Clockwork Goblin produce a range of 15mm alternative history sci-fi figures representing WW2 continuing into an age of powered armour, mechanical walkers, zombies and boosted humans. Keen to be able to use my WW2 US army in an Invasion Earth! setting for Quadrant 13, the new company-size, sci-fi rules from the TooFatLardies (penned by my good self!) I thought I'd invest in what they have to offer at the moment: heavy infantry and Coyote Light Walkers.
US Heavy Infantry
These are available in platoon packs of 21 foot soldiers. There are eighteen standard infantrymen in three different poses, and a command sprue with an officer, a radio operator and a man with a heavy weapon of some kind. No organisational guideline is given, but logic seems to dictate either two nine-man or three six-man squads, with a command stand either with or without the heavy weapon operator.
The first thing that you notice is that the figures come without bases. Yes: without bases. This worried me to start off with, but the incredible thing is that once you have cut the figures off the sprue, they stand up...and stand up without filing, just the occasional bit of flattening done with a blade.
This is presumably because the 3D Digital Design Process allows them to test for this sort of thing, but is still quite extraordinary given the impossibility of getting any other 15mm figure without a base (gunners meant to be mounted on the weapon for example) to stand on their own two feet unassisted by vast amounts of glue. This also meant that actually putting the Clockwork Goblin figures onto a base was simplicity itself: a little puddle of Superglue onto the base (here a 5p coin) and then stand the figure up in it. I had the whole platoon based and ready for undercoating in only about 15 minutes, especially given the fact there was no flash at all, no figures with mis-shaped heads: just a platoon of really nice looking figures able to be used almost straight from the blister. Battlefront take note!
The second thing that you notice is how natural the figures look: their poses are really nice looking. Yes, they only have three standard infantryman poses, but they do look very good indeed. In the gallery are the 3D renders from the Clockwork Goblin website so you can compare what the figures actually look like to what they are supposed to look like but, as you may have gathered, I thought they looked great!
The big question, of course, is how they paint up.
I used the following method: sprayed undercoat in black; brush on Vallejo Brown Violet; wash with Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade; highlight with more Vallejo Brown Violet; then paint the faces, the equipment etc. In the Gallery you will see that they paint up very well. There are also some shots of them next to some Battlefront Americans. Hopefully you will see that they size very well next to them, and really show how natural the Clockwork Goblin figures look. I'm afraid all the podgy mannequin aspects of the standard Battlefront figure are all too obvious next to the beautifully proportioned CG figure.
The range has recently been augmented by a set of two-man heavy weapon teams: two men with a bazooka-like gun.
US Coyote Light Walkers
These come in platoons of three. Each walker comes as a torso and legs; with two separate arms; a separate shoulder-mounted .50cal and a separate shoulder-mounted lamp; and two hydraulic-looking tubes for the backs of the legs. I'm afraid I forgot to take a picture of the component parts as I was too keen to get on with the building!
First thing to comment on therefore is the ease of build.
Having had horrible experiences with walkers in the past (mentioning no names Critical Mass Games!) I was dreading this bit: but my dread was wasted. Having integral legs meant no horrible task of substituting millions of years of evolution, toes and the inner ear with gallons of Superglue and holding legged-on figures in place for what seems like centuries! The arms go on like a dream: there is so much surface area provided by the shoulder plate that about ten seconds of holding in place was enough to glue the arm on: brilliant! The shoulder-mounted goes on easily as well, although I would caution about pushing too hard, as the thin resin spike can bend. That only happened on one spike out of six (two per walker) so, again, full marks on the build front.
This must also be due to the 3D rendering process, and in the Gallery below there are pictures of the stuck-together model along with the 3D render from the Clockwork Goblin website.
Actually, before I get too carried away, there was one problem with the build: the tube-things for the back of the legs were difficult to glue into place, so I'm afraid the A+ earned for the limbs and weapon becomes an A-. I would recommend studying which way up the tubes go before reaching for the glue, and tweezers rather than my somewhat cack-handed fingers! Still pretty good though. There's a picture of the back of the first one I did: you can see I've mucked up the placement of the tubes a bit.
Painting them up was simplicity itself: I used the same method as for the heavy infantry, above, but there's no face to paint!. I finished them off with some Battlefront decals. I tried the standard US vehicle white star, but that just looked too much like a target, so I thought the US flag would look better, and it did: emphasising the pulp aspect of the figure.
The walkers look excellent and, to complete the set, there are some shots of one with a Battlefront Jeep for comparison.
I also include some shots of the Hyena Light Jump Walker variant: it's the same model with a big jump-pack mounted on the back. Still easy to put together, paint up well, and comes with an optional flamethrower
Medium & Support Walkers
Hot on the heels of the above are a range of heavier mechs. There are the basic Grizzly Medium Wakers which I equate to the Sherman tank of the walker-world! In addition, there are two types of heavierMedium Support Walkers: the Ursus, up-armed with missiles; and the Kodiak, with heavier armour and lots of auto cannons/machine guns.
These were slightly more difficult to put together, and you will see that I have managed to build the Ursus as if it is at rest rather than facing directly forward. Not a problem on the tabletop, as it look as if it examine the terrain in front of it etc, but looks a bit odd in the white-background photo.
They are still very nice figures, though, and easier to build than the majority of two-legged mechs that I have previously encountered.
Clockwork Goblins figures are great! Not only are they really easy to prepare for painting, but the poses and characterisation of the figures is far superior to many other ranges. Highly, highly recommended, and I can't wait for more of the range to be released.
NB The author has no connection, commercial or otherwise, with Clockwork Goblin: I just like the figures a lot!