Thursday, 31 January 2013

So Pop to the Top with your first Soda Pop

I picked up this little lady because I felt it was about time I fulfilled the stereotype of a war modelling man with a penchant for suggestivly clad female miniatures..

Personally I feel i perform the role quite admirably..

Anyway back to the model; I have here one Soda Pop miniature from their 'Relic Knights' range. In particular, one Isabeau Durand from the 'Shattered Sword Paladins' sect. I must say I quite like the 'anime' style miniatures. One day I might get round to actually picking up a copy of their Chibi style 'Super Dungeon Explore'!

First Impressions

Wow, this mini is tiny.. the Relic Knights minis are apparently based on 32mm Heroic scale, which should typically mean 'bigger proportions'.. the only thing that is big about her is her over sized sword. She's a thin as a rake.

There are some bits that might prove finicky, including this braid of hair which is on the right hand side..

In terms of flash there was very little, a couple of spurs that needed clipping off, but that was about it. There was a slight defect at the end of the sword, where it looks like the side of the blade has been etched away by something, but other than that good quality.
Building the model

The model is designed to have quite a dynamic pose, with the hair and skirt blowing behind the her. For the head in particular that means a lot of weight put on just the neck of the model, which is thin.. so i decided to do some pinning, which had it's own issues as I tried to ensure the drill bit didn't go through the neck itself.

After I'd drilled the holes for the skirt and head I did the age old 'sitting around pressing two bits of metal together' in a vain attempt to get the glue to dry quicker. 

Side profile
Front on.
Something that did make it harder putting this model together was that the base supplied is a slotter base, but the model doesn't have the 'bar' of metal for the slot, instead she just has a couple of pins on the bottom of the feet that look like they were designed to go in holes..

Next up, 
The Sword, Arm and Hair.. 

Again, this required some pinning, the sword connecting to the arm pointing forward was easy enough to do, but the the arm that is going from left to right (face on) I gave up pinning, especially when there was, unbeknown to me, a small hole in my tube of superglue and I soon became attached finger to thumb and hand to miniature..


It was a tricky model to put together, it certainly required some patience from someone with fat fingers like myself, but it was a very enjoyable model to put together. If I had to put together an army of these I'd probably get quite frustrated, however Relic Knights itself is a skirmish game, so you wouldn't have to put together lots of models, and it would certainly ensure you got the most out of putting them together!

A quick wash of devlan mud so you can see the detail.
For comparison, here she is next to a Bezerker Dwarf from Mantic's Kings of War range.

I give it an 8/10 - Aesthetically pleasing with some really nice details, but fiddly. Certainly looking forward to painting it!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Studio Bergstrom OCRDeF Ship Review

In this post i will be reviewing some of the OCRDeF ships from Studio Bergstrom's Future Frontier range..
please excuse the crappy start of a paint job.. I got a little carried away.

From Left to Right;
1 x Battleship (Resin)
1 x Cruiser (Metal)
2 x Destroyer (Metal)

First Impressions;
Nice and simple, from what I could see from opening the box, I only had 1 part that needed attaching, which is the 'exhaust' from the Battleship. At a quick glance I couldn't see any obvious flash/bad molding on the miniatures.

This range is very bulky and fat, it lacks the smoothness or elegance of the Terran range, but that's what I liked about them, they look like they can take a lot of damage and pump out some extreme firepower. 

A closer look at casting and quality;

Once I got over that initial rush that comes from opening new toys, it was time to be objective and take a look at the casting quality and amount of flash. I must say that I was really shocked about the quality of the cast, it was superb. 

There are lots of deep parts to these models, lots of places that on some models get clogged up and lots of places that detail can get lost, but on these guys every groove and recess is crisp and clean, the casting is excellent, even better still is that there is no flash on the models! From the marks on the models it appears that Drew at Bergstrom has taken the time to remove the flash for me so that I don't have too! Now that's some service!

Each of the models has a piece of metal that 'juts' forward from the from the front of the ship and the exhaust section of each model has these small bits (for lack of better description) that point out back, I was concerned that they'd be a little flimsy and maybe prone to bending and breaking, but from my intial time spent with them and the couple that I have dropped whilst undercoating and painting not one has moved out of place. 

Scale and Comparison 

I bought these models to play some Full Thrust with so the ships i'll be up against will be GZG's Full Thrust range.. the Star-Ranger scale chart classes Bergstrom minis as 'Fleet/Squadron' scale, which is somewhere just under the size of the Full Thrust range which are 'Squadron' scale. 

The biggest of my ships, the Battleship, including its jutting front and 'bits' on the back put it at a little over 3" long, which means that it fits alongside the middle of the range FT ships from my Neu Swabian League FT ships quite nicely. It does look a little out of place against the dreadnought, but I'll be using these guys for smaller fights. 

The Cruiser against some of the medium sized FT ships

The Battleship against the FT Dreadnought..
it's here that you really notice the size difference
Here you can see them against the FT 'Eurasian Solar Union' miniatures - there are also rules and ship stats on there for using ORCDeF ships in FT.

Postage, Packaging and Price.
I live in the UK so was expecting a couple of weeks wait for post from the states but in fact received them in less than a week! Postage was $9, which for us Brits is a little under £6, which I didn't think was too shabby at all for postage from the states. 

The packaging was just what you'd expect, sturdy cardboard box with enough packing to keep them safe from sliding around.

The price of the models is really good value in return for the quality of the models you receive, especially given the extra touches like mold lines being removed before being shipped to you. I will definitely be making a purchase in the not too distant future.

With Hostile Intent

In this post I will be reviewing Magnetic Adapters for space ship combat miniatures from the 'With Hostile Intent' Range, I found this by accident one day and ordered them from Rattlehead Games;

Magnetic Adapters

Designed to resolve that age old issue of  stands breaking off in the bottom of your models and the problems of transporting minis with big stands on the bottom of them. They're made of white metal and earth magnets, and they're pretty strong, there are also sizable metal 'teeth' that are designed to stop the ship spinning like a top whilst moving it around

Here is the one i'm using to support my Full Thrust NSL Dreadnought.
The part connecting to the ship

The part that is attached to the stand.

They are pretty good for the job and have resolved the issue (for me at least) of those pesky plastic bases breaking off in my larger ships... Gods I've got so many ships with broken stands embedded in them...

However, they are quite large, I'm not sure they would look particularly pretty when stuck on the bottom of the ORCDeF ships in my previous post, however for medium to large Full Thrust ships, or larger scale ships like those in Firestorm Armada they'd do the job perfectly without pulling the attention away from your fancy well painted ship, these ones need painting black too, this will help with the keeping it out of sight.. I guess it is these larger (heavier) ships that it was designed for anyway, as they're more likely to break the stands.

They do also sell 30o, 45o, 60o, 90o and 180o adapters which is pretty cool, and from what I can gather as long as you have the basic adapters (with 1 part attached to the base, 1 part your ship) can put these angeled ones inbetween those two parts to 'turn' your ships at different angels, I imagine they'd work quite well when using 360o fighting rules etc and rolling your ship to fire broadside from the undamaged half of your ship... just reminds me of Battlestar Galactica when the Pegasus is destroyed.. (S3:E4)

Here's the 45o angle ones from the Rattlehead website

Price wise, they're perhaps a little expensive, especially given that they're a non-vital addition to your army and won't help you win any games. For the basic adapters, they are $6/£3.90 a pack, you get four in a pack, so that's just shy of £1 each! They are well made, but I could become an expensive way to help maintain your army.

If you've got your fleet built and are looking for a way to help maintain them and resolve any issues of bases falling off, then they're well worth picking up. I'd give them an 8/10.

On a side note and not something I can blame on anything other than my own idiocy, the make sure your ship and base line up the way you want before you go glueing all the parts together.. :/

As for ordering them;
Rattlehead Games were really good with their postage, $4.50 international shipping for orders under $15 is an excellent rate, plus I received the parts in less than a week! I'm not sure you can go wrong with that!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Commision Figurines 20mm WWII Scenery

Review of Commision-Figurines 20mm WWII Scenery

Whilst trawling the internet for some scenery for our new game, I came across these little fellas on eBay, I thought to myself why not! so I picked up one of each of these three laser cut MDF building ruins from Commission Figurines a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately I have only now gotten around to having a look and putting them together!

First Impressions
They look fantastic, really high quality and lots of detail; Pavements, 'plastered' walls, floorboards, door ways and windows. Everything has been done, and there are some really nice little touches - the interior walls are smaller than the external walls, the floor boards are 'split' into individual boards, there is plaster falling off the walls and there are archway decorations above doors and windows.

Putting them together
They went together really well.. I did pick up a trick or two to putting them together a touch easier..

The corner buildings.
- put them together flat, put the floorboard into one of the walls and then turn the other wall so they make the 90o that they should. The floorboard should slot into the hole in the other wall as you bring it into place.

The middle building. 
- Attach the floorboards to the middle wall before attaching it to the front wall.

Once you've done these, then attach them to the floor.

Some of the joints were a little stiff, but I would rather they were stiff than too loose! I didn't feel the need to, but a little trim with a modelling knife of filing would solve that problem easily enough.

With Models
15mm and 20mm work really well, with these ruins. They are advertised as 20mm ruins and they fit the role perfectly, the models really look in scale with the building. They are also advertised as being usable for Bolt Action (and I would guess all 28mm by extension).. they would do well if you had no other scenery, but aesthetically  they don't work, it's far too small for 28mm.
20mm Germans from Warmodelling

I'm not quite sure how i'll go about painting them yet.. I'm not sure how well they'll react to paint and if it will warp or not, but i'm sure i'll soon find out. Any advice? then please leave it in the comments!

£4 each, which is crazy low for what they are imo. I've seen some really expensive mdf laser cuts, which have far less detail than these.

Packaging and Postage
The postage rate was pretty reasonable and the seller gave me a pretty decent discount on combined postage. The models arrived well packaged in one of those bubble wrapped envelopes, nothing was bent or warped, they arrived in good time too.

You can find the stuff here!
p.s. I promise i'm not working for the guy.

If you're still looking for something to do, then head on over to this blog here for a review of Khurasan's new 15mm Abrams!