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).
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.