Sunday, September 24, 2017

Guards! Guards!

Human guards, foot soldiers, etc.

These are mostly from a couple different sets of "medieval knights" from Caesar Miniatures, with a few Accurate "English Men-at-Arms" in addition. I wanted these to be useful for either "good" or "bad" guys; blue is classic for good and red for bad, so I split the difference and went for purple, which sadly is barely perceptible here even after image enhancements. For some reason the pics here didn't turn out very well, so if you get a slightly queasy feeling looking at these, my apologies.

Dudes with polearms. The chap in the middle apparently drew the short stick, literally. These are three poses with headswaps and a few other mods for variety. The halberds on the left are a little bendy; the spears on the right were even more so (as you can see in this post), until I decided at the last minute to swap them for some more rigid Italeri barbarian spears. I was worried that this operation would be catastrophic, but the soft plastic Caesar uses was able to bend and not break. That softness of course was what made the original spears intolerably bendy in the first place; there's some sort of lesson here, but I can't put my finger on it.

Anyway, more guard fellows with livelier poses. The two captains in the middle are the Accurate figures. The one on the right got a headswap with the second crossbowman from the left, which I had actually forgotten about until I tried to find the original figure on PSR. What I'm saying is I think the Accurate and Caesar figures work great together here.

The guards of course complement the bandits from my last big painting project.

I'm sure this is a political metaphor of some kind.
As with the bandits, I tried to mix up my usually Caucasian humans with some duskier skintones. Not historically accurate, but as these aren't intended for historic gaming that's not an issue!

Stay tuned for more mini comparisons. I'm going to give the multi-figure projects a rest for a while and try my hand at some dragons, so look out for those as well!

Monday, September 4, 2017

New Alliance minis! Trolls and demons and war machines

Via the 1/72 wall at Red Box/Alliance keeps chugging along with the new fantasy releases. Check out these preview pics.

Disorganized thoughts: We've seen Alliance's blocky Peter-Jackson-style troll before with their first troll set. They actually paint up pretty nicely. Sets 2 and 4 here look a little too blocky; the Set 3 poses are a lot more dynamic and interesting.

Set 4 is possibly referencing the Orc Catapult set. I'm not really sure what's going on with the huge bases and limited number of figures and poses here. The Catapult itself looks like a lot of fun. Check out the one intrepid orc, apparently ready to take catapult-assisted flight!

The Fire Demons here are the long-promised "balrogs" (It's interesting to look at that post and see all that all the announced sets have now come to fruition. Good for Alliance!). The limited number of poses in interesting. They seem to be a bit larger than the trolls, but I'd also bet that the wings are separate pieces that take up space on the sprue. If the boxes are around $10-12, that puts the per-figure cost close to what Reaper charges for similar figures. True, they might be a bit bigger, but the sculpting also doesn't seem as good. I'd like to see them painted up before deciding for sure.

~Edit for 9/6/2017: I just realized that the box art here says that the Troll set 3 has only four figures total, while Troll set 4 and the two Fire Demon sets only have two figures each! Maybe that's a misprint, as it's a departure from the large troll sets Alliance has released already. But if it's right, then unless these will be much cheaper than Alliance's other sets, that makes the value proposition a little dicier. Even if they are as big as Reaper's larger trolls, let's say, if the boxes aren't cheaper than usual, the per-figure cost between Alliance and Reaper is about the same. And Reaper's figures are just better-looking.~

Still, it's great that Alliance remains committed to new fantasy releases. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Last Day for Bones IV Kickstarter!

It's the final day of the current Kickstarter for Reaper Miniatures popular line of cheap plastic minis. There's a bunch of good stuff that's been unlocked, so if you are interested and haven't pledged yet, now's the time!

I did a bit of blogging during the first week or so of the project, and my thoughts haven't changed too much. As always, I come at these projects from the weird point of view of looking to adopt these "normal"-scale fantasy minis to the somewhat smaller 1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog. That means smaller minis, larger minis, and terrain. The former tend to look good as either medium or smaller critters in 1/72 scale, while the latter two are often more or less scale agnostic and very adaptable.

So I'm super into all the kobolds, for example (including, finally, a kobold archer!), and the goblins look good as well, either for 1/72 gobbos or orcs. Several of the larger beasties, like the rat ogre, or the griffon, or the cyclops, look like they'll work for me as well. A few of the add-ons, like the trolls or the monster skeletons, were tempting but a little rich for me. The same goes for some of the terrain pieces; I liked the Tree of Despair and Baba Yaga's Hut, but they were a bit too much for what they were. On the other hand, the "Fantasy Scenics" set that was just offered broke my resolve: a lot of cool set pieces for $5 each!

That and the core are all I wound up getting, but it's plenty! I was worried that the stretch goals were a little sluggish compared to previous Bones Kickstarters, but the core set seems to have as many pieces as Bones III, and when you consider that this one includes a big old dragon, that's pretty generous. Plus a fair number of add-ons, including four (update: make that FIVE) expansion sets, all of which were quite interesting even if I had no reason to get any of them.

The core set, of course, also includes a ton of medium-sized figures and other stuff that I won't have much use for, so once they ship (Feb. 2019 at the earliest!), I'll have plenty to sell, as I have in years past. To bolster my hobby budget and justify jumping into this Kickstarter after I already backed Mantic's TerrainCrate Kickstarter this year, I'm considering something like a pre-order system. I'm on Wave One and in the U.S., so I'm likely to be among the first to receive these. I'll do a more formal post if I decide to do this, but if being among the first to get some of these minis without backing the whole Kickstarter appeals to you, let me know!