A combination of having a garden to attend to plus some pretty vile weather has prevented me from varnishing various figures - hence no recent posts. However, the sun is, the rain is temporarily at bay, and the spray cans have come out. At a recent wargames fair I spotted several packs of Reaper Bones miniatures, at ridiculous prices - something like £1 a figure - and I thought for that price they'd be worth a gamble. They are plastic - hence the low price - and seem to be made of the same soft plastic that Airfix soldiers used to be made of, e.g. bendy plastic instead of rigid. In addition, plastic usually means that detail on the figure is compromised... only one way to find out... Reaper say that you don't need a primer, and you can paint directly on to the figure as long as you've washed it in detergent to remove and residual oil from the casting process. One quick dip into a mug of washing up liquid, and we're good to go. You can apply paint to the figure without primer, but it was to be fairly thick paint - I usually have my paint very thin, and that just wouldn't stick at all.
The first figure was the Sylph, and I deliberately kept her paint job very simple, purely to see how she turned out. Once the base coats were applied, on with the washes, which usually pick out any details and issues with the figure. These turned out OK, although you just don't get the fine detail of a metal figure. After that, the usual dry brushing, and I was really surprised how well the figure came out. I have a need for a woodland nymph/goddess character in my D&D campaign, and she fits the bill nicely.
Next up was Mab Grindylow, a vile spirit of marshes and rivers. Again, I needed a dark river spirit character in my campaign, so she was an ideal match. This is a slightly odd sculpt though - she is obviously rising out of a marsh or river bed, so I understand the trident but - what's with the utility belt? Holy odd bit of sculpting, Batman! With this character the issue with fine detail really came to the forefront, and I think the wash emphasised this. It's still a super figure though, and I can see her getting lots of tabletop time anytime the party venture into marshes.
Lastly we have the dryad. I am a big fan of Hordes Of The Things (HOTT) and I had a need for a Lurker unit, and this sculpt was perfect - a dryad emerging from a tree with a long bone knife. Again, I deliberately kept the paint job simple, and then let Army Painter soft tone do most of the leg work, followed by dry brushing and then picking out the detail (such as it was) with green paint. Again, I liked the figure, and was happy with the way it turned out - definitely good enough for table top use.
In summary, Reaper Bones are definitely an option for cheap, table top gaming - though they are no substitute for metal. I've got a couple more Reaper Bones figures to do, and I'll post them when I'm finished.