Sunday, 31 July 2016

Scale of the Behemoth - Amazing!!!

Yesterday, I visited my friend Jey Legarie at his house to see the Master Moulds and Master Paints of his upcoming miniatures. What an honour. I have been following the progress of Jey's Kickstarters for a while now, but the pictures on that site really do no justice to to the size of this model.Wow! For a size comparison on Kickstarter, the Behemoth is paired with a Colossal red Dragron by Wizards of the Coast. That is a neat model but totally out of my frame of reference for a size comparison, so when Jey gave me an invite, I brought over some of my Frostgrave Models for reference. These guys are Huge!!!

Look at the size of these creatures!!! The Apprentice and Wizard Square off with their Behemoth mounts. Who will win this epic challenge for power in Frostgrave?
When I saw the Behemoth in real life, I was blow away by the size and beauty of these two Master paint models on Jey's Kitchen table. To get a sense of scale, I set out my Giant that I use for Frostgrave (by Reaper Minis) and put it beside the Behemoth. The Behemoth Dwarfs that Giant. Check it out!

The Behemoth versus a Reaper Giant. The Behemoth is Ginormous. 

I then compared it to the official Necromancer and Apprentice for Frostgrave by North Star Military Figures. They look so tiny beside this creature. 

The Behemoth would make a great boss creature for Frostgrave. Check out my Wizard, Apprentice, Captain and even a Giant facing off against this Monster! My bets are on the Monster winning this epic fight!

This is an official Pathfinder Miniature by Reaper Miniatures. She is no bigger than the Behemoth's foot! 
I then decided to check out how the Behemoth fits against a 32mm RAFM USX Modern Day Heroes miniature. That mini is also tiny in comparison.

A cultist Sorceress summons a Behemoth. 
Now, these behemoths are built with a space to place a rider on its head. It is a neat little feature that I like. Check these pictures out.

The Sorceress is mounted on a square base that is bigger than the standard 25mm bases that one's old Warhammer stuff might be mounted with. I believe her base is 30 or 32mm, but I am not entirely sure. I had to do a little bit of balancing on the model to get her with the facing that I wanted, but she looks great up on top that mount..

The Apprentice is mounted on a 25mm round base and fits perfectly.  
After showing me the Behemoth, Jey showcased some of his other master sculpt miniatures to me. The first mini is a potential stretch goal, the "Clawed Deviant." It is fairly large so I put my Frostgrave Wizard by it for a size comparison. This guy looks great for use as a monster in a D&D game.

The Clawed Deviant

This rat-man was my favourite of the extra minis. I don't remember his name, but he is ultra cool. His tail (not pictured) is super long. Perhaps even longer than the mini itself. 

This human mini looks pretty cool.

An Orc Shaman. 

This is an imp. He is very small.
It was really interesting spending some time with Jey yesterday to talk about his Kickstarter. I would like to thank Jey for the opportunity to chat and learn more about the industry while taking some pictures of great minis. I really can see the Behemoth fitting well into any tabletop RPG game, but my angle and background make me want to use it in a wargame. I imagine the Behemoth being used as a massive beast in Frostgrave, a rampaging Dinosaur in A Fistful of Kung Fu or some sort of proxy monster of a colossal sized beast in any popular fantasy miniatures game. On my way out, Jey gave me a copy of his Card Game, Dungeon Crawler.

I hope that my readers enjoyed this article. The Behemoth is a very cool model and if you are interested, get in on it quick. The Kickstarter is currently fully funded and doing its final push before ending on Moday, August 1 at 9pm EDT.

Another example of how nicely a 25mm round base fits on top of the Behemoth's head. 
How epic would a tabletop battle between two Behemoths and their riders be?! I think that concept would be so cool to bring to a wargame. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Civilians by RAFM and Reaper: a mini-Showcase and Review

As many of my readers know, I am a big fan of RAFM. Today's post is a mini review and showcase of some of their civilian models. That's right, RAFM makes civilian models in both their Call of Cthulhu and USX: Modern Day Heroes lines. Mixed in with this group is also a miniature by Reaper Miniatures. They too make Civilians in their Chronoscope line.

Why not add some civilians to your game?
Each of the figures with a white base are from RAFM and sell for $5.95 Canadian. The one with the brown base is from Reaper Miniatures and sells for $5.99 American. I am very happy with all of the sculpts above and these figures make it yearly into my wife's Christmas Village.  :)

When they are not in my wife's Christmas Village, I like to use them for various games. I am planning to use them with the game of A Fistful of Kung Fu that I will run at Broadsword 2 on August 20 in Hamilton, Ontario. How to use them, I have not yet figured out. I am thinking that they will either be on the same force as the Rookie Cops in my previous post, or act as complications. Please let me know your thoughts on how I should use them for my game at Broadsword 2.  

Now let's take a closer look at the miniatures.
Of this group, this guy is my favourite. He just looks great. He is not armed, but who knows what is in that bag.

If you like this figure, look up RAFM's Mr. Korson. 

This guy is my second favourite of the group. He looks familiar from somewhere. Can't exactly place from where - or can I? Regardless, he is awesome. 

This guy is done with how bad the streets around him have become. Is that a duffel bag full of guns?

If you like this mini, look up Harold Smith by RAFM. 

This guy's pose is also fairly familiar from somewhere. :)

This figure is the only Reaper Minaitures figure in the group. He is from their Chronoscope line and named Denver, Zombie Survivor. I did not do too well on his face, but other than that, he turned out pretty good. 
To be honest, his face is good enough from a distance. :)

The hair details and shading on the suitcase came out good.

Is that a reporter or the Joker? The jury is out.

If you like this mini, look up Paige Fox by RAFM. 

In Closing...

Having civilians in a game adds a dimension that is often missed in gaming. They are great for Skirmish games, Zombie Games, RPGs and anything to which you want to add some flavour. Scale wise, the minis by Reaper and RAFM fit in together well and I am fine with $6 Canadian per individually packaged model. The Reaper one is getting to be a little expensive because $6US is now Roughly $8 Canadian due to the exchange rates. That is expensive to me, but it is a great figure and since they are individually packaged, I can pick and choose which ones I want. Overall, these civilians are a good buy. 

As an interesting side note, I once owned many more RAFM and Reaper civilians, but these are all that remain. Years ago, I spent some time painting these figures with my Niece and Nephew and gave the ones they painted to them to keep. It was an enjoyable way to share the hobby and they loved keeping the figures. 

Week of the Law!!!

Part 2: RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase

Part 3: Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Rookie Cops Review and Showcase 
Bonus: Civilians by RAFM and Reaper: A mini-Showcase and Review

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Rookie Cops Review and Showcase

Today's Review is of Rookie Cops by Armorcast Tactical Miniatures. My first experience of Armorcast is seeing a model at a convention that utilized some of their fantastic weapons effects. Armorcast makes plenty of really cool products to make your weapons look like they are firing. Aside from their cinematic effects, they also sell miniatures and terrain. Now, let's look at their Rookie Cops.

Rookie Cops by Armorcast. The fancy bases came included with the minis and the group runs for $25 American.

I bought the following Armorcast models years ago. I believe I bought them from FRPGames and I don't remember the price at the time. These minis are no longer listing on that site, but they are still available through Armorcast's website under Tactical Miniatures - Mobocracy for $25 American. $25 American for 5 miniatures is on the expensive side for my tastes. In today's dollars, $25 American works out to be roughly $33 Canadian. That is only $2 less than the RAFM S.W.A.T. Team box that I reviewed earlier (and that box contains 10 miniatures). That said, these minis by Armorcast are absolutely gorgeous and they come with their own special resin bases. These bases look great and help to justify the higher price. Since I bought my copy of the models, the product has changed a little. I am told that the product is now better packaged and comes with cardstock tokens representing crouching, prone, flashbang and chalk outlines. I have not personally seen those tokens myself, but I can think of a few instances where they could have come in handy in my games - especially the chalk outlines. :)

At the time that I bought these, my painting skills were still in development but I did a much better job on them than my SWAT Team. To paint them up, I base coated them (making sure to get all the details including eyebrows) and then stained them with a Walnut MinWax solution - and that is where I stopped. I did not highlight them or spray them with a Matte Varnish to bring down the shine. A keen eyed reader will notice that I did not paint the eyes on these guys but instead started to experiment with how to do faces with just washes (or stains). Personally, I think these models look fantastic and still hold up to the quality that I paint out today. Now for a closer look at what comes in this pack. Check these guys out... 

I can see this guy being the leader in the group. He painted up fantastically.

This guy has tons of personality! Love the way he looks.

Size Comparison...

Now let's look at how these miniatures size up against other ranges.  

Left to Right... Armorcast Cop, RAFM SWAT Grunt, Warlord Games British Commander, Armorcast Cop, Kit-bashed Guardsman, Armorcast Cop, Chaos Cultist. 
My feeling is that the Armorcast models are a tad on the small side compared to everything else. I will allow my readers to come to their own conclusions as to how the figures will fit in their collections. As I stated in my last review, I am not too bothered by slightly different scales and use my Armorcast minis alongside my RAFM minis. I am told that these figures are the same scale as Hasslefree Miniatures, but I don't own any myself for comparison. 

In Closing...

These guys look fantastic - pure and simple. To me, they cost a little more than what I am used to paying and on the small side for my collection. For those that collect Hasslefree miniatures, these guys should fit in perfectly. I do like that they shipped with their own urban bases and it is cool that they now come packed with tokens. If you like the product that you see here, head on over to Armorcast and check the company out. 

Week of the Law!!!

Part 1: Introduction and Judge Dredd
Part 2: RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase
Part 3: Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Rookie Cops Review and Showcase 

Bonus: Civilians by RAFM and Reaper: A mini-Showcase and Review

Monday, 25 July 2016

RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase

In today's review we take a look at the S.W.A.T. miniatures available from RAFM as part of their USX: Modern Day Heroes line. This is part two of my "Week of the Law" article series (scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to the other two articles).

As many of my readers already know, value is very important to me with my miniature purchases. Value is exactly what I find in every single one of my RAFM purchases. The best way to purchase the RAFM S.W.A.T. team is as a boxed set. The boxed set contains 10 minis and costs $34.95 Canadian.

This box set contains 10 minis and runs for $34.95 Canadian. The above image is from RAFM's webstore. 
Despite the boxed set being the best way to purchase the S.W.A.T. Team, it is not how I acquired mine. For mine, I purchased the USX: Modern Day Heroes Starter Set and bought the rest of the pieces piecemeal. The USX Starter Set provides fantastic value - costing $39.95 Canadian and containing 17 metal miniatures along with a rule set. Whether you use the figures for this rule set or for other games, $39.95 is a great price for 17 metal miniatures. I will be using them on August 20th for a group game of A Fistful of Kung Fu at a convention in Hamilton, Ontario. I can also see these figures fitting in very well with the new Black Ops game from last fall or any other number of other modern (or near future) skirmish games.

USX Starter Set runs $39.95 Canadian and contains 17 metal miniatures and a rule-book. This image is from the RAFM webstore. 
My collection of RAFM S.W.A.T. Team figures contains a total of 11 pieces. These 11 pieces represent all of RAFM's S.W.A.T. figures at this time. With so few figures, a completionest can collect the entire S.W.A.T. set with just the S.W.A.T. Team boxed set and the Sniper miniature. The sniper miniature runs $5.95 Canadian.

Group 1 includes the S.W.A.T. Team Leader, 4 Grunts and a Sniper. To buy this group piecemeal, you are looking at $24.95 Canadian. 

This second set contains a Lieutenant and 4 Grunts. This group is exactly what is in the USX Starter Set for the law enforcement side. These two group pictures together show exactly what is in the S.W.A.T. boxed set (minus the sniper). 
The Grunts in the boxed set are actually repeated, so the buyer ends up with 4 figures duplicated. To depict the difference in my models, I painted black sleeves on one group and grey on the other. At the time of purchase, I was watching a lot of the TV show "Flashpoint." The unit in that fictional show is the SRU (Special Response Unit) so I painted the letters "SRU" on the backs of all my guys instead of "SWAT." My painting skills have improved drastically since I painted these figures, but they are still quite serviceable.

The Leaders...

The Lieutenant.

At this point, I was still painting eyes on my figures. Since then, I have learned to rely more on oils to shade the areas instead. I was never very good at painting convincing eyes on my minis. :) 
The S.W.A.T. Leader

Some Grunts... 

The Sniper...

"I have the solution."

Size Comparison...

Now let's look at how these miniatures size up against other ranges.  

Left to Right... Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Cop, RAFM SWAT Grunt, Warlord Games - Bolt Action Commander, RAFM SWAT Leader, Kit-bashed Imperial Guardsman, RAFM SWAT Grunt, Chaos Cultist. 
As one can see, the RAFM SWAT figures are large. They are 32mm, so they end up being heads to heads and shoulders above other ranges that do true 28mm. Even the 28mm Heroic scale of the Chaos Cultist and Imperial Guardsman is roughly a head shorter than the RAFM models. For someone that wants to keep all of their figures roughly the same height, this discrepancy in scale may bug them and would be reason for them not to buy the kit. For me, they are close enough that I am not too bothered by the difference. I also mix my models freely and own plenty in the 32mm scale.

In Closing...

Over all, I am very happy with my S.W.A.T. miniature by RAFM. These minis are all in 32mm, but I mix them freely with my 28mm figures for various games. The way I look at it, people come in different shapes and sizes, so I see is no reason to discriminate. To be honest, some of my co-workers tower a full head above me and I know a number of people shorter than me too. I think of scale differences as a way to add in the real life variance of people's heights. Having a S.W.A.T. team that is larger than your other 28mm figures on the table might not be a bad thing either. Perhaps the police department is able to promote just the biggest and strongest to the S.W.A.T. team.

These miniatures painted up fairly well considering that all I did was a base coat on them followed by a dip in dark MinWax for shading. I did not go back and highlight or do much work to them afterwards.

My verdict is that these figures are definitely worth the buy. I can see scale as being a barrier for some (and perhaps shipping as another barrier to my readers overseas), but other than those potential issues, these models bring great value to the table for any modern skirmish game.

Week of the Law!!!

Part 1: Introduction and Judge Dredd
Part 2: RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase
Part 3: Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Rookie Cops Review and Showcase 
Bonus: Civilians by RAFM and Reaper: A mini-Showcase and Review
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