Ludo bust from BrokenToad and Black Sun Miniatures

Back in the 80's when I was a child I was introduced to some arts books by Brian Froud. I was amazed and intrigued at seeing all these fantasy creatures, especially his goblins. Fast forward to the mid 80's and we were treated to two combinations between Froud and Jim Henson (at the point more known for the Muppets and Sesame Street). There had been fantasy films before but both the Dark Crystal and of course Labyrinth really brought something truly special to the big screen.

Fast forward to a year that we might more generally want to forget (2020) and the combined companies of BrokenToad and Black Sun Miniatures dropped a bombshell of a Kickstarter on the figure and bust painting community. 

Now people are starting to receive their pledges and you can expect to see these available to buy later in the year (links will be updated then).


Have to say it but that packaging is pretty swish. That oh so tight fitting, full colour sleeve (which you can unpeel at the join and reseal.. but I can't bring myself to do that), with full trademark and copywrite details just looks lovely. Yes... these are 100% licensed and created with full approval.

The black box inside has magnetic doors and some more logos in a fancy gold print.

Because I wasn't excited enough at finally, in my 40's, I would actually have some high quality miniatures to paint of some of my favourite fantasy film creations.

What's inside?


Once pulling back the flaps (sorry... too much Nigella Lawson) and lifting the top layer of foam I was greeted to this sight.

Anyone who regularly buys busts from any original creator knows that getting a plinth with your bust is a rare thing. This unlocked as a stretch goal during the campaign and I believe will continue over to the retail copies too.

Ludo (friend... sorry, couldn't resist) comes from the hands of one of the hardest to get to sculptors outside of his own Spira Mirabilis brand. Lucas Pina Penichet. And I'll admit that as soon as I heard he would be sculpting (traditionally of course) Ludo, I was excited to see what he would come up with. He is one of those sculptors who really creates special painting and display busts. I had to get this one (and really need to thank my wife for backing this as a gift for me. She knows me too well).


One ziplock and a loose plinth.

There was something rattling in the box... but that was the BrokenToad authenticity card. Actually the first of these I have too.


A simple trio of beautifully shaped cast resin. All looking clean and well defined as expected.

I have to say it but searching for mould lines or much to clean up is going to be fairly non-eventful. Possibly even disappointing after a quick skim over it. I was looking forward to teasing Normski too. Dammit! 

Up close


A face that only a mother... and multiple generations of people could love. Ludo is possibly one of the most huggable creatures in film. Unless he's come from the Bog of Eternal Stench.

Lucas has seriously done what he does best. Created a character filled face and framed it perfectly. He could've gone for a higher detailed fur with more hair strands but frankly, that really isn't needed. The recognisable shapes of what makes Ludo the big, loveable, rock caller that he is are all there along with that Lucas Pina "you know you want me" style.

Interesting place to chose to cut the bust off too. Opens up some other options for displaying.


Couldn't resist showing off more angles so you can see those textures.

You can play a little game of "spot the mould line" too. I found it and had it cleaned in about five minutes. Only one part goes across some texture but I use an old foil art scraper and just scrape through, following the detail. Helps that BrokenToad resin is easy to work with and pretty forgiving too.

Only word of warning, and this is more if you're new to resin; be careful if you're trimming with a blade. It's easy to slice off more than intended. Much safer to gently scrape.

If you're really fussy, and depending on how you decide to display Ludo, you may want to do a little sanding on the cut off section. I doubt many will bother though.


The only two parts with any pour points/ vents/ whatever they are really called and this is the sort of thing I prefer to see left in place. I've seen these clipped off from other companies before and it's easy to take off too much.

While the cuts may look a little messy, Lucas shows his experience here and they match up well. Only a little filler may be needed if the glue doesn't fill the gap.

Extras!


As said before; the plinth with busts are unlocked extras which I think will still be packaged with busts when they hit retail. That'll be confirmed at a later date of course.

It's nice to see these branded up (the Dark Crystal ones have that logo) as it really makes them stand out.

This is the only part of the whole kit that I feel could've done with a little extra work. Which admittedly feels a bit like nit picking. But they've really not left me anything else to question at all. There's some visible print lines from the printed 3D master and it would've been nice if the bottom was smoothed off. Like I said, that is being really nit picky. Especially as you can get away with giving plinths a good few layers of spray paint and you can easily sand the bottom.

360 video

I'm still pretty much a complete novice and sorry about the royalty free YouTube music.


Final thoughts...


I mounted everything up and only added a bit of brass rod. Having a plinth in with your bust is actually pretty cool, even if I may not use it with Ludo as I have other ideas thanks to that cut off angle. And yes... I mounted it pretty high. Drill in more when doing yours.

As for what I think and feel about this... during the Kickstarter this was priced at £45. Considering it's Lucas Pina's work and is a serious lump of resin, I am really happy with this. As in seriously happy. Finally having a bust of Ludo, and especially when it looks this good and with such good presentation too, is just a high point to my hobby.

For those purists looking at this and comparing it to photos of the actual film costume; yes there are some minor differences. But what you have here is all the character of Ludo along with the sculpting and character creation experience of Lucas Pina. Frankly it's an excellent combination.

I know there are still people awaiting their deliveries. All I can say is be patient, it is well worth the wait and the few delays they've had during the Kickstarter.


Where to buy?

Erm... currently... you would've had to have backed the Kickstarter.

What I do recommend though is to follow BrokenToad and/ or Black Sun Miniatures on their social media for updates on when these will be available to buy:
There is also a BrokenToad YouTube channel with multiple videos showing the different miniatures from the Kickstarter and how to assemble them. You can find it at BrokenToadPaintings.

If you managed to miss the Kickstarter though and fancy a look at what the future range may offer, this is the page to drool over:

After all the excitement of looking this over I'll try and restrain myself from blitzing through the other two I ordered as well. But you can expect to see those appear on here soon. Even more so as Normski can't review them as he is part of BrokenToad. More fun for me though.

So take care, stay safe, and enjoy your hobby time.


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Elven miniatures selection from Atlantis Miniatures

Welcome back of the next part of the stroll through the Atlantis Miniatures range.

Today I will be looking at the Elven Kickstarter which successfully funded and fulfilled just recently. The Even Kickstarter funded in less than one hour after launch and ended up with a grand sum of £69,794 of a funding goal of £12,000! So we can see Atlantis Miniatures are highly thought of in the miniature industry.

From the first Dwarven campaign right through to the current Elven Kickstarter, there has been no compromise on detail and Dan has sculpted a lot of very nice miniature.

So today we are looking at a small selection of the Elves.

Elf Rogue




This kit comes in three pieces and once assembled it is a pretty sweet model with an overall height of 60mm with the black base. This guy is perched on top of a tree stump with his bird of prey companion on his arm, and a cheeky little rodent sticking its head out of a hole in the stump.

The detail on this guy is what you would expect from Atlantis Miniatures.

The material is still yet unconfirmed but it is not resin like his first couple of campaigns and I suspect this is the new SiOCAST thermoplastic system. The material feels and bends like a plastic compound and cleans up very much like plastic too.

The details as mentioned are great, the raised embroidery on the coat looks pretty nice, the material is sculpted nice and sharp no dull edges, and very fine mould lines which is a good thing as this material is not scrape friendly.

The tree stump looks good to the eye and does not look exaggerated or cartoon like.

The bird of prey is sculpted to scale so the feathers are not super fine detailed but are done nicely enough to paint the detail in.

This in the introduction for the pieces I received to review so let’s take a look at the next one which is the...

Elk Warlord Mount


As above with the Elf Rogue, the detail and materials are replicated so we have nothing to worry about there. As gaming pieces they are perfect.


This eight piece kit is quite a majestic looking piece and stands proud on his scenic base.

The Elk is rearing up like it’s about to stomp or its halted sharply and stood tall lone ranger style. Again, the Elf Lord has a companion of a bird of prey and has a spear and shield.

This kit assembled well and the fit wasn’t too bad at all. Just a little gap filler needed and stands at a nice height of 115mm with base.

I like to be different with my miniatures so I have the bird landing on the antlers of the Elk and not on the Elves’ spear as per the 3D render.

All assembled, this kit looks amazing

Great Owl Mount


The last piece I'm looking at coming from the KS is the Great Owl Mount.


This four part kit is outstanding and all assembled looks just as bad ass as the others.

It is huge at 140mm tall without the black base, and yes it is big enough to carry an elf and comes with a saddle for just that occasion.


Very little mould lines and lots and lots of feathers; I don’t mind admitting I really hate painting feathers haha.

The owl is also a very majestic animal and Dan has captured this with his sculpture.

The wing span is a huge 170mm and the feathers, although not super finely detailed, all fall into place nicely. The face of the owl is simply asking for some time spent painting it as it will just look amazing.


Again, the owl is coming to rest on a tree stump which is again looking pretty natural, so Dan has done another cracking job replicating nature’s marvels indeed.

Here is a side by side just so you can see the scale of all these kits.


Well; what can I say about all the Atlantis Miniatures pieces I have reviewed and the ones I have not reviewed from my own personal stash?

Atlantis Miniatures is probably my favourite independent fantasy miniatures range. Dan puts nothing but quality sculptures out for the community to enjoy. I always enjoy looking at Atlantis Miniatures and I look forward to seeing what comes out in the future.

I have not put any retail prices on the kits as they are not yet on the store, so keep an eye out for future prices and shopping deals at https://www.atlantisminiatures.com/collections/shop

Dan has another project called Print My Minis where he sells STL files of kits he has sculpted, so go check that out too if you are on the STL band wagon https://www.printmyminis.com/

If you love all things Atlantis head over and give them some of your support on their social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram.

While you are perusing the range please remember to share what you find with all your friends while hobbying and spread the love.

Take care of yourselves, wear a mask or don’t but just remember to protect each other and while you are at it please remember to not drink your paint water.


Want to support GMR?
Have a product you would like us to review? Contact us and we'll be happy to talk.
If you would like to buy us a coffee or Donate to the running of GMR, anything is greatly appreciated.

Infinity: CodeOne, Operation: Kaldstrom from Corvus Belli

Very nearly on the first anniversary of its release, I thought it was about time (and more than well overdue) that I broke open my review copy of Infinity: CodeOne, Operation: Kaldstrom


Forest Wyrm from Atlantis Miniatures

Hello and welcome back to the next GreyMountain review. 

Today we return to a familiar producer at GMR as we take a look at the Atlantis Miniatures Forest Wyrm from the Elven Kickstarter range. Currently shipping and a lot of happy people should have nice parcels turning up right about now.

So let’s take a look at the Wyrm and see what it is like.


Akara (mounted) and Troodon from The Drowned Earth

A few weeks back I took a look over the Bondsmen Faction starter box from The Drowned Earth miniatures game; but that was not the only thing that James Baldwin (owner and creator of The Drowned Earth miniatures game or TDE for short) had sent my way. But I didn't want to drop everything into one big article. 

For part two I thought I'd grab two of the four packets (yes... there is more to come) and take a closer look at some more from this original apocalyptic setting.


Persephone from Veiled Lamp Miniatures

Today on GMR we are taking a look at a new product from a new company run by a very well established artist in this hobby.

Sebastian Archer is up in the highest echelons of artists; when we think of inspirational characters, Seb is definitely one of them. I have known Seb now for what seems like an age. I started my Journey into the display side of the hobby way back in 2012 when I first found the WAMP forum which you can find at www.wampforum.com. Back then I was simply painting gaming miniatures and through meeting the guys on there I was shown a whole new world. Seb was one of the members always showing amazing paint jobs and sculptures and this was indeed inspiring. He has sculpted many of his own miniatures and lots more for other ranges more recently sculpting a lot of the Twisted Game range he started with Peter Overton.

Now Seb has begun a new venture launching his own brand Veiled Lamp and the sculpture that has launched the range is called Persephone Enters the Underworld.

Persephone if you do not know is the Queen of the Underworld and the Wife of the God Hades. She is known as the goddess of Spring Growth. Her parents are Zeus and Demeter which makes her husband her uncle as Hades is the brother of Zeus.

Hades drags Persephone to hell to become his wife but Zeus made Hades give her back. Due to Persephone eating a single pomegranate seed in hell it prevented her release completely, so now she spends four months in the underworld and comes out in the spring.

Sebastian has taken this Greek mythological character and produced his first bust for Veiled Lamp.

What does it look like?

Well let’s see...


Kuri from Black Crow Miniatures (updated March 28th)

Black Crow Miniatures are becoming quite a regular thing here at GMR. Yes, it is true there has been a couple of releases between the excellent Hlin Dwarf Shieldmaiden figure and this new bust. But we can't review every release from a company. But the new Kuri was just too good to miss taking a look over.


Manticore from Atlantis Miniatures

Here at GMR we often swap from display type products to gaming products and today is one of those days.

Atlantis Miniatures have been around a few years now but I don’t see many customers showing off their kits, so I contacted Dan Jacks, the owner and sculptor of the Atlantis Miniatures range and asked if he would like us to promote his brand. Dan being a very cool guys and a good friend in the community, he was all too happy for us to put a review together to aid in showing the community what Atlantis Miniatures is all about.

So today I am going to start by showing off the Manticore from the mythology range.

When assembled the kit stands and a very nice height of 125mm and a wing span of 160mm. Sculpted for the wargaming size of 28-32mm, Dan has not shirked on the detail. If you take a close look at the pieces you can see he has sculpted the fur really well, and this will translate into the paint work as he has left so much scope for any level of ability whether beginner or master level.

The scales and tail of the scorpion parts are perfectly done too and they are not just smooth they have texture too so again you can go nuts on the details if you wish. The bat wing membrane again is so packed with detail you will not be sorry to have purchased this kit.

I do not usually assemble review kits as I usually like to store them away in boxes. But for this series of reviews I want to show the kits on the bench and not just in parts so you get the full idea of what Atlantis kits are about.

Let’s take a look at the kit before we get the glue out...


Bondsmen Faction starter box from The Drowned Earth

"The Drowned Earth is a skirmish scale tabletop miniatures game where brave heroes and villains risk the dangers of the wilds for glorious riches and ancient technology!"

I met James Baldwin a few years ago at a painting class and our paths have crossed a few times. Each time we discussed getting a review together for his tabletop game and miniatures called The Drowned Earth. But every time, life happened, things drifted, and well...to put it simply it didn't happen. Until now that is.


A Moment in Time from El Greco Miniatures

Today I return with my first actual review of the year!

It has been a troubling time for us all recently with all the negativity going around the world, so it is very nice to be able to immerse our-selves in this marvellous hobby of ours to escape from the daily grind. I am happy to be reviewing my first ever purchase from El Greco’s own branded range.

If you have been living in a cave or just do not know about El Greco Miniatures, they are a store based down in Cornwall (I say down because I am waaaay up North) where you can find many of the awesome miniatures from all across the world. Especially historical subjects.

With Brexit hitting the UK, and it seems Europe too (specifically on shipping costs etc), I recommend you look at using UK based stores such as El Greco Miniatures and Mr Lee's Minis.

Today I am looking at the resin 54mm kit A Moment in Time 1755. The First Nations history is something I have a very deep interest in. I have a very dear friend over in Canada who is Full Blood Cree so I have an emotional link to this genre too.

While looking for a kit from El Greco, A Moment in Time was a clear winner. So let’s take a look at the kit and see what I thought about it.

The kit...

The theme of the kit is two scouting characters, which I assume are Iroquois warriors, that have happened across a clock sitting in a shallow brook. One of the characters is crouching down and looking at the clock and I can imagine he is pondering on how it arrived at its location and who it could have belonged to. The other is stood up looking into the distance with possibly the same thoughts on his mind.

The kit is cast in resin. Scaled at 54mm and is sculpted by Alan Ball with the box art painted by Marion Ball.

On opening the delivery package I can see that El Greco has put some thought into the presentation of this kit.

    

Painting Secrets for Fantasy Figures book from AMMO by Mig

Last year I took a look at the Encyclopedia of Figures Modelling techniques Vol.0 from AMMO by MIG book as a warm up to this; the first book in their range aimed at the fantasy miniature painting market. This isn't the most recent title in the range but it's still relevant to the subject of painting incredible looking miniatures for our collections.