Unboxing: Legendary Captain Nimue from Warcradle Studios.

Hi all;

Welcome to another blog post in my “Unboxing” series. This time its for the Legendary Captain Rani Nimue from Warcradle Studios, a division of Wayland Games, and a character miniature from the Wild West Exodus game. Before I go into the unboxing itself, let me take you, briefly, into the world of Wild West Exodus first, and also a bit on the character herself.

Wild West Exodus…

… as the title suggests is a table-top “Skirmish” game set within the Wild West. So far there is only one rule book, with a second due out fairly soon, which has a lot of story and background information on the factions within the game. Though there is a lack of stats and information on individual characters, they come on cards with the miniatures themselves, the rule book is fairly thick and well worth a read. I read some of it on the train back from Salute 2017, where I was lucky enough to be given a rule book and the Legendary miniature, and it drew me in to the world that Warcradle Studios have developed.

Background on Rani Nimue.

Admittedly I have had to take this off the back of the miniature box itself and also the website…

Highly skilled with the blade and trident, Captain Rani Nimue is a formidable adversary on land or at sea, especially as her harpoon gun is never far from her side. Nimue’s love of fame and fortune is only tempered by her sense of loyalty to her crew. Beautiful, but deadly, Nimue is a fickle force for change in the Wild West but whether for good or ill remains to be seen…

Born under the Raj in Delhi, Rani Nimue ran away with the pirate Broad Arrow Jack at the age of sixteen and was not heard from again for nearly a decade.

Now master of a crew of her own, the self-styled Captain Nimue earned a price on her head for the audacious theft from the Barrow Shipyards of a prototype RJ-powered submersible. Nimue rapidly built a notoriety for using the stolen submarine to make lightning raids on European shipping. While this brought down the ire of the Crown and their allies, her exotic looks and penny-dreadful fuelled reputation made her popular with the press and the public

The rest you can read on the website for Wild West Exodus.

Unboxing.

So onto the main reason for this blog, the unboxing.

Before I even opened the box I was surprised by the weight. Having been used to miniatures by other manufacturers, over the years, you begin to feel the weight difference as the companies cut back on production materials. However this has been far from cut back on, and it weighs a good few ounces, which will certainly give it weight on the gaming table.

Once I opened the box the miniature comes on two sprues, as well as the card and a recessed base. On sprue one, as you can see in the picture, is the base itself and also the head and hair.

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Judging, solely, on the size of the miniature I would say its 32mm “Heroic” scale, which means I’ll be in for some fiddly detail painting later on. Though with the amount of detail I can already see, not only is the miniature well scuplted, but they have kept pretty true to the concept artwork.

Sprue two contains the rest of the miniature, which is stunningly sculpted and with lots of details. On the main body, even though small, you can see ever detail clearly, from the simplified pendant around her neck to the layers in her armour. Even the small bits that hang from her waist are sculpted and not left blank.

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As you can see in the final photo, below, and even in the above photos, there is the card I mentioned earlier. The card itself is double-sided, on one side you get her stats, cost and weapon stats. On the other side you get all her special rules, what factions she can, and can’t be, included with and how she reacts with other miniatures on the table.

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Finally I can also see her being the leader of her own faction in the future, so maybe we’ll see more of the crew she is loyal too. If Warcradle do decide to do this, then I can see Nimue, and her crew, being a formidable faction on the table.

Interview with Kelvin Goh.

Introduction to the man himself.

My name is Kelvin Goh. My old friends call me ‘Goat’, or ‘Bull’ in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect), because in my very much younger days, I was all about brute-force. Now that I’m past 40, I’m more delicate, but nobody has ever updated my nickname.

I don’t give out photos of me, because I look terrible in photos. I provide professional services in IT security and IT audit to government clients nowadays. As well as being a father, writer, musician and miniature painter, and working as Phoenix Miniatures.

For more on his writing then please follow this link – Check out Kelvins Fan Fiction page.

Interview.

Q: First off, may I say thank you Kelvin for giving this interview for my lowly blog. Secondly, whats the concept behind these well sculpted miniatures?

A: You are welcome, originally I wanted them for Rackham’s old Confrontation game. I pursued the Confrontation IP all the way up to David Doust at CMON (Cool Mini or Not,) but got stonewalled.

When one of my artists got a ‘friendly warning’ from CMON. I then decided it would be easier to do an ‘inspired by’ rather than ‘directly-related’ to Confrontation thingy. Ultimately, they can be used in any gaming system, as a proxy for just about whatever you can think of.

After the C&D from CMON, I tweaked it so that it reflected a part of Aarklash without explicitly mentioning Aarklash. After all, a world is a big place, and in no sourcebook for Confrontation are the Eastern realms ever mentioned.

Q: What made you decide to start producing miniatures in the 40mm scale? As its a bit of an odd size compared to the standard sizes we see on the market, namely 32, 54, 75mm.

A: Actually, the size came about as a function of the sculptor. I noticed that our sculptor, Lee Jae Chi, had a very delicate touch – he sculpts instinctively as truescale 28mm. I had to bump up the scale to make the models a bit more imposing.

Which we can all see the delicate sculpting that Jae Chi did in the post before this one, they are awesome.

Q: Did you sculpt the first testers yourself? Or did you have a professional do them? Reason for asking this is that, having seen the miniatures first hand, they are very well sculpted and detailed.

A: Our sculptors have been Lee Jae Chi and Stavros Zouliatis, right from the start. I like to give start-ups a chance, and after seeing Jae Chi’s work for Zealot, I liked it – it was very fine and delicate.

Stavros came about after I put out a casting call. I have never, ever regretted hiring Stavros. In a world where sculptors want to be artists, Stavros is a breath of fresh air – he’s professional, starts work when he says he will, apprises me to any anticipated delay, and understands the concept of ‘cost of doing business’.

It is radically different from so many European sculptors I have been in touch with. Stavros is booked to do the entire series of my second collaboration (Dreamboat Miniatures) in the first quarter of next year, that’s how much faith I have in him.

Q: Is there any plans for more miniatures, or specials, within the same setting as the core set?

A: Plenty. The Unknowing Dead was Series 1, and I already have the entire line concepted for Series 2 – the Spider Elves. Rackham never got around to properly releasing the Arkyyshan Elves, so this is my chance to free-reign it.

This is my concept for Spider Elves, based on work by Atreju, the administrator for the Confrontation-haven forum.

“Akari – the First Circle. These are those who have dared the Spider Forests, and avoided the spider priestesses and their enslavement. They are rewarded with the venom of the King. It affects different people different, sometimes granting them magical powers, or enhanced strength – and sometimes, it kills them outright. These Cultists are the highest rank achievable for those who are not pureblood Spider Elves.

Atrash – the Second Circle, or the Purebloods. Those who are born Spider Elves. All Spider Elves bear the mark of the King, and are arachnid in some way or the other. They rely on impossibly swift strikes with dagger, chakram (for ranged attack), or deadly spider venom.

Shivenos – the Third Circle, or the Priestesses. Those Spider Elves who show magical ability are taken in by the Priestesses, and groomed for higher command. They prepare the all-important venom for those who wish to be Cultists, as well as the enslaving spiders for those who are caught and unable to escape.

Tarsal – the Fourth Circle, or the Right Hand of the King. Those of either extreme fighting prowess or magical ability are sometimes summoned to the King, where they may undergo the King’s Blessing, the undiluted venom of the Spider King’s bite. Not all survive, but all who do are rewarded with strange powers.

Fehran – the Fallen, or the Black Widows. Those who have tasted the King’s venom and are strangely changed, their bodies warped beyond imagination. The change takes Tarsals in different ways, but inevitably, they turn into giant spiders subject to the King’s will. The Fehran are sent out as assassins, used as brute force, or sacrificial lambs.”

Of these, I already have master greens for the Fehran (by Stavros), and the Atrash (by Jae Chi). I’m just saving up to have the Akari cultists sculpted up – these will be immediately familiar with Confrontation players, as the concepts are based on some common characters.

I also have the master green for the Spider Elf Outkast, a mercenary unit. This was done by Lux Thantor.

At the end of this interview there will be some pictures posted of the up & coming Series 2.

Q: Apart from you obviously being a huge Rackham fan, and dont we miss them, what other inspirations have you drawn upon for the miniatures?

A: I drew upon my childhood memories and stories of the East to craft the Unknowing Dead, hence, the Chinese influences. The Spider Elves, however, are Indian-inspired. I wanted to bring a Chinese influence to the miniatures I conceived, my Chinese/Singaporean ancestry served a lot as my inspiration. Aarklash is big enough, I think, and I wanted to bring a more Chinese flavour to Acheron (my 3rd favourite faction). The issue is that in this century, some Chinese mythology has taken on some Western influences – for example, the Chinese zombie, ‘jiang shi’, DOES NOT suck blood. But since the 1980s, movies depict Jiang Shi as zombie/vampires.

Q: Have you considered doing something like Patreon to raise funds? Which seems to be becoming more popular within the gaming community.

A: Actually, I haven’t. I’ve tried Kickstarter, which didn’t fund because I ran Phoenix Miniatures as a very low visibility enterprise (yes, it was a bad decision, I admit it). I might look into Patreon, but I’m not sure how feasible or even suitable it is.

Q: How much does the initial box set cost? And where can they be purchased from?

A: The initial box set is $65 AUD, comprising 4x Hell Paladins, 1x Hell Paladin Sergeant (Fei Dao), and 1x Abomination. I’ve been a bit slack in setting up a website, so just drop me a PM on Facebook and I’ll sort things out as fast as I can.

Ultimately, they should be available on the Dreamboat Miniatures Facebook page, too, but ….. I’ll get around to that eventually.

$65 AUD is, at todays exchange rate, £40.30 plus postage + packaging.

Q: Would you consider retailing these in gaming shops/cafes around the world?

A: Sure, if they wish to. I’ve mentioned in passing to a member of ‘Eavier Metal on facebook, who is setting up his own webstore, that we could come to an arrangement to sell things through there. Nothing is firmed up, but it is a start.

So thanks once again for that terrific interview and insight Kelvin, and heres hoping you have a lot of success in the future.

Now, as promised, are the pictures for the series 2 miniatures. I also hoped you, the reader, liked this interview and hopefully I’ll produce more in the future.

 

Unboxing of Phoenix Miniatures – Hell Series.

Hi all;

Today I have the pleasure of doing an unboxing review of some miniatures sent to me by Kelvin Goh @ Phoenix Miniatures in Australia. Now unfortunately the pics I’ve tried to take aren’t the best quality, so with Kelvins kind permission I’m using the ones that he let me have access too prior to receiving the miniatures. The words will be my own however and taken from my close up scrutiny of the miniatures I have here. Also, at the end of the review, will be an interview I conducted with Kelvin himself about his inspiration for the sculpts, what he has planned in the future and also a bit about himself.

Hell Paladins.

  • Sculpter: Lee Jae Chi
  • Number of Parts: 4 per miniature, 16 pieces in total.

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The first thing I noticed when I got these mini’s out of the box, there are 4 of them in the core set in various poses, is that there is a lot of detail gone into the sculpting of these. Considering the size, at 40mm slightly bigger than normal tabletop size, this a great thing. As you’ll see in the interview there is a reason for the size increase. There is also very little flash left on them, now either Kelvin spends hours cleaning each one, or they have come out of the moulds very cleanly. This also shows that there are increases in mould definition since the early days of resin miniature production.

Composing of 4 parts: 1 x head, 1 x main body, 1 x sword arm and 1 x shield, they are all interchangeable within themselves. This in my mind gives a greater degree of variation and the possibility of parts being ordered separate, if Kelvin ever wants to go down that route, to give the players more choice on poses.

Hell Paladin Sergeant Fei Dao.

  • Sculpter: Lee Jae Chi
  • Number of parts: 4

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As above, there is no flash on this miniature, which is one less job for us, that paint them, to get them ready for paint. One thing I would like to see with this miniature is having an extra option of a shield arm, probably more elaborate, rather than the two sword arms you get. The cloak, however, does give room for giving it that little bit of freehand and in the hands of a decent painter, and we all know one or two, will look really stunning.

Both Dao, and the four Hell Paladins, wouldn’t look amiss in any army on the table top. Either as part of a squad, or even as a unit by themselves, and will fit in with most fantasy tabletop games.

Abomination.

  • Sculpter: Stavros Zouliatis
  • Number of parts: 7

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This miniature is obviously the “Monster” in the core box. It looks like something thats either been constructed, or is in the process of being deformed by magic. You can clearly see the basic human traits, namely the thin neck and normal head, but you can also see the transformation taking place. From the spine rupturing out of the top of the back, to the chest swelling and the claws. This mini, like the other 5, also gives a great definition of movement, which unlike other companies, doesn’t look static. You can almost picture these miniatures running on the tabletop, or transforming into the Abomination, right infront of you as you paint or play with them.

I’d like to say “well done” to Kelvin and Phoenix Miniatures for these well sculpted and inspiring miniatures. If you havent got this box set yet, then I suggest contacting Kelvin, and making the investment in them.

So I’m going to give them 4.5 brushes out of 5.

Please follow this link to the interview with Kelvin, and a little surprise.

Hero of the Sky – Unboxing Review

Welcome to my unboxing review of Hero of the Sky by Ben Komets Miniatures.

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  • Bust Size – 2″ or 50mm
  • Number of parts – 4
  • Sculpted by – Lucas Pina Penichet
  • Above picture Painted by – Ben Komets
  • Purchased from – http://www.benkomets.com
  • Price – €35 + €10 postage to the UK.

This is a stunning miniature, which comes in its own little wooden box, along with two Hero of the Sky stickers and a little display card with all the info on it.

The sculpt itself is based, or so I’ve been informed, on a animae character called Porco Rocco, and you can certainly see the resemblance in this short video

 

When I unboxed it for this write-up, I was pleasantly surprised by the smoothness of the cast. A lot of times, especially with resin, you get a lot of flash and some, at least noticeable,  impurities. These impurities can vary, from slight cracks to bubbles, and these can really ruin a miniature or bust. However, this one is immaculate, which shows that Ben has gone over it and made sure its perfect before the customer receives the product.

In the rest of the box, you, obviously, get the bust, but there is also a little ziplock bag with the end of the scarf, the cigarette, and the buckle for the helmet strap. These are also molded with the same care and attention as the main body of the bust.

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One thing that does worry me slightly, and I might point this out to Ben himself, is that the buckle might be a bit of work. I’m not saying its impossible, but for those of you that like to pin delicate parts, it wont be able to take a pin. The way I’m, personally, going to get around this is by using a decent superglue, then once its dried I’ll fill the join area with Milliput and sand it back smooth when its dry for reinforcement. The other two bits, scarf and cigarette, both have location holes for them, so shouldn’t need any work.

The detail work on the main body itself is fantastic, with all the seams in his shirt picked out as well as all the hair. There is also lumps and bumps on the snout, this should give the illusion of movement, which makes it look like the snout is actually wrinkled (as you can see in the painted pic at the top of the page.) The rest is up to the painter. As you can all understand, this bust doesn’t come with a plinth or a plinth stand, so both of these you are going to have to out source. Personally I’m going to use a UK based company called Bully’s Wood, and hopefully get a nice wooden plinth made with a three blade propeller etched into it.

Hopefully soon, once I start painting him I’ll be able to show you all the finer details on this bust. I will certainly be buying from Ben again, the level of service you receive is outstanding.

Certainly its a score of 5 out of 5 brushes from this painter.

Up & Coming in the Grimoire

So whats up and coming on my blog?

Hopefully soon, there will be a couple of new unboxing reviews here on my blog, and yes I know its been a long time since I posted anything here and its something I plan on rectifying reasonably soon.

The first unboxing, I hope, will be the awesome looking “Hero of the Sky” bust from Ben Komets Miniatures. Standing at about 50mm, as the blurb says, its a bust that “will challenge new and experienced painters alike.” Its also something that I’m really looking forward to putting a brush too and writing up a tutorial on how I achieved certain techniques painting it.

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The second unboxing will be a Core box from the great Kelvin Goh, along with an interview with the man himself, both of which I am honoured to be able to do. This will also be my first interview with anyone on here, so it’ll be well worth waiting for, and if there is any questions you would like me to ask him then please post them in the comments below. The core set includes: 4x Hell Paladins, 1x Hell Paladin Sergeant Fei Dao, and the Abomination, and from the pictures I’ve seen they look absolutely stunning and well worth buying. Sculpted by Lee Jae Chi and Stavros Zouliatis, would we expect anything different? I very much doubt it.

So thats whats coming up. I’ll do the usual and flood my facebook feed with a link to them as and when they happen.

 

 

Follow-Up: Rosemary & Co Brushes

Its not often I post up a follow up on anything, but for these brushes I thought I would, its been almost a year now since I did my review of them versus the Windsor & Newton I own as well.

https://grimnarsgrimoire.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/review-rosemary-co-brushes-vs-windsor-newton-series-7/

Well to tell you the truth my W&N’s gave up the ghost a few months back, and have only really been good for mixing paints and maybe brush undercoating a miniature. My Rosemary and Co brushes however are still going strong, still holding their points and snap, and I may add, my painting has gotten better after these brushes came into my life.

Now I wouldn’t even have considered using these great brushes unless it had been for a phone call to Rosemary & Co and talking to Symi (Sales & Marketing Director,) she was kind enough to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone to me really going indepth about their product. What I also love is the fact that everyone I have spoken to at R&Co, including the owner, via email, are passionate about their product, unlike some other well-known companies I have also spoken too.

So if you are still on the look out for an excellent brush at an outstanding price then I cannot recommend Rosemary, Symi and their team highly enough.

Red Ridinghood – Nutsplanet

Unboxing.

Hi all,

Well after painting the “Shield Maiden” from Nutsplanet I decided to make another purchase from this great company, this time its a 75mm full figure called “Red Ridinghood.”

I have to say, the model itself is as good as it looked on their website (http://www.nutsplanet.com) and isn’t really that expensive. I purchased mine from a small company here in the UK called SK Miniatures who is their licenced supplier and it cost me £41 inc postage.

  • Company: Nutsplanet (NP-75006)
  • Material: Resin
  • Number of parts: 7
  • Sculpter: Nalya Vitvitska
  • Model height: 75mm Full Figure
She is a sunning model, as you would expect from what is fast becoming a leading manufacturer, and its very clean. By clean I mean there is no obvious air bubbles, flash or mould lines, so expect her to almost come out of the box and be ready for painting.

The detail on her alone is well worth the purchase, from the little buckles on the leather, to the detailing done on her face and the fur on the cloak, and Nalya has done a great job. I do however have one small criticism, and that is there no details as such on the short sword she is holding, so that will have to be painted on in freehand after its completed. However for the model and level of detail there already it certainly gets two thumbs up from me.

*Featured image courtesy of Nutsplanet and Myeong-Ha Hwang