Review – Teela and Beastman from Quest Miniatures

Today let’s look at some new minis that just landed in my mailbox!

Winging their way from our Canadian neighbors (or neighbours as we say in the UK), were a couple of figures from the new Masters of the Universe range by Quest Miniatures, which I had posted about originally HERE.

Inside the package were Teela and Beastman, and, much to my pleasant surprise, a third miniature which was noted as being a special rare chaser figure of Beastman wielding an axe, so huge shout out of THANKS to Quest for this lovely little extra!

Now as I had mentioned in the previous post, when two of my hobby worlds collide, then I am in geek heaven (or Valhalla, which is my preference). While I aim to (one day) own the vintage Grenadier miniatures (purely as a collector of Masters of the Universe items), these new figures really overshadow those old and rather stiff looking minis. Let’s take a quick look:

Teela – now Teela was a must-have for me as she is easily within the top 5 of my favorite Masters characters (the first probably being Stinkor, but they don’t make him, yet…) so picking her up to review was a no-brainer. Now I’m going to say that in my excitement of getting these, I totally forgot to take some pictures of them before assembly, so apologies for that!

This is gonna hurt!

Of the three miniatures I received, Teela was the only one who needed assembling outside of being glued to her base. There was also no cleanup required! Whaaaaat?? Well, OK, I had to file her shield a little. She comes in four pieces: main body, right hand holding her sword, left arm and her shield. So far, the one and only thing I can raise an eyebrow at (and it’s really minor) is that the slotta tabs are slightly too long to fit in the bases. This requires some delicate trimming, making sure you don’t get the feet or break/snap an ankle. Once that was sorted, putting her together was a breeze. The wrist/hand/sword has a small peg/hole set up which is superb. There are some miniature companies out there that still can’t seem to manage doing this, so this was a welcome relief when gluing these two pieces together. The left arm and shield attached with no problems at all, although I feel that it won’t take a lot to knock this piece off – it’s a super small area which makes it almost impossible to drill and pin. I’ll just have to make sure to handle her with kid gloves.

Her action pose is exactly how I would sculpt her, in a ready stance, ready to start swinging that sword or parry blows with her trusty shield. The pose reminds me of the Teela statue made by Pop Culture Shock toys (something I wish I could afford!!!).

Her likeness is spot on to the FILMation (cartoon) version of the character. There is a mold line that runs down the left side of her face, but some careful cleaning took care of that (we’ll see when she gets undercoated). I just hope I can do her justice with a good paint job! It’s all there though, the bikini, the boots, the bob, and the attitude, bravo Quest!!! Now… onto the next:

Whip it real good!

Beastman – My other choice for this initial score was Skeletors’ flea-bitten henchman. On a side note, Beastman (in the early comic books) was quite the scary brute. Why the cartoon version had him merely as a punching bag for Skeletor I will never really understand but hey ho I guess that’s the cartoon archetype of the underdog…

A much simpler set up than Teela, Beastman was a single piece casting, again with no cleanup required but also having the slotta base tab issue. It’s interesting to note, that Quest have gone for the FILMation look again, as Beastman has the boots that were seen in the cartoon, but never on the toy version, though this does open up the options down the road to do alternate versions of these characters.

His pose has him slightly crouched, looking as though he’s ready to press the attack with his trusty bullwhip. My one thing I would say about Beastman is his size, I’d have probably made the sculpt a little bigger so he’s more intimidating, but this is not a make or break thing for me at all, just an observation 😉

Get her you boob! NYAAAAHHHH!

So in conclusion, I’m beyond happy with my initial purchase from Quest. They were quick to respond, quick to ship and very friendly to deal with and I highly recommend them. I’ll be picking up the rest of the first wave for sure, as I’m already imagining a diorama I want to build. Even those of you out there who really aren’t into MOTU could still use these in your RPG’s or tabletop battles for something a little different. Tonight these will be undercoated and then off they go to the painting table! I’ll post them up as soon as they are done.

Thanks for reading!

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Judge Dredd Miniatures Game – out of the box review

Hello my friends! It has been too long since I last paid my faithful blog any attention, but I intend to remedy that! I started this blog nearly 6 years ago now, and I can’t just let it go now, can I?

Although I have not been blogging, I have certainly been keeping up with the hobby on a number of fronts. I finally completed my Flames of War British late war forces, which was a herculean effort, I can tell you! I now owe the wife a sushi dinner for letting me finish it lol! I’m very happy to report that my initial battle with my ‘stiff upper lip’ force resulted in a victory for the Tommy’s, but only just, it was bittersweet for sure. Also, Dethtron recently picked up X-Wing, or as it’s affectionately known now: “X-Wang”. Of the 4 games I have played, I’ve won 3 of them; there truly is something to be said for the Dark Side… a lot of fun though! I’ve come to realize that I’m a fan of Tie Fighter swarm lists.

Anyhoo, back to the meat and potatoes of this entry: Judge Dredd!

A while back I downloaded some test rules for the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game (a Warlord Games/Mongoose Publishing collaboration) and that was it, I saved it to my computer and pretty much forgot about it. At that point the only people making 2000AD miniatures was (and they still do make them) Wargames Foundry. Initially I was going to put together a couple of factions, but then realized that it was going to cost quite a bit for the miniatures and so put it on the back burner. Fast forward to a couple of months back, I saw a copy of the starter set at my FLGS and thought “fug it” and bought a copy. Not cheap, I will say, coming in at a cool $120. I’ve seen it about $100 on ebay, but guess what, yep, they charge you $20 for shipping, so do the math. So what do you get for your money? Is it worth it? Let’s take a peep in the box (hehe):

Get playing, CREEP!
Get playing, CREEP!

 

  •          Hardback copy of the rulebook – This is a beauty! Full color from beginning to end. The rules themselves only take up a small portion of the book, the rest is all breakdowns of the different factions, characters, scenarios, stats, lots of color photos of the miniatures and everything you’ll ever need to put the beat down on the perps of Mega City One.
  •          Academy of Training quick-start rules – just like the label says: a leaflet-style set of rules to get playing pretty much straight outta the box, you can’t miss it, it says “READ ME FIRST” in big red letters. It basically works as though you are a cadet on your first day on the streets and gives you a simple overview of the game mechanics to get you going before you embark on the more in-depth version of the game.
  •          Exclusive starter set miniatures – Definitely one of the incentives to buy this package: it comes with 2 figures only available with the set. A heavy weapon Judge and a Street Gang member.
  •          Metal (yes METAL) miniatures – The set comes with 2 boxes of miniatures: a set of 8 Mega City Judges and a set of 8 Street Gangers! 18 metal miniatures in total! Certainly nice to get some metal figures in an age when everything is plastic. This definitely appealed to my nostalgic side. It’s also where I have my one negative point that I have on this set – continuity. I took the judges out of the box to take a look, and one thing that jumped out at me pretty much off the bat is the proportions of the sculpts. Now I know that not everyone is the same height, weight, build etc, but I feel that there should have been some effort made to keep certain things the same. There is a lot of variation in sizes of shoulder pads, knee pads, guns etc. Some of the shoulder pads are super thick and wide, while others are thinner and less defined (look at my painted examples below). Some of the helmets are a little odd proportion/symmetry wise, but I have a feeling this is more due to the limitations of casting in metal, which also would explain the depth of posing on a couple of them too. Aside from this, these miniatures took me back to the very early 90’s when I would buy Judge Dredd miniatures made by Games Workshop, so I was practically surfing on the waves of nostalgia. The Street Gangers look great, and are full of character (and I’ll possibly pull some of my Necromunda miniatures in to bulk up the numbers a little).

 

One thing I did think was a little odd – as this is a starter set, with quick start rules etc, I was hoping that a set of dice and maybe some rudimentary measuring device (like the measuring stick that comes with the Warhammer 40K box set) would be included, but surprisingly not. The game runs on a D10 system, which would make sense to include, especially as it’s not a regular D6 driven system.

 

 

The crime issss liiiiifeeee!
The crime issss liiiiifeeee!

I recently also picked up the Dark Judges set because they are hands down my favorite characters in the 2000AD universe. You get all four of the bad guys and they also come with their spirit versions as well. Warlord Games makes quite a comprehensive line of miniatures to support this game, all of which are available through their website: http://us-store.warlordgames.com/collections/judge-dredd/  seriously, check out just how much they have, it’s great!

 

Mega City Judge
Mega City Judge

 

PSI Judge I just finished
PSI Judge I just finished

I am concerned that the miniatures are a little pricey. The set of Dark Judges came in at the $50 mark. While I know that makes the figures $6.25 a piece, which for metal ain’t bad, it could put off casual gamers or first-timers. I’m not too sure if the figures are available as singles through retail outlets (they are available this way through the website). It might be a little easier to swallow if you can walk in off the street and gradually build up your factions through single figure purchases if you don’t have the money to drop it on a box set all in one go.

So the bottom line: is it worth it? Yes! Zarjaz! I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is a) a fan of 2000AD and likes tabletop games and b) those of you out there who like smaller, more intimate skirmish games with smaller amounts of figures.

I haven’t had a chance to have a game yet, but I’ll do another review on the mechanics when I can organize it.

Until then…

Squaxx dek Thargo, Splundig Vur Thrigg!

Product review – Scibor Monstrous Miniatures

Product review – Scibor Monstrous Miniatures.

I happened upon this company some time ago when I saw some one off custom Primarch sculpts they had produced. I was also very interested in the excellent sculpting articles that they have too (check them out!) Scibor appear to be a small independent company based in Poland who are relatively new to the marketplace. They seem to be gaining a lot of momentum with their own lines of Dwarves, Goblins, priests, beasties and conversion bits (amongst a plethora of other products), and it’s easy to see why people will shop with them. Quite simply, their products are great!

I had been meaning to purchase something for a while, and with me wanting to personalize my Black Templar forces, I figured Scibor would be the place to start. I placed an order on their snappy and rather slick looking website for some ‘Big Templar shields’ and some ‘Templar shoulder pads’ to get the ball rolling. The ordering process is nice and simple, and they accept PayPal, which is also very convenient. The prices are very reasonable, and the standard of the detail means you’re getting a pretty good deal all round. After my order was placed I got a confirmation email from them, which unfortunately I couldn’t understand a word of, due to the language barrier, but I got the general gist of it.

It took about a month for the order to get to me, which is not so great, but then it is coming from Poland, hardly just down the street! I did notice on the site it says they mail out orders seven days after receiving payment, and that it takes two to three weeks for delivery.

After receiving a ‘final notice’ slip from the post office (even though it was the first one I’d received, weird!) I picked up my order. It had been sent in a small bubble pack envelope, which was pretty flimsy. Inside were two little baggies, one with the shields, and one with the shoulder pads. Two of the shields had been broken, which I am sure is a result of USPS taking their upmost care in handling packages, and also a chunk had snapped off one of the shoulder pads. This was disappointing, especially after waiting for a month for it to arrive.

Initial disappointment aside, it was nice to get this stuff in hand to get a good look at it, and I have to say, it’s really nice quality workmanship. The resin that it’s cast in feels quite substantial and pretty heavy duty. The breaks were clean, so I’m sure I’ll be able to repair them with no problem. I’m looking forward to having some plastic Sword Brethren now!

So, in summary:

  • A great company with some really nice products.
  • Some incredible sculpting talent.
  • Some nice tutorials!
  • A little slow on shipping (but this is a variable that you can’t control unless it’s through a carrier like UPS or something).
  • Scibor could take a leaf from Forge World’s book on shipping. Ship breakable stuff in boxes, not mailer bags, with plenty of cushioning, if you have to charge more for shipping to do so, do it! People will still buy your products!

I’ll give Scibor 3 ½ mortar shells out of 5 for now. I will be purchasing more from them soon. In the meantime, check out their website at:

http://www.sciborminiatures.com/