'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Monday, December 16, 2019

Tehnolog Miniatures - Are they worth your money?

First things first. I bought these with my own money. I was not asked to provide a review. I get no money from you picking up anything in this post.

Back at the end of October, I decided, "why not?" and I logged into eBay and placed an order for a couple of sets of the Tehnolog miniatures. I thought it would be interesting to see what the turn around time for these figures was, and how they scaled to other figures in my collection.

The first part of my question was pretty easy to answer. My order was confirmed on October 24, 2019, and I received my parcel notification on Dec 3, 2019. So we are looking at just over a month to place an order and have it received from Moscow. It's no Amazon, but realistically it's not that bad either.

First Impression

So what did I order?
  • Barbarians set 20 Tehnolog 28mm plastic soldiers Castlecraft 9th Age Warhammer - $8.00 usd.
  • Brigands set of 20 Tehnolog 28 mm plastic soldiers Castlecraft 9th Age Warhammer - $8.00 usd.
  • Shipping was $12 usd
  • Total Bill was $28 usd or about .70 per figure.

My first impression taking the bags out of the box, but before looking at them, was that this plastic sounds like boardgame pieces, that hard plastic clink.

Once opening the Barbarians bag I thought they looked a little on the small side, but overall decent for the price. Then I opened up the Brigands, again the sculpts were generally ok, but size-wise? These guys would make pretty excellent D&D halflings. They come just past half-way on a pre-painted D&D mini.

Going back through the listings for the brigands I will note that there is a picture of them next to some other figures, one of which is a dwarf. It pretty clearly shows the scale.



Likewise the barbarians also include an image to determine the actual scale of the figure.



It is pretty clear to me that the Brigands are not 28mm, at least not 28mm humans. It is also clear to me that if I had been more careful I would have noted that these figures were not an appropriate size and would have ordered something else.



Finally a shot of the two figures, barbarians and bandits, next to a pre-painted D&D mini and a Reaper Bones figure.

Painting

I picked a single barbarian to paint to see how they would take paint. Quick caveat, I am not the world's greatest painter, but I am passable in most lights. The goal here is to prime these, apply a base coat, give those some inks or a wash to get some quick shades and then go back in and drop some highlights on the raised sections.

Priming

After a quick clean with soap and a toothbrush, I set about giving them a brush priming with some Vallejo dark grey. The figure took the paint fine, and in a single coat I had 99% of the green completely covered.

Base Colors

Base colors used.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Medium Fleshtone - Flesh.
  • Reaper Dark Shadow - Boots, pants & Glove.
  • P3 Bootstrap Leather - Belt & sheath.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Burnt Umber - Bow.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Brass - Belt fittings.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Flat Red - Skirt.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Sky Grey - Boot Fur.
  • P3 Thamar Black - Hair


Shades

Shades used.
  • Vallejo Game Ink: Skin Wash - Skin
  • Army Painter - Dark Tone - initial wash on lower half of body
  • Army Painter - Soft Tone - Final wash on skin

Highlights

Highlights used.
  • Vallejo Game Color: Bronze Fleshtone - Flesh.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Flat Red - Skirt & mouth
  • Vallejo Model Color: Sky Grey - Boot Fur.
  • Vallejo Model Color: Brown Sand - Leather and bow highlights
  • P3 Thamar Black - Eyes

Final Notes

This figure took paint well and was pretty easy to paint with good, simple detail. I don't know if that will be true for the entire line, but for the price it is worth checking them out. Line painting these would give you a lot of painted humans for use in your games in a short amount of time.

Final Thoughts

There are certainly pros and cons to these figures, but overall they are a pretty good value.

One of the biggest downsides is the narrow range of figures. We do get a fair number of humans that are useful, but because we need to be careful of the scale, some figures that would be useful, are not. However if you need a large number of human barbarians, men at arms, knights, vikings, Russians or maybe even some dwarfs these figures would most likely fit the bill.

Scale wise the ones that work fit in well with many popular lines you may already be using.

The long and short of it? Would I recommend?

Yes. I am going to give these a thumbs up. These figures are a great value, and there is not that much more to say on it, just make sure you pay attention to the images and pic miniatures of an appropriate scale.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Conan: Serpent War #1 (2019)

The first issue of "Serpent War" is on the shelf today! I couldn't wait to get to the store so grabbed a digital copy to read with my morning coffee.


Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Scot Eaton: Penciler, Scott Hanna: Inker
Colorist: Frank D'armata
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Carlos Pacheo, Aneke & Frank D'armata

James Allison Sequence Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Cover Price: $4.99
Pages: 26 of story.
Prose: Solomon Kane 1 of 4.

There are extreme Howard purists who range from not liking any of Howard's characters being done but anyone by him to more Conan centric purists who feel Conan MUST be in the Hyborian Age, anything that strays from this is bad.

Me? I consider myself a Howard purist, but to the point where I have Howard's work in one silo, and everything else in various other silos. I accept and LIKE others doing work with his characters. This work keeps them alive and keeps them in the public eye. No one expects Superman to stay in the world of his creation, but Howard's work? Hands off for many many people.

As you can expect these extreme purists have no love for these Marvel stories. Also as you can expect, I am not one of these. I was looking forward to this adventure because it not only includes Conan but also includes two other, less well known, Howard characters: Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes. Bringing two of Howard's characters to the light is a good thing, especially when one is not that well known. In short, I am happy to see Dark Agnes reborn for an audience that has probably not heard of her.

Art
I generally liked the art in this book, the big spreads introducing Agnes and Kane are great. Seeing them on the big page in a modern print comic gave me a little thrill. I also found using a different team to do the James Allison opening to be excellent. It made it stand apart from the other charcters in the story. It is an excellent use of art to tell a tale in my opinion.

Story
Apart from the addition of Moon Knight, because Howard wouldn't have known about him, this story, at least so far, isn't beyond what Howard could have written. Like most stories of this nature the first issue works to lay the ground work of what is to come and to introduce us to the characters. The most obvious of these two that need introductions are of course Kane and Agnes, but both Conan and Moon Knight are explained as well. As a Moon Knight fan who knows nothing about Conan you will have a basic foundation. As well as a Conan fan who knows nothing about Moon Knight, I have a basic idea as well.

Cover
My biggest complaint about the cover is the sword. Although it isn't a direct copy of the Atlantean sword from the 82 film it is clearly influenced by it. As much as I love the movie this sword belongs in the 82 Conan the Barbarian silo for me. With that being said the cover shows us the main characters and is in my opinion well executed.

Some of the variant covers are incredible. My favorite of these is Conan depicted with Moon Knight done by David Finch. My single complaint about it, especially since it is so bad ass, is that it only includes Conan and Moon Knight. Maybe Issues 2 will have an equally bad ass variant cover from him with Kane and Agnes?


Sword & Sorcery & Guns
Two of the characters are weilder of guns so I thought I would throw that in there as well. Although they are simply laying groundwork and introducing the characters, some of that groundwork is to introduce the threat. That threat is clearly sorcerous and weird in nature. In addition we also get scenese of the characters kicking ass and taking names, so this checks all of these boxes for me.

Overall Thoughts
When they announce stories like this I am always hopeful, but always unsure. Jim Zub has been on social media talking about this for a while, but the proof is in the pudding as they say. I think the whole team has done a great job on this book right down to the Howard underpinnings across the whole thing. Using James Allison, a perhaps even MORE obscure character as the glue to hold this all together is pretty brilliant, and it puts more of the James Allison tales on my reading list, right after I finish "Chessmen of Mars" by Burroughs.

Overall recommendation: Go pick this up.

My rating this month is 4.5 out of 5 Skulls of My Enemies!



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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Conan the Barbarian: Issue #9 (2019) , "The God Below"

Wednesday and another Conan the Barbarian to read. So let's make some coffee and get down to what I thought of this issue.


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Esar Ribic

Cover Price: $3.99

Esad's cover hints at what we might find within the pages, although not why we might find it there. The covers on these issues continue to be great at what they do, whet our appetites for the story within the pages. As always his covers are first-rate, although I think this is one of the weaker covers he has done for the series.

Asrar's work is again excellent, especially on the large panels, and there are more than a few in this issue, these combined with Wilson's colors make some truly excellent images. If I had to echo any concern for the art within the pages it would be that the small panels are a little simple, especially when held up against the full or double-page spreads, although they still clearly get their point across.

Story-wise, this issue has its share of Conan kicking ass, both with and without a sword. It also contains plenty of the weird within its pages, which we have lacked in recent issues. There is however at least one spot where the story kind of jumps and we see a consequence without a reason, and I always find it a little jarring. This wasn't something that affected the overall story, just made me go back and make sure I hadn't missed anything. I also had an issue with one of the opponents Conan has to fight within its pages, I wonder if anyone else will pick it up as well? The ending of the story probably won't come as any great surprise, but this is pulp action and adventure, not the great twisting passages of a dark thriller.

Art:

Story:

Cover:

Sword & Sorcery:


My rating this month is 4 out of 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

After the last few issues lacked anything overtly weird and I was beginning to wonder if they remembered this was Sword & SORCERY, but this one is centered around the "Weird", and it was nice to see. Despite a few weak places in the story, I liked it overall and it felt like a pretty good one-shot, even if it could have used another couple of pages to help tie things together in a smoother fashion.

I think this issue is worth taking a look at, even if you have not read the last few issues.

If you liked this article then don't forget to subscribe to get the next exciting installment on pulp gaming both Sci-Fi and Fantasy!

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Make sure you don't miss a single post and subscribe by e-mail today!

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