By Rob Morgan
This one isn’t the best of photos, but I was in the local “Pound Shop” buying crayons and colouring booksfor my granddaughter. Next to them were racks of “toys,” poor quality for the most part, but I usually take a look as you don’t know what of interest will turn up in packs marked “Made in China.” There was a packet marked “Space Aliens,” containing 12 not-too-bendy green alien figures, each 30-35mm tall, with round 40mm diameter hard plastic bases, and ready painted. They are obviously based on ideas taken from the film “Alien.” The torso and head are a give-away, but the arms ….!
The figures (there are three variants) are decent enough to a) require no painting, b) require no basing and c) are of a size that will fit in with most ranges of 20/25/28mm figures. One variant is waving its hands high in the air, the other two are “advancing,” as the old wargamers used to say. Back to the arms — a touch “Edward Scissorhands” these. Each arm tapers to a long “scythe” blade, half as high as the overall figure. Impressive, yes, but it does limit the unfortunate aliens’ combat role to slashing and thrusting, and to do that with both hands at the same time is almost impossible, with the added possibility of self-amputation!
However, these may well be turning up in discount shops across the land, and I thought they might have some value in a science fiction game. As variations on the opponents of Sigourney Weaver perhaps, in the spaces of a starship? They would be limited by the confines of corridors and equipment when using their long blades — which could be poisoned or electrified maybe. A second thought was that these would be blades attached securely, but capable of being dropped if need be, As a raiding party, umpire-controlled, to simply steam through an encounter, targets for both sides, or used by an army for lethal pursuit at high speed. They look fast enough! Certainly, if you can write up a few basic rules for them, they would make a decent, if short-term, appearance (but umpire controlled) on a battlefield.
One of these unusual beasts, half cyborg maybe, has had his blades trimmed to be used as an “Alien” in the cinematographic sense, with my 15mm TTG space figures, old now but reliable and oft-gamed.
Remember the old adage: Buy it when you see it.