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