Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shieldwolf Miniatures: Plastic Mountain Orcs Infantry Reviewed!

Today we will take a closer look at the Shieldwolf Miniatures Mountain Orcs Infantry boxed set! This boxed set is the first hard-plastic release from Shieldwolf Miniatures but they have been producing excellent resin fantasy miniatures for quite a while now. As this is their first venture in the world of hard-plastic miniatures they decided to closely work together with the experienced team over at Renedra for the tooling and production. A wise choice that paid dividends looking at the end result. I know you're probably eager to see the actual product, so lets take a look!

The shipping and packaging

First of all I want to testify that the miniatures arrived in Belgium from Greece within three days. This quick delivery wasn't the result of using a special and often expensive courier but was achieved by using the regular Greek postal service. This extremely fast service isn't just great but also very affordable as when you decide to directly order from Shieldwolf Miniatures, a boxed set shipped to Europe will only cost you €3,90.

I have also decided to add a picture to illustrate the used packaging method. And as you can see the boxed set was thoroughly packed and protected using foam pellets to avoid movement of the products in the cartonboard box during the shipment process.

The boxed set content

As stated before we will take a closer look at the hard-plastic Mountain Orcs Infantry boxed set which contains enough parts to make 20 multi-part heroic scaled orcs in a wide variety of poses. The actual hard-plastic sprues are packed in a nicely designed and decorated cartonboard box. The back of the boxed set shows you the content of the sprues while it also shows you some useful close-ups of assembled and painted mountain orcs. I have added a picture of the front and back of the boxed set. Also note the limited edition sticker on the bottom left corner of the front side.

As you can see on the back of the box that each boxed set contains the following modular hard-plastic parts: 20 bodies, 20 legs, 20 upper jaws, 20 lower jaws, 6 two-handed weapons, 6 left and right arms for the two-handed weapons, 20 hair styles, 15 arms for one-handed weapons, 15 arms with one-handed weapons, 15 one-handed weapons, 2 textured banners, 2 arms with blowing horns, 2 arms needed for the banner, 2 large one-handed weapons for the captains, 2 upper jaws with skull helmet for the captains, 2 lower jaws, 2 right arms for one-handed weapons and 20 25x25mm square plastic bases made by Freebooter Miniatures.

The boxed set contains two command sprues which each allow you to construct a banner, musician and captain while it also contain enough parts to make one regular orc warrior. These sprues contain all the same modular parts as the warrior sprues with the exception of two two-handed weapons. But the command sprues contain a nicely textured banner, blowing horn but also a skull decorated head and sword  for the captain of the unit. We must note that these sprues don't come with loads of spare parts which are often supplied by other fantasy manufacturers although at a premium price.

In the pictures below you can see some close-ups of the extra parts that come on the command sprue. In the first picture you can see the nicely textured skull decorated banner and the skull decorated head for the orc captain. In the second picture you can see the blowing horn for the musician as well as a large sword for the captain or leading hero. As you can see in the pictures, the details are well enough defined for easy painting.

The boxed set also contains three warrior sprues which each allow you to construct four mountain orc warriors equipped with a variety of bone swords, clubs and two handed weapons. These sprues allow you to bulk out the unit with some savage looking orc warriors while also allowing your to create a unique and diverse unit as all the parts are modular. As with the command sprues you don't receive a lot of spare parts but looking at the price of these miniatures and their quality, you can't really complain.

I have also added some close-ups of the warrior sprues showing the details of the components. In the first picture you can see two of the four possible leg variants along with some of the heads and lower jaws. In the second picture you can see two of the four body variants that are available in the boxed set

In the first picture you can see one of the two-handed weapons of which two are supplied on each warrior sprue. In the second picture you can see some of the one-handed weapons with attached arms while the third picture shows the loose arms which can be assembled with a variety of nice loose weapons.

One of the more controversial parts of the boxed set is the head which is composed out the upper jaw and the lower jaw. This decision allows you to create unique mean-looking heads using the four different heads available. These heads are assembled by glueing the lower jaw into the upper jaw but more on that during the assembly part of this review. You can also see one of the individual hair styles which can be glued directly on the heads to add even more variation.

Limited Leave-Non-Alive content

The first 500 pre-orders of this plastic mountain orc infantry boxed set also receive twenty detailled resin bone swords and daggers as a gratitude for their early support. These extra weapons can easily be used to convert your mountain orcs or decorate their bases. I have added a picture of this limited and free extra content and the numerical code marking the special edition below.

The assembly

The assembly of these miniatures is quite straight forward but I can still give you some tips on the assembling process. My first tip would to cut and clean all the parts of a particular sprue and to dry fit your miniatures first. By doing this you make sure you can make four decent looking orcs while also avoiding messing around with plastic glue.

I'm saying this as although these orcs are made modular some parts fit better on certain parts then others. You can still assemble the orcs using parts that don't fit as well but then you may prefer to fill up the gaps using liquid greenstuff or the standard variant. My second tip would be to first assemble the heads seperate from the bodies. As you will need to glue the lower jaw into the upper jaw and when you already glued it to the body this will become very difficult to do. For this review I have managed to assemble the following orcs in a variety of poses.

The scale comparison

One of the more important questions is how large are these mountain orcs compared with those made by other popular companies such as Wargames Factory, Mantic Games and Games Workshop? To answer that question I have added some useful scale comparison pictures with the most popular companies but also added some comparisons with miniatures of other companies that produce either plastic or metal orcs.

Plastic Shieldwolf Miniatures Orcs Comparison

Games Workshop Mordor Orc - Mantic Games Great Axe Orc - Shieldwolf Mountain Orc

Games Workshop Morannon Orc - Wargames Factory Orc - Shieldwolf Mountain Orc

Games Workshop Warhammer Orc - Russian Alternative Orc Girl - Shieldwolf Mountain Orc

Shieldwolf Resin Mountain Orc - Games Workshop Warhammer Orc - Shieldwolf Mountain Orc

The painted versions

I haven't managed to paint these miniatures myself yet but I have found these nice pictures of the mountain orcs painted by Shieldwolf Miniatures.

The conclusion

As you can see these new hard-plastic orcs are of excellent quality and can easily be used as alternatives for other fantasy systems. I would surely recommend these miniatures for everybody looking to expand his existing orc collection or players looking for a cheap way to enter the world of fantasy wargaming as a savage orc commander. These miniatures can be bought directly from Shieldwolf Miniatures but can also be ordered from Battlefield-Berlin Miniatures and Northstar Miniatures.

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!


Unknown said...

what glue did you use?

do you have to use superglue or can we use plastic glue like revell?

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Hi David, I actually used two glues as I ran out of glue during the constructing.

I have used both Revell plastic glue and the Army Painter model glue and they both worked fine. Although Revell plastic glue seemed to work better as it sets faster.


Unknown said...

I used my regular superglue and it worked fine. Appears to be the same plastic as GW, Warlord, etc. Overall, I like my box, but I'm not 100 percent sold on the heads. They look ferocious, but not particularly 'real'. Maybe I'll try assembling them before I attach to the body

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Hi, I would certainly recommend fitting them without glue to achieve the best poses. As you have noted with the heads, it seems that the buyers either like the heads very much or dislike them.

I'm in the first camp as they offer quite a change of the common availble GW-esque cartoony heads. But you could probably easily attach some gw heads to the Shieldwolf bodies.

Kind regards

fantasmadellaopera said...

GW has been around so long people think Orcs should look like gorillas! I think it's cool these Orcs look frightening and not something you'd like to throw a banana at.
It's hard to accept this new look but Shieldwolf seems to have taken the risk to change the perspective. Innovative minis at half price. And on plastic sprues! Yes Sir, I like that!

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

You're absolutely right about that. The GW orcs have been around so long that their cartoony look has become the standard.

I'm also happy that Shieldwolf took the risk by releasing these more unusual orcs. I can only hope they will generate enough sales for another nice plastic release.

Thanks for taking the time to post your honest opinion. Cheers!

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