"It Is Unknown If These Masked Assassins Are Man Or Machine."
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
This 28mm scale "white metal" miniature of a Cyborg Killer is manufactured by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", and can be bought alongside a second (differently-posed) model as SKU: DEAL 356. The figure was sculpted by the late Jim Bowen, and was originally previously produced by East Ridings Miniatures as part of their Corporate Wars range,
Unfortunately, unlike the vast majority of Crooked Dice's other miniatures, the android comes with its own integrated base, which is surprisingly thick and deep. This meant I would either have to carefully snip the figure from its stand and then patiently file its feet flat, or just quickly trim its edges enough so I could super-glue it to a 25mm circular plastic base. In the end I decided upon the far less time-consuming option, even if it meant the model would stand somewhat taller than most of the company's other figures.
Once fastened, the Cyborg Killer was primed using two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, shaded with "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson", and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red. It then had its sword, pistol, head and spare ammunition 'picked out' using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal and "Citadel" Nuln Oil. The blade and face-covering were subsequently dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Gunmetal. Finally, its eyes were dabbed with a little "Scalecolor" Speed Metal and the "Citadel" Contrast paint Warp Lightning.
Besides my basing decision debatably consigning the entire Corporate Wars range to a self-contained painting project - as I had originally hoped to mix in some Crooked Dice Killbots - I have been rather impressed with the quality of the "retro classics", and can easily see why "133 backers pledged £9,488 to help bring this project to life" on Kickstarter in August 2022. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I quickly wilted and not only bought the Slick Gang, Corporate Hit Squad and Interpol Troopers, but also a few Add-ons too.
The "Slicks" are my favourite of the figures as Jim Bowen's sculpts seem to be a mix between science fiction author Frank Herbert's Navigator's Guild from his "Dune" novels, and the hired assassins depicted in "Bullfrog Productions" old computer game "Syndicate Wars". Furthermore, their predominantly dark attire means that they should prove reasonably straightforward and fast to paint.
In addition to the Kickstarter's free Stretch Goal of Max Konigstiger, who for some reason reminds me of the hapless vigilante Kirk Matunas from Russell Mulcahy's 1986 movie "Highlander", the range also appears to include the likenesses of gun sharks Finnigan "Finny" Sinister and Ramone "Ray" Dexter from the British anthology comic "2000 A.D." I actually aim to split up the Corporate Hit Squad into small groups of player-run hitmen for some homemade rules, so this infamous gun-toting duo will doubtless be two of the first miniatures painted from this group...