In 2019 after quite a long time and pre-production work; Journeyman Miniatures finally released their first miniature in the form of Bograth the Hunter.
A huge bust based on an old piece of art by none other than Paul Bonner.
Now every miniature needs a concept. That spark of an idea which sets the ball rolling and this is the piece of artwork that started this off.
Tim and Mally (Journeyman Miniatures) are not happy to just use others work and completely ignore IP rights so started on their own journey... to find out how to get permission to use this amazing piece of fantasy art.
As you can tell too, they managed it. So this bust is actually created under agreement with Paul Bonner himself.
On to the bust which, I'd be surprised if you haven't seen this at some point on social media as it had be shown around a fair bit, which is no surprise. Especially with Joaquin Palacios supplying the sculpting duties.
Packaging is simple but serves its purpose. A sturdy card box in no nonsense/ fuss brown with a glossy sticker on the top flap.
Inside looked like a snug nest with just a bit of resin peeking through. Which didn't prepare me for just how much resin there actually is in the box.
Loads. Especially for a bust. And that main torso is about 65mm in height. Not surprising the whole package weighs 265 grams and has a retail price of £80.
14 pieces in total. Not the most I've seen (33 being the highest that I've handled) but when majority of busts seen to have between 1 and 5 parts and are around the size of the torso when assembled; this was, well, bigger than I thought it was.
The two biggest parts are not bagged but as you can easily tell they are pretty impressive in size. While some parts might look a bit rough and oddly shaped, do not worry. There are reasons and they really show just how good at traditional, non-computer aided sculpting Joaquin is (as if that was ever in question anyway) and you'll see that further down.
Ciprian is behind the casting so I wasn't worried at all about the resin quality and how well it will cut or sand. And I was right too. Smooth slices with a scalpel and no rough patches left from sanding.
The largest bag holds the larger parts. Arms, trunk, huge backpack and those absolutely massive tusks.
Just looking those over showed attention to detail and subtle surface texture as the shirt is slightly rougher in places which might put of those who glaze a lot when painting.
The mid size bag brings in some details including two focal points. The bird and that head.
I'm surprised to see that Joaquin chose to leave the dot in the eye ball. Something I've mainly noticed Romain do. Though that is easy to fill if you don't like that or want him looking elsewhere.
The third and final bag I didn't photograph as it just includes a frying pan (because why hunt if you can't cook your catch) and the handle with rope for the cooking pot shown above.
Giving the main body part a look over shows you the sort of texture and detail Joaquin has created. Skin folds, rough cloth, leather, and an old battered shield. All greatly translated from the art.
The only thing I do wish is that the chains were more defined. Although I'm unsure if that's down to how they were set in place by Joaquin or due to the moulding and casting done by Ciprian. Especially as both sculptor and caster really produce top end products so hopefully this is one of those that slipped through by accident.
I did noticed a couple of pour hole marks on the top of the backpack which I thought was an odd placement as they are often in places more out of sight.
And then I put the mammoth head on...
This just shows good planing and also you can see how that rough looking cut at the bottom of the mammoth fits excellently. This is the case with much of this kit.
There's some visible mould line on the arms with the worst on the whole kit being across the front of the shield. Though the shield one doesn't effect any of the details on the other side so just some work on the lesser detailed part. No big deal really.
There is however some work needed for the join on the left are. This is one area where I would say a computer sculpt does trump traditional sculpting but I still prefer that human element of tools on clay.
I'm sure with some gradual trimming and trial fitting that I'll get these to meet up properly. But it may take a little more time than usual on a bust.
The mammoth head and tusks are quite large in size but the pour holes are well placed.
On the head they're on the bottom of the ears and the key for the trunk. All easy to remove.
The pour holes on the tusks are found on the ends that meet up with the head so again, easy to clean. I highly recommend putting a couple of long pins in each tusk rather than relying on the connections as they are on the kit. They're not the best and the tusks are really long.
Last thing I noted with the tusks is they seem to have been made in separate sections and some of the joins can be seen if you look closely and under the rope is a little crack to be filled.
In complete contrast to the parts mentioned above is the bird on the tusk. I may have got a bit excited over this part. Okay, make that over excited. But it just fits perfectly. It's like a computer generated cut on the best plastic kits you can think of.
When I was assembling this beast for some full photos I found something that tickled me a little and opens up a few possible options...
and now our first short video...
The mammoth part can easily be removed as a whole piece!
Bare in mind that I only assembled using blutac and pinned just the tusks.
Now this means that you could paint both parts separately or even have them as two busts if you wished. Great decision that one as it could've been easier to reduce the amount of parts and have a larger central piece.
You might note that I've not assembled and added the cooking pot which hangs from the tusk. Well... that's because knowing my luck it would keep falling off due to the blutac and end up breaking. Didn't want to risk it.
Would I recommend this mammoth of a bust?
Hell yes. This just screams Bonner style which may sound obvious as it's done directly from his art, but Joaquin has really taken note of those little touches than makes Bonner such a popular artist.
However; if you are a bit inexperienced at putting miniatures together with pinning and working on large sculpts you may need some help and guidance.
Journeyman Miniatures have really started with an amazing first release and you can tell it has been done out of total love for the art and artist too.
If you want to know more about Journeyman Miniatures and want to keep up to date with their workshops and future releases then make sure you follow their Facebook page.
Bograth the Hunter is currently available from Mr Lee's Minis.
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