Saturday, 26 July 2014

A closer look at the models of Arcworlde, part I.

It truly is the season of Kickstarter delivery it would see! In the last three weeks package after package of fantastic new minis, random stuff friends asked me to pick up and even some boardgames have all shown up on my door mat. Suffice to say, it have been three very exciting and busy weeks. There's been Afterlife, more DeepWars and ShadowSea minis (coming soon), the fantastic resin troll display piece produced by JoekMinis and inspired by the ever awesome Paul Bonner (link to some of his work) and most recently Warploque Miniatures' Arcworlde (link). So time for another look at-post!
 

This is going to be a multi-part review, quite simply because there's a ton of stuff to work through and it's quite a bit more fun to tackle these a few factions at a time. For today I'm going to start off a few general comments about the models, cast quality and a look a the minis in the monsters, mercenaries and the Bayourks categories.

Style, scale and game system.

I was originally draw to the Warploque minis due to the style and feel of the old Halflings. These were absolutely lovely, little minis that just oozed character and humor. So when the Kickstarter came by, offering a whole range of different factions, monsters and a full rule set, I just had to get involved. In hindsight things may have gotten slightly out of hand, so now I own pretty much the entire new line of minis.

It really shines through that the entire Arcworlde line is sculpted by the same guy, and all of it is done using good old putty. Not that there' anything wrong with renders and 3D sculpting mind, heck just check out half of Infinity's stuff these days, but I have a soft spot for the traditional sculpting and casting process. Though hardly an ideal approach to designing large scale armies, it's great for smaller-scale, skirmish games.

Though the Halflings are definitely a bunch of cheerful, almost cartoony characters, I wouldn't go as to say that cartoony would be the best way to describe the range. There are quite a few evil and scary models to be found in the other factions. but there's definitely something animated, at times even light-hearted, about the sculpting style that really brings the entire range together. What's rather interesting though is how most of the wildlife/monster models came across as more bestial and serious. Given that the game promises to make monsters and the environment and interesting part of the game and scenarios it makes what could be considered as a 'third' player quite distinct.

What also really stands out about the range is the size of the models, we're talking large sculpts all round. Big monsters that really dwarf most regular warband miniatures, Orks and Elves that tower over human-sized minis and come on 50mm bases, and even the human Albonnicans are generally around 50mm tall. Here's a few shots with good, old Relictor Space Marine for scale purposes:



As for getting you hands on these minis, I understand Alex, evil mastermind behind Warploque is working hard sorting out his online store. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the general release date (link). In addition the rulebook for Arcworlde should hit retail later in the year, with the game system getting a ton of extra attention due to all the minis that were made possible through Kickstarter. I'm rather excited to see how it turns out, not in the least as scenarios, monsters and characters seem to be a big focal point of the game. The latest rules post on the Kickstarter definitely shows a lot of attention and testing is going into the rules - link! Right, on to some factions and models!

Monsters and Beasts:

Monsters and creatures appear to play a big role in the game and a whole range of these were sculpted thanks to the Kickstarter. There are even a few kits, creature nests and the Forgotten Tomb in particular, that are clearly meant for themed scenarios. My absolute favorites have to be the various Trolls, there's actually two more versions that belong to specific warbands.


River Trolls - lovely big, crisp cast, resin miniatures that just beg to be placed on the gaming table!



Death Kiwis - Arcworlde certainly seems to be a dangerous place. Cute as the young might look, Death Kiwis are deadly hunters that rather remind me of the classic Jurassic Park raptors.


Cocklegriff - an old model the sculptor actually didn't want to re-release, but the fans begged and begged till he finally caved in. I for one am happy the model made it into the game, as it has quite a powerful presence.


Mountain Troll Bull - and here I was thinking the River Troll were big, they pale in comparison to the Mountain Troll's size.


The Forgotten Tomb - this set consists of the Tomb scenery piece, ancient sword, a set of Arcanite tokens and the Barrow Wight. The general idea is that the Tomb can be added to a regular game and that players can attempt to explore several entrances to the tomb on the table, which can lead to great treasures.....or waking the evil guarding those treasures.


Giant - huge model with a ton of detail all over the model. Really get a kick out of his 'utility' bag, which includes cooking wares, halfling woman, pig, goat and a set of rather worried looking sheep. The cast quality of the model was also fantastic, with all parts fitting together very snuggly. Personally I can't wait to get that 130mm base covered with a mini-diorama.


Undead Leviathan (with Undead Pirate vessel) - coolest model of them all in my opinion. Here I was thinking I'd seen every possible approach to undead/zombie creatures, but this one really blows me away. Huge model, easy to assemble, snuggly fitting pieces and Pirate vessel available as upgrade, what's not to like. I would suggest using a pinvice and pin attach the Leviathan's body to the scenic base though. Not essential, but it should make the model a lot more durable, especially when adding the resin vessel upgrade. And lets be honest here, you'll want to use this model whenever you get the opportunity!


Fire Dragon Ancient - pretty much the biggest model in the range, currently anyway, and also the most complex model of the lot. Consisting of a large 130mm base, scenic rock piece, four legs, a tail and head, the model takes a bit of extra work to put together. Thing aren't too crazy luckily, but compared to how easy it is get all those other minis sorted this is definitely the model that will cost you some extra time test fitting and filling the odd gap with putty. On the plus side it is a very cool, well-balanced model that won't need pinning.
 And why would mommy dragon be so angry anyway, why some silly heroes are after her eggs of course.


Mercenaries:

There are quite a few other characters that belong to specific factions, those will show up in each faction's section below and in the follow-up posts! The Explorer - the exclusive Kickstarter miniatures & Alan Quarterbane - famed monster hunter.

The B-Team - Inspired by the A-team, the B-Team throws the four members of British Indie together in a mottly crew that roams Arcworlde. British Indie (AKA - Brindie) is a collective of independent miniature companies united by their love of all things geeky. Together they stave off boredom and growing-up with the armies of models they produce! Brindie currentlly consists of Warploque Miniatures, JoeK Minis, Infamy Miniatures & White Dragon Miniatures (link).



The Beast of War - inspired by Beast of War, this huge resin mercenary is pretty damn bad-ass. Clad in the heaviest armour, as well as a thick coat of legends he hails from the dark lands of Gaulag......where the Hobgoblins also come from, should be interesting to see what other evil will come down from the north in the years to come!




The Bayourks of the Cayjon Swamplands:


Offering a lovely blend of the usual Ork sterotypical mixture of large, brutes and bogling runts to follow them around, voodoo and a touch of Cajun/Deliverance, the Bayourks are a highly themed force. There's a banjo, hooch, big, floppy hats, a voodoo doc and a goat that seems rather bewildered by its current predicament.

Chieftian & Brute

Boglings....tons and tons of charm here!


Goader and Swamp Critters
 Witch Dokta & Blackmire Rooster

Dakka Dixie.......who really, really dislikes zombies.


And that does it for part one. Coming up next time, Halflings and Wild Elves.

3 comments:

  1. I missed the kickstarter and have really enjoyed these Arcworlde post. Gonna try and look into this game when it becomes available again!

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    1. Been having a ton of fun with the minis and can't wait for the rules to arrive. Most of these mini, save a few of the promos, should be on general release in a couple of weeks.

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  2. Such wonderful models. I'm really enjoying painting them. I'm gonna be broke when the webstore opens.

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