Valhallan Ice Warriors
So I have a ‘thing’ for World War Two and Cold War Soviet equipment. Their rugged simplicity and reliance of quantity has always appealed to me. So it’s no wonder that I’ve always liked GW’s Valhallan Ice Warriors and their Soviet influenced design.
Between the greatcoats and the Ushankas (fur hat), the Valhallan’s are dripping with Soviet imagery. It doesn’t hurt that the Imperial Guard has a bit of a resemblance to the Red Army, what with it’s Commissars and reliance on sheer numbers.
Anyways, a few months ago I saw an ebay listing for four of these, loving the BMP-1 look I put a ridiculousness small bid on them…and won them all for the princely sum of $20 (The casting is beautiful on them, by the way).
Since I now had a suitable transport for some Valhallans, I figured I should probably get some troops.
The good news is that they are still available on GW’s website, but they aren’t really cheap, not-quite twice the price of a squad of Cadians, so I was hopeful I could find something else.
I really liked the look of Mad Robot’s Kurgan but they we just as expensive as the GW stuff, though they are a multi-part kit, which has a lot of advantages.
So I kind of just sat on the idea for my Valhallans. I occasionally would check ebay, but that’s about it.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple of boxes of Wargames Factory Shock Troops (AKA Greatcoat Troopers) for dirt cheap, two boxes of 18 for $30. I figured if nothing else, I could use them somewhere and threw my money at the seller.
Doing some research, I discovered that Cadian arms are a direct swap, giving the figures a cheap and easy method of matching GW’s weapon aesthetic.
At this point, I still hadn’t thought to use the WGF Shock Troops as Valhallans, and was just figuring I’d use them as either conscripts of maybe a future Blood Pact force.
Then yesterday, while I was looking over some Soviet Bolt Action minis (because I need another army for another game…) I discovered these:
These guys are Soviet Assault Engineers and they were equipped with with a primitive steel body armour (not unlike World War One German Storm Trooper armor). It turns out that the WGF Shock troopers have molded on body armor not dis-similar to the above. Which is what made me realize I’d found my Valhallans.
Now, the basic troopers are pretty simple, with only a couple of poses, but they are well cast and with Cadian arms, will—I think—offer a good compromise. I splurged on some Ushanka heads from Mad Robot (like the head of the above ‘Kurgan’) and I think they will be easily recognizable as Valhallans and as their weapons will be Cadian, table top usage should be fairly problem free.
Of course this solution isn’t without issues as it turns out Warlord is taking over distribution of the old Wargames Factory line. When I messaged them asking if the Shock Troops would be re-released along with the historical ranges, I was told they would not be. Which means they may get harder to find. Luckily, as I’m using different arms and heads, there are some bits dealers selling the bodies, but I have no idea what the demand is for these guy, but we’ll see.
Now all I have to do is build a T34/76-esque turret (easier to tell what it’s supposed to be evoking rather than the /85) for my Leman Russes…