As well as being the owners of TQD Castings, Leicestershire’s CP Models are the producers of several lovely and idiosyncratic ranges in 15, 20 and 28mm. Today’s review is about their lovely near-future range of Colonial Scouts, found in the Sci-fi section of their webstore. Retailing at £2 each, these models ignore the GW-style sculpting so prevalent in sci-fi gaming for an elegant “true scale” aesthetic reminiscent of Richard Ansell’s work for Alban Miniatures, or the Perry twins’ Lord of the Rings range.
The Scout Troopers come on slotta tabs with lipped bases, and are on average 27mm foot-to-eye. The casting is crisp and clean – I found only the most minimal flash on my review models. The six I had to review, nearly all armed with the unit’s standard rifles, come in three pieces – body, rucksack and weapon. While some might argue that separate weapons make models look unrealistic, I would counter that despite their imaginary origins, these are some of the most realistic models out there, at least in terms of anatomy and pose. It also opens up extra conversion opportunities for them. The only exception is the mortar bearer, whose pose demands a one-piece moulding. The poses are lifelike and fluid, as is the fall of the clothing, and detail everywhere is excellent, including on the fingers (a personal bugbear) and the faces, which all show grim and stoic determination – except for the kneeling figure. Don’t worry about having a coward as the odd man out though – he just happens to be wearing a respirator with lines disturbingly reminiscent of Hannibal Lector’s iconic face mask. Let’s not ask who sent these scouts out to the colonies…
The unit’s uniform is a simple one – boots, fatigues, a vaguely “70s sci-fi” jacket and a peaked cap which some call Germanic, but reminds me of the US Marine Corps cap and soft French kepis as much as anything else. As well as their separate rucksack – which is nicely designed and looks like a mountain walker’s waterproof salvation – they have an irregular mix of belt pouches to hold their other equipment in.
What really makes these near-future soldiers stand out as sci-fi is the design of their weapons. One man is armed with a gun that seems to be a cross between an Israeli Tavor (a very futuristic piece of equipment) and a GW bolter. The rest carry more traditionally shaped rifles with chunky magazines and an interesting double-barrelled design that leads into a large muzzle covered in vents. Without any setting for context or supporting evidence, these immediately made me assume that the weapons were plasma rifles of some kind and needed to be able to cool down rapidly between shots.
This is a great range of models that I have had my eye on for some time. Their utilitarian garb and unique but believable weaponry makes them suitable for all sorts of near future and sci-fi projects, and the mix of accents in their garb means they would look as good fighting for international freedom as interplanetary tyranny. I thoroughly recommend these models and will be getting more of them myself. Maybe I should get some of CP’s Martial Artists too and set up a pulp game…