Sunday, 21 January 2018

Review: Traders Galaxy Miniatures

It's a cold wintry day outside the Vault today, so I've decided to huddle inside to indulge in some hobby time and drink copious cups of tea to keep warm.

I've been given some Sci Fi models produced by Traders Galaxy to review, so lets get the blisters open and see what goodies we've got inside. I should warn you there are a lots of pictures in the post!

Traders Galaxy are a small company who produce 28mm metal Sci Fi models for use in a variety of table top battle and role playing games. 

First up, I've got my grubby mitts on some blisters from their Space Cops range. There's an Officer (General Melcet), 2 Police Troopers, and a Biker.
The Boss


Biker Cop
So first thoughts, I really like the packaging; being able to see the contents clearly is a huge bonus when encountering a model range for the first time (particularly if this was in a store). I like the nods  that the Traders Galaxy team have made to gaming minis of old: 
  • I'm assuming General Melcet is named after the Black Adder character (just as a certain other large games company used to name their models after rock stars and action heroes)
  • the bike has a certain comic based future cop vibe about it.
I was pleasantly surprised when opening the blisters to find out the packs are re-sealable; perfect for storing bitz in, and easily seeing the contents. I'm not sure if this re-use of the packaging material was intended but it's great to not have to dispose of the blisters!

Let's have a closer look at General Melcet:

Officer Pieces

Assembled Officer (Front) 
Assembled Officer (Back)
There was minimal amounts of flash to deal with on the pieces and assembly was fairly straight forward (including a much appreciated key on the lower part of the coat to align with the body) with minimal gapping, until it came to the head. I couldn't understand why it had such a long neck, but I found a 3D CAD picture of the model on the company website which shows there should be a socket for it on the body piece.  This was missing from my model, but rectified by cutting the neck pin down to an appropriate length.

I like this model (the scenic base is a nice touch), but the head seems out of scale for the body; it appears small compared to the rest of the model.

I tackled the Space Cop: Troops next. 

Once again, there is not too much flash to tidy up. The sprue of optional weapons/arms for the male trooper is a welcome addition to the pack, and would add variety if you decided to build a squad of Officers. I went with a simple pistol and clenched fist combo for him:

There's a socket!
This guy has the socket for the head/neck piece to aid assembly, and the neck needed trimming to fit.

Assembled Troop (Front)

Assembled Troop (Back)
There's a more pronounced gap to sort on the back of this model; I think I might not have prepped the pieces as well as I should, but I'm sure there's nothing a re-seating of the piece or some GS gap filling can't sort out. 

And oh yeah, recognise the inspiration for this guy Perp?

Here's the female trooper:

Assembled Troop (Front)

Assembled Troop (Back)
Astute readers might have noted the left arm attached to the base peg in the earlier bits picture. It's a small piece and was fairly fiddly to attach. Traders Galaxy advise a reasonable level of modelling skill is required for their products, and I'd agree as even though there are only a few pieces you'll need to be prepared to work with small bits, and fill gaps.  (Yes I need to gap fill the female cop as well!)

Both are nice pieces; I like the variety on the male cop and the pose on the female officer.

And finally in the Space Cop range we have the Female Biker:

Biker (Side)

Unlike the other Space Cop packs, this model came cleaned up and assembled. It is a chunky piece of metal and has a nice heft to it! It's primarily built from two side sections, and once again there's some minor gapping to sort. My only criticism is that the female rider is very petite for such a large bike and seems a bit swamped by it!

Next up is the Space Chimps Tech Union. Yep you read that right; Space Chimps! How much fun is that! There are 5 Chimps in the Blister, each requiring some assembly:

Obligatory Blister Picture
And obligatory Components Picture
The 5 members of the Union are all individual:

I really like these models; they are all quirky and there's a nice mix of organic/fur and tech bits on them to give some variety to paint. In fact I like them so much I decided to give Chimp #4 a quick paint job:


Ook Ook!

Ook! Ook! Ook!

Nothing flashy; just some base colours and wash, but it shows the details of the model nicely. It was a fun piece to paint, and I'll do the other Chimps at some point as well.

A final thought on the model assembly; the tabs for inserting in the slotta bases are fairly thin. I've super glued them but they will come loose at some point; I'll need to GS or putty them in next time round. It's worth appreciating that if you decide to assemble some yourself.

Overall I like the models, although the scaling of some of the pieces of the Space Cops looks a little odd to my eye. Will I use the models? I think so! The male Cops could make fun Imperial Guard Commissars in a Penal Legion type force, and the female Cop would make a good Veteran Trooper.

All of the cops are great for Sci Fi RPG type games, and they could even have an Arbites role in Necromunda!

The Space Chimps will make perfect Jokaero for my Inquisition forces. Who could say no to laser wielding space monkeys?

What about value for money? The Union costs AUS $25 on the Traders Galaxy website, which is roughly £14.30 at current exchange rate so I think they represent decent value for money (but don't forget to add shipping costs). I'll check into UK sources and update the article accordingly.

In summary Traders Galaxy produce good quality, quirky Sci Fi miniatures. You'll need to be a competent modeller to build them but I think they'll add a lot of fun to the table top! Ook!

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