I've been working for the last week and now have my first fire team built and painted. I've got a box of twenty stormtroopers and one accessory box. The Iron Core rules (for which these figures are intended) are still in the early development stage, but I certainly couldn't wait to start building up some figures. I did manage to get some information from the DreamForge forums on how they intend (at this point) to break down the Eisenkern infantry.
The basic unit will be based around a fire team of five soldiers. Each fire team will have one team leader, one weapon specialist and three riflemen. There will also be an alternative fire team with just a single rifleman. A squad will be made up of two standard or three alternate fire teams. Once you get passed the squad level, it gets more complicated with command elements and heavy weapons teams. It's early days, so for now I'm going to keep it simple with the standard fire teams.
Fire Team Leader
First up, I built a fire team leader. Based on the forum info, he can either have a standard rifle or an SMG (which will grant some sort of assault bonus). I decided to go with the SMG just for variety's sake. Most of the basic parts are from the trooper box, but I tricked him out with extras from the accessory box. I gave him ammo pouches on the right thigh and a cargo pouch on the left thigh. You can't see it at this angle but he's got a stick grenade and sheathed knife on his belt. Both arms come from the accessory box as well. He's the kind of leader that leads from the front, so he's striding forward with the left arm pointing in the "Follow me!" pose. The accessory box also contained heads with soft caps, but I'm going to reserve those for higher ranking figures that might be farther from the front lines.
The base (and all the bases I've done so far) were flocked with a combination of sand, model rail road ballast and aquarium rocks.
Each fire team will have one of three weapon specialists, either an SMG with underslung grenade launcher, a SAW (squad automatic weapon) or an anti-tank rocket launcher. I figured that I'll eventually I'd want all of them so I built one of each.
All three of them have bits from the accessory set. Knives, ammo pouches and although you can't see it, the AT gunner has an SMG with a folded stock hanging off of his back belt. I don't know if that will fit with the eventual rules, but to me it's logical. The grenadier has one of the helmets with the targeting scanner on the right eye.
For all of the parts that the accessory set comes with, these guys point out that there are a couple of more I would have like to have seen. There wasn't a pouch or any spare ammo for the grenade launcher. I'd like to see if I can find some from the third party or bits sellers if I can. For the AT gunner, I'm assuming that the launcher works like a modern day RPG, in that the launcher is reusable and the gunner would carry spare rockets. The accessory set didn't have any spare rockets, but there are a number of spare rockets on launchers that I can cut off. However, the spare rockets or the rockets with launcher, I don't see that there is room for them with the big back pack.
Next up I built three riflemen to build up a standard fire team. One of my biggest problems with the trooper box was that the heavy machine gun and the standard rifle use the same part (a gun that looks similar to a WWII German MG-42). The only difference is that the machine gunner would have a drum magazine on the weapon. I thought a while about using some third party rifles, but after searching around, I didn't see any I liked that would really fit the theme with the rest of the figures. Plus at $.075 or more a piece, it would get pricey for one of the most common weapons I need to build.
I fell back to using the kit rifles, but to get a more assault rifle look, I cut out approximately a quarter inch between the front hand grip and the muzzle, which also cut out the folded bi-pod. It wasn't much work and I think the conversion worked, but I'm still not satisfied with the look. The large receiver on the but end still make it looks like a machine gun. I'll have to ponder this before building any more. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions are welcome.
Like the others I added extras from the accessory set, with knives, grenades and pouches. I liked giving these guys the belly cargo pouches, but I won't have enough to go around for all the riflemen though.
I painted the whole team with a quick, tabletop standard scheme. Here's what I used:
Primer - Army Painter - Uniform Grey
Armor Base - Vallejo 830 - German Fieldgrey
Under-suit, Boots & Gloves - Vallejo 995 - German Grey
Pouches - Vallejo 823 - Luftwaffe Camo Green
Metalic Bits - GW Abaddon Black drybrushed with GW Leadbelcher
I gave the whole figure a wash of GW Nuln Oil
Thoughts So Far
After building the first fire team, I stand by my original review. These are well designed kits with well cast, good fitting parts and tons of options. Now that I can see the the figures together, some of the right weapons hands seem to have odd looking poses, especially the right arm on the AT gunner. Overall, the figures look great and I can't wait to get them on the tabletop. With the Iron Core rules a ways out, I think they might see some use with either Dust or in a Game of 5150.
Going forward, I need to find some decals. The big, broad should pads are just calling out for some rank and squad markings. I think I should be able to find some good stuff from Company B.