SITREP: Bobbies, Baddies and Bootnecks from Anthalonica

Way back in April 2021, Anthalonica Wargaming managed to fund a Kickstarter called Bobbies, Baddies and Bootnecks. Designed to rapidly expand the offerings of Anthalonica from the initial release focused on British Police, the Kickstarter offered up 4 squad packs as the starting point before broadening out into a whole HOST of new additions. Ranging from French Armed Police to Armed Civilians and Israeli Counter-Terrorist team, the Kickstarter managed to demolish it’s target and storm up through the stretch goals, adding in Royal Marine Commandos, SBS and even a certain Sneaky American agent.

Well, being the wargamer I am, I immediately jumped in, backing for TF Yellow (a set of individual Private Military Contractors with high tech gear) with a few additional single figures I liked the sound of. And then like every Kickstarter, the waiting game began.

Cut to April 2022 and I return from a game of Napoleonics to encounter a small box sat underneath the post box. Inside, behind two Velcro patches that are now on my patch wall, I found a rather nice collection of Anton from Flytrap Factory’s work. Including some extra backpacks I wasn’t expecting!

First impression is that the figures are rather nice. There is a nice level of crispness to the sculpts and the casting, with details like molle loops and straps sculpted with enough details to let you pick them out, while still casting safely in metal. These guys and girls are all hand sculpted, even things like weapons and helmets so you can feel Anton’s hand in each model produced.

The TF Yellow team (as well as one of the exclusive models with an LMG I managed to purchase two of) was what I was really excited about. I’ve got a soft spot for varied but uniform teams, with common web gear and uniform items but just enough variation so you can tell them apart. They are all equipped with body armour and molle web gear, with a selection of clothing both tactical and civilian. I really like the addition of extra kit hanging off the backpacks (such as paracord, breaching gear and ballistic helmets) to make them look like a veteran team prepared for whatever is thrown at them.

The weapons are as varied with their equipment, but it’s obvious this team works together, with some standardisation on STANAG weapons for everyone except the specialists. The most variety comes with the heads – each one stands out, from the mohawk’d SCAR user, the top knot and beard, even the balaclava and mask look that probably isn’t a good sign.

Honestly, these guys are a really cool idea well executed – ideal for a campaign game were you name your mercs and take them on ops or mixed in with a local militia group as some sneaky contacts.

Of course, as with all Kickstarters, there were a pile of additional models that were included.

First up, we have a pair of bank robbers ready for action – the Devtac Ronin inspired helmets are very much of the now, but the mix of a drum magged G36 and the M16 show these guys aren’t quite as professional as the team above. The next figure is inspired by a certain “Obi Wan Nairobi” based on his gear from the incident that made him famous – we have seen a few takes on him, but I quite like this pose. The final figure is a female marksman with a SRS bullpup bolt action rifle, someone who would go well with the team above.

As for the next set, well the first figure needs little introduction, with the goggles and silenced pistol he’s perfect for sneaking behind enemy lines and doing the split jump to loom over bad guys. Good to see him trade the FN2000 in for something more AR15 related. The next figure (according to the KS) is The Black Bear, a separatist warlord with modern kit that could fit very well in a modern warzone. The third is an armed civilian, a nice mix of a high end rifle with addons but mixed with a more on the street look. Finally, we have the Para SAW totting female PMC, ladden down with a all the gear she’ll need.

L to R: Empress, Spectre, Anthalonica, Combat Octopus, Turnbase Miniatures

As always with models, it’s best to get the comparison. One thing I’d say is that these models have some STURDY bases – I really wouldn’t worry about the getting banged up in transit although you may want to remove some material when mounting them onto a base. I’d say they lean more towards the Empress end of the scaling, being on the bulky side compared to Spectre or Combat Octopus. However, I doubt from tabletop height you’d notice.

Now, if you’re paying attention, you might be asking a few questions. “Why are you showing unpainted models Mr Charge, even if you have bothered to ink them?” “Why it this listed as a SITREP rather than an Impressions?” “WHY AREN’T THEY ON BASES FOR GODS SAKE MAN?

Well, it because I’m thinking of selling these models on. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with them – I think they are some of the sculptor’s best work so far, with some excellent designs and strong ideas for each one. The posing is natural, the details lovely. While inking the models to pick out the details, it was really cool to see them come to life.

But, times have moved on. In April 2021 when I was backing this Kickstarter, my 3d printing days was in it’s infancy with people like Turnbase or Combat Octopus yet to release their patreons and my brain still think it would mostly be used for vehicles. I was still burnt by some other 3d designed sculpts, turned off by static poses that lacked the dynamics and weight of traditional sculpting despite the gains in the weapon and hard objects department. In fact, I lamented pretty hard around this time about the fact that Spectre seemed to be the only people doing the sensible thing, a mixture of 3d printed hard objects (helmets and weapons) with manually sculpted bodies. The only 3d sculpted models I was really excited about was the White Dragon Miniatures stuff, enjoying the benefits of 3d printing while having been sculpted digitally.

It’s now April 2022. I’m signed up to multiple 3d printing patreons and I love the models I’ve managed to get from them. In the last year, I’ve picked a fair amount of Games Workshop figures that are digital sculpts cast in plastic and currently waiting for a box of models sculpted in Z-Brush where I’ve seen the preview renders. I still have some hand sculpted models (such as Paul Hick’s WW2 Brits) but they are fast becoming the exceptions not the rule. Even Spectre has taken the final leap, with the Delta and Insurgent PMC figures being digitally sculpted. Time has moved on.

At the end of the day, my tastes have changed. I’ve realised I really much prefer painting well made digital models with hard edges and crisp detail, even it occasionally I have to hunt a barrel from the carpet. So when I pulled the models out of the box, with traditionally sculpted weapons, I just didn’t get the same joy that I perhaps once did.

I need to finish by really stressing this – these models are good. Most other wargamers receiving theirs are getting very excited about them and for good reason – I think Anthalonica is onto a winner with their mix of ranges and it’s well worth supporting the company. Just because I’m not rushing to paint them, doesn’t mean that you won’t find something in their catalogue that really gets the creative juices going.

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