Darkening the skies

These dumb creatures always follow the armies of the Abyssal Dwarfs, hanging in the sky like a sinister pall, ready to plunge with voracious appetite onto wounded warriors and stragglers.

Yes, everyone's favorite flying chaff unit, gargoyles.
My most recent troop of Gargoyles
To be honest though, these are some of my least favorite Mantic miniatures.  The first ones from the first kickstarter required a massive amount of cleanup on the restic - the flash was everywhere.  The latest ones I've gotten do seem better on that font.

They are nearly impossible to rank up - it took quite an effort me to rank up the first troop I did - but then in 1st edition you could actually get 5 instead of 10.  As you can see in the picture above, I have quit trying to put 10 in a troop (they are on 25mm bases) and I go with 7.  What I've found is that 7 fit better and actually look much better than 10, as they can be a bit more dynamic and not as crowded.
Before I decided to re-base - I simply think the other unit looks much better with 7 instead of 10 models
My twilight kin demo army gargoyles - they probably should be re-based as well - but being a demo army, they aren't high up on my list
All of that aside, the biggest issue I've had has to do with the models themselves.  There are two leg options.

The legs on the right are only attached to the column by one ankle.  The picture is enlarged, but the ankle is only about 1 mm.  When you then add the wings, which are either 50 or 70 mm wide, it creates a huge problem.  Any time any amount of pressure is applied laterally to the wings - by say picking them up, or moving the miniature, or bumping them, or putting them in a case - the lateral force all becomes concentrated on the ankle as a center fulcrum - and it doesn't take long for it to twist and bend and break off.  Again and again and again.

I have decided to rebase the old troop of gargoyles that had 10 models in it - and ALL of the ones with the single ankle were broken, and four of them had been previously repaired AND PINNED and they still break - because the pin by itself just provides basically an axle for the two pieces to turn around.  Several of them have been repaired multiple times.
five broken gargoyles
So while the tiny thin connecting piece is a problem (I have to wonder if Mantic had Rob Liefeld design some of their minis (ok, that is a joke for the comic geeks out there)), it is not an unsolvable one.

The key is to provide a secondary connection point, so you don't have the sheering force applied to that 1mm ankle.  You could green stuff something else to help, or add additional pins.  However there is a simpler solution that only takes a few seconds and a mug of hot water.

One of the features of restic (and resin as well) is that it is malleable with heat, and when cooled down will hold its new form (so long as heat isn't reapplied).  So with a bit of hot water (I use a microwave - if you are in the UK you most likely have a kettle nearby that you use for tea).  10 seconds in the  hot water and it bends like spaghetti - then dip it in ice water (or even wait for it to cool naturally) and it keeps its shape.
and after
The key here is to use the tail to add a second anchor point on the mini - you can either wrap it back around to the pillar, or even glue it to other pillars etc.  The key is to bend it so it is touching a second point and glue it in place.  Now you have two points, so the there is no longer a single sheering force around the ankle.

Some closeups of the unit in the first picture show some ways to do this
long tail connecting to the model behind it
longer tail bent around to the front of the column
shorter tail bent around the side
shorter tail bent under the foot and around the tiny ankle
Of course the CORRECT way to do all of this is when assembling the models - where it is truly simple and easy to do.  Simply assemble the legs and body (the head can go on before or after the wings/tail
Dry fit the wings/tail on to the back to see where you want to re-position the tail
nice curve, simply bring it forward and in a bit
Then put the tail in the hot water for 10 seconds, fit the wings back on and put it where you want it. A few seconds later it is set - and now you can glue the wings on and put a drop of glue on the tail.  And with this they shouldn't break nearly as easily as before (I can't guarantee they won't, but none of the ones I have done this to have so far).
Gargoyles, tails wrapped, ready for painting
Tails from the back.
Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. They can't have been designed by Liefeld. They're not not wearing enough pouches. :p

    Good idea with the tails anyhow. I'm not a big fan of restic (those mouldlines are really such a pain getting off) but the malleability of the material does have it's perks I must admit.

  2. I actually quite like the sculpts and use them as harpies in my warhammer Beastmen army as well as in my herd. I've not had any issues with the ankle joint but don't have them multi-based due to still playing both systems, so that might help. Good advice on using the tail though. You are spot on with the ranking issue though.


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