Prodos Games – Warzone Miniatures review.

I don’t know much about Prodos’ Warzone IP. My only knowledge of the company came from their Aliens Vs Predator Kickstarter, so a couple of years back now. I was impressed that (what I assumed was) a small company managed to grab itself rights to such a solid project. It was a ballsy move, one that made me think that these guys were ones to watch. I didn’t back, but a few of my mates did, and that’s how they came to be on my radar. I went to Salute 2014 and spent a fair bit of time at their stand, admiring some of the initial sculpts for AVP. They really had gone all out on this project, the miniatures looked awesome and the small amount of gameplay stuff out there was very cool indeed.

Warzone is another existing universe that the guys over at Prodos have been working on for a while. An updated version of the old 90’s miniature game. I never played the Mutant Chronicles game, I was never in to the Dark Future kind of aesthetic. But I recall the miniatures and how I wasn’t in to them. Funnily enough, that’s exactly how I felt when I first saw what Prodos were producing for the reboot of the game. It’s strange because there were these wonderful, boundary pushing sculpts for AVP, but the Warzone sculpts just didn’t seem up to the same standard to me. Maybe they were going for that classic feel, or felt restricted by the existing sculpts from the 90’s. I dunno, I’m not going to speculate though.

Fast forward a few months, and I’m scrolling through Facebook and saw some of the Mishima Crimson Devils. Maybe they’re new, maybe they’re not, but I liked them, and started looking further in to what Prodos were doing with Warzone.  I spoke to a few mates and they mentioned that they were not big fans of some of the initial miniatures, but these looked real cool and piqued my interest. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big gamer. I’m a painter. I like nice sculpts and well posed miniatures. And scrolling through the Prodos site, that’s exactly what these miniatures have.

Crimson Devils

First up, lets have a look at the Crimson Devils. I won’t be talking about their background or rules because a.) I won’t do them justice and b.) I’m sure there’s a Corehammer writer within our ranks that will know exactly how to construct a solid article about the factions of Warzone. So I’ll let them do just that. The Crimson Devils box comes with 5 miniatures that have a heavy Japanese feel, so there’s a mix of guns and katanas. Given the feel of them, the poses are great. Very fluid but natural seeming for heavily armoured miniatures, and really nicely balanced with good centres of gravity. The one leaning on her back leg is especially impressive, looking ready to strike at any moment.

The best thing about these miniatures however is the heads. They look MEAN. I love it. The horned helms go over a skull looking face that makes them very imposing looking indeed. Even though these are designed for gaming they (along with any of the other miniatures to follow) have not skimped whatsoever on the detail. Those little grilles under the arm pits are absolutely perfect, and this is one of the key strengths of the Prodos team. They appear to have dedicated, and very talented 3D sculptors ensuring that the miniatures produced have as much character as they have detail.

Light Infantry

Light Infantry

Next up there we have some models from the Capitol faction. Of the 4 boxes I received, the Light Infantry box is possibly my least favourite. That doesn’t take away from their quality though. much like the Crimson Devils, they aren’t as dynamically posed as the Crimson Devils, but then they are a less agile unit, so that’s understandable. Their guns look awesome and when they have those backpacks on and are a little more bulked out these guys look ready to demolish. There is a fair bit of flash on them, but it’s absolutely nothing that can’t be cleaned up. What’s more important are the mould lines… or the lack of mould lines. Very clean, very crisp, so once you get that flash sorted you’re ready for priming almost straight away. If I picked these up from a stand, I would absolutely be stoked. The heads are great too, a mix of masked and unmasked that will make them pop out when painted. Perfect urban commandos.

Henry Thomas

Also to go with them, is Capitol hero Henry Thomas. For a 28mm miniature this guy has the most realistic, and least comic looking hair, I can’t believe that that came out of the mould. It’s barely noticeable, but it also makes the miniature. Very subtle, very awesome. I’ve already got an idea on how I want to paint this guy, and if I can crowbar it in to my schedule, it will be coming to Monte San Savino with me this November. But we shall see.

Blood BeretsFinally we come to my favourite box of all. The Imperial Blood Berets. The light infantry might be the best urban warzone looking dudes, but these are some of the best interpretation of reality-grounded sci-fi humans you will see. Again, the poses are more stoic than the Crimson devils but thats fine. These guys look solid.

I’m not sure if this is a complaint or not, but they definitely seem bigger than the light infantry. There may be something in the fluff, they may be ab-human, or they may be selected for the Blood Berets based on the fact that they’re gigantic freaks. Who knows. All I do know is that these guys are awesome. It’s just a real shame that they came with the wrong second sprue so I won’t be able to put them together properly. Thats ok though, I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied for the time being. With how well armoured these sculpts are I was looking forward to seeing how they had dealt with the bare arms. Alas, it looks like it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t let that put you off though. These sculpts are very high end and easy on the eye.

Overall, Prodos are an exceptionally forward-facing company. They have all the bells and whistles you would expect from a new startup, a beautiful, responsive website that is as easy to navigate as it is on the eye. Doesn’t seem like much right? But just step back and think about it for a minute. Why is a decent website even a noteworthy point? The big part of it, I think, is that as gamers/painters/hobbyists, we have a tendency to lower our expectations when it comes to the industry we’re involved with. Don’t get me wrong, a decent website isn’t going to hide a shitty company, but thats not how Prodos seem to me. They just seem like a next generation gaming company, populated by people who have a keen eye for where this industry is going. They offer a 3D design service, as well as a 3D Printing service. From their website:

The 3D designers at Prodos Games are the leaders in their field, mastersof the art of computer aided 3D design. We use the best software to produce 3D sculpts of humans, animals, monsters, vehicles and aliens, (and a lot, lot more) in both true and heroic scale. Our team has, to date, produced well over 340 designs, from a small friendly dog, to a 150mm leviathan of a tank, and everything in between. Our team is able to actualise your 2D concept (or even photograph) in to a highly detailed three dimensional computer model. But it doesn’t end there; we also offer preparing your 3D designed model for print and mass production. Our designer team know, where to prepare product, ensuring that your model is exactly as you want it, but additionally in a state to be printed. Our team will ensure your sculpture, piece of jewellery or miniature moves from dream to reality!

If there is one word I would use to describe Prodos, it is interesting. They haven’t just sculpted a couple of miniatures, and put them online, they seem to have grand plans for how this industry is shaping up. With solid growth over the next few years I have no doubt that Prodos will be one, if not the key competitor to GW. These guys are promising indeed.




1 thought on “Prodos Games – Warzone Miniatures review.

  1. Great write up Kev!

    I’ve got to agree that Prodos has done a knock-up job ‘Ressurrecting’ Warzone. I’ll add a bit to your article if you don’t mind, because as you’ve said you weren’t hugely familiar with the IP.

    Warzone and Heartbreaker Miniatures came along in the mid nineties, a wild and wooly time in gaming where studios were popping up here and there with interesting IPs… and every RPG saw the possibility to monetize their world with merchandise… in this case this fascination people were gaining with MINIATURES.

    The Mutant Chronicles RPG, from which all of this is derived, was licensing out at hte time to a number of products. A card and board game called ‘Doom Trooper’ and then to Heartbreaker/Target Games for a line called ‘Mutant Chronicles: Warzone’, which was to be their tabletop game. 1st Edition saw a few miniatures, a rulebook and a very character driven skirmish game. It did reasonably well and the line expanded into a second edition, which some would claim was the hay-day of the franchise.

    This second edition was the ‘boxed set’ era of the game. It came with 4 POSEABLE multi-part miniatures for each side, Bauhaus Ducal Militia and Imperial Regulars. The core rulebooks contained the rules, background and army lists for all the main factions, IN FULL COLOUR.

    It was in ever way a mirror of its contemporary, 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000. The only difference were slightly better boxed set components. The studio even had a monthly magazine, called ‘Chronicles’ which was in every way similar to GW’s White Dwarf. Target added a Fantasy game called Chronopia and at the time they folded was even breaking into the 6mm game with set, popularized by Epic Space Marine, with Chronopia Empires.

    But fold they did. Paradox Plaza who owned the IP pulled it and very messily, the company folded. Some of the studio members when on to found I-Kore and released VOID, but that’s a tale for another time.

    The IP sat for many years, the molds were sold off and acquired by various people. Prince August for one and a group of very passionate guys in the USA for another.

    Several attempts were made to resurrect the IP. Ultimate Warzone in the early 2000’s was one. It compiled every single thing in the game, every model every mold, into a phonebook thick black and white rulebook (I think it was even printed on Phone Book paper). Fantasy Flight released a 54mm pre-painted game. You probably don’t remember it.

    Sadly, these attempts to bring the game back around suffered from two things.

    First, a case of ‘too soon, too little different’.

    Target and Heartbreaker had not been gone so long that people who had played their games previously still had all their models. Buying a new rulebook to play with what you still have does little to generate revenue into a young company. While well intentioned, this was a fatal flaw in the plans of those enthusiastic amateurs.

    The second, and probably most damning, is the ‘Had to put it in a bin’ factor which will forever stain the IP with retailers. If you’ve ordered in $2000 in merchandise only to have to liquidate your remaining stock when a company closes due to it not selling, that is something a business owner remembers. It is something CONSUMERS remember. Even if your product was great. Even if it was backed by wonderful rules and beautiful miniatures. I’ll name a few others that live under this same scarlet letter, Confrontation, Dark Age, DUST.

    This is the hardest thing for Prodos to shrug off.

    They’ve done one really great move to break past the first thing; They’ve totally reinvented the line. Sod the old molds, old sculpts. If this is to be our game it will be OUR GAME. New base sizes, new models. Bring in revenue. Release new models.

    The second however, that’s a hard thing to break past. I wish Prodos luck. If I were them, I would focus outside sales into YOUNG hobby shops. Places that have only been around a few years. Don’t try to go through distributors. They won’t get it and they won’t market to the right people. Take your shingle and hang it somewhere new. You need a fresh start if you’ll shake off the ghosts of the past. 🙂

    Thanks for the Article Kev! Might have to go dust off my old Bauhaus metals. 🙂


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