Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Infinity: Perfecting metal models

"We are leaving!"

Although I primarily play Warhammer 40,000, I am constantly looking at other miniature games, particularly skirmish games because of their low model count and entry price.  One of the first that caught my eye, long before I started to play Malifaux, was Infinity.  The game’s intriguing blend of “Ghost in the Shell”-science fiction and modern tactical military operations is pretty unmistakable.  This lead me to start slowly acquiring some models from the range, basically anything that caught my eye, not adhering to any particular faction (which resulted in me  primarily buying snipers, ha ha).  At Gencon this year, Infinity’s 3rd edition ruleset was released, along with a boxed game, making it easier than ever to give the game a try.  All of this excitement over Infinity encouraged me to get out some of my models, and I thought that it would be an ideal time to show some of them and to talk about my impressions of their miniatures

This sniper was my first Infinity model, and is still one of my favorites, as he patiently lines up the perfect shot.

The primary aspect that drew me to Infinity was the realistic and military-aesthetic displayed on many of their models. Although it might sound humorous, I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of models in their range that are equipped with rifles, and many are even shouldering the weapons properly to fire them! On top of this, nearly all of the rifles actually have proper stocks. Amazingly (although it should not be...), those weapons that are equipped with scopes or optics are believably-sized (unlike what we typically see with Games Workshop… I have grown to almost hate the GW space marine scopes…). Additionally, most of their models are heavily equipped with gear, including backpacks, pouches, extra ammunition, and combat knives. Nearly every model in Infinity’s range carries a sidearm, often a pistol of some kind. All of this equipment really goes a long way in setting the tone for the game and making it looks like the different factions in the game are at war.

Proof that standard weapons can still make for an awesome special operative.

A trusty straight blade for some clandestine wetwork.

I talk a lot about scale when discussing miniatures, and am often pulled out of the world they are trying to create when weapons or anatomy are grossly oversized. Infinity has very little of these scale issues due to Corvus Belli’s decision to dismiss Heroic Scale, while keeping their models in the 28 mm range.  Although the game’s art style may alienate some potential hobbyists, due to its anime style characters, the actual models tend to be more grounded in realism than the illustrations that populate the rulebooks (a far cry from what is seen in other anime-inspired games like Relic Knights).

In addition to making awesome models, snipers are particularly powerful in Infinity.  If you can get them into a good position, they can continually take shots off at enemy soldiers as they act.

This model stands apart from most other Infinity models since he is not clean-shaven.  I am pretty convinced he was made in the likeness of Solid Snake! 

In recent years, many companies have shifted model production almost exclusively to plastic (Games Workshop, Wyrd, Mantic Games, etc). Corvus Belli on the other hand, has remained steadfast in their choice to cast all their models in white metal. Compared to the metal used by Games Workshop in past years, the metal used in Infinity is much softer and easier to work with. Additionally, on the majority of the models that I have worked with, the mold lines are really minor (and in some cases hard to find). Many of the smaller components found in their models are studded with tabs from the molds and thin sheets of excess metal. Even with these, the models are quite easy to clean up and assemble. Most of the pieces fit together seamlessly,  requiring only minimal greenstuff work here and there to fill in seams and gaps (many of which could be ignored and the models would still look great).  Each of their models come with small slips of paper containing complaint codes. These codes can be used to easily report missing or damaged pieces and get replacements for them. This is a nice touch and shows that Corvus Belli is interested in providing the best service it can to hobbyists..

Being cast in metal, the models have their share of excess metal and tabs that need to be removed. Fortunately every model I have assembled has been very well cast, containing no noticeable mold-shifts or defects. 

Despite being cast in metal (and not resin), Infinity models boast an impressive amount of detail. Many of the assault rifles have a little switch by their trigger guard to toggle between different firing modes.  The model for Isobel MacGregor (from one of the Dire Foes Mission Pack: Dark Mists) impressed me quite a lot in this regard. She carries a shoulder slung bag that is meticulously detailed with tiny clasps, buckles, and even zipper pull tabs. A good deal of the models in the range also have awesome combat boots with the lacing painstakingly sculpted.

The level of detail on some of their models is really remarkable. Small elements like the pull tabs of the zipper and the little fire-selection toggle switch on the rifles, are not things you would expect on metal models.

Isobel MacGregor: An Ariadna special operative. I am particularly fond of her assault pistol (reminds me of a Beretta 93R...). 

One of the newer releases, this Kazak Spetsnazs has an awesome night vision array, along with enough gear to see him through almost anything.

Even if you are not interested in starting a new miniature game, it is worth looking into their vast range for models that might have uses in other games. Many would easily fit into Necromunda gangs, or serve as the basis for Inq28 conversions. I have started to use Infinity models in place of the official restic models in my games of Deadzone (I still have not been able to get past the material the models are cast in...). Having so many of their model and with the new edition released, I want to try to put the models to their intended use: high stakes battles in the high-tech cityscapes of Infinity! When the 3rd edition boxed game finally reaches stores, I will do my best to read over the rules and play a few games. If I can manage that, I will be sure to post my thoughts here on the blog.

- Adam Wier


  1. I continually am impressed by the Infinity range - some of their gen1 stuff was very hit and miss but from the start of last year onwards they have been putting out some brilliant stuff (and slowly replacing their earlier, slightly goofy figures).

    I have an Ariadna Merovingian sectorial force which contains some of the nicest miniature figures I've seen put out by anyone. The scale and detail is terrifying as a painter - Angel does a fantastic job of showcasing them - I put a few of mine out to a mate on commission and started on some of the base Metro figures before getting worried about the standard not being up to snuff - they've languished on my shelf since.

    The new box release and some of the broader miniature releases of late has gotten my little group talking more about Infinity as a viable second system to 40K. I know I'd like to expand into the Kazak range, and some of the Nomad stuff is also very eye catching.

    Re Solid Snake - definitely - just like Brigadier Jacques Bruant is a ringer for Jean Reno in his Professional guise.

    1. You are certainly right about some of the earlier models in the Infinity range... Some of the models looked ridiculous.

      Neat to hear you have an Ariadna force. Ariadna is currently my favorite of the factions. Their leaning towards modern military units and equipment is really neat. I really like the Loup-Garous models. I first got some of them to serve as Adeptus Arbites for Necromunda, ha ha.

      I hope you can bring yourself to start working on your Ariadna models again! I would be interested in seeing them.

      You are quite right about Brigadier Jacques Bruant too, certainly a shout out to Jean Reno!

    2. The Infinity setting is real enough future-world to be believable, and the tech levels aren't that extreme. What grabbed me with the Ariadna's were that the tech was so close to current levels you could suspend disbelief and presume they were the near future settlers coming up against the wider -verse.

      Plus the entire Merovingian HMG toting model range (Metro, Zuoave and Moblots) totally rock, and that's before you got to the Muls.

      Whenever I see the Loup models I think of them done up in a style similar to the Total Recall (reboot) rebel faction - long dark, dirty muted trenchers flapping away, with dark tone body armour. And their glue guns (ADHL) combined with the follow up Viral Rifles were ridiculous in game and gave my Metros something to help take on the bigger stuff from the other factions.

    3. The Merovingian HMG troopers are really neat. One of my favorite Ariadna models with a HMG is the one Zouave kneeling down and bracing his weapon.

      Neat idea for the Loup models!