Thursday, 16 February 2012

Alternative miniatures: Tehnolog ASTROID

There are a fair few dedicated 15mm sci-fi manufacturers out there already, and new ones seem to be springing up rapidly, but it never hurts to look around a bit, you might find an unexpected gem.

The Russian company Tehnolog should be pretty well known by now. They've made a name for themselves in 40k circles with their Robogear range, which many Ork and IG players use as a basis for conversions and scratch-builds. They also manufacture excellent and well-known modular terrain kits such as Platformer, Hexagon, and the famous Chemical Plant, which are distributed outside Russia under the brands Imex, Conflix, Pegasus Hobbies and others.

Lately the company has received some attention from the 15mm crowd due to their ZOD range of mecha, tanks and infantry, which are advertized on eBay as being in the correct scale for 15mm gaming. There has been some controversy surrounding this and some accusations that their infantry is a copy of old GZG sculpts. You can read up on these subjects here, here and here.

But besides ZOD there is another range of mecha produced by Tehnolog that might be interesting for 15mm. I stumbled upon them by chance when looking at ZOD stuff (which I ultimately decided not to purchase) and they looked interesting and cheap enough to take a chance on.

You can see from the eBay listing that the mecha are humanoid and relatively small, but the detail seems good. There are 16 different ones in the pack and they come on little individual sprues in 4 parts - main body, two arms and a backpack. Each model comes equipped with a ranged weapon, and these are also all different.

So, about two weeks after making the payment (17 with shipping for 16 models!) a little box from Russia turned up on my doorstep. The contents are exactly as advertised. 16 little sprues, half red, half blue. We'll skip over the thrilling process of cutting the bits loose and go straight to what everyone wants to see: scale shots.

Here they are next to a GZG New Israeli. They're small, but I think it would not be unfeasible for a human to stand or sit in the torso, especially with the bulkier models. 

The bits have holes and pegs for the attachment of arms and backpacks, and these are firm enough not to require any glue. The arms attach at the shoulder and can be rotated up or down, which is really the only posing option here. Unfortunately the legs come attached and are all posed in the same rigid stance.

Here are two more variants with an Old Crow  Slingshot...

 ...and a Claymore.

Personally I really like these little mecha and look forward to painting and using them. The only problem I have is that all 16 are different, and I would prefer a few uniform squads, as would probably most others. But maybe some arrangements can be made with that eBay seller?

To round off the photo session, here are the last 8 mecha. Each of the 16 features exactly once in the blog post, giving you a chance to check them all out. I really like the red one in the last picture with the cross-shaped visor. Obviously it must be called the Crusader.

As for the quality of the plastic, it's sort of the middle of the pack. Far more brittle than GW's, but not quite as bad as the cheapest military kits from the likes of Italeri or Revell. I managed to get everything off the sprues in one piece, including all the guns, some of which have quite thin barrels and cables.

I think these are great value for money and I might buy 2-3 more batches just to make a few squads of identical mecha. Of course, another great solution would be to get other local players to each buy one set, and trade with them.

Well, that's all for today. Ta ta!


  1. We'll have to agree to disagree.

    It's not just an accusation - the infantry sold by Technolog are direct recasts of GZG product. This was confirmed by Jon Tuffley - see more details here:

    That factor alone should be enough to make most 15mm players want to stay away. But if you combine it with the general soft detail of the product, I simply can't understand why anyone would spend money on these instead of supporting one of the other manufacturers.

  2. IP theft is probably too big a topic to discuss here, but in a nutshell my personal opinion is that unless GZG has actually lost any sales because of the ripoffs (which I doubt very much) at the end of the day no real harm was done.

    GZG is my main source of infantry currently and probably will be in the future (I have a hefty handful of New Israelis already, and I got into 15mm less than a month ago). If I ever do get any ZOD stuff, I will certainly chuck out the infantry, but I'm not going to boycott the company for a minor transgression.

  3. I don't play 15mm, so look at the mechs more as bots for 28mm games. I really like the variety of Tehnolog's products and decent prices. I've also had good service from a couple of the online vendors and feel confident in making future purchases.

    What I can't understand is why they're not more readily available.