Saturday, July 22, 2017

Element Games: Games Workshop Blood Bowl Dice Pre-Order

Element Games launched the pre-order for new Blood Bowl dice.

Rebel Minis: New Undead Psi-Witch and Merc Sniper!

Rebel Minis: New Undead Psi-Witch and Merc Sniper (ex Judge Dredd?)

Fenris Games: Primitive Dagon Altar Scenery Preview

Fenris Games: Primitive altar to Dagon.To be littered with relics from civilisations that have risen and fallen during His worship.

Front Rank Miniatures: New Prussian Napoleonic Dragoons

Front Rank released these Prussian Napoleonic Dragoons.

Kromlech: New Resin Bottles Released

Kromlech released these new resin bottles.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Warlord Games: Test of Honour - Samurai Factions Preview

Warlord Games announced some new Test of Honour warbands.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers Reviewed!

Today we take a look at the upcoming plastic Shieldmaidens by Shieldwolf Miniatures. This brand new plastic boxed set will allow you to field armies of fierce Northern Shieldmaidens and Rangers.

The Shieldmaiden Infantry boxed set is the second hard-plastic kit to be released by Shieldwolf Miniatures. This particular set was succesfully funded during the War is coming: Shieldmaidens Army Reboot Kickstarter in early 2016. Gathering more than $80.000 and backed by more than 550 backers, these miniature were put into production and are now almost ready to be delivered and released for retail. Shieldwolf Miniatures is always trying to improve the quality and detail of their miniatures so let's take a look if they have managed to raise the bar on these new Shieldmaidens.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers Reviewed!

The Shieldmaiden and Ranger Dual Plastic Kit

Most of Shieldwolf Miniatures miniature range consists out of highly-detailled resin miniatures, handcasted at their own facility in Athens, Greece. Although of excellent quality, resin miniature casting is laborious and also requires the frequent changing of silicon moulds which wear and tear during the countless castings runs. As you can imagine resin casting is very suited for small production runs of more expensive creatures and characters instead of infantry which often provides the bulk of your tabletop armies.

For that reason Shieldwolf Miniatures decided to venture into the production of hard-plastic miniatures to create the bulk infantry of their factions and armies. For this expensive venture they decided to use the might of Kickstarter crowdfunding together with their own corporate funds allowing them to release their first plastic Mountain Orc Infantry kit in partnership with Renedra. Together with the very experienced team at Renedra, these were eventually released offering affordable and unqiue orc soldiers for your tabletop armies. With another succesful Kickstarter campaign they were now able to release these new Shieldmaidens.

The Shieldmaiden and Ranger Dual Plastic Kit contains five hard-plastic sprues allowing you to build 24 Shieldmaiden or Ranger miniatures. You can straight away assemble 20 miniatures but can actually build 24 with some kitbashing according to Shieldwolf Miniatures as there are only 20 left arms included. These can of course all be assembled as a mixture of both available warrior types. The Shieldmaidens are the female warriors with shields and melee weaponry while the Rangers are the female warriors equipped with lethal crossbows. In the pictures below you can see both sprues that are included in the boxed set but more on those below each sprue picture.

Note these sprues were supplied  without box in advance but represent the content of an actual boxed set without the plastic bases which will be supplied in the retail version. The set will be supplied with sufficient 25mm square plastic bases.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

The sprue shown above is what I call the Infantry Sprue of which two are included in the boxed set. These sprues contain all the heads included in the set along with half of the bodies, you may have noticed the lack of melee weapons as those are included on the other sprues. I'm happy with the overall content and quality of this sprue as it allows for some options of variation. Although I would have appreciated some more left arms as those are supplied in minimal numbers. Another big plus is that most if not every piece included on the sprue is unique preventing duplication of parts among your miniatures which is especially useful when playing skirmish level wargames.

Sprue content Infantry Sprue

- 6 unique bodies
- 4 cape backpieces
- 4 backpieces
- 5 unique shields
- 4 crossbow right arms
- 4 left arms
- 2 unique quivers
- 2 hooded heads
- 15 unique heads

The sprue shown above is what I call the Command Sprue although this sprue would most likely be better called the melee or Shieldmaiden sprue due to all the melee weapons included. In the boxed set you will find three of these sprues. As you may have noticed, the left half of this sprue is identical to the Infantry Sprue with the right part being replaced by command and melee bits. All of the melee weapons are wielded in the right hand with the left hands being reserved to be bare or with shields. Again satified with the content and quality of the casting looking at the range of melee weapons included but would again liked to have some more left arms and maybe also some more unique body poses.

Sprue content Command Sprue

- 4 unique bodies
- 4 cape backpieces
- 1 fur cape backpiece
- 4 backpieces
- 6 unique shields
- 4 crossbow right arms
- 4 left arms
- 1 left arm flag
- 1 left arm horn
- 3 unique axes
- 4 unique swords
- 1 unique flail

In the pictures below you can see some more close-up pictures of the different sprues showing individual bits and pieces. The detail of these miniatures is well-defined and the quality of the plastic and casting is superb as you may expect from Renedra.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

The assembly 

The assembly of these plastic miniatures isn't very different from assembling other plastic miniature kits which were designed for wargaming purposes. That said I can't remember ever seeing seperate backpieces for models allowing you to make miniatures with or without capes. For me personally the separate backpieces are interesting but really not necessary as the capes could have simply be supplied as individual pieces as seen in plastic kits by Games Workshop or Fireforge Games to  name some examples. Feel free to correct me if I missed something important about this design option. Confirmed by Shieldwolf Miniatures is that the same design option will also be used for their upcoming plastic Warmaidens and Dragonbreds making the miniature sets compatible. The Kickstarter for these miniatures will follow in Q2 2017.

Following are some remarks regarding the assembly - While preparing for assembly be sure that you carefully remove the parts as some pieces such as the crossbows and other fragile bits can easily be damaged when using too much force. While assembling the below miniatures I snapped the strings of two crossbows. These however broke off clean and could easily be glued but it's better to avoid the hassle of doing that by being careful. I have also noticed that the heads look better when you cut of some length of the necks as these than better fit the bodies, I have done this with all miniatures shown in this review. My last remark is that some sprue vents are placed in difficult to reach or fragile places such on the capes/ inside of the legs/ crossbows making it a bit hard to nicely remove the parts without some damage so I really recommend that you you use a small and sharp hobby knife to tackle these pieces. That said the assembly went really smooth with all pieces fitting well, for the assembly I used plastic glue from Revell with a small nossle by far my favorite brand.

As you can see in the pictures below these miniatures can be assembled in a large variety of poses armed with either melee or ranged weapons. I really like the look of the assembled miniatures as they can easily be assembled as standing, attacking or advancing. The amount of unique bits also allows to build individual characters offering a great source for female barbarian like characters for wargaming and roleplaying.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers

Scale comparison

Below you can find scale comparison pictures with other metal and plastic miniatures of other well-known wargame miniature companies. Check the pictures and find out if these new Shieldmaiden miniatures fit your own miniature collection or armies.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers Scale Comparison
Mantic Games Orc - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden - Games Workshop Empire Spearman - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers Scale Comparison
Conquest Games Norman Knight -  Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden - Gripping Beast Anglo Saxon - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers Scale Comparison
Shieldwolf Mountain Orc - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden - Games Workshop Ork - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden

The conclusion

The quality of both the sculpting and casting is great in my opinion even superb, after seeing the pictures I'm almost sure you will all agree with this. The sprues are packed with nice bits and pieces allowing you to build convincing female northern warriors ready to take the fight to your unwary enemies on the tabletop battlefield. My only issues like the use of the separate backpieces and the lack of more left arms are merely minor remarks when looking at the full content of the boxed set.

As these miniatures are sold as fantasy miniatures and not as historical representation of female warriors you may have noticed some bare skin on these miniatures which would of course have been covered up in real life. That said I think these miniatures have great potential to also be used as proxy 'historical' miniatures as the boxed set contains a nice mix of bodies with more/less bare skin shown and with realistic body proportion unlike the looks of other popular female miniatures. Shieldwolf Miniatures has succesfully filled a significant gap in the wargame miniature market with these high-quality plastic modular female warriors. I'm sure that these new miniatures will prove popular on the tabletop as the quality and subject of this new boxed set is excellent. The content of the boxed set will also allow you to convert other miniatures with cool weapons, gear and the female heads can easily be used to turn other wargame and roleplaying miniatures in female characters.

I can easily see these miniatures been used as heroic roleplaying characters, stand-alone skirmish warbands or combined with creatures (like the Shieldwolf War Mammooth check pictures below or our review here) in full female tabletop armies. Fielding a full female fantasy force has never been so easy and affordable so if you're interested in buying these make sure to check the Shieldwolf Miniatures website later this month or early April to pre-order. This particular plastic boxed set will retail for €27.75 for 20 models.

The War Mammooth with Howdah will be bundled with two Shieldmaiden sprues allowing you to crew this deadly creature of war with some fierce female warriors. The restock of this huge and highly-detailled creature will happen in late april. The bundle set will be sold for €159,50.

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers War Mammooth

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers War Mammooth

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Shieldmaidens and Rangers War Mammooth

Disclaimer - We received these miniatures from Shieldwolf Miniatures for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed and you may have noticed that these miniatures are simply awesome so no need to dishonest about that!

Dozens of other reviews can easily be found here and make sure to follow this blog as more reviews, tutorials and wargame news appears every day!

Black Scorpion: Free Wild West Tombstone or Pirate Miniatures!

Black Scorpion Miniatures: We currently have a little offer running, our spares bins are overflowing! Any order over £10 placed until, the end of July receives a random miniature free! You can specify in the comments on checkout either Tombstone or Pirates should you choose.

Petersen Games: Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3 - Miniature Boardgame Kickstarter Launched and Funded

Petersen Games recently launched and funded their Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3 Kickstarter in which they aim to fund the production of their premier horror strategy game with high quality miniatures and great competitive gameplay and tactics according to the creators.

Cthulhu Wars’ original Kickstarter campaigns launched in 2013 and 2015 to stellar success. If you’re already a fan, now is the time to complete your collection! If you have been waiting for the opportunity to get in on Cthulhu Wars, this is your best opportunity! Check the Kickstarter here

Cthulhu Wars is a competitive strategy game in which 2 to 8 players face-off to determine the fate of the planet. You'll recruit cultists and summon monsters, cast spells, open interdimensional gates, and awaken your colossal unearthly Great Old One! Every game is different - as you play, you unlock new spellbooks, giving new amazing powers unique to each faction. Play is asymmetric - every faction has a unique set of rules and victory conditions.

The core game offers an asymmetric, two to four player strategy experience (up to eight players with expansions). Each player controls a faction of cosmic evil competing with its rivals for the remains of the defeated, dying Earth. Players push and battle each other to control areas, build gates, gain power, achieve personal goals, and unlock special abilities in the form of spellbooks to render their own faction supreme. The miniatures are conspicuously monstrous, appealing and evocative.

The Ion Age: Free Playing Prang in Patrol Angis Booklet

The Ion Age: Now online for free download the second expanded booklet for playing as the Prang Army in Patrol Angis. With all of our releases for the month now online we present this PDF for you to add to your game books to add infantry, infantry support vehicles and larger vehicles to the Prang. A play test document which is evolving it now shows codes we plan to create in the future for this force. Click through to download. Remember you get IMP47 Happy Burger Bin Bot free in every order this month and we still have an updated free booklet to come for the Xin Trade Fleet. Thanks. GBS

Micro Art Studio: New Foam Flat Hills Scenery and Contest

Micro Art Studio: The new Flat Hills are available at Micro Art Studio's store! Within this set you get 4 hardfoam flat hills.  They are light & durable, easy to paint and will improve greatly your gaming tables!

We have also announced a contest on our Facebook profile. There's a chance to win the set of Flat Hills (4) - share the post and write which gaming system would you use them for!!! We're going to draw the lucky winner on Saturday, 22nd of July.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Barnard Built: Modular 15mm - 20mm WW3 Cold War Urban Tabletop Wargame Terrain

Barnard Built launched his small scale scenery kickstarter in which he looks to fund the production of some inventive and rather good looking 15-20mm Cold War urban scenery. Looks like a match made in heaven for Team Yankee and other Cold War Gone Hot wargames. Check the Kickstarter here

Armorcast: New Retro Sci-Fi Objective Markers - Teleporter Homing Beacons

Armorcast: New in the Armorcast webstore are the Retro Sci-Fi Objective Markers or Teleporter Homing Beacons. Cast in resin and waist high to a standard Marine, they make a unique counter for tabletop gameplay. Sold in a package of four models. Supplied unpainted. A licensed Hirst Arts product.

Manorhouse Workshop: Forgotten Halls Modular Dungeon Terrain Preview Video

Manorhouse Workshop: To all Forgotten Halls fans and followers out there, we have some news for you. After our last article, where we showed a sneak peak of our 2 boxes Beyond the Door and  Eerie Silence)

We are showing you our Promotional Kickstarter Video one day before it gets sent to the world! Get ready and brace yourself! Graphic design – video by: Fabio “Jacknife” Paulotto This 1:00 video shows just few of the great characteristics of Forgotten Halls and present also new frontiers and gems never seen before on our FH page. Can you spot them? Don’t hesitate to share the word and the video around to your friends. The next months are going to be hectic!

Wargames Foundry: Old Colonial Miniature Ranges Re-Released - Taiping Rebellion and Much More

Wargames Foundry: We have relisted several ranges of figures that have not been available on our website for many years and extended the Darkest Africa Miniature Deals.

Ever Victorious Army figures sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry can be found towards the end of our Taiping Rebellion section along with Chinese that are suitable for a wide variety of periods and uses. You can also use our Ever Victorious Army figures for Franco Chinese and British trained Imperialist Chinese. There are also miniatures of Shanghai Volunteers and French Seamen now available. See our guide to Uniforms of the Taiping Rebellion by John French for more information.

Our War of 1812 range sculpted by Aly Morrison is now listed on our new website. Our Maximilian Adventure (French in Mexico) range was also sculpted by Aly and has also just been listed on our new website along with suitable Engineers and Artillery taken from our Crimean War French range.

We have put together a section of miniatures suitable for the 1st Afghan War sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry along with articles and uniform guides by John French. The British Infantry in Bell Top Shakos were originally released as part of our China 1839-1900 range for use in the 1st China War. Follow this link to our article on 1st China War (1st Opium War) 1839-42 and the Battle of Chapu.

The Sikhs from our Sikh Wars range sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry can now be found starting at the bottom of page 3 of that section. Sikh Infantry, Artillery, Cuirassiers, Lancers and Gurkhas are now available. The Afghan Regular Army 1860-85 sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry can now be found towards the end of our North West Frontier 1880-1908 section.

We are extending the Bonus Packs sale on our Mark Copplestone sculpted Darkest Africa range until midnight GMT Sunday 23rd July. Spend £96 to get 20% off or £192 to get 27% off. Visit the front page of our website for more information.

Zealot Miniatures: New Twisting Catacombs - Miniature Wargame and Roleplaying Dungeon Scenery Reviewed!

Venture into dungeons deep and caverns old, with the new Twisting Catacombs miniature wargame and roleplaying scenery pieces by Zealot Miniatures. Let us together explore these brand new pieces of dungeon furniture in this thoroughly illustrated review.

Zealot Miniatures has recently released an extensive range of fantasy dungeon scenic elements to recreate and decorate miniature dungeons for both wargaming and roleplaying adventures. These pieces are designed the popular inch square system which makes the scenery usable for roleplaying games and boardgames such as Dungeons and Dragons, Heroquest and essentially anything using 28mm-30mm scale character miniatures.

The current range includes loads of interesting pieces such as Boulder Traps, Fountain Demons, Gibbets, Sacrifical Chambers and deadly Gargoyles to name a few but also more common yet very useful pieces such as Treasure Chests, Barrels and so on. As this review will only cover a limited number of pieces I would recommend you to check them all out here in th Zealot Miniatures webshop.

Unboxing The Twisting Catacombs Scenery

For this review, I have received a small bundle of dungeon scenery from Eddie, the owner of Zealot Miniatures to give you a good idea of what you can expect of both the design and quality of these resin The Twisting Catacombs terrain pieces. The bundle included the following pieces: The Magic Portal, The Tomb, The Traditional Fireplace, The Adventurer's Equipment, The Braziers, The Artifact Axe, The Stone Gargoyle and The Bookcase. See the picture below, note that the package shown is not the final packaging but was only used to send the pre-release pieces.

As mentioned above these pieces have been designed to be compatible with popular roleplaying and wargaming dimension and are ideally suited for 28mm-30mm miniatures. The entire The Twisting Catacombs range is digitally sculpted and produced in vaccuum cast resin allowing a very high quality of casting with no airbubbles at all present on the received pieces. Looking at all the commercial services, Zealot Miniatures is offering to other miniature wargame companies I would say that they certainly know how to produce top-notch designed and casted products and these scenery pieces are no exception. Below you can see the Magic Portal and Gargoyle in their unassembled state exactly showing the way they were supplied by the manufacturer.

The Assembly

The scenery pieces are supplied in individual ziplock bags each containing the different parts of the scenic element. There are plenty of nice one-part scenery pieces but the more impressive pieces are assembled out of several parts so you will need some glue and tools such as a hobby knife, viles and so on. The Stone Gargoyle was the most complex miniature of the pieces I received but was quickly assembled after some cleaning of the parts and mouldlines. As with all of my resin scenery and miniatures I first washed the parts in hot soapy water and carefully cleaned the parts with an old toothbrush. I have included pictures of the scenery pieces assembled, the miniature shown in the pictures is a Northstar Frostgrave Plastic Soldier or Games Workshop Space Marine, these miniature are scaled heroic 28mm as this is the mainstream scale for most popular games and miniatures ranges on the current miniature market.

The Conclusion

If you're looking to expand your miniature scenery collection for dungeon based games and other fantasy miniature wargames. Make sure to check Zealot Miniatures scenic elements as each of these pieces greatly enhances the look of your dungeon, castle, villain lair at an affordable price. Add the magnificient tomb to a generic cave and you have an instant vampire resting place, put the gargoyle into your castle's hallway and make your players wondering if the thing will come to life or not. These scenic elements not only allow you to decorate your terrain table but also allow you to invent and create great narrative stories for your miniature wargames and roleplaying adventures.

The pieces can be assembled by both experienced and novice wargamers as the parts are minimal and the casting quality is superb allowing you to assemble the pieces quickly and without a hassle. As you may have noticed some pieces come in colored resin (see fireplace/ magic portal) allowing you to immediately use these pieces on the tabletop if you prefer to play with unpainted pieces. 

These pieces and much more cool traps and scenic elements can now be bought at Zealot Miniatures here, grabbing some pieces make sure to mention our review in the comment box. Will be putting these pieces to good use during our Dungeons and Dragons adventures, see you all later! Found this review informative? Make sure to follow and share Wargame News and Terrain as more cool wargame miniature news is posted daily. Find us on Twitter @wnt_news and bookmark our homepage here for your daily dose of wargame news and miniature discounts!

Disclaimer - We received these scenery pieces for free from Zealot Miniatures for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed.

Dozens of other reviews can easily be found here and make sure to follow this blog as more reviews, tutorials and wargame news appears every day!