When I first saw the preview pictures for the Dust Tactics Axis Gorillas I was floored. They really looked promising. They did look a little too large, but that was because I had (incorrectly) assumed they were on 40mm bases. If they had been, they'd have been indeed quite large. As it is, they are on 30mm bases and scale up perfect for 28mm miniatures.
A box set retails for $14.95 US.
I had experience with Dust Tactics with only one model: the Allied medium walker, which I did some minor converting for my Quar in a VSF setting. The walker was a very high quality kit and I expected much the same from the Gorillas.
Seen here are the gorillas out of the box with an AT-43 Karman for scale comparison.
The gorilla on the left I have already removed from the base (since I was re-basing mine).
The miniatures come pre-assembled and attached to their base.
In sculpt, the gorillas are much more like true gorillas in stance and proportions than the karmans, even discounting the karman armor.
The first thing I noticed about the gorillas was that the plastic is just a bit soft. The walker was hard plastic like you'd expect from most plastic miniatures, but the gorillas are a softer plastic, nearly as soft (but maybe not quite as soft) as you might get from the Reaper Legendary Encounters. I was surprised, and I have to admit a bit disappointed. However, I've used the Reaper Legendary Encounters and repainted them and found they work fine, so I didn't let it dissuade me.
One issue with the softer plastics to note is mold lines: they are generally thicker and a bit harder to remove than on hard plastic miniatures. Luckily there were very few mold lines, and the only troubling ones were around the details on the metal gauntlets.
The detail is sharp, well defined and should paint up very easily with quick washes & drybrushing if desired.
The bases are the same as standard Dust Tactics infantry: metal decking.
The hands of the gorillas will rotate, because they are just pushed on, not glued in. You'll probably want to glue these in, using super glue not the plastic adhesive used for standard plastic miniatures.
Hint: Before gluing the hands, first remove them completely by pulling them off and clip or shave a sliver off the rod stump that inserts into the hand: this is because it has a mold line and prevents the gauntlet from resting flush with the arm. Trim a little off and you'll be fine.
Evaluating the kit as it is, I think it is very good quality for the money. I wish the plastic had been hard plastic, but the miniatures don't really suffer from the softer material.
Cleverness of Design: 8/10
Now on to what I did with my gorillas...
When I came up with my plans for the Belgian Liberation Army it was in large part due to the fact that I wanted to buy these gorillas. I wanted the bases to match the men & monkeys I'd already done, so first thing I had to do was remove them from their bases and pin them to flat 30mm bases. This was easy to do. The soft plastic doesn't resist drilling, and they pinned fine.
Then it was a simple matter of painting them. I tried to go for a natural gorilla look, with some grays & browns in the black and slight sliver-backed look to them.
Out of the Congo and ready to push Nazis out of Crimea.
I can't wait to get these on the gaming table!
Rules wise, the three gorillas are using the 3 werewolf pack profile while the AT-43 gorilla is 'Agrippa' using the profile of the alpha-werewolf. The little fellow in front is a stow-away from my Hydra miniatures package that the post office tried their best to lose.
This is Sprocket. He'll be my pilot of the Greystoke walker! The boys affectionately call him 'Monkey Wrench", but not when Poireau is in ear-shot. Pun or not, he gets annoyed when people miss-classify apes as monkeys.
Question: My 3 new gorillas need names! Any suggestions?