I was recently given a set of these new figures from Alternative Armies for the purposes of review. Playing on the company name, this Alternate Stars range brings ‘generic’ figures for use in a wide range of games. I think the term generic is a disservice as these bring some wonderful ideas to the table.
Each figure is a single piece casting and I’ve added pictures below of the figures pretty much as I received them (unless noted otherwise). The casting is great with very little clean up required on any of the figures. They’re all fairly hefty, by which I mean heroic in proportions, and I didn’t have to worry about any fiddly or bendy pieces with my oft clumsy fingers.
The complete set is available as a one-click option with a saving over the cost of buying each individually. The majority are priced at £3.75 which seems reasonable for a ‘character’ figure with the three individuals in my bottom pictures carrying a higher tag in relation to their increased size.
Brigands, Troopers, and Spies
First up we have Nyx Merlyn Star Brigand, Boudican System Trooper, and Infiltrator Agent Callisto. It’s always good to see female troopers that aren’t there to make up the numbers or posed in some skimpy cheesecake outfit. These rough and ready warriors would be as comfortable in a far future space setting as well as closer to home. I’m fairly certain that the infiltrator would make a good hacker or decker for games like the recent Reality’s Edge.
Privateers and more troopers
Privateer Captain Fontaine is very much in keeping with a certain well known setting. With dashing uniform and fancy weapons, this gent, or rake depending on your preference, will be a fitting leader figure or maybe an objective? We’ve also got two troopers of the Star Empire. Whilst they might be on the more generic end of the sci-fi spectrum, it’s always good to have ‘standard’ soldier types.
Troopers, Rangers, and Marines
Here we have a Nekonari Trooper, Neo Jacobin Free Ranger, and Arcus Marine. The Nekonari is definitely the type of figure that I love to see in ranges. Clearly alien, well definitely not strictly human, this little gun toting creature adds some much needed variety for humanocentric forces. Perhaps it could serve as an uplifted companion or genetic experiment in nearer future games? The Marine is stands out, not just in height, by having some additional armour and is a good vanguard type.
The Neo Jacobin figure is tip top. Space soldiers with kilts might not be exactly a unique trope but this guy manages to blend Jacobean pageantry with cyberware and bleeding edge arms. I’ve got plans for this guy to join a certain timey wimey medical professional on his adventures in a phone box. Perhaps even a descendant of a certain Jamie McCrimmon
Cyborgs, Raiders, and Owl-bears!?
Saving the best for last, this group consists of a Cyborg Enslaver, Uhul Warrior, and Fomor Space Raider. When you need to tick the weird and wonderful boxes, then these three will do it. I had removed a couple of tags from these before taking the photos but it was only a couple of minutes work.
You can’t have a science fiction range of this nature without at least one heavily augmented robot or cyborg type and this one fits the bill. Rather than shiny chrome and helpful demeanour, this individual looks more than a little menacing. For the alien type we have the Fomor. I’m very happy to see a different take on the space orc trope. The use of the term Fomori is also a big thumbs up from myself. I’d have to admit that this one seems a little comical in appearance, but no more so than certain tv aliens we’ve all encountered.
Did anyone say owl-bear!? Seriously, as one of my favourite creatures from my youth of playing Dungeons & Dragons, only surpassed by the otyugh and Illithid, having a futuristic part owl, part bear, all muscle and gun figure is a big win for me. . Carrying a significantly increased price tag over the other figures in the range, it’s worth bearing in mind the added heft and bulk of the figure. This Uhul stands head and shoulders above the rest (~40mm)
Old school character
With an increasing prevalence in 3d sculpted slight science fiction figures seem to be dominating the market at the minute – GW notwithstanding. That said, there’s also been a real up-swell in nostalgia and the small press games market. Titles like Osprey’s Rogue Stars or Scrappers, as well as Sfiligoi’s other title Mutants and Death Ray Guns have had gamers rummage through their collections for odds and sods to recreate those characterful games of their youth. Lets not forget Rogue Trader itself and the numerous groups on Facebook sharing pictures of their old lead.
Alternate Stars provides a nice selection of characterful figures that will serve any trader captain or space pirate crew well. Not being the worlds fastest, or indeed most talented, of painters I’ve found these easy enough on the brush. Hopefully won’t be too long before these get some table time!
Any other fans of these out there? What’s your take on this new range? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts below or on our Facebook page. Be sure to check out Alternative Armies gaming group as well for more chat and all things alternative.