Monday, February 8, 2016

Abyssal comparison

Ever since they were first introduced in "The Basilean Legacy" in first edition, I've been wanting to have an army of the Forces of the Abyss.  When the Dungeon Saga kickstarter hit, I thought "this is my chance".  I can build a 1000 pt army out of these models.  During the kickstarter, the Abyssal Crypts expansion was $25, and a set of one of each of the new models was $15.  Ten copies of the expansion would allow me to build an army over 2000 pts (because I'd have 10 Efreets and 10 Abyssal Champions).  A bit pricey from Mantic standards, but doable.
The list wasn't ideal, but would work (and still have a few points left for magic):
  • Flamebearers Troop (10)
  • Lower Abyssals Regiment (20)
  • Succubi Troop (10)
  • Abyssal Guard Troop (10)
  • Moloch Regiment (3)
  • Moloch Horde (6)
  • Tortured Souls Regiment (3)
  • 2x Hellhounds (Troop)
  • 2x Abyssal Champion w/ wings & Lightning Bolt(5)
  • 2x Efreet
Then the KoW Second Edition kickstarter actually created the models for the army.  Now instead I got an Abyssal Mega Army plus an Abyssal Fiend and three more Molochs for less than half the price of the original plan - in fact I could now probably do a full 2000 pt army (because the Abyssal Fiend is such a nice model, I really want to use him)
  • 2x Flamebearers Troop (10)
  • Lower Abyssal Regiment (20)
  • Lower Abyssal Horde (40)
  • 2x Succubi Regiment (20)
  • Moloch Horde (6)
  • 2x Imps Regiment (3)
  • Abyssal Champion w/ Lightning bolt(5)
  • Efreet
  • Abyssal Fiend w/wings & Lightning bolt(5)
While I may not field a full size army, I definitely now have enough to finally have an Abyssal demo army of 1000 pts.  But I was curious once all the models arrived - how do they compare?  I have heard where some people did go the multi-DS pledge route.  Thus I thought I'd do a model by model comparison, building the KoW models to be the same pose as the DS ones.

All the DS models are slightly smaller (both in height and bulk), and the tails were much thinner. Of course the DS models are also all on 25mm bases, not the 20mm that would be needed for KoW.

First up is the lower abyssal.  Dungeon Saga comes with two of these, the first was able to be almost exactly duplicated.  The legs were posed in the opposite directions and the scythe for the DS model does not have a long handle, but otherwise they are the basically the same.  

The red plastic doesn't seem to photograph well - but you can see that the details in the 'board game' plastic are softer than in the hard plastic.  There are pieces such as the scythe and the head that look to be direct copies - I would assume that the KoW model was originally sculpted in full detail, and then pieces that could be reused were.  The vambraces  (wikipedia is great for finding names of these things - the armor strapped to the forearms) are also identical with a skull on them.  Under a magnifying lamp (yes, I'm old and if I admitted a few years back I had to have this for painting) a mold line is visible going across the face.  Since these are molded in a single piece (as opposed to the sprued version which is four pieces (body, head, 2 arms) it is understandable that it is much harder to hide the mold lines - however going across the face it has a much greater chance of standing out if you paint yours without cleaning it, though it is not very prominent and I did not notice it until I put it under the magnifying glass.
Lower Abyssal
When trying to duplicate the second DS lower abyssal, I found that it had to be more of a mirror image.  The DS model has a sword in it's right hand (and shield on the left), but the only sword on the sprue was a left handed sword - forcing the shield to go to the right hand.  Like the other model, there are many pieces that are duplicated but just a bit softer.    While I would not put these in the front rank of a unit - if you wanted to use them they should fit right in.

I did not order any of the resin versions of the monster models (I did not get any resin versions of sculpts that I was getting in plastic) - it would be interesting to see a comparison of the game plastic model and the resin model of the exact same sculpt.
Lower Abyssal
Flamebearers are lower abyssals that hurl firebolts as a ranged attack.  When looking very closely, the head for this model was molded separately and assembled later.  Following the very faint mold lines, I can picture how the mold goes together, and it is not how I would first imagine it (I would expect the arm to be a separate piece, not the head).  I also find it interesting that you have separate fingers on the left hand - a bit of detail that is not present on any of the arms on the sprue.
The succubi are a little more challenging, as they are facing along the seam of the mold, while most models are facing perpendicular to it.  While the detail of the face is softer than hard plastic, they did a very good job of having the mold lines along the hair line instead of across the face (which I've seen on other models before).  However her shoulder does meet her face, which is unfortunate.  The legs are similar - there is no way to put a "thigh gap" on a one piece model effectively.

It was, for me, much more difficult to attempt to duplicate the DS running pose - the blade arms on the sprue are bent at the elbow - so they can't quite be put into the running pose.   The twist in the torso for the sprued body is molded on, but it is not a flat join, so when it fits into the legs you aren't easily able to twist it to match the DS pose (this could be done with a bit of green stuff for a conversion, but that isn't the point here)  The thin blades on the DS model are a bit more susceptible to bending (easily straightened out with hot water).

Her pose would make it a bit interesting to put in a troop or regiment - the sprued models just don't seem quite as dynamic.
These are the only plastic models for the KoW range, but there are two metal models that have DS versions.

The smaller of these is the Efreet.  The DS plastic appears to be about 10% smaller than the metal version.  Unlike the lower abyssals, it does not appear that any of the parts from the metal version were directly copied to the plastic - it is a very similar sculpt, but many minor details make it different (not including that the metal version has an alternate head and arm).  The plastic flames seem both smaller and more detailed than their metal counterparts, and while the plastic appears to have more details on the stomach and chest, the back is almost empty of them with the metal being much more detailed there, as well as the face and arms.

The plastic would be usable in an army, but I would not recommend mixing it with the metal version.
The Molochs are the big guys in the army.  I was a little surprised that they came out on 50mm bases (which means you could use the DS version in your army without rebasing it) - to me they just don't need it and don't fill the base. (Unlike the Lesser Obsidian Golems for the Abyssal Dwarfs, which definitely need the extra space to put three together in a unit.

There is no empty right hand in the metal models - and that actually makes me curious with the plastic sculpt - I guess this guy is left handed!  The head is molded separately again here - close examination of the two models show a slight difference in positioning.  The detail in the plastic is probably the best of these models, with fur, chainmail and even some veins popping out on the back. The pose is restricted due to the body being in one piece, but this could fit in with a regiment of the metal models once painted.  He might need a little extra height in the base since side by side he is a little bit smaller than the metal version, but standing on some scenery on the base and you might never notice it.
So overall the quality of the Dungeon Saga miniatures are excellent for board game pieces, and are much better than many of the old one piece plastic models that were put out just a few years ago by many companies.  Were somebody to buy these for an army instead of the new models they would be able to make a decent, if a little uniform in sculpt, army from them.   More likely would be some people using these to add in a little variety to their units (especially the Molochs).

In addition, the Drech'Nok model would make an excellent Abyssal Champion with wings ( I can see abyssal players looking for this model to fill out their army.

Drech'Nok - or Abyssal Champion w/ Wings?
Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. I picked up a resin Drech'Nok, and it's a lovely model. :)

  2. Nicely done! I'm still waiting on my KoW Abyssals from the KS, and I was wondering how they compared to the DS figures.