Friday, 20 April 2012

Review - Antenociti's Workshop Governance Of Technology Vehicles

Jed at Antenociti's Workshop contacted us a few months ago, offering review samples of the Governance Of Technology 15mm range.  Of course, I eagerly responded, but never heard anything back.  Sure enough, a package arrived last week.  It contained not only the current G.O.T. releases (Karbardin APC and Skorpion Grav Tank), but early copies of the Hunchback APC and the Zebu Land Cruiser, previewed back in February!  Jed told me that these should be available at Salute this weekend. I know many of you have seen at least the Karbardin and Skorpion, or are at least familiar with Antenociti's more developed 28mm range.  But for those of you who haven't, here's a close look at the entire 15mm range.  

I used Armies Army Neo-Sov figures for comparison photos.

Hunchback APC



The Hunchback (a twelve-piece kit) is easily my favorite of the group.  The main body and six wheels are resin, and beautifully detailed.  A half-moon-profile axle securely holds the wheels into position.  Mine glued directly on without any extra filing or sanding, but a couple of the axle pegs could have been filed a bit shorter if I wanted.  The dual-mount turret and four weapon options are all cast in pewter.  The turret itself is a bit of a curiosity... It has a perfectly flat teardrop-shaped bottom, but the main body of the vehicle has a circular indentation!  Obviously this poses no problem for assembly - you simply glue the turret over the top of the indentation.  But it seemed a bit odd. :)  There are two each of two different weapons included - one is a nice box-style rocket pod, the other a four-tube launcher with attached gun barrel.  I threw one of each onto my turrret.  

The vehicle shape and design isn’t reminiscent of any real-world APCs.  This makes it more flexible among sci-fi settings... it could be near-future human, far-future human, or possibly an alien design since nothing  betrays it as especially terrestrial.  The body could hold anywhere from 8-12 troops convincingly, depending on their load.  It looks fast and aggressive, with a shape that could have some sort of anti-radar property.  The Hunchback also seems pretty well armored, offering more protection than aluminum sinned battle taxis.

The casting was perfectly clean.  There was just a slight bit of flash on two of the six wheels, but no visible trace of 3d printing.  The main body is perfectly clean other than a little bit of resin bubbling between the axles (completely invisible when assembled).  Even the armor rivets are clean and present; probably the highest level of detail I’ve seen in a 15mm vehicle.  The pewter components are also cleanly cast - a bit of mold line to file down, but not flaws or droopy barrels.


Zebu Land Cruiser



A very nice take on a near-future wheeled utility vehicle (I swear Jeep made a concept truck like this once).   Just like I said about the Khurasan Polecat, this could fill a wide variety of support or small-mission roles.  On a first look, the Zebu appears just a little undersized next to 15mm figures.  But since military vehicles are never known for having extra comfort, it’s probably just right.  

Old Crow Gecko, G.O.T. Zebu, Khurasan Rockjumper
It’s another clean and detailed vehicle, with just the slightest hint of 3d printing residue found only on the windshield.  The mini itself comes with a once-piece body (wheels are part of the single cast) and three pewter accessories.  One is the armored bumper piece, which fits quite nicely.  The other two pieces are top hatches... one flat with a small ring mount, the other is is an armored gunners’ station (like we see on MRAPs and newer HMMWVs).  Jed deliberately does not include a turret weapon with these.  He figures most of us have enough spare weapons lying about, so this would allow us to customize our Zebus to match the infantry force of our choosing.

Old Crow Jeep, G.O.T. Zebu, Ravenstar Studios Jackal

The hatch option is nice, but the armored turret was a bit fiddly.  You can probably see the superglue residue on the roof from my first few attempts.  It was mostly the rear portion that caused the problems - once it separated from the front, tweezers were needed to get it into position.  But it looks great once it's mounted onto the Zebu, and would look very nice with a gunner half-figure glued in the center.


SKORPION LIGHT GRAV TANK

I’m developing a love-hate relationship with the Skorpion.

(Need to retake this picture - came out blurry)

First, I love the overall design.  This thing is a great high-tech grav vehicle, suitable for plenty of far-future and space opera forces (human or alien).  It looks like it would maneuver quite nimbly, but still withstand heavy enemy fire.  The main weapon is a nicely detailed wide beam cannon, supported by two smaller antipersonnel weapons.  

That being said... there must be something about the Governance Of Technology background that I must not understand.  Because there’s no way this tank should be fighting alongside the Karbardin APC.  While the Karbardin looks like something from the year 2050, the Skorpion seems like it should be from the year 5020.  It would be a very strange contrast to me... if it made any difference in the vehicle itself.  Which, of course, it doesn’t.  Most 15mm gamers happily create their own background settings, and little tank should not be overlooked.

The Skorpion does have a few tiny parts that were tough to assemble. One of those is a little pewter headlight that mounts inside grav struts’ front tips. The other are some raised, squared pieces that sit a bit further back.  I have no idea what these are supposed to be, but relying on a simple surface-to-surface joint made them a pain to mount.  I’d probably just toss these aside before painting the Skorpion - the tank would look just fine without them.  The wide beam weapon is beautiful.  But it also suffers from a direct surface-to-surface contact... mine separated twice before I got a solid connection.  If you're a fan of two-part epoxy, that would be very helpful when assembling the Skorpion.


KARBARDIN APC



These are perfect APCs for near-future gaming.  The Karbardin's overall shape and size imply a next-generation Stryker or equivalent.  It is a wonderfully detailed vehicle, down to headlights, hatch handles, and pintle trailer hitch (I assume the latter would marry up very well with the GZG towed guns).  There was one tiny spot on the “chins” that had some casting issues - nothing that couldn’t be cleaned with a file.  There’s no trace of 3D printing residue on the visible surfaces.

The GP variant comes with a two-piece resin autocannon turret.  This weapon in particular makes the Karbardin look like something we could see within our lifetimes.  The anti-tank version comes with a larger single-piece turret incorporating a mini-missile launcher and a beam weapon.  This variant is more suited to distant future and space opera settings, and offers the only styling similarity between the Karbardin and the Skorpion grav tank.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS

Antenociti's Workshop has a well-deserved reputation for producing highly detailed miniatures.  Their attention to detail carries well into our scale, and these are easily among the nicest vehicles available.  There are some smaller bits than we're used to - the Skorpion in particular wouldn't be ideal for a young or inexperienced modeler.  But without a doubt - these vehicles would be great additions to any 15mm sci fi army.  I wonder what other 15mm Governance Of Technology products we'll see in our future...

Cheers,
Chris

18 comments:

  1. Good review, whilst the vehicles all look like great designs, they look undersize, more suited to 10mm then 15mm, I struggle to believe that 8-12 troops could fit in the hunchback, 2-3 crew figs max, and 2 crew in the zebu would be a vert tight squeeze, I think they need to be 40% bigger.

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  2. Most modern APCs don't carry people in comfort. The M113 carries 11 and it's tiny. BTR-80 carries 7. M2 Bradley carries 6 or 7.

    Future vehicles might well reduce the number of operational crew to just two or even one and an AI. Internal components are likely to become very small. If the Hunchback is an electric vehicle, it may need only some very small batteries or fuel cells with no exhaust system, drive train, and each wheel housing including a self-contained motor. They can build such vehicles today.

    Also consider that those figures are on bases and are painted and the vehicles are not. Painting the figures will add mass to their appearance and the few millimeters of the base will certainly count a lot in a side by side.

    -Eli

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  3. Hi Eli

    I have a little understanding of armoured vehicles, having been a crew commander in an M113 for several years, and everything you say is true, you can squeeze a lot of guys in an M113, however the designe of the hunchback is very differant, the inset wheel arches will reduce the internal space considerable, but being sci-fi, you are right it could run on a cell phone sized battery and a footbal sized motor, but it still doesn't look right to me, still nice models though, and it wouldn't stop me from using them.

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    Replies
    1. Dan,

      It wasn't my intent to step on your experience or qualifications, considering I don't know about any of them. My info on the M113 is based on the specs, I've read.

      I will agree that the Hunchback certainly doesn't look all that well suited to a squad, even though it could be justified. To me, it doesn't even look like an APC and reminds me more of a recce vehicle like the German Luchs which is how I'd use it.

      I get the vibe of two crewmen, sitting in line inside the interior.

      -Eli

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    2. There must be a perspective issue with my photo of the Hunchback. I only have one larger APC - the Old Crow Glaive. It's larger than my Rebel Wolverine, GZG Chariot, Ravenstar Blazer, and Brigade Tassigny.

      Hopefully someone with a bigger vehicle collection can publish some better comparison pics after its release.

      -Chris

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  4. Ah, the "too small" debate again...

    To put this into perspective... A 1/100-scale M-113 APC would be 4.9cm long, 2.7cm wide, and 2.5cm tall. This operated with a crew of 2 and regularly carried 11 troops into battle.

    Here's some measurements of the Antenociti's Workshop vehicles. We'll skip the Skorpion unless someone can give me a convincing modern analog. :)

    The Hunchback - 7.5cm long, 3.5cm wide, 3cm tall. A 1/100 BMP-1 (crew of 3, 8 passengers) would be 6.7cm long, 2.9cm wide, and 2cm tall.

    The Karbardin - 8cm long, 2.7cm wide, 2.5cm tall. By comparison, a 1/100 LAV-25 (crew 3, 7 passengers) would be 7cm long, 2.7cm wide, and 2.8cm tall.

    The Zebu - 1.5cm across the crew compartment. By comparison, an original Willys Jeep at 1/100 would be 1.57cm wide.

    So the Zebu, while a beautiful model, really is a bit on the small side. But the Hunchback and Karbardin are perfectly scaled to carry most 18mm-tall figures. And, quite frankly, it's hyperbole to call them "more suited to 10mm."

    Even the Zebu towers over the heads of my AMT/Ertl Hoth infantry (and, for that matter, those blasted Tekhnolog ZOD "15mm" tanks).

    -Chris

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    1. I believe they should be a tad bigger; certainly not 40% as claimed by somebody but definitely 18%-20% bigger won't hurt.

      Delete
  5. Circular indentation is for magnets, I presume...

    And I wish they were 15% larger.

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  6. I like em

    not as much as I like the figures though......:)


    I do think they are the best 15mm future war out there and it stopped me from progressing with my own APC!. I still might, however Im concentrating on some heavy Armour instead! I like the Kabardin so much, I bought 6 of them for my forces

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  7. Thanks for the article. Next time, could we get the vehicles primed or inked? The bright resin and the flash really make the details hard to make out on them.

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    Replies
    1. Yes; I typically do with all minis, not just bright resin. Just didn't have a chance to do that and get the preview up before Salute.

      I do have a few more comparison pics... going to try changing those to black & white. If it's an improvement, I'll post them as a quick follow-up.

      Delete
  8. Just like Red Faction: Guerilla

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  9. I'm going to have to add another vote for "undersized" here. This Hunchback and Kabardin are about the size of a WWII 8-Rad, and those were heavy armored cars, not APC's... ie. a couple of crew at the most, without power armor or life support or any of those sci-fi accoutrements.

    The Zebu is the size of a sports car, which is just wrong. If anything, it should be sized along the lines of the Oshkosh MRAP - a deceptively *oversized* "jeep" style vehicle.

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    1. MRAP style is the Warthog which is much bigger than the Zebu, the zebu is just a fancy looking land cruiser. police style vehicle, nothing like a MRAP and nowhere as big.
      Hunchback holds 8 people MAX, there is a wireframe image of it, but atm far too rushed as off to salute in 5 hours time sry.

      but definitely 18%-20% bigger won't hurt.

      Narp. WAY too big. I work in real size, so the vehicles are made at the actual measurements of RL vehicles i.e. I take the dimensions of a stryker, then match the overall dimensions of the APC to that, then when its time to print the vehicle i just adjust by the scale f.ex 1/100.

      there must be something about the Governance Of Technology background that I must not understand

      possibly a LOT ;-). The Technosphere is divided into different technology levels, so tech from 20th century (TQ1) right up to TQ15 (far future).

      Just like Red Faction: Guerilla

      with a couple on the original artists desk where he now works at ILM.

      sry, must fly, salute preps to do!

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    2. ohm standard T-PEA brick is 4 people btw, a full section is 8. So the hunchback can squeeze 8 plus the driver (there is only 1 crew in the hunchback - he sits behind the engine).
      ZEBU is used by the TPF (Terminus Police Force) as a cruiser around Terminus stations.

      NRF Skorpion is a 2-man Light Tank, not much bigger than an armoured car. its not a full tank, not even a Medium tank, nasty gun on it though.

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  10. Thanks for posting, Chris. It's great to see the various models side by side, so whether you are happy with the sizes or not, and I'm not going there, at least we have an idea of relative size to other models and can thus make an informed choice!

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  11. http://www.antenocitisworkshop.com/news/2012/04/15mm-vehicle-figure-comparisons/

    http://www.antenocitisworkshop.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/CIMG7309.jpg

    http://www.antenocitisworkshop.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/CIMG7318.jpg

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