Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reaper CAV: Ace Core Group

This week I received the Ace Core Group from Reaper's recent CAV Kickstarter.  The goal of the Kickstarter was to fund the transition of several CAV miniatures from metal to Bones.  While I'm not hugely into "mech combat", I did enjoy BattleTech back in my youth and thought the figures would be a nice change of pace to paint even if I never got to try the CAV game.

As with any Bones figures, the first step is a quick boil-and-freeze cycle to help reset the figures to their natural pose and straighten any bent parts.

Overall I think the figures saw less warping than those from Bones I.  I assume this is most likely due to the CAV miniatures being bulkier and having relatively few parts (aside from gun barrels) that are likely to get bent from storage.

Note that the figures shown below have been glued to Reaper's new hex bases, but otherwise the miniatures are dry fit and have not had any mold lines cleaned up.

94001 Tiamat

The Tiamat is absolutely massive; even having seen the comparison shots during the KS, it surprised me just how large the large CAVs are.  This mech has startling number of missiles, but that's it - no guns.  Seems like it's good for fire support, so long as it can stay out of danger.

94002 Halberd

The Halberd might be my favorite design from the Ace Core Group; it sort of reminds me of the old Rifleman design from BattleTech.  It looks solid and has some nice weapons mounted.  Surprisingly, the antenna straightened out when boiling, and didn't need to be manually adjusted.

94003 Razor

The Razor is clearly a recon or fast attack unit and has a nice, sleek look.  It's the smallest CAV of the Ace Core Group.

94004 Assassin

The Assassin is another attack CAV, and is well armed for that purpose.  The different missile pods are a bit odd (perhaps different types of missiles?), but they do give it some added visual interest.

94005 Dictator

The Dictator seems to be the mascot of CAV, as it is the unit depicted in a lot of the art.  The bulbous center body and cockpit remind me of the Mad Cat from BattleTech, though I think the Dictator has a beefier build.

94006 Specter

The Specter is my other choice for favorite design of the Ace Core Group; tons of missiles on a compact frame.  It needed so many missiles, they had to strap an additional launcher on top!  Speaking of, when I put the figure together for pictures I accidentally attached the missile pod backwards.  If you're assembling these figures, note that one side of the pod has the missiles showing, and this should go toward the front.

94007 Wight

The Wight is another massive CAV, and unfortunately the "mid-stride" pose made it the hardest to base.  Of all the figures, the Wight was the one with the most warping issues.  The arms have both a long barrel and a missile pod that's only attached at one side.

94008 Cougar

The Cougar is the second-smallest CAV of the Ace Core Group, and is another recon unit.  I like the squat, stout build, as it looks like it is a little more survivable than the Razor.

That's it for the Ace Core Group!  Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what the CAV units look like and how well they transitioned to Bones.  I think the harder edges from mechanical CAVs generally does a better job of holding details in Bones, and there appears to be very little clean up required for mold lines.

Since I don't anticipate playing CAV in the near future, I'll probably add these into my regular rotation of figures whenever I'm looking for a change of pace (or if I'm suddenly inspired).  I think they'll offer an opportunity to try out various camouflage patterns, which is something I have very little practice with.

Let me know if you have any questions about the units in the CAV Ace Core Group.  If you're looking to play the game, what faction will be your primary?

- M:M