Since I read about dwarves the first time one thing was clear: Those guys love their beer. A special caste of young male and female dwarves has the duty to not only brew the finest craft beer possible, but also make sure that a steady supply is maintained and that no Orc or Goblin will sully its purity with its dirty hands.
Freja Fangbreaker was trained from an early age in the secrets of crafting beer and the art of war. She defends the beer cellars of her home with her life and guards the precious beer supplies on the battle field to keep up moral. Who ever comes between her and the barrels will find a quick death by her axe.
Sculpting quality and pose
The left side of her face is unfortunately a bit undefined making it hard to paint it to a satisfactory standard. The other details are all relatively crisp and well-defined, one does not have to guess what specific elements are supposed to be. Nevertheless, the Bones material can not deliver as crisp a result as a metal miniature, but I think for miniatures intended for the gaming table this is not a problem and they are far away from being featureless blobs.
Her pose is convincing and does not look unnatural. She is depicted in a stance one might interpret as ‘waiting’ or ‘guarding’. Given it is not an action pose she is well suited for RPG games as a character, as it will match more situations. In a skirmish game the pose is still dynamic enough to give an impression of “Come get some”, so the miniature fits well in a war band. For rank and file there is no doubt that she could either be used as one of the troopers or even a company leader. Models of female dwarves are not as common and she surely is one of the better looking ones out there.
I had one problem with the original sculpt prompting me to get out the greenstuff: She is a fighter, wears a full plate armor, chain mail and a quilted frock….and naturally her heart is exposed to show off her bosom. I have no problem with this if it fits the miniature in question, but here it makes no sense. I thus decided to close the front of her armor and make her more believable.
The casting is overall good, as there is almost no flash, but there are some resilient mold lines down her right and left arm and along the top of her head. While most of the mold lines can be removed easily the problem with the Bones material is that it requires a very sharp blade to cut without dragging and scraping is almost impossible. Being limited to cutting not all of the mold lines can be removed easily and even with some fine grade sanding paper I could not remove all of them to a satisfactory degree. Once again, for a gaming miniature this is acceptable and I don’t think it shows up that much on the painted miniature. I might invest in some micro files to address this issue.
Freja retails for 2.29 $ US. Yes, that is dirt cheap. The cost-benefit ratio is definitely working out and it gets even better when you go for bigger miniatures like an Ettin or dragons. If you play a lot of RPG’s or want to complement your Warhammer army for cheap, check out the Bones range and obviously give Freja a go!
One of the features of the Bones miniatures is, that they require no priming. It is true, it works. However, you may not thin down your paint too much for the basecoat, as it will bead if you have too much water in the mix. After the basecoat is applied you can paint the miniature using any techniques, washes etc. Some claim applying a basecoat this way would cover up details, but I cannot confirm this. The details are still there and you can pick them out easily.
I used a mix of Reaper Master Series paints and Vallejo Model Colour and GW washes.
Full Plate Armour: Brown Base Coat (RMS Muddy Brown) followed by Vallejo Bronze and a wash with GW Reikland Flesh. I then mixed some Vallejo Bright Bronze in it for the first and the second highlight finishing of with some Vallejo Silver.
Chainmail: Basecoat of black followed by Vallejo Gunmetal Grey. For the highlights Vallejo Oily Steel with successive drops of Vallejo Silver.
Quilted frock: I had in mind to give the frock a subtle cross pattern, so some of the squares are green, some turquoise. For the green parts I used a basecoat of RMS Grass Green and successive amounts of RMS Sun Yellow for the highlights. The turquoise parts got a basecoat of 50:50 RMS Grass Green and RMS Sapphire Blue, highlighted with successive amounts of RMS Pure White.
Loin cloth: Basecoat of RMS Pure White with a hint of RMS Muddy Brown, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade and highlights with RMS Pure White.
Hair: RMS Muddy Brown with a bit of RMS Blood Red as base colour, highlights with successive amount of RMS Tanned Leather and RMS Fair Skin.
Face: The face gave me quite some trouble, as I tried out the RMS paints for the first time. I used RMS Tanned Flesh as a basecoat followed by a wash with GW Reikland Flesh. highlights with RMS Fair Skin and Tanned Flesh 50:50 turned out too pale and I ended up using Vallejo Basic Skintone. The face didn’t come out as nicely as I hoped, but the next miniature will hopefully be better in the face department.
Wooden parts: Basecoat of 90:10 RMS Muddy Brown and Vallejo London Grey. Highlights with successive drops of RMS Pure White.
Leather parts: Basecoat RMS Tanned Leather, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade, successive highlights with RMS Pure White.
Base: The tiles are made from thin cardboard, painted and drybrushed with cheap acrylic wall paint, following the same routine as with the dungeon wall segment. The grass is MiniNatur Autumn Grass Tufts.