Fortunately for us, Craig was able to take a little time out from a frenetic pre-release schedule to expand upon the fairly terse Twitter commentary surrounding the immanent release of the Praesentia RAL.
"The pictures show resin castings of the RAL to be released, these resin casting are pre-production pieces, with the final miniatures being cast in metal. Dale just likes showing off what can be done with resin. It does however mean we can show people what the finished pieces will be like before they are actually finished, and I can get on with painting some for the website. It should be noted that the bases on the finished models are much thinner than those shown here, thick bases on masters is just a quirk of our processing.
"The Praesentia RAL represent our first foray into a completely digitally sculpted infantry miniature. The main reason for choosing the RAL for this process was to achieve a clean, smooth, manufactured look to the design of the model. Charles Oines, who did a fantastic job creating these sculpts, was briefed on two types of RAL.
"The RAL Infantry are the basic robotic infantry of any Praesentia force and are lead by the Praesentia Enlightened. The RAL Troopers are a simple construct, indicative of the anthropomorphic form, and therefore adaptable to terrain in combat, and easily recognisable to most other races. There are 9 variants of RAL Infantry being released, 6 with Rifles and 3 with Heavy Weapons. These are all single piece castings and scaled to 15mm foot to head.
"The Assault RAL are the heavy hitters of the Praesentia force and are equipped with phase shift generators for transporting themselves around the battlefield. They are commanded by the Praesentia Phase Shifters.
"Charles was asked to give these miniatures a brutal look, a cross, if you will, between the attitudinal posturing of gorillas, and the loping gait and stance of Marvel's Beast. What is unusual about these miniatures is that they are multi-part. There are 6 body variants being released, and 5 left and 5 right arm variants, as well as a separate jump pack. Now the bodies themselves look quite tall and thin but once those arms go on, the Assault RAL really come alive. You can create a wealth of awesome and dramatic poses and the bulk and subtle posing of the arms really give them that brutish look the brief tried so hard to emphasize. I spent hours fiddling about with these before finally deciding to get the glue out. Each Assault RAL is a four-piece model and stands around 20mm tall."
The RAL are due for release on 22nd August 2011 in the following packs:
Praesentia RAL Infantry w/rifles 1 - 8 figures, 3 poses (PRAL1 - £3.70)
Praesentia RAL Infantry w/rifles 2 - 8 figures, 3 poses (PRAL2 - £3.70)
Praesentia RAL Infantry 3 w/heavy weapons - 8 figures, 2 poses (PRAL3 - £3.70)
Praesentia RAL Phase Shifters 1 - 6 figures, 3 poses (PRAL4 - £3.70)
Praesentia RAL Phase Shifters 2 - 6 figures, 3 poses (PRAL5 - £3.70)
They will also be available in platoon deals for the Critical Mass company level rules:
Praesentia Enlightened Platoon Deal - Contains: 39 figures, 3 Unique Praesentia Enlightened, 27 RAL with Rifles, 9 RAL with Heavy Weapons, 1 30mm x 30mm Command Base, 9 x 40mm x 30mm Infantry Bases (PSPT2 - £14.99)
Praesentia Phase Shifter Platoon Deal - Contains: 21 figures, 3 Unique Praesentia Phase Shifters, 18 RAL Phase Shifters, 1 30mm x 30mm Command Base, 6 x 40mm x 30mm Infantry Bases (PSPT3 - £12.99)
It’s exciting to see the mysterious Praesentia developing and expanding as a figure range. From the little that has been revealed so far, we seem to have indications of a high-tech society with, possibly, few martial individuals, and relying on semi-autonomous droids and drones as force equalizers.