Tag Archives: Review

Romans Advance! – A Review of Agema Miniatures’ Republican Romans and Carthaginians

Hastati spargunt hastas. Fit ferreus imber.

(Enn. Ann. 8.281)

We are truly spoiled for choice these days if it comes to high quality 28mm Republican Romans and their enemies. They not only come in ‘heavy lead’, for instance Relic Miniatures’ offerings, but Victrix recently added to existing ranges with their injection plastic Punic Wars range. All these ranges have one thing in common: They are all more or less heroic scale, some more on the ‘chunky’ side, others with more realistic proportions.

Agema Miniatures, a small company based in the United Kingdom, could be called the Minden Miniatures of ancient ranges. They are to my knowledge the only company that provides Republican Romans and Carthaginians with such realistic proportions and an almost classical beauty to their sculpts. Notably they offer injection plastic, metal and resin miniatures, combining the advantages of all three materials.  Reason enough to review their plastic and resin Republican Romans range, conversion kits to create Hannibal’s Veterans and a selection of their metal character models.

This three-part review will first focus on the scope of the range to date, sculpting quality,  poses, casting quality, historical accuracy, conversion potential, customer service and value for money. In the second instalment we put Agema Miniatures’ Greg to the question. Finally in part three I will present painted examples with some notes on the colours and techniques used.

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Lines in the Sand – A review of the AK Gravel and Sand Fixer

When working with fine or coarse sand as well as pigments I often had the problem that the traditional PVA and water method did not quite yield the results I was after: A natural, matt look that does not require painting and preserves colour variations in the sand, so that drybrushing is not necessary.

After I read a very positive review on the Lost in the Warp blog I thought I give it a try myself and went to the local modelshop and got me some AK Gravel and Sand Fixer.

It follows a series of tests of this product on a number of finer and coarser sands as well as experiments to depict ripples on a  dune.

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Fire and Ice – Experiments with the Golden Crackle Paste

There are many products available that are not originally meant for the aspiring model terrain maker, but nevertheless provide us with the right tools to recreate nature. One of these products is the Golden Crackle Paste. Being an acrylic effect paste that – as the name suggests – cracks during the curing process, it supplies us with the perfect means to depict dried out lakebeds, but also cracked ice or even cracked lava.

In this short review I document the curing process over several days and show two of the terrain pieces I made using the crackle paste, namely an almost dry lake with barren trees and a water hole as well as  a frozen lake with cracked surface and a snow-covered tree.

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Pimp my Hirst Arts – The Cavern Accessories mold Part I

Bruce Hirst is known in the wargaming community for his high quality silicon rubber molds that, employing a system not unlike Lego, allow the construction of dungeons, egyptian tombs, roman temples and much more. So far I only own the Cavern Accessories mold 85.

I already made some attempts to cast this mold in plaster and achieved some nice results. Last week I did experiment with some resin casting and was quite pleased with the outcome: Almost no trapped bubbles, all details are crisp and mixing and pouring of the resin was easy.

The finished pieces on their own are simple, yet provide an excellent basis for further refinement. Making use of a number of techniques I tested creating my Crypt of the Damned I made a point of improving the designs by the addition of moss, roots, candles, scenic bases and the one or other detail such as critters and water effects. I finished with a garnish of weathering powders. Apart from showing you the finished pieces, this is also an introduction to / review of the accessories mold.

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Battleline Miniatures Late Seven Years War French Infantry in Turnbacks – A review

Battleline Miniatures is the only miniature company in New Zealand that focuses on pre-modern historical miniatures  with a comprehensive 15mm ancients range, but also a good selection of Napoleonic, American Civil War, Medieval and even New Zealand Wars miniatures. Slightly hidden away under the label 18th century they also sell a range of Seven Years War miniatures, namely French and British.

In 2012 I got a prize voucher through one of the BattleCry tournaments Battleline Miniatures kindly sponsors and decided to give the French Seven Years War line a go.  This review focuses on the late French line infantry in turnbacks with command.

I present the miniatures in bare metal, primed and finally painted up as the regiment Royal Roussillon, complete with a list of colours used. I will also compare them size-wise with the Eureka Seven Years War line.

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Of mountains cold – Reaper Bones Khael “Gandwarf” Stonekindle review and painted example

Bailey, a young servant of Vergadain, came upon a long forgotton passage leading deep into the mountain. The dust of centuries she found, but also a detachment of Duergar, the sworn enemy of any righteous dwarf. Alone she could not prevail, so she sought out one of the most revered members of her clan.

Carefully he stuffed his modest pipe of red oak, expertly assessing the fill of good Stonecutter tobacco. He looked up, still his slippers on and his beard dishevelled.

“Well, what is so important that it could not wait untill I finished my afternoon nap lass?”, Khael asked a breathless Bailey.

“Master Stonekindle, please forgive me my intrusion”, she responded bashfully, “but the matter at hand is of great importance for the hold.”

Holding a match cord close to his pipe he smiled at her through his white beard. “Bailey, is it not? I remember you having quite a nose for precious stones even when you where just a little lassie.”

She nodded timidly. “Master Stonekindle, it is Deep Duera’s spawn just under our feet.”

Khael inhaled the aromatic smoke and puffed it over the scrolls and trinkets on his desk. “By Moradin’s hammer. Duergar amidst our hold?” His eyes wandered over his desk, resting for some seconds on a book, but then he looked up. “Lass, would you be so kind and reach me that folio over there?”, he mumbled pointing on a stack of books behind her. “It seems I was right all along. We built our hold on the dusty remains of Norund. You know the tale, don’t you? Your mother should have told you sitting around the hearth.”

Passing him the folio she smiled. “I asked her to a hundred times Master Stonekindle.”

He opened the old yellowed pages. “Then let us find out if the legend is true, shall we?”

Continue reading Of mountains cold – Reaper Bones Khael “Gandwarf” Stonekindle review and painted example

Of dungeons deep – Reaper Bones Bailey Silverbell review and painted example

We followed Anirion on his journey through ruins old to find long-lost knowledge, but it is the fate of a young dwarven lady we direct our gaze to.

Bailey chose a path most different from her brethren and sistren. She heeded the call of Vergadain, god of wealth, trickery and luck. As a child she was drawn to sparkling jewels and admired the work of the goldsmiths in the dwarven hold of Bolvast-Kor. Too much, her mother would always say. “It will be your downfall Bailey. Greed leads to Abbathors embrace and it is he who will twist your mind.” Her mother proved wrong, as Bailey followed the way of her lord Vergadain, her heart free of the Lord of Greed’s temptations. She developed a keen sense for veins of gold and deposits of gems, making herself indispensable for the craftsmen of her hold.

“Over here…by Vergadain, that must be the biggest amethyst I ever saw!”, she exclaimed crouching into a small crevice. She took a small chisel and tried to loosen her find. A loud crack and plenty of dust opened a wide gap in the rock exposing a narrow corridor losing itself in the darkness. “I found something! Quick…!”

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Of ruins old – Reaper Bones Anirion Wood Elf Wizard review and painted example

We focused on beer and dwarves last time, but today it is all about elves.

Anirion, a relatively young elf from the Silverforest up north, made it his life’s goal to not only become as powerful as his mentor Alduriel, but to surpass him. After he read all the elven texts he could lay his hands on he soon realised that simple study will not make him an equal to the most powerful wizards in the realm. One of the few wood elves to ever leave the Silverforest he ventured out to seek secrets of old and to only come back after he unravelled them all.

It was late on this autumn day when he found his destination: The ruins of Jor-Adin, said to have housed an extensive library with copies of the works of the five arch wizards of the long crumbled empire of man.  Calm lay the overgrown ruins before him, but no bird was signing, no deer passing through. He spoke a short prayer to Corellon and ventured deeper in the ruins, his senses sharpened, his goal clear…

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Defender of the beer – Reaper Bones Freja Fangbreaker review and painted example

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.

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Eureka Miniatures Grenzers – review and painted examples

During a visit to Australia (conference in Melbourne) I had the pleasure to visit Eureka miniatures. I intended to get some 15mm Hoplites for my Carthaginians, but ended up leaving with some very nice Seven Years War Grenzer miniatures (18mm). I would like to use them with the Ganesha Games skirmish rules Song of Drums and Shakos, slightly modified to match the context of the Seven Years War. All I need now are some Jägers or other light troops and off we go.

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