Friday, July 21, 2017

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!

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