Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rebel Vipers - Product Review

Product Description:  Rebel Minis recently released their small class of Mech in resin.  The VIPER comes in three different variants with two versions of each, one standing still and one advancing.  Each kit comes with the legs, the body and a sprue of the appropriate weapons options.  They stand approximately twice the height of a 15mm figure.  These are definitely light mechs.

Vipers, ready for action.

Style and Character: 9/10.  I really like these little guys.  They look believable.  There is a sense of menace about them.  They are not humanoid, but they look like what I think most Mechs would look like; a walking platform for weapons rather than an attempt to re-create a man in giant, armored form.  Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that.  It's just that these look right from a functionality point of view.

Right side.

Production Value: 10/10.  These kits came with almost no flash.  Most of it cleaned up with a tooth brush though there was a bit of filing necessary where I cut the guns off of the sprues.  There were two bubbles, total, and both were hidden once the Viper was assembled.  The details are crisp and clean.  These are really beautiful castings.

Left side with Gatling Gun.

Assembly and Conversion: 10/10.  The design of the models allows a lot of variation in how they are assembled.  The chassis can be fitted onto the legs at any degree of rotation.  The arm mounts have cups that fit over ball mounts on the chassis.  They can be rotated to any angle as well as having quite a bit of lateral play.  Any of the weapons for any of the three Mks of Viper can be put on any Mech and many of them can go on either side.  There is a socket mount on the top to take a missile launcher from the Mk III.  I have suggested to Rebel that they make an accessory sprue of weapons/comms/sensors to go up there.  Regardless, the bits box should be able to find something to fit nicely.  These also work well with the Gruntz vehicle builder and perkz to allow you to build your vehicles the way you want them.  They would be a breeze to magnetize as well, though I did not do that.

Straight on.  This is a really nice model.
Quality: 9/10.  These are nice, solid, resin castings.  The only thing that brought the quality down was the couple of air bubbles that I found.  Other than that, these are good to go.

Price and Service: 10/10.  The Viper costs $6.50.  That's approximately 4 quid for you Brits.  A beer at the pub costs more.  For what you get, I almost feel like I'm taking advantage of Mike at Rebel when I buy these.  The service was great, prompt and accurate.  They were packaged to ensure there was no breakage and everything arrived in one piece.  The folks at Rebel are quick to respond when there are issues and they make things right, even when I'm the one who has made them wrong.

Overall Score:  9/10.  If you are looking for light mechs for your 15mm then these are the number one best product out there, in my humble opinion.  The price, quality, style and service just can't be beat.  I liked these so much I just ordered four more during their 20% off sale.  I'll be using Vipers for several forces.  I just like them so much better than most of their competition.

Edit.  The other four arrived just before I left on my trip.  The missile attachments and the big guns are looking very tasty.  I can't wait to put them together, when I get back.  

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