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  • Blacktongue, Gnoll Ranger By Reaper Miniatures

    03190_G.jpgOne of the biggest things Reaper has going for it, outside the amazing success of its recent Kickstarter project, is the amazing breadth of miniatures they have available. Pulling from that wide selection, I have recently acquired Blacktongue the Gnoll Ranger.

    Out of the package, the first thing I noticed was that there werenít very many mold lines on this cast. I also couldnít find any problems with details. Assembly was a quick process because the left arm fit cleanly into place without any problems. I would suggest pinning him, though. I didnít, since the arm fit into place so well, but an accidental drop quickly popped the arm back off. Live and learn.

    Blacktongue was sculpted by the talented Tre Manor, so that sets a pretty high level of expectation for the piece. It is cast in metal and comes in two parts- the body and base, and the left arm holding the bow. As with most Reaper products this dose have an integrated base that is shaped to look like a stone paved floor. It's a very simple but nice looking base that works well with this figure. Adding a little static grass between the paving stones, if you're going for a run down look, would help elevate this into a nicer looking base.

    Before I go on, I have to say that Iím starting to change my opinion on integrated bases a little. If youíre not planning on doing any conversion work or donít want this to be a competition piece with a crazy base, then integrated bases, when they are well sculpted, are actually kind of nice. It gives you a figure that is ready for gaming just a little sooner, since you donít have to wait for the glue to dry from attaching a base. Sure, they can get in the way sometimes, but this base is unobtrusive, looks very nice, and didnít bother me the way that integrated bases have in the past.

    Blacktongue,-Gnoll-Ranger.pngThis is a dynamic sculpt with a lot of detail- something that is a hallmark for Treís work. There are also a lot of different textures on this figure that offer opportunities for different kinds of painting work. There is cloth, chainmail, wood, leather, fur, armor, and stone. There's something for everyone! I originally purchased this guy as a demonstration piece for a painting seminar a while ago because of all of these different textures. The fur and chainmail, the two main textures that take up the most room on this gnoll, are very well sculpted, as is everything else- the detail on this cast is very, very good.

    The gnollís snarling visage and his stance- feet spread with his right arm drawing a shaft from his quiver- give Blacktongue a menacing quality that gives the sculpt some character. He would be a great miniature to represent the leader of the Gnolls your adventurers might be fighting. His uses as a hero unit in any fantasy skirmish games may be more limited- I donít know if thereís a Gnoll faction in any of them- but heís still a fun piece to paint.

    The Breakdown:
    Quality: 9 / 10
    *Very good sculpt with a lot of interesting details
    *Good character in the figure and a nice pose

    Assembly: 9 / 10
    *Assembly was very quick and easy- a beginner will have no problems at all

    Value: 8.5 / 10
    *A good price for a very good miniature

    Overall: 8.8 / 10
    This is a very good miniature from one of the best sculptors out there. There are a lot of different things to paint on him, which makes him a fun project piece. There are a fair number of other Gnoll miniatures out there. If you need one with a bow, then I donít think youíll find better than this one.