Thursday, June 16, 2016

Not forgotten nor ignored

While the emphasis of new releases from Mantic lately has been on other systems than Kings of War (*shock* - there are other systems?), some of the last releases have started shipping and are reaching the shores on this side of the pond.

I actually picked up the new Elven Silverbreeze Cavalry at Adepticon for a friend (plus got an extra box for me (to use as prize support)), but I had not shown the components before.

Mantic did (in my opinion) a very smart thing in not trying to create what was already out there.  For this cavalry, they needed horses - and there are a lot available.  So rather than go through the expense of sculpting their own, they simply include a sprue (plus one more) of horses from warlord games (which I believe is just down the road from Mantic HQ).  Nice, hard plastic horses.

Or course you need riders - so they did new metal mounted elven archers.  I don't this this metal release is quite up to par with some of the others.  There are essentially two poses here plus an extra arm (for a leader).  Sure, for a troop of five you can make effectively five unique riders - still with some of the other new metal kits that have come out with all the poses being unique, there is just something missing.  Which of course is why they are light cavalry.

More recently (like this weekend) I got in my Forces of Nature Centaurs.  I've been hoping to get these in time to have a troop painted up for Origins - we'll see if I make it or not.

These are all metal miniatures, and with options for bows or 2-handed weapons - they have a lot of tiny bits.  One thing I particularly dislike is each of the two handed weapons has a tiny arm - meaning that to put them together you have to do three pieces at once.  It could be worse - it could have separate arms for both hands (like Elohi did).  I really find that having to get three or four tiny pieces in just the right position to put a model together a tremendous p...i....a.. .

For the sculpts - each body is unique, as are the weapons and the bows. There are only three heads (2 male, 2 long hair female and one shorter hair).  The quivers are identical.

I actually went and reconfigured my list to take these are archers instead of close combat troops - simply because I didn't want to have to mess with those 2-handed weapons.  Maybe if I had a third arm to hold the glue while I held all the rest in place . . .

Even doing the bow arms, I was a bit frustrated.  If you haven't worked with metal before - it is ALWAYS recommended that you wash all the pieces in a mild detergent before assembling - as the mold release agent can still be on them.  Of course I am usually in too much of a hurry to get assembling to actually do this myself.  Of course fate decided to remind me of this fact.

I'm very glad that I have a nice pin vice.  I'd be even happier if I had not lent it to my son.  I had to pin almost every arm because they refused to hold.  Just the model tipping over (and they aren't very stable without being glued to a base (these will be multi-based - so I'll glue them to the base after they are painted)) would result in the bow arm, or firing arm, or both, popping off (and of course almost always trying to escape to the floor).

The arm joins all have a small knub on the shoulder (surrounded by a to hid the join a little (making it look like an arm band) and a corresponding divot on the arm.  The divot works great as a start for the pin, but the knub has to be cut off.  These would be much better if they were simple flat joins so you could pin them without trimming them.  (If you haven't pinned before - I did a post on it).

Not only that, but there was also a decent gap when putting the bodies together.  I prefer a gell super glue, and for the top it filled the gap fine - however underneath each body was a bit of a bigger gap that would require filling (watch for THAT blog post soon).
Gap under the body up around the leg.  It looks like a gap on the arm, but that is filled with the super glue gel.  The neck will not be noticeable at all, so I'm not going to worry about it.
One more concern I have is the thin horse legs on to the base.  Most of them have one leg attached, and one that is supposed to glue on.  These legs already feel (to me) fairly soft and fragile - it concerns me that they might break - so we'll have to see on that.

Don't get me wrong - I do like these sculpts - but I was one of the people that actually liked restic and I prefer it to metal - if for nothing else than being lighter and use can use hot water to soften and re-shape parts - I've found that putting horse bodies (or any of they mounts) in hot water then fitting them together can often result in little or no gaps at all.  Plus once it was reset it was as strong and non-flexible as before.  Metal is always flexible - and thus it becomes easier to break off.

One case in point here is the centaur hero - he is holding a long glaive, and I found it constantly bending until it did finally break off completely on the bottom.  So I cut off the blade, and replaced the entire shaft with a piece of steel wire (the same I use for pinning) - and this will NEVER bend again!

One of the other recent releases were the Undead Wights.  In 2nd edition these became large infantry (which, imho, they always had the stats for), and as such the existing sculpts just didn't fit.  So Mantic redid these - to a set of very nice large wights.

As expected from metal, there is a lot of detail in these - and I would probably recommend pinning everything together as the weapons are fairly heavy.  There are no options for this kit - it makes just the three (there are not even options for heads, as two of them are molded onto the bodies).  However if I were an undead player I think I'd want these (and not just due to the CS(3)).

There is a bit of confusion as to what the 'shield shaped' item in the lower left of the picture is.  I'm not sure myself at this point.

In addition to the wights, Mantic has also recently released the new Lycanis - a hero werewolf for either the undead or herd.  This is a fairly simple model - only having 5 pieces.  It fits the aesthetic of Mantic's restic werewolves very well (though I personally don't care for the mostly naked (i.e. very little fur) look on werewolves).  However he looks like he would be a great addition to an army that was already including werewolves (or lycans).

Lastly, I finally got my hands on the new Abyssal Dwarf Iron Caster.  Do I really need a second one on foot?  Probably not - but I'm a wargammer - so it doesn't matter if I need him or not.  This is the same figure as it mounted on the Surpreme Ironcaster on Great Winged Abyssal (you can see mine here).  Two heads and two arm options gives this some nice flexibility as well.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. I have been putting together the Centaurs recently and while the sculpts are nice the models themselves are awful.

    I have no idea why Mantic had to break the sculpts into so many pieces. The arms especially are a mission to put together (as you say).

    The gaps in the horse bodies are sizeable.

    Love the sculpts, dislike the models themselves

  2. The shield shaped bit on the wights is actually part of the armour above the skirt of one of the wights. You will notice a little slot where it fits where there should be a piece of armour.

    I think it might be the one in the middle on your photo on the right side of the model but I can't tell and mine are already assembled and painted so cant check them.