17 November 2008

Warlord Games Celts (part 1)

I've assembled and started painting one box of Warlord Games Celts. So here's the start of a quick painting project and a bit of a review.

I like big horde armies. Multi-piece plastic sounds like a great idea, in theory. That's what I figured, initially. You get 100s of figures all looking different, they're cheap, and you don't risk back injuries carrying around all that lead. Whether you like GW or not, you've got to admit they've done some great things with plastic kits. I would think that the companies starting to manufacture similar kits for the historical market would pay close attention. (Especially those companies run by ex-GW staff...)

So with that optimism in mind, I picked up two boxes of Warlord Games Celts, and pre-ordered two boxes of Wargames Factory Celts.

I've got to admit that after assembling just one box of the Warlord Games figures, I realize I had overlooked one of the negatives of plastic horde armies. Assembly time. It was tedius. And after all of that cleaning and fitting and gluing, I've still missed a number of mold lines. And the mold lines are one of my issues with the figures. Some of them are quite prominent.

The detail is pretty good. They're not metal figures, but that's an acceptable trade off. The bad spots are some of the "mitten hands" and one of the heads has some sort of strage issue with the eyes. I'm not sure if that is a molding problem or a sculpting problem.

Which brings me to the low point. I've got several significant complaints with the sculpting and choice of "bits." Some of the poses are bordering absurd - doubled over and harshly twisted torsos. Add the outstretched flailing arms to the mix and the figures are a pain in the ass to rank up. In my photo below you can see that there is actually an extra loose figure. That's because when I mounted the figures in the center on a couple of group bases, I just ran out of room. Plus I couldn't stand having even one more of the bent-over-sniffing-someones-butt poses in the formed unit.

At first I was annoyed by the lack of shields for all the figures, but in the end there's no way I would have got them to rank up if they all had shields.

I do admit that part of the issue may be that I am basing them on 20x20 bases (or their multi-figure equivalent). Maybe if I was putting them on larger bases, they would work out better. But unfortunately, that's the size I need for the games I'm playing. It's not honestly that unusual, so I find it surprising that a manufacturer would design figures which are difficult to rank up in popular or common basing schemes.

You're really got to match up the right torsos with the right legs as well. They're posable, but only to a limited extend before the anatomy starts looking even more screwed up. Add the limited variety in heads (many duplicates) and there's not as much variety as it seems there would be.

So far all I've got is the black primer and a few coats of flesh done. This has gone pretty well, at least. They've far more pleasant to paint than to assemble, probably because of the fairly crisp and well proportioned detail.

So far: I'm disappointed.

I'll post some more pics as I make some progress.

1 comment:

  1. 023... we are on the same page with these guys..I had very similar problems, tedious to build and a noticable lack of flexibility with the Warlord Games plastics. I built wedge bases out of cork for bunch of mine as I got sick of the dumb poses with every other guy staring at the dirt. not to mention ranking them up was a pain the ass (mine are all on individual 20 mm)...I hope the Wargames Factory stuff is better if it ever gets released.