Saturday, 21 February 2015

Asgard (Viking Forge) Fantasy Monsters FM74 Water Elemental

This next sculpt is a bit of an oddity, in every sense of the word. Originally I thought it was an Asgard FM74 Water Elemental, but I’ve since found out that this is a re-issue by Viking Forge – with some extra bits added on. You see the original here, and then compare with the version I’ve painted up. As with many of the bigger Asgard sculpts (this figure is nearly 70cm tall!), it has terrific presence, and the pose is dynamic – it really suggests something lurching out of the water to surprise the unwary adventurers. Set against that are the usual complaints about Asgard figures – poor detail on the hands/claws, weird proportions (just look at the size of the tail compared to the rest of the figure) and a tiny base that means the figure topples over VERY easily. More on that later…

The first thing was to stabilise the figure by gluing it to a standard GW cavalry base, followed by the use of Milliput to suggest waves and water. After that, various shades of green for the body, cream for the shell breastplates and armour, and then pink for the conch helmet. This was followed by shading and then the usual dry brushing to pick out detail, whilst I also dry brushed the back fin, the scales and the tail with silver to suggest glistening water. The eyes were filled in with red to try and give it a vaguely threatening appearance. As for the water base – that is just a blue/green base, with various washes, and then a white dry brush to suggest foam.

It’s an OK paint job, but I am vaguely dissatisfied with the figure as a whole. IMHO I don’t think the additions made by Viking Forge are an improvement – the conch helmet is vaguely ridiculous, as is the shell breastplate. Where the Viking Forge sculpt really fails is on the spear and the net to catch unwary adventurers – the original Asgard sculpt had them as separate accessories, whilst Viking Forge has made them integral parts of the figure. And they are fragile – the spear in particular is incredibly thin, and the original spear head was so fragile that it fell off and refuses to stick back on, so it has been replaced with a GW plastic spear head. As for the net… the figure comes on a really small base, and as soon as it falls over – the net breaks off. I've had to use superglue to re-attach it at least five times. This is just really bad design IMHO, and probably accounts for why the figure didn’t (and presumably still doesn’t) sell well.

Can’t see it getting too much table time to be honest – it is such a weird sculpt for a water elemental, and there are far better figures to use in a dungeon party encounter. One for the Asgard completists only, methinks…

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Grenadier Fantasy Lord 2nd series 015 Battle Cyclops

And a new posting for a new month! The next nugget to be extracted from the Lead Mountain was this chappie from Grenadier. To be honest, I was not enthused - whilst I think a lot of the Grenadier sculpts from the 2nd series are fantastic, there are a couple that are so-so... and this was one of them. Still, out with the brushes - all the usual base colours, an Army Painter soft tone wash for the flesh and a dark tone for the metal, and then highlighting. Simples!

Whilst the paint job came out OK, I think my issues are mostly with the figure itself. It doesn't look especially menacing, and the proportions are a bit out - the legs look too small for the rest of the figure. And I'm not entirely sure what its purpose is - presumably it was meant to be the centre piece for an Orc or Goblin army? I don't think I'm alone in this, as it rarely turns up on e-bay, which suggests it wasn't a big seller. It might get some table top time as a guardian figure for treasure rooms, but to be honest there are lot of other (and better) figures suited for the job.