Τρίτη, 22 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Miniature Review - Privateer Press

I've noticed that this blog has been very one sided so far. Most of its content consists of step by step painting logs of various minis. Given my love of painting and my lack of gaming that is to be expected but even I am getting bored of doing the same thing over and over so I decided to try adding some new content. One thing I'll be doing from now on is reviewing miniatures from different manufacturers. I've never reviewed a hobby product before so don't expect expertly written reviews from the begining. There's also the issue of subjectivity that is unavoidable in any kind of review. Why I can't be 100% objective at all times I'll at least try to let you know when I feel that my subjective taste is effecting a review.

 Since I'm new to reviewing, each review will be divided in some categories so that it's both easier for me to write it and easier for you to read it. The categories I'll start with will be:
- Casting quality: This category covers things like crispness of the cast, loss of detail in casting, flash, mold lines and miscast pieces.
- Sculpt quality: This category focuses on the quality of the sculpt itself in terms of composition, pose, detail, realism and proportions.
- Ease of assembly: This category is all about how easily the mini comes together, whether the assembly instructions (if provided) are clear and whether there are any large gaps between pieces. It may also cover its conversion pottential but I won't mark down a good mini for being hard to convert.
- Paintability: This category focuses on how easy the mini is to paint. Is the detail clear enough to be picked out? Is the mini too cluttered? Does the mini lend itself to a good paintjob or is it a struggle to paint it properly?
- Wow factor: This category is prety much self-explanatory. A mini may be excelent technically but still appear bland while sometimes minis that are less than perfect technically may have that certain "something" that makes them desirable.

Concerning paintability and ease of assembly these will sometimes be judged before assembling and painting the mini, based on a dry fit of the parts and my impresion about what the mini's paintability will be. Of course if after assembling and painting the mini I feel I have misjudged it on these categories I'll alter my review.

I think that now is the right time for a Caveat Emptor notice. These reviews will reflect my personal oppinion and only that. I'm not a sculptor/ miniature designer so I'll be judging this minis from the point of view of a hobbyist looking to find cool minis to paint. Use my reviews at your own risk and dare to disagree with them. And if you like a mini don't let my (or anyone else's) reviews disuade you from buying and painting it.

If I haven't bored you to death so far we can get on with the review. After hearing so much about Privateer Press and Warmachine I thought I should go with the flow and buy a couple of minis to see what they are like. Being a painter I chose two characters, one Warcaster (Comander Sorscha) and a Solo (Widowmaker Marksman). At this point I would be lying if I didn't tell you that one of the reasons for choosing them was the fact that they could be easily converted to join my Inquisitor's warband... Leaving my Inquisition addiction aside these looked like nice minis and that was reason enough for me to choose them.

Before focusing on each individual mini let'stake a look at the packaging. Both minis are packaged in blister packs. The blister packs include a sturdy sponge piece which seperates the minis from the included stats cards. The design of the blisters allows you to reclose them and it prevents parts flom flying in all directions when opening the blister pack. Here's a photo of what's inside a blister pack minus the miniature and foam piece:

So what we have here? Well detailed stats and spells cards, and even an e-mail for contacting Privateer Press in case of missing parts. It even says who packed this blister pack so you can enjoy the sadistic satisfaction or turning him in when you find missing parts. And Lord Slaanesh will enjoy his pain, yessss... Oh sory I got distracted again... On to the review.

Comander Sorscha

- Casting quality:
The mini is well cast with minimal mold-lines and no visible flash. There seems to be no loss of detail in the cast. The hammer was slightly bent but that's something you expect in large thin pewter casts and straightening it took only seconds.  4/5
- Sculpt quality: The mini is nicely sculpted with good proportions and enough details to keep it interesting. The pose is nice and the rock suplied for the base complememts the pose and elevates the mini which is a nice touch considering it is a caracter mini. My only gripe is that the detail is not very sharp but then it may be that I'm used to the sharper details of GW minis. There is always the argument that these less sharp details are more realistic but personally I prefer sharper details on SF and fantasy minis even if it's less realistic. 4/5
- Ease of assembly:
The mini seems to go together easily though I am slightly concerned about lining uo the hammer and the 2 arms correctly. However there seems to be no major gaps between parts and the parts seem to line up well. 4/5
- Paintability:
I believe this mini will be a joy to paint. The details are well defined and not too fidly, facial features and eyes especially are easy to pick out and the combination of armour and coat allow for either comlimentary or contrasting colours. 4,5/5
- Wow factor: It's a nice mini however I'd like something "grander" for a character. These things are hard to pinpoint but I just feel it needs something more to elevate it to "character status". Still a cool mini. 4/5

(I may review the Ease of assembly and Paintability scores after assembling and painting the mini.)

Widowmaker Marksman

- Casting quality: Much like Sorscha the mini is well cast with minimal mold-lines and just a bit of flash. There seems to be no loss of detail in the cast however some of the coat buttons appear slightly less pronounced than the others. The barrel of the rifle was slightly bent but It was easily straightened. 3,5/5
- Sculpt quality: The sculpt is generally good with a good pose. The coat drapped over the shoulders is a nice touch adding character to the mini. There are a few gripes concerning the hat where the sculpting quality seems poor. The legs seem a bit too busy with different layers of clothing which takes the focus away from the gun and the face which should be the focal points of the mini.  Finally the way the coat hangs and the coat's folds seem a bit plain and artificial but only slightly. All in all it's a good sculpt with some minor issues. 3,5/5
- Ease of assembly:
The mini seems to go together with no major gaps and the gun lines up well with the hands. 4,5/5
- Paintability:
It seems it will be an enjoyable mini to paint much like Sorscha. The large gun may obscure some areas of the mini but that's a problem with all minis holding big guns I guess. 4/5
- Wow factor:
Despite some flaws the mini has lots of character. It just screams "grizzled veteran winter sniper". If the overly bussy legs didn't distract you from the focal points of the mini it would be even better. 4/5

(I may review the Ease of assembly and Paintability scores after assembling and painting the mini.)

So there you have it, my first review posted on this blog. Let me know what you think. I'll need your guidance and advice to make my reviews better in the future.

Δευτέρα, 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Ork Nob - steady progress

Painting daily, now that's a first for me! I think by now everything that's not gona be metallic is painted. I do need your suggestions however concerning how I should paint the armour plates. Should I go for various metallics or paint them in "normal" colours and weather them? Suggestions, ideas and sample pictures will be highly appreciated. In the meantime here's the pics I managed to take before my camera's battery run out:

Κυριακή, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Ork nob - progressing slowly

Hmm, seems I'm on the right track painting daily. I could have done some more work today but Sunday laziness creeped in at some point. I'll try to be more productive but in the meantime take a look at the progress so far:

Σάββατο, 19 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

The Ork's head

Sounds like a pub for wargammers, right? Well you'll find no cold pints here, just the begining of my new project I'm afraid. But why "the ork's head" and not "an ork's head"? Beacause it is THE Ork! One of the orkiest skulpts so far IMHO. At the moment only the head is finished. I've painted the skin on the rest of the mini but that's about all for the time being. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Σάββατο, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Something just a bit different - Tom Bombadil

Warm and brigh colours, lack of grimdarkness, no battle damage. Where did that come from? To be honest I needed a break from my classic painting style and this mini was the right tool for the job. It was a quick 4 hour paintjob done mailny with straightforward layering but I must confess it was very enjoyable.

Κυριακή, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Imperial Missionary - final pics, CMON link and some tutorials

Nothing fancy here just my shot at CMON glory! I was asked the recipes for the plasma gun casing and the face on various forums so I'll add them here. The plasma gun colour may be familiar to you since it's the colour I've used on most weapons in my inquisitorial retinue. Let's move on to the recipes.

Weapon casing:
- Basecoat with Khemri Brown
- Wash with Devlan Mud
- Highlight with Graveyard Earth
- Highlight wth a 1:1 mix of Graveyard Earth & Comando Khaki
- Highlight with Comando Khaki

Chipping was done using the sponge from a blister pack but any kind of foam will do. The sponge was dipped in paint, then most paint was wiped off on a tissue and the sponge was dabbed on the gun. It's best to practice on a scrap mini first to get a feel of how it works. A mix of Chaos Black and Scorched Brown was sponged on followed by Boltgun Metal. The foam from a blister pack is ideal since it can be twisted to a point when you want to apply a chipped effect on a small area.

- Basecoat with Talarn Flesh
- Wash with Ogryn Flesh wash
- Highlight with Dwarf Flesh
- Highlight with a 1:1 mix of Dwarf Flesh & Elf Flesh
- Highlight with Elf Flesh
- Glaze lower lip with Baal Red
- Wash Scars and a little bit of the surrounding area with Baal Red
- Rehighlight scars with Elf Flesh

Obligatory CMON voting link!

Imperial Missionary

I bet you didn't expect me to apear here sudenly with  a new mini without prior WIP posts. Well to be honest it was a quick paintjob as it only took me two afternoons. I did cut some corners and I'll have to admit that I'm not aiming for my best paintjobs lately as I want to finish most if not all of my undercoated minis. It seems that this effort is paying off as the infamous "lair of the undercoated" (a posh looking red box I got from an IKEA office set) has gotten noticeably less crowded. Maybe I should post some photos of the mysterious denizens of this infamous lair though I'm not so sure if you'd be interested in meeting them.

Now this guy has left the lair of the undercoated, crossed the torturous dessert of the paint station and now must go through the purgatory of varnishing before he can be accepted in the heavenly halls of the display cabinet. Since I don't want to make him wait any longer let me know if he needs any touch-ups before varnishing. And do tell me what you think of him of course.