Sunday 30 October 2016

USARF Recruitment Office - Part 4

The latest additions to my USAriadna force are a pair of Traktor Muls.

These versatile remotes are a mainstay in many Ariadna armies and so it was inevitable that I'd end up wanting to use them eventually. I was somewhat dreading the assembly though as there were a couple of criteria I wanted to meet.

  1. Those large, metal missile launcher pods had to be attached to the central 'head' securely by a fairly small surface area.
  2. I should be able to field any combination of a Katyusha, Uragan or two Minesweepers using only these two remotes. This would allow me to field any reasonable combination of their profiles.
The first point was fairly simple. I'd pretty much all but stopped pinning Infinity miniatures these days, partly due to switching to the tougher gorilla glue and more significantly because their joints are now far better designed. These Traktor Muls are fairly old models now though so I had to break out my trusty thumb drill once more.

Each missile pod now has about a centimetre length of paper clip pinning it to the central 'head'. Through thorough testing (picking it up by 1 pod and waving it around really quickly) I've come to the decision that I'm happy with the results.

Speaking of older models, I think the Muls have stood up fairly well over time. They are fairly simple sculpts, but they fit together very well and the flash was manageable. I'm quite fond of the HAL-like central eye,

The second point was a bit trickier. My original plan, before seeing how the models fit together, was to magnetise the missile pods to the rest of the miniature and have them be removable. That was completely impractical however as the contact area was far too small and the pods far too heavy.

Instead, I sunk 3mm wide magnets into the Traktor Mul and into the bottom of the 'head'. This was done, slightly less than carefully, using a chunky 3mm bit in my thumb drill again. I definitely could have been more vigilant while gluing the magnets into place as one of them is stuck in at a slight angle - which I then had to replicate on its opposite magnet!

Whilst they aren't so strong that you can safely pick the miniature up by the missiles, it is more than sufficient to keep them in place, with the added bonus that it can rotate like a turret.

The only downside is that in the Minesweeper configuration you can see the magnet on top of the model, but I think it is a small price to pay for flexibility. It also doesn't look all that noticeable.

The miniatures were painted in my standard materiel colour of GW Catachan Green for the body, Vallejo Dark Grey for the metallic parts and GW Mournfang Brown for the baggage. They were pleasingly quick to turn out and I even found space for a couple of transfers - from an old GW Space Marine transfer sheet - which add a bit of detail to them. 

I really like the Muls rules-wise as well. The minesweeper is a cheap (5pt) regular order and helps greatly with contesting table areas in many scenarios. So far I've been favouring the Katyusha over the Uragan - valuing the additional dice of damage on the missiles as opposed to the Burst 3 (and total reaction).

So far they've been a great success on the tabletop and have performed particularly well when paired with my Airborne Ranger Forward Observer. Suddenly nowhere on the table is safe!

Next up on the painting table, a couple of Blackjack proxies from Evil Bear Wargames.

Scale comparison - USAriadna Grunt and Evil Bear Wargames 'Hardsuit'

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