Warmachine from Privateer Press is one of the most expansive miniature and gaming universes out there today. It's a universe and range so expansive that it truly rivals Games Workshop.
It's an original world too - a mix of traditional fantasy archetypes and Steampunk - which has produced some amazing miniatures from archaic looking mechs and human infantry to horrific necromantic legions and alien-looking forces!
But how good are these plastic miniatures?
I picked up some of their early plastics years ago and yesterday I picked up some of the new Bane Thralls to have a look - and... well, how do I say this?
Bane Thralls host a darkness that both permeates their being and seeps into the world of the living. This darkness siphons the very light from the air and is utterly inimical to living flesh. The malevolent glimmer in the eyes of these wickedly proficient killers hints at a hateful intelligence that lets them coordinate cunning attacks and drives them to seek any opportunity to sow death.
The box contains 4 main elements; the tray your miniatures are in, a bag with all the minis, the bases and the Bane Thralls game stat card.
The miniatures are in two bags inside that large bags; one for the heads and one for the rest - which I have to tell you is a tad messy.
Unlike most multi-part miniatures, these guys are meant to go into certain poses, in fact there are slots to help you do this the way you are meant to... not sure if this is actually helpful or not!
Thankfully the pieces, once aligned, with just a small amount of Zap-a-Gap which holds it well and sticks very well. Again without flogging a dead horse - this material (though odd) is nowhere near as bad as the Spartan Games resin.
So it's probably time to talk about the quality of the plastic.
Personally I think Games Workshop do the best plastic, followed by Wargames Factory and then the rest in a slow decline until you get to Spartan Games whcih is soapy and has little detail.
Privateer's Warmachine plastic is interesting.
I have an old set of Trollbloods which are okay and pretty sturdy. The detail is a little unclear and paints reasonably well.
The plastic on this more recent release of the Bane Thralls is actually quite low quality, crisp on the edges with quite a bit of flash which seems to be all over the miniature.
The details on the armour are nice, but as you can see from the shoulder armour, that crispness on the edges isn't natural and around the neck line it was so sharp that it had snapped off to form an unnatural chipped look.
Interestingly though, I think this has been done to make sure the details on the armour plates and weapons stay deep and true - and they are!
Have a look at the axe on the left and you will see how nice it is.
The same can not be said for the heads though.
They are meant to have runes on the top of the skull which are very obvious on the metal miniatures but lost on the plastic ones which is a real shame as this one of the main reasons I bought them. The dark armour and contrasting runes on their head were too good to resist!
Alas it seems that will not be so on my miniatures.
Honestly - if you like the look of there guys - buy the metal ones, I wish I had.
These guys retail for around $50, but unlike other companies these come with no options or extras - what you see is what you get!
The true test is in the painting, so once that's done I will let you know, but for now this is where I stand!
As a fan of the universe I will likely buy more of their products, but definitely not the plastics.
I've been stung twice now, so it will be metal only, which generally precludes conversions, so they'd better be damn good or just single character models. And single character models is an area Privateer really excel at, so if you haven't had a look at what they can do, just have a look, I'll be surprised if you don't buy something!