The real stars of Operation: Coldfront are, of course, the miniatures. The book’s lovely, the images and fluff text provide real insights into the Infinity universe, the cardstock counters and templates are sound, and the terrain is gorgeous. I even got a little bit excited over the dice. But the minis are what we really want to get hold of, right?
Well, here they are, painted for the tabletop. I’ll happily admit to not being a good mini painter; I just paint because I enjoy it. But I think it’s helpful for you to see them painted up (however badly) so you can appreciate the detail and start thinking about how you’re going to approach painting them yourself.
Let’s start with the Ratnik, which I’ve named Zoya (Зоя – thanks to our Russian friends in the community for confirming that this was legit). On her rocket launcher is daubed the text from Mariya Oktyabrskaya’s T-34 from WW2. For those unfamiliar (as I was before I played Gale Force 9’s awesome game, TANKS) she was a war widow who sold her possessions and bought a T-34 tank, which she then donated to the Russian army, on the condition that she was allowed to drive it. Which she did. I figured it would be cool to nod to this when adding some character touches to the model.
I also drilled out one of the rocket tubes to make it look like one of them came out hot, streaking just moments ago towards some ALEPH interloper.
It’s a real paperweight, and reminds me of a Gecko. If a Gecko could drink you under the table whilst fending off a horde of Siberian wolves.
The Wardriver is one of my favourite models in this box. I love the helm and the posture. A fair bit of ‘Ardcoat was applied to the helmet and the space-age datapad in her hand (oops, it’s Ariadna, so it’s probably just an iPhone 4).
The Scout is supercool. Like, Ayyar-level cool. Another model that is just full of character. Easy to assemble, too.
The Veteran Kazak looks like he could shrug off a tank shell, without spilling his pint.
Tankhunters don’t care that you brought your HI.
Despite being low-cost ‘cheerleaders’, the Line Kazaks are stunning. You just want to give them each a name and tell stories about them.
I went for radically different tones for the other half of the set. As I mentioned above, these are my version of ‘tabletop-ready’ – you can all do better, but at least these shots will let people see the details, if they haven’t already.
The Shukra Consultant has a nice battle-ready poise, about to stalk the field and take down the enemies of the AI.
The Yadu is my favourite Aleph mini from the set. I’m a sucker for space opera-chic, and that helmet is just awesome. The pose is very dynamic, too.
Here’s the Naga sniper, about to undertake a high-risk operation. Ka-chow!
The new Dakinis are imposing, with a chunky look enhanced by their hunched posture. I opted to colour-code the hexagonal sections on their backs, as if they were removable modules – Red for Combat Programs, Green for Support Programs, Yellow for Tactical Data. I used a little gold for certain components to make those sections pop.
The Deva has a very interesting cybernetic section on his forearm, with the mechanism opening up to reveal some intricate workings. His skull is open too, revealing a hexagonal core.
Well, that’s the lot. I can’t wait to see what the top painters in the community achieve with these miniatures. They assemble really well, and the deep detail combined with the dynamic poses provide a great foundation for a distinct and characterful paintjob.
Thanks for reading, keep on playing,