Well...honestly...not this time. We thought we would take a brief look over what has frankly been one of the strangest and most disruptive years for everyone, both in and out of the hobby community. And then try, with a bit of positivity, to go through some things we can hopefully look forward to in the New Year.
Valkiria are one of my favourite companies and I love the pin up style they have produced. I have reviewed a few of their miniatures before. However; Valkiria have started a new range called Terra Ferox which is (loosely) translated by myself from Latin meaning Iron Earth. The Latin for iron is Ferrum and the Latin for Earth is Terra so if Pawel or one of the team would like to validate or crush my assumption; that would be great haha.
This range is a massive change in direction from the pin-up girls and they have launched the range with a very nice duo. So I couldn't really resist giving the start of the new range a going over.
As we see the end of 2020 and say good riddance to possibly the worst year all across the globe, I have decide to take a look at something that projects a ray of light into the hobby world. If you are as impressed with this piece as I was then hopefully you will go and support Drakae Miniatures too.
Chloe first came to my attention when Maria Jesus Romano was sculpting the bust and also asking for feedback from the community. I was happy to see Chloe come to life as she is the first bust from Drakae Miniatures and it was very cool to see the project come to completion.
Back in May, Maria put a pre-order up for Chloe and at €25, who wouldn’t be tempted. I purchased a copy for my daughter, Ani-Mae to paint, but sadly lockdowns and other things have put a halt to that as we live in different households. But once this whole debacle has showed us is backside we can get to sitting down and going for it.
Alternity Miniatures has been running for some time now and have been steadily building their catalogue (currently sitting at 73 various releases!). I thought I would take a look at one of their early busts this week. That being Adamski sculpted by Joao Paulo Ferreira who is no stranger in our reviews.
Dragonhead Models hit the ground running with their huge (54mm sized) release of Luthias Elwin & Rymmaig the Forest Dragon.
Test Object Perion is the latest release from Neko Galaxy who have a strong reputation for releasing sci-fi and cyberpunk influenced busts and figures. Majority of these being female and often with more than a hint of pin-up style thrown in too. But don't expect to see these futuristic ladies just posing. These are always bad ass in their own way.
Mr Lee's Minis has now released another bust sculpted by Joao Ferreira. And it is quite a sizeable one too.
For total transparency I need to tell you that this is one of the early test casts and doesn't have things like a box art sticker or anything else other than the bust itself in the black magnet closing box Mr Lee's Minis likes to use for larger miniatures in their range.
I also do some work with Mr Lee's Minis too but Kyle (the owner) knows that I say what I see and appreciates a good chunk of honesty in product reviews, so there won't be any favouritism or mates rates. If anything I'll likely be even more critical because I'd expect the best products possible.
Something different this week in the form of the Encyclopedia of Figures Modelling techniques Vol.0, Quick Guide to Painting from AMMO by MIG Jimenez. You'll find no talk of mould lines or joins so grab a tea of coffee and get comfortable.
This week, I return with something that has been available for a while and has been on my radar since release.
Fausto the owner of Abyssoul was happy to hear I would be doing the review and it has taken many weeks for me to give this piece the Normski treatment.
You guys n gals know I love to show the negatives of a model as quality to me is important when we lay out so much cash for miniatures we love. So without further-a-do, let’s see what we get for our hard earned cash with this release from Abyssoul Miniatures.
Right off the bat I liked this miniature as it is done in the style of the first nations of the USA/Canada.
Native American culture is a huge interest of mine; I have a very good friend over in Canada who is full blood Cree so this also piques my interest in any miniature base around the First Nations or the Native American culture.
When it comes to miniatures of the Thirty Years War, Avanpost has quite an extensive and growing range both in 28mm gaming scale and in a more display painting friendly 75mm scale. For this review I'll be taking a look at the recently released Dismounted Dragoon sculpted by Maxim Voronin but you can expect a follow up looking at some 28mm in resin and metal.
Valkiria Miniatures review.
This week I am looking at the Swedish Veteran VHP-11, which was the previous release before the Black Knight that I reviewed a fortnight ago.
Blast Model figure in the form of the Voyevoda of the 17th Century (check that one out too if you missed it). And so I thought I would take a look at the other figure they sent my way which is the Cuhullin, again in 54mm.
Love them or hate them they are here to stay.
Many conversations on social media often turn into aggressive exchanges between the haters and the defenders of this genre of our amazing diverse hobby. Often someone will inject their opinion on someone else’s painting or sculpture and cause a stink over the subject, and then it all gets brushed under the rug till the next time a set of boobs is on show then it all starts again.
It is a general consensus amongst many that the over sexualisation of female miniatures and busts is not necessary to sell a nice model. But on the other side of the coin, a lot of hobbyists love that kind of thing so the argument will rage on eternal.
My own view on the subject is gratuitous use of over sexualisation is just crass and many companies have blatantly used sex to gain sales in a male dominant hobby so I have often swerved models with over sized proportions and needless nudity. However; in June 2016 Valkiria Miniatures launched their range of 70mm resin pin up girls and in my opinion these are done in the most tasteful way while keeping the pin up aesthetic.
I first saw the Valkiria minis in my time writing for Figure Painter Magazine when I noticed VHP-01 their very first pin-up; the Texas Ranger.
Now by my own admission this one was just that bit too risqué for me but the paint job on the Ranger was outstanding and actually saw me liking that miniature. So thanks to the very talented Krzysztof Kobalczyk for a very nicely done piece which also won silver at Scale Model Challenge back in 2016.
Since the launch of Texas Ranger I have followed Valkiria Miniatures along their journey and each release from then has not stepped over the line into gaudy titilisation, and each release has not failed to keep my interests in the range.
I have VHP-07 in my GreyMountain stash and on purchasing this copy I approached the guys at Valkiria to ask their interest in reviews. Pawel Surowiec got in touch and arranged to send The Black Knight and the Swedish Veteran my way so this review, as the title suggests, is taking a look at the Black Knight VHP-12 and a review of VHP-11 follows soon.
So what do we get for the €35.00 price tag?
So what do we get for the €35.00 price tag?
Let’s see what in the box.A quick note about the box...
Mezzer's Minis in the UK. Based it the Ukraine and focusing on the historical side of things genre wise. To date they have seven 54mm and their first 75mm figures in their catalogue.
Everything so far has been sculpted by Filin I who is also a sculptor previously unknown to me.
I've been sent a couple of their figures to review and decided to go first with the Voyevoda 54mm figure.
Jane Fonder, who is always a yes for me, was sent on an erotic psychedelic quest to find the elusive Duran Duran (no, not the band from the 80's) and watching this as a very hormonal teenager it evidently left a big impression on my young mind.
Now skip ahead to 1974 and we see Pam Grier starring as Foxy Brown, the meanest chick in town (don’t shout sexism coz that’s what the tag line said) yet again sent hormones blazing in here R rated ass kickin rampage across the big screen watched by very happy 1980's teenaged Normski.
So let’s step forward about 34 years and let’s take FeR Miniatures and Romain Van den Bogaert, Barbarella and Foxy Brown, and smash them all together in a big tub of resin and pour it into a mould and what do we get once its cured?
In fact Pam Grier actually starred as Sheba Shayne in Sheba Baby later in 1975 so you can bet your next wage Lt. Sheeba Shayne is a sure fire product of those movies. The Sci-fi element I am still sticking to Barbarella.
As mentioned in my previous review, I purchased this bust during the FeR Miniatures day and here is my follow up from the two purchases.