Unleashing Nightmares

It was a couple of months back that Mantic released the full Nightstalker army for Kings of War.  This release included an army box, and a Mega Army.  (I want to make sure I give a special thanks to Felix for letting me open and take pictures of his mega-army box  (I have to say I actually exercised some fiscal restrain in not ordering one of these just to write it up :-)) ).

Most of the night stalker units were originally released with the Vanguard kickstarter for the night stalker warband.  I was intrigued by this release however, when it listed that the shadowhounds, reapers and phantoms were hard plastic AND resin.  Plus the terror, which was not previously available, was the same.

The way the vanguard warbands were manufactured did cause a slight problem when re-releasing these new minis for Kings of War.  You can see what they look like here.  Much like resin models, the extra 'bits' (arms, heads, etc) are molded and come on little sprues.  However when they laid these out, they mixed the pieces for the various models across the sprues (it is worse with the Northern Alliance and Basileans).  This now makes it very difficult to sell any of the models alone (which is why I don't believe you will see units of just reapers, shadowhounds, phantoms, butchers or horrors - in order to do that they would have to open the baggies of these minis and clip off the parts for each type of model before repackaging them.  A very time consuming (and thus expensive) process.

Plus, while the vanguard models are great and have some variability (more than enough when you only need a few for a skirmish level game), most players would like some more variation in full ranked units.  So they added in some resin versions.  Specifically, they added 3 resin shadowhounds, 3 resin reapers and 3 resin phantoms to seven baggies of the Vanguard models (thus giving you the troops pictured on the box).  (One note, the box is slightly incorrect - as it says you get 6 butchers .  You actually get 7 (one in each bag) - so you could make the last one a hero.

Not only did they do that, but much like the shadow hulk they took an existing model and added some resin conversion bits to make it different.

So lets start there, with the terror.  The terror is based on the Deadzone Nameless Goliath (which actually originally came out for Star Saga) (you can see it here).

I was actually impressed by this - it used a better grade of PVC plastic than what was used for Star Saga (and Deadzone) - and was grey, not purple.  I was a also intrigued as to exactly how it came apart.

The goliath pieces were three parts - the main body and two legs.  I was wondering why the legs were separate (though why would they glue them on just for this kit - duh!) but I then also realized that it would be very difficult to put on the resin legs AFTER these were in place.

As for the resin, there are five pieces - a new head, two new 'legs' and two horns.

These pieces look to fit together pretty well.  I can't show you assembled versions however as these aren't my models.  But you should be able to get an idea.

I really like the reuse/conversion of models that Mantic is doing for these.   In the description of the Terror, it says that "Terrors are grotesque masses of blubber, slime and indiscriminate parts of the kraken they might once have been"  - so I guess it is fitting that I am actually using the base Goliath models for Kraken in my Trident Realm of R'lyeh army

The three new shadowhound area all marked on the sprues, so you can see which legs go with which body. While the legs are not quite in the same positions as the plastic versions, it does appear that it wouldn't take much green stuff to swap these out a bit to make even more unique models.

Here are the plastic versions.  (thought he right back leg is on the sprue with the reaper parts (and the horror head is on this sprue).

The three reapers, unfortunately, are NOT marked.  I'm not sure if the arms are interchangeable among the models or not, though the join do look very similar (but you know to ALWAYS dry fit any parts before applying glue anyway.).  The big difference from the plastic models is the resin version have both arms, while the plastic model has the top arms already attached to the body - so if you want to switch these out you will have to cut the arms apart (as well as cut them off the plastic bodies).

Again, the plastic versions (with the shadow hound legs and tongue from the shadow models)

Lastly are the shadows.  These have quite a few more pieces than the plastic ones, and look, to me, to be the most difficult to combine with the plastics.

First, each body comes in two pieces, and the heads are separate as well (and I think each head only fits on a single body (but at least the tongue is attached for these :-)).  The plastic version just has the hand, while these seem to have the entire arm.  There are also some bottom pieces to their cloaks that don't exist at all on the plastic models.

And the plastic shadow models - these look to be the most complicated of any of these to convert using the resin bits.

Of course when I checked, the nightstalker mega-army was currently out of stock, but I'm sure it will be available again soon.

Because it is all fun and games . . .