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  • Haradelan Questers by DGS Games

    DGS Games is a company I had never heard of until a friend brought me back a pack of their miniatures from GenCon. They are best known for their fantasy skirmish game Freeblades and I will be taking a look at the Haradelan Questers starter set.

    This starter set contains 7 miniatures that are cast in metal. They are 32mm scale and each figure comes with a standard plastic slotted base. Only two of these figures are single piece castings. The rest are 2 or 3 pieces- generally a weapon and possibly a shield. The Haradelan are a pretty heavily armored group consisting of 5 knights with various weapons, an archer, and a militiaman with a wheat thresher.

    high questor.jpgThe High Questor seems to be the leader of this little band. Heís the knight who is standing with one foot on a rock and holding his sword aloft with his shield held before him. He is wearing a surcoat over plate armor and has a circlet around his forehead. He comes in 3 parts: body, right forearm with sword, and his shield. His sword was a little bent, but it was easy to get it back in place. The mold lines are nothing to worry about except for where it crosses the left side of the face. Thankfully it is between the left eye and ear, so itís not harming any of the facial details. The arm and shield are easy to attach thanks to locating plugs that work.

    priest.jpgThe Fist of Vidunar is a pretty standard fantasy cleric- guy in armor with a big hammer who has magical powers from his god. Heís a single piece casting of a bald, bearded man hefting a large hammer with a fist shaped head over his head. The beard has some good detailing in it, but it might be a little difficult to paint because of the way things are positioned. It looks like thereís a little bit of flash between the hammer and his head, but itís something that would take a lot of patience to cleanly remove. The hammerís neck was bent enough that getting it back into position was tricky. It looks pretty good, but Iím still thinking about cutting it away and replacing it with a bit of brass rod. His cape has a nice little flow to it.

    spearman.jpgThe Militia Spearman is lightly armored with chainmail and a coif covering his head and is in a running stance with the spear leveled at his side and shield tight against his chest for protection. He comes in 3 parts: body, right hand with spear, and shield. The spear has a nice wood grain texture and wasnít bent that I noticed. Attaching the spear took a little work because of some slag where it is supposed to connect to the body. A little file work easily removed it. The chainmail texture has been done differently than Iíve ever seen before. It gives the appearance of a finer mesh of chainmail, but the presentation also isnít as clean or clear as other methods of sculpting chainmail. I havenít has a chance to put paint on this guy yet to see how it looks, so Iím reserving judgment. A little bit of flash on this piece and a mold line on the left side of the face that is marring some of the detail.

    archer.jpgThe Muster Archer reminds me of Robin Hood. Heís wearing a tunic, quiver, and his bow was in good shape partly because of the gate that holds the bottom part in place. The gate is easy to remove and the mold lines on this piece barely deserve comment except for the fact that it crosses directly over the right eye. A few little details like a patch on his left elbow and a nicely detailed goatee are also noticeable on this piece.

    barek apprentice.jpgThe Apprentice Knight of Barek is the guy in plate mail holding the giant axe. He is in 2 parts: the body and the axe which also includes both of his hands on the haft. There are a number of details on his armor and the scabbarded sword on his back that make him one of the more interesting looking figures in the group. His face is thankfully free of any problems. Getting the axe into position for assembly is a little tricky and you may need a bit of green stuff to fill a tiny gap between his hand and arm after you get it glued into place.

    tahnar apprentice.jpgThe Apprentice Knight of Tahnar had me stumped for a few minutes until I looked her up on the website where they confirmed that she is female. The page boy haircut and the way the armor plates are formed over his chest pointed to her being a female, but itís so rare to see a female knight wearing full armor or who isnít exposing her cleavage or other parts that my confusion is understandable. The face has a lot of feminine qualities as well.

    She comes in 3 parts: body, right arm with sword, and left arm with shield. Everything fits into place easily with very little prep work. Her armor is very nicely detailed as is her hair, which has very fine stranding. She is probably one of the best examples of a realistic female knight that I have ever seen.

    thresher.jpgLast, we have the Muster Thresher who looks like a farmer who just rushed into battle with his wheat thresher. He comes in 2 parts: Body and thresher which connects the left hand and right forearm. Once I removed a little bit of slag from the locating plug on the right forearm, I was able to get it to fit easily.

    All of these miniatures have a heavy nostalgia about the sculpts. They really remind me of old Ral Partha and Grenadier miniatures, but the details are crisper on these figures. Every suit of armor has rivets covering it at different places and a number of other details that wouldnít have been as cleanly presented or may not have existed at all on those older lines. All of the hair is sculpted much better than it was in the past. I was also impressed by the shields. Each one is a similar shape, but each one has a different pattern of gouges and scrapes on them, making them look battle worn.

    But even with the good aspects of this kind of metal nostalgia, there are also some of the same drawbacks that other manufacturers have been improving on over the years. The spearman is the most dynamic figure of the series because of his running pose, but all of the others are pretty static. This doesnít mean they are bad- they are all well sculpted figures, but there are similar characters from other companies that have more movement and character in their sculpts. On the other hand, the level of detail and quality of these pieces is a cut above some other pieces that are more dynamic with less detail.

    Haradelan-Questers.pngPainting these pieces would a fun trip to the past for those who are fans of the classic miniature lines to which these figures bear some similarities, but people new to the hobby will also find them to be easy to paint. Each piece has some texture differences between metal and cloth along with some skin and hair to be painted as well. The surcoats on the figures that have them are nice open spaces for freehanding. The girlís shield has an emblem sculpted in place, but the other two would also be good candidates for some freehand as well. It would be easy to cut away the tabs for the slotted bases if you want to do something custom.

    The Breakdown:

    Quality: 8 / 10
    *Very good level of detail
    *Hair is sculpted very well
    *Most of the figures are pretty static

    Assembly: 8 / 10
    *Mold lines across facial details on some figures means youíll need to be careful
    *Flash and slag is present in small amounts- easy to remove, but occasionally at join sites

    Value: 8.5 / 10
    *Very reasonable price for a good number of figures

    Overall: 8.2 / 10
    If you want some fantasy figures that are more historically accurate, then the Haradelan Questers are a good choice. The design work is very solid on all of these miniatures and they have the added bonus of nostalgia for anyone who is a fan of the older style miniatures. This is a company you should definitely check out.