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Dienstag, 23. Juni 2015

Review: The Shattered Crown miniatures

Today I would like to offer a little look at some of Dead Earth Games' latest Fantasy game: The Shattered Crown.

I would like to point out that I got these as a painting commission for Dead Earth Games to make the minis up for promo pictures. So the minis I got were not packaged as they are going to be sold I think. So this review mainly is meant to give you a better idea of the casting quality, the sculpting, overall style, fit and so on.

First let's have a look at the Hellesburne infantry. I got these in little plastic baggies. Four of the fellas in the pack. The torsos and legs are one piece casts, the heads and arms are separate pieces. These are pretty much early or even pre-production minis, so I didn't get any bases along with those.

As you can see, each of the torsi got a unique pose even though three of them are rather similar. The arms, depending on which weapons they hold, are either one or two arms. Don't mind the glaive in the far left, that's the hero's weapon. So with these minis I got two sword arms, an arm with a shield, a single arm holding a crossbow (and another one holding a bolt to go with it), a pair of arms holding a crossbow and a pair of arms holding a glaive/halbeard like weapon.

Along with those there's a sprue of six different heads. The beard and generally grizzly look seems to be a Hellesburne thing. The faces all look very angry, but not grimacing and to be honest, they look pretty cool. The hair is sculpted rather nicely. In some cases with long hair it looks a little too symetrical, but then that's not too surprising with long hair, parted in the middle.

The overall casting quality is excellent. Mold lines are hard to make out (easier when the minis are primed). They are present, but very easy to remove. Sometimes they are in interesting places. If I remember correctly I think that  on one or two heads the mold lines run along the back of the nose, which is always iffy, but much less so on metal minis than on plastics. Some of the pieces are VERY delicate, such as the swords (especially the connections to the hands which hold them) and the crossbow bolt.

Having all these weapon options is a great thing of course. This always comes with the downside of the poses possibly ending up looking a bit stiff. A fully sculpted miniature in most of the cases will have a more natural looking pose than freely posable minis with weapon options. On these the poses are pulled off rather well.

Don't mind the weapon. I was in a hurry and placed the wrong pole weapon on this picture. He's supposed to hold the more curved double glaive.

The fit of the heads is excellent (it's cast onto the mini on the hero figure). On the Hellesburne infantry I had to file the shoulder joints flat to make the arms fit a bit better. Especially the arms holding the halbeard took a bit of bending to fit the width of the torso.

This back part of the Khra hero's 'skirt' took a bit of work to fit on properly as well. I had to cut off about 1mm off the top and shave down the guy's posterior to fit (adventures in miniature building, ladies and gentlemen!). This is something Rich of Dead Earth Games told me about beforehand. He also said that they possibly will have this part re-sculpted a little.

Once the models are built and based (they come with little tabs, so I assume they are meant to go in tall slotta bases as on Warhammer figures) painting is pretty fun. The details are well cast and clear (they reminded me a lot of the kind of casting on Corvus Belli's Infinity miniatures). Whether or not you like the style of the minis is a matter of tastes. the style seems to be medieval-ish Fantasy, but with a rather new-school look. the proportions are slightly exaggerated, but overall along the lines of human beings. The stances look more dynamic once the models are painted.

The Hellesburne infantry look really nice. Their legs possibly are a little thin, the shoulders possibly a bit wide, but then this might be artistic choice. The Khra hero is a very, very pretty sculpt. Very dynamic, really nicely defined anatomy.

We have seen renders (yup, the Shattered Crown minis are digitally designed.) or more upcoming miniatures. I think that they look very promising with a lot of fun concepts if you like the style. The Kickstarter campaign started on June the 17th, so there's still plenty of time to get on board if you want!

I hope that you liked the review and found it interesting and that this came across as such, rather than an advertisment for this Kickstarter campaign. With these things , especially whilst they are running, everything seems to be aimed to create buzz. This of course is a natural thing because Kickstarters live off buzz alone. Without going any further into what I think of what Kickstarter has become in and to the miniature world I hope that this review came across as an honest attempt at an unbiased look at these minis.

I hope that you enjoyed this review, found it interesting, entertaining and so on. If you have any questions, comments or indeed commission inquiries, feel free to let me know via the comments section, the Battle Brush Studios Facebook page or via e-mail.

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