It occurred to me recently that, while 40k is a much more playable game these days, and the models are much better from a technical standpoint than they used to be, something has been lost along the way. To me at least, the 40k world just isn't much fun these days. For one thing, the setting is humourless and boringly miserable. Almost all of the characters are drab. For another, the Rogue Trader ethos of making weird people and getting them to have a fight has faded somewhat. It's all far too regimented. Even games like Necromunda are very restrictive. A lot of the creativity has gone.
Which brings me onto the Scavengers kit, made by North Star Games for Stargrave. Let's cut to the chase: this is awesome. For £20, you get 20 bodies (there are 5 varieties) and a load of heads and guns. You can make a variety of shabby-looking space militia types, mainly with assault rifle-type guns but also pistols and crude hand weapons. Yes, the models could be a little bit more detailed, but they really don't need to be. You also get alien heads, if you want them to look a bit Star Trek, and some decayed-looking heads if you feel the need for space zombies. Which I don't, but fair enough.
I had a go at assembling some of these guys. I decided to use a couple of spare Frostgrave and Bolt Action bodies, to see how well the weapons overlapped. The answer is "very well indeed". In the spirit of Rogue Trader and the lazier episodes of Star Wars, I've given them silly names.
Dilbo Fudge and his brother Trilby are two scumbags on the lookout for strong women and loose booze, or vice versa. They are currently lying low after their recent heist on the National Dubstep Repository, where they made off with some of the galaxy's premium squonking sounds.
Dilbo uses parts from the Scavengers set, except for his head, which is from a Bolt Action WW2 Russian soldier.
Trilby has a Frostgrave soldier's body, and arms and a head from the Scavengers set.
Stickwell Clagg is a tough customs officer from the Bureau of Firearms, Tobacco, Alcohol and G'Fark. Rumours that he has been snibbling his own supply of G'Fark are completely unfounded.
Clagg was made with bits from the Scavengers kit.
The mysterious warrior-monk known only as The Crimbler provides heavy support with his hefty drum-fed machine gun. No-one has ever seen his face, including himself. This adds to his mystique, although it doesn't help his aim.
The Crimbler is made purely with parts from the Scavengers sprue.
Delaware Crotch used to be a security officer on the moon of Pragnar. During the Purging of the Gonks, he joined the rebellion. The fact that there wasn't actually a rebellion yet did not deter him from becoming a one-man uprising.
Delaware uses a Bolt Action Russian body, a Frostgrave soldier head and arms from the Scavengers set.
So, silly names aside, I think that this is an excellent boxed set. The models are really good and go together excellently. There's tons of potential for variety, even before you get onto conversions and kit-bashing. It's superb value and I'd really recommend it.
If you like Mordheim or Assassin's Creed, check out my Dark Renaissance novels HERE