Friday, November 21, 2014

New D&D minis for 1/72 scale

You may have heard that there's a new version of D&D out, and that WizKids is making miniatures for it. In the past D&D minis, especially of halfings and gnomes, have been very useful for 1/72 fantasy gaming, but is the new line of any use? Let's see.

Special guests from the one-inch guild are on the left to help Sven on the right with the scale comparisons. To their left is a quickling, a svifnerblin fighter, a stoutheart halfling female bard, and a rock gnome female sorcerer. These are all common random singles from booster packs and can be purchased very cheaply online; I got each of these for 50 or 75 cents each. The other minis are a lightfoot halfling rogue and a gold dwarf female cleric. These are both found in the Starter Set, and since they're in fixed quantities, they're a little more expensive to buy individually.

The shorter minis seem to be short enough to work as halflings and other small humanoids in 1/72 scale. The art direction for the new edition calls for larger heads for halflings and gnomes to emphasize their shorter proportions; I understand this was a controversial choice in some ways, but it does mean that those minis look like something other than really short humans. If they had been human-sized they might have looked odd, but since they're little folk, they seem fine. The halflings could even pass as dwarves given their squat proportions.

Also, I was surprised that the dwarf mini looks just about like a human in 1/72. A little on the stocky side, but pretty close. This is the only dwarf offered in this line for the time being, but it makes me curious what future dwarf sculpts might look like.

Finally, the other minis in the Starter set. As is my wont, I purchased the set with the intent of selling the ones I didn't need. I figure someone might be curious about size comparisons for these guys, so here they are. Not surprisingly, they are too large for my purposes, though that barbarian might make a decent giant.

Human female ranger, Northlands fighter, Drow elf ranger Drizzt, Sun elf female wizard, Sven the comparison viking.
Drizzt and the sun elf are still for sale. Again, check out my sales page!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Photos of the new Caesar Miniatures fantasy sets!

I mentioned these before. I just stumbled upon these preview shots on a Russian minis forum.
Pretty sweet to finally see what these look like. They all look pretty great, though I'm not sure the painjobs and photography do them justice. They all seem to be of the same magical, not-flat casting that Caesar is known for. The lizardmen have a thick, primitive look to them, and the ratmen look suitably short and nasty. The zombies are duly shambling and horrible; the crawling poses are a particularly nice touch. The modern zombies largely look like they would fit in with their fantasy counterparts, if not vice versa.

These images are being hosted by a Russian hobby shop, which suggests to me that these figures should be for sale soon. I have no idea when, of course, but stay tuned! In the meantime, what do you all think of Caesar's new offerings?

Update (11/20): Michigan Toy Company has these in their catalogue for pre-order, including most of the same preview shots as above. Here, here, and here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alliance orcs, set 3

Who makes the best plastic 1/72 orcs? A few years ago that would have been a strange question, but the state of 1/72 fantasy minis has slowly blossomed so that there are now choices to be had. The basic choices for 1/72 fantasy, as readers of this blog probably know, are Caesar Miniatures and Red Box/Alliance. A lot of people are put off by the cartoony look of the Caesar orcs and prefer the LotR-inspired models by Alliance. But I didn't mind the "greenskin" look and prefer Caesar's modeling to the flat sculpts we seem to get from Alliance. Their 3rd set of orcs, though, seemed to have a lot of interesting sculpts worth checking out. I haven't seen a review of these yet with height comparisons, so I thought I'd feature them here.

The set comes with 9 (presumably) male and one (obviously) female sculpt. The males are shown above. Unlike the other more uniform Alliance orcs (see 1/72 Multiverse for a review), these guys have a lot of variety, from almost unarmored to the heavily armored fellow near the middle. While still fairly flat, the poses are also fairly lively.

The one downside is the height. These aren't quite as short as Sven as they appear (due to shorter bases), but they still are not quite human-sized. This shouldn't be surprising, really: Alliance is clearly inspired by Lord of the Rings, which describes orcs as a little more runty than we often see in modern fantasy. But I like my orcs to be a little more imposing. I'm guessing the new half-orc sets Alliance is releasing would fit my tastes a little better, as they're clearly based on the more menacing Uruk-Hai.

The female orc from this set is on the right; I featured this sculpt in my post on female character minis. It's a little taller than the other figures in this set. It's also not obviously orcish, meaning it could be used for an orc or human character, depending on how you paint it.

All in all, it's a fine set with a lot of variety, and if you don't mind the their size, they're worth picking up.

Update (11/12/2014): Benno's forum member "zirrian" asked for a comparison between Alliance orcs and LotR figures from Games Workshop, and I realized I could oblige. Here it is:

Caesar orc, Alliance orc, GW "Mines of Moria" goblin, Sven
Another update (11/14/2014): Sam has done an excellent job of painting these figures, and you can see his work at his blog. He was also kind enough to link to this post, so thanks!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sale reminder

Hey all, I'm still selling loads of Twilight Creations minis. I also just put up a few of the new D&D Tyranny of Dragons starter minis on eBay. Check out my sales page for more info.