Friday, March 23, 2018

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Oathmark Fantasy Dwarf Infantry Reviewed!

Today we take take a look at one of the coolest new miniature revelations made during the Salute wargame convention, plastic fantasy dwarf infantry by Northstar Miniatures and Osprey Games!

These new fantasy miniatures will officially support the brand new fantasy mass battle wargame named Oathmark: Battles of the Lost Age designed and produced by Osprey Games. To prepare for the actual launch of the new game, the miniatures will be released first with the Dwarf Infantry being the first set to be released in October followed by the Goblins in December and some classic looking Elves hopefully later this year.

Check the blurb: "Empires have fallen, and the land is broken. The great oathmarks that once stood as testaments to the allegiances and might of nations have crumbled into ruin. Now is a time of warlords, tyrants, and petty-kings, who carve out their own realms and inscribe their oathmarks into standing stones, ancient trees, and the bones of their enemies. In this lost age, fealty and loyalty are as valuable as gold and as deadly as cold iron, and war is ever-present. Created by Joseph A. McCullough, the designer of Frostgrave and Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago, Oathmark is a mass-battle fantasy wargame in which players command armies of dwarves, elves, goblins, and men, and campaign to expand their realms and secure the loyalty of those they conquer. Oathmark allows players to field the fantasy army they have always wanted, whether a company of stalwart dwarves or a mixed force with proud elves and wild goblins standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the battle line. With one miniature representing one warrior, Oathmark is a fast, bloody, and tactical game, and players can field warbands of 30 figures or armies numbering in the hundreds. An integrated campaign system allows players to develop their realms from battle to battle, adding new territories, recruiting new troop types, and growing to eclipse their rivals… or lose what they fought so hard to gain and fall as so many would-be emperors before them."

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

The miniature range designed for this new game will at least include plastic Dwarf Infantry, Heavy Dwarf Infantry (with two-handed weapons), Elf Infantry (chainmail) and Goblin Infantry with other troop types such as cavalry, warg and light infantry also been mentionned by Osprey Games. There will also be metal characters such as dwarf warlords and wizards. These miniatures are designed to look like old school fantasy miniatures with heavy Tolkienesque and folkloric influences, giving them a rather distinct look and offering an alternative for the other fantasy miniature ranges as being produced by Games Workshop and Mantic Games. Click here for the Goblin Infantry preview!

For this review I received a single Dwarf Infantry sprue from Nick over at Northstar Miniatures as I couldn't make it to Salute where they were available in limited numbers. Thanks for that Nick! These miniatures will be sold in boxed sets of thirty miniatures or six sprues. These Dwarf Infantry miniatures were sculpted by Bob Naismith who also sculpted the plastic Frostgrave Cultists and Soldiers.

The Dwarf Infantry

So for this review we will take a look at the very first plastic fantasy Dwarf Infantry set by Northstar Miniatures and Osprey Games for their new Oathmark fantasy wargame. This particular sprue contains enough parts to assemble five plastic chainmail covered Dwarf soldiers and as you can see in the sprue picture below you have plenty of options to equip your Dwarf warriors with either melee weapons such as spears, axes, swords and hammers but also with bows which is a thing you don't see much with Dwarves as those are often more associated with crossbows. Check the close-up pictures below along with a quick sprue content list. Check larger pictures by clicking on them.

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

In the picture below you can see the spear and bow options along with sufficient parts to make a cool commander and standard bearer. As there are only five bodies includes on the sprue you can easily equip all your warriors with spears or bows allowing you to quickly field affordable plastic fantasy Dwarf army units for your favorite miniature wargames. The detail of this particular sprue is very good as to be expected from Northstar Miniatures, Osprey Games and Renedra, the plastic tooling company behind most of the plastic wargame miniature kits available on the market. The picture shows the following parts.

- Right arm with large axe
- Right arm with banner pole
- Left arm with hammer
- Loose bow
- Commander head with seperate decoration piece
- Five quivers
- Five right bow arms
- five right spear arms

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

In the picture below you can see the remaining part of the sprue which contains the short chainmailed bodies, round wooden shields, shield holding arms, bow arms and melee weapons such as might hammers and deadly short swords along with plenty of heads. Below a quick list of the picture content.

- Five chainmail bodies
- Five shields
- Five left shield arms
- Five left bow arms
- Ten dwarf heads with and without helmets
- Five arms with different close combat weapons

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

The Dwarf Infantry Assembly

Assembling these miniatures is very straight-forward using your trusty hobby knife and some good plastic glue. I always use the splendid Revell, plastic glue with fine nossle ideal for constructing plastic wargame kits. When cutting and cleaning the parts I noticed some minor points of attention such as to be very careful when removing the heads as the sprue vents are located at the top of the helmets and can cause some damage when you're not being careful. Same issue with some of the bow arms but again nothing major. As there are only five bodies and I wanted to show you more options, I first assembled them using blu-tack but the final assembled miniatures will also be shown later on.

In the pictures you can see all the weapon options which allow you to field units of deadly dwarf bowmen, stout shieldwalls of spear wielding dwarves and daring melee troopers willing and daring enough to engage in close combat with their lethal opponents and fill gaps in shattered shieldwalls. Looking forward in assembling some mighty shieldwalls to recreate The Battle of The Five Armies and the Reclamation of the Dwarf Holds but think that some of these will also be used to represent my dwarf Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying character in different weapon options.

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

Compability with Frostgrave Soldiers

As these miniatures have been sculpted by Bob Naismith, the sculptor of the Frostgrave Cultists and Soldiers and also scaled around these miniatures you can easily swap parts between these sets. Although you can easily swap weapons and equipment between these two sets if you neglect that the dwarf arms are covered in chainmail while the Frostgrave Soldiers are dressed in cloth. You won't be able to mix heads as the Dwarf heads are simply too gnomish in appearance but also larger than the human heads. Although some might work as the spear armed miniature shown in the picture below. Mixing these sets allows you to easily equip your soldiers with spears and more bows but also allows you to create some cool dwarf roleplaying characters and heroes! Kitbashing and converting for the win!

In the picture below you can see the Frostgrave Soldier bodies equipped with Dwarf Infantry weapons and shields which fit well and offer a whole load of new options for the popular Frostgrave Soldiers boxed set. You might think that the large axe is way too big for the miniature but that's only an illusion of the picture. Quite happy with the look of these but note that these have been blu-tacked together and some minor filling and adjusting of the parts might be needed.

Interested in learning more about the plastic Frostgrave Soldiers, feel free to check our thorough and fully illustrated review and check all the weapon options and equipment that you can use to further convert these new Dwarf Infantry miniatures! Check the Frostgrave Soldiers Review Click Here

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

In the picture below you can see the Dwarf Infantry bodies being equipped with parts from the Frostgrave Soldiers boxed set again offering loads of cool new options such as crossbow wielding dwarves, dungeon exploring dwarves and more overall weapon options. Most of the parts fitted well but the crossbow would need some greenstuff filling. Note that these have been blu-tacked together and some minor filling and adjusting of the parts might be needed but just love the lantern holding dwarf adventurer!

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry

Dwarf Infantry Scale comparison

Another part of this review is checking out how these miniatures scale up with other fantasy miniatures from other wargame companies. In this scale comparison I have used miniatures from Games Workshop, Northstar Miniatures, Osprey Games, Shieldwolf Miniatures and Mantic Games.

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry
Northstar Dwarf - Northstar Frostgrave Apprentice- Northstar Swarf - Northstar Frostgrave Soldier

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry
Northstar Dwarf - Shieldwolf Shieldmaiden - Northstar Dwarf - Games Workshop Space Marine

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry
Northstar Dwarf - Games Workshop Goblin - Northstar Dwarf - Games Workshop Elendil

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry
Northstar Dwarf - Shieldwolf Orc - Northstar Dwarf - Mantic Games Orc

Northstar Miniatures: Plastic Fantasy Dwarf Infantry
Northstar Dwarf - Games Workshop Orc - Northstar Dwarf - Games Workshop Empire Spearman

Northstar Miniatures Dwarfs and Games Workshop Metal Lord of The Rings Gimli
The Conclusion

I'm really pleased with the Tolkienesque look and quality of these new Dwarf Infantry miniatures by Northstar Miniatures and Osprey Games. The design and casting quality of this set is again superb and certainly equal to the already released Frostgrave plastic miniatures. The miniatures will be sold in boxed sets of thirty miniatures (six identical sprues) for £25.00. Really looking forward in what the future will bring from Osprey Games and Northstar Miniatures and already eagerly awaiting the full release of these miniatures, their other announced plastic fantasy miniatures and the new Oathmark mass battle game!

These miniatures can also easily be used in fantasy skirmish and mass battle wargames such as Dragon Rampant, Warhammer, Kings of War, Frostgrave, The Ninth Age, Open Combat, Rally Round the King and Sword and Spear to name some popular fantasy wargame rules. These would also be great for your Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder roleplaying adventures as you can depict your dwarf adventurer in different gear to show his handled weapon. So if you're looking to field affordable plastic fantasy dwarves, search no longer as I'm sure that these miniatures offer a great affordable alternative to the other large players on the plastic fantasy wargame miniature market.

Edit 13/10/2017 - Check the excellent plastic goblin miniatures and metal miniatures preview in our dedicated post and prepare to field legions of fantasy miniatures. Check the post here and help spread the word about these lovely miniatures.

Edit 23/03/2018 - Check the upcoming plastic Oathmark Elves in our preview post here and prepare to field another legion of majestic warriors to battle against the nefarious orc hordes! The pre-order of these miniatures will be launched soon.

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Disclaimer - We received this pre-release sprue from Nick at Northstar 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.

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1 comment:

MarkG said...

These look cracking. I really like the Tolkienesque look. The Goblin preview looks good too. If they continue with the more 'man-ish'(or should that be Elvish!) look for the goblins then finally will have figures which reflect the Tolkien vision once again. A return to Moria will be on the cards.