Sunday, 1 April 2012

056 - Malifaux February Releases Review

Witchling Handler

A nice little model, matching the artwork closely, I think this girl fits quite well with the Witchling Stalkers and the rest of the guild range. I particularly like her headgear. She has one seriously massive sword, (perhaps *too* massive) which looks a little bit chunky but it’s hard to tell from the pictures. I might be wrong, but the Wyrd paint job appears to have been done over a black undercoat, as the shadows are very defined. If so this could be why the model looks a bit cartoon-y compared to pictures of other recent releases.


As a first aside, compare this model to the Witchling Handler above and you can clearly see the differences in painting style. Rafkin looks to be painted over a white undercoat in a much more realistic and weathered style, compared to the bright, black-lined style of the Handler. I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that Wyrd haven’t imposed a definite style/standard for promotion of their miniatures, and are allowing the various painters on their payroll free reign to paint in whatever style they want to. Fair enough it demonstrates the different looks that their customers might prefer, but it’s very inconsistent and I think it’s a bad idea overall.

Rafkin himself is a lovely mini. There aren’t masses of details and features – in fact he’s very understated. The apron ties him into the current Rezzer range, and the face mask and disheveled hair are characterful. I can’t quite make out what he’s carrying in his left hand – is it a poison vial of some sort? Looking forward to making this guy a feature of my soon-to-be-worked-on Nicodem crew.

Alt Marcus

Marcus is definitely channeling the Native American spirits in this model, compared to his original incarnation which lacked theme. The feathers and the skirt are great touches, and the pose is nice, although are his legs a little stumpy? His chest musculature also seems to be a bit…. off? Where are his abs? Looking at his face, it seems the sculptor has gone for an animalistic type appearance, and the whole thing is a bit more bestial than the original, which is good. On the whole, another Alt which goes above and beyond the original sculpt. Nice work!

Avatar Marcus

As Rathnard over at The Aethervox recently explained, anyone who hits people with a big stick, in a world where everyone else is using blades and guns, is inherently cool. This is an indisputable fact, so Avatar Marcus gets plus points straight off the bat for the size of his stick. Having seen this model in person I have to say I was surprised that it wasn't bigger. I pictured it as being gigantic and beastly but he's actually quite small - no bigger than a rider anyway. And even then the small wings don't look big enough to be able to get him off the ground.

That being said, I don't think the model deserves the bad press it's received on the Wyrd boards. It's a great concept executed well, the sculpt is plenty detailed enough with extra little details, and it's shown off by a tidy paint job.

Avatar Kirai

Kirai herself looks brilliant with the outstretched arm and crumpled dress, but I think I've pinned down what doesn't work with this model. To me the Ikiryo emerging from Kirai's prone body is too clunky. It's a large humanoid model that doesn't feel detailed on the same scale as other smaller models. Probably made more apparent by it only being painted one colour. I think it might look pretty decent if something was done to break up the large expanse of green and add a bit of detail, but the main culprit is the oversized sleeves that just look really heavy - not an ideal adjective for spectral fabric!

Ten Thunders Brothers

Sorry, these guys should have gone in the previous roundup, so I'll shoehorn them in here.Absolutely flawless models. That's about all that needs to be said! Evocative stances, cool weaponry, exotic clothing - these minis have it all. Plus I understand they're not too terrible in game either. I hope that whoever sculpted these gets to work their magic on the other anticipated Ten Thunders special forces models expected in the next book - that would make for a fantastic looking crew!