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Monday, May 26, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front: Steamtanks

Let's take a peep at the U.S. steam tanks for All Quiet on the Martian Front by Alien Dungeon.

You get three per pack, or six in the two-player starter set. Each tank consists of a single sprue.

The core chassis of the tank itself is four pieces - top, bottom, and the two sides with the tracks sculpted in. The side doors are separate pieces as well, allowing you to glue them open if you wanted to - you could make one being repaired at the field repairs workshop! (A field repairs workshop is an actual thing you can take in a U.S. list!) Next, you either add a flat top for the MKII or the superstructure for the MKIII, and add guns as appropriate. 

I assembled them with Testor's plastic cement, and they are pretty strong and durable once assembled. You're not going to have gun barrels snapping off. In fact, you could probably toss these across the room and they'd be fine. (Note: please don't throw your tanks)

The rules for the game allow you to be flexible with the armament - you can actually shave some points by dropping the 4-inch guns to 3-inch guns, or even machine guns, or uparm some machine guns with anti-tank guns. For my starter box tanks, I followed Steve's advice and built three MKIIs with a single 4-inch gun, and three MKIII's with three 4-inch guns.

Tanks next to a 15mm HMG team

The tanks are a bit larger than I expected. Not quite as long as an actual WW1 landship, but considerably big for a FoW size tank.

Tanks next to a Battlefront Sherman
 The figures definitely measure up to an 18mm/20mm scale, which as many folks have pointed out, makes it really easy to get terrain for in HO scale!

Tanks next to a WIP stand of U.S. infantry
 The only possible flaw I noticed with the tanks is that the detailing on the right side panels is far less deep than the detailing on the left side panels. Below notice you can barely see the vertical inlays on the right - they're there, but very faint.

It would also be nice to get some more machine gun turrets on the sprue, as I'd like to build some 4x Machine Gun MKIII's, but the sprue is fairly packed as it is, so I'm not sure where they'd find room to stick it! Maybe they'll sell them as an add-on pack one day....

Painting wise, I used Vallejo Russian Uniform for the basecoat, with some very faint airbrushed highlights adding a drop or two of white to cup. Tracks are my standard Vallejo German Grey, drybrushed with Citadel Necron Compound and Gehenna's Gold. Then a little weathering powder, decals, and a sprinkle of grass on the tracks, and they're done!

All in all, these tanks were quite a joy to build and paint up, and they've been doing OK for themselves on the tabletop as well. Check back soon and we'll see what Steve did with his!

In the meanwhile, if you're still eagerly awaiting the arrival of your tanks and need more to fill your appetite, Alien Dungeon made a pretty cool YouTube video walking you through all the pieces of it - check it out!

Models provided by Alien Dungeon

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