Fallout Model Review: NCR Top Brass

These models were kindly provided to us by Modiphius for review.

Fallout: New Vegas is my favorite game. I am not shy about this and am often offputtingly enthusiastic when I recommend it to people. It is, to date, the only game on Steam where I have gotten every achievement. While I love the work Modiphius has done with their Fallout 4-centric models, I was positively stoked when they started releasing New Vegas models back in 2021. Today we are looking at a set of three of those: the NCR Top Brass, consisting of Chief Hanlon, General Lee Oliver, and Lt. Gorobets of the 1st Recon Alpha team.

Detail

NCR Top Brass WIP. Credit: SRM

Modiphius’ castings are some of the best in the business. I am always impressed at the crispness of detail on their models, even without all the extraneous baubles you’d get on a GW miniature. They’re also truescale, which means sometimes their weapons and equipment can be a smidge thin and fiddly. Turns out a heroic-scale handgun the size of your entire torso wouldn’t be very useable; who knew? The interesting thing with these figures in particular is that, at the moment, they are essentially the highest resolution versions of these characters in existence. Modiphius’ Skyrim and Fallout 4 kits are based on the higher definition models from their respective games, but New Vegas predates them by some time and its in-game characters all look a little rough and potato-esque by today’s standards. In other words, these models are like an HD texture pack you can hold in your hands. Every button on their uniforms, every bear icon, and every fold of the fabric is presented here in crisp detail, and even little things like Hanlon’s western vest stitching and steer skull belt buckle are strongly defined. I’m wondering if they got to work with Obsidian’s concept art to really nail these guys down, or it’s their own creative license.

Their bases are full of little touches that reinforce the narrative of these miniatures and ground them in Fallout‘s world. Gorobets is kneeling in some fairly generic rubble, but General Oliver is striding over a lovingly modeled Mentats tin and toy car straight out of the game, and Hanlon is passing some discarded papers and a spilled cup of coffee. His story in particular as a frustrated desk jockey, falsifying reports to get the NCR out of a losing war is one of my favorites from New Vegas, and I thought it was an exceptionally nice touch on this model.

Assembly

NCR Top Brass WIP. Credit: SRM

I had to do the bare minimum of cleanup on the models themselves, trimming a few minor moldlines and little else. Unfortunately, their bases have these huge chunky tabs on them, and said tabs leave some obvious damage behind. It’s some effort to remove them, clean them up, and get a smooth rim around the base. I can see the utility from a casting perspective of those bases; they’ve got the model number and everything so the folks casting and packaging these models can see what’s what at a glance, but it’s still an annoying bit to deal with. One of my base rims also had some bubbles in it, which is probably the single least significant place for bubbles to show up, but I thought I’d mention it. There was also a smidge of either mold slippage or a void in the resin on Hanlon’s Big Iron, so it’s a little more snub nosed than I was hoping. It unfortunately also manifested in his face which is a little uneven too.

Base Bubbles

With these pieces cleaned up, assembling the models was a breeze. The only way they could have been easier to put together would be if they were plastic. There was a little ambiguity regarding which side Lt. Gorobets should be facing on his base, but I used the box art as a reference. It’s telling that no instructions were included in this kit, and that none were needed. Their bits are all grouped together on their sprues and they generally only fit together in one way.

Painting

NCR Top Brass. Credit: SRM

As I stated in my Brotherhood of Steel painting guide, there is ample reference material to get these models painted up. The Fallout wiki, despite being genuinely hostile on mobile devices, has exhaustive records of every character, quest, and piece of equipment across the series, so it’s easy to look there for inspiration. I personally treat these models the way I’d paint a historical force, and aim for game-accuracy as best I can. Digging up the specific characters and equipment only took a few minutes, and I was able to devise some schemes fairly quickly. Unlike real-world historical forces, you can also easily pop into the game, find the character, and walk around and grab screenshots. I didn’t need to, but I think New Vegas has been installed on 5 separate computers of mine at this point, so that option is available.

Chief Hanlon of the NCR. Credit: SRM

As they all wear NCR uniforms of one variety or another, there were plenty of opportunities to keep colors consistent across the three models. The real secret here is to basecoat everything, hit everything with an Agrax Earthshade or similarly brown wash to get that Fallout color palette, then build up from there. I reestablished my base colors for the most part, drybrushed the bases, and built their cloth uniforms back up with volumetric highlights. To get that dusty tone, as I mixed colors to get said highlights, I used a beige instead of a lighter shade of the base color. These models paint up quickly, as they generally are wearing pretty utilitarian uniforms with consistent materials, and don’t have much in the way of extraneous detail.

Final Thoughts, Parting Shots, and What Have You

Lt. Gorobets of the NCR. Credit: SRM

This trio of models was an absolute joy to build and paint. Modiphius have done a fantastic job translating the character and aesthetic of Fallout: New Vegas‘ cast here in resin. While I don’t particularly like dealing with the tabs on the bases, the process of building these models is easygoing, and I love bringing characters from my favorite game to life.

General Lee Oliver of the NCR. Credit: SRM

Although I do wish there was a version of General Oliver getting tossed off Hoover Dam. A man can dream.

If you have questions, feedback, or your own band of wastelanders you’d like to show off, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.