A Shrining Example

Yes, I'm still alive and well, just having inspiration problems (both for this blog and hobby work in general).  However, this past weekend I got a 'little' something to help with the inspiration problem.  The new resin releases for the Kings of War Abyssal Dwarfs finally arrived (Unfortunately the really fast delivery I had seen for the previous few orders has gone the way of in-person gaming right now - this took 16 days to arrive from the UK (as opposed to the 7 I was seeing).  Of course with all the other issues going on, I shouldn't complain about the time it takes to get my new toys.)

The centerpiece of the new evil stuntie army is the massive Hellfane!  A power shrine so big they had to create a giant rock beast to carry it into battle.  This is so big, it actually comes in a box that is the size of the standard army boxes (not the mega-armies though).

There is a LOT of resin in side.  The two biggest pieces are the body halves.

The four legs are separate, and while looking at them it is difficult to tell where each goes, they all have unique sockets into which they fit.

There is then the head, and - well it is a piece that goes above the head - but I really don't know what to actually call it :-)

The actual Hellfane is a huge contraption, with a big fan-like piece on the bag (to help it radiate the evil magic of the fire goddess of the Abyssal Dwarfs).

Then thee are the side rails (OSHA required, we wouldn't want any of our evil henchmen to fall off, now would we?)

There is a front rail, and a couple more shields that are separate from the body

Then the last pieces are the smoke stacks.  I understand that this year is the big 10th birthday for Mantic. However they went a little overboard in putting birthday candles on their latest model :-). (Yes, now that I said it, you won't be able to un-see it) (but at least I'm keeping it family friendly (because sometimes a birthday-candle smokestack is JUST a birthday-candle smokestack Dr. Freud).

 There are also two crew/guard.

Each holds a staff and a gun.  It might be interesting if you could actually get these pieces separately to make an ironcaster from one by using both staffs (and a gunslinger, though Kings of War doesn't have one (yet - wait for the League of Infamy release when that character will be coming out).

The heads have different beards (which you would be able to actually see if the picture were in focus (and if I had realized it wasn't and gotten a better shot).  There is also the arms for the overmaster.

Finally is the body of the overmaster.

So now on to putting this wee beastie together.

Unfortunately the two body halves are not great.  I don't know if it was the casting (there was a LOT of flash), or the design, but this model required more cleanup than any of the other large resin monsters that Mantic has produced lately.  The vents were huge - so big in fact that I could use my clippers to remove them - they are huge solid chunks of resin.  It wasn't until I was on the very last one that I remembered that I could have put these in hot (not quite boiling) water to soften them up, making them much easier to cut these vents off and smooth out the sides.

The problem with these vents is this is a major joint on top of the model.  Even after getting the vents off, I could make the nubs fir in the holes properly, so I eventually just cut them off completely.

I also ended up breaking off one of the small pipes on the back of the model trying to clean it.  Then putting it together, I could get the bottom to fit pretty well (a slight gap on the very bottom), but the top just wasn't fitting well at all.

I then realized that the fit for the top DID NOT MATTER, as it would be completely covered by the shrine.

Looking back - I would probably keep the shrine separate for painting.  But I wanted to cover up that gaping chasm between the sides, so I glued it on next.

Unfortunately, I was so focused in covering the gap, that I didn't realize I left a gap UNDER the shrine as well (you will see it later).  I have to take the blame for that, a little more care and positioning and it would either be gone or very minimized.

The legs each fit a specific socket, and it was only by trying to fit them in that I could figure out which went where - because at this point the legs just weren't obvious which went where.

However each one, once you rotate it around a bit, only fits in a specific place, and most of them fit very well.

One did leave some gaps - however in rocks this isn't as horrible as it could be

It does fit nicely on the 75mm titan base.  Here you can see the gap between the deck and shrine. At this point I was a bit concerned about it, however, it turned out to not be such a big deal.

Next was the head - and again some gaps here.  These will definitely need green stuff to fill them.

Then the other piece.  I still don't know what to call it, so I'll name it George.  ( and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.  And pat him and pet him.  (https://youtu.be/E7pdO1J5O40)

The fan fits on the back of the shrine. not tightly but it seemed fine.

Next come the safety rails (because the evil dwarfs still have to follow OSHA guidelines) (as opposed to some of the good guys like Willy Wonka ( https://youtu.be/-YItObkhLic ).  These fit well, but they just clip onto the lip of the platform).

The two side sides go on first, which this allows you to easily fit the front piece against them (right behind, but not touching, George).

One thing that the rails do is to hide the gap between the shrine and the base.  From above it is not noticeable at all, and when you look at it from the side, the solid rails hide it (as will the characters).

Finally the birthday candles go on the back.  Of course I started putting them on backward, then put one of the skinny ones in the middle (so if you assemble it right the first time it fits in the center very well)

Ok, moving on from that fairly phalic shot are the rest of the birthday candles. I'm thinking that maybe a bit of cotton glued to the top of each of these (after painting of course) will make the look a little more like the smokestacks they are.

The crew fits together quite easily.  Each of the arms seems to fit a specific body better than the other, though if you wanted to mix them up a bit I'm sure you could.

 Finally the two arms on the overmaster.

And there is one hunk of resin as the centerpiece for your army.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the overmaster from this model with the new one from the Vanguard Abyssal Dwarf starter set, and was a bit surprised to find that they are the SAME guy.  Different pose, but the same guy.

So if you have both you could switch them out.  Or if you didn't want to take the upgrade that adds the Overmaster to the Hellfane, you could just put him on a base and use him in either your Vanguard or KoW army.

As I said, this is one big hunk of resin.  So how does it compare to others?  First - how will it fit in with the other two titans available to the Abyssal Dwarfs? (Ok, there are actually three, but Great Winged Halfbreed is only different based on the arms for the rider).

(Yes, I need to rebase my Greater Obsidian Golem on a 75 mm base (after all the work I did to get two of them to fit on 50s :-( ))  The halfbreed is a bit bigger, especially with the wings, but the golem isn't looking quite as impressive as he used to.

Compared to newer titans - the Winged Slasher and Chimera - yes, much more mass for the Hellfane.

Finally, the Kraken isn't too bad, and of course the Frost Giant towers above everything (because he is a GIANT, and their defining characteristic above anything else is their size - a giant SHOULD be the tallest unit on the battlefield).

So, overall an incredible sculpt, but the implementation wasn't as good as it could be.  There are some gaps, but the worst of them end up being covered up anyway, so as not to make them as much an issue.  The cleanup was more than I expected (especially as compared to other recent releases) as well.  (Though the gap on the goat head of the Chimera is still worse than anything here).  A bit of green stuff before painting and this will be an awesome centerpiece for your Abyssal Dwarf army.

But that wasn't all that was in my big box from Mantic - I also got the new Grotesques - next time.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. another great report, thank!
    my big concern would be the over-hang at the front, nothing worse than having an amazing center piece for your army that has to be taken off the table every time it gets into combat.

    1. Good point. I guess I'm just used to it by now with nearly all my monsters.


Post a Comment