What I did receive, however, was excellent: six squads (eight each) of snake-y infantry; a couple of command figures; two support weapons; six snake-y battlesuits; one snake-y comms battlesuit; two huge snake-y walker-equivalents; and six APCs. Oh, and if you're interested, what I didn't receive were any AFVs or SP artillery, matter.

These, as I said, have been sitting in an unopened box under the painting table until, bereft of anything to do now that the four Blitzkrieg in the West books are published, I decide to hack into the lead mountain and paint up an Astagar army.

I'm painting everything at the same time, so all units are on the way at once, but here's the first off the production line: the APCs.

Very nice, but not very snake-y!

Very nice, but not particularly snake-y, I hear you cry. Well, you're right, but the rest of the range more than makes up for that.

For those interested, I painted these very quickly:  base coat green, then another base coat in brown in strips, wash, drybrush, done. They have, I think, come out pleasingly battered.

The original version

Some of you will note that these don't look exactly like the APCs featured in the original Kickstarter. You are correct: I tried the engines on the way they were designed, but they looked odd: a downwards-facing vent at the front. To my mind, the engines look better the wrong way round. That way you have a vertical vent at the front to take in the air, with a downwards-blower to pump it out as a jet at the back.

As they looked a bit plain, I've added a few spare decals, including some human-script numbers. Not right for Snakemen? Well, yes...but I'm claiming the numbers are superimposed by your targeting scanner! They also make the models look better and mean I can use them for more general purpose APCs rather than just Astagar-specific ones.

More Snakey-ness next time...