Monday, 17 February 2020

Kannibaal, the Ogre from PF Works

PF Works is the brand of the well known and popular sculptor, Pedro Fernandez. Often more recognised for his beautifully created female sculpts, Pedro actually has a great skill in creating personality driven monsters and Kannibaal, the Ogre is just one of them.


Released in 2017; Kannibaal still stands up well amongst more recent releases to the retail market.

Packaging as you can see is simple but functional. Large sticker with the concept art seals the box and really gives a great feel for what to expect from the bust inside.

The two parts to this 91mm tall bust are held within brown shredded paper and only the small part is contained in a zip lock bag. So plastic is being kept to a minimum.


Like I said; two parts. And that is one detailed lump of a main section.

Can't help looking at all those details. Details on details.. and more detail. If you love sculpted texture then this will be heaven for you. And when it comes to creatures and skin, I do indeed love texture.


The small part is a decapitated and decomposing head. Not an uncommon detail on fantasy creatures and evil warriors but this I'll comfortably say is one of the best (and maybe the grossest) I've seen.

That dislocated jaw, tongue, and the skin just about holding things in place reminds me more of horror film special effect props than those usually found on miniatures. Which is crazy when it's less than an inch (25mm) in size. Don't forget too; this is traditionally sculpted. No computer sculpting on this one.


Fitting it into place is easy and the lone ball and socket connection lines up perfectly.

The way the cheek bone lines up with the large shoulder worn skull (which I'm guessing would be from something like a troll or small giant) is great. It's not designed to be a perfectly clean join and meant to look like a natural crack which works well.

I doubt I'd fill the gaps like I usually do. Perhaps just a little PVA to reduce the depth of the join so it isn't so obviously two parts. But that is the sort of quality join you see on digital sculpts. A sign of Pedro's sculpting ability.


I mentioned "personality driven" above, and where else to see that than the face and head.

This beast has some deep scaring running around his face. Reminds me of the classic chaos 8 pointed star. Have to wonder how that would occur. Self inflicted? Some sort of branding from something more powerful? Who knows.

You can see his hair too. Short and wiry. No smooth and well kept flowing locks here.


But that face. So much surface texture and muscle definition. Some may call them "micro volumes". Depending on your method of painting these could be a dream or highly time consuming. But I like it. Lets me play around.

Something of note are the eyes. The iris are sculpted so direction of view has already been fixed. It's more common to find smooth eyes or small holes for pupils. For Kannibaal I feel this way works though but if you want to change his gaze you'll need to carefully smooth those.

As for his facial expression; he certainly doesn't look happy. Not the usual angry and aggressive look for an ogre which is different. But that's something I imagine could change in it's mind.


Just check out that attention to detail. The way the skin and muscle has been sculpted in the neck to suit the head position is incredible. This beast is obviously full of natural muscle but is no toned gym goer as often seen in miniatures.

That skin though. Loads of scaring (including what looks like Pedro's signature on the right arm) and surface noise. Plus some lumps to take it that bit further from looking human.

Then you have the ropes, string, stones, metal ring, and huge skull on the shoulder. I don't need to tell you how well those are made; you can just look at the photos.


So with all that surface texture and detail... how the hell do you cast it without loosing any?

Well... you can't. You have to cut a mould somewhere but luckily the caster went for the least detailed path running up the left shoulder and into the hair (first 2 pics). It looked quite heavily cleaned until getting to the hair which personally is a shame. With such a textured area I prefer to follow the texture with a scraper tool I have and kind of carve into the sculpt rather than remove a straight line. So yes, I am one of those who likes more of the fine clean up left to me.

In the other tow pics you can see a couple of areas of flash to be removed. Between the stone and body, and a line inside the skull mouth. Both were easy to do with a pointy scalpel and scraper.


On the underside you don't find a flat/ smooth surface. It more curves inwards so I suppose if you prefer a flat cutoff you could fill it.

There's was quite a bit of sanding to be done to get it clean. Luckily wet & dry sandpaper works well in curves. You can also see where the wire frame would've been. Surprised that wasn't filled before moulding to be honest.

As usual I had to assemble this to give you a proper look at it and still trying to get a 360 video without a rotating turntable (I really should get one). So please ignore the odd knuckle or finger.


Hope you didn't get motion sickness. 

But of course I took still photos too.


I'll admit, I have no idea what scale this would be. It's 91mm in height but going by the size of the human head I feel it's closer to 1/24th scale (75mm) than your more standard bust scales. But does that change what I think of this?...


Not at all. In fact it brings with it so much I enjoy playing around with like creature skin, bone, and rotting stuff (yeah.. I'm a bit odd at times). And I find that I prefer having him with his sculpted gaze as the front view rather than the angle hinted at by the cutoff.

The casting is excellent with minimal cleaning and the resin is great quality too.

Honestly I've looked at this bust quite a few times and 50€ for the size and standard is more than reasonable. Until now I've only looked over some of his female sculpts which have always been impressive but this really ticking my monster loving boxes.


If you would like a copy of Kannibaal for your own collection or a look at the rest of the PF Works range they can be found at https://pedrofernandezworks.com.

You can also like the Facebook page or Instagram to keep up to date.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Northern Wind from BigChild Creatives

Digital sculpting and printing has been with us a while now and it has improved enormously. BigChild Creatives have embraced this tech and produced a range of miniatures ranging from Orc Pirates to Roman Legionnaires.

Northern Wind is a new release from BigChild Creatives and comes in at a reasonable 38€ (including tax) at a scale of 1/12th.


It has been cast in that dark grey hard resin that BigChild have settled on for their casting needs. It is a lot like the resin Raging Heroes used for their TGG range.


It sits in the moulds really well and captures detail crisply, but it has absolutely zero flexibility. So if you drop it there will be breakage which is a negative to such hard resin. Of course, we don’t want too much flex but a little goes a long way when handling miniatures.

My usual format is to look for negatives. Aside from the brittle resin I gave the casts a look over and found the mould lines I always hunt for.

I found just one mould line but it is well within acceptable limits and I am kind of glad it is still there. The hard resin will require sanding and buffing to gain the same smoothness as the cast surface.


Now anyone reading my reviews will know I always go for the negatives and talk about clean up so now you will see me do a total 360 on this model. You guys will no doubt think “Oh come on make ya mind up”, but stay with me haha.

This cast has been cleaned up which I am happy with for sure, BUT part of the clean-up has been done a little bit aggressively and looks like it has been cut rather than scraped or sanded. This will need a little work to get it back to its intended finish.


The other cleaned areas are highly visible due to the colour change in the surface where the blade has been in contact.


Now don’t misunderstand my intentions, they are not to bust chops or pull things apart; I simply have a personal standard I think we all should hold in our business of production.

When producing a miniature or a bust we sell them as quality products, we should at least clean our casts to a reasonable standard which BigChild have done in this case.

Now here is the fun bit which you will all laugh at...

In the case of BigChild Resin I would have preferred to have cleaned it myself because now I have to prepare half done clean up. This is only the case for this kind of resin as it will need a series of sanding sticks and buffing to regain the surface finish it needs to keep the consistency for the painting surface so the paint has the same texture across the skin.

I still stand by my ideal that we as producers should send out our casts in the best quality condition the customers deserve.

Now the 360 has been dealt with let's actually look at the design of the bust.

1/12th scale is a strange size for a bust in my opinion as I am used to the 1/10 scale pieces which I find an ideal canvass to work with. However; I think 1/12th scale is a nice stepping stone for those who are intimidated by larger pieces.

Often war gamers step up to display type painting and ask for advice on which busts to paint. I would suggest getting 1/20th scale or 1/12th scale. When compared to war gaming giants etc are a similar size so these scales are perfect for stepping up into the bust painting world.

Northern Wind follows a current trend of the Barbarian Genre led by Black Sun Miniatures but that is for another day. Her imagery is that of a youthful Warrioress surrounded in trophies of her vanquished foes and she is heralding a severed giants head.


The low part of the torso is draped in a cloth which doubles as the connecting point to the plinth which has recently become a popular design aspect. She comes in 11 parts in a blister pack with printed card inlay at the previously mentioned 38€.

The cuts of the bust all fit together really well and only some parts will require minimal filling.

The bust is quite stylised with flowing locks and an athletic figure and is adorned with skulls. There are quite a few of them and I have seen comments of "too many", but this is a fantasy bust so who is to say these are wrong. Fantasy means exactly that, so those who criticise have an opinion and are entitled to it; but doesn’t mean they are right. The skulls are atop of furs held by strings, straps, buckles and rings which are nice little details.

The anguished look on the giants face is quite apt considering it has just been hacked off. May have been a tad painful...

The axe over the shoulder adds to the "look at me; I’m bad ass!" look...

Her boobs aren’t overly exaggerated, which is a nice change for a female bust and we all know how those balloon boobed busts look tacky. So bonus points for not making this look cheap.

The axe has been cut into three parts which I assume was for ease of casting. It comes with a head swap option of a half moon blade which has chaotic type details on and a blunted tip drop blade option. Both have a skull splitter on them.

There is a stone chipped blade dagger which sits between the skulls and the braided hair piece which will require just a small amount of filler when in place.

All these small parts fit in well and make Northern Wind quite a nice bust.

In summary, I find this bust to be quite a nice piece and the concept is very much of my interest (that being barbarians). The 3D sculpting has been done very well by Hugo Gomez Briones and has been printed in very high quality with no print lines ruining the surface like I have seen on many recently. The quality of the bust is nice. I am not a fan of the dark brittle resin and the clean up will require some time but once buffed to the correct finish it will be a nice bust to paint with plenty of textures to play with.

All in all; Northern Wind is a nice miniature. Aside from the resin and the clean up I am quite happy to have reviewed this bust from BigChild Creatives.

If you would like to add a copy of Northern Wind for your collection you'll find her direct from BigChild Creatives at https://shop.bigchildcreatives.com or an official stockist like Mr Lee's Minis.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Chloe from Break the Mold Miniatures


Back in December 2019, Break the Mold Miniatures ran a couple of social media competitions to win a copy of their first release. Chloe.

Since Break the Mold appeared I could see that they had decided not to take a safe route of putting out a big flashy fantasy miniature or go down the pin-up route to attract attention. And I'm pretty certain that has a lot to do with the person behind the brand; Sara Ariza.

My copy arrived from Spain to the UK within two days which is incredible. Even more so when you realise that it turned up at my door on December 27th (yes... those two days were Christmas day and boxing day). That is some serious dedication to someone winning a free copy.

The packaging is seriously cool and carries the 80's feel with it, not to mention the concept design by BlocSánchez who's art you have likely seen in miniature form before. Not the most protective packaging but certainly attention grabbing. And the tide lace is a cool touch.

There is also a little thank you card inside, but I'll leave that for those who buy a copy.


Pretty standard parts for a bust of this style. Large core and separate arms. And a tiny part for bubblegum. And yes, I got through plenty of bubblegum in the 80's. And, well... sweets in general.


Couldn't resist showing you one of the render images. Sculpting on this has been done by Urvara Sculture and Victor has really done a great bit of Zbrush work translating the 2D art to 3D miniature.


Here's a closer look at the bubblegum part. And yes, it is tiny. Even more once you remove it from the excess resin.

Of course I took lots of extra care not to drop it on the carpet once. I did it about three times just to make things a challenge. Luckily I haven't had a grey carpet for a few years now.

Tricky bit to deal with to clean and smooth but it's optional (but also a bit of fun so why not use it?).


Now I'm not sure what happened here but I did need to do quite a bit of sanding so I was happy with the cut off section. I know that may seem fussy considering it'll be blacked out and possibly obscured if using an angled plinth. But I'm a bit fussy.

Overall though, Hydra Studio have done a great job replicating the render into a resin copy. Not totally perfect as you'll see below but certainly feels good enough for the 54.45€ price tag (and don't forget, Break the Mold is a new starting company; not one with a large back catalogue built up and funded).


The look and design of Chloe is purposely quite stereotypical for the 80's. Longer hair, tracksuit, large headphones, and a portable tape player (Walkman being the Sony trademark name don't forget). Yes... I had an Alba!

Some of the details are pretty fine too. That zip for example. The folds and seams in the clothing are excellent and should be fun for volume work as they have plenty of depth and shape.

There was some mould line cleaning to do, but not loads. I found, as expected, that the resin was easy to work with too. Just had to double check that I wasn't removing any intentional details.


Her hair isn't the most detailed but there's two ways to look at hair sculpting.

Go crazy with individual strands of hair which can result is some complex painting, or build up the general shape with larger ribbon like bundles.

This second option is also a great what to learn to paint hair as I have often been told to paint the general shape and to "treat it like ribbons". So again an interesting choice in design direction.

Don't forget to check out that padded headband on those headphones. Someone went for a quality pair. No cheap plastic design.


The only disappointing part I found was with the line of detail that runs around the chest of her tracksuit. Looks like the resin just didn't pick it up the whole way around.

Leaves me with two options. Freehand paint the rest in or remove it completely. Will see which direction I go in when I really sit down for this bust.


On to her arms now.

Starting on the left; you can see a lack of fingers which will make sense on assembly. Great material detail on the sleeve and cuff too.

Nice variety of wristbands and jewellery on show here too which is pretty cool and breaks up the more plain feel of the design (which isn't to say the design is bad. It actually encourages creativity).

Few areas needed cleaning. Luckily the mould line is on the outside of the arm but it's a shame to find the pour point on the elbow rather than a join area. There is also a little part in the bend of the elbow which I'm guessing is caused by a missing bit of silicone in the mould. Sliced that out carefully though.

Lastly; between the bracelet and the straps it seems like the resin didn't quite fill the area fully so I'll have to bulk it out a little with some putty. Again, because I'm fussy.


As you can see in the image above her hand goes under her hair so the cut of her hand makes this look excellent and really hides the join. A little putty in the join to the body is all that'll be needed. But not loads as that would also be a seam on the tracksuit.


Now for the right arm and the tape player.

Similar to the left arm, there is a visible mould line along the outside of the part with the pour hole at the elbow. Can tell some clean up had been done (as it has across the whole kit which is always appreciated).

Her hand has a good shape and design to it, covering the top of the tape player and likely near the all important volume control.

As for the tape player itself; I'd love to find if it is designed on an actual machine from the 80's. That would be an amazing little detail (though I don't think it is. Not one I remember myself).

As you can see below; the hand and tape player didn't sit quite where it should. Boiling water, a little bending, and then cooling quickly sorted that out though and it's a useful trick to know for resin miniatures.


And with the usual high technology production expected from GreyMountain Reviews... here's a 360 video (and yes, I'm turning it by hand so sorry for any motion sickness).

Enjoy.


Hopefully no bucket was needed and if you receive our reviews via email you'll have to check the blog for the video as it never shows in the email for some annoying reason. Sorry.


Do I like this bust?
Well I wouldn't have entered their competition if I didn't!

Being someone who grew up in the 80's and 90's (sorry but we had the best cartoons), this design does bring on a bit of nostalgia. It's nice to see something that just looks like someone who could just be around. Going about their own day to day business rather than being some posing pin-up or a warrior in bikini armour.

The sculpting fits the concept to the nail, though I do wish the facial symmetry was broken as it's a bit too perfect. I suppose the hair helps break from that though.

Are you limited to painting her in the 80's? Hell no. Trends keep coming back into fashion (I'm dreading the return of shell suits) and what's the say how dystopia is going to look. Even Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy knew the power of the Walkman!


Obviously, I need to tell you where you can get hold of your own copy of Chloe ready for your painting area. Directly from Break the Mold Miniatures is currently the only way at https://breakthemoldminiatures.com and make sure you check out their Facebook page or/ and their Instagram as they have already been teasing their next release which is looking to be quite original too.

Thank you as always for your time and if you have a product you would like us to review just get in contact. Cheers.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Goneya from Alternity Miniatures


Back in May 2018, Marco Riolo released Dafne 2220 under his Alternity Miniatures brand and at the time I was looking for sci-fi females to do a display of an all female crew, and Dafne was perfect. This was my introduction to Alternity Miniatures and I have followed them ever since.

I am quite a big fan of post apocalyptic miniatures and their 1/35 scale range is perfect for dioramas and vignettes.

Following the range over the past year has seen some very cool releases. Then Marco launched Goneya which is a double bust limited edition set and perfect for the sci-fi female crew project so I instantly had my eye on this.

Monday, 20 January 2020

The Beast from Black Crow Miniatures

At the end of 2019 I took a look over Eldareon from Black Crow Miniatures but they also released The Beast... which I now have for you today.

The concept for The Beast comes from Black Crow Miniatures owner, Isidro Monux and a little know sculptor.. Raul Latorre (yes, but little known I mean prolific and one of the best). It's a fairly standard design for a Minotaur to be frank but then again, if it isn't broken why try to fix it?


Monday, 13 January 2020

Mohawk Warrior, 1760 from Pegaso

Towards the end of 2019 Pegaso released several new miniatures and amongst them was the Mohawk Warrior...


This figure is 75mm in size and is has metal and resin parts.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Spring from Women by Pepa Saavedra (FeR Miniatures)

If you've been into the miniature hobby for any amount of time now you will know that there is one lady who is seriously good at painting female miniatures. Especially busts. And that is Pepa Saavedra. I'm hoping that you already know about her miniatures range that is available through FeR Miniatures, as to date every one has been of the highest quality.

Recently; Spring was released on the Women by Pepa Saavedra range and is the first of four representing the years seasons.

So who do you go to if you want a high quality female bust sculpted? Yup... Pedro Fernandez Ramos.


Friday, 3 January 2020

Yenmodels Scenic Base Build

Usually at GMR we look at miniatures or busts, but from time to time we get to look at products types that have other uses within the hobby.

Back in 2018 at Scale Model Challenge (SMC) I had the pleasure of meeting Yen Kwie Drenth; the owner of Yenmodels.

After perusing Yen’s stand I could see he had many great pieces that will accentuate any diorama or scenic base most around 1/35 scale (close to 54mm).

Now here in 2019; again at SMC, I have chatted with Yen and he has graciously given me a couple of his products to take a look at. But I cannot simply just review diorama details like a miniature. I need to use the product and show how they fit into a diorama.