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Wamp Review: Reaper Miniatures, Bones

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  • Wamp Review: Reaper Miniatures, Bones

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    This review will be slightly different as I will not be concentrating on the sculpting and casting alone but also looking at Reapers new material and how it rates for the display painter as well as the gamer.

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    Tim Fitch from Miniature Heroes was very kind to send a fair selection of miniatures and for those that want to know they are Ogre champion (77005), Purple Worm (77006), Male Human Warrior (77008), 6 Kobolds (77010) and Dwarf Warrior (77011)

    The New Plastic
    My first impression is that itís pretty soft. So soft that I can very easily bend all of the miniatures but the good thing is they spring back to their original shape pretty quickly. The only issue I have here is that one or two of the Kobolds spears are bent and the Ogre Champion doesnít quite stand correctly. I have checked out other pictures of these miniatures and they all seem straight so this could be just a packaging issue. This, I think will be more a problem for those painting the miniatures for gaming rather than for display as a display painter would just snip off the offending bit and replace it with either a bit of wire or a new display base.

    As with all plastics the details are not quite as sharp as they are with metal or resin miniatures but I must say, These Bones miniatures are not that bad considering the price difference between the materials. For example the Dwarf Warrior Bones sells for $2 while the metal version costs $5. Also the Bones version of the Ogre Champion sells for just under $2.5 and the metal version weighs in at just shy of $11.5. Thatís one heck of a price difference but with a little preparation work and a coat of paint I doubt anyone would be able to tell the two apart unless they lift the miniature and feel the weight difference. This leads me to another thought and itís about the choice of miniatures released as Bones. All of these have been on release for quite some time so whether anyone would want to paint one as a display piece is another question. The age of the miniatures and especially the moulds begs the question if that is affecting the overall sharpness of the detail. We will not know until Reaper decides to release a new sculpt in the Bones range and I look forward to seeing it.

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    The material itself is coloured light grey and 10% of it is made from recycled material which I think is a great idea and something all the miniature manufacturers are going to have to look at in the near future. Reaper claims it is ready to accept paint straight from the pack (something Iíll look at later). One thing can be assured though, with the plastic being soft it will cut and drill very easily so conversions will be a cinch. In some areas the plastic appears glossy while in others it looks matt which I think might affect how paint adheres to them but weíll see later. All of the miniatures have some mould lines, as to be expected but these are minimal and I think most gamers will ignore them. One problem I have seen personally when trying to clean mould lines from soft plastic miniatures is that the surface goes grainy and is almost impossible to get smooth again so weíll see how the Reaper plastic copes with this.

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    This is the Purple Worm; in the left image you can see the mould line running down its back. And the image on the right is after about 15 minutes clean up and I have to say Iím really impressed. There is no graining of the plastic and I used my roughest diamond surface files which are usually too harsh for most metal miniatures unless there is a lot of filing to do. The finished surface was pretty smooth and I donít need to switch to my smoother files to clean up the surface. In fact I started with those and they hardly impacted on the surface of the miniature which is why I tried the diamond edged file. This also shows how robust the plastic is.

    Next Iím going to look at this claim that the Bones miniatures are ready to paint straight out of the package. This is from the reaper website.

    Ready to Paint
    Out of the box, these incredible figures take paint without priming. Our Master Series Paints cover these models perfectly right out of the bottle, and the paint sticks. Standing up to most sorts of table-top abuse your Friday night group would be able to dish out.
    I have even purchased some reaper core colours from Miniature Heroes especially for the test. After cleaning up the mould line I gave the miniature a good scrub under some warm water before going at it with some paint. The paint does go onto the plastic pretty well as you can see (left image). I gave the back of the Purple work 4 thinned coats of Imperial Purple as a base then a quick shade with nightshade purple and an even quicker highlight with Amethyst Purple.

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    As to standing up to some table top abuse? Well as you can see in the right hand image this is a bit of a stretch but considering I havenít used any undercoat or varnish itís still not bad and a lot better than metal would fair. Later, I did give the mini a spray of dullcoat and that did the trick.

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ID:	430895The Ratings
    Quality: 8.75/10, I quiet like these new Bones miniatures. I know the detail isnít as sharp as metal or resin but it a lot better than all the other plastics I have seen.
    Assembly: 9.5/10, they do have some mould lines so unless youíre desperate to get them onto a table and into battle some clean-up is required. The good news on this front is that itís very easy to do and there is a lot less messing about that with metal or resin.
    Value for Money: 10/10, what can I say when the price of these speaks for itself.
    Overall: 9.5/10, all in all Iím pretty impressed with the Reaper Bones range and I hope I have shown you what to expect if you buy any of this range. I would like to see some new sculpts released as Bones but that is in Reaperís hands but if youíre a fan of these older sculpts then I recommend going for it rather than the metal.

    • Undave
      #4
      Undave commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Nord
      I have to completely disagree with your assessment on these, having recently bought one myself. They are a soft plastic like you said, almost toy like. You claim that the detail is a lot better than all other plastics you have seen. Are you serious? For a couple of quid for a troll model, it's cheap and reasonably detailed, but nowhere near as good as GW, mantic, perry miniatures or (no doubt) any of the other hard plastics available. Unless you meant it was better than any other soft plastics you had tried?
      I was going to say, these don't look anywhere near as crisp as the stuff GW and Renedra are churning out these days. Of course that might be down to the age of the sculpt as you say and it is difficult to tell when you haven't physically got one in your hand but as plastics go they don't exactly look top of the range. For the price though, they don't look too bad.




      Is the one on the left the bones? If so what's the one on the right?

    • shanerozzell
      #5
      shanerozzell commented
      Editing a comment
      The comparison was between other models made of similar material and some hard plastic ones. Consider some GW hard plastics, edges might be sharper but the detail is only two dimensional because of the casting method, on these there is no such issue. Also on GW hard plastics there is a lot of work to make the undercuts when prepping. No need on these.

      From the Review,
      As with all plastics the details are not quite as sharp as they are with metal or resin miniatures but I must say, These Bones miniatures are not that bad considering the price difference between the materials. For example the Dwarf Warrior Bones sells for $2 while the metal version costs $5. Also the Bones version of the Ogre Champion sells for just under $2.5 and the metal version weighs in at just shy of $11.5.
      I did say the detail was a little soft and pointed out it wasn't as sharp as the metal or resin (which finecast is and yes the Bones is on the left) but I also indicated it was a trade off because of the cheapness of the miniature. Like everything in life you get what you pay for.

      From the Review
      This leads me to another thought and itís about the choice of miniatures released as Bones. All of these have been on release for quite some time so whether anyone would want to paint one as a display piece is another question. The age of the miniatures and especially the moulds begs the question if that is affecting the overall sharpness of the detail. We will not know until Reaper decides to release a new sculpt in the Bones range and I look forward to seeing it.
      I did say this was a choice and a trade off but recently we have seen some very well painted diorama's done from GW plastics (The one with the Imperial Soldiers and the Eldar female springs to mind) and I feel these are better quality than those for the reasons I stated above.

    • NeatPete
      #6
      NeatPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks again for this review Shane. Had a search and reread to see exactly what I'll be getting form the kickstarter.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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shanerozzell Live in Alpraham with Partner Sarah. I'm the guy that also designs Portal magazine. Find out more about shanerozzell

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