The halflings are still the latest new army - only because the riftforged orcs won't be out until NEXT month! You have to give Mantic some props for putting out four army releases (Ratkin, Salamanders, Halflings and Riftforged Orcs) in a single year, three of which have all new hard plastic models.
One thing the latest two armies have in common is lots of flying units - the first is the Ej Grenadiers for the Halflings. These are halflings with jetpacks carrying grenades (though you think that would give them a ranged attack, but they instead use them in close combat).
This is a resin kit, and like the Scorchwings for the salamanders, does not use the clear plastic flying bases, instead having the exhaust from the jetpacks keeping them in the air.
There are three bodies
three exhaust plumes
two sets of wings
two sets of a head, arms and jetpack
and a final sprulette that is wings, head and jetpack (for the body with arms molded on)
Once again while the spruelettes are labeled, the labels are not of much use to people putting them together. These aren't group by model, so the assumption I made was they were still in order - so the first body with the first plume with the first wings with the first arms/head. But that doesn't quite hold either.
The first one is the simplest - there is one set body that goes with the spruelette that does NOT include arms. I played around with the exhaust plumes, and picked the one that seemed to match the box picture AND fit the best.
Unfortunately, there is an issue with this final spruellette. I seem to recall (though I cannot find it) that Mantic even put out a communication about this. This has two left wings. Looking at it initially, it seems ok, until you try to assemble the miniature, and find that, unlike the other two, if you put this together then you have the ribs on the right wing on facing forward, while all the other ribs are facing backward.
I contacted customer support, and got a replacement, or so I thought. They sent me a spruellette R4900408 (and again, I'm not able to figure out what this numbering means beyond it is the 8th piece for this kit (some of the others use abbreviations of the army and unit - but I don't see any correlation between R49 and halflings or Grenadiers), but one of the wings was popped off and separate in the package. No big deal, until I looked at it and found that it was the same wing as was attached - the left wing. So now I had three left wings and was still missing a right.
I didn't want to wait another two weeks or more to get another replacement (since I was on a (self-imposed) deadline for this review), so I put my hobby skills to use instead (and since I now had three extra left wings I didn't need, I could afford to try to fix them myself.
So I heated up a cup of water and dropped the wing in it to soften it up. In addition to making it more flexible (i.e. fixing bent parts), it also makes the resin softer and easier to cut. Since I wanted to cut the panels from the wing and reverse them WITHOUT cutting the ribs, I wanted the resin softer so I wouldn't break the thin ribs when cutting (which I did with the first one I tried).
I did manage to cut out the three sail portions, then flip them over and glue them into place, matching what the wing should have looked like. A little trimming, plus some green stuff on the middle wing to fill it out, and I have a reasonable solution to the issue (only gluing my fingers to the wings four or five times).
Matching the bodies to the heads and arms for the other two was a matter of looking at the picture on the box. In the picture, the body with the left leg forward (R4900401) appeared to be the one smoking the cigar. Not only that, but it looks like the third body was female, so definitely did not fit with the head smoking a cigar with a beard. (Ok, I know that in todays society there may be women who have beards and smoke cigars, but I went with the obvious choice). Again I picked the plume that seemed to fit the body better and match the picture on the box. I really could not tell the difference between the wing spruelletes 7 & 8, so just picked one.
That left me the third model with the pieces that remained.
I did not attempt to mix up the bodies, heads and arms (since I'm only making the one unit for my halfling demo army), but it does seem that you should be able to mix and match these as you want for some variety.
One other note, on the sides of the jetpacks there are two small indents - which looked to me like attachment points for the wings. However the wings do not have any corresponding bumps. I glued the jetpacks, heads and arms on first, then basically fiddled with the wings until they felt right and glued them into place - and they seem to look fine to me.
Of course I won't actually glue these into place until I have them painted up - and I don't expect to even begin that until my final unit arrives (a regiment of forest troll gunners), but they have been delayed and won't start shipping for another few weeks yet.
Because it is all fun and games . . .
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