By Rabid Wombat
We’ve mentioned DreamForge Games here at Nerd World Nation a few times. The company just had a successful Kickstarter last August, and has released their first set of kits (there has been buzz for a couple of months about their Crusader and Mortis pattern “Leviathans”). The second round of releases is coming up shortly, and will be manufactured by Wargames Factory as well. Today, I’ll be unboxing the 20 man Eisenkern Stormtroopers. The whole feel of this faction is WWII Werhmacht … in space.
Let’s start with the packaging. The cardboard box is heavier than the cardstock used for packaging some other model kits, giving it a fair amount of protection. The artwork on the box is good, but the most useful is the back art, which shows all the various options available from the kit. Plastic wrap is around the sprues inside the box, which also protects the plastic film from tears. The box has plastic seals on both ends to prevent tampering. In the event of a broken seal, so long as the inner bags is intact, the only thing that may be missing are the assembly instructions.
The instructions are straightforward information sheets. Arm combinations are color coded to match up the various weapon positions, and a basic set of figures shows how to assemble a basic Stormtrooper. While complete, these instructions definitely don’t hold your hand. A less advanced hobbyist may want to cut arm positions and match them with the corresponding weapons individually before assembly.
The sprues are designed to be stackable, which is beyond nice. Not only does it make storage easier, there isn’t as much of a chance of pieces breaking or hanging up when the sprues are taken in or out of the box. The material is solid, not flimsy, and comes without flash, which is to be expected with any new release.
The bases are on the sprue as well, which avoids the whole “baggie in the box banging things around” problem. Additionally, so long as the sprue is formed properly, you know that you aren’t going to be shorted bases. The bases themselves are flat, and slightly less than 30mm in diameter. If this is an issue, models could readily be mounted on 25mm bases. In fact, the 25mm round base fits almost perfectly within the outer ‘lip’ on these bases.
The individual pieces are well modeled and crafted. Effectively, you are getting two ten man squads in this box, so two of the large sprues has a duplicate. There are a few “mold lines” present, especially on the arms, but they are not particularly large or visible. Most of the components are without lines at all.
The models are in true 28mm, not heroic scale, so the weapons may seem small to hobbyists used to the Human factions in Warhammer, although the heads are all helmeted and seem properly scaled. In fact, the one thing that disappointed me was the “fire team leader” heads, which are almost identical to the regular Stormtrooper heads except for a targeting/HUD monocle over one eye. There are ten standing and two kneeling poses duplicated, for a total of 24 leg stances.
I picked up the twenty man box for the lagniappe, a special weapon sprue not available to the 10 man box. Without this sprue, you are strictly fielding riflemen. The special weapons sprue has nine additional sets of arms to carry light antitank weapons (similar to a panzerfaust), grenade launchers, or submachine guns. There are four of each of these options.
In conclusion, these Stormtroopers are a good looking unit at an attractive price. Until the system rules drop, they can stand in – “counts as” for any number of other SciFi 28mm systems. I look forward to seeing future offerings from the good folks at DreamForge Games.