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Thursday, May 22, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front First Look: Assault Tripods!

The folks at Alien Dungeon were kind enough to send us some All Quiet on the Martian Front stuff for review, and we were excited to jump in and check it out! Over the next few weeks, Scott and I will be sharing our thoughts here- so there's plenty more to come. For this article, I am going to focus on my impressions of the Tripods from a model standpoint and show how I've chosen to paint them. Future articles will see similar treatments for the steam tanks, infantry, and a discussion of the game itself.

Without further ado, let's discuss the Tripod! Specifically, in this article, I am talking about the Assault Tripod. Both the Assault and Scout tripods share the same lower half- a plastic sprue comprising the 3 legs (2 of which are one piece, rigid construction while the 3rd is comprised of smaller pieces separated at the joints to make dynamic poses) the lower superstructure, and the tentacles.

 Legs, tentacles, base on the left. Assault Tripod specific frame on the right.

On the right is the main body of the assault tripod along with the various weapon options: Heavy heat ray, black dust launcher, green gas. The scout tripod has a similar, but smaller frame, sitting atop the same legs.

As you can see from the pictures, the frames are well laid out and the designs have good, "thick" detail. I had some deeper mould lines- nothing outrageous, but I did have to take some time with a file and a craft knife. The plastic was very easy to work with, however, and everything assembled without any issues.

 Speaking of assembling plastic, if you don't own this- do yourself a favor and buy some right now. I promise you won't regret it.

 Legs assembled. I was initially very concerned about those tentacles being fragile- they have quite a bit of give however. It remains to be seen if they will stand up to the rigors of gaming, but I'm much less concerned after working with them for some time.

The tripod fully assembled. For all 3 of mine, I decided to stick with just the Heavy Heat Ray armament- primarily so I can demo the game quickly without explaining barrage weapons.

A tripod next to some Steam Tanks for scale

A tripod next to a wife for scale.

Next, I used Vallejo Model Air 71.064 through the airbrush for a base coat. This came out fairly light- much lighter than depicted in the book. While I've come to like the look now, I was initially disappointed because they don't look quite as menacing. I'd use a darker color from the range if you wanted to more accurately match the awesome paintjobs in the book, but I am going to stick with chrome for my Martians. If anything, they'll be distinctive!

Fully assembled and base coated.

Starting to come together!

Next, I liberally used CGR Painters' Magic Mud wash to darken up the chrome, and paid close attention to the recesses. The heat ray and vents underneath the "hood" were painted Black Grey, with highlights of Black Grey mixed with Sky Grey. The eye is Sky Grey, with the center being True Red, and Black Grey.

The heat ray emitter I originally painted red, but changed it to German Camo Green- it looked too much like the eye! To end it all off, I drybrushed the legs with Flat Earth for some weathering, and a bit of red at the end of the tentacles. That's it! Easy paintjob, and I'm quite happy with the results.

Review Summary:
This is a great kit. 3 tripods for $35? Count me in. The models are huge, well detailed, robust, and easy to assemble and paint. What's not to love? I think Alien Dungeon have a hit on their hands with All Quiet on the Martian Front, and I for one can't wait to get more into it. Check back here for more!

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