Dragonhead Models hit the ground running with their huge (54mm sized) release of Luthias Elwin & Rymmaig the Forest Dragon.
Today I am looking at their first bust release in the same range called The Mourning.
Who or what has died? That is a narrative only the painter can decide.
So as you can see by the review picture The Mourning is a 1:10 scale ¾ figure and again is sculpted by Joaquin Palacios.
The miniature is cast in resin and stands at 100mm tall. It is made up of 12 parts in total all this comes in at £49.99 direct from Dragonhead Models.
The concept was drawn by Diego Gisbert and the box art painted by Arnau Lazaro who's work you can see on his Facebook page.
So; let’s have a look at the design and the producer’s notes...
The Mourning has been listed as “Elwin’s Warrior Brother looks down on a warm soul stone”. This surely implies that Elwin himself has died and his spirit lives on inside the soul stone?
However; this is open to interpretation...
Do dragon souls live on in these spiritual devices?
Has Elwin died or another warrior?
As the sculpture is set in a singular pose looking down on the stone which is said to be glowing in his hands we are lead to believe Elwin has died.
Again however, this soul stone is not what we all are used to seeing on other elven miniatures, but in hand this stone looks very much like a disc of precious gem stone or if you have crazy free hand skills you could paint a small portrait on it and have it has a pendent. Only your imagination can run the narrative of this piece.
The Mourning has been sculpted in the aesthetic of the first release and has been designed in a way far from the space elves and fantasy elves we see most in the hobby which I personally think is fantastic. But believe me when I tell you it could have been a different story if we (a whole bunch of guys) hadn’t beat Jamie (the owner) down into changing his mind regarding the aesthetic (Norm is not joking here at all. Steve).
This warrior is dressed in suitably elven fantasy garments but is set in a future time. He is adorned with fur, feathers, leather, bone and tooth necklace, textiles, dreadlocks and has a more traditional broach or soul stone on his loin cloth. So he is jam packed with textures to explore whilst painting.
His magnificently elven face has a strong jaw line and ears a vulcan would be proud of.
As the piece suggests, he is in mourning. He also has a pained expression on his face with furrowed eye brows and semi closed eyes suggesting sadness and frustration. All sculpted by Palacios and translated from Diego’s concept quite nicely.
Now let’s take a look at the cast quality...
Dun Dun Daaaaaaaaaa... tense drum roll... oh no what have I found? Will this go well for The Mourning?
Well; yeah it has...
By now you guys know I always point out when a company does not perform even the slightest of clean up. I am not afraid to say "hey! A price dictates quality and if you don’t stand up to that standard then you are basically taking advantage of customers as clean up is part of the hobby”
Yes it is but a producer should NEVER send an uncleaned miniature out to a customer. It is just common courtesy. Even something is better than nothing. In this case The Mourning has had an all over clean.
Due to the tone of the dye in the resin you can clearly see the mould lines have been removed which is fantastic and all is needed now is a light sanding and a buffing to get it smooth. This is what I am always pushing producers to do. Some do and some don’t. That’s their choice but I think its damaging to a brand to put out unfinished casts.
Happily Jamie has a nice clean product and is not charging the earth for it. There are some tiny lines here and there but the camera would have to zoom too close to even see them so all in all the cast quality is pretty nice. That being said, I have found a single negative with the cast, but this is a sculpting issue not a casting issue.
On the back of the torso is a fine crack where the clay or putty whatever Joaquin uses has shrunk and cracked probably in curing. This should have been picked up by the caster and reported to Jamie before it was cast. A quick fill with putty could have prevented it and this would have been flawless.
However; I am aware a lot of casters will just cast the piece as it arrives as they will not want to take the time to repair something that shouldn’t be there in the first place. But to be fair, someone should have taken the time to fix it ahead of casting.
Sounds like a lot of fuss for such a small crack but as you guys know I do not subscribe to blowing smoke up someone’s tail pipe just so they save face. That being said, it is a fine gap of only a few millimetres long and it will take no time at all to fill and prepare for paint. So although it seems like drama, it really isn’t so bad that it is irreparable. It is literally a wipe with putty and a quick sand and boom job done.
So why point it out I hear some of you ask?
Because it’s there. And not pointing it out would be a falsehood to myself and to Dragonhead models. How will we grow in the hobby if we all go around shouting how amazing it is and the best sculpture ever when clearly it has a defect?
Once again Dragonhead Models has produced a nice original piece and has launched his elven aesthetic. I sincerely hope he sticks to and grows the elven range more and more because in a world of same old same old these models are a breath of fresh air. I personally am very happy with the direction Jamie has gone with his range and he himself is a massive Eldar fan, so I am happy for him also as he is now producing quality pieces of his own designs.
So in short; well done Jamie and we hope to see more from you in the future. The Mourning can be bought directly at https://www.dragonheadmodels.com/product-page/the-mourning
Keep your eyes peeled over at Dragonhead Models as he has a new piece out now; Prince Elwin bust, and Jamie has also given me a sneak peek into a future product.
So stay tuned folks and see what is coming next from Dragonhead Models and check them out on social media via Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks for reading I hope this was useful and informative and remember to not drink the paint water.
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